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Makki And Madani Surahs: Characteristics Of Makki And Madani Surahs

Makki And Madani Surahs Characteristics Of Makki And Madani Surahs
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Learn the concept of Makki and Madani Surahs in the Quran. Understanding the difference between Makki and Madani Surahs is crucial in understanding the context, themes, and historical background of the Quranic revelation.

The Makki Surahs focus on the fundamental teachings of Islam and highlight the struggles of early Muslims, while the Madani Surahs provide guidance on specific issues related to the establishment of an Islamic state.

What Are makki and Madani Surahs?

The Quran contains 114 Surahs in total (one hundred and fourteen). 86 surahs are Makki and 28 surahs are madani.

The surahs of the Quran are categorized into two types: Makki and Madani. In this article, we’ll explore the characteristics, differences, and lists of Makki and Madani surahs.

The name “Quran” means recitation. The verses within each surah are referred to as Ayats. Some are Makki surah and some are Madani surah in Quran. There is some disagreement about the exact number of Makki and Madani Surahs.

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What are Makki Surahs?

Makki Surahs are chapters of the Quran that were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) during his time in Mecca, prior to the Hijra (migration) to Medina. These Surahs are characterized by several distinct features:

Key Characteristics:

  • Time of Revelation: Revealed before the Hijra to Medina.

  • Thematic Focus: Primarily address the fundamentals of Islamic faith, such as the Oneness of God (Tawhid), the concept of the Hereafter, and the importance of Prophethood. They also offer moral and ethical guidance.

  • Style and Length: Generally shorter and characterized by a poetic style, aimed at capturing the attention of the Meccan audience.

  • Target Audience: Primarily directed towards the Quraysh tribe and the disbelievers in Mecca.

Examples:

  • Al-Fatiha (1): The opening chapter of the Quran.
  • Yusuf (12): Narrates the story of Prophet Joseph.
  • Al-Kahf (18): Discusses the story of the People of the Cave.
  • Maryam (19): Focuses on the story of Mary and Jesus.

What are Mandani Surahs?

Madani Surahs are chapters of the Quran that were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) after his migration (Hijra) from Mecca to Medina. These Surahs have specific characteristics that distinguish them from Makki Surahs:

Key Characteristics:

  • Time of Revelation: Revealed after the Hijra, during the Prophet’s time in Medina.

  • Thematic Focus: Primarily deal with social legislation, governance, and guidelines for interpersonal relations among the Muslim community (Ummah). They also address issues like warfare, treaties, and family law.

  • Style and Length: Generally longer and more detailed, focusing on legal and social issues.

  • Target Audience: Aimed at the Muslim community in Medina, which included both the Ansar (local residents of Medina) and the Muhajirun (migrants from Mecca).

Examples:

  • Al-Baqarah (2): The longest Surah in the Quran, covering a wide range of topics including law and morality.
  • Al-Imran (3): Addresses issues of governance and community relations.
  • An-Nisa (4): Focuses on family law and the rights of women.
  • Al-Maidah (5): Deals with dietary laws, criminal justice, and religious obligations.

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Difference between Makki and Madani Surah

1. The Way of Addressing the Listeners:

In Makki Surahs, generally, the form of address used is يا أيها الناس (O people), and in Madani Surahs, it is يا أيها الذين آمنوا (O believers).

2. Short and Long Verses:

The Makki Ayat (Verses) and Surahs are generally short and brief while the Madani verses and chapters are long and detailed.

3. Types of Teachings:

The Makki Surahs mostly consist of subjects such as the Oneness of Allah, Prophethood, affirmation of the Hereafter, the panorama of the Resurrection, words of comfort for the Holy Prophet (PBUH), and events relating to the past communities.

The number of injunctions and laws taken up is much less as compared with the Madani Surahs where family and social laws, the injunctions of jihad, and expositions of limits and duties appear frequently.

4. Types of Enemies:

4. In Makki Surahs, most of the confrontation is against idolaters while in Madani Surahs it is against the people of the Book and the hypocrites.

5. The Writing Style:

The style of Makki Surahs is more majestic. It has a profusion of metaphors, similes, and allegories, and the vocabulary used is extensive. Contrary to this, the style of the Madani Surahs is comparatively simple.

