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‘Understanding the Qur’ān’ Internet Course
The Executive Council ‘Al-Mawrid’


The internet has revolutionized the field of communication. With its advent, the concepts of space and time have become immaterial as far as transmission of knowledge is concerned. The number of people to which data can be transmitted is incredible. The speed even more so.

Realizing this opportunity, the Al-Mawrid Institute of Islamic Sciences has embarked upon a program to disseminate Islamic education through the internet. It is the first effort of its kind that has originated in Pakistan in the field of religious education. Initially, this course is being offered free of charge. To help us disseminate the course, we would welcome any donations. People may also help the cause of this course by introducing it among their friends.

The course can be accessed at Following is a detailed introduction to the first internet course Al-Mawrid has just launched:

I Objective

To introduce the participants to some important areas of study regarding the Qur’an. They will study in detail the view of the classical scholars and the developments made in these areas by some contemporary scholars.

Two important features of the course are:

1. The course has no time bar. A person can go through this course at his own pace.

2. The course is entirely in English and presupposes almost no knowledge of Arabic or any other language.

II Brief Outline

The course consists of 6 modules comprising a total of 20 Readings. Following is a brief outline of the course. (For a detailed outline see below).



No. of Readings

1. Revelation of the Qur’ān 


2. History of the Qur’ān


3. Theme of the Qur’ān


4. Arrangement of the Qur’ān


5. Language of the Qur’ān


6. Interpreting the Qur’ān


III Methodology

1. Once a participant has registered by filling the application form, he shall receive a confirmation email in the next twenty-four hours.

2. The participant can then go to the members area by using his user name and password and access the course readings. The section marked ‘Content with Arabic Texts’ contains the original Arabic texts of the verses of the Qur’ān, of the Āhādīth and of various source books in Arabic. The section marked ‘Content without Arabic Texts’ contains the translations of all these Arabic texts. Participants can use either or both of these sections and are advised to take a print out of each reading they use.

(Participants who intend to use the section ‘Content with Arabic Text’ must download Arabic fonts. These fonts are provided under the ‘Software Requirements’ section below.)

3. While going through a reading, a participant can ask any question from the instructor of the course via email regarding the reading he is studying.

4. Once the participant has gone through the reading, he will be required to take a quiz concerning the specific reading he has finished.

5. He can then go on to the next reading and the whole process will be repeated until he has gone through all the readings and their related quizzes.

6. At the completion of the whole course, the participant would be required to take a comprehensive exam concerning the whole course.

IV Grading and Evaluation

The overall marks shall be calculated as per the following proportion:

Quizzes (total 20)   

=  60 %

Final Exam (total 20)   

=  40 %


Students shall be evaluated according to the following grade standards:



90% and above


85-89 %


80-84 %


75-79 %


70-74 %


65-69 %


60-65 %


below 60%

D (Fail)

V Certificate

A candidate will be awarded a certificate of participation depicting the total marks obtained and the overall grade achieved at the completion of the course. Candidates who earn an A+ grade shall be awarded a merit certificate.

VI Software Requirements

Following are the software requirements of this course, the links of which are provided at the site:

1. Netscape (6.0) or Explorer (4.0 and above)

2. Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0

3. Arabic Fonts (in case Arabic texts are to be accessed)

Appendix: Detailed Outline

Module # 1

Revelation of the Qur’ān


Section I: Pre-Revelatory Guidance


Section II: Brief History of Revelation

            i. Scriptures and Practices

            ii. Need for a Final Revelation

                    a. Originals do not Survive

                    b. Alteration in the Contents

                    c. Completion of Guidance

                    d. Abolition of Certain Directives


Section III: Qur’ān — The Final Revelation

            i. Name of the Qur’ān

            ii. Name of the Sūrahs

            iii. Means of Revelation

            iv. The First Revelation

            v. The Qur’ān addresses the Mind



            Name of the Sūrahs -- The Hurūf-i-Muqatta‘āt


Module # 2

History of the Qur’ān


1. Collection of the Qur’ān


A. The Classical View


Section I: Phases of Collection

         i. Under the Prophet (sws)

            ii. Under Abū Bakr (rta)

            iii. Under ‘Uthmān (rta)


Section II: Some Related Issues

i. The Extraneous Verses

ii. The Seven Ahruf

iii. The Variant Readings



B. The Contemporary View


Section I: Collection in the Light of the Qur’ān


Section II: A Critique of the Classical View

            i. The Collection under Abū Bakr (rta)

            ii. The Collection under ‘Uthmān (rta)

            iii. The Extraneous Verses

            iv. The Seven Ahruf

            v. The Variant Readings


2. Transmission of the Qur’ān


Section I: Transmission of Texts

i. Person-to-Person Transmission

        a. General Introduction

1. Information on Narrators

2. Continuity

3. Verbal Coincidence

        b. Degree of Authenticity

ii. Generation-to-Generation Transmission

        a. General Introduction

        b. Degree of Authenticity                                                                                      


Section II: The Case of the Holy Qur’ān



            Appendix A: The Controversial Personality of Zuhrī

            Appendix B: View of the Orientalists

            Appendix C: A Comment on Some Dissenting Views



Module # 3:

