ISLAM: Basis - Past - Present - Future


Part 4:

Compiling the Koran:
Hadiths (Traditions) State the Underlying Reality


by Manfred Davidmann

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Contents

Overview
Introduction
Hadiths (Traditions) About Compiling the Koran

Zaid bin Thabit Compiled the Koran
Differences Between the Three Versions of the Main Tradition (Table 1)
Version 1B
Version 1
Version 1A
Hadiths 1 and 1A: Conclusions

Uthman's Koran
How Caliph Uthman Ordered the Compilation of an Official Koran Text (Hadith 2)
Meaning of Hadith 2

Findings and Conclusions

Relevant Current and Associated Works

Notes <..>, References {..} and Links


Appendices
1    Zaid bin Thabit Compiled the Koran: Different Versions of the Main Tradition
2    Subsidiary Hadiths (Traditions)


Relevant Subject Index Pages and Site Overview



Overview

The aim of this report is to assemble an objective picture of what took place and of its background, looking in some detail at how the Koran was compiled so as to show what Mohammed taught in the name of God (Allah), and how this was recorded.

What we have is the Koran and traditions collected many years after the death of the Prophet. However, some uncertainty remains and so we are here embarking on a journey of exploration which will take us through the accumulated dust of many centuries to what Mohammed actually taught, to the revealed word of Allah, of God.

The report consists of seven consecutive free-standing parts. The seven parts follow each other in an intended sequence in which each is aiding and contributing to understanding the following part. The parts are:

1     Prophet Mohammed's Struggle for a Better Life for All
             
       

The information brought together in Part 1 relates primarily to Mohammed's struggle for recognition of his mission and message and is limited to this. Knowing about, and understanding, Mohammed's struggle is of vital importance if one wishes to understand what Mohammed taught, the Koran and Muslim belief and practice.

Throughout his whole life as Prophet he struggled against the powerful Meccan ruling elite, against the Meccan family which dominated Mecca, the Quraysh. They first opposed and then persecuted him and his followers for ten years, following which he fought them for ten years till he won and then he died.

So we need to know just what Mohammed taught which upset the elite so thoroughly and persistently, which caused him and his followers to be so harshly opposed and so actively persecuted.

         
2     Text, Language, Dialect and Interpretation of the Koran
         
       

The first step towards understanding the intent and substance of God's (Allah's) revelations as expressed by Mohammed's teachings, is to gain knowledge about the then developing Arabic written language, that is to understand how recorded letters and symbols were used to state the meaning of words, and about the dialects of the time.

Such knowledge and understanding is particularly important when considering how the Koran was assembled and what scholars and clerics have done and are doing when they are 'interpreting' the text of the Koran.

         
3     The Divine Right to Rule
         
       

Following Parts 1 and 2 we are here looking at the struggle for power and control over the Muslim community which took place after Mohammed died and seeing how Muslim belief and practice evolved in the two hundred years under the caliphs.

These events and struggles formed Sunnism and Shiism, shaped the Koran and Muslim belief and practice, underlie today's conflicts and confrontations within Islam.

         
4     Compiling the Koran: Hadiths (Traditions) State the Underlying Reality
         
       

Hadiths (traditions) tell that Zaid bin Thabit compiled the Koran and that Caliph Uthman later had an official version prepared.

The arabic text of these hadiths recorded the underlying reality. They state that on the one hand we have the word of benevolent Allah as taught by Mohammed that people (believers) should have a good life of high quality in this life, but that on the other hand is the ruling elite's opposing viewpoint that people should be obedient and serve willingly without questioning their condition.

         
5     Uthman's Rearrangement of the Chronological (as revealed) Koran's Chapters
         
        The important chapters (suras) singled out by 'abbreviated letters' show how the chronological (as revealed) sequence was changed. The effect of the changes on the record of Mohammed's preaching and teaching is described and followed by a discussion of the doctrines of 'Abrogation' and of 'Consensus' in relation to Mohammed's teachings.
         
6     Prophet Mohammed's Word of Allah and the Voice of the Ruling Elite
         
       

Mohammed's social teachings are stated from Koran chapters (suras) singled out by 'Abbreviated Letters', statements of revelation from compassionate and caring Allah. It seems that some self-seeking doctrines were added later by the ruling elite of that time.

The content of the corresponding compassionate and benevolent teachings are described as are the Koran's stated rewards for following them and the consequences of ignoring or opposing them.

         
7     Muslims and Jews
         
       

Includes a comprehensive summary table of the struggles of the Muslims while Mohammed was alive, primarily against the Meccan ruling elite but also including their conflicts with the Jewish Medinan clans.

The unexpected but convincing conclusions are directly relevant to understanding present tensions and conflicts within Islam.

     
See    
     
1   Prophet Mohammed's Struggle for a Better Life for All
     
2   Text, Language, Dialect and Interpretation of the Koran
     
3   The Divine Right to Rule
     
4   Compiling the Koran: Hadiths (Traditions) State the Underlying Reality
     
5   Uthman's Rearrangement of the Chronological (as revealed) Koran's Chapters
     
6   Prophet Mohammed's Word of Allah and the Voice of the Ruling Elite
     
7   Muslims and Jews



Introduction

A 'tradition' (hadith) has two parts called 'Isnad' and 'Matn', respectively.

