Answer to the Variant Readings Myth

Here is a question on Yahoo Answers about the ‘variant readings of the Quran.’ My answer is below:

The myth of the variant recitals come from hadith which have helped to dilute the confidence Muslims have in the Quran. It is on equal footing with other ‘sciences of the Quran’ such as:
1. Makkan and Medinan Verses
2. The reasons for revelation (Asbabun Nuzool)
3. The science of abrogation (for which there isn’t any actual figure – just disagreements).

The important thing to note is what Quran itself says about such things – which is absolutely nothing. Rather, what Allah did was to use the concept of ‘dhikr’. What does ‘dhikr’ mean? Linguistically it means something prominent but also constantly recited. The identity of the Quran is described as such:

And We did not teach him poetry, nor is it befitting for him. It is not but a dhikr and a clear Qur’an (quranun mubeen) (36/69)

We must emphasise that ‘mubeen’ is the quality of being clear, not the quality of clarifying which is ‘bayyin’ (see 10/15 , ayaatun bayyinat). What is ‘quranun mubeen’? To the world at large and to academia , it is what the Traditional Muslims call the Hafs recension. Most of us don’t know anything else and the authentication of these things come from hadith.

One can even see two of the many the effects of this acceptance in Rosy Pearl’s statements:

1. Every Muslim should believe in every Authentic Recitation Narration.
There are many… But 20 of them are Mutawatir. Therefore there is NO difference of opinion on these 20, and anyone who disbelieves in ONE… has Disbelieved on what was revealed upon Mohammed saw,

My answer: What Rosy didn’t tell you is that there is ABSOLUTELY NO AGREEMENT about the ‘7 dialects hadith’. No one even knows what it means. Have a read of Abu Ammar Yasir Qadhi’s ‘Introduction to the Sciences of the Quran’

2. As for examples of how 2 narrations could give you a better understanding of the Quran..
When Allah swt said.. “ith Jaa2akum Fasiqun Binaba2in Fatabayanu” OR “Fatathabbatu”
Now Tathabatu has almost the same meaning as Tabayanu.. But with additional criteria..
It means.. Not only do you have to verify source.. You have to stand still. Not act upon anything until you are certain..

My answer: The careless with the Quran’s language is astounding! Did God, the author of the Quran, not know Arabic well enough? This is simply an attempt to play with the Quran’s language to gain authority in reading.

Remember these facts:
a. The Quran mentions that its in the clear arabic language (16/103). No dialects were mentioned at all.
b. The Arabic of the Quran makes it language distinct/fussilat (41/44). So God knew exactly what word goes where, even if Muslims think they know better.

Stick to the clear quran, its is easily found in the world.


About Farouk A. Peru
I am a human being in the world, blogging my existence. My thought systems may be found in my website:

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