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la_yamassuhu.pdf The Institute of Asian and African Studies The Max Schloessinger Memorial Foundation Offprint from JERUSALEM STUDIES IN ARABIC AND ISLAM 34(2008) M.J. Kister La yamassuhu illa 'l-mutahharun ... Notes on the interpretations of a Qur'anic phrase THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM THE FACULTY OF HUMANITIES JSAI 34 (2008) LA YAMASSUHU ILLA 'L-MUTAHHARUN ... NOTES ON THE INTERPRETATIONS QUR'ANIC PHRASE M.J. Kister The Hebrew University of Jerusalem In memory OF A of Dr. Suliman Bashear The meaning of the phrase la yamassuhu illa l-mutahharuna1 (Qur'an 56:78-80) became the subject of a heated discussion; this is reflected in the various Qur'anic commentaries and l,tadzth collections. The verses read: innahu la-qur' an un karzm [77]fZ kitabin maknun [78]la yamassuhu illa l-mutahharun [79]. Several interpretations of the phrase and the different opinions of Muslim scholars concerning the Book referred to in this verse may give us a clue regarding the sanctity of the written version of the Qur'an circulating in the Muslim community. Some traditions provide information on the integrity of the text and the reliability of the scribes; others indicate that some scribes were not trained in copying the Qur'anic text and the errors of these copyists are sometimes pointed out in the early sources. Some ofthe copyists were not Muslims. There are also accounts revealing differences concerning the text found in the various versions of the Qur'an in circulation. Reports about the transmission of the Revelation to the Prophet and from him to the believers are also of interest. I Opinions found in the early sources concerning the meaning of the word qur' an address questions such as whether this denotes only the heavenly lSee different readings in Ibn Khalawayh (d. 370 AH), Mukhta$ar fi shawadhdhi l-qur'an min kitabi l-badf', G. Bergstraesser, ed. (Cairo, 1934), p. 151: illa 1muttahharun; it is understood in the sense of al-mutatahhirun; al-mutharun (which is understood as referring to angels, al-mala'ika). See also the readings and the explanations in I.Iusayn b. Ab! I-'Izz al-Hamadan! (d. 643 AH), al-Farzd fi i'rabi 1qur'ani l-majzd, ed. Fahm! I.Iasan al-Nimr and Fu'ad 'AlI Mukhaymir, eds. (al-DawJ:ta, 1411/1991), vol. 4, p. 422. 309 310 M.J. Kister Book or it refers also to the Quranic scrolls in the Muslims' possession, and whether the heavenly Book was written by Allah himself or it is only a reflection of his revelation. The well known scholar 'Abd al-Razzaq al-Sanani (d. 211 AH) records in his Tajsfr2 the interpretation of Qatada (d. 117 AH) 3 (as transmitted by Ma'mar b. Rashid): the phrase refers to the heavenly Book of the Quran which will not be touched "in the Presence of God" (la yamassuhu 'inda llahi) , meaning that the heavenly Quran will not be touched except by the purified (i.e., by the angels -k), while in this world the Book is touched even by an impure Zoroastrian (al-majiisf al-najis) and by a filthy hypocrite (wa-l-munafiq al-mjis). 4 A clear line is thus drawn between the exalted heavenly Book which only the angels are permitted to touch and the scrolls of the Quran circulating in the Muslim community, touched (among others -k) by hypocrites and unbelievers. Similar interpretations are put forward by other exegetes. Mujahid (d. 104 AH) explains is yamassuhu uu l-rnuiohhariin saying that "the Book in heaven will be touched only by the angels." 5 Abu Zakariyya Yalfya b. Ziyad aI-Farra' (d. 207 AH) understands the "Book" to refer to the "Preserved Tablet" (al-law!} al-mal}fii?), and the muiahliariin are the angels purified from polytheism (shirk). 6 The identification of the Book with al-law!} al-mal}fii? is also recorded by al- Tabrisi (d. 548 AH); 7 2'Abd al-Razzaq b. Harnmam al-San'ant, Tajsir al-quriiin; Mu~tafa Muslim Muhammad, ed. (al-Riya<;l, 1410/1989), vol. 2, p. 273. 3For Qat ada, see Ibn Hajar al-'AsqalanI, TahdhZb al-tahdhZb (Haydarabad , 1326), vol. 8, pp. 351-356, no. 635; Salah ai-DIn Abu Sa'Id b. KhalIl b. KaykaldI al-'Ala'I, Jiimi'u l-tal,!?zl fi ahkiimi l-mariisil; Harndr 'Abd al-Majid al-Salafi, ed. (Beirut, 1407/1986), pp. 254-256, no. 633; 'Abd al-Rahman b. Muhammad al-Hanzali, Ibn AbI Hatim, Kitiib al-rnariisil, ~ubJ:.1I l-Samarra't, ed. (Bagdad, 1386/1967), pp. 105a 110. On the influence of traditions reported by Qat.ada as transmitted by Ma'mar b. Rashid, see 'Abdallah Abu l-Sa'ud Badr, Tafsir Qatiida (Cairo, 1400/1980), pp. 51-52,54. 4See al-Tabarf, Jiimi' al-bayiin fi t.ofsiri l-qur'iin (= Tajsir al-Tabarz) (BUlaq, 1328; reprint Beirut, 1392/1972), vol. 27, p. 119 and al-Suyutl, al-Durr al-monthiir fi l-talszr bi-l-ma'thiir (Cairo, 1314), vol. 6, pp. 162-163. 5Mujahid b. Jabr al-Makhzumi, Tajsir , 'Abd al-Rahman al-Tahir b. Muhammad al-Sura.tI, ed. (Islamabad, n.d.), vol. 2, pp. 652 infra-653 I. 1; see also Abu 'Ubayd al-Qasim b. Sallam (d. 224 AH), Fa¢ii'il al-qur'Iin, Wahbl Sulayman Ghawuji, ed. (Beirut, 1411/1991), p. 25; al-Bayhaqi, Ma'rilatu l-sun an ura-l-iithiir, Ahmad Saqr, ed. (Cairo, 1389/1969), vol. 1, pp. 253-254; Ibn al-Ja'd, Musnad, 'Amir Ahmad I.Iaydar, ed. (Beirut, 1410/1990), p. 344, no. 2366; Malik b. Anas, al-Muuiatio", Bashshar 'Awwad, Ma'ruf and Mahmud Muhammad Khaltl, eds. (Beirut, 1412/1992), vol. 1, p. 90, no. 234 and cf. ibid., p. 91, no. 239. On Mujahid b. Jabr see Salah al-Din b. Khaltl b. Kaykaldr, Jiimi'u l-tal,!?Zl, pp. 273-274, no. 736. 6'Abd al-Fatt.ah Isma'tl Sh alabi and 'AlI al-Najdt Nasif, eds. (Cairo, 1972), vol. 3, pp. 129 infra-130 supra; on al-Farra', see Ibn Hajar al-Ajurrr, al-SharZ'a, Muhammad I.Iamid al-FiqI, ed. (Beirut, 1403/1983), p. 89. 7 Al-Fadl b. al-I.Iasan al-Tabrisr, Majma' al-bayiin Iz t.afsiri l-quriiin. (Beirut, t.s yamassuhu tus 'l-tnuiohhoriin ... 311 it is the Preserved Tablet, guarded and hidden from His creatures, in which God put down (athbata fihi) the Qur'an. The perception that "the Qur'an" denotes the exalted Scripture which only the angels are privileged to touch was widely circulated in orthodox circles. Al-Ajurrr, one of the great scholars of the fourth century (d. 360 AH), relates that Ahmad b. Hanbal harshly censured those who claim that the text of the Quran in the earthly books is a narration (J:tikiiya) of the contents of the Preserved Tablet. 8 A verse of the Quran recited in the presence of a person (or a group of persons -k) is indeed the true speech of God (kaliimu lliihi) , says al-Ajurrr, not the narration (J:tikiiyatun) of God's Word. This utterance refers to the scrolls of the Quran (ma$iiJ:tif).9 Other interpretations relate the phrases in our verses more closely to purely human activities. Raghib al-Isfahani (d. 502 AH) also interprets kitiib makniin as al-lasoh. al-ma/:tfW:.10 However, he records also another explanation: the word makniin indicates that the Quran is kept in the hearts of the believers. This is closely related to the virtue of learning the Qur'an by heart, keeping it in memory and reciting it orally; oral transmission is considered superior to written transmission. AI-MawardI, for his part, mentions four interpretations of al-kiiiib al-makniin: al-lawJ:t al-ma/:tfii?; the iauniii and the injfl; the Psalms (zabiir), or the Quran as circulated in this world. 11 Another interpretation of iii yamassuhu, which associates the required purity with humans, is quoted on the authority of al-Farra ': "Only the purified and believing will find its taste (ta'mahu) and its usefulness (nat' ahu)." 12 That the pure beings referred to in the verses are humans is supported by another interpretation in 'Abd al-Razzaqs Tajsir (given on the authority of Abu Bakr b. I.Iazm,13 reported by his two sons and 1380/1961), vol. 17, p. 132. 8MuJ:tammad b. al-Husayn al-Ajurrr, al-Shari' c; Muhammad Hamid al-Fiql, ed. (Beirut, 1403/1983), p. 89. 9 Ibidem, p. 89 infra. 10 Al-Mujradat fi qh.arib: l-qur'iin (Cairo, 1324), p. 457. llAI-MawardI, Tajsir ; vol. 4, p. 178 penult.-179 supra; see the explanation of 'Ikrima in al-Suyuti, al-Durr ol-truuitliiir, vol. 6, p. 162: "fi kitabin maknunin," «ai«. al-t.auiriit uia-l-itijil, ns yamassuhu illa l-muuihluiriina? qiila: hamalatu l-taurriiii uia-l-injil, and in Abu 'Abdallah Muhammad b. Yusuf b. Hayyan al-Charnatr alJayyanr's (d. 745 AH), ol-Babr al-muhi; (Cairo, 1328), vol. 8, p. 214. 12AI-MawardI (d. 450 AH), al-Nukat wa-l-'uyun (Tajsfr al-Mawardr), Khi<;lr Muhammad Khidr, ed., revised by 'Abd Abu Ghudda (Kuwayt, 1402/1982), vol. 4, p. 179 and traced back to al-Farra'. It is also recorded by Ibn al-'ArabI alMalikl in his Ahkiirn al-quriin; p. 1725 and traced back to al-Farra'. 13See on 'Amr b. Hazrn: Ibn Hajar al-i.Asqalanr, al-I$aba fi tamyfzi 1-$alJaba, 'AlI Muhammad al-Bijawt, ed. (Cairo, 1328), vol. 8, p. 214. 312 M.J. Kister transmitted by Ma 'mar): the Prophet wrote a letter in which he stated that only a pure person would be permitted to touch the Qur 'an (la yamassuhu tus tahir) .14 It is evident that the Qur 'anic prohibition refers to persons who are not in a state of purity and are willing to touch the Quran, It indicates as well that the scrolls of the Quran may be desecrated if touched by an impure person. This is reflected in the story of 'Umar's conversion to Islam. While still an unbeliever, he approached his Muslim sister and her husband while they were reciting Siirat Tiihii and asked them to show him the musha]: They quoted the phrase is yamassuhu tus i-muiohluiriin; 'Umar understood, washed his body and embraced Islam.15 The fact that the story is told by Ibn Ishaq (d. 150 AH) indicates that the belief in the sanctity of the Quranic scrolls was current in the Muslim community already in the second century AH. Ibn al-'ArabI al-Maliki's opinion regarding the sanctity of the copies of the Quran can be deduced from an elegy mourning the Prophet's death, attributed to Abu Bakr: We lost the Revelation when you left us: and the Word of God left us (as well). Except that what you left for us in the past, transmitted from generation to generation in the noble sheets. [al-wafir] [aqadsui l-waJ:tya idh wallayta 'anna: wa-wadda'ana mina llahi t-kolomu. 14'Abd al-Razzaq, Tajsir , vol. 2, p. 273; 'Abd al-Razzaq al-San'ant, al-Mu?annaj, Habtbu l-Rahman al-A'zamt, ed. (Beirut, 1390/1970), vol. 1, pp. 341-342, no. 1328; Abu 'Ubayd al-Qasim b. Sallam, Falj,a'il al-quriin: p. 244, (67, 1-2); 'Abdallah b. AbI Dawtid Sulayman b. al-Ashath al-Sijist anl, Kitiib al-musiilii] (Dar Qurtuba, n.p., n.d.), pp. 185-186 infra; Abu l-Layth Nasr b. Muhammad al-SamarqandI, (d. 375 AH), al-Tajsfr al-musamma bohr al-'uliim, 'All Muhaddad Muawwad et alii, eds. (Beirut, 1413/1993), vol. 3, p. 319; 'All b. Ahmad al-Wahidt al-Naysaburl (d. 468 AH), al- Wasz:t fi t.ofsiri l-qur'iin: l-majid, 'Adil Ahmad 'Abd al-Mawjud et alii, eds. (Beirut, 1415/1994), vol. 4, p. 240; Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Ansari l-Qurtubt (d. 671 AH), al-Jiimi' li-ahkiimi l-qurt iir: (Cairo, 1387/1967), vol. 17, p. 225; Ahmad b. alHusayn al-BayhaqI, al-Sunan al-kubrii (Haydarabad, 1344), vol. 1, p. 88; al-Suyilt'i, al-Durr al-matithiir, vol. 6, p. 162; Abu 'All al-Fadl b. al-Hasan al-Tabrisi (d. 548 AH), Majma' al-bayan fi tajsfri l-qur'iin (Beirut, 1380/1961), vol. 27, p. 132 records the interpretation of Muqatil (d. 150 AH) stating that the phrase innahu qur' iinun karfmun points to the fact that the Quran is noble (karfm) because God honoured it. It is, therefore, forbidden for the ritually impure to touch the Qur'an, 150n 'Umar's conversion to Islam, see Ibn Hisham, al-Sira al-nabawiyya, al-Saqqa, al-Abyarr, Shalabr, eds. (Cairo, 1355/1936), vol. 1, pp. 369-370; al-BayhaqI, al-Sunan al-kubrii, vol. 1, p. 88. La yamassuhu tus 'l-tnuiohhoriin ... 313 siuiii mii qad tarakta lana qadiman, tauuiraihahni l-qariitisu l-kiramu.16 Ibn al- 'Arab! comments on these verses, saying that they refer to the scrolls of the Quran (~ulJuj al-qur' an) in the hands of the Muslims, dictated by the Prophet (allatf kana l-nabiyyu soll« lliihs: 'alayhi wasallam yumlfhii) to his scribes. According to Ibn al- 'Arabi, the ~ulJuj al-qur' an are identical with the qaratfs mentioned in Abu Bakr's elegy.17 The scrolls of the Qur'an are thus reproductions of the revelation granted by God to the Prophet and must be treated with proper reverence. The people of Iraq (among them Ibrahim al- Nakha 'I) consequently requested that only a believer in a state of purity be permitted to touch the Quran.l" The need to preserve the purity of the book seems to have been the reason for a number of prohibitions aimed at preventing those considered unclean from touching the Quran; this probably caused Ibn 'Abbas to prevent Jews and Christians from reading the Qur'an.19 The famous scholar 'Izz aI-DIn b. 'Abd al-Salam al-Sulami (d. 360 AH) is said to have forbidden to give a copy of the Quran to a Jew or a Christian for binding. It is also forbidden to leave books of luuliih. or tajsfr in the hands of an infidel who was not expected to embrace Islam. 20 In his al-Bohr al-muMt,21 Abu Hayyan quotes an anonymous scholar who says that the kitab makniin refers to the codices of the Muslims (ma~alJij al-muslimfn), guarded from (vicious -k) changes and alterations (ma~iina min a l-iabdil wa-l-taghyfr). It is instructive that Abu Hayyan adds a note saying that at that time (idh dhiika), no codices (ma~alJif) of the Quran existed; this is a prediction concerning the situation in the future (ikhbiirun bi-ghayb). Ibn al- "Arabi quotes the opinion of Abu Hanifa who permitted the impure to touch the Quran on its outer side and on the margins which are without script (wa-ruwiya 'anhu annahu yamassu ?ahirahu ma-Iuuoiishi: yahu ina-rna is maktiiba jfhi). The script, on the other hand, may only be touched by the pure believer. Ibn al- "Arabi himself rejected this opinion, saying that "the precinct of the forbidden is also forbidden" (li-anna 16Ibn al-i Arabr, Ahkomu l-qur'iin, vol. 4, p. 1739. 17About the bayt ol-oariitis in the time of 'Uthman, see M.M. Bravmann , The spiritual background of early Islam (Leiden, 1972), pp. 312-314; Bravmann renders the word qaratfs by rolls of papyrus (i.e. documents) on p. 312 infra. 18Ibn al-i Arabr, Ahkomu l-qur'iin, vol. 4, p. 1739. 19AI-QurtubI, Tofsir ; vol. 17, p. 226. 20See 'Izz aI-DIn 'Abd al-'AzIz b. 'Abd al-Salam al-Sulami, Kitiiini l-fatawa, 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Abd al-Fattal)., ed. (Beirut, 1406/1986), p. 67, no. 39. 21Vol. 8, p. 214. 314 M.J. Kister harima l-mamnii'i mamnii'un). 22 A legal opinion of Ahmad b. Hanbal mentions a case in which the believer in a state of impurity could read the Qur'an without touching it, being helped in reading by a stick.23 It is evident that we find here two different interpretations of the meaning of the word qur' an: it denotes either the Holy Book in Heaven, or the text of the Quran in the possession of the believers which should not be touched by the impure, according to the injunction of the Prophet in his letter to 'Amr b. Hazrn. Al-Mawardi records in his Tajszr24 six interpretations for the phrase is yamassuhu illa l-muiohhariin when referring to the text of the Quran which we hold in our hands: it can only be touched by persons purified from polytheism (shirk), 25 from sins and faults,26 from ritual impurity and filth (illa l-triuiohluiriin min a l-aluliiih. wa-l-anjas), 27 or only the believers in the Qur'an who will find the taste of its benefit,28 reap its reward.r'' or finally - only the believers will request the Quran (la yaltamisuhu uta l-mu' miniin). 30 However, early scholars of Muslim law did not always agree how to preserve the required state of purity. Some Companions (Ibn 'Umar and Ibn 'Abbas) used to read the Quran in a state of ritual impurity after breaking wind (lfadath), without using water for their ablution. 31 Salman al-FarisI used to read verses of the Quran without performing the unuiii', 32 The story of Salman is recorded in a slightly different version by al-Samarqandi in his Tajszr:33 Salman came out of the privy and was 22Ibn al-i Arabr, AJ:tkamu l-qur'iini, vol. 4, p. 1727. 23AbU l-Fadl :;;alil:). . Ahmad b. Hanbal, Masa'il ol-imiim Ahrnad b. lfanbal, 'Abd b al-Rahman DIn Muhammad, ed. (Delhi, 1408/1988), vol. 3, p. 208, no. 1667. 24See al-Mawardr, Tajsir , vol. 4, p. 179; Abu Bakr 'Abdallah b. AbI Dawud Sulayman b. al-Ashat.h al-Sijistanr, Kitabu l-truisiilyi]', p. 185 penult. 25Reported by Ibn al-Kalbt. 26Reported by al-Rabr' b. Anas. 27Reported by Qat ada. 28Reported by al-Farra', 29Reported by Muadh b. Jabal. 30Reported by Ibn Bahr, Cf. Ibn AbI Shayba, al-Mu~annaj, vol. 13, p. 548, no. 17320: ... 'an AM l-'Aliya: Iii yamassuhu sua l-muiahhoriin; qala: laysa antum, antum ashiiini l-dhunilb; see al-Suyiltf, ol-Durr al-ttuuiitiiir . vol. 6, p. 162. 31See 'Abd al-Razzaq, al-Mu~annaj, vol. 1, p. 338, no. 1316: iruui la-naqra'u ajza'ana min al-qur'iin: ba'da l-luuiatlii mii namassu l-mii:«, See also al-Bayhaql, al-Sunan al-kubrii, vol. 1, p. 90 and Sulayman b. al-Ash'ath's Kitiib ol-mosohi], pp. 184-185: hal yamassu l-musho] man qad massa dhokaroliu; and pp. 187-188: wa-qad rukhkhisa jf massi l-msisho] 'ala ghayri wu{lil'in and al-mustaluida tamassu l-miishu]'. 32'Abd al-Razzaq, al-Mu~annaj, vol. 1, p. 340, no. 1324. 33 Tajsir ; vol. 3, p. 319, and see this tradition: al-Bayhaq", al-Sunan al-kubrii, vol. La yamassuhu tus 'l-tnuiohhoriin ... 315 asked by his companions to perform the ablution, as they wanted to ask him about some verses of the Quran. Salman quoted the tradition about the prohibition of touching the Book by an impure person; he refrained from touching it, but recited the verses of the Quran which his companions had forgotten. Al-Samarqandi concludes that an impure person is forbidden to touch the Quran, but may recite it. Al-Hasan did not see anything wrong with touching the Quran (almu~1.taf) and in carrying the Book without performing the required ablution, and al-Sha 'bI did not see any fault (kana is yara ba' san) in carrying the book of the Quran (al-mu~1.taf) wrapped (bi-' alaqatihi) without performing the required ablution.i'" Ibn 'Abbas permitted a person to carry the Quran while wearing a garment in which he had had sexual intercourse. " 'Abdallah b. al- 'Abbas reports that the Book touched only by the pure is the Book in Heaven. Mujahid says that the phrase indicates that this Book is guarded from dust (al-qur' iimi jf kitabihi l-makniini lladhf is yamassuhu shay' un min turiibin wa-lii ghubiirin). 36 'Ata' b. AbI Rabah held that a person who read the Quran and noticed suddenly the smell of his breaking wind must stop reading and wait until the smell disappears.i'? An instructive tradition recorded by 'Abd al-Razzaq seems to indicate that reading the Quran without performing ablution after relieving oneself was a common Islamic practice. 'Urnar b. al-Khattab came out of the privy (kanff) and started to recite verses of the Quran, Abu Maryam al-Hanafi asked him in astonishment: "You just came out of the privy (al-khalii') and you read the Quran?" 'Umar retorted: "Is it a legal opinion given to you by Musaylima?" 38 A similar case is recorded in Abu Yusuf''s (d. 182 AH) Kitab al-athiir 1, p. 90. 34'Abd al-Razzaq, ot-Mnsorma], vol. 1, p. 344, no. 1341; and see Abu 'Ubayd alQasim b. Sallam, Fa¢a'il al-quriin; p. 245, (67, 4-5). I owe this rendering of 'alaqa to Dr. Mithqal Nattlr. 35Al- TabarI, Jiimi' al-bauiin; vol. 27, pp. 118-119. 36 Al-Qurtubi, al- Tidhkiir fi af¢ali l-rulklikiir, p. 10l. 37AI-BayhaqI, al-Sun an al-kubrii, vol. 1, p. 340, no. 1326; this tradition is recorded as well by Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Ansarr al-Qurtubl (d. 671 AH) in his al-Tidhkiir If af¢ali l-adkhkiir If la¢li l-quri iin. wa-qari'ihi wa-mustami'ihi wa-l-'amili bihi waliurmati l-qur'Iini wa-kayfiyyati tiliiuiatilii (Beirut, n.d.), p. 108, on the authority of Mujahid, On a special kind of an "imaginary" breaking of winds caused by Satan, see Abu Yusuf Ya'qub b. Ibrahim al-Ansart, Kitiib u l-iithiir , Abu l-Wafa' , ed. (Cairo, 1355), p. 38, no. 137. 38'Abd al-Razzaq, al-Mu?annal, vol. 1, p. 339, no. 1318. On Abu Maryam alHanafi, see Ibn Sa'd, al-Tobaqiit al-kubrii (Beirut, 1377/1957), vol. 3, pp. 377 infra378; al-BayhaqI, al-Sunan al-kubrii, vol. 1, p. 90; the name of the man who asked 'Umar why he recites the Quran after returning from the privy is not mentioned in this report. 316 M.J. Kister on the authority of Ibn Mas'Iid who stated that there is nothing wrong with reading the Qur'an without performing ablution. 39 Scholars were divided in their opinion whether menstruating women and men in a state of impurity are allowed to read the Quran and to recite its verses; some objected to an impure believer (al-junub) reading the Qur'an, while others permitted the reading of a small number of verses.40 Scholars also disagree whether the impure are allowed to touch dinars and dirhams on which Quranic verses are inscribed. Some held this to be strictly forbidden, while others tried to compromise, saying that people have no choice but to touch the coins.j ' Another explanation connects ta yamassuhu illii al-mutahharun to the story of the Satans who were jailed by Sulayrnan in the sea; they would come out and read to the people a Quran; Quran is rendered here as "a recitation" qirii' ii,42 AI-Tabarf records a report on the authority of al-Dahhak saying that the Satans strove to bring down the Quran from Heaven to Muhammad, but God prevented them and the Quran remained out of their reach.43 AI-Tabari records opinions of many Muslim scholars who glossed "the pure" as referring to the angels in heaven. He mentions, however, another explanation: "the pure" indicate those who are purified from their sins. 39Abu Yusuf', Kiiiibu t-nua«, Abu l-Wafa", ed. (Cairo, 1355), p. 66, no. 327: ... faqiila 'abdu lliihi: ta ba'sa an taqra'a l-qur'ana 'ala ghayri wurj,u'in. 40See e.g. 'Abd al-Razzaq, ol-Mueonno]; vol. 1, pp. 336-337, nos. 1302-1309; see al- Wahidi, al- Wasz:t, vol. 4, p. 239 penult.; al-Dhahabi, al-Arba'una luuiitluin, mashyakhatu Ibn Taymiyya, 'Abd al-'AzIz al-Sayrawan , ed. (Beirut, 1406/1986), pp. 147-148, no. 30. 41See 'Abd al-Razzaq, al-Mufannaf, vol. 1, p. 343, nos. 1335-1338. Cf. Ibn AbI Shayba (d. 235 AH), al-Mufannaf, 'Abd al-Khaliq al-Afghani, ed. (n.p., n.d., reprint), vol. 1, p. 113: Some pious believers disliked to enter the privy (al-khala') carrying the "white" dirhams, others did not consider it odious. Some pious people considered it necessary to carry the "white" dirhams entering the privy in order to keep their money safe. See Muhammad b. 'Abdallah al-Shibli, Ma/:!asin al-wasa'il ff ma'rifati l-auuiii, Muhammad al-TunjI, ed. (Beirut, 1412/1992), p. 291: awwalu man kataba l-qur'ana 'ala dirhamin al-/:!ajjaju bnu yusufa l-thaqafiyyu kana l-/:!ajjaju awwala man daraaa hiidtuh.i l-iloriitiima l-bida wa-kataba 'alayha siiraiari min alqur' ani. [a-qiila l-qurrii': "qiitololiu llahu, kataba suraian min al qur' ani [a-homala l-tiiisa 'ala mii yakrahuna, ya'khudhuhu l-junubu wa-l-/:!a'irj,." See Abu Hilal alHasan b. 'Abdallah al-'AskarI, al-Awa'il (Beirut, 1407/1987), p. 174: ... uui-daroba l-luijjiiju ol-dariihim wa-naqasha ffM: Alliiliu atuul, Alliihi: l-samad, [a-karihahii 1ruisi: li-maktini l-qur'iini ft;ha, Ii-anna l-junuba wa-l-/:!a'irj,a yamassuha; Abu Dawud al-Sijist.anr, Kitiib u l-mafa/:!if, pp. 186-187; Abu 'Ubayd, Farj,a'il ol-qur'iin; p. 245. Cf. W. Muir, The Caliphate, its rise, decline and fall (Edinburgh, 1924), pp. 339-340; see especially p. 340, n. l. 42Al- Tabarr, Jamie al-bauiin; vol. 27, p. 118. 43Al-Tabarr, Jamie al-bauiin; vol. 27, p. 118 infra; and see above, note 8. La yamassuhu tus 'l-tnuiohhoriin ... 317 'Ikrima says that "the pure" were the bearers of the Torah and the Injil. 44 An interpretation transmitted by Ibn Wahb extends the usual limits of the "pure" by including the angels, prophets and the messengers. 45 Al-Qurtubi comments on the phrase innahu la-qur' iinun karfmun stating that the Quran is not a book of sorcery or of soothsaying; it is a book granted to the Prophet as a miracle; it is respected by the believers because it is the Word of God, as well as by the people in Heaven because it is God's revelation. It is a Book sent down by God. 46 This explication given by al-Qurtubi is a true example of the ja¢a'il al-qur' an genre, which was current already in the early period of Islam. A typical example of a tradition attributed to the Prophet, emphasizing the miraculous qualitites of the text of the Quran was transmitted on the authority of 'Uqba b. "Amir al-Juhani: "Were the Quran wrapped in raw leather and thrown into fire, it would not burn," (another version: "it would not be touched by fire" -k) (law kana l-qur' iinu jf ihiibin thumma ulqiya jf l-tuiri mii 'l}taraqa).47 A tradition transmitted by Jabir b. Zayd (died at the end of the first century of the Hijra -k) and AbU Nahik (al-Azdi, al-FarahIdI -k) establishes a link between the heavenly Book and the Quran in the believers' possession; it states that the earthly Quran was sent down from the Tablets of the Quran in Heaven.48 II The verses discussed in the present article were used also in the controversy related to the createdness or otherwise of the Quran. Regarding this issue, it was necessary to define the relationship between the heavenly book and the earthly copies of the Quran. Such a definition is found in Muhammad b. AbI Bakr al-RazI's Tafsir . Quran 7:155 reads: "And when Moses' anger abated in him, he took the Tablets; and in the inscription of them was guidance, and mercy unto all those who hold their Lord in awe" (akhadha l-alwal}a wa-jf tiuskhatihii hudan wa-ral}matun lilladliina hum li-rabbihim yarhabiina). When commenting on this verse, 44Al-Tabarr, Jiimi' al-bayan, vol. 27, pp. 118 infra-1l9 supra; al-Qurtubl, al-Jiimi' li-ahkiim: l-quriin = Tajsiru. l-Qur.tubf, vol. 17, p. 225. 45Al-Tabarr, Jiimi' al-bauiin; vol. 27, p. 1l9. 46AI-QurtubI, Tofsir ; vol. 17, p. 224. 47Al-Munawr, Fayg,u l-qadir , vol. 5, p. 324, no. 7466; Nur aI-DIn al-Hayt.hamr, Majma' al-zawa'id, vol. 7, p. 158; al-Firyab'i, Fag,a'il ol-qur=tin; pp. 109-1l1, nos. 12. 48AI-TabarI, Jiimi' al-bauiin; vol. 17, pp. 1l8-1l9. 318 M.J. Kister al-RazI stresses that the verse explicitly states wa-jf nuskhatihii, not wajfhii; this indicates that this was not the original text (awwalu maktubin), but merely a copy (nuskhatun) of the original text. The word nuskha was used because Mllsa began to copy the contents of the broken tablets on a golden tablet (fa-nasakha mii jfhii jf lawl}i dhahabin) which contained (rules of -k) the Right Way (hudan) and of mercy. The other tablets contained details of everything (which would happen in the future -k). According to another opinion, the word wa-jf nuskhatdui was used because God dictated (laqqana) to Moses the Torah and later ordered him to write it down; Moses then transferred the Torah "from his heart" to the tablets and called it a copy (nuskha). It is obvious that God sent Jibril to the Prophet and the angel recited to him the verses of the Quran as he heard them from God. Instructive is al-RazI's analysis of the phrase innahu la-qur' iinun karimun jf kitabin makniinin: According to two different explanations, the word kitiib makniui refers either to the Guarded Tablet (al-lawl} al-maMu:;), or to the the written book (mu$l}af) used by the believers. AI-RazI argues that writing down the Quran does not mean that the Quran dwells in the book (wa-la yalzamu min kitabati l-qur' ani jf l-kiiiibi an yakuna l-our' iinu hiillat: jf l-kiiiibi ... ). By way of illustration, he explains that this is like a man who writes on the palm of his hand "a thousand dinars;" this does not mean that he holds in his hand a thousand dinars, and thus too if one writes on the palm of one's hand al-'arsh or al-kursi. AI-RazI further discusses whether it can be assumed that the whole Quran is contained in one book, or that every compendium of the Qur'an contains only a part of the Quran and only when all the Qurans gathered together contain the entire text. AI-RazI rejects all the three options, leading to the idea that the Quran is not contained in any of the books. AI-RazI affirms that the Quran is God's Word; it is a pre-existent, eternal attribute of God, existing in Him and cannot be separated from Him (bal huwa kaliimu llahi ta'alii, wa-kaliimuhu $ijatun qadimatun qa'imatun bihi is tujariquhu). Finally al-RazI deals with the expression iomzil and munzal. These two expressions could lead one to the erroneous conclusion that the revealed Quran which was sent down was separate from the Essence of God; that would of course mean that the Quran was created, as everything - except God - is created. But the truth is that the Qur'an was sent down in a way which did not invalidate the concept that it is an indivisible part of the Essence of God, since it is His Word. The "sending down" of the Qur'an was carried out in the same way as revelation was given to Moses: God taught Jibril the Quran and he learned it by La yamassuhu tus 'l-tnuiohhoriin ... 