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The seven verses (ayat) of Al-Fatiha, the first chapter (sura) of the Qur'an.

The Qur’an (pronounced [qurˈʔaːn]; Arabic: القرآنal-qur’ān, literally “the recitation”) is the central religious verbal text of Islam,[1] also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Qur’ān, Koran, Al-Coran or Al-Qur’ān. Muslims believe the Qur’an to be the verbal book of divine guidance and direction for mankind, and consider the original Arabic verbal text to be the final revelation of God.[2][3][4][5]

Islam holds that the Qur’an was repeatedly revealed from Allah to Muhammad verbally through the angel Jibrīl (Gabriel) over a period of approximately twenty-three years, beginning in 610 CE, when he was forty, and concluding in 632 CE, the year of his death.[2][6][7] Followers of Islam further believe that the Qur’an was memorized, recited and written down by Muhammad's companions after every revelation dictated by Muhammad. Most of Muhammad's companions, tens of thousands, learned the Qur’an by heart, repeatedly recited in front of Muhammad for his approval or the approval of other Sahabas Muhammad approved and also compiled it in written form while he was alive. Muslim tradition agrees that although the Qur’an was authentically memorized completely by tens of thousands verbally; the Qur’an was still established textually into a single book form shortly after Muhammad's death by order of the first Caliph Abu Bakr suggested by his future successor Umar.[8] Hafsa, Muhammad's widow and Umar's daughter, was entrusted with that Quran text after the second Caliph Umar passed away. When Uthman, the third Caliph, started noticing differences in the dialect of the Qur’an; he requested Hafsa to allow him to use the Qur’an text in her possession to be set as the standard dialect, the Quraish dialect aka Fus'ha (Modern Standard Arabic). Before returning that Qur'an text to Hafsa; Uthman immediately made several thousands of copies of Abu Bakar's Qur’anic compilation and ordered all other texts to be burned. This process of formalization of the orally transmitted text to Abu Bakar's Qur'anic text is known as the "Uthmanic recension".[9] The present form of the Qur’an text is accepted by most scholars as the original version compiled by Abu Bakr.[9][10]

Part of a series on the
Qur'an
Quran cover.jpg

Mus'haf

Sura · Ayah

Qur'an reading

Tajwid · Hizb · Tarteel · Qur'anic guardian · Manzil · Qari' · Juz' · Rasm · Ruku' · Sujud ·

Translations

Master List  · English Translations

Origin and development

Makkah revelations · Medinan revelations

Tafsir

Persons related to verses · Justice · Asbab al-nuzul · Naskh · Biblical narratives · Tahrif · Bakkah · Muqatta'at · Esoteric interpretation

Qur'an and Sunnah

Literalism · Miracles · Science · Women

Views on the Qur'an

Shi'a · Criticism · Desecration · Surah of Wilaya and Nurayn · Tanazzulat · Qisas Al-Anbiya · Beit Al Qur'an


Muslims regard the Qur’an as the main miracle of Muhammad, as proof of his prophethood,[11] and as the culmination of a series of divine messages. These started, according to Islamic belief, with the messages revealed to Adam, regarded in Islam as the first prophet, and continued with the Suhuf Ibrahim (Scrolls of Abraham),[12] the Tawrat (Torah or Pentateuch),[13][14] the Zabur (Tehillim or Book of Psalms),[15][16] and the Injil (Evangel).[17][18][19] The Qur'an assumes familiarity with major narratives recounted in Jewish and Christian scriptures, summarizing some, dwelling at length on others, and, in some cases, presenting alternative accounts and interpretations of events.[20][21][22] The Qur'an describes itself as a book of guidance, sometimes offering detailed accounts of specific historical events, and often emphasizing the moral significance of an event over its narrative sequence.[23][24]

Contents

Etymology and meaning

The word qur`ān appears about 70 times in the Qur’an itself, assuming various meanings. It is a verbal noun (maṣdar) of the Arabic verb qara`a (Arabic: قرأ), meaning “he read” or “he recited”; the Syriac equivalent is qeryānā which refers to “scripture reading” or “lesson”. While most Western scholars consider the word to be derived from the Syriac, the majority of Muslim authorities hold the origin of the word is qara`a itself.[25] In any case, it had become an Arabic term by Muhammad's lifetime.[2] An important meaning of the word is the “act of reciting”, as reflected in an early Qur’anic passage: “It is for Us to collect it and to recite it (qur`ānahu)”.[26]

In other verses, the word refers to “an individual passage recited [by Muhammad]”. In the large majority of contexts, usually with a definite article (al-), the word is referred to as the “revelation” (wahy), that which has been “sent down” (tanzīl) at intervals.[27][28] Its liturgical context is seen in a number of passages, for example: "So when al-qur`ān is recited, listen to it and keep silent".[29] The word may also assume the meaning of a codified scripture when mentioned with other scriptures such as the Torah and Gospel.[30]

The term also has closely related synonyms which are employed throughout the Qur’an. Each synonym possesses its own distinct meaning, but its use may converge with that of qur`ān in certain contexts. Such terms include kitāb (“book”); āyah (“sign”); and sūrah (“scripture”). The latter two terms also denote units of revelation. Other related words are: dhikr, meaning "remembrance," used to refer to the Qur’an in the sense of a reminder and warning; and hikma, meaning “wisdom”, sometimes referring to the revelation or part of it.[25][31]

The Qur’an has many other names. Among those found in the text itself are al-furqan (“discernment” or “criterion”), al-huda (“"the guide”), dhikrallah (“the remembrance of God”), al-hikmah (“the wisdom”), and kalamallah (“the word of God”). Another term is al-kitāb (“the book”), though it is also used in the Arabic language for other scriptures, such as the Torah and the Gospels. The term mus'haf ("written work") is often used to refer to particular Qur'anic manuscripts but is also used in the Qur’an to identify earlier revealed books.[2]

History

The Prophetic era

The cave of Hira is site of Muhammad's first revelation. The opening two verses of Sura Al-Alaq are shown.

Islamic tradition relates that during one of Muhammad's isolated retreats to the mountains, he received his first revelation in the Cave of Hira. Thereafter, he received revelations over a period of twenty-three years. According to hadith and Muslim history, after Muhammad emigrated to Medina and formed an independent Muslim community, he ordered a considerable number of the companions (sahaba) to recite the Qur’an and to learn and teach the laws which were being revealed daily. Companions who engaged in the recitation of the Qur’an were called qurra'. Since most sahaba were unable to read or write, they were ordered to learn from the prisoners-of-war the simple writing of the time. Thus a group of sahaba gradually became literate. As it was initially spoken, the Qur’an was recorded on tablets, bones and the wide, flat ends of date palm fronds. Most chapters were in use amongst early Muslims since they are mentioned in numerous sayings by both Sunni and Shia sources, relating Muhammad's use of the Qur'an as a call to Islam, the making of prayer and the manner of recitation. However, the Qur’an did not exist in book form at the time of Muhammad's death in 632.[32][33]

Welch, a scholar of Islamic studies, states in the Encyclopaedia of Islam that he believes the graphic descriptions of Muhammad's condition at these moments may be regarded as genuine, because he was severely disturbed after these revelations. According to Welch, these seizures would have been seen by those around him as convincing evidence for the superhuman origin of Muhammad's inspirations. Muhammad's critics, however, accused him of being a possessed man, a soothsayer or a magician since his experiences were similar to those claimed by such figures well-known in ancient Arabia. Additionally, Welch states that it remains uncertain whether these experiences occurred before or after Muhammad began to see himself as a prophet.[34]

The Qur’an states that Muhammad was ummi,[35] interpreted as illiterate in Muslim tradition. According to Watt, the meaning of the Qur’anic term ummi is unscriptured rather than illiterate. Watt argues that a certain amount of writing was necessary for Muhammad to perform his commercial duties though it seems certain that he had not read any scriptures.

Compiling the Mus'haf

Qur'an manuscript from the 7th century CE, written on vellum in the Hijazi script.

According to Shia and some Sunni scholars, Ali compiled a complete version of the Qur’an mus'haf [2] immediately after Muhammad's death. The order of this mus'haf differed from that gathered later during Uthman's era. Despite this, Ali made no objection or resistance against standardized mus'haf, but kept his own book.[32][36]

After seventy reciters were killed in the Battle of Yamama, the caliph Abu Bakr decided to collect the different chapters and verses into one volume. Thus, a group of reciters, including Zayd ibn Thabit, collected the chapters and verses and produced several hand-written copies of the complete book.[32][37]

9th century Qur'an manuscript.

In about 650, as Islam expanded beyond the Arabian peninsula into Persia, the Levant and North Africa, the third caliph Uthman ibn Affan ordered the preparation of an official, standardized version, to preserve the sanctity of the text (and perhaps to keep the Rashidun Empire united, see Uthman Qur'an). Five reciters from amongst the companions produced a unique text from the first volume which had been prepared on the orders of Abu Bakr and which was kept with Hafsa bint Umar. The other copies already in the hands of Muslims in other areas were collected and sent to Medina where, on orders of the Caliph, they were destroyed by burning or boiling. This remains the authoritative text of the Qur’an to this day.[32][38][39]

The Qur’an in its present form is generally considered by academic scholars to record the words spoken by Muhammad because the search for variants in Western academia has not yielded any differences of great significance and because, historically, controversy over the content of the Qur’an has never become a main point.[40]

Significance in Islam

11th Century North African Qur’an in the British Museum

Muslims believe the Qur’an to be the book of divine guidance and direction for humanity and consider the text in its original Arabic to be the literal word of God,[41] revealed to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel over a period of twenty-three years[6][7] and view the Qur’an as God's final revelation to humanity.[5][6]

Wahy in Islamic and Qur’anic concept means the act of God addressing an individual, conveying a message for a greater number of recipients. The process by which the divine message comes to the heart of a messenger of God is tanzil (to send down) or nuzul (to come down). As the Qur'an says, "With the truth we (God) have sent it down and with the truth it has come down." It designates positive religion, the letter of the revelation dictated by the angel to the prophet. It means to cause this revelation to descend from the higher world. According to hadith, the verses were sent down in special circumstances known as asbab al-nuzul. However, in this view God himself is never the subject of coming down.[42]

The Qur'an frequently asserts in its text that it is divinely ordained, an assertion that Muslims believe. The Qur'an — often referring to its own textual nature and reflecting constantly on its divine origin — is the most meta-textual, self-referential religious text. The Qur'an refers to a written pre-text which records God's speech even before it was sent down.[43][44]

The issue of whether the Qur'an is eternal or created was one of the crucial controversies among early Muslim theologians. Mu'tazilis believe it is created while the most widespread varieties of Muslim theologians consider the Qur'an to be eternal and uncreated. Sufi philosophers view the question as artificial or wrongly framed.[45]

Muslims maintain the present wording of the Qur'anic text corresponds exactly to that revealed to Muhammad himself: as the words of God, said to be delivered to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel. Muslims consider the Qur'an to be a guide, a sign of the prophethood of Muhammad and the truth of the religion. They argue it is not possible for a human to produce a book like the Qur'an, as the Qur'an itself maintains.

