This series is about the qira’at (meaning “recitation”) of the Quran. It’s the 1924 Hafs canonized Quran. 1924 is when one text was chosen. Take a look at that pile of Qurans that we have in front of us. These are all different, these are not only readers but they’re also narrators. The blue one is the most significant one supposedly from what all the Muslims are telling us today. But it’s actually the least significant. Now we need to prove our point.
Remember the 10 readers were introduced in the 8th century starting with 736 up until 844, the mid 9th century.
And then you have the purple 20 narrators.
Hafs was not a good choice.
1. He was not trustworthy and therefore not suitable.
2. He was not chosen for textual veracity or authenticity but for political reasons.
3. He came from the wrong city.
4. He came from the wrong dialect.
5. He should have been the last person among the thirty to have been chosen.
Before we look at Hafs, let’s look at his reader, Aasim. What do we know about Aasim? We are told that he received his Quran from Zarr b. Hubaysh and Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami, and Abu Amr al-Shaybani, who supposedly received it from Ali b. Abi Talib, who is the fourth caliph and Ibn Mas’ud Kufa. Do you know of any of those? Have you seen any of their Qurans? You don’t. Do any of them exist today? Of course not. So this is nothing more than hearsay. This is nothing more than attribution. We don’t know if any of these came or any of these even existed. We know of Ali b. Abi Talib (we have what is attributed to him). They have seven of them seven of them. Has anybody done any forensic testing on them or even dated them?
Let’s see what others said about Aasim.
- Aasim was reliable but made mistakes in the transmission
- Al-Amash memorized the tradition more correctly
- Everyone named Aasim was faulty in memorizing the tradition
- His transmission of the tradition contains some deniable things
- He had no problem with Aasim except poor memorization of the tradition
- Aasim had fault of memory
- Aasim become confused toward the end of his life
What do we know about Hafs?
- Hafs himself said he did not depart from Aasim’s reading except in one word in Surah 30:54
- Hafs was reliable in his reading, consistent and accurate, but not so in the transmission of the tradition
- Hafs’ transmission of the tradition was rejected
- He was not reliable
- Hafs was weak in the tradition, and I intentionally avoided transmitting from him
- He was rejected by the compilers of biographical dictionaries
- I consider him untrustworthy and the traditions he transmitted were not recorded
These are hadith transmitters so if these guys who collected the hadith telling you something like this, who supposedly were able to tell which hadith is sound and which hadith is not sound, why aren’t we taking their advice? Why are we even going to Hafs?
- declared him weak
- Hafs is one of those whose traditions have disappeared. What he transmitted contained objectionable traditions
- His traditions were not recorded, and all of them were objectionable
- Hafs was a liar and was rejected for fabricating traditions
- He used to change the chain of transmission, and even fabricated chains for those traditions that did not have ones
Why was Hafs chosen as the official Quran if he was so unreliable and so untrustworthy? We know the Ottomans chose Hafs because he was the easiest to understand. We know that he is the earliest of all the narrators, died in 796. That could have something to do with it and the fact that he also lived with Aasim whereas so many other narrators came so much time afterwards, they never knew the readers that they were attributed. Even if you do live with them, why is it that your text is not the same as the one you’re living with?