The History of Quran Revelation

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INTRODUCTION:The History of Quran Revelation

  • In an attempt to answer the above question it is necessary to describe the technical meaning of the glorious Quran. AI Quran is technically defined as the words of Allah revealed to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) through Angel Jibril (A.S) transmitted to us .
    The Quran divided into (114) one hundred and Fourteen Chapters and contain 86,430 and 323,760 Letters and Alphabets. The total number of verses are 6,666. In order to facilitate its reading the Qur’an is divided into 30 convenient sections and 540 “Rukuni” and 7 “manazil” there are 14 places in the Quran as places for “Sujud” to glorify Allah (S.W.T).
  • The Quran was revealed in piece meal within a period of 22 years, 2 months and 22 days approximately 23 years according to the scholars.


  • The term revelation or “AL-WAHY” in Arabic means transfer of information1 . In the glorious Quran the word: Wahy“used in different place-s-and for different meanings, an example can seen in Surah an Nahl, where Allah (S.W.T) used the word to mean instinctual animal habit.
  • In another place “Wahy” is also used in the Quran to mean natural human instincts, that Allah placed in humans for example; a reference is made to the mother of Prophet Musa (A.S) in Surah Qasas.
    “And I inspired Musa’s mother by wahy (awhaynaa) to suckle him”
  • The History of Quranic revelation took place in two distinct form, it is important to note that the first revelation was descended from the protected tablet “Al-Lawh Mahfuz” on which it was written, to the lowest heaven.
  • In this respect, the whole Qur’an in its totality was sent down at one time to a station in the lowest heaven.

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  • The second Revelation: Quran was then taken down by the angel Jibril (A.S) to Prophet Muhammad ( S.A.W), this process of revelation continued over the 23 years of his messenger hood.
  • This revelation began with the first five verses of Surah “al-Alaq” these verses were revealed to the prophet , while he was on a spiritual retreat in the cave of Hirah, near Makkah; According to the views of some scholars the first complete Surah was “Surahul – Fatlha” and the Last Surah to be revealed was “Surah An-nasr”.

However, there are a number of reasons why the second revelation took place in segment rather than all at once, among the reason were the followings:

(1) Steadying the Prophet’s heart:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) faced with many challenges at the hands of unbelievers and jews concerning revelation ofthe Holy Quran as a result of which Allah (S.W.T) revealed certain verses to comfort the prophet (peace be upon him) for instance:

(2) Gentleness with the prophet (peace be upon him):

The descend of revelation was a great burden which usually left the prophet (peace be upon him) drained and weak. “A’isha (R.A) reported that once on an extremely cold day she saw him O (Prophet) when revelation came and left him.

(3) Gradation in legislation:

The method by which The History of Quran Revelation came and present the principles of Islam was a gradual method. The early chapters of the Quran were aimed at treating the main problem which confronted the worship of Allah and his unity.

(4) Facilitating the preservation of the Quran:

The early method of preserving the Quran had been memorization, in this regard, if the whole Quran were revealed at once the Sahaba would have been unable to memorize all of it due to its length. Thus the revelation of the Holy, Qur’an in sections made it easier for the companions to memorize the whole Qur’an and teach it .

(5) Dealing with Problems as they arose:

The verses of the Qur’an sometimes would be revealed to deal specifically the problem faced the prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions, sometimes people would ask the prophet (peace be upon him) about something in order to test his messenger ship, in such situation Allah.

(6) An indication of the Quran’s source:

The revelation of the Qur’an in segments over 23 years is clear proof that it is Allah’s word alone, and not that of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) or any other person.


  • Many-views were attributed to the fact that the first five verses of Surah al-alaq chapter 96 is the earliest revelation, it was revealed on the 15th of month of Ramadan in cave of Hirah.

“Read in, the name of your Lord who has created all that exist, He created man from a clot, Read and your Lord is the most generous, who taught with the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not”

AI-Imam Suyiti (R.A) in his renowned book “al-itqan fi ulum al) quran” (maintained that, Jabir bin Abdullah reported a Hadith on this issue suggesting that, it was about the first complete chapter rather than the first verse.

  • Another view among which the scholars attributed the first verse in the Quran was that of Suratul – Fatiha (The opening).
    According to Abu Bakr al-Bayhaqi the first verse to be revealed is Fatiha, this is in relation to a hadith reported by Bayhaqi: (Muhammad (peace be upon him) said to Khadija) when I am alone I hear a call and I become scared about my self that, this may be something bad. She said” may Allah forbid! He would not do that to you.


Various Muslims scholars argued extensively on the last revealed verse, some ·were of the view that it was Surah: 2,
verse 281, Imam al-Bukhari reported in his book that “Ibn Abbas (R.A). has said “that this is the last verse that was revealed to the prophet (peace be upon him).

  • It has been reported by Ibn-Jarir’s on the authority of Sa’id bin al-Musayyab, that the’ last verse of the Quran is the lonqest verse in the Quran (Ch 2 : verse 282).
  • Similarly, regarding the last verse both al-Bukhari and Muslim reported that, Ibn – Abbas’ has said that, “The following verse is “the last that was revealed and it was not abrogated (annulled) by anything”
  • However, in the same vein, Imam al-Bukhari, Muslim, AnNasa’i and others report Ion the authority of al-Bara’u bln – Azib (R.A) that the following verse was the last verse to ‘be revealed in the Holy Quran. (Q Ch 4 : 176).
  • In another narration, about which verse was revealed last; Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal reported on the authority of Ubay bin Ka’ab that he said: “chapter 9 : 128, was the last verse revealed to prophet (peace be upon him).
  • Moreover, at – tabarani has reported that chapter 18 : verse 110, was the ‘last verse to be revealed in the Quran, this is in relation to the reports on the authority of Mu’awiyah bin abisufyan (R.A)
  • Some Scholars hold that chapter 5: verse 3 was the last verse to be revealed: The opinion that says this verse was the last revelation is not sound according. to many scholars, since it was revealed during the last pilgrimage of the prophet (peace be upon him), on the Day of Arafat which was a few months before his death.


The Artical discussed  The History of Quran Revelation right from its revelation in a book form down to its descend on earth , the studies followed with the various opinion and views of “Ulama” regarding the earliest revelation and the last verse to be revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).


Dr. Muhammad Kabiru Sabo



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    October 20, 2021

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