History of the Quran

History of the Quran

A series of articles on
Prophet of Islam

In Mecca · Hijra · In Medina · Conquest of Mecca · Wives · Farewell pilgrimage · Family tree ·

Qur'an · Hadith ·
Early reforms under Islam · Diplomacy · Military · Persecution by Meccans · Migration to Abyssinia ·

Isra and Mi'raj · Relics · Splitting of the moon ·
Al-Masjid al-Nabawi ·

Views by subject
Jewish · Christian · Slavery ·

Farewell sermon · Saqifah · Pen and paper · Family · Companions · History ·

Durood · Na'at · Mawlid · Haḍra · Madih nabawi ·
Ya Muhammad ·

Islamic · Jewish · Bible · Medieval Christian · Historicity · Criticism · Prophetic biography · Depictions · Films · Depictions in film ·

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The study of the origins and development of the Qur'an can be said to fall into two major schools of thought, the first being a traditional Islamic view and the second being a secular view, finding its origins in the works of Western scholars.

The Muslim view considers that the Qur'an began with divine revelation to Muhammad in 610. All of these revelations were either memorized or written down during the lifetime of prophet Muhammad. These revelations were subsequently collected and were standardized in today's version by the caliph Uthman c. 653/654. The text was later given vowel pointing and punctuation in the seventh and eighth centuries.[1]

Though all the skeptical views reject the reliability of early Islamic literature on the issue,[2] they diverge as to how the Qur'an (in its present form) came to be. These views are generally opposed by Muslim academia.[3]


The traditionalist view

According to the traditional Muslim view, the origin and development of the Qur'an began with Muhammad receiving divine revelations in 610. According to traditional Muslim history the verses of the Qur'an were written on palm trees and fiber and memorized during the life of Muhammad and collected shortly after his death. During the caliphate of Uthman the Qur'an was standardized in 653. Slight developments in dotting and other punctuation happened during the seventh and eighth centuries.[1]

Muslim and some western scholars hold this account to be true.[4][5]


The Qur'anic revelation started one night during the month of Ramadan in 610 AD, when Muhammad believed that the angel Gabriel visited him, and considered himself responsible for inscribing these messages from God.[6]

Muslim scholars believe that prophet Muhammad was illiterate, as mentioned in the Qur'an itself,

"Those who follow the messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel (which are) with them......"Qur'an 7:157.

However, the Arabic word translated here as 'illiterate' also means 'gentile'[7] and can also be translated as "unlearned" in a general sense, such as "unlettered" is used in English, to refer to a person without extensive education, but not necessarily illiterate.

He would memorize the Qur'an by ear, and later recite it to his companions, who also memorized it. Before the Qur'an was written down, speaking it from memory prevailed as the mode of teaching it to others. This fact, taken in the context of seventh century Arabia, was not at all an extraordinary feat. People of that time had a penchant for recited poetry and had developed their skills in memorization to a remarkable degree. Events and competitions that featured the recitation of elaborate poetry were of great interest.[8] Some scholars, like William Montgomery Watt and Maxime Rodinson believe that Muhammad was literate and educated.[9][10]

Written text

These initial revelations were written on different sorts of parchments, tablets of stone, branches of date trees, other wood, leaves, leather and even bones.[11][12]

Sahaba began recording Suras in writing before Muhammad died in 632. Allusions to written portions of the Qur'an can be found in many events. Immediately before his conversion in 615, Umar ibn al-Khattab caught his sister reading the Qur'anic text (Ta-Ha) from parchment. Muhammad said that reading the Qur'anic text earns a believer twice as much reward as reciting it from memory yet he prohibited carrying written copies of it into battle.[11] He sent some copies of the Qur'an to different tribes and cities in order to teach people the religion of Islam.[citation needed]

At Medina, about forty companions are believed to have acted as scribes for the Qur'an. Twenty-two such persons are mentioned by name in the Hadith. Among them were well known persons, such as Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, Ibn Masud, Abu Huraira, Abdullah bin Abbas, Abdullah bin Amr bin al-As, Aisha, Hafsa and Umm Salama.[11]

