Tahreef (Tampering) of Verse 33:33


The Shia claim to be the Madhab of Ahlel Bayt, and the center of their religious sect is their belief in the divine appointment of the twelve Imams from this Ahlel Bayt. And yet, the Shia cannot provide a single verse in the Quran which mentions any twelve Imams of Ahlel Bayt. In fact, the term “Ahlel Bayt” is only used twice in the Quran and the irony is that the word is used both times to refer to a man’s wives! The Quran categorically addresses the Prophet’s wives as Ahlel Bayt; this is the same group that the Shia despise and curse! How then can the Shia claim to be the lovers of Ahlel Bayt when in fact they accuse the Prophet’s wife of murder, Fisq, and heresy? In fact, it is the Ahlus Sunnah which categorically loves the Ahlel Bayt, not the Shia. It is the Sunnis who are the true lovers of Ahlel Bayt, because we love the Prophet’s wives.

The most oft-repeated Quranic verse in Shia literature is 33:33, which the Shia quote again and again. The importance of this verse to the Shia faith cannot be overstated; a simple gander of Shia texts confirms that this verse is not only repeated over and over, but it is used as a basis and justification of the Shia sect. What is interesting, however, is that most Shia laypersons have only heard half of this verse; they commonly think of the verse as simply:

“Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, you Ahlel Bayt (People of the House), and to make you pure and spotless.”

But few of them know that this is simply a half-quote; indeed, the entire passage reads :

“O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other of the women; If you will be on your guard, then be not soft in your speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease yearn; and speak a good word. And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance; and establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity; and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, you Ahlel Bayt (People of the House), and to make you pure and spotless.And recite what is rehearsed to you in your homes, of the Signs of Allah and His Wisdom: for Allah understands the finest mysteries and is well-acquainted (with them).” (Quran, 33:32-34)

In fact, Allah addresses the Prophet’s wives as Ahlel Bayt. This would of course include Aisha, daughter of Abu Bakr, and Hafsa, daughter of Umar. And yet we find that the Shia have an intense hatred for Aisha and Hafsa, and it is on this basis that we Sunnis say that the Shia are not the lovers of Ahlel Bayt as they claim. In fact, the Shia are the most ardent opponents and enemies of Ahlel Bayt. Nobody can deny that if Allah Almighty refers to the Prophet’s wives as Ahlel Bayt, then nobody–no Ayatollah and no propagandist–could claim otherwise. We would indeed take the Word of Allah above that of the Shia.


It was on this basis that the classical scholars of the Shia claimed that there was Tahreef (tampering) of the Quran. They claimed that the “evil” Sahabah changed the Quran, and that the Mushaf we have today is not the real Quran (at least not in its unaltered form). The contemporary Shia scholars, however, completely deny that they believe in Tahreef or that this belief was ever a part of their sect. Nonetheless, despite this denial, many of the Shia Ulema hold onto the belief known as Tahreef bit Tarteeb (tampering in the order of the verses of the Quran such that the meaning of it is changed). Many Shia scholars claim that verse 33:33 was altered in such a manner.

The Tafseer e Farman Ali is relied upon heavily by the Shia. It is a translation of the Quran along with commentary by Farman Ali. The book is used by Answering-Ansar , and hence there should be no question about its authenticity in the eyes of the Shia. In the commentary of verse 33:33, this Shia Tafseer reads:

Translation: “If we take out this verse (of purification) from the middle, and then we read the verse (addressed to the wives) from the beginning to the end, we then find no fault in it and it looks better in this form. From this, it is clear that this verse (of purification) does not belong to this place and it was added deliberately for some special purpose.”

(source: Tafseer e Farman Ali, Commentary on Verse 33:33)

The Shia scholar, Sayyid Mujtaba Musavi Lari, in the Shia book “Imamate and Leadership” quotes Allamah Sharaf al-Din (Kalimat al-Ghurra’, p.213) as follows:

“Although we are convinced that no distortion has taken place in the verses of the Noble Qur’an and that our heavenly Book has not been tampered with in any way, it is by no means clear that the arrangement and recension of the verses is precisely that in which they were revealed. For it is quite possible that the ‘purification verse’ concerning the People of the House was revealed separately and then, when the verses of the Qur’an were being assembled, was placed in the middle of the verses relating to the wives of the Prophet, either in error or deliberately.”

(Al-Islam.org, Lesson 19, http://www.al-islam.org/leadership/)

It should be understood that the Allamah’s disclaimer that the Shia do not believe in Tahreef is as disingenuous as those who say “I don’t mean to be racist, but…” Whatever follows such a statement is always racist! Allamah Sharaf al-Din basically says: we don’t believe in Tahreef but there may have been Tahreef. Utterly absurd! The Shia wish to pay lip-service to the claim that they don’t believe in tampering of the Quran, and yet they further various hypothesis that allude to textual tampering of a dramatic proportion.

The “Khateem al-Muhhaditheen” al-Majlissi says a similar thing in “Bihar al-Anwar”:

فلعل آية التطهير أيضا وضعوها في موضع زعموا أنها تناسبه ، أو أدخلوها في سياق مخاطبة الزوجات لبعض مصالحهم الدنيوية

ولو سلم عدم التغيير في الترتيب فنقول : سيأتي أخبار مستفيضة بأنه سقط من القرآن آيات كثيره ، فلعله سقط مما قبل الآية وما بعدها آيات لو ثبتت لم يفت الربط الظاهري بينها

Translation: “It is possible that the purification verse was added (by the Companions) at this part (of the verse) claiming that it was referring to the wives, or they added in the verses addressing the prophet’s wives, to suit their religious needs…Even if we accept that there was no tampering (by the Companions) in the order (of the verses), we say there are many narrations which discuss the removal/canceling of Quranic verses. [Maybe there were verses before and after the verse of purification and they were removed]; if these verses were not removed before and after the verse (of purification), we would see the apparent link between them.”

(source: Bihar al-Anwar, pp.234-235,

The great Shia Mufassir, Tabatabai, writes :

فالآية لم تكن بحسب النزول جزء اً من آيات نساء النبي ولا متَّصلة بها و إنما وضعت بينها إمّا بأمرٍ من النبي أو عند التأليف بعد الرحلة

Translation: “The verse (of purification), in accordance to the (order of) revelation, was initially not a part of the verse about the Prophet’s wives and had no link to these verses, but rather it was later added between these verses either by the Prophet, or after his death when the Quran was compiled.”

(source: al-Mizan, Vol.16, p.321,


Is it not interesting that the most famous verse to the Shia causes him so much trouble? Various Shia scholars have become utterly confused when they read this verse in its entirety and they have to invent various plausible explanations, anything to “explain away” a gaping hole in their faith, namely that Allah Himself addressed the Prophet’s wives as “Ahlel Bayt”, that same group that the Shia writers malign with the most malicious of words!

The utter confusion of the Shia scholars is evidenced by the colorful explanations they provide. They seek to somehow explain how the verse about purifying Ahlel Bayt is addressed to the Prophet’s wives. We have said this before and we will say it again and again: Shi’ism cannot be found anywhere in the Quran, but rather they have to take certain verses, splice them in half, distort them, add their own commentary, and mix in their own fabricated Hadith. If we simply pick up any Shia text, we will find the repeated reference to the Ahlel Bayt, but if we open the Quran, we find no such vibe, and even if we look up the word “Ahlel Bayt” in the Quran, we find that it refers to the Prophet’s wives!

The methodology of the mainstream Muslim is that he first reads the Quran and then makes up his mind after this based on what the Quran says. Meanwhile, the methodology of the Ahlul Bidah wal Dalalah (The People of Innovation and of Hell-Fire, i.e. the Shia) is that they first make up their minds with their own ideas and the ideas of their priests, and then they go into the Quran looking to generate “evidences” and “proof” to back up these preconceived beliefs, manipulating and twisting verses of the Quran to make them mean really whatever they want them to mean.

May Allah save us from those who seek to butcher the Quran with their lies.

Team Ahlel Baytwww.ahlelbayt.com 

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