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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Facebeook Ameer QA

Answer to Question:

Compilation of The Holy Quran During the Reign of Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq (r.a)

To: Sawt Altahrir
(Translated)

 

Question:

Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,

A question about collecting the Noble Qur’an at the time of Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him,

I have a question related to the compilation of Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq (r.a) of the Holy Qur’an; was it copying or collection of the tablets in which the Holy Qur’an was written? I know that what is adopted in the book of The Islamic Personality and the answer of the Ameer, may Allah protect him, on this subject and the book Tayseer Al-Wusul Ila Al-Usul; all say that Abu Bakr’s compilation of the Qur’an constituted collecting the sheets in which it was written and not copying it. But I read some texts that indicate that the compilation is meant to copy the sheets and not to bring them together, and these texts are as follows:

In the Book of Al-Murshid al-Wajiz Ila Ulum Tata'laq bil Kitab Al- Aziz, written by Shihab al-Din Abdul Rahman bin Ismail bin Ibrahim, known as Abu Shama al-Maqdisi, who died in the year 665 AH, several quotations indicate that the compilation was copying and writing of the sheets (suhuf) that were written down before the Messenger of Allah in one book and not a compilation of the same sheets (suhuf) in one book ... etc. And it appears to me that these contradict what was stated in the book of The Islamic Personality, and with what was stated in the answer to question, as we completely deny copying and consider the compilation as a collection of the same sheets that were written down before the Prophet (saw) while this evidence proves it.

How can you reconcile? May Allah bless you.

Answer:

Wa Alaikum Assalam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,

1- Concerning the compilation of the Qur’an, we have clearly explained it in our books, and that during the reign of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, there was a compilation of sheets (suhuf) written down before the Messenger of Allah (saw) on pieces of parchments, leaf-stalks of date palms or on lukhaf’s (a thin broad white stone), and this remained with Abu Bakr (r.a), until his death, then with Umar, may Allah be pleased with him until his death, then with Hafsa, (r.a), and during the era of Uthman, (r.a) there were reasons for making copies of these collected sheets, so he sent to Hafsa, may Allah be pleased with her, and brought these compiled sheets of the Holy Qur’an and transcribed from them a number of copies; he sent a copy to every Muslim province and kept one with him, which is Mushaf (Al-Imam). We have sufficiently detailed this in clear detail.

2- Yes, various other narrations were mentioned which make copying and transcription took place during the era of Abu Bakr (ra), and that this copying was from the written parchments that were with the Companions, and there are other narrations suggesting that copying was for a part of the Qur’an and not for all of the Qur’an, and that was in the era of Abu Bakr and so on.

3- But what is adopted in this case and the likes of it is that the narrations that were transmitted from al-Bukhari are to be adopted, and then the other narrations are examined. If they agree with what is written in the narration of al-Bukhari, then they are taken, and if they oppose, then they are not taken.

4- By studying this issue as it was mentioned in Al-Bukhari, the following appears:

a- It says in Sahih Al-Bukhari:

(4311 - Abu Al-Yaman told us, Shu’aib told us from Az-Zahri, he said, Ibn As-Sabbaq told me that Zaid Ibn Thabit Al-Ansari (ra), who was one of those who used to write the Divine Revelation: "Abu Bakr (r.a) sent for me after the (heavy) casualties among the warriors (of the battle) of Yamama and '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) Yamama, and I am afraid that there will be more casualties among the Qurra' (those who know the Qur’an by heart) at other battle-fields, whereby a large part of the Qur’an may be lost, unless you collect it, and I am of the opinion that you should collect the Qur’an.'” Abu Bakr (r.a) added, “I said to 'Umar: كَيْفَ أَفْعَلُ شَيْئاً لَمْ يَفْعَلْهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ؟' How can I do something which Allah's Apostle (saw) did not do?''Umar said (to me),هُوَ وَاللَّهِ خَيْرٌ 'By Allah, it is (really) a good thing.' So ‘Umar kept on trying to convince me and persuade me to accept his proposal till Allah(swt) opened my heart for it and I had the same opinion as 'Umar.' Zayd b al-Thabit added: Umarwas sitting with him (i.e. Abu Bakr) and was not speaking to me. Abu Bakr said: إِنَّكَ رَجُلٌ شَابٌّ عَاقِلٌ وَلَا نَتَّهِمُكَ كُنْتَ تَكْتُبُ الْوَحْيَ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ فَتَتَبَّعْ الْقُرْآنَ فَاجْمَعْهُ. 'You are a wise young man and we do not suspect you (of telling lies or of forgetfulness): and you used to write the revelation (wahy) for Allah's Apostle (saw). Therefore, look for the Qur’ān and collect it (in one manuscript).'By Allah, if he (Abu Bakr) had ordered me to shift one of the mountains (from its place) it would not have been harder for me than what he had ordered me concerning the collection of the Qur’an. I said to both of them, “How dare you do a thing which the Prophet (saw) has not done?' Abu Bakr (r.a) said, 'By Allah, it is (really) a good thing So I kept on arguing with him about it till Allah (swt) opened my heart for that which He (swt) had opened the hearts of Abu Bakr (r.a) and Umar (r.a). So, I started locating the Qur’anic material and collecting it from the parchments, scapula bones, leaf-stalks of date palms and from the memories of men (who knew it by heart). I found with Khuzaymah Al-Ansari two Verses of Sura at-Tawba which I did not find with anybody else, (and they were):

[لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُمْ]

“Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty” [At-Tawba: 128]. until the end of Sura Bara'ah. The manuscript on which the Qur’an was collected, remained with Abu Bakr (r.a) till he passed away, and then with 'Umar (r.a) during his lifetime, and finally it remained with Hafsa bint Umar (r.a)…) End.

b- Also in Sahih al-Bukhari:

(6654 - Mohammed bin Obeid-Allah Abu Thabit told us that Ibrahim bin Saad Ibn Shihab told us that 'Ubayd ibn al-Sibaq said that Zaid ibn Thabit al-Ansari may Allah be pleased with him, said: Abu Bakr (r.a) sent for me after the (heavy) casualties among the warriors (of the battle) of Yamama and '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) Yamama, and I am afraid that there will be more casualties among the Qurra' (those who know the Qur’ān by heart) at other battle-fields, whereby a large part of the Qur’an may be lost, And I am of the opinion that you should collect the Qur’an.” Abu Bakr (r.a) added, “I said to 'Umar:كَيْفَ أَفْعَلُ شَيْئاً لَمْ يَفْعَلْهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ؟' How can I do something which Allah's Apostle (saw) did not do?' 'Umar said (to me), هُوَ وَاللَّهِ خَيْرٌ 'By Allah, it is (really) a good thing.' So ‘Umar kept on trying to convince me and persuade me to accept his proposal till Allah (swt) opened my heart for it and I had the same opinion as 'Umar.' Zayd b al-Thabit added Abu Bakr said: إِنَّكَ رَجُلٌ شَابٌّ عَاقِلٌ َلَا نَتَّهِمُكَ كُنْتَ تَكْتُبُ الْوَحْيَ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ فَتَتَبَّعْ الْقُرْآنَ فَاجْمَعْهُ.'You are a wise young man and we do not suspect you (of telling lies or of forgetfulness): and you used to write the revelation (wahy) for Allah's Apostle (saw). Therefore, look for the Qur’ān and collect it (in one manuscript). 'By Allah, if he (Abu Bakr) had ordered me to shift one of the mountains (from its place) it would not have been harder for me than what he had ordered me concerning the collection of the Qur’an. I said to both of them, “How dare you do a thing which the Prophet (saw) has not done?' Abu Bakr (r.a) said, 'By Allah, it is (really) a good thing So I kept on arguing with him about it till Allah (swt) opened my heart for that which He (swt) had opened the hearts of Abu Bakr (r.a) and Umar (r.a).  So, I started locating the Qur’anic material and collecting it from the leaf-stalks of date palms, parchments, and on lukhaf (a thin broad white stone) and from the memories of men (who knew it by heart). I found the end of Sura at-Tawba:

[لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ]

“Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves.” [At-Tawba: 128]. until the end of the verse with Khuzaymah or Abu Khuzaymah which I added it to its Sura in the Mushaf. The manuscript on which the Qur’an was collected, remained with Abu Bakr (r.a) till he passed away, and then with 'Umar (r.a) during his lifetime, and finally it remained with Hafsa bint Umar (r.a)… Muhammad bin Obaidullah said: "lukhaf means pottery.") End.

c- The narrations of Al-Bukhari were repeated on the authority of Zaid bin Thabit, may Allah be pleased with him, and in each of them Abu Bakr said to Zaid: (Abu Bakr said: إِنَّكَ رَجُلٌ شَابٌّ عَاقِلٌ َلَا نَتَّهِمُكَ كُنْتَ تَكْتُبُ الْوَحْيَ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ فَتَتَبَّعْ الْقُرْآنَ فَاجْمَعْهُ.'You are a wise young man and we do not suspect you (of telling lies or of forgetfulness): and you used to write the revelation (wahy) for Allah's Apostle (saw). Therefore, look for the Qur’ān and collect it (in one manuscript).

d- And from there it appears that Abu Bakr (ra), asked Zaid to follow the Qur’anic material and collect it, not to write it, meaning that Zaid’s mission, may Allah be pleased with him, was to follow the sheets (suhuf) which were written in the presence of the Messenger of Allah (saw) whether they were on parchments, leaf-stalks of date palms or lukhaf, and collect them rather than write them again.

e- And this is confirmed when Zaid found the last verses of Surah Bara'ah written on a sheet only with Khuzaymah al-Ansari and it was not found written with anyone else. He stopped compiling them in order to verify that, although they (the Sahabah) used to memorize it through Tawatur (concurrent transmission), but they committed themselves not to take a script unless two people testify that it was written in the presence of the Messenger. And because they did not find this verse in writing except with Khuzaymah, they stopped compiling them until they find two witnesses. Khuzaymah was one witness and they wanted another witness, and they did not write the verse from their memorization even though they used to memorize it through Tawatur. Then the relief came from Allah (swt), and witnesses from the Companions testified that the Messenger of Allah (saw) has made the testimony of Khuzaymah equivalent to the testimony of two, and accordingly, they took this script from Khuzaymah because his testimony was equivalent to the testimony of two people.

