Qur'an

Qur'an

Overview
The Quran also transliterated
Arabic transliteration
Different approaches and methods for the romanization of Arabic exist. They vary in the way that they address the inherent problems of rendering written and spoken Arabic in the Latin alphabet; they also use different symbols for Arabic phonemes that do not exist in English or other European...

 Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text
Religious text
Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious traditions consider to be sacred, or of central importance to their religious tradition...

 of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, which Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s consider the verbatim word of God
God in Islam
In Islamic theology, God is the all-powerful and all-knowing creator, sustainer, ordainer, and judge of the universe. Islam puts a heavy emphasis on the conceptualization of God as strictly singular . God is unique and inherently One , all-merciful and omnipotent. According to the Islamic...

 ' onMouseout='HidePop("1")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Allah">Allah
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam.
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Quotations

See Quran on Christianity

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
Encyclopedia
The Quran also transliterated
Arabic transliteration
Different approaches and methods for the romanization of Arabic exist. They vary in the way that they address the inherent problems of rendering written and spoken Arabic in the Latin alphabet; they also use different symbols for Arabic phonemes that do not exist in English or other European...

 Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text
Religious text
Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious traditions consider to be sacred, or of central importance to their religious tradition...

 of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, which Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s consider the verbatim word of God
God in Islam
In Islamic theology, God is the all-powerful and all-knowing creator, sustainer, ordainer, and judge of the universe. Islam puts a heavy emphasis on the conceptualization of God as strictly singular . God is unique and inherently One , all-merciful and omnipotent. According to the Islamic...

 ' onMouseout='HidePop("1")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Allah">Allah
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

). It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature
Arabic literature
Arabic literature is the writing produced, both prose and poetry, by writers in the Arabic language. The Arabic word used for literature is adab which is derived from a meaning of etiquette, and implies politeness, culture and enrichment....

 in the Arabic language
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

. The Quran is divided into 114 suras of unequal length which are classified either as Meccan
Meccan sura
The Meccan suras are the chronologically earlier suras of the Qur'an that were, according to Islamic tradition, revealed anytime before the Hijrah . The other type of sura is the Madinan sura....

 or Medinan depending upon their place and time of revelation.

Muslims believe the Quran to be verbally revealed through angel Jibrīl
Gabriel
In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel is an Archangel who typically serves as a messenger to humans from God.He first appears in the Book of Daniel, delivering explanations of Daniel's visions. In the Gospel of Luke Gabriel foretells the births of both John the Baptist and of Jesus...

 (Gabriel) from God to Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 gradually over a period of approximately 23 years beginning in 610 CE
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

, when Muhammad was 40, and concluding in 632 CE, the year of his death. Muslims further believe that the Qur'an was precisely memorized, recited and exactly written down by Muhammad's companions (Sahaba
Sahaba
In Islam, the ' were the companions, disciples, scribes and family of the Islamic prophet...

) after each revelation was dictated by him.

Shortly after Muhammad's death the Quran was compiled into a single book by order of the first Caliph
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

 Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr was a senior companion and the father-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate from 632-634 CE when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad's death...

 and at the suggestion of his future successor Umar
Umar
`Umar ibn al-Khattāb c. 2 November , was a leading companion and adviser to the Islamic prophet Muhammad who later became the second Muslim Caliph after Muhammad's death....

. Hafsa
Hafsa
Hafsa, very often confused with Hafza and Hafiza, is an Arabic female given name. It means "young lioness".-People:* Hafsa bint Umar, daughter of Umar ibn al-Khattab and wife of the Prophet Muhammad....

, Muhammad's widow and Umar's daughter, was entrusted with that Quranic text after the second Caliph Umar died. When the third Caliph Uthman began noticing slight differences in Arabic dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

, he sought Hafsa's permission to use her text to be set as the standard dialect, the Quraish dialect now known as Fus'ha (Modern Standard Arabic). Before returning the text to Hafsa, Uthman made several thousand copies of Abu Bakr's redaction and, to standardize the text, invalidated all other versions of the Quran. This process of formalization is known as the "Uthmanic recension
Uthman Qur'an
The Othman Qur'an , named for the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan, is a manuscript Qur'an kept in the Hast Imam library...

". The present form of the Quran text is accepted by most scholars as the original version compiled by Abu Bakr.

Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s regard the Quran as the main miracle
Miracle
A miracle often denotes an event attributed to divine intervention. Alternatively, it may be an event attributed to a miracle worker, saint, or religious leader. A miracle is sometimes thought of as a perceptible interruption of the laws of nature. Others suggest that a god may work with the laws...

 of Muhammad, the proof of his prophethood and the culmination of a series of divine messages that started with the messages revealed to Adam, regarded in Islam as the first prophet
Prophet
In religion, a prophet, from the Greek word προφήτης profitis meaning "foreteller", is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and serves as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people...

, and continued with the Suhuf Ibrahim (Scrolls of Abraham), the Tawrat
Tawrat
Tawrat is the Arabic word for the Torah. Muslims believe it was a holy book of Islam given by Allah to Musa . The Hebrew word for their scripture, the Torah means instructions, that is why Tawrat does not refer to the entire Tanakh or Old Testament...

(Torah or Pentateuch) of Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

, the Zabur
Zabur
Zabur is, according to Islam, the holy book of Dawud , one of the holy books revealed by God before the Qur'an, alongside others such as the Tawrat of Musa and the Injil of Isa ....

(Tehillim or Book of Psalms) of David
David
David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible and, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus Christ through both Saint Joseph and Mary...

, and the Injil
Injil
The Injil is the Arabic name for the original Gospel of Jesus, and one of the four Islamic Holy Books the Qur'an records as revealed by God, the others being the Zabur, Tawrat and Qur'an. The word Injil is derived from the Greek word and means 'good news'. Muslims believe this original Gospel...

(Gospel) of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

. The Quran assumes familiarity with major narratives recounted in Jewish and Christian scriptures
Books of the Bible
The Books of the Bible are listed differently in the canons of Judaism and the Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Slavonic Orthodox, Georgian, Armenian Apostolic, Syriac and Ethiopian churches, although there is substantial overlap. A table comparing the canons of some of these traditions...

, summarizing some, dwelling at length on others and in some cases presenting alternative accounts and interpretations of events. The Quran 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.

Etymology and meaning


The word appears about 70 times in the Quran itself, assuming various meanings. It is a verbal noun
Verbal noun
In linguistics, the verbal noun turns a verb into a noun and corresponds to the infinitive in English language usage. In English the infinitive form of the verb is formed when preceded by to, e.g...

 (
{{pp-semi-indef}}{{pp-move-indef}}
{{Quran related}}
{{Contains Arabic text}}
{{Islam}}
The Quran (kɒˈrɑːn {{Respell|kor|AHN|'}}; {{lang-ar|القرآن}} {{transl|ar|DIN|al-qurʾān}}, qurˈʔaːn,{{ref|a|[variations]}} literally meaning "the recitation"), also transliterated
Arabic transliteration
Different approaches and methods for the romanization of Arabic exist. They vary in the way that they address the inherent problems of rendering written and spoken Arabic in the Latin alphabet; they also use different symbols for Arabic phonemes that do not exist in English or other European...

 Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text
Religious text
Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious traditions consider to be sacred, or of central importance to their religious tradition...

 of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, which Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s consider the verbatim word of God
God in Islam
In Islamic theology, God is the all-powerful and all-knowing creator, sustainer, ordainer, and judge of the universe. Islam puts a heavy emphasis on the conceptualization of God as strictly singular . God is unique and inherently One , all-merciful and omnipotent. According to the Islamic...

 ({{lang-ar|الله}}, Allah
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

). It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature
Arabic literature
Arabic literature is the writing produced, both prose and poetry, by writers in the Arabic language. The Arabic word used for literature is adab which is derived from a meaning of etiquette, and implies politeness, culture and enrichment....

 in the Arabic language
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

. The Quran is divided into 114 suras of unequal length which are classified either as Meccan
Meccan sura
The Meccan suras are the chronologically earlier suras of the Qur'an that were, according to Islamic tradition, revealed anytime before the Hijrah . The other type of sura is the Madinan sura....

 or Medinan depending upon their place and time of revelation.

Muslims believe the Quran to be verbally revealed through angel Jibrīl
Gabriel
In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel is an Archangel who typically serves as a messenger to humans from God.He first appears in the Book of Daniel, delivering explanations of Daniel's visions. In the Gospel of Luke Gabriel foretells the births of both John the Baptist and of Jesus...

 (Gabriel) from God to Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 gradually over a period of approximately 23 years beginning in 610 CE
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

, when Muhammad was 40, and concluding in 632 CE, the year of his death. Muslims further believe that the Qur'an was precisely memorized, recited and exactly written down by Muhammad's companions (Sahaba
Sahaba
In Islam, the ' were the companions, disciples, scribes and family of the Islamic prophet...

) after each revelation was dictated by him.{{Citation needed|date=July 2011}}

Shortly after Muhammad's death the Quran was compiled into a single book by order of the first Caliph
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

 Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr was a senior companion and the father-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate from 632-634 CE when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad's death...

 and at the suggestion of his future successor Umar
Umar
`Umar ibn al-Khattāb c. 2 November , was a leading companion and adviser to the Islamic prophet Muhammad who later became the second Muslim Caliph after Muhammad's death....

. Hafsa
Hafsa
Hafsa, very often confused with Hafza and Hafiza, is an Arabic female given name. It means "young lioness".-People:* Hafsa bint Umar, daughter of Umar ibn al-Khattab and wife of the Prophet Muhammad....

, Muhammad's widow and Umar's daughter, was entrusted with that Quranic text after the second Caliph Umar died. When the third Caliph Uthman began noticing slight differences in Arabic dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

, he sought Hafsa's permission to use her text to be set as the standard dialect, the Quraish dialect now known as Fus'ha (Modern Standard Arabic). Before returning the text to Hafsa, Uthman made several thousand copies of Abu Bakr's redaction and, to standardize the text, invalidated all other versions of the Quran. This process of formalization is known as the "Uthmanic recension
Uthman Qur'an
The Othman Qur'an , named for the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan, is a manuscript Qur'an kept in the Hast Imam library...

