Fourth Module – The Last Revelation

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Fourth Module

The Last Revelation

After some research, I have found the books on the sciences of the Qur’an mention eleven views as to the last verses revealed. Each one is supported by its own tradition or traditions. However, what ought to be mentioned at this point is: there are no narrations attributed to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on this topic. Qadi Abu Bakr al Baqillani (d. 403)[1] commenting on this says:

هذه الاقوال ليس فيها شيء مرفوع الي النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم وكل ما قالوه ضرب من الاجتهاد و غلبة الظن ، ويحتمل أن كلا منهم أخبر عن آخر ما سمعه من النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في اليوم الذي مات فيه، أو قبل مرضه بقليل، وغيره سمع منه بعد ذلك، وإن لم يسمعه هو ، ويحتمل أيضا: أن تنزل هذه الآية التي هي آخر آية تلاها الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم مع آيات نزلت معها فيؤمر برسم ما نزل معها بعد رسم تلك؛ فيظن أنها آخر ما نزل في الترتيب

All the views on this topic have no narrations attributed to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam supporting them. It is merely independent reasoning and preferred opinion. Each view has the possibility of its narrator having heard that verse from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and not hearing anything from him after that on the day of his death or before his illness. Another person, however, could have heard a different verse thereafter which the narrator did not. Or perhaps what they had heard was amongst the last verses revealed and written. Therefore, according to their thinking, it was the last verse revealed in the divine order.[2]

After having looked at all the views, one concludes that there are two distinct divisions that can be made:

  1. Views that take into consideration the last verse revealed, which are eight.
  2. Views that take into consideration the last chapter revealed, which are three.[3]

As the discussion being held is regarding the last verse revealed, one should refrain from confusing these aforementioned divisions. Incorporating these divisions speaks of the authors inability to distinguish between the subtleties of dialog.[4] My aim here will be to reconstruct the eight views held regarding the last verse revealed.

After pondering over these eight views two more divisions come to the fore:

  1. Those views that are narrated from more than one Sahabi, which are three.
  2. Those views that are only narrated from a single Sahabi, which are five.
  1. ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Abu Hafs al Qurashi. An august Companion and the second khalif. He was martyred in the 22nd year A.H.[5]
  2. Ubay ibn Ka’b ibn Qais ibn ‘Ubaidullah. Abu al Mundhir al Madani al Ansari radiya Llahu ‘anhu. One of the scribes of revelation for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He passed away in the 30th[6]
  3. Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha. Umm al Mu’minin Hind bint Abi Umayyah ibn al Mughirah al Qurashiyyah al Makhzumiyah. She passed away in the 59th[7]
  4. Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan Sakhr ibn Harb ibn Umayyah ibn ‘Abdul Shams ibn ‘Abd Manaf al Qurashi al Umawi radiya Llahu ‘anhu. One of the scribes of revelation for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the founder of the Umawi dynasty. He passed away in the 60th[8]
  5. Bara ibn ‘Azib ibn al Harith. Abu ‘Umarah al Awsi radiya Llahu ‘anhu. A Companion of many feats. He participated in fifteen battles and passed away at Kufah in the 62nd[9]
  6. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib ibn Hashim. Abu al ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu. From amongst the great Companions and scholars of hadith. He passed away in the 68th[10]

The discussion at hand is an in-depth look into the eight views on the last verse revealed. I will begin with the most correct and favoured view, thereafter moving on to those views which holds support from more than one companion and concluding with the views held by a single companion which do not hold as much weight.

The First View:

The last verse to be revealed was:

وَاتَّقُوْا يَوْمًا تُرْجَعُوْنَ فِيْهِ إِلَى اللَّهِ ثُمَّ تُوَفَّىٰ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُوْنَ

And fear a Day when you will be returned to Allah. Then every soul will be compensated for what it earned, and they will not be treated unjustly.[11]

This view has been narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. Hereunder are some narrations that support this view:

  1. Nasa’i (d. 303):

روى النسائي من طريق عكرمة عن ابن عباس، قال: آخر ما نزل من القرآن {وَاتَّقُوا يَوْماً تُرْجَعُونَ فِيهِ إِلَى اللَّهِ…} الآية

‘Ikrimah (d. 198) narrates from Ibn ‘Abbas, “The last that was revealed from the Qur’an was ‘And fear a Day when you will be returned to Allah…’[12]

  1. Ibn Mardawayh (d. 410):[13]

وروى ابن مردويه بسنده عن سعيد بن جبير، عن ابن عباس قال: آخر آية نزلت من القرآن: {وَاتَّقُوا يَوْماً تُرْجَعُونَ فِيهِ إِلَى اللَّهِ…} الآية

Sa’id ibn Jubayr (d. 95)[14] narrates from Ibn ‘Abbas, “The final verse revealed in the Qur’an was [the above-mentioned verse].”[15]

