Do The Shi'ite Muslims Say That The Qur'an Is Incomplete?
The late Egyptian Muslim scholar Muhammad Abu Zahra said in his book al-Imam al-Sadiq that Muhammad bin Ya'qub al-Kulayni (a hadith recorder, died in 329 AH), recorded in his book "Usul al-Kafi" that the Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq said that the Qur'an which was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad contained seven thousand verses, while the verses we read in the Qur'an are only 6262. The rest is treasured by the members of the House of the Prophet ...
Shaykh Abu Zahra issued a harsh judgment against the hadith recorder al-Kulayni while Shaykh Kulayni is unable to defend himself because he met his Lord centuries ago. In spite of Shaykh Abu Zahra's harsh judgment against al-Kulayni, he did not try to accuse all the Shi'ites with what he accused al-Kulayni.
Al-Kulayni's report concerning the incompleteness of the Qur'an is unacceptable to the Imamite Shi'ites (who are the overwhelming majority of the Shi'ites). They say that the Qur'an is complete without addition, deletion, or change.
Professor Muhammad Abu Zahra in his book Imam al-Sadiq said that al-Safi, a prominent Shi'ite scholar, said in his commentary on the Holy Qur'an the following:
"According to Shaykh Abu Ali al-Tabarsi, another prominent Shi'ite scholar, '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 change or deletion. Our scholars deny that.' "
Sayyid al-Murtada, 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 which 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 its grammar, its reading, and its verses. "
With this unequaled concern, there is no possibility the Qur'an was changed or deleted in some parts. The mercenary writers---who only try to divide Muslims as a service to the hypocrite Muslim governments---should be informed of the following:
(1) Al-Kulayni is not an Imam of the Shi'ites. He is only a hadith recorder who reported what was conveyed to him through one or more sources. He did not say that he heard from al-Imam al-Sadiq. He only said that a hadith came to him through some reporters. He did not live during the days of the Imam al-Sadiq. He did not see any of the Imams of the Members of the House of the Prophet.
2) Al-Kulayni was not the only scholar who reported the incompleteness of the Qur'an. There are many hadith recorders, in the books of Sunni scholars, who reported that the Caliph 'Umar, 'A'ishah, and a number of the companions of the Prophet said that the Qur'an is incomplete.
Al-Bukhari recorded in his Sahih (authentic), part eight, pages 209-210, that Ibn 'Abbas reported that 'Umar bin al-Khattab said in a discourse which he delivered during the last year of his caliphate:
"Certainly Allah sent Muhammad with the truth, and revealed to 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, someone 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.
"Stoning is in the Book of God. It is the right punishment for a person who commits adultery if the required witnesses are available, or there was pregnancy without marriage or adultery is admitted."
Again, we used to read in the what we found in the Book of God:
"Do not deny the fatherhood of your fathers in contempt because it is disbelief on your part to be ashamed of the fatherhood of your fathers."
Similar reports were recorded by Imam Ahmad in part one of his Musnad (in the Musnad of 'Umar under the caption of the Hadith al-Saqifah, pages 47 and 55). Ibn Hisham recorded similar things in his Seerah of the Prophet. part 2, page 658 (second printing, 1955).
Muslim in the seventh part of his Sahih (commentary of al-Nawawi) in the Book of al-Zakah, about the virtue of being satisfied with whatever God gives and about urging people to have that virtue, pages 139-140, reported that Abu Al-’Aswad reported that his father said:
" Abu Musa Al-’Ash'ari invited the Qur'an readers of Basra. Three hundred 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 do not neglect it. Otherwise, a long time may elapse and your hearts will be 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 that chapter only the following words:
" 'Should a son of Adam own two valleys full of wealth, he would seek a third valley, and nothing would fill Ibn Adam's abdomen but the soil.
" 'We used to read a chapter similar to 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? Thus a testimony will be written on your necks and you will be questioned about it on the Day of Judgment.' "
It is obvious that these words which Abu Musa mentioned are not from the Qur'an, nor are they similar to any of the words of God in the Qur'an. It is amazing that Abu Musa claims that two surahs from the Qur'an are missing, one of them similar to Bara'ah (the chapter of Bara'ah contains 130 verses).
Muslim also reported in the Book of al-Rida'ah (Book of Nursing), part 10, page 29, that 'A'ishah said the following:
"There was in what was revealed in the Qur'an that ten times of nursing known with certainty makes the nursing woman a mother of a nursed child. This number of nursings would make the woman 'haram' (forbidden) to the child. The this verse was replaced by 'five known nursings' to make the woman forbidden to the child. The Prophet died while these words were recorded and read in the Qur'an."
Al-Muttaqi 'Ali bin Husam al-Din in his book "Mukhtasar Kanz al-'Ummal" printed on the margin of Imam Ahmad's Musnad, part two, page 2, in his hadith about chapter 33, said that Ibn Mardawayh reported that Hudhayfah said:
'Umar said to me 'How many verses are contained in the chapter of al-Ahzab?' I said, '72 or 73 verses.' He said it was almost as long as the chapter of the Cow, which contains 287 verses, and in it there was the verse of stoning.
Al-Hakim al-Nisaburi in his book al-Mustadrak in the book of commentary on the Qur'an, part two, page 224, reported that Ubay bin Ka'b (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 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 Yahudiyyah (Judaism) or Nasraniyyah (Christianity). Whoever does good, his goodness will not be denied."
"This is an authentic hadith but the two shaykhs (al-Bukhari and Muslim) did not record it. Al-Dhahabi also considered it authentic in his commentary (on al-Mustadrak)."
