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Monday 23rd of May 2022
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1. When was the holy Qur'an compiled as an entity, and as a book that we have today?

1.       When was the holy Qur'an compiled as an entity, and as a book that we have today?

1.       The Glorious Qur'an was compiled as a book during the lifetime of Rasulollah (S) in his instructions, who in turn was instructed by the Almighty.  When the holy Qur'an was compiled, its correctness was confirmed by Rasulollah (S).  The Qur'an we have today is that compiled during the lifetime of Rasulollah (S) and approved of by him (S).  Ayatollah al-Udhma Imam Muhammad Shirazi has written a book concerning the subject matter of the compilation of the Holy Qur'an.  It is called "The Qur'an: When Was It Compiled?" and its English translation is available online in the Books section of our website The Teachings of Islam.

 

2.       Is it true that the holy Qur'an was compiled for the first time by, or during the reign of Othman? 

a.       If yes, would it not seem odd to you that such an important task, concerning the most important issue of Islam, which is a corner stone to the Islamic belief, is ignored by the prophet and relegated to others to address?

b.       If not, who compiled and when and why?

 

2.       No it is not true, as it is stated above.

a.       It certainly would seem very odd for Rasulollah (S) to go out of his way, and to use every opportunity to emphasise on the importance of the holy Qur'an to the Muslims and then relegate to others the very important and crucial task of compiling the Last Divine Revelation, which was made to him directly for the sake of humanity.  We have many hadith from Rasulollah (S) that emphasise and encourage the Muslims to do Khatm-el-Qur'an reciting the entire Qur'an from the beginning to its end, elaborating on the importance and the rewards associated with this.  It would be a meaning less instruction to the Muslims if at the time of Rasulollah (S) the Qur'an was not compiled as a whole entity!  furthermore Allah Almighty declares in the holy Qur'an: {It is upon us to compile it (The Qur'an) and recite it} 75:17.

b.       As stated in point 1.  above, the holy Prophet of Islam (S) endeavoured to ensure that the holy Qur'an collated in his presence, and he (S) made sure that he would authenticate a complete, and compiled copy of the Last Revelation.   A copy of the complete Qur'an was available for the Muslim to use as a master copy, and to duplicate it to produce a copy for their personal use.  It is reported in the traditions that a copy of the complete and compiled Qur'an was placed by the side of the Minbar of Rasulollah (S) for the public to use.  This was to make sure that there would be no chance for corruption, and no various versions of the Qur'an.

3.       Why is the Qur'an not compiled chronologically?  Or why was it not compiled according to the length of each Surah?  Who decided the order in which it is compiled?  Or was it simply put together in an ad hoc manner?

 

3.       As for the order in which the Qur'an was compiled, without going into details, at least two arguments can be given, each of which on its own is a sufficient response to the question:

a.       The significance of the first argument can be realised if we consider the answers to the questions:

1.     Why should the Qur'an be compiled in chronological order?  What is the particular significance of chronological compilation apart from the information of the order of revelation? 

2.     The same argument is applied to the question of compilation order by length of Surah.

b.       The second argument being that the author of the Book - Allah Almighty - instructed His Messenger to compile it in the order it is.

Just as Allah Almighty revealed the various ayaat to His Messenger (S), He also revealed the position of each ayah/Surah to His Messenger (S).  for example when a particular ayah was revealed to Rasulollah (S) on a certain occasion Archangel Gabriel also told Rasulollah (S) The Almighty instructs you to place it (the ayah) as number 280 of Surah of The Cow.  Such reports clearly indicate that even the order and the structure of the Holy Qur'an was dictated by Allah Almighty Exalted be He.

 

Category Two Questions:

4.       Through my discussions with others it has been claimed that the Shi'a believe that the Qur'an we have today is not the complete Qur'an.  Not only that, but they believe, it was claimed, that the holy Qur'an has been corrupted.  A book, Fasl-il-Khitab fi Ithbat wa Tahreef al-Kitab, written by a prominent Shi'a scholar, al-Noori, was cited to prove their point, in which the author 'proves' the Qur'an has been corrupted!  It this true?  Do the Shi'a believe that the holy Qur'an we have today is incomplete and corrupted?  And about the book mentioned above, what is your comment?  Is its author an odd one out amongst the Shi'a or does he represent a broad view of the Shi'a in this respect?

 

4.       The Shi'a scholars are unanimously of the belief that no corruption or distortion has occurred in the Qur'an, and nothing has been added to or eliminated from it.  The evidence for this are the rational reasons and reported hadith. 

Allah Almighty has declared about the protection of the Qur'an from corruption, saying:

{We have, without doubt, sent down the Reminder; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption).}  15:9.

And corruption is one of the foremost manifestations of the Batil - falsehood - as well as being contrary to any protection.  All of our eminent Maraje' and Tafsir scholars have established that Qur'an is and has been immune from corruption in their books.  This is in addition to the many and frequent hadith from the Ma'soomeen of the Ahl-ul-Bayt (AS). 

All of our Maraje' and scholars without exception have confirmed on the authority /proof (Hujjah) of the holy Qur'an.  For if the Qur'an were corrupted or distorted, then it would carry no authority, since every Ayah referred to might be corrupted or distorted, as detailed in their books.   Allah Almighty declares in the holy Qur'an:

{And indeed it is a Book of exalted power.  No falsehood can approach it from before or behind it: it is sent down by One Full of Wisdom, Worthy of all Praise.}  41:41-42.

It is a book elevated from corruption of distortion.  In fact there is no one of our scholars who claims that any of the ayat of the book has changed.

As for the book you have referred to in your email, it has an a devious and a cunning story behind it, created by the opponent of the Shi'a in order to discredit them.  The eminent scholar Sheikh al-Noori wrote a book called (read the title of the book carefully) Fasl-il-Khitab fi al-Radd Ala Tahreef al-Kitab{Detailed Account in Refuting the Corruption of the Book}in which he reported all the statements made by others (none-Shi'a) about the corruption of the holy Qur'an and refuted all of them, by presenting relevant evidence and arguments, therefore establishing the immunity of the Qur'an from corruption and distortion.  What the opponents of the Shi'a did was to reprint the book again but removing all of his arguments he had made against the claims made by others about the corruption of the Qur'an, and leaving only the statements the author has reported from those who have claimed that the Qur'an has been corrupted in the book, and furthermore they went on to make a slight change to the title of the book: Fasl-il-Khitab fi Ithbat wa Tahreef al-Kitab {Detailed Account in Proving the Corruption of the Book}!!! This is of course not the first time that the opponents of the Shi'a have attempted to defame the Shi'a in order to cover up the truth and spread falsehood.

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