What is Mushaf Fatimah?

What is Mushaf Fatimah?

What is Mushaf Fatimah?

What is Mushaf Fatimah?

By: Abdullah Amini

The most prevalent question about this Mushaf, the most tumultuous and confusing issue is, “What exactly does “Mushaf” mean?” The assumption is that this Mushaf is a special type of Quran. However, as we will show in the following sayings (hadith) of the Prophet Mohammad(s.a.w) and the Imams(a.s), this Mushaf doesn't contain a single verse (ayah) of the Quran. However, some of the uninformed think that because it is called a “Mushaf” that it must mean “Quran”. In fact, some Sunnis come to Qom[1][2] asking to see the Mushaf which they allege is another Quran. However, when they understand the reality that the Shiites have none other than and only that very Quran that other Muslims possess, they are stunned at the accusations made against the Shiites. A great deal of the Ahl al-Sunnah (i.e. Sunnis) thinks that the Shiites have another Quran—besides the present Quran—at their disposal! They suppose that Mushaf Fatimah is that other Quran! These allegations even make their way into secular Arab publications. For example, the Sudanese Newspaper, ”Aakhir Khabar” on 6 Rajab, 1416 included an article claiming that the Shiites have another Quran by the name of Mushaf Fatimah!

It has gotten to the point that some Shiites believe that Mushaf Fatimah is another Quran. In this way they will assume that the narrations presented in this book have little import (because they are meant to mislead Sunnis) and doubt the chain of authority of the narrators. It is amazing in this light to see that such a personage as Imam Khomeini not only didn't hide or deny its existence, rather, he took pride in it: “We are honored that . . . Sahifah Fatemiyyah (i.e Mushaf Fatemah) which was inspired by God most excellent to Zahra Mardhiyyah (i.e. Lady Fatimah) is our (heritage).”[2][3]

What do such people mean that they are honored or take pride in Mushaf Fatimah? It's because no one had seen its contents[3][4] came out after nightfall and said several times
: ‘(There will be) a grumbling and a moaning and a dark night, and then the Imam (al-Mahdi) will come out to you wearing the shirt of Adam, and on his hand will be the ring of Solomon, and the staff of Moses.”[4][5].) and it is only through narrations that we know what the subject matter is.

Subsequently, I must confess that the existence of the Mushaf Fatimah has been proven and the proofs exist, however, we must approach it in a round about way. Heretofore an independent work has not been published; (other works) have indirectly mentioned it.

Some of the hadith about Mushaf Fatimah have used this very word “Mushaf” in which case the aforementioned thoughts are reinforced. Mohammad bin Muslim narrates from Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq(a.s), “Fatimah left a Mushaf which is not the Quran.”[5][6]

'Ali bin Sa'id narrated from Imam al-Sadiq(a.s), “And it is with us. By Allah, Mushaf Fatimah does not contain a single verse from the Book of Allah!”[6][7] Imam al-Sadiq(a.s) says, “In it is what is like your Quran, only three times (in size).”[7][8],[8][9]

Some have conjectured that Mushaf is a word exclusively in reference to the Quran. If it is said that “Mushaf Fatimah”, means “Fatimah's Quran” because the last hadith says “It is like your Quran, only three times (in size)”, they conclude that the Shiites believe that the present Quran is inadequate. These people are oblivious to the fact that the preceding hadith stated emphatically that this Mushaf doesn't contain a single verse of Quran. In any case, now we will start the discussion with the meaning of “Mushaf”.

Connotation of “Mushaf”

That which has the appearance of sheets of text between two covers is called a “Mushaf”. In Sahah taj al-lughah, and , Sahah al-'arabiyyah it says, ”Al jam'e lil suhuf al maktubeh bayn al dafatayn”.[9][10],[10][11] “Suhuf” (صُحُف

the plural of “sahifeh” (صَحيفة) connotes a leaf or folio on which one writes. “dafatayn” (دَفَتين) is derived from “dafah” (دَفّة) which connotes something which is contiguous or adjoining something. ”daftan al-Mushaf” (المصف دفتاً
) means the cover on both sides of a book. [11][12],[12][13] Consequently, a Mushaf has more than one page, not just one, although it could on occasion have no more than one page; it's still a Mushaf if it's between two covers so that the pages are contained within it.[13][14]

In conclusion, it must be said that “Mushaf” connotes a bound book inclusive to any book and is not exclusive to the Quran, although it must be said here that that well known meaning of Mushaf is “Quran”. Etymologically speaking, it can be said that Mushaf connotes the Quran (but doesn't denote it—tr.).

There's no doubt that the word Mushaf has been used in reference to the Quran innumerably but can't be said that it is interchangeable with the word “Quran” even if it is the most common connotation or if it has been used in the sunnah as referring to the Quran. Take for example this narration
: “The Prophet(S) said, 'Whosoever recites the collected and bound (Mushaf) Quran will have 2000 good things written for him.'”[14][15] He also said, “Grant your eyes a share from your worship.” They said, “And what is the share for the eyes, oh Prophet of Allah?” He said, “Looking at the Mushaf (i.e. the Quran) and pondering over it…”[15][16]
We can take away from this narration that the Quran had been collected and bound in the time of the prophet(s.a.w).

