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History of the Quran

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Contents
1. Collection of the Qura#n A. The Classical View Section I: Phases of Collection i. Collection under the Prophet (sws) ii. Collection under Abu# Bakr (rta) iii. Collection under Uthma#n (rta)

Section I: Phases of Collection


As far as the collection of the Qura#n is concerned, one may distinguish three stages: i. Collection under the Prophet (sws) ii. Collection under Abu# Bakr (rta) iii. Collection under Uthma#n (rta) i. Collection under the Prophet (sws) During the time of the Prophet (sws), the Qura#n was collected in two ways: orally and in written form. The oral collection was based on H@ifz@ or memorization and the Prophet Muhammad (sws) himself was the first to commit a revelation to memory after the angel Gabriel had brought it to him. The Prophet (sws) then declared the revelation and instructed his Companions to memorize it. Zarkashi# records: 1


1. Zarkashi#, Burha#n, 2nd ed., vol. 1, (Beirut: Da#rul-Fikr, 1980), p. 241

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The Companions memorized the Qura#n in his [-- the Prophets --] life. Every portion of it was memorized by such a vast majority that the least of them reached the status of Tawatur2. The case of Ibn Masu#d (rta), who was the first man to publicly recite the Qura#n in Makkah, shows that even in the very early phase of the Islamic Ummah recital of the revelation from memory was practised by the Companions. It is also reported that Abu# Bakr (rta) used to recite the Qura#n publicly in front of his house in Makkah.3 Suyu#t@i# 4 mentions more than twenty well-known persons who memorized the revelation; among them were Abu# Bakr (rta), Umar (rta), Uthma#n (rta), Ali (rta)#, Ibn Masu#d (rta), Abu# Hurayrah (rta), Abdulla#h Ibn Abba#s (rta), Abdulla#h Ibn Amr Ibn al-A%s (rta)@, A%'ishah (rta), H@afs@ah (rta), and Ummi Salama (rta). From among these, the Prophet (sws) himself recommended especially the following:

:
Take [learn] the Qura#n from four: Abdulla#h Ibn Masu#d, Sa#lim, Mua#dh and Ubay Ibn Kaab'.5 H@a#fiz@ Dhahabi# has specified that most of the names of the companions which are found in history and have reached us through reliable means are those companions who memorized the Qura#n and recited it out to the Prophet (sws). As far as the companions are concerned, who memorized the Qura#n but whose names did not reach us, their number is much more.6 Not only was the Qura#n collected orally through memorization, but it was also written down during the lifetime of the Prophet (sws). The Qura#n itself contains many references. Of these the most prominent one is perhaps in Su#rah Furqa#n, where the Qura#n has narrated the view of the disbelievers according to which the
2. Tawatur: Transfer of knowledge by such a large number of people that no posibility of any falsehood exists. Mah@mu#d T~ah@h@a#n, Taysi#r Mus@t@alih@ul-H~adi#th, (Karachi: Qadi#mi# Kutub Kha#nah), p. 18 3. Suyu#t@i#, Itqa#n Fi# Ulu#mil-Qura#n, 2nd ed., vol. 1, (Bayda#r: Manshu#ra#t al-Rad@i#, 1343 AH), p. 247 4. Suyu#t@i#, Itqa#n Fi# Ulu#mil-Qura#n, 2nd ed., vol. 1, (Bayda#r: Manshu#ra#t al-Rad@i#, 1343 AH), p. 249 5. Suyu#t@i#, Itqa#n Fi# Ulu#mil-Qura#n, 2nd ed., vol. 1, (Bayda#r: Manshu#ra#t al-Rad@i#, 1343 AH), p. 244 6. Zarkashi#, Burha#n, 2nd ed., vol. 1, (Beirut: Da#rul-Fikr, 1980), p. 242

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Qura#n is a collection of old tales and the Prophet (sws) had had it written (25:5). The well-known report about Umars conversion shows that large passages of the revelation had already been written down even at a very early time, in Makkah, long before the H~ijrah, when the Prophet (sws) was still in the house of Arqam. Many Ah@a#di#th also record the compilation of the Qura#nic text in the lifetime of the Prophet (sws). The Prophet (sws) had appointed many scribes for this purpose. Zayd (rta) is reported to have said:


We used to compile the Qura#n from small scraps in the presence of the Messenger.7 Ah@adi#th mention the material on which the Qura#n was written consisted of: Usub ( ;) plural of Asi#b ( :) leafstalk of palm trees Likha#f ( ;) plural of Lakhfah ( :) stone Riqa# ( :) plural of Ruqah ( :)scraps of paper, skin or leather Qit@a al-Adi#m ( :) pieces of leather Akta#f ( ;) plural of Katif ( :) shoulder bones of camels Aqt@a#b ( ;) plural of Qat@ib (.).saddle wood Indeed, the Prophet (sws), when a revelation came, called for the scribe and dictated to him. While in Madi#nah, he had several such scribes at his disposal; among whom Zayd Ibn Thabit was very prominent. The Prophet (sws) himself supervised the order and arrangement of the verses within the Surahs of the Holy Qura#n. This new order was different from the chronological order:


There were periods in the life of the Prophet (sws) when several su#rahs were revealed simultaneously to him. So whenever a part of a su#rah would be revealed, he would call someone from among those who used to write for him and would say: Place these in the su#rah, in which this and this is mentioned.8
7. Suyu#t@i#, Itqa#n Fi# Ulu#mil-Qura#n, 2nd ed., vol. 1, (Bayda#r: Manshu#ra#t al-Rad@i#, 1343 AH), p. 202 8. Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal; Musnad Al-Asharah al-Mubashsharah

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Consequently, this indicates that not only was the revelation written down during the lifetime of the Prophet (sws), but that he himself gave instructions for the arrangement of the material. One copy of the material on which the Qura#n was written was placed in the Masjid-i-Nabawi# so that people could make their own copies from it or learn from it. The pillar of the mosque near which the Mus@h@af was placed was called the Ustuwanah-i-Mus@h@af (The Pillar of the Mus@h@af), and is referred to in various Ah@a#di#th; (See for example: S@ah@i#h@ Muslim: Kitabul-S@ala#h; S@ah@i#h@ Bukha#ri#: Kita#bul-S@ala#h). Till the death of the Prophet (sws), all the Qura#n had been written down though not in one bound volume. While explaining the reason for this Zarkashi# writes:

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In the time of the Prophet (sws), the Qura#n had not been collected in one bound volume so that it would not undergo repeated changes. So the final collection in written form was postponed until at the death of the Prophet (sws) when its revelation stopped.9 The completed Book was referred to by the Prophet (sws) in his last sermon in the following words:


I have left you something, which if you hold steadfast to, you will never fall into error something clearcut -- the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet.10 ii. Collection under Abu# Bakr (rta) Certain reports inform us that in the Battle of Yama#mah (11 AH/633AD), in the time of Abu# Bakr, a number of Muslims, who had memorized the Qura#n were killed. Hence it was feared that unless a written copy of the Qura#n were prepared, a large part of the revelation might be lost. The following is the account in the S@ah@i#h Bukha#ri#:


9. Zarkashi#, Burha#n, 2nd ed., vol. 1, (Beirut: Da#rul-Fikr, 1980), p. 244 10. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, vol. 4, (Da#rul-Khair), p. 191

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Mu#sa# Ibn Ismai#l narrates from Ibra#hi#m Ibn Saad who narrates from Ibn Shiha#b Zuhri# who narrates from Ubayd Ibn Sabba#q who narrates from Zayd Ibn Tha#bit Al-Ans@a#ri#, one of the scribes of the revelation: Abu# Bakr sent for me after the casualties among the warriors [of the battle] of Yama#mah. Umar was present with Abu# Bakr who said: Umar has come to me and said: the people have suffered heavy casualties on the day of [the battle of] Yama#mah, and I am afraid that there will be some casualties among the Qurra# at other places, whereby a large part of the Qura#n may be lost, unless you collect it. And I am of the opinion that you should collect the Qura#n. Abu# Bakr asked Umar: How can I do something which Allahs Apostle has not done? Umar said: [to him]: By Allah, it is [really] a good thing. Abu# Bakr said: 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 Umars. Abu# Bakr said [to me]: 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 Revelation for Allahs Apostle. Therefore, look for the Qura#n and collect it. 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 Qura#n. I said to both of them: How dare you do a thing which the Prophet has not done? Abu# Bakr said: By Allah, it

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is [really] a good thing. So I kept on arguing with him about it till Allah opened my bosom for that for which He had opened the bosoms of Abu# Bakr and Umar. So I started locating the Qura#nic material and collecting it from parchments, scapula bones, leafstalks of date palms and from the memories of men. I found with Abu# Khuzaymah two verses of Su#rah Tawbah which I had not found with anybody else [and they were]: Verily there has come to you an Apostle [Muhammad] from among yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He [Muhammad] is ardently anxious over you [to be rightly guided], (9:128).11 Here we can distinguish the following steps, which led to the preparation of the S@uh@uf: 1. Abu# Bakr (rta) directed Zayd (rta) to collect the Qura#n in one place. 2. Zayd (rta) collected it from various written materials and the memories of people in the form of S@uh@uf (eg. S@ah@i#fah). S@uh@uf means loose pieces of writing material, such as paper, skin, papyrus, etc. In these s@uh@uf the order of the verses within each su#rah had been fixed by the Holy Prophet (sws) as explained earlier, but the sheets with the su#rahs on them were still in a loose arrangement, ie. not bound into a volume. 3. The last verses of Su#rah Tawbah were only found with Abu# Khuzaymah. 4. The sheets thus prepared were kept with Abu# Bakr (rta), then Umar (rta), then H@afs@ah (rta). iii. Collection Under Uthma#n (rta) During the time of Uthma#n (rta) differences in reading the Qura#n became obvious, and after consultation with the Companions, Uthma#n (rta) had a standard copy prepared from the s@uh@uf of Abu# Bakr (rta) that was kept with H@afs@ah (rta) at that time. The following is the report transmitted in the S@ah@i#h@ Bukha#ri#:


11. Bukha#ri#: Ba#b Jamul-Qura#n

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Mu#sa# narrates from Ibra#hi#m Ibn Saad who narrates from Ibn Shiha#b Zuhri# who narrates from Anas Ibn Ma#lik: H~udhayfah Ibn Al-Yama#n came to Uthma#n at the time when he was fighting against the people of Syria with the people of Iraq in the conquest of Arminya and Adharbaija#n. H~udhayfah was afraid of their differences in the recitation of the Qura#n; so he said to Uthma#n: O chief of the believers! Save this nation before they differ about the Book [the Qura#n], as Jews and the Christians did before. So Uthma#n sent a message to H~afs@ah saying: Send us the manuscripts of the Qura#n so that we may compile the Qura#nic materials in perfect copies and return the manuscripts to you. H~afs@ah sent it to Uthma#n. Uthma#n then ordered Zayd Ibn Tha#bit, Abdulla#h Ibn Zubayr, Sai#d Ibn Al-A%s@ and Abdul Rah@ma#n Ibn H~a#rith to rewrite the manuscripts in perfect copies. Uthma#n said to the three Quraysh men: In case you disagree with Zayd Ibn Tha#bit on any point in the Qura#n, write it in the dialect of the Quraysh as the Qura#n was revealed in their tongue. They did so, and when they had written many copies, Uthma#n returned the original manuscripts to H~afs@ah. Uthma#n sent to every Muslim province one copy of what they had copied, and ordered that all the other Qura#nic materials whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt. Zayd Ibn Tha#bit added: A verse from Su#rah Ah@za#b was missed by me when we made copies of Qura#n and I used to hear Allahs Apostle reciting it. So we searched for it and found it with Khuzaymah Ibn Tha#bit Ans@a#ri#. [That verse was]: Among the believers are men who have been true in their covenant with Allah (33:23).We placed these verses at their place in the Mus@h@af. The following events led to the preparation of the Mus@h@af of Uthma#n (rta): 1. Disputes had arisen among the Muslims about the correct manner of reciting the Qura#n. Various reasons have been cited for these disputes: a. The different dialects of Arabic in Arabia. The Banu# Qays for example would

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say sheen ( )in place of the feminine address by the letter kaf ( .)Example (19:24) ( Your Lord has provided a water stream under you) would be read as . b. The Seven Ah@ruf (For details see the following section) c. The difference in accent and pronunciation of certain Arabic alphabets by various tribes. d. Some people had the initial chronological reading of the Qura#n with them which was different from the final one. e. Vowel sounds ( )were missing. 2. Uthma#n (rta) borrowed the S@uh@uf, which were kept with Hafsa (sws). 3. Uthma#n (rta) ordered four Companions, among them Zayd Ibn Tha#bit (rta), to rewrite the script in perfect copies. Mus@h@af (pl. Mas@a#h@if) means the collected S@uh@uf, brought together into a fixed order, such as between two covers, into a volume called a Mus@h@af. In a Mus@h@af both the order of the verses within each su#rah as well as the order of the su#rahs were fixed. 4. A verse of Su#rah Ah@za#b was missing in the original Mus@h@af. 5. Uthma#n (rta) sent these copies to the main centres of the Muslims to replace other materials that were in circulation. Moreover, it is evident from various reports that the copies made at this time were different from each other in some respects. Many authorities like Ibn Taymiyyah are of the view that this was to accommodate the seven Ah@ruf (see the next section) of the Qura#n. The classical view can be summarized thus:
During the life of the Prophet (sws) (570-632 AD)