The isnad records the names of the persons said to have handed down and told its contents, the tellers of the story.

The matn is the story being told, the content of the tradition.

Traditions were collected and validated after the death of Mohammed and perhaps the most respected collections of validated traditions are Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. <1>


Translations into English of Sahih al-Bukhari consulted were Muhammad Muhsin Khan's, and also that of Muhammad Matraji and Amira Zrein Matraji. It seems that translations into English ignore the transmitting chain, the isnad, thus making it difficult for those unfamiliar with Arabic as a language, to assess the validity of the hadiths (traditions) they are looking at {7}. To bring out the plain clear meaning of the arabic text, translations were verified and modified where necessary <7>. For example, translators often add their own explanatory comments to translations, and I have not included such comments.

It is worth noting that written arabic words and phrases may have different meanings dependent on context, may appear incomprehensible to the reader when the context is uncertain, unknown or misunderstood. The reader (or translator) may then be tempted to 'fill the gap' by 'interpreting' the text, that is by assigning a probable meaning based on his own knowledge and understanding. And this procedure can be misleading to the extent to which the context within which the phrase appears is uncertain or misunderstood. <2>

I am comparing different versions of specific traditions (hadith), and what you see here are translations which emphasize and point out important differences in their original arabic texts. <7>


Hadiths (Traditions) About Compiling the Koran

The Koran was compiled after Mohammed's death at the time of Caliph Abu Bakr and its text was frozen (fixed) at the time of Caliph Uthman. What took place and how it was done is recorded in a number of traditions (hadiths).


One main tradition records that Zaid bin Thabit compiled the Koran at the time of Caliph Abu Bakr.

Another main tradition records that Caliph Uthman later had a revised official version prepared which had to be used by all from then on and that he ordered all other versions to be destroyed.

When the compiling and fixing of the Koran is taught or referred to, the information comes from, or is based on, these two main traditions. So they are important.


Al-Bukhari's collection 'Sahih al-Bukhari' contains different versions of the two main traditions as well as other related subsidiary traditions. To understand what took place we need to look at the main traditions and their differing versions, need to become aware of what they are in fact stating. The outcome is an unexpected, surprising and fascinating insight into what Mohammed revealed and taught.


The two main traditions are linked by a key phrase. At the end of each tradition Zaid bin Thabit is recorded as having said that he obtained a missing verse, or two, from Khuzaima, and that these verses were then included in the Koran.

The linking is intentional and the 'missed' verses are highly significant. Verbatim extracts from these verses are stated in the hadiths and these extracts are important for understanding the meaning of the hadiths.


We are not looking for minor differences in meaning, in interpretation, but for fundamental opposite and conflicting arguments and statements.


Zaid bin Thabit Compiled the Koran

There are three versions of the main tradition which records that Zaid bin Thabit compiled the Koran at the time of Caliph Abu Bakr. And we start by comparing them.

We are here looking at the content of these three versions of the same tradition, are examining the differences between them to see what they tell us about what we are being told, about the intent or motivation of their authors, and about the order in which they appeared.

And you will see that the different versions are records of struggle and confrontation about Muslim belief and practice following the death of Mohammed.

The complete versions are listed side-by-side step-by-step in Appendix 1, the differences between them being highlighted. The differences are evaluated in Table 1 below. This table contains the relevant extracts where the versions differ and compares the differences between them.


Table 1

Differences Between the Three Versions of the Main Tradition about Zaid bin Thabit Compiling the Koran


Tradition (Hadith) 1     Tradition (Hadith) 1A     Tradition (Hadith) 1B
         
Sahih Bukhari
Muhsin Khan
Volume 6, Book 60, Number 201

Sahih al-Bukhari
Matraji
Vol 6, 4679
  Sahih Bukhari
Muhsin Khan
Volume 6, Book 61, Number 509:

Sahih al-Bukhari
Matraji
Vol 6, 4986
  Sahih Bukhari
Muhsin Khan
Volume 9, Book 89, Number 301:

Sahih al-Bukhari
Matraji
Vol 9, 7191
         
         
Narrated Zaid bin Thabit al-Ansari:   Leaves out 'al-Ansari'.   Repeats version 1A.
         
who was one of those who used to write the Divine Revelation:   Leaves this out.   Repeats version 1A.
         
Umar has come to me and said, The people have suffered heavy casualties on the day of the Yamama, and I am afraid that there will be more casualties among the reciters at other battlefields,   Replaces
'people'
with
'reciters of the Koran'
  Repeats version 1A.
         
whereby a large part of the Koran may be lost, unless you collect it. And I am of the opinion that you should collect the Koran."   Replaces
'of the opinion ... you should'
with
'I suggest you order'
  Combines versions 1 and 1A.
         
I said to both of them, "How can you do a thing which the Prophet has not done?"   Replaces
'the Prophet'
with
'Allah's Messenger'.
  Repeats version 1A.
         
So I (Zaid bin Thabit) kept on arguing with him (Abu Bakr) about it till Allah opened my bosom for that which He had opened the bosoms of Abu Bakr and Umar.   Replaces
'I (Zaid bin Thabit) kept on arguing with him (Abu Bakr)'
with
'Abu Bakr kept on urging me (Zaid bin Thabit)'
  Repeats version 1A.
Adds 'and I agreed with them.
         
parchments,
scapula,
leaf-stalks of date palms
  palmed stalks,
thin white stones
  Combines versions 1 and 1A.
         
