Ulum al Qur'an
Narrative in the Qur'an
The Qur'an contains many narratives (qisas, sg. qissa), referred to in the Qur'an
'We do relate unto thee the most beautiful of stories, in
that We reveal to thee this (portion of the) Qur'an ...'(Al-Qur'an 12: 3).
These narratives, which illustrate and underline important aspects of the Qur'anic
message, fulfil their functions in a variety of ways. The following are some of the more
Explanation of the general message of Islam.
- General guidance and reminder.
- Strengthening the conviction of the Prophet and the
- Reminder of the earlier prophets and their struggle.
- Indication for the continuity and truth of Muh. ammad's
- Providing arguments against some opponents of Islam, such as
e.g. Jews and Christians.
As far as the contents of these narratives are concerned, one may, broadly speaking,
distinguish between the following three kinds:
- Stories of the Prophets of Allah, their peoples, their
message, their call, their persecution, etc.; such as e g. the narratives about Nuh (Sura
26), Musa (Sura 28), 'Isa (Sura 19) and many others.
- Other Qur'anic narratives about past people or events, such
as the narratives about the Companions of the cave, or about Dhu-l-qarnain (Sura 18).
- References to events that took place during the lifetime of
the Prophet Muhammad, such as the battle of Badr (3: 13), the battle of Uhud (3: 121-8),
the battle of Ah. Zab (33: 9-27), the israJ(17: 1), etc.