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Loose ends

Reader comment on item: Canada's Muslims, Not of One Mind
in response to reader comment: The Quran is authentic, genuine and cannot be altered

Submitted by William East (United States), Nov 20, 2011 at 22:17

That the Koran was compiled a second time is a bit confusing to me. There should have been no need for a second version since the first version should have been not only sufficient but also entirely correct with no need for revision. There would have been need to secure a second agreement so the logic doesn't fit.

Codices were made by different scholars (e.g. Ibn Mas'ud, Ubai ibn Ka'b, 'Ali, Abu Bakr, al-Aswad). 'Uthman's codex supposedly standardized the consonantal text, yet consonantal variations persisted into the 4th century AH. An unpointed and unvowelled script contributed to the problem. Also, 'Uthman tried to destroy rival codices variant readings that survived. Standardization was not actually achieved until the 10th century under the influence of Ibn Mujahid. Even he admitted 14 versions of the Koran. These are not merely differences in recitation; they are actual written variations.

After the death of Muhammad no one knew the entire Koran by heart. Many Arabs revolted against Abu Bakr and had to be forcibly put down. The greatest opposition came from Maslama (a.k.a. Musailima) who claimed to be a prophet but was executed by Abu Bakr. Then 'Umar asked Zaid ibn Thabit to collate the Koran. The suras were arranged from longest to shortest, as even then the chronological order was imperfectly known. That codex was given to Hafsa.

These accounts are gleened from The Origins of the Koran:
Classic Essays on Islam's Holy Book, edited by Ibn Warraq.

I sense you are being sincere in your efforts to explain the origin of the Koran. I'm reading a far greater range of historical documents and subsequent analysis, all based on categorical , isogogical, and exegetical analysis.

Consider that many Muslim scholars disagree with your account. There is imperfect internal agreement among Muslims. Are you Sunni or Shia or some other variant?

Also, I'll be surprised if you say you've actually studied the Christian Bible.


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