“Al Qur’an minangka kitab suci asli – basa, huruf lan bacaan sing padha. Ora ana papan kanggo interpretasi manungsa utawa terjemahan sing rusak … Yen sampeyan njupuk salinan Qur’an saka omah ing saindenging jagad, aku ragu sampeyan bakal nemokake bedane ing antarane dheweke.
A kanca ngirim kula cathetan iki. Dheweke mbandhingake teks Al Qur’an karo Injil / Kitab Suci. Ana XNUMX ewu manuskrip Injil kuno lan ana variasi cilik, mung sawetara tembung sing beda-beda. Sanajan kabeh tema lan gagasan padha ing kabeh 24000 manuskrip, kalebu tema saka Isa al Masih nebus kita ing pati lan wunguné, pratelan asring digawe, kaya ing ndhuwur, ora ana variasi ing Qur’an. Iki katon minangka kaunggulan Al Qur’an tinimbang Kitab Suci, lan bukti pangayoman mukjijat. Nanging apa sing dicritakake dening hadits babagan pembentukan lan kompilasi Al-Qur’an?
Wujudipun Al-Qur’an saking Kanjeng Nabi dumugi Khalifah
`Umar bin Al-Khattab:
Aku krungu Hisyam bin Hakim bin Hizam maca Surat-al-Furqan kanthi cara sing beda karo aku. Rasulullah (ﷺ) wis mulangake marang aku (kanthi cara sing beda). Dadi, aku arep padu karo dheweke (sajrone shalat) nanging aku ngenteni nganti dheweke rampung, banjur aku ngikat jubahe ing gulu lan nyekel dheweke lan nggawa dheweke menyang Rasulullah (ﷺ) lan ngandika, “Aku wis krungu. dheweke maca Surat Al-Furqan ing cara sing beda karo cara sampeyan mulangake marang aku.” Nabi (ﷺ) dhawuh marang aku supaya ngeculake dheweke lan njaluk Hisyam maca. Nalika maca, Rasul Allah ngendika, “Iki diturunake kanthi cara iki.” Dheweke banjur ngajak aku maca. Nalika aku maca, dheweke ngandika, “Iki dicethakaké kanthi cara iki. Al-Qur’an wis diturunake kanthi pitung cara, mula wacanen kanthi cara sing luwih gampang kanggo sampeyan.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 2419; Kitab 44, Hadits 9)
Riwayat Ibnu Mas`ud:
Aku krungu wong maca ayat (Al Qur’an) kanthi cara tartamtu, lan aku krungu Nabi (ﷺ) maca ayat sing padha. cara sing beda. Banjur aku nggawa dheweke menyang Nabi (ﷺ) lan ngandhani dheweke babagan iki, nanging aku weruh tandha ora setuju ing raine, banjur dheweke ujar:Sampeyan loro bener, mulane aja padha mbeda-mbeda, amarga para bangsa sadurunge kowe padha beda-beda, mula padha tumpes.” (al-Bukhari 3476; Kitab 60, Hadits 143)
Kalih punika kanthi gamblang mratelakaken bilih nalika sugengipun Kanjeng Nabi Muhammad (SAW) wonten sawetawis versi waosan Al-Qur’an ingkang dipunginakaken lan disetujoni dening Muhammad (SAW). Dadi apa sing kedadeyan sawise dheweke mati?
Abu Bakar lan Qur’an
Zaid bin Thabit meriwayatkan:
Abu Bakar As-Siddiq ngutus aku nalika wong-wong Yamama wis dipateni (yaiku, sawetara sahabat Nabi sing perang nglawan Musailima). (Aku marani dheweke) lan ketemu Umar bin Al-Khattab lungguh karo dheweke. Abu Bakr banjur ngandika (marang aku), “‘Umar wis teka marang aku lan ngandika:” Korban akeh banget ing antarane Qurra’ Qur’an (yaiku wong-wong sing ngerti Qur’an kanthi ati) ing dina perang. Yamama, lan aku wedi yen luwih akeh korban jiwa bakal kelakon ing antarane Qurra’ ing medan perang liyane, sing sebagian gedhe saka Qur’an bisa ilang. Mulane aku nyaranake, sampeyan (Abu Bakar) dhawuh supaya Qur’an “Kadospundi panjenengan saged nindakaken ingkang boten dipun tindakaken dening Rasul Allah?”diklumpukake.” Aku matur marang Umar, `Umar ngandika, “Demi Allah, iku proyek apik.” `Umar terus ndesek aku supaya nampa lamarane nganti Allah mbikak dhadhaku lan aku mulai ngerti sing apik saka ide sing wis diwujudake dening Umar. Abu Bakar banjur ngandika (marang aku). ‘Sampeyan nom-noman sing wicaksana lan kita ora duwe curiga marang sampeyan, lan