circulation today is identical with that of the time of the Prophet and his companions.
A copy of the mushaf sent to Syria (duplicated before a fire in 1310AH/1892CE destroyed the Jaami’ Masjid where it was housed) also exists in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul1, and an early manuscript on ga- zelle parchment exists in Dar al-Kutub as-Sultaniyyah in Egypt. More ancient manuscripts from all periods of Islamic history found in the Library of Con- gress in Washington, the Chester Beatty Museum in Dublin (Ireland) and the London Museum have been compared with those in Tashkent, Turkey and Egypt, with results confirming that there have not been any changes in the text from its original time of writing. 2
The Institute for Koranforschung, for example, in the University of Munich (Germany), collected over 42,000 complete or incomplete ancient copies of the Quran.
After around fifty years of research, they reported that there was no variance between the various copies, except the occasional mistakes of the copyist which could easily be ascertained. This Institute was unfortunately destroyed by bombs during WWII. 3
Thus, due to the efforts of the early companions, with God’s assistance, the Quran as we have it today is recited in the same manner as it was revealed. This makes it the only religious scripture that is still completely retained and understood in its original language. Indeed, as Sir William Muir states, “There is probably no other book in the world which has remained twelve c e n t u r i e s ( n o w f o u r t e e n ) w i t h s o p u r e a t e x . ” 4
The evidence above confirms God’s promise in the Quran:
Yusuf Ibrahim al-Nur, Ma’ al-Masaahif, Dubai: Dar al-Manar, 1st ed., 1993, p.113
Bilal Philips, Usool at-Tafseer, Sharjah: Dar al-Fatah, 1997, p.157
Mohammed Hamidullah, Muhammad Rasullullah, Lahore: Idara-e-Islamiat, n.d., p.179.
Sir William Muir, Life of Mohamet, London, 1894, Vol.1, Introduction.