Selections from the Introduction

of Tafsir al-Qurtubi

(to be published by Dar al-Taqwa, insha'llah)

In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, Most Merciful

What has come about the order of the suras and ayats of the Qur'an, its vowelling and dots, its hizbs and tens, the number of its letters, juz's, words and ayats

Ibn at-Tayyib said, "Some say that the Salaf differed about the order of the suras of the Qur'an and some of them wrote the suras in the order that they were revealed and put the Makkan before the Madinan, and some put al-Hamd (Fatiha) at the beginning, and others put al-'Alaq at the beginning.' This was the case in the first copy of 'Ali. As for the copy of Ibn Mas'ud, it begins with 'Master of the Day of the Deen'' (1:4) and then al-Baqara, and then an-Nisa' with a different order. The copy of Ubayy began with al-Hamd, then an-Nisa', then Al 'Imran, then al-An'am, then al-A'raf, then al-Ma'ida. There were significant differences."

Ibn at-Tayyib's answer is that it is possible that the order of the suras as we have today in the Qur'an is by ijtihad on the part of the Companions. Makki mentioned this in the tafsir of Surat at-Tawba. He mentioned the order of the ayats in the sura and that the placing the basmala at the beginnings of them was from the Prophet, peace be upon him. Since he did not command that for Surat at-Tawba, it was left without a basmala. This is the soundest of what is said about it.

In the Jami', Ibn Wahb stated that Sulayman ibn Bilal heard Rabi'a being asked why al-Baqara and Al 'Imran were put first when there were about eighty suras revealed before them and they were revealed in Madina. Rabi'a said, "They were put first and the Qur'an was arranged according to the knowledge of those who arranged it and had knowledge of that. This is what we ended up with and we do not ask about it." It is reported from Qatada that Ibn Mas'ud said, "Whoever of you seeks a model, should model himself on the Companions of the Messenger of Allah. They have the best hearts of this community, the deepest knowledge, least artifice, straightest guidance and the best state. Allah chose them to be the Companions of His Prophet and to establish His deen. So acknowledge their excellence and follow in their footsteps. They followed straight guidance."

Some scholars say that the arrangement of the suras of the Qur'an which we find in our copies of the Qur'an was at the instruction of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. What is related about the differences betwen the copies of Ubayy, 'Ali and 'Abdullah was before the final presentation. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, arranged those suras for them after they had done that. It is reported from Ibn Wahb that he heard Malik say, "The Qur'an was arranged according to what they heard from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace."

Al-Anbari mentioned in Kitab ar-Radd, "Allah Almighty revealed the Qur'an all at once to the lowest heaven, and then it came down in parts to the Prophet over twenty years. A sura would be revealed about a matter which happened and an ayat would answer an inquiry. Jibril would give the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, the place of the sura and the ayat. So the suras are in order as the ayats and letters are in order. All of it is from Muhammad, the Seal of the Messengers, peace be upon him, from the Lord of the Worlds. Whoever changes the order of the suras is like someone who invalidates the order of the ayats and changes the letters and the words. There is no argument against the people who possess the truth in putting al-Baqara before al-An'am when al-An'am was revealed before al-Baqara because the order is taken from the Messenger of Allah. He said, "Put this sura in such-and-such a place."

Al-Bara' said, "The last of the Qur'an to be revealed was, "They will ask you for a fatwa. Say: "Allah gives you a fatwa about people who die without direct heirs."'" (4:175). Abu Bakr ibn 'Ayyash said, "Abu Ishaq erred because it is reported from Ibn 'Abbas that the last part of the Qur'an to be revealed was, 'Show fear of a Day when you will be returned to Allah. Then every self will be paid in full for what it earned. They will not be wronged' (2:281). Jibril told the Prophet, peace be upon both of them, 'Muhammad, put it at the beginning of 281 of al-Baqara.'"

Ibn Battal said, "Whoever says this, does not say that the recitation of the Qur'an in the prayer and lessons must be in the order that it is in copies of the Qur'an. Rather it is only mandatory to put the suras in order when writing them down, and it is not known that any of them said that the same order is mandatory in the prayer, in recitation of the Qur'an and study or that it is not lawful for someone to learn al-Kahf before al-Baqara or al-Hajj before al-Kahf. Do you not see that 'A'isha told the person who asked about this, 'There is nothing wrong in whichever you recite first. The Prophet used to recite one sura in a rak'at and then would recite in the next rak'at a different sura than the one that follows it.'

As for what is reported from Ibn Mas'ud and Ibn 'Umar about it being disliked to recite the Qur'an out of order, claiming that it upsets the heart, what they meant by that was reciting the sura out of order and beginning from its end and then working backwards, because that is forbidden. Some people do this with the Qur'an and poetry to subject the tongue to that and facilitate memorisation. Allah forbade doing this in the Qur'an because it disorders His suras and is counter to what He meant by it."

Part of what indicates that it is not obliged to use the chronological order of revelation in copies of the Qur'an is that it is confirmed that certain ayats were revealed in Madina and then placed in Makkan suras. 'A'isha said, "Surat al-Baqara and Surat an-Nisa' were revealed when I was with him (i.e. in Madina), but they come in the copies of the Qur'an before earlier suras of the Qur'an revealed in Makka."

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As for the vowelling of the Qur'an and its dots, it is reported that 'Abdu'l-Malik ibn Marwan commanded them to be added, and that was undertaken by al-Hajjaj in Wasit. He worked on the task and added its hizbs. He commanded the governor of Iraq, al-Hasan, and Yahya ibn Ya'mur to do that. After that he wrote a book in Wasit on the readings in which he compiled what was related about the disagreement of people in relation to the script. People used that book for a long time until Ibn Mujahid wrote his book on the readings. In Kitab at-Tabaqat az-Zubaydi quotes al-Mubarrad as saying that the first person to use dots in the Qur'an was Abu'l-Aswad ad-Du'ali. Ibn Sirin also mentioned that he had a copy of the Qur'an in which Yahya ibn Ya'mur had put the dots.

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As for the position regarding the division of the Qur'an into groups of ten ayats, Ibn 'Atiyya said, "In one of the histories I read that the 'Abbasid al-Ma'mun commanded that to be done. It is also said that al-Hajjaj did it." In the Kitab al-Bayan, ad-Dani said that 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud disliked the marking of tens in the copies of the Qur'an and that he erased them. Mujahid is reported to have disliked the tenths in copies of the Qur'an.

Ashhab said, "I heard Malik being asked about the tens which are in the Qur'an in red and other colours and he disliked that, saying, "There is nothing wrong in marking the tens with [normal] ink." He was asked about copies of the Qur'an in which the ends of suras were written along with the number of ayats in every sura. He said, 'I dislike for anything [additional] to be written or vowelled in the master copies. As for those copies by which children learn, I see no harm in doing that." Ashhab said, "Then he produced for us a copy of the Qur'an which had belonged to his grandfather. He had written it when 'Uthman had the Qur'an copied out. We saw the ends were written in ink in something resembling a chain which extended for an entire line and I saw that the ayats had diacritical marks in ink."

Qatada said, "They began with the dots, then with marking the division of the fives and then the tens." Yahya ibn Abi Kathir said, "The Qur'an was bare in the original copies and the first thing that they did was to put dots on the ba', ta' and tha'. They said, "There is nothing wrong in it. It makes it clearer." Then they put dots at the ends of ayats and then they put openings and ends of suras."

Abu Hamza said, "Ibrahim an-Nakha'i noticed in my copy of the Qur'an the opening of such-and-such a sura. He said to me, 'Erase it. 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud said, "Do not mix with the Book of Allah something which is not part of it."'" Abu Bakr as-Sarraj said, "I asked Abu Razin, 'Do I write 'Sura such-and-such' in my copy of the Qur'an?' He replied, 'I fear that people will come who do not know it and think that those words are part of the Qur'an.'"

Ad-Dani said, "All these reports which allow the marking of tenths and fives and beginnings of suras and the beginnings of ayats say that it was done by the Companions whose ijtihad led them to that. I think that those of them who objected to that objected to the use of colours like red, yellow and so forth, although the Muslims in other areas agreed on their use in the master copies and other copies, and prohibition and error were removed from them in what they agreed upon, Allah willing.

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As for the number of its letters and juz's, Sallam al-Himani said, "Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf gathered the reciters, huffaz and scribes and said, 'Tell me how many letters are in the entire Qur'an.' I was one of that group. We calculated and agreed that the Qur'an had three hundred and forty thousand, seven hundred and forty (340,740) letters. Then he said, 'Tell me which letter ends half of the Qur'an.' It was in al-Kahf, on the fa' of wa layatalattaf [18:19, "he should go about with caution."] He said, 'Tell me the thirds.' The first third was found to be at the beginning of 9:100 and at the second at the beginning of 26:100 or 101. The last third was the rest of the Qur'an. He said, 'Tell me the sevenths of the letters.' We did so."