  1. Ibn Jarir (d. 310):[16]

وأخرج ابن جرير من طريق الضحاك عن ابن عباس قال: آخر آية نزلت: {وَاتَّقُوا يَوْماً تُرْجَعُونَ فِيهِ إِلَى اللَّهِ} الآية

Dahhak (d. 105)[17] narrates from Ibn ‘Abbas, “The last versed revealed was [the above-mentioned verse].”[18]

  1. Ibn Abi Hatim:[19]

وأخرج ابن أبي حاتم بسنده، عن سعيد بن جبير قال: آخر ما نزل من القرآن كله: {وَاتَّقُوا يَوْماً تُرْجَعُونَ فِيهِ إِلَى اللَّهِ…} الآية، وعاش النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بعد نزول هذه الآية تسع ليال، ثم مات ليلة الاثنين، لليلتين خلتا من شهر ربيع الأول

Sa’id ibn Jubayr narrates from Ibn ‘Abbas, “The final verse revealed in the entire Qur’an was [the above-mentioned verse]. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam lived for nine nights thereafter, then passed away on Monday night with two days remaining in the month of Rabi’ al Awwal.”[20]

The Second View

The last verse to be revealed was the following verse of interest:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَذَرُوْا مَا بَقِيَ مِنَ الرِّبَا إِنْ كُنْتُم مُّؤْمِنِيْنَ

O you who have believed, fear Allah and give up what remains [due to you] of interest, if you should be believers.[21]

This view has been narrated from both Ibn ‘Abbas and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Hereunder are some traditions which serve as proof to their statements.

  1. Al Bukhari (d. 256)[22]:

أخرجه البخاري عن ابن عباس قال: آخر آية نزلت على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم آية الربا

Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports that the last verse revealed to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was the verse of interest.[23]

  1. Al Bayhaqi (d. 458)[24]:

وأخرج البيهقي عن عمر قال: آخر آية نزلت آية الربا

‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports that the last verse revealed was the verse of interest.[25]

The Third View

The last verse to be revealed was:

لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُوْلٌ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ عَزِيْزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيْصٌ عَلَيْكُم بِالْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ رَءُوْفٌ رَّحِيْمٌ

There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.

فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَقُلْ حَسْبِيَ اللَّهُ لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَهُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيْمِ

But if they turn away, [O Muhammad], say, “Sufficient for me is Allah; there is no deity except Him. On Him I have relied, and He is the Lord of the Great Throne.”[26]

This view has been narrated from Ubay ibn Ka’b and Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

This is substantiated by the following narrations:

  1. Ibn Mardawayh (d. 410):

وروى ابن مردويه عن أبي قال: آخر القرآن عهدا بالله هاتان الآيتان: {لَقَدْ جاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ…} إلى قوله: {وَهُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ}

Ubay ibn Ka’ab reports, “The last of the Qur’an revealed from Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala are these two verses [the above-mentioned verses]”.[27]

  1. Al Hakim:

وفي المستدرك عن أبي بن كعب قال: آخر آية نزلت: {لَقَدْ جاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ…} إلى آخر السورة

Ubay ibn Ka’ab reports, “The last verses revealed [the above-mentioned] verse till the end of the chapter.”[28]

  1. Abu Sheikh:

و اخرج ابو شيخ في تفسيره من طريق علي بن زيد عن ابن عباس قال : آخر آية نزلت: {لَقَدْ جاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ…}

‘Ali ibn Zaid (d. 129) reports from Ibn ‘Abbas, “The last verse revealed was, [the above-mentioned verse].”[29]

The Fourth View

The last verse to be revealed was:

فَاسْتَجَابَ لَهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ أَنِّي لَا أُضِيْعُ عَمَلَ عَامِلٍ مِّنْكُم مِّنْ ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ بَعْضُكُمْ مِّنْ بَعْضٍ فَالَّذِيْنَ هَاجَرُوْا وَأُخْرِجُوْا مِنْ دِيَارِهِمْ وَأُوْذُوْا فِيْ سَبِيْلِي وَقَاتَلُوْا وَقُتِلُوْا لَأُكَفِّرَنَّ عَنْهُمْ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ وَلَأُدْخِلَنَّهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِيْ مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ ثَوَابًا مِّنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ عِنْدَهُ حُسْنُ الثَّوَابِ

And their Lord responded to them, “Never will I allow to be lost the work of [any] worker among you, whether male or female; you are of one another. So those who emigrated or were evicted from their homes or were harmed in My cause or fought or were killed – I will surely remove from them their misdeeds, and I will surely admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow as reward from Allah, and Allah has with Him the best reward.”[30]

This view has been narrated from Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha.

  1. Ibn Mardawayh (d. 410):

أخرج ابن مردويه من طريق مجاهد عن أم سلمة أنها قالت: آخر آية نزلت هذه الآية: {فَاسْتَجابَ لَهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ…}

Mujahid (d. 104)[31] narrates from Umm Salamah, “The last verse revealed was [the above-mentioned verse].[32]

 

The Fifth View

The last verse to be revealed was:

وَمَنْ يَقْتُلْ مُؤْمِنًا مُّتَعَمِّدًا فَجَزَاؤُهُ جَهَنَّمُ خَالِدًا فِيْهَا وَغَضِبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَلَعَنَهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُ عَذَابًا عَظِيْمًا

But whoever kills a believer intentionally – his recompense is Hell, wherein he will abide eternally, and Allah has become angry with him and has cursed him and has prepared for him a great punishment.[33]

This view has been narrated by ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.

  1. Al Bukhari (d. 256):

أخرج البخاري عن ابن عباس قال: نزلت هذه الآية: {وَمَنْ يَقْتُلْ مُؤْمِناً مُتَعَمِّداً فَجَزاؤُهُ جَهَنَّمُ خالِداً فِيهَا} هي آخر ما نزل وما نسخها شيء

Ibn ‘Abbas reports, “This verse was revealed [the above-mentioned verse]. It was the last, no verse thereafter was revealed, neither did anything abrogate it.”[34]

The Sixth View

The last verse to be revealed was:

يَسْتَفْتُوْنَكَ قُلِ اللَّهُ يُفْتِيْكُمْ فِيْ الْكَلَالَةِ

They request from you a [legal] ruling. Say, “Allah gives you a ruling concerning one having neither descendants nor ascendants [as heirs].”[35]

This view has been narrated from Bara’ ibn ‘Azib radiya Llahu ‘anhu (d. 62).

  1. Al Bukhari and Muslim:

روى الشيخان عن البراء بن عازب أنه قال: آخر آية نزلت: {يَسْتَفْتُونَكَ قُلِ اللَّهُ يُفْتِيكُمْ فِي الْكَلالَةِ…}

Bara’ ibn ‘Azib radiya Llahu ‘anhu says, “The last verse revealed was [the above-mentioned verse].”[36]

The Seventh View

The last verse to be revealed was:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا إِذَا تَدَايَنتُم بِدَيْنٍ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى فَاكْتُبُوْهُ

O you who have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term, write it down.[37]

This is the verse of debt and the longest in the Qur’an. This view has been narrated from Sa’id ibn al Musayyab (d. 94)[38].

  1. Ibn Jurayj (d. 150):

وأخرج ابن جرير من طريق ابن شهاب، عن سعيد ابن المسيب انه بلغه أن احدث القرآن عهدا بالعرض آية الدين

Sa’id ibn al Musayyab relates, “The last verse revealed was the verse of debt.”[39]

The Eighth View

The last verse to be revealed was:

فَمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُوا لِقَاءَ رَبِّهِ

So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord.[40]

This view has been narrated from Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

  1. Al Suyuti says:

ومن الغريب ما اخرجه ابن جرير عن معاوية بن ابي سفيان انه تلا هذه الاية {فَمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُوا لِقَاءَ رَبِّهِ} الآية، وقال إنها آخر آخر آية نزلت من القران

This narration that has been narrated seems peculiar Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan recited [the above-mentioned verse] and said this is the last verse revealed in the Qur’an.

  1. Ibn Kathir says:

هذا أثر مشكل ولعله أراد أنه لم ينزل بعدها آية تنسخها ولا تغير حكمها بل هي مثبتة محكمة

This narration is problematic, perhaps he meant that no verse was revealed thereafter to abrogate it. It still holds its meaning.[41]

Review and Favoured Opinion

After mentioning these eight views, one perhaps may wonder: Which is the preferred opinion?

My view is that the preferred opinion is the first, i.e. The view has been narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma that the last verse revealed was:

وَاتَّقُوْا يَوْمًا تُرْجَعُوْنَ فِيْهِ إِلَى اللَّهِ ثُمَّ تُوَفَّىٰ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُوْنَ

And fear a Day when you will be returned to Allah. Then every soul will be compensated for what it earned, and they will not be treated unjustly.[42]

After which Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam lived for only nine nights thereafter meeting with Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, as is established through the narration of Ibn Abi Hatim. None of the other views have an explicit text to prove its claim as this does.

And Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala knows best.

NEXT⇒ Fifth Module – Benefits of Knowing the Order of Revelation


[1] He is Muhammad ibn Tayyib ibn Muhammad ibn Jafar Abu Bakr al Baqillani. He is amongst the great scholars of Islamic scholastic theology. His ability to deduce rulings and witty answers were some of his celebrated qualities. He has authored many books. For further reading see, Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 5 pg. 379; Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 1 pg. 609.

