English-29

29) When was it that the verses of the Qur’an, revealed, as they were, at
different times, came to be compiled as a complete whole?

The compilation of the Qur’an took place along with its revelation.
The fact of the matter is that it was the Lord Creator Himself, Who
had revealed the Holy Qur’an, who had taken up the responsibility of
its compilation also. Allah says: “It is for Us to collect it and to
recite it. But when We have recited it, follow thou its recital (as
promulgated)” (75:17,18)
Gabriel (a), who used to bring the revelation to Muhammad(), also used to inform him as to the number and position as well as
the particular chapter in which each verse was to be located. The
followers of the Prophet who used to transcribe the Qur’an were,
themselves, referred to as Kuttabul Wahy (or the writers of the
revelation). The major figures in this group were the Ansars Ubayy
bin Ka’ab, Muaad bin Jabal, Zaid bin Thabit and Abu Zaid (may the
pleasure of Allah be upon them all). They used to write down the
Qur’an mainly on sheets of leather. Whenever the Prophet received a
revelation, he used to call forth these scribes. He would then instruct
them in the order which Gabriel had commanded him. In other words,
they would be told as to the chapter and the position, therein, of each
of these verses. They would then write it down accordingly. Thus it
was that the compilation of the Qur’an also took place along with its
revelation in the time of the Prophet itself.
Look at some of the hadith which are related to the subject:
Usman (r) said: “The messenger of God used to receive various
chapters at the same time. On such occasions he would call the scribes
and order them to include these verses in a particular chapter which
dealt with a particular subject.” (Tirmudhi)
“Gibriel (a) used to recite to the Prophet the entire Qur’an once
every year. As for the year of his death he was recited the Qur’an
twice.” (Bukhari).
Whenever a verse was revealed, therefore, the divine instruction
as to its number and chapter in which it is to be positioned was also
sent alongside. The Prophet then instructed the scribes to write it down
accordingly. Further, Gabriel (a) himself, used to recite the entire
revelation, up to the portion that has been revealed, to the Prophet to
which the Prophet, in his turn, listened attentively. Then the Prophet
would recite it to Gabriel. Thus the Prophet managed to be completely
loyal to the divine instructions with regard to the order in which the
Qur’an was to be compiled. We witness here the honest fulfillment of
the divine statement that “It is for Us to collect it and to recite it.”
(75:17)

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