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The history of the Noble Quran

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The history of the Noble Quran

Post by Ithar Ghada Faied on Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:10 pm

The Qur'an is the backbone of Islam. On this Sacred Book of Allah depends the Islamic call, state, society and the civilization of the Muslim world. It is the last Divine revelation, which was sent down to Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, the last and final of all Prophets, may Allah exalt their mention. His task was to convey the message of worshiping the One God, Allah, without ascribing any partners to Him. The Noble Qur'an, which is the source of guidance and mercy to mankind, is divided into one hundred and fourteen (114) Soorahs (chapters) of varying lengths. Ninety-three chapters were revealed in Makkah, while the remaining twenty-one were revealed in Madeenah.

The first revelation that the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam received was Soorat Al-'Alaq, which was in Makkah where Soorat An-Najm was to later became the first to be recited openly to the people. In Madeenah, Soorat Al-Mutaffifeen was the first one revealed after the Hijrah (migration). The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam had to flee to Madeenah to save his own life and the lives of his followers, upon the command of Allah.

The last verse sent down to the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam was the saying of Allah which means: “…This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion...” [Quran: 5:3]

Some chapters in the Qur'an focus on the call to Islam as guidance for humanity. They focus upon monotheism and the fight against polytheism and idolatry. Thus, stress is laid on all that is related to faith. In other chapters, attention is given to legislation, acts of worship, relationships among people and the laws that regulate matters within the Muslim community, government, and family.

A number of chapters inform about Resurrection, the Hereafter and the unseen; others relate the stories of various prophets and their calls to their people to return to Allah. We see how the previous nations were severely punished when they disobeyed Allah and denied the messages of previous prophets, may Allah exalt their mention.

In addition, several chapters focus on the story of creation and the development of human life. In fact, Makkan revelations made the Muslims' faith in Allah firmly established. On the other hand, Madeenan revelations were meant to translate the faith into action and give details of the Divine Law.

Allah will forever preserve the Qur'an against all attempts to destroy or corrupt it. Being guarded by Allah, it will always remain pure. There does not exist a single copy with any variation from the recognized text.

Any attempt of alteration has resulted in failure.

Upon the command of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam his Companions would write down what was revealed of the Noble Qur'an. They used, for this purpose, palm branches stripped of leaves, parchments, shoulder bones, stone tablets, etc. About forty people were involved in this task. Among them was Zayd Ibn Thaabit may Allaah be pleased with him who showed his work to the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam. Thus, the Qur'an was correctly arranged during the Prophet’s life, but it was not yet compiled into one book. In the meantime, most of the Prophet’s Companions memorized the Qur'an.

When Abu Bakr may Allah be pleased with him became Caliph after the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam died, a large number of the Companions were killed during the War of Apostasy. 'Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab may Allah be pleased with him, went to the Caliph and discussed the idea of compiling the Qur'an into one volume. He was disturbed, as most of those who memorized it had died. Then, Abu Bakr may Allah be pleased with him called for Zayd and commissioned him to collect the Qur'an into one book, which became known as the 'Mus-haf.'

After Zayd may Allah be pleased with him accomplished this great task and organized the Qur'an into one book, he submitted the precious collection to Abu Bakr may Allah be pleased with him who kept it in his possession until the end of his life. During the caliphate of 'Umar may Allah be pleased with him it was kept with his daughter Hafsah may Allah be pleased with her who was also a wife of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam.

During the Caliphate of 'Uthmaan may Allah be pleased with him Islam reached many countries, and readers began to recite the Qur'an in different ways (dialects). 'Uthmaan may Allah be pleased with him then had various copies made and sent them out to the different Muslim lands, lest these dialects would cause alterations to the Qur'an, and kept the original copy with Hafsah may Allah be pleased with her. Thus, the Qur'an remained preserved and the Caliph was very much pleased with his achievement.

Today, every copy of the Qur'an conforms with the standard copy of 'Uthmaan may Allah be pleased with him. In fact, Muslims over the ages excelled in producing the best manuscripts of the Noble Qur'an in the most wonderful handwriting. With the introduction of printing, more and more editions of the Noble Qur'an became available all over the world.
Ithar Ghada Faied

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