- Hardcover: 631 pages
- Publisher: Prometheus Books (November 24, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1591024293
- ISBN-13: 978-1591024293
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.5 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,297,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Which Koran?: Variants, Manuscripts, Linguistics Hardcover – August 31, 2008
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"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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Still, what's left is worth reading. It provides a great overview of Koran textual variants and lays the groundwork for why they exist. It covers the Shia vs. Sunni controversy of a corrupted Koran, the Seven readers, probable construction of the suras, the Uthmanic codex, and the linguistic development of Arabic.
The book is a collection of essays and articles from many different scholars, each with his own approach. Some revere the Koran, others regard it as scientifically important, and others despise it as an incondite farrago.
Once you read this, you will know more about the history and the formation of the Koran than most Muslims.
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 .
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. They turn out to be post-Umayyad, and minimal, corrections of the texts then available and not transmissions of any truly variant text. There are two good articles at the end about Shi'ite tradition and its (evolving) attitude toward the Qur'an text: first, grafting Shi'a readings right inline with the text, until finally (in our own day) asserting loudly that they accept the Qur'an in its present form exactly.
I count 20 articles here. Those worth paying for, number about five. Those interested in qira'at, and those interested in modern controversy, will get more out of this... but not much more. I view the inclusion of Part 3, especially, as a ripoff; and also I'm tempted to ding this book to punish Prometheus Books, for posting it here for so long without a real publication. [EDIT: but I've decided not to.] As a whole this book marks a decline in the output of Ibn Warraq and I cannot recommend it.
And their excuse that a goat ate parts of the koran makes that so called "religion" even more laughable.
The koran, the word of god? I don't think so.
Books like this and the internet will make it easy for muslims to realize what a big scam islam is. I thus strongly doubt islam has a future.
I now suddenly understand why I know more ex-muslims than muslims. And somehow I feel I will know even more ex-muslims in future...