The way in which the various recensions were made, and the need of them show
that the Qur'an is open to criticism, and that the orthodox view of inspiration needs to
be very much modified, but do not prove that the present copies are not authentic. The
conclusion arrived at by Muir, with which most scholars agree, seems to me sound and good.
He says:1 'The conclusion, which we may now with confidence draw, is that the
editions both of Abu Bakr and of 'Uthman were, not only faithful, but complete as far as
the materials went; and that whatever omissions there may have been, they were not on the
part of the compilers intentional. The real drawback to the inestimable value of the
Qur'an, as a contemporary and authentic record of Muhammad's character and actions, is the
want of arrangement and connexion which pervades it; so that, in inquiring into the
meaning and force of a passage, no infallible dependence can be placed on the adjacent
sentences as being the true context. But, bating this serious defect, we may upon the
strongest presumption affirm that every verse in the Qur'an is the genuine and unaltered
composition of Muhammad himself, and conclude with at least a close aproximation to the
verdict of Von Hammer "That we hold the Qur'an to be as truly Muhammad's word, as
the Muhammadans hold it to be the word of God."'