History of the Quran

iBrian

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What is the history of the compilation of the Quran?

Or, more specifically, were there any other variations on the Quran available at some point in its history?

I'm under the impression that there was at least one other variation before being stamped out by one of the "5 Caliphs" - I'm just curious as to whether there is any basis to this notion?
 
I am not a scholar, neither am I associative in any Islamic association, so I do not hold my verdict flawless. As I said earlier, many Muslims who had memorised the Quran died in a war, so a complete written and compiled version was to be formed.

After the death of the Prophet Muhammad(P.B.U.H) many people claimed some Hadiths of which several were self created and accociated with the Prophet(P.B.U.H). The first Caliph himself destroyed many such false Hadiths. The critaria that the Muslims follow is as follows.

1: Who is presenting the Hadith? Was he close to the Prophet(P.B.U.H)? How is the person morally, is he a lier, e.t.c.
2: The Hadith presented, are there any other close witnesses to the Hadith?
3: Is there is a contradiction of any sort with the Quran or any other Hadith? It can never by true if it is in contradiction with the Quran.
4: If there is any contradiction with any other Hadith, the presenter who was closer and had more witnesses was considered true. For example, a Hadith put forward by the first Caliph Abu Bakar(R.A), who was among the closest people to the Prophet Muhammad(P.B.U.H), and had several witnesses to it would be more acceptable then one produced by a Muslim who only met the Prophet Muhammad(P.B.U.H) a few times and had on witnesses.

This task was carried out to prevent contradictions and to prevent people from misleading. The similar kind of method was used while compiling the Quran. The written copy was taken from Zaid bin Haris(R.A), a servent of Prophet Muhammad(P.B.U.H) whom the Prophet(P.B.U.H) loved and treated as his(P.B.U.H) son, and was accepted by all the Muslims as the most authentic and true copy. When the other sources or verses were presented, there was a contratiction, the source was not authentic, so the false copy was taken and destroyed. A sample of a part of this non authentic copy is present in a Turkish museum.
 
Sincere thanks for replying, Mohsin. :)

I'm also impressed that a "heretic" copy exists in a museum - may I ask whether it has been studied, and whether the source is known, and in what way it differs from the authentic copy?
 
Asalam-u-Alaikum. I appretiate your concern Mr Brian.

Not much is known. As the copy was rejected and no research is recorded on the non authentic copy. The compiled and true Quran was present, no one went in the details of the other ones. Not much is present of the "heretic" copy, as only a few menuscripts survived from been destroyed.
On the whole, the Quran is not something produced by the people who wrote it down, but is a word of Allah revealed on the Prophet Muhammad(P.B.U.H) as a book of guidance form the entire humanity.
 
I went to a scholar and asked about this topic and he said that the Prophet Muhammad(P.B.U.H) did tell some people to write down the revelations. Among them was Ameer Ma'avia(R.A) and all the people were very close to the Prophet Muhammad(P.B.U.H). The Quran was later compiled and the order of the sura's was arranged by Prophet Muhammad(P.B.U.H) and was kept with Zaid bin Haaris(R.A).
When the Prophet(P.B.U.H) was preaching the Muslims, some wanted to make written notes of the teachings. They were given permission and they wrote down the Quranic verses along with some Hadiths. When the Quran was to be compiled together, these coppies were also presented. So to remove any doubts, these coppies were destroyed and the original copy was accepted and compiled together.
Thus the only difference with the non authentic coppies was that the people wrote the verses of the Quran along with some Hadiths and hence they were destroyed.
 
what i have heard from the islamic scholars i know confirms what mohsin says. basically they had a process after the death of muhammad at the end of which they had an authoritative text, plus a formal consensus about the relative importance, accuracy and relevance of the various hadiths. this was then accepted as the 'true version' - rather like the jewish community's acceptance of the masoretic text with the variations of keri and ketiv and so on. when an academic or someone outside the system comes along and questions whether this is "the truth" or "the real version", this is kind of meaningless - it's the true version because that's what was agreed when the agreement took place. so "heretical" or "variant" versions may very well exist but that doesn't mean that they may be "true" - the difference is that academics and so on are always looking to make their name (and a quick buck) by proving that the redactors, compilers or decision-making bodies concerned were basically lying. there is a presumption of falsehood that people within the system find rude, arrogant and totally unwarranted, given that the system itself relies inherently upon trust and the continuing goodwill of the community towards its founders and leaders. any subsequent bad behaviour of later leaders does not negate the original good. in the end it comes down to a question of respect for authority - who do you end up trusting? the "greek" rationalist/logical system would inevitably tend to look for an "outsider" because they would be assumed to be more impartial or objective - the islamic or jewish system would be far more inclined to respect the integrity of an internal source, because the subjectivity involved is congruent. in a way, islam is slightly better placed than judaism, because the editing process happened in historical time and is well documented, whereas this editing process for us can only be documented back to the rabbinic period through the written-down oral tradition.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
bananabrain said:
academics and so on are always looking to make their name (and a quick buck) by proving that the redactors, compilers or decision-making bodies concerned were basically lying.
I'm not sure that is a fair generalisation to make about academia in general.

