The Holy Quran is the most significant and detailed text of and about the Muslim religion. For the followers of Islam, the Quran represents the divine teachings of the God himself that he revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, through angel Gabriel for the guidance and betterment of humanity. The Muslims believe that the Holy Quran was the final revelation made to the mankind by the almighty. The term Quran has been coined from the Arabic language and when translated into English means “the recitation”. From the inception till today, Quran remains the fundamental religious content of Islam. Across the ages Quran is accepted as the supreme and best literature ever created in the Arabic language.
As per Muslim belief system, the Holy Quran was revealed to Muhammad, verbally by God himself, through his angel Gabriel (Jibril), during the duration of around 23 years, starting from 22 December 609 CE, when the prophet was 40 years old, till his death in 632 CE. It is further elucidated as per the Islamic traditional belief system that, the first of these teachings reached the prophet in the Cave of Hira. It is believed as per various Muslim historical resources that, initially Quran only existed in memorized and recited verses but gradually it began to be inscribed for record on tablets, bones and flat ends of date palm fronds. However, when Muhammad died in 632, the Quran had yet not been compiled as a book.
As per various historical evidences, it is believed that the first efforts towards the compilation of this holy text were taken by Abu Bakr the first caliph, soon after Muhammad's death. During this time various hand-written copies of the verbal Quranic verses were produced and these were handed over to Muhammad's widow, Hafsa bint Umar and Caliph Umar's daughter for safekeeping. However, the third Caliph Uthman ibn Affan, by 650 CE, began to notice a bit of deviations in various copies of the Quran, thus he formed a committee and asked them to create a standard text based on Hafsa's text. It is believed that this text became the sanctified model of the holy text throughout the Muslim realm. The other versions were confiscated and destroyed.
Structure and Content
The Quran has a complex structure and has unique poetic form, which by many Islamic scholars regard as the proof that it was created by a divine intervention. In total this holy text consists of 114 chapters, which are known as sura, these vary in length. The chapters are headed by titles, which have direct link with quality or name talked about in the chapter or with the initial words of the sura. The beginning of each chapter, except the ninth is with the word “Bismillah”, which means “In the name of God”. Further, each of the chapter consists of numerous verses, these are known as ayat, which when translated into English means “sign”. In all, the Quran has about 6,236 verses and 77430 words.
The Quran covers in its scope basic principals of Islam, such as existence of God, tales of prior prophets, instructions on various ethical as well as legal aspects of life. The holy text also consists of narrations of various events that occurred during Muhammad's lifetime, it also illustrates on topic of prayer and charity. The Quranic content provides basic guidelines to the humanity so that it could differentiate between moral rights and wrongs. The holy text also contains verses that are related to various natural phenomena.
In contemporary times most Muslims own printed editions of the holy text. Today, it is available in numerous editions that range from huge volumes to small miniature ones. A copy of Quran can be ornamented and expensive or plain and inexpensive. Though the original language of the Quran remains Arabic but today it is available in bilingual forms as well. The relevance of this scared has only grown with passage of time.
The Quran is the holiest and most pivotal religious text of Islam. Read the article to know more about this pious book.