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In the Name of God بسم الله

Hadeeth Of 17,000 Verses In Qur'aan

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(salam)

(bismillah)

I have made an article that talks about the hadeeth that is mentioned in Al-Kaafi about 17,000 verses of the Qur'aan. This is the considered the most "authentic" hadeeth that alludes to some sort of taHreef occurring in the Qur'aan. I have actually shown that this hadeeth is actually Da`eef (weak). All other aHaadeeth that talks about some sort of taHreef is either weak or can be easily reconciled.

So this article can be used as ammo for us, Shee`ahs, against those to try to bring this hadeeth as proof against us. I have made the article into a PDF, so you can download it, and print it out.

Here is the blog post: http://revivingalislaam.blogspot.com/2010/09/hadeeth-17000-verses-in-quraan-saheeh.html

(salam)

Edited by Nader Zaveri
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(salam)

I'm not in a position to judge your work, so I'll leave that to more knowledgeable people, but I congratulate you on the hard work you put into your blog.

I'm curious though, do the scholars that accept this hadith as authentic explain it away by saying the extra verses were commentary?

Edited by Haider Husayn
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Nader by far this is your most impressive work MashAllah. Thank you Brother Yayha Seymour for bringing that book (Kitaab al-Qiraa'at) to the forefront to expose the true Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Sayyar which is the weak narrator and not the trustworthy Ahmad bin Muhammad bin 'Eisa that Allamah Majlisi assumed it was, because this could have put our aqeedah (beliefs) under major question. Because there's no way that there is even close to 10,000 verses in the Qur'an, and not even the 17,000 verses in the Qur'an that this weak hadith suggested.

There is 6,236 total verses in the Qur'an and thats it, no more, no less.

A very well put together arguement in scholarly fashion.

Edited by zzaveri
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(wasalam)

It's kind of a big assumption there, because when Kulayni lists as-Sayyari, he specifically says as-Sayyari (even without mentioning his actual name). Your theory is basically assuming there had to be a mistake rather than going by the most apparent meaning of the text.

Regardless though, even if we accept the speculation, you have some mistakes your translation about Muhammad b. Yahya's narrating from him.

For this:

و صنف كتبا منها: كتاب ثواب القرآن كتاب الطب كتاب القراءات كتاب النوادر. أخبرنا بالنوادر خاصة الحسين بن عبيد الله عن أحمد بن محمد بن يحيى قال: حدثنا أبي قال: حدثنا السياري إلا بما كان فيه من غلو أو تخليط

you have translated as:

“And he compiled these books: Kitaab Thawaab Al-Qur’aan (Rewards of the Qur’aan), Kitaab Al-Tibb (Medicine), Kitaab Al-Qiraa’aat (Recitations), and Kitaab Al-Nawaadir (Rare (hadeeth))…[gives the chain]…from Ahmad bin Muhammad bin YaHyah narrated from his father (Muhammad bin YaHya), from Al-Sayyaaree (aHmad bin Muhammad bin Sayyaar). However, in it (the books) exists ghuluww (exaggerations) or confusion.”

That's way off though. Here's how I'd translate it:

And he authored some books, from there are Thawab al-Quran, Kitab at-Tibb, Kitab Qira'at al-Quran, Kitab an-Nawadir. al-Husayn b. `Ubaydullah reported to us an-Nawadir specifically, from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Yahya. He said: My father narrated to us. He said: as-Sayyari narrated to us except for what was in it of ghulw or confusion.

So you see, it's not talking about Kitab al-Qira'at, he's saying that he narrated his Kitab an-Nawadir from him. Plus, he's specifically excluding from his narrating anything that was of ghulw or takhleet.

As to the Kitab al-Qira'at itself, I'd really not be so quick as to reject it so outright. I've gone through some of it, and it really does _not_ strike me as the work of a forger. Forgeries in the Muslim world tend to stick out really bad and be obvious, perhaps particularly when we're talking about something of ghulw. Kitab al-Qira'at on the other hand is not at all like that, and if you read it one finds it's actually pretty restrained in its presentation of examples of tahreef and variant qira'at. A ghali forger would most likely have gone a lot further than what it says.

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Generally speaking, I assume authenticity unless proven otherwise (or at least I will not call a hadith a forgery unless that is proven, I may however set a hadith aside as not sufficiently convincing or problematic if I doubt in its authenticity, without though outright calling it a lie), so I will regard it as (practically even if not actually) authentic. (My views on this are more complicated than that, but that would diverge the topic a fair bit to really get into all that) The meaning of the hadith seems clear and I don't find the commentary explanation to be particularly convincing. Whether this indicates that the masHaf of Zayd is missing that many verses that should be there, or whether it means that many other verses were abrogated from the recitation, I don't know.

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Actually, when I read it over again, if we accept its authenticity, this hadith can be interpreted in many different ways. One of it as a reconcilian attempt is the 6,236 verses are the verses that GOD commanded to the Prophet to be revealed to mankind. So, the other 10,764 verses are not known & maybe will be revealed later by Imam Mahdi.

Edited by rotten_coconut
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Actually, when I read it over again, if we accept its authenticity, this hadith can be interpreted in many different ways. One of it as a reconcilian attempt is the 6,236 verses are the verses that GOD commanded to the Prophet to be revealed to mankind. So, the other 10,764 verses are not known & maybe will be revealed later by Imam Mahdi.

While we might not know which is the correct interpretation, I think this is a much safer approach to take (I will assume this is authentic though I am not sure as to its meaning) rather than making some full out assault on its authenticity based on speculation (and faulty speculation at that) over its isnad.

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(wasalam)

Though, to assume that the mus`haf is missing almost 11,000 ayat, and to assume that they were all discretely removed or forgotten, is a bit ridiculous, don't you think? This is the only hadith, or 'reliable' historical source in general, that purports that this many ayat are missing. Surely it would've been more widely talked about then in just one ambiguous and confusing hadith. Even Sunni hadiths comment on controversial topics like rajm, order of Surahs, qira`at, and certain Surahs being du`a, why would they unanimously leave out almost two thirds of the Qur'an without much of a peep in both Sunni and Shi`i sources?

I don't think Nader's explanation very 'out there' (mind you I'm not well-read in rijal) and considering the fact that the corruption of the Qur'an is a widely narrated issue amongst liars/fabricators, ghoolat, and unknown sources, it's not strange to believe a narrator in this hadith did the same. This hadith is very much an exception to the rule.

Edited by Qa'im
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(wasalam)

Actually there are several ahadith (both amongst Shi`as and Sunnis) that indicate there was much more in the revealed Quran than what is currently found in the masHaf, so this hadith is really not standing in isolation as such. The aforementioned Kitab al-Qira'at is mainly about that, hadiths organized by sura name indicating some variation whether in how to recite a word or something like that, or actual missing words, verses and other such topics. Even if you want to reject the whole of this book, which I think would be a grave error to do, still such traditions can be found all over the place in other reliable books. It's just that scholars have been trying to explain them away or discredit their isnads for whatever reasons. Whether you want to interpret that as divinely ordained naskh or that Zayd and co. didn't do a perfect job (which really isn't hard to believe when you read about haphazard it seemed to be) in compiling all of it, is another matter.

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(wasalam)

Actually there are several ahadith (both amongst Shi`as and Sunnis) that indicate there was much more in the revealed Quran than what is currently found in the masHaf, so this hadith is really not standing in isolation as such. The aforementioned Kitab al-Qira'at is mainly about that, hadiths organized by sura name indicating some variation whether in how to recite a word or something like that, or actual missing words, verses and other such topics. Even if you want to reject the whole of this book, which I think would be a grave error to do, still such traditions can be found all over the place in other reliable books. It's just that scholars have been trying to explain them away or discredit their isnads for whatever reasons. Whether you want to interpret that as divinely ordained naskh or that Zayd and co. didn't do a perfect job (which really isn't hard to believe when you read about haphazard it seemed to be) in compiling all of it, is another matter.

While I admire your careful approach with regards to hadith, how do you recoincile these ahadith with the verses of Qur'an about protection?

As an aside, can I ask what you think about the compilation of the Qur'an? Was it compiled in the time of the Prophet (pbuh) or later?

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While I admire your careful approach with regards to hadith, how do you recoincile these ahadith with the verses of Qur'an about protection?

I understand the Quran to be protected in that there is a living Ma`sum on Earth who guards with him the true recitation without any deficiency. Whether individuals and groups then have something different (e.g. the hundreds if not thousands of variations we find in the different existing qira'at today, or the variant masHafs (e.g. of Ubayy b. Ka`b and Ibn Mas`ud) that existed in former times) it does not effect that essential fact. _We_ have an answer to this problem, Sunnis do not. Thus I don't see why we should be so keen on rejecting all those hadiths that indicate this when it's not our faith that is at stake because of it.

As an aside, can I ask what you think about the compilation of the Qur'an? Was it compiled in the time of the Prophet (pbuh) or later?

I don't hold a strong view on this.

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It's kind of a big assumption there, because when Kulayni lists as-Sayyari, he specifically says as-Sayyari (even without mentioning his actual name). Your theory is basically assuming there had to be a mistake rather than going by the most apparent meaning of the text.

Regardless though, even if we accept the speculation, you have some mistakes your translation about Muhammad b. Yahya's narrating from him.

For this:

æ ÕäÝ ßÊÈÇ ãäåÇ: ßÊÇÈ ËæÇÈ ÇáÞÑÂä ßÊÇÈ ÇáØÈ ßÊÇÈ ÇáÞÑÇÁÇÊ ßÊÇÈ ÇáäæÇÏÑ. ÃÎÈÑäÇ ÈÇáäæÇÏÑ ÎÇÕÉ ÇáÍÓíä Èä ÚÈíÏ Çááå Úä ÃÍãÏ Èä ãÍãÏ Èä íÍíì ÞÇá: ÍÏËäÇ ÃÈí ÞÇá: ÍÏËäÇ ÇáÓíÇÑí ÅáÇ ÈãÇ ßÇä Ýíå ãä Ûáæ Ãæ ÊÎáíØ

you have translated as:

“And he compiled these books: Kitaab Thawaab Al-Qur’aan (Rewards of the Qur’aan), Kitaab Al-Tibb (Medicine), Kitaab Al-Qiraa’aat (Recitations), and Kitaab Al-Nawaadir (Rare (hadeeth))…[gives the chain]…from Ahmad bin Muhammad bin YaHyah narrated from his father (Muhammad bin YaHya), from Al-Sayyaaree (aHmad bin Muhammad bin Sayyaar). However, in it (the books) exists ghuluww (exaggerations) or confusion.”

That's way off though. Here's how I'd translate it:

And he authored some books, from there are Thawab al-Quran, Kitab at-Tibb, Kitab Qira'at al-Quran, Kitab an-Nawadir. al-Husayn b. `Ubaydullah reported to us an-Nawadir specifically, from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Yahya. He said: My father narrated to us. He said: as-Sayyari narrated to us except for what was in it of ghulw or confusion.

Ahhh, I see my translation was off, and inshaa'Allaah I am going to change it on the blog article and PDF file.

I see you took out Al-Toosi on what he said concerning the sanad of the book that he specifically talks about the book Al-Nawaadir. But here is Al-Najaashee, and here is what he says regarding the sanad he has received from the other books as well, and not just Al-Nawaadir.

This is what is stated in Al-Najaashee’s Rijaal under aHmad bin Muhammad bin Sayyaar’s name:

ßÊÇÈ ËæÇÈ ÇáÞÑÂä ßÊÇÈ ÇáØÈ ßÊÇÈ ÇáÞÑÇÁÇÊ ßÊÇÈ ÇáäæÇÏÑ ßÊÇÈ ÇáÛÇÑÇÊ ÃÎÈÑäÇ ÇáÍÓíä Èä ÚÈíÏ Çááå ÞÇá: ÍÏËäÇ ÃÍãÏ Èä ãÍãÏ Èä íÍíì æ ÃÎÈÑäÇ ÃÈæ ÚÈÏ Çááå ÇáÞÒæíäí ÞÇá: ÍÏËäÇ ÃÍãÏ Èä ãÍãÏ Èä íÍíì Úä ÃÈíå ÞÇá: ÍÏËäÇ ÇáÓíÇÑí ÅáÇ ãÇ ßÇä ãä Ûáæ æ ÊÎáíØ.

