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Beating Wife / Getting married without permission of parents

Question 602: Salaam! I’m a 20 years girl married to a Shia (I’m Sunni). When I married him I was married to a Christian (I’m a revert). There was not a sheikh, no witnesses and no Wali for me. My family doesn’t know about marriage. What is the ruling on getting married without permission of parents? This man started to beat me every day. Is this marriage valid?

Answer 602: According to the Shia point of view, the baligh virgin girl who can distinguish between what is to her benefit and what isn’t, must get her father’s or paternal grandfather’s (in the case of not having a father) permission if she wants to get married. In the case of her father or paternal grandfather not being present in a way that she can’t get their permission, and her having the need of getting married, their permission will no longer be a condition. [1] The same goes for the woman who isn’t a virgin; she doesn’t need to get permission either, if her virginity was lost to a previous husband. In the case of her virginity being lost by a mistaken intercourse, or even adultery, it is a mustahabb precaution to get permission if possible (which means it is better, although it still isn’t a condition and isn’t wajib).[2]

Therefore, if you have already got married and your virginity was lost to the previous husband, you don’t need to get your parents’ permission. And if you recited the marriage contract your marriage with him (Shia man) is valid.

Note: There is no problem for a Shia man to marry a Sunni woman, but if he fears to be misguided by her, it is not permissible for him to do so. [3]

The necessity of wife’s obedience to her husband is restricted to conjugal matters and the husband does not have the right to force her to do the washing up, cleaning, cooking and the likes.

The problems concerning household chores should be solved through understanding, sincerity, cooperation, sacrifice and selflessness of both husband and wife. Therefore, the husband even does not have the right to reprimand or rebuke his wife for not doing these jobs what to speak of bullying and beating her.

The man should know that he has not brought home a maidservant or a slave woman; rather he has brought home a partner, colleague, friend and helper, one whom he can expect to be available for sexual pleasures only.

Therefore, beating is not the act that Islam has allowed it without any condition. However, we don’t know the reason which is behind why your husband beats you every day!

So, try all your best to understand each other by providing a situation and condition in which both of you can discuss about your marriage and even the reason which is behind beating you.

It should be noted that according to the teachings of Islam and the tradition of great role models of our religion the atmosphere shadowing over a marital life at home must be full of intimacy and friendship as opposed to selfishness, self-centeredness and arrogance. If a wife and husband are friends with each other, most of the issues which pose themselves as predicaments will be easily resolved.

But, if you have already discussed with him about such issues and he wouldn’t like to leave his bad actions and there is no logical and canonical reasons behind them, try to convince him visit a professional psychologist or an Islamic scholar.

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Permissibility of getting Divorce when your partner has lied, answer 295.

Index: Essential Requirements of a Successful Marriage in Islam, answer 515.

 Index:  Rules regarding temporary or permanent marriage with people of the book, answer 080.

May your life be filled with health, joy, love and happiness!

[1]. Tawdihul-Masa’ele Maraje’, vol. 2, Pg. 387, issue 2376.

[2]. Ibid, vol. 2, Pgs. 458-459.

[3]. Ayatullah Vahid, Minhajul-Salehin, vol.3, issue 1298; Ayatullah Tabrizi, Minhajul-Salehin, vol.2, issue 1298; Ayatulah Nouri, Istifta’at, vol.1, question 668; Ayatullah Safi, Hidayatul-Ibad, vol.2, Al-Qawl fil Kufr; Imam Khomeini, Tahrirul-Wasilah, vol.2, Al-Qawl fil Kufr, Ayatullah Khamenei (istifta’), question 16 and 143; Ayatullah Makarem, Istifta’at, vol.1, question 708; Ayatullah Sistani, Minhajul-Salehin, vol.2, issue 215; The office of Ayatullah Fazel and Ayatullah Bahjat (narrated by Porseman).

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Can Sunnis Go To Heaven / Types of Non-Muslims

Question 317: Guys, I am Al-Sunni, Will I go to Jannat? Generally, can Sunnis Go To Heaven?

Answer 317: Those who weren’t Muslim can be divided into two categories:

1- The infidels and rejecters of faith: Those who knew Islam was the true religion, yet refused to accept it out of negligence and other personal reasons. This group deserve to go to Hell and remain there forever.

2- Those who never heard of Islam or what they heard of was a small part of it, making it resemble other religions that they knew were false. Such people will be saved given they were sincere in their own religions.

Islam says these people will have a chance if they had followed their own religions; religions that were in harmony with their human nature.

The same things that were said go for those who were Muslim, but didn’t hear about Imam Ali (as) or heard very little.
In a nutshell, all of those whom the truth hasn’t reached not as a result of shortcoming and not striving for the truth, don’t deserve to go to Hell, because it is the place for the sinners, and those who tried but never found the truth aren’t considered sinners and negligent.

The criterion for going to Paradise and Hell, according to the Quran, are a person’s deeds. A person’s individual profile shall not be taken into consideration because there must be a difference between one who is wholeheartedly believing in Islam and one who is just accepting it. God, the Exalted, says to those who claim to be believing Muslims: “Say, We submit; and faith has not yet entered into your hearts.”

Reciting the Two Testimonies (Shahaadatayn) makes a person Muslim; he enters the pale of Islam by reciting them. That is to say, the two testimonies have something to do with the aspects of his worldly, legal and social life. One who converts to Islam enjoys certain rights which a non-Muslim does not. However, being entitled to Paradise is something beyond this. That is to say, in order for a person to enter Paradise, not only submission to God is necessary but hearty belief and good deeds are also required. That is to say practical backing is essential for gaining divine reward.

Conclusively, if a person is not up to the standards and criteria for going to Paradise as mentioned in the Quran, mere qualification by the term Shia or Islam would not save him from divine punishment or entering Hell.

In conclusion, we must say that man’s deeds have been considered to be the criterion for entering Paradise. Nominal Shi’ism or Islamic identifications do not save a person from Hell fire. Hence, based on Quranic verses and sayings from the Infallible Imams, peace be upon them, Muslims and Shias who do not act upon God’s injunctions and who do not stay away from prohibitions and have not fulfilled His commands will be deprived of divine mercy and blessings and will be subjected to punishment in Hell. When it comes to whether the punishments are eternal or not or what the nature of the rewards and punishments is and how intercession works, all of these should be discussed in their appropriate place.

At the end, it should be noted that our answer to the question does not mean that being Shia has no role in one’s entering the Paradise and that whoever does good deeds, be he a non-Shia, will be entitled to Paradise. Because we believe that thought and good deeds are both important and they are like two wings with which an individual flies to eternal felicity and happiness.[1]

Paradise is an indisputable vow of Allah (swt).[2] The question is, who are those who will go to paradise? Considering the collection of verses on this matter, the answer is[3] meaning that there is one condition and that is being a “Mumin” [believer]. Another question comes to mind; who are the believers and what are their traits? Is it enough to recite the Shahaadatayn to be a believer?[4] Those who go to heaven are those who have completely obeyed Allah (swt) and His messenger (pbuh). How is one to obey them? Once again, taking into consideration the verses on this issue, the things that Allah (swt) and His messenger want from us can be summed up into two categories: beliefs and actions.[5] (Indeed those who have faith and do righteous deeds, for them will be gardens with streams running in them).

So:
– As long as we don’t obey the prophet (pbuh), we aren’t considered obedient.

– Obedience is both in action and in belief

– Obeying the prophet (pbuh) in some of what he has asked us to do isn’t considered true complete obedience!

What is the outcome of faith and good deeds?

According to the Quran, the fruit of these two is “taqwa” (piety), and those who are pious will enter paradise for sure:[6]

Conclusion of what was said till now: The essence of salvation is taqwa which means to completely obey all of Allah’s (swt) and His messenger’s (pbuh) commands.

Although taqwa has different degrees, the least needed to possess it is to perform all wajib duties and refrain from all sins. So a prerequisite to taqwa would be to learn about what things are wajib and what things are forbidden and haram in Islam so that we can perform and refrain from them respectfully.

One of the prophet’s (pbuh) most important commands is to know and obey his true successors (imams).[7] Clearly, anyone who doesn’t believe in them verbally, in the heart and in his/her actions, cannot be considered a true believer and righteous person and lacks taqwa, because he hasn’t obeyed the prophet (pbuh) in one of the most important things he has asked us to do.

Significant Point: According to verse 59 of surah Nisa, obeying “those vested with authority” is obligatory, to the extent that obeying them has been considered equal to obeying Allah (swt) and their disobedience, His disobedience. What needs to be mentioned here is that they must be infallible, making them invulnerable to any form of sin and even mistake. It isn’t true to say that anyone who becomes ruler of the Muslim nation, falls under the category of “those vested with authority”, because if those vested with authority weren’t to be infallible, there would always be chances of their commands not being in correspondence with Allah’s (swt) and His messenger’s (pbuh), hence the discrepancy between the order of obeying Allah (swt) and obeying those vested with authority [for instance, if the imams were mistakenly to say something isn’t mandatory, while Allah (swt) says it is, there is clear contradiction between saying both Allah (swt) and they have to be obeyed; it is impossible!].
Now that we have spoken about how believing in the imams plays a role in our salvation [which was that since it is obedience of one of the prophet’s (pbuh) most important commands, it is part of taqwa], it is good to speak a bit about what role the imams play in the salvation of people and society and in whether one will go to heaven or hell.[8]

The impact of believing in the imam on one’s salvation: Keeping in mind what was said above, here we will speak of the concept of salvation and success; what it is in this world and the next and the role belief in the imam plays in bringing salvation.

  1. a) The concept of salvation: Each and every person has his/her own perception of salvation and happiness, but it seems this variety in views isn’t to the benefit of those who are in pursuit of the truth. So it’s better to seek the true meaning from that who is to divide all people into the two groups of those who have reached salvation and those who don’t and are at loss.
    When Allah (swt) wants to describe one of His successful servants, Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh), this is how He does it:[9] (And verily, Ibrahim was a true follower Of Nuh; He came towards his Creator and Nurturer With a pure heart). He also quotes him saying:

“Do not disgrace me on the day that they will be resurrected; the day when neither wealth nor children will avail; except him who comes to Allah with a pure heart”. [10]

As you can see, a pure heart has been emphasized in these verses. What can be deduced is that one reaches salvation when he/she lives in a way that when the time to part this world and meet Allah (swt) arrives, he/she has a pure heart.
What is interesting is that after verse 89 of surah Shu’ara [that says “except him who comes to Allah (swt) with a pure heart], the verse comes, which means: “[And on the Day of Judgement] Paradise is drawn near to the muttaqin or pious people”. The message this verse conveys is that the outcome of having a pure heart is to have taqwa, and that paradise is the reward of those who bear taqwa.