". The present form of the Quran text is accepted by most scholars as the original version compiled by Abu Bakr.

Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s regard the Quran as the main miracle
Miracle
A miracle often denotes an event attributed to divine intervention. Alternatively, it may be an event attributed to a miracle worker, saint, or religious leader. A miracle is sometimes thought of as a perceptible interruption of the laws of nature. Others suggest that a god may work with the laws...

 of Muhammad, the proof of his prophethood and the culmination of a series of divine messages that started with the messages revealed to Adam, regarded in Islam as the first prophet
Prophet
In religion, a prophet, from the Greek word προφήτης profitis meaning "foreteller", is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and serves as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people...

, and continued with the Suhuf Ibrahim (Scrolls of Abraham), the Tawrat
Tawrat
Tawrat is the Arabic word for the Torah. Muslims believe it was a holy book of Islam given by Allah to Musa . The Hebrew word for their scripture, the Torah means instructions, that is why Tawrat does not refer to the entire Tanakh or Old Testament...

(Torah or Pentateuch) of Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

, the Zabur
Zabur
Zabur is, according to Islam, the holy book of Dawud , one of the holy books revealed by God before the Qur'an, alongside others such as the Tawrat of Musa and the Injil of Isa ....

(Tehillim or Book of Psalms) of David
David
David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible and, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus Christ through both Saint Joseph and Mary...

, and the Injil
Injil
The Injil is the Arabic name for the original Gospel of Jesus, and one of the four Islamic Holy Books the Qur'an records as revealed by God, the others being the Zabur, Tawrat and Qur'an. The word Injil is derived from the Greek word and means 'good news'. Muslims believe this original Gospel...

(Gospel) of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

. The Quran assumes familiarity with major narratives recounted in Jewish and Christian scriptures
Books of the Bible
The Books of the Bible are listed differently in the canons of Judaism and the Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Slavonic Orthodox, Georgian, Armenian Apostolic, Syriac and Ethiopian churches, although there is substantial overlap. A table comparing the canons of some of these traditions...

, summarizing some, dwelling at length on others and in some cases presenting alternative accounts and interpretations of events. The Quran 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.

Etymology and meaning


The word {{transl|ar|DIN|qurʾān}} appears about 70 times in the Quran itself, assuming various meanings. It is a verbal noun
Verbal noun
In linguistics, the verbal noun turns a verb into a noun and corresponds to the infinitive in English language usage. In English the infinitive form of the verb is formed when preceded by to, e.g...

 (
{{pp-semi-indef}}{{pp-move-indef}}
{{Quran related}}
{{Contains Arabic text}}
{{Islam}}
The Quran (kɒˈrɑːn {{Respell|kor|AHN|'}}; {{lang-ar|القرآن}} {{transl|ar|DIN|al-qurʾān}}, qurˈʔaːn,{{ref|a|[variations]}} literally meaning "the recitation"), also transliterated
Arabic transliteration
Different approaches and methods for the romanization of Arabic exist. They vary in the way that they address the inherent problems of rendering written and spoken Arabic in the Latin alphabet; they also use different symbols for Arabic phonemes that do not exist in English or other European...

 Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text
Religious text
Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious traditions consider to be sacred, or of central importance to their religious tradition...

 of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, which Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s consider the verbatim word of God
God in Islam
In Islamic theology, God is the all-powerful and all-knowing creator, sustainer, ordainer, and judge of the universe. Islam puts a heavy emphasis on the conceptualization of God as strictly singular . God is unique and inherently One , all-merciful and omnipotent. According to the Islamic...

 ({{lang-ar|الله}}, Allah
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

). It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature
Arabic literature
Arabic literature is the writing produced, both prose and poetry, by writers in the Arabic language. The Arabic word used for literature is adab which is derived from a meaning of etiquette, and implies politeness, culture and enrichment....

 in the Arabic language
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

. The Quran is divided into 114 suras of unequal length which are classified either as Meccan
Meccan sura
The Meccan suras are the chronologically earlier suras of the Qur'an that were, according to Islamic tradition, revealed anytime before the Hijrah . The other type of sura is the Madinan sura....

 or Medinan depending upon their place and time of revelation.

Muslims believe the Quran to be verbally revealed through angel Jibrīl
Gabriel
In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel is an Archangel who typically serves as a messenger to humans from God.He first appears in the Book of Daniel, delivering explanations of Daniel's visions. In the Gospel of Luke Gabriel foretells the births of both John the Baptist and of Jesus...

 (Gabriel) from God to Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 gradually over a period of approximately 23 years beginning in 610 CE
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

, when Muhammad was 40, and concluding in 632 CE, the year of his death. Muslims further believe that the Qur'an was precisely memorized, recited and exactly written down by Muhammad's companions (Sahaba
Sahaba
In Islam, the ' were the companions, disciples, scribes and family of the Islamic prophet...

) after each revelation was dictated by him.{{Citation needed|date=July 2011}}

Shortly after Muhammad's death the Quran was compiled into a single book by order of the first Caliph
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

 Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr was a senior companion and the father-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate from 632-634 CE when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad's death...

 and at the suggestion of his future successor Umar
Umar
`Umar ibn al-Khattāb c. 2 November , was a leading companion and adviser to the Islamic prophet Muhammad who later became the second Muslim Caliph after Muhammad's death....

. Hafsa
Hafsa
Hafsa, very often confused with Hafza and Hafiza, is an Arabic female given name. It means "young lioness".-People:* Hafsa bint Umar, daughter of Umar ibn al-Khattab and wife of the Prophet Muhammad....

, Muhammad's widow and Umar's daughter, was entrusted with that Quranic text after the second Caliph Umar died. When the third Caliph Uthman began noticing slight differences in Arabic dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

, he sought Hafsa's permission to use her text to be set as the standard dialect, the Quraish dialect now known as Fus'ha (Modern Standard Arabic). Before returning the text to Hafsa, Uthman made several thousand copies of Abu Bakr's redaction and, to standardize the text, invalidated all other versions of the Quran. This process of formalization is known as the "Uthmanic recension
Uthman Qur'an
The Othman Qur'an , named for the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan, is a manuscript Qur'an kept in the Hast Imam library...

". The present form of the Quran text is accepted by most scholars as the original version compiled by Abu Bakr.

Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s regard the Quran as the main miracle
Miracle
A miracle often denotes an event attributed to divine intervention. Alternatively, it may be an event attributed to a miracle worker, saint, or religious leader. A miracle is sometimes thought of as a perceptible interruption of the laws of nature. Others suggest that a god may work with the laws...

 of Muhammad, the proof of his prophethood and the culmination of a series of divine messages that started with the messages revealed to Adam, regarded in Islam as the first prophet
Prophet
In religion, a prophet, from the Greek word προφήτης profitis meaning "foreteller", is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and serves as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people...

, and continued with the Suhuf Ibrahim (Scrolls of Abraham), the Tawrat
Tawrat
Tawrat is the Arabic word for the Torah. Muslims believe it was a holy book of Islam given by Allah to Musa . The Hebrew word for their scripture, the Torah means instructions, that is why Tawrat does not refer to the entire Tanakh or Old Testament...

(Torah or Pentateuch) of Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

, the Zabur
Zabur
Zabur is, according to Islam, the holy book of Dawud , one of the holy books revealed by God before the Qur'an, alongside others such as the Tawrat of Musa and the Injil of Isa ....

(Tehillim or Book of Psalms) of David
David
David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible and, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus Christ through both Saint Joseph and Mary...

, and the Injil
Injil
The Injil is the Arabic name for the original Gospel of Jesus, and one of the four Islamic Holy Books the Qur'an records as revealed by God, the others being the Zabur, Tawrat and Qur'an. The word Injil is derived from the Greek word and means 'good news'. Muslims believe this original Gospel...

(Gospel) of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

. The Quran assumes familiarity with major narratives recounted in Jewish and Christian scriptures
Books of the Bible
The Books of the Bible are listed differently in the canons of Judaism and the Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Slavonic Orthodox, Georgian, Armenian Apostolic, Syriac and Ethiopian churches, although there is substantial overlap. A table comparing the canons of some of these traditions...

, summarizing some, dwelling at length on others and in some cases presenting alternative accounts and interpretations of events. The Quran 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.

Etymology and meaning


The word {{transl|ar|DIN|qurʾān}} appears about 70 times in the Quran itself, assuming various meanings. It is a verbal noun
Verbal noun
In linguistics, the verbal noun turns a verb into a noun and corresponds to the infinitive in English language usage. In English the infinitive form of the verb is formed when preceded by to, e.g...

 ({{transl) of the Arabic verb {{transl|ar|DIN|qaraʾa}} ({{lang-ar|قرأ}}), meaning “he read” or “he recited.” The Syriac equivalent is {{transl|sem|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 {{transl|ar|DIN|qaraʾa}} itself. In any case, it had become an Arabic term by Muhammad's lifetime. An important meaning of the word is the “act of reciting”, as reflected in an early Quranic passage: “It is for Us to collect it and to recite it ({{transl|ar|DIN|qurʾānahu}})”.

In other verses, the word refers to “an individual passage recited [by Muhammad]”. Its liturgical
Liturgy
Liturgy is either the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to its particular traditions or a more precise term that distinguishes between those religious groups who believe their ritual requires the "people" to do the "work" of responding to the priest, and those...

 context is seen in a number of passages, for example: "So when {{transl|ar|DIN|al-qurʾān}} is recited, listen to it and keep silent". The word may also assume the meaning of a codified scripture when mentioned with other scriptures such as the Torah
Tawrat
Tawrat is the Arabic word for the Torah. Muslims believe it was a holy book of Islam given by Allah to Musa . The Hebrew word for their scripture, the Torah means instructions, that is why Tawrat does not refer to the entire Tanakh or Old Testament...

 and Gospel
Injil
The Injil is the Arabic name for the original Gospel of Jesus, and one of the four Islamic Holy Books the Qur'an records as revealed by God, the others being the Zabur, Tawrat and Qur'an. The word Injil is derived from the Greek word and means 'good news'. Muslims believe this original Gospel...

