Qur'an - A brief history

The first Qur’anic revelation came to Muhammad around the year 610. Muhammad delivered many more verses to his scribes and companions for memorization and recording over the next two decades. These verses were written on stalks of palm leaves, bones of dead animals, flat stones, and other materials. There was no complete manuscript of the Qur’an during this time.

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Facts of Qur'an #2: Missing chapters

When Ibn Umar—son of the second Muslim caliph—heard people declaring that they knew the entire Qur’an, he said to them: “Let none of you say, ‘I have learned the whole of the Koran,’ for how does he know what the whole of it is, when much of it has disappeared? Let him rather say, ‘I have learned what is extant thereof’” (Abu Ubaid, Kitab Fada’il-al-Qur’an).

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Facts of Qur'an #1: Disputes among Muhammad's scholars

Not all Muslims approved of the new Qur’an. Indeed, some of Muhammad’s top teachers rejected Zaid’s version.

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Facts of Qur'an #3: Missing passages and verses

We know further that large sections of certain chapters came up missing. For instance, Muhammad’s wife Aisha said that roughly two-thirds of Surah 33 was lost:

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Facts of Qur'an: Assessment

Surah 15:9 of the Qur’an proclaims: We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption).

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Facts of Qur'an #4: Missing phrases

Since entire chapters, large portions of chapters, and individual verses of the Qur’an were lost, it should come as no surprise that short phrases were forgotten as well. Let’s consider two examples.

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