Shee’ahs And The Qur’aan
All Muslims believe that the text of the Qur’aan as well as the order and arrangements of the verses and chapters are based upon revelation from Allaah. There is consensus amongst all Muslims that no alteration was ever made to the Qur’aan, and it today exists in the exactly the same way as it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). As Allaah says:
“Indeed We have sent down the Reminder, and indeed We will preserve it.” [al-Hijr 15:9]
However, the Shee’ah do not believe that the Qur’aan has been preserved from alteration. This is because the ones who preserved it, and transmitted it to us were the Sahaabah who received it directly from the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). The entire Muslim Ummah believes that these noble Companions were the vanguards of Islam and the best of all the believers. But according to the Shee’ah, all but a few of the Companions apostated after the death of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). Among the companions who the Shee’ah consider to be apostates are Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthmaan (radiyallaahu anhum). Given that Shee’ahs agree with Muslims that the Qur’aan we have today was collected, compiled and preserved by these three Caliphs, then it is impossible to have believe in the authenticity of the present day Qur’aan and at the same time, entertain such beliefs regarding those who preserved it.
The Book of at-Tabarsi
One of the most famous and respected Shee’ah scholars, from Najaf, Mirza Husain bin Muhammad Taqi An-Nawari At-Tabarsi, wrote in 1292 A.H. (1875) the infamous book Faslul-Khitaab fee Ithbatti Tahreefi Kitaab Rabbil-Arbaab (The Decisive Word on the Proof of Alteration of the Book of the Lord of Lords). In this book he compiled hundreds of texts written by Shee’ah scholars in different eras alleging that the Qur’aan has been tampered with, that there have been both additions to it and omissions from it.
In order to show their appreciation for his attempt to prove that the Qur’aan had been altered, the Shee’ahs buried him in one of their most prominent religious shrines, at the tomb of ‘Alee (radiyallaahu anhu) in Najaf.
Among the proofs offered by at-Tabarsi in his attempt to show that the Qur’aan had been altered, was a quotation from what the Shee’ahs consider to be a missing part of the Qur’aan, called by them Suratul-Wilaayah. It mentions the granting of wilaayah (sovereignty) to ‘Alee as follows:
Photocopy of the so-called Suratul-Wilaayah which the Shee’ah accuse the Sunni Muslims of deleting along with other Surahs from the original text of the Noble Qur’aan
Translation of the false verse:
“O’ you who believe, believe in the Prophet and the wali, the two whom we sent to guide you to the straight path. A prophet and wali who are of each other. And celebrate the praise of your Lord, and Ali is among the witnesses”
‘Proof’ Of Alleged Distortion Of The Qur’aan According To Shee’ah Sources
From the evidences that the Shee’ah bring are the following.
1. “On the authority of Abu Dharr al-Ghifari: “When the Holy Prophet passed away, ‘Alee gathered the Qur’aan and produced it to the Emigrants (al-Muhaajiroon) and the Helpers (al-Ansaar) as the Holy Prophet had bided him t 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 ‘Alee, take it back for we are not in need of it.’ ‘Alee took it back. Just then Zaid ibn Thabit, a prominent reciter of the Qur’aan appeared, and ‘Umar told him: ‘Ali was here a short while back with a Qur’aan which despises the Emigrants and the Helpers. I think we should compile such a Qur’aan wherein all these aspects are omitted.’ Zaid agreed with him, but he added: ‘Once I have completed the Qur’aan according to this method and ‘Alee 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 ‘Alee 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 ‘Alee to produce his Qur’aan. ‘Umar asked him: ‘O ‘Alee, produce the Qur’an which you showed Abu Bakr so that we may agree on it.’ At this, ‘Alee 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 Judgment: ‘We were unaware of it, You did not produce it.’ The Qur’aan 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 ‘Alee replied: ‘Yes, when the saviour of the time emerges, it will be produced and all the people will agree to it’.” 1
2. Jaabir reported that he heard Imaam Baqir saying: ‘No one can claim that he has compiled the Qur’aan as Allaah revealed except a liar. The only person to compile it and memorise it according to its revelation was ‘Alee ibn Abi Taalib and the Imaams who succeeded him.2
Examples Of Alleged Distortion Of The Qur’aan According To Shee’ah Sources
1. Allaah says in Surah Aali-Imraan (32): “Certainly Allaah has chosen Adam, Noah, the family of Abraham and the family of Imraan above the (families of the) worlds.”