.

The term also has closely related synonym
Synonym
Synonyms are different words with almost identical or similar meanings. Words that are synonyms are said to be synonymous, and the state of being a synonym is called synonymy. The word comes from Ancient Greek syn and onoma . The words car and automobile are synonyms...

s that are employed throughout the Quran. Each synonym possesses its own distinct meaning, but its use may converge with that of {{transl|ar|DIN|qurʾān}} in certain contexts. Such terms include {{transl|ar||kitāb
Kitab
Kitab-Verlag is a publishing house in Klagenfurt, Austria. It primarily focuses on books about the history of the culture of the near east and on modern literature from Austria, Slovenia, and Italy...

}}
(“book”); {{transl|ar||āyah
Ayah
Ayah or Aayah is the Arabic word for sign or proof:"These are the Ayat of Allah, which We recite to you with truth...

}}
(“sign”); and {{transl|ar||sūrah
Sura
A sura is a division of the Qur'an, often referred to as a chapter. The term chapter is sometimes avoided, as the suras are of unequal length; the shortest sura has only three ayat while the longest contains 286 ayat...

}}
(“scripture”). The latter two terms also denote units of revelation. In the large majority of contexts, usually with a definite article
Definite Article
Definite Article is the title of British comedian Eddie Izzard's 1996 performance released on VHS. It was recorded on different nights at the Shaftesbury Theatre...

 (al-), the word is referred to as the “revelation” (wahy
Wahy
Wahi is the Arabic word for revelation. In Islamic context, it refers to the revelations of God to his prophets, for all humankind. In Islam, the Qur'an is considered a wahi given to Muhammad.-Awha:...

), that which has been “sent down” (tanzīl) at intervals. Other related words are: {{transl|ar||dhikr
Dhikr
Dhikr , plural ; ), is an Islamic devotional act, typically involving the repetition of the Names of God, supplications or formulas taken from hadith texts and verses of the Qur'an. Dhikr is usually done individually, but in some Sufi orders it is instituted as a ceremonial activity...

}}
, meaning "remembrance," used to refer to the Quran in the sense of a reminder and warning; and {{transl|ar||hikma}}, meaning “wisdom”, sometimes referring to the revelation or part of it.

The Quran has many other names. Among those found in the text itself are {{transl|ar|DIN|al-furqān}} (“discernment” or “criterion”), {{transl
Huda
Huda may refer to:*Huda , the Arabic word for guidance.*Huda , a popular Muslim name . Words from the same root are: hidaya and hadi ....

(“"the guide”), {{transl|ar|DIN|ḏikrallāh}} (“the remembrance of God”), {{transl
Hikmah
Hikmah is an Arabic word meaning wisdom. Hikmah is important to Islamic philosophy.In Islam, Allah is viewed as All-Wise and messengers are given scripture and wisdom . Muslims believe that those who reject faith in God are rejecting wisdom...

(“the wisdom”), and {{transl|ar|DIN|kalāmallāh}} (“the word of God”). Another term is {{transl|ar|DIN|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 {{transl ("written work") is often used to refer to particular Quranic manuscripts but is also used in the Quran to identify earlier revealed books.

Prophetic era


{{See also|Wahy}}

Islamic tradition relates that Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 received his first revelation in the Cave of Hira
Hira
Hira or the Cave of Hira is a cave about from Mecca, on the mountain named Jabal Al-Nūr in the Hejaz region of present day Saudi Arabia...

 during one of his isolated retreats to the mountains. Thereafter, he received revelations over a period of twenty-three years. According to hadith
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

 and Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 history, after Muhammad emigrated to Medina
Hijra (Islam)
The Hijra is the migration or journey of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE. Alternate spellings of this Arabic word are Hijrah, Hijrat or Hegira, the latter following the spelling rules of Latin.- Hijra of Muhammad :In September 622, warned of a plot to...

 and formed an independent Muslim community, he ordered a considerable number of the sahabah
Sahabah
In Islam, the ' were the companions, disciples, scribes and family of the Islamic prophet...

to recite the Quran and to learn and teach the laws, which were revealed daily. Companions who engaged in the recitation of the Quran were called Qari. Since most sahabah 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 sahabah gradually became literate. As it was initially spoken, the Quran was recorded on tablets, bones and the wide, flat ends of date palm
Date Palm
The date palm is a palm in the genus Phoenix, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. Although its place of origin is unknown because of long cultivation, it probably originated from lands around the Persian Gulf. It is a medium-sized plant, 15–25 m tall, growing singly or forming a clump with...

 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 Quran as a call to Islam, the making of prayer and the manner of recitation. However, the Quran did not exist in book form at the time of Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

's death in 632.

Sahih Bukhari
Sahih Bukhari
Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī , as it is commonly referred to, is one of the six canonical hadith collections of Islam. These prophetic traditions, or hadith, were collected by the Persian Muslim scholar Muhammad ibn Ismail al-Bukhari, after being transmitted orally for generations. Muslims view this as one of...

 narrates Muhammad describing the revelations as, "Sometimes it is (revealed) like the ringing of a bell" and Aisha
Aisha
Aisha bint Abu Bakr also transcribed as was Muhammad's favorite wife...

 reported, "I saw the Prophet being inspired Divinely on a very cold day and noticed the sweat dropping from his forehead (as the Inspiration was over)".http://www.cmje.org/religious-texts/hadith/bukhari/001-sbt.php The Islamic studies scholar Welch states in the Encyclopaedia of Islam
Encyclopaedia of Islam
The Encyclopaedia of Islam is an encyclopaedia of the academic discipline of Islamic studies. It embraces articles on distinguished Muslims of every age and land, on tribes and dynasties, on the crafts and sciences, on political and religious institutions, on the geography, ethnography, flora and...

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. However, Muhammad's critics 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
Pre-Islamic Arabia
Pre-Islamic Arabia refers to the Arabic civilization which existed in the Arabian Plate before the rise of Islam in the 630s. The study of Pre-Islamic Arabia is important to Islamic studies as it provides the context for the development of Islam.-Studies:...

. Welch additionally states that it remains uncertain whether these experiences occurred before or after Muhammad's initial claim of prophethood.

The Quran states that Muhammad was ummi, interpreted as illiterate in Muslim tradition. According to Watt, the meaning of the Quranic term ummi is unscriptured rather than illiterate.

Compiling the Mus'haf


{{See also|Mus'haf|Tahrif}}

According to Shias, Sufis and scarce Sunni scholars, Ali compiled a complete version of the Quran mus'haf 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.

After seventy reciters were killed in the Battle of Yamama
Battle of Yamama
The Battle of Yamama was fought in December AD 632 as part as the Ridda or apostate wars on the plain of Aqraba in the region of Yamama between the forces of Muslim Caliph Abu Bakr and Musaylimah, an apostate.-Background:...

, the caliph Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr was a senior companion and the father-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate from 632-634 CE when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad's death...

 decided to collect the different chapters and verses into one volume. Thus, a group of reciters, including Zayd ibn Thabit
Zayd ibn Thabit
Zayd ibn Thabit was the personal scribe of Muhammad and an Ansar.-Early life: 610 – 612:When Zayd was 6 years old his father died in the Battle of Bu'ath. Zayd was 13 years old when he asked permission to participate in the Battle of Badr. Since he was younger than 15 years old, Muhammad...

, collected the chapters and verses and produced several hand-written copies of the complete book.
In about 650, as Islam expanded beyond the Arabian peninsula into Persia, the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

 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
Rashidun Empire
The Rashidun Caliphate , comprising the first four caliphs in Islam's history, was founded after Muhammad's death in 632, Year 10 A.H.. At its height, the Caliphate extended from the Arabian Peninsula, to the Levant, Caucasus and North Africa in the west, to the Iranian highlands and Central Asia...

 united, see Uthman Qur'an
Uthman Qur'an
The Othman Qur'an , named for the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan, is a manuscript Qur'an kept in the Hast Imam library...

). 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 was kept with Hafsa bint Umar
Hafsa bint Umar
Ḥafsah bint ‘Umar and wife of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and therefore a Mother of the Believers.-Biography:She was married to Khunais ibn Hudhaifa, but became a widow when she was eighteen and according to Islamic tradition her father offered her to Abu Bakr and Uthman Ibn Affan...

. 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 Quran to this day.

The Quran 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. Historically, controversy over the Quran's content has rarely become an issue, although debates continue on the subject.

Significance in Islam



Muslims believe the Quran 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
God in Islam
In Islamic theology, God is the all-powerful and all-knowing creator, sustainer, ordainer, and judge of the universe. Islam puts a heavy emphasis on the conceptualization of God as strictly singular . God is unique and inherently One , all-merciful and omnipotent. According to the Islamic...

, revealed to Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 through the angel Gabriel
Gabriel
In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel is an Archangel who typically serves as a messenger to humans from God.He first appears in the Book of Daniel, delivering explanations of Daniel's visions. In the Gospel of Luke Gabriel foretells the births of both John the Baptist and of Jesus...

 over a period of twenty-three years and view the Quran as God's final revelation to humanity.

Wahy
Wahy
Wahi is the Arabic word for revelation. In Islamic context, it refers to the revelations of God to his prophets, for all humankind. In Islam, the Qur'an is considered a wahi given to Muhammad.-Awha:...

 in Islamic and Quranic 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 Quran 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
Asbab al-nuzul
Asbāb al-nuzūl , an Arabic term meaning "occasions/circumstances of revelation", is a secondary genre of Qur'anic exegesis directed at establishing the context in which specific verses of the Qur'an were revealed...

. However, in this view God himself is never the subject of coming down.

