Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's article
Muhammad's False Prophecies

By Sami Zaatari

 

[Part one]

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/false_prophecies.htm 

 

He Wrote

 

The Holy Bible gives us a test to determine a true prophet from a false one:

"But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death. You may say to yourselves, 'How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?' If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him." Deuteronomy 18:20-22

In light of what God says in the preceding passage, we will examine several predictions made by Muhammad in the Quran and Islamic traditions to see if whether he passes God's test.

 

My Response

 

The holy Bible also gives you a lot of orders, here are a few from Deuteronomy:

 

 

RAPE IS ALLOWED:

 

Deuteronomy
Chapter 22



25-29

 

25 But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die. 26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbor, and slayeth him, even so is this matter: 27 For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her. 28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; 29 Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days

 

So as you can see, rape is allowed in certain cases. When the victim is a virgin, she must marry the rapist, if the victim is not a virgin then the rapist is put to death. This law is a shame and insult to rape victims, you bring me one single lady who would want to marry her rapist. So hence you now see that the Christian God Jesus allowed rape in certain cases, this is why America separated Church and state, because Christian laws are sick as you can see.

 

His holy Bible also allows for some more disturbing things such as killing women and kids:

 

Deuteronomy
Chapter 3



1-7

1 Then we turned, and went up the way to Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. 2 And the LORD said unto me, Fear him not: for I will deliver him, and all his people, and his land, into thy hand; and thou shalt do unto him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon. 3 So the LORD our God delivered into our hands Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people: and we smote him until none was left to him remaining. 4 And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we took not from them, threescore cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 5 All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many. 6 And we utterly destroyed them, as we did unto Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children, of every city. 7 But all the cattle, and the spoil of the cities, we took for a prey to ourselves

 

The Bible also allows the sex trade:

 

Exodus 21:7-11

 

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.

 

 

The Bible also is very good in the slave trade business:

 

Leviticus 25:44-46

 

However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way.

 

 

The Bible also violates the human rights of slaves:

 

Exodus 21:20-21

When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property

 

So you can beat the hell out of your slave as long as the slave does not die, this is straight from the Bible. What is this madness?

 

 

I could go on and on, but that is enough I think.

 

 

He Wrote

 

On the Roman Conquest of Persia

S. 30:2-4:

"The Roman Empire has been defeated - in a land close by: But they, (even) after (this) defeat of theirs, will soon be victorious - within a few years."

As the prophecy stated the Byzantines did become victorious over the Persians who had at first defeated them. Yet there are fundamental problems with this alleged prophecy:

  • According to Yusuf Ali the Arabic word for "a few years," Bidh'un, signifies a period of three to nine years; yet according to the historical records the victory did not come until nearly fourteen years later. The Persians defeated the Byzantines and captured Jerusalem at about A.D. 614 or 615. The Byzantine counter-offensive did not begin until A.D. 622 and the victory was not complete until A.D. 628, making it a period between thirteen to fourteen years, not "a few years" alluded to in the Quran.

 

 

My Response

 

There are no problems with this prophecy. Just like the Quran stated, the Romans were indeed defeated, they were defeated by the Persians, and within a few years the Romans did regain victory.

 

From http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/romans.html :

 