Conclusion: Happiness and salvation are contingent upon having a pure heart, and a sign if having it is taqwa. The person who has truly reached salvation is one who possesses a pure heart.

  1. b) The role believing in an imam plays in one reaching salvation: Many Sunni and Shia scholars have narrated the following hadith; a portion of it will be narrated here:

The prophet (pbuh) told Ali (as): “Prophet Musa’s (pbuh) nation was split into seventy-one sects in which only one of those sects was delivered while all the others would go to Hell; Prophet Isa’s (pbuh) nation was split into seventy-two groups in which only one of them was delivered and the rest all companions of the Hellfire; my nation will also be split into seventy-three groups in which only one of them will be delivered, while the rest will all go to Hell. Imam Ali (as) asked: “O Messenger of Allah (swt)! Which of them is to be delivered?” He answered: “Those who go your way and the way of your followers and embrace it.”[11]

Baridah Aslami [whom the Sunnis believe to be one of the prophet’s (pbuh) companions] quotes the prophet (pbuh) saying that what is meant by “the straight path” in surah Fatihah that says “guide us to the straight path” is Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his progeny.[12]

The prophet (pbuh) has said: “Whoever wishes to swiftly pass “the bridge of sirat” [on the Day of Judgment] like a typhoon and enter paradise without any reckoning, has to accept my friend, successor, companion and the one to take my place after me over my progeny, Ali ibn Abi Taleb.” If anyone desires to go to Hell, then he should: “disregard his [Ali’s (as)] authority, for by my lord’s glory and magnificence, he [Ali (as)] is the only door to Allah (swt) and the straight path and the one whose authority and imamate will be asked of on the Day of Judgment [from the rest of the people].”[13]

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Jannatul Firdaus (Garden of Paradise) is the paradise which God has made of gold and silver, answer 338.

Index: Barzakh / Everyone Shall Enter the Hell, answer 326.

Index: Rest, Rain and Snow in the Heaven, answer 325.

[1] . Hujraat, 14.

[2]  . “مثل الجنة التی وعد المتقون” Muhammad: 47.

[3] . Tawbah: 72.

[4] . Nisa’:13.

[5] . Buruj:11.

[6] . Ale-Imran:15.

[7] . Nisa’:59; Shura:23; Al-Mustadrak alal-Sahihain, vol. 3, pg. 109.

[8] . Of course, the subject of the need of people for an imam is one that calls for an extensive discussion, in which isn’t the theme of this article.

[9] . Saffat:83-84.

[10] . Shu’ara:87-89.

[11] . Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyeezil-Sahabah, vol. 2, pg. 174.

[12] . Sayyid Shahabuddin Shafe’I, Rashfatul-Sadi, pg. 25; Sheikh Salman Hanafi, Yanabi’ul-Mawaddah, pg. 114.

[13] . Haskani, Shawahidul-Tanzil, vol. 1, pp. 51 and 90.

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The differences and similarities between Shia and Sunni

Question 187: What is the difference and similarities between (Shia and Sunni) the Ahlul Sunnah and Ahlulbayt (as) followers?

Answer 187: The discussion concerning such a topic is very extensive and this answer cannot incorporate all the details. We shall briefly mention, in two stages (e.g. beliefs and laws), those of the Shiite views which are opposed by Sunnis or a group of them:

  1. A) Beliefs and Tenets of Shiite Religion:
  2. Although Tawhid (oneness of God) is a principle common between the Shiite and Sunnit schools of thought, Shia believes that God’s attributes are the same as His Essence.
  3. According to Shia, God cannot be seen in this world nor can He be seen in the Hereafter.
  4. Unlike the Sunnis, Shia holds that it is not permissible on God’s part to punish an obedient and give rewards to a sinner.
  5. Shia does not believe in determinism and compulsion.
  6. The most important Shiite belief is the belief in Imamat. Shia holds that Imamat is a part of the fundamentals of faith and the successor of the Prophet must be inerrant and infallible and it is precisely because of infallibility, which is known by none other than God, that the imam (leader) after the Prophet should be appointed by God and that the Islamic governments should lead to Wilayah.

  7. Obeying an oppressive and unjust sovereign is not permissible according to Shia.
  8. Shia believes that Ahlulbayt in verse 33 of Chapter al-Ahzab refers to Fatima (daughter of the Holy Prophet (pbuh)) and the pure Imams (a.s.).
  9. Shia is of the view that the prophets are infallible. They do not commit any sin, whether capital or minor.
  10. Bada, Raj’at (return) and intercession are also some of the Shiite beliefs.
  11. Shia does not consider all the companions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) as just. There were different types of people amongst the companions. Some were just and some were hypocrites. Their fatwa (verdict) are not authoritative and valid for anyone.
  12. B) Laws:
  13. Taqiyah (dissimulation) is permissible according to Shia.
  14. Mut’ah (Fixed-time marriage) is permissible according to Shiite viewpoint.
  15. The gate of Ijtihad is open according to Shia.
  16. Shia does not accept ta’sib and awl in inheritance.

