Prayer Time

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All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) , is His Slave and Messenger.


The first method of recording the verses of the holy Qur’an was through memorization. Upon receipt of wahy the Holy Prophet (saw) would immediately commit all passages revealed to him to his memory, which is known as hifdh. Thereafter he would recite the same to his Companions. Ibn Mas’ud was the first to recite the Qur’an publicly in Makkah. The Arabs of this time were generally an illiterate nation but were great fans of poetry and tales. Being a predominantly oral culture the Arabs would memorize poems and tales in order to communicate it to others. They had a heightened sense of memory in comparison to other nations. Therefore once the Muslims were taught a passage of the Qur’an they immediately confined it to memory quite easily and this practice was encouraged by the Prophet (saw). Uthman bin Affan narrates the Prophet (saw) as saying the most superior amongst the Companions were those who learn the Qur’an and then taught it to others. The same passages were also regularly recited in the five daily prayers, so remembrance of the verses was a daily occurrence. It was also a practice of the Holy Prophet (saw) to listen to Qur’anic recitation from the Companions. Ibn Masud (rad) in particular narrates how the Prophet (saw) once shed tears after listening to his recitation of Surah Nisa.


During the lifetime of the Prophet (saw) scribes also carefully wrote the passages of the Qur’an on a variety of different writing materials. These varied from pieces of parchment to leather and leaves. However once any passage was recorded the Prophet (saw) would personally check the written records and insure that all the words were correct and in the correct order.

Whenever an ayah was revealed, he (saw) informed the Companions of the name of the relevant Surah and where it was to be placed in the Qur’an. Ibn Abbas reports that Othman bin Affan stated that when the Holy Prophet (saw) received revelation he would call a companion to write it down and then tell them where to place the ayah in the Qur’anic order. Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal reports the narration of Othman bin abi-ul-Aas (rad) as stating: “I was once sitting with the Holy Prophet (saw) when he received revelation. Then he lowered his eyes and the Holy Prophet (saw) stated that ‘Angel Gibraeel has come to me and ordered that I should place this ayah with this Surah. Imaam Malik details how the inhabitants of Yemen were sent collected written sheets of the Qur’an (mushaf) by some Muslims with orders given to keep it clean and safe, confirming the writing down of the Qur’an in some for during the Holy Prophet’s (saw) lifetime. The Qur’an also describes itself as a kitab, a book well-guarded indicating an organized compilation in some shape.

Since the Prophet (saw) instructed the Companions where to place each ayah, they themselves never interfered in the divine order. Ibn Zubair (rad) narrates that he asked Othman (rad) why he placed one ayah in the Qur’an when another had revoked it. Othman (rad) replied that he did not have the authority to change the order, which had been divinely revealed.

One has to remember that the Qur’an is not just a book of prayers but a practical guide to life. It instructs man in every sphere, be it on the modes of marriage, the penal system, business codes and ethics as well as the personal sphere of human relationships. As such the holy Qur’an is often termed the “living Qur’an’ due to its continual usage in daily life. So every passage that was revealed to the Holy Prophet (saw) was continually quoted and read, either in the daily prayers or in the daily affairs of life. In this way it was impossible for any mistakes or errors to occur in any of the words or passages as the words of the Qur’an were always in use. It was indeed a living book. Allah (swt) is also the ultimate guarantor and protector of the Qur’an ensuring it to be free from any error and interference:

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ

“We have without doubt sent down the message and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)”. (Al-Hijr, 15:9).

