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ZethaPonderer

How The Quran came into being? The Quranic Manuscript Controversy

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As a Muslim I know for how far I've been educated about Islamic History is that the Quran was originally an Oral Recitation process just like the previous revelations of Allah where Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) recited a Quranic verse from Allah to his Sahaabas (Companions) piece by piece and his followers from which they memorized the Oral Recitation of all 6236 verses of The Quran began the process of writing it down through a pen and paper format.

So it was a simple process. From Oral to Written. Similar to how you record down a dying man's last saying in writing. He says to you, "Tell my wife I love her" and wants you to record his saying down in writing. Done deal.

Many Non-Muslims speculate and have their doubts about how the Quran was preserved through all this arduous process, but as a Muslim I do believe that ALL Verses of The Quran in its "written state" are 100% the exact same as how it was Orally Recited through Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). So I have no doubts about that.

https://www.al-islam.org/collection-and-preservation-quran-sayyid-abu-al-qasim-al-khoei

https://www.al-islam.org/prophethood-and-prophet-islam-ayatullah-ibrahim-amini/revelation-and-preservation-quran

 

The ordering of The Chapters on the other hand comes into contention where there were Quranic manuscripts/codexes where the Chapters are in differing orders.

https://www.islamic-awareness.org/quran/text/mss/

https://www.missionislam.com/quran/revealationorder.htm

http://tanzil.net/docs/revelation_order

Is it true that Surah Al-Alaq which is the 96th Chapter of The Quran the vast majority of Muslims have nowadays is the 1st Chapter that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) originally based on his meeting of The Archangel Gabriel/Jibrael (عليه السلام) reciting the first ayat of Surah Al-Alaq which starts with the Arabic word "Iqra"? No other Chapters in The Quran starts out with the word "Iqra" except Surah Al-Alaq.

So why is Surah Al-Alaq not the 1st Chapter of The Quran the vast majority of Muslims have nowadays?

There's even this discussion and debate about The Quranic Manuscript Controversy where Ali ibne Abi Tablib (عليه السلام) wrote down his codex of The Quran where the Chapters and Verses are in order of how they were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) originally from Allah.

So why are the Muslim Ummah not using Ali ibne Abi Talib (AS)'s codex of The Quran? Instead the vast majority of Muslims have The Third Caliph Uthman's codex of The Quran where the Chapters are in differing orders.

So I have a few issues regarding this issue of the relation between the Verses and The Chapters of The Quran.

We all know that Surah Al-Fatiha is the 1st Chapter based on Uthman's codex of The Quran which the vast majority of Muslims have as the standard manuscript of The Quran. We also know furthermore, that there are 7 total verses in Surah Al-Fatiha. However, if we Muslims are well aware of Surah Al-Fatiha NOT being The 1st Chapter of The Quran as it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and instead was the 5th Chapter, then what would be so wrong REARRANGING The Chapters of The Quran strictly in the way how they were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) originally? We Muslims have this information. So why not study it further and see if The Quran can be re-compiled in a codex to fit exactly how it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) originally?

I'm not trying to make any implications that The Quran is altered or changed or whatever. The Quran's Ayats are preserved 100% therefore it is Complete. All 6236 of them. I haven't denied that. However, The Surahs are in a completely different order.

If we were to Rearrange the Chapters of The Quran such as Surah Al-Fatiha as the 5th Chapter as it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) then how would it affect its 7 total Verses in The Quran? Does Surah Al-Fatiha have more than 7 verses? No.

I do somewhat understand why this is a touchy issue though for the Muslim Ummah as the idea of Rearranging The Chapters of The Quran would imply that the Rearrangement of the Verses of The Quran also needs to be done in Revelation Order for how they were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and further Islamic Historical Research needs to be done to evaluate which Verses came after the First Verse which is "Iqra". So if one were to Rearrange All 114 Chapters it would only be fair to Rearrange All 6236 verses of The Quran with respect to The Chapters.

So, hypothetically speaking, Surah Al-Baqarah's verses containing a total of 286 from the Quran the vast majority of Muslims have might not have exactly 286 verses how it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). It might have only 256 verses, hypothetically speaking, while the 30 verses after it might belong in a different Chapter.

All in all, I shall await for Imam Muhammad Al-Mahdi (عليه السلام) to bring the Quran that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) chronologically throughout his life.

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18 hours ago, ZethaPonderer said:

the vast majority of Muslims have as the standard manuscript of The Quran.

And what do the minority use?

18 hours ago, ZethaPonderer said:

Did you read this text and still conclude that our Quran is not arranged as Allah intended?

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45 minutes ago, Muhammed Ali said:

And what do the minority use?

Did you read this text and still conclude that our Quran is not arranged as Allah intended?

