The Alleged Addition to Surah 92


Bassam Zawadi


Here are the hadith that Christian missionaries present to show that an addition has been made to the Quran:

Saheeh Bukhari 

Volume 5, Book 57, Number 85:

Narrated 'Alqama:

I went to Sham and offered a two-Rak'at prayer and then said, "O Allah! Bless me with a good pious companion." So I went to some people and sat with them. An old man came and sat by my side. I asked, "Who is he?" They replied, "(He is) Abu-Ad-Darda.' I said (to him), "I prayed to Allah to bless me with a pious companion and He sent you to me." He asked me, "From where are you?" I replied, "From the people of Al-Kufa." He said, "Isn't there amongst you Ibn Um 'Abd, the one who used to carry the shoes, the cushion(or pillow) and the water for ablution? Is there amongst you the one whom Allah gave Refuge from Satan through the request of His Prophet. Is there amongst you the one who keeps the secrets of the Prophet which nobody knows except him?" Abu Darda further asked, "How does 'Abdullah (bin Mas'ud) recite the Sura starting with, 'By the Night as it conceals (the light)." (92.1) Then I recited before him:

'By the Night as it envelops: And by the Day as it appears in brightness; And by male and female.' (91.1-3) On this Abu Ad-Darda' said, "By Allah, the Prophet made me recite the Sura in this way while I was listening to him (reciting it)."

Volume 5, Book 57, Number 105:

Narrated Alqama:

I went to Sham and was offering a two-Rak'at prayer; I said, "O Allah! Bless me with a (pious) companion." Then I saw an old man coming towards me, and when he came near I said, (to myself), "I hope Allah has given me my request." The man asked (me), "Where are you from?" I replied, "I am from the people of Kufa." He said, "Weren't there amongst you the Carrier of the (Prophet's) shoes, Siwak and the ablution water container? Weren't there amongst you the man who was given Allah's Refuge from the Satan? And weren't there amongst you the man who used to keep the (Prophet's) secrets which nobody else knew? How did Ibn Um 'Abd (i.e. 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud) use to recite Surat-al-lail (the Night:92)?" I recited:--

"By the Night as it envelops By the Day as it appears in brightness. And by male and female." (92.1-3) On that, Abu Darda said, "By Allah, the Prophet made me read the Verse in this way after listening to him, but these people (of Sham) tried their best to let me say something different."

When reading the Hadith, we see that the companion Abu Darda believed that he heard the Prophet (peace be upon him), and Abdullah ibn Masud recited Surah 92:3 as follows: 

And by male and female  

Besides how we have it today, which is:

And by the creation of the male and the female,

Qurtubi says in his Tafsir of Surah 92, verse 3:

Abu Bakr said: Both of these hadith have been rejected because it contradicts what the majority have said, And Hamzah and A'asim both narrate on the authority of Ibn Mas'ud what the majority of Muslims agree on, and that the narrations that agree with the consensus should be taken first before the one that contradicts the consensus and Ummah (Muslim community) and it should not be based on a single narration that contradicts the narrations given by the majority. Take the narration that is accepted by the majority. That single narration became infected from forgetfulness and ignorance. And if the hadeeth by Abi Darda'a was authentic and its narration was accepted, and then Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali and the majority of the Sahabah (companions of the Prophet) may Allah bless them contradict it, then we should still take what the majority have said and reject what one narrator said due to being affected by forgetfulness, which did not affect the rest of the majority, and the rest of the followers of this religion. (Abu 'Abdullah Al-Qurtubi, Tasfir al Jami' li-ahkam al-Qur'an, Commentary on Surah 92:3 Source)

Therefore, as we can see, this is only one narration by a certain individual who believed that he heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) recite the verse the way he thought. However, why was there no one else who also supported Abu Darda'a? How can ALL OF THE UMMAH be wrong while only he was right? Obviously, he was speaking from bad memory and human error. More on this topic could be read here.

If I interviewed 10,000 people who watched a TV program and asked them what the actor said, and all of them said the exact same thing except one of them who said something slightly different, then does this give me a good reason to doubt what the other 9,999 had to say? Of course not! It is obvious that the one individual was not paying attention properly or had a bad memory.

When Muslims say that the Quran was preserved and handed down to us by the memory of the companions, we are not talking about some divine memory. Of course they were human beings and some could make mistakes when they relate certain Surahs, however the majority would go and correct them. It's not like we had two majorities arguing here regarding alleged differences in the Quran. So the majority of the companions narrated this verse down to us this way, and there is no reason at all to start doubting the authenticity of any verse just because one or a couple of people might have got it wrong due to bad memory or human error.

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