In the Definitions Section: Battle of Yamama &/or Death of Memorizers, it has already been demonstrated that on that day, not long after Muhammad's death, numerous and important texts of the Quranthat were said to have been known only to those who perished in the battle were irretrievably lost when about 450 of the memorizers perished.
One can also find many other instances in the 'Muslim' historical records about the Quranic text where individual verses and, at times, lengthy portions are said to have been omitted from it.
There is, in fact, a virtually unanimous opinion among the early Muhammadan historians, that the Quran, as it stands, is incomplete.
Abdullah ibn Umar, in the earliest days of Islam, was quite emphatic about this:
Suyuti, Al-Itqan fii Ulum al-Qur'an, p.524-
It is reported from Ismail ibn Ibrahim from Ayyub from Naafi from Ibn Umar who said:
"Let none of you say 'I have acquired the whole of the Qur'an'.
How does he know what all of it is when much of the Quran has disappeared? Rather let him say 'I have acquired what has survived.'"
There are numerous other examples that could be quoted but we shall confine ourselves to perhaps the most well-known of them to prove the point.
A typical case relates to a verse which is said to have read:
"The religion with Allah is al-Hanifiyyah (the Upright Way) rather than that of the Jews or the Christians, and those who do good will not go unrewarded"
Suyuti, Al-Itqan fii Ulum al-Qur'an, p.525
According to at-Tirmithi in his Kitab al-Tafsir, one of the sections of his Jami', his collection of hadith records which rates as one of the six major works of authentic tradition literature in Islam alongside the Sahih of al-Bukhari and Muslim and the three sunan works of Abu Dawud, an-Nasai and Ibn Maja, this verse at one time formed part of Sura- al Bayyinah (Sura 98) in the Quran(Nöldeke, Geschichte, 1.242).
This is quite possible as it fits well into the context of the short surah which contains, in other verses, some of the words appearing in the missing text, such as deen (religion, v.5), 'aml (to do, v.7), and hunafa (upright, v.4), and also contrasts the way of Allah with the beliefs of the Jews and the Christians.
It is also significant to note here that, whereas the standard text of Sura 3.19 today reads "inna deena 'inda Allahi al-Islam", "the religion before Allah is al-Islam (i.e. the Submission)",
Ibn Mas'ud read in place of al-Islam the title 'al-Hanifiyyah', i.e. "the Upright Way"(Jeffery, Materials, p.32), thus coinciding with the text said to have been part of Surah 98 by at-Tirmithi.
At the beginning of Muhammad's mission there were a number of people in Arabia
- including his wife Khadijah and her uncle Waraqa bin Nawfal - who disclaimed the worship of idols and called themselves Hunafaa, specifically meaning those who follow the upright way and who scorn the false creeds surrounding them; they were believers in the
God of Abraham.
There is extant evidence of a whole section of the Quran that is now said to be missing in the as-sunan al-Kubra of al-Baihaqi, an extensive collection of hadith records not regarded as authentic as the six major works already mentioned but nonetheless, of great interest and importance.
Al-Baihaqi, As-Sunan al-Kubra, Vol. 8, p.211
Ubayy ibn Ka'b is said to have recalled a time when Sura al-Ahzab (Sura 33) once was the same length as Sura al-Baqarah (Sura 2), which means it must have had at least two hundred verses not found in its text today. Significantly, this missing section is said to have contained the verses commanding the death sentence of (al Rajam) for adulterers.
There are further evidences of whole suras said to be missing from the Quran as it is today. Abu Musa al-Ash'ari, one of the early authorities on the Quranic text and a companion of Muhammad, is reported to have said to the reciters of Basra:
Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2, p.501-
Abu Musa al-Ash'ari
We used to recite a surah which resembled in length and severity to (Surah 9) Bara'at.
I have, however, forgotten it with the exception of this which I remember out of it:
"If there were two valleys full of riches, for the son of Adam, he would long for a third valley, and nothing would fill the stomach of the son of Adam but dust". .
The one verse he said he could recall is one of the well-known texts said to be missing from the Quran.
