Refutation from "An approach to the Quranic Sciences - By Mufti Taqi Usmani
The Prophet had once forgotten a Verse
Orientalist, D.S. Maroliouth has tried to cast doubts about the preservation of the Quran on the basis of a tradition by Bukhari and Muslim. It has been reported by Sayyidah Aisha (RA) that the Holy Prophet (Saw) once heard one of his companions reciting the Quran, and said:
"Allah's Mercy be on him, he made me remember a verse that I had forgotten"
By quoting this narration Margoliouth intends to deduce that if the Prophet (Saw) can forget one verse at any time, it may possibly happen with other verses as well. Probably he also wants to indicate that the Quran did not exist in writing otherwise the Prophet (Saw) would not have forgotten that verse. But this objection is so absurd and baseless that even a man with ordinary intelligence will not accept it. Sometimes it does happen that man does remember something yet due to a prolonged dissociation with it, he does not have it fresh in his memory but as soon as someone mentions it, it becomes fresh in memory again. Actually this is not forgetfulness, but only a temporary dissociation of though. The same happened with the Holy Prophet (Saw). Terming it forgetfulness on the basis of such an incident is the height of travesty which is nothing but sheer bigotry. On the contrary, had Mr. Margoliouth viewed it with insight and justice he would have realised that this incident actually proves that Allah has safeguarded the Quran in such an extraordinary manner that no possibility exists for any part of it to become lost. The incident simply proves the reality that every single verse of the Quran was made to be memorised by so many people, that if a verse did not remain fresh in the memory of the Prophet (Saw) for the time being, there was no possibility of it getting lost.
The objection that this incident denotes that the Quran, at that time, did not exist in written form is even more unfounded and ridiculous: We have already pointed out that the only thing this incident says is that a verse was revived in the memory of the Holy Prophet (Saw) by its recitation by a Companion. It does not prove that the Quran was not found in written form. Does Mr. Margoliouth think that a thing once written can never become obscure from a persons mind for a short while? Further, the whole world knows that the Holy Prophet (Saw) did not know reading or writing. So, there was no connection between his remembrance of the Quran and its transcription, hence inference that the Quran did not exist in written form can be drawn from this incident only by a person who has closed the doors of justice and wisdom on himself.
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