One of the most important requirements of new interpretive studies, especially in the field of commentary and interpretation methodology, is to pay attention to the interpretive rules used by the commentators and their attention in their roots and evolution. One of the terms used by many Shi'ite and Sunni commentators as a rule of interpretation is the term 'Beat one to frighten another', which was originally an ancient proverb in ignorant Arabic literature (Zamakhshari, ND, 1, 85; Abu Hilal al-Askari, ND, 1, 9), which is also used in Persian with the words "I say to one to let the other hear my word". Because the Qur'an is revealed in the common language of its target audiences, and the interpretive rule of " Iyyāka ..." is also one of the kinds of irony, it does not require special approval from the jurisprudent, and if possible for some reason, some examples of this principle are found in the Divine Book, and it is not prohibited to define the verse upon it. Much of the discussion is about areas where verbal or rational reasons - beyond linguistic rules - imply the need to apply some verses to this rule. In that case, we must carefully consider the reason or reasons behind the quotation and, if the reasons are sufficient, accept the rule in certain cases without substitution. Otherwise we need to accept the subject due to linguistic reasons, and if rhetorical relations are needed as well; despite all verbal evidence, the verse's addressee may be regarded as another person or persons.
The earliest narrative quotation about the phrase " Iyyāka ..." is attributed to Ibn Abbas, as mentioned by Sayyed Morteza has recalled it under the 65th verse of the surah Az-Zumar in the book "Tanzih al-Anbiya". (Sayyed Morteza, 1409, 119) Then from about the 6th century onwards, this rule was attributed to Ibn 'Abbas first in popular theological books influenced by the book of Sayyed Morteza and then in other sources. (Fakhr Rāzī, 1409, 141; Fakhr Rāzī, 2003, 2, 169; Al-Iji, 1997, 3, 425 and 447) But the most important documentation of the rule of " Iyyāka..." are two narratives that have been sequentially mentioned in the book "Al-Kāfī".
Although the first narrative, before Kāfī, has been mentioned in the Tafsir Ali Ibn Ibrāhim and in the Tafsir Ayyashi and then in the two books of Sheykh Saduq, but due to the importance of Kāfī, these two narratives are considered more important. The text of the first narrative, which is provided by an unknown document (Majlesi, 1404, 12, 520) in the book of Kāfī named "Fazl al-Qur'an" (Kulayni, 1365, 2, 632), in general, introduced the revelation of the Qur'an on the basis of the principle of " Iyyāka ... » and knows the addressee of the Qur'an whoever sits at any time and place to study its verses. The second narrative assigns the former narrative and considers the Qur'an's revelation based on the " Iyyāka ..." purely about the reproach verses and introduces instances of the reproach verses.
(وَ فِی رِوَایَةٍ أُخْرَى عَنْ أَبِی عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ع قَالَ مَعْنَاهُ مَا عَاتَبَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ بِهِ عَلَى نَبِیِّهِ ص فَهُوَ یَعْنِی بِهِ مَا قَدْ مَضَى فِی الْقُرْآنِ مِثْلُ قَوْلِهِ وَ لَوْ لا أَنْ ثَبَّتْناکَ لَقَدْ کِدْتَ تَرْکَنُ إِلَیْهِمْ شَیْئاً قَلِیلًا عَنَى بِذَلِکَ غَیْرَهُ
(Kulayni, 1365, 2, 632)
This narrative faces an anxiety in the text so that some have been skeptical of its phrasing, from the beginning of the phrase "namely" to the end of "a little" as the protester sentences or the whole phrase from "so then" to the end of the hadith as an explanation of narrator or Kulayni, which has been added to the narrative for more explanation. (Majlesi, 1404, 12, 521) It is noteworthy that this narrative has not been quoted in sources before Kāfī unlike the previous one.
After Kāfī narratives, Sheikh Saduq (rah) in the book of ʿUyūn, has quoted two narrations describing the debate of the Eighth Imam (AS) with a person named Ali-Ibn Muhammad al-Jahmi, at the end of both narratives, Ali Ibn Jahmi acquits his earlier views. These two narratives, cited in different documents, both have significant documentary weaknesses. But beyond the document, the two narratives that have been quoted with different sources, have impressive weaknesses in their sources. But beyond the source, these two narratives have fundamental differences in the analysis of similar verses, which is a kind of conflict in the text. Overall, the second narrative is more detailed and has spoken more verses. (Saduq, 1378, 1, 191-205)
But what is considerable in this essay is the examination of the quantity and quality of the use of the narrative " Iyyāka ..." amongst Shia and Sunni's commentators that whether this literary rule is used as an interpretive rule in understanding the verses or not. Then, if used, have they been used methodically and based on certain evidences, or have they been used irregularly and tastefully.
2. The link between infallibility and the rule of " Iyyāka ..."
Infallibility, along with revelation, is the second quality that every prophet must have as a human guider in order to succeed on the path to human spiritual perfection. The discussion about the infallibility of the prophets in the four dimensions of infallibility in the beliefs, propaganda and mission, decrees and fatwas and the acts and mannerisms has been mentioned that most of the theologians have addressed it. (Saeedi Mehr, 1389, 130) In the first position, except for the view attributed to the Khawarij, who consider infidelity permissible for be prophets (Fakhr Rāzī, 1409, 26), others agree on the infallibility of the prophets in this section. As all know the prophets infallible in their mission. In the Fatawa (i.e. religious decrees) position, some have accepted only inadvertent error for the prophets, but the latter position has been disputed among different sects, some justifying the issuance of cardinal sins by the prophets, and others only consider it as abandoning the better. (Saeedi Mehr, 1389, 132)
The reproach verses, whether verses that reprove, warn or prohibit the prophets, fall into the fourth category and are the intermediary circle of the infallibility of the prophets which are discussed below the discussion of prophecy. Theologians have dealt with some verses of reproach, depending on the type of approach to the issue of prophecy. If they were to treat infallibility in such a way as to be incompatible with the prophets' cardinal sin, they would naturally have no need to interpret the verses of reproach and regard them as evidence of the truth of their point of view. In the case of accepting the minor sin for the prophets, only a few verses were interpreted, and ultimately, if they did not admit the sin, they had two ways: first, the attributing the reproach mentioned in the first verse to abandoning the better, and the second a general interpretation in a way that does not require abandoning the better. Theologians have taken the same approach in the pre-Prophetic era. In general, commentators who have sought to interpret the verses of reproach have used a variety of approaches, one of which is to convey the verses of reproach to a non-prophetic audience based on the principle of " Iyyāka..."
3. The course of application of the rule "Iyyāka ..." in Shia and Sunni interpretations
Commentators have repeatedly used the phrase " Iyyāka ..." as a way to avoid the literal meaning of the Revelation verses, which are examined in three periods.
3.1. The preceding commentators
Although, until the sixth century, the term " Iyyāka..." was not a well-known rule in Sunni sources, but some commentators have referred to this rule in an illegitimate way. Including Tabari in the interpretation of some verses, including verse 147 of surah Al-Baqarah (Tabari 1412, 2, 17), 196 of surah Al-Imran (Tabari, 1412, 4, 319), 35 of surah Al-Anʻām (Tabari, 1412, 6, 418) and 150 of surah Al-Anʻām, (1412, 8, 59), has used this rule without reference to its narrative. Of course, regarding Tabari's general style, it is important to note that in interpreting the verses of reproach, he has often avoided any justification and interpretation and he has remained faithful to the verses without any tenderness. See, for example, the verses 120 of surah Al-Baqarah (Tabari, 1412, 1, 104), 145 of surah Al-Baqarah (Tabari, 1412, 2, 16), 60 surah Al-Imran (Tabari, 1412, 3, 209), 105 of surah An-Nisāʼ (Tabari, 1412, 5, 170-175), 43 of surah At-Tawbah (Tabari, 1412, 10, 100-101) and 23-24 Al-Kahf (Tabari, 1412, 15, 151-152). He also emphasized the infallibility of the Prophet on a few occasions along with his Tafsir and, without mentioning the title, used rules such as " Iyyāka..." which can be concluded that the avoidance of Tabari from the appearance of the reproach verses is influenced by the views of Tābi‘een (i.e. successors) and their followers, rather than being subject to the rules, which are outlined in some of the verses below.
Ibn al-Bahr, a prominent Muʿtazila commentator of the fourth century, often interpreted the reproach verses according to their appearance and considered the Prophet to be their addressee. Refer to his viewpoint under the following verses: 60 Al-Imran, 43 At-Tawbah, 68 Al-Anʻām, 65 Maryam and 114 Ṭā Hā (Ahmadnejad, 1390, 63-65).
