Saudi Arabia: King Fahd Complex for Printing of the Holy Quran

quran

The King Fahd Complex for Printing of the Holy Quran is located within the holy city of Medina. It it here where thousands upon thousands of Qurans are translated into many languages and printed. The complex was established in 1982 with several goals and objectives:

· Provide officially recognized translations of the Quran in order to meet the increasing needs of the Muslim world.

· Importance of providing the best services for the Sunnah of the Prophet.

· In recognition of the important role which Saudi Arabia plays in the service of Islam and muslims.

King Fahd laid the cornerstone on this complex in 1982 and was also present during the complex official inauguration in 1984.

The complex has the following aims:

· Printing the Noble Qur’an according to its well-known methods of recitation all over the Muslim world

· Producing audio-recordings of the Noble Qur’an according to its well-known methods of recitation all over the Muslim world

· Translating the meaning of the Noble Qur’an and its interpretation

· Promoting Qur’anic fields of study

· Promoting the study of the Sunnah and the Prophet’s Biography

· Supporting Islamic studies and researches

· Meeting the Muslims’ needs, in the Kingdom and abroad, for the Complex publications

· Providing international networks with the Complex publications

The Complex is supervised by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Da’wah and Guidance, with Shaikh Saleh Bin Abdel Aziz Bin Muhammad Al Al-Shaikh as the General Supervisor and the Head of the Complex’s High Commission, and with Sheikh Dr. Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Ishaq Al Al-Shaikh, as the Vice General Supervisor. The General Secretariat, headed and supervised by Dr. Muhammad Salim Bin Shadid Al Oufy, implements and follows up the policies and aims of the Complex.

The complex is quite large and in addition to providing and printing translations of the Quran, it also has a formal translation center which

studies the problems related to these translations and presents suitable solutions. Among the tasks of the Center is to prepare research papers and studies in the field of translation; verifying the current translations; and translating what Muslims need of Qur’anic subjects and fields of study. There is also a council specialized in the translations’ affairs.

The Center of Research and Islamic Studies main duty is to prepare research papers and specialized studies related to Islamic fields of study, particularly, in the field of Da’wa. Among its tasks is to conduct studies related to Muslim communities and Muslim minorities in non-Muslim countries. It monitors what is written and published against Islam and prepares the appropriate responses.

The Quranic Studies Center is concerned with collecting and preserving the manuscripts and publications in addition to documents and information related to the Noble Qur’an and its fields of study. Among its tasks is to verify the books related to the Noble Qur’an and to refute the doubts and misconceptions raised against them. The Center produced a simplified interpretation of the Noble Qur’an.

The Training and Technical Qualification Center is to train Saudi professionals for work in different branches of the Complex (preparations, montage, printing, bookbinding or maintenance). The center organized eleven training programs. Distinguished trainees are awarded scholarships to specialized faculties and institutes in Saudi Arabia and abroad.

The Complex produces more than ten million copies of different publications a year for every single shift. It is possible, if needed, to make it work three shifts to produce 30 million copies a year. The number of publications produced by the Complex so far has exceeded ninety different publications, including complete Mushafs and parts, translations, recordings, books of Sunnah and of the Prophet’s Biography and others. The Complex has three manuscripts of the Holy Qur’an of its own. Two, according to the narration of Hafs after Asim, and one, according to the narration of Warsh after Nafi‘, and all are written by the calligrapher of the Complex and revised by the Scholarly Committee for Revising the Mushaf of Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah.

The Complex has published 55 different translations of the Holy Qur’an in 39 languages.

And you can receive a brief view of the printing complex with this video:


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76 Responses

  1. The english translation of the Koran that the Saudis give away is abyssmal. It has so many interpolations into the text that is is literally unbelievable. The notes would be laughable if one didn’t realize how destructive they are. (I have a copy at home.)

    From a practical point of view it is not a translation that is easily read as a normal book.

  2. as what has been said by Jerry M, that was a very rude statement to be made. Al Quran is a divine words from Allah and making that rude statement is absolutely cannot be accepted.

  3. Not a rude statement just a comment on the quality of the English translation. I am not commenting on the Koran per se, just the Saudi version that is offered for free. I don’t know if the people who publish have any perception of how the English reads. It is terrible.

    The Koran is a difficult book to translate and the one offered by the Saudi’s has so many interpolations into the text that it is simply unacceptable.

    I can compare it with older translations of St. Augustine’s Confessions that had so many anachronisms as to make one wonder what the real text said.

    I am sorry that you think intelligent commentary is rude.

  4. AA-

    I actually concur with Jerry’s remarks. The english ‘translation’ is more of a commentary than a straight up word-for-word translation. In fact, there are more comments in parentheses than actual translated text.

    Some may say that the translators had no choice but to help the reader with the portion in the parentheses, but at least it should be made clear to the reader that the portion in parentheses is NOT the word of Allah (swt).

  5. Oops, quick correction:

    “In fact, there are more comments in parentheses than actual translated text.”

    it SEEMS like there are more comments than actual text. I can’t say I did an actual word count. :-)

  6. Hello Naeem,

    Thanks for you comments. As I tried to say I wasn’t commenting on Islamic scripture only on the quality of a specific translation. Given the number of copies that are distributed, it would be nice if the translation were actually readable.

