Will you give detailed information about the Quran’s being written, compiled and arranged as a book?
- The Prophet (pbuh) could not put the Quran together when he was alive. Why did he not request that the Quran be put together as a book after his death?
- What is the oldest copy of the Quran we have now?
- Islam’s biggest basis and claim is the immutability of the Quran. We believe that the main reason why it was sent is that the scriptures that were sent earlier were distorted. However, when we read the history of Islam, we learn that the Quran was put together as a book during the caliphate of Hz. Abu Bakr upon Hz. Umar’s insistence, that it was reproduced during the caliphate of Hz. Uthman and that the other copies were burned.
- The answer given to the question why the Quran was collected after the death of the Prophet and was arranged as a book is that divine revelation continued until the last days of the Prophet (pbuh) and that the Prophet (pbuh) did not know when the revelation would end. I have no doubt about the honesty of the Companions who collected the Quran.
- My question is as follows: Since the most important characteristic of Islam is the immutability of the Holy Book, and if we think that atheists and missionaries object to this claim of Islam by stating that the Quran was not put together as a book during the time of the Prophet, I cannot understand why the Prophet did not request that the Quran be put together as a book after his death or did not speak about it when he was alive even if he could not do it when he was alive and why Allah did not warn his prophet about it.
- We know that when Hz. Umar told Hz. Abu Bakr about his opinion, Hz. Abu Bakr said, “How can I do something that even the Prophet did not do?” It shows that the Prophet (pbuh) did not give any instructions to the Companions regarding the issue or did not encourage them to do it. To sum up, was it not necessary for the Prophet of Allah to act prudentially? Or, was it not necessary for Allah to tell His Messenger that it would be a problem in the future and want him to take action?
- Besides, what is the oldest copy of the Quran we really have at the moment? Where is it?
- Where are the copies that Hz. Uthman distributed? Did the copy of the Quran in Topkapı Palace, which is said to belong to Hz. Uthman, really belong to Hz. Uthman?
Submitted by on Wed, 03/03/2021 - 12:19
Dear Brother / Sister,
After giving a short answer to your question, we will add a detailed explanation.
The Prophet (pbuh) orders us in many hadiths to obey the four caliphs in particular, and his Companions in general after him. If the Prophet (pbuh) had requested in his will everything, people would say, “We cannot do it because there is no will of the Prophet about it” in the face of new incidents; thus, solutions could not be produced. Therefore, there was no will of the Prophet even related to important issues such as the caliphate and putting the Quran together. Compliance with the solution methods of the Companions even in such important issues became an evidence that they would be taken as models in other issues. On the other hand, the Companions’ finding ways of solution related to the issues above and similar ones shows what method should be followed related to the incidents to occur in the future.
The Prophet (pbuh) was like a torch and light that called humanity to salvation and enlightened the ways in the dark world. He was selected for this task, underwent a divine upbringing and finally was assigned the highest duty during his maturity. The Messenger of Allah was very meticulous in his duty. His acts while he was receiving divine revelation and his actions after it show it. For example, when the state of revelation occurred, he would move his tongue to memorize quickly what was reported and to place it in his heart (al-Qiyamah, 75/16). He dictated the revelations to his special scribes, and on the other hand, he asked his Companions not to record his words so that they would not be mixed with the Quran.
The Quran was written down by forty-two scribes of revelation. The most famous of them were Abdullah b. Sa’d in Makkah and Ubayy Ibn Kab in Madinah. The verses of the Quran were written on paper, cloth, pieces of leather, stone, brick, and shoulder blades. The Prophet recited the passages of revelation (the Quran) that had been sent down to Jibril every Ramadan (pbuh) from beginning to end. He told the scribes where the passage of revelation would be placed in the Quran after each revelation in order to prevent confusion. Since the revelation continued when the Prophet (pbuh) was alive, the text of the Quran could not be brought together as a book. If it had been done so, it would have been necessary to make changes frequently and to destroy a large number of written texts in order to insert a few verses among other verses. On the other hand, the text of the Quran was memorized and constantly read by many hafizes; and there were written copies owned by some Companions. Moreover, there was an authority of guarantee (the Prophet) with them. So, there was no worry about the preservation of the text.
In addition, in his book titled Mustadrak, al-Hakim (D 405 H / 1014 AD) states the following: “The text of the Quran was put together three times and the first took place in the presence of the Messenger of Allah.” Then, he narrates the following hadith, which forms the basis of his decree, from Zayd Ibn Thabit (with a chain of narrators that meets the conditions of the narrations of Bukhari and Muslim). Zayd states the following: “We put together some parts of the Quran in the presence of the Prophet.” Bayhaqi states the following about the hadith: “In my opinion, what is meant by it is to put together the groups of verses that were sent down separately several times in the form of chapters (surahs) under the supervision of the Prophet.”
In that case, the Prophet (pbuh) had the chapters whose revelation was completed written in the form of some pages, using the most appropriate material available, and preserved them. Thus, when the Prophet (pbuh) was alive, many Companions gathered the Quran in both their memories and pages. Upon the Prophet’s death, Hz. Ali immediately secluded himself in his house and said, “I swore an oath not to put on my garment except for Friday prayers until I finished putting the Quran together.” He fulfilled his promise and he did not pay allegiance to Abu Bakr until he finished putting the Quran together.
HOW THE QUR'AN WAS COLLECTED INTO "MUSHAF" (VOLUME OF COLLECTED SHEETS)?
After the death of Hazrat Prophet, it became necessary to collect the sheets of the Quran, the divine guide, in such a way that not one word of it would be doubted, no one would object to it until the Doomsday by the unanimous agreement of the umma (Islam community). Zayd bin Thabit narrates:
Hazrat Abu Bakr sent for me after the heavy casualties among the warriors of the Battle of Yamama. Hazrat Umar was present with Abu Bakr who said,
'Umar has come to me and said,
The (huffaz: plural of hafiz) (one who knows the whole Qur'an by heart) suffered heavy casualties on the day of Yamama, and I am afraid that there will be more casualties among the huffaz at other battle-fields, whereby a large part of the Qur'an may be lost. And I am of the opinion that you should collect the Qur'an."
"I said to 'Umar, 'How can I do something which Allah's Messenger has not done?'
'Umar said (to me), 'By Allah, it is (really) a good thing.'
So 'Umar kept on pressing, trying to persuade me to accept his proposal, till Allah opened my bosom for it and I had the same opinion as 'Umar."
Zayd added: Abu Bakr turned to me and said:
"You are a wise young man and we do not suspect you of telling lies or of forgetfulness: and you used to write the Divine Inspiration for Allah's Messenger. Therefore, look for the Qur'an and collect it (in one manuscript).
"By Allah, if he (Abu Bakr) had ordered me to shift one of the mountains from its place, it would not have been harder for me than what he had ordered me concerning the collection of the Qur'an. So I started locating Quranic material and collecting it from parchments, scapula, leaf-stalks of date palms and from the memories of men who knew it by heart.” (Bukhari,Tafsir al Qur'an, 20; Tirmidhi, Fadail al-Quran, 23)
As the sources report unanimously, Hazrat Abu Bakr told Zayd not rely on his memory and to look for 2 evidences for each verse, 2 written copies from two people. Zayd laid it as a condition that Hazrat Umar should help him for that task, and Umar helped him quite a lot. Although Zayd himself was a good hafiz, he did not consider it enough even with other huffaz and he followed a very careful and scientific method like looking for two written witnesses that listened to that verse in Ramadan. However, he could not find 2 written witnesses regarding the last two verses of Chapter at-Tawba although he searched for it, and then he based it on the written copy of Abu Huzayma. The sheets that were collected together in a book during the period of Hazrat Abu Bakr is called “al-Mushaf”.
NUMBER OF HUFFAZ (PEOPLE WHO KNEW THE WHOLE QURAN BY HEART):
By the way, here, we need to answer the claim that there were 4-7 huffaz in that period. It is impossible by reason that in 23 years, only 4 or 7 of the companions who were educated by Hazrat Prophet memorized the whole Quran. According to what Bukhari narrates in as-Sahih, the number of the huffaz who were martyred in the incident of Bir Mauna, which took place while Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) was alive, was 70. In the battles that occurred due to the conversion incidents from Islam and that took place in the year after the death of Hazrat Prophet, in ‘Yamama’, the number of huffaz that were martyred was 450-500 according to some scholars; according to others it was 700.
Another important point is that when Hazrat Prophet was alive, the revelation had not ended. The last few chapters and verses that were sent down in the last days could not have been known by some people. According to Hamidullah, when Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) died, 300 people knew the Quran by heart. There is no difference between the Quran Zayd bin Thabit wrote and the Quran that was revealed to Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh). Everybody memorized the Quran and they confirmed what they memorized by writing them. How could something that is recited during the prayers and that is acted accordingly be forgotten? The Quranic verses were revealed in a harmony; they were revealed gradually so that everybody could memorize.
Consequently, the following verse tells us that no one intervened in the revelation of the Quran including the Prophet:
"And if the messenger were to invent any sayings in Our name, We should certainly seize him by his right hand, And We should certainly then cut off the artery of his heart: Nor could any of you withhold him (from Our wrath). " (Surah al Haqqah, 69/44-48)
We advise you to read the following comprehensive work:
HOW WAS THE QURAN COLLECTED IN TO MUSHAF? A COMPREHENSIVE STUDY ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE LAST REVELATION.
The History of the Last Revelation- Relevant Verses:
‘By degrees shall We teach thee to declare (the Message), so thou shalt not forget.’ (al-A’la 6)
"By no means (should it be so)! For it is indeed a Message of instruction: Therefore let who will, keep it in remembrance. (It is) in Books held (greatly) in honor. Exalted (in dignity), kept pure and holy," (Abasa 11-14)
"Move not thy tongue concerning the (Qur'an) to make haste therewith. It is for Us to collect it and to promulgate it: But when We have promulgated it, follow thou its recital (as promulgated): Nay more, it is for Us to explain it (and make it clear)." (al-Qiyama 16-19)
"Those who reject Faith say: "Why is not the Qur'an revealed to him all at once?" Thus (is it revealed) that We may strengthen thy heart thereby, and We have rehearsed it to thee in slow, well-arranged stages gradually." (al-Furqan 32)
" Verily this is a Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds: With it came down the Spirit of Faith and Truth― To thy heart and mind, that thou mayest admonish In the perspicuous Arabic tongue." (ash-Shuara 192-195)
"(It is) a Qur'an which We have divided (into parts from time to time), in order that thou mightest recite it to men at intervals: We have revealed it by stages." (al-Isra 106)
"By the Mount (of Revelation); By a Decree Inscribed In a Scroll unfolded;..." (at-Tur 1-3)
"Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an as a guide to mankind also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong)." (al-Baqara 185)
Let us deal with the process of early revelation period compilation.
a)The Period of the Prophet: (Collecting during the life of the Prophet)
The Prophet paid great attention to preserving the revelation (1) He hurried repeating Jibril (Gabriel). The verses of al-Qiyama 16-17 mention it. It was for Allah to collect it and to promulgate it. The Messenger of Allah recited the revealed verse during the prayers first and strengthened the verses in his memory. (2) Then he recited them slowly and enabled the illiterate Arab believers who had good memory to memorize them. (3),(4),(5).
The following is stated in the Quran: "By degrees shall We teach thee to declare (the Message), so thou shalt not forget "(6). Along with the Prophet, the companions tried to memorize the revelation too. The parts constantly recited at night and during the prayers served the preservation of the revelation.
The Prophet not only recited the Quran that was sent down to his heart, he also dictated it. The first verses of Chapter at-Tur prove it. Abasa 11-14 can be thought to be also about it.
The following is stated in the Quran: " By degrees shall We teach thee to declare (the Message), so thou shalt not forget
Along with the Prophet, the companions tried to memorize them too. The parts constantly recited at night and during the prayers served the preservation of the revelation. Then, they used to perform prayers twice a day: morning and afternoon prayers.(8)
We see that Hazrat Prophet took two additional measures apart from dictation for the preservation of the correctness and completeness of the Quran:
1- He immediately memorized the verses that were revealed and constantly recited them during prayers, whether he was resident or traveling, whether he was sad or joyful. (9) He ordered that the verses of the Quran be recited loudly during the daily prayers and thus Muslims had to memorize the Quran. Another outcome of that application is that the Quran was freed of being in the monopoly of a kind of clergymen.