Narrated Qatada: I asked Anas bin Malik: 'Who collected the Qur'an at the time of the prophet?' He replied, "Four, all of whom were from the Ansar: Ubai bin Ka'b, Muadh bin Jabal, Zaid bin Thabit and Abu Zaid".[Bukhari Sahih al-Bukhari, 6:61:525]

Also, after the fall of Mekkah, Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan also became a scribe of the Prophet after he accepted Islam.[13]

The Sahaba wrote down the revelations under Muhammad's guidance:

Narrated al Bara: There was revealed 'Not equal are those believers who sit and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah' {{The Holy

Quran-usc|4|95}}. The prophet said: 'Call Zaid for me and let him bring the board, the ink pot and the scapula bone.' Then he said: 'Write: Not equal are those believers..."[Bukhari Sahih al-Bukhari, 6:61:512]

Muslim scribes believed that they would receive heavenly reward by writing down the Qur'an.[12]

Abu Bakr

During the life of Muhammad, parts of the Qur'an, though written, were scattered amongst his companions, much of it as private possession. After Muhammad's death, Abu Bakr initially exercised a policy of laissez faire as well. This policy was reversed after the Battle of Yamama in 633.[14] During the battle, 700 Muslims who had memorized the Qur'an were killed. The death of Sālim, however, was most significant, as he was one of the very few who had been entrusted by Muhammad to teach the Qur'an. Consequently, upon Umar's insistence, Abu Bakr ordered the collection of the hitherto scattered pieces of the Qur'an into one copy.[15]

Zaid ibn Thabit, Muhammad's primary scribe, was assigned the duty of collecting all of the Qur'anic text. This was his reaction:

"...By Allah, if he (Abu Bakr) had ordered me to shift one of the mountains it would not have been harder for me than what he had ordered me concerning the collection of the Qur'an... So I started locating the Qur'anic material and collecting it from parchments, scapula, leafstalks of date palms and from the memories of men.[Bukhari Sahih al-Bukhari, 6:60:201]

He also said:

"So I started looking for the Holy quran and collected it from (what was written on) palm-leaf stalks, thin white stones, and also from men who knew it by heart, till I found the last verse of Surat at-Tauba (repentance) with Abi Khuzaima al-Ansari, and I did not find it with anybody other than him. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol.6, p.478).

The task required ibn Thabit to collect written copies of the Qur'an, with each verse having validated with the oral testimony of at least two companions. Usually the written copies were verified by himself and Umar - both of whom had memorized portions of the Qur'an. Thus, eventually the entire Qur'an was collected into a single copy, but it still wasn't given any particular order.[14]

This compilation was kept by the Caliph Abu Bakr, after his death by his successor, Caliph Umar, who on his deathbed gave them to Hafsa bint Umar, his daughter and one of Muhammad's widows.[14]

Ali ibn Abu Talib

According to Shia as well as some Sunni scholars Ali compiled a mushaf, a complete version of Qur'an,[16] within six months after the death of Muhammad. When the volume was completed it was brought to Medina, where it was shown. The order of chapters of Ali's volume were rejected by some.[17]


By the time of the caliphate of Uthman ibn Affan, there was a perceived need for the compilation of the Qur'an. The Caliphate had grown considerably, bringing into Islam's fold many new converts from various cultures with varying degrees of isolation. These converts spoke a variety of languages but were not well learned in Arabic and so a complete written text of the Qur'an had to be compiled. Another reason for compiling the Qur'an was that many of the Muslims who had memorised portions of the Qur'an were dying, especially in battle.

Uthman is said to have begun a committee (including Zayd and several prominent members of Quraysh) to produce a standard copy of the text. Some accounts say that this compilation was based on the text kept by Hafsa. Other stories say that Uthman made his compilation independently, Hafsa's text was brought forward, and the two texts were found to coincide perfectly.[citation needed]

Until this time there was reportedly only one written text of the Qur'an. According to Islamic accounts, this text was faithful to its original version. Non-Muslim scholars believe that, while this is entirely possible, there must at least have been slight variations produced from some corruptions.[6]

Thus, this became known as al-mushaf al-Uthmani or the "Uthmanic codex".[18]

Uthman's reaction in 653 is recorded in the following:

"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. Said bin Thabit added, "A Verse from Surat Ahzab was missed by me when we copied the Qur'an and I used to hear Allah's Apostle reciting it. So we searched for it and found it with Khuzaima bin Thabit Al-Ansari. (That Verse was): 'Among the Believers are men who have been true in their covenant with Allah.'"[Quran 33:23][Bukhari Sahih al-Bukhari, 6:61:510]

Although the order of his earlier script differed from the Uthmanic codex, Ali accepted this standardized version.[17]

Some scholars suggest that the early Uthmanic texts of the Qur'an differed in terms of punctuation from the version traditionally read today. It is believed that early versions of the text did not contain diacritics, markers for short vowels, and dots that are used to distinguish similarly written Arabic letters such as r[ر] & z[ز] or t[ت] & ṭ[ث] or f[ف] & q[ق]. One claim is that dots were introduced into the writing system sometime about half a century after the standardization of the Uthmanic text around 700 A.D.[19]

When the compilation was finished, sometime between 650 and 656, Uthman allegedly sent copies of it to the different centers of the expanding Islamic empire. From then on, thousands of Muslim scribes began copying the Qur'an.[12]


It is a point of contention among Muslims that the entire Qu'ran was preserved by Uthman, but some hadith attest that some verses could not be found,[20][21] that variant copies were burnt,[22] and that a saying of Muhammad was misremembered as a Qu'ranic verse.[23] For these reasons and others, Western scholars believe that Uthman performed a revision of the Qu'ran.[24][25]

However, some recent scholars like Allama Tamanna Imadi dispute the collection of Quranic texts by either Uthman, Umar or Abu Bakar. He asserts that the Qur'an in its present form was collected by the prophet himself on deerskin parchments and was called "Al-Imam" or "Al-Um", and from that original source all Sahaba used to copy their own book. He strongly disagrees with all of the Hadiths pointing to such an event taking place like collection of Qur'an by Abubakar or Uthman and further events leading to availabilities of Ayats from different Sahabas. He suspects that the whole chapter about collection of Qur'an in Bukhari is a later addition by some binder or student of Imam Bukhari.[26]

Oldest surviving copy

Fragments from a large number of Qur'an codices were discovered in Yemen in 1972. They are now lodged in the House of Manuscript in Sana'a. Carbon-14 tests date some of the parchments to 645–690 AD.[27] However, the text itself is somewhat younger, since carbon-14 estimates the year of the death of an organism, and the process from that to the final writing on the parchment involves an unknown amount of time. Calligraphic datings have pointed to 710–715 AD.[28] It was common for parchment to be reused, older text having been shaved or washed off. This manuscript is yet to be recognised as a valid copy of the Qur'an

One of the three Qur'ans issued by Uthman is, according to Islamic tradition, preserved at Tashkent. The Topkapi manuscript in Istanbul is also considered to have been commissioned by Uthman.[29]

According to the Hadith (Al-Bukhari, Vol6, #510), four Uthmanic manuscripts were prepared, after 653 AD and before Uthman's death 656 AD. Al-Kindi (d. 850) wrote in the early 3rd century AH, that only the Damascus copy remained and that was currently in Malatja. Various dates have been given for when the Damascus manuscript perished, and various manuscripts at different times have claimed to be the Damascus manuscript. The last of these remained alleged Damascus manuscripts with a traceable past was in Damascus until the fire of 1892.[citation needed]

There have also been large numbers of manuscripts alleged to be the Damascus manuscript — or even one of the other perished manuscripts. However, there is no sufficient evidence to prove such a link.[30]

