c. Their Belief that the Imam has the Right to Abrogate Verses, Restrict the General Commands of the Qur’an and Add Conditions to those which were Revealed Without any Conditions Attached to them, etc.

Discussion Two – Their Beliefs Regarding the Interpretation of the Qur’an
April 15, 2016
b. Their Belief that the Knowledge of the Qur’an and its Understanding is Confined to the Imams
April 15, 2016

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c. Their Belief that the Imam has the Right to Abrogate Verses, Restrict the General Commands of the Qur’an and Add Conditions to those which were Revealed Without any Conditions Attached to them, etc.

 

This belief is founded upon the following Shia beliefs; the Imam is the one who keeps the Qur’an in place, he is the speaking Qur’an, the Imams are the treasurers of the knowledge of Allah and His confidants[1] concerning His revelation[2] and that the shari’ah was not complete at the time of the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, but he passed on the remainder to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, who extracted from it that which applied to his era, and then passed on the rest to the next Imam who did the same, until this reached the absent Imam.[3]

Based on the above, abrogation of verses, restricting general commands and adding conditions to verses which were revealed without any conditions attached to them, did not end with the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as prophetic statements and divine additions to the law continued after his death, until the beginning of the fourth century when the major occultation[4] took place after which they could no longer communicate with their Imam and receive from him divine revelation — as they believe:

 

ان حديث كل واحد من الائمة الطاهرين قول الله عز و جل و لا اختلاف فى اقوالهم كما لا اختلاف فى قوله تعالى

The speech of each one of the pure Imams is in fact the speech of Allah the most honoured and majestic. There is no inconsistency in their speech, just as there is no inconsistency in the speech of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.[5]

 

They go to the extent of saying that one who hears a hadith from Abu ‘Abdullah (Jafar al Sadiq) has the right to narrate this very hadith from his father (Muhammad al Sadiq), any of his fore-fathers or even directly attribute it to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.[6] Thus, the Imam has all the required rights to abrogate verses, restrict the general commands of the Qur’an and add conditions to those which were revealed without any conditions attached to them, as it is one verse of the Qur’an being used to explain another verse, based upon their concocted belief that the speech of the Imam is the Speech of Allah.

 

One of the contemporary Ayatollahs explains this belief of theirs:

 

ان حكمة التدريج اقتضت بيان جملة من الاحكام و كتمان جملة و لكنه سلام الله عليه اودعها عند اوصيائه كل وصى يعهد بها الى الاخر لينشرها فى الوقت المناسب لها حسب الحكمة من عام مخصص او مطلق او مقيد او مجمل مبين الى امثال ذلك فقد يذكر النبى عاما و يذكر مخصصه بعد برهة من حياته و قد لا يذكره اصلا بل يودعه عند وصيه الى وقته

 

The wisdom of gradual (revelation) demanded that some commands should be explained and others should be hidden. However, he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed them on to his Awsiya’, and each Wasi passed it on to the next one, so that he could explain it at the appropriate time, according to the demands of wisdom as far as the general command is concerned, whether it should be specified, left as is, have a condition to it or an ambiguous command that is explained, etc. At times Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would mention a general command and later on he would add clauses. At times he would not even mention these clauses, but rather he would disclose it to the Wasi to mention it in his time.[7]

 

The matters of abrogation, specification and adding clauses is only part of the greater job of the Imams, which is al Tafwid fi l-Din — deputation in matters of din. The author of al Kafi affirms this under a chapter dedicated to it under the title, “the chapter of tafwid to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Imams in the matters of din”.[8] Thus, matters of this din have been handed over to the Imams, just as they were handed over to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. They have the right to pass laws. The books of the Shia state regarding the Imams:

 

ان الله عز وجل … فوض الى نبيه صلى الله عليه و سلم فقال وَمَآ اٰتٰىكُمُ الرَّسُوْلُ فَخُذُوْهُ وَمَا نَهٰكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانْتَهُوْا فما فوض الى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و اله فوضه الينا

Allah, the honoured and magnificent handed over the matters of din to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He said, “and whatever the Messenger has given you, take; and what he has forbidden you, refrain from,”[9] whatever was handed over to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, has been handed over to us.[10]

 

Abu ‘Abdullah (al Sadiq), according to their books, said:

 

لا والله ما فوض الله الى احد من خلقه الا الى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و اله و الى الائمة قال عز و جل: اِنَّآ اَنْزَلْنَآ اِلَیْكَ الْکِتٰبَ بِالْحَقِّ لِتَحْكُمَ بَیْنَ النَّاسِ بِمَآ اَرٰىكَ اللّٰهُ وهى جارية فى الاوصياء

By the oath of Allah, Allah did not hand over (the matters of din) except to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Imams. He, the honoured and magnificent says, “indeed, We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth so you may judge between the people by that which Allah has shown you,”[11] this applies to the Imams (as well).[12]

 

The Imams are the custodians of the knowledge of the angels, the prophets and the messengers. They have all the books that were divinely revealed, as established by their reliable books in the form of many narrations, as will appear.[13] These important matters of forming the laws are all part of the blessings of this knowledge which is kept as a treasure by the Imams.

As for the practical application of this belief, it manifests itself in the destructive amount of narrations regarding doctrine and other matters wherein they have isolated themselves from the rest of the Muslim ummah and opposed them. As an example, the words of kufr, kuffar, shirk and mushrikin which appear in the Book of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and include all those who commit these crimes are specified by them to apply to only those who reject the Wilayah of ‘Ali and those who take another Imam along with him, as will be explained.[14]

Thus, they have specified a general rule of the Book of Allah, without any text which allows them to do so. Instead, they have altered the text under the pretext of specifying its purport. They have equated or rather, granted more importance to the matter of Imamah than kufr and shirk, despite not having any sound textual or logical proof. By doing so, they have belittled the consensus of the Muslims as well as the texts of din which were transmitted with tawatur. Added to that, they have even displayed ignorance regarding the language in which the glorious Qur’an was revealed:

اِنَّآ اَنْزَلْنٰهُ قُرْءٰنًا عَرَبِیًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُوْنَ

Indeed, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an that you might understand.[15]

 

We will soon present many examples of this type of tampering with the meaning of the Qur’an.

 

An Analysis of this Belief

 

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala terminated risalah (sending of messengers) through the medium of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and culminated the din by sending him. Wahi (revelation) was thus ended with his death. These are facts regarding the din which are known to all and sundry. However, the above belief of the Shia cannot be validated except if all of these facts are rejected. Undoubtedly, this is an outright contradiction of the reality of the testimony that Muhammad is the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, which is a pre-condition for anyone to be entered into the fold of Islam.

Perhaps the one who ponders regarding this belief and calculates its dimensions will reach the conclusion that the ultimate goal behind it is to change the din of Islam and alter the laws revealed upon Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The Speech of Allah has become the target of changes and alterations by the means of abrogation, specifications, conditions, explanations or general statements which the scholars of the Shia claim are narrated from their Imams.

The idea of changing and altering Islam will become even clearer if one takes note of the excessive lies spoken by these people, to the extent that they even consider deceit to be a noble act of their religion, as will be proven.[16] “Whoever studies the books regarding criticism and commendation (of personalities) will find that those who were found by their authors to be liars are far greater in number among the Shia, as compared to any other sect.”[17]

A large number of leading Muslim scholars have testified that there is no group which spoke more lies and presented more false testimonies than them. They fabricate narrations and thereafter take the same to be part of their religion. They were always labelled, rightfully, as liars. The people of knowledge prohibited students from listening to ahadith from these Rawafid.[18] In fact, the very books of these people contain narrations from the Ahlul Bayt, wherein they voice their displeasure regarding the lies and accusations that are levelled against them by this sect.[19]

This belief rests, primarily, upon the claim that Islam is an incomplete religion and it is in need of the twelve Imams in order to bring it to its completion. The Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Rasul were not sufficient to bring the din to its completion, as the remainder was kept by the Imams. Also, the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (who was sent for the guidance of humanity at large), instead of conveying that which was revealed to him by his Rabb, hid away some of it and secretly passed it on to ‘Ali.

All of the above is open disbelief in Allah and His Rasul, and it goes against the basic principles of Islam, in the light of the following verses:

 

اَلْیَوْمَ اَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِیْنَكُمْ وَاَتْمَمْتُ عَلَیْكُمْ نِعْمَتِیْ وَرَضِیْتُ لَكُمُ الْاِسْلَامَ دِیْنًا

This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favour upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.[20]

 

وَ نَزَّلْنَا عَلَیْكَ الْکِتٰبَ تِبْیَانًا لِّكُلِّ شَیْءٍ وَّ هُدًی وَّ رَحْمَةً وَّ بُشْرٰی لِلْمُسْلِمِیْنَ

And We have sent down to you the Book as clarification for all things and as guidance and mercy and good tidings for the Muslims.[21]

 

وَ اِذْ اَخَذَ اللّٰهُ مِیْثَاقَ الَّذِیْنَ اُوْتُوا الْکِتٰبَ لَتُبَیِّنُنَّهلِلنَّاسِ وَلَا تَكْتُمُوْنَه

