Category Archives: Science of the Qur’aan

Concise Principles in Tafseer and The Science of the Qur’aan (Part 7)

A word on the difference between the ‘Ahruf’ (Qur’anic dialects) and the Qiraa’aat (modes of recitation)

After that which has previously been mentioned concerning the collection of the Qur’aan, and that which took place during the era of Uthmaan, and his abolishing the seven permissible dialects of the Qur’aan because of the blood shed that took place due to differing about them, a question that arises here is what then are the seven popular modes of recitation that we are acquainted with to this very day, that we hear many with mastery in tajweed reciting (Namely ibn ‘Aamir, ibn katheer (not the famous author of the tafseer)  Aasim, Abi ‘Amr, Hamza, Naafi’and Al Kasaa’i).

It should be known that there is a difference between the Ahruf (dialects of the Qur’aan) and the Qiraa’aat (modes of recitation) of the Qur’aan.

The dialects of the Qur’aan that the ahaadeeth speak of were allowed variant Arabic dialects that the Qur’aan was revealed upon to accommodate for the variances in the dialects of the various Arab tribes at the time of the revelation of the Qur’aan.

The different tribes of the region had variant ways they would say certain words or express certain statements and the Qur’aan was revealed in seven of those dialects so as to accommodate for the linguistic variances among those tribe.

Since Allah revealed the Qur’aan in those dialects to facilitate ease for the tribes and not to reveal seven different Qur’aans, when Uthmaan saw what had occurred at the hands of the people due to that which Allah had made Permissible, he abolished them to prevent that which was haram (prohibited), namely the spilling of blood.

This without doubt is from the deep insight of Uthmaan Radhiyallahu ‘anhu and is mentioned as being from among his many virtues.

As far as the Qiraa’aat are concerned, then they revolve around the modes and methods of reciting the one Mushaf that Uthmaan had standardised.

That is, the great Imaams of recitation were united on certain issues and likewise differed upon certain issues related to how certain words or letters within the one Uthmaani Qur’aan should be recited.

This relates to elongations, stoppages, continuations, removing or applying emphasis upon certain letters or letter combinations and etymology.

From among the Taabi’een there were certain Imaams (mentioned earlier) who became famous as being proficient in recitation after having studied with and taking from those who were well known for excelling in the recitation of the Qur’aan among the Sahaaba.

These Imaams then went on to have famous students of their own who transmitted those modes and methods of recitation from their teachers. So we hear reciters reciting in ‘Hafs ‘an Aasim for example, which is a reference to the fact that this mode of recitation is in accordance with the method of recitation Imaam Hafs took from his teacher Aasim ibn Bahdalah who died in the year 127 after hijrah) or we hear of ‘Warsh ‘an Naafi’ referring to the fact that this reciter will be reciting in accordance with the teachings of Imaan Warsh (Who’s name was Uthmaan ibn sa’eed Al Masri his kunya being Abu sa’eed and he was nicknamed ‘Warsh’ which was due to him being very white and light skinned) who took from his teacher Imaam Naafi’ ibn Abdur Rahmaan who died in the year 169 after Hijrah) and so on.

Thus these imams and their most popular students are (in chronological order):

  1. Ibn Aamir (The Imaam of the people of Shaam) Whose full name is Abdullah ibn Aamir ibn yazeed. He was born in the year 21 (some biographers mention 28 after hijra).He met Waathila ibnil Ashqa’ and An-Nu’maan ibn basheer – Radhiyallahu ‘anhumaa. He took his recitation from Al Mugheera ibn Shihaab Al Makhzoomi who took from Uthmaan, while some maintain that he took from Uthmaan directly.

Those who became famous for his recitation.

From those who became famous for taking and spreading his method of recitation and his teachings:

Hishaam (he is Abul Waleed ibn Aamir ibn Nasr Ad Damishqi) who dies in the year245 and Ibn Dhakwaan (Abdullah ibn Ahmad ibn Basheer) who died in the year died in the year 242. Except these two did not take from the Imaam directly rather by way of his students.