Makki and Madani Surahs list

Makki and Madani Surahs are classifications of Quranic chapters based on where they were revealed—Mecca or Medina

Surah Number Surah Name (Arabic) Surah Name (English) Place of Revelation Number of Verses
1 الفاتحة Al-Fatiha Mecca 7
2 البقرة Al-Baqarah Medina 286
3 آل عمران Al-Imran Medina 200
4 النساء An-Nisa Medina 176
5 المائدة Al-Ma’idah Medina 120
6 الأنعام Al-An’am Mecca 165
7 الأعراف Al-A’raf Mecca 206
8 الأنفال Al-Anfal Medina 75
9 التوبة At-Tawbah Medina 129
10 يونس Yunus Mecca 109
11 هود Hud Mecca 123
12 يوسف Yusuf Mecca 111
13 الرعد Ar-Ra’d Medina 43
14 إبراهيم Ibrahim Mecca 52
15 الحجر Al-Hijr Mecca 99
16 النحل An-Nahl Mecca 128
17 الإسراء Al-Isra Mecca 111
18 الكهف Al-Kahf Mecca 110
19 مريم Maryam Mecca 98
20 طه Ta-Ha Mecca 135
21 الأنبياء Al-Anbiya Mecca 112
22 الحج Al-Hajj Mecca 78
23 المؤمنون Al-Mu’minun Mecca 118
24 النور An-Nur Medina 64
25 الفرقان Al-Furqan Mecca 77
26 الشعراء Ash-Shu’ara Mecca 227
27 النمل An-Naml Mecca 93
28 القصص Al-Qasas Mecca 88
29 العنكبوت Al-Ankabut Mecca 69
30 الروم Ar-Rum Mecca 60
31 لقمان Luqman Mecca 34
32 السجدة As-Sajda Mecca 30
33 الأحزاب Al-Ahzab Medina 73
34 سبإ Saba Mecca 54
35 فاطر Fatir Mecca 45
36 يس Ya-Sin Mecca 83
37 الصافات As-Saffat Mecca 182
38 ص Sad Mecca 88
39 الزمر Az-Zumar Mecca 75
40 غافر Ghafir Mecca 85
41 فصلت Fussilat Mecca 54
42 الشورى Ash-Shura Mecca 53
43 الزخرف Az-Zukhruf Mecca 89
44 الدخان Ad-Dukhan Mecca 59
45 الجاثية Al-Jathiya Mecca 37
46 الأحقاف Al-Ahqaf Mecca 35
47 محمد Muhammad Medina 38
48 الفتح Al-Fath Medina 29
49 الحجرات Al-Hujraat Medina 18
50 ق Qaf Mecca 45
51 الذاريات Adh-Dhariyat Mecca 60
52 الطور At-Tur Mecca 49
53 النجم An-Najm Mecca 62
54 القمر Al-Qamar Mecca 55
55 الرحمن Ar-Rahman Medina 78
56 الواقعة Al-Waqi’a Mecca 96
57 الحديد Al-Hadid Medina 29
58 المجادلة Al-Mujadila Medina 22
59 الحشر Al-Hashr Medina 24
60 الممتحنة Al-Mumtahina Medina 13
61 الصف As-Saff Medina 14
62 الجمعة Al-Jumu’a Medina 11
63 المنافقون Al-Munafiqun Medina 11
64 التغابن At-Taghabun Medina 18
65 الطلاق At-Talaq Medina 12
66 التحريم At-Tahrim Medina 12
67 الملك Al-Mulk Mecca 30
68 القلم Al-Qalam Mecca 52
69 الحاقة Al-Haaqqa Mecca 52
70 المعارج Al-Ma’arij Mecca 44
71 نوح Nuh Mecca 28
72 الجن Al-Jinn Mecca 28
73 المزمل Al-Muzzammil Mecca 20
74 المدثر Al-Muddathir Mecca 56
75 القيامة Al-Qiyama Mecca 40
76 الإنسان Al-Insan Medina 31
77 المرسلات Al-Mursalat Mecca 50
78 النبأ An-Naba Mecca 40
79 النازعات An-Nazi’at Mecca 46
80 عبس Abasa Mecca 42
81 التكوير At-Takwir Mecca 29
82 الإنفطار Al-Infitar Mecca 19
83 المطففين Al-Mutaffifin Mecca 36
84 الإنشقاق Al-Inshiqaq Mecca 25
85 البروج Al-Buruj Mecca 22
86 الطارق At-Tariq Mecca 17
87 الأعلى Al-Ala Mecca 19
88 الغاشية Al-Ghashiyah Mecca 26
89 الفجر Al-Fajr Mecca 30
90 البلد Al-Balad Mecca 20
91 الشمس Ash-Shams Mecca 15
92 الليل Al-Layl Mecca 21
93 الضحى Adh-Dhuha Mecca 11
94 الشرح Ash-Sharh Mecca 8
95 التين At-Tin Mecca 8
96 العلق Al-Alaq Mecca 19
97 القدر Al-Qadr Mecca 5
98 البينة Al-Bayyina Medina 8
99 الزلزلة Az-Zalzalah Medina 8
100 العاديات Al-Adiyat Mecca 11
101 القارعة Al-Qari’a Mecca 11
102 التكاثر At-Takathur Mecca 8
103 العصر Al-Asr Mecca 3
104 الهمزة Al-Humazah Mecca 9
105 الفيل Al-Fil Mecca 5
106 قريش Quraish Mecca 4
107 الماعون Al-Ma’un Mecca 7
108 الكوثر Al-Kawthar Mecca 3
109 الكافرون Al-Kafirun Mecca 6
110 النصر An-Nasr Medina 3
111 المسد Al-Masad Mecca 5
112 الإخلاص Al-Ikhlas Mecca 4
113 الفلق Al-Falaq Mecca 5
114 الناس An-Nas Mecca 6

