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Science of counting the Verses of the Qur'an

MIT
4/24/2017
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The study of the Glorious Qur’an and it’s sciences is regarded as one of the best and most lofty occupation one can ever engage in. The Qur’an is entirely the word of the Majestic Lord, the Creator of the heavens and earth, which was revealed in the perspicuous Arabic language to Prophet Muhammad (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) through the arc-angel Gabriel over a period of 23 years.

It consists of 114 chapters with each chapter containing number of verses, which differ in numbers. The chapter with the highest number of verses is the second chapter of the Qur’an known as Al-Baqara. It consists of 286 verses with its 282nd verse being the longest verse in the Glorious Qur’an.

Imam As-Suyuti in his book: “Al-Itqaan” quoted some scholars saying: “knowledge of what is regarded as a verse is determined by Allah and His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) just like knowing which is considered a chapter (surah)”. He also said concerning the definition of a verse, that : “ they are a group of letters of the Qur’an that serves as a sign of stoppage of the words before it and the separation of the words after it .

Thus, the number of verses of the Qur’an is known through what was taught by the law maker (Prophet Muhammad from what Allah revealed to him) and hence, what is regarded as a verse and the number of verses contained in every chapter of the Qur’an was already determined during the time of Prophet Muhmmad (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) and the following tradition supports this fact. Ibn Mas’uud (may Allah be pleased with him ) said:“ the Messenger of Allah recited to me a chapter of 30 verses, starting from Haa Meem. He said : that is the chapter of Al-Ahqaaf. He said: “ a chapter whose verses are more than thirty used to be called Athalaatheen ( the thirties-30s )” ( Ahmad 3981: it has a good chain of narration).

Ibn Al-Arabi said: the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned that the chapter of Faatiha has seven verses, and the chapter of Mulk has thirty verses. It was also reported of him that he recited the last Ten (10) verses of the chapter of Aali-Imraan”.  (Ah-kaamu Al-Qur’an). This shows that the science of counting the verses of the Qur’an was one known since the blessed days of the Prophet –peace be upon him- and that it was originally taught by him (may Allah’s peace be upon him)

Addaani said: “ it is a consensus amongst the scholars that the number of verses of the Qur’an are 6000 verses, and then they differed as to what is beyond 6000 with others adding more verses and others not adding…some said there are 204 verses in addition to the agreed number, whilst others counted the increment as 14 verses, 19 verses , 36 verses, and yet others said the increment is 25 verses”.

The difference is because of the different schools of Qur’anic studies at the time of the Sahaaba (the companions) and the generation after them. There were schools of Qur’anic studies in Al-Madina al-Munawwara, Makka Al-Mukarrama, Ash-Sham, Al-Basra and Kufa.

The people of Madina have two counting one by Abu Ja’far Yazeed Ibn Qa’qaa and Shaiba Ibn Nassaah. The second is the counting of Ismaeel Ibn Ja’far Ibn Abi Katheer Al-Ansaari

The counting of the people of Makkah was reported on the authority of Abdulla Ibn Katheer, from Mujahid, from Ibn Abbas from Ubaiy Ibn ka’ab (may Allah be pleased with him)

The counting of the people of Sham is reported on the authority of Haarun Ibn Musah Al-Akhfash..

The report of the cunting of the people of Al-Basra revolves around Aasim Ibn Ajjaaj Al-Jahdari

The counting of the people of Kufa was reported on the authority of Hamza Ibn Habeeb Az-Zayyaat and Abi al-Hasan Al-Kisaa-e, and  Khalaf Ibn Hishaam. Hamza said: “ we were informed of this number by Abu Abdir-Rahman from Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (may Allah be pleased with him) (Al-Itqaan Fi Ulum Al-Qur’an by As_Suyuti: pp:145-147, with excerpts and emphasis throughout).






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