Knowledge of which parts of the Qur’an are Makki or Madani is an important topic which produces tangible benefits for every single Muslim who strives to understand his or her religion. Firstly, awareness of the period of revelation can help one to connect their reading of the Qur’an to their knowledge of the seerah of the Prophet (ﷺ). This awareness should increase one’s understanding of the context of the ayah or surah, as well as entice him to learn more about the seerah. Building on that, knowledge of whether the passage at hand is Makki or Madani can aid the Muslim to more accurately grasp the intended meaning of an ayah. Finally, while reading a passage, if one is aware of who Allah is addressing and the circumstances and context in which He is addressing them, he can then begin to ponder and appreciate the way in which Allah has chosen to address them. In this way, he can recognize the differentiated methods and approaches to da’wah that Allah employs throughout the Qur’an and thereby strive to implement them appropriately in his own efforts. While there are many other fruits to this field of study, the three highlighted here are low-hanging and inshaAllaah easily accessible to the Muslim who strives to read and understand the Qur’an.
It is in this vein that we have decided to translate and publish the following series of articles. The articles are an abridgement of Imam Jalal al-Deen al-Suyooti’s (d. 911Ah/1505CE) chapter on Makki and Madani revelation in his famous handbook of the Qur’anic Sciences, al-Itqan fee ‘Uloom al-Qur’an. The abridgement was made by sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, in an effort to organize and present al-Itqan in a more streamlined way for the student of knowledge. This series is a complete translation of the abridgement of that chapter which has then been broken into four sections and followed-up by a fifth section that was omitted from the abridgement.
We ask Allah to make this series a source of benefit for the original author, the abridger, the translator, and all those who read it. BaarakAllaahu feekum.
–Khalil Klopfenstein (Translator and Administrator)
For further reading on related topics in the Qur’anic sciences, please see the following articles:
The Sources for Determining What Has Been Abrogated: al-Suyooti [forthcoming, inshaAllaah]
What to do when there are Multiple “Reasons for “Revelation” Mentioned?: al-Suyooti [forthcoming, inshaAllaah]
An Example of Reconciling Multiple Reports on the Reason for Revelation: al-Suyooti [forthcoming, inshaAllaah]