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‘Uthmaan (RA) and the Blessed Qur’an

Ann (Umameer) Stock is in awe of ‘Uthman’s devotion to the Qur’an and reflects on how a similar commitment can be seen today.

It gives a person chills to see the care with which the memorisation of Qur’an has been lovingly passed from one person to the other over all of these generations – each person and their location completely verifiable. What an honour to be a part of this amazing chain of people who have sacrificed their time and energy to preserve our cherished book.

 

 

‘Uthman (RA) sat in front of the Prophet (SAW) and began reciting the first chapter of the Qur’an, surah Al-Fatihah, and then surah Al-Baqarah. Whenever the Prophet (SAW) heard anything irregular, he corrected him. This continued day after day, and the Prophet (SAW) would listen, review and correct until finally ‘Uthman reached surah An-Nas; it was complete. ‘Uthman had recited the entire Qur’an from memory and the Prophet (SAW) had listened to every word. He had recited the Qur’an exactly as the Prophet (SAW) had received it from Jibreel. He would also take time for long periods of reflection concerning the meanings contained in the verses.

 

This is a Book (the Qur’an) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings, that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember. (Sad:29)
By reading the entire Qur’an to the Prophet (SAW) and verifying his recitation, ‘Uthman had what we refer to today as an ijaza. An ijaza is given to any brother or sister who has recited the entire Qur’an from memory with complete accuracy, including correct tajweed, to a teacher who has already received an ijaza. Once a Muslim has memorised the entire Qur’an, it may take a year or several to review and perfect the recitation in order to obtain this recognition.

 

As a student at Dar El Huda in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, I have had the pleasure and honour of attending the completion of an ijaza on three different occasions. It is quite an emotional affair, with the student sitting next to her teacher in front of other students studying tajweed and memorisation. Usually close family members are also present, including a tearful mother, sisters and aunties.

 

One of my favourite parts is listening to the long chain of memorisers who have passed on the ijaza. They start with the student, who took it from her teacher and where, who took it from his/her teacher and where. The list continues so forth and so on until of course they begin to reach the taby tabiyeen, the tabiyeen, the sahabah, then the Prophet (SAW) who of course took it from Jibreel who received it from Allah (SWT).

 

It gives a person chills to see the care with which the memorisation of Qur’an has been lovingly passed from one person to the other over all of these generations – each person and their location completely verifiable. What an honour to be a part of this amazing chain of people who have sacrificed their time and energy to preserve our cherished book.

 

“The best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it,” said the Prophet (SAW). ‘Uthman never forgot the Prophet’s words. He set about teaching the Qur’an to others, seeking to be those the Prophet had said are “the best.” Several of the sahabah are also known to have memorised and recited the Qu’ran back to the Prophet r. They are Abdullah Bin Masoud Al Huthli, Abi bin Ka’b Al Ansari, Zayed bin Thabit Al Ansari, ‘Uthman bin A’ffan Al Quraishi, AlI bin Abi Talib Al Hashemi. These names are mentioned as part of the ijaza chain.

 

During the ceremony itself, the student completes her ijaza by starting from any place in juz ‘Amma, perhaps Al-Kawthar, or Al-Ikhlas, continuing until she has completed the last surah. But she doesn’t stop there. The Qur’an is truly never something conquerable or ending. The reciter will continue on again with Al-Fatihah and then Al-Baqarah, pausing after the first page, once they have reached ayah number five. This is a tradition of the scholars. Ending by starting at the beginning of Qu’ran symbolises the reciter’s commitment to continuing the recitation and preservation of the Qur’an in a never-ending cycle.

 

At the end of the recitation, her teacher begins to award her with her ijaza and reads out the chain. The reciter then makes du’a as she has completed Qur’an. We also make du’a for ourselves as well.

 

Whenever a group gather for Qur’an, the angels also gather, making this truly a great and noble moment. We all have this special feeling as the tissue box gets passed around the room. We then crowd around to give the reciter our congratulations and wish her well.

 

In trailing the footsteps of the Rightly Guided Caliph’s, it is impossible not to see the love they had for the Qur’an. ‘Uthman devoted himself to the reading of Qur’an, preserving it and teaching it to others. What he lived by, he died by as he was reciting the following ayah from his Qur’an at the time of his murder:
So if they believe in the like of that which you believe, then they are rightly guided, but if they turn away, then they are only in opposition. So Allah will suffice you against them. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. (Al-Baqarah:37)
A copy of ‘Uthman’s Qur’an is preserved and on display for all to see in a museum in Tashkent to this day.

 

Ann (Umameer) Stock reverted to Islam 27 years ago and lives back and forth between Cairo and Jeddah with her Egyptian husband. She wants to help the next generation of Muslims understand more about their faith. You can follow her at http://umameerblog.wordpress.com/Musings of a Muslimah