BYMAULANA MUFTI MUHAMMAD                     SHAFI              Translated by    Prof. Muhammad Hasan Askari,       Prof. ...
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CONTENTS                                                   vii-S.No    Kinds of magic                              Subject...
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Foreward                                                           xv                   FOREWORD                          ...
Foreward                                                              xvi"Maariful-Quran" (The Wisdom of the Holy Quran) a...
Foreward                                                             xviithat it has always been a problem for its publish...
Foreward                                                                  xviiionly agreed to the proposal, but started th...
Foreward                                                              xixadvised the translators not to be too literal in ...
Foreward                                                              xx    1.Prof. Muhammad Shameem.    2. Mr. Muhammad W...
Foreward                                                                   xxi                  felt that the literal tran...
Foreward                                                            xxiivolume is already under composing, and we hope tha...
TRANSLITERATION SCHEMEArabic Letter   Name of Letter           English Transliteration   I             1         -- Alif  ...
PREFACE     This is a n introduction comprising of some basic informationsabout the Holy Quran its revelation, the history...
Introduction                                                            1     Wahy and its true nature   Since the Holy Qu...
Introduction                                                            2   1. Mans senses, that is, the eyes, the ears, t...
Introduction                                                            3has to have that knowledge. This further explains...
Introduction                                                               4Almighty, then admitting that He did not forsa...
Introduction                                                                5    With the descent of Wahy in this mode, th...
Introduction                                                            6prophethood. The first two happenings stand prove...
ionIntroduct                                                               7QurSn on the firmament facing the world, Inid1...
Introduction                                                              8gave a hard embrace and then released me. After...
Introduction                                                                         9going many hundred miles away from M...
Introduction                                                               10   2. Every Siirah in which (according to the...
Introduction                                                              11during this period, more emphasis was laid on ...
Introduction                                                          12revealed a t one time, it would have been difficul...
~ntroduction                                                                13the days of Ignorance, Sayyidna Marthad ibn ...
Introduction                                                            14people do not have the ability to do even that. ...
Introduction                                                          15For instance   q43$1<g 454$I?>                / / ...
Introduction                                                          16readings merged into this script, and the readings...
Introduction                                                             17instructions in one, or some selected readings,...
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Maariful quran mufti shafi usmani ra vol-1

  1. 1. BYMAULANA MUFTI MUHAMMAD SHAFI Translated by Prof. Muhammad Hasan Askari, Prof. Muhammad Shamim Revised by Justice Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani Volume 1 ( S u r a h Al-Fatihah, Al-Baqarah)
  2. 2. ...CONTENTS 111 S.No Subject Page CONTENTS Foreword -xv Transliteration Scheme xxiii INTRODUCTION Preface xxv Wahy and its true nature 1 The need for Waby 1 The modes of descent 4 The chronology of the revelation of the QurZil 6 The verses that came first 7 The Makki and ~ a d a nVerses i .8 Characteristics of Makki and ada an? Verses 9 The gradual revelation of the Noble Quran -- 1I Sabab al-nuzul:(Cause of revelation) 12 The seven readings of the Holy QurZn 13 The Seven Qaris 17 The Preservation of the Holy QurZn: In the days of the Holy prophet= 19 The writing of Wahy 21 Preservation: In the period of SayyidnZ AbG Bakr 22 Preservation: In the period of Sayyidng Uthmiin 26 Steps taken to facilitate recitation 31 Inclusion of dots 31 Marks of correct read?ng 32 Ahzab or Manazil 32 Ajza or parts 32 Akhmas and Ashar: The sets of Fives and Tens 33 Ruku or section 33 Rumuz al-Awqaf: Stop signs 34 The printing of the Holy Quran 36 An introduction to the science of ~ a f s i r 36 The sources of ~ a f s i r 38 The Glorious Quran 38 The ~ a d i t h 38 The reports from the SahZbah - 39 The reports from the Tgbiin or Successors 39 The Arabic Language 40 Deliberation and deduction 40
  3. 3. CONTENTS iv S.No Subject Page The rules relating to Israelite reports 41 A misconception about the tafsir of Quriin 42 Famous Commentaries of the QurZn 43 Tafsyr ibn ~a;r 46 Tafsir ibn Kathir 46 ~ a f s iA l - ~ u r t u b i r 46 Al-~afsir al-Kabir 47 Tafsir al-Bahr al-Muhit 48 Ahkam al-QurZn by al-Jassgs 48 TafsG al-Durr al-Manthur 48 Al-Tafsyr al-rvlazhar: 49 RGh al-Maani 49 Surah Al-FZtihah The merits and peculiarities of the Siirah 53 Bismillah is a verse of the Holy Quran 54 The merits of Bismilldz 55 Commentary 57 Injunctions and related Considerations 60 SErah Al-Fatihah 62 The Day of requital is real and rational: 67 Who is the Master? 68 The prayer for guidance -71 The Implications of Guidance -72 The meaning of Hidayah or guidance 72 The first degree of guidance 72 The second degree of guidance 74 The third degree of guidance 74 A cumulative view of guidance 75 Guidance: Some notes of caution 75 Which path is straight? 77 The key to the straight path 79 The conclusion 81 Why the Schism? 81 Injunctions and related Considerations 81 The proper way of Praying to Allah 81 Praising Allah is mans natural demand 82 Self-praise is not permitted 84 Rabb is the exclusive attribute of Allah 85 Seeking help from Allah 85 Seeking Allahs help directly and indirectly 87 Key to success in this world and in the Hereafter 91
  4. 4. CONTENTS v S.No Subject Page Surah Al-Baqarah The name and the number of verses 95 The period of revelation 95 The merits of SZrah Al-Baqarah 96 Verses 1- 5 97 Who are the God-fearing 101 The Definition of Iman 101 The meaning of Establishing SalZh 102 Spending in the way of Allah: Categories 103 The distinction between Iman and Islam 104 An argument to the Finality of Prophethood 109 The God-fearing have faith in the Hereafter 110 Faith in the Hereafter: A revolutionary belief 111 Verses 6 -7 113 What is Kufr? (Infidelity) 115 The meaning of Zndhar (warning) by a Prophet 116 Favour withdrawn by Allah is a punishment 117 A dnubt is removed 118 Verses 8 - 20 119 Injunctions and related Considerations 125 Removal of a doubt 128 Lying is contemptible 128 Misbehaving Prophets is to misbehave with Allah 128 The curse of telling lies 128 Who are reformers and mischief-makers 129 Verses 21 - 22 131 Commentary 133 The Doctrine of Tauhid : A source of peace in human life 138 Verses 23 - 24 139 The miraculous Quran i s a proof of prophethood of ~ u h a m m a d * 140 The Holy QurEn is a living miracle 142 Qualities that make the QurZn a miracle 143 Answers to some doubts 147 Verse 25 - 27 149 QurZnic parables Test and guidance 152 Who is fassrq? 152 Living by the covenant with Allah 153 Islamic concern about relationship to others 153 Verses 28 - 29 154 The life in Barzakh (The period between death and resurrection) - 156 Verses 30 - 33 158
  5. 5. CONTENTS vi S.Ns Subject Page The creation of Adam - 159 Why Allah discussed Adams creation with angels? 160 Allah is the creator of the language 164 an is the viceregent of Allah on the earth 164 The Holy Prophet & A $ $ was the last Caliph of Allah on earth 165 The issue of Caliphate after the Holy Prophet 167 Verse 34 170 Angel, prostration before Adam 171 Verses 35 - 36 175 Adam grid Hawwa in Paradize 177 The Prophets are innocent of all sins 179 Verses 37 - 39 181 Adams prayer to Allah 181 Descension of Adam was not a punishment 182 The obedient are freed of worries 185 Verses 40 - 42 187 Injunctions and related considerations 190 Verses 43 - 46 196 Salah with Jamaah: (congregation)- 201 An admonition to preachers without practil e 204 Khushu: The humbleness of heart 206 Verses 47 - 48 209 A doctrinal point 2 10 Verse 49 - 5 1 2 10 A doctrinal point 212 Verses 52 - 58 213 The meaning of IhsEn 2 18 Verse 59 2 18 Injunctions and related Considerations 219 Verse 60 222 An answer to a doubt about the Israelites 223 Verses 61 - 66 223 Injunctions and related Considerations 233 Verses 67 - 73 235 Injunctions and related consideration 238 Verses 74 - 89 238 Knowledge is not enough for %man 253 Verses 90 - 103 253 What is magic? Definition and effects 269 Magic and charms 269 Sihr or magic: The Islamic view 270
