In the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful
Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds, and may God's blessings be upon our Master Muhammad and his pure family.
And We revealed to you the message that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them and that they might give thought. (16:44)
In verse 44 of Surah Nahl God the Almighty says, "We have sent down the Qur'an to you so that you may explain to the people what has been revealed to them." God does not say, "so that you may recite it for people." but says, "so that you may explain to the people." In the following, he also says, "And may they think", after being explained to them, people should think.
Although God Almighty has mentioned "to think" with "so that they may", but the main purpose of the revelation of the Qur'an is "to think" about and "ponder" over the verses of the Qur'an. Thinking about what "We have sent down to them" means thinking about all verses of the Quran from the beginning to the end.
Verse 64 of the same surah says, “And We have not revealed to you the Book, [O Muhammad], except for you to make clear to them that wherein they have differed and as guidance and mercy for a people who believe.”
According to the relevant discussions in the science of Principles of Jurisprudence regarding verse 44 it can be said that one of the goals of the revelation of the Qur'an is explanation; therefore, it may have other goals, but when this verse says, “And We have not revealed to you the Book, [O Muhammad], except for you to make clear to them that wherein they have differed and as guidance and mercy for a people who believe,” it shows that the only purpose is that the Prophet explain the verses of the Quran so that people may the solution for their differences by the help of the Quran. Quran is the key to solving any dispute. In all matters including beliefs, jurisprudential, social, political, or moral issues, anything that causes a difference of opinion, one person tries to disprove something and the other tries to prove it, this difference of opinion can be solved by referring to the Qur'an.
First of all, it is the duty of us the seminary students because we claim that we want to understand the Qur'an; we came to understand the divine book and reflect on its verses in order to find a Qur'anic lifestyle - not to become just a reciter of the Qur'an, which of course is also an honor. Based on this, we should study well so that we can understand the connection between the verses, the connection between the clear and the unspecific verses, and how to interpret the unspecific verses with the help of precise verses.
Of course, this matter is not fully available to ordinary people. That is why one of the verses that proves imamate is the very verse in Surah Al-Imran, in which God says that this Qur'an has precise verses and unspecific verses, and the interpretation of the unspecific verses is known only by God and those who are firm in knowledge. (3:7)
Aside from the famous dispute, that whether the interpretation of the unspecific verses is known only by God or those firm in knowledge also have it, what is certain is that this Qur'an has precise verses and unspecific verses. Who can distinguish a clear verse from an unspecific one and say that this unspecific verse corresponds to that clear verse and interpret it accordingly? No one can do this except an infallible Imam. Of course, sometimes a prominent scholar who has studied the Qur'an a lot, such as the late Allameh Tabataba'i (may God bless him and grant him peace), who has no equal in this respect, may say that 20 to 30 verses from different chapters of the Qur'an are connected with each other and explain their relationship. However, his ability is limited and he does not have this ability regarding all verses. Even if all scholars, philosophers and jurists come together they do not have such ability. In my opinion, one of the arguments that clearly indicates Imamate is this discussion at the beginning of Surah Al-Imran.
We try to understand the Quran. The verse itself says, "so that they may think", so we should think about the verses of the Quran, what does this verse for example mean? What is its interpretation? That is, 1) understanding the apparent meaning of the verse, 2) understanding the interpretation of the verse, 3) understanding the esoteric meaning of the verse, 4) understanding how to interpret the unspecific according to the precise verses, these are the stages of understanding a verse. One of my most important requests from God, which I have always asked God Almighty, and you must have this request too, is that God help me to understand the relationship between the verses. In the case of a building, someone can use it correctly if he knows what the components of this building are and how they are related to each other. And if someone does not have this knowledge, he cannot use even a certain part of it correctly, this is how the Qur'an is.
In my opinion, this concept that "some parts of the Qur'an interprets the other parts" does not need [to have been said in] a hadith. It can be understood from the very verse itself, “It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise - they are the foundation of the Book - and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific.” It says that the precise verses are the references of the book, which means that the unspecific verses should be referred to the precise verses, since the precise verses interpret the unspecific ones. We understand from this verse that we can interpret the Qur'an with the Qur'an, whether there is a hadith proving this or not, whether this hadith has a valid document or not.
In this path of theological debates that you are especially going through, although the path of jurisprudence and principles is also related to the Qur'an and its connection is very close, but the scope of the relationship of religious, political, moral, social, etc. discussions with the verses of the Qur'an is much greater. Try to draw such a high goal for yourself. After all, we claim that in the absence of prophets, we have the infallible Imam (peace be upon him) in their place, which is of course a very big claim.
This claim sometimes makes one tremble! Although on the one hand it brings happiness and joy to one, it motivates us and makes us energetic and hopeful, but on the other hand one trembles to think that we are sitting in the place of prophets and the infallible Imams and we claim that we want to explain the Quran to people. This is a very big responsibility, it is heavy, but it is also very valuable, and there is no more valuable responsibility in the world than it.
In short, the verse clearly indicates that God sent the Holy Prophet to people and revealed the Quran to him so that he would explain it to them. On the other hand, people's responsibility is to think about the verses of the Qur'an. Humans can find a solution for any matter about which they have disagreements. It has been reported in the narrations that when two people disagree on something, if they refer to the Qur'an, their differences will be resolved.
Therefore, take full advantage of this opportunity. There are many subjects that have not been studied yet and about which researches have not been done. Do not think that everything about unity of God, the Day of Judgment etc. has been said. No, there are many researches to be carried out and there are good opportunities for conducting such researches.
Try to see what new findings you can present to the seminary and the world of science in every year that passes by in your life. What is our role in this fast scientific progress? Should we just fill our minds and gather others’ words or should we try to be creative ourselves. There is a famous hadith which says, “Whenever a faithful servant of God the Almighty dedicates forty days [to do everything for God], springs of wisdom will start flowing from his heart to his tongue.” These springs of wisdom includes wisdoms that cannot be found in the words of others; rather, they emanate from the heart of this sincere person. This should be your goal.
I advise you to make use of the programs of this center as much as you can. Undoubtedly, Shi’ism will expand more in future and the need for scholars who are well versed in scientific topics will also increase. Every one of you try to be, God willing, a beacon inviting to Islam and to the school of the Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them).
Peace and blessings of God be upon you