  1. Ibn Katheer (Not the famous Imaam of tafseer and student of Shaikhul Islaam) His name is Abdullah ibn Katheer Ad Daari. He was born in Makka in the year 45 after Hijra. He met from the Sahaaba Abdullah ibn Zubair, Abu Ayoob Al Ansaari and Anas ibn Maalik. He took his recitation from Ubai ibn Ka’b and Umar ibnil Khataab and he died in the year 120 after hijra

His most famous students are:

Abul Hasan Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Abdillah ibn Abi Bazza (Also known as al Bazzi) who died in the year 250

Qunbul: Muhammad ibn Abdur Rahmaan ibn Khaalid who died in the year 250H

  1. Aasim ibn Abi Najood. He took his recitation from Abdullah ibn Masood and Zir ibn Hubaish.

Imaam Ahmad was asked about him and he said: “he is a righteous, good, trustworthy man” then he was asked whose recitation is most beloved to you? So he responded: “the recitation of the people of Madina and if not then the recitation of ‘Aasim” (Al Bahth wal istiqraa’ P40-41)He died in the year 127.

His most famous students are:

Shu’bah ibn Iyaash and Hafs ibn

  1. Abu Amr ibnil Alaa Al Basri 154H. He took from Mujaahid and from sa’eed ibn Jubair. Abu Mu’aawiya al azhari mentioned concerning him: “He was the most knowledgable of the people with the varying modes of recitation, and the (various) wordings of the Arab and the rare aspects of their speech and their eloquent poetry

(Tahdheebut Tahdheeb of Al Haafidh ibn Hajr2/178)

His most famous Students are:

Ad Doori: Hafs ibn Amr 246H and As Soosi Saalih ibn Ziyaad 261H

  1. Hamza Bin Habeeb Bin Ismaa’eel Al Koofi. He took his recitation from Imaam A’mash (Sulaimaan ibn Mihraan). Sufyaan ath Thouri mentioned concerning him: “Hamza has overpowered the people in the Qur’aan and the laws of inheritance” Tabaqaatul Qurraah 1/261)

His recitation became famous by way of two main Imaams who took from his student Abu Eesaa Saleem ibn eesaa Al Koofi and they are:

Khalaf ibn Hishaam al Baghdaadi 229H and Khalaad ibn Khaalid 220H

  1. Naafi bni Abdur Rahmaan Al Madani. He took his recitation from 70 of the taabi’een who had taken from Ibn Abaas, Abu Huraira and Ubai ibn K’ab  he died in the year 169H

His most famous students were:


Qaaloon: Eesaa ibn meenaa ibn wardaan 220H and Warsh Uthmaan ibn Sa’eed Al Masri 197H

  1. Al Kasaa’i: Ali ibn Hamza ibn Abdullah Al Asadi. He took his recitation from Imaam Hamza and his main reliance was upon him. From the Imaams who took from him Imaam Ahmad and Imaam Yahya ibn Ma’een He died in the year 189H

His main students were:

Abul Haarith Al Laith ibn Khaalid Al Marwazi 240H and

Ad Doori: Hafs ibn ‘Amr

These then are the seven popular reciters who the present day modes of recitation have come from. There are yet another three reciter who were as popular as these seven and they are:

  1. 1.       Abu Ja’far Yazeed ibnil Qa’Qaa’ 130H
  2. Ya’qoob ibn Ishaaq Al Hadhrami 205H and
  3. 3.       Khalaf ib Hishaam al Bazaar234H

The recitation of these reciters is considered, acted upon and transmitted because they possess three main characteristics:

  1. They are established through numerous (Mutawaatir) chains of narration going back to the Messenger of Allah – Sallallahu alaihi wa Salam
  2. They are in accordance with the one standardised Mushaf of Uthmaan (which incidently did not have at that time the well-known diacritical markings the mushaf has today (i.e fathah, kasrah, Dhammah and Sukoon))
  3. They do oppose the Arabic Language and that which is known by them

Hence we see they are not the Seven Ahruf or allowed dialects of the qur’aan though it is possible they may coincide with some of what was present within them but this cannot truly be established without having them present to make the comparison.

If this is understood then that should make clear the futile attempts of the orientalists and those like them who attempt to claim that ‘Some of the Qur’aan is missing just like the Bible’. When we know that the only thing abolished were ways of ‘reciting’ the Qur’aan and not the Qur’aan itself, (as opposed to the Bible that had who books removed) the futile nature of their claim becomes clear.

Wa Salllallahu ‘alaa Nabiyinaa Muhammad


Concise Principles in Tafseer and The Science of the Qur’aan (Part 6)

Bismillah Wa Salaatu Wa Salaamu ‘Alaa Rasoolillah:

Ammaa b’ad:

Concerning the Preservation, Collection and compilation of the Qur’aan

As mentioned in that which has passed, the Qur’aan was revealed in accordance with occurrences and incidents that took place during the life of the messenger (saw) or that Allah choose to reveal it without there being an incident related to its revelation.

