The Quran – Sciences 57 – Subclassifications Of Periods
Channel: Jamal Badawi
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Assalamualaikum and welcome to Islam and focus. This is the 57th in the series sources of Islam and we'll continue with our topic Mecca and Medina and Revelation. I'm your host a shot noonish and here with me is Dr. Jamal Vitaly from St. Mary's University. As I conducted your moniker.
Dr. Jamal, could you please have a little summary of last week's progress? Okay. Last week, we continued in the same topic of distinction how to distinguish between revelation in Mecca, the first period and Medina
and more specifically, we continued with the discussion of the approach used by some orientalists in either discounting authentic reports, and try to speculate or on the other extreme, taking some reports which are not authentic, and come up with conclusions as to which surah or chapter was elevated in Mecca or in Medina.
And we indicated that the proper methodology really, is to use authentic and scrutinized reports first, rather than depending on just mere judgment. And we said that this approach was by Muslim scholars does not mean the exclusion of judgment, they did use analysis and judgment left in conjunction with the authentic reports not in lieu of this report. We also gave a few examples
as to why some of the Muslim scholars themselves might have differed in even arriving at this and some of their conclusions. And we said that this might perhaps be reconcilable. If we realized as indicated in a previous program, that the criteria for dividing McKeon madonie was not always the same, sometimes divide division by place or time. So there's some various way of looking at it also. And we give also Finally, a few examples about the broad and main characteristics, which seemed to distinguish the revelation in Mecca, versus the one that was revealed in the other periods in Medina.
Now that you've given us a rather broad classification, in terms of the revelations coming in Mecca, or Medina, has there been any attempt to sub classify this any further? Yes, they have. And perhaps one of the best and most widely accepted subdivision is the one suggested by a great scholar by the name of a nicer body, where he took each of the periods, the metcons, and the Medina. And then he says sub divided each of them into early, middle, and late. So that comes with a total of six subdivisions for both periods. And through this kind of subdivision, it was possible to try and study some of the various aspects of the gradualness
of the revelation. You know, in this to measure periods, I was quite impressed indeed, with some of the analysis and observations made by Dr. Sophy assala, in his book
published in Arabic under Fiamma Quran, in which he tried to somehow focus on the gist of the revelations in each of these sub periods, if you will.
Maybe you can give us a summary of how some of these remarks and it might be appropriate to begin with early meccan period. Okay, we tried to do that rather briefly, because in fact the spends about 50 pages.
So we tried to make it somehow reasonable in terms of proper coverage, but still a reasonable time.
But he says that most historians agree that there were basically nine chapters in the Quran that are easily identifiable as early metcons revelation that's the first period of revelation given to Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
And he makes a brief comment on each For example, this is the first one that
began to be revealed was 96 chapter 96. And they emphasis there, of course, was the description of the first or the scene of first revelation given to Prophet Muhammad when the engine came to him to him first, indicating how this is a very important event, perhaps the most significant event in human history in terms of a new birth, that connect the human directly with the with the Creator, three revelation.
It speaks about how Allah the creator taught the human being, the secrets of existence, the use of the 10,
even though the human is created, virtually from nothing.
And chapter 74 will notice that that chapter, by the way, was revealed after a certain period of succession. In other words, the first revelation came, there was a period where there was no revelation. Some say that it was as long as three years even, which is interesting, because that proves that the Prophet did not also things on his own, that he waited until revelation actually came to him. That chapter 74 seem to have heralded a new era or stage in the call of people to the Creator. The first one was beginning of Revelation, but the emphasis and 74 on going out and calling or inviting people to follow the path of Allah.
Chapter 81 describes the scenes of the Day of Judgment, the reality of the revelation that it is not the composition or authorship of Prophet Muhammad, the notion of punishments and rewards.
In 87, emphasis is on the glorification of Allah, the creator, how he promised to preserve the revelation of God and to make it easy for the prophet to communicate it to the rest of humanity, emphasis on the unity of religion, that's the unity of revelation given to all prophets throughout history.
Chapter 92 Next, a contrast between the pursuits of the believers and the wicked and just compare both
90 for a very short one, gifts sorts of
glad tidings to Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, who was suffering from rejection and persecution, that ultimately victory will be for the through us and that Allah will make it easier for him to communicate the message, and that he will raise his status in this life and in the Hereafter.
one or two, the previous one was sorry that that was 94 100
warns the unbelievers of their destiny and the responsibility for the deeds, one or two, continuous more or less on the same topic, indicating that the reason why people are turning away from the path of truth and taking life as just sport
is the fact that people are competing with each other,
to acquire more property or to have more children, materialistic pursuits.
