Ep.6b: By adding 5 dots & 3 vowels the Qur’an changes! [Video]

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Ep.6b: By adding 5 dots & 3 vowels the Qur’an changes!

Since the last video, there have been many Muslims (and others as well) who are questioning why we keep insisting that when adding or subtracting the 5 dots and 3 vowels in the Arabic alphabet this changes the meaning of the words, and thus the meanings of the sentences in the Qur’an, which confronts the notion that the Qur’an has been preserved completely and perfectly, without one word or one letter accreted or deleted in the past 1400 years.

To support these claims, Hatun and I went back to Speaker’s Corner on Sunday, the 7th of August (2016), to introduce 26 Arabic Qur’ans which we claimed had differences between them, and had differences with the current canonized ‘Hafs’ Qur’an, used by millions around the world today.

The mostly Arabic speaking crowd who listened to us became understandably quite agitated and angry, as this material goes against everything they have been taught for over 1,000 years, and would suggest that their Qur’an does not come from God, but was simply made by man, which would explain then why there were so many differences.

Because of the volatility of Speaker’s Corner, and because the material we were introducing was quite technical and difficult to communicate, especially to an angry crowd; we announced from the
ladder that we would be putting up another ‘follow-up’ video to not only explain what we were saying on the ladder, but show the actual changes which we could find in the written Arabic between the 26 Arabic Qur’ans on display.

The video we show here is that ‘follow-up’ video. In it you will see Hatun and me discuss in a quiet studio the differences which do exist between a few of the 26 Qur’ans, as well as the background concerning how and why these differences occur.

Unsurprisingly, since we put up this video, the only response from Muslims has been that these Qira’at changes were simply dialectical, or pronunciation differences, and nothing more, and that the meaning of the text continued to remain exactly the same in every Qira’at.

As far as they are concerned, the Muslims are of one mind that adding or subtracting the dots and vowels to the Arabic letters are simply for dialectical purposes of pronunciation, but retain the exact meaning in each dialect, and therefore do not change the meaning for any of the words, or of the sentences.

Most of those who say this either don’t understand Arabic, or they have not been shown any examples of the variant words, which would prove to them just how dynamically these variants not only change the meanings, but they change the context of the verses, which at times change the doctrine, or the beliefs, and even at times change the practices being described in the text.

We are now 6 years later and still we hear the same dogged and worn-out refrain from Muslims that nothing has changed in meaning with the addition of the 5 dots and 3 vowels.

That is why I have decided to reprise the video again for Pfanderfilms which Hatun and I recorded back in August 2016.

In this roughly hour and 15-minute video, recorded at the Pfander centre in London the next day, Hatun and I unpacked example after example of just how different the meanings are with the Arabic words once you add or take away dots and vowels from those words.

We looked at 14 examples in depth, including Surahs 2:10, 2:48, 2:125, 2:132, 2:140, 2:184, 2:214, 2:219, 2:271, 3:146, 21:4, 28:48, 34:17, 114:2.

And then we looked more cursively at another 9 verses, including Surahs 1:4, 2:58, 2:259, 3:81, 3:133, 4:152, 5:54, 21:4, 91:15, in order to prove just how different they were once you add or subtract a dot or vowel.

We then opened up a number of pages and looked randomly at a few of Hatun’s Qira’at Qur’ans and pointed to coloured words printed in the Arabic text where the publishers pointed out differing words in each of the texts between one student and another (referred to as Riwayat) within a family of Qira’at writers, proving that even today Muslim publishers aren’t trying to hide these differences which existed between the Riwayat students.

Muslims, however, haven’t been told this, nor shown it, so that is why I’ve decided to re-post this video for all of you to use for yourselves and for your Muslim friends, so that never again can they excuse these Qira’at Qur’an differences as simple dialectical pronunciation differences.

Adding or subtracting a dot, or a vowel, not only changes that word, it changes its meaning, which changes the context, which at times changes the doctrine, or the theology, or even a practice, proving that the Qur’an has never been perfectly preserved as the Muslims claim, but has gone through massive changes to its texts over the intervening 1400 years.

© Pfander Centre for Apologetics – US, 2022
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