The Term Mushaf in the Time of the Companions of the Prophet (s.a.w)

Despite the fact that the Prophet referred to the Quran as a Mushaf (in the above narration collected by a Sunni author—tr.), the Sunni sources state that the Prophet(s.a.w) absolutely did not use the word Mushaf because its first usage was in the time of Abu Bakr (the first Caliph). Suyuti[16][17] states, “When Abu Bakr had collected the Quran, [the Muslim community] began searching for a name for it. Some suggested, “Let's call it the Gospel (Injeel).” However, others were not pleased with that (because it is what the Christians call their book). Someone said, “Let's call it ”Sifr” but again others were displeased because the Jews (called their book that). Ibn Mas'ud said, “In Abyssinia, I saw a book which they called “Mushaf”. From this suggestion, they called the bound Quran 'Mushaf'.”[17][18],[18][19]

There are three problems with this narration

1. This doesn't correspond with the prior narration (in the Sunni canon of hadith) in which the Prophet (S) referred to the Quran as Mushaf.
2. It opposes the fact that the same narration also demonstrates that the Quran had been bound during the Prophet's(s.a.w) lifetime.
3. The word “Mushaf” is an 'Arabic word, so it couldn't have been introduced from Abyssinia.
Imam Ali (A) says, “The heart is the Mushaf of the eye.”[19][20]

The Connotation of Mushaf among Non-Muslims

Among the multitude of references that demonstrate that Mushaf doesn't exclusively connote the Quran, are those used by non-Muslim 'Arab writers. For example, ibn S'ad (a Muslim writer) in Tabaqaat al-Kabari conveys the story of one “Sahal the Christian” in which [Sahal] refers to the Gospel and other holy writings amongst [the Christians] with the word Mushaf[20][21] as did 'Arab Muslims. If it were the case that Mushaf only referred to the Quran, they wouldn't have used it for (their writings). For example, Umm Salamah, the wife of the prophet(s.a.w) recounts the story of the Abyssinians as such: “They would unravel their scripture around and about themselves; their patriarch would begin scribing until that volume was soaked with ink.”[21][22] As well, one “Owzaa'i”, born 33 AH, living 157 years (he died 9 years after the martyrdom of Imam al-Sadiq(a.s)) referred to Byzantine manuscripts as Mushaf.[22][23],[23][24]

Mushaf According to the Expressions and Lexicon of the Sahabah (Companions)

The companions of the Prophet of Allah(s.a.w) used Mushaf to refer to other than the Quran. For example, the famous companion Abi Sa'id Khudri in answering some people who wanted him to narrate hadith to them said, “I won't say a thing for you to write until you've read the Mushaf (of hadith already compiled).”[24][25] Also, Uthmaan ibn 'Affan (the third Caliph) requested of Hafsah,[25][26] “Send us the (unbound and fragmentary) manuscripts (of Qur'an) so that we may compile and make a Mushaf of them (nunsakha fil masahif) . . .”[26][27]

Mushaf in the Lexicon of the Taabi'een (The Companions Of The Companions Of The Prophet(s.a.w))

In the same way that the sahabah had used Mushaf to refer to other than the Quran, the taabi'een followed suit. In this regard, there are commentaries and lexicons; we will site here a sentence from Mohammad bin Sirin Ansaari
: ”'Ali swore to not don his cloak (i.e. not leave his house) except on Fridays (for public prayers) until he had collected the Quran into a book (fi Mushaf).”[27][28]

If the term Mushaf in this report meant Quran, it would be redundant. It would be like saying that he (A) was collecting the book of Quran into a book. Then, the literal meaning of Mushaf is clear. The second report comes from Rafi' bin Mehraan who narrated, ”[The companions] collected the Quran into a book (fi Mushaf).”[28][29]

Mushaf in classical writings

Mushaf was used by classical writers in their manuscripts in reference to a bound book. For example the author Jaahidh referred to each section of his book Al-Haywaan as a Mushaf and

at the end of each section he would write, “thus ends the first Mushaf and begins the second Mushaf. . .”

Also, Sheikh Aba Bakr bin 'Iqaal Saqli in Fawaa'id says, “The sahabah didn't collect the sunnah of the Prophet of Allah(s.a.w) in a book (Mushaf).” [29][30]
It's worth pointing out that the word Mushaf is mentioned neither in the Quran itself nor was it counted among the names of the Quran. Jalaaluddin Suyuti[30][31] and Abu Al-Ma'aali al-Saaleh, who was one of the transmitters of hadith of Islam, counted 55 titles for the Quran and the word “Mushaf” was not among them.
It's interesting to know that no one objected to Seebway's calling his book Al-Keetaab, despite the fact that that was one of the titles of the Quran, but they object to the book of Lady Fatimah(a.s) being called “Mushaf”.

Mushaf in Contemporary Writings

Dr. Imtiyaaz Ahmad in his book Dalaa'il al-towtheeq al-mobakkir lil sunnah wa al-hadeeth says that Mushaf doesn't just refer to the Quran, but can refer to (any) book. In order to prove his claim, he cites several sources.[31][32] Also professor Bakir Bin 'Abdullah in his book Ma'rifat al-nasakh wa al-sahhaf al-Hadeeth says, ”'Mushaf' is an idiomatic expression which is inclusive to any collected work used by speakers.”[32][33]

Dr. Nasiraddin Asad in Masaadir al-shu'ur al-jaahili writes, “They called any bound book a “Mushaf” and it strictly refers to a book, not just the Quran.”[33][34]


[34][2] Qom, Iran is one of the oldest Shiite cities, settled in the 2nd century, AH. It is one of the premiere centers of Shiite theological learning and the pilgrimage site for the sister of the eighth Imam, Fatimah al-Ma’sumah (A).