Therefore an Islamic philosopher introduces a prophetology to explain how the divine word passes into human expression. This leads to a kind of esoteric hermeneutics which seeks to comprehend the position of the prophet by mediating on the modality of his relationship not with his own time, but with the eternal source from which his message emanates. This view contrasts with historical critique of western scholars who attempt to understand the prophet through his circumstances, education and type of genius.[46]

Miracle

Islamic scholars believe that the Qur'an is miraculous in its very nature as a revealed text, and that similar texts cannot be written by human endeavor. Its miraculous nature is claimed to be evidenced by its literary style, suggested similarities between Qur’anic verses and scientific facts discovered much later, and various prophecies. The Qur’an itself challenges those who deny its claimed divine origin to produce a text like it.[47][48][49][50][51][52] These claims originate directly from Islamic belief in its revealed nature, and are widely disputed by non-Muslim scholars of Islamic history.[53]

Text

The first four verses (ayat) of Al-Alaq, the 96th chapter (surah) of the Qur'an.

The text of the Qur’an consists of 114 chapters of varying lengths, each known as a sura. Chapters are classed as Meccan or Medinan, depending on where the verses were revealed. Chapter titles are derived from a name or quality discussed in the text, or from the first letters or words of the sura. Muslims believe that Muhammad, on God's command, gave the chapters their names.[2] Generally, longer chapters appear earlier in the Qur’an, while the shorter ones appear later. The chapter arrangement is thus not connected to the sequence of revelation. Each sura except the ninth starts with the Basmala[54], an Arabic phrase meaning (“In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful”). There are, however, still 114 occurrences of the basmala in the Qur’an, due to its presence in verse 27:30 as the opening of Solomon's letter to the Queen of Sheba.[55]

Each sura is formed from several ayat (verses), which originally means a sign or portent sent by God. The number of verses differ from chapter to chapter. An individual verse may be just a few letters or several lines. The verses are unlike the highly refined poetry of the pre-Islamic Arabs in their content and distinctive rhymes and rhythms, being more akin to the prophetic utterances marked by inspired discontinuities found in the sacred scriptures of Judaism and Christianity. The actual number of ayat has been a controversial issue among Muslim scholars since Islam's inception, some recognizing 6,000, some 6,204, some 6,219, and some 6,236, although the words in all cases are the same. The most popular edition of the Qur’an, which is based on the Kufa school tradition, contains 6,236 ayat.[2]

There is a crosscutting division into 30 parts, ajza, each containing two units called ahzab, each of which is divided into four parts (rub 'al-ahzab). The Qur’an is also divided into seven stations (manazil).[2]

The Qur’anic text seems to have no beginning, middle, or end, its nonlinear structure being akin to a web or net.[2] The textual arrangement is sometimes considered to have lack of continuity, absence of any chronological or thematic order, and presence of repetition.[56][57]

Fourteen different Arabic letters form 14 different sets of “Qur’anic Initials” (the "Muqatta'at", such as A.L.M. of 2:1) and prefix 29 suras in the Qur’an. The meaning and interpretation of these initials is considered unknown to most Muslims. In 1974, Egyptian biochemist Rashad Khalifa claimed to have discovered a mathematical code based on the number 19,[58] which is mentioned in Sura 74:30[59] of the Qur’an.

Content

The Qur'anic verses contain general exhortations regarding right and wrong and the nature of revelation. Historical events are related to outline general moral lessons.

Literary structure

The Qur’an's message is conveyed with various literary structures and devices. In the original Arabic, the chapters and verses employ phonetic and thematic structures that assist the audience's efforts to recall the message of the text. There is consensus among Arab scholars to use the Qur’an as a standard by which other Arabic literature should be measured. Muslims assert (according to the Qur’an itself) that the Qur’anic content and style is inimitable.[60]

Richard Gottheil and Siegmund Fränkel in the Jewish Encyclopedia write that the oldest portions of the Qur’an reflect significant excitement in their language, through short and abrupt sentences and sudden transitions. The Qur’an nonetheless carefully maintains the rhymed form, like the oracles. Some later portions also preserve this form but also in a style where the movement is calm and the style expository.[61]

Michael Sells, citing the work of the critic Norman O. Brown, acknowledges Brown's observation that the seeming "disorganization" of Qur’anic literary expression — its "scattered or fragmented mode of composition," in Sells's phrase — is in fact a literary device capable of delivering "profound effects — as if the intensity of the prophetic message were shattering the vehicle of human language in which it was being communicated."[62][63] Sells also addresses the much-discussed "repetitiveness" of the Qur’an, seeing this, too, as a literary device.

Interpretation and meanings

Tafsir

The Qur'an has sparked a huge body of commentary and explication (tafsir), aimed at explaining the "meanings of the Qur’anic verses, clarifying their import and finding out their significance.".[64]

Tafsir is one of the earliest academic activities of Muslims. According to the Qur’an, Muhammad was the first person who described the meanings of verses for early Muslims.[65] Other early exegetes included a few Companions of Muhammad, like Ali ibn Abi Talib, Abdullah ibn Abbas, Abdullah ibn Umar and Ubayy ibn Kab. Exegesis in those days was confined to the explanation of literary aspects of the verse, the background of its revelation and, occasionally, interpretation of one verse with the help of the other. If the verse was about a historical event, then sometimes a few traditions (hadith) of Muhammad were narrated to make its meaning clear.[66]

Because the Qur’an is spoken in classical Arabic, many of the later converts to Islam (mostly non-Arabs) did not always understand the Qur’anic Arabic, they did not catch allusions that were clear to early Muslims fluent in Arabic and they were concerned with reconciling apparent conflict of themes in the Qur’an. Commentators erudite in Arabic explained the allusions, and perhaps most importantly, explained which Qur’anic verses had been revealed early in Muhammad's prophetic career, as being appropriate to the very earliest Muslim community, and which had been revealed later, canceling out or "abrogating" (nāsikh) the earlier text (mansukh).[67] [68] [69] Memories of the occasions of revelation (asbāb al-nuzūl), the circumstances under which Muhammad had spoken as he did, were also collected, as they were believed to explain some apparent obscurities.[citation needed]

Ta'wil

Ja'far Kashfi defines ta'wil as 'to lead back or to bring something back to its origin or archetype'. It is a science whose pivot is a spiritual direction and a divine inspiration, while the tafsir is the literal exegesis of the letter; its pivot is the canonical Islamic sciences.[70] Muhammad Husayn Tabatabaei says that according to the popular explanation among the later exegetes, ta'wil indicates the particular meaning towards which a verse is directed. The meaning of revelation (tanzil), as opposed to ta'wil, is clear in its accordance to the obvious meaning of the words as they were revealed. But this explanation has become so widespread that, at present, it has become the primary meaning of ta'wil, which originally meant "to return" or "the returning place". In Tabatabaei's view, what has been rightly called ta'wil, or hermeneutic interpretation of the Qur’an, is not concerned simply with the denotation of words. Rather, it is concerned with certain truths and realities that transcend the comprehension of the common run of men; yet it is from these truths and realities that the principles of doctrine and the practical injunctions of the Qur’an issue forth. Interpretation is not the meaning of the verse; rather it transpires through that meaning - a special sort of transpiration. There is a spiritual reality which is the main objective of ordaining a law, or the basic aim of describing a divine attribute; there is an actual significance to which a Qur’anic story refers.[71][72]

However Shia and Sufism (on the one hand) and Sunni (on the other) have completely different positions on the legitimacy of ta'wil. A verse in the Qur’an[73] addresses this issue, but Shia and Sunni disagree on how it should be read. According to Shia, those who are firmly rooted in knowledge like the Prophet and the imams know the secrets of the Qur’an, while Sunnis believe that only God knows. According to Tabatabaei, the statement "none knows its interpretation except Allah" remains valid, without any opposing or qualifying clause. Therefore, so far as this verse is concerned, the knowledge of the Qur’an's interpretation is reserved for God. But Tabatabaei uses other verses and concludes that those who are purified by God know the interpretation of the Qur’an to a certain extent.[72]

The most ancient spiritual commentary on the Qur'an consists of the teachings which the Shia Imams propounded during their conversations with their disciples. It was the principles of their spiritual hermeneutics that were subsequently brought together by the Sufis. These texts are narrated by Imam Ali and Ja'far al-Sadiq, Shia and Sunni Sufis.[74]

As Corbin narrates from Shia sources, Ali himself gives this testimony:

Not a single verse of the Qur’an descended upon (was revealed to) the Messenger of God which he did not proceed to dictate to me and make me recite. I would write it with my own hand, and he would instruct me as to its tafsir (the literal explanation) and the ta'wil (the spiritual exegesis), the nasikh (the verse which abrogates) and the mansukh (the abrogated verse), the muhkam (without ambiguity) and the mutashabih (ambiguous), the particular and the general...[75]

According to Tabatabaei, there are acceptable and unacceptable esoteric interpretations. Acceptable ta'wil refers to the meaning of a verse beyond its literal meaning; rather the implicit meaning, which ultimately is known only to God and can't be comprehended directly through human thought alone. The verses in question here are those which refer to the human qualities of coming, going, sitting, satisfaction, anger, and sorrow, which are apparently attributed to God. Unacceptable ta'wil is where one "transfers" the apparent meaning of a verse to a different meaning by means of a proof; this method is not without obvious inconsistencies. Although this unacceptable ta'wil has gained considerable acceptance, it is incorrect and cannot be applied to the Qur’anic verses. The correct interpretation is that reality to which a verse refers. It is found in all verses, the decisive and the ambiguous alike; it is not a sort of a meaning of the word; it is a fact that is too sublime for words. God has dressed them with words to bring them a bit nearer to our minds; in this respect they are like proverbs that are used to create a picture in the mind, and thus help the hearer to clearly grasp the intended idea.[72][76]

Therefore Sufi spiritual interpretations are usually accepted by Islamic scholars as authentic, as long as certain conditions are met.[77] In Sufi history, these interpretations were sometimes considered religious innovations (bid'ah), as Salafis believe today. However, ta'wil is extremely controversial even amongst Shia. For example, when Ayatollah Ruhallah Khomeini, the leader of Islamic revolution, gave some lectures about Sura al-Fatiha in December 1979 and January 1980, protests forced him to suspend them before he could continue beyond the first two verses of the surah.[78]

Levels of meaning and inward aspects of the Qur’an

Shias and Sufis as well as some Muslim philosophers believe the meaning of the Qur’an is not restricted to the literal aspect.[79] For them, it is an essential idea that the Qur’an also has inward aspects. Henry Corbin narrates a hadith that goes back to Muhammad:

"The Qur'an possesses an external appearance and a hidden depth, an exoteric meaning and an esoteric meaning. This esoteric meaning in turn conceals an esoteric meaning (this depth possesses a depth, after the image of the celestial Spheres which are enclosed within each other). So it goes on for seven esoteric meanings (seven depths of hidden depth)."[79]

According to this view, it has also become evident that the inner meaning of the Qur’an does not eradicate or invalidate its outward meaning. Rather, it is like the soul, which gives life to the body.[80]

On this viewpoint, Corbin considers the Qur’an to play a part in Islamic philosophy, because gnosiology itself goes hand in hand with prophetology.[81] However, clearly those who don't believe in the divine origin of the Qur’an or any kind of sacred or spiritual existence completely oppose any inward Qur'anic aspect.