Suyuti, Al-Itqan fii Ulum al-Qur'an, p.526-
Abu Musa al-Ash'ari
We used to recite a surah similar to one of the Musabbihaat (Suras 57, 59, 61, 62 & 64) , and I no longer remember it, but this much I have indeed preserved:
'O you who truly believe, why do you preach that which you do not practise?' (and) 'that is inscribed on your necks as a witness and you will be examined about it on the Day of Resurrection'..
The tradition as here quoted follows the record of it in the Sahih Muslim where it is recorded after the statement about the sura resembling the ninth surah and containing the verse about the son of Adam (Vol. 2, p.501).
The Musabbihat are those surahs of the Quran(Suras 57, 59, 61, 62 & 64) which begin with the words Sabbaha (or yusabbihu) lil-lahi maa fi-samaawati wal-ardth" "Let everything praise Allah that is in the heavens and the earth"
The words of the first verse mentioned by Abu Musa are exactly the same as those found in Sura 61.2 while the second text is very similar to
Sura 17.13"We have fastened every man's fate on his neck and on the Day of Resurrection We shall bring out an inscription which he will see spread out" which would explain why he particularly recalled these two verses.
*** Those followers of Muhammad who claim that the Quran is exactly the same today as it was when first delivered by Muhammad, nothing varied, added or omitted, have to reckon with such evidences that much is indeed missing from the standardised text.
They are completely in a PERPETUAL STATE OF DENIAL since accepting FACTS & REALITY would relegate the Quran and the whole of their belief systemto the TRASHCAN OF HISTORY ***
Some take the convenient and easy way out and simply declare such records to be fabricated, but others, more inclined to take them seriously, have another answer to the problem. They say such passages have been abrogated and that such abrogation was decreed by Allah himself during Muhammad's own lifetime while the Quran was still being completed. Let us give some attention to this claim.
UMAR AND THE VERSES OF STONING FOR ADULTERY.
One of the most well-known passages said in hadith records to be missing from the Quran relates to the so-called "Stoning verses" wherein Muhammad is said to have been commanded to stone to death married people who commit adultery.
All the records state that the second Caliph Umar, once brought the existence of these missing verses to the attention of the Muslim public during one of his sermons from the minbar (the pulpit) of the mosque in Medina.Umar is reported as narrating the matter as follows:
Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 8, p.539-
Allah sent Muhammad (saw) with the Truth and revealed the Holy Book to him, and among what Allah revealed, was the Verse of the Rajam (the stoning of married persons, male and female, who commit adultery) and we did recite this Verse and understood and memorized it.
Allah's Apostle (saw) did carry out the punishment of stoning and so did we after him. I am afraid that after a long time has passed, somebody will say,'By Allah, we do not find the Verse of the Rajam in Allah's Book', and thus they will go astray by leaving an obligation which Allah has revealed.
In the Quran as it stands today, the only punishment prescribed for adulterers is a hundred stripes (Sura 24.2), no distinction being made between the married or unmarried state of each of the parties involved.
Umar, however, clearly stated that Allah had originally revealed a passage prescribing rajam (stoning to death) for adulterers.
From the original Arabic text of the narrative in the Sahih of Bukhari as quoted above, it can be seen quite clearly that Umar was convinced that this passage was originally a part of the Quran text. The key words are
"wa anzala alayhil-kitaaba fakaana mimmaa anzalallaahu aayaatur-rajm" meaning literally,
"And He sent down to him the Scripture (the Quran), and part of what Allah sent down (therein) was the verse of stoning".
In another record of this incident we find that Umar added:
"Verily stoning in the book of Allah is a penalty laid on married men and women who commit adultery, if proof stands or pregnancy is clear or confession is made"
(Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasulullah, p.684).
Both the records of the tradition in the Sahih of Bukhari and the Sirat of Ibn Ishaq add that Umar mentioned another missing verse which was once part of the 'kitabullah' (Quran) which the earliest of Muhammad's companions used to recite, namely
Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 8, p.540-
"O people! Do not claim to be the offspring of other than your fathers, as it is disbelief on your part to claim to be the offspring of other than your real father."
