We often find Shias rejecting the existence of authentic and clear Shia reports that suggest that the Qur’an has been tampered with, so we provide the readers of our website with some narrations that fit that category. Some are self-explanatory, but we will provide some explanations of the content and responses to some objections that we anticipate. Verses in this article will be bolded for easy reading, while tampered parts of verses will be reddened.
However, before getting to the narrations, we would like to briefly point out that it is accepted amongst even the staunchest anti-tahreef scholars that there are authentic narrations. Shias, for decades, have been quoting Al-Khoei’s book Al-Bayan fi Tafseer Al-Qur’an to defend their position; a tahreef-free Qur’an. Yet, Al-Khoei himself makes an admission (p. 233) that most of the narrations that clearly state that words have been removed from the Qur’an are weak. The key word here is “most”, as opposed to “all”. This in itself is a clear admission that there are some narrations that are authentic according to Al-Khoei’s (strict) standards.
Al-Khoei continued by suggesting that all narrations that imply tahreef should either be interpreted as something else, or rejected completely, since these narrations go against the consensus of the Shia scholars. However, we have proven in one of our refutations to the ShiaPen site, which can be found here, that this is false, and there is a clear difference of opinion between the biggest Shia scholars regarding the matter of tahreef.
As for the narrations, we’ve picked out the clearest and most authentic narrations, so that no Shi’ee can argue that these can be interpreted to mean anything other than tahreef, or to reject them as weak.
In Al-Kafi, we read:
علي بن الحكم ، عن هشام بن سالم ، عن أبي عبد الله ( عليه السلام ) قال إن القرآن الذي جاء به جبرئيل ( عليه السلام ) إلى محمد ( صلى الله عليه وآله ) سبعة عشر ألف آية .
1- Ali bin Al-Hakam from Hisham bin Salim from Abi Abdullah (alaih al-salam), he said, “The Qur’an that Jibreel (as) brought down to Mohammad (salalahu alaihi wa salam) has seventeen thousand verses.”
This narration and its authenticity has been discussed in our response to the RevivingAlIslam blog, which can be found here. Most of those that have read this narration before have seen Al-Majlisi argue that it is authentic and that it is a clear narration that suggest tahreef. He also argued that it is silly to believe that this narration suggests some sort of tafseer or anything other than tahreef.
أبو علي الأشعري عن محمد بن عبد الجبار عن صفوان عن إسحاق بن عمار عن أبي بصير عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام، قال: نزل القرآن أربعة أرباع، ربع فينا وربع في عدونا وربع أمثال وربع فرائض وأحكام.
2- Abu Ali Al-Asha’ari from Mohammad bin Abduljabbar from Safwan from Ishaq bin Ammar from Abi Al-Baseer from Abi Ja’afar (alaih al-salam), he said, “The Qur’an was revealed in four portions, a fourth about us, a fourth about our enemies, a fourth are parables, and a fourth are laws.”
It goes without saying that the Qur’an is not split into these categories, especially since there is nothing in the Qur’an regarding the enemies of Ahlulbayt at all.
3- Ali bin Ibrahim from his father from Ibn Abi Umair from Umar bin Uthayna from Buraid bin Mu’awiyah, he said: Abu Ja’afar recited, “O’ you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger and those in authority amongst you,” [Surat Al-Nisa’a: 59] He then said, “How can he order to obedience but not in disagreement? He said this to those that were ordered, those that were told to: Obey Allah and obey His Messenger.”
This is a clear verse in which the Imam rejects a verse found in the Qur’an because of its content. He adds a few words in order to make it seem “more logical,” while in the process suggesting that the Book has been tampered with. We also mentioned this narration here with an additional support from Tafseer al-Qummi.
