What Makes A Soorah Makkee/Madanee | 3 Opinions Discussed

The Definition of Makkee and Madanee

There are three methodologies by which the makkee and madanee revelations are defined.

The First Opinion: The Time Of Its Revelation

The first definition relies upon the time of revelation, taking the Prophet’s (saw) hijrah as the division factor. According to this definition, if a verse was revealed before the hijrah, it is considered makkee, and if revealed after the hijrah, it is considered madanee.

This definition ignores the actual place of revelation. Therefore, those verses revealed at the Farewell Pilgrimage (8 A.H.), or the Conquest of Makkah (10 A.H.), would be considered madanee by this definition, even though the actual place of revelation was Makkah.

The criterion according to this definition, once again, is the time of revelation, not place. This is the strongest of the three definitions, since it is the most beneficial, and is therefore the one primarily utilised by the scholars of Islaam.

The Second OpinionThe Place Of Its Revelation

The second definition relies upon the place where the verse was revealed. If a verse was revealed in Madeenah, it is madanee, and if it was revealed in Makkah, it is makkee.

Therefore, the verses revealed at Makkah during the Farewell Pilgrimage would be considered makkee, even though they were revealed alter the hijrah.

The criterion here is not the time of revelation, as in the first definition, but place.

A flaw with this definition is that those verses revealed neither in Makkah nor Madeenah (for example, the verses revealed at Tabook) would not be classified as either makkee or madanee, as this definition cannot take such verses into its classification scheme.

The Third Opinion: Who Is Being Addressed

The third definition depends upon the addressees of the verse. If the verse is meant tor the Quraysh and the polytheists of Makkah, it is considered makkee, and if the verse is addressing the Muslims or hypocrites in Madeenah, it will be considered madanee.

One of the flaws in this definition is that there are many verses in the Qur’aan where the addressees are not specifically Makkan or Madeenan.

Sometimes, the Qur’aan addresses a specific portion of mankind, such as the People of the Book, and at other times, it addresses all of the creation.

In Conclusion:

It is also possible to combine these three definitions when dealing with a verse or soorah and to say, for example, that the verse is madanee with regards to time and place, yet makkee with regards to whom it is addressing. An example of this is Soorah ar-Ra’ad. which was revealed after the hijrah in Madeenah, but addresses the polytheists of Makkah.

It should also be mentioned that certain modern authors have divided each of the Makkan and Madeenan periods into three stages: early, middle, and late revelations. They then attempted to show that each of these three stages has a unique style and specific subject. Despite the ingenuity of this classification, there does not seem to be a very fine line that discerns these stages from one another.

[Taken from “An Introduction To The Sciences Of The Qur’aan”, By Yaasir Qaadhi, Pp. 98-99]


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