During the life time of Muhammad, verses were being 'revealed' to him as and when he required them. This lasted for a period of twenty three years. During this period, different companions were appraised of and memorised not only different verses but different variations of the same verses. Muhammad conveniently explained these discrepancies away, by alleging that the Quran is 'revealed' to him in SEVEN MODES.
According to Muhammadan tradition, there were also scribes who wrote down some of these verses on palm fronds, animal bones, stones and any other medium that can be written upon. Since the 'revelations' were descended to him at different times, in different places, among different companions, there was never a case that any one memoriser had knowledge of the whole of the Quran.
Most important of all, for as long as Muhammad was alive and the 'revelations' were coming down, the Quran could not be finalised. At the time of his death, Muhammadhad not collated, arranged or authenticated a single codex. When he died, there were at least SEVEN versions of the Quran written by and belonging to several of his companions, none of which had the complete version.
THE QURAN'S DEVELOPMENT DURING MUHAMMAD'S LIFETIME-
A study of the compilation of the Quran text must begin with the character of the book itself as it was allegedly handed down by Muhammad to his companions during his lifetime. It was not delivered or, as most 'Muslims' believe, revealed all at once. It came piecemeal over a period of twenty-three years from the time when Muhammad began to preach in Mecca in 610 AD until his death at Madina in 632AD. The Quran itself declares that Allah said to Muhammad:
25: 32 "We have rehearsed it to you in slow, well-arranged stages, gradually"
Furthermore, no chronological record of the sequence of passages was kept by Muhammad or his companions so that, as each of these began to be collected into an actualsurah ( "chapter"), no thought was given as to theme, order of deliverance or chronological sequence. It is acknowledged by all 'Muslim' writers that most of the surahs, especially the longer ones, are composite texts containing various passages not necessarily linked to each other in the sequence in which they were given.
As time went on, Muhammad used to say "Put this passage in the surah in which so-and-so is mentioned", or "Put it in such-and-such a place"
(al -Suyuti, Al Itqan fii Ulum al-Qur'an, p.141).
Thus passages were added to compilations of other passages already collected together until each of these became a distinct surah. There is evidence that a number of these surahs already had their recognised titles during Muhammad's lifetime, as from the following hadith:
Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2, p.386
The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) (in fact) said: Anyone who recites the two verses at the end of Surah al-Baqara at night, they would suffice for him. ... Abu Darda reported that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: If anyone learns by heart the first ten verses of the Surah al-Kahf, he will be protected from the Dajal.
At the same time, however, there is also reason to believe that there were other surahs to which titles were not necessarily given by Muhammad, for example Suratul-Ikhlas (Surah 112), for although Muhammad spoke at some length about it and said its four verses were the equal of one-third of the whole Quran, he did not mention it by name
(Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2, p.387).
As the Quran developed, Muhammad's immediate companions took portions of it down in writing and also committed many of its passages to memory. It appears that the memorisation of the text was the foremost method of recording its contents especially when one takes into consideration that most of the Pagan Arabians were ILLITERATEBUT capable of MEMORISING the Quranic verses. We can see that the verbal recitation of its passages was very highly esteemed and consistently practised.
Nevertheless, it is to actual written records of its text that the Quran itself bears witness in the following verse:
80: 13-16 "....It is in honoured scripts (suhufin mukarramatin), exalted, purified, by the hands of scribes noble and pious "
There is evidence, further, that even during Muhammad's early days in Mecca, portions of the Quran as then 'revealed' were being reduced to writing. When Umar was still a pagan, he one day struck his sister in her house in Meccawhen he heard her reading a portion of theQuran. Upon seeing blood on her cheek, however, he relented and said "Give me this sheet which I heard you reading just now so that I may see just what it is which Muhammad has brought" and, on reading the portion of Surah 20 which she had been reading, he became a Muslim. (Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasulullah, p.156)
It nonetheless appears, that right up to the end of Muhammad's life, the practice of memorisation predominated over the reduction of the Quran to writing and was regarded as more important. In the Hadith records we read that the angel Jibril is said to have checked the recitation of the Quran every Ramadanwith Muhammad and, in his final year, checked it with him twice:
Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 6, p.485
Fatima said: "The Prophet (saw) told me secretly, 'Gabriel used to recite the Qur'an to me and I to him once a year, but this year he recited the whole Qur'an with me twice. I don't think but that my death is approaching.'"
Some of Muhammad's closest companions devoted themselves to learning the text of the Quran off by heart. These included-
Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 6, pp. 488-489
Ansari Ubayy ibn Ka'b, Muadh ibn Jabal, Zaid ibn Thabit, Abu Zaid and Abu ad-Darda
In addition to these Mujammi,ibn Jariyah is said to have collected all but a few surahs while Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, one of the muhajirun who had been with Muhammad from the beginning of his mission in Mecca, had secured more than ninety of the one hundred and fourteen surahs by himself, learning the remaining surahs from Mujammi.
(Ibn Sa'd, Kitab aI-Tabaqat al-Kabir, Vol. 2, p.457).
Regarding the written materials, there are no records as to exactly how much of the Quran was reduced to writing during the lifetime of Muhammad. There is certainly no evidence to suggest that anyone had actually compiled the whole text of the Quran into a single manuscript, whether directly under Muhammad's express authority or otherwise, and from the information we have about the collection of the Quran after his death, it is certain that the Quran had never been codified or reduced to writing in a single text.
Muhammad died suddenly in 632 AD after a short illness and, with his death, the Quranautomatically became complete. There could be no further 'revelations' once its chosen recipient had departed.
While he lived, however, there were always new passages that were ADDED and many others ABROGATED and it hardly seemed appropriate, therefore, to contemplate codifying the text into one harmonious whole. Thus it is not surprising to find that the book was widely scattered in the memories of men and on various different materials in writing at the time of Muhammad's decease.
Furthermore, the Quran itself makes allowance for the ABROGATION of, or addition to, a number of verses that had already been withdrawn, thus would likewise preclude the contemplation of a single text in the lifetimeof Muhammad.
Still further, there appear to have been a few disputes among the Sahaba (Muhammad's "companions", i.e., his immediate followers) about the text of the Quran while Muhammad lived, unlike those which arose soon after his demise. All these factors explain the absence of an official codified text at the time of his death.
The possible abrogation of existing passages, and the probable addition of further ayat (the Quran no-where declares its own completeness or that no further revelations could be expected) prevented any attempt to achieve the result desired very soon thereafter by his closest companions. It also appears that new Quranicpassages were coming with increasing frequency toMuhammad just before that fateful day, making the collection of the Quran into a single text at any time impossible.
Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 6, p.474)
Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah sent down his Divine Inspiration to His Apostle (saw) continuously and abundantly during the period preceding his death till He took him unto Him. That was the period of the greatest part of revelation, and Allah's Apostle (saw) died after that.
At the end of the first phase of the Quran, therefore, we find that its contents were widely distributed in the memories of men and were written down piecemeal on various materials, but that no single text had been prescribed or codified for the Muslim community.
Al-Suyuti states that the Quran, as sent down from Allah in separate stages, had been completely written down and carefully preserved, but that it had not been assembled into one single location during the lifetime of Muhammad
(al-Suyuti, Al-Itqan fii Ulum al-Qur'an, p.96).
All of it was said to have been available in principle - Muhammad's companions had absorbed it to one extent or another in their memories and it had been written down on separate materials - while the final order of the various verses and chapters is also presumed to have been defined by Muhammad while he was still alive.
The Ahadith mention that many of the memorisers of the Quran were SLAUGHTERED during the internecine Muslim civil wars (battle of Yamama) and with them perished many of the verses of the Quran. To add insult to injury, it is also related that some of the Quranic verses that were written on palm fronds, were eaten by domestic animals. The same records also assert, that some suras that were very long as memorised by some of the companions were lost completely due to their death in battles. By the time Abu Bakr had ordered the Quran to be collated and collected, it had already irretrievably lost some very important Suras and verses such as the one about Rajam and others.
More desecrations and damage were done under Uthamn b Affan'sattempt to unify the Quran under a single version ignoring those that were written by Ali b Abi Taleb,Abdullah Ibn Masoud and others. Their versions would have made the contents more logical and meaningful. He even ordered the destruction of SIX codices that belonged to Muhammad's companions. So much for the sanctity of the Quran in Islam.
Sunan of Abu-DawoodHadith 785Narrated byUthman ibn Affan:
Yazid al-Farisi said: I heard Ibn Abbas say: I asked Uthman ibn Affan: What moved you to put the (Surah) al-Bara'ah which belongs to the mi'in (surahs) (containing one hundred verses) and the (Surah) al-Anfal which belongs to the mathani (Surahs) in the category of as-sab'u at-tiwal (the first long surah or chapters of the Qur'an), and you did not write "In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful" between them?
Uthman replied: When the verses of the Qur'an were revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him), he called someone to write them down for him and said to him: Put this verse in the surah in which such and such has been mentioned; and when one or two verses were revealed, he used to say similarly (regarding them). (Surah) al-Anfal is the first surah that was revealed at Medina, and (Surah) al-Bara'ah was revealed last in the Qur'an, and its contents were similar to those of al-Anfal. I, therefore, thought that it was a part of al-Anfal. Hence I put them in the category of as-sab'u at-tiwal (the seven lengthy surahs), and I did not write "In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful" between them.
*** Almost everything regarding the compilation and collection of the Quran was arbitrary, with complete and utter contempt to the sequence of 'revelations', to the city of origin, wherein verses revealed in Mecca were put among Suras revealed in Madina and vise versa.
The records of the collection - as passed down to us in the Ahadith - condemn the process and show its weaknesses and pitfalls making a mockery of the DOGMA that it is a book which is "infallible in content" ***
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 6.524Narrated byAbdullah (bin Masud)
By Allah other than Whom none has the right to be worshipped! There is no Sura revealed in Allah's Book but I know at what place it was revealed; and there is no Verse revealed in Allah's Book but I know about whom it was revealed. And if I know that there is somebody who knows Allah's Book better than I, and he is at a place that camels can reach, I would go to him.
Ubayy stoutly refused to abandon any part of the Quran wording he had received direct from the Prophet.Ubayy, we are told, would have none of the doctrine of the withdrawal of any part of theQuran text.
Bukhari, Kitab al Tafsir, p. 179, ad Q 2.106 and commentaries
'The Prophet taught me [ie. ibn Mas`ud] to recite seventy suras which I had mastered before Zaid had even become a Muslim'
Abu Bakr `Abdullah b. abi Da'ud, Kitab al Masahif, p. 166, ed. A. Jeffery, Cairo, 1936/1355, p. 17
Am I [ie. ibn Mas`ud] to be debarred from copying the mushafs and the job given to a man who was an infidel in his father's reins when I first became a Muslim?'
Abu Bakr `Abdullah b. abi Da'ud, Kitab al Masahif, p. 166, ed. A. Jeffery, Cairo, 1936/1355, p. 14
ibn Mus`ud, the eponym of the Qur'an of the Kufans, is reported to have burst out,
'I recited from the very mouth of the Prophet some seventy suras while Zaid still had his ringlets and was playing with his companions.'
`Abdullah is supposed to have enjoined his followers,
'Lay up your Qur'an's! How can you order me to recite the reading of Zaid, when I recited from the very mouth of the Prophet some seventy suras?"
Abu Bakr `Abdullah b. abi Da'ud,Kitab al Masahif,pp. 166-167, ed. A. Jeffery, Cairo, 1936/1355, p. 15)
'Am I,' asks Abdullah, 'to abandon what I acquired from the very lips of the Prophet?'
Abu Bakr `Abdullah b. abi Da'ud,Kitab al Masahif,p. 167,ed. A. Jeffery, Cairo, 1936/1355, p. 35
I went to Abu Musa's house and saw there `Abdullah and Hudaifa. I sat with them. They had a mushaf that `Uthman had sent ordering them to make their Qur'an conform with it. Abu Musa declared that anything in his mushaf and lacking in `Uthman's was not to be omitted. Anything in `Uthman's and lacking in his own was to be added. Hudaifa asked, 'What is the point of all our work? Nobody in this region will give up the reading of this saikh, meaning `Abdullah, and nobody of Yemeni origin will give up the reading of Abu Musa.'Hudaifa it was who had advised `Uthman to unite the mushafs on the basis of a single mushaf.
Uthman allowed variant readings
That his [ie. `Uthman's] initiative in this direction was a total failure is, however, admitted in further hadiths which show `Uthman either resignedly permitting, or himself using, readings at variance with those enshrined in the mushaf associated with his name.
(p. 168, Abu Bakr `Abdullah b. abi Da'ud, Kitab Al-Masahif, ed. A. Jeffery, Cairo, 1936/1355, p. 39)
`Uthman sent for `Ali for information on the grievances of the rebels. Among these was resentment at his having 'expunged the mushafs'. `Uthman replied,
'The Qur'an came from Allah. I prohibited the variant readings since I feared dissension. But now, read it as you please.'
(p. 168-169, Abu Bakr `Abdullah b. abi Da'ud,Kitab Al-Masahif., ed. A. Jeffery, Cairo, 1936/1355, p. 36)
Uthman's complaint about Zaid's text
It is said that when `Uthman received the completed mushaf, he noticed certain linguistic irregularities.
'Had he who dictated it been of Hudail and the scribe of Thaqif,' he said, 'this would never had happened.'
(p. 169, Abu Bakr `Abdullah b. abi Da'ud, Kitab Al-Masahif, ed. A. Jeffery, Cairo, 1936/1355, p. 33)
Note: `Abdullah was Hudail.
The destruction of the codex of Hafsa
After Othman's death, Marwan the Governor of Medina sent to Hafsa and demanded it. She refused to give it up so it stayed with her until she died. But Marwan was so concerned to have it that as soon as he returned from her funeral, he immediately sent to get it. The story is recorded by Ibn Abi Dawud (died 316 AH) in his Kitab Al-Masahif.He gives the Isnad down to Salem ben Abdullah who said,
When Hafsa died and we returned from her funeral, Marwan sent with firm intention to Abdullah ben Omar (Hafsa's brother) that he must send him those pages, and Abdullah ben Omar sent them to him, and Marwan ordered it and they were torn up. And he said, I did this because whatever was in it was surely written and preserved in the (official) volume and I was afraid that after a time people will be suspicious of this copy or they will say there is something in it that wasn't written.
The dialect problem had apparently not been overcome by the very work ascribed by `Uthman, as we have just seen. Nor had the reading problem been settled by his supposed provision of a uniform consonantal matrix. Goldziher has signaled a disputed vocalic reading for the very Tawba verse which Zaid is said to have reinstated:
"There has now come to you a prophet from amongst your own number (anfusikum); from amongst the most precious among you (anfasikum). The variant has been ascribed, not merely to Companions, but even to the Prophet himself.
(p. 170, I. Goldziher, Die Richtungen de Islamischen Koranauslegung, Leiden, 1952, p. 35)
`Ali is said to have arranged his mushaf in the chronological order of the revelation and to have included his notes on the nasikh and the mansukh.
(Jalal al Din `Abdul Rahman b. abi Bakr al Suyuti, al Itqan fi `ulum al Qur'an, Halabi, Cairo, 1935/1354, pt 1, p. 58)
The importance of this work would have been immense, but all Muhammad b. Sirin's efforts to locate this work in Medina came to nothing. (p. 216)
The Stoning Verse on penalty for adulterers/adulteress
... the majority of the madahib are unanimously of the view that in certain circumstances, the penalty for adultery is death by stoning. Now, we know that this penalty is not only nowhere mentioned in the texts of the Quran, it is totally incompatible with the penalty that is mentioned:
"al zaniyatu wa al zani fajlidu kulla wahidin minhuma mi'ata jaldatin"
(The adulteress and the adulterer, flog each one of them one hundred strokes) (Q 24.2). (p. 72)
It is related that when a woman guilty of adultery was brought before `Ali, he flogged her and then had her stoned. Someone protested: 'but you have inflicted two penalties!' `Ali replied, 'I stoned her in accordance with the Sunna of the Prophet and flogged her in accordance with the Book of God.'
(p. 75, Ahmad b. `Ali b. Muhammad al `Asqalani, ibn Hajar, "Fath al Bari", 13 vols, Cairo, 1939/1348, vol. 12, p. 103)
[`Umar said: ] Do not complain about stoning. It is a just claim and I am minded to write it in the mushaf. I fear that with the passage of time some will say, 'We do not find stoning in the Book of Allah', and on that pretext they will neglect a divine ruling which Allah revealed. Stoning is a just claim against the married person who fornicates, when there is adduced valid proof, or pregnancy ensues, or a confession is offered. This Verse was in Book of Allah and recited.
(p. 77, Ahmad b. `Ali b. Muhammad al `Asqalani, ibn Hajar, "Fath al Bari", 13 vols, Cairo, 1939/1348, vol. 12, p. 119)
`Ali reported that the stoning verse had been revealed but those who bore it together with other verses in their memories perished in the Yemama.
(p. 121, Burhan al Din al Baji, "Jawab", MS Dar al Kutub, Taimur "majami`", no. 207, f. 14)
ibn `Abbas reports a sermon by `Umar in the course of which he said, 'Men! stoning is a penalty laid down by Allah. Do not neglect it. It is in the Book of Allah and the Sunna of your Prophet. The Messenger of Allah stoned; Abu Bakr stoned, and I have stoned.'
(p. 75, Sulaiman b. Da'ud al Tayalisi, "Sunan", Haiderabad, 1904/1321, p. 6)
Malik reports ibn `Abbas as declaring, 'I heard `Umar b. al Khattab say, "Stoning in the Book of Allah is a just claim against the non-virgin, man or woman, who fornicates, when valid proof is adduced, or pregnancy ensues, or self-condemnation is volunteered."'
(p. 75, Malik b. Anas, al Muwatta, Kitab al Hudud)
[`Umar] announced from the Prophet's pulpit, Allah sent Muhammad with the truth and revealed to him the Book. Part of what Allah revealed was the stoning verse. We used to recite it and we memorised it. The Prophet stoned and we have stoned after him. I fear that with the passage of time some will say, 'We do not find stoning in the Book of Allah', and will therefore neglect a divine injunction which Allah revealed. Stoning is a just claim....
(p. 77-78, Ahmad b. al Husain al Baihaqi, "al Sunan al Kubra", 10 vols., Haiderabad, 1925-38/1344-57, vol. 8, p. 210)
In a variant version `Umar fears that with the passage of time some will say, 'We do not find the stoning verse in the Book of Allah.'(p. 78)
Sahih Bukhari, vol. 8, p. 539
[Umar said:] Allah sent Muhammad with the Truth and revealed the holy book to him, and among what Allah revealed, was the verse of Rajam (the stoning of married persons, male and female, who commit adultery) and we did recite this verse and understood and memorized it. Allah's Apostle did carry out the punishment of stoning and so did we after him. I am afraid that after a long time has passed, somebody will say "By Allah's Book", we do not find the Verse of Rajam in Allah's Book, and thus they will go astray by leaving an obligation which Allah has revealed
al Sarakhsi, "Mabsut", p. 78-79, 30 vols., Cairo, 1324, vol. 9, p. 36
`Umar said from the pulpit, '... and part of what was revealed in the Qur'an read, "the saikh and the saikha, when they fornicate, stone them outright". Some will repudiate this, and but that men would say, "`Umar has added to the Book of Allah," I will write it on the margin of the mushaf.'
Malik reports that when `Umar returned from the pilgrimage, he addressed the people of Medina,
Men! the Sunna has been established, the obligatory duties imposed and you have been left in no uncertainty. Beware lest you neglect the stoning verse on account of those who say, 'We do not find two penalties in the Book of Alalh.' The Prophet stoned, and we have stoned. By Him Who holds my soul in His Hand! but that men would say, '`Umar has added to the Book of Allah', I would write it in with my hand, 'The saikh and the saikha, when they fornicate, stone them outright.'
