Abdullah bin Masood was one of those Sahaba of Holy Prophet (asws) who had a lot of knowledge about Quran, to the extent that We find that Holy Prophet (asws) ordered to take Quran from him. Bukhari mentioned in his Sahih

حدثنا حفص بن عمر حدثنا شعبة عن عمرو عن إبراهيم عن مسروق ذكر عبد الله بن عمرو عبد الله بن مسعود فقال لا أزال أحبه سمعت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول خذوا القرآن من أربعة من عبد الله بن مسعود وسالم ومعاذ بن جبل وأبي بن كعب

Narrated by Masriq

‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr mentioned ‘Abdullah bin Masud and said, “I shall ever love that man, for I heard the Prophet saying, ‘Take (learn) the Qur’an from four: ‘Abdullah bin Masud, Salim, Mu’adh and Ubai bin Ka’b.’ ” (1)

This narration is also mentioned by Muslim in his Sahih (2)

We also find him saying

(2463) حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو كُرَيْبٍ، حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ آدَمَ، حَدَّثَنَا قُطْبَةُ، عَنِ الْأَعْمَشِ، عَنْ مُسْلِمٍ، عَنْ مَسْرُوقٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللهِ، قَالَ: «وَالَّذِي لَا إِلَهَ غَيْرُهُ مَا مِنْ كِتَابِ اللهِ سُورَةٌ إِلَّا أَنَا أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ نَزَلَتْ، وَمَا مِنْ آيَةٍ إِلَّا أَنَا أَعْلَمُ فِيمَا أُنْزِلَتْ، وَلَوْ أَعْلَمُ أَحَدًا هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِكِتَابِ اللهِ مِنِّي، تَبْلُغُهُ الْإِبِلُ، لَرَكِبْتُ إِلَيْهِ

Abdullah reported: By Him besides Whom there is none worthy of worship (in truth), there is no chapter in the Book of Allaah about which I do not know as to where it was revealed and there is no verse about which I do not know in what context it was revealed, and if I were to know of one having a better understanding of the Book of Allaah than I (and I could reach him) on the back of the mule, I would have definitely gone to him on camel’s back. (3)

These authentic narrations from books of Ahlusunnah, speak volumes for his Knowledge about Quran

However, unfortunately we find that when it was decided to collect Quran, he was not included, rather responsibility was given to Zaid bin Thabit and others, as it is proven in Sahih Bukhari

Let us see these narrations.

Volume 6, Book 61, Number 511 :

Narrated by Zaid bin Thabit

Abu Bakr sent for me and said, “You used to write the Divine Revelations for Allah’s Apostle : So you should search for (the Qur’an and collect) it.” I started searching for the Qur’an………….(4)

And we also find for Uthman

Volume 6, Book 61, Number 510 :

Narrated by Anas bin Malik

Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman came to Uthman at the time when the people of Sham and the people of Iraq were Waging war to conquer Arminya and Adharbijan. Hudhaifa was afraid of their (the people of Sham and Iraq) differences in the recitation of the Qur’an, so he said to ‘Uthman, “O chief of the Believers! Save this nation before they differ about the Book (Quran) as Jews and the Christians did before.” So ‘Uthman sent a message to Hafsa saying, “Send us the manuscripts of the Qur’an so that we may compile the Qur’anic materials in perfect copies and return the manuscripts to you.” Hafsa sent it to ‘Uthman. ‘Uthman then ordered Zaid bin Thabit, ‘Abdullah bin AzZubair, Said bin Al-As and ‘AbdurRahman bin Harith bin Hisham to rewrite the manuscripts in perfect copies ……………………… (5)

So, we see that He asked Hafsa to give the copy of Quran and gave responsibility to four people, including Zaid. But as regards to Ibn Masood, we do not find his name at all.

But that was not the end of story, rather we find that Ibn Masood criticised Zaid bin Thabit indirectly. He hinted to the fact while he had said

and if I were to know of one having a better understanding of the Book of Allaah than I (and I could reach him) on the back of the mule, I would have definitely gone to him on camel’s back.

