Can The Quran Be Edited?

21 May, 2017
Q Can the Quran be edited to take out verses that terrorists use to validate thier acts of violence?


Asalamu Alaikum,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

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


Safiyyah  AllyOK, Brother Shabir, the question we have is about verses that speak about possibly terrorist related things.

And the person is asking: can’t you take out all the verses from the Quran which are being quoted by terrorists to justify violence?

Dr. Shabir Ally: Well, Muslims do not have the authority to change the Quran just as, for example, Christians would feel that they cannot mess with the Bible.

This is the word of God handed down through the centuries. You can just simply either follow it or not.

Some choose to follow it and remain faithful Christians. Some may not decide to follow that book. So, for Muslims, it’s a similar kind of response. It is the word of God. We cannot change it. We can only decide to follow it the best we can.

Of course, the verses which are used by terrorists to justify their terrorist acts should be wrenched from the terrorists by Muslim scholars, showing that the interpretations that they apply to these verses do not justify terrorism.

In fact, the whole Quran interpreted in the light of itself, and in the history of its revelation, it’s a book about peace and it teaches Muslims to live in peace and in harmony with other people.

And in fact, that the Quran is against terrorism on the whole. And even some of the verses that are often cited to justify violent acts, when they are understood carefully, they actually lead to peaceful thought.

And they just need to be understood within the context of the Quran itself and within the history of the Quran’s revelation.

Safiyyah  Ally: Can we do more to foster this understanding, then?

Dr. Shabir Ally: Yes, absolutely where we need to broadcast that message on television programs such as our own. And this message needs to be heard from every mosque, pulpit, and in every medium, whether it be newspapers or magazine articles.

And Muslim scholars need to be at the forefront of broadcasting this sort of message to make sure that every Muslim youth growing up knows that Islam is a religion of peace and it does not in any way condone violence.

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:

The Quran in Focus (Special Folder)

Islam: a Religion of Peace or Violence?

About Dr. Shabir Ally
Dr. Shabir Ally holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, with a specialization in Biblical Literature. He also holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Quranic Exegesis.
He is the president of the Islamic Information and Dawah Centre International in Toronto where he functions as Imam. He travels internationally to represent Islam in public lectures and interfaith dialogues. He explains Islam on a weekly television program called "Let the Quran Speak". Past episodes of this show can be seen online at: