Islamic Revelation and Reliability of Quran
Meaning of Islam
The literal meaning off the word “Islam” is the “submission to the will of God.” Its followers are called Muslims. Muslims are monotheistic and worship one, omnipresent Allah Almighty.
Main Beliefs of Islam
There Are Six Main Beliefs in Islam
- Belief in Allah as He is one and the only God.
- Belief in angels.
- Belief in the holy books e.g. Torah, Zaboor, Injeel, and Quran.
- Belief in the Prophets i.e. Adam, Ibrahim (also Abraham), Musa (also Moses), Dawud (also David), Isa (also Jesus).
- Belief in the hereafter or the Day of Judgment.
- Belief in Predestination.
Origin and Compilation of Quran
The Quran is the holy book for Muslims which was revealed in stages to the Prophet Muhammad over 23 years. Quranic revelations are regarded as the sacred word of God which intended to correct any errors in previous holy books such as the Old and New Testaments.
Origin of the Quran
The language of the Quran is Arabic. Some Quranic fragments have been dated as far back as the 8th, and possibly even the 7th, century AD. But the oldest existing copy of the full text belongs to the 9th century AD.
Contents of the Quran
There is total 114 chapters in the Quran, which are written in the old Arabic dialect. All the chapters except one begin with the sentence Bismillahir rahmanir raheem (In the name of Allah Almighty the most merciful and the kindest). This also provides the thought with which every Muslim should start every action. The longest chapter of the Quran is Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow) which has 286 verses. The shortest is Surah Al-Kawther (abundance) which has 3 verses.
The arrangement of the surahs do not correspond to the chronological order in which they had revealed. The Quran is sometimes divided into 30 equal parts which known as juz/paras. This division makes it easier for the Muslims to read the Quran during the course of a month. It was revealed during the month of Ramadan.
Islamic sources affirm that a complete written collection of the Quranic revelations was produced just after the Prophet’s death. It was because of the battles when a great number of the scholars who knew the Quran by heart were killed thus arising the fear of disappearing the Quranic text. Therefore, it was decided to collect and save the Quranic revelations on some materials like that of the palm branches and stones. Along with that it was also preserved in people’s memories.
A Prophet’s companion, Zayd ibn Thābit, reportedly copied out on sheets of parchment the proclamations he could find. Then he handed them over to the second pious caliph, ʿUmar (RA), who reigned from 634 to 644 CE. After Umar’s demise that collection was inherited by his daughter Ḥafṣah (RA). In order to prevent divergences in the recitation of the Quran, the third caliph, ʿUthmān(RA) who reigned from 644 to 656 CE, ordered those copies of Zayd ibn Thabit’s records be sent to the main garrison towns of the Islamic realm. And the alternative versions of scripture should be burned. However, it is quite difficult to rule out that the Quran could have undergone some amount of early post-prophetic editing.
Revelation of Quran
The Quran was revealed to Muhammad (PBUH) in separate passages that often consisted of isolated verses or verse groups. Islamic sources preserve a great number of reports about the occasions on which a certain surah or their parts revealed. Thus, pre-modern Muslim interpreters envisaged the revelation of the Quran as having been intimately connected with specific events in the life of the Prophet that are reported by extra-Quranic literature.
Reliability of Quran
Recent research shows the Quran’s theological and literary features under the light of the life of Muhammad (PBUH). It is not mere the compendium of the the historical events and stories rather it is the collection of the commands by Allah Almighty.
The Tradition of Quranic Text
The Islamic history distinguishes between Meccan and Medinan revelations. The German Orientalist scholars Gustav Weil and Theodor Noldeke proposed that the Meccan texts could be further subdivided into three successive periods.
These translations exist in over 40 languages. However, the Muslims still prefer to recite it in Arabic, even if this is not their native language.
Memorizing the Quran
The Quran was revealed in fragments. Therefore, it was not available in book form. So, it was common for the people to learn it by heart or memorize it. The person who is able to accomplish it is known as a hafiz.