The Qur’an is the book, the house and the army of Eli, not the tool of ajam. This essay will briefly elaborate each of these points. It’s exceedingly clear from the Hadith, historical records and Sunni and Shia traditions that the Prophet appointed Eli and his sons as his successors. To deny the Prophet and his family and successors and their tradition of interpreting the Qur’an is simply to deny Islam and usurp the Qur’an, the Imamate and the caliphate, since ajam can’t be Imams or caliphs (vv. 4:54, 3:33-34 & 2:124). See my post: There Is a Pope in Islam.
1. The Book of Eli
The Qur’an is the Book of Eli. How do we know this? Because its purpose is to purify the People of the House (v. 33:33 & Muslim 44:91). See my post: Who Are Ahl al-Bayt? The Prophet says Eli is to him as Aaron is to Moses (Tirmidhi 49:4095). That’s because Aaron inherits the high priesthood, whereas Eli inherits the caliphate. This fulfills God’s covenant to Israel that he will be the father of a “holy nation” of “priests” (Exodus 19:6) and God’s promise to Ishmael that he would be the father of a “great nation” of “princes” (Genesis 17:20, Ibn Majah 24:2981 & Muslim 33:8).
At the beginning of the Qur’an, Abraham prays to God to “make it (Mecca) a sanctuary and provide its people who believe in God and the Last Day with fruits” (v. 2:126). The Qur’an refers to Mecca as Baka (v. 3:96 & Psalm 84:5-6) which is the first place of pilgrimage or chag (Ar. Haj) (Exodus 5:1 & v. 28:27). At the end of the Qur’an, it reminds Quraysh that God satisfies their hunger and protects them from danger, which answers Abraham’s prayer at the beginning (vv. 106:4 & 95:3). The Qur’an says God gave the house of Abraham scripture, wisdom and a mighty kingdom (v. 4:54). The Qur’an says it confirms and fulfills the Torah in Arabic (v. 46:12 & 41:44) and addresses Arabs–that is, Ishmaelites (vv. 2:124-133 & Muslim 43:203)–saying their father Abraham called them Muslims (v. 22:78).
2. The House of Eli
The Prophet says:I’m leaving with that which–if you hold fast to them–you won’t be misguided after I’m gone. One is greater than the other. The Book of God–a rope that extends from heaven to earth–and my family–the members of my household. These won’t be parted until the meeting at the Fountain of Life. So, be careful how you treat them when I’m gone. (Tirmidhi 49:4157)
For a discussion of the Fountain of Life (al-hawdh) see my post: 97. The Glory. Members of the Prophet’s family (Ahl al-Bayt) consists of his kinsmen (‘usba). Women aren’t included in the definition of kinship (Muslim 44:58).
The line of succession of Eli specifically goes from him to his son Hasan; to Hasan’s brother Husayn; to Ali ibn Husayn and Hasan ibn Hasan concurrently; then to Zayd ibn Hasan (Abu Dawud 38:12 & Bukhari 64:82). Zayd ibn Hasan is the common ancestor and Imam of the Alid dynasties in the Maghreb. Banu Idris, for example, are traditionally Zaydis.
Some Muslims ignorantly say the Prophet made no plans for his succession. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The Prophet, for instance, says inheritance is half the law and the first science to disappear from Islam (Ibn Majah 23:2823). The other half is marriage (al-Bayhaqi) which shows the importance of marrying to preserve lineage and legacy. The Prophet also says the Qur’an, which is knowledge, is his legacy (Bukhari 66:44, 3:17 & Riyad as-Salihin 12:13) and that it’s impermissible for a Muslim to spend three days without a Will (Tirmidhi 10:10). In short, it’s obvious the Prophet bequeathed the Qur’an to Alids. The Qur’an isn’t for every bastard to use as an excuse to do whatever it wants, or to interpret however it pleases (vv. 68:9-13).
