What is the wisdom behind the fact that the duty of compiling (gathering) the Quran was given to Zayd bin Thabit?
Submitted by on Thu, 17/01/2019 - 10:36
Dear Brother / Sister,
After the death of the Prophet (pbuh), it became necessary for the text of the Quran, the divine guide, to be compiled (gathered) by the consensus of the ummah in such a way that even one word of it would not be doubted and would not be opposed up to the Day of Judgment. Zayd Ibn Thabit narrates:
“Abu Bakr sent for me after some Companions had been killed in the Battle of Yamama. I went to him and found Umar sitting with him. Abu Bakr said to me, "Umar has come to me and said: “Casualties were heavy among the hafizes of the Quran on the day of the Battle of Yamama. I fear that more heavy casualties may take place among the hafizes on other battlefields, whereby a large part of the Quran may be lost. Therefore, you should order that the Quran be collected." I said to Umar, "How can you do something which the Messenger of Allah did not do?" Umar said, "By Allah, this is a good project." Umar kept on urging me to accept his proposal till Allah opened my chest for it and I began to realize the good in the idea which Umar had realized.” Zayd then said,
“Abu Bakr turned to me and said, “You are a wise young man and nobody can have any suspicion about you. Besides, you used to write the Divine Inspiration for the Messenger of Allah. Collect the text of the Quran in one book.” By Allah, if they had ordered me to shift one of the mountains, it would not have been heavier for me than this ordering me to collect the Quran.” So, I started to collect the verses and chapters of the Quran from palm stalks, flat stones and the memories of people.” (Bukhari).
According to what is reported from the resources unanimously, Hz. Abu Bakr told Zayd not to rely on his memory ever and to demand two witnesses with written copies for each verse as evidence. Zayd laid it as a condition the help of Umar for this duty and Umar helped him seriously.
Zayd himself was a good hafiz but he did not regard it enough and he did not rely on other hafizes, either; he used a very meticulous and scientific method by demanding two witnesses with written copies for each verse.
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- Abud-Darda (r.a.)
- Amr bin As (r.a.)