I found myself chatting to some one online this evening (as you do!), who initially appeared pretty polite, generous and innocent! Not shia, but what the hell does that matter? (ah haa!! Queue the world of wahabis!!).
I hate to go on and on about them, but the fact is that this is a poisonous ideology which Muslims of all communities need to be aware of, as this is what is tearing us apart, this is where terrorism comes from, and these are the very people that are holding us back!! (yazeediet lives on!!).
I had initially spoken to this brother on Sunday, but had to rush off on account of guests visiting my home, so I came online today primarily to apologise to him and see how he was doing. I explained that I was going to ziyarat, and was very busy in preparations, meeting friends before my departure etc. He didn’t seem to know what ziyarat was, so I explained that, and said I was going to Karbala; which quickly prompted a discussion of shia and suni! The brother began by telling me that he doesn’t believe in sects (my sentiments exactly or so I thought!).
He then proceeded to send me one of the most inflammatory links I’ve ever seen! Talking about how the shia are all kafrs, that we worship Ali (A.S) (may Allah forgive him!). I did my best to keep my cool with him (not easy in such circumstances), but tried to diplomatically point out that such inflammatory views are not at all helpful in terms of trying to promote unity and harmony in our communities. After all, we are all Muslims, and a culture of understanding is what we should be aiming for at all times. I sent him some references which I keep to hand for such people, (it should be noted, that the references in his link were all produced by Pakistanis who appeared to spend their time writing against shia, rather than authentic qur’an and hadaith books!). He refused to read through the file I sent him, and insisted there were references I needed to see (ain’t seen them yet!). His “logic” for what he believed was thus:
“Shia call on Ali and Hussain allot, I prefer to follow Allah and the Prophet, rather than their kids!”.
Right!! This makes perfect sense!! After all, our beloved Prophet (PBUH), only built his sunnah and his ahlulbayte in order that they guide us to the truth, that they ease our path towards Allah (SWT) and elevate our spiritual journey! Most Muslims are united behind these views, wahabis do make up a small minority (for now!), but why, you might ask, did this upset me so much? After all, for us Shia, such things are common place; the insults, the sectarian inspired rhetoric, the degradation and vile propaganda they spread (especially in muherram), I’ve heard it all and know of friends who have witnessed worse! So why was I so sensitive to it this time? I felt my anger boil inside as I responded to him, I found it hard to keep my cool, and even as I compose this blog entry as an attempt to get it out of my system, it still burns and kills me inside! But why? What in the world drove me to get so heated and act so harshly?
Well, I guess over the past few weeks and months, you could say I’ve been pretty protected from these things. We held a conference marking the birth of Saeeda Fatimah Zahra (A.S) in the house of Lords which went wonderfully well, with participation from all faith communities, (never mind just different branches of Islam!), we then had a subsequent seminar marking the birth of Imam Ali (A.S) which was lead by the suni rather than the shia!! Here in Glasgow, we had a similar event attended by all communities last Monday, and on Friday, as you all know, I was made a director of the Scottish Islamic foundation (the first shia to do so!). Cloistered in my own little world! I’ve been cushioned from the cruel realities of wahabi venom which, whether we choose to admit it or not, is on the rise, and is damaging to all Muslims; regardless of which school of thought they belong to. What they forget is, for reverts like myself who have to battle with non-Muslim relatives on a daily basis, who do not have the knowledge or wisdom to differentiate between a shia or a fundamentalist, such daily spats become hell for us! The backward ways of the wahabi leave us struggling to justify our existence to non-Muslim parents, and in moments of solitude, mourn the connections that are being severed in our lives because of the media, not because of the faith its self!
This so-called Muslims words did make me cry, and perhaps they are even more poignant as I prepare for ziyarat, to stand on that blessed and sacred land where truth and falsehood were finally made clear for all of Humanity and all of time. Perhaps it is a lesson for me, part of the preparation, a test of patience (which I dearly wish I possessed!). Ultimately, I reiterated to the brother that I personally, have no issue at all with whatever any one chooses to believe, but at the very least, if we live and breath the air of this country we should be able to love, respect and tolerate one another, for Allah’s sake, after all, isn’t that what we claim to believe as Muslims?
