Thursday, November 6, 2008



During the reigns of Abu Bakr

The Companions and their Followers relied on memorizing the Qur’an- teaching the young and newly converted Muslims the Qur’an through memorization.In addition, they had their personal manuscripts.

The Qur’an remained uncompiled in official book form until the year 12 A.H, when seventy of the Huffaz were killed in Yamamah fighting against the self-proclaimed prophet Musaylimah. Qurtubi, 1:50

Forty Huffaz, and posibly seventy, had been killed earlier in the battle of Bi’r Ma’unah

‘Umar came to Abu Bakr with the suggestion that the Qur’an should be compiled in a single book as a safeguard against the loss of some parts of the records or the death of the Huffaz.

Abu Bakr considered the matter carefully and agreed with ‘Umar after some hesitation. He then entrusted Zayd Ibn Thabit with the compilation since he had the following qualifications:


He was the well-known scribe of the revelation (katib al Wahy al Mashhur)

He was a Hafiz of the Qur’an

He had checked through the text with the Prophet after the Prophet had recited it in the presence of the Jibril for the last time.

He was young, knowledgeable, wise, and reliable

He was skilled at writing the Qur’an.(Fath al-Bari, 9:13)

Zayd was afraid of carrying out this task because he felt that he could not do something that the Prophet had not asked him to do.

Abu Bakr finally persuaded him, and he started the work by comparing the Prophet’s record with the memorized and written versions of those of the Huffaz who were available in Madinah.

He then wrote out the entire text in book form and presented the mushaf to Abu Bakr, who received it and kept it in his custody.(Bukhari, 6:478)

The mushaf remained with Abu Bakr until he died, then with ‘Umar until the end of his life, and then with Hafsah, the daughter of ‘Umar and wife of the Prophet, who was herself a Hafizah.

This was because ‘Umar had died before the installation of the third khalifah.(Fath al-Bari, 9:10-16)

At this time disputes arose about the reading of the Qur’an among the Qurra’ because some of the Companions and the Followers were teaching students in the cities they were sent to in versions that differed in various ways. And also because the Companions were reciting the Qur’an in the seven ahruf they were permitted to use.

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