Our teacher says that three ayahs in the Qur’an have been removed. What is basic concept of Islam about it?
It is very difficult to say for sure whether any verses of the Qur’an were actually removed by the Prophet (pbuh) or not. There are a few narratives, which report that the Prophet (pbuh) removed a few verses of the Qur’an. If these narratives are held to be accurate, it may then be contended that there were indeed a few verses in the Qur’an, which were later on removed by the Prophet (pbuh). There are, however, two important points, which should be kept in mind regarding the removed verses of the Qur’an (if any). Firstly, such verses (if any) were removed under the directive of the Almighty Himself as a part of the final compilation of the Qur’an. The Qur’an clearly tells the Prophet (pbuh) that God shall arrange for the compilation as well as the preservation of the Qur’an and, at that time, He may remove any verses, which, according to His absolute knowledge and wisdom, do not require to be preserved in the Qur’an, for all times to come.
Al-Qiyaamah 75: 17 – 18 reads as:
It is Our responsibility to compile it and recite it to you. Then, when We have recited it, follow the particular recitation.
Al-Aa`laa 87: 6 – 7 reads as:
Soon, We shall recite it for you and then you shall not forget [any part thereof], except that which Allah wants [to be forgotten].
Thus, it is possible that God may have removed some verses of the Qur’an, in the final recitation, in which it was finally compiled and recited to avoid any chances of error in its transmission to the subsequent generations.
Secondly, if there actually were any such verses, which were removed by God, it would logically follow that the directives entailed in these verses were actually temporary in nature. Thus, with the removal of these verses (if any), the directives entailed in them became redundant. After all, if God had intended the directives entailed in these verses to be permanent, why would He have removed these verses from the Qur’an in the first place.
In view of the above explanation, it should be clear that the question whether any verses of the Qur’an were removed or not, is purely of an academic interest only. The fact is that the final compilation of the Qur’an, as we have it with us, is what God intended to deliver to mankind. There has been no addition, alteration or deletion from that final compilation of the Qur’an. Thus, even if there were any verses, which were not made a part of the final compilation, there is absolutely no reason why a Muslim should try to find out what these verses were.
August 25, 2000