I found with Khuzaima al-Ansari ...   ... I found ... with Abu Khuzaima al-Ansari, ...   Combines versions 1 and 1A, saying:

I found ... with Khuzaima or Abu Khuzaima ...
         
I found with Khuzaima al-Ansari two verses from Surat-at-Tauba which I had not found with anybody else:   till I found the end part of Surat at-Tauba with Abu Khuzaima al-Ansari, and I did not find it with anybody other than him:    
         
It grieves him when you fall into distress. He is full of concern for you" to the end of it.   It grieves him when you fall into distress" till the end of baraa.    
         

Version 1B

Comparing version 1B with the other two it is clear that the author of 1B is aware of the earlier versions 1 and 1A. He attempts to overwrite the quite fundamental differences between versions 1 and 1A by combining them while favouring version 1A. So version 1B is more like an arranged argument than a genuine tradition and need not be considered further.

Which leads one to ask just what are the important fundamental and conflicting viewpoints stated in versions 1 and 1A?


Version 1

Version 1 is the earlier and original tradition (hadith). It is a deeply religious statement about the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed.

The narrator is Zaid bin Thabit, one of the 'ansar' (Helpers), that is from one of those Medinan tribes who were the first to support and to stand by Mohammed and follow his teachings, enabling Mohammed to migrate from insecure existence in Mecca to the security of Medina where he was respected. And Zaid bin Thabit is stated to have been one of the Prophet's companions, one of those who used to write down Mohammed's teachings.

Many people died at the battle of Yamama, including some who were able to recite Mohammed's teachings. As the Prophet did not collect and record his teachings, Caliph Abu Bakr suggests to Zaid bin Thabit that it would be a good idea for Zaid bin Thabit to do so now. And Zaid bin Thabit agreed to do so.


The tradition then states the key theme of what Zaid bin Thabit collected, from Khuzaima al-Ansari (another of the Helpers), referring to sura 9, stating:

A messenger has come to you from among yourselves,
It grieves him when you fall into distress.
He is full of concern for you,

Zaid bin Thabit's completed manuscript passed from Abu Bakr to Umar and from Umar to his daughter Hafsa.


The tradition refers to Mohammed as the Prophet. It refers to its narrator as being one of those who were the first to voluntarily support and follow Mohammed's teachings, as one of Mohammed's companions, as one of those who used to write down Mohammed's teachings, and relates that he voluntarily agreed to compile the manuscript of the prophet's teachings.

This summary is backed by the meaning of Zaid bin Thabit's name which is stated as Zaid bin Thabit al-Ansari. And the component words have specific meanings, namely:

Component Word   Meaning
Zaid     Increase, to make abundant.
Thabit   Firm, steady, stable.
Ansar, ansari   Those who supported and stood by Mohammed. Follower.
al   'the'. Sometimes used for surname, meaning 'family of'.

And so the name 'Zaid bin Thabit al-Ansari' means:
Preacher (or follower) of those who firmly follow Mohammed's teachings.

He 'was one of those who used to write the Divine Revelation' and thus sincerely followed Mohammed's teachings (revelation) which confirms that we have been told that the hadith is narrated by
a preacher (or follower) of those who firmly follow Mohammed's teachings (revelation)

who records that Mohammed (on behalf of Allah) is deeply concerned about believers who fall into distress.


Version 1: Summary

Zaid bin Thabit refers to the last two verses of sura 9 which state
A messenger has come to you from among yourselves,
it grieves him when you fall into distress.
He is full of concern for you

And we are told in Hadith 1 that those who preach or firmly follow Mohammed's teachings (revelations), know and teach that Mohammed (in the name of Allah) is deeply concerned about believers who fall into distress.

In other words, that people should have a good life of high quality in this life.

Which is in effect a statement of the will of benevolent God, of the intent of Mohammed's teachings.

So Hadith 1 states that the will of benevolent God, of Allah, as expressed in the Koran, is that people (believers) should have a good life of high quality in this life. <5>


Version 1A

This is the later of versions 1 and 1A.

The writer of 1A leaves out that Zaid bin Thabit is of the Ansar and that he used to write the Divine Revelation while Mohammed was alive. So he in effect deletes from his record that Zaid bin Thabit firmly followed Mohammed's teachings.

In version 1A, the 'Prophet' is referred to as 'Allah's Messenger', concern about 'people' is changed to concern about 'reciters of the Koran' and it is suggested to Abu Bakr that he 'order' the Koran to be collected.

The missing information is in 1A said to have been found with 'Abu' Khuzaima al-Ansari. The writer of 1A has added the word 'Abu' (father of), presumably to give his version of the found information greater validity or authority compared with 1.


The author of 1A leaves out 'al-Ansari' from Zaid's full name. So the meaning of the name is:
Preacher (or follower) of those who are firm

and here we are told that the hadith is narrated by
a preacher (or follower) of those who are firm.


References to religious belief have been edited out in 1A, concern is directed away from 'people' towards the more specific 'reciters of the Koran', Abu Bakr is told he ought to 'order' the Koran to be collected. Abu Bakr puts pressure on Zaid bin Thabit to collect it. He agrees to do so.

