Imam ÝAlÐ (Ýa) and the Concept of the Udhun WÁÝÐyah

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Imam ÝAlÐ (Ýa) and the Concept of the Udhun WÁÝÐyah

Question: What is the meaning of the term Udhun WÁÝÐyah?
Concise answer:
Detailed answer: In the twelfth verse of Surah ÍÁqqah, it is mentioned: “That We might make it a reminder for you, and that receptive ears might remember it.”[1] The term TaÝÐhÁ here has been taken from the root word of WaÝÁ (based on the weight of SaÝÁ). RÁghib in his MufradÁt and Ibn ManÛÙr in his LisÁn al-ÝArab have mentioned that this term means to take care or guard something in the heart. It is for this reason that every container is called a WiÝÁÞ[2], because it holds something within itself. In the aforementioned verse, this attribute has been mentioned in reference to the ears; these are specifically ears which hear the truth and take hold of them (in a way, they utilize them).

With this explanation, it is sometimes the case that someone can hear something and quickly forget it. There is even a saying that mentions: In from one ear and out the other. During other instances, the individual will ponder on what they have heard and that information will act as a guiding principle in their lives. This is what is considered as a WiÝÁ in the Arabic language.  In many of the famous Islamic books in regards to commentary and the traditions, it has been mentioned that: The Prophet (Ò) said the following when the verse of «وَ تَعِیَها اُذُنٌ واعِیَه» was being revealed: I asked God to make the ears of ÝAlÐ (‘a) ears which hear and which absorb the realities. It was after this event that Imam ÝAlÐ (Ýa) said: I did not hear anything from the Prophet (Ò) after this that I forgot; rather, I kept it all to memory.[3]

In the text of GhayÁÞ al-MarÁm, sixteen traditions have been narrated in regards to this subject from both Shia and Sunni sources. MuÎadith BaÎrÁnÐ in his commentary of Al-BurhÁn has narrated from MuÎammad ibn ÝAbbÁs that: Thirty traditions have been narrated on this subject from both Shia and Sunni sources.  This is a great virtue that has been mentioned for Imam ÝAlÐ (Ýa) and it is clear that after the passing of the Prophet (Ò), both friends and foe alike would flock towards the Imam (Ýa) whenever issues arose in the society that needed to be resolved. Many of these events have been recorded in the books of history of both the Shia and the Sunni as well.[4]

[1] «وَ تَعِیَها أُذُنٌ واعِیَة»

[2] «وعاء»

[3] TafsÐr qurÔubÐ, vol. 10, p. 6743; MajmaÝ al-bayÁn, RÙh al-bayÁn, RÙh al-maÝÁnÐ, AbÙ al-FutÙÎ RÁzÐ, and Al-MÐzÁn have all dealt with this issue in the section in regards to this verse.

[4] Taken from the text: TafsÐr NemÙneh, Ayatullah MakÁrim ShÐrÁzÐ, DÁr al-Kutub al-IslÁmÐyah, 26th Edition, vol. 24, p. 448.
Published on: « 1393/02/22 »


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