Q&A: Shia Belief Of Qur'an

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QUESTION

I have often heard that the Shias believe that the Qur’an we have is not the original Qur’an that was revealed. However, I have always found the Shia reciting the same Qur’an that we have. Their Qaris also melodiously recite the same Qur’an. Therefore, the stories about the Shia believing in some other Qur’an seems to be just malicious propaganda. Please comment.

 

ANSWER

Any allegation made against a person or group must be scrutinised in the light of its authenticity. If the allegation is established by hard facts, any sincere and honest Muslim will accept it. If the allegation is baseless, it will naturally be rejected. As for the Shia belief on the Qur’an, let us examine it in the light of their own books. Among the Shia, Usoolul Kaafi enjoys the same status that Sahih Bukhaari has among Sunni Muslims. The following is found in Usoolul Kaafi with regards to the Qur’an:

 

QUR’AN BROUGHT OUT

A person came to Imaam Ja’far and recited the Qur’an, but his recitation was not in accordance to the recitation of the people. Imaam Jafar said to him: “Do not recite in this manner. Read according to the way that the people are reciting until Imaam Mahdi appears. When he comes, the Qur’an will be recited according to the original way and that Qur’an will be brought out which was written by Hazrath Ali” (V.2,p.632).

The following points are clear from this narration:

1. The Shia are instructed to presently continue reading the same Qur’an that others are reciting.

2. The present Qur’an is not the original Qur’an. The original Qur’an will be recited when Imaam Mahdi appears.

3. The original Qur’an is that which was written by Hazrath Ali. Presently nobody has it. It will be brought out when Imaam Mahdi appears.

Another narration in the same book states the following: Imaam Ja’far said: “Nobody can claim that he has compiled the entire Qur’an as it was revealed except a liar. Nobody has compiled it and preserved it as it was revealed except Ali bin Abi Taalib and the Imaams after him” (Usoolul Kaafi - Kitaabul Hujjah; Vol.1, Pg.228). The above would have clarified many of your doubts. Indeed they recite the same Qur’an that we do — only because the “original” is not presently available. Thus their practice for the moment is that they recite the Qur’an that everybody else recites. Their BELIEF is that this Qur’an is, Allah forbid, changed and distorted.

DISTORTION

Another narration in Usoolul Kaafi throws more light on this BELIEF of distortion that the Shia subscribe to. With regards to the verse of the Qur’an: “And we had given Aadam the command from before, but he forgot and we did not find him to be persistent” (Surah Taha; 115), the Shia belief is that it was revealed differently. It is related from Imaam Ja’far Saadiq that it was revealed in the following manner: “And indeed we had given Aadam the command from before with regards to Muhammad, Ali, Fathima, Hasan, Hussein and the Imaams from their progeny but he forgot” (Usoolul Kaafi - Vol 1, Pg. 416).

TAQIYYA

There are several other examples, but in the interest of brevity, we will suffice with the words of Abu Mansoor Ahmad Tabrasi who, among the Shia, is a very highly placed scholar of the sixth century. He writes: “If I make apparent everything that has been REMOVED from the Qur’an, or CHANGED and DISTORTED, it will be a very lengthy matter, which TAQIYYA (deception, concealing) is preventing its exposition” (Al-Ihtijaaj lit Tabrasi, Vol.1, Pg. 254). The matter is therefore crystal clear. Despite their heretical BELIEF that the Qur’an is distorted, TAQIYYA prevents them from openly declaring this belief. Taqiyya - which is to hide ones’s true beliefs and express something else - is the veil of holy hypocrisy that the Shia hide behind. Hence they will vigorously reject the allegation that they believe in some other Qur’an - but the rejection is really only lip-service.

KHOMEINI

Lastly an interesting point about Imaam Khomeini. The respect that is accorded to him by the Shia worldwide is well known. In his book Al-Hukumatul Islamia, Imaam Khomeini has spoken in glowing terms about Allama Noori Tabrasi, a Shia Mujtahid of his time. Khomeini has also drawn from Tabrasi’s book Mustadrakul Wasaail on the subject of Wilaayatul Faqih. It is this very same Tabrasi who also wrote and published a book titled “Faslul Khitaab fi Tahrifi Kitaabi Rabbil Arbaab.” In this book he has recorded more than one thousand “authentic Shia narrations” with regards to the Qur’an being distorted. Yes, Imaam Khomeini talks of him in high words and draws from his works, but not a word against him or against his book about the distortion of the Qur’an!!! If Khomeini did not support Tabrasi’s view of the Qur’an, why the defeaning silence on this issue???

If the present day Shia are sincere about their claim that they truly believe that the Qur’an we have is the original Qur’an they must do the following: They must publish a clear rejection of the fallacious belief of the distortion of the Qur’an on the front page of Teheran Times. The rejection must include a fatwa denouncing Noori Tabrasi, Mullah Kashani and Ali bin Ibrahim Qimmi, scholars greatly revered by the Shia, who have stated their belief of the distortion of the Qu’an in their books. This fatwa must also be published in all major newspapers of the world. Then we will believe them - otherwise not.

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