So here in 1A the hadith is narrated by a follower of those who are firm, that is by one who follows those at the top, obeys those at the top, is obedient.


The missing information which was found is in 1A referred to as 'the end part' of surat 'at-Tauba' (sura 9), and in the Arabic text of the hadith is stated as follows:
"A messenger has come to you from among yourselves. It grieves him when you fall into distress" till the end of baraa.

Dependent on context, the arabic word 'baraa' can mean
(1) 'being free' (freedom)
(2) 'disavowal, withdrawal'.

So that 'till the end of baraa' can mean
till the end of 'being free' (freedom)
till the end of withdrawing, of opposing.

And thus 'your falling into distress till the end of baraa' states that people will fall into distress until they cease to confront the ruling elite, until they have lost their freedom, until they accept their condition.

No mention here about the Prophet's concern (on behalf of Allah) about people's welfare and good life here on earth. The clear intended message is that people will fall into distress, will suffer, until their freedom is ended, until they do as told, until they submit.


Version 1A: Summary

So here in 1A the hadith is narrated by a follower of those who are firm, that is by one who follows those at the top, obeys those at the top, is obedient.

The message is that God's concern about peoples' welfare and good life here on earth is not shared by those at the top, by a ruling elite.

Intended is the message that those at the top prefer it to be known that people will fall into distress, will suffer, until their freedom is ended, until they do as told, will be punished until obedient, until servile, until in servitude. <5>

Or, if you like, that people should do as told, should obey those at the top, that those who have hard lives, and are suffering, should expect (no more than) sympathy (and charity).


Hadiths 1 and 1A:    Conclusions

We saw that hadith 1 states that the will of benevolent God, of Allah, as taught by the Prophet Mohammed and expressed in the Koran, is that people (believers) should have a good life of high quality in this life.

The author of the second, later, hadith 1A subtly rewrote hadith 1 into a statement of an opposing oppressive ruling-elite policy that people will fall into distress until, obedient and servile, they accept their condition.

Two ways of looking at Islam. On the one hand, the teachings of Mohammed about God's benevolent will, about freedom and equality for all. On the other hand, and opposing the word of Allah, the view of the ruling elite that people are to suffer till they lose their freedom, that people should be obedient and serve willingly without questioning their condition.


So it seems we have been looking at two different traditions about compiling the Koran, in effect about what the Koran should reflect. Namely either God's benevolent concern and intent, or the ruling elite's intent to condition the masses into servile obedience.


And we continue by looking at what Hadith 2 can tell us about how Caliph Uthman arranged for a definitive manuscript of the Koran to be compiled, edited, standardised and distributed.



Uthman's Koran

There is only one version in Sahih al-Bukhari of the main tradition (hadith 2) which tells that Uthman ordered the Koran to be collated and how he ordered this to be done.

This hadith is intentionally and uniquely linked by a key phrase <3> to hadith 1 which details how Zaid bin Thabit compiled the Koran. Zaid bin Thabit is mentioned in both these traditions as a compiler. And each records Zaid bin Thabit stating at the end of the tradition that he found the last missing verse with someone called Khuzaima. The quoted last verse is different in each of the two traditions and the quoted extracts are significant and important.


Hadith 2     {3, 4}

How Caliph Uthman Ordered the Compilation of an Official Koran Text

The text of the hadith is given at the left side, translated from Sahih Bukhari {3, 4}
Notes and comments are indented as shown.


Narrated Anas bin Malik:

Hudhaifa bin al-Yaman came to Uthman
at the time when the people of Sham and the people of Iraq were waging war to conquer Arminya and Adharbijan.

Hudhaifa was afraid of their (the people of Sham and Iraq) differences in the reading (qiraa),

'Reading' usually refers to choosing between likely words which fit the written groups of consonants while allowing for the likely meaning of the sentence (verse) in which they appear. How a reader 'read' a text, that is the meaning of words and of sentences the reader assigned to the purely consonantal text, was his 'reading' (interpretation) of the text. {6}

But note that for three centuries after the publication of Uthman's official text there existed many different accepted 'readings' (qiraat) of the Koran. This period is called the 'period of free choice' (ikhtiyar). {6, 1}

So 'qiraa' here refers to the meaning of the text, apparently to its fundamental content, to differences about what Mohammed actually taught as the revealed word of Allah (God).

so he said to Uthman, "O Prince of the Believers! Teach this nation before they differ as the Jews and the Christians differ about the Book (al-kitab)."

The phrase 'al-kitab' can refer either to an ordinary book or to 'the Pentateuch'. Here it clearly refers to the 'Pentateuch' as the hadith elsewhere specifically and pointedly refers only to suhuf (manuscripts), masahif (religious books) and al-Koran (the Koran). For example, they copied the manuscripts (suhuf) into the religious books (masahif). And the Koran is referred to as 'al-Koran'. <4>

So what Hudhaifa said to Uthman was 'Teach this nation before they differ as the Jews and Christians differ about the Pentateuch.'

Within Judaism and Christianity, protests were directed against the establishment-serving version of belief and practice which had replaced the revealed written word of God. {11, 12, 13}

So it seems Uthman is being asked to ensure that there will be no such protests within Islam, and proceeds to do so.

So Uthman sent to Hafsa saying, "Send us the manuscripts (suhuf) so that we may copy them in the (religious) books (masahif) and return them (the manuscripts) to you."

