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Islam for non-Muslims
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Yusuf.
 
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Quote Yusuf. Replybullet Posted: 08 August 2005 at 11:15am

Originally posted by beloved

the word "scribes" is a newly found word. 

In English, perhaps. The Arabic word "kaatib" can be translated as both "scribe" and "writer" in English. Thus the nonsense over the "recent" introduction of the term scribe is only a misunderstanding based upon ignorance of Arabic.

So we have a four step delusion:

1. Failure to understand that "scribe" and "writer" in Arabic are in fact the same word.

2. Implying that the change in English texts from one term to the other implies a revisionist hand which, as the Arabic texts all demonstrate, does not exist.

3. Equating the English term "writer" with "author."

4. Assuming that such an equation exists in Arabic.

A very weak attempt at deception.

Yusuf
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Quote beloved Replybullet Posted: 08 August 2005 at 8:39pm
I could site you a numerous list of other self-acclaimed "Islamic" websites that would strongly support your argument and add many more. Fortunately, all these websites, including those you have quoted have nothing to do with Islam other than trying to establish deviant teachings and later attribute them to the Qur'an and Sunnah.

Mockba brother, I just said the same, "Though I have quoted these from the internet (which I feel are not reliable), I can even quote from the books available in the market on this subject."

http://www.islamicity.com/education/understandingislamandm uslims/default.asp?ContentLocation=/Education/UnderstandingI slamAndMuslims&CurrentPageID=12&Top=&Bottom=& ;Right=&Left=&SideBarWidth=&RightWidth=&Left Width=&SideBarLocation=&Style=&CatID=&Destin ation=/Education/UnderstandingIslamAndMuslims/12.asp

The Quran is a record of the exact words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad. It was memorized by Muhammad and then dictated to his Companions, and written down by scribes, who cross-checked it during his lifetime. Not one word of its 114 chapters, Suras, has been changed over the centuries, so that the Quran is in every detail the unique and miraculous text which was revealed to Muhammad fourteen centuries ago.

This is from Islamicity.com.  Is this a belief or something which has enough proof?  That is what I was searching for.

I want to know what reliable resources are available with us so that I can know more about Holy Quran.

There is no requirement for someone like yourself educate members of this forum on authenticity of the Quran and methodology used in writing it down.

I ain't educating anyone, I am just educating myself.  I hope that I am also a member of this forum.

It is indeed unfortunate that Bible did not retain its original content and evolved to contain blasphemy, and as such there is no need to compare it to the Quran.

I had been insisting not to bring Holy Bible into our discussion.  You started it and you conclude it by saying "as such there is no need to compare it to the Quran."


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Quote beloved Replybullet Posted: 09 August 2005 at 7:30am
However, since you had been answered completely as far as your foremost question was concerned without any logical arguments to contradict it, hence, your later comments were without specifics.

Are you conscious?

"answered completely"..."without any logical arguments to contradict it"

He just gave some statements from a website.  As Mockba said,"I could site you a numerous list of other self-acclaimed "Islamic" websites that would strongly support your argument and add many more."

So, then you clarified that your questions were pertaining to scribes and not the writer, since we all know that the writer of Quran is Allah and Allah alone. It is in this context, I think, now you would be able to see the things matching up.

So you want to sideline.

Do you know what is meant by writer?  When you say "the writer of Quran is Allah and Allah alone", what do you mean to say?  If you say Allah wrote it, on what did he write? (illogical assumptions lead to illogical conclusions)

Is a scribe not a writer?  Does that mean Quran has no writer or writers?  Then how come it exists now?

To those websites which do not provide the names of the scribes, I think, its not logical to construe that none of the scribes existed. Isn't it? Its the deficiency of the websites and nothing else.

Thank God!  At last I got someone who can tell me the names of all the scribes who have written them.

If "scibe" is a newly found word for you, what do you expect from us? Open up the dictionary and find the meaning yourself. I think its not a big deal. Isn't it?

Thank you.  But I did not say that its a newly found word.  I said it was a newly found word when refering to his companions.

You haven't provided any reference to your statement. Kindly do that to dissect it to reveal the truth. Thanks

It was the site(or answer) you were also refering to when you said, "However, since you had been answered completely as far as your foremost question was concerned without any logical arguments to contradict it, hence, your later comments were without specifics."
The "complete" answer (as you think) was from the Perspective magazine.

Kindly distinguish between "writer" and the "scribe".

From Marriam-Webster Online

writ·er

Pronunciation: 'rI-t&r
Function: noun
: one that writes : as a : AUTHOR b : one who writes stock options

(just in case you also want to know about "author")
au·thor
Pronunciation: 'o-th&r
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English auctour, from Old North French, from Latin auctor promoter, originator, author, from augEre to increase -- more at EKE
1 a : one that originates or creates : SOURCE <software authors> <the author of this crime> b capitalized : GOD 1
2 : the writer of a literary work (as a book)

Main Entry: 1scribe
Pronunciation: 'skrIb
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin scriba official writer, from scribere to write; akin to Greek skariphasthai to scratch an outline
1 : one of a learned class in ancient Israel through New Testament times studying the Scriptures and serving as copyists, editors, teachers, and jurists
2 a : an official or public secretary or clerk b : a copier of manuscripts
3 : WRITER; specifically : JOURNALIST


I can only say that this is totally a unsubstantiated statement despite clear evidence that there were many numorous scribes, some of whose names have also been shown on this forum, who wrote down the verses of Quran as they used to reveal to Prophet Mohammad. Among them Zayed ibn Thabit was the one who also presided the committee later on, which was formed for the duty of binding the Quran in the Book form later at the time of Hazrat Abu Bakr, the first Caliph of Islam.

We have clear evidence that there were many numorous scribes (as you say), then do we know who they are?  From whom were the verses taken during "binding the Quran in the Book form"?

That is what when I said, "We believe that Zayed Ibn Thabit has compiled it without any ambiguity believing in the verses 2:23, 10:38, 11:13, 17:88 etc which themselves form the part Zayed's compiled Quran. (Zayed, with the help of the companions who memorized and wrote verses of the Qur'an, accomplished the task and handed Abu Bakr the first authenticated copy of the Qur'an. The copy was kept in the residence of Hafsah, daughter of Umar and wife of the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)..)"

If you find time please read all of my posts which will make it easy for me not to paraphrase myself again.
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Quote beloved Replybullet Posted: 09 August 2005 at 7:33am

Thank you Yusuf for your reply.  Of course I don't know Arabic and I know basic English (I have to use a dictionary most of the time).

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Quote beloved Replybullet Posted: 09 August 2005 at 8:13pm
Topic has been moved to a non-Muslim forum
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Quote beloved Replybullet Posted: 12 August 2005 at 7:12am
anyone answer please
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Quote Deus Replybullet Posted: 12 August 2005 at 9:30am

I was hoping to contribute to this thread, but every question has already been answered (some more than once, too.)

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Quote Jazz Replybullet Posted: 12 August 2005 at 10:17am

Here are some articles that express some concerns and offers some comments about the origin of Quran.

Quote:

Some highlights:

’Ibn Umar al–Khattab explicitly admits,
"Let no one of you say that he has acquired the entire Qur’an for how does he know that it is all? Much of the Qur’an has been lost, thus let him say, ‘I have acquired of it what is available"’ (Suyuti: Itqan, part 3, page 72).

A’isha (also page 72) adds to the story of ibn Umar and says,
"During the time of the prophet, the chapter of the Parties used to be two hundred verses when read. When Uthman edited the copies of the Qur’an, only the current (verses) were recorded" (73 verses)
The same statement is made by Ubay ibn Ka’b, one of the great companions. On page 72, part 3, the Suyuti says,
"This famous companion asked one of the Muslims, ‘How many verses in the chapter of the Parties?’ He said, ‘Seventy-two or seventy-three verses.’ He (Ubay) told him, ‘It used to be almost equal to the chapter of the Cow (about 286 verses) and included the verse of the stoning.’ The man asked, ‘What is the verse of the stoning?’ He said, ‘If an old man or woman committed adultery, stone them to death."’

The Zamakh-shari also cited it in his book, "al-Kash-Shaf’ (part 3, page 518).
These are unquestionable statements made by the pillars of the Islamic religion who transmitted Muhammad’s sayings and biography,
"The Tradition", and who interpreted the Qur’an— among them Ibn ’Umar, A’isha, Ubay Ibn Ka’b and ’Ali Ibn Abi Talib. Ibn ’Umar states that a large part of the Qur’an was missed. A’isha and Ubay Ibn Ka’b assert that dozens of verses from the "Chapter of the Parties" have been lost. ’Ali confirms that, too.
Events Which Led To The Loss Of Some Verses A Domesticated Animal Eats Qur’anic Verses
In his book (volume 8, part II, pages 235 and 236), Ibn Hazm says plainly,
"The verses of stoning and breast feeding were in the possession of A’isha in a (Qur’anic) copy. When Muhammad died and people became busy in the burial preparations, a domesticated animal entered in and ate it."

