Do any of the original Qurans transcribed by Uthman survive to this day?

(A study of the Topkapi and Samarqand codices)

As virtually all the earliest Quran codices and fragments cannot be dated earlier than about one hundred and fifty year’s after the time of Muhammad it would seem most improbable that portions of the Quran copied out at Uthman’s direction should have survived, least of all whole codices or substantial sections thereof. Nevertheless, Muslim writers often claim that Uthmanic manuscripts still exist. As the Muslim dogma that the Quran has been perfectly preserved by divine decree is based not on evidences or facts but purely on popular sentiment, so it should not surprise a student of the early text of the Quran to find that this sentiment is often buttressed by claims that proof of the perfection of the text can be found in actual Uthmanic codices still in existence.

There are many references in modern Muslim writings to Qurans said to have belonged to Uthman, Ali or the grandsons of Muhammad which are said to have survived to this day. One cannot help wondering whether in such cases the wish is not perhaps father to the thought. Professor Bergstrasser, one of the contributors to Noldeke’ s Geschichte des Qurans, recorded up to twenty references to claims made in different parts of the Muslim world to possess not only one of the copies ordered by Uthman but even the actual codex of the Caliph himself, in each case with attendant claims that the pages which he was reading when he was murdered are to this day discoloured by his blood. We shall give two direct examples of such claims made even today for different Qurans towards the end of this section.

In the Apology of the famous Christian scholar Abdul-Masih al-Kindi, who wrote a defence of Christianity against Islam during the time of the Abbasid Empire, we find it said that of the copies made under Uthman’s supervision, the one sent to Mecca was destroyed by fire while those commissioned for Medina and Kufa were lost irretrievably. Only the copy destined for Damascus was said to have survived, it being preserved at Malatja the time (Noldeke, Geschichte, 3.6). There are some conflicting claims about the ultimate fate of this copy but it is generally agreed that it, too, is now lost.

All the references one finds in Muslim records to the destiny of those early codices are sketchy, incomplete and often contradictory. Some suggest that the Damascus manuscript is in fact the famous codex of Samarqand while others say that this codex originally came to the city from Fez in Morocco. There hardly appears to be anything like the kind of record of transmission that an objective scholar would require to give serious consideration to the claim that any of the surviving Quran manuscripts is Uthmanic in origin.

In moderate Muslim writings today, however, we find as a rule that only two of the surviving early manuscripts of the Quran are said to be the actual mushaf of Uthman or one of the copies prepared under his official supervision. The one is the Samarqand Codex and the other is an old Quran manuscript kept on public display in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul which I had the privilege of seeing during a visit to Turkey in 1981. Let us briefly consider these two manuscripts.

 

The Samarqand Codex This manuscript is said to be preserved today in the Soviet State Library at Tashkent in Uzbekistan. It is said to have first come to Samarqand about 1485 AD and to have remained there until 1868. Thereafter it was removed to St. Petersburg (now Leningrad) and in 1905 fifty facsimile editions were prepared by one Dr. Pissaref at the Instigation of Czar Nicholas II under the title ‘Coran Coufique de Samarqand’, each copy being sent to a distinguished recipient. In 1917 the original manuscript is said to have been taken to Tashkent where it now remains, A further limited edition was published by Dr. Hamidullah in the United Kingdom in 1981.

The manuscript is considerably incomplete. It only begins in the middle of verse 7 of the second sura Al- Baqarrah and from there on numerous pages are missing. In some cases only two or three leaves have been removed, in others over a hundred are omitted. The last part of the Quran text from Surah 43:10 onwards is altogether missing from the manuscript. Many of the pages that have survived are also somewhat mutilated and much of the text has been lost.

Nonetheless, a study of what remains tells us something about the manuscript. It is of obvious antiquity, being devoid of any kind of vocalisation (a point specially made in Noldeke, Geschichte, 3. 262) although in a few cases a diacritical stroke has been added to a relevant letter. It is perhaps the apparent antiquity of the manuscript that has led to the convenient claim that it is an Uthmanic original. Nevertheless, it is precisely the appearance of the script itself that would seem to negate such a claim. It is clearly written in Kufic script and it is asking too much of an objective scholar to believe that a Quran manuscript written at Medina as early as the caliphate of Uthman could ever have been written in this script. Medinan Qurans were written in the al-Ma’il and Mashq scripts for many decades before the Kufic script became the common denominator of all the early texts throughout the Muslim world and, in any event, Kufic only came into regular use at Kufa and elsewhere in the Iraqi province in the generations following Uthman’s demise.

Furthermore, the actual inscription of the text in the Samarqand Codex is very irregular. Some pages are very neatly and uniformly copied out whereas others are distinctly untidy and imbalanced. Then again, whereas the text in most pages has been fairly smoothly spread out, on some pages it has been severely raped and condensed. At times the Arabic letter kaf has been written out uniformly with the rest of the text, at other times it has been considerably extended and is the dominant letter in the text. As a result many pages of this manuscript differ so extensively from one another that one cannot help wondering whether we do not have a composite text on our hands, compiled from portions of different manuscripts.

Although the text is virtually devoid of supplementary vocalisation it does occasionally employ artistic illumination between the sura, usually a coloured band of rows of squares, and at times accompanied by varying medallions which would tend to indicate that it dates from the late eighth century. It may well be one of the oldest manuscripts of the Quran surviving to this day, but there appears to be no good reason to believe that it is an Uthmanic Original.

In an article written in a Russian Journal in 1891 the author, A. Shebunin, gives particular attention to the medallions which appear in various colours at the end of each group of approximately ten verses. Within these medallions a Kufic number is written indicating the number of verses that have passed since the beginning of the relevant Sura. These medallions, usually being flower figures, were composed in four colours, red, green, blue and orange. One hundred and fifty-one such figures feature in the remnant of the text. Shebunin finishes his article with the conclusion that the manuscript dates from the second century of Islam and, being inscribed in Kufic script, most probably derives from Iraq. The partial illumination of the text would almost certainly compel one to give the codex a second-century origin; it is grossly unlikely that such embellishments would have accompanied the Uthmanic manuscripts sent out to the various provinces.

 

Topkapi Codex

The other manuscript said to be one of the Uthmanic codices is the one on display in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul. Once again it requires only a sight of the text to discount this possibility as we are again faced with a Kufic manuscript. Then again, like the Samarqand Codex, it is written on parchment and is also largely devoid of vocalisation, both of which suggest that it, too, is one of the very earliest manuscripts of the Quran to survive, but those who claim that it dates back as far as Uthman himself must explain the obvious anachronism in the use of a Kufic script.

This manuscript is also supplemented with ornamental medallions, indicating a later age, with occasional ornamentation between the suras as well. One only needs to compare it with the Samarqand Codex to realise that they most certainly cannot both be Uthmanic originals. The Istanbul Codex has eighteen lines to the page whereas the Samarqand Codex has between eight and twelve; the Istanbul Codex is inscribed throughout in a very formal manner, the words and lines always being very uniformly written out, while the text of the Samarqand Codex is often haphazard and considerably distorted. One cannot believe that both these manuscripts were copied out by the same scribes, (As pointed out already, it is hard to believe that even the Samarqand Codex alone was not written out by a number of different scribes).

An objective, factual study of the evidences shows that neither of these codices can seriously be regarded as Uthmanic, yet one finds that Muslim sentiment is so strong at this point that both of them are said to have been not only Uthmanic originals but even the actual which Uthman was reading when he was murdered! The Samarqand text is now preserved in the Soviet State Library and alleges that “This is the same Quran which was in the hand of the Caliph when he was murdered by the rebels and his blood is still visible on the passage.’

