Qura'n: Present order of the Qur'an

Q544 :The present order of the Qur'an is not according to its revelation. What was the reason for this? Was it done according to a particular directive by the Prophet?


A544 : The Qur'an is Allah's Book which He revealed to the Prophet through the Angel Gabriel. Everything that has to do with the Qur'an is, therefore, directed by Allah. It is true that the Qur'an was revealed at different times and places and some verses were revealed to provide guidance with regard to particular occasions and events. However, the Prophet could be receiving Qur'anic revelations of different surahs at the same period in time, with all of these surahs not being complete yet. When he received such revelation, he also received guidance as to its place in the Qur'an. The Angel Gabriel would tell him : these verses come after such and such verse of such and such a surah. Nothing was left to discretion or to competent scholarship. Allah's Book is given in the order Allah has chosen. The same applies to the arrangement of the surahs. It is true that the arrangement does not follow a chronological order. It is arranged in the best order which a book meant to provide guidance to all generations of humanity should take. It was often the case that Qur'anic revelations dealt with particular events as and when they happened in the life of the Muslim community. Hence the order of revelation suited that particular and additional purpose. As for later generations, they have the Qur'an complete and they refer to any part of it as suits their circumstances. The ordering of the surahs is also divine. The Prophet used to receive the Angel Gabriel when the two of them recited the Qur'an to each other, once every Ramadhan. In the last year of the Prophet's life, they recited the Qur'an to each other twice. Moreover, the Prophet used to read the Qur'an in the order we have now. The compilation of the Qur'an which took place after the Prophet had passed away was ordered by Abu Bakr, the Prophet's first successor as a ruler of the Muslim state. You are certainly aware that Abu Bakr's reign lasted only two years. He put in charge of this task a young companion of the Prophet who knew the Qur'an by heart and had a full command of its recitation and ordering. He completed his task before Abu Bakr had passed away. Some fifteen years later, the third caliph, Uthman, appointed the same man, Zaid ibn Thabit, as the head of a commission charged with writing six copies of the Qur'an, making use of the earlier compilation, to send one copy to each capital of the Islamic provinces to remain as a reference for Qur'anic scholarship. [Added: Preservation of the original text of the Qur'an, in its unadultered form, is guaranteed by Allah Himself. It is no wonder that we see no change in the order of the Qur'an, in its every detail.]


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )