Friday, August 22, 2014
Assalam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatahu

The Compilation of the Holy Quran

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In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful

Assalamo Alykum Wa Rehmatullahe Wa Barakaatuh

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------The Compilation of the Holy Quran

 

      
Muhammed (saw) was the first to commit the Revelation to memory after Jibreel (as) had conveyed it to him.

The Messenger then declared the revelation and instructed the companions to memorise it. According to Imam Sayuti ( Al-Itqan ) 20 companions memorised the revelation including the Khulafa Rashideen.

The Qur'an was not only transmitted orally but was also written down during the life time of the Messenger (saw). An example of this is when Umar bin Khattab(ra) converted to Islam, he wanted to see the leaves his sister was reading (Ibn Hisham pg.156). Ibn Umar narrated that Muhammed (saw) said : "Do not take the Qur'an on a journey with you, for I am afraid lest it should fall into the hands of the enemy." (Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol 4 No. 233). This indicates that the Qur'an was a written document.

The order and arrangement was well known to the Muslims due to daily recitation of the Qur'an in their prayers.

There are 3 ahadith in Bukhari indicating that the angel Jibreel (as) used to recite the whole Qur'an with the Messenger (saw) once a year in Ramadan, but recited it twice in the year he died ( Vol 6 No. 518, 519, 520.)

The Revelation after the Messenger (saw) was available both orally and written down on various materials. Its internal order was known to the Muslims and strictly observed by them.

At the battle of Yamama, in the time of Abu Bakr (ra), a number of Muslims who had memorised the Qur'an were killed. Abu Bakr (ra) instructed Zaid bin Thabit to collect the Qur'an that was written and also from those who had memorised it. The Qur'an was collected by mutawatir transmission.

The compiled Qur'an was kept by Abu Bakr (ra) until he died, then by Umar bin Khattab (ra), and when he died he gave it to his daughter Hafsa (ra). Various Companions such as Abdullah ibn Masud, Ubay bin Ka'b and Ibn Abbas (ra) had their own Masahif (collected pages).

During the Khilafah of Uthman (ra) differences in reading the Qur'an became Obvious and after consultation with the companions, Uthman had a standard copy prepared by Zaid bin Thabit, Abdullah bin Zubair, Said bin Al Asn and Abdur-Rahman bin Harith bin Hisham. Copies were made and distributed. Two of these copies today can be found in Topkapi museum in Istanbul and Tashkent.

Proof/Challenge of the Quran.The Qur'an's linguistic style makes it unique and impossible to be imitated. ( Inimitability means the weakness of human power in trying to achieve a miracle). This is called the I'jaz Al-Qur'an. From this I'jaz, the Qur'an issues a Challenge (Tahaddi) to all of Mankind to imitate the Qur'an as the rational proof of its divine source. This is because Islam Does not accept Blind faith and the challenge results in the definite conclusion that the Qur'an is from Allah (SWT).

As for confirming that the Qur'an is revealed by Allah, It is well known that the Qur'an is in Arabic and was conveyed by the Messenger (saw). Thus it is EITHER from the Arabs, or Muhammad or Allah T'aala. It is not possible that the Qur'an came from any source other than these sources.

1. It is not from the Arabs because the Qur'an challenged them to bring any similar book:

"Say bring ye then ten surahs like unto it." [TMQ 11:13]

"Say bring ye then one surah like unto it." [TMQ 10:38]

They tried to meet the challenge but failed, hence this book is not their speech.

Hearing from the recitation from the Qur'an, the arabs would rush, captivated by its dignity, deep insight, perfect arrangement, coherence and eloquence. So much so that Walid ibn Al Mughira said after hearing the Qur'an :

" By God : None of you is more conversant than I with poetry, melodious hymns, and songs, and by God never did I hear anything similar to what he says. It is so sweet, and so graceful that it remains at the summit with nothing to surpass it."

2. It is not from Muhammed (saw) because Muhammad is one of the Arabs, and whatever his height of Genius he must remain one of the human beings, and one of the community and nation. As the Arabs had themselves failed to bring the like of Qur'an, this also applies to Muhammad, the Arab.

Furthermore Muhammad (saw) has left some authentic (SAHIH) and absolutely authentic ( hadith mutawatir) traditions whose authenticity is beyond approach. If these traditions are compared with any verse of the Qur'an, there is no similarity between them in style, even though the Messenger (saw) would say the hadith at the same time with difference in style between them. This inspite the fact that whenever anyone attempts to disguise his speech it will remain, nevertheless, similar in style, because style is part of man himself. The Qur'an is not Muhammad's speech due to the clear difference between it and Muhammad's speech. Non of the Arabs alleged that the Qur'an was Muhammad's speech.

