Who says the Quran is incomplete and imperfect?
Well, see for yourself.
As-Suyuti, one of the most famous and revered commentators of the Quran, quotes ‘Umar al Khattab, the second Caliph , as saying:
“Let no one of you say that he has acquired the entire Quran, for how does he know that it is all? Much of the Quran has been lost, thus let him say, ‘I have acquired of it what is available’” (As-Suyuti, Itqan, part 3, page 72)
Aisha, the favorite wife of the Prophet, says:
“During the time of the Prophet, the chapter of the Parties used to be two hundred verses when read. When Uthman edited the copies of the Quran, only the current (verses) were recorded” .
Notice Aishah says that Uthman EDITED the Quran. What did he do to Allah’s words? Why is there a need to “EDIT”, if the Quran has always been perfect and unchanged? What was EDITED and what was not?
In Sahih Muslim 2286:”Abu Musa called 300 Basra reciters who were the best and they said:
“We used to recite a surah but we have forgotten it.”
The best reciters forgot an entire surah?
In Sahih Bukhari 6.61.527
“Ubayy was the best reciter yet we leave out some of what he recites.”
Ubayy bin Ka’b, one of the great companions of Muhammad was the best reciter of the time but the Quran edited by Uthman apparently left out some of his recitations. What was left out?
Ubayy asked one of the Muslims, “How many verses in the chapter of the Parties?” He said, “Seventy-three verses.” He (Ubayy) told him, “It used to be almost equal to the chapter of the Cow (about 286 verses) and included the verse of the stoning”. The man asked, “What is the verse of the stoning?” He (Ubayy) said, “If an old man or woman committed adultery, stone them to death.”
Ubayy was asking about Sura 33, Surah Al-Ahzab. In today’s Quran, this Surah has 73 verses. According to Ubayy bin Ka’b the best reciter of the time, this Surah used to have about 280 verses and almost equal in length with the longest Sura in the Quran today, Al-Baqara. What happened to more than 200 ayat Missing from Sura 33?
The lost verse of Rajm (stoning) which read as follows,
“The fornicators among the married men (ash-shaikh) and married women (ash-shaikhah), stone them as an exemplary punishment from Allah, and Allah is Mighty and Wise,” was originally found in Surah al-Ahzab.
But this verse does not exist in the Quran today! This verse, along with verses regarding adult breast-feeding, are also lost. What happened to them?
Aisha, the favorite wife of the Prophet Muhammad tells us. In Sunan ibn Majah 1944, Aishah explains that the verses relating to Stoning and Adult Breast-Feeding were written down but…
“A sheep ate the verses under my pillow.”
The loss of the stoning verse is confirmed by Caliph Umar in Sahih Bukhari.
According to Abu Waqid al-Laithii, Muhammad recited to him the verse on “The Greed of Man” which read,
“We sent down wealth to maintain prayer and deeds of charity, and if the son of Adam had a valley he would leave it in search for another like it and, if he got another like it, he would press on for a third, and nothing would satisfy the stomach of the son of Adam but dust, yet Allah is relenting towards those who relent.”
Here is another important-sounding verse that is no longer found in today’s Qur’an. Maybe some Muslims might argue that the verse has been abrogated. But abrogated by what? according to 2:106, Allah says, “We do not “nansakh”(abrogate) an “ayah” (verse), or “nunsiha” (make it forgotten), unless We bring one which is like it or even greater.”
Zaid Ibn Thabit who was commissioned to compile the first Quran stated:
“I started looking for the Qur’an and collecting it from (what was written on) palm-leaf stalks, thin white stones, and also from the men who knew it by heart, till I found the last verse of Surat at-Tauba (repentance) with Abi Khuzaima al-Ansari, and I did not find it with anybody other than him.”
Surah al-Taubah was found with one person only. But the rule was: Zaid was only supposed to write down what was confirmed by at least TWO of Prophet Muhammad’s Companions. He wrote this verse down even though only one person had any memory of it.
Abu Musa al-Ash’ari, one of the early authorities on the Qur’an text and a companion of Muhammad, claimed:
“A surah which resembled at-Tawba in length and severity was forgotten and lost.” (Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2, p.501)
Surah at-Tawba today has 129 verses. An entire Surah equivalent in length to this Surah 9 was “lost”! That’s 129 verses missing! That’s not all. Apparently Sura at-Tawba itself is missing some verses.
According to “The Itqan” by Suyuti Part 3, Page 184
“Malik says that several verses from chapter 9 (Sura of Repentance) have been dropped from the beginning. Among them is, ‘In the name of God the compassionate, the Merciful’ because it was proven that the length of Sura of Repentance was equal to the length of the Sura of the Cow.”
Sura of the Cow (al-Baqarah) is the longest chapter with 286 verses. If Surah 9 also used to have 286 verses, then 157 verses are missing because this Surah only has 129 verses today.
Abu Harb b. Abu al-Aswad reported on the authority of his father that Abu Musa al-Ash’ari sent for the reciters of Basra. And they said:
“And we used to recite a surah which resembled one of the surahs of Musabbihat, and I have forgotten it, but remember (this much) out of it: “O people who believe, why do you say that which you do not practise” (lxi. 2) and “that is recorded in your necks as a witness (against you) and you would be asked about it on the Day of Resurrection.” Sahih Muslim 5:2286
You can search the entire Quran. Such a surah containing such a verse is not found in today’s Quran.
Finally here’s a story that will shock you.
One of Muhammad’s personal scribes was Abdullah Ibn Abi Sarh. He would write down the prophet’s recitations faithfully.
But something strange happened….
One day while writing what Muhammad was reciting, Abdullah Ibn Abi Sarh stopped him and made a suggestion regarding the verse. Instead of censuring his scribe for his insolence, the prophet agreed to the changes and said “write whatever you like”.
This troubled Ibn Abi Sarh. If Allah had given the specific words to Muhammad, how could Muhammad allow it to be changed to write whatever he (Ibn Abi Sarh) liked? The faithful sccibe was disillusioned. He exposed the prophet as a liar and a fake. He left Islam and fled to Mecca. Muhammad realizing he could be in trouble if Ibn Abi Sarh’s story came to light immediately received a new verse Sura 6:93 which condemns his old scribe as a liar, a wrongdoer and arrogant and promised a “punishment of extreme humiliation”.
Later when Muhammad came to conquer Mecca, guess who was the #1 on his hit list, to mete out the “punishment” ?
Here is the story as related in Alfiyyat us-Sîrat in-Nabawiyyah by al-Hâfidh al-‘Iraqî:
The scribes of Muhammad were 42 in number. `Abdallah Ibn Sarh al-`Amiri was one of them, and he was the first Quraishite among those who wrote in Mecca before he turned away from Islam.
He started saying, “I used to direct Muhammad wherever I willed. He would dictate to me ‘Most High, All-Wise’, and I would write down ‘All-Wise’ only. Then he would say, ‘Yes it is all the same’.
(also recorded in Usûd Ulghâbah fî Ma’rifat Is-Sahâbah, [Dâr al-Fikr, Beirut (Lebanon), 1995], Volume 3, p. 154)
On a certain occasion he (Muhammad) said, ‘Write such and such’, but I wrote ‘Write’ only, and he said, ‘Write whatever you like.’”
The verse (23:12) that says, ‘We created man of an extraction of clay’ was revealed, and when Muhammad reached the part that says, ‘… thereafter We produced him as another creature’ (23:14), ‘Abdallah said, ‘So blessed be God the fairest of creators!’ in amazement at the details of man’s creation. The prophet said, ‘Write it down; for thus it has been revealed.’ ‘Abdallah doubted and said, ‘If Muhammad is truthful then I receive the revelation as much as he does, and if he is a liar, what I said is a good as what he said.’”
(Anwar al-Tanzil wa Asrar al-Ta‘wil by ‘Abdallah Ibn ‘Umar al-Baidawi)
So on the day Muhammad conquered Mecca, he commanded his ex-scribe to be killed. But the scribe fled to Uthman Ibn Affan, because Uthman was his foster brother (his mother suckled Uthman). Uthman, therefore, kept him away from Muhammad. After the people calmed down, Uthman brought the scribe to Muhammad and sought protection for him. Muhammad kept silent for a long time, after which he said yes to preserve Abi Ibn Sarh’s life. When Uthman had left, Muhammad said to his followers there “I only kept silent so that you (the people) should kill him.”
How many Surahs were there originally?
Today’s Quran, the version edited by Uthman, the 3rd Caliph, has 114 Surahs.
The best reciter during the time of Muhammad, Ubayy bin Ka’b, a close companion of the prophet, had his Quran had 116 Surahs. The two extra Surahs were al-Hafd (the Haste) and al-Khal’ (the Separation). These are not found in today’s Quran. Ubayy also combined Sura 105 and 106. That’s not how it is arranged in today’s Quran. Don’t forget this man as the best reciter! Did he get it wrong?