  6. 6. CONTENTS vii-S.No Kinds of magic Subject Page 271 The difference between miracle and magic 274 Miracle and Magic: How to distinguish between them? 275 Magic and Prophets 276 Injunctions of the ~hariahwith regard to magic - 276 A doctrinal point 278 Verses 104 - 107 278 What is Naskh? (Abrogation) 282 The kinds of abrogation 282 The terminology of the Naskh 285 Verses 108 - 115 287 The differences between the Jews and the Christians 291 Injunctions and related Considerations 296 The sanctity of the Mosque 297 Verses 116 - 123 300 Verse 124 309 The great trials put to Ibriihyrn 309 Verse 125 3 18 The History of Kabah 3 18 Ibrahim migrated to Makkah 3 19 Some injunctions related to the Haram -_ 322 The ~ a ~ a r n - e - I b r a h i r n -324 Verses 126 - 128 326 The prayers of 1brahirn 326 The Ibrahimic wisdom 328 Verse 129 331 The prayer of Ibrahim for the Holy Prophet & 332 Verses 130 - 132 343 illa at-e-1br5hym (The Ibrahimic Way) 344 Verses 133 - 134 348 Injunctions and related considerations 351 Verses 135 - 138 352 The definition cif %an 354 The terms Z i l l ~ and Buruzz are not valid 355 The Colour of Allah 356 Verses 139 - 141 357 Verse 142 360 The orientation of Qiblah 361 Verse 143 ... 366 The most moderate of all people 367 The universal man 368
  7. 7. CONTENTS viii S.No Subject Page The universal community 370 Moderateness: A comparative view 371 Injunctions and related Considerations 374 Verse 143 continued 375 The History of the Qiblah 375 Injunctions and related injunctions 377 Verse 144 382 The orientation to Qiblah 382 Injunctions and related Considerations 383 Verse 145 - 150 388 The change of Qiblah 392 Injunctions and related considerations 395 Verses 151 - 152 397 The Merits of Dhikr (Rememberance) 399 Verse 153 400 The patience and the SalZh. 400 A remedy to all problems 402 Verses 154 - 157 403 The Martyrs are not dead 404 Patience in hardship: The way to make it easy 406 A formula of peace in hardship 406 Verse 158 407 Some terms and their meanings 408 ~ a between Safa and Marwah is Obligatory ? 408 Verses 159 - 162 409 The duty of spreading the Islamic Knowledge 410 The ~ a d s is equal to the Quriin by implication h 412 The evil consequences of some sins 412 Cursing an individual is not permissible 413 Verses 163 - 164 413 Understanding Tauhid, the Oneness of Allah, in the wider sense- 4 14 Verses 165 - 169 416 The meaning of the words 419 Injunctions and Rulings 420 Verses 170 - 171 420 Comments on the nature of Taqlid - 42 1 Verses 172 - 173 423 The effects of eating Hula1 and Haram 424 Injunctions about the dead animal 426 Injunctions and Rulings -- 426 The blood 428
  8. 8. CONTENTS 1x S.No Subject Page Blood Transfusion 429 The swine is forbiddan 430 The consecrated animals 43 1 The offering for anyone other than Allah 435 Injunctions i n situations of compulsion 435 Special Note 436 Using the forbidden as a cure, in necessity 436 Using the forbidden as a cure without necessity 437 The conclusion 438 Verses 174 - 176 438 Earning money against the Faith 439 Verse 177 440 The chapters of Birr (the.virtures) 441 Commentary 442 Special Note 444 Verses 178 - 179 445 There is life in Qisas 446 Rulings 447 Verses 180 - 182 449 The Quranic view of making will 450 Rulings 452 Verses 183 - 184 453 Commentary 453 Past communities and the injunction to fast 454 Fasting when sick 454 Fasting when in travel 455 Ruling 455 Making Qada of the missed fast 456 Ruling 456 The Fidyah or Ransom for a missed Fast 456 The amount of Ransom and other rulings 458 Ruling 1. ~- 458 Ruling 2. 458 Verse 185 458 The merits of the month of Ramadan 459 Rulings 460 Note: 462 Verse 186 462 Allah is near His servants 462 Verse 187 463 Commentary 464
  9. 9. CONTENTS x S.No Subject Page Eating Sehri: 465 Ruling: 467 The worship of Itikaf 468 Ruling 468 Observe the limits of Allah 469 Verse 188 469 Commentary 470 The criterion of good and evil in earnings 470 The virtues of the Islamic economic system 470 The background of revelation 473 Halal brings blessings; Haram produces evil: 475 Questions man must answer on the Day of Resurrection 476 Verses 189 - 191 477 Commentary 479 The lunar calendar is the Islamic choice 480 Ruling 482 Jzhad: To fight in the way of Allah 482 Rulings 485 Verses 192 - 195 485 Commentary 486 Ruling 486 Spending for JzhZd -- 487 Verses 196 - 203 489 Injunctions concerning Hajj and Umrah 491 The injunctions about Umrah 492 Rules concerning Ibrarn 492 Shaving in the state of Ihram? 493 Combining Hajj and Umrah during Hajj months 494 Al-Tamattu and Al-QirZn;the two kinds of Hajj 495 The warning against violation of rules 495 The Hajj Months: Prohibitions 495 The eloquence of the Qur5.n 499 Trading or earning during the Hajj 500 Staying in Arafat and Muzdalifah: 501 Human equality in practice 504 The prohibition of Jahzlr customs at MinZ 504 Moderation in religious and worldly pursuits 506 The emphasis on remembering Allah in Minx 508 Verses 204 - 210 511 Commentary 512 Special note 516
  10. 10. CONTENTS xi S.No Subject Page Verses 211 - 214 517 Commentary 519 Verse 215 527 Commentary 528 Rulings 530 Verses 216 - 218 531 Explanation in brief 532 Injunctions and related Considerations 533 The Injunction relating to fighting in the sacred months 536 The evil consequences of Apostasy 537 Verse 219 539 Commentary 539 The prohibition of wine, and related injunctions 539 The gradual forbiddance of wine 541 The matchless obedience of the blessed Companions 543 Islamic strategy for a social change 544 The good and evil of wine 545 The forbiddance of wine: A complete view 546 The Unlawfulness of Gambling 548 Social ill-effects of gambling 550 Some juristic rules and related notes 553 Verses 219 - 221 554 Inter-Marriage between Muslims and Kcfirs is Prohibited 555 Special notes from Bayan al-Quran 559 Verses 222 - 223 560 No sexual intercourse during menstruation 560 Verse 224 - 227 561 Notes: 562 Verse 228 564 A great verse defining the status of man and woman 564 The place of women in Islam 564 The status of women in pre Islamic society 565 Mans guardianship is essential for peace and order 567 A conflict and its Resolution 568 Mans higher position over woman is for discipline only 569 Verses 229 - 230 572 Commentary 573 Marriage, divorce and the rules governing them 573 Detailed injunctions regarding three divorces at a time 578 Three divorces given unlawfully are effective 583 The action taken by Sayyidn5 F5ruq A l - ~ z a m 586
  11. 11. CONTENTS xii S.No Subject Page Verses 231 - 232 591 Commentary 591 Special instructions for revocation of divorce or annulment of marriage -592 Do not make a marriage and divorce a plaything 595 The basic rules of giving a divorce 596 Rules of the remarriage of the divorced women 597 The Quranic strategy about the enforcement of law 600 Verse 233 602 The injunctions of suckling the children by the mothers 602 Suckling of children is an obligation of the mother 603 The total period of suckling 603 Responsibilities of mothers and fathers 604 The standard of wifes liabilities 605 Forcing or not forcing a mother for suckling 605 Wages of suckling for a divorced woman 605 The responsibility of suckling an orphan 606 The injunctions of weaning 607 Injunctions of suckling by a nurse 607 Verses 234 - 235 608 Some injunctions relating to Iddah 609 Verses 236 - 237 609 Commentary 610 Verses 238 - 239 612 Commentary 612 Verses 240 - 242 613 Verse 241: The divorced women deserve a benefit 614 Verses 243 - 244 615 Commentary 615 Relating Injunctions and Rulings 619 Divine decree overcomes human planning 619 Rules pertaning to the place of epidemic 619 Some Exceptions 622 Verses 245 - 251 624 Commentary 624 Verse 248: The story of T&t and Jaliit 628 Verse 252 - 255 629 Commentary 630 The merits of Ayat-a1 Kursi 633 Verses 256 - 258 637 Injunctions and related Considerations 64 1
  12. 12. ...CONTENTS Xlll S.No Subject Page403. Verses 259 - 260 64 1404. Commentary 642405. Some related questions and their answers 645406. Verses 261 - 266 647 Commentary 649 A similitude of spending in the way of Allah 650 Conditions that make charity a worship 65 1 Conditions that make charity go in vain 652 Verses 267 - 274 656 Commentary 658 Injunctions relating to Injunctions relating to the lands, liable to Ushr 659 Al-Hikmah: Meaning and Explanation 660 Verses 275 - 281 664 The Prohibition of Riba 665 Some additional details about Rib6 684 Summing up the discussion 690 The wisdom behind the prohibition of riba 69 1 Economic drawbacks of ribE or interest 694 The design for deception 698 A doubt and its answer 70C The obligation of ZakEh ensures progress in business 701 Interest: The spiritual ills: 701 Is i t impossible to run a business without interest? 702 Sayings of the Holy Prophet & about R ~ b a Interest: or 705 Verses 282 - 283 708 The QurSnic injunctions on Loan 709 The rules of witnessing 711 The number of witnesses 711 The qualifications of witnesses 7 12 Refusing the act of witnessing is a sin 712 Witnesses should not suffer 7 12 Verse 284 - 286 714 Commentary 719
