Hafs: The Lying, Unreliable Transmitter of the Quran

For most of the Muslim world, the particular Arabic version of the Quran that is recited is the reading attributed to Hafs Ibn Abi Dawud Al Kufi. What makes this rather ironic, in fact, astonishing is that this specific narrator/relater/reciter of the Quran was known to be a liar who was an untrustworthy thief. This is why Sunni scholars decreed that his hadiths are to be abandoned.

The following is a translation of the contents found on this page: https://abdelzahra1.com/?page_id=19213.

“Hafs Ibn Sulayman Al-Asadi Abu Omar Al-Qari (said): that Alqama Ibn Murthad and Asim, they left (abandoned) him, who is Hafs Ibn Abi Dawud Al Kufi” (2767).  (Al-Bukhari, Tarikh-Al-Khabir, Volume 2, p. 363)

“Hafs Ibn Sulayman Al-Asadi Abu Omar from Kufa (said): I see the Qari (Quran reader or narrater) if Hafs Ibn Abi Dawud, Asim, and Alqama Ibn Murthad were silent regarding him. Hafs Ibn Omar Ibn Abi Al-Attaf said he narrates false hadiths. (Al-Bukhari, Tarikh-Al-Sagheer, Volume 2, p. 233)

“Hafs Ibn Sulayman Al-Asdi Abu Omar (said): from Ulquma Ibn Marqad (who said) they abandoned him. And Ahmad Ibn Hanbal said that Yahyah told me Shuba said: Hafs Ibn Sulayman took a book from me and never returned it. He (also) said, he (Hafs) used to take people’s books and copy them.” (Al-Bukhari, Al-Duwafaa-Al-Sagheer, p. 35)

“Narrated to us by Ali Ibn Hajr, that Hafs Ibn Sulayman told us, from Kathir Ibn Zadan, from Asim Ibn Damra, from Ali Ibn Abi Talib, that the prophet of Allah said: “Whoever reads the Quran, and it became clear to him so he made permissible (halal) what it made permissible, and prohibited what it made prohibited, Allah will let him enter paradise with this, and will give him intercession for 10 of his household, for all whom hellfire was sure.”  (Classed as) very weak by Ibn Majah, 216 (given as number 38 and in Mishkat-Al-Masabeeh 2141, in Daif-Al-Jamih-Al-Sagheer 5761) – This is a strange hadith, we do not know of it except by this source, and it does not have an authentic isnad (chain). And the (mention of) Hafs Ibn Sulayman Abu Omar Bizaz Kufi, weakens the hadith.” (Al-Albani, The Daif in Sunan-Al-Tirmidhi, p. 348)

“Abu Omar (said): this is Hafs Ibn Sulayman the Qari (Quran reader or narrator) from Kufa, and his hadiths are to be abandoned. And Uman Abu Hafs followed him, who is also (known as) Ibn Hafs A—Abdi, and he is like him in weakness, or weaker. Revised by Tabarani in A-Khabeer (1/49/3), and Qawl Al-Haythami (333/1) in his Isnad- and they are trustworthy men. But he (Hafs) was cavalier in the matter, so should not be looked at(meaning acknowledged).” (Al-Albani, Irwaa-Al-Ghaleel, Volume 1, p. 260)

“I heard my father say: Haf Ibn Sulayman, referring to Abu Omar the Qari (Quran reader or narrator), his hadiths are to be abandoned.” (Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Al-Ilaal, Volume 2, p. 503)

“I asked him about Hafs Ibn Sulayman, he said that Shubaa said: ‘He used to borrow people’s books.’ (Ibid., p. 380)

“So Shubaa told me; Hafs Ibn Sulayman took a book from me and never returned it, and he used to take people’s books and copy them.” (Ibid., Volume 3, p. 78)

Hafs Ibn Sulayman – according to Ulquma Ibn Murthad – narrates abandoned hadiths.Al-Nisa’i, The Weak and the Abandoned (Al-Dufaa’ wa al-Matrookeen), p. 167)

“Hafs Ibn Sulayman Al-Asdi Abu Omar Al-Bizaz Al-Kufi Al-Qari (Quran reader or narrator), also called Al-Ghadiree and known as Hafeez, and it was said that his grandfather’s name is Al-Mugheera who is Hafs Ibn Dawud…

“Ibn Hatem said, from Abdullah, from his father, that he (Hafs) is one whose hadiths are abandoned.

“Uthman Al-Darami and others said, from Ibn Mu’ain, that he (Hafs) is not to be trusted.

“Ibn Al-Madinee said: his (Hafs’) hadiths are weak, and I have abandoned them on purpose.

“Al-Jawzani said; ‘I am finished (done) with him (Hafs) a long age ago.

“Al-Bukhari said: they have abandoned him (Hafs).

