The Second Reaction: Acknowledging its Existence and Attempting to Give a Plausible Explanation

The First Reaction: Outright denial of its existence in their books
August 3, 2018
The Third Reaction: Defiantly Proclaiming and Providing Evidence for it
August 3, 2018

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The Second Reaction: Acknowledging its Existence and Attempting to Give a Plausible Explanation

 

This acknowledgement has taken many forms. Hence one of their scholars has written a book wherein he acknowledges that there are some narrations which talk of the interpolation of the Qur’an but then further says:

 

إنها ضعيفة شاذة وأخبار آحاد لاتفيد علما ولاعملا، فإما أن تؤول بنحو من الإعتبار أو يضرب بها الجدار

They are weak, anomalous and reported by single narrators which do not give the benefit of epistemological certainty nor categorical practice; they can either be given some sort of consideration or they can be smashed against the wall.[1]

 

Another scholar has written that they are established reports but:

 

المراد في كثير من روايات التحريف من قولهم عليهم السلام كذا نزل هو التفسير بحسب التنزيل في مقابل البطن والتأويل

What is meant by the narrations of interpolation in their statements, “this is how it was revealed,” is the exegesis in terms of revelation in comparison to esoteric interpretations.[2]

 

Whilst a third set of scholars have written that the Qur’an that we have ahead of us is not interpolated, rather it is incomplete and the verses regarding the immediate succession of ‘Ali have fallen away and:

 

كان الأولي أن يعنون المبحث تنقيص الوحي او يصرح بنزول وحي آخر وعدمه حتي لا يتمكن الكفار من التمويه علي ضعفاء العقول بأن في كتاب الإسلام تحريفا باعتراف طائفة من المسلمين

The discussion revolving around it ought to be labelled ‘omission of the revelation’ or ought to be explicitly stated as ‘the descendence of another revelation or its absence’. This is so that the disbelievers are not afforded the opportunity to confuse the vulnerable people by claiming that interpolation has taken place in the book of Islam as is acknowledged by a group of the Muslims.[3]

 

And yet a fourth scholar has written that:

 

نحن معاشر الشيعة تعتقد بأن هذا القرآن الذي بين أيدينا الجامع بين الدفتين هو الذي أنزله الله تعالي علي قلب خاتم الأنبياء صلي الله عليه وسلم من غير أن يدخله شيء بالنقص أو بالزيادة كيف وقد كفل الشارع بنفسه تعالي: إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ   علي أنا معاشر الشيعة (الإثني عشرية) نعترف بأن هناك قرآنا كتبه الإمام علي رضي الله عنه بيده الشريفة بعد أن فرغ من كفن رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم وتنفيذ وصاياه، فجاء به إلي المسجد النبوي فنبذه الفاروق عمر بن الخطاب قائلا للمسلمين حسبنا كتاب الله وعندكم القرآن، فرده الإمام علي إلي بيته ولم يزل كل إمام يحفظ عليه كوديعة إلهية إلي أن ظل محفوظا عند الإمام المهدي القائم عجل الله تعالي فرجنا به

We the Shia believe that this Qur’an which is gathered between the two covers is revealed by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala upon the heart of the Seal of all Prophets salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam without any addition or omission. How could it have been otherwise when Allah the legislator has himself said, “Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian.” However, we the Shia (Twelvers) do concede that there is another Qur’an which Imam ‘Ali has written with his blessed hand after having finished the burial procedures of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and executing his bequests? He then brought it to the Masjid of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam but ‘Umar ibn al Khattab disregarded it saying to the Muslims that the Book of Allah is sufficient for you and you already have a Qur’an. Hence the Imam returned it to his household and every subsequent Imam preserved it considering it to be a divine trust. It finally became secured by the Mahdi, may Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala grant us quick relief by way of his emergence.[4]

 

The fifth viewpoint posits the following:

وقع بعض علماء المتقدمين بالإشتباه فقالوا بالتحريف ولهم عذرهم كما لهم اجتهادهم وإن أخطأوا بالرأي، غير أنا حينما فحصنا ذلك ثبث لنا عدم التحريف فقلنا به وأجمعنا عليه

Some of our early scholars fell into the blunder of interpolation. They are excused, for they had their reasoning and evidence even though they erred. But when it became clear to us that interpolation has not occurred we accepted it and unanimously affirmed it.[5]

 

And the sixth position taken by some is that only those scholars who could not differentiate the authentic narrations from the unauthentic ones took the position of interpolation, i.e. the Akhbaris (the textualists). As for the Usulis, they deny this blasphemy.[6]

 

Analyses

We will analyse these reactions in the sequence that they were presented:

 

Firstly: To say that those blasphemous assertions are weak or anomalous narrations according to the Shia is debunked by the fact that a group of their leading scholars like al Mufid, al Kashani, and Ni’mat Allah al Jaza’iri have opined that they are widespread and categorically established. Rather al Majlisi has concluded that they are as authentic in their abundance and popularity as are the narrations of Imamah, as has passed. Furthermore interpolation was the official position taken by many of their great scholars.