Sallam, Abu Muhammad, stated, "We did that over four months. Every night al-Hajjaj would read a fourth. The end of the first fourth was at the end of al-An'am, the second in al-Kahf, the third at the end of az-Zumar and the fourth consisted of the rest. This is contrary to what is mentioned by ad-Dani in Kitab al-Bayan.

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As for the number of the ayats of the Qur'an in the first Madinan copy, Muhammad ibn 'Isa said, "The number of the ayats of the Qur'an in the first Madinan copy was six thousand." Abu 'Amr said, "It is the number related by the people of Kufa from the people of Madina, and they did not name anyone specifically on whom they relied in that."

As for the final Madinan copy, according to Isma'il ibn Ja'far, it has six thousand two hundred and fourteen (6214) ayats. Al-Fadl said, "The number of the ayats of the Qur'an according to the Makkans was six thousand two hundred and nineteen (6219). That is the number related by Salim and al-Kisa'i from Hamza. Al-Kisa'i attributed it to 'Ali. Muhammad said, "The number of the ayats of the Qur'an according to the Basrans was six thousand two hundred and four (6204), which is the number which their Salaf passed down. As for the number of the people of Syria, Yahya ibn al-Harith adh-Dhamari said it was six thousand two hundred and twenty-six (6226). One transmission has six thousand two hundred and twenty-five (6225)." Ibn Dhakwan said, "I think that Yahya did not count the basmala."

As for the number of its words, al-Fadl ibn Shadhan said, "The total number of the words of the Qur'an according to 'Ata' ibn Yasar is seventy-seven thousand four hundred and thirty-nine (77,439) and its letters are three hundred and twenty-three thousand, and fifteen (323,015)." This differs from what al-Himani said. Ibn Kathir reported that Mujahid said, "This is what we counted of the Qur'an: it has three hundred and twenty-one thousand, one hundred and eighty (321,180) letters. This also differs from what al-Himani mentioned.

The meaning of the words sura, ayat, kalima (word) and harf (letter)

The word "sura" which means chapter, wall or fence in Arabic is used in the Qur'an to make each chapter clear and distinct from every other sura. The chapters are called that because in them one ascends from one degree to the next. It is said that they are called that because of their honour and elevation, as is said of walls which are raised up in the land. It is said that they are called that because the one who reads them looks forward at what lies ahead, like the walls of a building. All these are without hamza. It is said that they are called that because they are cut out from the Qur'an on their own, as the Arabs call a leftover su'r. In that case the word would have a hamza which was replaced with a waw. It is said that they are called that because of their completion and perfection as this word is used for a fine camel.

An aya[t] is a sign. It is a sign since it is separate and distinct from the words before it and the words after it; it is clear from other signs and is on its own. It can mean a proof or token. It is said that it is called that because it is a collection of letters of the Qur'an, as one says, "The people went forth with their full company (aya)." It is said that it is called aya because it is a wonder which people are unable to imitate.

Grammarians disagree about the root of aya. Sibuwayh said that it is ayaya and because the ya' is vowelled and has a fatha before it, it becomes alif and so it is aya. Al-Kisa'i said that its root is ayaya and the ya' accepts the alif with a fatha before it and is elided because they are similar. Al-Farra' says that its root is ayyaya and it accepts the alif out of dislike of the doubling and becomes aya.

As for the word kalima, it is a composite structure which is made up of a mixture of letters. The longest words in the Book of Allah are eleven letters long, like "la-yastakhlifannahum" (24:55) and "a-nulzimukumuha" (11:28) and the like. As for "fa-asqaynakumuhu" (15:22), it is ten in writing and eleven in articulation. The shortest have two letters, like ma, la, laka, lahu, and the like. Some words are just one letter, such as the interrogative hamza and the conjunctive waw, but are not spoken alone.

Sometimes a complete ayat is comprised of a single word, as in "wa'l-fajr", "wa'd-duha", and "wa'l-'asr". That is also the case in "alif-lam-mim", "alif-lam-mim-sad", "ta-ha", "ya-sin", and "ha-mim" according to the Kufans. That occurs at the beginnings of suras, but not inside them. Abu 'Amr ad-Dani said, "I do not know of any word which on its own is an ayat except for 'mudhammatan' in Surat ar-Rahman (55:64)." Two words may become connected and be two ayats, as in "ha-mim. 'ayn-sin-qaf" according to the Kufans.

