Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Narratives


In the Qur’an, there exists a chapter by the name of Al-Qasas (The Narratives), which itself is proof that man is in need of stories and narratives.In many places in the Qur’an, stories of Prophets, kings and nations have been mentioned.

In addition, God has presented issues pertaining to wars, peace, family, religion, society and other similar topics, in the form of stories and narratives। By reading these accounts, the people can comprehend and distinguish the paths of progress and regress, and ascent and descent in every field, especially morals. The entire chapter Yusuf has been devoted to the story of Yusuf, Ya’qub, Zulaikha and the brothers. In the beginning of the Chapter, God says:


We narrate to you (O’ Prophet) the most excellent of the narratives by (means of) what We have revealed to you this Qur’an। [Holy Qur'an, ch. Yusuf (12), vs. 3]


While, in the concluding verse of this very chapter, He says:

Indeed (there) in the histories of theirs, is a lesson for men of understanding. [Holy Qur'an, ch. Yusuf (12), vs. 111]

Indeed, one of the distinguished feats of the Qur’an is this very story of Yusuf (a.s.), which it refers to as the ‘best of the narratives’, and at the end of which, it says: In these stories there is a lesson for those, who desire to take a moral and adopt the path of the Perfect Men. In this regard, Amirul Mu’mineen (a.s.), in Nahjul Balaghah, says to his son Imam Hasan (a.s.):

Even though I have not reached the age, which those before me have, yet I have looked into their behaviour and reflected over the events of their lives. I walked amongst their ruins till I was as one of them. In fact, by virtue of those of their affairs that have become known to me, it is as though I have lived with them from the first to the last. I have therefore been able to discern the impure from the clean and the benefit from the harm. I have selected for you the choicest of those matters and collected for you their good points while keeping away from you the useless ones.

This collection caters for the general public, young and old alike, who are acquainted with basic reading and writing. As far as possible, I have endeavoured to omit scientific issues and those aspects, pertaining to traditions, whose comprehension would be demanding and exacting for the general masses

As far as the issue of associating a story to a particular topic is concerned, I do not claim that the stories allude to just one topic or that particular one which has been specified here; rather, there are stories which can be associated with several other topics too, in addition to the topic under which it has been mentioned here.

It is hoped that the readers, after going through the stories and narratives, reflect upon and take lessons from them so that they are able to create within themselves, a new impetus towards perfection of morals; and God Willing, those who are endowed with laudable morals, should relate them to others, for rectification and remedy of the weaker souls.

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