Page is loading...

Belief of Shi’a in the Completeness of Qur’an

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

A Wahhabi contributor mentioned that Shi’a believe Qur’an is not complete.

My answer to this matter is:

"Glory to (Allah), this is a big slander! (Qur’an 24:16)."

Shi’a do NOT believe that Qur’an is missing something. There are few weak traditions which “might “imply to the contrary. Such reports are rejected and unacceptable if they want to imply such a thing.

It is interesting to point out that there are numerous traditions reported in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim which allege that many verses of Qur’an are missing. Not only that, but also they these Sunni reports allege that two chapters from the Qur’an are missing one of them was similar to chapter 9 (al-Bara’ah) in length!!! Some Sunni traditions even claim that the Chapter al-Ahzab (Ch. 33) was as lengthy as the Chapter of Cow (Ch. 2)!!!

The Chapter of Cow is the biggest Chapter of the present Qur’an. The traditions inside Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim even present some of the missing verses. (Some of these traditions will be mentioned in the following articles with full references.). Yet, fortunately Shi’a never accuse the Sunni brothers and sisters of believing that the Qur’an is incomplete. We say that either these Sunni reports are either weak or fabricated.

The completeness of Qur’an is so indisputable among Shi’a that the greatest scholar of Shi’a in Hadith, Abu Jafar Muhammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Husayn Ibn Babwayh, known as "Shaykh Saduq”(309/919-381/991), wrote:

"Our belief is that the Qur’an which Allah revealed to His Prophet Muhammad is (the same as) the one between the two covers (daffatayn).

And it is the one which is in the hands of the people, and is not greater in extent than that. The number of surahs as generally accepted is one hundred and fourteen ...And he who asserts that we say that it is greater in extent than that, is a liar."

Shi’i reference: Shi’ite Creed (al-I’tiqadat al-Imamiyyah), by Shaykh Saduq, English version, p77.

It should be noted that Shaykh Saduq (ra) is the greatest scholar of Hadith among the Imami Shi’a and was given the name of Shaykh al-Muhaddithin (i.e., the most eminent of the scholars of Hadith). And since he wrote the above in a book with the name of "The beliefs of the Imami Shi’a,”it is quite impossible that there could be any authentic Hadith in contrary to it.

It is noteworthy that Shaykh Saduq lived at the time of minor occultation of Imam Mahdi (as) and he was one of the earliest Shi’a scholars. He had the honor that he was born with the prayer of Imam Mahdi (as).

Another prominent Shi’a scholar is Allama Muhammad Ridha Mudhaffar who wrote in his Shi’a Creed book that:

"We believe that the Holy Qur’an is revealed by Allah through the Holy Prophet of Islam dealing with every thing which is necessary for the guidance of mankind. It is an everlasting miracle of the Holy Prophet the like of which can not be produced by human mind. It excels in its eloquence, clarity, truth and knowledge. This Divine Book has not been tampered with by any one. This Holy Book which we recite today is the same Holy Qur’an which was revealed to the Holy Prophet. Any one who claims it to be otherwise is an evil-doer, a mere sophist, or else he is sadly mistaken. All of those who have this line of thinking have gone astray as Allah in Qur’an said: "Falsehood can not reach the Qur’an from any direction (Qur’an 41:42)"

- Shi’i reference: The Beliefs of Shi’ite School, by Muhammad Ridha Mudhaffar, English version, pp 50-51

Sayyid al-Murtadha, another prominent Shi’ite Scholar said:

"... our certainty of the completeness of the Qur’an is like our certainty of the existence of countries or major events that are self evident. Motives and reasons for recording and guarding the Holy Qur’an are numerous. Because the Qur’an is a miracle of the Prophethood and the source of Islamic Knowledge and religious rule, their concern with the Qur’an made the Muslim Scholars highly efficient concerning grammar, its reading, and its verses."

With this various concern by the most eminent Shi’a scholars, there is no possibility that the Qur’an was added or deleted in some parts. Besides what Allah mentioned in Qur’an about its protection, we can use our logic to derive the same result. Allah sent his last Messenger to show people (to the end of the time) His Right Path. Therefore if Allah does not preserve His message, He would be contradicting His own aim. Obviously, such negligence is evil according to reason. Thus, in essence, Allah preserves His message as He preserved Moses in the house of His Enemy, Pharaoh.

May Allah Bless Muhammad and his pure Ahlul-Bayt.

Different Arrangements of Qur’an

A Wahhabi alleged that it is reported in al-Kafi (one of the Shi’ite Hadith collection) that the Shi’a Imam said: "No one compiled the Qur’an completely except the Imams".

There is no such a tradition in Usul Kafi. I question the validity of the booklets that have misquoted the traditions. What is written in Usul Kafi in a tradition is as follows:

I heard Abu Ja’far (as) saying: "No one (among ordinary people) claimed that he gathered the Qur’an completely as it was revealed except a liar; (since) no one has gathered it and memorized it completely as revealed by Allah, the Most High, except ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib (as) and the Imams after him (as)". (Usul al-Kafi, v1, p228, Hadith #1).

There are two other traditions which I will mention few lines later. The above tradition does not say Qur’an is incomplete. Rather it states it is not completely in the arrangement as it was sent down. The above tradition is not something new. As a matter of fact, the Qur’an that we use which was compiled by the companions is not in the sequence that has been revealed. In fact, the Sunni scholars confirm that the first Chapter of Qur’an which was sent down to the Prophet (S) was Chapter al-Iqra’ (al-Alaq, Ch. 96).

Sunni References:

- al-Burhan, by al-Zarkashi, v1, p259

- al-Itqan, by al-Suyuti, v1, p202

- Fathul Bari, by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, v10, p417

- Irshad al-sari, by al-Qastalani, v7, p454

As you know the Chapter al-Alaq is not at the beginning of the present Qur’an. Also Muslims agree that the verse (5:3) was among one of the last revealed verses of Qur’an (but not the very last one), yet it is not toward the end of the present Qur’an. This proves that although the Qur’an that we have available is complete, it is not in the order that has been revealed.

I should point out that Imam ‘Ali was not the only one who had a Qur’an with different arrangements. According to the authentic Sunni reports, many companions had different arrangement (sequence) of Qur’an, one of them was Abdullah Ibn Masud:

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 6.518

Narrated Shaqiq:

Abdullah said, "I learnt An-Naza’ir which the Prophet used to recite in pairs in each Rak’a.”Then Abdullah got up and Alqama accompanied him to his house, and when Alqama came out, we asked him (about those Suras).

He said, "They are twenty Suras that start from the beginning of al-Mufassal, according to the arrangement done be Ibn Mas’ud, and end with the Suras starting with Ha Mim, e.g. Ha Mim (the Smoke). And

"About what they question one another?”(Qur’an78.1)

Thus this is nothing exclusive to Imam ‘Ali. I should mention that the prophet clearly indicated (by Sunni sources) that Abdullah Ibn masud is one of whom should be trusted on the matter of Qur’an:

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 6.521

Narrated Masriq:

‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr mentioned ‘Abdullah bin Masud and said, "I shall ever love that man, for I heard the Prophet saying, ‘Take (learn) the Qur’an from four: ‘Abdullah bin Masud, Salim, Mu’adh and Ubai bin Ka’b.’ “

This man (Abdullah Ibn Masud) not only had a different Qur’an but also (based on Sunni sources) he had a different sequence of chapters and different set of aayaat. He alleged that the present Qur’an has some extra words, and he swears in the name of Allah for his claim! (see Sahih al- Bukhari, Arabic-English version, 6.468, 5.105, 5.85). He also falsely alleged that the last two chapters of Qur’an are not Qur’anic chapters and they are only some prayers (Du’aa). (see Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic-English version, 6.501)

According to the Shi’a, these allegations by the companions reported in Sahih al-Bukhari concerning Qur’an having extra words are FALSE. No single verse of Qur’an is extra.

Also it seems that Aisha has a different opinion as to which chapter was revealed first:

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 6.515

Narrated Yusuf bin Mahk:

While I was with Aisha, the mother of the Believers, a person from Iraq came and asked, "What type of shroud is the best?”‘Aisha said, "May Allah be merciful to you! What does it matter?”He said, "O mother of the Believers! Show me (the copy of) your Qur’an,”She said, "Why?”He said, "In order to compile and arrange the Qur’an according to it, for people recite it with its Surahs not in proper order.”‘Aisha said, "What does it matter which part of it you read first? (Be informed) that the first thing that was revealed thereof was a Sura from al-Mufassal, and in it was mentioned Paradise and the Fire.

The second tradition in Usul Kafi which has been widely misinterpreted, states that what has been revealed to Prophet was as much as 17000 verses. Although this tradition is not rated authentic, there are two explanations for that. The first possibility mentioned by our scholars is that, the verses of Qur’an were originally shorter, and when the companions compiled the Qur’an, they appended short verses and thereby the number of verses reduced without any change to content of Qur’an.

The second possibility is that which was given by Shaikh Saduq (ra) who is the number one Shi’a scholar in the field of Hadith:

"We say that so much of revelation has come down which is not embodied in the present Qur’an that if it were to be collected, its extent would undoubtedly be 17000 verses ... Although all of them were revelation but they (the extra ones) are NOT a part of Qur’an. If they would be a part of Qur’an, it would surely have been included in the Qur’an we have."

Shi’i reference: Shi’ite Creed (al-I’tiqadat al-Imamiyyah), by Shaykh Saduq, English version, pp 78-79.

The transcript of the Qur’an that Imam ‘Ali wrote contained commentary and hermeneutic interpretation (Tafsir and Ta’wil) from the Holy Prophet some of which had been sent down as revelation but not as a part of the text of Qur’an. A small amount of such texts can be found in some traditions in Usul al-Kafi and else. These pieces of information were Divine commentary of the text of Qur’an which was revealed along with Qur’anic verses but were NOT parts of Qur’an.

Thus the commentary verses and Qur’anic verses could sum up to 17000 verses. As Sunnis know, Hadith Qudsi is also revelation, but they are not a part of Qur’an. In fact Qur’an testifies that anything that Prophet said was revelation. Allah Almighty said in Qur’an about Prophet Muhammad that:

"Nor does he (Muhammad) speak out of his desire. It is no less than a revelation that is revealed.”(Qur’an 53:3-4).

Thus all the speeches of Prophet were revelation, and surely the speeches of Prophet was not limitted to Qur’an. It includes interpretation of Qur’an (part of which were direct revelation) as well as his Sunnah (part of which were indirect revelation).

The third tradition in Usul Kafi which is misinterpreted is as follows:

Abu Jafar said: "No one can claim that he completely has the Qur’an with its appearance (Dhahir) and its meaning (Batin), except the executors (Awsiyaa).”(Usul al-Kafi, Tradition #608).

again this tradition is referring to the fact that the commentary of Qur’an is missing. Although we have the appearance of Qur’an, its meaning (i.e., divine commentary) is not with it. The traditions refers to the Qur’an which was compiled by Imam ‘Ali (as) which included the commentary.

In a follow up article, I will give some information about the Qur’an which was compiled by Imam ‘Ali (as) which included all the above-mentioned divine commentaries.

It is necessary to emphasize here that all grand scholars of the Imami Shi’a are in agreement that the Qur’an which is at present among the Muslims is the very same Qur’an that was sent down to the Holy Prophet, and that it has not been altered. Nothing has been added to it, and nothing is missing from it.

The Qur’an which was compiled by Imam ‘Ali (excluding the commentaries) and the Qur’an that is in the hand of people today, are identical in terms of words and sentences. No word, verse, chapter is missing. A Wahhabi mentioned that al-Kafi is an authentic book of Hadith for the Shi’a, and as such Shi’a believe that Qur’an is not complete.

The above conclusion is based on two wrong hypotesis. First what was mentioned in the book of al-Kafi does not necessarily indicate that Qur’an is incomplete (see the above explanation). Second, we do not consider al- Kafi to be all-authentic book of tradition, nor his auther ever mentioned such a thing.

It is true that al-Kafi is among the most important Shi’a collections of traditions. The traditions of al-Kafi cover all the branches of faith and ethics, and all the fundamental of fiqh (jurisprudence). It includes more traditions than all 6 Sunni collections together (provided that if we remove the repetitions). For instance, al-Kafi has 16121 traditions, while Sahih al-Bukhari which has many repetition in itself has only 7275 traditions. If we remove the repetitions, al-Kafi has 15176 traditions while Sahih al-Bukhari will end up with 4000 traditions. The traditions mentioned here include both Usul al-Kafi and Furu’ al-Kafi.

The author of al-Kafi, Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Yaqub al-Kulain al-Razi (d. 329/941), may Allah have mercy upon his soul, is considered to be highly honest and highly reliable. However, we should emphasize that neither the traditions are equal in value and significance, nor are the supportive evidence for the narrations. The authorities of the chain of narrations are not also equal in terms of reliability and credibility, and one can in NO way regard them as equally dependable.

A glance at the book entitled "Mir’atul Uqul”(reflection of the minds) will reveal this very point to the researcher in more detail. "Mir’atul Uqul”is an explanatory book to al-Kafi written by another great Shi’a scholar of Hadith, Muhammad Baqir Majlisi (d. 1111/1700) who is among the most loyal and faithful to the book of al-Kafi. Majlisi has rated some of the traditions of al-Kafi as weak.

However, being weak, does not mean the tradition is forged. If one of the chain of the authorities of a tradition is missing, then the tradition is weak in Isnad without regard to its content.

In fact, there are a number of traditions in al-Kafi which have one or more elements from the chain of narrators are missing. As such, all of them are regarded weak in Isnad. It might also be that a tradition is specific for a person who reported it from Imam, and may not have meant for the whole people. This very point is mentioned in Usul al-Kafi itself:

Ibn Abi Ya’fur said, I inquired of Abu Abdillah (as) about the different traditions related by those whom we trust and also by those whom we don’t.”Hearing this, the Imam (as) replied: "Whenever you receive a tradition which is borne out by any verse from the book of Allah or by a (established) saying of the Prophet (S), then accept it. Otherwise, the tradition is meant only for the one who has brought it to you.”(Usul al-Kafi, Arabic-English version, Tradition #202)

Shaikh al-Kulaini (ra), the author of al-Kafi, in the introduction of his book, mentioned the following:

Brother, may Allah lead you to the right path. You ought to know that it is not for anyone to distinguish the truth in the conflicting narrations attributed to the Ulama (i.e., Imams), peace be upon them, except through the standards which were declared by al-Alim (i.e., the Imam), peace be upon him: "Test the (conflicting) traditions by the Book of Allah, and that which agrees with it take it, and that which disagrees with it reject it...”(Usul al-Kafi, Arabic version, Introduction by al-
Kulaini, v1)

Is there any explanation better than that of the author? He mentioned that there are some conflicting narrations in his book, al-Kafi. He also mentioned that we should follow those Hadiths that are in agreement with the Book of Allah, and leave that which is in clear disagreement with Qur’an. To prove this point, al-Kulaini (ra) quoted a part of the Hadith of Ahlul-Bayt (as) that, in fact, confirms it as a criterion for the all the followers of Ahlul-Bayt (as).

