THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT
OF THE QUR'AN
THE REV. CANON SELL, D.D., M.R.A.S.
‘The Faith of Islam,’ ‘The Religious Orders of Islam,’
‘The Life of Muhammad,’ ‘Islam: Its Rise and Progress’
Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co.
THIS work does not profess to be a life of Muhammad. It is a history of the development of the Qur'an, showing how its gradual formation was determined by the events of the Prophet's life. Treated in this way, the Qur'an reveals his change of position towards the various classes of persons with whom he was brought into contact, and by the aptness of its injunctions, its apologies, its denunciations, we are enabled to see how admirably this piecemeal ' revelation was fitted to meet the requirements of Islam as they arose.
For the dates and the order of the Suras, or chapters of the Qur'an, I have followed Nöldeke's Geschichte des Qorans, which seems to me to be the best and most authoritative book on the subject. The following table shows the order in which Nöldeke arranges the Suras. He divides the Meccan ones into three groups, the earlier, middle, and later periods, and places all the Medina Suras in a fourth group.
First Period.—From the first to the fifth year of the Prophet's Mission. A.D. 612-17.
96, 74, 111, 106, 108, 104, 107, 102, 105, 92, 90, 94, 93, 97, 86, 91, 80, 68, 87, 95, 103, 85, 73, 101, 99, 82, 81, 53, 84, 100, 79, 779 78, 88, 89, 75, 83, 69, 51, 52, 56, 70, 55, 112, 109, 113, 114, 1.
Second Period.—The fifth and sixth years of the Prophet's Mission. A.D. 617-19.
54, 37, 71, 76, 44, 50, 20, 26, 15, 19, 38, 36, 43, 72, 67, 23, 21, 25, 17, 27, 18.
Third Period.—From the seventh year to the Hijra. A.D. 619-22.
32, 41, 45, 16, 30, 11, 14, 12, 40, 28, 39, 29, 31, 42, 10, 34, 35, 7, 46, 6, 13.
From the Hijra to the end. A D. 622-32.
2, 98, 64, 62, 8, 47, 3, 61, 57, 4, 65, 59, 33, 63, 24,58, 22, 48, 66, 60, 110, 49, 9, 5
In the quotations from the Qur'an I have used the translations of Rodwell and of Palmer and occasionally those of Sale and also of Lane. I have compared these with the Persian translations of Husain and of Shah Wali Ullah Muhaddath and also with the Urdu translations by 'Abdu'l-Qadir, Dr. Nadhir Ahmad Khan and Ahmad Shah.
The Traditions (Ahadith) of Bukhari and of Tirmidi have been consulted.
|THE MECCAN PERIOD|
|The first revelation—Indifference of the Quraish—The political factor—Persecution of the Muslims—Denunciation of opponents—Theory of inspiration—Absence of Miracles—Scepticism of the Quraish—Joys of Paradise—Influence of Khadijah—Description of Hell—The Prophet as Warner—Emigration to Abyssinia—al-Lat and al-'Uzza—Idolatry reproved—Hostility of the Quraish—Opposition to former Prophets—Reproof of the Quraish—Claim to inspiration—Denial of forgery—Uniqueness of the Qur'an—Jews, Christians and Sabians—Relation to Judaism—Tales of the Ancients—Visit to Ta'if—Visitors from Madina—The men of Madina—First pledge of 'Aqaba—The Mi'raj—Second pledge of Aqaba—Departure to Madina—The prospect in Medina||1|
|THE MADINA PERIOD|
|The entry into Madina—The Jews—Opposition of the Jews—Accusation against the Jews—Islam the only true religion—Jews charged with hypocrisy and with corruption of the Scriptures—Obedience to the Bible enjoined—Qur'an the safeguard of previous Scriptures—Change of the Qibla—Breach with Judaism—Sanction given to the Hajj—Persecution and massacre of the Jews—Warlike expeditions—safeguard of previous Scriptures—Change of the Qibla—Breach with Judaism—Sanction given to the Hajj—Persecution and massacre of the Jews—Warlike expeditions—Battle and Victory of Badr—Battle of Uhud—Defeat of Uhud—Hopefulness of the Prophet—Zainab and Zaid—Wives and concubines—Siege of Madina—Desire for the Hajj—Treaty of Hudaibiya—Special claims for Islam—The embassies—Attack on Khaibar—The 'Umra or Lesser Pilgrimage—Battle of Muta—Capture of Mecca—Victory of Hunain—Year of the Deputations—Expedition to Tabuq—Compulsion of Jews and Christians—The employment of force—Rebuke of the Hypocrites and the Arabs—The Prophet's war cry—Abu Bakr and the Hajj—Engagements made with Arabs not binding on the Prophet—The Greater Pilgrimage—The influence of the Hajj—God and His Apostle—Style of the Madina Suras—Importance of the chronological Order—Change of style||75|
|Passages cited from the Qur'an||196|
|Table showing the approximate chronological order of the chapters of the Qur'an||203|
List of authorities