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17. Understanding Islam
SECTION FIVE: UNDERSTANDING MUSLIM OBJECTIONS TO THE GOSPEL
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: MUSLIM OBJECTIONS TO CHRISTIANITY
13.1. Belief in the preservation of the Qur’an and the corruption of the original Bible

13.1.4. Are all current copies of Qur’ans identical with no variants?


The claim that all current Qur’ans are identical with no variants means one of two things: either the person has only seen one version of the Arabic Qur’an and therefore doesn’t really know what they are talking about, or they are simply lying. Today we have different editions of the Qur’an in different countries. I personally have 5 different editions! Look up the first chapter of the Qur’an in a Moroccan Qur’an and in a Saudi one. In the Moroccan the verse “In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful” is not counted as part of the chapter, but in the Saudi edition it is counted as verse one. The seventh verse in the Saudi edition “The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favour, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray” is counted as verses 6 and 7 in the Moroccan edition. This might seem an unimportant issue to non-Muslims but it is extremely important for Muslims, because Muslims consider anyone who rejects one single verse of the Qur’an to be a non-Muslim, though they make an exception of course for the very first verse because Muslim scholars past and present don’t agree if it is part of the Qur’an or if it is just the opening of every chapter. Muslim scholars in fact have three different opinions:

1) it is part of every chapter except chapter 9,
2) it is part of only the first chapter, or
3) it is not part of any chapter.

That means we either have 111 verses added to the Qur’an or 112 removed or 1 added. Thus the claim of no variants is a completely false claim. Some Muslim scholars have tried to get around it saying:

“[i]t should be noted that the Ummah is unanimously agreed that neither the one who affirms it nor the one who denies it is to be described as a disbeliever, because of the difference of scholarly opinion concerning it. This is different from the case of a person who denies a letter on which there is consensus or who affirms something that no one said; he is to be regarded as a disbeliever according to scholarly consensus.” (Ash-Shawkaani, Nayl al-Awtar, volume 2, page 215).

However, that doesn’t answer the problem at all as it still remains that we don’t have a unified Arabic Qur’an with no variants.

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