“Kitaab Thawaab Al-Qur’aan (Rewards of the Qur’aan), Kitaab Al-Tibb (Medicine), Kitaab Al-Qiraa’aat (Recitations), and Kitaab Al-Nawaadir (Rare (hadeeth)), Kitaab Al-Ghaaraat (Military Invasions): Reported to us Al-Hussayn bin `Ubayd Allaah He said: aHmad bin Muhammad bin YaHya narrated to us and Aboo `Abd Allaah Al-Qazweenee reported to us. He said: aHmad bin Muhammad bin YaHya narrated to us from his father (Muhammad bin YaHya). He said: Al-Sayyaaree narrated to us except what was in it of ghuluww or confusion"

  • Source:
  • Al-Najaashee, Rijaal, pg. 80, person # 192

So as you see, Al-Najaashee is saying he has received ALL of Al-Sayyaaree's books from this specific isnaad. Which just so happens to include Muhammad bin YaHya.

Which falls into the same isnaad as previously stated.

Even though Al-Kulayni happens to mention his name Al-Sayyaaree when he is normally giving a sanad, that doesn't mean it can be the ONLY way he can do it.

After reading over again, I might also think that Al-Kulayni has taken this book PHYSICALLY from Al-Sayyaaree's book, without having to go to Muhammad bin YaHya. Since the isnaad is the same as mentioned in the book (Just two people: `Alee bin Al-Hakam from Hishaam bin Saalim).

What Al-Qaa'im said is true, shouldn't we have more narrations that allude to the number of verses in the Qur'aan being much higher than what is in the current muSHaf (6,236 verses)? Why is this one shaadh (odd) narration stated that about 2/3rds of the Qur'aan doesn't seem to be in our possession? There had to be many narrations of the Imaams stating how many verses are in the "true" Qur'aan. Instead we have this one hadeeth. The other Hadeeth that talks about stoning, etc, are only 1 or 2 verses. If you were to add all those hadeeth together, it wouldn't be more than 50 - 100, wouldn't you agree? So at maximum the narration had state 6500 verses or 7000 verses. Now a mind boggling amount of 17,000.

I also think that the explanations that are given regarding this hadeeth is stretched heavily. Such as saying this hadeeth is talking about "hadeeth al-qudsee" as well. This cannot be taken, since the hadeeth says "Al-Qur'aan" specifically. Now if the Hadeeth said "Al-Kitaab", then it would've made sense to reconcile it with Hadeeth Al-Qudsee, but this hadeeth doesn't state this.

Also, what Al-Toosi and Al-Najaashee has said regarding Al-Sayyaaree's book is you accept what is in it, except for the things that are ghuluww or confusion. Now, wouldn't you think that this would be under the category of confusion? As this hadeeth doesn't seem to be narrated by ANYONE else except for Al-Sayyaaree who is a ghuluww and confused?

(salam)

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Good catch Nader and Yahya!

I also think that the explanations that are given regarding this hadeeth is stretched heavily. Such as saying this hadeeth is talking about "hadeeth al-qudsee" as well. This cannot be taken, since the hadeeth says "Al-Qur'aan" specifically. Now if the Hadeeth said "Al-Kitaab", then it would've made sense to reconcile it with Hadeeth Al-Qudsee, but this hadeeth doesn't state this.

Yep.

I understand the Quran to be protected in that there is a living Ma`sum on Earth who guards with him the true recitation without any deficiency. Whether individuals and groups then have something different (e.g. the hundreds if not thousands of variations we find in the different existing qira'at today, or the variant masHafs (e.g. of Ubayy b. Ka`b and Ibn Mas`ud) that existed in former times) it does not effect that essential fact. _We_ have an answer to this problem, Sunnis do not. Thus I don't see why we should be so keen on rejecting all those hadiths that indicate this when it's not our faith that is at stake because of it.

How is that protection? So one man has the correct Quran? That's not protection. What does it matter if there's a single dusty copy of the true Quran in the middle of nowhere! If people are all following the tahreef-ed Quran, then the Quran is effectively lost. It's like saying "no, no, the Injeel is preserved. We just don't have a copy of it!". That's not preservation. That's saying the book is effectively, and is, lost. Lost to us. That's what matters.

To say that the verse that God protects the Quran simply means a true copy will survive is pretty redundant. That's not impressive.

If the Quran

Peace.

Edited by Perseverance
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How is that protection? So one man has the correct Quran? That's not protection. What does it matter if there's a single dusty copy of the true Quran in the middle of nowhere! If people are all following the tahreef-ed Quran, then the Quran is effectively lost. It's like saying "no, no, the Injeel is preserved. We just don't have a copy of it!". That's not preservation. That's saying the book is effectively, and is, lost. Lost to us. That's what matters.

To say that the verse that God protects the Quran simply means a true copy will survive is pretty redundant. That's not impressive.

If the Quran

Peace.

salaam,

That "one man" is the living Hujja of Allah on Earth, I'd hardly consider that something minor to scoff at. If however this is not to your satisfaction, then how do you deal with the fact of the hundreds, if not thousands, of variations that exist amongst the different versions of it that the people have today? Do you do as the Sunnis and say that the Quran was revealed multiple times, each with slight differences from one to another to account for all of the variants, or do you believe in a single Quran? If the latter, then which of these versions is the correct one? And if you don't or can't know with certainty which of those it is (if any) does that mean it's lost to you and "not preserved"?

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salaam,

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmetu Allah wa barekato. Eid mubarak akhee.

That "one man" is the living Hujja of Allah on Earth, I'd hardly consider that something minor to scoff at.

Hujjat al-Qaim, aleyhis salam, is obviously not to be scoffed at. What I mean is:

It doesn't matter who it is who holds true Quran. It could be some random Ahmed or Bob who holds the true Quran and what difference would it make? What difference would it make if a random Ahmed held the true Quran in his possession instead of al-Hujjat, aleyhis salam? Either way, the Quran is effectively lost. It might as well not survive. If a book is revealed and then lost soon after, and it took two thousand years until near the Day of Judgement when the Imam returned, then how is that protection?

