If one consults traditional sources, e.g. Hadith, regarding the compilation of the Quran, the typical narrative is that:

  1. The Quran was revealed in seven modes (ahruf) and various styles of recitation (qira’at)
  2. Muhammad was illiterate and therefore had others write the Quran for him
  3. The Quran was not compiled in its final form until after the death of Muhammad

All these items conflict with the verses of the Quran.

Lie #1: Hadith Claims There Are Seven Modes of The Quran

Numerous Hadith claim that the Quran was sent in seven modes (ahruf), and anywhere from seven to ten or even more styles of recitation (qira’at).

In a 2020 interview, Islamic scholar Dr. Yasir Qadhi stated that “every single student of knowledge … who studies ‘ulm of Quran” knows “that the most difficult topics are ahruf and qira’at,” so vexing that even “the most advanced of our scholars, they are not quite fully certain how to solve all of it and answer questions in there,” and so sensitive that it “should never be brought up in public” and is “not something you discuss among the masses”. Qadhi quotes a hadith where a ṣaḥābah of the Prophet (Ubayy ibn Ka’b) is reported to have said: “’in my heart a doubt came that I hadn’t had about Islam since the days of jahil'” and goes on to implore listeners, “this is not a joke brothers and sisters. The issue of Ahruf and Qiraat has caused confusion to somebody who the prophet said if you want to listen to the Quran directly listen to Ubay. ….” Later on in the interview when Qadhi was pressed if he could write the Quran on a blank mus’haf, he said he would be incapable of doing it.

وَحَدَّثَنِي حَرْمَلَةُ بْنُ يَحْيَى، أَخْبَرَنَا ابْنُ وَهْبٍ، أَخْبَرَنِي يُونُسُ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، حَدَّثَنِي عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُتْبَةَ، أَنَّ ابْنَ عَبَّاسٍ، حَدَّثَهُ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ أَقْرَأَنِي جِبْرِيلُ – عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ – عَلَى حَرْفٍ فَرَاجَعْتُهُ فَلَمْ أَزَلْ أَسْتَزِيدُهُ فَيَزِيدُنِي حَتَّى انْتَهَى إِلَى سَبْعَةِ أَحْرُفٍ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ ابْنُ شِهَابٍ بَلَغَنِي أَنَّ تِلْكَ السَّبْعَةَ الأَحْرُفَ إِنَّمَا هِيَ فِي الأَمْرِ الَّذِي يَكُونُ وَاحِدًا لاَ يَخْتَلِفُ فِي حَلاَلٍ وَلاَ حَرَامٍ ‏.‏

Ibn ‘Abbas reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: Gabriel taught me to recite in one mode. I replied to him and kept asking him to give more (modes), till he reached seven modes (of recitation). Ibn Shibab said: It has reached me that these seven modes are essentially one, not differing about what is permitted and what is forbidden.

Sahih Muslim 819a
https://sunnah.com/muslim:819a

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ يُوسُفَ، أَخْبَرَنَا مَالِكٌ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ عُرْوَةَ بْنِ الزُّبَيْرِ، عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ عَبْدٍ الْقَارِيِّ، أَنَّهُ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ يَقُولُ سَمِعْتُ هِشَامَ بْنَ حَكِيمِ بْنِ حِزَامٍ، يَقْرَأُ سُورَةَ الْفُرْقَانِ عَلَى غَيْرِ مَا أَقْرَؤُهَا، وَكَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَقْرَأَنِيهَا، وَكِدْتُ أَنْ أَعْجَلَ عَلَيْهِ، ثُمَّ أَمْهَلْتُهُ حَتَّى انْصَرَفَ، ثُمَّ لَبَّبْتُهُ بِرِدَائِهِ فَجِئْتُ بِهِ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقُلْتُ إِنِّي سَمِعْتُ هَذَا يَقْرَأُ عَلَى غَيْرِ مَا أَقْرَأْتَنِيهَا، فَقَالَ لِي ‏”‏ أَرْسِلْهُ ‏”‏‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ ‏”‏ اقْرَأْ ‏”‏‏.‏ فَقَرَأَ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ هَكَذَا أُنْزِلَتْ ‏”‏‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ لِي ‏”‏ اقْرَأْ ‏”‏‏.‏ فَقَرَأْتُ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ هَكَذَا أُنْزِلَتْ‏.‏ إِنَّ الْقُرْآنَ أُنْزِلَ عَلَى سَبْعَةِ أَحْرُفٍ فَاقْرَءُوا مِنْهُ مَا تَيَسَّرَ ‏”‏‏.‏

