This book is dependent on a variety of works and it would appear appropriate to categorise them according to their particular relevance to the subject at hand, whether primary or secondary, and whether historical or of contemporary origin. Apart from the Qur'an itself, which gives some evidence as to the manner in which it was being assembled during the lifetime of Muhammad, the immediate historical sources for the collection of its text thereafter are found in the early Sirat and Hadith literature. Thereafter other works from later periods, compiled by prominent Muslim historians, give further perspectives on the compilation of the Qur'an text. The sources consulted are:
1. Sirat Literature.
The very earliest works recording details of the Qur'an's compilation are found in the following three biographies which are known as the Sirat literature:
Muhammad ibn Ishaq. Sirat Rasul Allah. (translated into English by A. Guillaume), Oxford University Press, Karachi, Pakistan. 1978 (1955).
Muhammad ibn Sa'd. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir. (translated into English by S. Moinul Haq), 2 volumes, Pakistan Historical Society, Karachi, Pakistan. 1972.
Muhammad ibn Umar al-Waqidi. Kitab al-Maghazi. 3 volumes, Oxford University Press, London, England. 1966.
2. Hadith Literature.
The second collection of traditions and historical records of Muhammad's life and the compilation of the Qur'an is known as the Hadith literature, and among Muslim historians these are regarded as the most reliable and second only to the Qur'an in authority. The following works have been consulted:
Muhammad ibn Ismail al-Bukhari. Sahih al-Bukhari. (translated by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan), 9 volumes, Kazi Publications, Chicago, United States of America. 1979 (1976).
Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj. Sahih Muslim. (translated by Abdul Hamid Siddique), 4 volumes, Sh. Muhammad Ashraf, Lahore, Pakistan. 1972.
Sulaiman Abu Dawud. Sunan Abu Dawud. (translated from Kitab as-Sunan by Prof. Ahmad Hasan), 3 volumes, Sh. Muhammad Ashraf, Lahore, Pakistan. 1984.
Abu Isa Muhammad at-Tirmithi. Al-Jami as-Sahih. (edited by A.M. Sakir), 5 volumes, Beirut, Lebanon, n.d. (Cairo, 1938).
Malik ibn Anas. Muwatta Imam Malik. (translated from Kitab al-Muwatta by Prof. Muhammad Rahimuddin), Sh. Muhammad Ashraf, Lahore, Pakistan. 1980.
Abu Bakr Ahmad al-Baihaqi. As-Sunan al-Kubra. 10 volumes, Beirut, Lebanon, n.d. (Hyderabad, 1926-1936).
3. Tafsir Literature.
In the period succeeding the above-mentioned initial records a number of Tafsir works, being commentaries on the Qur'an, were written by prominent Muslim historians. The most famous was the Jami al-Bayan fii Tafsir al Qur'aan by Abu Jafar Muhammad at-Tabari. It is referred to only through references obtained from modern works.
Although at-Tabari's work was intended to be predominantly an exegesis of the Qur'an, there is much material dealing with the early compilation of the text itself. Many of the other commentaries did the same.
Two further records directly consulted in the preparation of this book which are not in the Tafsir mould but which deal considerably with the collection of the Qur'an text are:
Abdallah ibn Sulaiman ibn al-Ash'ath Abu Bakr ibn Abi Dawud. Kitab al-Masahif. E.J. Brill, Leiden, Holland. 1937.
Jalaluddin al-Khudairi ash-Shafi'i as-Suyuti. Al-Itqan fii Ulum al-Qur'an. Biblio Verlag, Osnabrueck, Germany. 1980. (Reprint of the Calcutta edition of 1852-1854). 2 volumes.
The only manuscript of Ibn Abi Dawud's Kitab al-Masahif known to have survived now lies in the Zahiriya Library at Damascus. From this two further manuscripts were copied from one of which Arthur Jeffery was able to reprint the full text in his Materials for the History of the Text of the Qur'an (see infra) and it is this text which is referred to in this book.
4. Contemporary Books on the Qur'an.
A number of modern writings have given attention to the collection of the Qur'an of which the following deal exclusively, or at least considerably, with the subject at hand:
Beeston, A.F.L. & others. Arabic Literature to the End of the Umayyad Period. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England. 1983.
Burton, J. The Collection of the Qur'an. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England. 1977.
Jeffery, A. Materials for the History of the Text of the Qur'an. AMS Press, New York, United States of America. 1975. (E.J. Brill, 1937).
Jeffery, A. The Qur'an as Scripture. Books for Libraries, New York, USA. 1980 (1952).
Nöldeke, T. Geschichte des Qorans. Georg Olms Verlag, Hildesheim, Germany. 1981 (1909).
Von Denffer, A. 'Ulum al-Qur'an: An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur'an. The Islamic Foundation, Leicester, England. 1983.
Watt, W.M. Bell's Introduction to the Qur'an. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, Scotland. 1970.
The Geschichte des Qorans was originally published in three volumes and it is only the second and third volumes which are relevant to the actual collection of the Qur'an text. The second volume, titled Die Sammlung des Qorans and written by Noeldeke and Schwally, deals with the collection itself while the third volume, titled Die Geschichte des Korantexts, written by Bergstrasser and Pretzl, deals with the written text of the Qur'an and its variant readings. Both volumes consider at some length the famous codices of Abdullah ibn Mas'ud and Ubayy ibn Ka'b which were destroyed by order of the Caliph Uthman because they varied considerably with the text which he standardised as the textus receptus of the Qur'an which is that which has come down through the history of Islam to the present day.
5. Articles on the Compilation of the Qur'an.
The following articles have also been consulted from The Muslim World, published by the Hartford Seminary Foundation in the United States of America. The references here are all to the reprint volumes done by the Kraus Reprint Corporation, New York, in 1966. The articles dealing with the compilation of the Qur'an and the early Qur'an manuscripts are:
Caetani, L. Uthman and the Recension of the Koran. Volume 5, p.380. (1915).
Jeffery, A. Abu Ubaid on Verses Missing from the Qur'an. Volume 28, p.61. (1938).
Jeffery, A. Progress in the Study of the Qur'an Text. Volume 25. p.4. (1935).
Margoliouth, D.S. Textual Variations of the Koran. Volume 15, p.334. (1925).
Mendelsohn, I. The Columbia University Copy of the Samarqand Kufic Qur'an. Volume 30, p.375. (1940).
Mingana, A. The Transmission of the Koran. Volume 7, p.223. (1917).
In addition to these works reference will constantly be made to the following works published in South Africa and which are referred to in the Introduction:
Abdul Kader, A.S. How the Quran was Compiled. Al-Balaagh, Vol. 11, No.2, Johannesburg, South Africa, May/June 1986.
Desai, Maulana. The Quraan Unimpeachable. Mujlisul Ulama of South Africa, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. May 1987.
Siddique, Dr. Kaukab. Quran is NOT Allah's Word says Christian Lay Preacher. Al-Balaagh, Vol. 11, No. 1, Johannesburg, South Africa. February/March 1986.
Jam' Al-Qur'an: Table of contents
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