Tafseer‎ > ‎2: Al-Baqara‎ > ‎

Verse: 143 - Imam's (as) witness over the people

Verse: 143

وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِّتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا

"Thus, have We made of you an Ummat justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves." [2:143]

علي بن إبراهيم، عن أبيه، عن محمد بن أبي عمير، عن ابن اذينة، عن بريد العجلي قال: قلت لابي جعفر)عليه السلام (قول الله تبارك وتعالى: " وكذلك جعلناكم امة وسطا لتكونوا شهداء على الناس ويكون الرسول عليكم شهيدا " قال: نحن الامة الوسط ونحن شهداء الله تبارك وتعالى على خلقه، وحججه في أرضه، قلت: قوله تعالى: " يا أيها الذين آمنوا اركعوا واسجدوا واعبدوا ربكم وافعلوا الخير لعلكم تفلحون * وجاهدوا في الله حق جهاده هو اجتباكم " قال: إيانا عنى ونحن المجتبون، ولم يجعل الله تبارك وتعالى في الدين " من حرج " فالحرج أشد من الضيق " ملة أبيكم إبراهيم " إيانا عنى خاصة و " سماكم المسلمين " الله سمانا المسلمين " من قبل " في الكتب التي مضت " وفي هذا " القرآن " ليكون الرسول عليكم شهيدا وتكونوا شهداء على الناس " فرسول الله) صلى الله عليه وآله( الشهيد علينا بما بلغنا عن الله تبارك وتعالى، ونحن الشهداء على الناس، فمن صدق يوم القيامة صدقناه ومن كذب كذبناه

Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from Muhammad ibn abu ‘Umayr from ibn ’Udhayna from Burayd al-‘Ijli who has said the following.

"I asked (Imam) abu Ja'far (as) about the meaning of the words of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High,
‘We have made you (true Muslims) a moderate nation so that you would be (witness) an example for all people and the Prophet (a witness) an example for you . . .." [2:143]

The Imam (as) said, "We are the moderate nation and we are the witness for Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, over the activities of His creatures and possess His authority on earth."

I then asked about the meaning of the following verse of the Holy Quran that says,
"Believers, worship your Lord, bow down and prostrate yourselves before Him and do virtuous deeds so that perhaps you will have everlasting happiness. Strive steadfastly for the cause of Allah. He has chosen you. ." [22:77-78]

The Imam (as) said, "It refers to us and we are the chosen ones. Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, has not sanctioned anything in religion that would be a constraint up on the people. Al-Haraj (hardships) is more serious than al-Diq (constraint.) " . . .But has not imposed on you hardship in your religion, the noble religion of your father, Abraham. Allah named you Muslims before and in this Book, so that the Messenger will witness (your actions) and you will be the witness over mankind." [22:78]

The Imam (as) said, " ‘Your father’ also is a reference to us. Allah has called us specially as Muslims in the heavenly books that were revealed before and in this Holy Book (the Holy Quran) The Holy Prophet (as) has testified in our favor by conveying the message of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High. We bear witness to the activities of the people and on the Day of Judgment certify the faith of those who have acknowledged our Divine authority and reject those who have rejected our Divine authority."

[Source: Al-kafi, Vol. 1 Pg. 191]
Note: Good (Hasan) near Majlisi as per the chain of narrators. See Miraat-Al-Uqool - Allama Majlisi - Vol.2 Pg.343] 

There are other narrations with similar meaning in Al-Kafi, Kitab-Al-Hujjah, Chapter. 9