Speakers: Abdullah Kunde and Samuel Green 14th December 2012.
Post Debate Comments:
Thanks Abdullah for the debate.
Abdullah asked me to provide one extant Qur'anic manuscript that was different to the Uthman text. The Standford 07 is such a manuscript:
The main significance of the San'a 1 (Standford 07) manuscript is that its lower text does not belong to this Utmanic textual tradition. In this sense, it is “non-Utmanic.” It belongs to some other textual tradition which is designated here as C-1. (Behnam Sadeghi and Uwe Bergmann, "The Codex of a Companion of the Prophet and the Qur?an of the Prophet", Arabica 57, 2010, p. 344)
Abdullah and I disagreed over whether a Qur'an page he showed had been washed and new text written on top or that the text has seeped through from the other side. You can see the page here: http://engagingwithislam.org/debates/page.TIF but Muslim scholars say that the lower text is visible in the way I described:
A palimpsest is a parchment with at least two layers of text. The older layer is scraped off or washed to make room for the new text, but over time it resurfaces as a shadow, in this case as a pale brown text. (Behnam Sadeghi and Uwe Bergmann, "The Codex of a Companion of the Prophet and the Qur?an of the Prophet", Arabica 57, 2010, p. 348)
Regarding 5:68 Abdullah said this was about "true muslims" but my point was that this verse is saying that the Qur'an confirms the scriptures WITH the Christians and Jews and so is referring to the scriptures they have not lost originals.
I think this is a better quote from Adrian Brockett:
Lists of the differences between the two transmissions are long, ... (however) The simple fact is that none of the differences, whether vocal (vowel and diacritical points) or graphic (basic letter), between the transmission of Hafs and the transmission of Warsh has any great effect on the meaning. Many are differences which do not change the meaning at all, and the rest are differences with an effect on meaning in the immediate context of the text itself, but without any significant wider influence on Muslim thought. One difference (Q. 2/184) has an effect on the meaning that might conceivably be argued to have wider ramifications. (Adrian Brockett, `The Value of the Hafs and Warsh transmissions for the Textual History of the Qur'an', Approaches to the History of the Interpretation of the Qur'an, ed. Andrew Rippin; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988, pp. 34 and 37)
Regarding the Satanic Verses (1:48:47) There is good evidence for it. It is not just in one account:
The Satanic verses incident is narrated in numerous reports (between 18 and 25, depending on how one reckons an independent riwayah) scattered in the sirah nabawiyyah and tafsir literature originating in the first two centuries of Islam. The indications are that the incident formed a fairly standard element in the historical memory of the early Muslim community regarding the life of its founder. (Shahab Ahmed, Ibn Taymiyyah and the Satanic Verses, p. 70)
I think at (1:13:29) Abdullah was referring to the wrong ibn Kathir. There is an early Ibn Kathir and a later Ibn Kathir.
I lost the use of my computer for much of the debate because Abdullah's computer would not connect to the data projector. This was a real nuisance. I am not blaming Abdullah at all; I organised the debate. It just makes it hard when you cannot consult your references during the debate. I need to plan for this better.
I also found it hard that Abdullah spread his presentation over the presentation section and then the first rebuttal. It meant that when I gave my first rebuttal I did not have his whole presentation is mind. In the future I will discuss this matter with people I debate and come to some agreement before the debate. I think we should limit the presentation to the presentation section.