#494: The Last Verse of Revelation


Assalamualaikum w.b.t. What is the last verse of the Quran that was revealed? Hope for an explanation.



Waalaikumussalam w.b.t.

Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions and all those who follow his footsteps until the Last Day.

Definition of al-Quran and Its Honour

According to al-Qamus al-Muhit, lexically al-Quran means al-Tanzil (التَّنْزيل) which means it is a revelation.[1] According to al-Mu’jam al-Wasit, al-Quran is the derivative of the word al-Qiraah (القراءة), it is a recitation as stated by Allah SWT:

إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا جَمْعَهُ وَقُرْآنَهُ ﴿١٧)‏ فَإِذَا قَرَأْنَاهُ فَاتَّبِعْ قُرْآنَهُ

“Indeed, upon Us is its collection [in your heart] and [to make possible] its recitation. So, when We have recited it [through Gabriel], then follow its recitation.” [2]

The word qur’anah (its recitation) in the above verse means qira’atuh (its recitation/how it is recited). [3]

Allah SWT states:

وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا

“And [also] the Qur’an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed.” [4]

It is also said that al-Quran is majaz (metaphorically compared) to prayer, that is why the above statement of Allah SWT is interpreted as the Fajr prayer and it is named al-Quran, for it is a requisite the same as what is named ruku’ (bowing) and sujud (prostration). It is also said that the word al-Quran is used with its literal meaning (true). [5]

As for the terminology, al-Quran is the words of God of all universe revealed to the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH as guidance for all mankind. [6]

While Syeikh Muhammad Ali al-Sobuni’s definition: Al-Quran is the words of Allah which is a miracle revealed to the last of all the Prophets and Messengers through the angel Gabriel AS written on mushafs that was later conveyed to us through mutawatir and its recitation is considered a worship, beginning with surah al-Fatihah and ends with surah al-Nas. [7]

The meaning of al-Quran is agreed by usul scholars, jurists and linguists – Al-Quran is the words of Allah a form of a miracle that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad PBUH written on a mushaf that was conveyed through mutawatir and reciting it is a worship. [8]

The famous definition for al-Quran in terms of its terminology is: It is a book revealed by Allah through mutawatir to the Prophet PBUH which is a miracle where if it is recited, one is rewarded which begins with surah Fatihah and ends with surah al-Nas.

The special attributes of al-Quran

Actually, al-Quran is truly unique compared to any other book. Since it is a vast topic, the author will only cite brief evidences that detail each of them. Cited from the writing of Dr Yusuf al-Qaradhawi titled Kaifa Nata’amal Ma’a al-Quran al-‘Azim, among others it is stated:

  • Al-Quran is a Divine book. This is explained in numerous verses among them is:

الر ۚ كِتَابٌ أُحْكِمَتْ آيَاتُهُ ثُمَّ فُصِّلَتْ مِن لَّدُنْ حَكِيمٍ خَبِيرٍ

“Alif, Lam, Ra. [This is] a Book whose verses are perfected and then presented in detail from [one who is] Wise and Acquainted.” [9]

  • Al-Quran is a mahfuz (protected) book. Allah SWT states:

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ

“Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian.” [10]

  • Al-Quran is a book of miracle. Allah SWT states:

قُل لَّئِنِ اجْتَمَعَتِ الْإِنسُ وَالْجِنُّ عَلَىٰ أَن يَأْتُوا بِمِثْلِ هَـٰذَا الْقُرْآنِ لَا يَأْتُونَ بِمِثْلِهِ وَلَوْ كَانَ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ ظَهِيرًا

“Say, “If mankind and the jinn gathered in order to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce the like of it, even if they were to each other assistants.” [11]

Al-Quran is said to be a book of miracles for no creation is capable to create a book similar to al-Quran even if all mankind and jinn work together. Surely, the words of creation will never be the same as the words of the Creator, incomparable. [12]

  • Al-Quran is a clear and easy book. Allah SWT states:

فَإِنَّمَا يَسَّرْنَاهُ بِلِسَانِكَ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ

“And indeed, We have eased the Qur’an in your tongue that they might be reminded.” [13]

Syeikh Dr Yusuf al-Qaradhawi said the verses of the Quran are memorized by thousands of people regardless of men, women and children. This is the specialness that no other books possess.

  • Al-Quran is a book for all time. It means it is an eternal book that isn’t only suitable for certain times and generations. However, it is relevant throughout time and regardless of place. Thus, it is not weird that al-Quran is guidance and lesson in facing life.
  • Al-Quran is a comprehensive book. It means that it is the basis of religion and the soul of Islam and from it the soul of faith, worship and character as well as usul tasyriq and rulings.
  • Al-Quran is the book of mankind. This can be understood from the characteristic of al-Quran itself that emphasizes the lives of mankind and the world. So true are the words of Allah SWT:

إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرٌ لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

“It is not except a reminder to the worlds.” [14]

The last verse of al-Quran that was revealed

Coming back to the above-presented question, scholars have differing opinions in determining the last revealed verse of the Quran and every opinion is based on narrations from the companions, however, none are marfu’, in other words, there is none of the narrations that are connected to Rasullullah PBUH. [15]

In the following we present several of the opinions of scholars:

First opinion: Verse 278 Surah al-Baqarah (Verse regarding usury)

Allah SWT states:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَذَرُوا مَا بَقِيَ مِنَ الرِّبَا إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

“O you who have believed, fear Allah and give up what remains [due to you] of interest, if you should be believers.”

