Chapter Six: Answering some of Nasibi objections
In this chapter we shall refute Nasibi objections wherein they have tirelessly sought to prove that the Shia believe that the Quran has been a victim of tahreef. Just in case Nawasib (as is their habit copy and past what we say in this chjapter to prove that AA believe in tahreef) we wish to make it clear that the italix paragraph under each objection are the common objections raised by our opponents, and we have paraphrased what they typically accuse us of.
Objection one: The Quran of Imam Ali (as) differed from the present version
Some hadiths demonstrate that Maula Ali (as) had a Quran tthat differed from the present day manuscript and whilst he tried to get his manuscript endorsed, the public rejected it. The different Quran means that the present Quran is corrupted, hence tahreef has occurred
Whilst such hadiths do exist, they are not in the exclusive domain of the Shia. Similar traditions can also be located in authentic Sunni sources that inform us that following the demise of the Prophet (s) Ali bin Abi Talib (as) separated himself from others and started compiling the Holy Quran.
According to some hadiths like the one mentioned in Tafseer Ayashi, it seems that Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (as) was acting on the instructions of the Holy Prophet (s) and other than participation on prayer gathering, he would remain aloof from the people until this task was completed.
Such traditions do not demonstrate that there has been Tahreef in the Quran. The Shia Ulema have commented on such hadiths making it clear that when Ali (as) compiled the Quran the only difference between the version of Imam Ali (as) and the present version, was that his version was compiled in accordance with the sequence of revelation with the abrogated verses were written first followed by the abrogating verses with some of the verses their tafseer that included details of the relevant people such as the bad deeds of the Muhajir and Ansar. Although those tafseer, meanings, abrogation were penned by Ali bin Abi Talib (as) they were according to the instructions of the Holy Prophet (s). It is clear that this difference in compilation a change in the original words or parts of the Quran.
The only difference between the Quran complied by Ali bin Abi Talib (as) and the present version was that there were some matters written in the version of Ali (as) under their tafseer that are not present in the present version and the additional texts in tafseer were not additions to the original Quran rather they were Hadith e Qudsi and it is a fact that Hadith e Qudsi is not a Quran as has been elaborated by Sheikh Saduq (rh) in his esteemed work “Al-I’tiqad ul-Imamiyyah page 93”. Also
Sheikh Mufid (rh) whilst elaborating on this stated that:
The tafseer, meanings and taweel present in the Quran compiled by Ali (as) whilst through divine words but were not a part of the Quran and that Tafseer and Taweel has been referred to the Quran and if somebody objects that if that was Tafseer and Taweel then how can it then be called the Quran as the Taweel of the Quran is not a part of the Quran. We will cite the following verse of Holy Quran in reply of such a person.
[ 20:114] Supremely exalted is therefore Allah, the King, the Truth, and do not make haste with the Quran before its revelation is made complete to you and say: O my Lord ! increase me in knowledge.
Awail al Maqalaat by Shaykh al Mufid, page 55
Sayed Khoie (rh) states
“Although it is true that the version of Ali’s Quran had some texts that are not in the present Quran this does not mean that Ameer al Momineen (as) had an additional Quran that is not in the present Quran rather that addition means that this version contained divinely revealed Tafseer and Taweel in it that is not present in the existing Quran”
Al Bayan fi Tafseer al Quran, page 223
Allamah Taba Tabayee stated:
“The Quranic compilation by Ali (as) and his presenting it before the people does not prove that there were any differences in respect of Furu and Usool between the present Quran and the Quran compiled by Ali (as). Yes there might be differences in the sequence of verses and Surahs. But a difference in the true principle of the Deen does not appear.
Had there been any difference in principles then he would have proved it with arguments at the time he offered his version and would have defended his stance. He would have not remained silent at this point over its rejection by the people. Moreover when he protested about the Wilayah and other matters and recited verses and Surahs, there was no such report recorded of there being any difference between his Quran and the present one. Additionally he didn’t make reference to any verse or Surah being lost or distorted”
Al Mizan, Volume 12 page 116
Imam of Ahle Sunnah Sharastani has written in the Muqqaddamah [initial arguments] of his tafseer that there was a consensus amongst all the Sahaba that the Ahlebayt were specialists in the field of Quranic knowledge. That is why they would ask Ali whether he was specialist in any other thing besides the Quran, such questioning evidences an ijmah of the Sahaba that the knowledge of the Quran, its Taweel and Tanzeel lay with the Ahlebayt. [Tareekh e Quran, page 25-26]. Some scholars of Ahle Sunnah have also stated that the Quran compiled by Ali (as) incorprated various disciplines of knowledge. (At Tasheel al Uloom al Tanzeel, Volume 1 Page 3).
Imam Ali (as) had in fact told a Zindeeq:
“I have written a complete book (Quran) that comprises of Tanzeel, Taweel, Muhakkim , Mtashaba, abrogated, abrogating and not a single letter has been lost from it”
Asafi, Volume 1 page 42
By bringing these materials together we can safely conclude that any Nasabi claim that the Quran compiled by Imam Ali (as) differed in length and text from the present Quran is a shameless liar.
