Saudi Website's Call to "Rewrite the Quran" Sparks a Strong Online Backlash

Published July 28th, 2020 - 06:32 GMT
Saudi Website's Calls to "Rewrite the Quran" Spark a Strong Online Backlash
Despite the topic being discussed for centuries amongst Muslim scholars who have had different opinions on the issue, social media users angrily reacted to Gulizada's statements. (Shutterstock: G.Tbov)

An op-ed published in the Saudi online newspaper Elaph has prompted many angry online reactions; as its writer questioned the accuracy of the Uthmani script of the Quran and called for "re-writing" the Islamic holy book.

Translation: "Saudi website Elaph that is run by Othman Alomeir has published an article by someone called Jarjis Gulizada in which he questions the Quran's words and calls to correct the Uthmani script where Mecca is spelled as Becca. He also claims that the Quran is full of misspellings and demands that we follow a mind-based approach with the word of God."

The Iraqi writer Jarjis Gulizada quickly came under fire as he discussed the necessity of printing the Quran in the oldest Arabic script often called the Uthmani, in reference to third caliph Uthman Ibn Affan, especially as modern Arabic writing spells words with slight differences that he fears "might confuse modern-day Muslims."

In his article, Gulizada called on Muslims to "seize the moment and be open to much-needed changes, especially as many Islamic practices have seen changes and amends due to COVID-19," such as the annual season of Pilgrimage that has been limited to about a 1000 people for the first time in centuries.

Despite the topic being discussed for centuries amongst Muslim scholar,s who have had different opinions on the issue, social media users widely shared the article and angrily reacted to Gulizada's statements and accused him and the founder of Elaph of "taking the chance to distract Muslims and change Islamic bases."

Translation: "Historically, everyone who's tried to change anything in the Quran was severely punished by God. Is this the end? God will save his own words."

Translation: " A call to rewrite the holy Quran all over again in an article in the Saudi newspaper Elaph. He's presenting us with "an approach to think" and says that the Uthmani script, in which the Quran was written, isn't useful to Muslims in today's world, especially non-Arab Muslims. Now they care about non-Arab Muslims..."

On the other hand, some commentators highlighted that Gulizada's article doesn't include a new call, neither does it attack the content of Quran. Some users also agreed that writing the Quran in the modern Arabic script makes it easier to read and understand by average Muslims.

Translation: "Did you even read the article? He's talking about mistakes made by Quran writers, not actual verses. If you ask a primary school student to write some of the words they'd write they correctly and would fail the test if they write them with the Uthmani script. Read the Quran before you express your thoughts on it."


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