319 heart. Jibril in turn taught the Quran to the Prophet who then taught it to the Muslim community. 49 The problem of the status of the Quran as an inseparable part of the divine essence was the subject of exhaustive discussions among Muslim scholars. "God's Words" (al-nabf al-ummf alladhf yu'minu bi-'llahi wakalimatihi), mentioned in Qur'an 7:158, are understood as referring to the Qur'an.50 In the same way, the expression 'ilm in Qur 'an 3:61 and 2:146 was interpreted as referring to the Quran constituting a part of God's essence.51 Al-Ajurrf mentions a specific group of believers who held that the Quran is the Word of God, but refrained from stating that the Qur'an was not created. This group was called al-waqifa and were accused of belonging to the J ahmiyya. 52 In his al-Ibiisui an usiili l-diyana, al-Ash'arI (d. 324 AH) draws a peculiar comparison between the JahmI view that God's Word was created and placed in a tree (or in a bush -k) and the Christian allegation that the Word of God was located in the womb of Maryam; he vigorously refutes this claim. Al-Ashart also rejects the Jahmiyya's perception according to which the names of God are created; these are included in the Quran; the Quran is the uncreated Word of God; thus the names of God are uncreated.P'' AI- Tabari (d. 310 AH) gives a concise account of his credo regarding the nature of the Quran. He stresses that it is the uncreated Word of God. He who denies this is to be considered an infidel (kafir) and shedding his blood is lawful. Some curses attached by al-T abarf at the end of this account are directed against those who would distort his opinions concerning the Qur'an.54 A comprehensive exposition of this subject is given by Ibn Hazrn (d. 457 AH). Of special importance is his opinion concerning the difference between the written Quran and the orally transmitted Quran, The first tenet challenged by Ibn Hazrn is the assumption that the Quran 49 AI-RazI, Utimiidtiaj jalzl fi as'ila wa-ajwiba min ghara'ib ayi l-t.atizil; Ridwan al-Daya, ed. (Beirut, 1411/1990), pp. 158-159 and 496-497. 50See al-Ajurrr, al-Sharf'a, p. 76. 51AI-A.jurrI, al-Sharf'a, p. 76-77. See also on pp. 77-82 the utterances of 'Abdallah b. al-Mubarak: "He who says that the Qur'an was created is an infidel (kafir);" Malik b. Arias, 'Abd al-Rahman b. Mahdr, Waki' , Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Shafi'r and others - all repudiated the assumption that the Quran was created and demanded severe punishment for those who held this belief. 52Al-Ajurrr, al-Sharf'a, p. 88; and see al-Khallal, al-Musnad min masa'il Ahrruul, MS. BL. Or. 2675, fols. 154b-158a, 179b, 180a, infra, 180s, 159a, 160b, 181b. 53Al-Asharr, al-lbiina, pp. 22-23. 54Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. Jarrr al- 'I'aban, $arzlJu l-sunna, Badr b. Yusuf alMatuq, ed. (al-Kuwayt , 1405/1985), pp. 18-19: ... fa-man rasnii 'anna aw lJaka 'anna aw taqawwala 'alayna fa-'dda'a anna quina ghayra dhiilika fa-'alayhi la'natu lliilii wa-gharf,abuhu wa-la'natu l-la'inzn wa-l-mala'ikati uia-l-ruisi ajma'zn .... 320 M.J. Kister was created. It was based on Quran 85:21-22: ... bal huwa qur' iinun majfd fi lauihin. ma1!Ju(:. This verse might mislead people to think that the Qur'an, having been put into the Guarded Tablet, was created after the creation of the Tablet and afterwards placed in it. Whether the Quran was allegedly created simultaneously with the Tablet, or put into the Tablet after its creation, one might erroneously conclude that it was created by God. But the truth is, according to Ibn Hazm, that the Qur'an, the everlasting Word of God, was not put into the Tablet after God created it. The Tablet contains merely a written reproduction of the Quran, not the Quran itself. Ibn Hazrn affirms that God created the Tablet, but the Tablet contains only writing which cannot be heard (lii yu1!ftu ius bi-rasmin maktiibin fihi, ghayri masmu'in), while the Quran is God's Word, voiced (masmu'), which cannot be seen (tn yura). Conversely, the writing in the Tablet can be seen, but cannot be heard until read aloud and brought to the knowledge (of the people -k). The written script in the Tablet constitutes an exposition of God's Word (fa- 'lladhi jf-l-law1!i khattun nuirsiimun, "ibtiratus: 'an kaliimi llahi 'azza wa-jalla). Ibn Hazrn also observes that the Guarded Tablet is of limited size; were it true that the Quran is included in the Guarded Tablet, it must be smaller than the Tablet. This is however impossible, as God assured the Prophet about the endless dimensions of the book in Quran 18:110 and 31:28. Ibn Hazrn concludes that the Word of God will not be exhausted, it has neither beginning nor end; thus it cannot be contained in the Tablet which has finite dimensions. The Word of God, like His other attributes will last forever; what is in the Guarded Tablet is just a script (fa-lladM fi-l-law1!i inn am a huwa khattun maktubun). Ibn Hazrri's opinion relates to God's Word in the ma~a1!ij: God is indeed mentioned in the Quranic compendia, circulating among the believers, pronounced with their tongues, but He does not reside in their compendia (wa-huwa, 'azza wa-jalla, ghayru luillin uia-lii dakhilin fi ma§a1!ifina). He is seated on His throne, He is omniscient, His Word has been written down on the Tablet. His Word is heard, but not seen; Moses and Adam heard His Words; the Prophet heard His Words on his nocturnal journey (isra'). 55 In another passage, Ibn Hazrn lists among the books of revelation containing divine speech the Torah, the Gospel (injfl), the Psalms (zabur) and the scrolls (~u1!uf) (the sheets on which God's Revelation was recorded -k); all of these are also the Words of God and no one in the 55Ibn Hazm, 'AlI b. Ahmad, al- Usul ura-l-furii, Muhammad 'A.tif al-Iraqi, Suhayl Fadlullahi AbU Wafiya and Ibrahim Ibrahlrn Hilal, eds. (Cairo, 1978), pp. 394-400. La yamassuhu tus 'l-tnuiohhoriin ... 321 Muslim community would contradict it. Materials which help to convey God's Word to his creation, such as parchment, ink, as well as the voice of those who recite the Quran or the other scriptures - all these are created by God but are not identical with the uncreated Word of God. 56 'Abd al-Qadir al-JIlanI (d. 561 AH) reiterates a part of al- abari's credo quoted above. He maintains that even the expression "My recitation of the Quran is created" (laf?z bi-l-qur' an makhliiq) must be renounced and the person who uttered it must be severely punished. The letters of the Arabic alphabet were also not created by God; they are a part of His Essence. He who says that these letters are created ( muJ:tdatha or makhliiqa) is an infidel (kafir), and is guilty of transforming the Quran into a created Book. 57 Some scholars in the later period of Islam compiled special treatises concerning the problem of the Quran as a part of God's Essence. These treatises are of a popular character and are widely circulated in the Muslim community. Two of the authors of these treatises may be mentioned. Muwaffaq aI-Din 'Abdallah b. Ahmad b. Qudama al-Maqdisi (d. 620 AH),58 and Muhammad b. 'Abd al-Wahid al-Maqdisi (d. 643 AH), who thoroughly analyzed a widely circulating tradition, transmitted by several Companions of the Prophet in which the idea of the Quran as a part of the Essence of God was especially emphasized: "From Him it began and to Him it will return." 59 r III There were contradictory opinions as to the problem of selling and buying written copies of the Qur'an (ma~aJ:tif). Some scholars disapproved of both buying or selling the books of the Quran, while others opposed only selling Qurans, for it is not right to make a profit from God's Book.6o 56Ibn Hazrn, ol-Fisal fi l-milal wa-l-ahwfi' uio-l-niluil, Muhammad Ibrahim Nasr and 'Abd al-Rahman 'Umayra, eds. (Beirut, 1405/1985), vol. 3, pp. 11-23. 57'Abd aI-Qadir al-JIlanI, al-Ghunya li-tfilibz tariqi l-haqq (Cairo, 1322), vol. 1, pp. 65-67. 58 Al-L'Liqiid, 'Adil 'Abd al-Mun'im Abu l-'Abbas, ed. (Cairo, 1990), pp. 36-39. 59Ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi, Hikcuat al-muruiztira fi l-quriin maca ba'qi ahli l-bid'a, 'Abdallah b. Yiisuf b. Juday', ed. (al-Riyad, 1409/1989). 60See Abu 'Ubayd al-Qasim b. Sallam, Faqfi'ilu l-qur'tin, pp. 237-239, nos. 62, 1-62, 12. The same opinions were uttered by the early scholars according to the traditions recorded by Abu Dawud al-Sijist.anl in his Kiiiib al-ma?fi/.!iJ, pp. 173-178. See Ibn AbI Shayba, al-Mu?annaJ, vol. 6, pp. 60-63: man kariha shirii'o, l-ma?fi/.!iJ; p. 62: ... 'an ibni 'umara qfila: wadidtu anni ra'aytu l-aydiya tuqta'u fi bay'i 1ma?fi/.!iJ. See also 'Abd al-Razzaq, al-Mu?annaJ, vol. 8, p. 112, nos. 14524; Ibn AbI 322 M.J. Kister The chapter concerning the selling and buying of masiihi] in Abu Dawud al-Sijistani's al-Ma~a1!ij contains some peculiar traditions which reflect uncommon opinions concerning the purchase of scrolls of the Quran, AI-Sha'bI (d. 109 AH) argued that people selling copies of the Quran merely sell the sheets (of paper, or the parchment -k), and get paid for their labour (of writing the text -k) (wa-llahi mii yabfiina kitiiba llahi, inn am a yabfiina l-waraqa wa-'amala aydfhim).61 It is noteworthy that the assumption that the books of the Qur 'an contain only the ink and the sheets (of the paper or parchment -k), exposed above by al-Sha'bi and other respected scholars, was sharply censured by some orthodox scholars as belonging to the Mu 'tazila. 62 The problem of writing ma~a1!ij for sale was dealt with by the well known jaqfh 'Izz aI-DIn 'Abd al-'AzIz b. 'Abd al-Salam al-Sulami.f" He was asked whether a man who professionally copies the text of the Qur'an and sells the written books may be considered to be performing a lawful work, or whether he should refrain from this work out of piety (wara'). Likewise, may he pursue this profession if he finds it difficult to observe ritual purity during the copying of the Quranic text; in this case, is he allowed to write it while ritually impure? 'Izz aI-DIn states in his legal opinion that it is lawful to gain profit from copying the Quran, and that there is no piety (wara') in giving up this occupation. It is even a laudable profession because it encourages the person to repeat the text continuously (istidhkar al-qur' an). Such a person must, however, observe the conditions of ritual purity while writing the text of the Qur'an, 'Izz aI-DIn was also asked concerning a scribe who made some mistakes while copying the Quran: some people reading this text might accuse the scribe of perpetrating a sin. What is the status of the copied text? 'Izz aI-DIn rules that if the copyist is a learned man, he has to correct the mistakes; if he does not know how to fix the text properly Shayba, ol-Musunno]; vol. 6, pp. 63-64: man rakhkhus« fi ishtira'iha; pp. 64-65: man rakhkhosa bay'a l-mceiihi]: Cf. Ibn Hazrn, al-Muhollii, vol. 9, pp. 45-46. 61 Abu Dawud, al-Ma$alJif, p. 177, infra; and see ibid., ult. the saying of al-Sha'br: laysa yab'i'una kitiiba llahi, inruimii yab'i'una l-waraqa uia-l-anqiish: cf. Ahmad b. alHusayn al-Bayhaq", al-Sunan al-kubrii, (Haydarabad, 1352), vol. 6, pp. 16-17; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Masa'il ol-imiim; riuuiuat ibnihi AM l-Fadl $aliIJ. Fadlu I-Rahman DIn Muhammad, ed. (Delhi, 1408/1988), vol. 2, p. 402, no. 1081. 'Abd al-Razzaq, al-Mu$annaf, vol. 8, pp. 110-114, nos. 14516-14531, 14530; Ibn AbI Shayba, alMU$annaf, vol. 6, p. 64, no. 270: ... 'ani l-Sluiibi' 'annahu qiila: innahum laysu yab'i'una kitaba llahi, innanui yabr'una l-waraqa wa-'amala aydzhim. 62See e.g., Ibn Qudarna al-Maqdisi, Hikiiua: al-nuuuizara fi l-qur'tin; p. 47: ... wayaquliina inna l-qur' ana mokiiibun fi l-truisiihi], thumma yaquliina: laysa fiha ilia 1liibru wa-l-waraqu. wa-in kana kama za'amu fa-lima ta yamassuha ilia l-muiahliariiti wa-ma ra'ayna l-mululitlia yumna'u min massi hibrin wa-la waraq. 63 Kitiib al-fatawa, p. 147, no. 106. La yamassuhu tus 'l-tnuiohhoriin ... 323 (ia ya'rifu rJabta l-qur' ani), he should refrain from working as a scribe, because he may lead the ignorant astray.64 On the other hand, there is a prophetic tradition stating that if a believer reads the Quran distorting the text, or erring in his reading, the angel will put it down exactly as it was revealed.65 In a similar vein, a non-Arab who mispronounces some words in the Quran will be granted a reward as if he had read them correctly.f" This indicates that some non-Arabs who embraced Islam used to pronounce the Qur 'anic text incorrectly. In the early period of Islam, the believers seem to have been reluctant to pay professional scribes for copying the Quran. They doubted their sincerity, faith and knowledge. Many anecdotes circulate concerning warnings issued by the pious as to the knowledge which is required of the copyist in Arabic, in matters of abrogation (naskh) and in the various readings of the Qur'an, In the first period of Islam, the believers did not buy copies of the Quran (ma~alJif); they used to ask their acquaintances, people of piety and virtue, to copy out some parts of the Quran; sometimes people used to gather and write the text of the Quran together. It was a collectively written text, accomplished out of expectation of divine reward (kanii ya1Jtasibiina bi-ma~alJifihim). 67 It seems that the use of professional scribes became prevalent at the end of the first century AH. One of the respected scholars who decided to make his living by copying the Quran with the approval of the Muslim community was Malik b. DInar. 68 Another person who became a professional scribe was Matar al-Warraq. 69 64'Izz aI-DIn b. 'Abd al-'AzIz, Kitiibu l-fatiiwii, pp. 144-145. 65Ibn KathIr, Fag,ii'il al-quriin; p. 66. 66Ibn Kathtr , ibid., p. 66. 67'Abdallah b. AbI Dawud al-Sijist.anr, Kitiibu l-ma?ii/.!if, p. 17l. 68Ibn Abr DawU:d al-Sijistanr, Kitiib ol-musiihi]', index; Abu: Nu'aym al-Isfahanr, IJilyat al-awliyii' (Beirut, 1387/1967), vol. 2, pp. 357-389. 69Ibn Abr Dawu:d, Kitiib ol-musiihi]', index; Abu: Nu'aym al-Isfahanr, IJilyat alawliyii', vol. 3, pp. 75-78. 324 M.J. Kister Excursus Abrogated verses and variant readings in the Quran Abrogated verses of the Quran were sometimes circulated and transmitted by scholars. 1 Such was for instance the case of an abrogated verse defining the aim of the money donated for performing prayer and paying zakat.2 Another verse remembered by the believers despite its abrogation was a verse revealed during the expedition of Bi'r Ma'una, concerning the readers of the Quran (al-qurra') killed in this battle: "Let our people know that we met our Lord" (ballighu 'anna qaumiomii anna laqfna rabbana).3 A verse of legal character not included in the text of the Quran was transmitted by 'Umar: "An old man and woman, if they fornicate, definitely stone them" al-shaykhu wa-l-shaykhatu idhii zanaya [a-rjumiihsmui al-battata," lSee e.g., Yusuf b. Musa al-Hanafi, al-Mu'ta?ar min al-muklitasar, vol. 2, p. 163: wa-qad yakhruju mina l-quriitii wa-yabqa ff 1-?UI.luri. 2See Ibn Rajab al-Hanbalr, Hisiilatu l-jihiid; Laurenziana, mojmii:« 197, fol. 89b, infra: uia-kiina fi l-qur'iin: l-mcnsiikh: inruimii an.zolrui l-miila li-iqiimi l-soliiti wafta'i l-zakat; this is mentioned in connection with the division of spoils. See alHarith al-Muhasibl, al-'Aql wa-fahmu l-qur'ani, Husayn al-QuwwatlI, ed. (Beirut, 1402/1982), p. 399. 3Ibn Hajar al-t Asqalani, Fadiiilu l-qur'iiti, p. 134; al-Suyirtl, al-Durr al-manihiir, vol. 1, p. 105: ballighu qauntuuui anna qad laqfna rabbarui fa-ra(liya 'anna uia-crdana. Al-Suyutl', al-Ltqiin; vol. 2, p. 26. Ibn Sa'd, al-Tubo.qiit ol-kubrii (Beirut, 1377/1957), vol. 3, p. 515. See al-I;!arith al-Muhasibi, al-'Aql wa-fahmu l-qur'iin, p. 399: kunnii tuiqiilu fima nusikha an: ballighu ikiuniiruuui anna qad laqfna robbanii fa-rarliya 'anna ioo-radino 'anhu. Cf. the story of Hamza: when he and his friends were killed at Uhud , his friends were eager to inform their brethren (i.e., the believers -k) how God had honored them. Then a special verse was revealed: ... Iii yu(l'i"u ajra l-murninin in Sulayrnan b. Ahmad al-Tabaranr's Musnad al-Shamiyyfn, Hamdi 'Abd al-Majid al-Salafi, ed. (Beirut, 1409/1989), vol. 1, p. 418, no. 735; see also Khaltfa b. Khayya], Musnad, Akram Diya I-DIn, ed. (Beirut, 1405/1985), pp. 14-15, no. 3. 4Ibn I;!ajar al-t Asqalani, Fa(la'ilu l-qur'iiti, p. 136; al-I;!arith al-Muhasibl, al-'Aql wa-fahmu l-qurIini; p. 398; al-Suyuti, al-Ltqiin ; vol. 2, p. 26. Another story transmitted by 'Umar relates that he approached the Prophet when the verse was revealed and asked him to include it in the Quran. The Prophet, however, disliked the idea. See the conversation of 'Umar with God about the difference of punishment for fornication met out to the old in contradistinction to the punishment imposed on the young. This verse was transmitted by 'Umar in a slightly extended form: al-shaykhu wa-l-shaykhatu idha zanaya [a-rjumiiliunui al-battata nakiilan mina ura-lliiliu sluuiidu l-i iqabi, 'Umar is said to have refrained from including the verse in the Quran, fearing that he would be accused of falsely inserting the verse into the book. See al-Raghib al-Isfahanr, MuJ:!a(larat al-udabti' (Beirut, 1961), vols. 3-4, pp. 433 uit.-434, I. 1; Ya'qub b. Sufyan al-FasawI (= al-Basawi}, al-Ma'rifa uia-l-La'rikh , Akram Diya" al-Tlmarr, ed. (Beirut, 1401/1981), vol. 2, p. 728; al-Suyuu, al-Ltqiin ; vol. 2, p. 26; Hossein Modarressi, "Early debates on the integrity of the Qur'an: a ust« La yamassuhu tus 'l-tnuiohhoriin ... 325 A peculiar story about the disappearance of this verse as well as of a verse concerning the suckling of an old man 5 is reported on the authority of 'A'isha. According to this story, the verse ordering the stoning of a fornicator and the verse concerning the suckling of an adult were sent down and were kept under 'A'isha's bedstead on a parchment. When the Prophet once fell ill and was being taken care of, a domestic animal entered 'A'isha's home and ate the parchment containing the two verses. 