A Few Examples of Shi`i Interpretations of the Verses of the Qur’an Continued

Discussion Three – Do the Shi`ah Believe that the Qur’an was Interpolated?
April 14, 2016
A Few Examples of Shi`i Interpretations of the Verses of the Qur’an
April 14, 2016

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Their interpretation of verses to mean Imam and Imams are so many that they are difficult to count. It is as if the Qur’an was not revealed except regarding them. They have exceeded all the limits set by the intellect in trying to establish this claim. They have imitated, in their interpretations, the jokes of mentally-challenged persons, to the extent that they claim that the bee mentioned in the following verse is a reference to the Imams:


وَ اَوْحٰی رَبُّكَ اِلٰی النَّحْل

And your Rabb inspired to the bee.[1]


Al Qummi reports with his isnad from Abu ‘Abdullah (al Sadiq):


نحن التى اوحى الله اليها اَنِ اتَّخِذِیْ مِنَ الْجِبَالِ بُیُوْتًا امرنا ان نتخذ من العرب شيعة وَّمِنَ الشَّجَرِ يقول من العجم وَمِمَّا یَعْرِشُوْنَ يقول من الموالى

We are the ones to whom Allah revealed, “take for yourself among the mountains, houses,” he commanded us to take Shia from the Arabs, “and among the trees,” the non-Arabs, “and [in] that which they construct.” the freed slaves.[2]


Al Majlisi gathered their narrations regarding this subject in a chapter named, “a rare chapter regarding interpreting the bee to mean them (Imams).”[3] Similarly, he mentions many narrations in which it is stated that the Imams are sweet water, a lofty palace, clouds, rain, fruit and all other outwardly beneficial objects.[4] Under the chapter in which he titled, “interpreting days and months to mean Imams,”[5] the following appears:


نحن الايام فالسبت اسم رسول الله والاحد كناية عن امير المؤمنين والاثنين الحسن و الحسين والثلثاء على بن الحسين و محمد بن على و جعفر بن محمد و الاربعاء موسى بن جعفر و على بن موسى ومحمد بن على وانا و الخميس ابنى الحسن بن على والجمعة ابن ابنى


We are the days of the week. Saturday is the name of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Sunday is a reference to Amir al Mu’minin, Monday is Hassan and Hussain, Tuesday is ‘Ali ibn Hussain, Muhammad ibn ‘Ali, and Jafar ibn Muhammad, Wednesday is Musa ibn Jafar, ‘Ali ibn Musa, Muhammad ibn ‘Ali and me, Thursday is my son Hussain ibn ‘Ali and Friday is my grandson.[6]


A point of humour at this juncture is that some days are singled out in Shia narrations to be loathsome.[7] Would this also be directed at the Imam to whom it refers to? The answer cannot be in the negative as “the Imams are the days!” Jabir al Ju’fi reports, “I asked Abu Jafar (al Baqir) regarding the verse of Allah:


اِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُوْرِ عِنْدَ اللهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا فِیْ کِتٰبِ الله قال فتنفس سيدى الصعداء ثم قال يا جابر اما السنة فهى جدى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و شهورها اثنا عشر شهرا فهو امير المؤمنين الى و الى ابنى جعفر و ابنه موسى و ابنه على و ابنه محمد و ابنه على و الى ابنه الحسن و الى ابنه محمد الهادى المهدى اثنا عشر اماما…والاربعة الحرم الذين هم الدين القيم اربعة منهم يخرجون باسم واحد على امير المؤمنين رضى الله عنه و ابى على بن الحسين و على بن موسى و على بن محمد فالاقرار بهؤلاء هو الدين القيم فَلَا تَظْلِمُوْا فِیْهِنَّ اَنْفُسَكُمْ ِ اى قولوا بهم تهتدوا


“Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah.”[8] My master took a deep sigh and then said, “O Jabir, the year is my grandfather, the Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, its months are Amir al Mu’minin until me[9] and my son Jafar, his son Musa, his son ‘Ali, his son Muhammad, his son ‘Ali, his son Hassan, his son Muhammad al Hadi al Mahdi — twelve Imams. The four sacred ones who are the correct religion are four from them who have the same name; ‘Ali Amir al Mu’minin, my father ‘Ali ibn Hussain, ‘Ali ibn Musa and ‘Ali ibn Muhammad. Accepting them is the correct religion. ‘So do not wrong yourselves during them,’ means that if you believe in them, you will be guided.”[10]


The mosquito (a small and well-known insect) which was mentioned in Surah al Baqarah[11] is ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu according to them.[12] The word fly is also interpreted in Shia books to mean ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. One of them tried to water down this interpretation by claiming that this refers to the honey-bee (which is called the honey-fly in Arabic). However, he did not realise that this interpretation was applied to the verse:


اِنَّ الَّذِیْنَ تَدْعُوْنَ مِنْ دُوْنِ اللّٰهِ لَنْ یَّخْلُقُوْا ذُبَابًا وَّ لَوِاجْتَمَعُوْا لَه

Indeed, those you invoke besides Allah will never create [as much as] a fly, even if they gathered together for it [i.e., that purpose].[13]


The question that troubles us is, what is the secret behind using the names of the most despicable insects to refer to Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, especially since this is done by a sect who claims to be his ardent lovers? The truth is, the hatred has slipped of their tongues, and that which is concealed in their hearts is even worse. Their practical track-record as far as the Ahlul Bayt is concerned is of a much more severe and abysmal nature.