Another companion and Quranic teacher was Abu Musa al-Ashari, who agreed with Ubayy, also had these two extra Surahs. Two trusted Quranic teachers, fulfills the criteria of
The most trusted companion of Muhammad, Ibn Masood, has his Quran at around 110 Surahs, omitting Surah 1, 113 & 114, which are included Uthman’s Quran. Why?
Uthman, as we all know, of course, ordered every other version of the Quran burnt. Why would he do that? To snuff out all the evidence? If the Quran had been perfectly preserved from Allah, as claimed by Muslims, why were there all these different versions in the first place? And please note that these versions were not by some impostors or forgers, in which case burning them could be justified.
But these were the most trusted and loyal companions (sahaba) of Muhammad himself, the very ones the prophet had entrusted with the words of the Quran! How do we know Uthman did not destroy the real Quran in his haste to declare that his version, the one compiled by Zaid ibn Thabit, was the correct one???
In fact, Ibn Masood’s Quran could really have been the genuine one. He swore that he knew all the surahs of the Quran better than anyone else. His passion, love and devotion to the Prophet was unmistakable. Listen to what he says:
“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”
“The people have been guilty of deceit in the reading of the Qur’an. I like it better to read according to the recitation of him (Prophet) whom I love more than that of Zaid Ibn Thabit. By Him besides Whom there is no god! I learnt more than seventy surahs from the lips of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, while Zaid Ibn Thabit was a youth, (before embracing Islam) having two locks and playing with the youth”.
Basically, Ibn Masood, the most trusted of Muhammad’s companions (sahaba) was condemning Uthman’s Quran (which was compiled by Zaid ibn Thabit) and rejecting it as corrupt and incomplete.
(There were also an additional two Surahs, known Al-Nurayn and al-Wilaya, that are claimed to be included in the Qur’an by some Shi’ite sects. These sects would supposedly argue that Ali had a different copy of the Qur’an as compared with the third Caliph Uthman. Again the question arises why are there such disputes if the Quran had been unchanged? There was no way to determine whose version was accurate since none of these men were prophets. Muhammad had long been dead by the time these Qurans surfaced.)
Were All The Verses Remembered Perfectly?
Narrated Aisha: The Prophet heard a man reciting the Qur’an in the mosque and said, “May Allah bestow His Mercy on him, as he has reminded me of such-and-such Verses of such a Surah.”Sahih Bukhari 6:61:556
‘A’isha reported that the Apostle of Allah heard a person reciting the Qur’an at night. Upon this he said: May Allah show mercy to him; he has reminded me of such and such a verse which I had missed in such and such a surah. Sahih Muslim 4:1720
Even the Prophet Muhammad did not remember the verses correctly.
Narrated Abdullah ibn Mas’ud: … (Muhammad said) I am only a human being and I forget just as you do; so when I forget, remind me … (Sunan Abu Dawud: bk. 3, no. 1015; also Sahih al-Bukhari:vol. 1, bk. 8, no. 394)
And they were reciting it differently.
Narrated Ibrahim: The companions of ‘Abdullah (bin Mas’ud) came to Abu Darda’, (and before they arrived at his home), he looked for them and found them. Then he asked them,: “Who among you can recite (Qur’an) as ‘Abdullah recites it?” They replied, “All of us.” He asked, “Who among you knows it by heart?” They pointed at ‘Alqama. Then he asked Alqama. “How did you hear ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud reciting Surat Al-Lail (The Night)?“ Alqama recited: “By the male and the female.” (Qur’an 92:3) Abu Darda said, “I testify that I heard the Prophet reciting it likewise, but these people want me to recite it: “And by Him Who created male and female.” (Qur’an 92:3) But by Allah, I will not follow them.” (Sahih al-Bukhari: vol. 6, bk. 60, no. 468; also Sahih Muslim: bk. 4, no. 1799-1802)
If the prophet and his companions are forgetting verses, reciting it differently, how can it be said that the Quran is unchanged? There are missing verses. Entire surahs lost because they were forgotten or simply eaten by a goat.
Is this why Umar had declared:
“Let no one of you say that he has acquired the entire Quran, for how does he know that it is all? Much of the Quran has been lost, thus let him say, ‘I have acquired of it what is available’