What's New and Updated?

Updates for the years 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.


30th December 2008

Does the Qur'an portray a Pharaoh "who forgot to die in time?" The Christian missionaries have claimed the Bible clearly and consistently identifies the precise time in which the Exodus occurred. A close examination of the Biblical account proves it is inherently contradictory and contains obvious errors. In the article The Identification Of Pharaoh During The Time Of Moses we highlight the various methods utilised by the apologists and missionaries in their surreptitious efforts to circumvent these issues. Although certain assumptions must be formed in absence of information supplied, contrasted with the confusing and contradictory biblical account, the Qur'anic account of the Exodus is shown to be internally consistent and combines well with the extant egyptological data.

This article is in the section Refutation Of External Contradictions In The Qur'an.


21st November 2008

Update of The Inscription Of Zuhayr - The Earliest Dated Ḥijāzī Inscription, 24 AH / 644 CE. This is the earliest dated ḥijāzī inscription. It was written by Zuhayr "at the time of ʿUmar's death" in 24 AH, thus mentioning the name of the second caliph. This inscription, it appears, is destined to be the most famous of all the Arabic inscriptions as the UNESCO has added it to the Memory of the World Register of Documentary Collections. The Discovery Channel also mentioned the importance of this inscription in the news.

This is present in the section The Arabic & Islamic Inscriptions.


9th November 2008

A private-owned fragment of the Qur'an was published recently. On the basis of palaeography and radiocarbon analysis, it was dated to the second half of the 1st century of hijra / late 7th or early 8th century CE. This manuscript is discussed in An ‘Umayyad’ Fragment Of The Qur'ān From 1st Century Hijra. The radiocarbon analysis of this fragment of the Qur'an is added in Radiocarbon (Carbon-14) Dating And The Qur'anic Manuscripts.

These are in the section The Qur'anic Manuscripts.


24th September 2008

Are there discrepancies between various Qur'anic accounts regarding the nature of ancient Egyptian religion during the time of Moses? According to the Christian missionaries, the Qur'anic account has an "enormous historical error". Based on their reading of over a dozen internet websites, including a website designed for children, the Christian missionaries fail to support their alleged "discrepancy" with recourse to reliable, verifiable historical sources. A careful consideration of a selection of primary sources including papyri, hieroglyphs and associated iconography from the New Kingdom period, shows the statements made by Pharaoh and his chiefs as reported by the Qur'an are in consonance with established ancient Egyptian religious precepts. This is discussed in the article Pharaoh And His Gods In Ancient Egypt.

This article is in the section Refutation Of External Contradictions In The Qur'an.


6th September 2008

Ramaḍan karim to our readers! May Allah forgive our sins and grant us Paradise. Ameen!

Update of The "Qur'ān Of ʿUthmān" At Tashkent (Samarqand), Uzbekistan, From 2nd Century Hijra. We have added history of this manuscript and content of the folios. This manuscript was written in Kufic script and contains at least 360 folios. The details of other folios would be added as we get more information about them. Although the radiocarbon dates generated at either confidence level do not rule out the possibility that this manuscript was produced in ʿUthmān's time, palaeographic studies suggest an 8th century (2nd century hijra) date.

This is in the section The Qur'anic Manuscripts.


27th August 2008

Addition of an Arab-Sassanian Coin Of Yazīd Bin Mu‘āwiya, 61 AH / 681 CE. Typical Arab-Sassanian bust, i.e., standing profile potrait of Khusraw II. The reverse field has a unique Middle Persian legend that says: ŠNT ’YWK Y YZYT ("Year one of Yazīd"). The dating "Year one of Yazīd" belongs to Sassanian system; the "Year one" being the first year of the current reign. There is no indication of the "Islamic" character of this coin. A very unusual coin indeed!

This interesting coin has found its place in the Dated Muslim Texts From 1-72 AH / 622-691 CE: Documentary Evidence For Early Islam.

These are in the section The Islamic Coins.


15th August 2008

Addition of The ‘Mingana Palimpsest’ – A Manuscript Containing Qur'ān From 1st Century Hijra. Mrs. Agnes Smith Lewis was the first scholar to publish this unique palimpsest that has scriptio superior which is a Christian material (Arabic Christian homilies) and the scriptio inferior consisting of the Qur'anic verses. Mingana presented a full transcription of the Qur'anic text of the scriptio inferior of the manuscript, with the parallel text from the present day Qur'an. But his claim of "variants" in the Qur'anic text has come under suspicion partly because of his own history of being involved in suspected forgeries. Recent study by Fedeli on this manuscript has confirmed that the "inevitable and easy conclusion" is that all of Mingana's transcription can be suspected to be wrong. A recent surge of interest in this manuscript is due to the fact that the scriptio inferior was written in the ḥijāzī script.

This is in the section The Qur'anic Manuscripts.


8th August 2008

Update of The “Great Umayyad Qur'ān” (Codex Ṣanʿāʾ – Inv. No. 20-33.1) From The Time Of Caliph Al-Walīd, Late 1st Century Hijra. We have added a table of contents as well as brief description. This monumental and the earliest Kufic Qur'anic manuscript, perhaps one of the most well-studied, is dated to the last decade of the 1st century of hijra, around 710 - 715 CE, in the reign of the Umayyad Caliph al-Walīd. This manuscript is unique in the sense that it open with a group of full page images. These images are the only known Qur'an illustrations and are absolutely unique among extant Qur'an manuscripts.

This is in the section The Qur'anic Manuscripts.


1st August 2008

Update of The "Qur'ān Of ʿUthmān" At The Topkapi Museum, Istanbul, Turkey, From 1st / 2nd Century Hijra. This manuscript was written in Kufic script and contains 408 folios. The extant folios contain more than 99% of the text of the Qur'an. Only two folios are missing. The manuscript shows the script, illumination and marking of vowels that are from the Umayyad times (i.e., late 1st century / early 2nd century of hijra). Contentwise, compare this manuscript with any of the manuscripts of the Christian Bible from the first three hundred years of advent of Christianity (hint: there is no comparison!).

This is in the section The Qur'anic Manuscripts.


23rd July 2008

The missionaries have claimed that al-Raḥmān was a deity worshipped by pagans in ancient South Arabia and that it remains an "uncontested fact". Furthermore, they have asserted that al-Raḥmān of the South Arabian pagans was a pagan deity and not the same al-Raḥmān worshiped by the Jews and Christians. Coupled with these are even more ludicrous statements such as claiming A. F. L. Beeston's (former Laudian Professor of Arabic at the University of Oxford) translation of Raḥmānān as "the Merciful" as "dubious translation of this word" and how Abraha's inscription effects the hijra chronology. A devastating refutation of all these claims is made in the article Raḥmānān (RḤMNN) - An Ancient South Arabian Moon God?

This article is in the section Refutation Of The Borrowing Theories Of The Qur'an.


17th July 2008

Update of MS. Or. 2165: A Qur'anic Manuscript From The 1st Century Hijra In The British Library. Hailed as by the earlier keepers of it as "probably the earliest Qur'an ever brought to Europe", the British Library says that it is the "oldest Qur'an manuscript" in their possession. It is written in the ḥijazi script dated to the second half of the first century hijra. It has 121 folios and contains about 53% of the total text of the Qur'an. The contents of the first 61 folios are listed.

This is in the section The Qur'anic Manuscripts.


3rd July 2008

Addition of Arabe 328a: A Qur'anic Manuscript From 1st Century Hijra In Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. This is one of the most important manuscripts written in the ḥijazi script dated to the first century hijra. It has 58 folios; 56 of them at the the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris and one each at the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana and the Nasser David Khalili Collection. The contents of all the folios are listed. This manuscript has 58 folios which contains about 28% of the total text of the Qur'an and is written in the qiraa'aat of Ibn ʿAmir.

This is added in the section The Qur'anic Manuscripts.


25th June 2008

There are Qur'ans falsely attributed to caliph ʿUthmān although they are quite early. One of them is The "Qur'ān Of ʿUthmān" At St. Petersburg (Russia), Katta Langar, Bukhārā And Tashkent (Uzbekistan), From 2nd Century Hijra. It has 97 folios containing about 40% of the text of the Qur'an, with full texts of 22 surahs and fragments of another 22. This manuscript was written in the late ḥijāzī script. Please bear in mind that this codex is different from the Samarqand manuscript of the Qur'an which is again attributed to ʿUthmān but comes from 2nd century of hijra!

This is present in the section The Qur'anic Manuscripts.


