God has promised in the Quran to protect the revealed Quran from any distortions (15:9):
[15:9] Indeed, we have revealed the reminder, and indeed, we will certainly be protectors of it.
This very important verse, however, have been misunderstood by millions of Muslims. The misinterpretation was spread by some of the Muslim scholars who did not grasp the meaning or purpose behind this verse what has reflected in the following verses:
[56:77-80] Indeed, it is surely, an honorable Quran. In a protected book. None can grasp it except the sincere. A revelation from Lord of the universe.
For centuries the Muslim scholars have been teaching the Muslim masses that by verse 15:9, God means He will protect the Mus’haf of any distortion or changes. The Mus’haf is the Arabic name for the book in which the Quran is collected. Many Muslims refer to the Mus’haf as the Quran for short and both words have been used interchangeably. However, the promise in 15:9, as we will see, has nothing to do with what the people write down as the Quran but rather it refers to the actual Quran placed into prophet Muhammad’s heart, 26:194, and protected in Tablet at God Almighty:
[85:21-22] Indeed, it is a glorious Quran. In a protected Tablet.
This means whatever change the people would do to the revealed Quran, whether done deliberately or not, will be exposed and corrected as the original is preserved with God. God, being the Most Merciful, also provided us with a method and a proof to verify the accuracy of the Quran as we will read later.
Unlike the claims made by many Muslim scholars, the Mus’hafs that exist today and around the world are not the same as many of them still carry the human errors that were not corrected. They do not match word by word or letter by letter and they are not what God promised to preserve and protect. Even after God revealed to the world the perfect measure to the accuracy of the written Quran in 1974, the majority today refuse to adopt it and for that reasons they actually are refusing the words of God in His own book.
Brief summary of collection of Quran:
Prophet Muhammad was the first to write down the Quran revealed to him and when he died, the whole Quran was completely written, although not in one book, but rather on pieces of woods, papers, palm leaves, bones…etc. It was the first Khalifa, Abu Bakr who collected the Quran into one book. The manuscript on which the Qur’an was collected, remained with Abu Bakr and then with Umar (the second Khalifa), and after him, it remained with Hafsa, ‘Umar’s daughter and one of the Prophet’s wives.
This copy of the Quran, was the only copy made after Muhammad’s own copy. It is from that copy that Uthman, the third Khalifa, made other copies to distribute to different regions of the Islamic Empire. Uthman returned Hafsa’s copy of the Quran to her. Her copy however was later burned by Marwan b. Hakam (d.65/684). Burning of Hafsa’s copy was the last chapter in covering up the addition of two false verses in sura 9 as later discovered.
Of the copies made by Uthman, two still exist to our day. One is in the city of Tashkent (Uzbekistan) and the second one is in Istanbul (Turkey).
From these oldest copies more copies were made and distributed throughout the world. Although many famous Muslim scholars claim that all the copies of the Quran anywhere in the world are the same, they are only exposing their ignorance to the facts and mislead millions of Muslims to believe in their wrong teachings. The only motive for them is their misunderstanding of and inability to comprehend verse 15:9. We will see later different Qurans written differently. The most standardized editions of the Quran in the world today is the one printed in Cairo, Egypt in 1924 (approved in 1918) and after that the King Fahd edition in Saudi Arabia.
Comparing the Egyptian edition to the oldest available Quran, the Tashkent Quran, will show that there have been many human errors in the Tashkent Quran that has to be corrected when the Egyptian edition was made. The errors were obvious because the Quran has always been completely memorized and kept in its oral transmission to these days and can be verified against any written book. It is impossible to consider that God meant to preserve and protect the written books for example by Uthman (the Tashkent Quran), or any other human being for this matter when they are full of human errors. God’s promise is to provide the mean to verify any written Quran against what He has in the protected Tablet as we see in 85:21-22. God’s promise to preserve the correct Quran was proved when the written manuscript of the Tashkent manuscript can be verified against the memorized Quran. This proof was then strengthened and confirmed by a mathematical structure in the Quran discovered in 1974. That year 1974, which happens to be 1406 Hijri year after the revelation of the Quran (1406 = 19 X 74), was a milestone in proving that the Quran passed down to us in the oral and written form has been preserved and verifiable. This mathematical structure that is based on number 19 and described in sura 74, confirmed the accuracy of the transmitted Quran and allowed the confirmation of any written Quran and exposed the “always suspicious” two verses of sura 9 as false.
The human errors in Uthman’s copy of the Quran shows that the scribes were no more than human beings who made mistakes and their writings are not holy writings. Only the Quran, as God keeps it, is HOLY and intact and from it He will guarantee for us the accuracy of future copies of the Quran. It is of importance to mention that all these human errors in the early writings of the Quran did not change the message of the Quran and were easily detectable. After all, the Quran is a message, worship God alone, and not just another pretty book of literature.
Are all the Mus-hafs we have today written the same way?
The answer is no. All the claims by many famous scholars are false when they claim, that if you compare all Qurans around the world, you can never find any difference. They are different. God, however gave us the means to verify which book follows the rules and which does not. If God promised to protect the Quran and preserve it while the Qurans around the world are so different, then there has to be a way, a system, a measure, a verifiable method to check that protection. After 1974 we know that God gave us that system and with it we can conclude easily which book is protected by God and which book is not.
We will only give few examples of how the scribes who wrote Uthman’s Quran committed many errors to prove that God’s promise does not apply to all the books written by humans even if they are the Sahaba, companions of the prophet. We will discuss the difference between the Hafs and Warsh edition of the Quran in another article as it will shed more light on the difference in the Mus-hafs circulating these days among the Muslims.
Before we show these examples, we would like to remind the reader that during the research and study done by Dr. Rashad Khalifa of the mathematical structure of the Quran he had to change “two”, 2, words in the latest edition of the Quran that broke the code of the “19 based” mathematical miracle of the Quran. One of these words was (bas’tatan in 7:69 which was written with Sad, corrected to written with Seen as in the Tashkent Quran. The other was the word Nun in 68:1 spelled as one letter Nun in the modern editions , instead of Nun, Waw and Nun Every equation in the mathematical code was pointing to this correction. It was the miracle at work, proving the correct way of Rasm (Orthography). Those who could not see or appreciate the miracle, attacked Dr. Khalifa and his changing of these “Two” , 2 , words and called it “heretical step.” They spoke out of ignorance or while taking advantage of the ignorance of the majority of the Muslims of what happened to the Rasm (Orthography) of the Uthmanic manuscript of the Quran. The modern editions of the Quran, were produced after making hundreds, not two corrections, to the Rasm (Orthography) of the Uthmanic manuscript. The Muslim scholars added, Nuns, Seen, Alifs, Lams, Waw, Yaa, half words, full words, changed the Rasm of some words, deleted some words….etc. hundreds of time more than what Dr. Khalifa did in two words. On the contrary. Dr. Khalifa’s work proved that the corrections done to the Uthmanic manuscript was all controlled by God to preserve the Quran and its mathematical structure and can be used to un-cover any human errors in the old or the present manuscripts of the Quran. We however have to remember that those who corrected the Uthmanic manuscript of the Quran are human themselves and can make new human errors which they did, and were exposed by the same system that God built in the Quran, the mathematical Miracle of the Quran.
Here are some of the correction done in the Tashkent copy of the Quran in comparison with 1924 edition of the Quran in Egypt made after Hafs. Remember these are only some of many examples. In all the next examples, the word ‘original’ means the Tashkent manuscript of the Quran.
The ‘original’ of 20:3 is without nun but the modern version includes it
The ‘original’ of 36:20 is missing the Yaa and Nun which the modern version has. The ‘original’ of :21 is missing a Meem which the modern version has
In the ‘original’ the letter form for fa or qaf is present in 19:72 whereas the letter nun occurs in the modern versions
The ‘original’ of 20:108 is without seen which is in the modern version.
Changing Seen into Sad:
In the ‘original’ of 7:69 there is a seen whereas in the modern versions the word has sad
The ‘original’ of 20:79 has nun whereas the modern version has yaa
In the ‘original’, 38:26 is without yaa whereas the modern version has it
There is an extra yaa in 2:15 in the modern 1924 Egyptian Arabic EDITION
Adding Nun and Yaa:
The ‘original’ of 18:83 has the letter meem that was replaced by the letters nun and yaa in the modern version.
Adding Whole words to the verses:
The pronoun huwa [he] is present in the Tashkent-Samarqand ‘original’ of 2:284, whereas the modern Arabic version has the word Allah!!
In the modern version of 2:57 a word “Alykum” appears which is not in the ‘original’ but a small portion remains in the margin where it was sought to ‘add’ it.
Replacing an Alif with a Yaa:
In the ‘original’ an alif in 5:99 was replaced in the modern Arabic version with yaa.
Changing Lam into Tha:
In the ‘original’ of 6:11, the letter lam precedes the mim whereas in the modern version a letter tha is in its place.
In the ‘original’ of 7:27 there are the letters meem and nun, which are not in the modern Arabic version.