The Prophet (sws) and many of his companions memorized the Qura#n. Each verse received was recited by the Prophet (sws), and its placement relative to other verses and sura#hs was identified by him. The verses were written by scribes, selected by the Prophet (sws), on any suitable object -- the leaves of trees, pieces of wood, parchment or leather, flat stones, and shoulder blades of animals. Several hundred companions memorized the Qura#n by heart. The Qura#n in the time of the Prophet (sws) was not bound in a single volume because there was always a chance of the arrival of a new revelation.
During the caliphate of Abu# Bakr (rta) (632-634 AD)

Umar (rta) urged Abu# Bakr (rta) to preserve and compile the Qura#n after many reciters had died in the battle of Yama#mah. Abu# Bakr (rta) entrusted Zayd Ibn Tha#bit (rta) with the task of collecting the

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Qura#n. Zayd (rta), with the help of the companions who memorized and wrote verses of the Qura#n, accomplished the task and handed Abu# Bakr (rta) the first authenticated copy of the Qura#n. The copy was kept in the residence of H@afs@ah (rta), daughter of Umar (rta) and wife of the Prophet (sws).
During the caliphate of Uthma#n (rta) (644-656 AD)

Uthma#n (rta) ordered Zayd Ibn Tha#bit (rta), Abdulla#h Ibn Zubayr (rta), Sai#d Ibn A%s (rta) and Abdul-Rah@ma#n Ibn H@a#rith Ibn H@isha#m (rta) to make perfect copies of the authenticated copy kept with H@afs@ah (rta). This was due to the rapid expansion of the Islamic state and concern about differences in recitation. Copies were sent to various places in the Muslim world. The original copy was returned to H@afs@ah (rta).
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Contents
1. Collection of the Qura#n A. The Classical View Section II: Some Related Issues i. The Extraneous Verses ii. The Seven Ah@ruf iii. The Variant Readings

Section II: Some Related Issues


i. The Extraneous Verses There exists a consensus among Muslim scholars that there are some verses of the Qura#n which do not exist in it yet are operational. In technical parlance, they are called Mansu#khul-Tila#wah Du#nal-H@ukm (whose reading has been withdrawn but whose ruling still exists). Writes A%midi#:


Scholars unanimously concede that there are verses which do not exist in the Qura#n whose directive still remains.12 In this regard, the most striking example is the verse of stoning found in some of the major books of H~adi#th literature. One of its texts is reported as follows:


12. A%midi#, Al-Ah@ka#m Fi# Us@u#lil-Ah@ka@m, vol. 2, (Beirut: Da#rul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1980), p. 201

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.Umar said: Refrain from destroying yourself by denying the verse of stoning Matters should not reach the stage that people should begin to say: We do not .find mention of two punishments (stripes and stoning) in the Book of Allah No doubt the Prophet did Rajam (stoning to death) and so did we. I swear by Him in whose hands is my life that if I were not fearful of the fact that people would say that Umar has made an addition in the Book of Allah, I would have written the verse: Stone to death the old man guilty of fornication and the old woman guilty of fornication in the Qura#n. The reason is that we ourselves 31.]have recited this verse [from the Qura#n ii. The Seven Ah~ruf


Yah@ya# narrates from Ma#lik who narrates from Ibn Shiha#b Zuhri# who narrates from Urwah Ibn Zubayr who narrates from Abdul-Rah@ma#n Ibn AbdulQa#ri# that Umar Ibn Khat@t@a#b said before me: I heard Hisha#m Ibn H@aki#m Ibn H@iza#m reading Su#rah Furqa#n in a different way from the one I read it, and the
13. Muat@t@a#, Kita#bul-H@udu#d

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Prophet (sws) himself had read out this su#rah to me. Consequently, as soon as I heard him, I wanted to get hold of him. However, I gave him respite until he had finished the prayer. Then I got hold of his cloak and dragged him to the Prophet (sws). I said to him: I have heard Hisha#m Ibn H@aki#m Ibn H@iza#m reading Su#rah Furqa#n in a different way from the one you had read it out to me. The Prophet (sws) said: Leave him alone [O Umar]. Then he said to Hisha#m: "Read [it]. [Umar says:] He read it out in the same way as he had done before me. [At this,] the Prophet (sws) said: It was revealed thus. Then the Prophet (sws) asked me to read it out. So I read it out. [At this], he said: It was revealed thus. This Qura#n has been revealed on seven Ah@ruf. You can read it in any of them you find easy from among them.14 Suyu#t@i# has enumerated about forty interpretations attributed to this H@adi#th15. Following are some of the ones he has discussed:

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1. Its meaning cannot be understood because the word h@arf is used for letters of the alphabet, for a group of words (kalimah), for meaning of some word and for some aspect.


2. It means seven readings. This has been criticized on the grounds that very little verse constructions are found in the Qura#n which can be read in seven ways.

: .
3. It means various types of pronunciation. Among its types are: Idgha#m u Iz@ha#r, Tafkhi##m u Tarqi##q, Ima#lah wa Ishba#, Madd wa Qas@r, Tashdi#d wa Takhfif#, Talyi#n wa Tah@qi#q.


4. It means seven dialects. This is the opinion of Abu Ubayd, Thalab, Az@hari#
14. Muat@t@a#, Ma# Ja# Fil-Qura#n 15. Suyu#t@i#, Itqa#n Fi# Ulu#mil-Qura#n, 2nd ed., vol. 1, (Bayda#r: Manshu#ra#t al-Rad@i#, 1343 AH), pp. 164-176

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and some others. Ibn Attiyyah also holds this view and Bahqi# has also endorsed it in his Shubul-Ima#n. This view has been criticized on the grounds that the dialects found in Arabia were more than seven. This criticism has been answered by the fact that seven eloquent dialects are implied here.


5. Seven Ah@ruf mean Mut@laq and Muqayyad (unconditional and conditional) , A%m and Kha#s@ (general and specific), Nas@s@ and Muawwal (certain and derived), Na#sikh and Mansu#kh (abrogater and abrogated), Istithna# (exception) and its types.


6. It means H@azf-i-S@ilah (suppression of the preposition), Taqdi#m u Ta#khir# (prepositioning and post-positioning), Istaa#rah (metaphor), Takra#r (repetition), Kina#yah wal H@aqi#qah wal Maja#z (realism and symbolism), Mujmal wal Mufas@s@al (the compact and the detailed), Zahir wal Gharib (The evident and the rare). This is the opinion of the linguists. iii. The Variant Readings Reading and reciting of the Qura#n has been done since revelation began, and the Prophet (sws) was the first to recite it. After his death, the recitation continued through his Companions. Among the famous readers from whom many of the Ta#bi'u#n learnt were Ubay Ibn Kaab (rta), Ali# (rta), Zayd Ibn Tha#bit (rta), Ibn Masu#d (rta), Abu# Musa# Ashari# (rta) and many others. Later on, with Muslims settling in many parts of the world, the Qura#n was recited in a variety of ways, some of which were not in accordance with the accepted text and the transmitted readings from the Prophet (sws) and the Companions. This necessitated a thorough screening and distinction between what is S@ah@i#h@ (sound) and what is Sha#dh (exceptional). It is said that the first person to record these sound readings in the form of a book was Abu# Ubayd Qa#sim Ibn Sala#m (d:224 AH). He recorded twenty five readings; Abu# Jafar T@abari# (d:310 AH) recorded over twenty readings, while it was Abu# Bakr Ibn Muja#hid (d: 324 AH) who selected the seven famous ones16 . These seven readings became famous through their readers. They are: Place Reader Transmitter

16.. For further details see Ibn al-Jazari#, Al-Nashr Fil-Qira#a#t al-ahsr, vol. 1, (Egypt: Maktabah al-Tujja#riyyah), pp. 33-35

History of the Quran 1 Madi#nah 2 Makkah 3 Damascus 4 Bas@rah 5 Ku#fah 6 Ku#fah 7 Ku#fah

Module 2 Warsh (197/812)

Na#fi (169/785) Ibn Kathi#r (120/737) Ibn A%mir (118/736) Abu# Amr (148/770) A%s@im (127/744) H@amzah (156/772) Kisa#i# (189/804)

H@afs@ (180/796)

Readings No. 1 and 5 are of particular importance: the reading transmitted by Warsh is widespread in North Africa, except Egypt, where, as now in almost all other parts of the Muslim world, the reading transmitted by H@afs@ is observed. The number selected by Ibn Muja#hid (seven) has been objected to by many scholars since this number has led people to think that these seven were the same as the seven Ah@ruf on which the Qura#n was supposed to have been revealed:

: . : . :
Abu# Sha#mah has said: A group of people say that the seven readings found today are the ones implied by the seven Ah@ruf mentioned in the Ah@a#di#th. However, this is totally against the consensus of the scholars of Islam. This view has arisen only among certain ignorant people. Abu# Abba#s Ibn Amma#r has said: The compiler of the seven readings has done an inappropriate thing. As a result, the masses are faced with a complex situation. People with little knowledge think that the seven Ah@ruf mean the seven readings. Ibn Muja#hid should have either selected a number greater than seven or a number less than seven to avoid this confusion.17 Muslim scholars have laid down three criteria for the acceptance of any qira#'at (reading): 1. Correctness according to Arabic grammar. 2. Agreement with any of the Uthma#nic codices (copies made by Uthma#n). 3. Traced back reliably to the Prophet (sws). Jazari# says:
17. Suyu#t@i, Itqa#n Fi# Ulu#mil-Qura#n, 2nd ed., vol. 1, (Bayda#r: Manshura#tull-Rad@i#, 1313 AH), p. 274

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Any reading which is grammatically correct by any means18 , is according to the script of the Uthma#nic codices in any way19 and whose chain of narration is S@ah@i#h@ cannot be rejected. In fact, it is from among the seven Ah@ruf on which the Qura#n was revealed whether the reading be narrated from the seven great readers or the ten or anyone of acknowledged status besides these.20

It is further understood that:


When any of these three criteria is not fulfilled for a reading then such a reading shall be considered weak, or unknown (Sha#zah), or unacceptable whether it be from the seven readers or the ten or from those who are even greater than these. This is the correct opinion according to the researchers of the past and recent times.21 Zarkashi# has outlined seven areas in which differences among various readings are found. 22 Following is a summary of these differences: i. Difference in Haraka#t (pronunciation of a word) and Ira#b (vowel sounds)
18. That is even if its construction is not Fas@i#h@ (eloquent). See Ibn al-Jazari#, Al-Nashr Fil-Qira#a#t al-ahsr, vol. 1, (Egypt: Maktabah al-Tujja#riyyah), p. 10 19. An example to illustrate this condition is the word Malik and Ma#lik. Since Arabic word (mi#m) when written between two letters is without an alif (the elongated vowel sound) in these scripts, both these readings, it is alleged, are possible. See Ibnul-Jazari#, al-Nashr Fil-Qira#a#t al-ahsr, vol. 1, (Egypt: Maktabah al-Tujja#riyyah), p. 11 20. Ibnul-Jazari#, Al-Nashr Fil-Qiraa#t al-ahsr, vol. 1, (Egypt: Maktabah alTujjariyyah), p. 9). 21. Ibnul-Jazari#, Al-Nashr Fil-Qiraa#t al-ahsr, vol. 1, (Egypt: Maktabah alTujjariyyah), p. 9. One can estimate this period considering that Ibn al-Jazari# died in 833 AH 22. Zarkashi#, Burha#n, 2nd ed., vol. 1, (Beirut: Da#rul-Fikr, 1980), p. 334-6. Regarding iv and v Zarkashi# has specified that these variations cannot be accepted since they are against the script of the Uthma#nic codices.