On occasions Allah revealed whole surahs at once, at others
times parts of surahs and at other times parts of Ayahs.

Stages in the collection of the Qur’aan

The people of knowledge mention that there were three main
stages in the collection of the qur’aan:

  1. The Era of the Messenger
    (Sallallahu Alaihi was Salam)

During this period the qur’aan, alongside being revealed was
naturally being recorded by the companions of the messenger (Sallallahu alaihi
was Salam).

The main method of preserving the Qur’aan in this period was
through memory. The Arabs were well known for having exceptional memories and thus it was memorised by many in this period through this means. It was also preserved in writing during the life of the prophet (Sallallahu alahi was salam) on
various material. It was preserved on Animal skins, bone, Date palm wood and
animal shoulder.

The known memorisors and recitors of the qur’aan were many.

That which will bring clarity to this fact is the hadeeth of Anas
ibn Maalik who said:

“The prophet (Sallallahu alahi was salam) sent seventy men
who were known as ‘Al Qurraa’ (The proficient reciters of the qur’aan) upon a mission. They were confronted by the people of the tribes of Hayaan,
Ra’l and dhakwaan (Tribes who had animosity with the messenger (Sallallahu
alaihi wa salam) and were (all) killed…”

(Collected by Al Bukhaari 4088 and Muslim 1581)

On the basis of this incident the messenger supplicated
against them in the dua of Qunoot for the period of a month

The Hadeeth establishes the fact that the memorisers of the
qur’aan at the time of the messenger (Sallallahu alaihi wa salam) were many.

Imaam Abu Ubaid in his book ‘Al Qiraa’aat’ mentions some of
the most popular of those who had memorised the quar’aan. From them we have the
four caliphs of the messenger (Sallallahu alaihi was salam) and the likes of
Abdullah ibn mas’ood, Abdullah ibn Umar, Abdullah ibn Abbaas, Abdullah ibn
Zubair, Abdullah ibn al Amr’ ibnil Aas,  Saalim the freed slave of Abi Hudhaifa, Ubayy
Ibn Ka’b, Mu’aadh ibn Jabal, Zaid ibn Thaabit and Abu Darda. Alongside Aisha,
Hafsa and Umm Sala to name but a few.

  1. The period of Abu Bakr
    As Sideeq (Radhiyallahu ‘Anhu)

During the caliphate of Abu Bakr in the twelfth year after Hijra, Abu Bakr commissioned the second stage in the compilation and  preservation of the Qur’aan. The reason for his compilation was that which took place during the Battle of Yamaamah a large number of memorisers of the qur’aan were killed in battle. Abu Bakr, who was the khalifah at the time was concerned about the deaths of the proficient in the recitation of the qur’aan since it was not officially collected in one book
at the time but either memorised in its totality or preserved in writing in various places

During this battle known as ‘the wars of apostacy’ against Musailima the great liar and false prophet, a great number of memorisers of the Qur’aan were killed (more than 400 in number) thus Abu Bakr in order to protect the qur’aan had it officially collected since at that time it was either preserved writing present in various places or it was preserved in totality in the chests of the believers. An explanation of this incident occurs in the following hadeeth in Saheeh Bukhaari. Zaid Ibn Thaabit (who was commissioned by Abu Bakr to undertake the task of collecting the Qur’aan, narrates the conversation he had with Abu Bakr in the presence of Umar, who had suggested to Abu Bakr that the Qur’aan should be collected, the incident occurs in the following hadeeth:

