In the present work, I have, with the help of God and His blessings, tried to uncover the naẓm (coherence) in the Holy Qur’ān. I intend to write a simple and self explanatory commentary on the divine book free from the differences that have arisen among the Muslims after the Holy Prophet (sws). I have sought to clarify each verse in the light of its precedents in the Book and have endeavored to determine the coherence of the sūrahs through careful analysis of the text in the light of the context. Thus having reached an interpretation, I have attempted to corroborate it by rational and factual evidence.
a. Qur’ānic Naẓm
In order to uncover the naẓm I have examined the depths of the discourse with penetrating insight. In my effort to explain the divine verses I have held fast to the Book of God. My sole guide is only the God Almighty who blessed me with knowledge and understanding [of the coherence in the divine text]. I have not borrowed this approach from anyone. However, I am not the first person to have tried to uncover the Qur’ānic naẓm. Many scholars in the past have directed their attention to the subject and some have even documented their findings. The polymath, Suyūṭī, mentions in his treatise al-Itqān:
أفرده بالتاليف العلامة أبو جعفر بن الزبير شيخ أبي حيان في كتاب سماه البرهان في مناسبة ترتيب سور القرآن ومن أهل العصر الشيخ برهان الدين البقاعي في كتاب سماه نظم الدرر في تناسب الآي والسور
Mentor of Abu Ḥayyān,‘Allāmah Abū Ja‘far Ibn Zubayr, compiled a book entitled al-Burhān fī Munāsabat al-Suwar al-Qur’ān (The Conclusive Proof Regarding the Correspondence in the sūrahs of the Holy Qur’ān) which exclusively deals with this subject. One of our contemporaries, Sheikh Burhān al-Dīn Baqā‘ī has also specifically considered the coherence in the Holy Qur’ān in his exegesis Nazm al-Durar fī Tanāsub al-Āyi wa al-Suwar(Arrangement of the Pearls regarding the Correspondence of the Verses and the Sūrahs).
‘Allāmah Suyūṭī also refers to one of his works, which, according to him, discusses the coherence in the verses and the sūrahsand other aspects of i‘jāz of the Holy Qur’ān. In this connection, he says:
علم المناسبة علم شريف قل إعتناء المفسرين به لدقته وممن اكثر منه الإمام فخر الدين فقال في تفسيره أكثر لطائف القرآن مودعة في التربيتات والروابط
The knowledge of interrelationship is the most sublime science in rank. The exegetes have paid less attention to it only because of its difficulties. Imām Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī is one of those who have shown most interest in this science. He says: “The greater part of the Qur’ānic intricacies and wisdom is buried in the fine arrangement and correspondence of the [sūrahs and the verses of the] Qur’ān.”
I have found Imām Rāzīs following remarks in his commentary on the Qur’ānic verse, “wa law ja‘alnāhu Qur’ānan a‘jamiyyan, (had We made it an ‘Ajamī Qur’ān,”) (41:44):
نقلوا في سبب النزول هذه الآية أن الكفار لأجل التعنت قالوا لولا نزل القرآن بلغة العجم فنزلت هذه الآية و عندي أن أمثال هذه الكلمات فيها حيف عظيم على القرآن لأنه يقتضي ورود آيات لا تعلق للبعض فيها بالبعض و أنه يوجب أعظم أنواع الطعن فكيف يتم مع إلتزام مثل هذا الطعن إدعاء كونه كتابا منظما فضلا عن إدعاء كونه معجزا بل الحق عندي أن هذه السورة من أولها إلى أخرها كلام واحد
[The scholars] have reported that this verse was revealed when the Quraysh obstinately remarked that why the Qur’ān was not revealed in some non-Arab language. I believe assumptions of this kind expose the Holy Qur’ān to serious objections. It entails that the Holy Qur’ān contains disjointed verses lacking any possible logical coherence. Rather, this admits of even severer objections on the divine word, which, once validated destroy the status of the Holy Qur’ān as a coherent discourse, far from being miraculous word of God. I believe that this sūrah is a sustained discourse right from the beginning to the end.
After dealing with the theme of the sūrah in a short and concise manner he comments:
كل من أنصف و لم يتعسف علم أنا إذا فسرنا هذه الآية على الوجه الذي ذكرنا صارت هذه السورة من أولها إلى آخرها كلاما واحدا منتظما مسوقا نحو غرض واحد فيكون هذا التفسير أولى مما ذكروه
Every fair person can see that if the verse is interpreted the way we have, it becomes clear that the sūrah is a coherent and well-knit discourse from the beginning to the end - a discourse leading to single objective. Such a commentary would naturally be better than what people have generally offered.
This rounds off our survey of the viewpoints of the advocates of a case for some sort of coherence in the Holy Qur’ān. All along, there have been other scholars who believed that the Holy Qur’ān is devoid of any coherence. In this connection, Sheikh ‘Izzuddīn al-Salām says:
فأن القرآن نزل في نيف و عشرين سنة في أحكام مختلفة شرعت لأسباب مختلفة و ما كان كذالك لا يتأتى ربط بعضه ببعض
The Holy Qur’ān came down piecemeal over a period of more than two decades, with different commandments issued for a variety of purposes. A book revealed in this fashion does not afford any correspondence in its components.
We have seen that on the question of Qur’ānic naẓmthere exist two schools both of which have supporters. I acknowledge the former view and adhere to it.
Through aforementioned facts, I intend to highlight two important points.
First, the earlier scholars did not altogether neglect the question of Qur’ānic naẓm. Rather a group has discussed the issue carefully.
Second, discovering naẓm in the Holy Qur’ān is a difficult task which has scarcely been attempted. It is a treasure trove of which little has been discovered thus far.
In the beginning, God Almighty blessed me with an understanding of the internal coherence in Sūrah Baqarah and Sūrah Qaṣaṣof the Holy Qur’ān. The text of the Holy Qur’ān itself guided me to this discovery and I did not resort to any resource external to it. By the grace of God, reciting the Holy Qur’ān, my favorite book, has always been my cherished engagement. I too, many times, confronted the famous dictum that the Book, being revealed piece by piece, is actually a disjointed, incoherent discourse. The discovery of coherence in two longer sūrahs, however, prompted me to expand the investigation to the rest of the Book. This dates back to early days of my life. I was, at that time, pursuing my academic career. This kept me from devoting enough time to this investigation and doing an exhaustive survey of the entire Book. After ten years of inactivity, God again blessed me with an opportunity to resume work on the Holy Qur’ān from this angle. Initial investigation lasted for about a year before I reached a definite conclusion. Later on, the idea to present the results of my investigation before the academic world struck my mind. This, however, I did not pursue realizing the importance of the task and its far-reaching consequences. Therefore, I continued repeatedly examining the Qur’ānic text from this perspective for a long time. During the course of this exercise, I continuously beseeched God’s protection from ignorance and temptations of the self. Truth was there before me, clear and manifest, since long. It required urgent disclosure but I always desired to safely depart this world without rendering myself accountable for unveiling such a massive discovery. I wished to relieve myself of the responsibility for all the good or evil my work was bound to produce. However, the following considerations forced me to bear this huge responsibility in spite of my reservations.
1. I observed that most differences in understanding the Qur’ānic text owed themselves to the fact that the interpreters did not consider the Qur’ānic naẓm. Had they been clear on the orderly arrangement of the text and were they exposed to the central themes of the sūrahs, all possibilities of difference would have been eliminated. All would have been jointly hoisting a common flag, holding fast to a single word– “a goodly tree, its root set firm, its branches reaching into the heavens.” Unfortunately, the differences could not be checked despite the fact that we, the Muslims, have been required to hold fast to the word of God Almighty who commands:
واعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اللّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُواْ
And hold fast by the rope of Allah all together and be not disunited. (3:103)
How can one expect to find a way out of differences in fundamental matters in such a state of affairs? People have considered the well-knit rope of Allah – which “falsehood may not come at from before or behind,” – a pile of fragmented pieces. Each sect is interpreting the Holy Qur’ān bespectacled with presupposed views, deviating from the escort of the text; whereas the order and arrangement of the Qur’ān – the only guide to proper understanding of the text – is never resorted to. It is the only shield that keeps innovators from incorporating their whims in the text, prevents the strayed folk from grounding their waywardness in the word of God and safeguards the book from the onslaughts of the crooked people who wish to “remove the words from their context.” In the meantime such evil factions remain engaged in attacking the word of God, from its front and from its back, and are mixing their whimsical inclinations with the truth.
2. The heretics leveled objections against the Holy Qur’ān. They claimed that the Book lacks anything of the sort of orderly arrangement. Muslim scholarship was expected to deliver the word of God from such outrageous objections – concerning the like of which the Almighty says, “how grievous words come out of their mouths”and “never will Allah grant to the unbelievers a way over the believers” – and to unveil the truth. Quite unfortunately, their response has generally been concessive in this regard. This did not allow me to sit like an onlooker while the truth was subjected to suppression and falsehood hailed victory, especially when I was clear about the untenability of the objections raised by the heretics.
3. Moreover, it is an indisputable fact that coherence is the necessary characteristic of every discourse. Minus it, you will lose a significant part of the meaning and implications of the discourse. A whole contains what we may call over and above of the sum total of its parts. Grapes and the wine are certainly different things. That is why we see that if someone fails to understand the connections in the parts of a discourse a great part of the meaning of the discourse is lost upon him. His state is not different than that of the People of the Book concerning whom God says:
فَنَسُواْ حَظًّا مِّمَّا ذُكِّرُواْ بِهِ فَأَغْرَيْنَا بَيْنَهُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَاء إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ
Thus they lost a part of that through which they were reminded [of religious truths]. Consequently we stirred up enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection. (5:14)
I am afraid the enmity and antagonism that has broken out among the Muslims originates in our disregard for the greater part of the meanings of the Holy Qur’ān buried in its coherence. Given this, God forbid, the evil can hardly be curbed. The reason for this, as explained above, is that disputing over the meaning of the Word of God will necessarily lead us to cherish different goals. Consequently, we will share the fate of the People of the Book mentioned in the verse quoted above. They, however, after all this, could hope reform by believing in the Last Prophet (sws) and the Last Revelation of God, still awaited then, but we have no other way except for turning to the Qur’ān itself.
The Holy Qur’ān, considering human weakness, places the alleviatory verses after the initial commands. That weakness is inherent in all human beings is indicated in the following verse:
وَلَقَدْ عَهِدْنَا إِلَى آدَمَ مِن قَبْلُ فَنَسِيَ وَلَمْ نَجِدْ لَهُ عَزْمًا
And We covenanted with Adam previously and he forgot [our command]. Thus We did not find him well committed. (20:115)
That the alleviatory verses have been revealed considering human weakness can also be gleaned from the following verse of the Holy Qur’ān:
الآنَ خَفَّفَ اللّهُ عَنكُمْ وَعَلِمَ أَنَّ فِيكُمْ ضَعْفًا
Now God has lessened your burden [of responsibility] seeing that weakness has befell you. (8:66)
This verse has been placed right after the original command it repeals. Similarly, there is a distance of many years between the period of revelation of the initial verses of Sūrah Muzzammil, commanding the Muslims to observe the night vigil, and the last verse of the sūrah, which serves to repeal the command. Here, in spite of the difference in the period of revelation of both the commands, the verse repealing the earlier commands has been placed after the abrogated directive. The case of the verse regarding allowing sexual intercourse with one’s wife during the nights of the month of Ramaḍānand the ones commanding the believers to make a testamentary provision to their wives can also be cited to prove this point. The latter verse, as I have discussed in my commentary of the sūrah, was put among the verses complementing the entire section. It was in fact very meticulously placed after the first complement in this regard. Such explanatory verses most often are followed by the statement:
كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللّهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ
Thus does God make His verses clear to people. (2:187)
I believe that such explanatory verses fulfilled the divine promise made in the following verse of the Sūrah Qiyāmah:
ثُمَّ إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا بَيَانَهُ
We shall Ourself explain it. (75:19)
It also responds to the prayer taught to the Holy Prophet (sws) by the Almighty himself in the following verse:
رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا
Lord, increase my knowledge (20:114).
In the preceding paragraphs I have pleaded with these Qur’ānic facts in order to substantiate the theory of coherence in the Holy Qur’ān. The Ḥadīth narratives also corroborate this thesis. Many traditions lead us to the conclusion that whenever a part of the Holy Qur’ān was revealed, the Holy Prophet (sws) would determine its sūrah and also its place in that particular sūrah and would direct his Companions to put it there. It was thus put in its proper place under his direct supervision. Some other narratives tell us that once a sūrah would be completed Gabriel recited the whole sūrah before the Prophet (sws). In my opinion, this also constituted the fulfillment of the divine promise of the jam‘ (compilation) and the Qur’ān (recitation) mentioned in Sūrah Qiyāmah. It was this arrangement and recitation which the Prophet (sws) was commanded to follow.
Order of the verses of the Qur’ānic sūrahs is recognized by the entire ummah. All the Muslim sects and schools have the same text with the same order of the verses in the sūrahs.
Another thing that corroborates my thesis regarding the Qur’ānic naẓm is the conviction of the people whose bosoms were opened by the Almighty to some of the fruits of the fine ordering of the Holy Qur’ān. These scholars have glimpsed into some of the realities buried in the fine structure of the Book of Allah. They appreciate that the Book of Allah is a treasure trove of wisdom and wonders which can only be accessed through an analysis of its order and arrangement. This intensifies their thirst for investigation, increases their satisfaction and improves their understanding. They are thus encouraged to try harder and harder to unearth this treasure. God fulfills their endeavors and they are able to get of it what is destined for them. They are grateful to God on what horizons open up for them in this regard. They attribute their failure to understand something to their own inabilities and lack of understanding. It is a known fact that the Book of God is an ocean of knowledge whose wonders and treasures may never exhaust. Who can claim to have gathered the sunlight and [to have obtained all the knowledge contained in the Book of God]? Who can claim immunity to error? Therefore, such limitations do not put off the flame of their enthusiasm and yearning to learn. Rather, they continue searching for the wealth of knowledge gratefully acknowledging whatever they can achieve through their efforts. Do not you see that those bestowed with some part of this knowledge have always thanked God for this unparalleled divine largesse? Writes Imām Suyūṭī:
أول من أظهر علم المناسبة الشيخ أبوبكر النيشابورى و كان غزير في الشريعة والأدب و كان يقول على الكرسي إذا قرئ عليه لما جعلت هذه الآية إلى جنب هذه و ما الحكمة في جعل هذه السورة إلى جنب هذه السورة و كان يزري على علماء بغداد لعدم علمهم بالمناسبة
The first person to highlight the study of correspondence (of the verses and the sūrahs of the Holy Qur’ān) is Sheikh Abū Bakr Nishābūrī. He was a great expert in Islamic law and literature. He would assume the chair, explain the Qur’ānic verses read out to him and point out the wisdom behind the placement of a certain verse next to the others and of a certain sūrah alongside the other. He would often disparage the scholars of Baghdād for their lack of knowledge of the correspondence.
Imām Suyūṭī has recorded the following saying of Ibn ‘Arabī:
إرتباط آي القرآن بعضها ببعض حتى يكون كالكلمة الواحدة متسقة المعاني منتظمة المباني علم عظيم لم يتعرض له إلا عالم واحد عمل فيه سورة البقرة ثم فتح الله لنا فيه فلم نجد له حملته و رأينا الخلق بأوصاف البطلة ختمنا عليه و جعلناه بيننا و بين الله و رددناه إليه
The art of linking the Qur’ānic verses in a way that the whole text appears as a well arranged single composition is certainly a great knowledge. Only one scholar has engaged himself in such an enquiry. Working on this line of enquiry he showed the whole Sūrah Baqarah a coherent discourse. Then the Almighty opened this door for me by His grace and bounty but I found that people do not appreciate this knowledge. I see that the people lack insight. This compelled me to keep this door sealed and to refer this matter between the Almighty and me to Himself.
Imām Rāzī, too, in his commentary, invariably thanks God for such grand knowledge granted him. Makhdūm Mahā‘imī’s commentary on the Holy Qur’ān primarily deals with the explanation of the interrelationship of the verses. He thanks God for bestowing him with this understanding so profoundly, and expresses his sense of inability and infallibility in such a way that it cannot be lost upon any serious student of his commentary. He considers this knowledge merely his Lord’s bounty upon him and completely negates worthiness of his contribution. I think it is because of this feeling of overwhelming gratitude and great humility that made him give his work the title of Tabṣīr al-Raḥmān wa Tasyīr al-Mannān.
The above discussion fully reveals the degree of respect attached to this knowledge by those blessed with insight into it. Obviously, these confessions have sprung from their hearts after they felt that the verses of the Qur’ān are ordered in a very remarkable fashion. As is attested by Sheikh Walī al-Dīn
قد وهم من قال لا يطلب للآي الكريمة مناسبة لأنها على حسب الوقائع المفرقة و فصل الخطاب أنها على حسب الوقائع تنزيلا و على حسب الحكمة ترتيبا
Those who say that one may not look for interconnection between the verses of the Holy Qur’ān because they were revealed in diverse circumstances are wrong. The fact is that these verses, though revealed in response to certain diverse circumstances, have been ordered (in the present arrangement of the Book) with perfect wisdom.
An individual who senses the fragrance of a fine ordering in the Holy Qur’ān, glimpses at its beauty and feels it, cannot deny the presence of this reality i.e. naẓm (in the book of God). However, we may not blame those who hold that the Book is not coherent merely because they have been unable to grasp its naẓm.
What I intend to bring to the eyes of the academic world does not call for this elaborate and lengthy discussion. Yet, I have gone this far in this preliminary discussion only because discovering the coherence in the Book demands great contemplation. If one fixes the view that the book does not contain any naẓm at all on the mind, even before approaching it for interpretation, it would be impossible for him to tread a single step in this direction. Everything will look so strange and unfamiliar that it would be hard for him to immerse himself into such an endeavor.
One may, however, ask that if the Qur’ānic naẓmis such sublime science yielding great benefits then why the Companions (rta) of the Holy Prophet (sws) maintained silence in this regard? Why did the Prophet (sws) himself not point towards this important tool of interpretation of the divine text? Our response to this question is this. The Companions (rta) of the Holy Prophet (sws) stood fully in light regarding the context of the verses. Most parts of the discourse addressed their issues and were revealed considering their circumstances. Had we lived in the same blessed time the coherence of the book would have been clear to us too. That is why we see that little exegetical narratives have been ascribed to the Companions (rta); for it spoke in their mother-tongue, applied their style of expression and discussed their issues and problems. Nothing of this triad is shared by us with them. This being true, how can one compare us with them with regards to the understanding of the coherence in the Qur’ān! Yet, despite the great difference of time between the Companions (rta) and us, we have in the text, in the repetition of the verses, decisive nature of the discourse, and presentation of the arguments, certain indicators which point beyond what we miss otherwise. These things continue to radiate light and help every keen and perceptive reader discern the naẓm.
Here I conclude this discussion on the naẓm, the fundamental principle of this exegesis. The introductions to the exegesis which follow this preface contain various other relevant facts which further explain our approach in this regard.
. Farāhīuses the term niẓām, in relation with the Holy Qur’ān, to mean both types of coherence - structural and thematic – in the book, unlike his predecessors, who use the word, either for relationship between the word and the intended meaning or a linear connection between the sūrahs and the verses in the sūrahs. We have however adopted the Arabic word naẓm for the concept only because Amīn Aḥsan Iṣṣlāḥī and his disciple Jāvēd Aḥmad Ghāmidī, who boast of achieving further developments in this field - the former applied the concept to the whole of the Qur’ān and the latter further refined it – both preferred this term for Farāhī’s niẓām. The English word coherence employed here does not cover the full signification of the concept yet it has been adopted for the sake of convenience. Scholars who have studied these works and presented their findings in English have used this word for the concept. For detail see: Mir, The Coherence in the Qur’ān: A Study of Iṣlāḥi’s Concept of Niẓām in Tadabbur-i Qur’ān (Indianapolis: American Trust Publications, 1986)
. The word munāsabah means correspondence and interrelationship. Farāhī, however, is careful in his selection of the word niẓām. In his work Dalā’il al-Niẓām he explained the difference between munāsabah and niẓām in the following words: “Some scholars have authored books on the issue of interrelationship of the verses and the sūrahs. They were however not aware of the niẓām al-Qur’ān (coherence in the Qur’ān). The difference between the two is this. Tanāsub (interrelationship) is but a part of the niẓām (coherence) for it can be found among verses. It does not reveal that the discourse [in a sūrah] is an independent unified whole. The seeker of the interrelationship between the verses may sometime remain content on any kind of interrelation (no matter how farfetched) and thus ignore the real interconnection between the components of the discourse which binds them into a unified whole. […..] By niẓām we mean that each sūrah is a single well-knit composition. Moreover, a sūrah corresponds to the preceding as well as the following one or it may be related to the one preceding its predecessor/s or following its successor/s in the way verses are mutually arranged. Just as the verses are sometimes placed as digression so are the sūrahs. Considering this principle one can see that the whole Qur’ān is a single discourse with perfect correspondence between and proper arrangement of its parts, from the beginning to the end. This explains our point that the niẓām is something much beyond and above the correspondence and the order of the parts. (Farāhī, Dalā’il al-niẓām, 1st ed., (A‘zamgarh: al-Dā’irah al-Ḥamīdiyyah, 1968), 74-5
. Suyūṭī, al-Itqān fī ‘Ulūm al-Qur’ān, 1sted., vol. 2 (Beirut: Dār Kitāb al-‘Arabī, 1999), 216.