[2] Al Itqan, vol. 1 pg. 80; Ma’a al Qur’an al Karim, pg. 191.

[3] Hereunder are the three views:

  1. Surah al Nasr. This is supported by the narrations of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.
  2. Surah al Maidah. This view is attributed to ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar and ‘Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.
  3. Surah al Baraah. This view is attributed to ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

[4] Al Itqan, vol. 1 pgs. 77-81;

[5] Tarikh al Khulafa’, pg. 40; Tabaqat ibn Sa’d, vol. 2 pg. 265; al Isabah, vol. 2 pg. 518; Ghayah al Nihayah, vol. 1 pg. 437.

[6] Sifat al Safwah, vol. 1 pg. 188; al Isabah, vol. 1 pg. 69; Ghayah al Nihayah, vol. 1 pg. 31; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 1 pg. 87.

[7] Tabaqat ibn Sa’d, vol. 8 pg. 86; a-Isabah, vol.4 pg. 458.

[8] Al Isabah, vol. 4 pg. 422; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 10 pg. 207; Tarikh al Khulafa’, pg. 75.

[9] Tabaqat ibn Sa’d, vol. 4 pg. 364; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 1 pg. 425.

[10] Al Isabah, vol. 2 pg. 220; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 5 pg. 276.

[11] Surah al Baqarah: 281.

[12] Al Itqan, vol. 1 pg. 77; Ma’a al Qur’an al Karim, pg. 187; Min ‘Ulum al Qur’an, pg. 21.

[13] He is Abu Bakr Ahmed ibn Musa ibn Mardawayh. He has authored a tafsir and a mustakhraj on Sahih al Bukhari.

[14] He is Sa’id ibn Jubayr ibn Hisham. From amongst the best of the Tabi’in. See, Tabaqat ibn Sa’d, vol. 6 pg. 256; Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 1 pg. 256.

[15] Al Itqan, vol. 1 pg. 77.

[16] Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Yazid. A leader in many sciences, such as tafsir, hadith, qira’ah, fiqh, and history amongst others. See Mu’jam al Udaba’, vol. 6 pg. 424; Tabaqat al Mufassirin, pg. 30.

[17] Dahhak ibn Mazahim. He is from the Tabi’in. See, Al Itqan, vol. 1 pg. 77.

[18] Al Itqan, vol. 1 pg. 77.

[19] It is unclear which Ibn Abi Hatim is referred to here as his full name has not been mentioned. It is probably one of the following three, 1. Ibn Abi Hatim al Razi, 2. Ibn Abi Hatim al Basti, or 3. Ibn Abi Hatim al Sijistani.

[20] Al Itqan, vol. 1 pg. 78; Min ‘Ulum al Qur’an, pg. 21.

[21] Surah al Baqarah: 278.

[22] Muhammad ibn Isma’il ibn Ibrahim ibn al Mughirah. Author of the great collection of authentic narrations. See, Tadhkirah al Huffadh, vol. 2 pg. 122; Tabaqat al Subki, vol. 2 pg. 2.

[23] Al Itqan, vol. 1 pg. 77.

[24] Ahmed ibn Hussain ibn ‘Ali Abu Bakr al Bayhaqi. A leader in the science of hadith. See, Shadharat al Dhahab, vol. 3 pg. 204; Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 1 pg. 24.

[25] Al Itqan, vol. 1 pg. 77.

[26] Surah al Tawbah: 128-129.

[27] Al Itqan, vol. 1 pg. 79; Ma’a al Qur’an al Karim, pg. 190.

[28] Al Itqan, vol. 1 pg. 78.

[29] Al Itqan, vol. 1 pg. 79.

[30] Surah Al ‘Imran: 195.

[31] Amongst the great scholars of tafsir. See, Sifat al Safwah, vol. 2 pg. 117; Mu’jam al Udaba’, vol. 6 pg. 242.

[32] Al Itqan, vol. 1 pg. 80; Ma’a al Qur’an al Karim, pg. 188.

[33]Surah al Nisa’: 93.

[34] Al Itqan, vol. 1 pg. 80; Ma’a al Qur’an al Karim, pg. 189.

[35] Surah al Nisa’: 176.

[36] Al Itqan, vol. 1 pg. 80; Ma’a al Qur’an al Karim, pg. 189.

[37] Surah al Baqarah: 282.

[38] Sa’id ibn al Musayyab is counted amongst the seven jurists of Madinah. He is from the Tabi’in.

[39] Al Itqan, vol. 1 pg. 78; Ma’a al Qur’an al Karim, pg. 187.

[40] Surah al Kahf: 110.

[41] Al Itqan, vol. 1 pg. 80; Ma’a al Qur’an al Karim, pg. 190.

[42] Surah al Baqarah: 281.