In both narratives there is a prologue where we find Umar cautioning against any attempt to deny what he was saying, warning that those who could not accept what he was about to disclose were not thereby entitled to tell lies about him (that is, to say that he did not disclose it).
He obviously was very serious about what he was doing and anticipated an adverse reaction from those Muhammadans of a later generation who were not aware of the missing verses which clearly contradicted the injunction in Sura 24.2, or that Muhammad had in fact stoned adulterers to death. That he did so is clear from the following hadith:
Muwatta Imam Malik, p.350-
Ibn Shihab reported that a man in the time of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) acknowledged having committed adultery and confessed it four times. The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) then ordered and he was stoned. "
There are numerous other records of instances similar to this one where Muhammad had adulterers stoned to death. What was, in fact, the "Verse of Stoning"? It is mentioned in the following tradition:
Suyuti, Al-Itqan fii Ulum al-Qur'an, p.524-
Zirr ibn Hubaish reported: "Ubayy ibn Ka'b said to me, 'What is the extent of Suratul-Ahzab?' I said, 'Seventy, or seventy-three verses'.
He said, 'Yet it used to be equal to Suratul-Baqarah (286 verses) and in it we recited the verse of stoning'.
I said, 'And what is the verse of stoning'? He replied, 'The fornicators among the married men (ash-shaikh) and married women (ash-shaikhah), stone them as an exemplary punishment from Allah, and Allah is Mighty and Wise."'
Whereas the Quran makes no distinction in Sura 24.2 between the married or unmarried state of those who are guilty of fornication (it simply calls them az-zaaniyatu waz-zaanii - "the female and male fornicators"), the text as given in the above tradition only states that married men and women who are caught in adultery should be stoned (the actual meaning of the word is "old" or "adult" men and women, implying married persons).
This has led to much discussion in Muhammadan writings about the meaning of the verse. The general understanding among 'Muslim scholars' of earlier generations was that any portion of the Quran totally abrogated by Allah was also caused to be entirely forgotten (on the strength of Sura 2.106: nansakh ... aw nunsihaa naati - "abrogate ... or cause to be forgotten", the two being taken together as an entity).
So when a verse was found to be retained in the memory of a companion as distinguished as Umar, it was assumed that, whereas the text may indeed have been withdrawn from the Quran, teaching and prescription found in it nevertheless binding as part of the sunnah of Muhammad.
The dilemma was generally resolved by presuming that the Quranic command to impose one hundred stripes on fornicators applied only to unmarried persons, whereas married personsguilty of actual adultery were to be stoned according to the sunnah. Numerous other solutions to the issue have been proposed and the subject has been exhaustively treated in the various works of historical Islamic literature.
We are not here concerned with the theological or legal implications of the doctrine of abrogation, however, but only with the actual compilation of the Quranic text itself. The question here is:
Was this verse once a part of the Quranic text or not and, if it was, why is it now omitted from its pages?
From the traditions quoted thus far we can see that it was clearly regarded by Umar as part of the original Quranic text, yet in another tradition we read that Umar had some hesitancy about it:
Suyuti, Al-Itqan fii Ulum al-Qur'an, p.528-
Zaid ibn Thabit and Sa'id ibn al-As were writing out the mushaf (the written codex of the Quran) and when they came to this verse Zaid said, "I heard the messenger of Allah (saw) say:
'The adult men and women who commit adultery, stone them as a punishment"'.
Umar said, "When it was revealed I went to the Prophet (saw) and said, 'Shall I write it?',but he seemed very reluctant".
This hadith, however, irrespective of its isnad (its chain of transmitters), has some obvious contradictions in its content(its matn). It places Umar with Zaid and Sa'id ibn al-As at the time when the Quran was being copied out by the latter two men together and, as this is known to have occurred at Uthman's instigationlong after Umar's death,Umarcould hardly have so discoursed with them.
