However, a thorough and critical study of the stories regarding the collection of the Qur'an, along with the external and internal evidences given above, proves beyond doubt that to credit the First, Second or Third Caliphs, or their deputies, with the collection of the Qiir'an is nothing but stories of wishflil thinking, the result of unauthorised, unwarranted and unnecessary attempts by them to produce a collection of their own and thereby gain honour and distinction.
These attempts failed miserably, were "much ado about nothing" and the collections disappeared into oblivion. The only thing supported by history is the bundle which was left under the bed of a lady and was paitly consumed by a goat. Thank God that the Holy Qur'an of the lifetime of the Holy Prophet remained the same, unrivalled by any in its text and its arrangement.
The only thing which is to the credit of Osman is that he ordered copies of the Qur'an to be made in accordance with the recitation which was current during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet, in an attempt to get rid of all the other recitations adopted by reciters of their own choice. However, these recitations were not entirely stopped, and have come down to us in the form of the seven or ten recitations of the Holy Book. Even this act of Osman was not entirely approved of by many Muslims and earned for him the tifle "Harraqul Mosaahif' Crhe Burner of the Scriptures).
of course, the flitile attempt of the ruling patty and the irresponsible utterances of its members gave rise to criticisrus of the Holy Prophet and the Holy Qur'an which have even deluded a few Shia traditionalists. Therefore, to remove, once and for all, all doubts about the views held by the Shia school about the Holy Qur'an now in our possession, we will deal with all the Shia traditions which question the completeness and the arrangement of the existing version of the Holy Qur'an.
It is said that the number of Shia traditions about the Holy Imams of the Ahiul-Bait are so many that there is no doubt that some at least are reliable and worthy of consideration. We do not reject these traditions entirely upon the unreliability of the narrators, although most of these traditions are related by persons such as Ahmed ibne Muhanunad~-Sayyari and Mi ibne Muned Kufi, the first of whom was accused of heresy and the second accused of lies and heresy. However, our concern here is the text of these accounts which we must classif~~ into several groups:
The first are those in which the word '9Tahreef' (change) has been used; of these there are twenty, but we refer here to only eight.
1 Mi ibne lbrahim~-Qiimmi relates from Ab a Zar'e Ghaffari that the Holy Prophet, in conunenting on the verse "Yauma Tabyazzat wojoohohum", said:
On the Resurrection Day my people will come to me under five different standards and I will ask the group under each standard about what they have done with the Two Precious Legacies which I left among you, ie. The Thaqalain?
The people under the first standard will reply, "Of the two precious things which you left behind, the greater one we have distorted and thrown behind our backs and ignored, and the lesser one we opposed or hated" The group under the second standard will reply, "Of the Two Pre~ious Ones, the greater (the Qur'an) we distorted and tore to pieces and went against it, and the lesser one we opposed and waged war against it"
2 Thne Taoos and Seyyed Nairnatullali Jazairi, the two prominent Shia traditionalists relate a lengthy tradition that the Holy Prophet declared to Hozaifatibnul Yamaani that the person who profanes the sanctuary of Islam would make people deviate from the path of God, would distort His Book and would alter the Sunnat (traditions) of the Holy Prophet.
3 Sa'd ibne Abdullah-e-Qummi quotes the Fifth Holy Imam of the Ahiul-Bait, Muhammad ibne Ali Al-Baqir, that the Holy Prophet called th~ people of Mina and said:
Oh people! I am leaving among you Two precious things and if ye adhere to these ye will never go astray: namely the Book of God and my AhIul- Bait. And, beside these Two, here is the Ka'ba, the Sanctuary (the Holy House)
Then the Holy Imam said' "The Book they have distorted, the Jtrat (the AhIul-Bait) they have killed and the Ka'ba they have destroyed, and all the things of God that were with them they threw away and detached themselves from them."
4 Shaikh-e-Sadooq asserts in his Khisaal, through Jabir ibne Abdullab-e-Ansari, that the Holy Prophet said that on the Resurrection Day three entities would complain, the Guran, the Mosque and the Itrat The Quran would say, "Oh my Lord! They distorted me and tore me to pieces." The Mosque would say, "Oh my Lord! They kept me and spoiled me." The Itrat would say, "Oh my Lord! They killed us, drove us out of our homes and made us wander hither and thither."
5 The tradition told by Kaafi and Sadooq from Mi ibne Sowaid says that he wrote to the Seventh Holy 'main, Musa ibne Jafar al-Kazim, while he was in prison and received the following reply: "They were ent"usted with the Book of God and they distorted and altered it."
6 Thne Shhhr Aashoob tells that the Third Holy 'main, Husain ibue Mi, while addressing the enemy army on the day of Aashoora, said:
Ye are of the same rebellious party and the remnant of the infidel allies (against the Holy Prophet), and the remnant of those who threw out the Book (the Holy Qur'an) and were inspired by Satan and the gang of criminals and of those who distorted the Book
7 In the book, Kacirnilur Ziyarah it is said that the Sixth Holy 'main, Jafar ibne Muhammad As-Sadiq, prescribed the following prayer for the pilgrims who entered the shrine of the Holy Irnam~ Hnaain: "Oh God! Curse those who deny Thy Prophets, destroyed Thy House (the Ka'ba) and distorted Thy Book."
8 It is said that the Sixth Holy 'main~ Jafar ibne Muhammad As-Sadiq, said, "The masters of the Arabic language distorted the Word of God from its proper place."
The rest of the twenty traditionalists have also used the words "Talneef" and "Tagh'eer" along the same lines.
