Part 2: The True State Of The Qur'an 


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"Again, in thousands of cases it [alif] is not written, although it is fully pronounced (for instance 
ought to have been written
). For printing the Qur’an they have invented a new sign, a small alif, which is marked just above the letter which this alif is to follow, and the difficulty is removed." (Orthographical, p. 78; emphasis added)8

Thus, this new sign is used to ‘mimic’ consonantal symbol alifs in order to make up for thousands of missing ones which "ought to have been written" and weren’t, as is evident in the inconsistent spelling mistakes we will note. This method does not ‘replace’ the alifs into the graphic form, but in a manner which is mistaken by some as ‘original Qur’anic Arabic’.9

The following Note IX from p. xxxi of the 1938 Hyderabad printing of M. Pickthall’s translation and an Indian-ised 1924 Royal Cairo Edition confirms this. The dagger alifs (small alifs) are marked with arrows:

Although the dagger alif is also utilised in some cases in modern Arabic it is not part of ‘original’ Qur’anic script. Islam has happily used it these so-called ‘small alifs’ to ‘correct’ various types of shortfalls in the ‘original’ - the true Qur’anic Arabic. 

It is important to note, then, that while and give ‘the same sound’ and the same meaning, the one is a corrected graphic form and the other has been ‘fixed’ with the ‘new’ invention. Something was absent from ‘the original’. The reasons for such ‘absence’, we will see, is varied.

Bilal Philips introduces some spelling mistakes which require this type of ‘correcting’. He also attributes them to the work of ‘Uthman’s scribes:

"The Qur’an is essentially an oral revelation10 written down according to the Arabic script known to the Prophet’s (PBUH) companions. Even the peculiarities of the scribes responsible for transcribing copies of the Qur’an made during Caliph Uthman’s reign (644-56 C.E.) have been preserved to this day since Muslim scholars down through the ages have unanimously agreed to follow the basic structure of the "Uthmanic" transcription when making new 

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copies of the Qur’an. Consequently, among the peculiarities of the Qur’anic script existing to this day are Alifs ( ), Yas () and Waws ( ) written but not read as well as some that are read but not written. For example, the pronounced Alif in the word "Kitaab" is sometimes written 
() and at other times not (). Similarly, the unpronounced Alif in the phrase "Bismi" is written in some cases 
() and not in others ( )." (The Qur’an’s Numerical Miracle, B. Philips, ‘19’ HOAX AND HERESY, p. 10).

Here Philips acknowledges the "sometimes written, sometimes not" peculiarities as being in the original "Qur’anic script" in ‘Uthman’s texts. While the Arabic language does have instances where letters are ‘silent’, what we are examining are ‘original’ imperfections in a ‘perfect’ text.

In his footnotes he cites examples of the problems listed in his text:

- alif is omitted in the word ‘kitaab’ (‘book’) in Q 20:52 and in Q41:3, while elsewhere the word is spelled with alif, for example in Q13:38 and Q18:27.
- alif is omitted in the word ‘bismi’ as in Q11:41 and in Q27:30, but has been included in other places, for example in Q56:96, Q69:52, and Q96:1.

Thus, we must understand the missing alifs as spelling mistakes.11

We may therefore conclude that Philips has informed us that the Bismillah, the short sentence which introduces every Surah except for Surah 9, has in fact got 3 spelling mistakes in it. These include the alifs omitted from the words Bismullah, Allah and Rahman. In Philips’ words:

"Similarly, the unpronounced Alif in the phrase "Bismi" is written in some cases ( ) and not in others ( ). Thus in the opening statement of the Qur’an, Bismillaahir-Rahmaanir-Raheem (In the name of Allah, The Beneficient, The Merciful), there are 3 deleted Alifs, one of which is unpronounced () and the other two pronounced, () and (), which make the total number of letters 22 and not 19." (‘19’, Bilal Philips, p. 10f)

Thus Philips concedes that 3 consonantal symbols are omitted (deleted?) from the very first line of the Qur’an, and when he counts the letters, he includes them among those that should be present. In light of the other admissions about the scribes of Muhammad, we can understand how they were ‘deleted’.

Of course, it must be too embarrassing to admit spelling mistakes in the very first sentence of a ‘perfect’ copy of a perfect Divine Qur’an, but surely the word "deleted" is an ineffective way to gloss it over.

Yet in doing so, Islam admits that in this short sentence alone, which occurs 113 times at the beginning of all but one Surah, the ‘perfect’ text of the Qur’an is missing 339 alifs.

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3/ For Correcting ‘THE Divine Name’?

Now, if we examine more closely the examples of missing alifs just cited above from Hamidullah (p. 78), we find in the first group the name [‘Allah’], and, in the second group, its corrected form [‘Allaah’]. Thus Hamidullah too admits that the word Allah is misspelled in the Qur’an.

Is it not absurd to believe that the Qur’an is ‘an exact copy’ of a ‘Tablet’ when this means that the name Allah wasn’t spelled correctly there, or, that Muhammad and the scribes didn’t actually know how to spell the name Allah? Surely this is evidence that those who were responsible for recording this ‘exact copy’ were not of sufficient knowledge to spell the word for ‘God’ correctly? 

In fact, Islam seems confused since the spelling of the word Allah can vary in the same Qur’an. For, while the Taj (as in the Swahili) text admits to the ‘deleted alif’ and uses a dagger alif as a ‘replacement’ (), others, like the Egyptians, still unsure they want to reveal this, or simply unsure how to spell what they believe is the Divine Name, use a fatha (short a) (). Perhaps it is in hope that the number of errors won’t appear so great, or that one of them is correct!! Of course it is not desirable that there are 2,700 times12 in which the Qur’an has spelled the word ‘God’ WRONG! Lest we forget, this accounts for 2700 of the very large number of alifs missing from the ‘original’ Qur’an.

Even in the 1938 printing of the 1924 Egyptian text they acknowledged in the Notes that they chose to spell the word Allah their own way, with a dagger alif:

This they followed in the text, for example in the Bismillah as in Q27:30
( ). However, they didn’t follow this spelling in each Bismillah which introduce each Surah
and so they have 2 spellings for Allah in the Bismillah, let alone in the same Qur’an. [Brockett notes this type of occurrence.]

This also means that the 1924 Egyptian Edition has 2700 fewer dagger alifs than the non-Egyptian graphic forms examined here.

And Ahmed Deedat, despite his booklet ‘What is His Name?’ which admits these very spelling mistakes by using the dagger alif spelling for ‘Allah’, seems caught between the two spellings for not only was he selling this 1938 Hyderabad text, but he sells Qur’ans with all spellings.

Yet he assures us that this IS "THE NAME" for the true God.

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Despite his own indecision as to which version of the Bismillah is the ‘true one’, Mr. Deedat declares that the Christians are "stealing" it and placing it at the beginning of their ‘Qur’anic style’ Gospel because it is "inimitable". But which spelling is "inimitable"? He writes:

"The Arab Christians who boast a population of 15 million today, not to be outdone, have produced the Christian gospels in Qur’anic style. They have plagiarised the Holy Qur’an by stealing words and phrases and even the style, not even forgetting the Bismillah. Every chapter of their modern invention begins with the first verse of the Qur’anic Revelation. You have to see it to believe it. Here is a photostat of the new man-made "revelation"....Here is another proof, if proof was needed that the Qur’an is inimitable. Try as you might. The challenge still stands." (Al-Qur’an The Miracle of Miracles, p.71f)

One would normally be at a loss (i.e. bewildered) finding Mr. Deedat admitting that something which contains spelling mistakes, like the Bismillah, is part of Islam’s ‘inimitable revelation’. However, since he has, and has also accepted ‘the new man-made "revelation"’ called the Mushaf al-Madinah as ‘Qur’an’, one cannot justify his ‘outwitting’ wherein he accuses the Christians of having a ‘new man-made revelation’, when all they have done, is copy the ‘Qur’anic style’. The truth is, as we are beginning to see, that it is the ‘Qur’anic Style’ which shows the touch of man. This particular Gospel has only been "made to appear" so.

4/ Not part Of ‘Qur’anic Script’

Another example of spelling mistakes given by Philips concerns the word ‘man’ (insan) in Q96, and it is evdefinition of "Qur’anic script" for even in his examples where a dagger alif has been added as a ‘restorative’ measure, Philips still admits that the word is written "without alif" because of its absence in the ‘original’ texts, the only place where one finds true "Qur’anic script". He states:

"The first part of the statement is correct; the word Insan is written as , without the Alif, in the oldest manuscripts of the Qur’an and also in Qur’ans printed in the Arab world, while the Qur’ans printed in India and Pakistan include this particular Alif based on their old manuscripts." (‘19’ , p. 22).

One need only examine this example in the Indian/Pakistani group of Qur’ans (Arabic) to notice that Philips is correct, and they have made a full ‘correction’ by actually inserting a consonant alif into the graphic forms of their Qur’ans. Obviously this is like the Ottoman Turk attempt, but we

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find that indeed Pakistan’s ‘oldest’ manuscripts show evidence of ‘correcting’ of spelling mistakes. However, it is inaccurate to present as representing "Qur’ans printed in the Arab world" since most are ‘Egyptian-ised’, and contain a dagger alif as the ‘replacement’.

Yet what we have just seen represent but a few of the 1600 graphic alifs in the Pakistani/Indian texts which are dagger alifs (i.e. admittedly missing alifs) in the 1924 Egyptian text. And these 1600 graphic alifs are but few in comparison to the 5300 graphic alifs in the Turkish text. We ponder the reason that there is a difference of 3700 ‘correcting alifs’ between these texts.13

But, while Philips asserts that such ‘missing’ alifs are "peculiarities of the [original] Qur’anic script", evidence of the ‘peculiarities’ [spelling mistakes] of ‘Uthman’s scribes, Ibrahim Surty is reluctant to admit this, and proclaims even the dagger alifs as part of the "Qur’anic script". And so he defines them under "Long Vowels":

"For such a long vowel in the Qur’anic script both alif [] as well as a short [] (This short Alif is also known as dagger Alif.) are placed on the consonant which carries fathah." (Qur’anic Arabic, Surty, p. 60; emphasis added)

So he supplies a different definition of "Qur’anic script", one which suddenly includes the ‘new sign’ of the dagger alif, something that is used to ‘replace’ graphic alifs that were missing from the original ‘script’.

Even Von Denffer tries to present the ‘dagger alifs’ as part of the ‘original’ Qur’anic script. He writes:

"Numerous copies of the Qur’an were made after the time of the Prophet Muhammad and the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, and the writers of these manuscripts strictly observed the autography of the ‘Uthmanic Qur’an. There are, compared to the usual Arabic spelling, some peculiarities. Here are a few of them, only concerning the letters alif, ya, waw, by way of examples.14

- The letter alif is often written on top of a letter instead of after it, e.g.

." (Ulum, p. 60; emphasis added).

Perhaps he would like to show us the ‘original’ text which contains this dagger alif?

It is this type of dishonest representation that makes the Qur’an look perfect even when there are obvious imperfections. And, after accepting such a teaching, who would think anything of finding that in Q20:63 the Indian (and Taj) text has only dagger alifwhile in another Hafs text, namely the 1924 Egyptian, there is a graphic alif . Since the Medinan (Warsh) text also has dagger alif , we again find evidence that the Indian and Pakistani Taj (as in the Swahili) texts bear

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the graphic form of the Medinan (Warsh) text. How did this corruption happen?

We conclude that certain groups within Islam would like the presence of the dagger alif to pass uneventfully, and it matters not to them if some happen to think that it is part of the ‘original Qur’anic script’, part of the orthography of the ‘Uthmanic texts. In fact, that would be beneficial to the illusion. Although it is "made to appear" original, the dagger alif was never ‘written on top of a word’ in the ‘original’ Qur’anic script. Now there are something like 10,000 of them!

It is no wonder that a Malaysian lady looked incredulous when she was told of Hamidullah’s admission that the dagger alif is not original. She had thought it was - and that the Qur’an was complete and perfect.

