Syed Abul 'Aala Maudoodi
In this Book, the Holy Prophet's life, the history of the
Arabs and the events which occurred during the period of the revelation of the Quran have not been mingled with the Divine
Verses, as is the case with the Bible. The Quran is the pure word of God. Not one word therein is not divine. Not a single
word has been deleted from its text. The Book has been handed down to our age in its complete and original form since the
time of Prophet Muhammad. From the time the Book began to be revealed, the Holy Prophet had dictated its text to the scribes.
Whenever some Divine Message was revealed, the Holy Prophet would call a scribe and dictate its words to him. The written
text was then read out to the Holy Prophet, who, having satisfied himself that the scribe has committed no error of recording,
would put the manuscript in safe custody. The Holy Prophet used to instruct the scribe about the sequence in which a revealed
message was to be placed in a particular Surah (chapter). In this manner, the Holy Prophet continued to arrange the text of
the Quran in systematic order till the end of the chain of revelations. Again, it was ordained from the beginning of Islam
that a recitation of the Holy Quran must be an integral part of worship. Hence the illustrious Companions would commit the
Divine verses to memory as soon as they were revealed. Many of them learned the whole text and a far larger number had memorized
different portions of it.
Method of preservations of the Quran during the Prophet's time
Besides, those of the Companions (pbut) who were literate
used to keep a written record of several portions of the Holy Qur'an. In this manner, the text of the Holy Qur'an had been
preserved in four different ways during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (PBUH):
(1) The Holy Prophet (PBUH)
had the whole text of the Divine Messages from the beginning to the end committed to writing by the scribes of revelations.
(2) Many of the Companions learned the whole text of the
Qur'an, every syllable of it, by heart.
(3) All the illustrious Companions, without an exception,
had memorized at least some portions of the Holy Qur'an, for the simple reason that it was obligatory for them to recite it
during worship. An estimate of the number of the illustrious Companions may be obtained from the fact that one hundred and
forty thousands Companions had participated in the Last Pilgrimage performed by the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
(4) A considerable number of the literate Companions kept
a private record of the text of the Qur'an and satisfied themselves as to the purity of their record by reading it out to
the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
Method of preservations of the Quran after the demise of the Prophet
It is an incontrovertible historical truth that the text
of the Holy Qur'an extant today is, syllable for syllable, exactly the same as the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had offered to the
world as the Word of God. After the demise of the Holy Prophet, the first Caliph Hadhrat Abu Bakr (PBUH) assembled all the
Huffaz and the written records of the Holy Qur'an and with their help had the whole text written in Book form. In the time
of Hadhrat 'Uthman (PBUH) copies of this original version were made and officially dispatched to the Capitals of the Islamic
World. Two of these copies exist in the world today, one in Istanbul and the other in Tashkent. Whosoever is so inclined
may compare any printed text of the Holy Qur'an with those two copies, he shall find no variation. And how can one expect
any discrepancy, when there have existed several million Huffaz in every generation since the time of the Holy Prophet (PBUH)
and in our own time? Should anyone alter a syllable of the original text of the Qur'an, these Huffaz would at once expose
In the last century, an Institute of Munich University in
Germany collected FORTY-TWO THOUSAND copies of the Holy Qur'an including manuscripts and printed texts produced in each period
in the various parts of the Islamic World. Research work was carried out on these texts for half a century, at the end of
which the researchers concluded that apart from copying mistakes, there was no discrepancy in the text of these forty-two
thousand copies, even though they belonged to the period between the 1st Century Hijra to 14th Century Hijra and had been
procured from all parts of the world. This Institute, alas! perished in the bombing attacks on Germany during World War II,
but the findings of its research project survived. Another point that must be kept in view is that the word in which the Qur'an
was revealed is a living language in our own time. It is still current as the mother tongue of about a hundred million people
from Iraq to Morocco. In the non Arab world too, hundreds of thousands of people study and teach this language.
grammar of the Arabic language, its lexicon, its phonetic system and its phraseology, have remained intact for fourteen hundred
A modern Arabic speaking person can comprehend the Holy Qu'ran with as much proficiency as did the Arabs
of fourteen centuries ago. This, then, is an important attribute of Muhammad (PBUH), which is shared by no other Prophet or
Leader of Religion. The Book which God revealed to Him for the guidance of mankind is today's in its original language without
the slightest alteration in its vocabulary.
