Ibn Mas’ood and Surahs al-Falaq and al-Nas

In efforts to spread doubts about the preservation of the Qur’an, some will cite reports that ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood did not consider Surahs al-Falaq [113] and al-Nas [114] – collectively known as the Mu’awidhatayn – to be part of the Qur’an. This is an issue which has been covered extensively by Islamic scholarship, including recently in a study devoted to this very topic by Dr. Waleed Muhammad al-Kandari (Director of the Tafsir and Hadith department in Kuwait University’s College of Sharee’ah) and Dr. Mubarak Sayf al-Hajiri (Instructor in the Graduate School and College of Sharee’ah at Kuwait University). In this work, the authors first compiled and examined all of the transmitted narrations on this topic, waded through the different statements of major scholars on this issue, and then summarized their findings. What follows is a translation of the last part of their discussion and their conclusions section:

وقال ابن كثير : “وهذا مشهور عند كثير من القراء والفقهاء : أن ابن مسعود كان لا يكتب المعوذتين في مصحفه ، فلعله لم يسمعهما من النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ، ولم يتواتر عنده ، ثم لعله قد رجع عن قوله ذلك إلى قول الجماعة ، فإن الصحابة ، رضي الله عنهم ، كتبوهما في المصاحف الأئمة ، ونفذوها إلى سائر الآفاق كذلك ، ولله الحمد والمنة .”ـ

Ibn Kathir said:

This is something well-known among many of the reciters and scholars of fiqh, that ibn Mas’ood did not used to write the Mu’awidatayn (surahal-Falaq and al-Nas) in his mushaf. Perhaps this was because he did not learn them directly from the Prophet and they were not relayed to him at a level that he found sufficient for affirming them to be Qur’an. Then it seems that later he retracted this stance of his and agreed with the general opinion, for the Sahabah wrote both of these surahs in the ‘Uthmani Mushafs and sent them off to the different cities with those two surahs, and Allah is deserving of all praise.

وتعرض ابن حجر بهذه المسألة بكلام حسن ، نذكر بتمامه ، قال ابن حجر : وقد تأول القاضي أبو بكر الباقلاني في كتاب الانتصار وتبعه عياض وغيره ما حكى عن بن مسعود فقال لم ينكر بن مسعود كونهما من القرآن وإنما أنكر اثباتهما في المصحف فإنه كان يرى أن لا يكتب في المصحف شيئا الا إن كان النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم أذن في كتابته فيه وكأنه لم يبلغه الإذن في ذلك قال فهذا تأويل منه وليس جحدا لكونهما قرآنا وهو تأويل حسن إلا أن الرواية الصحيحة الصريحة التي ذكرتها تدفع ذلك حيث جاء فيها ويقول أنهما ليستا من كتاب الله نعم يمكن حمل لفظ كتاب الله على المصحف فيتمشى التأويل المذكور وقال غير القاضي لم يكن اختلاف بن مسعود مع غيره في قرآنيتهما وإنما كان في صفة من صفاتهما انتهى وغاية ما في هذا أنه أبهم ما بينه القاضي ومن تأمل سياق الطرق التي أوردتها للحديث استبعد هذا الجمع وأما قول النووي في شرح المهذب أجمع المسلمون على أن المعوذتين والفاتحة من القرآن وأن من جحد منهما شيئا كفر وما نقل عن بن مسعود باطل ليس بصحيح ففيه نظر وقد سبقه لنحو ذلك أبو محمد بن حزم فقال في أوائل المحلي ما نقل عن بن مسعود من إنكار قرآنيه المعوذتين فهو كذب باطل وكذا قال الفخر الرازي في أوائل تفسيره الأغلب على الظن أن هذا النقل عن بن مسعود كذب باطل والطعن في الروايات الصحيحة بغير مستند لا يقبل بل الرواية صحيحة والتأويل محتمل والإجماع الذي نقله إن أراد شموله لكل عصر فهو مخدوش وإن أراد استقراره فهو مقبول وقد قال بن الصباغ في الكلام على مانعي الزكاة وإنما قاتلهم أبو بكر على منع الزكاة ولم يقل إنهم كفروا بذلك وإنما لم يكفروا لأن الإجماع لم يكن استقر قال ونحن الآن نكفر من جحدها قال وكذلك ما نقل عن بن مسعود في المعوذتين يعني أنه لم يثبت عنده القطع بذلك ثم حصل الاتفاق بعد ذلك وقد استشكل هذا الموضع الفخر الرازي فقال إن قلنا إن كونهما من القرآن كان متواترا في عصر بن مسعود لزم تكفير من أنكرهما وأن قلنا إن كونهما من القرآن كان لم يتواتر في عصر بن مسعود لزم أن بعض القرآن لم يتواتر قال وهذه عقدة صعبة وأجيب باحتمال أنه كان متواترا في عصر بن مسعود لكن لم يتواتر عند بن مسعود فانحلت العقدة بعون الله تعالى ـ