  13. 13. Foreward xv FOREWORD by Justice Maulana Muhammad Taqi Usmani Maariful-Quran is the name of a detailed Urdu commentary of theHoly Quran written by my father Maulan5 Mufti Muhammad ~ h a f i ( ~ J J I He was one of the eminent scholars who served a s a ~ ~ ) .professor and a s a grand Mufti of Darul-Uloom Deoband, thewell-known university of the Islamic Sciences in the sub-continent ofIndia. In 1943, he resigned from Darul-Uloom, due to his activeinvolvement in the Pakistan movement, and when Pakistan came intoexistence, he migrated to Karachi where he devoted his life for thisnew homeland of the Muslims and served the country in differentcapacities. He also established Darul-Uloom Karachi, an outstandinginstitute of Islamic Sciences on the pattern of Darul-Uloom Deoband,which is regarded today as the biggest private institute of higherIslamic education in Pakistan. He was a prolific writer who left behind him about one hundredbooks on different Islamic and literary subjects. Maariful-Qu~iinwasthe last great work he accomplished four years before his demise. The origin of Maariful-Quriin refers back to the third of Shawwal1373 A.H. (corresponding to the 2nd of July 1954) when the authorwas invited to give weekly lectures on the Radio Pakistan to explainselected verses of the Holy Quriin to the general audience. Thisinvitation was accepted by the author on the condition that he wouldnot accept any remuneration for this service and that his lectureswould be broadcast without any interference by the editingauthorities. The permanent title of this weekly programme was
  14. 14. Foreward xvi"Maariful-Quran" (The Wisdom of the Holy Quran) and it wasbroadcast every Friday morning on the network of Radio Pakistan. This series of lectures continued for ten years upto the month ofJ u n e 1964 whereby the new authorities stopped the programme forreasons best known to them. This series of lectures contained adetailed commentary on selected verses from the beginning of the HolyQuran upto the SGrah 1br~hYmS i r a h no. 14). ( This weekly programme of Radio Pakistan was warmly welcomedby the Muslims" throughout the globe and used to be listened to bythousands of Muslims, not only in Pakistan and India but also inWestern and African countries. After the programme was discontinued, there was a flood ofrequests from all over the world to transfer this series in a book-formand to complete the remaining part of the Holy Quran in the shape ofa regular commentary. These requests persuaded the esteemed author to revise theselectures and to add those verses which were not included in theoriginal.lectures. He started this project in 1383 A.H. (1964) andcompleted the commentary of Surah al-Fatihah in its revised form andstarted the revision of Surah al-Baqarah. However, due to hisnumerous involvements he had to discontinue this task, and i tremained unattended during the next five years. In Shawwal 1388 (1969) the esteemed author suffered from anumber of diseases which made him restricted to his bed. It wasduring this ailment that he restarted this work while on bed andcompleted Surah al-Baqarah in the same condition. Since then hedevoted himself to the "Maariful-Quran". Despite a,large number ofobstacles in his way, not only from the political atmosphere of thecountry and the difficult responsibilities he had on his shoulders indifferent capacities, but also from his health and physical condition, henever surrendered to any of them and continued his work with amiraculous speed until he accomplished the work in eight volumes(comprising of about seven thousand pages) within five years only. After appearing in a regular book-form, Mahriful-Quran washighly appreciated and widely admired by the Urdu-knowing Muslimsthroughout the world. Thousands of copies of the book are stillcirculated every year, and the demand for the book is so increasing
  15. 15. Foreward xviithat it has always been a problem for its publisher to satisfy thedemand to its optimum.A Few Words about the present EnglishTranslation of Maariful-Quran Let me say a few words about the present English translation ofthe Maariful-Quran. Although a large number of English translations of the HolyQuran is available in the market, yet no comprehensive commentaryof the Holy Quran has still appeared in the English language. Somebrief footnotes found with some English translations cannot fulfil theneed of a detailed commentary. Besides, they are generally written bythe people who did not specialize themselves in the Quranic sciences,and their explanatory notes do not often reflect the authenticinterpretation of the Holy Quran. Some such notes are based on anarbitrary interpretation having no foundation in the recognizedprinciples of the exegesis of the Holy Quran, and are thus misleadingfor a common reader. On the other hand, during the last few decades, the Muslimpopulation has increased among the English speaking countries inenormous numbers. These people and their new generations need adetailed commentary of the Holy Quran which may explain to themthe correct message of the last divine book with all the relevantmaterial in an authentic manner which conforms to the recognizedprinciples of tafsFr (the exegesis of the Holy QurSn). Since Maariful-Quriin was the latest book written on these linesand was proved to be beneficial for a layman as well as for a scholar, itwas advised by different circles that its English translation may fulfillthe need. I t made me look for a person who might undertake the task, notonly with his professional competence, but also with his commitmentto serve the Holy Quran. Fortunately, I succeeded in persuading Prof. Muhammad HasanAskari, the well-known scholar of English literature and criticism, to undertake the translation. In the beginning he was reluctant due tohis strong sense of responsibility in the religious matters, but when I assured him of my humble assistance throughout his endeavor, he not
  16. 16. Foreward xviiionly agreed to the proposal, but started the work with remarkabledevotion. Despite my repeated requests, he did never accept anyhonorarium or a remuneration for his service. He was a chain-smoker.But he never smoked during his work on Maariful-Quran, whichsometimes lasted for hours. In this manner he completed the translation of about 400 pages ofthe original Urdu book and 156 verses of the Surah al-Baqarah, butunfortunately, his sudden demise discontinued this noble effort.Strangely enough, the last portion he translated was the commentaryof the famous verse: ~ I A I , yrii YI, J I ~ Y I @ t&~t v. , v. e~ + I &, O j*lJ JI i;b B i;I IJU ire. ,++Lo1 Iil &UI O , L I ydi & And surely, We will test you with a bit of fear and hunger and loss i n wealth and lives and fruits. And give good tidings to the patient who, when they suffer a calamity, say, We certainly be- long to Allah and to Him we are bound to return. Prof. Askari passed away in 1977, and due to my overwhelmingoccupations during the next 12 years, I could not find out a suitableperson to substitute him. It was in 1989, thatprof. MuhammadShamim offered his services to resume the translation from whereProf. Askari had left it. I found in him the same sincerity, commitmentand devotion I had experienced in the late Professor. Moreover, he haddecided to devote the rest of his life to the service of the Holy Quranwithout any financial benefit. Here again I tried my best to persuadehim to accept some kind of honorarium, but it was in vain. He startedhis work from the Verse 158 of Surah al-Baqarah and has nowcompleted the translation of the first two volumes of the originalMaariful-Qur7anand is working on the third volume. Both Prof. Muhammad Hasan Askari and Prof. MuhammadShamim have insisted that their translations must be revised by mefrom the religious point of view. For this purpose, I have gone throughthe typescript of the translations of both of them and suggested someamendments where it was necessary. The translation of Prof. Askari had been started a t a time whenthe esteemed author of Maariful-Quran was still alive. We werefortunate to receive some guide-lines from the author himself. He had
  17. 17. Foreward xixadvised the translators not to be too literal in translation to sacrificethe natural flow of the text. Moreover, he had emphasized that whilerendering his book into English, the requirements of English must be kept in mind. Some discussions may be dispensedwith. Similarly, many paragraphs may be condensed in the Englishversion in order to avoid repetition. The esteemed author had authorised me for suitable decisions inthese matters. Both the learned translators, despite their earnesteffort to reflect the original text a s accurately as possible, havefollowed, in consultation with me, the said advices of the authorhimself. However they have never tried to sacrifice the originalconcept of the text for the beauty of language alone. Particularly, inthe juristic discussions of the book, they have been very strict in thetranslation, lest some change in the style should creep in and distortthe accurate connotation of the Islamic injunctions. In such places, thereader may feel some difficulty. However, a more concentrate readingcan easily remove it.Translation of the Holy Quran The original Urdu MaZriful-Quran had not given a newtranslation of the Holy QurGn itself. Rather, the esteemed author hadadopted the Urdu translations of Maulana Mahmoodul-Hasan(Shaikhul-Hind) and Maulana Ashraf Ali T h ~ n a von which he based ihis commentary. While rendering the book into English, we had threeoptions about the translation of the Holy Quran: (a) To adopt any one of the already available English translations of the Holy Quran, like those of Arberry, Pickthall or Abdullah ~ o u s u Ali. f (b) To translate the Urdu translations used in the Maariful-Quran into English. (c)To provide a new translation of our own. After a great deal of consideration and consultation, we elected towork on the third option, i.e. to prepare a new translation of the HolyQuran. The reasons behind this decision were manifold which neednot be detailed here. In short, we wanted to prepare a translationwhich may be closer to the Quranic text and easier to understand. Forthis purpose, we formed a committee with the following members:
  18. 18. Foreward xx 1.Prof. Muhammad Shameem. 2. Mr. Muhammad Wali Raazi. 3. This humble writer. This committee has accomplished the translation of the HolyQuriin upto the Surah Yiisuf and is still going on with this project. The committee has all the famous available translations of theHoly text before it, and after a deep study of the relevant materialfound in the classical Arabic commentaries, lays down the newtranslation in as simple expressions as possible, While doing so, wehave tried our best that the different possible interpretations of theQuranic text remain undisturbed, and the new translationaccommodates as many of them as practicable. We have tried not toimpose on our reader a particular interpretation where severalinterpretations were equally possible. However, where the translationcould not accommodate more than one connotation, we have followedthe one adopted by the majority of the classic commentators includingMaulanZ Ashraf ~ l ? h a n a v i on whose translation t h e ~Maariful-Quran is based. Despite all these sincere efforts, one cannot avoid the admissionthat the exact translation of the Holy QurGn is impossible. One cannotconvey the glory and the beauty of the divine expression in any otherlanguage, let alone the English language which, despite its vastvocabulary, seems to be miserable when it comes to the expression ofspiritual concepts. Therefore, even after observing all the precautionsa t our command, we feel that we were trying to translate a text whichis - as Arberry has rightly put it - totally untranslatable. However, this is another humble effort to convey the basic messageof the Holy Quran to a common reader in a simple manner. How farwe have succeeded in this effort? Allah knows best.The Scheme of the Translation Now, here are some points to be kept in mind while consulting thetranslation. 1. Although the translators have tried their best to preserve notonly the literal sense of the Holy text, but also the order of words andsentences, yet, while translating the idiomatic expressions, it is
  19. 19. Foreward xxi felt that the literal translation may distort the actual sense or reduce the emphasis embodied in the Arabic text. At such places effort has been made to render the Quranic sense into a closer English expression. 2. Both in the translation of the Holy Qur7Zn and i n the commentary, a uniform scheme of transliteration has been adopted. The scheme is summarized in the beginning pages of the book. 3. The names of the prophets have been transliterated according to their Arabic pronunciation, and not according to their biblical form. For example, the biblical Moses has been transliterated as Muss A+ ry-11 , which is the correct Arabic pronunciation. Similarly, instead of A+ biblical Abraham, the Quranic Ibrahim ,=KJl and instead of Joseph, the Qurgnic Yiisuf rUlA+ has been preferred. However, in the names other than those of prophets, like Pharaoh, their English form has been retained. 4. A permanent feature of the original Urdu Maariful-Quran is its "Khulasa-e-Tafseer" (Summary). Under every group of verses, the esteemed author has given a brief summary of the meaning of the verses to help understand them in one glimpse. This summary was taken from Bayiin-ul-QufSn, the famous commentary of Maulan; Ashraf ~ 1 i a n a vAi AIJI ~h & . He has set up this summary by adding i,J some explanatory words or sentences within brackets to his Urdu translation. The esteemed author of Maariful-Quriin has reproduced this summary (after simplification in some places) with the heading o f - ~ h u l a s a - e - ~ a f s Lu before his own commentary to the ir - K ;relevant group of verses. While translating Maariful-Quran into English, it was very diffi- cult, rather almost impossible, to give that summary in the same fash- ion. Therefore, the translators have restricted themselves to the com- mentary of Maariful-Quran and have not translated the Khulasa-e- Tafsir 1 - However, where they found some additional points in ;US. the summary which are not expressly mentioned in the commentary, they have merged those points into the main commentary, so that the English reader may not be deprived of them. It is only by the grace of Allah Almighty that in this way we could be able to present this first volume of this huge work. The second
  20. 20. Foreward xxiivolume is already under composing, and we hope that Allah Jk, L;&-will give us tawfiq to bring the next volumes a s soon a s possible. Acknowledgments a r e due to all those who contributed theirefforts, advices and financial support to this work. Those deservingspecial reference a r e Prof. Abdul-Wahid Siddiqi, Dr. Zafar IshaqAnsari, Mr. Abubakr Varachia and Mr. Shuaib Umar (both of SouthAfrica) Dr. Muhammad Ismail (of U.S.A), and Mr. Altaf Barkhurdaria. My elder brother Mr. Muhammad Wali Raazi has been associatedwith the work right from its beginning, and has always been a greatsource of guidance, support and encouragement. He is a member of thecommittee set up for t b translation of the Holy Quran and his re-markable contributior,, not only to the translation of the Holy Quran,but also to the translation of the commentary is unforgettable. He, too,h a s been contributing his valuable time and effort to this project foryears just for the sake of Allah. May Allah approve his contributionswith His pleasure and bless him with the best of rewards both hereand hereinafter. As for Prof. Muhammad Shameem, the original translator ofMaariful-Quran after the demise of Prof. Muhammad Hasan Askari,all the formal words of acknowledgment seem to be miserably deficientfor the valuable service he has rendered to this project. He has notonly translated the book with precaution and love, but also devoted hiswhole life to the Holy Quran and spared no effort to bring this volumeinto light. Out of his commitment to the cause, he did not restricthimself to the work of a translator, but also undertook the function ofa n editor and a proof reader and supervised all other minute details ofthe publishing process. His devotion, sincerity and hardwork is beyondany amount of admiration. May Allah grant him the best reward ofHis absolute approval for his noble work. Amin. With these few words I am honoured to present this first volume tothe readers. May Allah approve this effort and make it beneficial tothe Ummah. Amin. Muhammad Taqi Usmani Darul-Uloom, Karachi-14 10 Safar 1416 9 July 1995
  21. 21. TRANSLITERATION SCHEMEArabic Letter Name of Letter English Transliteration I 1 -- Alif a U 4 -- ba b 3 .L- -- ta t 3 .k . tha .- th C -- jim j C L -.ha h i +Lj. -- khg kh 3 JI, -- dgl d > JIi -- d h d dh J "J -- ra - r j db -- za z -- sin -- shin -- sad -- dad -- ta -- za -- ayn -- ghayn -- fii -- qGf -- kaf -- lam ,+ --mim b+ -- nun lb -- ha $3 -- W ~ W +! -- Hamzah .L. -- ya : Fathah : Kasrah : Dammah : Shortened Alif : Maddah Alif : Maddah YZ : Maddah WZw :&if and Yii aY : Alif and Waw aw (also au i n some cases)
  22. 22. PREFACE This is a n introduction comprising of some basic informationsabout the Holy Quran its revelation, the history of its descention andpreservation and similar other subjects. This introduction was writtenby me on the direction of my father, the esteemed author of MaGriful-QurZn. -He wanted to write this introduction himself, but due hismany other involvements and his deteriorating health, he could not doso. At this stage he directed me to write on these subject. When I start-ed writing the introduction, it became a lengthy volume itself and itwas not proper to include it in the Maariful-Quriin as an introduction.Therefore, the book was published separately under the title of"Uloom-ul-Qursn" and I condensed its discussions to the present in-troduction, which was published in the beginning of the second editionof ~ a a r i f u l - ~ u r a n . This introduction is translated into English by Prof. MuhammadShameem after he accomplished the translation of the first volume ofMaariful-Quran. My book "Uloom-ul-Quran" is now available inEnglish also. Those who like detailed discussions on these subjectsmay refer to it. Muhammad Taqi UsmZni 11Safar 1416 A.H.