Raghib Isfahani is another prominent commentator of this period who sometimes used the interpretation of the reproach verses and of course used rules other than " Iyyāka..." (Raghib, 1424, 1, 603) and sometimes has known the Prophet as the addressee of the reproach verses without any explanation. (Raghib, 1424, 1, 952-955) But it is important to note that Jamal al-Din Qasemi, without referring to his source, considers Raghib as the reviewer of the commentators for using the rule " Iyyāka …" in the reproach verses. (Qasemi, 1418, 1, 428)
Others, such as Samarqandi, Qushayrī, and Baghawī, have only occasionally paid attention to the principle of " Iyyāka..." and have used it to justify certain verses of reproach without mentioning it. (Refer to: Baqarah/120: Baghawī, 1420, 1, 161; Baqarah/145-147: Samarqandi, ND, 1, 102; Baghawī, 1420, 1, 180; Qushayrī, ND, 1, 135) Although the same commentators under the other verses simply accepted the Prophet's reproach and refuse any justification. (See verses of An-Nisāʼ/105-113: Samarqandi, ND, 1, 335-338; Baghawī, 1420, 1, 698-700; Al-Anʻām/33-37: Qushayrī, ND, 1, 470)
But in spite of the relative disregard of the early Sunni commentators, many early Shia commentators have referred to this rule as " Iyyāka ..." in terms of their narrative tendency. As Ali Ibn Ibrahim (Qomi, 1367, 1, 16-17) and Seyyed Hashem Bahrani (Bahrani, 1416, introduction/59) in the introduction of their commentary, have mentioned this title and introduced this rule as one of their interpretive principles. This usage, of course, was mainly confined to the verses of reproach. Ali Ibn Ibrahim has repeatedly used this term in the interpretation of the reproach verses, and has documented it every time to a narrative of Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him). (Qomi, 1367, 1, 16؛ 18, 2 and 148, 172, 251 and 373)
However, among the Shia narrative interpretations, Furat Kufi did not quote the phrase " Iyyāka ...", nor did he show sensitivity in the reproach verses. In spite of the fact that Ayyashi himself quoted the mentioned narratives in Kafi, he did not define the verse 74 of surah Al-Isrāʼ according to this rule as opposed to the narrative that he carried on " Iyyāka ..." but instead he quoted a narrative in which the reproach of this verse is completely directed to the Prophet. (Ayyashi, 1380, 2, 306) Interestingly, even Ali ibn Ibrahim did not apply the rule of " Iyyāka ..." under this verse. (Qomi, 1367, 2, 24) While some narrative commentators, without regard to the conflict, have quoted both narratives of regarding the verses of reproach on " Iyyāka " and considering the reproach verses on the Prophet himself. (Ḥuwayzī, 1415, 3, 197-199; Bahrani, 1416, 3, 560-562) Ultimately, this indifference did not reflect the interpretive narratives by the Ahl al-Bayt (AS) under these verses and the commentators' distrust to the narratives of Kafi and ʿUyūn in regarding the verses of reproach to the principle of " Iyyāka " that causes the weakens of the precedent of the validity of this interpretive rule.
Sheikh Tusi also mentioned this rule only once in his commentary, though it was attributed to Ibn 'Abbas (Tusi, ND, 10, 28), contrary to the Qomi and Ayyashi that he considered to be the narrative of the Imam. Again, it has added to the weaknesses of the narrative and the narrative.
3.2. Medieval Commentators (6th -12th century)
At this time it can be mentioned that in the 6th century AH, though it did not have a consistent approach to the verses of reproach, in a few cases it is possible to interpret this type of verses and in the cases mentioned above the rule " Iyyāka..." is not even used. (Zamakhshari, 1407, 1, 203; 3, 543) He used this rule only once in the following verses 43-44 to justify the reproach of angels. But apart from these, according to the Muʿtazila, the dominant style of his interpretation was the adherence to the appearance of Qur'an and the avoidance of interpretation in the verses of reproach (cf. Zamakhshari, 1407, 1, 562 and 658; 2, 190 and 274; 3, 90 and 516; 4, 564) insofar as the kind of expression and interpretation of Zamakhshari about the reproach verses has occasionally aroused the severe critique of commentators after him. (See: Feiz Kashani, 1415, 2, 346; Abū Hayyān, 1420, 10, 208; Ālūsī, 1415, 5, 299; Qasemi, 1418, 5, 425)
The second commentator is Ibn Atiyyah who in most cases justified the verses of reproach and sometimes used the rule of " Iyyāka ..." (See: Ibn Atiyyah, 1422, 1, 558 497, 108; 112-512, 20).
The third commentator is Fakhr Rāzī, who is concerned with proving the infallibility of the prophets in the Tafsir Kabir, and in addition to his commentary, has written the book "Esmat al-Anbiya" i.e. the infallibility of prophets. In interpreting the verses of reproach, he has often used various possibilities, one of which is the use of the " Iyyāka ..." rule. See verse 60 of surah Āl ʿImrān (Fakhr Rāzī, 1420, 8, 245), 196 of Āl ʿImrān (Fakhr Rāzī, 1420, 9, 471), 68 of Al-Anʻām (Fakhr Rāzī, 1420, 13, 22-23), 37-38 Ar-Raʻd (Fakhr Rāzī, 1420, 19, 49).