Note: The principle of ‘awl (proportionate reduction) is applied by Sunni jurists when the estate of the deceased is ‘oversubscribed’ by Quranic heirs. Ta’sib is applied by Sunni jurisprudence to give priority to male agnates as heirs, and this results in many mathematical complexities in their system of inheritance. The only really significant difference between the Shi’ah and Sunni schools of jurisprudence in the laws of inheritance concerns the principles of “‘awl” and “ta’sib”. The Imamiyah jurisprudents have proved by means of ahadith from the Ahlu ‘l-bayt (a.s.) that there is no ‘awl or ta’sib in the matter of inheritance. This was also the opinion held by the great companions of the Holy Prophet. The well-known statement of Ibn ‘Abbas in which he speaks against ‘awl and ta’sib can be taken as authoritative. There are also other grounds of proof for negating these two principles.[1]

  1. According to Shia, combining between two prayers is permissible.
  2. “Hayya ‘ala Khayril ‘Amal” (Hasten to the best acts) is a part of the Adhan.
  3. It is permissible to visit the Infallible Imams’ graves (we believe that not only visiting graves is not shirk (idolatrous) but it is very much a monotheistic act and there is a lot of reward in it.).

For further explanation, you can refer to some books written in this regard including: Al-Jawame’ wal-Fawareq bayn al-Sunnah wa al-Shia by Muhammad Jawad Mughniyah; Ma’a al-Shia al-Imamiyah fi Aqaedehim, by Ayatollah Ja’far Subhani, Islamic Beliefs in the Light of the School of Ahlalbayt by Ayatollah Ja’far Subhani.[2]

[1] . For further information in this regards, please refer to: Khums: Rules concerning Awl and Ta’sib, answer 324.

[2] . Adopted from IQ (with a few changes has been made on).

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Date of Construction of the holy Shrine of the Infallible Imams (pbuth)

Question 029: How were the great constructions of the holy shrine built around the dead Imams (as) during the time of the caliphs when the Shia were oppressed? Did the caliphs who opposed the building of the shrines not destroy them? The Sunni Caliphs opposed Shia Muslims building Shrine over the Imams’ (a.s) graves and destroyed any shrine they built, but the followers of Ahlul Bayt (a.s) didn’t retreated and then they tried all their best and despite the dangerous situation obtained there, they have been built shrines for the Imams’ (a.s) graves.

Answer 029: Constructing a Mosque, dome or even putting a few stones over graves was a Sunna among people of the time of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and the Infallible Imams (pbuth).

When Lady Fatimah bint Asad (a.s) passed away, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) buried her in a mosque where it is known as the grave of Fatimah.[1] During the time of Treaty of Hudaibiya, a mosque were built over the grave of Abu Basir by Abu Jandal and when the Holy Prophet (saws) realized He didn’t prohibit this action.[2]

The Holy Prophet’s (saws) shrine was built by the companions and it has been expanded and rebuilt by the caliphs and Muslims. E.g. Umar ibn Al-Khattab built a wall around the grave of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), Al-Walid ibn Abd al-Malik destroyed the Holy Prophet’s (saws) house in order to rebuild it and expand His holy shrine.[3] None of Muslims and Caliphs on that time protest against these constructions over the graves of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and others like Safiya bint Abdul Motallib, Umm Salam, Umm Habibah, Aqil, Abraham.[4]

During the second and even third century of the Hegira, none of Shia and Sunni great scholars on that time have protested against these construction over the graves. This means, it was not consider as Shirk among them. Many constructions and mosques have been built over the graves of Talha, Zubair, Salamn Farsi, Sa’dat bin Ebada, Ma’az bin Jabal, Aqaba bin Amer, Muhammad bin Abi Bakr and his sister Asma, Ibn Zubair, Abi al-Hasan Deenwari the great Egyptian scholar, Anas bin Malik, Sahl bin Abdullah Tostari and etc.  There had been built domes over the graves of many of Sunni Leaders, Abu Hanifah, Muhammad bin Idris, Ahmad bin Hanbal and etc. during the Late Third Century, Early Fourth Century.[5]

The Holy Shrine of Imam Ali (as) had been built by Harun al-Rashid during the Second Century of Hegira. (Mufid, al-Irshad, Pg. 19.)

The first Holy Shrine of Imam Hussain (as) had been built by Mukhtar al-Thaqafi.[6]

The graves of those Imams (pbuh) buried in Baqī’ were rebuilt by Majdul Malik’s order during the Fifth Century of Hegira. It was rebuilt again and again by the Caliphs.[7]

But, during the Seventh Century of Hegira, Wahhabis have been destroying the Holy Shrines of our Infallible Imams (pbuth), according to the Fatwa of Ibn Teimiya and His student Muhammad bin Abi Bakr Ibn Qayyim.[8]

The first Holy Shrine they had destroyed was the Holy Shrine of Imam Hussain (as), then destroyed domes of the holy shrines of the Imams of Baqi (pbuth).[9]

We can come to the conclusion that building any edifices around their graves is like building a mosque over the graves of the Companions of the Cave and a  place deemed to be for worshippers. The facilities existing around or near the shrines are meant for the convenience of the pilgrims or they are symbols of Islamic art and they are manifestations of negative things in connection with graves. Therefore, they cannot be considered as invalid and unacceptable from legal or religious perspective.  It is prudent to mention that a similar situation which is the demand of the moment can be seen with some holy sites in the Two Holy Sanctuaries with structures and edifices being made.  For instance:

  1. Despite the fact that according to Shia and Sunni traditions, worshipping on Mount Safa has a lot of reward, today a fence has been built around it to protect it and a also a tomb has been erected on top of it. The pilgrims of the House of Allah can stand only near the rails and engage in praying. Moreover, the ritual of Sa’y between Safa and Marwa which used to be performed on an open ground is now performed on different floors or levels with ceilings. The reason is the increasing number of pilgrims performing hajj rituals each year.
  2. It is necessary to observe the respect and sanctity of Ka’aba under any circumstances to the extent that according to some narrations, building any structures or buildings higher than the Ka’aba is considered to be abominable (makrooh)[10] but today there are buildings, towers and skyscrapers many times higher than the Ka’abah. Certainly, the need of pilgrims of the House of Allah is the only justification presented in this regard.[11]

Now our question is that is it not possible to create, under these justifications, accommodations and build a roofed facility for pilgrims who face a lot of difficulties while performing pilgrimage?  If building a tomb over Safa and Marwa mountains is not a sign of shirk (act of worshipping something other than the One God), how can the same tomb on top of the graves of the noble servants of God be a sign of shirk?

In closing, the reader is advised to take notice of narration cited from Sahih Bukhari. The narrator quotes Sufyan Tammar as saying, “I saw the grave of the Prophet (S) like a hump of camel (something like a small tomb).”[12]

When the population of Muslims was small and the graves had been built in such a way that they looked like small tombs, what would be the problem, if a bigger tomb is built in the present time when Muslim population has grown manifold?

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following references:

– Vafa al-Vafa, Vol. 3, Pg. 3.

– al-Maghazi; adopted from A’alam –al-Rake al-Sajed, Vol. Pg. 17.

– Kashf ul-Ertiyab, Pg. 314, Vafa al-Vafa, VBol. 2, Pg. 109.

Ibid, Pgs. 316-317.

– Siyanat al-A’thar, Pgs. 79-80.

[1] . Ali bin Ahmad al-Samhudi, Vol. 3, Pg. 3

[2] . Al-Maghazi, Vol. 1, Pg. 17

[3] . Amin, Pgs. 313-316&317; Ali bin Ahmad al-Samhudi, Vol. Vol. 2, Pg. 109.

[4] . Sobhani, Siyanatul A’thar, Pgs. 79&80.

[5] . Ibn Jawzi, Vol. 16, Pg. 100; Ibn Batuta, Vol. 1, Pg. 172; Ibn Batuta, Vol. 1, Pgs. 65-26-173.

[6] . Khalili, Vol. 8, Pg. 182.

[7] . Ibn Athir, Vol. 8, Pg. 214.

[8] . Ibn Taemiya, Eqtidha al-Sirat al-Mustaqeem, Pgs. 184-187; Ibn Qayyim, Pg. 504.

[9] . Amin, Pgs. 287-288.

[10]. Hurr Amili, Muhammad bin Al-Hasan, Wasail al-Shi’ah, vol.13, p. 235, chap. 17, Aalulbayt Institution, Qom, 1409 A.H.

[11] .Ibid.

[12]. Sahih Bukhari, vol.2, p. 106, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut, 1401 A.H.

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Completeness and Immunity of the Holy Quran to Distortion according to Shia

Question 294: As Salam O Alaikum, What are the views of classical Shia scholars like Shaykh Mufeed, Shaykh Tusi, Baqir Majlisi, Mulla Nouri Tabrisi & Al Ayyashi on the Completeness and Immunity of the Holy Quran to Distortion? Do we carry the same Qur’an as it was revealed or additions and depletions have been made to it, what are the views of the above mentioned scholars on it?? (Save the views of Shaykh Sudooq)

 

Answer 294: According to Sheikh Sadouq and Mufid (ra), the Quran that is in our hand is the holy Quran has been sent down to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) by Allah, the Almighty. Those who attribute the alternation, any addition to us (Shia) are a liar.[1]

Allamah Muhammad Hussein Tabatabai says under verse 9 of Surah Al-Hijr [«انا نحن نزلنا الذكر و انا له لحافظون»] the features which have been mentioned for the Quran such as eloquence, expressiveness, coherence and the miraculous nature of the Quranic verses entirely exist in the present Quran which we have possession of. He has concluded that this Quran is the very same Quran which was known during the Apostle of God (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him). “We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)”.[2]

We would like to draw your attention to two Shia and Sunni hadiths regarding this issue:

1- Sufyan ibn Samt narrates that he asked Imam Sadeq (as) about the differences in recitation of the Quran. He said to recite the Quran as we have been taught [and like everyone else].[3]

2- Ibn Masoud, one of the prophet’s (pbuh) companions says: “I have heard the Quran being recited from different reciters and [despite their differences] they were all similar and of the same meaning. Therefore, refrain from disputing about this issue with each other. Truly, some of the differences that can be found are like when we use different words like “هلم” “تعال”and “اقبل” with the same meaning [they all convey the same meaning].[4]
Therefore, we must say that according to most Islamic scholars, no verses have been added to the Quran nor omitted, and if sometimes some individuals from either sect believe that some alteration has occurred, it in no way affects the authenticity of the Quran in its entirety and the belief can’t be related to the school of thought as a whole.

Allamah Tabarsi (ra), the great interpreter of the holy Quran said: No verses have been added to the Quran nor omitted. In Majma al-Bayan he also said under the verse 9 of Surah Al-Hijr: Although, a group of Imamiyyah and Jama’at of Hashviyyah[5] said that the holy Quran has been altered in a way that some verses have been added or omitted, but the correct opinion of Imamiyyah is against this idea. Furthermore, Sayyid Murtadha (ra) supported the idea that no verses have been added nor omitted.[6]

But, according to Sheikh Mirza Hussain bin Muhammad Taqi bin Ali Muhammad Noori Tabarsi known as Muhaddith Noori and haji Norri, one of the Shia Muhaddith (refers to a specialist who intensely knows and narrates hadith) in 14th century, no verses of the holy Quran have been added but a few verses have been omitted before the collection of the holy Quran due to some reasons. In this regards, he wrote a book called Faslul Khitab that many Shia and Sunni scholars protested against this book. As a result, Mirza Hussain Noori severely regretted writing the book.[7]

Q: How can we prove that the Holy Quran has not been distorted and altered throughout the centuries?

A: First of all we should know that t he distortion of Religious texts and scriptures has been common among most religions and one of the main reasons new prophets were sent to people was to provide a corrective for the previous altered religions.[8]  But Islam, as the Seal of Religions, has been protected from any potential distortion and falsification.

This question can be answered in different ways depending on the individual who has posed the question. It can be answered from a Muslim perspective (using Quranic verses and traditions) and a non-Muslim one (using intellectual and logical argumentation and reasoning). Here we will answer the question from a non-Muslim perspective and won’t touch on the many Quranic verses and traditions from the infallibles that clearly prove its immunity.

First: The Quran’s Eejaz (Miracle) 

Allameh Tabatabei argues that the Quran cannot have undergone distortion due to its I’jaz (its miraculousness).  In this respect he says: “It is a historical fact that 14 centuries ago a Prophet named Muhammad arose and brought a book named the Quran that was his miracle for all times.  The Quran was revealed with certain qualities that made it significant among other books and challenged all Arabs to bring anything like it.  It is also historically certain that none of the prophet’s adversaries were able to bring a chapter, even the size of the smallest chapters, that would resemble the Quran with its special qualities.

The current Quran that we have still has those qualities like its beautiful rhythm and eloquence, the harmony of the verses, prophecies of future events, etc.  In other words this Quran has the features of the Quran that was revealed 14 centuries ago and not one person has been able to bring a chapter similar to its chapters.  This proves that it has not been distorted or falsified for if it was, it would not have maintained the same qualities.[9]

There is no doubt that if it was possible to bring even one chapter similar to the Quranic chapters the disbelievers that were contemporary with the prophet and were and are known to be the most learned in Arabic literature would have done so, because not only did the disbelievers use every single method to defeat Islam and the Prophet but the Quran itself had challenged them to do so.  This way they could defeat the prophet and deny his prophethood so much easier without going through the trouble of going to war with him.  Obviously they tried their best but it was useless, for Allah says in the Quran: “Say,” Should all humans and jinn rally to bring the like of this Qur’an, they will not bring the like of it, even if they assisted one another.”[10]

Another challenge that the Quran has made is that no contradictions can be found in the various verses of the Quran.  In this regard Allah says: “Do they not ponder about the Qur’an? Had it been from other than Allah, Surely they would have found therein so many contradictions”.[11]  There are no contradictions among the Quranic verses we read today.[12]

Also, the current Quran also has all the other qualities that the Quran had 14 centuries ago like prophets’ stories, marvelous and valuable truths, prophecies, etc.[13]

Second Reason:

This reason is made up of several premises:

1- A revealed religion is a set of beliefs and rules that are revealed to a prophet by God for the guidance of the people.

2- All religions (except for the Seal of Religions), depending on the needs of their time, have partially brought some of the beliefs and rules of the Complete Religion for the people of their time .

3- The reason for having many religions, in addition to bringing new rules from the complete religion, is so that previous distorted ones can be corrected.

4- In order for the last prophet to rise and call the people to the Seal of Religions; firstly, the last religion must be utterly comprehensive leaving out no paths that would lead one to God, and secondly, the last religion must be protected from all forms of distortion. If any of these two elements are lacked in a religion, the mind will not accept it to be the seal of religions.

In this light one can conclude that “the Seal of Religions is immune to distortion”[14], and this means that the book of this religion cannot be altered as well, because the book of a religion consists of most of its rulings and teachings and protecting a religion from distortion without protecting its book makes no sense.[15]

So till here what was proven is that the book of the Seal of Religions will be protected from change, now we will combine this fact with the two other statements (first: The Quran is the Book of Islam, second: Islam is the Seal of Religions) to conclude that the Quran has never been altered or distorted.[16]

Once we accept that Prophet Muhammad was the Seal of Prophets and that his religion was the last religion sent down to humankind until the end of the world we must admit that Allah will always protect Islam and keep it from being changed.  How can the distortion of the Quran be consistent with the fact that Islam will stay alive till the end of the world?

Third Reason:

Knowing that the Quran meant everything to Muslims throughout time and that they used it as their constitutional law and the rules by which they lived and worshipped Allah, there was no period of history wherein the Quran could have been altered without other noticing.

The Quran was the book that early Muslims would recite in their prayers, mosques, houses and wars when confronting the unbelievers to prove that Islam was the true religion to live by.  Islamic history shows that in some cases men would set teaching their brides the Quran as their “Mehr” (dowry).