An article once published in the Ramadan Annual by The Muslim Digest in Durban, South Africa, had a photograph of the Topkapi Codex in Istanbul, it correctly identified it as such, but alleged that it belonged to Uthman with the comment, “This Quran, written on deerskin, was being read by the Caliph when he was assassinated and the bloodstain marks are still seen on the pages of this copy of the Quran to this day” (Vol, 39, Nos. 9 & 10, p. 107).

It is most intriguing to find that both the manuscripts, are not only attributed to Uthman but are alleged to be the very codex in his own possession which he was said to have been reading when he was assassinated. Of course each one has verifiable bloodstains of the Caliph himself to prove the point!

It is contradictory statements like these, where the same fame is claimed for each of these codices, that expose the Muslim approach to this subject as one based not on a cautious historical research dependent on available evidences but on popular sentiment and wishful thinking. It would suit the Muslim world to possess an Uthmanic original, it would be convenient to have a codex of the earliest possible origin to verify the proposed textual perfection of the Quran, and so any manuscript of the Quran surviving that can be shown to be a relatively early age is automatically claimed to be the one desired! It hardly matters that the same claim is made for more than one codex, or that in each case internal evidence (particularly the Kufic script) must lead an honest enquirer to presume on a much later date.

The Samarqand and Topkapi codices are obviously two of the oldest sizeable manuscripts of the Quran surviving but their origin cannot be taken back earlier than the second century of Islam. It must be concluded that no such manuscripts of an earlier date have survived. The oldest manuscripts of the Quran still in existence date from not earlier than about one hundred years after Muhammad’ s death.

 

Extract taken from Jam’ Al-Quran by John Gilchrist

71 Responses to “Does the original Quran survive”

  • D A:

    Dear followers of Muhammed: God is not the author of confusion and contradiction. Reading just the first few chapters of the Quran makes it clear that the Quran is of human and diabolic origin. There are so many contradictions that have led Islamic scholars to invent the theory of abrogation … older revelations have been cancelled and replaced by newer revelations. Even for Islamic scholars it is impossible to figure out what is cancelled and what still applies today. The Almighty God has given His clearest revelation in the New Testament, without confusion and contradiction. The claim that His holy word was changed or corrupted is completely false, a falsehood that was started by Muhammed himself because he was deceived by a satanic angel who claimed to be Gabriel. He was deceived because he had the opportunity to learn the truth about the nature of God and His salvation, but he did not. So, he was led by the satanic angel to invent a system of works that do not give any hope of salvation. According to Muhammed, the only guarantee for paradise is to die while killing others (jihad). How absurd!! What a waste of the life God has given you!! No, you do not gain paradise by killing innocent people. The only way to paradise is by accepting the sacrifice that the Innocent One made for you. Read the New Testament and find out.

    • admin:

      We agree, Muhammad had the opportunity to understand the gospel but rejected it as have all his followers. Confusion seems to continue to reign amongst the Muslim scholars as to which verses of the Quran are abrogated. The martyrs appear to be the privileged and did not Muhammad say: “Paradise lies under the shades of the sword”, what does this mean to you? (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 73)

  • Yousef:

    Dear friend or friends please be objective and worship God. where did jesus say he was god or to be worshiped in the bible? Nowhere, not once. Only others claimed that. Does God need to have a “son” in order to send His son down to “forgive” your sins? No, God can do that all on His own if He chose to do so. Besides what happens to the people who lived before the time of jesus? Are they all going to hell? In fact jesus was a prophet of God just like the last and final prophet muhammad was, may peace be upon them both. The Quran is the last and final revelation sent down after the Bible and Torah were altered. God promises the Quran will never be changed. That is why the Bible and Torah are very similar to the Quran because they are the same message God sent. Only difference is that the Bible and Torah were altered. If you are a man of God and not a man of manmade traditions then all you have to do is read the Quran in full context and with understanding and God willing you will find the truth and peace. Yousef estes was a former Christian pastor who is now Muslim and can go into much further details. You can youtube “yousef estes and how he converted to Islam” for more explanations. It’s only between you and God, and nobody has to know because they do not have the power to judge you on the day of judgement. There is no God but God and there is only one God.

    • admin:

      One wonders what else Jesus would have needed to do in order for you to make an adjustment in your thinking. Manifest as being born without an earthly father; adored by angels; healed bodies and minds; performed nature miracles; forgave sins; was recognised as the fulfillment of scripture; rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and one day will return. Those who were in his company recognised his deity, and the effect on their personal lives were startling. After the resurrection one gospel writer wrote: “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” The same writer recorded the confession of Thomas on seeing the resurrected Lord: “My Lord and my God.”

      It is true that the New Testament passages which speak of Jesus as God are few, for the gospel writers usually focused on messiahship and sonship. Jesus himself prefered to speak of himself in his fillial relationship with God addressing him, with only one exception, as Father. This is what we call divine sonship: he claimed deity by coming from God and returning to him. When he ascended from where he came he said “he who has seen me has seen the Father” – “I and my father are one.” The underlying pre-supposition of Jesus’ teaching ministry was that of sonship he was in the father and the father was in the son. This was the basic dictum of his nature and mission and this is why he could do the wonderful things he did.

      On the question of the forgiveness of sins the Old and New Testament make it clear that sin in God’s sight is a dreadful matter which needs an atoning sacrifice in order that peace with God and reconciliation with his holy person can be re-established. The Quran seems to have completely ignored this major aspect of the ‘previous revelations’ and falsely developed a system of works in which one will never know if they are sufficient to satisfy Allah.

      You will need to substantiate your claim that the Bible has been changed and I look forward to hearing from you in this matter. Sufficient to say the Quran is a re-working of the Bible picking up those aspects which it favours, ignoring those things it disapproves of – those things that it approves of are said to be of divine origin – those things it denies are said to have been altered. In the Old and New Testament we have the whole counsel of God which is able to bring you to salvation.

  • Daniel:

    I enjoyed this article from a historical perspective. I tried to read as many of the replies as I could. I do not have the time to read them all. One comment in a reply by the admin needs to be corrected though. And many of the commentators could benefit from taking a step closer to the Truth. First of all – it is a myth that Muhammad had any inkling of desire to anyway oppose or upset any of Yeshua’s teaching or authority. In fact Muhammad believed in the Hebrew Torah as well as in Yeshua and his message. It was never Muhammad’s intention to create a new religion. This desire originated from others after Muhammad’s life on Earth. But this exact same thing was done to Yeshua’s teachings after his life. Neither Yeshua or Muhammad had ever hoped to create new religions. They both had hoped to unite people under the One universal Truth of I AM. To jump ahead of myself now because I have to get back to other things… What we have today are separate doorways. Nothing more or less. God is One and God is all. So how could it ever be possible for any of us not to be one with each other? It is only so in our small egoic perceptions of the material universe. Our separate doorways have failed us at even serving as doorways if they do not open up to us the greater reality of our oneness. Truth is Truth. It cannot be anything but itself. Regardless of which doorway we enter through we may all find Truth eventually if we so desire to. And all that find Truth will arrive at exactly the same place no matter which doorway they began seeking it through.

    • admin:

      Thank you for your interesting comments despite not following either Islam or Christianity. The view that we all come to God by seperate doorways is an expression of religious pluralism, which itself asserts that it is the truth to the exclusion of all others. Pluralism is based on relativism and challenges biblical authority. A challenge against the integrity of the Bible would be a better starting point rather than unsubstantiated ideas based on relativism.

      You began your comments supporting the argument from the ‘historical perspective’ and that is the truth line we need to pursue. Historically you are correct in saying that Muhammad believed the Hebrew Torah for he considered himself in the line of the Hebrew prophets, even the ‘seal of the prophets’. He was from a pagan background, unable to read and his only means of understanding the Torah came directly from the Jews. His earliest ‘truth claims’ concerning himself, were rejected by the ‘people of the book’. He did not profess to be the Messiah of the Jews; the Messiah he held, had already appeared in the person of Jesus, and had been rejected by their forefathers. He accused the Jews of jealousy, spite, and wilful blindness in not recognising his credentials, in like manner as they had rejected their own Messiah. Thus Judaism and Islam came rapidly into antagonism.

