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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."'

1 Life of Mahomet, vol. i, p. xxvi.

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