f- As for Khuzaymah’s testimony and the fact that it is equivalent to two testimonies, it was extracted by Ahmed in his Musnad and Abu Dawood in his Sunan and the words are Ahmad’s: (حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْيَمَانِ حَدَّثَنَا شُعَيْبٌ عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ حَدَّثَنِي عُمَارَةُ بْنُ خُزَيْمَةَ الْأَنْصَارِيُّ، أَنَّ عَمَّهُ حَدَّثَهُ، وَهُوَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّبِيِّ ﷺ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ ﷺ ابْتَاعَ فَرَساً مِنْ أَعْرَابِيٍّ فَاسْتَتْبَعَهُ النَّبِيُّ ﷺ لِيَقْضِيَهُ ثَمَنَ فَرَسِهِ، فَأَسْرَعَ النَّبِيُّ ﷺ الْمَشْيَ وَأَبْطَأَ الْأَعْرَابِيُّ، فَطَفِقَ رِجَالٌ يَعْتَرِضُونَ الْأَعْرَابِيَّ فَيُسَاوِمُونَ بِالْفَرَسِ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ ﷺ ابْتَاعَهُ، حَتَّى زَادَ بَعْضُهُمْ الْأَعْرَابِيَّ فِي السَّوْمِ عَلَى ثَمَنِ الْفَرَسِ الَّذِي ابْتَاعَهُ بِهِ النَّبِيُّ ﷺ، فَنَادَى الْأَعْرَابِيُّ النَّبِيَّ ﷺ فَقَالَ: إِنْ كُنْتَ مُبْتَاعاً هَذَا الْفَرَسَ فَابْتَعْهُ وَإِلَّا بِعْتُهُ. فَقَامَ النَّبِيُّ ﷺ حِينَ سَمِعَ نِدَاءَ الْأَعْرَابِيِّ فَقَالَ: أَوَلَيْسَ قَدْ ابْتَعْتُهُ مِنْكَ؟ قَالَ الْأَعْرَابِيُّ: لَا وَاللَّهِ مَا بِعْتُكَ. فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ ﷺ: بَلَى قَدْ ابْتَعْتُهُ مِنْكَ. فَطَفِقَ النَّاسُ يَلُوذُونَ بِالنَّبِيِّ ﷺ وَالْأَعْرَابِيِّ وَهُمَا يَتَرَاجَعَانِ، فَطَفِقَ الْأَعْرَابِيُّ يَقُولُ: هَلُمَّ شَهِيداً يَشْهَدُ أَنِّي بَايَعْتُكَ، فَمَنْ جَاءَ مِنْ الْمُسْلِمِينَ قَالَ لِلْأَعْرَابِيِّ: وَيْلَكَ النَّبِيُّ ﷺ لَمْ يَكُنْ لِيَقُولَ إِلَّا حَقّاً، حَتَّى جَاءَ خُزَيْمَةُ فَاسْتَمَعَ لِمُرَاجَعَةِ النَّبِيِّ ﷺ وَمُرَاجَعَةِ الْأَعْرَابِيِّ، فَطَفِقَ الْأَعْرَابِيُّ يَقُولُ: هَلُمَّ شَهِيداً يَشْهَدُ أَنِّي بَايَعْتُكَ. قَالَ خُزَيْمَةُ: أَنَا أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ قَدْ بَايَعْتَهُ، فَأَقْبَلَ النَّبِيُّ ﷺ عَلَى خُزَيْمَةَ فَقَالَ: بِمَ تَشْهَدُ؟ فَقَالَ: بِتَصْدِيقِكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، فَجَعَلَ النَّبِيُّ ﷺ شَهَادَةَ خُزَيْمَةَ شَهَادَةَ رَجُلَيْنِ)(Abu Al-Yaman told us, Shuaib told us from Az-Zahri, he told me, Umara Ibn Khuzaymah Al-Ansari, that his uncle, who was a companion of the prophet, told him, that the Prophet(saw) bought a horse from a Bedouin. The Prophet (s) took him with him to pay him the price of his horse. The Messenger of Allah (saw) walked quickly and the Bedouin walked slowly. The people stopped the Bedouin and began to bargain with him for the horse as and they did not know that the Prophet (saw) had bought it.

The Bedouin called the Messenger of Allah (saw) saying: 'If you want this horse, (then buy it), otherwise I shall sell it.' The Prophet(saw) stopped when he heard the call of the Bedouin, and said: 'Have I not bought it from you?' The Bedouin said: 'I swear by Allah, I have not sold it to you.' The Prophet(saw) said: 'Yes, I have bought it from you.' The Bedouin began to say: 'Bring a witness.' Khuzaymah ibn Thabit then said: 'I bear witness that you have bought it.' The Prophet(saw) turned to Khuzaymah and said: 'On what (grounds) do you bear witness?'

He said: 'By considering you trustworthy, Messenger of Allah (saw)!' The Prophet (saw) made the witness of Khuzaymah equivalent to the witness of two people). This was also narrated by Al-Hakim in Al-Mustadrak on the two Sahihs and said: (this is a Sahih Hadith in sanad (narration), and the narrators (men) are trustworthy, according to the agreement of the two Sheikhs, but they did not narrate it).

g- All this proves that the companion with whom the written sheet of the verses of At-Tawbah was found, and was not found with anyone else is Khuzaymah, not Abu Khuzaymah, as in some narrations because the verse was adopted because the testimony of the bearer is equal to two witnesses. This is true for Khuzaymah and not Abu Khuzaymah and it seems that the names were confused, and this happens sometimes. In any case it is Khuzaymah ibn Thabit al-Ansari as shown above.

h- Thus, Zaid refrained from collecting what he found written with Khuzaymah until after the witnesses testified that the testimony of Khuzaymah is the testimony of two people according to the Hadith that we mentioned earlier on the authority of Allah’s Messenger (saw). Therefore, Zaid's heart was reassured and he collected this sheet found with Khuzaymah and added it to the other written pieces.

