The Mushaf of `Uthman b. Affan (ra)

Dr. Muzammil Siddique Nadwi, graduated from Nadwat-ul-Ulema, went on to study in Madinah University, did his Masters in Manchester, completed his PhD in Harvard University, and is now based in the US. Through the efforts of Janab Hussain Zulqarnain and Janab Akhtarul Islam Nadwi, he graced a small gathering here in Riyadh recently. A search in Google will throw up reams of pages on his achievements. Some of his thoughts he shared with us at the gathering are as follows:

  • After 9-11, Muslim community in the US has matured considerably. A growing number of young Muslims, born and raised in the US, are memorizing the Quran. These youngsters are also taking up the learning of Arabic language. Many travel to distant lands to learn Arabic.
  • The Open Mosque project where non-Muslims are invited to visit the local mosque has proven to be extremely beneficial. Hundreds of non-Muslims queue up to visit the mosque and express great satisfaction after the visit.
  • Islamic Centers and mosques are growing steadily.
  • The community is also active in intra-community affairs, ensuring all schools of thought learn to respectfully tolerate differences.

Few in Riyadh are aware of the presence of a great contemporary scholar in our midst. He was the chief guest in the meeting to honour Dr. Muzammil Siddique. Sheikh Mustafa Azami is most famous for his works in refuting the orientalists’ allegations about the authenticity of the Hadith. His PhD from Cambridge on the integrity of Hadith literature was ground-breaking. But today, he spoke about his latest work which is nearing completion. This work is aimed at proving that the text in copies of the Quran currently in circulation are exactly the same as was revealed on the Prophet (peace on him). Towards this end, Sheikh Azami traveled to Yemen, managing to gather a few parchments of the Quran. Then he visited Italy to meet an Italian scholar who had gathered thousands of such parchments from Yemen through the efforts of the Italian ambassador to Yemen. Working ceaselessly despite his failing health (he cannot move to the bookshelf and pick up a book without assistance), he put together over 20 different copies of the Qur’an belonging to different periods, starting from the very first century of the Hijrah. Using Surah Isra’ as an example, he compared each word in all the 20 copies and proved that, word for word, they are identical. One of the Qur’anic manuscripts under research was subject to a test called C-14 ageing test. The test revealed that the manuscript belonged to the era of Syeddna Othman or Syeddna Muawiyyah. We eagerly await launch of the book.

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