Ibn Hajr took up this issue in such a nice way that we shall mention his entire text. Ibn Hajr wrote:

In his book al-Intisar, al-Qadhi Abu Bakr al-Baqilani interpreted the narrations regarding ibn Mas’ood – and his interpretation was also taken up by ‘Iyaadh and others – by saying: Continue reading

Questions Regarding the Recitation of ibn Mas’ood: ibn Hajr and al-Nawawi

Imam al-Bukhari included the following narration in his Saheeh, in his chapter on tafsir of the Qur’an:

 حَدَّثَنَا عُمَرُ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبِي، حَدَّثَنَا الأَعْمَشُ، عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، قَالَ قَدِمَ أَصْحَابُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ عَلَى أَبِي الدَّرْدَاءِ فَطَلَبَهُمْ فَوَجَدَهُمْ فَقَالَ أَيُّكُمْ يَقْرَأُ عَلَى قِرَاءَةِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ قَالَ كُلُّنَا‏.‏ قَالَ فَأَيُّكُمْ يَحْفَظُ وَأَشَارُوا إِلَى عَلْقَمَةَ‏.‏ قَالَ كَيْفَ سَمِعْتَهُ يَقْرَأُ ‏{‏وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا يَغْشَى‏}‏‏.‏ قَالَ عَلْقَمَةُ ‏{‏وَالذَّكَرِ وَالأُنْثَى‏}‏‏.‏ قَالَ أَشْهَدُ أَنِّي سَمِعْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقْرَأُ هَكَذَا، وَهَؤُلاَءِ يُرِيدُونِي عَلَى أَنْ أَقْرَأَ ‏{‏وَمَا خَلَقَ الذَّكَرَ وَالأُنْثَى‏}‏ وَاللَّهِ لاَ أُتَابِعُهُمْ‏.‏

al-A’mash narrated that some of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood’s students came to see Abu al-Darda’ who had also been looking for them. When Abu al-Darda’ found them he said, “Which of you recites according to the qiraa’ah of ‘Abdullah?” and al-A’mash said, “All of us.” He replied, “Then which of you have memorized it?” so al-A’mash pointed to ‘Alqamah. Abu al-Darda’ asked, “How did you hear him recite

وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا يَغْشَىٰ

By the night when it covers [92:1]

‘Alqamah said:

‏وَالذَّكَرِ وَالأُنْثَى

By the male and the female [compare to 92:3]

Abu al-Darda’ said, “I testify that I heard the Prophet reciting it like that, but these people want me to recite it as:

وَمَا خَلَقَ الذَّكَرَ وَالْأُنثَىٰ

And by He who created the male and the female [92:3]

but I swear by Allah that I will not follow them.

Similar narrations can also be found in the collections of Muslim and al-Tirmidhi.

