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Munawar  
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bullet Topic: Original Copies of the Quran
    Posted: 26 November 2004 at 11:34am
Regarding the first copies of the Quran written by Zaid bin Harith - As sanctioned by the 3rd Caliph Uthman, 20 years after the death of teh Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

"...Narrations differ as to how many copies were directly ordered and sent out by the Caliph `Uthman, but they range from four to seven. It seems certain from various Muslim historical sources that several were lost, through fire amongst other things. There are some copies that are attributed to `Uthman."
http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/

"The historical credibility of the Qur'an is further established by the fact that one of the copies sent out by the Caliph Uthman is still in existence today. It lies in the Museum of the City of Tashkent in Uzbekistan, Central Asia....and an early manuscript on gazelle parchment exists in Dar al-Kutub as-Sultaniyyah in Egypt. More ancient manuscripts from all periods of Islamic history found in the Library of Congress in Washington, the Chester Beatty Museum in Dublin (Ireland) and the London Museum have been compared with those in Tashkent, Turkey and Egypt, with results confirming that there have not been any changes in the text from its original time of writing [44]."

From http://www.iiie.net/Articles/AuthenticQuran.html

1. The Tashkent Quran (Uzbekistan)
Samarkand Text Link

Original Mushaf written by Zaid bin Harith. A Photocopy of this mushaf is available at the Columbia University Library in the USA.

2. The Topkapi Quran (Turkey)
http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/topkapi.html

3. The Al-Hussein Mosque Manuscript. (Egypt)
http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/hussein.html

"...is perhaps the oldest of all the manuscripts, and is either `Uthmanic or an exact copy from the original with similarity to the Madinan script..."

Here are more references to Original Manuscripts:
1) Maktabat al-Jami` al-Kabir, Yemen. "Among the manuscripts in the collection is a copy of the Qur'an reputed to be in the handwriting of Al-Imam `Ali Ibn Abi Talib, Zayd Ibn Thabit and Salman al-Farsi, in two parts, each of 150 pages, in large unpointed Kufic script."
-Zaid ibn Thabit being the original scribe who wrote the first official Quran. I dont know if these are Uthmani Qurans.

2) Islamic Museum, Jerusalem, Palestine. "One of the most important manuscript in this collection is the Kufic copy of the second half of the Qur'an, the transcription of which is attributed to Al-Hasan b. Al-Husayn b. `Ali b. Abi Talib. The pages in this manuscript are beautifully illuminated, with each surah heading bearing its own distinct style of decoration; the covers are also decorated on both sides, but are of the Mamluk period."

Ali being a close companion of the Prophet, and of Uthman. I dont know if this is an Uthmani Quran, but same time period. Munawar

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Iznogoodh
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bullet Posted: 12 December 2004 at 7:42pm
How unique is the Quran?

The answer is, of course, no. The Arabic Qur'ans have come to the present day through a series of what are called "transmissions". Essentially, there were in the second century AH (After Hijra, roughly the 9th century) seven men who were considered authoritative "readers" of the Qur'an, and their recitations were written down (transmitted) by other scholars, and these readings have come down to us today as the various transmissions. Properly speaking, the two main transmissions used today are the "Hafs" and "Warsh" transmissions, though two others (the Qalun and the Al-Duri) are also in print. The Hafs is the most commonly used transmission, though the Warsh is (or at least used to be until recently) the most common in North Africa.

For the Muslim assertion to be true, it would have to be shown that there are NO differences between these various transmissions. It would have to be true that even though there were seven different reciters and several different transmitters, they all recite and wrote the same text with no variance, and this would transmit to us today. Hence, the Hafs and Warsh ought to be identical.