6 A tradition reported by Abu 'Ubayd al-Qasim b. Sallam and traced back to 'A'isha says that the verse concerning the punishment for fornication was included in Siirat. al-a!;,zab, which originally contained the same number of verses as Siirai al-baqara. The verses of Siirai ol-oliziib were however reduced to 73 and the verse concerning the fornication was "lifted" (rufi'at, i.e., it was abrogated -k) and was not included in the mu~!;,af. Thus, according to the statement of 'A'isha, God lifted to Himself several verses reducing the number of the verses of Siirat. ala!;,zab to 73. Al-Qurtubi, however, denies that the verse concerning the punishment of fornication was recorded on a sheet (~aMfa) in the home of 'A'isha and was devoured by a domestic animal; he holds that this story was invented by the ShI'Is (rawafi¢) and the heretics (mala!;,id). 7 The verse concerning fornication and its punishment is indeed recorded in al-Suyutr's al-Durr al-manthiir. 8 According to a tradition traced to Ibn 'Abbas, 'Umar is said to have summoned the believers to attend a gathering in the mosque, ascended the min bar and told the believers that the fornication verse was revealed to the Prophet and read by the believers, but had "gone" with the Prophet together with many other verses of the Quran, It is, however, a convincing proof of the validity of stoning for fornication. The Prophet laid down the punishment of stoning in that case, as did Abu Bakr; but there would come (in later generations -k) people who would brief survey," Studia Islamica 77 (1993): 10-11, at notes 17-21. 'Abdallah b. Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Zawa'id fi l-musnad, 'Amir Hasan Sabra, ed. (Beirut, 1410/1990), p. 364, no. 158, recorded on the authority of Ubayy b. Ka'b: la-qad ra'aytuha (i.e., the Siira; al-al}Zab -k) uia-innahii la-tu'adilu surata l-baqara, wa-la-qad qarano fiha: "al-shaykhu wa-l-shaykhatu idiui zanaya [a-rjumiihamui al-battata nakiilan mina lliihi ura-lliiliu "alimun; luikimun", See also ibid., pp. 365-370, on the evaluation of this luulith, 5 Al-Raghib al-Isfahanr, Mu/:!ar!arat al-'udaba', vols. 3-4, p. 434 supra. 6 Al-Qurtubl, Tofsir ; vol. 14, p. 113. 7 Ibidem. 8AI-SuyutI, al-Durr al-manihiir, vol. 5, pp. 179-180. See a shorter version of this tradition in Muhammad b. Ayyub b. al-Durays al-Bajalr's Far!a'il al-quriin; Gh. Budayr, ed. (Damascus, 1408/1987), p. 153, nos. 225-227; see also 'Abdallah b. Ahmad b. I.Ianbal, Zawa'id, p. 370; Abu 'Ubayd al-Qasim b. Sallarns Far!a'il ol-qur'iir: (Rabat(?), 1995), vol. 2, pp. 147-148. 326 M.J. Kister say that punishment by stoning was a lie and an invention.? Some well known scholars argued that stoning of fornicators was not mentioned in the Quran, and was merely a rule commonly accepted by the Muslim community. 10 Ubayy b. Ka'b held that the following verses were part of the Qur'an (ubayy b. ka' b qiila: kunnii narii hiidhii mina l-qur'iini: law anna li-bni iidama wiidiyayni min miilin la-tamannii wiidiyan thiilithan. is yamla 'u jawfa bni iidama illii l-turiiou, thumma yatiibu lliihu 'alii man tiiba). Ubayy b. Ka'b said: "We considered that (i.e., the following sentences -k) as being a part of the Quran: "If a man had two valleys of goods, he would desire a third valley; the interior of the man will not be filled except by dust; then God will restore the man who repented to His grace." Ubayy added: "This was the practice of reading these verses (including the verse alhiikum al-takiithuru) until Sura 102 was revealed." Abu Musa al-Ash'arI said that a Sura the length of Siirat. al-barii' a was revealed to the Prophet, but was later abrogated (fa-rufi'at). Abu Musa remembered only one verse of this Sura: "God will aid this religion by means of people who have no share (in Paradise)" (innii lliiha layu' ayyidu hiidhii l-dzna bi-aqwiimin is khaliiqa lahum ... ).n A prediction of similar content is sometimes described as a iuuiiih. rather than as a Quranic verse. 'Urnar reported a saying in which the Prophet he predicted that the Christian nomads of the tribe of RabI'a, dwelling on 9See 'AlI b. Hazrn al-Andalusi, al-Ihkiim fi usiili l-ohkiim; Muhammad Ahmad 'Abd al-'Azlz, ed. (Cairo, 1398/1978), vols. 5-8, p. 1139. 10 Al-Suyiltr, al-Durr al-rnanthiir, vol. 6, p. 387. This verse was included in the version of the Quran transmitted by 'Abdallah b. Mas'ud: see al-Raghib al-Isfahani, Muhiidariit al-udabii' (Beirut, 1961), vols. 3-4, pp. 433-434; al-Suyiltr, al-Durr almonthiir, vol. 1, p. 105 infra. 'Abdallah b. 'Abd al-Rahman al-Darimi (d. 255 AH) records in his Sunan, Muhammad Ahmad Dahhan , ed. (Beirut, n.d.), vol. 2, pp. 318-319, the verse as transmitted by Qat.ada on the authority of Anas (b. Malik -k). Arias, the Companion of the Prophet, records the verse uttered by the Prophet with a remarkable reservation: "I do not know whether it was a verse (of the Qur'an -k) sent down to him or was it his saying as he said it," (fa-Iii adrf a-shay'un unzila 'alayhi am shay'un yaquluhu wa-huwa yaqulu ... ). The opinion of Anas casting doubt on whether the utterance was a saying of the Prophet or an abrogated verse of the Qur'an is attributed to Ibn 'Abbas in Abu 'Ubayd's Farj,ii'il, p. 192, nos. 51-9. The utterance about the valleys coveted by man is preceded by the prediction of the Prophet: innii lliiha sa-yu'ayyidu hiidhii l-dina bi-aqwiimin Iii khaliiqa lahum. And cf. this verse of the abrogated Sura about the wicked people coupled with the saying about the man who covets the third valley: Abu l-Mahasin Yusuf b. Musa al-Hanafi, al-Mu'ta~ar min al-muktitasar min mushkili l-iithiir (Haydarabad, 1362), vol. 2, p. 163 infra; al-Muhasibr, al-'Aqlu wa-fahmu l-qur'iini, p. 405. 11 Nur-al-Dtn al-HaythamI, Majma' al-zawii'id wa-manba' al-fawii'id (Beirut, 1967), vol. 5, p. 302. The chapter in which the report of Abu Musa al-Asharr is recorded contains several utterances of the Prophet predicting that Islam will be aided by wicked people. A peculiar utterance attributed to the Prophet says that "the stock of my people are the wicked" (qiwiim umniati shiriiruhii). La yamassuhu tus 'l-tnuiohhoriin ... 327 the shores of the Euphrates, will assist the cause of Islam, and therefore refrained from killing them. This was, of course, a justification of the political decision to grant the Arab Christians a special status in the Muslim polity of the Arabian peninsula.l ' A tradition transmitted by Abu Urnama supplies a vivid description of how certain Suras of the Quran were suddenly abrogated. Some believers memorized a Sura of the Quran, One morning they got up and were unable to recite even one verse of the Sura. They came to the Prophet and complained that they had forgotten the Sura. The Prophet calmed them by saying that the Sura had been abrogated during the night.13 Several cases of abrogated verses are mentioned in adab collections, in zuhd literature and in works of iafsir .14 *** There were considerable differences in the reading of words in the Qur 'an. 'A'isha read in Quran 4:117: in yad'iina min diinihi at« cuiihiisuin; instead of the usual reading: in yad'iina min diinihi ituiiluui, Another reading attributed to 'A'isha is in yad'iina min diinihi illii unthii .15 The verb wa-qarja in the phrase wa-qarja rabbuka an ta ta' budii iyyahu of Quran 17:23, was glossed by amara. Several commentators considered the reading uia-qadii an error; the scribe had erred and read the word wa-qarja because a wa was seen as attached to the sa and au: au: 12Nilr aI-DIn al-HaythamI, Majma' al-zawa'id, vol. 5, p. 302: ... wa-'an 'umara bni l-khatiiibi, qala: lawla anni sami'tu rasiila llahi sou« uss« 'alayhi wa-sallam yaqulu "inna lliilui sa-yumatti'u (scil. sa-yamna'u -k) hadha l-ilina bi-ruisiirii min rabf'ata 'ala shiiii": l-Jurfiti mii taraktu a'rabiyyan tua qataltuhu aw yuslima. 13Yilsufb. Milsa al-Hanafi, al-Mu'tafar min al-mukluosor . vol. 2, p. 163; al-Suyutf, al-Durr al-monthiir, vol. 1, p. 105; idem., al-Ltqiin; vol. 2, p. 26 supra; al-Muhasibr, al-'Aql wa-Jahmu l-qur'iin; p. 406. 14See e.g., al-Fasawr, al-Ma'riJa ura-l-ta'rikh, vol. 2, p. 727 and p. 262; al-Harit.h alMuhasibl, al-'Aql wa-Jahmu l-qur'tin, pp. 359-475; al-Tabarani, al-Mu'jam al-kabir, Hamdr 'Abd al-Majid al-Salafi, ed. (n.p., 1400/1980), vol. 11, pp. 268-269, nos. 91489152; see the opinion of Ibn Masud about the two last Silras, the mu'awwidhdhatan: ... 'an 'abdi lliilii 'annahu kana yal:!Ukku l-mu'awwidhdhatayni mina l-rnosiihs] wayaqulu: innamii amara rasiilu falla llahu 'alayhi wa-sallam an yuta'awwadha bih.imii wa-lam yakun yaqra'u bihimii, Ibn Mas'ud stated that the two Silras were deliberately inserted into the Qur'an but they do not belong to it. 15See al-Suyntr, al-Durr al-momthiir, vol. 2, pp. 222 inJra-223; auitluinan was the reading of Mujahid as well. (The Tajsir of Mujahid , 'Abd al-Rahman al-Tahir b. Muhammad al-Silratf, ed. [Islamabad], p. 174 gives the reading iruitluin; but glosses it by awthanan). See Sa'ud b. 'Abdallah al-Fanrsan , Marwiyyat ummi l-murninina 'A'isha Jf l-taJsfr (al-Riya<;l, 1413/1992), pp. 168-169. ust« 328 M.J. Kister erroneously read wa-qa¢a. The proper reading should be read wa-wa$$a robbuka+" Shahr b. Hawshab transmitted a peculiar reading of Quran 106:12: waylu ummikum qumyshu rihlaia l-shita'i wa- 'l-$ayji instead of the common li-iliiji qumyshin rlajihim rihlat« al-shita'i wa- 'l-$ayfY The issue of the reading of Quran 20:63 is well known. 