Are The Verses From Surah 9:128-129 And Surah 33:23 Falsely Added To The Quran?

 By

Bassam Zawadi

 

There are hadiths which speak about Surah 9:128-129 and Surah 33:23 in a "suspicious" way according to some people and therefore it makes them believe that these verses are not reliable. Here are the hadiths that they allude to:

 

Saheeh Bukhari

Volume 005, Book 059, Hadith Number 379.

Narated By Zaid bin Thabit : When we wrote the Holy Qur'an, I missed one of the Verses of Surat-al-Ahzab which I used to hear Allah's Apostle reciting. Then we searched for it and found it with Khuzaima bin Thabit Al-Ansari. The Verse was:

'Among the Believers are men Who have been true to Their Covenant with Allah, Of them, some have fulfilled Their obligations to Allah (i.e. they have been Killed in Allah's Cause), And some of them are (still) waiting" (33.23) So we wrote this in its place in the Qur'an.

Volume 6, Book 61, Number 510:

Narrated Anas bin Malik:

Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman came to Uthman at the time when the people of Sham and the people of Iraq were Waging war to conquer Arminya and Adharbijan. Hudhaifa was afraid of their (the people of Sham and Iraq) differences in the recitation of the Qur'an, so he said to 'Uthman, "O chief of the Believers! Save this nation before they differ about the Book (Quran) as Jews and the Christians did before." So 'Uthman sent a message to Hafsa saying, "Send us the manuscripts of the Qur'an so that we may compile the Qur'anic materials in perfect copies and return the manuscripts to you." Hafsa sent it to 'Uthman. 'Uthman then ordered Zaid bin Thabit, 'Abdullah bin AzZubair, Said bin Al-As and 'AbdurRahman bin Harith bin Hisham to rewrite the manuscripts in perfect copies. 'Uthman said to the three Quraishi men, "In case you disagree with Zaid bin Thabit on any point in the Qur'an, then write it in the dialect of Quraish, the Qur'an was revealed in their tongue." They did so, and when they had written many copies, 'Uthman returned the original manuscripts to Hafsa. 'Uthman sent to every Muslim province one copy of what they had copied, and ordered that all the other Qur'anic materials, whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt. Said bin Thabit added, "A Verse from Surat Ahzab was missed by me when we copied the Qur'an and I used to hear Allah's Apostle reciting it. So we searched for it and found it with Khuzaima bin Thabit Al-Ansari. (That Verse was): 'Among the Believers are men who have been true in their covenant with Allah.' (33.23)

Volume 6, Book 61, Number 509:

Narrated Zaid bin Thabit:

Abu Bakr As-Siddiq sent for me when the people! of Yamama had been killed (i.e., a number of the Prophet's Companions who fought against Musailama). (I went to him) and found 'Umar bin Al-Khattab sitting with him. Abu Bakr then said (to me), "Umar has come to me and said: "Casualties were heavy among the Qurra' of the! Qur'an (i.e. those who knew the Quran by heart) on the day of the Battle of Yalmama, and I am afraid that more heavy casualties may take place among the Qurra' on other battlefields, whereby a large part of the Qur'an may be lost. Therefore I suggest, you (Abu Bakr) order that the Qur'an be collected." I said to 'Umar, "How can you do something which Allah's Apostle did not do?" 'Umar said, "By Allah, that is a good project. "Umar kept on urging me to accept his proposal till Allah opened my chest for it and I began to realize the good in the idea which 'Umar had realized." Then Abu Bakr said (to me). 'You are a wise young man and we do not have any suspicion about you, and you used to write the Divine Inspiration for Allah's Apostle. So you should search for (the fragmentary scripts of) the Qur'an and collect it in one book)." By Allah If they had ordered me to shift one of the mountains, it would not have been heavier for me than this ordering me to collect the Qur'an. Then I said to Abu Bakr, "How will you do something which Allah's Apostle did not do?" Abu Bakr replied, "By Allah, it is a good project." Abu Bakr kept on urging me to accept his idea until Allah opened my chest for what He had opened the chests of Abu Bakr and 'Umar. So I started looking for the Qur'an and collecting it from (what was written on) palmed stalks, thin white stones and also from the men who knew it by heart, till I found the last Verse of Surat At-Tauba (Repentance) with Abi Khuzaima Al-Ansari, and I did not find it with anybody other than him. The Verse is:

'Verily there has come unto you an Apostle (Muhammad) from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty..(till the end of Surat-Baraa' (At-Tauba) (9.128-129) Then the complete manuscripts (copy) of the Qur'an remained with Abu Bakr till he died, then with 'Umar till the end of his life, and then with Hafsa, the daughter of 'Umar.

