The First Qu'ran

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by redindica, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. redindica

    redindica New Member

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    Dear Friends

    As a non Muslim I have been lead to believe that The Qu’ran is the literal word of God as recited by The Last Prophet Mohammed in the 7th century to various family members and followers who (then) wrote it down for posterity. As such, (such) a precious document must still be here (upon this earth).

    If this is the case, then where is this The First Qu’ran held?


    Peace to you All.
     
  2. Friend

    Friend In the Name of God

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    Hello redindica

    Thats a very good question...

    The First complete copy of the Noble Quran was written down at the time of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him by the scribes who were the Prophet's companions. and has been checked and re-checked under his direct supervision. He would read the Quran's verses to them while they write it down, and would ask them to read what they wrote to check that there is no error. That first version was written down not in one book but on different materials; i.e. on pieces of cloth, leather, bones, stones, palm leaves etc. The order of the verses were ordered and arranged according to Allah's inspiration. The archangel Gabriel used to revise the whole Quran with the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon once every year at the month of Ramadhan. Only in the last year of the Prophet's life Gabriel revised the Quran with the Prophet peace be upon him twice in Ramadhan.

    After the death of the Prophet peace be upon him the Prophet's best companion Abu Bakr Bakr (may allah be pleased with him) was the caliph and in his rule he ordered the Prophet's scribe Zayd ibn Thabit (may Allah be pleased with him) to write down all the Quran which was in the different materials that the Prophet peace be upon him supervised the scribing of into one book. And this was upon an advise given by the blessed companion Umar Ibn Al Khattab (may Allah pleased with him). Thus all the parts were gathered in one book, the Holy Quran. This copy was kept safe with Abu Bakr, then with Umar, and then with Hafsa bint Umar.

    In the reign of Uthman ibn Affan, the main copy of the Quran was requested from Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with her) and the scribes were charged. to write copies of that original so as to be distributed to different parts of the islamic nation which was vastly spreading to many far away lands. The scribes were:

    Zayd Ibn Thabit.
    Abdullah Ibn Al-Zubair.
    Said Ibn Al-`As.
    Abdul-Rahman Ibn Al-Harith Ibn Hisham.


    Uthman may Allah be pleased with him kept a copy in Medina (the Prophet's city) and distributed the rest to the various Islamic countries.
    This is mentioned in Sahih Bukhari:

    Imam al-Bukhari narrates in his Sahih (6:183-184) from Anas ibn Malik (RA) that Hudhayfa ibn al-Yaman came to `Uthman at the time the people of Sham were battling for the conquest of Armenia and Azerbaijan [~year 25H] with the people of Iraq. Their divergences in Qur'anic reading had alarmed Hudhayfa, so he said to `Uthman: "O Commander of the Believers! Rescue (adrik) this Umma before they differ over the Book the way the Jews and Christians differed." Whereupon `Uthman wrote to Hafsah: "Send us the folios (suhuf) so that we copy them then we shall return them to you." Hafsa then sent them to `Uthman who ordered Zayd ibn Thabit, `Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, Sa`id ibn al-`As, and `Abd Allah ibn al-Harith ibn Hisham who copied those folios into the volumes (masahif). `Uthman said to the group - the three Qurayshis: "If you find yourselves differing, [the three of] you and Zayd ibn Thabit in anything of the Qur'an, write it in the tongue of the Quraysh. For it was not revealed but in their tongue." They did [as instructed] and when they finished copying the folios into the volumes, `Uthman returned the folios to Hafsa, sent one mushaf to each region from those they had copied, then ordered that all other [copies] of the Qur'an in each and every folio or volume be burnt.

    This copy of the Quran that was written 1400 years ago by those four scribes under the order of Uthman and that remained in Medina remains till this very day in a museum in Turkey and this is a picture of it ...


    [​IMG]

    Truly when one comes to think of how the Quran was saved he comes to realize that it was not a human effort but it was a divine protection. Allah the Almighty says in the Quran in Surah Al Hijr verse 9:

    Verily We: It is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur'ân) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption)



    Thanks to all
     
  3. banjo

    banjo New Member

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    Well that actual copy of the quran dates from the ninth century according to the wikipedia article on the quran. About 150 years after the death of Mohammed.

    The oldest quran we have was found by workmen in 1972 in the roof of the Great Mosque in Yemen. This quran dates to the late seventh century and contains textual differences to the modern quran. It also shows (when viewed under UV light) that even this quran was overwritten over earlier versions.

