following readings in the beginning of Surah ii. (Al Baqarah), ver. 100:—

Common Text:

مَا نَنْسَخْ مِنْ آيَةِ أَوْ نُنْسِهَا
Ibn 'Amir: &c مَا نُنْسِخْ
Ibn Kathin: نَنْسَأْهْا
Abu 'Amr: نَنْسَأْهْا
Others: نُنَسِّهَا
Others: تَنْسَهَا
Others: تُنْسَهَا
Others: نُنْسِكَهَا
Abdu'llah: مَا نُنْسِكَ مِنْ آيةٍ أوْ نُنْسَخْهَا

So also in Surah ii, ver. 285, Baizawi 2 gives various readings thus:—

1. Common Text: وَكُتُبِةِ
Hamzah and Al Kasai: وَكِتَابِةِ

2. Common Text:

لاَ نُفَرّقُ
Ya'qub: لاَ يُفَرّقُ
Others: لاَ يُفَرِّقوُنَ

Besides these, the leading Sunni Commentators admit various readings in many other passages: for example, in Surahs vi. 91; xix. 35; xxviii. 48; xxxiii. 6; xxxiv. 18; xxxviii. 22.3 These, however, alter the meaning in each case very slightly, and make no difference in the doctrine of the Qur'an. But what would Muslim theologians say if a Christian writer, because of these various readings, were to assert that the

1 In another edition of Baizawi, vol. i, pp. 104, 105.
2 Vol. i, p. 143.
3 Other various readings in the Qur'an will meet us as we proceed in the present Treatise.

Qur'an had become corrupted? They would rightly say that the man who drew this conclusion thereby exposed his own ignorance and his bigotry. The same reply might be given to those who, because of various readings in the Bible, bring the like charge against it; but politeness prevents us from uttering such words regarding our opponents. There are many more various readings in the Bible than in the Qur'an, but the reasons for this are: (1) The size of the Bible is at least four times that of the Qur'an; (2) The Bible is much the more ancient; (3) The Bible was composed in three different languages, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, not in one only; (4) The readings in all the different ancient Versions are counted, though many of them are known to be merely errors of translators and not to represent a difference in the original text; (5) A vastly greater amount of care has been taken to collect the various readings in the case of the Bible than in that of the Qur'an; (6) The text of the Bible has never been rectified or edited by 'Uthman, as was that of the Qur'an, nor have we had a Marwan to burn the most ancient copy spared even by 'Uthman.1 Taking into consideration all the various readings in the Bible, they do not change any doctrine of the Christian faith.

Commentators have occasionally found themselves unable to understand a word or a verse in the Bible. They have therefore fancied that there was in the text some error of a copyist, and have called it "corrupt" in the sense of مُصَحّف. Muslim controversialists, like Shaikh Rahmatu'llah, have erroneously translated this word by مُحَرْف, and have then asserted that Christian commentators admitted that the Bible was مُحرْفَ. Such an error requires only to be pointed out to be corrected.

1 For the account of the revision of the Qur'an under 'Uthman the Khalifah, see Mishkatu'l Masabih, pp. 185, 186. There we are told that, after the revision, he ordered every sheet and volume of the older form of the Qur'an to be burnt, except Hafsah's copy. But Marwan, when he was governor of Medinah, burnt that also.