These traditions and others of their liind can be read in the light of the words of the Holy 'main MUhaImnad~-Baqir: "They threw away the Book of God by confinning the letter, but altering and distorting its scope and significance." This means that there was no change in the lettering of the Qur'an by omission, addition or alteration,
but the change took place in the significance, interpretation and application of its texL There is no doubt that the words "Thhreef, 1#Taghfeey and "Tabdeel", as used in these traditions, meant nothing but the misuse and misinterpretation of the contents of the Qur'an. This fact is flilly confirmed in the history of the development of Islamic thought. The Holy Prophet was expecting this when he said on the occasion of his rejection of three divorces in one session: 11Do they play with the Book of God when 1 am still present among them?"
There are many more examples of misinterpretation and misuse of the contents of the Book of God in every generation down to present times.
The last tradition quoted here supports the fact that many who think themselves to be masters of the Arabic language try to interpret the Holy Book, destroying the real significance and distorting the wording, even to the extent of denying the miracles wrought by the prophets of God. The best example of misinterpretation and distortion are the attempts by the anti- Ahiul-Bait commentators to distort the significance of the verses relating to the divine excellence of the Holy Ones of the House of the Holy Prophet and the statns they have held since the earliest days of Islam.
An example of the distortion of the scope and significance of the Our'an is verse 33:33 (Aayaye Tat'heer) which leaves no room for the inclusion of the wives of the Holy Prophet in the Ahiul-Bait or any one other than the Abna 'dna, Nisa 'dna and the Anfosona of verse 3:60 (Mubahila). Especially if the verses preceding and following verse 33:33 are taken into account and the "erses of the Sura~-Tahreem dealing with the wives of the Holy Prophet, verse 33:33 must be seen as applicable only to those who have attained the hig~hest stage of accomplishment.
In fact the wives of the Holy Prophet were subjected to severe wannings of God, and two of them were called upon to repent (66:4) on account of their deviation from the right course, and there were other Muslim women much better than they in every respect (66:5). Had these wives been of the standard required in verse 33:33, they would have been included among the Nisa 'dna of 3:60 (Mubahila).
Moreover, the Holy Prophet expressly pointed out, in both 3:60 (Mubahila) and 33:33 (Tat'heer), that Mi, Fatema, Hasan and Husain alone were his Alilul-Bait and his Itrat. This statement of the Holy Prophet has been acknowledged to be authentic almost unanimously by almost all the Muslim world. The distortion of the implication of these two important verses (3:60 and 33:33),
which give Mi, Fatema, Hasan and Humin the highest divine status and rank next only to the Holy Prophet, exclusive of his wives and all other relatives and companions, should be examined: The anti-Ahiul-Bait group nusinterpret 33:33 as being in line with other verses relating to the wives of the Holy Prophet, even though the masculine pronoun in 33:33 separates it from the verses preceding and following it which deal with the wannings to the wives of the Holy Prophet about their misbehaviour. In spite of the exclusive expression of the Hbly Prophet about the members of the Aayaye Tat'heer 33:33 and the A~yaye Mubahila 3:60, they distort the exclusive expression to mean "also", or "besides the wives" This distortion has been continued from the early commentators right up to the present day.
The significance of Anfosona in Mubahila 3:60, which identifies "ourselves" with the person of the Holy Prophet, is supported by the known declaration of the Holy Prophet, "Mi is of me and I am of Mi". But they distort it by identiiying "ourselves" as meaning all Muslims in general. But, since it is known that only Mi was Anfosona, Fatema Nisa'ana and Husainain Abna'ana, this distortion would mean that the other wives, relatives and companions of the Holy Prophet were not even his people.
For flirther understanding of the distortions of the Holy Quran, look at the verses 3:32, 5:55, 4:54, 33:33, 35:31-2, 42:23, and all the passages dealing with the distinction between "Aale Ibrahim", and also the passages which deny the position of opponents of the Ahiul-Bait, particularly verse 9:40 (Aayaye Ghar) and the verses which clearly show that the prophets of God inherit and leave behind legacies to their issue, and the verses which contradict those who try to depri~ Fatema of her right.
These are only a few of the' many distortions against which the Holy Irmuns of the House of the Holy Prophet have had to protest, both in private and in public. The Holy Imam Husain spoke in the field of Karbala, referring to this distortion of the Holy Qur'an. And Yazeed's quoting of the verse 3:25 when the Ahiul-Bait was brought to him as his captives was a blatant attempt to distort the Word of God, suggesting that the status which God confers on whom he will in the Spiritual Kingdom as mearung temporal and worldly power; this was refuted by the Holy Lady Zainab, the daughter of Mi and Fatema, one of the captives, who spoke to the court of Yazeed. This distortion has been one of the fundamental principles in the Theory of Goverunient in Islam.
The second group of traditions is that which claims that in some verses of the Holy Qur'an the name of Mi, in particular, or of other members of the Holy Ahiul-Balt in general, were ori-iY mentioned but were omitted or altered later on. These traditions are of two kinds:
I The tradition from Kaafi that in verse 2:23, after the phrase "Ala Abdina" , was the phrase "Fl Aliyyln" which was later omitted.
2 There is a tradition from both the Sunni and Shia schools that, in verse 5:67 after the phrase ililaikan there was the phrase "Fl aliyyjflN, which was later omitted.
3 The author of the Faslul-Khitab, on the authority of Alirned ibne ~ (accued of heresy), says that "allyva" in verse 15:41 "Inna haara slraaton aialyya if was originally "Allyvin."
