THE QUR’AN IN ISLAM
AN INQUIRY INTO THE INTEGRITY
OF THE QUR’AN
Qur'anic references were edited to reflect the verse numbers used in modern translations of the Qur'an.
Also, some footnotes were edited to give additional support for the text.
فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ
“Ask those who are acquainted with the Scripture, if ye know not.”
Qur’an al-Anbiya 21:7
REV. WILLIAM GOLDSACK
Author of: The Qu’ran In Islam, Christ In Islam,
The Traditions In Islam, God In Islam, Muhammad In Islam. . .
THE CHRISTIAN LITERATURE SOCIETY
LONDON, MADRAS AND COLOMBO.
S.P.C.K. PRESS, VEPERY, MADRAS.
|I.||THE SEVEN READINGS OF THE QUR’AN||3|
|II.||THE RECENSIONS OF ABU-BAKR AND ‘UTHMAN||5|
|III.||THE READING OF IBN MAS’UD||10|
|IV.||THE TESTIMONY OF IMAM HUSAIN CONCERNING THE VARIOUS READINGS OF THE QUR’AN||14|
|V.||THE TESTIMONY OF KAZI BAIZAWI CONCERNING THE VARIOUS READINGS OF THE QUR’AN||18|
|VI.||THE TESTIMONY OF THE TRADITIONS TO THE QUR’AN||24|
|SURAH “TWO LIGHTS”|
a. Page numbers correspond to the page numbers in the original book.
THE QUR’AN IN ISLAM
THE foundation of Islam is the Qur’an. Muhammadans treat this book with the most profound respect, and give it many high titles. Chief amongst these may be mentioned the names “Furqan,” the Distinguisher; “Qur’an Majid,” the Glorious Qur’an; “Qur’an Sharif,” the Noble Qur’an; and “Al Kitab,” the Book. It is the universal belief of Muslims that the Qur’an is the uncreated word of God, which He sent down to His servant Muhammad through the medium of the angel Gabriel. Many hold the language of the Arabic Qur’an to be unequalled anywhere in literature, and Muhammad himself challenged the unbelievers to produce another like it in these words:—
“If ye be in doubt concerning that revelation which we have sent down unto our servant, produce a chapter like unto it, and call upon your witnesses besides God, if ye say truth.” (Qur’an Al-Baqarah 2:23.)
There can be no doubt that the language of the Qur’an is in places exceedingly beautiful, and Muslims the world over love to recite it in a low monotonous chant. The feat of memorizing the whole is still regarded as both praiseworthy and meritorious.
The contents of the Qur’an are exceedingly varied; but it may be noted that the Jewish and Christian religions occupy a large amount of attention. The many references to these earlier faiths are instructive, and go to show that Muhammad did not so much represent himself as the founder of a new system as the promulgator of that faith which was held in the beginning by Abraham himself. Muhammad’s references to the Jewish and Christian scriptures also go to show that in the Qur’an he did not so much claim to supersede those books as to ‘confirm’ and substantiate them. Verses to this effect may be found all over the Qur’an; indeed the most extravagant praise is bestowed upon both Torah and Injil, and these books are ever held up as worthy of faith and obedience. It thus becomes a matter for surprise that, in spite of this fact, modern Muslims almost invariably speak of the Jewish and Christian scriptures as ‘corrupted’, and therefore unworthy of serious attention to-day. The reason for this attitude is obvious; for careful comparison of the Christian and Muslim scriptures shows that the Qur’an, which claims to ‘confirm’ the preceding scriptures, in reality differs very much from them. Muhammadans have thus been driven to the expedient of denying the integrity of the Torah and Injil in order to explain away this discrepancy. The question as to whether the Qur’an has been corrupted since the time when the prophet of Arabia captivated the Arabs by his eloquence, seems never to have been seriously considered by modern Muslims; yet the slightest acquaintance with Arabic history and literature reveals the fact that the present Qur’an is far indeed from being a complete and accurate copy of that Qur’an which Muhammad taught his followers. In the following pages we shall proceed to establish the fact from reliable Muslim authorities, and shall show that, in fact, the present Qur’an has been so mutilated and corrupted since the time of Muhammad that it can no longer be relied upon as an accurate and complete record of what he taught.