A time-line of the Roman empire


753 BC: Roma (Rome) is founded by Romulus
750 BC: Greeks establish a colony at Cuma
750 BC: first Etruscan inscriptions
616 BC: Tarquinius I becomes an Etruscan king of Roma
600 BC: Etruscans build the colossal tombs of Cerveteri
600 BC: the Forum is built
600 BC: oldest Latin inscriptions
578 BC: Tarquinius Priscus builds the Cloaca Maxima, the first sewer
550 BC: Servius Tullius builds city walls
474 BC: the Greeks defeat the Etruscans at Cuma
509 BC: the last king is expelled and Roma becomes a republic
450 BC: the Twelve Tables of the Roman law
396 BC: Roma conquers the Etruscan city of Veii
390 BC: the Gauls/Celts sack Roma
326 BC: the Circus Maximus is built
313 BC: the Basilica of Maxentius is completed
312 BC: the Via Appia is opened
312 BC: the first aqueduct, the Aqua Appia, is built
308 BC: Roma conquers the Etruscan city of Tarquinia
295 BC: Roma defeats the Gauls/Celts in northern Italy
287 BC: the Lex Hortensia makes plebiscites binding
280 BC: Roma issues coins
275 BC: Roma conquers southern Italy (Greek colonies)
272 BC: a second aqueduct, the Anio Vetus, is built
264 BC: Roma and Carthage fight the first Punic war
264 BC: the Romans destroy the last vestiges of the Etruscan civilization (Volsinies)
222 BC: the Gauls are defeated
221 BC: the Circus Flaminius
218 BC: Hannibal invades Italy
214 BC: war machines designed by Greek mathematician Archimedes save the city of Syracuse, an ally of Carthage, from a Roman naval attack
202 BC: Scipio defeats Hannibal and Roma annexes Spain
196 BC: the Romans defeat the Macedonian king Philip V at Cynoscephalae
189 BC: Antiochus III, king of the Seleucids, is defeated at the battle of Magnesia and surrenders his possessions in Europe and Asia Minor
184 BC: the Basilica Porcia
149 BC: Roma destroys Carthage
149 BC: Roma conquers Greece with the battle of Corinth (and destroys Corinth)
133 BC: Attalus III of Pergamum wills his kingdom to Roma and the whole Mediterranean Sea is under Roman control ("mare nostrum")
106 BC: the Romans defeat Jugurtha, king of Numidia
88 BC: Italians are granted full citizenship
83 BC: Sulla becomes dictator
74 BC: Cicero enters the senate
73 BC: Spartacus leads the revolt of the gladiators
71 BC: Mithridates VI of Pontus is conquered by Roman general Lucius Lucullus
71 BC: Crassus puts down Spartacus' revolt
70 BC: Crassus and Pompey are elected consuls
69 BC: Rome invades Tigranes' Armenian kingdom and edstroys its capital, Tigranocerta
64 BC: Syria becomes a Roman province under general Pompey (Gnaeus Pompeius)
63 BC: Pompeus captures Jerusalem and annexes Palestine to Roma
60 BC: Crassus, Pompey and Caesar form a "triumvirate"
59 BC: Caesar is elected consul
57 BC: Caesar conquers all of Gaul
53 BC: in the first war against Persia, Crassus is defeated and killed by the Parthians at Carrhae (Syria)
51 BC: Caesar crushes revolt of Vercingetorix in Gaul
50 BC: Roma introduces the gold coin "aureus"
49 BC: Ceasar crosses the Rubicon, defeats Pompey and becomes sole dictator of Rome, calling himself "imperator"
47 BC: Ceasar invades Egypt and proclaims Cleopatra queen
45 BC: Julius Caesar employs the Egyptian astronomer Sosigenes to work out a new 12-month calendar (Julian calendar)
44 BC: Ceasar is killed.
36 BC: Rome tries to invade Persia
31 BC: Octavianus (Augustus) becomes the first emperor after defeating Mark Anthony at the battle of Actium
30 BC: Cleopatra commits suicide and Egypt is annexed to Roma
20 BC: a treaty between Roma and Persia (Parthians) fixes the boundary between the two empires along the Euphrates river (Iraq)
17 BC: the theater of Marcellus
13 BC: Augustus expands the borders to the region of the Danube
6 BC: Jesus is born in Palestine
1 AD: Roma has about one million people
2 AD: the Forum of Augustus
5 AD: Roma acknowledges Cymbeline, King of the Catuvellauni, as king of Britain
6 AD: Augustus expands the borders to the Balkans
12 AD: The last Etruscan inscription is carved
14 AD: Augustus dies and Tiberius becomes emperor
14 AD: five million people live in the Roman empire
25 AD: Agrippa builds the Pantheon
37 AD: Tiberius dies and the mad Caligula succeeds him
41 AD: Caligula is assassinated and is succeeded by Claudius
43 AD: Claudius invades Britain
46 AD: Thracia becomes a Roman province
50 AD: the Romans found Londinium in Britain
54 AD: Claudius is succeeded by Nero
58 AD: the Romans conquer Armenia
64 AD: Nero sets fire to Roma and blames the Christians for it
68 AD: Nero commits suicide and is succeeded by Vespasianus
79 AD: Vespasianus is succeeded by Tito
70 AD: Tito destroys Jerusalem and Jews spread in Armenia, Iraq, Iran, Arabia, Egypt, Italy, Spain and Greece
77 AD: the Romans conquer Wales
79 AD: the Vesuvius erupts and Pompeii is buried under ash
79 AD: the Colosseum is completed
80 AD: the Romans invade Caledonia (Scotland)
81 AD: the Arch of Titus
84 AD: British rebels are defeated by the Romans at the battle of Mons Graupius
97 AD: Rome forbids human sacrifice throughout the Roman empire
97 AD: Chinese general Pan Chao sends an embassy to the Roman Empire
98 AD: Trajan becomes emperor
100: the city of Roma has one million inhabitants
106: Trajan defeats Dacia that becomes a Roman province
106: Trajan captures the Nabataean capital Petra (Jordan) and turns Nabataea into the province of Arabia
107: The Roman Empire sends an embassy to India
110: the Basilica of Trajano is completed
112: the Forum of Trajanus
113: Colonna Traiana
116: Trajan conquers Mesopotamia and the Parthian capital Ctesiphon
117: Trajan dies on his way to the Persian Gulf and Hadrian becomes emperor
122: Hadrian's Wall is built along the northern frontier to protect from the Barbarians
132: Jews, led by Bar-Cochba, whom some identify as the Messiah, revolt against Roma
134: Villa Hadriana
136: emperor Hadrian definitely crushes the Jewish resistance, forbids Jews from ever entering Jerusalem, and changes the name of the city to Aelia Capitolina
138: Hadrian is succeeded by Antoninus Pius, who repels Hadrian's anti-Jewish laws
139: Hadrian's mausoleum (Castel Sant'Angelo)
161: Marcus Aurelius becomes Roman emperor
164: the plague spreads throughout the Roman empire
193: Septimius Severus, from Libya, becomes emperor
194: Rome annexes Palmyra to the province of Syria
212: Caracalla grants Roman citizenship on all free people who live in the Roman Empire
214: Caracalla murders King Abgar IX of Edessa and declares Edessa a Roman colony
216: the thermae of Caracalla
217: the Baths of Caracalla are inaugurated
217: Caracalla is murdered in Edessa
218: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, the last of the Antonines, becomes emperor and promoties the cult of Elegabalus, a Syriac sun god
244: Shapur I becomes king of the Sassanids and attacks Roma
250: emperor Decius orders the first emperor-wide persecution of Christians
256: the Persians/Sassanids defeat the Romans and conquer Dura Europus in Mesopotamia
273: the Romans destroy the rebellious city of Palmyra in Syria
284: Diocletian becomes emperor but rules from Nicomedia in the East
298: Roma captures Nisibis and the Sassanids sign a peace treaty with Roma
300: the population of the Roman Empire is 60 million (about 15 million Christians)
303: Diocletian orders a general persecution of the Christians
303: the thermae of Diocletian
312: Constantine becomes emperor
313: Constantine ends the persecution of the Christians (edict of Milano)
313: Constantine recognizes the Christian church
330: Constantine I builds a new city, Constantinople (Byzantium)
337: after Constantine's death, his sons split the empire: Constantine II (Spain, Britain, Gaul), Constans I (Italy, Africa, Illyricum, Macedon, Achaea) and Constantius II (the East)
356: Roma has 28 libraries, 10 basilicas, 11 public baths, two amphitheaters, three theaters, two circuses, 19 aqueducts, 11 squares, 1,352 fountains, 46,602 insulae (city blocks)
359: Constantinople becomes the capital of the Roman empire
360: pagan (Mithraist) general Julian (the "apostate") defeats an invasion of Barbarians and is declared emperor by his German troops
363: Julian dies attempting to invade the Sassanid kingdom of Persia, which recaptures Nisibis and Armenia, and general Valentinian becomes emperor
363: an earthquake destroys Petra
364: Valentinian delegates Valens as emperor of the East
376: Valens allows Visigoths to settle within the empire
378: the Visigoths defeat the Roman army at Hadrianopolis
380: Theodosius I proclaims Christianity as the sole religion of the Roman Empire
393: Theodosius forbids the Olympic Games because pagans and shuts down the temple of Zeus at Olympia
395: Theodosius divides the Roman empire in the Western and Eastern Empires, with Milano and Constantinople as their capitals
402: the western Roman empire moves the capital from Milano to Ravenna
406: Barbarians invade France from the north
410: the Visigots sack Roma
410: Roma withdraws from Britannia
418: the emperor grants Wallia's Visigoths to settle in Aquitaine (Atlantic coast of France)
425: the eastern emperor Theodosius II installs Valentinian III as emperor of the west
427: Gensenric's Vandals crosses the strait of Gibraltar and lands in Africa
443: the emperor grants Burgundi to settle in Savoy
450: Theodosius II dies and Marcian succeeds him, the first Roman emperor to be crowned by a religious leader (the patriarch of Constantinople)
452: the Huns invade Italy
455: the Vandals sack Roma
476: Odoacer, a mercenary in the service of Roma, leader of the Germanic soldiers in the Roman army, deposes the western Roman emperor and thereby terminates the western Roman empire
488: emperor Zeno sends Theodoric's Ostrogoths (still settled in Pannonia) to conquer Italy
500: Roma's population has declined to less than 100,000 people
526: Antioch in Syria is destroyed by an earthquake
527: Justinian becomes eastern Roman emperor
527: Byzantium enforces anti-Jewish laws and the Jews all but disappear from the eastern Roman Empire
529: Roman emperor Justinian shuts down the Academia of Plato
533: Justinian's code of law ("Corpus Juri Civilis") is published
537: Justinian's general Belisarius deposes pope Silverius and replaces him with pope Vigilius
534: Justinian's general Belisarius destroys the Arian kingdom of the Vandals and reconquers southern Spain and northern Africa
536: the Ostrogoths surrender and Belisarius reconquers Rome (beginning of the Barbar wars)
537: Justinian builds the church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople
540: Justinian's general Belisarius takes Ravenna from the last Ostrogothic resistance and thus reconquers Italy to the empire
542: the plague decimates the Empire
546: Visigothic rebels led by Totila sack Roma
551: imperial troops reconquer Rome
552: Nestorian monks smuggle silkworm eggs from China to Byzanthium
554: Rome is reduced to a camp of about 30,000 people, while Constantinople has about one million people
554: the new king of the Visigoths, Athanagild, accepts the emperor's sovereignity over Spain
554: the empire reorganizes Italy as an imperial province (end of the Barbar wars)
565: Justinian dies
568: Alboin's Lombards invade northern Italy
600: Constantinople has 500,000 inhabitants
602: the Persians (Sassanids) attack the eastern Roman empire in Asia Minor
610: Heraclius I overthrows the tyrant Phocas and becomes emperor
614: the Persians (Sassanids) capture Jerusalem
614: the Visigoths reconquer all of Spain from the Roman empire
619: the Persians capture Egypt

