Revisiting the Collection and Transmission History of the Qur’an


This is a multi lecture series by Dr Shehzad Saleem, Fellow Al-Mawrid, for serious students of the Qur'an. It is based on his fifteen year research in which he has revisited some intriguing areas of the collection and transmission history of the Qur’an. He has attempted to critically evaluate the traditional narratives and accounts and tried to re-construct the history of the Qur’an on the basis of established historical sources.

This multi lecture series comprises 20 topics and each topic is divided into various episodes. These lectures will be periodically released episode-wise.
Researched and presented by:

Dr Shehzad SaleemFellow


Critical Analysis of the Narrative on Abu Bakr’s Collection

Ep 01
It is recorded in a narrative in Bukhari that after the death of the Prophet Muhammad (sws), Abu Bakr compiled the Qur’an between two covers. In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem critically evaluates the text of this narrative and enumerates the questions that arise on it.
Ep 02
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem completes the critical evaluation of the text of the narrative begun in the previous episode.
Ep 03
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem begins the critical evaluation of the chain of narration of the narrative discussed in episode 1.
Ep 04
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem completes the critical evaluation of the chain of narration of the narrative begun in the previous episode.
Ep 05
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem critically analyzes the text and chain of narration of some independent narratives that depict a collection methodology.
Ep 06
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem presents the text and translation of some different narratives that also depict a first collection.
Ep 07
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem critically evaluates the text of the narratives that depict a first collection presented in the previous episode.
Ep 08
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem critically evaluates the chains of narration of the narratives presented in the episode 6
Ep 09
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem summarizes the overall critique on the narratives discussed under topic 3 and also presents his conclusion.

Critical Analysis of the Narrative on Uthman’s Collection

Ep 01
It is recorded in a narrative in Bukhari that differences arose in reading the Qur’an in the times of the caliph of ‘Uthman (rta) after which he set about to rectify the situation. In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem begins critically analyzing the questions that arise on the text of the narrative.
Ep 02
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem continues with the analysis of the questions arising on the text of the narrative begun in the previous episode.
Ep 03
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem continues with the analysis of the questions arising on the text of the narrative begun in episode 1.
Ep 04
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem continues with the analysis of the questions arising on the text of the narrative begun in episode 1.
Ep 05
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem continues with the analysis of the questions arising on the text of the narrative begun in episode 1.
Ep 06
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem presents narratives that depict alternative accounts of ‘Uthman’s Collection.
Ep 07
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem analyzes the alternative accounts presented in episode 6.
Ep 08
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem analyzes chains of narration of the alternative accounts presented in episode 6.
Ep 09
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem analyzes chain of narration of the primary narrative on ‘Uthman’s collection.
Ep 10
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem summarizes the overall critique and also presents his conclusion.

Narratives on the Revelation of the Qur’an on Seven Ahruf

Ep 01
Various narratives state that the Qur’an was revealed on Seven Ahruf. Many different interpretations of these narratives have been offered by scholars. In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem presents some…
Ep 02
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem critically evaluates two interpretations of the Seven Ahruf Narrative. They are: “The Seven Ahruf are Seven Types of Qur’anic Verses” and “The ‘Seven’ in…
Ep 03
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem critically evaluates the fourth interpretation of the Seven Ahruf Narrative, viz. “The Seven Ahruf refer to Seven Dialects of Arabic.”
Ep 04
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem critically evaluates the fifth interpretation of the Seven Ahruf Narrative, viz. “The Seven Ahruf refer to Seven Types of Differences in Qur’anic Readings.”
Ep 05
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem critically evaluates the sixth interpretation of the Seven Ahruf Narrative, viz. “The Seven Ah@ruf refer to Synonyms of a Qur’anic Word.”
Ep 06
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem critically evaluates the seventh interpretation of the Seven Ahruf Narrative, viz. “The Seven Ahruf refer to Seven Recitals," He then presents and critically analyzes…
Ep 07
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem begins critically evaluating the chains of narration of the Seven Ahruf narrative reported by various companions. He begins by discussing the variants ascribed to…
Ep 08
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem begins critically evaluating the chain of narration of the Seven Ahruf narrative ascribed to Ubayy ibn Ka'b (rta)
Ep 09
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem completes his critical analysis of the chain of narration of the Seven Ahruf narrative ascribed to Ubayy ibn Ka'b (rta), and then goes on…
Ep 10
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem critically evaluates the chains of narration of the Seven Ahruf narrative ascribed to Abu Hurayrah (rta), Hudhayfah ibn Yaman (rta), Abu Sa'id al-Khudri (rta),…
Ep 11
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem critically evaluates the chains of the Seven Ahruf narrative ascribed in its mawquf form to Ubayy ibn Ka'b (rta), 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud (rta), Mu'adh…
Ep 12
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem critically evaluates the Shiite view on the Seven Ahruf narrative. He then enumerates some secondary views on the interpretation of the Seven Ahruf narrative.

Narratives on the Isnads of the Seven Canonical Readings

Ep 01
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem begins critically analyzing the chains of narration of the seven canonical readings after delineating his research methodology in this regard. An analysis of the…
Ep 02
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem continues with his critical evaluation of the chain of narration of Nafi ibn Abi Nu'aym's reading.
Ep 03
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem completes his critical evaluation of the chain of narration of Nafi ibn Abi Nu'aym's reading.
Ep 04
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem critically evaluates the chain of narration of 'Abdullah ibn Kathir's reading.
Ep 05
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem critically evaluates the chain of narration of 'Asim ibn Abi al-Najud's reading.
Ep 06
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem begins critically evaluating the chain of narration of Hamzah ibn Habib al-Zayyat's reading.
Ep 07
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem completes his critical evaluation of the chain of narration of Hamzah ibn Habib al-Zayyat's reading.
Ep 08
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem critically evaluates the chain of narration of 'Ali ibn Hamza al-Kisa'i's reading.
Ep 09
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem critically evaluates the chain of narration of Abu 'Amr ibn al-'Ula's reading.
Ep 10
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem begins critically evaluating the chain of narration of 'Abdullah ibn 'Amir's reading.
Ep 11
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem continues with his critical evaluation of the chain of narration of 'Abdullah ibn 'Amir's reading.
Ep 12
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem continues further with his critical evaluation of the chain of narration of 'Abdullah ibn 'Amir's reading.
Ep 13
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem completes his critical evaluation of the chain of narration of 'Abdullah ibn 'Amir reading
Ep 14
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem summarizes the previous episodes and begins presenting the views of some authorities on the ahaad nature of the seven canonical readings
Ep 15
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem presents the views of some more authorities on the ahaad nature of the seven canonical readings
Ep 16
In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem presents more evidence on the ahaad nature of the seven canonical readings

Narratives on Mistakes (Lahn) in the Qur’an - Episode 01

A narrative informs us that when the masahif copied in the time of ‘Uthman (rta) were presented before him, he said that they contain mistakes (lahn) and that these errors need not be corrected because the Arabs would correct them by their tongues. A narrative attributed to ‘Ai’shah (rta) describes certain scribal errors in the Qur’an. Two more narratives attributed to two followers (tabi‘un): Sa‘id ibn Jubayr and Aban ibn ‘Uthman respectively give similar examples of these scribal errors. In this episode, Dr Shehzad Saleem begins analyzing the questions that arise on the texts and chains of narration of these narratives.