Table of Index
- An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur'an
- Chapter 1 - The Qur'an and Revelation
AND SCRIPTURE BEFORE THE QUR'AN
- God's Communication with Man
- Man denies God
- Creation is Material Evidence for God
- Man's Pride
- Guidance for Man
- The Messengers
- The Names of the Prophets and their Number
- The Names of the Scriptures and their Number
- The Contents of the Former Scriptures
- The Final Revelation
QUR'AN, HADITH AND
Names of the Qur'an
Meaning of hadith
difference between the Qur'an and Hadith
Features of the Qur'an
- REVELATION AND HOW IT
CAME TO THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD
guides His Creation
Meaning of Wahy
Qur'an revealed to Muhammad
Descent of the Qur'an
OF THE REVELATION
why the Qur'an was sent down in Stages
2: Transmission of the Qur'anic Revelation
- MEMORISATION AND ORAL
by the Prophet
by the Companions
Prophet encourages Memorisation
Prophet sent Teachers
Readers among the Companions
Qur'an Memorised in the Prophet's Lifetime
- TRANSMISSION OF THE
is meant by Jam' al-Qur'an?
was the Qur'an Collected?
was no Book left by the Prophet?
down the Revelation
the Prophet himself write?
Qur'an written during the Prophet's Lifetime
Qur'an Dictated by the Prophet
during the Prophet's Lifetime
of Revelation during the Prophet's Lifetime
did the Prophet leave behind?
the suhuf were made
- THE MASAHIF OF THE COMPANIONS
Mushaf of Ibn Mas'ud (d. 33/653)
Mushaf of Ubay bin Ka'b (d. 29 H/649)
Mushaf of Ibn 'Abbas (d. 68H/687)
on Sura Al-lkhlas, (112)
- THE MUSHAF OF
of the Written Text
the Prophet left to the Muslims
Difference between Abu Bakr's and 'Uthman's Collection
- CHAPTER 3: The Qur'an in Manuscript and Print
- CHAPTER 4: Form, Language and Style
- CHAPTER 5: Understanding the Text
- Makkan and Madinan Revelations
- The Makkan Phase
- The Madinan Phase
- Makkan and Madinan Suras
- Its Importance
- How it is Known
- Kinds of Reports
- Kinds of Reasons
- Response to an Event
- Response to a
- Question to the Prophet
- Question by the Prophet
- Response to a General
- Particular Persons
- Several Asbab and One
- Several Revelations and One
- Several Views on Sabab al-Nuzul
- Specific or General?
- What is not Asbab al-Nuzul
- AL-NASIKH WA
- The Qur'an on Naskh
- How it came about
- Why it is important
- How do we know it?
- What is Abrogated?
- Three Kinds of Naskh in the
- The Abrogated Verses
- Abrogation and Specification
- VARIETY OF MODES
- The Language of the Quraish
- The Seven Modes
- Scholars Differ
- Seven Modes in the Qur'an
- THE VARIOUS READINGS
- Readers among the Sababa
- Later Development
- The Seven Readings
- Other Views
- CHAPTER 6 - Interpreting the Text
- Tafsir, Its Kinds and Principles
- Tafsir and Ta'wil
- Why is it Important?
- A Warning
- Basic Conditions
- Grades of Sources
- Kinds of Tafsir
- Tafsir bi-l-riwaya
- The Qur'an explained by the Qur'an
- The Qur'an explained by the Prophet
- Tafsir by sahaba
- Ibn 'Abbas
- Tafsir by Tabi'un
- The Makkan Group
- The Madinan Group
- The Iraq Group
- Tafsir bi'l-ra'y
An Introduction to the Sciences of
Ahmad von Denffer
contains the revelations of Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of the
Universe, to mankind. It is the message from God to man and therefore of
utmost importance to us. To properly grasp a message, one needs first of
all to understand its contents exactly, and for this purpose one must
study the Qur'an deeply and in detail. In fact, some people do spend their
whole lives studying the Qur'an, reading and reflecting upon it and, as
they grow and develop, both physically and spiritually, they discover for
themselves new meanings and implications.
some special knowledge of the circumstances that surround the message is
also necessary for fuller understanding of its meaning and implications.
