Early Meccan Revelations, Surah Al-Baqarah and Nisa` in Quranic Context

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Early Meccan revelations mainly focused on the fundamental code and ethics in Islam. The revelations guided the new Islamic community in Mecca who had accepted the new faith. The early Meccan revelations defined verses of the Quran such as appearance of Jibreel to the Prophet Muhammad before the migration to Medina. The early revelations represented the Islamic rules. The early revelations entailed the verses of the Quran revealed in the City of Taif. However, other verses from other areas were included to be part and parcel of the early Meccan revelations.

Sells book; Approaching the Quran, the theme of beauty is evidential through Quranic presentation of chapters characterized by rich stylistic devices. The beauty is evidential in the sense that presentation of the text is exceptional. The early revelation verses presented to Mecca addressed idolatry worship to challenge them in praising Allah. Further to this, the revelations discussed Islamic history. The revelations are essential that it reflects the way of life for a Muslim. The theme delved in the unity of Lordship which is a term in Arabic as Tawheed. It is a fundamental theme of early Meccan revelation. In the sense that it fosters on the unity between the Lord and the people. It is important to note that people in Mecca had no religion strong-base. The people of Mecca in the beginning before the introduction of Mecca revelations worshipped idols.

The early revelations had a vital role and responsibility to play in Mecca which begun with the introduction of Islam. Islam introduction to the people of Mecca meant they had to believe in Allah as the Supreme God. Further to this, the revelations advocated the Meccans to stop the idolatry worshipping since the new religion of Islam was against it. The early revelations of Mecca taught the people about Allah`s unity and power to be above everything. The Meccans had to adopt to the new way of religion. The early revelation went further to state; Allah had no parents, offspring or partners about His supreme powers. The theme of unity of Lordship set the record straight in the sense Meccans were aware of idols would not respond to the problems they were facing. It taught the Meccans about the Lord thus referred to as the unity of Lordship. The theme shaped religion in Mecca. The Quranic text that supported the uniqueness and unity in the Lord is Chapter one hundred and eleven which commands Muhammad; the Prophet of God about the existence of God as the Self-sufficient master who created every creature and incomparable to none, (The Quran, Al-Ikhlas 112). The verse proved to the Meccans beyond the reasonable doubt of God as above everything.

The second theme that early revelation of Mecca was the sound spirit. Sound spirit acknowledged prayers as the way forward not forgetting on the vital bit of gender balance. Gender balance in the revelation was crucial in the sense it used the word insaan which translates to more a neutral human being other than man, (Sells; 85). Sound Spirit had to go hand in hand with prayers as fundamental elements that define a person`s faith. The first verses revealed Muhammed as the prophet. It is evidential in the sense that Angel Gabriel famously known as Jibreel in the revelation delivered the good news to the prophet. The angel communicated the message to Muhammad new duty to prophethood. The early revelations of Mecca sent a clear signal to the people as the messenger of God. In Quranic context concerning prayers, it stated prayers separate a Mu`min which means a believer from a non-believer. The Quran brands a Muslim who does not pray to be a non-believer. The reason behind the Quran action is because prayers are the pillar and cornerstone of Islam.

The vital point of discussion as per the Quranic text was that God sent angel Gabriel (Jibreel) to teach Muhammad the correct method of performing prayers. The early Meccan revelations encouraged Muslims with the help of Prophet Muhammad to learn the method of praying. It is evidential in the sense Quran speaks about the benefits of prayers to a believer. The Quran, in fact, terms prayers as the key to success to an individual. Further to this, it states it as a vital communication between a believer and his God. In this case, the Quran advises the believers to take their prayers with consent knowing their Lord is listening to their pleas. The Meccans habit of worshipping the idols had to change. A strong emphasis on prayers since it connects with the oneness of God (Tawheed). It is a fundamental relationship with prayers that early Meccan revelations encouraged the Muslims to practice with passion. The Quran goes further advising the believers to take their prayers seriously with khusr which means patience while undertaking the prayer.

Robinson`s chapter on the second surah; Al-Baqarah portends Allah as self-sufficient and worthy of praise. According to Robinson, the Quran discusses the various attributes that Allah possesses. The Surah in the Quran presents the powerful ability of Allah and His characteristics. The main aim and goal for the surah tackling the attributes are to indicate to the followers of the religion of Islam about His supreme abilities that are incomparable. The theme that one notices from Robinson`s point of view regarding the surah clearly emphasising the worthiness of praise to Allah. It presents the beautiful names of Allah that the believers are always advised to mention them.

The names are the attributes of Allah that is a form of prayer in Islam. In this case, the surah confirms to the Muslims that Allah is a Supreme Being that can answer their problems either materially or other problems they face in life. The fact that Baqarah means cow does not mean that the Surah speaks about it. Instead, the surah simply is from an incident in which the children of Israel were given the instructions of slaughtering a cow, (Neal; 201). An argument may arise why the choosing of the cow it is because the Quran`s Surah Al-Baqarah mentions cow only four times hence labelling the chapter. Its manifestation in Quranic context is the Surah commencement of explaining to the followers the reasons for believing in God alone. As the surah progresses, the attention to the believers drawn close in the sense that dynamics of belief and unbelief attracts emphasis. The Quran verse three to seven explains belief is rewarded in the hereafter while unbelief reward is punishment.

Surah An-Nisa` mainly presents issues that women face in their life. Neal Robinson terms, the surah as unique since the subject of women life, challenges and orphans discussed by it, is continued in the next Surah in the Quran that is chapter five. The central surah theme is coherence after a major challenge of orphans. The surah encourages the Muslim fraternity to live with the orphans as part and parcel of the society. It promotes respect, care and assistance to them since they are important. In Quranic context the theme manifests through the case scenario in Madinah during the battle of Uhud where Muslims were killed hence resulting to the orphan incident. The Muslim community left behind during the battle were advised to protect and take care of the orphans. The central theme in the surah is coherence among the Muslims against in helping orphans through the challenges they face in life. In verse two of the Quran; Muslims are urged to serve the orphans with dignity and respect. It states orphans should be given what is theirs and occasions of trading with them, it should be just and honest.

Works Cited

Sells, Michael. Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations. Ashland: White Cloud Press, 1999. Print.

Robinson, Neal. Discovering the Qur'an: A Contemporary Approach to a Veiled Text. United Kingdom: SCM Press LTD, 1996. Print. 266.

Robinson, Neal. Discovering the Qur'an: A Contemporary Approach to a Veiled Text. London: SCM Press LTD, 1996. Print. 270.

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