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The Qur'an (Arabic: القرآن) is the holy book of Islam. The Qur'an is considered by Muslims to be "The Word of Allah (God)". This book is different from other religious texts in that it is believed to be the literal words of God, through the prophet Muhammad. Some Muslims call it the Final Testament.
It has been written and read only in Arabic for more than 1,400 years. But, because many Muslims around the world do not understand Arabic, the meaning of the Qur'an is also given in other languages, so that readers can understand better what the Arabic words in the Qur'an mean. These books are like dictionaries to the Qur'an - they are not read as part of the religion of Islam, to replace the Arabic Qur'an. Muslims believe that these translations are not the true Qur'an; only the Arabic copy is the true Qur'an. The Quran is used with the hadith to interpret sharia law.
The Qur'an was not written all together in book-form while Muhammad was alive; it was kept by oral communication and brief written records. The prophet did not know how to read nor write, but according to Muslims, the prophet's cousin Ali ibn abi Talib, among others, used to write the texts on something when Muhammad was alive. After prophet Muhammad died, Omar ibn Khattab, one of the khulafa u rashidan, compiled the quran into a single book.
The elements, suras, verses, revelations
According to the Muslim teachings, 87 of these suras revealed in Mecca, 27 of these suras revealed in Medina. The suras which took place in Medina are Al-Baqara, Al Imran, Al-Anfal, Al-Ahzab, Al-Ma'ida, An-Nisa, Al-Mumtahina, Az-Zalzala, Al-Hadid, Muhammad, Ar-Ra'd, Ar-Rahman, At-Talaq, Al-Bayyina, Al-Hashr, An-Nasr, An-Nur, Al-Hajj, Al-Munafiqun, Al-Mujadila, Al-Hujraat, At-Tahrim, At-Taghabun, Al-Jumua, As-Saff, Al-Fath, At-Tawba, Al-Insan.
The verses of the Quran speak about many different topics. For example, the verses of chapter 80 (Abasa) speak about the evils of ableism, also called able-bodyism or ablecentrism. Or verse 2:15 speaks about the evils of being two-faced.
The first and last verse
The first verse revealed is:
(5) اقرَأ بِاسمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذي خَلَقَ (1) خَلَقَ الإِنسانَ مِن عَلَقٍ (2) اقرَأ وَرَبُّكَ الأَكرَمُ (3) الَّذي عَلَّمَ بِالقَلَمِ (4) عَلَّمَ الإِنسانَ ما لَم يَعلَم
Read (commencing) with the Name of Allah, Who has created (everything). He created man from a hanging mass (clinging) like a leech (in the mother’s womb). Read and your Lord is Most Generous, Who taught man (reading and writing) by the pen, Who (besides that) taught man (all that) which he did not know.96:1
The last verse revealed is:
Who believe! fulfil (all) obligations. Lawful unto you (for food) are all four-footed animals. Dead meat, blood, pig, any food which has been blessed by a (false) god other than Allah; an animal whose death resulted from strangulation, bludgeoning, arrows, falling, or bloodloss; an animal which was partly consumed by a wild animal or an animal which is sacrificed on a stone altar are forbidden. However, if faced with starvation, exceptions are allowed.
Earliest surviving fragments
Radiocarbon dating showed with a probability of more than 95%, the parchment was from between 568 and 645 AD. So the manuscript is at least 1,370 years old. It is the earliest, or among the earliest, in existence.
- Qur'an, retrieved on 8 January 2009
- Jamilah, Jamilah. "Interrelatedness Of Legal Verses In Surah Al-baqarah." De Jure: Jurnal Hukum dan Syar'iah 1.2 (2009).
- This can also be found in the Quran (chapter 96:1 - 5 Archived 2011-07-14 at the Wayback Machine)
- Coughlan, Sean 2015. Oldest Koran fragments found in Birmingham University. BBC News Education.