After him, Qurtubi has clearly doubted about applying this rule under the verses of reproach and has taken a different approach each time. However, in general, he is willing to consider the Prophet, or ultimately the Prophet, in addition to Muslims, as the addressee of the reproach verses. (Qurtubi, 1364, 6, 149; 11, 358; 20, 213) He has used this rule under some verses such as 145 of Baqarah (Qurtubi, 1364, 2, 162), 147-149 of Baqarah (Qurtubi, 1364, 2, 146) without mentioning the name of rule. Abū Hayyān, the 8th-century commentator, has repeatedly used the rule of " Iyyāka ..." to suppress the appearance of the verses of reproach. (Abū Hayyān, 1420, 2, 29 and 35 286, 10 and 472؛23, 11)
Contrary to the Sunni commentators' use of " Iyyāka ..." which was increasing during this period, Shiite commentators began with the relative disapproval of this rule, in contrast to their predecessors, and again favored it.
As after Sheikh Tusi, the prominent commentators of 6th century such as Abū l-Futūḥ Rāzī and Ṭabrasī have only once referred to the phrase " Iyyāka ..." and attributed it to Ibn Abbas. (Ṭabrasī, 1372, 7, 421; Rāzī, 1408, 12, 48) But from the 10th century onwards, the origin of the " Iyyāka ..." rule has been spoken of, and its commentators have greatly benefited from it.
The second Majlesi has mentioned this rule 17 times in Bihar al-Anwar, which in some cases has carried verses and in some cases some narratives. (Refer to: Majlesi, 1403, 17, 47 and 71 ؛ 34, 384 ؛ 81, 42 ؛ 90, 145) As Mohammed Baqir Majlesi has mentioned two interpretations under the verse:
…فَإِنْ کُنْتَ فِی شَکٍّ مِمَّا أَنْزَلْنا إِلَیْکَ (So[O, Messenger! ]if you are in doubt Concerning that which We have revealed To you…) (Al-Yunus/ 94)
That says the addressee of this verse is Prophet. He then considers various aspects for this quote, the most important definition of the verse carriage on " Iyyāka..." Then he refers to verses:
(یا أَیُّهَا النَّبِیُّ إِذا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّساءَ)، (O, Messenger! When you men intend To divorce your wives) (Al- Talaq/ 1)
(یا أَیُّهَا النَّبِیُّ اتَّقِ اللَّهَ وَ لا تُطِعِ الْکافِرِینَ وَ الْمُنافِقِینَ)، (O, Messenger! Fear from The disobedience of Allah and do not Conform to the devilish suggestions Offered by the disbelievers and The hypocrites; verily) (Al-Ahzab/ 1)
(لَئِنْ أَشْرَکْتَ لَیَحْبَطَنَّ عَمَلُکَ) (If you consider partners for Allah, Indeed your efforts will be perished) (Al-Zomar/ 65)
That address the prophet and (أَ أَنْتَ قُلْتَ لِلنَّاسِ اتّخِذُونی و أمِّیَ إلهَینِ مِن دونِ اللهِ) (And[ also ]on that Day Allah will state:" O, Issa, son of Maryam! Did you say To men take me and my mother for two Gods apart from Allah?), referring to Jesus, and has defined them as " Iyyāka …" (Majlesi, 1403, 17, 47)
Feiz Kashani has repeatedly used this rule in the 11th century, stating his name. (Feiz Kashani, 1415, 1, 185, and 200; 2, 150, and 420; 4, 53)
Bahrani, another narrative commentator of this century, at the beginning of his commentary, referred to " Iyyāka …" as one of the rules of interpretation. (Bahrani, 1416, introduction / 59) Moreover, Bahrani and Ḥuwayzī, so many times quoted this rule according to Ali Ibn Ibrahim's commentary below the verses of reproach. (Bahrani, 1416, 1, 50 and 84; 2, 788; Ḥuwayzī, 1415, 1, 168; 2, 197, and 224)
Shubbar, the 13th-century commentator, has used this rule more than ten times in Tafsir al-Jawhar al-Thamin by stating " Iyyāka …" under the verses of reproach. (Shubbar, 1407, 1, 141 and 158 ؛ 2, 272 and 305 and 412 ؛ 5, 129 and 282)
3.3. Contemporary commentators
In the group of Sunni commentators, some commentators such as Alusi, Maraghi, Zuheili, Ibn Ashur, Abdeh and Rashid Reza can be remembered as having repeatedly used this rule with an emphasis on the title of " Iyyāka …" (Alusi, 1415, 8, 52 ؛ 10, 335 ؛ 11, 224; Maraghi, ND, 2, 12 ؛ 7, 160 ؛ 11, 154 ؛ 13, 113 Zuheili, 1408, 10, 219 ؛ 11, 263 ؛ 13 , 273; Ibn Ashur, ND, 6, 212 ؛ 7, 14 and 64؛ 15, 30 Abdeh, 1990, 1, 342 ؛ 2, 7 15 15, 423)
Among these commentators, Rashid Reza's quotes show that his master, Mohammed Abdeh, had a strong belief in this principle and used it in the interpretation of all the verses of reproach, albeit gradually and with increasing presence of Rashid Reza, this rule is used less, but it does not end. Ibn Ashur has also benefited greatly from this rule for opening the Qur'anic nodes about the infallibility because of his firm view on the infallibility of prophets. (Ahmadnejad, 1390, 83)
Along with the commentators mentioned, however, Darwaza, the contemporary historian commentator has rejected this current trend and has evaluated the verses of reproach completely addressed to the Prophet. He is one of the few commentators who has come up with a relatively unified and comprehensive approach to the verses of reproach. Therefore, he does not consider the verses of reproach to be inconsistent with the Prophet's infallibility and has interpreted it without any bias from the appearance of the Qur'an. However, his great interest and trust in Sihah and the interpretive narratives have influenced his view and interpretation of the reproach verses. (Darwaza, 1383, 3, 410-414; 7, 88-90; 9, 884-440-450) Sayyid Qutb, who did not show interest in entering theological discussions, was somewhat like Darwaza, and acted contrary to the current trend of later Sunni commentators. He has interpreted all the reproach verses according to their appearance and addressed to the Prophet, but has avoided entering into the contrary of these verses to the dignity of the Prophet. (Sayyid Qutb, 1412, 1, 405؛, 2, 754-756; 3 1662-1663, 1860-1861)
Along with Sunni commentators who have favored this rule in recent centuries, Shi'ite commentators have also benefited more from the rule in interpreting the verses of reproach. Therefore, the use of the " Iyyāka ..." rule has been widely used by Shiite contemporaries. So that almost all the commentators in this group have been influenced by each other and have used this rule, here we just mention the interpretations in which this rule was used a lot:
The mystical interpretation of Bayan al-Sa'adah (Gonabadi, 1408, 1, 141 ؛ 2, 150 and 341 and 436 ؛ 3, 163 and 182 and 200), and social interpretations such as Min Wahy al-Quran (Fadl Allah, 1419, 9, 167 ؛ 24, 65), Min Hoda al-Qur'an (Modaresi, 1419, 5, 491 ؛ 6, 281 ؛ 7, 125 ؛ 11, 483), Nemouneh (Makarem Shirazi, 1374, 8, 383 ؛ 9, 57 ؛ 12, 390), al-Forghan (Sadeghi Tehrani, 1365, 2, 94 ؛ 5, 167 ؛ 7, 379 ؛ 10, 42 and 235 ؛ 11, 314), Tafsir Khosravi (Khosravi, 2011, 1, 166 and 192 ؛ 5, 102 ؛ 6, 394), Atyab al-Bayan (Tayeb, 1999, 3, 266 ؛ 4, 144 ؛ 6, 285), Mughatniyat al-Dorar (Haeri, 1377, 1, 330 ؛ 2, 149 and 295 ؛ 4, 190), al-Jadid fi Tafsir al-Qur'an (Sabzevari, 1406, 1, 138 and 297 ؛ 2), 195 and 494 ؛ 3, 27 and 4601) and al-Tafsir le Ketab Allah al-Munir (Karami Ḥuwayzī, 1402, 1, 172 ؛ 3, 51 and 293 4, 109)
Among the commentators mentioned, Allameh Tabatabai's approach is very important due to the position of this interpreter and his dual function in relation to the " Iyyāka …" rule. Allameh Tabataba'i, according to his authorial method in dealing with traditions, has taken a very cautious stance on the hadiths of the Qur'an on " Iyyāka …" rule. He compares parts of the hadiths with topics such as the weakness of the source, the contradiction between the two hadiths, the opposition to the religion of the Ahl al-Bayt (AS), the completion of the meaning in the text, the praise of phrases other than the appearance of Qur'an and weakens them, which contradict the appearance of the verses and their theological foundations. (Tabataba’i, 1417, 1, 1468, 258 ؛18, 271 ؛) But facing some parts of this narrative that are consistent with his foundations, he either accepts or remain silent about the narrations. . (Tabataba’i, 1417, 7, 205-206; 9, 300; 11, 283) It has also been used as a rule in justifying the verses of reproach. (Tabataba’i, 1417, 7, 141 ؛ 9, 285 ؛ 17, 247)
On the whole, according to what has been said, the early Sunni commentators had no validity for the use of the " Iyyāka …" rule, and used it as a linguistic rule. But from the 6th century onwards, under the influence of Seyyed Morteza, the Sunni theologian attributed this rule to Ibn Abbas. The way, the Sunni commentators have used the " Iyyāka …" rule, in almost all cases, have been in the field of reproach verses, sometimes referring to the name and sometimes referring to the concept of the rule. But the amount of using this rule by Sunni commentators has been varied over time. As the earlier commentators usually lacked sensitivity to the reproach verses and avoided any interpretation or justification with being faithful to the appearance of the text. Therefore, the use of rules such as " Iyyāka …" rule in the analysis of the reproach verses is very small. But from the 6th century until the contemporary period, although some, such as Zamakhshari, Darwaza, and to a lesser extent Sayyid Qutb, have resorted to the interpretation of the reproach verses and, in rare cases, have used the " Iyyāka …" rule, but it is common practice for Sunni commentators to extend using this rule over time. As we have come to the forefront, commentators have reacted more to the reproach verses and found them to be in conflict with the dignity of the prophets and consequently more broadly, the principle of " Iyyāka …" has been used in avoiding the literal sense of the Quranic verses.
