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Read [Q: 36:2]; [Q: 85:21];[Q: 17:9]

Meaning of the Quran

  • The Quran is a religious book used by Muslims all over the world as a book of guidance.
  • Most of the world religions have their specific books which they use for reference.
  • Just as every religion has its own religious book, Muslims have the Quran as their main source of reference and they have a duty to learn, understand and constantly refer to it.
  • Muslims believe that the Holy Quran is the last book to be revealed by Allah.
  • It is because of its important position in the Islamic faith that throughout our course we shall be using the Quran as our immediate source of reference.
  • This word comes from an Arabic root qara'a which means "to read or to recite.”
  • Quran in Arabic therefore literally means recitation or something that is continuously recited.
  • It is equivalent in meaning to qira'ah, as both come from the same verb ‘qara'a.’
  • This name is specifically mentioned in the text of the Quran as a reference to itself in several places.
  • From the verses you have read, you will learn that the Quran has been referred as a book of guidance, a book full of wisdom and a Glorious. Read the following verses:
  • In Islam the word Quran is defined as the divine speech of Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala (S.W.T), sent down upon the last Prophet Muhammad Peace be Upon Him (P.B.U.H), through the Angel Jibril Aleihi Swalatu wa Salaam(A.S) to human kind.
  • Since its revelation the Quran has remained the same without being distorted.

Other Names of the Quran

  • Some of the names of the Quran have been referred to in the Quran itself while others are derived from the functions of the Quran. Among these names are:
    • Furqaan (criterion) “Blessed is He Who sent down the Criterion to His servant, that it may be an admonition to all creatures.” [Q: 25: 1]
    • Nadhir (warner) “Verily this Quran Doth guide to that which is most right (or stable), and giveth the Glad tidings to the believers who work deeds of righteousness, that they have a magnificent reward.”[Q: 17:9]
    • Rahma (mercy) “A guide and a Mercy to the doers of good”[Q: 31:3]
    • Tanzil (revelation) “Verily this is a Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds.”[Q: 26: 192]
    • Dhikr (reminder) “We have without doubt, send down the message; And We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)[Q: 15: 9]
    • Kitab (The book) “We have revealed for you (O men) a Book in which is a message for you: will you not then understand.”[Q : 21:10]
      Hudan (Guidance) “We gave Moses the book, and made it a Guide to the children of Israel, (commanding): “Take not other than Me as disposer of (your) affair.”[Q:17: 2:5]
  • All these names reflect one of the various aspects of the revealed words of Allah.
  • Other names include Nur (Light), Majid (Glorious), and Mubarak (Blessed) Bashir (Announcer), among others.

a) Ulumul Quran

  • The term Ulum means ‘a science.’
  • It refers to the detailed scientific study of a subject.
  • If you look at the various subjects you are offered in Form one, you will notice that each of them has a different approach of studying it.
  • These approaches are what we refer to as Ulum (theScience).
  • The Quran, being a wide subject area of study also has its unique features that must be studied in a particular way.
  • Therefore, Ulumul Quran is a scientific study that includes a variety of fields related to Al – Quran such as it’s:
    • Revelation.
    • Collection and compilation.
    • Order and arrangement of suras.
    • Translation of the Quran (tafsir).
    • Reasons for the translation of the suras ( Asbaabu Nnuzul)
    • Characteristics of language
    • Style of writing and theme
    • Recitation (Tajweed) among other
  • We are going to look at one of the above areas in our next discussion.

Need for the Revelation of the Quran.

  • In life everything has a reason and a purpose for its being, just as we have a purpose for coming to school.
  • Revelation of the Quran came at a time when there was ignorance and the society was full of social vices, a period referred to as Jahiliya.
  • Some of the reasons for revelation of the Quran are as follows:
    • The earlier scriptures were tampered and interfered with by man thus losing their authenticity. Hence the revelation of the Quran was to correct the wrong message.
    • The Quran was given to Prophet Muhammad, the seal of the prophet with a universal message unlike the other books which were sent to particular generations at specific time. For example The Torah (Taurat) was sent to the Children of Israel through Prophet Musa (A.S) while Zabur was sent to the followers of Prophet Daud.
      Read the following two verses from the Holy Quran:

      Almighty Allah (S.W.T) Says:“To the Thamud people (We sent) Salih, one of their own brethren: He said: ‘O my people! Worship Allah; ye have no other god but Him.Now has come unto you a clear sign from your Lord! This she camel of Allah is a sign unto you...” [Q: 7:73]
      Almighty Allah (S.W.T) Says:“To the Ad people, (We send) Hud, one of their own brethren: He said: ‘O my people! Worship Allah! You have No other god but Him. Will you not fear (Allah)?”[Q: 7:65]
    • To fulfill Allah’s promise as well as prophesies of the other earlier revealed scriptures on the coming of the Quran and that of prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H). Almighty Allah (S.W.T)Says:“And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: ‘O children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah (sent) to you confirming the law (which came) before me and giving Glad Tidings of a messenger to come after me whose name shall be Ahmad.But when he came to them with clear signs, they said, ‘This is evident sorcery.”[Q: 61:6]
    • To narrate and summarize stories and events of the earlier generation in order to offer teachings, lessons, warnings and guidance to shape community.
      Almighty Allah (S.W.T)Says:“There is in, their stories,instructions for men endued with understanding. It is not a tale invented,but a confirmation of what went before it-A detailed exposition of all things,and a guide and a mercy to any such as believe.” [Q: 12: 111]
    • Believe in One True God: The most important topic mentioned throughout the Quran is the belief in the One, True God. God informs us that He has no partner, no son, no equal, and that none has the right to be worshipped except Him alone. Nothing is comparable to God and none of His creation resembles Him. The Qur’an also rejects the notion of attributing human qualities and limitations to Allah (SWT). Almighty Allah (S.W.T) says, “And your god is One God. There is no god but He, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.” [Q 2:163]
    • Rejection All False Gods: Since Allah alone is the only One worthy of worship, false gods must be rejected. The Quran also rejects the notion of attributing divine qualities to anyone or anything other than Allah.
      Almighty Allah (S.W.T) Says: “And worship Allah and associate none with Him…” [Q: 4:36]
    • To remind us of the Day of Judgment:This Holy Quran reminds us that everyone will taste death and will be held accountable for all their actions and sayings:
    • Almighty Allah (S.W.T) says: “We shall set up scales of justice for the Day of Judgment, so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least…”[Q: 21:47]
    • Fulfilling the Intended Way of Life: The purpose of life is to worship Allah alone, and live one’s life according to the way of life prescribed by Allah. In Islam, worship is a comprehensive term that includes all actions and sayings (whether private or public) that Allah loves and is pleased with. Therefore, by doing what Allah commands, a Muslim is worshipping God and fulfilling his purpose in life.

      Almighty Allah (S.W.T) says, “I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me.”[Q: 51:56]


  • Revelation is the divine communication of Allah (S.W.T) to his creatures.
  • In this communication, Allah (S.W.T) either uses the Arch Angel Jibril or any by other methods which shall be studied in Form Two.
  • An example of this communication is when Allah (S.W.T) revealed to the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) the first five verses of Sura al-Alaqa through Angel Jibril. Refer to [Q: 96:1-5]
  • The above paragraph shows us that the Almighty Allah (S.W.T) communicates to his Prophets in the form of revelations. Allah (S.W.T) says in the Holy Quran that;
    It is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or by sending of a messenger to reveal, with Allah’s permission, what Allah will; for He is most High, Most Wise.”[Q: 42:51]
  • From the verse we have read, we see the Arch Angel Jibril acting as an intermediary between Allah (S.W.T) and the prophets as the bearer of the revelation. Angel Jibril undertook the following duties in the revelation of the Qur’an:

a) The Role of Angel Jibril

  • He lowered the Quran from Lauhil Mahfudh (well preserved tablet), the seventh heaven to Baitul– Izza; the lowest heaven.
  • He lowered the Quran from Baitul-Izza to earth and revealed it in portions to the prophet throughout his 23 years of prophet hood.
  • He taught the prophet how to recite the Holy Quran correctly.
  • He assisted the prophet in the order and arrangement of the Quran. He used to appear before the prophet at the beginning of every month of Ramadhan and the prophet used to recite all the chapters while Jibril would guide him on the order and arrangement.
  • He played an intermediary role between the Almighty Allah to the prophet (P.B.U.H).
  • He assisted the prophet in memorizing the Quran during revelation; he would only leave after the prophet had grasped the verses.
  • Assisted the prophet in interpreting and understanding the Quran. He was the comforter of the prophet because revelation was a difficult experience. Aisha (R.A.) reported that Al - Harith bin Hisham asked Allah Apostle (P.B.U.H) how the divine inspiration was revealed to Him. Allah’s Apostle replied; “sometimes it is revealed like the ringing of a bell, this form of inspiration (wahyi) is the hardest of all and then this state passes off after I have grasped what is inspired. Sometimes the Angel comes in the form of a man and talks to me and I grasp whatever he says.

b) Reason why the Quran was Revealed in Portions

  • We have just learnt that Arch Angel Jibril lowered the Quran from Baitul-Izza and revealed it in portions.
  • The Quran was revealed in portions because of the following reasons:
    • To address the prophet continuously in order to strengthen his heart. Almighty Allah (S.W.T) says:
      You and those who disbelieve say “why is the Quran not revealed to him all at once?” but it is like that in order that we may steady your heart with it, and I have arranged its component parts in an orderly, consistent manner.”[Q: 25:3]
      (It is) a Quran which we have divided (into parts from time to time) in order that you might recite it to men at intervals: We have revealed it by stages.”[Q: 17:106]
    • The process of revelation was a very difficult experience considering human ability and limitations; therefore it was revealed in portions to ease the task.
    • To provide room for spiritual growth and development for the prophet and his companions.
    • To progressively implement the sharia of Allah(S.W.T) that is providing continuous guidance.
    • To make it easy for the believers to understand and apply the rules of the Quran.
    • To make its memorization easier because the Arabs chiefly relied on memory to preserve information.
      Allah says (S.W.T) “(These are) the ones who wait and watch about you, if you do gain a victory from Allah, they say: were we not with you? But if the unbelievers gain an advantage over you, and did we not guard you from the believers?” [Q: 4:141]
    • Dealing with problems as they arise whenever a new happening emerges the Quran was there to provide the necessary solutions and answer. Example of this is when the Almighty Allah says(S.W.T):
      And they ask you about Dhul Qarnayn tell them I will read to you a report.”[Q: 18:83]
    • An indication of the true source of the Quran as it was revealed in a period of 23 years without any contradictions.
      The Almighty Allah says (S.W.T):“Won’t they contemplate the Quran if it had come from other than Allah; they would have found in it many contradictions?” [Q: 4:82]

Surat Ul Fatiha ٱلْفَاتِحَة

  • Al-Fâtiha is the first sûrah (chapter) of the Quran, and was one of the earliest portions of the Quran revealed to the prophet Muhammad by the angel Jibril.
  • The word ‘Fatiha’ comes from the Arabic root verb ‘Fataha’ which means an opening, beginning or commencement.
  • Therefore it is referred to as “Fatihat ul Kitab” (the opening chapter of the Book) or simply Surat ul Fatiha (The Opening Chapter).
  • The idea of opening or beginning is significant in several ways:
    • this is the opening verse of the Quran
    • this is said to be the first complete sûrah that was revealed to the Prophet, but more importantly this name also symbolizes the fact that the grace of Allâh has opened the doors of Life to us and that as we begin to live our lives in harmony with the ways of Allâh, the heart truly begins to open, thereby allowing us to begin to allow the Divine Presence of Allah(S.W.T) to consciously manifest openly through our daily lives, and thus, it is we that have been opened by His Power.
  • It is also called ‘sab al mathani’ .i.e. the seven ayahs as these are seven ayahs that no equivalent of them has ever been sent to the previous prophets before.
  • It is called ‘Umm ul Kitab’ i.e. ‘the mother of the whole book’ because it encompasses the theme of recognition of Allah, belief in Him and worshipping Him only and genuinely.

Arabic transliteration and meaning of its verses.

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Bismillāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm
1:1 In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

الْحَمْدُ للّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Al ḥamdu lillāhi rabbi l-’ālamīn
The praise and thanks be to Allah 1:2 Sustainer of the worlds,

الرَّحْمـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Ar raḥmāni r-raḥīm
,Most Merciful ,Most gracious 1:3

مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

Māliki yawmi d-dīn
.Master of the day of Judgement 1:4

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

Iyyāka na’budu wa iyyāka nasta’īn
worship you alone we 1:5 and You alone we ask for help.

اهدِنَــــا الصِّرَاطَ المُستَقِيمَ

Ihdinā ṣ-ṣirāṭ al-mustaqīm
guide us to the straight path 1:6

صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِمْ غَيرِ المَغضُوبِ عَلَيهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّينَ

Ṣirāṭ al-laḏīna an’amta ‘alayhim ġayril maġḍūbi ‘alayhim walāḍ ḍāllīn
1:7 The path of those on whom you have bestowed your Grace, and not the path of those who earned your anger, nor of those who went astray.

Teachings of the Surah

  • Allah is the most Gracious and most Merciful.
  • We should praise Allah for all the favors He has bestowed to us.
  • He is the controller and overall judge of everything during the Day of Judgment.
  • He is the only one worth of our devotion so all our prayers should be directed to Him.
  • Whoever needs any help should seek divine intervention of Allah.
  • Man should ask for Allah’s guidance to the path of righteousness.
  • The path of righteousness is a favor from Allah(S.W.T).
  • Man should shun all evils to avoid the wrath of Allah. The worshipper is reminded not to transgress.
  • Mankind should follow the teachings of Allah (S.W.T) in order to avoid His anger.
  • The recognition of the oneness of Allah brings us closer to Allah and keeps us far from Iblis.

Importance of the Sura

  • Surat ul Fatiha brings us closer to Allah through the words of praise contained in it.
  • It is a supplication (dua) that the prophet recommended to be used often.
  • It is the opening chapter of the Quran.
  • It’s the foundation of faith.
  • It is the mother of the Quran.
  • It is one of the pillars of prayers.
  • It’s one among the surahs that no other prophet was given except Muhammad only.



SURAT AL-Fīl (The Elephant) (Q 105) ٱلْفِيل

Historical Back ground to the Revelation of Suratul Fiil.

  • Suratul Fiil derived its roots from the incident of the elephants during the period of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H).
  • The term Fiil refers to the elephants mentioned in the first verse of the Sura.
  • These elephants were used in the army of Abraha Al Ashram who was governor of Yemen on behalf of the King of Ethiopia.
  • He was sent to go and destroy the Al-Kaaba.
  • Abraha built a shrine at a place called Sanaa and had wanted the Arabs to perform Pilgrimage at the shrine instead of the Kaaba which they refused.
  • He became furious and decided to send an army to go and destroy the Kaaba.

Arabic transliteration and meaning of its verses.

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Bismillahi rrahmani rraheemi
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ فَعَلَ رَبُّكَ بِأَصْحَابِ الْفِيلِ

Alam tara kaifa faala rabbuka bi as-haabil fiil
105:1 Have you (O Muhammad) not seen how your Lord dealt with the companions of the Elephant?

أَلَمْ يَجْعَلْ كَيْدَهُمْ فِي تَضْلِيلٍ

Alam yaj’al Kaidahum fii tadhlil
105:2 Did He not make their treacherous plan into misguidance?

وَأَرْسَلَ عَلَيْهِمْ طَيْرًا أَبَابِيلَ

Wa-arsala alaihim twairan abaabila.
105:3 And He sent against them birds in flocks,

تَرْمِيهِم بِحِجَارَةٍ مِّن سِجِّيلٍ

Tarmihim bihijaa-ratin min sijiil
105:4 Striking them with stones of baked clay,

تَرْمِيهِم بِحِجَارَةٍ مِّن سِجِّيلٍ

Fajaa’lahum ka’asfinm ma kulin
105:5 Then did He make them like an empty field of stalks and straw, (of which the corn) has been eaten.

