Different verse numbering systems in the Qur'an

In the Hafs reading, the first surah includes "Bismillahi-rraHmani-rraHeem" as a verse. In the Warsh reading the basmala is not counted, and only used "voluntarily" as an extra statement (like the basmala is not counted as a verse in all of the other suras in the Hafs reading either).

There are many more places where the numbers differ between the Hafs reading and the Warsh reading of the Qur'an.

But there are also other differences. In 1834 G. Fluegel published his edition of the Qur'an text with many changes (improvements?) to the numbering, and his system has been adopted by many Western / European / Orientalist translators (including the very good translation by Arberry). On the other hand, most Muslim translations use the Egyptian numbering system. This explains that often between several Qur'an translations there is a difference in numbers for respective verses - usually one or two verses, but sometimes up to five. But this system by Fluegel does not correspond to any of the Muslim editions and (being quite late) is not of great interest for understanding the history of this topic, even though Fluegel's text was the Arabic text of the Qur'an (Hafs?).

Encyclopaedia of Islam, New Edition, Volume V, 1986, page 411 gives the following information [and much more], confirming that there are different verse numberings in Muslim translations of M. Pickthall and Yusuf Ali.

M. Pickthall followed an Indian Text tradition. In particular, this traditions differs from the (by now) standard Egyptian verse numbering in these cases:

6:73  is divided into two verses and therefore  6:74-165 becomes  6:75-166
18:18                                          18:19-110         18:20-111

36:34,35 are combined into one verse, therefore 36:36-83 becomes 36:35-82

Furthermore, Pickthall [based on this Arabic text tradition from India] counts the mysterious letters (initials) as separate verses not only in those suras the Egyptian system does it, but additionally in Sura 10 and 38, i.e. these suras become one verse longer.

Yusuf Ali follows the Egyptian system most of the time but not always.

Some Indo-Pakistani Arabic texts always count the basmala as the first verse, not only in Fatiha. Actually, there are manuscripts/traditions which don't have the basmala at all in the first sura [details/references in the above mentioned article.]

These above informations are about the Arabic text, not only the text of the translations.

The above encyclopaedia article sadly does not make any comment on whether the Indian text tradition is a hafs reading or another one. But given that they don't mention that it is a different reading and only talk about different numbering, I assume it is hafs, but this is a guess which I cannot substantiate at this time.

The encyclopdia article also shows that the titles of suras are later, and actually, many more different titles have been in use earlier than are today. And it states that probably the earliest manuscripts have not had any verse numbers at all.

All this is no critique on the Qur'an, but I have been puzzled sometimes that references in books didn't match the Qur'an text I had in front of me and I imagine that this information might be helpful to others who also are asking similar questions.

P.S. I just saw that an Arabic Quran edition (with Farsi translation) produced in Iran has for example as verse 5:17 which is 5:19 in the Egyptian system used by Yusuf Ali. (My Iranian friend pulled out his Qur'an and said: "I can't find this verse ..." - but we found it eventually.) The Iranian Qur'an is a reprint of the "Sultani edition".

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