 

Just like the prophecy stated the Romans would be victorious again:

 

619: the Persians capture Egypt
620: the Visigoths conquer the last Roman possession in
Spain

626: the Sassanids besiege
Constantinople

627
: the Sassanid king Khusrau II is defeated by Roman emperor Heraclius at Niniveh
628: the Romans retake
Syria from the Sassanids

 

Now let's post the prophecy again:

 

S. 30:2-4:

"The Roman Empire has been defeated - in a land close by: But they, (even) after (this) defeat of theirs, will soon be victorious - within a few years."

Indeed the prophecy has been fulfilled, the Romans were defeated by the Persians, and within a few years the Romans were victorious once again.

 

Shamoun's argument is pathetic at best and is amusing to read, note what his argument is:

 

 

According to Yusuf Ali the Arabic word for "a few years," Bidh'un, signifies a period of three to nine years; yet according to the historical records the victory did not come until nearly fourteen years later.

 

So Shamoun is attacking the prophecy because of the interpretation of a man! He is not attacking the Quranic prophecy because it is wrong, he is attacking the interpretation! Note he says ACCORDING TO YUSUF ALI, so basically Shamoun's entire argument is this, the Quran says the Romans will be victorious again within a few years, Islamic scholar Yusuf Ali said a few years is 3-9 years, the Romans didn't win until 627-628 which is around 14 years, so hence the interpretation is wrong not the Quran! Shamoun is attacking the interpretation. The Quran simply says a few years, a few years could range from anything from 1-20 years or even more! So the Quran is not wrong, the interpretation is wrong, not the Quran so what a pathetic argument, Shamoun attacks a prophecy not because it is wrong, but because it is interpreted wrongly!

 

The fact is everything happened like how the Quran stated, the Romans lost, and they became victorious over the Persians again, just like the Quran said. So Shamoun has no argument, his argument is against an interpretation, not the Quran.

 

Now a few people will say how can a few years be 14 years? That is pretty long. To start off not really, back then when empires fought each other and gained victories, it would usually take decades and long amount of time until the defeated empire would regain victory. So for the Romans to re-gain victory in just 14 years against a strong empire such as the Persian one is short and quite fast.

 

Also to God, 14 years is nothing, 14 years to him is indeed very short, Allah has been around for billions and billions of years, you think 14 years is anything long to God? I don't think so.

 

 

 

He wrote

Renowned historian and Muslim commentator, al-Tabari, places the Roman victory in 628 A.D. (6 A.H.), right after the signing of Hudaiybiya:

According to Ibn Humayd- Salamah- Muhammad b. Ishaq- Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri- 'Ubaydallah b. 'Abdullah b. 'Utbah b. Mas'ud- 'Abdullah b. 'Abbas- Abu Sufyan b. Harb, who said: We were merchant folk. The warfare between us and the Messenger of God had prevented us from journeying, so that our wealth became depleted. After the truce between us and the Messenger of God, we feared that we might not encounter security. I set out for Syria with a group of merchants of Quraysh. Our specific destination was Gaza, and we arrived at the time of Heraclius' VICTORY over the Persians who were in his land - he expelled them and regained from them his Great Cross, which they had carried off. Having accomplished this against them and having received word that his cross had been rescued from them (he was staying at Hims), he set out from there on foot in thanksgiving to God for restoring it to him, to pray in Jerusalem. Carpets were spread out for him, and fragrant herbs were strewn on them. When he reached Jerusalem and performed his worship - with him were his military commanders and the nobles of the Romans - he arose troubled one morning, turning his gaze to the sky ... (The History of Al-Tabari: The Victory of Islam, translated by Michael Fishbein [State University of New York Press, Albany 1997], Volume VIII, pp. 100-101; bold and capital emphasis ours)

The translator's footnote reads:

436. "In 627 Heraclius invaded the Persian empire, and in December of that year won an important victory near ancient Ninevah, but had to retreat shortly afterwards. In February 628, however, the Persian emperor was assassinated, and the son who succeeded him desired peace. By about March 628 Heraclius could regard himself as victorious, but the negotiations for the evacuation of the Byzantine empire by the Persians were not completed until June 629. In September 629 Heraclius entered Constantinople AS VICTOR, and in March 630 restored the Holy Rood to Jerusalem." (Watt, Muhammad at Medina, 113-114). See also Ostrgorsky, History of the Byzantine State, 103-4. (Ibid., capital emphasis ours)

Watt places Rome's complete victory at 630 A.D., fifteen to sixteen years after the so-called prophecy was given!

 

 

 

My Response

 

Well it is obvious Shamoun has no argument, he is attacking the prophecy because some people interpreted it wrongly, some people wrongly thought a few years meant 3-9, they were wrong the Quran wasn't. Very simple. All Shamoun has managed to do is show that the interpretations are wrong, not the Quran. So there is no false prophecy!

 

 

He Wrote

 

  • The original Quranic text had no vowel marks. Thus, the Arabic word Sayaghlibuna, "they shall defeat," could easily have been rendered, with the change of two vowels, Sayughlabuna, "they (i.e. Romans) shall be defeated." Since vowel points were not added until some time after this event, it could have been quite possible for a scribe to deliberately tamper with the text, forcing it to become a prophetic statement.

