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Introduction to The Holy QUR’AN

Mt. Hira
Revelation ­ pretext 
• Arabs are and were very eloquent in language – 
poetry and prose
• Annual competitions of linguistics
• Muhammad was  a totally unlettered person
• Despite all wisdom was unable to produce any 
poetry or prose
• Muhammad and Quran
• Cannot isolate both
• Received first revelation at age 40, 
• 40 years of living among people had earned him the title of 
“Saadiq” & “Ameen” – most honest and trustworthy. 

Transmission over ages
Prophets and messengers in the Qur'an
Book Law (Sharia) Judeo-Christian
Name Prophet Sent to
Adam ✓ [67]       Adam
Al-Yasa ✓ [68]       Elisha
Ayub ✓ [86]       Job
Dawud ✓ [68] Zabur (Psalms) [69]     David
Dhul-Kif ✓ [73]       Ezekiel
Harun ✓ [61]       Aaron
Hud ✓ [74]   ʿĀd [75]   Eber

Ibrahim ✓ [62] Scrolls of Abraham [49] The people of Ibrahim [65 ✓ [66] Abraham

Idris ✓ [72]       Enoch
Ilyas ✓ [68]   The people of Elias [71]   Elijah
Isa ✓ [80] Injil (Gospel) [84] The Children of Israel [85] ✓ [66] Jesus
Ishaq ✓ [76]       Isaac
Ismail ✓ [77]       Ishmael
Lut ✓ [91]   The people of Lot [93]   Lot

Muhammad ✓ [96][97] Quran [99] Whole Mankind and Jinn ✓ [66]  


Musa ✓ [101] Tawrah (Torah) Suhoof  Pharaoh and his  ✓ [66] Moses

Musa (scrolls of Moses)[40] establishment [102]

Nuh ✓ [68]   The people of Noah [95] ✓ [66] Noah

Saleh ✓ [103]   Thamud [104]   Salah

Shoaib ✓ [78]   Midian [79]   Jethro
Sulayman ✓ [68]       Solomon
Yahya ✓ [87]       John the Baptist
Yaqub ✓ [76]       Jacob

Yunus ✓ [68]   The people of Younis [90]   Jonah

Yusuf ✓ [86]       Joseph

The Qur'an: Revealed
• Only “Holy Book” or 
“Scriptures” of Islam
• Qur'an= “recitation”
• Muslims believe it to be 
revelations of Allah/God
• through angel Gabriel
• to prophet Muhammad
• First revelation during 
Ramadan 610 CE
• Surah 96: Lailat al­Qadr 
“night of power” 
• Revelations continued 23 years
• Until Muhammad's death, 632 CE
The Qur'an: Written
• Muhammad memorized 
individual revelations
• He "recited" them to his 
• They wrote them down, 
during his lifetime
• Qur'an not compiled until 
640s CE
• Under third Caliph, 
Uthman ibn Arran
• All other versions destroyed
• Qur'an contains:
• Moral guidelines
• Laws of God
• Rules of Islamic Faith
• In form of:
• moral directives
• legal prescriptions
• exhortations
• admonitions
• condemnations
• warnings
• good tidings
• words of consolation
 Language & Genre

• Written in Arabic
• Any translations are 
considered "interpretations"
• Only one genre:
• Speaker is God, through 
angel Gabriel
  Contents & Arrangement
• 114 Surahs
• With 3­285 Ayas each
• Arranged by length
• Decreasing length
• Except Intro Surah 1
• Same heading:
• "In the name of Allah, 
the most Gracious, 
the most Merciful"
• All except Surah 9
• Divided into 30 Juz (blocks)
• Muslims read whole Qur'an during Ramadan
Themes in the Qur'an
• Earlier Surahs
(1, 6­7, 10­21, 23, 25­32, 34­46, 50­56, 
• Makkan period
• Social justice, conversion, final 
judgment, monotheism 
• Later Surahs
(2­5, 8­9, 22, 24, 33, 47­49, 57­66, 98, 
110, [55, 76, 99?])
• Madinan Period
• Relationships within Muslim 
• Relationships with Jews and 
“People of the Book”

• Ref. to members of 
monotheistic faiths: 
• Jew & Christians
• Qur'an mentions many 
HB characters
• Inter­faith marriage:
• Marrying Jews or Xns 
allowed for Muslim men 
only, not women
• Muslims respect these 
faiths, but Qur'an is 
thought most accurate
Other Foundational Literature

• Hadiths
• Sayings & actions of 
• Sunna ("custom") 
become guidelines for 
Muslim life after death 
of Muhammad
• Compiled 9th cent. CE
• Biographies of 
• Various editions
• Islamic Scripture: Qur'an
• Believed to be revelations of God, through 
Gabriel, to Muhammad
• Respect for other monotheistic faiths, 
but Qur'an is most accurate revelation
• 114 Surahs, longer to shorter (except 1)
• Divided into Ayahs
• Originally in Arabic;  Prophetic Genre
• Makkah Surahs: establish Islam
• Madinah Surahs: build community
• Other core writings: Hadiths, Sira
What is Qur’an
• Word or speech of Allah It is the last Book of Allah sent for 
the guidance of humanity through the last Prophet, Muhammad, 
peace be upon him (PBUH).
• Preserved till eternity
• Protection is guaranteed by Allah
• Original Qur'an is in Looh-e-Mahfooz (85: 21-22)
• We have a replica of Qur’an

• Ref. in Qur’an:
Kitabin-Muknoon – “The hidden book”(56: 77-78)  Ummi al-Kitab
- “The Mother of the Book”
Kitabun Mubin – “Manifest Book” (6: 59; 10:61; 11 :6)
Phases of Revelation 


Phase 1:
Night of Qadr – 610 C.E
Ref: Surah Qadr

Phase 2:
Bit by bit,
Ayah by Ayah,
Surah by surah
23 years
1st wahi: 610,
OUR SOLAR SYSTEM 1st 5-Verses of S. Alaq
Cave Hira (Jabale-Noor)
Collection and Compilation - 1
• Lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (S) – 570 - 632
Hifz – memorization
As-hab sufa

Scribes – Katib-e-wahi
Bones, Clay, Papyrus

Not in book form

Ibn 'Abbas says the Prophet said, "Gabriel taught me to

read the Qur'an in one dialect, and when I recited it he taught
me to recite it in another dialect, and so on until the number of
dialects increased to seven."
(Mishkiit, book ii. ch. ii.)
Collection and Compilation - 2
• Life time of Khalifas

Khalifa Abu Bakar (R)

Battle of Yumamah Death of Huffaz First Book form w/i 2yrs Copy with Hafsa (R)

Khalifa Umar (R)

Tradition to recite Quran in Taraveeh in Jamat

Khalifa Usman (R)

Agreed upon script Vocalization per Quraish tribe

Old Manuscripts of Qur’an
Manuscripts dating to Khalifa Usman

UNESCO has launched the Memory of the World Program

Some old manuscripts

Use of red dots as

vocalization signs
Old Manuscripts
• No vocalization signs
• No differentiation between letters
• No Surah headings
• No Verse numbering
• No Ruku divisions
• No Juz divisions
• No description of Meccan/Medinite surahs
Later developments in manuscripts

• Dots were put as syntactical marks by Abu Al-Aswad 
Al Doaly, during the time of Mu'awiya Ibn Abu Sufian 
(661-680 CE). ?
• The letters (     ,     , kha etc.)were marked with 
different dotting by Nasr Ibn Asem and Hayy ibn 
Ya'amor, during the time of Abd Al-Malek Ibn 
Marawan (685-705 CE). 
• A complete system of diacritical marks (damma, 
fataha, kasra) was invented by Al Khaleel Ibn Ahmad 
Al Faraheedy (d. 786 CE).
More Later Developments
 Vocalization signs
Short and long vowels
 Hamza
 Aya markings
 Development of Different scripts: Kufic, Sulus, Naskh …..
 Art of Book binding
 Use of gold in coloring
• Most recent developments:
Tajweed quran

It is extremely difficult to render the full Qur’an,

with all the points, in computer code, such as Unicode.
The Internet Sacred Text Archive makes computer files
of the Qur’an freely available both as images[92] and in
a temporary Unicode version.[93] Various designers and
software firms have attempted to develop computer fonts that
can adequately render the Qur’an.[94]
• SURAH IS NOT CHAPTER Story of Adam & Iblis comes in 7 surahs
• Names Either divine or assigned by Prophet
• Tasmiah Not part of Surah except S. Fatiha

• Only Surah without Tasmiah S. Taubah

• Total # of Surahs: 114 Surahs
• First complete Surah reveled: S. Fatiha
• Last complete Surah revealed: S. An Nasr
• Surah has ayah
• Longest Surah: S. Baqrah (286 ayah)
• Shortest Surahs: S. Kouser, S. Nasr, S. Asr (3 ayah)
• Order of Surahs Does not follow the order of revelation
• Makki portion (ya ayyu han nas) 610 – 622 ( 2/3 of whole Quran)
• Madani portion 622 – 632 ( 1/3 of Quran)
• Surahs in pairs (same theme) S. Falaq & S. Naas
• Some ayah have names i.e. Ayatal Kursi, Ayat al Birr
• Ayat could be  letters Ya Seen, Alif Lam Meem
• Ayat could be words Wal Asr
• Number of ayas: 6200 – 6666
• Abrogated verses
• Prostration verses
Comparison of Quran with a worldly book
• Unique style
• Deemed either poetry or prose - mixture of both
• The Quran is inimitable
• Not arranged in order of revelation – pondering
• Cannot be compared with a worldly book for
• Makki and Madani Surahs
• 7 Manzil ( present during Prophets time)
S. Fatiha not included
Approximately equal in length
Surahs not broken
• 30 Paras (later time ?)
Surahs broken
Orientalist conspiracy against Qur’an - 1
 Jam’al Qur’an, John Gilchrist

• “The Samarqand and Topkapi codices are obviously two of the oldest sizeable 
manuscripts of the Qur'an surviving but their origin cannot be taken back earlier 
than the second century of Islam. It must be concluded that no such 
manuscripts of an earlier date have survived. The oldest manuscripts of the 
Qur'an still in existence date from not earlier than about one hundred years after 
Muhammad's death”. 
Orientalist conspiracy against Qur’an - 2
• Other secular scholars, such as Dr. John Wansbrough and
his students Michael Cook and Patricia Crone, were less
willing to attribute the entire Qur'an to Muhammad, arguing
that there is no real proof that the text of the Qur'an was
collected under Uthman, since the earliest surviving
copies of the complete Qur'an are centuries later than
Uthman. (The oldest existing copy of the full text is from
the ninth century The Holy Qur'an,, retrieved
April 02, 2006.) They alleged that Islam was formed slowly,
over the centuries after the Muslim conquests, as the
Islamic conquerors elaborated their beliefs in response to
Jewish and Christian challenges

JW: Born in Peoria (1928 – 2002) - This line of research was investigated in Egypt by Nasr Abu Zayd but
 he was expelled from Egypt because of his conclusions about the Qur'an. 
Orientalist conspiracy against Qur’an - 3
• The anti-traditionalist banner dropped by Crone and 
Cook has been taken up by scholars such as 
Christoph Luxenberg and Abraham Geiger, both of 
whom support claims for a late composition of the 
Qur'an, and trace much of it to sources other than 
Muhammad. Luxenberg in particular is well-known 
for his claims that the Qur'an is merely a re-working 
of an earlier Christian text, a Syriac lectionary.
Orientalist conspiracy against Qur’an - 4
• In 1972, during the restoration of the Great Mosque of San'a, in
Yemen, laborers stumbled upon a "paper grave" containing tens
of thousands of fragments of parchment on which verses of the
Qur'an were written. (Qur'ans were and still are disposed thus, so
as to avoid the impiety of treating the sacred text like ordinary
garbage.) Some of these fragments were believed to be the oldest
Quranic texts yet found. 

The European scholar Gerd-R. Puin has studied these fragments

and published some preliminary findings. The variations from the
received text that he found seemed to match minor variations in
sequence reported by some Islamic scholars, in their
descriptions of the variant Qur'ans once held by Abdallah Ibn
Masud, Ubay Ibn Ka'b, and Ali, and suppressed by Uthman's
order.Observations on Early Qur'an Manuscripts in San'a The
Qur'an as Text, ed. Wild, Brill, 1996 ISBN 9004103449.
Orientalist conspiracy against Qur’an - 5
• According to the Catholic Encyclopedia Koran, by Gabriel Oussani, The
Catholic Encyclopedia, retrieved April 13, 2006, the text in the Qu'ran is traced 
to six sources: 
1). The Old Testament canonical and apocryphal and the hybrid Judaism of the late rabbinical 
schools. During Muhammad's time the Jews were numerous in many parts of Arabia, especially around 
Medina. Later Judaism and Rabbinism are equally well represented Geiger, "Was hat Mohammed aus 
dem Judenthum aufgenommen?", Wiesbaden, 1833; tr. Judaism and Islam, Madras, 1898 What the
Koran Really Says: Language, Text, and Commentary, edited and translated by, Ibn Warraq,
Prometheus Books, 2002, 600 pages, ISBN 157392945X.
2). The New Testament (canonical and apocryphal). On his journeys between Syria, Hijaz, and
Yemen, Muhammad had opportunity to come in close touch with Yemenite, Abyssinian, Ghassanite, and Syrian 
Christians, especially heretic. (See Muir, op. cit. infra, 66-239; Tisdall, "The Original Sources of the Qur'an", London, 
1905, 55-211)
3). Sabaism, a combination of Judaism, Manicheism, and Babylonian polytheism. 
4). Zoroastrianism. One suggestion of Zoroastrianism's influence on Islam is based on the conclusion 
by the Jewish orientalist, Ignaz Goldziher, in his book "Islamisme et Parsisme" I. Goldziher, "Islamisme et 
Parsisme", Revue De L'Histoire Des Religions, 1901, Volume XLIII, pp. 1-29., that the incident of Isra and 
Mai'raj in Islam (Muhammad's ascension to the heavens) finds resemblance to the Iranian "Divina 
Commedia" called Arda Wiraz Namag. Ibn Warraq quoted the Christian missionary, Tisdall, on this, 
claiming that the book Arda Wiraz Namag was composed 400 years before Muhammad.:However, the 
scholars of Persian studies believe that Arda Wiraz Namag was redacted finally in 9th-10th centuries CE, 
at least a century after the advent of Islam Arda Wiraz Namag (Iranian "Divina Commedia") And The 
Prophet's Night Journey, by M S M 
Orientalist conspiracy against Qur’an - 6
• In 1972, during the restoration of the Great Mosque of San'a, in Yemen, laborers
stumbled upon a "paper grave" containing tens of thousands of fragments of
parchment on which verses of the Qur'an were written. Gerd Puin was the head of a 
restoration project commissioned by the Yemeni government who spent a significant 
amount of time examining the ancient Qur'anic manuscripts discovered in Yemen in 1972. 
Puin's research supports the conclusions of John Wansbrough and his pupils that the 
Qu'ran as we know it does not date from the time of Mohammad. Puin is said to be 
working on a book on the Sana'a manuscripts, which may clarify the seeming gap 
between his statements to the Atlantic Monthly and his published academic 
Orientalist conspiracy against Qur’an - 7
• Having studied early Quran manuscripts John 
Gilchrist states: "The oldest manuscripts of the 
Quran still in existence date from not earlier than 
about one hundred years after Muhammad's death." 
("Jam' Al-Qur'an", page 153) He comes to this 
conclusion because two of the oldest manuscripts, 
the Samarqand and Topkapi codices are both written 
in the Kufic script. It "can generally be dated from the 
late eight century depending on the extent of 
development in the character of the script in each 
case." (Ibid. page 146) 
Rebuttal that Qur’ans from
the 1st century are available
1. There has been a polemic going on that the Qur'an does not have manuscripts from the first
century of hijra. However, this is not true. Many fragments of early Qur'anic manuscripts were
shown by Orientalists notably Nabia Abbott in her work The Rise of the North Arabic script and its
Kur'anic development, with a full description of the Kur'an manuscripts in the Oriental Institute
(1939, University of Chicago Press). There she discusses some of the Quranic manuscripts, dated
from second half of the first century hijra onwards, at the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago.
The aim of this page is to highlight some of the early Qur'anic manuscripts to refute the claim that
the Qur'an lacks manuscripts from the first century of hijra. 

2. The UNESCO, an arm of the United Nations, had compiled a CD containing some of the dated San`a' 
manuscripts as a part of "Memory of the World" programme. In this CD there are more than 40
Qur'anic manuscripts which are dated from 1st century of hijra, one of them belonging to early 1st
century. More than 45 manuscripts have been dated from the period 1st / 2nd century of hijra. We will be 
showing only a few examples below.

3.   In the last century, an Institute of Munich University in Germany collected FORTY-TWO
THOUSAND copies of the Holy Qur'an including manuscripts and printed texts produced in each
period in the various parts of the Islamic World. Research work was carried out on these texts for
half a century, at the end of which the researchers concluded that apart from copying mistakes,
there was no discrepancy in the text of these forty-two thousand copies, even though they
belonged to the period between the 1st Century Hijra to 14th Century Hijra and had been procured
from all parts of the world. This Institute, alas! perished in the bombing attacks on Germany during
World War II, but the findings of its research project survived
Orientalist conspiracy against Qur’an - 8

• Versions Of The Qur'an? M S M Saifullah 
• © Islamic Awareness, All Rights Reserved.
Last Updated: 15th January 2002

• Jochen Katz wrote:
1) How many 'versions' of the holy Quran is there today?
At least two, probably more (I am pretty sure about the third
one, but can't prove it yet, so I am not going to say where and
what just yet), but it is common knowledge that the Hafs text and
the Warsh text (mainly used in Northwest Africa) are different not
only in the vowels but also in some consonants. The differences are
small, but they are there. And both of them are for sale and in use today.
Hafs is the much more common one. The third version I have heard
about has by far more substantial differences in comparison to the
other two. For the Warsh and Hafs differences see a few examples
Br. Saifullah’s response
• Saifullah: It has become a standard method of deception by Christian
missionaries like Jochen Katz to superficially project issues that have
been exhaustively addressed by both Muslims and Orientialsts, as we will
see soon, inshallah. These missionaries are well aware of the difference
between a transmission and a text (to be discussed in detail below). Yet,
they intentionally replace one with the other in order to give the false
impression to lay readers that the Qur'an exists in different texts. Thus, in
order to address the questions of Hafs and Warsh, we would like to
sincerely thank brother Moustafa Mounir Elqabbany from Canada and
brother Muhammad Ghoniem from France, for providing valuable
references. May Allah reward them profusely for their kind help.

Conclusions: In light of the above discussion, it is clear that Hafs and Warsh Qirâ'ât are not
the different 'versions' or 'texts' of the Qur'an as fantasized by missionary Katz. The “mutawatir”
follows directly to the Companions of the Prophet (P) who took the Qur'an from the Prophet (P) 
himself. Thus, the suggestion that a “mutawatir” reading was a later invention by the Muslims
is to be dismissed as complete fiction.
This is a well known This is a mushâf The Qur'an in the The riwaya Qâlûn Yet another mushâf
And Common mushâf From Algeria with riwaya of ad-Dûrî from Nâfîc. in the riwaya of
of the Qur'an printed the riwaya of Warsh. from Abî cAmrû. This mushâf is Warsh.
in the Saudi Arabia. It is important to note This mushâf is published in This is printed in
They have adopted the that all the masahif from Sudan. Tunisia by Morocco.
Hafs Qirâ'a. are written in rasm ad-Dâr at-Tunissia
Hafs is the most common al-'Uthmani. Also Lilnashr.
type of Qirâ'a used in notice the Qaf written
the Muslim world. with one dot on top in
Maghribi script!
Issues caused by Muslim scholars -1
• Mu'tazilite Philosophy
• Eternal or created in time
• Abbasid caliph, al-Ma'mun, raised Mu'tazilah doctrine to the 
status of the state creed. On one occasion the eminent Sunni 
scholar and founder of one of the four orthodox jurisprudential 
schools, Ahmad b. Hanbal (d.855), was subjected to flogging 
and imprisonment for his refusal to subscribe to the Mu'tazilite 
doctrine that the Qur'an was created in time. The issue of 
whether the Qur'an is eternal or created was one of the crucial 
controversies among early Muslim theologians. Mu'tazilis 
believe it is created while the most widespread varieties of 
Muslim theologians consider the Qur'an to be eternal and 
Issues caused by Muslim scholars -2
• The Sheeahs (Shi'ahs) of later times, indeed, pretend that Othman
left out certain Suras or passages which favoured Ali. But this is
incredible. He could not possibly have done so without it being
observed at the time; and
• Surah of Wilaya and Nurayn
• Some early Islamic histories recount that as Muhammad was 
reciting Sūra Al-Najm (Q.53), as revealed to him by the angel 
Gabriel, Satan tempted him to utter the following lines after 
verses 19 and 20 :"Have you thought of Allāt and al-'Uzzā and 
Manāt the third, the other; These are the exalted Gharaniq, 
whose intercession is hoped for." The Allāt, al-'Uzzā and Manāt 
were three goddesses worshiped by the Meccans. These 
histories then say that these 'Satanic Verses' were repudiated 
shortly afterward by Muhammad at the behest of Gabriel.[25] 
Issues caused by Muslim scholars-3
• Satanic verses, a group of alleged Qur'anic verses 
that allowed for prayers of intercession to be made to 
three pagan goddesses: Allat, Uzza, and Manat.
Reported by well known muslim historians (Tabari).

• Salman Rushdies book (88)