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which does not change the shape of the word and also does not change the meaning: Example of the former (Haraka#t) is al-Bukhl and al-Bakhal() )in the following verse: Hamzah and Kisa##i have read it as al-Bakhl ( (4:37) ( Those who are miserly and direct others to be miserly as well). Example of the latter (Ira#b) is that Na#fi and Ibn Kathi#r have read the following verse: (34:17) ( Do we punish except the disbelievers) as ( Are those punished except the disbelievers). ii. Difference in vowel sounds which does not change the shape of the word but changes the meaning Example: Ibn Abba#s has read the following verse: (12:45) ( He remembered him after some time) as ( He remembered him after being forgetful) iii. Difference in the letters of the alphabet which changes the meaning without a change in the vowel sounds: Example: Na#fi and Ibn Kathi#r have read the following: (2:259) ( How we bring together his bones) as ( How we bring his bones back to life) iv. Differences which change the shape of the word without changing its meaning Example: Ibn Masud has read the following verse: (36:29) ( It was one great scream) as ( It was one great scream) v. Differences which change the shape of the words as well as its meaning: Example(32:1-2): ( Alif La#m Mi#m. The revelation of the Book) has been read in place of ( Alif La#m Mi#m. This is the Book.) vi. Differences which change the order of words in a verse: Example: Ibn Masu#d has read (50:19) ( And the stupor of death will come most certainly) as ( The stupor of certainty will come with death) vii. Differences due to addition or deletion of words23 Example: Nafi has read (57:24) ( Indeed it is God who is
23. Here Zarkashi# has specified that addition or deletion can only be accepted if it is in accordance with any one of the Uthma#nic codices. Since the example cited is, therefore it will be accepted.

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free of all needs, worthyof all praise) as ( Indeed God is free of all needs, worthyof all praise) _______________

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Contents
1. Collection of the Qura#n B. The Contemporary View Section I: Collection in the Light of the Qura#n Section II: A Critique of the Classical View i. The Collection under Abu# Bakr (rta) ii. The Collection under Uthma#n (rta)

Section I: Collection in the Light of the Qura#n


The Qura#n was gradually revealed in a period of about twenty three years to the Prophet Muhammad (sws). The Qura#n records the established historical fact that it was collected and compiled before the Prophet (sws) left for his heavenly abode. The verses which record this testimony of the Qura#n24 must be understood in the context and background of the whole Qura#n: The Prophet (sws), as is evident from the Qura#n, was desirous of the fact that his addressees accept faith. During the course of his hectic struggle to achieve this end, he encountered stiff opposition from the People of the Book and from the Quraysh. However, if this hostility impelled him to increase his efforts on the one hand, it also created in him the yearning to receive the whole of the Qura#n as soon as possible because he
24. In recent times, Fara#hi# (d:1930), a scholar from the subcontinent, has vehemently presented this testimony of the Qura#n. Though he was not the first one to direct the attention of Muslim scholarship towards it, yet the way in which he has presented it entitles him to be placed among the pioneers of this view. For details see: Farahi, Majmu ah Tafsir, 1st ed., (Lahore: Faran Foundation, 1991), 206-213

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thought that the whole and completed message might answer all the questions and doubts raised by his opponents and induce them to accept faith. Furthermore, the piecemeal revelation of the Qura#n was objected to by the Quraysh25 . They tauntingly commented on this in the following words:

(:)
Why is not the Qura#n revealed to him all at once? Thus [is it revealed] that We may strengthen your heart thereby, and We have revealed it gradually and painstakingly. (25:32) As is evident from the later part of the verse, the Prophet (sws) is solaced by the Almighty that for his proper education and instruction and for that of the people, a gradual process of revealing divine decrees has been employed. Consequently, at various places in the Qura#n, he is told to exercise resolve and patience until the whole of the Qura#n is revealed to him:

(- :)
Be not in haste with the Qura#n before its revelation is completed to you and pray: O Lord advance me in knowledge. (20:113-4) The initial verses of Su#rah Ala# portray another instance where the Prophet (sws) is told to exercise patience about receiving the whole of the Qura#n. He is cited two distinct examples which shed light on a common law of nature: there exists the principle of gradual progression and development in all the phenomena of nature. Everything reaches its culmination after passing through various stages. Consequently, he need not worry. The revelation of the Qura#n will also be gradually completed after passing through various stages:

(- :)
Glorify the name of your Lord, Most High [O Prophet], Who created [all
25. They did this in order to lend credibility to their contention that some others were also involved in the preparation of the Qura#n and that whenever a section was completed, it was presented: And the disbelievers say: This is but a lie that he has forged, and others have helped him in it. (25:4)

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things], then perfected [them], and Who set their destinies [for them], then [accordingly] showed them the way [to follow], and Who brought forth vegetation, then made it lush green. [In a similar manner, this divine revelation will also gradually reach its end, then] soon We shall [finally] recite it to you; then you will not forget except what Allah pleases. (87:1-8) With this background, consider now the following verses of the Qura#n which are in fact similar to the above quoted verses ((20:113-4) and (87:1-19)) in their purport. Since everytime a revelation, the Prophet (sws) thought in anticipation that the remaining Qura#n would be revealed to him, he would move his tongue swiftly to acquire the revelation thinking that the more swiftly he would move his tongue the more swiftly would the remaining portion (ie all of what was left of the Qura#n to be revealed) be given to him. 75:16-19 direct the Prophet (sws) to exercise patience until all the Qura#n is revealed. The assurance provided to the Prophet (sws) is through a forceful declaration of the whole scheme of the Almighty about the revelation of the Qura#n. He is assured that it is the responsibility of the Almighty to collect and compile the Qura#n as well as to recite it to him in a certain sequence. It is the Almighty Himself who will preserve the text of the Qura#n as well as the mode of its recital:

:) (-
[To reveal to them, as soon as possible, the whole of the Qura#n O Prophet!] do not move your tongue swiftly to acquire this [Qura#n]. Verily, upon Us is its collection and recital. So when We have recited it, follow this recital [of Ours]. Then upon Us is to explain it [wherever need be].26 (75:16-19)
26. These verses are generally interpreted by most commentators in a different way. Technically speaking, the antecedent of the genitive pronoun hi# in the construction li tajala bihi#, in their opinion, refers to the part of the Qura#n which was revealed on one occasion. Consequently, according to them the verse means that the haste shown by the Prophet (sws) concerned receiving part of the Qura#n which was meant to be revealed on a particular occasion. The reason for this haste was that the Prophet (sws) feared that the part of the Qura#n being revealed to him on an occasion might get lost. This view is actually based on a H~adi#th narrated by Ibn Abba#s and recorded in most books of H~adi#th. It says that the Prophet (sws), due to the above mentioned reason, would start repeating the words of the revelation rapidly as soon as Gabriel recited them to him. Thereupon, he was instructed by the Almighty to refrain from moving his tongue rapidly since the Almighty Himself had taken the responsibility of safely collecting it in his heart. In contrast to this, Fara#hi# argues that in the light of the context of the Qura#n and other parallel verses (25:32, 20:113-4), the

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Let us now reflect simultaneously on these verses and on the following verse of Su#rah Ala # already quoted before:

(- :)
Soon We shall [finally] recite it [ -- the Qura#n ] to you; then you will not forget it except what Allah pleases. (87:7-8) As a result, we arrive at the following conclusions about the whole Qura#nic scheme of its own collection and compilation: 1. The Qura#n was given piecemeal to the Prophet (sws) according to the circumstances which arose and which required divine guidance. 2. Its chronological revelation is of no significance. It was arranged in a new sequence by the Almighty. Once its initial revelation was over, the Almighty through archangel Gabriel read it out to the Prophet (sws) a second time. In this second recital, temporary directives were revised or deleted permanently. 3. This final arrangement and recital was done once the Qura#n had been collected and compiled. It was read out to Prophet (sws) in a manner that it was rendered absolutely secure from any loss or doubt: it was written and memorized in this final sequence. 4. After this final recital, the Prophet (sws) was bound by the Almighty to follow this recital only. He was not allowed to read it according to the previous recital. 5. In this final recital, if any directive needed further explanation, it was furnished by the Almighty Himself at this time of compilation27 . Consequently, it is clear from the Qura#n that its collection was completed in the very life of the Prophet (sws) by the Almighty. The final recital of the Qura#n, which has been termed as the Ard@a-i-akhi#rah (the final presentation)28 by our
reason the Prophet (sws) showed haste was that he wanted to receive the whole of the Qura#n (and not the part revealed on one occasion) in order to silence the questions and objections raised by his opponents. The second thing which is to be noted in these verses is that the verb jamaa does not mean that the Qura#n was collected in the heart of the Prophet (sws) as most commentators contend; such figurative use of the word requires some textual indication. On the contrary, it refers to the collection of the Qura#n in the form of a book by the Almighty. 27. Consequently, according to Fara#hi#, verses which generally begin with the words Kadha#lika Yubiyyinul Alla#h (See for example: 2:187, 2:219. 2:266, 3:103, 24:58, 24:61) were placed in this final stage of compilation to explain and elucidate a previously sent down verse. 28. It is evident from the Ah@a#di#th literature that each year in the month of Ramad@a#n,

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scholars, constitutes the whole of the Qura#n as revealed to Muhammad (sws). It is known that the final version of the Qura#n was recited out in the last Ramad@a#n of the Prophet (sws). It is also known that the Prophet (sws) died six months later in the month of Rabi#ul Awwal. Sense and reason demand that the whole of the Qura#n would have been bound in one volume in this period and several bound copies would then have been made of the original volume to facilitate education, memorization and preaching of the Divine Book.

Section II: A Critique of the Classical View


i. Criticism on the Collection under Abu Bakr (rta) The report(s) that mention the collection under Abu# Bakr (rta) cannot be accepted on the following grounds: 1. An astonishing thing which strikes any person who reads this report is that the companions of the Prophet (sws) were apparently not fully alive to the importance of the collection of the Qura#n. If the Qura#n had not been collected in one place in the time of the Prophet (sws) as alleged, it seems very befitting that the very first task they should have set before themselves after the Prophets death was to collect and collate their divine book. Instead, they, as this narrative says, only embarked upon this job after the battle of Yama#mah, which was fought almost a year after the Prophets death. Moreover, it is evident from the narrative that had Umar (rta) not insisted on this collection, it might never have taken place. Abu# Bakr (rta) and Zayd Ibn Tha#bit (rta) both were reluctant and Umar (rta) had to really assert himself many times before the point could be driven home. All this of course is against common sense and very difficult to believe. Moreover, it questions the integrity of the companions, which is beyond doubt. 2. The report mentions that the real reason which induced the companions to collect the Qura#n was the death of many reciters of the Qura#n in the battle of Yama#mah. It is historically known that out of those killed, there were just 40 companions of the Prophet (sws), which of course should be no cause of any alarm. The historian Ibn Athi#r29 (d: 690 AH) has recorded these names. Among
archangel Gabriel would recite to the Prophet (sws) the portion of the Qura#n revealed until then. In the last Ramad@a#n of the Prophets life, he twice recited the whole of the Qura#n to the Prophet (sws). Abu# Hurayrah narrates: The Prophet (sws) was read out the Qura#n each year. However, in the year he died, it was read out to him twice. (Bukha#ri#, Kita#b Fad@ailul-Qura#n) # 29. Ibn Athi#r, Al-Ka#mil Fil-Ta#ri#kh, 1st ed, vol. 2, (Beirut: Dar Beirut, 1965), pp. 366-7. See also (i) Tamanna# Ima#di#, Jamul-Qura#n, (Karachi: Al-Rah@ma#n Publishing Trust,

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these also, the only famous compiler of the Qura#n to be killed was Sa#lim (rta). If the Qura#n was present in the memories of people, the loss of such an insignificant amount of H@uffa#z@ could not have mattered. 3. According to this report, such a monumental task was entrusted just to one companion: Zayd Ibn Tha#bit (rta). Many other companions senior to him in age and companionship like the wives of the Prophet (sws), Abdulla#h Ibn Masu#d (rta), Ubayyi Ibn Kaab (rta), Mua#dh Ibn Jabal (rta), most of whom had witnessed the whole of the revelation period, were quite strangely not even consulted. Zayd (rta) was just eleven years old at the time of migration, and it is well known that he did not even belong to the Quraysh in whose tongue the Qura#n was revealed and written. 4. The last part of the narrative is quite incomprehensible: the closing verses of Su#rah Tawbah were only found with Khuzaymah Ans@a#ri# (rta). Notwithstanding the fact that in various other texts of the narrative, the name Abu# Khuzaymah (rta) is found, and while some texts mention that only one verse was found with him while others say that two verses were found, this last part is against the Qura#n and established history. The written Qura#n existed in its complete form in the time of the Prophet (sws). 5. If this collection by Abu# Bakr (rta) was a personal endeavour, then of course it loses its real importance, and if it was done at the official level, then we are confronted with another nagging question: Why did not the first caliph make arrangements to implement this as the official script? Apparently, he did not even order to make copies of it. Not even Umar (rta), the second caliph, undertook this task. 6. Another question which arises pertains to the custody of the collected text. If it is accepted that the collection of Abu# Bakr (rta) was done at the state level then the question arises: Why was the collected Qura#n not transferred to Uthma#n (rta) after the death of Umar (rta)? Instead, we find that it was given into the custody of H~afs@ah (rta), one of the Prophets wives. Furthermore, Uthman (rta) not even demanded it from H~afs@ah (rta) until after the war against the people of Armenia and Azerbaijan. 7. Narratives which describe the Uthma#nic recension (see below) tell us that this collection done by Zayd Ibn Tha#bit (rta) was faulty and incomplete since certain verses of Su#rah Ah@za#b were not found in it, as was known later. In other words, even if it is accepted that Zayd (rta) was given some assignment of collection, what comes to light is that the written text of Zayd (rta), was quite unbelievably, not even checked for mistakes!
1994), ps. 128-130 and (ii) Mufti# Abdul Lati#f Rah@ma#ni#, Ta#ri#khul-Qura#n, 1st ed., (Lahore: Progressive Books), p. 129.