Narrated `Umar bin Al-Khattab: I heard Hisham bin Hakim bin Hizam reciting Surat-al-Furqan in a way different to that of mine. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) had taught it to me (in a different way). So, I was about to quarrel with him (during the prayer) but I waited till he finished, then I tied his garment round his neck and seized him by it and brought him to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and said, “I have heard him reciting Surat-al-Furqan in a way different to the way you taught it to me.” The Prophet (ﷺ) ordered me to release him and asked Hisham to recite it. When he recited it, Allah s Apostle said, “It was revealed in this way.” He then asked me to recite it. When I recited it, he said, “It was revealed in this way. The Qur’an has been revealed in seven different ways, so recite it in the way that is easier for you.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 2419
https://sunnah.com/bukhari:2419

حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ الْمُثَنَّى، حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ جَعْفَرٍ، حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، عَنِ الْحَكَمِ، عَنْ مُجَاهِدٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ أَبِي لَيْلَى، عَنْ أُبَىِّ بْنِ كَعْبٍ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ عِنْدَ أَضَاةِ بَنِي غِفَارٍ فَأَتَاهُ جِبْرِيلُ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَأْمُرُكَ أَنْ تُقْرِئَ أُمَّتَكَ عَلَى حَرْفٍ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏ “‏ أَسْأَلُ اللَّهَ مُعَافَاتَهُ وَمَغْفِرَتَهُ إِنَّ أُمَّتِي لاَ تُطِيقُ ذَلِكَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ أَتَاهُ ثَانِيَةً فَذَكَرَ نَحْوَ هَذَا حَتَّى بَلَغَ سَبْعَةَ أَحْرُفٍ قَالَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُكَ أَنْ تُقْرِئَ أُمَّتَكَ عَلَى سَبْعَةِ أَحْرُفٍ فَأَيُّمَا حَرْفٍ قَرَءُوا عَلَيْهِ فَقَدْ أَصَابُوا ‏.‏

Ubayy b. Ka’b said: The Prophet (ﷺ) was present at the pool of Banu Ghifar, Gabriel came to him and said: “Allah has commanded you to make your community read (the Qur’an) in one harf. He (the Prophet) said: ‘I beg Allah His pardon and forgiveness; my community has not strength to do so’. He then came for the second time and told him the same thing till he reached up to seven harfs. Finally, he said: ‘Allah has commanded you to make your community read (the Qur’an) in seven harfs; in whichever mode they read, that will be correct.

Sunan Abi Dawud 1478
https://sunnah.com/abudawud:1478

عَنْ أُبَيِّ بْنِ كَعْبٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: لَقِيَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ جِبْرِيلَ فَقَالَ: ” يَا جِبْرِيلُ إِنِّي بُعِثْتُ إِلَى أُمَّةٍ أُمِّيِّينَ مِنْهُمُ الْعَجُوزُ وَالشَّيْخُ الْكَبِيرُ وَالْغُلَامُ وَالْجَارِيَةُ وَالرَّجُلُ الَّذِي لَمْ يَقْرَأْ كِتَابًا قَطُّ قَالَ: يَا مُحَمَّد إِن الْقُرْآن أونزل عَلَى سَبْعَةِ أَحْرُفٍ “. رَوَاهُ التِّرْمِذِيُّ وَفِي رِوَايَةٍ لِأَحْمَدَ وَأَبِي دَاوُدَ: قَالَ: «لَيْسَ مِنْهَا إِلَّا شَافٍ كَافٍ» . وَفِي رِوَايَةٍ لِلنَّسَائِيِّ قَالَ: ” إِنَّ جِبْرِيلَ وَمِيكَائِيلَ أَتَيَانِي فَقَعَدَ جِبْرِيلُ عَنْ يَمِينِي وَمِيكَائِيلُ عَنْ يَسَارِي فَقَالَ جِبْرِيلُ: اقْرَأِ الْقُرْآنَ عَلَى حَرْفٍ قَالَ مِيكَائِيلُ: اسْتَزِدْهُ حَتَّى بَلَغَ سَبْعَة أحرف فَكل حرف شاف كَاف “

