Makki and Madani

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Makkī (Arabic: المکّي, suras revealed in Mecca) and Madanī (Arabic: المَدَني, suras revealed in Medina) are used to refer to the verses and suras of Qur'an, as Mecca and Medina were the two places in which most of the Qur'an has been revealed in. Recognizing the place of revelation of the verses was one of the concerns of the Qur'anic studies from the first centuries of Islam up till now.

There are different views about which one of the verses and/or suras are Makki, which ones are Madani; What is the criterion for identifying if a sura of the holy Qur'an is Makki and/or Madani?; what are the methods of specifying a Makki or Madani verse?; what are the characteristics of the Makki and Madani verses?

The above cases are the subjects of the "'ilm al-Makki wa l-Madani" and knowing it, is one of the most useful Qur'anic studies.

No. Name Order Place
1 Al-Fatiha (the Opening) 5 Makki (?)
2 Al-Baqara (the Cow) 87 Madani
3 Al 'Imran (the Family of 'Imran) 89 Madani
4 Al-Nisa' (Women) 92 Madani
5 Al-Ma'ida (the Table) 112 Madani
6 Al-An'am (Cattle) 55 Makki
7 Al-A'raf (the Elevations) 39 Makki
8 Al-Anfal (the Spoils) 88 Madani
9 Al-Tawba (Repentance) 113 Madani
10 Yunus (Jonah) 51 Makki
11 Hud 52 Makki
12 Yusuf (Joseph) 53 Makki
13 Al-Ra'd (Thunder) 96 Madani (?)
14 Ibrahim (Abraham) 72 Makki
15 Al-Hijr 54 Makki
16 Al-Nahl (the Bee) 70 Makki
17 Al-Isra' (the Night Journey) 50 Makki
18 Al-Kahf (the Cave) 69 Makki
19 Maryam (Mary) 44 Makki
20 TaHa 45 Makki
21 Al-Anbiya (the Prophets) 73 Makki
22 Al-Hajj (the Pilgrimage) 103 Madani
23 Al-Mu'minun (the Faithful) 74 Makki
24 Al-Nur (the Light) 102 Madani
25 Al-Furqan (the Criterion) 42 Makki
26 Al-Shu'ara (the Poets) 47 Makki
27 Al-Naml (the Ants) 48 Makki
28 Al-Qasas (the Story) 49 Makki
29 Al-'Ankabut (the Spider) 85 Makki
30 Al-Rum (the Byzantines) 84 Makki
31 Luqman 57 Makki
32 Al-Sajda 75 Makki
33 Al-Ahzab (the Confederates) 90 Madani
34 Saba' (Sheba) 58 Makki
35 Fatir (the Originator) 43 Makki
36 YaSin 41 Makki
37 Al-Saffat (the Ranged Ones) 56 Makki
38 Sad 38 Makki
39 Al-Zumar (the Throngs) 59 Makki
40 Al-Ghafir (the Forgiver) 60 Makki
41 Fussilat (Elaborated) 61 Makki
42 Al-Shura (Consultation) 62 Makki
43 Al-Zukhruf (Ornaments) 63 Makki
44 Al-Dukhan (Smoke) 64 Makki
45 Al-Jathiya (Crowling) 65 Makki
46 Al-Ahqaf 66 Makki
47 Muhammad 95 Madani
48 Al-Fath (Vicroty) 111 Madani
49 Al-Hujurat (Apartments) 106 Madani
50 Qaf 34 Makki
51 Al-Dhariyat (the Scatterers) 67 Makki
52 Al-Tur (the Mount) 76 Makki
53 Al-Najm (the Star) 23 Makki
54 Al-Qamar (the Moon) 37 Makki
55 Al-Rahman (the All-beneficent) 97 Madani (?)
56 Al-Waqi'a (Imminent) 46 Makki
57 Al-Hadid (Iron) 94 Madani
58 Al-Mujadila (the Pleader) 105 Madani
59 Al-Hashr (the Banishment) 101 Madani
60 Al-Mumtahana (the Tested Woman) 91 Madani
61 Al-Saff (Ranks) 109 Madani (?)
62 Al-Jumu'a (Friday) 110 Madani
63 Al-Munafiqun (the Hypocrites) 104 Madani
64 Al-Taghabun (Disposession) 108 Madani (?)
65 Al-Talaq (Divorce) 99 Madani
66 Al-Tahrim (the Forbidding) 107 Madani
67 Al-Mulk (Sovereignty) 77 Makki
68 Al-Qalam (the Pen) 2 Makki
69 Al-Haqqa (the Inevitable) 78 Makki
70 Al-Ma'arij (Lofty Stations) 79 Makki
71 Nuh (Noah) 71 Makki
72 Al-Jinn (the Jinn) 40 Makki
73 Al-Muzzammil (Enwrapped) 3 Makki
74 Al-Muddaththir (Shrouded) 4 Makki
75 Al-Qiyama (Resurrection) 31 Makki
76 Al-Insan (Man) 98 Madani
77 Al-Mursalat (the Emissaries) 33 Makki
78 Al-Naba' (the Tiding) 80 Makki
79 Al-Nazi'at (the Wrestlers) 81 Makki
80 'Abasa (He Frowned) 24 Makki
81 Al-Takwir (the Winding Up) 7 Makki
82 Al-Infitar (the Rending) 82 Makki
83 Al-Mutaffifin (the Defrauding) 86 Makki (?)
84 Al-Inshiqaq (the Splitting) 83 Makki
85 Al-Buruj (the Houses) 27 Makki
86 Al-Tariq (the Nightly Visitor) 36 Makki
87 Al-A'la (the Most Exalted) 8 Makki
88 Al-Ghashiya (the Enveloper) 68 Makki
89 Al-Fajr (the Dawn) 10 Makki
90 Al-Balad (the City) 35 Makki
91 Al-Shams (the Sun) 26 Makki
92 Al-Layl (the Night) 9 Makki
93 Al-Duha (the Morning Brightness) 11 Makki
94 Al-Sharh (Expanding) 12 Makki
95 Al-Tin (the Fig) 28 Makki
96 Al-'Alaq (Clinging Mass) 1 Makki
97 Al-Qadr (the Ordainment) 25 Makki (?)
98 Al-Bayyina (the Proof) 100 Madani (?)
99 Al-Zalzala (the Quake) 93 Madani (?)
100 Al-'Adiyat (the Chargers) 14 Makki
101 Al-Qari'a (the Catasrophe) 30 Makki
102 Al-Takathur (Rivalry) 16 Makki
103 Al-'Asr (Time) 13 Makki
104 Al-Humaza (the Scandal-monger) 32 Makki
105 Al-Fil (the Elephant) 19 Makki
106 Quraysh 29 Makki
107 Al-Ma'un (Aid) 17 Makki
108 Al-Kawthar (Abundance) 15 Makki
109 Al-Kafirun (the Faithless) 18 Makki
110 Al-Nasr (the Help) 114 Madani
111 Al-Masad (Palm Fibre) 6 Makki
112 Al-Ikhlas (Monotheism) 22 Makki (?)
113 Al-Falaq (Daybreak) 20 Makki (?)
114 Al-Nas (Humans) 21 Makki (?)

