Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Claims that the Qur’aan has been distorted


Dear Sir, please try to answer my question as it is very important to me. I have read in an antiislamic website run by a christian theologist from England that the scholar "Al-Sagistany" wrote in his book called "Almasahif" that the Muslim leader "Al-Hajjajj " changed letters in the Quran in about at least ten words . He claims that "Alsagistany" reported this and that he wrote it under the title: "Ma Ghayarraho Alhajjajj Fe Moshaf Othman". this christian also narrates in Arabic what he claims to be a copy of this page with the ten words which he claims had letters changed in them.

I have tried to find a copy of that book to search the matter but I failed. Please try your best efforts to make this matter clear . Also it is unimaginable to me that the whole Muslim scholars and memorizers of Quran could have just accepted someone to change in the Quran without stopping this or not knowing about it. Even if Alsagistany really reported this, it still really doesnot make sense at all; first of all because we are not like christians and jews who dont memorize their books totally and it is mainly left to religious scholars. Instead very large numbers of muslims memorize the Quran and almost all read it . So changes could not have just passed unnoticed except by Alsagistany especially that at this era there were already several total copies of the Quran in all muslim countries. Secondly, if it is very difficult to believe that these changes were not noticed by scholars or people at the time, then it is far more difficult to imagine that any muslim scholar or even lay man would know of the changes to the book of Allah and keep quiet and not fight this thing and just accept it. Sir, it just could not happen.

So please try to find this book and clarify the matter for me in great detail with definite evidence and proofs as much as Allah will help you. I appreciate your cooperation and again forgive me for my long letter but I cannot tell you how important this matter is to me. I put all my trust and hope in Allah that I will find a really clear and clearcut answer.

Praise be to Allaah.



It is not possible for a Muslim to entertain doubts
concerning the immutability of the Qur’aan, because Allaah has guaranteed to
preserve the Qur’aan. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e.
the Qur’aan) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption)”

[al-Hijr 15:9] 

The Qur’aan was preserved in the hearts of the Sahaabah who
had memorized it, and on the trunks of trees and thin white stones until the
time of the caliph Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq (may Allaah be pleased with him).
During the Riddah wars many of the Sahaabah who had memorized the Qur’aan
were killed, so Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) was afraid that
the Qur’aan may be lost. He consulted the senior Sahaabah concerning the
idea of compiling the entire Qur’aan in one book so that it would be
preserved and would not be lost, and this task was entrusted to the great
hafiz Zayd ibn Thaabit and others who had written down the Revelation.
Al-Bukhaari narrated in his Saheeh that Zayd ibn Thaabit (may Allaah
be pleased with him) said:  

“Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq sent for me when the people of Yamamah
had been killed (i.e., a number of the Prophet's Companions who fought
against Musaylimah). (I went to him) and found 'Umar bin al-Khattaab sitting
with him. Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) said (to me), ‘ ‘Umar
has come to me and said: “Casualties were heavy among the Qurra' of the
Qur'aan (i.e. those who knew the Qur’aan by heart) at the Battle of
Yamaamah, and I am afraid that more heavy casualties may take place among
the Qurra' on other battlefields, whereby a large part of the Qur'an may be
lost. Therefore I suggest that you [Abu Bakr] should issue orders that the
Qur’aan be collected.” I said to 'Umar, “How can you do something that the
Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not
do?" 'Umar said, “By Allah, this is something good.” ‘Umar kept on urging me
(to accept his proposal) until Allah opened my heart to it and I began to
realize the good in the idea which 'Umar had realized.’ Then Abu Bakr said
(to me): ‘You are a wise young man and we have a great deal of confidence in
you. You used to write down the Revelation for the Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). So you should seek out the
Qur’aan [i.e., the fragments on which it is written] and collect it (in one
book).’ By Allaah, if they had ordered me to move one of the mountains, it
would not have been harder for me than this command to collect the Qur’aan.
I said (to Abu Bakr), ‘How can you do something which the Messenger of
Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not do?’ Abu
Bakr said, ‘By Allaah, it is a good thing.’ Abu Bakr kept on urging me (to
accept his proposal) until Allah opened my heart to it as He had opened the
hearts of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. So I started to look for the Qur’aan and
collected it from (the fragments on which it was written of) palm-stalks,
thin white stones and the hearts of men (i.e., from men who knew it by
heart), until I found the last verse of Soorat al-Tawbah with Abu Khuzaymah
al-Ansaari, and I did not find it with anybody other than him. The verse is