Narrated Zaid bin Thabit Al-Ansari, one of the scribes of
the Revelation: Abu Bakr sent for me after the casualties among the warriors
(of the battle) of Yamaama (where a great number of Qurra were killed). ‘Umar
was in the presence of Abu Bakr, when he (Abu Bakr) said (to Zaid): “Umar
has come to me and said, the People have suffered heavy casualties on the day
of (the battle of) Yamama, and I am afraid that there will be some casualties
among the Qurra (those who know the Qur’an by heart) elsewhere, whereby a large
part of the Qur’an may be lost, unless you collect it. Thus I am of the opinion
that you should collect the Qur’an.’ Abu Bakr added, ‘I said to ‘Umar,
“How can I do something which Allah’s Apostle has not done?” ‘Umar
said (to me) “By Allah, it is a good thing”. So ‘Umar kept
on pressing trying to persuade me to accept his proposal, till Allah opened my
bosom for it and I had the same opinion as ‘Umar’. (Zaid bin Thaabit added:)
‘Umar was sitting with him (Abu Bakr) and was not speaking. Abu Bakr said (to
me), ‘You are a wise young man and we do not suspect you (of telling lies or of
forgetfulness); and you used to write the Divine Inspiration for Allah’s
Apostle. Therefore, look for the Qur’aan and collect it (in one manuscript)’.
By Allah, if he (Abu Bakr) had ordered me to shift one of the mountains (from
its place) it would not have been harder for me than what he had ordered me
concerning the collection of the Qur’an. I said to both of them, ‘How will you carry out a thing which the Prophet has not done?’ Abu Bakr said, ‘By Allah, it is a good thing. So I continued discussing with him about it till Allah opened
my bosom for that which He had opened the bosoms of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. So I
started locating the Quranic material and collecting it from parchments,
scapula, leafstalks of date palms and from the memories of men (who knew it by
heart). I found with Khuzaima two verses of Suraat-at-Tauba which I had not
found with anybody else (and they were):

‘Verily there has come to you an Apostle (Muhammad)
from among yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or
difficulty. He (Muhammad) is ardently anxious over you (to be rightly guided)’

The manuscript on which the Qur’an was collected,
remained with Abu Bakr till Allah took him unto Him, and then with ‘Umar till
Allah took him unto Him, and finally it remained with Hafsa, ‘Umar’s daughter.

(Collected by Imaam Al Bukhaari in his ‘Saheeh’ 4679)

This ordering of the collection and compilation of the Qur’aan
carried out by Abu Bakr is mentioned as being from the greatest of his virtues.

  1. The compilation of the
    Third Caliph Uthmaan

The Qur’aan, as is established in authentic hadeeth, was revealed in seven ‘Ahruf’ (different Arabic dialects). The revelation of the qur’aan in these dialects was to accommodate the various dialect of the Arab tribes in the region at that time. During the time of Uthmaan there occurred differing over the modes of recitation. This differing led to a big trial among the muslims and to fighting and bloodshed.

Thus trial was what lead to the third stage in the Compilation of the Qur’aan.

Narrated Anas bin Malik: Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman came to
‘Uthmaan at the time when the people of Sham and the people of Iraq were waging
war to conquer Arminya and Adharbijan. Hudhaifa was afraid of their (the people
of Sham and Iraq) differences in the recitation of the Qur’an, so he said to
‘Uthmaan, ‘O chief of the Believers! Save this nation before they differ about
the Book (Qur’an), as Jews and the Christians have differed (before)’. So ‘Uthmaan sent a message to Hafsa saying, ‘Send us the manuscripts of the Qur’an so that we mayncompile the Qur’anic materials in perfect copies and return the manuscripts to
you’. Hafsa sent it to ‘Uthmaan. ‘Uthmaan then ordered Zaid bin Thaabit, ‘Abdullah
bin Az-Zubair, Sa’eed bin Al-‘Aas and ‘Abdur Rahman bin Haarith bin Hishaam to
copy the manuscripts in perfect copies. ‘Uthmaan said to the three Quraishi
men (the three other than Zaid ibn Thaabit), ‘If you disagree with Zaid bin Thaabit on any point in the Qur’an, then write it in the dialect of Quraish as the Qur’an was revealed in their tongue’. They did so, and when they had written copies, ‘Uthman returned the original manuscripts to Hafsa. ‘Uthmaan sent to every Muslim province one copy of what they had copied, and ordered that all the other Qur’anic materials whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt. Zaid bin Thaabit added, ‘i could not find a verse from Sura al-Ahzab when we copied the
Qur’an which I used to hear Allah’s Apostle reciting. So we searched and found
it with Khuzaima bin Thaabit Al-Ansaari’. (That verse was): ‘Among the Believers
are men who have been true in their covenant with Allah’ (33: 23).

Thus we see the difference between the collection of Abu Bakr and the collection of Uthmaan is that the compilation of Abu Bakr was done with the intent of gathering the parts of the Qur’aan that where preserved in writing with the companions into one official book, while the collection of Uthmaan was to establish a standardised Qur’aan that the people would unite upon and not differ about.