Hafsa sent them to Uthman.

Hafsa's manuscripts were the manuscripts of the Koran which Zaid bin Thabit al-Ansari compiled at the time of Abu Bakr (See Hadith 1). We saw that it stated that the will of benevolent God, of Allah, as expressed in the Koran, is that people should have a good life of high quality in this life.

And he ordered

Zaid bin Thabit,
Abdullah bin AzZubair,
Said bin al-As and
AbdurRahman bin Harith bin Hisham

to copy them into the (religious) books (masahif).

Uthman said to the three Quraishi men,
"In case you disagree with Zaid bin Thabit on any point in the Koran (al-Koran),
then write it in the voice of Quraish as it came down (was revealed) in their language."
They did so,

Throughout his whole life as Prophet, Mohammed struggled against the Quraish, against this powerful Meccan family which dominated (ruled) Mecca. They first opposed and then persecuted him and his followers for 10 years, and he fought them for 10 years till he won and then he died. {5}

Maxime Rodinson (7, 2) described what happened after the death of Mohammed, saying:
At the head of the Arab empire was the family of Quraysh which had been the most determined in its opposition to the Prophet. It was as if Mohammed had worked and preached, all for the greater glory and profit of his enemies.

The phrase 'write it in the voice of Quraish' means 'record the opinions of the Quraish.'

and when they had copied the manuscripts (suhuf) into the religious books (masahif),

Uthman returned original manuscripts (suhuf) to Hafsa.

Uthman sent to every province one copy of what they had copied,

and ordered that all the other Koranic materials, whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt.

Orders all other versions, parts and notes (including Hafsa's manuscripts, that is including Said bin Thabit's Koran), to be burned.

Zaid bin Thabit added, "I could not find a verse from Sura Ahzab when we copied the religious book (mushaf) and

I used to hear Allah's Messenger reciting it.

So we searched for it and found it with Khuzaima bin Thabit al-Ansari: 'Among the believers are men who are true in their commitment to Allah.'

And we attached them (the verses) in their sura (chapter) in the religious book (mushaf).


Meaning of Hadith 2

We saw that

Hafsa's manuscripts were the manuscripts of the Koran which Zaid bin Thabit al-Ansari compiled at the time of Abu Bakr (See Hadith 1). We saw that it stated that the will of benevolent God, of Allah, as expressed in the Koran, is that people should have a good life of high quality in this life.

Hudhaifa said to Uthman: 'Teach this nation before they differ as the Jews and Christians differ about the Pentateuch.'

Within Judaism and Christianity, protests were directed against the establishment-serving version of belief and practice which had replaced the revealed written word of God. {11, 12, 13}

So Uthman is being asked to ensure that there will be no such protests within Islam, and proceeds to do so.

Uthman sent to Hafsa saying, "Send us the manuscripts so that we may copy them in the religious books and return them (the manuscripts) to you." Hafsa sent them to Uthman.

Uthman then said to the three Quraishi men,
"In case you disagree with Zaid bin Thabit on any point in the Koran,
then write it in the voice of Quraish ... ."

The phrase 'write it in the voice of Quraish' means 'record the opinions of the Quraish', that is, of the ruling elite.

They did so, and Uthman ordered that all the other Koranic materials, whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt.

But Zaid bin Thabit adds a Koranic quotation from Allah's Messenger: 'Among the believers are men who are true in their commitment to Allah.'


In other words, the ruling elite edited the Koran (recorded teachings of Mohammed) to replace, override, the stated will of benevolent God, of Allah, that people should have a good life of high quality in this life, with their own ruling-elite-serving indoctrination.


I personally like to think of Zaid bin Thabit's Koranic quotation as recording the will of Allah, saying to Uthman and to those who follow in his footsteps that, regardless of what they are doing, there will always be those who remain true to Allah's (God's) benevolent intent and rules of behaviour (see below).


The names of the participants independently confirm, and thus validate, the meaning of the record:

The meaning of the name 'Anas bin Malik' is
'People'   'son of'   'King'.
Meaning 'People of the King', or 'King's people', or King's men'.
So that 'Narrated by Anas bin Malik' means 'Narrated by the King's people'.

bin Thabit al-Ansari:
of those who firmly follow Mohammed's teachings.

Khuzaima bin Thabit al-Ansari:
'Khuzaima 'of those who firmly follow Mohammed's teachings'


The text found with Khuzaima (one of those who firmly follow Mohammed's teachings) is that 'among the believers are (remain) men who are true in their commitment to Allah.'

Which in effect confirms that while the hadith narrates the distorting editing of the ruling elite, there remain and will remain those 'who are true in their commitment to Allah', that Mohammed's Koran will be re-established after having been distorted in the way described in this hadith. Saying that Mohammed's Koran can be re-established, that the ruling elite's changes can be undone, that the necessary information to do so can be found.


Findings and Conclusions

Hadiths 1A and 2 appear ruling-elite orientated. Their isnads appear essentially similar, appear unlikely and far-fetched to some extent, and this similarity suggests common authorship. <6>

There are other short subsidiary hadith which repeat individual arguments about whether God's revelations (Mohammed's teachings) on the one hand, or the ruling elite's self-serving version on the other hand, should underlie, or be, Muslim belief and practice. These are listed in Appendix 2 'Subsidiary Hadiths (Traditions)' with relevant subheadings giving some indication about what they are arguing about.


