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The historical development of the Qurán (Edward SELL)

The historical development of the Qurán (Edward SELL)

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Edward Sell (1839-1932) termina ses études à la Church Missionary College à Londres en 1862. Il a été boursier de l’Université de Madras en 1874 ; diacre en 1862, et prêtre en 1867. Il fut directeur de l’école secondaire Harris à Madras (1865-81). Il devient secrétaire de la Church Missionary Society pour les diocèses de Madras et Travancore en 1881.

(Source : The New Schaff-Herzog, Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge)

Présentation (Introduction de l’auteur p. VII-IX)

This work does not profess to be a life of Muhammad. It is a history of the development of the Quran, showing how its gradual formation was determined by the events of the Prophet’s life, Treated in this way, the Quran reveals his change of position towards the various classes of persons with whom he was brought into contact, and by the aptness of its injunctions, its apologies, its denunciations, we are enabled to see how admirably this ’ piecemeal ’ revelation was fitted to meet the requirements of Islam as they arose.

For the dates and the order of the Suras, or chapters of the Quran, I have followed Noldeke’s Geschichte des Qurdns, which seems to me to be the best and most authoritative book on the subject. The following table shows the order in which Noldeke arranges the Siiras. He divides the Meccan ones into three groups, the^earliej^-middle and later periods, and places all the MaHma Siiras in a fourth group.


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

96, 74, 111, 106, 108, 104, 107, 102, 105, 92, 90,
94, 93, 97, 86, 91, 80, 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, 1.

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

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. 619-22 A.D.

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. 622-32 A.D,

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 Quran I have used the translations of Eodwell and of Palmer and occasionally that of Sale and that of Lane. I have also compared these with, and made use of the Persian translations of Husain and of ShahWali Ullah Muhaddas, and of the Urdu translation by ’Abdu’l-Qadir and that given in the Khulasatu’t-TaMsir. I have consulted many commentaries in arriving at the interpretations Ihave given. The commentaries, however, deal mainly with the elucidation of the meanings of words and phrases, and do not, as a rule, throw much light on the various readings of the text, or on the date of the Suras or their com.
ponent parts. The spirit of the Higher Criticism has yet to be created amongst modern Muslim theologians. Their exegesis is traditional rather than scientific.

Table des matières (p. V-VI)



The first revelation, Indifference of the Quraish, The political factor, Persecution of the Muslims, Denunciation of opponents, Theory of inspiration, Absence of Miracles Scepticism of the Quraish, Joys of Paradise, Influence of Khadijah, Description of Hell, The Prophet as Warner, Emigration to Abyssinia, Ai-Lat and Al-’Uzza, Idolatry reproved, Hostility of the Quraish, Opposition to former Prophets,Reproof of the Quraish, Claim to inspiration, Denial of forgery, Uniqueness of the Quran Jews, Christians and Sabeites Relation to Judaism, Tales of the Ancients, Visit to Tayif Visitors from Madina, The men of Madina,

First pledge of ’Aqaba, The Mi raj, Second
pledge of ’Aqaba Departure to Madina The
prospect in Madina,


The entry into Madina, The Jews Opposition of the Jews, Accusation against the Jews, Islam the only true religion, Jews charged with hypocrisy and with corruption of the Scriptures, Obedience to the Bible enjoined, Quran the safeguard of previous, Scriptures Change of the Qibla, Breach with Judaism, Sanction given to the Hajj, Persecution and massacre of the Jews, Warlike expeditions, Battle and Victory of Badr, Battle of Uhud, Defeat of Uhud, Hopefulness of the Prophet, Zainab and Zaid, Wives and concubines, Siege of Madina, Desirefor the Hajj, Treaty of Hudaiba, Special claims for Islam, The Umrah or Lesser Pilgrimage, Battle of Muta, Capture of Mecca, Siege of Tayif, Year of the Deputations, Expedition to Tabuq, Compulsion of Jews and Christians, The employment of force, The Prophet’s war cry, Rebuke of the Hypocrites and the Arabs, Abu Bakr and the Hajj, Engagements made with Arabs not binding on the Prophet, The Greater Pilgrimage, The influence of the Hajj, God and His Apostle,
Style of the Madina, Suras Importance of the Chronological Order Change of style. 86

List of Passages cited from the Qur’an . . . 234
Table showing the approximate Chronological Order of the Chapters of the Quran . . . 243
Index . 245

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