Pearl of Wisdom
'The superiority of a learned person over a worshipper is as the superiority of the sun over the planets, and whoever does not educate themselves in their religion, Allah will not accept a single deed from them.'
Imam Musa ibn Jafar al-Kadhim [as]
Bihar al-Anwar, v. 78, p. 321, no. 19
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"Is it not sufficient as regarding your Lord that He is Witness over all things?" (Quran, 41:53).
According to Mu`jam maqayees al lugha by Ibn Faris, the topic of the verb shahida, saw, witnessed, or testified, indicates, linguistically, presence, knowledge, and the dissemination of such knowledge.
The attribute "al-Shaheed" is derived from shuhood, [eye] witnesses, and it requires knowledge by observation: Allah is al-Shaheed because He is present and observes all beings whom He has created and whom He will create at any time and in any place, and He is fully aware of such beings; "... and He is with you wherever you may be." Al-Shaheed is a superlative of al-Shahid, the Witness.
In his work Taj al-Aroos, al-Zubaidi has indicated that al-Shaheed is one of Allah's Attributes meaning: "the One Who is faithful in His witness and from whose knowledge nothing at all escapes." His knowledge is the very ultimate regarding all apparent matters, all things to observe and to witness. The Holy Quran states the following in Surat Ali-`Imran: "Allah bears witness that there is no god but He" (3:18). Al-Shahid knows and manifests the knowledge of what He knows to a select group from among His most sincere and loyal servants. Allah has proven His being one through all what He has created.
Al-Shaheed is ever-present; from His kingdom nothing at all can be absent; everything is included within the realm of His kingdom.
Addressing the Messenger, Allah says the following in Surat al-Nisa': "... and we have sent you (O Mohammed!) To mankind as a Prophet, and Allah suffices as Witness (to that)" (Quran, 4:79). That is, Allah suffices as Witness to all people regarding the truth of your message: He testifies that you are His Messenger who does not have full control over His servants.
In Surat al-Ana`m, He says, "Say: What is the weightiest in testimony? Say: Allah is Witness between you and me" (Quran, 6:19), that is, were we to paraphrase it, "Ask them: What is the greatest witness? Say: Allah testifies with regard to you and to me." Allah ordered His Messenger to ask the disbelievers, "Whose testimony is the greatest and the most accurate?" Then He ordered him to tell them that the greatest is the testimony of the One whose statement does not permit any room for lying or erring. The testimony, that is, shahada, of the Almighty is of three types:
1) His own telling people in His Book that He has sent the Prophet as His Messenger; ,
2) His own support for His Messenger in numerous ways the greatest of which is the Holy Quran, which is the everlasting scholarly and rational miracle.
It has been practically proven that all people put together are incapable of producing a chapter or a verse like it; 3) the testimony of previously revealed divine books and the fact that messengers before him had already brought the glad tidings of his Prophet hood.
In Surat Younus, the Great Quran says, "Allah, therefore, suffices as Witness between us and you that we were quite unaware of your worship (of us)" (Quran, 10:29). It may be paraphrased thus: Allah suffices as Witness, O polytheists, and as Judge between us and you, for He is fully knowledgeable of our condition and yours, and we were not happy with your own associating partners with Him.
In Surat al-Tawbah, the Almighty says, "... Allah and His Prophet will witness your deeds, then you shall be brought back to the One Who knows the unseen and the seen, then He will inform you of what you did" (Quran, 9:94), that is, He knows what you hide or manifest, what you conceal or reveal.
The Almighty has repeated the phrase "`Alim al ghayb wal shahada," the One Who knows the unseen and the seen, about ten times; among such references are the following:
... His is the kingdom on the Day when the trumpet is blown, [and He is] the One Who knows the unseen and the seen, and He is the Wise, the Aware. (6:73) The One who knows the unseen and the seen, the Great, the Most High (is He). (13:9) The One Who knows the unseen and the seen, so may He be exalted above what they associate (with Him). (23:92) Such knows the unseen and the seen, the Mighty, the Merciful. (32:6) Say: O Allah! Originator of the heavens and the earth Who knows the unseen and the seen! You judge between Your servants as to that wherein they differ. (39:46) He is Allah besides Whom there is no other god, the One Who knows the unseen and the seen; He is the Beneficent, the Merciful. (59:22) Say: (As for) the death from which you flee, it will surely overtake you, then you shall be sent back to the One Who knows the unseen and the seen, and He will (then) inform you of whatever you did. (62:8)
The believing nation, the nation that believes in Muhammed as the Messenger of Allah, always remembers that its Lord, Allah, is the Witness over it, and it is also the nation of testimony in every field. Its Lord has said the following about it: "Thus have We made you a medium (just) nation so that you may be the bearers of witness to people, and so that the Messenger may be a bearer of witness to you" (Quran, 2:143).