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(An Outline of its Pattern of Nazm)
Qur'anic Exegesis
Shehzad Saleem

So long as men can live and eyes can see

So long lives this and this gives life to thee
The Tadabbur-i-Qurn is a monumental commentary of the Qurn written by
Amn Ahsan Islh. Extending over nine volumes of six thousand pages, this
masterful work was completed in a span of twenty two years. If Farh founded the
view that the Qurn possessed structural and thematic nazm (coherence), it is
Islh who established beyond doubt in this commentary that this was actually
He has presented conclusive evidence that the Qurn is divided into seven discrete
groups. Each group has a distinct theme. Every group begins with one or more
Makkan Srah and ends with one or more Madinan Srah. In each group, the
Makkan Srahs always precede the Madnan ones. The relationship between the
Makkan Srahs and Madnan Srahs of each group is that of the root of a tree and
its branches. In every group, all the phases of the Prophets mission are depicted.
Two srahs of each group form a pair so that each member of the pair complements
the other in various ways. Srah Ftihah, however, is an exception to this pattern: it
is an introduction to the whole of the Qurn as well as to the first group which
begins with it. There are also some srahs which have a specific purpose and fall in
this paired-srah scheme in a particular way.
Each srah has specific addressees and a central theme round which the contents of
the srah revolve. The central theme highlights a particular aspect of the central
theme of the group of which the particular srah is a part. Every srah has distinct
subsections to mark thematic shifts, and every subsection is paragraphed to mark
smaller shifts.
Following is a brief description of the seven Qurnic groups:
Group I {Srah Ftihah (1) - Srah Midah (5)}
Central Theme: Islamic Law.
Group II {Srah An`m (6) - Srah Tawbah (9)}
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Central Theme: The consequences of denying the Prophet (sws) for the Mushrikn of
Group III {Srah Ynus (10) - Srah Nr (24)}
Central Theme: Glad tidings of the Prophets domination.
Group IV {Srah Furqn (25) - Srah Ahzb (33 }
Central Theme: Arguments on the Prophethood of Muhammad (sws) and the
requirements of faith in him.
Group V {Srah Sab (34) - Srah Hujrt (49)}
Central Theme: Arguments on Tawhd and the requirements of faith in it.
Group VI {Srah Qf (50) - Srah Tihrm (66)}
Central Theme: Arguments on Aakhirah and the requirements of faith in it.
Group VII {(Srah Mulk (67) - Srah Ns (114)}
Central Theme: Admonition (indhr) to the Quraysh about their fate in the Herein
and the Hereafter if they deny the Prophet (sws).
This is just a brief introduction of the thematic and structural coherence in the
Qurn as presented by Islh in his Tadabbur-i-Qurn. The masterpiece needs to
be studied by every person who wants to understand the Qurn so that he may
have an idea of the giant leap forward it has brought about in the field of Qurnic

For Questions on Islam, please use


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