The History of the Quranic Text

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Judeo-Christian scholars have long cast their eyes towards the Qur'an in search of variances, but so securely has Allah preserved His Book that their vast efforts and resources have yielded them little more than fatigue. In the 20th century the University of Munich set up an Institute of Qur'anic Research. Its halls lay host to over forty thousand copies of the Qur'an spanning different centuries and countries, mostly as photos of originals, while its staff busied themselves with the collation of every word from every copy in a relentless excavation for variants.

Shortly before Second World War a preliminary and tentative report was published that there are of course copying mistakes in the manuscripts of the Qur'an, but no variants. During the war, American bombs fell on this institute, and all was destroyed, director, personnel, library and all... But this much is proved - that there are no variants in the Qur'an in copies dating from the first to the present century.

Jefferey acknowledges this fact bleakly, lamenting that "Practicallhy all the early Codices and fragments that have so far been carefully examined, show the same type of text, such variants as occur being almost always explainable as scribal errorrs." Bergstrasser also reached a similar conclusion. Jeffery insists though that this text type "would seem not to have been fixed till the third Islamic century ... (and so) it is curious that no examples of any other type of text have survived among all the fragments that have so far been examined." The answer to this quandary is so obvious that he seems not to see the forest for all the trees. Plainly put, there never were any other text types.

375 pages, Hard bound

Author: Muhammad Mustafa al-Azaimi

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