Quran Preservation – Historical Evidence
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The Quran is the holy scripture of Islam and is considered by Muslims to be the word of God as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad over a period of 23 years. Muslims believe that the Quran was not written by any human being, but rather was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by the Angel Gabriel. The Prophet Muhammad, in turn, conveyed the message of the Quran to his companions, who memorized and wrote it down.
Prophet Muhammad (S) was the first person to memorized the Quran
Prophet Muhammad (S) is known for being the first Hafiz or memorizer of the Quran, the holy book of Islam. He received the revelations of the Quran from Allah through the angel Gabriel and committed them to memory. This memorization was an important aspect of preserving the Quran, as it was primarily transmitted orally during the early years of Islam. Prophet Muhammad (S) also encouraged his followers to memorize the Quran, and many of his companions became Hafizs as well. The practice of memorizing the Quran continues to be an important tradition in Islamic education today, and many Muslims strive to memorize the entire text of the Quran.
?Sahih al-Bukhari 4998 : Narrated Abu-Huraira: Gabriel used to repeat the recitation of the Qur’an with the Prophet (ﷺ) once a year, but he repeated it twice with him in the year he died. The Prophet (ﷺ) used to stay in I`tikaf for ten days every year (in the month of Ramadan), but in the year of his death, he stayed in I`tikaf for twenty days.
- It’s important to note that Prophet Muhammad (S) was not just a memorizer, but also a great teacher, leader, and example for all Muslims. He spread the message of Islam, established the first Islamic state in Medina, and demonstrated the values of compassion, justice, and humility. His legacy extends far beyond his role as the first memorizer of the Quran.
Related : The Quran is the word of Allah – Heavenly Quran
The process of collecting the Quran into a single
During the time of Prophet Muhammad, the Quran was not compiled into a single, written text as we know it today. Rather, the Quran was primarily transmitted orally, with the Prophet reciting the verses to his companions, who in turn memorized and recited them to others. However, there were written records of the Quran during the time of the Prophet. These records included portions of the Quran written on various materials such as leather, bone, and tree bark. Additionally, some of the companions of the Prophet who were literate wrote down portions of the Quran for their own personal use. However, these written records were not widely circulated and were not compiled into a single, authoritative text during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad. It was only after the death of the Prophet that the process of compiling the Quran into a single, written text began. This task was undertaken by a group of the Prophet’s companions who were known for their knowledge of the Quran and its recitation, led by the first caliph of Islam, Abu Bakr. They collected various written and oral versions of the Quran and compiled them into a single text, which was then distributed throughout the Muslim community. So, while there were written records of the Quran during the time of the Prophet, it was primarily transmitted orally and was not compiled into a single, written text until after his death.
Here are some references to support the information I provided:
- “The Qur’an and Its Prophet: The Text and the Historical Context,” by Andrew Rippin, in The Cambridge Companion to the Qur’an, edited by Jane McAuliffe (Cambridge University Press, 2006).
- “The Transmission of the Qur’an,” by Mustafa Shah, in The Oxford Handbook of Qur’anic Studies, edited by Roberto Tottoli (Oxford University Press, 2019).
- “The Compilation of the Qur’an,” by Angelika Neuwirth, in The Cambridge Companion to the Qur’an, edited by Jane McAuliffe (Cambridge University Press, 2006).
Here are some references to Hadith literature that discuss the role of the Prophet Muhammad in transmitting the Quran orally: