Mirza Muhammad bin Muhammad Taqi Tunikabuni & Tahreef

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In this piece we will quote the Shia scholar al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Tunikabuni in his book “Idah-ul-Fara’id” which is a commentary on “Fara’id al-Usul” by their scholar al-Ansari.

We begin with Idah-ul-Fara’id vol.3 pg.202:

الثالث : وقوع التحريف فى الكتاب لا يمنع من التمسك بالظهور
قوله الثالث : انّ وقوع التّحريف اه‌
اختلفوا فى وقوع التّحريف بمعنى التغيير بالنقيصة بالمعنى الاعم من وقوعه عمدا او سهوا او نسيانا او من جهة عدم الوصول الى ما نزل اعجازا لعدم الحضور وقت نزوله او غير ذلك و عدمه فالمشهور بين الاصوليّين عدمه مطلقا و هو الّذى ذهب اليه جمع من المحدّثين كالصّدوق في اعتقاداته وغيره وذهب الى التّحريف جمع من قدماء المحدّثين كالكليني وشيخه علىّ بن ابراهيم والنعماني وسعد بن عبد اللّه الاشعري والعيّاشي وبنو نوبخت وفضل بن شاذان ومحمّد بن الحسن الشّيباني وعلي بن الحسن بن فضال والشيخ حسن بن سليمان الحلي تلميذ الشّهيد ومحمّد بن علىّ بن شهر آشوب والشيخ احمد بن ابى طالب الطّبرسي في كتاب الاحتجاج وذهب اليه المفيد في المسائل السّروية والمولى محمّد صالح في شرح الكافي والمجلسيان والسيّد عليخان في شرح الصّحيفة والمولي مهدي النّراقي على ما نقل عنهم و ذهب اليه صاحب المستند الحاج ملّا احمد النراقي على ما حكي عنه ايضا وظاهر السّيد الجليل علىّ بن طاوس في فلاح السّائل و سعد السّعود على ما حكي عنه ايضا وهو ظاهر المصنف (يقصد مرتضى الانصاري) في بحث القراءة من الصّلاة وذهب اليه اكثر الاخباريّين وذهب المحقّق البهبهاني في محكي فوائده الى وقوع التّحريف بالنقصان فى غير آيات الأحكام و هو مذهب المحقق القمي في القوانين بل قال فيه بل الظّاهر من بعض الاصحاب دعوى الاجماع على عدم وقوع تحريف و تغيير فى الكتاب يوجب تغييرا فى الحكم و قال شيخنا المحقق (يقصد الاشتياني) قده فى الحاشية وكان شيخنا الأستاد العلّامة (يقصد مرتضى الانصاري) يميل الى هذا القول اى وقوع النقيصة فى غير الأحكام بعض الميل

[Part Three: (The corruption of the Book does not prohibit from holding on to what is apparent from it).

His statement (i.e Ansari’s): “Thirdly, the occurrence of corruption etc…” They’ve generally differed (i.e Shia) on Tahreef taking place in the form of deletion/subtraction, whether intentionally or due to inattention, forgetfulness and absence during the time of revelation among other possible reasons. What is popular among the Usuli school is that it never happened at all, as is the opinion of a group of traditionalists such as Saduq in his book of I`tiqadat as well as others. As for those who affirmed Tahreef, they are a group from the ancient traditionalists such as Kulayni, his teacher `Ali bin Ibrahim, al-Nu`mani, Sa`d bin `Abdullah al-Ash`ari, al-`Ayyashi, the scholars from the clan of Nawbakht, al-Fadl bin Shadhan, Muhammad bin al-Hasan al-Shaybani, `Ali bin al-Hasan bin Faddal, al-Shaykh Hasan bin Sulayman al-Hilli the student of al-Shahid, Muhammad bin `Ali bin Shahr Ashub, Shaykh Ahmad bin abi Talib al-Tabrasi in his book al-Ihtijaj, al-Mufid in his Masa’il Sarawiyyah, al-Mawla Muhammad Salih in Sharh al-Kafi, the two Majlisis (father & son), Sayyid `Alikhan in Sharh al-Sahifah, Mawla Mahdi al-Naraqi as is reported from them; Also al-Haj Mulla Ahmad Naraqi the author of al-Mustanad as was reported from him, it’s also what’s apparent from the venerated Sayyid `Ali bin Tawus in Falah-ul-Sa’il and in Sa`d-ul-Su`ud as reported, it is also the apparent position of the author (i.e Murtada al-Ansari) from the topic of recitation during prayer in addition to the majority of Akhbari Shia; Al-Muhaqqiq al-Bahbahani in his Fawa’id was also of the view that corruption in the sense of subtractions did occur but not in terms of any verse containing a ruling, this opinion was shared by al-Muhaqqiq al-Qummi in his book al-Qawanin where he said: “It appears that some of our companions claimed a consensus that the corruption of the Book did not cause a change in rulings.” Our teacher al-Muhaqqiq (i.e al-Ashtiyani) said in the footnotes: “Our teacher al-Ustadh al-`Allamah (i.e Murtada al-Ansari) used to lean somewhat towards the occurrence of deletions in verses not containing rulings.”]

From the above, the author offers an impressive list of those who believed in Tahreef al-Qur’an. Even the title of this section implies that it’s okay to believe the holy Book has been tampered with and corrupted as long as we stick to what’s available.

In this same book, we flip a couple of pages ahead in vol.3 pg.206 to learn of the view of the commentator himself:

وامّا الزّيادة فلا ينبغى احتمالها بل لا يجوز لادّعاء جمع من الأصحاب الاجماع على عدمها و ما فى بعض الاخبار عن ابى جعفر(ع)لو لا انّه زيد فى كتاب اللّه و نقص ما خفى حقنا على ذى حجى و لو قد قام قائمنا فنطق صدّقه القرآن فلا بدّ من تأويله و يمكن تأويله بانّ المراد زيادة بعض الحروف فى بعض الموارد ممّا لا يقدح فى المعنى و لا يوجب تغييره وقد ذكرنا فى باب تواتر القراءات و عدمه انّ ذلك ليس بعزيز مع انكار تواتر القراءات بل هو واقع كثيرا و يدلّ على المعنى المزبور ما نقلنا سابقا عن الصّادق عليه السلام انّ القرآن قد طرح منه اي كثيرة و لم يزد فيه الّا حروف قد اخطأت به الكتبة وتوهّمتها الرّجال وفي بعض النّسخ و قوّمتها الرّجال‌

[As for additions we cannot entertain this possibility, rather it’s impermissible to claim it since a group of our comrades mentioned a consensus on its invalidity. As for what was reported from abi Ja`far (as): “If they hadn’t added to God’s Book and subtracted from it, our right would not have been hidden from any sane person.” and “When our riser rises to speak (i.e 12th Imam), the Qur’an will confirm his speech” These narrations can be interpreted that what’s intended are only minor additions of certain letters here and there in a way that does not alter the meaning. We had mentioned in the chapter of the mass transmission of recitations that this isn’t too much to ask, especially if we deny the mass transmission of the recitations, rather it happens often according to what we narrated from al-Sadiq (as) that “Many verses were dropped from the Qur’an but only minor letters were added to it due to scribal errors.”]

Above we see him quoting the Imams to confirm Tahreef yet he shows objection to any major additions to the book.

قد ذكرنا انّ اصل وقوع التّحريف فى آيات الاحكام ممنوع وانّ الاخبار الواردة فى ذلك لم تبلغ مبلغ الحجّية وانّ المتيقّن من الاخبار المذكورة الّتى هى عمدة دليل القائلين بالتّحريف هو سقوط اسماء الائمّة عليهم السّلام خصوصا امير المؤمنين عليه السلام و اسماء المنافقين او هو مع سقوط بعض الكلمات او الآيات فى القصص و الامثال فقط لا الاحكام مع انّ الأئمّة عليهم السّلام قد امروا بالعمل بهذا القرآن فى رواية سالم بن سلمة و غيرها بل قد نقلنا عن العلّامة المجلسىّ انّ اذنهم عليهم السّلام بل آمرهم بالعمل بهذا القرآن معلوم متواتر مع انّ اخبار العرض على الكتاب المتضمّنة لأمر الأئمّة بعرض مطلق الاخبار او الاخبار المتعارضة على الكتاب الموجود بايدينا تدلّ على حجّيته بل على عدم اختلال ظواهره بسبب من الاسباب و الّا فلا معنى للعرض على المجمل كما هو واضح بادنى التفات‌

[We previously mentioned that the basis of the belief in Tahreef is not related to verses of laws and that the narrations containing this meaning are not binding proofs. Those familiar with the evidences of the believers in Tahreef know that they revolve around the deletion of the names of our Imams (as) especially the chief of believers (as) as well as the names of hypocrites, some expressions and verses contained in certain stories but not the rulings. Although the Imams (as) have ordered us to work with this current Qur’an like in the narration of Salim bin Salamah and others. Rather, we quoted al-`Allamah al-Majlisi saying that they (as) permitted us to work with it in mass recurring reports; It is also known from the reports that order us to present any conflicting narrations to this available Book in our hands, such reports show the Qur’an as binding proof for us and that the apparent meanings contained in its text are not corrupted otherwise there’s no reason to present anything to it as is clear.]

He finally concludes that even though it’s corrupt, yet corruption does not affect rulings nor does it alter the meaning of the available texts, thus we can still use this corrupted Qur’an to worship and present any conflicting narrations to it. Truly, a student of Majlisi!

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