Also what on Earth is the point of having the true Quran in possession of the Imam? If I had it, I would put it out there, so that the Muslimeen are guided. In your theory, al-Mahdi is not much of a guide. It must as well be lost. Because it is to us.

If however this is not to your satisfaction, then how do you deal with the fact of the hundreds, if not thousands, of variations that exist amongst the different versions of it that the people have today? Do you do as the Sunnis and say that the Quran was revealed multiple times, each with slight differences from one to another to account for all of the variants, or do you believe in a single Quran? If the latter, then which of these versions is the correct one? And if you don't or can't know with certainty which of those it is (if any) does that mean it's lost to you and "not preserved"?

This is hardly the difficulty you make it out to be. You've given the correct answer. One of the many recitations is the correct one. Which one? I have heard that it is Hafs, which is the one that goes back to Ubayy. Don't we have saheeh ahadeeth that say Hafs/Ubayy's recitation is the correct one? it has argued that Hafs is the correct one.

There is nothing wrong with there being other recitations which are corruptions. At the very very least, even if we say ALL of them are not the true Quran, this is solid concrete proof that the Quran is pretty much true anyway. Why? Because the differences aren't that significant: in the sense that at most there are differences in harakaat, spelling, the occasional choice of word, etc. In other words, the general text is correct, even if there may be disputes over harakaat or whatever. Get me? So narrations that say 17000 verses are ridiculous in their matn, because the numerous qira'aat prove the general text of the Quran has survived.

There is nothing wrong with there being other recitations which are corruptions. Why? Because as long as the true Quran survived and we have it, then the Quran has been preserved. Just like some ahadeeth have been preserved despite numerous fabrications or corruptions.

Peace.

Edited by Perseverance
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wa `alaykum as-salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh, and an `Eid sa`id to you as well.

Sort of, kind of, generally preserved does not equal divinely protected from any corruption. If Allah had willed the Quran in our hands today to be completely 100% preserved, then it would be. Admitting to even the smallest change is thus admitting to tahreef. My point is, if there is tahreef, then why are we so gung-ho to reject all of those many narrations that we have in our books that say just that? Who are we trying to please here?

I strongly disagree with saying that if some of the Quran is lost to us now, then what we have is thus without worth. If you were stranded on a desert island, and had only one copy of the Quran, however half of the book was missing (got destroyed when your ship sank), would that mean that what you had was now rendered worthless to you?

When we see what this Umma were able to do to the Hujaj of Allah by their rejecting of them, their oppressing of them, even their killing of them, as well as their corrupt transmission of the Prophet's (pbuh) Sunna and their presentation this religions beliefs and practices, why do we then insist it's so impossible they could likewise have also messed up when it came to the transmitting of the Quran?

As to the recitation of Ubayy, various different qira'at claim to go back to him. Hafs' has gotten more popular at least in part because the Saudis have been pushing for it through their publishing and sending out copies of it to the world. Plus, it's known that Ubayy had a different masHaf than Zayd's with other differences in it, as Ibn Mas`ud also had. So what are you going to believe?

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Sort of, kind of, generally preserved does not equal divinely protected from any corruption.

I wasn't arguing that. What I meant is that the various qiraa'at agree enough to establish the Quran as, at the very least, mostly preserved. There is no qiraa'at with completely different passages, etc.

If Allah had willed the Quran in our hands today to be completely 100% preserved, then it would be. Admitting to even the smallest change is thus admitting to tahreef.

I agree with the former, and I guess the latter is true too.

My point is, if there is tahreef, then why are we so gung-ho to reject all of those many narrations that we have in our books that say just that?

Because alot of them simply aren't authentic.

Others of them contradict the thing I said about the general text of the Quran being the least thing preserved.

Some of them don't necessarily mean tahreef.

Some of them refer to abrogated verses.

In other words, there are perfectly plausible explanations for these ahadeeth.

Who are we trying to please here?

We're not trying to please anyone. And the classical Ulema were certainly not trying to please anyone. You yourself quoted a classical Ulema calling Abu Hanifa a devil or something like that. Yet most, if not all of them, didn't claim the Quran had suffered change.

I strongly disagree with saying that if some of the Quran is lost to us now, then what we have is thus without worth. If you were stranded on a desert island, and had only one copy of the Quran, however half of the book was missing (got destroyed when your ship sank), would that mean that what you had was now rendered worthless to you?

Your analogy is flawed. Half of the book is word-perfect. That gives some truth. Whereas the argument says, unless I'm mistaken, that the Quran has suffered tahreef throughout. In such a case, the Quran is lost to us. If you'll argue that it does not matter if some words are wrong, it only matters what the bulk of the text is saying, then you'll be echoing the Christians who insist it does not matter if the New Testament has suffered changes throughout. But this is flawed. If only the message matters then, what good is the Quran? We could turn to the Bible and find guidance there. We could turn to any book, with a claimed divine origin and even those that don't have this claim, and find "guidance" from the "good" message it contains. On the contrary, the Quran is brilliant because of its precise words and literary quality. Allah chose each word. Therefore it does matter if tahreef has occured.

When we see what this Umma were able to do to the Hujaj of Allah by their rejecting of them, their oppressing of them, even their killing of them, as well as their corrupt transmission of the Prophet's (pbuh) Sunna and their presentation this religions beliefs and practices, why do we then insist it's so impossible they could likewise have also messed up when it came to the transmitting of the Quran?

They did mess up. That's why we have more than one recitation. However when we see that there were many Muslims and so many Sahaba and Tabi'oon, and Islam had rapidly spread over a huge distance of land and to many people, why do you then insist that the right one didn't make it (too)?

As to the recitation of Ubayy, various different qira'at claim to go back to him.

Which qira'aat of the 7 go back to him other than Hafs?

Hafs' has gotten more popular at least in part because the Saudis have been pushing for it through their publishing and sending out copies of it to the world.

*Shrugs*

Didn't Khui argue that only Hafs was right, in his book?

Plus, it's known that Ubayy had a different masHaf than Zayd's with other differences in it, as Ibn Mas`ud also had. So what are you going to believe?

Ubayy's. The Imam(s) said Ubayy's is the right one. Furthermore, how did they differ?

Peace.

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Are there any ahadith saying that words are missing within the verses, like some people claim(references to Ali (as), etc)? Because that would be an even more serious problem than having 2/3 of the Qur'an missing.

With regard to those supposed missing verses, couldn't the Imams (as) have recited them to their followers, so that would would have at least some of them today? I find it a bit strange that the Imams (as) would allow such a corrupted version to be used with only a hadith here or there to tell us about it. I'm also not sure exactly what the use is of the Imam (as) having the perfect Qur'an if it isn't shared with us. In practical terms, what difference is there from the missing verses being lost?

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Let's examine all the facts:

1. We have Utsmani mushafs which among themselves have some minor variations

2. We have at least 10 different qira'at with 2 narrators for each qira'at, so in total, at least 20 different qira'ats

3. While Imam Ja'far said that the ahlul bayt uses Ubay recitations, it's still unclear which recitations are the most correct ones since there are some recitations that traced their origin to Ubay, e.g. Nafi', Ibn Katsir, 'Asim (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qira'at). Even the 2 narrators of 'Asim, Hafs & Syu'bah, vary between themselves, e.g. wiping the feet ("arjulakum" in Hafs vs "arjulikum" in Syu'bah), the name of Angel Gabriel. Interestingly, in the wikipedia article, there's 1 recitation that narrates from Imam Ja'far, i.e. Hamza recitation, which has some oddities but more or less the most compatible with Shia fiqh, but not used by current Shia scholars. Additionally, there's no hadith which points the most correct recitation among the 10 qira'at

4. We have narration from Imam Ali Ridha who instructed us to examine every hadith vs the Qur'an, but we also have this narration which looks like have a good chain stating that total verses in the Qur'an are greater than we have right now

5. When he's in power, Imam Ali didn't do anything to revise the texts of Qur'an

6. We also have Quranic verse that GOD will protect the Qur'an, but it's unclear whether this promise will be fulfilled by ensuring the current Qur'an is error free (which if someone believes this, he has to reconcile the facts in no.1-3) or through Imam Mahdi (considering human has free will to preserve the Qur'an or not, but if someone believes this, he has to explain to reconcile the fact of Imam Ridha narration in no.4 & Imam Ali's inaction in no.5)

So, any explanations regarding the tahrif (or lack of it) of Qur'an, must be able to explain & reconcile all the above facts.

Ideas, anyone?

Edited by rotten_coconut
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Are there any ahadith saying that words are missing within the verses, like some people claim(references to Ali (as), etc)?

Lots of ahadith in Hayatul Quloob about this, basically making the same argument as macissac has posited.

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So we could have a book with 2/3 of the verses missing, and of the verses we do have there might be words missing. Then there is the issue of some slight differences of wording and spelling. Given all this, some of the commentary of verses we have could have nothing to do with the original meaning. How can anyone do proper commentary of a book with words and verses missed out?

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Let's examine all the facts:

1. We have Utsmani mushafs which among themselves have some minor variations

2. We have at least 10 different qira'at with 2 narrators for each qira'at, so in total, at least 20 different qira'ats

3. While Imam Ja'far said that the ahlul bayt uses Ubay recitations, it's still unclear which recitations are the most correct ones since there are some recitations that traced their origin to Ubay, e.g. Nafi', Ibn Katsir, 'Asim (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qira'at). Even the 2 narrators of 'Asim, Hafs & Syu'bah, vary between themselves, e.g. wiping the feet ("arjulakum" in Hafs vs "arjulikum" in Syu'bah), the name of Angel Gabriel. Interestingly, in the wikipedia article, there's 1 recitation that narrates from Imam Ja'far, i.e. Hamza recitation, which has some oddities but more or less the most compatible with Shia fiqh, but not used by current Shia scholars. Additionally, there's no hadith which points the most correct recitation among the 10 qira'at

Correct, and there's even more. Such as the ahadith found amongst both sects pointing to words being in the Quran which are no longer there. For instance this famous one:

[ 26358 ] 3 ـ وعن علي بن إبراهيم ، عن أبيه ، عن ابن أبي عمير ، عمن ذكره ، عن أبي عبدالله ( عليه السلام ) قال : إنما نزلت ( فما استمتعتم به منهن ) إلى أجل مسمى ( فآتوهن أجورهن فريضة ) .

3 – And from `Ali b. Ibrahim from his father from Ibn Abi `Umayr from the one whom he mentioned from Abu `Abdillah عليه السلام. He said: It was only sent down “So those of them with whom you have done mut`a” to a named duration “then give them their wages as a duty.”

(before someone jumps in with a "mursal! mursal!" look at the narrator right before that)

And as is well known, this is how Ibn `Abbas would recite it (note "recite", not explain)

[ 26368 ] 13 ـ قال : وقرأ ابن عباس ( فما استمتعتم به منهن ) إلى أجل مسمى ( فآتوهن أجورهن فريضة ) .

13 – He said: And Ibn `Abbas recited “So those of them with whom you have done mut`a” to a named duration “then give them their wages as a duty.”

Another example of this that I find stunning is the inclusion of the word muhaddath in a verse (22:52) as testified by our hadith and even by none other than Tirmidhi as having been there. Ubayy's codex is also said to have had two other suras not found in the current one (sura al-Hafd and al-Khal`). There are in fact many such examples that can be found when someone takes our hadiths literally and without trying to just explain them all away.

Even if one wants to ignore all of that, there's the very real issue of the ikhtilaf in the qira'at. Most Muslims today just seem utterly oblivious to this fact, but it's there for all to see.

4. We have narration from Imam Ali Ridha who instructed us to examine every hadith vs the Qur'an, but we also have this narration which looks like have a good chain stating that total verses in the Qur'an are greater than we have right now

Sure, but does it specifically say to compare them to the `Uthmani mashaf? And again, an incomplete text does not mean that the text is worthless.

5. When he's in power, Imam Ali didn't do anything to revise the texts of Qur'an

That's easy enough to explain. First, the story of the `Uthmanic compilation is full of holes and contradictions. I don't deny that it happened at all, but I seriously doubt the text was as de facto and ingrained by then as later stories allege. That said, as to the Imam's ability to have introduced a different reading and replaced the other, just see what happened when (in _Kufa_ of all places) he tried just to stop the people from following `Umar's bid`a of tarawih in jama`a:

علي بن الحسن بن فضال ، عن أحمد بن الحسن ، عن عمرو ابن سعد المدايني ، عن مصدق بن صدقة ، عن عمار ، عن أبي عبدالله ( عليه السلام ) ، قال : سألته عن الصلاة في رمضان في المساجد ؟ فقال : لما قدم أمير المؤمنين ( عليه السلام ) الكوفة أمر الحسن بن علي أن ينادي في الناس : لا صلاة في شهر رمضان في المساجد جماعة ، فنادى في الناس الحسن بن علي ( عليه السلام ) بما أمره به أمير المؤمنين ( عليه السلام ) فلما سمع الناس مقالة الحسن بن علي ( عليه السلام ) صاحوا : واعمراه ، واعمراه ، فلما رجع الحسن إلى أمير المؤمنين ( عليه السلام ) قال له : ما هذا الصوت ؟ قال : يا أمير المؤمنين ، الناس يصيحون : واعمراه ، واعمراه ، فقال أمير المؤمنين ( عليه السلام ) : قل لهم صلوا .

`Ali b. al-Hasan b. Faddal from Ahmad b. al-Hasan from `Amr b. Sa`d al-Mada’ini from Musaddaq b. Sadaqa from `Ammar from Abu `Abdillah عليه السلام . He said: I asked him about salat during the month of Ramadan in the masjids. So he said: When Amir al-Mu’mineen عليه السلام came to Kufa, he commanded al-Hasan b. `Ali to call to the people: There is no salat during the month of Ramadan in the masjids in jama`a. So al-Hasan b. `Ali عليه السلام called to the people by what Amir al-Mu’mineen عليه السلام had commanded him to. So when the people heard the saying of al-Hasan b. `Ali عليه السلام they shouted: O `Umar! O `Umar! So when al-Hasan returned to Amir al-Mu’mineen عليه السلام he said to him: What is this sound? He said: O Amir al-Mu’mineen, the people are shouting: O `Umar! O `Umar! So Amir al-Mu’mineen عليه السلام said: Say to them: Pray.

Now if that's over one bid`a of doing a certain salat in jam`a, and in Kufa at that, imagine what they would have done had he tried to replace the masHaf with another?

And again, it's not like we don't have many hadiths where the Imam would recite a verse in a certain way to his companion and it'd be different from the way the people would do it.

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Yet one more reason it is an absolute must to follow the Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (as) outside of whom there is no guidance.

brother first of all,i have observed that you are very keen on stressing the fact that the quran has being distorted.and at the same time,you let go no chance to put forward that Imam Mehdi (ajtfs) would be the one to restore the quran.your belief in the imams is now surpassing that of the belief in the Quran-the greater of the two weighty things.the quran is the proof for imamate.and the teachings of the imams and knowledge of the quran was their proof that put them ahead of others.

my question to you is simple.for more than 300 years the shias had imams living with them.if throughout that time the imams were there did not guide their followers to read the word of God as it was revealed,then their presence was meaningless.so what was the use of imams?

based on your reasoning,all the previous imams were just decorations placed on earth.had their being no imamate the muslims would be united today.according to shia-islam,one of the main reasonings the imams were present on earth after Rasul (pbuh) was to guide the ummah in the sharia and protect the Quran.otherwise you are putting our imams on equal footing with abu bakr and co.they (imams) were the walking and talking Quran after Rasul.if all that meant nothing,then believe me shias are no better than sunnis because with all your imams numbering 12,you still dont have the truth.you are following falsehood even greater than the sunnis who believe the quran is intact and one qira'a is right.and based on that,the muslims too are no better than the christians but even worse.definitely the muslims would deserve more punishment,if you fall like the previous nations did.the muslim ummah was meant to be the exemplary ummah.

to conclude,i dont think for you to enforce the belief in imamate and particularly the belief in the hidden 12th,you have to challenge the validity and truthfulness of the quran.unknowingly you are questioning the imamate itself and its function.imam Ali (as) was a caliph.he accepted usthman's copy.what an insult is it to imam Ali (as) for you to tell me that the imam accepted a wrong copy of the quran.are you saying the imam was silent in the face of falsehood?if the imams keep shut then who would defend the faith?if imam hussain (as) sacrificed his life to preserve islam from the hands of yazeed and got himself beheaded,are you telling me other imams would not have done the same if the quran,the base of islam,was threatened?you cannot tell me also that the imams who were said to be such great scholars and teachers of islam never taught their followers and students how to read the quran and which way of reading was right.you are questioning the legitimacy of imamate and its usefulness unknowingly.if i am to accept your reasoning,then i am simply also to accept that the presence of the imams was no other than dividing the ummah and collecting zakat and khums from their followers.let us be honest.doesn't the Rasul said he was leaving behind the thaqalain? that was his legacy and will to the muslims.he urged the muslims to treat them well.believe me if the imams had a better copy or a more complete copy of the quran,and they taught the shia,it would not be hard for other muslims to see the difference.even those who are not muslims today are embracing islam because of the quran we have in our hands and its veracity and miraculous nature.take for example the knowledge of the unseen in the quran and the science in it.

so dear brother,i want you to sincerely tell me,is there no authentic hadith agreed upon from the imams that teaches us how to read the quran?

then if the book of Islam was not taught by the Imams,can you tell me what they taught us and what was their tool to guide us?

now that they are not arround,and with the multitude of hadeeths,both right and wrong,if the quran is not the yard-stick to guidance,then what is?

didn't imam Sadeq (as) urged us to reject any hadith that contradicts the Quran?