Various opinions regarding the Mushaf Fatimah

As far as we know, no Shiite or Sunni scholar has ever gotten their hands on Mushaf Fatimah. Rather, they've gained an understanding of its scribe and author from the relevant hadith on the subject. In this respect, there hasn't been a far-reaching or comprehensive research on the matter. Some have said, “Her Mushaf contains parables, edicts, sermons, historical accounts and miracles and amazing occurrences. Imam 'Ali(a.s) is its author, and he gifted it to her as a consolation after her father's death”[35][35]

Others are of the opinion that this Mushaf contains jurisprudence (shar'i), normative and ethical rulings, all future events, and that Lady Fatimah(a.s) wrote it from all the pronouncements that she heard from her father (the prophet Mohammad(s.a.w)) and her husband (Imam 'Ali(a.s)).[36][36]

Imam Khomeini in his last will and testament said, “Sahifah Fatimah was inspired to her from the very presense of the Lord most High to Zahra Mardhiyyah (i.e. Lady Fatimah).”[37][37] Seyyid Muhsin Ameen is of the opinion that this noble Lady (a.s) has two books: one inspired by her Lord, the other the sayings of the prophet of Allah (s.a.w) to Lady Fatimah(a.s).[38][38]

There reason that there are so many divergent opinions on the content of this Mushaf, as the above quotes point out, is owing to the fact that the hadith are scattered in various chapters of various books. There are no analytical or theoretical analyses (of the hadith by the scholars who had collected the hadith). Because of this, the foundation of the argument and investigation are narrations that haven't been collected into one chapter (of a book of hadith), rather, they are in various books.

Indeed, none of the books that refer to Lady Fatimah (a.s) have hadith that mention the Mushaf's content mention the same content twice (i.e. every hadith says that the Mushaf contains something different). In this respect, some have thought that the Mushaf is the very one that the reports mention, this because of the divergent opinions that have arisen. However, these hadith speak of the books (kitab) of Lady Fatimah (a.s) and not per se of her Mushaf. In light of this, it is fitting to allude to these other books until we can separate them from and arrive to her Mushaf.

1. Book of Ethics

Neither the Shi'a or Sunni books of hadith have noted such a book, rather, its existence has been alluded to in the above mentioned books. Kharaa'aty (a Sunni) narrates from Mojaahid, “Ubayy bin Ka'b, went to visit Fatimah (May Allah's pleasure be upon her)—the daughter of Mohammad(s.a.w). Fatimah took out a a book hidden between the fronds of a date tree and showed it to him. In it was written, 'Whoever believes in God and the day of resurrection is kind to his neighbor.'”[39][39]

There is another narration which refers to this book. It is clear that the above hadith is actually a partial narration. Sheikh Kulayni quotes the full narration in Usul al-Kaafi from Imam al-Sadiq(a.s)[40][40]. Abu Ja'far Mohammad bin Jarir bin Rustam Tabari quotes from the scholars of the fourth (Islamic) century also quotes this hadith—with an even longer narration—in the book Dalaa'il al-Imamah.[41][41]

Apparently, the people who said that Mushaf Fatimah is about factual and ethical matters and etiquette had seen this hadith. As we will point out, Mushaf Fatimah does not contain ethical matters. Therefore, there is no basis for this belief.

2. Book of Precepts and Statutes (ketaab-e tashri'i)

Such a book has not been recorded in the books of hadith. However, in responding to the question the representative of Mansur—the 'Abbassid Caliph—in Medina, Imam al-Sadiq(a.s) made reference to this book.[42][42] From this we can infer that Lady Fatimah(a.s) was in possession of a book on precepts and statutes.

'Allamah Seyyid Muhsin Amin considered this book to be Mushaf Fatimah,[43][43] however it must be said that there are narrations—to be noted later—that say that the Mushaf of this noble Lady did not contain matters of the permissible and forbidden. If such jurisprudential rulings were noted, there are other hadith by Lady Fatimah(a.s) quoting her eminent father, the prophet of Islam(s.a.w) that say otherwise.[44][44]

3. Fatimah's Tablet

Lawh (لُوْح) refers to wide pages of wood or bone, which in Farsi is called taablow (تابلو), or, takhteh (تخته
). The existence of this tablet is noted in a great number of hadith. It contains the names of the Shi'ah Imams(a.s).

Abu al-Fath Karaajaki (d. 449 AH) firmly believes that all the Shi'ah (scholars) are unanimous regarding the content of this tablet.[45][45] The content of this tablet have not been reported in one place. It has a number of various chains of authority. Kulayni, quoting from Jaabir bin 'Abdullah Ansaari says the following,
“I approached Fatimah and in her hands was a tablet. In it were the names of the executors (of the prophetic trust) (
) from her children, and they numbered twelve.[46][46] The last of them was Al-Qaa'im, three amongst them were (named) Mohammad, three amongst them 'Ali.”[47][47]

What [the narrator] meant by “three amongst them were (named) Mohammad” was Mohammad al-Baqir(a.s) (the 5th Imam), Mohammad al-Jawaad(a.s) (the 9th Imam) and Mohammad ibn al-Hasan al-Mahdi(a.s) (the 12th Imam, referred to in the hadith as “Al-Qaa'im”). However, the statement that “three among them 'Ali” doesn't correspond to the number of Imams with the name of ”'Ali”. There were actually four of them: Imam 'Ali(a.s) (the 1st Imam), 'Ali ibn al-Hussein al-Sajaad(a.s) (the 4th Imam), 'Ali ibn al-Musa al-Ridha(a.s) (the 8th Imam) and 'Ali ibn al-Mohammad al-Haadi(a.s) (the 10th Imam). How do we rectify this?

The first answer: the pronoun “amongst them” (مِنهُم) refers to “her children” (وُلْدِها
). In these respect, the meaning of “three amongst them 'Ali” is the children of Lady Fatimah(a.s) and that's why the narrator didn't mention the name of Imam 'Ali(a.s) (the husband of Lady Fatimah(a.s) and father of the Imams(a.s)).
The second answer
: The scribe erred (in writing “three amongst them 'Ali”. It was meant to be written as “four amongst them 'Ali”. There is a hadith from Abi al-Jaarud quoting Imam al-Baqir(a.s) in which the Imam(a.s) says “four”.[48][48]

The third answer is that the pronoun of “amongst them” (مِنهُم) is referring to [they numbered] “twelve” (اثنى عشر). If the narrator hadn't said “four ['Ali's] amongst them” (مِنهُم أربع
) it was because Imam 'Ali's(a.s) name was not written on the tablet. (Regardless), his title has been noted in the tablet as we will see in a narration by Abu Basir.[49][49] The (complete) contents of this tablet are mentioned and verified in Kamaal al-Din wa Tamaam al-Ni'mah.[50][50]
The contents of this tablet—and in some people's opinions, the tablet itself—was a gift from Allah to the Prophet(s.a.w)
which the Prophet(s.a.w) had gifted to Lady Fatimah(a.s).[51][51]

4. Last Will and Testament

It has been narrated in numerous hadith with multiple chains of transmission that Lady Fatimah(a.s) left behind a book in which wrote down her will and testament.[52][52] This will and testament was shar'i, regarding the seven orchards[53][53] bequeathed to Lady Fatimah(a.s) by the Prophet(s.a.w); thus it actually contained a political and social advice.[54][54] Among her last desires was that certain people not be present during her burial, that her place of burial not be revealed, etc. Her last will and testament contains a plethora of matters that are also contained in the Mushaf Fatimah. Some have said that Imam 'Ali(a.s) found it by her bedside after her demise.[55][55]

5. Mushaf Fatimah

The existence of this book has been noted, again, by several sources in numerous narrations. We have already enumerated a number of questions surrounding this book, to name a few
: who dictated this book? Who is its author? What is it about? Has any alteration in the Qur'an been alluded to in it? Where is this book now and who possesses it? And…

Perhaps the most important question about this Mushaf is the reliability of the narrations about it. The other issues can only be addressed after the determination of credibility of the narrations. Therefore, we must proceed with this questions first.

Methods of determining the Soundness of Narrations

There are a number of ways to understand the soundness of narrations. Of these, three are the most important

: Examining the (credibility and lives of the) men mentioned in the chain of narrators of a hadith.[56][56] If the men are considered to be reliable (i.e. pious and honest at the time of the narration) then the hadith is reliable.

2nd: There are indications other than the chain of narration that sometimes, even though there are multiple chains of narration; the occasion arises that all the narrators possess the necessary qualifications (of piety), but a single narrator in the chain didn't apply that hadith in theory or practice. The scholars consider such a hadith to be weak, otherwise, they wouldn't have disregarded it. Likewise, there are hadith which are not altogether sound, but there are indications that reliable scholars accepted and applied the subject, thus it is considered to be a credible hadith. In such a situation, the narration is considered authentic (وثق) but not well-documented (ثقة

3rd: Believability and lack of discrepancy between the legislative, doctrinal and historical hadith. Regarding the first type, that is to say, jurisprudential hadith, it is sufficient for the hadith to have a sound chain of narrators. However, regarding the other two, the acceptance of and consensus of opinion between scholars is sufficient (to prove a hadith's reliability).

If you substitute the latter method (believability and consensus of opinion) for the former (multiplicity of chains of narration), then in any case, the proof of credibility of a hadith is one's belief in its credibility without needing to examine who the narrators in the chain are.

Mushhaf Fatimah and the ways of determining the soundness and credibility of narrations

Lo and behold, the moment has come to answer the questions raised so far. The narrations concerning Mushaf Fatimah are sound and reliable by any of the three methods we have noted. If we want to use the third method, every single Shi'a scholar has acknowledged the authenticity of the narrations concerning this Mushaf, and we haven't found a single dissenting scholar (in this regard). This matter strengthens the determination of authenticity using the second method (multiplicity of chains). We should mention that some have said, “Is it possible that Jibra'il(a.s) would descend unto Lady Fatimah(a.s) and impart matters to her, and that 'Ali(a.s) could hear this and write it down?” Others say, “But 'Ali(a.s) is superior in virtues to Fatimah(a.s); he(a.s) seems worthy of such a revelation.”