Probably different codexes of The Quran where the Chapters and some verses might be in differing orders. Remember when I said codex of The Quran, I meant "Mushaf". During the 3rd Caliph's reign, many Muslims made their own Mushafs of The Quran while Uthman burned those Mushafs and approved His Mushaf which is what the vast majority of Muslims have where the Chapters are in the order where the Big Surahs come first and the Small Surahs come last. Even Ali ibne Abi Talib made his own Mushaf of The Quran and got rejected by Umar and Uthman. And that Mushaf of Ali ibne Abi Talib (عليه السلام) was in Revelation Order for Both Surahs and Ayats of how it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) for The Quran.

Notice how I said throughout all this is that ALL 6236 verses of The Quran is still preserved 100% how it was orally recited by The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) all his life.

I haven't denied that.

Therefore, even if you were to rearrange the Surahs and Ayats of The Quran it wouldn't be qualified as Tahrif because the Ayats of The Quran are 100% preserved and that's whats important for the legitimacy of The Quran.

As for your quote of the website, have you read this about Tahrif.

Quote
The Meaning of Tahrif (interpolation or tampering)

This word is used with common denotations, some of which are acceptably applicable to the Qur’an; and the others are either inapplicable or disputed. The details are as below.

First, the meaning is to transfer an object from its place to another. Allah says:

مِنْ الَّذِينَ هَادُوا يُحَرِّفُونَ الْكَلِم عَنْ مَوَاضِعه

Muslims are agreed upon the fact that such an interference has occurred in the Qur’an, because whenever someone interprets the Qur’an without understanding its true meaning and transforms its real meaning to something irrelevant, he tampers with it.

Many have introduced innovations and unfounded beliefs into Islam by basing their arguments on interpretation of the Qur’an according to their own whims and opinions.

There are several traditions which forbid this type of inter­pretations, and condemn its perpetrators. In al-Kafi, a tradition by Imam Muhammad al‑Baqir (‘a) says that he wrote to Sa'ad al‑Khayr:

"One of the examples of their repudiation of the Book has been that they stood by its letters and distorted its injunctions; they narrate it, but do not have deference to its teachings. The ignorant are impressed by their narrations and recitations, while the learned are grieved to see their disregard for its protec­tion..."1

Secondly, the meaning of Tahrif is an omission or an addition of a letter or a change in grammatical in­flections, without effecting any change in the content of the Qur’an. This change may sometimes not be discernible from the rest of the Qur’an.

This type of change has definitely occurred in the Qur’an. We have already pointed out earlier that the so called various readings of the Qur’an were not based on tawattur, which means that the Qur’an was really based on only one authentic system of reading, and the rest were either additions or omissions.

The third meaning of Tahrif is an omission or an addition of a word or two, at the same time leaving the essence of the Qur’an untouched.

It is the type of interpolation which surely occurred in the first century of Islam, and in the days of the companions of the Prophet (‘s). The fact that Uthman burnt up all other copies of the Qur’an, and ordered his emissaries to do away with all the copies other than the codex prepared by himself, is an ample proof that there existed some difference between his copy and the others, else he would not have asked for their destruc­tion.

In fact, some of the scholars have recorded those differences, like Abdullah b. Abi Dawud as‑Sajistani who wrote a book titled: Kitabul Masahif. It could be inferred that some interpolation had occurred, either on the part of Uthman or on the part of the scribes who prepared their copies. But we will soon establish that the copy of Uthman was actually the one already known to the Muslims. It was the one which was handed over from the Prophet (‘s) and widely used. The Tahrif by way of addition or omission had occurred in those copies which ceased to exist after the era of Uthman. As for the existing Qur’an, it is totally free from any omission or addition.

If the Quran suffered from Tahrif, the Total Verses of The Quran which is 6236 would NOT be consistent. Instead it would differ greatly such as 6235 or 6666 Total Verses of The Quran that Christians love to use as justification for not reading The Quran. Thankfully this is NOT the case for The Quran.

You're misunderstanding my point here brother.

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Can you show me anywhere in that text where it says that the Quran is in the wrong order?  In fact what you quoted contradicts your view: "It was the one which was handed over from the Prophet (‘s) and widely used. "

Can you clarify if you believe that all Muslims today use the same mushaf of Uthman, because earlier it seemed like you didn't.

I believe there are some misunderstandings in your post, e.g. what Imam Ali {a} compiled and presented.

 

Edited by Muhammed Ali

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So far no. There is nowhere in the text where it states that The Quran is in the wrong order nor does it state that even if you construct a different order of The Quran would be equivalent to tampering with The Quran or stating that the Quran is in the wrong order. At least as far as my reading goes throughout the websites I posted so far. Feel free to prove me wrong throughout my readings.

The Quran has 114 Chapters and 6236 Verses Total. Rearranging them would not change the Quran as it is the same Quran throughout.

Uthman's Mushaf of The Quran is what most Muslims have which is considered the Traditional Order of The Quran. From Surah Al Fatiha as the First Chapter All the Way to Surah An-Nas as The Last Chapter.

Ali ibne Abi Talib (AS)'s Mushaf of The Quran is what Muslims DON'T have which would not be considered The Traditional Order of The Quran, but instead the order is in Revelation (Tanzil) of how each Ayat and each Surah was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) chronologically throughout his life. The Tanzil Order of The Quran has been recorded down by the many Tafaseers of Islamic scholars. Even in Quran.com the website itself has the Surah Info option where Islamic Scholars discuss which Ayats and Surahs came from first all the way to last.

Read the Quranic Manuscripts that have come to surface after Uthman's destruction of the many Mushafs Muslims made during his reign,

https://www.islamic-awareness.org/quran/text/mss/

There wasn't even the Diacritic Marks within the many Mushafs of The Quran that have survived for HOW you're meant to pronounce the Ayats unlike Uthman's Mushaf of The Quran.

At least Ali ibne Abi Talib (عليه السلام) didn't reject Uthman's Mushaf of The Quran as the Ayats are far more important for preservation than the ordering format of The Quran. ALL Ayats which are 6236 are 100% preserved.

Edited by ZethaPonderer
Adding furthermore in bold.

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I also want to leave behind this quote from this website link,

https://www.al-islam.org/prophethood-and-prophet-islam-ayatullah-ibrahim-amini/revelation-and-preservation-quran

Quote

Revelation and Preservation of Quran

Author: Ayatollah Ibrahim Amini

Quran is a heavenly book and the word of God Almighty. Lofty matters and facts of Quran have come down in the form of Arabic words and sentences which were sent down to the illuminated heart of the Prophet of Islam through Jibraeel.

Verses of Quran were revealed on the Prophet of Islam in a period of 23 years on different appropriate occasions in journey and at home and in war as well as peace.

Sometimes one verse, sometimes a number of verse and at other times even a whole chapter was revealed at a time.

The Holy Quran has 114 chapters and all of them except Surah Taubah begin with the formula: In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Every chapter is composed of a number of verses. The big chapters are called as the long chapters and the small chapters are called as the short chapters.

A number of chapters were revealed in Mecca or its surroundings and they are known as the Meccan chapters and others were revealed in Medina and its surroundings and they are Medinan chapters.

The Holy Prophet (S) paid special attention in order to preserve the collection of Quran and to prevent it from interpolation and alteration, and that is why he performed the following three actions:

1. Whenever a verse was revealed on the illuminated heart of the Prophet, he recited it immediately and stored it in his memory, never forgetting it, because his infallibility prevented him from forgetting it or making a mistake in it.

Quran says:

سَنُقْرِئُكَ فَلَا تَنسَى‏

“We will make you recite so you shall not forget…” (87:6)

The Holy Prophet (S) paid attention to recitation of Quran and its repetition and he recited it on every appropriate occasion. He quoted the relevant verses in sermons, explanation of Islamic laws and moral topics. He recited parts of Quran in obligatory and recommended ritual prayers. Every day he recited a number of verses and especially during the days of Ramadan. Although the Holy Prophet (S) had never attended a school he knew the whole Quran by heart and he recited it in the sequence of its revelation. He was infallible and immune from mistakes in receiving it from Jibraeel, its preservation and its conveyance.

2. The Holy Prophet (S) recited to the companions every chapter or verse that was revealed on him and also encouraged them to learn them by heart, and Muslims also made efforts to listen to the revealed verses and to commit them to memory. The Holy Prophet (S) also in this regard tried that the verses that people learnt should be correct and without any error. Memorizers of Quran also recited the verses of Quran in presence of the Holy Prophet (S) in order to make sure of their accuracy.

Through this method, a large number of companions learnt the correct recitation of Quran and among them seven persons became famed in this regard.

Suyuti writes: Among those who recited the Quran in the presence of the Holy Prophet (S), seven became more famed; they were: Uthman, Ali, Ubayy, Zaid ibn Thabit, Ibn Masud, Abul Darda and Abu Musa Ashari.1

Since the Messenger of Allah (S) laid so much emphasis on memorizing the Quran, a large number of companions according to their capacities, memorized at least a part of it. Among them some of them succeeded in learning it by heart; and they were named as ‘reciters’ (Qurra) or ‘memorizers of Quran’ (Hafiz Quran). Their exact number is not known, but they were considerable in number.

Suyuti has narrated from Qurtubi that he said: Seventy reciters of Quran (Qurra) were killed in the Battle of Yamama. During the time of the Holy Prophet (S) the same number were killed at the well of Maoona.2

From this statement it can be concluded that the memorizers of Quran were in such large numbers that 140 persons were killed only in these two battles. Although it is not known that those who were killed knew the whole Quran by heart or only a part of it.

