What Do the Shi`i Sources Have to Say on this Subject?

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What Do the Shi`i Sources Have to Say on this Subject?


Before holding the hand of the reader and bidding him farewell as he embarks on a journey, starting from the number zero of the first book written and compiled by the Shi`ah, we wish to highlight two contradictory voices. They exist and they are quite loud in almost every book of the Shi`ah in which this matter is discussed. Lending an ear to them will allow us to understand and fathom the reality of the matter in their circles. There will remain no vagueness in understanding it, even though the journey is one which includes lengthy pauses at the stations of the different Shi`i books. The leading scholar of the Shi`ah of his time, Ibn Babawayh al-Qummi (d. 381 A.H.) — the author of Man la Yahdurhu al-Faqih, one of their four canonical books on hadith states – :


اعتقادنا أن القرآن الذي أنزله الله تعالى على نبيه محمد وهو ما بين الدفتين وهو ما في أيدي الناس ليس بأكثر من ذلك.. ومن نسب إلينا أنا نقول أكثر من ذلك فهو كاذب

Our belief is that the Qur’an which Allah revealed upon His Nabi, Muhammad, is that which is between the two covers and in the hands of the masses. There is nothing more to it (than that)… Whoever attributes to us (anything which indicates) that we believe in anything other than that is a liar.[1]


This is the view of the one who was given the title al-Saduq by them. Among his brethren from the Shi`ah are some who stand with him regarding this view.


Al-Mufid (d. 413 A.H.) says:


إن الأخبار قد جاءت مستفيضة عن أئمة الهدى من آل محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم باختلاف القرآن وما أحدثه بعض الطاعنين فيه من الحذف والنقصان

There are innumerable narrations from the Imams of guidance from the family of Muhammad salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam regarding the differences of the Qur’an and that which some of its critics have done, i.e. adding to it and deleting from it.[2]


He continues:


واتفقوا – أي الإمامية – على أن أئمة الضلال خالفوا في كثير من تأليف القرآن وعدلوا فيه عن موجب التنزيل وسنة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم

They have agreed (the Imamiyyah) that the Imams of misguidance[3] opposed (the truth) in a large portion of the compilation of the Qur’an and they turned away from the demands of that which was revealed as well as the Sunnah of Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.[4]


Al-Mufid — who they refer to as Rukn al-Islam (the pillar of Islam), Ayat Allah al-Malik al-`Allam (the great sign of Allah, the Master, the Knowledgeable) — is also supported by some of their scholars.

These are two contradictory statements which were uttered by two of their great scholars who lived in the same era and place and who subscribed to the same belief system. In fact, al-Mufid who is mentioned here was a student of Ibn Babawayh al-Qummi. Now, whose statement do we take? Which of the two statements is a reflection of the view of the Shi`ah? We find that two students of al-Mufid, who are regarded to be among the greatest scholars of the Shi`ah, viz. al-Tusi and Ibn al-Murtada, hold the same view as Ibn Babawayh, and that the research scholars of the Shi`ah reject this blasphemous lie.

Each of these two views are supported by a group of Shi`ah. At times, each group will claim that this is the only view held by the Shi`ah, and the attribution of a different view to them, is a lie and an accusation. Deciphering these heaps of contradictory statements, and getting to the truth is no easy task. Reflecting over the fact that Taqiyyah is a fundamental principle of these people, to the extent that “the one who does not do Taqiyyah has no din,” we realise that the reality is hidden behind huge clouds of lies and deceptions, heaps of contradictory and conflicting statements and deep valleys of Taqiyyah and concealment.

This is why, as will be seen under the discussion of Taqiyyah, the actual position of the Shi`i stance is at times unclear to the Shi`i scholars as well. They cannot figure out which of the two statements were said as a result of Taqiyyah. Among other causes, this is why the madh-hab of the Imams was destroyed as a result of this dilemma. Hence we will study this matter from its inception. We will attempt to distinguish the genuine statements from those which were said only on account of Taqiyyah. This will be done by analysing the statements and comparing them to that which was written by the same author elsewhere in his books. I beseech Allah to protect us from accusing others of that which that they are not guilty and may He save us from major errors in our comments and verdicts.

This pivotal discussion — which will result in expelling the Shi`ah from the ranks of the Muslims, should they be found guilty of holding the above belief as they are then guilty of opposing them in a matter in which all of them agree — will be presented in the following manner; firstly, I will trace the books which were responsible for spreading this kufr among the Shi`ah, analysing each of them.

I will pause for a moment in this study to ascertain the following; which was the first book in which this lie was recorded, who was the first person to whom this statement could be traced and the reaction of the Shi`i scholars to these. This is an important aspect as far as studying the roots of this doctrine is concerned, and exposing the Saba’i hands which were accomplices in this crime.

Next, we will discuss the manner in which this lie found its way into all the books of the Shi`ah. Thereafter, we will take a look at the subjects of these books and the texts therein which are related to the discussion of alterations in the Qur’an, as well as the weight that these hold according to them. We will also shed some light on that which they refer to as Mushaf `Ali (a secret version of the Qur’an which they keep among themselves).

Lastly, we will examine the rejection of this kufr by some Shi`i scholars. Were they done merely out of Taqiyyah or was there any reality to them? All of our information will be taken directly from Shi`i sources, except for the comments which will be added when analysing a few aspects. If you find this discussion a bit lengthy, then understand that there was no other option as this is an absolutely grave matter. Added to that, there are huge differences amongst people as to whether the Shi`ah should be regarded as kafir or not on account of it, as you have already seen.


