The History of Quran [Archives:2002/03/Culture]

January 14 2002

Saa sharif Tahir
This is a little of a book in Arabic written by Sr. Mohammed Hussein Ali al-Sagheer published in 1983. As I see it, it is a complete detailed research on the Holy Quraan; its chronological revelation before and after Prophet Mohammeds migration from Mecca to Yathrib in 622 A.D, how later it was collected, recited and protected from Israelites deforming to serve Jewish ideology. It also includes counting numbers of how many times it has been printed; dates, places and developments done in printing through years. The book which is in the General Library new culture palace in Sanaa classified under 205.74 welcomes readers for further wide information. Down is a brief summary of its 250 pages and the seven chapters it consists of.
Revelation of Quraan
There is a difference between direct and indirect inspiration. The direct one is sending a mediator. This is the only one, which happened to Prophet Mohammed (P.b.u.h.) through Archangel Gabriel. The inspiration is to be communicated to people without addition or dropping anything of it. The indirect inspiration is either good news inspired to a faithful person through truthful vision, revelation or by direct guiding.
A: Truthful vision is a divine inspiration to Prophets only by which they receive heavens orders like the tale of Abraham and his son.
When he reached the age when he could work with his father, his father said to him: my son I dreamt that I was sacrificing you We (God) called out Abraham, saying, Abraham you have fulfilled you vision. Thus We reward the righteous. (37.102-105) and also: Allah has in all truth fulfilled His apostles vision (Mohammed) in which He said: If Allah wills, you shall enter the sacred Mosque and be fearless. (48:27).
B:Inspiration: God inspires settling a matter or giving up another as indirect unexpected revelation to those whom He chooses like: We revealed to Moses mother saying Give him suck. We revealed our will to your mother.(20:38)
C: indirect guiding: God, in certain cases, guides creatures indirectly to obey His orders, guidance and will in a way that we sometimes dont comprehend accurately. Such as: Your Lord inspired bees, build your homes in the mountains.(16.68)
Descending Quraan
When Prophet Mohammed was forty he was revealed the Quraan for 23 years (13 years in Mecca and 10 years in Medina). Quraan was carried to the lower sky at a glorious night in Ramadan called the Night of Qadr: We revealed the Quran on the night of Qadar. (97.1)
Al-Tabrsii narrated many quotations saying that God lowered the whole Quran to the lower sky at the Qadr night and then it was revealed according to certain events in days and months. Quran answered the unbelievers:
The unbelievers asked, why was the Quran not revealed to him entire in a single revelation? We have revealed it thus so that We may strengthen your faith. We have imparted it to you by gradual revelation. (25:32)
It was revealed gradually through twenty-three years so as to be easy to learn by heart, to know the verses that abolished other verses (i.e.) the latter verses which stopped practicing certain rules that previous verses had been made as laws and to answer other questions.
The community to which Mohammed was sent was:
– Jews who were interested in collecting money through treason, usury and monopoly,
– Christians who forged fanatic deformed and disfigured Christianity.
– Sabaeans who were between idolaters and Angels worshippers,
– Ahnafs who were the purist,
– Ignorants (pagans) who believed in burying daughters a live, committing adultery, usury, killing their children for fear of poverty, exploiting heritage, loving money and robbing womens inheritance. Such community was widely described in verses: (4:19), (4:20), (4:21), (4:22), 4:23), (4:38), (4:127), (6:40), (24:33), (89:17), (89:18), (89:19) and (89:20).
Arranging Suras (Chapters) of Quraan:
Quraan was revealed in Mecca before Mohammeds migration to Yethrib. Those Suras were called Meccaians. After migration Yathrib was called Al-Medina Al-Munawara (the enlightened city). A part of Surat Mohammed (verses 13 on) was revealed half way during migration; therefore, it was neither Meccaians nor Medenians. That was:
How many cities were mightier than your own city, which has cast you (Mohammed) out! We destroyed them all and there was none to help them.
-First Sura was Al-Alaq, the blood clots.
-The last Sura in Mecca was Al-Mutafiffin, the unjust.
-First Sura in Medina was Al-Baqara, the cow.
-The last Sura revealed was Al-Nasr, victory.
Collecting Quraan:
As all commentators agreed, Quraan was copied completely and learnt by heart during Mohammeds life. Copiers were four only because people illiterate. The caliphs who came after the prophet were called the guiding caliphs. They were Abubakr, Omer, Othman and Ali. During their era, the Quraan was recopied but not re-collected, re-arranged or re-written.
