A Critical Analysis of the Narratives on the… (Part 1/2)

A Critical Analysis of the Narratives on the… (Part 1/2)


A Critical Analysis of the Narratives on the Masāhif of Ubayy ibn Ka'b (rta) and

'Abdullāh ibn Mas'ūd (rta)

I Introduction

Certain narratives inform us that the sūrahs were arranged in different sequences in the masāhif of 'Abdullāh ibn Mas'ūd (rta) and Ubayy ibn Ka'b(rta). These arrangements have been reported primarily in two sources: al-Fihrist[1] of Ibn Nadīm (d. 380 AH) andal-Itqān[2] of al-Suyūtī (d. 911 AH). Whilst the former source contains two eye-witness accounts of the masahif attributed to 'Abdullāh ibn Mas'ūd (rta) and Ubayy ibn Ka'b (rta) respectively, the latter source quotes another source (Ibn Ahshtah's Kitāb al-masāhif) which merely reports in two separate narratives the arrangements of the masahif attributed to them.

In this article, an analysis of these narratives will be conducted.

II. Scheme of the Masāhif of Ubayy (rta) and Ibn Mas'ūd (rta)

The following chart gives us the details of the schemes of the masāhif of 'Abdullāh ibn Mas'ūd (rta) and Ubayy ibn Ka'b(rta). The numbers referring to sūrah numbers found in the existing sequence shows how the two differed from one another in this regard.

Ibn Mas'ūd (rta) (al-Itqān) Ibn Mas'ūd (rta) (al-Fihrist) Ubayy (rta) (al-Itqān) Ubayy (rta) (al-Fihrist)
2[3] 2 1 1
4 4 2 2
3 3 4 4
7 7 3 3
6 6 6 6
5 5 7 7
10 10. 5 5
9[4] 9 10 10[5]
16 16 8 8
11 11 9 9
12 12 11 11
18 17 19 19
17 21 26 26
21 23 22 22
20 26 12 12
23 37 18 18
26 33 16 16
37 28 33 33
33[6] 24 17 17
22 8 39[7] 39
28 19 20 45[8]
27 29 21 20
24 30 24 21
8 36 23 24
19 25 34 23
29 22 29 40
30 13 40 13
36 34 13 28
25 35 28 27[9]
15 14 27 37
13 38 37 34[10]
34 47 38 38
35 54 36 36
14 39 15 15
38 40[11] 42 42
47 43 30 30
31 41 57 43
39 46 48 41
40[12] 45 47 14
43 44 58 35[13]
41 48 67 48
42 57 32 47
46 59[14] 71 57
45 32 46 58[15]
44 50 50 25
48 65 55 32
59 49 56 71
32 67 72 46
65 64 53 50
68 63 70 55
49 62 73 56
67 61 74 72
64 72 54 53
63 71 44 68
62 58 31 69
61 60 45 59
72 66 52 60
71 55 51 77
58 53 68 78
60 51 69 76
66 52 59 75
55[16] 54 60 81
53 69 77 79
52 56 78 80[17]
51 68 75 83
54 79 81 84
56 70 65 95[18]
79 74 79 96
70 73 64 49
74 83 80 63
73 80 83 62
83 76 84 65[19]
80 75 95 89
76 77 96 67
77 78 49 92
75 81 63 82
78 82 62 91
81 88 66 85
82 87 89 86
88 92 90 87
87 89 92 88
92 85 82 80
89 84 91 98[20]
85 96 86 61
84 90 87 93
96 93 88 94
90 94 61 101
93 86 98 102
86 100 93 al-Khal'[21]
100 107 94 al-Jīd[22]
107 101 101 104
101 98 102 99
98 91 103 100
91 95 al-Khal' 105
95 104 al-Hafd 95
104 105 104 108
105 106 99 97
106 102 100 109
102 97 105 110
97 103[23] 106 111
99 110 107 106
103 108 108 112
110 109[24] 97 113
108 111[25] 109 114[26]
109 112[27] 110
111 111
112 112
94[28] 113

