Sarmad Naveed, Canada
One of the many hallmarks during the month of Ramadan is the increased recitation and study of the Holy Qur’an. Many strive to complete at least one full reading of the Holy Qur’an during this month. The significance of the Holy Qur’an, especially in relation to Ramadan has been highlighted by God when He states:
شَھۡرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِیۡۤ اُنۡزِلَ فِیۡہِ الۡقُرۡاٰنُ ھُدًی لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَیِّنٰتٍ مِّنَ الۡھُدٰی وَالۡفُرۡقَانِ
‘The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was sent down as a guidance for mankind with clear proofs and guidance and discrimination.’ (2:186)
Does this mean that the entire Holy Qur’an was revealed at once during the month of Ramadan alone?
According to historical record, it is known that Qur’anic revelation upon the Holy Prophet (sa) spanned over the 23-year course of his prophethood.
So what exactly is meant by, ‘The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was sent down’?
One meaning is that the Qur’anic revelation began during the month of Ramadan. It was a momentous night during Ramadan when the Holy Prophet (sa) had taken a retreat of solitude to the Cave of Hira when God revealed to him:
اِقۡرَاۡ بِاسۡمِ رَبِّکَ الَّذِیۡ خَلَقَ خَلَقَ الۡاِنۡسَانَ مِنۡ عَلَقٍ اِقۡرَاۡ وَرَبُّکَ الۡاَکۡرَمُۙ الَّذِیۡ عَلَّمَ بِالۡقَلَمِ عَلَّمَ الۡاِنۡسَانَ مَا لَمۡ یَعۡلَمۡ
‘Proclaim thou in the name of thy Lord Who created,
Created man from a clot of blood.
Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Generous,
Who taught by the pen,
Taught man what he knew not.(96:2-6)
God has described this night in the Holy Qur’an as the ‘Night of Decree’ (97:2) and ‘a blessed night’ (44:4).
This Ramadan night truly was glorious, because with the first revelation of the Holy Qur’an, Islam was born.
This verse can also refer to the fact that during the month of Ramadan, the angel Gabriel would descend upon the Holy Prophet (sa) and revise as much of the Holy Qur’an as had been revealed up until that point. During the last Ramadan of the Holy Prophet’s (sa) lifetime when the entire Qur’an had been revealed, Gabriel repeated it to the Holy Prophet (sa) twice.
Hence, ‘The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was sent down’ refers to the Qur’anic revelation beginning in Ramadan and then the angel Gabriel repeating the Holy Qur’an with the Holy Prophet (sa) during this month. Hence, It’s for this reason that during this blessed month, Muslims around the world strive to complete at least one complete reading of the Holy Qur’an during Ramadan.
In fact, it is because the sacred Word of God started being revealed during this month that it was chosen to be the holiest month in Islam during which Muslims fast and strive to increase their worship in order to establish a greater connection with God. That’s why, in this same verse, after describing the revelation of the Holy Qur’an during this month, God Almighty gives the commandment of fasting during the month of Ramadan.
About the Author: Sarmad Naveed is an Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community who graduated from the Ahmadiyya Institute for Languages and Theology in Canada. He serves on the Editorial Board of The Review of Religions and coordinates the Facts from Fiction section. He has also appeared as a panelist and host of programmes on Muslim Television Ahmadiyya (MTA) such as ‘Ahmadiyyat: Roots to Branches.’
Five Volume Commentary of the Holy Qur’an by Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (2:186)
Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith #4998
Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith #3554