Some of the hadiths demonstrate that the Quran during the era of Imam Mahdi (as) shall differ from the existing Quran and such traditions casr doubts on the perfection of the existing Quran. Such Hadiths are as follows:
A man said that someone was reciting the Quran in the company of Imam Ja’far. The narrator said that he heard certain verses in the recitation which were not according to the recitation of the people. Imam Ja’far told the person reciting: ‘Do not recite like this. Recite as the people recite until the (promised) Mahdi arrives. When the Mahdi arrives, he will recite the Quran according to its original revelation and the Qu,ran compiled by Ali will be brought forward. (Ibid: 2.622)
“When the Qa-im (i.e. Imam Mahdi) appears, he will recite the book of Allah Azza Wa Jal its correct from and he will bring out that Mushaf (Qur’an) which Ali- alayhis salam wrote.” (Al-Kafi)
Also proud of Nasbism Meher Mianwali
A person read a portion of the Qur-aan in the presence of Imaam Ja’far. The imaam said to him: ” Do not read this Qur-aan. Read in the manner that the people read (i.e., the present day Qur-aan) till the Mahdii appears. When the Mahdi appears, he will read the original Qur-aan. He will bring forward that Qur-aan which ‘Alii, ‘Alayhis Salaam, wrote.”–Ussul Kaafi, page 632, vol.
Our opponents should know that all of these tradfitiona are weak and unreliable and hence have no value in the Shia madhab. The narrator of this hadith is Salim bin Samat or Salim bin Abi Salma and just one inspection of a Shia book of Rijal will enable you to recognize his unreliability. He has been termed weak by the prominent Ulemah of Shia such as Ibn Ghazairi, Najashi and Allamah Hilli (rh). See Tanqeh al Maqal, Volume 2 page 4.
Even if were (for arguments sake) to accept these traditions they do not prove that the Quran during the time of Imam Mahdi (as) shall differ from the existing Quran rather it means that the sequence and compilation of the version of Imam Mahdi (as) will be different the present Quran. This version shall contain the original tafseer in relation to its meaning and shall contain all those virtues that were present in the version complied by Imam Ali (as) which is a fact mentioned in all the cited traditions.
In conclusion this objection does not differ much to the first objection raised by the Nawasib against Shia of Ali (as) wherein they claim Imam Ali (as) had a different Quran, an objection that we have already refuted. The replies we have there can be applied here also. The version of the Quran that shall be brought by Imam Mahdi (as) will not differ in size / words / addition / deletion to the present Quran. It shall be same the only difference between the two will be in their tafseer and sequence of revelation.
Objection Three: This Ummah shall replicate the incidents of past nations
When the Taurah and Anjeel have been corrupted, you have admit likewise with the Quran since Prophet (s) had said that the incidents which took place in Bani Israil will also take place in his ummah. In light of thisn Hadith we have to accept tahreef has existed, otherwise this hadith becomes meaningless.
The renowned Shia research scholar Sayed al Khoie in Al-Bayan fi Tafseer al Quran, page 221 submitted several replies to such an allegation.
- All of the hadiths on this topic are not practicable in the field of knowledge as they are dubious.
- Even if such hadiths were considered Sahih it would mean that Tehref of the meanings has been done in the Quran because as this was the type of Tahreef that took place in Taurah and Anjeel whilst all Muslims unanimously believe that this type of Tahreef did not happen with the Quran.
- There are numerous historical texts wherein Bani Israil and other past nations committed acts that were not replicated with the nation of the Holy Prophet (s) like the worshipping of the golden calf, Bani Israil being exiled for forty years, the punishment of Firown and his comrades, the rulership of Suleman over Jins and humans, the death of Harun the vizier of Musa during his life. There are thousands of other incidents that took place in previous nations but were not mimicked in the ummah of our Prophet (s). This proves that the cited hadith should not be understood literally. Therefore from all hadiths on this topic the meaning which will be derived is whilst some incidents of past nations might have take place in this nation it does not apply to each and every incident.
Allamah Sayed Taba Tabayee (rh) has also explained the meaning of this hadith in the same manner. See Tafseer al Mizan, Volume 12 page 120.
Objection Four: Hadith about Tahreef in the Quran are Matawatir
When some Shia muhaddathin saw that there were some hadiths in the prominent Shia books implying Tahreef in the Quran some scholars were of the view that such traditions were muttawatir especially the Akhbari ulema who accept every tradition attributed to the Imams. Amongst them were the scholar Al Jazairi who said that there may be Tahreef in punctuations.
A group of our prominent scholars that includes some Akhbaris have rejected such a notion and have said that hadiths about Tahreef are Ahad therefore it is impossible to rely on them in respect of belief [eitaqaad].
Sheikh al Taifa i.e Tusi (rh) states that are many traditions demonstrating that Tahreef has been done with some Quranic verses and depicting changes. All of these reports are Wahid that are neither applicable in the field of knowledge nor in deeds. Therefore it is better to abandon them and to avoid occupying one’s time with them.
Sheikh Majlisi (rh) states that the reports about Tahreef are Ahaad and one cannot believe in the authenticity of them in comparison to Allah (swt).
In addition to the above two, other prominent scholars of the Shia Athna Ashari school have echoed similar sentiments.
- Shia evidences against the possibility of distortion in Quran
- Shia scholars about the completeness of Quran
- Analyzing some of the Shia reports about Tahreef
- Answering some of Nasibi objections
- Sunni reports about additions in Quran
- Sunni reports about deletions from the Quran
- Sunni reports about mistakes & changes in Quran
- No public Twitter messages.