Having studied early Qur'an manuscripts, John Gilchrist states: "The oldest manuscripts of the Quran still in existence date from not earlier than about one hundred years after Muhammad's death."[31] He comes to this conclusion by analysing the state of development of the script used in the two of the oldest manuscripts available at the time he is writing, the Samarkand and Topkapi codices. The codices are both written in the Kufic script. It "can generally be dated from the late eight century depending on the extent of development in the character of the script in each case."[32] This technique has been criticised by some Muslim scholars, who have cited many instances of early Kufic and pre-Kufic inscriptions. The most important of these is 240m of Qur'anic inscriptions in Kufic script from the founding of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem (692 AD).[33] Inscriptions on rock Hijaaze and early Kufic script may date as early as 646 AD. Clearly early Kufic scripts existed in the seventh century. The debate between the scholars has moved from one over the date origin of the script to one over state of development of the Kufic script in the early manuscripts and in datable 7th Century inscriptions.

12th century Andalusian Qur'an

As for the copies that were destroyed, Islamic traditions say that Abdallah Ibn Masud, Ubay Ibn Ka'b, and Ali, Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, had preserved versions that differed in some ways from the Uthmanic text. Muslim scholars record certain of the differences between the versions; those recorded consist almost entirely of orthographical and lexical variants, or different verse counts. All three (Ibn Masud, Ubay Ibn Ka'b, and Ali) are recorded as having accepted the Uthmanic text as final.[citation needed]

Uthman's version was written in an older Arabic script that left out most vowel markings; thus the script could be interpreted and read in various ways. This basic Uthmanic script is called the rasm; it is the basis of several traditions of oral recitation, differing in minor points. The Qur'an is always written in the Uthmanic Rasm (Rasm al Uthman). In order to fix these oral recitations and prevent any mistakes, scribes and scholars began annotating the Uthmanic rasm with various diacritical marks indicating how the word was to be pronounced. It is believed that this process of annotation began around 700 AD, soon after Uthman's compilation, and finished by approximately 900 AD. The Qur'an text most widely used today is based on the Rasm Uthmani (Uthmanic way of writing the Qur'an) and in the Hafs tradition of recitation, as approved by Al-Azhar University in Cairo in 1922. (For more information regarding traditions of recitations, see Qur'anic recitation, below.)



Some secular scholars accept something like the traditional Islamic version; they say that Muhammad put forth verses and laws that he claimed to be of divine origin; that his followers memorized or wrote down his revelations; that numerous versions of these revelations circulated after his death in 632 AD, and that Uthman ordered the collection and ordering of this mass of material in the time period (650-656).[citation needed] These scholars point to many characteristics of the Qur'an — the repetitions, the scientific mentions, the arbitrary order, the mixture of styles and genres — as indicative of a human collection process that was extremely respectful of a miscellaneous collection of original texts.[citation needed] Examples of traditionalists would be Richard Bell, Montgomery Watt, and Andrew Rippin.

Skeptical scholars

Other secular scholars, such as John Wansbrough, Michael Cook and Patricia Crone, were less willing to attribute the entire Qur'an to Muhammad (or Uthman), arguing that there "is no hard evidence for the existence of the Qur'an in any form before the last decade of the seventh century...[and that]...the tradition which places this rather opaque revelation in its historical context is not attested before the middle of the eighth." "There is no proof that the text of the Qur'an was collected under Uthman, since the earliest surviving copies of the complete Qur'an are centuries later than Uthman. (The oldest existing copy of the full text is from the ninth century.[34]) They contend that Islam was formed gradually over a number of centuries after the Muslim conquests, as the Islamic conquerors elaborated their beliefs in response to Jewish and Christian challenges.[35]

Dome of the Rock. The structure, the oldest extant example of early Islamic architecture, was completed in 691 AD