After all, do the opponents of Shi’a expect us to leave what the author of al-Kafi confirmed in his own book, and to believe their false accusation that al-Kafi is all-authentic Hadith collection for the Shi’a?

Also a Wahhabi mentioned that in the introduction to the al-Kafi, it is written that the al-Mahdi has examined the book and said that it is good for his followers.

There is no such a thing in the introduction written by al-Kulain himself (who is the author of al-Kafi). This is what another person has mentioned in his own introduction to introduce al-Kafi and its author, which is placed before the introduction of the author. Also you did not correctly mentioned what is attributed to Imam Mahdi (as). If such report is ever true, Imam Mahdi (as) said:

"al-Kafi is sufficient of our Shi’a (followers)."

There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, as I mentioned, al-Kafi’s traditions cover all the branches of faith and ethics, and all the fundamentals of fiqh. Imam Mahdi (as) did NOT say whatever written in it is correct. Rather he (reportedly) said, it is sufficient, and includes all what his followers need in terms of the traditions. Again, such tradition is not mentioned by al-Kulain himself. al-Kafi means something that is sufficient. It does not mean all its content are perfectly correct, since the narrators were not perfect.

Actually the reason that the author named his book al-Kafi was explained in the introduction of the book written by himself. The scholars of his time asked him to compile a book of traditions which covers all necessary branches of religion of Islam. He wrote in his introduction that:

... and you complained that there is no book that could cover all the branches of the knowledge of religion (Ilm al-Din) to save the seeker of truth from referring to many books and which could not suffice as a guide and source of spiritual light in the matters of theology and the traditions of rightly guided Imams, peace be upon them. You expressedthe urgent need of such a book and I hope that the present book would serve this purpose. (Usul al-Kafi, Arabic-English version, Introduction by al-Kulaini, part 1, pp 17-18)

al-Kulaini (ra) is not one of the twelve Imams of the Shi’ites. He was only a Hadith recorder who reported what was conveyed to him through one or more sources. He never said that he heard from Imam al-Sadiq (as), and he stated only a Hadith that came to him through some reporters. Let it be stated that the tradition of al-Kafi or any other Shi’a/Sunni book is not acceptable to the Imami Shi’ites if it wants to ever imply the incompleteness of the Qur’an.

These few traditions are rated weak. Even if we suppose that they are true, then the extra verses would mean the divine commentary of Qur’an which were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad along with Qur’an but not as a part of Qur’an as Shaykh Saduq and other scholars specified.

So, if one brings a weak tradition from Usul al-Kafi and then misinterpret the Hadith, it can not represent a belief of the Shi’a. However, when Sunnis claim that Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim are all-authentic, they will have a big problem when they reach to those traditions in these books which allegedly imply the incompleteness of Qur’an. Do you see the difference, my friend?

In book, entitled "Science of Hadith”written by Zainul-Abideen Qurbani, discusses in great detail the traditions in which may imply the incompleteness of the Qur’an. Here is one passage from it:

More than 95% of Shi’a scholars believe that there has been absolutely no tampering of the Qur’an and that the Qur’an we hold in our hands today is exactly the same Qur’an that was revealed to Muhammad (saw), without a single word missing or being extra. To quote the words of
Shi’a scholars in this regard would require a whole separate treatise. But we briefly name just a few of them:

Beginning with Shaikh Suduq, whose words we already quoted, to Shaikh Mofid, Sayyed Murtada, Shaikh Tusi,..., Allamah Hilli, Muqaddas Aridibili, Khashif al-ghitaa, Shaikh Bahai, Fayz Kashani, Shaikh Hurr Ameli, Mohaqiq Kurki, Sayyed Mehdi Bahr ul-Uloom, Sayyed Muhammad Mujahid Tabataba’i, Shaikh Muhammad Husayn Ashtiyani, Shaikh Abdullah Mamqani, Shaikh Javad Balaghi, Sayyed Hibbat al-Din Shahristani, Sharif Radi, Ibn Idris, Sayyed Mohsin Amin Ameli, Sayyed Abdul-Husayn Sharif al-Din, Sayyed Hadi Milani, Sayyed Muhammad Husayn Allamah
Tabataba’i, Sayyed Abul-Ghasim Khoei, Sayyed Muhammad Rada Golbayegani, Sayyed Shahab al-Din Mar’ashi Najafi, Ruhullah Khomeini, etc.

The author then goes on to quote several pages of statements by top Shi’a scholars about the completeness and perfect authenticity of the Holy Qur’an. It is hoped that what was offered on this subject is sufficient for those who try to find the truth, that the Shi’a are the true believers in Qur’an.

It is improper for those who seek the truth to accuse others of something which they are entirely innocent of.

Wassalam

Some of the references of this article:

- Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic English version
- al-Imam al-Sadiq, printed by Dar al-Fikr al-Arabi Egypt
- al-Burhan, by al-Zarkashi
- al-Itqan, by al-Suyuti
- Fathul Bari, by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani
- Irshad al-sari, by al-Qastalani
- al-Kafi, printed by al-Haidari Printings - Tehran, Iran
- Shi’ite Creed (al-I’tiqadat al-Imamiyyah), by Shaykh Saduq
- Masadir al-Hadith ‘Indal Shi’a al-Imamiyyah", by Muhammad Husayn Jalali
- Science of Hadith, by Zainul-Abidin Qurbani

Some Sunni Reports on the Incompleteness of Qur’an

There are some traditions in Sihah Sittah (six authentic Sunni collections) which are not accepted by Shi’a scholars. Among them, some are talking about the changes made in Qur’an “after “the death of the Prophet. As I will show, in some Sunnis report 345 verses, two chapters of Qur’an (one of which is was as much as ch.9 in length) are missing from Qur’an. Here I give you some references in Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, and other important collections which falsely allege that Qur’an is incomplete. Let me first start with Sahih Muslim.

Sahih Muslim

Muslim in the Seventh (7th) part of his Sahih, in the book of Al Zakat about the virtue of being satisfied with what ever God gives about urging people to have that virtue, pp 139-140 (Arabic), reported that Abu al-Aswad reported that his father said:

“(For English version of Sahih Muslim see)”

“(Chapter CCCXCI, p500, Tradition #2286)”

Abu Musa al-Ashari invited the Qur’an readers of Basra. Three hundred (300) readers responded to his invitation. He told them

You are the readers and the choice of the People of Basra. Recite the Qur’an and don’t neglect it. Other wise a long time may elapse and your hearts will ne hardened as the hearts of those who came before you were hardened.

We used to read a Chapter from the Qur’an similar to Bara’ah in length and seriousness, but I forgot it.
I can remember from the Chapter only the following words:

Should a son of Adam own two valleys full of wealth, he should seek a third valley and nothing would fill Ibn Adam’s abdomen but the soil.

We also used to read a chapter similiar to the Musabbihat and I forgot it. I only remember out of it the following:

"Oh you who believe, why do you say what you do not do? (which is now in another place in Qur’an 61:2) Thus a testimony shall be written on your necks and you will be questioned about it on the day of judgment.”(which is a little different than what is in another place in Qur’an 17:13)

It is obvious that the above underlined words which Abu Musa mentioned are not from the Qur’an nor they are similar to any of the Words of God in the Qur’an. It is amazing that Abu Musa claims that two (2) chapters from the Qur’an are missing one of them is similar to Bara’ah in length!!! The following traditions are before the above tradition in Sahih Muslim:

Sahih Muslim (English), Chapter 391, Tradition #2282:

Anas reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: "If the son of Adam were to possess two valleys of riches, he would long for the third one. And the stomach of the son of Adam is not filled but with dust. And Allah returns to him who repents.”

Sahih Muslim (English), Chapter 391, Tradition #2283:

Anas b. Malik reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) as saying this (the sentence of the above tradition), but I do not know whether this thing was revealed to him or not,
but he said so.

Sahih Muslim (English), Chapter 391, Tradition #2284:

Anas b. Malik reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: If there were two valleys of gold for the son of Adam, he would long for another one, and his mouth will not be filled with dust, and Allah returns to him who repents.

Sahih Muslim (English), Chapter 391, Tradition #2285:

Ibn Abbas reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: If there were for the son of Adam a valley full of riches, he would long to possess another one like it, and Ibn Adam does not feel satisfied but with dust. And Allah returns to him who returns (to Him). Ibn Abbas said: I do not know whether it is from Qur’an or not, and in the narration transmitted by Zubair it was said: I do not know whether it is from the Qur’an, and he made no mention of Ibn Abbas.

Muslim also reported in the book of nursing (al-Ridha), v10 pages 29 (Arabic), that Aisha said the following:

There was in what was revealed in the Qur’an that ten (10) times of nursing known with certainty makes the nursing woman a mother of the nursed child. This number of nursing would make the woman ‘Haram’ to the child. Then this verse was replaced by ‘ five (5) known nursing ‘ to make the woman forbidden to the child. The Prophet died while these words were recorded and read in the Qur’an.

Also al-Zamakhshari recorded that Aisha said that the Qur’anic verse enjoining stoning for adultery was written on a leaf, but the leaf was accidentally eaten by a goat while the Prophet Muhammad was on his death-bed, and thus the verse was lost.

Umar (reportedly) Said Chapter 33 Is Incomplete:

al-Muttaqi ‘Ali Ibn Husam al-Din in his book (Mukhtasar Kanz al-Ummal, printed on the margin of Imam Ahmed’s Musnad, v2, p2) in his Hadith about chapter 33, that said Ibn Mardawayh

reported that Huthaifah said:

Umar said to me: How many verses are contained in the Chapter al-Ahzab ? I said 72 (seventy two) or 73 (seventy three) verses. He said: It was almost as long as the chapter of the Cow, which contains 287 (two eighty seven) verses, and in it there was the verse of stoning.

If we take the report of Ibn Mardawayh which Huthaifah attributed to Umar in which he said that the Chapter of al-Ahzab, which contained 72 (Seventy two) verses, was as long as the Chapter of the Cow (containing 287) and take the report of Abu Musa which says that a chapter equal in length to the Chapter of Bara’ah (contains 130) was deleted from the Qur’an, then the deletion in the Qur’an according to these reports would be 345 Verses.

Sahih al-Bukhari

Al-Bukhari recorded in his Sahih, v8, pp 209-210, that Ibn Abbas reported that Umar Ibn al-Khattab said the following in a discourse which he delivered during the last years of the caliphate.

“(For Arabic-English version of Sahih al-Bukhari see 8.817:)”When Umar performed his last Hajj, he said:

Certainly Allah sent Muhammad with the truth and revealed him the Book. One of the revelations which came to him was the verse of stoning. We read it and understood it.

The Messenger of God stoned and we stoned after him. I am concerned that if time goes on, some one may say ‘ By God we do not find the verse of stoning in the Book of God ‘; thus, the Muslims will deviate by neglecting a commandment the Almighty revealed.

Again, we used to read in what we found in the Book of God:
Do not deny the fatherhood of your fathers in contempt because it is a disbelief on your part to be ashamed of your fathers.

More references of similar tradition:

- Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (in the Musnad of Umar under the caption of the Hadith al-Saqeefah, pp 47,55)

- Sirah of Ibn Hisham (Pub. by Issa al-Babi al-Halabi of Egypt 1955), v2, p658

The above Hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari (Tradition 8.817) as well as similar ones in Sahih al-Bukhari (Tradition 8.816 and 9.424(B)) all say "Umar’s last Hajj". Would you tell us when this Hadith could have been told originally? How long had it been passed by then from the death of prophet? Or from the gathering of Qur’an?

Please also note that the above verse which was recited by Umar in the above tradition, is not in present Qur’an.

The following Hadith is narrated without any Hadith number in Bukhari. It is in the title of one of the chapter of Bukhari. Fortunately, it was translated by the translator.

Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic-English version, vol 9, p212:

{Between Traditions 9.281 and 9.282}

(21) Chapter. If a judge has to witness in favor of a litigant when he is a judge or he had it before he became a judge (can he pass a judgment in his favor accordingly or should he refer the case to another judge before whom he would bear witness?).

And the judge Shuraih said to a person who sought his witness, "Go to the ruler so that I may bear witness(before him) for you.”And ‘Ikrima said, "Umar said to ‘Abdur-Rahman bin ‘Auf, ‘If I saw a man committing illegal sexual intercourse or theft, and you were the ruler (what would you do)?. ‘Abdur-Rahman said, ‘I would regard your witness as equal to the witness of any other man among the Muslims. ‘Umar said, ‘You have said the truth.’ ‘Umar added:

If I were not afraid of the fact that people may say that ‘Umar has added to the Qur’an extra (verses), I would have written the Verse al- Rajm (stoning to death of married adulterers) with my own hands. and Ma’iz confessed before the Prophet that he had committed illegal intercourse, whereupon the prophet ordered him to be stoned to death.

It is not mentioned that the prophet sought witness of those who were present there.

Hammad said, "If an adulterer confesses before a ruler once only, he should be stoned to death.”But al-Hakam said, "He must confess four times.

My questions here are:

1)- Do you agree that Umar stated clearly that the verse famous as Rajm was in Qur’an originally (or was revealed originally)?

2)- To discuss the second part, I have given it more closely below:

If I were not afraid of the fact that people may say that ‘Umar has added to the Qur’an extra (verses), I would have written the Verse Ar-Rajm (stoning to death of married adulterers) with my own hands.

2.a)- Was Umar afraid of people talking behind him so and so?

2.b)- Was he afraid of God MORE at the same time he was saying?

(Was he MORE fearful of God, or afraid of people MORE than God?)

2.c)- Is anybody allowed to be afraid of people when revealing the truth about Qur’an is more important?

3)-

3.1)- If Umar were NOT afraid of people, would he have been writing the verse inside of Qur’an by his hand or not?

3.2)- If you were Umar, with the same knowledge and courage, would you have been adding this verse to Qur’an by your hand or not?

4)-

4.1)- Was Umar aware of abrogation or not?

4.2)- Was he aware of abrogation more than present scholars or not?

5)- Did he know that he should (or should not) have been adding the verse inside of Qur’an if it is abrogated or not? (This is not accepted by Shi’a. I will explain this situation very shortly. Some Sunnis say that it can be abrogated practically, and remained outside of Qur’an.

My question is that

Did he know that he should not have been adding this verse inside Qur’an since it is only practically abrogated?)

In other words, if he knew the rule, why he insisted on adding it, If he did not know that, is the above rule an invention of some of Sunni people who wanted to justify missing this verse?

Here is another example, that after the death of Prophet its is alleged that the phrase "Him who created”has been added to verse 92:3.

One of the narrator of this counterversy is Abdullah bin Masud. As I mentioned, The prophet clearly indicated (by Sunni sources) that Abdullah Ibn Masud is one of whom should be trusted on the matter of Qur’an.

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 6.468:

Narrated Ibrahim:

The companions of ‘Abdullah (Ibn Mas’ud) came to Abu Darda’, (and before they arrived at his home), he looked for them and found them. Then he asked them,: ‘Who among you can recite (Qur’an) as ‘Abdullah recites it?”They replied, "All of us.”He asked, "Who among you knows it by heart?”They pointed at ‘Alqama. Then he asked Alqama. "How did you hear ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud reciting Surat al-Lail (The Night)?”

Alqama recited:

‘By the male and the female.’ Abu Ad-Darda said, "I testify that I heard me Prophet reciting it likewise, but these people want me to recite it:--

‘And by Him Who created male and female.’ but by Allah, I will not follow them."

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 5. 85:

Narrated ‘Alqama:

...Abu Darda further asked, "How does ‘Abdullah (bin Mas’ud) recite the Surah starting with, ‘By the Night as it conceals (the light).”(92.1)

Then I recited before him:

‘By the Night as it envelops: And by the Day as it appears in brightness; And by male and female.’ (Qur’an 91.1-3)

On this Abu Ad-Darda’ said, "By Allah, the Prophet made me recite the Surah in this way while

I was listening to him (reciting it)."

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 5.105:

Narrated Alqama:

I went to Sham and was offering a two-Rak’at prayer; I said, "O Allah! Bless me with a (pious) companion.”Then I saw an old man coming towards me, and when he came near I said, (to myself), "I hope Allah has given me my request.”The man asked (me), "Where are you from?”I replied, "I am from the people of Kufa.”He said, "Weren’t there amongst you the Carrier of the (Prophet’s) shoes, Siwak and the ablution water container? Weren’t there amongst you the man who was given Allah’s Refuge from the Satan? And weren’t there amongst you the man who used to keep the (Prophet’s) secrets which nobody else knew?

How did Ibn Um ‘Abd (i.e. ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud) use to recite Surat al-Layl (The Night; ch. 92)?”I recited:--

"By the Night as it envelops By the Day as it appears in brightness. And by male and female.”(92.1-3) On that, Abu Darda said, "By Allah, the Prophet made me read the Verse in this way after listening to him, but these people (of Sham) tried their best to let me say something different."

Comments:

Please read the Verse itself. It is

By Him Who created male and the female.’ (Qur’an 92:3)

Do you see the word "Him who created”in that aayah? If no, please verify the Qur’an that you have. If yes, please tell us that these words are added to Qur’an or not?

As you see, what is written in the parentheses is missing in the Hadith while it is in the Qur’an. Do you think that the aayah is abrogated? If yes, please define the word "abrogation “for us.

{Abrogation is to delete something from Qur’an by the order of the prophet himself. For example, there is a rule for a while, then the prophet brings God’s order that the rule is extended and the previous rule is not acceptable any more. Therefore, the previous rule is abrogated. Now, do you think that "Him who created”is abrogated?

If yes, tell us what you understand from abrogation. Since these words are added, there is no room for abrogation here. If something were deleted, you could say that. Here, nothing is deleted from the present Qur’an. Something is added already based on these traditions.}

Do you think that these words were explanatory words? Your answer: Yes, they were:

Please tell us if the narrators of these traditions knew what is aayah and what is explanatory(commentary) statement?

These narrators say that the people of their time did not recite their way, however, they will not change anything, and they will continue reciting Qur’an that way
.

In addition, the commentary statements is not inside the Qur’an itself. It is in tafsir. However, present Qur’an contains these words "him who created”inside them. Now, please tell us that
the present Qur’an contains the commentary words of Sahabah or not?

Sunnis narrated that after the death of prophet, Qur’an was gathered in different ways, and by different people. Those who did not accept the government’ Qur’an (which was gathered by Abu-Bakr) kept their version of Qur’an at home and did not show it publicly. However, they did recite them as they wanted in public domain.

Abdullah Ibn Masud is one of famous narrators of sunni sources.

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 6.521:

Narrated Masriq:

‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr mentioned ‘Abdullah bin Masud and said, "I shall ever love that man, for I heard the Prophet saying, ‘Take (learn) the Qur’an from four: ‘Abdullah bin Masud, Salim, Mu’adh and Ubai bin Ka’b.’

The prophet clearly indicated (by sunni sources) that Abdullah Ibn Masud is one of whom should be trusted on the matter of Qur’an.

He, himself, says that:

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 6.524:

Narrated ‘Abdullah (bin Mas’ud): By Allah other than Whom none has the right to be worshipped! There is no Sura revealed in Allah’s Book but I know at what place it was revealed; and there is no Verse revealed in Allah’s Book but I know about whom.

This man had a different Qur’an (based on Sunni sources) with a different sequence of chapters and different set of aayaat. As I pointed out , he narrated that one aayat inside the present Qur’an has an extra word

"Him Who created". and He told this to people in different area. One of these differences are the last two chapters of Qur’an. He believed that these two chapters are not Qur’anic chapters and they are only some prayers (Du’aa).

Please read the following traditions very carefully.

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 6.501:

Narrated Zirr bin Hubaish:

I asked Ubai bin Ka’b, "O Abu AlMundhir! Your brother, Ibn Mas’ud said so-and-so (i.e., the two Mu’awwidh-at do not belong to the Qur’an).”

Ubai said, "I asked Allah’s Apostle about them, and he said, ‘They have been revealed to me, and I have recited them (as a part of the Qur’an),”So Ubai added, "So we say as Allah’s Apostle has said."

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 6.500:

Narrated Zirr bin Hubaish:

I asked Ubai bin Ka’b regarding the two Muwwidhat (Surats of taking refuge with Allah). He said, "I asked the Prophet about them, He said, ‘These two Surats have been recited to me and I have recited them (and are present in the Qur’an).’ So, we say as Allah’s Apostle said (i.e., they are part of the Qur’an"

Note:

The explanations inside the parentheses are from the translator (Muhammad Muhsin Khan, University of al-Medina, Saudi Arabia). They are not mine.

My comments:

1)- Do you agree that the speaker of these two traditions are "Ubai-ibn- Ka’b"?

2)- Do you agree that he was talking about these two chapters of Qur’an?

3)- Do you agree that in the first Hadith, the subject is about "Ibn-Masud"?

4)- Do you agree that Ubai-Ibn-Ka’b said that these two chapters are inside of Qur’an, and Ibn-Masud thought that these two are not inside of Qur’an?

5)- Do you trust Ubai-Ibn-Ka’b on this matter, or do you trust
"Ibn-Masud”on THIS matter?

6)- If you reject any of them, how do you justify your act with the first Hadith in this article where both of them are trusted by the prophet? How can you REMOVE and NOT remove these two chapters from Qur’an? Please explain, bring evidences, and references for any Hadith you may quote. Thanks. (I already know what you may quote, so please be careful in quoting them.)

As I said, these traditions are REJECTED by Shi’a since they are clearly illogical, and against the true content of Qur’an. This man, Abdullah-Ibn-Masud, had a different set of Qur’an too.

Please read the following Hadith and explain to us whether the Qur’an of Abdullah Ibn Masud was the same as your Qur’an.

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 6.518:

Narrated Shaqiq:

Abdullah said, "I learnt An-Naza’ir which the Prophet used to recite in pairs in each Rak’a.”Then Abdullah got up and Alqama accompanied him to his house, and when Alqama came out, we asked him (about those Suras). He said, "They are twenty Suras that start from the beginning of al-Mufassal, according to the arrangement done be Ibn Mas’ud, and end with the Suras starting with Ha Mim, e.g. Ha Mim (the Smoke). And

"About what they question one another?”(Qur’an, 78.1)

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 6.514:

Narrated ‘Umar bin al-Khattab:

I heard Hisham bin Hakim reciting Surat al-Furqan during the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle and I listened to his recitation and noticed that he recited in several different ways which Allah’s Apostle had not taught me. I was about to jump over him during his prayer, but I controlled my temper, and when he had completed his prayer, I put his upper garment around his neck and seized him by it and said, "Who taught you this Surah which I heard you reciting?”He replied, "Allah’s Apostle taught it to me.”I said, "You have told a lie, for Allah’s Apostle has taught it to me in a different way from yours.”So I dragged him to Allah’s Apostle and said (to Allah’s Apostle),

"I heard this person reciting Surat al-Furqan in a way which you haven’t taught me!”On that Allah’s Apostle said, "Release him, (O ‘Umar!) Recite, O Hisham!”Then he recited in the same way as I heard him reciting. Then Allah’s Apostle said, "It was revealed in this way,”and added, "Recite, O ‘Umar!”I recited it as he had taught me. Allah’s Apostle then said, "It was revealed in this way.

This Qur’an has been revealed to be recited in seven different ways, so recite of it whichever (way) is easier for you (or read as much of it as may be easy for you)."

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 6. 53:

Narrated Ibn Az-Zubair:

I said to ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan (while he was collecting the Qur’an) regarding the Verse:-- "Those of you who die and leave wives ...”(2.240) "This Verse was abrogated by an other Verse. So why should you write it? (Or leave it in the Qur’an)?”‘Uthman said. "O son of my brother! I will not shift anything of it from its place."

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 6. 60:

Narrated Ibn Az-Zubair:

I said to ‘Uthman, "This Verse which is in Surat-al-Baqara: "Those of you who die and leave widows behind...without turning them out.”has been abrogated by another Verse. Why then do you write it (in the Qur’an)?”‘Uthman said. "Leave it (where it is), O the son of my brother, for I will not shift anything of it (i.e. the Qur’an) from its original position."

My comments: If the previously mentioned verses which are alleged to be in Qur’an as Sahih al-Bukhari claims, are abrogated, then why are they missing in the Qur’an? How can we justify the last two traditions? More over, how can something become abrogated after the death of Prophet?

If a verse is abrogated, there has to be an existing verse which is better or equal than the previous one. This is what Qur’an testifies:

None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar Do you not know that Allah has power over all things? (Qur’an 2:106)

Thus the abrogated and abrogating verses are always in pair.

As the above Sunni traditions confirm, the abrogated verse must be in Qur’an. There are quite a few verses in present Qur’an which are clearly stated in Tafaseer (of Sunni and Shi’a) that specific verses are abrogated by such and such verses. The only abrogated verses which do not exist in the Qur’an are those which Allah cause them to be "forgotten”(see the above verse of Qur’an). Since the forgotten verses were not in the mind of the prophet and the people, it is normal that these verses are not in the present Qur’an, since nobody could remember them because of Allah’s will.

The traditions mentioned from Sihah Sittah claim that some verses in Qur’an are missing and the companions not only “remember “them, but also recite them in public. So it can not be abrogated since it is not forgotten nor we have any similar verses (abrogating pairs) in Qur’an for them.

Moreover, the abrogation is only at the time of Prophet, and not after his death. However some of the above traditions allege that some companions believed that people after the death of Prophet have changed the words of Qur’an, however, they will not change anything, and they will continue reciting their own version of Qur’an. Abrogation can not be an answer for such disputes.

Also al-Hakim An-Nisaboori in his book "Al-Mustadrak”in the section of commentary on the Qur’an, part two, p224, reported that Ubai Ibn Kaab (whom the Prophet called the leader of al-ansar), said that the Messenger of God said to him:

Certainly the Almighty commanded me to read the Qur’an in front of you, and he read "The unbelievers from the people of the Book and the pagans will not change their way until they see the evidence. Those who disbelieve among the people of the scripture and the idolaters could not change until the clear proof came unto them. A Messenger from Allah, reading purified pages...”And of the very excellent part of it:

"Should Ibn Adam ask for a valley full of wealth and I grant it to him, he would ask for another valley. And if I grant him that, he would ask for a third valley. Nothing would fill the abdomen of Ibn Adam except the soil. God accepts the repentance of anyone who repents. The religion in the eyes of God is the Hanafiyah (Islam) rather than Yahudiyya (Judaism) or Nasraniya (Christianity). Whoever does good, his goodness will not be denied."

Sunni reference: al-Mustadrak by al-Hakim, section of commentary on the Qur’an, v2, p224

Al-Hakim wrote: This is an authentic Hadith. al-Dhahabi also considered it authentic in his commentary (on al-Mustadrak). al-Hakim reported that

Obei Ibn Kabb used to read:

"Those who disbelieved had set up in their hearts the zealotry of the age of ignorance; and if you had had a similar zealotry, the Sacred Mosque would have been corrupted, and God (would have) brought down His peace of reassurance upon His Messenger"

When al-Hakim said this is authentic according to the standards of the two sheikhs (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)!!! and when al-Dhahabi also considered it authentic in his Commentary on al-Mustadrak, v2, pp 225-226, and when Muslim report similar to this from Abu Musa Ash’ari which I mentioned earlier, then what will be the conclusion?

Those who claim that anyone who has recoded a tradition which implies the incompleteness of Qur’an is Kafir, should first pass this verdict for al-Bukhari, Muslim, al-Hakim, because they testified that such absurd traditions are authentic and have named their book "Sahih"! This is while the author of al-Kafi never claimed that his book is all-authentic, and mentioned that those traditions which contradict Qur’an should be rejected.

Furthermore, let’s suppose that al-Kulaini in his book, al-Kafi, had recorded some traditions which may imply the incompleteness of Qur’an. Why should all the Shi’a be accused of the belief in the incompleteness of the Qur’an? al-Kulaini was not an infallible, and if a scholar like him makes a mistake in recording a tradition which later found to be weak, why should we attribute the mistake to millions of the Shi’a?

If such an accusation is possible and permissible, why should we not accuse all the Sunnis of the belief of the incompleteness of the Qur’an because they are the followers of Umar who was quoted by al-Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and Ibn Mardawayh to have said that the Qur’an was incomplete, and that more than 200 verses were deleted? Why should Umar, Aisha, Abu Musa not be accused of the same thing because of all of them stated the incompleteness of the Qur’an?

We believe that the Qur’an as it is now is the entire Qur’an without any subtraction or addition. It is the Qur’an which no false hood from the era of pre revelation or post revelation entered it. It is a revelation from the Mighty, the Praised. Allah promised that He will protect the Qur’an. He said:

"Certainly We sent down the Reminder (i.e., Qur’an), and certainly we shall protect it”(Qur’an 15:9)


إِنَّا


 


نَحْنُ


 


نَزَّلْنَا


 


الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ


 


﴿الحجر: ٩﴾

It is the Qur’an through which the Messenger and the Members of his House commanded us to test the authenticity of every Hadith, and accept the Hadith that agrees with the Qur’an and reject the Hadith which contradicts the Qur’an. We believe that whoever says that the Qur’an is incomplete, was added is completely wrong. What was reported on this subject from Umar, Abu Musa, Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad Hanbal, al-Hakim, and Kulaini is completely rejected and absolutely unacceptable, if they want to mean the incompleteness of Qur’an.

Despite the Sunni brothers who believe they have some authentic books, Shi’a believe that only Qur’an is all-authentic, and all the traditions attributed to prophet and Imams, are subject to check with well understood concepts in Qur’an.

Some of the references of this article:

- Sahih Bukhari printed by Muhammad ‘Ali Subaih in Egypt
- Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic English version
- Sahih Muslim printed by Muhammad ‘Ali Subaih in Egypt
- Sahih Muslim, English version
- Mustadrak by Hakim printed by al-Nasr in al-Riyadh 1335
- Musnad of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, printed Sader Beirute Lebanon 1969

The Qur’an Compiled by Imam ‘Ali (as)

There is no dispute among Muslim scholars, whether they are Sunni or Shi’a, concerning the fact that the Commander of Believers, ‘Ali (as), possessed a special transcript of the text of Qur’an which he had collected himself, and he was THE FIRST who compiled Qur’an. There are a great number of traditions from Sunni and Shi’a which states that after the death of the Holy Prophet (S), Imam ‘Ali sat down in his house and said that he had sworn an oath that he would not put on his outdoor clothes or leave his house until he collects together the Qur’an.

Sunni references:

- Fat’hul Bari fi Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, v10, p386
- al-fihrist, by (Ibn) an-Nadim, p30
- al-Itqan, by al-Suyuti, v1, p165
- al-Masahif, by Ibn Abi Dawud, p10
- Hilyatul awliya’, by Abu Nu’aym, v1, p67
- al-Sahibi, by Ibn Faris, p79
- ‘Umdatul Qari, by al-Ayni, v20, p16
- Kanzul Ummal, by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, v15, pp 112-113
- al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Ch. 9, Section 4, p197
- Ma’rifat al-Qurra’ al-kibar, by al-Dhahabi, v1, p31

There are also traditions from the Imams of Ahlul Bayt which tell us that this was done by Imam ‘Ali by order of the Holy Prophet (See al-Bihar, v92, pp 40-41,48,51-52).

This transcript of Qur’an which compiled by Imam ‘Ali (as) had the following unique specifications:

a) It was collected according to its revelation, i.e., in the order in which it had been sent down. This is the reason that Muhammad Ibn Sireen (33/653 - 110/729), the famous scholar and Tabi’i (disciples of the companions of the Holy Prophet), regretted that this transcript had not passed into the hands of the Muslims, and said: "If that transcript were in our hands, we would found a great knowledge in it.”

Sunni References:

- at-Tabaqat, by Ibn Sa’d, v2, part 2, p101
- Ansab al-ashraf, by al-Baladhuri, v1, p587
- al-Istiab, by Ibn Abd al-Barr, v3, pp 973-974
- Sharh Ibn Abi al-Hadid, v6, pp 40-41
- al-Tas’hil, by Ibn Juzzi al-Kalbi, v1, p4
- al-Itqan, by al-Suyuti, v1, p166
- al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Ch. 9, Section 4, p197
- Ma’rifat al-Qurra’ al-kibar, by al-Dhahabi, v1, p32

It is according to this transcript that Sunni scholars relate that the first Chapter of Qur’an which was sent down to the Prophet (S) was Chapter al-Iqra (al-Alaq, Ch. 96).

Sunni References:

- al-Burhan, by al-Zarkashi, v1, p259
- al-Itqan, by al-Suyuti, v1, p202
- Fathul Bari, by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, v10, p417
- Irshad al-sari, by al-Qastalani, v7, p454

As you know the Chapter al-Alaq is not at the beginning of the present Qur’an. Also Muslims agree that the verse (5:3) was among one of the last revealed verses of Qur’an (but not the very last one), yet it is not toward the end of the present Qur’an. This clearly proves that although the Qur’an that we have available is complete, it is not in the order that has been revealed. These few misplacements were done by some companions on purpose at worst, or out of ignorance at least.

It was for this reason that the Commander of Believers, ‘Ali (as) frequently stated in his sermons: "Ask me before you lose me. By Allah, if you ask me about anything that could happen up to the Day of Judgment, I will tell you about it. Ask me, for, by Allah, you will not be able to ask me a question about anything without my informing you. Ask me about the Book of Allah, for by Allah, there is no verse about which I do not know whether it was sent down at night or during the day, or whether it was revealed on a plain or in a mountain."

Sunni References:

- al-Riyadh al-Nadhirah, by al-Muhib al-Tabari, v2, p198
- at-Tabaqat, by Ibn Sa’d, v2, part 2, p101
- al-Isabah, by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, v4, p568
- Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, v7, pp 337-338
- Fathul Bari, by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, v8, p485
- al-Istiab, by Ibn Abd al-Barr, v3, p1107
- Tarikh al-Khulafa, by al-Suyuti, p124
- al-Itqan, by al-Suyuti, v2, p319

b) This transcript contained commentary and hermeneutic interpretation (Tafsir and Ta’wil) from the Holy Prophet some of which had been sent down as revelation but NOT as a part of the text of Qur’an. A small amount of such texts can be found in some traditions in Usul al-Kafi. These pieces of information were the Divine commentary of the text of Qur’an which were revealed along with Qur’anic verses. Thus the commentary verses and Qur’anic verses could sum up to 17000 verses. As Sunnis know, Hadith al-Qudsi (the Hadith in which the speaker is Allah) is also direct revelation, but they are not a part of Qur’an. In fact Qur’an testifies that anything that Prophet said was (either direct or indirect) revelation (See Qur’an 53:3-4). The direct revelation includes the interpretation/commentary of the Qur’an.

In addition, this unique transcript contained the information from the Holy Prophet about which verse was abrogated and which was abrogating, which verse was clear (Muhkam) and which was ambiguous (Mutashabih), which verse was general and which was specific.

c) This unique transcript also contained references to the persons, places etc., about which the verses were revealed, what is called "Asbab al- Nuzul". Since the Commander of Believers was aware of these facts, he frequently said: "By Allah, no verse has been sent down without my knowing about whom or what it was revealed and where it was revealed. My Lord has gifted me with a mind which has a quick and retaining understanding, and a tongue which speaks eloquently."

Sunni References:

- Hilyatul Awliyaa, by Abu Nu’aym, v1, pp 67-68
- at-Tabaqat, by Ibn Sa’d, v2, part 2, p101
- Kanzul Ummal, by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, v15, p113
- al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Ch. 9, Section 4, p197

After he compiled this transcript, Imam ‘Ali (as) took it and presented it to the rulers who came after the Holy Prophet, and said: "Here is the book of Allah, your Lord, in the order that was revealed to your Prophet.”but they did not accept it and replied: "We have no need of this. We have with us what you possess.”Thereupon, Imam ‘Ali (as) took the transcript back and informed them that they will never see it again. It is reported that Imam ‘Ali recited the latter part of the following verse of Qur’an:

"And when Allah took a Covenant from the People of the Book to clarify it to mankind and not to hide its (clarification); but they threw it away behind their backs and purchased with it some
miserable gain! and what an evil was the bargain they made!”(Qur’an 3:187)

By "its clarification", Imam ‘Ali meant the unique divine commentaries. The Commander of Believers then concealed that transcript, and after him it was passed to the Imams who also kept it concealed. It remained concealed with the Imams, one after the other to this day, because they wished to be only one sequence of Qur’an among the Muslims. Because otherwise if people have had two different sequences, it might later result to some alteration in Qur’an by some sick-minded people.

They wished people have strictly one sequence of Qur’an. The Qur’an and its commentary which were collected by Imam ‘Ali (as) is not available for any Shi’a in the world except to the Imam Mahdi (as). If the transcript of the Commander of Believers had been accepted, that would have been the Qur’an with unique commentary in the hand of people, but it turned out to be otherwise.

This gives the meaning of the traditions in Usul al-Kafi which say that no one but the Commander of Believers and the later Imams had the Qur’an in the order it was revealed, and that the Qur’an which they had contains "what can be understood of the heaven, etc.”and "the Knowledge of the Book, all of it,”because they were the commentaries and interpretations noted in the transcript of Imam ‘Ali directly from the Holy Prophet (S). Allah, to whom belong Might and Majesty, said:

"And We have sent down on you a Book in which is the clarification of ALL the things.”(Qur’an 16:89)

Sometimes the word "tahrif”is used in some traditions, and it must be made clear that the meaning of this word is changing of something from its proper place to another place, like changing the right position of sentence, or giving it a meaning other than its true or intended meaning.

Therefore, it has absolutely nothing to do with addition or subtraction from the text. It is thus with this meaning that the Qur’an states:

"Some of the Jews distort (yuharrifuna) words from their meaning”(Qur’an 4:46).

This meaning of "tahrif", i.e., changing of meaning or changing the context, as it appears in the Qur’an, has not only been applied in the Muslim community to the verses of the Qur’an but also to the ahadith of the Holy Prophet, even by rulers who have been prepared to use Islam to their own personal advantage. It is this "tahrif", with this meaning, that the Imams of Ahlul-Bayt have constantly sought to oppose. As one example, Imam al-Baqir (as) complained about the situation of the Muslims and their corrupt rulers, and said:

"One of the manifestations of their rejecting the Book (of Allah behind their backs) (see Qur’an 2:101) is that they have fixed its words. but they have altered the limits (of its command) (harrafu hududah). They have (correctly) narrated it, but they do not observe (what) it (says). Ignorant people delight in their preservation of its narration, but the knowledgeable people deplore their ignoring to observe (what) it (says)."

Shi’i references:

- al-Kafi, v8, p53
- al-Wafi, v5, p274 and v14, p214

This use of "tahrif”is taken as a definition for the word wherever it appears in the ahadith of the Imams, similar to what Qur’an (4:46) has used.

It is necessary to emphasize here that all grand scholars of the Imami Shi’a are in agreement that the Qur’an which is at present among the Muslims is the very same Qur’an that was sent down to the Holy Prophet, and that it has not been altered. Nothing has been added to it, and nothing is missing from it.

The Qur’an which was compiled by Imam ‘Ali (excluding the commentaries) and the Qur’an that is in the hand of people today, are identical in terms of words and sentences. No word, verse, chapter is missing. The only difference is that the current Qur’an (collected by the companions) is not in the order that was revealed.

The completeness of Qur’an is so indisputable among Shi’a that the great Shi’a scholar, Abu Ja’far Muhammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Husayn Ibn Babwayh, known as

"Shaikh Saduq”(309/919-381/991), wrote:

"Our belief is that the Qur’an which Allah revealed to His Prophet Muhammad is (the same as) the one between the two covers (daffatayn). And it is the one which is in the hands of the people, and is not greater in extent than that. The number of Surahs as generally accepted is one hundred and fourteen...And he who asserts that we say that it is greater in extent than that, is a liar."

Shi’i reference: Shi’ite Creed (al-I’tiqadat al-Imamiyyah), by Shaikh Saduq, English version, p77.

It should be noted that Shaikh Saduq (ra) was the greatest scholars of Hadith among the Imami Shi’a and was given the name of Shaikh al-Muhaddithin (i.e., the most eminent of the scholars of Hadith). And since he wrote the above in a book with the name of "The beliefs of the Imami Shi’a,”it is quite impossible that there could be any authentic Hadith in contrary to it. It is noteworthy that Shaikh Saduq lived at the time of minor occultation of Imam Mahdi (as) and he is one of the earliest Shi’a scholars.

He had the honor that he was born with the prayer of Imam Mahdi (as). For a more detailed discussion of completeness of Qur’an as well as the opinion of the Shi’a, interested readers may look at "al-Bayan,”by Abul Qasim al-Khoei, pp 214-278.

Some ignorant opponents of the Shi’a mentioned that we apply al-Taqiyya (dissimulation) and we do not release our actual belief on Qur’an. These people never tried to understand that Taqiyya is for the time when my life or the life of the other fellow is in danger. There is no need to conceal my belief here since I am not under prosecution. The above article is witness to what I say.

Taqiyya is not a good excuse for these people in front of Allah to disregard what Shi’a present. They have liberty to check the traditions which we have mentioned in different articles, or they can else ask their "honest”scholars to do that.

And the truth is the best to be followed...

Wassalam.

Tabarsi and Incompleteness of Qur’an

A Wahhabi wrote:

As for Khomeini, in his book Alhukumatul Islamia he speaks very highly of Nuri Tabrasi. He has even quoted from certain of his books in support of his teories. Tabrasi is the very same person who wrote a book titled "Faslul Khitaab fi tahrifi kitaabi Rabbil Arbaab”(the decisive say on the proof of Alteration of the book of the lord of lords) printed in Iran, 1298 A.H., to see that not only he claims the Qur’an is not complete but also he present examples of Surah that is deleted from the Qur’an

There are three individuals with the title of Tabarsi among the Shi’a. The one you mentioned who wrote a booklet on the incompleteness of Qur’an, is al-Nuri al-Tabarsi (Husayn Ibn Muhammad Taqi al-Nuri al- Tabarsi) (c 1254/1838 - 1320/1902).

Those who call the Shi’a Kafir due to this booklet will be surprised if they know that many of the Hadiths that al-Nuri al-Tabarsi has quoted are, in fact, from the Sunni documents and were quoted from their most authentic books!

Actually his book has two parts. In one part he has gathered the Sunni reports and in the other part he provided the Shi’a reports in this regard. The Wahhabis, who have recently distributed copies of this book to attack the Shi’a, have intentionally omitted the part related to the Sunni reports!

Nonetheless, the Shi’a scholars of his time disagreed with his conclusion regarding the alteration of Qur’an. This shows that the Shi’a scholars strongly believed nothing is missing from Qur’an.

