76 THE APOLOGY OF AL KINDY.

Masd said when they were placed in the Coran: Add not thereto that which is not therein. And then there is the speech of Omar delivered from the pulpit (of the Great Mosque at Medina), 'Let no one say that the Stoning Verse is not in the Book of God; for verily I have myself read, The man and the woman that commit adultery, let them both be stoned to death; and if it were not that men might say, "Omar hath added to the Coran that which is not therein," I would have inserted the same with own hand.1 Likewise at the close of another address: 'Truly I know not of any one who saith that the Ordinance of temporary marriage (Al Muth) is not in the Book of the Lord, for, indeed, I have myself read it; but it hath fallen out. And verily the Lord will not reward him well that caused it to fall out; for a trust was given, and he fulfilled not the trust of the Lord and of his prophet; and verily much that belonged to the Coran hath thus fallen out.' And yet once more, Omar said: 'The Lord minded to deal gently with mankind, and verily he sent Mahomet with a wide and comprehensive faith.'

"And Obey ibn Kab said that there were two Suras which he used to recite (as part of the Coran): Al Cant and Al Witr; in them were these words: 'O Lord, we ask thee for help and pardon and guidance, and we believe in thee and put our trust in thee,' and so on to the end of Al Witr. This he said in respect of the first compilation, no longer extant.


1  See "Life of Mahomet" (1st edition), vol. i. p. xxv.

VARIOUS READINGS IN THE CORAN.77

"Again, as regards the same Ordinance of temporary marriage (Al Muth), Aly caused the passage about it to be entirely excluded. They say that while Caliph, he overheard a man reciting the verse, and had him scourged for the same and forbade its further repetition. And this was one of the things for which Ayesha reproached Aly after the battle of the Camel, when she had retired to the house of Ibn Khalaf (at Bussora); for, among other things, she said that Aly had beaten men in this matter of the. Coran, and forbade the repetition of certain passages, and tampered with the text. Moreover, Ibn Masd retained his exemplar in his own hands, and it was inherited by his posterity, as it is this day; and likewise the collection of Aly hath descended in his family.

"Then followed the business of Hajjj ibn Ysuf, who gathered together every single copy he could lay hold of, and caused to be omitted from the text a great many passages. Amongst these, they say, were verses revealed concerning the House Omeyya with the names of certain, and concerning the House of Abbs also with names. Six copies of the text thus revised were distributed to Egypt, Syria, Medina, Mecca, Kufa, and Bussora. After that he called in and destroyed all the preceding copies, even as Othmn had done before him.

"And the result of all this is patent to thee who hast read the Scriptures, and seest how in thy book histories are all jumbled together and intermingled; an evidence that many different hands have been at work therein, and caused discrepancies, adding to the