However, the Dome of the Rock, with its Qur'anic inscriptions suggests a much earlier dating for the Quran than 'skeptical' scholars would admit.[36] These inscriptions in the Dome of the Rock have been known to scholars for more than a century and have repeatedly been the subject of interpretation, yet little attention has been paid to the elements from which they were composed. On the inner face of the octagon the declaration of faith is followed by conflated verses describing the powers of God. Next the Prophet is introduced, with a blessing that, though not directly quoted from the Qur'an, was clearly already in use in 694 AD. Then comes an exhortation to Christians that Jesus was also a prophet and mortal, followed by the claim that God is sufficient unto Himself. Finally comes a command to bend to His will and the threat of reckoning for those who do not.[37]

Wansbrough wrote in a dense, complex, almost hermetic style,[38], and has had much more influence on Islamic studies through his students than he has through his own writings[citation needed]. His students Crone and Cook co-authored a book called Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World (1977), which was extremely controversial at the time, as it challenged not only Muslim orthodoxy, but the prevailing attitudes among secular Islamic scholars.

Crone, Wansbrough and Nevo argue that all the primary sources which exist are from 150–300 years after the events which they describe, and thus are chronologically far removed from those events[39][40][41]

The absence of contemporaneous corroborating material from the very first century of Islam has raised numerous questions as to the authenticity of the account provided by later traditionalist sources. All that is preserved from this time period are a few commemorative building inscriptions and assorted coins.[42] However, some scholars deny such a belittlement of key sources from the era. Besides the Dome of the Rock inscriptions mentioned above, there is also brief Qur'anic passages on coins issued from the time of Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan from the period 697-750. These passages include, in addition to the shahadah, verses 112:1-3 (or 4) complete (except for the initial basmalah and the introductory word "say") and part of 9:33, but with some variations: "He sent him with the guidance and the Religion of Truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religion. . . ." In parallel to the contemporary inscriptions at the Dome of the Rock these extracts are clearly intended to declare the primacy of the new religion of Islam over Christianity, in particular.[43]

Skeptical scholars, nonetheless, point out that the earliest account of Muhammad's life by Ibn Ishaq was written about a century after Muhammad died and all later narratives by Islamic biographers contain far more details and embellishments about events which are entirely lacking in Ibn Ishaq's text.[44]

Patricia Crone, studying the origins of the Qur'an, has focused on the examination of the vast body of the Greek, Armenian, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac and Coptic accounts of non-Muslim neighbors of the 7th and 8th centuries which in many cases contradict the traditional Islamic narratives. She argues that the consistency of the non-Muslim sources spread over a large geographic area would tend to rule out a non-Muslim anti-Islamic motive to these sources.[45]

The skeptic approach has been further expanded by Christoph Luxenberg, who supports claims for a late composition of the Qur'an, and traces much of it to sources other than Muhammad. Luxenberg is known for his thesis that the Qur'an is merely a re-working of an earlier Christian text, a Syriac lectionary.[46] (See also the articles Gerd R. Puin, and Alexander the Great in the Qur'an.)

Fred Donner has argued for an early date for the collection of the Qur'an, based on his reading of the text itself. He points out that if the Qur'an had been collected over the tumultuous early centuries of Islam, with their vast conquests and expansion and bloody incidents between rivals for the caliphate, there would have been some evidence of this history in the text. However, there is nothing in the Qur'an that does not reflect what is known of the earliest Muslim community.[47]

In 1972, during the restoration of the Great Mosque of San'a, in Yemen, laborers stumbled upon a "paper grave" containing tens of thousands of fragments of parchment on which verses of the Qur'an were written. Some of these fragments were believed to be the oldest Qur'anic texts yet found[citation needed].

