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I have read multiple interpretations regarding this verse. I found that scholars have mentioned different sayings about the latter portion of the ayah "أنا له لحفظون" about who does the pronoun له refer to in the verse. Some say this refers to Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. I just wanted to know that is there any principle due to which the widely one is accepted is it refers to الذكر itself and if it's agreed upon. Please guide me I'm trying to clear my doubt regarding this for a quite long. Since there's an akhbari scholars saying that there is differences in interpretation of this ayah and therefore cannot be used as evidence for divine preservation. He also quotes Sunni tafsirs to support his claim. His arguments are causing doubts in my mind.

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Salaam Alaikum This is from Al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur'an, The Prolegomena to the Qur'an part 7, on Al-Islam.org "Those who maintain the belief in alteration interpret this verse in several ways. First, they say that al-dhikr (the Reminder) refers to the Prophet, for it is used in regard to him in God's saying, "Now God has sent down to you a reminder (dhikr):

A messenger reciting to you the revelations of God" (Qur’an 65: 10-11).

This suggestion is a clear error, for in both cases, dhikr refers to the Qur'an, as indicated by the use of the verb anzala (to send down, reveal). Had the reference been to the Prophet, then the appropriate term would have been arsala (to send), or something to that effect. Moreover, even if the above suggestion holds true for the second of the two verses, it cannot be true of the first. For the protection verse [the first of the two] is preceded by God's saying, "And they say, 'O you to whom the Reminder (al-dhikr) is revealed; lo! you are indeed a madman!"' (Qur’an 15:6).

There is no doubt that al-dhikr in this last verse is a reference to the Qur'an, and, hence, it proves that al-dhikr in the protection verse is also the Qur'an.

Second, they maintain that the protection of the Qur'an means protection from being maligned and from the invalidation of its lofty meanings and profound teachings.

This suggestion is even more manifestly erroneous. If protection against being maligned means protection against being reviled by the unbelievers and the obstinate, then there is no doubt that this is incorrect, for those people have reviled the Qur'an more often than can be counted. However, if it meant that the Qur'an is un­shakable in its meanings, convincing in its reasoning, and straightforward in its approach-and, by virtue of these aspccts and others like them, is far too high in status to be affected by the slandering of the malignant and the doubts of skeptics-this would be correct. However, this would not be in the sense of protection after its revelation, as stated in the protection verse, for the Qur'an, with its special characteristics, protects itself and does not need an external protector. Moreover, this is not the sense suggested by the verse, for it intends the protection of the Qur'an to occur after its revelation.

Third, they maintain that the verse points to the protection of the Qur'an in general and does not indicate that every single copy is protected. This is not necessarily the object of the verse. If what is intended is its protection in general, then it is sufficient for it to be preserved with the [twelfth] Hidden Imam (peace be upon him). This suggestion is the weakest of them all. The protection of the Qur'an must necessarily occur among those for whom it was revealed-that is, humankind in general. As for being preserved with the Imam, this is similar to being preserved in the Preserved Tablet [al-lawh al-mahfaz; cf. Qur’an 85:22], or with one of the angels. This opinion is undoubtedly weak and resembles someone saying, "I am sending you a gift, and I am protecting it in my possession or in the possession of one close to me."

It is indeed strange that the person who made this suggestion should say that the verse means the protection of the Qur'an in general and not every single copy of it. It is as if he presumes that the dhikr (Reminder) is intended for the written or the recited Qur'an, of which there are certainly many copies. However, it is obvious that this is not the intention here, for the written or the recited Qur'an does not have external permanence. It is for this reason that the protection verse does not refer to this written or recited Qur'an; rather, the dhikr refers to the actual Qur'an that was revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny), and the reference to its protection involves its immunity from being trifled with and lost, so that all people will have access to it. This resembles our saying that such and such a poem is "preserved," by which we mean that it is immune from loss in such a way that access to it is impossible."

I suggest you read the rest of the pages as it has a lot of helpful information. I only listen to Scholars who have evidence backed up the Quran and Ahlul Bayt AS, not sunni sources. Don't be like me and let others influence you. May Allah SWT give us the tawfiq to continue gaining 'ilm as long as we are alive.

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