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8. If the chain of narrators of this report is considered, it comes to light that it is a weak report. In the science of H~adi#th, such a narrative is called Ghari#b30 . There is only one narrator in each of its first three links. Only Zayd Ibn Tha#bit (rta) narrates it. From Zayd (rta), only Ubayd Ibn Sabba#q narrates it, and from Ubayd Ibn Sabba#q, only Ibn Shiha#b Zuhri# narrates it.31 In other words, for almost three generations this report was only known to very few people. This is quite strange keeping in view the gravity of its contents. 9. No text of this report is without the controversial personality of Ibn Shiha#b Zuhri# (See Appendix I) in its chain of narrators. This of course makes the very origin of this report as suspect and questionable. 10. Two of the earliest books on Muslim history The T~abaqa#t of Ibn Saad (d: 230 AH)32 , and Ta#ri#khul-Umam wa Al-Malu#k of Ibn Jari#r T~abari# (d: 310 AH)33 contain no reference to the events reported in this report. Ibn Saad34 gives an elaborate treatment to the life and times of Abu# Bakr (rta), Uthman (rta) and Zayd Ibn Tha#bit (rta). T~abari# mentions the revolt of Musayalamah with considerable detail35 . However, nowhere do these two historians mention any collection of the Qura#n under Abu# Bakr (rta). The absence of any reference to the events reported in this narrative in these two earliest books of Islamic history is indeed very strange. The collection of the Qura#n by Abu# Bakr (rta) was by no means an insignificant event and deserved mention if it ever took place. 11. The earliest book on H~adi#th, the Muat@t@a# of Imam Ma#lik (d: 179 AH)36 also is devoid of any such report. Even the S~ahi#h@ of Imam Muslim (d: 261 AH)37 , the celebrated scholar of H~adi#th and a student of Imam Bukha#ri# himself does not mention this report. ii. Criticism on the Collection of Uthman (rta) The following observations and questions merit serious consideration on the Utma#nic collection, and unless sound answers are given to them, this report also cannot be accepted: 1. After the death of the Prophet (sws), sense and reason demand that the written
30. A narrative in which one, some or all the steps (Tabaqa#t) there is only one narrator. Mah@mu#d T~ah@h@a#n, Taysi#r Mus@t@alih@ul-H~adi#th, (Karachi: Qadi#mi# Kutub Kha#nah), p. 27 31. For more details see Tamanna# Ima#di#, Jamul-Qura#n, (Karachi: Al-Rah@ma#n Publishing Trust, 1994), pp. 120-151 32. See Al-Ala#m, Zarqali#, vol. 3, (Beirut: Da#rul-Ilm Al-Malla#yi#n, 1992), p. 82 33. See Al-Ala#m, Zarqali#, vol. 3, (Beirut: Da#rul-Ilm Al-Malla#yi#n, 1992), p. 224 34. See: Ibn Saad, T@abaqa#t, vol. 3, (Beirut: Da#r Beirut. 1957), pp. 181-213 35. See T@abari#, Ta#ri#khul-Umam wa Al-Malu#k, vol. 3, (Da#rul-Fikr, 1979), pp. 243-54 36. Al-Ala#m, Zarqali#, vol. 5, (Beirut: Da#rul-Ilm Al-Malla#yi#n, 1992), p. 257 37. Al-Ala#m, Zarqali#, vol. 7, (Beirut: Da#rul-Ilm Al-Malla#yi#n, 1992), p. 136

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and oral transmission of the Qura#n would have received a great push at the hands of his successors. With more and more people entering in the folds of Islam, there would have been a great demand to read and learn the Qura#n. The caliphs must have been alive to this demand and would have arranged to make thousands of written copies to be distributed all over their empire. Such would be the scale of this availability of the Qura#nic text together with its true vocalization through its thousands of readers that any one who would read the consonantal text of the Qura#n in a different manner would have stood corrected immediately. In fact, there was hardly any chance that such cases would even have arisen in view of the large :scale dissemination of the Qura#n. Ibn H~azam writes


When the Prophet (sws) died, all of the Arabian peninsula had embraced Islam from the Red Sea in the west passing through the shores of Yemen to the Persian Gulf in the east and from the Persian Gulf passing through Euphrates along the borders of Syria back to the Red Sea. There are so many cities and places in the Arabia that only the Almighty knows their true number. For

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example, there is Yemen, Bahrain, Amman, Najd, the two peaks of the T~ay tribe, the lands of Mud@ar, Rabiah, Qud@a#ah, T~a#if, Makkah. In short, all these areas had embraced Islam and there was no city, town or settlement without a mosque. In all these mosques, the Qura#n was read in the five prayers and the Qura#n was taught to men, women and children. It was also written. At the death of the Prophet (sws), there was no difference of any sort between the Muslims. All the Muslims were united and were on the same set of beliefs. Then Abu# Bakr became the caliph and remained in office for two and a half years. He waged wars against Rome and Persia. He conquered Yama#mah and thereby the number of people who knew the Qura#n increased. Many people like Ubayyi, Uthma#n, Umar, Ali, Zayd, Abu# Zayd and Ibn Masu#d besides a host of others had already compiled the Qura#n. Not a single city was without written copies of the Qura#n . Then Abu# Bakr died and Umar became the caliph. He conquered Persia, Syria, Egypt and the Arabian peninsula. In all these Muslim territories, mosques were built and copies of the Qura#n written. The Qura#n continued to be read and taught to the younger generation in the schools of religious instruction. This state of affairs continued for ten years and some months. There were no differences between the Muslims and they were united on one faith. There were not less than one hundred thousand copies of the Qura#n in areas like Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and in other areas between them. Then Uthma#n became the caliph and many new territories were conquered and everything received a further impetus. Such was the quantity of the copies of the Qura#n, that no one could have counted them. This state of unity continued till the death of Uthma#n which is 12 years from the time Abu# Bakr became the Caliph.38 In the light of this, it is difficult to imagine that any difference such as the one referred to in this report would have arisen and become a cause of such great alarm. 2. Even if it is accepted that some differences had arisen in reading the Qura#n at one place, the only step needed was to send written copies of the Qura#n to that place. With the Qura#n already found in great numbers all over the empire, what was the need to send its copies to other places like Bas@rah, Makkah Bahrain and Yemen? Can it be believed that officially written copies were only sent in the various territories of the empire after people in one small part had begun to differ? Can it be accepted that Uthma#n (rta) and his predecessors never thought of this all important task prior to this?
38. Ibn H~azam, Al-Fas@al fil-Milal wa al-Ahwa# wa al-Nah@al, 1st ed., vol. 1, (Maktabah al-Sala#m), pp. 66-7

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3. It is known that the Qura#n was revealed and written in the dialect of the Quraysh. In this report, quite strangely, Uthma#n (rta) is seen instructing Zayd (rta) (who himself did not belong to the Quraysh) and the others to make copies in the dialect of the Quraysh in case of any difference. If the version from which the Qura#n was to be copied was already written in the dialect of the Quraysh, no difference could have arisen. Even if any difference would have arisen, how could the view of Zayd (rta) be forsaken since it was his script which the first two Caliphs had already accepted. Moreover, what was the need of forming a committee to correct Zayd (rta), since the original was already written by him and he was just required to make its copies? 4. Once again we are confronted with some missing verses in this narrative. This time it is some verses of Su#rah Ah@za#b39 . At this second instance of writing, Zayd (rta) is reported to have remembered them. One can only wonder what more could be attributed to him had he been given a third chance of writing down the Qura#n. 5. If the chain of narrators of this narrative is considered, it comes to light that this report is also Ghari#b. There is only one narrator in each of its first two steps. Only Anas Ibn Ma#lik (rta) narrates this report. From Anas (rta), only Ibn Shiha#b Zuhri# narrates it. This means that for almost half a century, this report was confined to very few people. 6. Here again, no text of this report is without the controversial personality of Ibn Shiha#b Zuhri# in its chain of narrators. Like the previous one, the very origin of this report becomes dubious owing to his presence. 7. Like the previous one, the events reported in this report find no mention in the two earliest works on Muslim history The T~abaqa#t of Ibn Saad (d: 230 AH), and Ta#ri#khul-Umam wa Al-Malu#k of Ibn Jari#r T~abari# (d: 310 AH). Consequently, while Ibn Saad records in detail the life and achievements of Zayd Ibn Tha#bit (rta), nowhere in it does he mention that Zayd (rta) was instrumental in making the copies of the Qura#n at the behest of Abu# Bakr (rta)40 . Similarly, T~abari#41 mentions the battle at the fronts of Armenia and Azerbaijan with some detail but does not recount that any difference in reading the Qura#n had arisen; he also does not give any reference to the Uthma#nic redaction. The absence of any reference to the events reported in this narrative in these two earliest books of Islamic history is indeed very strange. These were by no means insignificant events and deserved mention if they ever occurred.
39. Some authorities say that these verses too were actually found at the time when Zayd had collected the Qura#n in the reign of Abu Bakr (rta). (See Zarkashi#, Burha#n, 2nd ed., vol. 1, (Beirut: Da#rul-Fikr, 1980) p. 234) 40. Ibn Saad, T~abaqa#t, vol. 2, (Beirut: Da#r Beirut. 1957), pp. 358-62 41. See T~abari#, Tari#khul-Umam wa Al-Malu#k, vol. 5, (Da#rul-Fikr, 1979], pp. 45-6

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8. Again, the Muat@t@a# of Imam Ma#lik (d: 179 AH) and the S~ahi#h@ of Imam Muslim (d: 261 AH), also are devoid of any such report.
________________

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Contents
1. Collection of the Qura#n B. The Contemporary View Section II: A Critique of the Classical View (Continued) iii. The Extraneous Verses iv. The Seven Ah@ruf v. The Variant Readings

Section II: A Critique of the Classical View (Continued)


iii. The Extraneous Verses This opinion of the classical scholars cannot be accepted and requires serious reconsideration. No verse which is thought to exist outside the Qura#n can be considered as still operational in any way. How can a part of the Qura#n be extraneous to it? The Qura#n we have today is itself a proof on the fact that everything outside it is not its part in any way. iv. The Seven Ah@ruf All interpretations that have been offered in support of this H~adi#th do not convincingly explain it. Some of the interpretations have already been criticized by classical scholars themselves (see the previous section). Of the various others offered, some of them are examined here. i. Seven Ah@ruf as Seven Dialects This interpretation42 raises the following questions:
42. Suyu#t@i#, Itqa#n Fi# Ulu#mil-Qura#n, 2nd ed., vol. 1, (Bayda#r: Manshu#ra#t al-Rad@i#, 1343

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Firstly, the text of the H~adi#th itself negates this meaning. It is known that both Umar (rta) and H@isha#m (rta) belonged to the same tribe: the Quraysh. People of the same tribe cannot have different dialects. Secondly, even if it is accepted that this difference was of dialect between various tribes, the verb unzila (was revealed) is certainly very inappropriate. The Qura#n has specified that it was revealed in the language of the Prophets tribe: the Quraysh (See for example: 19:97, 44:58). How can it be accepted that the Almighty Himself revealed the various dialects? Thirdly, even if the Seven Ah@ruf mean seven eloquent dialects, the next question which arises is regarding the determination of these seven. Who is going to ascertain them? Eloquence is something that depends on ones appreciation and cannot be left to mere arguments. Fourthly, had it been a mere difference in dialect, Hisha#m could have easily explained to Umar (rta) that he was reading the Qura#n in another dialect of Arabic; the H@adi#th on the other hand describes his plight and helplessness at the hands of Umar (rta). Fifthly, it is known that Hisha#m had accepted Islam on the day Makkah was conquered. If this Hadi#th is accepted, it would mean that for almost twenty years even the closest companions of the Prophet (sws) like Umar (rta) was unaware of the Qura#n being revealed in some other reading. This clandestine teaching of course directly contradicts many verses of the Qura#n which direct the Prophet (sws) to convey and communicate each and every verse of the Qura#n. See for example 5:67. ii. Seven Ah@ruf as Seven Types of Pronunciation Consider next, if the word Ah@ruf is meant to imply seven types of pronunciation43. Another H@adi#th supports this meaning:


Ubayyi Ibn Kaab reports that [once when] the Prophet (sws) met Gabriel, he told him: I have been sent to an unlettered nation. Among it are old men and women, slave men and slave women and people who are unlettered. [At

AH), p. 169 43. Suyu#t@i#, Itqa#n Fi# Ulu#mil-Qura#n, 2nd ed., vol. 1, (Bayda#r: Manshu#ra#t al-Rad@i#, 1343 AH), p. 166

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this], Gabriel said: The Qura#n has been revealed on Seven Ah@ruf.44 It is evident from this text that the Prophet (sws) asked for some relief in reading the Qura#n correctly, since it would have to be read by various sections of his Ummah (children, old people, converts) and all of them would not be in a position to read it with the correct pronunciation. This interpretation too raises some questions. Firstly, the H@adi#th says that these seven variations in pronunciation were revealed by the Almighty. Variations in pronunciation concern the readers. Can they be revealed? The science of pronunication (Tajwi#d) developed many years after the Qura#n was revealed and all these types were then identified thereafter. Secondly, relief in pronunciation is always of the same text. In other words, contrary to the dialects of the same language in which words change, a text on which any relief is to be given in pronunciation and accent, the words never change. Why would the Prophet (sws) ask permission for this? Thirdly, since difference in pronunciation of the same text is something which cannot be objected to since this does not change anything, Umar (rta) would never have reacted in such a stern way had this been the case. On the contrary, he would have certainly given this allowance given the considering the fact that he was encountering a new convert to Islam. iii. Seven Ah@ruf as Seven Types of Verses Another interpretation offered of this H@adi#th is that it implies seven types of verses. The Seven Ah@ruf mean Mut@laq and Muqayyad (unconditional and conditional), A%m and Kha#s@ (general and specific), Nas@s@ and Muawwal (certain and derived) Na#sikh and Mansu#kh (abrogater and abrogated), Istithna# (exception) and its types.45 Regarding this interpretation, the following points merit serious consideration: Firstly, if the H~adi#th is translated according to this interpretation, it would read: The Qura#n has been revealed in seven types of verses; read it upon any of these verses. This translation obviously makes no sense. Secondly, how could H@isha#m read through just one or some types of the above verses because they do not occur such that all seven types form seven distinct groups. Thirdly, even if it is somehow accepted that H@isha#m was selectively reading the Qura#n, there was no reason for Umar (rta) to get angry. Umar (rta) was a H@a#fiz@
44. Tirmadhi#: Kita#bul Qira#a#t 45. Suyu#t@i#, Itqa#n Fi# Ulu#mil-Qura#n, 2nd ed., vol. 1, (Bayda#r: Manshu#ra#t al-Rad@i#, 1343 AH), p. 172

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of the Qura#n. How could some other types of verses not be known to him? Fourthly, verses of the Qura#n are of several types. The classification made above is not exhaustive at all. Many more types can be enlisted. Moreover the above types of verses were identified by later scholars. iv. Seven Ah@ruf as Seven Styles of the Qura#n Another interpretation of this H@adi#th is that the Seven Ah@ruf refer to seven styles of the Qura#nic verses46: H@azf-i-S@ilah (suppression of the preposition), Taqdi#m u Ta#khir# (pre-positioning and post-positioning), Istaa#rah (metaphor), Takra#r (repetition), Kina#yah wal H@aqi#qah wal Maja#z (realism and symbolism), Mujmal wal Mufas@s@al (the compact and the detailed), Zahir wal Gharib (The evident and the rare). All points raised in the criticism of (iv) apply equally to this interpretation. In short, it seems that because of all these unconvincing explanations, Suyu#t@i# after realizing their weakness has admitted in Tanwi#rul-Hawa#lik, a commentary on the Muat@t@a# of Imam Ma#lik, that this H@adi#th should be regarded among the Mutasha#biha#t (ie something whose meaning is not known):
.

To me the best opinion in this regard is that of the people who say that this H@adi#th is from among matters of Mutasha#biha#t, the meaning of which cannot be understood.47 v. The Variant Readings None of these readings can be accepted in any way owing to the following reasons: (i) The whole of the Muslim Ummah today, except for a few North African countries, is united in reading the Qura#n in just one way. It is historically known that the reading of Na#fi was officially promulgated in the third century h@ijrah in North Africa after the rise of Malikite Fiqh in this area.48 The only complete reading of the Qura#n which is in vogue from the time of the Prophet (sws) is the Qira#t alA%mmah (the universal reading) the very reading read out to the Prophet (sws) once the revelation of the Qura#n had been completed. It was this very reading which existed among the companions of the Prophet (sws). Abu# Abdul Rah@man
46. Suyu#t@i#, Itqa#n Fi# Ulu#mil-Qura#n, 2nd ed., vol. 1, (Bayda#r: Manshu#ra#t al-Rad@i#, 1343 AH), p. 172 47. Suyu#ti, Tanwi#rul-Hawa#lik, 2nd ed., (Beirut: Da#rul-Jayl, 1993), p. 199 @# 48. For details see: Hind Shalbi#, Al-Qira#a#t bi-Afriqiyyah, 1st ed., (Tunisia: al-Da#rul Arabiyyah lil-Kita#b, 1983) pp. 223-35

History of the Quran Sullami# (d:105 AH49 ) narrates:

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: .
The reading of Abu# Bakr, Umar, Uthma#n and Zayd Ibn Tha#bit and that of all the Muha#jiru#n and the Ans@a#r was one. They would read the Qura#n according to the Qira#t al-A^mmah. This is the same reading which was read out to the Prophet (sws) in the year of his death by Gabriel. Zayd Ibn Tha#bit50 was also present in this reading [called] the Ard@ah-i-Akhi#rah51. It was in this very reading that he taught the Qura#n to people till his death.52 This reading is generally known today as the Reading of H@afs@ (Qira#t-i-H@afs@). However, its correct name is the Qira#t al-A%mmah. In the words of Ibn Si#ri#n (d:110 AH53):

: .
The reading on which the Qura#n was read out to the Prophet (sws) in the year of his death is the same according to which people are reading the
49. See Abul H~ajja#j Mizzi#, Tahdhi#bul-Kama#l, 2nd ed., vol. 14, (Beirut: Muassasah AlRisa#lah, 1413 AH), p. 410 50. This of course does not mean that only Zayd was present during the Ard@ah-iAkhi#rah. Other companions would certainly have been present as well. Consequently, the following Ha#dith tells us that Ibn Masu#d was also present: The Prophet (sws) was read out the Qura#n each year. However, the year he died it was read out to him twice. Ibn Masu#d was present in this last recital, and [as a result] came to know what was abrogated and what was changed. (Ah@mad Ibn H@ambal, Musnad, vol. 1, pp. 362-3) 51. ie the final presentation 52. Zarkashi#, Burha#n, 2nd ed., vol. 1, (Beirut: Da#rul-Fikr, 1980) p. 237 53. See Abul H@ajja#j Mizzi#, Tahdhi#bul-Kama#l, 2nd ed., vol. 25, (Beirut: Muassasah AlRisa#lah, 1413 AH), p. 354

History of the Quran Qura#n today.54

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This is the testimony of a famous person who died more than seventy years after the Prophet (sws). (ii) There exists a consensus of opinion among the scholars of our Ummah on the fact that the Qura#n is Mutawa#tir (ie such a large number of people have transmitted the Qura#n that the existence of any error in the transmitted text is impossible). Consequently, Suyu#t@i# asserts:

.
There is no difference of opinion about the fact that whatever is contained in the Qura#n is Mutawa#tir both in totality and in part. To the Ahlul-Sunnah, the placements therein and its arrangement are all Mutawa#tir so that it [the Qura#n] becomes indisputable. This is because it is an acknowledged fact that the Qura#n is a document whose details desire Tawa#tur . Consequently, whatever part of the Qura#n has been transmitted through the Ah@a#d (isolate reports) and is not Mutawa#tir is unquestionably not the Qura#n by any means.55 Now, if the chains of narrators of these variant readings are examined, none of them can be claimed as Mutawa#tir. They may be Mutawa#tir from their famous originators but they are certainly not Mutawa#tir all the way from these originators up to the Prophet (sws). At best, they can be classified as Ah@a#d (isolate reports). An example would suffice to illustrate this. Following are the ways56 in which one of the Qurra#, A%s@im Ibn Abi# Najwad Al-Bahdlah (d: 127 AH57) has narrated his reading from the Prophet (sws):

54. Suyu#t@i#, Itqa#n Fi# Ulu#mil-Qura#n, 2nd ed., vol. 1, (Bayda#r: Manshu#ra#t al-Rad@i#, 1343 AH), p. 177 55. Suyu#t@i#, Itqa#n Fi# Ulu#mil-Qura#n, 2nd ed., vol. 1, (Bayda#r: Manshu#ra#t al-Rad@i#, 1343 AH), p. 266 56. See Ibnul-Jazari#, Al-Nashr Fil-Qira#a#t al-ahsr, vol. 1, (Egypt: Maktabah alTujja#riyyah), p. 155 57. See Abul H~ajja#j Mizzi#, Tahdhi#bul-Kama#l, 2nd ed., vol. 13, (Beirut: Muassasah AlRisa#lah, 1413 AH), p. 478

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I Muh~ammad (sws) Abdulla#h Ibn Masu#d

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Zirr Ibn H~ubaysh

Abu# Abdul-Rah@ma#n Sullami# Abu# Amr Sha#yba#ni# A%s@im Ibn Abi# Najwad

H~afs@ Ibn Sulayma#n II

Abu# Bakr Ayya#sh

Muh~ammad (sws )

Zayd Ibn Tha#bit

Ubayyi Ibn Kaab

Abu# Abdul-Rah~man Sullami# A%s@im Ibn Abi# Najwad

H~afs@ Ibn Sulayma#n III Muh~ammad (sws) Ali# Zirr Ibn H~ubaysh

Abu# Bakr Ayya#sh

Uthma#n Abu# Abdul-Rah@ma#n Sullami #

A%s@im Ibn Abi# Najwad H~afs@ Ibn Sulayma#n Abu# Bakr Ayyash

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Muslim scholars recognize this very fact, but quite inexplicably most of them still insist on accepting these variant readings:

. :
The opinion of the majority is that these readings are Mutawa#tir. However, one opinion is that they are Mashhu#r58. The truth in this regard is that they are Mutawa#tir from these seven [Qurra#]. As far as their Tawa#tur from the Prophet (sws) is concerned, this is debatable. For the chain of narrators of these seven are found in the books of Qira#a#t. These chains are transmission from a single person to another and do not fulfil the condition of Tawa#tur neither from the first narrator to the last nor in between.59 (iii) Not only are these readings isolate reports (Ah@a#d), but also many of the narrators of these readings are not regarded as trustworthy by the scholars of Ilmul-Rija#l as far as accepting Ah@a#di#th from them is concerned. As an example, this is what is written about H@afs@ Ibn Sulayma#n, perhaps the most famous and most widely acclaimed of all the disciples of the major Qurra#:


58. ie widely attested 59. Zarkashi#, Burha#n, 2nd ed., vol. 1, (Beirut: Da#rul-Fikr, 1980) p. 319)

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Abdul-Rah@ma#n Ibn Abi# H@a#tim, Umar Ibn Shuayb S@a#bu#ni#, Ah@mad Ibn H@ambal, Bukha#ri#, Muslim and Nasa#i# call him Matru#kul-H@adi#th (From whom Ah@a#di#th are not accepted) . In the opinion of Yah@ya# Ibn Mui#n as quoted by Abu# Quda#mah Sarakhsi# and Uthma#n Ibn Sai#d he is not trustworthy . Ali# Ibn Madi#ni# says: he is weak in matters of H@adi#th and I have forsaken him voluntarily. . Abu# Zurah also says that he is weak in matters of H@adi#th .. S~a#lih@ Muh@ammad Al-Baghda#di# says the Ah@a#di#th narrated by him are not worth writing and all of them mention unfamiliar things in religion. Zakariyyah Ibn Yah@ya# Al-Sa#ji# narrates from Samma#k and Alqamah Ibn Marthad and Qays Ibn Muslim that his Ah@a#di#th are not reliable . Abdul-Rah@ma#n Ibn Abi# H@a#tim says that he asked his father about H@afs@. His father said that his Ah@a#di#th are not even worth writing. He is weak in matters of H@adi#th, cannot be attested to and his Ah@a#di#th are not acceptable. Abdul-Rah@ma#n Ibn Yu#suf says that he is a great liar, worthy of being forsaken and forges Ah@a#di#th. H@a#kim Abu# Ah@mad says: He wastes Ah@a#di#th. Yah@ya# Ibn Sai#d says that he took a book from him but never returned it. He would take books from people and copy them. Abu# Ah@mad Ibn Addi# narrates from Al-Sa#ji# and Ah@mad Ibn Muh@ammad AlBaghda#di# and Yah@ya# Ibn Mui#n that H@afs@ Ibn Sulayma#n and Abu# Bakr Ibn Ayya#sh are the most competent of all who know the reading of A%s@im. H@afs@ is even more competent than Abu# Bakr. However, H@afs@ is a great liar while Abu# Bakr is reliable.60 It seems quite strange that a person so widely regarded as unreliable (even called a liar) in accepting H@adi#th from be regarded as a very dependable person as far the Qura#n is concerned. It is clear from this analysis that these extant readings which are found in books of Tafsi#r and read and taught in religious schools can in no way be accepted. Whether they originated from insistence by some to cling to the first recital of the Qura#n61, or were mere explanations of the actual verses written down by the companions in their own codices or, like the extraneous verses, were concocted to disparage the Qura#n is a mystery which perhaps may never be solved. However, this much is certain that they have nothing to do with the text of the Qura#n.
________________

60. See Abul H@ajjaj Mizzi#, Tahdhi#bul-Kama#l, 2nd ed., vol. 7, (Beirut: Muassasah AlRisa#lah, 1413 AH), pp. 13-15 61. As pointed out earlier with reference to 75:16-19, this initial recital of the Qura#n was replaced by a final one by the Almighty Himself.