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Longest Makki surah in Quran:

The longest Makki Surah in the Quran is Surah Al-A’raf, which is the 7th chapter. It consists of 206 verses (Ayahs). This Surah addresses various themes, including the fundamentals of the Islamic faith, stories of past prophets, and moral and ethical guidelines. It serves as a comprehensive chapter that encapsulates the essence of the messages revealed during the Meccan period.

The Revelation of the Quran in Makkah and Madinah

The revelation of the Quran occurred over a span of approximately 23 years, beginning in 610 CE when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) received the first revelation in Mecca and concluding in 632 CE, the year of his passing, in Medina. The Surahs (chapters) revealed during these two distinct periods are classified as Makki and Madani, each with its own set of characteristics, themes, and historical contexts.

Revelation in Makkah (Makki Surahs):

  • Time Period: Approximately 13 years, from 610 CE to 622 CE.

  • Thematic Focus: The Makki Surahs primarily address the fundamentals of Islamic faith, such as the Oneness of God (Tawhid), the concept of the Hereafter, and the importance of Prophethood. They also offer moral and ethical guidance.

  • Style and Length: Generally shorter and characterized by a poetic style, aimed at capturing the attention of the Meccan audience.

  • Target Audience: Primarily directed towards the Quraysh tribe and the disbelievers in Mecca.

  • Examples: Al-Fatiha, Yusuf, Al-Kahf, Maryam.

Revelation in Madinah (Madani Surahs):

  • Time Period: Approximately 10 years, from 622 CE to 632 CE.

  • Thematic Focus: Madani Surahs generally deal with social legislation, governance, and guidelines for interpersonal relations among the Muslim community (Ummah). They also address issues like warfare, treaties, and family law.

  • Style and Length: Generally longer and more detailed, focusing on legal and social issues.

  • Target Audience: Aimed at the Muslim community in Medina, which included both the Ansar (local residents of Medina) and the Muhajirun (migrants from Mecca).

  • Examples: Al-Baqarah, Al-Imran, An-Nisa, Al-Maidah.

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FAQ

Surah fatiha is makki or madni?

Surah Al-Fatiha, the opening chapter of the Quran, is classified as a Makki Surah. It was revealed during the period when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was in Mecca, prior to the Hijra (migration) to Medina. Comprising seven verses, Surah Al-Fatiha serves as an essential prayer in Islamic worship and encapsulates the core principles of the Islamic faith, such as the Oneness of God (Tawhid) and the concept of divine guidance.

Discover the Surah Fatiha Benefitsand the profound lessons and benefits it holds for every Muslim.

Why is it important to identify Makkan and Madinan Surah?

The identification of Makki (Meccan) and Madani (Medinan) Surahs is crucial for several reasons, each contributing to a more nuanced understanding and interpretation of the Quranic text. Here are some of the key reasons:

Historical Context

  • Understanding whether a Surah is Makki or Madani helps situate its revelation in a specific historical context. This context can be essential for grasping the intended meaning of the verses.

Thematic Focus

  • Makki Surahs primarily deal with the fundamentals of faith, such as the Oneness of God (Tawhid), the Hereafter, and Prophethood. In contrast, Madani Surahs often focus on social legislation, governance, and community life. Knowing the type of Surah can help the reader understand its primary focus.

Audience

  • Makki Surahs were generally revealed at a time when Muslims were a persecuted minority, and thus they often aim to strengthen the faith of believers. Madani Surahs, on the other hand, were revealed in a socio-political context where Muslims were establishing a community, so they often contain guidelines for social conduct and governance.

Exegesis and Interpretation

  • Scholars and interpreters of the Quran often refer to the classification of a Surah as Makki or Madani to provide a more accurate and context-sensitive interpretation (Tafsir).

Legal Implications

  • Madani Surahs frequently contain verses that have legal implications (Ahkam) for Muslims, covering areas like family law, criminal justice, and interfaith relations. Understanding the Madani context is crucial for Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh).

Chronological Order

  • Knowing whether a Surah is Makki or Madani can also help in understanding the chronological order of revelations, which is important for understanding the development of key themes and concepts in Islamic theology.

Spiritual and Liturgical Practices

  • Certain Surahs are recommended for specific prayers and occasions. Understanding their Makki or Madani context can add depth to the spiritual experience.

In summary, the classification of Surahs as Makki or Madani is not merely a historical or academic exercise but has profound implications for understanding the Quran’s teachings, its interpretation, and its application in various aspects of life.

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