علي بن إبراهيم عن أبيه عن ابن أبي عمير عن عمر بن أذينة عن بريد بن معاوية، قال: تلا أبو جعفر عليه السلام: أطيعوا الله وأطيعوا الرسول وأولي الأمر منكم فإن خفتم تنازعا في الأمر فردوه إلى الله وإلى الرسول وإلى أولي الأمر منكم، ثم قال: كيف يأمر بطاعتهم ويرخص في منازعتهم، إنما قال ذلك للمأمورين الذين قيل لهم: أطيعوا الله وأطيعوا الرسول.
4- Ali bin Ibrahim from his father from Hammad bin Eisa from Ibrahim bin Omar Al-Yamani from Abi Abdullah (alaihi alsalam), he said (Ibrahim), “I asked him about the meaning of, “Two just men among you.” [Surat Al-Ma’idah: 95]. He said, “The just is the Messenger (salalahu alaihi wa salam), his family, and the Imam after him,” He then said, “This was a mistake from a scribe.”
The narration attributed to the Imam suggests that the two witnesses that the verse talks about doesn’t refer to any two regular witnesses, but refers to the members of Ahlulbayt. The dual nature of the dialogue, according to the narration, is a “mistake” from the scribe. We have included apostrophes around the word mistake intentionally, since the narration hints that this was done intentionally in order to take rights away from Ahlulbayt.
محمد بن يحيى عن أحمد بن محمد عن ابن فضال عن الرضا عليه السلام: فأنزل عليه سكينته على رسوله وأيده بجنود لم تروها، قلت: هكذا نقرؤها وهكذا تنزيلها.
5- Mohammad bin Yahya from Ahmad bin Mohammad from Ibn Fadhal from Al-Redha (alaihi alsalam): “And Allah sent down His tranquility upon His Messenger and supported him with soldiers you did not see.” [Al-Tawba: 175] He said, “This is how we read it and this is how it was revealed.
The Imam is suggesting that words: upon his Messenger – were removed in order to give the verse more flexibility and to have it possibly refer to Abu Bakr. However, the Imam suggests that the original Qur’an was did not allow such confusion to occur, which caused the nawasib to tamper with it.
عدة من أصحابنا عن أحمد بن محمد عن أحمد بن محمد بن أبي نصر عن ثعلبة بن ميمون عن زرارة، قال: سألت أبا جعفر عليه سلام عن قول الله عز وجل: وكان رسولا نبيا، ما الرسول وما النبي؟ قال: النبي الذي يرى في منامه ويسمع صوت ولا يعاين الملك والرسول الذي يسمع الصوت ويرى في المنام ويعاين الملك، قلت: الإمام ما منزلته؟ قال: يسمع الصوت ولا يرى ولا يعاين الملك، ثم تلا هذه الآية: وما أرسلنا من قبلك من رسول ولا نبي ولا محدث.
6- A group of our companions from Ahmad bin Mohammad from Ahmad bin Mohammad bin Abi Nasr from Tha’laba bin Maymoon from Zurarah, he said, “I asked Abu Ja’afar about the words of Allah (azza wa jal): “And he was a messenger and a prophet.” What is a messenger and what is a prophet? He said, “A prophet sees in his sleep and hears sounds, but does not face the angels, while the messenger hears a sound, sees in dreams, and spots angels,” I (Zurarah) said, “What is the status of the Imam?” He said, “He hears a sound, he doesn’t see and doesn’t meet angels,” he then recited, “And we did not send before you any messenger or prophet or one who is spoken to.” [Al-Hajj: 52]
Like the previous narrations, the Imam recites the Qur’an differently. In this narration, we find that those appointed by Allah includes “those who are spoken to,” which refers to the Imams. However, this was supposedly dropped by the enemies of Ahlulbayt.
Al-Majlisi, after authenticating this report, points out that these words were from the Qur’an but were dropped from Uthman’s compilation.
