Commentary: The verse enjoins the believers to take care of themselves and adhere to the path of their guidance; they should not be worried because a group of people has gone astray; everyone is to return to Allah, and He is to judge everyone according to his deeds. The speech contains very deep meanings.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ عَلَيْكُمْ أَنفُسَكُمْ لاَ يَضُرُّكُم مَّن ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ إِلَى اللّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ 5:1055: 105

O you who believe! Take care of your souls; he who errs cannot hurt you when you are on the right way; to Allah is your return, of all(of you), so He will inform you of what you did. QUR ' AN:O you who believe! Take care of your souls; he who errs cannot hurt you when you are on the right way; …:' Alaykum anfusakum(translated here, take care of your souls):' Alaykumis a verbal noun, and means, adhere;your soulis its objective; literally it means, adhere to your souls. It is known that going astray and being on the right way - the opposites - take place when one proceeds on a way. If one adheres to the middle of the road, he reaches to the end of the road, and it is the destination that he had intended to arrive at in his life ' s journey. On the other hand, if he was not serious in his proceeding and deviated from the right path, then he goes astray and misses the intended goal. The verse supposes that man has got a path to tread on and a destination to arrive at; sometimes he adheres to the way and is guided aright; at other times he deviates from it and is led astray. However, there is no other destination that a man aims at except the blissful life and good end. Yet the verse declares that to Allah is the return to Whom all have to return - those who are guided aright as well as those who go astray. The reward that a man wants to get in his natural proceeding is only with Allah; the guided ones achieve it and the misled ones are deprived of it. It inevitably means that all the paths used by the people of guidance and all the ways trodden upon by the people of misguidance finally end at Allah, and with Him is the intended destination, although those paths and ways vary in conveying the man to desire and success or beating him with failure and loss; and likewise regarding nearness and distance; as Allah says:O man! Surely thou art striving to thy Lord, a hard striving, so that thou art to meet Him(84:6);…now surely the party of Allah are the successful ones(58:22);Didn ' t you see those who changed Allah ' s favor for ungratefulness and made their people to alight into the abode of perdition(14:28);…then verily I am very near; I answer the prayer of suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way(2:186);…and(as for)those who do not believe, there is a heaviness in their ears and it is obscure to them; these shall be called to from a far - off place(41:44). Allah has made it clear in these verses that all men are unavoidably proceeding to Him; the road for some of them is short and it leads to guidance and success, while that for the others is long and it does not end at bliss and happiness, but takes the walker to destruction and perdition. In short, the verse supposes for the believers and the disbelievers two paths, both of which end at Allah; and it directs the believers to look after their own interests and to turn away from the others, i. e., from the people of misguidance. They should not weary themselves thinking about those people; because their account is on their Lord, not on the believers; these believers will not be asked about them, so why should they involve themselves with them. Thus the verse is near in meaning to another verse:Say to those who believe(that)they forgive those who do not hope the days of Allah that He may reward a people for what they earn(45:14). And similar is the connotation of the verse:This is a people that have passed away; they shall have what they earned and you shall have what you earn, and you shall not be called upon to answer for what they did(2:134). Therefore, a believer must remain occupied only in that which concerns his soul by proceeding on the path of guidance; he should not be shaken by what he sees of misguidance of the people and pervasion of sins among them; he should not waste his time with involvement in their affairs. Truth is truth even if abandoned, and falsehood is falsehood even if taken up, as Allah says:Say: " The bad and the good are not equal, though the abundance of the bad may enchant you; so fear Allah, O men of understanding, that you may be successful. "(5:100);And not alike are the good and the evil…(41:34). In the light of the above discourse, the words of Allah: " he who errs cannot hurt you when you are on the right way, " are a sort of illusion which aims at forbidding the believers to be influenced by misguidance of those who are misled, as it may encourage them to leave the way of guidance, and to think that the present world does not support religion and does not allow them to be involved in spiritual affairs, as these things are remnants of the ancient simple customs whose time has passed away. Allah says:And they say: " If we follow the guidance with you, we shall be carried off from our country. " …(28:57). It forbids them - also to fear the others ' misguidance and neglect their own guidance; in this way they would remain engaged in the others ' affairs and would forget their own selves; thus they would become like the others. Actually, what is incumbent on a believer is only to call towards his Lord, enjoin the good, and forbid the evil. In short he is to arrange the normal causes, and then he should leave the affairs of the effects in the