انا انزلناه في ليلة القدر
Indeed We sent it down on the Night of Ordainment1
This post is the fifth in a series of summaries of Ayatollah Haadi Ma’rifat’s book entitled, Amouzish Ulum Qurāni (Learning the Qurānic Sciences). For an introduction to Ayatollah Haadi Ma’rifat and his works, click here. To read the previous post which discussed narrations claiming that Satan interrupted revelation, click here.
In the third chapter of his book, Allamah Ma’rifat discusses a series of issues that surround the beginning of revelation. Upon looking through his discussion, I found that it requires some context in terms of discussions that have previously occurred between our scholars. Due to this, I have instead focused this post on a view that Sheikh Saduq and his student, Sheikh Mufid, both discuss after which I have clarified some points and posed some questions. God willing in the next post I will discuss Ayatollah Ma’rifat’s view on some of the matters discussed within this post.
The following is a discussion concerning the issue of “how” the Qurān was revealed; that is, was it revealed all at once upon the Prophet, or was it sent down gradually over a period of many years. This discussion centres around a narration that brings forward many interesting views and questions concerning matters discussed in the Qurānic sciences. The narration is as follows,
Hafs bin Ghiyāth narrates from Imam al-Sādiq,
“I asked him [Imam al-Sādiq] about what Allah has said in the Qurān, ‘The month of Ramadhān is that in which the Qurān was revealed…’2 whilst at the same time, Allah revealed the Qurān over 20 years from beginning to end.
- al-Qadr 97:1 ↩
- al-Baqra 2:185 ↩
- Often translated as “the oft-frequented house”, there are differences of opinion as to what bait al-ma’moor is. A popular opinion, as mentioned by Allāmah Tabrasi is that it is a house in the fourth heaven where angels perform acts of worship ↩
- Kulayni, Usul al-Kāfi v. 2 pg. 649, I have refrained from mentioning the whole chain of narration, or discussing any of the narrators for the sake of brevity and because such discussions require the development of a thorough and consistent framework of evaluation. Although it is interesting to note that Hafs Bin Ghiyāth was Sunni, however Sheikh Tusi seemed to rely on him, for a thorough discussion, page 148 of the sixth volume of Syed al-Khoei’s Mu’jam al-Rijāl can be referred to. ↩