In any event most of the other hadith records make it quite plain that Umar had no doubt that the stoning verse was originally part of the Quran text and it was for this reason that he was so serious about its retention.
It was occasionally argued that the hadith records of the existence of the stoning verse all attribute its origin to just one man, Umar, thus making it dependent on khabar al-wahid, the report of only one witness, and therefore unreliable. The prominence of that one witness, however, just could not be summarily ignored. It was no less a personality than Umar ibn al-Khattab, one of Muhammad's earliest and most well-known companions, who reported the existence of the verse which he claimed he received directly from Muhammad himself and, when such a report was given during his reign as Caliph over the whole Muslim community, it could not be disregarded or considered lightly.
Nonetheless modern Muhammadan writers, determined to discount even the slightest possibility that anything originally revealed as part of the Quranic text has ever been omitted therefrom for whatever reason, seek to reject the claim that the stoning verse was ever part of the Quran.
Siddique, for example, unable to simply brush the records aside, claims that Umar made a mistake! In the context of his comments on the stoning verse he says, "As for 'Umar (ra) we know that he was a great mujtahid, but he also made mistakes which are documented in the hadith" (Al-Balaagh, op,cit., p.2).
On what grounds does a twentieth-centuryMuhammadan writer accuse the great Caliph of Islam, Umar ibn al-Khattab, of making a mistake about something he experienced directly during Muhammad's own lifetime?
The answer is obvious and simple: On no other ground than that Umar's disclosure undermines the popular 'Muslim' sentiment that the Quran has been perfectly preserved with nothing varied or omitted.
He goes on to claim, like many other desperate scholars, that Umar was not talking of the Quran when he spoke of the command to stone adulterers as being part of the
"Book of Allah" (kitabullah) but rather of the Tawraat (Torah) as Muhammad is said in some of the hadith records to have stoned Jews who committed adultery according to the prescribed laws of their own scripture.
The hadith records quite clearly state, however, that Umar claimed that the verse had been revealed to Muhammad and that he himself would have considered writing it into Allah's revealed scripture were it not that some people would have claimed that he was adding to it. He is recorded as saying:
Muwatta Imam Malik, p.352-
"See that you do not forget the verse about stoning and say: We do not find it in the Book of Allah; the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) had ordered stoning and we too have done so, after him. By the Lord Who holds possession of my life, if people should not accuse me of adding to the Book of Allah, I would have this transcribed therein: Ash-shaikhu wash-shaikhatu ithaa zanayaa faarjumuu humaa.
We have read this verse".
As the verse is expressly said to have been revealed to Muhammad in the other hadith records, it is hard to see how Umarcould have contemplated writing it into theTawraat.The Caliph's total ignorance of the Hebrew language should at least be given some consideration.
Desai contradicts Siddique by freely acknowledging that the stoning verse was indeed a part of the original text of the Quran but, as he conveniently does with all texts now said to be omitted from the Quran, he claims that it was subsequently abrogated (The Quran Unimpeachable, p.48).
Because its existence was preserved and as other records of Muhammad's capital punishment upon adulterers were also handed down in the hadith texts, he states that it was one of the 'mansukhut tilawah', that is, texts whose recitation has been cancelled while the laws expounded in them have been retained.
Such verses, he points out, are unlike other Quranic texts where the recitation has been retained but the laws contained therein (the hukm, the "effects") have been cancelled and abrogated.
Writers like Siddique immediately sense the weakness of such arguments and the consequent vulnerability of the Quran to the charge that it was undergoing some strange mutations in respect of the development of its text and teaching during the time of its deliverance.
Only credulous conservative writers like Desai can fail to see that the doctrine of abrogation, in its various forms, has a deliberate weakening effect on the overall authenticity of the Quranic text as it stands today.
In any event there is nothing in Umar's declaration on the pulpit that day to suggest that the ayatu'l rajm was ever abrogated.
His bold statement that he would write it into the Quran himself were it not for the anticipated charge that he had tampered with the text is clear evidence that he considered it to be a valid passage whose exclusion from the Quran was to be regretted.
