The 20 Versions of the Qur'an today. (7 are recorded in the Hadith.)
Qur'an of today is different than what Muhammad revealed!
- "Muslims attack the Bible on the grounds that it sometimes has conflicting wording from different manuscripts. Yet this is exactly the case with the text of the Quran. There are many conflicting readings on the text of the Quran as Arthur Jeffery has demonstrated in his book, Material for the History of the Text of the Quran" (New York, Russell F. Moore, 1952).
- Mentions Variant readings in the Koran: Dashti, 23 Years, p. 28
- Mentions Variant readings in the Koran: Mandudi, Meaning of the Quran, pp. 17-18
- Mentions Variant readings in the Koran: McClintock and Strong, Cyclopedia, V152).
- "[the Koran] had a large number of variants, not always trifling in significance" (Islam, p. 189).
- "It is interesting to note that in scholarly Muslim journals, there is beginning to be a grudging acknowledgment of the fact that there are variant and conflicting readings on the text of the Quran" (One example would be Saleh al-Wahaihu, "A Study of Seven Quranic Variants," International Journal of Islamic and Arabic Studies, Vol. V (1989), #2, pp. 1-57).
- "The Muslin accounts of the history of the Quran texts are a mass of confusion, contradiction and inconsistencies" (Burton, Collection, p. 231).
- "Abdollah renounced Islam on the ground that the revelations, if from God, could not be changed at the prompting of a scribe such as he. After his apostasy he went to Mecca and joined the Qorayshites" (Dashti, 23 Years, p. 98).
- "There being some passages in the Quran which are contradictory, the Muhammadan doctors obviate any objection from thence by the doctrine of abrogation; for they say that God in the Quran commanded several things which were for good reasons afterwards revoked and abrogated" (E. Wherry, A Comprehensive Commentary on the Qurun, p. 110).
- "It is to us astounding how so compromising a procedure can have been permitted to be introduced into the system by friends and foes (Canon Sell in his work, Historical Development of the Qura, Madras: Diocesan Press, 1923, pp. 36-37).
- "When Muhammad died there existed no singular codex of the sacred text" (Caesar Farah, Islam: Beliefs and Observations, New York; Barrons, 1987, p. 28).
- "One thing only is certain and is openly recognized by tradition, namely, that there was not in existence any collection of revelations in the final form, because, as long as he was alive, new revelations were being added to the earlier ones" (The Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam p. 271).
- "owing to the fact that the kufic script in which the Koran was originally written contained no indication of vowels or diacritical points, variant readings are recognized by Muslims as of equal authority." (N.J. Dawood, The Koran, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, 1983, p 10, introduction to Dawood's translation of the Koran)
- "Lists of the differences between the two transmissions are long, ... (however) The simple fact is that none of the differences, whether vocal (vowel and diacritical points) or graphic (basic letter), between the transmission of Hafs and the transmission of Warsh has any great effect on the meaning. Many are differences which do not change the meaning at all, and the rest are differences with an effect on meaning in the immediate context of the text itself, but without any significant wider influence on Muslim thought. One difference (Q. 2/184) has an effect on the meaning that might conceivably be argued to have wider ramifications." (Adrian Brockett, `The Value of the Hafs and Warsh transmissions for the Textual History of the Qur'an', Approaches to the History of the Interpretation of the Qur'an, ed. Andrew Rippin; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988, p 34,37)
- "the Reading of Abu `Amr in the version of al-Duri ... prevails in the Sudan, Nigeria, and Central Africa." (Labib as-Said, The Recited Koran: A History of the First Recorded Version, tr. B. Weis, et al, Princeton, New Jersey: The Darwin Press, 1975, p. 84)
|(C)ertain variant readings existed and, indeed, persisted and increased as the Companions who had memorised the text died, and because the inchoate (basic) Arabic script, lacking vowel signs and even necessary diacriticals to distinguish between certain consonants, was inadequate. ... In the 4th Islamic century, it was decided to have recourse (to return) to "readings" (qira'at) handed down from seven authoritative "readers" (qurra'); in order, moreover, to ensure accuracy of transmission, two "transmitters" (rawi, pl. ruwah) were accorded to each. There resulted from this seven basic texts (al-qira'at as-sab', "the seven readings"), each having two transmitted versions (riwayatan) with only minor variations in phrasing, but all containing meticulous vowel-points and other necessary diacritical marks. ... The authoritative "readers" are:|
Nafi (from Medina; d.169/785)The predominant reading today, spread by Egyptian Koran readers, is that of `Asim in the transmission (riwayah) of Hafs (d. 190/805). In Morocco, however, the reading is that of Nafi` in the riwayah of Warsh (d. 197/812) and Maghrebin Korans are written accordingly. (Cyril Glassé, The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989, p 324)
Ibn Kathir (from Mecca; d.119/737)
Abu `Amr al-'Ala' (from Damascus; d.53/770)
Ibn `Amir (from Basra; d.118/736)
Hamzah (from Kufah; d.156/772)
al-Qisa'i (from Kufah; d.189/804)
Abu Bakr `Asim (from Kufah; d.158/778)
Here is a list of the ten readers, each of which have two versions
The Readers and their Transmitted Versions
"The Seven" readers
Abu `Amr al-'Ala'
Abu Bakr `Asim
"The Three" readers
|There are even more Readers than these but these are considered the most authoritative.|
- "What is said about Al-Mutaawwilin (those who form wrong opinions of disbelief about their Muslim brothers). Umar bin Al-Khattab said, "I heard Hisham bin Al-Hakim reciting Surat-al-Furqan during the lifetime of Allah's Apostle (SAW). I listened to his recitation and noticed that he recited it in several different ways which Allah's Apostle (SAW) had not taught me. So I was about to jump over him during his prayer but I waited till he finished his prayer whereupon I put, either his upper garment or my upper garment, around his neck and seized him by it and asked him, "Who has taught you this Sura?" He replied, "Allah's Apostle (SAW) has taught it to me." I said (to him), "You have told a lie! By Allah, Allah's Apostle (SAW) has taught me this Sura which I have heard you reciting." So I dragged him, to Allah's Apostle (SAW), I said, "O Allah's Apostle! I have heard this man reciting Surat-al-Furqan in a way which you have not taught me, and you did teach me Surat-al-Furqan." On that Allah's Apostle (SAW) said, "O Umar, release him! Recite, O Hisham." So Hisham recited before him in the way as I had heard him reciting. Allah's Apostle (SAW) said, "It has been revealed like this." Then Allah's Apostle (SAW) said, "Recite O Umar." So I recited it. The Prophet (SAW) said, "It has been revealed like this." And then he added, "This Quran has been revealed to be recited in seven different ways, so recite it which ever way easier for you." (See Hadith No. 514 Vol. 6) Vol. 9 - Apostates - Chapter 9 27/30)