(Collected by Imaamul Bukhaari in his ‘Saheeh’ 4702)

Thus the three stages are in summary:

1. Memorisation and preservation (During the Era of the Messenger (Sallallahu ‘alaihi was salam)

2. Collection and compilation (During the Era of Abu Bakr As Sideeq – Radhiyallahu ‘Anhu)

3. Standardisation (During the Era of Uthmaan – Radhiyallahu ‘Anhu)

Wa Billahit Tawfeeq


Concise Principles in Tafseer and the science of the Qur’aan (Part 5)

Bismillah Was Salaatu Was Salaamu ‘Alaa rasoolillahi,

Ammaa Ba’d,

The origin concerning the revelation of verses in the qur’aan is that its verses were revealed once.

Though it may occur in relation to verses in the Qur’aan (and surahs for that matter) that have more than one reason for revelation, that if the two reasons for revelation are authentic and there is a clear distance in time, as it relates to the two incidents (i.e. that one verse was revealed when the messenger (Sallallahu ‘alahi was Sallam) was living in Makka and the other while he was resident in Madina after the Hijra) the scholars rule that the verse was revealed twice.

The reason for that (they mention) is in order to re-affirm a past ruling and to affirm that the (new) incident falls within the meaning of the verse.

Imaam Zarkashi Mentions:

“An affair may be revealed twice in order to fortify its importance, and to remind of it when its reason re-occurs, fearing it may be forgotten. This is what has been said concerning the revelation of Suratul Faatihah, that it was revealed twice, once in Makka and a second time in Madina…”

(Al Burhaan 1/29)

An example of this is that which occurs concerning the statement of Allah the most high:

“Alif Laam Meem.  The Romans have been defeated…(Suratur Room 1-4)

Upon the authority of Niyaar ibn Mukrim who said:

When Allah revealed:

Alif Laam Meem. The Romans have been defeated. In the nearest land (the region of Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Palestine) and they, after their defeat will be victorious. Within three to nine years.

When this verse was revealed, the Persians had overpowered the Romans. The Muslims wished that they (The Romans) overpowered the Persians due to the fact that they were both people of the book (i.e. The Muslims and the Roman Christians). Concerning this there occurs the statement of Allah:

“And on that day the believers (Muslims) will rejoice with the help of Allah. He helps whom he wills and he is the All Mighty the Mercy-giver”

But Quraish wished that the Persians were victorious since neither of them were people of scripture or belief in the resurrection.

So when Allah revealed this verse, Abu Bakr went out to regions of Makka shouting:

The Romans have been defeated. In the nearest land (the region of Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Palestine) and they after their defeat will be victorious. Within three to nine years…”

So a group from the tribe of Quraish said:”Let us deal with this between us.  Your companion (Muhammad) claims that the Romans will defeat the Persians in a number of years between three and nine, Come let us make a bet upon that! So Abu Bakr said: “Ok!” and this was before the prohibition of Gambling. So Abu Bakr agreed with them to make a bet. They said let us agree upon a time period because Bid’ (the Arabic term used in the verse) is an amount between three and nine so let us name a year that we bet upon. So they agreed upon the sixth year, since it was a middle period between the two periods. So six years passed and they (The Romans) were not victorious. So the pagans took the amount Abu Bakr had placed upon the bet (some narrations mention it was 100 camels) some of the believers reproached Abu Bakr for what he had done, due to the fact that Allah had mentioned (this will occur in) Bid’ years (which refers to a number between three and nine). Then on the seventh year the Romans gained victory over the Persians and many people entered Islaam because of this”

(Collected by Tirmidhi 3194 and declared: Hasan by Sheikh Al Albaani)

There is a narration that indicates that the verse was revealed again in Madina

Imaam At Tirmidhi collects upon the authority of Abu Sa’eed Al khudhri (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu): ”During the (period of) battle of Badr, the romans defeated the Persians (in battle). The believers were happy about this and Allah revealed:

Alif Laam Meem. The Romans have been defeated. In the nearest land (the region of Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Palestine) and they, after their defeat will be victorious. Within three to nine years. The decision of the matter, before (the defeat) and after (the defeat) is only with Allah. And on that day the believers (Muslims) will rejoice”

(Suratur Ruum 1-4)

So the believers were happy at the victory of the Romans over the Persians”
This then is an example of a verse being revealed more than once. The verse was revealed in Makka before the Hijra then again in Madina some seven years later
Another example of that is the hadeeth related to the revelation of the verse in suratul Israa Vs 85:

They ask you about the soul…

Imaam Bukhaari (7297) and Muslim (2794) collected upon the authority of Ibn Mas’ood who said:

I was walking with the Messenger (Sallallahu ‘Alahi was Sallam) (on an occasion) in the agricultural (area) in madina and he was reclining upon a palm branch stripped of its leaves. He passed by a group of Jews and some of them said: why not ask him (a question) while others among them said: Don’t ask him (anything) for you will hear from him what you will dislike: So they said: “Oh Abul Qaasim: Inform us about the soul? So the messenger stood for a period and raised his head to the heavens and I knew he was receiving revelation then when it passed over he said:

They ask you about the soul; say The Rooh (soul) is (from those things) the knowledge of which is with my lord and of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given only a little” (Israa:85)

Imaam Ibn Katheer mentions about this Hadeeth:

That which is apparent from this wording and is initially taken from this is that the verse is Madinan and that it was revealed when the Jews asked him this question in Madina, though (the reality is that) the surah in its totality is Makkan. And the explanation of this is that it is possible that the surah was revealed in Madina a second time after its initial revelation in Makka…”

(Tafseer Ibn Katheer 3/60)

A note concerning the Makkan and Madinan Surahs

What should be noted here is that there is a common misconception about Makki (Makkan)and Madani (Madinan) Surahs. Many people erroneously believe that the Makkan surah is that which came to the messenger when he was in makka and that the Madani surah is that which was revealed upon him in Madina.

That which the scholars (Ibn Katheer  and others)mention is that the Makkan surah is that surah which was revealed before the Hijra (even if some of its verses were revealed in Madina) and that the Madani Surah is that surah that was revealed after hijra (even if some of its verse were revealed in Makka)

Wallahu a’lam


Concise Principles in Tafseer and The Science of the Qur’aan (Part 4)

Concise benefits in Tafseer and The Science of the Qur’aan (4)

Bismillah was salaatu was salaamu ‘alaa Rasoolillah

2. It may also occur that one verse may have more than one known authentic sababun nuzool (reason for revelation)

An example of this is that which has occurred concerning the reason for the revelation of the statement of Allah:

“O Prophet! Why do you ban for yourself that which Allah has made lawful for you, seeking to please your wives? And Allah is of forgiving most merciful”

(Suratut Tahreem Vs 1)

Concerning the reason for its revelation there has occurred the following hadeeth:

Upon the authority of Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) who said:

The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa salam) used to consume a drink (made) of honey in the house of zainab bint Jahsh (May Allah be pleased with her) then he would spend time with her. So Hafsah and I agreed that if he came to anyone of us (after being with her) that we would say ‘Have you eaten ‘Maghaafeer’ (the gum of a particular tree, that is sweet to taste but is has a foul smell and is also known to be intoxicating)?’ For indeed I smell upon you the fragrance of Maghaafeer. So he responded no! but I did drink honey with Zainab. I have now sworn (By Allah I will not return to it) so do not inform anyone about this”

(Agreed upon by both Imaamul Bukhaari in his ‘Saheeh’ (4912) an Imaam Muslim in his ‘Saheeh’ (1474))

The scholars mention that the messenger (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) did so due to his dislike of foul smells, particularly one that resembled an intoxicant.

There has also occurred another authentic narration concerning the reason for revelation of the verse that mentions:

Upon the authority of Anas ibn Maalik who mentioned that the messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa salam) used to have a bondswoman that he would have relations with (a reference to Maariyah the mother of the son of the messenger of Allah Ibraaheem). Aisha and hafsa did not cease addressing him concerning her until he made her haram upon himself so Allah revealed:

“O Prophet! Why do you ban for yourself that which Allah has made lawful for you, seeking to please your wives? And Allah is of forgiving most merciful”

(Suratut Tahreem Vs 1)

(Sunan An Nasaa’ie 7/71,72)

And in the narration of Umar about the occurrence he states:

“The Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi was Salam) said to Hafsa “Do not inform anyone but indeed the mother of Ibraahim is haram upon me” so she (Hafsah) said to him “will you make haram (upon yourself) what Allah has made permissible?” he said “By Allah I will not approach her” thereonafter he did not appraoch her, so she (Hafsah) informed Aisha then Allah revealed:

“Allah has already ordained for you (O men) the dissolution of your oaths (i.e the permissibility of doing so if one see that which is better, with the condition that one carries out the expiation for breaking the oath)…”

(Suratut Tahreem Vs 2)

Another example of this is that which has occurs concerning the reason for revelation of the verse:

“For those who accuse their wives, but have no witnesses except themselves, let the testimony of one of them be four testimonies (i.e. He testifies four times) by Allah that he is one of those who speak the truth. And the fifth testimony should be invoking the curse of Allah upon himself if he be of those who tell a lie (against her). But it shall avert the punishment (of stoning to death) from her, if she bears witness four times by Allah, that he is telling a lie and the fifth (testimony) should be that the wrath of Allah be upon her is he (her husband) speaks the truth.”

(Suratun Nur Vs 6-10)

It occurs in a hadeeth collected by Imaamul Bukhaari in his saheeh (3735) from the hadeeth of sahl ibn s’ad who said:

“Indeed ‘Uwaimir (Ibn Abi Abyadh al ‘Ajlaani) approached Aasim ibn Adi and said: “What would you say about a man that finds a man with his wife, does he kill him and thus be killed (for his murder) or what does he do? Ask the messenger of Allah about this on my behalf. So Aasim went to the messenger and he said oh messenger of Allah (and mentioned the issue) but the messenger disliked the issue. So Uwaimir asked him (Aasim) about it and he responded by saying “indeed the messenger of Allah disliked the Issue and dispraised it” so he said “Inded I shall not settle until I ask the messenger of Allah about that (myself)” so he approached the messenger and said “O messenger of Allah! Someone finds a man with his wife, (i.e. having relations) does he kill the man and then be killed (for his murder) or what should he do. So the messenger said “Indeed Allah has revealed (verses from the) Qur’aan concerning you and your wife..”

We see here how the knowledge of the Asbaabun nuzool helps to repel common misconceptions, from them the misconception that stoning is an Islamic punishment prescribed for women only, and then the likes of this verse is quoted. We understand that the verse was revealed in relation to a specific occurrence and does not indicate in any way that concentration with Islamic punishments is upon women alone.

Yet another narration indicates that the verse was revealed concerning a different incident.

Upon the authority of ibn ‘Abaas who said that Hilaal ibn Umayah accused his wife of committing adultery with Shareek ibn Sahmaa So the messenger (Sallallahu alaihi wa salam) said:

” (Establish the) evidence otherwise your back will be punished (i.e you will be flogged for falsely accusing a chaste woman) so he said “Oh messenger of Allah! if one of us sees a man on top of his wife in the middle of the act does he still have to establish the proof?! So the messenger continued to say: “(establish the) proof or your back will be punished” so Umayah said: “By he who sent you with the truth, I am being truthful and Allah will reveal that which frees my back from punishment. Then Jibreel descended and revealed upon him:

“For those who accuse their wives..” to the end of the hadeeth

(Collected by Bukhaari in his ‘Saheeh’ Hadeeth 4747)

This again establishes the point that one ayah may have more than one reason for revelation

Wallahu a’lam


Concise Principles in Tafseer and The Science of the Qur’aan (Part 3)

Bismillah wal Hamdullillah was Salaatu was Salaamu a’laa Rasoolillah,

Amma ba’d:

Concise benefits in Tafseer and The Science of the Qur’aan (3)

As far as ‘Asbaabun Nuzool’ (reasons for revelation) are concerned then there are a number of issues that should be borne in mind:

1.    It may occur that the sababun Nuzool (reason for revelation) may be one, but more than one verse in the Qur’aan was revealed concerning it.

An example of this is that which was collected by Imaamut Tirmidhi in his Sunan (Saheeh Sunan At Tirmidhi 2419):

Upon the authority of Umm Salamah who said:

“The men participate in battle but the women don’t, and we only have half the inheritance of the men” So Allah ta’ala revealed:

“And wish not for the things in which Allah has made some of you excel other. For men there is reward for what they have earned and for women there is reward for what they have earned and Ask Allah of his bounty…”

(Suratun Nisaa Vs 32)

Imaamut Tirmidhi mentions:

Mujaahid said: Allah revealed concerning her:

Verily the Muslims men and women, the believers men and women, the men and Women who are obedient to Allah, the men and women who are truthful, the men and women who are patient, the men and women who are humble, the men and women who give charity, the women who guard their chastity, and the women who remember Allah much, Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. paradise)”