      Islam would reject your view that Muhammad was not the founder of Islam. Whether Muhammad set out to start a new religion may be debateable but it is inescapable that he himself, rather than his followers, established Islam. For example in his final pilgrimage he declared “This day have I perfected your religion unto you, and fulfilled my mercy upon you, and appointed Islam for you to be your religion.”

      Like-wise this web-site rejects your view supporting its historical confession that Jesus is the founder of Christianity. It is founded on the confession of the apostles that Jesus is the Christ. The New Testament faith upholds the Old Testament accepting the inclusion of Gentiles into the faith as a correct interpretation of the scriptures. It consistently follows the teaching of Jesus in his emphasis of the ‘royal law’ – “you shall love your neighbour as yourself.” Only Jesus elevated this law otherwise it would have been hidden from view in the book of Leviticus.

  • Peter:

    Alluha Akbar – Have a Nice day my Muslim,Jewish,Christians,the list of faiths goes on.
    Happy Hanukkah; Happy Eide; Have A great 2017; Help your neighbours

  • Pawinee:

    EVERYONE please…chill! The idea is that the Quran isnt as original as most Muslims would believe it to be. Which is possible assuming thats way back in the past is just stating the facts. He is not saying they are not the word of God. He is jusy saying they are not ORIGINAL. Why so much hate? Im just here to gain some knowledge about the origins of Quran. Im not here for the HATE nor to believe that those aren’t the word of God. Nor to be brainwashed believing Bible is not corrupted unlike the Quran. Bible has changed alot over the centuries too. But the idea hadnt. It doesn’t contradict anything. I hope u get what I mean.
    I also pray the admin isnt trying to build the hate between the two religions. Because we are believing the same God (with a bit of variations) anyways. If u choose to believe in Islam, go ahead.
    If u believe in Jesus, please do so. Dont go around hurting Christians that their Jesus isnt a real God and that the religion is so corrupted that they are all gonna burn in hell. If u do commit sins, u will surely burn in hell no matter the Religion. If u chose not to believe in Him, u dont. Theres no need to be so offensive, it just creates a bad image for ur religion!
    Also Christians, please, no need to go around Muslims trying to prove them wrong (in an offensive way). Or also try to make claims trying to alter their beliefs. That isnt right. Im a Christian and this is what I feel. I dont wanna leave the impression on Muslims that we are always just trying to change ur religion. Because I for one am not trying that. And I have a lot of Muslim friends too. They never do that too. We just like to discuss about both our religions and find the TRUTH.
    Stop the HATE! It has created many problems in the world but hasnt solved one yet! Spread More Love! Less hate!!!!!! Because don’t we have enough of it already?

    • admin:

      Yes finding the truth is your key expression unfortunately unearthing the truth not only means challenging established views but it also evokes considerable emotion, as you yourself have expressed. We as Admin believe that the Quran is not the word of God and Islam is not the way of salvation. We rest our confidence on the teaching of the Bible and seek to present its claims to Muslims in a humble and contrite way following the dictum of the Apostle Paul ‘to speak the truth in love.’

  • zia haq:

    The author conveniently fails to mention the countless huffaz (guardians) quran, namely all those people who since the quran’s inception and revelation commited it to memory word for and to this day continue to commit to memory. The physical record of the Quran can be lost through the ages but so long as there are people (muslims) it can never be lost, forgotten or abrogated. Case and point.

    • admin:

      Thank you for acknowledging that the “The physical record of the Quran can be lost through the ages” but how reliable are the ‘guardians’ of the Quran?
      You may well recall that the Tradition informs us that one day Umar heard Hisham ibn Hakim reciting Sura al-Furqan in a different way to that which Umar himself had learnt it. After the recitation was completed Umar angrily accused Hashim of being a liar but he responded by saying that that he had heard it directly from Muhammad. They went off to consult Muhammad who told them they were both right because: “The Quran has been revealed to be recited in seven different ways, so recite of it whichever is easy for you.” (Bukhari Volume 6 No. 514). The narrative does not mention what the differences were. If the differences were purely in the pronunciation of the text according to the various dialects of the Arab tribes, they would not have appeared in the written text. This may lead us on to a discussion about the seven different readings and you may wish to make comments about this matter.

  • Tom - Mover of Light:

    Hi
    I speak to hundreds of Muslims who say the Quran is a book of peace yet the facts show us that the “peaceful” Muslim religion is controlled by the 1% who say Christians and other non-muslims should die. If you (the majority of Muslims) truly believe your peaceful religious teachings why do you not stop the 1% hateful/violent followers?

    The fact that you dont testifies that your religion is man made and its strength comes from the arm of man. The majority of Christians, on the other hand, fight to maintain the peaceful beliefs of Christianity and we the majority die to keep it pure. We clean our own house (ie hitler). Your mainstream believers run away from the 1% and with you come the 1% that continue to hate and murder. If you truly love and believe in the Quran either you must stop the 1% even if it costs you your life or admit that the Quran encourages the murder of non muslims.

    The only reason muslims exist (and its an important one) is to be God’s stick to punish back slidden Christians and most Christians in the world today are backslidden – no relationship with thew messiah Jesus but only words. God blessed Ishmael so his descendants would be his punishing rod to the true chosen when they backslide. Note that in the past since God created Ishmael, you have only prospered when Christians wandered off the path of Jesus teachings as 80 or 90% are now. Muslim violence will continue until we repent… then God will send you packing back to your place until further need (more Christian backsliding)requires you to act again as Gods hand of wrath.”for what father does not punish his children?” (the Bible).

  • AHMED:

    Dear Brother. Guidance comes to people only from ALLAH, our duty is to convey the message.As you aware that ISLAM is the fastest spreading religion in the western world why cannot you give it a second look & revert instead of repenting on dooms day. Still time is there for you to repent.Beating around the bush never fetch you anything. My suggesion as a brother to you is to read Quran and understand it meaning & message that will definately open your eyes. Why cannot you see that renowned pastors, ministers, missionaries are entering into ISLAM like Ibrahim Ester (pastor) & family, CATSTEVAN (Yousef) and many more. I pray to ALLAH to give guidance to you & your family.

    • admin:

      It is right to be concerned about our souls and this is the very thing that urges us on to proclaim the good news of the gospel. When you the Quran you are conscious that it fails to support the earlier books it claims to fulfil. Covering a period of twenty-three years it comes from the mouth of a person moulded in a pagan environment. Muhammad being unable to read was not able discover the scriptures for himself and relied on hearsay alone. Some aspects he accepted, others he rejected until he formed a religion that would be acceptable to his own people. Those familiar with the scriptures quite rightly reject Islam for it falls far short of the whole truth.

      Yes, some westerners have become Muslims but that is no argument for the validity of Islam rather it happens because the church fails to present the gospel truth in a meaningful way to seekers.

  • Wali Salhi:

    At the end of the day, only Allah can judge me, everyone has there style and way of belief. What’s important and not so clear to the blind is that this world was changed for us to live in belief in a higher power, we are the best creation in the universe. Deep down everyone knows that somehow. We need to worry less about the time, the artefacts, and focus on humanity and peace. The world is becoming corrupt of money and jealousy. Come on man! nothing matters but your peaceful belief in a higher power, meaning respect life in general and enjoy the world that was given to us. Somehow you will reward yourself. Just because I’m Muslim doesn’t mean I know I’m right. How do I know, what Allah expects from everyone? I know from my heart, luckily I’m not special, mentally challenged, disabled. my parents were blessed to have me healthy. Keep the body pure and live in peace! The best way of life. Respecting others and religions will cure the evil that we created, a feeling people will unite and make sense of life through the power of our creator. We refer to our creator in different ways. We punish ourselves, we reward ourselves. So what’s so hard in living, and believing in a higher power? Listen to yourselves and your heart and things will be clear. Allah Akbar!