Ubayy b. Ka‘b told of God’s messenger meeting Gabriel and saying, “I have been sent, Gabriel, to a people who are unlettered, among whom are old women and old men, boys and girls, and men who have never read a book.” He replied, “The Qur’ān, Muhammad, has been sent down in seven modes.” In a version by Ahmad and Abū Dāwūd he said, “They include only what is sufficiently health-giving.” In a version by Nasā’i the Prophet is quoted as saying that Gabriel and Michael came to him, and when Gabriel had sat down at his right and Michael at his left, Gabriel told him to recite the Qur’ān in one mode, and Michael told him to ask more, till he reached seven modes, each mode being sufficiently health-giving. Tirmidhī transmitted it.

Mishkat al-Masabih 2215
https://sunnah.com/mishkat:2215

وَعَنْ أُبَيِّ بْنِ كَعْبٍ قَالَ: كُنْتُ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ فَدَخَلَ رَجُلٌ يُصَلِّي فَقَرَأَ قِرَاءَةً أَنْكَرْتُهَا عَلَيْهِ ثُمَّ دَخَلَ آخَرُ فَقَرَأَ قِرَاءَةً سِوَى قِرَاءَةِ صَاحِبِهِ فَلَمَّا قَضَيْنَا الصَّلَاةَ دَخَلْنَا جَمِيعًا عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقُلْتُ إِنَّ هَذَا قَرَأَ قِرَاءَةً أَنْكَرْتُهَا عَلَيْهِ وَدخل آخر فَقَرَأَ سوى قِرَاءَة صَاحبه فَأَمَرَهُمَا النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَرَآ فَحَسَّنَ شَأْنَهُمَا فَسَقَطَ فِي نَفْسِي مِنَ التَّكْذِيبِ وَلَا إِذْ كُنْتُ فِي الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ فَلَمَّا رَأَى رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَا قَدْ غَشِيَنِي ضَرَبَ فِي صَدْرِي فَفِضْت عَرَقًا وكأنما أنظر إِلَى الله عز وَجل فَرَقَا فَقَالَ لِي: «يَا أُبَيُّ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيَّ أَن اقْرَأِ الْقُرْآنَ عَلَى حَرْفٍ فَرَدَدْتُ إِلَيْهِ أَنْ هَوِّنْ عَلَى أُمَّتِي فَرَدَّ إِلَيَّ الثَّانِيَةَ اقْرَأْهُ عَلَى حَرْفَيْنِ فَرَدَّدَتْ إِلَيْهِ أَنْ هَوِّنْ عَلَى أُمَّتِي فَرَدَّ إِلَيَّ الثَّالِثَةِ اقْرَأْهُ عَلَى سَبْعَةِ أَحْرُفٍ وَلَكَ بِكُلِّ رَدَّةٍ رَدَدْتُكَهَا مَسْأَلَةٌ تَسْأَلُنِيهَا فَقُلْتُ اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِأُمَّتِي اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِأُمَّتِي وَأَخَّرْتُ الثَّالِثَةَ لِيَوْمٍ يَرْغَبُ إِلَيَّ الْخَلْقُ كُلُّهُمْ حَتَّى إِبْرَاهِيم صلى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسلم» . رَوَاهُ مُسلم

Ubayy b. Kā’b said: When I was in the mosque a man entered and prayed and recited in a manner to which I objected. Afterwards a man entered and recited in a manner different from the other. When we had finished the prayer we all went to visit God’s messenger, and I said, “This man recited in a manner to which I objected and the other entered and recited in a manner different from his.” The Prophet then commanded them to recite, and when they had done so he expressed approval of both of them. This made me inclined to tell him he was wrong, even to an extent I had never reached in the pre-Islamic period; and when God’s messenger noticed how I was affected he gave me a pat on the chest, whereupon I broke into a sweat and was filled with fear as though I were looking at God. He then said to me, “A message was sent to me, Ubayy, to recite the Qur’ān in one mode, but when I replied that I wished matters to be made easy for my people, a second message instructed me to recite it in two modes. Again I replied that I wished matters to be made easy for my people, and a third message instructed me to recite it in seven modes, I being told at the same time that I might ask something for each reply I had received. I therefore said, ‘O God, forgive my people. O God, forgive my people;’ and I have delayed the third request till the day when all creatures, even including Abraham, seek my intercession.” Muslim transmitted it.