Yet, they are not. Samuel Green, in his work, The Different Arabic Versions of the Qur'an, makes a note of many of the differences in reading between these two particular transmissions, some of which I'll give below. Please note, the difference in ayat references are due to the difference in the numbering systems between the two Qur'ans, but they refer to the same words used in the same ayat/verse:

Surah 3:133 (Hafs) - wasaari'uu
Surah 3:133 (Warsh) - saari'uu

Surah 2:140 (Hafs) - taquluna
Surah 2:139 (Warsh) - yaquluna

Surah 3:81 (Hafs) - ataytukum
Surah 3:80 (Warsh) - ataynakum

Surah 2:259 (Hafs) - nunshizuhaa
Surah 2:258 (Warsh) - nunshiruhaa

Surah 2:9 (Hafs) - yakdhibuuna
Surah 2:9 (Warsh) - yukadhdhibuuna

Surah 2:184 (Hafs) - ta'aamu miskiinin
Surah 2:183 (Warsh) - ta'aami masakiina

These are not merely differences in pronunciation, but instead differences between transmissions both in diacritical marks (for vowels) and also consonantal sounds. So, no, the Muslim claim that there is a single Quranic text used the world over is not substantiated by fact. In short, if the question is asked: Is the Qur'an uniform and unchanged, we would have to answer with a negative in both cases.


Not very unique it seems.
And how unaltered is the present Quran when you compare it with the oldest copy we have today?

Further, in the Samarkand codex, several differences in reading exist with respect to the “standard” Quranic text existing today and said to date directly back to Mohammed’s revelations. Perhaps the most well-known example is found in the difference on Surah 37:103. In the Samarkand manuscript, this ayah reads “wa ma aslamaa...”, which translated means “and they did not submit” (i.e. become Muslims). Yet, the present Arabic “standard” Qur’an reads “Falammaa aslamaa..” which when translated means “and they submitted”7. Thus, the change of one word alters the meaning of the passage to a diametrically opposite meaning! Additionally, other differences between the Samarkand codex and the present Arabic version had been noted. They amount to the same sort of changes in consonantal readings (the Samarkand is without vowel pointings) and even the changing of whole words, in Surat 2:15, 2:57, 2:284, 5:99, 6:11, 7:27, 7:69, 18:83, 19:72, 20:3, 20:79, 20:108, 36:20-21, 38:26, as well as other ayat8. This shows us, despite the claims made by many Muslim scholars and theologians (those quoted above, for instance) that no changes were ever introduced into the Quranic manuscript history and that the Arabic Qur'an has always remained the same, that there were indeed alterations in Quranic manuscripts during the early years of Islam and that the original Arabic readings have not been preserved intact in each daughter manuscript. Thus, the Muslim apologetic argument which points to the "perfect and uncorrupted" Qur'an as a proof of the finality and truth of Islam, since it has "obviously" been protected by Allah throughout its history, rests on shaky ground.

No, not very unique at all.



Iznogoodh




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Munawar  
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bullet Posted: 13 December 2004 at 2:13pm
Hello Iznogoodh,

Thanks for the posting. This idea of "Different versions of the Quran" has been answered many times by Arabic Scholar.

The general gist of the reply is: In Arabic, the same sentance can be said in different ways, depending on the dialect of the Arabic used.

The best English equivalent would be saying "I cannot do that" and saying "I can't do that". They mean the same thing, but are written differently.

The Quran was revealed in 6 different dialects. All of them meaning the exact same thing. For a full response, see this website:

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Qiraat/hafs.html #5

The best quote being:

"In cases where there are no variations within each transmission itself, certain differences between the two transmissions, at least in the copies consulted, occur consistently throughout. None of them has any effect in the meaning."

Munawar

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bullet Posted: 14 December 2004 at 5:16pm

Dear Munawar,


It seems not all Muslim specialists agree on the amount of difference in written Qurans. This one is from:       