 

Volume 6, Book 61, Number 511:

Narrated Zaid bin Thabit:

Abu Bakr sent for me and said, "You used to write the Divine Revelations for Allah's Apostle : So you should search for (the Qur'an and collect) it." I started searching for the Qur'an till I found the last two Verses of Surat At-Tauba with Abi Khuzaima Al-Ansari and I could not find these Verses with anybody other than him. (They were):

'Verily there has come unto you an Apostle (Muhammad) from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty ...' (9.128-129)

 

Volume 009, Book 093, Hadith Number 521.

Narated By Zaid bin Thabit : Abu Bakr sent for me, so I collected the Qur'an till I found the last part of Surat-at-Tauba with Abi Khuzaima Al-Ansari and did not find it with anybody else. (The Verses are): 'Verily, there has come to you an Apostle (Muhammad) from amongst yourselves... (till the end of Surat Bara'a) (i.e., At-Tauba).' (9.128-129)

 

 

Now people might get curious as to why these two verses were only known to one man. They might ask how come no one else knew about them? Why didn't Zayd find it with no one else besides Abi Khuzaymah? 

 

Imam ibn Hajar Al Asqalani says in Fathul Bari...

 

 وقد كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أذن في كتابة القرآن ونهى أن يكتب معه غيره , فلم يأمر أبو بكر إلا بكتابة ما كان مكتوبا , ولذلك   توقف عن كتابة الآية من آخر سورة براءة حتى وجدها مكتوبة , مع أنه كان يستحضرها هو ومن ذكر معه                                                                                                                                                             

 

The Prophet (peace be upon him) permitted the writing of the Quran and prohibited the writing of anything else along with it, so Abu Bakr did not order anything to be written down except what has already been written down, and that is the reason why he (Zayd bin Thaabit) refrained from writing the last verses from Surah al Bara'a until he found it written, for he already knew it and had people who remembered it along with him.

 

قام عمر فقال : من كان تلقى من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم شيئا من القرآن فليأت به . وكانوا يكتبون ذلك في  الصحف والألواح   والعسب قال وكان لا يقبل من أحد شيئا حتى يشهد شاهدان " وهذا يدل على أن زيدا كان لا يكتفي بمجرد وجدانه مكتوبا حتى يشهد به من تلقاه سماعا ; مع كون زيد كان يحفظه , وكان يفعل ذلك مبالغة في الاحتياط . وعند 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 " ورجاله ثقات مع  انقطاعه , وكأن المراد بالشاهدين الحفظ  والكتاب , أو المراد أنهما يشهدان على أن ذلك المكتوب كتب بين يدي رسول الله صلى الله  عليه وسلم , أو المراد أنهما يشهدان على أن ذلك من الوجوه التي نزل بها القرآن . وكان غرضهم أن لا يكتب إلا من عين ما كتب   بين يدي النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لا من مجرد الحفظ .                                                                                                      

 

Umar said: Who ever received anything regarding the Quran from the Prophet (peace be upon him) then let him bring it. And they used to write it on the manuscripts and boards and date palmed stalks. He said that nothing would be accepted from anyone until two witnesses testify to it. "And this points out that Zayd was not satisfied with only finding it written down until someone testified that he heard it, even though Zayd himself had memorized it, and they used to take this extra precaution in order to be more cautious. And Abu Dawud contained a narration on the authority of Hisham bin Arwa that his father said that Abu Bakr said to Umar and Zayd: Sit down on the door of the Mosque and whoever of two witnesses come to you regarding the Quran then write it down'. The men of this narration are trustworthy despite the chain being broken, and the intended meaning regarding two witnesses was memorization and writing, or it meant that they both testify that what was written down was actually written down under the authority of the Messenger peace be upon him, or it meant that they both testify that it was sent down as Quranic revelation. And it was their way that nothing was written down except that they receive what was written down during the time of the Prophet peace be upon him and not just from memorization. (Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani, Fathul Bari, Kitab: Fadaa'il Al Qur'aan, Bab: Jami' Al Qur'aan, Commentary on Hadith no. 4603, Source)  

