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 QURAN Compilation.

 

1)               Quran compilation

2)               Qur’an: Present order of the Qur'an

3)               PRESENT QUR’AN IS NOT THE ORIGINAL BUT THAT OF USMAN (r.a.)

 

4)               AYAHS OF SURAHS COMPILATION

 

5)               SHIA’S CONCEPT OF ONE SURAH

 

6)               ANY CHANGE IN QURAN

 

7)               WRITING OF QURAN

 

8)               MISCONCEPTION OF QURAN SAVING

 

9)               AUTHENTICITY OF THE QURAN

 

 

 

1. Quran compilation

Question :

May I ask how was the Qur'an compiled? It is said that at first it was written on leaves, pieces of skin, stones and also memorized by many people, some of whom died before all verses of the Qur'an were compiled and brought from different areas in Makkah and Madinah. Who started the work of its collection and publication?

Since it was not checked finally by the Prophet, who was the final authority then? Some people claim that the Qur'an is not published in its real sequence. There are also claims that some leaves were accidentally eaten by goats and some were not included due to political reasons. Please comment.

Answer :

The Qur'an is the final message Allah has sent to mankind. It was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through the Archangel Gabriel, who brought the Prophet complete verses or parts of verses, or passages or complete surahs, as he was commanded by Allah. When the angel brought down to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) a passage of the Qur'an, he did not bring it written on a piece of paper [or other material]. He recited it to him and the Prophet immediately memorized it. In his keenness to learn it by heart straight-away, the Prophet used to vocalize the words as he heard them from the angel. He was then asked by Allah not to do so. Allah promised him that He Himself will see to it that the Qur'an is kept complete and intact and properly read. This order is contained in Quran :  "We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly Guard it (from corruption)." [Al- Hijr 15:9]

As you are well aware, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not read or write. When he received a portion of the Qur'an, he called in one or more of his scribes to write it down. He employed for this task a number of his companions whose number totaled 29. Many of these were of the highest caliber in their faith and integrity. They included all the first five caliphs, Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, Ali and Muawiah. However, the task of writing the revelations was most particularly associated with two of them, Muawiah and Zaid ibn Thabit, despite the fact that Muawiah was a latecomer to Islam. Paper, as we know, was not yet invented. Those scribes wrote the Qur'an on various forms of writing material which was available to them. These included sheets cut out of the branches of the beet tree or other writing sheets made of wood, animal hide, stone or bones.

This started even in the period when the Prophet and his companions were a small persecuted community in Makkah. Many of the companions of the Prophet had some parts of the Qur'an written down and treasured in their homes. The Qur'an is divided into 114 surahs, some of which are short, while others are very long. The revelation did not proceed with only one surah at a time, but the Prophet might have continued to receive parts of several surahs at the same time. When a passage was sent down to him, it was followed by an order from Allah, through the Angel Gabriel, indicating its position in the surah to which it belonged. These manuscripts did not form a single or coherent set.

The Prophet did not keep anything written down in his own home. But most of his companions who were with him in Makkah and Madinah memorized much of the Qur'an, and some of them were able to learn it all by heart. The Prophet used to teach his companions either individually or in groups. We note that Abdullah ibn Masood, a learned companion of the Prophet, was pleased to assert that he memorized more than 70 surahs as he learned them directly from the Prophet. In Ramadan every year, the Prophet used to revise the Qur'an with the Angel Gabriel to ensure that he did not overlook any verse or part of it. In the last year of the Prophet's blessed life, Gabriel recited the Qur'an to him twice.

To the Prophet, this was an indication that his life on earth was approaching its end. It was in the first year after the Prophet had passed away that the need to compile the Qur'anic documents in a single, easy to use, set became apparent. Umar ibn Al-Khattab made the proposal to the first caliph, Abu Bakr, shortly after the battle of Yamamah in which several hundred Muslims were killed; seventy amongst those killed were the ones who had learned all or most of the Qur'an by heart. Umar feared that the number of those people would rapidly decrease as a result of battles the Muslim state might have to fight. Abu Bakr approved the proposition and entrusted the task to Zaid ibn Thabit, who was not merely a scribe entrusted by the Prophet to write down the Qur'anic revelations but he was also a young man who had learned all [of Qur'an] by heart and witnessed the Prophet's final recitation of the Qur'an.

Certain rules were laid down including one which stipulated that no written text would be acceptable unless two people of integrity would testify that it was indicated by the Prophet himself as a part of the Qur'an. When Zaid completed the task, he handed it over to Abu Bakr who handed it over to Umar whom he nominated his successor when he died a year later. During the reign of Usman, the third caliph, the need to have reference copies of the Qur'an became apparent. Usman instructed Zaid ibn Thabit and four others to write down five more copies and he sent one copy to each of the main centers in the Muslim State to serve as reference to scholars and students of the Qur'an.

Usman also ordered that all documents which were at variance with these copies be burned down. This was to make sure that those pieces of writing materials on which parts of the Qur'an were written and to which the writer might have added a word of explanation, as was the habit of some of them, were burned, so that they would not be confused later as having a fuller text. We should realize that Usman's action was a highly commendable one and enjoyed the support of all the surviving companions of the Prophet, many of whom had learned the Qur'an by heart. People were thus able to have their own copies of the Qur'an and check these against the master copies that Usman sent to the various cities.

Needless to say, the memorization of the Qur'an was not only encouraged but widespread among Muslims in those early generations, and indeed in subsequent generations up to our present time. The fact that we do not have any differences in the Qur'an we read and recite today and the copies that have been preserved from various generations up to the time of Usman is a testimony to the fact that Allah has preserved the Qur'an intact as He indeed promised to do.

It is not true that some Iranians make any claim about the correct order of the Qur'an which is at variance with what the Sunnis have. If you pick up any copy of the Qur'an published in Iran today, you will find it identical to copies that are available in all Muslim countries. According to some Iranians, however, the number of surahs in the Qur'an are 111, because they consider the surahs 8 and 9 to be one surah; and surahs 93 and 94 also as one surah and also surahs 105 and 106 to be one surah. In other words, they have identical text, in the same order, but three different parts of surahs are classified by them as three single surahs.

Even this insignificant shifting is not common to all copies of the Qur'an printed in Iran. Some of these have the same number or surahs as we find in our copies of the Qur'an. As for the absurd claim that some leaves were eaten by goats and some were hidden away or disregarded for political reasons, these remain without proof. Moreover, if there was only one copy of each document, that might have been a disaster, but the Qur'an was committed to memory by so many of the Prophet's companions that not a word of it could have disappeared without it being pointed out by those companions of the Prophet.

The compilation of the Qur'an in its reference sets was undertaken in the first year after the Prophet had passed away. At that time, those who learned the Qur'an by heart in Madinah were in hundreds, if not in thousands. No distortion could have crept in without its being immediately discovered. [How can it be when we have Allah's own statement that He Himself will see to it that the Qur'an is kept complete and intact.]

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2. Qur’an: Present order of the Qur'an

Question:

The present order of the Qur'an is not according to its revelation. What was the reason for this? Was it done according to a particular directive by the Prophet?

Answer:

The Qur'an is Allah's Book which He revealed to the Prophet through the Angel Gabriel. Everything that has to do with the Qur'an is, therefore, directed by Allah. It is true that the Qur'an was revealed at different times and places and some verses were revealed to provide guidance with regard to particular occasions and events. However, the Prophet could be receiving Qur'anic revelations of different surahs at the same period in time, with all of these surahs not being complete yet.

When he received such revelation, he also received guidance as to its place in the Qur'an. The Angel Gabriel would tell him : these verses come after such and such verse of such and such a surah. Nothing was left to discretion or to competent scholarship. Allah's Book is given in the order Allah has chosen. The same applies to the arrangement of the surahs. It is true that the arrangement does not follow a chronological order. It is arranged in the best order which a book meant to provide guidance to all generations of humanity should take. It was often the case that Qur'anic revelations dealt with particular events as and when they happened in the life of the Muslim community. Hence the order of revelation suited that particular and additional purpose.

As for later generations, they have the Qur'an complete and they refer to any part of it as suits their circumstances. The ordering of the surahs is also divine. The Prophet used to receive the Angel Gabriel when the two of them recited the Qur'an to each other, once every Ramadhan. In the last year of the Prophet's life, they recited the Qur'an to each other twice. Moreover, the Prophet used to read the Qur'an in the order we have now. The compilation of the Qur'an which took place after the Prophet had passed away was ordered by Abu Bakr, the Prophet's first successor as a ruler of the Muslim state. You are certainly aware that Abu Bakr's reign lasted only two years. He put in charge of this task a young companion of the Prophet who knew the Qur'an by heart and had a full command of its recitation and ordering. He completed his task before Abu Bakr had passed away.

Some fifteen years later, the third caliph, Uthman, appointed the same man, Zaid ibn Thabit, as the head of a commission charged with writing six copies of the Qur'an, making use of the earlier compilation, to send one copy to each capital of the Islamic provinces to remain as a reference for Qur'anic scholarship.

Revelation of Quran continued for 23 lunar years (610 to 632 AD), 13 years in Makkah and 10 years in Madina, 86 Makki Surah and 28 Madani. Present Quran Srahs are as per guidelines of prophet (PBUH). Some examples of Suarahs in present complications are:

Surat Al Alaq was first surah but placed as 96.                           (1/96)

Surat Al Mudassar was second surah but placed as 74.           (2/74)

Surat Al Muzammil was third surah but placed as 73.                (3/73)

Surat Al Qalam was fourth surah but placed as 68.                   (4/68)

Surat Al Akhlas was fifth surah but placed as 1.                         (5/1) 

Quranic Surahs Order and Revelation Order

Surah Present Order

Surah Name

Revelation  Order

No. Of Ayahs

1

Al-Fathiha

5

7

2

Al-Baqara

87

286

3

Al-i'Imran

89

200

4

An-Nisaa

92

176

5

Al-Maida

112

120

6

Al-An'am

55

165

7

Al-A'raf

39

206

8

Al-Anfal

88

75

9

At-Tauba

113

129

10

Yunus

51

109

11

Hud

52

123

12

Yusuf

53

111

13

Ar-Ra'd

96

43

14

Ibrahim

72

52

15

Al-Hijr

54

99

16

An-Nahl

70

128

17

Al-Israa

50

111

18

Al-Kahf

69

110

19

Maryam

44

98

20

Ta-ha

45

135

21

Al-Anbiyaa

73

112

22

Al-Hajj

103

78

23

Al-Muminun

74

118

24

An-Nur

102

64

25

Al-Furqan

42

77

26

Ash-Shu'araa

47

227

27

An-Naml

48

93

28

Al-Qasas

49

88

29

Al-Ankabut

85

69

30

Ar-Rum

84

60

31

Luqman

57

34

32

As-Sajda

75

30

33

Al-Ahzab

90

73

34

Saba

58

54

35

Fatir

43

45

36

Ya-Sin

41

83

37

As-Saffat

56

182

38

Sad

38

88

39

Az-Zumar

59

75

40

Al-Mu'min

60

85

41

Ha-Mim

61

54

42

Ash-Shura

62

53

43

Az-Zukhruf

63

89

44

Ad-Dukhan

64

59

45

Al-Jathiya

65

37

46

Al-Ahqaf

66

35

47

Muhammad

95

38

48

Al-Fat-h

111

29

49

Al-Hujurat

106

18

50

Qaf

34

45

51

Az-Zariyat

67

60

52

At-Tur

76

49

53

An-Najm

23

62

54

Al-Qamar

37

55

55

Ar-Rahman

97

78

56

Al-Waqi'a

46

96

57

Al-Hadid

94

29

58

Al-Mujadila

105

22

59

Al-Hashr

101

24

60

Al-Mumtahana

91

13

61

As-Saff

109

14

62

Al-Jamu'a

110

11

63

Al-Munafiqun

104

11

64

At-Tagabun

108

18

65

At-Talaq

99

12

66

At-Tahrim

107

12

67

Al-Mulk

77

30

68

Al-Qalam

2

52

69

Al-Haqqa

78

52

70

Al-Ma'arij

79

44

71

Nuh

71

28

72

Al-Jinn

40

28

73

Al-Muzzammil

3

20

74

Al-Muddaththir

4

56

75

Al-Qiyamat

31

40

76

Ad-Dahr

98

31

77

Al-Mursalat

33

50

78

An-Nabaa

80

40

79

An-Nazi'at

81

46

80

Abasa

24

42

81

At-Takwir

7

29

82

Al-Infitar

82

19

83

Al-Mutaffifin

86

36

84

Al-Inshiqaq

83

25

85

Al-Buruj

27

22

86

At-Tariq

36

17

87

Al-A'la

8

19

88

Al-Gashiya

68

26

89

Al-Fajr

10

30

90

Al-Balad

35

20

91

Ash-Shams

26

15

92

Al-Lail

9

21

93

Adh-Dhuha

11

11

94

Al-Sharh

12

8

95

At-Tin

28

8

96

Al-Alaq

1

19

97

Al-Qadr

25

5

98

Al-Baiyina

100

8

99

Al-Zalzalah

93

8

100

Al-Adiyat

14

11

101

Al-Qari'a

30

11

102

At-Takathur

16

8

103

Al-Asr

13

3

104

Al-Humaza

32

9

105

Al-Fil

19

5

106

Quraish

29

4

107

Al-Ma'un

17

7

108

Al-Kauthar

15

3

109

Al-Kafirun

18

6

110

An-Nasr

114

3

111

Al-Lahab

6

5

112

Al-Ikhlaas

22

4

113

Al-Falaq

20

5

114

An-Nas

21

6

So all surahs and their text are as per prophet’s continued directions, reciting in daily prayers and also in Ramadan, and also as per command by prophet to Zaid ibn Thabit (RTU) and others from time to time.

[Preservation of the original text of the Qur'an, in its unaltered form, is guaranteed by Allah Himself. “Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur’aan) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption)” (Al-Hijr 15:9) It is no wonder that we see no change in the order of the Qur'an, in its every detail.]

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3. PRESENT QUR’AN IS NOT THE ORIGINAL BUT THAT OF USMAN (r.a.)

Question:

There were many versions of the Qur’an all of which were burnt by Usman (r.a.) except for one. Therefore is it not true that the present Qur’an is the one compiled by Usman (r.a.) and not the original revelation of God?

