How do we know that Qur’an has not been changed?
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
That’s a good question we know that the Qur’an has not been changed because we have copies from the time of the Prophet’s companions. Those people who learnt the Qur’an directly from the Prophet himself. They wrote copies of the Qur’an.
Those copies are still available today to us. We can still see them. We can still read them. One of them is found in Topkapi Palace in Turkey. Another one is in St. Petersburg. One is in Tashkent. One is in Hasseini Mosque in Egypt.
There are Sana manuscripts. They have been documented. So, we can read the Qur’an from the first century of Islam when many companions of the Prophet Muhammad were alive who were themselves potentially reading from these copies.
We have those copies and when we do a comparison between those copies, the text, and the text we read today, it is exactly the same word by word. This is how we know that the Qur’an has not changed.
The Verified authentic Chains of Cross-examined memorization as a main method of Quran preservation
The original Qur’an was, is and will always be the oral memorized recitation. The very meaning of the Qur’an is recitation. So, Qur’an does not mean what is written down, but what is recited. Memorizing the Glorious Qur’an has always been the primary source and number one authority of preserving the Qur’an as instructed by God Himself in the Qur’an in no less than four different places. Allah Exalted He said
وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا الْقُرْءَانَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِنْ مُّدَّكِرٍ
“And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?” [Surah Al-Qamar 54: 17, 22, 32, 40]
So, the Qur’an was memorized and penned down. Many anti- Islamic arguments suggest that it was a big problem that 70 people died, the Qur’an was lost etc. But we have clear cut references in our Islamic history that there were people alive even after this Battle of Yamama who knew the Qur’an in its entirety by heart.
For example, people like Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, Abu Bakr as Siddiq, Abu Darda, Abu Zayd, Abu Musa Al-Ashari, Abu Hurairah, Ubayy ibn Ka’b, Umm Salama, Tamim bin Aws ad-Dari, Zayd bin Thabit, Salim Mawla Abi Hudhayfa, Sa’d ibn Ubadah and the list goes on again. All these people were alive after the Battle of Yamama and they had memorized the entire Qur’an in its entirety.
So, the Qur’an was already penned down from the memory, from written parchments, from bones, from skin of trees, etc. And Zayd bin Thabit was specifically commanded by Abu Bakr not to accept anything other than a parchment which was written in the presence of the Prophet himself and accompanying two witnesses who saw this very parchment.
Abu Bakr is a man who had memorized the Qur’an himself and he was telling a man, Zayd bin Thabit, who had also memorized the entire Qur’an himself. But Abu Bakr is telling Zayd bin Thabit for our conviction that we today can be certain about finding the codex or the text in the Qur’an.
Abu Bakr said don’t accept anything from anyone unless it accompanies two witnesses who saw this very parchment written in the presence of the Prophet. And that’s how Zayd bin Thabit put the Qur’an together.
Allah Knows Best.