Quran

QuranThe Quran (Arabic: القرآن‎ al-qur’ān, literally meaning “the Recitation”; also romanized Qurʾan or Koran) is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to be a revelation from GOD (Arabic: الله‎, ALLAH). It is widely regarded as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language. Quranic chapters are called suras and verses, ayahs.

Quran

Muslims believe the Quran was verbally revealed by GOD to Muhammad (in all document GOD’s blessing upon him every time believers read his name) through the Angel Gabriel (Jibril), gradually over a period of approximately 23 years, beginning on 22 December 609 CE, when Muhammad was 40, and concluding in 632, the year of his death. Muslims regard the Quran as the most important miracle of Muhammad, a proof of his prophethood, and the culmination of a series of divine messages that started with the messages revealed to Adam and ended with Muhammad.

According to the traditional narrative, several companions of Muhammad served as scribes and were responsible for writing down the Revelations. Shortly after Muhammad’s death, the Quran was compiled by his companions who wrote down and memorized parts of it. These codices had differences that motivated the Caliph Uthman to establish a standard version now known as Uthman’s codex, which is generally considered the archetype of the Quran we have today. However, the existence of variant readings, with mostly minor and some significant variations, and the early unvocalized Arabic script mean the relationship between Uthman’s codex to both the text of today’s Quran and to the revelations of Muhammad’s time is still unclear.

The Quran assumes familiarity with major narratives recounted in the Jewish and Christian scriptures. It summarizes some, dwells at length on others and, in some cases, presents alternative accounts and interpretations of events. The Quran describes itself as a book of guidance. It sometimes offers detailed accounts of specific historical events, and it often emphasizes the moral significance of an event over its narrative sequence. The Quran is used along with the hadith to interpret Sharia law. During prayers, the Quran is recited only in Arabic.

Someone who has memorized the entire Quran is called a hafiz. Some Muslims read Quranic ayah (verse) with elocution, which is often called tajwid. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims typically complete the recitation of the whole Quran during tarawih prayers. In order to extrapolate the meaning of a particular Quranic verse, most Muslims rely on the tafsir.

Etymology and meaning

The word qurʼān appears about 70 times in the Quran itself, assuming various meanings. It is a verbal noun (maṣdar) of the Arabic verb qaraʼa (قرأ), meaning “he read” or “he recited”. The Syriac equivalent is (ܩܪܝܢܐ) qeryānā, which refers to “scripture reading” or “lesson”. While some Western scholars consider the word to be derived from the Syriac, the majority of Muslim authorities hold the origin of the word is qaraʼa itself. Regardless, it had become an Arabic term by Muhammad’s lifetime. An important meaning of the word is the “act of reciting”, as reflected in an early Quranic passage: “It is for Us to collect it and to recite it (qurʼānahu).”

In other verses, the word refers to “an individual passage recited [by Muhammad]”. Its liturgical context is seen in a number of passages, for example: “So when al-qurʼān is recited, listen to it and keep silent.” The word may also assume the meaning of a codified scripture when mentioned with other scriptures such as the Torah (Tawrat in Arabic) and Gospel (Injil in Arabic).

The term also has closely related synonyms that are employed throughout the Quran. Each synonym possesses its own distinct meaning, but its use may converge with that of qurʼān in certain contexts. Such terms include kitāb (book); āyah (sign); and sūrah (scripture). The latter two terms also denote units of revelation. In the large majority of contexts, usually with a definite article (al-), the word is referred to as the “revelation” (waḥy), that which has been “sent down” (tanzīl) at intervals. Other related words are: dhikr (remembrance), used to refer to the Quran in the sense of a reminder and warning, and ḥikmah (wisdom), sometimes referring to the revelation or part of it.

The Quran describes itself as “the discernment” (al-furqān), “the mother book” (umm al-kitāb), “the guide” (huda), “the wisdom” (hikmah), “the remembrance” (dhikr) and “the revelation” (tanzīl; something sent down, signifying the descent of an object from a higher place to lower place). Another term is al-kitāb (The Book), though it is also used in the Arabic language for other scriptures, such as the Torah and the Gospels. The term mus’haf (‘written work’) is often used to refer to particular Quranic manuscripts but is also used in the Quran to identify earlier revealed books.

History

Islamic tradition relates that Muhammad received his first revelation in the Cave of Hira during one of his isolated retreats to the mountains. Thereafter, he received revelations over a period of 23 years. According to hadith and Muslim history, after Muhammad immigrated to Medina and formed an independent Muslim community, he ordered many of his companions to recite the Quran and to learn and teach the laws, which were revealed daily. It is related that some of the Quraysh who were taken prisoners at the battle of Badr regained their freedom after they had taught some of the Muslims the simple writing of the time. Thus a group of Muslims gradually became literate. As it was initially spoken, the Quran was recorded on tablets, bones, and the wide, flat ends of date palm fronds. Most suras were in use amongst early Muslims since they are mentioned in numerous sayings by both Sunni and Shia sources, relating Muhammad’s use of the Quran as a call to Islam, the making of prayer and the manner of recitation. However, the Quran did not exist in book form at the time of Muhammad’s death in 632. There is agreement among scholars that Muhammad himself did not write down the revelation.

Sahih al-Bukhari narrates Muhammad describing the revelations as, “Sometimes it is (revealed) like the ringing of a bell” and Aisha reported, “I saw the Prophet being inspired Divinely on a very cold day and noticed the sweat dropping from his forehead (as the Inspiration was over).” Muhammad’s first revelation, according to the Quran, was accompanied with a vision. The agent of revelation is mentioned as the “one mighty in power”, the one who “grew clear to view when he was on the uppermost horizon. Then he drew nigh and came down till he was (distant) two bows’ length or even nearer.” The Islamic studies scholar Welch states in the Encyclopaedia of Islam that he believes the graphic descriptions of Muhammad’s condition at these moments may be regarded as genuine, because he was severely disturbed after these revelations. According to Welch, these seizures would have been seen by those around him as convincing evidence for the superhuman origin of Muhammad’s inspirations. However, Muhammad’s critics accused him of being a possessed man, a soothsayer or a magician since his experiences were similar to those claimed by such figures well known in ancient Arabia. Welch additionally states that it remains uncertain whether these experiences occurred before or after Muhammad’s initial claim of prophethood.

The Quran describes Muhammad as “ummi”, which is traditionally interpreted as “illiterate,” but the meaning is rather more complex. Medieval commentators such as Al-Tabari maintained that the term induced two meanings: first, the inability to read or write in general; second, the inexperience or ignorance of the previous books or scriptures (but they gave priority to the first meaning). Muhammad’s illiteracy was taken as a sign of the genuineness of his prophethood. For example, according to Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, if Muhammad had mastered writing and reading he possibly would have been suspected of having studied the books of the ancestors. Some scholars such as Watt prefer the second meaning of “ummi” – they take it to indicate unfamiliarity with earlier sacred texts.

Compilation

In the year 632, after the demise of Muhammad a number of his companions who knew the Quran by heart were killed in a battle by Musaylimah, the first caliph Abu Bakr (d. 634) decided to collect the book in one volume so that it could be preserved. Zayd ibn Thabit (d. 655) was the person to collect the Quran since “he used to write the Divine Inspiration for Allah’s Apostle”. Thus, a group of scribes, most importantly Zayd, collected the verses and produced a hand-written manuscript of the complete book. The manuscript according to Zayd remained with Abu Bakr until he died. Zayd’s reaction to the task and the difficulties in collecting the Quranic material from parchments, palm-leaf stalks, thin stones and from men who knew it by heart is recorded in earlier narratives. After Abu Bakr, Hafsa bint Umar, Muhammad’s widow, was entrusted with the manuscript. In about 650, the third Caliph Uthman ibn Affan (d. 656) began noticing slight differences in pronunciation of the Quran as Islam expanded beyond the Arabian Peninsula into Persia, the Levant, and North Africa. In order to preserve the sanctity of the text, he ordered a committee headed by Zayd to use Abu Bakr’s copy and prepare a standard copy of the Quran. Thus, within 20 years of Muhammad’s death, the Quran was committed to written form. That text became the model from which copies were made and promulgated throughout the urban centers of the Muslim world, and other versions are believed to have been destroyed. The present form of the Quran text is accepted by Muslim scholars to be the original version compiled by Abu Bakr.

According to Shia, Ali ibn Abi Talib (d. 661) compiled a complete version of the Quran shortly after Muhammad’s death. The order of this text differed from that gathered later during Uthman’s era in that this version had been collected in chronological order. Despite this, he made no objection against the standardized Quran and accepted the Quran in circulation. Other personal copies of the Quran might have existed including Ibn Mas’ud’s and Ubay ibn Ka’b’s codex, none of which exist today.

The Quran most likely existed in scattered written form during Muhammad’s lifetime. Several sources indicate that during Muhammad’s lifetime a large number of his companions had memorized the revelations. Early commentaries and Islamic historical sources support the above-mentioned understanding of the Quran’s early development. The Quran in its present form is generally considered by academic scholars to record the words spoken by Muhammad because the search for variants has not yielded any differences of great significance. University of Chicago professor Fred Donner states that “…there was a very early attempt to establish a uniform consonantal text of the Qurʾān from what was probably a wider and more varied group of related texts in early transmission. […] After the creation of this standardized canonical text, earlier authoritative texts were suppressed, and all extant manuscripts—despite their numerous variants—seem to date to a time after this standard consonantal text was established.” Although most variant readings of the text of the Quran have ceased to be transmitted, some still are. There has been no critical text produced on which a scholarly reconstruction of the Quranic text could be based. Historically, controversy over the Quran’s content has rarely become an issue, although debates continue on the subject.

In 1972, in a mosque in the city of Sana’a, Yemen, manuscripts were discovered that were later proved to be the most ancient Quranic text known to exist at the time. The Sana’a manuscripts contain palimpsests, a manuscript page from which the text has been washed off to make the parchment reusable again—a practice which was common in ancient times due to scarcity of writing material. However, the faint washed-off underlying text (scriptio inferior) is still barely visible and believed to be “pre-Uthmanic” Quranic content, while the text written on top (scriptio superior) is believed to belong to Uthmanic time. Studies using radiocarbon dating indicate that the parchments are dated to the period before 671 AD with a 99 percent probability.

In 2015, fragments of a very early Quran, dating back to 1370 years ago, were discovered in the library of the University of Birmingham, England. According to the tests carried out by Oxford University Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, “with a probability of more than 95%, the parchment was from between 568 and 645”. The manuscript is written in Hijazi script, an early form of written Arabic. This is possibly the earliest extant exemplar of the Quran, but as the tests allow a range of possible dates, it cannot be said with certainty which of the existing versions is the oldest. Saudi scholar Saud al-Sarhan has expressed doubt over the age of the fragments as they contain dots and chapter separators that are believed to have originated later.

Significance in Islam

Muslims believe the Quran to be the book of divine guidance revealed from GOD to Muhammad through the Angel Gabriel over a period of 23 years and view the Quran as GOD’s final revelation to humanity.

Revelation in Islamic and Quranic contexts means the act of GGOD (ALLAH) od addressing an individual, conveying a message for a greater number of recipients. The process by which the divine message comes to the heart of a messenger of GOD is tanzil (to send down) or nuzūl (to come down). As the Quran says, “With the truth we (GOD) have sent it down and with the truth it has come down.”

The Quran frequently asserts in its text that it is divinely ordained. Some verses in the Quran seem to imply that even those who do not speak Arabic would understand the Quran if it were recited to them. The Quran refers to a written pre-text, “the preserved tablet”, that records God’s speech even before it was sent down.

The issue of whether the Quran is eternal or created became a theological debate (Quran’s createdness) in the ninth century. Mu’tazilas, an Islamic school of theology based on reason and rational thought, held that the Quran was created while the most widespread varieties of Muslim theologians considered the Quran to be co-eternal with God and therefore uncreated. Sufi philosophers view the question as artificial or wrongly framed.

Muslims believe that the present wording of the Quran corresponds to that revealed to Muhammad, and according to their interpretation of Quran 15, 9, it is protected from corruption (“Indeed, it is We who sent down the Quran and indeed, We will be its guardian.”). Muslims consider the Quran to be a guide, a sign of the prophethood of Muhammad and the truth of the religion.

Inimitability

Inimitability of the Quran (or “I’jaz“) is the belief that no human speech can match the Quran in its content and form. The Quran is considered an inimitable miracle by Muslims, effective until the Day of Resurrection—and, thereby, the central proof granted to Muhammad in authentication of his prophetic status. The concept of inimitability originates in the Quran where in five different verses opponents are challenged to produce something like the Quran: “If men and sprites banded together to produce the like of this Quran they would never produce its like not though they backed one another.” So the suggestion is that if there are doubts concerning the divine authorship of the Quran, come forward and create something like it. From the ninth century, numerous works appeared which studied the Quran and examined its style and content. Medieval Muslim scholars including al-Jurjani (d. 1078) and al-Baqillani (d. 1013) have written treatises on the subject, discussed its various aspects, and used linguistic approaches to study the Quran. Others argue that the Quran contains noble ideas, has inner meanings, maintained its freshness through the ages and has caused great transformations at the individual level and in history. Some scholars state that the Quran contains scientific information that agrees with modern science. The doctrine of the miraculousness of the Quran is further emphasized by Muhammad’s illiteracy since the unlettered prophet could not have been suspected of composing the Quran.

In worship

The first sura of the Quran is repeated in daily prayers and in other occasions. This sura, which consists of seven verses, is the most often recited sura of the Quran:

Praised be God, Lord of the Universe, the Beneficent, the Merciful and Master of the Day of Judgment, You alone We do worship and from You alone we do seek assistance, guide us to the right path, the path of those to whom You have granted blessings, those who are neither subject to Your anger nor have gone astray.”

Other sections of the Quran of choice are also read in daily prayers.

Respect for the written text of the Quran is an important element of religious faith by many Muslims, and the Quran is treated with reverence. Based on tradition and a literal interpretation of Quran 56, 79 (“none shall touch but those who are clean”), some Muslims believe that they must perform a ritual cleansing with water before touching a copy of the Quran, although this view is not universal. Worn-out copies of the Quran are wrapped in a cloth and stored indefinitely in a safe place, buried in a mosque or a Muslim cemetery, or burned and the ashes buried or scattered over water.

In Islam, most intellectual disciplines, including Islamic theology, philosophy, mysticism and jurisprudence, have been concerned with the Quran or have their foundation in its teachings. Muslims believe that the preaching or reading of the Quran is rewarded with divine rewards variously called ajr, thawab or hasanat.

Text and arrangement

The Quran consists of 114 chapters of varying lengths, each known as a sura. Suras are classified as Meccan or Medinan, depending on whether the verses were revealed before or after the migration of Muhammad to the city of Medina. However, a sura classified as Medinan may contain Meccan verses in it and vice versa. Sura titles are derived from a name or quality discussed in the text, or from the first letters or words of the sura. Suras are arranged roughly in order of decreasing size. The sura arrangement is thus not connected to the sequence of revelation. Each sura except the ninth starts with the Bismillah (بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم), an Arabic phrase meaning “In the name of God”. There are, however, still 114 occurrences of the Bismillah in the Quran, due to its presence in Quran 27, 30 as the opening of Solomon’s letter to the Queen of Sheba.

Each sura consists of several verses, known as ayat, which originally means a “sign” or “evidence” sent by God. The number of verses differs from sura to sura. An individual verse may be just a few letters or several lines. The total number of verses in the Quran is 6,236; however, the number varies if the bismillahs are counted separately.

In addition to and independent of the division into suras, there are various ways of dividing the Quran into parts of approximately equal length for convenience in reading. The 30 juz’ (plural ajzāʼ) can be used to read through the entire Quran in a month. Some of these parts are known by names—which are the first few words by which the juzʼ starts. A juz’ is sometimes further divided into two ḥizb (plural aḥzāb), and each hizb subdivided into four rubʻ al-ahzab. The Quran is also divided into seven approximately equal parts, manzil (plural manāzil), for it to be recited in a week.

A different structure is provided by semantical units resembling paragraphs and comprising roughly ten ayat each. Such a section is called a rukū`.

The Muqattaʿat (Arabic: حروف مقطعات ‎‎ ḥurūf muqaṭṭaʿāt “disjoined letters” or “disconnected letters”; also “mysterious letters”) are combinations of between one and five Arabic letters figuring at the beginning of 29 out of the 114 surahs (chapters) of the [Quran just after the basmala. The letters are also known as fawātih (فواتح) or “openers” as they form the opening verse of their respective suras . Four surahs are named for their muqatta’at, Ṭāʾ-Hāʾ, Yāʾ-Sīn, Ṣād and Qāf. The original significance of the letters is unknown. Tafsir (exegesis) has interpreted them as abbreviations for either Names or qualities of GoOD or for the names or content of the respective surahs.

According to one estimate the Quran consists of 77,430 words, 18,994 unique words, 12,183 stems, 3,382 lemmas and 1,685 roots.

Contents

The Quranic content is concerned with basic Islamic beliefs including the existence of GOD [ALLAH] and the resurrection. Narratives of the early prophets, ethical and legal subjects, historical events of Muhammad’s time, charity and prayer (Salat) also appear in the Quran. The Quranic verses contain general exhortations regarding right and wrong and historical events are related to outline general moral lessons. Verses pertaining to natural phenomena have been interpreted by Muslims as an indication of the authenticity of the Quranic message.

Monotheism

The central theme of the Quran is monotheism. GOD is depicted as living, eternal, omniscient and omnipotent (see, e.g., Quran 2, 20, 2, 29, 2, 255). ALLAH’s omnipotence appears above all in his power to create. He is the creator of everything, of the heavens and the earth and what is between them (see, e.g., Quran 13, 16, 50, 38, etc.). All human beings are equal in their utter dependence upon GOD, and their well-being depends upon their acknowledging that fact and living accordingly.

The Quran uses cosmological and contingency arguments in various verses without referring to the terms to prove the existence of GOD. Therefore, the universe is originated and needs an originator, and whatever exists must have a sufficient cause for its existence. Besides, the design of the universe is frequently referred to as a point of contemplation: “It is He who has created seven heavens in harmony. You cannot see any fault in GOD’s creation; then look again: Can you see any flaw?”

Eschatology

The doctrine of the last day and Eschatology (the final fate of the universe) may be reckoned as the second great doctrine of the Quran. It is estimated that approximately one-third of the Quran is eschatological, dealing with the afterlife in the next world and with the day of judgment at the end of time. There is a reference to the afterlife on most pages of the Quran and belief in the afterlife is often referred to in conjunction with belief in God as in the common expression: “Believe in GOD and the last day”. A number of suras such as 44, 56, 75, 78, 81 and 101 are directly related to the afterlife and its preparations. Some suras indicate the closeness of the event and warn people to be prepared for the imminent day. For instance, the first verses of Sura 22, which deal with the mighty earthquake and the situations of people on that day, represent this style of divine address: “O People! Be respectful to your LORD. The earthquake of the Hour is a mighty thing.”

The Quran is often vivid in its depiction of what will happen at the end time. Watt describes the Quranic view of End Time:

“The climax of history, when the present world comes to an end, is referred to in various ways. It is ‘the Day of Judgment,’ ‘the Last Day,’ ‘the Day of Resurrection,’ or simply ‘the Hour.’ Less frequently it is ‘the Day of Distinction’ (when the good are separated from the evil), ‘the Day of the Gathering’ (of men to the presence of GOD) or ‘the Day of the Meeting’ (of men with GOD). The Hour comes suddenly. It is heralded by a shout, by a thunderclap, or by the blast of a trumpet. A cosmic upheaval then takes place. The mountains dissolve into dust, the seas boil up, the sun is darkened, the stars fall and the sky is rolled up. GOD appears as Judge, but his presence is hinted at rather than described. […] The central interest, of course, is in the gathering of all mankind before the Judge. Human beings of all ages, restored to life, join the throng. To the scoffing objection of the unbelievers that former generations had been dead a long time and were now dust and mouldering bones, the reply is that GOD is nevertheless able to restore them to life.”

The Quran does not assert a natural immortality of the human soul, since man’s existence is dependent on the will of GOD: when he wills, he causes man to die; and when he wills, he raises him to life again in a bodily resurrection.

Prophets

According to the Quran, GOD communicated with man and made his will known through signs and revelations. Prophets, or ‘Messengers of GOD’, received revelations and delivered them to humanity. The message has been identical and for all humankind. “Nothing is said to you that was not said to the messengers before you, that your lord has at his Command forgiveness as well as a most Grievous Penalty.” The revelation does not come directly from God to the prophets. Angels acting as GOD’s messengers deliver the divine revelation to them. This comes out in Quran 42, 51, in which it is stated: “It is not for any mortal that God should speak to them, except by revelation, or from behind a veil, or by sending a messenger to reveal by his permission whatsoever He will.”

Translations

Translating the Quran has always been problematic and difficult. Many argue that the Quranic text cannot be reproduced in another language or form. Furthermore, an Arabic word may have a range of meanings depending on the context, making an accurate translation even more difficult.

Nevertheless, the Quran has been translated into most African, Asian, and European languages. The first translator of the Quran was Salman the Persian, who translated surat al-Fatiha into Persian during the seventh century. Another translation of the Quran was completed in 884 in Alwar (Sindh, India, now Pakistan) by the orders of Abdullah bin Umar bin Abdul Aziz on the request of the Hindu Raja Mehruk.

The first fully attested complete translations of the Quran were done between the 10th and 12th centuries in Persian. The Samanid king, Mansur I (961–976), ordered a group of scholars from Khorasan to translate the Tafsir al-Tabari, originally in Arabic, into Persian. Later in the 11th century, one of the students of Abu Mansur Abdullah al-Ansari wrote a complete tafsir of the Quran in Persian. In the 12th century, Najm al-Din Abu Hafs al-Nasafi translated the Quran into Persian.

Islamic tradition also holds that translations were made for Emperor Negus of Abyssinia and Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, as both received letters by Muhammad containing verses from the Quran. In early centuries, the permissibility of translations was not an issue, but whether one could use translations in prayer.

In 1936, translations in 102 languages were known. In 2010, the Hürriyet Daily News and Economic Review reported that the Quran was presented in 112 languages at the 18th International Quran Exhibition in Tehran.

Robert of Ketton’s 1143 translation of the Quran for Peter the Venerable, Lex Mahumet pseudoprophete, was the first into a Western language (Latin). Alexander Ross offered the first English version in 1649, from the French translation of L’Alcoran de Mahomet (1647) by Andre du Ryer. In 1734, George Sale produced the first scholarly translation of the Quran into English; another was produced by Richard Bell in 1937, and yet another by Arthur John Arberry in 1955. All these translators were non-Muslims. There have been numerous translations by Muslims. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has published translations of the Quran in 50 different languages besides a five-volume English commentary and an English translation of the Quran.

As with translations of the Bible, the English translators have sometimes favored archaic English words and constructions over their more modern or conventional equivalents; for example, two widely read translators, A. Yusuf Ali and M. Marmaduke Pickthall, use the plural and singular “ye” and “thou” instead of the more common “you”.

The oldest Gurumukhi translation of the Quran Sharif in Gurmukhi has been found in village Lande of Moga district of Punjab which was printed in 1911.

Relationship with other literature

The Bible

The Quran speaks well of the relationship it has with former books (the Torah and the Gospels) and attributes their similarities to their unique origin and saying all of them have been revealed by the one GOD.

The Quran’s language was similar to the Syriac language. The Quran recounts stories of many of the people and events recounted in Jewish and Christian sacred books (Tanakh, Bible) and devotional literature (Apocrypha, Midrash), although it differs in many details. Adam, Enoch, Noah, Eber, Shelah, Abraham, Lot, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Jethro, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, Jonah, Aaron, Moses, Zechariah, John the Baptist and Jesus are mentioned in the Quran as prophets of God (see Prophets of Islam). In fact, Moses is mentioned more in the Quran than any other individual. Jesus is mentioned more often in the Quran than Muhammad, while Mary is mentioned in the Quran more than the New Testament.

Verses of the Qur’an referring to Christians and Jews

« Guidaci per la retta Via, / la Via di coloro sui quali hai effuso la Tua grazia, la via di coloro coi quali non sei adirato, la via di quelli che non vagolano nell’errore! »
(Qur’an, I:6-7)
« Uccidete dunque chiunque vi combatte dovunque li troviate e scacciateli di dove hanno scacciato voi, ché lo scandalo è peggiore dell’uccidere ; ma non combatteteli presso il Sacro Tempio, a meno che non siano essi ad attaccarvi colà: in tal caso uccideteli. Tale è la ricompensa dei Negatori. »
(Qur’an, II:191)
« Ma quelli che credono, siano essi Ebrei, Cristiani o Sabei, quelli che credono cioè in DIO e nell’Ultimo Giorno Ie operano il bene, avranno la loro mercede presso il SIGNORE, e nulla avran da temere né li coglierà tristezza. »
(Qur’an, II:62)
« Vi diranno ancora: “Diventate Ebrei o Cristiani e sarete ben guidati!” Ma tu rispondi: “No, noi siamo della Nazione di Abramo, ch’era un ḥanīf e non già un pagano”. »
(Qur’an, II:135)
« E in verità, presso DIO, Gesù è come Adamo: Egli lo creò dalla terra, gli disse “Sii!” ed egli fu. »
(Qur’an, III:59)
« E chiunque desideri una religione diversa dall’Islàm, non gli sarà accettata da DIO, ed egli nell’altra vita sarà tra i perdenti. »
(Qur’an, III:85)
« e per aver detto: “Abbiamo ucciso il Cristo, Gesù figlio di Maria, Messaggero di DIO”, mentre né lo uccisero né lo crocifissero, bensì qualcuno fu reso ai loro occhi simile a Lui (e in verità coloro la cui opinione è divergente a questo proposito, son certo in dubbio né hanno di questo scienza alcuna, bensì seguono una congettura, ché, per certo, essi non lo uccisero / ma Iddio lo innalzò a sé, e DIO è potente e saggio. »
(Qur’an, IV:157-158)
« In verità Noi abbiamo rivelato la Tōrāh, che contiene retta guida e luce, con la quale giudicavano i Profeti tutti dati a DIO tra i Giudei,e i maestri e i dottori con il Libro di DIO, di cui era stata loro affidata la custodia, e di cui erano testimoni. Non temete dunque questa gente, ma temete Me e non vendete i Miei Segni a vil prezzo! Coloro che non giudicano con la Rivelazione di DIO, son quelli i negatori. »
(Qur’an, V:44)
« E facemmo seguir loro Gesù, figlio di Maria, a conferma della Tōrāh rivelata prima di lui, e gli demmo il Vangelo pieno di retta guida e di luce, confermante la Tōrāh rivelata prima di esso, retta guida e ammonimento ai timorati di DIO. / Giudichi dunque la gente del Vangelo secondo quel che IDDIO ha ivi rivelato, ché coloro che non giudicano secondo la Rivelazione di DIO, sono i perversi. / E a te abbiamo rivelato il Libro secondo Verità, a conferma delle Scritture rivelate prima, e a loro protezione. Giudica dunque fra loro secondo quel che DIO ha rivelato non seguire i loro desideri a preferenza di quella Verità, che t’è giunta. A ognuno di voi abbiamo assegnato una regola e una via, mentre, se IDDIO avesse voluto, avrebbe fatto di voi una Comunità Unica, ma ciò non ha fatto, per provarvi in quel che vi ha dato. Gareggiate dunque nelle opere buone, ché a DIO tutti tornerete, e allora Egli vi informerà di quelle cose per le quali ora siete in discordia. »
(Qur’an, V:46-48)
« Ma coloro che credono, e i Giudei, e i Sabei e i Cristiani (quelli che credono in DIO e nell’Ultimo Giorno e che operano il bene) nulla han essi da temere,e non saranno rattristati. »
(Qur’an, V:69)
« Certo sono empi quelli che dicono: “Il Cristo, figlio di Maria, è DIO” mentre il Cristo disse: “O figli di Israele! Adorate DIO, mio e vostro SIGNORE”. E certo chi a DIO dà compagni, DIO gli chiude le porte del paradiso: la sua dimora è il Fuoco, e gli ingiusti non avranno alleati. »
(Qur’an, V:72)

 

Secondo il Corano, la frase evangelica “Verrà il Consolatore” nel Vangelo di Giovanni profetizzerebbe la venuta di Maometto). Non esistono versetti che esortino a uccidere o a convertire con la forza i politeisti (mushrikūn), un cui sinonimo nel Corano è “idolatri”. Per tutti costoro si reitera più volte la minaccia di tremendi castighi, riservati però loro da ALLAH solo nell’Aldilà. Le uniche esortazioni a combattere gli “associatori”, i “negatori” e i politeisti e a ucciderli, come si può esemplarmente leggere nei versetti 190 e 191 della Sura II,

« Combattete per la causa di ALLAH contro coloro che vi combattono, ma senza eccessi, ché ALLAH non ama coloro che eccedono. Uccideteli ovunque li incontriate, e scacciateli da dove vi hanno scacciati: la persecuzione è peggiore dell’omicidio. Ma non attaccateli vicino alla Santo Tempio [Moschea], fino a che essi non vi abbiano aggredito. Se vi assalgono, uccideteli. Questa è la ricompensa dei miscredenti. »
(Qur’an, II:190-191)

si trovano di fatto solo nei consimili passaggi riguardanti il “jihād minore”, che storicamente il testo sacro sembra riferire alle azioni ostili che, fin dall’inizio della vita della Comunità organizzata da Maometto a Medina, contrapposero i nemici pagani della Umma islamica ai musulmani. Fra i miscredenti non sono in ogni caso da annoverare gli appartenenti alla “Gente del libro” (Ahl al-Kitab), ovvero i Cristiani, gli Ebrei e i Sabei, che sono considerati custodi di una tradizione divina precedente al Corano che, per quanto alterata da tempo e uomini, è ritenuta comunque basilarmente valida, anche se per difetto.

Ponendosi come Terza Rivelazione dopo la Torah e i Vangeli (Injīl), ovvero come completamento del Messaggio trasmesso a ebrei e cristiani, il Corano contiene diversi riferimenti ai personaggi della Bibbia e a tradizioni ebraiche e cristiane. Sulla figura di Gesù in particolare il Corano ricorda dottrine gnostiche e docetiste, sostenendo che sulla croce sarebbe stato sostituito con un sosia o con un simulacro, solo apparentemente dotato di vita.


The Quran assumes familiarity with major narratives recounted in the Biblical Scriptures. It summarizes some, dwells at length on others and, in some cases, presents alternative accounts and interpretations of events. The Quran describes itself as a Book of guidance. It sometimes offers detailed accounts of specific historical events, and it often emphasizes the moral significance of an event over its narrative sequence. The Quran is used along with thehadith to interpret Sharia law.

Someone who has memorized the entire Quran is called a hafiz. Some Muslims read Quranic ayah (verse) withelocution, which is often called tajwid. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims typically complete the recitation of the whole Quran during tarawih prayers. In order to extrapolate the meaning of a particular Quranic verse, most Muslims rely on the tafsir.

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