(Suratul Ahzaab Vs 35)

Both of these authentic narrations establish this occurance as the sababun nuzool for more than one ayah

Another example is that which took place with the messenger as occurs in a narration collected by Ibn Jareer in his tafseer (14/364) upon the authority of Ibn Abaas who said:

“ The Messenger (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa salam) was sitting in the shade of a tree on an occasion when he said: “There shall come to you an individual who will look at you with two Satanic eyes. If he comes then do not speak to him. There did not pass a long period of time except that a blue eyed individual approached so the messenger (Sallallahu ‘alahi wa salam) called him and said “For what reason do you and your companions curse me?” so the man went away and returned with his companions who all swore by Allah that they did not say or do (such things), so much so the messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa salam) left him alone. So Allah the most high revealed:

“They sware by Allah that they said nothing (bad), but in reality they uttered words of disbelief, and they disbelieved after accepting Islaam…”

(Suratut Tawbah  Vs 74)

And Allah continues to describe them in the verse

Imaam Haakim collects a variant version of the same occurance (though the version in Mustadrak mentions the man had blue defective eyes). This narration (2/524/Hadeeth 3795) mentions that Allah revealed:

“On the day when Allah will resurrect them all together (for their account), then they will swear to him as they swear to you. And they think they have something to stand upon. Verily they are liars”

(Suratul Mujaadilah Vs 18)

Thus we see that it is established that more than one verse may be revealed for one occurance

Wallahu A’lam


Concise Principles in Tafseer and The Science of the Qur’aan (Part 2)

Concise principles in Tafseer (2)

The ‘Asbaabun Nuzool’ (reasons for revelation) are of two types

1. ‘Sareeh’ (clear and unequivocal)

This is when the companion states ‘the reason for the revelation of such and such a verse is…’ or he mentions an occurrence or a question posed to the messenger then he or she says “…then Allah revealed” or “ Allah revealed.

Concerning the statement ‘then Allah revealed’ on rare occasions this is mentioned concerning an occurrence that is not the cause for the revelation of the mentioned verse but this is rare. Similarly the statement of a companion ‘we used to hold that such and such a verse was revealed due to this’ while it overwhelms our suspicions that this is the reason for its revelation, that is not always clear cut and those instances and their narrations should be correctly followed up and analysed.

2. ‘Ghair Sareeh’ (Unclear)

This is when a companion says ‘ This verse was revealed concerning such and such…’ this statement could relate to the reason for revelation, but it could also be a reference to the tafseer or explanation of the verse. That is to say, for example ‘this verse was revealed concerning the expiation of a vow’, we understand that the intent is that the subject matter of the verse is such and such.

There is a subtle difference between the first type (Sareeh) and this one. In the first the companion clearly mentions ‘Sababun Nuzooli hadhihil Ayah.. (The reason for the revelation of the ayah is…) while here the companion says: ‘Nazalat Haadihil Ayah fee kadhaa’ (This verse was revealed concerning… the word to consider here is his statement ‘concerning’. Does he intent by this statement the reason for revelation or does he intend merely to discuss and mention its subject matter.

And the examples of these categories of ‘Asbaabun Nuzool’ in the books of tafseer (exegesis of the qur’aan) are many.

Wallahu A’lam


Concise Principles in Tafseer and The Science of the Qur’aan (Part 1)

Concise benefits in Tafseer (1)

Bismillah Was Salaatu Was Salaamu ‘alaa Rasoolillahi

Ammaa Ba’d:

1. Types of Revelation

Imaamus Suyooti mentions:

Al Ja’bari mentions:

“The Verses of the Qur’aan were revealed in two ways:
 1. That which was revealed without a known cause
2. That which was revealed on the basis of an occurance or question”

(Al Itqaan 1/82)

Thus this second category has what is known as a ‘Sababun nuzool’ (reason for revelation)

The ‘asbaabun nuzool’ (plural) must be reported with an authentic chain of narration for it to be considered.

Though the asbaabun nuzool help us to understand the context of the verse the scholars mention another principle and that is:

‘ Al ‘Ibratu bi ‘Umoomil lafdh laa bi khusoosis sabab’ (meaning that the thing that is taken into consideration is the general nature of the wording of the text, and not only the specific reason it was revealed for)

Thus as Shaikhul islam and others have mentioned the ayah is applicable to anyone whose circumstances resemble that of the one the verse was revealed concerning

Wallahu a’lam

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