Generally speaking at that time the only book which was spoken about and so many events revolved around was the Quran.  Children would learn it in the early years of their lives and anyone who intended to learn about the new religion was taught the Quran.  Therefore there was no chance for the Quran to be changed.[17]

Fourth Reason:

The Quran we have today is the same one that was compiled during the prophet’s time,[18]  and even if anyone does not accept this he must know that even those who have different opinions regarding the current order of the chapters and other detailed issues agree that not even one word was added or taken away from the Quran; because Muslims strived to memorize and learn the Quran to the extent that the social status of individuals was somewhat determined by how much Quran they knew by heart.

There were so many Muslims which memorized the Quran that history says that 400 of them died as a result of only one war which took place at the time of Abu Bakr’s reign. [19]

In another war that took place at the time of the prophet and occurred in a village not far from Medina named “Bi’r Ma’unah” history recounts that 70 Muslims who knew the Quran by heart were martyred.[20]

The Quran was not a forgotten book that lied on Muslims’ bookshelves without anyone reading and reciting it, hence it was not possible for anyone to alter it and it that case it would have been ensued by extreme opposition by the Muslim nation.

Memorizing the Quran has always been seen as a great form of worship and tradition among Muslims.  Even after the Quran was compiled, transcribed by hand in the form of a book and later on by print which lead to it being the most sold book in all Muslim countries, memorizing it still meant a lot to Muslims, an inevitable result being that memorizers of the Quran can be found in almost every city and town.

Today there are special schools in Muslim countries with different names like “Madreseto Tahfizel  Quranal Karim” or “Jameatol Quran” that have been established for the memorization of the Quran.  In some cases the teachers are small children who have just finished memorizing the Quran themselves.[21]

Reports show that approximately one million and five hundred thousand citizens of Pakistan know the Quran  by heart![22] One of the requirements to enter the Islamic University of Al-Azhar in Egypt is to have memorized the entire Quran.  After going through a test applicants must score 20 out of 40 to attend classes at Al-Azhar![23]

In brief, memorizing the Quran is a tradition established by the prophet in his ahadith.  Keeping in mind what was said, there is no possibility that the Quran could have undergone any change through the course of 14 centuries.

Fifth Reason:

There were numerous writers which the prophet had assigned to write the divine revelations that were sent down to him by Allah.  Historians have mentioned up to 43 Muslims[24] as the writers of the Quran, although Imam Ali and Zeyd Ibn Thabet would accompany the prophet more than others in this task.[25]

The question is how can a book with so many writers be altered?

Sixth:

Since the advent of Islam all of the imams have encouraged Muslims to recite, ponder and act upon the Quran at hand[26], this comes to show that it was certain it hadn’t undergone any change, especially in the first few centuries of Islam.

In the Nahjul-Balaghah we find proof for such a claim.  In sermon 133 we read: “The Book of Allah is among you. It speaks and its tongue does not falter. It is a house whose pillars do not fall down, and a power whose supporters are never routed.”[27]

In serman 176 Imam Ali says: “And know that this Qur’an is an adviser who never deceives, a leader who never misleads and a narrator who never speaks a lie.[28] No one will sit beside this Qur’an but that when he rises he will achieve one addition or one diminution-addition in his guidance or elimination in his (spiritual) blindness.”![29]

If the Quran had been changed or altered it would not make sense for the imams to invite the people to the current Quran.  If it had been altered it would not have been introduced as a light that helps distinguish between true and false or as Allah’s steady and firm rope which we all must hold on to.[30]

Taking these six arguments into consideration, no room should be left for any doubt about the Quran being immune to any form of distortion and falsification[31].

[1] . Eʿteqādātal-Emāmīya by Shaykh Saduq • Tashih al-I’tiqad by Shaykh Mufid, Vol. 1, Pg. 84, chapter 33.

[2] . [15:9]; For further information, see: Allamah Tabatabai, Tafsir Al-Mizan, vol.12, pg.104 and pg.106 and pg.138.

[3] . Muhammad ibn Yaqub Kuleini, Al-Kafi, vol.2, pg. 631, hadith 15.

[4] . Beyhaqi, Sunan Kubra, vol.2, pg.385.

[5] . Hashviyyah is a group that believe that Bani Umayyah is their Imam. They don’t consider the children of the holy Prophet (pbuh) as Imam; For further information, refer to: Sheikh Mufid, al-Ershad, Qom, Publication of Worldwide Congress of Sheikh Mufid, 1413 A.H, Vol. 2, Pg. 22; Ayatollah Sobhani, Sheikh Jaafar, Buhuth fee al-Milal wa al-Nihal, Al-Nashr al-Islami Institution, Al-Imam Al-Sadiq (as) Institution, Vol. 1, Pg. 124.

[6] . Ibid.

[7] . Al-Dariat, Vol. 16, Pg. 231.

[8] See: Payame Quran,‌ Makarem Shirazi.

[9] See: Al-Mizan, vol. 12, pp 150-155 and 157.

[10] Isra:88.

[11] Nisa:86.

[12] For further information, see: Mabaniye Kalamiye Ejtehad, Hadavi Tehrani, Mahdi, pp. 54-55.

[13] See: Translation of Al-Mizan, vol. 12, pp. 150-154.

