In this article, God willing, we will look at the history of how the last two verses of Sura Barã’ah, namely 9:128 and 9:129, were falsely added to the Quran. This evidence in conjunction with the linguistic anomalies, as well as the mathematical proof, shows that without a shadow of a doubt that these two verses were never part of the original Quran as revealed to the prophet, but instead were falsely injected after his death.
Meccan and Medinan Suras
Every Sura in the Quran is considered either Meccan or Medinan, based on where it was revealed. If the revelation occurred before the Hijra to Medina it is considered Meccan, if it was revealed after the Hijra it is considered Medinan.
Sura 9, Barã’ah (sometimes also called At-Tawba) was the second last Sura revealed and therefore is considered a Medinan sura. For note, the final Sura revealed was Sura 110 which only consists of three verses.
Sura 9 is considered Medinan due to the timeline, that is except for verses 128 and 129 which are considered Meccan. This is the only Sura that such a phenomenon is accepted as authentic.
The problem with this claim is that until the Hijra all the revelations occurred in Mecca, and after the Hijra all the revelations occurred in Medina. So it doesn’t make sense that a Medinan Sura will end with Meccan verses.
The Only Witness
Historically, it is recorded that the prophet had some 65 companions who functioned as scribes at his disposal to write down the Quran. The prophet declared that no one should record anything from him except for the Quran, “and whoever has written anything from me other than Qur’an should erase it.” (Muslim, Sahih, az-Zuhd:72).
It is well accepted that the Quran had indeed been written down in its entirety during the prophet’s lifetime, but the claim is that the compiling and arranging of the writings of the Quran into a single book in its specified sequence per the prophet’s instructions did not occur until after the prophet’s passing. This task of compilation started during the reign of Abu Bakr, after the Battle of Yamama that caused the death of a large number of the qurra, approved memorizers of the Quran.
For this task, Abu Bakr commissioned Zaid bin Thabit to lead the effort and compile all the verses into a single book.
Tawātur (Arabic:تواتر) is the methodology for gathering information. It refers to gathering information from multiple sources and corroborating them to determine if something should be accepted as true or not. While this term is utilized heavily for Hadith, it was also utilized in the compilation of the Quran by Zaid bin Thabit. While there isn’t a universal standard that everyone agrees to for the requirements for something to be accepted as true, scholars generally insist on at least a half dozen channels, including witnesses and writings, at a minimum but prefer this number to be much higher. This is because the more channels that all corroborate the same details the less likely that the information is false or inaccurate.
This standard was used throughout the entire compilation of the Quran, where every verse had numerous witnesses who memorized and could vouch for the authenticity of the verse as well as written parchments with the verse. This is for every single verse of the Quran except the two verses added to the end of Sura 9, Bara’a, where the only witness was Abu Khuzaima.
Narrated Zaid bin Thabit: Abu Bakr As-Siddiq sent for me when the people of Yamama had been killed (i.e., a number of the Prophet’s Companions who fought against Musailima). (I went to him) and found `Umar bin Al- Khattab sitting with him. Abu Bakr then said (to me), “`Umar has come to me and said: “Casualties were heavy among the Qurra’ of the Qur’an (i.e. those who knew the Qur’an by heart) on the day of the Battle of Yamama, and I am afraid that more heavy casualties may take place among the Qurra’ on other battlefields, whereby a large part of the Qur’an may be lost. Therefore I suggest, you (Abu Bakr) order that the Qur’an be collected.” I said to `Umar, “How can you do something which Allah’s Apostle did not do?” `Umar said, “By Allah, that is a good project.” `Umar kept on urging me to accept his proposal till Allah opened my chest for it and I began to realize the good in the idea which `Umar had realized.” Then Abu Bakr said (to me). ‘You are a wise young man and we do not have any suspicion about you, and you used to write the Divine Inspiration for Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ). So you should search for (the fragmentary scripts of) the Qur’an and collect it in one book.” By Allah If they had ordered me to shift one of the mountains, it would not have been heavier for me than this ordering me to collect the Qur’an. Then I said to Abu Bakr, “How will you do something which Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) did not do?” Abu Bakr replied, “By Allah, it is a good project.” Abu Bakr kept on urging me to accept his idea until Allah opened my chest for what He had opened the chests of Abu Bakr and `Umar. So I started looking for the Qur’an and collecting it from (what was written on) palme stalks, thin white stones and also from the men who knew it by heart, till I found the last Verse of Surat at-Tauba (Repentance) with Abi Khuzaima Al-Ansari, and I did not find it with anybody other than him. The Verse is: ‘Verily there has come unto you an Apostle (Muhammad) from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty..(till the end of Surat-Baraa’ (at-Tauba) (9.128-129). Then the complete manuscripts (copy) of the Qur’an remained with Abu Bakr till he died, then with `Umar till the end of his life, and then with Hafsa, the daughter of `Umar. (Refernce: Sahih al-Bukhari 4986, Book 66, Hadith 8, Vol. 6, Book 61, Hadith 509)
While every other verse had numerous witnesses and parchments validating their authenticity these two verses were the only verses that relied on a single companion of the prophet, Khuzeimah Ibn Thaabet Al-Ansaary.