III. Analysis of Ubayy's Mushaf

A. Analysis of the Matn

The following questions arise on the matn of the narratives which report this arrangement:

i. It is strange that none of Ubayy's students have reported from him his differently arranged codex having two additional sūrahs.[29] It is almost two centuries after him that we find al-Fadl ibn Shādhān (d. 260 AH) finding a mushaf attributed to him with such an arrangement. Similarly, it is Ibn Ashtah (d. 360 AH)[30] in his Kitāb al-masāhif who records this arrangement on the authority of Abū Ja'far al-Kūfī (third century).[31]

ii. A simple glance at the lists of al-Itqān and al-Fihrist show that they do not correspond with one another. After the first twenty entries, the lists do not tally with one another. Which of them should one believe?

iii. How can one conclude that this arrangement of the sūrahs was the final one written by Ubayy (rta)? If at all it has any basis, it could merely be a list written before the al-ardah al-akhīrah (the final review).

iv. As indicated earlier, in the arrangement given by Ibn Nadīm, Sūrahs Tīn and 'Abas are repeated twice.

v. Inal-Fihrist it is written at the end of the list that the total number of sūrahs is 116. Counting shows that there are actually only 104 indicating the defective nature of the list.

vi. According to both al-Fihrist and al-Itqān, two extra sūrahs were present in the mushafof Ubayy (rta):Sūrah Khal' and Sūrah Hafd.

Following are the primary points of criticism raised by al-Bāqilānī[32] on the presence of Sūrahs Khal' and Hafd in Ubayy's mushaf:

i. Had these sūrahs been part of the Qur'ān, they would have been regarded so by the Prophet (sws) and would have been transmitted the way the Qur'ān is.

ii. There is no narrative which says that Ubayy (rta) regarded these sūrahs to be part of the Qur'ān. All we have are reports which say that they were written in his mushaf. This of course is not a certain proof of them being part of his Qur'ān.

iii. If Ubayy's mushaf had these sūrahs, it was but natural for 'Uthmān (rta) to have gotten hold of it as soon as possible and have it destroyed because it was against his mushaf. He would have been more desperate to acquire it than the rest of the masāhif. There is also a narrative[33] from Muhammad and Tufayl, the two sons of Ubayy (rta), who were asked about the mushaf of their father. They replied that it had been confiscated by 'Uthmān (rta). Now if this narrative is true, then how come people say that they saw it and that it was the mushaf of Anas ibn Mālik (rta) that contained the du'ā of qunūt.

iv. It is not merely enough for a book to be attributed to a person unless this attribution is based on reports that are widespread and extensive and this is not the case with Ubayy's copy of the Qur'ān.

v. Some Mu'tazilites have narrated from 'Ubayd ibn 'Umayr that he had seen a mushaf which belonged to Anas ibn Mālik (rta) and which he had read out to Ubayy (rta) and that it contained the du'ā of qunūt. While negating this, al-Bāqilānī says that Abū al-Hasan 'Alī ibn Ismā'īl al-Ash'arī is reported to have said that he had seen the mushaf of Anas (rta) with one of his children and it was exactly the same as all the rest.

Al-Bāqilānī goes on to say that if it is to be in anyway considered that there were reasons for these sūrahs to be present in the mushaf of Ubayy (rta), then it could be because of many reasons. One of the reasons he cites is that Ubayy (rta) wrote the sūrahs of qunūt while knowing that they were not part of the Qur'ān at the end of his mushaf or somewhere in between – in between if the Qur'ān he had written was incomplete and had not been arranged in the right sequence.

Schwally has commented in some detail on the "Qur'ānicity" of these sūrahs. He dismisses the notion that they were part of the Qur'ān on the basis of linguistic reasons. In the following paragraphs, I will first present his critique and then later analyze it.

While referring to the text of these sūrahs, Schwally quotes their text on the authority of various sources. He points out that they have been variously called as Sūrah Khal' and Sūrah Hafd, Sūrahs of Qunūt, even Sūrah Qunūt, Du'ā al-Qunūt, Du'ā al-Fajr and al-Du'ā. The last three names showing that they are not sūrahs of the Qur'ān; they are only supplications.

