Question: It is revealed in the Qur’an that, “…God has done the believers a great kindness by raising among them a Messenger of their own, reciting to them His Revelations, and purifying them, and instructing them in the Book and the Wisdom; whereas, before that, they were lost in obvious error” (Al Imran 3:164). Could you explain the verse with respect to the noble Prophet’s attributes cited?
Answer: At the beginning of the verse, God Almighty draws attention to an important favor and kindness. The fact that God did not send an angel from the sky but a person from among people who was born as the child of his parents like the rest indicates God’s grace to humanity. It is such a favor that this human Messenger shares the same feelings and thoughts with people, guided them on the path leading to God, came to the fore when they needed a leader, showed them in the best way how to be a commander … in short, he provides guidance to people in every area of life at every moment they could need. Sending such a Messenger as a human being from among others is such a great honor! How can believers remain indifferent to such a significant blessing? Then it is necessary to offer due thanks.
Afterwards, the verse states that the Messenger of God, peace and blessings be upon him, recites them God’s revelations. It is noteworthy that the Arabic word used here is “tilawah” (recitation) instead of “qira’ah,” “ard,” or “taqdim.” “Tilawah” means reciting time after time, and continuously. The verb’s being inflected in mudari tense puts further emphasis on continuity, which conveys the meaning of simple present tense. Accordingly, if we view the issue in connection with his blessed life, such a meaning can be drawn: in order not to let you feel contempt by familiarity, he constantly conveys the verses of God with the Qur’anic style of presenting subjects from fresh perspectives. In order to keep you spiritually alive, he presents matters time and again in different forms. There is also another meaning to be derived: As the Prince of both worlds recited God’s verses in his own lifetime, he will continue to do so after passing away. This can be taken as an allusion to the fact that the Qur’an will remain protected. It is possible to take this point in relation with God’s kindness mentioned at the beginning. In addition, He not only does this kindness, but also purifies you. Your spiritual purification—particularly by giving up arrogant considerations and always seeing oneself as blameworthy—then the refinement of you heart, and wandering comfortably over the emerald hills of the heart… all of it depends on His purifying, which becomes possible thanks to the Divine message.
Beholding the existence from the horizons of wisdom
The Messenger of God teaches the Book and wisdom. His first and foremost teaching is the Qur’an the Miraculous Exposition. Verses of the Qur’an are the expounder, lucid proof, and clear interpreter of God’s works. By reciting them continuously, the Messenger of God shattered veils of contempt bred by familiarity. He makes everybody see phenomena with respect to their underlying truths, metaphysical sides, and spiritual depths. He teaches you wisdom at the same time. Wisdom has different meanings. In a way, it means gaining insight into the inward and underlying truth of phenomena. On the other hand, wisdom means grasping the wisdom and purposes of God’s creation of the universe and humanity, and to see that everything in this universe is perfectly well-placed and that there is nothing useless in it. One other meaning of wisdom is the Sunnah, or tradition of the noble Prophet. All of the concise issues in the Qur’an, which is full of examples of wisdom to make reason affirm it, are expounded with the Sunnah—be them related to individual life, societal life, or the Afterlife. Since the Paragon of Virtue, peace and blessings be upon him, clarified the concise, absolute, or general statements of the Divine revelation, in a way to leave no vagueness, some interpreted that “the book and wisdom” mentioned in the verse as the Qur’an and Sunnah, respectively. At the end of the verse, it is stated: “Before that, they were lost in obvious error.” Until the time these blessings of God came showering upon you, you were in obvious misguidance. You can name it as misguidance by being deprived of the Qur’an, of purification, Divine revelation, and wisdom, or misguidance by materialism and naturalism, which means attributing God’s works to nature. Since some unfortunate ones devoid of wisdom view everything from the material perspective, their reason is reduced to their eyesight. However, physical vision is blind to spirituality. So the Qur’an removes the veil and reveals the truth of everything. In other words, the Qur’an does not leave the issue to mere eyesight, but provides insight. It does not suffice with mere reasoning but gives the reason under the heart’s command and entrusts it to the appreciative scales of the heart. Thus, you become enabled to understand everything with their real nature and meaning. In other words, you are equipped to view phenomena from the horizons of wisdom.
All of these are only some drops from his spiritual kingdom. May peace and blessings be upon him, as much as the depth of our reason and immensity of our hearts allow. May God not deprive us from the sphere of His Messenger’s kingdom in this world and the next.