Finally, just in case you have any wahabis of your own to challenge, I am pasting this article below. We wrote this article for RMA, as an attempt to put some of the most popular and the most inflammatory filth spread about the shia to rest! Insha Allah, you will find it useful.
Surely We have revealed the Reminder (Qur'an) and
We most surely are its Guardian.
(Qur'an: Chapter 15, Verse 9)
Do the Shi'ah Believe in
a Different Qur'an?
The Shi'ah are frequently accused of belief in Tahrif in Qur'an which means believing that the Qur'an has been tampered with and is not the same as the
one revealed to the Prophet (s).
THIS IS not true !!!
All great Twelver Shi'ah scholars from the earliest period to the present century have believed in the complete preservation of the Qur'an. Some famous
early Shi'ah scholars who have clearly stated this belief in their books include:
q Shaykh al-Saduq (d. 381 AH), Kitabu'l-Itiqadat, (Tehran, 1370) p. 63.
q Shaykh al-Mufid (d. 413 AH), Awa'ilu l-Maqalat, pp. 55-6;
q Sharif al-Murtada (d. 436 AH), Bahru 'l-Fawa'id (Tehran, 1314) p. 69;
q Shaykh at-Tusi (d. 460 AH), Tafsir at-Tibyan, (Najaf, 1376), vol 1 p. 3;
q Shaykh at-Tabrasi (d. 548), Majma'u 'l-Bayan, (Lebanon), vol. 1 p. 15.
Some of the later scholars who spelt out the same views include:
q Muhammad Muhsin al-Fayd al-Kashani (d. 1019 AH), Al-Wafi, vol. 1 pp. 273-4, and al-'Asfa fi Tafsir al-Qur'an, p. 348;
q Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi (d. 1111 AH), Bihar al-'Anwar, vol. 89 p. 75
This belief has continued uninterrupted up to the present time. Shi'ah scholars of this century who have reiterated the belief that the Qur'an is completely
protected and unchanged include such famous names as Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin al-'Amili (d. 1371 AH); Sayyid Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi (d. 1377 AH.); Shaykh
Muhammad Husayn Kashif al-Ghita' (d. 1373 AH); Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim (d. 1390 AH); 'Allamah al-Tabataba'i (d. 1402 AH); Sayyid Ruhullah al-Khumayni (d.
1409 AH); Sayyid Abu al-Qasim al-Khu'i (d. 1413 AH) and Sayyid Muhammad Rida al-Gulpaygani (d. 1414 AH).
This, of course, is not an exhaustive list.
Q: But what about the Shi'ah before these scholars, didn't they all believe in tahrif?
Not at all! Consider the example of 'Ubaydullah b. Musa al-'Absi (120-213 AH), a devoted Shi'ah scholar whose narrations from the Imams can be found in
the famous Shi'ah hadith collections such as al-Tahdhib and al-Istibsar. Now let's see what some Sunni scholars have to say about him:
q "... a pious person, one of the important Shi'ah scholars ... he was considered reliable by Yahya b. Ma'in, Abu Hatim said he was reliable, trustworthy
... al-'Ijli said that he was an authority on the Qur'an..."
[Al-Dhahabi, Tadhkirat al-Huffaz (Haydarabad, 1333 AH), vol. 1 p. 322]
q "... he was an imam in fiqh and hadith and Qur'an characterized by piety and righteousness, but he was one of the chiefs of the Shi'ah."
[Ibn al-'Imad al-Hanbali, Shadharat al-Dhahab (Cairo, 1350 AH), vol. 2 p. 29]
None of these Sunni scholars would have praised him for his knowledge of the Qur'an if they thought he believed in a different Qur'an!!!
And 'Ubaydullah was considered so trustworthy, despite being a Shi'ah, that the famous Sunni traditionists al-Bukhari and Muslim as well as many others
narrated scores of traditions from him in their hadith collections!
[The Creed of the Imaam of Hadeeth al-Bukhari (Salafi Publications, UK, 1997), pp. 87-89]
Q: Don't the Shi'ah believe in Mushaf Fatimah which is three times the size of the Qur'an?
The Qur'an is a Mushaf (book), but any book is not necessarily the Qur'an! There is no Qur'an of Fatimah! Mushaf Fatimah was a book written or dictated
by Fatimah (a) after the Prophet's (s) death. It is not a part of Qur'an and has nothing to do with Allah's commandments or legal rulings.
Q: But are there not traditions in Shi'ah collections that mention verses of the Qur'an containing extra words than what we have today?
There are some instances where extra words are indicated only by way of explanation, they do not imply that the original Qur'anic text is being distorted.
This happens in both Shi'ah and Sunni sources. Consider the following two examples, both from famous Sunni commentaries of the Qur'an:
q "Ubayy b. Ka'b used to read '… then as to those whom you profit by for an appointed period give them their dowries as appointed…' (Qur'an Chapter
4, Verse 24) and this was also the recitation of Ibn 'Abbas."
[Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, Mafatih al-Ghayb (Beirut, 1981), vol. 9 p. 53]
[Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur'an al-'Azim (Beirut, 1987), vol. 2 p. 244]
A footnote in Ibn Kathir's Tafsir explains that the additional words indicated above, which are not part of the Qur'an, were recited by these Companions
of the Prophet (s) only by way of tafsir and explanation.
q "Ibn Mas'ud said: In the days of the Prophet (s) we used to recite, 'O our Messenger (Muhammad) deliver what has been sent down to you from your
Lord that 'Ali is the master of the believers if you do not, then you have not delivered His message.' (Qur'an Chapter 5, Verse 67)
[Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, Durr al-Manthur, vol. 2 p. 298]
In this case as well, the part in italics is certainly not part of the Qur'anic text, however the Companion Ibn Mas'ud used to recite it in this way to
explain the context of its revelation.
Q: But what about those traditions that say a number of revealed verses are no longer part of the Qur'an?
The Shi'ah do not believe in the immunity of any writer, commentator or narrator from mistakes, and, therefore, they do not take any collection of hadith
to be completely valid and correct. The only book which is completely immune from any mistake is the Qur'an. These traditions are mostly considered as
weak or interpreted as referring to non-Qur'anic revelation.
q 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
Qur'an are missing. [Al-Bukhari, Al-Sahih, vol. 8 p. 208; Muslim, Al-Sahih, vol. 3 p. 1317]
q Not only that, these Sunni reports allege that two chapters from the Qur'an are missing with one of them similar to the Chapter of al-Bara'ah (chapter
9) in length!!! [Muslim, Al-Sahih, Kitab al-Zakat, vol. 2 p. 726]
q Some Sunni traditions even claim that the Chapter al-Ahzab (chapter 33) was as lengthy as the Chapter of al-Baqarah (chapter 2)!!! The Chapter of
al-Baqarah is the biggest Chapter of the Qur'an. The traditions in Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim even detail some of the missing verses. [Al-Bukhari, Al-Sahih,
vol. 8 p. 208]
Yet, fortunately the Shi'ah never accuse the Sunni brothers and sisters of believing that the Quran is incomplete. We say that either these Sunni reports
are weak or fabricated.
"It is our belief that the Qur'an which Allah revealed to His Prophet Muhammad (s) is (the same as) the one between the two covers (daffatayn). And it
is that which is in the hands of the people, and is not greater in extent than that… And he who asserts that we say that it is greater in extent than this
(the present text) is a liar."
[As-Saduq, Kitabu'l-I`tiqadat (Tehran: 1370 AH) p. 63; English translation, The Shi'ite Creed, tr. A.A.A. Fyzee (Calcutta: 1942) p. 85]
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