    • admin:

      Thank you for your comments. There is a trend these days to concentrate on things which religious and non-religious people can agree on, namely peace, harmony, and justice. Through subjective ideas and feelings of the heart one may be able to unite some religions and non-religious views but each will have to compromise its position. Syncretism takes what is considered the best elements from each religion and fuses them together, such a compromise will have elements which are universally acceptable. While seeking to promote ‘peace and harmony; the best element of the Christian faith is the revelation of God in the scriptures culminating in the truth that God sent Jesus Christ to be the bearer of the sin of the world. This is not negotiable.

  • yousouf amin alii:

    I am so much happy to find out and need any clear explaination on why was the qur’an modified.

  • dr.Adil:

    How ridiculous is this discussion, O! fools, see the Qur’an has no need to be verified by the some ancient copies, from the very first day of its revealation there were hundreds of memorizers present who had memorised it by heart. and still there are crores of “Huffaz” (by heart memorizer of The Holy Qur’an) available throughouut the world. for your kind information i should tell all of you ignorant jews and christians that even today when ever any copy of Qur’an gets printed, first it is verified by some memorizers and not with some refrence book.
    Unlike Bible, the original name has been changed, the original language is no where, the text are highly manupulated and even the followers of these religions have changed thier name from Nasar to chirtian and from Yahudi to Jews.
    its completely laughing to raise finger on The Quran, Hadith,Islam, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him).

    • admin:

      Although Muhammad proclaimed his message orally he caused some pieces to be written down and they remained in the possession of different members of the community along with those portions that had been memorised. Ubayy Ibn Ka’b according to the hadith was considered to be “The best reader among my people” and became known as “the Master of the Readers”. Umar, the second caliph confirmed this fact. Yet, when he committed it in writing to his codex it contained a vast number of readings which varied from the ‘official’ copy of Zaid’s. This shows the uncertainty of the text when it was compiled in the early days after the death of Muhammad. The modern day ‘Huffaz’ may well be utilised in the printing of a copy of the Quran but they base their recitation on the 1924 Egyptian Edition.

      You say that the ‘the original name (of the Bible) has been changed, the original language is no where’ – we are not sure what you mean by this comment. The word Bible is derived through Latin from the Greek biblia meaning the books which are acknowledged as canonical by the Christian Church. The earliest Christian use of ta biblia in this sense is said to be 2 Clement 14:2 (c. A.D. 150). The word ‘the Bible’ is synonomous with the term ‘the scriptures’ a term used frequently to denote the Old Testament documents. The translators of the Bible have not ‘manipulated the text’ but translated it into many languages.

      As far as ‘even the followers of these religions have changed their name’ is concerned there appears to some confusion in your thinking. The designation Nazarenos was applied to Jesus personally in the Gospel and also used as a popular designation of the followers of Christians in the Book of Acts. This Jewish-Christian designation continued and the Christian Fathers were familiar with the term Nazerenes amongst Jewish believers. Later a gnostic sect called themselves Nasorayya but this should not be confused with the Christian faith. Likewise, there is confusion of your allegation that the name has been changed ‘from Yahudi to Jews’ the term Yahudi simply means someone from Judah, namely a Jew.

  • Lola:

    The Divine is not a Jew, a Christian, a Muslim or any other man made religious name. Hard for many to understand but when you have had a true mystical experience of the Divine’s love this revelation is easily understood.

    For those with a harden heart their minds are closed, until the last breath and then it shall be revealed.

    • admin:

      The ‘Divine is not a mystic’could be added to your list. The revelation is found in the scriptures, it is applied by faith and experienced through the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit.

  • adam:

    Why do people post ignorant comments about other religions. That is the main problem of the world. Saying the Bible was written by the devil it is people like that who cause chaos and mischief in the world…. I study all religions and once you do that you see even a bigger picture. One religion cant be right and another be wrong. That makes ZERO sense. Im not here to ridicule anyone or to try and discredit whether the modern Quran is the original teachings or not. If you study all religions they have the same meaning as a whole. If you cannot see that I cannot help you….. Everything we see on TV today stems from people saying the bible is of the devil or white people are the devil… Until we rid the non peaceful people of the world we will always have chaos….. Love is the answer, which is so simple. I hope we can all get along and spread teachings of love in any religion. Original or not the Quran is one of the best books to ever be upon this earth. Much love from my family to yours! Lets all progress and not transgress inshalla. Fighting about a book is transgression flat out.

  • Azhar:

    The title of this article asking : “Does the original Quran survive” ?

    The answer is : absolutely yes, it does.

    Al Quran was delivered to the Prophet Muhammad in the form of sound and memorized by the companions. And recitation of Quran continuing in an unbroken estafet. All the books were written in the confirmation and checked by recitation. Even if today you find an ancient book that claimed as “Quran”, it will be checked with recitation.

    Since the beginning, the hufadz every day appear in any madrassa to remember and recall the contents of the Qur’an. With the method “talaqy” the scholars who educates their students will continue to recall and memorize every single verse of Quran. So there will be No verses in the Qur’an is lost or forgotten. This method will continue to the end of day (qiyamah). “And in truth We have made the Qur’an easy to remember; ..” (Al-Qamar: 17) “Verily We: It is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (ie the Qur’ân) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption)” (Al-Hijr: 9)

    There is no book can be memorized for long long term except Quran.Even bible and torah can not be memorized like the Quran.
    That is “mu’jizat” of Quran. So there’s no doubt each recitation on this day is what has been delivered by the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and written by Uthman ibn Affan (peace be upon him).

    • admin:

      Thank you for sharing your sentiments with us however, you have not attempted to tell us where this perfect Quran is in existence today. An objective, factual study of the codices discussed in this article shows that neither of them can be regarded as Uthmanic, nor as alleged the very codex in his possession when he was assassinated. Many factors such as the collection of the Quran, Uthman’s destruction of Holy Qurans,the codices of Ibn Mas’ud and Ubayy ibn Ka’b need to be considered.

      • Azhar:

        When you want to talk about Quran, you need to know what is ‘talaqy’ and what is ‘sanad’. That’s part of ‘Ulumul Quran’. Both are the important thing in Quran transmission until today and for the future.
        You need to know how verses of Quran transmitted from one hafidz to another, from one time to other time until today and continuing to the future.
        Allah the Almighty God has make Quran easy for believers to remember.

        “And in truth We have made the Qur’an easy to remember; ..” (Al-Qamar: 17)

        That’s one of ways Allah the Almighty God preserve Al Quran. That’s the way Quran spread and transmitted through memorization from one generation to further generation, not rely on physical manuscript distribution.

        So…After you realize how Quran transmitted perfectly from generation to generation then you will not busy to asking “where is mushaf Uthman”.

        As I mention early “There is no book can be memorized for long long term except Quran.Even bible and torah can not be memorized like the Quran” that is not subjective sentiment. That is the truth.
        Please tell me one single name, someone that ever live in the historical of human kind that can memorize bible or torah exclude the prophet Isa ibn Maryam and Moses. If you can not say a name, I ask you to consider to become a moslem.
        =======

        About Mushaf Ibn Mas’ud

        Arthur Jeffrey has made accusation about ‘Mushaf Ibn Mas’ud’. And please check all of his accusation is not supported with ‘sanad’.
        Majority of Ibn Mas’ud’s students (al Aswad, Masruq, ash Shaibani, Abu Wa’il, al Hamidy, Alqamah, Zirr, etc) not mention anything about dispute/differences. So.. if only one or two student talk about dispute/differences, would you easy to trust that gossip ?.

