at once admit that your Bible has not been corrupted.

C. Before asking us to do that, you should produce the original MS. of the Qur'an, written by Muhammad, upon whom you assert that it descended 1.

33. M. At least we have no various readings in our glorious Qur'an, as you have in the Bible.

C. You have not so many, though it would be easy to point out a few 2. But as the text of your Qur'an is so much more recent than that of the Bible, as it forms a book so much smaller, and as it rests entirely upon the authority of a single MS., it is not strange that you have so few various readings 3. [In the Mishkatu'l Masabih, chapter iii, we are informed that, by the command of the Khalifah Abu Bakr, the Qur'an was "collected" by Zaid ibn Thabit "from palm leaves 4 and stones and

1 Vide § 37.
2 Among various readings may be mentioned: (1) in Surah XXVIII., Al Qisas, 48, some read sahirani for sihrani: (2) in Surah XXXII., Al Ahzab, 6, after ummahatuhum one reading adds the words wa hua abun lahum: (3) in Surah XXXIV., Saba, 18, for rabbana ba'id some read rabbuna ba'ada: (4) in Surah XXXVIII., Sad, 22, for tis'un another reading is tis'atun: (5) in Surah XIX., Maryam, 35, for tamtaruna some read yamtaruna. See also the Mizanu'l Haqq on this subject.
3 As soon as the Qur'an was "revealed" to Muhammad, however, its preservation depended upon fallible men (Hafizes and others). Hence there is a fallible element in its text. All objections against the text of the Bible will disappear as soon as Muslims come to know a little about the Text of the Qur'an. (Rev. J. T. Allnutt.)
4 All these are but fallible means for the preservation of the [Footnote continued onto next page]


from the breasts of those who had learned off by heart" portions of the supposed revelation. This took place in A.H. 14 1. Abu Bakr kept the MS. until he died, and then 'Umar took possession of it. This is what Al Bukhari says. Afterwards it came into the possession of Hafsah, one of Muhammad's widows. But so many copies with different readings and so many discordant forms of certain Surahs were repeated by men who had learnt them off by heart (the Hafizun), that 'Uthman some years later caused Zaid with the assistance of three others to make fresh copies of Hafsah's MS., and, sending these to be kept in different places, compelled those who possessed other copies to give them up to be burnt. Some resisted, but in vain. That the new edition of the Qur'an thus published differed from the first edition seems probable from the fact that, as Qustalani says, after Hafsah's death her copy was torn in pieces by Mirwan, governor of Medina under Mu'awiyyah. The burning of all other copies shows that serious variations had already found an entrance into the text, and this drastic remedy prevents us from comparing ancient copies with one another. What Muslim (Kitab Fazailu'l Qur'an) and others tell us about the

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text. Hence the very original MS. was fallible. How can absolute certainty about the text be attained, if leaves, stones and human memory were the sources whence the present text of the Qur'an was derived? (Rev. J. T. Allnutt.)
1 See Sir W. Muir's The Caliphate, p. 163. Vide also my Religion of the Crescent, pp. 180, sqq.