Praise be to Allaah.
This is a false and incorrect statement made by those who try to find faults with Islam so as to put people off this religion. It is sufficient to know that Allaah has guaranteed to preserve the Qur’aan, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur’aan) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption).” [al-Hijr 15:9]
Moreover, the fact that the transmission of the Qur’aan by memory and in writing was mutawaatir – narrated by groups to groups [to such an extent that so many people could not conceivably have agreed upon a lie] – is well known to anyone who has the slightest acquaintance with Islamic knowledge, especially knowledge of recitations and reciters.
There are still many people nowadays who have learned the Qur’aan orally, with isnaads directly going back to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
One of the miracles of Allaah’s protection of the Qur’aan is the fact that those who try to tamper with it are always found out.
The point is, everything that was revealed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was written down in front of him straight away, and some of the Sahaabah had masaahif (written copies of the Qur’aan). After the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), the first khaleefah, Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq (may Allaah be pleased with him) gathered the Qur’aan in written and kept it. Then the third khaleefah, ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan (may Allaah be pleased with him) compiled it in mus-hafs that were based on the mus-haf compiled by Abu Bakr, in addition to what had been memorized.
When we realize that the Qur’aan was written down and compiled by the Sahaabah, and ‘Uthmaan sent copies of the Mus-haf during his reign to all the main centres of Islam, so that it would be a reference for them, and there were no disputes concerning them, then how can we say that there is no written trace of the Qur’aan in the seventh century? Moreover, there are several ancient manuscripts of the Qur’aan in libraries and museums which bear visible testimony to the fact that nothing has been changed in the Book of Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And verily, it is an honourable well‑fortified respected Book (because it is Allaah’s Speech, and He has protected it from corruption). Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it, (it is) sent down by the All‑Wise, Worthy of all praise (Allaah).” [Fussilat 41:41-42]
And Allaah knows best.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid