The Collection and Preservation of the Qur'an
This book is written by Ayatullah Sayyid Abulqasim al-Khui and translated from the Arabic by (late) Mulla Asghar Ali M.M Jaffer into English.
Amid all the diversity of thoughts, leanings and interpretations, Muslims are united by a single cohesive force, an eternal and abiding miracle of Muhammad (‘s); Holy Qur'an. A prince among the revealed Books, Qur'an has remained pristine and unsullied by the profane hands.
The external forces working restlessly to wreck the Muslim unity and consensus have now resorted to a new ploy. From among the Muslims themselves, they have succeeded to instigate sectarian differences based on Qur'an. We now see scholars of one sect accusing the followers of another sect of disbelieving in Qur'an, or believing in a Book which has disappeared or been interpolated.
From Saudi Arabia, South Africa and particularly Pakistan, recent publications against the Shi’a sect harp on one and the same note. They go to wearisome and tedious lengths, just to prove that the Shi’as are not Muslims because they do not believe in the existing Qur'an. It is surprising to find a man of Abul Hasan Nadawis' calibre joining the notorious band and entering inextricably into the quagmire. The forces of kufr have thus successfully created a wider chasm between the two main sects of Islam, the Shi’a and the Sunni; and some scholars have played into their hands.
The fact is neither Sunni nor Shi’a Muslims believe in any Our'an other than the existing one, nor do they subscribe to the views supporting interpolations, distortions, omissions, additions or any sort of tampering in the Holy Book.
In our selection of two chapters from Ayatullah Sayyid Abul Qasim al-Khu’i's famous work al Bayan fi Tafsiril Qur'an we have deliberately given a prime choice to the subjects of Tahrif and collection of the Qur'an. Later, we hope to translate and publish further chapters so that, eventually, whole book is placed in the hands of the Muslim as well as non‑Muslim readers.
Ayatullah al-Khu’i completed this work decades ago. He is one of the great Shi’a mujtahids of this era, internationally known for his erudition. The book was acclaimed as a masterpiece by Shi’a as well as Sunni scholars, leaving no doubt in the minds of its readers that Qur'an as a great force binding all the Muslims together has come to stay for ever.
The line of argument pursued by Ayatullah al-Khu’i is unique. While he enumerates and discusses all the reports from Shi’a as well as Sunni sources, he very ably concludes that according to the reliable and authentic traditions, Qur'an has remained pure, pristine and unprofaned. His arguments proving that the belief in Tahrif goes against al‑Kitab (i.e. Qur'an), as‑Sunnah, al‑Aql and al‑Ijma', are compelling and persuasive. His analysis of all those reports which indicate desultory, unmethodical and haphazard later day collection of Qur'an leaves no shred of doubt that they are false and fabricated.
In his preface to the first edition of al‑Bayan fi Tafsir il Qur'an, al Khui writes:‑
"I was enamoured by Qur'an from the childhood, always keen to unravel its secrets and to discover its meaning. It behoves every true Muslim, and even non‑Muslim thinkers to ponder over Qur'an, to unfold its hidden meaning and to benefit from its light. For it is a Book which has a message for human welfare and guides it to success and salvation. Qur'an is a reference for the linguist, a guide to the grammarian, an authority for the jurist, an example for the refined, a lost treasure for the wise. It even guides those who admonish and shows the goal in life. It is a source of social as well as political sciences, and upon it rest the sciences of Islam. It will reveal to you the fascinating secrets. of Nature, and introduce you to the laws of creation. Qur'an is the abiding miracle of this ever lasting religion, and a code of conduct based on the high and esteemed Shari’ah".