Some writers believe that those who knew the whole Quran by heart were less than this number.

Shaykh Abdul Hayy Qattani writes:

During the time of the Holy Prophet (S) ten persons knew the whole Quran by heart: Ali, Uthman, Ubayy ibn Kaab, Maaz ibn Jabal. Abul Darda, Zaid ibn Thabit, Abu Zaid Ansari, Tamim Dari, Ubadah ibn Thabit and Abu Ayyub.3

3. Transcription and compilation. The Messenger of Allah (S) chose some persons to transcribe the Quran. When a verse or some verses were revealed, he summoned one of them and dictated the same and they put it in writing. After that he asked the scribe to read what he has written. He listened carefully and if there was even the slightest mistake, he corrected it. Sometimes the Holy Prophet (S) used to specify the place where the scribe was supposed to record the verse and for example say: Write down this verse in such and such chapter after such and such verse.4

The Messenger of Allah (S) had a large number of scribes and they are said to be up to 43 persons.5 But all of them were not scribes of revelation; on the contrary some were scribes who wrote the letters of His Eminence.

Shaykh Abdul Hayy writes: Uthman ibn Affan and Ali were the scribes of revelation, when these two persons were not present, Ubayy ibn Kaab and Zaid ibn Thabit were entrusted with the duty. If none of them were present, any other scribe that was present there was given the job. They were as follows: Muawiyah, Jabir ibn Saeed, Aban ibn Saeed, Alaa Hadhrami, Hanzala ibn Rabi.6

These were of those who wrote a special copy of Quran for the Messenger of Allah (S). Although there were others also who recorded the verses in their private copies, so much so that some scribes of revelation in addition to the copy of the Holy Prophet (S) used to make a copy for themselves.

Writers began every chapter with the formula: In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, which was revealed at the beginning of every chapter. They continued to add verses to it till a new ‘In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful’ was revealed, which was a sign that it was a new chapter. After that they transcribed new verses, except in special cases when the Messenger of Allah (S) ordered that such and such verse should be placed in some other chapter in a particular place.

Yaqubi writes:

Ibn Abbas says: When we saw ‘In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful’ we understood that the previous chapter was over and a new chapter was beginning.7

Paper of that Time

There is no doubt that the scribes of revelation inscribed the verses of Quran on things, therefore it is remarkable that we should know what type of paper existed at that time. It is learnt from Quran that during the time of the Prophet of Islam, a thing existed, which was named as Qirtas.

The Holy Quran says:

وَ لَوْ نَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ كِتَباً فِى قِرْطَاسٍ فَلَمَسُوهُ بِأَيْدِيهِمْ لَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ إِنْ هَذَآ إِلَّا سِحْرٌ مُبِينٌ

“And if We had sent to you a writing on a paper, then they had touched it with their hands, certainly those who disbelieve would have said: This is nothing but clear enchantment.” (6:7)

We learn from history that paper was already in existence during the time of the Prophet. In China it was manufactured from grass. In India, they wrote on pieces of white silk. In Iran they wrote on thin tanned leather, which was called Adeem. White and thin slabs of stone, copper sheets, iron and zinc, and barks of date trees, shoulder bone of the camel and goat; pieces of wood were all used as writing surfaces.8

Scribes of revelation wrote down the verses of Quran on the above mentioned objects and handed them over to the Holy Prophet (S). His Eminence stored them in a special place in his house so that at the time of his passing away, a complete copy of Quran would be available with him.

Probably at the time of his passing away, the Prophet of Islam entrusted this same copy to Imam Ali ((عليه السلام).), who was himself a scribe of revelation.

Imam Ja’far Sadiq ((عليه السلام).) says:

The Messenger of Allah (S) said to Imam Ali ((عليه السلام).): O Ali, Quran is placed behind my bed and it is written on a scroll, silk and papers. So take it and do not lose it like the Jews who allowed the Taurat to be lost.9

Compilation of Quran

As mentioned previously, verses of Quran were revealed disparately on the Messenger of Allah (S) during a period of 23 years and he paid special attention to have them compiled and recorded. It was compiled a number of times till it came into the hands of Muslims in the present form:

First instance: During the lifetime of the Holy Prophet

The first step that the Prophet of Islam took was that he ordered the transcription of the revealed verses on sheets. He himself supervised the transcription and specified the proper place where a particular verse was supposed to be written. He separated the chapters and gave a title to each of them. He asked the scribes to read what they had written so that it may be free of errors. Then he took the sheets and stored them in a safe place. In this way, all the verses and chapters of Quran were gathered with His Eminence, but it is not known in what sequence were they placed and whether they were in some special sequence as followed in the recording of chapters?

It can be concluded from some statements that the method of compilation and arrangement was finalized during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (S) and under his supervision.

