Quranic Timeline: The Revelation of the Surahs

The Quranic Timeline: Unveiling the Divine Revelation

Introduction


The Quran, the holy book of Islam, is a timeless guide that encompasses divine wisdom, guidance, and lessons for humanity. While the Quran’s arrangement does not follow a strict chronological timeline of its revelations to the Prophet Muhammad, exploring the historical context and sequence of revelation can provide valuable insights into its compilation and the spiritual journey of Prophet Muhammad.

Early Revelations

The first revelations of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad came in the Hira Cave near Mecca in 610 CE. The Angel Gabriel ( Jibril ) appeared to him and delivered the initial verses of Surah Al-Alaq (The Clot). These early revelations emphasized the oneness of God, called for reflection, and invited people to submit to the divine message.

Meccan Period

During the Meccan period, Prophet Muhammad received numerous revelations addressing various aspects of faith, social ethics, and justice. The shorter Meccan Surahs, such as Al-Qalam (The Pen), Al-Muzzammil (The Enshrouded One), and Al-Muddaththir (The Cloaked One), emphasized the importance of steadfastness, prayer, and moral conduct. These verses served as a foundation for building the faith community.

Migration to Medina

In 622 CE, Prophet Muhammad and his followers migrated to Medina, marking a significant turning point. The Medinan period witnessed the revelation of Surahs that addressed specific challenges faced by the growing Muslim community. Surah Al-Fatiha (The Opening) was revealed during this time, encapsulating the essence of Islamic teachings and serving as the opening chapter of the Quran.

Medinan Period:
During the Medinan period, the Quranic revelations expanded in depth and breadth, covering a wide range of topics including governance, social welfare, and legal matters. Surahs such as Al-Baqarah (The Cow), Al-‘Imran (The Family of Imran), and An-Nisa’ (The Women) were revealed during this period, offering guidance on matters of faith, moral conduct, and societal affairs.

The Final Years


In the final years of Prophet Muhammad’s life, the revelation of Surahs intensified, culminating in the completion of the Quran. With the surah Al- Nasr the Quran completed on the day in year 632 CE.

Chronology of Quran

Timeline of Quran from Surah Al- Alaq to Surah Al-Israa

OrderSura NameMeaningNumberTypeNote
1Al-AlaqThe Clot96Meccan
2Al-QalamThe Pen68MeccanExcept 17-33 and 48-50, from Medina
3Al-MuzzammilThe Enshrouded73MeccanExcept 10, 11, and 20, from Medina
4Al-MuddaththirThe Cloaked One74Meccan
5Al-FaatihaThe Opening1Meccan
6Al-MasadThe Palm Fiber111Meccan
7At-TakwirThe Overthrowing81Meccan
8Al-A’laaThe Most High87Meccan
9Al-LailThe Night92Meccan
10Al-FajrThe Dawn89Meccan
11Ad-DhuhaaThe Morning93Meccan
12Ash-SharhThe Relief94Meccan
13Al-AsrThe Time103Meccan
14Al-AadiyaatThe Courser100Meccan
15Al-KawtharThe Abundance108Meccan
16At-TakaathurThe Rivalry102Meccan
17Al-Maa’unThe Small Kindness107MeccanOnly 1-3 from Mecca; the rest from Medina
18Al-KaafiroonThe Disbelievers109Meccan
19Al-FilThe Elephant105Meccan
20Al-FalaqThe Daybreak113Meccan
21An-NaasThe Mankind114Meccan
22Al-IkhlaasThe Sincerity112Meccan
23An-NajmThe Star53MeccanExcept 32, from Medina
24AbasaHe frowned80Meccan
25Al-QadrThe Power97Meccan
26Ash-ShamsThe Sun91Meccan
27Al-BuroojThe Mansions85Meccan
28At-TinThe Fig95Meccan
29QuraishQuraish106Meccan
30Al-Qaari’aThe Cataclysm101Meccan
31Al-QiyaamaThe Resurrection75Meccan
32Al-HumazaThe Slanderer104Meccan
33Al-MursalaatThe Emissaries77MeccanExcept 48, from Medina
34QaafQaaf50MeccanExcept 38, from Medina
35Al-BaladThe City90Meccan
36At-TaariqThe Morning Star86Meccan
37Al-QamarThe Moon54MeccanExcept 44-46, from Medina
38SaadSaad38Meccan
39Al-A’raafThe Heights7MeccanExcept 163-170, from Medina
40Al-JinnThe Jinn72Meccan
41YaseenYaseen36MeccanExcept 45, from Medina
42Al-FurqaanThe Criterion25MeccanExcept 68-70, from Medina
43FaatirThe Originator35Meccan
44MaryamMaryam19MeccanExcept 58 and 71, from Medina
45Taa-HaaTaa-Haa20MeccanExcept 130 and 131, from Medina
46Al-WaaqiaThe Inevitable56MeccanExcept 81 and 82, from Medina
47Ash-Shu’araaThe Poets26MeccanExcept 197 and 224-227, from Medina
48An-NamlThe Ant27Meccan
49Al-QasasThe Narrations28MeccanExcept 52-55 from Medina and 85 from Juhfa at the time of the Hijra
50Al-IsraaThe Night Journey17MeccanExcept 26, 32, 33, 57, 73-80, from Medina
Timeline of Quran from Surah Yunus to Surah Al-Mutaffifin

OrderSura NameMeaningNumberTypeNote
51YunusYunus10MeccanExcept 40, 94, 95, 96, from Medina
52HudHud11MeccanExcept 12, 17, 114, from Medina
53YusufYusuf12MeccanExcept 1, 2, 3, 7, from Medina
54Al-HijrThe Rocky Tract15MeccanExcept 87, from Medina
55Al-An’aamThe Cattle6MeccanExcept 20, 23, 91, 93, 114, 151, 152, 153, from Medina
56As-SaaffaatThose Who Set the Ranks37Meccan
57LuqmanLuqman31MeccanExcept 27-29, from Medina
58SabaSheba34Meccan
59Az-ZumarThe Troops39Meccan
60Al-GhaafirThe Forgiver40MeccanExcept 56, 57, from Medina
61FussilatExplained in Detail41Meccan
62Ash-ShuraThe Consultation42MeccanExcept 23, 24, 25, 27, from Medina
63Az-ZukhrufThe Gold Adornments43MeccanExcept 54, from Medina
64Ad-DukhaanThe Smoke44Meccan
65Al-JaathiyaThe Kneeling45MeccanExcept 14, from Medina
66Al-AhqafThe Wind-Curved Sandhills46MeccanExcept 10, 15, 35, from Medina
67Adh-DhaariyatThe Winnowing Winds51Meccan
68Al-GhaashiyaThe Overwhelming88Meccan
69Al-KahfThe Cave18MeccanExcept 28, 83-101, from Medina
70An-NahlThe Bee16MeccanExcept the last three verses from Medina
71NoohNooh71Meccan
72IbrahimIbrahim14MeccanExcept 28, 29, from Medina
73Al-AnbiyaaThe Prophets21Meccan
74Al-MuminoonThe Believers23Meccan
75As-SajdaThe Prostration32MeccanExcept 16-20, from Medina
76At-TurThe Mount52Meccan
77Al-MulkThe Sovereignty67Meccan
78Al-HaaqqaThe Reality69Meccan
79Al-Ma’aarijThe Ascending Stairways70Meccan
80An-NabaThe Tidings78Meccan
81An-Naazi’aatThose Who Drag Forth79Meccan
82Al-InfitaarThe Cleaving82Meccan
83Al-InshiqaaqThe Splitting Open84Meccan
84Ar-RoomThe Romans30MeccanExcept 17, from Medina
85Al-AnkabootThe Spider29MeccanExcept 1-11, from Medina
86Al-MutaffifinThe Defrauding83Meccan
Timeline of Quran from Surah Al- Baqara to Surah Al- Nasr
OrderSura NameMeaningNumberTypeNote
87Al-BaqaraThe Cow2Medinan
88Al-AnfaalThe Spoils of War8Medinan
89Aal-i-ImraanThe Family of Imran3Medinan
90Al-AhzaabThe Combined Forces33Medinan
91Al-MumtahanaShe that is to be examined60Medinan
92An-NisaaThe Women4Medinan
93Az-ZalzalaThe Earthquake99Medinan
94Al-HadidThe Iron57Medinan
95MuhammadMuhammad47MedinanExcept 13, revealed during the Prophet’s Hijrah
96Ar-Ra’dThe Thunder13Medinan
97Ar-RahmaanThe Most Gracious55Medinan
98Al-InsaanMan76Medinan
99At-TalaaqThe Divorce65Medinan
100Al-BayyinaThe Clear Proof98Medinan
101Al-HashrThe Exile59Medinan
102An-NoorThe Light24Medinan
103Al-HajjThe Pilgrimage22MedinanExcept 52-55, revealed between Mecca and Medina
104Al-MunaafiqoonThe Hypocrites63Medinan
105Al-MujaadilaThe Pleading Woman58Medinan
106Al-HujuraatThe Private Apartments49Medinan
107At-TahrimThe Prohibition66Medinan
108At-TaghaabunThe Mutual Disillusion64Medinan
109As-SaffThe Ranks61Medinan
110Al-Jumu’aFriday62Medinan
111Al-FathThe Victory48MedinanRevealed while returning from Hudaybiyya
112Al-MaaidaThe Table Spread5MedinanExcept 3, revealed at Arafat on Last Hajj
113At-TawbaThe Repentance9MedinanExcept last two verses from Mecca
114An-NasrThe Help110MedinanRevealed at Mina on Last Hajj, but regarded as Medinan sura
Revelation Order

Compilation of the Quran


The Prophet (peace be upon him) instructed his scribes to write the Quran on various materials, while also emphasizing the importance of memorizing and reciting it. After his passing, the Quran was compiled into a single book by Zaid bin Thabit, under the guidance of the first Caliph Abu Bakr. The copy was kept by the second Caliph Umar and later passed to his daughter Hafsa. Concerns arose due to different recitations in various regions, leading the third Caliph Uthman to standardize the Quran. He ordered the creation of multiple copies based on Hafsa’s version and the destruction of any differing copies. This ensured the Quran’s unity and authenticity.

Conclusion


The Quranic timeline offers a glimpse into the gradual revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad, reflecting the divine wisdom tailored to the evolving needs of society. By understanding the historical context and sequence of revelation, we can deepen our appreciation for the Quran’s comprehensive guidance, moral principles, and timeless teachings. The Quran continues to inspire millions, serving as a source of solace, guidance, and enlightenment for humanity across cultures and generations.

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