‘Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger from amongst
yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or

[al-Tawbah 9:128 – interpretation of the meaning]

… until the end of Soorat Baraa’ah (Soorat al-Tawbah). 

These fragments remained with Abu Bakr until he died, then
with ‘Umar for the rest of his life, then with Hafsah bint ‘Umar (may Allaah
be pleased with them both).” 


With regard to al-Hajjaaj, it was not his idea to write out
the Mus-haf, rather he was commanded by an intelligent man to do that. There
follows the complete story: 

Al-Zarqaani said: 

It is known that the Mus-haf of ‘Uthmaan was unpointed (i.e.,
it had no diacritical marks). Whatever the case the addition of diacritical
marks to the Mus-haf did not happen, according to the well-established view,
until the era of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwaan, when he realized that Islam had
spread widely and the Arabs were mixing with the non-Arabs, which was having
an effect on the Arabic language, so that there was much confusion about the
correct reading of the Mus-hafs and it was becoming very difficult for
people to tell the letters apart. By his deep insight, he realized that he
should do something to solve the problem. So he commanded al-Hajjaaj to take
care of this important matter. In obedience to the caliph, Al-Hajjaaj
appointed two men to deal with this matter, namely Nasr ibn ‘Aasim al-Laythi
and Yahya ibn Ya’mar al-‘Adwaani, both of whom were qualified and able to do
the task required of them, because they were knowledgeable, righteous, pious
and experts in Arabic language and the various readings of the Qur’aan. They
had also both studied under Abu’l-Aswad al-Du’li. May Allaah have mercy on
these two shaykhs, for they succeeded in their work and gave the Mus-haf
diacritical points for the first time. They added dots to all the letters
that look similar, not adding more than three dots to any one letter. That
became widespread among the people and was very effective in dispelling
confusion concerning reading of the Mus-haf.  

It was said that the first person to add diacritical marks to
the Mus-haf was Abu’l-Aswad al-Du’li, and that Ibn Seereen had a Mus-haf to
which diacritical marks had been added by Yahya ibn Ya’mar. These opinions
may be reconciled by noting that Abu’l-Aswad was the first one who added
diacritical marks to the Mus-haf, but he did that for his own individual
use, then Ibn Seereen followed him in that, and that ‘Abd al-Malik was the
first one to add diacritical marks to the Mus-haf  in an official and public
manner that was spread widely among the people in order to dispel any
confusion with regard to reading Qur’aan.” 

Manaahil al-‘Irfaan, 1/280, 281 


With regard to what is mentioned in the question, quoting
from al-Masaahif by Ibn Abi Dawood, there follows the report
concerning that and the ruling thereon: 

It was narrated from ‘Abbaad ibn Suhayb from ‘Awf ibn Abi
Jameelah that al-Hajjaaj ibn Yoosuf changed eleven letters in the Mus-haf.
He said that in Soorat al-Baqarah 2:259 it said lam yatasanna wa’nzur,
with no ha’, and he changed it to lam yatasannah wa’nzur (they
show no change, and look…) 

In al-Maa'idah 5:48 it said sharee’atan wa minhaajan,
and he changed it to shir’atan wa minhaajan (a law and a clear way) 

In Yoonus 10:22 it said, Huwa alladhi yunshirukum and
he changed it to Huwa alladhi yusayyirukum (He it is Who enables you
to travel…) 

