THE COMPOSITION OF
THE REVEALED TEXT (3)
When the armies coming from Syria and Iraq reassembled for these battles, they noticed some difference in their recitations. The Syrians followed the reading of their fellow citizen, Obaï; whereas the Iraqis followed that of their fellow citizen, Ibn Mas’oud. They said to one another: “Our reading is better than yours”. Scared by this spectacle, Huzayfa Ibn el-Yaman hastened to Othman and asked him to put an end to such disputes which might lead to divisions similar to those of the Jews and Christians concerning their books. Thus, Othman appointed a committee of four copyists; Zaïd himself - from Medina - and three from Makkah: Abdullah Ibn-Ezzobair, Sa'id Ibn El-'As and Abd-Errahman Ibn El-Harith Ibn Hishâm. They were charged to make several copies of the original of Hafsa equal to the number of the principal cities in the Muslim Empire. In this way, the work was completed in a perfect conformity to the original which was returned to Hafsa. While the other copies were bound and distributed as immutable types treating as a nullity all that which may present any deviation from it.
Certain Shi’ites suspected Othman of altering the text of the Qur’an, or more precisely, of omitting from it something related to Ali. If that fact had been true, the “porters of the Qur’an” who were numerous at the time of its publication, would have verified it and compared it with what they had known by heart. Even Ibn Mas’oud himself had acknowledged the exactitude of the work in spite of his dissatisfaction with the politics for many reasons. Due to the zeal of the first Muslims who were even more ardent than their successors towards God’s Words, it is impossible for us to attribute the fact that Othman’s copy of the Qur’an was accepted by all Muslims without any dispute to a shallow spirit of conformity. Noeldeke concluded that this is the strongest evidence that the Qur’anic text is “as complete and accurate as it may be expected”.
This edition has been the only one in force in the Muslim world, including the Shi’ites, for more than thirteen centuries. The following is a declaration of the Imamians (the most important Sect of Shi’ism), mentioned in the work of Abu Ja’far al-Omm: “We believe that the quantity of the Qur’an, which God had revealed to his Prophet Muhammad, consists of what is preserved now between its two covers and used by people and nothing more. The number of the surahs known by the generality of Muslims is 114, but in our opinion, the surahs XCIII and XCIV form one surah and so do surahs CV and CVI as well as surahs VIII and IX. Thus, those who attribute to us the belief that the Qur’an is more than this are liars”. 
 With the exception of Othman’s personal copy, the majority of the Traditionalists agree that there were five manuscripts intended for the following five cities,: Makkah, Medina, Basra, Koufa and Damascus. However, Abu Hatim Es-Sidjestani mentions two other copies for the two provinces of Yemen and Bahrein (cf. lbn Abi Dawood, Kitab-el-Massahif, P.74).
 Noeldeke, Geschichte des Korans, 2nd part, P.93.
 This formal difference does not exist but theoretically, because
their copies do not differ in anything from those of the Sounnites. In concern to the “apocrypha piece [“the two lights”] which Garcin de Tassy had published under the title of “An unknown chapter of the Qur’an”, Mirza Alexander Kazim had studied the case, and proved that this pretended surah not only had had no trace in the Shi’ites Qur’an, but also had not been mentioned in their works of traditional polemics. Moreover, the title of the “Two lights” applied to Muhammad and Ali, appeared for the first time in the Shi’ites books in the 7th century of Hejira according to Toussi. Enough that you should read this piece, which is not but a mediocre compilation of words and expressions robbed from the Qur’an, that you notice the shocking contrast which it presents with the elegance and harmony of the Qur’anic style. See also Noeldeke II, PP. 107-112.
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