Regarding the texts of the sūrahs, Schwally says that people who have quoted them are al-Suyūtī (d. 1510 AD), Tashkubrizādah (d. 1560 AD) and Birgili (d. 1562 AD).[34] The authorties quoted by al-Sūyūtī all belong to the first century.[35]

The texts are:

Sūrah Khal'

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم[36]

اللهم إنا نستعينك[37]ونستغفرك[38]ونثني عليك[39]ولا نكفرك[40]ونخلع ونترك من يفجرك

Sūrah Hafd

اللهم إياك نعبد ولك نصلي[41]ونسجد وإليك نسعى ونحفد نرجو رحمتك ونخشى عذابك[42]إن عذابك بالكفار[43]ملحق

Text given by Tashkubrizādah[44]

Sūrah Khal'

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

اللهم إنا نستعينك ونستغفرك ونثني عليك ولا نكفرك ونخلع ونترك من يفجرك

Sūrah Hafd

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

اللهم إياك نعبد ولك نصلي ونسجد وإليك نسعى ونحفد نرجو رحمتك ونخشى عذابك إن عذابك بالكافرين ملحق

The first person to publish the texts of these sūrahs in the West was Purgstall Hammer.[45]

While criticizing the provenance of these sūrahs, Schwally[46] basically raises linguistic issues and says that his critique differs from that of the Muslim scholars, whose critique is that if these sūrahs are accepted then the sanctity of the 'Uthmānic text is put into jeopardy. His points of criticism are:

i. There is only one other instance in the Qur'ān where the wordإستعان occurs with an object and that is in Sūrah Fātihah.

ii. The verb أَثْنىَ has not been used in the Qur'ān although words having similar meanings like كَبَّرَ and سَبَّحَ and حَمِدَare used in the Qur'ān.

iii. The verb حَفَدَ does not occur in the Qur'ān as well.

iv. The verbسَعَى occurs many times in the Qur'ān; however, it has never occurred with the words إلَى اللهِ. The Qur'ānic expressionفَاسْعَوْا إلَى ذِكْرِ اللهِ (62: 9) cannot be quoted in its support.

v. The verbفَجَرَ is used transitively here in the qunūt; however, it is used intransitively in the Qur'ān (75:5 and 91:8).

vi. The verb خَلَعَ occurs just once in the Qur'ān (20:12) being used in its literal sense in contrast to its metaphorical sense in which it is used here.

vii. A suspect use is that of نَكْفُرُكَ. The verbكَفَرَin the meaning of أَنْكَرَ (rejection) is only used in the Qur'ān with the prepositionبappended to nouns of a living being.

Schwally says that for these reasons it is not possible to regard these sūrahs as part of the Qur'ān and it is even difficult to regard them as supplications of the Prophet (sws). Perhaps they were supplications that were generally used in the time of the Prophet (sws) and some narratives[47] say that 'Umar (rta) and Ubayy (rta) recited them in the qunūt prayers. A narrative[48] says that these sūrahs were also found in the mushafof Abū Mūsāal-'Ash'arī (rta) and it is also known that Ibn 'Abbās (rta) followed[49] the recital of Abū Mūsā (rta). It is further said[50] that 'Alī (rta) transmitted these sūrahs to 'Abdullāh ibn Zurayr al-Ghāfiqī.

Now as far as Schwally's textual criticism on Sūrah Khal' and Sūrah Hafd are concerned, the following questions arise on it:

i. If the word إِسْتَعانَ is used in the Qur'ān with an object just once [in Sūrah Fātihah], then this usage itself proves that in classical Arabic this verb takes a direct object. Thus, for example, lexicons specify that it does take a direct object.[51]

The example of the verb taking an object through a preposition is found in the Qur'ān itself:

قاَلَ مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ اسْتَعِيْنُوْا باللهَ وَاصْبِرُوا (7:128)

Here the word أللهَ is the object of the verb اسْتَعِيْنُوْا; only here the verb اسْتَعِيْنُوْا has used the prepositionبwith its object.

ii. The fact that words like حَفَدَ and أثْنَى have never been used in the Qur'ān is not a valid criticism. If a word can be classified as belonging to classical Arabic, then just one instance of its use is enough to regard it as the Qur'ān. It is common knowledge that both حَفَدَ and أثْنَى are classical Arabic words. If someone contends otherwise, the onus of proof rests on him.

