In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
The Authenticity of Qur'an
Allah, Exalted and High, said: (Verily We have sent down the Revelation; and We will assuredly guard it "from distortion")Al-Hijr, 9.
This is Devine assertion of the authenticity of the Qur'an; and at the same time it is a challenge for those who aspire to distort it.
In fact, Qur'an is characterized by being the only authentic revelation existing today. If we consider, for instance,
the Old Testament, we find that nobody can claim that the Gospels invariably contain faithful accounts of Jesus's words or a description of his actions strictly in keeping with reality. This is because none of the authors of these Gospels was an eyewitness. Recording of both the Old Testament and the New Testament took place long after the life of Jesus Christ.
The situation is different for Qur'an. As Revelation was going on, Prophet Mohammad (Peace and prayers are upon him), and his Companions were reciting the texts by heart, and it was also written down by the scribes. The sources all agree in stating that whenever a fragment of the Qur'an was revealed, the Prophet (Peace and prayers are upon him), called one of his literate companions and dictated it to him, indicating at the same time the exact position of the new fragment in the revelation of what had already been received. Extremely diverse materials were used for this first record: parchment, leather, wooden tablets, camels' scapula, soft stone for inscription, etc. Qur'an, therefore, starts with two elements of authenticity that the Gospel do not posses- namely reciting it by heart and writing it. This provided double-checking when compiling of Qur'an was achieved later.
Not long after the Prophet's death, his successor, Abu Bakr, the first Caliph of Islam, asked Zayd Ibn Thabit to make a copy of Qur'an. Zayd consulted all those who memorized Qur'an, avoiding all possible errors in transcription. Thus an extremely faithful copy of the Book was obtained.
In the era of Omar, who succeeded Abu Bakr, a single volume was preserved and given on his death to his daughter Hafsa.
The third Caliph, Uthman, made copies of the texts to the Centres of the Islamic world. These are copies used now.
However, the 114 Suras were arranged in decreasing order of length, with a few exceptions. The chronological sequence of revelation was not followed.
Later on, a large number of directive marks were made to correct and facilitate reciting.