English-30

30) Was the Qur’an compiled as a complete book during the time of
Muhammed () ?

This question may be answered with a ‘yes’ and a ‘no’. For the
answer to this question depends on the meaning that is implied when it
is said that a book has been compiled. If by the compilation of a book
one has in mind the idea of his followers being told clearly as to which
the chapters are from the beginning to the end and which the verses in
each of them are and of making a good number of his followers to
memorize it, then it may be said that the Qur’an had been compiled
during the time of Muhammed (pbuh) itself. But if by compilation is
meant the stitching together of all the chapters and binding them
between two cover pages and then publishing it, it may then be said
that the Qur’an was not compiled during the time of Muhammad ().
The fact is that it was impossible to compile the Qur’an in the
life time of the Prophet. We know of the style in which the Qur’an
was revealed. Gabriel comes, recites the verses of the Qur’an, instructs
as to which chapter and which position it is to fit. This was the usual
procedure. Since the verses, which were revealed according to various
circumstances, were not compiled as chapters in the chronological
order of their revelation, the Qur’an could be said to have been fully
compiled as a book only after the last verse had been revealed. The
last of the verses of the Qur’an was revealed just nine days before to
death of the Prophet. It need not be emphasized that the compilation
of the Qur’an within these nine days would have been a very difficult
task. It would be correct, therefore, to say that the Prophet did not see
the compilation of the Qur’an as an important matter considering the
fact that many of his followers had completely memorized it and that
it was written down in its entirety on sheets of leather and other such
materials and that above all else, the Lord Creator Himself had assured
the responsibility of protecting the Qur’an.

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