Sunday 13 October 2013

Quran, Hadith and other Muslim Literature - Transmission

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Qur'an: Examining Muslim literature, practice and available evidence to determine reality of Qur'anic variant readings

1915 Indian Muslim scholars living in Britain expressed surprise & shock after they discovered that some Catholic priest Rev. Mingana claims evidence about some varient Qur'ans:
The works of those Muslim scholars bear evidence of their learning and awareness about Muslim heritage literature.  At that time there were conflicting info about this Mingana who rose in Uni. of Manchester, UK and claims about his birth and upbringing in Syria/Iraq began circulating. However his surname Mingana had no roots in Syria Iraq, he was probably French but assumed Middle Eastern identity and began trafficking forged manuscripts, once caught smoking papers to make them look old near Mosul. 

“The Chronicle of Arbela published by A. Mingana, which offers purportedly precise information concerning its Christianization, is a late forgery, apparently prepared by Mingana himself, and is entirely unreliable”
Drijvers, Han J.W., “Arbela”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 21 January 2023 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

Catholic Church's efforts to demolish faithful transmission of Qur'an is an old story and similarly Church forgeries of all kinds are well known for supporting its assertions abound. 
 Historicity of Muslims awareness of variant readings is not as certain as the present literature portrays. Up until the fall of Baghdad, when Abbasid empire Madrassas and even courts buzzed with  learning and perfecting Arabic language sciences esp Al--Blagha that includes ilmul-Maany and scholars sought to interpret Qur'an using these sciences there is no space for peoples's awareness about such, spanner in the works, ideas as variant readings.  Zamakhshar's Kashshaf, which has been recovered in some form and is available,  remained the compulsory Madrassa text book for Tafsir and scholarship about its method of Quranic Arabic analysis remained highly sought after. Many dozens of its Sharhs and Hashias circulated.  All Muslim areas of the Abbasids upto Indonesia thousands of Madrassas copied textbooks and learning methods and scholars graduated and moved without a trace of their awareness about variant readings that can be traced from their activities, sholarly legacies. 

The investigation described below was undertaken to find out what info can be gained about the issue of variant readings from the Qur'an and criticism of available Muslim heritage practise and literature 

There is information  in the Quran about the whole project of revelation to prophet Mohammad assigned to angel Jibril who had access to the whole Quran written up in a Preserved Slate from the very beginning. He then revealed it section by section. Although most widely held view today is that the revelation progressed through revelation of a  few verses or a surah at a time there are decisively clear and most faithful reports describing whole suras revealed in one go. The reports are only an additional and corroborative evidence to the internal evidence of the textual integrity of the suras which provide abundant evidence of the same focus of discussion, topic, addresses, environment throughout each sura.  Such decissive examples include sura 1 al-Fatiha and sura 6 alAnaam which consists of one hundred and sixty five 165 verses making it one of the longest suras.  Manuscripts of  Tafsir by Baidawi Sura al-Anaam 6 end with report that Prophet SAW said:
اُنزِلت عليٌَ سورةَ الانعامِ جملةً واحدةً 
Surat Al-Anaam was sent to me as one sentence( i.e in one session)
This aspect is more evident in the textual analysis of the Qur'anic text  under the studies titled as thematic organization or Nazm. The concept of integrity of the sura and whole qur'an as an organized thesis/book can be seen as the basic foundation on which all earliest muffasireen build support and evidences for contextual support of their interpretations. The search and use of contextual information about the local/ general focus, theme, flow of topics to understand the meanings of a word or verse is as old as the Qur'an itself.

  The selection of a section/sura for each revelation was not according to the order and organization in the Preserved Slate but according to the need of the time of revelation. Because at the end of revelation it had to be an exact copy of the text in the Preserved Slate therefore along with each revelation the information about the location of the new revelation within, before or after the already revealed part/suras was included. There are abundant evidences, including the one given below, that the above information was common in earliest Islamic times.

Al Zamakhshari, the most famous and unanimously accepted most erudite exegete lived during the height of Islamic civilization began his commentary, Alkashshaf(The Unveiler), by pointing towards well known over all organization of the Qur'an and its scheme of revelation with these words:"الحمدُ لله الذي اَنزل القرآن كلاما مولّفا منظّما - و نزله بحَسَب المَصالح منجّما - و جعله بالتحميد مفتتحا و با الاستعاذة مختتما "
Gratitude is due to Allah who decended Al-Qur'an a discourse edited(integrated) and organized. He decended it according to the appropriate time on need for guidance( i.e the time and order of revelation to its parts to the Prophet SAW). He made it open with His Gratitude( Al-Fatiha) and ended it with supplications for seeking His refuge( Last two Surahs 113-14).


 Sura 85 Al-Buruj سورة البروج

بَلْ هُوَ قُرْآنٌ مَّجِيدٌ
But this is an honored Qur'an
فِي لَوْحٍ مَّحْفُوظٍ
[Inscribed] in a Preserved Slate.

