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Monday, September 18, 2006

Shi'ite Belief that the present Qur'aan is fabricated

The Shi'ahs do not believe in the present Qur'an to be authentic for three reasons:

First reason: The first reason ties in with the Shi'ite belief that that all the Companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.), the transmitters of the Qur'an, were liars. In addition, they belief that the Imams of the ahl al-Bait were also liars, and used to observe taqiyyah (religious dissimulation).If all the Sahabah and the member of the Prophetic household were lairs, from whence did they receive the original Qur'an from the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.)?

Second reason: The Sahabah, the lairs and fibbers in Shi'ite estimation, narrated the Qur'an and were responsible for its propagation and widespread recitation. On the other hand, the Imams of the Ahl al-Bait did not have the privilige and the opportunity of narrating it or verifying it, how can they then accept the present Qur'an to be perfect and in its entirety?

Third reason: There are more than two hundred narrations (regarded as authentic by Shi'ahs) in Shi'ite primary sources which testify that the present Qur'an has been tampered with, some things added, and some omitted. Not one Shi'ite narration speaks of the veracity of the present Qur'an, and according to them, it only occupies the status of an isolated tradition (khabr wahid).

However, some Shi'ahs have rejected the notion that the present Qur'an is fabricated, and they quote four Shi'ite scholars in this regard: Sharif Murtada, Abu Ja'far Tusi, Abu 'Ali Tabarsi, and Shaikh Saduq.

Using the findings and statements of these four scholars is not valid as the edifice of Shi'ism rests upon the infallible Imams. Most of all the narrations attesting to the present skimpy state of the Qur'an originate from them. What weight does these four Shi'ite scholars hold in comparison to the old scholars and authorities of Shi'ism and their immutable Imams?

Even if the verdict of these four scholars are accepted, it has been found that they had employed the principle of taqiyyah when stating that the present Qur'an has not been fabricated. Husain ibn Muhammad Taqi al-Nuri al-Tabarsi, a Shi'ite scholar, has proven this for us. He says regarding their verdict: "None of the earlier scholars have concurred to their view." (Faslul Khitab fi Tahrif Kitab Rabb al-Arbab pge 33)

Husain ibn Muhammad Taqi al-Nuri al-Tabarsi further says that the majority of the Shi'ahs believe in the tampering of the Qur'an, and this is the stance of the majority. (Faslul Khitab fi Tahrif Kitab Rabb al-Arbab pge 32)

A few quotations to this effect is given from authentic Shi'i sources on the matter:

1. Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulaini on the authority of Jabir that he heard Abu Ja'far saying: "Whoever claims from amongst the people that he has collected the entire Qur'an as Allah has revealed it is a liar. Only 'Ali and the Imams after him had collected it and memorized it as Allah had revealed it." (Usul al-Kafi, Chapter that the Qur'an was not entirely collected except by the Imams, and they only have all knowledge)

2. Kulaini has narrated on the authority of Salim ibn Salamah who said: "A person recited a portion of the Qur'an to Abu 'Abdullah (Imam Ja'far), and I heard that a few words of the Qur'an which the other people did not recite. At this, Imam Ja'far told him: "Refrain from reciting this way, recite like how the common people recite it until the appearance of the saviour. When he appears, recite the Qur'an to its fullest. I will then reveal the manuscript which 'Ali had written. It is the same manuscript, after writing it, he presented it to the people saying: "This is the Book of Allah as was revealed upon Muhammad (S.A.W.). I have gathered it from the tablets." The people told him: "We already have a manuscript in which the entire Qur'an has been collected. We are not in need of yours." At this, 'Ali told them: "By Allah, I will never show it to you after this day. I was charged to inform you of it after I collected it so that you may recite it." (Usul al-Kafi, Indian edition, pge 68)

3. Kulaini has again narrated on the authority of Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Nasr who said: "Abu al-Hasan gave me a manuscript and told me to see what was written therein. I opened it, and under the verse "Those who disbelieve will not??.." were written the names of seventy Quraishites along with the names of their father." (Usul al-Kafi, Indian edition, pge 680)

4. Kulaini again narrates that Abu 'Abdulah said: "Jibra'il descended upon Muhammad with the following verse in this way: "O people of the Book, bring faith in what we have revealed regarding 'Ali, the magnificent light." (Ibid)

5. Some of the Shi'ahs have accused Sayyidian 'Uthman that he had destroyed the original Qur'an by burning it, and all the chapters which contained the virtues of 'Ali and the ahl al-Bait were also destroyed. From amongst these portions is the chapter of wilayat as follows: "In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, Most Merciful. O you who believe, bring faith on the two lights which We have revealed. They will recite My verses to you and will warn you of the punishment of a terrible day. These two lights are of each other, and I am All-Hearing All-Knowing." (Faslul Khitab fi Tahrif Kitab Rabb al-Arbab pge 180)

6. Ahmad ibn Abu Talib Tibirsi narrates on the authority of Abu Dharr al-Ghifari (R.A.): "When the Holy Prophet passed away, 'Ali gathered the Qur'an and produced it to the Emigrants (Muhajirun) and the Helpers (Ansar) as the Holy Prophet had bided him to do so. When Abu Bakr opened the first page, he found some denunciation of the Quraish tribe. At this 'Umar leapt forward and said: "O 'Ali, take it back for we are not in need of it." 'Ali took it back. Just then Zaid ibn Thabit, a prominent reciter of the Qur'an appeared, and 'Umar told him: "'Ali was here a short while back with a Qur'an which despises the Emigrants and the Helpers. I think we should compile such a Qur'an wherein all these aspects are omitted." Zaid agreed with him, but he added: "Once I have completed the Qur'an according to this method and 'Ali sees it, will your version be not invalidated?" 'Umar then asked: "What ruse should we employ then?" Zaid replied: "You know better of such ruses." At this 'Umar said: "There is no ruse but to kill 'Ali and obtain comfort from him in this way." 'Umar then thought of having him killed by Khalid ibn al-Walid, but this plan failed. When 'Umar assumed the leadership after some time, the people asked 'Ali to produce his Qur'an. 'Umar asked him: "O 'Ali, produce the Qur'an which you showed Abu Bakr so that we may agree on it." At this, 'Ali said: "This is not possible, I only showed it to Abu Bakr so that the proof may be established on you people, and so that you may not say on the day of Judgement: "We were unaware of it," "You did not produce it." The Qur'an in my possession will not be touched except by the pure, and the designated ones of my family." 'Umar asked: "Is the time known when it will be produced." Upon this 'Ali replied: "Yes, when the saviour of times emerge, it will be produced and all the people will agree to it." (Al-Ihtijaj, Najaf, pge 225. Also see Tafsir al-Safi pge 11, and Fasl al-Khitab pge 7)

7. Husain al-Nuri al-Tabarsi says: "It has been narrated from many of the Rawafid of times gone by that the present Qur'an is not the one which was revealed upon Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.). it has been altered, and many words added on and omitted." (Faslul Khitab fi Tahrif Kitab Rabb al-Arbab pge 32)

Khalid Dhorat (Mawlana)

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