69 million page views

Very short introduction to the history of the modern copy of the Qur'an

Reader comment on item: What Do Jihadis Want? The Caliphate
in response to reader comment: about Atatürk's approach regarding the Caliphate issue, and the naivety of some US Islamologists:

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Mar 26, 2017 at 09:46

Dr Pipes

Very interesting

Most readers would be surprised to know that today's Qur'an in Arabic comes in two very recent forms

1. The 1923-1924 Cairo edition of the Qur'an This copy of the Qur'an follows the transmission of Hafs from Asim and is supposed to go back to the so called Othman's copy or Mushaf Othman And no we don't have a copy of the Othman's Codex It does not exist The Samarkand Qur'an is late and it is written in Kufic a script that was invented in Mesopotamia and borrowed from Syriac alphabet
The Hijazi fragments written in Hijazi script of the Qur'an are much earlier than Samarkand

Prior to 1923 Egyptians used a Turkish edition of the Qur'an Most interesting is that the editors in Egypt preserved the Rasm or the basic layer of the Qur'an but edited the rest of the text in no specific order

2. The 1969 Tunisian Qur'an which follows the transmission of Warsh from Nafi


And as would be expected the two Qurans can be very different as an example in Surat al-Fatiha the Rasm of the word ملك becomes:

1. In the Cairo Qur'an: it is edited as مَالِكِ Or Maaliki or the owner of Notice that the Rasm was edited by adding an Alif following the letter Meem and a Fatha or the vowel "a" above the letter Meem and Kasra or the vowel "i" below the letters Lam and Kaf

2. In the Tunisian Qur'an: it is edited as مَلِكِ or Maliki or the King of (very different meaning but same Rasm) and as you can see a Fatha was added to the letter Meem and Kasra added to the letters Lam and Kaf

This raises doubts about the veracity that we only have one Qur'an and invalidates the other claim that the Qur'an we orally transmitted

The Qur'an and in the words of Peters is text with no context What the early Mufasereen had was a text written in Rasm form with no short or long vowels and no Shadda (double consonant) or Hamza (the glottal sound)

No doubt that al-Tabari (whose Quranic Tafsir) is the earliest and complete Tafsir of the Qur'an This means:

1. He was dealing with a complete copy of the Qur'an in only Rasm form

2. There were no names yet for the individual Suras (eg: al-Tabari called Q105: Surat al-Lam Tara Now it is called Surat al-Feel)

3. His Tafsir is Masoritic or he was explaining and correcting spelling, grammar and syntax in the basic Rasm in other wors al-Tabari was Allah's and his Qur'an Editor in-Chief

4. There is very compelling evidence when reading his Tafsir that there was no parallel oral transmission

In other words the Qur'an is a text that has been evolving for the past 1400 years and a cautionary tale to those in the industry I call "Quranic Translations" that they should make it clear that they are translating a copy of the 1923-1924 Cairo Quran and not the non existent so called Mushaf Othman

One final point: For those of you that can read Arabic the Indian Qur'an in Arabic used by Yusuf Ali is very interesting but again Yusuf Ali was not interested in what the text is all about He was more interested in introducing Islam to the British and the West as best as he can and the end result is a total disaster His translation is disgraceful


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2024 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)