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The Integrity of the Qur’an Sunni and Shi‘i Historical Narratives

Seyfeddin Kara

The Integrity of the Qur'an Sunni and Shi‘i Historical Narratives

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Kara (Seyfeddin), The Integrity of the Qur’an Sunni and Shi‘i Historical Narratives, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, ("Edinburgh Studies in Islamic Scripture and Theology"), 2024, 288 p. ISBN 9781474462235


Seyfeddin Kara is an Assistant Professor of Islamic Origins at University of Groningen. He is also a Marie Sklodawski Curie Global Fellow at Lund University and the University of Toronto. He holds a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Durham. Dr Kara’s academic journey includes a prestigious Marie Sklodowska-Curie Global Fellowship, with research terms at the University of Toronto, the University of Lund, and the University of Göttingen. He has received grants from the European Union, Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and other funding bodies. Dr Kara has also taught at the University of Durham, UK, and served as an Assistant Professor at Hartford International University, US. His scholarly work encompasses research articles in journals such as the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, the Muslim World, and Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. Kara authored In Search of Ali ibn Abi Talib’s Codex: History and Traditions of the Earliest Copy of the Qurʾan (2018)


This book investigates Muslim narratives on Qurʾanic distortion through a meticulous analysis of hadith. Using isnād-cum-matn analysis, Seyfeddin Kara discovers the historical origins of this disputed claim and illuminates the dynamic interplay between Sunni and Shiʿi traditionists. He demonstrates that isnād-cum-matn analysis is not only an important tool for dating hadiths but also crucial for uncovering forgeries. By identifying the individuals responsible, he provides new explanations of forgery culture in early Muslim society. Kara illuminates debates over the textual integrity and evolution of the written Qurʾanic text, offering insights into the enigmatic early history of Islam. By pushing the boundaries of isnād-cum-matn analysis, this book makes methodological advancements in the study of early Islamic history and contributes to its reconstruction on the question of the canonised Qur’an’s integrity.




  • ʿĀʾisha’s Legal Debate on the Scope of Breastfeeding
  • The Litigation of the Two Men According to ’The Book of God’
  • The Prophet, the Jews and the Stoning Penalty
  • CaliphʿUmar’s Sermon About the ’Missing Stoning Verse’
  • Transition of the Distortion Narrative into Shiʿi Reports
  • Distorting the Book of God
  • The Return of the Avenger (Al-Mahdī) and Teaching the Correct Quran



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