Quraan is the book of Allah. It is complete. There are 100 verses which prove that the Quraan is a complete book. Such as:
This book is not to be doubted. It is a guide for the righteous.
It is He who has revealed to you the Quraan. Alif Lam ra, these are the verses of the Wise Book.
Doesnt this big collection prove that the Quraan was one complete collected book to be referred to ? Moreover Mohammed saying: Ive left among you what you will not go astray as long as you follow them; the book of Allah and my pure descendants. (ibn il Athree/ Jami il isool). Even Surat il Fatiha (the exordium) is not an opening to the chronological order of revealing suras but is an approach to compose, arrange and recite it. (Muqaddamatan fi uloom il Quraan).
Besides there was no evidence that Muslims learnt it by heart directly when the prophet recited it but the text which was available to them was in common use to learn it by heart.
You (Mohammed) need not move your tongue too fast to learn this revelation. We ourselves shall see to its collection and recital.
As conclusion, it is not true that the Quraan was not collected in one book lest abolishing verses might disturb. That may have led to differentiation.
In his book, Madkhel ila il Quraan ilKareem (an introduction to the Holy Quraan) Mohammed Abdullah Draz says on page 38, in spite of the great value of the Quraan and the great care paid to collect it, keeping it with the first two caliphs showed it, to some extent, as a personal affair. Then it became a document to all mankind after being published during the era of Othman.
Al-Hakim in his book (AL-Mustadrek) declared that the first collection was merely a collection of scriptures without an arrangement. Then added, the scriptures were with Abu Baker till he died then they were transferred to Omer and to his daughter Hafsa after him. [Assyooti, Al-Itqan 1/165].
5) Reciting Quraan
First of all, the Quraan was copied dotsless (i.e.) just figures. Then Imam Ali intimated his student Abu-il-Aswad Al-Dueli (died in 69 A.H) to put dots. Later Al-khalil bin Ahmed Al-Farahidi (died in 170 A.H) put marks on the characters but they didnt change what the prophet had received e.g. the addition of the letter (Alef) in some words and dropping it in some others. Such special spelling was ordered by the Prophet for certain secrets which humans couldnt comprehend.
Shape of the Quraan
The Quraan was first printed in Venice in 1530 A.D. the Christian church opposed that fiercely and ordered to execute it when it appeared. Then Hinklman printed it in Hamburg in 1694 A.D.Maratchi did so in 1698 in Bado. The first Islamic printing of Quran was in Petersburg in Russia in 1787 A.D. paid by the Ottoman Sultan (Mawlai Ottoman). In Iran there were two stony printings in Tehran in 1828 A.D. and in Tebreez in 1833 A.D. in Egypt Sheikh Radwan bin Mohammed known as Mukhalaluti copied the Quraan according to the the Ottoman style of calligraphy in Cairo in 1308A.H. 1887 A.D. next Al-Azhar took charge of printing it since 1923 A.D. then printing press increased. Bolaq printed it in 1925 upwards.
Safety of the Quraan
Israel printed 100.000 deformed copies of the Quraan in 1960 and distributed it in Morocco, Ghana, Mali and other countries. What Israel did was:
A: dropping verses 8 and 9 from Surat il Mumtahana (she who is Tested), (60).
Allah doesnt forbid you to be kind and equitable to those who have neither made war on your religion nor driven you from your homes. Allah loves the equitable. But he forbids you to make friends with those who have fought against you on account of your religion and driven you from your homes or abetted others to do so. Those that make friends with them are wrongdoers
b: dropping the word (ghair) which means other than in (Aal Imrans) (3:85)
He that chooses a religion other than Islam, will not be accepted from him and in the world to come he will be one of the lost
c: dropping the two words (lais) which is equivalent to miss in Baqara (2:113)
the Jews says the Christians are misguided and Christians say it is the Jews who are misguided dropping serves Jews and Christians if not praising them.
D: putting He is forgiving and merciful instead of He is mighty and wise. (5:38) (Al-Maida)
As for man or woman who is guilty of theft cut off their hands to punish them for their crime. That is the punishment enjoined by Allah. He is mighty and wise. (5:38)
Egypt opposed such fabricated lies and buried the lie at their birth. Sudan and Jordan declared legal decisions to oppose the deformed copies. In July 23rd 1961 the Quraan was recorded on cassettes by late sheikh Mahmood Al-Hussari as a final form and were distributed all over the world to refuse Israeli pretensions.