The Inception of this Lie — Taken Directly from the Books of the Shi`ah

The first book in which this lie was recorded was Kitab Sulaym ibn Qays[5], which was reported from him by Aban ibn Abi `Ayyash.[6] No other person reported this besides Aban.[7] This was “the first book of the Shi`ah that came to the fore,” as stated by Ibn al-Nadim[8] and others. The Shi`ah have praised him abundantly, venerated him and lauded his book[9] even though I could not find any details of the author in all the books I referred to.[10]

If there was any truth to the claims of the Shi`ah regarding him, there would have definitely been some mention of him in one of these books. However, the only books in which his name is mentioned is the books of the Shi`ah. In fact, one of the classical Shi`i scholars stated:


إن سليماً لا يعرف ولا ذكر في خبر

Sulaym is unknown and there is no mention of him in any narration.[11]


However, this is not acceptable according to the latter day Shi`ah. Even though this book carries many of the most dangerous beliefs introduced by the Saba’iyyah, such as taking `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu as a deity and describing him using words which are only used to describe the Rabb of the universe[12], the Shi`ah did not hesitate and they were not deterred by this from praising him excessively and blindly accepting all that he claims to narrate from the Ahl al-Bayt. The statements uttered by some of their ‘greatest’ scholars in his favour leaves us bewildered. They go on to claim that he was a brick in the foundation of the family of Muhammad salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and a secret from their secrets.

All of this is despite the fact that the chain as well as the texts of his narrations announces their falseness. They are from the narrations of Aban, whose narrations are discarded or valueless according to the Ahl al-Sunnah, and he is considered a weak narrator according to the Shi`i books on narrators. Sulaym, who is the supposed author of the book cannot be traced. Perhaps his existence was restricted to the imaginations of the Shi`ah.

The style of the book itself is quite contradictory and confusing. However, this is the explanation that they offer regarding it:


ما يتراءى من الاضطراب في الطريق غير قادح وهو واقع في أكثر طرق كتب أصحابنا

The confusion that can be noticed in the methodology is not (a reason) to discredit it. This is the condition of most of the books of our scholars.[13]


Many of the texts in this book are clearly from the books of the sacrilegious Batiniyyah. Despite this, the authors of the four reliable books (according to them) as well as others among their scholars[14] have quoted from it, without any reservations. This book contains many of the beliefs of the extremist Shi`ah. Surprisingly, this book has already been exposed by some Shi`i scholars!

The question is; what drove them — against their practice — to speak the truth? What about this book did they find so intolerable that they felt compelled to expose its reality? Was it the fact that `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu is portrayed as a deity? Was it on account of the attempted insults against the Qur’an or any other Islamic beliefs? Definitely not! The only danger that they found in this book was that it stated the number of Imams to be thirteen. This is calamity like no other, as it demolishes the very foundation of the religion of the Ithna `Ashariyyah, especially since this is stated in a book which is considered to be the basic books of Shi`ism and it was “the first book authored in Islam”.

Hence, they did us a huge favour and saved us the time required to analyse this book. A group of them declared:


ان الكتاب موضوع لا مرية فيه

This book is definitely a fabrication. There is no room for doubt regarding that.[15]


They have explained the flaws in this book and pointed out the signs which indicate that it was concocted. One such indication, as they have pointed out, is that it is inconsistent with history. Example:


إن محمد بن أبي بكر وعظ أباه عند الموت لأنه غصب الإمامة من علي” مع أن محمد بن أبي بكر ولد في سنة حجة الوداع فكيف يعظ أباه وعمره ثلاث سنوات

Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr admonished his father at the time of his demise, as he had snatched the mantle of Imamah from `Ali.


(The author states this) whereas Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr was only born during the year of Hajjat al-Wada`. Thus, how is it possible that he admonished his father whilst he was only three years old?[16]

Similarly, he stated that there are thirteen Imams. Therefore, they admitted that Sulaym is unknown, there is no mention of his name in the narrations and the chains of the book are all different and beyond comprehension.[17] Aban ibn Abi `Ayyash is the agreed upon suspect behind this fabrication.[18] One of their contemporary scholars managed to guess the era in which it was concocted. He says:


إنه موضوع في آخر الدولة الأموية لغرض صحيح

It was fabricated towards the end of the Umayyad dynasty for a valid reason.[19]


However, he presented no proof for this claim of his. A group from amongst them — apparently — were not ready to part ways with this book, as it is one of their foundational books and the primary source for their scholars. Thus they said:


والوجه عندي الحكم بتعديل المشار إليه والتوقف في الفاسد من كتابه

My opinion is that the (correct) approach is to venerate the one who is being pointed to and not accept the corrupt (views mentioned) in his book.[20]


This is despite the fact that this ‘corrupt view’ destroys the foundations of Shi`ism, as it states that there are thirteen Imams. However, this view did not receive a warm welcome in Shi`i circles. Thus, some decided to take action against it in a way that uproots the problem which puts their foundations at stake. Hence, they decided to straighten out the book so that it may be consistent with Shi`i logic. Al-Khowansari indicates to some ‘alterations’ made to the book. He says:


إن ما وصل إلينا من نسخ الكتاب هو أن عبد الله بن عمر وعظ أباه عند الموت

The copies of the book which reached us (state) that `Abd Allah ibn `Umar admonished his father at the time of death.[21]


Al-Hurr al-`Amili says:


والذي وصل إلينا من نسخه ليس فيه شيء فاسد، ولا شيء مما استدل به على الوضع

There is nothing corrupt in the copies which have reached us and there is nothing in there which indicates that (it is a) fabrication.[22]


I searched for the errors of the book, as mentioned by the first group, in two different prints thereof[23], but I could not find them. This informs us that they change their books, add on to them and delete passages from them. Nevertheless, this book is regarded as a reliable source by latter day Shi`ah, as established by al-Majlisi in al-Bihar[24], al-Hurr al-`Amili in al-Wasa’il[25] as well as others.

I believe that this deliberation regarding the book Kitab Sulaym ibn Qays is necessary in order to expose the role of the Saba’iyyah, who are the criminals behind this lie. We have already observed that this lie started from the book Kitab Sulaym ibn Qays, regarding which it is said that Aban fabricated it, and one of them even specified the date of its occurrence, i.e. the end of the Umayyad dynasty. We have also mentioned that al-Milti suspects Hisham ibn al-Hakam.