And, if Muhammad died while these verses were still recited who abrogated them? Did the domesticated animal abrogate them? It is evident that this really did occur according to the witness of the companions, Muslim scholars, and A’isha herself.

The question which presents itself is, why did not Muhammad give orders to collect the Qur’an? Why did not the angel Gabriel suggest to him to do such an important task to avoid the disagreement, dispute, and the fight which spread among the people?

1.Sahih Bokhari Khitabul Tafseer Bab “ Tabbat Yada”
Ibn Abbas narrates that the verse “ Lama nazalta wa Anzar Asheera takal Aqrabaina wal Rahthaka minhumul Mukhliseen” is not includedin Mashaf Usmani.

2.Shahih Bokhar Vol-III page-139

Ibrahim ibn Alqamah narrates that when I arrived to the companions of Abdullah, Abu Darda came to us and asked “ Is there any reader of Quran?” I said yes. Abu Darda asked me to read “Wal-Laile- iza yaghsha Wan-Nihar iza Tajalla Wazakra Wal Unsa” Abu Darda asked me do you have listen this verse from the tongue of prophet. I replied yes. Abu Darda said I have also listen the same but these people do not believe on me.”

3. Sahih Bokhar Vol-III Tafseer Sura Qarariah

Abdullah Ibn Masood narrates that the verse” Kalfarashel-Mabsoos” was “Kalssoful Mabsoos” but in the present Quran Kalsoof is not exist.

4. Sahih Bokhar “Khitabul Yasoo”

Ibn Abbas narrates that the verse was like “ Laisa Alaikum Junah Untabtagho Fazlum-me-rrabbe-kum fe mawase-mul Haj” but in the present version “ fe mawase-mul-Haj “ is excluded.

( Also see: Ibn Abu Daud Khitabul Masahif)

5.Sahih Muslim Vol-I

Aisha got write a Quran by her slave and said when you arrived at the verse Hafizoo Alus Salth then informed me. As he reached, he informed Aisha. Aisha told him write this verse as” Hafizoo Alus’Salath Was-Salathul Wasta wa Salathul Asr wa Quoom ullah Qaniteen” because she have heared the verse from prophet.

(See also: Mansnad Imam Ahmed Vol-VI (2) Al-Mashibul Sajistani page-83). In the present Quran this verse is not present.

6. In the last year of Khilafat Hazrat Umar addressed the people from the pulpit of Mosque of Nabvi”

Allah has sent Muhammad with right and descended book upon him. Whatever descended by Allah among them was a verse of Rijm. We recited this verse. Prophet acted upon the verse and we also acted upon this verse……… This verse is the part of Quran. We have always recited this verse.

See:
a.Sahih Bokhar Vol-IV
b. Sahih Muslim Bab Haduz Zina
c. Sanan Ibn Maaja Babur Rijm

7. Aisha narrates that a goat ate verses of Rijm and Rizae Kabeer…..

Ref: Masnad Imam Ahmed Vol-6
Motha Imam Malik
Ibn Maaja
Sanan Dar Qutni Vol-II
Taveel Mukhtaliful Haditrhs page-310

8. Renowned Shiekhul Hadith, Sadrul Madraseen Darul Uloome Deoband Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri wrote in his world famed book “ Faizul Bokhari sharahe Sahih Bokhari Vol-III

“ To me it has been proved by researched that there are changes in the words of Quran made by Companions either intentionally or mistakenly”

9. Tafseer Dura Mansure Vol-I and Iteqan fe Uloomul Quran Vol-II :

“Abdullah Ibn Umar narrates that a large part of Quran has spoiled …I know only the Quran which is present.

10. Iteqan fe Uloomul Quran Vol-II and Roohul Maani by Allama Aloosi Bughdadi:

“ Two sura “ Alhafad” and “Al’Halae” were revealed. Umar Ibn Khitab and Ibe Ka ab used to recit these surah in prayers.”

These two sura are completely excluded at the time of collection of Quran.
Allama Sayyooti after Tafseer of Sura Na’as has mentioned both the Sura in his facous Tafseer Durri Mansure Vol-6.

11. There are various errors and modification made in Quran for further detail read:

- Tafseer Kabeer, Fakhrud Din Razi Vol-4
- Moalimut TanzeelVol-I page-264
- Itiqan fe Uloomul Quran Vol-I Jalal ud Din Sayyoti
- Jami ul Ihkamul Quran Vol-11 page 145.

12. Roohul Moani by Allama Aloosi :-

Sura Al Ihza was consist of 200 verses but Usman excluded many verse from it.

