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Unformatted text preview: s of the Quran is based on the information that is provided mainly by the Companions and the following generation of the 'successors': the Prophet himself has said nothing on the subject. The distinction is also facilitated considerably by internal evidence in the Quran, such as the theme itself: ayat about warfare were, for example, revealed only after the Hijrah, but references to Abu Lahab in sura 111 and to the battle of Badr (3: 123) indicate the Meccan origin of the suras in which they occur. Similarly the form of address is often different in the two parts. The frequent address, 'O you who believe' and 'O people of the Book' indicates a Madinan origin, while 'O people' or 'O mankind' are typically Meccan. There are nineteen suras in the Quran which begin with abbreviated letters (al-muqatta'at); all of them are known to be Meccan except two, namely al-Baqarah, and Al-Imran. All references to the munafiqun (hyprocrites) are Madinan and all suras that contain sajdah, that is, an order to prostrate, are Meccan. The distinction between the Makki and Madinese portions of the text is on the whole a well-established feature of the Quran, which is normally indicated next to the title of each sura, and the best evidence of such distinction is internal evidence in the Quran itself. [Cf. von Denffer, Ulum, p. 91.] With regard to distinguishing the Makki from the Madani contents of the Quran, the ulema have applied three different criteria: 1) The time of the revelation, meaning that the part of the Quran which was revealed prior to the Prophets migration to Madinah is classified as Makki and the remaining part which was revealed after the occasion is identified as Madani regardless of the locality in which they were received. In this way the ayat which were actually revealed in Mecca after the Year of Victory (am al-fath) or during the Farewell Pilgrimage (hajjah al-wida) are accounted as Madani. This is considered to be the most preferred of the three methods under discussion. 2) The place of revelation, which means that all the ayat that were revealed while the Prophet was in Mecca, or its neighbouring areas, are classified as Makki, and ayat that were actually revealed in Madinah or its surrounding areas are classified as Madani. This criterion is, however, not conclusive in that it leaves out the ayat which were received while the Prophet was travelling to places such as Jerusalem or Tabuk. 3) The nature of the audience, which means that all the parts of the Quran which are addressed to the people of Makkah are classified as Makki and those which are addressed to the people of Madinah are classified as Madani. In this way all passages which begin with phrases such as 'O mankind' or O people' are Makki and those which open with phrases, such as 'O believers' are typically Madarni. [Cf. Qattan, Tashri, 69-70.] In the sense that legal material occupies only a small portion of the bulk of its text, the Quran is not a legal or a constitutional document. The Quran calls itself huda, or guidance, not a code of law. Out of over 6,200 ayat, l...
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