Mishkat al-Masabih 2213
https://sunnah.com/mishkat:2213

The Quran Claims There is Only One Quran

The Quran always refers to itself in the singular form ( الْقُرْآن ) and never in the plural form ( القرآنون or القرآنين ). This indicates that there is only a single Quran “Recitation” that is authorized by God, which is in the preserved master tablet (lawḥin maḥfūẓin)

[85:22] In a preserved master tablet.

(٢٢) فِي لَوْحٍ مَحْفُوظٍ

[20:4] A revelation from the Creator of the earth and the high heavens.

(٤) تَنْزِيلًا مِمَّنْ خَلَقَ الْأَرْضَ وَالسَّمَاوَاتِ الْعُلَى

Lie #2: Hadith Claims Muhammad was Illiterate

Traditionalists have distorted the word ummy ( أُمِّيَّ ) in the Quran to make it mean “illiterate” and have fabricated Hadith to prop up this false claim.

حَدَّثَنَا آدَمُ، حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، حَدَّثَنَا الأَسْوَدُ بْنُ قَيْسٍ، حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ عَمْرٍو، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ ابْنَ عُمَرَ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّهُ قَالَ ‏ “‏ إِنَّا أُمَّةٌ أُمِّيَّةٌ، لاَ نَكْتُبُ وَلاَ نَحْسُبُ الشَّهْرُ هَكَذَا وَهَكَذَا ‏”‏‏.‏ يَعْنِي مَرَّةً تِسْعَةً وَعِشْرِينَ، وَمَرَّةً ثَلاَثِينَ‏.‏

Narrated Ibn `Umar: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “We are an illiterate nation; we neither write, nor know accounts. The month is like this and this, i.e. sometimes of 29 days and sometimes of thirty days.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 1913
https://sunnah.com/bukhari:1913

The word ummy occurs six times in the Quran and is always in reference to gentiles, which is the appropriate and consistent meaning of the word as used in the Quran.

2:78:2ummiyyūnaأُمِّيُّونَgentiles
3:20:13wal-umiyīnaوَالْأُمِّيِّينَand the gentiles,
3:75:29l-umiyīnaالْأُمِّيِّينَthe gentiles
7:157:5l-umiyaالْأُمِّيَّthe gentile
7:158:24l-umiyiالْأُمِّيِّthe gentile
62:2:5l-umiyīnaالْأُمِّيِّينَthe gentiles

The clearest example of this is in the following verses, which specify that the opposite of the word ummy is one who has received scripture.

[3:20] If they argue with you, then say, “I have simply submitted myself to GOD; I and those who follow me.” You shall proclaim to those who received the scripture, as well as those who did not ( وَالْأُمِّيِّينَ ), “Would you submit?” If they submit, then they have been guided, but if they turn away, your sole mission is to deliver this message. GOD is Seer of all people.

 فَإِنْ حَاجُّوكَ فَقُلْ أَسْلَمْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّهِ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِ وَقُلْ لِلَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ وَالْأُمِّيِّينَ أَأَسْلَمْتُمْ فَإِنْ أَسْلَمُوا فَقَدِ اهْتَدَوْا وَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلَاغُ وَاللَّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِالْعِبَادِ

1fa-inفَإِنْThen if
2ḥājjūkaحَاجُّوكَthey argued with you,
3faqulفَقُلْthen say,
4aslamtuأَسْلَمْتُ“I submitted
5wajhiyaوَجْهِيَmy face (*myself)
6lillahiلِلَّهِto God
7wamaniوَمَنِand (those) who
8ittabaʿaniاتَّبَعَنِ[he] followed me.”
9waqulوَقُلْAnd say
10lilladhīnaلِلَّذِينَto those who
11ūtūأُوتُوا[they] were given
12l-kitābaالْكِتَابَthe book / scripture,
13wal-umiyīnaوَالْأُمِّيِّينَand the gentiles,
14a-aslamtumأَأَسْلَمْتُمْ“Would you [all] submit?”
15fa-inفَإِنْThen if
16aslamūأَسْلَمُواthey submitted
17faqadiفَقَدِthen surely
18ih’tadawاهْتَدَوْاthey were guided.
19wa-inوَإِنْBut if
20tawallawتَوَلَّوْاthey turned away
21fa-innamāفَإِنَّمَاthen only
22ʿalaykaعَلَيْكَupon you (responsibility)
23l-balāghuالْبَلَاغُthe announcement / communication / delivery.
24wal-lahuوَاللَّهُAnd God (is)
25baṣīrunبَصِيرٌSeer
26bil-ʿibādiبِالْعِبَادِof the servants.

Additionally, we see in the following verse that the Jews made the claim that they do not have to be honest when dealing with the ummy (gentiles). This is a well-known doctrine among Jews for instance, they believe that while usury is prohibited among Jews, it is fine to charge usury when dealing with gentiles. Corollary to that, we do not see any Jewish jurisprudence for a different set of rules for dealing with illiterate people.

[3:75] Some followers of the scripture can be trusted with a whole lot, and they will give it back to you. Others among them cannot be trusted with a single dinar; they will not repay you unless you keep after them. That is because they say, “We do not have to be honest when dealing with the gentiles!”* Thus, they attribute lies to GOD, knowingly.

وَمِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ مَنْ إِنْ تَأْمَنْهُ بِقِنْطَارٍ يُؤَدِّهِ إِلَيْكَ وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ إِنْ تَأْمَنْهُ بِدِينَارٍ لَا يُؤَدِّهِ إِلَيْكَ إِلَّا مَا دُمْتَ عَلَيْهِ قَائِمًا ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَالُوا لَيْسَ عَلَيْنَا فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ سَبِيلٌ وَيَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ

Muhammad Wrote the Quran

The miracle that Muhammad received was the Quran alone.

[29:50] They said, “If only miracles* could come down to him from his Lord!” Say, “All miracles come only from GOD; I am no more than a manifest warner.”
[29:51] Is it not enough of a miracle that we sent down to you this book, being recited to them? This is indeed a mercy and a reminder for people who believe.

(٥٠) وَقَالُوا لَوْلَا أُنْزِلَ عَلَيْهِ آيَاتٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِ قُلْ إِنَّمَا الْآيَاتُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ وَإِنَّمَا أَنَا نَذِيرٌ مُبِينٌ
(٥١) أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِهِمْ أَنَّا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَرَحْمَةً وَذِكْرَىٰ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

The Quran informs us that Muhammad did not receive a physical miracle like the ones sent in the past.

[17:59] What stopped us from sending the miracles is that the previous generations have rejected them. For example, we showed Thamûd the camel, a profound (miracle), but they transgressed against it. We sent the miracles only to instill reverence.

(٥٩) وَمَا مَنَعَنَا أَنْ نُرْسِلَ بِالْآيَاتِ إِلَّا أَنْ كَذَّبَ بِهَا الْأَوَّلُونَ وَآتَيْنَا ثَمُودَ النَّاقَةَ مُبْصِرَةً فَظَلَمُوا بِهَا وَمَا نُرْسِلُ بِالْآيَاتِ إِلَّا تَخْوِيفًا

[10:20] They say, “How come no miracle came down to him from his Lord?” Say, “The future belongs to GOD; so wait, and I am waiting along with you.”

(٢٠) وَيَقُولُونَ لَوْلَا أُنْزِلَ عَلَيْهِ آيَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِ فَقُلْ إِنَّمَا الْغَيْبُ لِلَّهِ فَانْتَظِرُوا إِنِّي مَعَكُمْ مِنَ الْمُنْتَظِرِينَ

If Muhammad could produce the Quran despite being illiterate, then it would contradict the above verses that he did not receive a miracle beyond the Quran.

Additionally, Muhammad was a successful merchant. The “Muslim scholars” who fabricated the illiteracy lie forgot that there were no numbers during the Prophet’s time; the letters of the alphabet were used as numbers; similar to roman numerals. As a merchant dealing with numbers daily, the Prophet had to know the alphabet, from one to one thousand.