i- All this confirms that Zaid's task that Abu Bakr assigned to him was to collect the Qur’an and not to write it. So, Zaid compiled sheets that have the verses written in the presence of Allah's Messenger (saw), arranged them in their respective Surahs and brought them together in one place. And for every sheet that he compiled, he required that two witnesses testified that it was written in the presence of the Messenger of Allah (saw) except the last verses of Surat At-Tawba which were written by Khuzayma alone, as he was the one who the Messenger of Allah (saw) made his testimony equal to two witnesses, and Allah Almighty said the Truth when He says:

[إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ]

“Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian.” [Al-Hijr: 9].

j- Thus, the narrations that you mentioned in the question that what Zaid did during the era of Abu Bakr is copying the verses of the Qur’an and not collecting them as they were on the leaf-stalks of date palms, parchments and lukhaf, these narrations are contrary to the correct narrations mentioned in Bukhari as shown above, and therefore it applies to them what we have mentioned, so meaning is rejected (by Diraya) if their Sanad is correct, or not taken for their weakness if their Sanad is (Dha’eef) weak.

 

6- In conclusion, it is clear in your question that you have read the Islamic Personality, Part One, and Tayseer Al-Wusul Ila Al-Usul on the subject of collecting the Qur’an, so there is no need to attach to you what is said in the two books about the collection of the Qur'an.

But I quote from the Islamic Personality the following:

(That is why Abu Bakr’s (ra) order to compile the Qur’an was not an order to write it down in one mus’haf; rather, it was an order to bring the sheets that had been written in the Messenger’s (saw) presence together in one place and it was an order to make certain that they are in the same form as they were by supporting it with the testimonies of two witnesses… These sheets remained preserved in the possession of Abu Bakr (ra) during his life and then with ‘Umar (ra) during his lifetime and them with Hafsa, the daughter of ‘Umar (ra), the mother of the Believers in accordance with ‘Umar’s (ra) bequest...

Therefore, ‘Uthman’s (ra) action was not the compilation of the Qur’an; rather, it constituted in only the copying and transcription of the same thing transcribed from the Messenger of Allah (saw) as it was. He did not do anything other than making seven copies from the preserved copy in the possession of Hafsa (ra), the mother of the Believers, and unite the people on this single script and forbade any other script or dictation other than it. The matter was settled on this copy as a script and dictation. It is the same script and dictation in which the sheets were written as was written in the presence of Allah’s Messenger (ra) when the revelation was revealed. And it is the same copy which Abu Bakr (ra) had compiled. Then the Muslims began to make copies from this copy and not any other copy. Nothing remained except the mus’haf of ‘Uthman (ra) in its script. When printers came about, the mushaf was printed from this copy with the same script and dictation)

And I quote from the book Tayseer Al-Wusul Ila Al-Usul the following:

(Allah Almighty has ensured the protection of the Holy Qur’an, for falsehood cannot approach it from before it or from behind it, and no one can substitute any letter in it without being discovered:

[إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ]

“Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian.” [Al-Hijr: 9],

[إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا جَمْعَهُ وَقُرْآنَهُ]

“Indeed, upon Us is its collection [in your heart] and [to make possible] its recitation.” [Al-Qiyama: 17],

[وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللّهِ لَوَجَدُواْ فِيهِ اخْتِلاَفاً كَثِيراً]

“If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction.” [An-Nisa: 82],

[لَا يَأْتِيهِ الْبَاطِلُ مِن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَلَا مِنْ خَلْفِهِ تَنزِيلٌ مِّنْ حَكِيمٍ حَمِيدٍ]

“Falsehood cannot approach it from before it or from behind it; [it is] a revelation from a [Lord who is] Wise and Praiseworthy.” [Fussilat: 42].

Allah Almighty protected the Holy Qur’an and appointed for it those who collected it and preserved it from alteration and distortion until it reached us transmitted through Tawatur (concurrent transmission). The Companions - may Allah be pleased with them - transmitted the exact revelation of what was revealed, and what the Messenger ordered to write, and it will remain protected until Allah inherits Earth, and whoever is on it, and until Allah wills.)

Your brother,

Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah

30th Rabii’ Al-Akhir 1442 AH

15/12/2020 CE

The link to the answer from the Ameer’s Facebook page.

Last modified onSaturday, 02 January 2021 03:33

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