Answer:

One of the most common myths about the Qur’an, is that Usman (r.a.), the third Caliph of Islam authenticated and compiled one Qur’an, from a large set of mutually contradicting copies. The Qur’an, revered as the Word of Allah (swt) by Muslims the world over, is the same Qur’an as the one revealed to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It was authenticated and written under his personal supervision. We will examine the roots of the myth which says that Usman (r.a.) had the Qur’an authenticated.

1.   Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself supervised and authenticated the written texts of the  Qur’an

Whenever the Prophet received a revelation, he would first memorize it himself and later declare the revelation and instruct his Companions (R.A. – Radhi Allahu Taala Anhu) – May Allah be pleased with him who would also memorize it. The Prophet would immediately ask the scribes to write down the revelation he had received, and he would reconfirm and recheck it himself. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was an Ummi who could not read and write. Therefore, after receiving each revelation, he would repeat it to his Companions. They would write down the revelation, and he would recheck by asking them to read what they had written. If there was any mistake, the Prophet would immediately point it out and have it corrected and rechecked. Similarly he would even recheck and authenticate the portions of the Qur’an memorized by the Companions. In this way, the complete Qur’an was written down under the personal supervision of the prophet (pbuh).

2.   Order and sequence of Qur’an divinely inspired

The complete Qur’an was revealed over a period of 22½ years portion by portion, as and when it was required. The Qur’an was not compiled by the Prophet in the chronological order of revelation. The order and sequence of the Qur’an too was Divinely inspired and was instructed to the Prophet by Allah (swt) through archangel Jibraeel. Whenever a revelation was conveyed to his companions, the Prophet would also mention in which surah (chapter) and after which ayat (verse) this new revelation should fit.

Every Ramadhaan all the portions of the Qur’an that had been revealed, including the order of the verses, were revised and reconfirmed by the Prophet with archangel Jibraeel. During the last Ramadhaan, before the demise of the Prophet, the Qur’an was rechecked and reconfirmed twice.

It is therefore clearly evident that the Qur’an was compiled and authenticated by the Prophet himself during his lifetime, both in the written form as well as in the memory of several of his Companions.

3.   Qur’an copied on one common material

The complete Qur’an, along with the correct sequence of the verses, was present during the time of the Prophet (pbuh). The verses however, were written on separate pieces, scrapes of leather, thin flat stones, leaflets, palm branches, shoulder blades, etc. After the demise of the prophet, Abu Bakr (r.a.), the first caliph of Islam ordered that the Qur’an be copied from the various different materials on to a common material and place, which was in the shape of sheets. These were tied with strings so that nothing of the compilation was lost.


4.   Usman (r.a.) made copies of the Qur’an from the original manuscript

Many Companions of the Prophet used to write down the revelation of the Qur’an on their own whenever they heard it from the lips of the Prophet. However what they wrote was not personally verified by the Prophet and thus could contain mistakes. All the verses revealed to the Prophet may not have been heard personally by all the Companions. There were high possibilities of different portions of the Qur’an being missed by different Companions. This gave rise to disputes among Muslims regarding the different contents of the Qur’an during the period of the third Caliph Usman (r.a.).

Usman (r.a.) borrowed the original manuscript of the Qur’an, which was authorized by the beloved Prophet (pbuh), from Hafsha (may Allah be pleased with her), the Prophet’s wife. Usman (r.a.) ordered four Companions who were among the scribes who wrote the Qur’an when the Prophet dictated it, led by Zaid bin Thabit (r.a.) to rewrite the script in several perfect copies. These were sent by Usman (r.a.) to the main centres of Muslims.

There were other personal collections of the portions of the Qur’an that people had with them. These might have been incomplete and with mistakes. Usman (r.a.) only appealed to the people to destroy all these copies which did not match the original manuscript of the Qur’an in order to preserve the original text of the Qur’an. Two such copies of the copied text of the original Qur’an authenticated by the Prophet are present to this day, one at the museum in Tashkent in erstwhile Soviet Union and the other at the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, Turkey.

5.   Diacritical marks were added for non-Arabs

The original manuscript of the Qur’an does not have the signs indicating the vowels in Arabic script. These vowels are known as tashkil, zabar, zair, paish in Urdu and as fatah, damma and qasra in Arabic. The Arabs did not require the vowel signs and diacritical marks for correct pronunciation of the Qur’an since it was their mother tongue. For Muslims of non-Arab origin, however, it was difficult to recite the Qur’an correctly without the vowels. These marks were introduced into the Quranic script during the time of the fifth ‘Umayyad’ Caliph, Malik-ar-Marwan (66-86 Hijri/685-705 C.E.) and during the governorship of Al-Hajaj in Iraq.

Some people argue that the present copy of the Qur’an that we have along with the vowels and the diacritical marks is not the same original Qur’an that was present at the Prophet’s time. But they fail to realize that the word ‘Qur’an’ means a recitation. Therefore, the preservation of the recitation of the Qur’an is important, irrespective of whether the script is different or whether it contains vowels. If the pronunciation and the Arabic is the same, naturally, the meaning remains the same too.

6.    Allah Himself has promised to guard the Qur’an

Allah has promised in the Qur’an :

"We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly Guard it (from corruption)." [Al- Hijr 15:9]

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4. Ayahs of Surahs  Compilation

Question :

Why are the sourats in Quran are not ordered, are they? (since the first sourat is the one which begins with "Iqraa").

Answer: Praise be to Allah.

The fact there is scholarly consensus, and many texts stating the order of aayahs in one soorah, that is very well known. The consensus was reported by many scholars, including Al-Zarkashi in al-Burhaan and Abu Ja’far, who said: “The order of the aayahs in their soorahs came about because this is how it was instituted by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and there is no dispute among the Muslims with regard to this matter.”

The texts regarding this matter include the following:
The report narrated by Ahmad, Abu Dawood, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i, Ibn Hibbaan and al-Haakim from
Ibn ‘Abbaas, who said: “I said to ‘Uthmaan, ‘What made you put al-Anfaal which is one of the Mathaani, next to Baraa’ah [al-Tawbah], which is one of the Mi’een? Why did you not put the line Bismillaah ir-Rahmaan ir-Raheem in between them when you put it at the beginning of the rest of al-Sab’ al-Tiwaal [the long seven soorahs]?”

‘Uthmaan said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to receive revelation of soorahs with many aayahs. When they were revealed, he would call his scribes and tell them, ‘Put these aayahs in the soorah where such-and-such is mentioned.’ Al-Anfaal was one of the first soorahs to be revealed in Madeenah, and Baraa’ah (al-Tawbah) was one of the last parts of the Qur’aan to be revealed. Its stories were similar to the stories mentioned in al-Anfaal, so it was thought that it was part of it. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was taken [i.e., died] without explaining whether it was indeed part of it, so they were put next to one another, and the line Bismillaahi ir’Rahmaan ir’Raheem was not written between them, and it [al-Tawbah] was put among the Sab’ al-Tiwaal [seven long soorahs].” (Al-Haakim said: its isnaad is saheeh, and al-Dhahabi agreed with him. Al-Mustadrak, 2/330)

Ahmad narrated in al-Musnad (4/218) with a hasan isnaad from ‘Uthmaan ibn Abi’l-‘Aas that he said: “I was sitting with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) when he fixed his gaze on something, then lowered his gaze until he was almost looking at the ground, then he gazed at something. He said, ‘Jibreel (peace be upon him) came to me and told me to put this aayah in this place in this soorah:

“Verily, Allâh enjoins Al-‘Adl (i.e. justice and worshipping none but Allâh Alone — Islâmic Monotheism) and Al-Ihsân [i.e. to be patient in performing your duties to Allâh, totally for Allâh’s sake and in accordance with the Sunnah (legal ways) of the Prophet in a perfect manner], and giving (help) to kith and kin (i.e. all that Allâh has ordered you to give them, e.g., wealth, visiting, looking after them, or any other kind of help), and forbids Al-Fahshâ’ (i.e. all evil deeds, e.g. illegal sexual acts, disobedience of parents, polytheism, to tell lies, to give false witness, to kill a life without right), and Al-Munkar (i.e. all that is prohibited by Islâmic law: polytheism of every kind, disbelief and every kind of evil deeds), and Al-Baghy (i.e. all kinds of oppression). He admonishes you, that you may take heed.” [An-Nahl 16:90].

