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Al-Kursi Verse

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Al-Kursī Verse (Arabic: آیة الکرسی) is the verse 255 of the Qur'an 2 (Sura al-Baqara) in Qur'an. Some interpreters of Qur'an have taken its following two verses (256-257) to be part of the al-Kursi Verse. This is the only verse in Qur'an in which "God's Kursi (seat or throne)" is mentioned as extending to the heavens and the Earth. This is why the verse was known as the al-Kursi Verse. It was called so since the time of the Prophet (s).

According to hadiths, it is recommended to recite this verse in all conditions, particularly after performing prayers, before going to sleep, when leaving home, when facing dangers and troubles, when driving a vehicle to prevent evil eyes, for health, and so on.

Text

The verse 255, and also according to some hadiths and views of some scholars of Qur'anic exegesis verses 256 and 257, of the Qur'an 2 are parts of the al-Kursi Verse.[1]

اَللَّـهُ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لَا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلَا نَوْمٌ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ مَن ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِندَهُ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلَّا بِمَا شَاءَ وَسِعَ كُرْ‌سِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضَ وَلَا يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ (٢٥٥) لَا إِكْرَ‌اهَ فِي الدِّينِ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّ‌شْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ فَمَن يَكْفُرْ‌ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِن بِاللَّـهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْ‌وَةِ الْوُثْقَىٰ لَا انفِصَامَ لَهَا وَاللَّـهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ (٢٥٦) اللَّـهُ وَلِيُّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا يُخْرِ‌جُهُم مِّنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ‌ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُ‌وا أَوْلِيَاؤُهُمُ الطَّاغُوتُ يُخْرِ‌جُونَهُم مِّنَ النُّورِ‌ إِلَى الظُّلُمَاتِ أُولَـٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ‌ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ

"Allah—there is no god except Him—is the Living One, the All-sustainer. Neither drowsiness befalls Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that may intercede with Him except with His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they do not comprehend anything of His knowledge except what He wishes. His seat embraces the heavens and the earth and He is not wearied by their preservation, and He is the All-exalted, the All-supreme.(255) There is no compulsion in religion: rectitude has become distinct from error. So one who disavows fake deities and has faith in Allah has held fast to the firmest handle for which there is no breaking; and Allah is all-hearing, all-knowing. (256)Allah is the wali of the faithful: He brings them out of darkness into light. As for the faithless, their awliya are the fake deities, who drive them out of light into darkness. They shall be the inmates of the Fire, and they will remain in it [forever].

(Qur'an 2:255,256,257)

Meaning

From Muslim scholars' viewpoint, the two notions of "Qayyum" and "Kursi" have been more controversial than various other notions in this verse. The word "kursi" means seat, throne, knowledge, and the realm. In different hadiths by Shi'a Imams (a), "kursi" in this verse has been interpreted as divine knowledge; thus the verse means that "his knowledge extends to heavens and the Earth".[2]

According to a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), "kursi" is a sort of knowledge, unique to God, of which He has not informed any of his prophets and Imams.[3]

Merits and Benefits

With respect to its content, the al-Kursi Verse contains deep religious doctrines, and hadiths have emphasized the virtues of reciting the verse and its positive impacts on one's life.

The verse came to be called "al-Kursi" since the time of the Prophet (s). He is quoted as saying that "the greatest verse in Qur'an is the al-Kursi Verse"[4] and "the master of all words in Qur'an; the master of Qur'an is Sura al-Baqara, and the master of Sura al-Baqara is the al-Kursi Verse".[5] The verse has always been particularly honored by Muslims, since all Islamic doctrines rest upon monotheism, which is comprehensively summarized in the al-Kursi Verse. The verse characterizes both the Divine essence and the Divine attributes and acts.[6]

There are many hadiths in both Shiite and Sunni sources concerning the features and positive impacts of reciting the al-Kursi Verse in different circumstances. According to these hadiths, it is recommended to recite this verse in all conditions, particularly after performing prayers, before going to sleep, when leaving home, when facing dangers and troubles, when riding a vehicle, to prevent evil eyes, for health, and so on.[7]

Bibliography

Many scholars have written independent books or essays on the exegesis of this verse, such as Kamal al-Din 'Abd al-Razzaq al-Kashani, Shams al-Din al-Khafri, Mulla Sadra and his son, and among the contemporary scholars, Muhammad Taqi Falsafi.

Notes

  1. Muʿīnī, "Āyat al-kursī", p. 101.
  2. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 2, p. 272.
  3. Ṣadūq, Maʿānī l-akhbār, vol. 1, p. 67.
  4. Sayūṭī, al-Jāmiʿ al-ṣaghīr, vol. 1, p. 47.
  5. Sayūṭī, al-Jāmiʿ al-ṣaghīr, vol. 2, p. 35.
  6. Ghazālī, Jawāhir al-Qurān, p. 73-75.
  7. Muʿīnī, "Āyat al-kursī", p. 101.

References

  • Ghazālī, Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-. Jawāhir al-Qurān. Edited by Muḥammad Rashīd Riḍā al-Qurbānī. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-ʿUlūm, 1411 AH.
  • Makārim Shīrāzī, Nāṣir. Tafsīr-i nimūna. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1380 Sh.
  • Muʿīnī, Muḥsin. 1377 Sh. "Āyat al-kursī". Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān wa Qurʾān Pazhūhī 1: (101).
  • Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. Maʿānī l-akhbār. Edited by ʿAlī Akbar Ghaffārī. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1377 Sh.
  • Suyūṭī, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Abī Bakr al-. Al-Jāmiʿ al-ṣaghīr fī aḥādīth al-bashīr al-nadhīr. Cairo: [n.p], 1373 AH.