hands of Allah, because to Him belong all the affairs. He has not been told to put himself in perdition in trying to rescue others from peril; and he shall not be called upon to account for what others had done; he is not an overseer to check others ' activities. Thus the verse is similar in meaning to what the Qur ' an says in other places:Then may be you will kill yourself with grief, sorrowing over them, if they do not believe in this announcement. Surely We have made whatever is on the earth an embellishment for it, so that We may try them(as to)which of them is best in deed. And most surely We will make what is on it bare ground without herbage(18:6-8).And even if there were a Qur ' an with which the mountains were made to pass away, or the earth were travelled over with it, or the dead were made to speak thereby; nay! The commandment is wholly Allah ' s. Have not yet those who believe known that if Allah had willed He would certainly guide all the people? …(13:31) This explanation shows that this verse is not in conflict with those of calling the people, and those telling the believers to enjoin good and forbid evil; because it only forbids the believers to remain involved in the people ' s misguidance, forgetting their own guidance to the right way. In other words, they should not put their own souls in perdition while endeavoring to rescue others from peril. Moreover, calling the others to Allah, and enjoining good and forbidding evil are a part of a believer ' s involvement with the affairs of his own self, and of his advancing on the path of his Lord. How can this verse be considered as going against the verses of the Call or those of enjoining good and forbidding evil, or taken to be abrogating them, while Allah has counted these factors as the designation of this relig­ion and a foundation upon which it has been built; as Allah says:Say: " This is my way: I invite(you)to Allah; with clear sight(are)I and he who follows me; …"(12:108);You are the best nation raised up for(the benefit of)men; you enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong…(3:110). What is incumbent on a believer is this: that he should invite to Allah with clear sight, and should enjoin the good and forbid the evil, aiming only at discharging a duty imposed upon him by Allah. He is not expected to kill himself in grief[if they do not listen] or to exert himself beyond the limit trying to influence the misguided people, as this is not his duty. The verse proposes that there is one path for the believers that leads them aright, and another one for the disbelievers that misleads them to error. Then it orders the believers to adhere to their souls(as it says,' alaykum anfusakum,which literally means, adhere to your souls). All this shows that the soul of the believer itself is the path which he should tread on and adhere to; exhorting one to a path conforms with exhortation to adhere to it, to never leave it; it does not connote adherence to the walker of the way; as we clearly see in verses like this:And(know)that this is my path, the right one, therefore follow it; and follow not(other)ways, for they will lead you away from His way; …(6:153). Now, when Allah wishes to exhort the believers to vigilantly proceed on the path of their guidance, He orders them to adhere to their souls. It makes it clear that the path, which they have to walk on and adhere to, is their own souls. That is, the soul of the believer is his path on which he proceeds to his Lord; it is the path of his guidance, and it leads him to his everlasting bliss. In this way, this verse throws brilliant light on the aim and goal to which other verses point somewhat vaguely, like the words of Allah:O you who believe! Fear Allah, and let every soul consider what it has sent on for the morrow, and fear Allah; surely Allah is Aware of what you do. And be not like those who forgot Allah, so He made them for­get their own souls; these it is that are the transgressors. Not alike are the inmates of the Fire and the dwellers of the garden; the dwellers of the garden are they that are the achievers(59:18-20). These verses enjoin on every soul to consider what it has sent on ahead, and to vigilantly guard its good deeds, as it is its provision for tomorrow - and the best provision is piety and fear of Allah. The soul has a today and a tomorrow, and it is proceeding ahead as it has to go a long way, and its destination is Allah, and with Him is the best reward, and that is the garden. Therefore, every soul should continuously remember its Lord without forgetting Him for a single moment; because Allah is the destination, and forgetting the destination would make one forget the path; because whoever forgets his Lord forgets his soul; such a person would not gather any provision for his tomorrow and for his future journey, which he could use to preserve his life; and it would mean perdition. This is the meaning of what both sects have narrated from the Prophet(s. a. w.) that he said: " Whoever knew his soul knew his Lord. " It is the meaning that is supported by total meditation and correct consideration. Man, in the journey of his life - no matter to which end it would stretch out - has really no concern at all except the good of his soul and happiness of his life, even when he sometimes is engaged in what looks like benefiting the others. Allah says:If you do good, you do good for your own souls, and if you do evil, it is for them(only) …(17:7). - There is only this man who changes from one condition to another, and develops from one stage to the other: fetus, child, youth, middle aged, and old; then continues his life inbarzakh,then on the Day of Resurrection, then to the Garden or the Fire. It is this distance the