[14] Hadavi Tehrani, Mabaniye Kalamiye Ejtehad, pg. 67.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Tafisir Nemouneh, vol. 11, pg. 22.

[18] Of course, there are different viewpoints on the compilation of the Quran.

[19] Muntakhab Kanzul-Ummal as quoted by Al-Bayan fi Tafsiril-Quran, pg. 260.

[20] Safinatul-Bihar, vol. 1, pg. 57.

[21] In this regard, the memories and memoirs of Dr. Mohammad Hosein Tabatabai who is famous for being the child who memorized the entire Quran and earned a PhD are worth reading.

[22] Tafsir Nemouneh, vol. 11, pg.24. Of course, these statistics belong to years back and naturally, the number of those who have memorized the Quran is higher than this number in that country.

[23] Ibid, as quoted by the Encyclopedia of Farid Wujdi.

[24] Historians have recorded between 14 to 43 individuals.

[25] Zanjani, Abu Abdillah, Tarikhul-Quran, pg.24.

[26] Meaning that when one observes the sayings of the imams, they are all encouraging the Muslims to recite and ponder the verses of the Quran at hand.

[27] وَ كِتَابُ اللَّهِ بَيْنَ أَظْهُرِكُمْ نَاطِقٌ لَا يَعْيَى لِسَانُهُ وَ بَيْتٌ لَا تُهْدَمُ أَرْكَانُهُ وَ عِزٌّ لَا تُهْزَمُ أَعْوَانُه‏.

[28] اعْلَمُوا أَنَّ هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ هُوَ النَّاصِحُ الَّذِي لَا يَغُشُّ وَ الْهَادِي الَّذِي لَا يُضِلُّ .

[29] وَ مَا جَالَسَ هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ أَحَدٌ إِلَّا قَامَ عَنْهُ بِزِيَادَةٍ أَوْ نُقْصَانٍ زِيَادَةٍ فِي هُدًى وَ نُقْصَانٍ مِنْ عَمًى.

[30] See: Tafsir Nemouneh, vol. 11, pp. 24-26.

[31] . Adopted from answer 453 IQ.

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Henry Corbin a philosopher, theologian, Iranologist and professor of Islamic Studies / He Regarded Himself a Shia

Question 549: Salam. My teacher. last time I listened a clip very informative in which, the scholar told us a French christian researcher doing PhD, his topic on “shiat”

So he done his research on shiat, then he wrote a book on shiat. He said in universe shiat a greatest and brilliant religion.

I want to know the name of this researcher and plus name of book.

And send me another non-Muslim researchers good views on shiat with evidence.

Please send me these materials soon

Please.?

 

Answer 549: His name is Henry Corbin (14 April 1903 – 7 October 1978). He was a philosopher, theologian, Iranologist and professor of Islamic Studies at the École pratique des hautes études in Paris, France. He resided in Iran for about 20 years. Corbin was also the professor at Tehran University. He discussed with Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Hussain Tabatabaee and other Iranian Muslim scholars. Henry Corbin was interested in Imam and Wilayat positions and specially about Imam of the Time (ajtf) in Shia teachings. According to Allamah Tabatabaee and Sayyid Hussain Nasr, he was spiritually a Shia Muslim. Corbin published some books (A Collection of Iranian Books) related to Hikmat (wisdom) and Islamic philosophy.

 

He believed that Madism (belief in the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his glad advent) and his establishment of a just government throughout the world is the basis of the dynamism in Shia societies. [1]

 

Corbin is among the most prominent orientalists and intellectuals of the 2th century who opened a new horizon for the West by introducing the profound thoughts of great Shia Sufis to the western world. Corbin studies Sufism and Shia and Islamic Philosophy with Louis Massignon, director of Islamic studies at Sorbonne University. It was Massignon who introduced Corbin to the writings of Sohrevardi, the 12th century Persian mystic and philosopher, including his Hikmat-ul-Ishraq. Sohrevardi’s work profoundly affected the course of Corbin’s scientific life and he decided to travel to the East.

 

He settled in Istanbul and for six years studied other works by Sohrevardi as well as works of other Muslim philosophers and mystics. In 1945 he published a collection of Sohrevardi’s works.
In 1946 he replaced Louis Massignon as the Islamic Studies Chair at the Sorbonne.
He also spent a number of years in Middle Eastern countries and served as head of the Franco-Iranian Institute’s Iranian studies department and published a number of works under the title of “A Collection of Iranian Books”.
He was fluent in German, Arabic and Sanskrit and was the first French translator of both Martin Heidegger and Karl Barth.
For 25 years, Corbin would travel back and forth to Iran and meet with prominent Iranian figures like Allameh Tabatabaee, Morteza Motahari, Seyyed Kazem Assar, and Mehdi Elahi Qomshe’i.

 

Henry Corbin died on October 7, 1978, in Paris.
His scholarly works include: Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn ‘Arabi, Avicenna and the Visionary Recital. Princeton University Press, 1960, The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism, En Islam Iranien: Aspects spirituels et philosophiques.[2]

[1] . Asghar Vaezi, Nim Qarn Pedhoohesh, Scientific life of Henry Corbin;  Maaref Magazine, Month of Aban and Azar , N. 88, Goftegoye Sharq and Gharb; Discussing with Sayyid Hussain Nasr, Itilaat hikmat wa Marefat, N. 2.

[2] . Adopted from Iqna (with a few changes has been made on).