The graves of the Imams received a fair share of their interpretations. The blessed piece of land in the following verse is Karbala’.[14]


فَلَمَّآ اَتٰهَا نُوْدِیَ مِنْ شَاطِیَِٔ الْوَادِ الْاَیْمَنِ فِیْ الْبُقْعَةِ الْمُبٰرَکَةِ مِّنَ الشَّجَرَةِ

But when he came to it, he was called from the right side of the valley in a blessed spot — from the tree.[15]


It is well-known that this land was none other than Mount Sinai, as proven from the verse immediately before this verse:


مِنْ جَانِبِ الطُّوْرِ

from the direction of the mount.[16]


Just as the Imams of the Shia have been referred to in these verses as claimed by their narrations, similarly, the followers have also been singled out in verses of the Book of Allah, to the extent that the Shia are “the things” in the verse:


وَ رَحْمَتِیْ وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَیْءٍ

My mercy encompasses all things.[17]


Thus, they wish to confine the all-encompassing mercy of Allah to the Shia, and place limits upon that which Allah had granted in abundance to His servants. Similarly, they wish to interpret the words shirk, kufr, riddah (turning renegade) and dalal (misguidance) against the meanings that is known to the Muslims. All of these words are interpreted to mean the failure to pledge allegiance to the twelve Imams (even though the only one amongst them who held the post of khilafah was Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu).

There are tens of narrations of this nature. We have previously pointed out that their scholar, al Majlisi dedicated a few chapters in his Bihar, the titles of which are all in conformity to this ‘inner’ interpretation. Some of these chapters comprise of a hundred narrations. Here, we are only presenting examples of these ahadith. Among them is the following interpretation which appears in Shia books:


لَئِنْ اَشْرَكْتَ لَیَحْبَطَنَّ عَمَلُكَ وَ لَتَكُوْنَنَّ مِنَ الْخٰسِرِیْنَ

If you should associate [anything] with Allah, your work would surely become worthless.[18]


لئن اشركت فى امامة على ولاىة غيره

If you accept anyone else’s Wilayah with the Imamah of ‘Ali.[19]


The author of Mir’at al Anwar says:


فعلى هذا جميع المخالفين مشركون

Based upon this, all those who oppose (the Shia) are mushrikin.[20]


He adds:

ان الاخبار متضافرة فى تاويل الشرك بالله والشرك بعبادته بالشرك فى الولاية و الامامة

There are a great number of (Shia) narrations in which it is mentioned that shirk with regards to Allah and the worshipping of Allah should be interpreted to mean shirk in Wilayah and Imamah.[21]


This is precisely the reason due to which they declared the Sahabah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to be renegades, as they pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr instead of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.[22] Kufr is also interpreted in this way by them. Al Kafi reports from Abu ‘Abdullah (al Sadiq) regarding the statement of Allah the most honoured and glorified:


اِنَّ الَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا ثُمَّ کَفَرُوْا ثُمَّ اٰمَنُوْا ثُمَّ کَفَرُوْا ثُمَّ ازْدَادُوْا كُفْرًا لَّنْ تُقْبَلَ تَوْبَتُهُمْۚ

Indeed, those who have believed then disbelieved, then believed then disbelieved, and then increased in disbelief — never will their [claimed] repentance be accepted.[23]


قال نزلت فى فلان و فلان و فلان امنوا بالنبى صلى الله عليه و سلم فى اول الامر و كفروا حيث عرضت عليهم الولاية…ثم امنوا بالبيعة لامير المؤمنين عليه السلام ثم كفروا حيث مضى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و اله فلم يقروا بالبيعة ثم ازدادوا كفرا باخذهم من بايعه بالبيعة لهم فهؤلاء لم يبق فيهم من الايمان شيئ

This verse was revealed regarding fulan (an Arabic word used to refer to an unnamed person), fulan and fulan.[24] They believed in Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the beginning and then disbelieved when Wilayah was presented to them… Thereafter they believed in the bay’ah (pledge of allegiance) of Amir al Mu’minin ‘alayh al Salam and thereafter disbelieved when Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed on, as they did not uphold the bay’ah. Then, they increased in kufr by taking as their supporters those who pledged allegiance to him. Consequently, no bit of iman remained in them.[25]


Thus, as you have just seen, they have confined this judgement to the best of the creation after the prophets. What then is their belief regarding the rest of the ummah of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam? One of their scholars indicated towards the reason behind specifying them as the ones regarding whom the verse was revealed. He says:


ورد فى بعض الروايات تاويل الكفر برؤساء المخالفلين لا سيما الثلاثة (يعنون الخلفاء الراشدين) مبالغة بزيادة كفرهم و جحدهم

It appears in some narrations that the interpretation of kufr is a reference to the leaders of the opposition, especially the three (i.e. the rightly guided khulafa’). This is to emphasise the point due to their extreme kufr and denial.[26]


The word riddah means turning renegade as far as the bay’ah of the twelve Imams. It appears in Usul al Kafi as well as others from Abu ‘Abdullah (al Sadiq) regarding the verse of Allah:


اِنَّ الَّذِیْنَ ارْتَدُّوْا عَلٰٓی اَدْبَارِهِمْ مِّنْۢ بَعْدِ مَا تَبَیَّنَ لَهُمُ الْهُدَی

Indeed, those who reverted back [to disbelief] after guidance had become clear to them.[27]


قال فلان و فلان و فلان ارتدوا من الايمان فى ترك ولاية امير المؤمنين

Fulan, fulan and fulan turned renegade from iman as they abandoned the Wilayah of Amir al Mu’minin.[28]


Dalal (deviation), according to them means failing to recognise the Imam. It is said regarding the verse of Allah:


اَلَمْ تَرَ اِلَی الَّذِیْنَ اُوْتُوْا نَصِیْبًا مِّنَ الْکِتٰبِ یَشْتَرُوْنَ الضَّلٰلَة

Have you not seen those who were given a portion of the Scripture, purchasing misguidance [in exchange for it][29]


قال يعنى ضلوا فى امير المؤمنين

i.e. they were misguided regarding Amir al Mu’minin.[30]


They say regarding the verse:


غَیْرِ الْمَغْضُوْبِ عَلَیْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّآ لِّیْنَ

not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.[31]


قال الضالين: الذين لا يعرفون الامام

“Those who are astray,” are those who do not recognise the Imam.[32]


The interpretation of kufr, shirk, riddah and dalal to mean abandoning the pledge of allegiance to the twelve Imams — besides it not being backed by divine texts, intellect, language or shari’ah — leads a Muslim to granting superiority to kufr and kuffar over all Muslims (besides the Shia — who claim to be Muslim — as the core of Kufr is the rejection of Imamah). Perhaps this was the actual goal of the one who fabricated this narration. The result of this was seen along the course of Sunni-Shia history.

Another glaring distortion that comes to the fore due to these interpretations is that the crimes of shirk and irreligiousness are taken to be extremely light offences, if they are even taken to be offences at all. If this is not the demolition of the foundations of Islam and a calculated war against the nubuwwah of Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam — who was sent to combat and annihilate shirk, kufr and dalal thereby establishing the laws of towhid and the shari’ah of Islam — then what else is it?

Major sins and all other prohibitions, according to them, is nothing more than a reference to the enemies of the Imams. They claim that Abu ‘Abdullah (al Sadiq) said:


…و عدونا فى كتاب الله عز وجل: الفحشاء و المنكر و البغى و الخمر و الميسر و الانصاب و الازلام و الاصنام و الاوثان و الجبت و الطاغوت و الميتة و الدم و لحم الخنزير

Our enemies are in the Book of Allah, the most honoured and glorified, immorality, evilness, oppression, wine, gambling, sacrificing on stone alters, taking omens from arrows, idols, false deities, the devil, carrion, blood and the flesh of pigs.[33]


We have already indicated that the interpretation of the prohibitions to mean the enemies of the Imams appears in many chapters of al Bihar, many of which comprise of tens of narrations. Some of their reliable books have revealed the name of the one who fabricated all this bunkum. They explain that the interpretation of prohibitions to mean the enemies of the Imam, and interpreting the commandments to mean the Imams was started by Abu al Khattab, the one from whom the Imams dissociated themselves and cursed them. Rijal al Kashshi has it:


كتب ابو عبد الله الى ابى الخطاب بلغنى انك تزعم ان الزنا رجل و ان الخمر رجل و ان الصلاة رجل و ان الصيام رجل و ان الفواحش رجل و ليس هو كما تقول

Abu ‘Abdullah (al Sadiq) wrote to Abu al Khattab, “it has reached me that you claim that zina is a man, wine is a man, salah is a man, siyam is a man, immorality is a man. The matter is not as you say.”[34]


The books regarding sects mention that some extremist Shia would believe that the prohibitions are all names of people who Allah commanded us to have enmity for, and the commandments are names of people who we have been commanded to befriend.[35] Al Shahrastani says:


The object behind interpreting the commandments and prohibitions to mean certain men is that whoever has the fortune of knowing this man will be relieved of all responsibilities and none of the above will be directed to him.[36]


The Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers) inherited all of this drivel and they have revived it. Al Qummi (the author of the Tafsir), al Kulayni, al ‘Ayyashi, al Kashani, al Majlisi and other scholars of the Safawid dynasty had an enormous share in reviving this as well as all the other tales of the extremist Shia sects. They included them in the beliefs of the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers) as if they were authentic narrations from the Imams.

Nevertheless, their interpretations in this chapter are enough to fill up volumes. Each doctrine regarding which they have differed and opposed the rest of the ummah — reincarnation, occultation, dissimulation, etc. — have interpretations and fabrications which cannot be counted. We will delve into this under the discussions regarding them, Allah wiling. Whatever has been mentioned thus far is only a portion of that which we have collected. However, we did not mention them fearing that the discussion will lengthen greatly. The quotations mentioned are but a drop from the ocean. Presenting all of them and then analysing them would require volumes of books. Most of these narrations reveal to us one of their beliefs regarding their deity, nubuwwah, the names and attributes of Allah, the foundations of Islam, etc.

Finally, before concluding the discussion on this subject, I would like to pen down the following observations:

1. We have thus far mentioned the belief of the Shia that most of the Qur’an was revealed regarding them and their enemies. Thereafter, examples of their distortion of the meanings of the Qur’an were presented. All of these examples emphasise the belief of the Shia that most of the Qur’an is regarding the twelve Imams and their ‘enemies’. The scholars of the Shia have gathered thousands of texts, as indicated previously, to establish this. However, after all of this, we find that these claims are contradicted by their own texts.

