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Revelation And Compilation Of Quran

In the name of Allah, the most Gracious and Merciful. Allah had created this world, made people from clay, and then inserted a soul in them. First-person in the world is Hazrat Adam (A.S) and Hazrat Hawwa - Hazrat Adam's wife. Then they grow into groups and tribes from their off-springs. Some of them believe in the truth that Allah is one but many of them refuse it. With the passage of time, amount of people was increasing and many peoples were gonna accept the truth but many of them were false. So for their guidance, Allah Almighty had sent many messengers (about 124,000) and revealed books on them, for the guidance of mankind. The 4 Holy Books of Allah are Zabur (revealed to Dawud A.S), Tawrat (revealed to Musa a.s), Injeel (revealed to Isa a.s) and Holy Quran (revealed to Muhammad (ﷺ). Though sent to different Prophets and nations, all four books share basic values.

  1. Zabur

  2. Tawrat

  3. Injeel

  4. Quran

Except for the Holy Quran, all the previous three books were not available in their original condition. People have made many changes to it so for this purpose, Allah revealed the last Holy Book, whose responsibility of protection was taken by Allah Himself. Allah had said in Quran, "Allah says He has revealed the Quran and He will protect it." (Surah Hijr: 9).

Revelation of Quran

Holy Quran was revealed to the last Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) in the form of wahi. In Islamic terminology, wahi can be literally defined as “Allah’s divine message conveyed to Allah’s chosen persons (Prophets).” Descriptions of wahi are also given in the Holy Quran, “So we sent this inspiration to the mother of Musa.” (Quran, 28:7). “This is part of the tidings of the unseen which we reveal unto thee (oh Prophet) by inspiration”. (Quran, 3:44)

Quran was revealed in the form of Wahi which was made open to Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) by Allah Almighty in different forms, either during sleep, while awake, with an imprint on His heart, or Gabriel brought the verses in his original or human forms from time to time.

The process of revelation of the Quran started in the month of Ramadan as Allah (SWT) mentioned in Quran: “Ramadan is the (month) in which we sent down the Quran.” (Quran, 2:185). The Quran was not revealed in one instance but through a gradual process with small numbers of Ayahs revealed at any one time. Allah Almighty also explains the reason behind the in-parts revelation of the Quran over a period of 23 years. Allah says in Quran, “(It is) a Quran which we have divided (into parts from time to time), in order that thou mightiest recite it to men. At intervals we have revealed it by stages.” (Quran, 17:106)

Hence there was a step-by-step process of revelation where the verses were revealed at specific instances to Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) making it easy to circulate and propagate the information to the followers of Islam. So the divine message of Allah (SWT) was revealed slowly to allow the new Muslim Arabs to change and accept the new faith of Islam and live their lives according to the teachings of Islam.

Revelation in stages also created a constant link between Allah Almighty and His beloved Prophet (SAW) giving moral support in times of need and distress, “Thus (it is revealed), that We may strengthen thy heart.” (Al-Furqan, 25:106). Thus we can conclude from this we have a solution to every problem we are facing in our lives in the Holy Book Quran.

Compilation of Quran

In the beginning, Quran was recorded in form of memorizing the verses of the Holy Quran. But later the process of compilation of the Quran started to preserve it in form of a Book. When comes to the compilation of the Quran, it has been divided into specific parts and times in history when different Muslim rulers at different times made different contributions to make the compilation of the Quran better and more reliable. We will discuss the different stages of the compilation of Quran throughout the Islamic history which has made it possible to view and read the Quran in its present form.

  • First Stage during the time of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ): First time the compilation process of the Quran was started in the life of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). In this stage, the arrangement and order of the Surahs and Ayahs were specified by the Prophet (ﷺ) and the text was written down.  However, at this stage, the Quran was not compiled into a single book, comparatively was available in separate sheepskin and was memorized in its integrity by several companions of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). So, the initial compilation was started in the life of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).

  • Second Stage during the Reign of Hazrat Abu Bakar (R.A): The second stage of compilation took place during the caliphate of Hazrat Abu Bakar (R.A).  In the battle of Yamama a large number of sahaba, who had memorized the Quran, were martyred.  This became a source of quiet concern for many companions of the Prophet (ﷺ) and they feared the preservation of the Quran.  Therefore Hazrat Umer (R.A) suggested to the Caliph that the Quran should be collected and compiled into a single book in order to ensure its preservation.  Hazrat Abu Bakar (R.A) liked the idea but was afraid because the Prophet (ﷺ) himself had never taken this step and He (R.A) feared that this action might be considered a discrepancy from the   However, later on, he had a change of heart and ordered Hazrat Zain bin Saabit (R.A) to be the chief scriber and work on compiling the Quran in a book form. All of the members of the commission were renowned Haffaz (memorizers) of the Quran, i.e. they had already memorized it in its entirety. After listening to various Haffaz, cross-referencing it with the different written verses of the Quran found on tree leaves, scorch and leather skins, he compiled a final copy of the Quran which was then presented to Hazrat Abu Bakar (R.A).  Once the whole text was collected and compiled, the commission carefully proofread it and certified that it was correct and present in its entirety. So, the first Book version of the Quran was compiled in the life of Hazrat Abu Bakar (R.A) the first caliph of Islam.

  • Third Stage during the Reign of Hazrat Usman (R.A): During the era of the third Caliph Usman (R.A) a serious issue related to the recitation of the Quran was raised. Despite the text of the Quran being universally accepted, Arabs from different parts of the Islamic state recited it according to their dialect.  These presented two problems: firstly that everybody considered their dialect to be correct which gave rise to disputes; and secondly, it was feared that if this went on, there will be no universally accepted version of the Quran left. From overcoming these problems Hazrat Usman (R.A) requested Hazrat Hafsa (R.A) to provide the earlier compilation of the Quran so that more copies could be made out of it. Moreover, He also formed a committee consisting of Hazrat Zain bin Haris (R.A) and a few other Companions to make sure that they agree on the pronunciation of the original copy and produce more versions of that copy in the very same way. The commission prepared the text accordingly and then several copies were made and sent to different parts of the Islamic state with the instructions that only this should be considered the official and authentic text of the Quran. Since that day the Holy Quran has remained in its original intact form and will remain as such in the future by the Grace and Blessings of Allah Almighty.

In spite of Allah Almighty, Himself taking the responsibility of preserving the Quran, however, He had the work done by humans where different rulers in different times made efforts to make sure that the Quran was preserved and it was in a form that was universal with no deviation whatsoever in terms of its textual content which we have nowadays from which we recite.


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