“Muslim said: he (Hafs) has been abandoned (or left).

“Al-Nisa’i said: ‘he (Hafs) is not to trusted, and his hadiths are not to be written,‘ and in another place, it said; he (Hafs) is one whose hadiths are abandoned.

“Salih Ibn Muhammad said: his (Hafs’) hadiths are not to be written, and all his hadiths are false.

“Al-Saghi said: he (Hafs) narrates false hadiths, (the same was said) by Sammaq and others.

“Abu Zaraa’ said: his (Hafs’) hadiths are weak.

“Ibn Hatem said; ‘I asked my father about him (Hafs), and he said: ‘his hadiths are not to be written, his hadiths are weak, he is not to be believed, his hadiths are abandoned…’

“Ibn Kharrash said, he (Hafs) is a liar, his hadiths are to be abandoned, he invents hadiths.

“Yahya Ibn Said said, from Shubaa; ‘he (Hafs) took a book from me, and never returned it, and he used to take people’s books and copy them.’

“Al-Sagi said, from Ahmad Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Al-Baghdadi, that Ibn Mu’in said: ‘Hafs and Abu Bakr were the of the most knowledgeable of the Qiraat of Asim, and Hafs was more competent than Abu Bakr (but) he was a liar, and Abu Bakr was truthful.

“Ibn Adi’ said: most of his (Hafs’) hadiths,  and those he narrated about, are not kept…” (Ibn Hijr, Tahtheeb-Al-Tahtheeb, Volume 2, p. 245)

And here is another citation:

As for those, who are, entirely or mostly doubtful, in the sight of the men of tradition, we would not be concerned with (mentioning and) directing their narrations, such as Abdullah Ibn Al-Miswar: About Ja’far Al-Mada’ini, Amr ibn Khalid, Abd Al-Quddus Ash-Shami, Muhammad Ibn Sa’id Al-Masloob, Ghaiyyath Ibn Ibrahim, Sulaimin Ibn Amr [Hafs]: Abu Dawood An-Nakh’i, and their fellows, who have been accused of inventing the forged traditions and creating false news. (Al-Imam Muslim Ben Al-Hajaja Al-Naysaburi, Sahih Muslim: The authentic hadiths of Muslim [Dar Al- Kotob Al-Ilmiyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2005], p. 10; bold emphasis mine)

Ironically, the dominant Arabic version of the Islamic scripture read throughout the Muslim world comes from a man whom Sunni scholars of both the Quran and ahadith claimed was essentially a liar, untrustworthy, and a thief who stole and plagiarized books, which is why they abandoned anything that came from him!

And yet Muslims are reading an Arabic Quran transmitted by a known dishonest, lying thief!

And yet the Muslims claim that the Holy Bible is untrustworthy!



5 thoughts on “Hafs: The Lying, Unreliable Transmitter of the Quran

  1. WOW! Just imagine if the sandal were on the other foot and there were orthodox Christian scholars (because those are all orthodox Sunni scholars) saying that one of the gospel writers was unreliable, used to steal things and was a liar. How much of a field day would Muslims have with that?

    Of course, the opposite is true and we have an authentic chain of narration from John. We have Polycarp, Irenaeus, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycrates, Melito of Sardis, etc etc!

    Now back Hafs. Muslim scholars, whom they trust, admit that Hafs is a lying, untrustworthy thief. In a kal va’chomer type of argument: if can’t trust Hafs when it comes to hadith (the less important), how can you trust him when it comes to the Quran (the most important)?

    Muslims got some ‘splain to do!


  2. Thanks for this article. There are many individual variants uniquely read by Hafs among the canonical readers. Academics have noticed how most of those do not show up in vocalised manuscripts of the first few centuries, except as part of secondary non-canonical readings whose diacritics were added later to some manuscripts. Even al-Tabari hadn’t heard of them. Doesn’t inspire confidence in their authenticity. Hafs’ transmission as whole does not show up for several centuries in manuscripts as it was so lacking in popularity. For a quick run through how the various academic developments over the past year impact Islamic apologetics on this topic I recommend the new article https://quranvariants.wordpress.com/bad-apologetics-quran-preservation-and-variants/


  3. Amazing! He was a Liar in Hadith meaning He lied about the pedophile Muhammad and the pedophile “Prophet” said “The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Do not tell a lie against me for whoever tells a lie against me (intentionally) then he will surely enter the Hell-fire.” – SAHIH Bukhari 106

    So HAFS is in Hell-fire and muslims trust a person who the great pedophile said will be in hell.

    Yo guys imagine if John the disciple was accused by all of the top disciples and Early Church Fathers to be a liar and a cheat and yet we read the Book of John can you imagine how much muslims would accuse us of trusting John “the liar” ? now if we do the same muslims don’t accept it what hypocrites


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