5/ Numbers And Placement Differ In The Hafs And Warsh Texts

We are not finished, though, for if one examines more extensively the Warsh (Medinan) and Hafs (Kufan) texts one finds that they do not always contain ‘dagger alifs’ in the same places, indicating that they serve other purposes than merely correcting spelling mistakes.

This is evident with Yusuf Ali’s example of two readings for Q47:4 of which he states:

"There are two alternative readings, (1) , "those who fight", and (2) , "those who are slain". The meaning of the first reading is wider, and includes that under the second. I have translated on the basis of the second reading, which is in accordance with the text of the Royal Egyptian edition." (The Holy Qur’an, King Fahd, 1410, Footnote #4824)15

But, we note that the reading ), that of Hafs, sticks to the text of ‘Uthman, while  ( ), that of Warsh, has been obtained by adding a dagger alif, and thus ‘extending’ (adding to) the text of ‘Uthman one alif.

Furthermore, in spite of Yusuf Ali’s plea that "The meaning of the first reading is wider, and includes that under the second.", the fact is that the one declares the reward for martyrs, while the other declares the reward for all who fight, a much broader group. In Islamic theology this is ‘making a statement which Allah didn’t make’.

Another example is from Q2:9 as given by Von Denffer. He writes:

"Read the two versions of Sura 2:9 given on plates 7 and 8. Disregard the difference in style of writing. The first example is from a Qur’an from North Africa, the second from a Qur’an from Jordan. In the North African version, the word (they deceive) is used twice, while in the Jordan version, the word occurs as in the second instant. Both

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are correct and accepted readings, since they have been transmitted to us. Also there is no objection from the viewpoint of grammar or correct language and the writing without vowel signs can carry both readings." (Ulum, p. 113; emphasis added)

Of course, the first ‘objection’ is that we have seen just how uncertain has been the way these ‘accepted’ readings "have been transmitting to us" and that Islam has no ‘certain knowledge’ concerning them, let alone concerning those readings it asserts belonged to the ‘original 7 Forms’.

The next ‘objection’ is that the assertion that "the writing without vowel signs can carry both readings" is a misdirecting of the mind away from the purpose of a dagger alif, which is to ‘extend’ the existing consonantal symbol text. In this way it is implied to be nothing more than ‘another vocalisation’ when it is not. All this is a deceitful ‘outwitting’. 

Finally, we must raise the importance of why it is necessary to state "there is no objection from the viewpoint of grammar and correct language" when it is asserted that the Qur’an is an exact replica of "Allah’s Words"! Surely God has no problems with His Arabic?!

The truth is that here in Von Denffer’s own words we find a repetition of the rationale which we found in as-Suyuti’s citation from ibn al-Jazari. It is the ‘anything remotely close to Arabic grammar’, and ‘remotely close to an ‘Uthmanic text’ although "even if only in some way" or "even if only probable" which makes ‘anything transmitted to us’ acceptable, even though the text is being altered and contorted to fit it. But, admits Von Denffer, this is why the ‘Uthmanic text of Q2:9 is ‘acceptable’ in an altered form. 

But ibn al-Jazari went further stating:

"...but when one of these three conditions is not fulfilled, it is to be rejected as weak (da’if) or exceptional (shadh) or void (batil), no matter whether it is from the seven or from one who is older than them." (Itqan, Suyuti, I, p.75, as cited by Von Denffer, Ulum, p. 120f; emphasis added).

It stretches one’s credulity to the utmost to believe that a Qur’an is ‘perfect’ which has been assembled from an assortment of materials which is of such low quality that it has to be far worse than "remotely close to Arabic grammar", ETC, before it is rejected! Surely this is not the ‘perfection’ we are told Islam possesses.

So far we have seen some obvious spelling mistakes, ‘extensions’ to the consonantal symbols of the text to accommodate the ‘new readings’, and acceptance of things "remotely" like Arabic. But there are other matters.