The crux of the matter is that this lie was only brought into existence in the second century. I have searched through the views attributed to Ibn Saba and the Sab’iyyah. I did not find this view being reported from Ibn Saba. It seems as if this idea did not even cross his mind as its falsity was all too apparent to the generation of his era, who had witnessed the revelation. It would have been suicidal to his mission if even hinted in that direction, thus he did not dare to spread this lie.

However, being the scum that he was, instead of claiming that the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum altered the Qur’an, he expressed his idea in the following words:


بأن هذا القرآن جزء من تسعة أجزاء وعلمه عند علي

This Qur’an is one of nine portions and the knowledge thereof is possessed by `Ali.[26]


His statement is vague. The exact meaning that was intended cannot be determined. However, the treatise of Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah rahimahu Llah (d. 95 A.H.) clarifies its meaning:


ومن خصومه هذه السبئية التي أدركنا يقولوا (كذا) هدينا لوحي ضل عنه الناس وعلم خفي ويزعمون أن نبي الله كتم تسعة أعشار القرآن، ولو كان نبي الله كاتماً شيئاً مما أنزل الله لكتم شأن امرأة زيد { وَ اِذْ تَقُوْلُ لِلَّذِیْٓ اَنْعَمَ اللّٰهُ عَلَیْهِ وَ اَنْعَمْتَ عَلَیْهِ اَمْسِكْ عَلَیْكَ زَوْجَكَ وَاتَّقِ اللّٰهَ وَتُخْفِیْ فِیْ نَفْسِكَ مَا اللّٰهُ مُبْدِیْهِ وَ تَخْشَی النَّاسَۚ   وَ اللّٰهُ اَحَقُّ اَنْ تَخْشٰهُ }


Among his opponents were these Saba’iyyah, who we have met. They say, “we have found revelation that was lost to the people and knowledge that was secret.” They assert that the Nabi of Allah hid away nine tenths of the Qur’an. If Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam wished to hide way any of that which Allah revealed, he would have hid away the matter of the wife of Zayd, “and [remember, O Muhammad], when you said to the one on whom Allah bestowed favour and you bestowed favour, “keep your wife and fear Allah,” while you concealed within yourself that which Allah is to disclose. And you feared the people, while Allah has more right that you fear Him.”[27],[28]


This informs us that the Saba’iyyah did not hold this view. Rather, it was only introduced later. As for the one who was guilty of playing the greatest role in spreading this among the Shi`ah, it will not be easy to give a definite answer or name specific persons. It will serve no point to study all the chains of the narrations (of the Shi`ah) regarding the subject of interpolation in the Qur’an as there are narrations which do not even have chains, such as the narrations of al-Ihtijaj by al-Tabarsi. Added to that, there are many indications that chains were only introduced by them after the passing of a few eras, as will appear. Another reason why this will be a frivolous exercise is that one of their tactics is to attach authentic chains to fabrications. Therefore, studying the chains, in this case, will not lead us to a decisive conclusion.


The Spread of this Lie in the Book of the Shi`ah


We have seen, if we take their word that this lie started with the book of Sulaym ibn Qays. Initially, there were only two narrations regarding it, and it was not as clear as that which we learnt from those after him. You will understand this from the narrations which we will present after presenting all the narrations regarding the subject of interpolation. It seems as if the matter was still in its early stages when he penned it down in his book and the lies in support of it were minimal. It was also a matter that was rejected by some of the Shi`ah. Thus, it was on the verge of dying out. Unfortunately, the third century was ill-fated with the appearance of a man who held onto this fabrication, added on to it and strengthened its pillars which were about to collapse.

Their scholar, `Ali ibn Ibrahim al-Qummi, who was the mentor of the author of al-Kafi — al-Kulayni — filled his Tafsir with this lie[29], which he also mentioned in the preface of his book.[30] This is why their scholar, al-Kashani said:


فإن تفسيره مملوء منه وله غلو فيه

His Tafsir is filled with it (examples of interpolation) and he adopted extremism in that matter.[31]


Al-Nuri al-Tabarsi says:


وقد صرح بهذا المعتقد في أول تفسيره وملأ كتابه من أخباره مع التزامه في أوله ألا يذكر فيه إلا مشايخه وثقاته

He (al-Qummi) clearly stated this belief in the beginning of his Tafsir and he filled it with these narrations. He also took it upon himself in the beginning of his book to mention (narrate from) only his teachers and those who he relies upon.[32]


Despite this book (Tafsir al-Qummi) being filled with this blasphemy, one of the leading Shi`i scholars — al-Khu’i — declares all of al-Qummis narrations reliable, as mentioned previously.[33] After al-Qummi, his student al-Kulayni (d. 328 or 329 A.H) — who is given the title Thiqat al-Islam by the Shi`ah and he is the author of one of their four seminal and most reliable works — quoted many of these narrations[34] in his book al-Kafi, even after he took it upon himself to only quote authentic narrations.[35]


It is for this reason that those who wrote regarding him from the Shi`ah have stated:


أنه كان يعتقد التحريف والنقصان في القرآن، لأنه روى روايات في هذا المعنى في كتابه الكافي ولم يتعرض لقدح فيها مع أنه ذكر في أول كتابه أنه يثق بما رواه

He believed that alterations and deletions took place in the Qur’an. This (is established from the fact that) he quoted narrations of this meaning in his book al-Kafi without criticising them. This is despite the fact that he mentioned in the start of his book he relies upon all that he narrates.[36]


According to the scholars of the Rafidah, al-Kafi is of the highest standards of authenticity, as al-Kulayni was a contemporary of the four messengers who are believed (by them) to have had contact with their hidden and awaited Mahdi. It was extremely easy for him to verify the authenticity of his compilations as he lived with them in the same city, i.e. Baghdad.[37] It should also be noted that Ibn Babawayh al-Qummi declared all the narrations regarding the subject of alterations in the Qur’an as fabrications even though they appear in al-Kafi — which they have described in this manner and they have declared reliable.

