By Reza-Shah Kazemi
The Qur'an is the sacramental origin of prayer in Islam. Its inspirational strength is endlessly renewed via being recited and contemplated upon by means of Muslims every day all through their lives. This succinct and readable examine bargains exact modern insights into the religious, highbrow and ethical interaction set in movement by way of the fast Qur'anic chapters which are recited of their prayers via Muslims of all traditions, yet that are quite prompt inside Shi'i Islam. Reza Shah-Kazemi engages heavily and creatively with the Qur'anic chapters, basing his philosophical reflections on conventional exegetical rules, and focusing particularly at the courting among the ethical and the paranormal facets of the texts. the result's a stimulating meditation that probes the depths of that means contained in the verses of a revelation during which the non secular lifetime of Muslims has for plenty of centuries been nourished and fulfilled.
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Additional info for Spiritual Quest: Reflections on Quranic Prayer According to the Teachings of Imam Ali
76:21] Their raiment will be fine green silk and gold embroidery. Bracelets of silver will they wear. Their Lord will slake their thirst with a pure drink. [76:22] [And it will be said to them]: ‘This indeed is a reward for you. Your endeavour is accepted’. [76:23] Indeed, We, even We, have revealed unto thee the Qurʾān, a gradual revelation; IBT040 - Spiritual Quest 25/1/11 12:22 Page 45 Spiritual Quest 45 [76:24] So submit patiently to thy Lord’s command, and obey not of them any guilty one or disbeliever.
It will be said to him:] Read thy book. Thine own soul sufficeth this day unto thee as a reckoner’ (17:13). This verse can be read in conjunction with the following, ‘Whatever good comes to you is from God, and whatever evil comes to you is from your own soul’ (4:79). This makes it clear that goodness alone emanates from God to man; whatever else man experiences is solely the result of his own deeds, attitudes and dispositions. 35 These extrinsic consequences can indeed be terrible—neither posthumous suffering nor the hells are denied by the Sufis—but these consequences, labelled ‘the wrath of God’, are contingent, not essential; contingent in the sense of being called forth by contingent action— human sin—and thereby defined in terms of a disequilibrium which must be rectified.
Does this part of verse 5 imply that the seeking of help from the Prophets, the Imams and the saints is a form of shirk, an ‘association’ of other beings with the divinity, from whom, alone, all help is to be sought? Not at all. Again, there is an exoteric and an esoteric way of responding to this question. Exoterically, one need only refer to the words of the verse 4:64 to see that God not only permits but encourages the believers to seek the Prophet’s prayers of forgiveness for them: . . 38 God responds mercifully not only to our own prayers of forgiveness, but also to those of the Prophet on our behalf; therefore, seeking the Prophet’s ‘help’ is not an infringement of the principle of seeking ‘help’ from God alone, but is rather an aspect or specific application of this very principle.
Spiritual Quest: Reflections on Quranic Prayer According to the Teachings of Imam Ali by Reza-Shah Kazemi