    There are also lots of hadith that suggest there were other, now lost, verses. In one such hadith, Ayesha (Mohammed's wife) records that Mohammed put one bunch of parchments underneath their bed and it got eaten by a small animal.
     
  4. mansio

    mansio New Member

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    The funny thing about that old copy of the Quran is that it is kept in a wooden cupboard and touched by a warden with no gloves on.
    One would expect such a precious relic to be kept in an air-conditioned glass case. I heard that the similar copy kept in Cairo had been carbon-dated. But no dates were given.
     
  5. redindica

    redindica New Member

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    Thank you to all that replied, a little more confused then before!

    Friend, if this is the Original Qu'ran as dictated to by The Prophet how did it reach Turkey and why is it not held in Mecca or Medina?

    Monsio : although I see your point, i've asked a freind who works at The British Library (as a conserver) if it common practice to use golves and he said no it wasnt nessasary to wear gloves and often they do more damage as you cannnot feel the paper and it's brittleness. Although what an important document is doing in a cupboard and not in a humidty chamber is beyound him.


    banjo : Interesting post, if what you are saying is true (and I make no assertions one way or the other) then if the Qu'ran has been edited (it)therefore can no longer be considered the word of God....?

    Thanks again to all for the reply's.
     
  6. banjo

    banjo New Member

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    It's not the original quran. There isn't an original quran (in the sense you mean it). The quran was written down on lots of different materials, just whatever people had available at the time. Uthman, (the third caliph after Mohammed died) collected it all together into one book and that's the book we have today. Uthman sent copies of this quran to all corners of the muslim world, including Medina, but the only two of these that survive today are in Istanbul and Tashkent. The Tashkent one is thought to be older. But they're both probably not original Uthmans, more likely copies of Uthmans made a couple of decades later. The oldest quran we have are the Yemen fragments.

    No it can still be considered the word of God. When God promised to preserve his message he was talking about the eternal Book up in heaven, not about the hard copies here on earth.

    The whole process involves a reappraisement of the history of the quran, a consideration of the quran as text and a basic faith that what we have now is what God wanted us to have now. So if we find proof that the quran is not watertight then we should go with that proof wherever it leads. No point in denying truth, God wants us to follow the truth and reject the falsehood.

    Even if it's changed slightly, it can still be the word of God because it's what we, in the modern age, have been given. Since it's the only thing we have then, by definition, it must the only thing we need. It was given to us by God after all.
     
  7. redindica

    redindica New Member

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    Thanks banjo.

    So (playing the advocate here btw) the common notion that The Qu'ran is a perfect form of literature that contains the literal word of God as ricited to The Last Prophet can no longer be the case.


    If God intended to allow post editing of His Word then Muhammad should never have been declared “The Last Prophet” as any overwriting and omissions (as sanctioned by God, under your logic) proclaims them (the editor) as The Last Prophet(s). This seems to be the logical out come of your argument, is it?



    It would be interesting to see where the editing occurred and why (if indeed it actually happened).



    Thanks again banjo
     
  8. Friend

    Friend In the Name of God

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    Firstly:I think this is fabricated story and hadieth ,,, can you give us the Sanad of the hadith,, (authentication of it ). who told it ??

    secondly : Al Quraan have an mathematical arrangement that Allah prepare it to save his book from any corruption ,,if any one add even one letter you can discover it .. it is done with programmable system .( I will put something about that when I have a time ).

    Thirdly : It is not necessary ( For us Muslims )to know where is the original copy of Al Quraan is because we have the same book ,,, the same words ,,, The same quraan around the whole earth ,, so it seems to be that we all have that copy .

    Fourthly: There are certain sect in Islam who add these information ( about the missing verses)to prove their perceptions and thought >>>Which is be wrong at all.

    If you read the Islamic history ,, you will see that the last Islamic state as ( Kilafah system) was Othmani state which is turkey now .
    we have many islamic state in the history .. you can search about them.
    So they put every important sources about Islam in Al Qustanteeniah the center ( or capital ) of that islamic state .

    Thanks to all
     
  9. banjo

    banjo New Member

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    Friend said:

    This particular hadith was related by ibn-Mayah in "Kitabu'l Sunan" with Sahih Muslim, page 740. But there's other hadith

    Muslim (page 501) says:

    The first quote he gives there does not appear in the quran.

    Another tradition states (Sahih Muslim, page 912, Mishkat II, page 534 and others):

    This passage too, is not in the quran.

    Then there's this quote from page 151 of the book "Islam" by A. Guillaume:

    With respect, I think you're entering loony-land with this "programmable system" theory. There's no mathematical algorhythm underlying the quran any more than there's a secret "bible code" underlying the bible. All this is conspiracy theory territory.

    You all have that copy because all copies in existence today (except the Yemen fragments) come from the Uthman collection. Early muslim scholars were pretty much agreed that Uthman destroyed any variant copies he came across whilst he was compiling his version.

    Yes, different sects of islam say different things. They place different emphasis on different scholars and hadith writers but, from a strictly legalisitic and academic point of view, it's all evidence. All old writing is valid as evidence and the older the better (from the historian's point of view) because it's nearer the source.

    I think the accumulated evidence is such that it's no longer tenable to hold on to the viewpoint that the quran has never changed since it was recited to Mohammed. It has only changed in small ways (as far as we know) but it has changed.

    The Yemen manscripts are currently being held by the House of Antiquities in Yemen and they are reluctant to allow them to be studied with proper western levels of scrutiny. If they were studied properly, we may be able to resolve this question once and for all. Even so however, a couple of western scholars have had a look at them (read the article I linked to above) and one of them took 35 000 microfilm photographs of the manuscripts. These photos are being studied as we speak so there may be more to come on this subject.
     
  10. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    I'm going to move this thread to the comparative studies board, as this makes a very interesting general study topic in its own right.
     
  11. Friend

    Friend In the Name of God

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    Hi all



    There are complete five copies of Koran was copied in the Ottoman Khalifa time (after 6 years of the death of the prophet). One is in Istanbul museum in Turkey, the second in one of the former Soviet republics (may be Auzbzkistan) , the third was burned on 13/4/2003 in the Library of Baghdad after the American occupied this city. The fourth in Egypt. I do not know where the other 5th copy exists? but surely there are copy which was Khalifa Ottoman .

    you can read these information about the copy in Auzbzkistan

    http://www.unesco.org/webworld/mdm/1997/eng/uzbekistan/uzbekistan.html#3

    this is a good question which lead us search about the truth... if there any differences between these copies ,,, you can prove your idea that their are missing verses of Allah book " Al Quraan " but your claim depend on one non documentation source .

    may be these copies are not original ,because there are many search until now about this issue ,,,but what is important point was the oldest copies of Al Quraan which is existence until now are similar.
     
  12. banjo

    banjo New Member

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    Friend, I think you have a few mistakes (or misconceptions) in your post. I googled and found an (islamic) site that gives a general gist of the history. The site is called Proof of the Preservation of the Quran. You said:

    Yes, five copies were originally made by Uthman. These were sent to Mecca, Damascus, Kufa, Basra and Medina. Only two of these copies survive today, in Istanbul and in Tashkent, the others were destroyed long ago (hundreds of years ago) none of them was destroyed in the recent war in Iraq. I'm not sure which Quran you are talking about in Baghdad.

    The three Uthman Qurans were destroyed maybe a thousand years ago. The two remaining ones are in Istanbul and Tashkent. But even these probably aren't actual original Uthmans. They are copies of Uthmans.

    In any case, it is known that Uthman burnt variant copies of the quran when he made his collection. That site I linked to above says:

    Well, I think we'll be the judge of what is for the "betterment and harmony of the whole community" not you, thank you. Anyway, the only salient point to come from that paragraph is the admission that Uthman burnt variant copies of the quran because they didn't agree with his version. So we now know that there were many versions of the quran.

    So what did these versions look like? Well, fortunately, we've managed to find one that escaped Uthman's firestorm. In Yemen. The oldest Quran in the world. It predates both the Istanbul Quran and the Tashkent Quran. And because it's not an Uthman quran, it predates the firestorm.

    The idea that there are missing verses comes from the hadith - hardly "non-documentation source". But anyway, the Yemen quran shows that there were other versions of the quran that are different to the Uthman version.

    These differences are mostly minor but occasionally they change the whole meaning of a verse.

    Well, I think the Yemen manuscripts have been reliably dated (by scientific methods) to the late seventh century - basically in the same century Mohammed died.

    No, I would say that what is important is that the oldest copies of the quran we have seem to be different. This has major repurcussions if you are going to think of the Quran as the infallible word of God. If we have found the oldest Quran in the world and if that Quran has differences to the current Quran then you have to wonder what else has changed?

    If even one sentence has been changed (even in a minor way) then that has implications for the whole quran. It's either the infallible word of God or it's not.

    If it's been changed, then it's not. And it HAS been changed, or at least that's what the evidence seems to thusfar suggest.
     
  13. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    A couple of things I'd like to mention...

    The issue of the Qur'an is that as Islam began to spread there were varying recitations going on in distant lands...So Caliph Uthman had Qur'an standardized. There were also variant pronunciations beginning to appear... among people whose natiev language wasn't Arabic.

    Also the variations were probably having to do with the order of the Surihs...that is, the Surihs may have been arranged when they were chronologically revealed and there may have been variations in that. Some translations of Qur'an today are arranged chronologically.. so a standardized text was ordered by Uthman.

    All along though, the Qur'an was being recited and recorded after revelation occurred throughout the year and there were many Companions who knew the entire Qur'an by heart. So had there been any serious omissions or variations in Qur'an from the time of revelation to being recited publically, they would have been known and dealt with in my opinion because the Arabic culture was still largely verbal and people had excellent memories.

    Imam Ali also knew the revelation from beginning to end and as an authority was often consulted and he recognized the Qur'an as Uthman had it.

    We Baha'is accept Qur'an as an authentic repository of the Word of God.

    - Art
     
  14. Friend

    Friend In the Name of God

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    Hi to all

    Yes this is a great and important point, you should know about Al Quraan

    From the time of our prophet Mohammad,,, Muslims read Quraan by heart

    without return to the book ,, one of our worships tenets is to save the quraan verses by heart through memories,,, we read them in our pray five times each day.. it is one of the important things Muslims do it from the childhood.

    so if any thing happened to Al Quraan verses at any time muslims surly will discover it directly.

    Also ,the hadieths you return to them are not hassan (didn't agree by the scientists of Hadieth) they are weak hadiths .

     
  15. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays New Member

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    In the Baha`i Faith Muhammed and the Qur'an are presented as the first instance where the authorship of the sacred text is absolutely attributable to the Prophet.

    True, the "first" Qur'an was written on many media - even the scapular bones of sheep, and we do not have that existent text anymore. However the actual form of the Qur'an is well established as the same form as was circulated by those with perfect memories of the time of the life of Muhammed.

    Forunately, our text still survives in most instances as it was written by the hand of the Prophets, or in the hand of those who were trusted to take dictation and record the utterances of the Prophets.

    The actual handwriting of Abdu'l Baha is present in thousands of documents and letters written during his life. Abdu'l Baha was the appointed interpreter of the writings of Baha`u'llah and the Bab.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  16. banjo

    banjo New Member

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    Yes, it is true that muslims back in the early years made great attempts to memorise the quran however all this is irrelevant since we have hard evidence that the oldest quran is different to the current quran.

    All this stuff about how the early followers would have memorised things is just opinion. The actual hard evidence we have is the only thing that matters and the actual hard evidence says that the quran has changed.

    This isn't just my opinion, I'm just stating what the evidence seems to be saying. The western scholar who studied the Yemen manuscripts hasn't published his final report yet but he has published some articles in Germany. According to this page he says:

    Apparently, the earliest versions of the quran were written without vowels and diacritical marks (accents over letters). The diacritical marks were added later when the compilers of the quran wanted to make it clear what their understanding of the quran was. This system is open to abuse. As this page points out:

    So, the quran HAS changed whether you like it or not. That's a simple fact. How you deal with that fact is up to you but there's no point in denying it. Maybe Uthman did compile the best quran he could (given the memories of the people around him) but even so it is apparent that there were other versions around. So it is not possible to claim that the quran as we have it now is exactly what Gabriel gave to Mohammed because we have evidence to the contrary.

    It might be the same, if Uthman got it exactly right and if all the guys who memorised it got it exactly right, but we can't say for certain that the Uthman version is the "right" version because there are other, earlier versions which are different.

    Maybe they are right and Uthman is wrong, who knows? If you can't say for certain who is right and who is wrong (and you can't) then you can't claim the quran is exactly the word of God. It might be approximately the word of God but not exactly. It's logically impossible to hold any other position when there are differing versions available.