Theme of the Qur’ān


Section I: Indhār of Muhammad (sws)

            i Theme Statement

     ii. The Indhār of Rusul

                 a. The Propagation Phase                                                                                 

            b. The Acquittal Phase

                 c. The Judgement Phase

iii. Details of Muhammad’s (sws) Indhār                                                                       

                 a. The Propagation Phase                                                                                 

            b. The Acquittal Phase                                                                                     

                     c. The Judgement Phase                                                                                   

        1. The Reward

a. For the Muslims

        2. The Punishment

a. For the Idolaters

b. For the People of the Book

c. For the Hypocrites


Section II: Extension of Muhammad’s Indhār                                                                            



              Appendix A: Indhār of Noah (sws)

              Appendix B: Fate of some Nations who denied their Rusul



Module # 4

Arrangement of the Qur’an


A. The Classical View


Section I: Divisions of the Qur’ān

i. Initial Format

            a. Verses

            b. Sūrahs

ii. Later Format

            a.  Divisions regarding the Meaning

            b. Divisions regarding Memorization


Section II: Nazm (Order and Arrangement)

            i. The Advocates

                        a. Nazm as ‘Word Meaning Relationship’

                        b. Nazm as ‘Linear Connection’

            ii. The Adversaries


Section III: Makkan and Madīnan Division


B. The Contemporary View


Section I: General Introduction to the Qur’ānic Nazm


Section II: Group Nazm

            i. Description

            ii. Features

                        a. Central Theme

            b. Description of the Prophetic Mission

            c. Makkan and Madīnan Sūrahs

                        d. Sūrah Pairs

1. Brevity and Detail

2. Principle and Illustration

3. Different Types of Evidence

4. Unity of Opposites

5. Premise and Conclusion

iii. Sequence


Section III: Sūrah Nazm

i. Central Theme

ii. Subdivisions

            iii. Progression

                        a. Parallelism

                        b. Affinity

                        c. Parables

                        d. Parenthetical Sentences

                        e. Reminder and Admonition

                        f. Return to the Origin



Appendix A: Nazm of Group II

Appendix B: Nazm of Sūrah Nisā

            Appendix C: View of the Orientalists



Module # 5

Language of the Qur’ān


Section I: Sources of the Language

            i. The Qur’ān

            ii. Āhadīth and Āthār

iii. Classical Arabic


Section II: Some Features of the Qur’anic Style

i. Address (Khitāb)

            a. Multiple Addressees

            b. Shift in Address

            c. Indirect Address

            ii. Parenthetic Sentences (Jumuluh Mu‘taradah)

            iii. Insertion (Tadmīn)                                                                                                   

iv. Gradations in the Verb (Madāriju’l-Af‘āl)

                        a. Expressing Intention

            b. Expressing Result

            c. Expressing Completeness

            d. Expressing Permanence

v. Oaths (Aqsām)


A. The Classical View


                        a. Basic Statement

                        b. Examples


B. The Contemporary View


                        a. Critique of the Classical View

                        b. Basic Statement

                        c. Examples


vi. Specific Connotation (Takhsīs)


Section III: Diction of the Qur’ān

            i. Word Choice

            ii. The Pictorial Element

            iii. Humour, Satire and Irony

            iv. Wordplay and Ambiguity

v. Narrative

vi. Dialogue

vii: Characterization



Module # 6

Interpreting the Qur’ān


A. The Classical View


Section I: Tafsīr bi’l-Riwāyah

            i. Methodology

            a. Through the Qur’ān

                                    1. Brevity and Detail

                                    2. General and Specific


b. Through the Prophet (sws)

                                    1. Explaining Words

                        2. Explaining Directives

            3. Adding to the Qur’ān

                        4. Asbābu’l-Nuzūl


c. Through the Companions

                        d. Through the Tābi‘ūn

                                    1. The Makkan Group

                                    2. The Madīnan Group

                                    3. The Irāqī Group

            ii. Historical Development

                        a. The 1st  Period: Oral Transmission

                        b. The 2nd Period: Chapters in Hadīth Books

                        c. The 3rd Period: Independent Tafsīr Works

d. The 4th Period: Specialized Tafsīr Works

iii. Important Works

                        a. Tafsīr Tabarī

                        b. Tafsīr Ibn Kathīr


Section II: Tafsīr bi’l-Rā’ay

            i. General Introduction

                        a. Definition

                        b. Its Advocates

                        c. Its Adversaries

                        d. The Middle View

                                    1. Mahmūd (Commendable)

                                    2. Madhmūm (Condemnable)


            ii. Important Works

                        a. Tafsīr Kashshāf

                        b. Tafsīr Kabīr


B. The Contemporary View


Section I: Authority of the Qur’ān


Section II: The Direct Sources

            i. Parallels of the Qur’ān

            ii. Language of the Qur’ān

            iii. Context of the Qur’ān

            iv. Theme of the Qur’ān


Section III: The Helpful Sources

            i. Āhadīth and Āthār

            ii. The Major Commentaries

iii. The Previous Scriptures

            iv.  Historical Facts and Details



Appendix A: The Isrā’īliyāt

Appendix B: Āhadīth  cannot Abrogate the Qur’ān

Appendix C: Difference between Hadīth and Sunnah


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