A similar narration can be found in other books, like Basa’ir Al-Darajaat by Al-Saffar:
حدثنا أحمد بن محمد عن أحمد بن محمد بن أبي نصر عن تغلب (في رواية: ثعلبة) عن زرارة قال سألت أبا جعفر عليه السلام عن قول الله عز وجل وكان رسولا نبيا قلت ما هو الرسول من النبي قال النبي هو الذي يرى في منامه ويسمع الصوت ولا يعاين الملك والرسول يعاين الملك ويكلمه قلت فالامام ما منزلته قال يسمع الصوت ولا يرى ولا يعاين ثم تلا وما أرسلنا من قبلك من رسول ولا نبي ولا محدث .
7- Ahmad bin Mohammad told us from Ahmad bin Mohammad bin Abi Nasr from Taghlab (in a narration Tha’laba) from Zurarah, he said, “I asked Aba Ja’afar (alaih al-salam) about Allah’s (azza wa jal) words, “And he was a messenger and a prophet.” I asked, “What is the difference between a messenger and a prophet?” He said, “A prophet is he who sees in his sleep and hears a sound, but spots no angels, while the messengers do face angels and speak to them.” I said, “What about the Imam, what is his status?” He said, “He hears but does not see or face them, then he recited, “And we did not send before you any messenger or prophet or one who is spoken to.” [Al-Hajj: 52]
حدثنا أحمد بن محمد عن الحسين سعيد عن فضالة عن الحرث البصري قال اتانا الحكم بن عيينة قال إن علي بن الحسين قال إن علم على كله في آية واحدة قال فخرج حمران بن أعين ليسئله فوجد علي بن الحسين قد قبض فقال لأبي جعفر عليه السلام ان الحكم بن عيينة حدثنا ان علي بن الحسين قال إن علم علي عليه السلام كله في آية واحدة قال أبو جعفر عليه السلام وما تدرى ما هو قال قلت لا قال هو قول الله تبارك وتعالى وما أرسلنا من قبلك من رسول ولا نبي ولا محدث .
8- Ahmad bin Mohammad from Al-Hussain (the son of) Sa’eed from Fidhala from Al-Harth Al-Basri (Al-Harith bin Al-Mugheera Al-Nasri), he said: Al-Hakam bin Uyayna said: Ali bin Al-Hussain said, “The knowledge of Ali can all be found in one verse,” He said, “So Himran bin A’ayan came out to ask him and found Ali bin Al-Hussain dead. He told Abi Ja’afar (alaih al-salam): Al-Hakam bin Uyayna told us that Ali bin Al-Hussain said, “The knowedge of Ali (alaih al-salam) can all be found in one verse,” Abu Ja’afar (alaih al-salam) said, “Don’t you know what it is?!” He said, “No.” He (Abu Ja’afar) said, “And we did not send before you any messenger or prophet or one who is spoken to.” [Al-Hajj: 52]
This last narration is significant because it provides a completely different route, which strengthens the previous narrations, which suggest tampering occurring in this verse.
As for Tafseer Al-Qummi (p. 81) (for those that believe in the reliability of the book), we quote the following tradition:
حدثني أبي عن الحسين بن خالد انه قره أبو الحسن الرضا عليه السلام :ألم الله لا إله إلا هو الحي القيوم لا تأخذه سنة ولا نوم له ما في السماوات وما في الأرض وما بينهما وما تحت الثرى عالم الغيب والشهادة الرحمن الرحيم من ذا الذي يشفع عنده الا باذنه يعلم ما بين أيديهم وما خلفهم ) قال ” ما بين أيديهم ” فأمور الأنبياء وما كان ” وما خلفهم ” اي ما لم يكن بعد ، قوله ” الا بما شاء ” اي بما يوحى إليهم ( ولا يؤده حفظهما ) اي لا يثقل عليه حفظ ما في السماوات وما في الأرض وقوله ( لا إكراه في الدين ) اي لا يكره أحد على دينه الا بعد ان قد تبين له الرشد من الغي ( فمن يكفر بالطاغوت ) وهم الذين غصبوا آل محمد حقهم ( فقد استمسك بالعروة الوثقى ) يعني الولاية ( لا انفصام لها ) اي حبل لا انقطاع له يعني أمير المؤمنين والأئمة بعده عليهم السلام ( الله ولي الذين آمنوا ) وهم الذين اتبعوا آل محمد عليهم السلام ( يخرجهم من الظلمات إلى النور والذين كفروا أولياؤهم الطاغوت ) هم الظالمون آل محمد والذين اتبعوا من غصبهم ( يخرجونهم من النور إلى الظلمات أولئك أصحاب النار هم فيها خالدون والحمد لله رب العالمين ) كذا نزلت.
