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Variant Readings of the Qur'an:
A Critical Study of their Historical and Linguistic Origins
Ahmad ‘Ali al Iman
Published By: The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), Herndon
Paperback 191 Pages

This book attempts to investigate the nature of the seven ahruf in which the Quran has been revealed and the reason for the variations in readings among the Qurra of the Quran.

Ahmad ‘Ali al Imam had a very profound religious education but his excellence throughout led him to the University of Edinburgh where he obtained his P.H.D. On the variant readings of the Quran.

Detailed Description & Table of Contents:

Chapter 1 studies the revelation of the Quran in the seven ahruf and concludes that they represent seven linguistical ways of recita-tion.

Chapter 2 deals with the compilation of the Quran during the lifetime of the Prophet and the preservation of the Quran in the memories of the Companions as well as in written form, the compilation during the time of Abu Bakr, and the further compilation during the time of Uthman. The problem of naskh is discussed to demonstrate the com-pleteness and trustworthiness of the Quran and that no verses are missing or were read and abrogated by naskh al tilawah either with or without hukm.

Chapters 3 and 4 deal with the Uthmanic masahif and their relation to the seven ahruf. The most acceptable two opin-ions among the scholars are that they accommodate all or certain ahruf that correspond with the orthography of the masahif and that these masahif include what is transmitted by tawatur and avoid ahad readings that belong to certain personal manuscripts and are transmitted to us in unauthentic chains.

Chapter 5 discusses the language of the Quran and whether it includes one, several, or all the dialects of the Arabs. It is conclud-ed that the language of the Quran represents the common spoken lit-erary language of the Arabs, which is based on all their dialects with a predominance of the Quraysh dialect features.

Chapter 6 examines the origin of the qiraat and studies condi-tions governing accepted readings.

Chapter 7 studies ikhtiyar (i.e., the selection of one reading rather than another) and the rules gov-erning the purva who selected a reading. It is shown that the gurra do not have a free hand in this, and that any reading should be sub-ject to the correspondence with riwayah, the orthography of the masahif, and the Arabic language. These readings may differ in meaning but do not contradict each other

The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) is a private, non-profit, academic and cultural institution, concerned with general issues of Islamic thought. The Institute was established in the United States of America in 1981 (1401 AH). It is independent of local politics, party orientations and ideological biases



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