The History of the Noble Qur’an
Before delving into the three modules of this chapter, two important issues must be addressed.
- Definition of the Qur’an.
- Names of the Qur’an.
Definition of the Qur’an
The term ‘Qur’an’ linguistically:
The word ‘Qur’an’ in Arabic etymology is an infinitive verb that holds the same meaning as ‘Qira’ah’, as is clear from the following verses:
إنَّ عَلَيْنَا جَمْعَهُ وَقُرْآنَهُ
Indeed, upon Us is its collection [in your heart] and [to make possible] its recitation.
فَإِذَا قَرَأْنَاهُ فَاتَّبِعْ قُرْآنَهُ
So when We have recited it [through Gabriel], then follow its recitation.
Technical term ‘Qur’an’ and the meaning it coveys:
Technically the term ‘Qur’an’ conveys the following meaning.
- It is the word of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala,
- Revealed to our Prophet Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam,
- Compiled and written in specific book form,
- Passed down to us successively,
- Reciting which constitutes worship, and
- Producing the like of it, though the smallest chapter, is impossible.
This definition excludes the other divine books by specifying it being revealed to our Prophet Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Similarly, it excludes prophetic traditions and sacred traditions (Ahadith Qudsi) by stating, it is compiled and written in specific book form. Lastly the definition excludes exceptional modes of recitation (Shadh Qira’ah) by specifying it has been passed down to us successively.
Names of the Qur’an
The Qur’an is unique from other divine scriptures by the many names given to it. The many names which hold meaning of attributes goes to show the great virtue attached to it. Many scholars of the past have written lengthy dissertations on the names of the Qur’an by way of its attributes to the extent that some have counted more than ninety names.
I wish to suffice by recounting those names that have clearly been mentioned in the Qur’an.
- Al Qur’an
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِيْ أُنزِلَ فِيْهِ الْقُرْآنُ
The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an.
- Al Furqan [The Criterion]
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِيْ نَزَّلَ الْفُرْقَانَ عَلَىٰ عَبْدِهِ لِيَكُوْنَ لِلْعَالَمِيْنَ نَذِيْرًا
Blessed is He who sent down the Criterion upon His Servant that he may be to the worlds a warner.
- Al Kitab [The Book]
ذٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ فِيْهِ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِيْنَ
This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah.
- Al Dhikr
إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُوْنَ
Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian.
- Al Wahi [The Revelation]
قُلْ إِنَّمَا أُنذِرُكُم بِالْوَحْيِ وَلَا يَسْمَعُ الصُّمُّ الدُّعَاءَ إِذَا مَا يُنذَرُوْنَ
Say, “I only warn you by revelation.” But the deaf do not hear the call when they are warned.
- Al Ruh [The Inspiration]
وَكَذٰلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ رُوْحًا مِّنْ أَمْرِنَا
And thus We have revealed to you an inspiration of Our command.
 Al Mu’jam al Wasit, vol. 2 pg. 772. Cairo.
 Surah al Qiyamah: 18;19.
 Irshad al Fuhul, pg. 29. Cairo.
 Al Burhan li al Zarkashi, vol. 1 pg. 272; Lata’if al Irshadat li al Qastallani, vol. 1 pgs. 18/19; Ma’a al Qur’an al Karim Dr Sha’ban Muhammad Isma’il, pg. 17.
 Surah al Baqarah: 185.
 Surah al Furqan: 1.
 Surah al Baqarah: 2.
 Surah al Hijr: 9.
 Surah al Ambiya: 45.
 Surah al Shura: 52.