We will answer these reproaches. For the time being, it suffices to quote 'Allamah Muhsin Amin who said, “it is neither improbable nor is there room for doubt to believe that Jibra'il(a.s) would speak to Zahra(a.s) and that 'Ali(a.s) could hear it. It's recorded in a book by the name of Mushaf Fatimah. What's more, the reliable companions of the Imams(a.s) have narrated such a thing. To those who doubt this, or think it to be improbable, or who think it to be exaggerated or lacking impartiality, I say, 'Do you doubt the power of Allah the most high? Is Zahra(a.s)[57][57], who is of the very essence of the Prophet(s.a.w) not worthy of this grace? Do you doubt the soundness of a narration despite the fact that they were uttered from the very Imams of guidance who were the issue of this noble lady and are totally reliable? Given the fact that this same honor was bestowed on Aasif bin Barkhiyaa and also Sulaymaan(a.s), and they certainly not more dear to Allah than the family of Mohammad(a.s)![58][58]

The reliability of the hadith concerning the Mushaf Fatimah can also be demonstrated by the first method. For example, Kulayni in Al-Kafi considered the hadith and narrations about this book to be acceptable (
] In one of these hadiths, Imam al-Sadiq(a.s) says, “Fatimah(a.s) lasted 75 days after the departure of the Prophet of Allah(s.a.w). Because of her father's (death), she suffered a profound sadness. Jibra'il(a.s) alighted to her in order to abate her grieving and to give her something pleasing. He informed her about her father's (state in heaven) and his (exalted) rank and told her what would happen to her descendents. 'Ali(a.s) recorded all this (information), and this is Mushaf Fatimah.[60][60]


[61][35] Musawwi, S, Al-Muraaji’aat, p. 521, Iran; Daar al-Kitaab al-Islaami, no date given.

Regarding the Mushaf: its author, scribe, content and size

We said that the matter of Mushaf Fatimah sometimes lead to the misunderstanding that it was a Quran unique to Lady Fatimah(a.s) in existence. In the same way that Mushaf 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud, Mushaf 'Aa'isha, or Mushaf Ubayy bin K'ab may strike you (as being editions or versions of the Qur'an), we determined in the first chapter, after we examined these books and the 'Arabic lexicons (for the meaning of “Mushaf”), (that this was not the case). We came to understand that “Mushaf” does not denote the Quran.

Furthermore, we said that this book does not contain a single verse from the Quran, and in this respect, it contains nothing of the exegesis of the Quran or any Quranic matters whatsoever. Meanwhile, the prior discussions alluded to the fact that this Mushaf was scribed or written via Lady Fatimah(a.s) and because of that it was called Mushaf Fatimah.[62][61] It was a divine gift to her. Thus, who was the author or narrator of these words? If the content of this Mushaf is not the Quran, what can be found in it? What are the dimensions of the book? And…

The author of the Mushaf

There are numerous accounts that present Imam 'Ali (a.s) as the author of the Mushaf. In response to a question posed by Hammad bin 'Uthmaan, Imam al-Sadiq(a.s) says regarding the author of the Mushaf that, “Amir al-Mu'mineen (i.e. Imam 'Ali(a.s)) wrote whatever he heard until it became of book.”[63][62]
However, ibn Rustam al-Tabari in Dalaa'il al-A'immah relates a hadith saying that Mushaf Fatimah descended (from Heaven) bound, that no one dictated it; Imam 'Ali(a.s) became the one to scribe it.[64][63]

There are two points worth mentioning

1. The meaning of “descended (from heaven)” doesn't mean that it literally came (down to earth) as a (bound) book, rather it's the content and message that descended (by the instrument of angels). There's nothing to say that Imam 'Ali(a.s) was not ready to write down the subject matter when the angels descended. However, this explanation is doubtful.

2. Perhaps the only way to resolve this matter is to not accept al-Tabari's narration. The chain of authorities is weak. Ja'far bin Mohammad bin Maalik Fazaari is included in the chain and Najashi (the great expert on chains of authority) considers him to be weak in reporting hadith and corrupt in his religious beliefs and narrations.[65][64] Others have also rejected him.[66][65]

The Speaker and Scribe of the Content

1. Allah
: Some have said that it is Allah who dictated[67][66] the contents of the Mushaf. Imam al-Sadiq says, “Whatever is in it, was told to her by Allah and He inspired her with it.”[68][67][69][68] The mother of Moses(a.s) also received this type of inspiration. In the chapter of the Quran, Al-Qasas, verse 7 it reads, “And We inspired it to Moses' mother…”[70][69]

2. Angels
: Others believe that it was the speech of an angel. There is a hadith by Imam al-Sadiq(a.s) which supports this possibility,
“Indeed Allah sent her an angel to console her in her grief and speak with her.”[71][70]

: [72][71] Imam al-Sadiq is quoted in Sahih Abu 'Ubaidah that it came from the arch-angel Gabriel: “Gabriel went to her to lighten her sorrow regarding her father and lift her spirits and inform here of her father and his position (in heaven) and inform her of what will become of her descendants.”[73][72]

2. Allah's Messenger: Imam Husein(a.s) says, “Mushaf Fatimah is with us but—and I swear by Allah—that there is nothing of the Quran in it. Allah's messenger (رسول اﷲ
) dictated it and 'Ali wrote it.”[74][73] So according to this hadith, the one who dictated it was sent by Allah. 'Allaamah Majlisi (the compiler of Bihar al-Anwaar) writes in commentary that the mean of “Allah's messenger” is Gabriel. There are many verses (of the Quran) which refer to the angels as being Allah's messengers.[75][74]

Whether we say that the utterance of this Mushaf is from Allah or Gabriel makes no difference because these sayings are from Allah through the agency of Gabriel.[76][75] But, we can't be certain as to whether what is meant by “Allah's messenger” is the (human) Messenger of Islam (or Islam's messenger, i.e the one who brought Islam from the heavenly abode—Gabriel), because there are numerous narrations declaring that the utterances in the Mushaf were said after the demise of the Messenger of Allah (i.e. the Prophet Mohammad[s.a.w]) and in consolation of his eminence's (death) that it was said to and for Lady Fatimah (A).

It can be said that Lady Fatimah (A) had 2 Mushafs. One was a collection of her father's sayings, the other from Gabriel. Or, it is possible to say that Mushaf Fatimah was but one book but had two sections—words of the Messenger of Allah(s.a.w) and the inspirations of Gabriel (to and for Fatimah[a.s]). In his most valuable book A'ayan al-Shi'ah, Seyyed Muhsin Amin is of the first opinion.[77][76]

What is more correct is that Lady Fatimah(a.s) had in her possession two other books, one on ethics and morals, the other legislative. So, we could say that Mushaf Fatimah was uttered the Allah's messenger (i.e. Gabriel) based on the narrations saying that Gabriel dictated it (to Fatimah, or, 'Ali) and that [Gabriel] didn't mention legislative commands.[78][77] Thus, if Lady Fatimah (A) were to have in her possession a book on legislative matters, it is clear that the Messenger of Allah (i.e. Prophet Mohammad [S]) would have taught it to her (in which case she would have been preserving the legislative commands received by her father from Gabriel).

So, now that we know that Allah—by way of Gabriel—spoke these words to Lady Fatimah (A) and that Imam 'Ali (A) wrote them down, it comes to mind to ask why this Mushaf is associated with Lady Fatimah (A)? After all, she was neither its author nor its scribe!

In response, it must be said that it was intended for her as a consolation and because of her it was descended from heaven. It is in this sense that it bears her name as Mushaf Fatimah. This can be seen in the way that the Torah is attributed to Moses (A), the Gospel to Jesus (A) or the Psalms to David (A). In the same sense, in the Quran it says, “Most surely this (message) is in the earlier scriptures, the scriptures of Ibrahim and Musa
صُحُفِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَى).” ( 87:18-19
Even though these scriptures came from Allah because they were revealed for a particular prophet, it bears his name.

Contents of Mushaf Fatimah

There are several narration regarding the content of Mushaf Fatimah, some negating others affirming what the contents are (or are not) such as the following:

Negation of Content

The narrations from the Ahl al-Bayt say that Mushaf Fatimah is not compromised of two things
: Qur'aan, and legislative matters. This is concluded from the following narrations:

“It is not the Quran.”[79][78]
“I do not posit that it is the Quran.”[80][79]
“Nothing of the Quran is in it.”[81][80]
“Nothing of the book of Allah is in it.”[82][81]
“It does not contain a single verse from the book of Allah.”[83][82]
“It doesn't contain a single word from the Quran.”[84][83]
“There is not a single word from your Quran in it.”[85][84]

In Bihaar al-Anwaar, 'Allamah Majlisi relates a narration in Khati's Jawaame' al-Fawaa'id from Abu Basir
: “Imam al-Sadiq (A) read this ayah as so:
سَأَلَ بِعَذَابٍ وَاقِعٍ لِّلْكَافِرينَ) بولاية علي( لَيْسَ لَهُ دَافِعٌ
has been omitted from the hadith) “The questioner asks about the punishment which will befall the unbelievers (the Imam(a.s) adds as commentary, this means) the guardianship of 'Ali(a.s)—it shall not be averted.” (70:1-2).[86][85] Then the Imam(a.s) said, 'Such a thing is in Mushaf Fatimah.'” However, it must be said that this hadith is not authentic. Mohammad bin Sulayman Daylami feels that the chain (of narrators) is weak.[87][86]

This would contradict all the other hadith that say that Mushaf Fatimah not only does not contain verses of the Quran, but not even a single word (of the noble verses). The reason that this narration is not accepted is not because it implies a distortion (tahrif) of the Quran—because it does not imply that. It is not for the fact that the Imam adds “the guardianship of Imam 'Ali(a.s)” (as commentary) because this is the circumstance of its revelation. Some of the narrations in the Sunni corpus of hadith also mention the same events. In one of the [Sunni] books of reference, Mohammad Abu Zahra says in his book that Mushaf Fatimah does not contain anything from the Quran.[88][87]

All this confirmation and repeated denial of the existence of any Quranic material in Mushaf Fatimah leads us to conclude that in the time of Imams Baqir(a.s) and Sadiq(a.s)[89][88] “Mushaf” was widely used to mean “the Quran”. One wonders why the Imams still used “Mushaf” and not “book (
) of Fatimah”? If they had only called it “book” there wouldn't have been the need for all this clarification and reminder (of it's uniqueness separate from the Quran). In response it must be said that due to the fact that the Mushaf of that noble lady originated with Allah and was called “Mushaf Fatimah” and at that time “Mushaf” did not carry the connotation of “Quran”, it was still referred to by that name even in later times.

Imam Ali(a.s) referred to Fatimah's book as “Mushaf”
: “A Mushaf was given to my wife laden with unprecedented knowledge granted to no one else.”[90][89]
Even if we were to accept that the name “Mushaf” was chosen later—and at a time when the term was used for the Quran—it would have been to show the similarity in origin between the two books: they were both brought down by the Archangel Gabriel(a.s), although in content they differ.