  23. 23. Introduction 1 Wahy and its true nature Since the Holy Quriin was revealed to our beloved prophetSayyidn2 Muhammad al-Mustafa +, Ljs JJI& by means of W a h y(revelation), a n understanding of some particulars about Wahy isimperative a t the very outset.The need for Wahy Every Muslim knows that Allah Almighty has sent man into thisworld a s a matter of test, and in return for his being obligated withcertain duties, the whole universe has been placed a t his service. Forthis reason man, once he is in the world, must do two things: 1.He should make the best use of this world, and of things created in it. 2. While using this world to his advantage, he should keep the injunctions of Allah Almighty in sight and do nothing that goes against His will and pleasure. For these two functions man needs knowledge. Therefore, unlesshe knows the reality of this world, the properties of different thingsand the manner in which they can be put to use, he cannot useanything in this world to his advantage. Likewise, unless and until heknows the will of Allah Almighty as to what pleases Him and whatdispleases Ilim, it will be impossible for him to lead a life in line withthe will of Allah Almighty. So Allah Almighty, along with the creation of man, has createdthree things through which he could continue receiving knowledge ofthe above-mentioned matters of concern. These are:
  24. 24. Introduction 2 1. Mans senses, that is, the eyes, the ears, the nose, the mouth, the hands and the feet. 2. The reason. 3. The Wahy. Consequently, man finds out many things through his senses,many others through reason, and the knowledge of things he cannotget through these two sources are bestowed upon him through Wahy. The arrangement between these three sources of knowledge is suchthat each one has its limits, and a particular sphere of activity beyondwhich it does not work. In natural sequence, the knowledge of thingsman collects through his senses cannot be deduced through blandreason. For instance, you know by seeing a wall with your eyes that itscolour is white. But, should you close your eyes and try to find out thecolour of that wall on the sole strength of your reason, this will then beimpossible. Similarly, the knowledge of things that comes throughreason cannot be discovered by senses alone. For instance, you cannotfind out a s to who made that wall by simply seeing it with your eyes ortouching it with your hands. Not a t all, you rather need reason toarrive a t that conclusion. In short, reason gives no guidance as far as the five senses workefficiently, and when the five senses become helpless, reason startsfunctioning. But, even the guidance given by this reason is notunlimited. This too stops a t a certain limit. Then there are things theknowledge of which can neither be acquired through senses northrough reason. For instance, to find out about this very wall, as towhat manner of its use will please Allah Almighty and what mannerof its use will displease Him, is possible neither through senses northrough reason. In order to give man the answer to such questions, thesource that Allah Almighty has prescribed is what is known as Wahy.And the method it follows is that Allah Almighty selects one of Hisservants, ordains him a s His messenger and to him He reveals HisWord. This Word is Wahy. This makes it clear that Wahy is the highest source of knowledgefor man which offers to him the answer to questions about his Iifewhich cannot be solved by means of reason and senses, but, he still
  25. 25. Introduction 3has to have that knowledge. This further explains that reason andperception alone are not enough to show man the way. It is rather allthe more necessary, almost inevitable, that the Divine Wahy be therefor his guidance. Since Wahy is basically needed where reason does notwork, it is, therefore, not necessary that everything communicatedthrough Wahy be compulsively comprehended through reason. On thecontrary, as reason is no help in finding out the colour of some objectsince t h a t is the job of the senses, so is the knowledge of manyreligious beliefs, the gracious giving of which is the sole prerogative ofWahy and not of reason. Furthermore, trusting reason alone for theircomprehension is not sound and correct. To begin with, it is totally senseless to discuss the issue of Wahywith a person who, God forbid, does not accept the very existence ofGod. But, for a person who believes in the existence of Allah Almightyand has faith in His perfect power, it is not a t all difficult tounderstand that Wahy is a rational need, that it is possible and that itis there for real. If you have faith in the fact that this universe hasbeen created by an absolutely powerful entity, He is the One who hassent man down here to accomplish some particular mission, how thenis it possible to imagine that He, after once having created man, wouldleave him off in total darkness, without ever telling him why did hecome into this world, what his duties were, where was he destined togo and how could he realize the purpose of his life? How could aperson, whose sanity is still there, send one of his servants on acertain trip under a designated mission without ever telling him thepurpose of the trip while he is leaving, nor explaining it to him later onthrough some message as to why he has been sent out there and whatduties he is supposed to carry out during the trip? When a man ofordinary reason cannot do something like this, how can something likethis be imagined with respect to the most Holy Lord of the Universeunder Whose ultimate wisdom this whole system of the universe isfunctioning? After all, how is it possible that the Being, that did createsuch a mind-boggling system composed of the moon, the sun, the sky,the earth, the stars and the planets, would remain unable to institutesome arrangement of communication with His servants, throughwhich human beings could be given guidance about the purpose oftheir lives? If there is jrnin or faith in the ultimate wisdom of Allah
  26. 26. Introduction 4Almighty, then admitting that He did not forsake His servants in thedark, will become all the more necessary; rather on the contrary, Hehas surely instituted some regular system for their guidance. And so,this very regular system of guidance is known as Waby (Revelation)and Ris&lah (Prophethood). This makes it crystal clear that Waby is not only a religious beliefbut also a rational need the rejection of which amounts to a rejection ofthe ultimate wisdom of Allah Almighty.The Modes of Descent This sacred sequence of W a h y (revelation) and R i s E l a h(prophethood) came to an end with the last of the prophets,Muhammad al-Mustafa +,& A dl & . Nevermore, shall Wahy descendupon any man, nor there is need for it. Wahy used to come to the HolyProphet + & JJI , in several forms and modes. In a had;th from~ahTh al-Bukhar;, Sayyidah Aishah +d d Jsays that Sayyidna lHiirith ibn Hisham u dl &J once asked the Holy Prophet +, &A &I &as to how did Wahy come to him. The Holy Prophet + cjs d & said , lthat there are times when I hear something like the chiming of bellsand this mode of W a b y is the hardest on me. After t.hat, when thischime-sequence ends, that which has been said by the sound seems tohave been committed to my memory. And there are times when theangel appears before me in the shape of a man. ( ~ a h y h al-Bukha;, 2/11 As regards the likening of the sound of Waby to the sound of bellsin the h a d i t h cited above, Shaykh Muhyy al- in ibn a l - ~ r a b has iexplained it by saying that, in the first place, the sound of W a h y iscontinuous like the sound of a bell which does not break off inbetween; and in the second place, when the bell rings continuously, itgenerally becomes difficult for the listener to determine the directionof its sound because its sound seems to be coming froni all directions.And the Divine Word too carries with it the distinction that it has noone single direction, in fact, the sound gives the impression of beingheard from all directions. A correct realization of this phenomenon isjust not possible without auditory experience, however, in order tobring this happening closer to common comprehension, the HolyProphet & has simply likened it to the sound of bells. (Fayd a l - ~ a r i ,19,2011)
  27. 27. Introduction 5 With the descent of Wahy in this mode, the Holy Prophet +g cameunder very heavy strain. Sayyidah Aishah lg;S JJI & says towards the ,end of this very hadith that she had seen the coming of Wahy to himduring days of extreme winter. When the progression of W a h yceased, his blessed forehead would have already become dripping-wetinspite of the chilly weather. In yet another narration, SayyidahAishah JJI relates: When Wahy came to him, his breath would >Jseem to stop, the radiant face would change -- turning pale like thebranch of a date palm, the front teeth would shiver from cold and hewould perspire so much that its drops would roll like pearls. ( ~ 1 - ~ t q a n ,1/46) On occasions, so much intensity would be generated in this state ofWahy that the animal he would be riding a t that time would sit down,wilting under his weight. Once, when he was resting his blessed headon the lap of Sayyidnii Zayd ibn Thabit ~ ; &I+,, s there started thedescent of Waby in that very posture. This released so much weight onSayyidna Zayds thigh that it seemed to break. (Zad a l - ~ a a d ,1/18,19) There were times when a low-volumed sound of this W a h y wassensed by others as well. Sayyidna Umar ~ ; &I cr;t, says: When Wahy scame to him, a sound somewhat similar to the buzzing of honey-beescould be heard close to his most bright face. (Tabwib Musnad Ahmad, Kitabal-Sirah al-Nabaviyah, 201212) Under the second mode of W a h y , an angel would come to him insome human form and deliver Allahs message. Generally, on suchoccasions, Sayyidna ~ibrayl &A used to come to him in the form of fX.JlSayyidni Dihyah al-Kalbi L;S JJI . Certainly, a t other times, he hascome in other forms as well. In any case, this mode of the coming ofWahy when it was brought by Sayyidnii Jibrajl fX.JI 4 appearing inhuman form, was the easiest on the Holy Prophet . ( ~ 1 - ~ t q a1/46) n, The third mode of the coming of W a h y used to be thatSayyidnG JibrZil ?UIL~S would appear as he was, without havingtaken on the shape of a man. But this has happened only thrice in hisentire life-time. First of all, it was when the Holy Prophet +, & JJI &had himself wished to see him in his real form and shape. The secondtime, it was in the MirSj (the Ascent to Heaven), and the third time itwas a t Ajyad in Makkah al-Mukarramah during the very early days of