man completes from his first existence until he reaches his Lord. Allah says:And that to your Lord is the end goal(53:42). And this man does not go ahead in this journey except with some activities of mind(i. e., beliefs, etc.) and some actions of limbs - be they good or evil. Whatever he produces today will be his provi­sion tomorrow. Thus, the soul is the path of man to his Lord, and Allah is the final destination of his journey. This is a path man has to tread upon compulsorily, as the words of Allah indicate:O man! Surely thou art striving to thy Lord, a hard striving, so that thou art to meet Him(84:6). This path has to be trod­den by each man, be he a believer or disbeliever, alert and cautious or oblivious and careless. The verse, when it exhorts to adhere to this path does not intend to push to it those who do not use it. The verse ' s only purpose is to make the believers aware of this reality when they had become oblivious of it. Although this reality, like all other creative realities, is firmly established and is not affected by our knowledge or ignorance, yet man ' s attention to it does have manifest effect on his activities. And it is the actions that provide to the human soul an upbringing that is proper for its nature. When the actions are appropriate with reality and agree with purpose of creation, then the soul, which is brought up with their help, will be blissful in its endeavors; its projects will not fail and its dealings will not end in loss. We have explained it in many places in this book, which leaves no room for any doubt. However, it may be elaborated in this background, as follows: Man, like other creatures of Allah, is placed under divine training and rearing, His attention encompasses all his affairs. And Allah has said: …there is no living creature but He holds it by its forelock; surely my Lord is on the straight path(11:56). This creative rearing, accord­ing to the training Allah gives to other things, proceeds together to Him; and He has said: …now surely to Allah do all affairs eventually come(42:53). This rearing does not change in any affair, and does not differ even a little between one thing and the other, because the path is straight, and the affair is the same and constant. Allah has also said: …you see no incongruity in the creation of the Beneficent God; …(67:3). The end goal of man, and the destination of his affairs where his final result(his felicity and infelicity; his success and failure) is established is based by Allah ' s prescription on his character and his soul ' s aspects, which in their turn are based on deeds which are divided into good and evil, and piety and corruption. Allah says:And(by) the soul and Him Who made it perfect, then He inspired it to understand whatis wrong for it and right for it; he - will indeed be successful who purifies it, and he will indeed fail who corrupts it(91:7 - l 0). As you see, these verses put the perfected soul at one end, i. e. at the start of his journey, its success, or failure at the other end, and it is the end of the journey. Then they base the two ends of success and failure on the soul ' s purification and its corruption, i. e. the good and evil deeds, which the verses say, are inspired to man by Allah. The verses in all this elaboration do not pass over the condition of soul. They look at soul as a perfected creation of Allah; it is to which are ascribed the piety and impiety; it is, that is, purified and corrupted; and it is in which the man becomes successful and fails. As you understand, it follows the course dictated by creation. Keep in view this creative reality: Man in journey of his life proceeds on the path of his soul; he cannot step away from it, even for one step, nor can he leave it, even for a single moment. The condition of the one who is ever alert to it and remembers its demands without being oblivious to it at all, cannot be like the position of the one who forgets it and is oblivious of the inescapable reality, as Allah has said: …Say: " Are those who know and those who do not know alike? " Only those possessed of understanding shall bear in mind(39:9);So if there comes to you guidance from Me, then whoever follows My guidance, he shall not go astray nor be unhappy. And whoever turns away from My remembrance, his shall surely be a straitened life, and We will raise him on the Day of Resurrection, blind. He shall say: " My Lord! Why hast Thou raised me blind, and I was a seeing one indeed? " He will say: " Even so: Our signs came to you, but you forgot them; even thus shall you be forsaken this day. "(20:123-6). When a man becomes aware of this reality and turns his atten­tion to his actual positionvis - a - vishis Lord, and compares himself to all the parts of the universe, he finds his soul cut off from others(while previously he saw it in another light) and hidden behind a curtain; no one can encompass or influence it except its Lord Who manages its affairs, and pushes it from behind and pulls it forward by His power and His guidance. He finds that it is alone with its Lord, and besides Him it has no guardian or master. Then the man under­stands the implication of the divine words: " to Allah is your return, of all(of you), so He will inform you of what you did, " coming after the words: " take care of your souls; he who errs cannot hurt you when you are on the right way; " and also he knows the meaning of the verse:Is he who was dead then We raised him to life and made for him a light by which he walks among the people, like him whose likeness is that of one in utter darkness whence he cannot come forth? …(6:122). At this point the soul ' s perception and discernment will change; and it will emigrate from the position of polytheism to the