'j\'isha read the phrase in hadhani la-saf;,irani in contrast to other readers, who tried to comply with certain grammatical rules. 'j\'isha was aware that it was a lohn of the Bedouins, or a mistake of the scribe, but it could be hoped that the Arabs would improve the reading in the future. 18 * The Quran was highly respected and the writing of the text, learning it by heart, reciting verses in public prayers - all these were laudable deeds characterizing people of distinction and piety. "Those who carry the Quran in their memory (f;,amalatu l-qur' an) are the nobility of my people," was an utterance of the Prophet transmitted by Ibn 'Abbas.19 Another prophetic saying states that reading the Quran fills the body of the believer with prophecy, even though he was not granted revelation.r? When a man enters the room with a copy of the Quran, those present must stand up; this is out of respect for the Quran which is thus honoured, in the same way as one honours a learned man.21 16Al-Suyut.I, al-Durr al-matithiir, vol. 1, pp. 170-171; al-Samarqandr, Tafsir ; vol. 2, p. 264; al-WaJ::tidI al-Naysabflrf, al- Wasft, vol. 3, p. 102. 17Ibn 'Asakir , Taluihib tairikh. Dimashq al-kabir, 'Abd al-Qadir Badran, ed. (Beirut, 1399/1979), vol. 6, p. 346 supra. 18See the lengthy discussion of the subject in al-Qurtubr, Tajsir , vol. 11, pp. 216219; al-Wahidi al-Naysnbnr", al-Wasft, vol. 3, pp. 211-213, (and see the note of the editors (p. 212) who criticize sharply the reading of 'A'isha and her opinion on this reading by the believers after some centuries -k); Abu I-Layth al-Samarqandr, Tajsir , vol. 2, pp. 347-348; Niildeke-Schwally, Geschichte des Korans (Hildesheim, 1961), vol. 3, (G. Bergstraesser and O. Pretzl) pp. 3, 5; Abu Dawud al-Sijistanl, Kitiib al-ma?aJ.!ij, p. 34. 19Ibn Kathtr , Fa¢a'il al-qur'Iir: (Beirut, 1966), p. 89. 20Ibn Kathlr, Fa¢a'il al-qurIin, p. 92: man qara:c l-qur'ana ja-ka'annama ustudrijat al-nubuwwatu bayna janbayhi ghayra annahu ta yuJ.!a ilayhi. 21Abu Zakariyya Yahva b. Sharaf aI-DIn al-NawawI, al- Tibyan fi adab luimolat: l-qur=iin (Cairo, 1379/1960), p. 99. t.s yamassuhu tus 'l-tnuiohhoriin ... 329 * Worn out copies of the Quran were carefully collected and respectfully disposed of. Scholars discussed at length the proper ways for their disposal. 22 * An item discussed by early scholars of Islam was the loud recitation of the prescribed parts of the Quran during the obligatory prayers in the mosque. A report recorded by 'Abdallah b. AbI Zayd al-Qayrawani in his Kitiib al-jiimi' says that in the "old time" people were not used to listening to the recitation of the Quran from a book. Malik (b. Anas) disapproved of such recitation. It was introduced by al- F.£ ajja]. 23 According to early traditions, people disliked to be led in their prayer by an imiim who read the Quran from a mU$lJ,aJ;this was seen as adopting customs of the People of the Book. Some scholars indeed quoted the hadith: iii tashabbahu bi-ahli l-kitiib in connection with the reading of the Quran from a muslui] by the imiim during the canonical prayer. 24 Furthermore, the Prophet enjoined that the Qur'an be read with the tunes of the Arabs, not with the tunes of the libertines (ahl al-fisq); time would come, after the death of the Prophet, that people would read the Quran with tunes of the monks, with voices of weeping or lamentation. Their hearts would go astray and this would be the lot of their adherents as welp5 22See the magisterial work of Joseph Sadan on this subject: "Genizah and Genizahlike practices in Islamic and Jewish traditions, customs concerning the disposal of worn-out sacred books in the Middle Ages, according to an Ottoman source," Bibliotheca Orientalis 43 (1986): 36-58. See Ibn AbI Dawud, Kitab al-mafaJ:tif, p. 195; Ibn Hajar al-'AsqalanI, Farj,a'il ol-qur=tin; pp. 41-45; al-Qurtubl, al-Tidhkiir fi af¢ali l-adkhktir, p. 114; al-'Izz b. 'Abd al-Salam, al-Fatawa, p 167, no. 117. 23'Abdallah b. AbI Zayd al-Qayrawanr, Kiiiib al-jiimi' ff l-sunan uia-l-iidiib wa-lmaghazf ura-l-tti'rikh, Muhammad Abu l-Ajfan and 'Ut hman Bittrkh, eds. (BeirutTunis 1402/1982), p. 164; Ibn al-Hajj, al-Madkhal (Beirut, 1972), vol. 2, p. 211: ... wa-awwalu man aiuiath.a hadhihi l-bid'ata fi l-masjidi l-ljajjaju, a'nf l-qira'ata fi l-muf/.!aJi, wa-lam yakun hadha min 'amali man nuuiii, 24Ibn AbI Dawud al-Sijist.anI, al-Mafa/.!if, pp. 190-191; and see p. 191: ... an qatiida 'ani l-liasan annahu kariha an ya'umma l-rajulu fi l-musha], qiila: kama taf'alu l-nafara. On in toshabbohii, see M.J. Kister, "Do not assimilate yourselves ... : La tash.abbaliii ... ," JSAI 12 (1989): 321-322. 25AI-FasawI, al-Ma'rifa ura-l-ta'rikh, vol. 2, p. 480; al-Qurtubr, al- Tidhkar fi af¢ali l-tulkhkiir . p. 117. 330 M.J. Kister On the other hand, dictating the Quran from memory to be written down in the ma$aJ:tiJ was a rare case. It was the Companion Ibn Mas'ud, a man with an outstanding knowledge of the Quran, who used to dictate the ma$aJ:tiJ from memory.e" Believers were enjoined not to read the Quran to the people of the truisiilii]: and not to gain knowledge from the $aJ:tafiyyun, the people of the sheets (i.e., people using written compendia, or compilations of the J:tadfth). 27 Christian copyists of the Quran In contrast to the injunctions according to which one should restrict learning, memorizing and writing the ma$aJ:tiJ to the orthodox and the pious, the leaders of the Muslim community were forced in many cases to resort to non-Muslims in order to spread the religious ideas of the Muslim faith. A profound change in the Muslim community occurred a very short time after the death of the Prophet. This is indicated in a report of 'Arnr b. Murra: kana Jf awwali l-zostuini yajtami'una Ja-yaktubuna lma$aJ:tiJa thumma innahum kasoli: wa-zahidu jf l-ajri Ja- 'sta 'jaru l-'ibiida Ja-katabuhii lahum.28 These Christian 'ibiid from the region of al-Hira were the first to sell the ma$aJ:tiJ, according to a report by al-Sijistani, and some details about them have been preserved in the tradition. 'Abd al-Rahrnan b. 'Awf, the Companion of the Prophet, asked a Christian from al-Hira to copy out the Quran for him and paid him sixty dirhams. 'Abd al-Rahrnan b. AbI Layla paid a man from al-Hira seventy dirhams for a musha] copied for him.29 Several details in the early sources confirm the reports concerning the activity of the 'ibiid and other Christians in copying the masiilii]: Abu 'Ubayd records in his Farja'il ol-qur' an a report saying that Alqama entrusted a Christian with copying a musha] for him.i''' 'Abd al-Razzaq records the report mentioned above,31 saying that a Christian from alI.IIra wrote a musho] for 'Abd al-Rahrnan b. AbI Layla; 'Abd al-Hahman 26Ibn AbI Dawud al-Sijistanr, al-MafalJif, p. 137. 27Al-Fasawi, al-Ma'rifa uia-l-La'rikh , vol. 2, p. 412. And see al-Khattb al-Baghdadt, al-Faqih. wa-l-mutafaqqih, Isma'Il al-Ansart, ed. (Beirut, 1400/1980), vol. 2, pp. 9798. 28 Ibn AbI Dawud, al-MafalJif, p. 171, infra. 29 Ibid., p. 133. 30 Abu 'Ubayd, Fa¢a'ilu l-qur'tin, p. 245, no. 67-7. Ibn Hazrn, ol-Muhollii, Ahmad Muhammad Shakir, ed. (Cairo, n.d.), vol. 1, p. 84. 31 See above, note 28. La yamassuhu tus 'l-tnuiohhoriin ... 331 paid him seventy dirhams for his work. 32 The role of the Christian 'ibiid in copying the Quran in early Islam seems to have been known in the Muslim community. It seems that there were such cases even in the third century AH. This can be deduced from the response of Ahmad b. Hanbal (d. 241 AH) who was asked by a man whether it was true that Christians copied the texts of the Quran. Ahmad affirmed that the Christians of al-Hira used to write the ma$aJ:tiJ; they did so because there were few others who could perform this task. 33 Ahmad b. Hanbal's answer serves as a clear indication that Christians (and especially the 'Ibad of al-Hira -k) played an important role in early Islam by copying the Quran for the orthodox believers, who had no reservations whatsoever to accept their services. Non-Muslims contributed a great deal to the dissemination of Islam in this initial period. The fact that the Christian 'ibiid were employed in the very early period of Islam in copying the Quran seems to have brought about some changes in the Muslim community's perception of the sacredness of the material on which the ma$aJ:tiJ were written, of the accuracy of the copied text, and of the the liberty to introduce some changes which the transmitter was said to have heard from the Prophet. The text itself, in spite of the officially established version of "Uthman, was not certain and was not recognized by the community's consensus; this was already pointed out by Goldziher. 34 32'Abd al-Razzaq, al-Mus'annaf, vol. 8, p. 114, no. 143530. And see this report: Ibn AbI Shayba, ol-Musonno], vol. 6, p. 66, no. 276. 33See Sulayman Bashir , Muqaddima fi l-ic'rikh.i l-iikhur (Jerusalem, 1984), p. 74, note 23; Bashrr quotes the utterance of Ahmad b. Hanbal from the MS Zahiriyya, rruijmii' 83. He was the first to publish a reference from this MS, which was recently edited. See Abu l-Qasim al-BaghawI (al-rawz -k), Masa'il Ahrnad b. Hanbal, 'Amr 'Abd al-Mun'im Salim, ed. (Cairo, 1413/1993), p. 47, no. 10. 