Muqaddimah – Tafsir Nizam-ul-Quran – Mode of Revelation

The Holy Qur’ān itself testifies that it was not revealed in a single instance, but rather in a piecemeal fashion (25:32):

And those who disbelieve say: “Why is not the Quran revealed to him all at once?” Thus (it is sent down in parts), that We may strengthen your heart thereby. And We have revealed it to you gradually, in stages

Parts of the Holy Qur’ān were revealed considering the circumstances of its addressees. Therefore, when some of the directives were relaxed in some aspect Continue reading

Muqaddimah – Tafsir Nizam-ul-Quran – Determining the Addressees and the Addressors

Muslims unanimously hold that the Holy Qur’ān is the word of God revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (sws). This, however, does not mean that all that has been discussed in the Book has been addressed by God alone. Continue reading

Muqaddimah – Tafsir Nizam-ul-Quran – Structure of the Qur’ān

Division of the Qur’ān in rukū‘ as well as in 30 distinct parts is a post-Prophetic innovation. A little deliberation shows that the basic purpose of the rukū‘ division is to mark a thematic shift. Those who marked the rukū‘s have indeed intended to highlight the thematic shifts in the text and have tried to mark such thematic shifts by putting the sign ع. Continue reading

Muqaddimah – Tafsir Nizam-ul-Quran – Ma‘rūf and Munkar: Good and Evil

The Qur’ānic term ma‘rūf refers to what was welcomed as virtuous by the Arabs of the time of the Prophet (sws) and its opposite munkar signifies what they detested as evil. The Arabs of pre-Islamic age were not animals living in a jungle destitute of any sense of good and evil. Continue reading

Muqaddimah – Tafsir Nizam-ul-Quran – Length of the Surahs

In one of the discussions above, I have mentioned that the shorter Sūrahs of the Holy Qur’ān compete with their longer  counterparts in their grandeur, wisdom, and beautiful structure. This brief point requires some elaboration which is offered here. Continue reading

Muqaddimah – Tafsir Nizam-ul-Quran – The Holy Quran and the previous Scriptures on the Divine Commands and Historical Narratives

A traveller does not need to turn to stars for direction in broad daylight. Similarly, after the revelation of the Holy Qur’ān Muslims do not need guidance from the earlier Scriptures for these are now a mixture of truth and falsehood. However, the Holy Qur’ān is one of the Books from amongst the Divine Books and the individual who brought it is a member of the community of the Prophets and Messengers of God. All Muslims, from Adam to us, in spite of the great number of the Prophets sent in different times and regions, form a single ummah following the same religion. This makes it imperative Continue reading

Muqaddimah – Tafsir Nizam-ul-Quran – Sūrah as a Unit

By this discussion I aim to establish that each sūrah is a well-structured unit; it is only lack of consideration and analysis on our part that the sūrahs seem disjointed and incoherent. Every student of the Holy Qur’ān can notice that the Book contains short as well as long sūrahs. Had it not been a fact that each sūrah imparts Continue reading

Muqaddimah – Tafsir Nizam-ul-Quran – Correspondence and Sequence

A military commander arranges his army in various orders that reflects wisdom. However, only an expert in the field can understand the strategic wisdom involved in such an ordering: ordinary people can only get to know the use of such meaningful ordering when the army eventually emerges successful in a battle. Similarly, the Holy Qur’ān expresses a single theme Continue reading

Muqaddimah – Tafsir Nizam-ul-Quran – Univocity of the Quranic Text

The Holy Qur’ān makes the intended meanings of its text absolutely clear. Every single verse gives a single definitive message. It is only the lack of research and study of a verse on the part of the exegetes that makes it seem subject to various interpretations. Continue reading

Muqaddimah – Tafsir Nizam-ul-Quran – Divine Books explain each other

This discussion is confined to the issues of styles of expression and the language of the Divine Books. The divine laws and rulings and the historical narratives and their use and purpose will be taken up in a separate section.

It is known that teachings of Jesus Christ, though recorded in Greek, were originally delivered in Hebrew. That is, both the Torah and the Gospels were delivered in the same language. Continue reading