I referred to Mir’at al-`Uqul of al-Majlisi, where I found that he declared some of the narrations of al-Kafi as weak. However, he declared the narrations which stated that alterations took place to be authentic.[38] The same was seen in the book al-Shafi (the commentary of al-Kafi).[39] Recently, a book by the name of Sahih al-Kafi[40] was printed. After referring to it, I found that the author removed all the narrations which interfere with the Book of Allah. In fact, he discarded entire chapters regarding it, along with their narrations[41], just as he deleted many chapters which contained many beliefs which make the Shi`ah targets of criticism.[42] We cannot be sure as to whether this was done out of honesty or was it just Taqiyyah, especially since many of the ahadith discarded by him were authenticated by al-Majlisi in Mir’at al-`Uqul and the author of al-Shafi.

Further, this lie found its place in many pages across Tafsir al-`Ayyashi which was authored by Al-`Ayyashi — who is of the same rank as al-Kulayni.[43] This is also one of their reliable books, as mentioned previously[44] (even though its narrations have no chains to them). The author of al-Bihar claims that the chains were left out by one of the scribes.[45] Furat ibn Ibrahim al-Kufi, who lived in the third century, authored his own Tafsir, which was named Tafsir Furat.[46] He was also quite comfortable with lending space to the narrations which promote this lie[47] in his book. This book is also a reliable book according to them.[48] His contemporary, Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Nu`mani,[49] narrated many of these narrations[50] in his book al-Ghaybah, which one of their best and most reliable books.[51] Another bigot who belonged to this clique which was found at that time was Abu al-Qasim al-Kufi. Some of the books of the Ithna `Ashariyyah have declared him an extremist.[52]

He exposed himself in the book al-Istighatha, stating that he adhered to this misguided methodology.[53] Al-Najashi attributed to him a book named al-Tabdil wa al-Tahrif.[54] However, this book along with its likes is no longer available, as pointed out by the author of Fasl al-Khitab.[55] Herein, he reports directly from al-Qummi[56] some narrations which state that alterations took place. It is perhaps from him that he learnt this kufr.

Succeeding the above mentioned bigots, we see their scholar al-Mufid (d. 413 A.H.) writing in his book Awa’il al-Maqalat that his sect have reached a consensus regarding this lie[57], and he quotes some of his narrations in some of his books such as al-Irshad[58] — which is considered one of their reliable books[59] The stench of all the above-listed book as well as others leaves a Muslim doubtless that they are from the plotting of malicious enemy of the Book of Allah, His religion and the follower thereof.

This sect was forced to resort to this — as will appear under the analyses of the texts of this lie and its narrations — on account of the fact that the Book of Allah was empty and pure of the bizarre promoted by them, as well as all their other views which cannot be traced back to the Qur’an. It was far beyond their capacity to take any steps by which they could have altered any of the verses of the Qur’an, as they had done to the pure Sunnah by adding some narrations which were exposed by the experts of the science.

Since they were unable to add on to the Book of Allah, as it was beyond their reach, they decided to claim that the Book of Allah was altered and portions of it were deleted. Shouting out a claim is no difficult task, especially for the one who is an oppressive bigot. This plot, apparently, was resorted to as a tactic to soothe their followers, who might have protested upon being unable to find any mention of their Imams or beliefs in the Book of Allah, the lofty positions of which they kept hearing from their leaders.[60]

Thus, they found this lie to be an emergency exit, due to which their scholars of the third and fourth centuries raised through the ranks by discussing this. However, poor planning on their part, as it seems, as far as this problem was concerned landed them into the deepest trouble. It utterly disgraced them in front of everyone and it snipped the veil that kept their faces covered, revealing their hypocrisy and enmity. It expelled them from the domain of Islam, attachment to the Qur’an and love for the Ahl al-Bayt!

This is why their leading scholar of the fourth century, Ibn Babawayh al-Qummi — the author of Man La Yahdurhu al-Faqih (one of their four canonical books of hadith) and the one who they refer to as Ra’is al-Muhaddithin (the leader of the hadith scholars) (d. 381 A.H.) — announced that the Shi`ah are innocent of this belief.[61] Similarly, al-Sharif al-Murtada (d. 436 A.H) would reject this belief and he would even declare those who subscribe to this belief as kafir, as mentioned by Ibn Hazm.[62] His rejection was even noted by al-Tusi[63] and al-Tabarsi.[64]

Al-Tusi, who authored two of their four reliable hadith books and two of their reliable books on narrators,[65] also expressed his reservations regarding this belief and its relationship with the Shi`ah. The same was done by al-Tabarsi[66], the author of Majma` al-Bayan. We will quote — if Allah wills — their exact words regarding this, along with a comparative study of their statements in their other books. The statements of the Shi`ah regarding their rejection will also be quoted.

Despite this rejection and denunciation of these beliefs by these leading ‘scholars’ the matter was not brought to an end. In the sixth century, al-Tabarsi, the author of al-Ihtijaj made it his responsibility to revive this kufr. Hence, he filled his book with it.[67] However, none of his narrations were accompanied by chains. He claims — in the introduction of his book — that he did not mention most of the chains as they are famous or agreed upon by his sect. He says:


ولا نأتي في أكثر ما نورده من الأخبار بإسناد، إما لوجود الإجماع عليه، أو موافقته لما دلت العقول إليه، أو لاشتهاره في السير والكتب بين المخالف والمؤالف

We will not mention the chains of most of the narrations which we will quote, either due to there being consensus regarding them, their compliance to logic or on account of them being well known in the books of siyar (the books on campaigns) by both, the opposition as well as those who agree.[68]

This Tabarsi, who openly declared his kufr, was among the contemporaries of Abu al-Fadl al-Tabarsi, the author of Majma` al-Bayan, who denied this belief and declared the Shi`ah innocent regarding it.[69] It seems as if there was a story behind the rejection of these four individuals, or the matter became a secret. Thus, we did not see a considerable effort being made to raise it or spread it — openly and on a large scale — except during the Safavid dynasty, wherein it was witnessed that the efforts behind the revival of this belief, concoctions to support it, etc., were even more than that which took place in the third century.