Although some part of this special knowledge can be derived from the
Qur'an itself, there remain other areas of knowledge that can only be
discovered by wider study and research.
have from earliest times, applied themselves not only to the message from
Allah the Qur'an but also to its setting and framework, and the
preoccupation with these ultimately developed into the 'sciences' of or
'knowledge' about the Qur'an, known as "ulum al-qur'an'.
approach to the Qur'an, in my humble view, can be described in three
stages. You must:
the message of the Qur'an, by hearing or reading it;
the message of the Qur'an by reflecting upon it and studying its
the message of the Qur'an by ordering your personal life as well as the
life of society according to its message.
of knowledge, called 'ulum al-Qur'an may be used as a means for the
accomplishment of the second stage, understanding the message of the
Qur'an, by understanding its setting and circumstances.
According to a general definition, 'ulum al-qur'an [Sabuni,
Muhammad 'Ali: al-tibyan fi 'ulum al-qur-an, Beirut, 1970, p. 10.]
denotes studies concerned with the book of revelations sent down upon the last
Prophet Muhammad, [The customary blessings on
the Prophet (Allah's blessings and peace beupon him) each time his name is
mentioned will not be repeated in the text, but the reader is kindly requested
to observe this Muslim tradition.] namely:
- Its revelation.
- Its collection.
- Its order and
- Its writing down.
- Information about the
reasons and occasions of revelation.
- About what was revealed
in Makka and what in Madina.
- About the abrogating and
- About the 'clear' and
the 'unclear' verses.
also covers Qur'an-related studies, such as:
- The explanation of
verses and passages by the Prophet himself, his Companions, their
followers and the later exegetes of the Qur'an.
- The methods of
- The scholars of exegesis
and their books.
The aim of
this book as all 'ulum al-qur'an is to help towards a better understanding
of the Qur'anic message by providing information on its setting, framework
and circumstances. To a great extent it is a descriptive account of the
traditional subject of 'ulum al-qur'an. Some branches of 'ulum al-qur'an,
such as the divisions of the text, style, literary form etc., have only
been touched upon briefly, while others that seemed more important have
been dealt with in more detail. In particular such topics related to the
understanding of the text (asbab al-nuzul, al-nasikh wa al-mansukh, etc.)
have been treated more extensively while others, such as the 'seven ahruf'
or the 'Uthmanic writing, which are of benefit only to readers with a good
knowledge of classical Arabic, have been introduced, but not elaborated
restricted myself to presenting the generally-accepted views on the issues
and, where no consensus exists, have referred to the most important of the
divergent opinions. Although I do have my own views on some questions, my
basic aim in this 'Introduction' is generally to inform the reader about
the subject, and not to guide him overtly or covertly towards my own
There are a
number of matters related to the study of the Qur'an to which I have drawn
special attention since this 'Introduction' to the 'ulum al-qur'an is
aimed at a special readership, namely, young educated Muslims with little
or no access to the original sources on the subject. I have therefore
included several topics, of special relevance for that readership, such
- Orientalists and the
- Translations of the
- Modern interpretation of
- Language of the Qur'an.
- Reading and recitation
of the Qur'an.
particularly for the benefit of these readers, I have often quoted typical
examples to illustrate the various points discussed and make them more
assist readers not familiar with Arabic, I have supplied references to
English translations, where available (such as translation of hadith
books, etc.). However, on certain topics (e.g. asbab al-nuzul or al-nasikh
wa al-mansukh) there is no literature available as yet in English and
references had to be restricted to Arabic sources only.
I have also
attempted to note in the bibliography at least one or two books in English
for each section, from which more insight may be gained on the topic
volume (to the best of my knowledge, the first of its kind in a European
language) fulfil its purpose and assist you to grasp fully the message of
the Qur'an and to apply it in your life, and may Allah accept this humble
effort and forgive its shortcomings.