This text, from Abu ‘Abdullah Jafar al Sadiq states:


لو قرئ القران كما انزل لالفيتنا فيها مسمين

If the Qur’an was recited as it was revealed, you would have found us named (in it).[37]


This is a clear testimony from them that there is no mention of their Imams in the Qur’an, and their names are have not appeared therein. It is as if they themselves demolished their own house. Perhaps the secret behind this is that the one who fabricated this narration did so to strengthen the view that the Qur’an was tempered with, without realising that narrations which contradict this one had already been fabricated. These kinds of contradictions and inconsistencies are a manifestation of the punishment of Allah upon those who attempt to distort His din. This can be deduced from His statement:


وَلَوْ کَانَ مِنْ عِنْدِ غَیْرِ اللّٰهِ لَوَجَدُوْا فِیْهِ اخْتِلَافًا کَثِیْرًا

If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction.[38]


Thus, these contradictions are the greatest proofs that they are not from Allah. Another text of theirs, which was quoted earlier, explains that the Qur’an is divided into four subjects, none of which included the Imams. Rijal al Kashshi contains yet another text which razed to the ground all that they had built up regarding their ‘inner’ interpretations. Abu ‘Abdullah (al Sadiq) was informed of the ‘inner’ interpretations of the sacrilegious ones, whereupon he refuted it. The exact text is:


قيل له روى عنكم ان الخمر و الميسر و الانصاب و الازلام رجال؟ فقال ما كان الله عز و جل ليخاطب خلقه بما لا يعلمون

He was told, “it is narrated from you people that wine, gambling, sacrificing on stone alters are all references to men.” He responded, “Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will not address His creation in a manner which they do not know.”[39]


This means that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will not address his servants in manner which is impossible for them to understand and comprehend, as this defeats the purpose of revealing the Qur’an as a guidance for mankind and a call to the worship of Allah. It is unthinkable regarding Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala that He commands His servants to ponder and reflect upon the Qur’an if it is incomprehensible and reflecting upon it will not lead one to its intended meaning. Allah is beyond riddles and puzzles. Anyway, this statement of Abu ‘Abdullah (al Sadiq), which is preserved in one their most authentic books on narrators totally annuls all their fantasies and blasphemous interpretations regarding the Book of Allah.

This was an analyses of the matter from their very own sources, which we can refer to as an internal analyses. Nonetheless, anyone who reflects upon the Qur’an in light of the Arabic language, in which the Qur’an was revealed, will not find any of their claims to be close to the truth. Allah says:


اِنَّآ اَنْزَلْنٰهُ قُرْءٰنًا عَرَبِیًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُوْنَ

Indeed, We have sent it down as an Arabic Quran that you might understand.[40]


The narrations quoted by them have been adequately debunked, as merely reproducing them explains their lack of substance. Will anyone believe that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu has 1154 names in the Qur’an? Who is able to digest that “the fly” and “the mosquito” are references to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu? Is there any believer who will accept that the verses relating to the Day of Qiyamah in the Qur’an are all, in fact regarding the doctrine of reincarnation? Is it worth debating the one who believes that the verses regarding iman and mu’minin are in fact regarding the twelve Imams and the verses of kufr and kafirin are regarding the noble Sahabah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?

At this juncture, I would like to voice my opinion regarding these people stooping to such lowly extremes. I believe that this is from the miracles of this fortified din. None has ever claimed nubuwwah or intended to add to this din that which is not from it, except that Allah disgraced him publicly. By the oath of Allah, these views cannot ever be in harmony with the intellect, divine texts, the rules of language or din. This is the biggest exposure and the greatest form of disgrace that has been inflicted upon this nation. In this way, Allah exposed their lies and accusations.

Indeed the printing presses of Najaf, Tehran, Qum and Bombay have brought out to us the Shia heritage, which reveals the entire religion, the most accurate name of which could either be the din of Wilayah or the din of Imamah. (It has nothing to do with Islam). These books were not available to the Muslims of the past to the degree that they are available today. It is the din which was invented by al Majlisi, al Kulayni and the other masterminds of the Shia. By means of these books, many realities which were previously hidden away have come to the fore. Another advantage that is realised by means of these books is that the grandeur of Islam is highlighted and one also realises the divine protection to keep it in its pristine purity until the end. Many a times the reality of something is only understood when the opposite is witnessed or experienced. If it was not for bitterness, none would appreciate sweetness.

Perhaps the revival of the Shia legacy and heritage signals the end of their lifespan, as they have always survived by hiding their beliefs and practising Taqiyyah. However, today their reliable books have exposed them in a befitting manner, allowing one and all to see what their beliefs are and thereafter expose their deviance.


2. These ‘inner’ interpretations with which the books of the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers) are replete, are unknown to many who write regarding this sect. Suffice to say, you will find some who write regarding them who believe that they (the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers)) have nothing to do with Batinism (secretive and inner meanings which contradict the apparent meanings) and this trait is confined to the Ismailiyyah. One of them states:


The Ismailiyyah have attributed certain qualities to the Imams which were unknown to even the other Shia sects. Outwardly, they accept that the Imams were humans like the rest of mankind, who would eat, sleep and pass away. However, in their inner interpretations, they claim that the Imam is the “face of Allah”, “hand of Allah” and the “side of Allah”.[41]


It should be noted that these (the above- mentioned) interpretations are exactly that which the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers) believe in. many narrations of theirs confirm this extremism. Al Majlisi even dedicated a chapter of his Bihar to this (which he named, “they are the side of Allah, His face, His hand, etc.[42]), as explained. The reason behind this is, the widespread ignorance among a group of authors regarding the types of books written by the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers). Their books are of two types; those books which are used to gain followers and support and their authentic and reliable books.

The methodology adopted in the first type is that of deception and Taqiyyah. The second type includes books such as their eight canonical books, their four books on narrators and all those books which are of the same standard as these (according to them), from the books of their scholars. Thus, whoever relies upon the first type alone, will remain ignorant concerning many of their matters. These books, at times, have subtle indications towards their beliefs. However these indications can only be understood by their scholars, or one who has a thorough understanding of their reliable books.


3. One should understand that these interpretations are not considered by them to be debatable opinions regarding the Qur’an which may or may not be accepted. Rather, they are taken to be divine texts which hold the same position as the revealed texts and the sayings of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Many of their texts sound severe warnings about rejecting these interpretations, which are not supported by the intellect, nature, logic or the language. It is compulsory to simply accept and not have any reservations, as stated in the Arabic proverb, switch off the light in your brain, and believe! They have tried to get their followers accustomed to accepting these types of texts by saying:


ان حديثنا تشمئز منه القلوب فمن عرف فزيدوهم و من انكر فذروهم

Indeed the hearts have an aversion from our ahadith. Therefore, whoever understands them, increase them and whoever finds fault with them, then leave them.[43]


Sufyan al Simt reports that he said to Abu ‘Abdullah (al Sadiq):


May I be sacrificed for you. A man who is infamous for being a liar comes to us from you and he relates a hadith which we find repugnant.


Abu ‘Abdullah replied:


يقول لك انى قلت لليل انه نهار او للنهار انه ليل قال فان قال لك هذا انى قلته فلا تكذب به فانك انما تكذبنى

Does he tell you that I said that the night is the day and the day is the night? If this is what he told you then do not reject it as you are only belying me (by rejecting it).[44]


There are many narrations such as these ones. A point that is worthy of note is that in the last narration they have admitted that the Shia find these narrations to be repugnant, however, they are forced to blindly accept them. in fact the judgement regarding the one who has any reservations regarding any of these narrations is:


قال كيف جاء هذا و كيف كان و كيف هو فان هذا والله الشرك بالله العظيم

He says, how did this come (in the narrations), how did it happen, how is it, then by the oath of Allah this is shirk with Allah, the Great.[45]


The author of al Bihar paid special attention to this matter. He quoted 116 of their ahadith under a chapter which he titled, “their ahadith are extremely difficult, their speech can be interpreted in many different ways, the virtue of pondering upon their narrations submitting to them and the prohibition of rejecting them.”[46] The first person to strengthen the foundations of this belief was probably the author of al Kafi, who dedicated a special chapter to it named, “what has been reported that their ahadith are extremely difficult.” Under this chapter, he mentions five narrations.[47]

This methodology was probably the strongest reason behind these tales being so widespread without being countered by any intelligence which would raise the voice of the truth and expose and disgrace (the champions of) falsehood. It is a type of slavery wherein the followers are expected to accept the saying of the Imam despite their outright opposition of all logic. It is similar to the stance of the extremist and bogus sufis who blindly follow all that comes from the Sheikh without being allowed to give it second thought. This is the very same trick that Firoun used against his people. Allah indicates towards it saying:


فَاسْتَخَفَّ قَوْمَهفَاَطَاعُوْهُ

So he bluffed his people, and they obeyed him.[48],[49]


4. Tafsir is of many types according to them, and all are valid. Abu ‘Abdullah says – as they allege – :


ان قوما امنوا بالظاهر و كفروا بالباطن فلم ينفعهم شيئ و جاء قوم من بعدهم فامنوابالباطن و كفروا بالظاهر فلم ينفعهم ذلك شيئا و لا ايمان بظاهر الا بباطن و لا باطن الا بظاهر

Some people believed in the outer (meaning) and rejected the inner so that did not benefit them in any way. Another group of people came after them who believed in the inner and rejected the outer. That did not benefit them in any way. There is no iman upon the outer except if it is coupled with iman upon the inner and vice-versa.


This is the reason why some Shia books of tafsir do not mention both interpretations. At times they only mention that which is accommodated by the usage of the language or that which is transmitted from the pious predecessors. However, this does not mean that they do not accept the ‘inner’ interpretation, as they believe that each verse has an inner as well as an outer (meaning) and both are meant (by Allah). Therefore, some of them suffice upon the outer whilst others suffice upon the inner and a third group mentions both.

The exact same methodology is visible in their narrations as we learn from this from the following narration quoted by the author of al Kafi regarding the interpretation of the verse:


ثُمَّ لْیَقْضُوْا تَفَثَهُمْ وَلْیُوْفُوْا نُذُوْرَهُمْ

Then let them end their untidiness and fulfil their vows.[50]


‘Abdullah ibn Sinan reports from Dharih al Muharibi who said, “I said to Abu ‘Abdullah, ‘Allah has commanded me in His book regarding a certain matter and I wish to comply.’ He asked, ‘what is that?’ I replied, ‘the statement (command) of Allah, then let them end their untidiness and fulfil their vows.’[51] He explained:


لْیَقْضُوْا تَفَثَهُمْ لقاء الامام وَلْیُوْفُوْا نُذُوْرَهُمْ تلك المناسك

“Let them end their untidiness”, i.e. meeting the Imam, “and fulfil their vows,” i.e. those rites.


‘Abdullah ibn Sinan says, “I went to Abu ‘Abdullah ‘alayh al Salam and asked, ‘may I be sacrificed for you, (what is the explanation of the) command of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, ‘Then let them end their untidiness and fulfill their vows?’” He replied:


ثُمَّ لْیَقْضُوْا تَفَثَهُمْ وَلْیُوْفُوْا نُذُوْرَهُمْ قال اخذ الشارب و قص الاظفار و ما اشبه ذلك

“Then let them end their untidiness and fulfil their vows,” means that the moustache should be removed, the nails should be clipped and all which resembles that (should be done).


قال قلت جعلت فداك ان ذريحا المحربى حدثنى عنك بانك قلت له ْلیَقْضُوْا تَفَثَهُمْ لقاء الامام وَلْیُوْفُوْا نُذُوْرَهُمْ تلك المناسك فقال صدق ذريح و صدقت ان للقران ظاهرا و باطنا و من يحتمل ما يحتمل ذريح

I said, “may I be sacrificed for you, Dharih al Muharibi related to me from you that you said to him, ‘let them end their untidiness’, i.e. meeting the Imam, ‘and fulfil their vows’ i.e. those rites.”’ He replied, “Dharih has spoken the truth and I have (also) spoken the truth. Indeed the Qur’an has an outer (meaning) and an inner. Who is capable of tolerating that which Dharih tolerates?”[52]


In this text, which is related by the author of al Kafi, the author of Man la Yahdurhu al Faqih as well as others, it is clearly stated that the Qur’an has an outer meaning which is to be told to the general public and an inner meaning that should only be mentioned to specific people, according to their ability to tolerate it. This text also informs us that these people are very few in number, and at times they do not even exist. It states, “who is capable of tolerating that which Dharih tolerates?”

A third point that can be raised from this text is that the Imams were, in a sense, stingy as far as this knowledge was concerned and they would only reveal it to people who were on the level of Dharih. Why then did the books of the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers) oppose this methodology of the Imams? Why did they publish this ‘knowledge’ which was held back from the public in their books for one and all to have access to them?

One may also ask, “why do we not attribute the interpretations which conform to the apparent meanings, the context, the Arabic language, that which is related from the pious predecessors and that upon which the ummah has agreed to the Imams? Why do we not believe that nothing other than that was uttered by the likes of Muhammad al Baqir, Jafar al Sadiq and the rest of them among whom were outstanding scholars of Islam and the Arabic language? Why do we not believe that the inner interpretations, which cannot be supported by any reliable evidence (the divine texts, the intellect and the usage of the Arabic language) is from the concoctions of the anti-religious atheists who wished to cause damage to the Book of Allah, His din and the Ahlul Bayt, especially since these interpretations are as ludicrous as they are and they are only transmitted by a handful of people as indicated at the end of the above text?”

It is impossible that the interpretation of the Qur’an could have been some secretive knowledge which was only accessible to a select few. This is because Allah revealed the Qur’an for guidance of the entire humanity and not a specific group of people. Added to that, the era of these great Imams was one wherein glory belonged to Islam and it was dominant. Thus, how is it that in an era like that, this ‘knowledge’ was kept a secret and in an era like ours it has become accessible to all? This is far-fetched, as the well-known fearlessness and bravery of the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt rule out the possibility that that they cowardly hid away the commands of Allah and His shari’ah and they shied away from openly proclaiming it!


5. These interpretations are nothing but an attempt to inject deviation in the Book of Allah and His verses. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:


اِنَّ الَّذِیْنَ یُلْحِدُوْنَ فِیْٓ اٰیٰتِنَا لَا یَخْفَوْنَ عَلَیْنَاؕ

Indeed, those who inject deviation into Our verses are not concealed from Us.[53]


Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma explained:


هو ان يوضع الكلام فى غير موضعه و ذلك بالنحراف فى تاويله

This is done by taking statements against their contexts[54], which is a result of misinterpreting them.[55]


It is mentioned in al Iklil:


In this is a refutation of those who interpret the Qur’an in a way that is not accommodated by the meaning of the words, as the Batiniyyah, Ittihadiyyah and heretics do.[56]


These people who try to corrupt the Qur’an and distort its meanings, although they try to hide their kufr and hide behind false ideologies, they cannot remain hidden from Allah. He says, “(They) are not concealed from Us.”[57],[58]


6. The scholars of the Shia have attributed these interpretations, or rather distortions, to the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt so that they may be accepted by the masses. Since these interpretations make no sense, they wriggle their way out of this dilemma by asserting that the Qur’an’s methodology is not harmonious with the intellect. This too is attributed to an Imam, Jafar al Sadiq. Jabir al Ju’fi reports that Jafar al Sadiq said to him:


يا جابر، إن للقرآن بطناً وللبطن ظهراً، ثم قال: وليس شيء أبعد من عقول الرجال منه، إن الآية لينزل أولها في شيء وآخرها في شيء وهو كلام متصل يتصرف على وجوه

O Jabir, Indeed the Qur’an has an outer and an inner. There is nothing which is further away from the intellect of men than it. The first portion of a verse is revealed regarding one thing and the last portion is regarding another, but it is correlated speech which may be interpreted in many different ways.


There is no doubt that this is the condition of their interpretations (and not the Book of Allah), as they have no link at all with the text of the Qur’an or its authentic and correct interpretations.


7. Most of their books on Tafsir have adopted this Batini methodology of explanation, which they learnt from Abu al Khattab, Mughirah ibn Sa’id and Jabir al Ju’fi among other heretics. It seems as if they began trying to detach themselves from this methodology of Tafsir to some extent in the fifth century. This was when the ‘scholar of the sect’ Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Hassan al Tusi (d. 460 A.H.) authored for them a Tafsir in which he shed some light upon the correct interpretations by quoting Sunni sources. No doubt, he also quoted their sources, however, he tried to water down or get away from the blatant extremism contained in Tafsir al Qummi, al ‘Ayyashi, Usul al Kafi, etc.