Numbers and Disputes

It is agreed that the Madani suras are 20, the disputed cases are 12 and the rest are Makki.

Agreed cases of Madani suras are: Qur'an 2, Qur'an 5, Qur'an 24, Qur'an 48, Qur'an 58, Qur'an 62, Qur'an 66, Qur'an 3, Qur'an 8, Qur'an 33, Qur'an 49, Qur'an 59, Qur'an 63, Qur'an 110, Qur'an 4, Qur'an 9, Qur'an 47, Qur'an 57, Qur'an 60, Qur'an 65.

Disputed cases are: Qur'an 1, Qur'an 61, Qur'an 13, Qur'an 64, Qur'an 55, Qur'an 83, Qur'an 97, Qur'an 98, Qur'an 99, Qur'an 112, Qur'an 113, Qur'an 114

The 82 remaining suras are Makki.


There are three opinions about the criterion of identifying Makki and Madani suras:

  • According to the time: Some believe that what (of Qu'ran) has been sent down before Hijra is Makki and what is revealed afterward, is regarded as Madani.
  • According to the place of revelation: Some believe that what is revealed in Mecca and its outskirts is Makki, and what is sent down in Medina and around it, is then Madani.
  • According to the people addressed in verses: Some believe that what is revealed addressing all the people is Makki, and what is revealed addressing the believers is Madani. The addressed people is identified by what is meant with the "O mankind!" (یاایهاالناس), a phrase which addresses all the people whether believer or disbeliever, so this is revealed in Mecca -as in Mecca the majority of people were disbelievers- and what is revealed with "O you who have faith!" (یاایها الذین آمنوا) addresses the believers, so this is revealed in Medina, as they were Muslims while the Prophet (s) emigrated to Medina.

As most of the contemporary Qur'an researchers have stated, the best and most reasonable criterion is the first one.

Method of Identification

  • The most important method of identification is the hadiths of the Prophet (s), Ahl al-Bayt (a), and the reports of the companions. In this way, studying the authentic narrations and reports about the suras and verses according to the science of dirayat al-hadith, is necessary.
  • As the above mentioned method isn't enough for the determination of the status of all of the verses, Some of the researchers have applied the comparative method. In this way, the researcher must first study the characteristics and the content of the known Makki and Madani verses and then should try to determine the status of the disputed verses for whether they are Makki or Madani.

Some suras of Qur'an are indeed Makki (based on the first criterion mentioned above) and some of them are totally Madani. But in some suras the beginning of the sura is revealed in Mecca and the middle or the ending of it is revealed in Medina. In such cases the majority of the verses are taken into consideration. Some of the Qur'an researchers notice the beginning of suras to recognize them as Makki or Madani for such cases.


Makki Suras

  • The verses for which Sujud is obligatory are found in these suras.
  • The verses beginning with the word "Never!" (Arabic: کلّا, kalla) and the verses before and after them are regarded as Makki.
  • These suras begin with Muqatta'at.
  • These suras are short and they have shorter verses.
  • Makki suras mainly regard the monotheism while rejecting the polytheism.
  • The legislation is few in the verses.
  • There are many mentions of the stories of the prophets (Qisas al-Anbiya) in these verses.
  • The verses have an impressive eloquence.
  • In the verses, people are mainly addressed with "O mankind!" and "O Children of Adam!".

Madani Suras

  • The obligations and penalties (hadd) are mostly described in these suras.
  • Expressing the social, judicial, governmental rules and the rules of war and peace are among the main characteristics of these suras.
  • The suras are long and they have longer verses.
  • The verses begin with the phrase "O you who have faith!".
  • In these verses, the wrong beliefs of "people of the book" (Arabic: اَهلَ الکِتاب, the Christians and Jews) are described and thereupon invited to Islam.
  • The verses describe the status and actions of the hypocrites (Munafiqun), and the attitude of the Prophet (s) and the Muslims against them.

The aforementioned characteristics are not approximate and are not always true and for each one of them as there are exceptions. For example Sura al-Baqara (Qur'an 2) expresses the story of Prophet Adam (a) but isn't Makki. Although Sura al-Nasr (Qur'an 110) is short and its verses are short too and even the state of the sura is like the Makki ones but it is Madani.


  • Exegesis: as understanding the referrals and fine points of a verse depends on the place of revelation, studying the Makki and Madani verses is essential for an exegete.
  • Nasikh and Mansukh: as identification of Nasikh and Mansukh -which is one of the most sensitive and controversial subjects of Qur'anic sciences- needs the recognition of the preceding and following verses, studying the Makki and Madani verses is essential for the subject,
  • Understanding the evolution of legislation,
  • Resolution of the historical disagreements,

One of the necessary subjects in the field is the study of the verses revealed in Mecca but their ruling has to be implemented in Medina; also, the studying of verses revealed in the travel, the seasons of the revelation of the verses, the verses revealed in day or night, are other related subjects.