This ‘duty’ was taken up by a group of Shi`i scholars appointed by the Safavids. Thus, they made such an effort to revive this kufr that this lie, which started off as merely two narrations in the book Kitab Sulaym ibn Qays multiplied until they are now — as admitted by Ni`mat Allah al-Jaza’iri — more than two thousand narrations. This was a result of the effort of the scholars of the Safavid dynasty (in which Taqiyyah was abandoned to some extent), who left no stone unturned in spreading this kufr in their books. These include al-Majlisi in his Bihar[70], al-Kashani in Tafsir al-Safi[71], al-Bahrani in al-Burhan[72], Ni`mat Allah al-Jaza’iri in al-Anwar al-Nu`maniyyah[73] and other books, Abu al-Hasan al-Sharif in Mir’at al-Anwar[74], al-Mazindarani[75] (the commentator on al-Kafi) as well as others.

Towards the end of the thirteenth century the Shi`ah were completely undressed and disgraced (regarding this subject) by their scholar Husayn al-Nuri al-Tabarsi, who was greatly honoured by them.[76] He compiled a book regarding this kufr in which he gathered all their concoctions on this subject in one book, which he named Fasl al-Khitab fi Ithbat Tahrif Kitab Rabb al-Arbab[77] (the definitive conclusion in proving the distortion of the Book of the absolute Lord of lords).

This book will always be a source of disgrace to the Shi`ah, as the author gathered all the narrations (which were spread out) regarding it, the statements of their scholars who authenticated these narrations as well as the statements of their research scholars who accepted this kufr. He penned down this book in an effort to counter a group of the Shi`ah who could not digest this kufr and refused to accept this lie. This is clearly understood in his rebuttal of them at the end his book.[78]

This book brought out that which was hidden and made clear that which was vague. He revealed the malicious plots and enmity for the Qur’an and its followers by the Shi`ah, which were kept hidden in the ‘secret passages’ of their books. In the introduction to his book, this sacrilegious individual reveals the motive behind his attack on the Book of Allah:


فيقول العبد المذنب المسيء حسين بن محمد تفي الدين الطبرسي جعله الله من الواقفين ببابه المتمسكين بكتابه (!): هذا كتاب لطيف وسفر شريف عملته في إثبات تحريف القرآن وفضائح أهل الجور والعدوان، وسميته فصل الخطاب في تحريف كتاب رب الأرباب.. وأودعت فيه من بدايع الحكمة ما تقر به كل عين، وأرجو ممن ينتظر رحمته المسيئون أن ينفعني به في يوم لا ينفع مال ولا بنون


The sinful evil doing slave Husayn ibn Muhammad Taqi al-Din al-Tabarsi (may Allah make him among those who stand at his door and hold onto his book (sic!)), “this is a small book and a noble scroll which I have written to prove that alterations took place in the Qur’an and the embarrassing (crimes) of the oppressors and enemies. I have named it Fasl al-Khitab fi Ithbat Tahrif Kitab Rabb al-Arbab… I have placed in it amazing points of wisdom which will please every eye. I hope from the one whose mercy is anticipated by the sinners that he grants me the benefits of it on the day that neither wealth nor (ones) offspring will be of any benefit.[79]


Look at how the Zoroastrians, hide their evil agenda behind ostentation and lies to fool the simple minded and ignorant folk. One of them, whilst trying to hide the filthy agenda (of the author) says:


قد يقال: إن نظره في تأليف ذلك الكتاب إلى جمع تلك الأخبار والشواذ والنوادر ولم يكن غرضه اعتقاد التحريف

It is said: his idea behind writing that book was to gather all those narrations and strange and rare (statements). His motive was not to (establish) the belief that alterations took place.[80]


However, this claim is belied by the very title of the book. It was a waste of ink and paper, and it was undoubtedly Taqiyyah.[81] Some of the contemporary Shi`i scholars have denounced this belief, even though their cover was blown away by the author of Fasl al-Khitab. Among them are al-Balaghi, who done so in Ala al-Rahman[82], Muhsin al-Amin in al-Shi`ah Bayn al-Haqa’iq wa l-Awham[83], `Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din in Ajwibat Masa’il Jar Allah[84], al-Khu’i in his Tafsir al-Bayan[85], Muhammad Jawad Mughniyah in al-Shi`ah fi al-Mizan[86], as well as other books of his, Muhammad Husayn Al Kashif al-Ghita in Al-Shi`ah wa Usuluha[87] as well as others. We will pause along the course of our journey to analyse their statements, under the chapter regarding present day Shi`ah and their relationship with their predecessors.

Now, which course should we take? Do we go with that which Imam al-Ash`ari stated in al-Maqalat (that the Shi`ah have more than one view on this subject and they did not agree upon this deviation)? Should we accept that there are two groups among the Ithna `Ashariyyah; one has adopted extremism and the other accepts the truth, as stated by some who claim to be from the Ahl al-Sunnah (as quoted above) as well as some writers of the Shi`ah[88]? Or, should we accept the view that the Shi`ah (who accepted the truth only done so due to) Taqiyyah, as stated by some of the Ahl al-Sunnah as well as those who accept the belief that interpolation took place from among the Shi`ah, such as Ni`mat Allah al-Jazai’ri[89]? All of this will be looked at and explained in the next discussion.


NEXT⇒ The Contents of the Narrations on Alterations in the Book of the Shi`ah

[1]Al-I`tiqadat pg. 101-102

[2]Awa’il al-Maqalat pg. 54

[3]  Here, he is referring to the senior Sahabah of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam — with whom Allah is pleased and they are pleased with Him. These Sahabah were led by the four khulafa’, the fourth one being `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu.

[4]Awa’il al-Maqalat pg. 13

[5]  The books of the Shi`ah state, “Sulaym ibn Qays al-Hilali whose agnomen was Abu Sadiq. He was one of the companions of Amir al-Mu’minin. He fled from Hajjaj who sought him and wanted to kill him. He sought protection from Aban ibn Abi `Ayyash, who readily granted it to him. When he was about to die, Sulaym gave him a book, i.e. Kitab Sulaym ibn Qays. He died in the year 90 A.H.”