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

The issue of whether the Quran is eternal or created was one of the crucial controversies among early Muslim theologians. Mu'tazili
Mu'tazili
' is an Islamic school of speculative theology that flourished in the cities of Basra and Baghdad, both in present-day Iraq, during the 8th–10th centuries. The adherents of the Mu'tazili school are best known for their having asserted that, because of the perfect unity and eternal nature of God,...

s believe it is created while the most widespread varieties of Muslim theologians
Kalam
ʿIlm al-Kalām is the Islamic philosophical discipline of seeking theological principles through dialectic. Kalām in Islamic practice relates to the discipline of seeking theological knowledge through debate and argument. A scholar of kalām is referred to as a mutakallim...

 consider the Quran to be eternal
Eternity
While in the popular mind, eternity often simply means existence for a limitless amount of time, many have used it to refer to a timeless existence altogether outside time. By contrast, infinite temporal existence is then called sempiternity. Something eternal exists outside time; by contrast,...

 and uncreated. Sufi philosophers view the question as artificial or wrongly framed.

Muslims maintain the present wording of the Quranic text corresponds exactly to that revealed to Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 himself: as the words of God, said to be delivered to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel
Gabriel
In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel is an Archangel who typically serves as a messenger to humans from God.He first appears in the Book of Daniel, delivering explanations of Daniel's visions. In the Gospel of Luke Gabriel foretells the births of both John the Baptist and of Jesus...

. Muslims consider the Quran 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 Quran, as the Quran itself maintains.

Therefore an Islamic philosopher
Islamic philosophy
Islamic philosophy is a branch of Islamic studies. It is the continuous search for Hekma in the light of Islamic view of life, universe, ethics, society, and so on...

 introduces a prophetology to explain how the divine word passes into human expression. This leads to a kind of esoteric hermeneutics that 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 his message emanates from. This view contrasts with historical critique of western scholars who attempt to understand the prophet through his circumstances, education and type of genius.

Uniqueness


{{See also|Quran and miracles}}
Muslims believe that the Quran is different from all other books in ways that are impossible for any other book to be, such that similar texts cannot be written by humans. These include both mundane and miraculous claims. The Quran itself challenges any who disagree with its divine origin to produce a text of a miraculous nature.

Scholars of Islam believe that its poetic form is unique and of a fashion that cannot be written by humans. They also claim it contains accurate prophecy and that no other book does.

Text


{{Main|Sura|Ayah}}

The text of the Quran consists of 114 chapters of varying lengths, each known as a sura. Chapters are classed as Meccan
Meccan sura
The Meccan suras are the chronologically earlier suras of the Qur'an that were, according to Islamic tradition, revealed anytime before the Hijrah . The other type of sura is the Madinan sura....

 or Medinan, depending on when (before or after Hijra) 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. Generally, longer chapters appear earlier in the Quran, 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
Basmala
Basmala or Bismillah is an Arabic noun used as a collective name for the whole of the recurring Islamic phrase b-ismi-llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīmi, It is sometimes translated as "In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful"...

, an Arabic phrase meaning (“In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful”). There are, however, still 114 occurrences of the basmala in the Quran, due to its presence in verse 27:30 as the opening of Solomon's letter to the Queen of Sheba.

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
Pre-Islamic Arabia
Pre-Islamic Arabia refers to the Arabic civilization which existed in the Arabian Plate before the rise of Islam in the 630s. The study of Pre-Islamic Arabia is important to Islamic studies as it provides the context for the development of Islam.-Studies:...

 in their content and distinctive rhyme
Rhyme
A rhyme is a repetition of similar sounds in two or more words and is most often used in poetry and songs. The word "rhyme" may also refer to a short poem, such as a rhyming couplet or other brief rhyming poem such as nursery rhymes.-Etymology:...

s and rhythms, being more akin to the prophetic utterances marked by inspired discontinuities found in the sacred scriptures of Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 and Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

. 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 Quran, which is based on the Kufa school tradition, contains 6,236 ayat.

There is a crosscutting division into 30 parts of roughly equal division, ajza
Juz'
A juz is one of thirty parts of roughly equal length into which the Qur'an is sometimes divided. This division facilitates recitation of the Qur'an in a month, especially during Ramadan when the entire Qur'an is recited in the Tarawih salat; reciting approximately one juz' a night...

, each containing two units called ahzab, each of which is divided into four parts (rub 'al-ahzab). The Quran is also divided into seven approximately equal parts, manazil
Manzil
Manzil is the word for one of seven parts of roughly equal length into which the Qur'an is divided for the purpose of reciting the entire text in one week.They are:# Al-Fatihah through An-Nisa' # Al-Maida through At-Tawba...

, for it to be recited in a week.

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

Fourteen different Arabic letters form 14 different sets of “Quranic Initials
Muqatta'at
Muqatta'at are unique letter combinations that begin certain suras of the Qur'an. Muqatta'at literally means abbreviated or shortened. Their meanings remain unclear and are considered by most Muslims to be divine secrets....

” (the "Muqatta'at", such as A.L.M. of 2:1) and prefix 29 suras in the Quran. The meaning and interpretation of these initials is considered unknown to most Muslims.

In 1974, Egyptian biochemist Rashad Khalifa
Rashad Khalifa
Rashad Khalifa was an Egyptian-American biochemist, closely associated with the United Submitters International. He was assassinated in 1990.-Life:Khalifa was born in Egypt on November 19, 1935...

 claimed to have discovered a mathematical code based on the number 19
19 (number)
19 is the natural number following 18 and preceding 20. It is a prime number.In English speech, the numbers 19 and 90 are often confused. When carefully enunciated, they differ in which syllable is stressed: 19 vs 90...

, which is mentioned in Sura 74:30 of the Quran. This code only manifests itself in a version of Quran that Khalifa published himself and which differs from the one accepted by most Muslims. It is the basis for the beliefs of United Submitters International
United Submitters International
United Submitters International is a reformist moderate Islamic religious community, following the teachings of Rashad Khalifa who is regarded in this faith as God's messenger of the Covenant, who claims to be prophesied in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Quran. Majority of Muslims...

, a religious group that Khalifa founded.

Content


{{Main|Justice in the Quran|Quran and science}}
{{See also|Legends and the Quran}}
The Quranic verses contain general exhortations regarding right and wrong and the nature of revelation.

Historical events are related to outline general moral lessons.

Verses pertaining to natural phenomena have been interpreted by Muslims as an indication of the authenticity of the Quranic message.

Literary structure


The Quran's message is conveyed with various literary structures and devices. In the original Arabic, the chapters and verses employ phonetic
Phonetics
Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that comprises the study of the sounds of human speech, or—in the case of sign languages—the equivalent aspects of sign. It is concerned with the physical properties of speech sounds or signs : their physiological production, acoustic properties, auditory...

 and thematic
Theme (literature)
A theme is a broad, message, or moral of a story. The message may be about life, society, or human nature. Themes often explore timeless and universal ideas and are almost always implied rather than stated explicitly. Along with plot, character,...

 structures that assist the audience's efforts to recall the message of the text. Some{{Citation needed|date=August 2011}} use the Quran as a standard by which other Arabic literature
Arabic literature
Arabic literature is the writing produced, both prose and poetry, by writers in the Arabic language. The Arabic word used for literature is adab which is derived from a meaning of etiquette, and implies politeness, culture and enrichment....

 is measured. Muslims{{Who|date=February 2010}} assert (according to the Quran itself) that the Quranic content and style is inimitable.

Richard Gottheil and Siegmund Fränkel in the Jewish Encyclopedia
Jewish Encyclopedia
The Jewish Encyclopedia is an encyclopedia originally published in New York between 1901 and 1906 by Funk and Wagnalls. It contained over 15,000 articles in 12 volumes on the history and then-current state of Judaism and the Jews as of 1901...

write that the oldest portions of the Quran reflect significant excitement in their language, through short and abrupt sentences and sudden transitions. The Quran nonetheless carefully maintains the rhymed form, like the oracle
Oracle
In Classical Antiquity, an oracle was a person or agency considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic predictions or precognition of the future, inspired by the gods. As such it is a form of divination....

s. Some later portions also preserve this form but also in a style where the movement is calm and the style expository.{{Verify source|date=June 2011}}

Michael Sells
Michael Sells
Michael Anthony Sells is currently the John Henry Barrows Professor of Islamic History and Literature at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago.....

, citing the work of the critic Norman O. Brown
Norman O. Brown
Norman Oliver Brown was an American classicist.-Life:Brown's father was an Anglo-Irish mining engineer. His mother was a Cuban of Alsatian and Cuban origin...

, acknowledges Brown's observation that the seeming "disorganization" of Quranic 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." Sells also addresses the much-discussed "repetitiveness" of the Quran, seeing this, too, as a literary device.

Tafsir


{{Main|Tafsir}}
The Quran has sparked a huge body of commentary and explication (tafsir), aimed at explaining the "meanings of the Quranic verses, clarifying their import and finding out their significance."

Tafsir is one of the earliest academic activities of Muslims. According to the Quran, Muhammad was the first person who described the meanings of verses for early Muslims. Other early exegetes included a few Companions of Muhammad, like Ali ibn Abi Talib, Abdullah ibn Abbas, Abdullah ibn Umar and Ubayy ibn Kab
Ubayy ibn Kab
Ubay ibn Ka'b , also known as Abu Mundhir , was a companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and a person of high esteem in the early Muslim community.-Biography:...

. 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
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

) of Muhammad were narrated to make its meaning clear.

Because the Quran is spoken in classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic , also known as Qur'anic or Koranic Arabic, is the form of the Arabic language used in literary texts from Umayyad and Abbasid times . It is based on the Medieval dialects of Arab tribes...

, many of the later converts to Islam (mostly non-Arabs) did not always understand the Quranic 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 Quran. Commentators erudite in Arabic explained the allusions, and perhaps most importantly, explained which Quranic 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
Naskh (exegesis)
Naskh is an Arabic language word usually translated as "abrogation"; it shares the same root as the words appearing in the phrase al-nāsikh wal-mansūkh...

" (nasikh) the earlier text (mansukh). Other scholars however maintain that no abrogation has taken place in the Qur'an

Ta'wil


{{Main|Esoteric interpretation of the Quran}}
{{See also|Quranic hermeneutics|Exegesis}}
Ja'far Kashfi
Ja'far Kashfi
Ja'far Kashfi, Iranian Muslim philosopher, was born at Darabgard in Fars in 1775 or 1776, lived all his life at Borujerd and died in 1850-1851. His work comprises about twelve titles, and is written in both Persian and Arabic...

