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Which Koran?: Variants, Manuscripts, Linguistics Hardcover – August 31, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


"Despite the text's extraordinary significance, the origins of the Koran are obscure in the extreme. Much like earlier compilations edited by Ibn Warraq, Which Koran? brings together a wealth of important European scholarship, much of which is translated into English for the first time. It will be of great interest not only to specialists in early Arabic and Koranic studies but also to students of early Islam and those interested in scripture more generally."
-Chase Robinson, formerly professor of Islamic history at the University of Oxford, now Distinguished Professor of History and provost of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and author of Abd al-Malik, Islamic Historiography, and Empire and Elites after the Muslim Conquest

About the Author

Ibn Warraq is the highly acclaimed author of Why I Am Not a Muslim, Virgins? What Virgins?, and Defending the West. He is also the editor of The Origins of the Koran, What the Koran Really Says, Leaving Islam, The Quest for the Historical Muhammad, and Which Koran?.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 631 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (August 31, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591024293
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591024293
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #615,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 54 people found the following review helpful By A. Peter on January 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A great book that reveals many myths about the quran, especially details as to its varying manuscripts and readings. Takes apart claims that the quran today is the unadulterated version from the time of muhammed himself. The famous Tokapi version is also discussed here along with others, known and not so well known.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Caliph al Ma'mun on July 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Ibn Warraq in '' Which Koran ? '' put together many of the old and new Scholarly works on the quran by western Islamic Scholars . The Book begins with a strong introduction By the Author himself , in it he quotes many authentic Sunni sources , which admit that many verses of the quran are lost . Then he goes on bringing parts of ibn masoud quran into life . Next, he destroys the claims of Maududi (who claims that the quran was never been change , even by a word or dot) by listing different existing qurans from different parts of the Islamic World which differ in verses , readings and the orthography.

The Articles which are listed are very interesting ,They talk about Linguistic , Variants and Manuscripts matters. However , the most interesting one in my opinion , was by the name of ( An Ancient Syriac Translation of the Kur'an Exhibiting new Verses and Variants) , written by Alphonso Mingana where a new verses of the Quran can be read.

The book brings many different readings which are different than the Standard readings hold by muslims today , and in many cases those readings give even a better meaning of the text. Some of those readings can challenge many orthodox Sunni doctrines. Such as the quran is kept on a Heavenly Tablet.

in conclusion , I recommend this book , to anyone who likes to know more about the different versions of the Quran .
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32 of 49 people found the following review helpful By David Reid Ross on November 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is here, at last, three years after its Amazon bookmark here. I have bought it, and I have read it. I wish to disclose here, and you can check my review of Puin/Ohlig for evidence, that I am a skeptic of Islam. I am not early-Crone and Wansbrough extreme in my critique of its origins, but extreme enough.

This book is a collection of others' essays, grouped into four sections. Here are the sections in it:
-Part 1 is the introduction wherein Ibn Warraq repeats what he's said in all his other books.
-Part 2 concerns Qur'anic linguistics. It starts with a translation of a Noeldeke article. The upshot of it all is that the Qur'an is not written according to classical Arabic rules.
-Part 3 - manuscripts - consists almost entirely of articles by Jeffery and Mingana.
-Part 4 is about textual variants remembered in Islamic tradition, mostly Shi'ite.

There is nothing new in Part 1; and every.single.article. in Part 3 (except Ibn Warraq's own) may be found online, in sites with URLs containing catchphrases like "answering-islam" [excepting the Syriac photos in Mingana's article on BarSalibi's Qur'an]. In 1998, Ibn Warraq could get away with this - they weren't all online then and the Internet was just slower. It is now 2011. There's no excuse.

For Part 2, I admit to not having a lot of Semitic-linguistics knowledge. I am grateful to have more Noeldeke in English; and Pierre Larcher's article on "the concept of peace" is interesting. Michael Schub's articles on modern translations - especially "Mauve Athena" - contain useful philological knowledge, as a byproduct of critiquing those translations.

Part 4 has Arthur Jeffery looking into the Qur'anic variants assigned to Zayd b. 'Ali and to Ibn Miqsam.
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