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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28 November 2007

Chronological Koran (Revisited)

The Chronological Koran (Revisited)
Compiled by Wolf Pangloss

When I first started to write these blogbits of bloggerel into the void of the blogosphere my first endeavor was to assemble a chronological version of the Koran. For various reasons it didn't get done at the time. Now it is high time to go forth and do it again.

I intend to repair at least one mistake I made at first when I followed the order given by Jalalu'd-Din as-Syuti, which I know believe to be incorrect. The order given by Nöldeke via Sell is more aesthetically and thematically coherent than the others, provides better continuity, and that is the only explanation for this choice.

Edward Sell introduced his book on the Historical Development of the Koran by listing the Suras of the Koran in the order in which they seem by the evidence of the ahadith and their own internal structure to have been narrated.
For the dates and the order of the Suras, or chapters of the Qur'an, I have followed Nöldeke's Geschichte des Qorans, which seems to me to be the best and most authoritative book on the subject. The following table shows the order in which Nöldeke arranges the Suras. He divides the Meccan ones into three groups, the earlier, middle, and later periods, and places all the Medina Suras in a fourth group.

MECCAN SURAS First Period.--From the first to the fifth year of the Prophet's Mission. A.D. 612-17.

96, 74, 111, 106, 108, 104, 107, 102, 105, 92, 90, 94, 93, 97, 86, 91, 8o, 68, 87, 95, 103, 85, 73, 101, 99, 82, 81, 53, 84, 100, 79, 77 78, 88, 89, 75, 83, 69, 51, 52, 56, 70, 55, 112, 109, 113, 114, I.

Second Period.--The fifth and sixth years of the Prophet's Mission. A.D. 617-19.

54, 37, 71, 76, 44, 50, 20, 26, 15, 19, 38, 36, 43, 72, 67, 23, 21, 25, 17, 27, 18.

Third Period.--From the seventh year to the Hijra. A.D. 619-22.

32, 41, 45, 16, 30, 11, 14, 12, 40, 28, 39, 29, 31, 42, 10, 34, 35, 7, 46, 6, 13.


From the Hijra to the end. A D. 622-32.

2, 98, 64, 62, 8, 47, 3, 61, 57, 4, 65, 59, 33, 63, 24,58, 22, 48, 66, 60, 110, 49, 9, 5

In the quotations from the Qur'an I have used the translations of Rodwell and of Palmer and occasionally those of Sale and also of Lane. I have compared these with the Persian translations of Husain and of Shah Wali Ullah Muhaddath and also with the Urdu translations by 'Abdu'l-Qadir, Dr. Nadhir Ahmad Khan and Ahmad Shah.

The Traditions (Ahadith) of Bukhari and of Tirmidi have been consulted.

Following posts in this series will be in the order given in Sell's list. One post per surah. Minimal commentary in the posts. With comments open. I will be putting my own comments in the comments section, and expect that readers may wish to add their own.

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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