It is narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas once said:

آخِرُ آيَةٍ نَزَلَتْ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم آيَةُ الرِّبَا

“The last verse to be sent down to the Prophet PBUH was that on usury,” [16]

Second opinion: Verse 281 Surah al-Baqarah

Allah SWT states:

وَاتَّقُوا يَوْمًا تُرْجَعُونَ فِيهِ إِلَى اللَّـهِ ۖ ثُمَّ تُوَفَّىٰ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ

“And fear a Day when you will be returned to Allah. Then every soul will be compensated for what it earned, and they will not be treated unjustly.”

According to Imam al-Alusi, there are numerous narrations from Ibn ‘Abbas R.Anhuma that state this is the last verse of the Quran that was revealed. [17] This is the opinion of Said ibn Jubair RA and he said that the Prophet PBUH lived for 9 days after this verse was revealed before he passed away. [18]

Third opinion: Verse 282 Surah al-Baqarah (verse regarding debt)

Allah SWT states:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا تَدَايَنتُم بِدَيْنٍ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى فَاكْتُبُوهُ ۚ وَلْيَكْتُب بَّيْنَكُمْ كَاتِبٌ بِالْعَدْلِ ۚ

“O you who have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term, write it down. And let a scribe write [it] between you in justice.”

Imam al-Suyuthi when commenting on the above 3 opinions said that there is no contradiction between all three opinions because actually, all three verses were revealed simultaneously, in the same arrangement as in the mushaf. [19] According to Syeikh Muhammad Ra’fat Sa’id, verse 281 is the last verse of the three verses. [20]

Fourth opinion: Verse 176 Surah al-Nisa’

Allah SWT states:

سْتَفْتُونَكَ قُلِ اللَّـهُ يُفْتِيكُمْ فِي الْكَلَالَةِ ۚ إِنِ امْرُؤٌ هَلَكَ لَيْسَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ وَلَهُ أُخْتٌ فَلَهَا نِصْفُ مَا تَرَكَ ۚ وَهُوَ يَرِثُهَا إِن لَّمْ يَكُن لَّهَا وَلَدٌ ۚ فَإِن كَانَتَا اثْنَتَيْنِ فَلَهُمَا الثُّلُثَانِ مِمَّا تَرَكَ ۚ وَإِن كَانُوا إِخْوَةً رِّجَالًا وَنِسَاءً فَلِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ الْأُنثَيَيْنِ ۗ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ أَن تَضِلُّوا ۗ وَاللَّـهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

“They request from you, a [legal] ruling. Say, “Allah gives you a ruling concerning one having neither descendants nor ascendants [as heirs].” If a man dies, leaving no child but [only] a sister, she will have half of what he left. And he inherits from her if she [dies and] has no child. But if there are two sisters [or more], they will have two-thirds of what he left. If there are both brothers and sisters, the male will have the share of two females. Allah makes clear to you [His law], lest you go astray. And Allah is Knowing of all things.” [21]

It is narrated that Abu Ishaq said:

سَمِعْتُ الْبَرَاءَ بْنَ عَازِبٍ، يَقُولُ آخِرُ آيَةٍ أُنْزِلَتْ آيَةُ الْكَلاَلَةِ وَآخِرُ سُورَةٍ أُنْزِلَتْ بَرَاءَةُ

“I heard al-Bara’ b. ‘Azib (Allah be pleased with him say: The last verse revealed (in the Holy Quran) is that pertaining to Kalala,” [22]

It is also narrated that Imam ‘Izz ibn Abd al-Salam holds this opinion however it is rejected by Imam Ibn Hajar who said that the Prophet PBUH was still alive 50 days after this al-kalalah verse was revealed. [23]

Fifth opinion: Verse 3 Surah al-Ma’idah

Allah SWT states:

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلامَ دِيناً

“This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.”

According to Syeikh Muhammad Ra’fat Sa’id, this is not the last verse revealed, for it was revealed at ‘Arafah during Hajjatul Wida’ (Farewell Hajj) in the tenth year of hijrah and the Prophet PBUH passed away after 80 nights. And we know that the Prophet PBUH passed away 9 nights after the revelation of verse 281 Surah al-Baqarah. [24]

Whereas according to Imam al-Alusi, after this verse there is no other verse regarding halal and haram that was revealed, in other words, it is the last verse about halal and haram that was ever revealed. [25] However, this is also inaccurate, for as previously mentioned, after this verse the verse regarding usury and debt was revealed.

Whilst, Imam Ibnu Jarir al-Tobari said the meaning of ‘perfected for you your religion’ in the verse is in the context that although the idolators and Muslims used to perform hajj together, however, hajj in that year, the Muslims are no longer joined by the Musyriks, hence, this is the perfection of the blessing for the Muslims. [26]

Sixth opinion: Verse 128-129 Surah al-Taubah

لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُم بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿١٢٨﴾ فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَقُلْ حَسْبِيَ اللَّـهُ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۖ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ ۖ وَهُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ

“There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful. But if they turn away, [O Muhammad], say, “Sufficient for me is Allah; there is no deity except Him. On Him I have relied, and He is the Lord of the Great Throne.”

This opinion is narrated by Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Syaibah and Ibn Mardawaih from Ubai ibn Ka’ab. [27] However, this opinion is rejected by Imam al-Zarqani who said the athar of Ubai ibn Ka’ab is in other words the last verse from surah al-Taubah. [28]

Seventh opinion: Verse 110 Surah al-Kahfi

قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ أَنَّمَا إِلَـٰهُكُمْ إِلَـٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۖ فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاءَ رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا

“Say, “I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God. So, whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord – let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.”

This is the opinion of Mu’awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, narrated by Imam Ibnu Kathir, however, Ibn Kathir explained that the athar may mean that the last verse revealed that wasn’t nasakh. [29]

Eighth opinion: Surah al-Nasr

Allah SWT states:

إِذَا جَاءَ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ وَالْفَتْحُ

“When the victory of Allah has come and the conquest,”

However, this verse can be said to be the last verse that signals the passing of the Prophet PBUH and this is what is understood by the companions R.Anhum. This opinion can also be said to refer to the last surah to be revealed all at once and this is strengthened by an athar from Ibn Abbas R.A who said as such. [30]

Conclusion and Tarjih

According to al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, the most accurate opinion is the second opinion, it is verse 281 surah al-Baqarah. [31] That is the statement of Allah SWT:

وَاتَّقُوا يَوْمًا تُرْجَعُونَ فِيهِ إِلَى اللَّـهِ ۖ ثُمَّ تُوَفَّىٰ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ

“And fear a Day when you will be returned to Allah. Then every soul will be compensated for what it earned, and they will not be treated unjustly.” [32]

We ourselves are inclined towards his opinion because almost all commentary scholars that we referred to stated that this is the last verse revealed. This opinion isn’t rejected or denied by any other verses that were contradicted by numerous narrations and statements of scholars.

However, we’d also like to cite the words of Imam Abu Bakar al-Baqillani in this issue: “Knowing the last verse revealed is not an obligation in religion, neither is it stated by Rasullullah PBUH for us to know. He didn’t find any benefit for the religion for its ummah to know it.

The companions also presented their opinions which was the last verse revealed based on their own knowledge. It just might be possible that a companion was with the Prophet PBUH when a verse was revealed and he was certain that it was the last verse, however, he didn’t know that there is another verse revealed when he wasn’t with the Prophet PBUH.” [33]

Wallahu a’lam.

[1] See al-Qamus al-Muhit, 1/49

[2] Surah al-Qiyamah: 17-18

[3] See al-Mu’jam al-Wasit, 2/722

[4]  Surah al-Isra’: 78

[5] See Mu’jam Alfaz al-Quran al-Karim, 2/197-198

[6] See al-Quran wa I’jazuhu al-‘Ilm, pg. 2

[7] See al-Tibyan fi ‘Ulum al-Quran, pg. 8

[8] See Manahil al-‘Irfan fi Ulum al-Qur’an 1/96-97

[9] Surah Hud : 1

[10] Surah al-Hijr : 9

[11] Surah al-Isra’: 88

[12] See Tafsir al-Maraghi, 8/4024

[13] Surah al-Dukhan : 58

[14] Surah al-Takwir : 27

[15] See Manahil al-‘Irfan fi Ulum al-Qur’an 1/96-97

[16] Narrated by al-Bukhari (4544)

[17] See Tafsir Ruh al-Ma’ani, 3/54

[18] See Tafsir Ibn Abi Hatim, 2/554

[19] See Al-Itqan fi Ulum al-Qur’an, 1/83

[20] See Tarikh Nuzul al-Qur’an, 1/52

[21] Surah al-Nisaa’ (176)

[22] Narrated by Muslim (1618)

[23] See Fath al-Bari Syarh Sahih al-Bukhari, 8/317

[24] See Tarikh Nuzul al-Qur’an, 1/54

[25] See Tafsir Ruh al-Ma’ani, 6/60

[26] See Tafsir al-Tabari, 9/521-522

[27] See Tafsir al-Thabari, 14/588 and Al-Durr al-Manthur, 7/609

[28] See Manahil al-‘Irfan, 1/99

[29] See Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘Azim, 5/110

[30] See Manahil al-‘Irfan, 1/100

[31] See Fath al-Bari, 8/317

[32] Surah al-Baqarah: 281

[33] See al-Intisar lil Qur’an, 1/245-246