sampeyan kerep nulis Ilham Ilahi kanggo Rasulullah (ﷺ). Mulané kowé kudu nggolèki (tulisan-tulisan) Al-Qur’an lan klumpukna ing kitab siji.” Demi Allah, yen padha dhawuh marang aku kanggo mindhah salah sawijining gunung, mesthi ora luwih abot tumrapku tinimbang dhawuhku nglumpukake Al Qur’an. Aku banjur matur marang Abu Bakar, “Kadospundi panjenengan badhe nindakaken perkawis ingkang boten dipun tindakaken dening Rasulullah ﷺ?” Abu Bakar mangsuli, “Demi Allah, punika proyek ingkang sae.” Abu Bakr terus ndesek aku supaya nampa gagasane nganti Allah mbikak dhadhaku kanggo apa kang wis dibukak dhadhane Abu Bakar lan `Umar. Mula aku wiwit nggoleki Al-Qur’an lan nglumpukake saka (apa sing ditulis ing) batang palme, watu putih tipis. lan uga saka wong-wong kang padha ngerti ing ati, nganti aku nemokake ayat pungkasan saka Surat at-Tauba (Tobat) karo Abi Khuzaima Al-Ansari, lan aku ora ketemu karo wong liyane saka dheweke. Ayat punika mangkene: Satemene wis tumeka marang sira ana rasul (Muhammad) saka ing sira kabeh. Sedhih yen sampeyan bakal nandhang cilaka utawa kasusahan..(nganti wekasane Surat-Baraa’ (at-Taubah) (9.128-129). Banjur naskah-naskah lengkap (salinan) Al-Qur’an tetep ana ing Abu Bakar ngantos seda, lajeng kaliyan `Umar ngantos akhir hayatipun, lajeng kaliyan Hafsa, putrinipun `Umar. (al-Bukhari 4986; Kitab 66, Hadits 8)
Iki nalika Abu Bakar dadi khalifah, langsung nggenteni Muhammad (SAW). Iki ngandhani yen Muhammad (SAW) ora nate nglumpukake Al-Qur’an dadi teks standar utawa menehi indikasi manawa perkara kasebut kudu ditindakake. Kanthi korban perang sing abot ing antarane wong-wong sing ngerti Qur’an kanthi memori, Abu Bakar lan Umar (dheweke dadi 2).nd Khalifah) mbujuk Zaid kanggo miwiti ngumpulake Qur’an saka macem-macem sumber. Zaid wiwitane wegah amarga Mohamed (PBUH) ora nate nunjukake kabutuhan kanggo nggawe standar teks kasebut. Dheweke wis dipercaya sawetara kanca kanggo mulang Qur’an marang pandherekipun minangka hadits ing ngisor iki ngandhani kita.
‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr nyebataken dhateng ‘Abdullah bin Masud lan ngendika, “Aku bakal tresna marang wong iku, amarga aku krungu Nabi (ﷺ) ngendika, ‘Njupuk (sinau) Qur’an saka papat: ‘Abdullah bin Masud, Salim, Mu`adh lan Ubai bin Ka`b.’ ”
(al-Bukhari 4999; Kitab 66, Hadits 21 )
Nanging, sakwise Nabi (SAW) seda, muncul perselisihan antarane para shahabat amarga variasi bacaan kasebut. Hadits ing ngisor iki nyritakake perselisihan babagan Surah 92:1-3 (Al-Layl)
Sahabat `Abdullah (bin Mas`ud) marani Abu Darda’, (lan sakdurunge tekan omahe), dheweke nggoleki dheweke lan ketemu. Panjenengané banjur ndangu marang wong-wong mau, “Sapa ing antaramu sing bisa maca (Al-Qur’an) kaya sing diwaca Abdullah?” Padha mangsuli, “Kula sedaya.” Dheweke takon, “Sapa ing antarane sampeyan sing ngerti babagan iki?” Dheweke nunjuk marang ‘Alqama. Banjur takon marang Alqama. “Kepriye kowe krungu ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud maca Surat Al-Lail (Wengi)?” Alqama maca: ‘Dening lanang lan wadon.’ Abu Ad-Darda ngendika, “Aku nyekseni yen aku krungu Nabi ngucapake uga, nanging wong-wong iki pengin aku maca:- ‘Lan demi Panjenengane kang nitahake lanang lan wadon.’ nanging demi Allah, aku ora bakal nututi wong-wong mau.”
Bukhari Vol. 6, Kitab 60, Hadits 468
Al-Qur’an dina iki wis maca kaping 2 kanggo Surah al-Layl 92:3. Menarik, Abdullah, sing dadi salah siji saka papat ing hadits sadurunge, utamane sing ditunjuk dening Nabi Muhammad (SAW) minangka panguwasa ing maca Qur’an, lan Abu Ad-Darda nggunakake a beda maca kanggo ayat iki lan ora gelem nututi liyane.