If we are to accept this narrative, that verses 9:128 and 129 were only with Khuzeimah, this means that during the prophet’s life not a single one of his companions could have honestly claimed to have memorized the whole Quran. This includes Abu Bakr (first caliph, d. 634), ‘Umar b. al-Khattab (second caliph, d. 656), ‘Uthman b. ‘Affan (third caliph, d. 656), ‘Ali b. Abi Talib (fourth caliph, d. 660), Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (d. 664), and Zaid b. Thabit (d. 665). Additionally, this means that not a single one of the 65 scribes that the prophet had at his disposal had these two written down anywhere. How is this possible with the supposed thousands of companions who memorized the Quran, that not a single one of them aside from Khuzeimah had these two verses written or memorized?
Some claim other witnesses memorized these verses, and it was only that Khuzeimah Ibn Thaabet Al-Ansaary who had the parchment, but the Hadith on this is clear that the search included the memory of the companions when it states “from the men who knew it by heart”.
Below are the Hadith that shows the historical account of how these verses were decided to be included in the Quran despite the numerous issues regarding witnesses and testimony. It is noteworthy, that these are considered the last verses of the chronological revelation of the Quran with the exception of Sura 110 which is only three verses.
The following Sahi Bukhari Hadith:
The Equivalent of Two
Some claim that the reason Khuzaymah’s testimony was accepted was that his testimony was considered the equivalent of two people. This understanding comes from the following sunnah of Abu Dawood.
Narrated by uncle of Umarah ibn Khuzaymah: The Prophet bought a horse from a Bedouin. The Prophet took him with him to pay him the price of his horse. The Apostle of Allah walked quickly and the Bedouin walked slowly. The people stopped the Bedouin and began to bargain with him for the horse as they did not know that the Prophet had bought it.
The Bedouin called the Apostle of Allah saying: If you want this horse, (then buy it), otherwise I shall sell it. The Prophet stopped when he heard the call of the Bedouin, and said: Have I not bought it from you? The Bedouin said: I swear by Allah, I have not sold it to you. The Prophet said: Yes, I have bought it from you. The Bedouin began to say: Bring a witness. Khuzaymah ibn Thabit then said: I bear witness that you have bought it. The Prophet turned to Khuzaymah and said: On what (grounds) do you bear witness?
He said: By considering you trustworthy, Apostle of Allah.” The Prophet made the witness of Khuzaymah equivalent to the witness of two people.
If we accept this narration, then it shows that Khuzaymah had a history of bearing false witness. Yet somehow this narration is supposed to give us confidence in the trustworthiness of Khuzaymah. The Quran is very clear that it is strictly prohibited to ever bear false witness.
[4:135] O you who believe, you shall be absolutely equitable, and observe GOD, when you serve as witnesses, even against yourselves, or your parents, or your relatives. Whether the accused is rich or poor, GOD takes care of both. Therefore, do not be biased by your personal wishes. If you deviate or disregard (this commandment), then GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.
يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاءَ لِلَّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَىٰ أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ إِنْ يَكُنْ غَنِيًّا أَوْ فَقِيرًا فَاللَّهُ أَوْلَىٰ بِهِمَا فَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا الْهَوَىٰ أَنْ تَعْدِلُوا وَإِنْ تَلْوُوا أَوْ تُعْرِضُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا
The Quran uses some of the strongest language to prohibit the bearing of false witness by telling the followers of the Quran not only to not partake in such actions but to outright avoid it.