Al-Hakim reported also that Ubay 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 brought down His peace of reassurance upon His Messenger."
When this reading was conveyed to 'Umar, he became very angry with Ubay. He sent for him while he was treating his she-camel with tar. He also invited other companions, including Zayd Ibn Thabit. Ubay came to him. 'Umar asked: "Who among you would read the chapter of al-Fatah (victory)? Zayd Ibn Thabit read the chapter the way we read it now. 'Umar spoke to Ubay angrily. Ubay said 'Shall I speak?' 'Umar said 'Speak out.' Ubay said 'You know that I used to enter the house of the Prophet, and he used to teach me the reading of the Qur'an while you and others were by the door.'"
"If you want me to teach people the way the Prophet taught me, I will teach them; otherwise, I will not teach them one letter ever."
'Umar said to him: "Continue teaching people how to read."
Al-Hakim said this is authentic according to the standards of the two shaykhs (al-Bukhari and Muslim). However, they did not report it.
Al-Dhahabi also considered it authentic in his Commentary on al-Mustadrak, part two, pages 225-226.
If we take the report of Ibn Mardawayh which Hudhayfah attributed to 'Umar in which he said that the chapter of al-Ahzab, which contained 72 verses, was as long as the chapter of the Cow (which contained 287) and take the report of Abu Musa which says that a chapter equal in length to the chapter of Bara'ah (which contains 130 verses) was deleted from the Qur'an, then the deletion in the Qur'an according to these reports would be about 345 verses.
If this is true, what would be the difference between the deletion according to these reports and the report which is attributed to al-Kulayni that claims a deletion of 600 verses?
Furthermore, suppose that al-Kulayni had recorded in his book al-Kafi that some of the Qur'anic verses were deleted. Why should all the Shi'ites be accused of the belief in the incompleteness of the Qur'an? Kulayni is not an Imam of the Shi'ites, and the Shi'ites are not his followers.
Al-Kulayni was no more than a hadith recorder. If a scholar like him makes a mistake, why should we attribute that mistake to the millions of Shi'ites who are not even his followers?
If such an accusation is permissible, why should we not accuse all the Sunnis of the belief in the incompleteness of the Qur'an because they all are followers of 'Umar who was quoted by al-Bukhari, Muslim, Imam Ahmad, and Ibn Mardawayh to have said that the Qur'an was incomplete, and that more than 200 Qur'anic verses were deleted?
Why should the Caliph 'Umar, 'A'ishah, Abu Musa, and Ubay Ibn Ka'b not be accused of the same thing because all of them stated the incompleteness of the Qur'an?
Accusing Muslims of Kufr or deviation is abhorable to God. We have been commanded by the Qur'an and the Prophet to consider anyone who declares that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God to be a Muslim. al-Bukhari reported that 'Abdullah Ibn 'Umar reported that the Messenger of God said:
"When a person calls his Muslim brother a Kafir, one of the two would carry the sin."
We believe that the Qur'an as it is now is the entire Qur'an without addition, subtraction, or change.
It is the Qur'an which no falsehood 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 revealed the Reminder (the Holy Qur'an), and certainly We shall preserve it." (15: 9)
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 which agrees with the Qur'an and reject the hadith that disagrees with it.
We believe that whoever says that the Qur'an is incomplete, or was added to, or changed, is completely wrong. What was reported on this subject from Caliph 'Umar, Abu Musa, Ubay Ibn Ka'b, al-Bukhari, Imam Ahmad, Muslim, al-Hakim, and al-Kulayni is completely rejected and absolutely unacceptable.
We certainly reject all of these reports, but we will not pass any judgment on any of the above mentioned reporters. Passing judgment belongs only to Allah.
It is hoped that what was offered on this subject is sufficient for those who try to find the truth, that the Shi'ite Muslims are true believers deserving respect from their Sunni brothers. It is unbecoming of those who seek the truth to accuse others of a sin of which they are entirely innocent, especially when the accusers have committed worse than that of which they accuse others.
Finally, I would like to say that al-Kulayni's report concerning the incompleteness of the Qur'an does not indicate that he believed in what he recorded. al-Bukhari, Muslim, Imam Ahmad, and al-Hakim have reported that 'Umar, 'A'ishah, and a number of companions stated that the Qur'an is incomplete. Yet we do not say that these hadith recorders believed in what they recorded.
I am inclined to believe that al-Kulayni did not subscribe to what he reported because he mentioned in his book al-Kafi that all hadith should be tested by the Book of God (the Qur'an). Whatever agrees with the Qur'an should be accepted, and whatever disagrees with the Qur'an should be rejected.
Al-Kulayni mentioned in his introduction to his book the following:
"Brother, may God lead you to the right road. You ought to know that it is impossible for anyone to distinguish the truth from the untruth when Muslim scholars disagree upon statements attributed to the Imams. There is only one way to separate the true from the untrue reports, through the standard which was declared by the Imam:
"'Test the various reports by the Book of God; whatever agrees with it take it, whatever disagrees with it reject it.
"'Take what is agreed upon (by scholars). Certainly the universally accepted should not be doubted. '"
These words indicate that al-Kulayni believed that the Book of God is the Qur'an which we read; otherwise, how can we test the various reports through the Book of God?
At the same time, these words indicate that the reports which indicated the incompleteness of the Qur'an should be rejected because they are in disagreement with the Book of God, which declares:
"Certainly We (the Almighty) have revealed the Reminder (the Qur'an), and We shall preserve it." (15:19)
The Imam said:
"Take the agreed upon, for the agreed upon by the Islamic scholars should not be doubted."
And we know that the Book of God is the one on which all the Islamic scholars agree.