The Mushaf does not contain Legal Rulings

Regarding legal rulings, Imam al-Sadiq(a.s) says “there's nothing in it regarding the permissible and impermissible”[91][90] even though others like Seyyed Haashim Ma'ruf al-Husseini said that Mushaf Fatimah contained rulings of the permissible and impermissible. However it must be said that this particular point is in reference to the jafr abyadh, the “white jafr”.[92][91] Imam al-Sadiq(a.s) says “Truly, the white jafr is in my possession.” The narrator then asked, “What does it contain?” “The Psalms of David, the Torah of Moses, the Gospel of Jesus, the Scrolls of Ibrahim what is permitted and what is forbidden and Mushaf Fatimah. I don't claim that anything of the Quran in it. In it is what people need from us and that (is because) we do not have any need of anyone. In it is even the whole lash,[93][92] half lash and the quarter lash, even the indemnity for scratching (someone).[94][93]

Thus, with respect to clarifying the content of the white jafr, the Imam, at his command, says, “In the white jafr is there is this and that.

This hadith, along with the one from Imam al-Ridha(a.s), confirms that in enumerating the contents of the white jafr—in the manner that al-Sadiq(a.s) has—they (the Imams) considered Mushaf Fatimah to be something else altogether. Imam Ridha(a.s), enumerating the proofs (hajaat) of an Imam's Imamate, says, “And with him is the greater jafr (al-jafr al-akbar) and the lesser jafr (al-jafr al-asghar)…and he also possesses Mushaf Fatimah.[95][94]

Its Contents Proven

The narration were made and transmitted under various circumstances and do not describe the entire content of Mushaf Fatimah (in one single narration) only some of it. The numerous narration, from variable sources, state that Mushaf Fatimah contains the following
: “It tells of her father and his (exalted) position,”[96][95] “It speaks of what will occur after her amongst her offspring,”10 “But also in it is the knowledge of what will happen, and events that will occur. For example, Atheist will appear in the year 123 AH (as an intellectual movement),”[97][96] “The names of every prophet and is successors is in the book I possess,”[98][97] “The names of those who rule and the duration of their rule…and their fathers′ names—and its inscription is with us,”[99][98] “The last will and testament of Fatimah is in it.”[100][99]

This is the entire content of Mushaf Fatimah from the reliable hadith transmitted to us that we have laid our hands upon. However, there is one more hadith from Tabari in is Dalaa′il al-Imamah which details another matter contained in Mushaf Fatimah to which he refers. Unfortunately, the chain of this hadith is weak. In this sense we can't count it to be amongst the miscellaneous matters of the Mushaf. Abu Basir says,

I asked [Imam al-Baqir(a.s), the fourth Imam] about Mushaf Fatimah and he said, 'It was brought to her after the death of her father.' I said, 'Is there anything from the Quran in it?' 'There is nothing in the Quran in it,' he replied. 'Clarify the matter for me.' 'Its front and back covers are made of ruby (zabarjad sorkh).' 'May I be your sacrifice! What are its pages made of?' 'The pages are of white pearl.' 'May I be your ransom, what is in it?' 'News of what happened and what will happen until the Day of Judgment. News of celestial occurrences, the number of angels in the heavenly abode, the number of all Allah′s creatures—messengers and non-messengers—their names and the names of all the people of their respective nations to whom they were sent, the names of those who gave lie to their message and those who answered to the call (to righteousness), the names of all Allah′s creatures—believers and non-believers—the names of all towns and the particulars of each town in the East and West, the number of believers and non-believers in each town, the particulars of those who belied religion, and of the particulars of men and their tales from the first centuries, the debaucherous rulers and the duration of their rule, the names and details of each Imam and the period of their Imamate…

In the Mushaf is the name of everyone Allah created and the time of their death, the number and details of those bound for heaven, the number of people going to hellfire; also in the Mushaf is knowledge of the Quran—whatever was brought down in it, and of the Torah—whatever was brought down in it, and knowledge of the gospel of Jesus(a.s)[101][100]—whatever was brought down in it, and knowledge of the Psalms, the number of trees and their movements in every town…It was the second 1/3 of the nit, on a Friday evening when Allah sent Gabriel(a.s), Mika′il(a.s), and Israfil(a.s) to [Lady Fatima(a.s)] to revealed Mushaf to her. She was in the middle of (superogatory) prayer. The angels stood (watching and waiting for her prayer to end) until se sat down. Once she ad completed her prayer and had left that state (of deep concentration), they gave her salutations.

They said, 'Salaam. Allah also sends His salaams.' Then they set the book down in her room. She said, 'Salaam to Allah, peace is from Him and is due unto Him. And peace be unto you, oh angels of Allah!' Subsequently the angels alighted to the heavens, and lady Zahra (i.e. Fatima) read the Mushaf after morning prayer until she reached the end of it. It was obligatory for Lady Zahra to have knowledge of all the creature of Allah, of the jinn and men, of bird and beast, of prophets and angels.' 'May I be your ransom! After Lady Zahra, to whose ands did the Mushaf pass?' 'She gave it to the Command of the Faithful (i.e. Imam Ali(a.s)). After him, (it was given) to Hasan(a.s) then Husein(a.s), and after that to those worthy of it (i.e. the other Imams, offspring of Imam Husein(a.s) and Bibi Shahr Banu) so that they may give it to the Master of the affair (Imam Mahdi(a.s), the 12th and final Imam and savior of humanity).' 'There is so much knowledge in the Mushaf!' 'Oh Abu Mohammad, what I have told you is contained in the first 2 pages. I have not told you anything of the rest!'
Of what we have reproduced here is of the hadith with a weak chain of narration and is not well documented.