We saw that hadith 1 states that the will of benevolent God, of Allah, as taught by the Prophet Mohammed and expressed in the Koran, is that people (believers) should have a good life of high quality in this life.

The author of the second, later, hadith 1A subtly rewrote hadith 1 into a statement of an opposing oppressive ruling-elite policy that people will fall into distress until, obedient and servile, they accept their inferior condition.

Two ways of looking at Islam. On the one hand, the teachings of Mohammed about God's benevolent will, about freedom and equality for all. On the other hand, and opposing the word of Allah, the view of the ruling elite that people are to suffer till they lose their freedom, that people should be obedient and serve willingly without questioning their condition.

Two different traditions about compiling the Koran, in effect about what the Koran should reflect. Namely either God's benevolent concern and intent, or the ruling elite's intent to condition the masses into servile obedience.


And hadith 2 tells us about how Caliph Uthman arranged for an official manuscript of the Koran to be compiled, edited and distributed.

Caliph Uthman was asked to ensure that there would be no protests within Islam against the ruling-elite's version of Islam, and did so. He had an official version of the Koran prepared and ordered the compilers always to prefer the ruling-elite's version of Islam. He then ordered all other Koranic materials to be destroyed.


In other words, the ruling elite edited the Koran (recorded teachings of Mohammed) to modify the stated will of benevolent God, of Allah, that people should have a good life of high quality in this life. Modifying the Koran's teachings by introducing ruling-elite-serving modifications.


Why this bitter struggle between prophet Mohammed and the ruling elite, why did rulers and their establishment persecute the prophet who reveals and teaches the word of Allah, what is it in Allah's revelations (Mohammed's teachings) which the rulers and their establishments hate so much, what was it they modified, bypassed or deleted from Muslim belief and practice?

To answer these questions we next will see in more detail some of the changes which were made (8) and then see in more detail just what Mohammed taught that was so unacceptable to the ruling elite.

We first look at the evidence, at the changes which were made. Some of the Koran's suras (chapters) are marked with 'abbreviated letters' and Part 5 {8} shows how the chapters of the Koran were re-arranged. Part 6 {9} shows that the Koran's chapters with abbreviated letters state Mohammed's teachings of the word of Allah, and separately state what may be added ruling elite's modifications.


Relevant Current and Associated Works

Other relevant current and associated reports by Manfred Davidmann:
     
     
Title   Description
     
Prophet Mohammed's Word of Allah and the Voice of the Ruling Elite     Mohammed's struggle for recognition of his mission and message against the powerful Meccan ruling elite. They opposed and then persecuted him and his followers for ten years, following which he fought them for ten years till he won and then he died.
     
Text, Language, Dialect and Interpretation of the Koran   How the written Arabic language developed from the time of Mohammed and how the Koran was assembled. How recorded letters and symbols were used to state the meaning of words. Compares 'readings' and interpretations.
     
The Divine Right to Rule   The struggle for power and control over the Muslim community after Mohammed died and how Muslim belief and practice evolved under the caliphs. These events and struggles formed Sunnism and Shiism, shaped the Koran and Muslim belief and practice.
     
Compiling the Koran: Hadiths (Traditions) State the Underlying Reality   Zaid bin Thabit compiled the Koran, Caliph Uthman had an official version prepared. Mohammed taught that people (believers) should have a good life, the ruling elite considered that people should serve willingly.
     
Uthman's Rearrangement of the Chronological (as revealed) Koran's Chapters   Chapters (suras) marked by 'abbreviated letters' show how the sequence of the Koran's chapters was changed. The effects of the changes on the record of Mohammed's preaching and teaching are described as are the doctrines of 'Abrogation' and 'Consensus'.
     
Prophet Mohammed's Word of Allah and the Voice of the Ruling Elite   Mohammed's social teachings are stated from chapters (suras) singled out by 'Abbreviated Letters', statements of revelation from compassionate and caring Allah. It seems that some self-seeking doctrines were added later by the ruling elite of that time.
     
Muslims and Jews   Includes a comprehensive summary table of the struggles of the Muslims while Mohammed was alive, including their conflicts with the Jewish Medinan clans. The conclusions are directly relevant to understanding present tensions and conflicts within Islam.
     
The Meaning of Genesis: Creation, Evolution and the Origin of Evil   Shows that there is no conflict, no contradiction, no divergence, only awe-inspiring agreement, between what is recorded in Genesis and what we know about the evolution of human beings. And Genesis defines good and evil, pointing to the root of evil.
     
One Law for All: Freedom Now, Freedom for Ever   Document describing the struggles within Judaism which accompanied the birth of Rabbinical Judaism, how people felt about what was happening, how the Talmud recorded events and what would have to be done to reverse the trend of events.
     
Causes of Antisemitism   Shows that there are two separate root causes of antisemitism. One cause can be remedied by increasing peoples' awareness, the other is under the control of the Jewish people and can be remedied from within.
     
ORIGIN OF CHRISTIANITY and JUDAISM   Proves by methods of biblical archaeology what Jesus really taught, how Paul changed what Jesus had taught, how this became Christianity's official doctrine. Outstanding are sections on Paul and the Gospels, on concurrent corresponding changes in Judaism.


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Notes, References and Links


Notes

<1>     For more information about traditions and how they were collected and sifted, see {7}.
     
<2>   See 'Introduction' in {9}. This illustrates how different translators can understand and describe the meaning of Koranic verses in different ways.
     
<3>   Key phrases were then commonly used to link associated records which are part of an argument, by Jewish writers of the Talmud and also by Christian Gospel writers. {10}
     
<4>   See also {9}
     
<5>   Confirmed in Part 6 {9}
     
<6>  
The isnad of hadith 1A is
Musa bin Ismail from Ibrahim, bin Said told us, ...
(Moses son of Ishmael from Abraham, ...)

The isnad of hadith 2 is
Musa told us that Ibrahim told us, then bin Shiab told us that ...
(Moses told us that Abraham told us, ...)
     
<7>   My special thanks are due to Esther Shouby whose professional knowledge of Arabic enabled me to compare and assess the meaning and significance of the ancient Arabic texts.


References and Links

{ 1}     The Textual History of the Qur'an
Arthur Jeffery
1946, 1952
     
{ 2}   Rodinson
Muhammad
Maxime Rodinson
Tauris Parke Paperbacks
1971, 2002
     
{ 3}   Sahih al-Bukhari,
Matraji,
Vol 6, Number 4987
     
{ 4}   Sahih Bukhari,
Muhsin Khan,
Volume 6, Book 61, Number 510
     
{ 5}   Prophet Mohammed's Struggle for a Better Life for All
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{ 6}   Text, Language, Dialect and Interpretation of the Koran
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{ 7}   The Divine Right to Rule
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{ 8}   Uthman's Rearrangement of the Chronological (as revealed) Koran's Chapters
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{ 9}   Prophet Mohammed's Word of Allah and the Voice of the Ruling Elite
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{10}   Bible Translations, Versions, Codes and Hidden Information in Bible and Talmud
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{11}   At the Time of Jesus, This is What Actually Happened in Israel: The Truth about Hillel and his Times
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{12}   One Law for All: Freedom Now, Freedom for Ever
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{13}   ORIGIN OF CHRISTIANITY and JUDAISM
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/



Appendices


Appendix 1

Zaid bin Thabit Compiled the Koran: Different Versions of the Main Tradition


Tradition (Hadith) 1     Tradition (Hadith) 1A     Tradition (Hadith) 1B
         
Sahih Bukhari
Muhsin Khan
Volume 6, Book 60, Number 201

Sahih al-Bukhari
Matraji
Vol 6, 4679
  Sahih Bukhari
Muhsin Khan
Volume 6, Book 61, Number 509:

Sahih al-Bukhari
Matraji
Vol 6, 4986
  Sahih Bukhari
Muhsin Khan
Volume 9, Book 89, Number 301:

Sahih al-Bukhari
Matraji
Vol 9, 7191
         
         
Narrated Zaid bin Thabit al-Ansari:   Narrated Zaid bin Thabit:   Narrated Zaid bin Thabit:
         
who was one of those who used to write the Divine Revelation:        
         
Abu Bakr sent for me after the killing of the people of the Yamama.   Abu Bakr sent for me when the people of the Yamama had been killed.   Abu Bakr sent for me owing to the killing of the people of the Yamama.
         
Umar was present with Abu Bakr who said,   and found Umar bin al-Khattab present with him. Abu Bakr then said,   while Umar was present with him. Abu Bakr said,
         
Umar has come to me and said, The people have suffered heavy casualties on the day of the Yamama, and I am afraid that there will be more casualties among the reciters at other battlefields,   Umar has come to me and said: "Casualties were heavy among the reciters of the Koran on the day of the Yalmama, and I am afraid that more heavy casualties may take place among the reciters on other battlefields,   Umar has come to me and said, 'A great number of reciters of the Koran were killed on the day of the Yamama, and I am afraid that the casualties among the reciters of the Koran may increase on other battlefields
         
whereby a large part of the Koran may be lost, unless you collect it. And I am of the opinion that you should collect the Koran."   whereby a large part of the Koran may be lost. Therefore I suggest, you order that the Koran be collected."   whereby a large part of the Koran may be lost. Therefore I am of the opinion that you order that the Koran be collected.'
         
Abu Bakr added, "I said to Umar, 'How can I do something which Allah's Messenger has not done?'   I said to Umar, "How can you do something which Allah's Messenger did not do?"   I said, 'How can I do something which Allah's Messenger did not do?
         
Umar said, 'By Allah, it is a good thing.'   Umar said, "By Allah, that is a good thing."   Umar said, "By Allah, it is 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."   "Umar kept on urging me to accept his proposal till Allah opened my chest for it and I began to realize the good in the idea which Umar had realized."   Umar kept on pressing me for that till Allah opened my chest for that for which He had opened the chest of Umar and I had in that matter, the same opinion as Umar had."
         
Zaid bin Thabit said: Umar was sitting with him and was not speaking. And Abu Bakr said: "You are a wise young man and we do not suspect you, and you used to write the Divine Inspiration for Allah's Messenger.   Then Abu Bakr said. "You are a wise young man and we do not have any suspicion about you, and you used to write the Divine Inspiration for Allah's Messenger.   Abu Bakr then said: "You are a wise young man and we do not have any suspicion about you, and you used to write the Divine Inspiration for Allah's Messenger.
         
