Qur’an in view of Qur’an
Welcome to the program. Today we are going to discuss the way of collection of the holy Qur’an.
The researchers of the holy Qur’an have raised different views on the way of collection and compilation of the holy Qur’an. Some of them believe that the Qur’an was collected and put in book form by caliphs after the passing away of the Prophet. Others say that the holy Qur’an was collected and compiled by Imam Ali (AS). But the most logical opinion is that this heavenly Scripture was collected under the direct supervision of the Prophet during his life. Today we see that a lot of money is spent for preservation of scientific, literary and historical books and serious programs are carried out to this end. Thus, is it acceptable that such a basic principle was neglected in the time of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), especially that the holy Qur’an is the final heavenly Book that contains whatsoever is needed for the salvation of mankind and guarantees his salvation both in this world and hereafter? Doesn’t the hadith Thaqalayn indicate that the holy Qur’an was collected and compiled during the era of the Prophet? In this famous hadith the Prophet said, “I leave behind among you two weighty things, the Book of God and my progeny, the Ahl al-Bayt. Hold fast to them so that you will never go astray as they will never part with each other until they join me at the pond of Kawthar.”
The fact of the matter is that if the holy Qur’an was just in the memory of the memorizers or on tablets scattered here and there, it couldn’t be called a book. Furthermore, if the Qur’an was not collected and compiled in the time of the Prophet, how could the Islamic Ummah cling to it to be immune from deviation? How could the Messenger of Mercy leave behind the Qur’an which had not been put in book form?
Another question is that: How come neither the All-wise and All-knowing God who had sent down the Qur’an nor His Apostle had not planned for compilation of this Book; but the caliphs after the Prophet embarked on this important job?
Moreover, in ayahs 17-19 of surah God explicitly says, “Indeed it is up to Us to put it together and to recite it. And when We have recited it, follow its recitation. Then its exposition indeed lies with Us.”
There are two emphases in these ayahs: Firstly, the collection of the ayahs and secondly the exposition and elucidation of the concepts and themes of the holy Qur’an. It is said that both of them are undertaken by God. In ayah 9 of surah Hijr God tells His Apostle in a soothing tone about safeguarding the holy Qur’an against the avowed enemies, “Indeed We have sent down the Reminder and indeed We will preserve it.”
Now, with these explicit ayahs is it likely that the Qur’an was compiled after the departure of the Prophet from the mortal world?
Another noteworthy point is that when God wants to speak of Qur’an He uses various pronouns. This signifies that the holy Qur’an is there as a complete book and not something that will be collected in future. For instance, in ayah 9 of surah Isra’ we read, “Indeed this Qur’an guides what is most upright.”
Or when speaking on behalf of the Prophet complaining about the negligence of people with respect to the Qur’an, God says in ayah 30 of surah Furqan, “And the Apostle said, ‘O my Lord! Indeed my people consigned this Qur’an to oblivion.”
Another point which negates the collection of the Qur’an after the Prophet is the fact that this heavenly Scripture has several times invited the adversaries to bring an ayah or surah like it. A pile of scattered pages cannot raise a serious challenge against the opponents let alone the ayahs that are just in the memory of memorizers.