  28. 28. Introduction 6prophethood. The first two happenings stand proved authentically,however, t h e last one suffers from weak chains of authority and is,therefore. doubtful. iFath a l - ~ a r1118.191 ~ The fourth mode is distingu~shed a direct, non-intermediary, bytwo-way conversation with Allah Almighty. This honour w a s bestowedupon the Holy Prophet +, r _ j ~ & only once, that is, in Miriij, while &Iawake. In addition to that, once it was in a dream as well that he wasin a conversing situation with Allah Almighty. Unuer the fifth mode of Waby, it so happened t h a t SayyidnZJibrS7il r~~ ~ j would, without appearing physically In any form swhatsoever, let some words of the message fall into his heart. This istechnically known as t , j G Z (nafth fi al-rau: blowing into the heart) ~ .~(Ibid). The Chronology of the Revelation of the Quran The noble Qur7Zn is, in fact, the Divine Word. It is, therefore,secure in the Preserved Tablet. The noble Quran says: c=i;- :5-=.?.9=, ;l 6 7 a 1 94++ (Rather, i t is the glorious Quran in the ~ r e g e r v e dTablet).(85:21-22) Then, from the Preserved Tablet, its descention took place twice.Once, the whole of it had been sent to al-Bayt al-lzzah, the mostexalted House on the firmament of the world. The most exalted House(also known a s al-Bayt al-MamZr) is a House facing Kabah thatexists in the firmament a s the place of worship for angels. Thisdescention took place on the Night of Qadr (rendered as the Night ofPower in English). The second time it used to be revealed to the HolyProphet +,4 &I& gradually a s needed, having reached itscompletion in twenty three years. These two modalities of the Quranicrevelations become clear through the style of the noble QurSn itself.In addition to that, al-Nasai, al-BaihaG and al-Hakim and othershave reported from Sayyidnii Abdulliih ibn Abbas L;S &I crbJ what canbe summed up by saying that the first descention of the noble Quraiito the firmament of the world took place all a t one time and the HolyProphet +,4&I& was blessed with the second descentiongradually. (al-~tqan, I, p. 41) v Explaining the wisdom behind the first descention of the noble
  29. 29. ionIntroduct 7QurSn on the firmament facing the world, Inid111 Abu Shanlah hassaid that it aimed at demonstrating the exalted majesty of the nobleQuran, and a t the same time, it was to tell the angels that this wasthe last Book of Allah which is ready for descention for the guidance ofthe people of the earth. Shaykh al-zurq5n: makes yet another point when he says that thistwo-timed descention also aimed a t stressing that this Book is beyondall doubts, and it stands preserved at two more places other than theblessed heart of the Holy Prophet + 4 &I& , that is, in the ,Preserved Tablet, and in the Exalted House. (Manah11 a]-~rfan, p 39). v.1, It is almost agreed by all the scholars that the second gradual de-scention which was on the heart of the Holy Prophet + Lj, JJI , be-gan when his age was forty years. The beginning of this descention, asauthentically reported, was in the Night of Qudr, and this was thedate on which, some years later, the event of the Battle of Badr cameto pass. However, nothing definite can be said about the exact date ofRamaGiin when this Night fell. There are some reports which identifythat of the seventeenth RBmadan, while others place it on the nine-teenth, and still others which indicate the Night of the twenty-seventh. (Tafsir Ibn Jarir v. 10, p. 7 )The verses that came first It is authentically said that the first verses to come to the HolyProphet + 4 &I , were the verses from which Siirah al-Alaqbegins. As in ~ a h y h a:-~ukhZi< Sayyidah Aishah @ dl pJ whilerelating its background has said that the very first beginning ofrevelations to the Holy Prophet + Ljs &I& actually was through true ,dreams. Following that, came his zeal to worship in seclusion. Duringthis period, he would spend night after night in the Cave of Hira andstay in the state of ItiklEf devoted to his ibadah (worship) when oneday, right there in that cave, there came an angel from Allah Almightyand the very first thing he said was 7$+(lqra: Readt).The Holy ProphetcLLJ & &I said: ~,li,z G : I am unable to read. After that, relatingthe event himself, h said that the angel, hearing this answer of mine, ;caught hold of me and embraced me with such force that I had to go J,through unbearable strain. Then he released me and said: i;il:Readt. Isaid: I am unable to read. Thereupon, he seized me the third time,
  30. 30. Introduction 8gave a hard embrace and then released me. After that he said: Recite with the Name of your Lord who created, created Man out of a blood-clot. Recite and Your Lord is Most Generous who taught by the Pen, taught Man what he did not know. (96:l-3) These were the first verses to be revealed to him. Thereafter, thecoming of W g h y stayed discontinued for three years. This period isknown a s the period of fatrah, that is, the period when W a h y wasdiscontinued for a short interval of time. Then, it was after three yearsthat the same angel who had visited him in the Cave of Hira becamevisible to him between the heaven and the earth. He read to him theverses of S t r a h al-Muddaththir. Thereafter, the sequence of Wahy wasreactivated.The Makki and Madani Verses While looking a t the titles of the Surahs of the Holy Quran, YOUmay have noticed the entry, M a k k i (or Meccan, Makkan, Makkzyyah)with some SurGhs, and Madan: (Medinan, Medinite, Madan;yyah)with some others. I t is necessary to understand correctly what itmeans. In the terminology of the commentators, the Makk; Eyahn ~ e a n s verse t h a t was revealed to the Holy Prophet +J 4 d & a l -earlier t h a n he actually reached m ad in ah by way of h i j r a h(emigration). Similarly, the Madanr7iiyahor the Madani verse meanst h a t it was revealed after he migrated to Madinah. Some people takeMakk? to mean t h a t the verse concerned was revealed in the city ofMakkah, and so the Madan? is supposed to have been revealed i n~ a d h a h This view is not correct because there are several verses .which were not revealed in the city of Makkah, yet are called M a k k ibecause they had already been revealed before hijrah. AS such, theverses that were revealed in Mina, ArZfat, or during the Journey ofAscent ( M i r ~ j are also called ~ a k k i So much so, t h a t the verses ) .revealed during the journey of hijrah enroute e ad in ah are also calledMakk;. Similarly, there are several verses which were not revealed inthe city of Madinah, but they are ~ a d a n r For example, there were .several journeys t h a t the Holy Prophet & had to undertake while
  31. 31. Introduction 9going many hundred miles away from Mad:nah, and the versesrevealed at all those places are called Madan: anyway. So much sothat the particular verses that were revealed on the occasion of theConquest of Makkah or the military campaign of ~ u d a ~ b T in ~ a h ~ thecity of Makkah proper or its environs are also called m ad an;.Accordingly, the QurZnic verse: Surely, Allah commands you to fulfil trust obligations towards those entitled to them. (4:58)is Madan; although it was revealed in Makkah al-Mukarramah. (a]-Burhan, v. 1,p. 88, and Manahil al-Irfan, v. 1,p. 88) Then there are Siirahs which are either totally Makb;, or totally ada an;. For instance, SGrah al-Muddaththir is wholly MakkE andSGrah Al-Imran is wholly ~ a d a n i .But, on occasions, it has sohappened that one or some Madani verses find a place in the Surahwhich is wholly Makk; On other occasions, it has happened just thereverse. For instance, Siirah al-4raf is Makk;, but in it the verses from37 { ~ l SK7 ? .,, cY" ~ +i, : ,&Ier ,, ,7p;, ,-, 5, ,:7 to ,j**y4) W jl; are ada an; Similarly,Siirah al-Hajj is ~ i d a n but fo& of its vgrses, that is, those from i - o/, ,c : G to &.Grx4lk C I>~ l j ! ~ ! j u f d ~ ~ " & , i i $ & ~ lu ; ; are Makki. + . / 4 This also makes it clear that the incidence of a Surah being ~ a k k ior Madan; is generally conditioned by the nature of the majority of itsverses and so it happened frequently that the initial verses of a SGrahwhich were revealed before Hijrah were regarded as Makk; althoughsome of its verses may have been revealed later on following Hijrah.(Manahil al-Irfan, v. 1, p. 192)Characteristics of ~ a k kand ~ a d a nverses i i The scholars of Tafsir, after having made a thorough investigationinto the ~ a k kand ~ a d a n Surahs, have come up with a set of i jcharacteristics that tell right off if a Siirah is Makk; or ~ a d a n iSome .of these characteristics are recognized as universal rules while othershold good most of the time. The universal rules are as follows: - 1.Every Siirah in which the word s ( n e v e r ) appears is Makki. This word has been used 33 times in 15 Siirahs, and all these verses are in the last half of the noble QurZn.