         &nbs p;    http://www.submission.org/quran/protect.html

Comparing the Egyptian edition to the oldest available Quran, the
Tashkent Quran, will show that there have been many human errors in the Tashkent Quran that has to be corrected when the Egyptian edition was made. The errors were obvious because the Quran has always been completely memorized and kept in its oral transmission to these days and can be verified against any written book. It is impossible to consider that God meant to preserve and protect the written books for example by Uthman (the Tashkent Quran), or any other human being for this matter when they are full of human errors. God's promise is to provide the mean to verify any written Quran against what He has in the Master tablets as we see in 85:21-22. God's promise to preserve the correct Quran was proved when the written manuscript of the Tashkent manuscript can be verified against the memorized Quran. This proof was then strengthened and confirmed by a mathematical structure in the Quran discovered in 1974. That year 1974, which happens to be 1406 Hijri year after the revelation of the Quran (1406 = 19 X 74), was a milestone in proving that the Quran passed down to us in the oral and written form has been preserved and verifiable. This mathematical structure that is based on number19 and described in sura 74 , confirmed the accuracy of the transmitted Quran and allowed the confirmation of any written Quran and exposed the "always suspicious" two verses of sura 9 as false.

The human errors in Uthman's copy of the Quran shows that the scribes were no more than human beings who made mistakes and their writings are not holy writings. Only the Quran, as God keeps it, is HOLY and intact and from it He will guarantee for us the accuracy of future copies of the Quran. It is of importance to mention that all these human errors in the early writings of the Quran did not change the message of the Quran and were easily detectable. After all, the Quran is a message, worship God alone, and not just another pretty book of literature.



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Munawar  
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bullet Posted: 15 December 2004 at 12:44pm
Hi Iznogoodh,

As I stated before, the Quran was revealed in 6 different dialects. They have seperate spellings and pronunciations for each dialect. You should read the link I provided, if you are serious about understanding this issue.

Submission.org (Not a Mainstream Muslim group) is stating the old missionary attacks against the Quran.

Iznogoodh, you can research this all you want, it all comes back to the same thing. The Quran in Turkey and Uzbekistan haven't changed, and all Qurans are exact to these Qurans (when in the same dialect).

Let me ask you something - If they HAD been changed, dont you think Muslims would hide the proof of that, and not leave it so wide open that a simple A/B comparison would catch it?! Come on, give us more credit then that.

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Iznogoodh
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bullet Posted: 15 December 2004 at 5:01pm
Originally posted by Munawar

Hi Iznogoodh,

As I stated before, the Quran was revealed in 6 different dialects. They have seperate spellings and pronunciations for each dialect. You should read the link I provided, if you are serious about understanding this issue.

Submission.org (Not a Mainstream Muslim group) is stating the old missionary attacks against the Quran.

Iznogoodh, you can research this all you want, it all comes back to the same thing. The Quran in Turkey and Uzbekistan haven't changed, and all Qurans are exact to these Qurans (when in the same dialect).

Let me ask you something - If they HAD been changed, dont you think Muslims would hide the proof of that, and not leave it so wide open that a simple A/B comparison would catch it?! Come on, give us more credit then that.

Munawar

Well,

I think that

http://www.submission.org/quran/protect.html

acknowledges fully the fact that the Taskent Quran contains errors. Yet at the same time it claims that the Quran is protected and to explain that seamingly contradiction it says we should not bother that the Tashkent copy contains errors because they were only human errors.
In other words: it seems that a site that fully supports the Quran to be the very word of God says that the Tashkent version contains something more than only differences in dialect.

The A/B comparison is simply there for everyone to read. If the Muslims did not want to hide a difference, then that is their own business.

Iznogoodh



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Munawar  
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bullet Posted: 16 December 2004 at 2:25pm
Originally posted by Iznogoodh

In other words: it seems that a site that fully supports the Quran to be the very word of God says that the Tashkent version contains something more than only differences in dialect.


Hello Iznogoodh,

I'm not here to argue what Submission.org states or claims.

The fact remains that the Tashkent and Uzbekistan Qurans haven't changed, and differences between them and other Qurans is based on dialect. Different spelling, same meaning.

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bullet Posted: 12 January 2005 at 11:34am

Originally posted by Munawar

Hello Iznogoodh,

Thanks for the posting. This idea of "Different versions of the Quran" has been answered many times by Arabic Scholar.

The general gist of the reply is: In Arabic, the same sentance can be said in different ways, depending on the dialect of the Arabic used.

The best English equivalent would be saying "I cannot do that" and saying "I can't do that". They mean the same thing, but are written differently.

