Monday, December 14, 2009

The Yemeni Koran - all Korans are not the same

One of the oldest surviving copies of the Qur'an refutes the belief that it is immutable.
"The textual variants in the Yemeni Koran, simply by showing that the text is not always and everywhere the same, explode the mainstream Islamic belief that the Koran was delivered in perfect form to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel, and has always been miraculously preserved from variant readings."

In 1972, during the restoration of the Great Mosque of Sana’a, in Yemen, a gravesite containing a mash of old parchment pages was discovered. It became clear that this parchment hoard is an example of what is sometimes referred to as a “paper grave.” In this case, the site was the resting place for tens of thousands of fragments from close to a thousand different parchment codices of the Koran, the Muslim holy book.

Using a technique called “carbon dating,” some of the parchment pages in the Yemeni hoard were dated back to the seventh and eighth centuries, or Islam’s first two centuries. Until now, three ancient copies of the Koran were said to exist. One copy in the Library of Tashkent in Uzbekistan, and another in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, Turkey, date from the eighth century. A copy kept in the British Library in London dates from the late seventh century. But the Sana’a parchment pages are even older. Moreover, these pages are written in a script that originates from the Hijaz—the region of Arabia where the prophet Muhammad purportedly lived. This makes the Yemeni Korans not only the oldest to have survived, but one of the earliest copies of the Koran ever.

In 1981, the first scientific undertaking to study the Yemeni Koran was initiated by a group headed by Gerd-R. Puin, a specialist in Arabic calligraphy and Koranic paleography based at Saarland University, in Saarbrücken, Germany. Puin and his group recognized the antiquity of some of the parchment fragments. Their preliminary inspection revealed unconventional verse orderings, minor textual variations, and rare styles of orthography and artistic embellishment. Interestingly, some of the sheets were also palimpsests—versions very clearly written over even earlier, washed-off or erased versions.

To quote Puin: “So many Muslims have this belief that everything between the two covers of the Koran is just God’s unaltered word… They like to quote the textual work that shows that the Bible has a history and did not fall straight out of the sky, but until now the Koran has been out of this discussion. The only way to break through this wall is to prove that the Koran has a history too. The Sana’a fragments will help us to do this.”

The idea that the Koran is the literal Word of God, perfect, timeless, and permanent, is crucial to Islam, in particular, to the Islamists at the forefront of spreading sharia and jihad. However, some of the Sana’a fragments revealed small but intriguing aberrations from the standard Koranic text. Indeed, this evidence compels one to conclude that the Muslim holy book has undergone a textual evolution rather than simply the Word of God as revealed in its entirety to the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century.

This explosive ramification has made the State of Yemen reluctant to give further access to the Sana’a fragments. Fortunately, before the door was shut to Western scholars, another German academic, Graf von Bothmer, made 35,000 microfilm pictures of the fragments, which remain at the University of the Saarland.

Continue to source here


  1. Anonymous11:24 AM

    Bulshit.Treat yrself, see a psychologist.

  2. Anonymous12:35 PM

    Puin is a pathetic liar! He is just desperate to find some discrepancies in Quran as it was the case with Bible. There is no such claim by any scientist or anybody who says Yemeni version and today's Quran are different.

    Refer to:
    wikipedia and

  3. Anonymous7:57 PM

    It is not only the Yemeni Koran. what have you to say about the hadiths that clearly show the official compiler Zaid ibn Thabit did make the choices of what goes in the Koran.
    FRom Abu Dawood to Tirmidhi all the Hadith compilers clearly show that. The historical record and evidence is clearly there.
    It is just that your brains are conditioned this way - when it does not suit you they are "weak Hadiths".
    When it suits you they are good hadiths.

  4. Dhivehi Christian8:19 AM

    The Koran had been edited and sub-edited many times; mostly by humans. In one case a goat was responsible for editing the Koran. Read the sahih Hadith below, narrated by Aisha (the little girl Mohamed had sex with when she was 9):

    Sunan Ibn Majah, Book of Nikah, Hadith # 1934)

    Narrated Aisha 'The verse of stoning and of suckling an adult ten times were revealed, and they were (written) on a paper and kept under my bed. When the Messenger of Allah (SAWW.) expired and we were preoccupied with his death, a goat entered and ate away the paper."

  5. First of all this blog sickens me for the fact this blogger try to spread evil and false news in the community.

  6. Anonymous10:20 AM

    Puin and Bothmer, caused a wave
    of protests and anger against the Yamani authorities’ handling of the manuscripts, which
    in turn led to Puin and Bothmer to fear that their relationship with the latter would be
    adversely affected. Hence each of them hurried to write a letter to Qadi Isma’il al-Akwa to
    clarify their position. In his letter Puin defended himself as well as is colleague Bothmer
    and denied having said that there was among the manuscripts a different Qur’an than
    the one currently in circulation, that there was no basis of truth for what the American
    journal had alleged about their researches about the Qur’an and that the press
    campaign was intended to harm the academic relationship between he and the Yamani

    This defence of Puin is in fact a mere twisting and turning of the words and it does not
    tally with what he actually says in his article. He says, as we have noticed, that the Qur’
    an, though it claims to be “clear” (mubin) is not so, that the alleged “discrepancies” show
    that the surahs of the Qur’an were not written down in their final form during the lifetime
    of the Prophet and that it is possible that a Qur’an with a different order of the surahs
    was in circulation for a long time. He also says that the San’a find offers an opportunity
    to the orientalists to resume the work of preparing a revised version of the Qur’an. It is
    therefore necessary to discuss briefly the discrepancies and inaccuracies in the
    statements of Puin himself.

  7. Anonymous10:21 AM

    First, in his reference to the collections of the Qur’anic manuscripts at the University of
    Munich and the efforts of the orientalists in that connection Puin omits to mention a very
    important fact. It is that, shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War the
    authorities in charge of those manuscripts had actually issued a statement on the basis
    of their study of them. That had said that a study and comparison of the
    manuscripts, though not complete, had not revealed any discrepancy and
    difference in the texts except minor spelling mistakes in some places which
    was natural and all of which did not, however, affect the correctness and
    integrity of the Qur’anic text as a whole. The “discrepancies” in the writing of
    ‘alif at some places to which Puin refers to belongs to this type of error or style
    in writing and they do not in any way affect the integrity and correctness of the
    text as a whole.

    Second, slight difference in the numbering of ‘ayahs with regard to some
    surahs which Puin notices with regard to a few surahs is quite natural. Such
    difference in the numbering of ‘ayahs is acknowledged even by some classical
    Muslim scholars and it does not affect the text at all. Even the well known
    orientalist Flugel’s numbering of the ‘ayahs of some surahs differs slightly from
    the standard numbering. Significantly enough, while speaking about the
    difference in numbering of ‘ayahs Puin does not at all indicate any difference in
    the text of the surahs.

    Third, palimpsests or overwriting of words or expressions in a few places do
    not suggest anything more than correction of mistakes omitted in the writing of
    the words in the first instance. It cannot be a proof in support of the theory of
    revision of evolution of the text unless and earlier copy of the Qur’an
    containing different words and expressions in the same place is shown to
    exist. This has not been found in the San’a manuscripts nor shown by any other
    orientalist to have ever been existence.

    Fourth, the conclusion that the surahs were not written down in their final form
    during the lifetime of the Prophet or that a Qur’an with a different ordering of
    the surahs was in circulation for a long time just because two or three sheets
    have been found where some surahs have been written in a different order,
    that is surahs from different places of the Qur’an in circulation have been put
    together, is hasty and untenable. It is important to note that is has been the
    habit of the Muslims since the very beginning to make collections of selected
    surahs in one compilation for purpose of study and memorisation, especially be
    students at madrasahs. And since mosques were invariably educational institutions, it
    is not at all strange that such collection of selected surahs should be found in a stock of
    Arabic manuscripts stored in a great mosque. In any case, by the very admission of
    Puin, this is confined to two or three manuscript sheets only out of more than
    35,000 sheets. Before hazarding such a serious conclusion Puin and his sort
    should have got hold of copy of the Qur’an, or a considerable part of the
    existing Qur’an.

  8. Dhivehi Christian,
    What will it take for Muslims to accept that their own hadith books report that the KORAN was edited and sub-edited many times?
    And that Allah himself edits and changed his mind quite a few times during the course of time Mohammed was his Prophet?

  9. This is a proven fact that the Koran is not the words of Allah or coming from Allah. It was man-made by the elite Muslims to dominate mankind in the name of Islamic religion. The expansion of Islam was horribly violent, killing millions of people in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe throughout its history. These conquering Arabs (Muslims) imposed their strict religious laws to the conquered people. In the end, the conquered people became zombies up to the present era.

  10. Anonymous5:13 AM

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it
    seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You clearly know what youre talking about, why
    throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative
    to read?
    Look into my blog post :: arsenal transfer news transfer rumours

  11. Anonymous5:20 AM

    Hi, I do believe this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it ;) I will revisit once again since i have bookmarked it.
    Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and
    continue to guide others.
    My web page > liverpool transfer news 2011

  12. Anonymous6:35 AM

    This article will assist the internet people for creating
    new webpage or even a blog from start to end.
    My web page ... pizza games in a car

  13. Anonymous8:27 AM

    Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is
    truly informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels.
    I will appreciate if you continue this in future. A lot of people will be benefited from your
    writing. Cheers!
    My blog post :: pizza games euless texas

  14. Anonymous6:15 AM

    Simply want to say your article is as amazing. The clarity
    on your post is simply excellent and i could think you're an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to snatch your RSS feed to stay updated with coming near near post. Thanks one million and please carry on the enjoyable work.

    Review my web site how to buy a good used car

  15. Anonymous10:15 AM

    Hello my family member! I want to say that this post
    is amazing, great written and include approximately all important infos.

    I would like to see extra posts like this .

    my webpage - when to buy a used car

  16. Anonymous8:39 AM

    Gгeat article.

    Feel free to visit my site: гeсycle carѕ
    for cash :: ::