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“Tadabbur-i-Qur’ān”
(An Outline of its Pattern of Nazm)
Qur'anic Exegesis
Dr. Shehzad Saleem

So long as men can live and eyes can see
So long lives this and this gives life to thee

The “Tadabbur-i-Qur’ān” is a monumental commentary of the Qur’ān written by Amīn Ahsan Islāhī. Extending over nine volumes of six thousand pages, this masterful work was completed in a span of twenty two years. If Farāhī founded the view that the Qur’ān possessed structural and thematic nazm (coherence), it is Islāhī who established beyond doubt in this commentary that this was actually correct.

He has presented conclusive evidence that the Qur’ān is divided into seven discrete groups. Each group has a distinct theme. Every group begins with one or more Makkan Sūrah and ends with one or more Madinan Sūrah. In each group, the Makkan Sūrahs always precede the Madīnan ones. The relationship between the Makkan Sūrahs and Madīnan Sūrahs of each group is that of the root of a tree and its branches. In every group, all the phases of the Prophet’s mission are depicted.

Two sūrahs of each group form a pair so that each member of the pair complements the other in various ways. Sūrah Fātihah, however, is an exception to this pattern: it is an introduction to the whole of the Qur’ān as well as to the first group which begins with it. There are also some sūrahs which have a specific purpose and fall in this paired-sūrah scheme in a particular way.

Each sūrah has specific addressees and a central theme round which the contents of the sūrah revolve. The central theme highlights a particular aspect of the central theme of the group of which the particular sūrah is a part. Every sūrah has distinct subsections to mark thematic shifts, and every subsection is paragraphed to mark smaller shifts.

Following is a brief description of the seven Qur’ānic groups:

 

Group I  {Sūrah Fātihah (1) - Sūrah Māidah (5)}

Central Theme: Islamic Law.

 

Group II  {Sūrah An`ām (6) - Sūrah Tawbah (9)}

Central Theme: The consequences of denying the Prophet (sws) for the Mushrikīn of Makkah.

 

Group III  {Sūrah Yūnus (10) - Sūrah Nūr (24)}

Central Theme: Glad tidings of the Prophet’s domination.

 

Group IV  {Sūrah Furqān (25) - Sūrah Ahzāb (33 }

Central Theme: Arguments on the Prophethood of Muhammad (sws) and the requirements of faith in him.

 

Group V  {Sūrah Sabā (34) - Sūrah Hujrāt (49)}

Central Theme: Arguments on Tawhīd and the requirements of faith in it.

 

Group VI  {Sūrah Qāf (50) - Sūrah Tihrīm (66)}

Central Theme: Arguments on Aakhirah and the requirements of faith in it.

 

Group VII  {(Sūrah Mulk (67) - Sūrah Nās (114)}

Central Theme: Admonition (indhār) to the Quraysh about their fate in the Herein and the Hereafter if they deny the Prophet (sws).

This is just a brief introduction of the thematic and structural coherence in the Qur’ān as presented by Islāhī in his “Tadabbur-i-Qur’ān”. The masterpiece needs to be studied by every person who wants to understand the Qur’ān so that he may have an idea of the giant leap forward it has brought about in the field of Qur’ānic Sciences.

 

   
 
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