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Quran

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Quran
Al-Qurʾān - (القرآن)

Quran Kareem

The Quran (English pronunciation: /kɔrˈɑːn/[n 1] kor-AHN ; Arabic: القرآنal-qurʾān, IPA: [qurˈʔaːn],[n 2] literally meaning "the recitation", Persian: [ɢoɾˈʔɒːn]), also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Al-Coran, Coran, Kuran, and Al-Qur'an, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to be the verbatim word of God (Arabic: الله‎, Allah).[1] It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language.[2][3][4][5][6]

Muslims believe the Quran to be verbally revealed through angel Gabriel (Jibril) from God to Muhammad gradually over a period of approximately 23 years beginning on 22 December 609 CE,[7] when Muhammad was 40, and concluding in 632 CE, the year of his death.[1][8][9]

Muslims regard the Quran as the main miracle of Muhammad, the proof of his prophethood[10] and the culmination of a series of divine messages that started with the messages revealed to Adam, regarded in Islam as the first prophet,[11] and continued with the Scrolls of Abraham (Suhuf Ibrahim),[12] the Tawrat (Torah or Pentateuch) of Moses,[13][14] the Zabur (Tehillim or Book of Psalms) of David,[15][16] and the Injil (Gospel) of Jesus.[17][18][19] The Quran 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.[20][21][22] The Quran describes itself as a book of guidance, sometimes offering detailed accounts of specific historical events, and often emphasizing the moral significance of an event over its narrative sequence.[23][24]

Contents

Etymology and meaning

The word qurʾān appears about 70 times in the Quran itself, assuming various meanings. It is a verbal noun (maṣdar) of the Arabic verb qaraʾa (قرأ), meaning “he read” or “he recited.” The Syriac equivalent is qeryānā, which refers to “scripture reading” or “lesson”. While most Western scholars consider the word to be derived from the Syriac, the majority of Muslim authorities hold the origin of the word is qaraʾa itself.[25] In any case, it had become an Arabic term by Muhammad's lifetime.[1] 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 (qurʾānahu)”.[26]

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-qurʾān is recited, listen to it and keep silent".[27] The word may also assume the meaning of a codified scripture when mentioned with other scriptures such as the Torah and Gospel.[28]

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 qurʾān 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” (wahy), that which has been “sent down” (tanzīl) at intervals.[29][30] Other related words are: dhikr, meaning "remembrance," used to refer to the Quran in the sense of a reminder and warning; and ḥikma, meaning “wisdom”, sometimes referring to the revelation or part of it.[25][31]

The Quran has many other names. Among those found in the text itself are al-furqān (“discernment” or “criterion”), al-hudah (“the guide”), ḏikrallāh (“the remembrance of God”), al-ḥikmah (“the wisdom”), and kalāmallāh (“the word of God”). 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 muṣḥaf ("written work") is often used to refer to particular Quranic manuscripts but is also used in the Quran to identify earlier revealed books.[1]

History

Prophetic era

Cave of Hira, location of Muhammad's first revelation.

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 twenty-three years. According to hadith and Muslim history, after Muhammad emigrated to Medina and formed an independent Muslim community, he ordered a considerable number of the sahabah to recite the Quran and to learn and teach the laws, which were revealed daily. Companions who engaged in the recitation of the Quran were called Qari. Since most sahabah were unable to read or write, they were ordered to learn from the prisoners-of-war the simple writing of the time. Thus a group of sahabah 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 chapters 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.[32][33]

Quranic verses inscribed on the shoulder blade of a camel.

Sahih 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)".[34] 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.[35]

Part of Al-Alaq - 96th sura of the Quran - the first revelation received by Muhammad.

The Quran states that Muhammad was ummi,[36] interpreted as illiterate in Muslim tradition. According to Watt, the meaning of the Quranic term ummi is unscriptured rather than illiterate[citation needed].

Compilation

Quran manuscript from the 7th century CE, written on vellum in the Hijazi script.

Based on earlier transmitted reports, shortly after Muhammad's death in the year 632 CE, the first caliph Abu Bakr decided to collect the book in one volume. Thus, a group of scribes, most importantly Zayd ibn Thabit, collected the verses and produced several hand-written copies of the complete book. 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.[32][37] Hafsa bint Umar, Muhammad's widow and Caliph Umar's daughter, was entrusted with that Quranic text.[38] In about 650 CE, when the third Caliph Uthman ibn Affan began noticing slight differences in pronunciation of the Quranic, and as Islam expanded beyond the Arabian peninsula into Persia, the Levant and North Africa, inorder to preserve the sanctity of the text, ordered a committee to use Hafsa's text and prepare a standard copy of the text of Quran. Thus, within twenty 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.[39][32][40][41] This process of formalization is known as the Uthmanic recension.[42] The present form of the Quran text is accepted by Muslim scholars to be the original version compiled by Abu Bakr.[42][43]

According to Shias and some Sunni scholars, Ali ibn Abi Talib compiled a complete version of the Quran immediately after Muhammad's death.[1] The order of this text differed from that gathered later during Uthman's era in that this version had been collected in chronological order.[44] Despite this, he made no objection against the standardized Quran, but kept his own book.[32][45] Other personal copies of the Quran might have existed including ibn Masud's and Ubayy ibn Kab's codex, none of which exist today.[39]

Qur'an most likely existed in scattered written form during the life of the Prophet, Muslim scholars believe that it was written as a complete text at the time of the Prophet’s death.[46] 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. 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.[47] Historically, controversy over the Quran's content has rarely become an issue, although debates continue on the subject.[48][49]

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. The sana'a manuscripts contain palimpsets, 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. The faint washed off underlying text, scriptio inferior, however is still barely visible and believed to be "pre-Uthmanic" Quranic content, whilst the text written on top, scriptio superior, is believed to belong to Uthmanic time.[50] Recent studies using radiocarbon dating indicates that the parchments have high probability of belonging to the period between 614 CE to 656 CE.[51][52]

Significance in Islam

11th-century North African Quran in the British Museum

Muslims believe the Quran to be the book of divine guidance and direction for humanity and consider the text in its original Arabic to be the literal word of God,[53] revealed to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel over a period of twenty-three years[8][9] and view the Quran as God's final revelation to humanity.[8][54]

Wahy in Islamic and Quranic concept means the act of God 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 nuzul (to come down). As the Quran says, "With the truth we (God) have sent it down and with the truth it has come down." It designates positive religion, the letter of the revelation dictated by the angel to the prophet. It means to cause this revelation to descend from the higher world. According to hadith, the verses were sent down in special circumstances known as asbab al-nuzul. However, in this view God himself is never the subject of coming down.[55]

The Quran frequently asserts in its text that it is divinely ordained, an assertion that Muslims believe. The Quran – often referring to its own textual nature and reflecting constantly on its assertion of divine origin – is the most meta-textual, self-referential religious text.[citation needed] The Quran refers to a written pre-text that records God's speech even before it was sent down.[56][57]

The issue of whether the Quran is eternal or created was one of the crucial controversies among early Muslim theologians. Mu'tazilis believe it is created while the most widespread varieties of Muslim theologians consider the Quran to be eternal and uncreated. Sufi philosophers view the question as artificial or wrongly framed.[58]

Muslims maintain the present wording of the Quranic text corresponds exactly to that revealed to Muhammad himself: as the words of God, said to be delivered to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel. Muslims consider the Quran to be a guide, a sign of the prophethood of Muhammad and the truth of the religion. They argue it is not possible for a human to produce a book like the Quran, as the Quran itself maintains.

9th-century Quran in Reza Abbasi Museum

Therefore an Islamic philosopher introduces a prophetology to explain how the divine word passes into human expression. This leads to a kind of esoteric hermeneutics that seeks to comprehend the position of the prophet by mediating on the modality of his relationship not with his own time, but with the eternal source his message emanates from. This view contrasts with historical critique of western scholars who attempt to understand the prophet through his circumstances, education and type of genius.[59]

The Basic Law of Saudi Arabia declares the Quran and sunnah the sole constitutional law of the kingdom.

Uniqueness

Muslims believe that the Quran is different from all other books in ways that are impossible for any other book to be, such that similar texts cannot be written by humans. These include both mundane and miraculous claims. The Quran itself challenges any who disagree with its divine origin to produce a text of a miraculous nature.[60]

Scholars of Islam believe that its poetic form is unique and of a fashion that cannot be written by humans. They also claim it contains accurate prophecy and that no other book does.[61][62][63][64][65]

Text

First sura of the Quran, Al-Fatiha, consisting of seven verses.

The Quran consists of 114 chapters of varying lengths, each known as a sura. Chapters 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. Chapter titles are derived from a name or quality discussed in the text, or from the first letters or words of the sura. Generally, longer chapters appear earlier in the Quran, while the shorter ones appear later. The chapter arrangement is thus not connected to the sequence of revelation. Each chapter 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 verse 27:30 as the opening of Solomon's letter to the Queen of Sheba.[66]

Each chapter is formed from several verses, known as ayat, which originally means a “sign” or “evidence” sent by God. The number of verses differs from chapter to chapter. 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 chapters, there are various ways of dividing the Quran into parts of approximately equal length for convenience in reading. The thirty juz' (plural ajza) can be used to read through the entire Quran in a month. Some of these parts are known by names and these names are the first few words by which the juz' starts. A juz' is sometimes further divided into two hizb (plural ahzab), and each hizb subdivided into four rub 'al-ahzab. The Quran is also divided into seven approximately equal parts, manzil (plural manazil), for it to be recited in a week.[1]

Muqatta'at or the Quranic initials are fourteen different letter combinations of 14 Arabic letters that appear in the beginning of 29 chapters of the Quran. The meanings of these initials remain unclear.

According to one estimate the Quran consists of 77430 words, 18994 unique words, 12183 stems, 3382 lemmas and 1685 roots.[67]

Content

The Quranic content is concerned with the basic beliefs of Islam which include the existence of God and the resurrection. Narratives of the early prophets, ethical and legal subjects, historical events of the prophet’s time, charity and prayer also appear in the Quran. The Quranic verses contain general exhortations regarding right and wrong and the nature of revelation. 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.[68]

Written in 12th Century.

Literary structure

The Quran's message is conveyed with various literary structures and devices. In the original Arabic, the chapters and verses employ phonetic and thematic structures that assist the audience's efforts to recall the message of the text. Muslims[who?] assert (according to the Quran itself) that the Quranic content and style is inimitable.[69]

Richard Gottheil and Siegmund Fränkel in the Jewish Encyclopedia write that the oldest portions of the Quran reflect significant excitement in their language, through short and abrupt sentences and sudden transitions. The Quran nonetheless carefully maintains the rhymed form, like the oracles. Some later portions also preserve this form but also in a style where the movement is calm and the style expository.[70]

The Quranic text seems to have no beginning, middle, or end, its nonlinear structure being akin to a web or net.[1] The textual arrangement is sometimes considered to have lack of continuity, absence of any chronological or thematic order and presence of repetition.[71][72] Michael Sells, citing the work of the critic Norman O. Brown, acknowledges Brown's observation that the seeming disorganization of Quranic literary expression – its scattered or fragmented mode of composition in Sells's phrase – is in fact a literary device capable of delivering profound effects as if the intensity of the prophetic message were shattering the vehicle of human language in which it was being communicated.[73][74] Sells also addresses the much-discussed repetitiveness of the Quran, seeing this, too, as a literary device.

Interpretation and meanings

Tafsir

The Quran has sparked a huge body of commentary and explication (tafsir), aimed at explaining the "meanings of the Quranic verses, clarifying their import and finding out their significance."[75]

Tafsir is one of the earliest academic activities of Muslims. According to the Quran, Muhammad was the first person who described the meanings of verses for early Muslims.[76] Other early exegetes included a few Companions of Muhammad, like Ali ibn Abi Talib, Abdullah ibn Abbas, Abdullah ibn Umar and Ubayy ibn Kab. Exegesis in those days was confined to the explanation of literary aspects of the verse, the background of its revelation and, occasionally, interpretation of one verse with the help of the other. If the verse was about a historical event, then sometimes a few traditions (hadith) of Muhammad were narrated to make its meaning clear.[77]

Because the Quran is spoken in classical Arabic, many of the later converts to Islam (mostly non-Arabs) did not always understand the Quranic Arabic, they did not catch allusions that were clear to early Muslims fluent in Arabic and they were concerned with reconciling apparent conflict of themes in the Quran. Commentators erudite in Arabic explained the allusions, and perhaps most importantly, explained which Quranic verses had been revealed early in Muhammad's prophetic career, as being appropriate to the very earliest Muslim community, and which had been revealed later, canceling out or "abrogating" (nasikh) the earlier text (mansukh).[78][79] Other scholars, however, maintain that no abrogation has taken place in the Qur'an.[80]

Ta'wil

Ja'far Kashfi defines ta'wil as 'to lead back or to bring something back to its origin or archetype'. It is a science whose pivot is a spiritual direction and a divine inspiration, while the tafsir is the literal exegesis of the letter; its pivot is the canonical Islamic sciences.[81] Muhammad Husayn Tabatabaei says that according to the popular explanation among the later exegetes, ta'wil indicates the particular meaning a verse is directed towards. The meaning of revelation (tanzil), as opposed to ta'wil, is clear in its accordance to the obvious meaning of the words as they were revealed. But this explanation has become so widespread that, at present, it has become the primary meaning of ta'wil, which originally meant "to return" or "the returning place". In Tabatabaei's view, what has been rightly called ta'wil, or hermeneutic interpretation of the Quran, is not concerned simply with the denotation of words. Rather, it is concerned with certain truths and realities that transcend the comprehension of the common run of men; yet it is from these truths and realities that the principles of doctrine and the practical injunctions of the Quran issue forth. Interpretation is not the meaning of the verse; rather it transpires through that meaning – a special sort of transpiration. There is a spiritual reality, which is the main objective of ordaining a law, or the basic aim in describing a divine attribute—and there is an actual significance a Quranic story refers to.[82][83]

According to Shia beliefs, those who are firmly rooted in knowledge like the Prophet and the imams know the secrets of the Quran. According to Tabatabaei, the statement "none knows its interpretation except Allah"(3:7 ) remains valid, without any opposing or qualifying clause. Therefore, so far as this verse is concerned, the knowledge of the Quran's interpretation is reserved for God. But Tabatabaei uses other verses and concludes that those who are purified by God know the interpretation of the Quran to a certain extent.[83] As Corbin narrates from Shia sources, Ali himself gives this testimony:

Not a single verse of the Quran descended upon (was revealed to) the Messenger of God, which he did not proceed to dictate to me and make me recite. I would write it with my own hand, and he would instruct me as to its tafsir (the literal explanation) and the ta'wil (the spiritual exegesis), the nasikh (the verse that abrogates) and the mansukh (the abrogated verse), the muhkam (without ambiguity) and the mutashabih (ambiguous), the particular and the general...[84]

According to Tabatabaei, there are acceptable and unacceptable esoteric interpretations. Acceptable ta'wil refers to the meaning of a verse beyond its literal meaning; rather the implicit meaning, which ultimately is known only to God and can't be comprehended directly through human thought alone. The verses in question here refer to the human qualities of coming, going, sitting, satisfaction, anger, and sorrow, which are apparently attributed to God. Unacceptable ta'wil is where one "transfers" the apparent meaning of a verse to a different meaning by means of a proof; this method is not without obvious inconsistencies. Although this unacceptable ta'wil has gained considerable acceptance, it is incorrect and cannot be applied to the Quranic verses. The correct interpretation is that reality a verse refers to. It is found in all verses, the decisive and the ambiguous alike; it is not a sort of a meaning of the word; it is a fact that is too sublime for words. God has dressed them with words to bring them a bit nearer to our minds; in this respect they are like proverbs that are used to create a picture in the mind, and thus help the hearer to clearly grasp the intended idea.[83][85]

Therefore Sufi spiritual interpretations are usually accepted by Islamic scholars as authentic, as long as certain conditions are met.[86] In Sufi history, these interpretations were sometimes considered religious innovations (bid'ah), as Salafis believe today. However, ta'wil is extremely controversial even amongst Shia. For example, when Ayatollah Ruhallah Khomeini, the leader of Islamic revolution, gave some lectures about Sura al-Fatiha in December 1979 and January 1980, protests forced him to suspend them before he could continue beyond the first two verses of the surah.[87]

Levels of meaning

Unlike the Salafis and Zahiri, Shias and Sufis as well as some other Muslim philosophers believe the meaning of the Quran is not restricted to the literal aspect.[88] For them, it is an essential idea that the Quran also has inward aspects. Henry Corbin narrates a hadith that goes back to Muhammad:

"The Qur'an possesses an external appearance and a hidden depth, an exoteric meaning and an esoteric meaning. This esoteric meaning in turn conceals an esoteric meaning (this depth possesses a depth, after the image of the celestial Spheres, which are enclosed within each other). So it goes on for seven esoteric meanings (seven depths of hidden depth)."[88]

According to this view, it has also become evident that the inner meaning of the Quran does not eradicate or invalidate its outward meaning. Rather, it is like the soul, which gives life to the body.[89] Corbin considers the Quran to play a part in Islamic philosophy, because gnosiology itself goes hand in hand with prophetology.[90]

Commentaries dealing with the zahir (outward aspects) of the text are called tafsir, and hermeneutic and esoteric commentaries dealing with the batin are called ta'wil (“interpretation” or “explanation”), which involves taking the text back to its beginning. Commentators with an esoteric slant believe that the ultimate meaning of the Quran is known only to God.[1] In contrast, Quranic literalism, followed by Salafis and Zahiris, is the belief that the Quran should only be taken at its apparent meaning.