Commenting on this in his explanation of Saheeh al-Bukhari, al-haafidh ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani wrote:

قوله‏:‏ ‏(‏وهؤلاء‏)‏ أي أهل الشام ‏(‏يريدونني على أن أقرأ وما خلق الذكر والأنثى، والله لا أتابعهم‏)‏ هذا أبين من الرواية التي قبلها حيث قال ‏”‏ وهؤلاء يأبون علي ‏”‏ ثم هذه القراءة لم تنقل إلا عمن ذكر هنا، ومن عداهم قرءوا ‏”‏ وما خلق الذكر والأنثى ‏”‏ وعليها استقر الأمر مع قوة إسناد ذلك إلى أبي الدرداء ومن ذكر معه، ولعل هذا مما نسخت تلاوته ولم يبلغ النسخ أبا الدرداء ومن ذكر معه‏.‏ ـ

Regarding his statement, “but these people” – i.e. the people of Syria – “want me to recite ‘and by He who created the male and the female’, but I swear by Allah that I will not follow them.” This is even more clear than the previous narration in which he said, “but these people reject me doing so.” Continue reading

What Makes the Qur’an Miraculous?: Ibn Hajr

In his famous explanation of Saheeh al-Bukhari, al-haafidh ibn Hajr included the following words regarding some of the ways in which the Qur’an is miraculous:

وَقَدْ جَمَعَ بَعْضُهُمْ إِعْجَازَ الْقُرْآنِ فِي أَرْبَعَةِ أَشْيَاءَ : [ ص: 624 ] أَحَدُهَا : حُسْنُ تَأْلِيفِهِ وَالْتِئَامُ كَلِمِهِ مَعَ الْإِيجَازِ وَالْبَلَاغَةِ . ثَانِيهَا : صُورَةُ سِيَاقِهِ وَأُسْلُوبِهِ الْمُخَالِفِ لِأَسَالِيبِ كَلَامِ أَهْلِ الْبَلَاغَةِ مِنَ الْعَرَبِ نَظْمًا وَنَثْرًا حَتَّى حَارَتْ فِيهِ عُقُولُهُمْ وَلَمْ يَهْتَدُوا إِلَى الْإِتْيَانِ بِشَيْءٍ مِثْلِهِ مَعَ تَوَفُّرِ دَوَاعِيهِمْ عَلَى تَحْصِيلِ ذَلِكَ وَتَقْرِيعِهِ لَهُمْ عَلَى الْعَجْزِ عَنْهُ . ثَالِثُهَا : مَا اشْتَمَلَ عَلَيْهِ مِنَ الْإِخْبَارِ عَمَّا مَضَى مِنْ أَحْوَالِ الْأُمَمِ السَّالِفَةِ وَالشَّرَائِعِ الدَّاثِرَةِ مِمَّا كَانَ لَا يَعْلَمُ مِنْهُ بَعْضَهُ إِلَّا النَّادِرُ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ . رَابِعُهَا : الْإِخْبَارُ بِمَا سَيَأْتِي مِنَ الْكَوَائِنِ الَّتِي وَقَعَ بَعْضُهَا فِي الْعَصْرِ النَّبَوِيِّ وَبَعْضُهَا بَعْدَهُ . وَمِنْ غَيْرِ هَذِهِ الْأَرْبَعَةِ آيَاتٌ وَرَدَتْ بِتَعْجِيزِ قَوْمٍ فِي قَضَايَا أَنَّهُمْ لَا يَفْعَلُونَهَا فَعَجَزُوا عَنْهَا مَعَ تَوَفُّرِ دَوَاعِيهِمْ عَلَى تَكْذِيبِهِ ، كَتَمَنِّي الْيَهُودِ الْمَوْتَ ، وَمِنْهَا الرَّوْعَةُ الَّتِي تَحْصُلُ لِسَامِعِهِ ، وَمِنْهَا أَنَّ قَارِئَهُ لَا يَمَلُّ مِنْ تَرْدَادِهِ وَسَامِعَهُ لَا يَمُجُّهُ وَلَا يَزْدَادُ بِكَثْرَةِ التَّكْرَارِ إِلَّا طَرَاوَةً وَلَذَاذَةً . وَمِنْهَا أَنَّهُ آيَةٌ بَاقِيَةٌ لَا تُعْدَمُ مَا بَقِيَتِ الدُّنْيَا ، وَمِنْهَا جَمْعُهُ لِعُلُومٍ وَمَعَارِفَ لَا تَنْقَضِي عَجَائِبُهَا وَلَا تَنْتَهِي فَوَائِدُهَا . اهـ مُلَخَّصًا مِنْ كَلَامِ عِيَاضٍ ، وَغَيْرِهِ . ـ

Some scholars have said that the Qur’an’s miraculous inimitability is made up of four things:

First: Its beautiful composition and arrangement of its words along with its conciseness and eloquence.

