Quranic Verses Eaten by a Goat EXPLAINED

Quranic Verses Eaten by a Goat EXPLAINED

Mohamad Mostafa Nassar


Using a report from Sunan Ibn Majah the Christian missionaries allege that some verses of the Qurโ€™an were lost as they were eaten by a goat.

Letโ€™s analyze the narration and try to find out the truth.

The narration goes as;

ุนู† ุนุงุฆุดุฉ ู‚ุงู„ุช ู„ู‚ุฏ ู†ุฒู„ุช ุขูŠุฉ ุงู„ุฑุฌู… ูˆุฑุถุงุนุฉ ุงู„ูƒุจูŠุฑ ุนุดุฑุง ูˆู„ู‚ุฏ ูƒุงู† ููŠ ุตุญูŠูุฉ ุชุญุช ุณุฑูŠุฑูŠ ูู„ู…ุง ู…ุงุช ุฑุณูˆู„ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุตู„ู‰ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุนู„ูŠู‡ ูˆุณู„ู… ูˆุชุดุงุบู„ู†ุง ุจู…ูˆุชู‡ ุฏุฎู„ ุฏุงุฌู† ูุฃูƒู„ู‡ุง

Reported ‘Aisha (RA): โ€˜the verse of stoning and of suckling an adult ten times was revealed, and they were (written) on a paper and kept under my pillow. When the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) expired and we were occupied by his death, a goat entered and ate away the paper.โ€™ (Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith 1944)

1- Authenticity of the narration:

Whenever we have a narration we ought to see whether it is authentic or not?

The narration in fact has some problems.

The particular chain given in Sunan Ibn Majah finds one of the narrators Muhammad bin Ishaq narrating it using the word ุนู† (‘an) which is rather an ambiguous way of narration and renders the narration weak when used by a narrator known for practicing Tadlis [practice of subtly missing a link] and Muhammad Ibn Ishaq is indeed such a narrator. 

Thus through a particular chain of narration in Sunan Ibn Majah the narration is weak and unauthentic due the above mentioned defect though it has other issues as well as mentioned in the lines to follow. This is clarified by Shaykh Muhammad Taqi Usmani in Takmala Fath Al-Mulhim 1/69 pub. Darul Ahya Al-Turath Al-Arabi, Beirut.

In Musnad Ahmad the same narration is given through the same chain but with an explicit way of narration i.e. it does not have the defect like the narration in Ibn Majahโ€™s collection. But the narration is exposed to more criticism because many other narrators have related from ‘Aisha (RA) 

about the suckling/breastfeeding but no one has narrated the words found in this chain even though the narrators in those cases are more reliable and consistent than Muhammad bin Ishaq. And due to the fact of these words being narrated solely by him and in defiance to other much more reliable narrators, scholars have questioned its authenticity. Shaykh Shuโ€™aib Arnaud has classified it as Daโ€™if in his classification of Musnad Ahmad. See Musnad Ahmad 6/269 Hadith 26359.

2- The narration no way questions Qurโ€™an infallibility:

Even if the narration were authentic it no way questions the claim of Qurโ€™an being totally preserved and here are my evidences for this;

1- One of the two allegedly lost verses as per this narration was about stoning i.e. punishment of married adulterers. But other narrations prove that a commandment was revealed about stoning but the Holy Prophet (PBUH) did not allow it to be written as a part of the Qurโ€™an implying that it was not meant to be Qurโ€™an integral part. Following narrations testify to this;

a-It is reported in a narration from Kathir bin Salt that: Zaid (b. Thabit) said: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah say, ‘When a married man or woman commit adultery stone them both (to death)’, (hearing this) Amr said,

ูู‚ุงู„ ุนู…ุฑูˆ : ู„ู…ุง ู†ุฒู„ุช ุฃุชูŠุช ุงู„ู†ุจูŠ ุตู„ู‰ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุนู„ูŠู‡ ูˆุณู„ู… ูู‚ู„ุช : ุฃูƒุชุจู‡ุง ุŸ ููƒุฃู†ู‡ ูƒุฑู‡ ุฐู„ูƒ

‘When this was revealed I came to the Prophet and asked if I could write it, he (the Prophet) disliked it.’ (Mustadrik Al-Hakim, Hadith 8184. Hakim called it Sahih)

b- About this ‘verse’ Kathir bin Salt says that he, Zaid bin Thabit and Marwan bin Hakam were discussing as to why it is not written in the Quranic manuscript and Umar bin Khattab was present with them and listening to their discussion he said he knew it better then them and told them that he came to Messenger of Allah and said:

ูŠุง ุฑุณูˆู„ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุงูƒุชุจู†ูŠ ุขูŠุฉ ุงู„ุฑุฌู… ู‚ุงู„ ูุฃุชูŠุชู‡ ูุฐูƒุฑุชู‡ ู‚ุงู„ ูุฐูƒุฑ ุขูŠุฉ ุงู„ุฑุฌู… ู‚ุงู„ ูู‚ุงู„ ูŠุง ุฑุณูˆู„ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุฃูƒุชุจู†ูŠ ุขูŠุฉ ุงู„ุฑุฌู… ู‚ุงู„ ู„ุง ุฃุณุชุทูŠุน ุฐุงูƒ

“‘O Messenger of Allah, let the verse about stoning be written for me.’ He (the Prophet) said, ‘I can’t do this.'” (Sunan Al-Kubra Bayhaqi 8/211 & Sunan Al-Kubra Nasai Hadith 7148. Albani (in Sahiha 6/412) said Baihiqi pointed to its authenticity)

Had it meant to be a part of the Qurโ€™an why would Holy Prophet (PBUH) dislike its being written and who could stop him from doing it?

2- The second allegedly lost verse was about suckling of an adult ten times but in this case too we have other narrations which categorically say that the verse was abrogated. And interestingly those narrations come through ‘Aisha (RA) only. In Sahih Muslim we read;

ุนูŽู†ู’ ุนูŽุงุฆูุดูŽุฉูŽ ุฃูŽู†ูŽู‘ู‡ูŽุง ู‚ูŽุงู„ูŽุชู’ ูƒูŽุงู†ูŽ ูููŠู…ูŽุง ุฃูู†ู’ุฒูู„ูŽ ู…ูู†ู’ ุงู„ู’ู‚ูุฑู’ุขู†ู ุนูŽุดู’ุฑู ุฑูŽุถูŽุนูŽุงุชู ู…ูŽุนู’ู„ููˆู…ูŽุงุชู ูŠูุญูŽุฑูู‘ู…ู’ู†ูŽ ุซูู…ูŽู‘ ู†ูุณูุฎู’ู†ูŽ ุจูุฎูŽู…ู’ุณู ู…ูŽุนู’ู„ููˆู…ูŽุงุชู ููŽุชููˆูููู‘ูŠูŽ ุฑูŽุณููˆู„ู ุงู„ู„ูŽู‘ู‡ู ุตูŽู„ูŽู‘ู‰ ุงู„ู„ูŽู‘ู‡ู ุนูŽู„ูŽูŠู’ู‡ู ูˆูŽุณูŽู„ูŽู‘ู…ูŽ ูˆูŽู‡ูู†ูŽู‘ ูููŠู…ูŽุง ูŠูู‚ู’ุฑูŽุฃู ู…ูู†ู’ ุงู„ู’ู‚ูุฑู’ุขู†ู

‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that it had been revealed in the Holy Qur’an that ten clear sucklings make the marriage unlawful, then it was abrogated (and substituted) by five sucklings … 

(Sahih Muslim, Hadith 2634)

This narration explicitly says that verse about ten sucklings was abrogated. For further queries about this issue and the narration from Sahih Muslim see THIS.

Having known that neither of them was meant to be part of the Qurโ€™an; even if we accept the narration in question we will have to say that perhaps ‘Aisha (RA) had kept them with her as a historical record and nothing more. Thus even if the goat actually ate them up no part of the Qurโ€™an was lost.

Moreover ‘Aisha (RA) lived through the whole period of Qurโ€™an compilation during the time of Abu Bakr (RA) and Usman (RA) while she was unanimously considered an authority for herself so if she had any thought about some verses missing she would have brought it to attention of other Companions of the Prophet (PBUH).

In Fact we have evidence of Usman (RA) making special endeavors of consulting ‘Aisha (RA) and her records for verifying the official compilation.

See Ibn Shabbaโ€™s Tarikh Al-Madina p.997.


Despite all this she never raised the issue supporting our conclusion that no part of the Qurโ€™an was lost even if the narration is considered reliable.

Paul the False Apostle of Satan


Allah Knows  best

Almighty Allah is the highest and most knowledgeable, and the attribution of knowledge to him is the safest.

Right from Almighty Allah and wrong from me and Satan

Prepared by Mohamad Mostafa Nassar- .

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Arrogance is not only a sign of insecurity, but also a sign of immaturity. Mature and fully realised persons can get their points across, even emphatically without demeaning or intimidating others.