View Full Version : The History of the Qur'anic Text From Revelation to Compilation

03-20-2005, 09:11 PM
I was wondering if anybody has some good links to articles about the compilation of the Qur'an and dealing with the burning of certain copies by Uthman. Basically somebody on another forum asked about this and I'm fealing really lazy so any help would be appreciated.

Here's what the person wanted to know.

I was googling for sources on "higher criticism," which is something most people on here are probably aware I enjoy. However, in this page I ran across a very interesting quote that brought this subject to light:


Modern higher criticism is just beginning to be carried out on the Quran. This scholarship questions some traditional claims about its composition and content, contending that the Quran incorporates material from both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, and that the text of the Quran has developed over time. For example, Islamic history records that Uthman collected all variants of the Quran and destroyed those that he did not approve of. Parts of certain Hadith collections refer to chapters (suras) that are no longer extant in the Quran.

Several times on this list I've read the claim that the Quran hasn't been changed. I read here citation of evidence for the opposite. So, I must ask, where are the text critics and other scholars of higher criticism in Islam? They would ferret this sort of thing out.

Are the oldest manuscripts and their contents available?

I find it rather incredulous that a book was copied by hand without variation creeping in. It's the nature of the beast. Remember, simply saying "it has no changes" no more makes your claim true than it does the KJV-Onlyist who insists the KJV represents the originals perfectly.

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Ansar Al-'Adl
03-20-2005, 11:21 PM
Br. _salam_, I really recommen that you get this book called THE HISTORY OF THE QUR’ANIC TEXT FROM REVELATION TO COMPILATION
By Muhammad Mustafa Al-Azami

Here's a review of the book:

Islamic Thought and Sources THE HISTORY OF THE QUR’ANIC TEXT FROM REVELATION TO COMPILATION: A COMPARATIVE STUDY WITH THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS. By Muhammad Mustafa Al-Azami. Leicester: UK Islamic Academy, ????. Pp. ???. ISBN ?????????? (HB), ISBN ???? ?????? (PB). From its very beginning, Islam has been under attack not only physically but academically. Christian demagogues like John of Damascus, Peter the Venerable, Raymundus Lull, and Martin Luther later were followed by infamous Jewish, Christian or secularist Orientalists like Julius Wellhausen, Gustav Flügel, Theodor Nöldeke, Ignaz Goldziher, Alphonse Mingana, Snouck Hurgronje or Joseph Schacht. They all did their best to prove that Islam was a corrupted Jewish-Christian copy, based on forged ahadith, without any originality or saving grace. This scientific onslaught increasingly focused on the Qur’an, to be dismantled in the same way the Old Testament (OT) and New Testament (NT) had been already. The latest wave of attacks, as vicious and biased as any before, was and is fuelled by the likes of Arthur Jeffrey, Gotthelf Bergsträsser, Otto Pretzl, John Wansborough, Andrew Rippin, Patricia Crone, Michael Cook, Gerd Puin and “Ibn Warraq”. Outrageously they more or less claim that the entire Islamic history is mere fiction and the Qur’an a late—?nd or ?rd Hijri century—product, projected backwards by what belatedly came to be called Muslims. The book under review by an Indian (now Saudi) Deobandi and Azhari hadith scholar and King Faisal Award winner (????), also trained in Cambridge, is the most detailed, well researched and documented refutation of Occidental attacks yet written, and that in excellent English. It was prompted by Toby Lester’s scandalous article of ????, “What is Koran?”, that appeared in the Atlantic Monthly. Al-A[zami takes Lester’s article as a starting point for carrying Edward Said’s critique of Orientalism right into the camp of Western Qur’anic studies, painstakingly revealing its biases, double standards, arrogance, incompetence, and, at times, Zionist motivation. The author’s erudition does indeed put the Orientalists to shame. It is the most devastating critique of Western Islamological “scholarship”, which is entirely conducted using Orientalism’s own premises, methods, literature and lines of argumentation. Remarkably, after establishing the originality and authenticity of the Qur’anic text (Part I), the author—conscious of Field Marshall von Schlieffen[’s dictum that Angriff ist die beste Verteidigung (attack is the best form of defence)—demonstrates the near incredible corruption of both the OT (II, pp. ???-???) and the NT (II ???-???) in Part II before launching into a final appraisal of Orientalism (III, pp. ???-???). All the way through, al-A[zami uses photographs of scriptural fragments, well reproduced on glazed paper, in order to illustrate his points, letting facts speak for themselves. Thus he lists no less than ?? Companions who, in addition of Zayd b. Thabit, functioned as scribes for the Prophet (saas). The author is honest to the point of giving two differing accounts of the procedure followed for estabishing the ?[Uthmani mushaf: (i) mere copying the Suhuf prepared by Zayd b. Thabit during the lifetime of the Caliph Abu Bakr; (ii) checking a version independently established by [Uthman and the surviving Companions against the Suhuf and additional material from [A’ishah (pp. ??-??). Nor does he blindly accept that the earliest extant Qur’anic manuscripts, in Istanbul and Tashkent, were the ones distributed by [Uthman but leaves open the possibility that these MSS like ?? other ones from the first century Hijri listed on p. ???f. might be the first copies, from ?? A.H. at the earliest (p. ???). At the same time, he does demonstrate that Kufic and cursive Arabic script during the first Hijri century existed side by side with the original Hijazi script, the oldest Arabic inscription found dating from ??? CE (p. ???). In fact, he proves that Arabic script predated the Nabataean one and that the introduction of dots (both skeletal and diacritical) and that of verse separation predated this development in Bible manuscripts by many centuries. Al-A[zami is aware that if the Bible were to be treated the way the Qur’an is, i.e. discarding all Jewish or Christian evidence for it, the existence of Moses and Jesus would have to be denied and both the OT and NT be rated as comparatively recent, anonymous pieces of constantly changing fiction, i.e. true “cultural products”. It is in fact difficult not to become cynical when comparing Judaism and Christianity with the tradition of Islam, based on no less than ???,??? existing Qur’an manuscripts and hundreds of thousands of huffaz who, authorized by their Prophet from the beginning, recited the Qur’an in its entirety, without any substantial discrepancies except for some dialectical variations. That the Arabic word [insert characters] if undotted can mean “he said”, “he was killed”, “to kiss”, “before”, “front of body” and “elephant” is immaterial in view of the Muslims’ reliable oral tradition. Compare that to the fact that the Torah had been erased from Jewish memory for some ??? years before miraculously surfacing again, that no authoritative text of it existed until around ??? C.E., and that the first extant complete MS of the OT in Hebrew dates from ???? of our era. The author is under no illusion that Orientalists will continue to believe that Muslims, as believers, cannot be trusted with the basics of their own faith. Nor does he expect that people who in principle deny the existence of God (and hence the phenomenon of true revelation) will stop their attacks on the Qur’an. They will continue to make much of the fact that the Qur’an was gathered but not written until ?? years after the Prophet’s (saas) death, while accepting the Bible with its extremely precarious authenticity. And they will continue to focus on the inadequacies of the earliest Arabic script while insisting, simultaneously, that the Qur’an was only orally transmitted for more than a century. In other words, they continue to apply differential standards of historical assessment. It is to be hoped that this book will be circulated and studied widely among all Muslims engaged in da[wah, dialogue, education and research, and seen as a truly essential tool. For Muslims, this is easily the most important book of recent times. In view of such a monumental piece of deep learning, one hesitates to point out a few corrections that could be made:
• p.?? (third millenium) “C.E.” should read “B.C.E.”
• p. ??: If [Abd Manaf was born in ??? his son Hashim cannot have been born in ???. •
References to the Leningrad Codex should be changed to St. Petersburg Codex (pp. ???f.; ???)
• p. ???: Emperor Constantine did not become Christian in ??? C.E. but, after the Nicene Council of ??? C.E., in ??? C.E., baptized only on his deathbed.
• Ahmad al-Imam ought to have been given credit for his relevant study on Variant Readings of the Qur’an (Herndon: IIIT ????).
Bonn, Germany
Murad Wilfried Hofmann
Online resources would include:
That should be plenty.


03-20-2005, 11:27 PM
thanks alot once again Brother Ansar.

Ansar Al-'Adl
03-21-2005, 10:11 PM
no problem! :)

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08-31-2005, 12:18 PM
The compilation of the Qur’an
Call to Islam Research

This article will discuss the compilation of the Qur’an in the time of the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam), Abu Bakr and Uthmaan.

Muslim scholars define the Qur’an as the speech of Allah, uncreated, revealed by Allah to the Prophet Muhummad (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) via the angel Jibraeel. Its is inimitable, and its very recitation is an act of worship.

Contrary to the conjectures of the Orientalists, Muslims believe that there were three important stages in the compilation of the Qur’anic text; that in the time of the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam), followed by the compilations of Abu Bakr, and then Uthmaan.

Watt, believes that the Qur’an was first complied in the time of Uthmaan, however, due to the unpopularity of Uthmaan, scholars had to invent the account of Abu Bakr’s compilation. This was done to avoid giving credit to the work of Uthmaan. However, Watt provides no evidence as to who fabricated the story of Abu Bakr’s compilation and when the fabrication took place. History also disproves this theory as the Ummayads, who were Uthmaan’s descendants came into power shortly after Uthmaan’s death, and ruled for more than a century. Also Watt accepts that Uthmaan borrowed the mushaaf from Hafsa – thus contradicting his assertion that the first compilation took place in the time of Uthmaan.

The compilation of the Qur’an in the time of the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam)

The Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) received the Qur’an from Allah in regular intervals throughout his 23 year mission. Sometimes he would receive an entire surah, other times, a couple of verses. As soon as he received revelation, he would immediately teach it to his Companions.

The revelation of a complete surah, particularly the longer surahs, was sometimes over a period of time. A part of a surah would be revealed at one time, and another part, at a much later time. For example Surah Anaam is a Makkan surah, yet some of its verses were revelled in Madinah.

The Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) would commit to memory all the verses and surahs that were revealed to him. The task was made easy for him by Allah: “Move not your tongue in haste with it. Verily upon Us is its collection and recitation. So when We recite it, follow its recitation (75:16-18).

Having memorised the verses of the Qur’an, the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) would then teach the verses to his Companions, many of whom would also commit it to memory. A number of different methods were used by the Prophet to help and encourage the Companions to memorise the Qur’an:

recitation aloud in the prayer. The Companions would hear the Qur’an daily. For example, he (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) used to recite al Sajdah and al-Insaan in the Fajr prayer, and al-Jumu’ah and al-Munafiqun in the Friday prayer. (Bukhari). Some Companions memorised surahs by merely listening to the Prophet’s recitation.
Muslims who were new to the faith were taught the Qur’an by other Companions. For example, the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) sent the Qur’an-teacher Mus’ab ibn Umayr to Madina (prior to the Hijrah) to preach Islam. Also Ubaadah ibn as-Saamit mentioned that whenever someone migrated to Madinah, the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) would allocate a Companion to teach him Qur’an. Eventually the masjid became very noisy because of the number of people reciting Qur’an. The seventy Companions were treacherously killed in their mission to Bi’r Ma’unah were all Qurraa. This shows that a large number of Companions had memorised the Qur’an.
The Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) encouraged the learning and teaching of the Qur’an. “The best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it”. He also taught that reading just one letter from the Qur’an meant the recitor would gain ten rewards. The Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) also cautioned against forgetting verses of the Qur’an.
Thus, before the death of the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam), many Companions had memorised the entire Qur’an, while others had memorised a great deal of it.

Simultaneous with the memorisation of the Qur’an, the verses and surahs were written down as soon as they were revealed. According to Ibn Saad, the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) had 24 scribes for the purpose of writing the revelation. The most prominent scribes were; Ibn Masood, Zaid ibn Thabbit, Ubay ibn Ka’ab, Mu’ad ibn Jabal, and Abu Darda. The writing material included palm stalks, thin white stones, scapula bones, leather, pieces of cloth and parachment. Paper was not used until much later, when the Muslims learnt the art from the Chinese.

An example of the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) dictating the revelation is the following narration in Bukhari: “When it was revealed: ‘Not equal are the believers who sit at home and those that strive in the cause of Allah’ the Prophet said: ‘Call Zaid ibn Thabitt for me and tell him to bring the inkpot and scapula bone’. When Zaid came, the Prophet told him: ‘Write: Not equal are the believers who sit at home and those that strive in the cause of Allah’.

The scribes duty was not merely writing the Qur’an, whenever a verse was revealed, the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) would arrange it in the relevant place in the Qur’an. Likewise, the Prophet would arrange the order of the surahs The Qur’an was not complied chronologically but according to an arrangement and order fixed by Allah. Jibraeel would come to the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) and tell him to place a particular verse in a particular place. Thus both the order of the Surahs within the Qur’an, and the orders of the verses within the Surahs was fixed.

Muslim narrates that Zayd ibn Thabbit said: “When we were with the Prophet, compiling the Qur’an from parchments….” This shows that the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) was supervising the compilation and arrangement of verses. Tirmidhi also narrates that Zayd ibn Thabbit said: “We would compile the Qur’an in the presence of the Prophet”.

In addition Zayd, after receiving the dictation from the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) would be commanded by the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) : ‘read it (back to me)’

The Orientalist, Noldleke claims that verses of the Qur’an were arbitrarily compiled into Surahs by Zayd (after the death of the Prophet), as were the order of the Surahs. He claims that the Prophet did not arrange the verses into Surahs, nor the order of the Surahs within the Quran. This claim is easily refuted.

Firstly, we have shown that the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) would instruct the scribes where to place the revelation. The scribes were informed whether the revelation consisted of one independent Surah (as was often the case when smaller and medium length surahs were revealed), or part of a surah. If it was the latter, they would be informed which pieces belonged to which surah, and the order in which they were to be placed.

Suyootee said: ‘the recitation of the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) in front of the gatherings of the Companions proves that the arrangements of the verses is from him, and the Companions could not change the order of the verses from what the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) recited. Therefore, the knowledge of the order of the verses in mutawaatir’ (al-Itqaan).

Secondly, there a number of reports mentioning that the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) would recite particular surahs at certain times (Eid, Jum’uah, Fajr, etc). Hence the surahs were known and recognised by the Companions, and were not complied arbitrarily by Zayd.

Imaam al Karmaanee said: ‘The arrangement of the surahs is from Allah, and the Qur’an is written in the Lauh al Mahfoodh in this arrangement.’

Third, the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) mentioned the special merits of reciting some surahs (al-Baqarah, Al-Imraan, Faatihah, al-Kahf, and many others). The very fact that al-Faatihah is called the opening of the Book proves that the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) had arranged the order of the Surahs of the Qur’an.

The outcome of the Prophet’s compilation

Thus before the death of the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) the Qur’an had been memorised by many of the Companions, and had been preserved in writing. The companions knew the order of verses within each surah, and the order of surahs within the Qur’an. Jibraeel would visit the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) every Ramadan and recite the Qur’an to him whilst the Prophet listened. The Prophet would in turn recite the Qur’an back to Jibraeel. During the Prophet’s final Ramadan, Jibraeel recited the Qur’an to the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) twice. This final reading was witnessed by Zayd ibn Thabitt.

The revelation was not collected in one book before the death of the Prophet as verses were being revealed right up to nine days before his death (sallahu alaihi wa sallam). Given that the verses were not placed in chronological order, the Qur’an could not be compiled into one book until all of the verses were revealed. This meant that the compilation of the Surahs of the Qur’an in one book could only take place when the revelation had stopped – i.e. the after death of the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam).

Compilation of the Qur’an in time of Abu Bakr (11-13H)

The Caliph Abu Bakr, upon assuming leadership of the ummah, faced a number of important challenges. The most serious was the wars of apostasy against the non payers of zakat, the hypocrites and the false prophets. The brunt of the battles were borne by many of the prominent Companions. During the battle of Yamaamah, Abu Hudayfah inspired and encouraged the Companions by saying: “O possessors of the Qur’an, decorate the Qur’an with deeds”. The Companions also encouraged one another by saying: “O companions of Surah al-Baqarah” (Ya as-haab suratul al Baqarah).

In the battle of Yamaamah, 70 companions who had memorised the Qur’an were killed. The death of such a large number of qurraa alarmed Umar. He went to Abu Bakr, expressing his fear that more qurraa may be killed in subsequent battles. This may lead to a loss of the Qur’an, unless it was complied in one book. Initially Abu Bakr was reluctant to do something that the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) had not done, but Umar convinced him that collecting the Qur’an was of benefit to the Muslims. The Prophet arranged for the Qur’an to be written in order to preserve it; compiling it in one book was completing what the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) had already started.