    Having said all that, I think Ramadan is a philosopically sound festival. I think fasting is good for the soul. So Happy Ramadan! And remember, hunger is just a state of mind.
     
  17. ~Believer~

    ~Believer~ New Member

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    you dont have facts and where is this manuscript you are talking about can i see it ? oh sorry you quoted from an anti-islamic site :rolleyes:
     
  18. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays New Member

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    http://www.netivyah.org/content/article/koran%20b.pdf#search='Yemeni%20fragments'

    This is not an anti-Islamic site. It is an academic discussion of the literary nature of the Qur'an. It raises questions. Questions are not evil. Questions lead to the truth. The TRUTH cannot be anti-Islamic.

    I would expect that the next agitation in the Islamic world will be to destroy these documents. This is why the original researchers were careful in their disclosure until they had a full photographic record of the documents.

    The oldest fragments date to before 750 and they are a palimpset = a cleaned parchment - of an even earlier version of the Qur'an that is partially readable under ultraviolet light.

    If modern Islam cannot adapt to the scholarly method of research, in my opinion it is out of fear of that method, not a pursuit of truth.

    Fortunately the word of Muhammed does not depend upon the conservative Islamic authorities for truth. If they could see that, they would not be so bitterly opposed. Rigid literalism mroe often than not discloses lack of faith rather than faith - in my opinion.


    Regards,
    Scott
     
  19. banjo

    banjo New Member

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    Popeyesays, if you scroll back to my first post in this thread you will see that I already linked to that article (in a non-pdf format). Here it is again, in HTML:

    http://www.derafsh-kaviyani.com/english/quran1.html

    The Wikipedia (not anti-islam) article on the quran notes this about the variations contained in the Yemen quran:

    Believer,

    you're right that the first site I linked to above was pro-christian (rather than anti-islamic) and I should have mentioned that. The problem is that the scholars who have examined the Yemen fragments have not yet published their findings in full. All we have is that article that I and popeyesays linked to and also some articles that Puin has published in Germany. Unfortunately, I can't find any decent online translations of these German articles so I took a quote from that website. The website does not seem to be rabidly anti-islamic and is quoting what Puin has found so I think it's probably true (at least that short quote I gave, I'm not talking about the site in general).

    You say:

    The following are the facts as we know them:

    - fragments of the oldest Quran in existence were found by in 1972 by workmen in the Great Mosque in Yemen. There were thousands of these fragments.

    - these fragments are currently being held by the House of Antiquities in Yemen.

    - they have been studied only by two academics who have yet to publish their full findings.

    - from what these academics have published so far it is certain that there are some differences between the Yemen quran and the Uthman qurans.

    No one disputes these facts, not even muslim scholars. The Yemeni authorities have been reluctant to allow further (proper academic) study of the fragments which is a shame. There is a strange lack of any articles on the net about these fragments - this is because the two scholars who examined them want all the glory for themselves when they do publish - this is typical of academics, they keep quiet about their research until they publish.

    So we will have to wait and see for the full story but there's no doubt that the fragments are out there and that they differ from the current quran. It's up to islam to explain these facts, you can't change the facts to suit islam. Facts are facts.

    By the way, just so you know - I'm not christian or any other religion. I'm not pushing any agenda. I'm not anti-islam either.
     
  20. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Hello "Banjo"

    I am curious about what comes from this, but I would have to say from your post it's a little premature to draw any conclusions since only two academics are studying it and they have made no formal conclusions as yet...so let's be patient and wait and see...

    It took quite a few years as most of us know after all for the Dead Sea Scrolls Commission to arrive at it's conclusions...Think of how many scholars were involved in the Dead Sea Scrolls Commission!

    A few points I'd also like to mention is that Yemen was not the center of developement for the Qur'an but rather Mecca and Medina...

    Yemen itself was a later in coming under the new revelation. According to the Kitab al-Irshad by al-Mufid, the Prophet sent Khalid b. Walid to Yemen to call them to the new revelation. Yemen had Christian and even some Zoroastrian influences...

    The verbal tradition of Qur'an was a definite reality I believe as we know that many of the Companions of the Prophet had memorized Qur'an and that one of the reasons for setting it down in a standardized form was because some of these Companions were dying and it was feared what they knew could be lost.

    Another point that I think is important to note here is that there were many letters and speeches recorded of Ali b. Abi Talib where you can verify the actual verses of Qur'an so this can serve if you will as a backup and support to the actual text itself.

    - Art
     

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