One important remark, here, is that, we cannot call any person (Shi’a or Sunni) who claims Qur’an is incomplete, as Kafir. This is simply because believing in the completeness of Qur’an is not an article of faith, nor do we have any tradition saying that anyone who claims Qur’an is incomplete, is a Kafir. Also, the verse of Qur’an that states that Allah is the protector of the Reminder, can be interpreted differently. (Logically we cannot prove the lack of alteration in Qur’an by Qur’an!)

We can not add anything to the articles of faith after the demise of the Prophet (S), specially something like completeness of a Qur’an that was compiled at the time of Uthman long after the demise of the Prophet (S). Thus claiming Kufr would be an innovation and a false accusation and according to Islamic teachings such accusation will result in serious consequences for the accuser.

If a Muslim dose not agree with completeness of the Qur’an at hand, such wrong idea does not make his belief deficient if he still believes in all what have been revealed to the Prophet (S) is truth. Much the same as all Muslims agree that all the Sunna of the Prophet (S) is truth, though some of his Sunna may not have reached us.

What we can say about those individuals, who do not believe in completeness of the Qur’an that we have at hand, is that they are sadly mistaken in understanding the meaning of the traditions on which they based their proof. Also one should distinguish between a person who believes Qur’an is incomplete, and a person who has recorded some weak traditions among others in his book, simply because he wants to pass down all the information he has received (which are subject to verification at a later time).

The second person with the title of Tabarsi is Abu Mansoor Ahmad Ibn ‘Ali who lived in the sixth century after Hijrah. He is famous for some of his works. He never wrote any book to prove Qur’an is incomplete! Ayatullah Khomeini (ra) quoted from this person in his book, and not the first person as you alleged.

The highly-acknowledged Tabarsi in the Shi’a world is yet another person. His name is Abu ‘Ali al-Fadl Ibn al-Hasan al-Tabarsi (c 486/1093 - 548/1154), who is one of the famous Imami traditionists and the commentators Qur’an. His book on Tafsir is well-known. He believed in the completeness of Qur’an as other Shi’a scholars do. Abu ‘Ali al-Tabarsi mentioned:

"There are no words added to the Qur’an. Any claim of added words is unanimously denied by the Shi’ites. As to the deletion, some Shi’ites and some Sunnis said that there is deletion. But Our scholars deny that."

- Shi’i reference: Quoted from al-Tabarsi, in the Commentary of the Holy Qur’an, by al-Safi

- Sunni reference: Quoted from al-Tabarsi, by Professor Muhammad Abu Zahrah in his book "Imam al-Sadiq".

First of all, Tabarsi has confirmed that nothing has been added in to the Qur’an (as opposed to some of the traditions in Sahih al-Bukhari which claim otherwise). Second, he has mentioned that our scholars (the Shi’a scholars) rejected the idea that anything has been deleted from the Qur’an. His saying clearly shows that the Shi’a scholars disagreed with any idea concerning that Qur’an is missing something.

Thus the very small number of the traditions that might imply otherwise should have proper interpretation. Also as Tabarsi mentioned, such traditions which might imply deletion, are not exclusive to the Shi’ite books, and can be found in the most important Sunni collections of traditions such as Sahih Muslim and Sahih al-Bukhari.

The Wahhabi opponent further wrote:

Nuri al-Tabarsi present examples of Surah that is deleted from the Qur’an, like the Surah of Wali “Oh you who belive, belive in the prophet and 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... What do you have to say to this!!!

All the Shi’a scholars unanimously rejected the opinion of Noori al-Tabarsi that there was a Chapter called Wali. But since you tried to solve all the problems concerning numerous traditions reported in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim on the deletion of two chapters of Qur’an with the “length “of chapter of al-Bara’ah! (ch. 9) by saying that they were abrogated (even after the death of Prophet!!!), then let’s suppose for the sake of argument that the above small chapter called Wali was revealed, and then it was abrogated. How does that sound?

As for the concept of Wali, we do not need any new chapter to prove it. The concept of Wali has been mentioned in Qur’an with its general as well as its special meaning. Here is just one of the verses with its special meaning:

“Only “Allah is your WALI, and His Messenger and those among believers who keep alive prayer and pay Zakat while they are in the state of bowing. (Qur’an 5:55)

The above verse clearly suggests that “not “all believers are your Wali with the special meaning of Wali in this verse which is "master”and "leader". Here again, Wali does not mean just friend, because all the believers are friends of each other. The above verse mentions that only three items are your special Wali: Allah, Prophet Muhammad, and Imam ‘Ali for he was the only one at the time of Prophet who paid Zakat while he was in the state bowing (ruku’). Muslim scholars are unanimous in reporting this event. Here are just some of the Sunni references which mentioned the revelation of the above verse of Qur’an in the honor of Imam ‘Ali:

(1) Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v5, p38

(2) Tafsir al-Kashshaf, by al-Zamakhshari, Egypt 1373, v1, pp 505,649

(3) Tafsir al-Kabir, by Ahmad Ibn Muhammad al-Tha’labi

(4) Tafsir al-Bayan, by Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, v6, pp 186,288-289

(5) Tafsir Jamiul Hukam al-Qur’an, by Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Qurtubi, v6, p219

(6) Tafsir al-Khazin, v2, p68

(7) Durr al-Manthur, by al-Suyuti, v2, pp 293-294

(8) Asbab al-Nuzool, by Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, Egypt 1382, v1, p73 on the authority of Ibn Abbas

(9) Asbab al-Nuzool, by al-Wahidi

(10) Sharh al-Tjrid, by Allama Qushji

(11) Ahkam al-Qur’an, al-Jassas, v2, pp 542-543

(12) Kanzul Ummal, by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, v6, p391

(13) al-Awsat, by Tabarani, narrated from Ammar Yasir

(14) Ibn Mardawayh, on the authority of Ibn Abbas

... and more ...

Please see the article of Ghadir Khum, Part II, for more information and clarification about the above verse.

The Book of Fatimah (sa)

Some anti-Shi’i booklets published by Wahhabis groups allege that based on Usul Kafi, Shi’a believe there is a Qur’an called "Qur’an of Fatimah"! This is a malicious accusation. There is no tradition in Usul Kafi saying "Qur’an of Fatimah". There are however, very few traditions in one chapter of Usul Kafi which assert that Fatimah (sa) wrote a book (mushaf). The tradition states "The book of Fatimah". Surely Qur’an is a book (mushaf), but any book is NOT Qur’an. This allegation is as silly as saying "Qur’an of al-Bukhari”instead of "book of al-Bukhari"!

Also those few traditions in al-Kafi clearly state that there is no single verse of Qur’an in the Book of Fatimah. This shows that the book of Fatimah is totally different than Qur’an. Of course, it was three time bigger than Qur’an in length.

In one tradition it said that Fatimah (sa), after the Prophet (S) passed away, used to write what she was told that would happen to her descendants and stories about other rulers to come (up to the day of resurrection). Fatimah (sa) recorded (or asked Imam ‘Ali to record) those information, which was kept in her family of Imams, and was called "The Book (Mushaf) of Fatimah".

A tradition which follows this one clearly states that what is referred to by "The Book of Fatimah”is not a part of Qur’an and has nothing to do with Allah’s commandments/halals/harams. It does not have anything to do with Shari’ah (divine law) and the religious practices. Let me give you some of those traditions:

Abu Abdillah (as) said: "... We have with us the Book of Fatimah, but I do not claim that anything of the Qur’an is in it.”(Usul al-Kafi, Tradition #637)

Abu Abdillah (as) also said about the book of Fatimah: "There is nothing of what is permitted and what is forbidden (al-Halal and al- Haram) in this; but in it is the knowledge of what will happen.”(Usul Kafi, Tradition #636)

Abdul Malik Ibn Ayan said to Abu Abdillah (as): "The Zaydiyyah and the Mu’tazilah have gathered around Muhammad Ibn Abdillah (Ibn al-Hasan, the second). Will have they any rule?”He (as) said: "By Allah there are two books in my possession in which every prophet and every ruler who rules on this earth (from the beginning of the earth till the day of Judgment) has been named. No, by Allah, Muhammad Ibn Abdillah is not one of them.”(Usul Kafi, Tradition #641)

"Mushaf”refers to a collection of "Sahifa”which is singular for "page". The literal meaning of Mushaf is "The manuscript bound between two boards". In those days they used to write on leather and other materials. They either rolled the writings -- what is known as scroll in English. Or they kept the separable sheets and bound them together, in what could be called as "Mushaf", a book in today’s terms. The equivalent to the word book "Kitab”used to (and still is) refer to either a letter (e.g. of correspondence) or to an document that was written down or recorded. The Arabic word for wrote "Kataba”is a derivative of the same word.

Although the Qur’an is commonly called a "Mushaf”today, perhaps referring to its "collection”after it was dispersed. Qur’an is a Mushaf (book), but any Mushaf (book) is not necessarily the Qur’an! There is no Qur’an of Fatimah! As the above and many other traditions suggest, The book of Fatimah has absolutely no connection with Qur’an. This concept is commonly pulled out of context and published by anti-Shi’i groups due to their hatred toward the Followers of the Members of the House of Prophet (S). I have seen it mentioned in a book printed by the government of Saudi Arabia.

What is also “very”important to recognize and understand is that belief in Mushaf Fatimah is NOT a requirement of belief to the Shi’a. It is just few traditions which report such a thing. It is nothing crucial for us, nor any one (except Imam Mahdi) has access to it.

Can ANY human do that?

There is an aayah inside Qur’an where Allah is saying:

Surely We have revealed the Reminder and We will most surely be its guardian (15:9)

As this verse is telling us, Qur’an is protected by Allah himself. This verse implies that Qur’an is not altered by the prophet, and it is not altered by the end of the prophet’s life. There are two different understandings, however, on this aayah, one is from sunni people and the other is from Shi’a-athna-ashari. Shi’a-athna-ashari says that the book of Allah is protected by Allah himself and along with the history.

Not even one single human being can add any letter, reduce any letter, or change any letter of it. This does include all types of human beings. It is , in reality, out of the power of human being to do that. As the result of such understanding, Shi’a-athna-ashari says:

Even a Budist can not change Qur’an and publish it and widely.
Even a zionist can not do that.
A Shi’a can not do that.
The prophet, himself, can not do that.
‘Ali and his sons can not do that,
None among SUNNI people can do that.
Not a pagan can do that.

Simply:

No single human being can alter Qur’an in any way.
On the other hand, there is sunni people who say that Shi’a have a different Qur’an. Let us see what this claim lead to:

If you accept that a group of people such as shia (or any group named as XXXX) has altered Qur’an, you are simply question the ability of Allah in preserving Qur’an. You are saying that a group were able to do that and publish such Qur’an among themselves and use it. Well, God was supposed to protect Qur’an, right? If such Qur’an exists,then Allah must be weak.

In other words, sunni people believe in a very weak version of protection of Allah. While Shi’a-athan-ashari people do not accept such weakness.

In other words, whoever says like this does indeed believe that a few people (even one single human being) has already altered Qur’an. In other words, he, himself, believes in the alteration of Qur’an, not by himself, but by others.

One may say that there is no physical different Qur’an. But Shi’a believe in that, just in their mind. You must be kidding. Don’t you think that such Shi’a exists only in your mind and nowhere else? Few ahaadith which are refering a different Qur’an also imply that the different Qur’an was seen by the narrator of the hadith. Sometimes, as you have seen by addition of "Who created”in Qur’an and I referred to before.

The narrators even give you the exact words of such Qur’an, sometimes, they even give the full aayah which is deleted or added, or even they talk about full chapters of Qur’an. These two does not come along with each other. If such Qur’an exists, then the God must be lying to people. If the God is the most truthful and the most powerful, then there is no such Qur’an.

Let me put this in another way: If you claim that such Qur’an did/does exist, you simply attack muslims and the present Qur’an and you are simply attacking the God.

I would like to ask sunni brothers to answer:

Do you think that a pagan indian can alter the Qur’an?

(Honest, sunni brothers know this. What they wanted to do was to attack Shi’a in front of usual people who have come back from their farms.)

Before I end this article, I would like to bring something to your attention. Have you ever played chess, or have you ever watched others playing chess? (I am not playing)

It has happened that (A) is very expert in playing chess. He plays with (B). When (B) is loosing and there is only one (or two) move(s) for (B) to loose the game, (A) suggests something interesting.

He rotates the chess sheet 180 degree. By this, the place of winner and looser will change. (A) who was winner before, is now looser, and (B) who was looser before, becomes closer to winning. But the story does not end here. (A) is so expert that he wins again. He can get rid of the problems, solve them, and gain power and the key rule in the play of chess.

The story of Shi’a-athna-ashari is very similar to this. If you attend their religious classes, (not any class, though), you will find the same game again. The teacher proves to you that one subject is such and such. You become confident that you will leave this religion forever. Then he starts explaining all the previous reasons and opens each problem, and brings other sources and reasons, and you can see that how amazingly the definition of the subject is changed. You become so happy that you have got the truth. The difference is now that you think your faith is MORE stronger.

This behavior is kept even inside of books. If a reader is not familiar with this method, he simply thinks that the author is Kafir. If he does not read the entire book, he will certainly be angry to some parts of the book. On the other hand, if the reader is patience, he will shortly see that the tone of the author is changed. This method has caused a lot of problem. One is for those readers who read these books partially. They simply accuse the author publicly that he is Kafir. If another person has read that book already, he will laugh at the first person for the lack of reading. Anyway:

The subject of alteration of Qur’an is one of these subjects. It is quite possible to prove for you, the readers of SRI, that Qur’an is altered using Qur’an itself. The problem is that this method is very dangerous. If a person like me fails to correctly transfer the subject to you, most of you will certainly loose your faith to Qur’an. I can disprove all the reasons I bring for you, though, but it is too risky.

I just wanted you to know that Shi’a-athna-ashari are so expert on this area that no other sects of islam have followed them in such subjects. They show that Qur’an is not altered using Qur’an, Hadith, and historical account. When the class ends, you will find a very firm system of thought about that special subject.You will find it closed and patched. They bring for you the sources from anywhere, simply anywhere, and show you the truth. As you can imagine, some babies of this schools of thought, such as me, know about 6 books of Sunni (Sehah Settah) even more than a normal sunni. I am sorry to say that Shi’a of this school is so progressed that they left others behind without paying any attention.