[22:30] Those who reverence the rites decreed by GOD have deserved a good reward at their Lord. All livestock is made lawful for your food, except for those specifically prohibited for you. You shall avoid the abomination of idol worship, and avoid bearing false witness.
ذَٰلِكَ وَمَنْ يُعَظِّمْ حُرُمَاتِ اللَّهِ فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَهُ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِ وَأُحِلَّتْ لَكُمُ الْأَنْعَامُ إِلَّا مَا يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْكُمْ فَاجْتَنِبُوا الرِّجْسَ مِنَ الْأَوْثَانِ وَاجْتَنِبُوا قَوْلَ الزُّورِ
To show the seriousness of such an offense, this is the same language that is used in the prohibitions towards intoxicants, gambling, and the altars of idols.
[5:90] O you who believe, intoxicants, and gambling, and the altars of idols, and the games of chance are abominations of the devil; you shall avoid them, that you may succeed.
(٩٠) يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالْأَنْصَابُ وَالْأَزْلَامُ رِجْسٌ مِنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
Kitab al–Masahif of Ibn Abu Dawud
The Hadith of the companions, including Kitab al–Masahif of Ibn Abu Dawud, reports that even the scribes when compiling the Quran believed that verse 127 was the last verse of Sura 9, al-Tawbah. Also that ‘Umar even considered making the addition of 128 and 129 into its own sura if there were three verses instead of two.
Ubayy ibn Ka’b reported that when they compiled the Qur’an, the scribes thought that 9:127 was the end of the sura. Then he informed them: “The messenger aught me two verses after this, “Verily has come unto you a Messenger…””Al-Masahif, vol. 9, pp. 128-129; Al-Murshid al-Wajiz, p. 56; Tartib al-Musnad, vol. 18., p. 173.
*Note: The author of Bulugh al-Amani, vol. 18, pp. 54-55 and pp.173-174, accepts this version as a sound hadith accepted by al-Hakim.
Ibn Abu Dawud narrates that Khyuzaymah ibn Thabit provided what came to be verses 128 and 129 of Surat al-Tawbah’s, and ‘Umar said that he would have made them a surah if they had been three verses. Then suggested that he should decide where to put them. As a result, they were put at the end of Surat al-Tawbah.Al-Masahif, p. 30
Something Added to The Quran
It is documented that ‘Ali protested these verses being added to the Quran.
On the authority of Muhammad ibn Sirin, on the authority of Ikrima, who said, “After Abu Bakr’s inauguration, Ali ibn Abu Talib stayed in his house. So it was said to Abu Bakr, ‘He is averse to swearing allegiance to you.’ Then Abu Bakr sent for him and said, ‘Are you averse to swearing allegiance to me?’ He said, ‘No. By God.’ He [Abu Bakr] said, ‘What makes you upset with me?’ He said, ‘I think something has been added to the Book of God. So I said to myself that I will not put on my street clothes except for the Friday prayer until it has been resolved.’” (Al-Suyuti Vol. 1, 57-58).
The History of The Qur’anic Text
In the book, History of the Qur’anic Text by M.M. Al-Azami, we read the following excerpt on page 84.
While this excerpt makes a false claim that 9:128-129 were confirmed by the memories of other companions beyond Abu Khuzaima, the basic argument is that even though the inclusion of these verses did not even meet the minimum requirement of tawatur, these verses should still be accepted as part of the Quran simply because they were part of the canonized mus’haf compiled by Uthman. The author additionally makes the case for keeping these two verses based on the following reasoning:
“[T]hese two verses do not hold anything new theologically, do not speak praise of a particular tribe or family, do not provide information that is not available elsewhere in the Qur’an. A conspiracy to invent such verses is irrational because no conceivable benefit could have been arisen from fabricating them.”
This passage shows clear acknowledgment of guilt that 9:128-129 do not belong in the Quran, but tries to justify their inclusion based on two false claims. Firstly, the Hadith on this matter is clear that the only individual who possessed 9:128-129 not just in written form, but also in memory was Abu Khuzaima and no one else. Secondly, while 9:129 is pretty much a copy and paste of other verses, 9:128 utilizes two of the same attributes of God, “رَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ / Compassionate, Merciful” towards the prophet. To claim that these verses do not elevate a person is a gross distortion as we do not have a single instance in the Quran where two direct attributes used in conjunction for God elsewhere in the Quran are used towards any other entity in teh same manner. The combination “رَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ / Compassionate, Merciful” is used eight times in the Quran exclusively for God, including just a few verses earlier in 9:117.
