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The Revealer, The Messenger, The Message

by
(Martyr) Mohammad Baqir as-Sadr

Translated by
Dr. Mahmoud M. Ayoub


Published by:
World Organization for Islamic Services
P.O Box No 22445 Tehran - Iran
First Edition 1980/1400

* * *

Publishers Preface
Dear Reader,
The book you now have in hand is one of the many Islamic publications distributed by this Organization throughout the world in different languages with the aim of conveying the message of Islam to the people of the world. You may read this book carefully and should you be interested to have further study on such publications you can contact us through a letter.
Naturally, if we find you to be a keen and energetic reader we shall give you a deserving response in sending you some other publications of this Organization. You may express your views on this publication and the subject matter discussed in it, and how far you have benefited from it or which part of the subject matter has proved useful to you and your environment. You will be able, in this manner, to introduce yourself as one of our good and active reader. Meanwhile, you can keep our address at the disposal of your friends and those individuals interested in Islamic Studies. Publications Secretary,
Publishers Preface
The great scholar and brilliant Islamic thinker, as-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir as-Sadr, one of the great scholars and jurists of Imami (Twelvers) Shi'ism, in the noble city of an-Najaf al-Ashraf, Iraq, is too well known through his works and originality of thought for us to introduce him to readers in the Muslim world.
He has written, on Islamic philosophy, Falsafatuna (Our Philosophy), a comparative study of Islamic philosophy and other schools of philosophy in the West, both ancient and modern, with special attention to the philosophy of dialectical materialism. He has also written al-Usus al-mantiqiyyah li'l-istiqra' (The Logical Foundations of Induction), a study with a new approach to the inductive argument aiming at the discovery of the common logical foundation of scientific investigation and faith in God.
The present book is based on that study ,and contains a good summary of it. In the field of Islamic economics, the author has written Iqtisaduna (Our Economics), in two volumes. The first volume is dedicated to a comparative and objective study of contemporary schools of economics, especially Marxist economics. The second volume is an attempt to discover a basis for an, Islamic economics, or an Islamic school of economics.
This study is thorough and broad in its scope. The author has also written in this field al Bank al-la rabawi fi al-Islam (Towards a Non-usurious Islamic Bank), which is a dissertation presenting an Islamic alternative to usury. Usury, which is the foundation of the banking and exchange business in modern capitalist society, is strictly prohibited by Islam. The author has also written a detailed study of all aspects of banking in the light of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) . On a somewhat related subject, he has also written a book entitled al-Insan al-mu'asir wa'l-mushkilah al-ijtima'iyyah (Contemporary Man and Social Problems).
In the field of historical studies, the author has written Fadak fi 't-tarikh (Fadak in History), which is a study of the political history of Islam during the first century of the hijrah. The starting point of this study is the investigation of Fadak, a region of the Hijaz, near Medina, the Illuminated, which the Prophet gave as an inheritance to his daughter, the pure and righteous Fit imah az-Zahra (the Radiant); peace be upon her.
The author examines in this book the opinion adopted by the authorities which came to power after the death of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his household, concerning this inheritance. It is a study of the .point of view of the rulers and their attitudes towards this problem, as well as the point of view of those who were wronged and whose rightful claim to their usurped property was ignored; these are the people of the household of the Prophet, peace be upon them all.
The Sayyid has composed another work on wilayah (authority of the Imams), which relates on the one hand to the study of Fadak, and on the other to the fundamentals of Islamic faith. In this work, he attempts to answer two questions: How did Shi`ism originate and how did the Shi`ah community arise? This book was originally written as an introduction to another work entitled Tarikh al Imamiyyah wa aslalhim min ash-Shi'ah (A History of the Imam's and their Shi `ah Predecessors), written by Dr. `Abdullah Fayyad.
The Sayyid's introduction was later extracted from `the book and published separately in several editions. He has written several other works on the fundamental of Islamic belief, other than the work under consideration, including a book on the al Mahdi, and the present study. Similarly, in usul al fiqh (Fundamentals of Jurisprudence), which is the author's primary field of specialisation, he has written a number of works.
All his books appeared in closely successive editions, a fact which proves much more than can be expressed here concerning the eminent place which the author occupies as a scholar. Among the many works of the author is the present study, small in its size, but large in its significance and scope, a book of great benefit. This treatise was first written as an introduction to the author's book al-Fatawa al-wadihah (Clear Legal Opinions) and published with it.
Later, however, it was detatched and published separately. When we decided to bring out this profound study in an English translation, we saw fit to let the book itself and our brief introduction to some of the author's works suffice to introduce him to English readers. God, praised be He, has provided Dr. Mahmoud Ayoub, a professor at the University of Toronto, Canada, to undertake the task of translation. We pray God, praised and exalted be He, to make of this book a source of blessing and benefit.
We pray also that he prolong the life of His Eminence, the author, and grant success to the translator. We pray that God accept our endeavour as
a pure offering for the sake of his noble face and that He set our steps firmly on the straight path and grant us success to do that which pleases Him. He alone is the best Master and best Supporter. Peace be upon you, God's mercy and His blessings.
WORLD ORGANIZATION FOR ISLAMIC SERVICES,
(Board of Writing, Translation and Publication).
17/7/1399 12/6/1979
Tehran - IRAN.

Author's Foreword
In the name of God the All-merciful, the Compassionate.
I have been requested by some of our great scholars, a large number of our students and other believers to follow the guidance and example of the great scholars before us in investigating a subject whose importance grows day by day.
Earlier scholars used to append to their treatises either a brief or detailed introduction in proof of the existence of the Creator and the basic fundamentals of religion. This was because any scientific study is only an expression of personal reasoning (ijtihad), attempting to comprehend the precepts of the sacred Islamic law (shari'ah) with which God the Exalted sent the Seal of the Prophets as a mercy to humankind. [1]
This expression, moreover, depends fully on the acceptance of these fundamentals: faith in God, the Revealer, the Prophet as Messenger and the message with which he was sent. These together constitute the basis and content of any scientific study, as well as the reason for humanity's need for it. I complied with this request in the belief that therein, is God's pleasure, and because the need it would fulfill is great indeed.
Nonetheless, I was faced with the following question. In what style should I write this introduction so that it should have the same degree of simplicity and clarity as the work for which it was originally prepared, that is, my book al-Fatawa al-wadihah (Clear Legal Opinions)? I also wished the .book to be accessible to anyone capable of understanding the legal ordinances contained in the fatawa. I discerned, however, a basic difference between this introduction and the book.
Legal fatwas are simply the results of analogical reasoning (ijtihad) and deduction (istinbat) without the need for proof or analysis, while mere presentation in such an introduction would not suffice. It is imperative, therefore, to resort to verification (istidlal) because sacred law demands persuasion and conviction with regard to the fundamentals of religion. The purpose of such an introduction must be the firm establishment of the fundamentals of, religion and its basic principles.
This is possible only through argument, yet argument as well hasp its own., levels. Each level, even the simplest and most obvious, must be completely persuasive. Had human sentiment (wijdan) been truly free, the simplest means of proof of the existence of the wise Creator would have sufficed. Were they created out of nothing, or are they the creators ? [2]
For the last two centuries, modern thought has not allowed human sentiment to remain liberated and pure. Hence the need for proof was made all the more imperative for those who have obtained some knowledge of modern thought and its special methods of investigation, in order for those gaps to be filled which simple obvious proofs would have filled had human sentiment been left unfettered. I had before me two choices: the first was to write for those who still live with a free sentiment, untouched by the demands of modern thought, and thus require only simple arguments.
In that case, the idiom would be clear to the readers of the entire work, that is, al-Fatawa al-wadihah and the introduction to it. The second choice was to write for those who have come into contact with modern thought and have, to a greater or lesser degree, accepted its framework and attitudes with regard to theology. I decided that the second choice was more suitable.
Nevertheless, I endeavoured to be generally clear in what I wrote, bearing in mind the average university student as well as the reader of higher educational achievements. I have, as much as possible, avoided complicated terminology and the language of mathematics. I also avoided complex expositions.
At the same time, I took into consideration the capacity for comprehension and retention of the more serious student, in that I have presented points of special significance with brevity, and have referred him to other of my works for greater depth, such as The Logical Principles of Induction (al-Usus al-mantiqiyyah l'i-istiqra'). We likewise endeavoured to enable the less accomplished reader to find in the parts of the introduction a good source of clear ideas and convincing evidence.
The first step in the scientific inductive argument for the existence of the Creator may be considered in itself sufficient on a general level. We shall first discuss the Revealer, then the messenger and finally the message. Success comes from God; on Him I rely and to Him I turn for help.
[1]. See Qur'an, 22:107. (Translator's footnote)
[2]. Qur'an, 52:35.
All Qur'anic translations are those of the translator.

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