Do the Shias believe in a different Quran?

The Myth of the Distortion of the Noble Quran

Only one Qur’an exists, which was revealed by Almighty Allah to the Prophet Muhammad. No additions have been made to it nor have there been any deletions, and nothing in it has been rearranged or otherwise tampered with. Allah says,

“We sent down the Book, and We are its protectors.”[1]

Unfortunately, some Muslims have the misconception that the followers of the Ahlul Bayt have a different Qur’an, yet if they were to visit the Shi‘a Masajid, homes, or Islamic centers and meet with their individuals and scholars then they would discover that this accusation has no basis.

One of the prominent Shi‘a narrators of hadith, Muhammad ibn ‘‘Ali al-Qummi al-Saduq asserts, “Our belief is that the Qur’an which descended from Allah upon His Prophet is what we find today between the two covers, and that is what the people have in their hands—no more and no less than is, and whoever attributes to us that we say other than that, is a liar.”[2] The Shi‘a were always concerned over the correct transmission of the Noble Qur’an, and when the Prophet died, Imam ‘Ali swore that he would not wear his robe except for prayers until he had gathered the entire Qur’an into one volume (mushaf).[3]

However, in some of the sahih books, some narrations assert that entire Surahs, even verses of the Noble Qur’an are missing or were lost. For example, Imam al-Bukhari narrates, “Verily, Allah sent Muhammad with the truth, and He sent down the Book upon him, and the verse of stoning was included in what was sent down to him.

We recited it, retained it in our memory, and understood it. Allah’s Messenger awarded the penalty of stoning to death (to the married adulterer and adulteress) and after him, we also awarded the penalty of stoning. I am afraid that, with the lapse of time, the people (may forget) and may say, ‘We do not find the penalty of stoning in the Book of Allah,’ and thus go astray by abandoning this duty prescribed by Allah.

Stoning is a duty laid down in the Book of Allah for married men and women who commit adultery when proof is established, or if there is pregnancy or a confession.”[4] Other narrations also erroneously indicate that there was a verse in the Noble Qur’an saying to stone the adulterers.[5]

Imam al-Bukhari also narrates from one of the companions that there was a verse in the Noble Qur’an stating that the abandoning of ancestors is kufr (disbelief);[6] but all Muslims know that no such verse in the Noble Qur’an exists.

Some other narrations, from other sources suggest that many verses of the Noble Qur’an are missing. Lady ‘A’ishah, for example, narrates that Surahtul Ahzab (33) used to have 200 verses during the time of the Prophet, but when the third caliph, ‘Uthman ibn Affan compiled the Noble Qur’an, he could only find 73 of them.[7]

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar also narrates, “No one should say, ‘I have taken (the judgment) from the entire Qur’an.’ How does he know that this is the entire Qur’an? Verily, a great deal is missing from the Qur’an.”[8] There are other claims as well which do not need to be mentioned further.

The intention here is not to pursue the issue of the false allegations of the distortion of the Noble Qur’an amongst the various schools of thought, since all the schools of thought should be respected. Yet, the point intended is that the Qur’an that the Shi‘as follow is the same Qur’an that exists everywhere in the world, and there is no other hidden Qur’an, as some people claim.

Mushaf Fatima

According to the narration of the Ahlul Bayt, when the Messenger of Allah passed away his daughter, Lady Fatima al-Zahra was in so much grief that Allah sent her an angel to console her, and that angel told her what would happen to her in the near future. She found comfort in this news, and her husband, Imam ‘Ali recorded what the angel said. These writings were gathered in a book called Mushaf Fatima.

Imam al-Sadiq says, “There is nothing unlawful or lawful in that book, but it says only what will happen in the future.”[9] Other reports say that whenever the Messenger of Allah received a revelation, he would then explain it to his daughter, and she would write it in a book which was named Mushaf Fatima. The followers of the Ahlul Bayt believe that this book is now with the last Imam – al-Mahdi – of the school of Ahlul Bayt.

Mushaf Fatima is not a Qur’an or part of the Qur’an; and the only Qur’an that the followers of the Ahlul Bayt have and fully believe in is the one which was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during his lifetime, which is available throughout the world.

[1] Noble Qur’an, 15:9; For more details, see al-Mudhaffar, Aqa’id al-Imamiyyah, 41.
[2] I‘tiqadat al-Suduq, 164
[3] al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanz al-Ummal, Vol. 3, 127
[4] Sahih al-Bukhari, “Book on Penalties”, Hadith 6327 and 6328, “Adherence to the Noble Qur’an and Sunnah”, Hadith 6778; Sahih Muslim, “Book on Penalties”, Hadith 3291; al-Tirmidhi, “Book on Penalties”, Hadith 1351 and 1352; Abu Dawud, “Book on Penalties”, Hadith 3835; ibn Majah, “Book on Penalties”, Hadith 2543; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Vol. 1, 23, 29, 36, 40, 43, 47, 50, and 55; Malik, “Book on Penalties”, Hadith 1295 and 1297; al-Darami, “Book on Penalties” Hadith 2219
[5] “Book of the Virtue of the Qur’an”, Vol. 6, 508 and Vol. 9, 212; Sunan Abu Dawud, “Book of Ahkam”
[6] Sahih al-Bukhari, “Kitab al-Fara’idh” Vol. 8, 540
[7] Suyuti, al-Itqan fi Ulum al-Qur’an, Vol. 1, 63
[8] Ibid., Vol. 3, 81
[9] al-Kulayni, al-Kafi, Kitab al-Hujjah, 240

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