Chapter 53 explains the nature of Revelation, the role of the engine of Revelation, in general, Gabrielle, and again, emphasizes punishment and reward. You might have noticed by now already, that while each surah deals with one particular emphasis or aspect, but if you take this period of early revelation in Mecca, they have some common characteristics. It talks about the Creator, his powers, it talks about the creation of the human, it talks about revelation, the Hereafter, the responsibility for our lives, and also the assurances to Prophet Mohammed who was suffering a great deal during this period, that he should have patience and that victory will ultimately be for the
for the truth.
Well, that's a very good summary of the early meccan period. Maybe we'll move one step ahead and get to the millisecond period. Okay, in the middle period, also, just to give examples of some of the chapters, which has been commonly accepted as falling. Within this, we find,
excuse me first in chapter 80.
It is with the famous incident, I think we described that in a previous program with the blind poor man who came to ask Prophet Mohammed some questions while he was talking to the nobility of Polish inviting them to the truth. The gist of the first part of that chapter really is to emphasize the new values that Islam came to inculcate that one should not just look at power or wealth, even for good intention or to invite people to the truth but to pay as much attention if not more, even to any simple person was really
sincere in his attitude. It describes also how life is very trivial. And, after all, very passing life, Chapter 95 a team describes the nature of the human, his innate nature, and how Allah created the human in the best possible fashion, but it is the human, sometimes who divert and deviate from that basic, pure nature, and invite people through faith and good deeds, to really get back to their true pure nature.
And 101 we find the very strong description of the Day of Judgment, and a sort of warning really, that nobody would escape that responsibility and accountability for the deeds and the death is not the end of the line.
Chapter 75 piano describes again, the destiny
of the human and the indicating that the reason for rejection of the truth is that some people just want to follow their own whims, and desires. 77 describes both the scenes in this life and in the Hereafter, in a very strong and powerful,
you know, manners that really shakes the reader, reminding those who rejected through that those before them, who did the same thing, were destroyed. And as such, invite them to correct themselves. And chapter 90, the emphasis is on showing that human life on Earth here is a life of, to some degree suffering or struggling, and that people struggle in any case, but whether they struggled in the right direction, or the wrong directions and other things. And that many times the human being in this process of struggling, might forget
his creator and become too
arrogant with his own power and abilities. forgetting that it was Allah will give him or harsh called this capabilities, and as such, invite people at the end to remove any barriers towards attaining Felicity in the Hereafter, like freeing those in bondage or feeding those who are in need.
Chapter 15 and gives a very strong warning
to the unbelievers, of their destiny. It describes the signs of lost power, and existence, and heavens and earth, destruction of those rejecters of the source in the past. And as such, it's likely to awaken the natural human inclination toward goodness by reminding people and try to exhort them to think about the creation of Allah to reflect on the boundaries that he has provided for humankind.
Like the earlier periods, the earlier mechanism, this middle period also, you might notice carry also the same broad characteristics of speaking about Allah, the universe, the human the destiny,
however, it is comparatively little longer. In other words, the chapters or sutras are comparatively longer than the earlier meccan period, which was composed of very short chapters, and even the verses were quite short. And that serves as a bridge in terms of length
between the mid middle period and the later meccan. Okay.
Now let's turn to the third and last meccan period, what issues are emphasized here? Okay.
I would have to say first that, and the answer to that question, I'm combining two things. One, are some of the comments made by Dr. Sophia sada with respect specifically to the first four chapters, but in addition to that, I just tried to do a little bit of research on some other
chapters are short as that hole also in this letter meccan periods just to complete the picture a little bit, but starting first with the
chapter 37 suffered
as indicated in the previous question, for example, the chapters are considerably longer in this lesson.
And that chapter 37 for example, is composed of 182 verses, some of the previous ones in early Mexican period, were composed only of three verses for example, or something like that.
The emphasis in that chapter is on the inculcating the belief and faith in Allah in the hearts of people.
The emphasis on monotheism,
the resurrection, the day of judgment, the rejection of the Prophet, and reminding the unbelievers that there were other people also before them who rejected their prophets, and that was easily discernible through the stories of Prophet Moses, India's Prophet, Yunus, Prophet north, and so on. But the story that seemed to be emphasized quite strongly in the chapter 37, is the sacrifice of Prophet Abraham, when he was willing to offer his own son, his first and only son at that time Ishmael,
following the instructions of Allah.
