Comparing Arabic Qur’ān Versions Verse 9:66 (Hafs, Qaloon, Al-Bazzi)

Ask any Muslim which Qur’ān they read and they’ll respond “there’s only one Qur’ān”. Is this true, is there only one Qur’ān? Below we’ve compared At-Tawbah 9:66 from 3 different Arabic Qur’an’s.

Those being a recitation according to Hafs from Asim, this is the most popular version of the Qur’ān among Muslims. The Majority of Muslims recite the Qur’ān according to Hafs as it was standardised and published in the year 1924. The other two Qur’ān’s we’ll look at are Qalon and Al-Bazzi all of which you can purchase online.

9:66 Surah At-Tawbah

Do not ( لَا ) make excuse ( تَعْتَذِرُوا۟ ) verily (قَدْ) you have disbelieved (كَفَرْتُم) after (بَعْدَ) your belief (إِيمَـٰنِكُمْ ۚ) if ( إِن ) we pardon ( نَّعْفُ ) on ( عَن ) a party ( طَآئِفَةٍۢ ) of you ( مِّنكُمْ ) We will punish ( نُعَذِّبْ ) a party ( طَآئِفَةًۢ ) because they ( بِأَنَّهُمْ ) were ( كَانُوا۟ ) criminals ( مُجْرِمِينَ )

Qalon on Nafi’ and Al-Bazzi are two lesser-known Qur’ān’s. When comparing words between the 3 on the surface they look the same but upon careful examination, we see the words are actually not the same due to different diacritical marks and letters.

It’s important that we know what diacritical marks are and how they affect the words of the Arabic language. The Arabic language has numerous diacritics. The word diacritic refers to the markings which appear above and below letters to help in their pronunciation.[1]

The basic diacritics

The diacritics will be demonstrated with the letter د (d).

دَ – fathah (فَتْحَة) (Fathah (a line above the letter) means a short vowel “a” after the letter. So دَ is “da”, بَ is “ba” and so on.)

دِ – kasrah (كَسْرَة) (Kasrah (a line below the letter) means a short vowel “i” (ee) after the letter.)

Arabic letters and diacritics

Diacritical marks are extremely important as to the pronunciation and meaning of the Arabic words. So if the Qur’ān has different versions with different diacritical marks this would alter the meaning of verses. If just one marking is different then the word is no longer the same, the purpose of this article to provide evidence there’s more than one Qur’ān. In the following quote, we’re told that one word can have multiple meanings to the different diacritical marks.

…the use of diacritical marks generates sixteen different words from a single root word that comprises three letters س ل م, the decomposed word in green. The difference between these words is either in meaning or grammar, in addition to pronunciation. Let’s consider the first three words in the first line in the table. These words have the same component letters, and the only difference between them is the diacritical marks which make them three completely different words with respect to meaning. The first word سَلِمَ salima means ‘to be secure’, the second سَلَّمَ sallama means ‘to surrender’, and the third سِلْمٌ silmun means ‘peace’

Basic Arabic: Diacritical Marks

Qalon was of Roman heritage. His Sheikh was Naafi’, who apparently nicknamed him Qalon due to the quality of his recitation. Below is the Qalon[2] version of the Qur’an same verse in the Hafs version of the Qur’ān all except some words are different. The highlighted portions show the differences in words and diacritical marks as we learned above.

9:66 Surah At-Tawbah

This completely contradicts the argument that theirs only one Qur’ān, for the sake of brevity I’m only presenting 3 different Qur’ān’s but there are to date somewhere around 40 versions of the Qur’ān with different letters and markings which at times slightly or dramatically changes the meaning of verses.

Al-Bazzi was an important figure in the transmission of Qira’at, the seven canonical methods of Qur’ān reading. Below is the Al-Bazzi version of the Qur’an,[3] he and Qunbul were responsible for spreading the recitation method of Ibn Kathir, which was popular among the people of Mecca.