Edited by mehdi soldier
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Correct, and there's even more. Such as the ahadith found amongst both sects pointing to words being in the Quran which are no longer there. For instance this famous one:

[ 26358 ] 3 Ü æÚä Úáí Èä ÅÈÑÇåíã ¡ Úä ÃÈíå ¡ Úä ÇÈä ÃÈí ÚãíÑ ¡ Úãä ÐßÑå ¡ Úä ÃÈí ÚÈÏÇááå ( Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã ) ÞÇá : ÅäãÇ äÒáÊ ( ÝãÇ ÇÓÊãÊÚÊã Èå ãäåä ) Åáì ÃÌá ãÓãì ( ÝÂÊæåä ÃÌæÑåä ÝÑíÖÉ ) .

3 – And from `Ali b. Ibrahim from his father from Ibn Abi `Umayr from the one whom he mentioned from Abu `Abdillah Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã. He said: It was only sent down “So those of them with whom you have done mut`a” to a named duration “then give them their wages as a duty.”

(before someone jumps in with a "mursal! mursal!" look at the narrator right before that)

And as is well known, this is how Ibn `Abbas would recite it (note "recite", not explain)

[ 26368 ] 13 Ü ÞÇá : æÞÑà ÇÈä ÚÈÇÓ ( ÝãÇ ÇÓÊãÊÚÊã Èå ãäåä ) Åáì ÃÌá ãÓãì ( ÝÂÊæåä ÃÌæÑåä ÝÑíÖÉ ) .

13 – He said: And Ibn `Abbas recited “So those of them with whom you have done mut`a” to a named duration “then give them their wages as a duty.”

Another example of this that I find stunning is the inclusion of the word muhaddath in a verse (22:52) as testified by our hadith and even by none other than Tirmidhi as having been there.

Interesting point. Are these narrations strong in rijal? What makes us so sure that when Ibn Abbas recited this verse, he didn't mean it as explanation?

Ubayy's codex is also said to have had two other suras not found in the current one (sura al-Hafd and al-Khal`). There are in fact many such examples that can be found when someone takes our hadiths literally and without trying to just explain them all away.

Considering there are narrations that the Prophet used to recite the Quran in whole to ensure that the scribes wrote it down accurately, don't you think it's odd that no one else reported having these surahs? If this Prophet's tradition was authentic, then it's probable that minor variations occured (e.g. different readings such as arjulakum vs arjulikum) or even minor word deletions such as what Ibn 'Abbas mentioned in your quoted tradition. But, it's very unlikely that a major variations such as a whole surah (moreover, another 10000+ verses) could happen by singular tradition without anyone else mentioned & reported this.

Even if one wants to ignore all of that, there's the very real issue of the ikhtilaf in the qira'at. Most Muslims today just seem utterly oblivious to this fact, but it's there for all to see.

Correct, but you see, only Shia has this problem because we have hadiths where Imam Ja'far said that Qur'an was revealed in a single hurf & single qira'at. Sunni doesn't have this problem since they believe that Qur'an was revealed in 7 ahruf (which only Quraisy is left now) & at least 7 qira'at are mutawatir. So, for them, there are no ikhtilaf in qira'at because they are all correct, so there are no problem related to tahrif here.

Sure, but does it specifically say to compare them to the `Uthmani mashaf? And again, an incomplete text does not mean that the text is worthless.

But to what should we compare them to? The mushaf on Imam Mahdi's hand which we don't have access to?

The other problem with this is if let's say we have a hadith X which looks like contradict the Qur'an. Then, if we accept that there are verses that's not included in the present Qur'an but included in Imam Mahdi's mushaf, then this principle can't be applied since there's always the possibility that it's in agreement with Imam Mahdi's mushaf.

That's easy enough to explain. First, the story of the `Uthmanic compilation is full of holes and contradictions. I don't deny that it happened at all, but I seriously doubt the text was as de facto and ingrained by then as later stories allege. That said, as to the Imam's ability to have introduced a different reading and replaced the other, just see what happened when (in _Kufa_ of all places) he tried just to stop the people from following `Umar's bid`a of tarawih in jama`a:

Úáí Èä ÇáÍÓä Èä ÝÖÇá ¡ Úä ÃÍãÏ Èä ÇáÍÓä ¡ Úä ÚãÑæ ÇÈä ÓÚÏ ÇáãÏÇíäí ¡ Úä ãÕÏÞ Èä ÕÏÞÉ ¡ Úä ÚãÇÑ ¡ Úä ÃÈí ÚÈÏÇááå ( Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã ) ¡ ÞÇá : ÓÃáÊå Úä ÇáÕáÇÉ Ýí ÑãÖÇä Ýí ÇáãÓÇÌÏ ¿ ÝÞÇá : áãÇ ÞÏã ÃãíÑ ÇáãÄãäíä ( Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã ) ÇáßæÝÉ ÃãÑ ÇáÍÓä Èä Úáí Ãä íäÇÏí Ýí ÇáäÇÓ : áÇ ÕáÇÉ Ýí ÔåÑ ÑãÖÇä Ýí ÇáãÓÇÌÏ ÌãÇÚÉ ¡ ÝäÇÏì Ýí ÇáäÇÓ ÇáÍÓä Èä Úáí ( Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã ) ÈãÇ ÃãÑå Èå ÃãíÑ ÇáãÄãäíä ( Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã ) ÝáãÇ ÓãÚ ÇáäÇÓ ãÞÇáÉ ÇáÍÓä Èä Úáí ( Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã ) ÕÇÍæÇ : æÇÚãÑÇå ¡ æÇÚãÑÇå ¡ ÝáãÇ ÑÌÚ ÇáÍÓä Åáì ÃãíÑ ÇáãÄãäíä ( Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã ) ÞÇá áå : ãÇ åÐÇ ÇáÕæÊ ¿ ÞÇá : íÇ ÃãíÑ ÇáãÄãäíä ¡ ÇáäÇÓ íÕíÍæä : æÇÚãÑÇå ¡ æÇÚãÑÇå ¡ ÝÞÇá ÃãíÑ ÇáãÄãäíä ( Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã ) : Þá áåã ÕáæÇ .