[9:128] There certainly has come to you a messenger from among yourselves. He is concerned by your suffering, anxious for your well-being, and to the believers compassionate, merficul.
لَقَدْ جَآءَكُمْ رَسُولٌۭ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُم بِٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌۭ رَّحِيمٌۭ
[9:117] GOD has redeemed the prophet, and the immigrants (Muhãjireen) and the supporters who hosted them and gave them refuge (Ansãr), who followed him during the difficult times. That is when the hearts of some of them almost wavered. But He has redeemed them, for He is to them Compassionate, Merciful.
لَقَدْ تَابَ اللَّهُ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالْأَنْصَارِ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ فِي سَاعَةِ الْعُسْرَةِ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا كَادَ يَزِيغُ قُلُوبُ فَرِيقٍ مِنْهُمْ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَيْهِمْ إِنَّهُ بِهِمْ رَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ
Nowhere else in the Quran do we see the same two attributes of God, which are regularly applied to the end of a verse, apply to any other entity like is found in 9:128. This is in addition to other numerous linguistic anomalies found in 9:128 that conflict with the other verses of the Quran.
Additionally, based on the mathematical structure of the Quran, even the repetition of a single verse, like that of 9:129, breaks the mathematical cryptography of the Quran. For instance, 9:128-129 consists of 29 words, yet the addition of these two verses causes 9 of these words to no longer be a multiple of 19. Statistically, we would expect only one perhaps two of the words to be a multiple of 19, but for this to happen to 9 out of 29 words is highly improbable, less than 1 in 10 billion.
لَقَدْ جَآءَكُمْ رَسُولٌۭ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُم بِٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌۭ رَّحِيمٌۭ
فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا۟ فَقُلْ حَسْبِىَ ٱللَّهُ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۖ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ ۖ وَهُوَ رَبُّ ٱلْعَرْشِ ٱلْعَظِيمِ
Sura Al-Ahzab Verse 23 (33:23)
Some individuals attempt to downplay the history of 9:128-129 and point to a hadith regarding verse 23 of Sura Al-Ahzab where it appears a similar incident took place, but this is an incorrect comparison.
The basic narration is the following:
Zaid bin Thabit said: ‘I missed an Ayah of Surat Al-Ahzab that I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) reciting: Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah, of them some have fulfilled their obligations, and some of them are still waiting (33:23) – so I searched for it and found it with Khuzaimah bin Thabit, or Abu Khuzaimah, so I put it in its Surah.'” (Reference: Jami` at-Tirmidhi 3104; In-book reference: Book 47, Hadith 156; English translation: Vol. 5, Book 44, Hadith 3104)
The reason the Hadith regarding 33:23 is not comparable to that of 9:128-129 is that in the Hadith regarding 33:23 it is clear that Zaid bin Thabit already had the verse memorized as it specifies that he recalled remembering the messenger reciting it. This was not the case with 9:128-129 where not even Zaid bin Thabit had this verse memorized or written. Secondly, this Hadith was during the reign of ‘Uthman during the transcription of the mus’hafs and not during the original compilation commissioned by Abu Bakr like that of the Hadith for 9:128-129. The reason this is significant is that during the incident of 33:23 the compilation of the Quran from the time of Abu Bakr was already complete and available. Therefore it isn’t that Zaid bin Thabit was looking to confirm the validity of this verse like he was for 9:128-129, but instead, he was looking for the actual folio for this verse for the compilation of the mus’haf. This is confirmed in the following Sahih hadith from Bukhari.
