One of the clear characteristics of the Quran is that by means of a finite verbal form, it expresses an infinity of meaning that derives from the infinite knowledge of God. This is in contrast with all other books and writings where both the verbal form and the meanings they express are finite. Imam Sadiq, upon whom be peace, said to Hammad: “I swear by God that I am aware of all that is in the heavens and the earth, and all that is in Paradise and hellfire.’ Hammad then looked at the Imam with astonishment, whereupon he continued: ‘Oh Hammad, it is by means of the Book of God that I have this knowledge.’ He then recited this verse: ‘On the day that we raise up a witness for every people from among their own messengers and bring you forth as a witness for this people. We have sent this great Quran to you to make plain the reality of all things and to be a source of guidance, mercy and glad tidings for the Muslims.’
One of the companions of Imam Sadiq, upon whom be peace, related that he heard the Imam say: “I swear by God that I have in my possession all the truths of the Quran, from beginning to end. This book contains an account of the heavens and the earth, of that which is and that which has been, for the Quran makes apparent the reality of all things.” The Quran may be regarded as a transcript of the world of nature, the hidden secrets of which the passage of time and the expansion of knowledge have brought to light. The appearance of new and profound concepts in the Quran is therefore a continuing process. God made His Book comprehensible so that human beings might reflect on it. Nonetheless, the secrets and mysteries of its verses become more apparent, and its rays exert a more powerful attraction, the more the scientific capacity of the human being increases and his researches concerning the scheme of the universe continue to expand. This is true also of researches into the psychology of the human being and the laws governing social and legal relationships. Thus thinkers who spend their lives studying exclusively civil or international law will never be able to reach the lofty pinnacle of the Quran.As Ali, the Master of the Pious said, “The Quran is a burning torch, the light of which will never be extinguished; it is a deep ocean, the depths of which will never be penetrated by human thought.”
From the dawn of Islam, scholars and believers have applied their lofty intellects to the study of the Quran in order to understand its various verses. In each age, hundreds of specialists have worked on the concepts of the Quran, each according to his degree of talent and they have carved out paths for attaining knowledge of the Quran. Even in non-Islamic environments, some people have engaged in careful researches to bring out the meaning of the Quran, and the results they have attained have played an influential role in the dissemination of Islamic culture. These properties and attributes belong exclusively to the Quran, the value system of which is regarded as a precious legacy for all of mankind. The unparalleled comprehensiveness of the Quran, when compared with other systems of legislation in the advanced and civilized world, is entirely apparent. It is here that we discover the vast difference between the Quran that was revealed to purify the human being and enable him to ascend, and the other source of legislation in the world. In countries where reliance is place on those sources, laws are established with the aim of establishing human happiness but only through drawing on the abstract and imaginary ideas of thinkers and specialists in the field of law, in the hope that a fitting answer to all the material and spiritual needs of the human being might thus be provided.
But since those laws take into consideration only objective and external aspects of human life and fail to confront a whole series of fundamental realities, to such a degree that motive is sometimes regarded as being dictated by material circumstances; and since moreover, they take no account of the norms that prevail in the human being’s inner being.
They yield undesirable results and prove to be defective cone put into practice, despite their apparent soundness. Their modification and revision then become inevitable. No one can claim that his scientific writings and researches or his technical innovations will remain unsurpassed in every age, for progress and development make it inevitable that with the passage of time, scientific research should enter new channels and both theory and practice change fundamentally. Indeed, each individual scientist will revise his ideas and his works as the degree of his knowledge increases and the level of his awareness improves. He will seek to compensate for previous deficiencies. The door is always open for such revisions and corrections. Furthermore, every human work, however valuable and precise is of ultimately limited utility: its value is finite, such that a few experts and specialists learned in their trade will be able to clarify every part of the book and exhaust its contents.
But the Noble Quran is revelation deriving from the knowledge of a Creator in whose infinite ocean of wisdom all the intelligence, thoughts and perceptions of human beings are but a drop; compared to the blinding brilliance of the vision and knowledge that embrace all of being, they are like a feeble and flickering lamp.
The potentialities of the Quran for further investigation, discovery and deduction are endless. This principle is not restricted to questions of law and jurisprudence; researchers in every branch of human knowledge can discover some new dimension of the Quran. Even specialists in some of the modern sciences of human being, such as psychology, sociology and the philosophy of history can deduce new exact points of scientific validity from the Quran
To be continued