13. Tafseer Khazin Bughdadi Vol-I page 517-518 has written a detail tradition regarding changes occurred in Quran.

14. Itiqan fe Uloomul Quran Vol-I page-70

“Umar ibn Khitab narrates that the words in Quran are 1027000 .Now, there are 260753 words in the present Quran “

759948 words are missing from the Quran.


15. At the time of Hajj every year Saudi Government distributed a Quran among Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indian Muslims with the cooperation of Shah Fahad and Rabita Aalam Islami. This Quran printed by Quran Karim Printing Complex Madina Munawar. This worthy Quran is with the translation and Tafseer of Shiekh ul Hind Maulana Mehmoodul Hassan and Shiekhul Islam Hazrat Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Usmani.

In this Quran on the foot notes the changes in Quranic verses have also been pointed out. A list from this is hereby reproduced which is irrefutable proof that Quran has been changed:

1. Para-4 Alimran verse-144
2. Para-4 Al-Nisa verse-12
3. Para-8 Al-Inaam verse-158
4. Para-16 Maryam verse-55
5. Para-18 Al-Noor verse-2
6. Para-21 AlIhzad verse-6
7. Para-23 Yaseen verse-35
8. Para-23 Saf Faat verse-130
9. Para-20 Alankabootverse-11
10. Para-24 Zumar verse-53
11. Para-24 Momin verse-6
12. Para-25 Shura verse-23
13 Para-27 Al-Hadeedverse-29
---------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------

Quote:

Koran - The Word Of God?

source: http://www.flex.com/~jai/satyamevajayate/koran.html

(Koran 4:82)
Do they not consider the Qur'an (with care)?
Had it been from other than Allah, they would
surely have found therein much discrepancy.

According to the Muslims the Koran contains the words of God. Koran is to be read as if God Himself had spoken these words stated in it. It is important to emphasize this point because if Koran is the word of God then it should not contain any errors and it should hold true for all times. However, such is not the case.

First, we will see how some of the verses in the Koran itself show clearly that these words were obviously spoken by Mohammed and Not God.

The Opening Sura Fatihah:

(Koran 1:1-7)
In the name of the Merciful and Compassionate God.
Praise belongs to God,
The Lord of the worlds, the merciful, the
compassionate, the ruler of the day of
the day of judgement! Thee we serve and Thee
we ask for aid. Guide us in the right path,
the path of those Thou art gracious to;
not to those Thou art wroth with, nor of
those who err.

Someone need not be a rocket-scientist to comprehend that these words are clearly addressed to God, in the form of a prayer. They are Mohammed's words of parise to God, asking for God's help and guidance. Some Muslim compilers conveniently add the imperative "say" in the English translation of the Koran at the beginning of the sura to remove this difficulty. This imperative form of the word "say" occurs at least 350 times in the Koran, and its obvious that this word has, in fact, been inserted by later compilers of the Koran to remove countless similarly embarassing difficulties. Thus, we have direct evidence that the Koran starts out with the words of Mohammed.

(Koran 113:1)
I take refuge with the Lord of the Dawn.

One can clearly see, its Mohammed and NOT GOD HIMSELF who is seeking refuge in God.

(Koran 6:104)
Now have come to you, from your Lord, proofs
(To open your eyes): If any will see, it will
be for (the good of) his own soul; If any will
be blind, it will be to his own (harm): I am not
(here) To watch over your doings.

In this verse the speaker of the line "I am not to watch over your doings"- is clearly Mohammed. In fact Dawood in his translation adds a footnote that the "I" refers to Mohammed here.

(Koran 27:91)
For me, I have been commanded to serve the
Lord of this city, Him Who has sanctified it
and to whom (Belong) all things; and I am
commanded to be of those who bow in Islam to
Allah's Will

Again, the speaker here is clearly Mohammed who is trying to justify killing of innocent Meccans who were not willing to follow Mohammed's version of God. Dawood and Pickthall both interpolate "say" at the beginning of the sentence which is lacking in the original Arabic version of the sura.

(Koran 81:15)
So veriy I call To witness the planets that recede...

Again, here it is Mohammed and NOT God who is swearing by the turning planets.

(Koran 84:16-19)
I swear by the afterglow of sunset, and by the night,
and by the moon when she is at the full.

Once again it is Mohammed and NOT God. He is unable to disguise his pagan heritage. He swears again in the name of the Sun and Moon, both of which were considered as holy deities by pre-Islamic Arabs.

(Koran 6:114)
Should I seek other judge than God, when
it is He who has sent down to you, the
distinguishing book (Koran)?