  7. I think Yusuf’s translation is still good. I don’t like it when they put words in parenthesis.

  8. Problem with the words in parenthesis is that they generally have no right being there as they are “added thoughts” of the interpretors and not, as stated, the word of God. However, those parenthesied words are taken as the Gospel so to speak…and fed to the non arabic reading public as the actual Quran.

    Of course we know the sort of Islam that Saudi extremists have spread throughout the world using all these free translated Qurans…with these “added thoughts” and follow up booklets and pamphlets…have sent the image of Islam in a downward spiral that seriously needs to TLC if its to come out the other side intact.

  9. Just wanted to chime in with Jerry here. I recently took a look at the translation he’s speaking of, and he’s right. Very, very unreadable with too much commentary and no way to tell which is which.

  10. I have one from the KFP, the Yusuf Ali translation, with commentary in the footnotes and parenthesis, big, lovely, ornate.

    Have read a few throughout the years and I guess the reason I keep this one is because of the commentary in the footnotes, doesn’t really seem in this copy to be inflammatory (of the footnotes I’ve read). Plus I like the Arabic in the column next to … so I can learn it. It was the first one I received when I first took my shahada, so it also has sentimental reasons.

    Picked up another copy of the Qur’an at my local Barnes & Noble, translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem – it’s an Oxford World Classics, Oxford University. Paperback, can read en route to work, etc.

    However, this past Ramadan it was reemphasized that I do seriously need to learn Arabic, more than the few words presently in vocabulary, there’s no excuse other than my laziness, I’ve been a dilettante. ;)

    The very first one I had was a Penguin Classic … before I became Muslim.

  11. to whom said Saudi extremist manipulate
    quran and added what ever that wanted “in the English version)I leave the American bedu to respond if she want to , and because I heard this stereotype I will not respond because it is a disrespect to Saudis intelligence. Anyway there is many translations out there and Saudi recognize them as an explanation and not the actual scripts , which naturally will make those published Book unholy Words of Holy Quran. Quran should be read in Arabic then there will be a translation in the reader language allowing the newly Muslims to fully understand it. Quran is not suppose to be treated like Bible and have many version and many independent languages copies.Therefore, whatever people tried to translate, will not communicate the actual words by words.

  12. I do believe that ultimately to avoid misinterpretations if one wants to understand the Quran, it is best to learn Arabic.

  13. Yes, and it’s my understanding that the depth of the Arabic language is as such that even the study of the language, like the Qur’an, is ongoing.

  14. It is always better to read a text in the original. However, since one’s language skills aren’t always up to this (leading to one’s own mistranslations and misinterpretations) a high quality translation, and a bilingual text (Susan’s reference to the side by side) are both assets. High quality translations are accurate and readable, with notes and commentary as footnotes or endnotes.

    Qur’anic scholars study, among other things, the correct interpretation of the Arabic text, meaning everyone’s understanding is ongoing.

    Such a beautiful photo! Islamic art and calligraphy are important aspects of printing Qur’ans as well.

    Interesting topic.

  15. While being able to read the Arabic is clearly an advantage…the fact that 1400 years later there is much in the Quran still being “decided” upon as to the “real” meaning…I dont see that as a legit excuse. Muslims will argue whether the Quran says to beat your wife or lightly tap her…or claiming its just figurative speech…meanwhile its in Arabic…so what benefit is that…still confusion…and wives are beaten all over the Muslim world apparently with Gods sanction.

    A translation can be as close to being accurate as an original in Arabic…if care and attention is given…nothing will ever be perfect of course…but adding a meaning that is clearly not there should never be accepted or promoted using the difficulties of translation as an excuse.

  16. I like the Yusuf Ali translation. I also have a 1900 translation, which is quite difficult to read, but I got it on purpose because I think there are many ”coloured” translations out nowadays.
    There are internetsites which allow you to compare between different translations, I find that very interesting.

    A Saudi translation introduces racism and even modern weaponry!
    Sura Al-Fâtihah:
    7.The way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians)

    The verse about taking up arms against enemies:
    And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war (tanks planes, missiles, artillery) to threaten the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides whom, you may not know but whom allah does know.
    The introduction by a noted saudi scholar justifies jihad, violent conflict and suicide bombings. It states that the Quran is the perfect model for warfare.
    Pure bidah!!!!

    And while it is of course better to speak Arabic, The Arabic Quran is also a translation from a mix of languages, but mostly syro-aramaic. And it was written in short-hand, so it was also translated or interpreted from a kind of steno into longhand.
    The oldest Qurans were found stuffed in a loft in an ancient mosque in Sanaa.
    These fragments are from almost 1000 different qurans written only 70 years after the death of the prophet. They show some differences with the modern Cairo standard Quran. They were written without vowel markings or distinguishing dots.
    Many obscure quranic texts are logic and clear when re-translated from syro-aramaic.

  17. Salaams:

    I’d like to know where the free Qurans that the Saudis give away are. I’ve written the Embassy and they sent me one copy. I explained that I work in a prison and want them for the inmates.

  18. Safiyyah

    You reminded me of something. My sis worked in a mans prison for many years….and sadly there was a large Muslim population….those that were Muslim going in and those that eventually converted while in.

    Anyhow….many times she would call me and ask me about something the Muslims were demanding as Islamic rights…they would protest and raise a fuss etc claiming they had the right to pray in congregation, to eat at special times during Ramadan, to wear kufiyas etc…it was amazing to me the things these men would come up with as their supposed rights. They are in jail…and while there are prisoners in jail that are in fact innocent…chances are a majority of these Muslim men are guilty of whatever crime they are accused of…in which case…they have no special rights simply because they are Muslims.

    I told her they ought to concentrate on getting back into Gods good graces before demanding rights they obviously didnt concern themselves with prior to landing in prison….their rights or the rights of whomever they hurt (in whatever way) etc.

  19. mawaddah you say:
    “Al Quran is a divine words from Allah and making that rude statement is absolutely cannot be accepted.”
    The English copy is not Allah’s word, hence anyone can criticize it.

    There is nothing called the Saudi version of Qur’an; this is an illusion.. There are many scholars from several different countries who worked on interpreting the Qur’an to English. Also, it’s not only one English version that King Fahd Complex provides. from time to time the English (and the other languages) interpretation are edited and revised.

    I personally know two Saudi professors who have PhD in English literature/translation, both of them were asked to join the group of scholars who interpreted the Qur’an to English. Both of them refused the offer. According to them, it’s a very difficult task, and they find themselves unqualified to do it.

    I guess they were just modest — those two professors translated several novels from Arabic to English, and one of them translated more than 1000 of the Prophet Muhammad sayings to English.

    I once asked one of the professors whether there are any Saudis who are in the scholars who are interpreting the Qur’an for “Matabi’ Khadem Al Haramin” in Al Madina. I’ve been told that there isn’t any Saudi, or even an Arab in the group of scholars. This was in 2003, so I’m not sure whether nowadays there’s any Arab who help in interpreting/revising the current English copy of the Qur’an

    3 years ago I had a look at one of the English copies that is printed at King Fahd Complex, and non of the authors who were listed in the copy was Saudi.

    @Chiara, I liked your use of the word “interpretation” as oppose to “translation” I totally agree, there isn’t an English translation of the Qur’an. The Qur’an cannot be translated to any language; it can only be interpreted to other languages.

    Aafke,
    “There are internetsites which allow you to compare between different translations, I find that very interesting.”
    True, and Aafke gave me this link:

    http://www.quranbrowser.org/

    I like it a lot, so thanks again Aafke.

    “A Saudi translation introduces racism and even modern weaponry! Sura Al-Fâtihah…”
    I guess we already agreed that there is no Saudi translation of the Qur’an.

    I know this particular interpretation of (verse 7) that you referred to. Actually this interpretation was written about 10 centuries ago in one of “kotob al tafsir” and many interpreters (old and current) don’t agree that this verse refers to both the Jews and the Christians.

    “written only 70 years after the death of the prophet.”
    Aafke, the first complete Qur’an that was gathered in one book was at the time of Abu Bakor. Abu Bakor died 2 years and a half after the Prophet’s death. Then this copy was with Aysha (The prophet’s wife and Abu Bakor’s daughter) . Then at the time of “Othman bn Afan” There were 7 copies written and distributed in each region. (Othman bn Afan died 35 years after the Prophet) These copies that were written at Othman bn Afan’s were revised by Aysha who had the copy that was written during Abu Bakor’s time; also they were revised by all the prophet’s companions who memorized the Qur’an by heart during the profit’s time.

    True, All Arabic writings in the past were written without vowel markings and without the distinguishing dots. However, at the time of Ali bn Taleb, Abu Al aswad Al-Du’li added the dots on the Arabic letters because many non-Arab became Muslim and they couldn’t read the Qur’an well. For Arabs at that time, these dots were not essential. So the dots were added after about 40 years from the time the Prophet died.

  20. some may say I simplify things too much but I think when it comes down to it when reading the Quran or the Bible or the Torah, common sense applies when querying a translation or interpretation. For example on references to beating ones wife. I just ask myself would the Prophet (PBUH) really condone wife beating? I doubt it and it is a phrased used to illustrate obedience. Just my two cents worth….

  21. Khalid, I am talking about the oldest surviving, and datable Qurans. So Qurans which are still in existence today, and which can be read and studied. And they are written in Syro-aramaic, not arabic. Arabic wasn’t a written language in the time of the prophet. People in the middle east wrote in Syro-aramaic or hebrew.
    The Arabic Quran is also a translation, from Syro-aramaic to arabic. And there seem to have been misinterpretations, most famous is the one about hou’ris meaning virgins while when looking at the original syro-aramaic, it becomes clear that hou’ris are white, translucent, chilled grapes with black pits.

    Anyway, I’m writing a post for my own blog so I don’t want to go about it here. It’s taking me a while. It’s a serious subject.

  22. Khalid

    All translations involve interpretation, and texts that are poetically rich, highly metaphoric, and older, like the Qur’an even more so.
    I guess a “Saudi” Qur’an is one that is commissioned and published in Saudi, much the way the “King James Version” of the Bible was commissioned by King James and then published and distributed by him.
    Perhaps your professors were not only modest, but appreciated the challenges linguistically and politically of translating/interpreting the Qur’an for English readers.

    Aafke
    I am looking forward to your post as their is much debate among scholars from diverse fields about the genesis of the Quran, dating of extant fragments,etc.