9- My father narrated from Al-Hussain bin Khalid that Abu Al-Hasan Al-Redha read, “Alif Laam Meem, Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Self-Sustaining. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth and whatever is under the dust. The knower of the unseen the Most Gracious Most Merciful. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what will be after them.” [Al-Baqara: 255] He said, “What is before them, means: the matters of the prophets, and what will be after them, means: what still is yet to happen.” And as for Him saying, “Except for what He wills, it means: what He reveals to them,” and as for Him saying, “Their preservation tires Him not, it means: preserving that which is on the heavens and earth does not tire Him.” And ask for him saying, “There shall be no compulsion in religion [Al-Baqara: 256], it means: that there is no compulsion after truth has been revealed from misguidance. So whoever disbelieves in taghut, [Al-Baqara: 256], are those that usurped the rights of the family of Mohammad. The most trustworthy handhold [Al-Baqara: 256], means, the wilayat. With no break in it [Al-Baqara: 256], which is a rope that doesn’t end, which is Ameer Al-Mu’mineen and the Imams after him (alaih al-salam). Allah is the Ally of those who believe [Al-Baqara: 257], who are the followers of the family of Mohammad (alaihim al-salam), He brings them out from the darkness into the light. And those who disbelieve – their allies are taghut, [Al-Baqara: 257], they are the oppressors of the family of Mohammad and those that followed their oppressors, “They take them out of the light into the darknesses, those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide eternally therein.” [Al-Baqara: 257], this is how it was revealed.
ِAlso from al-Kafi:
عَلِيُّ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ عَبْدِ الْعَزِيزِ بْنِ الْمُهْتَدِي عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ جُنْدَبٍ أَنَّهُ كَتَبَ إِلَيْهِ الرِّضَا ( عليه السلام ) أَمَّا بَعْدُ فَإِنَّ مُحَمَّداً ( صلى الله عليه وآله ) كَانَ أَمِينَ اللَّهِ فِي خَلْقِهِ فَلَمَّا قُبِضَ ( صلى الله عليه وآله ) كُنَّا أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَرَثَتَهُ فَنَحْنُ أُمَنَاءُ اللَّهِ فِي أَرْضِهِ (إلخ) وَ نَحْنُ الَّذِينَ شَرَعَ اللَّهُ لَنَا دِينَهُ فَقَالَ فِي كِتَابِهِ شَرَعَ لَكُمْ يَا آلَ مُحَمَّدٍ مِنَ الدِّينِ ما وَصَّى بِهِ نُوحاً قَدْ وَصَّانَا بِمَا وَصَّى بِهِ نُوحاً وَ الَّذِي أَوْحَيْنا إِلَيْكَ يَا مُحَمَّدُ وَ ما وَصَّيْنا بِهِ إِبْراهِيمَ وَ مُوسى وَ عِيسى فَقَدْ عَلَّمَنَا وَ بَلَّغَنَا عِلْمَ مَا عَلِمْنَا وَ اسْتَوْدَعَنَا عِلْمَهُمْ نَحْنُ وَرَثَةُ أُولِي الْعَزْمِ مِنَ الرُّسُلِ أَنْ أَقِيمُوا الدِّينَ يَا آلَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَ لا تَتَفَرَّقُوا فِيهِ وَ كُونُوا عَلَى جَمَاعَةٍ كَبُرَ عَلَى الْمُشْرِكِينَ مَنْ أَشْرَكَ بِوَلَايَةِ عَلِيٍّ ما تَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ وَلَايَةِ عَلِيٍّ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَا مُحَمَّدُ يَهْدِي إِلَيْهِ مَنْ يُنِيبُ مَنْ يُجِيبُكَ إِلَى وَلَايَةِ عَلِيٍّ
