Wednesday, April 21, 2010
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 position; 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,