Chapter 18, is a very interesting one, known as that guy for the kids.
And almost two thirds of the chapters, his story, or stories, was great emphasis on the people of the cave, sometimes known as the seven slippers.
And in that chapters, we find the approach of the Quran towards stories. It's not just a book of history or telling stories, but the idea of trying to make the story itself subject to the religious purpose to the spiritual lesson that has to be learned from the stories rather than just, you know, going through the events themselves. And that's quite obvious for anyone who reads that sort of to build this faith
in Allah. It also describes the encounter between Prophet Moses peace be upon him and another righteous person who used to live as many historians believe in North Africa.
And to show that even a great prophet like Moses sometimes could not understand some of the reasoning behind certain things that happens, the story of Sankara mean,
some people think mistakenly that this is Alexander the Great it's not but because it describes someone who is really believe a strong believer in God.
Chapter 14, known as Abraham, Abraham,
continues with the same theme of the story of the prophets. But this time, more emphasis is given to the story of Prophet Abraham, with his people, and indicating that the call of all prophets was basically the same that revelation given to all prophets was essentially the same, because it all came from the same source from God Himself, indicating that those prophets are human beings. In addition, the chapter that's 14 touches also on some cosmic things, some of the secrets in creation, creation of water fluids, the sun, the moon, the certain aspects of the cosmology.
And the basic thing, again, is not to repeat these stories, but rather to exhort the humans to reflect and not to close their eyes on what is around them in the universe.
That as far as Doctor as far left went, I just tried to examine for more short chapters that deal with the same kind of period, the later meccan period.
Chapter 32, for example,
emphasizes that the Quran is not forged is not something that the Prophet just made and put together, that it is divine revelation. It describes the creation of Allah, like many other chapters before creation of heavens, earth, the humans, the destiny of all humans and their accountability, the punishments and rewards. There's reference there to the mission mission of prophets, Moses, and it ends reminding the unbelievers that they could be destroyed as the people before them were, and commanding the prophets that if they insist, on rejection, that he should just let them alone.
Chapter 43 is also the main topic of the Quran. And the wisdom contained in the Word of Allah. The Quran
describes the attitude of rejecters of the store the prophets, creation of Allah, responding to the blasphemy that some unbelievers before Islam used to say that the angels are the daughters of Allah. And the Quran replies to them and say why you people hold the female sex in contempt, then you still believe that God has daughters and you have sons, just using their own logic, and indicating that the reason why they reject the truth is simply their insistence on imitating and emulating what they inherited from their, their parents or their communities, whether it was right or wrong, and also to be let in the profit and say how come Allah chose him to be a prophet? Why not
The big chiefs that were in the powerful ones rather than a simple man like this,
replying to them that it's not their decision, it's not up to them, to tell Allah who to choose as his prophet, and then ending by threatening them with punishment, inviting the prophet to uphold the truth and the straight path. In the suit also fantasy we find touching on the story of Prophet Moses
comes back to Prophet Jesus peace be upon him, and reply to the attitude of the pagan Arabs who used to say that those idols are better than a Prophet Jesus peace be upon him and the Quran responds to this and correct their statements, and indicate that he was a sincere and faithful servant, and messenger of Allah sent to the children of Israel, and how sects after him have differed among themselves, giving tithing, glad tiding for those who believe, and again, a stretch for those who reject the truth. In chapter 44. Again, it indicates clearly that it is only Allah, Who is the Lord of Heavens and Earth, it is only him that gives life and death.
Certain the unbelievers also compare the attitudes with the attitudes of the people of the pharaoh
describes how the Israelites were saved as believers from this persecution and tell them that they are not better those taken care of so the rejecters are not better than those who were destroyed in the past, and they could face the same kind of punishment.
Finally, in chapter 51,
we find again, a very strong and powerful threat.
And indication that the statements made in the Quran about destiny and punishment and reward are not to be taken lightly that this is a truth that Allah has revealed, and that the false hood mongers will be punished for that they must pass by like this, and compare their punishment with the reward given to those who are pious and who are devoted in the context of the chapter also Sure, we find stories about rejection of previous prophets in the past, reminding people that only Allah has the power, and he is the one who bestows on blessings, commanding the prophet to turn away again from them, if they don't respond, you're not to see again in that letter period. That's why it is quite
similar with the early and middle meccan period, you find lots of discussions and response to the objections raised by the unbelievers, which indicate that this came a little later, you know, when they really start to think about the message and see how can they oppose the Prophet, so many times it responds or replies to their,
to their objections about the message of the of the Prophet.
