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Compilation of the Glorious Quraan


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Author Topic: Compilation of the Glorious Quraan  (Read 637 times)
Zeynab
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« on: November 24, 2007, 03:22:57 am »

 BismEm


You might be amazed to know that there are many 'Muslims' who in an attempt to promote the authenticity of the unauthentic Hadith institution try to cast aspersions on the compilation of the Noble Quran.  They say that if Hadith is rejected for lack of trust on the 'sahabas' then the Quraan was also under the care of the same persons.  Please know, this is totally wrong. The compilation of the Quran and the writing of Hadith are two issues that followed two completely different courses. 

There are numerous hadith from Bukhari etc. that claim that the Quran being collected by various "sahabas" namely Muadh bin Jabal, Abu Zaid, and Zaid bin Thabit.  Please beware - these are little beyond stories.  The Hadith has spread many false stories about the compilation of the Quran, making it seem as though the Prophet (pbuh) left the Quran in the care of the young and inexperienced "sahabas" whom he barely knew instead of the most trusted persons among his own family and old friends, that is, Abu Bakr Siddiq, Aisha, Umar bin Khattab, Hafsa, Usman bin Affan, Ali bin Abi Talib and Fatima.  The writings of the Noble Quran were the most precious possession of the Prophet and his family.  These were preserved extremely carefully during the lifetime of the Prophet, and soon after he passed away, the complete set of the Quranic revelations written on parchments, leather sheets and paper were taken under the care of Abu Bakr and other close members of the Prophet's family.  The safe keeping of the Quran was strictly within the Prophet's family after his (pbuh) death and that too for a short time because it soon began being compiled in the reign of Omar bin Khattab and the compilation was compelted by Usman bin Affan, the second and third righteous caliphs, respectively.

Looking briefly at the fact on the destruction of Hadith, Abu Bakr and Umer were completely against the idea of writing Hadith narrations.  As per the wishes of the Prophet and after his (pbuh) passing away, Abu Bakr had destroyed approximately 1,000 Hadith writings during his short reign of nearly 2 years.  Abu Bakr decided to destroy these Hadiths as there was no way of proving their authenticity and he didn't want to take any chances of false narrations circulating in the name of the Prophet.  Similarly, after Abu Bakr's death, Umer destroyed the remaining Hadiths that existed for the same reason.  Umer bin Khattab was also said to have been very annoyed with Abu Huraira for his distasteful habit of writing Hadiths.  Umer is even reported to have rebuked and slapped the man for his persistence and obsession for writing Hadith narrations which reflected his own self-motivated thoughts. 

On the contrary, the revelations of the Quran were carefully preserved after the death of the Prophet under the care of his closest family members and few friends.  Umer bin Khattab, the first righteous Caliph, was the first person who began compiling the Quraan chapter-wise.  This task of compilation was half way through when Umer was assasinated.  Shortly afterwards, his successor, Usman bin Affan, continued the work.  He completed the task of compilation and uptil today we find the Noble Quran having exactly the same arrangement as was started by Umer and and completed by Usman.

The Hadith writers or the "sahabas" (whichever of the two) have tried to spread this falsehood of making it seem that these distant sahabas who hardly knew the Prophet were responsible for taking care of the Quran are only being incredibly untruthful to cover up the forgeries rampant within Hadith.  Let's not forget, after the passing away of the Prophet (pbuh) many such people were swept away by the greed for wealth and fame.  Each and every person who was the contemporary of the Prophet (pbuh) and had spent just a few months or weeks formally in the Prophet's company was technically labelled a "sahabah" according to the practice of the clerics.   As Muslims and followers of the Noble Quran, we are under no obligation to blindly glorify each and every person who is given the title of 'sahabah' without exploring the historical data along with a rational scrutiny of their characters and roles. 

Those 'sahabahs' or Hadith narrators who have penned such narrations claiming that the Quran was in charge of various people who were definitely NOT close to the Prophet (pbuh) were of the kind who had either not read anything of the Quran or didn't bother to understand it.  They lie casually about being caretakers of the Quran when Allah (The Highest) has mentioned that He, Himself takes the responsibility of preserving the Noble Quraan eternally.  Thus, Allah asserts categorically that the Quran is on a "guarded tablet" (85:21-22). 

Before the compilation of the Quran when it was written by hand and preserved on sheets of leather, stone tablets and scraps of rough paper, it was basically in the old Arabic style when certain spellings of words were a little different from the present time.  But these differences in spellings have no bearing on the meanings of those words.  Some changes in the rules of the written language must not be confused with the meaning or the substance of the text itself.  For example, the old Kufi print apparently had a few different spellings and punctuations that went with these spellings of certain words.  But the meaning, sense and concept of the words themselves have never changed.   

According to Dr. Mansoor Alam

On the topic of compilation of the Glorious Quraan, Dr. Mansoor Alam writes a still more dynamic and very important piece on his findings.  He points out that the Quran was actually compiled during the lifetime of the Prophet (pbuh).  According to the research of Dr. Alam, the Prophet would never leave this most important work of his life unfinished to be sorted out after his death.  This is contrary to the Prophet's very responsible temperament and priorities.  The information about Quran being collected and compiled after the death of the Prophet comes only from Hadith.

An excerpt from Dr. Mansoor Alam's article:

The Quran is the final Book of Allah revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It is meant for all human beings and for all times.  After the opening chapter, the Quran states categorically that this is a book in which there is no doubt (2:2).  Therefore, it should  i) be treated as a book and  ii)  as the only book carrying Allah’s stamp of approval of being doubt free. No other book(s) can claim this status. 

Since it is a book of guidance for all human beings, the Quran must have been written down and compiled as a book during the Prophet’s lifetime. How else would an unwritten book serve as the code of guidance for all?  Apart from being doubt-free, this Book also has the unique distinction of having Allah’s seal of approval for its future protection: “We have revealed this Book (Dhikr) and We will protect it” (15:9). Its author, Allah, also categorically states that it is complete and unalterable (6:115).

In light of these verses it should have been enough for Muslims, at least, to accept that the Quran we have today is exactly the same as the one the Prophet (PBUH) gave to his companions. Allah took the responsibility of making sure that it was collected, compiled, and completed as a book. This 100% certainty could not have been possible except if it was done during the lifetime of the Prophet (PBUH). 

Throughout the world, all Muslims have the same Quran (in book form). There are not different versions of the Arabic Quran, since Allah guarantees that it is complete and fully protected.  Why then should we have to find out how it was collected and compiled?  Some historians and Imams – after more than 200 years after the death of the Prophet (PBUH) – started investigating how the Quran was collected and compiled. It was not that they were going to collect and compile the Quran themselves – this had been done already. They also knew that whatever they might find, was not going to change the text of the Quran in anyway – these Imams (including Imam Bukhari and Tabari) had the same Arabic Quran in their hands as we have today. 

Was their effort to investigate the history of the compilation of the Quran purely for academic reasons? It probably seems that way. Since their effort could not alter the text of the Quran, the only thing they could do was to produce their own books about it. Their works became popular among Muslim scholars and subsequently turned into a whole new field of knowledge called the ‘Ulum al-Quran or the Sciences of the Quran. There are now experts (scholars and professors) holding academic positions in this area. Allah says to all Muslims to ponder over the meanings of the Quran (4:82, 47:24), but these scholars are more interested in pondering over the compilation of the Quran and fabricating stories about the 'achievements' of the imams ....