iii. In the constructionإِلَيْكَ نَسْعَى the governing noun (mudāf) is actually suppressed – a common feature of Qur'ānic Arabic. The implied meaning is إِلَى رَحْمَتِكَ نَسْعَى (towards your mercy do we run). As examples, of a suppression of a governing noun when the governed noun is God, consider the verses:

وَ جَاهِدُوا فِي اللهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِ (22: 78)

فَظَنُّوْا أَنَّهُمْ مَانِعَتُهُمْ حُصُوْنُهُم مِنَ اللهِ (59: 2)

The first is actually :وَ جَاهِدُوا فِي دِيْنِ اللهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِ and the second is: فَظَنُّوْا أَنَّهُمْ مَانِعَتُهُمْ حُصُوْنُهُم مِن بَأسِ اللهِ, as specified by Abū Hayyān.[52]

iv. As far as the use of the verb فَجَرَ is concerned, in the Qur'ān also it is used transitively, the only thing is that its object is suppressed. In the very first example cited by Schwally, this is the case:

The verse reads:

بَلْ يُرِيْدُ الإنْسَانُ لِيَفْجُرَ أمَامَهُ (75: 5)

In the opinion of Islāhī,[53] the object of the verb is God and the meaning implied is:

بَلْ يُرِيْدُ الإنْسَانُ لِيَفْجُرَاللهَأمَامَهُ

In fact, man wants to show disobedience to God before himself.

In the second example quoted by Schwally, the word is used as a noun and not as a verb; hence the example itself is erroneous. The verse reads:

فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُوْرَهَا وَ تقْوَاهَا (91: 8)

v. The fact that the word خَلَعَ has never been used in its metaphorical sense in the Qur'ān is no critique. Its metaphorical use is quite common in classical Arabic. Muhalhal ibn Rabī'ah, a poet of the jāhiliyyah period says:[54]

خلع الملوك و سار تحت لوائه

شجر العرى و عراعر الأقوام

(He disaffiliated himself from the kings and below his flag gathered useful people like the tree of al-'arā and chiefs of nations.)

At another place, he says:[55]

ولست بخالع درعي و سيفي

إلى أن يخلع الليل النهار

(I am not going to take of my amour and my sword until the night sheds the day.)

In the first couplet, the metaphorical use is evident; while in the second one it is used in this sense in the second hemistich.

vi. What Schwally has said about the word نَكْفُرُكَ is correct. However, why should it be taken to mean "rejection" here. The word also means "ingratitude" and its placement adjacent to the word نَشْكُرُكَ (we are grateful to You)suggests in some textual variants[56] of the qunūt that here it is used in this meaning.

All in all, none of the points raised by Schwally seems to hold water.

Moreover, a look at the narratives which mention the qunūt show that they are generally of two categories:

Firstly, narratives which mention that the qunūt was read in the prayer by various Companions.[57]

Secondly, narratives which mention that the qunūt was found written in the masāhif (or reading) of some Companions.[58]

As far as reading the qunūt as a supplication in the prayer is concerned, it cannot be objected to and the practice can still be found among Muslims and traced back to earlier times.

If the qunūt was also written in the masāhif of some Companions (rta), then this does not necessarily mean that it was written as part of the Qur'ān. As pointed out by al-Bāqilānī, it could be written there merely for remembrance and it was known that it was not part of the Qur'ān. Why it was written in the Qur'āns of some Companions (rta) can also be gauged. It was frequently read by Muslims in the prayer. Thus for example, al-Suyūtī writes: "Muhammad ibn Nāsr al-Marūzī records in his Kitāb al-Salāh that Ubayy (rta) would read the qunūt in the prayer, then he mentioned the two and that he would write them in his mushaf."[59]

B. Analysis of the Isnād

The isnādof narration of of the reports which record the mushafof Ubayy (rta) as per al-Fihrist and al-Itqān are as follows:

Isnādaccording toal-Fihrist

قال الفضل بن شاذان أخبرنا الثقة من أصحابنا قال كان تأليف السور في قراءة أبي بن كعب بالبصرة في قرية يقال لها قرية الأنصار على رأس فرسخين عند محمد بن عبد الملك الأنصاري أخرج إلينا مصحفا وقال هو مصحف أبي رويناه عن آبائنا…