Second: The way that its style and manner of expression is distinct from the literary style – whether poetry or prose – of the most eloquent Arabs. It was so distinct that it befuddled their minds and they were not able to produce anything like it despite the abundant motivations they had to do so and the criticism directed at them for not being able to do so. Continue reading

Praise for Tafsir al-Tabari from Great Scholars of the Past

In his handbook to the Qur’anic sciences, Jalal al-Deen al-Suyooti concluded an overview of the famous scholars of tafsir of the past and their books by writing the following high praise for the great mufassir, Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (died 310AH/932CE) and his famous book of tafsir commonly referred to as Tafsir al-Tabari or Tafsir ibn Jarir:

فِإِنْ قُلْتَ : فَأَيُّ التَّفَاسِيرِ تُرْشِدُ إِلَيْهِ وَتَأْمُرُ النَّاظِرَ أَنْ يُعَوِّلَ عَلَيْهِ ؟ قُلْتُ : تَفْسِيرُ الْإِمَامِ أَبِي جَعْفَرِ بْنِ جَرِيرٍ الطَّبَرِيِّ الَّذِي أَجْمَعَ الْعُلَمَاءُ الْمُعْتَبَرُونَ عَلَى أَنَّهُ لَمْ يُؤَلَّفْ فِي التَّفْسِيرِ مِثْلُهُ . قَالَ النَّوَوِيُّ فِي تَهْذِيبِهِ : كِتَابُ ابْنِ جَرِيرٍ فِي التَّفْسِيرِ لَمْ يُصَنِّفْ أَحَدٌ مِثْلَهُ .ـ

If one were to ask, “Which book of tafsir would you recommend for someone looking for something to rely on?” then I would say: the Tafsir of the Imam Abu Ja’far ibn Jarir al-Tabari. All the scholars worth any consideration agree that there hasn’t been anything else like it written in the field of tafsir.

al-Nawawi said in al-Tahdheeb, “The Tafsir of ibn Jarir – no one has authored anything like it.”

[al-Itqan 2/476]

al-Suyooti highlighted one of the reasons for the great merit of ibn Jarir and his tafsir earlier in the same discussion when he wrote: Continue reading

Ibn Mas’ood and the Prophet’s Final Review of the Qur’an

In a small booklet dedicated to a study of the narrated statements regarding the final review of the Qur’an that the Prophet performed with the angel Jibril in the year of his death, sheikh Muhammad Bazmool included the following valuable and clarifying discussion:

المسألة التاسعة : العرضة الأخيرة ، هي قراءة زيد أو قراءة ابن مسعود؟ ـ
Issue #9: The Final Review of the Qur’an, was it in the recitation of Zayd ibn Thabit or the recitation of ibn Mas’ood?

عن شَقِيقُ بْنُ سَلَمَةَ، قَالَ خَطَبَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ فَقَالَ وَاللَّهِ لَقَدْ أَخَذْتُ مِنْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِضْعًا وَسَبْعِينَ سُورَةً، وَاللَّهِ لَقَدْ عَلِمَ أَصْحَابُ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنِّي مِنْ أَعْلَمِهِمْ بِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَمَا أَنَا بِخَيْرِهِمْ‏.‏ قَالَ شَقِيقٌ فَجَلَسْتُ فِي الْحِلَقِ أَسْمَعُ مَا يَقُولُونَ فَمَا سَمِعْتُ رَادًّا يَقُولُ غَيْرَ ذَلِكَ‏.‏ ـ

Shaqeeq ibn Salamah said: ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood addressed us one day and said:

I swear by Allah that I learned seventy-something surahs directly from Allah’s Messenger, and I swear by Allah that the Companions of the Prophet know that I am one of the most knowledgeable of them when it comes to the Qur’an, although I am not the best of them.

and Shaqeeq said, “I sat in the sittings, listening to what was said and I did not hear anyone refuting what he said.”

