Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Do the Shi’ites believe there are “lost surahs”?

Ken Temple and our Muslim friend, thegrandverbalizer19, touched on the issue of whether or not the “Shiites believe in some lost surahs?” The following selection provides a bit more context:

Do you know what the Mirza A. Kazem Beg article and Edward Sell were getting at by “Shiite sources” ? Apparently the The Shiites believe in some lost surahs? Where they say Muhammad gave his mantle to Ali, so that Ali should have been the first Khalif, right? (LINK).

I would like to begin my exploration into this matter by pointing out that the largest Shi’i (Shi’a) sect, the Twelver (or Imami), rejects the supposition there are either missing surahs or ayat (i.e. verses) from the established Uthmanic Qur’an. From the introduction by Hujjatul Islam Ayatullah Allama Haji Mirza Mahdi Pooya Yazdi in Ahmed Ali’s translation of the Qur’an we read:

The overwhelming majority of scholars of all schools of thought in Islam, agrees to the fact that the Holy Qur’an as it is now in our hands was rendered in writing under the command and the personal supervision of the Holy Prophet himself, and no addition, omission or alteration whatsoever ever took place in it. But there are a few traditionists of the Sunni as well as the Shia schools who influenced by the letter of the traditions more than reason and the historical facts, on account of some narrations, have held a different view that some omissions and alterations have taken place after the Holy Prophet, before the official assent was given to the present version by the Third Kalif. The advocates of this view, never succeeded in establishing any doctrine to this effect. (The Holy Qur’an, S. V. Mir Ahmed Ali; Tahrike Tarsile Qur’an, Inc., 1988, p. 25a.)

And from the online “A Shi’ite Encyclopedia”:

Belief of Shia in the Completeness of Quran A Wahhabi contributor mentioned that Shia believe Quran is not complete. My answer to this matter is:

"Glory to (Allah), this is a big slander! (Quran 24:16)."

Shia do NOT believe that Quran is *missing* something. There are few weak traditions which might imply to the contrary. Such reports are rejectedand unacceptable if they want to imply such a thing.

It is interesting to point out that there are numerous traditions reported in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim which allege that many verses of Quran are missing. Not only that, but also they these Sunni reports allege that two chapters from the Quran are missing one of them was similar to chapter 9 (al-Bara'ah) in length!!! Some Sunni traditions even claim that the Chapter al-Ahzab (Ch. 33) was as lengthy as the Chapter of Cow (Ch. 2)!!! The Chapter of Cow is the biggest Chapter of the present Quran. The traditions inside Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim even present some of the missing verses. (Some of these traditions will be mentioned in the following articles with full references.). Yet, fortunately Shia never accuse the Sunni brothers and sisters of believing that the Quran is incomplete. We say that either these Sunni reports are either weak or fabricated.

The completeness of Quran is so indisputable among Shia that the greatest scholar of Shia in Hadith, Abu Jafar Muhammad Ibn Ali Ibn al-Husain IbnBabwayh, known as "Shaykh Saduq" (309/919-381/991), wrote:

"Our belief is that the Quran which Allah revealed to His Prophet Muhammad is (the same as) the one between the two covers (daffatayn). And it is the one which is in the hands of the people, and is not greater in extent than that. The number of surahs as generally accepted is one hundred and fourteen ...And he who asserts that we say that it is greater in extent than that, is a liar."

Shi'i reference: Shi'ite Creed (al-I'tiqadat al-Imamiyyah), by Shaykh Saduq, English version, p77. (http://www.al-islam.org/encyclopedia/chapter8/1.html).

Now, it seems that some individual Shi’ites take a contrary postion; some have even forged both complete surahs and ayat, and then attempted to introduce them as corrections to the Qur’an. However, one should not confuse such feeble attempts with the official position of the Twelvers. Some of these attempts at interpolation are discussed in the two following essays:

Shi’ah Additions To The Koran”, by William St. Clair Tisdall, The Moslem World, Vol. III, No. 3, July, 1913, pp. 227-241. (Online PDF version)

The Recensions of the Qur’an”, by Rev. Canon Sell, 1909. (Online PDF version)

Anyway, thought I would provide my “two-cents” to the ongoing discussion; perhaps others have more to add on this issue.


Grace and peace,

David

15 comments:

Chris said...

"Hujjatul Islam Ayatullah Allama Haji Mirza Mahdi Pooya Yazdi"

Egads! What a name!

David Waltz said...