. Miracle; Muslims believe that the Holy Qur’ān is inimitable word of God. This belief is presented as a proof of its divine origin. It is based on the Qur’ānic assertions that none can produce the like of it; it is inimitable. (, , 17:88, 52:33-4) However, the scholars have differed over the nature of the inimitability of the Book of God. Various explanations have been offered including the claim that the Qur’ānic I‘jāz consists in Qur'ānic niẓām.
. Suyūṭī,al-Itqān fī ‘Ulūm al-Qur’ān, vol. 2, 216.
. Rāzi, Fakhr al-Dīn, Tafsīr al-Kabīr, vol. 27, (Ṭahrān: Dār al-Kutub al-‘ilmiyyah), 133.
. Suyūṭī, al-Itqān fī ‘Ulūm al-Qur’ān, vol. 2, 217.
أ َلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ اللّهُ مَثَلاً كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً كَشَجَرةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْعُهَا فِي السَّمَاء
Do you not see how God compares a good word with a goodly tree, its root set firm, its branches reaching into heavens. ()
لَا يَأْتِيهِ الْبَاطِلُ مِن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَلَا مِنْ خَلْفِهِ
Falsehood cannot come at it from before or behind it. (41:42)
يُحَرِّفُونَ الْكَلِمَ عَن مَّوَاضِعِهِ.
They remove the words from its context. ()
كَبُرَتْ كَلِمَةً تَخْرُجُ مِنْ أَفْوَاهِهِمْ
How grievous words come out of their mouths ()
وَلَن يَجْعَلَ اللّهُ لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ سَبِيلاً
And never will Allah grant the unbelievers a way over the believers (4:141)
. Reference is to the following two verses of the Holy Qur’ān:
أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَى نِسَآئِكُمْ
It is permitted for you to lie with your wives on the night of the fast. (2:187)
وَالَّذِينَ يُتَوَفَّوْنَ مِنكُمْ وَيَذَرُونَ أَزْوَاجًا وَصِيَّةً لِّأَزْوَاجِهِم مَّتَاعًا إِلَى الْحَوْلِ غَيْرَ إِخْرَاجٍ
And those of you who die leaving widows should bequeath a year’s provisions for their widows without causing them to leave their homes. (2:240)
. Reference is towards the following verse:
إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا جَمْعَهُ وَقُرْآنَهُ
Verily upon us is to compile it and recite it (to you). (75:17)
For a detailed discussion of the meaning and implication of this verse see Farāhī, Majmū‘ah-i Tafāsīr-i Farāhi,tr. Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī. 2nd ed., (Lahore: Fārān Foundation, 1991), 210-13.
. As regards the question of present arrangement and order of the Qur’ān it is exactly the same as it was during the lifetime of the Prophet (sws). This is acknowledged by all and is not doubted except by those ignorant to history. The sūrahs, during the Prophet’s time, were recited in the prayer in their complete form. This fact has been reported through generality to generality. The Companions (rta) would recite the sūrahs in their prayer and would listen to the Prophet (sws) recite them. However, people have doubted the origin of the order of the sūrahs. Was the Qur’ān there in the present order in the lifetime of the Prophet (sws) or the people, who are believed to have compiled it after him, gave it the present arrangement? The correct and well established view is that the sūrahs were given the present order by the Almighty Allah. Gabriel taught this to the Prophet (sws) who taught the Companions what was communicated to him. (Farāhī, Dalā’il al-niẓām, 1st ed., (A‘zamgarh: al-Dā’irah al-Ḥamīdiyyah, 1968), 12-3.)
. Suyūṭī, al-Itqān fī ‘Ulūm al-Qur’ān, vol. 2, 216.
. Ibid., 217.