Sunday, October 25, 2009

What is the Qur'an?

The Qur’an (Arabic: القرآن‎“the recitation”) is the central religious text of Islam. Muslims believe the Qur’an to be the book of divine guidance and direction for mankind, and consider the original Arabic text to be the final revelation of God.

The Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by the angel Jibrīl (Gabriel) over a period of approximately twenty-three years, beginning in 610 CE, when he was forty, and concluding in 632 CE, the year of his death.Muslims regard the Qur’an as the main miracle of the Prophet Muhammad, as proof of his prophethood,and as the culmination of a series of divine messages. These started, according to Islamic belief, with the messages revealed to Adam, regarded in Islam as the first prophet, and continued with the Suhuf Ibrahim (Scrolls of Abraham), the Tawrat (Torah or Pentateuch),the Zabur (Tehillim or Book of Psalms),and the Injeel (Gospel).The Qur'an assumes familiarity with major narratives recounted in Jewish and Christian scriptures, summarizing some, dwelling at length on others, and, in some cases, presenting alternative accounts and interpretations of events.

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