ولفظ مسلم : عَنْ شَقِيقٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، أَنَّهُ قَالَ ‏{‏ وَمَنْ يَغْلُلْ يَأْتِ بِمَا غَلَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ‏}‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ عَلَى قِرَاءَةِ مَنْ تَأْمُرُونِي أَنْ أَقْرَأَ فَلَقَدْ قَرَأْتُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِضْعًا وَسَبْعِينَ سُورَةً وَلَقَدْ عَلِمَ أَصْحَابُ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنِّي أَعْلَمُهُمْ بِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَلَوْ أَعْلَمُ أَنَّ أَحَدًا أَعْلَمُ مِنِّي لَرَحَلْتُ إِلَيْهِ ‏.‏ قَالَ شَقِيقٌ فَجَلَسْتُ فِي حَلَقِ أَصْحَابِ مُحَمَّدٍ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَمَا سَمِعْتُ أَحَدًا يَرُدُّ ذَلِكَ عَلَيْهِ وَلاَ يَعِيبُهُ ‏.‏ ـ

In the wording of Muslim, Shaqeeq relayed that ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood said

Continue reading

Tafsir of the Closing of Surah al-Baqarah: Sheikh Faisal Aal Mubarak

Sheikh Faisal Aal Mubarak (d. 1376Ah/1957CE) set out to author a book of Qur’anic explanation for beginning students composed of carefully selected statements of the salaf and excerpts from Tafsir al-Tabari, Tafsir al-Baghawi and Tafsir ibn Kathir, three of the most reliable books of tafsir available. He divided his book into 313 lessons for further ease of reading. What follows is a complete translation of his 35th lesson, covering the final ayaat of surah al-Baqarah:

الدرس الخامس والثلاثون
Lesson #35

لِّلَّهِ ما فِي السَّمَاواتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ وَإِن تُبْدُواْ مَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ يُحَاسِبْكُم بِهِ اللهُ فَيَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَاءُ وَاللهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ * آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللهِ وَمَلآئِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لاَ نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ وَقَالُواْ سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ * لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللهُ نَفْساً إِلا وُسْعَهَا لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ رَبَّنَا لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنَا إِن نَّسِينَا أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَا إِصْراً كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِنَا رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لاَ طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا أَنتَ مَوْلاَنَا فَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ

To Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and whether you disclose what is in your own selves or conceal it, Allah will call you to account for it. Then He forgives whom He wills and punishes whom He wills. And Allah is Able to do all things. [2:284]

The Messenger believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, as do the believers. Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. They say, “We make no distinction between any of His messengers.” – and they say, “We hear and we obey. We seek Your Forgiveness, our Lord, and it is to You that we shall return!” [2:285]

Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that which he has earned, and he is punished for that which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error. Our Lord! Do not lay a burden on us like that which You did on those before us. Our Lord! And do not put any burden on us greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people. [2:286]

قوله عز وجل: {لِّلَّهِ ما فِي السَّمَاواتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ وَإِن تُبْدُواْ مَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ يُحَاسِبْكُم بِهِ اللهُ فَيَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَاءُ وَاللهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ (284) } . ـ

○ Allah’s statement:

Continue reading

Compiling the Qur’an – “How can you do something that the Prophet did not do?”: Ibn Hajr

In part of his Chapter on the virtues of the Qur’an, Imam al-Bukhari brought the famous hadith of Zayd ibn Thabit describing how Abu Bakr and ‘Umar recruited him to help in compiling the Qur’an during the time of Abu Bakr. The hadith begins with:

حَدَّثَنَا مُوسَى بْنُ إِسْمَاعِيلَ، عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ بْنِ سَعْدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ عُبَيْدِ بْنِ السَّبَّاقِ، أَنَّ زَيْدَ بْنَ ثَابِتٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ أَرْسَلَ إِلَىَّ أَبُو بَكْرٍ مَقْتَلَ أَهْلِ الْيَمَامَةِ فَإِذَا عُمَرُ بْنُ الْخَطَّابِ عِنْدَهُ قَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ إِنَّ عُمَرَ أَتَانِي فَقَالَ إِنَّ الْقَتْلَ قَدِ اسْتَحَرَّ يَوْمَ الْيَمَامَةِ بِقُرَّاءِ الْقُرْآنِ وَإِنِّي أَخْشَى أَنْ يَسْتَحِرَّ الْقَتْلُ بِالْقُرَّاءِ بِالْمَوَاطِنِ، فَيَذْهَبَ كَثِيرٌ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ وَإِنِّي أَرَى أَنْ تَأْمُرَ بِجَمْعِ الْقُرْآنِ‏.‏ قُلْتُ لِعُمَرَ كَيْفَ تَفْعَلُ شَيْئًا لَمْ يَفْعَلْهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ عُمَرُ هَذَا وَاللَّهِ خَيْرٌ

… Zayd ibn Thabit said:

Abu Bakr As-Siddiq sent for me after the people of Yamamah had been killed. I found `Umar bin al-Khattab sitting with him and he said to me, “‘Umar came to me and said, ‘Casualties were heavy among the reciters of the Qur’an on the day of the Battle of Yamamah, and I am afraid that more heavy casualties among the reciters may take place on other battlefields, thereby causing a large part of the Qur’an to be lost. So I suggest that you order that the Qur’an be collected.” I replied to `Umar, “How can you do something which Allah’s Messenger did not do?” ‘Umar said, “By Allah, it is something good.” …

[Saheeh al-Bukhari #4986]

In his famous commentary on Saheeh al-Bukhari, al-haafidh ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalaani addresses the last question mentioned above by writing:

 وقال الخطابي وغيره : يحتمل أن يكون – صلى الله عليه وسلم – إنما لم يجمع القرآن في المصحف لما كان يترقبه من ورود ناسخ لبعض أحكامه أو تلاوته ، فلما انقضى نزوله بوفاته – صلى الله عليه وسلم – ألهم الله الخلفاء الراشدين ذلك وفاء لوعد الصادق بضمان حفظه على هذه الأمة المحمدية زادها الله شرفا ، فكان ابتداء ذلك على يد الصديق – رضي الله عنه – بمشورة عمر ، ويؤيده ما أخرجه ابن أبي داود في ” المصاحف ” بإسناد حسن عن عبد خير قال : ” سمعت عليا يقول : أعظم الناس في المصاحف أجرا أبو بكر ، رحمة الله على أبي بكر ، هو أول من جمع كتاب الله ” وأما ما أخرجه مسلم من حديث أبي سعيد قال : ” قال رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – : لا تكتبوا عني شيئا غير القرآن ” الحديث فلا ينافي ذلك ، لأن الكلام في كتابة مخصوصة على صفة مخصوصة ، وقد كان القرآن كله كتب في عهد النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – لكن غير مجموع في موضع واحد ولا مرتب السور ، وأما ما أخرجه ابن أبي داود في ” المصاحف ” من طريق ابن سيرين قال : ” قال علي : لما مات رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – آليت أن لا آخذ على ردائي إلا لصلاة جمعة حتى أجمع القرآن فجمعه ” فإسناده ضعيف لانقطاعه ، وعلى تقدير أن يكون محفوظا فمراده بجمعه حفظه في صدره ، قال : والذي وقع في بعض طرقه ” حتى جمعته بين اللوحين ” وهم من راويه . ـ

al-Khattabi and others said:

It is possible that the only reason why the Prophet did not collect the entire Qur’an together into a mushaf was because he expected that abrogation would come for certain legal rulings or recitations. Then when the revelation came to an end at the time of his death, Allah inspired the Rightly-Guided Khulafaa’ to carry out that task in order to fulfill Allah’s true promise to preserve the Qur’an for this Ummah of Muhammad so that Allah might increase them in honor. This process began at the hand of Abu Bakr with the advice of ‘Umar. All of this is supported by what ibn Abi Dawud recorded in his Kitab al-Musahif with a good chain of narration from ‘Abd Khair who said, “I heard ‘Ali saying, ‘The person with the most reward in relation to the written copies of the Qur’an is Abu Bakr. May Allah have mercy on Abu Bakr; he was the first person to compile the Book of Allah.'”

