Introduction-I

To discover the coherence, feel the unity and consistency and unveil the harmony of the Quranic text, come to this column which will regularly appear in the Crescent, InshaAllah.

“If you feel any verse in the Quran is not related to present circumstances, please inform me”.
“If you feel any verse in the Quran sounds out of context please let me know”.
“If you feel any chapter (Sura) in the Quran has no relation with its preceding or following chapter please tell me”.
—These are the challenges Br. Kaleemullah Khan usually poses while speaking on the Quran in the ‘Adult Quranic Education Programme’, he runs in Srinagar. To discover the coherence, feel the unity and consistency and unveil the harmony of the Quranic text, come to this column  which will regularly appear in the Crescent, InshaAllah. A systematic presentation of the Quran: its meaning, style,  subject matter and composition shall be attempted. In this first issue a brief introduction of the holy text is presented as a prelude to the column. (Editor)

Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) was born in the city of Makkah (Arabia) in 571 CE. He was chosen by Almighty Allah to be the last prophet and messenger for the whole mankind, when he received the first divine revelation at the age of forty, through angel Gabriel while meditating in a mountainous cave Hira, about five miles from Makkah. Thus revelation of the Holy Quran started in 611CE with these verses :

اِقْرَاۡ بِاسْمِ رَبِّکَ الَّذِیۡ خَلَقَ ۚ﴿۱﴾  خَلَقَ الْاِنۡسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ ۚ﴿۲﴾  اِقْرَاۡ وَ رَبُّکَ الْاَكْرَمُ ۙ﴿۳﴾  الَّذِیۡ عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ ۙ﴿۴

“Read in the name of thy sustainer who has created (everything), created man out of a germ cell. Read  for thy sustainer is the most bountiful one; who has taught man the use of the pen, taught men what he did not know.” (96:1-5)

The revelation of the Quran continued for twenty three years (13 years in Makkah and 10 years in Madina) till the blessed prophet (S.A.W.) left the mortal world  in 633 CE. The last revelation received by the holy prophet was :

“And be conscious of the day on which you shall be brought back unto God, whereupon every human being shall be repaid in full for what he has earned, and none shall be wronged.” (2:281)

Muhammad (SAW) – the recipient of the message of Allah- (Quran)- as per the Divine Will became the first person to memorize the Quran by heart and the living epitome of its wisdom. The Prophet(SAW) conveyed the revelation verbatim to all those around him as he received it.

The revelations were not only memorized by the companions (R.A.) of the Prophet (SAW), but arranged and written down under the direct supervision of the Prophet (SAW) by the scribes from among the companions (Suhaba), as soon as these were delivered. The Prophet (SAW) saw to it that his companions memorized it accurately and transcribed it meticulously in writing. Thus whole of the Quran was recorded in the life of the Prophet (S.A.W.). It was later compiled in the book form during the government of the first caliph Abu Bakr (R.A.) just few months after the death of the Prophet (S.A.W.) and its authenticated copies circulated in different parts of the Islamic world by the third caliph Usman Bin Affan (R.A.). The Quran has remained in its purest form free from any alterations, additions or deletions as per the Quranic prophecy:

“Behold it is we ourselves who have send down this reminder (Quran): and behold, it is we who shall truly guard it.” (15:9)

The Quran today exists exactly as Allah Himself revealed it to the final Messenger(SAW)- letter by letter, word by word, verse by verse and chapter by chapter. The number of Muslims today (21st century) memorize the entire Quran by heart is in tens of millions, and those who memorize some portion of the holy text is in hundreds of millions. Purity of the Quranic text can be established even today, by comparing a copy of the Quran published from any part of the world with the 1400 year old text, a few copies of which are still preserved in the museums and archives, especially one copy each in Tashkent (Uzbekistan) and Istanbul (Turkey)

SOME IMPORTANT AND INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE QURAN:

The revelation of the Quran began in 611 CE
The revelation of the Quran  completed in 633 CE
The first verse revealed to the prophet (SAW) :

“Read in the name of thy sustainer who has created everything.” (96:1)

The first complete chapter revealed to the prophet (SAW) at a time : Al-Fatiha “The opening”
The last complete chapter revealed to the prophet (SAW) at a time : An-Nasr “The succor”
The shortest (one time) revelation ever received by the prophet (SAW): “Other than the disabled”(part of the verse 95 of chapter An-Nisa)
The longest one time revelation : 165 verses (the whole chapter No 6 i.e, Al-Anaam)
Total number of chapters (Suras):114
Number of chapters revealed in Makkah:86
Number of chapters revealed in Madina: 28
Longest chapter of the Quran : The Cow (Chapter No 2) : 286 verses
Shortest chapter of the Quran : Chapter No 108: 3 Verses
Total number of verses in the Quran : 6616
The longest verse : Verse No. 282 of Chapter 2.
The shortest verse : Verse No. 1 of Chapter No. 93.
Total number of Rukus (paragraphs) : 540
Total number of words : 77934
Total number of alphabets : 323760
Number of abbreviated letters  used in the Quran : 14
Total number of chapters (Surats) in the beginning of which the abbreviated letters have been used : 29
Total number of places in the Quran where prostration is obligatory : 14
The only chapter of the Quran which does not begin with

Chapter 9 “The Repentance”

The only chapter of the Quran in which the verse Bismillah i Rehman i Raheem is written twice : “The Ants” (Chapter No : 27)
The only (righteous) woman, mentioned in the Quran by name :  Mary (Maryam)
The only Suhabi (companion) of the Prophet (SAW) mentioned in the Quran by name :  Zaid (33:37)
The scribe (companion) of the prophet (SAW) who has the distinction of being the first person to write down the revelation : Khalid bin Saeed

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