Zayd ibn Thabit

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“You are an intelligent young man and we do not suspect you [of telling lies or forgetfulness].”
Abū Bakr Al-Ṣiddīq (may Allah be pleased with him)(i)

“Whoever wants to ask about the Qur’an, let him go to Zayd.”
ʿUmar ibn Al-Khaṭṭāb (may Allah be pleased with him)

“Today, the scholar of the nation has died.”
Abū Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him)

ZAYD IBN THĀBIT IBN AL-ḌAḤḤĀK IBN ZAYD IBN LŪDHĀN AL-KHAZRAJĪ AL-ANṢĀRĪ (may Allah be pleased with him) was a Companion of the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and his صلى الله عليه وسلم (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) scribe. He memorized the whole Qur’an and played a very important role in the compilation of the Qur’an into one manuscript. He was given the epithet of ‘scholar of the nation’.

The site of the Battle of the Trench on the outskirts of Madinah.
The Battle of the Trench was the first battle that Zayd partook in

Zayd was born in Yathrib (later renamed Madīnah) into the Khazraj tribe prior to the emigration of the Prophet of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). He was still a prepubescent boy when the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) emigrated. He was disappointed to be refused enlistment into the Muslim army due to his age, and his first experience as part of the Muslim army was not till the Battle of the Trench.

Zayd’s excellent memory and quick learning of the Qur’an and other languages led to him being chosen by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as one of his personal scribes. He was responsible for writing letters as dictated from the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) to Arabs and non-Arabs (including the Jews)(ii), and for writing down Qur’anic verses as they were revealed to the Chosen Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). He was also given the responsibility of arranging and ordering portions of the Qur’an under the supervision of the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).

The Qur'an, which was copied from the original manuscript and spread throughout the Muslim world on the instructions of the Rightly Guided Caliph Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him)
The original Qur'an was copied by a committee, which included Zayd

By the time the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) passed away, Zayd was regarded as an authority on the meanings, compilation, and circumstances behind the revelation of the verses of the Noble Qur’an. He was chosen by the first ‘Rightly-Guided’ Caliph Abū Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) to compile the Qur’an into one manuscript(iii). He was also part of the committee that copied this manuscript for distribution throughout the Muslim world during the Caliphate of ʿUthmān ibn ʿAffān (may Allah be pleased with him)(iv).

Zayd was highly praised by his contemporaries for his judgment, beautiful recitation of the Qur’an, and scholarship in the discipline of Islamic jurisprudence (especially on Inheritance Law and obligatory duties(v)). Those Companions who narrated from him included Abū Hurayrah, Anas ibn Mālik, Ibn ʿAbbās and Ibn ʿUmar (may Allah be pleased with them all). Those Successors who narrated from him included Saʿid ibn Al-Musayyib, Sulaymān ibn Zayd (his son), and Sulaymān ibn Yasār (may Allah show compassion towards them all). He died in Madīnah in circa 45 AH.


His Sayings

“We used to compile the Qur’an from small manuscripts in the presence of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).”

“By Allah, if I had been ordered to shift one of the mountains from its place, that would have not been harder for me than compiling the Qur’an.”(vi)

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