As for the hadith of Abu Sa’eed that Muslim relayed, that “Allah’s Messenger said, ‘Do not write down anything from me except for the Qur’an …'”, then this is not at odds with the above claim because we are speaking about the specific way that Abu Bakr recorded the Qur’an. For the entire Qur’an had in fact been put down in writing during the lifetime of the Prophet; it is just that it had not been gathered altogether in one place in the order of the surahs. Continue reading

Makki and Madani Series Part 3 – Characteristics: al-Suyooti

In his famous handbook of the Qur’anic Sciences, al-Itqan fee ‘Uloom al-Qur’an, Imam Jalal al-Deen al-Suyooti dedicated his first main chapter to the subject of Makki and Madani revelation, which we have made into the this Makki and Madani Series of articles. What follows is the third of four sections of that chapter as abridged by Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool. This particular section focuses on how to identify whether a surah is makki or madani and some of the distinguishing characteristics of each:

[العمدة في معرفة المكي والمدني]

[The Main Source of Knowledge for Determining Makki and Madani]

قال القاضي أبو بكر في ” الانتصار ” : إنما يرجع في معرفة المكي والمدني إلى حفظ الصحابة والتابعين ، ولم يرد عن النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – في ذلك قول ، لأنه لم يؤمر به ، ولم يجعل الله علم ذلك من فرائض الأمة ، وإن وجب في بعضه على أهل العلم معرفة تاريخ الناسخ والمنسوخ ، فقد يعرف ذلك بغير نص الرسول . انتهى . ـ

In his book al-Intisar, al-Qadhi Abu Bakr wrote:

When it comes to knowing what is Makki and Madani, then our only point of reference is the recordings of the Sahabah and Tabi’oon as there is nothing on this subject transmitted directly from the Prophet. That is because he was not commanded to speak on that subject, and Allah did not make this field of knowledge something obligatory for every member of this ummah, although some knowledge of it is necessary for the scholars in order to know the timeline of abrogating and abrogated verses, as that is something that can be known without an explicit text from the Messenger.

وقد أخرج البخاري ، عن ابن مسعود أنه قال : والذي لا إله غيره ما نزلت آية من كتاب الله – تعالى – إلا وأنا أعلم فيمن نزلت ، وأين نزلت . وقال أيوب : سأل رجل عكرمة عن آية في القرآن ، فقال : نزلت في سفح ذلك الجبل ، وأشار إلى سلع . أخرجه أبو نعيم في الحلية . وقد ورد عن ابن عباس وغيره عد المكي والمدني . ـ

al-Bukhari reported that ibn Mas’ood said:

I swear by the One besides whom there is none worthy of worship, there is not a single ayah in Allah’s Book except that I know who is was revealed about and where it was revealed. Continue reading

Surah Yusuf and the People of al-Madinah

In part of his famous manual of the Qur’anic sciences, al-Burhan fee ‘Uloom al-Qur’an, Badr al-Deen al-Zarkashi wrote:

ما حمل من مكة إلى المدينة
Those Parts of the Qur’an which were Transmitted from Mecca to al-Madinah

