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Has The Qur’an Changed?

December 27, 2012

In short: Yes, The Qur’an has been changed.

Consider the following Islamic sources:

`Abdullah b. `Umar reportedly said, ‘Let none of you say, “I have got the whole of the Qur’an.” How does he know what all of it is? MUCH OF THE QUR’AN HAS GONE. Let him say instead, “I have got what has survived.”‘ (Jalal al Din `Abdul Rahman b. Abi Bakr al Suyuti, al-Itqan fi `ulum al-Qur’an, Halabi, Cairo, 1935/1354, Volume 2, p. 25)

Reported ‘Aisha (RA):  ‘the verse of stoning and of suckling an adult ten times was revealed, and they were (written) on a paper and kept under my pillow. When the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) expired and we were occupied by his death, a goat entered and ate away the paper.’ (Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith 1944) (Hasan)
In addition, according to Ibn Ishaq, the earliest source on the life of Muhammad, there was an additional verse in Surah an-Najm that Muhammad later removed, saying that Satan had tricked him into believing it was from Allah. The verse is commonly referred to as verse 20.5, because it was supposed to fit between 20 and 21. It is also knowns as the “Satanic Verses”

The verses were:

19: Have ye thought upon Al-Lat and Al-‘Uzzá
20:  and Manāt, the third, the other?
20.5:  These are the exalted gharāniq, whose intercession is hoped for.

Later Islamic scholars came to deny that this ever happened, but this is recorded in the earliest sources.

The Council of Ex-Muslims Forum made an excellent point about this:

But it seems to me that the reasoning behind denying the veracity of this event has nothing to do with scholarly skepticism and everything to do with the dangers of the theological repercussions of accepting the veracity of this.

After all, if Satan had tricked Muhammad into believing that this verse was from God, then how can we be certain that all the other verses of the Quran are from God and not from Satan?

Also the idea that Muhammad could be tricked by Satan, even for a short time, flies in the face of the notion that Muhammad is the perfect man.

From a non-religious perspective, the acceptance of the three traditional Pagan Goddesses into Islam makes sense when Muhammad was weak and needed reconciliation with the Pagans, and the removal of this verse later when he was stronger and no longer needed their support makes a lot of sense, for that reason I do not doubt the veracity of the event so much.

Of course when you bring this up in a discussion, it is likely to cause anger and outrage among some Muslims, who will often deny that this event occurred, and will even assert that Ibn Ishaq was a liar or something along those lines.

This is often one of the major problems of trying to debate with some Muslims over the veracity of the Quran. Many will assert that the Quran has never been altered, and when proof from the earliest Islamic sources themselves is shown that plainly states that Muhammad himself altered parts of the Quran, those Muslims will often become outraged and refuse to discuss any further.

From → The Indefensible

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