This fact is solidified by Muslim commentator al-Baidawi. C.G. Pfander mentions Baidawi's comments on the variant readings surrounding this passage:

"But Al Baizawi shatters the whole argument of the Muslims by informing us of certain varied readings in these verses of Suratu'r Rum. He tells us that some read (Arabic text appears here) instead of the usual (Arabic text appears here) and (Arabic text appears here) instead of (Arabic text appears here). The rendering will then be: 'The Byzantines have conquered in the nearest part of the land, and they shall be defeated in a small number of years'. If this be the correct reading, the whole story about Abu Bakr's bet with Ubai must be a fable, since Ubai was dead long before the Muslims began to defeat the Byzantines, and even long before the victories which Heraclius won over the Persians. This shows how unreliable such Traditions are. The explanation which Al Baizawi gives is, that the Byzantines became conquerors of 'the well-watered land of Syria' (Arabic text appears here) and that the passage predicted that the Muslims would soon overcome them. If this is the meaning, the Tradition which records the 'descent' of the verses about six years before the Hijrah must be wrong, and the passage must belong to A.H. 6 at earliest. It is clear that, as the vowel points were not used when the Qur-an was first written down in Cufic letters, no one can be certain which of the two readings is right. We have seen that there is so much uncertainty about (1) the date at which the verses were 'sent down', (2) the correct reading, and (3) the meaning, that it is quite impossible to show that the passage contains a prophecy which was fulfilled. Hence, it cannot be considered to be a proof of Muhammad's prophetic office." (C. G. Pfander, Mizan-ul-Haqq - The Balance of Truth, revised and enlarged by W. St. Clair Tisdall [Light of Life P.O. Box 18, A-9503, Villach Austria], 279-280) [emphasis ours]

This being the case, a Muslim cannot confidently tell us what the true reading of the text is and hence cannot insure us that this verse originally predicted the Byzantine victory over the Persians. Yet either rendering leaves us with a false prophecy within the Quran.

 

 

My Response

 

Well since Sam knows that this is indeed a true prophecy he now changes his argument, he now wants to try and show that Muslims invented it!

 

I can confidently say the reading in today's Quranic text is the true one. Muslims went to great lengths to preserve the Quran and make sure nothing was lost or hidden or added or deleted. The companions of the Prophet Muhammad would memorize the Quran by heart, scribes would also write down what was revealed to Muhammad after he had memorized it and orally transmitted it to the scribes to write down. This is something the Bible lacks in, which is memorization, that is one of the greatest strengths of the preservation of the Quran since the Muslims always memorized the Quran by heart, so if someone invented something the Muslims could tell whether it was true and false just based on their memory! They wouldn't even need any manuscripts, just their memory. Please visit these links which greatly talk about the preservation of the Quran with responses to Christian arguments similar to Shamouns:

 

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Gilchrist/

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Sources/Sarh/

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/hajjaj.html

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Qiraat/the10.html   *

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Qiraat/hafs.html   *

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Qiraat/green.html   *

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/qirmans.html   *

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/forgery.html  

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Scribal/scribal.html

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Scribal/haleem.html

 

I urge all readers to visit these links especially the ones with the stars beside them as they are dealing on the same topic which Shamoun is bring up, supposed different readings.

 

Also taken from http://www.geocities.com/noorullahwebsite/shamoun-false.html   which is response to this article of Shamoun on this different reading:

So, when they cannot refute the prophecy, they claim that Muslims fabricated it. Very convenient!

  The Qur'an was first orally transmitted by hundreds of reciters, this means that no one could change the meaning while others are asleep because other reciters of the Qur'an would quickly recognize the flaw. This is not the case with written transmission that is more liable to corruption in absence of memorization. This oral transmission is still present until now and there are millions of Muslims who memorize the Qur'an as first recited by the Prophet (peace be upon him).
  This is a fatal objection against Shamoun's argument because transmission of the Qur'an in both oral and written is identical, thus excludes any charge of tampering.

  Another noteworthy point is that Al-Baidawi affirmed the prophecy of Roman victory over Persians in his commentary, page 534, and said it is among signs of his truthfulness. So, how come he is quoted to say the opposite?! Is it a widespread practice among Christian missionaries?

  Concerning the last comment about Muslims unable to be confident about the accurate recitation, conditions were formulated by the scholars of the Qur'anic recitation to facilitate critical analysis of the recitations. For any given recitation to be accepted as authentic (Sahih), it had to fulfill three conditions and if any of the conditions were missing such a recitation was classified as Shdhdh (unusual).

  • The first condition was that the recitation has an authentic chain of narration in which the chain of narrators was continuous, the narrators were all known to be righteous and they were all known to possess good memories. It was also required that the recitation be conveyed by a large number of narrators on each level of the chain of narration below the level of Sahaabah (the condition of Tawaatur). Narrations which had authentic chains but lacked the condition of Tawaatur were accepted as explanations (Tafseer) of the Sahaabah but were not considered as methods of reciting the Qur'an. As for the narrations which did not even have an authentic chain of narration, they were classified as Baatil (false) and rejected totally.
  • The second condition was that the variations in recitations match known Arabic grammatical constructions. Unusual constructions could be verified by their existence in passages of pre-Islamic prose or poetry.
  • The third condition required the recitation to coincide with the script of one of the copies of the Qur'an distributed during the era of Caliph ?Uthmn. Hence differences which result from dot placement (i.e., ta'lamoon and ya'lamoon) are considered acceptable provided the other conditions are met. A recitation of a construction for which no evidence could be found would be classified Shaadhdh. This classification did not mean that all aspects of the recitation was considered Shaadhdh. it only meant that the unverified constructions were considered Shaadhdh.(1)


  This being the case, we can confidently say that the authentic recitation is the one universally accepted by all Muslim scholars and in perfect harmony with authentic Islamic traditions.

Also taken from http://www.answering-christianity.com/quran/quran_textual-reply.html :

 

Introduction

We have studied the claims of the Christian missionaries about the Qur'an and in our view, they had put forward strange claims due to the lack of basic fields of knowledge of Islam, such as Ulum al-Qur'an (the sciences of the Qur'an) and Ulum al-Hadith (the sciences of Hadith). In addition to this, the Christian missionary John Gilchrist has written a book knows as "Jam' al-Qur'an". Its Internet version can be found at http://www.answering-islam.org/Gilchrist/Jam/ . Almost all Christian missionary sites were displaying almost the same material which this book Jam al-Qur'an has. These people are presenting "variant readings" of the Qur'an to make it look like "variant texts", and using the events of the Islamic History to make unknowledgeable Muslims "realize" that the Qur'an is "corrupted" (Allah forgive our sins). They are presenting these things without those things which our scholars always present with them - that is good answers.

This article has been written as if it is educational, and not a very deep rebuttal so that any Muslim (who lacks knowledge in the basic fields of Islam such as the Qur'anic Sciences) and non-Muslim may understand the issues involved and benefit from it. If it was written in the form of a rebuttal, then only knowledgeable Muslims and "high-level" Christian missionaries could have understood it.

We have not included the response to high level allegations such as "missing verses" of the Qur'an, etc. These allegations are just allegations! To answer these, a separate article can be written. These topics are beyond the scope of this article.

The main question is given below in the form as if an unknowledgeable person asks:

QUESTION: WHAT IS THE LEVEL OF THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE QUR'AN HISTORICALLY?

The answer is simple, it is authentic and that it is in the same condition as it was recited by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The following are the contents:

[1] This Introduction

[2] The Written Holy Qur'an in the Times of The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

[a] Evidence from the Qur'an

[b] Evidence from Hadith

[c] Conclusion

[3] The Oral Transmission of the Holy Qur'an

[a] The First Hafiz

[b] Hafizun among the Companions

[c] Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Encouraged Memorization

[d] Listening to Others by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

[d] Conclusion

[4] The Collection done under the Khalifah (Caliph) Abu Bakr (ra)

[a] Hadith which mentions it

[b] Conclusion

[5] The Collection done under the Khalifah (Caliph) Uthman (ra)

[a] Hadith which mentions it

[b] Reasons for the burning

[c] The Reaction of the Sahaba of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s)

[d] The Reaction of Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud and Reasons for it

[e] Conclusion

[6] Missing Verses found only with this Person? (link A, link B)

[7] The Textual Variances

[a] A few Examples

[b] Two Additional Surahs in Ubbay's and Abu Musa's Codices?

