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How was the divine inspiration revealed to the Prophet?

Compilation of the Quran


During the Life of the Prophet (S.A.W)
The Prophet (S.A.W) used to memorize the Quran after it was revealed. He recited the Quran with Angel Jibrael once every year but twice in the year in which he died. Whenever a revelation was revealed, he would call his scribes and dictate the verse to them. He also identified the location of the verse himself. Write this verse in the chapter where such and such verses occur. (Ahmad) The scribes wrote the verses told by the Prophet on any suitable object like the leaves of trees, pieces of wood and leather, flat stones and bones of goat and camels. The Quran at the time of the Prophet was not in a written form. Instead it was safely preserved in the memories of the scribes. The Prophet also used to recite loudly the text of the Quran. Those who had written it down brought their manuscripts and compared it with the version of the Prophet to ensure accuracy.

During the Caliphate of Abu Bakr (R.A)


During the reign of Abu Bakr (R.A) the Battle of Yamamah was fought in which many huffaz (the memoirs of Quran) were martyred. Umar (R.A), therefore, urged Abu Bakr (R.A) to preserve and compile the Quran or it would meet the same fate as of other holy books. It was also necessary to preserve the Quran for future generations. At first, Abu Bakr hesitated as the Quran had not been compiled in the lifetime of the Prophet, but soon he realized the wisdom of the suggestion. Hence he appointed Zaid bin Thabit to gather what had already been written in the time of the Prophet. He collected all material and made a copy which at first remained in the custody of Abu Bakr. When Umar became the Caliph, the copy remained in his custody. On his death, it passed on to his daughter Hafsa who was also the widow of the Prophet. The copy came to be known as Mushaf Hafsa.

During the caliphate of Uthman (R.A)

The Muslim Empire during the caliphate of Uthman stretched over a large area. A difference in the dialect of the Quran was observed in the newly conquered areas. Uthman soon came to know of it. Immediate action had to be taken for the safety of the Quran otherwise a rift may result amongst Muslims. Uthman entrusted the task to Zaid Bin Thabit to make several copies from the one in the custody of Hafsa with the help of three colleagues. They were told to follow the Quraish dialect in case of difference over the language. A copy had been sent to every Muslim province and the original returned to Hafsa. Uthman ordered all other Quranic materials to be burnt.

Contents of the Quran


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Creation of the Universe. The Quran gives an account of the creation of the Heaven and the earth and of man himself Stories. The Quran narrates the stories of the previous prophets and people and the punishment inflicted on the wicked in the past e.g. the story of Moses, Abraham, the people of the Cava etc. Seen and Unseen. It tells us about seen and unseen. Allah, the angels, the life after death, Resurrection, the Day of Judgment, Paradise and Hell etc. Prophesies. The Quran also contains a number of prophesies and many of these are already fulfilled e.g. prophesy regarding the defeat of Romans by Persians and later the defeat of Persians by Romans. Laws. The Quran also contains commandments and the laws for the Muslims e.g. marriage, divorce, inheritance, and criminal laws etc. Code for life. It contains a complete code of conduct, moral injunctions and teachings regarding social, legal, economic and political matter etc.

Makki Surahs
Oneness, uniqueness and attributes of Allah, Day of Judgment, hell, heaven, need of Prophethood. Invite people to accept reality and fundamentals- would lead to welfare and success of the entire humanity.

Stress on the importance of Allah, his powers, knowledge in order to build moral values and character. Short concise verses with rhymes, fluent literary language. Denounce hard-heartedness, arrogance. Contain verses exalting the Majesty of Allah followed by injunctions and persuasion to perform Sajdah. Address people as O you mankind! Most of the Makki Surah, except Surah Al- Baqarah and AlImran, start with non-connected alphabets like Ha-Meem, Qaaf, and Saad etc.

Madni Surahs
Detailed teachings in all aspects of life. They contain social, economic and spiritual laws, which are important for the organization and development of Islamic State. Invite people of the book by refuting their wrong beliefs, involving in a dialogue with them, rebuking them for their denial of the truth after knowing it. Contain permissions, persuasion and regulations of Jihad, also teach moral behavior in case of defeat and victory, verses teach Muslims the principles of war, how to treat prisoners and prepare them with weapons. Long verses Address People as O you who Believe!