Therefore, look for the Koran and collect it."   So you should look for the Koran and collect it."   So you should look for the Koran and collect it."
         
By Allah, if he had ordered me to shift one of the mountains it would not have been harder for me than what he had ordered me concerning the collection of the Koran.   By Allah If they had ordered me to shift one of the mountains, it would not have been heavier for me than this ordering me to collect the Koran.   Zaid further said: By Allah, if Abu Bakr had ordered me to shift a mountain it would not have been heavier for me than this ordering me to collect the Koran.
         
I said to both of them, "How can you do a thing which the Prophet has not done?"   Then I said "How can you (two) do something which Allah's Messenger did not do?"   Then I said, "How can you (two) do something which Allah's Messenger did not do?"
         
Abu Bakr said, "By Allah, it is a good thing."   Abu Bakr replied, "By Allah, it is a good thing."   Abu Bakr said, "By Allah, it is 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.   Abu Bakr kept on urging me to accept his idea until Allah opened my bosom for what He had opened the bosoms of Abu Bakr and Umar (May Allah be pleased with both of them).   Zaid added: So he kept on pressing me for that until Allah opened my bosom for that for which He had opened the bosoms of Abu Bakr and Umar, and I agreed with them.
         
So I started locating the Koran and collecting it from   So I started looking for the Koran and collecting it from   So I started compiling the Koran by collecting it from the
         
parchments,

scapula,

leaf-stalks of date palms
  palmed stalks,

thin white stones
  leafless stalks of the date-palm tree,

parchments,

stones
,
         
and from the bosoms of men.   and also from the bosoms of men,   and from the bosoms of men.
         
I found with Khuzaima al-Ansari two verses from Surat-at-Tauba which I had not found with anybody else:   till I found the end part of Surat at-Tauba with Abu Khuzaima al-Ansari, and I did not find it with anybody other than him:   I found the end part of Surat-at-Tauba:
         
"A messenger has come to you from among yourselves.   "A messenger has come to you from among yourselves.   "A messenger has come to you from among yourselves"
         
It grieves him when you fall into distress. He is full of concern for you" to the end of it.   It grieves him when you fall into distress" till the end of baraa.   (at-Tauba 128) to its end.
         
(In some versions it says to the end of the two verses.)        
         
        with Khuzaima or Abu Khuzaima and I attached it to its sura.
         
The manuscript on which the Koran was collected, remained with Abu Bakr till Allah took him unto Him,   Then the complete manuscripts of the Koran remained with Abu Bakr till he died,   The manuscripts of the Koran remained with Abu Bakr till Allah took him unto Him.
         
and then with Umar till Allah took him unto Him,   then with Umar till the end of his life,   Then it remained with Umar till Allah took him unto Him,
         
and finally it remained with Hafsa, Umar's daughter.   and then with Hafsa, the daughter of Umar.   and then with Hafsa the daughter of Umar.



Appendix 2

Subsidiary Hadiths (Traditions)


Zaid bin Thabit Locating Missed Verses

Sahih Bukhari
Muhsin Khan
Volume 6, Book 61, Number 511

Sahih al-Bukhari
Matraji
Vol 6, 4989
  Sahih Bukhari
Muhsin Khan
Volume 9, Book 93, Number 521

Sahih al-Bukhari
Matraji
Vol 9, 7425
     

The Ansar Compiled the Koran at Time of Prophet

Sahih Bukhari
Muhsin Khan
Volume 6, Book 61, Number 525

Sahih al-Bukhari
Matraji
Vol 6, 5003
  Sahih Bukhari
Muhsin Khan
Volume 6, Book 61, Number 526

Sahih al-Bukhari
Matraji
Vol 6, 5004
  Sahih Bukhari
Muhsin Khan
Volume 5, Book 58, Number 155

Sahih al-Bukhari
Matraji
Vol 5, 3810
         

The Ansar Compiled the Koran at Time of Prophet: Hadiths from Sahih Muslim

Sahih Muslim
Book 031, Number 6029
  Sahih Muslim
Book 031, Number 6030
     

Caliph Uthman Ordered the Compilation of an Official Koran Text (Zaid bin Thabit and Khuzaima mentioned)

Sahih Bukhari
Muhsin Khan
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 62

Sahih al-Bukhari
Matraji
Vol 4, 2807
  Sahih Bukhari
Muhsin Khan
Volume 6, Book 60, Number 307

Sahih al-Bukhari
Matraji
Vol 6, 4784
  Sahih Bukhari
Muhsin Khan
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 379

Sahih al-Bukhari
Matraji
Vol 5, 4049
         

Caliph Uthman Ordered the Compilation of an Official Koran Text (Only Zaid bin Thabit mentioned)

Sahih Bukhari
Muhsin Khan
Volume 4, Book 56, Number 709

Sahih al-Bukhari
Matraji
Vol 4, 3506
  Sahih Bukhari
Muhsin Khan
Volume 6, Book 61, Number 507

Sahih al-Bukhari
Matraji
Vol 6, 4984



Relevant Subject Index Pages and Site Overview


The Site Overview page has links to all individual Subject Index Pages which between them list the works by Manfred Davidmann which are available on the Internet, with short descriptions and links for downloading.

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