In this last segment from Speaker’s Corner Jay and Hatun confront the problems with the preservation of the Qur’an.
They begin by pointing out that after Uthman burned all the Qur’ans which didn’t agree with his final compilation, he had 5 copies of his ‘Quraishi’ Qur’an sent to 5 cities as standards for all subsequent Qur’ans.
Yet, other Qur’ans began to appear in Syria and Iraq which didn’t agree with Uthman’s rescension, suggesting that his attempt at standardization didn’t succeed very well.
Ubay in Ka’b’s Qur’an became popular in Damascus, Syria, which had 116 Surahs (the Qur’an today only has 114). Ibn Masu’d’s Qur’an became popular in Kufa, Iraq, and it only had 111 Surahs, while a third Qur’an which was different, written by Ibn Musa, became popular in Basra, Iraq, proving that standardization didn’t work, and Allah was not able to protect his word (see Surah 15:9).
Later Al Hajjaj had the Qur’an changed 11 times in around 705 AD.
But, in the 8th century there were many more changes imposed on the Qur’an, and these were in the form of 7 Qira’at (readings) chosen in 936 by Ibn Mujahid, followed by 14 subsequent writings (Riwayat) created by the students of the Qira’at compilers, but only chosen in 1194 by al-Shatabi.
In 1429 another 9 Qira’ats and Riwayats were chosen by Al Jazari, which means it took them a full 800 years to finally choose the 30 Qira’ats which are the official readings used all over the Muslim world today.
Muslims say that these don’t change the meaning of the verses, yet Hatun gave the example of Surah 17:102 which in Hafs version says, “You have surely known”, while in the Nafi version it says, “I have surely known”, confusing whether it was Moses or the Pharoah who was the subject of this verse.
When comparing the two most popular Qira’ats in the Muslim world today, the Hafs vs the Warsh, we can find between 1,300 – 5,000 differences when comparing one with the other!
What’s more, while Christians have 5,800 Greek manuscripts of their New Testament, along with 10,000 Latin Vulgates, and 9,000 other manuscripts from 11 different languages, which gives us a total of over 24,000 manuscripts to compare between, the Muslims only have 6 early manuscripts of the Qur’an. Yet, none of the 6 are from the 7th century, nor are they complete, nor do they correspond with the other 5 manuscripts or with the Qur’an we are using today.
Dr Dan Brubaker, when looking at these 6 manuscripts, was able to find over 4,000 changes to letters, words, and phrases between them proving that there has been a wholesale history of deletions, accretions, and corruptions of the Qur’anic text in the past few hundred years.
© Pfander Centre for Apologetics – US, 2022
(67,370) Music: “Inspiring Teaser” by Rafael-Krux, from filmmusic-io