Sciences of the Quran ('Uloomul-Quran)

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Sciences of the Quran ('Uloomul-Quran)


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Sciences of the Quran ('Uloomul-Quran)

Sciences of the Quran ('Uloomul-Quran)


Sciences of the Quran ('Uloomul-Quran)



This version is published on behalf of

The composing errors are not corrected.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Revelation, its stages, the author of the Quran 8

The Name and the Meaning of the Quran 8

Revelation 8

Revelation in the Quran 8

Possibility of Revelation 9

Types of God`s Revelation to Man 9

Time and Place of Revelation 10

The Quran is the verbatim Words of God 10

The Proofs 10

The Revelation, the Elham, Hadith Qodsi and Prophetic Hadith 11

Assignment 12

Notes 12

Chapter Two: Semantic Issues I (Mabahethul-al-Faath) 13

Was the Quran revealed gradually and all at once? 13

Analysis of the above claims 14

Is there any philological difference between `Enzal` and `Tanzil`? 15

Chapter Three: Ayah, Surah, History of the Collection of the Quran 18

Introduction 18

Ayah 18

Identification of the Ayah 18

Number of Ayaat 19

Surah 19

Number of the Surahs 19

Names of the Surah 19

Longest and Shortest Surahs 20

The First and the Last Surah 20

The Order of the Surahs 20

The History of the Collection of the Quran 20

The Proofs of the First Opinion 21

Response 22

Response 23

The Proofs of the Second Opinion 23

Unification of the Accents of the Quran 24

Notes 25

Chapter Four: A Myth Called Distortion of the Quran I 26

Introduction 26

Types of Distortion 26

The argument is about whether any Word, Ayah or Surah of the Quran is omitted or changed? 27

The Proofs of the un-distortion of the Quran 27

God has promised to safeguard it 27

Authentic Narrations 27

Rational proof 28

The history of Quran and its extra protection 28

Miracles of the Quran 29

Unique methods of the Quran for Its protection 29

Notes 30

Chapter Five: A Myth Called Distortion of the Quran II 31

A) The Myth of Distortion of the Quran in the Sunni Narrations 32

1. Companions had different qurans! 32

Are the different versions of the Quran of the Companions not an indication of distortion of the Quran? 32

2. The Quran Was Compiled After the Prophet (P) 32

3. Abrogation of recitation 33

B) The myth of distortion in the eyes of the Shi`a scholars 35

Category 1 – Narrations that are undoubtedly fabricated 37

Narrations from Ahmad Ibn Mohammad AsSayyari 37

Category 2 – Narrations in which the Quran is Mistaken with Holy Narrations (Hadith al-Qodsi) 37

Category 3 – Mixing the Quran with the Interpretation of the Quran 38

Category 4: Narrations that Noori interpreted them to mean verbal distortion of the Quran 38

Category 5: Narrations that indicate the Quran is of three or four sections: 38

Category 6: Different recitations 39

Category 7: Rare Narrations 39

The Final Note 39

Notes 40

Chapter Six: The Science of the Signs of the Arabic Alphabets & Makki and Madani 41

The Science of the Signs of Arabic Alphabets Putting `dots` and articulation 41

Putting dots on the words of the Quran 41

The Science of Symbol of Vowels 41

The science of recitations of the Quran 42

The Historical Stages of the Recitation of the Quran 42

Question and Answer 43

The Present Recitation of the Quran 44

Note 44

The Science of Makki & Madani 44

Definition 44

Problems of this classification 45

Methods of Identification 45

Chart 1: Percentage of the subjects of the Quran 46

Chart 2: Trend of the subjects during the 23 years of revelation 46

Chapter Seven: The Science of the Context of the Revelation [Asbabu-Nozoul] 48

The Benefits of the Science of Asbabu-Nozoul 48

Generic term not a specific context 50

Problems of indicating Asbabul-Nozoul 51

Notes 51

Chapter Eight: The Science of Abrogation 52

Introduction 52

Significance 52

Definition 52

The Wisdom of Abrogation 53

Possibility of Abrogation in the Quran 54

Conditions of Abrogation 54

Types of Abrogation 55

Number of the Abrogated Ayaat 56

Why Abrogated Ayaat are still in the Quran 57

The Only Abrogated Ayah in the Quran 57

Notes 57

Chapter Nine: The Science of the Miracles of the Quran 58

Definition of the miracle 58

Some useful points in the above Ayaat 58

Unsuccessful Challenges 59

Dimensions of the Miracles of the Quran 59

1. Rhetorical Miracle 59

Examples of the rhetorical miracles of the Quran 60

2. Sublime Teachings and Educational Miracles of the Quran 61

3. Unification and the Harmony of the Quran 61

4. The Unseen News of the Quran 62

5. The Scientific Miracles of the Quran 63

Notes 64

Chapter Ten: The Science of the Clear and Unclear Ayaat (al-Mohkam & al-Motashabeh) 65

Significance 65

Definition 65

Divisions of the Quran into Muhkam and Mutashabeh 66

Is there any Unclear Ayah in the Quran? 66

1. There is no unclear Ayah in the Quran 66

2. The entire Quran is ambiguous 67

3. There are clear and unclear Ayaat in the Quran 67

The Number of the Unclear Ayaat 68

The Most Ambiguous Ayaat of the Quran 68

1. Recitation of Pause 69

2. Recitation of Conjunction 69

3. Both Recitations are correct 69

Why the recitation of conjunction must be preferred? 69

Why there is ambiguity in the Quran? 70

Chapter Eleven: Analysis of Some of the Unclear Ayaat (Paradoxical Ayaat) 73

1. Monotheism or Pluralism (the Paradox of I or We) 73

2. Determinism or Free Will 74

3. Who Guides Who Misleads – God, Man or Satan? 75

4. Paradoxical Statement Due to Different Conditions 76

5. Paradoxical Statements Due to Variety of Aspects of a Narration 77

6. Paradox Due to the Arts of Rhetoric 77

Notes 78

Chapter Twelve: The Science of the Tafsir 79

Etymology of Tafsir 79

Why does the Quran need interpretation? 79

The forbidden Tafsir: Self-Opinion Interpretation 79

Ta`wil and its meaning 80

Is Ta`wil the prohibited self opinion Interpretation of the Quran? 81

Examples: 82

The Basic Sciences necessary for the Tafsir of the Quran 82

1. Philology (Fiqhu-Logha) 82

2. Syntax (al-Nahw) 83

3. Morphology (Tasrif) 83

4. Etymology (Eshteqaq) 83

5,6,7. Rhetoric (al-Ma`ani, al-Bayan and al-Badee`) 83

8. The Science of Recitations 83

9. Principles of Islam (Usoolu-Deen) 83

10. Principles of Jurisprudence (Usoolul-fiqh) 83

11. Jurisprudence (Fiqh) 83

12. The Science of the context of revelation (Asbabu-Nozoul) 84

13. The Science of Abrogation (Naskh) 84

14. The science of Hadith 84

A Glance at the most important books of Tafsir 84

a. Narrative Tafsir 84

b. Theological Interpretation of the Quran 85

c. Rhetorical Tafsir 85

d. Mystical Tafsir 85

e. The Most Important Shi`a Tafsir 86

Hermeneutics of the Quran 87

Ten Selected Gems from the Holy Quran 88

1. Surah al-Hamd 88

3. Bismillah Rahman Raheem 88

4. Ayatol-Kursi 88

5. Ayah for Monotheism in Actions 88

6. Ayah forTaqwa 89

7. Ayah for Noble Character 89

8. Ayah for Shame 89

9. The key to seeing hell and heaven 89

10. The most hope-giving Ayah of the Quran 89

Notes 89

The Final Word 90

Note 90

Chapter One: Revelation, its stages, the author of the Quran

The Quran is the Holy Scripture of Muslims and the verbatim Words of God. It is a miracle that from the `Ba` of Bismillah to the `Seen` of `An-Nas` (the last Word of the Quran) is revealed to Prophet Muhammad (P) word by word. Since the time of its revelation to present time, the Holy Quran apart from its preserved written format, it has been memorised in the hearts of millions of Muslims. Thus, today we read it as it was revealed to its first recipient; i.e. Prophet Muhammad (P).

The Name and the Meaning of the Quran

Among all different names given to this Holy Scripture, `the Quran` (al-Quran) is the most common and famous one. This is a name that the Almighty Allah has given to the Book. From the first years of the revelation the revelation to Prophet Muhammad (P) was called `the Quran` by the revelation itself. The term is repeated 68 times in the Quran and except on two occasions (17:78) it means the Holy Quran or part of it. In English it is written `the Koran` or `the Quran`.

About the meaning of the term `Quran` there are two famous opinions: 1) it is driven from al-Qar` meaning `to collect`.2) It is driven from `Qara` (to recite). Thus, it is called `the Quran` for it is a Book to be recited (73:4) or because the revelation began by `Read` (96:1). The second opinion seems more accurate.


The Holy Quran is a divine revelation to Prophet Muhammad (P). The term used in the Quran for revelation is `al-Wahy`. Al-Wahy literally means a quick and mysterious way of communication. The term `revelation` literally means to pull the cover away from something, thus it is not the best translation for `al-Wahy`. The term revelation in English includes the `Speech of God` whether without the mediation of an angel (Samuel 3:1) or with the mediation of the angels (Hebrews 2:2). It also includes the visions of other than the Prophets such as the book of Revelation (the last book of the New Testament according to the Catholics). Thus, according to Catholicism the revelation is not limited to the Prophets nor has it ceased to continue.

Revelation in the Quran

The term `revelation` is used in the Quran in its literal sense, i.e. `a quick signal` (19:11) and is also used in its broad sense to mean communication of God to His creations. Thus, God reveals to the celestial bodies (41:12), to the bees (16:68), to His angels (8:12), to selected humans but not Prophets such as the mother of Moses (28:7), or to the disciples of Jesus (5:111) and finally in most instances the term is used to express God`s communication to the Prophets (4:163).

In general, the revelation in the language of the Quran is "God`s communication be it verbal or by action to His creation whether to nature, the plants, the animals, angels or humans." The revelation of God to nature forms `the natural laws` as His revelation to the Prophets reveals `the Canon laws`. Thus, the laws of the Quran are lawful phenomena similar to the natural laws.

`Revelation` in Islamic terminology is exclusively used for the communication of God with the Prophets. His communication with other creations is called `inspiration` (Elham) or `vision` (Kashf) or `instinctive guidance` (al-Hedayatul-Ghariziya). Thus, `revelation` in its specific sense ceased to continue by the last revelation to Prophet Muhammad (P).

Possibility of Revelation

Revelation in its specific meaning cannot be experienced by ordinary humans. Thus, questions about its possibility are raised. Nonetheless, once the existence of God is proven, the possibility of revelation is undeniable. God who has endowed man with means to communicate his thoughts to his fellow humans, by far is Able to communicate His Will and Knowledge to man for His guidance.

Types of God`s Revelation to Man

The best description of God`s revelation to man is explained in Surah 42:51-52. According to these Ayaat God; the Almighty only communicates with man in the following three methods:

1. Revelation without any intermediate: This is the first type of revelation which is by `casting to the heart` of the chosen person. The lowest degree of this revelation is called `inspiration` (Elham) which was given to the mother of Moses (28:7), to the disciples of Jesus (5:111) and above all was cast directly to the heart of the Prophet Muhammad (P) in the Night of Ascension (53:10).

2. Revelation by mediation of a physical obstacle: In this type of revelation, the Almighty God creates the voice and enrich it to a Prophet from behind and above a physical object such as a tree (28:30) or fire (20:11). Inscribing on the Tablets (7:145) for Moses (P) is also an example of this type of revelation.

3. Revelation by mediation of an angel: In this type the Almighty God created the "Words" and via His Messenger (angel) delivers it to His chosen Prophet. In most of the instances the angel appears to the Prophet in a handsome human body and delivers the Message of God to him (11:81, 81:19). According to one interpretation the Prophets have rarely seen the angel in his real appearance, as in the case of the Prophet Muhammad (P) in his ascension (53:11).

Types of Revelation to Prophet Muhammad (P)

The Ayaat of the Quran and the various narrations confirm that Prophet Muhammad (P) has received revelations in all the above-mentioned types, although most of the time he has received the revelation via Archangel Gabriel. Prophet Muhammad (P) has received the `Holy Narrations` (Hadith Qodsi) in the first type (al-Hakim2:4). Sometimes he has received the revelation of the Quran in the second form (al-Bukhari1). In most of the instances he has received the revelation in the third type. (al-Majlesi 18:268).

Time and Place of Revelation

Although the first revelation to Prophet Muhammad (P) occurred in the cave of Hira at Mount Noor, there was never any restrictions of the times or places for receiving revelations. Sometimes he was receiving revelations whilst he was eating, praying, on the pulpit, riding his horse, etc. The revelation was also sometimes foretelling the future (30:2,3) or it would reveal after occasions or incidents, like the revelation about the Battle of Uhud (3:121-180) or the Battle of Bani-Nadheer (59:2-10). Sometimes he was asked a question and instantly the answer would be revealed to him (48:1-4), but in some other occasions it took more than a month for an answer to be revealed to him.

The Quran is the verbatim Words of God

There are three hypothetical possibilities about the authors of the words of the Quran:

The Author of the Quran is the Almighty Allah, both for its Words and the Concepts. This means the Almighty God has created the Words of the Quran and his trustworthy Messenger (Gabriel) delivered it to His human trustworthy Messenger (Prophet Muhammad) to recite it for mankind and the jinn.

Gabriel has learned the concepts of the Quran from God expressed them in Arabic and delivered them to the Prophet (P). Thus, the concepts of the Quran are from God but the wordings would be from Gabriel.

Gabriel brings the concepts of the Quran from God to Prophet Muhammad (P) and the Prophet expressed them in the Arabic language for people. Thus, the words of the Quran would be from Prophet Muhammad (P).

Out of all the possibilities, the first is the only one that the Quran confirms. Thus, Muslims are unanimous that the Quran is the verbatim Words of God. The Quran explicitly states: "And verily, you (O Muhammad) are given the Quran from the All-Wise, All-Knowing." [27:6] Also see: 45:2 and 45:6

The Proofs

Every single sentence of the Quran is a vivid proof that the Quran in its words and the concepts are but from God, hence God has named every sentence of this Book an `Ayah` (Sign=Miracle). Nonetheless, the following are some evidences that the Quran is the actual Words of God created for the guidance of mankind.

The Miracles of the Quran: The Quran is the living miracle of the Prophet of Islam (P). None has even been able to produce or forge even a small verse like unto an Ayah of the Quran. Had the Quran been the words of Prophet Muhammad (P) it would have been possible to forge similar to it, as it has happened to his narrations (Hadith).

Confirming the previous Scripture yet correcting their perversions: A big portion of the Quran deals with the stories of the previous Prophets. Unlike the Bible the Quran is free from all perversions which occurred in the Bible. The Quran clears the false accusations allegedly related to the Prophets. For instance, suppose your biological modest sister, who is an un-married teenager, informs you that she has become pregnant by the Leave of God without being touched by any man! Would you believe her?! But about six hundred years after the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a man from among the unlettered Arabs declared to be the Messenger of God. He not only acknowledged the claims of Mary on her immaculate birth, but he also declared explicitly that she is a pure and chosen lady by God. (3:42)

The style of It’s addresses: The style of the addresses in the Quran confirm that the Quran is direct Words of God. It is not the indirect narration of the Words of God. For instance, more than 300 times God says to Prophet Muhammad (P): "Say" (Qol). Had only the concept of the Quran been from God, none of these addresses should have been found in the Quran. Instead of `Say, He is Allah, the Unique` (Surah 112), it should have been `He is Allah, the Unique.` Similarly, instead of "So (Allah) revealed to His slave (Muhammad)" (53:10), it should have been `So, He revealed to me.`

Gentle reproof: Another proof is that on some occasions the Almighty Allah though gently and friendly has reproved His Messenger. Amazingly, all these instances are precisely uttered and revealed to us by the holy Prophet (P). For instance, see 69:44, 9:43, 33:37. Bukhari and Muslim narrated from Ayesha that should the Prophet (P) have ever wanted to hide any Ayah he would have certainly hidden this Ayah: "But you did hide in yourself that which Allah will make manifest, you were concerned about people whereas Allah had a better right that you should be concerned about Him." [33:37]

The Revelation, the Elham, Hadith Qodsi and Prophetic Hadith

Technically speaking when we say `revelation` we mean the Quran which is the actual verbatim Words of God.

`Elham` (inspiration) literally means to announce and cast to the heart. This is when a concept is found in the heart without learning it from anyone or even thinking about it. The gate of Elham is possibly open for all humans. In Islamic mysticism `Elham` is referred to as Conceptive Vision` (Kashful-Ma`nawi).

The Hadith of Qodsi (the holy Narration) is mainly a collection of admonition and spiritual advices narrated from God via Prophet Muhammad (P). Its concepts- if authentic – is from God but the wordings are from Prophet Muhammad (P). The Hadith of Qodsi similar to other Hadiths whether they may or may not be authentic, are subject to scholarly investigations.

The Prophetic Hadith is again the words of the Prophet (P) in explanation of the Islamic laws. Similar to Hadith of Qodsi, their concepts are from God but their wordings are from the Prophet (P). They however, differ from Hadith of Qodsi in that they are the narrations from God.



If the Quran is the verbatim Words of God why in Chapter 81:19 after three times taking an oath, it states: "Verily, this (the Quran) is the Word of an honourable Messenger (Gabriel)." ?


For instance see: 85:21-22, 73:4 and 56:77

Al-Zarkashi, vol.1 p.277

Al-Tabrasi, vol1. p.14

In lesson eight we will discuss the aspects of the miracle of the Quran.