Channel: Jamal Badawi
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And welcome once again to Islam in focus. Today we have in the series sources of Islam the 41st. And to be more specific, it is the ninth on the fantasy of the Quran. The topic today is original arrangements of the Quran. I welcome once again, back to jumada diary and I'm your host, Dara sharp Manish
are they concern?
like we usually do it. Last week's program.
The main focus on last week's program was on the piecemeal or gradual approach in which the Quran was revealed. And four points were particularly emphasized. First, we'll examine the internal evidence that is from the Quran itself, about the gradual nature of revelation of the Quran and how it was revealed. Secondly, we expanded a little bit on two terms used in the Quran.
Manzella was one of which the second one means gradual revelation or graduate coming down. And we said that frequently the Quran is referred to as masala which means revealed to me piecemeal approach. The third point
was that, in addition to this internal evidence from the Quran itself, and its terminology, we find that there are lots of historical evidence that shows the Quran was not revealed all at once. The Quran itself indeed, discusses and comments on many historical events, some of which took place in the very beginning of prophethood of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, extending all the way to the end of his mission, which is about 23 years. So that again, is a manifestation that the Quran actually was revealed in piecemeal. The fourth and final question or point was Why? Why was the Quran revealed in this gradual approach? Why not?
All at once, and we'll discuss some of the reasons for that, some of which include the strengthening of the Prophet, in view of the opposition and hurt that he was suffering from unbelievers. So the gradual revelation kept refreshing human keeping contact
with his mission, that the Quran is intended not as a book for blessing or something like that. But as a dynamic book, a book for movement for change in society. And the fact that it was reviewed over 23 years give an ample opportunity for directing the lives of people and commenting on them. So you have almost a major case study, if you will extend it over 23 years to show us a model as to how we can solve our human problems within the boundaries of divine revelation. And that gives, of course, infinite flexibility to the teaching of Islam. So it does not go obsolete. So at any moment of time, or point of history, one can go back to those principles and see the model of implementation and try
to find solutions to recurring problems. Another reason was to provide an evidence for those who suspected or claimed that the Quran was not divine revelation, it was a composition of the Prophet and all other claims, to challenge those who oppose the Quran to produce something like it, if they if the Quran really was human, and they are human, why not produce something similar to it, and they fail and to give them of course, ample opportunity, and they could not. And finally, of course, we said that, as has been discussed previously, under the authority of the Quran, that this was one of the miracles of the Quran, that you have 114 so does not necessarily revealed in the in the order
that we find them in the Quran. And then not all was revealed at the same time, and then you get a much better result from this surah Elijah from that surah and then at the end, everything is an integrated whole that showed that there was a pre planned or pre designed, of what to be contained in the current including future events that are going to take place about which the current is going to comment and then everything finally fits together means that it is
something beyond the ability of any human, especially the knowledge of the unseen. So this was some of the major reasons. On the fourth point, why was the Quran revealed in this gradual or piecemeal
fashion? Well, thanks for this summary, maybe we'll get to today's topic. Now.
It might be helpful not to introduce the topic itself, if you could give us an idea of the size of the Quran itself and exactly how is it divided? Okay, let me address the second part first defining Okay, in terms of the division of the Quran, it is divided into 114 Suraj. The singular is Surah su r h, there is an unused surah even though sometimes we use the word chapters in place of that the word shorter actually is the more accurate one. The reason why the term chapter is not very applicable to the Quran is that when we say chapter, we get the impression that human books or books authored by humans were one chapter deed was one subject, then you move on to the next chapter
dealing with a different subject and there is not much overlap in the material covered. And as we will see later, I don't know whether we'll have time for that today. But maybe in some future program, that the Quran is quite unique in the way it deals with various topics in various subjects. And as such, it is not really subjugated to this human approach of having one separate chapter per topic, the Quran is not a book of science, or a book or
any other discipline that we are familiar with. I think it might be useful perhaps to elaborate a little bit on the term surah instead of chapter as one units in the Quran. Literally speaking, surah means eminence, or a high degree, or a step in a structure. But as a terminology, of course, it talks about the various units, the 114 units, if you will, which are contained in the Quran. That's the first basic subdivision and then
each of these sewers
contains a number of areas. A why a patch for a singular is.
Again, the word sometimes is referred to as verse.
