Al-Itqān: Meccan and Medinan Chapters

Al-Itqān: Meccan and Medinan Chapters

In a previous post I introduced “Al-Itqān fī ‘Ulūm al-Qurān” by al-Suyūṭī. I have recently been reading through some chapters of the book and have found many interesting discussions. What follows is a summary of al-Suyūṭī’s discussion on Meccan and Medinan chapters.

Importance of Knowing the Location of Revelation

Many scholars have attested to the importance of knowing the location of revelation of the chapters of the Qurān, particularly for an exegete. This is because knowing where a chapter was revealed can aid one in knowing when the chapter was revealed. This in turn can assist one in determining if that chapter has verses that can act as abrogating verses for other verses. This is according to the view that abrogating verses must come after the verses that they abrogate.

It should be noted that al-Suyūṭī only mentions a few benefits for studying the location of revelation of different chapters. Perhaps the most important reason to study the location of revelation of different chapters is that such knowledge provides necessary context when interpreting different verses. Many verses can be understood very differently if taken to have been revealed later on in the Prophet’s life versus earlier on in his life. In short, any sort of added context aids in the understanding of a text.

Definitions of Meccan/Medinan

To begin with, it should be noted that the words, “Meccan” and “Medinan” have been defined in 3 different ways. That is there are three different understandings of what these words mean which are as follows. Continue reading “Al-Itqān: Meccan and Medinan Chapters”

Ayatollah Javadi: Naming the Chapters of the Qurān

Ayatollah Javadi: Naming the Chapters of the Qurān
فاذكروني أذكركم و اشكروا لي و لا تكفرون

Remember Me, and I will remember you, and thank me and do not be ungrateful to me[1]

While looking over my notes for my upcoming exam on the Qurānic sciences, I came across an interesting view espoused by Ayatollah Javadi Amuli[2] concerning the naming of some of the chapters of the Qurān. I thought it might be an interesting share.

As will be discussed in more detail, in a later LQS post, there exist various views concerning how the chapters of the Qurān came to be named. Some scholars believe that all of the chapters of the Qurān were named by the Prophet, whilst others believe that some chapters came to be named as they are now by common people after the death of the Prophet.

Ayatollah Javadi offers an interesting reason as to why it is possible that certain chapters were not named by the Prophet. Below I have offered a translation of a passage from his exegesis wherein he discusses the naming of Sura al-Baqrah…

Continue reading “Ayatollah Javadi: Naming the Chapters of the Qurān”

Allamah Haadi Ma’rifat

Allamah Haadi Ma’rifat

My last post concerning the sciences of the Qurān provided a brief outline of some of the different sciences that are associated with the Qurān as well as some of the questions that are asked and researched within each respective science.

Now, I feel as if it would be beneficial to delve into a book that will discuss some matters pertaining to each science and attempt to offer brief explanations for different issues. One particular book that I feel would serve this purpose well is that of Allamah Haadi Ma’rifat’s which is entitled, “Amouzish Ulum Qurāni” (Learning the Qurānic Sciences). However, before delving into this book, I’d like to offer some insight into Allamah Haadi Ma’rifat’s life and provide a brief explanation of this book.

Allamah Haadi Ma’rifat (may Allah bless his soul), was born in the holy city of Najaf in the year 1891.

It was here that he pursued his studies, first studying basic Arabic grammar under his father and classical logic under other well-known teachers.
Later, he moved on to studying the principles of jurisprudence (Usul al-Fiqh) and jurisprudence (Fiqh). After a period of time, he moved onto attending the classes of eminent jurists such as Ayatollah Khoei. During this time he began to engage in research along with a group of other scholars in which each of them would choose different subjects and research them. During these research projects Ayatollah Haadi Ma’rifat chose to research the sciences of the Qurān. Continue reading “Allamah Haadi Ma’rifat”

An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qurān

An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qurān
سبحانک لا علم لنا الا ما علمتنا

Glory be to thee, We have no knowledge except for that which you have taught us[1]

For a while now I have wanted to briefly introduce some of the different subjects that are discussed and researched as a means to understand the Qurān. However, practically I have found this task very difficult due to numerous reasons, one of them being simply because of the numerous subjects that are associated with the Qurān[2]. Anyhow, my goal here is to introduce merely some of the numerous subjects that are critical to one’s understanding of the Qurān.

1. Exegesis of the Qurān (Tafsir)

Perhaps the most widely studied subject in relation to the Qurān is that of exegesis. Exegesis is sometimes defined as, “Attempting to understand the intent of Allah in accordance to the capabilities of human beings”[3]. That is, exegesis is an attempt to understand the intended meaning of Allah within the Qurān while taking into account that man is a limited being and is not necessarily capable of perceiving the depths of the meanings within the Qurān. Throughout history, exegesis has been the subject of a lot of debate and discussion and literally thousands of exegeses (tafasir) have been written in attempting to convey understood meanings of the Qurān. Continue reading “An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qurān”