The word Quran means Recitation ( الْقُرْآن ), but specifically recitation of something written as opposed to the general word for recitation, which would be talu ( تلو ). Further evidence to this connection is that from the root of the word Quran ( ق ر ا ) we get the word iqra ( اقرَأ ) which means to read as used in the first revelation given to Muhammad.

[96:1] Read, in the name of your Lord, who created.
[96:2] He created man from an embryo.
[96:3] Read, and your Lord, Most Exalted.
[96:4] Teaches by means of the pen. 
[96:5] He teaches man what he never knew.

اقرَأ بِاسمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذي خَلَقَ
خَلَقَ الْإِنْسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ
 اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الْأَكْرَمُ
 الَّذِي عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ
 عَلَّمَ الْإِنْسَانَ مَالَمْ يَعْلَمْ

If Muhammad could not read then, Muhammad would not have been able to fulfill this request by God. Yet even if we say that before this revelation, he was illiterate, the verses state that God teaches man what he never knew, which means God could have allowed him to read to fulfill this command.

Additionally, God tells us that He teaches man by means of the pen. Some people argue that the pen is only metaphorical, but this is clarified in the next revelation, which explains that the purpose of the pen is to write. This is because the second revelation given to the prophet was Sura 68 entitled “The Pen (Al-Qalam / الـقـلـم )” and it informs us that the function of the pen is to write.

[68:1] NuN, the pen, and what they (the people) write.

 نون وَالقَلَمِ وَما يَسطُرونَ

The third revelation the prophet received was Sura 73 entitled “Cloaked (Al-Muzzammil / الـمـزمـل )”and we see in the third verse the following command:

[73:1] O you cloaked one.
[73:2] Meditate during the night, except rarely.
[73:3] Half of it, or a little less.
[73:4] Or a little more. And read the Quran from cover to cover.

ياأَيُّهَا المُزَّمِّلُ
قُمِ الَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا
نِصْفَهُ أَوِ انْقُصْ مِنْهُ قَلِيلًا
 أَوْ زِدْ عَلَيْهِ وَرَتِّلِ الْقُرْآنَ تَرْتِيلًا

1أَوْawOr
2زِدْzidadd
3عَلَيْهِʿalayhito it.
4وَرَتِّلِwarattiliAnd read correctly / slow with attention to detail
5الْقُرْآنَl-qur’ānathe Quran
6تَرْتِيلًاtartīlan(in) specific / distinct order / entirety (*from cover to cover).

It was Muhammad’s sole duty to deliver God’s final scripture to mankind. If he outsourced the critical task of physically writing the revelations he received from God during the 23 years he received Quranic revelations, then he would have been neglecting his very function as a prophet.

[42:48] If they turn away, we did not send you as their guardian. Your sole mission is delivering the message.

فَإِنْ أَعْرَضُوا فَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا إِنْ عَلَيْكَ إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ وَإِنَّا إِذَا أَذَقْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ مِنَّا رَحْمَةً فَرِحَ بِهَا وَإِنْ تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ فَإِنَّ الْإِنْسَانَ كَفُورٌ

[64:12] You shall obey GOD and you shall obey the messenger. If you turn away, then the sole mission of our messenger is to deliver the message.

وَأَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ فَإِنْ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ فَإِنَّمَا عَلَىٰ رَسُولِنَا الْبَلَاغُ الْمُبِينُ

An additional confirmation that Muhammad wrote the Quran with his own hand can be found in 69:45 of the Quran where it states that God would have “seized him by the right hand” if he uttered any other teachings.

[69:44] Had he uttered any other teachings.
[69:45] We would have punished him [seized him by the right hand].
[69:46] We would have stopped the revelations to him.
[69:47] None of you could have helped him.

وَلَو تَقَوَّلَ عَلَينا بَعضَ الأَقاويلِ
لَأَخَذنا مِنهُ بِاليَمينِ
ثُمَّ لَقَطَعنا مِنهُ الوَتينَ
فَما مِنكُم مِن أَحَدٍ عَنهُ حاجِزينَ

1la-akhadhnāلَأَخَذْنَاcertainly we would have seized / taken / punished
2min’huمِنْهُfrom him
3bil-yamīniبِالْيَمِينِby the right hand.