Even if he had no hope of persuading the Muslim community to reinstate it in the text (particularly if it had formed a portion of a whole section that was lost), he was determined to publicise and establish its existence as part of the original Quran as delivered to Muhammad.
The doctrine of abrogation is constantly shown up as a weak explanation of the disappearance of certain texts from the Quran. A good example can be found in a further hadith which was widely reported and which stated that the Quran originally contained a law forbidding marriage between two people who had been breastfed by the same woman. The Tradition reads as follows:
Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2, p.740-
A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that it had been revealed in the Qur'an that ten clear sucklings make the marriage unlawful, then it was abrogated by five sucklings and Allah's Apostle (saw) died and before that time it was found in the Qur'an.
It is clearly stated that the Quran had originally contained a verse prescribing a prohibition on the marriage of two people who had been breastfed by the same woman at least ten times. This verse was then abrogated and another was substituted for it, restricting the number to five.
The verse 'restricting it to five' is also missing in the Quran.
Has it been ABROGATED ?
If so, where is the ABROGATING verse to replace the first one?
It is in traditions like these that the doctrine of abrogation is shown to be extremely vulnerable on closer analysis.
One verse, the abrogating verse (nasikh), is said to have replaced the abrogated verse (mansukh). Yet in this case even the nasikh has become mansukh. One must surely look for a more reasonable explanation.
It appears that, during his lifetime, Muhammad did indeed proclaim that certain passages were abrogated by others, but from the examples we have studied, it appears that sometimes the original verses had quite simply dropped out of the recitation of the Quran for whatever reason - they were overlooked, forgotten, replaced, etc. -and after the death of Muhammad it became convenient to explain away the omission of such verses as the result of divine abrogation.
In many cases, however, particularly those we have studied, there are evidences that they were omitted for other reasons and no mention of their supposed abrogation appears in the text of the relevant hadith.
This 'chapter' has illustrated quite sufficiently that the Quran, as it stands today, is,
to be charitable, somewhat incomplete. Numerous individual verses and, at times, whole passages, are said to have once formed part of the original text and the attempt to evade the implications by suggesting that all such passages must have been abrogated simply because of the fact of their omission from the standardised text cannot overcome the key problem facing those Muhammadans who claim that the Quran has been preserved absolutely intact to the last dot and letter, nothing added, omitted or varied, indicating a divine oversight of its transmission.
The text as it stands today just cannot sincerely be regarded by the Muhammadans as an exact replica of the "preserved tablet"in heaven from which it was all said to have been delivered to Muhammad.
While nothing can be shown to have been added to the text or interpolated into it, much of what was there in the beginning is quite obviously missing from it now and, in comparison with that supposed heavenly original, it cannot be regarded as perfect and complete.
'Muslim scholars' use the doctrine of abrogation to explain away the omissions of many key texts from the Quran and thereby they seeks to maintain the MYTH that the Quran today, is exactly as Allah intended it to be.
How do they get around the wealth of variant readings found in all the early codices of the Quran before Uthman's order that all but one of them should be destroyed?
They do their best to ignore facts and reality by contorting, perverting and twisting logic, history, language and intellect to escape the most damning evidence regarding the alleged
'divine origin of the Quran'.
I would like the reader to CONTEMPLATE the following:
How is it possible to believe that Muhammad ordered the 'stoning to death'of MARRIED aduteres WITHOUT a verse being revealed ABROGATING the earlier one of 'whipping' ?
Is it not more possible and logical that a further supplemental verse of Rajamwas'revealed' to be applied specifically in the cases of MARRIED adulteres ?
Such a supplemental verse would explain ALL the CONTRADICTIONS and unambiguities that the Muhammadan exgetes have been and still are struggling with and would INSTANTLY resolve Umar's insistence that such a verse did exist and is now missing in the Quran.
It is missing, because those memorizers who had knowledge of it, died in the slaughter pursuant Muhammad's death ***
NOTE: For more details look up Abrogating/Abrogated Verses in the Definitions Section.