It is clear that only one single copy exists in the Preserved Slate. Additionally, although it is obvious that there is no chance that the single text of the Preserved Slate revealed in multiple styles of anything including intonation of recitations the single recitation of Jibril from the Preserved Slate is mentioned in the Quran along with the divine plan of whole project in the verses below. The divine plan included: gathering or recompilation of the revealed sections to follow the original order of the Qur'an in the Preserved Slate and facilitating its exact recantation style and also explaining it to people who would be interested in understanding it

إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا جَمْعَهُ وَقُرْآنَهُ ﴿١٧ فَإِذَا قَرَأْنَاهُ فَاتَّبِعْ قُرْآنَهُ ﴿١٨ ثُمَّ إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا بَيَانَهُ ﴿١٩
سورة القيامة

Ours it is to gather it, and to recite it. (17) So, when We recite it, follow thou its recitation. (18) Then Ours it is to explain it. (19) Al-Qiyama

The word Qur'an in many places like the above  فَاتَّبِعْ قُرْآنَهُ 
has beeb seen by may great mufassireen to mean Qiraa'at of the Angel Jibril to the prophet SAW that he was dutybound to deliver faithfylly to people. 

Imam Tabari wites:   "{ وقُرآنَهُ }: وقراءته"

Imam Baqai's tafsir of Sura Al-Qiyama where  explains that Qur'an word means Qir'aat of Jibril.
(تفسير نظم الدرر في تناسب الآيات والسور/ البقاعي (ت 885 هـ)

Another example is the tafsir of Sura Al-Qiyama by Imam Ibn-Aadil  (تفسير اللباب في علوم الكتاب/ ابن عادل (ت 880 هـ) 

Ibn Jazi AlGharnati in his tafsir Tahsil Al-Uloom stated:
تفسير التسهيل لعلوم التنزيل / ابن جزي الغرناطي (ت 741 هـ)

" { فَإِذَا قَرَأْنَاهُ فَٱتَّبِعْ قُرْآنَهُ } أي إذا قرأه جبريل، فاجعل قراءة جبريل قراءة الله؛ لأنها من عنده، ومعنى اتبع قرآنه: اسمع قراءته واتبعها بذهنك لتحفظها"

And similarly Abu Bakr Al-Jazairi writes:
 (تفسير أيسر التفاسير لكلام العلي الكبير/ أبو بكر الجزائري (مـ 1921م
"وقرآنه: أي قراءتك له بحيث نُجريه على لسانك.
فإِذا قرأناه: أي قرأه جبريل عليك.
فاتبع قرآنه: أي استمع قراءته.

The Problem of Qur'anic Variant Readings

In the above verse only single recitation is mentioned not multiple recitations.

Multiple recitation can create multiple meanings, senses or shades and is fundamentally against clarity.
الر ۚ تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ وَقُرْآنٍ مُّبِينٍ ﴿١
سورة الحجر

Alif. Lam. Ra'. These are the verses of the Book, and a Clear Qur'an. (1) Al-Hijr

Some More Points to Ponder:

Why readings in the way other than the main way in danger of disappearing
قراءة القرآن الكريم بطريقة ورش في خطر الاختفاء
            Prevention of the Qur’an with the narration of “Hafs” in mosques!,  Algeria news, 01/25/2013
- Why most Muslims whenever they have option they show preference to the majority way of recitation?
- Almost all transmitted Quranic tafsir literature is evidence that the legendary master mufassareen during the past show their interest ONLY in the analytically analysis, grammatical , rhetoric, textual relationship etc of the most prevalent Qiraa of the Ummah and Never Ever any other perpetrated version? Why? Extensive literature from past scholars with examples on Quranic grammar, al-Blagha only analyze the most prevalent Qira'a version and never ever touch any word from any other Qira'a.  Did they ignore knowingly that the words can be pronounced another way that is different tashkeel and sound but did not explain how that satisfies the rules of grammar, tasreef etc? They would never had ignored the difference and we would have tons of literature on their efforts to explain its coherence with general Qur'anic and pre-Quranic Jahiliyya Arabic. The absence of great past scholars debating explaining, how the other Qiraat satisfy comprehensive rules of language, is testament for the absence of such Qiraat at their time.

There is no incident where any reading other than the standard most prevalent reading adds to something more meaningful, useful, helping a deeper understanding of the topic etc.  All clear, non-conflicting,  maintaining focused on the topic, transcripts that actually add to knowledge for solving some problem do not include variant readings. A good example that only uses the single standard reading is the extensive manuscript of the classic work of Islamic law " بداية المجتهد ونهاية المقتصد Bidayat al-Mujtahid wa Nihayat al-Muqtasid" by Ibn Rushd ابن رشد (Averroes) .

Quran was the most valuable treasure,  most sacred trust and most important duty for prophet SAW and Muslims. Therefore from the very beginning of its revelation its preservation by inscription in the best possible manner was started.
Early Makki suras mentions its writing on the most durable and elegant material available at the time called Ruqq رَقٍّ  parchment, vellum, that was a fine quality thin sheet of skin specially prepared for important writings especially sacred books.

وَالطُّورِ ﴿١ وَكِتَابٍ مَّسْطُورٍ ﴿٢ فِي رَقٍّ مَّنشُورٍ ﴿٣
سورة الطور
By the Mount, (1) and the Book inscribed (2) on fine parchment; (3) Surah Al-Tur
Quran has been transmitted to us by whole Islamic nation.