9:66 Surah At-Tawbah

The Hadith (Sunnah.com)

We have Hadith which proves there was more than one Qur’ān. Ibn Abbas reported that Muhammad said Jibril gave him seven different styles or modes of Qur’ān. After Jibril taught Muhammad one “style” Muhammad then asked him to give more “styles” until he taught him seven modes. I guess one was not enough, has anyone noticed the obsession Muhammad has with Biblical numbers such as seven? That’s because he plagiarized the Bible.

Sahih Muslim 819a

How can there be seven different ways yet claim they’re one? Just as Muslims say 1+1+1+1+1+1+1=1. Do they really think we’re to believe seven different “modes” are the same and are essentially one? This is called madness! In the following Sahih Hadith, there was an incident between two Muslims. As they recited the Qur’ān one of the Muslims realised that the other was reciting in a different way than himself.

This caused him to grab the man and bring him forcefully to Muhammad, he then told him that this man was caught reciting the Qur’ān in a different way. Muhammad then says there are seven different ways to recite the Qur’ān.

Musnad Ahmad 158

The Variant Readings of The Qur’ān

Shady Nasser Associate Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. Holds a PhD in Qur’ānic studies with a focus on the history of the transmission of the text of the Qur’an, its language, and its acceptance among the early Muslim community.

In his book The Transmission of the Variant Readings of the Qurʾān : The Problem of Tawātur and the Emergence of Shawādhdh pp 8-10 Nasser explains the historic codification process of the Qur’ān how Muslim scholars agreed on the historic accounts in the early sources. That the Qur’ān went through 3 compiling stages, the first was the writing down of the individual verses (ayats) and Surah’s under the direction of Muhammad.

The second stage consisted of gathering all of the verses into sheets called suhuf Hafsah under the command of Abu Bakr the first caliphate. The final stage was Uthman’s codification, he attempted to “unify” the text as he sought to standardize the text of the Qur’ān also known as naskh al-masahif.

The disagreement among Muslims in reading the Qur’ān was the main reason which compelled Uthman to collect, codify, and unify its text. He ensured that all the other unoffcial copies owned by the Companions were burned, hence the event’s nickname tahrıq al-masahif.

The transmission of the variant readings of the Qurʼān p.9

Uthman took all the different Qur’ān and burned them trying to hide the fact that there’s more than one Qur’ān. Each of these Qur’āns contradict each other, and they still exist today. If you’d like to read about the burning of the Qur’ān by Uthman you can read this article titled Uthman Burned The Quran And Abu Bakr Burned The Hadith? Why?

Conclusion

Once again we’ve proven that the standard Islamic narrative is false, there’s not one Qur’ān but many. And each of them disagree with each other by having different words and diacritical marks. The truth is that Muslims are lied to from their Imam’s and Sheikh’s. Only Jesus Christ is the Truth[4] and He offers all Muslims salvation, if they are willing to place their faith in Jesus Christ. He offers you the free gift of salvation.

Footnotes

[1] “Diacritics are usually forgotten; however, they are extremely important in order to learn Arabic pronunciation. Diacritics تشكيل, pronounced as Tashkil, literally means Forming, which is its main function, since Arabic letters on their own, without Tashkil, do not show proper guidance as to the proper Arabic pronunciation. Therefore, learning diacritics goes hand in hand with learning Arabic.” Asmaa Akl (2019, December 16). Learn Arabic Diacritics: Tashkil [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.nouracademy.com/article/learn-arabic-diacritics-tashkeel

[2] Madina Mushaf (Qaloon) This is an Arabic item contain Madina Mushaf (Qaloon) in PDF format. qurancomplex.org – King Fahd (2006, September 11). islamhouse.com. Retrieved from https://islamhouse.com/en/books/5268/

[3] The Quran the narration of Al Bazzi on the authority of Ibn Kathir. noor-book.com (2007, July 9). How and when to reference. Retrieved from https://www.noor-book.com/

[4] Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6 biblegateway.com (2022). The Gospel of John. Retrieved from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+14%3A6&version=KJV

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