Al-Bukhaari narrated in al-Saheeh (no. 4536) that Ibn Abi Maleekah said: “Ibn al-Zubayr said: ‘I said to ‘Uthmaan, “This aayah that is in al-Baqarah (interpretation of the meaning),

“And those of you who die and leave behind wives should bequeath for their wives a year’s maintenance and residence without turning them out …”  [Al-Baqarah 2:240]  has been abrogated by the other, so why are you writing it down?” He said, “Leave it as it is, my nephew, I will not change anything from its place.”’

Muslim narrated (no. 1617) that ‘Umar said: “I did not ask the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) about anything more than I asked him about al-Kalaalah [those who die leaving neither ascendants nor descendents as heirs], until he poked me in the chest with his finger and said, “Is not aayat al-sayf [?] at the end of Soorat al-Nisa’ enough for you?”

There are also the ahaadeeth about the aayahs at the end of Soorat al-Baqarah.

Muslim narrated (no. 809) from Abu al-Darda’ that whoever memorizes the first ten aayahs of Soorat al-Kahf will be protected from the Dajjaal; according to another version, whoever recites the last ten verses will be protected.

The Prophet’s recitation of various soorahs in the presence of his companions indicates that the order of their aayahs is something that was instituted and commanded by him, and that the Sahaabah did not put the aayahs in a different order from that in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to recite them. The reports to that effect reach the level of Mutawaatir.

Al-Qaadi Abu Bakr said in al-Intisaar: “The order of the aayahs is something that is obligatory and binding. Jibreel used to say (to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)), ‘Put such and such an aayah in such and such a place.’”

He also said: “What we think is that all of the Qur’aan which Allah revealed and commanded that it should be written down, and which was not abrogated after being revealed, is that which is contained between the covers of the Mus-haf of ‘Uthmaan, and that there is nothing lacking or added to it. Its order is the same as that commanded by Allah, may He be exalted, and instituted by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Nobody has moved any aayah backwards or forwards. The Ummah learned from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) the order of the aayahs of each soorah properly, just as they learned from him the correct pronunciation and recitation.”

Al-Baghawi said in Sharh al-Sunnah: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to instruct his companions and teach them what was revealed to him of the Qur’aan in the order in which it appears in our Mus-hafs now, the order which Jibreel taught him. When each aayah was revealed, Jibreel would tell him, this aayah is to be written after such and such an aayah in Soorah such and such. Thus it is clear that the efforts of the Sahaabah were limited solely to gathering the Qur’aan in one place, not to arranging its order. The Qur’aan is written on al-Lawh al-Mahfooz in this order, then Allah sent it down in its entirety to the first heaven, whence it was revealed in stages as it was needed, and the order in which it was revealed is not the order in which it is recited.”

Order Of Surahs

With regard to the order of Soorahs, was this also instituted by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), or was this the ijtihaad of the Sahaabah? With regard to this question, there were differences among the scholars. The majority of scholars, including Maalik and al-Qaadi Abu Bakr, according to one of his two opinions, favoured the second opinion.

Ibn Faaris said: “There were two aspects to the compilation of the Qur’aan. One was putting the soorahs in a certain order, such as putting al-Sab’ al-Tiwaal (the seven long soorahs) first, and following them with the Mi’een, which is what the Sahaabah did. The second aspect is the compilation of the aayahs within the soorahs. This was instituted by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), who recited them as he was told to by Jibreel, on the command of his Lord. On this basis the salaf differed as to the order in which the soorahs should appear. Some of them put them in order of revelation, which was the mus-haf of ‘Ali, which started with Iqra’ (al-‘Alaq), then al-Muddaththir, then Noon (al-Qalam), then al-Muzzammil, and so on. The Mus-haf of Ibn Mas’ood started with al-Baqarah, then al-Nisa’, then Aal ‘Imraan, with other major differences. The Mus-haf of Ubayy was similar.”

Al-Karmaani said in al-Burhaan: the order of the soorahs as it is now is the same as that in al-Lawh al-Mahfooz which is with Allah. This is the order in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to review the soorahs of the Qur’aan he had received so far with Jibreel each year. In the year in which he died, he reviewed it with him twice, and the last aayahs to be revealed were (interpretation of the meaning): And be afraid of the Day when you shall be brought back to Allah… [Al-Baqarah 2:281]. Jibreel commanded the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to put this between the aayahs dealing with riba and those dealing with loans.”

Al-Zarkashi said in al-Burhaan: “The difference between the two views is one of wording. Those who support the second view say that it was taught to them so that they could learn the reasons of Revelation and the sequence of the words. Hence Maalik said that they compiled the Qur’aan according to what they had heard from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), as well as saying that the order of the soorahs was the product of their ijtihaad. He said that the dispute boils down to one question which is: was this a verbal instruction of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), or were they merely referring to what he used to do, which would give them room for ijtihaad.”

Al-Bayhaqi said in al-Madkhil: “At the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), the soorahs and aayahs of the Qur’aan were in this order, except for al-Anfaal and Baraa’ah (al-Tawbah), as we see from the hadeeth of ‘Uthmaan referred to above.”

Ibn ‘Atiyah said: “The order of many of the soorahs was known during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), such as the seven long soorahs, those that begin with Ha’-Meem, and al-Mufassal. With regard to the others, it may be the case that it was left for the Ummah to determine their order after he died.”

Abu Ja’far said: “The reports support most of what Ibn ‘Atiyah said, and a little is left which is open to debate, such as the hadeeth, ‘Recite the two shining ones, al-Baqarah and Aal ‘Imraan.’” (Reported by Muslim, no. 804).

Al-Bukhaari narrated (no. 4739) that ‘Abd-Allah ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Bani Israa’eel (al-Israa’), al-Kahf, Maryam, Ta-Ha and al-Anbiya’, these are among the earliest and most beautiful soorahs and they are my treasures,” (meaning, these are among the earliest I recited).

Abu Ja’far al-Nahhaas al-Mukhtaar said that the soorahs were compiled in this order from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) because of the hadeeth of Waathilah, “In place of the Tawraat I was given the seven long soorahs.” He said: “ This hadeeth indicates that the order of the Qur’aan was taken from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

Ibn Hajar said, “the fact that the soorahs, or most of them, are in a given order does not contradict the idea that this was instituted by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). What proves that this was instituted by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is the report narrated by Ahmad and Abu Dawood from Aws ibn Hudhayfah, who said: ‘We asked the companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in the morning, “How did you write down the Qur’aan in chapters?”

They said, “We wrote it down in chapters of six soorahs, five soorahs, seven soorahs, nine soorahs, eleven soorahs and thirteen soorahs, and the chapter of al-Mufassal, from Qaaf until the end. This indicates that the order of the soorahs – as it appears in the Mus-haf now – existed at the time of the Messenger of Allah, or it is possible that what was known in order at that time was Hizb al-Mufassal specifically, which is not the case with the rest.”

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5. SHIA’S COCEPT OF ONE SURAH

Question:

I have also heard by a Shia colleague that their is a surat in their book which is not in the QURAN. Can you confirm this? The surat in question is called SURAT AL-WILAYAT.

Answer: Praise be to Allah.  

With regard to Soorat al-Wilaayah, some of the Shi’ah scholars and imams have stated that it exists. Any of them who denies that does so by way of taqiyah (dissimulation). One of those who clearly stated that it exists is Mirza Hussein Muhammad Taqiy al-Noori al-Tubrusi (d. 1320 AH). He wrote a book in which he claimed that the Qur’aan had been distorted and that the Sahaabah has concealed some parts of it, including Soorat al-Wilaayah. The Raafidis honoured him after his death by burying him in al-Najaf. This book by al-Tubrusi was published in Iran in 1298 AH, and when it was published there was a great deal of controversy because they wanted the doubts about the validity of the Qur’aan, which were known only to their leaders, to remain scattered throughout hundreds of their major books, and they did not want that to be compiled in one book. At the beginning of his book he said:  

“This is a good and noble book entitled Fasl al-khitaab fi ithbaat tahreef Kitaab Rabb il-Arbaab (Decisive comment on the distortion of the Book of the Lord of Lords)… He mentioned aayahs and soorahs which he claims that the Sahaabah concealed, including ‘Soorat al-Wilaayah,’” the text of which, according to them, and as quoted in this book, is: 

“O you who believe, believe in the Prophet and the Wali [i.e., ‘Ali] whom We have sent to guide you to the straight path, a Prophet and a Wali who are part of one another, and I am the All-Knowing, All-Aware…”  

And they have another soorah which they call Soorat al-Noorayn:

“O you who believe, believe in the two lights (al-noorayn) which We have sent down to you to recite to you My Verses and to warn you of the punishment of a great Day. They are part of one another and I am the All-Hearing, All-Knowing. Those who fulfil the covenant with Allah and His Messenger mentioned in the verses (of the Qur’aan), the Gardens of delight will be theirs, but those who disbelieve after they believed by breaking their covenant and disobeying the command of the Prophet, they will be thrown into Hell. They have wronged themselves and gone against the wasiyyah of the Prophet (i.e., the appointment of ‘Ali as khaleefah), and they will be given to drink of boiling water…” and other such nonsense. 

You can see the entire soorah, along with a telegraphic picture of the Persian mus-haf at the following site: 

http://arabic.islamicweb.com/shia/nurain.htm 

Prof. Muhammad ‘Ali Sa’oodi – who was one of the greatest experts of the Ministry of Justice in Egypt – examined an Iranian mus-haf kept by the Orientalist Bryan and he obtained a copy of this soorah; above the lines of Arabic script there is written the translation in the Iranian language. 

As it was mentioned by al-Tubrusi in his book, Fasl al-khitaab fi ithbaat tahreef Kitaab Rabb il-Arbaab, it is also mentioned in their book Dabastan Madhaahib, which is in Farsi, written by Muhsin Faani al-Kashmiri. This book has been printed numerous times in Iran, and this false soorah was quoted from it by the Orientalist Noeldeke in his book The History of Qur’anic Manuscripts, 2/120, and was published by the French Asian newspaper in 1842 (p. 431-439). 

It was also mentioned by Mirza Habibullaah al-Haashimi al-Kho’i in his book Manhaaj al-Baraa’ah fi Sharh Nahj al-Balaaghah (2/217); and by Muhammad Baaqir al-Majlisi in his book Tadhkirat al-A’immah (p. 19, 20) in Farsi, (published by) Manshoorat Mawlana, Iran. 

See also al-Khutoot al-‘Areedah li’l-Asas allati qaama ‘alayha deen al-Shi’ah by Muhibb al-Deen al-Khateeb. 

This claim of theirs is a denial of the words of Allah (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur’aan) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption)” [Al-Hijr 15:9] 

Hence the Muslims are unanimously agreed that anyone who claims that anything in the Qur’aan has been altered or changed is a kaafir. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: 

The same applies to those among them who claim that some verses of the Qur’aan have been taken away or concealed, or who claim to have some esoteric interpretations that exempt him from having to do the actions prescribed in sharee’ah etc., who are called al-Qaraamitah and al-Baatiniyyah, and who include al-Tanaasukhiyyah [names of esoteric sects]. There is no dispute that they are kaafirs. 

Al-Saarim al-Maslool, 3/1108-1110. 

Ibn Hazm said: 

The view that the Qur’aan has been altered is blatant kufr and is a rejection of what the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said. 

Al-Fasl fi’l-Ahwa’ wa’-Milal wa’l-Nihal, 4/139.  And Allah knows best.

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6. ANY CHANGE IN QURAN

Question :

I have read in an anti Islamic website run by a Christian theologist from England that the scholar "Al-Sagistany" wrote in his book called "Almasahif" that the Muslim leader "Al-Hajjajj " changed letters in the Quran in about at least ten words .

He claims that "Alsagistany" reported this and that he wrote it under the title: "Ma Ghayarraho Alhajjajj Fe Moshaf Othman". This Christian also narrates in Arabic what he claims to be a copy of this page with the ten words which he claims had letters changed in them.

I have tried to find a copy of that book to search the matter but I failed. Please try your best efforts to make this matter clear. Also it is unimaginable to me that the whole Muslim scholars and memorizers of Quran could have just accepted someone to change in the Quran without stopping this or not knowing about it.

Even if Alsagistany really reported this, it really does not make sense at all;

First of all because we are not like Christians and Jews who don’t memorize their books totally and it is mainly left to religious scholars. Instead very large numbers of Muslims memorize the Quran and almost all read it. So changes could not have just passed unnoticed except by Alsagistany especially that at this era there were already several total copies of the Quran in all Muslim countries.

Secondly, if it is very difficult to believe that these changes were not noticed by scholars or people at the time, then it is far more difficult to imagine that any Muslim scholar or even lay man would know of the changes to the book of Allah and keep quiet and not fight this thing and just accept it. Sir, it just could not happen.

So please try to find this book and clarify the matter for me in great detail with definite evidence and proofs as much as Allah will help you. I appreciate your cooperation and again forgive me for my long letter but I cannot tell you how important this matter is to me. I put all my trust and hope in Allah that I will find a really clear and clear cut answer.

Answer: Praise be to Allah.  

Firstly:

It is not possible for a Muslim to entertain doubts concerning the immutability of the Qur’aan, because Allah has guaranteed to preserve the Qur’aan. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur’aan) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption)” [Al-Hijr 15:9] 

The Qur’aan was preserved in the hearts of the Sahaabah who had memorized it, and on the trunks of trees and thin white stones until the time of the caliph Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq (may Allah be pleased with him).

During the Riddah wars many of the Sahaabah who had memorized the Qur’aan were killed, so Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) was afraid that the Qur’aan may be lost. He consulted the senior Sahaabah concerning the idea of compiling the entire Qur’aan in one book so that it would be preserved and would not be lost, and this task was entrusted to the great hafiz Zayd ibn Thaabit and others who had written down the Revelation.