Zaid ibn Thabit says:

We were employed with the Messenger of Allah (S) to compile Quran from pages.10

It is not known correctly that how this new compilation was and how it was completed.

Collection and compilation of Quran at that time was not restricted to the copies of the Holy Prophet (S); on the contrary a number of scribes of revelation also wrote down the verses for themselves and in this way other copies of Quran also came into being, which is mentioned in books of traditions, exegesis and history. Like the copy of Ali ((عليه السلام).), copy of Ibn Masud, copy of Ubayy Ibn Kaab and the copy of Zaid.

Ibn Nadeem has introduced them as follows: Those who compiled the Quran during the lifetime of the Prophet are as follows: Ali Ibn Abi Talib ((عليه السلام).), Saad ibn Ubaid, Abul Darda, Uwaim ibn Zaid, Maaz ibn Jabal, Abu Zaid, Thabit ibn Zaid, Ubayy ibn Kaab, Ubaid ibn Muawiyah and Thabit ibn Zahhak.11

Each of them had a copy of Quran, which contained all the chapters and verses. But they had two defects: One was that they were not arranged in the shape of a book and secondly there was difference between them with regard to sequence of chapters.12

The Messenger of Allah (S) collected the verses and chapters of Quran in another way also: That is its preservation through the honest memorization of Quran, which took place as per the advice of the Prophet. A large number of people became engrossed in memorizing the Quran and some of them succeeded in learning the whole Quran by heart and they came to be called as those who knew the whole Quran by heart (Hafizaan Quran).

They commanded great respect among companions and are considered to be protectors of Quran. Quran was transferred to others through memory. Muslims also referred to them when need arose. So much so that even the compilers of Quran during the time of Abu Bakr and Uthman also relied on them.

During the time of the Holy Prophet (S), all the verses of Quran were gathered and compiled in this way and remained thus for the Muslims.

Second instance: During Abu Bakr’s tenure

Although during the time of the Messenger of Allah (S) and under his direct supervision, the compilation of all the verses and chapters of Quran was completed, in the same way a number of companions had also memorized it; but for more satisfaction another action was necessary; because firstly: Verses and chapters had not been compiled in one place in the form of a book. Instead it was on various scattered sheets and hence prone to alteration.

Secondly: Memorizers of Quran who were the protectors of this heavenly scripture who were referred to in times of need, were prone to death or martyrdom. It was feared that with their death, some verses would be lost. As happened during the Battle of Yamama that a number of memorizers of Quran were killed, till Abu Bakr realized this danger and issued the command that the whole of the Quran should be compiled into a book.

With regard to this, Suyuti writes: Zaid ibn Thabit said: Abu Bakr summoned me after the Battle of Yamama while Umar ibn Khattab was also present there. He said to me: Umar came to me and said: In the Battle of Yamama, a large number of reciters and memorizers of Quran are killed; I fear that in other battles also memorizers of Quran would be killed in this way and hence the Quran will be lost. In my view you should issue orders for the compilation of Quran.

Zaid says: I asked Umar: How can I do something that the Holy Prophet (S) did not do? Umar replied: By God, this is a good and a necessary job, and emphasized so much on it that I was also convinced. Zaid says: Abu Bakr said to me: You are an intelligent and trustworthy young man and you were a scribe of revelation; gather the Quran accurately and diligently. I gathered the Quran from the barks of date palms, bones of quadrupeds and white slabs of stone and from the memories of those who had learnt it by heart.13

Zaid ibn Thabit, as per the orders of Abu Bakr, accepted this important responsibility and became engrossed in it. He sought the help of companions of the Holy Prophet (S) also and said: Anyone who is in possession of a copy of Quran, or has memorized a chapter or some verses, should present it to me so that I may record it. Companions accepted his call and agreed to co-operate.

Zaid fixed the testimony of two just persons as the criteria for acceptance of the verses. If two just men testified that they heard them from the Holy Prophet (S) or witnessed that it was written in the presence of the Holy Prophet (S), it was accorded acceptance and recorded.

Suyuti writes:

It is narrated from Laith ibn Saad that he said: Abu Bakr was the first to have the Quran compiled and he gave this responsibility to Zaid ibn Thabit. People presented the verses of Quran to Zaid but he didn’t accept anything unless supported by the testimony of two just males.14

In the same way, he writes:

Umar said: All those who had taken something of Quran from the Holy Prophet (S) presented them so that it may be recorded. Companions had written the verses on paper, tablets, barks of date trees, but nothing was accepted except through the testimony of two just men.15

Although it should be mentioned that Zaid ibn Thabit was capable of this appointment from every aspect. Because firstly: he had faith, piety and was well known for trustworthiness and sagacity. Secondly: He was himself a memorizer of the Holy Quran and he had recited it before the Holy Prophet (S) twice and was certified as correct. Thirdly, he was a usual scribe of revelation. Fourthly: He was in possession of a copy of Quran which was certified by the Prophet.

Zaid ibn Thabit, who had such an excellence and being supported by all the other memorizers, after a diligent exercise, he compiled the Quran in a single copy and presented it to Abu Bakr. After Abu Bakr, this copy came into the charge of Umar and after him it was handed over to his daughter, Hafsa.

Compilation of Quran by Ali Ibn Abi Talib ((عليه السلام).)

It can be concluded from some traditions and statements of some historians that Ali Ibn Abi Talib ((عليه السلام).) was the first of those who after the passing away of the Messenger of Allah (S) became engrossed in compiling the Quran as per the orders of the Holy Prophet (S).

Abu Bakr Hadhrami has narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq ((عليه السلام).) that the Messenger of Allah (S) said to Imam Ali ((عليه السلام).):

Quran is placed behind my bed and it is written on scroll, paper and silk; take it and compile it and do not allow it to be lost like the Jews allowed Taurat to be lost. Thus Imam Ali ((عليه السلام).) went out and gathered them in a yellow piece of cloth and placed a seal upon it in his house and remarked: I will not put the cloak on my shoulder (to leave the house) till I don’t compile the Quran. If someone came to his house, he appeared without his cloak.16

Abu Rafe writes that the Holy Prophet (S), in his last moments said to Imam Ali ((عليه السلام).): O Ali, take this Book of Allah. Imam Ali ((عليه السلام).) gathered it in a piece of cloth and took it to his house. When the Holy Prophet (S) passed away, Imam Ali ((عليه السلام).) began to compile the Quran and arranged it in sequence of its revelation and he was absolutely capable of this.17

Abd Khair has narrated from Imam Ali ((عليه السلام).) that he said:

When the Messenger of Allah (S) passed away, I took an oath that I would not put the cloak on my shoulder before compiling the Quran; thus I did not put the cloak on my shoulder except after I had compiled the Quran.18

Ibn Sirrin has narrated from Imam Ali ((عليه السلام).) that he said:

When the Messenger of Allah (S) passed away, I made an oath to Allah, that I would not put the cloak on my shoulder except for the Friday prayer, till I do not compile the Quran.19

It is mentioned in Tarikh Yaqubi:

That Ali Ibn Abi Talib ((عليه السلام).) compiled the Quran after the passing away of the Messenger of Allah (S) and loaded it on a camel and came and said: This is the Quran and I have compiled it.20

All this shows that at the end of his lifetime, the Holy Prophet (S) handed over a valuable copy of Quran to Imam Ali ((عليه السلام).) and said: Compile the Quran in one place. Imam Ali ((عليه السلام).), after the passing away of the Messenger of Allah (S) and after completing his funeral rituals, started compile the Quran and finally presented it to the caliph regime, but it was not accepted.

It is not absolutely clear what difference the Quran of Imam Ali ((عليه السلام).) had with the present Quran, but it can be briefly said that its difference is not with regard to number of verses or chapters or change in some chapters or verses. Because it is proved beyond any doubt that no kind of alteration and change has taken place in Quran. Rather the present Quran is same as that which was revealed on the Holy Prophet (S).

That is why if it had any difference, it would have been with regard to the following:

1. Verses and chapters in the Quran of Imam Ali ((عليه السلام).) were compiled in the sequence of their revelation.

2. In verses which were abrogated, the abrogated verse was placed before the abrogating one.

3. Verses were recorded according to recitation of Messenger of Allah (S).

4. Most probably the commentary and interpretation that the Holy Prophet (S) had given to the clear and ambiguous verses and the context of their revelation were noted in the margins of that Quran or on other pages.

At the conclusion, we consider it necessary to reiterate the point that according to Shia faith, the Quran present among the Muslims today is the same as revealed to the Holy Prophet (S) and is protected from every kind of interpolation and alteration. Therefore, as per the commands of the Holy Imams ((عليه السلام).), they act on this same Quran.

Third instance: During the Tenure of Uthman

Its cause is explained as follows: After the battles of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Huzaifah Ibn Yaman came to Uthman and informed him about the severe differences in recitation of Quran and said: O Chief of believers, before Muslims also become involved in differences that Jews and Christians have in their scriptures, do something and prevent differences from appearing in Quran.21

Although during the time of Abu Bakr a complete copy of the Quran had been prepared and compiled, he handed it over to Umar and later it came into the custody of his daughter, Hafsa. But this Quran was not given to the public. Instead, people continued referring to the copies that scribes of revelation had compiled during the time of the Holy Prophet (S) and these copies had become popular in Islamic areas.

Regrettably, the versions of Quran which had gained popularity were not same. They had differences with regard to two aspects: one was with regard to the sequence of verses and chapters and secondly with regard to mode of script. In this manner, different versions of Quran appeared and became popular in Islamic areas. Every group defended its own version and considered it superior to others.