Any sane person can comprehend that those words are not spoken by God but Mohammed himself. Yusuf Ali in his translation adds at the beginning of the sentence "say", which is not there in the original Arabic and he does so without comment or footnote.
---------------------------------------------------------- ----------

Here are some sahih ahadith that shed some light on the issue of origins of "revelations" found in Quran.

Sahih al-Bukari

 

كتاب الصلاة (The Book of Prayer)

No. 396 - Narrated 'Umar (bin Al-Khattab):

 

My Lord agreed with me in three things:

1. I said,"O Allah's Apostle, I wish we took the station of Abraham as our praying place (for some of our prayers). So came the Divine Inspiration: And take you (people) the station of Abraham as a place of prayer (for some of your prayers e.g. two Rakat of Tawaf of Ka'ba)". (2.125)

 

2. And as regards the (verse of) the veiling of the women, I said, 'O Allah's Apostle! I wish you ordered your wives to cover themselves from the men because good and bad ones talk to them.' So the verse of the veiling of the women was revealed.

 

3. Once the wives of the Prophet made a united front against the Prophet and I said to them, 'It may be if he (the Prophet) divorced you, (all) that his Lord (Allah) will give him instead of you wives better than you.' So this verse (the same as I had said) was revealed." (66.5).

Sahih al-Bukari

(The Book of Exegesis of the Quraan)

No. 4349  - Narrated Zaid bin Thabit Al-Ansari:

who was one of those who used to write the Divine Revelation: Abu Bakr sent for me after the (heavy) casualties among the warriors (of the battle) of Yamama (where a great number of Qurra' were killed). 'Umar was present with Abu Bakr who said, 'Umar has come to me and said, The people have suffered heavy casualties on the day of (the battle of) Yamama, and I am afraid that there will be more casualties among the Qurra' (those who know the Qur'an by heart) at other battle-fields, whereby a large part of the Qur'an may be lost, unless you collect it.

And I am of the opinion that you should collect the Qur'an." Abu Bakr added, "I said to 'Umar, 'How can I do something which Allah's Apostle has not done?' 'Umar said (to me), 'By Allah, it is (really) a good thing.' So 'Umar kept on pressing, trying to persuade me to accept his proposal, till Allah opened my bosom for it and I had the same opinion as 'Umar." (Zaid bin Thabit added:) Umar was sitting with him (Abu Bakr) and was not speaking. me). "You are a wise young man and we do not suspect you (of telling lies or of forgetfulness): and you used to write the Divine Inspiration for Allah's Apostle. Therefore, look for the Qur'an and collect it (in one manuscript). " By Allah, if he (Abu Bakr) had ordered me to shift one of the mountains (from its place) it would not have been harder for me than what he had ordered me concerning the collection of the Qur'an. I said to both of them, "How dare you do a thing which the Prophet has not done?" Abu Bakr said, "By Allah, it is (really) a good thing. So I kept on arguing with him about it till Allah opened my bosom for that which He had opened the bosoms of Abu Bakr and Umar. So I started locating quranic material and collecting it from parchments, scapula, leaf-stalks of date palms and from the memories of men (who knew it by heart). I found with Khuzaima two Verses of Surat-at-Tauba which I had not found with anybody else, (and they were):--

"Verily there has come to you an Apostle (Muhammad) from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty He (Muhammad) is ardently anxious over you (to be rightly guided)" (9.128)

The manuscript on which the quran was collected, remained with Abu Bakr till Allah took him unto Him, and then with 'Umar till Allah took him unto Him, and finally it remained with Hafsa, Umar's daughter.
---------------------------------------------------------- ------

Sahih al-Bukari

(The Book of Military Expeditions)

No. 3778  - Narrated Zaid bin Thabit:

When we wrote the Holy quran, I missed one of the Verses of Surat-al-Ahzab which I used to hear Allah's Apostle reciting. Then we searched for it and found it with Khuzaima bin Thabit Al-Ansari. The Verse was:--

'Among the Believers are men Who have been true to Their Covenant with Allah, Of them, some have fulfilled Their obligations to Allah (i.e. they have been Killed in Allah's Cause), And some of them are (still) waiting" (33.23) So we wrote this in its place in the quran.
---------------------------------------------------------- -------

Sahih al-Bukari

(The Book of Jihaad)

No. 2619  - Narrated Kharija bin Zaid:

Zaid bin Thabit said, "When the quran was compiled from various written manuscripts, one of the Verses of Surat Al-Ahzab was missing which I used to hear Allah's Apostle reciting. I could not find it except with Khuzaima bin Thabjt Al-Ansari, whose witness Allah's Apostle regarded as equal to the witness of two men. And the Verse was:-- "Among the believers are men who have been true to what they covenanted with Allah." (33.23)
---------------------------------------------------------- --------

Sahih al-Bukari

(The Book of the Virtues of the Prophet and His Companions)

No. 3267  - Narrated Anas:

Uthman called Zaid bin Thabit, Abdullah bin Az-Zubair, Said bin Al-'As and 'AbdurRahman bin Al-Harith bin Hisham, and then they wrote the manuscripts of the Holy Qur'an in the form of book in several copies. 'Uthman said to the three Quraishi persons. " If you differ with Zaid bin Thabit on any point of the quran, then write it in the language of Quraish, as the quran was revealed in their language." So they acted accordingly. (Said bin Thabit was an Ansari and not from Quraish ).

---------------------------------------------------------- -------
Sahih al-Bukari

(The Book of Military Expeditions)

No. 3820  - Narrated Anas bin Malik :

The Prophet invoked evil upon those (people) who killed his companions at Bir Mauna for 30 days (in the morning prayer). He invoked evil upon (tribes of) Ril, Lihyan and Usaiya who disobeyed Allah and His Apostle. Allah revealed a quranic Verse to His Prophet regarding those who had been killed, i.e. the Muslims killed at Bir Ma'una, and we recited the Verse till later it was cancelled. (The Verse was:) 'Inform our people that we have met our Lord, and He is pleased with us, and we are pleased with Him."
---------------------------------------------------------- --------

Sahih al-Bukari

(The Book of Military Expeditions)

No. 4116  - Narrated Ubaidullah bin 'Abdullah:

Ibn Abbas said, "When Allah's Apostle was on his deathbed and there were some men in the house, he said, 'Come near, I will write for you something after which you will not go astray.' Some of them ( i.e. his companions) said, 'Allah's Apostle is seriously ill and you have the (Holy) quran. Allah's Book is sufficient for us.' So the people in the house differed and started disputing. Some of them said, 'Give him writing material so that he may write for you something after which you will not go astray.' while the others said the other way round. So when their talk and differences increased, Allah's Apostle said, "Get up." Ibn Abbas used to say, "No doubt, it was very unfortunate (a great disaster) that Allah's Apostle was prevented from writing for them that writing because of their differences and noise."

So Mohammed could write afterall, and what's more he was going to write something other than Quran, even though the people were seeking to accept the quran only, was not Allah's word sufficient to not go astray?..........why should Mohammed's additional writing (not from Allah) ensure that people would not go astray?...........did Mohammed not have enough faith in Allah's words, so much so that he felt what he had to say would be better?
---------------------------------------------------------- ----------

Sahih al-Bukari

(The Book of Exegesis of the Quraan)

No. 4208  - Narrated Ibn Az-Zubair:

I said to 'Uthman, "This Verse which is in Surat-al-Baqara:

"Those of you who die and leave widows behind...without turning them out." has been abrogated by another Verse. Why then do you write it (in the Qur'an)?" 'Uthman said. "Leave it (where it is), O the son of my brother, for I will not shift anything of it (i.e. the quran) from its original position."
---------------------------------------------------------- ---

No. 4319  - Narrated Anas bin Malik:

Abu Jahl said, "O Allah! If this (quran) is indeed the Truth from You, then rain down on us a shower of stones from the sky or bring on us a painful torment." So Allah revealed:-- "But Allah would not punish them while you were amongst them, nor He will punish them while they seek (Allah's) forgiveness..." (8.33) And why Allah should not punish them while they turn away (men) from Al-Masjid-al-Haram (the Sacred Mosque of Mecca)..." (8.33-34)

It seems anyone could ask Allah for a revelation and Allah would oblige.

------------------------------------------------------------ -----

Here is an interesting article from the Guardian about origins and preservation of Quran

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4048586,00. html

Querying the Koran

Orthodox Muslims believe that this ancient Islamic text is the unchanging Word of God. One scholar is daring to question it

Abul Taher
Guardian Tuesday August 8, 2000


A German academic fears a violent backlash from orthodox Muslims because of his "blasphemous" theory that the Koran has been changed and revised. Such a backlash is not to be taken lightly; the Salman Rushdie affair is a solemn reminder of the power of an angry Muslim community. After the author wrote his novel Satanic Verses, which was considered by Muslims to be blasphemous, a fatwa , or religious decree, was pronounced against him in 1989 that left him fearing for his life. Rushdie has only recently reappeared in public after nearly 10 years in hiding.

