The Quran was 'revealed' to Muhammad over a very long period of 23 years - in fact for as long as Muhammad was alive after the first 'revelation' -, at different times, among different companions, and had to be invariably memorised by those who were attending him at the time.
As the pagan Arabs were mostly illiterate and very rarely had the facilities or the wherewithal to put Muhammad's pronouncements down in writing, it was hence impossible for Muhammad to remember all of the verses and in which Suras each verse was supposed to belong.
When he was confronted by the numerous and very embarrassing discrepancies, Muhammad escaped this dilemma by informing his gullible and ignorant followers that the Quran was'revealed'in SEVEN different ways, modes, versions or dialects.
Allah, who gave the Torah to Moses in only one form, in a SINGLElanguage and in a few DAYS, had to 'reveal' the'glorious and inimmitable'Quran in SEVEN different ways over an extraordinarily long period of time of 23 YEARS.
Uthman bin Affan, in compiling his 'final version' of the Quran, ordered the destruction of the SIX other Quranic texts, Masahif that actually belonged to the most immediate and knowledgeable companions of Muhammad. He did not show the slightest reverence whatsoever to the 'holy words' of Allah.
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 3.601Narrated byUmar bin Al Khattab
I heard Hisham bin Hakim bin Hizam reciting Surat-al-Furqan in a way different to that of mine. Allah's Apostle had taught it to me (in a different way). So, I was about to quarrel with him (during the prayer) but I waited till he finished, then I tied his garment round his neck and seized him by it and brought him to Allah's Apostle and said,
"I have heard him reciting Surat-al-Furqan in a way different to the way you taught it to me."
The Prophet ordered me to release him and asked Hisham to recite it. When he recited it, Allah's Apostle said, "It was revealed in this way."
He then asked me to recite it. When I recited it, he said, "It was revealed in this way.
The Qur'an has been revealed in seven different ways, so recite it in the way that is easier for you."
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 9.640Narrated byUmar bin Al Khattab
I heard Hisham bin Hakim reciting Surat-al-Furqan during the lifetime of Allah's Apostle, I listened to his recitation and noticed that he was reciting in a way that Allah's Apostle had not taught me. I was about to jump over him while He was still in prayer, but I waited patiently and when he finished his prayer, I put my sheet round his neck (and pulled him) and said, "Who has taught you this Sura which I have heard you reciting?"
Hisham said, "Allah's Apostle taught it to me."
I said, "You are telling a lie, for he taught it to me in a way different from the way you have recited it!"
Then I started leading (dragged) him to Allah's Apostle and said (to the Prophet), "I have heard this man reciting Surat-al-Furqan in a way that you have not taught me."
The Prophet said: )O 'Umar) release him! Recite, O Hisham." Hisham recited in the way I heard him reciting.
Allah's Apostle said, "It was revealed like this."
Then Allah's Apostle said, "Recite, O 'Umar!"
I recited in the way he had taught me, whereupon he said, "It was revealed like this," and added,
"The Qur'an has been revealed to be recited in seven different ways, so recite of it whichever is easy for you ." (See Hadith No. 514, Vol. 6)
Al-Tirmidhi HadithHadith 2142 Narrated by AbuHurayrah
When Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) once asked Ubayy ibn Ka'b how he recited in the course of the prayer and he recited Umm al-Qur'an, he said, "By Him in whose hand my soul is, nothing like it has been sent down in the Torah, the Injil, the Zabur, or the Qur'an, and it is seven of the oft-repeated verses and the mighty Qur'an which I have been given."
Tirmidhi transmitted it, and Darimi transmitted from "nothing like it has been sent down," but he did not mention Ubayy ibn Ka'b. Tirmidhi said this is a hasan sahih tradition.
Al-Tirmidhi HadithHadith 2215 Narrated by Ubayy ibn Ka'b
Ubayy told of Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) meeting Gabriel and saying, "I have been sent, Gabriel, to a people who are unlettered, among whom are old women and old men, boys and girls, and men who have never read a book." He replied, "The Qur'an, Muhammad, has been sent down in seven modes."
Tirmidhi transmitted it.
Al-Muwatta Hadith Hadith 15.5 About the Qur'an
Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab from Urwa ibn az-Zubayr that Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abd al-Qari said that he had heard Umar ibn al-Khattab say, "I heard Hisham ibn Hakim ibn Hizam reciting Surat al-Furqan (Sura 25) differently from me, and it was the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, who had recited it to me. I was about to rush up to him but I granted him a respite until he had finished his prayer.
Then I grabbed him by his cloak and took him to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said,
'Messenger of Allah, I heard this man reciting Surat al-Furqan differently from the way you recited it to me.'
The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Let him go.' Then he said, 'Recite, Hisham,' and Hisham recited as I had heard him recite. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'It was sent down like that.' Then he said to me, 'Recite' and I recited the sura, and he said, 'It was sent down like that.
This Qur'an was sent down in seven (different) ways, so recite from it whatever is easy for you .' "
Sahih Muslim HadithHadith 1789Narrated byUbayy ibn Ka'b
The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) was near the cistern of Banu Ghifar when Gabriel came to him and said: Allah has commanded you to recite the Qur'an in one dialect to your people. Upon this he said: I ask from Allah pardon and forgiveness. My people are not capable of doing it. He then came for the second time and said: Allah has commanded you that you should recite the Qur'an to your people in two dialects. Upon this he (the Holy Prophet) again said: I seek pardon and forgiveness from Allah, my people would not be able to do so. He (Gabriel) came for the third time and said: Allah this He said: I ask pardon and forgiveness from Allah. My people would not be able to do it. He then came to him for the fourth time and said: Allah has commanded you to recite the Qur'an to your people in seven dialects, and in whichever dialect they recite, they will be right.
*** Based upon the above reports, they indicate that Moses and the Israelites were extremely CLEVER to have been able to receive, understand and comprehend their TORAHrevelations in a fraction of the time (1/276) that Muhammad and his followers required to do the same with the Quran ***