shall last for ever; if thou then die, shall they live for ever? Every soul shall taste of death.'1
'Every soul shall taste of death: then to us shall ye return.'2 Abu Bakr must,
therefore, be pronounced innocent of the fraud charged upon him, for it is unreasonable to suppose
that he interpolated them all.
Weil also considers that verse fourteen of Sura al-Ahqaf (xlvi) is an interpolation: 'We have
commanded man to show kindness to his parents, his mother beareth him and bringeth him forth with
pain, and his bearing and his weaning is thirty months; until when he attaineth strength and the age
of forty years, he saith, "0 Lord give me inspiration, that I may be grateful for Thy favour
wherewith thou hast favoured me and my parents."' According to the commentator Husain, Abu Bakr
embraced Islam in his thirty-eighth year. His parents were also converted, and in his fortieth year
he said: '0 Lord give me inspiration that I may be grateful.' Thus this verse has been supposed to
refer to him, but this by no means proves that he interpolated it, for had he wished to introduce a
verse about himself he surely would have invented one far less obscure. This charge then may be
dismissed as having no basis in fact.
Although the recension thus made under the direction of Abu Bakr was of the nature of a private
undertaking, and too much importance ought not to be attached to it, yet it was of great value as
forming the basis for the authoritative recension of the Khalifa 'Uthman. Some authorities
consider it uncertain whether Zaid completed his work before the death of Abu Bakr or not, and the
fact that the work when finished was handed over to Hafasa, the daughter of 'Umar, would imply
that Abu Bakr was now dead. In any case the private nature of the undertaking is evident.
With the great mass of the people there was no critical study of the Qur'an, for they were far
too busy with the