        Moreover Abu Hayyan an Nahawi have investigate all riwayah that related to “dispute qira’ah ibn Mas’ud” came from syi’ah.

        [please don’t edit my respond]

        • admin:

          The early Islamic community did rely on the ‘physical manuscript distribution’ more than you infer. From the earliest days certain individuals specialised in collecting or memorising ‘the revelation’. As you know, they and their successors became known as the Qurra’. Following the Battle of Yamama and concerns over the passing away of the Qurra, Abu Bakr expressed concern over ‘the divine inspiration’ desiring it to be collected and written down commenting “by Allah, it is a good project”. Different members of the community began to collect the material in written form and some of these became authoritative in different important centres e.g Damascus, Kufah and Basrah. They had some variations that were suppressed in the interests of orthodoxy being replaced by the Uthmanic text. Although Muhammad proclaimed his message orally he caused some pieces to be written down and they remained in the possession of different members of the community along with those portions that had been memorised. The written text was therefore part and parcel of the early transmission of the text.

          Ibn Masud was one of four Companions he advised the Muslim community to turn to for instruction in the Quran. When Uthman sent his recension to Kufah different opinions arose; some accepted the new textbut a great many continued with Ibn Masud’s text. It is a fact found in Islamic history but you are correct in saying it later became favoured in Shia’ circles.

          In respect of your comment about the failure of believers memorising the Bible or the Torah we are not comparing like with like, for the form of the Bible is quite different in style and background culture compared with the Quran. The Quran covered a period of only 23 years compared with the Bible’s 1400 years. The Bible has much narrative, not intended for memorisation, but it also does contain a considerable amount of poetry. The Quran was delievered in one language while the Bible has two main languages Hebrew and Greek with small Aramaic sections. The word Bible comes from the Greek ‘biblia’ meaning books and the often used term scriptures from the Greek meaning writings. The expression “it is written” occurs about 60 times in the New Testament referring to a body of literature which was meant to be meditated on personally and corporately as divine instruction.

          • Azhar:

            I admit my English is not very good.

            But I think what I have written; “Moreover Abu Hayyan an Nahawi have investigate all riwayah that related to ‘dispute qira’ah ibn Mas’ud’ came from syi’ah” with the intention of explaining that the source of information about the differences qira’at Ibn Mas’ud sourced from Shi’ite, was quite clear enough.

            but you respond by writing “you are correct in saying it Became later favored in Shia ‘circles”.

            I think that is look like a concealment of fact.

            with your condition that has a tendency to both reversal and concealment of facts, it looks like I do not need a lot of discussion here.

            May Allah give you guidance to embrace Islam 🙂

            “Surely, disbelievers are those who say, “Allah is the Masih, son of Maryam” while the Masih had said, “O children of Isra’il , worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” In fact, whoever ascribes any partner to Allah, Allah has prohibited for him the Jannah (the Paradise), and his shelter is the Fire, and there will be no supporters for the unjust.” ( Al Maidah 78)

            — [Please Don’t Edit My Respond] —

  • Qaisar:

    “Surely for those who have disbelieved, it is all the same whether you warn them or you warn them not: they would not believe. Allah has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes there is a covering; and for them there lies a mighty punishment.” [2:6-7]

  • Chronicles:

    The article precisely describe the facts. When Muslims claim there is no proof for these claims, they should come with proof that the claims are false. Muslims can’t even come with proofs that Muhammad was an historical figure and had ever wandered on earth. The fact is that he is only mentioned 4 times so to suggest he is the seal of prophets is very suspicious. It appears as if the name Muhammad did not belong to a person who supposedly was a prophet but Muhammad is a name of a character used for the benefit of the different Arab caliphates who were trying to take power of the entire region. The Umayyads had already taken the Byzantine empire, Carthage, Persia etc. all in the name of Islam.
    The Qur’an developed through time and was never completed when “Muhammad” died. The Qur’an was used to establish Arab tradition throughout the empire, it was never a divinely inspired book. Hadiths which were to support it, were mere Bedouin traditions, transferred by Arab oral tradition. There is nothing special about Hafizun who allegedly took care of a one-on-one transmission. Were it also Hafizun who were responsible for the 250000+ hadiths el Bukhari collected of which “only” 3000 were selected to become authentic ?

  • abd al-rahman:

    The article does what it sets out, to a fair degree – to cast doubt onto the ahistorical belief these mushafs are from the time of ‘Uthman (one of the original sent out to the provinces, or even having been read by ‘Uthman).

    It’s a theory and it’s not definitive, but that they be in Kufic is very strong evidence against the counter claim. The article would be strengthened by showing that and comparing it to other text that is definitively “Kufic.” What is “Kufic,” what makes this “Kufic,” is “Kufic” really Kufic, could it have been used nevertheless in the original Uthmanic codices, has the blood been observed and/or DNA tested, etc. etc.

    It’s a short article and intriguing. It’d be nice to see it expanded to further support the claim which looks promising.

    Whether or not the Qur’an has been altered is a completely different subject. Sure this may cast some doubt into peoples’ hearts, but the Qur’an is and always was a “recitation,” hence it’s name. Oral tradition doesn’t carry much weight in Western history, and for valid reasons, but it does not mean that oral history can never be maintained at the strength of written history. The memorization of the Qur’an by millions world-wide is actually evidence against any claim that oral history cannot be accurate. Again though, this is a different discussion.

    Finally, proving the Qur’an by the Qur’an is a statement of faith not a statement of historical or scientific research. We need to be able to realize this and operate within each field by its own tools. If you really have faith, you should not shy away from or be afraid of what research uncovers.

    • admin:

      Thank you for your comments. We will, on this occasion only address the matter of the Kufic text.
      The text, properly known as al-Khatt al-Kufi is derived from the city of Kufa. The script according to modern Quranic experts did not appear until late into the eighth century and was not in use at all in Mecca and Medina in the seventh century. The city of Kufa, in modern day Iraq, had been under the Sassanid Persians and although Arabic may well have been known there it would have not been the predominant language and did not become the predominant script until much later. It reached its perfection during the late eighth century (150 years after the death of Muhammad) and then became widely used throughout the Muslim world.These are the Kufic scripts which are referred to in the article.

  • pp:

    Nice balanced article. Presents facts to support conclusions and understanding. Good work.

  • حسن:

    There is an original copy of the Koran in the chest of every Muslim who memorizes it; we see that all Muslims unlike others, they never differ about the chapters of the Koran or its verses or its words or its accents or even its letters. The Koran memorized by an Arab Muslims is the same Koran memorized by an Indian or a Persian or a European or an American or a Russian or any other Muslim. Besides, the authentic copy of the noble Koran collected by our sir Abu-Bakr and put at the house of lady Hafsa daughter of Omar Ibn-Al-Khattab, was taken by our sir Othman and he made four copies and sent them to different parts of the Muslim nation of his time. The copy sent to Egypt is still kept in the Islamic museum at Bab El-Khalk in Cairo and it is called “The Mos-haf of Othman”. There is another copy kept in the museum of prophetic remains in Astana in Turkey. They are the authentic copies from which are written and printed all the copies of the Koran until now.

    • admin:

      Sentiment continues to run higher than hard facts. The Egyptian National Library and Archives, Cairo has “a wide variety of manuscripts of the Qur’an, written on paper and parchment, with some in the early undotted Kufic script, others written by celebrated calligraphers.” It does not claim to have the original Quran but only some fragments from the kufic period of the transmission of the Quran. We were not able to identify your reference to “ another copy kept in the museum of prophetic remains in Astana in Turkey” – perhaps you could give us further details. The fact remains that the earliest Quranic codices and fragments cannot be dated earlier than 150 years after the time of Muhammad.

