Introdution to Quran:
According to Islamic belief, the Holy Qur'an was revealed by God to the
prophet Muhammad (570-632 C.E.) through the Angel Gabriel during the
twenty-two years of Muhammad's messengership between the
years 610 - 632. According to the Islamic teachings, the Qur'an is the
only one of several divinely-revealed scriptures, including the Books
revealed to Moses and to Jesus -- whose divinity Islam denies but who
is held in the greatest respect as one of the most honored and important
of all prophets -- which has survived in its original form without the
slightest alteration since the time of its revelation.
The Qur'an speaks in powerful, moving language about the reality and
attributes of God, the spiritual world, God's purposes with mankind,
man's relationship and responsibility to Him, the coming of the Day of
Judgment, and the life hereafter. It also contains rules for living which
Muslims consider to be binding, stories of earlier prophets' and their
communities, and vital insights and understandings concerning the meaning
of existence and human life. In its original Arabic, with its earnest, moving
tone, the Qur'an speaks directly to the heart, offering teachings which one
instinctively grasps as true. It also speaks profoundly to the mind,
exhorting human beings to ponder and reflect on God's creation as
evidence of His existence, power and beneficence.
Since the Arabic text of the Qur'an is regarded as the direct speech of
God, the Qur'an cannot be literally "translated" into any other language.
However, its approximate meaning can be given, and the Qur'an has
probably been rendered into every written language on the globe. Because
of the importance of the Qur'an in the lives of Muslims, Muslims
worldwide learn Arabic from an early age and use it in their prayers daily.
Up to this day, countless Muslims in various parts of the Muslim world
have committed the entire Qur'an to memory; even the simplest villager is
likely to know a number of passages which he uses in praying.
The Qur'an as a Text for Life
As the verses of the Qur'an were revealed to the Prophet by the angel
Gabriel, they were engraved upon his memory, after which he immediately
recited the new revelations to various of his Companions or scribes.
The first segments of the Qur'an were inscribed on whatever materials
were available. However, by the time of his death, the full Qur'an had been
preserved in written form.
From this divinely-revealed source, the Book of God, Muslims derive the
inspiration and impetus for their lives. Passages from the Qur'an are recited
during each of the five daily prayers which conscious Muslims observe,
and at other times as well. It is Muslims' book of guidance, containing the
Message sent to them by God Himself through His noble prophet,
Muhammad, believed to be the most perfect of mankind, as a light
illuminating their path through this world. It is little wonder, then, that the
Qur'an forms the basis of much decorative art throughout the Muslim
world, for Muslims consider it an honor and blessing to have its sacred
verses embellishing their homes.