[c] Acceptance of Variant Readings

[d] Changes under Al-Hajjaj?

[e] Conclusion


The Written Qur'an in the Times of The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

A large number of missionaries and the self-styled "critics" have been quoting Islamic traditions, or reports (Hadith), which support their claim, that the Qur'an was not written at the time of its Revelation. Are all these claims true? They are not, if we re-examine them.

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Evidence from the Qur'an

The Qur'an itself contains many passages which refer to its written form. There appear to be four chapters (Sura's) of the Qur'an which refer to the Qur'an's written form explicitly. I'll quote them:

"By no means! Indeed it is a message of Instruction
Therefore, whoever wills, should remember
On leaves held in honour
Exalted, purified
In the hands of scribes
Noble and pious"

Sura' 80: 11-16

Here we have a reference to those scribes who wrote the Qur'an, on leaves. Minister Abdullah Yusuf Ali, in his commentary  wrote that at the time of the Revelation of this Surah, forty-two or forty-five others (Surahs) had been written and were kept by Muslims in Makkah (out of the total 114 Surahs).

"Nay, this is the glorious Qur'an, on a Tablet preserved"
Sura' 85: 21-22

The above verse is the ultimate proof on the written preservation of the Qur'an even before the migration of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

"This is a glorious Reading, In a book well-kept,
Which none but the purified teach
This is a Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds"

Sura' 56: 77-80

The above verse refers to a "book well-kept," which can be no other than the Qur'an.

"They said: Tales of the ancients which he had caused to be written and they are dictated to him morning and evening"
25: 5

A reference to the enemies of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) when they accused him of plagiarising and retelling stories from the past. Still, we see words referring to the Qur'an in its written form.

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Evidence from Hadith

Besides the above verses which refer to the Qur'an's written form, there are also a number of Hadith which agree with the above verses:

Zayd (ra) is reported to have said: 

We used to compile the Qur'an from small scraps in the presence of the Messenger. (Hakim, Mustadrak)

The above Hadith also tells us that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was not unaware of the condition of the Qur'an with his companions and that he used to guide them while compiling it. Also, it tells us that the Qur'an also used to be compiled for Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), meaning that he had a personal copy.

Malik said that no one should carry the Mushaf by its strap, nor on a pillow, unless he is clean. (Mu'atta, Kitab Al-Nida' Li'l-Salah)

It is clear that the Qur'an was available in a book form at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Narrated Qatadah: I asked Anas Ibn Malik: ?Who collected the Qur'an at the time of Prophet?' He replied: ?Four, all of whom were from the Ansar: Ubay Ibn Ka?ab, Mu?adh Ibn Jabal, Zayd Ibn Thabit and Abu Zayd.' (Bukhari, Kitab Fada'ilu'l-Qur'an)

It is very clear that the complete Qur'an was available in the form of a book even at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). This proof is inescapable, and any Hadith which contradicts the facts presented here is a fabrication.

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Conclusion

The claim that the Qur'an was not written at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is incorrect. Some admit that it was written, but not all. This too is incorrect. The truth stands out clear, the whole Qur'an was written at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

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The Oral Transmission of the Qur'an

Even until today, many people have completely memorized the Qur'an. These people are known as Hafizun, which means that they are the protectors of the Qur'an. The real protector is Allah, the Lord of all Being, but Hafizun are called protectors because if the Qur'an was ever lost, the Hafizun can easily restore it. People have not started becoming Hafizun recently, but many of them were also present at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself was a person who had memorized the whole Qur'an, word by word.

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The First Hafiz

The first one to memorize the complete Qur'an, was, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself. After a Revelation came to the Prophet (pbuh), he memorized it:

'Move not thy tongue concerning the (Qur'an) to make
haste therewith. It is for Us to collect it and promulgate
it; but when We have promulgated it, follow thou its
recital'
(75: 16-19)

Instead of the above verse, they are so many Hadith which say that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had memorized the Qur'an, they quoting them is not needed. Any one with even the knowledge of an atom concerning Islam may be knowing this.

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Hafizun Among the Companions

The Prophet (pbuh) had thousands of companions, and it is for sure that hundreds of them too had memorized the whole Qur'an, word by word, just as the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself did.

"... the first man to speak the Qur'an loudly in Makka after the apostle was 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud. The Prophet's Companions came together and mentioned that the Quraish had never heard the Qur'an distinctly read to them ... When (Ibn Mas'ud) arrived at the maqAm, he read "In the name of God the Compassionate the Merciful", raising his voice as he did so. "The Compassionate who taught the Qur'an ..." (55:1) ... They got up and began to hit him in the face; but he continued to read so far as God willed that he should read ..." Guillaume, E.:  The Life of Muhammad (abbr. as Ibn Hisham), London, 55, pp. 141-2; Ibn Hisham: Sira al-nabi, Cairo, n.d., 1, p.206.

The above report clearly shows that even in the earlier days of Islam, people memorized the Qur'an. It is also reported that Abu Bakr (ra) recited the Qur'an publicly in front of his house (Sira Ibn Hisham).

In addition to this, it is compulsory to recite the Qur'an in prayers. So the companions, at least, had memorized some of the Qur'an if not the whole as others did.

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Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Encouraged Memorization

The best thing we could do here was to quote a passage from the second chapter of Ahmad von Denffer's book, Ulum al Qur'an:

There are numerous ahadith, giving account of various efforts made and measures taken by the Prophet to ensure that the revelation was preserved in the memory of his Companions. The following is perhaps the most clear:
'Narrated 'Uthman bin 'Affan: The Prophet said: "The most superior among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Qur'an and teach it".'
Bukhari, VI, No. 546.

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Listening to Others by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), also listened to the recital of others. Here is a Hadith showing this:

"Narrated 'Abdullah (Ibn Mas'ud): 'Allah's Apostle said to me: "Recite (of the Qur'an) for me". I said: "Shall I recite it to you although it had been revealed to you?!" He said: "I like to hear (the Qur'an) from others". So I recited Surat-an-Nisa' till I reached: "How (will it be) then when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these people?" ' (4: 41).  'Then he said: "Stop!" Behold, his eyes were shedding tears then." Bukhari, VI, No. 106.

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Conclusion

In addition to writing, the whole Qur'an was also memorized by hundreds of Muslims and even those who had met the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself. Just as the whole Qur'an was preserved by writing, the whole Qur'an was also preserved by memorization too.

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The Collection done under the Khalifah (Caliph) Abu Bakr (ra)

Abu Bakr (ra) was a very close friend of the Prophet (pbuh). He was also his successor, not in Prophethood, but he became the Commander of the Muslims (Amirul Mukminin) after the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). During his Caliphate, a battle took place, known as the "Battle of Yamamah." In this battle, many people had memorized the Qur'an, were martyred. Abu Bakr (ra) feared that the Qur'an might not be lost. So he ordered Zayd Ibn Thabit (ra), the personal scribe of the Prophet (pbuh), to compile it. Zayd (ra) finished the job successfully.