The significance of stating that Muhammad would have been seized by the right hand is that the right hand is used for writing. We see this same word “bil-yamīni ( بِالْيَمِينِ )” used elsewhere in the Quran in the context of Muhammad writing the scripture with his own hand.

[29:48] You did not read the previous scriptures, nor did you write them with your right hand. In that case, the rejectors would have had reason to harbor doubts.

(٤٨) وَمَا كُنْتَ تَتْلُو مِنْ قَبْلِهِ مِنْ كِتَابٍ وَلَا تَخُطُّهُ بِيَمِينِكَ إِذًا لَارْتَابَ الْمُبْطِلُونَ

1wamāوَمَاAnd not
2kuntaكُنْتَyou used to
3tatlūتَتْلُو[you] recite / read
4minمِنْfrom
5qablihiقَبْلِهِbefore it
6minمِنْany
7kitābinكِتَابٍscripture,
8walāوَلَاand not (did)
9takhuṭṭuhuتَخُطُّهُyou write it
10biyamīnikaبِيَمِينِكَwith your right hand,
11idhanإِذًاthen
12la-ir’tābaلَارْتَابَsurely [he] would have doubted
13l-mub’ṭilūnaالْمُبْطِلُونَthe falsifiers / rejectors.

This verse informs us that Muhammad did not write the previous scriptures with his right hand. This again confirms that Muhammad was a gentile who did not have knowledge of the previous scripture and that Muhammad did write the Quran with his right hand, as God would have ceased it if he uttered any other teachings.

Muhammad’s knowledge of the previous scripture, despite being a gentile, as depicted through the revelation of the Quran, made his adversaries speculate that someone else was teaching him.

[16:103] We are fully aware that they say, “A human being is teaching him!” The tongue of the source they hint at is non-Arabic, and this is a perfect Arabic tongue.

(١٠٣) وَلَقَدْ نَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُمْ يَقُولُونَ إِنَّمَا يُعَلِّمُهُ بَشَرٌ لِسَانُ الَّذِي يُلْحِدُونَ إِلَيْهِ أَعْجَمِيٌّ وَهَٰذَا لِسَانٌ عَرَبِيٌّ مُبِينٌ

But even these adversaries acknowledged that Muhammad could read and write.

[25:5] They also said, “Tales from the past that he wrote down; they were dictated to him day and night.”

(٥) وَقَالُوا أَسَاطِيرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ اكْتَتَبَهَا فَهِيَ تُمْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا

1waqālūوَقَالُواAnd they said,
2asāṭīruأَسَاطِيرُ“Tales (of)
3l-awalīnaالْأَوَّلِينَthe former [ones] (people) / past generations
4ik’tatabahāاكْتَتَبَهَا(which) he wrote it
5fahiyaفَهِيَand [it]
6tum’lāتُمْلَىٰit is dictated
7ʿalayhiعَلَيْهِto him
8buk’ratanبُكْرَةًmorning / day
9wa-aṣīlanوَأَصِيلًاand evening / night.”

Lie #3: Hadith Claims That The Quran Was Never Compiled in its Final Form During Muhammad’s Life

If someone was to consult the Hadith literature, they would believe that the Quran was never compiled in its final form during the life of the prophet, and this task was taken upon the companions after the prophet’s death.