    Perhaps as Bedu says over attention to seemingly inconsistent detail is probably a wasted effort for the majority of non-scholar readers of a high quality translation.

  23. to Aafke

    what are you talking about, the Qur’an is written in ARABIC. Arabic existed and was written during the time of the prophet, The idea that the qur’an was somehow written in Syro-aramaic was a theory that was started by one orientalist in particular (I can’t remember his name)
    this however was debunked by debunked by both muslim/non muslim scholars alike.

  24. Salamo Alaikom Aafke,

    You said that the Qur’an was written 70 years after the death of the prophet, and I was explaining to you that this is incorrect because the first Qur’an was gathered under one book 2 years after the Prophet died. Almost half of the Prophet’s companions, who memorized the entire Qur’an, died shortly after the Prophet. Hence, it was suggested that the Qur’an be written down in one book, and that’s what happened during Abu Bakor’s time. Then more copies were written at Othman bn Afan time’s.

    Aafke, there are many Arabic writings that were written prior to the Prophet’s life. The most popular are “Al Mu’alaqat” the very famous Arabic poems. Although there were lots of people who memorized them, they were written down. Some of these poems were written in Arabic about 150 years before the Prophet was born. So it’s downright fault to claim there is no Arabic writings at the Prophet’s time.

    I have memorized some of these poems, would you like me to recite them for you Aafke :)

    @a1, I guess Aafke is referring to Luxenberg’s books.

    Luxenberg main hypothesis, in his book A Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Qur’an, focuses on deconstructing the Qur’an as a genuine scripture. Thus, he presents the Qur’an as the translation of a Syro-Aramaic text. His approach is limited to a very narrow linguistic methods — they’re purely mechanistic and no theoretical considerations are considered at all. This is just my opinion Aafke; (I might be wrong, and I might be right). I’m neither a philologist nor a syntactician, so I’m not an expert in this particular topic — I’m using just my commonsense. At any rate, I look forward to reading your post. I’m so busy these days, but I hope to read the post on time :) and not at a later time.

    I suggest checking the following for further inputs in the matter,

    http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/luxreview2.html

    http://www.christoph-heger.de/Simon_Hopkins_'Review_of_Christoph_Luxenberg'_JSAI_28_2003_gek.PDF

    Pease to All :)

  25. Khalid–thanks for the comment and links. I look forward to Aafke’s post and your comments on it.

  26. Khalid, the oldest surviving Qurans.
    The oldest ones that actually exist now, and can be dated with any degree of certainty. I know it was written down even earlier, but those first ones aren’t around or haven’t been found yet.

    Anyway I don’t see why people would get so upset about realising that the modern Quran is an edited version and may contain some misunderstood details. They are only details.
    Except if one isn’t truly religious in their hearts but base their religious outlook on small print only. Then I can imagine you feel threatened.

    And yes, Luxembourg’s book is very interesting, but he is by no means the only one. Gert Pruin was the German Scientist invited by Yemen to study trhe Sanaa fragments and he makes some of the same conclusions. I must add that after it turned out that the ancient fragments disclosed that the modern quran is different (in details) ,further access to the documents was forbidden. Wouldn’t surprise me if they ”dissappear”
    Same reaction the Catholic church showed to finds like the Nag Hammadi documents.
    Documents in the keeping of the catholic church have also dissappeared. Yet another post.
    I am a sucker for conspiracy theories.

    And the post will be a long time coming, because maybe I shoot my head off in comments a bit, a post requires more serious thought.

    And I would loooove to hear you recite an ancient poem!

  27. The two leaves / pages of this Qur’an, they were done by hand surely? If so, is it done with watercolor? or something else? If something else? What?

  28. Not only that Aafke, but when working on the Dead Sea Scrolls, there was a priest smoking with one of the pages underneath.

    Whooops … right?

  29. Ive always found it pure hypocrisy that Muslims will defend to the death (literally and figuratively) t he claim that the Quran is 100% bonafide and hasnt changed so much as a hamza since its first whispered from the lips of the Prophet…but then set about setting that much defended book behind them and ignore much of what is written in it and practice culture instead…WTF?

    Why defend a book so vehemently and then pretty much ignore it in favour of cultural practices….

    and Im not pointing a finger at anyone specifically here…just Muslims in general.

  30. I’m not sure how the pages were made…watercolors or what…

    I remember in India going to a village which had an amazing collection of old Qurans which were all well preserved.

  31. Aafke, please double check your historical info. In a museum in Istanbul, there is the Qur’an that existed during the time of Othman bn Afan (about 30 years after the Prophet died).. Perhaps, there is an earlier copy that is available which I’m not aware of. I’ll research this for you — I promise. However, give me some time; I know an expert in such matters whom I can consult. It’s hard to get hold of him, but I’m going to do my best — I promise again.

    Luxembourg’s book is interesting for me too; however, it’s a book that I’ve read for pleasure only. I don’t consider it a well researched book; there are some really trivial linguistic mistakes ( trust me Aafke,) an Arab student in primary school will never make such mistakes.

    “I can imagine you feel threatened.” threatened!!!! LOL, you made me smile. Nothing can threaten me, I’m sorry :)

    I’m just an avid reader for anything that relates to crosslinguistic form, meaning, and usage. I’m not by any mean an expert; I even don’t hold any degree in Arabic language or linguistics in general. I’m just sharing my opinion with others here. I’ve put in my two cents, and I hope that will not annoy anyone from me.

