Ulum al Qur'an
CONTENTS ONLINE LIBRARY
Variants on Sura Al-lkhlas, (112)
|Verse||Ibn Mas'ud [I, p. 65; Ibn Abi Dawud, masahif, p. 113.]||'Ubaid [I, p. 65; Ibn Abi Dawud, masahif, p. 180.]||'Umar [I, p. 65; Ibn Abi Dawud, masahif, p. 222.]||normal reading by|
|Ali, Ibn Abbas, Abu Musa, Hafsa|
|al wahid, in place of al ahad||Anas b. Malik, Zaid b. Thabit, Ibn al Zubair, Ibn Amr,|
|112:3||lam yulad wa lam yulid, in place of lam yalid wa lam yulad||Aisha, Salim, Umm Salama, Ubaid b. Umar|
Even today the variants and synonyms are found in such copies of the text as are attributed to the Companions and are of some value to us in the sense that they may have served as an early rudimentary form of tafsir. For example, according to some reports the words 'salat al-wusta' (middle prayer) were read and written by Hafsa,[Muwatta' Malik; Jeffery, p. 214.] Ubay [Jeffery, p. 122.] and Ibn 'Abbas [Jeffery, p. 196.] as 'salat al-'asr' (i.e. afternoon prayer).
As long as the sahaba wrote their own copies for personal use only, there was nothing wrong, if they did not strictly adhere to the order of suras which was the order of the Qur'an. Later on, when 'Uthman's copy became the standard version, the Companions adopted the order of this copy including Ibn Mas'ud who perhaps differed most. [Ibn Abi Dawud, p. 12; Salih, S.: Mabahith fi 'ulum al-qura'n, Beirut, 1964,]
There were also, as indicated, some variant readings in these copies, [See also below, seven readings and qira'at.] when some words were pronounced and spelt in slightly different ways, etc. However, it should be noted that variant readings are usually reported by a single person only, and occasionally by perhaps two or three while the version called the 'Uthmanic text is mutawatir, i.e. transmitted by numerous people and is without doubt authentic.