Allamah Ali ibn Ibrahim AI-Qummi – one of the early Shee’ah commentators of the Qur’aan said concerning this verse: ‘The Imaam said: ‘The words: “The family of Muhammad” were also revealed along with “the family of Aali- Imraan.” They (i.e. Companions of the Prophet) removed the words “The family of Muhammad” from the original text (Al-Qummi’s commentary: 308).
2. Allaah says in Surah Taha (115): “And We had given Adam an order before, but he forgot and We did not find any resolve in him (to disobey the order).”
Imam Ja’far is reported to have said that Allaah had revealed this verse with the following words: “We had ordered Adam before with some words about Muhammad, Ali, Fatima, Hassan, Hussain and the Imams from their offspring but he (Adam) forgot.” Ja’far said: ‘By Allah, these were the words which were revealed to Muhammad.’ 3
3. Allaah says in Surah Muhammad (9): “That is because they resented what Allaah revealed, so Allaah in turn cancelled their deeds.”
al-Qummi has stated that Imaam Muhammad Baqir said that Jibreel had transmitted this verse as: ‘That is because they resented what Allaah revealed about ‘Alee.’ But then the apostates removed ‘Alee’s name (from the Qur’aan).4
Mullah Muhsin Kashani, an 11th century Shee’ah scholar comments on the above quoted statement: It is clear from all of these traditions and quotations from the Family of the Prophet that the present Qur’aan is not the complete Qur’aan which was revealed to the Prophet. In fact, there are verses that contradict that which was revealed; verses that have been distorted and places where omissions have been made such as the names of ‘Alee, the Family of Muhammad and, on several occasions, there were the names of the hypocrites. Moreover, the present order of the Qur’aan is not according to the preferred order of Allaah and His Messenger”. Ali ibn Ibrahim (a renowned Shia commentator) also holds this opinion.” 5
In addition, the Shee’ah belief that the many other verses of the Qur’aan have been tampered with including; 2:23, 2:59, 4:47, 4:66. 4:166, 4:168- 170, 15:41.16:92, 18:29, 20:115, 33:71, 42:13, 46:9, 47:26, 51:8-9, 67:29, 70:1-3, 73:11 and many more.
The Shee’ah Belief Regarding The Status Of The Present Qur’aan
The Shee’ahs believe that the real Qur’aan was entrusted by the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) but when the enemies did not believe in this ‘real Qur’aan’, ‘Alee (radiyallaahu anhu) concealed it and entrusted it to his successor Imaams. The eleventh Imaam handed the “Qur’aan” over to the twelfth Imaam – the underground and hidden Imaam. He is keeping the real Qur’aan in his custody, and when he will reappear, he will then reveal the real Qur’aan. The underground Imaam was only a child when he was entrusted with the Qur’aan for safe custody.
What Is The Mushaf Fatima
Perhaps the most important of the Shee’ah holy books after the Qur’aan is the “Mushaf Faatimah,” or the “Book of Faatimah.” The Shee’ah believe that after the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) died, Faatimah (radiyallaahu anha) took over the role of Prophethood by receiving divine inspiration. Faatimah (radiyallaahu anha) supposedly received divine inspiration, and she would then narrate these divine revelations to ‘Alee (radiyallaahu anhu) who would write it down. It should be noted that this is slander against Faatimah (radiyallaahu anha), and the Shee’ah are accusing her of creating a holy book after the Qur’aan and thereby acting as a Dajjal, or false prophet. See the following Shee’ah hadith from al-Kafi:
“The heretics will appear in the year one hundred twenty eight (745/746AD) because I have found it in the Mushaf of Faatimah (alayha as-salaam)” The narrator has said that he asked the Imaams (alayhim as-salaam), “What is Mushaf of Faatimah?” The Imaams (alayhim as-salaam) said, “When Allaah took the Holy Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) from this world, it caused such a degree of grief to Faatimah (alayha as-salaam) that only Allaah, the Most Holy, the Most High, knows its extent. Allaah then sent an angel to her to offer solace and speak to her. She complained about it to Amir al-Mu’minin ‘Alee (alayi assalaam who asked her to inform him whenever she would find the angel speak to her. She then informed him when the angel came to speak. Amir al-Mu’mineen ‘Alee (alayi as-salaam) then would write down all that he would hear of the conversations of the angel so much so that his notes took the shape of a whole book.” 6
In another ‘hadith’ it states: The Imaams (alayhim as-salaam) remained silent for a while and then said, “With us there is the book (Mushaf) of Faatimah, (alayha as-salaam). What do they know what Mushaf of Faatimah is?” The Imaam (alayhim as-salaam) said, “Mushaf of Faatimah is three times bigger than your Qur’aan. There is not even a single letter therein from your Qur’aan.” 7