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6/ A Dagger Alif Is Not A ‘Ya-Alif’

In the Arabic language there exists the possibility of treating a ya as either a consonant y or as a long ‘a’, in either case the graphic ya remains. It is a ‘y’ if the two dots are included underneath the ya .16 It is pronounced as a long ‘a’ if the two dots are omitted, or, in the case of the ‘Qur’anic Arabic’, if a dagger alif is placed above the ya. This is referred to as a ya alif. 17

However, in ‘Qur’anic Arabic’ there is a third choice, for the presence of a dagger alif above a ya many times indicates to the uninitiated reader that the graphic ya is being ‘replaced’ by an alif.18

In each of the above three cases the meaning of the text varies considerably, and this is the importance of finding that the ‘new readings’ disagree with the texts as to whether there should be a ya of either sort, or an alif.

A statement from ibn al-Jazari on Q3:28 makes it clear that the accepted ‘oral text’ differs from the accepted graphic form of ‘Uthman: 

"Ya’qub read taqiyyhtan, which tallies with the shape of the graphic form in all the written texts. The other nine read tuqAhtan in accordance with the oral text." (al-Nashr, Vol. 2, p. 23919: emphasis added).

The Arabic text of this is:

The ‘9’, including Hafs and Warsh, use alif and read tuqahtan which disagrees with the ‘Uthmanic graphic form, although, in the 1924 Egyptian Edition it is not obvious as it has the same configuration as a ya alif20 - a dagger alif above the ya stem and no dots. However, only Ya’qub chose to use the content of the ‘Uthmanic text and so has a consonant y in his reading. 

A different meaning results as the following show.

- Ya’qub’s reading, using the ya as a y and doubling it, produces the meaning "righteous one".
- The ‘9’ replaced the ya with an alif, giving the meaning "righteousness". Such a reading is indicated also by the retaining of the two dots on the ta’ marbuta ().
- A true ya alif would give the meaning "righteous ones". In this case the two dots would also be missing from the ta’ marbuta.

There is no denying the three give considerably different meanings. 


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The reading of the ‘9’ has been obtained at the cost of rejecting the content of the ‘Uthmanic graphic form. The acceptance of both readings definitely shows Islam’s lack of adherence to the ‘Uthmanic texts, or even to one ‘original reading’, or one original MEANING.

Such a rejection stands out also in cases where a text appears to have a ya alif, but in another text we find it has been ‘converted’ right into the graphic form as an alif, thus indicating the true purpose. For example in Q2:98 the Turkish (and Iranian) text contains an alif in the graphic form 

21, whereas the 1924 Egyptian text has only a dagger alif above an unmarked stem 

Here, then was another reason for the Egyptians to make a new text22 and restore the ‘Uthmanic graphic form, even though it would indicate the conflicts between the ‘Oral Tradition’ and the text. [See page opposite for examples where the Samarqand MSS replaced the ya with alif.]

Here is ‘Proof’ that even the "most ancient manuscripts" of Islam show signs of ‘tampering’ by the later scribes. They knew they had to reject the ‘Uthmanic Text (graphic form) if they were to accept the "best transmitted and most reliable" readings - things like that of Hafs and Warsh.

Surty also includes examples of ‘pseudo’ ya alifs under ‘additional loops’. When writing in this same section on "Qur’anic Orthography" he writes:

"Certain words include an additional loop ( ) in Qur’anic script which stands for the consonant (ya’) in their root(s)." (p. 77, section (l) (II))

Among Surty’s examples of ‘additional loops’ [see at right] we find #9 the word bi-aydin [Q51:47] - note the extra ‘Uthmanic ya has been ignored - even though ibn Khaldun spelled it with two yas as biayydin, and classed it as evidence of the lack of knowledge of Muhammad’s scribes. Hamidullah termed this the ‘only’ case where one too many consonants was found in the Qur’an. 23


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Below: Samarqand VS 1924 Edition - examples indicating the Samarqands text is a corrected version exchanging some 'over-ridden yas and waws for alifs.

Page #692:


Ya ‘overridden’ by alif


Page #518:


Ya ‘overridden’ by alif.


Page #350:


Ya ‘overridden’ by alif

Page #297:


Waw ‘overridden’ by alif.

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                                           CHAPTER 13 (CONT'D)