of the major "Battle Fields" between Muslims & Shi'ites is the later's
belief regarding the authenticity of the Holy Qur'an which Allah [swt] promised
to guard till the Day of Reckoning from any changes, saying: 15:9. "We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will
assuredly guard it (from corruption)".
Disbelieving to the contrary
leads to the denial of the entire Qur'an and abolishing the Shari'ah which is
based on it mainly because, such belief puts every single verse under the
probability of being distorted, and under such a probability no faith can be
founded because faith cannot be established on probabilities, but on
As for the Shi'ites, they have a different views on the matter as
we shall discover.
(1) What is the generally accepted Shi'ites view on the
authenticity of the Qur'an?
The Shi'a, like the Muslims, believe that the Qur'an is the Words
of Allah [swt]. However, unlike Muslims, they believe the distortion occured in
the Qur'anic text as it occured in the past scriptures. Their authentic books
contain over 2000 narration from their "INFALLIBLE" Imams
verifying, affirming and confirming their theory of "Tahreef" (Distortion). To date, we are not aware of any
Shi'a scholar who denies this theory in a whole and/or in part. To ascertain of
this fact, we invite those who are unaware of this matter, Muslims or Shi'ites,
to check and verify on their own, the sources contained herein. To illustrate,
we will break the evidence into four catagories:
1. Statements from Shi'a scholars regarding the Tahreef, 2. Narration from
the "INFALLIBLE" Imams, 3. Distortion of the meaning.
4. Examples of such distortions.
A. SCHOLARLY STATEMENTS:
In the earliest Shi'i Tafaseer, which is the source and base
for all Tafseer books, al-Qummi clearly states the belief of the Shi'ites
regarding the authenticity of the Book of Allah saying:
"Therefore, part of the Qur'an is an Abrogator and Abrogated,
part is clear (Muhkam) and part is ambiguous (Mutashabih), part is in the
general context, and part is particularized, part of it was placed forward and
part is placed in the rear, part of it is severed and part of is connected,
part of it is a letter in a place of another, and part
of it is contrary to the manner revealed by Allah"
al-Qummi, Introduction, vol.1, p.17
The said "august" Tafseer book was commended by the majority Shi'i
scholars and, as Sayyid Tayyib Musawi al-Jaza'iri, wrote in its
"First: This Tafseer is the base of so many other Tafseer
Second: The narration contained therein are from the two
Sadiqs [as] (Imam Abu Ja'far & Imam Abu Abdallah) with the least medium
of narrators, hence, author of al-Thari'ah (ila Tasaanif Ash-Shi'a: Agha
Buzurg At-Tahrani) said: "In fact, it is the Tafseer of the two Sadiqs
Third: The author lived during the era of Imam al-Hasan
Fourth: His father, who reported these narration
to his son, was a companion of Imam Rida [as].
Fifth: (the book)
Contains a wealth of knowledge on the virtues of Ahlul-Bayt [as] of which
their enemies attempted to remove from the Holy Qur'an".
(the book) Took care of clearing the meaning of so many misunderstood verses
only through the guidance of Ahlul-Bayt, the Qur'an reciters".
The very next Tafseer which is another pillar in Shi'asm is Tafseer
al-Ayyashi, who was one of al-Kash-shi's Sheikhs, and in the same rank of
Thiqatul-Islam al-Kulayni, as ranked by At-Tahrani in his al-Thari'ah
vol4, p.295. Al-Ayashi wrote in the "introduction" of his Tafseer, quoting the
"Infallible" Abu Ja'far:
Tafseer al-Ayyashi, Muhammad bin Mas'oud
"Narrated Maysar from Abu Ja'far [as]: If it wasn't for the
adding and deleting in the Book of Allah, our right
(in Imamah - leadership) would've been clear for anyone with a sound
al-Bahrani wrote in his Tafseer al-Burhaan:
Know, that the truth which there is no way around it, because of
the multi-narrations (mutawatir) and other, is that the Qur'an which we have
in our hands today, has suffered some changes after the Messenger of Allah
[pbuh]. That those who collected it after him, have dropped and
deleted many words and verses, and that the protected Qur'an from such
changes and agreeable to the revelation of Allah Ta'ala is the one which was
collected by Ali [as] and guarded until it reached his son al-Hasan [as] and
so on until it ended in the possession of al-Qa'im (Mahdi) [as] who has it
with him today.
al-Burhaan fee Tafseer al-Qur'an: Sayyid Hashim
At-Tubari al-Bahrani, Introduction: the second premise, volume 1, p.36, last
paragraph, p. 49.