Commentaries dealing with the zahir (outward aspects) of the text are called tafsir, and hermeneutic and esoteric commentaries dealing with the batin are called ta'wil (“interpretation” or “explanation”), which involves taking the text back to its beginning. Commentators with an esoteric slant believe that the ultimate meaning of the Qur’an is known only to God.[2]

In contrast, Qur'anic literalism, followed by Salafis and Zahiris, is the belief that the Qur'an should be taken at its apparent meaning, rather than employing any sort of interpretation. This includes, for example, the belief that God has appendages such as hands as stated in the Qur’an; this is generally explained by the concept of bi-la kaifa, the claim that the literal meanings should be accepted without asking how or why.[citation needed]

Translations

Title page of the first German translation (1772) of the Qur'an.

Translation of the Qur’an has always been a problematic and difficult issue. Since Islam regards the Qur’an as miraculous and inimitable (i'jaz al-Qur’an),[citation needed] many argue that the Qur’anic text cannot be reproduced in another language or form.[82] Furthermore, an Arabic word may have a range of meanings depending on the context, making an accurate translation even more difficult.[83]

Nevertheless, the Qur’an has been translated into most African, Asian and European languages.[83] The first translator of the Qur’an was Salman the Persian, who translated Fatiha into Persian during the 7th century.[84] The first complete translation of Qur'an was into Persian during the reign of Samanids in the 9th century. Islamic tradition holds that translations were made for Emperor Negus of Abyssinia and Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, as both received letters by Muhammad containing verses from the Qur’an.[83] In early centuries, the permissibility of translations was not an issue, but whether one could use translations in prayer.

Verses 33 and 34 of sura Ya-Seen in this Chinese translation of the Qur'an.

In 1936, translations in 102 languages were known.[83]

Robert of Ketton was the first to translate the Qur’an into a Western language, Latin, in 1143.[85] Alexander Ross offered the first English version in 1649. In 1734, George Sale produced the first scholarly translation of the Qur’an into English; another was produced by Richard Bell in 1937, and yet another by Arthur John Arberry in 1955. All these translators were non-Muslims. There have been numerous translations by Muslims; the most popular of these are by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan and Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din al-Hilali, Maulana Muhammad Ali, Abdullah Yusuf Ali, M. H. Shakir, Muhammad Asad, and Marmaduke Pickthall.[citation needed]

The English translators have sometimes favored archaic English words and constructions over their more modern or conventional equivalents; for example, two widely-read translators, A. Yusuf Ali and M. Marmaduke Pickthall, use the plural and singular "ye" and "thou" instead of the more common "you." Another common stylistic decision has been to refrain from translating "Allah" — in Arabic, literally, "The God" — into the common English word "God." These choices may differ in more recent translations.[citation needed]

Literary usage

In addition to and largely independent of the division into suras, there are various ways of dividing the Qur’an into parts of approximately equal length for convenience in reading, recitation and memorization. The thirty ajza can be used to read through the entire Qur’an in a week or a month. Some of these parts are known by names and these names are the first few words by which the juz' starts. A juz' is sometimes further divided into two ahzab, and each hizb subdivided into four rub 'al-ahzab. A different structure is provided by the ruku'at, semantical units resembling paragraphs and comprising roughly ten ayat each. Some also divide the Qur’an into seven manazil to facilitate complete recitation in a week.

Recitation

...and recite the Qur’an in slow, measured rhythmic tones.

Qur'an 73:4 (Yusuf Ali)

One meaning of Qur’an is "recitation", the Qur’an itself outlining the general method of how it is to be recited: slowly and in rhythmic tones. Tajwid is the term for techniques of recitation, and assessed in terms of how accessible the recitation is to those intent on concentrating on the words.[86]

To perform salat (prayer), a mandatory obligation in Islam, a Muslim is required to learn at least some sura of the Qur’an (typically starting with the first one, al-Fatiha, known as the "seven oft-repeated verses," and then moving on to the shorter ones at the end). Until one has learned al-Fatiha, a Muslim can only say phrases like "praise be to God" during the salat.

Qur'an with colour-coded tajwid rules.

A person whose recital repertoire encompasses the whole Qur’an is called a qari', whereas a memoriser of the Qur’an is called a hafiz (fem. Hafaz) (which translate as "reciter" or "protector," respectively). Muhammad is regarded as the first qari' since he was the first to recite it. Recitation (tilawa تلاوة) of the Qur’an is a fine art in the Muslim world.

Schools of recitation

Page of a 13th century Qur’an, showing Sura 33: 73

There are several schools of Qur’anic recitation, all of which teach possible pronunciations of the Uthmanic rasm: Seven reliable, three permissible and (at least) four uncanonical – in 8 sub-traditions each – making for 80 recitation variants altogether.[87] A canonical recitation must satisfy three conditions:

  1. It must match the rasm, letter for letter.
  2. It must conform with the syntactic rules of the Arabic language.
  3. It must have a continuous isnad to Muhammad through tawatur, meaning that it has to be related by a large group of people to another down the isnad chain.

These recitations differ in the vocalization (tashkil) of a few words, which in turn gives a complementary meaning to the word in question according to the rules of Arabic grammar. For example, the vocalization of a verb can change its active and passive voice. It can also change its stem formation, implying intensity for example. Vowels may be elongated or shortened, and glottal stops (hamzas) may be added or dropped, according to the respective rules of the particular recitation. For example, the name of archangel Gabriel is pronounced differently in different recitations: Jibrīl, Jabrīl, Jibra'īl, and Jibra'il. The name "Qur’an" is pronounced without the glottal stop in one recitation, and Abraham's name is pronounced Ibrāhām in another.[citation needed]

The more widely used narrations are those of Hafss (حفص عن عاصم), Warsh (ورش عن نافع), Qaloon (قالون عن نافع) and Al-Duri according to Abu `Amr (الدوري عن أبي عمرو). Muslims firmly believe that all canonical recitations were recited by Muhammad himself, citing the respective isnad chain of narration, and accept them as valid for worshipping and as a reference for rules of Sharia. The uncanonical recitations are called "explanatory" for their role in giving a different perspective for a given verse or ayah. Today several dozen persons hold the title "Memorizer of the Ten Recitations." This is considered a great accomplishment amongst Muslims.[citation needed]

The presence of these different recitations is attributed to many hadith. Malik Ibn Anas has reported:[88]

Abd al-Rahman Ibn Abd al-Qari narrated: "Umar Ibn Khattab said before me: I heard Hisham Ibn Hakim Ibn Hizam reading Surah Furqan in a different way from the one I used to read it, and the Prophet (sws) himself had read out this surah to me. Consequently, as soon as I heard him, I wanted to get hold of him. However, I gave him respite until he had finished the prayer. Then I got hold of his cloak and dragged him to the Prophet (sws). I said to him: "I have heard this person [Hisham Ibn Hakim Ibn Hizam] reading Surah Furqan in a different way from the one you had read it out to me." The Prophet (sws) said: "Leave him alone [O 'Umar]." Then he said to Hisham: "Read [it]." [Umar said:] "He read it out in the same way as he had done before me." [At this,] the Prophet (sws) said: "It was revealed thus." Then the Prophet (sws) asked me to read it out. So I read it out. [At this], he said: "It was revealed thus; this Qur’an has been revealed in Seven Ahruf. You can read it in any of them you find easy from among them.

Suyuti, a famous 15th century Islamic theologian, writes after interpreting above hadith in 40 different ways:[89]

"And to me the best opinion in this regard is that of the people who say that this hadith is from among matters of mutashabihat, the meaning of which cannot be understood."

Many reports contradict the presence of variant readings:[90]

  • Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami reports, "the reading of Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Zayd ibn Thabit and that of all the Muhajirun and the Ansar was the same. They would read the Qur’an according to the Qira'at al-'ammah. This is the same reading which was read out twice by the Prophet (sws) to Gabriel in the year of his death. Zayd ibn Thabit was also present in this reading [called] the 'Ardah-i akhirah. It was this very reading that he taught the Qur’an to people till his death".[91]
  • Ibn Sirin writes, "the reading on which the Qur’an was read out to the prophet in the year of his death is the same according to which people are reading the Qur’an today".[92]

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi also purports that there is only one recitation of Qur’an, which is called Qira'at of Hafss or in classical scholarship, it is called Qira'at al-'ammah. The Qur'an has also specified that it was revealed in the language of Muhammad's tribe: the Quraysh.[Qur'an 19:97][Qur'an 44:58])[90]

However, the identification of the recitation of Hafss as the Qira'at al-'ammah is somewhat problematic when that was the recitation of the people of Kufa in Iraq, and there is better reason to identify the recitation of the reciters of Madinah as the dominant recitation. The reciter of Madinah was Nafi' and Imam Malik remarked "The recitation of Nafi' is Sunnah." Moreover, the dialect of Arabic spoken by Quraysh and the Arabs of the Hijaz was known to have less use of the letter hamzah, as is the case in the recitation of Nafi', whereas in the Hafs recitation the hamzah is one of the very dominant features.[citation needed]

AZ [however] says that the people of El-Hijaz and Hudhayl, and the people of Makkah and Al-Madinah, to not pronounce hamzah [at all]: and 'Isa Ibn-'Omar says, Tamim pronounce hamzah, and the people of Al-Hijaz, in cases of necessity, [in poetry,] do so.[93]

So the hamzah is of the dialect of the Najd whose people came to comprise the dominant Arabic element in Kufa giving some features of their dialect to their recitation, whereas the recitation of Nafi' and the people of Madinah maintained some features of the dialect of Hijaz and the Quraysh.[citation needed]

However, the discussion of the priority of one or the other recitation is unnecessary since it is a consensus of knowledgeable people that all seven recitations of the Qur’an are acceptable and valid for recitation in the prayer.[citation needed]

Moreover, the non-canonical recitations that are narrated from some of the Companions and which do not conform to the Uthmani copy of the Qur’an are not legitimate for recitation in the prayer, but knowledge of them can legitimately be used in the tafsir of the Qur’an (not as a proof but as a valid argument for an explanation of an ayah).[citation needed]

Writing and printing

Page from a Qur’an ('Umar-i Aqta'). Iran, Afghanistan, Timurid dynasty, circa 1400. Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper Muqaqqaq script. 170 x 109cm (66 15/16 x 42 15/16in). Historical region: Uzbekistan.

Most Muslims today use printed editions of the Qur’an. There are many editions, large and small, elaborate or plain, expensive or inexpensive. Bilingual forms with the Arabic on one side and a gloss into a more familiar language on the other are very popular.

Qur’ans are produced in many different sizes. Most are of a reasonable book size, but there exist extremely large Qur’ans (usually for display purposes)[citation needed] and very small Qur’ans (sometimes given as gifts).[citation needed]

Qur’ans were first printed from carved wooden blocks, one block per page. There are existing specimen of pages and blocks dating from the 10th century CE. Mass-produced less expensive versions of the Qur’an were later produced by lithography, a technique for printing illustrations. Qur’ans so printed could reproduce the fine calligraphy of hand-made versions.[citation needed]

The first and last chapters of the Qur'an together written in the Shikastah style.

The oldest surviving Qur’an for which movable type was used was printed in Venice in 1537/1538. It seems to have been prepared for sale in the Ottoman empire. Catherine the Great of Russia sponsored a printing of the Qur’an in 1787. This was followed by editions from Kazan (1828), Persia (1833) and Istanbul (1877).[94]

It is extremely difficult to render the full Qur’an, with all the points, in computer code, such as Unicode. The Internet Sacred Text Archive makes computer files of the Qur’an freely available both as images[95] and in a temporary Unicode version.[96] Various designers and software firms have attempted to develop computer fonts that can adequately render the Qur’an.[97]

Before printing was widely adopted, the Qur’an was transmitted by copyists and calligraphers. Since Muslim tradition felt that directly portraying sacred figures and events might lead to idolatry, it was considered wrong to decorate the Qur’an with pictures (as was often done for Christian texts, for example). Muslims instead lavished love and care upon the sacred text itself. Arabic is written in many scripts, some of which are both complex and beautiful. Arabic calligraphy is a highly honored art, much like Chinese calligraphy. Muslims also decorated their Qur’ans with abstract figures (arabesques), colored inks, and gold leaf. Pages from some of these antique Qur’ans are displayed throughout this article.

Relationship with other literature

The Torah and the Bible

It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion (of judgment between right and wrong).[98]

Qur'an 3:3 (Yusuf Ali)

The Qur'an speaks well of the relationship it has with former books (the Torah and the Gospel) and attributes their similarities to their unique origin and saying all of them have been revealed by the one God.[99]

The Qur'an recounts stories of many of the people and events recounted in Jewish and Christian sacred books (Tanakh, Bible) and devotional literature (Apocrypha, Midrash), although it differs in many details. Adam, Enoch, Noah, Heber, Shelah, Abraham, Lut, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Jethro, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, Jonah, Aaron, Moses, Zechariah, John the Baptist, and Jesus are mentioned in the Qur’an as prophets of God (see Prophets of Islam). Muslims believe the common elements or resemblances between the Bible and other Jewish and Christian writings and Islamic dispensations is due to their common divine source, and that the original Christian or Jewish texts were authentic divine revelations given to prophets.

Muslims believe that those texts were neglected, corrupted (tahrif) or altered in time by the Jews and Christians and have been replaced by God's final and perfect revelation, which is the Qur'an.[100]

Influence of Christian apocrypha‎

The Diatessaron, Protoevangelium of James, Infancy Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Arabic Infancy Gospel are all suggested to have been sources that the author/authors drew on when creating the Qur'an.[101] The Diatessaron, as a gospel harmony, especially may have led to the misconception in the Qur'an that the Christian Gospel is one text.[102] However this is not accepted by Muslim scholars, who maintain that the Qur’an is the divine word of God without any interpolation, and the similarities exist only due to the one source.[citation needed]

Arab writing

After the Qur’an, and the general rise of Islam, the Arabic alphabet developed rapidly into a beautiful and complex form of art.[103]

Muhaqqaq script.gif

Wadad Kadi, Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at University of Chicago and Mustansir Mir, Professor of Islamic studies at Youngstown State University state that:[104]

Although Arabic, as a language and a literary tradition, was quite well developed by the time of Muhammad's prophetic activity, it was only after the emergence of Islam, with its founding scripture in Arabic, that the language reached its utmost capacity of expression, and the literature its highest point of complexity and sophistication. Indeed, it probably is no exaggeration to say that the Qur’an was one of the most conspicuous forces in the making of classical and post-classical Arabic literature.

The main areas in which the Qur’an exerted noticeable influence on Arabic literature are diction and themes; other areas are related to the literary aspects of the Qur’an particularly oaths (q.v.), metaphors, motifs, and symbols. As far as diction is concerned, one could say that Qur’anic words, idioms, and expressions, especially "loaded" and formulaic phrases, appear in practically all genres of literature and in such abundance that it is simply impossible to compile a full record of them. For not only did the Qur’an create an entirely new linguistic corpus to express its message, it also endowed old, pre-Islamic words with new meanings and it is these meanings that took root in the language and subsequently in the literature...

In culture

Arabic Qur'an with Persian translation.

Most Muslims treat paper copies of the Qur’an with veneration, ritually washing before reading the Qur’an.[105] Worn out, torn, or errant (for example, pages out of order) Qur’ans are not discarded as wastepaper, but rather are left free to flow in a river, kept somewhere safe, burned, or buried in a remote location. Many Muslims memorize at least some portion of the Qur’an in the original Arabic, usually at least the verses needed to perform the prayers. Those who have memorized the entire Qur’an earn the right to the title of Hafiz.[106]

Arabic Qur'an with Persian translation from the Ilkhanid Era.

Based on tradition and a literal interpretation of sura 56:77-79: "That this is indeed a Qur’an Most Honourable, In a Book well-guarded, Which none shall touch but those who are clean.", many scholars opine that a Muslim perform wudu (ablution or a ritual cleansing with water) before touching a copy of the Qur’an, or mus'haf. This view has been contended by other scholars on the fact that, according to Arabic linguistic rules, this verse alludes to a fact and does not comprise an order. The literal translation thus reads as "That (this) is indeed a noble Qur'ān, In a Book kept hidden, Which none toucheth save the purified," (translated by Mohamed Marmaduke Pickthall). It is suggested based on this translation that performing ablution is not required.

Qur'an desecration means mishandling the Qur’an by defiling or dismembering it. Muslims believe they should always treat the book with reverence, and are forbidden, for instance, to pulp, recycle, or simply discard worn-out copies of the text. Respect for the written text of the Qur’an is an important element of religious faith by many Muslims. They believe that intentionally insulting the Qur’an is a form of blasphemy.

The text of the Quran has become readily accessible over the internet, in Arabic as well as numerous translations in other languages. It can be downloaded and searched both word-by-word and with Boolean algebra. Photos of ancient manuscripts and illustrations of Quranic art can be witnessed. However, there are still limits to searching the Arabic text of the Quran.[107]

See also

Previous Sura:
'
The Qur'an - Sura Next Sura:
Arabic text

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114

Notes

  1. ^ From the article on the Quran in Oxford Islamic Studies Online
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (2007). "Qur’an". Encyclopedia Britannica Online. http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-68890/Quran. Retrieved 2007-11-04. 
  3. ^ Qur'an 2:23–24
  4. ^ Qur'an 33:40
  5. ^ a b Watton, Victor, (1993), A student's approach to world religions:Islam, Hodder & Stoughton, pg 1. ISBN 0-340-58795-4
  6. ^ a b c Living Religions: An Encyclopaedia of the World's Faiths, Mary Pat Fisher, 1997, page 338, I.B. Tauris Publishers.
  7. ^ a b Qur'an 17:106
  8. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari 6:60:201
  9. ^ a b "CRCC: Center For Muslim-Jewish Engagement: Resources: Religious Texts". Usc.edu. http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/hadith/bukhari/061.sbt.html#006.061.510. Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  10. ^ See:
    • William Montgomery Watt in The Cambridge History of Islam, p.32
    • Richard Bell, William Montgomery Watt, Introduction to the Qur’an, p.51
    • F. E. Peters (1991), pp.3–5: “Few have failed to be convinced that … the Qur’an is … the words of Muhammad, perhaps even dictated by him after their recitation.”
  11. ^ Peters (2003), pp.12 and 13
  12. ^ Qur'an 87:18–19
  13. ^ Qur'an 3:3
  14. ^ Qur'an 5:44
  15. ^ Qur'an 4:163
  16. ^ Qur'an 17:55
  17. ^ Qur'an 5:46
  18. ^ Qur'an 5:110
  19. ^ Qur'an 57:27
  20. ^ Qur'an 3:84
  21. ^ Qur'an 4:136
  22. ^ “The Qur’an assumes the reader to be familiar with the traditions of the ancestors since the age of the Patriarchs, not necessarily in the version of the ‘Children of Israel’ as described in the Bible but also in the version of the ‘Children of Ismail’ as it was alive orally, though interspersed with polytheist elements, at the time of Muhammad. The term Jahiliya (ignorance) used for the pre-Islamic time does not mean that the Arabs were not familiar with their traditional roots but that their knowledge of ethical and spiritual values had been lost.” Exegesis of Bible and Qur’an, H. Krausen. http://www.geocities.com/athens/thebes/8206/hkrausen/exegesis.htm
  23. ^ * Nasr (2003), p.42
  24. ^ Qur'an 2:67–76
  25. ^ a b “Ķur'an, al-”, Encyclopedia of Islam Online.
  26. ^ Template:Quran-Yusuf Ali
  27. ^ Qur'an 20:2 cf.
  28. ^ Qur'an 25:32 cf.
  29. ^ Qur'an 7:204
  30. ^ See “Ķur'an, al-”, Encyclopedia of Islam Online and [Qur'an 9:111]
  31. ^ According to Welch in the Encyclopedia of Islam, the verses pertaining to the usage of the word hikma should probably be interpreted in the light of IV, 105, where it is said that “Muhammad is to judge (tahkum) mankind on the basis of the Book sent down to him.”
  32. ^ a b c d *Tabatabaee, 1988, chapter 5
  33. ^ See:
    • William Montgomery Watt in The Cambridge History of Islam, p.32
    • Richard Bell, William Montgomery Watt, Introduction to the Qur'an, p.51
  34. ^ Encyclopedia of Islam online, Muhammad article
  35. ^ Qur'an 7:157
  36. ^ See:
    • Observations on Early Qur'an Manuscripts in San'a
    • The Qur'an as Text, ed. Wild, Brill, 1996 ISBN 90-04-10344-9
  37. ^ [Bukhari 6:60:201]
  38. ^ Mohamad K. Yusuff, Zayd ibn Thabit and the Glorious Qur’an
  39. ^ The Koran; A Very Short Introduction, Michael Cook. Oxford University Press, P.117 - P.124
  40. ^ *F. E. Peters (1991), pp.3–5: "Few have failed to be convinced that the Qur’an is the words of Muhammad, perhaps even dictated by him after their recitation."
  41. ^ Qur'an 2:23–4
  42. ^ See:
    • Corbin (1993), p.12
    • Wild (1996), pp. 137, 138, 141 and 147
    • Qur'an 2:97
    • Qur'an 17:105
  43. ^ Wild (1996), pp. 140
  44. ^ Qur'an 43:3
  45. ^ Corbin (1993), p.10
  46. ^ Corbin (1993), pp .10 and 11
  47. ^ [Qur'an 17:88]
  48. ^ [Qur'an 2:23]
  49. ^ [Qur'an 10:38]
  50. ^ Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an - Miracles
  51. ^ Ahmad Dallal, Encyclopedia of the Qur'an, Qur'an and science
  52. ^ Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an - Byzantines
  53. ^ Harris, Sam (2005). The End of Faith. The Free Press. ISBN 978-0-7432-6809-7. 
  54. ^ Arabic: بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم, transliterated as: bismi-llāhi ar-raḥmāni ar-raḥīmi.
  55. ^ See:
    • “Kur`an, al-”, Encyclopaedia of Islam Online
    • Allen (2000) p. 53
  56. ^ Samuel Pepys: "One feels it difficult to see how any mortal ever could consider this Koran as a Book written in Heaven, too good for the Earth; as a well-written book, or indeed as a book at all; and not a bewildered rhapsody; written, so far as writing goes, as badly as almost any book ever was!" http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=21
  57. ^ "The final process of collection and codification of the Qur’an text was guided by one over-arching principle: God's words must not in any way be distorted or sullied by human intervention. For this reason, no serious attempt, apparently, was made to edit the numerous revelations, organize them into thematic units, or present them in chronological order.... This has given rise in the past to a great deal of criticism by European and American scholars of Islam, who find the Qur’an disorganized, repetitive, and very difficult to read." Approaches to the Asian Classics, Irene Blomm, William Theodore De Bary, Columbia University Press,1990, p. 65
  58. ^ Rashad Khalifa, Qur’an: Visual Presentation of the Miracle, Islamic Productions International, 1982. ISBN 0-934894-30-2
  59. ^ Qur'an 74:30 Prophecies Made in the Qur’an that Have Already Come True]
  60. ^ Issa Boullata, "Literary Structure of Qur’an," Encyclopedia of the Qur’an, vol.3 p.192, 204
  61. ^ JewishEncyclopedia.com - KÖRNER, MOSES B. ELIEZER:
  62. ^ Michael Sells, Approaching the Qur’an (White Cloud Press, 1999)
  63. ^ Norman O. Brown, "The Apocalypse of Islam." Social Text 3:8 (1983-1984)
  64. ^ Preface of Al'-Mizan, reference is to Allameh Tabatabaei
  65. ^ Qur'an 2:151
  66. ^ Tafseer Al-Mizan
  67. ^ How can there be abrogation in the Quran?
  68. ^ Are the verses of the Qur'an Abrogated and/or Subtituted?
  69. ^ Islam Review - Presented by The Pen vs. the Sword Featured Articles ... Islam: the Facade, the Facts The rosy picture some Muslims are painting about their religion, and the truth they try to hide
  70. ^ Corbin (1993), p.9
  71. ^ Tabataba'I, Tafsir Al-Mizan, The Principles of Interpretation of the Qur’an
  72. ^ a b c Tabataba'I, Tafsir Al-Mizan, Topic: Decisive and Ambiguous verses and "ta'wil"
  73. ^ Qur'an 3:7
  74. ^ Corbin (1993), pp.7 and 8
  75. ^ Corbin (1993), p.46
    • ما نَزلت على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم آية من القرآن إلاّ أقرأنيها وأملاها عليَّ فكتبتها بخطي ، وعلمني تأويلها وتفسيرها، وناسخها ومنسوخها ، ومحكمها ومتشابهها ، وخاصّها وعامّها ، ودعا الله لي أن يعطيني فهمها وحفظها فما نسيتُ آية من كتاب الله تعالى ولا علماً أملاه عليَّ وكتبته منذ دعا الله لي بما دعا ، وما ترك رسول الله علماً علّمه الله من حلال ولا حرام ، ولا أمرٍ ولا نهي كان أو يكون.. إلاّ علّمنيه وحفظته، ولم أنسَ حرفاً واحداً منه
  76. ^ Tabatabaee (1988), pp. 37-45
  77. ^ Sufi Tafsir and Isma'ili Ta'wil
  78. ^ Algar, Hamid (June 2003), The Fusion of the Gnostic and the Political in the Personality and Life of Imam Khomeini (R.A.)
  79. ^ a b Corbin (1993), p.7
  80. ^ Tabatabaee, Tafsir Al-Mizan
  81. ^ Corbin (1993), p.13
  82. ^ Aslan, Reza (20 November 2008). "How To Read the Quran". Slate. http://www.slate.com/id/2204849/?from=rss. Retrieved 21 November 2008. 
  83. ^ a b c d Fatani, Afnan (2006). "Translation and the Qur’an". in Leaman, Oliver. The Qur’an: an encyclopedia. Great Britain: Routeledge. pp. 657–669. 
  84. ^ An-Nawawi, Al-Majmu', (Cairo, Matbacat at-'Tadamun n.d.), 380.
  85. ^ Islam: A Thousand Years of Faith and Power. New Haven: Yale University Press. 2002. p. 42. 
  86. ^ Sonn, Tamara (2006). "Art and the Qur’an". in Leaman, Oliver. The Qur’an: an encyclopedia. Great Britain: Routeledge. pp. 71–81. 
  87. ^ Navid Kermani, Das ästhetische Erleben des Koran. Munich (1999)
  88. ^ Malik Ibn Anas, Muwatta, vol. 1 (Egypt: Dar Ahya al-Turath, n.d.), 201, (no. 473).
  89. ^ Suyuti, Tanwir al-Hawalik, 2nd ed. (Beirut: Dar al-Jayl, 1993), 199.
  90. ^ a b Javed Ahmad Ghamidi. Mizan, Principles of Understanding the Qur’an, Al-Mawrid
  91. ^ Zarkashi, al-Burhan fi Ulum al-Qur’an, 2nd ed., vol. 1 (Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1980), 237.
  92. ^ Suyuti, al-Itqan fi Ulum al-Qur’an, 2nd ed., vol. 1 (Baydar: Manshurat al-Radi, 1343 AH), 177.
  93. ^ E. W. Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon
  94. ^ The Qur’an in Manuscript and Print. "THE QUR’ANIC SCRIPT". http://www.islamworld.net/UUQ/3.txt. Retrieved 2007-06-05. 
  95. ^ Article by A. Yusuf Ali. "The Holy Qur’an". http://www.sacred-texts.com/isl/quran/index.htm. Retrieved 2007-06-05. 
  96. ^ Unicode Qur’an. "Sacred-texts". http://www.sacred-texts.com/isl/uq/. Retrieved 2007-06-05. 
  97. ^ Mishafi Font. "Award-winning calligraphic typeface". http://www.diwan.com/mishafi/main.htm. Retrieved 2007-06-05. 
  98. ^ ‏3:3 نزل عليك الكتاب بالحق مصدقا لما بين يديه وانزل التوراة والانجيل
  99. ^ Qur'an 2:285
  100. ^ Bernard Lewis, The Jews of Islam (1984). Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-00807-8. p.69
  101. ^ New Catholic Encyclopaedia, 1967, The Catholic University of America, Washington D C, Vol. VII, p.677
  102. ^ On pre-Islamic Christian strophic poetical texts in the Koran, Ibn Rawandi, ISBN 1-57392-945-X
  103. ^ Leaman, Oliver (2006). "Cyberspace and the Qur’an". in Leaman, Oliver. The Qur’an: an encyclopedia. Great Britain: Routeledge. pp. 130–135. 
  104. ^ Wadad Kadi and Mustansir Mir, Literature and the Qur’an, Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an, vol. 3, pp. 213, 216
  105. ^ Mahfouz (2006), p.35
  106. ^ Kugle (2006), p.47; Esposito (2000a), p.275
  107. ^ Rippin, Andrew (2006). "Cyberspace and the Quran". in Leaman, Oliver. The Qur'an: an encyclopedia. Great Britain: Routeledge. pp. 159–163. 