All of these are the three periods,
as indicated, seem to share still, despite all this slight variations here and there. They share the basic characteristic of what you might call the meccan. Revelation, which is somewhat
different. And major emphasis I should say from the Medina liberation, the next period, well, in what sense? And maybe take it one step further, and what are the main characteristics of this category and now I'm talking about the median revelation, okay, we can approach that also, like we did in the Mexican Revolution, by trying to describe briefly first the broad characteristics of the median revelation as opposed to the or compared with the Mexican and then perhaps, if you wish, some specific examples, you can give a couple of illustrations also.
But as Dr. Salah has say, that, if you leave aside a few chapters, where there is difference of opinion among jurist as to whether this was revealed in Mecca or Medina,
as a nice body also subdivide them there are three sub periods. But on the whole, the chapters in Medina tended to be comparatively longer, I'd say substantially longer than the Mexican Revolution revelation.
For example, the longest chapter in the Quran, Al Baqarah, the second one, composed of 286 verses, that was a mecca notman Sorry, that was a muddiman type of Revelation, not the mecca revelation.
A second basic characteristic of these chapters, or Mecca, Medina and revelation is that it emphasizes more on jurisprudence.
It goes into the
Rules of worship, dealings between people the issues of lawful and unlawful. The importance of the family and how the life of the family can be regulated, international relationship, some aspects of economics, some aspects of the political life or public affairs,
much emphasis there on the invitation of the People of the Book to the path of Islam because again, there were not too many of them and Mecca, hardly any. But in Medina, of course, the that was more appropriate, especially the Jews who used to live in jaesik, which is now continent, Medina.
There is reference also in this Medina and revelation to the attitudes and the conspiracies of unbelievers and hypocrites. Again, there was no hypocrisy in Mecca because Muslims were persecuted. But now, when Muslim became powerful, the movement of hypocrisy became stronger. in Medina, it describes even some of the encounters with the unbelievers when they wanted to destroy the Muslims, even in the battlefield, describing how Muslims were the vectors with the help and support of Allah. But the interesting thing is that
you find that if you analyze the contents of these chapters, you find objective evidence, in fact, that these are indeed Medina revelation, there is no speculation there.
Sometimes even it may be possible to point out the approximate period, or specific sub area or sub period within the Medina and Revelation where these
chapters were revealed. That's interesting. Can you give us examples of these periods? And can you maybe give us or any evidence to substantiate this? Okay, like, given the limited time, we have, I just can give a few examples because again, if you go on analyzing each of the 114, so there's
not that much, but I hope at least that through the full analysis of the various
not for semi full analysis of the mecca divination, the ideas communicated. But let's take the examples that Dr. Seligman share. For example, in the early Medina in Revelation, you have the most prominent chapter there is Al Baqarah. Number two, a very lengthy chapter dealing with the guidance in the Quran, dividing people in terms of believer rejecters and the third category, the hypocrites giving a profile of the attitudes and personality of each emphasis on the universality of the mission and the message of the Prophet.
giving some details as indicated before and legislative matter pertaining to the individual families society, relationship with others.
This elements definitely make it in the deen and revelation because it describes how Muslims after they went from Mecca to Medina had the encounters with the people of the book and they had the discussion and dialogues with them. In chapter eight is definitely Medina revelation because it describes the confrontation between Muslims and pagans in the Battle of bedroom that took place in the second year of hijra. in Medina that was a medium period for sure.
A third example.
In chapter three for example, there is reference to the Battle of bats and the Battle of offers which took place in the third year of the migration in the intermediate periods, for example, so at 24 and North there is discussion of the false accusation against chest, women and so on. And it is known that there was an incident and the fifth or six years of the migration of the Prophet that's also Medina and for sure, in chapter 48 describes the Treaty of the BIA which took place towards the end of the six years of hedger.
In chapter 63, describes also hypocrisy which again was not relevant and Makkah. Finally, in the letter is chapter five, for example, describes the People of the Book and inviting them to Islam talks about some laws and by its completion of religion, as we find in chapter four, definitely that was a letter not only Medina, but later Medina. Chapter nine deals with the purification of pilgrimage from the pagan practices. Chapter 110 describes the coming back of Muslims to Mecca, and that took place in the 10th year of hijra. So what I'm saying that there's evidence there as compared with historical events, that it was not only Medina revelation, it was even later middle or
earliest Medina, Revelation. That's not fair for me.
Thank you very much like a daring and thank you for joining us.
See you all next week. tomorrow. I'll see you in a sermon focus Assalamu alaikum