Although he defends the principles of his sect and approves of their unfounded methods, he does not stoop to the same levels as al Qummi and those who followed suit. Among those who treaded the path of al Tusi was Fadl ibn Hassan al Tabarsi in his book Majma’ al Bayan. Ibn Taymiyyah points this out saying:


Al Tusi and those like him take from the Ahlus Sunnah as far as their Tafsir is concerned. In fact all the beneficial information in their Tafsir books is actually taken from the the Ahlus Sunnah.[59]


However, the leading scholar of the Shia in his era, their muhaddith, expert on the science of narrators, compiler of the latest and final collection of (their) ahadith — and the tutor of many of their senior scholars including Muhammad Hussain Al Kashif al Ghita, Agha Buzrug al Tehrani as well as others — Hussain al Nuri al Tabarsi divulged a secret that was always well hidden by them. He ripped apart the screen which kept us in the dark regarding an important reality, i.e. the book of al Tusi (al Tibyan) was only written on account of Taqiyyah with the purpose of drawing the opposition closer. Here are his exact words:


ثم لا يخفى على المتأمل في كتاب التبيان أن طريقته فيه على نهاية المداراة والمماشاة مع المخالفين، فإنك تراه اقتصر في تفسير الآيات على نقل كلام الحسن وقتادة والضحاك والسدي وابن جريج والجبائي والزجاج، وابن زيد وأمثالهم. ولم ينقل عن أحد من مفسري الإمامية، ولم يذكر خبراً عن أحد من الأئمة – عليهم السلام – إلا قليلاً في بعض المواضع لعله وافقه في نقله المخالفون. بل عد الأولين في الطبقة الأولى من المفسرين الذين حمدت طرائقهم ومدحت مذاهبهم. وهو بمكان من الغرابة لو لم يكن على وجه المماشاة.. ومما يؤكد كون وضع هذا الكتاب على التقية ما ذكره السيد الجيل علي بن طاوس في سعد السعود وهذا لفظه: “ونحن نذكر ما حكاه جدي أبو جعفر محمد بن الحسن الطوسي في كتاب «التبيان» وحملته التقية على الاقتصار عليه من تفضيل المكي على المدني والخلاف في أوقاته.. الخ. (هكذا لم يكمل النوري النص)


It will not remain hidden from the one who ponders over the book al Tibyan that his (the author’s) methodology therein is the epitome of compromising and toeing the line of the opposition, as you see him sufficing, as far as the commentary of verses are concerned, upon quoting the speech of Hassan, Qatadah, al Dahhak, al Suddi, Ibn Jurayj, al Juba’i, al Zujaj Ibn Zaid and their likes. He did not quote from any of the tafsir scholars of the Imamiyyah. He did not even mention narrations from any of the Imams, except a few on some occasions, which perhaps the opposition agreed with him regarding quoting them. In fact, he counted the first ones (the above mentioned mufassirin) in the first category of Mufassirs, whose methods are praised and their mazhabs commended. This is quite strange, if it was not done simply to toe the line (of the opposition)… Among that which supports the view that this book was written in Taqiyyah is the statement of the glorious master, ‘Ali ibn Tawus in Sa’d al Sa’ud. His exact words are:

We will mention that which my grandfather, Abu Jafar Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Hassan al Tusi, relates in the book al Tibyan. Complying with the demands of Taqiyyah, he sufficed upon it; granting superiority to the Makki over the Madani and differences regarding its times…[60]


Thereafter, al Nuri comments on the quoted statement of Ibn Tawus saying:


وهو – يعني ابن طاوس – أعرف بما قال من وجوه لا يخفى على من اطلع على مقامه فتأمل

He (Ibn Tawus) knows best (the meaning) of his statement from angles which will not be vague for the one who realises his position. Thus ponder over it.[61]


The above text makes it quite clear that al Tibyan of al Tusi was written with the purpose of Taqiyyah, as is the view of the leading scholar of present day Shia. However, it is also possible that al Tusi wrote it to please the intellectuals who would not be impressed by the base and gross misinterpretations of the meanings of Qur’an by his people, who had the nerve to call it Tafsir. He could have also been influenced to adopt some moderation and fairness as a result of his intermingling with some of the Sunni scholars of Baghdad.

This means that the Shia of today, who could be represented by al Nuri (whose book —Mustadrak al Wasa’il — they have accepted as their reliable source of hadith[62] which proves his lofty standing in their eyes) are extremist fanatics of the highest level. This is why they view the Tafsir of al Tusi and the books of those authors who treaded his path as works which were written only on account of the opposition. Thus, Taqiyyah was the soul of all of these writings, with the ultimate goal being merely to blend Shia beliefs with the beliefs of non- Shia.

The reader must have noticed, from the comments of the leading scholar of the Shia regarding the book al Tibyan that Taqiyyah was largely responsible for the consecration of extremism in this sect and burying every intelligent voice and unbiased view. These would simply be interpreted to be Taqiyyah, as they assumed them to be harmonious with the views of the Ahlus Sunnah. The consequence of this was that this sect remained trapped in this locked cycle. Taqiyyah served as a fort behind which they would take shelter on every occasion that the breezes of rectification and the winds of change would blow in their direction, as will appear under the discussion of Taqiyyah.

We would also like to bring to the attention of the reader that whatever we stated regarding the book of al Tusi is also applicable to the book Majma’ al Bayan of al Tabarsi, as he adopted the methodology of al Tusi. He admits this in the introduction of his Tafsir saying:


…إلا ما جمعه الشيخ الأجل السعيد أبو جعفر محمد بن الحسن الطوسي قدس الله روحه من كتاب التبيان، فإنه الكتاب الذي يقتبس منه ضياء الحق ويـلوح عليه رواء الصدق.. وهو القدوة أستضيء بأنواره وأطأ مواقع آثاره

… except that which was gathered by the great and fortunate scholar Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Hassan al Tusi — may Allah sanctify his soul — in the book al Tibyan, as this is the book from which the light of the truth is obtained and the splendour of honesty is seen… He is the exemplary (personality) from whose illumination I seek light and in whose footsteps I walk.[63]



NEXT⇒ Discussion Three – Do the Shia Believe that the Qur’an was Interpolated?