Hadits ing ngisor iki nuduhake yen kabeh wilayah ing kekaisaran Islam padha ngetutake bacaan sing beda-beda, nganti bisa diverifikasi saka ngendi wong kasebut teka kanthi bacaan apa sing digunakake. Ing kasus ing ngisor iki, wong Irak saka Kufah padha ngetutake wacane Abdullah bin Mas’ud saka Surat 92:1-3.
Aku ketemu Abu Darda’, banjur ngandika marang aku: Ing negara ngendi sampeyan? Aku ngandika: Aku iki salah siji saka wong Irak. Panjenengané ngandika manèh: Kutha endi? Aku mangsuli: Kutha Kufah. Dhèwèké manèh dhawuh: Apa sira maca miturut waosan ‘Abdullah b. Mas’ud? Aku: Ya. Dhawuhe: Wacanen ayat iki (Demi wengi nalika nutupi) banjur Ingsun wacanake: (Demi wengi nalika nutupi, lan awan nalika sumunar, lan nitahake lanang lan wadon). Dheweke ngguyu lan celathu: Aku wis krungu Rasulullah (ﷺ) maca kaya iki.
Muslim Kitab 6, Hadits 346
Riwayat Ibnu Abbas:
`Umar ngandika, Ubai iku wong sing paling apik ing antara kita ing maca (Al Qur’an) nanging kita ninggalake sawetara apa sing diwaca.’ Ubai ngandika, ‘Aku wis njupuk saka tutuk utusan Allah (ﷺ) lan ora bakal ninggalake apa wae. Nanging Allah ngandika: “Kita ora ana siji-sijine wahyu-wahyu ingsun sing ora bakal Ingsun batal utawa ora ana sing bakal dilalekake, nanging Ingsun ganti kang luwih becik utawa padha.” 2.106
Bukhari. Kitab 66, Hadits 27
Sanadyan Ubai dianggep ‘sing paling apik’ nalika maca Al-Qur’an (dheweke minangka salah sawijining sing dicathet sadurunge dening Mohamed-PBUH), liyane ing masyarakat ninggalake sawetara apa sing diwaca. Ana ora setuju babagan apa sing kudu dibatalake lan apa sing ora. Disagreements babagan maca varian lan abrogation nyebabake ketegangan. Kita waca ing hadits ing ngisor iki carane masalah iki ditanggulangi.
Khalifah Utsman lan Quran
Diriwayataké déning Anas bin Malik:
Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman sowan dhateng `Utsman nalika tiyang Syam lan tiyang Irak sami nindakaken perang kangge nelukaken Arminya lan Adharbijan. Hudhaifa wedi marang dheweke (wong Syam lan Irak) bedane waosan Al Qur’an, banjur ngandika marang `Utsman, “Dhuh pangareping wong mukmin! Jagalah umat iki sadurunge padha beda-beda bab Kitab (Al Qur’an) kaya wong Yahudi lan Nasrani sadurunge.” Dadi `Utsman ngirim pesen marang Hafsah, “Kisana kita naskah-naskah Al-Qur’an supaya kita bisa nyusun bahan-bahan Qur’an kanthi salinan sing sampurna lan mbalekake naskah kasebut marang sampeyan.” Hafsa dikirim menyang `Utsman. `Uthman banjur dhawuh marang Zaid bin Thabit, `Abdullah bin AzZubair, Sa`id bin Al-As lan `AbdurRahman bin Harits bin Hisyam supaya nulis ulang naskah-naskah kasebut kanthi salinan sing sampurna. Utsman ngandika marang wong telu Quraisy, “Yen sampeyan ora setuju karo Zaid bin Tsabit ing bab apa wae ing Al Qur’an, banjur nulis ing dialek Quraisy, Qur’an wis diturunake ing basa wong-wong mau.” Dheweke nindakake mangkono, lan nalika dheweke wis nulis akeh salinan, `Utsman mbalekake naskah asli marang Hafsa. `Utsman ngirim menyang saben provinsi Muslim siji salinan saka apa sing wis disalin, lan mrentah supaya kabeh bahan Qur’an liyane, apa ditulis ing manuskrip pecahan utawa salinan kabeh, diobong.
al-Bukhari 4987; Kitab 66, Hadits 9
Mulane ora ana maca varian saiki. Ora amarga Nabi Muhammad (SAW) mung nampa utawa nggunakake siji wacan (dheweke ora, dheweke nggunakake pitu), utawa amarga dheweke nyusun Al Qur’an sing berwibawa. Dheweke ora. Nyatane, yen sampeyan nggoleki ‘bacaan beda’ ing sunnah online ana 61 hadits sing ngrembug macem-macem waosan Qur’an. Qur’an saiki ora ana varian amarga Uthman (3rdkhalifah) njupuk salah sawijining wacan, nyunting, lan ngobong kabeh bacaan liyane. Hadits-hadits ing ngisor iki nuduhake carane suntingan iki urip ing Qur’an saiki.
Riwayat Ibnu Abbas:
`Umar ngandika, “Aku wedi yen sawise wektu sing suwe, wong-wong bisa ngomong: “Kita ora nemokake ayat-ayat Rajam ing Kitab Suci.” kewajiban ingkang dipun paringaken Allah. Lo! Aku negesake manawa hukuman Rajam bakal ditindakake marang wong sing nglakoni hubungan seksual sing ora sah, yen dheweke wis nikah lan kejahatan kasebut dibuktekake dening saksi utawa meteng utawa ngakoni.” Sufyan nambahake, “Aku wis hafal riwayat iki kanthi cara iki.”`Umar nambahake, “Satemene Rasulullahﷺ) nindakaké siksa Rajam, lan uga kita sawisé dhèwèké.”
al-Bukhari 6829; Kitab 86, Hadits 56
Riwayat Ibnu Abbas:
… Allah ngutus Muhammad kanthi bebener lan nurunake Kitab Suci marang dheweke, lan ing antarane kang diturunake dening Allah iku ana ayat Rajam (rajam wong nikah (lanang & wadon) sing nglakoni hubungan seksual sing ora sah, lan kita maca Ayat iki lan mangertos lan apal. Rasulullah ﷺ nindakake hukuman rajam lan uga kita sawise dheweke…
Bukhari Kitab 86, Hadits 57
Dina iki ana ora ayat bab rajam (Rajam) kanggo jina ing Qur’an. Iku mangkono diowahi metu.
Ibn Az-Zubair ngendika: Aku matur marang Utsman, “Ayat iki ing Surat Al-Baqarah: “Sira sing mati lan ninggalake randha … wis abrogated dening Ayat liyane. Kok kowe nulis (ing Qur’an)?” ‘ Uthman ngandika. “Tinggalna (ing ngendi iku), …, amarga aku ora bakal ngowahi apa-apa saka iku (yaiku Quran) saka posisi asline.” Bukhari Vol 6, Buku 60, No 60:
Ing kene kita weruh ana ora setuju antarane Utsman lan Ibnu Az-Zubair bab apa abrogation saka ayat tegese iku kudu utawa ora kudu disimpen ing Qur’an. Utsman wis cara lan supaya ayat iki ing Qur’an dina iki. Nanging ana kontroversi babagan iki.
Utsman and the Heading for Surah 9 (At Taubah)
Utsman bin Affan meriwayatkan:
Yazid al-Farisi ngendika: Aku krungu Ibnu Abbas ngendika: Aku takon marang Utsman bin Affan: Apa sing nggegirisi sampeyan nglebokake (Surah) al-Bara’ah sing kalebu mi’in (surah) (isi satus ayat) lan (Surah) al-Anfal kang kagolong mathani (Surah) ing kategori as-sab’u at-tiwal (surah dawa pisanan utawa surah Al Qur’an), lan sampeyan ora nulis “Kanthi asmane Allah, Maha Welas, Maha Asih” ing antarane?
Utsman mangsuli: Nalika ayat-ayat Al-Qur’an diturunake marang Nabi (ﷺ), dheweke nimbali wong kanggo nulisake dheweke lan ngandika marang dheweke: Tulisen ayat iki ing surat sing kasebut lan iki; dene yen diturunake siji utawa loro ayat, dheweke banjur ngucapake kang padha. (Surah) al-Anfal iku surat kang kapisan diturunaké ing Madinah, lan (Surah) al-Bara’ah iku diturunaké pungkasan ing Al-Qur’an, lan isiné padha karo surat al-Anfal. Aku, mulane, panginten sing iku bagéan saka al-Anfal. Mulane Aku sijine wong ing kategori as-sab’u at-tiwal (XNUMX surah dawa), lan Aku ora nulis “Kanthi asmane Allah, Ingkang Maha Welas, Maha Asih” ing antarane dheweke.
Dawud; Kitab 2, Hadits 396
Surat 9 (at Taubah) iku siji-sijine Surat ing Al Qur’an sing ora diwiwiti kanthi ‘Kanthi asmaning Allah, Ingkang-Mahaasih, Ingkang-Mahaasih’. Hadits nerangake sebabe. Utsman ngira yen Surah 9 kalebu Surah 8 amarga materine padha. Saka pitakonan kita bisa ndeleng manawa iki kontroversial ing komunitas Muslim wiwitan. Hadits salajengipun nedahaken reaksi saking salah satunggaling Sahabat dhateng Al Qur’an Utsman.