The text version considered here is the one that 99.9% of Muslims use for reading and 100% use for learning by heart. This version was previously known as Qiratul Aamma (common recitation) or Mushaf ul Umma (Manuscript of the nation) in e.g in Bukhari,  and was considered transmitted by whole muslim ummah and was never associated with any one person. It is a relatively recent phenomena after the decay of  the Muslim civilization that some people started to associate it with somebody Hafs Bin Asim. This actually goes against the consensus view of Twatar in Quran transmission and reduces it to a mere single report, Khabri-Wahid. Khabri-Wahid is a type of reported tradition which at any time was only known to one single reporter. Khabri Wahid is considered a weak report.The Muslim Arabic biographical collections, AsmaurriJaal literature describe  Hafs Bin Asim to be of untrustworthy character.

An extensive investigation on Muslim historical records relating to transmission of the Quran has been completed entitled: “The Collection of The Quran”, 1979, John Burton, Cambridge University Press.

The work has been summarized with these words:

"The most surprising feature of the Muslim traditions on the collection of the Qur'an is their denial of any role in the process to Muhammad himself. The merit of assembling and preserving the record of the momentous divine revelations has been variously ascribed to some half dozen of the Prophet's associates or Companions, and these ascriptions have usually been treated as hopelessly conflicting. Dr Burton argues that they are in perfect agreement. Their sole function was the deliberate exclusion of Muhammad.

Dr Burton demonstrates in his analysis of the original Muslim sources a series of subtle distinctions, the most significant being that between the Qur’ān document (mushaf) and the Qur’ān source (Kitāb allah). The former, the universally acknowledged text of Scripture, was alone to be used for liturgical purposes. In the long-continuing debates between the many regional schools of Islamic law, on the other hand, each group of scholars proclaimed its right to adduce variant readings. This development underlines the use of the Qur’ān as a source, and the attribution of a local codex to one or other of the Prophet’s Companions shows the Qur’ān source, like the Sunna (the acts and sayings of Muhammad according to tradition), being furnished with its pedigree (or isnad).

A crisis seemed imminent when in the second Muslim century (roughly between A.D.850 and 950) certain legal views which were agreed between the schools were rejected by a powerful fundamentalist group on the ground that they were not mentioned in the Qur'an texts. Two replies were offered. The first, that the Prophet himself had legislated on these matters, proved unsatisfactory since it raised the problem of the repeal of the Qur'an. The second suggestion, that these matters had been treated in the Qur'an and the relevant verses omitted on the assembly of the texts, ensured that medieval Islam would regard the mushaf as incomplete. This certainty necessitated the placing of the collection of the Qur’ān in the period following the Prophet’s death.

This analysis of early Muslim traditions is the first such work for many years to challenge existing scholarly interpretations, and Dr. Burton argues his case with a wealth of detail. It is a book which all students of Islam will find required reading."

John Burton concluded:

“the single vigorous Qur’an text that throughout the ages has successfully withstood the assaults of both the exegetes and the usulis, stoutly retaining its textual identity in the face of countless attempts to insinuate interpolations through exploitation of the alleged codex of this or that Companion, is none other than the unique text of the revelations whose existence all their tricks betoken, the text which has come down to us in the form in which it was organized and approved by the Prophet”
  “What we have today in our hands is the Mushaf of Muhammad.” pp. 239-240] .  In other words, Burton concludes from the evidence that: the Quran is exactly as the Prophet left it. Just as we now see Tashkeel in it, so too was  it with Tashkeel during Prophet’s time. It means that reports of conflicting  nuqaat, tashkeel, Qiraat etc. is an invention of Muslim reporters interested in stretching the meanings of the Quran to help support their sectorial beliefs, deviating from the  widely used common  version of the Prophet’s written complete compilation in book form.

Prophet SAW and Muslims could not have left any stone unturned to preserve and present Quran in the best manner possible because its precise and effective delivery is the mission of the prophet and muslim nation. This thing has been made abundantly clear in the quran in numerous places and ways including:

﴿٦٧ .. يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ ۖ وَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ ۚ
 سورة المائدة

O Messenger! Deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord, for if you fail to do that, you have not fulfilled the task of His messengership. Verse 67,  Sura 5 AlMaida

فَإِنْ أَعْرَضُوا فَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا ۖ إِنْ عَلَيْكَ إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ   ﴿٤٨
سورة الشورى

 But if they turn away, We sent thee not to be a guardian over them. It is for thee only to deliver the Message. Verse 48, Sura 42, Ash-Shura

تَنزِيلٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٤٣ وَلَوْ تَقَوَّلَ عَلَيْنَا بَعْضَ الْأَقَاوِيلِ ﴿٤٤ لَأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُ بِالْيَمِينِ ﴿٤٥ ثُمَّ لَقَطَعْنَا مِنْهُ الْوَتِينَ ﴿٤٦ فَمَا مِنكُم مِّنْ أَحَدٍ عَنْهُ حَاجِزِينَ ﴿٤٧
سورة الحاقة

A sending down from the Lord of all Being. (43) Had he invented against Us any sayings, (44) We would have seized him by the right hand, (45) then We would surely have cut his life-vein (46) and not one of you could have defended him. (47) Sura 69, Al-Haqqa

