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Refuting the gross distortion and misrepresentation of the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad and Islam, made by the critics of Islam

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February 6th, 2021

Allegation of misquoting the Quran

This is further to the point discussed in an earlier post about quotations from the Quran being given, in recognized Islamic literature, in words differing from how they occur in the Quran. (See the earlier post.)

There is a book by Shah Ismail Shaheed (d. 1831) entitled Abaqaat. In the original Arabic book we find the following:

Here a verse of the Quran is quoted in the words: Wa in min qaryat-in illā khalā fī-hā nadhīr — “There is no town (qarya) but a warner appeared in it”. To my knowledge the actual verse in the Quran (35:24) does not say qarya (town) but umma (people).

There is an Urdu translation of Abaqaat by Maulana Manazir Ahsan Gilani (about him see link 1 and link 2). In his translation this appears as follows:

(This is at the bottom lines of page 401 of his translation, see link).

He has even added before the quotation: “Similarly, the famous Quranic verse” before quoting Wa in min qaryat-in illā khalā fī-hā nadhīr. But this wording does not occur in the Quran!

There are indeed verses in the Quran (three as far as I know) which contain the words nadhīr and qaryat-in. These are 25:51, 34:34 and 43:23, but none of these has this wording.

Most probably, Shah Ismail Shaheed mistakenly recalled qarya as occurring in 35:24, and a century later the translator Maulana Manazir Ahsan Gilani did not realise this. Human beings make mistakes like these. It doesn’t detract from their high standing and we don’t throw unfounded accusations and slurs at them.

— Zahid Aziz

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