The Qur’an was sent down by Allah Most High in clear Arabic upon the heart of the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, through the Trustworthy Spirit, Jibrīl, upon him peace. The Prophet received the text as well as its recitation and he conveyed both to his Companions. The preservation of the text and its recitation was guaranteed by the Sender of the text: Indeed We have sent down the Reminder and We are its Guardian (Q 15:9). The fulfillment of this Divine promise involved human beings and it took place in the broad light of history.
The process of preservation of the text and its recitation started with the first revelation in 610 CE and it has gone through four distinct time-bound phases:
(i) 610-632 CE: This is the time when the Qur’an was being revealed to the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, and it was simultaneously preserved in a unique manner;
(ii) shortly after the Battle of Yamama (December 632 CE): the first compilation of the entire text of the Qur’an during the Caliphate of Abū Bakr, Allah be well-pleased with him;
(iii) the second compilation during the Caliphate of Uthman b. ‘Affan, Allah be well-pleased with him (6 November 644–17 June 656), which gave us the Uthmani Mushaf;
(iv) since the Uthmani Mushaf, up to our own time: orthographic developments, reading aids, teaching methodologies, unbroken chains of reciters and more.
On the human plane, this fascinating process of preservation involves extraordinary foresight of the Companions, their faith and reliance on Allah Most High, developments in orthography as well as materials such as papyrus, bones, animal hides, and inks.
As we approach the blessed month of the Qur’an, CIK invites you to a journey through time to experience the process of preservation of the Book that is guidance and mercy for the believers (Q 10:57).