Quran 3:7 states that certain ayas are allegorical (mutashâbihât) and others are literal (muhkamât):

003.007 He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:" and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding."

I was trying to interpret some allegorical ayas when I read this surah and the level of understanding requirement.

What is the benchmark or threshold of this qualification if it exists?

  • Even this verse could be interpreted in different ways. According to how you stop when you read the verse , it might even say; "But no one knows it's hidden meaning except God and those who are firmly grounded in in knowledge. They say: We believe in the book....
    – Kilise
    Commented Apr 21, 2018 at 21:26

1 Answer 1


A better translation to use is probably this:

It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise - they are the foundation of the Book - and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah . But those firm in knowledge say, "We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord." And no one will be reminded except those of understanding.

The word used here does not necessarily mean 'allegorical'. After all allegories are used to better understand things not make them harder to understand. What Allah is saying is that there are some verses that cannot be understood completely except by Allah (for example 2:1 "Alif Lam Mim").

So, there is no qualification that will help you understand these things. We are told not to dwell on them and just say "We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord."

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