`Ali b. al-Hasan b. Faddal from Ahmad b. al-Hasan from `Amr b. Sa`d al-Mada’ini from Musaddaq b. Sadaqa from `Ammar from Abu `Abdillah Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã . He said: I asked him about salat during the month of Ramadan in the masjids. So he said: When Amir al-Mu’mineen Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã came to Kufa, he commanded al-Hasan b. `Ali to call to the people: There is no salat during the month of Ramadan in the masjids in jama`a. So al-Hasan b. `Ali Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã called to the people by what Amir al-Mu’mineen Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã had commanded him to. So when the people heard the saying of al-Hasan b. `Ali Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã they shouted: O `Umar! O `Umar! So when al-Hasan returned to Amir al-Mu’mineen Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã he said to him: What is this sound? He said: O Amir al-Mu’mineen, the people are shouting: O `Umar! O `Umar! So Amir al-Mu’mineen Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã said: Say to them: Pray.

Now if that's over one bid`a of doing a certain salat in jam`a, and in Kufa at that, imagine what they would have done had he tried to replace the masHaf with another?

And again, it's not like we don't have many hadiths where the Imam would recite a verse in a certain way to his companion and it'd be different from the way the people would do it.

Interesting point. But, please clarify what holes & contradictions are we talking about here?

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(salam)

I used to be unsure about tahreef in Quran, but after reading Quran and pondering over it a while I have seen that there cannot be any tahreef in it. For surely Allah protects the light however averse the disbelievers will be. When we believe that the Imam is protected by Allah, then why isn't the Quran protected? Rasool Allah (saw) said, I leave you two things........ and BOTH will not separate until they reach me at Kawthar. Allah has stated in Quran that previous scriptures had been corrupted and that the Quran was the manifest proof until day of judgement, God would not allow the final revelation to be corrupted. People forget that Allah knows exactly the condition of Quran we have in our hands today and therefore He would protect it for every generation as it is what He has promised. As for a Sahih hadith on tahreef:

15Ü ÇáÅãÇãõ ÇáÕøÇÏÞõ (Úóáóíåö ÇáøÓóáÇãõ) : ãÇ áóã íõæÇÝöÞú ãöä ÇáÍóÏíËö ÇáÞõÑÂäó Ýåõæ ÒõÎúÑõÝñ.

15- Imam al-Sadiq (as) said, ‘The traditions that do not correspond with the Qur’an are false.’[al-Kafi, v. 1, p. 69, no. 4]

if the Quran was incomplete, all hadith would be incomplete

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(salam)

I used to be unsure about tahreef in Quran, but after reading Quran and pondering over it a while I have seen that there cannot be any tahreef in it. For surely Allah protects the light however averse the disbelievers will be. When we believe that the Imam is protected by Allah, then why isn't the Quran protected?

I think people are misunderstanding macissac here (please correct me if I'm wrong bro).

The argument is that Qur'an is undoubtedly protected. The protected copy is with the Imam of our time (as). All the other copies of the Qur'an may have errors or omissions in them. Note: I am not condoning such an argument, merely explaining it.

Rasool Allah (saw) said, I leave you two things........ and BOTH will not separate until they reach me at Kawthar.

Exactly. So the haqiqi Qur'an is with the Imam (as). What we have are imitations, probably from the one collected by Uthman.

Edited by Socrates
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Found another possible chink in the OP's theory. To go back to it, the argument is that Majlisi and the other scholars have all been wrong in considering this to be have muwaththaq or sahih chain of narration, mistakenly thinking Ahmad b. Muhammad to be Ahmad b. Muhammad b. `Isa while the OP is alleging it was really Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Sayyar, who is regarded to be weak. The actual chain of the hadith (#28 in the chapter) as found in al-Kafi goes as such:

علي بن الحكم، عن هشام بن سالم (2)، عن أبي عبدالله (عليه السلام)

`Ali b. al-Hakam from Hisham b. Salim from Abu `Abdillah عليه السلام

Now, Shaykh al-Kulayni would not have been narrating directly from `Ali b. al-Hakam, so the chain has been shortened here. As is well known in these things, to find out the full chain in such cases you then refer to the hadith with a full chain that comes before it. In this case (#27):

محمد بن يحيى، عن أحمد بن محمد، عن علي بن الحكم، عن عبدالله بن فرقد والمعلى بن خنيس

Muhammad b. Yahya from Ahmad b. Muhammad from `Ali b. al-Hakam from `Abdullah b. Farqad and al-Mu`alla b. Khunays.

(since the theory in the OP is relying on the presence of #28's also being in as-Sayyari's Kitab al-Qira'at, I wonder if this hadith (#27) has also been checked to see if it's in it)

Now, again, what I have seen thusfar of Kulayni is that when Ahmad b. Muhammad is actually Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Sayyar, he mentions it as such (i.e. listing his full name) or by simply referring to him as as-Sayyari instead. The OP alleges though that in this specific case, perhaps due to a copyist error, we are to believe it's in fact the latter one, not Ahmad b. Muhammad b. `Isa, thus rendering the isnad da`if.

Ok, here's the (possible) additional problem though (in addition to it relying on a fair deal of guesswork and speculation). Remember that principle of looking at the hadith prior to the one you are analyzing to resolve ambiguities or shortening of the isnads? Well, look at the isnad of the hadith (#26) just before the one mentioned above:

عدة من أصحابنا، عن سهل بن زياد، ومحمد بن يحيى، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى جميعا، عن ابن محبوب، عن جميل، عن سدير، عن أبي جعفر (عليه السلام)

A number of our companions from Sahl b. Ziyad, and Muhammad b. Yahya from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. `Isa, all from Ibn Mahbub from Jamil from Sadir from Abu Ja`far عليه السلام

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^ The numerous versions of the Quran does not imply they are all distortions from the original. One of them is the correct one, the rest are invalid. There is no need to resort to macisaac's far-fetched theory..

Any proof on this? Since even we don't have the narration pointing out which recitation (qira'at) we should follow right now

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Ayatullah Makarem Shirazi gave a lecture on this, this time last year. The scholars have researched into this eliminating the false copies and agreed there is only one valid copy..

(salam)

What one was said to be the valid copy?

(wasalam)

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