It is possible that elsewhere a single word may stand for a complete and self-sustaining ayat. Allah says, "The most excellent Word of your Lord was fulfilled for the Tribe of Israel for their steadfastness." (7:136-137) It is said that "word" here refers to Allah's words: "We desired to show kindness to those who were oppressed in the land." (28:4-5) The Almighty says, "He bound them to godfearing self-restraint (lit. word of taqwa)" (48:26). Mujahid said that the "word" is: "There is no god but Allah." The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Two words are light on the tongue, heavy in the balance, beloved to the Al-Merciful: 'Glory be to Allah and by His praise. Glory be to Allah, the Immense.'" The Arabs sometimes call an entire ode and story a "word".

The word harf (letter) is the shape which stands alone in a word of which it is made up. A letter can be called a word and a word a letter as we made clear. Abu 'Amr ad-Dani said, "Are the letters of the alphabet at the beginnings of suras, such as sad, qaf, and nun letters or words?' I say that they are words, not letters. That is because a letter is not unvowelled nor is it alone in a sura nor separate from what is mixed with it. But these are unvowelled, alone, separate, like words which are distinct."

Does the Qur'an contain words which are not Arabic?

There is no disagreement among the Arabs that the Qur'an contains words composed in a non-Arabic mode and names of people which are not Arabic, like Isra'il, Jibril, 'Imran, Nuh and Lut. They disagree about whether there are words other than proper names which are non-Arabic. Qadi Ibn at-Tayyib, at-Tabari and others believe that there are no non-Arabic words in it and the Qur'an is pure Arabic, and whatever words which are found in it ascribed to other languages happen to be common to both, and so the Arabs, Persians, Abyssinians and others used them. Some claim that non-Arabic words exist in the Qur'an but that since they are so few that does not preclude the Qur'an being pure Arabic and the Prophet from speaking the language of his people. Mishkat (24:35) is a niche, nasha'a means "to rise in the night" as in "nashi'ata'l-layl" (73:6), qaswara (74:51) is a lion and kiflatayn (57:28) means "double". These are found in Abyssinian. Ghassaq (38:57) means "foul" in Turkish. Qistas (17:35; 26:182) means "balance" in Greek. Sijjil (21:104; 15:74; 105:4) means "stones" in Persian. Tur (2:63; 2:93, etc.) is a mountain and yamm (7:136. etc.) means sea in Syriac. Tannur (11:40; 23:27) is the surface of the earth in Persian.

Ibn 'Atiyya said, "The truth about the expression of these words is that their origin is foreign, but the Arabs used them and Arabicised them and so they are Arabic. When the Qur'an was revealed in their language, the Arabs had mixed with other languages via trade and travel." And Allah knows best.

Points about the inimitability of the Qur'an, preconditions of the miracle and its reality

A miracle (mu'jiza) is the evidence of the Prophets which indicates their truthfulness. It is called that [the verb means "to be unable to do"] because no human being is able to do the like of it. It has five preconditions. If one of them is missing, it is not a miracle.

- It must be something which only Allah can do. This precondition is necessary because if someone comes at a time in which it is possible for there to be Messengers and claims to be a Messenger and makes his miracle consist of moving and being still, standing and sitting, that is not a miracle nor evidence of his truthfulness since another creature can do that. Miracles consist of things like splitting the sea, splitting the moon and other such things.

-  It must break normal patterns. If someone comes at night and his sign is that the night will come after the day or the sun rise in the east in the morning, that is not a miracle because it is something which only Allah can do and it was not done for his sake. Things which break normal patterns are like turning a staff into a snake, the rock splitting and the she-camel emerging, or water springing from fingers like a spring.

- It must be claimed to testify to the Message.

- It must occur in order to support this claim against those who challenge him as when he says, "I am a Prophet and my sign is that this she-camel will speak."

- It must be that no one successfully comes up with the like of what he is challenged to do.

It is not said that the miracle with the five preconditions is limited to the truthful, because the Dajjal, as our Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, will have immense matters appear at his hands. The difference is that one claims to be a Messenger and the other to be a Lord, and there is a great difference between the blind and the seeing.

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If you affirm this, know that there are two types of miracle. The first is that which is famous and whose time ended at the death of the Prophet, and the second are those transmitted by multiple traditions as being sound and confirmed and hence must be known. The precondition is that many people transmitted it and have knowledge of what they transmit and the whole chain is reliable so that it is impossible that there be any falsehood in it. This is the case with the Qur'an which has been transmitted from large numbers of people continuously and has gone to many lands. The Qur'an will remain a miracle until the Day of Rising whereas the miracles of other Prophets ended with their death. The Qur'an will not be changed or altered as happened with the Torah and Gospel.

There are ten aspects to the inimitability of the Qur'an.

-  Its wondrous composition differs from every usual order in Arabic and other languages because its arrangement is not poetry at all, as Allah says, "We did not teach him poetry nor would it be right for him." (36:68) In the Sahih Collection of Muslim, it is reported that Unays, the brother of Abu Dharr, told Abu Dharr, "In Makka I met a man who claims that Allah sent him." He asked, "What do people say about him?" He replied, 'They say: he is a poet, a soothsayer and a sorcerer." Unays was a poet and said, "I have heard the words of the soothsayers and this is not like their words. I compared him with the reciters of poetry and it was not like them. No one after me should err and say he was a poet. He is truthful and they are liars." When 'Utba ibn Rabi'a heard the Qur'an, he affirmed that it was not sorcery or poetry and that he had never heard anything like it.

- Its style differs from all the styles of the Arabs.

- It has a lucid, eloquent style which could never come from a creature at all. Reflect on that in Surat Qaf (50) and Surat as-Zumar (39) and you will clearly see its eloquence which a creture could not possibly originate.

Ibn al-Hassar said, "These three – arrangement, style and lucid eloquence are found in every sura, indeed, in every ayat, and the combination of these three distinguishes what is heard of every ayat and every sura from the words of ordinary humans. By this there is a challenge [to opponents] and inimitability. Every sura has these three, although other aspects of the ten may be ascribed to it as well. Surat al-Kawthar (108) consists of onlu three short ayats, being the shortest sura in the Qur'an, and it contains reports about the unseen matters: about Kawthar and its immensity and abundance which indicates that the Prophet will have the greatest number of Followers. The second is about al-Walid ibn al-Mughira, who was a wealthy man with many children when this was revealed, and then later he was destroyed.

- The Arabic usage used in it is beyond what any Arab could master and they all agree that it is correct.

- It talks of matters which occurred from the beginning of the world until the time of its revelations, all this issuing from the mouth of someone illiterate who could neither read nor write. It reports about the stories of Prophets with their communities and past generations as well as those matters the People of the Book asked about when they challenged him about the People of the Cave, al-Khidr and Musa, and Dhu'l-Qarnayn. Qadi ibn at-Tayyib points out that we know that there was no way for him to learn this because he did not have contact with people with knowledge of history or frequent a teacher so that he could take from them, and so it is known that it could only have come by way of revelation.

- There is the fulfilment of Allah's promises which were visually perceived in all that He promised in the Qur'an. That is divided into general reports, like promising His Messenger, peace be upon him, victory and expelling those who expelled him, and promises which have preconditions like, "If someone trusts in Allah, He is enough for him." (65:3)

- There are reports about unseen matters in the future which could only be known by revelation. Part of that is Allah's promise to His Prophet that his din would overcome all other dins, as happened. When Abu Bakr sent his armies on expeditions, he would inform them of Allah's promise to make His din victorious so that they would be confident of victory and certain of success. 'Umar also did that, and the conquests continued in the east and west. Allah says, "Allah has promised those of you who believe and do right actions that He will make them the successors in the land as He made those before them the successors." (24:55)

-There is the knowledge that the Qur'an contains, which is the basis for all people regarding the lawful and unlawful and other rulings.

-There are eloquent expressions of wisdom which do not normally issue from a human being.

- The perfect symmetry of the entire Qur'an, outward and inward without disparity or inconsistency, is a final factor. Allah says, "If it had been from other than Allah, they would have found many inconsistencies in it." (4:82)

These are ten points and an eleventh, mentioned by an-Nazzam and some Qadaris, is that the meaning of inimitability is the impossibility of opposition and being prevented from undertaking to meet the challenge. They said that the prohibition and diverting people from attempting to do that are the miracle rather than the Qur'an itself. That is because Allah directed their aspirations away from undertaking the challenge to bring a sura like it. This is false because the consensus of the community without any disagreement is that Qur'an itself is the miracle, not the diversion and prohibition because its eloquence and lucidity are beyond normal patterns. If there had been any words like it, it would not be the case.