‘Abdullah (b. Mas’ud) nglaporake yen dheweke (ngandika marang kanca-kancane kanggo ndhelikake salinan Qur’an) lan luwih ngandika:
Sing sapa ndhelikake apa-apa, dheweke kudu nggawa barang sing didhelikake ing dina kiamat, banjur ngandika: kang cara waosan sampeyan dhawuh kula maca? Satemene aku maca sadurunge Rasulullah SAW luwih saka pitung puluh juz ing Al Qur’an lan para Sahabat Rasulullah SAW ngerti yen aku luwih ngerti Kitabullah (katimbang dheweke), lan yen aku kanggo ngerti yen ana wong sing luwih ngerti tinimbang aku, aku mesthi lunga menyang dheweke. Shaqiq ngandika: Aku lenggah ing rombongan para Sahabat Mubkmmad (ﷺ) nanging aku ora krungu wong wis nolak iku (yaiku wacane) utawa golek kesalahan karo iku.
Sahih Muslim; Kitab 44, Hadits 162
Sawetara perkara sing katon:
- Abdullah b. Masud dhawuh marang para pandherekipun supados ndhelikake Al-Qur’an kanthi alesan.
- Dheweke misale jek wis dhawuh dening wong kanggo nggunakake beda wacan. Iki paling apik dimangerteni minangka nuduhake wektu nalika Utsman standar versi Qur’an.
- Bantahan Ibnu Mas’ud kanggo ngganti cara maca Qur’an yaiku: Aku (Mas’ud) luwih ngerti Kitab
- Shaqiq ngendika bilih para Sahabat Muhammad mboten sarujuk kaliyan Mas’ud.
Versi tekstual Qur’an saiki
Nanging, sawise edisi Utsman, maca varian isih ana. Ing kasunyatan, misale jek sing ing 4th abad sawise Nabi [PBUH] ana sanksi bali menyang wacan beda. Dadi sanadyan dina iki wacan teks Arab utama yaiku Hafs (utawa Hofs), ana uga ing Warsh, biasane digunakake ing Afrika Lor, Al-Duri, biasane digunakake ing Afrika Kulon lan liyane. Bedane antarane wacan kasebut biasane ana ing ejaan lan sawetara variasi tembung, biasane ora ana pengaruhe, nanging kanthi sawetara beda-beda sing nduwe pengaruh mung ing konteks langsung nanging ora ing pamikiran sing luwih akeh.
Dadi ing kana iku pilihan minangka kanggo apa versi Al Qur’an kanggo nggunakake.
Kita wis sinau manawa ana macem-macem maca Al Qur’an ing basa Arab saiki, lan liwat proses panyuntingan lan pemilihan sawise seda Nabi Muhammad (SAW). Alesan sing ana sethitik variasi ing teks Qur’an saiki amarga kabeh varian teks liyane wis diobong ing wektu iku. Al-Qur’an ora ana cathetan wacan sulih, dudu amarga ora ana wacan sing sulih, nanging amarga padha rusak. Utsman bokmanawi ngawontenaken waosan Al-Qur’an ingkang sae, nanging boten namung setunggal, lan boten dipundamel tanpa kompromi. Mangkono, gagasan Al Qur’an sing ditampa sacara umum minangka “kitab asli – basa, huruf lan bacaan sing padha. Ora ana papan kanggo interpretasi manungsa” ora bener. Sanadyan Kitab Suci lan Qur’an loro-lorone nduwèni wacan sing béda-béda, uga loro-loroné nduwèni bukti manuskrip sing kuwat sing nuduhaké yèn tèks kaya saiki cedhak marang asline. Loro-lorone bisa menehi kita a perwakilan sing bisa dipercaya saka asline. Kathah ingkang kesasar ngupados mangertos pesen Kitab kanthi ngurmati cara nglestantunaken Al Qur’an lan ngremehake cara nglestantunaken Kitab Suci. Kita bakal luwih fokus kanggo mangerteni Kitab. Iku alesan padha diwenehi ing Panggonan pisanan. A Panggonan apik kanggo miwiti karo Adam.
A friend sent me this note. He was comparing the text of the Holy Qur’an with that of the Injil/Bible. Twenty-four thousand ancient manuscripts of the Injil exist and they do have minor variations, where just a few words vary. Though all themes and ideas are the same across all 24000 manuscripts, including the theme of Isa al Masih ransoming us in his death and resurrection, the claim is often made, as above, that there has been no variation in the Qur’an. This is seen as the Qur’an’s superiority over the Bible, and evidence of its miraculous protection. But what do the hadiths tell us about the formation and compilation of the Qur’an?
Formation of Quran from Prophet to Caliphs
Narrated `Umar bin Al-Khattab:
I heard Hisham bin Hakim bin Hizam reciting Surat-al-Furqan in a way different to that of mine. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) had taught it to me (in a different way). So, I was about to quarrel with him (during the prayer) but I waited till he finished, then I tied his garment round his neck and seized him by it and brought him to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and said, “I have heard him reciting Surat-al-Furqan in a way different to the way you taught it to me.” The Prophet (ﷺ) ordered me to release him and asked Hisham to recite it. When he recited it, Allah s Apostle said, “It was revealed in this way.” He then asked me to recite it. When I recited it, he said, “It was revealed in this way. The Qur’an has been revealed in seven different ways, so recite it in the way that is easier for you.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 2419; Book 44, Hadith 9)
Narrated Ibn Mas`ud:
I heard a person reciting a (Qur’anic) Verse in a certain way, and I had heard the Prophet (ﷺ) reciting the same Verse in a different way. So I took him to the Prophet (ﷺ) and informed him of that but I noticed the sign of disapproval on his face, and then he said, “Both of you are correct, so don’t differ, for the nations before you differed, so they were destroyed.” (al-Bukhari 3476; Book 60, Hadith 143)
These two clearly tell us that during the Prophet Mohamed’s (PBUH) lifetime there were several variant versions of the Qur’an’s recitation that were used and approved by Mohamed (PBUH). So what happened after his death?
Abu Bakr and Qur’an
Narrated Zaid bin Thabit:
Abu Bakr As-Siddiq sent for me when the people of Yamama had been killed (i.e., a number of the Prophet’s Companions who fought against Musailima). (I went to him) and found `Umar bin Al- Khattab sitting with him. Abu Bakr then said (to me), “`Umar has come to me and said: “Casualties were heavy among the Qurra’ of the Qur’an (i.e. those who knew the Qur’an by heart) on the day of the Battle of Yamama, and I am afraid that more heavy casualties may take place among the Qurra’ on other battlefields, whereby a large part of the Qur’an may be lost. Therefore I suggest, you (Abu Bakr) order that the Qur’an be “How can you do something which Allah’s Apostle did not do?”collected.” I said to `Umar, `Umar said, “By Allah, that is a good project.” `Umar kept on urging me to accept his proposal till Allah opened my chest for it and I began to realize the good in the idea which `Umar had realized.” Then Abu Bakr said (to me). ‘You are a wise young man and we do not have any suspicion about you, and you used to write the Divine Inspiration for Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ). So you should search for (the fragmentary scripts of) the Qur’an and collect it in one book.” By Allah If they had ordered me to shift one of the mountains, it would not have been heavier for me than this ordering me to collect the Qur’an. Then I said to Abu Bakr, “How will you do something which Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) did not do?” Abu Bakr replied, “By Allah, it is a good project.” Abu Bakr kept on urging me to accept his idea until Allah opened my chest for what He had opened the chests of Abu Bakr and `Umar. So I started looking for the Qur’an and collecting it from (what was written on) palme stalks, thin white stones and also from the men who knew it by heart, till I found the last Verse of Surat at-Tauba (Repentance) with Abi Khuzaima Al-Ansari, and I did not find it with anybody other than him. The Verse is: ‘Verily there has come unto you an Apostle (Muhammad) from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty..(till the end of Surat-Baraa’ (at-Tauba) (9.128-129). Then the complete manuscripts (copy) of the Qur’an remained with Abu Bakr till he died, then with `Umar till the end of his life, and then with Hafsa, the daughter of `Umar. (al-Bukhari 4986; Book 66, Hadith 8)
This was when Abu Bakr was caliph, directly succeeding Mohamed (PBUH). It tells us that Mohamed (PBUH) had never collected the Qur’an into a standard text or given any indication that such a thing should be done. With heavy battle casualties amongst those who knew the Qur’an by memory, Abu Bakr and Umar (he became the 2nd Caliph) persuaded Zaid to start to collect a Qur’an from diverse sources. Zaid was initially reluctant because Mohamed (PBUH) had never indicated a need to standardize the text. He had trusted several of his companions to teach the Qur’an to their followers as the following hadith tells us.
`Abdullah bin `Amr mentioned `Abdullah bin Masud and said, “I shall ever love that man, for I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, ‘Take (learn) the Qur’an from four: `Abdullah bin Masud, Salim, Mu`adh and Ubai bin Ka`b.’ ”
(al-Bukhari 4999; Book 66, Hadith 21)
However, after the Prophet’s (PBUH) death disagreements arose between the companions because of these variant recitations. The hadith below tells of a disagreement over Surah 92:1-3 (Al-Layl)
The companions of `Abdullah (bin Mas`ud) came to Abu Darda’, (and before they arrived at his home), he looked for them and found them. Then he asked them,: ‘Who among you can recite (Qur’an) as `Abdullah recites it?” They replied, “All of us.” He asked, “Who among you knows it by heart?” They pointed at ‘Alqama. Then he asked Alqama. “How did you hear `Abdullah bin Mas`ud reciting Surat Al-Lail (The Night)?” Alqama recited: ‘By the male and the female.’ Abu Ad-Darda said, “I testify that I heard me Prophet reciting it likewise, but these people want me to recite it:– ‘And by Him Who created male and female.’ but by Allah, I will not follow them.”