And he targetted him directly by saying

3906 – حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي ثنا عفان ثنا عبد الواحد ثنا سليمان الأعمش عن شقيق بن سلمة قال خطبنا عبد الله بن مسعود فقال : لقد أخذت من في رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بضعا وسبعين سورة وزيد بن ثابت غلام له ذؤابتان يلعب مع الغلمان

Ibn Masood said that I took from Holy Prophet asws 70 Surahs, and Zaid was a young having forlocks and playing with Youngsters (6)

Not only this, He also told his friends to hide their copies of Quran. We find in Sahih Muslim

(2462) حَدَّثَنَا إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الْحَنْظَلِيُّ، أَخْبَرَنَا عَبْدَةُ بْنُ سُلَيْمَانَ، حَدَّثَنَا الْأَعْمَشُ، عَنْ شَقِيقٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللهِ، أَنَّهُ قَالَ: {وَمَنْ يَغْلُلْ يَأْتِ بِمَا غَلَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ} [آل عمران: 161] ثُمَّ قَالَ: عَلَى قِرَاءَةِ مَنْ تَأْمُرُونِي أَنْ أَقْرَأَ؟ فَلَقَدْ «قَرَأْتُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِضْعًا وَسَبْعِينَ سُورَةً، وَلَقَدْ عَلِمَ أَصْحَابُ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، أَنِّي أَعْلَمُهُمْ بِكِتَابِ اللهِ، وَلَوْ أَعْلَمُ أَنَّ أَحَدًا أَعْلَمُ مِنِّي لَرَحَلْتُ إِلَيْهِ» قَالَ شَقِيقٌ: فَجَلَسْتُ فِي حَلَقِ أَصْحَابِ مُحَمَّدٍ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فَمَا سَمِعْتُ أَحَدًا يَرُدُّ ذَلِكَ عَلَيْهِ، وَلَا يَعِيبُهُ

‘Abdullah (b. Mas’ud) reported that he (said to his companions to conceal their copies of the Qur’an) and further said: He who conceals anything he shall have to bring that which he had concealed on the Day of judgment, and then said: After whose mode of recitation you command me to recite? I in fact recited before AIlah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) more than seventy chapters of the Qur’an and the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) know it that I have better understanding of the Book of Allaah (than they do), and if I were to know that someone had better understanding than I, I would have gone to him. Shaqiq said: I sat in the company of the Companions of Mubkmmad (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) but I did not hear anyone having rejected that (that is, his recitation) or finding fault with it. (7)

In explanation of this, Sheikh Shoaib mentioned opinion of Imam Nauwi

وقال النووي 5 / 325 في ” شرح مسلم “: معناه أن ابن مسعود كان مصحفه يخالف مصحف الجماعة.

وكانت مصاحف أصحابه كمصحفه، فأنكر عليه الناس وأمروه بترك مصحفه، وبموافقة مصحف الجمهور.

وطلبوا مصحفه أن يحرقوه كما فعلوا بغيره، فامتنع، وقال لاصحابه: غلوا مصاحفكم أي: اكتموها.

(ومن يغلل يأت بما غل يوم القيامة) يعني: فإذا غللتموها جئتم بها يوم القيامة وكفى لكم بذلك شرفا.

ثم قال على سبيل الانكار: من هو الذي تأمرونني أن آخذ بقراءته، وأترك مصحفي، الذي أخذته من في رسول الله، صلى الله عليه وسلم ؟.

Nauwi said in Sharah Muslim, 5/325: It means that Ibn Masood’s copy was different that that of other group. And copies of his companions was like that of him. SO people rejected that and ordered him to leave that, and agree to that of People. So people called for his copy so that they can burn it like that of others. But he rejected and told his friends to hide their copy. The word ( غلوا) is in meaning of hiding. And (What you hide, you will come with that on day of Qayamat), it means that What you hide, you will bring that on day of Qayamat, and this is sufficient for your honor.
Then he gave reason for his rejection: Who is there to order me to take his recitation, and leave my copy, which I have taken from Prophet asws? 