And [mention, O Muhammad], when Allah took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture, [saying], “You must make it clear [i.e., explain it] to the people and not conceal it.”[22]

 

اِنَّ الَّذِیْنَ یَكْتُمُوْنَ مَآ اَنْزَلْنَا مِنَ الْبَیِّنٰتِ وَالْهُدٰی مِنْۢ بَعْدِ مَا بَیَّنّٰهُ لِلنَّاسِ فِی الْکِتٰبِۙ اُولٰئِكَ یَلْعَنُهُمُ اللّٰهُ وَیَلْعَنُهُمُ اللّٰعِنُوْنَ ﴿159ۙ﴾ اِلَّا الَّذِیْنَ تَابُوْا وَاَصْلَحُوْا وَبَیَّنُوْا فَاُولٰئِكَ اَتُوْبُ عَلَیْهِمْۚ وَاَنَا التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِیْمُ ﴿160﴾

Indeed, those who conceal what We sent down of clear proofs and guidance after We made it clear for the people in the Scripture — those are cursed by Allah and cursed by those who curse. Except for those who repent and correct themselves and make evident. Those — I will accept their repentance, and I am the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.[23]

 

Imam al Ash’ari has attributed this belief to the fifteenth category of the extremist Shia, according to his categorisation. “They are the ones who believe that the Imams annul the laws of Islam, angels descend upon them, signs and miracles are manifested upon their hands and they receive revelation.”[24] These beliefs have now become part of the fundamental beliefs of the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers)[25], as they have sucked out their doctrines and beliefs from the residue left on the thumbs of each group of extremists. Abu Jafar al Nahhas (d. 338 A.H) indicated towards this belief without attributing it to any specific group. He says:

 

Others believe, “the door of abrogating (verses) and the abrogated ones are in the hands of the Imam, he has the right to abrogate anything he wishes.”[26]

 

He then declares those to be a great form of kufr, after which he explained its falsity saying:

 

Abrogation was not even the right of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, except if he received revelation from Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. This would either happen in the form of a Qur’anic verses, just like it (the abrogated one) or through revelation which was not Qur’an.[27] Since these two ended with the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the matter of abrogation also came to an end.[28]

 

NEXT⇒ Discussion Two – Their Beliefs Regarding the Interpretation of the Qur’an


[1]  Refer to the marginal notes of Usul al Kafi 1/192.

[2]  Refer to Usul al Kafi, Bab Ann al A’immah Wulat Amr Allah wa Khazanat ‘Ilmih 1/192

[3]Fasl al Sunnah

[4]  Refer to the discussion on Ghaybah in this book.

[5]  Al Mazindarani: Sharh Jami’ (‘Ali al Kafi) 2/272

[6]  ibid

[7]  Muhammad Hussain Al Kashif al Ghita: Asl al Shia pg. 77

[8]Usul al Kafi 1/265

[9]  Surah al Hashr: 7

[10]Usul al Kafi 1/266

[11]  Surah al Nisa: 105

[12]Usul al Kafi 1/268

[13]Fasl al Sunnah, the discussion of iman upon the Book of Allah.

[14]  The proofs of this will appear under the discussion, “examples of Shia interpretations of the verses of the Qur’an”.

[15]  Surah Yusuf: 2

[16]  Refer to “the matter of Taqiyyah”

[17]  Refer to al Muntaqa pg. 22

[18]  Refer to Minhaj al Sunnah 1/16, 17, al Suyuti: Tadrib al Rawi 1/327

[19]Al Bihar 25/263, al Mamaqani: Tanqih al Maqal 1/174, Rijal al Kashshi numbers; 174, 216, 541, 542, 544, 549, 588, 659, 741, 909, 1007, 1048. Some of these will appear under the discussion, “their beliefs regarding the Sunnah”.

[20]  Surah al Ma’idah: 3

[21]  Surah al Nahl: 89

[22]  Surah Al ‘Imran: 187

[23]  Surah al Baqarah: 159

[24]Maqalat al Islamiyyin 1/88

[25]  To learn more regarding the acceptance of the belief that the Imams receive revelation and the angels descend upon them by the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers), refer to the section of the Sunnah in this book. As for their acceptance of the belief that miracles are displayed at the hands of the Imams, refer to the discussion, “iman upon the messengers,” of this book.

[26]Al Nasikh wa l-Mansukh pg. 8

[27]  i.e. the Sunnah of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

وَمَا یَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوٰیؕ ﴿3﴾ اِنْ هُوَ اِلَّا وَحْیٌ یُّوْحٰیۙ ﴿4﴾

Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed. (Surah al Najm: 3-4)

[28]Al Nasikh wa l-Mansukh pg. 8-9

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