The Quran was revealed in 6 different dialects. All of them meaning the exact same thing. For a full response, see this website:

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Qiraat/hafs.html #5

The best quote being:

"In cases where there are no variations within each transmission itself, certain differences between the two transmissions, at least in the copies consulted, occur consistently throughout. None of them has any effect in the meaning."

Munawar

I find it very amusing. When muslims are attacking the validity of the Bible...they will not accept similar explainations by the Christian scholars on why certain verses are written / translated differently and it is important to look at the full context.

However, when it comes to the Quran, muslims will use similar reasonings to support that the Quran is "true" and "real"....

Just an observation. No offence!

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bullet Posted: 13 January 2005 at 5:32pm
Originally posted by seeker

I find it very amusing. When muslims are attacking the validity of the Bible...they will not accept similar explainations by the Christian scholars on why certain verses are written / translated differently and it is important to look at the full context.

However, when it comes to the Quran, muslims will use similar reasonings to support that the Quran is "true" and "real"....


Hi Seeker,

If you reread my post, you'll see that this is not a "Translation Issue". The Quran was revealed in 6 dialects. All dialects mean the same thing. But, the spellings of the words are different.

Therefore, very simplified:

1. Quran Dialect 1 Means the same thing as Quran Dialect 2
2. Quran Dialect 1 looks different from Quran Dialect 2


1. Bible VERSION 1 Looks different from Bible Version 2
2. Bible Version 1 has a different meaning from Bible Version 2
3. Bible Version 1 contains different content from Bible Version 2
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bullet Posted: 15 January 2005 at 2:56am

There was a link provided to an online encyclopedia on this subject.

The question of the age of Aisha was addressed firstly by the encyclopedia which pointed out that her age of 9 when she married was only claimed by Aisha herself. Cross referencing with events for which the year was known and which Aisha was known to be associated with suggest she was either 13 or 19 when she married.

The reasons for her claims have not been substantiated.

The second point on this issue was custom of the time. Marrying very young girls was not uncommon up until the 15th century. Kings Edward 1 and Richard 2 both married young girls, I believe 9 and 6 respectfully. Edward in particular had a very successful marriage. So much so that when his wife died he went crazy, and invaded Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and France.

The reason for the number of wives was that the revelation that the Prophet said he had limiting the number of wives a Muslim could have to 4 was made when he already had, 10 or 11. Most men divorced their excess wives. Those married to Muhammad couldn't be divorced because after being married to Muhammad they couldn't lower themselves to marrying an ordinary man and so would have loved unmarried for the remainder of their lives.

In addition, most of the wives of Muhammad were take to cement agreements.

I think we should avoid attempting to apply present day standards on historical events.

Munawar - tell me, what is being stated in the Quran? Did the Quran writes 9 years old? If the Quran is so accurate as claimed..why is there a need to use external analysis and interpretation?

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bullet Posted: 18 January 2005 at 3:37pm
Originally posted by seeker

Munawar - tell me, what is being stated in the Quran? Did the Quran writes 9 years old? If the Quran is so accurate as claimed..why is there a need to use external analysis and interpretation?


Hi Seeker,

I'm not sure I understand what you mean. The Quran does not need external Analysis to understand its base message. Peace, love and the belief in One God. It needs external analysis to understand its deeper secrets.

Munawar
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bullet Posted: 18 February 2005 at 3:34pm
The Qur'an has always been in it's original form, many people learnt the Qur'an off by heart or hafiz's, and this way it has never been distorted, the bible is wel known to have verses taken out even till this day, and why is there so many different versions of the bible, some have 73 books other the RSV has 66 books, and another has 80 books, all claiming to be the word of GOd
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bullet Posted: 28 February 2005 at 9:18am

Dear Khaled,

So tell me...is the small girl 9 years old or 15 years old?

Cheers

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Emad  
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bullet Posted: 28 February 2005 at 9:25am
Seeker what girl are you talking about? 
Verily, either we or you are rightly guided or in plain error. (Quran Saba:24)

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