One may lind traditions of a similar nature indicating the omission or the alteration of the name Ali in some other passages in books such as the Tafseer~lbne Foraat or the spurious commentary incorrectly attributed to the Eleventh Holy Imam, Haaan ibne Mi Al-Askari (for which Sahl ibne AhIned Deebaji is accused).
However, regarding the first, although it is in Kaafl, the most authentic book of the traditions of the Shias, it is to be totally rejected because of the conte:::. It is unanimously agreed by all Muslinis that verse 2:23 is an ever~urrent challenge to all who doubt the divine nature of the Book, in part or in whole, to bring a chapter of the kind ~without restriction to a particular part of it. If there had been such a restricting phrase as "Fl Ahyy In", the challenge as a whole would fall flat and the verse itseff would asso become meaningless. Those who doubted the divine origin of the Holy Qur'an did so not merely because of the association of the name of Mi. Secondly, Mi's name was not mentioned anywhere else in the Holy Qur'an to raise these doubts.
Thirdly, if Mi's name had been mentioned, it would have been known to all those who had heard it from the Holy Prophet, or from the other Sahubas, and would have come down to us, not just through a solitary, unauthentic chain of traditions. It should be noted that the authenticity of Kaafi does not mean the genuineness of everything therein.
There are conflicting traditions also in it. And there are traditions against the facts of history, particularly in the Rauza-e-Kaafi. And, as we have already said, no hook of Islamic traditions of any school can compete in authenticity with the Holy Qur'an. Hence any report lacking that degree of authenticity can never be considered as part of the Qur'an. Moreover, this sort of tradition is contradicted by the authentic traditions of Kaafi itself on the authority of Aha Baseer, who says:
I asked the Sixth Holy Imam Jafar ibne Muhammad As- Sadiq about verse 4:59 which deals with Olil-Amr and he said that it was revealed about Ali, Hasan and Husain.
Then he told the Holy 'main that people say: "If it is so, then why were Ali and the people of his house not mentioned by name in the Qur'an." To this the 'main replied:
Tell them, the daily prayer "Salat" is mentioned in the Qur'an in several places, but nothing of the number of Rak'ats in each prayer has been given. It was for the Prophet to explain the details. And the same is the case with the details about Haj, Zakat, Saum, etc., which were left to the Prophet to explain. Likewise, it was the duty of the Prophet to explain who are the people qualified to be termed "Olil-Amr", obedience to whom would be as compulsory as obedience to the Prophet,
next to obedience to God And the Prophet did explain when it was demanded, the last 'being the declaration of Ghadeer-e-Khum which left no room for doubt or ambiguity But those who were determined to doubt and to create doubts in others did all in their power to create such doubts. Nevertheless, they did not succeed.
This tradition contradicts all other traditions which suggest that Ali's name, or that of Hasan, Husain or Fatema, were revealed in the text of the Qur'an but later dropped. Such traditions can be interpreted to mean that these holy names were mentioned as a commentary to the text, as in verse 5:67 mentioned in Number 2 above. Traditions that would not sustain such an interpretation should be totally rejected as being against the Qur'an and the authentic traditions.
Regarding the third tradition, assuming the tradition to be true, it does not convey any particular distinction or qualification for Ali which he did not already possess, particularly if the context is considered. Ali that it proves is that Ali is one of those who do not follow Satan - which is no great distinction for any righteous one. In the second place, Siyyari, whom the author of Faslul-Khitab quotes, did not say that here "Aliyyin" is a proper noun in the possessive case,
as in another recitation of this verse "Aliyyon" is used as an adjective qualifying "Siraat" in verse 15:41. It is more likely that Siyyari, with his ultra views, intended to say that, although "Ali" is used here as an adjective, it means Ali, and not only here wherever the word "Ali" is used in the Qur'an as an adjective. According to the Ultra-Shiaites, Ali is meant. And according to them, the Holy Prophet named him Ali by divine command. Hence the name carries the same quality as the name Muhammad. And whatever is called by God "Ali", as an adjective, must be associated with Ali.
There are traditions which show that "Aale Muhammad" was originally mentioned in some passages of the Holy Qur'an, and omitted or altered lately, for example the traditions narrated by Ayashi that in 3:32 and 3:33, alter "Aale Ibrahim" there was "Aale Muhammad" instead of "Aale Imran", the former being omitted and the latter inserted. Such a tradition, if it be true, means not only omission but also the addition of non-Qur9anic mailer in the Qur'an. This is against the unanimous verdict of all schools, particularly the Ithne-Ashari School.
Besides being reported by a single reporter (which is unacceptable as already pointed out), the insertion of the term 'A ale Muhammad" instead of "Aale Imran" would exclude Ali from "Aale Muhammad" thereby denying the fact as well as the Shia faith, because of the subsequent appositional phrase, "Zurriaton Ba'zoha mm Ba'z", as Ali is not a descendant of Muhammad;
and if the subsequent phrase is discarded, the term "Aale Muhammad" will include not only the members of the family, but all the followers as in the case of "Aale Firaun" (3:32, 33). However, in the case of the present version of the Qur'an, both Muhammad and Ali, along with their issue, are included in "Aale Ibrahim" (descendants of Abraham).
There is another tradition claiming that in 26:226, after "Zalamo" the term "Aale Muhammad" was included. If true, this would restrict the condemnation of injustice to the case of "Aale Muhammad" only, and not to others, which is against the spirit of the Qur'an about the universal justice of God, that whoever commits injustice is punishable, and goes against the words of Ali, "It is easier for Ali to bear all sorts of tortures than to meet God while he has committed injustice to any one of his creatures." It is likely that the words, "Aale Muhammad" were a commentary to show the seriousness of injustice to holy people.
Another tradition deals with verse 37:130 which shows that, instead of "Ilyaseen" there were the words "Aale Yaseen". Suffice it here to say that it is totally against the context which deals with "Ilyas1' inverse 123:132.
There are also some single traditions dealing with the word "Ummat" used in various passages in the Qur'an giving the duties and qualifications required of leading persons. The tradition suggests that, instead of "Ummat", the word was "A 'imma" in verses 2:143, 2:128, 3:103, 109 Rnv. where the word "Ummat" is used in the sense of Imam. The tradition is interpreted as meaning that the word "Ummat" meant "A'imma".
There is another kind of tradition dealing with the word, "Imaman wa Rahmat" in verse 11:17 suggested that, in the original arrangement, "Imaman wa Rahmat" came alter "Shaahidun minh" before qualifying "Shaahid" and not "Kitaabe Musa". We have dealt with this and proved that "Imaman wa Rahmat" in the present position qualifies both "Kitaabe Musa" and "Shaahid" The suggested arrangement is absurd; it runs contrary to the Qur'an itself and to the commentaries of the Holy Ahlul-Bait, as "Kitaabe Musa" is qualified in "Imaman wa Rahmat" 46:12.
Another tradition of this nature deals with 25:74, claiming that, in the place of the present "Waj'alna lil Muttaqeen Imama" were the words "Waj'al lana minal Muttaqeen Imama". A glance at this passage will show the absurdity of the claim and the soundness of the present verses. The suggested version would reduce the position of the persons referred to by the personal pronoun "Na" meaning "us" to the position of praying to have a leader from among the pious ones,
in which case the infallible Imam would be excluded from "Na", and could be the prayer of an ordinary man, while in the present version the pronoun means only the infallible persons who are fit to be leaders of the pious and not led by another. In either case, the restriction in the meaning of the personal pronoun is unavoidable. In the suggested version, the position of Imam is reduced to that of an ordinary pious one Muttaqi while, in the present version, the Imam prays for the post of "Imamul-Muttaqeen" as Abraham prayed for his "Zurriat" (2:124).
There are traditions which claim that there were omissions or alterations in favour of the Ahlul-Bait. But a thorough study shows them to be either the work of a foolish friend or a crafty enemy who wanted to damage the reputation of the Holy 'mains of the Ahlul-Bait and the unique status of the Holy Qur'an.
There are traditions which are quite unacceptable, such as that Ali ibne Ibrahim narrates through his chain from Horrais from the Sixth Holy 'main Jafar ibne Muhammad As-Sadiq that the Imam read the last portion of the Sura-Fateha as follows: "Sirata man an'amta alaihim, Ghairil Maghzoobe alaihim wa gahriz Zaalleen", that is, he used the relative pronoun "Man" and, instead of "Ia" before "Zaalleen", he used "Ghair". It is obvious that this imagined recitation does not differ from the present recitation in substance,
but it is so absurd that one can only ask why would some one like Ali ibne Ibrahim relate such nonsense. The Fatehatul Kitab is a chapter recited by the Muslims daily. There is no prayer without the recital of the Fatehatul Kitab, so it is impossible for the correct version to escape the memory of any Muslim over the age of five years. If a Muslim cannot retain one Sura of Fateha correctly, we have to read a Fateha on Islam!
There is another group of traditions in support of Tahreef indicating that the Qur'an contains different sections, sections dealing with the Ahlul-Bait, their enemies, the exemplary events of old times, and the laws and precepts of Islam It is obvious that these kinds of traditions have nothing to do with Tahreef, ie. omission, alteration or addition. It refers to the applicability of the subject matter, and not its arrangement. As such it does not convey more than is said in the celebrated Ziarate-Jaamiah, "Wherever, or whenever anything good is mentioned, it applies to you as its origin,
its development, its source and its final phase." The traditions narrated in this connection by Ayashi in his commentary confirm what has been said, that the names of the Ahlul-Bait were not mentioned in the Qur'an, and passages of the Qur'an should be restricted to persons or occasions relating to its revelation. He says, through his chain from the Fifth Holy 'main, that he said, "The Qur'an was revealed in three groups, one-third about us and our devotees,
and one-third about our enemies and the enemies of those before us (the prophets and the righteous ones.)" The third was about law, precepts and exemplary narrations. The 'main said that a passage revealed about some persons would be restricted to those persons and would lose its applicability with the death of the persons. But the applicability of the Qur'an continues to be valid so long as the heavens and the earth remain. For every person there is a passage in the Qur'an which applies to him, good or bad. The same 'main is reported by Ayashi to have said, "Whenever a follower of Islam is said to be virtuous, We are meant; and whenever some one is said to be wicked, even in the past, our enemies are meant."
There is another tradition from the Sixth Holy 'main related by Ayashi that, if the Qur'an is read as it was revealed, one would find us named therein. This means that if one reads the Qur'an studiously, without prejudice, he would realise the exclusive status given to them by the Qur'an. For example, in verse 3:60, there is no doubt that nobody's name has been mentioned in the verse,
but there is no doubt that nobody else is meant by the verse except Hasan, Husain, Fatema and Ali respectively. And it is natural that only these can be said to be the People of the House and the members of the family. Therefore, whatever God has said in the Qur'an about the Ahlul-Bait and the chosen members of the Aale-Ibrahim applies to these people to the exclusion of all others. Instead of mentioning names, the Qur'an in places refereed to them by the traditions already discussed. God has introduced them in a manner which is much more effective than merely mentioning their names.
