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Describe the process of compilation of the Quran.

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  • The prophet had died leaving behind the entire Qur’an preserved in the memories of the Swahabas or written down on different materials.
  • There was no compiled volume of the Qur’an 
  • Upon the death of the Prophet, the Swahabas unanimously agreed on Abubakar (RA) as the first leader of the Muslim community to take charge of religious, social, economic and political affairs.
  • When he assumed office he was faced with several challenges; among them being those who claimed to be prophets, those who refused to pay Zakat and those who turned to apostasy. During the battle of Yamama when caliph Abubakar was fighting the false Prophets, several Hufadh (memorizers) were martyred.
  • During the wars of apostasy, seventy other memorizers were killed, living very few among the Swahabas who had memorized the Qur’an.
  • Umar (RA) then suggested to the caliph that there was need to arrest the situation by compiling the Qur’an into one volume. Abubakar (RA) was hesitant to do what the Prophet had not done but when the Swahabas insisted, the caliph gave in and saw the need for compiling the Qur’an.
  • Caliph Abubakar gave Zayd bin Thabit the responsibility to be in charge of the group.
  • Among other key Swahabas who undertook this huge responsibility were; Abdullah bin Masoud (RA) Ali bin Abi Talib (RA) Sayyidna Uthman bin Affan (RA), Ubay bin ka’ab (RA), Abdallah bin Amr bin al ‘As (RA), Salim (RA), Aisha (RAA), Hafsa (RAA), Umm Salama (RAA), Abu Zayd among others.
  • They began by collecting all the materials on which the Qur’an had been written on by the prophet’s scribes and other companions. This group then agreed on the following conditions towards the task: The verses must have been written down by at least two other companions, The materials on which the verses were written on must be availed before the committee, There must be two pious Muslim witnesses to testify the verses were actually dictated by the Prophet.
  • After the process of compilation, Zayd presented the compiled copy which was referred to as Mashaf to Caliph Abubakar who kept it under the custody of Lady Hafswa bint Umar (RAA). It was then used by Caliph Umar (RA) during his caliphate.

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