Conclusions to be Drawn
We may divide the chapters and Qur'anic verses according to the place, time and circumstance of their revelation:
Some of the chapters and verses are Meccan and some Medinan; usually those revealed before the Prophet's migration are counted as Meccan. The majority of the chapters, and especially the shorter ones, are of this type. Those revealed after the migration are counted as Medinan even though they may have been revealed outside Medina or even in Mecca.
Some chapters and verses were revealed while the Prophet was travelling and some while he was resident in a place. The verses are also divided according to whether they were revealed by day or by night, in peace or in war, or when the Prophet was on earth or in the heavens, or whether he was alone or with others. In the light of these different classifications we may study the reasons for the revelations.
Some chapters were revealed more than once such as the chapter "al-Fatihah," which was revealed once in Mecca and once in Medina. Some verses were revealed several times like, "Which is it of the favours of your Lord do you deny," in the chapter "The Beneficent" which is repeated thirty times, and the verse, "And indeed your Lord He is truly the Mighty, the Merciful,' which is repeated eight times.
Sometimes one verse occurs in more than one chapter such as "they say: when is the fulfillment of promise, if you are truthful." We find, too, that a sentence appears as a complete verse in one chapter and as part of another verse elsewhere; for example, the sentence, "Allah! there is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal," is a complete verse in the beginning of "The Family of "Imran," Yet, in "The Cow" it is part of the "al-Kursi" verse. Most chapters and verses, however, were revealed in one place at one time and do not recur in the Book.
Similar verses appear in different places in the Qur'an because of certain subjects which demand repetition. One of the significant features of the Quran is the difference in the length of the chapters. We may compare "Abundance" (the shortest chapter) and "The Cow" (the longest).
Likewise we may compare the length of verses, with the shortest being the single arabic word "mudhammatan" (dark green with foliage) and the longest, composed of thirty sentences being the two hundred and eighty-second verse of "The Cow" (whose subject concerns debt).
All these differences are in accordance with the demands of the revelation. Sometimes it happens that two verses are closely connected in meaning but differ greatly in length; for example, the thirtieth and thirty-first verses of "The Cloaked One", the first being a single sentence and the second more than eleven sentences.
We should not forget that most of the shorter verses like "The Dawn" and "The Night" are Meccan, and those whose subject matter is treated in greater length and detail are Medinan. The first verse to be revealed to the Prophet was during the revelation of the first five verses of "The Clot" and the last to be revealed was verse 281 of "The Cow": "And guard yourselves against a day in which you will be brought back to Allah. Then every soul will be paid in full that which it has earned and they will not be wronged. "