  32. 32. Introduction 10 2. Every Siirah in which (according to the Hanafiyyah) there appears a verse of Sajdah is Makk: 3. Every Surah, with the exception of Surah al-Baqarah, in which the story of Adam and 1bGs finds mention is Makk;. 4. Every Siirah in which a permission ofjihiid or a description of its injunctions has been given is Madan;. 5. Every verse which mentions the hypocrites is Madan;. The following characteristics are genera1,and mostly frequent, thatis, sometimesthe contrary may happen, but usually and mostly itfollows the said pattern: # 1. In Makki Siirahs, generally, the form of address used is $ G I G 5 ,&-/ (0people), and in Madant Surahs it is l&i g+lki (0believers). 2. The M a k k i Ayat (Verses) and Surahs are generally short and brief while the M a d a n ; verses and chapters are long and detailed. 3. The M a k k i SGrahs mostly consist of subjects such as, Oneness of Allah, Prophethood, affirmation of the Hereafter, the panorama of the Resurrection, words of comfort for the Holy Prophet $ & and events relating to the past communities, and in these, the number of injunctions and laws taken up is much less a s compared with the Madan: Surahs where family and social laws, injunctions of jihad and expositions of limits and duties appear frequently. 4. In ~ a k k Siirahs, most of the confrontation is against idolaters i while in ~ a d a n Siirahs it is against the people of the Book and z the hypocrites. 5. The style of M a k k i Siirahs is more majestic. It has profusion of metaphors, similies and allegories, and the vocabulary used is extensive. Contrary to this, the style of the Madani SLurahs is comparatively simple. This difference in the style of M a k k i and ad an; Surahs initiallyowes its origin to a variety of conditions, circumstances andaddressees. Muslims had to deal mostly with the idolaters of Arabiaduring their Makkan life. No Islamic state was born yet. Therefore,
  33. 33. Introduction 11during this period, more emphasis was laid on the correction of beliefs,reform of morals, logical refutation of the idolaters and the miraculousnature of the noble Quran. Contrary to this, an Islamic state had risenin the Holy city of Madinah. People were rushing into the fold ofIslam, group after group. Idolatery stood refuted intellectually. Theideological confrontation was now wholly against the people of theBook. Therefore, greater attention was paid to education i ninjunctions, laws, limits and duties, and on the refutation of the peopleof the Book. The style adopted matched these objectives.The Gradual Revelation of the Noble Quriin As said earlier, the noble Quran was not revealed to the HolyProphet + A& &I , suddenly and simultaneously. On the contrary, itwas revealed, little by little, over a span of nearly twenty three years.At times, ~ i b r a i +I l A& would come with a small verse, or even withsome unit of a verse. Then, there were times when several verseswould be revealed at one time. The smallest portion of the QurSnwhich was revealed as such is ,GI~ 2 % (al-NisZ: 4:94)which formspart of a long verse. On the ot6er hand, the whole of Surah al-Adamwas revealed at one time. (Ibn Kathir, v. 2, p. 122) Rather than being revealed all a t once, why was the Q ~ r i i nrevealed little by little? The polytheists of Arabia had themselves putthis question to the Holy Prophet +, 4 JJI . Allah Almighty hastaken it upon Himself to answer the question in the following words: The disbelievers said, "Why has the Quran not been sent down upon him all at once?" "(We did) like this, so that We may strengthen your heart thereby, and We have recited it very distinctly. They bring not to thee any similitude but that We bring thee the truth, and better in exposition" (25:32-33) It is sufficient to understand a gist of the wisdom behind thegradual revelation of the Holy Qurai as stated by Imam a l - ~ i i G his inexplanation of this verse. He says: 1. The Holy Prophet f ~ , ~ J J ~ ummiyy, that is, being wasunlettered, he did not read or write. So, had the entire Qura5 been
  34. 34. Introduction 12revealed a t one time, it would have been difficult to remember anddocument. Contrary to this, SayyidnZ Mus5 ?%dlA knew reading and &writing, therefore, the Torah was revealed to him a t one single time. 2. If the entire Quriin had been revealed all a t orice, immediatecompliance of all its injunctions would have become obligatory, andthis would have gone against the wise graduation which has featuredas a matter of concern in the S h a s a h of our Holy Prophet , 4 dl& & , 3. The Holy Prophet +, Ljc d & had to go through ever-new ltortures inflicted by his people. That ~ibrail came, again andagain, with the words of the noble Quran, made his stand againstthese tortures bearable, and gave strength to his heart. 4. A large portion of the Quriin is devoted to answers given topeople who posed questions, while some other portion refers to variousparticular events. Therefore, the revelation of those verses wasappropriate a t the time when those questions were asked, or thoseevents came to pass. This increased the insight of Muslims and whenthe Quriin unfolded that which was unseen, its truth became all themore manifest. (al-Tafsir al-Kabir, v . 6, p. 336)Sabab al-nuzul: (Cause of revelation) The verses of the noble Quriin are of two kinds. In the first place,there are the verses that Allah Almighty revealed on His own. Theirrevelation was not caused by some particular event or a question askedby someone. In the second place, there are those verses which wererevealed in answer to some question or with reference to some event.This could be termed a s the background of these verses. Thisbackground is known, in the terminology of the commentators, as the sabab of nuziil (cause of revelation) or the shan of nuziil (thebackground of revelation). For instance, take the verse in Surahal-Baqarah: Do not marry female associators unless they come to believe, and a Muslim slave girl is better than a female associator, even though she is liked by you. (2:221) This verse was revealed in the wake of a particular event. During
  35. 35. ~ntroduction 13the days of Ignorance, Sayyidna Marthad ibn A b T ~ a r t h a d l - ~ h a n a v i aI;4 &I dl had a relationship with a woman, named Anaq. Afterembracing Islam, he migrated to Madlnah while that woman stayedbehind in Makkah al-Mukarramah. There was a n occasion whenSayyidna Marthad visited Makkah al-Mukarramah on a certainbusiness. Anaq came to him with a n invitation to sin. SayyidnGMarthad refused flatly and said: Now Islam has come between me andyou, but should you so wish, I can marry you after clearing it with theHoly Prophet , Ljs &I+ . After returning to ~ a d i n s r h Sayyidnii & , ,Marthad sought his permission to marry the woman he said he liked.Thereupon, this verse was revealed, and it prohibited marriage withmushrik women. (Asbab al-Nuzul by al-Wahidi, p. 38) This event is the shan or sabab of nuzul (cause or background ofrevelation) behind the verse mentioned above. The background ofrevelation is, therefore, very important in the exegesis of the nobleQuran. There are many verses the meaning of which cannot becorrectly understood unless the circumstances underlying theirrevelation become known. The Seven Readings of the Holy Quran In order that the noble Quran becomes easily recitable, AllahAlmighty has blessed the Muslim community with special convenienceby allowing it to read the words of the Quriin in more than one way. Ifthere are situations when a person is unable to pronounce some wordsin one manner, he could recite it in another. It appears in a hadith ofSahih Muslim that the Holy Prophet +, Ljs &I & was once sitting bythe pond of Banu Ghifar while Angel Jibriiyl came and said: AllahAlmighty has commanded you to ask your community to recite theQuran following one method of reading. He said: I seek from AllahHis pardon and forgiveness. My people do not have the ability to do so.Then, Angel Jibrail returned to him and said: Allah Almighty hascommanded you to let your people recite the Quriin following tworeadings. He said: I seek pardon and forgiveness from AllahAlmighty. My people do not have the ability to do even that. Then,Jibrail came the third time and said: Allah Almighty has commandedYOU to let your people recite the Quran following three readings.Again he said: I seek pardon and forgiveness from Allah Almighty. My
  36. 36. Introduction 14people do not have the ability to do even that. Then he came thefourth time and said: Allah Almighty has commanded you to let yourpeople recite the Quriin following seven readings. So, whichever ofthese they follow to read the Quran, their recitation will be correct.(Manahil al-Irfan, v. 1, p. 33) Accordingly, there is yet another had& where the Holy Prophet &has said: This Quran has been revealed covering seven versions. So from out of these, recite in a way that is easy on you. What is meant by Seven Versions in this saying of the HolyProphet g ? There are several scholarly positions in this connectionbut according to scholars who have conducted painstaking andexhaustive research on the subject, the weightier meaning of thisexpression is that the variations found in different readings of theHoly Quran are of seven types. These are as follows: 1. The difference in nouns: This includes the difference con-cerning singular, dual, plural, as well as, masculine and ferninin$. For 7 2 ? < . W9 ,, /instance, in one reading it is +a , while in another, A 3+ J 0W.9 . 0 I 2. The difference in verbs: That there be past in one reading,the present in another and the imperative in yet another. Forinstance, it is ~ ~ u iin one reading, while ~ ~ k i, gq . 0 - $&G inanother. 3. The difference in the placement of diacritical marks: Thatwhich shows variance in IrZb, which reflects variance in grammaticalmode of a word and is demonstrated through desinential inflections, ,*9 9,,such as kasrah, fathah, darnrnah. For instance, ;eading ~ u ; L + Y as Y 030SIS and ./ 7,99 31 a s - 3 1 A 9. 241,; 4. The difference caused by addition and deletion of words:That there be some word missing in one reading while it has beenadded on in another; for instance, the words %$ @& ,&appear in 8 ,r907 ~,,f, -8 1 d4one reading while the words AY ~t;c appear in another. / 5. The difference of precedence and succession: That there isa word which precedes in one reading, while it succeeds in the other.
  37. 37. Introduction 15For instance q43$1<g 454$I?> / / and .1.:6. /, 6. The difference caused by transposition: This happens whena word found in one reading is replaced by anoth,er word in anotherreading. For instance, 6% and. ;b , also ,i ; r and I=, @ /9>7 . ,* P l and 7 /and @ . // 7. The difference caused by manners of reading: It includesvariations in tafkhtm (velarization, making sound heavy), tarq&(making a letter sound soft), imZlah (inclination, bending the sound ofa short vowel), m a d d (prolongation), q a s r (to shorten), h a m z :hamzatation (providing a letter with hamzah), tzhiir (clear pronuncia-tion) and idghiim (assimilation). It means that, by doing these, the ac-tual word does not change but the mode of its pronunciation doeschange. For instance, the word, & is rendered as $2 in one of the :readings. Anyhow, many readings were revealed incorporating these seventypes of different renderings. This difference between them reallymade no difference in meaning. The latitude so given was aimed a tmaking recitation easy. In the beginning, people were not totally used to the style of theQuran, therefore, many readings were permitted within the radius ofthese. seven types. But, it was the blessed practice of the Holy Prophet+ & &I that he would go through the entire revealed QurZn with ,~ibra;;l 4during the month of Ramadan every year. The year heleft this mortal world, that was the year he did so twice. This daur ormeticulous re-reading of the Quran is called i s 9 1 LJI (last review).On this occasion, many readings were abrogated. Only readingsretained were the ones which continue to stay preserved to this daywith uninterrupted succession. SayyidnZ Uthman L ~ Sj l J +J , during the period of his khilafah,arranged to have seven copies of the noble Quran prepared in order toremove misgivings regarding the recitation of Quran. He incorporatedall readings in these seven copies by leaving the calligraphed verses ofthe noble Quriin without dots and desinences (the vowel-points) sothat the text could be read in accordance with whichever reading onewished to follow from among the very readings cited. Thus most of the
  38. 38. Introduction 16readings merged into this script, and the readings t h a t cauld notmerge into the script were saved by him when he elected to have onecopy written according to one reading, and another, in accordance witha n o t h e r reading. The community demonstrated such care a n ddiligence i n having the fondly-remembered readings collected in thesecopies t h a t QirEah developed into a branch of knowledge in its ownright, and there rose hundreds of scholars, reciters and memorizers oft h e Holy Quran who spent their entire spans of life to keep i tpreserved and protected. What actually happened was that when Sayyidna Uthman &Ip ,* 5 sent the seven copies of the noble Quran to various areas, he had ;also serlt particular reciters who could teach how to recite them. So,when these revered reciters reached their designated areas, theytaught people to read the QurEn in accordance with their respectivereadings. These different readings spread out among people. At thisstage, some people bequeathed their lives to memorize differentreadings, and in training others to continue the discipline. This is howthe foundation of the science of readings was laid and people fromdifferent parts of the Islamic world started turning to the masters oftlie discipline to achieve t h e highest of excellence in it. Somememorized only one reading, others did two or three or seven, or evenmore than that. In this connection, a standard rule was accepted a snorm throughout t h e u r n m a h a n d i t was invariably followedeverywhere. I t stipulated t h a t only such reading (qiraah) will beaccepted a s being the QurZn which fulfils three conditions: 1. There is room for it in the script of Uthmani copies of t h e Quriiin. 2. I t conforms to the grammar of the Arabic 1angQage. 3. I t should haue, provenly -- with sound authority, originated from the Holy Prophet +, +JJI & , and be well-known among the masters of readings, t h a t is, the Imams of Qiraah. A reading which lacks even one of these three requirements cannotbe considered a s part of the Quriin. Thus a large number of readingscontinued to be reported i n uninterrupted succession. Then, a s amatter of convenience, i t so happened t h a t a n Imam started giving
  39. 39. Introduction 17instructions in one, or some selected readings, and that particularreading became identified with his name. Then, scholars startedwriting books to collect these readings. So, Imam Abu Ubayd QZsimibn Salliim, Imam Abu Hatim ~ijistsn;, Q Z ~ ; 1smail and Imam AbiiJafar a l - ~ a b a rwere the first among those who compiled books in this ifield which included more than twenty readings. Then came the greatscholar, Abu Bakr ibn Mujahid (died 324 Hijrah) who wrote a book inwhich he had included readings from seven qEr& (reciters) only. Thisbook of his became so popular that these readings from the seven qarisbecame much more famous as compared with those of other qaris. Infact, some people got used to thinking that these are the only soundreadings coming in uninterrupted succession. Although, the truth ofthe matter is that Allamah ibn Mujiihid has collected these sevenreadings in one place just by chance. He never meant that readingsother than these were wrong or unacceptable. This act of Allamah ibnMujahid created yet another misunderstanding when some people be-gan to think that L, (seven versions) means just these seven read-ings which have been collected by ibn Mujahid. Although, i t has beenexplained earlier that these seven readings are simply a part of soundreadings, otherwise every reading that fulfils the above-mentionedthree conditions perfectly is sound, acceptable and included within theseven versions (HurZfl in which the noble Qurin was revealed.The Seven &ans Anyhow, the seven q ~ r who became most famous as a result of i ~this act of Allamah ibn Mujahid are: 1. Abdullah ibn ~ a t h i a l - ~ a r(died 120 Hijrah). He was fortunate r ienough to have seen Sayyidnii Anas ibn Milik, AbdullZh ibn Zubayrand Abu Ayyiib a l - ~ n s i i r i &I d J from among the Companions. Hisreading became more famous in Makkah al-Mukarramah. Well-knownamong those who transmitted hisrendition are ~ a z z and Qambal, lmay Allah have mercy on them all. 2. Nafi ibn Abd Al-Rahman ibn ~ bal-Nuaym (died 169 Hijrah). iHe had the benefit of learning from seventy successors to theCompanions who were direct disciples of SayyidnZ Ubayy ibn Kab,Abdullah ibn .Abb%s and Abii Hurayrah . d l pJ His readingbecame more famous in adi in ah and among those who transmitted

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