A Critical Analysis of the Narratives on the Masāhif of Ubayy ibn Ka'b (rta) and
'Abdullāh ibn Mas'ūd (rta)
B. Analysis of the Isnād
Let us now look at the chains of narration of the narratives which refer to Ibn Mas'ūd's mushaf both from al-Fihrist and from al-Itqān.
Isnādaccording to al-Fihrist
قال الفضل بن شاذان: وجدت في مصحف عبد الله بن مسعود تأليف سور القرآن على هذا الترتيب …
Al-Fadl ibn Shādhān said: "I found the arrangement of the Qur'ānic sūrahs in the mushafof Ubayy to be the following…"
Al-Fadl ibn Shādhān, we know, died in 260 AH. Moreover, Ibn Nadīm has not quoted his informant from whom he acquired these words of al-Fadl ibn Shādhān.
Isnādaccording to al-Itqān
قال ابن أشته أيضا وأخبرنا أبو الحسن بن نافع أن أبا جعفر محمد بن عمرو بن موسى حدثهم قال حدثنا محمد بن إسماعيل بن سالم حدثنا علي بن مهران الطائي حدثنا جرير بن عبد الحميد قال تأليف مصحف عبد الله بن مسعود
Jarīr ibn 'Abd al-Hamīd said: "[This is the] arrangement of the mushaf of ibn Mas'ūd …"
Jarīr ibn 'Abd al-Hamīd died in 188 AH at the age of 71. This means that it is for the first time in the second century that this arrangement came to surface.
These reports about the alleged masāhif are not strongly grounded. The text and chain of the narratives have severe flaws in the presence of which the content they reflect cannot be regarded as reliable.