The fact is no one could have realized the importance of compiling the Quraan better than the Prophet (PBUH) as a guidance from the Almighty Allah. The Prophet (PBUH) must have employed the best scribes to write the revelation and he personally must have checked the written text for accuracy. The Quran itself tells us that these scribes were truthful and most honorable (80: 15-16). As Muslims, we are obliged to believe that our Prophet (PBUH) faithfully discharged his duty of delivering the Quran to humanity in the form of a written book.  Its proof is in our hands.
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2007, 08:14:05 am »



Thank you sister for this valuable piece of writing. I agree when you when you say that divinity is some how ascribed to the prople who have served in the compilation of the Qur'an. Instead of glorifying Allah for this, they channel this to the created beings. They do this in an attempt to extend the infallibility of the Qur'an to other sources such as Hadith books, as you have stated.

Thanks again Smiley.

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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2007, 05:08:03 pm »

As-salam Alaiykum and lots a thanks for this sister.  A very illuminting piece of writing, Alhumdulilah. 

On compilation of the Noble Quran I would also like to share the views of Nadir Aqueel Ansari who has much the same thoughts as Mansur Alaam.  This was sent to me through one of those circular emails by a cousin.

History of Compilation of the Qur'an by N.A. Ansari

During the first thirteen years of his ministry at Mecca, the Prophet Muhammad used to read out the revealed passages to the small group of his followers and non-believers.  His followers used to commit the revelation to their hearts. There is evidence that the revealed verses or chapters were also written down on whatever writing material was available.

It is reported that when Umar, learnt that his sister and her husband had converted to Islam, he hurried to her sister's house in anger. When he arrived at her house, she hid the part of Qur'an she was reading. When Umar expressed his eagerness to see what they were reading, his sister told her to wash before touching the scripture.  This shows that as early as the sixth year of the Prophet's ministry, the Qur'an was being written down, in addition to being learnt by heart.

[ii] When the Prophet migrated to Medina and established a state, he made elaborate arrangements under the state machinery for the preservation and large scale dissemination of the Qur'an. He constituted a committee of about forty of his literate companions who were assigned the task of recording the Holy Book.

[iii] Zaid was the full time Secretary of the Committee of the Scribes. On receiving a verse or verses from Allah, the Holy Prophet used to call one of the members of the committee and get it dictated. Then the written passage was read out to the Prophet and was corrected and approved by him. It was then issued for all. People used to copy it and memorize it. Given the swelling number of his followers after Migration, the Qur'an was learnt and recorded by a large number of his followers.

[iv] The Qur'an was being revealed in accordance with the needs of the different stages of the prophetic mission. It was however not compiled in the chronological order of its revelation. While compiling and arranging it, the Qur'an was given a new order, which was to have a meaningful coherence for the readers in future. Whenever the Prophet dictated a newly revealed passage of the Qur'an to the Scribes, he used to direct them regarding the placement of that passage in the Qur'an as well. This means that not only was the Qur'an being recorded and memorized as it was being revealed piecemeal, it was also being compiled and given a new order under the personal supervision of the Prophet. The Prophet in turn was being instructed by Allah about the placement of passages in the desired order.

[v] Thus the entire Qur'an was systematically recorded and arranged on written material during the lifetime of the Prophet. However the Qur'an was recorded not in one volume but on tanned hides, stone tablets, wooden tablets, piecesof cloth  etc. One complete set of the Qur'an was with the State authorities, i.e. with the Holy Prophet. It was placed in the Mosque of the Prophet (Masjid-e-Nabavi) from where any one was free to make a copy for himself or to refer to it in case he wished to memorize it. It however appears that apart from this centrally placed copy, a number of other copies also existed. A few of them must have been complete copies whereas in case of others, portions of the Qur'an were in possession of a number of Companions of the Prophet.

[vi] It appears that the Official Copy, although complete, checked, and approved by the Prophet was available in the life of the Holy Prophet, yet it was not bound in one volume (bain al lawhayn). The entire Qur'an was memorized by the Prophet himself and numerous other companions.

