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Quran is the holiest book of Muslims that is believed to be the word of God, revealed to Prophet Muhammad through the angel Gabriel. The Quran consists of one hundred and fourteen chapters known as Surah which are further broken down in verses which are called ayah in Arabic. There are in total 6,236 verses in Quran. The Surah (chapters in Quran) are of various sizes containing different number of verses and are arranged in decreasing order of size. This means that the Quran has not been written in chronological order in which the verses were revealed to Muhammad.
How did it come into existence?
Muhammad was 40 years old when he first saw the angel, Gabriel, who revealed the words of Allah to him. Muhammad usually visited the desert and the cave of Hira whenever he was troubled by something or just needed some time of isolation. During one such time, when he was in the cave of Hira, he had his first revelation of Quran. This continued for around 23 years of Muhammad’s life till he died in 632. During this period he had travelled to many places in order to spread the message of Allah to people. The verses in Quran are classified as Meccan or Medinan on the basis of when they were revealed to Muhammad – verses revealed to him before he went to Medina are known as Meccan and verses revealed to him after that are classified as Medinan.
The Quran is believed to be a holy book that guides the humanity(regardless of a person’s caste, colour, social status etc.) in all the aspects of life – personal or social. Along with Hadith, the Quran defines and helps in interpretation of the Sharia law.
The Sharia law and the Quran describes the importance of the life and the afterlife. All its teachings are related to improve the lives and the afterlives of the people. Muslims believe that if they follow Quran without bringing any doubts in their minds, they can make sure that they do well in both – living life and the hereafter.
When and how was it compiled?
The Quran was memorized by many companions of Allah, it was needed to be written. The Quran was brought in a written form by many companions of Muhammad who scribbled the Quran on various things like bones, tablets etc. The original Quran is written in Arabic as it was revealed by Allah, without any modification. Still the first caliph after Muhammad’s death believed that there was a need of preserving the Quran. He ordered one of his companion, Zayd ibn Thabit along with others, to rewrite the Quran in a proper way. They made a hand written manuscript which was handed over to Abu Bakr till his death in order to preserve the Quran.
It was important to keep the Quran in its original form only because it contained the words of Allah himself which must not be manipulated in any way. Thus the third caliph Uthman ibn Affan made sure that only the original Quran, one that was compiled under the guidance of Abu Bakr, should be followed by people.
There are many translations of Quran, but these should not be considered to be the real Quran or any version of Quran. These translated books are just for easy understanding of the people. There is only one Quran that has been written in Arabic and during prayers only Arabic verses should be recited.
Importance of Quran
The reason behind Quran’s significance in Islam is that it contains the words of the only God of Humanity, Allah. The Quran consists of all aspects that are there is a human’s life.
Muslims believe that the Quran can never be imitated by anyone because there is no one as great as Allah. The first chapter (Surah) is the most recited surah of the Quran, usually during prayers.
The Quran also served as a proof that Muhammad was in reality the prophet – the messenger of Allah.
The Muslims have complete faith in Quran and follow everything that has been recorded in the holy book because of the belief that it has been recited by the angel of God.
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