References

  • Allen, Roger (2000). An Introduction to Arabic literature. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521776570. 
  • Corbin, Henry (1993 (original French 1964)). History of Islamic Philosophy, Translated by Liadain Sherrard, Philip Sherrard. London; Kegan Paul International in association with Islamic Publications for The Institute of Ismaili Studies. ISBN 0710304161. 
  • Esposito, John; Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad (2000). Muslims on the Americanization Path?. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-513526-1. 
  • Esposito, John (2002). What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-515713-3. 
  • Kugle, Scott Alan (2006). Rebel Between Spirit And Law: Ahmad Zarruq, Sainthood, And Authority in Islam. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0253347114. 
  • Mahfouz, Tarek (2006). Speak Arabic Instantly. Lulu Press, Inc.. ISBN 1847289002. 
  • Molloy, Michael (2006). Experiencing the World's Religions (4th ed.). McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0073535647. 
  • Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (1993a). The Need for a Sacred Science. SUNY Press. ISBN 0791415171. 
  • Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (1993b). An Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines: Conceptions of Nature. SUNY Press. ISBN 0791415155. 
  • Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (2003). Islam: Religion, History, and Civilization. HarperSanFrancisco. ISBN 0060507144. 
  • Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (2007). "Qur’an". Encyclopedia Britannica Online. http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-68890/Quran. 
  • Peters, Francis E. (2003). The Monotheists: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Conflict and Competition. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-12373-X. 
  • Peters, F. E. (1991). "The Quest of the Historical Muhammad". International Journal of Middle East Studies. 
  • Tabatabae, Sayyid Mohammad Hosayn. Tafsir al-Mizan. 
  • Tabatabae, Sayyid Mohammad Hosayn (1988). The Qur’an in Islam: Its Impact and Influence on the Life of Muslims. Routledge. ISBN 0710302665. 
  • Wild, Stefan (1996). The Quʼran as Text. Brill. ISBN 9004093001. 

Further reading

Older commentary
  • al-Tabari, Muhammad ibn Jarir – Jami' al-bayān `an ta'wil al-Qur'ān, Cairo 1955-69, transl. J. Cooper (ed.), The Commentary on the Qur’an, Oxford University Press, 1987. ISBN 0-19-920142-0
  • Tafsir Ibn-Kathir, Hafiz Imad al-din Abu al-Fida Ismail ibn Kathir al-Damishqi al-Shafi'i - (died 774 Hijrah (Islamic Calendar))
  • Tafsir Al-Qurtubi (Al-Jami'li-Ahkam), Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ahmad Abi Bakr ibn Farah al-Qurtubi - (died 671 Hijrah (Islamic Calendar))
Older scholarship
Recent scholarship
  • Al-Azami, M. M. – The History of the Qur’anic Text from Revelation to Compilation, UK Islamic Academy: Leicester 2003.
  • Gunter Luling A challenge to Islam for reformation: the rediscovery and reliable reconstruction of a comprehensive pre-Islamic Christian hymnal hidden in the Koran under earliest Islamic reinterpretations. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers 2003. (580 Seiten, lieferbar per Seepost). ISBN 81-208-1952-7
  • Luxenberg, Christoph (2004) – The Syro-Aramaic Reading Of The Koran: a contribution to the decoding of the language of the Qur’an, Berlin, Verlag Hans Schiler, 1 May 2007 ISBN 3-89930-088-2
  • McAuliffe, Jane DammenQuranic Christians: An Analysis of Classical and Modern Exegesis, Cambridge University Press, 1991. ISBN 0-521-36470-1
  • McAuliffe, Jane Dammen (ed.) – Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an, Brill, 2002-2004.
  • Puin, Gerd R. – "Observations on Early Qur’an Manuscripts in Sana'a," in The Qur’an as Text, ed. Stefan Wild, , E.J. Brill 1996, pp. 107–111 (as reprinted in What the Koran Really Says, ed. Ibn Warraq, Prometheus Books, 2002)
  • Rahman, FazlurMajor Themes in the Qur’an, Bibliotheca Islamica, 1989. ISBN 0-88297-046-1
  • Louay M. SafiQuranic Themes
  • Robinson, Neal, Discovering the Qur’an, Georgetown University Press, 2002. ISBN 1-58901-024-8
  • Sells, Michael, – Approaching the Qur’an: The Early Revelations, White Cloud Press, Book & CD edition (November 15, 1999). ISBN 1-883991-26-9
  • Stowasser, Barbara Freyer – Women in the Qur’an, Traditions, and Interpretation, Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (June 1, 1996), ISBN 0-19-511148-6
  • Wansbrough, JohnQuranic Studies, Oxford University Press, 1977
  • Watt, W. M., and R. Bell, Introduction to the Qur’an, Edinburgh University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-7486-0597-5

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds

The Qur'an (also Quran, Koran, Alcoran; Arabic قُرْآن) is the holy book of Islam.

Muslim tradition holds that the Qur'an is a message of Allah, delivered through Muhammad ibn Abdullah as revealed to him by the angel Jabreel (Gabriel) over a period of 23 years. It consists of 114 suras (chapters) with a total of 6,236 ayats (verses) that were rendered in Arabic, and all attempts at translation into other languages are deemed inadequate to proper transmission. The Qur'an includes stories of many of the people and events of the Jewish and Christian traditions although differing in both substance and detail. Well-known Biblical characters such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mary, and John the Baptist are mentioned in the Qur'an as prophets of Islam, and in roles that are often different than those portrayed in the Jewish and Christian doctrines.

Contents

The Opening

  • In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
    Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds;
    Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
    Master of the Day of Judgment.
    Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
    Show us the straight way,
    The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.
    • The Opening of The Quran (Surah al-Fatiha) as translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali. In Arabic the opening words read: Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim, and the entire passage is often referred to as "the Bismillah". It opens every sura of the Qur'an except Sura 9.
    • Essay on the Bismillah

The Holy Qur'an


Surah 2:2 - “This Divine Writ – let there be no doubt about it – is [meant to be] a guidance for all the God-conscious who believe in [the existence of] that which is beyond the reach of human perception, and are constant in prayer, and spend on others out of what We provide for them as sustenance; and who believe in that which has been bestowed from on high upon thee, [O Prophet,] as well as in that which was bestowed before thy time: for it is they who in their innermost are certain of the life to come!...Behold, as for those who are bent on denying the truth – it is all one to them whether thou warnest them or dost not warn them: they will not believe. God has sealed their hearts and their hearing, and over their eyes is a veil  ; and awesome suffering awaits them.”

Surah 14:1 - "A divine writ [is this - a revelation] which we have bestowed upon thee from on high in order that thou might bring forth all mankind, by their Sustainer's leave, out of the depths of darkness into the light: onto the way that leads to the Almighty, the One to whom all praise is due - to God, unto whom all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth belongs."

Allah (God)

  • “All praise is due to God alone, the Sustainer of all the worlds…Guide us the straight way – the way of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings, not of those who have been condemned [by Thee], nor of those who go astray!”

Surah 2:115 - “And God’s is the east and the west: and wherever you turn, there is God’s countenance. Behold, God is infinite, all-knowing…His is all that is in the heavens and on earth; all things devoutly obey His will. The Originator is He of the heavens and the earth: and when He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it, “Be” – and it is.”

Surah 2:186 - “And if My servants ask thee about Me – behold, I am near; I respond to the call of him who calls, whenever he calls unto Me: let them, then, respond unto Me, and believe in Me, so that they might follow the right way.”

God's Presence

Surah 2:164 - “Verily, in the creation of the heavens and of the earth, and the succession of night and day: and in the ships that speed through the sea with what is useful to man: and in the waters which God sends down from the sky, giving life thereby to the earth after it had been lifeless, and causing all manner of living creatures to multiply thereon: and in the change of the winds, and the clouds that run their appointed courses between sky and earth: [in all this] there are messages indeed for people who use their reason.”

The Spirit of Islam

Surah 2:177 -“True piety does not consist in turning your faces to the east or the west – but truly pious is he who believes in God, and the Last Day, and the angels, and revelation, and the prophets; and spends his substance – however much he himself may cherish it – upon his near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer , and the beggars, and for the freeing of human beings from bondage  ; and is constant in prayer, and renders the purifying dues; and [truly pious are] they who keep their promises whenever they promise, and are patient in misfortune and hardship and in time of peril: it is they that have proved themselves true, and it is they, they who are conscious of God.”

Prophets

Surah 3:84 - "Say: We believe in Allah, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another among them, and to Allah do we bow our will (in Islam)."

  • [Yusuf Ali translation]

Jesus

Surah 3:55 - "Behold! Allah said: O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute."

  • [Yusuf Ali translation]

Other Faiths

Surah 2:62 - “Verily, those who have attained to faith [in this divine writ], as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Christians, and the Sabians – all who believe in God and the Last Day and do righteous deeds – shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.”

Surah 2:111 - “And they claim, “None shall ever enter paradise unless he be a Jew” – or, “a Christian”. Such are their wishful beliefs! Say: “Produce an evidence for what you are claiming, if what you say is true! Yea, indeed: everyone who surrenders his whole being to God, and is a doer of good withal, shall have his reward with his Sustainer; and all such need have no fear, and neither shall they grieve.”

War

Surah 9:29 - “Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.”

Surah 9:5 - “Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And if one of the idolaters seek protection from you, grant him protection till he hears the word of Allah, then make him attain his place of safety; this is because they are a people who do not know. ”

Other topics

Aging

  • It is Allah who creates you and takes your souls at death; and of you there are some who are sent back to a feeble age, so that they know nothing after having known (much): for Allah is All-Knowing, All-Powerful.
    • Sura 16:70 [Yusuf Ali translation]

Charity

Surah 2:110 - “And be constant in prayer, and render the purifying dues; for, whatever good deed you send ahead for your own selves, you shall find it with God: behold, God sees all that you do.”

Surah 2:261 - “The parable of those who spend their possessions for the sake of God is that of a grain out of which grow seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains: for God grants manifold increase unto whom He wills; and God is infinite, all-knowing. They who spend their possessions for the sake of God and do not thereafter mar their spending by stressing their own benevolence and hurting [the feelings of the needy] shall have their reward with their Sustainer, and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve. A kind word and the veiling of another’s want is better than a charitable deed followed by hurt. O you who have attained to faith! Do not deprive your charitable deeds of all their worth by stressing your own benevolence and hurting [the feelings of the needy], as does he who spends his wealth only to be seen and praised by men, and believes not in God and the Last Day….Such as these shall have no gain whatever from all their [good] works: for God does not guide people who refuse to acknowledge the truth. And the parable of those who spend their possessions out of a longing to please God, and out of their own inner certainty, is that of a garden on high, fertile ground: a rainstorm smites it, and thereupon it brings forth its fruit twofold; and if no rainstorm smites it, soft rain [falls upon it]. And God sees all that you do.”

Surah 2:267 - “O you who have attained to faith! Spend on others out of the good things which you may have acquired, and out of that which We bring forth for you from the earth; and choose not for your spending the bad things which you yourselves would not accept without averting your eyes in disdain...Satan threatens you with the prospect of poverty and bids you to be niggardly, whereas God promises you His forgiveness and bounty…If you do deeds of charity openly, it is well; but if you bestow it upon the needy in secret, it will be even better for you, and it will atone for some of your bad deeds…And whatever good you may spend on others is for your own good, provided that you spend only out of a longing for God’s countenance; for whatever good you may spend will be repaid unto you in full, and you shall not be wronged…Those who spend their possessions [for the sake of God] by night and by day, secretly and openly, shall have their reward with their Sustainer, and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.”

Surah 6:160 - “Whoever shall come [before God] with a good deed will gain ten times the like thereof; but whoever shall come with an evil deed will be requited with no more than the like thereof; and none shall be wronged.”

Christianity

Comfort

  • By the morning hours and by the night when it is stillest, thy Lord hath not forsaken thee nor doth He hate thee; and verily the latter portion will be better for thee than the former, and verily thy Lord will give unto thee so that thou wilt be content. Did He not find thee an orphan and protect (thee)? Did He not find thee wandering and direct (thee)? Did He not find thee destitute and enrich (thee)? Therefore the orphan oppress not; therefore the beggar drive not away; therefore of the bounty of thy Lord be thy discourse.
    • Sura 93

Interest (Usury)

  • Those who devour usury will not stand except as stand one whom the Evil one by his touch Hath driven to madness. That is because they say: "Trade is like usury," but Allah hath permitted trade and forbidden usury. Those who after receiving direction from their Lord, desist, shall be pardoned for the past; their case is for Allah (to judge); but those who repeat (The offence) are companions of the Fire: They will abide therein (for ever).
    • Original: الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ الرِّبَا لاَ يَقُومُونَ إِلاَّ كَمَا يَقُومُ الَّذ
      يَتَخَبَّطُهُ الشَّيْطَانُ مِنَ الْمَسِّ ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَالُواْ إِنَّمَا الْبَيْعُ
      مِثْلُ الرِّبَا وَأَحَلَّ اللّهُ الْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَا فَمَن جَاءهُ مَوْعِظَةٌ
      مِّن رَّبِّهِ فَانتَهَىَ فَلَهُ مَا سَلَفَ وَأَمْرُهُ إِلَى اللّهِ وَمَنْ عَادَ
      يَمْحَقُ
    • The Qur'an (القرآن), Sura 2:275 (The Cow, سورة البقرة), See also: Islamic banking

Life

  • By the declining day, man is a state of loss, save those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance.
    • Sura 103
  • As for those who disbelieved, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert. The thirsty one thinks it to be water until he comes up to it, he finds it to be nothing; but he finds Allah with him, Who will pay him his due.
    • Sura 24:39

Death

  • Every soul shall have a taste of death: And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have attained the object (of Life): For the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception.
    • Sura 3:185 [Yusuf Ali translation]

Surah 2:180 - “It is ordained for you, when death approaches any of you and he is leaving behind much wealth, to make bequests in favor of his parents and [other] near of kin in accordance with what is fair: this is binding on all who are conscious of God.”

Day of Judgment

  • Surely they think it to be far off, and We see it nigh: on the day when the heaven shall be as molten copper, and the mountains shall be as tufts of wool, and friend shall not ask of friend (though) they shall be made to see each other.
    • Sura 70:6-11
  • When the sun is overthrown, and when the stars fall, and when the camels big with young are abandoned, and when the wild beasts are herded together, and when the seas rise, and when souls are reunited, and when the girl-child that was buried alive is asked for what sin she was slain, and when the pages are laid open, and when the sky is torn away, and when hell is lighted, and when the Garden is brought nigh, (then) every soul will know what it hath made ready.
    • Sura 81:1-14

Disbelievers

History and Science

  • All living things are made from water
    • "and we have made of water everything living" Sura 21:30
  • Homosexual acts are condemned as unnatural.
    • Original: وَلُوطاً إِذْ قَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ أَتَأْتُونَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مَا سَبَقَكُم بِهَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِّن الْعَالَمِينَ
      إِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الرِّجَالَ شَهْوَةً مِّن دُونِ النِّسَاء بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌ مُّسْرِفُونَ
    • The Qur'an (القرآن), Sura 7:80–81
  • Humans created from a single man.
    • Original: هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَجَعَلَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا لِيَسْكُنَ إِلَيْهَا فَلَمَّاتَغَشَّاهَا حَمَلَتْ حَمْلاً خَفِيفاً فَمَرَّتْ بِهِ فَلَمَّا أَثْقَلَت دَّعَوَااللّهَ رَبَّهُمَا لَئِنْ آتَيْتَنَا صَالِحاً لَّنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الشَّاكِرِينَ
    • The Qur'an (القرآن), Sura 7:189
  • Joseph saw in a dream eleven planets.
    • Original: إِذْ قَالَ يُوسُفُ لِأَبِيهِ يَا أَبتِ إِنِّي رَأَيْت ُأَحَدَ عَشَرَ كَوْكَباً وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ رَأَيْتُهُمْ لِي سَاجِدِينَ
    • The Qur'an (القرآن), Sura 12:4
  • Till, when he reached the setting-place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring, and found a people thereabout. We said: O Dhu'l-Qarneyn! Either punish or show them kindness.Marmaduke Pickthall. And
  • Till, when he reached the rising-place of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had appointed no shelter therefrom.Marmaduke Pickthall.
    • Original: حَتَّى إِذَا بَلَغَ مَغْرِبَ الشَّمْسِ وَجَدَهَا تَغْرُبُ فِي عَيْنٍ حَمِئَةٍ وَوَجَدَ عِندَهَا قَوْمًا قُلْنَا يَا ذَا الْقَرْنَيْنِ إِمَّا أَن تُعَذِّبَ وَإِمَّا أَن تَتَّخِذَ فِيهِمْ حُسْنًا
  • And:
    • Original:حَتَّى إِذَا بَلَغَ مَطْلِعَ الشَّمْسِ وَجَدَهَا تَطْلُعُ عَلَى قَوْمٍ لَّمْ نَجْعَل لَّهُم مِّن دُونِهَا سِتْرًا
    • The Qur'an (القرآن), Sura 18:86,90
  • Quoted from the Pharoah of Moses
  • Now surely I shall cut off your hands and your feet alternately, and I shall crucify you on the trunks of palm trees, and ye shall know for certain which of us hath sterner and more lasting punishment.Marmaduke Pickthall. [Crucifixion was a Roman form of punishment. This account suggests that Crucifixion, in one form or another, was practiced very early on in Ancient Egypt[1]
    • Original: لأُقَطِّعَنَّ أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُم مِّنْ خِلاَفٍ ثُمَّ لأُصَلِّبَنَّكُمْ أَجْمَعِي
    • The Qur'an (القرآن), Sura 20:71
  • Is not He (best) Who made the earth a fixed abode, and placed rivers in the folds thereof, and placed firm hills therein, and hath set a barrier between the two seas? Is there any Allah beside Allah? Nay, but most of them know not!Marmaduke Pickthall.
  • Fixed abode does not suggest that planet earth is stationary! It merely states that the surface of the earth, as perceived by living creatures, is firm and stable, and therefore, habitable.
    • Original: أَمَّن جَعَلَ الْأَرْضَ قَرَاراً وَجَعَلَ خِلَالَهَا أَنْهَاراً وَجَعَلَ لَهَارَوَاسِيَ وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ حَاجِزاً أَإِلَهٌ مَّعَ اللَّهِ بل ْأَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
    • The Qur'an (القرآن), Sura 27:61
  • "The sun runneth on unto a resting-place for him."
    • Original: وَالشَّمْسُ تَجْرِي لِمُسْتَقَرٍّ لَّهَاذَلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ
    • The Qur'an (القرآن), Sura 36:38
  • Then He ordained them seven heavens in two Days and inspired in each heaven its mandate; and We decked the nether heaven with lamps, and rendered it inviolable. That is the measuring of the Mighty, the Knower. Marmaduke Pickthall
    • Original: فَقَضَاهُنَّ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ وَأَوْحَى فِي كُلِّ سَمَاء أَمْرَهَاوَزَيَّنَّا السَّمَاء الدُّنْيَا بِمَصَابِيحَ وَحِفْظاً ذَلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِالْعَلِيمِ
    • The Qur'an (القرآن), Sura 41:12
  • Who hath created seven heavens in harmony. Thou (Muhammad) canst see no fault in the Beneficent One's creation; then look again: Canst thou see any rifts? Marmaduke Pickthall
    • Original: الَّذِي خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ طِبَاقاً مَّا تَرَى فِي خَلْقِ الرَّحْمَن مِن تَفَاوُتٍ فَارْجِعِ الْبَصَرَ هَلْ تَرَى مِن فُطُورٍ
    • The Qur'an (القرآن), Sura 67:3
  • And verily We have beautified the world's heaven with lamps, and We have made them missiles for the devils, and for them We have prepared the doom of flame.Marmaduke Pickthall
    • Original: وَلَقَدْ زَيَّنَّاالسَّمَاءالدُّنْيَا بِمَصَابِيحَ وَجَعَلْنَاهَا رُجُوماً لِّلشَّيَاطِينِ وَأَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَاب َالسَّعِيرِ
    • The Qur'an (القرآن), Sura 67:5
  • And the earth with the mountains shall be lifted up and crushed with one crash.Marmaduke Pickthall
    • Original: وَحُمِلَتِ الْأَرْضُ وَالْجِبَالُ فَدُكَّتَا دَكَّةًوَاحِدَةً
    • The Qur'an (القرآن), Sura 69:14
  • And hath made the moon a light therein, and made the sun a lamp. [The Qur'an calls the sun a lamp, since it produces its own light, but calls the moon a light, because it merely reflects light from the sun]
    • Original: وَجَعَلَ الْقَمَرَ فِيهِنَّ نُوراً وَجَعَلَ الشَّمْسَ سِرَاجاً
    • The Qur'an (القرآن), Sura 71:16
  • Someday the stars will fall.
  • Humans are formed from "a gushing fluid" that issues "from between the loins and the ribs."
    • Original: فَلْيَنظُرِ الْإِنسَانُ مِمَّ خُلِقَ
      خُلِقَ مِن مَّاءدَافِقٍ
      يَخْرُجُ مِن بَيْنِ الصُّلْبِ وَالتَّرَائِبِ
    • The Qur'an (القرآن), Sura 86:5–7

Peace

  • Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loveth not transgressors.
  • Say : O ye that reject Faith! I worship not that which ye worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. To you be your Way, and to me mine.