Early Debates on the Integrity of the Qur’an Part 1

(This article is written by Professor Hossein Modarresi from Princeton University, NJ)

This short article attempts to shed some light on the origins of the Sunnite-Shi’ite controversies on the integrity of the text of the Qur’an. The development of these debates in the first Islamic centuries represents an interest example of how ideas evolved in the early period through sectarian disputes, as well as contacts and communication between various Muslim sects and schools of thought.

Despite severe mistrust, various factors existed to facilitate the give and take among different sects. Most prominent was a group of hadith transmitters who frequented different sectatrian camps and, thereby, introduced much of each sect’s literature to the others. Often confusion on the part of these "bipolar”narrators of hadith helped "naturalize”segments of one sect’s literature into that of another sect.

This was particularly true in Shi’ism, many of transmitters heard hadith from both Shitite and Sunnite sources, and later misattributed much of what they had heard.1 The early Shi’ite mutakallimun also quoted statements from the Sunnite sources in their polemics against the Sunnites as argumentum ad hominem.

But from the mid 3rd/9th century onward, it was common for some Shi’ite authors and traditionisls to attribute a Shi’ite origin to this material, since it was thought that whatever the companions of the Imams and early Shl’ite mutakallimun said or wrote, even what they used in their polemics, necessarily represented the views and statements of the Imams. 2 This assumption led to the introduction of much alien material into Shi’ite thought.

Many of these early interchanges were forgotten over time. Hence it was not known that many of the ideas that were later labeled as Sunnite, Shi’ite, or the like were originally held by a different group or, at least in the early period before the sects took on their final shape, were shared by various mainstream elements of Islamic society.

The question of the integrity of the Uthmanic text of the Qur-an and the controversies surrounding it are a prime example of that phenomenon. The central issue in these debates was whether the Uthmanic text comprehended the entire body of material that was revealed to the Prophet, or whether there had been further material that was missing from the Uthmanic text. In the following pages, we shall examine the Sunnite-Shi’ite interchanges on this question.

The evidence in the text of the Qur’an itself as well as in hadith indicates that the Prophet compiled a written scripture for Islam during his own life-time, most likely in his first years in Medina.3 He reportedly continued until the end of his life to personally instruct the scribes where to insert new passages of the revelation in the scripture.4 There are also indications that parts of earlier revelations were not included in the scripture. One verse in the Qur’an acknowledges the absence of a part of revelation which was abrogated or "caused to be forgoeten,5 another spoke of verses that God substituted for uthers.6

Early Muslims reportedly used to recall verses of the revelation they did not find in the new scripture. They were however, aware that those passages were deliberately excluded by the Prophet, since the Muslims frequently referred to them as what "abrogated”(nusikha), "lifted”(rufi’a), "caused to be forgotten”(unsiya), or "dropped’t (usqita)7.

The concept of abrogation of the revelation (naskh al Quran) apparently referred originally to those parts were not included by the Prophet in the scripture.8 Later, however, the concept was developed in the Sunnite tradition to include several hypothetical categories, most of them with examples preserved in the present text of the Qur’an. With a single possible exception,9 however, it is highly doubtful that the Qur’an includes any abrogated verse.

The Sunnite account of the collection of the Qur’an is completely different from the above. It contends that the Qur’an was not compiled in a single volume until after the Prophet died in the year 11/632.10 The "recorders of the revelation”(kuttab al-wahy) used to jot down the verses immediately after the Prophet received and recited them. Others among the faithful memorized portions of the revelation or occasionally recorded them on whatever primitive writing material was available. According to the supporters of this account, the fact that the Qur’an was not compiled as a book until the death of the Prophet is perfectly logical. As long as he was alive there was always the expectation of further revelation as well as occasional abrogations. Any formal collection of the material already revealed could not properly be considered a complete text.11

Many people had memorized large parts of the revelation, which they repeated in their prayers and recited to others. As long as the Prophet was living among the faithful as the sole authority there was no need for a formal reference book of religion or a code of law. All of these considerations would change after his death and the new circumstances would necessitate the collection of the Qur’an. The story as reported by the Sunnis sources is as follows

Two years after the Prophet died, the Muslims were engaged in a bloody battle with a rival community at Yarnama in the deserts of Arabia. Many of the memorizers (qurra) of the Qur’an lost their lives at this time.12 Fearing that a great portion of the Qur’an would be lost should a similar situation arise and more memorizers of the Qur’an die, Abu Bakr, the first successor to the Prophet, ordered that the Qur’an be collected.

To this end, the Prophet’s companions and the memorizers of the Qur’an were asked to come forward with any parts of the revelation they had memorized or written down in any form. Abu Bakr ordered ‘Umar, his successor to be, and Zayd b. Thabit, a young recorder of revelation during the Prophet’s lifetime, to sit at the entrance to the mosque of Medina and record any verse or part of the revelation that at least two witnesses testified that they had heard from the Prophet. In one particular case, though, the testimony of a single witness was accepted.13 All of the material gathered in this manner was recorded on sheets of paper,14 or parchment, but was not yet compiled as a volume.

Furthermore, these materials were not made available to the Muslim community, which continued to possess the Qur’an only in its primitive scattered form. The sheets remained in the keeping of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, and after ‘Umar’s death they passed to his daughter Hafsa. ‘Uthman took the sheets trom Hafsa during his caliphate and had them put together in the form of a volume. He had several copies sent to dif- ferent parts of the Muslim world and he then ordered that any other collection or portion of the Qur’an found anywhere else be burned.15. But he could not convince his colleagues to insert it in the Qur’an because nobody else came forward to support him,16 and the requirement that there be two witnesses for any text to be accepted as a part of the Qur’an was therefore not met.

Later, however, some other Companions recalled that same verse,17 including Aisha the Prophet’s youngest wife. She is alleged to have said that a sheet on which two verses, including that on stoning, were recorded was under her bedding and that after the Prophel died, a domestic animal18 got into the room and gobbled up the sheet while the household was preoccupied with his funeral.19 Umar also remembered other verses he thought dropped out (saqata) from the Qur’an20 or were lost, including one on being dutiful to parents21 and another on jihad.22 His claim regarding the first of the two was supported by three other early authorities on the Qur’an: Zayd b. Thabit, ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Abbas, and Ubayy b. Ka’b.23 Anas b. Malik remembered a verse which was revealed in the occasion of some Muslims who were killed in a battle, but was later "lifted".24 Umar’s learned son, ‘Abd Allah25 as well as some later scholars26 maintained that much of the Qur’an had perished before the collection was made. Similar reports specifically addressed the official Uthmanic res- cension of the Qur’an.

They reported that many prominent Companions could not find in that official text portions of the revelation they had themselves heard from the Prophet, or found them in a different form. Ubayy b. Ka’b, for instance, recited sura 98 (al Bayyina) in a form he claimed to have heard from the Prophet. It included two verses unrecorded in the Uthmanic text.27

He also thought that the original version of sura 33 (al- Ahzab) had been much longer, from which he specifically remembered the stoning verse that is missing from the Uthmanic text.28 His claim was supported by Zayd b. Thabit,29 by Aisha who reported that during the Prophet’s lifetime the sura was about three times as long, although when Uthman collected the Qur’an he found only what was made available in his text,30 and by Hudhayfa b. al-Yaman (who found some seventy verses missing in the new official text, verses that he himself used to recite during the lifetime of the Prophet.31

Hudhayfa also contended that Sura 9 (al-Bara’a in its Uthmanic form was perhaps one-fourth32 or one-third of what it had been during the time of the Prophet, an idea later supported the prominent 2nd/8th century jurist and traditionist Malik b. Anas, founder of the Maliki school of Islamic law.33

There are also reports that Suras 15 (al-Hijr) and 24 (al-Nur) had once been of a different length.34 And Abu Musa al-Ash’ari recalled the existence of two long suras (one verse of each he still remembered) that he could not find in the present text.35 One of the two verses he recalled ("If the son of Adam had two fields of gold he would seek a third one...") is also quoted from other Companions such as Ubayy36 , Ibn Masud37, and Ibn ‘Abbas38. Maslama b. Mukhallad al-Ansari orfered two further verses that are not in the Uthmanic text39 and Aisha came forward with a third40. Two short chapters known as Sural al-Hafd and Sura al-Khal were recorded in the collections of Ubayy41, Ibn Abbas and Abu Musa42.

They were allegedly also known to Umar43 and other Companions44 although no trace of either chapter is found in the of official text. Ibn Masud did not have Suras 1, 113, and 114 in his collection45 but he had some extra words and phrases that were missing from the Uthmanic text.46 He and many other Companions also preserved some verses that differed from the official text47. There were also widely transmitted reports that after the death of the Prophet, ‘‘Ali put all the parts of the Qur’an together48 and presented it to the Companions; hut they rejected it, and he had to take it back home49. These reports also suggested thal there were substantial differences between the various versions of the Qur’an.

Early Debates on the Integrity of the Qur’an Part 2

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

It is universally acknowledged in the Islamic tradilion-based on the collective memory of the early generations of Muslims rather than simply on a number of isolated reports that Uthman promulgated an official rescension of the Qur’an and banned all other versions.

There were certainly differences between that official Qur’an and other early codices as there were differences among the variant codices themselves. It was, after all, those differences that necessitated the establihment of a standard and universally accepted text.

It is conceivable that close associates of the Prophet, especially those who had joined him during his years in Mecca, still remembe- red parts of the revelation that had not been included by the Prophet in the Qur’an. It is also plausible to speculate that ‘Ali whose version of the Scripture might have been one of the most complete and authentic, had offered it to Uthman to be consecrated as the official text, but that his offer was rejected by the caliph who preferred to select and combine elements of all the competing early codices. This in turn may have caused ‘‘Ali to withdraw his manuscript as a basis for compiling of the official rescension. Another Companion, ‘Abd Allah b. Mas’ud, is also reported to have stood aloof from the process and to have declined to offer his own text.50

The foregoing account of the first compilation of the Qur’an is, otherwise, extremely problematic51. Despite the significance of the sources quoted therein this report, it does not appear tn any work written by scholars of the 2nd/8th and early 3rd/9th centuries52. Some details of the story reportedly took place later at the time that Uthman ordered the creation of a standard Qur’an53. Several reports categorically deny that any official attempt to collect the Qur’an was made before ‘Uthman’s time54, an assertion reportedly supported by the collective recollections if the Muslim community55. Different versions of the story reveal major contradictions in regards to some of its main particulars. The name of the Companion whose testimony alone was accepted56 and the precise verses in question57 vary. Contradictory accounts are also given of the role of Zayd b. Thabit in the compilation process58. The inclusion of the clause related to the acceptance of the testimony of one man alone is an obvious attempt to make the story more acceptable through references to the familiar and widely quoted story Khuzayma Dhu ‘l-Shahadstayan, a man whos single testimony was aid to hav ebeen accpted by the Prophet as equivalent to the testimony of two witnesses59. In a variation of this story, in

which the witness is an unidentified man from Ansar, Umar is reported to have accepted the testimony of this single witness on the grounds that the message of the verse he orfered was, in Umar’s judgement, true since the verse described the Prophet with qualities that he had really possessed60.

In other variations. The verse or verses were said to have been accepted because ‘Umar61 , Uthman62 or Zayd63 themselves testified that they, too, had heard those Verses from the Prophet; or, alternatively, because the caliph had generally ordered that anybody’s testimony be accepted provided that he took an oath that he had personally heard from the Prophet the verse or part that he offered for inclusion64. Moreover, the story contradicts numerous and widely
.

In an obvious attempt to purge the sotry of these terrible contradictions a variation of it was authored by some later transmitters that suggested that (a) the collection of the Qur’an started during the reign of Abu Bakr but could not be completed before his death and was put together during the reigns of Umar, that (b), Zayd was the one who wrote the Qur’an first during the time of Abu Bakr on primitive writing material and then on paper during the time of Umar, that (c), there was no question of testimony or witness, but rather Zayd himself after completing the text once went ovr it and could not find Verse 33:23.

He then looked around for it, untill he found the record of it with Khuzayma b. Thabit. He then went over the text once more and this time noticed that the Verses 9:12-129 were missing, so he looked around again untill he found the record with another man who was incidently called Khuzayma as well. When he went over the text for the third time, he found no problem and so the text was completed. (Tabari, Jami, vol 1 p 59-61) transmitted reports65 which assert that a number of the Companions, notably ‘Ali, Abd Allah b. Masud and Ubayy b. Kab, had collected the Qur’an during the time of the Prophet66. Furthermore, a clear and suspicious attempt seems to have been made to somehow credit the first three caliphs with achieving the compilation of the sacred scripture of Islam to the exclusion of the fourth, ‘Ali.

Early Debates on the Integrity of the Qur’an Part 3

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

This latter point, when compared with the reports cited above on ‘Ali’s collection of the Qur’an after the death of the Prophet, may shed some light on the origins of the story. Taking into account some of the early political, and later polemical, disputes within the Muslim community, one may suggest the existence of a multi-stage process in the formation of that account.

There was apparently a widely circulating rumor In the first century ot the Hijra to the effect that ‘Ali did not attend the public meeting at which Abu Bakr was declared ruler after the death of the Prophet, and that it also took some time before he swore his allegiance to Abu Bakr.

From early times the partisans of ‘Ali have interpreted this as a reflection of his dissatisfaction with the choice of Abu Bakr and used this conclusion as a basis from which to attack the allege consensus of thc Companions which was put forward by the supporters of the caliphs as the legal hasis for the validity of Abu Bakr’s succession to caliphate. This line of argument seems also have appeared quite early; possibly even before the decline of the Umayyads in Lhe early 2nd/8th century whem sectarian debates began to flare in the Muslim communily67.

With the decline of the Umayyads, ‘‘Ali could no longer be ignored and a response had to be found. Many of the reports which alleged that ‘‘Ali retreated from public life after the death of the prophet in order to put the Qur’an together mention this as the explanation for his failure to tender an early allegiance to the caliph68. It scems very likely69, therefore, that these reports were composed-using as background material some pre-existing reports and recollections concerning ‘Ali70 - the sectarian purpose of suggesting that ‘Ali was known for his vast knowledge and of special dedication to the Qur’an. (Ibn Sa’d vol 1 p 204)

In his codex of the Qur’an he had reportedly indicated the verses which were abrogated and those which abrogated them (Itqan, vol 1 p 204).

The exact timing of when he had offered the codex for the official consecration was already blurred by the early 2nd/8th Century. The Shi’ites were themselves were now attributing it to the time of
Umar (Sulaymn, p 108, also quoted by Abu Mansur al Tabrisi, vol 1 p 228, vol 2 p 7), but a vague memory of it was presumably still extant.