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Contents
2. Transmission of the Qura#n Section I: Transmission of Texts i. Person-to-Person Transmission a. General Introduction 1. Information on Narrators 2. Continuity 3. Verbal Coincidence b. Degree of Authenticity ii. Generation-to-Generation Transmission a. General Introduction b. Degree of Authenticity Section II: The Case of the Holy Qura#n Appendices Appendix A. The Controversial Personality of Zuhri# Appendix B. View of the Orientalists Appendix C. A Comment on Some Dissenting Views

2. Transmission of the Qura#n


Before we examine the mechanism of the transmission of the Qura#n, we shall first examine how texts have generally been transmitted in history.

Section I: Transmission of Texts


Texts in the olden times were generally transmitted in the oral form or in the written form. Sometimes a text was transmitted in both the oral and written form. As far as the nature of this transmission is concerned, it can be said with some

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amount of simplification, that this was of two types. In the first a few individuals transferred the text while in the other a large number of people transmitted the text. The former can be called Person-to-Person Transmission and the latter Generation-to-Generation Transmission -- the terms signifying the extent and number of people involved in the transmission. We shall now discuss both these modes. i. Person-to-Person Transmission
a. General Introduction

In this type of transmission, few individuals transmit a text. As specified before, in the past, this mode of transmission was both oral as well as written. For example, orations and the records on geneology were originally transmitted orally; similarly, a part of the Ah@a#di#th literature62 Muslims have today was originally transmitted orally. On the other hand, a book like The Poetics of Aristotle has been transmitted in the written form; likewise, the letters and epistles of the Prophet (sws) to various heads of state were originally transmitted in the written form. If no one has ever successfully challenged a transmitted text or its attribution to the person it is ascribed to, a consensus evolves on the fact that the text has never been subjected to any alteration and is correctly attributed to a certain person. This establishes the authenticity of the text to a considerable extent. However, this cannot be fault free since it involves criteria that do not give absolutely certain information. Some of the major criteria are discussed below:
1. Information on Narrators

Information is gathered on the individuals who have transmitted the text. Their memory and character are particularly evaluated through whatever means possible. This information is of paramount importance since it has a direct impact on the transmitted text. A bad character or faulty memory or both of one or some or all the individuals involved in the transmission would render the text weak. However, an absence of these flaws would of course give it a degree of authenticity.
2. Continuity

The next step is to examine the proximity of the chain of narrators. It must be known that all the narrators of the chain have been in direct or indirect contact with one another. For this the dating of the narrators lives needs to be carried out. Any break or gap at any step in this chain will raise doubts on the matter transmitted.
62. All Ah@a#di#th in which the original words of the Prophets (sws) are claimed to be preserved. In religious parlance, they are called Riwa#yah bil-Lafz@.

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3. Verbal Coincidence

Sometimes more than one chain can be established for the transmitted text. For example, two people may narrate in exactly similar words, the couplets attributed to a poet. This corroborating evidence of course strengthens the transmission.
b. Degree of Authenticity

The mechanism of this mode of transmission is such that even if a text possesses the afore-mentioned characteristics, it cannot be established beyond any shadow of doubt. No doubt, it gives credence to the authenticity of a text, but it is not infallible. Consequently, there have been instances where researchers have challenged the provenance of a text. This is due to the following two inherent shortcomings in the nature of this transmission. Firstly, collecting factual details about a person has its own limitations. Such data depends upon so many variants that one cannot be absolutely certain about the gathered information. Consequently, conflicting reports may be found about a single individual. Secondly, even if it is supposed that the above information has been collected perfectly, one cannot obviously fully rely on the memory and character of the persons who have transmitted the text. A person can have a photographic memory but it cannot be free of errors. Similarly, a person may be of exceptional character but he cannot be expected to be at his best all the time. 2. Generation-to- Generation Transmission
a. General Introduction

In this type of transmission, texts are transmitted, not by a few individuals, but by a very large number of people. In other words, here, the unit of the chain of transmission of information is not individuals, but generations. This singular difference changes the very character of such a transmission. So a large is this number that the transmitted text/words are established beyond any shadow of doubt. Moreover, such is the nature of this transmission that the distinction is difficult to make whether a text was originally written down and then learnt and thereby manner transmitted in both ways or vice versa. The most prominent example of such generation to generation transfer is the transmission of the words of a language and their associated meanings. A very large part of a language is transmitted in this manner. For example, the words chair, table, ceiling, roof etc and the meanings these words convey are so well established that no one can refute either the word or the meaning associated with them. No one can be nave enough to say that the word camel means a house or the word duster means a stick. Similarly, many proverbs and quotations are transmitted by entire generations establishing their authenticity beyond doubt.

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b. Degree of Authenticity

The essential differences between Person-to-Person Transmission and Generation-to-Generation Transmission brings out the degree of authenticity of this mode: Firstly, when such a large number of people is transmitting a text, one does not need to bother about examining the data regarding the narrators. So large is this number that it is impossible that they can falter in its transmission by forgetting part of it or by changing its words. Secondly, one does not need to establish proximity between various steps of the narrators. This is because one generation is so perfectly enmeshed into another and the contact and proximity with the next generation is so tremendous and obvious that conducting an inquiry to prove it is not required.

Section II: The Case of the Holy Qura#n


As far as the transmission of the Qura#n is concerned, two distinct roles must be identified: i. Role of the Companions (rta) ii. Role of the later Ummah Both are discussed below: i. Role of the Companions (rta) The Companions (rta) form the first rung of the ladder from which the Ummah constituted by the Prophet Muhammad begins. They were the custodians of the religion of Islam and as such it was their responsibility to transfer safely the contents of this religion. Among these contents, the Qura#n occupies primary importance. The Companions transferred the Qura#n to the next generation of this Ummah in two ways: a. Consensus of the Companions (rta) b. Tawa#tur of the Companions (rta) The word Consensus here means that all the Companions (rta) were of the opinion that the text that was being transferred to the next generation was the very Qura#n that was revealed to Muhammad (sws). Even those Companions who played a small role in this transmission also vouched that those who were actually transmitting the text were transmitting it without any error. The word tawa#tur means the Generation-to-Generation Transfer explained above. In other words, such a large number of Companions (rta) transferred this

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text to the next generation that its authenticity is established beyond doubt. However, the nature of this Generation-to-Generation Transfer has a unique status in the case of the Qura#n. It is the only example of an entire book composed of hundreds of sentences being transmitted both in the oral and in the written form through Generation-to-Generation Transfer. No book has been transmitted in history in this way. There is a consensus on the attribution of authorship of several books, but none has been transmitted in this manner. For example, there is a consensus on the fact that Das Capital is written by Karl Marx and that Julius Caesar is written by Shakespeare and that Bang-i-Dara has been composed by Allama Iqbal but no one can say that these books have been transmitted orally and in written form by entire generations. It is to be noted that initially the verbal transmission of the Qura#n superseded the written one. For it is this transmission that actually safeguarded the Qura#nic text which can be read variously if the actual vocalization is not known. ii. Role of the later Ummah The role of the later Ummah was no different from the role of the Companions (rta) in the transmission of the Qura#n. In every subsequent period of history, its transmission was based on this mode and the process is still continuing. Each subsequent generation of the Ummah transferred the Qura#n through its consensus and Tawa#tur. Like a chain reaction, this process has magnified and grown with every next generation since the number of people involved has reached a tremendous number. The one billion Muslims of today are united on the text of the Qura#n as were all their predecessors. The nature of this transmission is so overwhelming and all-embracing that the transmitted text has been rendered safe and secure from any alteration. Consequently, such is the prodigious nature of this transmission that solitary reports which convey even a slight difference are of no value. In other words, like words of a language which are also conveyed through the consensus of the people and through Generation-to-Generation Transmission and which as result cannot be challenged, the text of the Qura#n we have with us, on similar grounds, is also established beyond any doubt. So, just as the contention that word pen means man cannot be entertained in the world of reason and rationality, the contention that the Qura#n we have today is not the same as what was revealed to Muhammad (sws) can in no way be accepted.63

63. There is, therefore, no need to comment on such spurious reports as H~ajja#j Ibn Yu#suf changed the Qura#n at eleven places. See: Ibn Abi# Dawu#d, Kita#bul-Mas@a#h@if, 1st ed., (Egypt: Al-Mat@baah al-Rah@ma#niyyah, 1936), p.117

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Appendices
Appendix A: The Controversial Personality of Ibn Shiha#b Zuhri# 64 His full name is Abu# Bakr Muh@ammad Ibn Muslim Ibn Abdulla#h Ibn Shiha#b Zuhri# (d:124 AH). While he has been generally regarded as a reliable personality by the scholars of Ilmul-Rija#l, evidence is found to the contrary as well. In fact, this evidence coupled with the fact that he is inevitably found in the chain of narrators of many Ah@a#di#th which disparage the status of the Qura#n, that of the first two caliphs as well as that of A%ishah (rta), the beloved wife of the Prophet (sws)65 cast dense clouds of doubt on his personality. This contrary evidence shows that Zuhri# is guilty of the following: 1. Idra#j 2. Tadli#s 3. Irsa#l 1. Idra#j: In the text of a H~adi#th, this means the insertion of something in it that does not belong to it without giving any indication of this insertion.66 Idra#j is prohibited by all the authorities:

. :
Idra#j deliberately done by a narrator is totally prohibited in all its types. There is a consensus among the scholars of Fiqh, H~adi#th and Us@u#l, besides others on this because it is camouflage and deceit and an attribution of something to someone who never said it. Ibn Sama#ni# and others besides him say: He who deliberately does Idra#j becomes unreliable, and a person who changes a passage in any way is a liar.67
64. For more details see Tamanna# Ima#di#. Imam Zuhri# and Imam Tabari#, Rahman Publishing Trust, Karachi, 1994 65.. See Kha#lid Masu#d, Muh~ammad Ibn Shiha#b Zuhri#, Tadabbur, No. 21 (May 1987), 79). 66. Mah@mu#d T~ah@han, Taysi#r Mus@talih@ul-H~adi#th, (Karachi: Qadi#mi# Kutub Kha#nah), p. 102 @ # @ 67. Ah@mad Muh@ammad Sha#kir, Al-Ba#isul-H~athi#th Sharah@ Ikhtis@a#rul-Ulu#mulH~adi#th (Ibn Kathi#r) 3rd ed., (Cairo: Da#rul-Tura#th, 1979), p. 64

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It is known that Zuhri##@ was a Mudrij (person who does Idra#j):

:
Zuhri# used to explain various Ah~a#di#th a lot and many a time he would not mention the particle [of speech] from which would be known whether the words were from the Prophet (sws) or from Zuhri#. So some of his contemporaries would always ask him to separate his words from those of the Prophet (sws).68

: .
Rabi#ah would say to Ibn Shiha#b: My situation is totally different from you. Whatever I say, I say it from my own self and you say it on the authority of the Prophet (sws) and so you must be careful, and it is not befitting for a person to waste himself [like this].69

. .
Rabi#ah would say to Ibn Shiha#b: When you narrate something according to your own opinion, always inform the people that this is your own view. And when you narrate something from the Prophet (sws), always inform them that it is from the Prophet (sws) so that they do not consider it to be your opinion.70 Ibn Rajab records the following opinion of Imam Bukha#ri#:


Zuhri# would narrate Ah@a#di#th and on most occasions would insert sentences from his own self. Some of these would be Mursal and some of them would be his own.71
68. Sakha#wi#, Fath@ul-Mughi#s, vol. 1, (Beirut: Da#rul Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1996), p. 267-8 69. Bukha#ri#, Ta#ri#khul-Kabi#r, vol. 3, (Beirut: Da#rul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah), pp. 286-7 70. Khati#b Baghda#di#, Al-Faqi#h wa Al-Mutafaqqih, vol. 1, (Lahore: Da#rul-Ah~ya# alSunnah), p. 148 71. Ibn Rajab, Fath@ul-Ba#ri#, 1st ed., vol. 5, (Jaddah: Da#r Ibnul-Jawzi#, 1996), p. 286

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2. Tadli#s: In Asna#d, this means the narration from a person, whom a narrator has met, of something which is not heard from him giving the impression that it has actually been heard from him.72 Imam Shubah comments on Tadli#s in the following words:

It is the brother of falsehood.

73

It is worse than committing fornication.74 Ibn Muba#rak says:


That we plunge down from the sky is dearer to me than we do Tadli#s in a H~adi#th.75 Imam Sha#fi# says:


We will not accept the narration of a Muddalis unless he says Haddathani# [It has been narrated to me] or Samitu [I have heard].76 Zuhri#s Tadli#s is recorded in the following words: Imam Sha#fi#, Da#ra Qut@ani# and many others have attributed Tadli#s to Zuhri#.77 3. Irsa#l: It means that the person before a Ta#bii# at the beginning of the chain is not mentioned.78
72. (Ibn Sala#h, Muqaddamah, 4th ed.,(Multan, Faru#qi Kutub Kha#nah, 157 AH), p. 34 73. Khati#b Baghda#di#, Al-Kifa#yah, 1st ed., (Hyderabad: Da#iratul-Maa#rif, 1357 AH), p. 355 74. Khati#b Baghda#di#, Al-Kifa#yah, 1st ed., (Hyderabad: Da#iratul-Maa#rif, 1357 AH), p. 356 75. Khati#b Baghda#di#, Al-Kifa#yah, 1st ed., (Hyderabad: Da#iratul-Maa#rif, 1357 AH), p. 356 76. Sha#fi#, Al-Risa#lah, (Beirut: Da#rul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah), p. 380 77. Ibn H~ajar, T~#abaqa#tul-Mudallisi#n, (Cairo: Maktabah Kulliyya#t al-Azhar), pps. 32-3 78. Mah~mu#d T~ah@h@a#n, Taysi#r Mus@t@alihul-H~adi#th, (Karachi: Qadi#mi# Kutub Kha#nah), p. 70

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On the status of Mursal Ah@a#di#th (Ah@a#di#th afflicted with Irsa#l), authorities say:


In reality, Mursal Ah@a#di#th are weak and worthy of being forsaken because they do not fulfil one condition of Maqbu#l Ah@a#di#th [Ah@a#di#th which are acceptable], which is Ittis@a#l [continuity in the chain of narrators], and because the status of the person who is not mentioned is unknown as there is a chance that he may not be a S@ah@a#bi# [companion].79 Imam Abu# Da#u#d says:


Out of the twenty two hundred Ah@a#di#th narrated by Zuhri# only half are Musnad 80 [the rest are Mursal].81 Ibn H@ajar records the following words about Zuhri# in this regard:


Yah@ya# Ibn Sai#d Qat@t@a#n is of the opinion that the Mursala#t of Zuhri# are baseless.82 Imam Dhahabi# has reported the following words of Yah@ya# Ibn Sai#d Qat@t@a#n:


The Mursala#t of Zuhri# are the worst of all since he is a H@a#fiz@. Whenever, he wants he can disclose the name of a person, and whenever he wants he can conceal his name.83
79. Mah@mu#d T@ah@h@a#n, Taysi#r Mus@t@alih@ul-H~adi#th, (Karachi: Qadi#mi# Kutub Kha#nah), p. 71 80. Ah@a#di#th in which there is no break in the chain of narrators and they are continuous up to the Prophet (sws). (See: Mah@mu#d T~ah@h@a#n, Taysi#r Mus@t@alih@ al-H~adi#th, [Karachi: Qadi#mi# Kutub Kha#nah], p. 134) 81. Dhahabi#, Tadhkiratul-H~uffa#z@, vol. 1, (Beirut: Da#rul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah), p. 109 82. Ibn H@ajar, Tahdhi#bul-Tahdhi#b, 1st ed., vol. 5, (Beirut: Da#rul-Marifah, 1996), p. 269 83. Dhahabi#, Sayar Ala#mul-Nubala#, 8th ed., vol. 5, (Beirut: Mussasah al-Risa#lah, 1992), p. 338

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Imam Sha#fi# says:


The Mursala#t of Zuhri# are baseless since he even narrates from [a person as unreliable as] Sulayma#n Ibn Arqam.84 Besides these three major aspects, it seems that Zuhri# is guilty of other blemishes as well:


Sometimes, a group of people would present a H@adi#th to him to corroborate something. So, at times, he would narrate from the whole group and sometimes from one person of that group. This would be according to the way he felt during the narration. Sometimes, he would insert the H@adi#th narrated by one into that narrated by someone else as he has done so in the H@adi#th of Ifk besides others. When he would feel lazy, he would narrate Mursal Ah@a#di#th, and when he would be feeling fresh, he would narrate Muttas@il ones. It is because of this that his companions differ a lot about him.85 In a letter to Imam Ma#lik, Imam Layth Ibn Saad writes:

.
When we would meet Ibn Shiha#b, there would arise a difference of opinion in many issues. When any one of us would ask him in writing about some issue, he, in spite of being so learned, would give three very different answers, and he would not even be aware of what he had already said. It is because of this that I have left him something which you did not like.86
84. Dhahabi#, Sayar Ala#mul-Nubala#, 8th ed., vol. 5, (Beirut: Mussasah al-Risa#lah, 1992), p. 339 85. Zarqa#ni#, Sharah@ Muat@t@a#, vol. 3, (Beirut, Da#rul-Fikr), p. 377 86. Ibn Qayyim, Ila#mul Mu#waqqii#n, vol. 3, (Beirut: Da#rul-Jayl), p. 85

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In the light of this evidence, any narrative none of whose texts is without Zuhri# in its chain of narrators becomes suspect. Appendix B: View of the Orientalists on the History of the Qura#nic Text Arthur Jeffery in his preface to the Kita#bul-Mas@a#h@if of Ibn Abi# Da#wu#d has summarized the views of the German oriental scholar Theodore Noldeke (d:1930) and his successors on the history of the collection of the Qura#nic text. The profound research initiated by Noldeke on this topic was subsequently completed and supplemented by his successors Scwally, Bergstrasser and Pretzl, and later printed in German in three volumes as Geschichte des Qorans. Except for Burton87 and a few others, the Geschichte presents the dominant view of the Orientalists on this subject. In the opinion of this writer, if the testimony of the Qura#n on its collection and that of established history on its transmission is not taken into account, it is very difficult to refute the findings of these German Orientalists. As a humble tribute to the tremendous research carried out by them, I, for the benefit of the English reader, have translated from Arabic the portion of the preface written by Arthur Jeffery that summarizes these findings:

- - .
(i) The Prophet (sws) did not leave any book to his Ummah when he died: It is said that the Prophet (sws) directed his companions to write every verse
87. John Burton, Collection of the Qura#n, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1977

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revealed to him and he yearly used to present before Gabriel the portion of the Qura#n written down in that year, and the year he died he twice presented the Qura#n before Gabriel; in this way, the whole of the Qura#n was collected in the lifetime of the Prophet (sws) on leaves and sheets; its su#rahs and verses were arranged in the very manner we have them today except for the fact that it was in form of S@uh@uf (sheets) and not in Mus@h@af (codex) form. [We] the Orientalists do not accept this view since it is against certain other Ah@a#di#th which say that at the death of the Prophet (sws), the Qura#n was not collected on anything. This is more in accordance with the apprehension expressed by Abu# Bakr and Umar when there were a lot of casualties in the battle of Yama#mah (as has been narrated). These two had expressed their grave concern on these casualties and had feared that there could be more casualties on other war fronts and consequently a large part of the Qura#n might be lost. It is evident from this that the cause of fear was the mass killing of the reciters of the Qura#n who had learnt the Qura#n by heart. Had the Qura#n been collected and written, there would have been no cause of fear expressed by the two. Moreover the scholars of the West do not agree with the fact that the arrangement of the text of the Qura#n we have today was made by the Prophet (sws).

- - . " " . . .
(ii) Differences in the Codices of Companions: It has been narrated that several companions had collected the Qura#n in a codex. Among them were Ali# Ibn Abi# T@a#lib, Ubayyi Ibn Kaab, Sa#lim, Abdulla#h Ibn Masud, Abu# Mu#sa# Ashari,

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Abdulla#h Ibn Zubayr, Abu# Zayd, Mua#dh@ Ibn Jabal and others. Some scholars are of the opinion that the word Jam in such Ah@a#di#th means learning by heart. However, [we Orientalists] do not agree with this view because of the following reasons: Ali# had loaded his camel with what he had collected and brought it to the other companions; people had named what Abu# Mu#sa# had collected as Luba#bul-Qulu#b (the essence of hearts); Uthma#n had burnt what Ubayyi had collected; Abdulla#h Ibn Masu#d had refused to present Uthma#ns governor of Iraq what he had collected. This clearly entails that whatever they had collected was written in their codices. Each of these codices was specific to its compiler; each compiler had collected in his codex the verses and su#rahs that came to his knowledge. Consequently, in the opinion of the Orientalists, the codex compiled by Zayd Ibn Tha#bit for Abu# Bakr was specifically meant for him and it was not an official codex as some people say. All these codices differed with one another because each consisted of what its compiler had collected in it, which was different from those of the others.

- - . .
(iii) Gaining of currency of some companions codices in the Islamic territories: When Islamic territories sprung forth after the conquest of Syria and Iraq, each group of people wanted a copy of the Qura#n which is the basis of their religion, its directives and the collective affairs. The people of Ku#fah agreed upon the codex of Abdulla#h Ibn Masu#d, the people of Bas@rah upon that of Abu# Mu#sa# Ashari#, the people of Damascus upon that of Miqda#d Ibn Aswad, the people of Syria upon that of Ubayyi Ibn Kaab. All these codices differed from one another. When the people of Iraq and Syria united to fight in the lands of Azarbaijan, they had serious difference in reading the Qura#n to the extent that one started to censure the other about that which was not contained in his own codex claiming that it was not the Qura#n. From this, sprung forth disputes and controversies. All this was the result of

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.each one adhering to the codex of his own area

- - . .
(iv) Unification by Uthma#n on one H@arf: It has been narrated that H@udhayfah Ibn Yama#n was among the armies who had conquered Azarbaijan. When he heard the disputes and controversies that had arisen between the people in reading the Qura#n, he came over to Uthma#n and said: O chief of the Believers! Save this nation before they differ about the Book [the Qura#n], as Jews and the Christians did before. So Uthma#n stood before the people and said: Anyone who has any part of the Book of Allah should bring it. So people came up with what they had of it on scapula bones, sheets and stalks of date trees and on other things. He then called forth Zayd Ibn Tha#bit and assembled for him a group from the people of Quraysh and directed them to collect the Qura#n in one codex. So they collected the Qura#n from written tablets and from the hearts of people. They

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would not accept anything unless two persons testified to it. It is also said that Uthma#n asked H@afs@ah to send to him the Suh@uf compiled by Zayd at the behest of Abu# Bakr. These S@uh@uf became the basis of the new compilation of the codex done by Uthma#n. After Uthma#n collected and compiled this codex, he named it the official codex and he sent its copies to the various territories of his empire. He ordered that all other codices and S@uh@uf be burnt. Some scholars contend that Uthma#n obtained from H@afs@ah the official text compiled by Zayd for Abu# Bakr and copied this official text version in the dialect of the Quraysh because the Arabs used to recite the Qura#n in various dialects. Others are of the opinion that Uthma#n completed what Umar had begun. We are doubtful about these views because the Ah@a#di#th which narrate the collection of the Qura#n lead us to the conclusion that it was the difference in codices of the various territories which led Uthma#n to direct Zayd to prepare and compile the codex read in Madi#nah so that this official codex should become the codex for all the Muslim territories. In other words, this codex was not meant for Madi#nah alone like the codex of Ibn Masu#d which was meant for Ku#fah alone and like that of Abu# Mu#sa# Ashari# which was meant for Bas@rah only. It was meant for the whole of the Islamic kingdom.

- - "" "" "" "" "" "" . " " " " "" "" "" . . .
(v) The codex of Uthma#n was without diacritical marks or vowel sounds: The readers found differences in some letters in the codices sent to the various territories. In the codex of Ku#fah, it was written < ,>while in the

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others it was written < .>Similarly, in the codex of Syria it was written < ,>while in the others it was written < .>Likewise, in the codex of Madi#nah and Syria the words were < ,>while in the others they were <.> All these codices were without diacritical marks and vowel sounds. It was left to the choice of a reader to give diacritical marks and vowel sounds on the text according to the meanings of the verses. < >is an example of this. One would read it as < ,>the other as < >and another as <> or as < >in accordance with his interpretation of the verse. At that time, it was his choice to select the word that fitted according to his understanding of the verse as well as to select the vowel sounds. Moreover, the choice in reading of certain readers also existed which was based on the codices actually prohibited by Uthma#n. This is evident from the various books of Qira#aa#t. After that, gradually arose the reading that became famous in a particular area of a territory and the people of that area followed it and rejected those of the other ones. The reading of the people of Ku#fah, that of the people of Bas@rah, that of the people of Syria, that of the people of Hams, that of the people of Makkah and that of the people of Madi#nah came into existence. These were in accordance with the choice of the famous readers of these areas.

- - . . .
(vi) The dominance of choice of certain readers: It was agreed and accepted after sometime that the authority of certain readers in these territories has prevailed over the others. What these readers had selected in reading, became the reading of the people of their territory. These readers enunciated three

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principles for the basis of selecting various readings: (a) The reading should be in harmony with the Uthma#nic codex, (b) It should originate from the companions and (c) It should be grammatically correct. In 322 AH, Abu# Bakr Ibn Muja#hid, the greatest scholar of the Science of Readings (Qira#a#t) of his times, selected between these readings and gave priority to the readings of seven readers. They were Na#fi from Madi#nah, Ibn Kathi#r from Makkah, Ibn A%mir from Syria, Abu# Amr from Bas@rah and A%s@im, Hamzah and Kisa#i# from Ku#fah. He based this selection on the famous H@adi#th: The Qura#n has been revealed on seven readings; read any of those which you find easy from among these seven. However, most scholars did not accept this selection done by Ibn Muja#hid. Some of them approved the reading of Abu# Jafar of Madi#nah, some took favour to the reading of Yaqu#b of Bas@rah and others to that of Khalaf of Ku#fah. Today most of the scholars accept the readings of the ten readers and regard the readings of these ten to be Mutawa#tir.

- - . . .
(vii) Reading of H@afs@ attains dominance and wide acclaim: The readings of each of these ten readers were transmitted by several narrators. After some time, people selected two narrators from among these for each of these ten. They favoured and chose those readings of Na#fi which were narrated by

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Warsh and by Qa#lu#n; of Ibn Kathi#r those which were narrated by Qunbul and by Bizzi#; of Ibn Amir those which were narrated by Ibn Dhakwa#n and by Hisha#m; of Abu Amr those which were narrated by Du#ri# and by Su#si#; of A%s@im those which were narrated by H@afs@ and by Abu# Bakr; of H@amzah those which were narrated by Khalaf and by Khalla#d; of Kisa#i# those which were narrated by Du#ri# and by H@a#rith. Similarly, they chose and favoured those readings of Abu# Jafar which were narrated by Ibn Jamma#z and by Ibn Warda#n; of Yaqu#b those which were narrated by Rawh@ and by Ruays. Then later on only the versions narrated by each of the above two narrators of the ten readers were totally relied upon. These versions persisted in every age with people reading them until three of them received more acclaim than the others; they were: the reading of Abu# Amr of Bas@rah as narrated by Du#ri#, the reading of Na#fi of Madi#nah as narrated by Warsh and the reading of A%s@im of Ku#fah as narrated by H@afs@. The version of H@afs@ subsequently prevailed over the other two except in the Maghrib where the reading of Warsh prevailed. Today, in most Muslim countries, the reading of A%s@im through H@afs@ has survived as the most dominant and widely adopted of all the readings.

: )( )( )( )( )( )(
This in the opinion of the Orientalists is the history of evolution of the Qira#a#t (Readings) of the Qura#n. It begins from the various codices individually compiled by the companions until Uthma#n promulgated an official codex in his times. Then there remained a time of choice in the

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selection of various readings until the scholars started relying on one formal reading. It is thus proved that the results of the research carried out by the Orientalists are more in conformity with the various Ah@a#dith and the various contradictory accounts reported on this topic. These results are also more in harmony with the circumstances and incidents of that period. Basing our results on this analysis, six distinct periods of the history of the evolution of the Qira#a#t (Reading) of the Qura#n can be identified: 1. The period of the early codices. 2. The period of the Uthma#nic codices sent to various territories. 3. The period of choice in reading. 4. The period of dominance of the seven or ten readings. 5. The period of choice in the readings of the ten. 6. The period of the general acceptance of the reading of H@afs@, which is the period when these codices entered the phase of printing.88 In more recent times, John Gilchrist has written on the history of the Qura#nic text. His findings are no different from those of the scholars of the German tradition. As against the more technical presentation of Arthur Jeffery, his presentation is perhaps more easier for the common man to grasp. Below, his findings are summarized in his own words: The Qura#n was compiled piecemeal, was not compiled in a single book during Muhammads lifetime, was recited by many companions and was read at the time by Muslims with varying Arabic dialects. The course of the text thereafter down to the present day is largely what one would have expected and is generally consistent with itself, most certainly in its broad outline. After Muhammads death passages of the Qura#n were lost irretrievably when a number of reciters died at the Battle of Yama#mah. This incident together with the Qura#ns automatic completion as a book, once its mediator had passed away inspired a number of companions to compile their own codices of the text. These were basically consistent with each other in their general content but a large number of variant readings, many seriously
88. Arthur Jeffery, Preface to Ibn Abi# Da#wu#ds Kita#bul Mas@a#h@if, 1st ed., (Egypt: AlMat@baah al-Rah~maniyyah, 1936), pp. 5-9)

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affecting the text, existed in all the manuscripts and no two codices were entirely the same. In addition, the text was being recited in varying dialects in the different provinces of the Muslim world. During the reign of Uthma#n, a deliberate attempt was made to standardise the Qura#n and impose a single text upon the whole community. The codex of Zayd was chosen for this purpose because it was close at hand and, having been kept in virtual seclusion for many years, had not attracted publicity as one of the varying texts as those of Abdulla#h Ibn Masu#d and Ubayyi Ibn Kaab had done. The other codices were summarily destroyed and Zayds text became the textus receptus for the whole Islamic world as a result. Numerous records were retained, however, showing that key passages were missing from this text. It also had to be reviewed and amended to meet the caliphs standard for a single approved text. After Uthmans death, however, H@ajja#j, the governor at Ku#fah, made eleven distinct amendments and corrections to the text. As the early codices were only written in consonantal form, however, the varying dialects survived largely unaffected by Uthmans action and it was only three centuries later that a scholar, Ibn Muja#hid, managed to limit these to seven distinctly defined readings in accordance with a tradition which stated that the Qura#n originally came in seven different readings although the tradition itself made no attempt to define these readings. Over the succeeding centuries, the Qura#n continued to be read in seven different forms until five of them largely fell into disuse. Eventually only those of H@afs@ and Warsh survived and, with the introduction of a printed Qura#n the text of H@afs@ began to take almost universal prominence. The Qura#n text as it is read and printed throughout the Muslim world today is only Zayds version of it, duly corrected where necessary, later amended by H@ajja#j, and read according to one of seven approved different readings. This is the reality - a far cry from the popular sentiment which argues for a single text right from the time of Muhammad himself. The reality, however, based on all the evidences available, shows that the single text as it stands today was only arrived at through an extended process of amendments, recensions, eliminations and an imposed standardisation of a preferred text at the initiative of a subsequent caliph and not by prophetic direction or divine decree.

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The Qura#n is an authentic text to the extent that it largely retains the material initially delivered by Muhammad. No evidence of any addition to the text exists and, in respect of the vast number of variant readings and missing passages that have been recorded, there does not appear to be anything actually affecting or contradicting the basic content of the book. In this respect, one can freely assume a relative authenticity of the text in the sense that it adequately retains the gist and content of what was originally there. On the contrary, there is no basis in history, facts or the evidences for the development of the text to support the cherished hypothesis that the Qura#n has been preserved absolutely intact to the last dot and letter.89 Appendix C: A Comment on some Dissenting Views on the Authenticity of the Qura#n Some people have pointed out the dissenting views of some Muslims on the authenticity and completeness of the Qura#n. The fact is that not only are these dissenting points of view unacceptable viz a viz the arguments for the contrary view point (as the main text of the article attempts to show), but such people as have these dissenting views are also in a negligible minority both among the Shi#ah and the Sunni# sects of the Muslims. Imam Khu#i#, a prominent Muslim scholar records the opinions of the Shi#ah authorities in the following words:

- - . . "" . " " " " . " " )(. ". "
It is a known fact among the Muslims that the Qura#n has not been tampered with in any way and that all of the Qura#n we have with us today is the same
89. John Gilchrist, Jamul-Qura#n -- The Codification of the Qura#n Text, Internet Version: http://www.answering-islam.org/Gilchrist/Jam/chap6.html

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that was revealed to the Prophet (sws). This has been specified by many authorities. Among them is the bona fide, Muhammad Ibn Ba#bwih, the chief of all the Muh~addithi#n. He maintains that the view that the Qura#n has not been tampered with is among the beliefs of the Ima#miyyah. The great Abu# Jafar Muhammad Ibn H@asan T@usi also holds this view. He has explicitly mentioned it in the beginning of his exegesis Al-Tibya#n. He has also quoted the exactly similar opinion of his learned teacher and profound scholar Sayyid Murtad@a# . His arguments on it are the best of all. Similarly, the celebrated exegete of the Qura#n T@abrasi# has also expressed this same view in the preface of his exegesis Majmaatul-Baya#n. Another person who has asserted this view is the leading jurist Shaykh Jafar in his book KashfulGhita#; he has also claimed a consensus on it. Allama#h Shahshaha#ni# in his book Al-Urwah Al-Wuthqa# is an exponent of this view also. He has attributed it to many Mujtahidi#n as well. Among them is the famous Muh@addith Muh@sin Qa#sa#ni# (who has mentioned this view in his two books Al-Wa#fi# and Ilmul-Yaqi#n) and the learned Muh@ammad Jawa#d al-Bala#ghi# who has referred to this view in the preface of his exegesis A%la#ulRah@ma#n.90 Sufficient sources and examples have already been cited in the main text of this dissertation that any dissension from the view that the Qura#n the Muslim Ummah has with it today is the very one revealed to the Prophet (sws), is held at best by a negligible minority both among the Shi#as and the Sunni#s. T@abrasi# records:

.... )( )(
90. Imam Khu#i#, Al-Baya#n, 5th ed., (Qum: Al-Mat@baah Al-Ilmiyyah, 1974), pp. 218-9

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)( )( .
Everyone agrees that the view that any addition has been made in the Qura#n is baseless. As far as the view that there has been some omission in its text is concerned, one of our [Shi#ah] groups and the Hashawiyyah sect of the Sunni#s say that there have been omissions and alterations in it. However, the correct view of our sect is against this and Sayyid Murtad@a# has endorsed this view. In his answer to the issues of T~arabalsiya#t, he has comprehensively dealt with this topic. At various places, he has written that the knowledge of the authenticity of the Qura#n is exactly the same as that of cities, great events, famous books and the written record of poetry of the Arab poets. This was because there were abundant reasons and motives for the transfer and protection of the Book of Allah. Such was the extent of these that nothing could parallel them, since the Qura#n is the miracle of Prophethood and the source of law and other directives of Islam. The scholars of this Ummah undertook every effort to safeguard it so that they even recorded the differences in its reading, in its declensions and in its letters. In view of this extreme caution, how can it be believed that any part of the text was omitted or altered . Sayyid Murtad@a# has also said that the Qura#n was written and compiled in the time of the Prophet (sws) and we have it in same form today. He corroborated this fact by arguing that the whole of it was read and learnt by heart in those times. So much so that Ali (rta) assigned a group of Companions to this task and the Qura#n was presented and recited out to the Prophet (sws). Many of the companions of the Prophet (sws) like Abdulla#h Ibn Masu#d and Ubbayi Ibn Kaab recited the whole of the Qura#n before the Prophet (sws) many a time. All this shows that the Qura#n was properly compiled in the time of the Prophet (sws); it was not unarranged or scattered about. Sayyid Murtad@a# is also of the opinion that those among the Ima#miyyah and the H@ashawiyyah sects who have differed from this view are of no significance because the ones who have differed are from among the Ahli H@adi#th and have based their view on weak Ah@a#di#th considering them to be correct. Consequently, on the basis of

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such weak Ah@a#di#th, a proven and a certain reality cannot be rejected.91


_______________

91. T@abrasi#, Majmaatul-Baya#n, vol.1, (Beirut: Da#rul-Fikr, 1994), pp. 15-16