station of servitude and place of monotheism. He will be changing polytheism with monotheism, imaginary with real, distance with proximity, satanic arrogance with divine humility, imaginary self - sufficiency with devotional dependence - if divine care takes its hand and leads it ahead. Regrettably, we are not in a position to perfectly understand these ideas, because we are clinging to the earth and are involved in it, and it stops us from diving to the depth of these realities, which are disclosed by the religion and to which the Divine Book points; but we are very much entangled with unnecessary scum of this transitory life, which the divine speech speaks of only as a play and idle sport, as He says:And this world ' s life is naught but a play and an idle sport; …(6:32);That is the(last)reach of their knowledge; …(53:30). Even so, the correct consideration, deep investigation and adequate meditation leads us to general confirmation of its broader out­lines, although we fall short of encircling its details. And Allah is the Guide. Well, probably we have gone beyond the limits of brevity; therefore we should return to the beginning of this talk: - The verse may be taken as addressing the communityper se.That is the clause:O you who believe!may be addressed to the believers ' society as a group. In this case, the clause: " take care of your souls, " will mean that the believers should reform their Islamic society by acquiring the attribute of being guided aright by divine guidance. They should preserve their religious cognition, virtuous deeds, and general Islamic symbols, as Allah says:And hold fast by the cord of Allah all together and be not divided…(3:103). It was described in its exegesis that this holding fast collectively means adherence to the Book andSunnah.Accordingly, the clause: " he who errs cannot hurt you when you are on the right way, " will mean that the erroneous non - Islamic societies cannot hurt them in any way. Therefore, the Muslims are not obligated to exert most strenuously for spreading Islam among the non - Muslim nations. They should limit themselves within normal limits, as explained earlier. Or, it may mean that they should not let the guidance they have got slip out of their hands by looking at the misguided societies as to how they are engrossed in base desires and how they enjoy the forbidden fruits of life; because all of them are to return to Allah and He will inform them of what they had done. Accordingly, the verse has the same implication as the following ones:Let it not deceive you that those who disbelieve go to and fro in the cities(fearlessly).A brief enjoyment! Then their abode is hell, and evil is the resting - place(3:196-7);And do not stretch your eyes after that with which We have provided different classes of them,(of)the splendor of this world ' s life, …(20:131). There may also be another meaning for the clause: " he who errs cannot hurt you when you are on the right way. " The negative may refer to the harm emanating from the persons of those who err, and not to any of their particular characteristics or actions; thus the meaning will be unrestricted. Accordingly, the verse negates the idea that the disbelievers could hurt the Islamic society by forcefully changing it to a non - Islamic society. In this case, the verse will be similar in implication to the following verses: …This day have those who disbelieve despaired of your religion, so fear them not, and fear Me…(5:3);They shall by no means harm you but with a slight distress; and if they fight you they shall turn(their)backs to you, …(3:111). A group of ancient exegetes have said that the verse gives the believers permission to abandon the Call to religion and avoid enjoin­ing the good and forbidding the evil. According to them the verse speaks exclusively about a time or situation when the conditions are not found for the said Call, and the enjoining and forbidding - i. e. when the believer has no security against harm. They have narrated in this respect traditions, which shall be quoted under the ensuing " Traditions ". This interpretation means that the clause: " he who errs cannot hurt you when you are on the right way, " is an illusion to removal of responsibility, i. e., you are not responsible for it. Otherwise, no one can have any doubt about the damage that the religious society suffers from spreading of misguidance, disbelief, and debauchery. However, this meaning seems far - fetched, which does not agree with the context: If this verse is taken as particularizing the generality of the incumbency of the Call to religion and enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, then its language is not that of particularization; and if it is taken as an abrogator, then the verses of the Call and enjoining and forbidding confute abrogation. This topic has some addenda, which you will later see.


al - Amidi narrates from ' Ali(a. s.) that he said, " He who knew his soul knew his Lord. "(al - Ghurar wa ' d - durar)The author says: Both sects have also narrated it form the Prophet(s. a. w.); and it is a well - knownhadith.Some scholars have said that it uses the style of attaching an impossible to an impossible; and that it means that it is impossible for man to know his soul because it is impossible for him to comprehend Allah. But this view has been refuted: First, because of another Prophetic tradition: The more one of you knows his soul, the more he knows his Lord; and Second, because thehadithgives a meaning of contradistinction to the verse:And be not like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget their own souls[59:19]. ' Ali(a. s.) has also said, " Astute is he who knows his soul and purifies his deeds. "(ibid.)The author says: In previous explanation it was described how purification is interconnected with gnosis of soul. He(a. s.) has also said, " Gnosis through the soul is the more beneficial of the two gnosis. "(ibid.)The author says: Apparently, the two gnosis refers to the gnosis through the signs of the soul and the one through the signs of the universe. Allah says:We will soon show them Our signs in the uni­verse and in their own souls, until it will become quite clear to them that it is the truth. Is it not sufficient as regards your Lord that He is a witness over all things?(41:53).And in the earth there are signs for those who are sure, and in your own souls(too);will you not then see!(51:20-21). How is the progress of soul more beneficial than the progress of universe? It is because the gnosis of the soul is usually not separate from the reform in its characteristics and activities, unlike the gnosis of the universe; gnosis of the signs is beneficial only because the signsper selead to the gnosis of Allah, and of His names and attributes. For example, Allah is Living, death does not touch Him; Powerful, helplessness does not vitiate Him; All - knowing, ignorance does not mix with Him; He is the Creator of all things, Owner of everything; He is the Lord who takes care of everything by what it has earned; He created the creatures not because He had any need of them, but in order that He should bestow His favors on them as they deserve; then He will gather them for the day of gathering, there is no doubt in it:so that He may reward those who do evil according to what they did, and He may reward those who do good with goodness[53:31]. This and similar verses describe such true realities which, if man were to receive and master them, would represent before him the reality of his life; he would understand that it is an eternal life having everlasting bliss or never - ending misery; that it is not this temporary fantasy, this distracting pass - time. This academic stand leads man to realize that he does have responsibilities and dutiesvis - a - vishis Lord andvis - a - vishis fellow human beings in this world as well as in the hereafter. No one is devoid of this thought, not even a Bedouin, in a sort of a life after death - whatever details they may attach to it - and they strive to practice good deeds in order to make that life happy and blissful. This factor is very clear to all. The life which man adopts for himself, presents before his eyes the necessities and requirements which that life demands. Thus he is guided to the deeds, which normally guarantee the fulfillment of those needs. So he acts keeping his actions in conformity with those requirements. And it is what we call custom or religion. In short, looking at the signs in the souls and in the universe, and arriving through them at the knowledge and gnosis of Allah, leads man to adhere to the true religion and the divineshari ' ah,inasmuch as the said gnosis represents the eternal human life, and it shows this life ' s connection with Oneness of God, Resurrection and Prophethood. This guidance to belief and piety is shared by both ways, i. e. the way of looking at the universe and that of looking at the souls. Both of these methods are useful; however that of looking at the signs of the soul is more beneficial. It is because in this process man has every chance to discover his own soul and its powers as well as its spiritual and physical instruments; he will also perceive if its affairs are in a moderate position or are inclined to this or that extreme; which virtuous or evil traits it has acquired, and which good or bad situations it has adhered to. When man is involved in investigation of these affairs and becomes sure of the security or danger, the felicity or infelicity which are attached to them, he is bound to diagnose his malady and know its treatment from close proximity. Then he can easily be engaged in mending the defective parts and preserving the good ones. It is unlike to looking at the signs in the universe: Although that too calls to the reform of the soul and its purification from inferior and depraved characteristics(and to adorning it with spiritual virtues), but that call comes from a far away place, and it is clear. The tradition has another deeper meaning which is derived from the results of real researches in psychology, and it is this: Observation of the signs of the universe and the gnosis acquired through it are academic observation based on process of reasoning and acquired knowledge. They are unlike to the observation of the soul, its powers and stages of its existence, and to the gnosis manifested from it, because it is a witnessing observation and automatic(unacquired) knowledge. A reasoned proposition depends for its existence on arrangement of analogous deductions and logical proofs; it continues as long as the man is attentive to its premises, is not oblivious to them, nor has his attention diverted from them. That is why the knowledge disappears as soon as attention is diverted from its proof; and then doubts raise their heads and controversies start. It is contrary to the gnosis the soul has of its own entity, its own powers and the stages of its existence, because this knowledge is manifest. When man becomes engaged in looking at the signs of his own soul, and witnesses its poverty to its Lord and its neediness in all stages of its existence, he sees an amazing reality. He finds his soul attached to the divine grandeur and majesty, connected in its existence, life, knowledge, power, hearing, sight, will, love and all its attributes and activities, to the infinite splendor and brilliance, beauty and perfection of the[divine] existence, life, knowledge, power and other perfections. He