The Quran Challenge, Part II
Shia Response #1โThere are also no verses in the Quran to tell us how to pray. We learn some of our duties from the Hadith and not the Quran.โ
Firstly, the Shia consider Imamah to be Usool-e-Deen (fundamental of religion) whereas Salat (prayer) is Furoo-e-Deen (subsidiary and secondary part of religion). Hence, the comparison between the two is unfair, because Salat is considered an Islamic ritual (a Fiqh matter) whereas Imamah is considered essential to the core belief of Islam, on the same level as Tawheed, Prophethood, and the Day of Judgment.
Imamah is important enough to convince the Shia to separate themselves from the mainstream Islam. If the only difference between the Shia and mainstream Muslims was the way they perform prayer, then they would never have become a sect outside of orthodox Islam.
Having said that, the reality is that Salat has been referred to explicitly and strongly more than 700 times in the Quran. In each of these verses, one of the aspects of prayer is covered. Many of the verses talk about the details of prayer, such as how to come prepared for prayer (ablution), prayer in travel, and other such matters. So we wonder why the Shia would compare Salat with Imamah. Salat is mentioned over 700 times, whereas Imamah is never mentioned.
Certainly, with such a vast and strong reference to Salat from Quran, Muslims will refer to the Prophet (ุตููู ุงููู ุนููู ูุขูู ูุณููู ) to know the details. Nobody is saying that the Quran should contain the nitty-gritty of where our hands should be placed while praying and other such minor Fiqh issues. But the concept of Salat is very much stressed in the Quran; again and again, Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) says that the believers are those who establish Salat. There is not a single reference to Imamah; had Imamah been simply outlined in the Quran, then the Muslims could refer to the Prophet (ุตููู ุงููู ุนููู ูุขูู ูุณููู ) for the nitty-gritty details such as how much Khums to pay to the Imam and other such minor Fiqh issues. And yet, Imamah is never mentioned even fleetingly.
The truth is that Imamah is an imaginary concept concocted by the Shia scholars and it does not exist. If it existed, it would be in the Quran; its absence from the Quran is evidence of its imaginary nature. Salat is mentioned 700 times, and yet we find zero verses in the Quran about “Infallible Imams;” even the name of Ali (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู), the leader of these Imams, is not mentioned.
We wonder why Salat is mentioned so many times in the Quran, but there is absolutely no mention of the 12 Imams, the Infallible Imamah, or even the divine Imamah of Ali (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู)? The Shia believe that Imamah is Usool-e-Deen (i.e. primary) whereas Salat is Furoo-e-Deen (i.e. secondary). So why would a minor point be mentioned so many times and not the major one? In Islam, it is Haram to enter someone else’s house without first knocking on the door and getting permission. This is mentioned in the Quran. How come something so miniscule as this could be mentioned in the Quran and yet we find nothing on the “all-important” concept of Imamah, which is supposedly the main pillar of belief? And consider this with Allah’s (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) declaration: “We have left nothing out in the Book.” (Quran, 6:38)
Shia Response #2โ There are certain verses but you need to look at the Hadith to understand their true meaning because we are advised to learn the Quran from the Prophet (ุตููู ุงููู ุนููู ูุขูู ูุณููู ), and Hadith are his teachings.โ
The fundamentals of faith are all mentioned in the Quran, and their details are in the Hadith. It is unthinkable that the Hadith would go against the Quran, or expound an entire invisible arm of faith that is completely absent in the Quran. In fact, such a “Hadith” which has no basis in the Quran has to be thrown out as unauthentic, even according to the Infallible Imams of the Shia: โIf you come across two Hadiths narrated from us [Imams] then compare them with the Book of Allah; what is in concordance then take it and what is in disagreement then reject it.โ (Al-Istibsar, Volume 1, p.190) And again: โWhatever comes to you related from us [Imams] then compare it with the Book of Allah; whatever is in concordance with it then accept it and whatever contradicts it then reject it.โ (Al-Istibsar, Volume 3, p.158)
Why is it that only when it comes to Imamah, we suddenly need Hadith to help us? We certainly do not need Hadith to understand from the Quran that Salat, Hajj, fasting, and Jihad are obligatory on Muslims. We do not need Hadith to understand from the Quran that a Muslim needs to believe in the Oneness of God; even the Prophets, Angels, and the Hereafter are mentioned in the Quran, but not a single time is Imamah mentioned. None of the other fundamentals of faith are completely absent from the Quran!
All of a sudden, when it comes to Imamah, Hadith becomes a vital tool to understand the Quran? How can this be when the Shia Hadith itself says that a person should reject those Hadith which do not conform to the Quran? It is true that the Prophet (ุตููู ุงููู ุนููู ูุขูู ูุณููู ) explains certain verses of the Quran, but explaining is different from interpreting and changing the very meaning of the verse. The Quran is the clear guide to the truth; how could Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) expect people of our time to use Hadith to understand the meaning of the Quran? Which Hadith should a person follow? There are dozens of Shia sects, each with their own sets of Hadith. Surely, Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) did not expect people to become Hadith scientists and analyze all of these. Instead, Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) said that the Quran is the guide to the truth, so the fundamental of faith should be found from it.
Shia Response #3โImamah is an extension of the idea of Ali’s Divine Appointment (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู). As such, we do not need to find proof for Imamah, but rather of Ali’s Divine Appointment (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู). Evidence for this can be seen in the Quran: “Only Allah is your Wali (friend), and His Messenger, and the believers–those who establish regular prayers and regular charity, who humbly bow down.” (Quran, 5:55)
In this verse, Allah says our Walis are Allah, His Messengers, and then Ali (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู). The Quran is referring to Ali (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู) when it says “the believers, those who establish regular prayers and regular charity, who humbly bow down.” This is because Ali (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู) was bowing down in prayer and gave his ring in charity to someone while in Rukoo, so this is why the verse referred to him in this way.โ
It is incorrect to claim that Ali’s Divine Appointment is the issue and not Imamah; after all, this Divine Appointment is to Imamah! Having said that, the same can be asked about Ali’s Divine Appointment. Not a single time in the Quran is Ali’s name (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู) mentioned, let alone a verse that refers to his Divine Appointment. So once again, the Quran is silent on the issue and the Shia find no basis for their beliefs in the Quran.
In regards to Verse 5:55 above, it is a stretch to say that this verse refers to Ali (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู). Once again, we see that the Shia was unable to simply show us the verse in the Quran without their own commentary. As such, this does not fulfill the “Quran Challenge” in the least. Without their added commentary, this verse does not in any way discuss their Shia belief.
In fact, it is an impossibility that this verse refers to Ali (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู) when it talks about “believers” which is in the plural form. How can this verse refer to Ali (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู) when it is in the plural form? Yuqeemoona, yu-toona, hum, and raki’oona are all plural structures. Now, the Shia will respond by saying it is in plural because it refers to all of their twelve Infallible Imams. But that is peculiar, since the Shia was just arguing earlier that this verse referred to a specific story in which Ali (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู) gave his ring in charity while in Rukoo. This is a contradiction that needs to be pondered upon.
Lastly, even if we let the Shia believe that this verse refers to Ali (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู), this still does not answer the “Quran Challenge.” This verse is talking about “Wali” which means “friend.” It has nothing to do with Infallible Imamah. If that were the case, were the Shia arguing that Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) is one of the Infallible Imams, since Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) says that He is Wali of the believers?
What would stop a Bahai person from claiming that this verse actually refers to Bahaiullah? A Bahai person could easily narrate a convoluted story about how Bahaiullah gave charity and was bowing down to God, and then vehemently claim that this verse refers to Bahaiullah. The Aga Khanis could claim that this verse refers to The Aga Khan. Indeed, if we accept the Shia claims, then there really is no way to stop anyone from taking any verse in the Quran and twisting it to mean really whatever they want it to mean.
It is disconcerting how the Shia play Legoes with the Quran. For example, if the Quran calls someone(s) Ahlel Bayt, the Shia will claim it is Ali (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู), even though it is addressed to the Prophet’s wives. If the Quran uses the word “Mawla,” then the Shia say this is Ali (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู). The Quran calls Ibrahim (ุนููู ุงูุณูุงู ) an Imam, so the Shia claim that this shows Ali (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู) is an Imam. Even Qadiyanis can claim that Mawla means Mirza Ghulam Qadiyani. Or Hindus can claim that Imam means Rama or Kali Mata. Anti-Islam orientalists can say that it refers to the Moon God that Muslims slay virgin women for.
We sincerely advise our Shia brothers to read the Quran in an unbiased manner. Ahlel Bidah (the People of Evil Innovation) will first expound their beliefs and then after this they will look for “evidences” in the Quran. On the other hand, true believers will first read the Quran and then this will decide what their beliefs are. If a person adamantly believed in Santa Claus, then he could easily read the Quran and make different verses refer to Santa Claus. But if such a person read the Quran with an open heart and an unbiased mind (i.e. with no preconceptions), then there is no way that he could arrive at the erroneous belief in Santa Claus.
It should be noted that the response by the Shia, quoting the verse of the Quran with such excessive and rambling commentary, is indicative of their weak position. The more they have to talk, the more obvious their lack of Quranic support becomes.
Shia Response #4โThere is no mention of the name of Prophet Muhammad (ุตููู ุงููู ุนููู ูุขูู ูุณููู ) in the Bible but still the Christians need to believe in him.โ
The Quran tells us that the Bible did in fact give information about Prophet Muhammad (ุตููู ุงููู ุนููู ูุขูู ูุณููู ) but that these verses were removed.
If Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) thought that the people could be guided to the right path just by the version of the Bible we have today, then why would He find the need to send the Quran to replace the Bible? No human being can be expected to know about our Prophet Muhammad (ุตููู ุงููู ุนููู ูุขูู ูุณููู ) from reading the present-day Bible.
Furthermore, there is an interesting side-note to be added here. The Jews and the Christians believe in the concept of prophethood; but do they have any institution of Imamah? They have never even heard of this word, and there is surely no English equivalent of it. This is another point to ponder for the Shia; up until the Shia invented it, there was no concept of Imamah.
Although it would be appropriate for the Quran to mention the twelve Imams by name, the “Quran Challenge” is not asking the Shia to even find the names of their Imams in the Quran, but rather simply the concept of Imamah. The concept of prophethood is well-established in the Bible (both old and new testaments). It is only after the establishment of this concept in the Christian holy book that they were expected to believe in another prophet, namely Muhammad (ุตููู ุงููู ุนููู ูุขูู ูุณููู ). The concept of Imamah, however, has not been referred to in the Bible, let alone being established as a doctrine. Therefore, from this respect too, the comparison is illogical.
Shia Response #5โ The verses of the Quran are usually general and it is not the style of the Quran to name people (i.e. the Imams). Show us the names of all 124,000 prophets if everything is supposedly in the Quran.โ
Nobody asked for names. We are simply asking for the concept. We are looking for a few general verses that simply outline the doctrine, or at least even the mention of the doctrine. In fact, we’ll settle for something along the lines of: “O Muslims, be aware that there will be certain Imams for you after the Prophet who are appointed by Allah and you need to follow them.” It is as if the Shia want us to believe that Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) was worried about talking about Imamah explicitly.
Having said that, we have the name of Zaid (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู) in the Quran who was a Sahabah, and his name is there to refer to a very minor issue. It is not unfair to ask for a single verse with the name of Ali (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู) in it if (according to the Shia) he was a central part of faith (i.e. the first Infallible Imam). To the Shia, the religion revolves around Ali (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู), so shouldn’t he be mentioned in the Quran? The Prophet (ุตููู ุงููู ุนููู ูุขูู ูุณููู ) has been mentioned numerous times by name and his position as prophet and messenger are mentioned in multiple places.
It is incorrect to say that Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) would not reveal the names of the Imams; the name of the man we had to follow was mentioned explicitly (i.e. Muhammad [ุตููู ุงููู ุนููู ูุขูู ูุณููู ]) and if there was someone other than him, then the name would be mentioned. Yes, all 124,000 prophets do not need to be named (namely because they have no relevance to us), but the one(s) we have to follow (i.e. Muhammad [ุตููู ุงููู ุนููู ูุขูู ูุณููู ]) has special relevance to the Muslim and was revealed to the people so there would be no doubt who to follow. Had there been others to follow afterwards, then surely Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) would have included their names in the Quran. The Arabs of Mecca could not be expected to need to know the names of all of these 124,000 prophets, but the one prophet they had to follow was named many times (i.e. Muhammad [ุตููู ุงููู ุนููู ูุขูู ูุณููู ]). Surely, if there was another divinely appointed person in the future, then that person is important enough to be named like Muhammad (ุตููู ุงููู ุนููู ูุขูู ูุณููู ) was.
Ninety-nine different names for Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) have been mentioned in the Quran. Six entire chapters are named after the names of the Prophets (yet not a single verse let alone an entire chapter is about an Infallible Imam). Luqman, Aziz of Egypt, Zulqarnain, Abu Lahab, and Zaid (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู) are some of the few mentioned by name in the Quran. Four different angels are mentioned by name, five different mosques are mentioned by name, etc. So why is it that Ali’s name (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู) is not mentioned a single time in the Quran? If Ali (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู) and his divine appointment of Imamah are the fundamental part of faith, then where are the Quranic verses that mention Ali (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู)? His name is not used a single time. If Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) could mention the names of Zaid (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู), Muhammad (ุตููู ุงููู ุนููู ูุขูู ูุณููู ), Moses, Haroon (ุนูููู ุงูุณูุงูู ), and such, then why didn’t Allah Almighty (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) also mention the name of Ali (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู)?
The Quran is supposed to be complete, and yet the Shia are saying that the fundamental core belief is not even in it. An author who writes a book without getting his main point across would get an ‘F’ if an English teacher graded it. Are the Shia trying to say that the author of the Quran, Allah the Almighty (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู), deserves an ‘F’ for failing to mention the crux of faith in a book which Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) Himself declares to be a complete guide for humanity?
Shia Response #6โ The Quran says “follow the Prophet.” There are Hadith from the Prophet (ุตููู ุงููู ุนููู ูุขูู ูุณููู ) that prove the doctrine of Imamah and this should be enough for a Muslim if he wants to follow the Prophet (ุตููู ุงููู ุนููู ูุขูู ูุณููู ).โ
At this point it should be stated that the Shia Hadith are fabrications. So it is really quite convenient for the Shia to say that we won’t see this in the Quran but only in their Hadith. Meanwhile, different Shia branches have different Hadith that say whatever they want. The Ismaili Shia (i.e. the Aga Khanis) have contradictory Hadith saying other people are the Imams. The various Shia branches debate with each other based on their respective fabrications.
Our refutation to “Shia Response #1″ is also applicable here, since it is the same argument in different wording.
Why is it that it is only for this article of faith that we need to consult the Hadith? Let us test something. If we take the Quran in our hands and open it up by chance to a random page, we are guaranteed that no matter where it is opened up, a few verses before or after are about either the Oneness of God, Prophethood, the Day of Judgment, destiny of the human being, or duties of Muslims. Now, how far would we have to go in order to find a verse that (and this only with the help of Shia “Hadith” and rambling Tafseer) could be interpreted as Imamah in the Shia doctrine? How come for our other fundamental beliefs the Quran is quite direct, even for our main duties as Muslims; but when it comes to Imamah, suddenly the Quran is silent and only the Shia Hadith mention it. This is inconsistency and Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) is far greater than having inconsistency in His perfect book. Hadith is not the second volume of the Quran. Authentic Hadith are the details of the Quran, but the basics of our belief are of course in the Quran.
The Shia position is further weakened when we take into account that for every Hadith the Shia use to prove Imamah, there are other Hadith that are in contradiction to it. In fact, even Hadith (as a whole) are not structured in a way to prove Imamah. Such a justification is in fact the main reason for having different Islamic-oriented sects. Zaidis, Ismailis, Bohris, Ibadis, and Bahais all have their own Hadith. All of these have the same problem, namely that they are trying to understand their religion from sources other than the Quran, using fabrications to prove their faith and expounding beliefs that can find no bearing in the Quran.
There is no denying the sheer importance of Hadith. However, the Hadith should have basis in the Quran. It is wrong to believe that entire arms of our faith have to be derived only from Hadith and such beliefs have no basis in the Quran. To all Muslims, except those who have broken up into sects, the fundamentals of belief are derived from the Quran; if they are not, then either they are wrong or they are not fundamental and thus not acceptable reasons for forming a specific sect to be separated from the rest of the Muslims, especially when the Quran explicitly forbids splitting up into sects. In fact, since all of these sects have different sets of Hadith, and so too do the mainstream Muslims, we must see which set of Hadith has consistency with the Quran. If the Shia Hadith are inconsistent with the Quran, then we must reject this source altogether. And ofcourse the Shia Hadith are inconsistent because the Quran never mentions the institution of Imamah.
Shia Response #7โThere are no explicit verses because if there were, then the Quran was in danger of being tampered with by the Sahabah.โ
This is actually guessing Allah’s (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) intention and is very close to Kufr (disbelief). From where would one come to this conclusion? Is there any verse in the Quran that says Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) has not revealed certain things because if he does, then someone will change the Quran? In fact, the Quranic verses are supportive of the opinion that nothing has been left out for us from the Quran; furthermore, Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) promises that He will keep the Quran safe.
To argue that Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) did not reveal the entire message in the Quran for fear of tampering is actually attributing Taqiyyah (lying to save one’s religion) to Allah Himself (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู), which is pure blasphemy. Allah Almighty (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) declares: “We have left nothing out in the Book.” (Quran, 6:38) Did Allah Almighty (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) say “We have left some stuff out of the Book because We are scared someone might change it?”
Allah Almighty (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) has promised in the Quran that He will protect it from being tampered with: “Absolutely, We have revealed the Reminder [the Quran], and verily, We are its Guardian; We will preserve it.” (Quran, 15:9) In another verse, Allah says: “This is an honorable Quran in a protected book, well-guarded. A revelation from the Lord of the universe.” (Quran, 56:77-80) And again: “Indeed, it is a glorious Quran, in a preserved master tablet.” (Quran, 85:21-22)
By arguing that there is a fear that the Quran will be tampered with, even though Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) has promised that this won’t be the case, this is either accusing Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) of lying or of questioning Allah’s (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) promise and power. In any case, there are many reasons why this argument is horrible, and it should be fairly obvious that it is a fallacious. For example, if Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) couldn’t preserve knowledge via the Quran, then why could He do it through the Hadith? The Shia themselves reject many of their own Hadith as Daeef (weak) and Mawdu (fabricated), so what logic could Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) possibly have to not include this precious information in the Quran but instead put it in Hadith?
Furthermore, why was Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) only fearful of revealing about Imamah but not about other things? The Quran felt no qualms in declaring idolatry to be Haram even though the Quraish were ready to kill the Muslims for this declaration. By the same logic, Allah Almighty (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) shouldn’t reveal verses against idolatry since the Munafiqoon might tamper with the Quran then. We could pretty much say anything and argue that Allah didn’t include it for fear of tampering.
Shia Response #8โThe Quran was changed by the Sahabah who hated the Ahlel Bayt, and certain verses were removed by them.โ
This has actually been the opinion of some classical Shia scholars. In fact, this is the most logical reply to the “Quran Challenge.” However, no Shia scholar these days refers to this response. In fact, they publically deny that the Quran has ever been tampered with.
In any case, such a believe in Tahreef (tampering) of the Quran would be a violation of the verses in the Quran in which Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) promises that He will protect and safe-guard the integrity of the Quran. Allah Almighty (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) has promised in the Quran that He will protect it from being tampered with: “Absolutely, We have revealed the Reminder [the Quran], and verily, We are its Guardian; We will preserve it.” (Quran, 15:9) In another verse, Allah says: “This is an honorable Quran in a protected book, well-guarded. A revelation from the Lord of the universe.” (Quran, 56:77-80) And again: “Indeed, it is a glorious Quran, in a preserved master tablet.” (Quran, 85:21-22)
In any case, if certain verses were removed, then how do we know that there wasn’t some verses in the Quran in support of Bahaiullah or even George W. Bush? By this assumption (i.e. that the Quran has been changed), there is no basis for any opinion derived from Quran.
Furthermore, the anti-Islam Orientalists have constantly tried questioning the integrity of the Quran, and they in fact cite the opinions of classical Shia scholars who believed in Tahreef. The Quran declares that the Bible and Christianity are invalid now because the Bible has been tampered with; if a religious book is tampered with, then the religion itself has been invalidated. To argue that the Quran has been adulterated is to say that Islam has been invalidated. This is pure Kufr.
Shia Response #9โ Where in the Quran is it said that Abu Bakr should be the first Caliph?โ
Firstly, it is not appropriate to answer a question with a question. We oftentimes see Shia responding to questions with questions, as if the Ahlus Sunnah also being wrong somehow justifies the Shia to be wrong. If the Ahlus Sunnah said that 2+2 is not 6 as the Shia believe, would it be valid for the Shia to respond that 6 is correct since the Ahlus Sunnah say 2+2 is 5 and this too is incorrect? Both 5 and 6 are incorrect answers. The point is that it is not a valid methodology of justifying one’s faith by finding errors in someone else’s faith.
Having said that, this question raised by the Shia only shows the misunderstanding of some people about the belief of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah. Believing in the Caliphs is not a fundamental element of Islam. According to the Ahlus Sunnah, there are only 6 Articles of Faith and 5 Pillars of Islam; believing in the Caliphate of Abu Bakr (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู) is not part of either of them. (This is altogether unlike the Shia faith in which Imamah is an article of faith and is the most important one.)
Any group of people tends to select someone as their leader. And the rational and most reasonable way to do so is by election. This is a routine social/political practise. Certainly, no system of public election was established at that time and the election of Abu Bakr (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู) was done through Shura of those people present at Saqifah. Someone could argue that Abu Bakr (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู) was not a good choice or that not all qualified people were present at the time; this is an individual opinion, but it has nothing to do with looking for evidences in the Quran about it. It is simply a routine social practice that was and is and will be done in any society and no logical mind would expect a divine evidence for that.
Let us not compare apples with oranges. The doctrine of Imamah is a fundamental belief of Shi’ism, whereas election or selection of Caliphate is just a routine and common socio-political practise. It’s like comparing the election procedure of President of the USA (i.e. Caliphate) to the divine appointment of the Pope by the Vatican (i.e. Infallible Imam). The President (or the Caliphate) doesn’t claim Divine Providence like does the Pope (or the Imam). If a certain person wants to claim religious right and divine appointment, then surely this person better bring the proof from the religious book!
On the other hand, does anybody ask for divine proof when one selects a President or even the Imam of prayers in our mosques? Nobody would ask an MSA President to bring evidence from the Quran about his election, but if someone were to claim to be divinely appointed by Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู), then we ask for evidence from the Quran for this claim.
In any case, let us look at the present situation in Iran. Is there any divine command about how to establish a leadership in the occultation of Mehdi? Abu Bakr (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู) was selected to lead much like Khomeini was selected to lead. Let us remember that there were no religious system of governing for the Shia after the occultation of the Mehdi 1,000 years ago. No divine ordinance came down to make Ayatollah Khomeini leader of Iran; in fact, there were many Ayatollahs who spoke out against Khomeini and they were subsequently jailed for treason.
It has turned out that the Shia ended up being in the same situation as the mainstream Muslims, namely that they had to elect a leader by themselves in the absence of any direct divine command or appointment. Why are the Shia so much against Abu Bakr (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนูู) and yet they support Khomeini?
Shia Response #10โ It is a test and that is why it is not mentioned in the Quran. It is to see who will be a believer and who will not.โ
This claim puts the function of Quran as a book of guidance under serious doubt. By this claim, there is no use to read Quran to get any guidance because (who knows?) maybe there is a fundamental part of our belief that is not mentioned in the Quran because Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) wants to test us! By the same token, Bahais claim that the Quran talks about their prophet Bahaiullah. When we ask them where in the Quran, they will show some verses that have nothing to do with their claim. When we say but these verses are not clear about their claim, they say “Oh because God is testing you…” How convenient indeed.