He recited it to his companions slowly and distinctly. The companions gave great importance to it too. The Prophet checked what they recited.(10)
2- He ordered that those who wanted to learn the Quran learn it under the supervision of a well-educated teacher. The first teacher of the Quran was the Prophet himself and then came other poet teachers that were appointed by him because they knew the Quran well."(11)
"Since the ability of remembering and memorizing changed from person to person, naturally some companions wanted to write them down in order to repeat and memorize the verses in their free time. We do not know exactly when writing down the verses like that started. "(12)
The narrations state that the Prophet hurried to dictate the verses that were revealed.(13)
There is not exact information about when the verses started to be written down. The Messenger of Allah was not a literate person. (14) In Siyar (life of the Prophet) books, it is seen that even during the period of Makkah, there were written parts of the Quran. For instance, Ibn Hisham, who narrates the story of how Umar became a Muslim, says that Umar’s sister Fatima and her husband Said recited the verses of the Quran from Chapters al-Hadid (or ar-Rahman) and TaHa (7/81, 45/20) in their house from a page.(15) Umar became a Muslim in the 5th year of the prophethood; it is the second year of general tabligh (conveying the message) of Islam. That is, 8 years before the Hegira. Hamidullah says,
“There is no reason to doubt the truthfulness and the reality of the narrated incident because most of the first chapters revealed before the Hegira mention ‘written Quran copies’. Al-Furqan verse 5 and al-An'am verse 79 are examples of it. In the Quran itself, the word book is constantly used for the Quran; it definitely includes the meaning “a written document”."(16)
It is approved by the hadith narrations which express that writing hadiths was forbidden that the Quranic verses were being written.
It is approved by the hadith narrations which express that writing hadiths was forbidden that the Quranic verses were being written.
Hazrat Prophet tried to dictate the verses to scribes from believers. Abu Bakr, Uthman, Ali, Zubayr ibn Awwam and Amir ibn Fuhayra were among the scribes in Makkah period.
Apart from the verses that were with the Prophets, the companions wrote the verses in special pages for themselves. Those who knew the whole Quran by heart were called Qurra. Ibn Mas'ud, Muaz, Salim, Ubay ibn Ka'b, Aisha, Hafsa, Umm Salama, Abu Zayd were among them.
Placing Verses into Chapters:
The instructions of the Prophet clarified in which chapters the reveled verses were to be written.(17)
"According to the information given by the historians, sometimes verses belonging to different chapters were revealed together. When new verses were revealed, Hazrat Prophet showed the companions where to place the new verses in the whole."(18)
The Prophet did not find his own memory, the memory of the companions and the checks enough; he dictated the verses on leather, bones, wood and flat stones after the revelation.(19)
Date branches, thin white stones, shoulder bones, processed pieces of leather, wood, pieces of pots and paper called qirtas, leather(20), cloth, date fibers and stones were used as writing material. The art of paper was not present among Arabs unlike Persians and Romans.
Hazrat Prophet had new revelation scribes like Ubay ibn Ka'b, Zayd ibn Thabit and Abdullah ibn Rawaha in Madinah. Al-Asqalani (852/1448) mentions about 40 companions that worked as scribes.(21)
The following narration is present in the Siyar book of Ibn Ishaq found in Rabat: "Whenever a part from the Quran was revealed, the Messenger of Allah recited it in the presence of men and conveyed them the verses, then he conveyed them to a separate group consisting of women."(22)
There are narrations that Hazrat Prophet recited and compared the verses that were sent down until that time with Gabriel in every Ramadan.
"Hazrat Prophet had the custom of reciting the whole Quran in the presence of people. His companions brought their copies of the Quran and sat around him listened to what the Prophet read and made corrections if necessary. During the last Ramadan of his life,(23) he repeated it twice as a precaution. Those kinds of muqabala (reciting and listening) and reciting in the presence of people are called arda (presentation) and the last one of the called the last arda (presentation) is unforgettable in the history of the Quran."(24)
Several Quran teachers were sent to the neighborhoods of Madinah.(25)
The Messenger died 9 or 81 days after the last revelation. The reason why it was not compiled in the form a book is that the verses were not sent down in order.
Hazrat Muawiya’s Work as a Revelation Scribe:
The rate of literacy was very low in Makkah. There were 33 people that were known to be literate in Makkah and Madinah in that period. A person who could write, shoot arrows and swim was given the title of perfect man. Writing came to Makkah with Harb ibn Umayya. Abu Sufyan and his two sons, Muawiya and Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan could read and write.
The Messenger of Allah had scribes for his correspondence with Arab tribes. Muawiya joined the scribes upon the request of Abu Sufyan.(26) Ash-Shahriyari says the Prophet chose Uthman and Ali as revelation scribes and when they were absent, Ubayy and Zayd ibn Thabit wrote down the revelation.(27) Many sources say that Muawiya was a scribe but not a revelation scribe.(28)
İrfan Aycan mentions the sources that say Muawiya worked as a revelation scribe in his biography of Muawiya.(29) Although he is said to have written the Kursi verse, it is known that that verse was sent down in the first years of the Hegira.
Al-Masudi sees the issue from a different point of view and says Muawiya was a scribe a few times before the death of the Messenger of Allah and that he cannot be regarded equal to those who worked as scribes near the Messenger of Allah for a long time and cannot be considered as one of the revelation scribes.(30) It is stated that as a result of the search of the contemporary researchers, no evidence proving that he was a revelation scribe was found.(31)
b) After the Death of the Messenger of Allah:
1.The Period of Abu Bakr 1st Compilation: (32)
Ali ibn Abi Talib compiled a book arranging the verses of the Quran, which was completed shortly before the death of the Prophet, in the order that they were revealed. (33) He did not go out until he finished writing that book except for prayer. That narration is present in the answer when Abu Bakr summoned Ali to ask why he had not given allegiance to him:
‘I thought something might be added to the book of Allah and I decided not to put on my clothes except prayer until I finished writing it.
