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Surat al-Rahman: Parallel Passages, Variant Traditions and Multiple Authors?

Reader comment on item: Study the Koran?
in response to reader comment: Surat al-Rahman: Allah and the Hur! And more disasters!

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Jul 8, 2022 at 07:32

Here is a link to the entire Surat al-Rahman with the text in Arabic and if the reader clicks on the individual words he/she will be provided with a decent translation of the word in question


Here is also a link to archive.org and a copy of the entire book by John Wansbrough's "Quranic Studies."


This is not easy reading but it is not an easy subject either. The good news is the editor of the book provides at the end of the book translations of the Arabic as well as Hebrew and Aramaic texts in the book.

Now Wansbrough introduces the reader to 2 clusters of verses in Surat al-Rahman that are "parallel passages" and he calls this literary phenomenon: "Variant Traditions."

1. The first cluster: Verses: 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60

2. The second cluster: Verses: 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72, 74, 76

Same subject matter but clearly different literary style.

BTW: Check pages 25-27 in Quranic Studies

And the reader should be reminded about what al-Mufasereen called: al-Kalam al-Mukarrar and for a rather simple example the reader can check Q2:40 and 2:47 (same subject matter but different literary styles). This phenomenon was attributed by some Mufasereen to "Asbab al-Nuzul" or reasons for revelation which means that the author was using the same literary material using different literary styles. Why? Only Allahu A'lam.

So what does all of this mean? Michael Cook opines: "variant traditions suggested that we might have here the results of the development of independent possibly regional traditions incorporated more or less intact into the canonical compilations."

So the Qur'an has multiple author? As Muslims would say: Only Allahu A'lam

Next the two bodies of water and al-Barzakh and refuting ignorant Tablighees


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