Information about ahadith forged about the excellence of the suras of the Qur'an and other matters

One does not pay any attention to what forgers devise and opponents create of false ahadith and baseless reports about the excellence of the suras of the Qur'an and other virtuous actions. Many people do this, and their goals and aims vary. Some of them are zindiqs, like al-Mughira ibn Sa'id al-Kufi and Muhammad ibn Sa'id ash-Shami. They forged ahadith and used to create doubt in the hearts of people. Part of that is what Muhammad ibn Sa'id related from Anas ibn Malik about the words of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "I am the seal of the Prophets and there will be no Prophet after me except as Allah wishes." He added the exception and that is heresy on his part. This is mentioned by Ibn 'Abdu'l-Barr in the Kitab at-Tamhid.

Some forged ahadith to support a sect to which they called people. One of the Kharijites said after he repented, "These ahadith are the deen. So look to whom you take your deen. When we desire something, we make up a hadith about it."

A group forged ahadith about rewards, calling people to virtuous actions, as related from Nuh ibn Maryam al-Marwazi, Muhammad ibn 'Ukkasha al-Kirmani, Ahmad ibn 'Abdullah al-Juwaybari and others. He was asked, "Where did you get what you have from 'Ikrima from Ibn 'Abbas about the virtue of certain suras?" He replied, "I saw that people turned from the Qur'an and busied themselves with the fiqh of Abu Hanifa and the expeditions of Muhammad ibn Ishaq and so I made up this hadith about rewards." There are other examples like this, like the long hadith reported from Ubayy about the virtues of each sura of the Qur'an.

Some beggars who stand in markets and mosques forge ahadith with isnads from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, which they have memorised. They mention these forged ahadith along with their isnads. At-Tayalasi said, "Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Yahya ibn Ma'in prayed in the Rusafa mosque and a storyteller stood before them and said, 'Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Yahya ibn Ma'in related to me from 'Abdu'r-Razzaq from Ma'mar from Qatada from Anas that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'If anyone says, "There is no god but Allah," a bird is created from every word whose beak is of gold and feathers of coral.' He began a story which would cover about twenty pages. Ahmad looked at Yahya and Yahya looked at Ahmad. He asked, 'Did you say this?' He said, 'By Allah, I only just heard it at this moment.'

"They remained silent until he finished his story. Then Yahya asked him, 'Who told you this hadith?' 'Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Yahya ibn Ma'in,' he replied. He said, 'I am Ibn Ma'in and this is Ahmad ibn Hanbal and we have not heard this at all in the ahadith of the Messenger of Allah. This must be a lie.' 'You are Yahya ibn Ma'in?' he asked. 'Yes,' he replied. He said, 'I had not heard that Yahya ibn Ma'in was a fool and I did not know it until this moment!' Yahya asked, 'And why do you say that I am a fool?' He replied, 'It is not as if there was no Yahya ibn Ma'in and Ahmad ibn Hanbal in the world but you two! I have written from seventeen Ahmad ibn Hanbals other than this.' Ahmad hid his face in his sleeve and said, 'Let him go.' He went as if he was mocking them." These groups lie about the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

If they had confined themselves to what is established in the Sahih collections and Musnads and other books made by scholars related by the imams, they would have had enough. They abandoned his warning, "Fear Allah when reporting from other than those you know. Whoever deliberately lies about me should take his seat in the Fire." So he, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, warned his Community about lying, indicating that he knew that it would happen. His warning was about what is forged by the enemies of Islam and the zindiqs in encouragement and warning and other things. Those who do the greatest harm are those who ascribed asceticism to themselves and forged ahadith about rewards that they claim. People accepted their forgeries and relied on them, and so they were misguided and misguided others.

What has come on the refutation of those who attack the Qur'an and oppose the text of 'Uthman by adding to it or removing some of it

There is no disagreement in the Community between the Imams of the Sunna that the Qur'an is the name used to designate the Words of Allah which Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, brought as a miracle, as we have said. It is preserved in the hearts, recited on the tongues, written in the copies of the Qur'an, and known by necessity in suras and ayats. It is free of any addition or increase in words and letters. There is no need for a definition to define it nor number to contain it. Anyone who claims increase or decrease in it has declared the consensus false and such an action astonishes people. We read what Allah said about what the Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, brought of the Qur'an revealed to him, "Say: 'If both men and jinn banded together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could never produce anything like it, even if they backed each other up.'" (17:88). That is an attempt to invalidate the Sign of the Messenger because if it had been something someone was capable of doing, it would not be a proof or a sign and therefore not a miracle.

Those who say that there is addition and decrease in the Qur'an reject the Book of Allah and what the Messenger has brought. It is like someone who states that the obligatory prayers are fifty, one can marry nine women and that Allah obliged extra days to be fasted together with the days of Ramadan, and so forth. As all of that is refuted by consensus, so consensus about the Qur'an is more binding and necessary.


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