Third Caliph made official collection
Stabroek News
February 25, 2002

Dear Editor,

Accabre Nkofi claims that several versions of the Quran were in existence and that the First Caliph had all other versions than the one he felt was the real thing destroyed. It was the Third Caliph, Uthman, who made or caused to be made a true official collection of the book (see Suyuti, pl - Itqan fi Ulum al Juran (Cairo, 1935) 2 volumes at 8 ff and Yaqub Hasan Rashf al-Huda (Madras, 1343) 19 f. 67-80). Even the Shi'ite sect who allege that Uthman supressed certain passages of the Quran which were favourable to the house of Ali, are not able to restore them. Doubts on this score are held only by a small minority which have long since been discredited.Even the foes of Uthman accepted the official edition of the book as absolutely authoritative, thus affording ample proof of its genuineness.Furthermore, it is universally agreed that the arrangement of the verses and chapters of the book was made at the direction of the prophet (Muhammad on whom be peace) himself, who was divinely guided on the matter.

The exegesis of the Quran was a matter of controversy, but it cannot be doubted that the Companions of the Prophet who had been at his side were better versed concerning the causes of the revelations than others. Lastly, let me inform Mr Nkofi that Muslims do not indulge in bibliolatry as he claims.They merely recite the Quran. For instance, one recites in it: "Qul Huwallahu Ahad" i.e. He God is one. Here God himself is the speaker and not the Prophet and thus while quoting the book, the formula is "He says: Exalted is He." As a constitutional source of all law, the Quran says "the revelation of the Book whereof there is no doubt is from the Lord of the world" (xxxii 2). And finally: "He it is who hath sent down to thee the Book. In it are verses basic or fundamental. They are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meaning except God. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord: and none will grasp the message except men of understanding".

Yours faithfully,

Mohamed Shabeer Zafar.B.A., LLB (Hons) UK law graduate