Archive for the ‘Quran’ Category

Part of the Original Qur’an is missing

September 15, 2011
      Many (of the passages) of the Qur’an that were sent down were known by those who died on the day of Yamama … but they were not known (by those who) survived them, nor were they written down, nor had Abu Bakr, Umar or Uthman (by that time) collected the Qur’an, nor were they found with even one (person) after them.

(Ibn Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Masahif, p.23).

It is reported from Ismail ibn Ibrahim from Ayyub from Naafi from Ibn Umar who said: “Let none of you say ‘I have acquired the whole of the Qur’an’. How does he know what all of it is when much of the Qur’an has disappeared? Rather let him say ‘I have acquired what has survived.'” (as-Suyuti, Al-Itqan fii Ulum al-Qur’an, p.524).



Uthman’s Quranic Text wasn’t just about differences in dialect

April 29, 2011

Attempts have been made to (claim) that all that ‘Uthman did (in burning the other Quranic MSS) was to remove dialectal peculiarities that had crept into the pronunciation of the Qur’an as it was recited, and have a standardized type of text written out in the pure dialect of the Quraish. This matter of Quraish dialect is indeed mentioned in the traditions referring to this Recension, but to pretend that it was merely a matter of dialectal variations is to run counter to the whole purport of the accounts. The vast majority of dialectal variations would not have been represented in the written form at all, and so would not have necessitated a new text (my emph.).  The stories of Zaid and his colleagues working on the text make it perfectly clear that they were regarded as recording a text de novo, for we read that at times when there was only one witness available for a certain passage they would wait till another witness who knew that passage had come back from the wars, or wherever he had been, and recite it to them; and there were discussions among them as to where certain passages belonged in the collection. Finally, the mass of variant readings that has survived to us from the Codices of Ubai and Ibn Mas’ud, shows that they were real textual variants and not mere dialectal peculiarities.

The Textual History of the Qur’an, Arthur Jeffery

We do not have or know for sure what the Quran said

April 29, 2011

…we know that the Codex of Ibn Mas’ud omitted Suras I, CXIII and CXIV, and that both the Codices of Ubai and Abu Musa included two short Suras, which are not in our present text, while a considerable body of variant readings from these Codices is to be gathered from the grammatical, lexical, exegetical and masoretic literature of latter generations which still remembered and discussed them. There were once, indeed, a number of special works, under the name of Kitab al-Masahif, which specially discussed this stage of the Old Codices, and it was a fortunate accident which enabled the present writer to discover and publish the text of the sole surviving example of these, the Codex Book of Ibn Abi Dawud

The Textual History of the Qur’an, Arthur Jeffery

NB the codex of Ibn Mas’ud was rejected by Uthman when he burnt variant Quranic manuscripts in favour of that in the possession of Hafsa (from Zaid ibn Thabit).

Bible – Unity

July 28, 2009

The Koran, for instance, is a miscellany of disjointed pieces, out of which it is impossible to extract any order, progress, or arrangement The 114 Suras or chapters of which it is composed are arranged chiefly according to length the longer in general preceding the shorter. It is not otherwise with the Zoroastrian and Buddhist Scriptures. These are equally destitute of beginning, middle, or end. They are, for the most part, collections of heterogeneous materials, loosely placed together. How different everyone must acknowledge it to be with the Bible ! From Genesis to Revelation we feel that this book is in a real sense a unity. It is not a collection of fragments, but has, as we say, an organic character. It has one connected story to tell from beginning to end; we see something growing before our eyes; there is plan, purpose, progress; the end folds back on the beginning,and, when the whole is finished, we feel that here again, as
in the primal creation, God has finished all His works, and, behold, they are very good. This is a very external way, it may be granted, of looking at the Bible, yet it is a very important one. It puts the Bible before us at the outset as a unique book. There is nothing exactly resembling it, or even approaching it, in all literature.


The problem of the Old Testament considered with reference to recent criticism p.31-32