Consider the Era of Ignorance, how social relations (anwā‘) were based on national ties, and social mores (lit. truths – haqā’iq) were based on tribalism. Then when the Qur’an came, it severed those ties and destroyed those mores, and established other relations (anwā‘) in their place, the bonds of religion. Now reflect on this! When the Qur’an rose shining over humankind, hearts bloomed and became fruitful through its light, and a luminous truth was produced, which was the class (naw‘) of believers. Then because of their iniquity, some souls putrified in the face of that light and a venomous truth was born, the particular characteristic of the class of unbelievers. Between the “who (alladhīna)” in this verse and that [in verse 3] there is also a reciprocity, [because they both point to a truth which is the reverse of the other].
Know that like the definite article, the relative pronoun is used to express five meanings, the best known of which is its denoting something known (al-‘ahd). The “who (alladhêna)” here alludes to notable unbelievers like Abu Jahl, Abu Lahab, and Umayya ibn Khalaf, who died in a state of unbelief. In this respect therefore, the verse gives news about the unseen realm [it is a prophecy of the future]. Born of these flashes, and others like them, is a sort of miraculousness, there being four sorts of miraculousness or inimitability pertaining to the Qur’an’s meanings (al-i‘jāz al-ma‘nawī).
The word “[Those who] reject faith (kafarū):” unbelief is darkness, consisting of the denial of something brought by the Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace), after having had certain knowledge of it.
• If you were to ask: The Qur’an is one of the essentials of religion, yet there has been dispute over its meanings?
You would be told: In every passage of the Qur’an there are three propositions:
The First: This is Allah’s Word.
The Second: Its intended meaning is the truth.
It is unbelief to deny these two.
The Third: Its intended meaning is this.
If this last proposition is incontestible or expounded, it is compulsory to believe in it once one is informed about it and to deny it is unbelief. If it is clear or is a verse that has another possible meaning, it is not unbelief to deny it since it is open to interpretation. Interpretation however should not be based on personal whims. Unanimously reported Hadiths are the same as Qur’anic verses in this regard. However, where there is denial of the first proposition in connection with Hadiths, these should be considered care