What happened to the Quran (mushaf) books written during the caliphate of Hz. Uthman?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The verses of the Quran were put together as a whole book during the caliphate of Hz. Abu Bakr by a committee under the leadership of Zayd b. Thabit. That mushaf was kept as a precaution. In addition, the Companions continued reading the Quran based on their own copies and memories and formed their individual copies.

The non-Arab people that accepted Islam in the Islamic land that expanded with conquests during the caliphate of Hz. Umar and Hz. Uthman learned the Quran with the mushaf and qira’ah of the Companions that came to their region; they probably wrote copies for themselves from them.

When this practice continued, some people who did not know very well the permission of "seven letters (way of reading)" and some differences of qira’ah based on the structure of the Arab language regarded it as an important cause of disagreement and started serious discussions. (Makki b. Abu Talib, al-Ibana, p. 48-49)

According to a narration Bukhari reported from Anas b. Malik, Hudhayfa b. Yaman, who was the commander of the army that took part in the conquest of Azerbaijan and Armenia, became worried when he encountered the disagreement in qira’ah. He went to the Caliph, Hz. Uthman, and asked him to find a solution. Thereupon, and probably upon other previous complaints, Hz. Uthman decided to duplicate the mushaf that had been compiled during the caliphate of Hz. Abu Bakr and that had been kept by Hafsa and send it to certain regions. The checking and duplication of the Quran was made by a committee headed by Zayd b. Thabit and consisting of  Abdullah b. Zubayr, Said b. As and Abdurrahman b. Harith b. Hisham. Hz. Uthman ordered them to act based on Qurayshi dialect when they had a disagreement about the spelling of a word. This committee, which consisted of twelve people along with the assistants, completed the duty of duplication and the original copy was returned to Hafsa.

After this work, which took place between 25 H and 30 H (646-651 AD), one of the seven copies of the Quran was sent to Mak­ka, Kufa, Basra, Damascus, Yemen and Bahrain each along with a person to read it. One copy was kept in Madinah. (Zarkashi, I, 334; Suyuti, al-Itqan, I, 189-190).

Hz. Uthman ordered the other pages in which the Quran was written and the private copies to be eliminated. (Bukhari, Fadailul-Quran, 3)

(For detailed information, see Diyanet İ. A., Kur'an Item)

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