(Malik b. Anas, "al Muwatta'", Kitab al Hudud, cf. "Fath", vol. 12, p. 119)
The missing verses of the Ahzab
Ubayy asked Zirr b. Hubais, 'How many verses do you recite in surat al Ahzab?' Zirr replied, 'Seventy-three verses.' Ubayy asked if that was all. 'I have seen it,' he said, 'when it was the same length as Baqara. It contained the words "The saikh and the saikha, when they fornicate, stone them outright, as an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is might, wise."'
(p. 78-79, Ahmad b. al Husain al Baihaqi, "al Sunan al Kubra", 10 vols., Haiderabad, 1925-38/1344-57, vol. 8, pp. 210-11)
*** Al Baqara has 286 verses, hence the al Ahzab has 213 MISSING verses.
How could the words of Allah be missing from the 'perfectly revealed Quran'? ***
Ubayy said, 'It used to equal the length surat al Baqara and we used to recite in Ahzab the stoning verse.' Zirr asked, 'What is the stoning verse?' Ubayy recited, 'If the saikh and the saikha fornicate, stone them outright as an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is might, wise.'
(p. 80, Jalal al Din `Abdul Rahman b. abi Bakr al Suyuti, "al Itqan fi `ulum al Qur'an", Halabi, Cairo, 1935/1354, pt 2, p. 25)
Ahzab was identified as the sura originally containing the stoning verse, and, in addition to Ubayy and Abu Musa, `A'isa reports that Ahzab used to be recited, in the lifetime of the Prophet, as having 200 verses, but when `Uthman wrote out the mushafs, all they could find was its present length.
(Jalal al Din `Abdul Rahman b. abi Bakr al Suyuti, "al Itqan fi `ulum al Qur'an", Halabi, Cairo, 1935/1354, pt 2, p. 25)
A variant of this hadith speaks of writing out the mushaf with, however, no mention of date or attribution. ibn al Anbari concluded from `A'isa's report that Allah withdrew from the sura everything in excess of its present length, and Mekki reminds us that withdrawal is one of the modes of naskh.
(p. 84, Burhan al Din al Baji, "Jawab", MS Dar al Kutub, Taimur "majami`", no. 207, f. 10) Ahzab has only seventy-three verses in today's mushaf. (p. 84)
*** Why would Allah, if he is the same as theGod of Israel, the OMNISCIENT,WITHDRAW or ABROGATE anything from his BOOK?
In fact, to impune such FALLIBILITY to the divine, constitutes BLASPHEMY ***
The undisputable fact remains and is clear to all, that the Quran was very badly edited and its contents are arranged obtusely. It is not arranged chronologically - as the one of Ali's was - nor logically. It is arranged by the descending order of verses contained in the Suras
(even so, they are not ordered). Some verses which were revealed in Mecca were incorporated in those of the Madina and some from the Madina in those of Mecca.
Surat al Fatiha could not have been a 'revealed' one since it represents a supplication to Allah and not from Allah to man.
The above reports are a FRACTION of many more that are available for further proof that the Quran that we have today is NOT the same as was 'revealed' to Muhammad.
Even excluding the damaging abrogating and abrogated verses of the Quran and the story of the Satanic Verses, the list of incredible losses, editing, burning, emasculation and the misrepresentation of the verses and suras of the Quran completely and utterly contradict Muhammadan theological assertions that it is the inviolate 'words of Allah'.
It is blasphemous to claim thatAllah who allegedly went to so much trouble and perseverance in accommodating his alleged messenger Muhammad, would have allowed a single dot or dash to perish or to change.
The Torah was given at Mount Sinai which is granite and so were the TABLETS that were written by the finger of God.
The Quran was 'revealed' in the shifting sands of the Arabian desert; not appropriate for solid foundations and hence is unstable, unsafe and unreliable just like a MIRAGE.