According to Muslim belief, the Koran is the eternal, unaltered Word of God, which has remained the same for 14 centuries. But Dr Gerd R Puin, a renowned Islamicist at Saarland University, Germany, says it is not one single work that has survived unchanged through the centuries. It may include stories that were written before the prophet Mohammed began his ministry and which have subsequently been rewritten.

Puin's conclusions have sparked angry reactions from orthodox Muslims. "They've said I'm not really the scholar to make any remarks on these manuscripts," he said. The semitic philologist, who specialises in Arabic calligraphy and Koranic palaeography, has been studying Sa'na manuscripts, ancient versions of the Koran discovered in Sa'na, the capital of Yemen.

So controversial are his findings that the Yemeni authorities have denied him further access to the manuscripts. He says they shed new light on the early development of the Koran as a book with a "textual history", which contradicts the fundamental Muslim belief that it is the unchanging Word of God.

Any questioning of the authenticity of the Koranic text as the Word of God can expect a hostile reaction. The fatwa , or death sentence, was issued against Rushdie for hinting in Satanic Verses that the Koran may include verses from other sources - chiefly Satan.

Academics offering radical interpretations of the Koran put their lives at risk. In 1990, Dr Nasr Abu Zaid, formerly a lecturer in Koranic Studies at Cairo University, provoked a national outcry in Egypt over his book The Concept of the Text. There were death threats from Muslim extremists, general public harassment, and in 1995 he was branded an apostate by Egypt's highest court. The court forced him to divorce his wife because under Islamic law, marriage between an apostate and a Muslim is forbidden.

Zaid's proposal was arguably less radical than Puin's. Zaid's book argued that "the Koran is a literary text, and the only way to understand, explain, and analyse it is through a literary approach". A Muslim, Zaid remained in Egypt for a time to refute the apostasy charges, but fled with his wife to Holland in the face of increasing death threats.

Puin believes that he will not receive the same reaction, because unlike Zaid or Rushdie he does not have a Muslim name. His claim that the Koran has changed since its supposed standardisation, and that pre-Islamic texts have crept in, would nonetheless be regarded as highly blasphemous by Muslims. He has not yet written a book on his radical findings, but says it is "a goal to achieve" in the near future.

Dr Tarif Khalidi, lecturer in Islamic Studies at Cambridge University, warns that the book may generate a controversy similar to Satanic Verses. "If Dr Puin's views are taken up and trumpeted in the media, and if you don't have many Muslims being rational about it, then all hell may break loose." Khalidi fears Muslims will not accept Puin's work on the Sa'na manuscripts as having been done with academic objectivity, but see it as a deliberate "attack on the integrity of the Koranic text".

The manuscripts, thought to be the oldest surviving copies of the Koran, were discovered in the ancient Great Mosque of Sa'na in 1972, when the building was being restored after heavy rainfall, hidden in the loft in a bundle of old parchment and paper documents. They were nearly thrown away by the builders, but were spotted by Qadhi Isma'il al-Akwa, then president of the Yemeni Antiquities Authority, who saw their importance and sought international assistance to preserve and examine them. Al-Akwa managed to interest Puin, who was visiting Yemen for research purposes in 1979. Puin in turn persuaded the German government to organise and fund a restoration project. The restoration revealed that some of the parchment pages dated from the seventh and eighth centuries, the crucial first two centuries of Islam, from which very few manuscripts have survived.

Until now, there were three ancient copies of the Koran. One copy in the Library of Tashkent in Uzbekistan, and another in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, Turkey, date from the eighth century. A copy preserved in the British Library in London, known as the Ma'il manuscript, dates from the late seventh century. But the Sa'na manuscripts are even older. Moreover, the Sa'na manuscripts are written in a script that originates from the Hijaz - the region of Arabia where the prophet Mohammed lived, which makes them not only the oldest to have survived, but one of the earliest copies of the Koran ever.

Puin noticed minor textual variations, unconventional ordering of the chapters (surahs), as well as rare styles of orthography. Then he noticed that the sheets were palimpsests - manuscripts with versions written even earlier that had been washed off or erased. These findings led Dr Puin to assert that the Koran had undergone a textual evolution. In other words, the copy of the Koran that we have is not the one believed to have been revealed to the prophet.

This is something that Muslims would find offensive.The idea that the Koran is the literal Word of God, unchanging and permanent, is crucial to Islam.The traditional Muslim view holds that the Koran was revealed to Mohammed by God in fragments between 610 and 632 AD. The revealed verses were "recorded on palm leaves and flat stones and in the hearts of men [meaning memorised]," and remained in this state during the prophet's lifetime.

