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A Tremendous Hadeeth Proving The Companions’ Stance Against Innovations

May 22, 2010

بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
Narrated Zaid bin Thabit Al-Ansari:
who was one of those who used to write the Divine Revelation: Abu Bakr sent for me after the (heavy) casualties among the warriors (of the battle) of Yamama (where a great number of Qurra’ were killed). ‘Umar was present with Abu Bakr who said, ‘Umar has come to me and said, The people have suffered heavy casualties on the day of (the battle of) Yamama, and I am afraid that there will be more casualties among the Qurra’ (those who know the Qur’an by heart) at other battle-fields, whereby a large part of the Qur’an may be lost, unless you collect it. And I am of the opinion that you should collect the Qur’an.” Abu Bakr added, “I said to ‘Umar, ‘How can I do something which Allah’s Apostle has not done?’ ‘Umar said (to me), ‘By Allah, it is (really) a good thing.’ So ‘Umar kept on pressing, trying to persuade me to accept his proposal, till Allah opened my bosom for it and I had the same opinion as ‘Umar.” (Zaid bin Thabit added:) Umar was sitting with him (Abu Bakr) and was not speaking. me). “You are a wise young man and we do not suspect you (of telling lies or of forgetfulness): and you used to write the Divine Inspiration for Allah’s Apostle. Therefore, look for the Qur’an and collect it (in one manuscript). ” By Allah, if he (Abu Bakr) had ordered me to shift one of the mountains (from its place) it would not have been harder for me than what he had ordered me concerning the collection of the Qur’an. I said to both of them, “How dare you do a thing which the Prophet has not done?” Abu Bakr said, “By Allah, it is (really) a good thing. So I kept on arguing with him about it till Allah opened my bosom for that which He had opened the bosoms of Abu Bakr and Umar. So I started locating Quranic material and collecting it from parchments, scapula, leaf-stalks of date palms and from the memories of men (who knew it by heart). I found with Khuzaima two Verses of Surat-at-Tauba which I had not found with anybody else, (and they were):–

“Verily there has come to you an Apostle (Muhammad) from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty He (Muhammad) is ardently anxious over you (to be rightly guided)” (9.128)

The manuscript on which the Quran was collected, remained with Abu Bakr till Allah took him unto Him, and then with ‘Umar till Allah took him unto Him, and finally it remained with Hafsa, Umar’s daughter. (Bukhari Hadeeth # 4349)

Shaykh Uthaymeen said:

The second phase (of collecting the Quran) was during the leadership of Aboo Bakr in the twelfth year after the Hijrah. The reason for writing the Qur’an at this time was because many of those who had memorized the Qur’an were killed during the incident at al-Yamaamah (while fighting against Musaylamah the Liar who claimed to be a prophet). Among the slain was Saalim, the freed servant of Aboo Hudhayfah, who was one of the people that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) himself instructed that others should learn the Qur’aan from him.

So Aboo Bakr ordered that the Qur’aan be collected together so that its verses would not be lost. It is reported in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab suggested the collection of the Qur’aan to Aboo Bakr (radhiallahu anhu) after the incident at al-Yamaamah. At first, Aboo Bakr refused. ‘Umar persisted in recommending this until Allaah guided Aboo Bakr to accept that. He sent for Zayd ibn Thaabit who came to Aboo Bakr while ‘Umar was with him. Aboo Bakr said:

“You are certainly a young man with a strong intellect and we do not suspect you (of telling lies or of forgetfulness). You used to write down the revelation for Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). So get all the verses and collect the Qur’aan (into one manuscript).”

Zayd ibn Thaabit said:

“So I began collecting the Qur’aan from parchments, date-tree leaves, and from the chests of men (their memorization). This copy of the Qur’aan remained with Aboo Bakr until Allaah took him (in death), then with ‘Umar during his lifetime, and then with Hafsah, ‘Umar’s daughter (radhiallahu anha).”

Al-Bukhaaree recorded this in a long Hadeeth.

(Source pages 56-57 of the English Translation of Shaykh Uthaymeen’s book The Fundamentals of Tafseer, published by Tarbiyyah Publishing. ISBN # 9780977058112)

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