Imam ÝAlÐ (Ýa) and the Verse of NajwÁ

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Imam ÝAlÐ (Ýa) and the Verse of NajwÁ

Question: Who was the individual who acted upon the verse of NajwÁ?
Concise answer:
Detailed answer: In the 12th verse of Surah MujÁdilah, we read: “O you who have faith! When you talk secretly to the Apostle, offer a charity before your secret talk. That is better for you and purer. But if you cannot afford [to make the offering], then Allah is indeed all-forgiving, all-merciful.”[1] The majority of Shia and Sunni commentators have written that: The only individual who acted upon the verse of NajwÁ was Imam ÝAlÐ (Ýa). ÓabarsÐ has narrated a tradition from the Imam (Ýa) where he said: There is a verse in the Quran that no one before me or after me acted upon. I had one dinar which I changed in to ten dirhams and whenever I wanted to speak (in private) with the Prophet (Ò), I would give one dirham of it in charity.[2]

A similar tradition has been narrated by ShawkÁnÐ from ÝAbd al-RazzÁq, Ibn al-Mundhar, Ibn AbÐ ÍÁtam, and Ibn MardawÐyah.[3] Fakhr RÁzÐ has also narrated a tradition which mentions that the aforementioned verse was only acted upon by Imam ÝAlÐ (‘a) and he has narrated this tradition from a group of scholars who narrated it from Ibn ÝAbbÁs.[4] Durr al-ManthÙr also has narrated numerous traditions in regards to this verse and they all mention the same issue as the traditions above.[5]

In the TafsÐr of RÙÎ al-BayÁn from ÝAbdullah, the son of ÝUmar ibn KhaÔÔÁb, it has been narrated that he said: ÝAlÐ had three virtues, which if I had only one of them, it would have been more valuable to me than red haired camels (this was a famous saying amongst the Arabs for something of the greatest value). The first was his marriage with FÁÔimah, the second is how he was given the flag on the day of Khaybar, and the third is the verse of NajwÁ.[6] The story of how Imam ÝAlÐ (Ýa) acted upon the verse of NajwÁ has been narrated in the majority of the books of commentary and tradition and it is something extremely well known amongst the Muslim scholars and further explanation at this point would simply be considered redundant.[7]

[1] Surah MujÁdilah, verse 12: «یا أَیُّهَا الَّذِینَ آمَنُوا إِذا ناجَیْتُمُ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدِّمُوا بَیْنَ یَدَیْ نَجْواکُمْ صَدَقَةً ذالِکَ خَیْرٌ لَکُمْ وَ أَطْهَرُ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَجِدُوا فَإِنَّ اللهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِیمٌ »

[2] «آیَةٌ مِنْ کِتابِ اللّهِ لَمْ یَعْمَلْ بِها أَحَدٌ قَبْلِى، وَ لایَعْمَلُ بِها أَحَدٌ بَعْدِى کانَ لِى دِینارٌ فَصَرَفْتُهُ بِعَشَرَةِ دَراهِمَ فَکُنْتُ إِذا جِئْتُ إِلَى النَّبِى(صلى الله علیه وآله) تَصَدَّقْتُ بِدِرْهَم»

[3] TafsÐr al-bayÁn fÐ tafsÐr al-qurÁn, vol. 1, p. 375; Sayyid QuÔb has also mentioned this tradition in his FÐ ÂilÁl al-QurÁn, vol. 8, p. 21.

[4] TafsÐr fakhr rÁzÐ, vol. 29, p. 271.

[5] Durr al-manthÙr, vol. 6, p. 185.

[6] TafsÐr rÙÎ al-bayÁn, vol. 9, p. 402 (this tradition is narrated by ÓabarsÐ in his MajmaÝ al-bayÁn, ZamakhsharÐ in his KashshÁf, QurÔubÐ in his TafsÐr JÁmiÝ under the aforementioned verse, etc…): «کانَ لِعَلِىٍّ(علیه السلام) ثَلاثٌ، لَوْ کانَتْ لِى واحِدَةٌ مِنْهُنَّ کانَتْ أَحَبَّ إِلَىَّ مِنْ حُمُرِ النَّعَمِ: تَزْوِیجُهُ فاطِمَةَ(علیها السلام)، وَ إِعْطائُهُ الرّایَةَ یَوْمَ خَیْبَرَ، وَ آیَةُ النَّجْوى!»

[7] Taken from the text: TafsÐr nemÙneh, Ayatullah MakÁrim ShÐrÁzÐ, DÁr al-Kutub al-IslÁmÐyah, 27th Edition, vol. 23, p. 461.
Published on: « 1393/02/22 »


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