About 29 years after Mohammed's death during the rule of the third Muslim caliph, Uthman, a standard copy of the Koran in a book form, was made, because already divergent readings and copies were circulating in the growing Islamic empire. This Uthmanic recension, according to the Muslim view, was produced with meticulous care, based on earlier copies of the Koran made according to the instructions of the prophet.

Orthodox Muslims insist that no changes have occurred to the Koran since the Uthmanic recension. But this view is challenged by the Sa'na manuscripts, which date from shortly after the Uthmanic recension. "There are dialectal and phonetical variations that don't make any sense in the text", says Puin. "The Arabic script is very defective - even more so in the early stages of its literature."

Like other early Arabic literature, the Sa'na Koran was written without any diacritical marks, vowel symbols or any guide to how it should be read, says Puin. "The text was written so defectively that it can be read in a perfect way only if you have a strong oral tradition." The Sa'na text, just like other early Korans, was a guide to those who knew it already by memory, he says. Those that were unfamiliar with the Koran would read it differently because there were no diacritical and vowel symbols.

As years went by, the correct reading of the Koran became less clear, he says. People made changes to make sense of the text. Puin gives as example Hajjaj bin Yusuf, governor of Iraq from 694-714 AD, who "was proud of inserting more than 1,000 alifs [first letter of the Arabic alphabet] in the Koranic text".

Professor Allen Jones, lecturer in Koranic Studies at Oxford University, agrees. "Hajjaj is also responsible for putting the diacritical marks in the Koran. His changes are a defining moment in the history of the Koran". After Hajjaj's changes in around the 700s, "the Koranic text became pretty stable", he says.

Puin accepts this up to a point, but says that certain words and pronunciations were standardised in the ninth century. He says the Uthmanic text was the skeleton upon which "many layers of interpretation were added" - causing the text to change.

This is blasphemy, according to orthodox Muslims, and is not entirely accepted by other academics. Jones admits there have been "trifling" changes made to the Uthmanic recension. Khalidi says the traditional Muslim account of the Koran's development is still more or less true. "I haven't yet seen anything to radically alter my view," he says. He believes that the Sa'na Koran could just be a bad copy that was being used by people to whom the Uthmanic text had not reached yet. "It's not inconceivable that after the promulgation of the Uthmanic text, it took a long time to filter down."

Puin's other radical theory is that pre-Islamic sources have entered the Koran. He argues that two tribes it mentions, As-Sahab-ar-Rass (Companions of the Well) and the As- Sahab-al-Aiqa (Companions of the Thorny Bushes) are not part of the Arab tradition, and the people of Mohammed's time certainly did not know about them. "These are very unspecific names, whereas other tribes are specifically mentioned," said Dr Puin.

His researches have shown that the ar-Rass lived in pre-Islamic Lebanon and the al-Aiqa in the Aswan region of Egypt around 150AD, according to the Atlas of Ptolemy. He argues that pre-Islamic sources entered the Koran, presumably when the growing Islamic empire came into contact with those regions and sources. Khalidi says finding pre-Islamic registers in the Koran does not discredit the Muslim belief in any way, because it does not threaten the integrity of the Koran. "The Koran was revealed at a particular time in the vocabulary of the age", he says. Puin also questions another sacred belief that Muslims hold about the Koran, that it was written in the purest Arabic. He has found many words of foreign origin in the text, including the word "Koran" itself. Muslim scholars explain the "Koran" to mean recitation, but Puin argues that it is actually derived from an Aramaic word, qariyun, meaning a lectionary of scripture portions appointed to be read at divine service. He says the Koran contains most of the biblical stories but in a shorter form and is "a summary of the Bible to be read in service".

Orthodox Muslims have always held that the Koran is a scripture in its own right, and never a shortened version of the Bible, even if both texts contain the same prophetic tradition. Khalidi says he is weary of constant attempts by western Islamicists to analyse the Koran in a parallel way to the Bible. Puin, however, sees the need for a "scientific text" of the Koran, and this is what he intends to achieve. He says that Muslims believe that "the Koran has been worked on a thousand years ago" and "is not a topic anymore".

Not all Muslim reaction to him has been hostile. Salim Abdullah, director of the German Islamic Archives, affiliated to the powerful pan-Islamic Muslim World League, has given him a positive response. "He asked me if I could give him the permission to publish one of my articles on the Sa'na manuscripts", said Puin. Warned of the possible controversy it could raise, he replied: "I am longing for this kind of discussion on this topic."






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