Al-Bukhaari narrated in his Saheeh that Zayd ibn Thaabit (may Allah be pleased with him) said:  

“Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq sent for me when the people of Yamamah had been killed (i.e., a number of the Prophet's Companions who fought against Musaylimah). (I went to him) and found 'Umar bin al-Khattaab sitting with him. Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) said (to me), ‘ ‘Umar has come to me and said: “Casualties were heavy among the Qurra' of the Qur'aan (i.e. those who knew the Qur’aan by heart) at the Battle of Yamaamah, and I am afraid that more heavy casualties may take place among the Qurra' on other battlefields, whereby a large part of the Qur'an may be lost.

Therefore I suggest that you [Abu Bakr] should issue orders that the Qur’aan be collected.” I said to 'Umar, “How can you do something that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not do?"

'Umar said, “By Allah, this is something good.” ‘Umar kept on urging me (to accept his proposal) until Allah opened my heart to it and I began to realize the good in the idea which 'Umar had realized.’ Then Abu Bakr said (to me): ‘You are a wise young man and we have a great deal of confidence in you. You used to write down the Revelation for the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). So you should seek out the Qur’aan [i.e., the fragments on which it is written] and collect it (in one book).’

By Allah, if they had ordered me to move one of the mountains, it would not have been harder for me than this command to collect the Qur’aan. I said (to Abu Bakr), ‘How can you do something which the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not do?’

Abu Bakr said, ‘By Allah, it is a good thing.’ Abu Bakr kept on urging me (to accept his proposal) until Allah opened my heart to it as He had opened the hearts of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.

So I started to look for the Qur’aan and collected it from (the fragments on which it was written of) palm-stalks, thin white stones and the hearts of men (i.e., from men who knew it by heart), until I found the last verse of Soorat al-Tawbah with Abu Khuzaymah al-Ansaari, and I did not find it with anybody other than him. The verse is :  

Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty… [At-Tawbah 9:128 – interpretation of the meaning]

… until the end of Soorat Baraa’ah (Soorat al-Tawbah). 

These fragments remained with Abu Bakr until he died, then with ‘Umar for the rest of his life, then with Hafsah bint ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both).” 

Secondly:

With regard to al-Hajjaaj, it was not his idea to write out the Mus-haf, rather he was commanded by an intelligent man to do that. There follows the complete story: 

Al-Zarqaani said: 

It is known that the Mus-haf of ‘Uthmaan was unpointed (i.e., it had no diacritical marks). Whatever the case the addition of diacritical marks to the Mus-haf did not happen, according to the well-established view, until the era of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwaan, when he realized that Islam had spread widely and the Arabs were mixing with the non-Arabs, which was having an effect on the Arabic language, so that there was much confusion about the correct reading of the Mus-hafs and it was becoming very difficult for people to tell the letters apart.

By his deep insight, he realized that he should do something to solve the problem. So he commanded al-Hajjaaj to take care of this important matter. In obedience to the caliph, Al-Hajjaaj appointed two men to deal with this matter, namely Nasr ibn ‘Aasim al-Laythi and Yahya ibn Ya’mar al-‘Adwaani, both of whom were qualified and able to do the task required of them, because they were knowledgeable, righteous, pious and experts in Arabic language and the various readings of the Qur’aan. They had also both studied under Abu’l-Aswad al-Du’li. May Allah have mercy on these two shaykhs, for they succeeded in their work and gave the Mus-haf diacritical points for the first time. They added dots to all the letters that look similar, not adding more than three dots to any one letter. That became widespread among the people and was very effective in dispelling confusion concerning reading of the Mus-haf.  

It was said that the first person to add diacritical marks to the Mus-haf was Abu’l-Aswad al-Du’li, and that Ibn Seereen had a Mus-haf to which diacritical marks had been added by Yahya ibn Ya’mar. These opinions may be reconciled by noting that Abu’l-Aswad was the first one who added diacritical marks to the Mus-haf, but he did that for his own individual use, then Ibn Seereen followed him in that, and that ‘Abd al-Malik was the first one to add diacritical marks to the Mus-haf  in an official and public manner that was spread widely among the people in order to dispel any confusion with regard to reading Qur’aan.” 

Manaahil al-‘Irfaan, 1/280, 281 

Thirdly:

With regard to what is mentioned in the question, quoting from al-Masaahif by Ibn Abi Dawood, there follows the report concerning that and the ruling thereon: 

It was narrated from ‘Abbaad ibn Suhayb from ‘Awf ibn Abi Jameelah that al-Hajjaaj ibn Yoosuf changed eleven letters in the Mus-haf. He said that in Soorat al-Baqarah 2:259 it said lam yatasanna wa’nzur, with no ha’, and he changed it to lam yatasannah wa’nzur (they show no change, and look…) 

In al-Maa'idah 5:48 it said sharee’atan wa minhaajan, and he changed it to shir’atan wa minhaajan (a law and a clear way)

In Yoonus 10:22 it said, Huwa alladhi yunshirukum and he changed it to Huwa alladhi yusayyirukum (He it is Who enables you to travel…) 

In Yoosuf 12:45 it said Ana aateekum bi ta’weelihi and he changed it to Ana unabbi’ukum bi ta’weelihi (I will tell you its interpretation) 

In al-Zukhruf 43:32 it said, Nahnu qasamnaa baynahum ma’aayishahum and he changed it to Nahnu qasamnaa baynahum ma’eeshatahum (It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood) 

In al-Takweer 81:24 it said Wa ma huwa ‘ala’l-ghaybi bi zaneen and he changed it to Wa ma huwa ‘ala’l-ghaybi bi daneen (and he withholds not a knowledge of the unseen) 

Kitaab al-Masaahif by al-Sajistaani, p. 49. 

This report is da’eef jiddan (very weak) or mawdoo’ (fabricated), because its isnaad includes ‘Abbaad ibn Suhayb, whose hadeeth is to be rejected. 

‘Ali ibn al-Madeeni said: his hadeeth is no good. Al-Bukhaari, al-Nasaa’i and others said: he is matrook (to be rejected). Ibn Hibbaan said: he was a Qadari who promoted his innovated ideas, and he narrated things which a beginner in this field would realize were fabricated if he heard them. Al-Dhahabi said: he is one of those who are to be rejected. 

See Meezaan al-I’tidaal, by al-Dhahabi, 4/28. 

The text of the report is also false, because it does not make sense that these changes could be made in the Qur’aan and then spread throughout the world. Even some of the non-Muslims, such as the Raafidis (Shi’ah) who think that the Qur’aan is incomplete, rejected this and criticized its text. 

Al-Kho’i, who is one of the Raafidis, said: “This claim is like the hallucination of one who is suffering a fever, or like the fairy tales of the insane or of children. Al-Hajjaaj was one of the governors of the Umayyads, and he is too incapable to do anything to the Qur’aan. He is even incapable of changing any of the minor issues of Islam, so how could he change the thing which is the foundation of the religion and the basis of sharee’ah?

Where would he get the power to introduce this change throughout the realm of Islam and beyond at the time when the Qur’aan was well known throughout the Muslim world? How come no historian has ever mentioned this disastrous event even though it is so serious and they would have a lot of motives to mention it?