‘Ali’s delay was not a sign of his dissatisfaction. Instead, ‘Ali was quoted as telling Abu Bakr (when the caliph asked him whether he had failed to swear allegiance because he was unhappy with Abu
Bakr’s election) that he "had vowed to God not to put on his outside garment except for attending the communal prayer, until such a time as he had put the Qur’an together."71

The point that these reports had an anti Shi’ite polemical application can also be attested to by the fact that in some of its later versions, the report is quoted by the Sunnites on the authority of Jafar al Sadiq, who quoted it from his fore fathers (Abu Hilal al Askari, vol 1 p 219)

It was a common practice in the sectarian reports to put the idea on the tongue of the respected authority of the opponent, a practice whioch can also be observed in the cases which shortly follow in the discussion above. (See also Kashshi, p 393-97)

The episode, however, created other problems for the supporters of orthodoxy for it added another item to the list of ‘Ali’s special privileges used by the Shi’ites to argue with for his claim to the caliphate. In addition to all his other alleged merits, he was now the one who had undertaken the critical task of assembling the Islamic scripture after the death of the Prophet72. This was potentially a dangerous weapon in the hands of his partisans in sectarian debates.

The partisans of ‘‘Ali might have already used it against the Uthmaniyya, to counter their argument in support of ‘Uthman on the basis that he was the one who established the official and standard Qur’an. For the Uthmaniyya that constituted a real challenge that they met, as in many other cases, by seeking to undermine Shi’ite claims for the special quality of ‘Ali or the House of the Prophet. Some examples are as follows73:

1. Many reports suggest that the Prophet chose ‘Ali as his brother74 at the time that he established the "brothering”among his followers75. A counter report claims this status for Abu Bakr76 , though it is widely believed that the Prophet made Abu Bakr and ‘ Umar brothers77. Many other reports quote the Prophet as saying that "if I could adopt an intimate friend I would adopt Abu Bakr, but your colleague (i.e. the Prophet) is already taken by God as His intimate friend."78 These seem to have been composed to counter the claim of ‘Ali’s selection as the Prophet’s brother.

2. The partisans of ‘Ali regarded him as the most excellent among the companions of the Prophet. Indeed, there are many indications in the history of the Prophet that ‘Ali was in fact one of the pre-eminent Companions. An obviously pro-Uthmaniyya report, however, emphasized that during the time of the Prophet only Abu Bakr ‘ Umar and ‘ Uthman were pre-eminent. All others followed with no distinctions of status or eminence.79

3. In an oft-quoted statement ascribed to the Prophet, he is reported as having called his two grandsons by Fatimah- al Hasan and al-Husayn-the "two masters of the youth of Paradise80. Another report from the Prophet applies the same epithet to ‘Ali81. A counter report calls Abu Bakr and Umar the to masters of the middle-aged of the paradise82.

4. A widely circulating statement attributed to the Prophet stated that he was the city of knowledge for which ‘‘Ali was the gate83. A counter statement described Abu Bakr as the foundation of the city, ‘Umar as the wall and ‘Uthman as the ceiling84.

5. It is reported that during the early years of the Prophet’s stay at Medina, the Companions who had their houses around the mosque of the Prophet had opened exit doors from their houses into the mosque in order to make it easier for themselves to attend the communal prayer there with the Prophet.

According to a widely quoted report, the Prophet later ordered all those doors to be closed, excepting only the door that led from the house of ‘Ali, which was virtually the door leading from the house of the Prophet’s daughter85. (The exception was not, therefore, to signify a merit or to establish a special status for ‘Ali himself.) A counter report, however, tried to establish that it was the door from the house of Abu Bakr which was the exception86.

6. It is unanimiously believed that during a ceremonial imprecation that took place between the Prophet and the Christians of Najran towards the end of the Prophet’s life he brought with him the members of his immediate family ‘‘Ali, Fatimah, and their two sons87. This clearly followed the traditional rules for the Arabs’ custom of the mutual curse, which required each party to attend in the company of his own household. A counter report however, asserts that the Prophet. was accompanied to the ceremony by Abu Bakr and his family, ‘Umar and his family and
Uthman and his family88.

7. According to a widely transmitted report, the Prophet described Fatimah, ‘Ali and their two sons as constituting his own household89. This definition of the Prophet’s house is supported by almost all early Muslim authorities90. A clearly pro Uthma- niyya report, however, quoted the Prophet as saying that ‘Ali, al-Hasan, al-Husayn and Fatimah were his own household while Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and A’isha were the household of God91.

It seems safe to assume that this same model was followed with respect to the reports about ‘Ali’s collection of the Qur’an and that the story in question was composed as part of an anti-Shl’ite polemic. The process seems to have beglin with assertions that, with the exception of Uthman, none of the caliphs or any of the

Companions collected the Qur’an92 some made the point more emphatically and stipulated that ‘Ali, in particular, passed away before he could collect it93. (In reality, of course, not only did ‘Ali witness the collection of the Qur’an, he did not die until years after the official Qur’an had been established.)

Another report asserted that the first person to collect the Qur’an was Salim, a client of Abu Hudayfa, who after the death of the Prophet "vowed to God not to put on his outside garment until such a time as he had put the Qur’an together."94This is exactly the statement attributed to ‘Ali in other reports. Salim was among those who lost their lives in the battle of Yamama95.

Other reports came forward with the straight forward assertion that the first to collect the Qur’an was Abu Bakr.96 Employing popular beliefs among Muslims concerning ‘Uthman’s establishment of the standard Qur’an-including the role of Zayd b. Thabit as the project’s main coordinator - the role of Abu Bakr in the collection of the Qur’an was then developed to what is seen in the above-cited account which, at the same time, reserves a major role for Umar as well, in the process.

To be completed...

  • 1. Kashshi, Marifat al naqilin = Kitba al Rijal, abridged by Muhammad b. al Hasan al Tusi as Ikhtiyar Marifat ar Rijal p 590-91, where Shadhan b. Khalil al Naysaburi askes the celebrated hadith transmitter, Abu Ahmad Muhammad b. Abi Umayr al Azdi, who heard from bothe Shi'ite and Sunnite sources, why he never quoted any Sunnite hadith to his tudents in his works. He answered, that he deliberately avoided that since he found many of the Shi'ites studied both Shi'ites and Sunnites traditions, but later confused and ascribed Sunnite material to the Shi'ites sourcesand vice versa.
  • 2. Kulayni, al Kafi, vol 1 p 99, Subhu al Salih, Mabahith fi ulum al Qur’an, p 134
  • 3. Zarkashi, al Burhan fi ulum al Qur’an, vol 1 p 235, 237-38, 256, 258
    Suyuti, al Itqan fi ulum al Qur’an, vol 1 p 212-13, 216
  • 4. Ahmad b. Hanbal, vol 1 p 57
    Tirimidhi, Sunan, vol 4 p 336-37
    al Hakim al Naysaburi, al Mustadrak, vol 2 p 229
  • 5. Qur’an Chapter II Verse 106
  • 6. Qur’an Chapter XVI Verse 101
  • 7. Abu Byad, al Naskih wa'l mansukh fi l Qur’an an al Karim, ed. John Burton (Cambridge 1987), p 6, Muhasibi, Fahm al Qur’an an wa manih ed. H. Quwwatli (in the collection of al Aql wa fahm al Qur’an (n.p., 1971) p 261-502) p 399 (quoting Anas b. Malik), 400 and 408 (quoting Amr b. Dinar)
    403 (quoting Abd al Rahman b. Awf), 405 (quoting Abu Musa al Ashari), 406 Tabari, Jami al Bayan, vol 3 p 472-74, 476, 479-80 Ibn Salama, al Nasikh wa l mansukh, p 21 (quoting Abd Allah b. Masud) Suyuti, al Durr al manthur, vol 5 p 179 (quoting Ubayy b. Kab)
  • 8. Abu Ubayd, al Naskih, p 6, Bayhaqi, Dalail al Nubuwwa, vol 7 p 154 (where it is argued that the Prophet never put the Qur’an together since there was always the expectation that some verses might be abrogated and some later modification was thus in-evitable in any collection of the Qur’an put together during his lifetime. Underlying this argument is the assumption that the abrogated verses had to be physically removed from the scripture.)
    Zarkashi, vol 2 p 30 (the first interpretation of the concept of naskh)
  • 9. Abu al Qasim al Khui, al Bayan, p 305-403
  • 10. Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al Tabaqat al Kabir, vol 3 p 211, 281
    Ibn Abi Dawud, Kitab al Masahif, p 10
    Ibn Babawayh, Kamal ad Din, p 31-32
    Bayhaqi, Dalail, vol 7 p 147-8
    Zarkashi, vol 1 p 262
    Ibn al Hadid, Sharah of Nahj al Balagha. vol 1 p 27
    Ibn Juzayy, al Tashil li ulum al tanzil, vol 1 p 4
    Suyuti, Itqan, vol 1 p 202
    Ibrahim al Harbi, Gharib al hadith, vol 1 p 270
  • 11. Bayhaqi, Dalail, vol 7 p 154
    Zarkashi, vol 1 p 235, 262
    Suyutim Itqan, vol 1 p 202
    Ahmad al Naraqi, Manahij al ahkam, p 152
  • 12. Yaqubi, Kitab al Tarikh, vol 2 p 15, most of the bearers of the Qur’an were killed during the battle. All together, some 360 persons among the distinguished companions of the Prophet lost their lives on that occasion.)
    Tabari, Tarikh, vol 3 p 296
    Larger figures upto 500 for Ibn al Jazari, al Nashr, p 7
    Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al Qur’an, vol 7 p 439
    Qurtubi, al Jami li Ahkam al Qur’an, vol 1 p 50
    and a figure of 1200 for Abd al Qahir al Baghdadi, Usul al Din p 283
    are also given. The last figure is however the number of all Muslims who were killed in the battle, Companions and others see Tabari vol 3 p 300
  • 13. The case in question was the last two verses of Sura 9 in the present Qur’an which was added on the authority of Khuzayma b. Thabit al Ansari (or ABu Khuzayma according to some reports).
    Bukhari, Sahih, vol 3 p 392-93
    Tirimidhi, vol 4 p 346-47
    Abu Bakr al Marwazi, Musnad Abi Bakr al Siddiq, p 97-99, 102-4
    Ibn Abu Dawud, p 6-7, 9, 20
    Ibn al Nadim, p 27
    al Khatib al Baghdadi, Mudih awham al jam wa l tafrig, vol 1 p 276
    Bayhaqi, Dalail, vol 7 p 149-50
  • 14. Yaqubi, vol 2 p 135
    Itqan, vol 1 p 185, 207, 208
  • 15. Bukhari, vol 3 p 393-94,
    Tirmidhi, vol 4 p 347-8
    Abu Bakr al Marwazi, p 99-101
    Ibn Abi Dawud, p 18-21
    Bayhaqi, Dalail, vol 7 p 15051
    Abu Hilal Askari, Kitab al Awail, vol 1 p 218

    This whole story about the collection ot the Qur’an was accepeed by the Sunnite scholars as trustworthy and served, as we shall see below, as the basis for the idea that later emerged of the incompleteness of the text of the Qur’an.

    Sunnite literature contains many reports that suggest that some of the revelation had already been lost before the collection of the Qur’an initiated by Abu Bakr. It is reported, for example, that ‘Umar was once looking for the text of a specific verse of the Qur’an he vaguely remembered. To his deep sorrow, he discovered that the only person who had any record of that verse had been killed in the battle of Yamama and that the verse was consequently lost. Ibn Abi Dawud, p 10
    Itqan, vol 1 p 204

    Umar allegedly had a recollection of a Qur’anic verse on stoning as a punishment for adultery. Malik b. Anas, Muwatta, vol 2 p 824
    Ahmad, vol 1 p 47, 55
    Muhasibi, p 398, 455
    Bukhari, vol 4 p 305
    Muslim, Sahih, vol 2 p 1317
    Ibn Maja, Sunan, vol 2 p 853
    Tirmidhi, vol 2 p 442-3
    Abu Dawud, Sunan, vol 4 p 145
    Ibn Qutayba, Tawil mukhtalif al hadith, p 313
    Ibn Salama, p 22
    Bayhaqi, al Sunan al Kubra, vol 8 p 211, 213

  • 16. Itqan, vol 1 p 206
  • 17. Ahmad, vol 5 p 183 (quoting Zayd b, Thabit and Said al-As Abd al Razzaq, AL Musannaf, vol 7 p 330
    Itqan, vol 3 p 82, 86
    al Durr al Manthur, vol 5 p 180 (quoting Ubayy b. Ka'b and Ikrima)
  • 18. Dajin can mean any kind of domestic animal, including fowl, sheep, or goat. A narrative in Ibrahim b. Ishaq al Harbis, Gharib al hadith makes it more specific, as it uses the word shal, that is sheep or goat (see Zamakshari, al Kashaf, vol 3 p 518 footnote)

    The same is in Qutaybas understanding from the word dajin in Tawil mukhtalif al hadith, p 310, apparently because of the context, since it is said that the animal ate the sheet of paper.