Al-Barqi: al-Rijal pg. 3-4, al-Tusi: al-Fahrist pg. 111, al-Ardabili: Jami` al-Ruwat 1/374, Rijal al-Kashshi pg. 167, Rijal al-Hilli pg. 82, 83.

[6]  Aban ibn Abi `Ayyash Fayruz Abu Isma`il. Imam Ahmad says, “his ahadith are discarded. People have discarded his hadith a long time ago. His ahadith cannot be written. They are unacceptable.” Ibn Ma`in said, “his ahadith are nothing!” Ibn al-Madini said, “he was weak.” Shu`bah said, “Ibn Abi `Ayyash; he would lie (when narrating) ahadith.” He died in the year 138 A.H. Refer to Tahdhib al-Tahdhib 1/97-101, al-`Uqayli: al-Du`afa 1/38-41, Ibn Abi Hatim: al-Jarh wa l-Ta`dil 2/295-296. This is only some of the comments of the scholars of the Ahl al-Sunnah. As for the Shi`i scholars, Ibn Mutahhar al-Hilli said, “Aban ibn Abi `Ayyash is extremely weak. Our scholars have attributed the concoction of Kitab Sulaym ibn Qays to him.” Al-Ardabili passed similar comments. Refer to Rijal al-Hilli pg. 206, Jami` al-Ruwat 1/9

[7]  Refer to al-Fahrist pg. 219, al-Khowansari: Rawdat al-Jannat 4/67, Rijal al-Hilli pg. 83, al-Ardabili: Jami` al-Ruwat 1/374, al-Dhari`ah 2/152

[8]Al-Fahrist pg. 219, al-Dhari`ah 2/152

[9]  They report from Abu `Abd Allah that he said regarding it, “if any of our lovers or Shi`ah does not have in his possession the book of Sulaym ibn Qays al-Hilali, then he has nothing of our matters by him and he knows nothing about our causes. It is the basic source of the Shi`ah and one of the secrets of the progeny of Muhammad salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam.” Foreward of Kitab Sulaym ibn Qays pg. 4, Agha Buzrug al-Tahrani: al-Dhari`ah 2/152, the footnotes of Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 2/42. Al-Nu`mani said, “there is no difference of opinion between any of the Shi`ah who possessed knowledge and reported it from the Imams that Kitab Sulaym ibn Qays al-Hilali is a primary book and one of the most important basic books of which the scholars and narrators of hadith of the Ahl al-Bayt, as well as the first ones. This is because whatever is contained in this foundational book is either from Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, Amir al-Mu’minin, al-Miqdad, Salman al-Farsi, Abu Dhar and those who followed their footsteps from those who saw Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and Amir al-Mu’minin `alayh al-Salam. He heard from both of them. This (book) is among the foundational books upon which the Shi`ah rely and refer to.” Refer to al-Nu`mani: al-Ghaybah pg. 61 (printed by al-A`lami of Beirut) pg. 47 (of the Iranian print). Also refer to Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 20/210 Al-Majlisi said, “it is one of the foundational books of the Shi`ah and the first book authored in Islam.” Thereafter, al-Majlisi quotes four ahadith which claim that this book was read out to `Ali ibn Husayn (May Allah always expose their lies regarding him!) to which he commented, “Sulaym has spoken the truth.” Bihar al-Anwar 1/156-158. Refer to Rijal al-Kashshi (pg. 104-105) for the other ahadith quoted by us.

[10] I referred to many sources of the Ahl al-Sunnah in an effort to find some details regarding him. However, nothing could be found. As an example, I could not find his name in the list of famous personalities who appear in Tarikh al-Tabari which was prepared by Abu al-Fadl Ibrahim. Similarly, his name does not appear in Tarikh Ibn al-Athir, as suggested by the lists prepared by Ihsan `Abbas or Sayf al-Din al-Katib. Shadharat al-Dhahab of Ibn al-`Imad al-Hanbali, al-Bidayah wa l-Nihayah of Ibn Kathir, Tabaqat Ibn Sa`d, among other books, also do not have any mention of his name. We could not find his name in the books on narrators which include Lisan al-Mizan, al-Tarikh al-Kabir, al-Tarikh al-Saghir (both of which were authored by Imam al-Bukhari), Tahdhib al-Kamal of al-Mizzi, etc. This makes no sense at all as he was, “the first author of Islam,” and he was also, “being chased by Hajjaj, who wanted to kill him.” An individual who stood out to this extent in these two fields simply cannot be neglected or forgotten. Thus, his non-appearance is a clear proof that the Shi`i statements are empty claims. He is nothing more than an imaginary personality.

[11]Rijal al-Hilli pg. 83

[12]  Some of the narrations of the book plead to `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu by calling him the following names; “Ya Awwal (the one who’s existence preceded everything else), Ya Akhir (the one who’s existence succeeded everything else), Ya Zahir (the one who is above everything) Ya Batin (the one who is beneath everything), O the one who has complete knowledge regarding everything!’. It is even claimed herein that this description was said by the Sun, when it called out to `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu and it was heard by Abu Bakr, `Umar, the Muhajirin and the Ansar radiya Llahu `anhum, who passed out upon hearing it and recovered after a while. Kitab Sulaym ibn Qays pg 38 (printed by al-A`lami) and pg. 31-32 (of the Najaf print). These qualities (i.e. attributing them to `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu) are from the evil effects of the Saba’iyyah who take `Ali radiya Llahu `anhu as a deity. Unfortunately, the Ithna `Ashariyyah have inherited it from them. After preserving this drivel in their books, they shamelessly attributed it to the Ahl al-Bayt. Thus, they have wrapped up the Ahl al-Bayt, who they claim to support, in this dirt! These attributes are undoubtedly confined to Allah. He says:

هُوَ الْاَوَّلُ وَ الْاٰخِرُ وَ الظَّاهِرُ وَ الْبَاطِنُ وَ هُوَ بِكُلِّ شَیْءٍ عَلِیْمٌ