It must be noted that even if many companions who had memorized the Qur'an were martyred, the complete Qur'an in writing already existed.

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Hadith which mentions it

The following is the Hadith which mentions the collection of the Qur'an: under Abu Bakr's Caliphate:

Narrated Zaid bin Thabit Al-Ansari, one of the scribes of the Revelation: Abu Bakr sent for me after the casualties among the warriors (of the battle) of Yamama (where a great number of Qurra were killed). 'Umar was present with Abu Bakr who said: "Umar has come to me and said, the People have suffered heavy casualties on the day of (the battle of) Yamama, and I am afraid that there will be some casualties among the Qurra (those who know the Qur'an by heart) at other places, whereby a large part of the Qur'an may be lost, unless you collect it. And I am of the opinion that you should collect the Qur'an.' Abu Bakr added, 'I said to 'Umar, "How can I do something which Allah's Apostle has not done?" 'Umar said (to me) "By Allah, it is (really) a good thing". So 'Umar kept on pressing trying to persuade me to accept his proposal, till Allah opened my bosom for it and I had the same opinion as 'Umar'. (Zaid bin Thabit added:) 'Umar was sitting with him (Abu Bakr) and was not speaking. Abu Bakr said (to me), 'You are a wise young man and we do not suspect you (of telling lies or of forgetfulness); and you used to write the Divine Inspiration for Allah's Apostle. Therefore, look for the Qur'an and collect it (in one manuscript)'. By Allah, if he (Abu Bakr) had ordered me to shift one of the mountains (from its place) it would not have been harder for me than what he had ordered me concerning the collection of the Qur'an. I said to both of them, 'How dare you do a thing which the Prophet has not done?' Abu Bakr said, 'By Allah, it is (really) a good thing. So I kept on arguing with him about it till Allah opened my bosom for that which He had opened the bosoms of Abu Bakr and
'Umar. So I started locating the Quranic material and collecting it from parchments, scapula, leafstalks of date palms and from the memories of men (who knew it by heart). I found with Khuzaima two verses of Surah Tauba which I had not found with anybody else (and they were): 'Verily there has come to you an Apostle (Muhammad) from among yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He (Muhammad) is ardently anxious over you (to be rightly guided)' (9:128).
Bukhari, VI, No. 201

The words of Zaid may raise some confusion: How can I do something which Allah's Apostle has not done? This doen't mean that the Qur'an was not written in the Prophet's time, but it means that that the Qur'anic was scattered and not collected into one volume. The Prophet (pbuh) didn't leave the complete Qur'an in a single volume for all the Ummah, because most of his companions had memorized it and some had their own copies. So Abu Bakr (ra) feared that the Qur'an could have been lost, and that's why he ordered for a copy to be prepared.

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Conclusion

Even though when the whole Qur'an was available in writing, the Caliph took great care that it still would not be lost and that's why he ordered Zaid to collect it. This also means that the Caliph greatly cared for the Qur'an.

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The Collection done under the Khalifah (Caliph) Uthman (ra)

After Abu Bakr (ra), the Caliph Umar ruled, and after the Caliph Umar, Uthman Ibn Affan was elected as Caliph. During the period of the Caliph Uthman, Islam spread to many areas. The Muslims who were not Arabs, couldn't read the Qur'an as it should have been read. They changed the meanings of the verses, and many variant readings sprung out, because the people were ignorant of Arabic. Old Arabic was written as lines, and now one can distinguish such and such alphabets easily by marks. But this was not the case in older times. That's why, the Caliph Uthman immediately told a committee of scribes to write the Qur'an in the dialect of the Quraysh, because that was how the Qur'an was revealed. When the scribes had prepared many copies from the one which Abu Bakr (ra) had compiled, each copy was sent to each city under Muslim rule. Other copies which were not from Uthman were burned. Then, from the standard copies, more copies were made and this time there were also teachers of the people to teach them how to recite the Qur'an.

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Hadith which mentions it

The following is the report which mentions the above described event:

Narrated Anas bin Malik: Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman came to 'Uthman at the time when the people of Sham and the people of Iraq were waging war to conquer Arminya and Adharbijan. Hudhaifa was afraid of their (the people of Sham and Iraq) differences in the recitation of the Qur'an, so he said to 'Uthmfin, 'O chief of the Believers! Save this nation before they differ about the Book (Qur'an), as Jews and the Christians did before'. 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 Az-Zubair, Sa'id bin Al-'As and 'Abdur Rahman bin Hari-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 as 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. Zaid bin Thabit added, 'A verse from Sura al-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 convenant xwith Allah' (33: 23). Bukhari, VI, No. 510

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Reasons for the burning

The Christian missionaries have been openly making the allegation that Uthman (ra) ordered all copies of the Qur'an to be burnt because of the varying content. This is not true. We quote Dr. Ahmad Shafaat on this issue:

Now suppose that there were at any time any variations in the Qur'an other than those caused by scribal errors or failure of memory or due to some minor differences in script. That is, suppose that some individuals or groups deliberately held onto a text of the Qur'an that they knew was different from the one followed by others and that was closer to the original text than the one we possess. How could it then happen that from century to century and from country to country we find the same text of the Qur'an? It is said that 'Uthman, the third leader succeeding the Prophet, ordered people to burn all the texts of the Qur'an which were different from a certain text. But is it conceivable that people will submit to this order even if they thought 'Uthman's text was not the authentic text? Westerners may have the tendency to think that Muslim rulers must have always been tyrant dictators who could force the people to do anything. This is certainly not true of the early leaders of Muslims. But even if we assume that people lived in terror of their leaders, it was logistically impossible for 'Uthman to control every home. People could easily hide their various copies of the Qur'an and secretly pass them on to their descendants and through them on to us. It is self-evident and is also required by the teachings of the Qur'an that every Muslim should do his utmost to prevent the alteration or suppression of the word of God. For in passages where there are no variations alleged the Qur'an had condemned earlier nations for altering or fabricating the "divine" scripture. Thus in one such passage we read:

And woe unto those who write the scripture with their own hands and then say, "This is from God," that they may in this way obtain a small gain. Woe unto them for what their hands have written and woe unto them for what they gain thereby! (2:79).

In the following passage condemns even hiding any part of the revelation, much less altering it:

[God says:] Those who hide what We have revealed of the clear matters and of the guidance, after We have made it clear for the people, are accursed of God and accursed of those who (are entitled to) curse - except such of them as repent and amend and make manifest the truth. These it is to whom I turn in forgiveness. And I am the forgiving, the merciful (2:159-160).

Many early Muslims are expected to live up to the obligation implied in these verses even if it meant loosing their lives. For, there has never been a shortage of Muslims who have been willing to give their lives for the sake of Islam. Hence any attempt by 'Uthman or anyone else would have been met with the stiffest resistance on the part of many Muslims. But we hear of no such resistance.

And what about the text that 'Uthman promulgated? How did he arrive at that text? On the basis of what text did the first two leaders, Abu Bakr and 'Umar governed the Muslim lands before him ? What text people had been using in their daily prayers in Medina, the city of the Prophet, which consisted almost entirely of Muslims, most having seen and heard the Prophet? What text was used throughout the land during sermons before the Friday congregational prayers? How could 'Uthman change the text that had been used for twelve years before him in the presence of hundreds of companions of the Prophet who could easily detect any change to the original text and were obligated by religious principles to prevent alterations in the word of God? And why at all would he want to change it, considering that the extant text says nothing in his favor? It is also important to keep in mind that the vast Muslim world was not homogeneous. There was as much diversity of opinion as one expects from any group of people. There were even conflicts, some of them armed. 'Uthman himself had opposition from some groups, one of which actually martyred him. Had the text he promulgated been less than 100% reliable his opponents would have made it an issue and accused him of changing the word of God. But the fact is that these opponents accused him of many things but we do not have any tradition, certainly not an early reliable one, in which they accuse him of changing the word of God.

It is indeed possible that 'Uthman did promulgate one particular text and ordered others to be burnt. For differences in script and copying errors during a period of fast conversion might have resulted in many manuscripts with errors. If these manuscripts were then used to make further copies, the errors would have multiplied. The best solution was that certain authenticated copies be sent to various centers of the Muslim world and all others destroyed. The very fact that the text whose copies were sent by 'Uthman was accepted throughout the Muslim world, by both his friends and foes, and the fact that no other text has ever been put forward as an alternative to the existing text proves that the text sent by 'Uthman was the authentic one.

In addition to the multiplying number of copying errors, there was probably another reason for promulgating a standard text. Earlier we noticed two peculiarities of the Arabic language: differences in script and absence of the vowel. These also could have resulted in confusion. Steps taken by 'Uthman effectively solved the problem caused by the first peculiarity: the differences in script. His solution to the second peculiarity -- the absence of vowels -- was to send a Qari along with the copy of the Qur'an to preserve the correct reading that the hundreds of companions had learnt from the Prophet. This was clearly not a satisfactory solution. Later, at the insistence of Zayd, the Governor of Basrah (45-53 H), dots were assigned as vowel points. Then during the reign of Abdul Malik (65-85 H.) Hajjaj bin Yusuf appointed scholars to assign new symbols for vowels while dots were used to distinguish different letters that were in some words looked the same. (Dr. Ahmad Shafaat, 2000, "Journal of the Muslim Research Institute", Canada)

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The Reaction of the Sahaba' of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

Some of the missionaries, without proof, proclaim that many people didn't like the act of burning. This is wrong as proven by the following:

Zaid is reported to have said, "I saw the companions of Muhammad (going about) saying, "By Allah, Uthman has done well! By Allah, Uthman has done well!" [Nisaburi]

Ibn Abi Dawud records Musab ibn Sad ibn Abi Waqqas to have testified: "I saw the people assemble in large number at Uthman's burning of the proscribed copies; not a one spoke out against him." Ali commented, "If I were in command in place of Uthman, I would have done the same." [Zarkashi]

Almost every companion of the Prophet (pbuh) clealy approved the action of Uthman (ra).

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The Reaction of Abdullah Ibn Mas`ud and Reasons for it

Abdullah Ibn Mas`ud was a very close companion of the Prophet (pbuh). When Uthman (ra) ordered all personal and other codices to be destroyed other than the standard, Ibn Mas'ud (ra) refused to hand over his copy. Often it is asked; why did Abdullah Ibn Mas`ud react this way? When we study his background, a very clear, vivid answer is found. We have reproduced the text from Akbarally Meherally's article explaining the reason for Abdullah Ibn Mas`ud's reaction. His article can be found at http://www.mostmerciful.com/reply-ans-islam.htm. We quote the text as follows:

A brief bio-data of this early companion of the Prophet (s.a.s.) would help us to understand the entire situation. His name was Abdullah. He was son of Ma'sud. During his childhood he was also called "ibn Umm Abd" (the son of the mother of a slave). At an early age he joined the Prophet in his mission and stayed very close to him. He received the training in the household of the Prophet and had learnt the Qirat of the Qur'an (the accepted method of the recitation of the Qur'an) from the Prophet himself. He was a leading reputable Qari (reciter of the Qur'an) and used to recite loudly and clearly. Ibn Ma'sud was recommended by the Prophet to those who wished to learn the Qirat . He was very knowledgeable on the Shariah and followed the Sunnah of the Prophet closely. When he was sent to Kufa in Iraq, the people of Kufa highly respected him. They not only used to learn from ibn Ma'sud the verses of the Qur'an but also used to consult him on the subject. 

In Jam' Al-Qu'ran chapter 3, cited by the Critic which can be found on their web page;         http://www.answering-islam.org/Gilchrist/Jam/chap3.html , under the sub-heading: IBN MAS'UD'S REACTION TO UTHMAN'S DECREE,  the opening paragraph reads:

When Uthman sent out the order that all codices of the Qur'an other than the codex of Zaid ibn Thabit should be destroyed, Abdullah ibn Mas'ud refused to hand over his copy. Desai openly speaks of "Hadhrat Ibn Mas'ud's initial refusal to hand over the compilation" (The Quraan Unimpeachable, p.44)

Please note the quoted text from page 44 speaks of Hadhrat Ibn Mas'ud's  "initial" refusal. The critic has in his opening sentence very conveniently ignored this important fact about this initial reaction by Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud. Here is the reason for this initial or early reaction. Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud had with him a personal copy of the Qur'an (Musaf) which was his precious personal possession. We also learn from the said chapter-3 that Ibn Ma'sud had made some notes on his copy.  It is quite understandable that any religious teacher or missionary would develop a kind of sentiment for his personal copy of the Divine Scripture which he has been using over a period of time and more so, if there were his personal notes on that copy. Such early reactions are but normal under the most normal circumstances. The Critic questions the issue of "personal notes" on the ground that no documentary evidence has been provided. The critic had better ask himself a question; "Does my own personal copy of the Holy Bible, which I have been using over a period of time, has any personal notes or underlined text?" It is inconceivable that any Bible scholar/teacher would have a copy of his personal Bible without his/her personal notes.

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Conclusion

The truth is clear from what the missionaries would like to allege. Caliph Uthman (ra) didn't destroy the Qur'an, instead, he took the best action ever possible.

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The Textual Variances

There were many textual variances of the Qur'an, or variant readings. These variant readings didn't concern the content of Surahs and the Qur'an, but they were differences in spellings, nouns, etc.

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A Few Examples of Variances

We have quoted a few variant readings. The Qur'an copy of Abdullah Ibn Mas`ud, as seen by me, was the the most different (in variant readings) from almost all other copies. I'll quote some examples.

An example of different pronunciation in Surah Al Baqarah:

2: 70   Ibn Mas'ud reads al-baqira in place of al-baqara

An example of different spellings in Surah Al Baqarah:

2: 19   He reads kulla ma in place of kullama

An example of use of different synonyms in Surah Al Baqarah:

2: 98    He reads sal in place of ud'u

Many other companions of the Prophet had variant readings in their Qur'an copies. But, they did not concern variances in the size of the content of the Qur'an, they were only differences in spellings, synonyms, pronunciations, etc. 