The fifth group of traditions assert that a large portion of the Qur'an has been omitted and some non-Qur'anic material has been inserted into the present version. An outstanding example of this is the lengthy statement of Ali reported by Ahmed ibne Abu Taleb Tabarsy, the author of the book Ehtijaj (not to be confused with Shakhe Tabarsi, the author of Majma'uI Byan. Ali says that, between the beginning portion of 4:3 and verse 137 of the same chapter, about one-third of the Qur'an has been omitted, and the same statement says that verse' 7:188 is not a genuine part of the Qur'an. The absurdity of this tradition is evident.
It seems that Ali is talking of some remote, ancient book, that one- third of the Qur'an is deleted in his presence, that he and all the Muslims kept quiet and none can tell even one verse of that one- third of the Qur'an. In the case of Fadak, Ali and his followers did not hesitate to raise objection to a minor deviation from Islamic law,
and people such as Abu Zar, Ammar, Miqdaad, etc. raised objection against the ruling party, even endangering their lives. But one-third of the Qur'an was omitted and no one objected? And such a deliberate addition to the Qur'an was made and Ali and his party kept quiet? This spurious tradition does not in the least affect the authenticity of the Qur'an.
There is another tradition from Kulaini in the chapter dealing with the Qur'an to the effect that the Sixth Holy Imam Jafar ibne Muhammad As-Sadiq said that the Qur'an which Gabriel brought to the Holy Prophet contained seven thousand verses. This is according to Waafi1s version taken from Kaafi, but in some editions of Kaafi, instead of seven thousand, it is seventeen thousand. There is no doubt that Waafi's account from Kaafi is much more reliable than the ordinary editions of Kaafi.
However, the conflict is there. But to assume from this that there have been omissions from the present Qur'an is useless conjecture because the reference is to the number of passages in the Qur'an, and the number depends on the punctuation, in which reciters of the Qur'an differ. According to the current punctuation, the number of verses are 6666, but according to the punctuation attributed to the Holy Prophet in Majma1ul Byan, there are 6263. The different schools of reciters - Kufi, Hidjazi, Macci, Madani, Shami, differ in this regard from each other. It is said that the numbering by the Kufi school is based on the authority of Ali.
However, it should be noted that difference in numbering was not based on the numbering of letters and words in the Qur'an, as confirmed by a tradition from Kaafi saying that, "No change in the letters of the Qur'an, in addition or omission, ever took place," and that the Muslims established the letters of the Qur'an but distorted its significance and its application.
It is not out of place to recommend here that the reader refer to a tradition quoted by the author of Majma'ul Byan. In chapter 76, dealing with the question of the date and occasion of Shan-e-Nuzool, a full account of the number of chapters, verses, letters, and the date and place of their revelation is given. it is said that there are chapters whose beginning was revealed in Mecca and others which were revealed in Madina and' put in their proper places by order of the Holy Prophet.
To the fifth group belongs a single tradition stating that the Qur'an originally had forty JUZ (parts), of which we have only thirty, the other ten remaining with the last Imam who will bring them when he appears. The absurdity of such a statement has already been pointed out when dealing with the tradition of the Ehtijaj. No word, phrase, sentence, verse or chapter, small or large, can be considered as a part of the Qur'an if it has only one reporter.
We have described the Qur'an as a revealed statement put within the reach of mankind as an everlasting miracle. A revealed statement as such cannot be known to only one chain of reporters. In this category is the spurious Sura known as the Sura-Vilayat which the author of the Dabistanul Mazahib has narrated from some unknown source and which may be the same Sura to which Ibne Shahr Aashoob refers as the Omitted Chapter of the Qur'an. The Chapter is the size of the Musabbehaat, not more than half a page.
Its style betrays it. It cannot be classed even with the style of the Ahlul-Bait in their sermons and prayers. It is an attempt to imitate the rhythm of the Qur'an, but is far from the Qur'an in grammatical structure and rhetorical manner, the like of which can be composed by any imitator who is acquainted with the Arabic language. There are other compositions of this type said to be the omitted chapters of the Qur'an whose style betrays them. of these there are two suras named Khol and Hafd. Combined, they do not exceed two lines of the Qur'an. It is said that they are parts of the copy of the Qur'an of Obai Ibne Kaab, but the style shows that they are some sort of prayers composed by some one, far inferior even to the style of the Holy Prophet and his Ahlul-Bait, let alone the style of the Qur'an.
There is also another tradition of this kind related by Kaafi from Abu Nasr-Bazanti, who said that the Eighth Holy Imam Ali ibne Musa ar-Riza gave him a Qur'an and told him not to look at it, but he opened it and read chapter 98 known as the Byyanah, and found therein the name of seventy persons of the Khoraish along with the names of their fathers. Then the Holy Imam sent for the Qur'an and it was returned to him. First of all, it is surprising that the Holy Imam would give the Qur'an to some one and tell him not to read it. Second, how reliable is the person who disobeys the orders of the Holy Imam.
Third, assuming the report is true, the very fact that he found the names of so many people with the names of their fathers is the best proof that what he saw was not the Qur'an, but some commentary. of the contemporaries of the Holy Prophet, his ancestors, his followers, and the members of his family, nobody's name had come into the Qur'an except the name of Zaid (among the friends) and Abi Lahab (among the enemies) and the name of the Holy Prophet himself. If anyone else's name had appeared,
the report would have come through more than one solitary tradition. Apart from this, this tradition can be taken as evidence that the celebrated Mus'haf attributed to the First Holy Imam Ali ibne Abi Taleb was not confined to the text of the Qur'an, but also contained in the commentaries which the Holy Prophet dictated to him or the explanatory notes which he himself added to it.
These are the main traditions quoted in favour of Tahreef in the sense of addition or omission. There remains the question of Tahreef in regard to the arrangement of words in the phrases, sentences in the verses, verses in the chapters, and chapters in the collection. As pointed out, the Qur'an expressly asserts that the arrangement, the recitation and the explanation are all the responsibility of God, and this must have been completed before the completion of the religion, and before the Holy Prophet's declaration, "I have left among you within your reach Two things:
the Book of God and the Holy Ahlul-Bait. "Otherwise it would be absurd for the Holy Prophet to refer to the pieces of bone, wood, skins, leaves of trees, on which the verses of the Qur'an had been written without proper arrangement as a Book which was yet to be given shape either by Ali, Zaid ibne Thabit,
or others later on. It is impossible to imagine that the Founder of Islam, who has dealt with the most minute aspects of human life even down to the etiquette of sitting in an assembly (Rv. 58:11) and is so particular that doubt and dispute in transactions both big and small should be avoided as much as possible (Rv. 2:282), should fail to give final shape to the Book declared to be the guardian of past scriptures and the criterion for post-Islamic literature; that he should fail to declare the final infallible authority to whom the Muslims should refer in unequivocal clear wording and leave both subjects to be decided by people whom he considered to be very weak in the faith (Rv 3:143).
It is obvious from the point of view of the Shia faith, from the facts of history and in the Qur'an's assertion, that no opportunity for argument or excuse was left for the people after the Holy Prophet (4:165). There are authentic traditions to support the genuineness of the present wording, and the position of the verses in their respective chapters of the Qur'an. These are the traditions of the Ahlul-Bait which deal with the spiritual effect and the divine reward offered by the recitation of any chapter of the Holy Book in the daily compulsory prayers, with the exception of four suras which contain Sijda-e-Wajib. The Imams were so cautious and particular in this respect that,
in the case of Chapters 93 and 94, though separated from each other by Bismillah, yet they said that the latter is supplementary to the former, and thus they should be recited together if read in any compulsory prayers. They said the same about Chapters 105 and 106. It should be noted that, according to the Ahlul-Bait, it is necessary that one complete Sura of the Qur'an, neither more nor less, is to be recited after Chapter 1 in the first and second Rak'at of the prayers.
Therefore, if there was an misarrangement in any chapter of the Holy Book which affects its completeness and genuineness, they should have pointed this out to their disciples as they did in the above-mentioned case. Once the genuineness of the arrangement of the verses in the chapters is proved, there should be no need to argue that the divine hand which did not miss the said arrangement would not miss the arrangement of the chapters in the Book as a whole. The question of the Macci and the Madani origin of some verses of some chapters, of early or late dates, does not arise, as there are authentic traditions showing expressly that the arrangement was made by the direction of the Holy Prophet himself; and by no one else.
Kaafi, on the authority of Sa'd-e-Iskof, relates that the Holy Prophet said:
I was given the lengthiest Suras in the place of (Taurat) Torah, and I was given hundred-verse chapters in the place of (Injeel) the Evangel, and l was given the lengthy one next to the first, in place of (Zaboor) Psalms, and I was made to exceed them with the separate ones - they are sixty-eight Suras and the Qur'an is the guardian over all the Scriptures.
There remains a criticism by some unscrupulous friends or mischievous enemies that, in the present arrangement, there are some verses which do not fit in with the preceding and following verses. It has already been said in reply that the Qur'an itself declares that its method of arrangement is peculiar to itself and should not be compared with the human method of arrangement. Such comparisons would be like condemning natural scenery because it is not like a man-made garden.
However, it should be remembered that the chronological arrangement of the Qur'an attributed to Ali was for commentary only. It is the unanimous belief of Shia theologians and scholars That any recitation which is different from the present arrangement, with any additions or omissions, in any compulsory prayer, renders the prayer null and void. Even in the optional prayers or in the ordinary recitation, if it is different from the present arrangement, it is a sin.
There are some individual reports about the recitation of some Qur'anic words by the Ahlul-Bait other than the present; namely, Mou'ooda (verse 81:8) as Al- Mawaddat (Rnv. 81:8), and there are other words also. But according to the authentic tradition of Kaafi, and the unanimous verdict of the Shia theologians, any recitation other than the seven or the ten current ones, is forbidden.
Ml these show that mischievous hands were working, alter the departure of the Holy Prophet to create doubts about the authenticity of the Qur'an, as they did about the infallible authority of the Ahlul-Bait who were declared by the Holy Prophet to be inseparable from the Qur'an. However, the Holy Imams of the Ahlul-Bait and their disciples in particular, and Muslims in general, were on guard against any move by insisting that nothing other than the present version of the Qur'an should be accepted as the unique standard of the truth.
It should also be remembered that the report which states that, on the eve of his departure, the Holy Prophet told Ali to take care of the fragments of material on which the Holy Qur'an was written and which were in the custody of the Holy Prophet, does not mean that the Qur'an was not yet collected.
