Islamic University Of Al Madinah Al Munawwarah
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The Qur’an (”Qor-Ann”) is a Message from Allah (swt) to humanity. It was transmitted to us in a chain starting from the Almighty Himself (swt) to the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad (saw). This message was given to the Prophet (saw) in pieces over a period spanning approximately 23 years (610 CE to 632 CE). The Prophet (saw) was 40 years old when the Qur’an began to be revealed to him, and he was 63 when the revelation was completed. The language of the original message was Arabic, but it has been translated into many other languages.
The Qur’an is one of the two sources which form the basis of Islam. The second source is the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw). What makes the Qur’an different from the Sunnah is primarily its form. Unlike the Sunnah, the Qur’an is literally the Word of Allah (swt), whereas the Sunnah was inspired by Allah but the wording and actions are the Prophet’s (saw). The Qur’an has not been expressed using any human’s words. Its wording is letter for letter fixed by no one but Allah.
Prophet Muhammad (saw) was the final Messenger of Allah to humanity, and therefore the Qur’an is the last Message which Allah (swt) has sent to us. Its predecessors such as the Torah, Psalms, and Gospels have all been superseded. It is an obligation – and blessing – for all who hear of the Qur’an and Islam to investigate it and evaluate it for themselves. Allah (swt) has guaranteed that He will protect the Qur’an from human tampering, and today’s readers can find exact copies of it all over the world. The Qur’an of today is the same as the Qur’an revealed to Muhammad (saw) 1400 years ago.
The Qur’an was revealed in pure Arabic to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) over a period of twenty-three years ending in 632 A.D., the year he passed away. The first revelation was only five verses, the first five verses of Chapter 96. Among the very early revelations are Surah 73, 74, 80 and 97. The revelations were sent by Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (SWT), the creator and sustainer of the universe, and transmitted to him by the Archangel Jibril (as) (Gabriel). The revelations he received were sometimes a few verses, a part of a chapter or the whole chapter. Some revelations came down in response to an inquiry by the nonbelievers. The ordering of the Qur’an is not the same as the revelations. Archangel Jibril (as) taught the ordering of Ayat and Surahs (refer to Surah 75) as he transmitted the revelations to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
The Qur’an speaks in the first person, i.e., Allah’s commandments to its creation. The Qur’an also uses the royal “We” for Allah’s commandments. The main theme of the Qur’an and all previous revelations has been the absolute oneness of Allah, the creator and sustainer of the universe, who is without partner(s). Allah (Glory be to Him) did not beget nor was He begotten. The Qur’anic verses address people in a variety of ways depending on the context. It says “O mankind” and “O people” in a general sense addressing to all people, and in other instances “O believers” for those who have already accepted the message of Qur’an.
The Qur’an is the direct Word of Allah and it does not contain a single alphabet from anyone, even Prophet Muhammad. The sayings of Prophet Muhammad are contained in separate compilations known as Hadith, and include his deeds, lifestyle, and decisions on a variety of issues. The Qur’an and Hadith form the foundation of daily life of a practicing Muslim. The Qur’an has not changed by even an alphabet since its revelation fourteen centuries ago. Allah (SWT) has promised in the Qur’an that He will preserve it to the end of time. It is also for this reason there is no need for any new prophet or revelation (guidance) to come to humankind. The Qur’an is read in Arabic with great emphasis on the accuracy of recitation, including the recognition of diacritical marks and places where one pauses momentarily or stops.
The Arabic word Surah is loosely translated as chapter and Ayah as verse for the English readers who are unfamiliar with Qura’nic concepts. The Ayah (plural Ayat) means a sign. Those who have read the meaning of the Qur’an thoroughly and have had time to reflect upon them appreciate the word ayah as it is truly a sign from Allah (SWT), the lord of the universe, the absolute, without any partners or associate. Allah is the personal name of God, the Lord of the universe, the owner of the day of judgement. The word Allah is not subject to gender (male or female, such as god or goddess) or plurality (such as gods or goddesses). This word is found in Semitic languages, spoken by Prophets (I’sa) Jesus and (Musa) Moses, peace be upon them both (as).
According to the Qur’an, Allah sent Numerous Nabi (prophets) and Rasool (messengers), i.e., those prophets who were also given revelations or books from Allah. Among them are many that are also mentioned in the old and new testaments, and others that are specifically mentioned in the Qur’an. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) came about six centuries after Prophet I’sa (Jesus) and was the last prophet of Allah. He is the seal of the Prophets. The words Islam and Muslim are defined in the Qur’an, and Allah (SWT) states in the Qur’an that the religion of all Prophets was Islam and called them Muslims. Specifically, Prophet Abraham, among others, is called a Muslim in the Qur’an. The word Islam means total submission (to the will and commandments of Allah). It is derived from the root word SLM and salam means peace (shalom in Hebrew). A Muslim is one who submits to the will and commandments of Allah. The Qur’an is sent for both humankind and Jinns. Continue reading