In the Lifetime of the Prophet (saw)

There is ample evidence showing that the entire Qur’an was written down in the Prophets (saw) lifetime. As stated earlier when he (saw) received revelation he would instruct scribes to record the revelation on parchments of paper or pieces of leather. He would also indicate in which Surah each ayah was to be place. The Companions never interfered in the arrangement of the ayahs and Surahs which are the same in copies of Qur’ans available today. Zaid bin Thabbit was one of the most prominent of the scribes and has reported that he, along with other companions would compile the Qur’an in the presence of the Holy Prophet (saw). During this time the names of the Surahs were also known. Angle Gibraeel (a.s) would also come to the Holy Prophet (saw) every Ramadan to listen to him reciting the Qur’an, and listened to him twice in the year of his demise. This shows that The Qur'an was not only written down by those Companions who did so on their own initiative. Indeed, the Prophet, when a revelation came, called for the scribe and dictated to him.


In the time of Abu Bakr

A detailed account of this is contained in an account given by Zaid bin Thabbit in Sahih Bukhari. After the demise of the Holy Prophet (saw) an imposter called Musaylamah announced falsely his own Prophet hood. Abu Bakr (rad) sent a Muslim expedition against him and a harsh battle took place in 632 A.D (11 A.H) at the place of Yamamah during which hundreds of Ha'fidh  were martyred. Umar bin Kattab (rad) became concerned at the heavy loss of casualties, fearing that a large part of the Qur’an could be lost if the rate of martyrdom increased. He expressed these fears to the Caliph Abu Bakr (rad) and asked him to compile the Qur'an into a permanent book form. Abu Bakr (rad) was at first shocked at the request and said he could not do something that the Holy Prophet (saw) had never done in his own lifetime. However Umar (rad) continued to persuade him until Abu Bakr (rad) said his heart was opened by Allah (swt) and he agreed to the suggestion.

Abu Bakr (rad) called upon Zaid bin Thabbit (rad) to collect and compile the Qur’an into one volume. Hadrat Zain bin Thabbit was also astonished at this request and declared it would have been easier for him to shift a mountain than to do such a task. He too questioned how they could do something that the Holy Prophet (saw) had never done. Abu Bakr (rad) replied this was a good thing and began to persuade him until Allah (swt) opened the heart of Zaid bin Thabbit (rad)who agreed to do this too.

Zaid bin Thabbit (rad) set about completing the task. He collected all the written parts of the Qur’an from date leaves, parchment and pieces of leather and also listened to many of the hafiz who recited verses from their memories. After having carefully compared and cross checked each ayah, he compiled the written Qur’an into one single volume. Abu Bakr became its official custodian, passing on to Umar bin Kattab (rad) during his caliphate. After his demise the Qur’anic volume was passed into the custody of his daughter Hafsah (rad).

In the time of Uthman bin Affan

As the Islamic empire increased it incorporated many different nations and tribes who did not speak and understand Arabic. As a result difference in reciting the Qur’an and pronunciation began to occur. It is reported by Anas bin Malik that Hudaifah bin Yaman (rad) had been involved in the victories of the Muslim run Sham, now modern day Syria, and Iraq over Armenia and Azerbaijan. He heard the differences in the recitation of the Qur’an by the inhabitants there. Upon his return he related these concerns to Uthman (rad) who expressed a deep apprehension at this new development. They both feared conflicts could arise, replicating the problems that had occurred in the authenticity of the Bible and Toroth. Uthman took action and asked Hafsah (rad) for the original volume of the Qur’an promising to return it to her once copies were made. She sent it immediately to him. Zaid bin Thabbit, having been responsible for the first compilation (rad) was appointed as the head of a committee to make exact and perfect copies of the original. The other committee members consisted of Abdullah bin Zubair, Sa’id bin Al A’as and Abdur Rahman bin Harith (rad).  Uthman gave them instructions that if any of the three disagreed upon any point with Zaid (rad) then the relevant ayah should be written in the language of the Quraish as that was the tongue in which the Qur’an was revealed.

Once copies were made the original was returned to Hafsah (rad). The new copies were then distributed to every Muslim province with the orders that all other copies of the Qur’an, be they full or partial copies, were to be burnt and replaced by this original one. Since that day the Holy Qurán has remained in its original pristine form and will remain as such in the future by the Grace and Blessings of Allah Almighty.



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