Uthman burned many Qur'ans (I wonder why this doesn't create many riots). Each of the Qur'ans burned were slightly different than his official version. Uthman, not wanting different opinions, then burn all versions he consider "false".

The thing is, how does he know that the version he burned is the false one and the one he keep is the correct one?

In other cultures, those differences are a clue on what might have been the original. If we have several different versions of Bible (see: hermeneutics.SE), for example, the difference can give some clue on how the Bible might have changed.

Here, it seems that some part of the Bible is modified to support monotheism. I wonder if same thing happen in Qur'an. However, there is no way to know because all other versions are burnt by Uthman. Are there any other ancient version of Qur'an that slightly differ and written before the burning?

Also Answering-Islam seems to suggest that there are many textual variants where no body knows which one is right:

Most Muslims claim that the text of the Qur'an is identical to that received by Muhammad. This is a convenient thing to believe, but is it the truth? There is overwhelming evidence that it is not.

  • 1
    Imam Ali a.s. did not deliver his Quran for burning and kept it. Jan 6, 2014 at 4:25
  • @Ahmadi where it is? and if his version is different from uthmans then he should have pointed out the mistakes, so that muslims shoud get exactly what god has reveled.
    – Zia
    Jan 6, 2014 at 6:16
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    @Zia From what I have heard, Abu Bakr gave Ali the Quran they had compiled for verification, as to whether it's content were complete and accurate. Ali went through it and returned it confirming that the content was indeed complete and accurate. Jan 7, 2014 at 6:02
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    @BleedingFingers Abubakr at time of compiling Quran by Uthman?! @ Zia it is now kept by Imam Mahdi a.s. and it is both Quran+interpretation of Quran told by angel Gabriel Jan 9, 2014 at 12:07
  • @Ahmadi , is it different from what we have ?
    – Zia
    Jan 10, 2014 at 10:18

4 Answers 4


The simple answer, he burned them in front other respected followers of Islam. He of course had discussed the issues with them, and after a possible consensus he decided to keep the dialect that is easier to read. Remember all the other Qurans convey the same exact meaning. Now Islam was again spreading heavily in those days. It will be confusing for a novice to get started in two different dialects of Quran. The meaning is important, the dialect is not, just like French and English language today.French and English came from the same root. If you write a book, you have to make sure that the language which has greater user base reaches to the user first, English is the default choice, as it has many users compared to French. He did not do that in anger or to show disrespect to Quran in anyway. He just wanted to make life easier . And for a person who may be foreign to Arabic language following two different dialects would have harder.

  • very interesting, so since these "respected followers of islam" and uthman himself were not prophets or anything that bear a modicum of infallibility, it is logical they COULD have possibly made an error in the compilation in the Quran. very interesting indeed! So we must have faith in the consensus of the "respected followers of islam" and uthman.
    – Hisham
    Sep 6, 2019 at 23:10

The burned quran is the original quran and the utman 'version' also the original quran..quran is revealed in several reading and words but not all moslem at that time especially those who convert just recently know this...so when they meet different type of reading from what they already know they think it is a fake quran....even it is actually the original ones...so uthman in attempt to avoid the bloodshed cause by this misunderstanding compile "standard quran" under supervision of other sahabah and later utsman order all of other writing of quran burned...this is not because all the other writings are fake but to standarize quran so there is no more misunderstanding of several reading of quran....


The Burned things wasn't Quran , [Quran is the words that we read not the papers ] and Othman burned separated paper [actually in that time was tree Leafs and other like ] not a full version , and they wasn't different , some of people were writing some notes on the margin or explanations by the Prophet and like this , and Othman burned these papers to avoid confusing peoples' notes with the Quran .

Also the group that copied the final version wasn't Othman him self , but 6 persons who have to find 2 witness(at least) for every Ayah (Quran is more than 6000 Ayah)

The most important thing to know is that Lots of Arabs were memorizing the whole Quran , and Reading was a secondary way to carry Quran to others , it was been carried verbally all the time .

I hope I've explained something .

  • Quran is not the words only. also the paper that Quran is written on it is Quran too and should be respected. Jan 9, 2014 at 12:06
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    papers respected , but they are not the Quran it self. Jan 9, 2014 at 17:26
  • yes but this can not justify disrespecting book of Quran. also full versions were burnt also. Uthman commanded to all local rulers to send all Qurans for burning and all those persons were working under command of Uthman when he was at position of Caliphate. also please add references for your answer. Jan 9, 2014 at 17:50
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    there was only one full version collected in Abo Bakr Alsideeq years , and it was in Saiida Hafsa's house ,and Othman didn't burn it , Sorry for references lack , this book is my reference,and other readings. Jan 9, 2014 at 18:20
  • Othman burned separated paper [actually in that time was tree Leafs and other like ] not a full version , and they wasn't different , some of people were writing some notes on the margin or explanations by the Prophet and like this , and Othman burned these papers to avoid confusing peoples' notes with the Quran If this is the case, then why the Qur'an was raised by Myawiya in the Battle of Siffein, and as per your versions that it is the leaf or the paper, on which Ayahs were written, then why Muawiya felt the need to raise it on spears?
    – user10361
    Dec 13, 2014 at 4:54

Quran was well memorised by each and every Muslim, on that time papers or leaves was getting burnt Quran was already memorised. Even Muhammad himself he did. Even if all the Quran around the world get burnt, still the Quran will be written in its original form. It won't be the second version. No Muslim can memorise the Quran when reading it and jump any single word. Muslims are instructed to memorise the Quran and not to leave or increase any word when reading. Muslims believe that to leave or to add any word in the Quran is a sin to God {Allah}. Whether you are a Sunni or Shia Muslim you have to read in the same way as the Quran received from God to Muhammad peace be to him. The same Quran is read in Malawi the same they read in Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Israel and so on.

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