Definition of the reasons of the descent:
« Reasons of the descent » is composed from two words, the first one is « reasons », which is the way the Muslims explain the verses of the holy Quran, while understanding the morals and the story behind every verse. The second word is « descent », which conveys in the context to the descent of the holy Quran on our prophet Mohammad PBUH, and this descent is divided to two types, a descent with no reason, and a descent for a reason. Generally, the reasons of the descent are due to incidents that happened to the prophet PBUH in order to answer related questions or to give rules and ideas.
Types of the reasons of the descent:
There are five types of the reasons of the descent. The first one is the multiplicity of the reasons and the oneness of the sender, as the Almighty Allah said: « And those who accuse their wives [of adultery] and have no witnesses except themselves », and this was an answer to Hilal Bin Oumiya when he hit his wife in front of the prophet and as an answer to Oumayir Al Ajlani when he asked him what should a men do when he finds his wife with another man. Secondly, the multiplicity of the descent of the verses due to the multiplicity of the reasons, as Allah said: « And they ask you, [O Muhammad], about the soul. Say, "The soul is of the affair of my Lord », as an answer to the Jews asking the prophet about the spirit when he is in the Medina and as an answer to the non believers for the same reason. Thirdly, the multiplicity of the descent for one reason, as the Almighty Allah said : "Never will I allow to be lost the work of [any] worker among you, whether male or female; you are of one another », as an answer to Oum Salma when she said : Oh Prophet Muhammad, I don’t see Allah mentioning women in the migration with something, and Allah said : « indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women » as an answer to the same woman for saying : « Oh Prophet of Allah, we aren’t mentioned in the Quran like men ». Fourthly, the descent of a verse before a judgment, and finally, the multiplicity of what is revealed to one person.
How to know the reasons of the descent?
Since the causes of descent are closely related to the time and place of the incident in which the Quranic verses were revealed, the scholars see that the reasons for the descent is not subject to opinion and diligence, but it is better to go back to the companions and to the followers of the prophet PBUH who witnessed these events and verses, or heard about it and stood on its descent reasons and who looked and proved right these reasons. Therefore, it is forbidden to scholars and others to use their views and jurisprudence on the issue of the reasons for descent and say, for example, that the verse is revealed in the particular incident for this particular reason, unless a true account of one of the companions or followers who attended the incident or heard about it from a reliable source is used. In this regard, the scholars are alert to the need to be careful and vigilant and not to mix the reasons for the descent of the verses.
The importance of the reasons of the descent:
Knowing the reasons of the descent of the Quran has a major importance and benefits, including, but not limited to, knowing the Shari’a rules and « Ahkam » accurately according to the holy Quran, and to see its reasons closely, in order to be able to comprehend the verses and to interpret them, and to remove all the ambiguity that surrounds them by analyzing them in their context. Also, this knowledge can be used in order to explain in a more specific way the reasons of the descent of some verses, as well as the possibility to know the names and the stories of the prophet PBUH with those people. This can only enlighten the Muslim and develop his Islamic knowledge.
Written by: Amine Hilal