The word “Qur’an” comes from the Arabic verb, qara’a meaning “to recite”, “to read”. According to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the command given to him by Gabriel three times in the cave of Hira was “Iqra'” or read. Prophet Muhammad replied, “I do not read”? Thus, the word that was sent down by Allah Almighty through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad is known as the Glorious Qur’an.
The Glorious Qur’an includes instructions of Allah Almighty for Prophet Muhammad and his followers over the 23-years, from A.D. 610 to his departure in 632. The revelations, in the Glorious Qur’an are from an identical book located in Heaven, revealed through the angel Gabriel.
What is the Qur’an?
The Glorious Qur’an is the very word of Allah, revealed through Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad. The language of the Glorious Qur’an is Arabic, the dialect belonged to the Quraysh tribe, the tribe entrusted with the city of Mecca and the tribe Prophet Muhammad’s family was a part of.
The Glorious Qur’an is divided into 114 chapters, called surah(s), these chapters, with the exception of the first are generally arranged according to length. Surah 2, Al-Baqarah, is the longest chapter in the Glorious Qur’an.
The chapters of the Glorious Qur’an also have a title derived from a word within the text; these titles necessarily have a link to the subject manner in the surah, from which it is derived. The titles have names such as Al-Baqarah “The Cow” and An-Nisa’, “Women” An-Nahl “The Bee”, etc.
In the beginning of every surah, there is a short prayer, the Basmalah, which says “In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious the Most Merciful”. This prayer is at the start of every surah except the ninth Surah At-Tawbah.
The verses of the surah, called ayah vary in size (pl, ‘Ayat). The Glorious Qur’an is written in rhyme prose, saj`a a style similar to the prose that is unique style, different from poetry and prose.
The Glorious Qur’an is the speech of Allah Almighty that was talked to Gabriel in order to convey it to the Prophet Muhammad. Allah refers to Himself as “We” or “I” and Prophet Muhammad is addressed by “Say”. Prophet Muhammad was ordered by his Lord to tell the message Allah has given him is Allah’s final messenger to the world and Prophet Muhammad is the “seal of the prophets”.
How was the Glorious Qur’an revealed?
The Glorious Qur’an is the written text of the revelation which Muhammad received from Allah Almighty. The account of how Muhammad first received the revelation of the Glorious Qur’an is recorded in the traditions of the Prophet and by early Islamic historians who explained the events.
In the year A.D. 610, Prophet Muhammad was forty-years old. When he was mediating in the cave of Hira’ he received his call to Prophethood. This Prophetic call was the beginning of the Glorious Qur’an. A Muslim historian, Muhammad H. Haykal, reports the events of Muhammad’s call, according to Islamic traditions as follows:
One day, while Muhammad was in the cave, an angel approached him. The angel said to Muhammad, “Read.” Muhammad answered, “I do not read.” He felt as if the angel had strangled and then released him and heard once more the command, “Read.” Muhammad’s reply was, “I do not read.” Once more he felt the angel strangling and then releasing him, and he heard him repeat the command, “Read.” For the third time Muhammad answered, ” I do not read.” fearful that this time the strangling would be stronger. The angel replied, “Read in the name of your Lord, Who Created, created man of a clot of blood. Read! Your Lord is Most Gracious. It is He Who taught man by the pen that which he does not know. [Al-`Alaq 96:1-5]
Muhammad recited these verses, repeating them after the angel who withdrew after they were permanently carved upon his memory. Thus the earliest of the biographies reported, and so did ibn Is’haq.
Muhammad went home and confided to his wife, Khadijah about what just happened in the cave, he confessed he feared on himself, she reassured Prophet Muhammad (peace be up on him). Khadijah then went to her cousin Waraqah ibn Nawfal, who was had some knowledge of previous scriptures, she was eager for advice regarding Prophet Muhammad (peace be up on him). Upon hearing the events regarding Muhammad, Waraqah declared him a prophet of Allah to the whole world.
As Muhammad entered his house he asked Khadijah to wrap him in blankets. She could see that her husband was shivering as if struck with high fever. When he calmed down, he cast toward his wife the glance of a man in need of rescue and said, “O Khadijah, what has happened to me?” He told her of his experience and intimated to her his fear. She said to him, “Joy to my cousin! Be firm. By him who dominates Khadijah’s soul I hope that you are the Prophet of Allah Almighty. By God, He will not let you down. You are kind to your kin; your speech is always true; you rescue the weary; entertain the guest and help the truth to prevail. When Waraqah was informed about the event of Angel Gabriel he broke into these words: “Holy, Holy! By Him who dominates Waraqah’s soul, if your report is true, O Khadijah, this must be the Great Spirit that spoke to Moses. Muhammad must be the Prophet of Allah.
From this point forward, the angel who appeared to the Prophet Muhammad would come back over the remaining 22 years of his life, from forty to age sixty-two, giving him further revelations. The 114 Surahs recorded in the Glorious Qur’an are linked to the periods in Muhammad’s life, until his death in A.D. 632. The method of revelation was not always the same according to Islamic tradition.
Source: www.truthnet.org. with modifications.