In Yoosuf 12:45 it said Ana aateekum bi ta’weelihi and
he changed it to Ana unabbi’ukum bi ta’weelihi (I will tell you its

In al-Zukhruf 43:32 it said, Nahnu qasamnaa baynahum
ma’aayishahum and he changed it to Nahnu qasamnaa baynahum
ma’eeshatahum (It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood) 

In al-Takweer 81:24 it said Wa ma huwa ‘ala’l-ghaybi bi
zaneen and he changed it to Wa ma huwa ‘ala’l-ghaybi bi daneen
(and he withholds not a knowledge of the unseen) 

Kitaab al-Masaahif by
al-Sajistaani, p. 49. 

This report is da’eef jiddan (very weak) or mawdoo’
(fabricated), because its isnaad includes ‘Abbaad ibn Suhayb, whose hadeeth
is to be rejected. 

‘Ali ibn al-Madeeni said: his hadeeth is no good.
Al-Bukhaari, al-Nasaa’i and others said: he is matrook (to be rejected). Ibn
Hibbaan said: he was a Qadari who promoted his innovated ideas, and he
narrated things which a beginner in this field would realize were fabricated
if he heard them. Al-Dhahabi said: he is one of those who are to be

See Meezaan al-I’tidaal, by al-Dhahabi, 4/28. 

The text of the report is also false, because it dos not make
sense that these changes could be made in the Qur’aan and then spread
throughout the world. Even some of the non-Muslims, such as the Raafidis
(Shi’ah) who think that the Qur’aan is incomplete, rejected this and
criticized its text. 

Al-Kho’i, who is one of the Raafidis, said: “This claim is
like the hallucination of one who is suffering a fever, or like the fairy
tales of the insane or of children. Al-Hajjaaj was one of the governors of
the Umayyads, and he is too incapable to do anything to the Qur’aan. He is
even incapable of changing any of the minor issues of Islam, so how could he
change the thing which is the foundation of the religion and the basis of
sharee’ah? Where would he get the power to introduce this change throughout
the realm of Islam and beyond at the time when the Qur’aan was well known
throughout the Muslim world? How come no historian has ever mentioned this
disastrous event even though it is so serious and they would have a lot of
motives to mention it? How come no one among the Muslims of his time
narrated it? How could the Muslims have turned a blind eye to such an action
after the reign of al-Hajjaaj came to an end? Even if we assume that he
could have gathered all the copies of the Qur’aan and that not one single
copy escaped his grasp anywhere in the far-flung regions of the Islamic
world, how could he have removed it from the hearts of the Muslims and those
who had memorized it, the number of whom at that time is known only to

(al-Bayaan fi Tafseer al-Qur’aan, p. 219) 

What the questioner mentions about Imam al-Sajistaani, and
that he wrote a book called Ma Ghayyarahu al-Hajjaaj fi Mus-haf ‘Uthmaan
(What al-Hajjaaj altered in the Mus-haf of ‘Uthmaan) is not true, rather
it is a blatant lie. All there is, is the commentary that al-Sajistaani
wrote concerning the words quoted above from al-Hajjaaj, entitled Baab Ma
Kataba al-Hajjaaj ibn Yoosuf fi’l-Mus-haf (Chapter on what al-Hajjaaj wrote
in the Mus-haf). 

On this basis, we cannot rely upon this report under any
circumstances whatsoever. The fact that until now it has not been proven
that anyone has succeeded in his attempt to change even one letter (of the
Qur’aan) is sufficient to prove that it is a lie. If what has been narrated
is true, then it would be possible to repeat it, especially at the times
when the Muslims were weak and their enemies plotted against them.  It is
such specious arguments that prove that these claims are false, and that our
enemies are incapable of refuting the evidence of the Qur’aan or its
clarity, so they resorted to attacking it. 

And Allaah knows best.

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