He is the First and the Last, the Ascendant and the Intimate, and He is, of all things, Knowing. (Surah al-Hadid: 3)

[13]  Al-Khowansari: Rawdat al-Jannat 4/68

[14]  Al-Kulayni relies upon it and he dedicated a few chapters to it, as examples; Chapter: That which has been narrated regarding the twelve. Usul al-Kafi 1/525, Chapter: The pillars of Kufr Usul al-Kafi 2/391, etc. Similar to him was Ibn Babawayh al-Qummi, who was given the title by them of al-Saduq, in his book Man la Yahdurhu al-Faqih. Rawdat al-Jannat 4/68, al-Dhari`ah 2/154. Al-Ihtijaj of al-Tabarsi, al-Ikhtisas of al-Mufid, Tafsir al-Furat, etc., are other examples wherein this could be seen. Refer to the forward of the Kitab Sulaym ibn Qays pg. 6.

[15]  Refer to Rijal al-Hilli pg. 83, Ibn Dawud: al-Rijal pg. 413, 414

[16]  Al-Khowansari: Rawdat al-Jannat 4/67, Rijal al-Hilli pg. 83

[17]  Refer to Rijal al-Hilli pg. 206, Al-Khowansari: Rawdat al-Jannat 4/67, Ibn Dawud: al-Rijal pg. 413-414

[18]Rijal al-Hilli pg. 206, Ibn Dawud: al-Rijal pg. 413-414

[19]  Abu al-Hasan al-Sha`rani in his footnotes on al-Kafi which is printed with the commentary of al-Mazindarani 2/373-374.

[20]Rijal al-Hilli pg. 83, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 20/210

[21]Rawdat al-Jannat 4/69

[22]Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 20/210

[23]  Printed in Najaf by al-Matba`ah al-Haydariyyah and by al-A`lami in Beirut.

[24]Bihar al-Anwar 1/32

[25]Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 20/210

[26]  Al-Jowzajani: Ahwal al-Rijal pg. 38

[27]  Surah a-Ahzab: 37

[28]Kitab al-Iman of Muhammad ibn Abi `Umar al-Makki al-`Adni pg. 249-250 (of the manuscript).

[29]  There are many examples of this in his book. The following are only a few; Tafsir al-Qummi 1/48, 100, 110, 118, 122, 123, 142, 159, 2/21, 111, 125 etc. Some of them will be quoted later.

[30]Tafsir al-Qummi 1/10

[31]Tafsir al-Safi 1/52

[32]  Al-Tabarsi: Fasl al-Khitab pg. 13 of the manuscript and pg. 26 of the printed version.

[33]  Refer to the introduction of this book or Mu`jam Rijal al-Hadith 1/63 of al-Khu’i for his exact statement.

[34]  Refer to Usul al-Kafi (vol.1 Bab fihi Nukat wa Nutaf min al-Tanzil fi l-Wilayah pg. 413). The numbers of these narrations are as follows; 8, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 31, 32, 45, 47, 58, 59, 60, 64. Refer to vol. 2 of al-Kafi, Bab al-nawadir pg. 627 onwards, numbers 2, 3, 4, 23, 28. These narrations unambiguously state this. It is quite a stretch to claim that they are narrations of variations in recitation.

[35]  Refer to the introduction of al-Kafi pg. 9, Tafsir al-Safi, the sixth introduction, pg. 52 (printed by al-A`lami in Beirut) and pg. 14 (of the Tehrani print by al-Maktabah al-Islamiyyah)

[36]  Al-Kashani: Tafsir al-Safi, the sixth introduction pg. 52 of the A`lami print and pg. 14 of the Tehran print.

[37]  Refer to Muhammad Salih al-Ha’iri: Minhaj `Amali li al-Taqrib which is printed along with the book al-Wahdat al-Islamiyyah pg. 233. Their older scholars held the same view. Refer to Ibn Tawus: Kashf al-Mahajjah pg. 159. Also refer to the introduction of this book.

[38]  Example, he authenticated the narration:

أن القرآن الذي جاء به جبرائيل – عليه السلام – إلى محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم وآله وسلم سبعة عشر ألف آية

The Qur’an which was brought by Jibril `alayh al-Salam to Muhammad salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam was seventeen thousand verses.

The verses of the Qur’an do not exceed six thousand. Refer to Mir’at al-`Uqul 2/536

[39]  Refer to al-Shafi Sharh Usul al-Kafi 7/227 to see his authentication of the narration quoted in the previous footnote.

[40]  Printed in the year 1401 A.H. by one of their contemporary scholars, Muhammad al-Baqir al-Bahudi. It comprises of three volumes.

[41]  Such as the chapter; the Qur’an was not gathered in totality by anyone except the Imams. It is from the explicit chapter headings regarding this lie. Refer to Fasl al-Khitab pg. 26-27. He deleted other chapters as well, just as he deleted the narrations of Bab fihi Nukat wa nutaf min al-tanzil fi al-Wilayah. Initially it contained 92 narrations, but they were brought down to two by him. They now contain no criticism of the text of the Qur’an, but they still misinterpret the meanings thereof according to the methodology of the Batiniyyah. This chapter contained the majority of the narrations of al-Kafi on the subject of alterations. This is why the author of Fasl al-Khitab believed that it was confined to it. Refer to page 36 of Fasl al-Khitab.

[42]  Like the chapters “when the Imams feel like practising then they practice, the Imams know their time of death and they do not die except by choice, the Imams have knowledge of the past and the future and nothing remains hidden from them,” etc. Compare Kitab al-Hujjah of Usul al-Kafi to Kitab al-Hujjah of Sahih al-Kafi to get clear understanding of the matter.

[43]  Regarding this, refer to the following pages (including others): 1/13, 168, 169, 206, etc.

[44]  Refer to the introduction of this book.

[45]Bihar al-Anwar 1/28

[46]  Printed by al-Matba`ah al-Haydariyyah of Najaf. The front page states, ‘The valuable Tafsir which the souls of the scholars were longing to see. Despite its small size, it contains that which the larger commentaries do not contain. It is totally in accordance to the ahadith and narrations of Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and the Imams radiya Llahu `anhum.