This is again playing with divinity. Who are we to decide for Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) that what is a test and what is not a test? The prophethood of Muhammad (ุตููู ุงููู ุนููู ูุขูู ูุณููู ) was also a test but there are many verses in the Quran that directly tell people that Muhammad (ุตููู ุงููู ุนููู ูุขูู ูุณููู ) is a prophet. A test is different from a puzzle. Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) says in the Quran that He makes things clear for people. Even a teacher first makes it clear for his students what is the material of the exam and then he designs a test based on that material. We need to read the Quran to see what are the materials that Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) is going to ask us about on the Day of Judgment. Is ‘believing in the doctrine of Imamah’ one of the materials that the Quran commanded us about? Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) makes things clear for us and sends us enough evidences and then tests us to see if we can be humble enough to obey His guidance.
Let us give an analogy. Let us pretend that there was not a single verse in the Quran about the Day of Judgment. It is like saying that Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) is testing us to see if people can somehow magically guess or deduce that there is a Day of Judgment. This runs totally contrary to logic, as well as to the fact that humans cannot see the Ghaib (the Unseen) so how can we know anything that Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) hasn’t revealed to us? Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) makes it clear in the Quran that we need to believe in Him and His Prophet (ุตููู ุงููู ุนููู ูุขูู ูุณููู ) and to do good things and the test is whether we obey these commands. Allah (ุนุฒ ู ุฌู) does not play games with us. He does not expect us to solve puzzles and riddles. We wonder why the Shia cannot see this in any other way. Imamah is not explicitly referred to in the Quran but still the Shia insist on themselves to be separated from the mainstream Muslims because of this doctrine, and then they expect everyone else to simply guess or deduce that Imamah is necessary. On what basis is a mainstream Muslim supposed to be able to deduce that Imamah is a part of faith?
Shia Response #11โThere are certain verses in the Quran but they are coded and only Allah knows their meanings. For example, โAlif Lam Meem” is in the Quran and nobody knows the meaning of this. Another example is that of Surah Kawthar; Kawthar is the code name Allah uses for Fatima (ุฑุถูู ุงููู ุนููุง).โ
Again, what can stop a Bahai person from saying that certain verses are coded and if we break the code, it actually says that Bahaiullah is the next prophet? In fact, there was a man by the name of Rashad Khalifa who claimed to be prophet based on a mathematical code he made of the Quran. Again, all of our previous responses apply here. Which verse in the Quran tells us that it is in code? On the contrary, the Quran says that it is clear. Please refer to our earlier rebuttals for Shia Responses 2, 3, 5, 7, and 10, since they all apply to this argument as well.
We see that none of the above responses by the Shia are really answering the “Quran Challenge.” These responses are actually escaping from the truth. Give a Quran (the translation) to an English man who has no idea about Islam and ask him to read it and write down five important articles of Islamic belief based on his understanding from the Quran. We imagine that he will write down the Oneness of God, Prophethood, the Day of Judgment, perhaps the rewards and punishments, prayer, Zakat, and so on. But is there any chance that he writes the doctrine of Imamah as the Shia put it? Surely not!
The very reason that the Shia need to include lots of explanation and commentaries and Hadith to “prove” the Imamah doctrine from verses of the Quran proves that the Quran is not explicit and direct about Imamah, and when a book of guidance is not explicit and direct about something, that “thing” cannot possibly be a fundamental of guidance; people who have chosen to be separated from the mainstream Muslims because of that “thing” are responsible for their sectarian attitude. We should keep in mind that whereas there is not a single verse to show Infallible Imamah, there are many Quranic verses which reprimand those who split up into sects.
The Quran says that the main complaint of the Prophet (ุตููู ุงููู ุนููู ูุขูู ูุณููู ) about his people on the Day of Judgment is that they put the Quran aside and ignored it: “And the messenger cried out: ‘O my Lord! Surely, my own folk have made this Quran of no account.’” (Quran, 25:30)
Article Written By: Owais Muhammad
Article Edited By: Ibn al-Hashimi, www.ahlelbayt.com