Different interests in religious writings can vary from the linguistic roots of key terms, to the actual politics of the decision making itself.

It would be disappointing if these interests were deemed invalid for no better reason than for treating religious texts as work of historical literature, rather than as Untouchable Holy Words.

The politics of the original 5 Caliphs of Islam is a particular topic that I've often meant to look closer at. Examining the compilation of the Quran would be a key element of that.
 
perhaps not in general, but there is very often a "presumption of guilt" that i think begs a certain amount of question. i'm not saying that this interest is invalid; i just think that it isn't automatically entitled to greater consideration than the voice of tradition in this.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
I said:
What is the history of the compilation of the Quran?

Or, more specifically, were there any other variations on the Quran available at some point in its history?

I'm under the impression that there was at least one other variation before being stamped out by one of the "5 Caliphs" - I'm just curious as to whether there is any basis to this notion?

I think you are referring to a certain line that has been thrown around by missionaries, where they state that Uthman Ali burned the copies of Quran and kept only one and declared it as the final authority. Some of the other claims are regarding additional verses and removal etc..


There is some truth in it, however it has been twisted/distorted to present a negative view of Islam.


To understand what happened, one must look into the full details and context. It is true that many copies of the Quran were burnt, however it stops there, and there was nothing to suggest additional verses or adulteration has slipped through to the present day version.


Prophet of Islam was born into the Quraish tribe. As you may know, the arabs of the time were very much into poetry and literature. The Quraish tribe were the most respected, and held as the 'top-dogs', partly because of their status and the poetry they came up with, aswell as the fact that they spoke the purest form of Arabic.


The Quran was revealed to Prophet of Islam in his own tongue and dialect, i.e. the quraishi arabic for that reason. However when Islam spread far and wide, the different tribes with their own dialects of arabic... some problems arose. They had some difficulty discerning certain letters from others because of the similarity, so the dots/vowels were introduced. its abit like the dot above the letter " i ". lol Anyway, their style of pronunciation was creeping in, so the Caliph Uthman Ali ordered that all variants that differed from the original Quraishi arabic dialect be destroyed. Hence, the burnings of some Quran copies.


If one is in doubt regarding the issue of having the "original", one only has to look at the form of transmission. The Quran was memorized by heart, aswell as documented by the letter. The pronunciation was just as, if not more important than the text itself. Muslims enjoy the recitation and do so during prayers which take place 5 times a day. Much recitation takes place during the month of ramadan, and you can see even today that this tradition has not died away... there are contests held for beautiful recitation and prizes for memorization of the whole Quran. Even kids as young as 5/6 years old have memorized the whole thing !!


So from the time of Prophet, this is how Quran and Islam spread, by transfer of knowledge directly from heart to heart, and passed on from generation to generation.
 
Ah - now variation due to dialect was not something I had considered - thanks for that. :)
 
welcome. :)

ya know, this place is errr how to say this..... "too civilized" for my liking. lol

I am used to a virtually zero moderated forum, where there is alot of mud slinging and verbal diarrhea, lol.. All you folks here are like saints, and many seem very knowledgable and open minded. lol
 
Regards to all.

SchiZo said:
welcome. :)

ya know, this place is errr how to say this..... "too civilized" for my liking. lol

I am used to a virtually zero moderated forum, where there is alot of mud slinging and verbal diarrhea, lol.. All you folks here are like saints, and many seem very knowledgable and open minded. lol

The credit goes to Brian here. He has done really good in keeping the atmosphere of this forum very tolerant and friendly . :) . All the best Brian.
 
SchiZo said:
welcome. :)

ya know, this place is errr how to say this..... "too civilized" for my liking. lol

I am used to a virtually zero moderated forum, where there is alot of mud slinging and verbal diarrhea, lol.. All you folks here are like saints, and many seem very knowledgable and open minded. lol
There is actually a surprising little amount of actual moderating required here. :)

I've helped run an "anything goes" forum on MSN, and didn't like the result - a plaform for extreme views, with moderates shying away. I was possibly a little too over-protective here at the beginning, but at the end of the day, civility is all that is asked for. And that is hopefully a good thing. :)
 
Mohsin said:
.......... The similar kind of method was used while compiling the Quran. The written copy was taken from Zaid bin Haris(R.A), a servent of Prophet Muhammad(P.B.U.H) whom the Prophet(P.B.U.H) loved and treated as his(P.B.U.H) son, and was accepted by all the Muslims as the most authentic and true copy. When the other sources or verses were presented, there was a contratiction, the source was not authentic, so the false copy was taken and destroyed. A sample of a part of this non authentic copy is present in a Turkish museum.
as a guy living in istanbull, fmi and some pictures of the said Q(q)uran goto:

http://www.ee.bilkent.edu.tr/~history/topkapi.html

the site's quite old but you can find what you are looking for, on the left panel under "main sections > books, maps and calligraphic documents"

or,
here







same sh*t smells different, my grandma told me once.
 
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