 

So here we clearly see that Zayd did not find the verses WRITTEN DOWN with anyone else except Abi Khuzaymah. That didn't mean that no one else knew about the verse. 

 

This is clear from Zayd's statement when he said...

 

I missed one of the Verses of Surat-al-Ahzab which I used to hear Allah's Apostle reciting.

 

So clearly Zayd already knew about this verse. If he didn't already know about this verse then how did he know that he must go out and search for it? How can he go out searching for something that he didn't even know existed if we were to assume that only Abi Khuzayma knew about the verse?

 

Furthermore, Ibn Kathir says...

 

وَقَالَ أَحْمَد : حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيّ بْن بَحْر حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيّ بْن مُحَمَّد بْن سَلَمَة عَنْ مُحَمَّد بْن إسْحَاق عَنْ يَحْيَى بْن عَبَّاد عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَبَّاد   بْن الزُّبَيْر رَضِيَ اللَّه عَنْهُ قَالَ أَتَى الْحَارِث بْن خُزَيْمَة بِهَاتَيْنِ الْآيَتَيْنِ مِنْ آخِر بَرَاءَة " لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُول مِنْ أَنْفُسكُمْ " إِلَى عَبْد اللَّه بْن عُمَر بْن الْخَطَّاب فَقَالَ مَنْ  مَعَك عَلَى هَذَا ؟ قَالَ لَا أَدْرِي وَاَللَّه إِنِّي لَأَشْهَد لَسَمِعْتهَا مِنْ رَسُول اللَّه صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَآله وَسَلَّمَ وَوَعَيْتهَا وَحَفِظْتهَا فَقَالَ عُمَر : وَأَنَا أَشْهَد  لَسَمِعْتهَا مِنْ رَسُول اللَّه صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ                                                                                                                

And Ahmad said: Ali bin Bahr said that Ali bin Muhammad bin Salma on the authority of Muhammad ibn Ishaq on the authority of Yahya bin Ebad on the authority of his father Ebad bin Zubayr may Allah be pleased with him said that Al Harith (Zayd) approached bin Khuzaymah with these two verses from the ending of Surah Al Bara'a (Surah 9) 'Verily there has come unto you an Apostle (Muhammad) from amongst yourselves' to Abdullah ibn Umar Al Khattab so he said 'Who is with you on this?' He said 'I don't know' and by Allah I testify that I heard it from the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him and I learned it and memorized it then Umar said: And I testify that I heard it from the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him. (Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, Commentary on Surah 9:129, Source)

 

So we clearly see that indeed the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) did know about these two verses. 

 

Some may argue that Zayd was satisfied with only collecting the Quran from people who memorized for he said...

 

So I started looking for the Qur'an and collecting it from (what was written on) palmed stalks, thin white stones and also from the men who knew it by heart,

 

However, Imam Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani argues back...

 

الواو بمعنى مع أي أكتبه من المكتوب الموافق للمحفوظ في الصدر .                                                                                

 

The letter waaow means to find it with those who had it written down agreeing with what was memorized in his heart.

 


‏أي مكتوبة , لما تقدم من أنه كان لا يكتفي بالحفظ دون الكتابة                                                                                        

 

Meaning written down, it was not enough for him to only take from memorization without written evidence.

