How was Quran complied

First Arrangement of the Holy Koran

"And We have sent down on you a Book in which is the clarification of all the things." (16:89)

There is no dispute among Muslim scholars, whether they are Sunni or Shia, concerning the fact that Ali possessed a special transcript of the text of Koran which he had collected himself, and he was the first who compiled Koran. Academics state that Ali compiled the Koran on the orders of Prophet Muhammad. There is also no disagreement among both Sunni and Shia Muslims that what we have with us today is the entire uncorrupted Koran as dictated by Mohammad.

The order in which Mohammad dictated is, however, not the same. Earliest chapters are written towards the end in the arrangement that exists today. Muslims clerics states there are a number of traditions which tell us that after the death of the Prophet in 632 C.E., Ali secluded himself in his house; and he told people that he had sworn an oath that he would not put on his outdoor clothes or leave his house until he collected together the Koran. [see, Fathul Bari by al Asqalani; Itqan by al Suyuti.]

Ali’s compilation was collected according to the order in which it had been sent down. Ibn Sireen (653-729) said he regretted that Ali’s transcript had not passed into the hands of the Muslims, and said: "If that transcript were in our hands, we would found a great knowledge in it." [see, Tabaqat by Ibn Saad; Ansab by Baladhuri; Istiab by Ibn Abdul Barr.]

Historians states that it is according to Ali’s transcript that most scholars claim that the first Chapter of Koran which was sent down to the Prophet was chapter 96 al-Iqra, also called al-Alaq. [Suyuti, Asqalani, Zarkashi, and Qastalani.]

Ali wanted to share knowledge of the Koran with the people. He often stated in her sermons: "Ask me before you lose me. By Allah, if you ask me about anything that could happen up to the Day of Judgment, I will tell you about it. Ask me, for, by Allah, you will not be able to ask me a question about anything without my informing you. Ask me about the Book of Allah, for by Allah, there is no verse about which I do not know whether it was sent down at night or during the day, or whether it was revealed on a plain or in a mountain." [Asqalani, Ibn Saad, and Suyuti.]

In present copies of Koran, Surah al-Alaq is not found at the beginning. Also one of the last verses to be revealed is verse of Surah al Maidah (5:3). Therefore, although we possess the complete Koran, it is not in the order that has been revealed. These few misplacements were done by some companions on purpose at worst, or out of ignorance at least.

Koran as collection by Ali contained commentary and interpretation (Tafsir and Tawil) from the Prophet himself some of which had been sent down as revelation but not as a part of the text of Koran. These pieces of information were the Divine commentary of the text of Koran which were revealed along its verses. Thus the verses of Koran and the verses of commentary could sum up to 17000 verses.

Muslims accept that Hadith al-Qudsi (the Hadith in which the speaker is Allah) is also direct revelation, but they are not a part of Koran. In fact Koran testifies that anything that Prophet said was (either direct or indirect) revelation. The direct revelation includes the interpretation/commentary of the Koran. (53:3-4)

Koran tells us that to follow only the clear verses and act upon them. It warns us not to dig into doubtful material in the book. See Surah Ale Imam (3:7). God had placed both type of verses to test the people of sincerity and people with devious aims. Ali’s unique transcript contained the information from the Holy Prophet as to which verses were clear (Muhkam) and which was ambiguous (Mutashabih), which verse was general and which was specific.

Ali’s transcript also contained references on additional information about verses. For example, it has information on persons and places about which the verses were revealed. This is called Asbab al Nazul, the “Occasions of Revelation”. Ali gave us all the particulars of all 6666 verses. Since Ali was aware of these facts, he frequently said:

"By Allah, no verse has been sent down without my knowing about for whom or for what it was revealed and where it was revealed. My Lord has gifted me with a mind which has a quick and retaining understanding, and a tongue which speaks eloquently." [Abu Nuaim, Ibn Saad, Haythami.]

After he compiled this transcript Ali took it and presented it to the rulers who came after the Holy Prophet, and said:

"Here is the book of Allah, your Lord, in the order that was revealed to your Prophet."

However, they did not accept it and replied:

"We have no need of this. We have with us what you possess."

Ali took the transcript back and informed them that they will never see it again. It is reported that Ali recited the latter part of the following verse of Koran:

"And when Allah took a Covenant from the People of the Book to clarify it to mankind and not to hide its (clarification); but they threw it away behind their backs and purchased with it some miserable gain! And what an evil was the bargain they made!" (3:187)

By "its clarification", Ali meant the unique divine commentaries.

