The Quran is the most important book in Islam. It contains the teachings and story of the chief prophet of Islam, Muhammad. The Quran, whose name means "recitation" in Arabic, is the sacred text of Muslims and the highest authority in both religious and legal matters.
Muslims believe the Quran to be a flawless record of the angel Gabriel's revelations to Muhammad from 610 until his death in 632 AD. It is also believed to be a perfect copy of a heavenly Quran that has existed eternally.
The Quran's name is derived from the Gabriel's initial command to Muhammad to "Recite!" Recitation is a fundamental concept associated with the Quran. The first followers of the prophet memorized his recitation in order to recite it to others, following an established Arabic method for preserving poetry.
The revelation was put in writing shortly after Muhammad's death to preserve the content from corruption, but it is still regarded as most authentic when recited aloud. Professional reciters of the Quran (qurra') are held in very high esteem, and have often been influential in deciding matters of doctrine or policy.
The Quran is roughly the length of the Christian New Testament. It is divided into 114 surahs (chapters) of widely varying length, which, with the exception of the opening surah (fatihah), are generally arranged from longest to shortest. As the shortest chapters seem to date from the earlier period of Muhammad's revelation, this arrangement results in a reverse chronological order.
Each surah has a heading, which usually incorporates the following elements:
The verses (ayat, "signs") also vary in length, with the shortest usually found in the earlier surahs. In these verses, the form closely resembles the rhymed prose of the seers (kahins) of Muhammad's time. The later verses are more detailed and less poetic.
Most of the Quran is written in the first person plural, with Allah as the speaker. When Muhammad himself speaks, his words are introduced by "Say," to clarify he is being commanded by Allah to speak.
The vocabulary of the Qur'an is overwhelmingly Arabic, but some terms are borrowed from Hebrew and Syriac, cultures with which Muhammad was familiar. Such words include injil (gospel), taurat (law, Torah), Iblis (Devil), amana (to believe) and salat (prayer).
Go here for an index to the chapters of the Quran.
|Published||March 17, 2015|
|Updated||October 29, 2016|
|MLA Citation||“The Qur'an.” ReligionFacts.com. 29 Oct. 2016. Web. Accessed 9 Dec. 2016. <www.religionfacts.com/|