[1]  Surah al Nahl: 68

[2]Tafsir al Qummi 1/387

[3]Bihar al Anwar 24/110-113

[4]  Ibid 24/100-110

[5]  Ibid 24/238-243

[6]Al Bihar 24/239, al Saduq: al Khisal pg. 395-396. The statement is attributed to their tenth Imam ‘Ali al Hadi.

[7]  Refer to Safinat al Bihar 1/137

[8]  Surah al Towbah: 36

[9]  i.e. Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib and the Imams after him until it reaches me. Al Majlisi: Bihar al Anwar 24/240

[10]  Al Tusi: al Ghaybah pg. 96, Ibn Shahrashub: Manaqib Al Abi Talib 1/244, Bihar al Anwar 24/240, al Burhan 2/122-123, Nur al Thaqalayn 2/214-215, al Lawami’ al Nuraniyyah pg. 141

[11]  Surah al Baqarah: 26

[12]Tafsir al Qummi 1/35, al Burhan 1/70

[13]  Surah al Hajj: 73

[14]  Ibn Quluwayh: Kamil al Ziyarat pg. 48-49, al Burhan 3/336, Mir’at al Anwar pg. 192

[15]  Surah al Qasas: 30

[16]  Surah al Qasas: 29

[17]  Surah al A’raf: 156

[18]  Surah al Zumar: 65

[19]Tafsir al Qummi 2/251, Tafsir Furat pg. 132, al Burhan 4/83, Tafsir al Safi 4/328

[20]  Abu al Hassan al Sharif: Mir’at al Anwar pg. 202

[21]  ibid

[22]  More details regarding this will appear under the chapter of Imamah.

[23]  Take note that two verses from two different Surahs have been joint and presented as if they are one verse. This clearly indicates that the one who fabricated these tales in the name of the Ahlul Bayt was an ignorant and irreligious character. The last portion of the verse, “never will their [claimed] repentance be accepted,” is from Surah Al ‘Imran (90), whereas the first portion, “indeed, those who have believed then disbelieved, then believed then disbelieved, and then increased in disbelief,” is from Surah al Nisa (137).

[24]  This refers to Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum, as explained by one of their scholars. This will appear in more detail under the chapter of Imamah.

[25]Usul al Kafi 1/420, Tafsir al Qummi 1/159, Tafsir al ‘Ayyashi 1/276, al Burhan 1/421, Tafsir al Safi 1/511, Bihar al Anwar 23/375, Mir’at al Anwar pg. 289

[26]Mir’at al Anwar pg. 187

[27]  Surah Muhammad: 25

[28]Usul al Kafi 1/420, Tafsir al Qummi 1/159, Tafsir al ‘Ayyashi 1/276, al Burhan 1/421, Tafsir al Safi 1/511, Bihar al Anwar 23/375, Mir’at al Anwar pg. 289

[29]  Surah al Nisa: 44

[30]Tafsir al Qummi 1/139

[31]  Surah al Fatihah: 7

[32]Tafsir al Qummi 1/29

[33]Bihar al Anwar 24/203

[34]Rijal al Kashshi pg. 291, Bihar al Anwar 24/299

[35]Al Milal wa l-Nihal 1/179

[36]  ibid

[37]Tafsir al ‘Ayyashi 1/13, Bihar al Anwar 92/55, Tafsir al Safi 1/41, al Lawami’ al Nuraniyyah pg. 547

[38]  Surah al Nisa: 82

[39]Rijal al Kashshi pg. 291

[40]  Surah Yusuf: 2

[41]  Mustafa al Shak’ah: Islam bi la Mazahib pg. 247-248

[42]Bihar al Anwar 24/191-203

[43]  Ibid 2

[44]  Ibid 2/211-212, al Bahrani: al Lawami’ al Nuraniyyah pg. 549-550

[45]Rijal al Kashshi pg. 194

[46]Bihar al Anwar 2/182

[47]Usul al Kafi 1/401-402

[48]  Surah al Zukhruf: 54

[49]  Refer to al Madkhal ila al Thaqafat al Islamiyyah pg. 113-115

[50]  Surah al Hajj: 29

[51]  Surah al Hajj: 29

[52]  Al Kulayni: Furu’ al Kafi 4/549, Ibn Babawayh: Man La Yahdurhu al Faqih 20/290-291, Ma’ani al Akhbar pg. 340, ‘Uyun Akhbar al Rida pg. 366, al Kashani: Tafsir al Safi 3/376, al Huwayzi: Tafsir Nur al Thaqalayn 2/492, al Bahrani: al Burhan 3/88-89, al Majlisi: Bihar al Anwar 92/83-84, al Hurr al ‘Amili: Wasa’il al Shia 10/253, al Musawi: Miftah al Kutub al Arba’ah 5/228-229

[53]  Surah al Fussilat: 40

[54]Tafsir al Tabari 24/123, Fath al Qadir 4/520

[55]  Refer to al Qasimi: Mahasin al Ta’wil 14/211, al Alusi: Ruh al Ma’ani 24/126

[56]  Al Suyuti: al Iklil pg. 354 (printed with as a footnote to Jami’ al Bayan)

[57]  Surah al Fussilat: 40

[58]  Anwar Shah al Kashmiri: Ikfar al Mulhidin pg. 2

[59] Minhaj al Sunnah 3/246

[60]  Al Nuri did not quote the full text.

[61]Fasl al Khitab pg. 35 (page 17 of the manuscript copy)

[62]  Refer to the chapter “al Sunnah” in this book.

[63]Majma’ al Bayan 1/20