I have recently come to know that there are 7 different versions of Quran. A learned, scholarly person said it in a conference at some university . He also said that the differences are of minute nature but they do exist, the Quran we study today is one of these 7 versions and that all along in history belief in all these 7 versions was considered compulsory.
My questions are:
Is this all True?
If it is true than why is it kept a secret? A common muslim doesn’t know about it.
What are the differences between these 7 versions of Quran? How and when did they arise?
In the Quran it is written that Allah has taken the task of preserving the Quran. Then how come the Quran has these difference (no matter how minute they maybe) if Allah has taken the task of preserving it?
May Allah have His mercy and blessings on you.
Your answers follow:
According to our understanding, no. This is mainly based on a single Hadith from Imam Malik’s Al-Muwatta. The hadith has problems in terms of both the content and the narrators.
It is not true, however it is also not a secret. One can easily read about this in any reasonable book about history of the Qur’an and most certainly it can also be found on the internet.
Moiz Amjad says in one of his responses:
Imaam Suyuti, in his ‘Al-Ittiqaan fi `uloom al-Qur’an’ has narrated more or less forty different sayings trying to explain the implication of this narrative but has finally conceded in his commentary of the Mu’atta ‘Tanwir al-Hawaalik’ that none of these (forty) explanations is completely acceptable and therefore the correct opinion seems to be of those who hold that the narrative is quite inexplicable and should therefore be considered a ‘Mutashaabeh’.
You can find the whole answer here: The Narrative Regarding the Seven Readings (Sab`ah Ahruf) of the Qur’an
We totally agree with you and this is one of the main reasons that we cannot accept such beliefs based on a single Hadith.
One last point; The only beliefs that are compulsory are those that are clearly established in the Qur’an.
April 25, 2005