Von allen grundlegenden Texten der großen Weltreligionen ist der Koran bisher am schlechtesten philologisch erforscht. The Economist erläutert in einem informativen Artikel den Stand der Bemühungen:
Meanwhile, scholars in Europe, stimulated by the manuscripts in great European libraries, are working hard to find out how and when the Koran’s written form was standardised. In America more effort has gone into relating the Koran to what is known from other sources about political and social history. Patricia Crone, of America’s Institute for Advanced Study, once argued that Islam originated in a revolt by Semites against Byzantine and Persian power. She has revised her views, but copies of her 1977 book “Hagarism” change hands for hundreds of dollars.
A burst of new Koranic scholarship erupted at SOAS in the 1980s. These days, it is one of several British campuses where scholars say they find it hard to get funding for work that threatens orthodoxy—a change they ascribe to the influence of conservative Saudi donors. But in France, the home of literary theory, and Germany, the fatherland of textual analysis, free-ranging study of the Koran continues. If you want to argue that partial versions of Hebrew and Christian stories are visible in the Koran, or that its historical portions are inaccurate, nobody will stop you.