Zayd ibn Thabbit was chosen to compile the Qur’an for the following reasons:

he was one of the best recitors of the Qur’an, and had the most knowledge with regards to the recitation of the Qur’an.
he had memorised the Qur’an
he was a primary scribe of the Prophet
he witnessed Jibraeel’s final recitation to the Prophet in Ramadan
he was youthful and had a sharp memory
he was of good morals

Zayd was instructed: ‘Sit at the entrance of the masjid. If anyone brings you a verse of the Book of Allah, along with two witnesses, write it down’. (ibn Abi Dawood). Ibn Hajar explained that for written material to be accepted by Zayd, two witnesses had to swear that it had been written in the presence of the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam). Any written material that the Companions may have privately copied from another Companion was not accepted. Zayd’s knowledge of the Qur’an (through memorisation and writing) could only be compared with material of the same standing.

Zayd also compared the written material presented to him, against the memories of the Companions. ‘So I gathered the Qur’an from various parchments and pieces of bone, and the chests of men”. He then mentions that: ‘I found the last two ayahs of Surah al-Bara’a with Abu Khuzaima al Ansari’ (Bukhari). These two ayat were written in the Mus-huf solely based on Abu Khuzaima al Ansari’s written form. However, other companions had memorised it, and testified that it was from the Qur’an. Even though Zayd and his fellow companions had memorised the last two ayahs of Surah al-Bara’a, and could recall them perfectly, he was not authorised to record it in the Mus-huf, until he came across it in written form. This fact is in contrast to the conjecture of Noldelke who stated that Zayd collected the revelation “chiefly from the breasts of men”.

The outcome of Abu Bakr’s compilation

Thus by relying on written material, backed by witnesses, comparing the written material against the memories of other Companions, and his own memory, Zayd ensured that the Mus-huf that he compiled was indeed the same Book that Allah had revealed to His Messenger, and had promised to preserve. For this first time, the entire Qur’an was in one Book. This compilation accommodated the various dialects of the Arabs. After the death of Abu Bakr, the Mus-huf was passed on to Umar, then to Hafsah after the death of Umar.

Compilation of the Qur’an in time of Uthmaan

By the time Uthmaan assumed leadership of the Ummah, the Muslims had conquered many lands. The Islamic Empire was still growing, fighting on a number of fronts. One such front was the territories of Azerjeban and Armenia. Hudayfah ibn Yamaan noticed that the disagreement about recitation of the Qur’an had emerged among the armies engaged in battle in Azerjeban. He returned to Madinah in 25H to inform Uthmaan about this alarming development, saying: ‘O Commander of the Faithful, save this ummah before it disagrees about its Book, like the christians and jews did before it’. (Bukhari). Ali narrated that Uthmaan assembled the Companions and said: ‘I see that we bring the people on a single mushaf, so that there is neither division nor discord’. And we said: ’an excellent proposal’. (ibn Abi Dawood).

Uthmaan then requested the mus-haf from Hafsa, in order to make copies from it. A committee of four companions were entrusted with the task of making the copies:

· Zayd ibn Thabit

· Abdullah ibn Zubayr

· Saad ibn al Aas

· Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Harith ibn Hishaam

The latter three were all Qurayshi, and the Arabic style of Saad ibn al Aas was very similar to that of the Prophet. Uthmaan told the committee: ‘should you (three) and Zayd differ (on how to spell a word), then spell it in the dialect of Quraysh, for verily it was revealed in their dialect’. (Bukhari). This was said in response to a difference of opinion regarding spelling the word “taboot” (in 2:248). Should it be spelt in the Qurayshi style; ‘taboot’, or the Madanee style of ‘tabooh’. Uthmaan orderd it to be written in the Qurayshi style.

Sometimes when a difference arose regarding a spelling, they would call the scribe who had written the ayah for the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam), to ask him the spelling. “Where is the scribe. Precisely how did the Prophet teach him this verse.” (ibn Abi Dawood).

After the committee had completed making the copies of the mushaf, Uthmaan ordered these copies to be sent to every major province, and ordered that all other copies or fragments of the Qur’an should be burnt. Any copy of the Qur’an, written from now on, would have to conform to the Uthmaani mushaf. Thus any abrogated readings were also eliminated. The latter existed due to some companions being unaware of the Prophet’s final recitation to Jibraeel. Ali ibn Talib said: ‘If I were in charge when Uthmaan had been, I would have done the same as he did’

With every copy of the Qur’an, Uthmaan sent a qari to teach it. This was to emphasise that the recitation of the Qur’an had to be learnt orally through a teacher who had an authentic transmission going back to the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam). Recitation could never be solely based on the text. The script itself was in the Koofee script without nuqat and tashkeel.

The different mushafs

The various mushafs did not match each other, letter for letter. This was deliberate. The number of verses within each mushaf remained the same, but there were additional or different letters in some of the mushafs. This was done in order to accommodate the various authentic recitations of a particular verse. If the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) had recited the verse in a number of different ways, and it was possible to accommodate all of those recitations within in a single spelling, then the word was written with that spelling. For example; maaliki, and malaki was written with one spelling.

However, if the recitations could not be accommodated in one spelling, then it was written with one recitation in one mushaf and another recitation in the other mushaf. For example in 91:25 most people recite: wa laa yakhaafu. But in one mushaaf, it is spelt: fa laa yakhaafu.

Abdullah ibn Abi Dawood (d316) gives a number of examples of this in his book, Kitab al Masaahif. These differences made no change to the meaning of the words.

The Seven Ahruf

Ibn Taymiyyah states that the Uthmaani mushaaf preserved those elements of the seven ahruf to the extent that his script allowed. Thus only a portion of the seven ahruf were preserved. Certain ways of recitation (of the same verse) were originally part of the seven ahruf, but were abrogated by the final reading of the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) to Jibraeel in his final Ramadan. Zayd only preserved the portions of the ahruf that the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) had recited with Jibraeel. Hence any qiraat with an authentic chain going back to the Prophet, and conforming to the rules of Arabic grammer, but not being in accordance with the Uthmaani mushaaf was called Shahdh – and hence rejected.

The outcome of Uthmaan’s compilation

Uthmaan successfully brought to an end the differences and resulting arguments that had arisen due to incorrect recitations of the Qur’an. The entire ummah was united upon a single mushhaf, and all future mushaafs up to this day have relied on the Uthmaani mushaaf.

The differences in the compilations

1. Abu Bakr compiled the Qur’an due to the fear of it being lost, whereas Uthmaan complied it in response to the inauthentic recitations, and the subsequent differing. His aim was to unite the Muslims upon the proper recitation of the Qur’an.

The Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) compiled the Qur’an in writing and encouraged the Companions to memorise it and teach it, in order to provide the community with the revelation as it came.

2. Abu Bakr had one mushaf made, Uthmaan had several. In the time of the Prophet, although the entire Qur’an was in written form, it was not in the form of a mushaf. To compile it in a mushaf would have proved impractical, as revelation was constantly descending, right up to a few days before the death of the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam).

3. Abu Bakr appointed one person (Zayd) to compile the Qur’an, Uthmaan appointed four. The Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) had a large number of scribes, ready to write the revelation when instructed.

4. Uthmaan had other copies of the Qur’an, or fragments of the Qur’an destroyed due to inauthentic recitations. Abu Bakr faced no such problem.

5. Abu Bakr’s compilation was from various sources; date palm leaves, wood, and the hearts of men – into a single mushaaf. Uthmaan’s compilation was directly from the mushaf of Hafsa. The quality of the parchment of the Uthmaani mushaaf was better than Abu Bakr’s mushaf. The Prophet’s (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) compilation was directly from revelation from Allah, via Jibraeel.

6. The compilation of the Qur’an in the time of the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) and Abu Bakr accommodated the various ahruf, whereas the compilation in the time of Uthmaan only preserved a portion of the seven ahruf.

08-31-2005, 01:08 PM
who's this Watt guy?

Ummu Amatullah
08-31-2005, 01:13 PM
Asallama Alaikum mash'allah it's always good to know the history of the Noble Quran mash'allah Uthmaan and Abu Bakr done a great deal to preserve Islam.May Allah reward them in their deeds ameen. :) May Allah reward all that took part in conserving Allah's words from corruption.

08-31-2005, 01:23 PM
has there been a Quran which had a completely different meaning??I thought they made a big deal about a Quran being found in Yemen.

08-31-2005, 01:54 PM
Asalaam alykum warahmatuallahi wabarakatuh

Allah huYallam

All I can say is, Articles which I benefit from I share..I don have so much ilm .
May be they meant
W. Montgomery Watt

Allah knows best.
May Allah forgive Me for my shortcomings .Barakatuallahi feekum
Wasallam alykum

08-31-2005, 02:28 PM
W. Montgomery Watt
who is he?

Ummu Amatullah
08-31-2005, 03:47 PM
Originally Posted by Abdul Aziz
who is he?
Asallama Alaikum he's a Islamic author.He wrote over 30 books about Islam.Now he's retired. :D

09-01-2005, 12:36 AM

has there been a Quran which had a completely different meaning??why were they so concerned about that Yemeni Quran?How was it different?Was it big?

Asallama Alaikum he's a Islamic author.
He wrote for Islam or against Islam.

Ansar Al-'Adl
09-01-2005, 01:46 AM
Originally Posted by Abdul Aziz
has there been a Quran which had a completely different meaning??
No, of course not.
why were they so concerned about that Yemeni Quran?How was it different?Was it big?
This was refuted in this thread:


09-01-2005, 02:26 AM
is there a Non-Musim who ever said the fact that the Quran preserved throughout the ages?

Ummu Amatullah
09-01-2005, 12:42 PM
Originally Posted by Abdul Aziz

has there been a Quran which had a completely different meaning??why were they so concerned about that Yemeni Quran?How was it different?Was it big?

He wrote for Islam or against Islam.
Asallama Alaikum little bro.Well when I read his books he didn't really write anything against Islam.I think he's a christian,I'm not really sure,but when I researched his religion nothing except Islam came up. :confused: :confused: :confused:

09-01-2005, 09:06 PM
Originally Posted by Abdul Aziz
is there a Non-Musim who ever said the fact that the Quran preserved throughout the ages?

Quotations from the most ardent opponents of Islam, affirming the authenticity of the Qur'an:

'This Text of the Qur'an is the purest of all works of alike antiquity' (Wherry, Commentary on the Koran, I. p. 349).

'Othman's recension has remained the authorised text from the time it was made until the present day' (Palmer, The Qur'an, p. lix).

'The text of this recension substantially corresponds to the actual utterances of Muhammad himself' (Arnold, Islamic Faith, p. 9).

'All sects and parties have the same text of the Qur'an' (Hurgronje, Mohammedanism, p. 18).

'It is an immense merit in the Kuran that there is no doubt as to its genuineness That very word we can now read with full confidence that it has remained unchanged through nearly thirteen hundred years' (LSK., p.3)

'The recension of 'Othman has been handed down unaltered. There is probably in the world no other work which has remained twelve centuries with so pure a text' (Muir, Life of Mohammed, pp. XXII-XXIII).

'In the Kuran we have, beyond all reasonable doubt, the exact words of Mohammed without subtraction and without addition' (Bosworth Smith, Mohammamed and Mohammedanism, p. 22)

'The Koran was his own creation; and it lies before us practically unchanged from the form which he himself gave it' (Torrey, Jewish Foundations of Islam, p.2).

'Modern critics agree that that the copies current today are almost exact replicas of the original mother-text as compiled by Zayd, and that, on the whole, the text of the Koran todaay is as Muhammad prodcued it. As some Semitic scholar remarked, there are probably more variations in the reading of one chapter of Genesis in Hebrew than there are in the entire Koran' (Hitti, History of the Arabs, p. 123).

Non-Muslims from different backgrounds quotes


09-01-2005, 09:11 PM
Originally Posted by Shukri
Asallama Alaikum little bro.Well when I read his books he didn't really write anything against Islam.I think he's a christian,I'm not really sure,but when I researched his religion nothing except Islam came up. :confused: :confused: :confused:

He is a Christian orientalist. It's better to avoid his books when it comes to acquiring knowledge. Even though, he highly praised our Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), his book[s] are still riddled with inaccuracies.


wafa islam
07-11-2006, 08:26 PM

The History of the Quranic Text [1] From Revelation to Compilation

The Quran consistently refers to itself as a Kitab (Book), or something that is written. Accordingly, the revealed verses were recorded in writing from earliest stages of Islam. Those revealed during the Makkan period were recorded in Makkah and those who revealed during the Madinian period were recorded in Madinah. As soon as a revelation came, the Prophet, peace and blessings of God be on him, would routinely call one of his scribes to write it down. There is also evidence of proofreading after dictation. The scribe would read it back to the Prophet to ensure that no scribal errors had crept in. There were 65 Companions of the Prophet who functioned as scribes at one time or another.

The entire Quran was thus written during the Prophet's own lifetime on parchments by the Prophet's scribes. There were other Companions of the Prophet who also wrote for their own benefit on different objects including parchments, wooden planks or palm leaves. The parchments on which the Prophet's scribes wrote were, however, not bound in the form of a book during his lifetime. Binding could not however, be undertaken as long as there was a continuous flow of revelation. It had to wait until the Prophet's mission had been completed. The Prophet had even instructed the scribes about the placement of different Ayahs (verses) as they were revealed.

The compilation of the Quran in the form of a book took place during the caliphate of Abu Bakr when it became clear after the Prophet's death that there would be no more revelation. The task of binding the parchments in the from of a book was assigned to Zaid bin Thabit who had attended the recitation of Archangel Jibreel (Gabriel) with the Prophet during the month of Ramadan. Nevertheless, a great deal of care was taken to ensure that no errors would unconsciously creep into the compilation of the Quran. Other people were, therefore, asked to bring what they had also written down of the Quran after having directly heard it from the Prophet. To ensure that they had themselves written what they were putting forward, they had to back their claim by two witnesses. Every word was verified by cross comparison as well as against the memories of the Companions who had learned it by heart by directly hearing it from the Prophet himself.

Once the compilation of the Quran in book form was completed during the caliphate of Abu Bakr, it was placed in his custody. After his death, it was passed on to Umar, the second caliph, and then to Hafsah the Prophet's wife, who was also the daughter of Umar. Thus the contribution that was made by Abu Bakr was just to collect all Quran parchments into a master volume after thoroughly verifying their accuracy against what was written by others and memorized by the Prophet's Companions.

However, the pronunciation of the words of the Quran continued to be in various dialects prevalent at that time because the Prophet had allowed the people, out of necessity, to recite the Quran in their own dialects as they were facing difficulty in abandoning their own dialects straight away. Since the Quran was the revealed in the dialect of Quraysh, it was considered necessary to standardize its pronunciation in this dialect in order to avoid any confusion later on. The contribution of Uthman was to standardize the pronunciation of the Quran in the dialect of Quraysh. For this purpose he obtained the Mushaf from Hafsah and appointed a committee of twelve persons from among the Quraysh and Ansar to oversee the task. Several copies were made for distribution to various provinces. Although there is a difference of opinion about how many copies were made, there is a greater support in favor of eight copies. It is the text of these thoroughly checked manuscripts standardized in the dialect of Quraysh which has prevailed and the span of fourteen centuries has not been able to corrupt or dent the skeletal text of this Utmani Mushaf.

Though the text has remained unchanged, a number of reading aids have been added. One of these is the Surah (chapter) separators. These existed before but primarily in the form of Bismillah… (In the Name of God the…) being written in the beginning of each Surah. To this has been added the Surah titles, possibly in a different color also. A second aid was in form of Ayah (verse) separators for which no fixed style was observed in the earlier centuries. A circle at the end of the verse with the Ayah number written on or inside it has now become a standard practice. To make the reading even easier, the Quran was divided by the close of the first century into seven parts called Manazil to enable a person to finish reading the Quran in one week. The third century witnessed the division of the Mushaf in thirty parts ( Juz, pl. Ajza) so that anyone who could not finish reading the Quran in a week could do so in a month. In addition, dots and vowel marks (Tashkil) were added to make the reading of the Quran easier even for those whose command over Arabic was not very good.

[1] The History of the Qur'anic Text From Revelation to Compilation (A Comparative Study with Old and New Testament) by Prof. M.M Al-Azmi (Leicester, UK: UK Islamic Academy, 2003) Book Review; by Dr. Umer Chapra


07-13-2006, 04:20 PM

Threads merged.

06-13-2007, 05:28 PM
5. Abu Bakr’s compilation was from various sources; date palm leaves, wood, and the hearts of men – into a single mushaaf. Uthmaan’s compilation was directly from the mushaf of Hafsa. The quality of the parchment of the Uthmaani mushaaf was better than Abu Bakr’s mushaf. The Prophet’s (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) compilation was directly from revelation from Allah, via Jibraeel.
okay in Uthmaan's time,other than standardizing the text,was the process of compiling the Quran(like during Abu Bakr's time) repeated?or those Quranic copies were simply copies?

04-28-2008, 11:00 AM
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Tthank you
P.S. Sorry for my english.

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