 

 ولعلهم لما وجدها زيد عند أبي خزيمة تذكروها كما تذكرها زيد                                                                                   

 

And when Zayd found it with Abi Khuzaymah they remembered it just like how Zayd remembered it (Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani, Fathul Bari, Kitab: Fadaa'il Al Qur'aan, Bab: Jami' Al Qur'aan, Commentary on Hadith no. 4603, Source)  

 

We also see a similar situation regarding Surah 33:23. Imam Al Qurtubi has in his Tafsir of Surah 9:129...

 

فَإِنَّ تِلْكَ ثَبَتَتْ بِشَهَادَةِ زَيْد وَخُزَيْمَة لِسَمَاعِهِمَا إِيَّاهَا مِنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ                                                                  

It became confirmed by the testimony of Zayd and Khuzayma for they both heard it from the Prophet peace be upon him. (Abu 'Abdullah Al-Qurtubi, Tasfir al Jami' li-ahkam al-Qur'an, Commentary on Surah 9:129, Source)

 

 

Even though the commentary was in Surah 9:129, Qurtubi was speaking about Surah 33:23. 

 

At the end of the day even if Abi Khuzayma was the only one witness, his witness still amounted to two because the Prophet gave him that honor...

 

Saheeh Bukhari

Volume 004, Book 052, Hadith Number 062.

Narated By Kharija bin Zaid : Zaid bin Thabit said, "When the Qur'an was compiled from various written manuscripts, one of the Verses of Surat Al-Ahzab was missing which I used to hear Allah's Apostle reciting. I could not find it except with Khuzaima bin Thabit Al-Ansari, whose witness Allah's Apostle regarded as equal to the witness of two men. And the Verse was: "Among the believers are men who have been true to what they covenanted with Allah." (33.23)

Volume 006, Book 060, Hadith Number 307.

Narated By Zaid bin Thabit : When we collected the fragramentary manuscripts of the Qur'an into copies, I missed one of the Verses of Surat al-Ahzab which I used to hear Allah's Apostle reading. Finally I did not find it with anybody except Khuzaima Al-Ansari, whose witness was considered by Allah's Apostle equal to the witness of two men. And that Verse was:

'Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah.'

 

Sunan Abu Dawud

Book 018, Hadith Number 3600.
------------------------------
Chapter : Not known.

Narated By Uncle of Umarah ibn Khuzaymah : The Prophet (pbuh) bought a horse from a Bedouin. The Prophet (pbuh) took him with him to pay him the price of his horse. The Apostle of Allah (pbuh) walked quickly and the Bedouin walked slowly. The people stopped the Bedouin and began to bargain with him for the horse as and they did not know that the Prophet (pbuh) had bought it.

The Bedouin called the Apostle of Allah (pbuh) saying: If you want this horse, (then buy it), otherwise I shall sell it. The Prophet (pbuh) stopped when he heard the call of the Bedouin, and said: Have I not bought it from you? The Bedouin said: I swear by Allah, I have not sold it to you. The Prophet (pbuh) said: Yes, I have bought it from you. The Bedouin began to say: Bring a witness. Khuzaymah ibn Thabit then said: I bear witness that you have bought it. The Prophet (pbuh) turned to Khuzaymah and said: On what (grounds) do you bear witness?

He said: By considering you trustworthy, Apostle of Allah (pbuh)! The Prophet (pbuh) made the witness of Khuzaymah equivalent to the witness of two people. (declared authentic by Shaykh Albani in Sunan Abu Dawud no. 3607)

 

Conclusion

So as we can clearly see there is no doubt at all regarding the authenticity of these verses. The companions already knew that these verses existed. However, the only issue was that since the caliph was so strict regarding the collection of the Quran, Zayd needed to find the evidence written down and not only memorized. Even after the verses were found with Abi Khuzaymah, the rest of the other companions remembered them and that strengthened the authority of these verses.  This only goes to show how strict and cautious the Muslims were when they collected the Quran. Plus, even if Abi Khuzayma was the only witness, the Prophet (peace be upon him) honored his testimony to amount to two. So perhaps it was for this wisdom and purpose that Abi Khuzayma was the only witness for this verse and therefore Allah had it planned to be this way. This could be a test for us to put our trust in the Prophet (peace be upon him) and accept Abi Khuzayma as the only witness, since his testimony is equal to two.

 

 

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