3. It is From the Non-Arabs. This was the only allegation against Muhammad, that he had bought it from a Christian youth called Jabr. As a Result Allah (SWT) revealed :

"We know indeed that they say: It is a man that Teaches him. The Tongue of him they wickedly point to is notably foreign, while this is Arabic pure and clear." [TMQ 16 : 103]

The Qur'an is therefore definitely from Allah (SWT) and accordingly a Miracle for the one who brought it.

"Lo, We, even We, reveal the reminder, and lo,We verily are its Guardian." [TMQ 15:9]

The Qur'an defies the masters of eloquence, challenging them to produce a similar surah.

The Qur'an is the meaning-denoting Word that was revealed to the Messemger (saw). Meanings alone do not constitute the Qur'an. And the word alone may not be without meaning because the word was originally written to denote a specific meaning. That is why Allah (SWT) described the Qur'an through Describing its word. It is an Arabic Quran.

The language is the description of the word Qur'an but not of its meanings, because these meanings are to humanity not to Arabs alone.

Translating some of its meaning into another language cannot be the Qur'an. It is Imperative that the word be Arabic. It is the miracle of the Messenger (saw). It is not a miracles for Arabs only but to the whole human race for all times.

" And We have not sent thee (O Muhammad) save as a bringer of good tidings and a warner unto all mankind, but most of mankind know not" [TMQ 34 : 28]

This covers the whole human race, for the verses of challenge are universal:

"Say: verily though mankind and the jinn should assemble to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like thereof, though they were helpers of one another
Method of preservations of the Quran during the Prophet's timeBesides, those of the Companions (May Allah be Pleased wit them) who were literate used to keep a written record of several portions of the Holy Qur'an. In this manner, the text of the Holy Qur'an had been preserved in four different ways during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (PBUH):
  1. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) had the whole text of the Divine Messages from the beginning to the end committed to writing by the scribes of revelations.
  2. Many of the Companions learned the whole text of the Qur'an, every syllable of it, by heart.
  3. All the illustrious Companions, without an exception, had memorized at least some portions of the Holy Qur'an, for the simple reason that it was obligatory for them to recite it during worship. An estimate of the number of the illustrious Companions may be obtained from the fact that one hundred and forty thousands Companions had participated in the Last Pilgrimage performed by the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
  4. A considerable number of the literate Companions kept a private record of the text of the Qur'an and satisfied themselves as to the purity of their record by reading it out to the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
Method of preservations of the Quran after the demise of the ProphetIt is an incontrovertible historical truth that the text of the Holy Qur'an extant today is, syllable for syllable, exactly the same as the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had offered to the world as the Word of God. After the demise of the Holy Prophet, the first Caliph Hadhrat Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) assembled all the Huffath and the written records of the Holy Qur'an and with their help had the whole text written in Book form. In the time of Hadhrat 'Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) copies of this original version were made and officially dispatched to the Capitals of the Islamic World. Two Of these copies exist in the world today, one in Istanbul and the other in Tashkent. Whosoever is so inclined may compare any printed text of the Holy Qur'an with those two copies, he shall find no variation. And how can one expect any discrepancy, when there have existed several million Huffath in every generation since the time of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and in our own time? Should anyone alter a syllable of the original text of the Qur'an, these Huffath would at once expose the mistake. In the last century, an Institute of Munich University in Germany collected FORTY-TWO THOUSAND copies of the Holy Qur'an including manuscripts and printed texts produced in each period in the various parts of the Islamic World. Research work was carried out on these texts for half a century, at the end of which the researchers concluded that apart from copying mistakes, there was no discrepancy in the text of these forty-two thousand copies, even though they belonged to the period between the 1st Century Hijra to 14th Century Hijra and had been procured from all parts of the world. This Institute, alas! perished in the bombing attacks on Germany during World War II, but the findings of its research project survived. Another point that must be kept in view is that the word in which the Qur'an was revealed is a living language in our own time. It is still current as the mother tongue of about a hundred million people from Iraq to Morocco. In the non-Arab world too, hundreds of thousands of people study and teach this language. The grammar of the Arabic language, its lexicon, its phonetic system and its phraseology, have remained intact for fourteen hundred years. A modern Arabic-speaking person can comprehend the Holy Qur'an with as much proficiency as did the Arabs of fourteen centuries ago. This, then, is an important attribute of Muhammad (PBUH), which is shared by no other Prophet or Leader of Religion. The Book which God revealed to Him for the guidance of mankind is today's in its original language without the slightest alteration in its vocabulary.
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