    The best thing in AmericanBedu’s Blog is that everyone can share her/his opinion freely — we don’t have to always agree, but we can always remain friends , and respect each other.

    P.S. As for the poems, that can be arranged in the same way as arranging for the date :) I’ve not forgot yet :)

  32. Bedu, as you probably know, there is a very large printing industry in India of Islamic materials.

    And in addition to that, I’ve always very much enjoyed the “painted prayers”. The time and attention it takes to create them, which are unfortunately, yet metaphorically, transient in their design.

    Khalid, I like, and can relate, to your fourth paragraph, it’s precisely what Muslims are essentially responsible to do, to the best as their abilities and resources able them to do.

    I had heard, some years back, that during the caliphate of Umar, I think it was, there were various versions of the Qur’an, which were collected and burned, lest there be confusion.

    While it sounds to me to be a same type of story also attributed to the versions of the early Christian texts, later becoming the Bible, can you say if this is true and if so relate your understanding of it?

  33. Khalid, I wasn’t referring to you, I would néver supposed you to be scared of anything or anybody!
    (not even me)
    But I’m glad you smiled.
    Ok, there’s always something new to learn! I will look it up. And thank you for teaching me. Anyway I am at a disadvantage because I don’t speak and write Arabic, ancient arabic, Aramaic, Syro-aramaic, and hebrew and ancient hebrew…
    Darn! What were my parents thinking when they choose my curriculum!

    A date? We’re on a date? What date? How haraam! Let’s do it next Valentine’s day! :mrgreen:
    Otherwise you will have to recite for me via Gtalk! Because I’m really looking forward to that :)

    Susan, you mean the ones from Sanaa? They found 20 potato bags full! And I have some photo’s of pages, they were written with reedpens and ink and some had colour illustrations of Mosques at the beginning!
    I always get so excited by finds like these! When they restored a building in the forbidden city they found ancient buddhist manuscrpits and amulets hidden in a receptacle inder the top pinnacle!

    coolred, I always love your irreproachable logic!

    Susan, yes so who is to say that the version they choose at that time was the right one? or the best one?

  34. Aafke, not that necessarily,but do you refer to the Qur’an found in Sana’a – 1972?

    This from UNESCO:

    http://tinyurl.com/a3eg3

    And this from Arab News:

    http://tinyurl.com/cdbpvx

  35. Khalid and Aafke: an Othman manuscript which is described as the world’s oldest is in Tashkent, Uzebekistan (although it is thought by some to be more recent than the Sanaa manuscripts).
    It is written in Hejazi Arabic script on deerskin, and has a stain thought to be Othman’s blood.

    http://www.irfi.org/articles/articles_401_450/oldest_quran_in_the_world.htm

    The Topkapi Palace in Istanbul has another of Othman’s 5 or more originals.

    A great overview of “oldest Qurans”

    http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/

    My new favourite it the “Famous Blue Quran” stunning with gold lettering on royal blue background.

    Susan–thanks for the links.

  36. Chiara, thanks for providing these links too.

  37. @ Coolred:

    Sorry I am late in replying. But in America, the religious rights of inmates are protected by the Constitution. I work in a women’s prison. They have the right to wear hijab and also to attend Jumuah. They also have a right to a no-pork diet (not a halal diet but an “alternative protein” diet). They also have rights that pertain to Ramadan and Eids. Because they are incarcerated does not mean that these rights can be taken from them.

    This is why it is important to have an imam or a Muslim chaplain in the prison. This person knows what they are entited to and what they want that the prison is not obliged to provide.

  38. Safiyyah,

    If this practice is still in effect, you only need to send a fax to the Saudi embassy in Washington, attention Islamic Affairs Department with your request for Qurans (and languages) as well as if you wish for any additional islamic literature. Identify yourself and your institution and of course contact info. If there is an imam who comes to the prison he should also be aware of this service.

  39. Safiyyah….I was not commenting on what the govt itself considers a right of prison inmates…I was informing her that AS Muslims…those are their responsibilites and rights.

    And I still stand behind my comment that…they obviously were not too concerened with rights of any kind prior to ending up in prison…so why pitch a fit now?

    I might also add that it was common understanding in the prison that Muslims managed to have more “rights” because of their so called religious requirements…and so there would be a lot of prisoners “converting” soon after being incarcerated…whether the conversion was real or lasted beyond the prison walls is a study I would find interesting.

  40. I do agree that more prison inmates find islam than conversion to other faiths while incarcerated. It is interesting…

  41. Re: prison conversions–I believe converting prisoners was a deliberate policy of the “Nation of Islam” which was founded and developed by African American men who had either done jail time, or were very familiar with the high proportional incarceration of “blacks” then “negroes” in America. Some like Malcolm X later converted to become Sunnis.

  42. Sorry premature submission.

    Also, in the 1960’s and 1970’s Islam, especially of the “Nation of Islam” variety, was the new and improved Abrahamic religion for those whom God and Jesus had seemed to fail. Hence, alot of African American athletes and whole teams also converted and prayed together to Allah, before and after games (rather like the Crusaders now that I think of it).

    I don’t know about rates of permanence of religious beliefs, but certainly rates of recidivism remain high.

