Muslims say that the Qur’an is absolutely perfect; that not a sentence, a word, or a dot is different from the original Qur’an. Let’s take a look at how the Qur’an came into existence by Muslim sources.
What we can determine from the two sources below is that parts of the Qur’an were lost when Muslims were killed in the battle of Yamama. Muhammad had not compiled the Qur’an into a text, and Zaid found that it was impossible to collect the Qur’an.
1. “but that those who had memorized them fell in the Yamama fighting. Those passages had not been written down, and following the deaths of those who knew them, were no longer known; nor had Abu Bakr, nor `Umar nor `Uthman as yet collected the texts of the Qur’an. Zuhri reports:” 1
2. Narrated by Zaid bin Thabit Al-Ansari By Allah, if he (Abu Bakr) had ordered me to shift one of the mountains (from its place) it would not have been harder for me than what he had ordered me concerning the collection of the Qur’an. I said to both of them, “How dare you do a thing which the prophet has not done?” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Num 201:)
Zaid collected the writings of the Qur’an that were on leaves, stones, animal skins and what Muslims had memorized. Contradicting Zaid’s own statement, there were up to 15 different codices found.
Mas’ud and Ka’b knew the Qur’an better than any other Muslims. Muhammad named Abdullah bin Mas’ud first to learn the Qur’an from. Mas’ud knew more of the Qur’an than any other Muslim and no one disputed him. Mas’ud was alarmed because the Muslims were guilty of being deceived in accepting a corrupted Qur’an. This statement is confirmed in the next two paragraphs.
1. “That is a man I still love, as I heard the Prophet (saw) saying, ‘Learn the recitation of the Qur’an from four: from Abdullah bin Mas’ud - he started with him - Salim, the freed slave of Abu Hudhaifa, Mu’adh bin Jabal and Ubayyi ibn Ka’b”. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 5, p.96 in English Vol 5 book 58 Num 153)
2. Abd Allah Ibn Mas’ud delivered a sermon to us when the order concerning uniform reading of the Qur’an was issued, as it was indeed. He (Shaqiq) said: He mentioned about deceit and said: Who so deceived, will bring his deceit on the Day of Resurrection. The people have been guilty of deceit of reading of the Qur’an. I like it to read according to the recitation of him (Prophet) whom I love more than that of Zayd 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 Zayd Ibn Thabit was a youth, having two locks and playing with the youth. Then he said: By Him besides Whom there is no other god! If I know anyone to be more conversant with the Book of Allah than me, and if the camels could carry me to him, I shall surely go to him. Then ‘Abd Allah went away. Shaqiq said: Subsequently I sat in the circles of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah and others, but none contradicted his statement.” (Ibn Sa’d’s Kitab al-Tabaqat, Volume 2, p. 444; bold our emphasis) 2
Muhammad said that Ubayyi ibn Ka’b was the best reader of the Qur’an.
On the authority of Anas ibn Malik, he on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him; he said: The best reader (of the Qur’an) among my people is Ubayyi ibn Ka’b. (Ibn Sa’d, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, Vol. 2, p.441) 3There were significant discrepancies between Abdullah bin Mas’ud and Ubayyi ibn Ka’b’s Qur’an and other Qur’anic writings compared to Zaid’s. Mas’ud and Ubayyi ibn Ka’b disputed with Zaid that their Qur’ans were the most accurate and they never came to an agreement. Instead, their versions of the Qur’an were rejected by Uthman’s command and destroyed. Why would Uthman destroy the Qur’anic works of Masud and Ka’b when Muhammad himself said they were the most knowledgeable of the Qur’an? Even Mas’ud said he was much more knowledgeable than Zaid and warned of corruption of the Qur’an and none of the Muslims disputed him. But Uthman ignored Muhammad and chose Zaid’s Qur’an, and then burnt all remaining Holy manuscripts as recorded below.
Hudhaifa was afraid of their (the people of Sham and Iraq) differences in the recitation of the Qur’an, so he said to ‘Uthman, “O chief of the Believers! Save this nation before they differ about the Book (Qur’an) as Jews and the Christians did before.” So ‘Uthman sent a message to Hafsa saying, “Send us the manuscripts of the Qur’an so that we may compile the Qur’anic materials in perfect copies and return the manuscripts to you.” Hafsa sent it to ‘Uthman. ‘Uthman then ordered Zaid bin Thabit, ‘Abdullah bin AzZubair, Said bin Al-As and ‘AbdurRahman bin Harith bin Hisham to rewrite the manuscripts in perfect copies. ‘Uthman said to the three Quraishi men, “In case you disagree with Zaid bin Thabit on any point in the Qur’an, then write it in the dialect of Quraish, the Qur’an was revealed in their tongue.” They did so, and when they had written many copies, ‘Uthman returned the original manuscripts to Hafsa. ‘Uthman sent to every Muslim province one copy of what they had copied, and ordered that all the other Qur’anic materials, whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol.6, Book 61, Num 510)
Mas’ud who memorized seventy surahs directly from Muhammad argued that he should not have to forsake his Qur’an as stated below.
“I acquired directly from the messenger of Allah (saw) seventy surahs when Zaid was still a childish youth - must I now forsake what I acquired directly from the messenger of Allah?” (Ibn Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Masahif, p.15) 4
Uthman said to rewrite the Qur’ans if there were differences, what kind of differences were there that needed to be re-written if the Qur’an is perfect?
These writings from Allah were burned and the writings from Mas’ud and K’ab, who Muhammad said knew the Qur’an the best, are destroyed. Now they are gone forever, and we have no way of recovering them. Wouldn’t you want to know the differences between the Qur’ans? This is of extreme importance; your eternity depends on it.
Let’s take a look at two other authoritative Muslim Sources about the history of the Qur’an.
1. “Al Suyuti - ‘Abdullah bin ‘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 is gone. Let him say instead, ‘I have got what has survived.” 5
2. We used to recite a surah which resembled in length and severity to (Surah) Bara’at. I have, however, forgotten it with the exception of this which I remember out of it: “If there were two valleys full of riches, for the son of Adam, he would long for a third valley, and nothing would fill the stomach of the son of Adam but dust.” And we used so recite a surah which resembled one of the surahs of Musabbihat, and I have forgotten it, ... Sahih Muslim Book 5 No. 2286
Muslim friend, looking at these Islamic sources we can know that some of the Qur’an was lost, burned and forgotten!
“Another controversy is the Sunni and Shi’a compilation debate of the Qur’an. Prior to the collecting of the Qur’an by Uthman, there are widely reported records that Muhammad’s cousin, Ali, had put all the parts of the Qur’an together after his death. It was rejected by Uthman as a codex. An Iranian scholar says it was politically motivated to reject Ali’s Qur’an. Ali was the closest blood relative of Muhammad, and if he had the most authentic Qur’an he would be the natural successor. So, Uthman destroyed Ali’s codex to remain in power.
Early Sunni traditions agree that the Qur’an was not perfectly preserved in the Uthmanic recession. Ahmad ibn Hanbal held the Qur’an was perfect, but this created problems when they were confronted by the Shias who said Ali’s Qur’an was superior. Iranian scholar Dr. Modarressi says; “this is when Sunni scholars invented the doctrine of the incorruptibility of the Qur’an. Sunnis forbid quoting traditions of the Qur’an, stating parts of the Qur’an were missing even though these reports came from there most authoritative writings. We see an evolution of the doctrine of the perfect Qur’an created when it was in fact not.” 6
My Muslim friends, the Qur’an says the Bible is the word of God.
Surah 3:3 - He has sent down upon you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming what was before it. And He revealed the Torah and the Gospel.
Surah 10:94 - So, if thou art in doubt regarding what We have sent down to thee, ask those who recite the Book before thee. The truth has come to thee from thy Lord;
Surah 29:46 - Dispute not with the People of the Book save in the fairer manner, ... ‘We believe in what has been sent down to us, and what has been sent down to you; our God and your God is One, and to Him we have surrendered.
Muslim friend, the Bible is the only book you can trust with your eternal soul. Please find one and read it with a humble heart, and God will reveal himself to you.
6 https://www.mmwu.org/courses/take/christian-apologetics-to-Islam/ lessons/3261858-qu-ran-critique-part-1-revelation-and-compilation