A Problem Regarding the Text and Transmission of the Qur'an
Many Muslims assume that the Qur'an is superior to all other Scriptures. The Qur'an alone judges all other Scriptures and cannot be judged by them.
The problem with this concept of many Muslims regarding the collection and transmission of the Qur'an is the vast amount of evidence from good Muslim sources that conflicts with it. Here we limit our discussion to one segment of the evidence, namely, the fact that prior to the recension of Uthman, other Qur'an collectors and reciters had engaged in preparing their own Qur'an codices. Of these we refer to two individuals: Abdullah ibn Mas`ud and Ubai ibn Ka`b.
1. Before Uthman's Qur'an was sent to Kufah, the people of Kufah used a Qur'an prepared by Abdullah ibn Mas`ud, a servant and Companion of Muhammad, one of the earliest reciters of the Qur'an, and one of the four persons to whom Muhammad guided his followers to learn the Qur'an. He claimed that he had learned about 70 surahs directly from Muhammad. Since he was considered an authority on the Qur'an and lived in Kufah, it is not surprising that he refused to give up his copy of the Qur'an in favour of Uthman's copy and that the Kufans supported his decision.
Islamic source materials reveal significant differences between Uthman's text and text of Ibn Mas`ud. Ibn Mas`ud's text even omits Surahs 1, 113 and 114.1 Jeffery's collection of his variant readings occupies 89 pages of his book!2
Narrated Shaqiq:
`Abdullah said, "I learnt An-Naza'ir which the Prophet () used to recite in pairs in each rak`a." Then `Abdullah got up and Alqama accompanied him to his house, and when Alqama came out, we asked him (about those Suras). He said, "They are twenty Suras that start from the beginning of Al- Mufassal, according to the arrangement done be Ibn Mas`ud, and end with the Suras starting with Ha Mim, e.g. Ha Mim (the Smoke). and "About what they question one another?" (78.1) : Sahih al-Bukhari 4996

2. A second of the four reciters of the Qur'an singled out by Muhammad as the best teachers of the Qur'an was Ubai ibn Ka`b. He served as a secretary for Muhammad in Medina and eventually compiled his own pre-Uthmanic text of the Qur'an which spread especially in Syria. Many of his variant readings agree with those in Ibn Mas`ud's text. His compilation is especially distinguished by the addition of two extra surahs, a distinction which was shared also by the codex of Ibn Abbas, the renowned Quranic commentator. These surahs in translation read:
O Allah, we seek your help and ask your forgiveness,and we praise you and do not disbelieve in you.We separate from and leave who sin against you. (al-Khal', `Separation')
O Allah, we worship you and to you we pray and prostrate and to you we run and hasten to serve you.We hope for your mercy and we fear your punishment. Your punishment will certainly reach the unbelievers (al-Hafd, `Haste')
From the above evidence alone, it is obvious that many variant readings from pre-Uthmanic collections of the Qur'an continue to exist even after Uthman's order that they be destroyed.

Let’s turn to Yusuf Ali's Translation and Commentary of the Holy Qur'an for further evidences. Yusuf Ali refers to a variant reading in Ubai ibn Ka`b's codex of the Qur'an which reads: "… and he is a father to them"? With this addition, Qur'an 33:6 would read: The Prophet is closer
To the believers than
Their own selves,
And he is a father to them
And his wives are
Their mothers…
Why does Yusuf Ali cite this variant? Is it possible that he sees this variant as an improvement? Moreover, why does he refer to different Qur'an readings, however small, in Notes 2666 and 2948?
After reading this, however, one is still left with the difficulty of resolving the tension between this text's acknowledged existence of Quranic variations vs. this same text's assertion that
none can have any doubt whatsoever regarding its authenticity and immunity and purity from any and every kind of addition or omission or alteration, for there is nothing so authentic in the whole human history as this fact about the Qur'an that it is the same Qur'an that was presented by the Holy Prophet to the world.