Sequence of the Qur’an Shareef
Al-Qur’an was revealed to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) over a very long period of twenty three years. It started with the word Iqra in the cave of Hira when the Angel Jabraeel (AS) first time came to him with first verses of the Qur’an Shareef of the Surah Al-Alaq. Then revelation of the Qur’an Shareef continued part wise over the next 23 years. The Qur’anic verses covering a very wide range of topics were revealed and the revelation was often sent in relation to ground situations faced by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and his companions. These ground situations ranged from the incidents related to the battle field to marital relations of consorts and included in between a large variety of things. Some Surahs like Al-Anam were revealed at a time and it is narrated by Ibne Umar (RA) in a tradition that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said that Surah Al-Anam was revealed to him (whole of it) in one go. On the other hand Surah Al-Baqra was revealed part wise over a period of more than nine years.
When any verses or Surah was revealed to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), he used to call his companions and ask them to write these verses or Surah and at the same time instructed them to place those verses or Surah at such and such place. It is worth mentioning here that the sequence of revelation of the Qur’an Shareef and the sequence in which it was compiled are different. The sequence which we see these days in written form is not the same sequence in which it was revealed. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), under the Divine guidance, used to order his companions to place a particular part of the Qur’an Shareef at a particular place. The first verses which were revealed were from Surah Al- Alaq and that is placed in the 30th Juz i.e., the last part of the Qur’an Shareef.
Uthman bin Abu-Al-Aas (RA) narrates that while he was sitting once with Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), he said, , “Jabraeel came to me and asked me to keep this Ayat in this Surah viz.
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ
“Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin and He forbids all shameful deeds and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you that ye may receive admonition. (16:90)
There are numerous Ahadith Shareef which prove beyond any doubt that the present sequence of the Qur’an Shareef was framed by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) himself only and not by his Sahabah later on.
Muslim narrates an authentic Hadith Shareef from Abu Dardaa (RA):
“One, who learns the last ten Aayaat of Surah Kahf by heart, is protected from Dajjal.”
Similarly in many Ahadith Shareef it is quoted that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) recited such and such Surah e.g., Al-Baqra, Aal-e-Imran, Nisa, Aaraaf etc.,
Bukhari and Muslim narrate that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) used to recite Surah Alf Laam Meem Tanzeel (As-Sajda) and Surah Dahr in the Fajar Salah of Fridays.
All these Ahadith Shareef prove that the Surah were framed by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) himself and the fact the verses of Al-Qur’an were collected and compiled by Zaid bin Thabit during the Khilaafat of Hadhrat Uthman (RA) of which Hadhrat Abu Bakr and Hadhrat Umar (RAA) had given orders after the departure of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) from the world, is true but we should know that they only collected the verses of the Qur’an Shareef which were not collected in one place. They neither added nor subtracted anything from the Qur’an Shareef, nor did they change any sequence. The sequence was decided by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and the sequence which we have this time is the sequence decided by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), and Sahabah-Al-Kiram only compiled it in one place.
Qazi Abu Bakr in Al-Intisar says:
“The sequence of Al-Qur’an was an obligatory order and Jabraeel (AS) used to tell Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) to keep a particular Ayat at a particular place.” He further says: “That whole Qur’an Shareef which Allah Ta’ala revealed and ordered to keep safe in written form of which He did not cancel recitation after revelation, that the same Qur’an Shareef which is with us between two title covers as compiled by Hadhrat Uthman, he did neither delete anything from it nor added anything to it and its sequence and arrangements are the same as arranged by Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), he neither brought any verse forward and nor did take any verse backward from its original position and the Ummah recorded the same sequence from Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).” (Al-Itqan)
The Author of Al-Itqan writes:
“The Qur’an Shareef is written in the guarded tablet (Lowhe-Mehfooz) in the same sequence as it is with us and Allah Ta’ala sent the whole of the Qur’an Shareef down to Aasman-e-duniya from Lowhe-Mehfooz in one go and then from Aasman-e-duniya it was revealed to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) part wise as per the need, so the sequence of revelation is different than the sequence of recitation.”
Ibne Al-Hissar said,
“Keeping of a particular Ayat at a particular place was decided as per WAHY (revelation), Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) himself ordered to keep a particular Ayat at a particular place.”
Now think for a while about the blessed life span of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) of twenty three years after he announced his Prophet-hood. How difficult and trying times he had to face while in Makkah-Al-Mukarama for the first thirteen years before Hijrah. One must recapitulate all those varied events spread over thirteen years, and not forget the condition of the Muslims and pagans of Makkah after Hijrah, and establishment of an Islamic state and various expeditions. Through all those twenty three long years verses of the Qur’an Shareef were being revealed and simultaneously they were being arranged in a definite sequence under the Divine guidance and after Rasulullah’s (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) blessed soul departed from this world, the Qur’an Shareef was complete in the form of a flawless book, no contradictions, no need for any rearrangements, miraculous sequence and inter-relation of verses. This was simply miraculous. No human being ever can say something for twenty three years about the ground realities and in the end what he had said in all those years will make up a flawless marvellous book. Humanly, it is simply impossible. This is enough proof of the Divine nature of the Qur’an Shareef and its being the greatest miracle and proof of the Prophet-hood of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).