Denying those narrations and merely reducing them to anomalous ones despite their abundance, as acknowledged by many of their scholars, is indeed a reflection of the extent of the lying which exists in this cult. If this view was really based on truth, then it should have prompted further investigation into the other beliefs of the Shia which have separated them for the Muslims. It should likewise have prompted the overall scrutiny of all their narrations and transmitters. Subsequently, whoever has narrated those problematic narrations and made them his official creedal position like that of al Kulayni and Ibrahim al Qummi, who have played the biggest role in entrenching this belief in the Shia ideology and its propagation; should no more have been trusted and relied upon.[7]

 

Secondly: As for the view that what is meant by the Shia narrations in this regard is the interpolation of some texts which were revealed for the exegesis of the verses of the Qur’an, it is just an affirmation of interpolation and not a defence thereof. This is so, due to the fact that the one who is willing to distort, reject, and discard those texts which came down from Allah to expound on the Qur’an and clarify it would be more willing to reject and distort the verses themselves. For how can someone who is not trustworthy in the meaning be trustworthy in the wording. Furthermore, if the meanings are lost to distortion than what value remains for the mere words? Also, how can the exegesis of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum be distortions according to this cult and the ‘distortions’ of al Qummi, al Kulayni, and al Majlisi which when read by anyone who has even a little knowledge of the Arabic language will pick up that they are heresies, be valid exegesis? And if the meanings of the Qur’an are lost and have disappeared with the awaited Mahdi, then how is the Ummah expected to receive guidance? Or should it remain lost and misguided?

You will furthermore notice that the examples of the exegesis of the Imams which they present before us, merely deliberating over them is enough to discern their falsity. So how can these be the divine exegesis which the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum rejected, as they allege?

Lastly, this explanation of the blasphemous belief is not coherent with many of their narrations, for many among them explicitly state that the divine text itself was affected by change and omission in its words.[8] So this explanation is not a safe route out of this blasphemy and indictment. The right stance is the outright rejection of these narrations and the excommunication of those who believed in them.

 

Thirdly: To likewise say that the Qur’an is incomplete and is not distorted is like the previous stance, not a defence of the Qur’an but rather an affirmation of their fables and a criticism of the Qur’an in a way which resembles a defence of it. For a person who has the ability to omit a portion of the Qur’an surely will have the ability to interpolate it. But a thing which emerges from its homelands is not considered strange, for the holder of this view is Agha Buzruk al Tahrani who was the student of al Nuri—the author of Fasl al Khitab Fi Tahrif Kitab Rabb al Arbab (The definitive conclusion in proving the distortion of the book of the absolute Lord of the lords).

It is due to this that you will see that this Tehrani tries to deceive the Muslims by claiming that the author of Fasl al Khitab directly told him that his intention was defending the Qur’an but he mistakenly titled his book wrongly.[9] But in doing so he exposes himself, for he claims that there is a remaining portion of the Qur’an which is the completion of the Qur’an and that it was more appropriate to have titled the book ‘the incomplete nature of the Qur’an and the descent of another divine revelation’. How does he still have the audacity to claim that this is defending the Qur’an from the enemies? This is the extent to which he tries to defend the Qur’an and Islam! Pure are You, O Allah, this is indeed a great slander.

 

Fourthly: As for the assertion of the fourth category who claim that their Mahdi has another Qur’an, it entails that the Din has not reached its culmination, whereas Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ

This day I have perfected for you your religion.[10]

 

Furthermore, of what benefit is this absent book to the Ummah, which has disappeared with their Awaited Mahdi upon whose occultation centuries have passed? And if it is indispensable then what do the Shia say regarding their predecessors who have passed centuries ago whilst being upon misguidance? And if the Ummah without it is on guidance then of what value are these claims.

In reality all this nonsense is to convince their followership of their anomalous beliefs which have no support from the Book of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Hence they try to confuse them by telling them that the evidence for a particular issue is found in the other Qur’an, or the complete Qur’an, or that the expounder of the Qur’an is the awaited Absent Imam.

Furthermore, the aspect of the existence of another Qur’an and that of criticising the current one are both found in the canonical works of the Shia as one issue; they both cannot be separated from each other. For they claim that ‘Ali compiled the Qur’an in its entirety and presented it to the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum who subsequently rejected it and compiled their own Qur’an wherein they omitted the mention of his immediate succession; and the alleged Qur’an thus remained with the Imams who successively inherited it till it eventually reached the hands of the Mahdi.

Hence this Shia and whoever follows his approach intend to deceive and misguide. They gradually progress in their discussion in order to make this blasphemy plausible to the people by merely citing one angle of the discussion.

 

Fifthly: As to the fifth party which says that the stance of the interpolation of the Qur’an is a wrong stance and is a deviation of our past which we once believed, but the truth has now become evident to us and we have thus abandoned it. Their recantation from this false stance indeed pleases a Muslim. However, it should be heeded that this assertion might be influenced by Taqiyyah. The indication of this is that the authors of the books which contained this disbelief are still venerated by these people. Whereas honesty in this regard demands that they completely disavow those scholars and their books. So for example al Kulayni in his al Kafi and al Qummi in his Tafsir have asserted this disbelief, but despite that how are they treated as leading scholars and reliable transmitters? Why are their books treated as seminal works for the derivation of doctrine and law; and why are their views trusted and actions emulated?

Furthermore, asserting that the Twelvers have unanimously withdrawn from this belief is violated by the doings of their contemporary scholar Hussain al Nuri al Tabarsi who wrote his book Fasl al Khitab in order to prove this heresy. It is likewise violated by the book Tahrif al Qur’an, in Urdu,[11] of another contemporary scholar ‘Ali Taqi al Sayyid Abu al Hassan al Naqwi al Lucknowi (d. 1323 A.H.) and other books. It is likewise contradicted by the aforementioned stances of Agha Buzruk al Tahrani, al Amini al Najafi and the others; a group amongst them always have a share in this heresy and deviance.

In addition, why should a person who holds an anomalous view regarding an issue which the Muslims have unanimously agreed upon, i.e. the soundness of the Book of Allah and its preservation, be considered excused on the basis of his reasoning? After all is it an issue wherein there is scope for reasoning? And are there any excuses or room for a plausible interpretation in such an issue?

 

Sixthly: As for the assertion of the last group that this heresy was not propounded by all the Twelvers but by a group amongst them, i.e. the Akhbaris who do not make a distinction between authentic and lackluster narrations. This was an approach adopted by one of the old Shia scholars, al Sharif al Murtada. He says:

 

من خالف في ذلك من الإمامية لايعتد بخلافهم، فأن الخلاف في ذلك مضاف إلي قوم من أصحاب الحديث (من الشيعة) نقلوا أخبارا ضعيفة وظنوا صحتها لايرجع بمثلها عن المعلوم المقطوع علي صحته

The opposition of those who have opposed the Shia in this regard is not worth consideration. Simply because it is attributed to a group of the literalists (amongst the Shia) who narrated lackluster narrations and considered them to be authentic, such weak narrations that it is not permissible to divert from the categorically established based on them.[12]

 

This idea that the doctrine of interpolation is exclusive to the Akhbaris, has likewise been emphasised and propounded by the greatest Shia scholar and reference of his time Jafar al Najafi (d. 1227).

But despite him being from the Usulis, the stance he takes regarding the narrations of interpolation is no less in its gravity then the stance of his Akhbari brothers. This is because he states the following after mentioning the viewpoint of the Akhbaris and debunking it by saying that it is invalid traditionally and logically and in light of that which is categorically known to be part of Din:

 

فلا بد من تنزيل تلك الأخبار إما علي النقص من الكلمات المخلوقة قبل النزول إلي سماء الدنيا، أو بعد النزول إليها قبل النزول إلي الأرض، أو علي نقص المعني في تفسيره. والذي يقوي في نطر القاصر التنزيل علي أن النقص بعد النزول إلي الأرض فيكون القرآن قسمين: فسم قرأه النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم علي الناس وكتبوه وظهر بينهم وقام به الإعجاز، وقسم أخفاه ولم يظهر عليه أحد سوا أمير المؤمنين رضي الله عنه، ثم منه إلي باقي الأئمة الطاهرين. وهو اللآن محفوظ عند صاحب الزمان جعلت فداه

Therefore it is necessary to interpret those narrations to mean omission in those created words[13] before their descendence to the first heaven, or after their descendence to the first heaven and before their revelation to the earth. The Qur’an is thus of two types: One: that which Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam read to the people which they subsequently wrote and established and which had its incapacitating nature. And the other is that which he concealed from the people and did not disclose to anyone besides Amir al Mu’minin radiya Llahu ‘anhu and he to the remaining pure Imams. It is now preserved by the man of the time (the Mahdi) may I be sacrificed for him.[14]

 

The author of Kashf al Ghita’ was not so bold as to make the claims that al Murtada made, but he deviated in a jungle of conjecture and unappealing reasoning owing to which he ended in a situation worse than the one he was trying to avoid. He claimed that Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam concealed a portion of the Qur’an and did not convey it to anyone in his Ummah besides ‘Ali and that he passed it on to his children and that today it is preserved by the Mahdi! Is there anything more to say after such a blatant slander?

 

NEXT⇒ The Third Reaction: Defiantly Proclaiming and Providing Evidence for it


[1] Muhammad Hussain Al Kashif al Ghita’: Asl al Shia p. 63-64.

[2] Al Tabtaba’i: al Mizan Fi Tafsir al Qur’an 12/108.

[3] Agha Buzruk al Tahrani: al Dhari’ah 3/313-314.

[4] Al Khurasani: al Islam ‘ala Daw’ al Tashayyu’ p. 204.

[5] Nashr Nadi al Khaqani: al Shia wa al Sunnah fi al Mizan p. 48-49.

[6] Al Tabtaba’i: in his annotations on al Anwar al Nu’maniyyah 2/259.

[7] However, the holder of this view which we are analysing, i.e. Muhammad Al Hussain Kashif al Ghita’, reveres some of these heretical Shia who openly proclaim this disbelief. He thus says the following regarding al Nuri al Tabarsi, the author of Fasl al Khitab:

حجة الله علي العالمين معجب الملائكة بتقواه، من لو تجلي الله لخلقه لقال هذا نوري، مولانا ثقة الإسلام حسين النوري

The evidence of Allah upon the world, admired by the angels for his piety. A man of such calibre that if Allah were to appear before his creation he would say, “This is my Nur. This is our master the authentic transmitter of Islam al Nuri. (Muhammad Al Hussain Kashif al Ghita’: introduction of Kashf al Astar (published by: Mu’ayyid al ‘Ulama’ al Jadidah, Qum) of al Nuri al Tabarsi. This lauding was after al Nuri had perpetrated this crime.

[8] For example they say that ‘Ali said:

وأما ما حرف من كتاب الله فقوله: كنتم خير أئمة اخرجت للناس فحرفت إلي خير أمة. ومنهم الزناة واللاطة والسراق وقطاع الطريق والظلمة وشراب الخمر والمضيعون لفرائض الله العادون عن حدوده، أفتري الله تعالي مدح من هذه صفته. ومنه قوله تعالي: أن تكون أمة هي أربي من أئمة فحرفوها وجعلوها أمة. ومثله في سورة عم ويقول الكافر ياليتني كنت ترابيا فحرفوها وقالوا ترابا وذلك لأن الرسول كان يكثر من مخاطبتي بأبي تراب ومثل هذا كثير

As for that which interpolated of the Qur’an, it is the verse, “You are the best of Imams who have been taken out for the benefit of humanity,” it was distorted to “The best of nations,” whereas in it are adulterers, sodomisers, thieves, highway robbers, oppressors, drunkards, those who discard the injunctions of Allah and those who transgress his limits. Do you think that Allah will ever praise such a people?

 

(The fabricator of this narration may Allah curse him, attempts to tarnish the reputation of the Companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam because the Qur’an was revealed regarding them, and the Shia dogma is based upon their revilement, so they criticised the Qur’an for that reason.) The narration continues:

Another verse is, “So that one nation be more plentiful than the Imams,” and they interpolated it to ‘nation’… likewise the verse, “Likewise we made you intermediary Imams (i.e. between the prophet and the people) and they interpolated it to ‘nation’. Similar is the verse in Surah al Naba’, it was “And the disbeliever will say I wish a was a Turabi (one who follows Abu Turab, i.e. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu) and they interpolated it to Turab (sand). And this is because Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would often address me as Abu Turab. And there are many other examples. (Bihar al Anwar 93-26-28)

[9] He has mentioned this in his book A’lam al Shia in the first vol. of the second section p. 550.

[10] Surah al Ma’idah: 3

[11] Al Dhari’ah ila Tasanif al Shia 3/394.

[12] Al Tusi has quoted this from him in al Tibyan 1/3 and so has al Tabarsi in Majma’ al Bayan 1/15.

[13] This is because they believed like the Mu’tazilah that the Qur’an is a creation.

[14] Kashf al Ghita’ p. 299.

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