And I might have used that term sometimes will be for the purpose of communication, but it's not really the most accurate term. Why again, because the term verse seem to give the connotative meaning of a verse in a poem, for example. And in our discussion, discussion of the linguistic miracle of the Quran, we have seen that it's quite unique, it is not exactly poetry. It's not exactly prose. It's something quite different than quiet, inimitable. So the word verse again, might not be really the best word, even though we have used that just as an approximate meaning for communication purpose, but actually, the proper word is, as I don't like to explain the meaning of
surah we might as well explain also what the world area means and why it
literally means a manifest, sign, a mark, and message. In some cases, it is used also to mean American. And that is much closer to the meaning of the Quran that each
each area in the Quran really contain certain message contains a sign of its source, that the one source contains American in terms of the content and wisdom and the style in which this information is presented. So now we have the 114 sources. And then we have this within which sort of are you in this number of is the number of areas in each surah varies from very long to very short.
The longest in the Quran, is the second Surah in the order that we have in the Quran, and that's known as Surat Al Baqarah. The second one, it has 286 is
the shortest is three, there are actually threes, whereas in the current one or three, one or eight, and 110, each of which has only three. As you can imagine, it's almost like three lines versus, you know, quite
As far as the total number of areas in the Quran that is in of the 114 sutras. It comes about to about 606,200 that 6200 is total in the Quran. Some even tried to count the number of words and it came close to about 80,000 words, and that might give some indication about the first part of the question to size
About 80,000 words,
maybe for the benefit of our viewers who are familiar with the Bible. And if you could just give us a comparison as to the structure of the Quran as compared with the structure of the Bible. Well, perhaps we can summarize that in for basic difference. And I think that might be useful, so that the viewers who are familiar with the Bible can at least, you know, understand how the two scriptures
are similar or different in some respects or the other. But the first basic difference, if I were to summarize them very quickly, one is that the Bible is composed of a number of books, see the book of Genesis, the book of Deuteronomy, and so on, compose the books. And each book is divided into chapters. And then each chapter is divided, as we all know, in terms of verses. Whereas as we have seen in the Quran, there are no books in the Quran, the Quran is all one book, and it just composed of the sutras and is, so there is some basic difference there in terms of the nature of the structure of both scriptures. A second difference is that the Bible is basically chronological in
its order. In other words, it starts from beginning to end, almost like a historical survey, if you will, starting all the way as we all know from the first book in the Bible, the book of Genesis creation and hold that down to profit neuron to Abraham, to the Prophet, Moses, and that skylight profits, down into the New Testament, Prophet Jesus peace be upon him and the writings of his disciples. In other words, it's almost like chronological, gradual, or successive type of information. Again, as we will see later, the Quran is not necessarily arranged in any particular historical chronology of that nature at all. It's not just the story about creation, it's quite
different and unique in the world, it contains its information.
A third basic difference is that the Bible is substantially bigger than the Quran, taking the number of words,
the Quran is quite bigger,
Possibly, because it contains much more details about historical events, names of individuals, names of places, and so on. But basically, the size is quite, quite bigger than the Quran. Of course, difference which is related also, is that, as we all know, the Bible contains a number of books that were written by a large number of authors over a long period of times, hundreds of years, in different places, under different circumstances. And in many cases, we find that some of the authors of these books,
basically, as they are writing a biography, or sort of their own account of what happened.
It is not always claimed by the writers that it is purely divine revelation that they had no control on, for example, in the first chapter of the gospel, according to Luke, and the first three verses, he makes, makes it clear that he knew that some other people have written that is about Jesus peace be upon him, but he started stretching also for him, right. So there is no way that I know, this is something that I have received, but I thought it would be nice also an appropriate try.
As we cannot find any reference whatsoever in the Quran.
Anything that might indicate in some way or the other, directly, or indirectly, that there was any human authorship involved, or claim by any person, including Prophet Mohammed, who said that he thought it would be, for example, appropriate to write this or that, as we have discussed amply, under the topic of authority of the Quran, it is all from A to Z, divine revelation, it's always God speaking, in some form or another, but there is no indication at all of human cause or shape. And the Quran is not like the Bible, for example, or like the New Testament, let's say, a biography about the life of a given profit. It's quite different from that. And I think it's useful to be
aware of those issues. So that at least we can understand in what sense the scriptures are similar or different in that respect.