While the Shiite commentators' use of the " Iyyāka …" rule can clearly be seen as one of the oldest and most applicable ones among the Sunnis. Because Shiite commentators have followed this rule since the earliest times, and have used it in various verses, in addition to expressing the narrative origins of " Iyyāka …" rule. In the same period, if we look along with Ali Ibn Ibrahim and Ayyashi to Kulayni and Saduq, who have narrated the " Iyyāka …" narratives in their hadiths, the position of this narrative will be further promoted among Imamiyyah precedents. However, relying on this rule in the interpretation of the reproach verses has been declined dramatically since the time of Sheikh Tusi. Sheikh has neither mentioned the narrative roots of this rule nor used it in a common way. It seems that Sheikh Tusi's immanence on the Imamiyyah scholars and his disapproval of this rule led to the dramatic decline of the status of " Iyyāka …" rule in the commentaries of the 6th -10th century. The decline that once reappeared with the rise of Muhammadun Thalath and the re-enactment of hadith once again applied the principle of " Iyyāka …"
From the 10th century to the contemporary era, commentators have used it in the interpretation of the reproach verses to a considerable degree, consistently relying on the narrative roots of this rule, to the point where, among the commentators of the last century, relying on the " Iyyāka …" rule is for preserving the Prophet's dignity as an inseparable subject from the interpretations.
4. Critique of the application of the " Iyyāka …"rule in Shia and Sunni interpretations
Studies show that, regarding the quantity, the use of this interpretive rule is more prevalent among the Shiites, which should not be overlooked in the issue of the bold role of the Imamiyyah theological foundations. The rigorous foundations of the Imamiyyah scholars and their emphasis on the infallibility of the prophets from any sin before and after the prophecy, to the extent that they only permitted the issuance of abandoning the better, have made them, in comparison with other Muslim theological divisions, finding more verses in conflict with the prophets' infallibility, and subsequently for justifying and analyzing the reproach verses, find more need for some rules such as " Iyyāka …" which returns the explicit reproach of Qur'an from the prophets to others. In the end, however, it should be acknowledged that as the Shia and Sunni commentators have approached the contemporary times, have used this rule very much and in an ascending way, they have repeatedly stated the name of " Iyyāka …" rule or used it without mentioning the name and just by mentioning the concept of the rule. In the qualitative aspect, the Shia and Sunni commentators have followed the same path, and most have often used the " Iyyāka …" rule in analyzing and interpreting the reproach verses attributing to the prophets, especially the last of the Prophets. After proving the term " Iyyāka …" as an interpretive rule, it is important to examine how they apply this rule.
4.1. Investigating how the "Iyyāka …" rule is used in Sunni interpretations
Sunnis have gone through a significant upward trend in the use of the " Iyyāka …" rule, implying the establishment of the " Iyyāka …" as a literary-commentary rule among them. But despite the widespread use of this rule, there are some criticisms of how this rule applies to public commentators (i.e. Sunni commentators) who can be categorized into two areas.
The first criticism is the lack of a method in applying the " Iyyāka …" rule. The performance of Sunni commentators is proving that most of them have no reference to the validity of the " Iyyāka …" rule and have apparently used it as an interpretive rule in understanding the verses of reproach. But they have never addressed the basis on which they have used a comprehensive interpretive rule to justify the verses of reproach. On the other hand, they have always considered the structure of the reproach verses to be identical with the structure of the other verses of the Qur'an, and have not made any difference in the revelation of these verses to the rest of the verses. However, when they have not found a way through the reproach verses with their theological foundations, they have used this rule and have interpreted the verses regardless of the appearance of the text, which has made their interpretative method more problematic.