[47]  Refer to Tafsir Furat pg. 18, 85, etc.

[48]  Refer to the introduction of this book.

[49]  They assert that he was a contemporary of the four messengers of their awaited and hidden Mahdi. He was from the students of their scholar al-Kulayni, the author of al-Kafi. Perhaps he learnt this kufr from him. They even say that he is the one who wrote al-Kafi and assisted al-Kulayni in authoring it. Refer to Rijal al-Najashi pg. 297, Amal al-Amal pg. 232, Rijal al-Hilli pg. 162

[50]  Refer to page 218 of al-Ghaybah

[51]  Refer to Bihar al-Anwar 1/30

[52]  Al-Najashi says, “`Ali ibn Ahmad Abu al-Qasim al-Kufi was a man from the people of Kufah. He would claim that he is from the family of Abu Talib and he adopted extremism towards the end and his religion was corrupted. He authored many books, most of them are (filled with) corrupted (content); Kitab al-Ambiya’, Kitab al-Awsiya’, Kitab al-Bida` al-Muhdathah, Kitab al-Tabdil wa al-Tahrif.’ Al-Najashi also mentions that the extremists claim that he reached extremely high stages. He died in the year 233 A.H. Rijal al-Najashi pg. 203, Rijal al-Hilli pg. 233. The contemporary Rafidi who wrote the forward to the book al-Istighathah (who did not clearly state his name) tried to dispel from him the stigma of being an extremist. Refer to the forward.

[53]Al-Istighathah or al-Bida` al-Muhdathah pg. 25

[54]Rijal al-Najashi pg. 203

[55]Fasl al-Khitab pg. 30-31

[56]Al-Istighathah pg. 29

[57]Awa’il al-Maqalat pg. 51

[58]Al-Irshad pg. 365

[59] Bihar al-Anwar 1/27

[60]  The explanation of this will appear under the discussion of Imamah and their other beliefs.

[61]  Refer to his book al-I`tiqadat pg. 101-102. The exact words will appear later.

[62]Al-Fisal 5/22

[63]Al-Tibyan 1/3

[64]Majma` al-Bayan 1/31

[65]Al-Tibyan 1/3

[66]Majma` al-Bayan 1/31

[67]Fasl al-Khitab script 32 of the manuscript.

[68]Al-Ihtijaj pg. 14

[69]  Some writers mistook one for the other. Subsequently, they ascribed the book al-Ihtijaj to the author of Majma` al-Bayan. The author of al-Ihtijaj openly pronounces this kufr whereas the author of Majma` al-Bayan declares his innocence therefrom. Among those who committed this mistake was Nabilah `Ubayd in her book Nash’at al-Shi`ah (pg. 39-40), even though she was a Shi`i. Similarly some authors could not differentiate between the Tabarsi who authored Majma` al-Bayan and the Tabarsi who authored Fasl al-Khitab. They mistook both to be the same person, whereas there was a gap of six generations between them. `Abd al-Muta`al al-Jabri is among those who committed this error in his book Hiwar Ma`a al-Shi`ah pg. 187

[70]Bihar al-Anwar, Kitab al-Qur’an, Bab ta’lif al-Qur’an wa annahu `ala ghayr ma anzala Allah `azz wa jall 92/66.

[71]Tafsir al-Safi, the sixth introduction pg. 40-55, 136, 163, 399, 420.

[72]Al-Burhan (in many places). As examples; vol. 1 pg. 15 Bab an al-Qur’an lam yajma`hu kama unzil illa al-A’immah, pg. 34, 70, 102, 140, 170, 277, 294-295, 308, etc.

[73] Al-Anwar al-Nu`maniyyah 2/357-358

[74]  The second introduction, Mir’at al-Anwar of Abu al-Hasan al-Sharif pg. 36-49.

[75]  He explained al-Kafi and he agreed with the drivel puked out by the author, to the extent that he said, “deletions from the Qur’an and alterations to it is established by our narrators with tawatur (as far as the meaning is concerned).” Refer to Sharh Jami` al-Kafi 11/76. It is worth noting at this juncture that this ‘tawatur’ is what the other scholars of the Shi`ah consider as an obvious lie.

[76]  He is well-respected by the Shi`ah, to the extent that they have taken one of his books, Mustadrak al-Wasa’il, as one of their reliable sources on hadith, as will be explained under the discussion of their beliefs regarding the Sunnah. Upon the expiry of this Tabarsi, they buried him in the most blessed land, according to them, “between the family and the book”, i.e. in the third chamber to the right of the ‘blessed courtyard’ from the door of the Qiblah in Najaf. Refer to Agha Buzurg al-Tehrani: A`lam al-Shi`ah, category two of volume one pg. 553.

[77]  He committed the crime of authoring this book in the year 1292 A.H., and it was printed in Iran in the year 1298 A.H. I have in my possession both; a copy of the manuscript as well as the printed copy. Further details will appear regarding it in the fourth chapter, if Allah wills.

[78]Fasl al-Khitab pg. 360

[79]Fasl al-Khitab pg. 2

[80]  Muhammad al-Tabataba’i: footnotes of Al-Anwar al-Nu`maniyyah 2/364

[81]  An analysis of his book, debunking of his arguments and exposure of his lies will appear under the chapter regarding present day Shi`ah.

[82]Ala al-Rahman: 1/17-32

[83]Al-Shi`ah Bayn al-Haqa’iq wa l-Awham pg. 160

[84]Ajwibat Masa’il Jar Allah pg. 27-37

[85]Al-Bayan pg. 226

[86] Al-Shi`ah fi al-Mizan: pg. 58

[87]Asl al-Shi`ah wa Usuluha pg. 88

[88]Tafsir al-Safi 1/52-53, Qawami` al-Fudul pg. 298

[89]Al-Anwar al-Nu`maniyyah 2/358-359. His exact words will appear shortly, if Allah wills.