The same Muslims who insist the Prophet made no plans for his succession vigorously assert that Sharia is a complete and divine way of life, which is a contradiction. They absurdly claim that the Prophet overlooked the most obvious and necessary matter of his succession. No Muslim sect disagrees that the Mahdi is the Prophet’s successor, and that he’ll be from the house of Eli. This is a sufficient admission that Eli is the Prophet’s successor, besides all the other evidence. See my post: Who Is the Mahdi? The Prophet had a vision of the Umayyads usurping the caliphate from the Alids (Tirmidhi 47:3673). Sahl ibn Hunaif blames Muslims for following their own religious opinions, which caused the Battle of Siffin between Eli, the Prophet’s successor, and the Umayyad usurper, Mu’awiya (Bukhari 96:39).
3. The Army of Eli
Eli acts as the Prophet’s agent, as Aaron acts as Moses’ agent (Tirmidhi 49:4078, 49:4095 & Exodus 4:14-17). The Qur’an is supposed to raise an army for the house of Eli, as it commands people to obey the Prophet and fight with believers (vv. 4:69, 2:190, 8:64 & 7:157-158). The Torah, on the other hand, is supposed to raise an army for the house of Amram. The Israelites refused to fight with Moses, so they could enter the Promised Land (v. 5:24 & Numbers 13). As a result, they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, for every day the twelve spies spent exploring the land (Numbers 14:34). Conversely, on the day of the Battle of Badr, al-Miqdad said to the Prophet:
“O Messenger of God! We don’t say to you as the sons of Israel said to Moses: ‘Go, you and your Lord, and fight. We’ll stay here sitting” (v. 5:24). Rather, we say: “Go forth. We are with you!” (Bukhari 65:4609)
The Qur’an isn’t an orphan book or public property. It’s inherited (vv. 40:53 & 4:54). See my post: The Qur’an Isn’t Public Property. The Qur’an requires believers to show kindness and faithfulness to the family of the Prophet (Quraysh) (v. 42:23 & Tirmidhi 47:3560). It also says that to a pledge of allegiance to the Prophet is to pledge allegiance to God (v. 48:10) and that whoever doesn’t have God and the Prophet as its mawla has the devil as its mawla (vv. 2:107, 48:10, 28:50, 4:83 & 8:48). See my essays: The Critical Relationship Between Mawla and Mawali and Basic Rights and Obligations of Mawla and Mawali.
The Qur’an only mentions two caliphs, which are Adam, who is a successor to God, and David, who is a successor to Adam (vv. 2:30, 38:26, 1 Kings 2:33, 2:45 & Tirmidhi 42:46). This precedent clearly establishes that succession combines heredity and merit. That the Mahdi will be a descendant of Eli further confirms this precedent. This means anyone who interprets the Qur’an without recognizing the Prophet and his family and successors, or without reference to them, usurps it (v. 4:83).
The Prophet says a time will come when wealth will be so abundant that every believer, hypocrite, man, woman, child, adult, slave and free person will be able to the Qur’an. However, they won’t follow anything it says unless they fabricate a new meaning that suits them (Abu Dawud 42:16). This is evident from the fact that Muslims and non-Muslims read the Qur’an today who no longer believe in or recognize the family of the Prophet and his successor. They read the Qur’an as if it was their book, which it isn’t, and preach on the Prophet’s pulpit as if it belongs to them, which it doesn’t.
The Qur’an belongs to the house of Eli. It is the book, the house and the army of Eli. The congregation in prayer is the standing army of Eli that guards the Promised Land. Anyone can join the cause. That’s why they must stand in prayer as they stand to fight. It’s also why prayer differentiates a believer and an unbeliever (Muslim 1:154). Prayer–which defends the Holy Land–and charity–which equalizes believers (v. 16:71)–are the foundations of Ishmael’s throne and paradise (v. 17:26). If prayer loses its significance, it’ll also lose its value. See my essay: The Wisdom and Power of Prayer. That’s why prayer is best performed in congregation by men in the heart of the Holy Land (Riyad as-Salihin 8:1128 & Ibn Majah 5:1478) whereas it’s best performed by women at home (Abu Dawud 2:678, 2:180 & Bukhari 10:260).