In well known Professor G.R. Hawting's academic review and in partial support of Puin's book, Hidden Origins of Islam: New Research into Its Early History,[42] Hawting says Puin refers "to some puzzling evidence that must be taken into account by anyone concerned by a period that is, indeed, in many ways obscure."[48]

The variations from the received text that he found seemed to match minor variations in sequence reported by some Islamic scholars, in their descriptions of the variant Qur'ans once held by Abdallah Ibn Masud, Ubay Ibn Ka'b, and Ali, and suppressed by Uthman's order.[49][50]

Similarities to the Bible

Skeptical scholars account for the many similarities between the Qur'an and the Jewish and Hebrew Scriptures by saying that Muhammad was teaching what he believed a universal history, as he had heard it from the Jews and Christians he had encountered in Arabia and on his travels. These scholars also disagree with the Islamic belief that the whole of the Qur'an is addressed by God to humankind.[clarification needed] They note that there are numerous passages where God is directly addressed, or mentioned in the third person, or where the narrator swears by various entities, including God,[51] however, in the Tanakh (Jewish Bible), considered by Orthodox Jews to be the verbatim word of God, there are also many passages where God swears by Himself (such as Ezekiel 16:48: "As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done." New International Version).


There are three arguments which suggest that the Qur'an is not complete.[52] Some Muslims, Sunni and Shia alike, believe that the Qur'an itself was never abrogated, but instead that the Qur'anic verse [Quran 2:106] is referring to Muhammad's recitations being abrogations of the Torah and the Injil. However, the consensus of the early and most authoritative Tafsir writers hold to the perspective that the verse in fact refers to abrogation of the Qur'an.[53][54][55]

According to both Shia and Sunni authentic traditions, there are a number of authentic hadith that make reference to disputes over the Uthmanic edition of the Qur'an. These disputes include variant readings of individual ayats, missing ayats, missing surahs and surahs of substantially different lengths,[56] pp. 5–39.

