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Variant readings of the Quran


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Author Topic: Variant readings of the Quran  (Read 57 times)
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« on: November 22, 2021, 04:50:45 am »
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Assalamualaikum MV team,

I recently came across a debate that presented variations kn the recitation of certain verses of Quran that produced slight differences in its meaning. One particular example is verse 17:102 where the variations involves the word "alimta", with the variant being "alimtu".


17:102
قَالَ لَقَدْ عَلِمْتَ مَآ أَنزَلَ هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ إِلَّا رَبُّ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ بَصَآئِرَ وَإِنِّى لَأَظُنُّكَ يَـٰفِرْعَوْنُ مَثْبُورًا

He said, “Yousg have1 most surely knownthat none sent these down except the Lord of the heavens and the earth,(as) insights. And indeed I think that you, O Pharaoh, are doomed to demise.”

[1]Qira’at:  Al Kesa’i read it as: “He said, ‘I have most surely known . . .’”

At first, I immediately thought the footnote is unreliable and incorrect, but after reviewing the meaning of the verse in whole together with the preceding verse, I am no longer certain of which is which.

In preceding verse 101,

And very truly We gave Moses nine evident signs, so ask the Children of Israel about when he went to them, then Pharaoh said to him, “Indeed, I think that you, O Moses, are bewitched.”

— Fadel Soliman, Bridges’ translation

Moses pbuh was given the nine signs, not the Pharaoh hence when confronted by Moses pbuh, Pharaoh accuses him of being bewitched.

Thus, would it then be plausible for Moses pbuh to rebuke the Pharaoh's accusations by claiming the Pharaoh knows most surely the signs are from Allah, when the preceding verse state it was Moses pbuh who was given 9 evident signs? Did the Pharaoh also know but he concealed the truth, which was pointed out by Moses pbuh?

Can you kindly provide your viewpoint towards this verse and the footnote supplied alongside it? Jazakallahu khayran and kind regards.
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2021, 05:38:20 am »
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Walaykum As-Salam, brother.    Allah Almighty sent His amazing tokens and clear indications to His messenger, Prophet Moses (pbuh).  Yet Pharaoh plainly denied the Divine portents because of his sheer pride and stubbornness even though deep down in his heart, he was aware with a feeling that the portents were genuine and Prophet Moses (pbuh) was not feigning.  Prophet Moses could sense that.  He responded to Pharaoh telling him that despite his silent recognition, yet he was on denial to soothe his fragile ego, accusing Prophet Moses (pbuh) of trying to cast a spell on the audience.  Thus, he (pbuh) told Pharaoh that the latter was "doomed to demise" (translations differ here: "doomed to destruction" or "I deem you lost" and few other synonyms in different translations but interpretation is the same and the original Arabic term is مَثْبُورًا ("masburan").
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2021, 06:15:32 am »
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Exactly sister Ruhi, that was my understanding as well. Whilst Moses pbuh openly acknowledge the signs given to him as from Allah, he also realizes that the Pharaoh is being willfully obstinate in not recognizing the signs which are clearly divine in nature in objective terms, for anyone with a functioning mind.

Thus he correctly unravels the hidden thoughts of Pharaoh, by stating that he (Pharaoh) knows very well that these are signs from Allah thus acknowledging his rejection of the signs as due to stubbornness and obstinacy, not genuine ignorance or weak-mindedness.

The version of that's described in the footnote makes no sense. Moses pbuh already openly acknowledges the greatness of Allah, and his faith in Him. Hence why would he repeat it to Pharaoh after being insulted by him, for his beliefs? Plus, "I surely know the signs are from Allah" sounds like untimely boasting, not sincere warning towards Pharaoh who is already in stubborn denial, an act which would be contradictory to the blessed nature of prophet Moses pbuh.

Who is this Kisai figure, and how did his (flawed) recitation of the Quran ever enter the scholarly records? Thank you for your time again, sr Ruhi and Allah bless.