10-`Ali bin Ibrahim, from his father, from `Abdul-`Aziz bin al-Muhtadi, from `Abdullah bin Jundab that al-Rida (as) wrote to him: After greeting, Muhammad (saw) was Allah’s trustee (in a long narration until he says) We are the ones whom Allah legislated the religion for us, He said in His Book: “He has ordained for you O family of Muhammad of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you O Muhammad and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus” And He has told us of the knowledge and stored their knowledge with us for we are the heirs of Ulil-`Azm from the messengers: “Establish the religion O family of Muhammad and not be divided therein. Difficult for those who associate others [with Allah], those who associate with `Ali’s Wilayah is that to which you invite them from `Ali’s Wilayah. Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him], who answers you regarding `Ali’s Wilayah“. [Ash-Shura: 13]
From Qurb Al-Isnad by Al-Himyari:
محمد بن عيسى قال : حدثنا إبراهيم بن عبد الحميد ، في سنة ثمان وتسعين ومائة في مسجد الحرام ، قال : دخلت على أبي عبد الله عليه السلام فأخرج إلي مصحفا . قال : فتصفحته فوقع بصري على موضع منه فإذا فيه مكتوب : هذه جهنم التي كنتما بها تكذبان فاصليا فيها لا تموتان فيها ولا تحييان . يعني الأولين.
11- Mohammad bin Eisa said: Ibrahim bin Abd Al-Hameed told us in the year one hundred and ninety-eight in Al-Masjid Al-Haram, he said, “I entered upon Abi Abdullah and he brought out a mus-haf,” I went through it and found in it, “This is the Hellfire that you two have used to deny; burn theirin without life nor death,” meaning: the two first (caliphs). [Ya-Seen: 64]
The resemblance between the wording and style of these words and verse 64 from Surat Ya-Seen is uncanny. Most importantly, we find that this was found in the mus-haf of the Imam. Those that compiled narrations of tahreef, like Al-Nuri Al-Tabrasi, quoted this as proof to suggest that the Qur’an has been tampered with.
In addition to these reports, there are hundreds of narrations that can only be found in the book of Al-Sayyari. However, as Al-Khoei has stated, there is a consensus among Rijal scholars that he is a weak narrator.
Ironically, in this day and age, there are those that defend Al-Sayyari like Ayatollah Mohammad Al-Sanad who followed Al-Nuri Al-Tabrisi in his opinion. They both argued that Al-Sayyari was relied upon in his narrations by Al-Kulayni, Al-Barqi, Ibrahim bin Mohamad bin Abdullah, Al-Hasan bin Ali bin Ibrahim, Sa’ad bin Abdullah Al-Ash’ari, and many others, and therefore, should not be seen as a weak narrator. Al-Sanad also argued that Al-Sayyari was weakened because people didn’t like his narrations and could not grasp them. See p. 342-349 from Al-Ijtihad wal Taqleed fi Ilm Al-Rijal by Al-Sanad for details on why he believes that this man is reliable.
Regardless, whether one accepts Al-Sayyari or not, it is not all too strange that the narrations of tahreef have been seen as mutawatir according to Al-Majlisi and others, for as we have proven above, there are a good deal of authentic narrations that support this blasphemy.
In conclusion, after providing the clear and authentic material regarding this subject, we offer our extended hands to our brothers, inviting them to the true path. It is a disappointment that the mathhab that has prided itself on championing the thaqalain, have failed to uphold the greater of the two; the book of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).