THE WRITING OF WAHEE
Besides having the Qur'aan committed to memory, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) made special arrangements to have the Qur'aan committed to writing as well. Zayd Ibne Thaabit (radhiyallahu anhu) says: "I used to write down the words of wahee for him. When wahee came to him he felt burning with heat and the drops of perspiration would start rolling down on his body like pearls. When this state would go away from him, I would present myself before him with shoulder-bone or a piece (of something else). He would go on dictating and I would go on writing. When I would be finished with writing, the shear weight of copying the Qur'aan would give me the feeling that my leg is going to break and that I will never be able to walk. In any case, when I would be finished with writing, he would say: 'Read.' I would read it back to him if there was a shortcoming, he would have it corrected and then let it be known to people.
(Majma'uz Zawaa'id with reference to Tabraani)
Besides Zayd Ibne Thaabit (radhiyallahu anhu), there were many other Companions who carried out the duty of committing the wahee to writing. Some of those who can be specially mentioned, in addition to the four rightly guided Khulafaa, are Ubayi Ibne Ka'b, Zubayr Ibne Awwaam, Mu'aawiyah, Mugheerah Ibne Shu'bah, Khaalid Ibne Waleed, Thaabit Ibne Qays, Abaan Ibne Sa'eed and others radhiyallahu anhum.
Uthmaan(radhiyallahu anhu) says that it was the blessed practice of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) that, soon after the revelation of a certain portion of the Qur'aan, he would pointedly instruct the scribe of the wahee to write it in such Soorah after such and such a verse.
(Fat'hul Baari, Zaadul Ma'aad)
Since paper was not available in Arabia during those days, therefore, these Qur'aanic verses were mostly written on stone slabs, parchments, date branches, bamboo units, tree leaves and animal bones. However, at times, paper pieces have also been used.
Thus, there existed, during the time of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), a copy of the Noble Qur'aan which he had arranged to be committed to writing under his supervision. Although, it was not there as a formally prepared book, but it certainly was there in the form of various units of available writing materials. Along with it, it was also the practice of some revered Companions that they would make copies of the Qur'aanic verses and keep them for personal recollection. This practice was common since the very early period of Islaam. Accordingly, much before Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) embraced Islaam, his sister and brother-in-law had in their possession verses of the Qur'aan which they had written and kept in a book form.
(Seerah Ibne Hishaam)
IN THE PERIOD OF ABOO BAKR (radhiyallahu anhu)