by Matt Slick
The Quran is supposed to be the infallible and inspired word of God without any errors, discrepancies, or mistakes. Surah 4:82 says, "Do they not consider the Qur’an (with care)? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy." But when we look at a particular hadith (a record of the deeds and sayings of Muhammad) we find that the Prophet of Islam said there was a verse that once belonged in the Quran, but was later removed. But this is a discrepancy.
If there was a verse that was supposed to be in the Quran, according to Allah, but was also not supposed to be in the Quran, according to Allah, then that is a problem. How can a surah be in the Quran at one time and also not in the Quran at another? Let's take a look at the two Hadiths that recount the same thing.
- Narrated Anas bin Malik: For thirty days Allah's Apostle invoked Allah to curse those who had killed the companions of Bir-Mauna; he invoked evil upon the tribes of Ral, Dhakwan, and Usaiya who disobeyed Allah and His Apostle. There was revealed about those who were killed at Bir-Mauna a quranic Verse we used to recite, but it was canceled later on. The Verse was: "Inform our people that we have met our Lord. He is pleased with us and He has made us pleased" (Sahih Bukhari, Book #52, Hadith #69)
- Narrated Anas bin Malik : The Prophet invoked evil upon those (people) who killed his companions at Bir Mauna for 30 days (in the morning prayer). He invoked evil upon (tribes of) Ril, Lihyan and Usaiya who disobeyed Allah and His Apostle. Allah revealed a quranic Verse to His Prophet regarding those who had been killed, i.e. the Muslims killed at Bir Ma'una, and we recited the Verse till later it was canceled. (The Verse was:) 'Inform our people that we have met our Lord, and He is pleased with us, and we are pleased with Him." (Sahih Bukhari, Book #59, Hadith #421)
As you can see, the hadith says "Allah revealed a quranic verse" to Muhammad (59, #421 ). If the verse was quranic, then it belongs in the Quran; otherwise, it is not quranic. But if it is removed, then it is not quranic and it should never have been in the Quran in the first place. Let's think about this. Muhammad said that "Allah revealed a quranic Verse...regarding those who had been killed at Bir Ma'una" (Bukhari, 59, #421) but it was later canceled. Ok, so the verse was
- quranic - belonged in the Quran
- revealed from Allah, then...
- non-quranic - did not belong in the Quran
How do you have a verse that is both quranic and also not quranic? It makes no sense.
The perfect Quran in heaven (Surah 85:21-22) either had the quranic verse in it, or it did not. If it never did, then why did Allah reveal it to Muhammad as a quranic verse when it really wasn't? This is a discrepency and it proves that the Quran is not true.
Surah 15:9, "We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption).
So, did Allah corrupt his own Quran only to alter it later?
Surah 6:34, "Rejected were the messengers before thee: with patience and constancy they bore their rejection and their wrongs, until Our aid did reach them: there is none that can alter the words (and decrees) of Allah. Already hast thou received some account of those messengers."
Either the Quran in heaven is perfect or it is not. Either it had the quranic verse in it or it did not. If it did have it, then it needs to be in the Quran - but it isn't. But, if it does not have it, it should never have been revealed by Allah as being quranic.
This means that the eternal Quran in the heavens is not eternally set and what Muslims have now is not the perfect Quran. It would mean it had been altered in the presence of Allah in heaven. But how is that possible since the Quran is supposed to be eternally the same? It makes no sense.
Within Islam, there is a principle of abrogation. This means that when a later verse is revealed then earlier verses that deal with the same topic are invalidated, or superseded. Muslims will respond by saying that the verse was abrogated and something else was substituted in place.
2:106-111, “None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?...
But, this still does not solve the problem because a verse that is abrogated in the Quran is still in the Quran. It's not removed. It remains there and is address by a later surah. It is not removed. But, apparently, Allah had to change the Quran in heaven, because it was changed on earth.