Makki and Madani Series Part 1 – Definitions: al-Suyooti

In his famous handbook of the Qur’anic Sciences, al-Itqan fee ‘Uloom al-Qur’an, Imam Jalal al-Deen al-Suyooti dedicated his first main chapter to the subject of Makki and Madani revelation, which we have made into the this Makki and Madani Series of articles. What follows is the first of four sections of that chapter as abridged by Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool. This particular section focuses on the defining the terms Makki and Madani and understanding the different terminologies used.

ـ [تعريف المكي والمدني] ـ

Defining Makki and Madani

وقال ابن النقيب في مقدمة تفسيره : المنزل من القرآن على أربعة أقسام : مكي ، ومدني ، وما بعضه مكي وبعضه مدني ، وما ليس بمكي ولا مدني . ـ

In the introduction to his tafsir, ibn al-Naqeeb said:

What has been revealed of the Qur’an can be divided into four categories: 1) Makki, 2) Madani, 3) part of which is Makki and part of which is Madani, and 4) what is neither Makki nor Madani.

اعلم أن للناس في المكي والمدني اصطلاحات ثلاثة : ـ

Be aware that when it comes to Makki and Madani, people have three different sets of terminology:

أشهرها : أن المكي ما نزل قبل الهجرة ، والمدني ما نزل بعدها ، سواء نزل بمكة أم بالمدينة ، عام الفتح أو عام حجة الوداع ، أم بسفر من الأسفار . ـ

The most common one is this: that Makki is what was revealed prior to the Hijrah, and Madani is what was revealed afterwards, regardless of whether it was revealed in Mecca of al-Madinah, during the year of the Conquest of Mecca or during the Farewell Pilgrimage, or during any one of the Prophet’s travels.

أخرج عثمان بن سعيد الدارمي بسنده إلى يحيى بن سلام ، قال : ما نزل بمكة وما نزل في طريق المدينة قبل أن يبلغ النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – المدينة فهو من المكي . وما نزل على النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – في أسفاره بعد ما قدم المدينة فهو من المدني . ـ

وهذا أثر لطيف ، يؤخذ منه : أن ما نزل في سفر الهجرة مكي اصطلاحا . ـ

‘Uthman ibn Sa’eed al-Daarimi brought a chain of narration going back to Yahyah ibn Salam who said:

Whatever was revealed in Mecca or on the road to al-Madinah before the Prophet prior to the Prophet reaching al-Madinah is Makki, and whatever was revealed to the Prophet during any of his journeys after having reached al-Madinah is Madani.

This is a valuable narration, for from it we understand that whatever was revealed during the Hijrah is classified as Makki.

الثاني : أن المكي ما نزل بمكة ولو بعد الهجرة ، والمدني ما نزل بالمدينة . وعلى هذا تثبت الواسطة ، فما نزل بالأسفار لا يطلق عليه مكي ولا مدني . ـ

The second definition: That Makki refers to whatever was revealed in Mecca even if it was revealed after the Hijrah while Madani refers to what was revealed in al-Madinah. So according to this, we also need a middle category because whatever was revealed during a journey [i.e. outside of both Mecca and al-Madinah] could not be referred to as Makki or Madani.

وقد أخرج الطبراني في الكبير من طريق الوليد بن مسلم ، عن عفير بن معدان ، عن ابن عامر ، عن أبي أمامة قال : قال رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – : أنزل القرآن في ثلاثة أمكنة : مكة ، والمدينة ، والشام . قال الوليد : يعني : بيت المقدس . ـ

وقال الشيخ عماد الدين بن كثير : بل تفسيره بتبوك أحسن . ـ

قلت : ويدخل في مكة ضواحيها ، كالمنزل بمنى وعرفات والحديبية ، وفي المدينة ضواحيها ، كالمنزل ببدر وأحد وسلع . ـ

In al-Kabeer, al-Tabarani brought a narration … that Abu Umamah said that the Prophet said:

The Qur’an was revealed in three places: Mecca, al-Madinah, and al-Sham.

One of the sub-narrators said, “[al-Sham] meaning Jerusalem.”

Sheikh ‘Imad al-Deen ibn Kathir said, “No, rather interpreting this to mean Tabook is better.”

I [al-Suyooti] say: Mecca would include its outskirts and surroundings such as what was revealed in Mina, ‘Arafat, and al-Hudaybiyyah, and al-Madinah would include its surroundings such as what was revealed at Badr, Uhud or Sil’a [during the Battle of the Trench].

الثالث : أن المكي ما وقع خطابا لأهل مكة ، والمدني ما وقع خطابا لأهل المدينة ـ

The third one: That Makki refers to whatever was addressed to the people of Mecca and Madani refers to whatever was addressed to the people of al-Madinah.

[Tahdheeb wa Tarteeb al-Itqan fee ‘Uloom al-Qur’an pg 101-102]

Explore this series further with Makki and Madani Series

See also: What the Memorizer of the Qur’an Ought to Know: Makki ibn Abi Taalib

See also: Sabab al-Nuzool – its Definition and Wordings: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

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