Therefore, and in accordance to a clear narration which we will soon
mention, when Allah the Exalted knew, in His perfect pre knowledge, that
such evil deeds will be perpetrated by those who mischief in Religion, that
whenever they see a clear declaration against their interests but beneficial
to him (Ali) and his purified offspring [as], they will drop it immediately
or distort it by changing.
When it was of His perfect Will and comprehensive Subtle, to guard the
issue of al-Imamah and Walayah, and to protect the aspects of the virtues of
him [pbuh] and the Imams [as] in a manner that will be safe from the
mess of the people of wasting and distorting, but at the same time, keeps to
the people of truth the (hidden) meaning and maintain the charge, He did not
contend only with what was clear in His Glorious Book, but made the
overwhelming majority of such declarations in accordance with the inner
meanings and exegetic methods but within the frame of what the outer
revelation leads to. He further alluded to many of the proofs by way of
signaling and expression of signs and allegories, thus His proofs on the
creation is established even after its dropping by those who dropped them
after they were clear in the best manner.
........ It is very clear and obvious to me in conclusion, the
truthfulness of this theory (i.e the distortion of the Qur'an) after all the
research and examination of the evidences to the point we can say it is part
of the necessary beliefs of the Shi'ite Madhhab, and that it is one of the
major consequences of usurping the Khilafah, so contemplate on it"
(2) Before continuing any further, some Shi'ites deny they
ever believed in the theory of Tahreef, and strongly condemn it. Further, they
have an evidence that some of their scholars also condemned this awful belief.
How do you respond to them?
It is hard to imagine a single Shi'ite who does not believe that the Qur'an
has been distorted by the Companions of the Messenger of Allah [saw], unless
such a person is a newly made Shi'ite. Like all the ancient mysteries, the
Shi'ites gradually present the fine secrets of their faith to the candidate
and in accordance to their reception's ability.
On the other hand, when their belief became exposed to the Muslims, and the
Shi'a were rejected as the body rejects waste, some of their Rabbis met to
discuss and find away out of this delimma, agreed to conceal their true
beliefs, and to clad their religion the garment of Taqiyyah to deceive the
Muslims. The very first Rabbi who denied the Distortion theory was Ibn
Babawaih al-Qummi, whome the Shi'ites called As-Sadooq (the Truthful)- died
381h -. Nevertheless, while the pros supported their stand with over 2000
evidence, as Rabbi Ni'matallah al-Jaza'iri stated, he did not produce a single
narrartion from their "Infallible" Imams that proves the contrary. Let us
examine what he wrote:
"Our belief is that the Qur'an which Allah the Exalted sent to
His Messenger Muhammad [pbuh] is what in between the two boards, and
is what the people have in their hands, no more than that. Its total
chapters for the people (i.e, the Muslims) is one hundred and forteen
chapters, and to us (i.e, the Shi'ites) the chapters of "Ad-Duhaa" (93) and
"Alam Nashrah" (94) is one chapter, and chapters "Li Eelaaf" (106) and "Alam
Tara Kayfa" (105) are one chapter. He whom attributes to us the say that we
believe there is more than that, is a liar. The narrations reported in the
rewards for reading every chapter of the Qur'an, the reward for reading the
entire Qur'an, the permissibility to read two chapters in a single Rik'ah,
the outlawing of reading two Sura in a single rak'ah of Fard (salat)
testifies to our claim regarding the Qur'an, i.e, the extent of it is what
the people have in their hands. Furthermore, the narrations outlawing the
recitation of the entire Qur'an in a single night, that such endeavor should
not be in less than three days is a further testimony to our claim"
al-I'tiqaadaat: Ibn Babawaih al-Qummi, Iran 1224 ed.
This very same Rabbi, while he denies in the above book the Tahreef
theory, affirms it in other few books of his. In his "al-Khisaal", he
reported the following:
"Narrated to us Muhammad bin Omar al-Hafiz al-Baghdadi, known
as al-Ji'aabi: Narrated to us Abdullah bin Bashir: Narrated to us al-Hasan
bin al-Zaburqaan al-Muraadi: Narrated to us Abu Bakr bin 'Ayyash from
al-Ajlah, from Abu AzZubair, from Jabir (bin Abdullah al-Ansaari) said: I
heard the Apostle of Allah [pbuh] saying:
On the Day of Judgment, three will come to Allah the Exalted