Ulum al Qur'an
CONTENTS ONLINE LIBRARY
The Mushaf of Ubay bin Ka'b (d. 29 H/649)
He wrote a mushaf, in which two 'additional suras and another 'additional aya' were
reportedly found. [Itqan, I, p.
65; Ibn Abi Dawud, masahif, pp. 18S1; also Noldeke, T. et al.: Ceschichte des Qorans,
Leipzig, 1909-38 (abbr. as GdQ), 11, pp. 33-8. The first so called sura entitled al-khal'
(separation), translates as follows: 'O Allah, we seek your help and ask your forgiveness,
and we praise you and we do not disbelieve in you.
We separate from and leave who sins against you.' The second so-called sura, entitled al-hafd (haste) translates as follows: 'O Allah, we worship You and to You we pray and prostrate and to You we run and hasten to serve You. We hope for Your mercy and we fear Your punishment. Your punishment will certainly reach the disbelievers.' Obviously these two pieces constitute so-called 'qunut', i.e. supplications which the Prophet sometimes said in the morning prayer or witr prayer after recitation of suras from the Qur'an. They are in fact identical to some parts of qunut reported in the collections of hadith. See: Nawawi, al-adhkar, Cairo, 1955, pp. 57-8.
As to the single additional so-called aya, its translation is as follows: 'If the son of Adam was given a valley full of riches, he would wish a second one, and if he was given two valleys full of riches, he would surely ask for a third one. Nothing will fill the belly of the son of Adam except dust, and Allah is forgiving to him who is repentant. '
Again this text is known to be a hadith from the Prophet. See Bukhari, VIII, No. 444-47. According to Ibn 'Abbas (No. 445) and 'Ubay (No. 446) this text was at times thought to be part of the Qur'an. However Ubay himself clarifies that after sura 102: I had been revealed, they (i.e. the sahaba) did not consider the above to be part of the Qur'an. See Bukhari, VIII, No. 446. This explanation of Ubay also makes it very clear that the Companions did not differ at all about what was part of the Qur'an and what was not part of the Qur'an. when the revelation had ceased. and if e.g. this hadith occurred in the mushaf of Ubay, it was a mushaf for his own personal use, in other words, his private notebook, where he did not always distinguish between Qur'anic material and hadith, since it was not meant for general use and he himself knew well what to make of his own notes. The same is true of the other copies of the Qur'an, which some of the Companions had for their own personal use. Also those who transmitted to us the reports about these copies of the Qur'an of the Companions have only narrated to us the various differences which occurred there according to reports that reached them (e.g. the hadith in Bukhari, VIII, No. 446 that Ubay at some early stage held this sentence to be part of the Qur'an). However the actual manuscripts of these copies of the Qur'an of the Companions have not come down to us, since all of them agreed on the correctness and validity of the copies which 'Uthman had arranged to be written and distributed for general use. Hence their own personal notebooks became obsolete and were destroyed.]
The order of the suras is again different from 'Uthman as well as Ibn Masud.
The following is the order of suras in the copy attributed to Ubay b. Ka'b: [Fihrist, I, pp. 58-60.]
1, 2, 4, 3, 6, 7, 5, 10, 8, 9, 11, 19, 26, 22, 12, 18, 16, 33, 17, 39, 45, 20, 21, 24, 23, 40, 13, 28, 27, 37, 38, 36, 15, 42, 30, 43, 41, 14, 35, 48, 47, 57, 52, 25, 32, 71, 46, 50, 55, 56, 72, 53, 68, 69, 59, 60, 77, 78, 76, 75, 81, 79, 80, 83, 84, 95, 96, 49, 63, 62, 66, 89, 67, 92, 82, 91, 85, 86, 87, 88, 74?, 98?, 61, 93, 94, 101, 102, 65?, 104, 99, 100, 105, ?, 108, 97, 109, 110, 111, 106, 112, 113, 114.
Again, as in the case of Ibn Mas'ud above this list is incomplete and does not contain all 114 suras of the Qur'an.
'Ubay has a total of 93 variants in Sura al-baqara. [Again taken as example only to illustrate the point.] Very often, his readings are similar to those of Ibn Mas'ud. For example, he reads al-baqara in 2:70 as al-baqira. So does Ibn Mas'ud.