The second criticism goes back to the wandering and disorder of Sunni commentators on the use of the interpretative rule of " Iyyāka …" even in the context of the reproach verses. According to a detailed report on the performance of the commentators, it is clear that the use of the " Iyyāka …" rule has taken a different path in different periods. Early Sunni commentators have even been as loyal as possible to the appearance of reproach verses and have considered the Prophet as their addressee and, except in rare cases, have not used the " Iyyāka …" rule. But since the middle ages, the commentators have welcomed this rule and have used it extensively in contemporary times. But this change is while it is not clear what components have been changed in the way commentators look at the verses disapproving the prophetic infidelity whose tendency has been increased to use rules such as " Iyyāka …" that exclude the Prophet from the subject of the reproach in general.
It is important to note, however, that the diffusion of unpredictable approaches is not limited to different centuries. Rather, according to numerous evidences, the use of the " Iyyāka …" rule has varied even among commentators of a period or even a century. As previously reported, in the sixth century that people such as Ibn Atiyyah, Abu Hayyān, and Fakhr Rāzī had a tendency to make extensive use of the " Iyyāka …" rule, Zamakhshari even disapproved it and in some cases even has been blamed because of the attribution of some verses of reproach to the Prophet (SAW) have been reviled. As in the era when commentators such as Ibn Ashur and Abdeh have mostly used this rule, Darwaza often preferred to refer to the appearance of the verses and attribute them to the Prophet, and with his own careful analysis, purify the Prophet from infestations.
However, wondering how this interpretive rule is applied even in the personal approach of many commentators is significant. It has been repeatedly pointed out that an interpreter in the analysis of the reproach verses, has attributed some verses to the Prophet and sometimes returned some very similar verses from the Prophet and attributed them to the nation of Prophet. While the commentators have relied on other rules, they sometimes attributed some of the same verses to the Prophet and the Muslims, which can be deduced from the sum of their functions that the commentators not only had no definite method of applying the " Iyyāka …" interpretive rule in different periods, but even they had no definite method in a century. Beyond that, not even one commentator has taken a unified approach to the reproach verses. Various evidences can be cited in this article, which are limited to a few examples:
The first sample is Baghawī who has written under the verse 145 of surah Baqarah:
(وَ لَئِنْ أَتَیْتَ الَّذینَ أُوتُوا الْکِتابَ بِکُلِّ آیَةٍ ما تَبِعُوا قِبْلَتَکَ وَ ما أَنْتَ بِتابِعٍ قِبْلَتَهُمْ وَ ما بَعْضُهُمْ بِتابِعٍ قِبْلَةَ بَعْضٍ وَ لَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتَ أَهْواءَهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ ما جاءَکَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ إِنَّکَ إِذاً لَمِنَ الظَّالِمینَ)
([O, Messenger!] If you bring to The people of the Book every Miracle, They would not follow your Qiblah nor Will you adopt their Qiblah And they, either[ the Jews or The Christians ]will not adopt each Other's Qiblah. Verily, if you follow Their desires after that which you Have received of knowledge[ from Allah ]then, indeed you are one of The wrongdoers)
The audience considered the prohibition of the desires of the people of the book to be in fact the Prophet's Ummah, and has defined the holy verse according to the principle of " Iyyāka …" (Baghawī, 1420, 1, 180)
While, under the verse 120 Baqarah, he says:
(وَ لَنْ تَرْضى عَنْکَ الْیَهُودُ وَ لاَ النَّصارى حَتَّى تَتَّبِعَ مِلَّتَهُمْ قُلْ إِنَّ هُدَى اللَّهِ هُوَ الْهُدى وَ لَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتَ أَهْواءَهُمْ بَعْدَ الَّذی جاءَکَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ ما لَکَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِنْ وَلِیٍّ وَ لا نَصیرٍ)
(Never will the Jews or the Christians Be pleased with you [O, Messenger! ]Till you follow their religion. Say:" Verily, Allah's Guidance is the True Guidance"[ bestowed upon someone Through Allah's Favour ]and if you Conform to their caprices after what You have received of the Divine Knowledge, there will be no Guardianship nor help for you from Allah.)
In this verse, following the people of the Book has been forbidden and Baghawī believes that the addressee is the Prophet and to he has refrained from any interpretation of this verse. (Baghawī, 1420, 1, 161)
The second example is the contradictory approach of Tabari under the following two verses: 60 of Al-Imran and 147 of Baqarah which are quite similar verses.
(الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّکَ فَلا تَکُنْ مِنَ الْمُمْتَرِینَ)
[This is] The Truth [that you receive] From your Creator and Nurturer, so do Not be one of those who doubt [about The Truth]
Tabari considered verse 60 of Al-Imran to the Prophet, and without referring to the reproach contained in this verse, has mentioned its content as prohibiting the Prophet from skepticism about the legitimacy of revelation about Jesus Christ. (Tabari, 1412, 3, 209) But Tabari, under the verse 147 of Baqarah, has taken a different path, and the Prophet's prohibition of doubt about the legitimacy of revelation is actually forbidding his nation and has defined this holy verse in accordance with the principle of " Iyyāka …" (Tabari, 1412, 2, 17) For more examples, compare the views of Sheikh Tusi under the two verses 120 and 145 of Baqarah and compare the view of Sayyid Qutb under the verses 60 Al-Imran and 147 Baqarah.