How come no one among the Muslims of his time narrated it? How could the Muslims have turned a blind eye to such an action after the reign of al-Hajjaaj came to an end? Even if we assume that he could have gathered all the copies of the Qur’aan and that not one single copy escaped his grasp anywhere in the far-flung regions of the Islamic world, how could he have removed it from the hearts of the Muslims and those who had memorized it, the number of whom at that time is known only to Allah.” 

(al-Bayaan fi Tafseer al-Qur’aan, p. 219) 

What the questioner mentions about Imam al-Sajistaani, and that he wrote a book called Ma Ghayyarahu al-Hajjaaj fi Mus-haf ‘Uthmaan (What al-Hajjaaj altered in the Mus-haf of ‘Uthmaan) is not true, rather it is a blatant lie. All there is, is the commentary that al-Sajistaani wrote concerning the words quoted above from al-Hajjaaj, entitled Baab Ma Kataba al-Hajjaaj ibn Yoosuf fi’l-Mus-haf (Chapter on what al-Hajjaaj wrote in the Mus-haf)

On this basis, we cannot rely upon this report under any circumstances whatsoever. The fact that until now it has not been proven that anyone has succeeded in his attempt to change even one letter (of the Qur’aan) is sufficient to prove that it is a lie.

If what has been narrated is true, then it would be possible to repeat it, especially at the times when the Muslims were weak and their enemies plotted against them.  It is such specious arguments that prove that these claims are false, and that our enemies are incapable of refuting the evidence of the Qur’aan or its clarity, so they resorted to attacking it. 

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7. WRITING OF QURAN

Question :

I was wondering if it is true that there is no evidence that there is no trace of a Qu'ran being written in the 7 th century?

Answer: Praise be to Allah. 

This is a false and incorrect statement made by those who try to find faults with Islam so as to put people off this religion. It is sufficient to know that Allah has guaranteed to preserve the Qur’aan, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur’aan) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption).”  [Al-Hijr 15:9]

Moreover, the fact that the transmission of the Qur’aan by memory and in writing was mutawaatir – narrated by groups to groups [to such an extent that so many people could not conceivably have agreed upon a lie] – is well known to anyone who has the slightest acquaintance with Islamic knowledge, especially knowledge of recitations and reciters.

There are still many people nowadays who have learned the Qur’aan orally, with isnaads directly going back to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

One of the miracles of Allah’s protection of the Qur’aan is the fact that those who try to tamper with it are always found out.

The point is, everything that was revealed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was written down in front of him straight away, and some of the Sahaabah had masaahif (written copies of the Qur’aan). After the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), the  first khaleefah, Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq (may Allah be pleased with him) gathered the Qur’aan in  written and kept it. Then the third khaleefah, ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan (may Allah be pleased with him) compiled it in mus-hafs that were based on the mus-haf compiled by Abu Bakr, in addition to what had been memorized.

When we realize that the Qur’aan was written down and compiled by the Sahaabah, and ‘Uthmaan sent copies of the Mus-haf during his reign to all the main centres of Islam, so that it would be a reference for them, and there were no disputes concerning them, then how can we say that there is no written trace of the Qur’aan in the seventh century? Moreover, there are several ancient manuscripts of the Qur’aan in libraries and museums which bear visible testimony to the fact that nothing has been changed in the Book of Allah. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And verily, it is an honourable well‑fortified respected Book (because it is Allah’s Speech, and He has protected it from corruption). (41) Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it, (it is) sent down by the All‑Wise, Worthy of all praise (Allah).” [Fussilat 41:41-42]

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8. MISCONCEPT OF QURAN SAVING

Question:

Recently I became aware of some scholarly research done by German scholars into the inerrancy of the Quran. Some of their findings are discussed in an Atlantic Monthly article entitled "What Is the Koran?" written by Toby Lester, published in the January 1999 issue of that magazine. The gist of their research is that some very old fragments of the Quran found in a mosque in Yemen show small but significant aberrations from the standard Quranic texts. In some cases, the writing on the fragments found had been washed off and different writing substituted overtop. The article tries to cast doubt on the Muslim view of the Quran as being absolutely reliable, and tries to show instead that it is a literary text that has been subject to change just like any other.

I am not a Muslim, but I know that the Quran holds a position in Islam that is similar to that of Christ in Christianity. In view of this, sir, how would you respond to these attempts to dispute the absolute inerrancy of the Quran? In your view, do these scholars have false motives that render their findings untrustworthy? Or do you have another response to these attacks on the verity of the Quran?

Answer: Praise be to Allah.  

1 – The proof that the copies of the Holy Qur’aan that we have before us is not just one or two pieces of evidence, rather it is proven by a vast amount of evidence that no fair-minded person can study without becoming convinced that it is exactly as Allah revealed it to Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). 

2 – There have been generations coming one after another, reciting the Book of Allah and studying it, memorizing it and writing it down. They have not omitted a single letter, and no one can change even the vowel point of a single letter. Writing is just one means of preserving it; basically it is preserved in their hearts. 

3 – The Qur’aan has not come down to us on its own, such that the so-called alterations could be made. Rather the interpretation of its verses, the meanings of its words, the reasons for its revelation, the grammar of its words and the commentary on its rulings have all been transmitted. When such care has been given to this Book, how could sinful hands find a way to distort even one letter of it, or add a word, or take away a verse? 

4 – The Qur’aan speaks of matters of the unseen, in the future, which Allah revealed to His Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to show him that they came from Allah. If a human being wants to write a book, he can describe an event or express a point of view, but if any human being were to speak about matters of the unseen, in this field he can only base that on speculation and lies. But the Qur’aan told of the defeat of the Romans by the Persians, at the time when there was no means of communication to inform the Arabs of this event. The same verses also foretold that they (the Persians) would be defeated after a certain number of years. If what the Qur’aan said was not accurate, then the kaafirs would have had a great opportunity to criticize the Qur’aan. 

5 – If you read any verse of the Qur’aan, then you go to America or Asia or the jungles of Africa, or to the deserts of Arabia or any place where there are Muslims, you will find that all of them have the exact same verse, memorized by heart or in their books; not a single letter of it will have been altered.  

So what is the importance of this unknown manuscript in Yemen which we have not seen, and in which some ignorant may have altered, in recent times, one verse or one word? 

Does this argument carry any weight when properly researched and discussed? Especially when the people claim to be fair-minded and objective in their research.  

What would be their response if we went to one of their most trusted books by a well-known author, a book of which there are many copies in the world, all of them exactly the same, and we claimed that there was a copy of this book in some country or other in which there was extra material and alterations, and it was different from what is in their copies? Would they pay any attention? 

Their answer would be the same as ours. 

6– The manuscript copies which are in the Muslims’ possession cannot be proven to be authentic in this simplistic manner, for we have experts who know the history of calligraphy and we have principles and guidelines through which we may determine whether a manuscript is genuine, such as the names and signatures of the people who heard it and read it.  

We do not think that these features are present in this so-called copy of the Qur’aan in Yemen or in others. 

7 – We are happy to conclude our answer with this true story that happened in Baghdad during the ‘Abbasid era, when a Jew wanted to find out how true are the books attributed by their followers to God, namely the Torah among the Jews, the Gospel among the Christians and the Qur’aan among the Muslims. 

He went to the Torah and added and took away a few minor things that were not very obvious, then he gave it to a scribe from among the Jews and asked him to make copies of it. It did not take long before these copies were placed in the synagogues of the Jews and were in circulation among their major scholars. 

