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Unformatted text preview: was received during the first twelve and a half years of the Prophet's residence in Mecca. The remainder of the Qur'an was received after the Prophet's migration to Madinah over a period of just over nine and a half years. [To be precise, the Meccan period lasted twelve years, five months and thirteen days, and the Madinan period, nine years, seven months and seven days.] The Meccan part or the Qur'an is mainly devoted to matters of belief, the Oneness of God (Tawhid), the necessity of the prophethood of Muhammad, the hereafter, disputation with the unbelievers and their invitation to Islam. But the Madinese part of the Quran also comprised legal rules and regulated the various aspects of life in the new environment of Madinah. Since the Madinese period signified the formation of the ummah and of the nascent Islamic state, the Quranic emphasis was shifted to principles regulating the political, legal, social and economic life of the new community. During this period Islam expanded to other parts of Arabia, and the Quranic response to the need for rules to regulate matters of war and peace, the status and rights of the conquered people as well as the organisation of the family and principles of government feature prominently in the Madinese part of the Quran. [Cf. Sabuni, Madkhal, PP. 41-44; Khallaf, Ilm, P. 24.] The knowledge of the Meccan and the Madinese contents of the Quran gives one an insight into the context and circumstances in which the ayat were revealed; it is particularly relevant to the understanding of the incidence of abrogation (naskh) in the Quran. To distinguish the abrogating (al-nasikh) from the abrogated (al-mansukh) portions of the text depends on determining the chronological order in the revelation of the relevant ayat. Similarly, most of the general (Amm) rulings of the text have been qualified either by the text itself or by the Hadith. Thus the knowledge of the Makki and Madani parts of the revelation facilitates a better understanding of some of the characteristic features of the Quranic legislation. A sura is considered to be Makki if its revelation had begun in Mecca, even if it contained ayat that were later revealed in Madinah. The Quran consists of eighty-five Meccan and twenty-nine Madinan suras. The differences of content and style that are observed in each are reflective of the prevailing circumstances of each period. Since Muslims were in the minority in Mecca the Meccan ayat may thus be especially meaningful to Muslims living in a dominantly un-Islamic environment, whereas the Madinese ayat may take for granted the presence of the sovereign authority of the Islamic state. The Meccan suras are generally short but rhythmical and intense in their emotional appeal to the pagan Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 25 Arabs, whereas the Madinan suras are detailed and convey a sense of serenity that marks a difference of style in the revelation of the Quran. [Cf. von Denffer, Ulum, p. 90.] The distinction between the Meccan and Madinan part...
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2013 for the course ISLAM 101 taught by Professor Islam during the Spring '13 term at Harvey Mudd College.
- Spring '13