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A Revised Inner-Qurʾanic Chronology Based on Mean Verse Lengths and the Medina I Counting System
This article uses mean verse length data to propose a relative timeline for the Qurʾan, proceeding from the work of Nicolai Sinai and others. The timeline is based on the general observation that the verses become longer over the course of revelation. The study uses the Medina I verse count, which research has indicated is more likely to be an original or stem system than the Kufan one printed in the Qurʾans of today. From the data, three periods emerge: Early Meccan, Later Meccan, and Medinan. Besides contributing to a specific timeline for receiving the suras, the data supports the formation of a Qurʾanic nucleus at an early stage in Mecca.