Then he went to the Gospel and added and took away a few things as he had done with the Torah, and he gave it to their scribes and asked them to make copies of it. It was not long before it was being read in their churches and was in circulation among their scholars. 

Then he went to the Qur’aan and added and took away a few things as he had done with the Torah and the Gospel. Then he gave it to a Muslim scribe to make copies of it. 

When he went back to get his copy, the scribe threw it in his face and told him that this was not the Qur’aan of the Muslims! 

From this experiment the man came to know that the Qur’aan is the true Book of Allah and that all other books were the works of human beings. 

If the scribes of the Muslims could tell that this copy had been tampered with, then how could it go into circulation among the Muslim scholars undetected? 

If the questioner wants to repeat this ancient experiment nowadays, all she has to do is to do the same as that Jewish man did, who later became Muslim; she can add and take away things from these three books and see what happens as a result. 

But we do not tell her to show her copy of the Qur’aan to a scribe, rather we tell her to show it to Muslim children, and they will tell her where the mistakes are in her copy! 

Some Muslim states have printed Mus-hafs in which there were mistakes, and young children found them before the grown-ups did!

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9. AUTHENTICITY OF THE QUR’AN

Question:                                                                                                  

 

As we hear many claims spread by non-Muslims questioning the authenticity of the Glorious Qur’an, would you kindly help us refute such false claim?

 

Answer:                                                                                                     

The Holy Qur'an was presented to the people of Arabia by the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. It was presented in parts over a period of 23 years of his prophetic life. The book presents itself as the word of Allah and the Holy Prophet also presented it as such.

The Muslims believe that the Holy Qur'an, being the revealed word of Allah, is the cornerstone of their faith. They get their philosophy, beliefs and laws from this book it is the basic source of the Islamic faith. It is the Word of Allah revealed to His Messenger, Muhammad, peace be upon him, who read it out before the world loud and clear. Not only did he recite it to the people of Arabia, he also made elaborate arrangements to ensure that its contents be preserved and his Companions should learn it by heart and should also write it down. The Holy Prophet's stress on the supremacy of the Book of Allah, over all other sources of knowledge, was unequivocal and categorical.

The Holy Qur'an has reached us through Tawatur:

The Holy Qur'an has reached us through the process of Tawatur (historical continuity and perpetuation achieved through transfer from generation-to-generation) When we say that the Quran has reached us through Tawatur, we imply that so many people in every generation conveyed it to the next and so on that there can be no doubt about its authenticity. It was not transmitted by a few persons in one generation to a few persons in the next. It was handed over by the entire generation to the next generation. The Generation of the Companions witnessed the revelation and compilation of the Holy Quran during the life of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and then handed it over to the next generation and so on.

Its certainty has far exceeded the need for any debate. In the presence of established history, we would not accept any individual reports and rumors to the contrary. For instances a report in one of the history books that claims that Akbar the Great never ruled in India, would not be considered by us. The fact that Akbar the Great ruled over India for half a century is so established, that any odd report to the contrary would be simply ignored. So is the case of the Holy Quran. Since it has achieved the status of Tawatur, no odd report would affect its credibility.

When generations and generations of people without interruption hold the Quran as the one and only version of the divine guidance received from the Holy Prophet, such reports would not infringe upon its authenticity. The evidence for the Quran is so overwhelming, involving millions of people, that it would simply override any odd reports that may be found anywhere.”

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from

http://www.sunnahonline.com/ilm/quran/0005.htm

There is no other book in world which is challenged by this way. Allah says in Quran.

“say if all the humankind and jinn’s were to gather together to produce the like of the Quran, they will not be able to do it even if they helped each other”. (Al-Isra 17 : 88)

In the light of the above, dear brother, it’s clear that all what non-Muslims say or fabricate against the Glorious Quran is totally groundless, for the authenticity of the Quran is not only upheld by Muslims but confirmed by non-Muslims as well, as will be clarified in the following:

“Attesting to the Qur'an’s authenticity, in his best-seller book The Bible, The Qur’an and Science the French researcher, historian, scientist Dr. Maurice Bucaille writes:

"Thanks to its undisputed authenticity, the text of the Qur’an holds a UNIQUE Place among the books of Revelation, shared neither by the Old nor the New Testament. In the first two sections of this work (meaning his book), a review was made of the alterations undergone by the Old Testament and the Gospels before they were handed down to us in the form we know today. The same is not true for the Quran for the simple reason it was written down at the time of the Prophet; we shall see how it came to be written, i.e. the process involved . . .. As the Revelation progressed, the Prophet and the believers following him recited the text by heart, and it was written down by the scribes in his following. It therefore starts off with two elements of authenticity that the Gospels do not possess."

Professor Hitte also writes: "Biblical text has been subjected to editorial and amendatory treatment, but not the Quranic ... In its phonetic and graphic reproduction, as well as in its linguistic form, the Qur’anic text is identical with its celestial original."

The Qur’an is unique in consistency, harmony, intelligence and rationality:

The Qur’an is the book without inconsistencies; one part of its text, (or doctrine) does not clash with the other. In fact, it sets the absence of contradiction, irrationality, and incoherence, as one of the criteria for checking the authenticity of any divine revelation. It states
"Do they not ponder the Qur’an (with care)? Had this book been from anybody but Allah, you would have found much inconsistencies.” (Surat An-Nisa 4:82)

Because contradictions and inconsistencies call for the negation of one part, which is in conflict with the other and this automatically invalidates portions of the book. In turn that makes it difficult for a man to remain true to any one value, thereby creating mental conflict, emotional and spiritual instability. "Skip some, follow some," “pick and choose" and "no absolutes" become the pattern. And these exercise an extremely damaging influence upon a truth-conscious, rational man with regard to belief in Allah and with regard to the credibility of the book itself. And it leads to dilemmas where sincere minds become "disjointed" and "disenchanted," eventually steering them away from the book or turn them into hypocrites.

Dr. Maurice Bucaille, who had absolutely no reason to favor one book, especially that of Islam, over the others (if anything, as human nature is, he would only favor the books of his own religion, but not the Quran) attests to the Quranic claim in his book. "The Quran ... is not only free from contradictions in its narrations, the sign of various human manipulations to be found in the Gospels, but provides a quality of its own for those who examine it objectively and in the light of science i.e. its complete agreement with modern scientific data.”

The Book may be great but what is its impact on the people, you might ask. If no impact it has any significance. How true! The Quran is unique in terms of its Blitzing Impact, also.

There have been many other religious books and revelations before the Quran. But of these, only the Holy Quran had the most electrifying impact upon the people. Its lightning-like rapidity, in a short few decades, reached the hearts and minds of the masses of several continents, transforming the lives of idolaters, alcoholics, exploiters, abusers, perverts, into men and women of pristine monotheism, of highest virtue and piety. Call it what you may - the most sensational spiritual revolution, or the spiritual blitzkrieg, the revolution of which the mankind had never witnessed before. To this very day, no other religion comes even close to matching Quran's record of the spectacular impact on lives of masses.”

Lastly, The God has only given His guarantee for this book which is not given by Him to any other book. Allah says in Quran

“Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur’aan) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption)”  (Al-Hijr 15:9)

Excerpted, with some modifications, from

http://www.iica.org/invitation/the_glor.html

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