It is said that Ali then concealed that transcript. After Ali, it was passed to the Imams. They also kept it hidden. They wanted there to be only one sequence of Koran among the Muslims. According to traditions in Usul al-Kafi, Ali’s hand written Koran contained "what can be understood of the universe", and "all the knowledge of the eternal book". This is because there were in Ali’s compilation commentaries and interpretations directly from the Holy Prophet.



Verdict by non-muslims




Academics Confess Quran's Beauty and Power

The Holy Koran is a remarkbale book. Even non-muslims are amazed by its power and beauty. This is one of the miricale of the Koran. It challenges and wins even the most critical human minds of the world. As of 2012, not one intellectual man or woman in history has been able to reply to its claim of divine origins. Up till now, no honest disbeliever has been able to provide a natural explaination of the Holy Koran. Not only have the disbelievers admitted their failure against the Koran, rather they have praised the book as extraordinary and something that seems to be out of this world. Below we give what they have written abot the Koran after reading it with an open mind.

Here are views of some non-muslims researchers after reading the holy book:

German poet Goethe:

"However often we turn to it at first disgusting us each time afresh, it soon attracts, astounds, and in the end enforces our reverence... Its style, in accordance with its contents and aim is stern, grand, terrible - ever and anon truly sublime. Thus this book will go on exercising through all ages a most potent influence."

G. Margoliouth said:

"The Koran admittedly occupies an important position among the great religious books of the world. Though the youngest of the epoch-making works belonging to this class of literature, it yields to hardly any in the wonderful effect which it has produced on large masses of men. It has created an all but new phase of human thought and a fresh type of character. It first transformed a number of heterogeneous desert tribes of the Arabian peninsula into a nation of heroes, and then proceeded to create the vast politico-religious organizations of the Muhammadan world which are one of the great forces with which Europe and the East have to reckon today."

Dr. Steingass said:

"A work, then, which calls forth so powerful and seemingly incompatible emotions even in the distant reader - distant as to time, and still more so as a mental development - a work which not only conquers the repugnance which he may begin its perusal, but changes this adverse feeling into astonishment and admiration, such a work must be a wonderful production of the human mind indeed and a problem of the highest interest to every thoughtful observer of the destinies of mankind… Here, therefore, its merits as a literary production should perhaps not be measured by some preconceived maxims of subjective and aesthetic taste, but by the effects which it produced in Muhammad's contemporaries and fellow countrymen. If it spoke so powerfully and convincingly to the hearts of his hearers as to weld hitherto centrifugal and antagonistic elements into one compact and well-organized body, animated by ideas far beyond those which had until now ruled the Arabian mind, then its eloquence was perfect, simply because it created a civilized nation out of savage tribes, and shot a fresh woof into the old warp of history."

French doctor Maurice Bucaille said:

"The above observation makes the hypothesis advanced by those who see Muhammad as the author of the Quran untenable. How could a man, from being illiterate, become the most important author, in terms of literary merits, in the whole of Arabic literature? How could he then pronounce truths of a scientific nature that no other human being could possibly have developed at that time, and all this without once making the slightest error in his pronouncement on the subject?… A totally objective examination of it in the light of modern knowledge, leads us to recognize the agreement between the two, as has been already noted on repeated occasions. It makes us deem it quite unthinkable for a man of Muhammad's time to have been the author of such statements on account of the state of knowledge in his day. Such considerations are part of what gives the Quranic Revelation its unique place, and forces the impartial scientist to admit his inability to provide an explanation which calls solely upon materialistic reasoning."

Arthur J. Arberry said:

"In making the present attempt to improve on the performance of my predecessors, and to produce something which might be accepted as echoing however faintly the sublime rhetoric of the Arabic Koran, I have been at pains to study the intricate and richly varied rhythms which - apart from the message itself - constitute the Koran's undeniable claim to rank amongst the greatest literary masterpieces of mankind... This very characteristic feature - 'that inimitable symphony,' as the believing Pickthall described his Holy Book, 'the very sounds of which move men to tears and ecstasy' - has been almost totally ignored by previous translators; it is therefore not surprising that what they have wrought sounds dull and flat indeed in comparison with the splendidly decorated original."