it is not very ancient, having been derived from the Estrangelo Syriac, which itself arose from the old Phoenician letters.

When any verse was dictated by Muhammad and written down, it was soon learnt by heart by pious Muslims. But occasionally, before this could be done, some verses were lost, if we may credit Tradition. For instance, in the Mishkatu'l Masabih, the Traditionist Muslim informs us that 'Ayishah said "Among 1 what was sent down of the Qur'an were ten well-known (verses about) Sucking, which prohibited: then they were annulled by five well-known ones. Then the Apostle of God deceased, and they are in what is recited of the Qur'an." It is evident that, at the time when 'Ayishah said this, these verses were still recited by some of the Reciters, who had not yet heard that they had been annulled. But they are not found in the present text of the Qur'an. Muslim tells us, on the authority of 'Umar, that the latter said: "Verily 2 God sent Muhammad with the truth, and He sent down upon him the Book, accordingly the Verse of Stoning was part of what God Most High sent down: the Apostle of God stoned, and we stoned after him, and in the Book of God stoning is the adulterer's due." The Verse of Stoning ran thus: "And 3 the old man and the old woman, if they have committed adultery, then stone them both assuredly." But it is no longer to be found in the text of the Qur'an. Instead of this we have in Surah xxiv. 1-5 the penalty of 100 stripes for this crime. Elsewhere Ibn Majah informs us that 'Ayishah said: "The verse of stoning and of sucking came down . . . and its sheet was under my bed: when therefore the Apostle of God died and we were occupied about his death a tame animal came in and ate it." Muslim quotes Abu Musa' Al Ash'ari

1 Kitabu’n Nikah, p. 265 of the Mishkat.
2 Mishkat, Kitabu’l Hudud, p. 301.
‫3 وْآلْشَيخ وْآلشّيخة اذا زنيا فأرجموهما آْلبتّة‫.
A man becomes "old " (a shaikh) at fifty, according to the Arabs.

as saying to 500 Reciters of the Qur'an at Basrah: "Verily we used to recite a Surah which in length and severity we used to compare to Bara'ah, 1 and I have forgotten it, except that I remember of it (the words) 'Ye relied', &c. And we used to recite a Surah which we were wont to compare with one of the Rosaries: and I have forgotten it, except that of it I remember (the words) 'O ye who', &c."

It 2 is well known that Ubai added to his copy of the Qur'an two short Surahs, entitled respectively Suratu'l Khala' and Suratu'l Hafd (which latter is also known as Suratu'l Qanut), because he affirmed that they were parts of the original Qur'an, but had been omitted by 'Uthman. On the other hand, Ibn Mas'ud omitted Surahs i, cxiii, and cxiv. Some of the Shi'ah party say that certain words relating to 'Ali have been purposely omitted from the present text of the Qur'an in Surahs iv. 136. 164; v. 71 ; xxvi. 228. They say that in Surah iii. 106, the word ummatin (أُمّةٍ), "nation," has been put for the original word a'immatin (أَيُِمّةٍ) "Imams"; and that in Surah xxv. 74, in place of the present reading, "And make us a model to the pious" (وَآجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَقِينَ إماَمَا), the original and correct reading was, "And make for us from the pious an Imam " (وَآْجْعَلْناَ لَنََا مِنَ لِلْمُتّقِينَ إماَمّا). They mention other changes which they assert were wilfully made in Surahs xiii. 12 and xxiii. 39. Iman Fakhru'ddin Razi 3 accepts as possibly correct the tradition that in 'Ali's copy of the Qur'an, in Surah xi. 20, in place of the present reading, "And a witness from Him readeth it, and before it was the Book of Moses, a leader and a mercy," the text ran thus: "And 4 a witness from

1 Another name for Suratu't Taubah, i.e. Surah ix, which contains 130 verses.
2 [For most of the facts mentioned in this paragraph see Canon Sell's Recensions of the Qur'an, pp. 14 sqq. of edition of 1909.]
3 Khulasatu't Tafasir, vol. ii, p. 383.
‫3 وَيَتْلُوةُ شَاهِدٌ إمَاماً وَرَحْمَةً وَمِنْ قَبْلِةِ كِتَابُ مُوسىَ‫.