An Introduction to the al-Mizan
Abu al-Qassim Razzaqi
Among the many valuable works of the great exegete ‘Allamah Tabataba’i, al-Mizan occupies a distinguished position due to its unique qualities, not only among his own books but also among all the Islamic books written so far on religion, science, philosophy and especially among all the old and new exegeses of the Qur’an, written by both the Sunnis and the Shi’ah.
This article, aimed at giving an account of its contents, cannot provide a detailed account of its salient features, but can help the readers to acquaint themselves with the glimpses of its elegance. I find myself unworthy of performing this great task, as great personages like the great thinker, scholar of the Qur’an, and an exegete himself, Ayatullah Mutahhari has stated about al-Mizan that it is the greatest exegesis of the Qur’an written since the advent of Islam, and that it will take another sixty or even one hundred years for our people to realise the greatness of al-Mizan of ‘Allamah Tabataba’I. Other scholars, experts and men of insight have made similar remarks regarding this book.
Any attempts at presenting the profound issues of al-Mizan, even in a cursory way in a brief article like this is like an attempt to contain the great Atlantic in a small pot. But anyhow, I wish to collect some drops from this vast ocean of Islamic learning according to my limited capacities in order to quench my intense thirst. I ask for help from the gentle soul of the pious writer of this immortal book to guide me in performing this job in a good manner.