As a result, the commentators have applied this interpretive rule based on their sectarian theological beliefs. Therefore, as theologians have differed over the centuries about the prophets' dignities and have gradually identified more factors as incompatible with their infallibility, the use of this rule by commentators to justify the verses of reproach has been increased from century to century. As time progressed, commentators narrowed the boundaries of infallibility and found more verses in conflict with their theological foundations, deviating from their appearances and carrying on " Iyyāka …"
The answer to this question now calls for an independent opportunity in which the interpretive foundations of the commentators have come from what superior source of the Qur'an, upon which the explicit verses of the Qur'an are interpreted.
4.2. Investigating how the "Iyyāka …" rule is used in Shiite interpretations
But in addition to wandering Sunni commentators on the use of the " Iyyāka …" interpretive rule, Shi'ite commentators have not been methodical in their application. For example, it is unclear what the basis of the commentators' use of the " Iyyāka …" interpretative rule under the reproach verses is. Have they adhered to some of the traditions that carried the reproach verses to the " Iyyāka …" rule and have used it to analyze all the reproach verses? It is conceivable that in spite of the traditions of " Iyyāka …" in the interpretation of the reproach verses, the commentators and even the narrators of these traditions have not used this principle in the interpretation of the reproach verses. Even in the interpretation of Kafi under the verse 74 of surah Isrāʼ that should be interpreted according to this rule, the commentators have not even defined the same verses in accordance with the rule of " Iyyāka ..." (Qomi, 1367, 2, 24) and even contrary to these narrations, they have considered the prophet as the main addressee of the reproach verse (Ayyashi, 1380, 2, 306), which indicates the Shiite commentators' disregard and distrust in these narrations. The same is especially true in the face of commentators with the narration of Sheikh Saduq. In this narration, three verses of 43 At-Tawbah, 65 Zumar, 74 Isrāʼ are explicitly defined according to the principle of " Iyyāka ...", but the famous Imamiyyah commentators, contrary to this narrative, did not interpret the three verses according to this principle and considered the prophet as the main target audience of the verse. (See: Qomi, 1367, 1, 293; 2, 160; Tusi, ND, 6, 226-227; Rāzī, 1408, 9, 258-259; Ibn Shahr Ashob, 1410, 2, 6; Ṭabrasī, 1993 , 5, 51; Sadeghi Tehrani, 1365, 13, 110-116)
Consequently, given the Shiite commentators' distrust in the traditions of the " Iyyāka...", the earlier criticism to Sunni commentators also applies to the Shiites who, if they have used the " Iyyāka..." rule as a linguistic rule, why they have not interpreted all the verses according to this rule, and they have used this rule only when they have no justification for some of the reproach verses.
Finally, it is possible to infer from the commentators in using the " Iyyāka …", although Shia and Sunni commentators have regarded " Iyyāka …" as an important interpretative rule and have made considerable use of it; but they have methodical use of this rule. This has led them to apply this principle mainly in the reproach verses whose apparent interpretation was in conflict with the dignity of the prophets. Thus, the commentators' reliance on the interpretive rule of " Iyyāka …" has been more of a passage to avoid the inconsistency of theological beliefs with explicit Qur'anic verses.
The rule " Iyyāka …" is a well-known interpretive rule in Arabic literature, and some traditions have endorsed its use in understanding religious texts and sometimes carried the revelation of the entire Quran on it. Shia and Sunni commentators, especially the Shiites, from the earliest times to the present time have helped to understand some of the verses by repeating this rule, sometimes by stating the name " Iyyāka ..." and sometimes without stating the name of this rule. But the type of commentators' use of this rule does not cover all the verses of revelation, but often in the area of the reproach verses which contradict the explicit text of Quran with the infallibility of the prophets, they used this rule to show the addressee of the verse is not Prophet but it is attributed to the others. However, commentators have not even had a coherent method in applying the rule of " Iyyāka ..." in the reproach verses, and whenever they couldn’t interpret each of the verses due to their appearance that does not conflict with prophetic authority, they have interpreted it on the basis of this rule and contrary to the appearance of verse. Thus, although the narrative " Iyyāka ..." has been used in literature, it can be applied to all verses with different themes and not just the reproach verses, but never in a methodical way but never specific positions have been used. This has also caused this interpretive rule to fail to function properly in understanding religious texts.