When Huzaifah saw these differences among Muslims, he was highly concerned and he perceived danger for the future of Quran and Muslims and after his return, mentioned it to Uthman and asked him to find a solution. Uthman also became extremely worried and decided to remove these differences and unite all the Muslims on a single version of Quran.

With this aim, he invited Zaid ibn Thabit and consulted him; because he was an expert of Quran and had compiled it during the time of Abu Bakr. Therefore he asked him to exercise diligence and compile a copy of Quran. He handed over the Quran of Abu Bakr to Huzaifah. He also ordered Abdullah ibn Zubair, Saeed ibn Aas, Abdur Rahman ibn Harith to cooperate with Huzaifah in this matter. After that, he said: Study the Quran closely and try to pronounce the letters and words correctly. So that when you notice a difference, you should give preference to the pronunciation of Quraish as Quran was revealed in the language of Quraish.22

This committee was formed in 25 A.H. at the orders of Uthman. They took the Quran of Abu Bakr as criterion and compared the other versions with it. Saeed ibn Aas dictated it, as his pronunciation resembled that of the Messenger of Allah (S). Zaid wrote down the words according to the pronunciation of Saeed.

After a period of time, they realized that they needed the help of others as well so they invited eight other companions and together they became twelve persons.23

Ubayy ibn Kaab was one of the invitees and sometimes he dictated the verses for others. His Quran was also relied upon when it was in conformity. In doubtful instances, other companions were also referred to and their view was accepted only if two just males testified to its correctness.

In some instances, they also relied on the views of Imam Ali ((عليه السلام).).24 Uthman supervised this process personally.

In this way a job of deep research was carried out as a result of which a Quran was compiled in a correct version. After that it was read out a number of times and compared with other copies and in the end a correct and accurate copy was finalized. It was then taken to be a standard to check and correct other copies.

After that Uthman ordered that it should be multiplied and a copy be sent to each Islamic metro. Thus they dispatched a copy of this Quran to all big cities and confiscated the ones extant over there and destroyed them.

In this way was realized the divine promise when God said:

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَفِظُونَ

“Surely We have revealed the Reminder and We will most surely be its guardian.” (15:9)

And also:

لَّا يَأْتِيهِ الْبَاطِلُ مِن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَلَا مِنْ خَلْفِهِ تَنزِيلٌ مِّنْ حَكِيمٍ حَمِيدٍ

“Falsehood shall not come to it from before it nor from behind it; a revelation from the Wise, the Praised One.” (41:42)

And a collection of chapters and verses of Quran, without any alteration or additions or deletions, remained forever at the disposal of Muslims.

 

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Alright. I want to clear a misunderstanding that I came across after my readings and doing some self-reflection.

Misunderstanding: Rearrangement of The Ayats and Surahs does not constitute change/alteration in The Quran

Misunderstanding Cleared: What I now understand is that even if that were true, the flow of ayats based on how Arabic Grammar works would come off stilted and off putting. Therefore, I should’ve understood it as Rearrangement of The Surahs of The Quran doesn’t matter. But, Rearrangement of The Ayats does matter. Since the Ayats are right where they are in each designated Surahs our Imams from Ali ibne Abi Talib (عليه السلام) all the way to Muhammad Al-Mahdi (عليه السلام) will not see this as an issue of The Quran. Given how History has played out Ali ibne Abi Talib (عليه السلام) hasn’t rejected Uthman’s Mushaf of The Quran which is what most Muslims have as the standard Mushaf. Therefore, ALL 6236 Ayats are properly placed in order as they are in each designated Surahs in Uthman’s Mushaf of The Quran. However, the order of The Surahs doesn’t matter in the long run when reading the Quran.

 

For some of you Muslims I may come across as someone not even trying their best to be a Muslim. But, the sad fact about myself is that I’m just trying to understand and develop the experience for what it means to have a firm Yaqeen (Certainty) throughout this which is a big requirement for what it means to be a Momin (Believer) of Allah. I’ll admit. I’m not perfect. I’m a Human Being with flaws all around and have doubts that plague my mind to insanity. Hence, I struggle and strive to build up my Yaqeen. And what better way to build up my Yaqeen then to understand How The Quran came to be as Islamic History dictates so far. At least I have no doubts about The Ayats of The Quran being 100% preserved in Mushaf exactly the same as they were originally recited by Allah through Prophet Muhammad (SAW)’s mouth.

Edited by ZethaPonderer
Adding the word “Al-” after Mahdi in bold

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21 hours ago, ZethaPonderer said:

Misunderstanding Cleared: What I now understand is that even if that were true, the flow of ayats based on how Arabic Grammar works would come off stilted and off putting. Therefore, I should’ve understood it as Rearrangement of The Surahs of The Quran doesn’t matter. But, Rearrangement of The Ayats does matter. Since the Ayats are right where they are in each designated Surahs our Imams from Ali ibne Abi Talib (عليه السلام) all the way to Muhammad Al-Mahdi (عليه السلام) will not see this as an issue of The Quran.

