others of the Muslims had to depend upon oral tradition for their knowledge of their sacred book, unless they happened to have a few portions written down. Being handed down orally and pronounced according to seven different dialects (the "Seven Readings"), there was danger lest the text should become so corrupt as to be altogether uncertain. Hence 'Uthman, when engaged in the conquest of Armenia and Azarbaijan, was warned of this risk by Hudhaifah ibnu'l Yaman. Bukhari's 1 account is as follows: "Hudhaifah therefore said to 'Uthman: O Commander of the Faithful, restrain this people before they differ in the Book, as do the Jews and the Christians. Accordingly 'Uthman, sent to Hafsah, saying, Send us the sheets, that we may copy them into the volumes: then we shall return them unto thee. Hafsah therefore sent them to 'Uthman. Then he commanded Zaid ibn Thabit and 'Abdu'llah ibnu'z Zubair and Sa'id ibnu'l As and 'Abdu'llah ibn Harith ibn Hisham, and they copied them into the volumes. And 'Uthman said to the company of the three Quraishites: When ye differ, ye and Zaid ibn Thabit in any portion of the Qur'an, write it in the dialect of the Quraish, for verily it came down in their dialect. And they did so until, when they had copied the sheets into the volumes, 'Uthman restored the sheets to Hafsah. And he sent to every region a volume from what they had copied, and commanded regarding everything of the Qur'an besides it, in every sheet and volume, that it should be burned. Ibn Shahab said: Kharijah ibn Zaid ibn Thabit informed me that he heard Zaid ibn Thabit say: When we copied the volume, there was missing from Suratu'l Ahzab 2 a verse which I used to hear the Apostle of God recite. Therefore we sought for it. And we found it with Khuzaimah ibn Thabit the Ansari from among the Believers, men who proved

1 Mishkat, p. 185. Bukhari derived his information from Anas ibn Malik.
2 Surah xxxiii.

true to what they had covenanted with God. Therefore we inserted it in its Surah in the volume."

From this it is evident that some difference existed between the revised copies of the Qur'an issued by 'Uthman and the original "sheets" (الصّحُف) which Hafsah had had in her keeping. The fact that the Khalifah ordered all other early copies of parts of the Qur'an except hers to be burnt is another proof that they did not in everything agree with his second edition of the Qur'an. Another proof that Hafsah's copy of the Qur'an an differed in some respects from 'Uthman's edition is found in the circumstance that it too was on that account burnt soon afterwards by Marwan, when he was governor of Medinah. In spite, however, of this rather violent effort to prevent the occurrence of various readings in the text of the Qur'an, some may still be found, as we learn, for example, from Al Baizawi. (See, for instance, his commentary on Surahs iii. 100; vi. 91; xix. 35; xxviii. 48; xxxiii. 6; xxxiv. 18; xxxviii. 22, &c.) 1

On the other hand, the chief reason for concluding that the Qur'anic text as it now exists is in nearly the same state in which Muhammad left it is that it contains in Surah xxxiii. vers. 37, 38, 49-52, certain statements which throw a very clear light upon Muhammad's character. It is impossible to suppose that any of his followers would have ventured to invent these verses, and thus to depict their Master, had he not himself recited these words and ordered them to be considered part of the Qur'an. The incident referred to in vers. 37 and 38 of this Surah is recorded by every one of Muhammad's biographers. Nothing has been more effective in turning men from Islam than these verses.

It is impossible for enlightened Muslims at the present day to explain away this passage. Their 'Ulama assert that the Qur'an is a miracle, that its style alone is a sufficient proof of Muhammad's Divine

1 In later chapters of this Treatise we shall occasionally refer to some of the various readings in the Qur'an.