The Prophet Compiled the Qur'an
Therefore, the Qur'an that we have possession of today with all its structure and compilation, the numbering of its verses, and the structure of its chapters and sections is the very same Qur'an that the Prophet Muhammad (S) gathered, collated, compiled and structured for Muslims during his life at the instigation of Allah. It has not been subject to any change or corruption, substitution or modification, addition or subtraction.
Support for this comes from a report in the exegesis of 'Ali Ibn Ibrahim16 from Imam al-Saadiq (a)17 that the Messenger of Allah (S) ordered 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (a) to collect the Qur'an saying:
'Oh 'Ali. The Qur'an is behind my bed, in scrolls, silk and papers. Take it and collate it and do not lose it as the Jews have lost the Torah.' Thereupon Imam 'Ali (a) took it and gathered it in a yellow garment and sealed it up.18
This report indicates that the Prophet (S) ordered that the Qur'an be collected and that Imam 'Ali (a) was the one who collected it on the direct orders of the Prophet (S) during his lifetime.
Similarly, all Shi'a jurists agree on this point. In the Qur'anic exegesis Majma' al-Bayan, al-Sayyid al-Murtada is quoted as saying that the Qur'an was compiled during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (S) in the form that we are in possession of today. The evidence for this is that the Qur'an was studied and learnt by heart at that time as a whole so that a group of companions were chosen to memorise it. It was also shown to the Prophet (S) and recited in front of him. A group of the companions like 'Abdullah ibn Mas'oud and Ubayy ibn Ka'b and others recited the Qur'an from beginning to end in front of the Prophet (S) a number of times all of which indicates that it was in a gathered and structured form and not disparate and scattered. The same was said by Sheikh al-Mufid, Sheikh al-Sadouq and other Shi'a
16 Tafsir al-Qumi: vol.2, p.451, The People (114). 17 Alayh-es-Salam meaning peace be upon him. This is always stated after the mention of the name of one the infallible Imams out of respect for the Imam (a). 18 Seas of Lights: vol.89, p.48, Beirut edition.
scholars before the time of al-Murtada, and others after him like al- Tusi and the great Qur'anic exegete al-Tabari who died in 548 A.H. as well as all of our other great scholars up to the present day.
Zaid ibn Thabit is reported as having said: 'We used to collect the fragments of the verses of the Qur'an and put them in their appropriate places at the instruction of the Messenger of Allah (S). Despite this, the verses were still fragmented so the Prophet (S) ordered 'Ali (a) to gather them in one place and warned us against losing them.'
It is reported that al-Sha'bi said: 'The Qur'an was collected during the time of the Prophet of Allah (S) by six men of the Ansar.'
In al-Sirat al-Mustaqim, Anas says: 'Four men collected the Qur'an during the life of the Prophet (S) those being my father, Mu'adh, Zaid (Ibn Thabit), and Abu Zaid.'19
Qatada is reported as having said: 'I asked Anas about who compiled the Qur'an during the lifetime of the prophet (S). He said Four men of the Ansar, then mentioned their names.'
Also related from Anas: 'The Prophet (S) died, four men having collected the Qur'an: Abu Darda', Mu'adh ibn Jabal, Zaid ibn Thabit, and Abu Zaid.'20
Finally from 'Ali ibn Ribah: 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (a) collected the Qur'an along with Ubayy ibn Ka'b during the lifetime of the Prophet (S).'
19 Al-Sirat al-Mustaqim: vol.3, p.38. 20 Seas of Lights: vol.92, p.77.