Makki and Madani verses
5:4:34 2023-06-01 304

In regards to the time of their revelation, the verses of the Qur`an are divided into two categories – they are either verses which were revealed before the migration (to Madinah), or those which were revealed after the migration (to Madinah). The first group of verses are known as ‘Makki’ while the second group are referred to as ‘Madani.’1

The Makki verses have their own particular style to them and the Madani verses also have their own style.

The verses which are referred to as ‘Makki’ were revealed at a time in which the Muslims lived the life of a small “unknown” group who did not have the power to stand up and struggle against those who opposed them. The condition of their lives did not permit them to go forth to elucidate upon the practical laws of Islam such as Salat, Sawm, Zakat, Khums and Jihad. Therefore, a majority of the verses of the Makki period were in regards to the polytheists and a majority of these verses of the Qur`an were in regards to elucidating on the beliefs and lofty theological issues of the faith of Islam.

However, the conditions which existed in Madinah were of another form and after seeing that the environment was friendly to them, the Muslims emerged as a powerful force. Consequently, the explanation of the practical laws of Islam was entirely possible. It is for this reason that the verses in relation to the practical laws of Islam such as those of Salat, Sawm, Zakat, Khums and Jihad were revealed in the city of Madinah.

Being aware of these two types of verses will definitely help a person reach the goal of the verses of the Qur`an.

The scholar who is not able to correctly differentiate which verse is Makki and which is Madani, may say, in regards to the verse which reads:

قُلْ لاَّ أَسْئَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْراً إِلاَّ الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُربَــى

“…Say (O’ Muhammad): I ask you (Muslims) no reward for my work except love for my close family members.”2

that it was not revealed in regards to the family of the Prophet (‘s) since the Surah which this verse comes from is a Makki chapter and was revealed in the city of Makkah. Thus, for the Prophet (‘s) to ask for such a thing (love for his close family members) at that time period (when he had no family members) is nothing but him merely expressing an eloquent statement full of pleasantries (with no way to actually implement it).

However, if we look at the books written in regards to the recognition of the Makki verses from the Madani verses, it would be clear to such a commentator that simply because a chapter of the Qur`an is known to be a Makki chapter does not mean that all of the verses of that Surah were revealed in Makkah! It is possible that Makki verses may be found in chapters of the Qur`an which are known as Madani and vice versa.

More than this, the commentators of the Qur`an who have considered Suratul Shura (which is where the verse quoted above has been taken from) to be revealed in Makkah have mentioned that specifically this verse (under discussion) and a few other verses of this Surah are Madani.

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