Are you now rejecting the notion that the verses are in the wrong order because it would change the meaning? I don't see why you need to mention Arabic grammar when this would be a problem in any language. If you change the sentence ordering of an English text then it would change the meaning. Try it with any book. I know that many learned Shia have the view that verse order does not change the meaning, but they are obviously wrong. E.g. some shia ulama hold the view that the verse of purification was intentionally embedded into verses about the wives.

If you are of the view that the Quran was complied by the companions then you must justify why you only seem to accept some part of those narrations. You have quoted a text which completely rejects all those narrations but you have somehow accepted a part of them. I.e. you believe that the Quran was compiled by them but you disregard how those narrations describe the haphazard and woeful manner of compilation. Such a compilation would strongly imply an incorrect ordering of verses and even the possibility of additional verses.

I am going to ask you again what you mean by "Uthman's Mushaf of The Quran is what most Muslims have". Your previous answers didn't make it clear. Perhaps what you mean is most Muslims throughout Islamic history. Not most Muslims today.

Brother/Sister, I strongly recommend these two books:

  1.  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18668161-structure-and-qur-anic-interpretation 
  2. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/84099.Discovering_the_Qur_an

You will see that the Quran has a clever and complex structure which could not have resulted from the haphazard and careless compilation that is described by those reports. Even the chapter order has a design to it. For this reason and other reasons that I haven't touched upon, we really have to question these accounts.

As far as reports on Imam Ali's {a} compilation being chronological, read this text: "no Shi'ah traditionist has ascribed the chronological arrangement to any Imam (Masum)" http://introducingislam.org/info/faslulkhitab/faslulkhitab.php BTW pick up this author's book on the Quran. Edit, I just found it here: https://www.al-islam.org/essence-holy-quran-eternal-light-mirza-mahdi-pooya

And some people are of the view that those narrations on him {a} staying at home to compile the Quran are Sunni fabrications to explain his non giving of the pledge of allegiance.

It is likely that Imam Ali {a} compiled an exposition of the Quran which states the time of revelation of every verse, but this does not mean that the Quran itself must be put into that order.

Edited by Muhammed Ali

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@Muhammed Ali Thanks for your recommendations. I know how complicated it can be to understand Islamic History but that doesn't stop me from trying.

Anyway to answer your question about Uthman's Mushaf of The Quran that most Muslims Have, what I meant and I did briefly touched upon this matter from my previous replies to you though not in depth is that based on how Ayatollah Ibrahim Amini has described the historical events after Prophet Muhammad (SAW)'s passing where the Sahaabas and Followers of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) were compiling their own Mushaf of The Quran during the 3rd Caliph Uthman's reign; is the idea that,

Uthman's Mushaf of The Quran = The Traditional Order of The Quran with respect to Chapters where the Chapters in The Quran are ordered in terms of size at a descending order (from largest to smallest surahs). Surah Fatiha as the 1st Chapter all the way to Surah An-Nas as the 114th Chapter.

The Traditional Order is what Muslims have nowadays even still. Even at the website quran.com where you simply read The Quran over there lists the orders of the Surahs in Traditional Order which from my understanding of how I've read the history of how the Quran was revealed and preserved to the best of my abilities at al-islam.org IS Uthman's Mushaf of The Quran.

Hope I made this clear now brother.

History is open to interpretation brother. A lot of things can be misunderstood about what happened and what didn't happen.

As for your understanding of language and rearrangements of sentences would change the meaning overall I would disagree to some extent on that given the fact that Not ALL Languages are Context Sensitive on the same level. Take the English Language and these 3 sentences that I put in quotes as a demonstration,

Quote

I'm going for a swim. Swimming is good for your body. Good thing I have my swimsuit on.

The sequence of sentence order from the quote above is as follows: {1, 2, 3}

If I were to rearrange the sequence of sentence order as follows: {2, 3, 1} OR {3, 2, 1} OR {1, 3, 2} OR {2, 1, 3}

Quote

Swimming is good for your body. Good thing I have my swimsuit on. I'm going for a swim.

OR

Good thing I have my swimsuit on. Swimming is good for your body. I'm going for a swim.

OR

I'm going for a swim. Good thing I have my swimsuit on. Swimming is good for your body.

OR

Swimming is good for your body. I'm going for a swim. Good thing I have my swimsuit on.

The meaning stays mostly the same in the English language. We can see that the English Language is not quite context sensitive on the same spectrum as The Arabic Language which is VERY Context Sensitive.

So any rearrangement of sentences in the Arabic Language is a change in meaning given the context sensitive nature.

Edited by ZethaPonderer
Adding furthermore in bold and underlined.

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