See also


  1. ^ a b Brief History of Compilation of the Qur'an. Perspectives. Vol 3, No. 4, August/September 1997
  2. ^ Patricia Crone, M. A. Cook, p.3
  3. ^ See Nasr Abu Zayd, Suliman Bashear and Dr. Ahmed Sohby Mansour
  4. ^ Donner, Fred M. (1998). Narratives of Islamic Origins. Princeton, NJ: Darwin Press. p. 23. 
  5. ^ Cambridge History of Arabic Literature: Arabic Literature to the End of the Umayyad Period p. 240
  6. ^ a b Hooker, Richard. The Qur'an. Washington State University website.
  7. ^ Oxford University Press: The Qur'an: Translated by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem
  8. ^ Al Faruqi, Lois Ibsen (Autumn - Winter, 1987). "The Cantillation of the Qur'an". Asian Music 19 (1): 3–4. 
  9. ^ William Montgomery Watt, "Muhammad's Mecca", Chapter 3: "Religion In Pre-Islamic Arabia", p. 26-52
  10. ^ Maxime Rodinson, "Mohammed", translated by Anne Carter, p. 38-49, 1971
  11. ^ a b c Usmani, Mohammad Taqi; Abdur Rehman, Rafiq (editor); Siddiqui, Mohammed Swaleh (translator) (2000). An approach to the Quranic sciences. Karachi: Darul Ish'at. pp. 181–9. 
  12. ^ a b c Schimmel, Annemarie; Barbar Rivolta (Summer, 1992). "Islamic Calligraphy". The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, New Series 50 (1): 3. 
  13. ^ http://islamicweb.com/arabic/shia/muawiya.htm
  14. ^ a b c Usmani, Mohammad Taqi; Abdur Rehman, Rafiq (editor); Siddiqui, Mohammed Swaleh (translator) (2000). An approach to the Quranic sciences. Birmingham: Darul Ish'at. pp. 191–6. 
  15. ^ Hasan, Sayyid Siddiq; Nadwi, Abul Hasan Ali; Kidwai, A.R. (translator) (2000). The collection of the Qur'an. Karachi: Qur'anic Arabic Foundation. pp. 34–5. 
  16. ^ Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (2007). Holy Quran "Qur'an". Encyclopedia Britannica Online. http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-68890/The Holy Quran. Retrieved 2007-11-04. 
  17. ^ a b See:*Tabatabaee, 1987, chapter 5 See also:
    • Observations on Early Qur'an Manuscripts in San'a
    • The Qur'an as Text, ed. Wild, Brill, 1996 ISBN 90-04-10344-9
  18. ^ Wild, Stefan (2006), "Canon", in Leaman, Oliver, The Qur'an: an encyclopedia, Great Britain: Routledge, pp. 136–139 
  19. ^ The Arabic Writing System and the Sociolinguistics of Orthographic Reform, Mahmoud, Ph.D. Dissertation, Georgetown University, 1979, p. 8.
  20. ^ Ibn Abī Dāwūd, Kitab al-Masahif, p. 23
  21. ^ Imam al-Suyuti. Dur al-Manthur. Volume 1 page 104
  22. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari VI.61.510
  23. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari VII.76.445, compare VII.76.446; Sahih Muslim V.2285
  24. ^ Arthur Jeffery, The Qur'ân As Scripture. 1952, Russell F Moore Company Inc., New York, p.99.
  25. ^ A F L Beeston, T M Johnstone, R B Serjeant and G R Smith (eds.), Arabic Literature To The End Of The Ummayad Period, 1983, Cambridge University Press, p.243.
  26. ^ http://www.aboutquran.com/ba/bio/tAmadi/ta_jq.djvu[dead link][unreliable source?]
  27. ^ Carole Hillenbrand, The New Cambridge Medieval History, vol. 1, p.330
  28. ^ Saifullah, M S M; Ghali Adi & ʿAbdullah David (2008-11-08). "Radiocarbon (Carbon-14) Dating And The Qur'ānic Manuscripts". islamic-awareness.org. http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/radio.html. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  29. ^ The Qur'anic Manuscripts, islamic-awareness.org, retrieved April 2, 2006
  30. ^ Salih p. 87
  31. ^ Gilchrist, "Jam' Al-Qur'an", p. 153
  32. ^ Gilchrist, "Jam' Al-Qur'an", p. 146
  33. ^ The Arabic Islamic Inscriptions On The Dome Of The Rock In Jerusalem, islamic-awareness.org; also Hillenbrand, op. cit.
  34. ^ Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World, Crone, Patricia & Cook, Michael, p.3 Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1977
  35. ^ P. Crone and M. Cook, Hagarism: The Making Of The Islamic World, 1977, Cambridge University Press
  36. ^ Estelle Whelan, Forgotten Witness: Evidence For The Early Codification Of The Qur'an, 1988, Journal Of The American Oriental Society, 1998, Volume 118, pp. 1-14.
  37. ^ Estelle Whelan, Forgotten Witness: Evidence For The Early Codification Of The Qur'an, 1988, Journal Of The American Oriental Society, 1998, Volume 118, pp. 1-14.
  38. ^ Estelle Whelan, Forgotten Witness: Evidence For The Early Codification Of The Qur'an, 1988, Journal Of The American Oriental Society, 1998, Volume 118, pp. 1-14.
  39. ^ Yehuda D. Nevo "Towards a Prehistory of Islam," Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam, vol.17, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1994 p.108
  40. ^ John Wansbrough The Sectarian Milieu: Content and Composition of Islamic Salvation History, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1978 p,119
  41. ^ Patricia Crone, Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam, Princeton University Press, 1987 p.204
  42. ^ a b http://www.gazellebookservices.co.uk/ISBN/1591026342.htm
  43. ^ Estelle Whelan, Forgotten Witness: Evidence For The Early Codification Of The Qur'an, 1988, Journal Of The American Oriental Society, 1998, Volume 118, pp. 1-14.
  44. ^ Patricia Crone, Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam, pp. 203-30), where she argues that much of the classical Muslim understanding of the Koran rests on the work of storytellers and that this work is of very dubious historical value. These storytellers contributed to the tradition on the rise of Islam, and this is evident in the steady growth of information: "If one storyteller should happen to mention a raid, the next storyteller would know the date of this raid, while the third would know everything that an audience might wish to hear about it." 53 Then, comparing the accounts of the raid of Kharrar by Ibn Ishaq and al-Waqidi, Crone shows that al-Waqidi, influenced by and in the manner of the storytellers, "will always give precise dates, locations, names, where Ibn Ishaq has none, accounts of what triggered the expedition, miscellaneous information to lend color to the event, as well as reasons why, as was usually the case, no fighting took place. No wonder that scholars are fond of al-Waqidi: where else does one find such wonderfully precise information about everything one wishes to know? But given that this information was all unknown to Ibn Ishaq, its value is doubtful in the extreme. And if spurious information accumulated at this rate in the two generations between Ibn Ishaq and al-Waqidi, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that even more must have accumulated in the three generations between the Prophet and Ibn Ishaq."
  45. ^ Patricia Crone, Slaves on Horses, pp. 15-16. All the while that Islamic historians have been struggling with their inert tradition, they have had available to them the Greek, Armenian, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac and Coptic literatures of non-Muslim neighbors and subjects of the Arab conquerors, to a large extent edited and translated at the end of the last century and the beginning of the present, and left to collect dust in the libraries ever since. It is a striking testimony to the suppression of the non-Islamic Middle East from the Muslim sources that not only have these literatures been ignored for questions other than the chronology of the conquests and the transmission of Greek philosophy and science, but they have also been felt to be rightly ignored. Of course these sources are hostile, and from a classical Islamic view they have simply got everything wrong; but unless we are willing entertain the notion of an all-pervading literary conspiracy between the non-Muslim peoples of the Middle East, the crucial point remains that they have got things wrong on very much the same points. That might not, it is true, have impressed the medieval Muslims who held the Jews and Christians capable of having maliciously deleted from their scriptures precisely the same passages relating to the coming of Islam; but as the Jews and Christians retorted, given their wide geographical and social distribution, they could scarcely have vented their anti-Muslim feelings with such uniform results. It is because there is agreement between the independent and contemporary witnesses of the non-Muslim world that their testimony must be considered; and it can hardly be claimed that they do not help: whichever way one chooses to interpret them, they leave no doubt that Islam was like other religions the product of a religious evolution.
  46. ^ The Syro-Aramaic Reading Of The Qur'an, 2007 English edition
  47. ^ Narratives of Islamic Origins: The Beginnings of Islamic Historical Writing, Donner, Darwin Press, 1998, p. 60., ISBN 0-87850-127-4
  48. ^ Journal of Qur'anic Studies, Volume 8, pp. 134-137 (August 2006)
  49. ^ Observations on Early Qur'an Manuscripts in San'a
  50. ^ The Qur'an as Text, ed. Wild, Brill, 1996 ISBN 90-04-10344-9
  51. ^ Introduction to the Qur'an 2nd Edition, Richard Bell, W. Montgomery Watt, Edinburgh University Press, 1970, ISBN 0748605975, 9780748605972 p.66
  52. ^ The Encyclopedia of Religion, By Mircea Eliade. Volume 12 pg. 165-6, pub. 1987 ISBN 0-02-909700-2
  53. ^ Tafsir Ibn 'Abbas, trans. Mokrane Guezzou, 2:106
  54. ^ Tafsir al-Jalalayn, trans. Feras Hamza, 2:106
  55. ^ Tafsir Ibn Kathir Translation, Dar-us-Salaam Publishing
  56. ^ Hossein Modarressi. (1993). Early Debates on the Integrity of the Qur'ān: A Brief Survey. Studia Islamica. No. 77 (1993)

Further reading

  • M. M. Azami (2003). The History of the Qur'anic Text from Revelation to Compilation: A Comparative Study with the Old and New Testaments. UK Islamic Academy. 
  • Gibson, Dan (2011). Qur’anic Geography: A Survey and Evaluation of the Geographical References in the Qur’an with Suggested Solutions for Various Problems and Issues. Independent Scholars Press, Canada. ISBN 978-0-9733642-8-6.

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