will then see manifestly what we have described earlier that the human soul has no concern except with itself, and never goes out of itself. Its only occupation is the compulsive progress in its own path; and that it is separated from everything it ever thought that it was joined to and mixed with - except its Lord who encompasses its inner and outer self as well as all things besides it. The soul now finds that it is always in private audience with its Lord, even if it happens to be surrounded by a multitude of the people. At this stage, it turns away from everything and fixes its attention to its Lord; it forgets everything and remembers only its Lord; now no curtain hides Him from it, nor does any screen conceal Him from it; it is the height of gnosis ordained for man. This knowledge deserves to be called knowledge of Allah by Allah. As for the knowledge acquired through reasoning process, which results from observation of the signs of the universe - be it through analogy, conjecture or some other ways - it is the knowledge of an image in mind through an image in mind. Far be it from Allah to be encompassed by a mind, or that His Person could be equated to an image fabricated by any of His creatures: …and they do not comprehend Him in knowledge[20:11].Biharu ' l - anwarquotes fromal - Irshadandal - Ihtijaj,from ash - Sha ' bi that the Leader of the Faithful(a. s.) said,inter alia,in a talk: " Verily Allah is too great to be hidden from anything, or for anything to be hidden from Him. " Musa ibn Ja ' far(a. s.) said,inter alia,in a talk: " There is no curtain between Him and His creation except the creation(itself); He is hidden without any covering curtain; and is concealed without any hiding veil; there is no god except He, the Great, the Sublime. "(at - Tawhid)[as - Saduq] narrates from ' Abdu ' l - A ' la from as - Sadiq(a. s.)inter aliain ahadith,that he said, " And whoever thinks that he knows Allah through a curtain, or form, or image, is an idolater; because curtain, form and image are other than Him, and He is only One, professed to be One; how can be he a monotheist who thinks that he declares Him to be One through one other than Him? Only he knows Allah who knows Him through Allah; so whoever does not know Him through Him, he[in fact] does not know Him, he only knows someone other than Him… "(ibid.).The traditions narrated from the Imams ofAhlulbayt(a. s.) on this topic are very numerous; probably Allah will give ustawfiqto quote and explain them, God willing, in thetafsirof chapter seven, " The Battlements ". It has indeed come out from the above that observation in the signs of the souls is the most precious and valuable; and only that leads to the real gnosis. Therefore, when ' Ali(a. s.) counted the gnosis through the soul as the more beneficial of the two gnosis, and not as the only appointed way of gnosis, he(a. s.) knew that the general public was incapable of attaining to that gnosis. The Book of Allah and theSunnahof the Prophet(s. a. w.) are agreed, and the custom of the Prophet and hisAhlulbaythas established, that the belief of the one who believes in Allah through observation of His creation, is fully accepted; and it is the outlook that is prevalent among the believers; so the ways are beneficial, although the benefit in the way of the soul is more complete and comprehensive. ' Ali(a. s.) said, " The Gnostic is he who knows his soul and liberates it and purifies it from all that removes it far. "(ad - Durar wa ' l - ghurar)The author says: That is, liberates the soul from captivity of desire and slavery of lust.[The author has quoted here many sayings of the same Imam(a. s.) from the same book, which are enumerated below.]: - - The biggest ignorance is a man ' s oblivion to affairs of his soul. - The biggest wisdom is man ' s knowledge of his soul. - The most knowledgeable of people regarding his soul is the one who fear his Lord most. The author says: It is because he is the most knowledgeable of all about his Lord, and Allah has said: …verily fear Allah only those of His servants who are possessed of knowledge;,..[35:28]. - The best understanding is man ' s knowledge of his soul; so whoever knows his soul is possessed of understanding, and whoever is ignorant of it, has gone astray. - I am surprised about the man who searches for his lost item, while he has lost his own soul and does not search for it. - I am surprised about the man who is ignorant of his soul, how does he know his Lord. - The end goal of knowledge is that man should know his soul. The author says: It has been explained earlier, why it is the end goal of knowledge, because it is the knowledge in reality. - How can he know another person who is ignorant of his own soul? - Enough is for man in knowledge that he should know his soul, and enough is for him in ignorance that he should not know his soul. - Whoever knew his soul, became free. The author says: That is, became free from worldly entanglement; or became free from people being secluded from them; or became free from everything through sincere devotion to Allah. - Whoever knows his soul fights it, and whoever does not know it leaves it unfettered. - Whoever knows his soul, his affair(rank) becomes great. - Whoever knows his soul, shall be more knowledgeable about others; and whoever is ignorant of his soul, shall be more ignorant of others. - Whoever knows his soul, he has indeed reached the end goal of all gnosis and knowledge. - Whoever does not know his soul, goes far away from the path of deliverance, and wanders at random in error and ignorance. - Knowledge of soul is the most beneficial of all knowledge. - He attained the great success who achieved the knowledge of the soul. - Don ' t be ignorant