Surely We have
revealed the Reminder (Qur'an) and
We most surely are its Guardian.
Chapter 15, Verse 9)
the Shi'ah Believe in
Shi'ah are frequently accused of belief in Tahrif
in Qur'an which means believing that the Qur'an has been
tampered with and is not the same as the one revealed to the
THIS IS not true !!!
great Twelver Shi'ah scholars from the earliest period to the
present century have believed in the complete preservation of
the Qur'an. Some
famous early Shi'ah scholars who have clearly stated this belief
in their books include:
al-Saduq (d. 381 AH), Kitabu'l-Itiqadat,
(Tehran, 1370) p. 63.
al-Mufid (d. 413 AH), Awa'ilu
al-Murtada (d. 436 AH), Bahru
1314) p. 69;
at-Tusi (d. 460 AH), Tafsir
(Najaf, 1376), vol 1 p. 3;
at-Tabrasi (d. 548), Majma'u
(Lebanon), vol. 1 p. 15.
of the later scholars who spelt out the same views include:
Muhsin al-Fayd al-Kashani (d. 1019 AH), Al-Wafi, vol. 1 pp. 273-4, and al-'Asfa
fi Tafsir al-Qur'an, p. 348;
Baqir al-Majlisi (d. 1111 AH), Bihar
vol. 89 p. 75
belief has continued uninterrupted up to the present time.
Shi'ah scholars of this century who have reiterated the belief
that the Qur'an is completely protected and unchanged include
such famous names as Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin al-'Amili (d. 1371
AH); Sayyid Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi (d. 1377 AH.); Shaykh
Muhammad Husayn Kashif al-Ghita' (d. 1373 AH); Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim
(d. 1390 AH); 'Allamah al-Tabataba'i (d. 1402 AH); Sayyid
Ruhullah al-Khumayni (d. 1409 AH); Sayyid Abu al-Qasim al-Khu'i
(d. 1413 AH) and Sayyid Muhammad Rida al-Gulpaygani (d. 1414
of course, is not an exhaustive list.
But what about the Shi'ah before
these scholars, didn't they all believe in tahrif?
at all! Consider
the example of 'Ubaydullah b. Musa al-'Absi (120-213 AH), a devoted Shi'ah scholar whose
narrations from the Imams can be found in the famous Shi'ah
hadith collections such as al-Tahdhib
and al-Istibsar. Now let's see what some Sunni scholars have to say about him:
a pious person, one of the important Shi'ah scholars ... he was
considered reliable by Yahya b. Ma'in, Abu Hatim said he was
reliable, trustworthy ... al-'Ijli said that he was an authority
on the Qur'an..."
al-Huffaz (Haydarabad, 1333 AH), vol. 1 p. 322]
he was an imam in fiqh and hadith and Qur'an characterized by
piety and righteousness, but he was one of the chiefs of the
al-'Imad al-Hanbali, Shadharat
al-Dhahab (Cairo, 1350 AH), vol. 2 p. 29]
None of these
Sunni scholars would have praised him for his knowledge of the
Qur'an if they thought he believed in a different Qur'an!!!
'Ubaydullah was considered so trustworthy, despite being a
Shi'ah, that the famous Sunni traditionists al-Bukhari and
Muslim as well as many others narrated scores of traditions from
him in their hadith collections!
Creed of the Imaam of Hadeeth al-Bukhari (Salafi
Publications, UK, 1997), pp. 87-89]
Don't the Shi'ah believe in Mushaf
Fatimah which is three times the size of the Qur'an?
Qur'an is a Mushaf
(book), but any book is not necessarily the Qur'an!
There is no Qur'an of Fatimah! Mushaf
Fatimah was a book written or dictated by Fatimah (a) after
the Prophet's (s) death. It
is not a part of Qur'an and has nothing
to do with Allah's commandments or legal rulings.
But are there not traditions in Shi'ah collections that mention
verses of the Qur'an containing extra words than what we have
are some instances where extra words are indicated only by way
of explanation, they do not imply that the original Qur'anic
text is being distorted. This
happens in both Shi'ah and Sunni sources.
Consider the following two examples, both from famous
Sunni commentaries of the Qur'an:
b. Ka'b used to read '… then as to those whom you profit by for
an appointed period give them their dowries as appointed…' (Qur'an Chapter 4,
Verse 24) and this was also the recitation of Ibn 'Abbas."
al-Din al-Razi, Mafatih
al-Ghayb (Beirut, 1981), vol. 9 p. 53]
al-Qur'an al-'Azim (Beirut, 1987), vol. 2 p. 244]
footnote in Ibn Kathir's Tafsir
that the additional words indicated above, which are not part of
the Qur'an, were recited by these Companions of the Prophet (s) only by way of tafsir and
Mas'ud said: In the days of the Prophet (s) we used to recite,
'O our Messenger (Muhammad) deliver what has been sent down to
you from your Lord that
'Ali is the master of the believers if you do not, then you
have not delivered His message.' (Qur'an Chapter 5, Verse 67)
al-Din al-Suyuti, Durr
al-Manthur, vol. 2 p. 298]
this case as well, the part in italics is certainly not part of
the Qur'anic text, however the Companion Ibn Mas'ud used to
recite it in this way to explain the context of its revelation.
Q: But what about those
traditions that say a number of revealed verses are no longer
part of the Qur'an?
Shi'ah do not believe in the immunity of any writer, commentator
or narrator from mistakes, and, therefore, they do not take any
collection of hadith
to be completely valid and correct. The only book which is
completely immune from any mistake is the Qur'an.
These traditions are mostly considered as weak or
interpreted as referring to non-Qur'anic revelation.
is interesting to point out that there are numerous traditions
reported in Sahih
which allege that many verses of Qur'an are missing.
vol. 8 p. 208; Muslim, Al-Sahih,
vol. 3 p. 1317]
only that, these Sunni reports allege that two chapters from the
Qur'an are missing with one of them similar to the Chapter of
al-Bara'ah (chapter 9) in length!!!
Kitab al-Zakat, vol. 2 p. 726]
Sunni traditions even claim that the Chapter al-Ahzab (chapter
33) was as lengthy as the Chapter of al-Baqarah (chapter 2)!!!
The Chapter of al-Baqarah is the biggest Chapter of the Qur'an.
The traditions in Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim even detail some
of the missing verses. [Al-Bukhari, Al-Sahih,
vol. 8 p. 208]
fortunately the Shi'ah never accuse the Sunni brothers and
sisters of believing that the Quran is incomplete. We say that
either these Sunni reports are weak or fabricated.
is our belief that the Qur'an which Allah revealed to His
Prophet Muhammad (s) is
(the same as) the one between the two covers (daffatayn).
And it is that which is in the hands of the people, and is not
greater in extent than that… And
he who asserts that we say that it is greater in extent than
this (the present text) is a liar."
(Tehran: 1370 AH) p. 63; English translation, The
Shi'ite Creed, tr. A.A.A. Fyzee (Calcutta: 1942) p. 85]
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