  43. I was just researching up the fahd complex when i stumbled upon this blog. This is very interesting indeed.

    @afake

    I just wanted to say that as a muslim i beleive the quran is 100% gods words nothing has been changed. Because god says he will protect the quran. If as you say something has been changed then god is wrong and islam is wrong. ANd if as you say there are mistakes in the quran and that we are following mistakes then once again logically islam would be wrong. Because god says he will protect this religion form change.

    I personally cannot beleive in a faith that has mistakes in its holy books. If god did exsist then he would not allow simple mistakes to change his holy book.

    So i believe as a muslim the quran is unchanged. Having established that I wanted to tell you the Sanaa manuscripts is different from the quran. But they are not major differences. They are mostly lisnguistic differences then differences in content. And we have to realize that many of the companions kept manuscripts of their own i wihch they made comments and edited but these were not official qurans. Also these manuscripts that the sahabas kept were not complete qurans. Since not all the sahabas had the entire quran in their disposal. One sahaba might have a couple of suras in different order written for his/her own personal use.

    It is also important to realize before uthman ordered one single mushaf be produced there were many mushafs in different dialects.

    Gert Pruin took microfilms of all the manuscripts and he promised to brign down the quran and islam using them. But since the time he found them he has yet to do so. Indeed doesnt matter if the yemini govt refuses to show the manuscripts to anybody, Gert Pruin has the microfilm copies.

    Also i wanted quote The Guardian about this issue. The Guardian interviewed Professor Allen Jones, a lecturer in Koranic Studies at Oxford University. Jones says this about the manuscripts.

    “Jones admits there have been ‘trifling’ changes made to the Uthmanic recension. Khalidi says the traditional Muslim account of the Koran’s development is still more or less true. ‘I haven’t yet seen anything to radically alter my view,’ he says. [Jones] believes that the Sa’na Koran could just be a bad copy that was being used by people to whom the Uthmanic text had not reached yet. ‘It’s not inconceivable that after the promulgation of the Uthmanic text, it took a long time to filter down.”

    So as you can see this is a non muslim scholar talking. Who has no personal motivation to defend the Quran. Even he rejects the Sana manuscripts as proof the quran has been changed.

    I cannot assume ur muslim but if you are then I think that it is important for you to realize tha we must take the enitre quran as gods words. If indeed they have been changed then god is wrong.

    and about translating the quran we cannot translate the quran like the bible because the quran is arabic. It is only supposed to be read in arabic and can be fully understood in arabic. Thats why i think most muslims who really want to get to know their religion should pursue arabic.

    A translation loses a lot of meaning. The quran is not something light that we can fool around with it. IF it loses meaning it cannot be considered the quran.

  44. Also here is a section of an article that sums up the Sana manuscript issue well:

    “The fact is that the existence of minor differences in wording and in the ordering of the surahs in the earliest masahif (manuscripts) is no surprise to Muslims familiar with classical Islamic scholarship of the Qur’an. Such variations occurred for several reasons. One factor is the dialectical differences then existing in different regions of Arabia. Another is that some of the Sahaba kiram (Companions) recorded such masahif for their own personal use. As these persons had either memorised the Qur’an in its entirety or large portions of it, such masahif were written merely as an aid to memory. Therefore, notes in the margins such as the wording of du’as (supplications) occurred, and the order of surahs varied. Books written by classical Muslim scholars, such as al-Suyuti’s Itqan, go into great detail about such issues.

    When the Khalifa ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan ordered that one standard text be used and others destroyed, the Sahaba who possessed masahif containing variants did not object to this ruling, which shows that they agreed with his verdict. Moreover, in the subsequent civil war between the supporters of the Khalifa Ali ibn Abi-Talib and Mu’awiya, calls for arbitration according to the Qur’an never involved claims that the other side had an incomplete or changed Qur’an. This would have been a convenient and devastating weapon if it could have been at all convincing. Knowledge about these variations has been preserved by classical Muslim scholarship, and has been useful to scholars of tafsir (Qur’anic interpretation). It was never seen as evidence against the integrity of the Qur’anic text, however, and for this reason Orientalists have not succeeded in building a compelling argument upon it. Having their own documents to build speculations upon gives them much more room to manoeuvre, as they can define the terms and conditions of their research.”

  45. mxq3r9 – welcome and thank you for your insightful comments.

  46. thank you. i find your blog very interesting and insightful. I live in New York and my perception of Saudia has been very adulterated by a lot of saudi-bashing by the American media. Its nice to read what an American who actually lives there feels.

  47. thank you for the kind words mxq3r9 (do you have a nickname or something?) and I hope you will comment on other posts too!

    Best Regards,
    Carol

  48. Mxqrt3, I am going to wroite my opinion on my own blog, check it out sometime in the future.

  49. we will all look forward to your post, Aafke

  50. mxqrt3

    The Quran can only be understood in Arabic…I find that statement really confusing and off putting to the millions of Muslims that do not read or understand Arabic but still consider themselves Muslims based solely on their translated copy of the Quran into whatever language they do understand. We must assume that God is well aware that there will be Muslims that do not understand written Arabic…and thus consider that a translation…done with honesty and integrity…will suffice….otherwise…Islam truly is a religion just for the Arabs. (something Ive heard often enough)

    aafke….Im waiting….

  51. Salamo Alaikom all,

    Sorry for not reading this earlier (work work work ……………)

    Besides the linguistic mistakes I mentioned earlier, I do believe that the Qur’an will never change. I’ll share something that happened with me, this is the first time I say it to anyone.

    in 2001 I was in Brighton, England. There was a Christian Iranian guy living in the same place I was living in. (it might sounds strange Iranian! and a Christian! :) but he was both indeed ) Anyway, he used to argue with me a lot; I didn’t have the knowledge to answer all his questions, and he was happy for this :).. One of the questions he asked me, can you guarantee that the Qur’an after 500 years will not change the same as the Bible changed. I said yes it’ll not change. He told me give me a proof, I told him I don’t know. Then he told then you cannot grantee that in the future the Qur’an will not change, I said yes I cannot. Then he said, I’m Christian because the Qur’an will not remain the same the same as the Bible.

    Later when I reflect in the conversation I had with this guy, I felt very bad, and I was ashamed from myself that I told him “I cannot grantee it for you” I didn’t share that with anyone before because I forgot one of the very basic notions of Islam. It’s mentioned in the Qur’an “Ena nahno nazalna al the-kra wa ena laho la hafizon” Chapter 15 verse 9:

    Roughly in English:
    “Verily, it is WE Who have sent down this Exhortation, and most surely WE are its Guardians.”

    “We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption).”

    “Lo! We, even We, reveal the Reminder, and lo! We verily are its Guardian.”

    “Surely We have revealed the Reminder and We will most surely be its guardian.”

    I don’t know how I forgot this verse at that time. Yes, I was indeed wrong when I said I cannot guarantee… Anyway I thought to share, since when I’ve just read this post I recalled this incident.

    Aafke, yup, dating is definitely haraam as you said. However, according to Aafke’s definition of dating (the definition you mentioned few months back :) ) dating is “ja’iz” (= permissible ) :). So dating in general is haram unless if a person takes your definition for it :)

    I’ll do — I’m not a gtalk user, there are zillion other methods; I’ll update you.

    Susan, that was during Othman bn Afan time and not during Omar bn Al-Khatab. Yup some of the Prophet companions burned the parts of the Qur’an they had during Othman time since all the Qur’an was gathered during that time under one Qur’an.

  52. Khalid,
    Thanks for sharing your experience. I can relate on how it can be frustrating to be speaking on a topic such as religion with someone and not have the answers at the time to questions asked.

  53. What Arabic script is used to write the Qur’an by the King Fahd Printing Press? Kufi or Naskh?

  54. Qader – I do not know. You might want to see if that is identified on their web site.

  55. Just came back to this post via the recent comment.

    Khalid–thanks for sharing that, it is enlightening.

  56. [...] bombings. It states that the Quran is the perfect model for warfare. Pure bidah!!!! (my bold) Saudi Arabia: King Fahd Complex for Printing of the Holy Quran American Bedu Now, if some random dude posting on the Internet has figured out that Saudi introduces bidah (or [...]

  57. [...] A quick Google found me this post by a Muslim discussing Saudi produced Qur’ans: (my bold) Saudi Arabia: King Fahd Complex for Printing of the Holy Quran American Bedu Now, if some random dude posting on the Internet has figured out that Saudi introduces bidah (or [...]

  58. dear sir:

    I would like to be in touch with Professor V Abdur Rahim. Does anyone have his contact? I have got some serious questions pertaining to his books, Madinah Arabic Reader.

    I can be contacted at larahim@i2r.a-star.edu.sg. thank you.

    regards

  59. @AR – here is the link for the contact us page at the complex:

    http://www.qurancomplex.com/contact.asp?l=eng&notMenu=true

  60. Sir,

    I have a QURAN PAK (in shape of book) more then 200 year old an ancient QURAN PAK written by hand.

    I want to sell (hadia) it.( plz see attach file)

    Specification as:

    2 pages full gold

    Page border line and line stopper made by gold.

    Total pages : 566

    Weight: 3.3 pounds

    Size: 10 inches

    for further detail plz contract

  61. i wand a printed soudi arabian quran freely. through in parcel. my address is manaf kp .kakkottu puthiyapurayil.tiroor.B P angadi (via) malappuram (dt)
    kerala(st) india

  62. Dear Sirs,

    I have one trading company with head office located in Canada,

    I have one Quran; souvenir from my fathers, this Quran has 350 years old with following specifications:
    1- Width: 2 cm
    2- Length: 3.2 cm
    3- Inner sheet: 500 sheets
    4- Full Quran Karim
    5- Cover: Leather

    border line is gold

    If you want more pictures I can make it,

    If you have any question please don’t hesitate with me.

    Best Regards
    Nicolas
    D.Manager

  63. Dear Sirs,

    I have one trading company with head office located in Canada,

    I have one Quran; souvenir from my fathers, this Quran has 350 years old with following specifications:
    1- Width: 2 cm
    2- Length: 3.2 cm
    3- Inner sheet: 500 sheets
    4- Full Quran Karim
    5- Cover: Leather

    border line is gold

    If you want more pictures I can make it,

    If you have any question please don’t hesitate with me.

