Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

Collection of the Quran, Part 3


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3


 

In Part 1 and Part 2 in this series of articles, we have investigated the making of the Qur’an from the time of Prophet Muhammad to the times of Rightly Guided caliphs Abu Bakr, Omar and Uthman. We talked about the Uthmanic version of the Qur’an, and compared that to what was available of other “Qur’ans”. We also discussed the development of Arabic language as per the introduction of dotting and vowelization. Throughout these stages, we found out that the Qur’an as “revealed” to the Prophet (PBUH) was not kept word for word and letter for letter. Changes to the Qur’an did in fact take place during Muhammad’s (PBUH) time, and also after his death. There were changes, additions, deletions happening to the Qur’an(s) throughout the early Islamic history. In addition to that, many Qur’anic codices ended up being developed in different cities and towns throughout the Middle East. Charles Adams notes:

It must be emphasized that far from there being a single text passed down inviolate from the time of ‘Uthman’s commission, literally thousands of variant readings of particular verses were known in the first three (Muslim) centuries. These variants affected even the ‘Uthmanic codex, making it difficult to know what its true form may have been.[9]

The situation for the Qur’an was messy. Some Muslim scholars tried to bring in some order to the situation. This is where Ibn Mujahid comes in with a vital role in providing some guidance as to the Qur’an.


The Role of Ibn Mujahid (d. 936)

This great scholar based in Baghdad canonized the Arabic language with one system of consonants and placing a limit on the vowel variations [this was a problem of astronomical proportions toward understanding the Qur’anic text. The reader is advised to read the second part of this study to understand the involved complexities]. With this canonization, seven Qur’anic systems were accepted. However, other scholars accepted ten reading, and others fourteen. Ibn Mujahid’s seven allowed, though, fourteen possible readings because each of the seven readings was traced through two transmitters. Here they are:

  1. Nafi of Medina according to Warsh and Qalun.

  2. Ibn Kathir of Mecca according to al-Bazzi and Qunbul.

  3. Ibn Amir of Damascus according to Hisham and Ibn Dhakwan.

  4. Abu Amr of Basra according to al-Duri and al-Susi.

  5. Asim of Kufa according to Hafs and abu Bakr.

  6. Hamza of Kuga according to Khalaf and Khallad.

  7. Al-Kisai of Kufa according to al-Duri and Abul-Harith.


At the present time, two versions seem to be in use. Asim of Kufa through Hafs was adopted by the Egyptian edition of 1924. Nafi of Medina through Warsh is used in parts of Africa, other than Egypt.

It is important to note here that those varied readings of the Qur’an refer to actual differences in the written and oral text. They are different “Qur’ans”, so to speak. Charles Adams notes that those seven versions refer to actual written and oral text, to distinct versions of Qur’anic verses, whose differences, though they may not be great, are nonetheless substantial. Since the very existence of variant readings and versions of the Qur’an goes against the doctrinal position toward the Holy Book held by many modern Muslims, it is not uncommon in an apologetic context to hear the seven (versions) explained as modes of recitation; in fact the manner and technique of recitation are an entirely different matter.[10]

So, in a sense, we do have many Qur’ans nowadays, literally. I hope that this matter has been proven in this three part study. I have no doubt that an honest reader who will read the three published parts of this research will reach this very same conclusion.

One last issue, which, I did not touch upon and raises eyebrows about the actual author or authors of the Qur’an is this: The available version of the Qur’an in our hands has multiple writing style problems. There is what you might call an “unevenness” in the style written. There are changes of rhyme, repetitions, abrupt changes, intrusion of passages, where otherwise you may have smooth sailing to the text, and in the meaning, and many other style difficulties that cannot be explained if the author of the Qur’an was one person. Bell and Watt succinctly note that

There are indeed many roughnesses (in the Qur’an) of this kind, and these, it is here claimed, are fundamental evidence for revision. Besides the points already noticed-hidden rhymes, and rhyme phrases not woven into the texture of the passagethere are the following: abrupt changes of rhyme; repetition of the same rhyme word or rhyme phrase in adjoining verses; the intrusion of an extraneous subject into a passage otherwise homogeneous; a differing treatment of the same subject in neighboring verses; breaks in grammatical construction which raise difficulties in exegesis; abrupt changes in length of verse; sudden changes of the dramatic situation, with changes of pronoun from singular to plural, from second to third person, and so on; the juxtaposition of apparently contrary statements; the juxtaposition of passages of different date, with intrusion of late phrases into early verses;...[11]

I think that the reader who has read this three-part study can appreciate what Bell and Watt are saying. The Qur’an(s) have gone through tremendous changes over many years starting from Muhammad's time himself. Many peoples from different places contributed to the development of the Quran that we have today. Hence, varied and conflicting styles and issues are expected to be found in the Qur’an.

Finally, I’d like to end this article with a quote about the Qur’an that sums up what happened to the original Qur’an through its history. It really sums up what we saw happening to the Qur’an in this study.

Al-Kindi, a 9th-century Christian scholar, noted:

The result of all this (the way the Qur’an came to be in existence) is patent to you who have read the scriptures and see how, in your book, histories are jumbled together and intermingled; an evidence that many different hands have been at work therein, and caused discrepancies, adding or cutting out whatever they liked or disliked. Are such, now, the conditions of a revelation sent down from heaven?[12]

Need I say more?


 

[9] C. J. Adams, “Quran: The Text and Its History,” in Encyclopedia of Religion, Mircea Eliade, editor-in-chief (NY, London: Macmillan, 1987.), pp. 157-76

[10] Ibid

[11] R. Bell and W. M. Watt, Introduction to the Qur'an (Edinburg, 1970), p.93

[12] in : A. Rippin, Muslims: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices (London, 1991), Vol. 1, p.26

 

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Ibn Kamuna also contributes at faithfreedom.org. He can be contacted at [email protected].


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Comments Notes: Keep comments short. Our system cannot separate paragraphs. Comments must be relevant to the topic of the article. We did not regulate the comments but if irrelevant comments, materials, adds of other websites etc. are being uploaded, we will have to regulate and even ban the IP addresses of such nuisance posters.


Name: jenn
Date: Monday February 16, 2009
Time: 20:57:37 -0500

Comment

1 koran supplies me with enough lavatory paper for 2 weeks. Mashallah


Name: jenn dont forget to fatten the pigs with the koran papers
Date: Wednesday February 18, 2009
Time: 01:44:49 -0500

Comment

jenn dont forget to fatten the pigs for 1 day with 1 koran.the salughter them in halal way and send the drained blood to kaba for washing the kaba.


Name: ggod stuff,i never knew koran even today has 2 versions
Date: Wednesday February 18, 2009
Time: 01:45:32 -0500

Comment

ggod stuff,i never knew koran even today has 2 versions


Name: Philip Saenz
Date: Wednesday February 18, 2009
Time: 03:08:21 -0500

Comment

It's just a reminder: The Islamic War Manual, sometimes called the Qur'an, has brought much more misery into the world than "Mein Kamph," authored by Adolph Hitler. Continue fighting until we bring this misery, Islam, to an end. Disseminate the truth about paedophile, child molester, pig pervert Muhammad throughout the world, and destructive Islam will die.


Name: Peace
Date: Wednesday February 18, 2009
Time: 03:30:24 -0500

Comment


Name: Peace
Date: Wednesday February 18, 2009
Time: 03:35:21 -0500

Comment

All you guys dont waste your time. Quran and Islam can never be defeted . Spend your time and money in doing some charity work , thousands of people are dying in India without food and shelter , put your effort on that rather than wasting time here. God has promised to protect Quran , so we are not worried. All the best for you guys.


Name: jenn
Date: Wednesday February 18, 2009
Time: 04:07:27 -0500

Comment

To peace i have this message. So your Allah is more than happy to protect pedophiles and murderers such as Mohammad right? WHAT A SHAME


Name:
Date: Wednesday February 18, 2009
Time: 05:04:14 -0500

Comment

To peace: Quran is not protected by "god" or Allah but by a bunch of fanatics and screwed up madcaps who revel in crime and spreading misery like in Somalia, Nigeria,Saudi Arabia, Pakistan( especially the Swat Valley which has been turned from paradise to hell bommbing schools,murdering entertainers,etc). If your "god" wants to protect and encourage such subhuman bastards ,he must be the most satanic devil and evilest and vilest ghoul ever lacking compassion,love ,kindness, and other refined humane qualities. Your quran is a criminal crap , your Muhamad is a rapacious fraud and the worst criminal ever and you muslims are sick minds groping in the dark!


Name:
Date: Wednesday February 18, 2009
Time: 05:05:03 -0500

Comment

To peace: Quran is not protected by "god" or Allah but by a bunch of fanatics and screwed up madcaps who revel in crime and spreading misery like in Somalia, Nigeria,Saudi Arabia, Pakistan( especially the Swat Valley which has been turned from paradise to hell bommbing schools,murdering entertainers,etc). If your "god" wants to protect and encourage such subhuman bastards ,he must be the most satanic devil and evilest and vilest ghoul ever lacking compassion,love ,kindness, and other refined humane qualities. Your quran is a criminal crap , your Muhamad is a rapacious fraud and the worst criminal ever and you muslims are sick minds groping in the dark!


Name: Peace
Date: Wednesday February 18, 2009
Time: 05:48:38 -0500

Comment

you cannot bury the truth , there are more people converting to Islam in so called civilised western world today , among them there are more women converts !!! go and check the stats , you guys are living in dark age of Untouchables , Brahmins , Dalits and all kinds of crap caste system. You try marrying a upper or lower caste then we will see what happens Awake my brothers dont be late , you will miss the bus.


Name: Never Heard
Date: Wednesday February 18, 2009
Time: 05:51:25 -0500

Comment

--"Spend your time and money in doing some charity work"--Never heard of any Islamic charity.


Name: Peace
Date: Wednesday February 18, 2009
Time: 05:56:19 -0500

Comment

You dont worry about Islamic charity , We will take care of ourself . You begin one for your people around you.


Name:
Date: Wednesday February 18, 2009
Time: 06:24:56 -0500

Comment

Well,well,well. Look at who is call for enightenment: the follower of the filthiest and most criminal cult languishing in ignorance ,fear,and utter deep hole of misery: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq,Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan,etc. These people are wanting to destroy civilisations and take everybody to the "dark ages". They spread the myth that more people are converting to islam! Look at Taliban(scholars,heh?) destroying schools in Swat valley in Pakistan or the quality of life in all those miserable countries I have mentioned before, and yet this idiot calling himself 'peace' goes on lying unashamedly. It is only the petrol dollars that is sustaining this cult, soon the oil will run dry and the arabs will go back to their days of banditry, slave trade and misery , and islam will die its natural and inevitable death.


Name: Peace
Date: Wednesday February 18, 2009
Time: 06:59:35 -0500

Comment

You talk about petrodollar , there are more nonmuslim working in gulf countrys from India than Muslims , there are Hindus made more money of petrodollar than muslims , These Arabs in the gulf countrys dont look at Indians as Muslims or Hindus , thats why there are lots of nonmuslims working in petrodollar arab country. Maybe you may have a friend or relative working in Gulf. Maybe I can offer a job for you in petrodollar company for triple salary what you are getting now. If all Indians(Millions) working in petrodollar countrys comes back you will see what happens , can you or Indian Gov. provide job for them. For you to sit and talk is easy. Dont use your heart but use your BRAIN!!! Dont look at the people and judge Islam. We dont judge Christians for what Hitler has done, or we dont judge Hindus for what Shiv sena , RSS ,or Ram sena(Pub Attack), Hey Bro grow up!!!


Name: To: Peace From: Ibn Kammuna
Date: Wednesday February 18, 2009
Time: 09:50:00 -0500

Comment

Brother, in the Gulf countires, foreigners are treated very badly, regardless of origin. Sami Alrabaa's book is advertised on this site as well as FaithFreedom.org. Everything is documented. I am not lying to you brother. Get the book and read it. Truth is powerful man. Also, why are trying to defend Islam. I invite you to check out Sina's Challenge, then tell me Islam is a good religion. I was like you at one time and thought Islam is a good religion. It is not. Here is the connection to Sina's Challenge:http://www.faithfreedom.org/the-challenge


Name: Islam and the Oilfields
Date: Wednesday February 18, 2009
Time: 11:03:49 -0500

Comment

The life of Islam is coterminous with the oil deposits in the Middle East. Without petrodollars to finance worldwide terrorism Islam will slid into its inevitable demise.


Name: G.Ryan
Date: Wednesday February 18, 2009
Time: 13:46:54 -0500

Comment

to peace,unlike you and your umma,we don't need charity.islam,the leech of the world.you start wars,lose them(every time),then ask for aid.your own rulers don't give a fuck about you.they keep the wealth and tell you "it's the west's fault,that you are poor".can you actually read the koran as it was written,and understand it?i can't understand it,but then i don't live my life by following gibberish i can't read.you are sad!


Name: to peace
Date: Wednesday February 18, 2009
Time: 15:08:46 -0500

Comment

I challenge you to read the koran in a language you can understand. After you get done reading it, including the hadiths that accompany it, and afterwards, if you can still say that this religion is peaceful....then what ever deity you believe in, help you. Oh, and if this "deity" of the koran is a "true" deity, then he should and is able to understand ALL languages, so that anyone that says that the koran can only be read in arabic, is lying. Go, read, I challenge you. Unless, you are too scared.


Name: jenn
Date: Thursday February 19, 2009
Time: 01:34:49 -0500

Comment

I find this fellow 'peace' to be a pedophile Mohammad loving muslim LOL


Name:
Date: Friday February 20, 2009
Time: 04:01:33 -0500

Comment

To peace: You have admited yourself that Indians ,Pakistanis etc are working in middle eastr. Have you asked yourself WHY? Because you muslims are backward,incapable of any honest work. You live off others' honest labour. You can think of only plunder, growing opium poppies, slave trading,drug-dealing,murdering ,raping etc. - all 'halal' according to islam and your madcap criminal founder Muhammad. If foreigners leave the middle eastern arab countries ,who will run their economies, their oil-wells ? Ponder and you will understand why islam is an evil ,devilish cult!


 
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