Sunday, November 9, 2008


During the reigns of ‘Uthman

By this time, disputes among the readers became so heated that they were accusing each other of unbelief (kufr).

Such disputes occurred in many places : Madinah, Kufah, Basrah, Syria, and the military camps.

Hudhayfah Ibn al Yaman was in the battle zones of Armenia and Azerbaijan and witnessed these disputes among muslims.

He became very annoyed and hastened to Madinah to suggest to ‘Uthman a unified reading of the Qur’an

He addressed him saying, “O Chief of the Believers! Save this Ummah before they differ about the Book as the Jews and the Christians did before”.(Bukhari, 6:479)

Consequently, ‘Uthman called the Muhajirin and Ansar for consultation. All of them agreed and encouraged him to unify the reading of the Qur’an. (Al Kamil, 3:111-12)

‘Uthman sent a message to Hafsah saying: “ Send us the manuscript of the Qur’an, so that we may compile the Qur’anic materials in perfect copies and return the manuscript to you.”

Hafsah sent the manuscript and ‘Uthman then odered :


1) Zayd Ibn Thabit ( Ansar)

2) ‘Abd Allah Ibn al Zubayr ( Qurasysh)

3) Sa’id Ibn al-’As ( Qurasysh)

4) ‘Abd Rahman Ibn Harith ( Qurasysh)

To write the manuscript in perfect copies.

‘Uthman said to the Qurasyshi men, “If you disagree with Zayd Ibn Thabit on any point in the Qur’an, write it in the dialect of Quraysh as the Qur’an was revealed in their tongue”.

They did so and when they had written many copies, ‘Uthman returned the original manuscript to Hafsah.(Bukhari, 6:479)

To every Muslim region, ‘Uthman sent one copy and ordered that all the other Qur’anic materials, whether whole or fragmentary manuscripts, be burnt. .(Bukhari, 6:479)

The Companions, the learned men, and the leading figures agreed with ‘Uthman and approved the decision he had made, including ‘Ali.

‘Ali is reported to have confronted those who rebelled against ‘Uthman and said to them that ‘Uthman burnt only the masahif that varied from the final revelation and preserved that which was agreed upon.

And also that he did nothing without the consultation and consent of all Companions, and furthermore, that if he were in ‘Uthman’s position he would have done the samething.(al-Kamil: 3:112)

In fact, Muslims in general admired ‘Uthman’s action and agreed to it unanimously (with the exception of Ibn Mas’ud) because ‘Uthman united them in one mushaf, cleansed from any abrogated versions, and freed it from any ahad reading or any interpretation that may have been added to the text.( Manahil, 1:260-61

Ibn Mas’ud is said to have felt ignored or insulted when he was not asked join the committee set up to compile the Qur’an

He is quoted as having said that he had been taught seventy surahs by Prophet, while Zayd Ibn Thabit was a young boy playing with children.(al-Musnad, 5:325)

As a result, Ibn Mas’ud is said to have refused to give his mushaf back to ‘Uthman to be burnt and to have told his students to do the same.

Ibn Abi Dawud states, however, that Ibn Mas’ud reconsidered and gave his mushaf back to ‘Uthman

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