    Also see Sulaym b. Qays al Hilali, Kitab Sulaymn b. Qays, p 108,

    Al Fadl b. Shadahn, al Idah, p 211
    Abd al Jalil al Qazwini, p 133

  • 19. Ahmad, vol 4 p 269
    Ibn Maja, vol 1 p 626
    Ibn Qutayba, Tawil, p 310
    Shafi'i, Kitab al Umm, vol 5 p 23, vol 7 p 208
  • 20. Mabani, p 99
    Itqan, vol 3 p 84 (See Also And al Razzaq vol 7 p 379-80;
    Ibn Abi Shayba, vol 14 p 564, where the expression Faqadnah, "we lost it", is used)
    The expression "saqata" is also used by Aisha in the case of another phrase that alledgly "dropped out" from the Qur’an. See Ibn Maja, vol 1 p 625 (See also Itqan, vol 3 p 70)
    It is also used by Malik (Zarkashi, vol 1 p 263).
  • 21. Abd al Razzaq, vol 9 p 50
    Ahmad, vol 1 p 47, 55
    Ibn Abi Shayba, vol 7 p 431
    Bukhari, vol 4 p 306
    Ibn Salama, p 22
    Itqan, vol 3 p 84
    Zarkashi, vol 1 p 39 (Also quoted from Abu Bakr)
  • 22. Muhasibi, p 403
    Mabani, p 99
    Itqan, vol 3 p 84
  • 23. Abd al Razzaq, vol 9 p 52
    Muhasibi, p 400
    Itqan, vol 3 p 84
  • 24. Muhasibi, p 399
    Tabari, Jami, vol 2 p 479
  • 25. Itqan, vol 3 p 81-82
  • 26. Ibn Abi Dawud, p 23 quoting Ibn Shihab (al Zuhri)
    Itqan, vol 5 p 179 quoting Sufyan al Thawri
    Ibn Qutaybah, Tawil, p 313
    Ibn Lubb, Falh al bab, p 92
  • 27. Ahmad, vol 5 p 132
    Tirmidhi, vol 5 p 370
    Hakim, vol 2 p 224
    Itqan, vol 3 p 83
  • 28. Ahmad, vol 5 p 132
    Muhasibi, p 405
    Bayhaqi, vol 8 p 211
    Hakim, vol 2 p 415
    Itqan, vol 3 p 82 (the same claim about the size of the Sura and it included the stoning verse is quoted from Umar anmd Ikrima in Suyuti, al Durre Manthur, vol 5 p 180)
  • 29. by Zarkasi, vol 2 p 35, where the verse is said to to have been in Sura 25 (al Nur), and with Mabani, p 82, where Sura 7 (al Aaraf) is mentioned instead. This latter is however a slip of the pen or mis spelling as evidenced by the author's later mention of the Sura al Ahzab in p 83 and 86.
  • 30. Al Raghib al Isfahani, Muhadarat al Udaba, vol 4 p 434
    Suyuti, al Durre Manthur, vol 5 p 180
    Itqan, Suyuti, vol 1 p 226
  • 31. Suyuti, al Durre Manthur, vol 5 p 180, quoting from Bukhari book Kitab at Tarikh
  • 32. Hakim, vol 2 p 331
    Haytami, Majam al Zawaid, vol 7 p 28-29
    Itqan, vol 3 p 84
  • 33. Zarkshi, vol 1 p 263
    Itqan, vol 1 p 226
  • 34. Sulaym, p 108
    Abu Mansur al Tabrisi, al Intijaj, vol 1 p 222, 286
    Zarkshi, vol 2 p 35
  • 35. Muslim, vol 2 p 726
    Muhasibi, p 405
    Abu Nuaym, Hilyat al Awliya, vol 1 p 257
    Bayhaqi, Dalai, vol 7 p 156
    Itqan, vol 3 p 83
  • 36. Ahmad, vol 5 p 131-32
    Muhasibi, p 400-01
    Tirmidhi, vol 5 p 370
    Hakim, vol 2 p 224
  • 37. Raghib, vol 4 p 433
  • 38. Itqan, vol 1 p 227
  • 39. Itqan, vol 3 p 84
  • 40. Abd al Razzaq, vol 7 p 470
    Ibn Maja, vol 1 p 625, 626
  • 41. Muhasibi, p 400-1
    Ibn al Nadim, p 30
    Raghib, vol 4 p 433
    Zarkashi, vol 2 p 37
    Haytami, vol 7 p 157
    Itqan, vol 1 p 226, 227
  • 42. Itqan, vol 1 p 227
  • 43. Itqan, vol 1 p 226-7
  • 44. Itqan, vol 1 p 227, vol 3 p 85
  • 45. Ibn Abi Shayba, vol 6 p 146-47
    Ahmad, vol 5, p 129-30
    Ibn Qutayba, Tawail mushkil al Qur’an, p 33-34
    Ibn al Nadim, p 29
    Baqillani, al Intisar, p 184
    Raghib, vol 4 p 434
    Zarkashi, vol 1 p 251, vol 2 p 128
    Haytami, vol 7 p 149-50
    Itqam, vol 1 p 224, 226, 270-73
  • 46. Arthur Jeffrey, Materials for the History of the Text of the Qur’an, the Old Codices, p 20-113
  • 47. See the lists, Ibid, p 114-238
  • 48. Ibn Sa'd, vol 2 p 338
    Ibn Abi Shayba, vol 6 p 148
    Yaqubi, vol 2 p 135
    Ibn Abu Dawud, p 10
    Ibn al Nadim, p 30
    Abu Hilal al Askari, vol 1 p 219-20
    Abu Buaym, vol 1 p 67
    Ibn Abd al Barr, al Istiab, p 333-34
    Ibn Juzay, vol 1 p 4
    Ibn Abi al Hadid, vol 1 p 27
    Itqan, vol 1 p 204, 248
    al Kafi, al Kulayni, vol 8 p 18
  • 49. Sulaym, p 72, 108
    Basair al Darajat, p 193
    Kulayni, vol 2 p 633
    Abu Mansur al Tabrisi, vol 1 p 107, 255-28
    Ibn Shahrashub, Manaqib Al Abi Talib, vol 2 p 42
    Yaqubi, vol 2 p 135-6
  • 50. Ibn Abi Dawud, p 15-17
    Ibn Asakir, Tarikh madinat Dimashq, vol 39 p 87-91
  • 51. A.T Welch p 404-5
  • 52. Thus the story doesn't appear in for instance in Tabaqat of Ibn Sa'd in sections of Abu Bakr, Umar and Zayd b. Thabit, nor in Musnad Ahmad Hanbal or Fadail as Sahaba where he gathered so
    may reports about their virtues and good services to Islam.
  • 53. Bukhari, vol 3 p 392-93, vol 4 p 398-99
    Tirmidhi, vol 4 p 347
    Ibn Abi Dawud, p 7-9, 20, 29 with Bukhari vol 3 p 393-94
    Tirmidhi, vol 4 p 348
    Ibn Abi Dawud, p 17, 19, 24-26, 31
    Ibn Asakir, Tarikh, Biography of Uthman p 236
  • 54. Ibn Asakir, Biography of Uthman, p 170
    Zarkashi, vol 1 p 241
    Other reports suggest that the collection of the Qur’an had already been started during the time of Umar, but he died before the project was completed during the caliphate of Uthman (Abu Hilal al Askari, vol 1 p 219)
  • 55. Zarkashi, vol 1 p 235
    Itqan, vol1 p 211
    Ibn Asakir, p 243-46
  • 56. He is (a) Khuazyma b, Thabit al Ansari in Bukhari vol 3 p 310, 394
    Tirmidhi, vol 4 p 347
    Abu Bakr al Marwasi, p 103
    Ibn Abi Dawud, p 7, 8, 9, 20, 29, 31
    Bayhaqi, Dalial, vol 7 p 150
    and (b) Abu Khuzayma (Aws b. Yazid) in Bukhari, vol 3 p 392-93
    Tirmidhi, vol 4 p 348
    Abu Bakr al Marwazi, p 99
    Ibn Abi Dawud, p 19
    Bayhaqi, Dalail, vol 7 p 149
    and (c) an un-identified man of Ansar in Ibn Abi Dawud, p 8
    Tabari, Jami, vol 14 p 588
    and (d) Unayy in Ibn Abi Dawud p 9, 30
    Khatib, Talkhis al Mustadrak, vol 1 p 403
    There are also reports which indicate that Ubayy not only knew these verses he knew that they were the last to have been revealed to the Prophet, too (Tabari, Jami, vol 14 p 588-89)
  • 57. It is the last two verses of Sura 9 in Bukhari, vol 3 p 392-93
    Tirmidhi, vol 4 p 347
    ABu Bakr al Marwazi, p 99, 103
    Ibn Abi Dawud, p 7, 9, 11, 20, 29, 30, 31
    Tabari, Jami, vol 14 p 588
    Bayhaqi, Dalail, vol 7 p 149
    and Verse 23 of Sura 33 in Bukhari, vol 3 p 310, 393-94
    Tirmidhi, vol 4 p 348
    Ibn Abi Dawud, p 8, 19
    Bayhaqi, Dalail, vol 7 p 150
    Khatib, Mudih, vol 1 p 276
  • 58. In the above cited account of the collection of the Qur’an he is the one who undertook the task of putting the Qur’an together in two stages during the times of Abu Bakr and Uthman. Some other reports ascribe the collection of the Qur’an, including Zayd's participation in it, to the period of Uthman (Bukhari, vol 3 p 393-94; Tirmidhi, vol 4 p 348; Ibn Abi Dawud, p 31; Ibn Asakir, Biography of Uthman, p 234-36) Other reports don't mention his name at all (Ibn Abi Dawud, p 10-11)

    Yets others assert that he had already collected the Qur’an doing the time of the Prophet, putting together all the fragments of it which were recorded on various sorts of primitive writing material, as in Tirmidhi, vol 5 p 390, Hakim, vol 2 p 229, 611

    In another report, however, he is quoted as stating by the time the Prophet died, the Qur’an had not been collected, as in Itqan, vol 1 p 202

  • 59. Bukhari, vol 3 p 310
    Ibn Abi Dawud, p 29
    Khatib, Mudih, vol 1 p 276
    Itqan, vol 1 p 206
  • 60. Tabari, Jami, vol 16, p 588
  • 61. Ibn Abi Dawud, p 30
  • 62. Ibid, p 31
  • 63. Ibid, p 8, 19, 29
  • 64. Ibn Asakir, p 236, where the episode is ascibed to the period of Uthman who asked the Muslism to come forward with whatever art of the Qur’an they had in hand. The Muslims came forward
    with whatever primitive writing material on wwhich they had recorded parts of the Qur’an. The Uthman asked every single one to swear that he had personally heard what he had offered as a
    part of the Qur’an from the Prophet. He then ordered the collected material to be put together as Scriptures
  • 65. The list of the early collectors of the Qur’an is different in different sources, for instance, Ibn Sa'd, vol 2 p 112-14

    Ibn al Nadim, Kitab al Fihrist, p 30
    Tabarani, al Mujam al Kabir, vol 2 p 292
    Baqillani, p 88-90
    Dhahabi, al Maridat al qurra al kibar, vol 1 p 27
    Zarkashim vol 1 p 242-43
    Qurtubi, vol 1 p 57
    Itqan, vol 1 p 248-49, quoting Abu Ubayd in his Kitab al Qira'at

  • 66. In order to remove the obvious contradictions between these reports and the story in question, the supporters of the story have offered two suggestions. According to one, those who are said to have collcted the Qur’an during the time of the Prophet, had each made a collection of only a part of the revelation, not a complete version. According to the other, the word "collected", had to be understood to mean that those Companions memorized the Qur’an during the time of the Prophet, not they they had put a complete record of it together. As mentioned in Ibn Abi Dawud, p 10, Itqan, vol 1 p 204
  • 67. For instance the poem attributed to ‘Ali in the Sharif al Radi, Nah al Balagha, p 503, "If you (claim that you) have come to power on the basis of consultation, how did then it happen while those who had to be consulted were absent."
  • 68. Ibn sa'd, vol 2 p 101
    Ibn Abi Shayba, vol 6 p 148
    Abu Hilal al Askari, vol 1 p 219-20
    Ibn ABi Dawud, p 10
    Itqan, vol 1 p 204
  • 69. Alternatively, there might actually have existed some rumours suggesting that ‘Ali, having noticed that the Seniors of Quraysh had chosen one among themselves as the succesor to the Prophet and having decided to withdraw from the public, kept himself busy with the Qur’an and took that as an excuse not to participate in any social activity. The Sunnites, however, put forward that excuse as the real cause and denied that '‘Ali was unahppy with the Quraysh process of Caliph making.
  • 70. ‘Ali was among one of the early collectors of the Qur’an, one of those who collected it during the life time of the Prophet as mentioned in Ibn Asakir, vol 39 p 80.
  • 71. Abu Mansur al Tabrisi, vol 1 p 71
  • 72. Kitab Mihnat Amir al Muminin (an early Shi'ite text preserved in Pseudo Mufid, al Ikhtisas, p 157-75), p 164 Sulaymn, p 113, 120
  • 73. For other interesting examples see Ibn Asakir, Biography of Uthman, p 146-68. 290-94
  • 74. Nur Allah al Tastari, Ihqaq al haqq, vol 4 p 171-217; vol 6 p 461-86
    p 450-17; vol 20 p 221-55
    Abd al Husayn al Amini, vol 3 p 113-25
  • 75. Muakhat in the Encyclopedia of Islam, 2nd ed, vol 7 p 253-54
  • 76. Ahmad b, Handal, Fadail al Sahaba, p 99, 166-7, 378 Bukhari, col 3 p 113-25
  • 77. Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat, vol 3 p 123
  • 78. Ahmad, Fadail, p 99, 166-67, 177, 183-84, 378-79, 411
  • 79. Ahmad, Fadail, p 86-92
    Biography of Uthman, p 153-59
    Bukhari, vol 2 p 418
  • 80. Tustari, vol 10 p 544-95; vol 19 p 232-51
  • 81. Ibn Asakir, Tarikh madinal Dimashq, Section on the Biography of ‘Ali, vol 2 p 260
  • 82. Ibn Sa'd, vol 3 p 124
    Ahmad, Fadail, p 158-59, 771, 774, 780, 788
    Daylami, vol 1 p 530
  • 83. Tustari, vol 5 p 468-515; vol 16 p 277-309; vol 21 p 415-28
    Amini, vol 6 p 61-81
  • 84. Daylami, vol 1 p 76
  • 85. Ahmad, Fadail, p 581-82
    Tustari, vol 5 p 540-86; vol 16 p 332-75; vol 19 p 243-55;
    Amini vol 6 p 209-16
  • 86. Bukhari, vol 2 p 418;
    Ahmad, Fadail, p 70-71, 98, 152, 379
  • 87. Tustari, vol 3 p 46-62; vol 9 p 70-91; vol 14 p 131-47
    vol 20 p 84-87
  • 88. Ibn Asakir, Biography of Uthman, p 168-89, quoting on the authority of Imam Jafar al Sadiq, who acordingly related it from his father.
    As noted above, this was a common phenomenon in this genre of material which was auhtored for anto Shi'ite polemical purposes.
  • 89. Tustari, vol 2 501-62; vol 3 p 513-31; vol 9 p 1-69; vol 14 p 40-105
    vol 18 p 359-83
  • 90. Tabari, Jami al Bayan, vol 22 p 6-8
  • 91. Daylami, vol 1 p 532
    Tabari, Jami, vol 22 p 8 quotes that Ikrima, a tabi'i well known for his anti Alid tendencies was crying in the market, that the household of the Prophet were his wives only.
  • 92. See above footnote 57
  • 93. Ibn Asakir, Biography of Uthman, p 170
  • 94. Itqan, vol 1 p 205, quoting Ibn Ashta in his Kitab al Masahif
  • 95. Ibn Abd al Barr, p 562
  • 96. Ibn Abi Shayba, vol 6 p 148
    Ibn Abi Dawud, both quoting the report from ‘Ali

Share this page