Many scholars of the Shia, the likes of al Kulayni — the author of al Kafi and al Rowdah, al Qummi the author of Tafsir al Qummi, Sheikh al Mufid, al Tabarsi — the author of al Ihtijaj, al Kashani, Ni’mat Allah al Jaza’iri, al Ardabili, al Majlisi and many other scholars of the Shia Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers) are of the opinion that the Qur’an is distorted. They are also of the opinion that many words, as well as many verses, were omitted from the Qur’an; to such an extent that one of their later scholars — by the name of Nuri — penned a work which he entitled Fasl al Khitab fi Ithbat Tahrif Kitab Rabb al Arbab (The definitive conclusion in proving the distortion of the Book of the absolute Lord of the lords). He mentions in this book the view of Tahrif (distortion of the Qur’an) from the scholars of the Shia. However some Shia scholars, the likes of al Tusi — author of al Tibyan, Ibn Babuwayh, Sharif al Murtada, and al Tabarsi — author of Majma’ al Bayan li ‘Ulum al Qur’an, as well as some modern day Shia scholars have rejected the belief of Tahrif. One might think that this rejection is on account of them understanding the correct belief, but — I say — the reality is that this is a mere ploy of Taqiyyah. It is but a scheme to defend themselves against this reality. Al Nuri reports from al Jaza’iri — the author al Anwar al No’maniyyah — where he says:
Indeed the scholars are unanimous on the correctness of the famous ahadith, rather mutawatir, indicating clearly to the occurrence of Tahrif in the Qur’an.
He also says:
All the ahadith indicating towards Tahrif number more than 2000 ahadith, and many scholars have said that these ahadith are Mustafidah; such as al Mufid, al Muhaqqiq al Damad, ‘Allamah al Majlisi and others. In fact Sheikh Abu Jafar al Tusi also does mention clearly in his book al Tibyan that these ahadith are many, most of the scholars do say that these ahadith are Mutawatir. He says, “Know well that these ahadith are narrated from the reliable books which are depended upon by our scholars in establishing the shar’i laws and the prophetic traditions.” The denial of Tahrif from al Murtada, is rebutted by one of the Shia Scholar of India in his book Darbah Haydariyyah (vol. 2 pg. 81), he says, “the truth is that Sayed ‘Alam al Huda (al Murtada) was not infallible in the sense that following him becomes necessary, if it is proven that he said that the Qur’an is not incomplete in the general sense then it is not incumbent upon us to follow him and there is no goodness in it.
Despite of the resemblance of ijma’ (consensus) from the Shia scholars regarding Tahrif, we continue to hear the incessant croaking of the Shia in denying this. In fact some of them claim the opposite, that ijma’ took place on Tahrif having ‘not’ occurred. Let us examine one such denial, and this is none other than Muhsin al Amin, who writes in his book al Shia bayn al Haqa’iq wa al Awham (pg. 160):
The claim of ijma’ in the books of Shia that Tahrif occurred is false, rather the books of the great scholars and the books of those whose views are considered from the Shia scholars are unanimous on the absence of Tahrif in the Qur’an, whether increment or omission. In explaining this I say: all Muslims agree on the absence of any increment in the Qur’an, all the Muhaqqiqin and the great scholars of the Shia and Ahlus Sunnah are unanimous on the absence of omission in the Qur’an. Yes there are rare narrations from the Ahlus Sunnah as well as some Shia indicating that some omission did take place, due to the status of these narrations, they do not carry any wait, here is what the main scholars of the Shia and their great scholars have said.
He then proceeds to forward the views of al Saduq, al Tusi, Sharif al Murtada, al Tabarsi and a few other scholars of the Shia.
We say to him; your claim of Ijma’ that no omission has occurred in the Qur’an is rebutted by the statements of your own scholars — as we have discussed — and in this chapter we will proceed to mention the views of those scholars of the Shia who believe in the occurrence of Tahrif. To say that the narrations of Tahrif are rare, I am yet to see a scholar of the Shia who has disparaged the narrations in al Kafi and in Tafsir al Qummi regarding Tahrif. In fact, no Shia has disparaged the Shia scholars such as al Kulayni, al Mufid, al Nuri and others, who clearly held this belief. Unlike the Ahlus Sunnah who pass the verdict of kufr upon anybody who believes in this, and have not mentioned these ‘rare’ narrations. If they did mention them then they clearly indicated that such verses were abrogated or they are not Qira’ah Mutawatirah.
The question which needs to be asked is: does this concept exist within the Shia? Let us present the views of the Shia scholars, their jurists and researchers, so that we may gauge their opinion with regards to Tahrif. After this the concept of distortion and omission cannot be denied by the Shia, and I call upon the Shia to refute (and disparage) their very own scholars who held this belief, as will be mentioned shortly.
 A Mutawatir hadith is a report narrated by such a large number of people that it is inconceivable that that they all could have agreed upon a lie.
 A rank slightly lower than Mutawatir.
 Refer to al Mufid wa Tahrif al Qur’an
 Refer to al Majlisi wa Tahrif al Qur’an
 Al Sunnah wa al Shia pg. 122Back to top