Teachings of Suratul Fiil

  • Al-Kaaba is protected by Allah.
  • Allah is in position to destroy theplans of anybody who intends to harm others.
  • Allah is very powerful and sees everything.
  • No creature can fight the might of Allah
  • Material possession of a man cannot defeat the Allah’s property.
  • Mankind should rely on Allah for anything because Allah protects.
  • Allah does not allow evil to flourish.
  • Allah gives protection to the righteous
  • The wrong doers will always be punished by Allah.
  • No one can prevail against Allah
  • Allah has the ability to end a person’s pride and arrogance.
  • Allah wanted to honor the birth of the prophet (P.B.U.H).

Surat Al-Asr (The Declining Day) (Q 103) ٱلْعَصْر

Historical Background

  • The early Muslims called it Al-`Asr. Also, in most of the books dedicated to explaining the Quran (tafsir), this name is given to the surah.
  • The majority of scholars hold that it was sent in the Makkan Period at the early stages of Islam where the Muslim population was small.
  • The surah consists three verses, making it the shortest chapter in the Quran but summarizes all the teachings of Islam because of its vast meaning.
  • Imam Shafi commended that Suratul Asr would have sufficed all the other Surahs of the Quran if they had not been revealed.

Arabic transliteration and meaning of its verses.

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Bismillahi rrahmani rraheemi
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.


103: 1 By Al-'Asr (the time).

إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ

Inna al-insana lafee khusrin
103: 2 Verily! Man is in loss,

إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ

Illa allatheena amanoo waAAamiloo alssalihati watawasaw bialhaqqi watawasaw bialssabri
103: 2 Except those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth (i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al- Ma'ruf) which Allah has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al- Munkar)which Allah has forbidden), and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allah's Cause during preaching His religion of Islamic Monotheism or Jihad, etc.).

Teachings of the Surah

  • The surah starts with an oath where Allah swears by the time (Asr) because it is only Allah (S.W.T) who has the sole right to swear by anything because everything belongs to Him.
  • It affirms great loss for those who reject aod’s message after it reached them correctly, and for those who accepted it but failed to live according to it. Loss means losing Allah’s blessings and favors for the unbelievers.
  • Those excluded from the state of loss include the believers, those who perform righteous deeds,
  • It encourages one to follow the truth and enjoin one another to be patient.
  • They are also be committed to the truth of Islam.

Surat ul Nasr(The Divine Support) (Q110) ٱلنَّصْر

Historical Background

  • The Sura is called Suratul Nasr because it is a word that appears in the first verse of the chapter.
  • It literally means help. A
  • And here it refers to Allah’s help that caused the conquest of Makkah.
  • This Sura was revealed after the conquest of Makkah.
  • It was the time when many people were embracing Islam, thus the Sura was to remind the Prophet and the Muslims believers at large to consider the victory from Allah only.
  • The victory in which multitudes of people from different tribes embraced Islam was the victory from Allah (S.W.T) this is believed to be the last surah given to Prophet Muhammad and a sign to his approaching death.

Arabic transliteration and meaning of its verses.

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Bismillahi rrahmani rraheemi

إِذَا جَاء نَصْرُ اللَّهِ وَالْفَتْحُ

Itha jaa nasru Allahi waalfathu
110:1 When the victory of Allah has come and the conquest,

وَرَأَيْتَ النَّاسَ يَدْخُلُونَ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ أَفْوَاجًا

Waraayta alnnasa yadkhuloona fee deeni Allahi afwajan
110:2 And you see the people entering into the religion of Allah in multitudes,

فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَاسْتَغْفِرْهُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ تَوَّابًا

Fasabbih bihamdi rabbika waistaghfirhu innahu kana tawwaban
110:3 Then exalt [Him] with praise of your Lord and ask forgiveness of Him. Indeed, He is ever Accepting of repentance.

Teachings of the Surah

  • It recognizes Allah as the only source of help and victory.
  • It is a sign of victory when people are seen accepting Islam in multitudes.
  • For any victory(help) people must glorify the praises Allah.
  • People should glorify Allah’s name and also ask for forgiveness. They should also seek Allah’s forgiveness with confidence, as he is the one who accepts people’s repentance.
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