The Holy Qur'an constituted the life blood of the early Muslim community during the life of Prophet. It was recited five times a day, people used to commit it to their hearts and used to study it with utmost care and concentration. People were graded and appreciated on the basis of their knowledge and the extent of the Qur'an that they had memorized. All affairs of the state as well as the social life of Arabia were governed in the light of the provisions of the Qur'an. All civil servants, military commanders and judges used to seek guidance from the Qur'an. During the Prophet's life time, when he used to send governors and judges to far off places, he used to instruct them that they have to govern and decide in the light of the Qur'an. These facts show that Qur'an was alive in that society not because of written manuscripts but as a necessity of faith and an inevitable source of guidance for social, political and legal affairs.

It is therefore incorrect to suggest that the Holy Qur'an was compiled and written in the days of Caliphs Abu Bakr or Uthman. It was preserved under the personal supervision of the Holy Prophet in his lifetime. It is also natural to believe that he could not neglect the task of its preservation. One of the primary missions of the Holy Prophet was to deliver the Divine Message to mankind. This Message consisted of the Holy Qur'an. He could not shift this responsibility to later generations.
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2010, 07:37:19 am »

Alhumdulilah, both pieces of writings by sister zeynab and brother PT are incredibly educational.  All these factors highlight the profound care that was taken by the Prophet (SAW) and many of his close ones in preserving and compiling the Quran in the way we see it today.  It was all through the Will of Allah and none else.  Praise be to Allah alone.  Allah has promised that the Quran is in a "Guarded Tablet" and unlike the previous Scriptures, this final Message will never change.

Here's a simple and brief write-up by a friend of mine on the compilation of the Quran which exactly tallies with the above contents.  She's a very well-read lady who has done extensive studies specifically on this topic - compilation of the Quran. 

To comfort their guilt, the Hadith lovers often claim without knowledge that the compilation of the Quran was not different from compilation of the Hadith.  The information below clearly indicates how different the compilation of the Quran was from compiling the Hadith. 

Moreover, by reading the above posts and the piece below, readers can guage for themselves that the compilation of the Quran refers to the work of collecting it together in the form of a book.  The compilation of the Hadith, on the other hand, has a totally different connotation.  It refers to the medieval imams hopping around from place to place, looking for information a.k.a. gossips from so-called descendents of the so-called sahabahs about the Prophet. 

Not to mention, unlike the Noble Quran, the Hadith is NOT under the protection of Allah Almighty.  From the time the Hadith began being written uptil today, numerous people have had a free go at it.  This means that the already largely unauthentic stuff collected and written by Bukhari etc. were  further revised / altered several times systematically by the coming generations of imams.

Quote --
The Qur’an was repeatedly revealed from Allah to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) orally through the angel Jibrīl (Gabriel) over a period of approximately twenty-three years, beginning in 610 CE, when he was forty, and concluding in 632 CE, the year of his death. 

The Qur’an was memorized, recited and written down by Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) close companions after every revelation, dictated by Prophet Muhammad.  the Prophet (pbuh) himself knew the Qur'an by heart, and several of his companions also  learned it by memory.   The Prophet (pbuh) is the first Hafiz-e-Qur'an in history.  The scribes or close companions repeatedly recited in front of the Prophet for his approval.  Muhammad (pbuh) approved and also collected it in written form while he was alive. 

First the Qur’an was authentically memorized completely by tens of thousands verbally, and then established textually into a single book shortly after Muhammad's death by order of the first Caliph Abu Bakr, suggested by his future successor Umar.  Hafsa, Prophet Muhammad's widow and Umar's daughter, was entrusted with that Quran text after the second Caliph Umar passed away. When Uthman, the third Caliph, started noticing differences in the dialect or pronounciation of the Qur’anic words, he requested Hafsa to allow him to use the Qur’an text in her possession to be set as the standard dialect.  Before returning that Qur'an text to Hafsa, Uthman immediately made several copies of Abu Bakar's Qur’anic compilation and ordered all other texts to be burned. This process of formalization of the orally transmitted text to Abu Bakar's Qur'anic text is known as the "Uthmanic recension". The present form of the Qur'an text is recognized and accepted by all as the original version compiled by Abu Bakr.
Unquote --
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2010, 01:03:55 am »

Many thanks for this very beneficial addition of your friend's writing on Quranic compilation.  She's summed it up very well indeed.