Hi Chris,

Yes, a mouthfull for sure! (Though the first half are titles.)

How is school? Did you have a nice springbreak?


Grace and peace,

David

Chris said...

In graduate school, spring break is just an opportunity to catch up on homework. And since I'm still behind, it obviously wasn't long enough!

But school is good. :-)

How have you been lately?

Ken said...

David,
Very good - You have done much more research and study than I have on this issue.

Since I was dealing with everyday Muslims in evangelism for the last 26 years, I never needed to go into that much research on the issues, though I knew that officially the Shiite Qur'an is the same as the Sunni Qur'an.

I was just trying to find out if GV19 knew about the sources that Canon Sell and Mirza A. Kazem Beg were referring to.

I think C. G. Pfander in his Mizan Al Haqq mentions some of the disputes that Sunnis and Shiites have with each other about the Hadiths. But most Iranians seem to have a special hatred toward Omar and Uthman for some reasons. (Partly surely Because of their attacks on Persia in Jihad, killing many thousands of Iranians.)

In Iran, each year, some Persians have a celebration with poetry and recounting the history, and make an effigy of Omar each year and either stick fire crackers in him and blow him up or cut him up into pieces with scissors and knives.

Thanks for the links, etc.

Since you have done so much research, etc.; have you read the Mirza Alexander Kazem Beg article?

Officially, yes, the Shiites say their Qur'an is the same as the Sunnis - but it is their Hadith collections that are completely different.

Since you apparently know a lot about these issues, what is the Shiite official evidence that Muhammad intended Ali and his sons to be the first Khalifs in an infallible line (for Twelvers - up to Twelve) ?

Have you studied that issue?

Have you read, the Nahjul Balaqeh?
http://www.al-islam.org/nahj/

(Sermons of Ali, son in law of Muhammad)

Ken said...

Hujjatul (evidence, apologetics, defense of) Islam

Ayatullah (Sign of Allah)

Allama (scholar)

Haji (been to Mecca)

Mirza (I think this is a Persian name, and not Arabic)

Mahdi ("guided one" - from the hidden Imam, 12, Imam Zaman - "the Imam who will come at the end of time");

Pooya (means "Dynamic" - the second pure Iranian name in this man's name)

Yazdi (from Yazd, a province in Central Iran)"

David Waltz said...

Hello again Chris,

You sound very busy; I am pleased to know that "school is good".

As for myself, apart from developing plantar faciitis and having to run barefooted now to avoid some serious pain, I am doing well.

Question: Do you have online access to The Muslim World?

God bless,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

Thanks much for taking the time to respond; you posted:

>> Since you have done so much research, etc.; have you read the Mirza Alexander Kazem Beg article?>>

Me: No, it was written in French, and I am not aware of an English translation—do you know of one?

>>Officially, yes, the Shiites say their Qur'an is the same as the Sunnis - but it is their Hadith collections that are completely different.

Since you apparently know a lot about these issues, what is the Shiite official evidence that Muhammad intended Ali and his sons to be the first Khalifs in an infallible line (for Twelvers - up to Twelve) ?>>

Me: Well officially it is circular because it comes from their 12 Imams.

>>Have you studied that issue?>>

Me: Yes, in depth; however, it was a number of years ago. If you were to read but one book on this crucial issue, I would recommend Wilferd Madelung’s The succession to Muhammad – A study fo the early Caliphate

>>Have you read, the Nahjul Balaqeh?
http://www.al-islam.org/nahj/>>

Me: Yes; and I own 2 printed editions—one English and Arabic, one that is just English.

>> Hujjatul (evidence, apologetics, defense of) Islam

Ayatullah (Sign of Allah)

Allama (scholar)

Haji (been to Mecca)

Mirza (I think this is a Persian name, and not Arabic)

Mahdi ("guided one" - from the hidden Imam, 12, Imam Zaman - "the Imam who will come at the end of time");

Pooya (means "Dynamic" - the second pure Iranian name in this man's name)

Yazdi (from Yazd, a province in Central Iran)">>

Me: Thanks for the translations/information Ken! It seems the first four are titles, while the last four constitute his actual name—am I correct on this, or all wet?


Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

David,
Thanks for the links and info on Shiite sources, etc.

Yes, you were right, the first four are titles, and the last four are names. ( I am pretty sure.)

hojjat al Islam

حجت الاسلام

Hojjat or Hujjat also means - "reason, "evidence", "argument", "proof"

A "Hojjat al Islam" is someone who can do Islamic apologetics and defend Islam against attackers.

But I have actually met someone with that as their proper name.

So, it is possible that all of them are his names.

Ken said...

I just noticed you have been busy interacting with Jason Engwer about D. H. Williams and I Clement and justification. (at Beggar's All)

Very interesting stuff.

It seems to me in one place he affirms Paul and justification by faith alone (I Clement 32) - close to Luther and Calvin, and the right understanding of Romans 3.4,5, 8 and Galatians and Philippians 3:9 and 2 Cor. 5:21;

and then
in another he means the same thing that James means,

That true does not stay alone, it moves and is alive and results in good works; that just saying one is a Christian is not enough, "not by words". ( I Clement 30:3)

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

With the name of God, Peace be unto you all.

First I also want to say hello to Chris and that I hope your studies continue to go on well.

Next I want to say thank you David once again for all the interaction. I hope that you do soak your feet in salt water. If you have a fish store near to you that sales marine salt (for salt water fish tanks) and you can soak your feet in the morning and evening in a mixture of the salt and hot water insh'Allah you should be fine)

Also if you have any weight issues now would be the time to look into them (not to offend). Do this while repeating the name 'Al Bari (The Evolver) you don't have to say Al Bari if you don't feel comfortable just say 'The Evolver' 1000 times a day for one week insh'Allah Allah will free you from current life obstacles.

It doesn't hurt to try with the exception of the marine salt everything else is free! :)

Before I begin commenting on this I would need some clarification.

But there are a few traditionists of the Sunni as well as the Shia schools who influenced by the letter of the traditions more than reason and the historical facts, on account of some narrations, have held a different view that some omissions and alterations have taken place after the Holy Prophet,

I would need to know who from the traditionalist (or traditions is it) made the statements. I would than need to know what statements they made and what are the sources quoted.

It is interesting to point out that there are numerous traditions reported in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim which allege that many verses of Quran are missing. Not only that, but also they these Sunni reports allege that two chapters from the Quran are missing one of them was similar to chapter 9 (al-Bara'ah) in length!!! Some Sunni traditions even claim that the Chapter al-Ahzab (Ch. 33) was as lengthy as the Chapter of Cow (Ch. 2)!!!

Again what we have and this is my frustration with James White is we have some quoting from a quote of a quote of a quote but again what is the source?

If I wanted to verify this information directly what would be the source that I would need to interact with?

continued...

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

With the name of God

continued from above...

I also want to say Al hamdulillah I am happy that the Qur'an is being put 'under the gun' so to speak because it will give viewers a chance to see how well the Qur'an stands up to critical scrutiny.


Again I would highly recommend anyone to go and watch this debate between Samuel Green (a very active contributor to answering-islam and answeringmuslims) and Abdullah Kunde a Jewish convert to Islam over here at:

http://thegrandverbalizer19.blogspot.com/2010/01/debatethe-historical-preservation-of.html

Notice that the very issue brought up here is dealt with in this debate.

Abdullah Kunde ask Samuel Green if he could give the name of any fringe group who believed in these 'two extra surah's of the Qur'an'.

By the way Abdullah Kunde debated James White too Allah-willing I will have that debate uploaded in the near future.

I think this debate is very telling itself because the Christian is very active in forming polemic against Islam. To me his arguments fell flat. You all may have a different take on the debate and I would be interested in hearing your remarks.

Peace be unto you all.

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

I juggling my time today between preparing for guests who are coming in to attend the annual Astoria Crab and Seafood festival (I’m getting hungry just thinking about it [grin]), getting my car serviced (don’t know for sure how long that will take), and trying to decide how much time I should devote to internet activities. Anyway, with that said I would like to comment on my current take of 1 Clement, as it pertains to soteriology. As I mentioned to Jason, I have made “adjustments” since 2004, and lean towards the opinion that Clement embraced justification by faith apart from works. I thought Jason went beyond this and held that Clement also taught that this justification came via the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ; I see in his one of his more recent posts, he says he has never held to that position. He went on to state that “justification by faith apart from works” is “the Protestant position”, but him seems to fail to realize that “justification by faith apart from works” is also the Catholic position—a point Dr. Williams makes in the book that is being discussed.

So, to make a very long story short, 1 Clement can be ‘claimed’ by both Protestants and Catholics as an early witness to each their respective traditions. (I need to get back to the BA combox, but it may be Monday before I can do so.)


