Part 2 of 3:
Ibn Masud, the Topmost Qur’anic Scholar tells that the present Qur’an is Corrupted.
Ibn Masud is Muhammad’s first choice of Quran teachers for his people:
Narrated Masruq: Abdullah bin Mas’ud was mentioned before Abdullah bin Amr who said, “That is a man I still love, as I heard the Prophet (saw) saying, ‘Learn the recitation of the Qur’an from four: from Abdullah bin Mas’ud – he started with him – Salim, the freed slave of Abu Hudhaifa, Mu’adh bin Jabal and Ubai bin Ka’b”. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 5, p.96).
Notice Muhammad starts by naming Ibn Masud, and the narrator emphasizes this fact. Indeed, the narrator goes on to say that he loves Ibn Masud. We can safely infer that this hadith intends to convey Ibn Masud as the best teacher of the Quran.
Being a proud expert of the Quran, Ibn Masud would agree that his mastery of the Quran was unrivaled. Of his own prowess, he says:
”Narrated Abdullah (bin Mas’ud) (ra): By Allah other than Whom none has the right to be worshipped! There is no Sura revealed in Allah’s Book but I know at what place it was revealed; and there is no verse revealed in Allah’s Book but I know about whom it was revealed. And if I know that there is somebody who knows Allah’s Book better than I, and he is at a place that camels can reach, I would go to him. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 6, p.488). ”
However, Ibn Masud does not think highly of today’s Quran, the one collected by Zaid. In comparing himself to Zaid, he says:
”The people have been guilty of deceit in the reading of the Qur’an. I like it better to read according to the recitation of him (Prophet) whom I love more than that of Zayd Ibn Thabit. By Him besides Whom there is no god! I learnt more than seventy surahs from the lips of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, while Zayd Ibn Thabit was a youth, having two locks and playing with the youth”. (Ibn Sa’d, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, Vol. 2, p.444)
As we can see, the differences between Ibn Masud’s Quran and Zaid’s Quran were not minor. Before even examining them, we can know that they were big enough for Ibn Masud to call the reading of Zaid’s Quran “deceit”. But when we examine the evidence, we find out why.
According to Ibn Abi Daud’s Kitab al-Masahif, we find out that Ibn Masud only includes 111 surahs in his Quran (as opposed to the ZSV’s 114). In addition, chapters that were found in both codices often had many variants; within surat al-Baqara alone, 101 variants exist. Not all of these variants are differences in spelling. For example:
Surah 2:275 begins with the words Allathiina yaakuluunar-ribaa laa yaquumuuna – “those who devour usury will not stand”. Ibn Mas’ud’s text had the same introduction but after the last word there was added the expression yawmal qiyaamati, that is, they would not be able to stand on the “Day of Resurrection”.
Naturally, since Muhammad told people to go to Ibn Masud if they wanted to learn the Quran, many Muslims studied under Ibn Masud. Ibn Masud’s version of the Quran was thus perpetuated to his students. The aforementioned variant, for example, was included in the codex of Talha ibn Musarrif, one of Ibn Masud’s students in Kufa.