Wolf Pangloss's Fish Taco Stand

"But, reverend father," said Candide, "there is horrible evil in this world."

"What signifies it," said the Dervish, "whether there be evil or good? When his highness sends a ship to Egypt, does he trouble his head whether the mice on board are at their ease or not?"

"What, then, must we do?" said Pangloss.

"Hold your tongue," answered the Dervish.

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08 July 2005

Chronological Qu'ran I

I have often wondered in what order the Qu'ran was written, as the chronological order seems to be the most natural order in which to read it. Surely the incidents of Mohammed's life, when taken with the verses he dictated at the time of those incidents, are the basis for Muslim understanding of Islam. Why make it more difficult than necessary to put the two together? Ali Sina, here, lists his preferred chronological arrangement of the Suras. I have reordered his table by the Chronological number.

Surah # Transliterated Arabic English Names # Verses Place Order according to Sina
96 Al-`Alaq The Clot 19 Mecca 1
68 Al-Qalam The Pen 52 Mecca 2
73 Al-Muzammil The Mantled One 20 Mecca 3
74 Al-Mudathir The Clothed One 56 Mecca 4
1 Al-Fatihah The Opening 7 Mecca 5
111 Al-Lahab The Fame 5 Mecca 6
81 At-Takwir The Cessation 29 Mecca 7
87 Al-A`la The Most High 19 Mecca 8
92 Al-Layl The Night 21 Mecca 9
89 Al-Fajr The Dawn 30 Mecca 10
93 Ad-Duha The Early Hours 11 Mecca 11
94 Al-Inshirah The Expansion 8 Mecca 12
103 Al-`Asr Time 3 Mecca 13
100 Al-`Adiyat The Assaulters 11 Mecca 14
108 Al-Kauthar Abundance 3 Mecca 15
102 At-Takathur Worldly Gain 8 Mecca 16
107 Al-Ma'un The Daily Necessaries 7 Mecca 17
109 Al-Kafirun The Unbelievers 6 Mecca 18
105 Al-Fil The Elephant 5 Mecca 19
113 Al-Falaq The Daybreak 5 Mecca 20
114 An-Nas The Men 6 Mecca 21
112 Al-Ikhlas The Unity 4 Mecca 22
53 An-Najm The Star 62 Mecca 23
80 `Abasa He Frowned 42 Mecca 24
97 Al-Qadr The Majesty 5 Mecca 25
91 Ash-Shams The Sun 15 Mecca 26
85 Al-Buruj The Constellations 22 Mecca 27
95 At-Tin The Fig 8 Mecca 28
106 Al-Quraysh The Quraish 4 Mecca 29
101 Al-Qari`ah The Terrible Calamity 11 Mecca 30
75 Al-Qiyamah The Resurrection 40 Mecca 31
104 Al-Humazah The Slanderer 9 Mecca 32
77 Al-Mursalat The Emissaries 50 Mecca 33
50 Qaf Qaf 45 Mecca 34
90 Al-Balad The City 20 Mecca 35
86 At-Tariq The Night-Comer 17 Mecca 36
54 Al-Qamr The Moon 55 Mecca 37
38 Sad Sad 88 Mecca 38
7 Al-A`raf The Elevated Places 206 Mecca 39
72 Al-Jinn The Jinn 28 Mecca 40
36 Ya Sin Ya Sin 83 Mecca 41
25 Al-Furqan The Criterion 77 Mecca 42
35 Fatir The Creator 45 Mecca 43
19 Maryam Mary 98 Mecca 44
20 Ta Ha Ta Ha 135 Mecca 45
56 Al-Waqi`ah That Which is Coming 96 Mecca 46
26 Ash-Shu`ara' The Poets 227 Mecca 47
27 An-Naml The Ant 93 Mecca 48
28 Al-Qasas The Narrative 88 Mecca 49
17 Bani Isra'il The Israelites 111 Mecca 50
10 Yunus Jonah 109 Mecca 51
11 Hud Hud 123 Mecca 52
12 Yusuf Joseph 111 Mecca 53
15 Al-Hijr The Rock 99 Mecca 54
