"O people, whoever wants to ask about the Qur'an, then let him go to Zayd Ibn Thabit."Zayd was committed to seeking knowledge and was instructed to learn Hebrew and other languages so that the Muslim would be independent in translating correspondences.
- `Umar ibn al-Khattab
Zayd was also one of the scribes of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and would compile the Qur'an from manuscripts in the Prophet's presence. It was for this reason that he was chosen during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, to compile the Qur'an into one manuscript and later during the Caliphate of `Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, to supervise the copying of that manuscript.
Zayd was one of the great scholars of this Ummah and a foremost authority on the Qur'an. From amongst his students was Abdullah ibn Abbas*, may Allah be pleased with him, who followed closely in his footsteps.
Said Ibn Al-Musayyib stated: "I attended the funeral of Zayd Ibn Thabit. After he had been buried, ibn Abbas said, "Oh you people! Whoever wishes to know how knowledge leaves us should know that it is like this that knowledge leaves. I swear by Allah that a great deal of knowledge has just left us today." (Tabraani)
*I will share the life of Abdullah ibn Abbas for a future post insha-Allah.