The only thing standing between you and your Quran is your own teacher

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

Do you know the Supreme Leader of Iran and do you know what is the population of Iran?

The second question has a very simple answer and Googling it will give you a precise answer in a second: It is 84 million. They are all at the mercy of Supreme Leader: Ali Khamenei.

For the first question we need a little more explanation. According to Wikipedia:

The Supreme Leader of Iran (Persian: رهبر معظم ایران, romanizedrahbar-e mo’azzam-e irān (listen)), also referred to as Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution[2] (رهبر معظم انقلاب اسلامی, rahbar-e mo’azzam-e enqelāb-e eslāmi), but officially called the Supreme Leadership Authority (مقام معظم رهبری, maqām mo’azzam rahbari), is the head of state and the highest political and religious authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The armed forcesjudiciarystate television, and other key government organisations such as Guardian Council and Expediency Discernment Council are subject to the Supreme Leader. According to article 110 of the constitution, the Supreme Leader delineates the general policies of the Islamic Republic. The current lifetime officeholder, Ali Khamenei, has issued decrees and made the final decisions on the economy, the environment, foreign policyeducation, national planning, and other aspects of governance in Iran.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] Khamenei also makes the final decisions on the amount of transparency in elections,[11] and has dismissed and reinstated presidential cabinet appointees.[12]

What I have not told you yet is that he is not only the autocratic secular leader, but also extreme spiritual leader, if he had been a leader 2-3 millennia ago, he would have been a demi-God, with supernatural powers:

The Guardian Jurist office was established by the Constitution of Iran in 1979, pursuant to the concept of the Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist.[14] As the Guardian Jurist (Vali-ye faqih), the Supreme Leader, guides the country, protecting it from heresy and imperialist predations, and insuring the laws of Islam are followed. According to the Constitution, the powers of government in the Islamic Republic of Iran are vested in the legislature, the judiciary, and the executive powers, functioning under the supervision of the Supreme Leader.[15] The style “Supreme Leader” (Persian: رهبر معظم, romanizedrahbar-e mo’azzam) is commonly used as a sign of respect – although the Constitution simply designates them as “Leader” (رهبر, rahbar).

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks live on television after casting his ballot in the Iranian presidential election in Tehran June 12, 2009.

The story does not end there. He is Marja’ as well. What is a Marja’?:

Marji’ (Arabic: مرجع, transliteration: marjiʿ; plural: marājiʿ, short for Marjaʿ al-taqlid), literally meaning “source to follow” or “religious reference”, is a title given to the highest level of Twelver Shia authority, a Grand Ayatollah with the authority given by a hawzah to make legal decisions within the confines of Islamic law for followers and lower-ranking clerics.

Currently, maraji’ are accorded the title Grand Ayatollah (Arabic: آية ‌الله العظمی ʾĀyatullāh al-ʿUẓmā). Previously, the titles of Allamah (such as Allameh TabatabaeiAllameh MajlesiAllameh Hilli) and Imam (such as Imam KhomeiniImam Rohani,[1]Imam Shirazi[2] and Imam Sadr)[3] have also been used.

From the perspective of Shia jurisprudence, during the occultation of the Mahdi, the highest ranking Shia hawzah clerics are bestowed with responsibility for understanding and explaining Islamic religious jurisprudence.

Shiite authorities in the history of Shi’ism have an important role in the religious, political and social thought of their communities. One example is the fatwa of Mirza Mohammed Hassan Husseini Shirazi imposing sanctions on the use of tobacco during Qajar rule, which led to the abolition of the tobacco concession.[4]

Shiʿi “biographical compilations generally” consider Muhammad ibn Ya’qub al-Kulayni (d. 940 or 941), (one of the first compilers of Shiʿite hadith), to be “the first” post-occultation marja al-taqlid.[5]

The Supreme Leader is every thing and you are nothing, if you are an Iranian Shiite. How can you understand anything in the Quran if he does not endorse it?

But, have courage. Stand your ground. Allah has bestowed you a good thinking brain and mind. You have already been fairly successful in many walks of life and thinking for yourself.

He is not only a teacher of the Quran, but also a barrier in your understanding. Think about it for a moment, he does not have monopoly over the understanding of the Quran and no human does.

The Quran is revealed for every human, male or female or of no specific gender, child or old, scholar or novice, intellectually challenged or a genius, any nationality or race.

I made an example out of him. But, I think I could as easily do it for every leader of every Shiite or Sunni sect. I do not want to offend each and every Muslim out of the 1.8 billion.

So, without offending many more, let me proceed with the rest of my thesis.

On a happier note my above caricature of the Supreme Leader will not offend all of the 84 million Shiite Muslims in Iran. Only 20% of them, whom we can call the fundametalists, for a lack of better word.

According to some experts the rest of the 80% are as sick and tired of him as many Islamophobes in the West.

My main suggestion to the open minded readers is to read on and in the words of Sir Francis Bacon, “Read not to contradict … but to weigh and consider.”

I will just want to make one other example of a Sunni scholar, lest I am accused of a sectarian bias.

I find Javed Ghamidi to be the most tolerant Muslim scholar. I learn a lot from him about the Quran, but, obviously, no human is All Knowing God. He does not know much about human evolution and so, I suggest these articles: Ghamidi: The Most Tolerant and Pluralistic Muslim Scholar of Our Times, Javed Ahmad Ghamidi: A Scholar to Overcome Extremism, Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, A Great Theologian, Yet Joins the Long List of Scholars, Who are Ignorant about Evolution and Ghamidi Knowledgeable About Many Things, But Denying Details of Evolution in This Urdu Video.

No human being is all knowing and so cannot be an exclusive teacher for the literal word of All Knowing God.

So, without further adoo, I want to state that if you choose to learn about the Quran from scholars of all denominations, nationalities and race, and even scholars of other Abrahamic faiths, your journey of scholarship will be so much faster, easier and fascinating. Try to remove the contraindications in your understanding and reject what does not seem right and consistent, no matter what the station or the popularity of your teacher.

No human has a monopoly over the Quran. If you are not confident enough to accept this, your choice. You will be slave to your leader or scholar of your choosing, something I do not wish for anyone.

If you are confident of your God given protentional, please join me for the intellectual, religious and spiritual journey.

Now I include a collection of videos and articles:

Surah Qamar – The Moon: The Quran has been made easy

Source: TheQuran.Love Introduction We believe that the most important verse of this surah is: “Indeed We have made the Qur’an easy to understand and to remember. But is there anyone who would receive admonition?” (54:17) […]

After Monotheism, the Two Most Seminal Verses of the Quran

To Know more how you can benefit from the Muslim Times, go to our Homepage or About Us page. Promoted post: Use and Misuse of Surah Nur by the Muslims, Before and After Nida Ul […]

The Quran Applauded as a Landmark Contribution to ‘Words of Justice’ by Harvard

Below are all our tweets about this article, click on any of them to read the article: The Quran Applauded as a Landmark Contribution to ‘Words of Justice’ by Harvard […]

Video of Morgan Freeman: Commentary of Surah Takathur

Epigraph: And as to those who disbelieve, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert. The thirsty one thinks it to be water until, when he comes up to it, he […]

Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran

To Know more how you can benefit from the Muslim Times, go to our Homepage or About Us page Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the […]

The Story of Adam and A Progressive, Metaphorical Reading of the Quran

Surah Al Baqara (The Cow): Section 4: Adam and Eve Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times 2:30. Call to mind, when your Lord announced […]

Table of Contents of theQuran.Love

At the present time we have commentary of only portion of the holy Quran and new segments are being added periodically.  Below is a listing in the numerical order of the surahs availableafter the introductory section:

Scope, Style and Preservation of the Quran

The Surahs available now:

Collection of our articles about the holy Quran

The following collection of articles, we believe facilitates the understanding of the holy Quran:

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