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi GrandVerb,

You posted:

>>Next I want to say thank you David once again for all the interaction. I hope that you do soak your feet in salt water. If you have a fish store near to you that sales marine salt (for salt water fish tanks) and you can soak your feet in the morning and evening in a mixture of the salt and hot water insh'Allah you should be fine)

Also if you have any weight issues now would be the time to look into them (not to offend).>>

Me: Thanks for the soaking advice; had not thought about that at all. I have been icing and applying heat though. As for my weight, I sincerely appreciate your concerns, but don’t worry, I have been very fortunate in that area; I have maintained a weight between 190-195 lbs for nearly 30 years now (with a 32 inch waist—my wife affectionately calls me a “mutant” [GRIN]). I suspect my plantar faciitis has a lot to do with my age (I am almost 55 now), and cheap running shoes (I refuse to spend the exorbitant prices that are being demanded by shoe companies which has a lot to do with the millions they pay out in endorsements…but I digress). Interestingly enough, I recently read an article that many of the sports related foot injuries may in fact be due to shoes themselves, and that the human foot was designed by our Creator to remain barefoot. The article recommended that we should run barefooted, which I have been doing now for a few weeks; this seems to be working for the intense pain I was experiencing after running with shoes does not occur if I run barefooted—very interesting…

On to much more important issues…

>>Before I begin commenting on this I would need some clarification.

But there are a few traditionists of the Sunni as well as the Shia schools who influenced by the letter of the traditions more than reason and the historical facts, on account of some narrations, have held a different view that some omissions and alterations have taken place after the Holy Prophet,

I would need to know who from the traditionalist (or traditions is it) made the statements. I would than need to know what statements they made and what are the sources quoted.>>

Me: I have not tracked this down yet; and it may be sometime before I can do so.

>>It is interesting to point out that there are numerous traditions reported in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim which allege that many verses of Quran are missing. Not only that, but also they these Sunni reports allege that two chapters from the Quran are missing one of them was similar to chapter 9 (al-Bara'ah) in length!!! Some Sunni traditions even claim that the Chapter al-Ahzab (Ch. 33) was as lengthy as the Chapter of Cow (Ch. 2)!!!

Again what we have and this is my frustration with James White is we have some quoting from a quote of a quote of a quote but again what is the source?>>

Me: Once again, I personally have not tracked this down yet.

>>If I wanted to verify this information directly what would be the source that I would need to interact with?>>

Me: Apart from Bukhari and Muslim, I would say one should source the 4 ‘approved’ collections of Shi’a hadiths.

>>I also want to say Al hamdulillah I am happy that the Qur'an is being put 'under the gun' so to speak because it will give viewers a chance to see how well the Qur'an stands up to critical scrutiny.>>

Me: As you know, I have defended the textual integrity of the Qur’an; both here at AF, and in the letter that I sent to the Christian Research Journal.

Continued...

David Waltz said...

Continued...

>>Again I would highly recommend anyone to go and watch this debate between Samuel Green (a very active contributor to answering-islam and answeringmuslims) and Abdullah Kunde a Jewish convert to Islam over here at:

http://thegrandverbalizer19.blogspot.com/2010/01/debatethe-historical-preservation-of.html

Notice that the very issue brought up here is dealt with in this debate.

Abdullah Kunde ask Samuel Green if he could give the name of any fringe group who believed in these 'two extra surah's of the Qur'an'.

By the way Abdullah Kunde debated James White too Allah-willing I will have that debate uploaded in the near future.

I think this debate is very telling itself because the Christian is very active in forming polemic against Islam. To me his arguments fell flat. You all may have a different take on the debate and I would be interested in hearing your remarks.>>

Me: Thanks for the link GV; I will try to get to it ASAP (which will probably be Monday). Let us know when you get the other debate up…


Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

I finally had time to read Tisdall's article on the Shiite claims of the lost Surahs, and he says they are frauds; so the Shiite's don't have much actual evidence for the extra Surahs.

That is all I know about that issue. We have no way of knowing, because Uthman burned all the other Qur'ans and had a political state and force and fear of punishments to keep people in line.

I watched the Abdullah Kunde vs. Samuel Green debate. All of Kunde's points are answerable; Green simply says that Muslims need to not exaggerate in popularly saying, "there is absolutely no textual variants!" LA!"

Green is right.

There are some textual variants; as was shown. Some consonants change the meaning of words completely. More on that later.