with the Caliph Abu Bakr (d. 13AH/634CE), then passed on to the Caliph Umar (13-23AH/634-644CE), and then Umar’s daughter and the Prophet’s widow, Hafsah1.
The third Caliph Uthman (23AH-35AH/644-656CE) requested Hafsah to send him the manuscript of the Quran which was in her safekeeping, and ordered the production of several bounded copies of it (masaahif, sing. mu- shaf). This task was entrusted to the Companions Zaid ibn Thabit, Abdullah ibn Az-Zubair, Sa’eed ibn Al-‘as, and Abdur-Rahman ibn Harith ibn Hi- sham.2
Upon completion (in 25AH/646CE), Uthman returned the original manu- script to Hafsah and sent the copies to the major Islamic provinces.
A number of non-Muslim scholars who have studied the issue of the compila- tion and preservation of the Quran also have stated its authenticity. John Bur- ton, at the end of his substantial work on the Quran’s compilation, states that the Quran as we have it today is:
“…the text which has come down to us in the form in which it was organized and approved by the Prophet…. What we have today in our hands is the mu- shaf of Muhammad.”3
Kenneth Cragg describes the transmission of the Quran from the time of re- velation to today as occurring in “an unbroken living sequence of devotion.”4 Schwally concurs that:
Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Vol.6, Hadith No.201.
Saheeh Al-Bukhari Vol.4, Hadith No.709; Vol.6, Hadith No.507
John Burton, The Collection of the Quran, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977, p.239-40.
Kenneth Cragg, The Mind of the Quran, London: George Allen & Unwin, 1973, p.26.