The History of revelation of Quran
It is pertinent to know the history of the revelation of Quran, if it is said that the prophet (pbuh) has not produced the Quran on his own. If it is only revealed by Allah, then how was it revealed? Islam says that many prophets of God have been sent before Muhammad (pbuh) and the He was the last prophet sent by God.
Quran mentions that many prophets starting from Adam (pbuh) have been sent to reform the people.
The prophets (pbuh) sent before the prophet (pbuh) had been sent to reform the people of a particular race, language or community. They also have been given Books as guidance by God.
Prophets have been sent to the people of all the languages present before the prophet (pbuh) – (Refer Quran 14:4)
Prophet (pbuh) is the last messenger and after him no messenger will be sent till the end of the world.
The evidence to prove that the prophet (pbuh) is the last messenger can be seen in the verses 4:79, 4:170, 7:158, 9:33, 10:57, 10:108, 14:52, 21:107, 22:49, 25:1, 33:40, 34:28, 62:3
The prophet (pbuh) has been sent to the whole world unlike the earlier prophets who have been sent for the people of particular race, language and community.
As the Quran has been revealed to the last prophet it is known as the last Book.
Why is it revealed in Arabic language?
It is right to ask, “Why should the Quran, which has been sent as guidance to whole world, be revealed in Arabic language?”
The reason is not that Arabic language is either God’s language or superior to other languages. In fact Islam declares that all the languages are one and the same. Islamic belief is that neither superiority nor inferiority of a person should be established on the basis of a language
Islam is a way of life revealed not only to the Arabic speaking people but also those who speak other languages throughout the world.
The way of life which is given to the prophet (pbuh) even though it is common to all the people who speak various languages, can be revealed only in one language.
Whether it is revealed in Arabic or in any other language the above question will ever be raised.
Hence, the affinity to language should not be taken as a criteria in the matter of establishing unity among the people of the world. The affinity to any language will only destroy our attempts to achieve unity among the people
There are various languages spoken in India. The ‘National Anthem’ of India is in the Bengali language. It does not mean that we have accepted the ‘National Anthem’ in the Bengali Language because of its superiority over other languages.
We ignore the language affinity to establish national integration.
Similarly for achieving unity and integrity in the world and for the guidance to be imparted to the people of the world, no harm will occur if the language affinity is ignored. It will only be beneficial to the people of the whole world.
A leader, who has to lead the whole world, can be sent only in any one of the languages of the world. On this basis, only the Quran was revealed to the prophet (pbuh) in his own language. It is not because Arabic language is superior over other languages.
How was Quran revealed?
It is necessary, before knowing the history of the revelation of Quran, to know, at least briefly the history of the prophet (pbuh) before he was selected as the Messenger of God.
The prophet’s (pbuh) name was Muhammad. He was born in Makka (currently in Saudi Arabia) in 570 CE.
He lost his father before he was born and lost his mother when he was very young. His paternal grandfather Abdul Muthalib nurtured him under his guardianship.
After Abdul Muthalib’s death, prophet’s (pbuh) paternal uncle Abuthalib took care of him.
When he was a small boy he worked as a shepherd. Later he accompanied his uncle in his business ventures. Gradually he became an expert in that field.
When he reached the age of 25 he married Katheeja (RA), a widow, who was elder to him.
By marrying her he became very rich at the age of twenty five.
The period of the revelation f Quran
During the period of the prophet (pbuh) the people had been practicing polytheism and were immersed in many types of superstitions
• They worshipped the idols (gods) naked.
• They considered the birth of a female child as a humiliation and so they buried them alive.
• They are notorious in drinking alcohol.
• Engaged themselves in debaunchery.
• They treated the women like animals.
• They even committed incest with their mothers showing no remorse when their fathers died.
• Cast discrimination was on the high.
• They considered their Quraishi tribe as the superior tribe and considered other tribes as inferior.
• They were linguistic fanatics and so they considered their Arabic language superior to other languages. They considered only those who speak Arabic, human-beings and other who do not speak Arabic animals.
• They never considered killing the human lies as an offence. Even for a petty reason they killed.
• They took revenge on the person who killed one of the members of their family. Even if they were not able to do that they would advice their heir to take revenge on the killer. Such a blood-thirsty act continued for many generations.
• Seeing such evil activities of his people the prophet became very upset and hated their activities.
• When he attained the age of forty he visited the cave ‘Hira’ which was situated outside Makka and began to reflect alone upon the activities of his people.
• He had become a regular visitor to that place and stayed there for many days.
• It is at this place, he met Jibraeel, the Arch angel of God, standing in his original shape, hovering from the earth to the heaven.
• When he embraced the prophet many times and asked him to recite in the name of God, the Creator (Quran 96:1 to 5)
Thus the message of his appointment as the prophet of God was revealed.
Immediately after this incident, the prophet (pbuh) became very much afraid and at that time his wife Khatija (RA) consoled him by saying “Your God will not forsake you. You have been helping the people, give a lot charity to the poor and facilitate the relatives. So your God will not forsake you.”
After that she took him to ‘Waraqa’, a Christian, who had knowledge in the Books of the previous religions.
Waraqa advised the prophet by saying “You are appointed as the Messenger of God. A stage will come when you will be expelled by your own people. The same thing had happened to the prophets of God when they propagated their religion” (Bukhari No. 2).
The revelation had started like this and ‘continued for 23 years. The compilation of the messages, which have been revealed by God gradually for the period of 23 years, is known as ‘Quran’.
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