13th June 2008

A folio of the Qur'an at a recent auction at Christie's in 2008 fetched a sum of £2,200,000. What was so special about this folio? We present a detailed history of this folio as well as others which went under the hammer at various auction houses in the article Codex Ṣanʿāʾ – Inv. No. 01-27.1: Mid-1st Century Of Hijra. This is perhaps the most significant manuscript of the Qur'an palimpsest so far discovered at Ṣanʿāʾ, and is datable to the middle of the first century of hijra. The leaves from codex Ṣanʿāʾ inv. 01-27.1 have appeared under the hammer at auction houses like Christie's, Sotheby's and Bonham's; the most recent one at Christie's in 2008 fetching a remarkable sum of £2,200,000, around fifteen times the estimated asking price. This codex exemplifies the principal tendencies of the early ḥijazi script and is of tremendous importance regarding the textual transmission of the Qur'an, Arabic palaeography, codicology and other related disciplines.

Since there is lot of images in the above link, it will take some time to load. Please be patient.

There is more to come concerning this manuscript in the future, insha'allah.

This is added in the section The Qur'anic Manuscripts.


29th March 2008

We have added An Islamic Inscription From The Byzantine Fortress Of Rujm Ṣfār, First Century Of Hijra. This inscription was found on the Byzantine fortress of Rujm Ṣfār. It expresses the Muslim belief in the unity of God and that He has not partners.

This is present in the section The Arabic & Islamic Inscriptions.


22nd March 2008

Have you ever wondered what is the earliest dated non-scriptural Muslim or non-Muslim text mentioning Prophet Muhammad? The article Dated Texts Mentioning Prophet Muḥammad From 1-100 AH / 622-719 CE aims to answer this question. You will be surprised to know the answer! This corpus is constructed from dated non-Muslim sources as well as Muslim sources that include our collection of the Islamic inscriptions, Arabic papyri and Islamic coins.

Also updated is the Inscription On The Dam Built By Caliph Muāwiya, 58 AH / 678 CE with a better picture showing the inscription clearly.

These are present in the section The Arabic & Islamic Inscriptions.


30th January 2008

We add a pre-Islamic Arabic inscription, i.e., An Arabic Funerary Text In A Church In Nebo (Jordan) Dated To Mid-Sixth Century CE. The Arabic inscription is written on a grave inside a church.

Also updated is the Harran Inscription: A Pre-Islamic Arabic Inscription From 568 CE with new material and image.

We revisit the The Earliest Dated Kufic Inscription From Qā‘ al-Mu‘tadil, Near Al-Hijr (Saudi Arabia), 24 AH / 644 CE, but this time to study the inscription written next to it. Both the inscriptions were written by the same person.

These are present in the section The Arabic & Islamic Inscriptions.


27th January 2008

Addition of an Anonymous Arab-Sassanian Fals From Dārābjird, 67 AH / 686-87 CE. Typical late Arab-Sassanian bust with Pahlavi afzut before bust. Obverse margin: bism Allāh ("In the name of God") in the second quadrant of obverse margin. Reverse field: Fire altar between mint (Dārābjird) and date, in margin afzut (Pahlavi) and baraka ("blessing").

This is added in the section The Islamic Coins.

Also added is a lecture A Brief History Of Ḥadīth Collection And Criticism by Dr. Jonathan Brown, a young, eloquent western ḥadīth scholar from University of Washington where he works as an Assistant Professor. In this lecture, he briefly discusses the history of ḥadīth collection, its criticism and the evolution of western ḥadīth scholarship from Goldziher, Schacht, Juynboll to Motzki. A lot of misconceptions about ḥadīth are clarified in this lecture.

This is added in the section Issues Concerning Ḥadīth.


20th January 2008

Timothy Dunkin, an ardent supporter of Robert Morey and his "scholarship", has attempted to prove that Allah was simply another name for Hubal, who in turn was Baʿal. Seeing parallels with Baʿal deities worshipped in the ancient Near East, the Christian polemicist claimed the later Muslims falsified their literary records in order to conceal the alleged pagan origin and nature of Allah. As to who is involved in falsifying the historical records and making up spurious arguments is discussed in detail in the article Is Hubal The Same As Allah?

This article is in the section Refutation Of The Borrowing Theories Of The Qur'an.


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