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Modern Day Quran Same as Old Manuscripts?



Reply Date

Mar 26, 2017


How do we know the Quran we have today is the authentic revelation?




Asalamu Alaikum,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

Dr. Shabir Ally addresses this question in the video below:


Aisha Khaja: What sources can be used to support the authenticity of the Quran?

And the viewer goes on to ask: is the best approach to focus on the content of the Quran that speak to this, or should we be turning to original manuscripts that proved that it has never been altered?

Dr. Shabir Ally: Actually, we can go both ways. In terms of manuscripts, there was a good manuscript record showing that the Quran has basically remained unchanged from the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) until now.

The manuscripts do not allow us to show that everything right down to the last dot and letter has remained in intact.

But what we can say is that the manuscripts show that although there was a variety of readings that were known from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions.

And the manuscripts’ record do not, it does not deviate from what is recorded and known from those early generation.

So, we can see it right from those early generations till now. The Quran has been transmitted faithfully down to us so that we can have confidence that what we’re holding today is that same word of God that was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) some 1,400 years ago.

We can also look at the content of the Quran as we have it now and we can see that this content shows that this is not the work of a human being, but actually a divine revelation. One aspect of that is to see the mathematical patterns that lay behind the message of the Quran.

The message is obviously couched in words and letters and so on, which gives meaning. But if we look at the counts of things in the Quran, we see that there are numerical patterns emerging.

The number of letters used, the number of words used, the number of verses, number of chapters; all of these show that there is a mind behind the Quran that was not the mind of any human being who had anything to do with the Quran throughout this fourteen hundred year history.

Aisha Khaja: Could you give us an example of some of these numerical examples that you’re talking about?

Dr. Shabir Ally: Yes, in a past show, in actually a series of past shows, I’ve dealt with this at length. But to give you in a nutshell, you can see that there are certain words used in the Quran in contrast with each other and each word is used and an equal number of times with its contrast.

Not in every case of contrast but in a sufficient number to tell us that, well, this is not by mere chance or coincidence. For example, this world and the life hereafter both are used in the Quran 115 times. Satan and angels both used 68 times.

Now, if it always mentions this world and the life hereafter it always mentioned Satan an angel in the same breath, then of course it will always some out even. But if some chapters mentioned Satan and some other chapters mentioned angels, if some chapters mentioned this world and some other chapters mentioned the life hereafter.

And then they come out even like this, you wonder who was doing the counting to make that come out even. And since no human being was doing the counting, it is obvious that the mind of God is behind this. And this is what gives us this kind of even results at the end.

I hope this helps answer your question. Please keep in touch.

Walaikum Asalam.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

How Do We Know that the Quran has Never been Changed?

How were the Quran’s Verses and Chapters Arranged?

Is the Quran Authentic?

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