It is well known that the language of the tribe of the prophet Quresh was considered the purest Arabic and used as the universal Arabic, the literary, Fusha, tongue.  For instance, it was the language of top Arabic productions from all the top pre-Islamic legendary and contemporary poets of the prophetic time. All other versions of Arabic were considered having distortions. Muslims developed an effective system of learning, called Tajweed for teaching Quran recitation in the dialect of the prophet.
فَإِنَّمَا يَسَّرْنَاهُ بِلِسَانِكَ لِتُبَشِّرَ بِهِ الْمُتَّقِينَ وَتُنذِرَ بِهِ قَوْمًا لُّدًّا ﴿٩٧
سورة مريم

Therefore, We have revealed the Qur'an in your tongue and made it easy to understand that you may give glad tidings to the God-fearing and warn a contentious people. (97)  Sura 19, Maryam

فَإِنَّمَا يَسَّرْنَاهُ بِلِسَانِكَ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ ﴿٥٨ 
سورة الدخان
(O Prophet), We have made this Book easy in your tongue so that they may take heed. (58)
 Sura 44, Ad-Dukhan

  Early Makki period of the life of Prophet SAW is described in Muslim scholars which contains many instances, where Quran was still being revealed, however manuscript copies were available to the earliest Muslims are mentioned.

A very famous story is of the conversion of Umar to Islam which has reached us in very detail. He is reported to have gotton furious on hearing his sister, Fatima, and brother inlaw, Saeed bin Zaid, who were already converted, reciting Sura TaHa from a manuscript of the Quran. When they realised the presence of Umar they stopped reciting and tried to hide their manuscrip. Umar asked them about what he has heard but they denied. Umar beated them up but then asked them let me see what you were reading. His sister became afraid of losing the manuscript. She refused to give the manuscript to Umar. However she handed it over only after Umar promized to return it to her. Umar read some of it and, to everybody's surprise, exclaimed How great is it! and soon after accepted Islam.
كتاب: تاريخ أبي الفداء
إسلام عمر بن الخطاب بن نفيل بن عبد العزى:
وكان شديد البأس والعداوة للنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، فروى أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: «اللهم أعز الإسلام بعمر بن الخطاب، أو بأبي الحكم بن هشام» وهو أبو جهل، فهدى الله تعالى عمر، وكان قد أخذ سيفه وقصد قتل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، فلقيه نعيم بن عبد الله النحام، فقال: ما تريد يا عمر: فأخبره، فقال له نعيم: لأن فعلت ذلك لن يتركك بنو عبد مناف تمشي على الأرض، ولكن اردع أختك وابن عمك سعيد بن زيد وخباب، فإنهم قد أسلموا، فقصدهم عمر وهم يتلون سورة طه من صحيفة، فسمع شيئاً منها، فلما علموا به أخفوا الصحيفة وسكتوا، فسألهم عما سمعه فأنكروه، فضرب أخته فشجهما وقال: أريني ما كنتم تقرؤونه، وكان عمر قارئاً كاتباً، فخافت أخته على الصحيفة وقالت: تعدمها، فأعطاها العهد على أنَه يردها إليها، فدفعتها إليه وقال: ما أحسن هذا وأكرمه، فطمعت في إسلامه،

سيرة ابن هشام

سبب إسلام عمر

فرجع عمر عامدا إلى أخته وختنه ، وعندهما خباب بن الأرت معه صحيفة ، فيها ‏‏:‏‏ ‏‏(‏‏ طه ‏‏)‏‏ يقرئهما إياها ، فلما سمعوا حس عمر ، تغيب خباب في مخدع لهم ، أو في بعض البيت ، وأخذت فاطمة بنت الخطاب الصحيفة فجعلتها تحت فخذها ، وقد سمع عمر حين دنا إلى البيت قراءة خباب عليهما ، فلما دخل قال ‏‏:‏‏ ما هذه الهَيْنَمة التي سمعت ‏‏؟‏‏ قالا له ‏‏:‏‏ ما سمعت شيئا ؛ قال ‏‏:‏‏ بلى والله ، لقد أُخبرت أنكما تابعتما محمدا على دينه ، وبطش بختنه سعيد بن زيد ؛ فقامت إليه أخته فاطمة ‏بنت الخطاب لتكفه عن زوجها ، فضربها فشجها ؛ فلما فعل ذلك قالت له أخته وختنه ‏‏:‏‏ نعم لقد أسلمنا وآمنا بالله ورسوله ، فاصنع ما بدا لك ‏‏.‏‏
فلما رأى عمر ما بأخته من الدم ندم على ما صنع ، فارعوى ، وقال لأخته ‏‏:‏‏ أعطيني هذه الصحيفة التي سمعتكم تقرءون آنفا أنظر ما هذا الذي جاء به محمد ، وكان عمر كاتبا ؛ فلما قال ذلك ، قالت له أخته ‏‏:‏‏ إنا نخشاك عليها ؛ قال ‏‏:‏‏ لا تخافي ، وحلف لها بآلهته ليردنها إذا قرأها إليها ؛ فلما قال ذلك ، طمعت في إسلامه ، فقالت له ‏‏:‏‏ يا أخي ، إنك نجس ، على شركك ، وإنه لا يمسها إلا الطاهر ، فقام عمر فاغتسل ، فأعطته الصحيفة ، وفيها ‏‏:‏‏ ‏‏(‏‏ طه ‏‏)‏‏ ‏‏.‏‏

 Ibn Hasham also reports that during early Makkan period Quresh agreed to put complete bycot and sanctions on all dealings with Bani Hashim and hanged a written document on Kaaba a declaration to this decision.

خبر الصحيفة
 ائتمار قريش بالرسول
 قال ابن إسحاق ‏‏:‏‏ فلما رأت قريش أن أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قد نزلوا بلدا أصابوا به أمنا وقرارا ، وأن النجاشي قد منع من لجأ إليه منهم ، وأن عمر قد أسلم ، فكان هو وحمزة بن عبدالمطلب مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وأصحابه ، وجعل الإسلام يفشو في القبائل ، اجتمعوا وائتمروا بينهم أن يكتبوا كتابا يتعاقدون فيه على بني هاشم ، و بني المطلب ، على أن لا يُنكحوا إليهم ولا يُنكحوهم ، ولا يبيعوهم شيئا ، ولا يبتاعوا منهم ؛ فلما اجتمعوا لذلك كتبوه في صحيفة ، ثم تعاهدوا وتواثقوا على ذلك ، ثم علقوا الصحيفة في جوف الكعبة توكيدا على أنفسهم ، وكان كاتبَ الصحيفة منصورُ بن عكرمة بن عامر ابن هاشم بن عبد مناف بن عبدالدار بن قصي - قال ابن هشام ‏‏:‏‏ ويقال ‏‏:‏‏ النضر بن الحارث - فدعا عليه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، فشُلّ بعض أصابعه ‏‏.

فتح الباري شرح صحيح البخاري

أحمد بن علي بن حجر العسقلاني   دارالريان للتراث
سنة النشر: 1407هـ / 1986م

عدد الأجزاء: ثلاثة عشرجزءا

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[ ص: 688 ] قوله : ( التي عند المصحف ) هذا دال على أنه كان للمصحف موضع خاص به ، ووقع عند مسلم بلفظ " يصلي وراء الصندوق " وكأنه كان للمصحف صندوق يوضع فيه ، والأسطوانة المذكورة حقق لنا بعض مشايخنا أنها المتوسطة في الروضة المكرمة ، وأنها تعرف بأسطوانة المهاجرين .

Chapter about the prayer towards the pillar: The report((The pillar which was beside the Manuscript of the Quran) provides evidence that it(A box) was the special location of the manuscript of the Quran( in the mosque of the prophet SAW in Madina), and it is stated in Sahih Muslim with the words " he used to pray behind the box" like the manuscript of the Quran was kept in a box, and the pillar mentioned by some of our scholars was in the middle of the respected room and was known as the pillar of the immigrants.

صحيح مسلم
المؤلف : مسلم بن الحجاج أبو الحسين القشيري النيسابوري
الناشر : دار إحياء التراث العربي - بيروت
تحقيق : محمد فؤاد عبد الباقي
عدد الأجزاء : 5
مع الكتاب : تعليق محمد فؤاد عبد الباقي

- ( 509 ) حدثنا إسحاق بن إبراهيم ومحمد بن المثنى ( واللفظ لابن المثنى ) ( قال إسحاق أخبرنا وقال ابن المثنى حدثنا حماد بن مسعدة ) عن يزيد ( يعني ابن أبي عبيد ) عن سلمة ( وهو ابن الأكوع ) أنه كان يتحرى موضع مكان المصحف يسبح فيه وذكر أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم كان يتحرى ذلك المكان وكان بين المنبر والقبلة قدر ممر الشاة
[ ش ( يتحرى ) أي يجتهد ويختار ( مكان المصحف ) هو المكان الذي وضع فيه صندوق المصحف في المسجد النبوي الشريف وذلك المصحف هو الذي سمي إماما من عهد عثمان رضي الله تعالى عنه وكان في ذلك المكان اسطوانة تعرف باسطوانة المهاجرين وكانت متوسطة في الروضة المكرمة ( يسبح فيه ) التسبيح يعم صلاة النفل وتسمى صلاة الضحى بالسبحة ]

264 - ( 509 ) حدثناه محمد بن المثنى حدثنا مكي قال يزيد أخبرنا قال كان سلمة يتحرى الصلاة عند الأسطوانة التي عند المصحف فقلت له يا أبا مسلم أراك تتحرى الصلاة عند هذه الأسطوانة قال رأيت النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم يتحرى الصلاة عندها
[ ش ( عند الأسطوانة ) هي المعروفة بأسطوانة المهاجرين وذكر الحافظ العسقلاني أن المهاجرين من قريش كانوا يجتمعون عندها وروى عن الصديقة أنها كانت تقول لو عرفها الناس لاضطربوا عليها بالسهام وإنها أسرتها إلى ابن الزبير فكان يكثر الصلاة عندها ]

المستدرك على الصحيحين
أبو عبد الله محمد بن عبد الله الحاكم النيسابوري
 دار المعرفة
 سنة النشر: 1418هـ / 1998م
 رقم الطبعة: ---
 عدد الأجزاء: خمسة أجزاء
الكتب  »  المستدرك على الصحيحين  »  كتاب تواريخ المتقدمين من الأنبياء والمرسلين  »  ذكر أخبار سيد المرسلين صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم  »  تأليف القرآن في عهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم

 - تأليف القرآن في عهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم
 4273  - حدثنا أبو سهل أحمد بن محمد بن زياد النحوي ، ثنا ابن أبي طالب ، ثنا وهب بن جرير بن حازم ، ثنا أبي قال : سمعت يحيى بن أيوب ، يحدث عن يزيد بن أبي حبيب ، عن عبد الرحمن بن شماسة ، عن زيد بن ثابت رضي الله عنه قال : " كنا عند رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم نؤلف القرآن من الرقاع  " .
[ ص: 512 ] هذا حديث صحيح على شرط الشيخين ولم يخرجاه وفيه الدليل الواضح أن القرآن إنما جمع في عهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم .

Muslim literary heritage includes many direct and indirect references indicating that at the tme of the prophet SAW Muslims used a complete Arabic writing system with complete vovel marks. Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (Arabic: جلال الدين السيوطي‎) (c. 1445–1505 AD), Tadrīb ar-Rāwī fī Sharĥ Taqrīb an-Nawāwī  Vol. 2 page 41 states::

Muʿāwiyah ibn ʾAbī Sufyān; (602 – April 29 or May 1, 680) 

عن عبيد بن أوس الغساني كاتب معاوية قوله: " كتبت بين يدي معاوية كتاباً ، فقال لي: يا عبيد أرقش كتابك، فإني كتبت بين يدي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، فقال: يا معاوية أرقش كتابك. قال عبيد: وما رقشه يا أمير المؤمنين؟ قال: اعطِ كل حرف ما ينوبه من النقط"

Abid ibn Aws Al-Ghassani who was a clerik (writer) of Calif Muawiyya RAU in Damascus said "I wrote a letter in front of Muawiyya when he said to me o Abid  "adorn your book"  that indeed I (Muawiyya) wrote in front of the prophet SAW when he said O Muawiyya  "adorn your book" Abid said what is its adoration O leader of the Believers? He(Muawiyya RAU ) said: that you provide every letter with what they deserve from complete vowel marks. 

Jama 'Ul Quran (Urdu) by
Syed Hayatul Haq Muhammad Mohi-ud-Din (born in Phulwar Patna Bihar India in 1888; died in Karachi Pakistan in 1972), known as Allama Tamana ‘Imadi, Tamaana Imadi, Tamana Emadi, Tamana Amadi and other variants was a Muslim scholar, linguistic, theologian and writer and poet of Arabic and Persian.

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Prophet Muhammad SAW died in 632 AD/11 After Hijra

Imam Bukhari RAH died in 870 AD/256  After Hijra

There is a an intervening period of 245 years.

The work of Imam Bukhari RAH  and others highlights on one hand their efforts to find facts and truth about what the Prophet SAW actually said and his contemporary Muslims saw him doing. But on the other hand it also shows the presence of wide spread evidences of the deviations, false and forged reports on people's tongues, circulating in the common and scholarly literature of the time of Imam Bukhari RA.

We must stop here and think to compare what Bukhari RA and other truth seeker's were faced with in their time and the situation in our present time.  At that time Muslim community, individual Muslim's personal and Muslim nation's collective character and moral standards were far better than what we see of Muslim situation today. Despite that Bukari RA observed that so many individuals can drop to such low levels and spread lies due to their vested interests including seeking false credits of being quoted in scholarly literature and promoting some sectarian issues or being still attached to at heart with some pre-Islamic creed and relieving anger and bad feelings against Islam by spreading false reports.

It may be a good idea to widen our horizon and see at a glance the great works and activities of the scholars at that time and the participation of all Muslim communities to encourage, and support them.
Imam Bukhari RAH was just one new entrant in that army of truth seekers where he was seemingly dwarfed by the much greater stature of his teachers and contemporary established authorities in the field of Hadith.

“The Canonization of al-Bukhārī and Muslim: the formation and function of the Sunnī Hadīth Canon” by Jonathan A. C.  Brown BRILL, 2007 – Religion –  which is a 431 pages book, that investigates the origins, development and functions of the core of the Sunni Hadith canon. In this book, Brown details that in the generations immediately after the death of both Bukhari and Muslim there were many other scholars who were known to be the best in the science of Hadith. Brown names several of those scholars, their works and the topmost reception they received from scholars of their time. This evidence shows that Bukhari and Muslim did not receive any outstanding special attention and were not even mentioned being significant. In conclusion of Chapter 3, page 98,  Brown states:  ”We have seen, however, that during their lives and in the immediate wake of their deaths, Bukhari’s and Muslim’s Sahihs met with rejection and scorn among important elements of the hadith scholar community.”

Abu Sulayman al-Khattabi d. 998
His hadith works that became most famous in their areas of study during his life and continued till today. Here we mention only two of them. 1-Ma`âlim al-Sunan [fi Sharh “Sahîh” Abî Dâwûd] 2- Kitâb A`lâm al-Sunan fi Sharh “Sahîh” al-Bukhârî i.e ( معالم السنن )شرح سنن أبي داود ، وشرح البخاري (أعلام الحديث)

Shafi`i scholar Abu Sulayman al-Khattabi d. 998 concludes, Abu Dawud’s collection was preferable to the sahih works of al-Bukhari and Muslim ... this was the reason why the people in Iraq, Egypt, Maghrib, and most other lands relied on Abu Dawud’s collection

واعلموا رحمكم الله أن كتاب السنن لأبي داود كتاب شريف لم يصنف في علم الدين كتاب مثله وقد رزق القبول من الناس كافة فصار حكما بين فرق العلماء وطبقات الفقهاء على اختلاف مذاهبهم فلكل فيه ورد ومنه شرب وعليه معول أهل العراق وأهل مصر وبلاد المغرب، وكثير من مدن أقطار الأرض. فأما أهل خراسان فقد أولع أكثرهم بكتاب محمد بن إسماعيل ومسلم بن الحجاج ومن نحا نحوهما في جمع الصحيح على شرطهما في السبك والانتقاد إلاّ أن كتاب أبي داود أحسن رصفا وأكثر فقها وكتاب أبي عيسى أيضاً كتاب حسن والله يغفر لجماعتهم ويحسن على جميل النية فيما سعوا له مثوبتهم برحمته.