Al-Fadl ibn Shādhān said that one of his trustworthy associates informed him that the scheme of arrangement of the sūrahs according to the reading of Ubayy was found in the village of al-Ansār situated two farsakhs from Basrah with a person called Muhammad ibn Malik al-Ansārī. He brought a copy of the Qur'ān to us and said that this is the mushaf of Ubayy which has been narrated by our generations from our forefathers…[60]

Isnādaccording toal-Itqān

قال ابن أشتة في كتاب المصاحف أنبأنا محمد بن يعقوب حدثنا أبو داود حدثنا أبو جعفر الكوفي قال هذا تأليف مصحف أبي

Ibn Ashtah has said in Kitāb al-masāhif: "We were informed by Muhammad ibn Ya'qūb that Abū Dā'ūd narrated to us that Abū Ja'far al-Kūfī said: 'Following is the arrangement of Ubayy's mushaf...'"[61]

In al-Fihrist, al-Fadl ibn Shādhān who died in 260 AH[62] reports seeing a mushaf belonging to Ubayy (rta). We do not find the name of the person from whom al-Fadl reports. Similarly, Ibn Nadīm (d. 385 AH) has not disclosed his source from whom he acquired these words of al-Fadl ibn Shādhān.

In al-Itqān, Ubayy's sūrah arrangement is attributed to ibn Ashtah's Kitāb al-masāhif. In the Kitāb al-masāhif itself a chain of narration is given for this arrangement. This chain obviously is broken because it begins with someone (see below) who is the informant of Abū Dā'ūd Sulaymān ibn al-Ash'ath who died in 257 AH.

The informant of Abū Dā'ūd Sulaymān ibn al-Ash'ath is Abū Ja'far al-Kūfī. I will now attempt to identify him. Research shows that following are the Abū Ja'far al-Kūfīs which are his informants.

i. Ahmad ibn 'Umar ibn Hafs ibn Jahm ibn Wāqid ibn 'Abdullāh al-Kindī (d. 235 AH)[63]

ii. Muhammad ibn Tarīf ibn Khalīfah al-Bajlī (d. 242 AH)[64]

iii. Muhammad ibn 'Ubayd al-Muhārabī (d. 245 AH)[65]

iv. Muhammad ibn Sawwār ibn Rāshid al-Azdī (d. 248 AH)[66]

v. Muhammad ibn Ibrāhīm ibn Sulaymānal-Kindī al-Bazzāz al-Darīr (d. 248 AH)[67]

vi. Muhammad ibn 'Uthmān ibn Karāmah al-'Ijli al-Warrāq (d. 256 AH)[68]

Needless to re-iterate that in all of the above six possibilities, the narrative is broken and almost two centuries separate each of the six and Ubayy (rta).

IV. Analysis of 'Abdullāh ibn Mas'ūd's Mushaf

Before I analyze the text and content of the narratives, here is some more information about the codex of 'Abdullāh ibn Mas'ūd (rta) as recorded in the various sources indicated:


Ibn Nadīm[69] has recorded the following further information about Ibn Mas'ūd's codex:

i. There were a total of 110 sūrahs in the mushaf.

ii. According to another report, Sūrah Tūr preceded Sūrah Dhāriyāt.

iii. Abū Shādhān reports from Ibn Sīrīn that Ibn Mas'ūd would neither write the mu'awwidhatayn nor Sūrah Fātihah in his mushaf.

iv. Al-Fadl has reported from his chain from A'mash that in the reading of 'Abdullāh it was حم سق.

v. Muhammad ibn Ishāq [Ibn Nadīm] said: "I have seen many masāhif which their scribes attribute to Ibn Mas'ūd but no two masāhif agree with one another … I have seen a mushaf which was written about 200 years earlier in which Sūrah Fātihah was written."

vi. The following sūrahs are recorded with variations from the standard ones respectively. The variations are different in different published versions:

Sūrah 'Asr

Standard Version / Dār al-Ma'rifah's Version[70]

وَالْعَصْرِإِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ(103: 1-3 )

Flugel's Version[71] / Dār al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyyah's Version[72]

وَالْعَصْرِلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍوَ إنَّهُ فِيْهِ إِلَى آخِرِ الدَّهْرِإِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالتَّقْوَى وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ

Sūrah Kāfirūn

Standard Version / Dār al-Ma'rifah's Version

قُلْ يَاأَيُّهَا الْكَافِرُونَ لَا أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُون وَلَا أَنْتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ وَلَا أَنَا عَابِدٌ مَا عَبَدتُّمْوَلَا أَنْتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُلَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ(109: 1-6)

Flugel's Version / Dār al-Kutub al- 'Ilmiyyah's Version

قُلْ لِلَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُولَا أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُون[73]

Sūrah Lahab

Standard Version / Dār al-Ma'rifah's Version

تَبَّتْ يَدَا أَبِي لَهَبٍ وَتَبَّ مَا أَغْنَى عَنْهُ مَالُهُ وَمَا كَسَبَ سَيَصْلَى نَارًا ذَاتَ لَهَبٍ وَامْرَأَتُهُ حَمَّالَةَ الْحَطَبِفِي جِيدِهَا حَبْلٌ مِنْ مَسَدٍ(111: 1-5)

Flugel's Version / Dār al-Kutub al- 'Ilmiyyah's Version

تَبَّتْ يَدَا أَبِي لَهَبٍ وَ قَدْ تَبَّمَا أَغْنَى عَنْهُ مَالُهُ وَمَا كَسَبَوَامْرَأَتُهُ حَمَّالَةَ الْحَطَبِ

Sūrah Ikhlās

Standard Version / Dār al-Ma'rifah's Version

قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ(112: 1-4)

Flugel's Version / Dār al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyyah's Version

اللَّهُ وَاحِدْ الصَّمَدُ[74]

Absence of Fātihah and the Mu'awwidhatayn

According to Ibn Sīrīn, Ibn Mas'ūd would not write Fātihah and the mu'awwidhatayn in his mushaf.[75]

The above narrative as recorded by Abū 'Ubaydis as follows:

حدثنا إسماعيل بن إبراهيم عن أيوب عن ابن سيرين قال: كتب أبي بن كعب في مصحفه فاتحة الكتاب و المعوذتين و اللهم إنا نستعينك و اللهم إياك نعبد و تركهن ابن مسعود و كتب عثمان منهن فاتحة الكتاب و المعوذتين

Ibn Sīrīn said: Ubayy wrote in his mushaf Sūrah Fātihah, the mu'awwidhatayn and و اللهم إنا نستعينك و اللهم إياك نعبد and Ibn Mas'ūd wrote none of them. 'Uthmān, however, wrote from these Sūrah Fātihah and the mu'awwidhatayn.[76]

Schwally[77] says that al-Itqān[78] mentions that in the Qur'ān of Ibn Mas'ūd (rta), there were 112 sūrahs except the mu'awwidhatayn. This shows that Sūrah Fātihah was found in his mushaf. Schwally says that three other narratives quoted by al-Suyūtī also corroborate this fact.

Existence of basmalah at the beginning of Barā'a

This is recorded by al-Suyūtī.[79] He says that the author of al-Iqnā' has reported that the basmalah was written at the beginning of Sūrah Barā'a in the mushaf of Ibn Mas'ūd and the author then says that this view should not be considered.

Let us now turn to the analysis of these historical reports.

A. Analysis of the Matn

i. No student of 'Abdullāh ibn Mas'ūd (rta) reports this differently arranged mushaf from him. It is only in the third century that we find al-Fadl ibn Shādhān (d. 260 AH) and Jarīr ibn 'Abd al-Hamīd (d. 188 AH) report this list for the first time.[80]

ii. A simple glance at the lists of al-Itqān and al-Fihrist show that they do not correspond with one another. After the first eleven entries, the lists do not tally with one another.

iii. Jeffery has pointed out the defective nature of the list. Whilst the text of al-Fihrist at the end says that there are 110 sūrahs in all, there are actually 105 to be found in the list.[81]

iv. Ibn Nadīm himself has commented at the end of the list he has given that he had seen many masāhif which were attributed to Ibn Mas'ūd (rta) but no two agreed.

v. How can one conclude from this list that it was the final one written by Ibn Mas'ūd? If at all it has any basis, it could be a list written before the final presentation (al-ardah al-akhīrah).

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