 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
Exegesis
Exegesis is a critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially a religious text. Traditionally the term was used primarily for exegesis of the Bible; however, in contemporary usage it has broadened to mean a critical explanation of any text, and the term "Biblical exegesis" is used...

 of the letter; its pivot is the canonical Islamic sciences. Muhammad Husayn Tabatabaei says that according to the popular explanation among the later exegetes, ta'wil indicates the particular meaning a verse is directed towards. 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 Quran, 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 Quran 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 in describing a divine attribute—and there is an actual significance a Quranic story refers to.

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 Quran 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 Quran, 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 Quran'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 Quran to a certain extent.

The most ancient spiritual commentary on the Quran consists of the teachings the Shia Imams propounded in 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
Ja'far al-Sadiq
Jaʿfar ibn Muhammad al-Sādiq was a descendant of Muhammad and a prominent Muslim jurist. He is revered as an Imam by the adherents of Shi'a Islam and as a renowned Islamic scholar and personality by Sunni Muslims. The Shi'a Muslims consider him to be the sixth Imam or leader and spiritual...

, Shia and Sunni Sufis.

As Corbin narrates from Shia sources, Ali
Ali
' |Ramaḍān]], 40 AH; approximately October 23, 598 or 600 or March 17, 599 – January 27, 661).His father's name was Abu Talib. Ali was also the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661, and was the first male convert to Islam...

 himself gives this testimony:
Not a single verse
Ayah
Ayah or Aayah is the Arabic word for sign or proof:"These are the Ayat of Allah, which We recite to you with truth...

 of the Quran descended upon (was revealed to) the Messenger of God
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

, which he did not proceed to dictate to me and make me recite
Qira'at
In Islam, Qira'at, which means literally the readings, terminologically means the method of recitation. Traditionally, there are 10 recognised schools of qira'at, and each one derives its name from a famous reader of Qur'an recitation....

. I would write it with my own hand, and he would instruct me as to its tafsir
Tafsir
Tafseer is the Arabic word for exegesis or commentary, usually of the Qur'an. Ta'wīl is a subset of tafsir and refers to esoteric or mystical interpretation. An author of tafsir is a mufassir .- Etymology :...

(the literal explanation) and the ta'wil (the spiritual exegesis), the nasikh (the verse that abrogates) and the mansukh (the abrogated verse), the muhkam (without ambiguity) and the mutashabih (ambiguous), the particular and the general...


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
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 and can't be comprehended directly through human thought alone. The verses in question here refer to the human qualities of coming, going, sitting, satisfaction, anger, and sorrow, which are apparently attributed to God
God in Islam
In Islamic theology, God is the all-powerful and all-knowing creator, sustainer, ordainer, and judge of the universe. Islam puts a heavy emphasis on the conceptualization of God as strictly singular . God is unique and inherently One , all-merciful and omnipotent. According to the Islamic...

. 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 Quranic verses. The correct interpretation is that reality a verse refers to. 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.

Therefore Sufi spiritual interpretations are usually accepted by Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic scholars as authentic, as long as certain conditions are met. In Sufi history, these interpretations were sometimes considered religious innovations (bid'ah
Bid'ah
Bid‘ah is any type of innovation in Islam. It linguistically means "innovation, novelty, heretical doctrine, heresy". In contrast to the English term "innovation", in Arabic, the word bid'ah generally carries a negative connotation...

), as Salafi
Salafi
A Salafi come from Sunni Islam is a follower of an Islamic movement, Salafiyyah, that is supposed to take the Salaf who lived during the patristic period of early Islam as model examples...

s believe today. However, ta'wil is extremely controversial even amongst Shia. For example, when Ayatollah
Ayatollah
Ayatollah is a high ranking title given to Usuli Twelver Shī‘ah clerics. Those who carry the title are experts in Islamic studies such as jurisprudence, ethics, and philosophy and usually teach in Islamic seminaries. The next lower clerical rank is Hojatoleslam wal-muslemin...

 Ruhallah Khomeini, the leader of Islamic revolution, gave some lectures about Sura al-Fatiha
Al-Fatiha
Sura Al-Fatiha , is the first chapter of the Qur'an. Its seven verses are a prayer for Allah's guidance, and stress His Lordship and Mercy...

 in December 1979 and January 1980, protests forced him to suspend them before he could continue beyond the first two verses of the surah.

Levels of meaning


Unlike the Salafis and Zahiri, Shias and Sufis as well as some Muslim philosophers
Islamic philosophy
Islamic philosophy is a branch of Islamic studies. It is the continuous search for Hekma in the light of Islamic view of life, universe, ethics, society, and so on...

 believe the meaning of the Quran is not restricted to the literal aspect. For them, it is an essential idea that the Quran also has inward aspects. Henry Corbin
Henry Corbin
Henry Corbin was a philosopher, theologian and professor of Islamic Studies at the Sorbonne in Paris, France.Corbin was born in Paris in April 1903. As a boy he revealed the profound sensitivity to music so evident in his work...

 narrates a hadith
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

 that goes back to Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

:
"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)."


According to this view, it has also become evident that the inner meaning of the Quran does not eradicate or invalidate its outward meaning. Rather, it is like the soul, which gives life to the body. Corbin considers the Quran to play a part in Islamic philosophy
Islamic philosophy
Islamic philosophy is a branch of Islamic studies. It is the continuous search for Hekma in the light of Islamic view of life, universe, ethics, society, and so on...

, because gnosiology
Gnosiology
The term gnosiology is a term of 18th Century aesthetics, currently used mainly in regard to Eastern Christianity.-Etymology:...

 itself goes hand in hand with prophetology.

Commentaries dealing with the zahir
Zahir (Islam)
According to some Muslim groups, zahir is the exoteric or apparent meaning of the Quran. In other words, this refers to interpretations of Quranic doctrine that are conducted by normal human beings...

(outward aspects) of the text are called tafsir, and hermeneutic and esoteric commentaries dealing with the batin
Batin (Islam)
Batin is defined as the interior or hidden meaning of the Quran. This is in contrast to the Quran's exterior or apparent meaning . Some Muslim groups believe that the Batin can only be fully understood and interpreted by a figure with esoteric knowledge, who for Shi'a Muslims is the Imam of the...

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 Quran is known only to God. In contrast, Quranic literalism, followed by Salafis and Zahiri
Zahiri
Ẓāhirī , is a school of thought in Islamic jurisprudence and Aqida. The school is named after one of its early prominent jurists, Dawud ibn Khalaf al-Zahiri Ẓāhirī , is a school of thought in Islamic jurisprudence and Aqida. The school is named after one of its early prominent jurists, Dawud ibn...

s, is the belief that the Quran should only be taken at its apparent meaning.

Translations


{{Main|Quran translations}}
{{See also|List of translations of the Quran}}
Translation of the Quran has always been a problematic and difficult issue. Many argue that the Quranic text cannot be reproduced in another language or form. Furthermore, an Arabic word may have a range of meanings
Polysemy
Polysemy is the capacity for a sign or signs to have multiple meanings , i.e., a large semantic field.Charles Fillmore and Beryl Atkins’ definition stipulates three elements: the various senses of a polysemous word have a central origin, the links between these senses form a network, and ...

 depending on the context, making an accurate translation even more difficult.

The first complete translation of the Quran was completed in 884 CE in Alwar (Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 now Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

) by the orders of Abdullah bin Umar bin Abdul Aziz on the request of the Hindu Raja Mehruk.

Nevertheless, the Quran has been translated
Translation
Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. Whereas interpreting undoubtedly antedates writing, translation began only after the appearance of written literature; there exist partial translations of the Sumerian Epic of...

 into most African, Asian and European languages. The first translator of the Quran was Salman the Persian
Salman the Persian
Salman the Persian or Salman al Farisi was one of Muhammad's companions.During some of his later meetings with the other Sahaba, he was referred to as Abu Abdullah .-Birth place:...

, who translated sura Al-Fatiha
Al-Fatiha
Sura Al-Fatiha , is the first chapter of the Qur'an. Its seven verses are a prayer for Allah's guidance, and stress His Lordship and Mercy...

into Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 during the 7th century. The first complete translation of Quran was into Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 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
Heraclius
Heraclius was Byzantine Emperor from 610 to 641.He was responsible for introducing Greek as the empire's official language. His rise to power began in 608, when he and his father, Heraclius the Elder, the exarch of Africa, successfully led a revolt against the unpopular usurper Phocas.Heraclius'...

, as both received letters by Muhammad
Muhammad's letters to the Heads-of-State
After the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, Muhammad decided to send letters to many rulers of the world, inviting them to Islam -Overview:Muhammad, according to the usually told Islamic historiography, sent ambassadors with such letters to Heraclius the emperor of Byzantium, Chosroes II the emperor of...

 containing verses from the Quran. In early centuries, the permissibility of translations was not an issue, but whether one could use translations in prayer.

In 1936, translations in 102 languages were known. In 2010, the Hürriyet Daily News and Economic Review reported that the Quran was presented in 112 languages at the 18th International Quran Exhibition in Tehran.

Robert of Ketton
Robert of Ketton
Robert of Ketton was an English medieval theologian, astronomer and Arabist.Ketton, where Robert was either born or perhaps first took holy orders, is a small village in Rutland, a few miles from Stamford.Robert is believed to have been educated at the Cathedral School of Paris...

's 1143 translation of the Quran for Peter the Venerable
Peter the Venerable
Peter the Venerable , also known as Peter of Montboissier, abbot of the Benedictine abbey of Cluny, born to Blessed Raingarde in Auvergne, France. He has been honored as a saint but has never been formally canonized.-Life:Peter was "Dedicated to God" at birth and given to the monastery at...

, Lex Mahumet pseudoprophete
Lex Mahumet pseudoprophete
Lex Mahumet pseudoprophete is the translation of the Qur'an into Latin by Robert of Ketton...

, was the first into a Western language (Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

).
Alexander Ross
Alexander Ross (writer)
Alexander Ross was a prolific Scottish writer and controversialist. He was Chaplain-in-Ordinary to Charles I.-Life:He was born in Aberdeen, and entered King's College, Aberdeen, in 1604. About 1616 he succeeded Thomas Parker in the mastership of the free school at Southampton, an appointment which...

 offered the first English version in 1649, from the French translation of L'Alcoran de Mahomet
L'Alcoran de Mahomet
L'Alcoran de Mahomet was the third western translation of the Qur'an, preceded by Lex Mahumet pseudoprophete and the translation by Mark of Toledo...

(1647) by Andre du Ryer
Andre du Ryer
André Du Ryer was a French orientalist who wrote the third western translation of the Qur'an.-Works:* Grammaire turque * Gulistan, ou l'empire des roses * L'Alcoran de Mahomet -External links:...

. In 1734, George Sale
George Sale
George Sale was an Orientalist and practising solicitor, best known for his 1734 translation of the Qur'an into English. He was also author of The General Dictionary, in ten volumes, folio....

 produced the first scholarly translation of the Quran into English; another was produced by Richard Bell
Richard Bell (Arabist)
Richard Bell was a British Arabist at the University of Edinburgh. Between 1937 and 1939 he published a translation of the Qur'an, and in 1953 his Introduction to the Qur'an was published Richard Bell (1876–1952) was a British Arabist at the University of Edinburgh. Between 1937 and 1939 he...

 in 1937, and yet another by Arthur John Arberry
Arthur John Arberry
Arthur John Arberry was a respected British orientalist. A most prolific scholar of Arabic, Persian, and Islamic studies, he was educated at Portsmouth Grammar School and Pembroke College, Cambridge...

 in 1955. All these translators were non-Muslims. There have been numerous translations by Muslims.

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
You
You is the second-personpersonal pronoun, both singular and plural, and both nominative and objective case, in Modern English. The oblique/objective form you functioned originally as both accusative and dative)...

".

Literary usage


In addition to and largely independent of the division into sura
Sura
A sura is a division of the Qur'an, often referred to as a chapter. The term chapter is sometimes avoided, as the suras are of unequal length; the shortest sura has only three ayat while the longest contains 286 ayat...

s
, there are various ways of dividing the Quran into parts of approximately equal length for convenience in reading, recitation and memorization. The thirty ajza
Juz'
A juz is one of thirty parts of roughly equal length into which the Qur'an is sometimes divided. This division facilitates recitation of the Qur'an in a month, especially during Ramadan when the entire Qur'an is recited in the Tarawih salat; reciting approximately one juz' a night...

 can be used to read through the entire Quran 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'
Juz'
A juz is one of thirty parts of roughly equal length into which the Qur'an is sometimes divided. This division facilitates recitation of the Qur'an in a month, especially during Ramadan when the entire Qur'an is recited in the Tarawih salat; reciting approximately one juz' a night...

 
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 Quran into seven manazil
Manzil
Manzil is the word for one of seven parts of roughly equal length into which the Qur'an is divided for the purpose of reciting the entire text in one week.They are:# Al-Fatihah through An-Nisa' # Al-Maida through At-Tawba...

 to facilitate complete recitation in a week.

Recitation


{{Rquote|right|...and recite the Quran in slow, measured rhythmic tones.|{{Cite quran|73|4|s=ns|tn=y}}}}
{{See also|Tajwid}}
One meaning of Quran is "recitation". Tajwid
Tajwid
Tajwīd is an Arabic word for elocution, meaning proper pronunciation during recitation, as well as recitation at a moderate speed. It is a set of rules which govern how the Qur'an should be read. It is derived from the triliteral root , meaning to make well, make better, or improve. It is...

, an Arabic word for elocution, is a set of rules that governs how the Quran should be recited and is assessed in terms of how accessible the recitation is to those intent on concentrating on the words.

To perform salat
Salat
Salah is the practice of formal prayer in Islam. Its importance for Muslims is indicated by its status as one of the Five Pillars of Sunni Islam, of the Ten Practices of the Religion of Twelver Islam and of the 7 pillars of Musta'lī Ismailis...

 (prayer), a mandatory obligation in Islam, a Muslim is required to learn at least some sura of the Quran (typically starting with the first one, al-Fatiha
Al-Fatiha
Sura Al-Fatiha , is the first chapter of the Qur'an. Its seven verses are a prayer for Allah's guidance, and stress His Lordship and Mercy...

, 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.


A person whose recital repertoire encompasses the whole Quran is called a qari'
Qari'
Qāri "reader" is a person who recites the Qur'an with the proper rules of recitation . It is a common misconception that a Qari must first become a 'ḥāfiż'...

, whereas a memoriser of the Quran 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 Quran is a fine art in the Muslim world.

Schools of recitation


{{Main|Qira'at}}

There are several schools of Quranic recitation, all of which teach possible pronunciations of the Uthmanic
rasm
Rasm
Rasm is an Arabic term that signifies: drawing, sketch, trace, graph, pictures, outline, pattern, mark, notes, design, regulation, form, rate...

: Seven reliable, three permissible and (at least) four uncanonical – in 8 sub-traditions each – making for 80 recitation variants altogether. 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
    Arabic language
    Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

    .
  3. It must have a continuous isnad to Muhammad
    Muhammad
    Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

     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
Harakat
The Arabic script has numerous diacritics, including ijam ⟨⟩ , and 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
Gabriel
In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel is an Archangel who typically serves as a messenger to humans from God.He first appears in the Book of Daniel, delivering explanations of Daniel's visions. In the Gospel of Luke Gabriel foretells the births of both John the Baptist and of Jesus...

 is pronounced differently in different recitations: Jibrīl, Jabrīl, Jibra'īl, and Jibra'il.

The more widely used narrations are those of Hafs (حفص عن عاصم), Warsh
Warsh
Warsh may refer to:* David Warsh, journalist* Kevin Warsh , member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System* Lewis Warsh , author* a style of Quranic recitation...

 (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
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

. The uncanonical recitations are called "explanatory" for their role in giving a different perspective for a given verse or ayah
Ayah
Ayah or Aayah is the Arabic word for sign or proof:"These are the Ayat of Allah, which We recite to you with truth...

. Today several dozen persons hold the title "Memorizer of the Ten Recitations."

The presence of these different recitations is attributed to many hadith
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

. Malik Ibn Anas
Malik ibn Anas
Mālik ibn Anas ibn Mālik ibn Abī 'Āmir al-Asbahī is known as "Imam Malik," the "Sheikh of Islam", the "Proof of the Community," and "Imam of the Abode of Emigration." He was one of the most highly respected scholars of fiqh in Sunni Islam...

 has reported:
Abd al-Rahman Ibn Abd al-Qari narrated: "Umar Ibn Khattab
Umar
`Umar ibn al-Khattāb c. 2 November , was a leading companion and adviser to the Islamic prophet Muhammad who later became the second Muslim Caliph after Muhammad's death....

 said before me: I heard
Hisham Ibn Hakim Ibn Hizam reading Surah Furqan
Al-Furqan
Surat Al-Furqan is the 25th sura of the Qur'an with 77 ayatThe name "The Criterion" refers to the Qur'an itself as the decisive factor between the Good and the Evil...

 in a different way from the one I used to read it, and the Prophet
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 (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 Quran 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:
"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:
  • Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami reports, "the reading of Abu Bakr
    Abu Bakr
    Abu Bakr was a senior companion and the father-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate from 632-634 CE when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad's death...

    , Umar
    Umar
    `Umar ibn al-Khattāb c. 2 November , was a leading companion and adviser to the Islamic prophet Muhammad who later became the second Muslim Caliph after Muhammad's death....

    , Uthman
    Uthman
    Uthman ibn Affan was one of the companions of Islamic prophet, Muhammad. He played a major role in early Islamic history as the third Sunni Rashidun or Rightly Guided Caliph....

     and Zayd ibn Thabit
    Zayd ibn Thabit
    Zayd ibn Thabit was the personal scribe of Muhammad and an Ansar.-Early life: 610 – 612:When Zayd was 6 years old his father died in the Battle of Bu'ath. Zayd was 13 years old when he asked permission to participate in the Battle of Badr. Since he was younger than 15 years old, Muhammad...

     and that of all the Muhajirun
    Muhajirun
    Muhajirun are the early, initial Muslims who followed Muhammad on his Hijra . The early Muslims from Medina are called the Ansar .-List:*Muhammad*Ali*Umar *Abu Bakr .*Salman the Persian*Bilal ibn Ribah...

     and the Ansar
    Ansar (Islam)
    Ansar is an Islamic term that literally means "helpers" and denotes the Medinan citizens that helped Muhammad and the Muhajirun on the arrival to the city after the migration to Medina...

     was the same. They read the Quran according to the
    Qira'at al-'ammah. This is the same reading the Prophet (sws) read twice to Gabriel
    Gabriel
    In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel is an Archangel who typically serves as a messenger to humans from God.He first appears in the Book of Daniel, delivering explanations of Daniel's visions. In the Gospel of Luke Gabriel foretells the births of both John the Baptist and of Jesus...

     in the year of his death. Zayd ibn Thabit
    Zayd ibn Thabit
    Zayd ibn Thabit was the personal scribe of Muhammad and an Ansar.-Early life: 610 – 612:When Zayd was 6 years old his father died in the Battle of Bu'ath. Zayd was 13 years old when he asked permission to participate in the Battle of Badr. Since he was younger than 15 years old, Muhammad...

     was also present in this reading [called] the Ardah-i akhirah
    . It was this very reading that he taught the Quran to people till his death".
  • Ibn Sirin
    Ibn Sirin
    Muhammad Ibn Sirin , was a Muslim interpreter of dreams who lived in the 8th century. He is a contemporary of Anas ibn Malik.-Biography:...

     writes, "the reading on which the Quran was read out to the prophet in the year of his death is the same according to which people are reading the Quran today".


Javed Ahmad Ghamidi also purports that there is only one recitation of Quran, which is called Qira'at of Hafss or in classical scholarship, it is called Qira'at al-'ammah. The Quran has also specified that it was revealed in the language of Muhammad's tribe: the Quraysh.{{Cite quran|19|97}}{{Cite quran|44|58}}

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."

AZ [however] says that the people of El-Hijaz and Hudhayl, and the people of Makkah and Al-Madinah, to not pronounce hamzah
Hamzah
-Places:* Hamza Stone, black colored antic rock at the Giresun Adası* Tala Hamza, town in northern Algeria* Hamza River, a very large aquifer, that roughly follows the course of the Amazon River, in Brazil.-Other uses:* Hamza, letter of the Arabic alphabet...

 [at all]: and 'Isa Ibn-'Omar says, Tamim pronounce hamzah, and the people of Al-Hijaz, in cases of necessity, [in poetry,] do so.

Writing and printing


Most Muslims today use printed editions of the Quran. 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.

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

Before printing was widely adopted in the 19th century, the Quran was transmitted in manuscript
Manuscript
A manuscript or handwrite is written information that has been manually created by someone or some people, such as a hand-written letter, as opposed to being printed or reproduced some other way...

 books made by copyists and calligraphers. Short extracts from the Quran were printed in the medieval period from carved wooden blocks
Woodblock printing
Woodblock printing is a technique for printing text, images or patterns used widely throughout East Asia and originating in China in antiquity as a method of printing on textiles and later paper....

, one block per page; a technique already widely used in China. However there are no records of complete Qurans produced in this way, which would have involved a very large investment. Mass-produced less expensive versions of the Quran were produced from the 19th century by lithography
Lithography
Lithography is a method for printing using a stone or a metal plate with a completely smooth surface...

, which allowed reproduction of the fine calligraphy of hand-made versions.
The oldest surviving Quran printed with movable type
Movable type
Movable type is the system of printing and typography that uses movable components to reproduce the elements of a document ....

 was produced in Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 in 1537/1538. It seems to have been prepared for sale in the Ottoman empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, where all movable type printing using Arabic characters had been forbidden in 1485. This decree was reversed in 1588, but there remained strong resistance to adopting movable type printing for any subjects, let alone the Quran, until the late 19th century. This seems to have been partly from opposition by the large profession of copyists, and for aesthetic reasons, and fear of mistakes in the text. Catherine the Great of Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 sponsored a printing of the Quran in 1787. This was followed by editions from Kazan
Kazan
Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. With a population of 1,143,546 , it is the eighth most populous city in Russia. Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in European Russia. In April 2009, the Russian Patent Office granted Kazan the...

 (1828), Persia (1833) and Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 (1877).

It is extremely difficult to render the full Quran, with all the points, in computer code, such as Unicode
Unicode
Unicode is a computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems...

. The Internet Sacred Text Archive
Internet Sacred Text Archive
The Internet Sacred Text Archive is a website dedicated to the preservation of electronic public domain texts, specifically those with significant cultural value...

 makes computer files of the Quran freely available both as images and in a temporary Unicode version. Various designers and software firms have attempted to develop computer fonts that can adequately render the Quran.

Since Muslim tradition felt that directly portraying sacred figures and events might lead to idolatry, it was considered wrong to decorate the Quran 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 complex and beautiful. Arabic calligraphy is a highly honored art, much like Chinese calligraphy. Muslims also decorated their Qurans with abstract figures (arabesque
Arabesque
The arabesque is a form of artistic decoration consisting of "surface decorations based on rhythmic linear patterns of scrolling and interlacing foliage, tendrils" or plain lines, often combined with other elements...

s), colored inks, and gold leaf. Pages from some of these antique Qurans are displayed throughout this article.

Torah, Hebrew Bible and New Testament


{{See also|Biblical narratives and the Quran|Tawrat}}
{{Rquote|right|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).|{{Cite quran|3|3|s=ns|tn=y}}}}
The Quran speaks well of the relationship it has with former books (the Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 and the Gospel
Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

) and attributes their similarities to their unique origin and saying all of them have been revealed by the one God.

According to Sahih Bukhari
Sahih al-Bukhari
Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī , as it is commonly referred to, is one of the six canonical hadith collections of Islam. These prophetic traditions, or hadith, were collected by the Persian Muslim scholar Muhammad ibn Ismail al-Bukhari, after being transmitted orally for generations. Muslims view this as one of...

, the Quran was recited among Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

ines and Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

is, and discussed by Christians and Jews before it was standardized. Its language was similar to the Syriac language
Syriac language
Syriac is a dialect of Middle Aramaic that was once spoken across much of the Fertile Crescent. Having first appeared as a script in the 1st century AD after being spoken as an unwritten language for five centuries, Classical Syriac became a major literary language throughout the Middle East from...

. The Quran recounts stories of many of the people and events recounted in Jewish
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 and Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 sacred books (Tanakh
Tanakh
The Tanakh is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah , Nevi'im and Ketuvim —hence...

, Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

) and devotional literature (Apocrypha
Apocrypha
The term apocrypha is used with various meanings, including "hidden", "esoteric", "spurious", "of questionable authenticity", ancient Chinese "revealed texts and objects" and "Christian texts that are not canonical"....

, Midrash
Midrash
The Hebrew term Midrash is a homiletic method of biblical exegesis. The term also refers to the whole compilation of homiletic teachings on the Bible....

), although it differs in many details. Adam
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve were, according to the Genesis creation narratives, the first human couple to inhabit Earth, created by YHWH, the God of the ancient Hebrews...

, Enoch
Enoch (ancestor of Noah)
Enoch is a figure in the Generations of Adam. Enoch is described as Adam's greatx4 grandson , the son of Jared, the father of Methuselah, and the great-grandfather of Noah...

, Noah
Noah
Noah was, according to the Hebrew Bible, the tenth and last of the antediluvian Patriarchs. The biblical story of Noah is contained in chapters 6–9 of the book of Genesis, where he saves his family and representatives of all animals from the flood by constructing an ark...

, Eber
Hud (prophet)
Hud is the name of a prophet of ancient Arabia, who is mentioned in the Qur'an. The eleventh chapter of the Qur'an, Hud, is named after him, though the narrative of Hud comprises only a small portion of the chapter.-Historical context:...

, Shelah, Abraham
Abraham
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

, Lot
Lot (Bible)
Lot is a man from the Book of Genesis chapters 11-14 and 19, in the Hebrew Bible. Notable episodes in his life include his travels with his uncle Abram ; his flight from the destruction of Sodom, in the course of which Lot's wife looked back and became a pillar of salt; and the seduction by his...

, Ishmael
Ishmael
Ishmael is a figure in the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an, and was Abraham's first born child according to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Ishmael was born of Abraham's marriage to Sarah's handmaiden Hagar...

, Isaac
Isaac
Isaac as described in the Hebrew Bible, was the only son Abraham had with his wife Sarah, and was the father of Jacob and Esau. Isaac was one of the three patriarchs of the Israelites...

, Jacob
Jacob
Jacob "heel" or "leg-puller"), also later known as Israel , as described in the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, the New Testament and the Qur'an was the third patriarch of the Hebrew people with whom God made a covenant, and ancestor of the tribes of Israel, which were named after his descendants.In the...

, Joseph
Joseph (Hebrew Bible)
Joseph is an important character in the Hebrew bible, where he connects the story of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in Canaan to the subsequent story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt....

, Job
Job (Biblical figure)
Job is the central character of the Book of Job in the Hebrew Bible. Job is listed as a prophet of God in the Qur'an.- Book of Job :The Book of Job begins with an introduction to Job's character — he is described as a blessed man who lives righteously...

, Jethro
Jethro
In the Old Testament or the Hebrew Bible, Jethro |Shu-ayb]]) is Moses' father-in-law, a Kenite shepherd and priest of Midian. He is also revered as a prophet in his own right in the Druze religion, and considered an ancestor of the Druze.-In Exodus:...

, David
David
David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible and, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus Christ through both Saint Joseph and Mary...

, Solomon
Solomon
Solomon , according to the Book of Kings and the Book of Chronicles, a King of Israel and according to the Talmud one of the 48 prophets, is identified as the son of David, also called Jedidiah in 2 Samuel 12:25, and is described as the third king of the United Monarchy, and the final king before...

, Elijah, Elisha
Elisha
Elisha is a prophet mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an. His name is commonly transliterated into English as Elisha via Hebrew, Eliseus via Greek and Latin, or Alyasa via Arabic.-Biblical biography:...

, Jonah
Jonah
Jonah is the name given in the Hebrew Bible to a prophet of the northern kingdom of Israel in about the 8th century BC, the eponymous central character in the Book of Jonah, famous for being swallowed by a fish or a whale, depending on translation...

, Aaron
Aaron
In the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an, Aaron : Ααρών ), who is often called "'Aaron the Priest"' and once Aaron the Levite , was the older brother of Moses, and a prophet of God. He represented the priestly functions of his tribe, becoming the first High Priest of the Israelites...

, Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

, Zechariah
Zechariah (priest)
In the Bible, Zechariah , is the father of John the Baptist, a priest of the sons of Aaron, a prophet in , and the husband of Elisabeth who is the cousin of Mary the mother of Jesus.In the Qur'an, Zechariah plays a similar role as the father of John the Baptist and ranks him as a prophet alongside...

, John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

, and Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 are mentioned in the Quran as prophets of God (see Prophets of Islam
Prophets of Islam
Muslims identify the Prophets of Islam as those humans chosen by God and given revelation to deliver to mankind. Muslims believe that every prophet was given a belief to worship God and their respective followers believed it as well...

). In fact, Moses is mentioned more in the Quran than any other individual. Jesus is mentioned more often in the Quran than Muhammad while Mary is mentioned in the Quran more than the New Testament. 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.

Similarities with Christian apocrypha


The Quran has been noted to have certain narratives similarities to the Diatessaron
Diatessaron
The Diatessaron is the most prominent Gospel harmony created by Tatian, an early Christian apologist and ascetic. The term "diatessaron" is from Middle English by way of Latin, diatessarōn , and ultimately Greek, διὰ τεσσάρων The Diatessaron (c 160 - 175) is the most prominent Gospel harmony...

, Protoevangelium of James, Infancy Gospel of Thomas
Infancy Gospel of Thomas
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas is a pseudepigraphical gospel about the childhood of Jesus that dates to the 2nd and 3rd centuries. It was part of a popular genre of biblical work, written to satisfy a hunger among early Christians for more miraculous and anecdotal stories of the childhood of Jesus...

, Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew
Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew
The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew is a part of the New Testament apocrypha, and sometimes goes by the name of The Infancy Gospel of Matthew, but the actual name of the text in antiquity was The Book About the Origin of the Blessed Mary and the Childhood of the Savior...

 and the Arabic Infancy Gospel
Arabic Infancy Gospel
The Syriac Infancy Gospel is one of the texts found in the New Testament apocrypha concerning the infancy of Jesus. It may have been compiled as early as the sixth century, and was based on the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, and Protevangelium of James.-Contents:...

. One scholar has suggested that the Diatessaron, as a gospel harmony
Gospel harmony
A Gospel harmony is an attempt to merge or harmonize the canonical gospels of the Four Evangelists into a single gospel account, the earliest known example being the Diatesseron by Tatian in the 2nd century. A gospel harmony may also establish a chronology for the events of the life of Jesus...

, may have led to the conception that the Christian Gospel is one text.

Arab writing



After the Quran, and the general rise of Islam, the Arabic alphabet
Arabic alphabet
The Arabic alphabet or Arabic abjad is the Arabic script as it is codified for writing the Arabic language. It is written from right to left, in a cursive style, and includes 28 letters. Because letters usually stand for consonants, it is classified as an abjad.-Consonants:The Arabic alphabet has...

 developed rapidly into an art form.

Wadad Kadi, Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

 and Mustansir Mir, Professor of Islamic studies at Youngstown State University
Youngstown State University
Youngstown State University, founded in 1908, is an urban research university located in Youngstown, Ohio, United States. As of fall 2010, there were 15,194 students and a student-faculty ratio of 19:1. It is recognized as being one of the premier schools in the country, comparable to Ivy League...

 state that:

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 Quran 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...

Culture



Most Muslims treat paper copies of the Quran with veneration, ritually washing before reading the Quran. Worn out, torn, or errant (for example, pages out of order) Qurans 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 Quran in the original Arabic, usually at least the verses needed to perform the contact prayers (salat
Salat
Salah is the practice of formal prayer in Islam. Its importance for Muslims is indicated by its status as one of the Five Pillars of Sunni Islam, of the Ten Practices of the Religion of Twelver Islam and of the 7 pillars of Musta'lī Ismailis...

). Those who have memorized the entire Quran earn the right to the title of Hafiz.

Based on tradition and a literal interpretation of sura 56
Al-Waqia
Surah Al-Waqʿia Al-Waqiah is an Arabic word that means Inevitable, Event or Revolution. It is the 56th Surah of the Quran, it was revealed in Mecca...

:77–79: "That this is indeed a Quran Most Honourable, In a Book well-guarded, Which none shall touch but those who are clean.", many scholars believe that a Muslim must perform a ritual cleansing with water (wudu
Wudu
Wuḍhu is the Islamic procedure for washing parts of the body using water often in preparation for formal prayers...

) before touching a copy of the Quran, or mus'haf, although this view is ubiquitous.

Quran desecration means mishandling the Quran 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 Quran is an important element of religious faith by many Muslims. They believe that intentionally insulting the Quran is a form of blasphemy
Blasphemy
Blasphemy is irreverence towards religious or holy persons or things. Some countries have laws to punish blasphemy, while others have laws to give recourse to those who are offended by 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.

See also


{{col-begin}}
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  • 2010 Qur'an-burning controversy
  • Ayah
    Ayah
    Ayah or Aayah is the Arabic word for sign or proof:"These are the Ayat of Allah, which We recite to you with truth...

  • Criticism of the Qur'an
    Criticism of the Qur'an
    While the Qur'an is the scriptural foundation of most forms of Islam criticism of the Qur'an has frequently occurred. Critics have made allegations of scientific, theological, and historical errors, claims of contradictions in the Qur'an and criticisms of the Qur'an's moral values.-Historical...

  • Dhikr
    Dhikr
    Dhikr , plural ; ), is an Islamic devotional act, typically involving the repetition of the Names of God, supplications or formulas taken from hadith texts and verses of the Qur'an. Dhikr is usually done individually, but in some Sufi orders it is instituted as a ceremonial activity...

  • Digital Qur'an
    Digital Qur'an
    The Digital Qur'an is the electronic version of the Qur'an, introduced as early as 1993. There is a strict code of conduct for handling the written Qur'an, which limits its accessibility, especially in situations such as traveling or everyday reading on the move. The invention of the Digital Qu'ran...

  • Hafiz
  • History of the Qur'an
  • Legends and the Qur'an
    Legends and the Qur'an
    This article considers the relation of the Qur'an, the central religious text of Islam, and pre-Islamic mythology and legends.Early in Islamic history, debates over the role of Jewish mythology, as well as Christian Biblical apocrypha references in the Qur'an, the sacred text of Islam, existed...

  • List of religious texts
    Religious text
    Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious traditions consider to be sacred, or of central importance to their religious tradition...


{{col-3}}
  • Persons related to Qur'anic verses
    Persons related to Qur'anic verses
    Some of the Qur'anic verses are said to be revealed pertaining to some specific person. This is a list of them :--13:-:-Abu Lahab:Abu Lahab was an enemy of Muhammad, and the brother of Muhammad's father...

  • Qur'an alone
    Qur'an alone
    Quranism is an Islamic denomination that holds the Qur'an to be the only canonical text in Islam. Quranists reject the religious authority of Hadith and often Sunnah, libraries compiled by later scholars who catalogued narratives of what the Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said and done,...

  • Quran and miracles
  • Quran and Sunnah
  • Qur'anic literalism
    Qur'anic literalism
    Qur'anic literalism is the belief that the verses of the Qur'an should be taken at their apparent meaning, rather than employing any sort of interpretation...

  • Quran reading
  • Sura
    Sura
    A sura is a division of the Qur'an, often referred to as a chapter. The term chapter is sometimes avoided, as the suras are of unequal length; the shortest sura has only three ayat while the longest contains 286 ayat...

  • Tafsir of the Qur'an
  • Women in the Qur'an

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Further reading


{{refbegin|2}}
Recent translations
{{main|List of translations of the Quran#English}}

Introductory texts
  • Robinson, Neal
    Neal Robinson
    Cornelius Randall Robinson was a baseball player in the Negro Leagues. He would play infielder and outfielder and played from 1934 to 1950. He was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and died in Cincinnati, Ohio.-References:...

    , Discovering the Qur'an, Georgetown University Press, 2002. ISBN 978-1-58901-024-6
  • Sells, Michael
    Michael Sells
    Michael Anthony Sells is currently the John Henry Barrows Professor of Islamic History and Literature at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago.....

    , – Approaching the Qur'ān: The Early Revelations, White Cloud Press, Book & CD edition (November 15, 1999). ISBN 978-1-883991-26-5


Traditional Quranic commentaries (tafsir
Tafsir
Tafseer is the Arabic word for exegesis or commentary, usually of the Qur'an. Ta'wīl is a subset of tafsir and refers to esoteric or mystical interpretation. An author of tafsir is a mufassir .- Etymology :...

)
{{main|List of tafsir}}
  • Al-Tabari, Jamiʿ al-bayān ʿan taʾwil al-Qurʾān, Cairo 1955–69, transl. J. Cooper (ed.), The Commentary on the Qurʾān, Oxford University Press, 1987. ISBN 978-0-19-920142-6


Topical studies
  • Stowasser, Barbara Freyer – Women in the Qur'an, Traditions, and Interpretation, Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (June 1, 1996), ISBN 978-0-19-511148-4
  • Gibson, Dan (2011). Qur’anic Geography: A Survey and Evaluation of the Geographical References in the Qur’an with Suggested Solutions for Various Problems and Issues. Independent Scholars Press, Canada. ISBN 978-0-9733642-8-6.


Literary criticism
  • Al-Azami, M. M. – The History of the Qurʾānic Text from Revelation to Compilation, UK Islamic Academy: Leicester 2003.
  • Gunter Luling
    Günter Lüling
    Günter Lüling is a German Protestant theologian, philological scholar and pioneer in the study of early Islamic origins...

     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 978-81-208-1952-8
  • Luxenberg, Christoph
    Christoph Luxenberg
    Christoph Luxenberg is the pseudonym of the author ofThe Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran: A Contribution to the Decoding of the Language of the Qur'an and several articles in anthologies about early Islam....

     (2004) – The Syro-Aramaic Reading Of The Koran: a contribution to the decoding of the language of the Koran, Berlin, Verlag Hans Schiler, 1 May 2007 ISBN 978-3-89930-088-8
  • Puin, Gerd R.
    Gerd R. Puin
    Gerd Rüdiger Puin is a German scholar and an authority on Qur'anic historical orthography, the study and scholarly interpretation of ancient manuscripts. He is also specialist in Arabic paleography...

     – "Observations on Early Quran Manuscripts in Sana'a," in The Qurʾan as Text, ed. Stefan Wild,, E. J. Brill 1996, pp. 107–111.
  • Wansbrough, John
    John Wansbrough
    John Edward Wansbrough was an American historian who taught at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies . Wansbrough's emphasis was on the critique of traditional accounts of the origins of Islam...

     – Quranic Studies, Oxford University Press, 1977


Encyclopedias
Academic journals

{{refend}}

External links


{{Sister project links}}

Qur'an browsers and translations

Word-for-word analysis

Software
  • Zekr
    Zekr
    Zekr is an open source Quranic desktop application. It is an open platform Quran study tool for browsing and researching on the Quran. Zekr is a Quran-based project, planned to be a universal, open source, and cross-platform application to perform most of the usual refers to the Quran, according to...

    : Qur'an study program available for different platforms.


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