When one dies, it is the people around him that feel the loss and wail. Similar thing happens when one is daft. If not for those who don’t use their God given sense of reasoning, would there ever be a statement like, “commonsense is not common “?
I watched a video of Korede Olawoyin a Christian Apologist where he was talking with certainty that Arabic Qur’an is never one throughout the world. For him and his band of lazy critics, they now found a glaring and obvious fact to refute the Muslims’ claim of having only one Qur’an in contrast to the numerous versions their Bible has. To start with, what he displayed is ignorance. He has proven he knows nothing concerning Islam he claims to preach against.
I will take his allegations head on and leave him with a taste of his medicine. Let us see if he has his house in order before pointing an accusing finger. He who lives in a glass should not throw stones.
Are there really many Qur’an? Is Hasf a different Qur’an from Warsh? Korede mentioned of one individual that has 37 different Arabic Qur’an, is he for real?
Clear enough, Korede doesn’t really know the difference between recitation and version. And he opined since Qur’an isn’t recited in one way, it has versions.
The Qur’an is the word of God, the sacred scripture of the Islamic faith, and God’s final revelation to humanity.
This single book has produced the largest and most diverse civilization ever to exist on Earth, and for one and a half millennia it has been recited, memorized, and practiced by billions of human beings across the globe. Entire libraries of books have been devoted to the study of the text’s revelation, preservation, recitation, and interpretation. Yet, one aspect of the Qur’an that continues to astound and puzzle researchers has been the fact that Qur’anic verses are recited in diverse ‘modes of recitation’ (qirāʾāt). These different modes utilize different rules (termed uṣūl) regarding the prolongation, intonation, and pronunciation of words, in addition to differences in the vowelization or letters of particular words in individual passages in the Qur’an .
Thus, the words of the Qur’an can be divided into two categories: those words that can only be read one way (which constitute the majority of the Qur’an), and those words that can be read in multiple ways (which constitute the basis of the qirāʾāt). This is the fundamental knowledge a person can get before going further to display his ignorance openly.
The different modes of recitation are named after the most famous early reciter known for teaching that mode, and individuals who master a mode and receive ijāzah (license to teach) in it become part of an unbroken chain of transmission of that mode back to the Prophet peace be upon him. While the majority of the Muslim world is accustomed to hearing the Qur’an recited in the mode of Asim ibn Abī al-Najūd (d. 127 AH) according to his student Ḥafs ibn Sulaymān (d. 180 AH) (frequently referred to simply as Ḥafṣ ʿan ʿĀṣim), other modes continue to be recited such as that of the Medinan Nāfiʿ (d. 169 AH) (transmitted by his students Qālūn (d. 220 AH) and Warsh (d. 197 AH)), which remains the dominant mode in many regions of North Africa. Specialists in Qur’anic recitation will be familiar with seven or ten canonical modes of recitation. All of these modes of recitation adhere to the muṣḥaf (codex) of the Qur’an compiled under the supervision of the Caliph ʿUthmān (d. 35 AH) in the year 30 AH (650 CE), which was written without diacritics, thus accommodating the variations. The vast majority of these differences are quite subtle, although in certain cases they add nuances in meaning, complementing one another.
But why should there be different recitations if there is one Qur’an? Yes, Caliph ʿUthmān ensured a unifying compilation but we should bear in mind that this copy accommodated the various different variations in recitation. The next big question is where do these variations arose from? Are they innovations? Did the Prophet teach multiple readings?
The Qur’an was revealed in the Arabic language. Allah said that the Qur’an was revealed “in the clear Arabic tongue” (26:195). However, the early Muslim community contained people of all backgrounds, young and old, those proficient in Arabic and those unlettered, as well as people from different Arab tribes, with different accents and different dialects. Since learning the Qur’an was the primary means by which the Islamic message itself was learned, practiced, and transmitted in the Prophet’s time, it was essential that learning the Qur’an be facilitated for diverse peoples. Thus, the Qur’anic text was recited in different ways (termed aḥruf) during the lifetime of the Prophet . There are several authentic reports that support this fact.
Ibn ʿAbbās narrated that the Prophet peace be upon him said: “Jibrīl recited the Qur’an to me in one ḥarf. Then I requested him [to read it in another ḥarf] and continued asking him to recite in other aḥruf until he ultimately recited it in seven aḥruf.” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 4991)
In another narration, the Prophet says, “‘O Jibrīl! I have been sent to an illiterate nation among whom are the elderly woman, the old man, the boy and the girl, and the man who cannot read a book at all.’ He said: ‘O Muḥammad! Indeed the Qur’an was revealed in seven aḥruf (i.e., seven different ways of reciting).’”(Jāmiʿ al-Tirmidhī,no. 2944, https://sunnah.com/urn/731900.)
It is very important to seek for knowledge. We need to have the knowledge of whatever we want to criticize to avoid public embarrassment. Is Korede and his cohorts ignorant of the fact that Qur’an was authentically revealed in more than one mode to the Prophet or they are just being what they are; deceivers? The evidence that Jibril revealed the Qur’an to the Prophet in more than one ahruf is enough to shut these noisemakers.
Right from time immemorial when the Prophet was still alive, the Qur’an has been inherently a multiform recitation, with multiple diverse equally valid alternate readings of many verses. This phenomenon was explained explicitly by the Prophet himself to the companions, as we see in the famous incident where ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb and Hishām ibn Ḥakīm disagreed in their recitation of Surah Al-Furqān. ʿUmar narrates:
“I heard Hishām ibn Ḥakīm reciting Sūrah Al-Furqān during the lifetime of Allah’s messenger. I listened to his recitation and noticed that he recited in several different ways which the Prophet had not taught me. I was about to jump over him during his prayer, but I was able to contain myself, and when he had completed his prayer, I put his upper garment around his neck and seized him by it and said, “Who taught you this Sūrah which I heard you reciting?” He replied, “The Prophet taught it to me.” I said, “You are wrong, for the Prophet has taught it to me in a different way from yours.”
So I took him to Allah’s Messenger and said “O Messenger of Allah, I heard this individual reciting Sūrah Al-Furqān in a way that you did not teach me, and you have taught me Sūrah Al-Furqān.”
The Prophet said, “O Hishām, recite!” So he recited in the same way as I heard him recite it before. On that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “It was revealed to be recited in this way.” Then Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “Recite, O ʿUmar!” So I recited it as he had taught me. Allah’s Messenger ﷺ then said, “It was revealed to be recited in this way.” Allah’s Apostle added, “This Qur’an has been revealed to be recited in seven different aḥruf, so recite it whichever way is easier for you.” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 5041, https://sunnah.com/bukhari/66/65.)
So what is the fuse all about.?Isn’t it glaring these critics are either ignorant of facts or hypocritical in their claims? Either Hafs or Warsh, so far it could be traced back to the Prophet, no qualms. Three major conditions for being classified as a qira’ah (recitation) are:
1. Sound chain of narration: narrators were continuous, well known for their piety and were known to possess Sound memories. The recitation must also be dispersed by a large number of narrators after the Sahabah (this is the condition of mutawatir). Narrations which did not fit this stringent category were considered either mash’hur (as in the case of Abu Ja’far, etc.) or irregular (shaddh).
2. The recitation has to match the grammatical rules and constructions of the Arabic language.
3. The narration has to agree with the script of one of the copies of the Qur’an disseminated by Khalif ‘Uthman Ibn ‘Affan in the ‘Uthmani script (al-Rasm al-Uthmani/الرسم العثماي). This is why it is acceptable to have differences in the “dot placement” (تعلمون أو يعلمون) so long as the other conditions are met.
Therefore, the “reading of Ibn Kathir, Ibn Amir Al Qisai etc as being mentioned by Korede in the video are not versions.
Indeed, what percentage of Christians have memorized the entire New Testament in Koine Greek and recite it on a daily basis? Meanwhile, practically every Muslim community in the world boasts plentiful Huffaz (singular hafiz): those who have memorized the entire Qur’an by heart in Arabic. The Qur’an is recited out loud in daily congregational prayers and from cover to cover during congregational prayers in Ramadan. This unbroken practice of reciting the Qur’an publicly in daily prayers since the time of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is one of the reasons why revisionist Western narratives seem so fanciful to Muslim scholars familiar with the lived practice of Islam.
I said earlier that who lives in a glass house shouldn’t throw stones. This is the meaning of versions:
The Catholic Bible has 73 books
Ethiopian Bible has 88 books
Protestant Bible has 66 books
Which is authentic? Which Qur’an on the other hand has more than 114 Chapters? Bury your head in shame if your answer is NO.
There are over 5,800 complete or fragmented Greek manuscripts, 10,000 Latin manuscripts and 9,300 manuscripts of the New Testament in various other ancient languages, such as Syriac, Slavic, Gothic, Ethiopic, Coptic and Armenian, Which can be the traced back to Jesus Christ? If your answer in none, are there any of the said version of Qur’an that its mode of recitation cannot be traced back to the Prophet? Do we need to take this lazy apologists serious at all? Can’t they use their energy to defend their defenceless Bible instead of throwing stones?
Why does KJV bible has these verses but nowhere to be found in NIV? Matthew 17:21, Matthew 18:11, Matthew 23:14, Mark 7:16, Mark 9:44 & 9:46., Mark 11:26, Mark 15:28, Luke 17:36 etc.? Which of the two versions is right to have included these verses or omitted them?
Now we know what versions are. We know who is deceiving who. We know Qur’an doesn’t have versions but authentic mode of recitation traced back to the Prophet. But Bible on the other hand? You know the answer already.