Glancing over the Quran in the chronology it was revealed upon the Prophet
By Dr. Aslam Abdullah
Dr. Abdullah is a resident scholar at Islamicity.org. He is also the editor-in-Chief of the Muslim
Many Muslims and non-Muslims would go over the Quran during the month of Ramadan, the
month in which Muslims believe that it began to be revealed upon the Prophet. The Prophet
under his supervision arranged the Quran the way we read it. The arrangement is believed to be
from the longest Surah (loosely translated as chapter) to the shortest Surah with the exception of
Surah Al-Fatiha that has only seven Ayah that is the first Surah of the Quran.
In this series, the Surah of the Quran is being introduced the way they were revealed upon the
Prophet so that we could follow the footsteps of the Prophet. During the month of Ramadan, the
series would offer the summary of the dominant ideas of four Surah daily. We would also
identify Surah that has Ayah requiring the believing readers to prostrate while reading it.
Surah loosely means chapter, Ayah means verse or sign, Ruku means section and Surah with
Sajda Ayah means the Surah that has a verse upon whose reading the believers should offer
Each Surah has its number of revelation as well as the number of its appearance in the traditionally arranged Quran that we have. It has its Arabic name and its English translation also
On the authority of Prophet Muhammad, Muslims believe that the Quran is a divine revelation in
Arabic sent to human beings through Angel Gabriel in a period of 23 years in Arabia peninsula.
The period of revelation is between 610 CE to 632 CE. The Quran has 6,236 verses, 114 surah
and about 323,000 letters. Some 33,000 companions have verified and testified that the Quran as
compiled under the supervision and with the approval of the one who was receiving it is the
same as they heard from him.
The Quran was revealed differently than the way it was compiled under the supervision of the
Prophet. Sometimes, an entire surah was revealed to the Prophet and sometimes parts of the
surah were revealed at different times and different proportions. The arrangement in this series is
according to their chronology of revelation. It is possible that parts of the surah may have been
revealed at different times. However, we put the Surah in chronological order according to the
revelation of its first part.
We are publishing the most agreed upon the chronology of the revelation with a short introduction of
the theme of each surah.