The false reporting activities were not a new phenomena that began during Bukhari's time but that had been continuing from several previous generations. Their growing impacts and success that alarmed the scholars like Bukhari is a matter of grave concern for us to be careful in accepting things associated with the Prophet from any source blindly because if such heinous things can be done in those times where association of false reports is to be accomplished with some member from the guided generations of disciples of the prophet SAW and/or their trained immediate pupils or descendants.

In our time, after the fall of Muslim civilization from the grace, that it reached on Bukhari RAW's time, there are several factors that make the false report perpetrators job not that difficult. There are far more chances that our immediate previous generations could become knowingly or unknowingly involved in false reporting than anybody at the time of Bukhari's and before him. There is no such class of dedicated investigators bent on finding the truth that any devious mind should be afraid of.

That is exactly what happened after the time of Bukhari that people continued false reporting and included Bukari as their source. We are fortunate to know that because the tradition of finding truth at all costs continued among Muslim scholars long after Bukhari's time.

Ibn Hajar , Abu'1-Fadi Ahmad ibn Hajar al-Asqalani died in 1448 AD/ 852 After.Hijra
There is a an intervening period of 607 years between Ibn Hajar and Imam Bukhari RAH. Ibn Hajar warns in his famous Shrah Bukhari of some unauthentic reporters at his time or before him. In the following image of a page of his book one can read he says:

وقد غلط من روي الصحيح من طريق المحاملي المذكور غلطا فاحشا
Anyone who reported Sahih Al-Bukhari by using Al-Muhamily( a person who is considered one of the witnesses and reporters of  Al-Bukhari RA) as his source committed a grave mistake.

fath al-bari sharh Sahih Bukhari

Krehl, M. Ludolf (ed). Le Recueil des Traditions Mahométanes par Abou Abdallah Mohammed ibn Ismail el-Bokhâri. Vols. I – IV.  Leyde, E. J. Brill, 1862 - 1908, 1st ed., 4to (26 x 21cm), 4 vols., 509; 448; 514; 501 pp., modern half leather binding, marbled endpapers, raised bands and title patch with title and author gilt to spine, original wrappers preserved, pp. 445 – 446 in vol. II repaired with loss of upper  corner partly affecting top three lines of text. Vol. 4 of this work was published in 1908 under edition of Th. W. Juynboll. Christoph Ludolf Krehl (1825 – 1901), a prominent German scholar of Islamic Studies, was a Professor of Oriental Studies at the University of Leipzig and a member of German Oriental Society. As a University’s Librarian he expanded the holdings of the library through the purchase of valuable and rare oriental manuscripts. He contributed considerably to Islamic and Arabic studies. One of his major academic works was publication of Al-Jāmi’ al-ṣahīh (“The Authentic Collection”) by al-Bukhari (810 – 840 AD), an important study on Qur’ān and its historical context. Rare and important. In Arabic. [00878] £3000.00

HOW AL-BUḪĀRĪ'S ṢAḤĪḤ WAS EDITED IN THE MIDDLE AGES: 'ALĪ AL-YŪNĪNĪ AND HIS "RUMŪZ", Rosemarie Quiring-Zoche , Bulletin d'études orientales, T. 50, (1998), pp. 191-222

The Transmission of Muslim's Ṣaḥīḥ, by James Robson,  Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland (New Series) / Volume 81 / Issue 1-2 / April 1949, pp 46-60

An Important Ms. of Bukhāri's "Ṣaḥīḥ" , A. Mingana, The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, No. 2 (Apr., 1936), pp. 287-292

An Important Manuscript of the Traditions of Bukhāri by A. Mingana, Review by: A. Guillaume , The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, No. 1 (Jan., 1938), pp. 155-156

Ibn Hajar's Hady al-sārī: A Medieval Interpretation of the Structure of al-Bukhārī's al-Jāmiʿ al-ṣaḥīḥ: Introduction and Translation, Mohammad Fadel , Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 54, No. 3 (Jul., 1995), pp. 161-197

  Muslim Literature

After the decay and fall of  institutions and community of Abbasid caliphate of Baghdad the whole Asian Muslim intellectual leadership of the global civilization was lost. The decay continued and reports portray a situation where all Muslim enlightened literary activity vanished to the level that only Quran remained to the access of people for reading and reciting.

In the story of his journey to Hajj and passing through Syria in 1183 , the famous traveler Ibn Jubayr describes the absence of learning activities and availabilities of literature in the east and proudly expresses that now only western Muslim communities like his own in Spain are carrying the intellectual activities and heritage of Islam.  Italy especially Sicily, Spain and many southern European Muslim scholars are found in the literature of that time as leaders in their fields. Later the infighting of Muslim sectorial religious and political factions accelerated their fall and population moved mainly to the north but many famous and well known scholars found handsome positions in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Turkey. These scholars brought to those lands their literature. Current Muslim literature is largely the heritage of that decaying and retreating Muslim community or what is predominantly affected by it. Any one with cursory view can find that frequent references to Christian snew Testaments and significance of multiple irreconcilable pronunciations of the Quranic recitations have no relevance to any center of Islamic literary center outside Europe. While in Europe those infighting factions of Fatimids Shia and Sunni in especially Sicily where growing dominance of Nasara Malkia( who the Fatimids brought from east later took named Catholics) allied to Normans. This Norman Nasara Malkia alliance was getting stronger and driving Muslims into complete subjugation politically and  religious conversion.
Last period after the overthrow of Muslim dominance in Sicily and Spain and other places like Venice( Al- Bunuqqiia)open and declared

“Venice has its body on the West and its mind on the East,” said Enrico Dal Pozzolo, expert of history of art of Venice. From the first printed copy of Quran in Arabic to maps and paintings representing Ibrahim and Bedouins, the Arab influence is very clear in Venice from its symbols and also from its own name. Venice is in fact the only European city that from the year 1,000 has its own Arab name, Al bundaqiyya. The symbol of the ancient State of Venice is also the Leone Marciano, a lion with an Egyptian origin that comes from a heraldic emblem of a Cairo ruler. Even the Venetian San Marco basilica’s structure is taken from the basilica of the 12 apostles in Istanbul. These are just few elements that show the profound exchange between Venice and the Arab world that are evident especially in the world of art.

During the times of Muslim persecution in Sicily the Muslim though the literature manuscripts were a great valuable treasures, positions and property in other parts of the world but were dangerous in Sicily that they can expose its owners to the suppressing regimes threatening  and actively working to eradicate all forms of associations with Islam and past Muslim glories of the Sicily. In those times Muslims had to disguise, change names to save their skin from harsh treatments.  One way that you can save your manuscripts for posterity or while transporting them to the Muslim dominance parts was to adulterate them with blasphemous or derogatory statements to indicate that the work has no relationship in supporting rebuilding, renaissance revolting of the Muslims in Sicily but to help the regime demoralize and destroy Muslim heritage from within. Insertions in Muslims literature to serve such purposes abound. The example below indicates few foreign sentences,like   أنه لم يكتب في صحف ولا في مصاحف. بل كتب منثورا كما سمعت بين الرقاع والعظام ونحوها مما ذكرنا  " That it(Quran was not written down on pages or books but spread as I heard between patches, bones and the like, which we mentioned" that portray an opposite image of early Islamic society that Quran clearly and repeatedly states as highly learned from generations with abundance of  tools for writing and preparing manuscripts. See detail 

Reading and Writing and a Variety of Written Texts Were Common in Pre-Islamic Makkah

الكتاب : مناهل العرفان في علوم القرآن
المؤلف : محمد عبد العظيم الزرقاني (المتوفى : 1367هـ)
الناشر : مطبعة عيسى البابي الحلبي وشركاه
الطبعة : الطبعة الثالثة
مصدر الكتاب : موقع مكتبة المدينة الرقمية
[ترقيم الكتاب موافق للمطبوع وهو مذيل بالحواشي]

والرقاع1 وقطع الأديم2 وعظام الأكتاف والأضلاع. ثم يوضع المكتوب في بيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم. وهكذا انقضى العهد النبوي السعيد والقرآن مجموع على هذا النمط بيد أنه لم يكتب في صحف ولا في مصاحف. بل كتب منثورا كما سمعت بين الرقاع والعظام ونحوها مما ذكرنا.
روي عن ابن عباس أنه قال: كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا نزلت عليه سورة دعا بعض من يكتب فقال: "ضعوا هذه السورة في الموضع الذي يذكر فيه كذا وكذا" . وعن زيد بن ثابت قال: كنا عند رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم نؤلف القرآن من الرقاع.
وكان هذا التأليف عبارة عن ترتيب الآيات حسب إرشاد النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وكان هذا الترتيب بتوقيف من جبريل عليه السلام فقد ورد أن جبريل عليه السلام كان يقول: ضعوا كذا في موضع كذا.
ولا ريب أن جبريل كان لا يصدر في ذلك إلا عن أمر الله عز وجل.
أما الصحابة رضوان الله عليهم فقد كان منهم من يكتبون القرآن ولكن فيما تيسر لهم من قرطاس أو كتف أو عظم أو نحو ذلك بالمقدار الذي يبلغ الواحد عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم. ولم يلتزموا توالي السور وترتيبها وذلك لأن أحدهم كان إذا حفظ سورة أنزلت على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أو كتبها ثم خرج في سرية مثلا فنزلت في وقت غيابه سورة فإنه كان إذا رجع يأخذ في حفظ ما ينزل بعد رجوعه وكتابته ثم يستدرك ما كان قد فاته في غيابه فيجمعه ويتتبعه على حسب ما يسهل له فيقع فيما يكتبه تقديم وتأخير بسبب ذلك. وقد كان من الصحابة من يعتمد على حفظه فلا يكتب
1 الرقاع: جمع رقعة, وقد تكون من جلد أو ورق أو كاغد.
2 الأديم: الجلد.


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