  • Thanks for this excellent article. Very good. The only surviving evidence of this early version the Muslims boast about is actually a copy in the 10 century. Another copy of it was made in the 10 century because it was already worn out. But that is not the only problem; the real problem is that more than half is missing. Some say it only goes up to chapter 45, others says it is a bit more than that but cannot be read anymore because so much is missing. People are only interested to see the written documents not just the verbal. The Quran may have been copied from mouth to mouth and it may be true but as far as we know there is no complete copy of the Quran until the 14 century which is in Egypt. That is the only complete copy of Quran in existence all others are just like the early small fragments of the New Testament. Once again thank you for your article and do read what I wrote about this issue on my own website thank you once again. Oliver Cromwell Khan

  • MARWAAN:

    Allah is great, there is no God but he, he has no partners, he has no beginning no end. Allah guides whom he will on his straight path. Even after all your research you still fail to see the truth. You are trying to disect the history of the correctness or originality of those to copies to such accurate debate but you fail to see how your bible has been manipulated. You interpret Suyuti incorrectly same as you are doing to your wonderful book, let none of you say i have acquired the whole quraan, are we as muslims applying the laws and regulations in its completeness in our lives, do we know Allah as we should, do we ponder about the verses as we should, no you are right we have not acquired the whole quraan, we need to live it as Mughamad Sallalahu alayhi wasalam has lived it, then we have acquired the whole quraan.

    • admin:

      Examination of the historical text of the Quran shows that individual verses were missing. The most well-known is found in Muslim book 5 number 2286 “We used to recite a surah which resembled in length and severity to (Surah) Bara’at. I have, however, forgotten it with the exception of this which I remember out of it:” If there were two valleys full of riches, for the son of Adam, he would long for a third valley, and nothing would fill the stomach of the son of Adam but dust.” Suyuti, is has been quoted correctly, and is right in his analysis “Rather let him say I have acquired what has survived”

      Your argument does not turn on the textual evidence of the Quran but rather on the piety required in following the Quran for you write “no you are right we have not acquired the whole quraan, we need to live it as Mughamad Sallalahu alayhi wasalam has lived it, then we have acquired the whole quraan.” Yes, laws and regulations you have, but you have neglected the peace and reconciliation with God offered in the Gospel which was so highly approved of by your prophet.

      • Ali:

        You try to distort facts because the hadith in Sahih Muslim before 2286 that is Book 5 Hadith 2285, doesn’t support your argument and 2286 is like another version or a continuation of it but 2285 makes the subsequent hadith clear. The companion of the prophet was not even sure about the statement (valley full of riches) whether it was in the Quran or not.

        Ibn Abbas reported Allah’s Messenger as saying:If there were for the son of Adam a valley full of riches, he would long to possess another one like it. and Ibn Adam does not feel satiated but with dust. And Allah returns to him who returns )to Him(. Ibn Abbas said: I do not know whether it is from the Qur’an or not; and in the narration transmitted by Zuhair it was said: I do not know whether it is from the Qur’an, and he made no mention of Ibn Abbas. Sahih Muslim Book 5, Hadith 2285

        Your argument is weak by using hadith 2286 since they were not even sure of what they were saying, there is no corruption in the Quran.

        • admin:

          You wrote: “Your argument is weak by using (Sahih Muslim) hadith 2286 since they were not even sure of what they were saying, there is no corruption in the Quran.” There certainly was confusion over ‘The Missing Verse of the Insatiable Greed of the Son of Adam’ – Was this verse in the Quran or not? Abdul Hamid Siddiqi in his notes on his English translation of Sahih Muslim writes “The words of this surah have been abrogated; its meanings however, have been preserved in other verses of the Quran e.g. Sura 17 verse 100.” He seems to suggest that these verses were once part of the Quran but are no longer. Ubayy ibn Ka’b was certain this verse was part of the Quran and authorities say that he used to read it just after Surah 10:25 (Jeffery Materials p 135).

  • matthew:

    Jesus warned of false teachers and prophets who deny the truth of the Bible. Paul and all the disciples , write of their personal experience of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. The Bible’s claim to reliability as the written word of God is through its prophecy. It has , and does claim to be Gods word, written not by man’s own ideas but written as the Spirit of God prompted ans inspired the prophets in the bible. The scriptures by 44 different authors foretold and recorded a Saviour who would suffer for the sins of the world. Jesus endorsed the Old Testament and came to fulfull the prophets. Read Isaiah chapter 53 and Matthew chapter 5. The New Testament injil is the fulfillment of Gods salvation plan. The Quran is a totally different message which denies Christ as Saviour who died for the sins of the world. Jesus and Paul and Peter and John warned of this. Paul says if anyone preach another gospel let him be accursed. Allah is the name of a pagan God, adapted by Muhammed, read about name of Allah in Wikipedia. The God of the Bible is Yahweh. Dear MJslims God loves you and sent Jesus the Messiah to die for all of our sins. This is good news. Accept Gods plan for you.

  • Ahmed:

    Just to refute your point yes it was because of “different accents and different writing styles” and ironically this is mentioned in Bukhari Volume 6 book 61 number 510 the verse which you referenced, and obviously I can see that you never decided to read it properly and thoroughly as it says quite clearly “Hudhaifa was afraid of their (the people of Sham and Iraq) differences in the recitation of the Qur’an”. Meaning that they had different accents and if you read it in Arabic and you did the tafsir (interpretation) it means in accents/dialects. Further to illustrate my point it also mentions Uthman saying and I quote “In case you disagree with Zaid bin Thabit on any point in the Qur’an, then write it in the dialect of Quraish, the Qur’an was revealed in their tongue.” thus meaning that the Quran was written in the original way it was revelead as Muhammad (pbuh) is from the tribe of Quraish. However you seem to keep missing the point which is there was no need for the Quran to be recorded on codices it was only done to make sure the people of Sham and Iraq do not differ, the people of Mecca and Medina and the surrounding constituents already knew the whole quran and they did not need to have it written down nor did Hudhaifa ask Uthman (may allah be pleased with him) to write it down for the people of Medina or Mecca meaning that Hudhaifa was only concerned with Iraq and Sham also the Quran was and still is recited 5 times a day sometimes even more, and by more than 30000 people at that time and if there was a mistake in the original Quranic text people would immediately notice hence showing how Hudhaifa(may Allah be pleased with him) was immediately able to distinguish that the Quran was recited incorrectly by some people in Syria and Iraq.You also mentioned that any variant in text is significant that couldn’t be farther from the truth, as when for example the UN adopts a policy and one country objects then that country gets ignored and the bill still passes, this is the same case with the variants in Quranic text and its usually very rare and occurs in isolated areas not in Mecca or Medina and coming back to your argument about Quran burnings during Uthmans time they were only burnt for one reason and that is because the Arabic which was written, was in a different dialect then the Arabic that was revealed to our prophet Muhammad(pbuh) thus many people adopted the words in their own dialects.Such as how in America they say Jelly and in the UK its Jam. It’s also similar to how the Jews said son of god to mean someone righteous and the son of god which Christians have now interpreted as the literal meaning even though Adam (peace be upon him) is also referred to as the son of god in the bible Luke 3:38 . Uthman(may allah be pleased with him) knowing the gravity of this situation and seeing how a holy book writen in different dialects can distort the words and change it’s meanings, sadly was given no choice but to have the Qurans burnt to make sure that the meaning and original words of our prophet Muhammad(pbuh) was not distorted. Also in addition I think its hysterically laughable how you try to appear non-biased by trying to use sources to back up your claims such as Arthur Jeffrey who spent his whole career and life insulting and casting aspersions on Islam just like how the article above tries to do. As a response to this after this comment I will not be writing anymore comments. However I wish you the best of luck and may god guide you and bless you.

  • Ahmed:

    First of all well done on publishing such a biased article, firstly the Quran still exists in its original form and although the Quran may have been compiled after the prophets death most scholars agree that it is the words spoken by prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him).The reason for this is because the search for variants has not yielded any differences of great significance. Secondly the Quran was memorized by word of mouth and although alot of Hafizun died in battle but that was not the reason why Uthman ibn Affan (May allah be pleased with him) decided to have the Quran written down in text. The reason was because as Islam was expanding they had different accents and different writing styles in arabic and some words were recited or spoken differently similar to how americans and british and austrailians pronounce some words differently, therefore that argument is flawed and incorrect. Lastly in 1972, in a mosque in the city of Sana’a, Yemen, manuscripts were discovered that were later proved to be the most ancient Quranic text known to exist. The Sana’a manuscripts contain palimpsests, a manuscript page from which the text has been washed off to make the parchment reusable again which was a practice which was common in ancient times due to scarcity of writing material. However, the faint washed-off underlying text is still barely visible and believed to be “pre-Uthmanic” Quranic content, while the text written on top is believed to belong to the Uthmanic period, Studies using radiocarbon dating indicate that the parchments are dated to the period before 671 AD with a 99 percent probability. Thus we may not have all of the Quran written down after the prophet Muhammad(pbuh) died but however there is no question that the words that the prophet Muhammed(pbuh) spoke are the same words which are written in the Quran. Even then lets say for arguments sake that this biased article is correct and it is written around 2 centuries after the prophet died tell me how is the quran then still unchanged? and I can answer this question due to mentioning in the quran in other verses and verse 15:9 “Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian.” so therefore thus concluding my points the Quran is the unaltered word of god given to our prophet Muhammad by Gabriel (peace be upon him).

    • admin:

      1)Thankfully you do recognise that there are variant readings of the Quran, although you claim these variants have not yielded any differences of great significance. However, if the Quran claims to be unchanged and perfectly transmitted through the ages then any variant surely is significant. Textual history provides evidence of substantial variant readings that existed in the earliest codices. In Arthur Jeffrey’s “Materials for the history of the text” the author cites the variant readings from the early codices of Ibn Masud, Ubai, Ali, Ibn Abbas, Anas, Abu Musa and other early Quranic authorities which present a type of text anterior to that of the canonical text of Uthman.

      2)It is quite clear in the hadith as to why Uthman decided to have the Quran written down; it was not because of “different accents and different writing styles in arabic” but because of conflict over the use of the Quran according to the differing manuscripts used by the sahaba at the time. Bukhari Volume 6, Book 61 Number 510 shows that other codices were being compiled in addition to the one done by Zaid for Abu Bakr and because of lack of agreement amongst them they had to be destroyed. Whether these manuscripts were fragments or whole copies they were all burnt.

      3) In respect of the Yemeni Quranic manuscripts your comments are in agreement with those found on the Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, but this very same article goes on to draw a conclusion you have not yourself drawn, namely: “Puin, and his colleague Graf von Bothmer, have published only short essays on the Ṣana’a find. In a 1999 interview with Toby Lester, the executive editor of The Atlantic Monthly website, Puin described the preserved fragments by the following: “Some of the parchment pages in the Yemeni hoard seemed to date back to the seventh and eighth centuries A.D., or Islam’s first two centuries – they were fragments, in other words, of perhaps the oldest Korans in existence. What’s more, some of these fragments revealed small but intriguing aberrations from the standard Koranic text. Such aberrations, though not surprising to textual historians, are troublingly at odds with the orthodox Muslim belief that the Koran as it has reached us today is quite simply the perfect, timeless, and unchanging Word of God.”

      • Joseph Philians:

        Nice attempt at instilling doubts in the minds of the believers. Let’s take your view that the Holy Qur’an available right now is not same as the one present during the Prophet’s(AS) time. You say that it was altered somewhere few centuries down the line after his passing away. Right? You can’t be more wrong brother. If anyone wanted to alter the Qur’an, it was much difficult during the time when there were numerous people, who had memorized it,to refute the altered version. It is like someone altering the calender for 2014. Not easy at all. But during our time, its very easy to present an altered version by way of printing and so on, so why is that not happening? Try it and see, you’ll not succeed. Why? Because its The God who will take care of protecting His Word….. You have attempted to create a mischief by writing a biased article and your mischief will lead to your regret on Judgement Day. My brother, please repent sincerely to God and avoid such mischief and follow the path of monotheism as presented by ALL the Prophets(AS). Wa akhri da’wana, Alhamdulillahi Rabbil alameen.

        • admin:

          Thank you for your comments. The object of this article is to show that the original Quran is not represented in the Topkapi and Samarqand codices a point to which you do not refer. You do say that are argument is that “it was altered somewhere few centuries down the line after his passing away. Right?”— No, our argument rests upon early Islamic textual material. You will recall that following Uthman’s recension of the Quran and the destruction of much textual evidence, variant readings of the Quran were still well known. At-Tabari records that the people said to Uthman “The Quran was in many books, and you have now discredited them all but one.” Please read our article ‘The Rival Codices of the Quran.’ There is no such thing as an original textual perfect Quran. According to As-Suyuti (Al-itiqan fi ulum al-Quran) “It is reported from Ismail ibn Ibrahim from Ayyub from Naafi from Ibn Umar: “Let none of you say ‘I have acquired the whole of the Quran. How does he know what all of it is when much of the Quran has disappeared? Rather let him say ‘I have acquired what has survived’”.

          • Joseph philians:

            The old trick here. Satan misleads by inserting fake/weak hadises to further try and mislead the ummah. If you are backing up your claim with sayings of ” early Islamic texts” then what about the authenticity of those texts being genuine itself and further, what about the authority of those texts ? What about numerous texts confirming the genuinely of Quran? Why deny them? Repent now before its too late. May Allah SWT guide you to right path.

          • admin:

            This article makes no reference to weak or strong ahadith. There are no tricks or wiles of the devil in the publication of this and other articles on this subject. The purpose is to give an accurate factual conclusion regarding the Quran’s historical compilation. I am sure that you are aware that repentance has to do with sin not with telling the truth.

        • hello I think its in Yemini,found in 1986 builders,etc the germans photocopied it and have a copy ,the bible was written by the devil

  • Khalil:

    You forgot to mention the hundreds of Hafiz who fully memorized the Quran from the time of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Even if the non-Muslims attempted to alter the Quran, the Hafizun would immediately rid of any error. Many Hafizun were martyred but by this time there were several copies of the Quran (even hundreds of years after the passing of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

    • admin:

      You are correct to say that many of the Hafizun perished and that is why the Companions believed it was important to write the Quran down lest it be lost. By this time at least one verse had gone missing and the dismay in the tone of Zaid in having to collect the Quran from all the places it was registered was clearly an enormous challenge. This article however, does not concentrate on such matters but merely shows that the claim that Muslims today have the original autograph copy of the Quran is incorrect.

      • Mohammad:

        You saying that one verse had gone missing is completely your opinion, there’s no facts behind that, you’re making a educated judgement which is good but has no evidence, you were not alive at the time when the copies were being written down, therefore your statement can only be a in accurate theory. IF you mean that the Hafizun forgot to mention one verse of the Qur’an then that’s extremely unlikely, they’re Hafizun, people who have learned, memorised, practiced the Qur’an and it’s teachings followed by Ahadith. These were people who made sure the religion of Allah – Islam was implemented in their heart, mind and soul (May Allah be pleased with them) it’s easy for one to forget the meaning of life today due to more worldly desires, but back then the desires were minor (still major) but minor in a sense what we have today. The message was clear 1400 years ago, and it still is now by the Devine decree of the most high, the Qur’an is the only truth in this world.

        • admin:

          The arguments given under the section ‘the missing verses of the Quran’ depend not an educated guess but on the hadith, please re-read the article. The Muslim scholar Al-Suyuti also supports our view when he wrote in his Al-Itqan fi Ulum al-Quran “It is reported from Ismail ibn Ayyub from Naafi from Ibn Umar who said: “Let none of you say ‘I have acquired the whole of the Quran’ – How does he know what all of it is when much of the Quran has disappeared? Rather let him say ‘I have acquired what has survived'”.