Like you mentioned earlier, there were 114 services in the cloud. I like to maybe ask you about the order that they're found. And is this the same order that it was actually revealed that we read on the ground now? No, not really.
many of the earlier revelations that were revealed in Mecca
appears in the Quran, for example, in the end rather than at the beginning, so it's almost not exactly the reverse. But I mean, it's not necessarily in the order in which this sutras are units were revealed, for example, from Surah, number 67, on so that,
from 67 until 114, they are almost all maybe with the exception of a couple of sources, all of them are revealed in Mecca, which was earlier revelation, in fact, than some of the sewers that appear in the beginning of the Quran. Surah Al Baqarah, for example, is largely revealed in Medina and it appears in the as a second in the order of the Quran.
And other thing that is quite unique about the Quran, which was discussed also under authority of the Quran, which is rather amazing is that it is true that some of the sutras or units were revealed at once. But that's especially applicable to most of the short sword. As you know, if you have just a few lines, many times this will reveal all at once. But on the other hand, the strange thing about the Quran is that some are many, I would say many of the longer stories, while some of them might have been good at once, but many of the longer short as well over a long period of time. In one program. Just to refresh our memory, it was stated that the second Surah of the Quran, which is the
longest Surat Al Baqarah, was revealed over a period of nine years, some here somewhere. And of course, over this period of years revelation was still coming. So it was not just waiting until once that is completed, they were at the New Times simultaneous simultaneously, there are a number of sources that are incomplete and revelation will come and this will be put here this will be put there this will be put here, which is quite unique to my understanding, among all other scriptures. On the basis of this, it is my understanding that any attempt to arrange the Quran strictly in terms of the order,
the historical order of revelation of the source or unit is just an impossible task really, maybe in view of what you said, Maybe I'll ask you to comment on the translation of the Quran by da word, which apparently follows a different arrangements grammar the other translations was actually to my limited knowledge is the only translation of the meaning of the Quran
which dictates and differs from all other translations that we know of in any language for that matter. And
what Mr. Dawood did actually was to claim that he arranged the Suraj units of the Quran, according to the order or chronology,
their revelation before comment on that I just like to make another site commentary that might be useful, because some friends sometimes put that question to me and he said, All right, I thought he was a Muslim and that this is acceptable to Muslims. And to the to my information, Mr. DeWitt is not a Muslim, even though the name that would I see, you know, Muslims also our code that would but some mistakenly think that this is, you know, a Muslim translator and as such, reflect the views and understanding and traditions of Muslims. In fact, this is not
because, after all, no Muslim I have ever heard throughout the 1400 years, since the revelation of the Quran.
have ever tried to tamper with the Quran including even the order in which the sources were revealed and just try to put it together and say, Alright, this is the order. But in addition to the fact that this is rather,
I would say offensive really to Muslims, for someone who has different knowledge about Islam to come up with some innovation after 1400 years and claim to have the more valid type of arrangement, scholarly speaking, it is erroneous
because when you say alright, I will order the sutras or units of the Quran, according to the order of revelation,
then you are giving the false impression to the reader. Even if you make reservation, you're giving me the false impression that the entire content of a given surah was revealed before another hour. So what is the sense of having this chronology
And let me give you two examples to indicate how, you know, this kind of arrangement is scholarly speaking, very, very inappropriate.
The first sutras that surah that are believed to have been revealed first in the Quran is Surah number 96. And, of course, if anyone makes a translation of the Quran and put that as the first surah, he would be committing a grave mistake. Why?
The thing that is certain, historically, is that this was not all revealed as the first surah. But only the first few verses a few is that sort of that's not the whole story. That is when engine Gabrielle came to the prophet in the cave of Herat, and so on.
In fact, if you read the song, so that's not a very long one. In later parts of the surah, it is clear that it took place maybe years after, because it talks, it talks about the those who try to forbid the profit from praying. And we all know that the Prophet started his mission more quietly and secretly. And then later on the universe, people started attacking him when he declared the message that was long time at a different time, different time, just to put the whole suit up as number one in terms of chronology or order of revelation is obviously a mistake. The other example we just mentioned a few minutes ago, take the second Surah. In the Quran that says in the Quran that
Baqarah the longest one, we said it was revealed over nine years. And at the same time over this nine years, numerous other sources or units were also revealed. So where do you put the second Surah? In terms of orders? It's a very,
you know, mistaken to think that anyone can say, all right, this euro comes first, run from number one to 114, on the basis of chronological order of revelations can't be
it stated that certain Muslim scholars have written about the chronological order of the service.
And maybe I'll ask you to comment on how that differs from the roots translations that are important differences. It is true to start with that, yes, some even Muslim writers and historians have mentioned for example, that fistula for example, was revealed before that's what I'm but when they say the surah, or when it was revealed first or second, they actually mean one of two things. One, is that as we indicated before, there are some sources, in fact that were revealed fully, completely. So there is some degree of certitude that he has this surah as an entire surah was revealed before this one. So there is one section that this could be correct and applicable. But
when they say some sort of Allosaurus like number 96 was revealed the first for example, they put it with the grid reservation that not only the or they don't do this forever, perhaps the nature part of that sorta See, and that's a big difference. The major part of that was revealed first. But of course, when they do that, though, you realize and they state that it was impossible, really to arrange the Quran in the chronology of revelation for when you don't have
enough conclusive information about that order to start with some we are sure he has the disorder, or this part of this what I was reviewing first or last or somewhere in Mecca, Medina, but I haven't seen yet any historian who claim to have had any complete and the conclusive certain
evidence of the chronological order of derivation of all the sources of the Quran. So the claim itself is really quite big. So when they do that, they say also, there are also differences in that, not that it is a certain thing.
difference is that when they mentioned this, they put that English reservation with great reservation as information for scholarly study, for legislative purposes, to find out the evolution or the change, for example, and the gradual legislative aspects of Islam. But not all of them, to my knowledge, have said the right here is a different order of the Quran and print the whole Quran for example, as they would did and say, all right, this is Surah Surah was revealed first, second, third, until the last revelation. They provide this by way of articles by way of information. So I think it's not quite the same.
And some some writers have claimed that they're actually reports that Elise collection of the Quran was arranged according to
The order of revelation now is that you want to start with
the cousin of the prophet may Allah be pleased with him, is the last person to tell her
even the arrangement of the sutras of the Quran after they have been unanimity among the Muslim,
after the Prophet that this is the order in which the Prophet showed them, at least we'll talk about that in some detail, perhaps a little later.
But according to many scholars also, that report is at best, questionable, if not shears unauthentic. In terms of its necessity,
what is even not important, aside from the the proper authentication of that report, which is lacking, is that it is rather illogical and contrary to known facts of Islamic history. Let me clarify specifically,
we all know that Ali, the cousin of the Prophet, actually renamed as the killer for Khalifa, the head of the Muslim commander in chief,
the state after us man, the third character was the force. And we all know that the the copies that were made of the Quran that were sent all over the world, and that arrangement was done during the reign of us, man, so I can immediately after the death of us man, being a ruler himself, if it was true, that they were any, or there was any other way, I should say, any arrangement in the court of the Quran, or the various units, or sewers, which are different from the one that has been accepted universally by Muslims. He was already empowered, why didn't he reveal it? Why didn't he pass it on to followers or descendants. In fact, there is no evidence at all that any such thing actually
existed or was passed by Allah, Allah Himself will give lots of praise also, to Abu Bakr, during his time, the first compilation of the Quran was put together.
And this was the same copy from which us man made the copies that were sent all over the world. So logically speaking in terms of the historical information, there is no such
clear evidence of it. There are also similar claims that certain companions of the Prophet actually had copies with a different arrangement. How would you respond to that? Yes, there are some reports like for example, in obey at niqab and one of the companions of the Prophet, it is claimed, again that he had his own collection of Quran that has a slight difference in terms of the orders of the various units or sewers. But again, scholars have indicated that this report is very unauthentic. It's very weak, it doesn't have much support. But even if we assume for the sake of discussion that it were true, you know what they say? They said that in his connection, he put surah number four,
before surah number three, which is a very insignificant document, then it's not really authentic. But even if that were true, we all know that Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, used to lead the prayer and recite the Quran, in the in the prayers. And it is permissible, as the Prophet did actually, to recite the various Sutras, in prayers in public prayers, not necessarily in the order in which they appear in the Quran, but in different orders, you can move back and forth, that has been proven actually, for example, there was a saying, or Hadley's narrated in
collection, that Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him sometimes recited the second Surah first, and then he recited the fourth surah. So you move from two to four. But this does not mean that this is the way the beliefs are the Quran should be arranged. Another report also claims that hypnosis wrote another companion had a different combination they call techniques administered,
which was again slightly different. But again, we know again, that the Prophet sometimes used to recite more than one surah in the Quran. And I've been so used to imitate the prophet and he loves to, you know, do things exactly like the Prophet did. So sometimes he put the two sweaters together or two units, but this does not mean at all that it was a different value or in any sense. And it was himself like many others have all accepted the universal Quran as the Quran that he has in our hands. I think time again, thank you very much, Jamal, and thank you all very much for joining us. We hope to see you once again next week in Simon focus. A lot of us selling