Bukhari Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadith 468
Today’s Qur’an has the 2nd reading for Surah al-Layl 92:3. Interestingly Abdullah, who is one of the four in the previous hadith especially singled out by the Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) as an authority on Qur’anic recitation, and Abu Ad-Darda used a different recitation for this verse and were not willing to follow the others.
The following hadith shows that whole regions of the Islamic empire were following different recitations, to the extent that one could verify where someone came from by what recitation he used. In the case below, the Iraqis of Kufa were following Abdullah bin Mas’ud’s recitation of Surah 92:1-3.
I met Abu Darda’, and he said to me: To which country do you belong? I said: I am one of the people of Iraq. He again said: To which city? I replied: City of Kufa. He again said: Do you recite according to the recitation of ‘Abdullah b. Mas’ud? I said: Yes. He said: Recite this verse (By the night when it covers) So I recited it: (By the night when it covers, and the day when it shines, and the creating of the male and the female). He laughed and said: I have heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) reciting like this.
Muslim Book 6, Hadith 346
Narrated Ibn `Abbas:
`Umar said, Ubai was the best of us in the recitation (of the Qur’an) yet we leave some of what he recites.’ Ubai says, ‘I have taken it from the mouth of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and will not leave for anything whatever.” But Allah said “None of Our Revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten but We substitute something better or similar.” 2.106
Bukhari. Book 66, Hadith 27
Though Ubai was considered ‘the best’ in reciting the Qur’an (He was one of those noted previously by Mohamed-PBUH), others in the community left out some of what he recited. There was disagreement over what was to be abrogated and what was not. Disagreements on variant readings and abrogation were causing tensions. We see in the hadith below how this problem was solved.
Caliph Uthman and Quran
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman came to `Uthman at the time when the people of Sham and the people of Iraq were Waging war to conquer Arminya and Adharbijan. Hudhaifa was afraid of their (the people of Sham and Iraq) differences in the recitation of the Qur’an, so he said to `Uthman, “O chief of the Believers! Save this nation before they differ about the Book (Qur’an) as Jews and the Christians did before.” So `Uthman sent a message to Hafsa saying, “Send us the manuscripts of the Qur’an so that we may compile the Qur’anic materials in perfect copies and return the manuscripts to you.” Hafsa sent it to `Uthman. `Uthman then ordered Zaid bin Thabit, `Abdullah bin AzZubair, Sa`id bin Al-As and `AbdurRahman bin Harith bin Hisham to rewrite the manuscripts in perfect copies. `Uthman said to the three Quraishi men, “In case you disagree with Zaid bin Thabit on any point in the Qur’an, then write it in the dialect of Quraish, the Qur’an was revealed in their tongue.” They did so, and when they had written many copies, `Uthman returned the original manuscripts to Hafsa. `Uthman sent to every Muslim province one copy of what they had copied, and ordered that all the other Qur’anic materials, whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt.
al-Bukhari 4987; Book 66, Hadith 9
This is why there are no variant readings today. It was not because the prophet Mohamed (PBUH) only received or used one recitation (he did not, he used seven), nor because he compiled an authoritative Qur’an. He did not. In fact, if you search for ‘different recitations’ in online sunnah there are 61 hadiths that discuss different recitations of Qur’an. Today’s Qur’an is non-variant because Uthman (3rd caliph) took one of the readings, edited it, and burned all the other recitations. The following hadiths show how this editing lives on in today’s Qur’an.
Narrated Ibn `Abbas:
`Umar said, “I am afraid that after a long time has passed, people may say, “We do not find the Verses of the Rajam (stoning to death) in the Holy Book,” and consequently they may go astray by leaving an obligation that Allah has revealed. Lo! I confirm that the penalty of Rajam be inflicted on him who commits illegal sexual intercourse, if he is already married and the crime is proved by witnesses or pregnancy or confession.” Sufyan added, “I have memorized this narration in this way.” `Umar added, “Surely Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) carried out the penalty of Rajam, and so did we after him.”
al-Bukhari 6829; Book 86, Hadith 56
Narrated Ibn `Abbas:
… Allah sent Muhammad with the Truth and revealed the Holy Book to him, and among what Allah revealed, was the Verse of the Rajam (the stoning of married person (male & female) who commits illegal sexual intercourse, and we did recite this Verse and understood and memorized it. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) did carry out the punishment of stoning and so did we after him….
Bukhari Book 86, Hadith 57
Today there is no verse about stoning (Rajam) for adultery in the Qur’an. It was thus edited out.