    • True, there are many haffadh who also help to keep the text of the Quran, and each copy of a new Quran is checked thoroughly by memorizers and so on, for correctness.
      There can’t be any mistakes today, because the Quran is still being checked word for word; and actually if there was any Quran copy that for some reason had an error, it would be caught by the people reading it, and there are so many that the Quran cannot be rewritten today. It doesn’t matter if the older copies are all gone, we know the Quran has been guarded by Allah and is the same text word for word. Jazakum Allah. And it is true, that these websites will not sway Muslims from the truth; why would they trade their beautiful religion for a book of lies and a religion of polytheistic belief and practices?

      • There is such a thing similar to the isnaad in hadiths scholarship, or the chain for memorizing hadiths, that also, there are people who have memorized the Quran from scholars and they have memorized the Quran word for word, and ayah for ayah, chapter for chapter, and they have proof that they are haffadh in order to be able to teach it. The teachers of Quran must all have this ‘sanad’ that goes all the way to the Prophet, pbuh, and Allah knows best.

        • admin:

          The modern hafiz follows the Quranic text which is now fully vocalised. The introduction of vowel markings, in some Muslim circles was disapproved as being a dangerous innovation, but gradually it gained acceptance. The Quran being memorised is the recension of Uthman through Zaid ibn Thabit as opposed to other variant readings which were used in the early days of Islam for recitation.

      • admin:

        It is good that you acknowledge that none of the earliest manuscripts survive today either in whole codices or sizeable fragments; it seems the those that have survived cannot be dated earlier than 150 years after the time of Muhammad. The Quran held to the basic 17 consonantal letters which gave rise to the variant readings which Uthman sought to suppress in his recension. The codex of Zaid was chosen to be the official Quran while the widely used codices of Abdullah ibn Mas’ud and Ubayy ibn Ka’ab were rejected and destroyed. The problems associated with the Quran began in the earliest days of Islam checking of modern Qurans do not obviate the situation.

        • Ali:

          I dont seem to understand the argument and the need to be correct over the religion of Islam, or to try and prove that the Quran we currently have, has mistakes or is not in the original form that it was revealed in. If you believe in God, Allah (SWT) or whatever name you give him, it is simple to understand that he has the Will to make anything happen as he sees fit, this is demonstrated in all the ancient scriptures, let alone the Quran. It is best then demonstrated, that for some divine reason unknown to us and not required for us to understand, that the Quran is in its current form, nonetheless enough to pass on the verdict of the Almighty and to keep “those who follow it with the teachings of the last Prophet (PBUH)” guided toward a holy path, to the ultimate end, the Day of Judgement. What then do yours or my opinion count, apart from the egoistic and academic view, this is not some work of a scholar that we are trying to judge, it is the word of Allah (SWT) and it is up to anyone who see merit in it to follow or not, for which they will be judged or not, depending on how they believe in the Almighty.

          • admin:

            An interesting and modern approach for which we thank you. It is not a matter opinion, whether egoistic or academic or not, it is a matter of truth. It is a matter of how God has revealed himself in history so that the sinner can come to salvation. Christians, basing their knowledge on the biblical scriptures, have experienced that salvation in their lives but find that Islam, rather than clarifying and confessing the same faith has denied the very essence of the revelation. The Bible is a unified collection of extraordinary books, written by many authorities, over a period of fourteen or fifteen centuries progressively culminating in the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. This revelation has was challenged and re-interpreted by one claiming to be the last prophet in his individual work over a period of a mere twenty-three years. Therefore, to be ‘correct over religion’ is vital, failure to recognise the biblical truth claims leads to a misunderstanding of the revelation for which one must be judged.

  • ahamd rico:

    its so hard to trust the article of non-muslim

  • Sam:

    This article is written by some staunch critique of Islam. He has added “Alleged” to every point which is inclined towards the truth.

  • saleem shah:

    mashya allah

  • muhammed shareeef:

    good

    • david:

      Look at these fake Christians trying to debate Muslims with green color and the enticing title, hahaha all in vain. We Muslims will never leave Islam for paganism altered by a fake Religion – Christianity

      • Richard:

        …. The original Quran is no longer among us. All we have are writers that say they are direct copies of the original, there is no proof of this yet neither do we have the original Hebrew and Greek writings of the Old and New Testament ……. If you convert Arabic writings into English then you are already changing the trueness of the Quran because English is not a pure language. The Holy Bible is not pure either but like Islam the writers try their best to make the text to read exactly like the original, but they are still not the original. Christianity also has about six people that knew and recorded Jesus by what they remembered of him by their own point of view. Islam only have one writer ……………. In America their was a man that said that he was met by an Angel who gave him golden tablets that read the true word of God. That man was Joseph Smith the creator of the false religion of Mormonism. Yet so many people believe him even though he had no proof at all of his claims. The founder of Islam is the exact same way, when believing just by word and not by evidence. Keep an open mind and God bless.

        • admin:

          The above has been abbreviated. We agree that the originals of both the Quran and the Bible are no longer extant. The primitive text of the New Testament can be restored very near to the original autographs through the study of manuscripts, versions, and quotations from early Christian writers.
          The New Testament itself confirms that eye-witnesses concerning the work and person of Jesus Christ were not limited to six: “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.” (Luke 1:1-4) How many persons Luke has in mind we cannot say, but it seems to indicate plentiful activity in the production of literature concerning Jesus. Luke was very careful that Theophilus, to whom his Gospel was written, should receive a truthful and accurate account of the life of Jesus.

          • admin:

            Yes, this indeed is a great finding. Dr Muhammad Isa Waley, lead curator for Persian and Turkish manuscripts at the British Library, said: “We know now that these two folios, in a beautiful and surprisingly legible Hijazi hand, almost certainly date from the time of the first three caliphs.” The doctor continues “According to the classic accounts, it was under the third caliph, Uthman ibn Affan, that the Koranic text was compiled and edited in the order of suras familiar today.” And again “And it seems to leave open the possibility that the Uthmanic redaction took place earlier than had been thought – or even, conceivably, that these folios predate that process.”
            According to Dr Saud al-Sarhan, Director of Center for Research and Islamic Studies in Riyadh “the writing had chapter separators and dotted verse endings – features in Arabic scripts which are believed not to have been introduced to the Qur’an until later.” He states that the practice was introduced by Caliph Uthman – whether it was before or following his recension of the Quran is unclear – see our article ‘The Uthmanic Recension’.
            There are no diacritical marks and is said to be written in an early form of Arabic script known as Hijazi which seems to be the Ma’il sloping calligrapy script which has been mentioned in our articles.

            As far as our comments are concerned we note that the manuscript preserves only parts of suras 18,19 and 20 and that it has a 95.4% accuracy rating. If a margin of 4.6% error has been found in only three suras what will the whole produce? Professor Joseph E. B. Lumbard of Brandeis University writing in the Huffington Post states that the parchment presents a text “substantially in conformity with that traditionally accepted.” This confirms the overall objective of our articles that Islam does not have a perfect Quran. The original Quran is said to be written on a Tablet kept in heaven (Al-Burj 85:21,22) and delivered piecemeal to Muhammad over 23 years yet we find that we have only ‘substantial agreement’ and not a perfect preservation as we would expect particularly if it was a book uncreated from eternity.
            We also note that in the past Muslims have been very quick to criticise the ancient Greek manuscripts of the New Testament because many of them have only been fragments. Yet here a tiny portion of the Quran is said to confirm the whole of the Quran. If Muslims can accept this as a genuine manuscript which takes us back to the early days of Islam will they not accept that the thousands of ancient Greek manuscripts take us back to the early days of Christianity?

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