أول سورة حملت من مكة إلى المدينة سورة ” يوسف ” ، انطلق بها عوف بن عفراء في [ ص: 291 ] الثمانية الذين قدموا على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم مكة ، فعرض عليهم الإسلام فأسلموا ، وهو أول من أسلم من الأنصار ، قرأها على أهل المدينة في بني زريق ، فأسلم يومئذ بيوت من الأنصار ، روى ذلك يزيد بن رومان ، عن عطاء بن يسار ، عن ابن عباس ، ثم حمل بعدها : ( قل هو الله أحد ) ( سورة الإخلاص ) إلى آخرها ، ثم حمل بعدها الآية التي في ” الأعراف ” : ( قل ياأيها الناس إني رسول الله إليكم جميعا ) إلى قوله : ( تهتدون ) ( الآية : 158 ) ، فأسلم عليها طوائف من أهل المدينة ، وله قصة

The first surah to be taken from Mecca to al-Madinah was surah Yusuf. ‘Awf ibn ‘Afraa’ was the one who brought it there, and he was one of eighty men who came to Allah’s Messenger in Mecca where he presented Islam to them and they accepted and became Muslims, and he was the first one of the Ansaar to enter Islam. He recited this surah to the people of Banu Zurayq in al-Madinah and as a result a number of households of the Ansaar accepted Islam on that day.

This was narrated by Yazeed ibn Ruman, on the authority of ‘Ataa’ ibn Yasar, on the authority of ibn ‘Abbaas.

After that, surah al-Ikhlaas was the next surah taken from Mecca to al-Madinah. Next after that was an ayah from surah al-A’raaf:

قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّـهِ إِلَيْكُمْ جَمِيعًا الَّذِي لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ ۖ فَآمِنُوا بِاللَّـهِ وَرَسُولِهِ النَّبِيِّ الْأُمِّيِّ الَّذِي يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّـهِ وَكَلِمَاتِهِ وَاتَّبِعُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ

Say: O mankind, I am certainly Allah’s messenger to all of you, the messenger of the One who possesses the dominion of the heavens and the earth. There is no deity worthy of worship except Him; He gives life and He causes death. So believe in Allah and His messenger, the illiterate prophet who believes in Allah and His words, and follow him so that you would be guided. [7:158]

And so a number of segments of the people of al-Madinah accepted Islam, and there is a larger story around this.

[al-Burhan fee ‘Uloom al-Qur’an 1/290-291]

In the beginning of his explanation of surah Yusuf, al-haafidh ibn Kathir – who was a teacher of al-Zarkashi – mentioned the following report: Continue reading

Why ‘Uthman selected Zayd ibn Thaabit over ibn Mas’ood

When the third Rightly-Guided Khaleefah ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affaan commissioned the writing of the official mushafs in the dialect of the Quraysh for the entire Ummah, he selected a group of people to carry out this task with Zayd ibn Thaabit at their head. There are a number of reports indicating that ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood was displeased with this choice. Some orientalists and missionaries use these reports to their attempts to impugn the reliability and preservation of the Qur’an. What follows are the words of two great scholars clearly addressing the nature of ibn Mas’ood’s concerns and the reasons for ‘Uthman’s decision.

The famous muhaddith, historian, and expert in qiraa’aat Imam Shams al-Deen al-Dhahabi mentioned some of these reports and then commented by explaining:

قلت : إنما شق على ابن مسعود ، لكون عثمان ما قدمه على كتابة المصحف ، وقدم في ذلك من يصلح أن يكون ولده ، وإنما عدل عنه عثمان لغيبته عنه بالكوفة ، ولأن زيدا كان يكتب الوحي لرسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – فهو إمام في الرسم ، وابن مسعود فإمام في الأداء ، ثم إن زيدا هو الذي ندبه الصديق لكتابة المصحف وجمع القرآن ، فهلا عتب على أبي بكر ؟ وقد ورد أن ابن مسعود رضي وتابع عثمان ولله الحمد . ـ

I say: The only reason why this upset ibn Mas’ood was because ‘Uthman had given precedence to someone other than him to write the official mushaf. Moreover, he had given that honor to someone who could have been his own son. But the only reasons why ‘Uthman didn’t select ibn Mas’ood was because he was far away in al-Kufah, and because Zayd used to write the revelation for Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ). So Zayd was an expert in writing, while ibn Mas’ood was an expert in reciting.  Continue reading