Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Legacy of Abu Bakr: Compilation of the Qur'aan

Legacy of Abu Bakr1: The Compilation of the Qur'aan2 after the Battle of Yamaamah3
Compiled from the Abu Bakr As Siddeeq CD Series4 by Imaam Anwar Al Awlaki5 and the AlMaghrib Institute Seminar entitled Conquest: History of the Khulafaa6 by Ustadh Muhammad alShareef7.

During the Battle of Yamaamah, the Muslims were being pushed back by the army of Musaylimah Al Khaddhaab8, and it seemed as if they were about to lose. Until the Muslims in order to uplift the spirits and restore hopes in the hearts of the Muslims, started to compete with each other by measuring which group of Muslims was going to fight the fiercest in the battle. The Muslims divided themselves into groups based on different criteria. For example there were groups like the Ansar9, the Muhajireen10, the people of this tribe and the people of that tribe, the people form this country, and the people from this region or this city, etc. The way they would encourage each other was that they would call out on the top of their voices, “Ya lil Ansar, Allah Allah!! Al Karrah ‘ala Adaillah”, which meant, “Oh Ansar!! Allah! Allah! Attack the enemies of Allah!!” They would see each other fighting and try to fight better and fiercer than the other group that they saw. The amount of courage and bravery these men had might have passed away when these men passed away. I do not think we can ever understand how much they wanted to please Allah by “giving it all they got”. An example of this is the man from the Ansar, who was wounded on the left leg and he couldn’t get up and walk, and Ibn Umar11 used to nurse the wounded and injured in the army. The Ansaree12 man, was being treated and he heard one of his people call out “Oh Ansar! Allah! Allah! Attack the enemies of Allah!”. And as soon as this man heard his people calling upon them, he left the tent by using one hand to dig his sword in the dirt and pulling him towards the battle. And when the sahaaba13 saw this they asked the man, “Where are you going?” and the man, whose name was Aboo Aqeel, went into the battle after telling the others, “My people have called, and I am going to respond to the call even if I have to crawl! They have called me to attack the Enemies of Allah!”. And Aboo Aqeel went into the battle and fought with one hand without protection. During his last moments on the battle field, after the battle had ended, he was laying down and he asked Ibn Umar, “Who does this day belong to?” and Ibn Umar replied, “Rejoice for indeed the enemy of Allah was killed”. Aboo Aqeel said “AlHamdulillah!14” and he passed away, a martyr for the sake of Allah, InshaAllah15. One of these groups that testified to their Eeman16 by fighting like no other group was the group of the Huffadh17, the group of the memorizers and the preservers of the Quran. The group of the Huffadh was a battalion that numbered up to 500 people. And they were so fierce at their fighting that they were the ones that were in the frontline of the Battle. They were the ones that were going head on against the enemy. And on this day, it has been narrated that over 80 of the huffadh had died.

The news reached the Muslims that many of the huffadh of Quran were martyred on that day, inshaAllah. Upon hearing this Umar18 went to Abu Bakr and told him that, “Quran is something that is in the hearts of the people, when the people go away the Quran goes away. We must do something in order to preserve the Quran, we should compile it into a book.” Abu Bakr at first didn’t agree with this, he raised the issue that this was something that the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) had never done and he said “How could I do something that the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) had never done!” Abu Bakr and Umar discussed the matter for a while and at first Abu Bakr was opposed to the idea but then Umar finally convinced him that we must do this, and Abu Bakr agreed.

So Abu Bakr sent a message to Zayd Ibn Thabit Al Ansaree19 that the Khaleefah20 wants to meet him. Zayd himself narrates that when he was called upon by Abu Bakr to meet him, he went to the Khaleefah and saw that Umar was sitting next to him. And Umar came to him and said that many of the huffadh were killed during the Battle of Yamaamah, and they wanted Zayd Ibn Thabit to take the responsibility of compiling the entire Quran into a mus’haf21. And the first thought that popped into the Zayd Ibn Thabit’s mind was that this was “This was something that RasoolAllah (Sal Allahu Laayhi Wa Sallam) didn’t do, therefore how could I do it!” But then Zayd thought about it again and he came to agree with Umar Ibn Al Khattab that this was something that they needed to do. So Zayd agreed to take the responsibility to ensure that the Quran was collected and compiled. Abu Bakr told Zayd , “The reason I am giving this job to you is that you are a young man, you are mature, and we trust you, and you used to write the Revelation for RasoolAllah Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam.”