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Two Additional Surahs in Ubbay's and Abu Musa's Codex?

Often, it is said that Abu Musa's and Ubbay bin Kaab's (two companions of the Prophet) had 116 Surahs, instead of 114 Surahs. But is this true? 

The first so-called additional sura` was named "al-khal" and the other was named "al-hadf." Their translation is as follows:

  1. O Allah, we seek your help and ask your forgiveness, and we praise you and we don't disbelieve in you. We separate from and leave who sins against you.
  2. O Allah we worship you and to you we pray and prostrate and to you we run and hasten to serve you. We hope for your mercy and fear your punishment. Your punishment will surely reach the disbelievers.

On further study, we get to know that this was not a part of the Qur'an, rather these were two pieces of "qunut",  supplications that the Prophet (pbuh) sometimes says in the morning prayer or "witr" prayer after recitation of Surahs from the Qur'an. (Ahmad von Denffer, "Ulum al Qur'an")

Sometimes, it is said that there was also an additional verse in the copy of Abu Musa and Ubbay bin Kaab. It is said that it was as follows (translation):

If the son of Adam was given a valley full of riches, he would wish for a second one, and if he was given two valley of riches, he would would surely ask for a third one. Nothing will fill the belly of the son of Adam except dust, and Allah is forgiving to him who is repentant.

Again, on further investigation, we come to realize that this is a saying of the Prophet Muhammad, and not a part of the Qur'an (Ahmad von Denffer, "Ulum al Qur'an").

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Acceptance of Variant Readings

Variant Readings can be accepted if they meet the following criteria for acceptance:

  1. A reading with correct Arabic grammar
  2. Traced back to the Prophet (pbuh)
  3. Agreement with the Uthmanic text

Further more, the variant readings should also meet the following criteria for preference:

  1. A reading with correct Arabic grammar
  2. Agreement with the Uthmanic text
  3. Reported/preferred by the majority

Further more, the variant readings can be divided as follows (taken from von Denffer's "Ulum al Qur'an"): 

  1. The mutawatir (transmitted by many; they include the seven well-known readings)
  2. The ahad (transmitted by one, they number three, going back to the sahaba and together with the seven make up ten).
  3. The shadh (exceptional; they go back to the tabi'un only)

From the above, the current text of the Qur'an (Uthmanic), is mutawatir.

 

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Conclusion

Variants readings may be accepted if they meet what is required. But, the greatest care must be taken. Von Denffer aptly concludes in his book about the Uthmanic mushaf that:

The wide distribution of this text and its undisputed authority can also be deduced from the reports on the battle of Siffin (A.H. 37) 27 years after the death of the Prophet , and five years after 'Uthman's copies were distributed, Mu`awiya's troops fixed sheets from the Qur'an on their spears to interrupt the battle. However nobody accused anyone else of using a partisan version of the text, which would have made a splendid accusation against the enemy. (pg 56)

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Conclusion

The authenticity of the Qur'an is a major proof that it is from Allah, the Lord of all Being. Allah has Himself said in the Qur'an that He will guard it from corruption (we seen here how Allah's Book survived 1400 years with out a single change, which proves that Allah has Guarded His Book). Therefore, we quote the following statement to all non-Muslims and Christian missionaries who attack the Holy Qur'an: 

"Let there be no compulsion in religion, truth stands out clear from what is error." (al-Qur'an (2):256)

The Quran has been faithfully preserved, the same cannot be said about Shamoun's Bible.

 

In fact the Bible is a witness against itself that is has not preserved, for instance there are books mentioned in the Bible which cannot be found are simply ?lost':

 

1 CHRONICLES 29:29
"Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written a BOOK OF SAMUEL THE SEER, and in the BOOK OF NATHAN THE PROPHET, and in the BOOK OF GAD THE SEER,.."

 

I KINGS 11:41
"And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are not written in the BOOK OF THE ACTS OF SOLOMON?"

 

NUMBERS 21:14
"Wherefore it is said in the BOOK OF THE WARS OF THE LORD, What He did in the Red Sea, and in the brooks of Arnon..."

Where are these books? I have not found them in the canons of today's Bible. These books don't exists in today's Bible, hence the Bible has not been preserved according to its own statement!

 

The Original manuscript don't even exist according to the bible's own theologians!

"Christians readily admit, however, that there have been 'scribal errors' in the copies of the Old and New Testament. It is beyond the capability of anyone to avoid any and every slip of the pen in copying page after page from any book, sacred or secular. Yet we may be sure that the original manuscript (better known as autograph) of each book of the Bible, being directly inspired by God, was free from all error. Those originals, however, because of the early date of their inception no longer exist."

"Because we are dealing with accounts which were written thousands of years ago, we would not expect to have the originals in our possession today, as they would have disintegrated long ago. We are therefore dependent on the copies taken from copies of those originals, which were in turn continually copied out over a period of centuries. Those who did the copying were prone to making two types of scribal errors. One concerned the spelling of proper names, and the other had to do with numbers."

"Most Christians will affirm that the Bible is our rule of faith and practice. It is a little self contradictory to stand in the pulpit and say the word of God is inspired, when in his heart the pastor knows he is not referring to any book here on this earth that people can hold in their hands and believe. He really should say what he believes - that the word of God WAS inspired at one time but we no longer have it, so the best we can do is hope we have a close approximation of what God probably meant to tell us."  (http://www.geocities.com/brandplucked/transinsp.html)

"It also seems a bit inconsistent to say he believes the originals were inspired, when he has never seen them, they never were together in one single book and they no longer exist anyway. How does he know they were inspired? He accepts this by faith. Yet he seems to lack the faith to actually believe that God could do exactly what He said He would do with His words. God said He would preserve them and that heaven and earth would pass away but His words would not pass away." (http://www.geocities.com/brandplucked/transinsp.html)

 

For more information on just how bad the text of today's Bible really is visit these links:

 

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Bible/Text/Canon/ 

 

http://www.why-christians-convert-to-islam.com/EXHIBITAv2.htm

 

These 2 links show how many different Biblical cannons there have been, the Bible has always been changing, books have been added, removed and so forth. The Bible we have today is merely another new canon and before you know it will change just like the others, unlike the Quran, the Bible can never say there was always one consistent Bible throughout the ages, the Bible in the hands of the Christians today is not the same one they had centuries ago.

 

Visit this Christian website which as a list of books that used to make up the Bible but were removed and were called apocrypha:

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/

 

 

So it is in fact Shamouns very own book which has not been faithfully preserved. It is Shamouns book which has thousands of variants and different readings and they fixed this by deciding which was the better option, and the better option never seemed to be good enough since the Bible is always changing. The Bible has been changing in canon and in its message, there were books in the Bible that denied Jesus died and got crucified!

 

http://www.answering-christianity.com/ac24.htm#links

 

 

So that concludes part one of the rebuttal. The Quran did not contain any false prophecy, Shamoun basically attacks the interpretation which is wrong, not the Quran. The Quran was correct. Shamoun tried to show the Quran is corrupt textual wise, this backfired against him as we saw the Quran us preserved unlike his corrupt Bible.

 

www.muslim-responses.com