The Shi'a & Qur'an

One 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 certainty.
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.


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"
Tafseer 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 "Introduction":

"First: This Tafseer is the base of so many other Tafseer books.
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 [as]".
Third: The author lived during the era of Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari [as].
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".
Sixth: (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:

"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 mind".
Tafseer al-Ayyashi, Muhammad bin Mas'oud al-Ayyashi, Introduction

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.

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"

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.

(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 complaining:


Back To Islam Awareness Homepage

Latest News about Islam and Muslims

Contact for further information