Al-Wasīla Verse (Arabic: آیة الوسیلة) is the verse 35 of the Qur'an 5 which considers God-wariness, seeking the means of recourse to get closer to God and jihad in the way of God as the requirements for human's happiness. Exegetes referred to verses and hadiths and interpreted al-wasila (means of recourse) in this verse as the faith in God and His Messenger (s), performing righteous actions, prayer, fasting, intercession of the prophets (a) and Imams (a) and swearing God to the stance of prophets (a) and Imams (a).
Text and Translation of the Verse
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَابْتَغُوا إِلَيْهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ وَجَاهِدُوا فِي سَبِيلِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
O you who have faith! Be wary of Allah, and seek the means of recourse to Him, and wage jihad in His way, so that you may be felicitous.
|— Qur'an 5:35|
The word "al-wasila" in the Qur'an 5:35 has been interpreted as "taking oneself or getting close to something out of desire" and considered observing God's way through knowledge, worship, and seeking virtues of religion as the essence of "al-wasila" (recourse) to God; meaning that one should acquire knowledge about divine rules firstly; and secondly, he practices God's servitude and finally tries to practice religious recommendations.
'Allama Tabataba'i considered "al-wasila" in this verse, a kind of spiritual connection which is not made but through servitude between human being and God, Who is Free from place and corporality, and considered the knowledge and action which were used in the definition given by al-Raghib al-Isfahani as the prerequisites of "al-wasila".
This verse considers reaching happiness dependent on observing three issues, including God-wariness, means of recourse to get close to God and jihad in the way of God. Some have interpreted "jihad" in this verse generally to include both jihad with disbelievers and jihad with the self, and believed that mentioning jihad in the way of God after mentioning means of recourse for getting close to God is an example of mentioning the specific after the general; meaning that "jihad" is an instance of the means of getting close to God.
Examples of al-Wasila
Exegetes have considered the meaning of "al-wasila" in this verse very broad, including any action or issue which leads to get close to God, and considered obedience and worshiping God and abandoning the sins the most important examples of the means. Some exegetes referred to a hadith from Imam 'Ali (a) and considered faith in God and His Messenger (s), jihad in the way of God, prayer, fasting, zakat, donation, hajj, 'umra, meeting the relatives, sadaqa [openly and secretly] and remembering God among the means of getting close to God.
Intercession of the prophets (a), Imams (a) and righteous servants of God, following the Prophet (s) and Imams (a), swearing God to the stance of the prophets (a), Imams (a) and righteous servants, especially the Prophet Muhammad (s) and Ahl al-bayt (a) are considered among the examples of the means according to the verses and hadiths.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from آیه وسیله in Farsi WikiShia.