The Holy Quran is Allah’s word SWT to humanity revealed to His Messenger Muhammad PBUH. It is considered the most remarkable revelation from Heaven which links both Heaven and Earth together.
This Quran is the immortal miracle that will continue to succeed until God inherits the earth and those who lie upon it. It is the bond of Allah to which we should all hold fast and the guiding light to the truth and the right path.
So how can a centuries-old book survive to this day without anyone tampering with it?
Allah SWT guarded this Quran against distortion and being misrepresented in two manners; orally and in writing. Allah SWT says,
“It is certainly We Who have revealed the Reminder, and it is certainly We Who will preserve it.”Al-Hijr
How was the Qur’an revealed?
In the beginning, the Quran was not revealed as one sentence to the prophet, but it was revealed over 23 years, each Ayah is relevant to the accidents that happened in the life of the prophet at that time to strengthen them and tight them close to Allah SWT. He SWT replied to a suggestion of the disbelievers,
“The disbelievers say, “If only the Quran had been sent down to him all at once!” ˹We have sent it˺ as such ˹in stages˺ so We may reassure your heart with it. And We have revealed it at a deliberate pace.”Al-Furqan
To study the history of the Qur’an, it is necessary to know the stages of its revelation, which are commonly referred to by the Qur’anic term ‘Tanzil’, literally ‘descent’ or ‘descending’ of the Qur’an from heaven to earth.
Some of the aspects that should be discussed in this context would be the meaning of “Tanzil” and why it happened in stages, what was revealed first and what was revealed last, and the importance of understanding the sequence in revealing the different parts of the Qur’an, among other things.
That is the basis of belief in the Qur’an as the word of Allah which came from Him, as well as in the truthfulness messages of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH. And it cultivates a deeper understanding of the Surahs on which Muslims reflect.
The stages of Quran revelation in History
The Quran was revealed to Our Messenger in two phases:
The Quran was conveyed by Gabriel from the Preserved Tablet (in the Seventh Heaven) down to the First Heaven (sky) and retained in the ‘Place of Power or Honor’.
First, the Quran mentions the Preserved Tablets in the verse that says,
“In fact, this is a glorious Quran˹recorded˺ in a Preserved Tablet.”Al-Buruj
In another Surah, He SWT tells of the fact that it was sent down during a precise night, in the verse which says,
“Indeed, We sent it down on a blessed night, for We always warn ˹against evil˺.”Ad-Dukhan
Allah says about this great night that it is better than a thousand months.
“Indeed, ˹it is˺ We ˹Who˺ sent this ˹Quran˺ down on the Night of Glory.”
“The Night of Glory is better than a thousand months.”Al-Qadr
These two verses show that the Qur’an was revealed on a sacred night in Ramadan, called the “Night of Al-Qadr”.
This is the phase of revelation which lasted about 23 years during which the Quran was sent down in response to the development of events and in the sequence required to complete the delivery of the Message.
The Prophet PBUH after getting revelation would automatically memorize the Quranic verses and would recite them to whoever could write from his company. Mentioning some chosen Companions such as Zeid bin Thabet, Abi bin Ka ‘ab, Ma’az bin Jabal and Maawiya bin Abi Sufian and many other companions, May Allah be pleased with them all.
The Messenger PBUH himself used to retain a copy of the revealed portions in his house. The Quran, the last of Allah’s Scriptures, is divided into 114 ‘Surahs’ (Chapters) of unequal length.
It is the first fundamental source of Islamic Shariah (Islamic Law). Allah SWT says,
“˹It is˺ a Quran We have revealed in stages so that you may recite it to people at a deliberate pace. And We have sent it down in successive revelations.”Al-Isra
Although all these greats happenings, Allah describes the response of the disbelievers saying,
“Had We sent down to you ˹O Prophet˺ a revelation in writing and they were to touch it with their own hands, the disbelievers would still have said, “This is nothing but pure magic!”Al-An’am
Then, after the death of the Prophet PBUH, the Holy Quran was collected at the time of the adult successors and especially in the Caliphate of Abu Bakr Al-Sadiq, and Omar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with them, insisted that he should collect the Holy Quran.
The Qur’an then was written on the boards and kept in the chests. And fearing the loss of the Quran, after many defenders of the Holy Quran were martyred in the wars against apostasy, the Holy Quran was collected, then, during the reign of Osman bin Afan, May God be pleased with him, the Holy Quran was collected into one book.
Throughout history, Muslim scholars were interested in the study of the Quran and its encyclopedia, until the establishment of independent science, known as the science of the Quran, a group of detectives concerned with the Quran in terms of copying, copying, arbitration, analogies, and reasons for revelation.
All these kinds of science are tools whose only aim is to understand and interpret the deep true meanings of the Quran.
What is the science of Quran interpretation?
The science of interpretation of the Holy Quran is one of the most famous and important Islamic sciences that has arisen since the advent of Islam. Then it was not called science, as the Prophet was the first to interpret the verses of the Qur’an, that Arabs or the Companions had no need for detailed interpretation like the Arabs these days because the Prophet PBUH taught them how to read the Qur’an and understand its meanings and words.
Then, after the Prophet’s PBUH death, interest in the science of interpretation gradually increased; because of the prevalence of Islam among foreigners, and the need for non-Arabs to understand the meaning of the Qur’an and interpret its words.
In conclusion, Arabs as non-Arab speakers should do their best to have knowledge about the Quran and understand its meanings by improving their Arabic language and using the old Tafsir books to help them in their way of learning the Quran. As Tafsir Ibn Kathir is an example of translated trusted interpretation.
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