of your soul, because he, who is ignorant of his soul, is ignorant of everything. as - Sadiq(a. s.) saidinter aliain ahadith:" Whoever thinks that he knows Allah through mind ' s imagination, is a polytheist; and who­ever thinks that he knows Allah by name, not meaning, has indeed agreed to calumny, because the name is of a later appearance; and whoever thinks that he worships the name and the meaning, has indeed made a partner for Allah; and whoever thinks that he worships through attribute, not through perception, refers to an absentee; and whoever thinks that he joins the characterized[entity] to the attribute, has belittled the great one;and they esteem not Allah with the estimation due to Him[6:91]. " He was asked: " Then how is the path of monotheism? " He said, " The door of search is possible, and the pursuit of the way out exists; verily the knowledge of a present person comes before his attributes, and knowledge of the attributes of an absent one comes before his person. " It was said(to him): " And how can the knowledge of a present person come before his attributes? " He said, " You know him, and know(about) his knowledge, and you know your own self through him and do not know yourself through yourself; and you know that whatever is found in him is for him and through him. As they said to Yusuf.' Are you indeed Yusuf? ' He said: ' I am Yusuf and this is my brother. '[12:90]. So, they knew him through him, and did not know him through someone else, nor did they assert his identity by them­selves through imagination… "(Tuhafu ‘l-' uqul) The author says: We have described under the thirdhadithof this section(' Gnosis through the soul is the more beneficial of the two gnosis ') that when man becomes engaged with signs of his soul and leaves all other things for it, he becomes exclusively connected to Allah and forgets everything; it brings in its wake the gnosis of his Lord, a direct knowledge without intervention of any intermediary without causation by any cause. It is because when one adheres exclusively to Allah, then every curtain is raised; and at this juncture man looks at the arena of Divine Greatness and Majesty which makes him so dazzled and perplexed that he forgets his own self, his own soul. This gnosis, this knowledge truly deserves to be called the Knowledge of Allah through Allah. And then the reality of his soul will be clear to him that it is totally dependent on Allah, and completely owned by Him in such a way that it is not independent of Him in any affair. And this is the im­plication of the Imam ' s words, " and you know your own self through him and do not know yourself through yourself; and you know that whatever is found in him is for him and through him. " al - Mas ' udi has narrated a similar theme inIthbatu ' l - wasiyyahfrom the Leader of the Faithful(a. s.) that he saidinter aliain a sermon: " So, glory be to Thee! Thou hast filled everything and hast separated from everything; so Thou art such that nothing misses Thee; and Thou art the doer of whatever Thou wishest; Blessed art Thou, O He that every comprehender is of His creation, and every limited is from His make… " Glory be to Thee! Which eye can stand opposite the splendor of Thy light, or can rise to the light of Thy power ' s reflection, or which understanding can comprehend(even) what is below it? Except the eyes from which curtains have been removed and the blinding covers have been torn away; thus their spirits have soared high on the wing - tips of the spirits; they talked with Thee in whisper under Thy pillars, and entered in middle of the lights of Thy splendor; they looked from the steps of dust to Thy Majesty; so the people of(heavenly) Kingdom have named them visitors, and the people of(worldly) power have called them settlers. "(Ithbatu ' l - wasiyyah)[al - Majlisi] has quoted fromIrshadu ' l - qulubof ad - Daylami(and has written after that two chains of narration for thishadith)whichinter aliasays: " So whoever acts according to My pleasure, I attach to him three characteristics: I introduce to him a thankfulness which is not mixed by ignorance, and a remembrance which is not mingled by forgetfullness, and a love that he does not prefer love of the creatures to My love. " So when he loves Me, I love him, and I open the eye of his heart towards My greatness; and do not keep hidden from him My special creation; I talk to him in secret in darkness of night and light of day, until his talk with the creatures and his social intercourse with them are discontinued; I make him hear My talk and that of My angels; and I let him know the secret which I have kept hidden from My creatures; I dress him in modesty until all the creation feels shy of him; he walks on the earth while[his sins are] forgiven to him; I make his heart attentive and seeing; I do not hide from him anything of the Garden and the Fire; and let him know what fright and hardship will afflict the people in resurrection, and how I ' ll take account of wealthy and poor, ignorant and knowledgeable. I shall make him sleep in his grave and send to him Munkar and Nakir in order that they should question him; he will not see(feel) the sorrow of death, darkness of grave andlahad(charnel vault with a niche for the corpse in the lateral wall) and terror of the observing place; then I shall set up for him his balance, and spread his book of accounts, then I ' ll put his book in his right hand, which he shall read spread about; then I shall not appoint any interpreter between Me and him. So these are the attributes of the lovers. " O Ahmad! Keep your concern, and make your tongue one tongue, and keep your body alive which is never inattentive; whoever is heedless of Me, I don ' t care in which valley he