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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2021, 05:33:38 am »
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You're welcome brother.




Who is this Kisai figure, and how did his (flawed) recitation of the Quran ever enter the scholarly records?  ....



Never heard of this person at all.   Who is he .. a Muslim or non-Muslim?

I would suggest not to read translations nor commentaries by unknown writers, and certainly not by non-Muslims.  The reliable ones are Abdel Haleem, Pickthall, Yusuf Ali, Muhammad Asad, Shakir, Maududi, Arberry, Aisha Bewley and Laleh Bakhtiar. 



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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2021, 07:11:24 am »
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Never heard of this person at all.   Who is he .. a Muslim or non-Muslim?

Actually I had no idea who this person was as well.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Kisa%27i

The claims are that he was an Islamic scholar who lived around 800 AD, and is responsible for producing one of 7 canonical Quranic recitation. His allegedly slightly different recitation of verse 17:102, where he used "alimtu (I know)" instead of "alimta (You know)" is referred to in a footnote of Bridges Foundation's translation of the Quran.

Firstly, the claim of there being 7 variants ( or qiraats) of recitation of Quran deem to be based on dubious reasonings, possibly hadith narrations though I'm not sure. Sure seem like something fabricated to tarnish the reputation of the Quran as being preserved and protected from any tampering and alterations.

From my observation, discussions on qiraats is especially popular among the hostile non Muslims and ex Muslim murtads, who use it as ammo to attack the protected status of the Quran, and to wrongfully place it in the same category of altered scriptures like the Bible and Torah, having multiple versions and variants.


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« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2021, 05:05:25 pm »
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As-Salaam Alaikum Wa Rehmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu, dear brother.

Sorry for the late response as Sister Ruhi was busy and I hadn't switched on the notifications of this thread.

First off, the Noble Quran does NOT say anything about qirat nor 7 qirats nor anything else in this regard. 

Secondly, qirat is simply the style of recitation of the Noble Quran, that is, recitation with the Arabic phonetics accompanying the alphabets.  The purpose is to make pronunciations easier.  Qirat literally means “beautiful recitation.”   It’s obvious that the style and accent / intonation of reciting the Quran by different communities cannot be identical and Allah never said that it should.  We should only try our best to improve our pronunciations as much as we can.   But one needs to remember that the Noble Quran is the Book of guidance, not a book of songs, AstaghfarAllah.  Even hostile non-Muslims have to admit that there is only ONE Quran and qirat has nothing to do with the contents of the Noble Quran which remains original and unchanged regardless of the style or intonation of the recitation.  

But traditionalists always try to spin matters either by saying false things about Allah Almighty through the man-written Hadith Qudsi or by forging the name of the Final Messenger (pbuh).  They say "Allah has revealed the Quran with different Qirat for the different dialects of Arabic language."  And from this arises the concept of seven qirat of the Quran cited as the qirats of Ibn Kathir, Abu Amr, Asim, Hamza, Ibn Amir, Nafe and Al-Kasai.  [Frankly, apart from Ibn Kathir I haven't read the work of any other and Ibn Kathir too is full of absurdities].  Therefor, after finishing reading the entire Quran, the students move to the second stage of learning the seven qirat which is supposed to have several stages.  In the process, these people pay no attention to the actual contents of the Noble Quran which is full of Divine Instructions, wisdom, principles and guidance incumbent upon us to learn and implement in our daily lives.  Instead, they simply learn the recitations like a parrot (as if they are learning to sing) and take their rules from the Hadith.  That's how much time they waste on comparatively insignificant matters while the actual Message of the Noble Quran remains largely ignored.  I'm not saying qirat is not important.  Like I said, one should try to recite as best as they can, within their capability.  But nothing is more important than understanding the Words of Allah Almighty so that we can follow His Instructions throughout our life.  Once we leave this dunya, it will be too late.  Unfortunately many folks don't understand. And the Noble Quran is the original Divine Guidance not only for the Arabs but for entire humanity. 

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