Ibn Hajar prefers to believe in a Qur’an from Abu Bakr rather than from Ali

Jalal-ud-Din As-Suyuti writes:

قال الدير عاقولي في فوائده حدثنا إبراهيم بن بشار حدثنا سفيان بن عيينة عن الزهري عن عبيد عن زيد بن ثابت قال: قبض النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ولم يكن القرآن جمع في شيء

“Dair Aquli narrated in his (book) al-Fawa’id of Ibrahim Ibn Bashar who narrated from Sufyan Ibn Uyaynah who narrated from Az-Zuhri who narrated from Ubaid that Zaid Ibn Thabit said: “The Prophet (s.) died and the Qur’an was not collected in any form.” [Al-Itqan, page 129]

وأخرج ابن أبي داود أيضا من طريق هشام بن عروة عن أبيه أن أبا بكر قال لعمر ولزيد: اقعدا على باب المسجد فمن جاءكما بشاهدين على شيء من كتاب الله فاكتباه رجاله ثقات مع انقطاعه
“Ibn Abi Dawud also reported on the way of Hisham Ibn Urwah, who narrated from his father that Abu Bakr said to Umar and Zaid: “Sit down both of you at the gate of the mosque. If two come to you and testify about the Book of God, write it down.” The narrators of this are trustworthy despite its interruption (Thiqah).” [Al-Itqan, page 131]

وأخرج ابن أبي داود في المصاحف بسند حسن عن عبد خير قال سمعت عليا يقول: أعظم الناس في المصاحف أجرا أبو بكر رحمة الله على أبي بكر هو أول من جمع كتاب الله لكن أخرج أيضا من طريق ابن سيرين قال: قال علي لما مات رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم آليت ألا آخذ علي ردائي إلا لصلاة جمعة حتى أجمع القرآن فجمعه قال ابن حجر: هذا الأثر يعضف لانقطاعه وبتقدير صحته فمراده بجمعه حفظه في صدره وما تقدم من رواية عبد خير عنه أصح فهو المعتمد
“Ibn Abi Dawud reported in Al-Masahif with a good chain from Abd Khair that Ali said: “Of the people, Abu Bakr is the one who is most rewarded for the manuscripts (of the Qur’an). God have mercy on Abu Bakr. He’s the first to collect Book of God.” However, he also reported of the route of Muhammad Ibn Sirin, that Ali said: “When the Messenger of God (s.) died, I took an oath not to take a cloak except for Friday prayers until i had collected the Qur’an.” Then he collected it. Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani said: “This tradition is weak because of its interruption and by judging it as authentic would mean that he had memorized it in his chest and the previous tradition of it by Abd Khair is more authentic. Therefore, it is relied upon.” [Al-Itqan, page 130]

وقد أخرج ابن أشته في المصاحف عن الليث بن سعد قال: أول من جمع القرآن أبو بكر وكتبه زيد وكان الناس يأتون زيد بن ثابت فكان لا يكتب آية إلا بشاهدي عدل وأن آخر سورة براءة لم توجد إلا مع خزيمة بن ثابت فقال: اكتبوها فإن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم جعل شهادته بشهادة رجلين فكتب وإن عمر أتى بآية الرجم فلم يكتبها لأنه كان وحده
“Ibn Abi Dawud reported in Al-Masahif of Laith Ibn Said that he said: “The first to collect the Qur’an was Abu Bakr and Zaid wrote it down and people came to Zaid. So he did not write down any verse except with two righteous witnesses and the last part of chapter At-Tawbah was not found except with Khuzaimah Ibn Thabit.” Then he said: “Write it down, for the messenger of God (s.) made his testimony a testimony of two men.” Then he wrote it down and Umar brought the verse about stoning, but he did not write it down because he was a single man.” [Al-Itqan, page 131]

وقال في البرهان في قول عمر لولا أن يقول الناس زاد عمر في كتاب الله لكتبتها يعني آية الرجم ظاهره أن كتابتها جائزة وإنما منعه قول الناس والجائز في نسفه قد يقوم من خارج ما يمنعه فإذا كانت جائزة لزم أن تكون ثابتة لأن هذا شأن المكتوب
“About the saying of Umar: “Wouldn’t people say: ‘Umar added something in the book of God.” Then i would have written it, the verse about stoning.” He said in Al-Burhan: “It is obviously allowed to write it down and it was only the talk of the people that stopped him and it is possible that there could be something external that prevented what was allowed. So if it is allowed, it must have been established, because that is the matter of what is written down.” [Al-Itqan, page 472]

قال أبو عبيد حدثنا إسماعيل بن إبراهيم عن أيوب عن نافع عن عبد الله بن عمر قال: لا يقولن أحدكم قد أخذت القرآن كله وما يدريه ما كله قد ذهب منه قرآن كثير ولكن ليقل: قد أخذت منه ما ظهر
“Abu Ubaid narrated from Isma’il Ibn Ibrahim, who narrated from Ayyub, who narrated from Nafi’ that Abdullah Ibn Umar said: “None of you should say: ‘I have taken over the complete Qur’an.” Because what makes him know that all is from it? Much of the Qur’an has disappeared, so he should say: “I took from it whatever has appeared.” [Al-Itqan, page 470]


When Umar and Zaid did not manage to collect the complete Qur’an at the gate of the mosque, they imaginatively claimed that God Himself did not want the missing verses in the Qur’an and gave this excuse the name “Abrogation of Recitation” (Naskh Tilawah). Also the existence of the Qur’an, which Ali (a.) wrote down, was often denied by Abu Bakr’s followers or misinterpreted merely as memorization, as Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani demonstrated in an exemplary way. What would they want with a complete Qur’an from Ali (a.) if they could have an incomplete one from Abu Bakr and Ali (a.) would have supposedly approved this omission as well? (A tasteless Umaritic fairy tale) Of course, an Ali (a.) who does not have to wait at the gate until the other companions teach him the Qur’an is a thorn in their side.

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