Does the Quran Say that It Is Corrupted?


Bassam Zawadi

Some people might use this verse to show that the Quran claims that it is corrupted:

Surah 15:91

Yusuf Ali:

(So also on such) as have made Quran into shreds (as they please).

Sher Ali:

Who have pronounced the Qur'an to be so many lies


Those who made the Quran into shreds.


Those who break the Qur'an into parts.


who distinguished the Koran into different parts;

Muhammad Al-Hilali & Muhsin Khan:

Who have made the Quran into parts. (i.e. believed in a part and disbelieved in the other).


who dismember the Qur'an.


who have broken the Koran into fragments.


Who break up the Koran into parts:

There are various possible meanings for this verse. I will share only a few.

Ibn Abbas says:

(Those who break the Qur'an into parts) they said many different things about the Qur'an; some said it was magic, others said it was poetry, others said it was a form of divination; some said it was fables of the people of old while others said that it was mere lies invented by the Prophet. (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn 'Abbâs, Commentary on Surah 15:91, Source)

Suyuti says in his commentary:

those who have reduced the Recitation, namely, those scriptures revealed to them, to parts, believing in some and disbelieving in others. It is [alternatively] said that the individuals meant here were those who 'divided up' among themselves the roads to Mecca, barring people from Islam. Some of them said that the Qur'ān was sorcery, some that it was soothsaying, and others that it was poetry.    (Jalal ud-Din Siyuti, Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Commentary on Surah 15:91, Source)

Ibn Kathir says:

Who have made the Qur'an into parts.) meaning, they have split up the Books that were revealed to them, believing in parts of them and rejecting parts of them. Al-Bukhari reported that Ibn `Abbas said,

(Who have made the Qur'an into parts.) "They are the People of the Book, who divided the Book into parts, believing in some of it, and rejecting some of it.'' Some have said that Al-Mutaqasimin refers to the Quraysh, that the Qur'an means this Qur'an [as opposed to the Scriptures of the People of the Book], and that "made it into parts'' referred to what `Ata' said that some of them said that he (the Prophet ) was a sorcerer, some said he was crazy, or a soothsayer. These various allegations were the parts. This opinion was also reported from Ad-Dahhak and others. Muhammad bin Ishaq reported from Ibn `Abbas that Al-Walid bin Al-Mughirah - holding a noble position among the people - rallied a group of Quraysh behind him when Al-Mawsim (the time for pilgrims to meet in Makkah for Hajj) had come. He said to them, "O people of Quraysh! The time of Al-Mawsim has come, and delegations of Arabs will come to you during this time. They will have heard some things about this companion of yours (meaning the Prophet ), so agree on one opinion, let there be no contradicting or denials of each other's sayings''. They said, "And you, O Abu `Abd Shams, give us an opinion and we will say that.'' He said, "No, you make the suggestions and I will listen.'' They said, "We say he is a soothsayer.'' He said, "He is not a soothsayer.'' They said, "We say he is crazy.'' He said, "He is not crazy.'' They said, "We say he is a poet.'' He said, "He is not a poet.'' They said, "We say he is a sorcerer.'' He said, "He is not a sorcerer.'' They said, "So what should we say'' He said, "By Allah, what he says is as palatable [to the average person] as something sweet, so you cannot say anything against it without it being obviously false. Therefore the most appropriate thing you can say is that he is a sorcerer.'' So they left having agreed upon that, and Allah revealed concerning them:

(Who have made the Qur'an into parts.) meaning, of different types, (Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, Source)

So we see that the Qur'an is saying that there are people who disbelieve in parts of the Qur'an while they believe in other parts. The Qur'an is not saying that it has been corrupted. How could it have been when Allah had promised to guard it earlier in the same Surah (verse 9)?

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