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KURSI

Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

"The word kursi in Arabic means throne. The Aramaic word kurseya and the Hebrew kisse, both also mean throne. Among the Arabs there is an idiom of calling the learned men or savants, karasi. The word kursi occurs twice in the Koran (2:255 and 38:34)

According to al-Suddi and al-Dahhak, "The heavens and the earth are inside the kursi". Ibn Zaid reports the Prophet as saying that, "The seven heavens are contained in the kursi just as seven coins are placed in a shield." Tabari in Jami al-Bayan (5:400) quotes a tradition that a woman came to the Prophet and asked to pray God to make her enter paradise. In the course of his supplication, the Prophet said, "Surely His kursi encompasses the heavens and the earth. He sits upon it, and not even the span of four fingers of it remains unoccupied." Tabari also writes in his Tafsir (3:7) that the kursi refers to the Divine knowledge. Sadiq writes in his Itiqadiah that the kursi is the knowledge of God, as Imam Jafar Sadik also told in the interpretation of a Koranic verse: "God's knowledge is far more extensive than the heavens and the earth put together." Sa'id b. Zubayr relates on the authority of Ibn Abbas that the kursi means God's Knowledge; vide Tafsir al-Baidawi (2:255). Tabari accepts this view and comments, "This may be proved by His saying, "And the preservation of them does not burden Him', means that He is not burdened by the preservation of that which His knowledge encompasses, which is all that is in the heavens and the earth. God also said of His angels that they say in their prayers, `O Lord, You encompass all things in mercy and knowledge'" (40:7).


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