06
May
07

A Statistical Analysis of the Holy Qur’an

This investigation aims at identifying numerical pattern(s) of number of verses (ayas) in different chapters (suras) of the Quran using statistical analysis. It includes the mean, mode [1], median [2], range [3], standard deviation (SD) [4], and relative standard deviation (RSD) [5]. The study uses three different methods of grouping Qur’anic chapters. The tables and figures in this study also provide useful information about the structure of the Qur’an.
I. Introduction
Briefly, the Quran was revealed in Arabic to the Prophet Mohammad in 610 CE over 22 years. In the first twelve years of the revelation, the Prophet was living in

Mecca. Persecution then forced him to leave to Al-Madina, in what is known as the Hijra (immigration), where he lived the last ten years. The 114 chapters of the Holy Quran are not listed in the chronological order of their revelation. This special order, however, was inspired to the Prophet by Allah, so it is a genuine quality of the Qur’an [6]. Each chapter is described as either Meccan or Madinite, depending on whether the majority of its verses were revealed before or after the Hijra. In this work, I will use three different schemes to group the Qur’anic chapters: 1. The widely used dual grouping of chapters into Meccan and Madinite. 2. The sequential grouping scheme, where each group is formed of consecutive chapters that are all either Meccan or Madinite. For instance, the first chapter in the Qur’an which was revealed in
Mecca is followed by four Madinite chapters, which are followed by two Meccan chapters, and so on. Thus chapter 1 is the only member of group 1 (Meccan), chapters 2-5 constitute group 2 (Madinite), chapters 6-7 constitute group 3 (Meccan), and so on. This scheme yields 25 groups. 3. The grouping scheme suggested by Mustansir Mir in his article Is The Qur’an A Shapeless Book?, Renaissance, August 1999. I have provided all the primary data in tabular form for those interested in further investigating this topic.
II. The Dual Grouping Scheme
Table (1a) gives for each chapter its position or serial number in the Qur’an, the number of verses it has, and its group according to its place of revelation, where M stands for Meccan and H (from Hijra ) for Madinite.
Table (1a). The Dual Grouping Scheme

Number Verses Type Number Verses Type Number Verses Type

I should note that there is disagreement among scholars about whether some chapters were revealed before or after the Hijra. However, the table above reflects the commonly accepted view. The table above also neglects the fact that some scholars think that a number of verses in Meccan chapter were revealed after the Hijra, and a few verses in Madinite chapters were revealed before the Hijra. However, these numbers are too small to have any significant effect on the results of this study. As seen from the table, the total number of chapters is 114 [7], with 86 [8] Meccan and 28 [9] Madinite. Different chapters have different numbers of verses. Exactly 50% of the Meccan chapters, i.e. 43 chapters, have odd serial numbers, and the other half have even serial numbers. Also exactly 50% (i.e. 43) of the Meccan chapters have odd numbers of verses, and the other half have even numbers of verses. Similarly, 50% of the Madinite chapters, that is 14 chapters, have odd serial numbers, and the other half have even serial numbers. Unlike the Meccan chapters, 39.3% of the Madinite chapters, i.e. 11 of them, have odd numbers of verses, and the remaining 60.7 %, i.e. 17, have even numbers of verses. For the whole Qur’an, the number of chapters with odd numbers of verses is 54 (47.4 %) and with even number of verses is 60 (52.6 %). The results of the dual grouping method are summarized in Table (2). Table (2). Results of the dual grouping method

Chapters Number of chapters Percentage Number of verses Percentage

Table (3) gives more statistics about the Qur’anic chapters. It shows the mean, mode, median, range, standard deviation (SD), and relative standard deviation (RSD) of the number of verses per chapter of Meccan, Madinite, and both type of chapters. Table (3). Statistics of the number of verses per chapter in the Qur’an

  Meccan Madinite Total

The mean number of verses per chapter for the Madinite chapters (57.96 + 66.98) is higher than those of the Meccan (53.64 + 47.49) and the total (54.70 + 52.98). The mode (bimodal), range, and RSD percentage are also the highest, while the median is the lowest. The rounded number of verses per chapter in the Meccan, Madinite and whole Qur’an is 54, 58, and 55, respectively.

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