    Best Regards
    Nicolas
    D.Manager

    mail: info@tablicotrading.com

  64. Sir, I am preparing a dictionary of the Holy Qur’an titled ‘Complete Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an’. Its first volume, consisting of about 594 pages, is complete. The first volume is complete in itself. It contains not only the meaning, in English, of almost each and every word used in the Holy Qur’an but also, at many places, I have tried to explain the construction of the words used therein. The complete dictionary, when completed, will consist of about 3600 pages in six volumes. Attachment facility is not available with this message box. Kindly give me your e-mail address so that I may be in a position to send a few sample pages for your kind perusal, from the first volume of the dictionary. The typing and printing (as a personal copy) of the first volume has been done, at home, by me only. If I get encouragement (in the form of monetary assistance by accepting for publishing) from your side I may be able to proceed to the second and other volumes. This work has taken me a very hard work of 12 to 15 hours a day for about 15 years. I am interested in the thing that it be approved and published by you. This will be an honor for me. I am hopeful that I will not be disappointed. I am eagerly waiting for your e-mail address.

    Thanking you,

    Anwar Mujeeb Farooqi

  65. assalamu’alaikum Warrohmatullohi Wabarokatuh ..
    we are beginning to build the mousque in indonesia jalan trunojoyo no. 14 A – Batu – Malang – Jawa timur.
    Anyway, we really need Free sample Al-Qur’anul Karem in gold letter as well to make application to our manager. So please send us as free Al-Qur’anul Karem to our address above.

  66. To Mr. Abu Abdullah

    Dear Sir,
    I would like to get the English Translation of Quran that published by King Fahd Foundation version. I hope you could like to help me for sending its translation to my mail, or you could send me the site of that. So I can download it for free.
    Thanks for your kindness, Sir

    I sincerely yours

  67. @Ahmad,

    If you contact the nearest Saudi embassy they can likely help you.

    Regards, American Bedu

  68. I want to download Quran al Kareem of King fahad printing press…. it could be possible..?

    Regards
    Iqbal

  69. @Iqbal,

    I suggest you email the King Fahd Complex directly and see what they say. I do not know the answer to your question.

    W’alaikum Salam, Carol

  70. I have been visiting this:” MARVELLOUS SITE” so often. I have downloaded many programs and have made much benefits of them.
    Thank you very much for all you give to Islam.

  71. Subject: CNN / Youtube Blasphemous Videos

    CC for info and publication
    ———————
    To: CNN

    From: A Simple Muslim

    This refers to the extremely blasphemous youtube videos about God and Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) you displayed in the CNN World, Global Public Square August 3rd, 2011, url: (http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/03/why-did-pakistans-spy-chief-make-a-secret-trip-to-china/?hpt=wo_r1) /sasa/ captioned: “The black stone is god vagina mohammad kissed part 1” by islamshown, August 4, 2011 at 2:36 pm, and “Exclusive video of Prophet Muhammad in The Illuminated Grave – نور من قبر النبي الأكرم” August 4, 2011 at 2:40 pm.

    Three cheers for CNN and Youtube! What a creditable feat, publishing profane videos on their own creator, the Lord God Creator and His beloved-most innocent Prophet Mohammad (salalaho alaihe wasalam)! This reminded me of once a Chameleon (color-changing lizard) which, because of its innate rancor, was seen blowing a big fire, the idolaters made to burn Prophet Abraham. But neither the Chameleon nor the idolaters could harm Prophet Abraham because God Almighty had promised to save him. Your act of publishing blasphemous videos on Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) thus has remarkable similarity with that of Chameleon. You may create millions of such videos but, rest assured, you can neither defame Prophet Mohammad (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) nor extinguish the light of Islam, which Allah Himself has kindled to illuminate the world with. The Lord Protector frustrates all evil designs of the envious Jews who keep plotting against Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and Islam from time to time. O’ God, let the transgressors meet their nemesis, and let the world learn a big lesson now, Amen.

    Taqfeer
    (A simple Muslim who is neither a Taliban nor a member of Al-Qaeda)

  72. I don’t know if i can use this place to request for quran? If possible i am

    williams aliyu abiodun
    27b, fatai atere way matori, mushin.
    Lagos state.
    Nigeria.

    Preferably, i will like to order for yoruba quran(s) but if there is none english translated will be the next option.
    I shall be greatful if this could be done. Maa sallam.

  73. @Williams – contact the Islamic Affairs Department of the nearest Saudi embassy.

  74. @Susan: I fully agree with you that the Yusuf Ali translation, with commentary in the footnotes and parenthesis, big, lovely, ornate with the Arabic in the column next to … so that one can learn it, —- is better than the Hilali translation which the Saudi Government has switched over to for free distribution.

    @coolred38: I would rather say that the words in parenthesis contain more explanatory notes from the teachings of the Prophet Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam and less “added thoughts” of the interpretors.

    The reader can very well understand that what is in brackets is not the Word if God but when those parenthesied words are read out before the non arabic public they would not be able to distinguish them from what is acually in the Quran.

    I wish to appeal to the Saudi Government in the light of the above comments to revert to the older system of providing remarks in the form of numbered footnotes rather than confusing the reader with those parantheses.

  75. if u give islamic books across the world for free,please,
    send some islamic books to me.
    i’ll be gratefull to u!

  76. I teach kids hifz of quran but they use old and torn up.quran. wud I be able to get 50 new free copies of the quran. The 15 line ones with stop at the end of evry page.

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