Abu Bakr said, ‘You thought very nice.’(34)
When at least 70, some people increase the number to 700, huffaz among the companions were martyred in the Battle of Yamama (633) (M. Hamidullah says 3000 huffaz joined that battle) (35) , the act of compilation was accelerated. Umar insisted for the compilation and persuaded Abu Bakr. He called Zayd ibn Thabit (36), the revelation scribe who had a powerful memory, and appointed him to carry out the compilation by eliminating his hesitation. (37)
Zayd bin Thabit narrates:
Hazrat Abu Bakr sent for me after the martyrdom of 70 huffaz in the Battle of Yamama. Hazrat Umar was present with Abu Bakr who said,
'Umar has come to me and said,
The (huffaz: plural of hafiz) (one who knows the whole Qur'an by heart) suffered heavy casualties on the day of Yamama, and I am afraid that there will be more casualties among the huffaz at other battle-fields, whereby a large part of the Qur'an may be lost. And I am of the opinion that you should collect the Qur'an."
"I said to 'Umar, 'How can I do something which Allah's Messenger has not done?'(38) 'Umar said (to me), 'By Allah, it is (really) a good thing.' So 'Umar kept on pressing, trying to persuade me to accept his proposal, till Allah opened my bosom for it and I had the same opinion as 'Umar." Zayd added: Abu Bakr turned to me and said: "You are a wise young man and we do not suspect you of telling lies or of forgetfulness: and you used to write the Divine Inspiration for Allah's Messenger. Therefore, look for the Qur'an and collect it (in one manuscript).
"By Allah, if he (Abu Bakr) had ordered me to shift one of the mountains from its place, it would not have been harder for me than what he had ordered me concerning the collection of the Qur'an. So I started locating Quranic material and collecting it from parchments, scapula, leaf-stalks of date palms and from the memories of men who knew it by heart.”(39)
Abu Bakr gave Umar Umar and Zaid the following instruction: ‘Sit at the door of the mosque. Whoever brings you something written from the book of Allah with two witnesses (40), write it at once.’(41) Thereupon, Umar went to the door of the mosque and said, ‘Whoever took something from the Messenger of Allah should bring it here.’ (42) The committee wrote the verses that were brought on tablets and date branches.
Zayd wrote the texts in his memory by strengthening them with the witnessing of others. He did not write them without any proof. (43) One completed copy was agreed unanimously. (44)
Hamidullah relates the event as follows:
"Zayd actually knew the Quran by heart. However, as a precaution, the Caliph Abu Bakr ordered him to seek two different documents recited in the presence of Hazrat Prophet for each verse or word. He told people to bring the copies of the verses that they preserved to the Mosque of the Prophet to show them to Zayd and his friends. After the compilation work ended, Zayd ibn Thabit recited the copy that was prepared twice and all of the mistakes and defects, if any, were eliminated. "(45)
Thus, the Mushaf – it was named like that - (46) - was compiled officially by Hazrat Abu Bakr in 11/632.
We know that the order of the verses and to which chapters they belonged was determined by Hazrat Prophet. The verses were placed in the chapters as they are in the Mushaf today. However, there exists a view that the chapters are based on the ijtihad of the companions. (47) There is a disagreement about the order of the chapters. (48)
The copy that was compiled was given to the Caliph. That single copy was with Abu Bakr. Then it was transferred to Umar. After the death of Umar, it was transferred to Hafsa, one of the wives of the Prophet, who was a hafiz. (49)
II. The Period of Uthman: 2nd Compilation:
On Muharram 1 24/646, Uthman was chosen as the caliph. The land that was under the sovereignty of Muslims extended beyond Arabia. Many Muslims with mother tongues other than Arabic had difficulty in reading the Quran. The differences of dialect and accent among Arabs should also be added to it. Those different pronunciations could turn to accusations. (50) The people of Damascus recited the Quran with the style of Ubayy, and the people of Kufa with the style of Ibn Mas’ud, and the people of Basra with the style of Abu Musa.
The land that was under the sovereignty of Muslims extended beyond Arabia. Many Muslims with mother tongues other than Arabic had difficulty in reading the Quran. The differences of dialect and accent among Arabs should also be added to it. Some different pronunciations were attributed to the Prophet with sound documents. Huzayfatu’l-Yaman went to Armenia and Azarbaijan with the armies of Damascus. (25/646) During the expedition, he saw that the soldiers of Damascus recited the Quran differently from the soldiers of Iraq and he felt anxious because of the disagreement.(51) The incidence led to takfir (declaring that someone was unbeliever). He informed the Caliph about the situation.
"O Leader of the Believers! Stand! Find a solution before Muslims disagree about reciting the Quran like Christians and Jews." (52)
The third Caliph wanted the “Hafsa Mushaf” when the differences of reciting became a subject of disagreement among Muslims. Uthman appointed 4 people to bring the Quran (Mushaf) of Hafsa and to duplicate it.: Zayd, Abdullah ibn Zubayr, Said ibn As and Abdurrahman ibn Harith. The three of four except Zayd were Quraishis. He ordered them to write in Quraishi dialect if they disagreed. (54) (55) According to the other narration of al-Bukhari the other three members were from Ansar (Madinah Muslims): Muaz, Ubay ibn Ka'b and Zayd ibn Thabit.
The work of the committee lasted 5 years. “The seven copies that were prepared were recited in the presence of people in Madinah Mosque so that people would feel satisfied. Then, each copy was sent to the centers of the states of the vast Islamic land that extended out of Madinah to the south of Spain in the west and beyond the river Jayhun near China in the east. It was ordered that all of the copies of the Quran be in compliance with those official copies and the different ones be burned from then on."(56)
The points that 2nd Committee disagreed are unimportant. For instance whether to write the word Tabut with a "round T" or "open T" Uthman wanted them to write it with an open T, Quraishi style.
Duplicated Copies Sent to Important Centers:
The duplicated 5 or 7 copies (mushafs) (57) were sent to important centers (Kufa, Basra, Damascus, Yaman, Makkah and Bahrayn). One copy was left in Madinah. It is mentioned in the records that the private individual copies were burned.
There were some people who did not obey the instruction that all of the copies except the official one be burned. The private mushafs of Ali, Ibn Mas'ud, Aisha, Ubay ibn Ka'b are mentioned. Abu Bakr ibn Dawud wrote a book about the differences in those mushafs called "Kitabu'l-Masahif
Are there any verses that were not included in the official mushaf?
The disagreement in the number of verses mentioned in the books originates from the fact that some verses are divided into two and regarded as two verses or whether the basmalas are regarded as a separate verse or not.
Ubay ibn Ka'b was a member of the committee established during the period of Uthman to duplicate the Quran. Therefore, it is not possible that he regarded the qunut prayers as part of the Quran.
III. The Period of Ali ibn Abi Talib:
If the Quran that Uthman duplicated had been different from that of Hazrat Prophet, the successor of Uthman, the Caliph Ali, would have made his private Quran the official Quran. (58)
The difference of the Mushaf of Ali is that it is arranged in the order of revelation. There is no difference except the use of a few synonyms, which does not cause any change in the meaning.
What happened to the first manuscripts of the Quran?:
We would like to say that there is no reliable information that the first manuscripts of the Quran were burned. The narrations about it are weak. The information reported in the book of S. as-Salih is not reliable. Besides, S.as-Salih does not agree with that view but only says that Ibn Abu Dawud reports that view. The attackers try to conceal that truth deftly and present that wrong information as if everybody accepts it.
Abu Bakr’s Mushaf:
What happened to the Quran collected and preserved between two binders during the period of Abu Bakr? It should not be forgotten that hundreds of that version were copied by Muslims. The fact that it disappeared or was burned does not mean that the Quran disappeared.
The Quran collected between two binders by Abu Bakr was transferred to Umar after he died. After Umar died, it was transferred to his daughter Hafsa. During the period of Uthman, he wanted it from Hafsa, duplicated it and sent the copies to the centers of Islam. Then, he returned it to Hafsa. Then, what happened? According to what at-Tabarani reports from Salim through a reliable way, Marwan, the governor of Madinah, sent someone to Hafsa and wanted that Quran from her, maybe with the permission of Uthman. Hafsa did not give it to him. After Hafsa died (h.41), Marwan sent someone to Ibn Umar and said “Send that Quran to me.” He sent it to Marwan. Thus, we know that during the period of Marwan, that Quran was transferred to Umayyads. There is no record or information about what happened to that Quran. Probably, it remained with the Umayyads for a long time and when the Umayyads declined, someone probably retained it due to its value.
It is said that after the death of Umar, the Quran of Hafsa, after her death and after the second compilation was burned by Marwan, the governor of Madinah. Even if it is correct, it is wrong to use that narration in a way to give material to orientalists.
Ali says the following: "O people, do not say extreme things about Uthman. Avoid saying 'the burner of mushafs' for him. I swear by Allah, he burned them in front of us, the companions of Muhammad. If I had been an administrator during the period of Uthman, I would have done the same thing."
A scholar who did not use his disagreement to destroy the truth could have spoken only like that.
What happened to the mushafs that were duplicated?:
As Schwally states "the Quran was preserved with a great caution and perfection that man would not expect."(59)
Casanova, based on his own research and the research of Quatremere, another researcher, says that one of the copies of the mushafs that were duplicated by Hazrat Uthman was known and seen at the beginning of 4th century H. (60)
1- The Mushaf of Madinah:
That historical work was preserved in the Mosque of the Prophet in Madinah. We know that it was preserved there through travelers and inquisitive people who saw it there on various dates. Mawlana Shibli wrote in the magazine, Tahzibu'l-Akhlaq (H.1329/M.1911) it was seen there in 735.
It was preserved in Madinah until World War I. During the war, it was transferred from there like all of the other valuable works by the government in order to keep them in safe places as a measure of precaution. After the war ended, it was returned to the same place.
Musa Jarullah Bigiyev, a Russian Muslim, made a lot of researches about the Quran and Mushaf after he escaped from Bolshevik Russia in 1930 and traveled in Near East and Far East; he published them in India. He says that the Mushaf was preserved in the Mosque of the Prophet in Madinah and that he saw it when he stayed in Madinah.
2-The Mushaf of Makkah:
Mawlana Shibli says that the Mushaf of Makkah was there and it was seen in 735 H.
3-The Mushaf of Kufa:
The Mushaf that was sent to Kufa by Hazrat Uthman, was transferred to Tarsus on an unknown date and was preserved there. Tarsus, one of the most beautiful cities of Cilicia, was an important border city during the Abbasid Period. Ma'mun, Sayfu'd-Dawla and Poet Mutanabbi are there. The Mushaf of Kufa probably arrived in Tarsus during the Period of Abbasids. Abbasid Caliphs lived there. The Mushaf was preserved there and then it was transferred to the castle of Hums in Syria. The famous an-Nablusi, who lived between H.1050-1143/ M.1640-1730 describes that mushaf in detail when he went there in (H.1100/M.1689). That mushaf was preserved in Hums until World War I and it was kept in a safe place like the other valuable and historical works during the war.
4-The Mushaf of Damascus:
The mushaf that was sent to Damascus was preserved in Tabariya, located between al-Quds (Jerusalem) and Damascus first and then it was transferred to Damascus. The following is recorded in "Asmaru't-Tawarih with Additions" Transfer of the Mushaf Uthmani to the Mosque of Damascus at-Tabariya, year 492"
Ibn Kathir (H 8th century) saw the Mushaf of Damascus in person. He says:
“As for the mushafs duplicated by Hazrat Uthman, the most famous of them is the one that I personally saw in the Mosque of Damascus in Syria, which is a big mushaf written with a clear calligraphy in high quality ink on camel hide."(61)
According to what M. Shibli (62) wrote, Abu'l-Qasim as-Sabti saw the mushaf sent by Hazrat Uthman in the separated part of the Mosque in Damascus in H. 657. Abdulmalik says he saw that mushaf there in h.725. The mushaf which was preserved in the Mosque of Tawba in Damascus during the period of Ibnu'l-Jazari (h.751-833/ m.1350-1429) was transferred to the Mosque of Umayyad later. Ibnul Jazari says he saw the mushaf in Damascus and he also saw one of the mushafs of the companions in Egypt.
In the foundation certificate of Lala Mustafa Pasha dated 982, there is a record mentioning “the Foundation of Our Master Uthman” in the Hums land mentioning the foundations in Damascus, we understand that there was a foundation of Uthman’s Mushaf at that time there. It means the Mushaf of Uthman was there. Mawlana Shibli says when he came to Istanbul during his travel around the Islamic world that he learned that that copy was preserved.
Sheikh AbdulHakim Afghani of Damascus, one of the contemporary scholars, wanted to duplicate a copy from the Mushaf of Damascus. He started it before World War I and copied the writing and the form as they were and copied the lines as if he was drawing a picture and obtained a full book. The copy that AbdulHakim Afghani made is present in Damascus.
There is not much information about what happened to them.
The Pages of Sahaba (Companions):
Apart from the verses that were with the Prophet, the companions wrote the verses for themselves. Those who knew the whole Quran by heart were called "Qurra". Ibn Mas'ud, Muaz, Salim, Ubay ibn Ka'b, Aisha, Hafsa, Umm Salama, Abu Zayd were among them
There were some people who did not obey the order of burning the mushafs other than the official ones. The private mushafs of Ali, Ibn Mas'ud and Ubay ibn Ka'b are mentioned. Aisha had a mushaf too. Abu Bakr ibn Dawud wrote a book about the differences in those mushafs called "Kitabu'l-Masahif
Today, all of the mushafs in the world are the same. The mushaf preserved in Topkapı Palace Museum is said to be the Mushaf of Uthman. There is a mushaf, which is one of the first mushafs, in Tashkent, capital city of Uzbekistan. (63)
Historical Mushafs in Turkey:
The following historical mushafs are in the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Works in İstanbul.
-No:457. The Mushaf that has the signature of Hazrat Uthman dated 30 Hegira
-No:557. The Mushaf that has the signature of Hazrat Ali
-No:458. A Mushaf that is thought to be written by Hazrat Ali.
Other Offical Mushafs of Ali:
In Cairo, Egypt, there is a Mushaf written in ancient Kufi style of calligraphy by Ali ibn Abi Talib in “Sayyidina Husayn” Mosque.
Egyptian Abdulwahhab Azzam, a friend of Turks, writes in his book Shahadatnama that he saw a part of a Mushaf written in Kufi style in Mashhad and that he saw the following words: “Ali ibn Abi Talib wrote it." There is another mushaf there, which is complete. The following words are written in it: “Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib wrote it."
Abdullah Zijani, a Shiite scholar, writes in the History of the Quran that there is a mushaf written by Hazrat Ali’s calligraphy in Najaful-Ashraf.
Various ancient copies, mushafs from the period of Sahaba are present today. There are no differences among them.(64)
”The ‘İnstitut für Koran Forschung’ established in Munich University, brought together and classified about 42.000 complete and incomplete copies of the Quran from all over the world and determined at the end of a research and comparison that lasted 50 years that, apart from one or two mistakes of the calligraphers, there were no differences among the copies of the Quran, and the institute showed it to the whole world through a report. That institute was blown up together with the documents in it during World War II by the bombardment of American planes."(65)
c) The Period of Adding Harakas and Dots:
When the 3rd verse of Chapter at-Tawba is pronounced as "Wa Rasuluhu” instead of "Wa Rasulihi", the meaning changes from "Allah and his Messenger are free from the polytheists” to "Allah is free from the polytheists and his Messenger." It is impossible fro non-Arabs to notice pronunciation mistakes like that. Adding harakas originated from that obligation.
In 69/688, Abu’l-Aswad ad-Duali put dots over, under and in front of the letters with colored ink. The one over gave the sound a, under i, and front u. Two dots were used for tanwin (adding n to a vowel).
Nasr ibn Asim, a student of Aswad, (89/708) added harakas to the letters. Some historians say it was Yahya ibn Ma'mar of Basra (129/746) who did it. The last correction in the writing of the Quran was carried out by Halil ibn Ahmad (175/791). Hamza, shadda, sila, rawm and ishmam were determined. That action faced a lot of opposition first but it received general acceptance in the end.
Contemporary Literature on the History of the Quran:
al-AKK, Halid Abdurrahman, Tarikhu Tawthiqi Nassi’l-Qur’ani’l-Karim, Damascus, 1986
ABYARİ,İbrahim, Tarikhu’l-Qur’an, Cairo
HAMIDULLAH, Muhammad, History of the Qur'an, trns. Salih Tuğ, İst, 1993 (66)
HANAFİ, Muhammed Bahit al-Mutii, al-Kelimatu’l-Hisan fi’l-Hurufi’s-Sab’ati wa Jami’l-Qur’an, Beirut,1986
HUJJATİ, Muhammed Baqir, Mukhtasar Tarihi’l-Qur’ani’l-Karim, Damascus, 1975
IBNU’L-KHATIB, Muhibbuddin, al-Furqan, Beirut, 1990
MARZUQ, Muhammad Abdulaziz, al-Mushafu’sh-Sharif Dirasatun Tarikhiyyatun wa Fanniyyatun, Cairo, 1985
MUHAYSIN, Muhammad Salim, Tarikhu’l-Qur’ani’l-Karim, Alexandria, 1990
SALİM, Sahar as-Sayyid Abdulaziz, Adwaun ala Mushafi Uthman ibn Affan, Alexandria, 1991
SHAHIN, Abdussabur, Tarikhu’l-Qur’an, 1994 (67)
KUR’AN-I KERİM VE KUR’AN İLİMLERİNE GİRİŞ
MİTOLOJİ KİTAB-I MUKADDES VE KUR'AN-I KERİM
KUR’AN'I KERİM BİLGİLERİ Yazar : Osman KESKİNOĞLU Yayınevi: Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı
(1) (Abu Shahba p.236), Shahhata ( p.27), as-Sabuni, at-Tibyan fi Ulumi’l-Qur’an, Beirut,1408, s.68)
(2) al-Muzzammil 1-4
(3) as-Sabuni/Kur’an İlimleri, trns.Zeynelabidin Tatlıoğlu, 1996,ist,İnsan yay. p.62-63 :’ The nation of Arabs had strong memories, memorized quickly; their brains had fluent, pure and perfect characteristics of Arabs at that time. An Arab could recite hundreds of thousands of poems by heart, knew the family trees of the tribes and could list their names by heart, and knew their wars and history. There was almost nobody who could not list the names in their family trees, who did not memorize the ten Hanging Poems although it was very difficult to memorize them. When the Quran was sent down, Arabs were astonished by its strong statement, bright judgments and great sovereignty, and the Quran caught hold of their five senses and dominated their minds and thoughts. The Quran directed their efforts to the glorious book. They gave up memorizing poems and recited its chapters and verses because they found the spirit of the life in the Quran.... The companions competed with each other in reading and studying the Quran and tried really hard. They taught their wives and children to read the Quran in their houses. When someone passed by the houses of the companions at night, he would hear the voices of those who read the Quran like sounds of the bees. Sometimes, the Messenger of Allah passed by the houses of Ansar and stood there to listen to the Quran.
(4) al-Jumu’a 2
(5) The importance given to memorization went on in the period of Madinah too. The Messenger of Allah constantly encouraged memorization. Abu Musa’s narration in Bukhari: The Messenger of Allah said to Abu Musa: ‘You should have seen me while I was listening to you last night; you were indeed given a voice like Al-i Davud’
In Muslim, the following addition is present: Abu Musa said: ‘o Messenger of Allah! I swear by Allah that if I had known you were listening, I would have made it more beautiful.’
al-Bukhari and Muslim: The Messenger of Allah says ‘I know the houses of Ash’ari tribe at night from their soft voice reading the Quran.’
(6) al-A'la 6
(7) al-A'la 6
(8) Hamidullah, M / Rasulullah Muhammad p. 195
(9) (Abu Shahba,p.236),(as-Sabuni, p.68), (Shahhata,p.21)
(10) (Abu Shahba,p.236),(ar-Rumi, Ulumu’l-Qur’an p.89), (Shahhata,p.21)
(11) Hamidullah, M / Rasulullah Muhammad p. 197
(12) Hamidullah, M/ Rasulullah Muhammad p. 195
(13) The following is reported from Bara Ibn Azib: When the 95th verse of Chapter an-Nisa was sent down, the Messenger of Allah summoned Zayd. He told Zayd, who came there with writing instruments, to write that verse." In a long narration reported from Zayd Ibn Thabit, he says, “When he was near the Messenger of Allah, the state of revelation appeared and when that state ended, the Prophet said to him " Zayd! Write!". Thereupon, he took a shoulder bone and wrote the verse an-Nisa 95 up to “ajran azima”. Then, the state of revelation appeared again; when that state ended, the Prophet said to him, "read". When Zayd reached the word “wal Mujahidun", the Prophet said " ghayra ulid darar". (al-Bukhari/Fadail)
Zayd Ibn Thabit: We wrote the Quran in the style of Riqa in the presence of the Messenger of Allah." (Ibn Hanbal/ Musnad)
(14) al-Ankabut 48, al-A’raf 157
(15) Ibn Ishaq /as-Sira
(16) Hamidullah, M/ Rasulullah Muhammad p. 196
(17) Osman Ibn Abi'l-As: When I was near the Messenger of Allah, his eyes shone and looking at a fixed point, he said: Gabriel came to me and ordered me to put the verse an-Nahl 90 in its place." (Ibn Hanbal/ Musnad)
Ibn Abbas: Whenever a chapter was revealed, the Messenger of Allah would summon one or more of the revelation scribes and said to them: "Write these verses in the chapter that have those verses."(at-Tirmidhi)
(18) Hamidullah; M / Rasulullah Muhammad p. 196
(19) ( Tahir al-Jazairi, at-Tibyan, Beirut, 1412, p.101) (Abu Shama al-Maqdisi, Kitabu’l-Murshidi’l-Wajiz, Ank,1986, p.44).
(20) Zayd Ibn Thabit: ‘We wrote the Quran on leather near the Messenger of Allah.’
(21) Ibn Hajar/Fathu'l-Bari
(22) Hamidullah,M/ Rasulullah Muhammad p. 195
(23) There is a narration that in each Ramadan, Hazrat Prophet recited and compared the verses that were sent down until then. ( az-Zarqani, I,234, Abu Shahba, p.236). Çiçek,M.Halil, 20.Asırda Ku’ran İlimleri Çalışmaları,1996,İst,p.179-189
(24) Hamidullah, M./ Rasulullah Muhammad p.197
(25) We know that Mus’ab Ibn Umayr was sent to Yathrib with Ibn Umm Maktum as teachers before the Hegira. After the Hegira, Muadh went to Makkah as a teacher. According to the narration of Muadh, he appointed someone to teach the Quran to those who migrated to Madinah. Those who recited the Quran in the mosque, could cause the ones performing prayers to make mistakes. While he was alive, 70 huffaz were martyred in the incidence of Bir Mauna.
(26) Ibn Hanbal /Fadalilus-Sahaba; Ibn Kathir/ Tafsiru'l-Qur'an'il Azim
(27) al-Jahshitari/ Kitabu'l-Wuzara wa'l-Kuttab
(28) Ibn Qutayba/ al-Maarif al-Balazuri/Ansab; at-Tabari/ Ibn Abdibarr/ al-Baghdadi/ Ibn Abdirabbih/ Ibnu'l-Athir/ Usdu'l-Ghaba Ibn Taymiyya/Ibn Hajar
(29) al-Balazuri/ Ansab al-Yaqubi/ Ibn Abdirabbih/ en-Nawawi/ as-Siratu'n-Nebewiyya adh-Dhahabi/Nubala: records that he wrote Ayatal-Kursi. Ibn Tiqtaqa/ Ibn Kathir/ el-Fusul fi Ikhtisari'r-Rasul Fasi/ Ibn Hajar/ Taqribu't-Tahzib al-A'zami,Muhammad Mustafa/ Kuttabu n- Nabi
(31) al-Kattani,Abdulhay/Nizamu'l-Hukumati'n-Nabawiyya Aqqad, Abbas Mahmud/
(32) Çiçek, M. Halil, 20. Asırda Ku’ran İlimleri Çalışmaları, 1996, İst, p.179-189
(33) The differences of the mushaf of Ali originate from the fact that it was arranged in the order of revelation. There is no difference except the use of a few synonyms, which does not cause any change in the meaning. It is reported that he compiled a mushaf within the six months after the death of Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) upon the instruction of the Prophet. In that mushaf, the chapters were arranged in the order of revelation.
Abubakr Abdullah Ibn Abi Dawud, Suleyman al-Esh'as as-Sijistani /Kitabu'l-Masahif
(Arthur Jeffery Egypt 1936)
(34) as-Suyuti/ Ibn Shirin reported from İkrima. The narration is disputable. According to the narration of Ibn Shirin, there were abrogated verses in it.
(35) It is wrong to say that a limited number of people memorized the Quran by looking at the apparent meaning of the hadith reported from Anas in al-Bukhari and Muslim: ‘Four people had memorized the Quran when the Messenger of Allah was alive. All of them were from Ansar: Ubayy Ibn Ka’b, Muadh Ibn Jabal, Zayd Ibn Thabit, Abu Zayd.’ (Abu Zeyd is the uncle of Anas)
(36) Why Zayd? Because he was from the Qurra, he was a revelation scribe. He was present in the last arda (presentation).
(37) (Abu Shama, p.48-49) (al-Jazairi, p.99-100) ( az-Zarqani, I,235), ( Abu Shahba, al-Maakkal, 243-244) ( al-Kattan, p.124), (Zurzur, p.87)
(38) Among those who look for other reasons than the reason he mentioned are some scholars who think that the tendency toward memorization decreased.
(40) Ibn Hajar: What is meant by two witnesses is that the verse should be memorized and written.’
as-Sakawi: What is meant by two witnesses is that two people should witness that the verse was written in the presence of the Messenger of Allah.
(41) Abu Dawud/ (ar-Rumi, Ulumu’l-Qur’an, p.901) (al-Jazairi, p.100), (as-Sabuni,I,77)
(42) Abu Dawud/
(43) Abu Dawud/ (Itr, p.49), ( al-Kattan, p.126).
(44) (al-Asqalani, Fathu’l-Bari, Beirut, ) ( ar-Rumi, p.92).
(45) Hamidullah, M/ Rasulullah Muhammad p. 198
(46) ( Abu Shama, p.64) ( Abu Shahba, p.251-252).
(47) He is reported to have said: ‘The person to have the greatest reward about mushafs among men is Abu Bakr. May Allah have mercy on him, because he is the first person to compile the book of Allah.’
(48) (Shahhata, p.32).
(49) (al-Bukhari, III, 196).
(50)It is reported from bu Qilaba: When Uthman became the Caliph, he appointed teachers to teach the Quran. Each teacher taught his own pronunciation. When the students came together, they disagreed. The teachers almost accused each other of unbelief. When Uthman heard the incidence, he said the following in his sermon: You disagree with each other although you are near me. The disagreements of those who are in distant cities are probably more severe.
(51) (al-Bukhari, II,196-197)
(52) al-Bukhari/ jam’ul Quran, Narration of Anas Ibn Malik.
(53) Abu'sh-Shusa: We were sitting in the mosque. Ibn Masud was reciting the Quran. Just then, Huzayfa arrived and said." The reading style of Ibn Ummi Abd! The reading style of Abu Musa'l-Ash'ari, eh?! I swear by Allah, if I reach Uthman, I will ask him to combine them and determine one style.(Ibn Abi Dawud (316/928)
(56)Hamidullah, M/ Rasulullah Muhammad p. 198
(57) It is a weak possibility that the Mushaf in İstanbul Topkapı Palace is one of those copies. It attracts attention with the perfection of its writing and letters with sharp, right-angled corners. Hamidullah thinks it is, along with the one in Tashkent, one of those copies. (Rasullullah Muhammad p. 198).
(58) See :1st Compilation Period
(59) Schwally/ Die Sammlung des Qurans 2/93
(60) Muhammad et-Lafin du Monde p.125
(61) Ibn Kathir/ Fazailu'l-Qur'an
(62) Shibli,M/ Tahzibu'l-Akhlaq Magazine. 1913
(63) Hamidullah, M/ Rasulullah Muhammad p. 198
(64) Keskioğlu,Osman/Kur'an'ı Kerim Bilgileri
(65) Hamidullah, M/Rasulullah Muhammad p.198
(66) Its original is in French. It has 222 pages. Its scientific dimension is very vast and the scientific level of its content is quite high, it is a treasure of knowledge. The issues are dealt with objectively, in scientific seriousness, based completely on the truths of history and the Quran. It is written with a content that can answer the criticism of the enemies of the Quran. However, he does not mention their names or their criticism since he does not need to quote them.
(67) He searches the state of the text of the Quran after the death of the Prophet, in the period of Abu Bakr and Uthman. He records the objections of the orientalists and the answers to them, as it is the case in other chapters.
He deals with the problem of the multitude of the mushafs and he mentions the mushafs of Ibn Mas’ud, Ubay Ibn Kab, Ali Ibn Abi Talib, Ibn Abbas, Umar, Hafza, Aisha, Umm Salama, Abdullah Ibn Amr, Abdullah Ibn Zubayr, Abu Musa al-Ash’ari, Zayd Ibn Thabit, Anas Ibn Malik and Salim, the freed slave ofAbu Huzayfa. He examines the differences between the official Quran and them. He especially examines the mushafs of Ibn Abbas, Ubayy Ibn Kab, Ibn Masud and Ali in detail and compares the differences between them and the official Quran and writes that the differences are not so big at all as the orientalists exaggerate. At the end of the chapter, he refutes the claims of R. Blachere and others that the official Mushaf is a result of an aristocratic tendency. (p.262-266.)
Questions on Islam
- Why were the first written copies of the Quran eliminated?
- How the Qur'an was collected into "Mushaf" (Volume of collected sheets)?
- How was the Quran reproduced and how did the Prophet send envoys to other countries?
- Why did Allah send the Quran as the last book?
- Was a verse of the chapter of al-Ahzab not included in the Mushaf of Hafsa?
- Why was the Quran not compiled as a book while the Prophet was alive?
- Zayd bin Thabit (r.a.)
- How was the Quran were protected from distortion?
- What happened to the Quran (mushaf) books written during the caliphate of Hz. Uthman?
- How has the Qur’an remained free from distortion?