Textual Variants of the Qur'an

Most Muslims claim that the text of the Qur'an is identical to that received by Muhammad. This is a convenient thing to believe, but is it the truth? There is overwhelming evidence that it is not:

1. Evidence of Change Before 'Uthman

Why did 'Uthman feel the need to destroy other copies of the Qur'an, unless they contained variants? Why did Ibn Ma'sud refuse to hand over his copy for destruction? How do we know that 'Uthman's copy was better than any of the others?

2. Evidence of Change After 'Uthman

There is evidence that changes to the Qur'an continued after the time of 'Uthman:

3. Hadiths which say the Qur'an is incomplete

Both the Qur'an and the Sunna give evidence that some of the Qur'an was lost, forgotten, or abrogated:

Some Muslims are of the conviction spurious verses have been added:

4. Hadiths which refer to lost suras

There are Hadiths which refer to suras which are not in the modern Qur'an. Surely this indicates that the Qur'an has changed since the time of these Hadiths.

5. Variants which exist in present-day manuscripts

By simply comparing existing manuscripts, it can be shown that not all Qur'an manuscripts are the same. Therefore, the Qur'an has not been perfectly preserved.

6. What is there to hide?

If the Qur'an truly is uncorrupted, why does the Muslim world not publish the oldest Qur'an manuscripts? What is there to hide?

7. Objections

8. Other

9. Articles or books which cover the whole topic

10. Implications for our dialogue

Some newsgroup postings by a Muslim on the Topkapi and Tashkent manuscripts, confirming the existence of textual variants [*, *, *] and spelling differences in Qur'an editions in India [*, *]
The Muslim A. Meherally wrote a response to some of the above.

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