Moreover, by reading the above posts and the piece below, readers can guage for themselves that the compilation of the Quran refers to the work of collecting it together in the form of a book.  The compilation of the Hadith, on the other hand, has a totally different connotation.  It refers to the medieval imams hopping around from place to place, looking for information a.k.a. gossips from so-called descendents of the so-called sahabahs about the Prophet. 

Not to mention, unlike the Noble Quran, the Hadith is NOT under the protection of Allah Almighty.  From the time the Hadith began being written uptil today, numerous people have had a free go at it.  This means that the already largely unauthentic stuff collected and written by Bukhari etc. were  further revised / altered several times systematically by the coming generations of imams.

Absolutely correct!
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2010, 01:06:57 am »

And brother PT .. thanks a million of for N.A. Ansari's write-up on this topic.  It's thoroughly educative.
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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2010, 02:05:05 am »

Muhammad (pbuh) approved and also collected it in written form while he was alive. 

Alhumdulilah ,, this is a very very helpful thread.  I just wanted to ask regarding the above statement.  It says that the Prophet (pbuh) collected the Quran in written form.  Does this mean the compilation started from here?
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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2010, 03:17:37 am »

Well, it's very possible that the Prophet (SAAW) had started the compilation work.  However, what we are sure of and what the above writing means is that in addition to those people who had memorized the Quran, every bit of the Quranic revelation was also written down during the Prophet's lifetime. In other words, at the time the Prophet (SAAW) passed away, all contents of the Quran were available in written form.  The arrangement of this written form was started by Abu Bakr and it was finished during the time of Usman.  And during this time all written form of the Quran was in the strict and safest of care of the Prophet's family members.
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« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2010, 03:19:59 am »

O! ok, I got it.  Thanks sis. 
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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2011, 06:21:34 am »

Gotta participate in a discussion next week held in our community mosque on compilation of the Quran.  I'm gonna take the stand and stick to the truth as discussed on this thread. 

Just going over a few points.  One might ask on what basis did the 3rd Caliph, Usman, compile the Quran following the order which still exists?  Firstly, all Surahs of the Quran had been recorded in writing before the Prophet's death and after his death were in the custody of his immediate and trusted members of the family.  In the Caliphate of Usman, all existing copies of the Surahs were called in along with an authoritative version based on Abu Bakr's collection of all the Surahs plus the testimony of those who knew the entire Quran by memory contained amply evidence to be accepted as the Prophet's choice of arrangement, the same arrangement in which we see the Noble Quran today.  It must be remembered that those who carefully preserved the Quran until its compilation and those who had learned it by heart were a completely different set of people from those younger ones a.k.a. "sahabahs" who converted to Islam for political purposes and later began hobnobbing with the early Ummayad caliphs in their plush palaces .. the same ones who uttered the most obnoxious and false ahadith, starting the era of the destruction of Islam.
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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2011, 06:40:46 am »

Yeah sis.  I think what you mentioned as gist is a perfect summary. 

Also, if the Quran had ever came into the hands of people like Abu Huraira & co., then we would not find the Hadith literature separately.  In that case, these thieves would have implemented their false narrations directly into the Quran, just as the Jews and Christians did with their Scriptures.  But because Allah has Himself taken the responsibility to guard the Quran from corruption, thus, those loafers who called themselves "sahabahs" could not touch the Quran and instead had to introduce their lies in a separate book called Hadith.

Wish you the best for the discussion Smiley 
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« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2011, 06:53:53 am »

   Wink Cheesy
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