Narrated Ibn Az-Zubair: I said to ‘Uthman, “This Verse which is in Surat-al-Baqara: “Those of you who die and leave widows behind…without turning them out.” has been abrogated by another Verse. Why then do you write it (in the Qur’an)?” ‘Uthman said. “Leave it (where it is), …, for I will not shift anything of it (i.e. the Quran) from its original position.” Bukhari Vol 6, Book 60, No 60:
Here we see a disagreement between Uthman and Ibn Az-Zubair over whether abrogation of a verse meant it should or should not be kept in the Qur’an. Uthman had his way and so this verse is in the Qur’an today. But there was controversy about it.
Uthman and the Heading for Surah 9 (At Tawbah)
Narrated Uthman ibn Affan:
Yazid al-Farisi said: I heard Ibn Abbas say: I asked Uthman ibn Affan: What moved you to put the (Surah) al-Bara’ah which belongs to the mi’in (surahs) (containing one hundred verses) and the (Surah) al-Anfal which belongs to the mathani (Surahs) in the category of as-sab’u at-tiwal (the first long surah or chapters of the Qur’an), and you did not write “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful” between them?
Uthman replied: When the verses of the Qur’an were revealed to the Prophet (ﷺ), he called someone to write them down for him and said to him: Put this verse in the surah in which such and such has been mentioned; and when one or two verses were revealed, he used to say similarly (regarding them). (Surah) al-Anfal is the first surah that was revealed at Medina, and (Surah) al-Bara’ah was revealed last in the Qur’an, and its contents were similar to those of al-Anfal. I, therefore, thought that it was a part of al-Anfal. Hence I put them in the category of as-sab’u at-tiwal (the seven lengthy surahs), and I did not write “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful” between them.
Dawud; Book 2, Hadith 396
Surah 9 (at Tawbah) is the only Surah in the Qur’an that does not begin with ‘In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful’. The hadith explains why. Uthman thought that Surah 9 was part of Surah 8 since the material was similar. From the questioning we can see that this was controversial within the early Muslim community. The next hadith shows the reaction of one of the Companions to Uthman’s Qur’an.
‘Abdullah (b. Mas’ud) reported that he (said to his companions to conceal their copies of the Qur’an) and further said:
He who conceals anything he shall have to bring that which he had concealed on the Day of judgment, and then said: After whose mode of recitation you command me to recite? I in fact recited before AIlah’s Messenger (ﷺ) more than seventy chapters of the Qur’an and the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) know it that I have better understanding of the Book of Allah (than they do), and if I were to know that someone had better understanding than I, I would have gone to him. Shaqiq said: I sat in the company of the Companions of Mubkmmad (ﷺ) but I did not hear anyone having rejected that (that is, his recitation) or finding fault with it.
Sahih Muslim; Book 44, Hadith 162
Several things stand out:
- Abdullah b. Masud tells his followers to hide their Qur’ans for some reason.
- He seems to have been commanded by someone to use a different recitation. This is best understood as referring to the time when Uthman standardized his version of the Qur’an.
- Ibn Mas’ud’s objection to changing the way he recited the Qur’an was that: I (Mas’ud) have better understanding of the Book
- Shaqiq said that the Companions of Muhammad did not disagree with Mas’ud.
Textual versions of Qur’an today
Following Uthman’s edition, however, variant readings still existed. In fact, it seems that in 4th century after the Prophet [PBUH] there was a sanctioned return to different readings. So though today the major Arab textual reading is the Hafs (or Hofs), there is also the Warsh, used mostly in North Africa, Al-Duri, used mostly in West Africa and still others. The difference between these readings are mostly in spelling and some slight wording variations, usually without any affect on meaning, but with some differences that do have an affect on meaning only in the immediate context but not in wider thought.
So there is a choice as to what version of the Qur’an to use.
We have learned that there are variant Arabic readings of the Qur’an today, and it went through an editing and selection process after the death of the prophet Mohamed (PBUH). The reason that there is such little variation in the Qur’anic text today is because all other text variants were burned at that time. The Quran has no alternate reading footnotes, not because it had no alternate readings, but because they were destroyed. Uthman probably produced a good recitation of the Qur’an, but it was not the only one, and it was not made without controversy. Thus the widely accepted idea of the Qur’an being “original scripture – same language, letters and recitation. No place for human interpretation” is incorrect. Though the Bible and Qur’an both have variant readings, they also both have strong manuscript evidence indicating that the text as it is today is close to the original. Both can give us a trustworthy representation of the original. Many are distracted from seeking to understand the message of the Books by having an undue veneration for the mode of preservation of the Qur’an and an undue disdain for the mode of preservation of the Bible. We would be better off focusing on understanding the Books. That was the reason they were given in the first place. A good place to start is with Adam.