Allah SWHT is the Lord of lords. HE revealed HIS commandments on prophets in the form of scriptures via revelation. Out of the perfect books, Quran holds the status of validity till the end of times. Quran revealed to the last prophet of Abrahamic religion, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) who was meant to be “seal of prophet hood” too. The very first revelation prophet Muhammad received was during his visit to cave Hira. The process of revelation continued for almost 23 years. But why did it take so why Quran is not revealed at once? What is the wisdom of progressive revelation of Quran?
Surely ALLAH is the best of planners. and there is certainly some logic behind the progressive revelation of Quran, chapter by chapter, verse by verse. Interestingly, ALLAH answers to this question in Quran himself in following way;
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَوْلَا نُزِّلَ عَلَيْهِ الْقُرْآنُ جُمْلَةً وَاحِدَةً ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ لِنُثَبِّتَ بِهِ فُؤَادَكَ ۖ وَرَتَّلْنَاهُ تَرْتِيلًا
And those who disbelieve say, “Why was the Qur’an not revealed to him all at once?” Thus [it is] that We may strengthen thereby your heart. And We have spaced it distinctly. (Al Furqan verse 32)
Here ALLAH explicitly mentions, that progressive revelation of Quran was on purpose to “strengthen the heart of holy prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h).” The Holy Prophet was facing many challenges when the first revelation came to the last one. He was facing animosity from people of Makkah, from his surrounding tribes and his tribe too. Also the opposition even from within his family, from his uncles.
Mission of Prophet hood:
To keep the mission of prophet hood on a right pace. It was necessary not to reveal Quran at once considering the delicacy of a situation as well as the importance of the message. Since both required attention. Moreover, That way Jibrael used to visit Prophet Muhammad more frequently. His visits make Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) happy, when every time he brought a new message.
As the Ayah mentioned above tells, dis-believers challenged about revelation to Prophet Muhammad, and ALLAH, in turn, challenged them to create one single chapter or even an Ayah to prove their selves. But they were unable to do so. One of the principal most aims was, to make it easier for the ordinary people of that time to memorize and understand it thoroughly. Arabs were usually illiterates, and the concept of Islam was new for them. But the people of that time later termed as “Sahaba,” “the companions of the prophet”. and transfer for the real essence of Islam to future generations was a huge responsibility on Sahaaba.
Ease for Sahaba:
Thus it was crucial for them to not only memorize it but to understand it fully to convey Islam to others in its right spirit. Had Quran been revealed in a single go, it would be much difficult for sahaba to grasp the concepts clearly to help future generations. The gap between revelations also heightened interest and enthusiasm of Muslims to know more about teachings of Islam.
It is the beauty of Quran that some verses were revealed in association to a particular occasion. For example, verses on false accusations on Hazrat Ayesha, or on Hazrat Zaid bin Sabit. This would not have happened if Quran was revealed at once. Revelations were also made in a certain sequence. Verses for important matters like faith and basics of Islam were revealed earlier as compared to verses for other issues which were less urgent.
Arabs were deeply involved in paganism for decades. Uprooting such deep cultural roots was not a task of one day. Initial need was to weaken their faith on idol worship and build up this faith on monotheism. Once their minds prepared, then formed the space for some more noble deeds. Then came ayahs about prevention of individual acts like consumption of liquor, halaal haraam food, illegal relationships, etc. Hence, we can say that the chronology of revelation was perfectly planned by ALLAH Almighty. and one can not deny the wisdom of progressive revelation of Quran.