Al-Quran in the light of Sunni and Shia perspectives
31st January 2015
The Quran is the basis of all guidance for Muslims and is deemed as untainted since revelation. However there do exist narrations in both Sunni and Shia hadith literature that indicate to the Quran being distorted or parts of it lost. The Centre for Intra-Muslim Studies convened to discuss the very topic of the Quran from both Shia and Sunni Perspectives. The Sunni perspectives was presented by Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, and the Shia presentation by Shaykh Arif Abdulhussain.
The compilation of the Quran according to him was done at the time of the Prophet evidenced by the Quran referring to itself as ‘the Book’ indicative of the existence of it in a book manner. What is well-known as the compilation of the Quran by the 3rd Caliph Uthman bin Affan was indeed a mere unification of the recitations according to him, as the Quran was already complied in his view.
Of the points raised in the discussion was the narrative that the Shia have a different Quran, sometimes referred to as the copy of Fatima (muṣḥaf faṭima). In response to this, the Shia scholars mentioned that narrations referring to the existence of a different Quran are isolated and weak, in addition to the multitude of narrations explicitly mentioning that the Quran at the time of the Imams as being the same Quran as the one at the Prophet’s time. Furthermore, all major Shia theologians such as al-Tusi, al-Kulayni, Khui and others, are all unanimous that the Shia believe in the same Quran held by other Muslims, which would further push out any doubt that the Shia have a different Quran.