It was already collected in the form of a complete Book by Ali and the others in charge and reviewed by the Holy Prophet; but the Holy Prophet did not want these fragments which were the first copy of the verses to fall into the hands of those who might misuse them. Hence he ordered Ali to take care of them, and none has claimed ever to have seen these fragments which the Holy Prophet gave into the custody of Ali. The fragments from which Zaid bin Sabi attempted to produce a collection were different from those of the Holy Prophet.
The Holy Prophet dictated to Ali the details of the Islamic precepts, theoretical and practical, and Ali wrote them down in the form of a scroll, known as a Jamea and another collection on hide parchment known as Jafr. And these would not differ from the collection of the Final Word of God which remained as the challenging miracle within the reach of all mankind for all times.
In short, as suggested by the Holy Prophet and the 'mains of the House of the Holy Prophet, and followed by their disciples in their presence and pursued by scholars and theologians, any report throwing doubt on the genuineness of the present version of the Qur'an is to be totally rejected. No one who confesses Islam, of whatever school, can ever doubt the fact that the Qur'an, as well as containing the last message of God, has been revealed as an ever-current challenging miracle and, as such, should remain intact for all times, protected against omission, alteration or distortion.
Anything else would affect its status and standard as a miracle and as a guardian, as has been expressed in the Qur'an (15:9 and 41:42). It is absurd to say that these verses refer to the true copy of the Qur'an which is with the Imams, because it has been repeatedly said that the Qur'an must be within the reach of all mankind, and not to be hidden and treasured by any single soul. In short, to doubt the genuineness of the present version of the Qur'an amounts to doubting the very apostleship of the Holy Prophet and other apostles of God who preceded him and the infallible authority of the Ahlul-Bait. To doubt one is to doubt the other.
The Qur'an as it stands today mirrors the infallibility of the Holy Prophet and the Imams of his House in a manner which leaves no room for doubt. Similarly, the life of the Imams and their teachings mirror completely the Holy Book as it is now. We recommend readers to refer to the chapter in Kaafi (by Kulaini) dealing with the need to refer to the Qur'an as the standard in any controversial matter.
From the Seventh Imam Musa ibne Jaffar al-Kazim:
Whosoever derives his religion from the Book of God and the teachings of the Holy Prophet, the mountain will move from its place, but he will not be shaken in his faith. But the man who takes it from one man, another one will refute it.
From the Seventh Imam:
The person who did not understand our status from the Qur'an is not safe from mischief which means the present Qur'an is the Standard for the identification of Imamat
From the Sixth Holy Imam:
Surely God has revealed in the Qur'an the norm of everything. Surely God did not leave anything which people would be in need of but he revealed it in the Book so that nobody could say: "I wish that had been in the Qur'an."
There is no matter under dispute between two persons but there is a ruling for it in the Qur'an, but people's minds cannot grasp it, which clearly shows that the Qur'an is short of nothing, but the shortcoming is from our side.
From the Fifth Imam:
Whenever I inform you about something, you should ask me about the origin of it in the Qur'an.
There are similar traditions of similar tone told in Kaafi here and elsewhere, asserting that everything is in the present Qur'an, but the ordinary people may not be able to grasp it. We would like here to summarise the gist of all these traditions in the words of Ali:
Innallaha Tajalla fi Kitaabihi le'ibadeh (God manifested himself in his Book for mankind.)
From the Sixth Imam, quoting the Holy Prophet:
For every truth there is a way of verification and for every right thing there is light to be thrown on it. Therefore whatever is in conformity with the Qur'an, take it; and whatever is contrary to it, leave it.
A man asked the Sixth 'main about the conflicting reports quoting the Holy Prophet or the Imams of the House of the Holy Prophet. The Imam replied, The one which is supported by evidence from the Qur'an or from the Holy Prophet, take it; otherwise return it to the person who has brought it.
Everything should be valued which is from the Book of God and the teachings of the Holy Prophet, and any tradition which does not agree with the Book of God is spurious and should be rejected.
From the Sixth Imam, narrating trough the chain of his ancestors the Sermon delivered by the' Holy Prophet:
Oh ye people! Ye are in an abode of truce, and ye are on a journey and the movement is fast and indeed you see the night and day, the sun and the moon, both wearing out everything new and bringing near everything afar and bringing everything promised. Equip yourselves with provisions for the remote journey.
Miqdad ignul Aswaod stood up and asked:
Oh Apostle of God! what is the abode of truce? The abode to take provisions and leave.
The Sermon continued:
whenever the ordeals confuse as the piece of dark night, adhere to the Qur'an. Verily it is the intercessor whose intercession is accepted, and the pleader whose pleading is approved. He who keeps it in view (as his guide and norm), it guideth him to Paradise, and he who puts it behind, it will drag him to hellfire. It is the guide which guideth to the best path. It is the Book wherein are details and explanations and the extract and it is decree, not to amuse. For it is the apparent on the outer and hidden on the inner sides. The outer side is law and order, while the inner side is knowledge and enlightenment. The outer is a fascinating beauty, the inner is deep. It is bottomless.
Its wonders are innumerable and its marvels are ever renewed Therein are the torches of guidance and the minarets of wisdom and guidance to knowledge for the one who understands.
Verily the meditation upon it is life for an awakened heart as the one who walks in darkness enlightening him by the light (of the Qur'an). It is impossible for the Sixth 'main to refer people to the recommendation of the Holy Prophet about a Qur'an which is not within the reach of the public.