Narrated Kharija bin Zaid:ˆZaid bin Thabit said, “When the Qur’an was compiled from various written manuscripts (mus’haf), one of the Verses of Surat Al-Ahzab was missing which I used to hear Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) reciting. I could not find it except with Khuza`ima bin Thabjt Al-Ansari, whose witness Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) regarded as equal to the witness of two men. And the Verse was:– “Among the believers are men who have been true to what they covenanted with Allah.” (33.23) (Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari 2807; In-book reference: Book 56, Hadith 23; USC-MSA web (English) reference: Vol. 4, Book 52, Hadith 62)
Not long ago most Muslims were oblivious to the fact that there are slight variations to the text of the Quran. They vehemently denied that there were any differences between the Quranic manuscripts, and the scholars knowing that this was not the case were not forthcoming to clarify this for their congregations. Today it is widely accepted that there are multiple qirat and ahruf of the Quran. Ironically, now the Muslim Ulama simply state that there are seven variations in the Quran and that they are all valid, despite the clear contradictions of such an assumption.
Today the history regarding how 9:128-129 was falsely added to the Quran is also not well understood by the Muslim masses, and again the Muslim ulama are willfully apprehensive from being forthcoming with their followers about this, but this dam is about to break as well. Preemptively scholars are making claims similar to what was found in the excerpt from “The History of the Qur’anic Text” where the author simply states that even though 9:128-129 did not meet the requirements of mutawatir that it should be accepted because it was included in the canonized mus’haf of Uthman. God in the Quran warns us of such blind following of the past generations and scholars.
[37:69] They found their parents astray.
[37:70] And they blindly followed in their footsteps.
[37:71] Most of the previous generations have strayed in the same manner.
إِنَّهُمْ أَلْفَوْا آبَاءَهُمْ ضَالِّينَ
فَهُمْ عَلَىٰ آثَارِهِمْ يُهْرَعُونَ
وَلَقَدْ ضَلَّ قَبْلَهُمْ أَكْثَرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ
[9:31] They have set up their religious leaders and scholars as lords, instead of GOD. Others deified the Messiah, son of Mary. They were all commanded to worship only one god. There is no god except He. Be He glorified, high above having any partners.
اتَّخَذُوا أَحْبَارَهُمْ وَرُهْبَانَهُمْ أَرْبَابًا مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ وَالْمَسِيحَ ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا إِلَٰهًا وَاحِدًا لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ سُبْحَانَهُ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ
[41:40] Surely, those who distort our revelations are not hidden from us. Is one who gets thrown into Hell better, or one who comes secure on the Day of Resurrection? Do whatever you wish; He is Seer of everything you do.
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي آيَاتِنَا لَا يَخْفَوْنَ عَلَيْنَا أَفَمَنْ يُلْقَىٰ فِي النَّارِ خَيْرٌ أَمْ مَنْ يَأْتِي آمِنًا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ اعْمَلُوا مَا شِئْتُمْ إِنَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ
[2:170] When they are told, “Follow what GOD has revealed herein,” they say, “We follow only what we found our parents doing.” What if their parents did not understand, and were not guided?
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّبِعُوا مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ قَالُوا بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا أَلْفَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءَنَا أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ
From this article, we saw that all the history around 9:128-129 points to the fact that these verses were fraudulently added to the Quran. (1) That it doesn’t make sense that the entire Sura was revealed in Mecca, yet 9:128-129 were supposedly revealed in Medina. (2) That while every other verse had numerous witnesses and parchments for their authenticity, these were the only verses that a single individual had written or memorized. (3) This implies that no other believers at that time had any awareness of these verses. (4) That ‘Ali objected in protest to such an addition to the Quran. (5) That Umar even considered making it into its own Sura had it been 3 verses, and (6) that the scribes thought that the sura was complete after verse 127.
Despite this clear evidence, as well as the linguistic anomalies found in 9:128, and the irrefutable mathematical code of the Quran showing that the addition of these verses breaks the mathematical structure of the Quran, the Muslim masses insist on ascribing to ignorance and thus are left in darkness for such a decision. God, being All-Knowing, already warned the followers of the Quran of such deliberate schemes. It is warranted that those who wish to save their souls to start taking heed.
[9:127] Whenever a sura was revealed, some of them would look at each other as if to say: “Does anyone see you?” Then they left. Thus, GOD has diverted their hearts, for they are people who do not comprehend.
وَإِذَا مَا أُنْزِلَتْ سُورَةٌ نَظَرَ بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَىٰ بَعْضٍ هَلْ يَرَاكُمْ مِنْ أَحَدٍ ثُمَّ انْصَرَفُوا صَرَفَ اللَّهُ قُلُوبَهُمْ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لَا يَفْقَهُونَ