Now that we have the mathematical coding of the Quran, we know that the corrections made to the Uthmanic manuscript, that was corrected to the memorized Quran transmitted orally from one generation to the other was all planned by the Almighty who promised to preserve the Quran. When the committee of writing the modern editions of the Quran met around 1918, they had no idea about the mathematical coding of the Quran. The later was destined to be revealed during the era of the computer. It was that discovery that was the final touch of that promise to preserve the Quran and clarified the human errors that could not be corrected by the scholars beforehand who did not have the knowledge of the mathematical system in the Quran. The discovery specially proved beyond doubt the human errors in writing the verses 9:128-129 into the older Mus-hafs. These verses were always suspicious and the scholars were too afraid to remove them, but God had a plan. The mathematical coding exposed the human errors in the writing of the scribes and proved once and for all that it is working as it is meant to be. It is also a gift from God that is here to stay till the end of the world as a guard and a proof of the authenticity of the Quran. No wonder that God Almighty called it, “One of the great miracles” in 74:35 (7 + 4 + 3 + 5 = 19). God also gave in detail the function of this mathematical system in sura 74 in verses 30-37.
[74:30] Over it is nineteen.
[74:31] And we have not made guardians of the Fire except angels, and we have not made their number except a warning for those who disbelieved, that it may ascertain those who have been given the scripture (Jews and Christians) and may increase faith of those who have believed (Muslims), and may not doubt those who have been given the scripture (Jews and Christians) and the believers (Muslims). And that may say those in their hearts there is a disease (hypocrites) and the disbelievers, “What has God meant by this allegory?” Thus, God misguides whomever He wills and He guides whomever He wills. And none knows your Lord’s soldiers except He. And it is not except a reminder for the human race.
[74:32-34] Nay, (I swear) by the moon. And the night as it passes. And the morning as it shines.
[74:35] Indeed, it is undoubtedly one of the great (signs/miracles).
[74:36-37] A warning for the human race. For whoever has willed among you that he may advance or he may stay behind.
Any human written books, including the Mus-hafs are liable to human errors. The oldest copy of the Quran showed such errors as well as the new editions. God promised to preserve and protect the Quran. To prove His promise to us, God revealed to us the mathematical system of the Quran that proved the authenticity of the Quran and exposed the human errors in these Mus’hafs (41:42). God announced the miracle of 19 being the mathematical system of the Quran in sura 74 and led to the discovery of that proof in 1974. We are now responsible for using all the tools that God gave us to verify any written manuscript of the Quran including the mathematical miracle of the Quran, which is a gift for us from God and a responsibility that should be used wisely to achieve what God promised in 15:9.
1. Rashad Khalifa, The Authorized English translation of Quran Millennium edition, 2000.
2. Rashad Khalifa, Quran: Visual Presentation of the Miracle
3. Rashad Khalifa, Computer Speaks: God’s Message to the World
4. The Mathematical Miracle of the Quran at http://www.submission.org/d/miracle.html
5. The Arabic Quran, Mus-haf Al-Medina Al-Nabaweeh, King Fahd edition, Issued according to the Royal decree number 1540/8 on 19/8/1403, and printed in 1409 AH
6. The Gold Koran at The Sheridan Libraries , The Johns Hopkins University , Baltimore, Maryland , at their site; http://goldkoran.mse.jhu.edu/
7. Ahmad von Denffer, Ulum al-Quran, 1994, The Islamic Foundation.
8. Brother Mark, A “Perfect” Quran, or “so it was made to appear to them”.
9. Nabia Abbott, The Rise of The North Arabic Script & Its Kuranic Development, 1939, Nabia Abbott, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago
10. John Burton, The Collection Of The Quran, 1979, Cambridge University Press.
11. Adrian Brockett, The Value of Hafs And Warsh Transmissions For The Textual History Of The Qur’ân in Andrew Rippin’s (Ed.), Approaches Of The History Of Interpretation Of The Qur’ân, 1988, Clarendon Press, Oxford.
12. The Fihrist of al-Nadim, 1970, Bayard Dodge (Editor and Translator), Columbia University Press.
13. Quranic Orthography: The Written Representation Of The Recited Text Of The Quran, by Professor M A S Abdel Haleem
14. Fred M Donner, Narratives Of Islamic Origins: The Beginnings Of Islamic Historical Writing, 1998, Darwin Press, Inc., Princeton, New Jersey
15. Index of the Quran, Mohamed Fouad Abdel Baqy, Dar El Da’oa, 1986, Istanbul Turkey
16. Jalal al-Din Suyuti, ‘Al-Itqan fi-ulum al-Quran, Halabi, Cairo, 1935/1354.
17. Labib as-Said, the Recited Koran, Translated by Bernard Weiss, M.A.Rauf, and Morroe Berger, The Darwon Press, Princton, New Jersey, 1975.
18. Ibn al Jazari, Kitab al-Nash fi al-Qir’at al-Ashr, (Cairo, al-Halabi, n.d._ vol. 2, , also Ahmad Makki al-Ansari, al-Difa’ ‘An al-Qur’an. (Cairo, Dar al-Ma’arif, 1973 C.E.)