perishes. " The author says: Although the last three traditions are not related to this topic of uprightness and rectitude, we have quoted them here to let the scholars with critical insight see for themselves, as we have described earlier, that true gnosis of Allah is not fully acquired through thoughtful knowledge. These traditions mention many items of divine gifts, which can never be attained through rational process. These are upright and correct traditions, correctness of which is witnessed by the Divine Book, as we shall fully explain, God willing, in exegesis of the seventh chapter, " The Battlements ". al - Qummi narrates in hisat - Tafsir,under the verse:O you who believe! Take care of your souls;(he who errs cannot hurt you when you are on the right way), that the Imam(a. s.) said, " Keep your souls good, and do not pursue the people ' s shortcomings, nor should you remind them[of their defects]; because their misguidance will not harm you when you are good. " The author says: The tradition supports what we have explained earlier that the verse aims at forbidding too much involvement in society ' s reform, more than is usual for such call and for enjoining good and forbidding evil; but it does not allow negligence of that call and enjoining and forbidding. as - Sadiq(a. s.) said: " This verse was revealed concerningtaqiyyah(dissimulation). "(Nahju ' l - bayan) The author says: The tradition explains that the verse speaks particularly for the situation when one is afraid of the people of mis­guidance in calling to the truth, enjoining good and forbidding evil, because inshari ' ahthis duty is conditional on there being no danger in it. But we have earlier explained that the apparent meaning of the verse does not support it. Of course, as - Suyuti has quoted inad - Durru ' l - manthurwords of a group of ancient exegetes giving the same meaning, like Ibn Mas ' ud, Ibn ' Umar, Ubayy ibn Ka ' b, Ibn ' Abbas and Makhul, but the traditions narrated from the Prophet(s. a. w.) on this topic do not support it. The said tradition is the one narrated by at - Tirmidhi(and he has said that it is correct), Ibn Majah, Ibn Jarir, al - Baghawi(in hisMu ' jarn),Ibnu ' 1 - Mundhir, Ibn Abi Hatim, at - Tabaram, Abu ' sh - Shaykh, Ibn Marduwayh, al - Hakim(and he has said that it is correct), and al - Bayhaqi(inShu ' abu ‘l - ' iman) from Abu ' Umayyah ash - Sha ' bani that he said, " I came to Abu Tha ' labah al - Khashanl and said to him, ' How do you make(i. e. interpret) this verse? ' He said, ' Which verse? ' I said, The word of Allah:O you who believe! Take care of your souls; he who errs cannot hurt you when you are on the right way. 'He said, ' Indeed, by Allah! You have asked a man who fully knows it. I had asked the Messenger of Allah(s. a. w.) about it. He had said, " Rather you should enjoin each other the good and forbid each other the evil;[continue in this way] until when you see that niggardliness is obeyed, base desire is followed, worldly[attraction] is preferred, and every opinion - holder admires his opinion, then you should take care of your own soul especially, and leave alone the affairs of the general people; because there are ahead of you the days of patience, the one patient in those days will be like the one holding live coal in hand; the one doing(good) deeds in those days shall have the reward of fifty men doing(good) deeds like yours. " ' " The author says: The same is the theme of what Ibn Marduwayh has narrated from Ma ' adh ibn Jabal from the Prophet(s. a. w.). The tradition shows that enjoining the good and forbidding the evil were not eliminated by this verse.[as - Suyuti] narrates from Ahmad, Ibn Abi Hatim, at - Tabarani and Ibn Marduwayh, from Abu ' Amir al - Ash ' an, that there was something among them, and he was restrained from(coming to) the Messenger of Allah(s. a. w.); then he came to him;(The Prophet) said, " What had kept you away? " He said, " O Messenger of Allah! I read this verse:O you who believe! Take care of your souls; he who errs cannot hurt you when you are on the right way."(Abu ' Amir) says, " Then the Prophet(s. a. w.) said, ' Where have you gone? It only means: He who errs from among the disbelievers cannot hurt you when you are on the right way. ' "(ad - Durru ' l - manthur) The author says: As you see, the tradition reserves the order of the verse particularly to the permission of abandoning the call of dis­believers to the truth; and diverts it from the permission of discarding enjoining the good and forbidding the evil in matters ofshari ' ah.Moreover, the verses which show obligation of the call to truth, and its related verses regardingjihadand so on make it crystal clear that the verse under discussion does not go against the verses of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil.[as - Suyuti] narrates from Ibn Marduwayh, from Abu Sa ' id al - Khudri that he said, " I mentioned before the Messenger of Allah(s. a. w.) the word of Allah, the Mighty, the Great:O you who believe! Take care of your souls; he who errs cannot hurt you when you are on the right way.The Prophet of Allah(s. a. w.) said, ' Its interpretation has not come yet; its interpretation will not come until ' Isa son of Maryam(a. s.) comes down. ' "(ibid.)The author says: The same comment, as the above are applicable here too.[as - Suyuti] narrates from Ibn Jarir, Ibnu ' l - Mundhir and Ibn Abi Hatim from Hudhayfah about the verse:Take care of your souls; he who errs cannot hurt you when you are on the right way, that he said: "When you have enjoined the good and forbidden the evil." The author says: It is a moderate interpretation that in the end returns to what we have explained; and Sa'id ibn al-Musayyab also has narrated like it.