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A QURANIC VARIANT THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE PT. 2

Here is the link to the first part in this series:  https://answeringallah.com/a-quranic-variant-that-makes-a-difference/

In this post I am going to show another variant reading found among the conflicting and contradictory Qurans compiled by Muhammad’s companions which is both viable and meaningful, one that changes the meaning entirely.

According to the Muslim scripture, the sun sets out on a fixed course for an appointed term:

And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term (appointed). That is the Decree of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing. S. 36:38 Hilali-Khan

Muhammad explained that the sun’s course includes its physical descent into a spring of murky water from which it then ascends back to the throne of Allah in order to prostrate before him, in order to receive his permission to resume its orbit:

One of the major signs of the Hour

  1. Abu Dharr narrated, “Once I was with the Prophet (riding) a donkey on which there was a saddle or a (piece of) velvet. That was at sunset. He said to me, ‘O Abu Dharr, do you know where this (sun) sets?’ I said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know better.’ He said, ‘It sets in a spring of murky water, (then) it goes and prostrates before its Lord, the Exalted in Might and the Ever-Majestic, under the Throne. And when it is time to go out, Allah allows it to go out and thus it rises. But, when He wants to make it rise where it sets, He locks it up. The sun will then say, “O my Lord, I have a long distance to run.” Allah will say, “Rise where you have set.” That (will take place) when no (disbelieving) soul will get any good by believing then.’” (Ahmad) (The Translation of: The Meaning of the Fifty Hadith of Jame Al-uloom Wal-Hakim (“A Compilation of Knowledge and Wisdom”), compilation by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (736 H-795 H), translated and spotlights by Yaseen Ibrahim al-Sheikh (Vol. 1), A Selection of Authentic Qudsi (Sacred) Hadiths, translated by Muhammad M. ‘Abdul-Fattah, edited by Reima Youssif Shakeir (Vol. 2) [Dar Al-Manarrah for Translation, Publishing & Distribution], pp. 319-320 https://archive.org/details/50HadithJameAlUloomWalHikamSelectionAuthenticQudsi; emphasis mine)

And:

(3991) Abu Dharr said: I was sitting behind the Apostle of Allah who was riding a donkey while the sun was setting. He asked: Do you know where this sets? I replied: Allah and his Apostle know best. He said: IT SETS IN A SPRING OF WARM WATER (hamiyah).3408 (Prof. Ahmad Hasan, Sunan Abu Dawud – English Translation With Explanatory Notes [Sh. Muhammad Ashraf, Publishers, Lahore, 1984], Volume III. Chapters 1338-1890, XXV. Kitab Al-Ahruf Wa Al-Qira’at [Book of Dialects and Readings Of The Qur’an], Chapter 1498, p. 1120; bold and capital emphasis mine)

  1. Qur’an, xviii. 86. The word hami’ahin this verse has two readings. Abu Ja‘far, Abu ‘Amir, Hamzah, al-Kisa’i and Abu Bakr read it hamiyahwith long vowel aHamiyah means warm water. The others read it hami’ah meaning musky water. (Ibid.)

Not only do we have a gross scientific error, we also find another variant reading from the one I will be highlighting in a moment. What this means is that, contrary to Muslim propaganda, the Quran hasn’t been perfectly preserved since the extant manuscripts and the Islamic traditions highlight many variant and conflicting readings.

And here is another English rendering of Abu Dawud’s narration:

  1. It was narrated that Abu Dharr said: “I was riding behind the Messenger of Allah while he was on a donkey, and the sun was setting. He said: ‘Do you know where this (sun) sets?’ I said: ‘Allah and his Messenger know best.’ He said: ‘IT SETS IN A SPRING OF WATER (fa innaha taghrubu fi ‘ainin hamiyah).’”

Grade: SAHIH in chain (Al-Albani)  (English Translation of Sunan Abu Dawud, Compiled by Imam Hafiz Abu Dawud Sulaiman bin Ash‘ath – From Hadith no. 3242 to 4350, ahadith edited and referenced by Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair ‘Ali Za’i, translated by Nasiruddin al-Khattab (Canada), final review by Abu Khaliyl (USA) [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, First Edition: July, 2008], Volume 4, 29. The Book Of The Recitations And Readings Of The Qur’an, p. 375 https://sunnah.com/abudawud:4002; capital emphasis mine)

Now pay close attention to what Ibn Kathir wrote in regards to the meaning of Q. 36:38:

… Allah’s saying:

﴿وَالشَّمْسُ تَجْرِى لِمُسْتَقَرٍّ لَّهَـا ذَلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ ﴾

(And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term (appointed). That is the decree of the Almighty, the All-Knowing) There are two views over the meaning of the phrase…

(on its fixed course for a term (appointed).) (The first view) is that it refers to its fixed course of location, which is beneath the Throne, beyond the earth in that direction. Wherever it goes, it is beneath the Throne, it and all of creation, because the Throne is the roof of creation AND IT IS NOT A SPHERE AS MANY ASTRONOMERS CLAIM. Rather it is a dome supported by legs or pillars, carried by the angels, and it is above the universe, above the heads of people. When the sun is at its zenith at noon, it is in its closest position to Throne, and when it runs in its fourth orbit at the opposite point to its zenith, at midnight, it is in its furthest position from the Throne. At that point it prostrates and asks for permission to rise, as mentioned in the Hadiths. Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Dharr said, “I was with the Prophet in the Masjid at sunset, and he said:

<<O Abu Dharr! Do you know where the sun sets>> I said, `Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said:

<<(It goes and prostrates beneath the Throne, and that is what Allah says: (And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term. That is the decree of the Almighty, the All-Knowing.)>>” It was also reported that Abu Dharr said, “I asked the Messenger of Allah about the Ayah…

(And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term.) He said…

<<Its fixed course is beneath the Throne.>>” (The second view) is that this refers to when the sun’s appointed time comes to an end, which will be on the Day of Resurrection, when its fixed course will be abolished, it will come to a halt and it will be rolled up. This world will come to an end, and that will be the end of its appointed time. This is the fixed course of its time. Qatadah said…

(on its fixed course for a term (appointed).) means, “It has an appointed time and it will not go beyond that.” It was also said that this means, it keeps moving in its summer orbit for a certain time, and it does not exceed that, then it moves to its winter orbit for a certain time, and it does not exceed that. This was narrated from `Abdullah bin `Amr. IBN MAS`UD AND IBN `ABBAS recited this Ayah as:

(وَالشَّمْسُ تَجْرِي لَامُسْتَقَرَّ لَهَا)

(And the sun runs with NO fixed course for a term,) meaning that it has no destination and it does not settle in one place, rather it keeps moving night and day, never slowing down or stopping, as in the Ayah…

(And He has made the sun and the moon, both constantly pursuing their courses, to be of service to you) (14:33). which means, they will never slow down or stop, until the Day of Resurrection. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 36:38 https://www.alim.org/quran/tafsir/ibn-kathir/surah/36/37; emphasis mine)

Ibn Kathir, who is considered one of Islam’s greatest Quranic expositors, plainly states that the Quran and Muhammad’s authentic sunnah deny that the world is spherical. Rather, according to Allah and his “messenger” the cosmos is a dome with Allah’s throne being the roof which envelops it.

To make matters worse, Ibn Kathir quotes from the Qurans of Abdullah ibn Masud and Ibn Abbas, which read differently from the Muslim text standardized by Uthman and used by Muslims today. In their Quranic codices, the sun does not set on a fixed course thereby directly contradicting the codex of Uthman.

Note the conflicting reading once again:

“And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term…”

Versus:

“And the sun runs with NO fixed course for a term…”

Now to show the readers why the reading of Ibn Masud and Ibn Abbas is extremely important, the former was one of the four men that Muhammad commanded his followers to learn the Quran from:

Narrated Masruq: ‘Abdullah bin Masud was mentioned before Abdullah bin ‘Amr who said, “That is a man I still love, as I heard the Prophet saying, ‘Learn the recitation of Quran from four from ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud –he started with him–Salim, the freed slave of Abu Hudaifa, Mu’adh bin Jabal and Ubai bin Ka’b.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 153 https://sunnah.com/bukhari:3808)

Masruq reported: We used to go to Abdullah b. ‘Amr and talk to him, Ibn Numair said: One day we made a mention of Abdullah b. Mas’ud, whereupon he said: You have made mention of a person whom I love more than anything else. I heard Allah’s Messenger as saying: Learn Qur’an from four persons: Ibn Umm ‘Abd (i. e. ‘Abdullah b. Mas’ud) he started from him-then Mu’adh b. Jabal and Ubayya b. Ka’b, then Salim the ally of Abu Hudhaifa. (Sahih Muslim, Book 031, Number 6024 https://sunnah.com/muslim:2464a)

Masruq reported: We were in the company of Abdullah b ‘Amr that we made a mention of a hadith from Abdullah b. Mas’ud; thereupon he said: That is a person whose love ever remains (fresh in my heart) after I heard Allah’s Messenger as saying: Learn Qur’an from four persons: Ibn Umm ‘Abd, i.e. Abdullah b. Mas’ud and he started from his name-then Ubayy b. Ka’b and Mu’adh b Jabal. Zuhri did not make a mention of the words yaquluhu in his narration. (Sahih Muslim, Book 031, Number 6025 https://sunnah.com/muslim:2464e)

In the case of Ibn Abbas, not only was he Muhammad’s paternal first cousin Muhammad even prayed that Allah would grant him knowledge to correctly understand the Muslim scripture:

Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas: Once the Prophet embraced me and said, “O Allah! Bestow on him the knowledge of the Book (Qur’an).” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 3, Number 75 https://sunnah.com/bukhari:75)

Narrated by Ibn Abbas: Once the Prophet embraced me (pressed me to his chest) and said, “O Allah, teach him wisdom (i.e. the understanding of the knowledge of Qur’an).” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 57, Number 100 https://sunnah.com/bukhari:3756)

Narrated by ‘Abdul Warith: The same but said, “O Allah, teach him (Ibn Abbas) the Book (i.e. the understanding of the knowledge of Qur’an).” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 57, Number 101 https://sunnah.com/bukhari:3756b)

Thus, the Qurans compiled by two of Muhammad’s personal followers, who were considered to be some of the most knowledgeable Muslims that ever lived when it comes to their knowledge of the contents and meaning of the Islamic “holy” book, agreed with each other that the sun does not run on a fixed course, thereby contradicting the reading found in Uthman’s codex.

Seeing that this is variant contains a major contradiction, this refutes the propaganda of Muslims that the Quran is a perfect scripture. The fact is that this and other variant readings, highlighted within the Islamic sources themselves, prove that the Muslim scripture has not been perfectly preserved and contains major errors and serious defects.

FURTHER READING

Muhammad on the Setting Place of the Sun

CHALLENGES FOR ONE MESSAGE FOUNDATION PT. 1

Textual Integrity

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