Introduction I have been wondering for some time now why the companions of Muḥammad, upon producing the offi cial muṣḥaf known as the ʿ Uthmān codex, decided to have the muṣḥaf arranged by the chapter-length order rather than the historical chronological order, an order that would have saved Qurʾān scholars a lot of trouble. The question is still valid even when we accept the traditional claim that Gabriel authored this arrangement during Muḥammad’s lifetime. Trying to fi gure out the impression which the chronological order would have created, I imagine that the Qurʾān would have been very much similar to the Old Testament narrative form of “history of salvation.” The Qurʾān, however, presents itself as a continuation of earlier scripture, beginning with “the sheets” of Abraham and Moses ( ṣuḥuf Ibrāhīm wa-Mūsā ; Q 87:19). It distinguishes itself from earlier scriptures as the dominant ( muhaymin ), and the most accurate ( al-ḥaqq ; Q 5:48). Such a distinction must have consequences for both form and content. If arranged according to its chronological order ( tartīb al-nuzūl ), the Qurʾān would have been a book of the history of Muḥammad’s mission and of the early Muslim community; it might have appeared like a historical document rather than a divine message.