The Holy Quran – the holistic and central religious text orally revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) over a period of 23 years – is the core on which the religion Islam stands. From highlighting ways of leading a good life to give Sadaqah Jariyah, the Quran covers all spheres of life.
How the Quran was Compiled and Preserved
Given that the Prophet Muhammad PBUH was the final Prophet and Islam was the religion for all, it was essential that the Holy Quran be compiled and preserved for future generations.
Want to know how the complicated task of compiling and preserving the Holy Quran was carried out? Then, read on.
Firstly, it needs to be understood that the compiling and preserving of the Holy Quran was carried out in two phases: during the time period, Prophet Muhammad PBUH was alive and after his demise.
During Prophet (PBUH) lifetime
In the former, the first and foremost step was Prophet Muhammad PBUH himself memorizing the divine revelations. Plus, he would have the entire text that was revealed to him by Angel Jibrael committed to writing by the scribes. Moreover, given that reciting the Holy Quran was mandatory during worship meant that a number of people memorized it. The companions of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH learned the entire text by heart and even had private copies of the text. They would often recite in front of him to ensure that that the records were flawless.
During the Caliphate
Once the Prophet Muhammad PBUH had passed away, the need to compile the Quran was quickly realized. Afterall memorizers were mere mortals who could just as well pass away, and the written text could be compromised. This would mean that the word of Allah would not be available to the masses and next generations.
Soon after the demise of Prophet Muhammad PBUH, Hazrat Abubakr, the first Caliph gathered not only all the written texts of the Holy Quran be it on paper, scroll, silk, bones, barks, or leaves but also all those who had memorized the Quran by heart. Given that the Holy Quran had not yet been compiled in a book form, Hazrat Abubakr took on this momentous task and left no stone unturned when it came to ensuring that the Holy Quran was properly compiled in a book form so that it can be preserved. He commanded the scribers to do their work diligently as well as accurately and oversaw the entire process. Every verse was cross-checked and only accepted once at least two just people testified for its accuracy. Such were the steps are taken to compile the Holy Quran is the booking form.
In the Caliphate of Hazrat Uthman, copies of the original versions were made and dispatched to different parts of the world, and all copies that were not identical to the original version were destroyed. By that time, it was found that a number of defected copies were circulating around and hence, to eliminate that completely Hazarat Uthman after discussing it with his companions took drastic measures to safeguard the original text.
Two of the copies of the Holy Quran made during Hazrat Uthman’s caliphate are still available 1400 years down the line, and they are identical to all the other copies around the globe.
It goes without saying that the Quran Muslims recite and learn from even today is exactly the same as the one revealed to Prophet Muhammad PBUH. A number of steps throughout Prophet Muhammad PBUH’s life and after it was taken to ensure that. Even though time and again, some might question the authenticity of the Holy Quran and its infallibility of being regarded as the last divine source of guidance for the mankind, one thing remains certain: everything from the grammar and phraseology to the lexicon has remained the same.
The Quran instructs all Muslims to extend a helping hand to those in need. People in Syria have been severely affected by the crisis. Hence, it is requested that you answer the Syria Urgent Appeal and help alleviate the suffering of millions of people.
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