The History Of The Holy Koran
The Quran is the backbone of Islam. On this sacred book of Allah, depends the Islamic call, the state, society and civilization of the Muslim world. It is the Last divine revelation, which was sent down to Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him), the seal of all
Prophets. His task was to convey the message of worshipping the one God “Allah” without ascribing any partner to Him. The Holy Qur’an, which is a guidance and a source of mercy to mankind at large, is divided into 114 chapters (Surahs) of varying length. Ninety-three chapters were revealed in Mecca while the remaining twenty-one were revealed in Madina.
The first revelation, which the Holy prophet received, was Surat “Al Alaq”. That happened in Mecca where Surat “Al Najm” later become the first to be recited openly to people. In Madina, Surat “Al Mutafifin”, was the first one revealed after the Hijra (migration). The Prophet (PBUH) had to flee to Median for the safety of his own life and the lives of his followers upon the commandment of Allah.
The last verse sent down to the prophet was:
“This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor to you and chosen for you Islam as religion” (Al Ma’ida 5: 3)
Some chapters in the Qur’an focus on the call for Islam as guidance to humanity. They deal with monotheism and the fight against polytheism and idolatry. Thus, stress is laid on all that is related to faith. In other chapters, attention is given to legislation, acts of worship, relationships among people along with the laws that regulate matters within the Muslim community, government and family.
A number of chapters talk about resurrection, the Hereafter and the unseen, others relate the stories of various Prophets and their calls for faith. We see how the previous nations were severely punished when they
disobeyed Allah and denied the messages of previous Prophets.
In addition, several chapters focus on the story of creation and the development of human life. In fact, Meccan revelations grounded Muslims in faith in Allah. On the other hand, Madinan revelations were meant to translate the faith into action and give details of the divine law.
The Qur’an will forever be preserved against all attempts to destroy or corrupt it, Being guarded by Allah, it will always remain pure. There does not exist a single copy with any variation from the recognized text.
Any attempt of alteration has always resulted in failure. Allah stated;
“Surely We have revealed the Reminder, and Surely We are its Guardian” (Al Hijr, 9)
Upon the command of the Prophet (PBUH), the companions used to write what was revealed of the Holy Qur’an. They used for this purpose palm branches stripped of leaves, parchment, shoulder bones stone tablets, etc. About 40 people were involved in this task. Among those was Zayd Bin Thabet who showed his work to the prophet (PBUH). Thus, the Qur’an was properly arranged during the Prophet’s life but it was not compiled in one book yet. In the meantime, most of the Prophet’s companions learned the Qur’an by heart.
When Abu Bakr Assiddeeq became Caliph after the Prophet (PBUH) had died, a large number of the companions were killed during the war of the apostasy. Omar Bin Al khatab went to the caliph and discussed the idea of compiling the Qur’an in one volume. He was disturbed, as most of and those who memorized it had died. Then, Abu Bakr called for Zayd commissioned him to collect the Qur’an in one book, which became known as “ Mos’haf”.
After Zayed accomplished the tedious task and organized the Qur’an into one book, he submitted the precious collection to Abu Bakr who kept it in his possession until the end of his life. During Omar’s caliphate, it
was kept with the Prophet’s wife “Hafsa”.
In Othman’s days, readers began to recite the Qur’an in different ways (dialects) as Islam reached many countries. Othman then had various copies made based the original copy with Hafsa. Thus the Qur’an was
preserved and the Caliph was very much pleased with his achievement.
Today, every copy of the Qur’an has to conform with the standard copy of Othman. In fact Muslims over the ages excelled in producing the best manuscripts of the Holy Qur’an in the most wonderful handwriting. With the introduction of printing, more and more editions of Holy Qur’an were available all over the world.
Al –Azhar Magazine
Rajab, 1421. H