6 Al-An`am The Cattle 165 Mecca 55
37 As-Saffat The Rangers 182 Mecca 56
31 Luqman Lukman 34 Mecca 57
34 Saba' Sheba 54 Mecca 58
39 Az-Zumar The Companies 75 Mecca 59
40 Al-Mu'min The Forgiving One 85 Mecca 60
41 Ha Min Sajdah Revelations Well Expounded 54 Mecca 61
42 Ash-Shura The Counsel 53 Mecca 62
43 Az-Zukhruf The Embellishment 89 Mecca 63
44 Ad-Dukhan The Evident Smoke 59 Mecca 64
45 Al-Jathiyah The Kneeling 37 Mecca 65
46 Al-Ahgaf The Sandhills 35 Mecca 66
51 Adh-Dhariyat The Scatterers 60 Mecca 67
88 Al-Ghashiyah The Overwhelming Calamity 26 Mecca 68
18 Al-Kahf The Cave 110 Mecca 69
16 An-Nahl The Bee 128 Mecca 70
71 Nuh Noah 28 Mecca 71
14 Ibrahim Abraham 52 Mecca 72
21 Al-Anbiya' The Prophets 112 Mecca 73
23 Al-Mu'minun The Believers 118 Mecca 74
32 As-Sajdah The Adoration 30 Mecca 75
52 At-Tur The Mountain 49 Mecca 76
67 Al-Mulk The Kingdom 30 Mecca 77
69 Al-Haqqah The Inevitable 52 Mecca 78
70 Al-Ma`arij The Ladders 44 Mecca 79
78 An-Naba' The Tidings 40 Mecca 80
79 An-Naziat Those Who Pulled Out 46 Mecca 81
82 Al-Infitar The Cleaving Asunder 19 Mecca 82
84 Al-Inshiqaq The Rending 25 Mecca 83
30 Ar-Rum The Romans 60 Mecca 84
29 Al-`Ankabut The Spider 69 Mecca 85
83 At-Tatfif The Defrauders 36 Mecca 86
2 Al-Baqarah The Cow 286 Madina 87
8 Al-Anfal The Spoils of War 75 Madina 88
3 Âl 'Imran The Family of 'Imran 200 Madina 89
33 Al-Ahzab The Allies 73 Madina 90
60 Al-Mumtahanah She Who is Tested 13 Madina 91
4 An-Nisa' Women 176 Madina 92
99 Al-Zilzal The Shaking 8 Madina 93
57 Al-Hadid The Iron 29 Madina 94
47 Muhammad Muhammad 38 Madina 95
13 Al-Ra`d The Thunder 43 Madina 96
55 Ar-Rahman The Merciful 78 Madina 97
76 Ad-Dahr The Man 31 Madina 98
65 At-Talaq The Divorce 12 Madina 99
98 Al-Bayyinah The Proof 8 Madina 100
59 Al-Hashr The Exile 24 Madina 101
24 An-Nur The Light 64 Madina 102
22 Al-Hajj The Pilgrimage 78 Madina 103
63 Al-Munafiqun The Hypocrites 11 Madina 104
58 Al-Mujadilah She Who Pleaded 22 Madina 105
49 Al-Hujurat The Chambers 18 Madina 106
66 At-Tahrim The Prohibition 12 Madina 107
64 At-Taghabun The Cheating 18 Madina 108
61 As-Saff The Ranks 14 Madina 109
62 Al-Jum`ah The Day of Congregation 11 Madina 110
48 Al-Fath The Victory 29 Madina 111
5 Al-Ma'idah The Flood 120 Madina 112
9 At-Taubah Repentance 129 Madina 113
110 An-Nasr The Help 3 Madina 114

Obviously this is a simplification. Each verse in the Qu'ran was narrated in its own order and the chapters were assembled of the verses later on. So there is no guarantee that any particular verse was narrated before a verse that is located after it in the same chapter, let alone any other chapter that follows. Still, this is the best we have until a true Qu'ranic Scholar deigns to publish a correct, chronological Qu'ran, translated into English. Since I don't see that happening any time soon let's go ahead with what we have.

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Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.

                Matthew 7:15-16