حَدَّثَنَا مُوسَى بْنُ إِسْمَاعِيلَ، عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ بْنِ سَعْدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ عُبَيْدِ بْنِ السَّبَّاقِ، أَنَّ زَيْدَ بْنَ ثَابِتٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ أَرْسَلَ إِلَىَّ أَبُو بَكْرٍ مَقْتَلَ أَهْلِ الْيَمَامَةِ فَإِذَا عُمَرُ بْنُ الْخَطَّابِ عِنْدَهُ قَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ إِنَّ عُمَرَ أَتَانِي فَقَالَ إِنَّ الْقَتْلَ قَدِ اسْتَحَرَّ يَوْمَ الْيَمَامَةِ بِقُرَّاءِ الْقُرْآنِ وَإِنِّي أَخْشَى أَنْ يَسْتَحِرَّ الْقَتْلُ بِالْقُرَّاءِ بِالْمَوَاطِنِ، فَيَذْهَبَ كَثِيرٌ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ وَإِنِّي أَرَى أَنْ تَأْمُرَ بِجَمْعِ الْقُرْآنِ‏.‏ قُلْتُ لِعُمَرَ كَيْفَ تَفْعَلُ شَيْئًا لَمْ يَفْعَلْهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ عُمَرُ هَذَا وَاللَّهِ خَيْرٌ‏.‏ فَلَمْ يَزَلْ عُمَرُ يُرَاجِعُنِي حَتَّى شَرَحَ اللَّهُ صَدْرِي لِذَلِكَ، وَرَأَيْتُ فِي ذَلِكَ الَّذِي رَأَى عُمَرُ‏.‏ قَالَ زَيْدٌ قَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ إِنَّكَ رَجُلٌ شَابٌّ عَاقِلٌ لاَ نَتَّهِمُكَ، وَقَدْ كُنْتَ تَكْتُبُ الْوَحْىَ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَتَتَبَّعِ الْقُرْآنَ فَاجْمَعْهُ فَوَاللَّهِ لَوْ كَلَّفُونِي نَقْلَ جَبَلٍ مِنَ الْجِبَالِ مَا كَانَ أَثْقَلَ عَلَىَّ مِمَّا أَمَرَنِي مِنْ جَمْعِ الْقُرْآنِ قُلْتُ كَيْفَ تَفْعَلُونَ شَيْئًا لَمْ يَفْعَلْهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ هُوَ وَاللَّهِ خَيْرٌ فَلَمْ يَزَلْ أَبُو بَكْرٍ يُرَاجِعُنِي حَتَّى شَرَحَ اللَّهُ صَدْرِي لِلَّذِي شَرَحَ لَهُ صَدْرَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ فَتَتَبَّعْتُ الْقُرْآنَ أَجْمَعُهُ مِنَ الْعُسُبِ وَاللِّخَافِ وَصُدُورِ الرِّجَالِ حَتَّى وَجَدْتُ آخِرَ سُورَةِ التَّوْبَةِ مَعَ أَبِي خُزَيْمَةَ الأَنْصَارِيِّ لَمْ أَجِدْهَا مَعَ أَحَدٍ غَيْرَهُ ‏{‏لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ‏}‏ حَتَّى خَاتِمَةِ بَرَاءَةَ، فَكَانَتِ الصُّحُفُ عِنْدَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ حَتَّى تَوَفَّاهُ اللَّهُ ثُمَّ عِنْدَ عُمَرَ حَيَاتَهُ ثُمَّ عِنْدَ حَفْصَةَ بِنْتِ عُمَرَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ‏.‏

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 whichUmar 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 withUmar till the end of his life, and then with Hafsa, the daughter of `Umar.

Sahih al-Bukhari 4986
https://sunnah.com/bukhari:4986

Quran was Completed and Compiled in its Final Form During the Muhammad’s Life

The Quran confirms that the revelation of the Quran was complete during the prophet’s life and that he was responsible for upholding it after its completion.

[75:16] Do not move your tongue to hasten it.
[75:17] It is we who will collect it into Quran.
[75:18] Once we recite it, you shall follow such a Quran.
[75:19] Then it is we who will explain it.

(١٦) لَا تُحَرِّكْ بِهِ لِسَانَكَ لِتَعْجَلَ بِهِ
(١٧) إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا جَمْعَهُ وَقُرْآنَهُ
(١٨) فَإِذَا قَرَأْنَاهُ فَاتَّبِعْ قُرْآنَهُ
(١٩) ثُمَّ إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا بَيَانَهُ

1innaإِنَّIndeed,
2ʿalaynāعَلَيْنَاupon us
3jamʿahuجَمْعَهُits collection
4waqur’ānahuوَقُرْآنَهُand its recitation / Quran.
1fa-idhāفَإِذَاAnd when
2qaranāhuقَرَأْنَاهُwe recited it,
3fa-ittabiʿفَاتَّبِعْthen you follow
4qur’ānahuقُرْآنَهُits recitation / Quran.

Since the “you” is singular in these verses, it indicates that this verse is speaking to Muhammad and informing him that the collection of the Quran will occur, and it is his responsibility to follow the recitation afterward. This signifies that the collection and compilation of the Quran occurred while Muhammad was still alive and not as depicted in the Hadith literature.

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