In confirmation of the traditions, a few of which have been referred to above as examples, the following are universally accredited scholars of the Ithna-Ashari School who are considered to be the leading authorities to be referred to after the disappearance of the Last Imam of the Ahlul-Bait:
Kulaini Abu Jaffar Muhammad ibne Yacoob-Kilaini (329 AH.), in the introduction of his celebrated work, Kaafi:
Passed away the Holy Prophet, leaving behind among his ("Ummat) people the Book of God and the Executor of his will, Amirul-Mo'mineen, the Commander of the Faithful and Imamul-Muttaqeen, leader or guide of the pious ones (Peace of God be on him) as the two inseparable associates, each of whom stands as a witness to the truth of the other.
In pointing out the sources of the true knowledge of God's religion, Kulaini quotes the two traditions which have already been quoted above and, in answering the question about the conflicting traditions narrated by the different reporters and the method of their verification, Kulaini says (in the introduction to Kaafi, Volume 1):
Behold Oh my brethren! May God guide you that none among the scholars can distinguish the true and false ones of the conflicting traditions by his own direction, but the way shown by the Holy Imam who said, Place them before the Book of God and then the one which agrees with the Book of God, take it, and the one which disagrees with the Book of God, reject it.
This quotation from Kulaini proves beyond doubt that, to him, the Qur'an and the Ahlul-Bait are two inseparable and infallible authorities left by the Holy Prophet among the people for their guidance, and that the Qur'an is the criterion for the scrutiny of the traditions. And it is unjust to suggest that Kulaini doubts the genuineness of the Qur'an simply because he mentions in his book individual reports which to some may indicate Tahreef while such reports are capable of various interpretations, as already pointed out.
Next to Kulaini comes the outstanding authority of Abu Jafar Muhammad ibne Ali ibne Babawai Qummi, author of Maula Yahzoruhud Faqeen, known as Sadooq, who has dealt with the subject in his famous book Eteqadaat, ie. The Beliefs. But here Sadooq's views are quoted through the authority of Mullah Mohsin-e-Faiz in his word, Wafi to prove the unanimity between the two great authorities separated from each other by six centuries. The Mullah quotes from Sadooq in his Eteqadaat:
Our belief is that the Qur'an which God the Most high revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him and on his family) is what is between these two covers and which is in the hand of the people, and this is the full Qur'an. The numbers of its chapters, according to the people, is one hundred and fourteen and, according to us, numbers 93 and 94 are one, and 105 and 106 are one. whoever claims that we say it was more than this, he is a liar.
The above statement clearly says that it is not only the personal view of Sadooq, but is the unanimous verdict of all Shia authorities before him; and it does not refer only to the number, but also indicates the genuineness of the arrangement that is in the hands of the people. Had there been any discrepancy, other than the number of suras or the quantity of matter, Sadooq would have pointed it out as he did the two sets of the four chapters.
Then Sadooq gives support to the Shia view about the Qur'an and the Mullah Mohsin-Faiz confirms Sadooq's views, saying, "Whatever tradition has come down concerning Tahreef or distortion, it must be taken to refer to the application or significance of the verses of the Qur'an and not to its wording." (Wafi, final chapter on the Qur'an).
Next to Sadooq comes the Shaikhut Taifa, popularly known as Shaikh-e-Toosi, the author of the Kitab-e-Tahzeeb and Istibsar. In his commentary known as Tibyan he relates the views of his master Seyyed-Murtuza (known as Alamal-Huda), the celebrated authority of the Shias after Shaikh Mufeed, whose firm and sound belief was that the Qur'an now in our hands was finalised and given shape in writing during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet and under his supervision.
Next to Shaikh-Toosi is the celebrated Shia commentator Shaikh-e-Tabarsi, the author of the Majma'ul-Byan. Then there are the scholars of the Safavite period; namely:
Mohaiqe-Karaki, who has written a separate book on the subject, and says that any statement in support of Tahreef should be interpreted to refer to application, and anything else must be utterly rejected as being against the Qur'an and authentic sunnat and the unanimous verdict of the Ulema (scholars). Next comes Mullah Mohsin-Faiz and then Seyyed Hashim Bahrani - (Safavites) Tafseer Burhan.
From among the Ulema of the last three centuries there are: Shaikh Muhammad Husain, author of the Principles of Jurisprudence, who has discussed in his standard book, Fusool, the genuineness of the Qur'an as the supreme authority. The celebrated jurist-scholar Shaikh Jafar who, in his Kashful-ghita, claims the unanimous verdict of the scholars on the genuineness of the Qur'an without omission, addition or alteration. The Agha Muhammad Husain Tabatabai, author of the commentary Al- Meezam, and Khija Khan, author of Sharhe-Wafiya Mohaqqiqe- Kalbasi.
Then comes the celebrated scholar of all Semitic Scriptures, the late Shaikh Mohammad Jawad Balaghi, in the introduction to his commentary, A'laa 'ur Rahman.
The late Ayatullah Buroojerdi also held and advocated the same view. And Seyyed Shan-Shahani, author of Orwatul-Osqa, not to be confused with a book of the same name by another author.
And there are the present divines: Ayatullah Seyyed Mohsin Hakim (Najaf), Ayatullah Seyyed Mahmood Shahroodi (Najaf), Ayatullah Seyyed Abol Qasim Kharyi Najaf, author of the commentary Albayan, and Ayatullah Seyyed Abdul Hadi Al Husainy Al-Meelani (Mash'ad). See the copies of the verdict of the above Mujtahids of Najafe Ashof and Mash'ade Muqaddas at the end of the section.