The Number and Bulk of the Pages of the Mushaf

Imam al-Sadiq(a.s) says, The Mushaf, of what is in it, is like the Quran, only 3 times larger.[102][101]

It's possible that the Imam wasn't comparing the physical size of the book in the same way that sometimes numbers are used to refer to magnitude and multiplicity, as in the verse, Even if you seek forgiveness 70 times Allah will not forgive them; this is because they disbelieve in Allah and His apostle, and Allah does not guide the transgressing people.(9:80) Obviously, the point of this verse is that the hypocrites would never be forgiven; the point is not that if the prophet were to seek forgiveness for them more than 70 times (that they would be forgiven). No matter how many times they were to seek forgiveness (while in a state of hypocrisy) they would not be forgiven (In other words, the number seventy is allusion to an innumerable repetition and not a literal numeric.)


[103][61] For example, the famous du’a named “Kumayl” recited every Thursday was not authored by Kumayl ibn Ziyad, but taught to him, by Imam ‘Ali (a.s). It is called the du’a of Kumayl because it was gifted to him due to his devotion to the Ahl al-Bayt. In truth, its authorship is attributed to hadhrat Khidr (a.s), and was taught to Imam ‘Ali(a.s) by the prophet Mohammad (s.a.w). So, it’s not a leap of understanding to say that what is called “Mushaf Fatimah” was named after Lady Fatimah (a.s) as the person to whom it was gifted, and not as an attribution of authorship.

Mushaf Fatimah and the Mushaf of the Companions

The similarity of Mushaf Fatimah with those that the Ahl al-Sunnah count (amongst their corpus)—such as those of A'ishah, Hafsah, and 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud—is in name only. The similarity is in name only because their Mushafs are replete with Quranic verses and additional material where as Mushaf Fatimah does not contain a single verse of Quran. Its name Mushaf is only in reference to it being a bound book. It is only by way of ignorance and self-serving interests that the Shi'ah have been libelously accused of distorting the Quran.[104][102]

Their libel is based on the hadith in which Imam al-Sadiq(a.s) says that Mushaf Fatimah is “three times larger than the Quran.” However, he continues to say, “by Allah, there is not a single word from the Quran in it.” The libel of corruption aimed towards the Shia is curious given that in the Sunni Mushafs there are verses of the Quran omitted and other (verses) that have extra words!

1. Mushaf A'ishah

There is a narration in the Sunni books which says, “The Quran in A'ishah's possession contained deficiencies not presently found (in the Quran that all Muslims universally agree is authentic and free of errors of omission or commission). For example, after 'Truly Allah and the angels send their blessings unto the prophet,”(33:54) was added, 'and those who pray in the first row[105][103] (of communal prayer).'”[106][104] (In another hadith it says) “After 'Guard strictly your (habit of) prayers, especially the middle prayer'(2:238) she had, 'and the late afternoon prayer.'”[107][105] This same matter appears in Hafsah's and Umm Salaamah's Mushafs. We will refrain from mentioning other examples.

2. Mushaf 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud

As recorded by the Sunnis, as per their own authentic sources, and according to Suyuti's interpretation, it says that Ibn Mas'ud believed tat surahs al-Falaq (113:1-5) and al-Naass (114:1-5) were not part of the Quran because it is a supplication (du'a). What's more amazing is that he thought the same of al-Fatihah (1:1-7). Because of this, Uthmaan[108][106] burned his Mushaf.[109][107]

3. Mushaf Ubai bin K'ab

In place of ”lilaldheen yu'lun” [Ubai] would recite, “lilldheen yaqsimun”, and instead of “falaa jannaaH 'alahi inn yaTuf bihuma” he would recite, “illa yaTuf bihuma”, etc.[110][108]

In the Sunni resources it has been said that some of the canonical verses are deficient. For example, “the verse of rijm (16:98),[111][109] the verse of jihad (9:29),[112][110] the verse of shahaadah (5:67),[113][111][114][112] the verse of wilayaayah of 'Ali (5:55),[115][113] etc.

It is important to note that both the Shi'i and Sunni sects consider the Quran to be free from distortion or error. The unusual or conflicting hadith are not reliable (in their authenticity). Among the Sunnis, 'Abd al-Rahmaan Jaziri in Al-fiqh 'ala al-madhhab al-arba'aah[116][114] and Zarkushi in

Al-Burhaan fi 'ulum al-Quran,[117][115] and… This matter has already been discussed. The Shi'i scholars also don't accept that the Quran is deficient or has been distorted. Once can point to Sheikh al-Sadduq in Al-'Itiqaadaat[118][116] and Sheikh al-Mufid in Awaa'il al-maqaalaat,[119][117] etc.

Tafsir, Tahrif, Hadith Qudsi

Regarding that of which we spoke, there are many phrases and passages in the Qurna that have a meaning beneath the external meaning. It is the explanation of these phrases that we call tafsir, or, exegesis.

Imam Hussein(a.s) said to his enemies, “You have made tahrif (distorted) on the book of Allah (i.e. the Quran).” What he meant by this is the meaning of the Book (had been distorted) against the Divine intent.

Occasionally speeches were recorded that were hadith qudsi, (Divine speech), but were not counted as verses of the Quran.[120][118]

[121][102] Al-Seraa’ bayn al-Islaam wa al-muthniyyah, v.1, p.D, Matba’a al-Salafiyyah, Cairo, 1354.



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