We also find an authentic narration in Sair Aalaam Nabala

أخبرنا ابن علان وغيره كتابة أن حنبل بن عبد الله أخبرهم قال: أنبأنا ابن الحصين، حدثنا ابن المذهب، أنبأنا القطيعي، حدثنا عبد الله بن أحمد، حدثني أبي، حدثنا الاسود بن عامر، أنبأنا إسرائيل، عن أبي إسحاق، عن خمير بن مالك، قال: أمر بالمصاحف أن تغير، فقال ابن مسعود: من استطاع منكم أن يغل مصحفه فليغله فإنه من غل شيئا جاء به يوم القيامة.
ثم قال: لقد قرأت من فم رسول الله، صلى الله عليه وسلم، سبعين سورة أفأترك ما أخذت من في رسول
الله، صلى الله عليه وسلم ؟ !

Khamir bin Malik said that it was ordered to change Copies. Ibn Masood said: whosoever has the power to hide it, so he should hide it so that he comes on day of Qayamat with that. He further said: I heard 70 Surah’s from the lips of Holy Prophet asws, so should I leave what I had taken from Prophet asws ? (9)

So, we see that Abdullah bin Masood had a different copy of Quran than others, and he criticised Zaid bin Thabit as well. Also, his copy did not reach us as people tried to burn it, and he himself, told his friends to hide it. Keep in mind that His recitation was the final recitation in view of Ibn Abbas, one of the authorities on tafsir of Quran in view of Ahlusunnah.

We find in authentic report

“Abu Zeban says we asked Ibn Abbas whose recitation is final? That of Abdullah bin Masood or Zaid bin Thabit? We said that of zaid bin thabit? Ibn Abbas said: No, Holy Prophet asws would recite Holy Quran once every year with Jibrail, but in the last year of his death, He recited it twice, and the final Qiraat is that of Abdullah bin Masood”

So would this leads us to the fact that we have missed the copy of Quran which had the final recitation of Prophet (asws) in view of Ahlusunnah and their narrations?



1- Sahih Bukhari, Book Virtues of Quran, Chapter Reciters amongst Companions of Prophet. Translation used is taken from Online version of the book.

2- Sahih Muslim, Book Fadail us Sahaba, Chapter Glory of Abdullah bin Masood and his mother, Narration 2464

3- Same as (2)

4- Taken from Online Translation of Sahih al Bukhari, Book Virtues of Quran

5- Same as (4)

6- Musnad Ahmad, vol 1, page 411. Narration has been termed with Sahih Chain on terms of Shiekhain by Sheikh Shoaib ul Arnawut

تعليق شعيب الأرنؤوط : إسناده صحيح على شرط الشيخين

Chain is Sahih on terms of Sheikhain

Similar narration comes with another chain as well in Sair Aalaam Nabala, 1/472

7- Same as (2)

8- Sair Aalaam Nabala, with research of Sheikh Shoaib, 1/473, footnote no. 1

9- Sair Aalaam Nabala, 1/486-487; with research of Sheikh Shoaib ul Arnawut, and he termed the chain Hasan. Also present in Musnad Ahmad with Takhreej of Sheikh Ahmad Shakir, 4/88, and He termed the chain Sahih.

10- Musnad Ahmad, urdu version, vol 2, page 459; & in Arabic version, 1/362. Sheikh Ahmad Shakir said Sahih chain in his research on Musnad Ahmad, 3/439. Sheikh Shoaib ul Arnawut said

تعليق شعيب الأرنؤوط : إسناده صحيح على شرط الشيخين

Chain is Sahih on terms of Sheikhain

I have previously talked about this Narration in my post, named

final qiraat is that of abdullah bin masood: sahih sanad « slave of Ahlubait’s Blog