THE QUR’AN, THE REVELATION AND THE MESSAGE
The term “Qur‟an” is an Arabic word that has its origin from the word “Q.R.A.” meaning (read).
Technically, Qur‟an is used to refer to the Noble Book revealed to the holy prophet Muhammad
over a period of 23 years. It remains the springboard for all the Muslims whenever they find
themselves. It remains unedited right from the time of its fist revelation up till present moment.
Qur‟an is widely accepted by the Muslims world over as the most authentic revelation which has
not suffer any form of interpolation. Professor Alli Najrooni has described the Qur‟an as the most
widely read book in its original form. In other words, it is the most widely read book in its
original language. There could be other revealed books that are widely read but in their translated
form. To the Muslims; reciting a portion of the Qur‟an is a must every blessed day because a
Salat is not complete without recitation some part of the Qur‟an.
Prophet Muhammad used to withdraw from the city of Makkah to cave Hirah in the month of
Ramadan for the purpose of meditation. It was during the last ten days of Ramadan in the year
609 C.E. that the Arch-Angel Jibril appeared to the Noble Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in the
Cave Hirah with the first portion of Qur‟an. These are the first five verses of Suratul Alaq Q.96:
1-5, which read thus:
Read! In the Name of your Lord who has created (all that exist).
He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood).
Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.
Who has taught (the writing) by the pen.
He has taught man that which he knew not.
Qur‟an is not meant for reading alone but also a source of admonition and guidance. Since charity
begins at home, the holy prophet (S.A.W) was instructed to start spreading the message of Islam
to others. He was to start with his immediate family members.
Allah instructed him:
“And warn your tribe and near kindred”
As such, Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, the prophet‟s first wife, became the first woman believer.
Abu-Bakr, his bosom friend, was the first adult to embrace Islam while Aliyy bn Abi Talib, his
cousin, was the first young man to enter the Islamic fold.
SOME NAMES OF QUR’AN
Though “Qur‟an” is the most popular name given to this revelation, but there are several other
names contained in the Qur‟an. Some of these are:
Al-Kitab (The Book) and Al-Hudah(The Guidance). This is contained in Q2: 2
“This is the book whereof there is no doubt, a guidance to the pious”
AL-Furqan(The Criterion) as in Q25:1
“Blessed is He who sent down the Criterion to His servant…”
AD-Dhikr(The Remembrance) Q15:9
“Verily, It is we who sent down the Dhikr and surely we will guard it from corruption. These
are few names of the revelation and there are some other ones contained in the book.
PATTERN OF REVELATION
The Noble Qur‟an contains 114 chapters. Each chapter starts with the formula
“In the name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful
With the exemption of Surat Tawbat Q 9 which does not start with the formula. This was atoned
for in Q27 .30
It is from Sulaiman, and it begins with the name of Allah,
the Compassionate, the Merciful.
The Qur‟an contains 114 chapters and 6666 verses. Some of the Chapters were revealed to the
Noble Prophet before Hijrah at Mecca, thus known as Mekkan chapters. These are 82 chapters.
Twenty chapters were revealed to him while in Madinah and thus known as Madinite chapters.
There are some twelve chapters that were revealed outside Mecca and Madinah.
The following are some of the Medinite chapters:
Those 12 chapters that were revealed outside Mecca & Madianh are: Qur‟an chapters:
31,32,51,55,83,99,112,113 and 114.
There are distinctive features with which Meccan or Medinite chapters can be identified. Any
chapter that contains the following are categorized as Meccan chapters:
1-Place of prostration.(Sujud)
3-Yah ayyuah naas. (Oh People)
4-Names and story of the previous prophets.
5-Repetition of some verses such as the one we have in Suratur- Rahaman Q 55(“Which is it, of
the favors of your Lord, that you deny?)
6-Faith and Resurrection.
8- Any Surah that contains description of Al-Jannah (Paradise) and Hell.
9- Makkan Surahs are usually short Chapters.
As for Medinite chapters,
1-They are usually lengthy and narrative.
2-They contain act of worship such as Salat, Sawm, Zakat Hajj.
3- They also treat family laws, International relation, Administration and conflict
4- Chapters that discuss the issue of Munafiq (hypocrites) and battles.
It is pertinent to mention that the arrangement of the Qur‟an chapters is not chronological in
nature. They are arranged by divine injunction. For instance, the first verses to be revealed are the
first five verses of Q96
“Read in the name your Lord who created….
He taught man what he does not know”
While the last verse to be revealed was Q2: 281
“And be afraid of the day when you shall be brought back to Allah.
Then every person shall be paid what he earned and they shall be
dealt with justly”
The Noble Prophet Muhammad (SAW) did not live for a week after the revelation of the above
quoted verse that can be found in Q 2: 281.
The longest single verse of the holy Qur‟an is Q 2: 282. The verse that discuses the issue of
lending and borrowing.
EFFORTS TO MAKE QUR’AN COMPREHENSIBLE
The incontestable fact that stands to be challenged is the fact that the Qur‟an is a compendium of
all knowledge. Commentators have started to make efforts to document their understanding of the
book right from the time of the Prophet (SAW). Some of these early scholars whose efforts still
remain with us are
Ibn Masud (Tafseer ibn Masud)
Ibn Abbas (Tafseer ibn Abbas).
Scholars of different disciplines have used their disciplines to render commentaries of the Noble
Qur‟an. Ibn Katheer used Hadith to comment on the Qur‟an in his popular Tafseer book
documented in 4 volumes titled (Tafseer ibn Katheer).
Ibn Jareer At-Tabary demonstrated his knowledge of history in his own Tafseer ibn Jareer At-
Tabary in 8 volumes.
The Legal luminary Al-Qurtuby focused his attention on the legal aspect of the noble book under
the title( Tafseer Al-Qurtuby)
Al Baydawy rendered a mystical interpretation of the noble Qur‟an in his book titled (Tafseer Al-
Az-Zamakhshary, a Litterateur and a Linguist, wrote his commentary on the Noble Qur‟an in 4
volumes to depict the beauty and linguistic features of the Qur‟an.
However, in the contemporary era, Scholars like Sayid Qutub started the documentation of the
interpretation of the Qur‟an in his own modern interpretation in 6 volumes while in detention.
This effort titled “Fi Thilal l Qur‟an” In the shade of Qur‟an was completed by his brother
Muhammad Qutub. Some of these have been translated to English Language.
Abu l Alla Al Mawdudiy of Pakistan‟s effort can not be overemphasized.
It is rather unfortunate that some half-baked scholars of our own part of the world designate
themselves as „Mufassir‟ without the necessary knowledge expected of anybody eyeing that post.
Hence, the following are some of those qualities:
1-Knowledge of Arabic language (Philology)
5-Ilmu l-maani (Semantic)
6-Ilimu-Al –Bayan (Figurative)
7-Ilimu-l Qiraat (Science of Quranic recitation)
9-Usulu-l-fiqih (Science of Jurisprudence)
10-Usulu Tafseer (Science of Qura‟nic Exegesis)
11-Ilimu l-fiqih (Jurisprudence)
13-Hadith (Traditions of the noble Prophet)
EXPECTED RELATIONHIP WITH THE HOLY QURAN
The attitude of Muslims to the Qur‟an in our own part of the world is nothing to write home
about. The Noble Qur‟an was revealed in Arabic language. Therefore, to appreciate the beauty of
Qur‟an, and for proper understanding of this book, knowledge of Arabic language is highly
The following attitudes are desirable from a Muslim towards Qur‟an:
1-A Muslim is expected to have complete believe and regard for the noble book. Allah says in
“ None except the pure one should touch it”
A menstrual female Muslim is not allowed to touch a copy of Noble Qur‟an. Every Muslim is
enjoined to be in a state of ablution whenever he wants to recite it.
2. We should cultivate the habit of reading it to understand and reflect on it.
3.We should allow the Qur‟an to influence our lifestyle. We need to emulate the prophet whom
his beloved wife Aisha described his behaviour by simply saying
“His behaviour is Qur‟an”
4-Then a Muslim is expected to share the message with others. Muslim are not aggressive in
At this juncture, commendations of Muslims over the Qur‟an can not be overemphasized. Some
non-Muslim scholars, including the writers of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, have passed their
encomiums as regards the Noble Qur‟an.
However, efforts to introduce some interpolations into the Qur‟an, which has started right from
the time of Abu-Bakr, (the first Caliph), notorious among them was Musaylimat-l Khadhab who
went to the extent of replicating the Quran. This negative and devilish effort has now taken
another dimension with the introduction of online Qur‟an on a Website „www.thequran.com” by
the Jews and Christians to replicate the holy book. Nevertheless, there is a great assurance from
Allah in the book.
“It is we who sent down the Dhikr and surely we will guard it.”
Furthermore, One of the practice that sustained the Qur‟an is memorization. The following are the
basic tit bits for those who are interested in committing Qur‟an to memory.
1-Correct Pronunciation preferably from a teacher.
2-Understanding the meaning helps a lot.
3-Adhere yourself to a limited number of verses at a time.
4-Restrict yourself to a single copy.
5-The best time has always been between the Subuh and sunrise and between Maghrib and Ishah
In Conclusion, Muslim should cultivate the habit of reciting at least a Juz‟u of holy Qur‟an daily.
We should also teach and encourage our younger ones to learn it at tender age.