submitted to any changes and alterations which might be found necessary in the other copies. He said that he intended to hand down his copy to his descendants to be kept until the advent of the Imam Mahdi.1 Assuming that this tradition is correct, the question naturally arises as to how it was that 'Ali did not get his own copy recognized as the one and only authorized book. The reply is that, in the troublous times in which he lived, he had neither the leisure nor the opportunity to convince the Muslims who supported his rivals that they had been unjustly dealt with, nor could he circulate his own copy of the Qur'an without calling in all of 'Uthman's copies and this was an act he dared not venture on. It would have simply increased the already existing dissensions and have hastened his downfall, so he left the matter alone. After the assassination of 'Ali, his sons Hasan and Husain were subjugated by Mu'awiya, and outwardly, at least, acknowledged the authorized Qur'an as the true one, and said that the Faithful should use it as it was, without any regard to other passages or fragments regarded by some of their followers as intrinsic portions of the true text. In secret, however, they assured their partisans that the complete Qur'an would remain concealed until the appearance of al-Mahdi, the last Imam, at the close of the present dispensation.

According to Shaikh Abu Ja'faru'l-Qumi their case stood thus:2 'We believe that the Qur'an given to the Prophet is contained within its covers, and is now found in use. The number of Suras is generally acknowledged to be one hundred

1 Journal Asiatique, Decembre, 1843, p. 387. In the Randatu's-Safa a long letter from 'Ali to Mu'awiya is quoted in which 'Ali says: 'the Prophet honoured me by revealing several verses concerning me, thus elevating the banners of favour over my head.'—Part ii, vol. iii, p. 336.
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وأله لعلى عليه السلام يا على انّ القران خُلِف فراشى في الصحف والحرير والقراطيس فخذوه واجمعوه ولا تضيّعوه كما ضيّعت اليهود التورة فانطلق على فجمعه في ثوب اصفر ثم ختم عليه في بيته وقال لا ارتدي حتى اجمعه
اعتقادنا في مبلغ القران الّذي انزله الله تعالى على نبيه محمد صلّى الله عليه وأله انّه هو ما بين الّدفتين في ايد النّاس ليس باكثر من ذلك ومبلغ سورة عند العمامّة مائية واربعة عشرة سورة وعندنا والضّحى والم نشرح سورة واحدة ولم تر كيف ولا يئلاف قريش سورة واحدة والأنفال والتوبة سورة واحدة ومن نسب الينا انّ القران من ذلك فهو كاذبٌ
Journal Asiatique, Decembre, 1843, p. 389.

and fourteen, but according to our view Suras xciii and xciv form one; Suras cv and cvi also form one; Suras viii and ix 1 form one, and he who attributes to us a Qur'an different from this is a liar.'

As already explained, the Shi'ahs defend the assent given to 'Uthman's recension by the assertion of their belief that the hidden parts will be made known to the whole Muslim world by Imam Mahdi. Still some of the more fanatic Mullas2 of the Shi'ah sect, hold that certain passages are even now authoritative, and charge 'Umar and 'Uthman with having suppressed or altered them. They describe the defects in the present Qur'an as due to:

(i) Omission of certain words and phrases.3

Thus, in Sura an-Nisa' (iv) 164, we read: 'God is Himself witness of what He hath sent down to thee concerning 'Ali;' in Sura al-Ma'ida (v) 71, 'O Apostle! proclaim all that hath been sent down to thee from the Lord concerning 'Ali;' in Sura an-Nisa' (iv) 136, 'Of a truth those who believed and then became unbelievers, then believed and again became unbelievers, and then increased their unbelief with regard to the family of Muhammad and their rights, it is not God who will pardon them'; and in Sura ash-Shu'ara (xxvi) 228, 'But they who treat them, the family of Muhammad and their rights, unjustly shall know what a lot awaiteth them.'

(ii) Alteration of verses or passages.

1 As the Bismillah is omitted before Sura at-Tauba (ix) some Sunnis also looked upon it as part of the previous Sura.
2 The names are 'Ali bin Ibrahimu'l-Qumi; Muhammad bin Ya'qubu'l-Kulaini; Shaikh Ahmad bin 'Ali Talibu't-Tabrasi and Shaikh Abu 'Ali at-Tabrasi. —Journal Asiatique, Decembre, 1843, p. 405.
3 The parts said to have been omitted are printed in the Arabic given below, enclosed in brackets; in the English text they appear in italics.
لَّـكِنِ اللّهُ يَشْهَدُ بِمَا أَنزَلَ إِلَيْكَ ( في عَلى‫)
Sura an-Nisa' (iv) 164[166].

يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ ( في على‫)
Sura al-Ma'ida (v) 71[67].

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ ثُمَّ كَفَرُواْ ثُمَّ آمَنُواْ ثُمَّ كَفَرُواْ ثُمَّ ازْدَادُواْ كُفْرًا ( آل محمد حقهم ) لَّمْ يَكُنِ اللّهُ لِيَغْفِرَ لَهُمْ
Sura an-Nisa' (iv) 136[137].
وَسَيَعْلَمُ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا ( آل محمد حقهم ) أَيَّ مُنقَلَبٍ يَنقَلِبُونَ
Sura ash-Shu'ara (xxvi) 228[227].