Zayd Ibn Thabit said, after AbuBakr asked him to do this, “If Abu Bakr were to have placed a mountain on my shoulders it would be lighter in weight than the mission that he gave me”. Zayd Ibn Thabit was a scholar of the Quran even though he was at a very young age at that time. So he said, “I had to go around collecting Quran from the hearts of men and I had to go around collecting all the manuscripts of the Quran, I used to collect the palm leaves, flat white rocks (tablets), shoulder bones of camels, and leather pieces that they used to write the Quran on.” In order to ensure that the Qur’aan they compiled was authentic, they would ask all the Sahaaba who heard the Qur’aan and memorized it with the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) to recite it to Zayd Ibn Thabit and they required that there be two people that know that same verse. The only exception that was made in this matter was that of Aboo Khuzaymah22, who was the only one who knew the end of Surat At Tawbah because the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said about Aboo Khuzaymah that his testimony is equal to two testimonies. And in following the Sunnah of RasoolAllah (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) they accepted Aboo Khuzaymah’s testimony as double and included that part in the Qur’aan.

The original mus’haf that was compiled by Zayd Ibn Thabit was with Abu Bakr during his Khilaafah, it was written on palm leaves. After Abu Bakr passed away it was handed down to Umar and then to Hafsa23 the daughter of Umar Ibn Al Khattab, after Umar’s death. Hafsah bint Umar Ibn Al Khattab, the wife of the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam), had the mus’haf in her possession until the Khaleefah of Uthman Ibn Affan24,25.

1. The first Khaleefah (leader) of Islam, after the death of the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). He was the best friend of the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam) and the first adult male to accept Islam.
2. The Qur’aan is defined as: The Qur’aan is the Arabic Speech (kalaam) of Allaah, which He revealed to Muhammad (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) in wording and meaning, and which has been preserved in the mus’hafs, and has reached us by mutawaatir transmissions, and is a challenge to mankind to produce something similar to it. [Az-Zarqaanee, V.1. p. 21]
3. Yamaamah is an area or currently city which is 4.5 Km east of Al Sulaymaniyyah and South East of Riyadh in this map.
4. Click here for more info! Abu Bakr Cd set
5. Anwar Al Awlaki: Biography: Click Here!
6. Enroll for the seminar here!
7. Muhammad alShareef: Biography: Click Here!
8. A man who claimed prophethood during the life and after the death of the Prophet Muhammad (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). More info on him will be available in this blog soon, InshaAllah!
9. The group of Muslims that helped the migrating Muslims form Makkah to Medeena.
10. The group of Muslims that migrated from Makkah to Medeena.
11. The son of Umar. He was a companion of the Prophet (Sal Allahu layhi Wa Sallm) while still a young boy. He was one of the big scholars amongst the companions of Muhammad (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam).
12. Belonging to the group of Ansar
13. Sahaaba or sing. Sahaabee means a companion of the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). A Sahaabee is defined as: Someone who has met the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) while believing in him, and remained upon that belief until he died. [Ibn Hajr Al Asqalaanee]
14. Praise be to Allah!
15. If Allah wills!
16. Eeman is defined as: Belief that is composed of acceptance in the heart, statements from the mouth, and actions of the limbs. It increases and decreases. Obedience to Allah increases eeman and disobedience to Allah decreases eeman.
17. Lit. means preservers. In the Islamic sense it could mean when referring to the Qur’aan, someone who memorizes the entire Qur’aan with the proper pronunciation. In the aspect of hadeeth it means something else which will be discussed in another blog, InshaAllah!
18. The second Khaleefah of Islam. He became the leader of the Muslims after the death of Abu Bakr. More info on him inshaAllah soon!
19. Zayd Ibn Thabit Al Ansaree was probably the most knowledgeable sahaabee amongst the sahaaba about the Qur’aan as he was the one that wrote down the Wahy (revelation) directly from the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam)
20. Khaleefah basically means a ruler of Islam, Al Khaleefat Ar Rasool Allah was a title only given to Abu Bakr as he directly followed the Prophet (Sal AllahU Alayhi Wa Sallam) in leading the Muslims. Also known as Caliph.
21. The Qur’aan in a physical compiled book form.
22. A companion of the Prophet (Sal Allahu alayhi Wa Sallam). More info on him soon inshaAllah!
23. She was the daughter of Umar, and the wife of the Prophet (Sal Allahu alayhi Wa Sallam). More info on this soon, inshaAllah!
24. The third Khaleefah of Islam. More info on this soon, inshaAllah!
25. This narration is found in Jami As Sahih of Imam Bukhaari. Volume 6, Book 60, Number 201


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