Just as the Holy Qur’an descended to the Prophet (PBUH) as revelation, and in the process of the descent went through different stages (consisting of the world of the intellect, the world of the souls and imaginal world, and the physical world) through which heavenly meanings have changed their forms and taken the shape of earthly words, so a commentator of the Holy Qur’an has to follow the same path to understand its depths. Firstly, keeping social good in mind, he has to begin with the outward meanings and understand them, and then take leave of the exterior senses, delve into the inward ones with the help of the soul’s higher faculties, and in so doing go as far as to even take a temporary leave of his body in order to be able to make full use of his spirit’s power. Then he must journey to Heaven to obtain the unveiled and transparent meaning of the Holy Qur’an. Most existents of the material and physical world can be sensed by the five senses. However, one can not ascend up to higher levels of being with these senses. There are ways and instruments to help us understand each of these three physical and supra-physical worlds.
To understand all the Holy Qur’anic realities, or so to speak, “in commenting on the Holy Qur’an”, one must not be content with its outward and verbal meanings. Rather, one must plunge into the never-ending depth of these meanings, since just as the non-material world is hidden to a number of people, so the Holy Qur’an, being the manifestation of those worlds, also has esoteric and deep inner meanings which are hidden from man’s bodily senses. Therefore, understanding and commenting on the mere outward meanings of the Holy Qur’an cannot be considered a true and all-pervasive understanding and commentary. One who is content with words, or with their literary and artistic aspects when commenting on the Holy Qur’an, can only understand the beauty and euphony of the words, and their literary and verbal aspects, or at the most, extract the legal and jurisprudential connotations from the outward meanings of the book.
TA’WÍL, A NECESSARY INTERPRETATION TOOL
Ta’wil has connections with the world of existence, far beyond the verbal and outward meanings of the Holy Qur’an. There are many secrets, mysteries, and meanings, which cannot be understood or explained by verbal commentary. In addition, the outward meanings of the words are not sufficient for us to allow comments on those intricate and mysterious realities. Therefore, a true commentator must interpret those words accurately, and in doing so, he has to plunge into the words and extract the depth of their inner meanings. Furthermore, he sometimes even has to draw aside the veil of the material world and the physical senses, and obtain deeper meanings through reason, intuition, unveiling, or other faculties. Interpretation and hermeneutics may be considered as a bridge connecting and reconciling those two kinds of hermeneutics, as well as the foundation of philosophical hermeneutics.
In hermeneutic interpretations, the departure point begins at the words of the text and their outward meanings and everything that exists in this sensible world has certainly a similar manifestation in the imaginal world; and the outward and temporal meaning is similar to and coincident with the inner and spiritual meaning. One is the world that we see in the form of a symbolic transformation system, and the other is the world of “special intellectual meaning” which manifests itself in its real form in this world. it must not be thought that the “other world” is housed in a space or a place far from this world, since “special intellectual realities” are here in this world and very close to us. They are not concealed and hidden at all the reason they are hidden from our sight and senses is that we do not have the necessary means of perceiving them (i.e. a polished mirror of pure spirit and heart). A “chaste and virtuous heart is, like a mirror, clear and free of rust and opaqueness. Such a heart, when facing the realities of the world, can perceive them to the extent of its capacity for perception and reflection. Such perception and reflection over the realities may be called intuition. That is, although it is the message, the understanding of the text of the Holy Qur’an, depends on the commentator’s personality, his spiritual rank, and preparedness, and also on his mastery of literary nuances of the language, which can be infinite in number as is true in the case of the message of the Holy Qur’an.
Sparrows by morning, live in peaceful nests! Design shouldn’t dominate things, shouldn’t dominate people. It should help people. Don’t spend your time solving your favorite problems, solve problems that need to be solved, generically. A home is a place where you live, and society is a place where your story begins. Honesty shares honesty, as it is honesty’s nature. Stay always in Ablution and get back to the trust you have been, with.