Quotes about the Qur'an

"However often we turn to it [the Qur'an] at first disgusting us each time afresh, it soon attracts, astounds, and in the end enforces our reverence... Its style, in accordance with its contents and aim is stern, grand, terrible - ever and anon truly sublime -- Thus this book will go on exercising through all ages a most potent influence."

Goethe, quoted in T.P. Hughes' DICTIONARY OF ISLAM, p. 526.

"The Koran admittedly occupies an important position among the great religious books of the world. Though the youngest of the epoch-making works belonging to this class of literature, it yields to hardly any in the wonderful effect which it has produced on large masses of men. It has created an all but new phase of human thought and a fresh type of character. It first transformed a number of heterogeneous desert tribes of the Arabian peninsula into a nation of heroes, and then proceeded to create the vast politico-religious organizations of the Muhammadan world which are one of the great forces with which Europe and the East have to reckon today."

G. Margoliouth, Introduction to J.M. Rodwell's, THE KORAN, New York: Everyman's Library, 1977, p. vii.

"A work, then, which calls forth so powerful and seemingly incompatible emotions even in the distant reader - distant as to time, and still more so as a mental development - a work which not only conquers the repugnance which he may begin its perusal, but changes this adverse feeling into astonishment and admiration, such a work must be a wonderful production of the human mind indeed and a problem of the highest interest to every thoughtful observer of the destinies of mankind."

Dr. Steingass, quoted in T.P. Hughes' DICTIONARY OF ISLAM, pp. 526-527.

"The above observation makes the hypothesis advanced by those who see Muhammad as the author of the Qur'an untenable. How could a man, from being illiterate, become the most important author, in terms of literary merits, in the whole of Arabic literature? How could he then pronounce truths of a scientific nature that no other human being could possibly have developed at that time, and all this without once making the slightest error in his pronouncement on the subject?"

Maurice Bucaille, THE BIBLE, THE QUR'AN AND SCIENCE, 1978, p. 125.

"Here, therefore, its merits as a literary production should perhaps not be measured by some preconceived maxims of subjective and aesthetic taste, but by the effects which it produced in Muhammad's contemporaries and fellow countrymen. If it spoke so powerfully and convincingly to the hearts of his hearers as to weld hitherto centrifugal and antagonistic elements into one compact and well-organized body, animated by ideas far beyond those which had until now ruled the Arabian mind, then its eloquence was perfect, simply because it created a civilized nation out of savage tribes, and shot a fresh woof into the old warp of history."

Dr. Steingass, quoted in T.P. Hughes' DICTIONARY OF ISLAM, p.528.

"In making the present attempt to improve on the performance of my predecessors, and to produce something which might be accepted as echoing however faintly the sublime rhetoric of the Arabic Koran, I have been at pains to study the intricate and richly varied rhythms which - apart from the message itself - constitute the Koran's undeniable claim to rank amongst the greatest literary masterpieces of mankind... This very characteristic feature - 'that inimitable symphony,' as the believing Pickthall described his Holy Book, 'the very sounds of which move men to tears and ecstasy' - has been almost totally ignored by previous translators; it is therefore not surprising that what they have wrought sounds dull and flat indeed in comparison with the splendidly decorated original."

Arthur J. Arberry, THE KORAN INTERPRETED, London: Oxford University Press, 1964, p. x.

"A totally objective examination of it [the Qur'an] in the light of modern knowledge, leads us to recognize the agreement between the two, as has been already noted on repeated occasions. It makes us deem it quite unthinkable for a man of Muhammad's time to have been the author of such statements on account of the state of knowledge in his day. Such considerations are part of what gives the Qur'anic Revelation its unique place, and forces the impartial scientist to admit his inability to provide an explanation which calls solely upon materialistic reasoning."

Maurice Bucaille, THE QUR'AN AND MODERN SCIENCE, 1981, p. 18

See also

External Links

Recitations


Study guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiversity

The Qur'an is considered by Muslims to be the literal, undistorted word of God, and is the central religious text of Islam. It has also been called, in English, the Koran and, archaically, the Alcoran. The word Qur'an means "recitation". Although the Qur'an is referred to as a "book" Muslims believe that the verses of the Qur'an were revealed to Muhammad by God through the Angel Gabriel on numerous occasions between the years 610 and his death on July 6, 632. Modern Western academics generally hold that the Qur'an of today is not very different from the words Muslims believe to have been revealed to Muhammad, as the search for other variants has not yielded any differences of great significance. The Qur'an occupies a status of primacy in Islamic jurisprudence, and Muslims consider it a definitive source of guidance to live in accordance to the will of God.

Most Muslims regard paper copies of the Qur'an with veneration, washing as for prayers before reading the Qur'an. Worn out Qur'ans are not discarded as wastepaper, but are typically sunk in the sea. Many Muslims memorize at least some portion of the Qur'an in the original Arabic, usually at least the verses needed to perform the prayers. Those who have memorized the entire Qur'an are known as a hafiz. Muslims believe that the Qur'an is perfect only as revealed in the original Arabic. Translations, they maintain, are the result of human effort, and are deficient because of differences in human languages, because of the human fallibility of translators, and (not least) because any translation lacks the inspired content found in the original. Translations are therefore regarded only as commentaries on the Qur'an, or "interpretations of its meaning", not as the Qur'an itself.


Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

Qur'an
The Qur'ān is the central religious text of Islam. Muslims believe the Qur'an to be the literal word of God as revealed to Muhammad over a period of twenty-three years by the angel Gabriel and regard it as God's final revelation to mankind.— Excerpted from Qur'an on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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List of translations of the Qur'an.

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

A page of the Qur’an.

Contents

English

Alternative spellings

  • (obsolete) Alcoran
  • (obsolete) Alkoran
  • Coran
  • Koran

Etymology

From Arabic القُرْآن, from قراءة (qirā’a), reading, recitation), from قرأ (qará’a), to declaim, to recite).

Pronunciation

  • (UK) IPA: /kəˈɹɑːn/
  • (US) IPA: /kəˈɹɑn/, /kəˈɹæn/, /koʊˈɹæn/, /kɔˈɹɑn/
  • Rhymes: -ɑn

Noun

Singular
Qur'an

Plural
Qur'ans

Qur'an (plural Qur'ans)

  1. A copy of the Qur'an.

Translations

Proper noun

Singular
the Qur'an

Plural
-

the Qur'an

  1. The Islamic holy book, considered to be God’s message for mankind as revealed to Muhammad.
  2. A copy of this book.

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

See also


Simple English

Part of a series of articles on

Islam

History of Islam

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Profession of Faith
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Muhammad
Abu BakrUmar
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Texts & Laws

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Jurisprudence • Theology
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Art • Architecture • Cities
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See also

Vocabulary of Islam • Islamophobia

The Qur'an, sometimes spelled Koran, (Arabic: القرآن) is the holy book of Islam. The Qur'an is considered by Muslims to be "The Word of Allah (God)". This book is different from other religious texts in that it is believed to be written directly by God, through the prophet Muhammad.

It has been written and read only in Arabic for more than 1,400 years. But, because many Muslims around the world do not understand Arabic, the meaning of the Qur'an is also given in other languages, so that readers can understand better what the Arabic words in the Qur'an mean. These books are like dictionaries to the Qur'an - they are not read as part of the religion of Islam, to replace the Arabic Qur'an. Muslims believe that these translations are not the true Qur'an; only the Arabic copy is the true Qur'an.[1]

Contents

History

[[File:|150px|thumb|left|The first chapter of the Qur'an. This page is written in Arabic]] Muslims believe the Qur'an was first revealed to Muhammad by the archangel Gabriel in a cave on the mountain of Hira in Mecca, and then over a period of twenty-three years until his death.

The Qur'an was not written all together in book-form while Muhammad was alive; it was kept by oral communication and brief written records. The prophet did not know how to read nor write, but according to Muslims, the prophet's friend Abu Bakr, among others, used to write the texts on something when Muhammad was alive. When Abu Bakr was caliph, he had the Qur'an written down as a book. Uthman, who was the third caliph, further refined its written format.

The Elements, Suras, Verses, Revelations

There are 30 parts in the Qur'an, which make 114 "suras" (chapters). Each sura has a different number of verses.

According to the Muslim teachings[needs proof], 86 of these suras took place in Mecca, 24 of these suras took place in Medina. The suras which took place in Medina are Al-Baqara, Al Imran, Al-Anfal, Al-Ahzab, Al-Ma'ida, An-Nisa, Al-Mumtahina, Az-Zalzala, Al-Hadid, Muhammad , Ar-Ra'd, Ar-Rahman, At-Talaq, Al-Bayyina, Al-Hashr, An-Nasr, An-Nur, Al-Hajj, Al-Munafiqun, Al-Mujadila, Al-Hujraat, At-Tahrim, At-Taghabun, Al-Jumua, As-Saff, Al-Fath, At-Tawba, Al-Insan.

The First And Last Verse

The first verse revealed is:

Read (commencing) with the Name of Allah, Who has created (everything). He created man from a hanging mass (clinging) like a leech (in the mother’s womb). Read and your Lord is Most Generous, Who taught man (reading and writing) by the pen, Who (besides that) taught man (all that) which he did not know.[2]

The last verse revealed is:

Who believe! fulfil (all) obligations. Lawful unto you (for food) are all four-footed animals. Dead meat, blood, pig, any food which has been blessed by a (false) god other than Allah; an animal whose death resulted from strangulation, bludgeoning, arrows, falling, or bloodloss; an animal which was partly consumed by a wild animal or an animal which is sacrificed on a stone altar are forbidden. However, if faced with starvation, exceptions are allowed.

Relationship between the Qur'an and the Bible

In the Qu'ran, it reads that Christians and Jews also believe in the true God. Some pages of the Qu'ran even tell stories about things and people from the Bible. Examples of characters from the Bible that are mentioned in the Qu'ran are Abraham, Noah and Jesus Christ. These three religions are called Abrahamic because of these relations.

However, there are important differences between the Islamic and Biblical versions of similar stories. For instance, the Qu'ran tells that Jesus Christ was not son of God, as most Christians say; for Muslims, he was just a prophet. Islam teaches that this happened because the first Bible texts were lost and people changed them.

References

  1. Qur'an, retrieved on 8 January 2009
  2. This can also be found in the Quran (chapter 96:1 - 5)

krc:Къуран








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