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The purpose of Makkan and Madinan Chapters

There are three basic definitions of the Makkan and Madinan chapters. The first

definition is that The Makkan Chapters refers to sections that were revealed to the prophet in the

city of Makkah. It also includes what was revealed to him while he was outside the city. On the

other hand, the Madinan chapters were revealed when the prophet was in the City of Madinah or

outside. The second definition is that the Makkan chapters were revealed in Makkah while the

Madinan were revealed in the city of Madinah (Suyooti 1/37). The third definition is that

Makkan chapters were brought to instruct the people of Makkah while the Madian Chapters

instructed the people of Madinah. However, scholars agree that the difference between Madinan

and Makkah chapters is not the location of revelation but the time of revelation. Therefore the

first definition is the most accurate as it gives higher emphasis on time

The following issues were outlined in the Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaimeen

The first issue is how the Quranic verses addressed the people. The Makkan chapters

address the people with sternness and strength since those who were been addressed were likely

to turn away and show arrogance. Therefore, addressing people with strength and sternness is

suitable for that situation; examples include Al-Qamar and Al-Mudaththir. On the other hand, the

Madinan Chapters have a gently and speech approach since the majority of the people accepted

and submitted to the message; a good example is Al-Maidah. The verse of the Makkan Chapters

is short and strong on their arguments against the deniers and is suitable to their situation at that

time; for instance At-Toor. While the verses of the Madinan are normally longer and mention

laws and rulings without much debate since the situation of the people was suitable for that; for

instance Al-Baqarah.
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The second issue of the Quranic verses regards the subject. The Makkan Chapters mostly

give a clarification of Tawheed and the appropriate Islamic belief. They mostly emphasize on the

worship of Tawheed and resurrection. It because most of the people that were been addressed

had denied those issues. While the chapters of Madinan are a general discussion of the details of

the interaction, worship, and dealings. It was because those that were been addressed by the

chapters already had Aqeedah and Tawheed already established in their souls. Thus, there was no

need to give them detailed rules about dealings and worship to them.

In Madinah, there is a huge elaboration on the rules regarding Jihad and how to deal with

hypocrites and their situation as per the present events. That is Jihad was needed that hypocrisy

was present in the Madinan era. However, it was not the situation in Makkah (refer to Usool at-

Tafseer of Ibn Uthaimeen).

Differences between the Makkan and Madani Chapters

The chapters of Makkan mention the word Kalla thirty-three times in fifty chapters. The

word Kalla means ‘NO’ when it is applied at the start of the sentence it is expected that there is a

huge condemnation of sinful behavior. The chapters of Makkan have prostration sections. The

parts of the body that were commanded by the prophet to be prostrated include the face, two

knees, two hands and edges of the two feats. The chapters of Makkan have huruf al-maqatta’a

that is single letters or group of single letters with an exception to Aal-I Imran and al-Baqara.

The chapters also give a narration of prophets, former countries and the devil with an exception

to al-Baqara. On the other side, the chapters of Madani have issues like civil code and

punishment using Sharia. Decrees about Jihad are outlined and information regarding hypocrites

except for al-Ankabut.


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The Makki chapters also have definite attitudes against idolatry, unbelief, and

polytheism. It also explains the issue of creed and the belief about the oneness of Allah. Those

chapters are normally short and have short verses that are simple and can be memorized easily.

Knowing about the Madani-Makki chapters will be very helpful to those who may want to

interpret the Quran effectively. Even if the meaning of the sections is explained according to the

event of revelation it is not limited. It is important to have knowledge about the place, person and

situation of the revelation of the verse.