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Questions on the Qur’an

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Mahmoodiyah

Question:

1. I recently found information relating to the construction of the Qur’an. Ibn Mas’ood was apparently the first man to oversee the compilation of the Qur’an from the scraps of papyrus and other materials that the Qur’an may have been written on. Upon completing this book, some early followers of islam took the text and began translating it into the other dialects of an ever changing Arabic language. Upon realizing this, the 3rd caliph, Hazrat Usman (or Uthmaan) compiled the Uthmani Qur’an which all modern Qur’ans are based on; then ordered the destruction of all Qur’ans that were not his own compilation (including Ibn Mas’ood’s). If all of the above is true, then Ibn Mas’ood’s original Qur’an is different from the modern Qur’an. Is Usman the only man who knew how different the two books are? In response to my question, I would be appreciative of any historically known facts that are easily referenced, for my own studies. A lack of references would be most regrettable.

2. Chapter 4, verse 34 of the Qur’an says that women are inferior to men. If I think of women as equal to me, are my thoughts in conflict with that particular section of the Qur’an? If one’s wife were to be unfaithful, would it not be sufficient to seek verbal agreement with her? A promise from her, that the act would never happen again? If her unfaithful ways were to continue, would it not be best to part company, rather than beating her as it justifies in the Qur’an [04:34] ?


Answer:

 

                  

 

1) It is incorrect to believe that Abdullah bin Mas’ood was the only one to compile the original text of the Qur’an. The actual facts in this regard is that after the demise of Nabi (S.A.W.), Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) entrusted  Hazrat Zaid bin Thaabit( R.A.) who was the scribe of Wahi in the prophets time and also a Hafiz, with the task of compiling the Qur’an and he appointed Hazrat Umar as his assistant.

Hazrat Zaid (R.A.) made a great amount of effort in compiling the Qur’an. He went to various Sahaabah and gathered whatever portions of the Qur’an they had in their possession. He even approached those Sahaabah who were Haafizul Qur’an and after receiving a strong approval he compiled the entire Qur’an in a single form. This accomplishment was appreciated by every Sahaabah and not a single one objected to it. This compiled version of the Qur’an was kept in the guardianship of Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) and used as a reference. No further copies were made and distributed amongst the Sahaabah. The Sahabah taught and read the Qur’an as they had memorized it or from whatever portions of it they had written down and kept by them.

Permission had already been given by Nabi (S.A.W.) to recite the Qur’an in seven different manners, which is commonly known as Al-Qiraa’at-u-Sab’ah. It is for this reason that the recitation of one Sahabah varied from another. Every Sahaabi or his student was not learned in reciting the Qur’an according to the seven different styles. As a result, with the passing of time, differences started occurring amongst some of the Qurraa (Teachers of Tajweed).  Each Qari claimed that the Qur’an was revealed according to the manner in which he recited and that the others were reading and teaching an incorrect version of the Qur’an. Noticing these conditions Hazrat Uthmaan (R.A.) became concerned. He therefore consulted the Sahabah who were currently residing in Madinah with regards to a solution to the matter. This meeting was attended by Hazrat Ali (R.A.), Hazrat Zaid bin Thaabit (R.A.), Hazrat Huzaifah bin Yamaan (R.A.) and other eminent Sahabah who were Huffaz of the Holy Qur’an. The outcome of this meeting was that the Qur’an will be compiled for a second time in light of the copy first compiled in the time of Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) and thereafter many copies would be made and distributed to all the Islamic states and cities. This copy would be regarded as the original text. All other copies of the Qur’an were to be burnt and every person was to read the Qur’an according to this copy, thus wiping out the possibility of any differences in reading and teaching the Qur’an.

Hazrat Uthmaan (R.A.) assigned this task to four Sahabah, namely Hazrat Zaid bin Thaabit (R.A.), Abdullah bin Zubair (R.A.), Hazrat Sa’eed bin Al -‘Aas (R.A.) and Hazrat Abdurrahman bin Harith bin Hishaam (R.A.). This group of Sahabah had the Qur’an compiled in the time of Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) at their disposal and took great assistance from it in compiling the second copy. They further asked all the Sahabah to forward whatever portions of the Qur’an were in their possessions. After making a thorough research and closely examining the different portions of the Qur’an received from other Sahabah, the compilation was successfully accomplished.

In this second edition the Surahs were formatted in their proper sequence, since this was not found in the first edition, and it was conclusive of all the seven different styles.

Hazrat Ubay bin Ka’ab and Ibne Abbas (R.A.) also contributed towards this great accomplishment. In this manner the Qur’an was compiled with the consensus and consent of all the Sahabah present in Madinah. Thereafter a further five or six copies were made, of which one was kept in Madinah and the remaining were distributed in the major Islamic states and an order was passed that everyone should follow these newly compiled copies and all other copies of the Qur’an should be burnt so that no controversy would arise in the future.

It is only through the grace of Allah that this task was accomplished successfully, and Alhamdulillah presently all the copies of the Qur’an are in harmony with the copy compiled in the time of Hazrat Uthmaan (R.A.).

For further reference please study the book ‘Uloom-ul-Qur’aan by Mufti Taqi Uthmani Saheb.

2) Men have an authority over women because Allah preferred the one above the other and because of the wealth which men spent.”  This means that the husband is the senior and the wife junior. It is the duty of the wife to obey her husband in all matters which are lawful to carry out according to Shari’ah and not to disobey him. The husband must not become subject to her nor should she be regarded as the senior. It is the duty of the husband to act as an Ameer by ensuring that she does not act in a manner contrary to the Shari’ah or general norm. He should be concerned with the affairs of the house and upbringing of the children. If she errs in anyway, then it is the husband’s duty to make her understand and prevent her from doing so. With regards to the decisions being made in the home it is the husband who makes the final decision and it is his verdict that carries. If the wife slips up, then the husband should not feel that “she’s just human. She can live her life in whichever manner she pleases. She can spend her life in sin, if she wishes. I’m not bothered.” This would be a great mistake on his behalf.

The wife shares the same status as the husband in demanding her rights, in possession of properties, in her expenditure and in visiting her parents, family and friends in a permissible way. However, it is best for her to spend her wealth and visit her parents, etc. with her husband’s permission and consent so that no argument arises between the two and so that order will remain in their home.

It is imperative upon the husband not to regard the wife as his property. He should treat her in a kind manner while taking regard of her honour and dignity. He should consult with her in affairs of their home and he should take her opinions into consideration. He should not unnecessarily oppose her every view with regard to these matters. The wife should be allowed to act as she wishes on condition she does not transgress the laws of Shari’ah. She should not be despised while in the presence of her children. The husband should not regard himself as the sole possessor of intellect.

The crux of the matter is that the husband should at all times see that the affairs of the home are run in a sound manner while allowing the wife to act freely and when ever she acts in a manner contrary to the teachings of Shari’ah, then he should act as an Ameer by disciplining her in a good manner.

If someone’s wife is unfaithful to him or there is constant arguments taking place between the two, then one should not feel that the only way of resolving the matter is by divorcing her, rather there are different solutions for different individuals in terms of the persons location, condition, family and whether the person has children or not. Cases of this nature should be forwarded to the local Ulamaa.

Islam encourages towards being steadfast in marriages and to exercise patience in all forms of difficulty and hardships instead of getting divorced. The arguments between a couple do not usually continue for ever and one would always find one partner differing from the other as far as basic affairs are concerned, but by spending time together the conditions eventually change. Therefore one should not be hastily in uttering the words of Talaaq. However, if the hatred between the two is of such a high level that it is impossible for the two to tolerate each others company, they have no children and Talaaq seems to be the only suitable solution then they may carry out Talaaq on condition they have no intention of meeting in an unlawful manner. 

And Allah Ta’ala knows best

Mufti Muhammad Ashraf

Darul Iftaa

Jameah Mahmoodiyah

Springs

15 March 2005

04 Safar 1426

 

This answer was collected in 2012 from the website of Jameah Mahmoodiyah, South Africa. The original website no longer exists.

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