34Goldziher, "Katholische Tendenz und Partikularismus im Islam," Beiiriiqe zur Religionswissenschaft 1 (1913-14): 115-116, 118 supra. See also e.g., MakkI b. AbI Talib Hammush al-QaysI, al-Ibiina 'an ma'anz l-qira'at, 'Abd al-Fatt.ah Isma'Il ShalabI, ed. (Cairo, 1379/1960), p. 56: wa-qad turikat qira'atu bni mas'udin al-yawma, wa-mana'a miilik wa-ghayruhu an yuqra'a bi-t-oira'oi: llati tunsabu bni mo.siidin: See also ibidem, p. 57: ... uia-li-tlhiilika qiila Isma'zl al-Qarf,z: mii ruwiya min qira'ati bni mosiidin wa-ghayrihi, ya'nz mimmii yukhalifu kha,t,ta l-mu~J:!afi, laysa yanbaghf li-uho.din an yaqra'a bihi l-yawma. Cf. Ibn Shabba, Ta'rtkh. ol-Matlino: p. 993: 'an zayd b. thiibit: anna J:!udhayfa b. al-uanuin (r) qadima min ghazwatin ghazaha bi-farji arminiua [a-luularahii ahlu l-i iriiqi wa-ahlu l-shiimi [a-idhii ahlu l-ririiqi yaqra'una bi-qira'ati 'abdi lliilii bni mas'udin wa-ya'tilna bi-mii lam yasma' ahlu I-sham, wayaqra'u ahlu l-shiimi bi-qirii'tii: ubayyi bni ka'b, wa-ya'tilna bi-mii lam yasma' ahlu l-i iriiqi, fa-yukaffiruhum ahlu l-r irtiq. un 332 M.J. Kister * 'A'isha and 'Uthman had a very mild opinion concerning the mistakes in the Quran, stating that these mistakes would be corrected in the future by the believing Arabs with their tongues. 35 Abu l-Aswad al-Duali, when asked about the questionable form of the phrase mii hadha basharan in Quran 12:31, answered that this form ("basharan" instead of "basharun") is a scribal mistake.j" Zayd b. Thabit inserted the verse la-qad ja' akum rasiiiun min anfusikum (Quran 9:128) and the following verse into the text of the Quran on the authority of Khuzayma b. Thabit, who kept these two verses in memory.i'" Zayd b. Thabit did listen to the Prophet's reading of the verse min al-mu'minfna rijalun ~adaqii mii 'ahadii lliilia 'alayhi. The verse was lost and Zayd b. Thabit was glad to find that Khuzayma b. Thabit had preserved it, and he inserted it in its proper place (Quran 33:23).38 The tradition attributed to the Prophet, saying that the Quran wrapped in leather would not burn if thrown into the fire39 was given a new interpretation: the leather in which the text of the Qur'an was wrapped and the ink will be burnt, but the Qur'an (i.e., the text in the mu~f.taf -k) will be taken back to God.40 The idea of the glorious Quran as a part of God's Essence, and the miraculous revelation of its verses transmitted by the angel Jibril to the Prophet when he was alone in the cave, were placed side by side with traditions emphasizing the simplicity of the Prophet's life, his suffering during his prophetic activity in Mecca, his persecution by the members of his tribe, the hardships he had to endure and the ascetic and devoted character of his everyday activities, which conformed with the tenets of the Quran, 'A'isha could rightly state that his character was according to the tenets and injunctions of the Qur'an.41 35See Ibn Shabba, Ta'rfkh al-Maditui, p. 1013. 36Al-Baladhuri, Ansab ol-ashriij , MS. "Ash ir Ef., Istanbul 597-598, fo1. 893 b: ... [a-qil« lahu inna lliiha yaqulu: mii hadha basharan, [a-qiila: hadha llo.dlii qultuhu kaliimu l-'arabi l-fuffai}i, wa-lakinna l-kiiiiba zada hadhihi l-alif. 37See Ibn Kathlr, Farj,a'ilu l-qur'iir: (Beirut, 1966), p. 16. 38'Abdallah b. Ahmad b. Hanbal, Zawa'id 'Abdallah b. Alymad b. lfanbal ff 1musnad, p. 369 infra-370, and MakkI b. AbI Talib, al-Ibiina ; pp. 30 penult.-31. 39See note 49 above. 40See Ibn Qutayba, Ta'nni; mukhtalif cl-luuiith, pp. 252-254. 41Al-Sulami, Adab al-suhba (Jerusalem, 1954), p. 23, 11. 1-2: wa-su'ilat 'A'ishatu rarj,iya llahu 'anha 'an khuluqi l-nabiyyi soua llahu 'alayhi wa-sallam [a-qiilat: kana khuluquhu l-qur' ana. t.s yamassuhu tus 'l-tnuiohhoriin ... 333 In the period of the prophetic activity in Medina, the Prophet's revelation was transmitted to a growing number of his Companions who circulated it among their relatives and also disseminated details about the Prophet's righteous way of life, his kindness towards his Companions and his noble attitude towards his opponents; all this formed the sunna of the Prophet. The help he gave to his wives and his respect for them was stressed in the early tradition. 'A'isha could state with pride that she was the only woman from among the wives of the Prophet who was granted the honour and the privilege that the Prophet received the revelation in her presence, while both were covered by the same blanket. 42 Ibn Qutayba, the well known scholar of the Quran, tried to bridge the gap between the two perceptions of sanctity, the glorious and holy book of the Quran and the sheet of the Holy Book devoured by a domestic animal. In a lengthy passage, Ibn Qutayba gives a description of the social and economic situation of the Prophet in Medina. The Quran was at that time written on palm branches, soft white stones and dry skins. The verses of the Quran were not collected in a book; the texts written on these coarse materials merely circulated among the believers. Even the letters of the Prophet sent to the kings were written on animals' skins.43 People at that time had no cupboards (khazii'in) or locked ebony chests; when they wanted to deposit anything (of value -k) they put it under the bedstead in order to guard it from being harmed by children or animals. The Prophet used to patch his garments, because of poverty, to repair his sandals and his boots. The Prophet stated about himself that he feels like a servant, eating like a servant sitting on the floor. Other prophets lived like poor people, eating barley-bread and wearing woolen garments. Ibn Qutayba mentions various explanations why Allah allowed verses of the Qur'an to be eaten by the ewe; it may be that it was a revelation which had to be carried out, but not necessarily be put down in the text of the Quran, The phrase ta ya'tzhi l-biitilu min bayni yadayhi uia-lii 42See e.g., al-SuytrtI, 'Ayn al-isiioa If istidriiki 'jf'isha 'alii l-sahiiba; 'Abdallah Muhammad al-Darwish , ed. (Cairo, 1409/1988), p. 31: wa-kiina ya'tfhi l-wa/:!yu waanii wa-huwa If li/:!iifin uuihid, Muhibb al-Drn Ahmad b. 'Abdallah al-Tabar'i, al-Sinit al-thamfn fi maniiqib ummahiiti l-mu'minfn (Cairo, n.d.), p. 34: ... Iii tu'dhfnanf If 'jf'ishata [a-inncliu, wa-lliihi, mii nazala 'alayya l-wa/:!yu fi tihofi 'mra'atin minkunna ghayrahii. Abu Mansur 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Asakir , Kitiib al-arba'fn fi maniiqib ummahiit al-mu'minfn, Muhammad Ahmad 'Abd al-'AzIz, ed. (Cairo, 1410/1989), p. 130. 43See e.g., the report of a letter sent by the Prophet to the people of 'Uman in Abu Zakariyya Yahya b. Manda, Juz' fihi man 'iisha mi'atan wa-'ishrfna sana mina l-soluib«, Mashhur Hasan Salman, ed. (Beirut, 1412/1992), p. 84: jii'anii kitiibu 1nabiyyi ~allii lliihu 'alayhi wa-sallam If qit'atin min adim, 334 M.J. Kister min khalfihi44 does not mean that the sheets would not be injured by some mishap. The phrase in fact implies that Satan will not be able to insert into the Quran words which were not in the text before or after the revelation .45 Some details about the writing (or rather: the copying -k) of the Quranic text by a truunlii and the changes introduced into the text by 'A'isha, are recorded in some J:tadzth collections. 'A'isha is said to have ordered her maiolii, Abu Yunus, to write for her a mu~J:taf; she asked him, however, to inform her when he would reach the phrase J:tafi~ii 'ala l-~alawati uia-l-saliiii l-unisiii (Qur'an 2:238). When the ttuuulii reached this phrase, 'A'isha dictated a different version of the phrase to him. Tradition records two versions of the change introduced by 'A'isha: J:tafi~ii'ala l-~alawati uia-l-saliiii l-unisiii wa ~alati l-' asri, and J:tafi~ii'ala l-salonoiiii uia-l-soliiti l-urustii ~alati l-' asri, 46 The reading of 'A'isha constituted a substantial deviation from the accepted version established by 'Uthman, There is a tradition according to which Hafsa, the daughter of 'Umar, ordered the truuulii of 'Umar, 'Amr b. Rafi", to copy a musha] for her. When he reached the verse mentioned above, she ordered him to insert her reading: J:tafi~ii' ala l-saloioiiii wa-l-~alati l-wusta souiti l-' asr .4 7 The scholars differed as to the meaning of the ~alat ol-unisiii: this could refer to salii; cl-subh; saliit ol-zuhr, salii; ol=asr, or even to ~alat al-fajr.48 The tradition of Hafsa, who also entrusted the copying of the Quran to a mawla, may imply that the two servants were youths captured during a military expedition, who were familiar with the Arabic script and were presented as servants to 'A'isha and Hafsa. They may have been Christians. 44Qur'an 41:43. 45Ibn Qutayba, Kiiiib ta'wfl mukhtalifi l-luulitli (Cairo, 1326), pp. 397-404. 46See the different readings in Sa'ud b. 'Abdallah al-Fanisan , Marwiyyat ummi 1mu/ minina 'A'isha (al-Riyad, 1413/1992), pp. 108-112, nos. 163-172; Abu l-Layth al-Samarqandl, Tajsir , 'All Muhammad Muawwad, 'Adil Ahmad 'Abd al-Mawjild , Zakariyya 'Abd al-Majid al-NawtI, ed. (Beirut, 1413/1993), vol. 1, pp. 213-214; Ibn I;!ajar al-'AsqalanI, al-Kafi ol-shii] fi takhrfji aluuiitli], following alZarnakhsharr's ol-Kushstuij , vol. 4, p. 21, nos. 175-179; al- Tabaranr, al-Mu'jam alkabir, vol. 7, p. 200, nos. 6823-6826, p. 248, nos. 7009-7010. 47See Abu l-Layth al-Samarqandr, Tajsir , vol. 1, p. 213 infra; and see ibidem, the tradition saying that some people stated that that was the reading of 'Abdallah b. Mas'ud. 48See Abu l-Layth al-Samarqandi, Tajsir , vol. 1, pp. 213-214; 'Abdallah b. Ahmad b. Hanbal, Zawa'id, pp. 169-170; al-Wasrti, al- Wasr,t fi tajsiri l-qur'ritii l-majid, vol. 1, pp. 349-351.