* This is taken from part of a speech "Message of Prophet's (saw)
Seerah", given by Syed Abul 'Aala Muadoodi. He compares the history and authenticity of three scriptures, Torah, Injeel and
Quran. If any one needs specific references, the best book for Quran is Al-Itqan fi Uloom-il-Quran by Jalaludin Sayyooti If
you need more help, please e-mail. firstname.lastname@example.org (Muhammad Mirza) *
note: This text uses the word God. It is Important to distinguish
between God and Allah. Allah is the arabic for God, it differs in that in english we can say gods i.e. suggesting more than
one, or goddess suggesting a gender, we cannot do so with the arabic word, Allah. Whilst Allah would be a better name to use,
the word God serves its purpose for those unfamiliar with it and Allah (swt) knows best.
Brief History of Compilation of the Qur'an
Adapted from an article in Perspectives, Vol 3, No. 4, Aug/Sept
During the life of the Prophet (saas) (570-632
The Prophet (saas) used to recite the Qur'an before angel
Jibreel (Gabriel) once every Ramadan, but he recited it twice (in the same order we have today) in the last Ramadan before
his death. Jibreel also taught the Prophet (saas) the seven modes of recitation.
Each verse received was recited by the Prophet, and its location
relative to other verses and surahs was identified by him.
The verses were written by scribes, selected by the Prophet,
on any suitable object - the leaves of trees, pieces of wood, parchment or leather, flat stones, and shoulder blades. Scribes
included Ali Ibn Abi Talib, Mu'awiyah Ibn Abi Sufyan, Ubey Ibn Ka'ab, Zayed Ibn Thabit.
Some of the companions
wrote the Qur'an for their own use.
Several hundred companions memorized the Qur'an by heart.
caliphate of Abu Bakr (632-634 CE)
Umar Ibn Al-Khattab urged Abu Bakr to preserve and compile
the Qur'an. This was prompted after the battle of Yamamah, where heavy casualties were suffered among the reciters who memorized
Abu Bakr entrusted Zayed Ibn Thabit with the task of collecting
the Qur'an. Zayed had been present during the last recitation of the Qur'an by the Prophet to Angel Jibreel (Gabriel).
Zayed, with the help of the companions who memorized and
wrote verses of the Qur'an, accomplished the task and handed Abu Bakr the first authenticated copy of the Qur'an. The copy
was kept in the residence of Hafsah, daughter of Umar and wife of the Prophet.
During the caliphate of Uthman
Uthman ordered Zayed Ibn Thabit, Abdullah Ibn Al Zubayr,
Saeed Ibn Al-Aas, and Abdur-Rahman Ibn Harith Ibn Hisham to make perfect copies of the authenticated copy kept with Hafsa.
This was due to the rapid expansion of the Islamic state and concern about differences in recitation.
Copies were sent to various places in the Muslim world. The
original copy was returned to Hafsa, and a copy was kept in Madinah.
Three stages of dotting and diacritization
Dots were put as syntactical marks by Abu Al-Aswad Al Doaly,
during the time of Mu'awiya Ibn Abi Sufian (661-680 CE).
The letters were marked with different dotting by Nasr Ibn Asem
and Hayy ibn Ya'amor, during the time of Abd Al-Malek Ibn
Marawan (685-705 CE).
A complete system of diacritical marks
(damma, fataha, kasra) was invented by Al Khaleel Ibn Ahmad Al Faraheedy (d. 786 CE).