Translations

The first Quran to be translated into a European vernacular language: L'Alcoran de Mahomet, André du Ryer, 1647.
Title page of the first German translation (1772) of the Quran.

Translation of the Quran has always been a problematic and difficult issue. Many argue that the Quranic text cannot be reproduced in another language or form.[91] Furthermore, an Arabic word may have a range of meanings depending on the context, making an accurate translation even more difficult.[92]

Nevertheless, the Quran has been translated into most African, Asian and European languages.[92] The first translator of the Quran was Salman the Persian, who translated sura Al-Fatiha into Persian during the 7th century.[93] The first complete translation of the Quran was completed in 884 CE in Alwar (Sindh, India now Pakistan) by the orders of Abdullah bin Umar bin Abdul Aziz on the request of the Hindu Raja Mehruk.[94] The first complete translation of Quran was into Persian during the reign of Samanids in the 9th century. Islamic tradition 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.[92] In early centuries, the permissibility of translations was not an issue, but whether one could use translations in prayer.

Verses 33 and 34 of sura Ya-Seen in this Chinese translation of the Quran.

In 1936, translations in 102 languages were known.[92] 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.[95]

Robert of Ketton's 1143 translation of the Quran for Peter the Venerable, Lex Mahumet pseudoprophete, was the first into a Western language (Latin).[96] 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 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".[97]

Literary usage

Recitation

...and recite the Quran in slow, measured rhythmic tones.

Quran 73:4 (Yusuf Ali)

One meaning of Quran is "recitation". Tajwid, an Arabic word for elocution, is a set of rules that governs how the Quran should be recited and is assessed in terms of how accessible the recitation is to those intent on concentrating on the words.[98]

To perform salat (prayer), a mandatory obligation in Islam, a Muslim is required to learn at least some sura of the Quran (typically starting with the first one, al-Fatiha, known as the "seven oft-repeated verses," and then moving on to the shorter ones at the end). Until one has learned al-Fatiha, a Muslim can only say phrases like "praise be to God" during the salat.

A person whose recital repertoire encompasses the whole Quran is called a qari', whereas a memoriser of the Quran is called a hafiz (fem. Hafaz) (which translate as "reciter" or "protector," respectively). Muhammad is regarded as the first qari' since he was the first to recite it. Recitation (tilawa تلاوة) of the Quran is a fine art in the Muslim world.

Schools of recitation

Page of a 13th century Quran, showing Sura 33: 73

There are several schools of Quranic recitation, all of which teach possible pronunciations of the Uthmanic rasm: Seven reliable, three permissible and (at least) four uncanonical – in 8 sub-traditions each – making for 80 recitation variants altogether.[99] A canonical recitation must satisfy three conditions:

  1. It must match the rasm, letter for letter.
  2. It must conform with the syntactic rules of the Arabic language.
  3. It must have a continuous isnad to Muhammad through tawatur, meaning that it has to be related by a large group of people to another down the isnad chain.

These recitations differ in the vocalization (tashkil) of a few words, which in turn gives a complementary meaning to the word in question according to the rules of Arabic grammar. For example, the vocalization of a verb can change its active and passive voice. It can also change its stem formation, implying intensity for example. Vowels may be elongated or shortened, and glottal stops (hamzas) may be added or dropped, according to the respective rules of the particular recitation. For example, the name of archangel Gabriel is pronounced differently in different recitations: Jibrīl, Jabrīl, Jibra'īl, and Jibra'il.

The more widely used narrations are those of Hafs (حفص عن عاصم), Warsh (ورش عن نافع), Qaloon (قالون عن نافع) and Al-Duri according to Abu `Amr (الدوري عن أبي عمرو). Muslims firmly believe that all canonical recitations were recited by Muhammad himself, citing the respective isnad chain of narration, and accept them as valid for worshipping and as a reference for rules of Sharia. The uncanonical recitations are called "explanatory" for their role in giving a different perspective for a given verse or ayah. Today several dozen persons hold the title "Memorizer of the Ten Recitations."

The presence of these different recitations is attributed to many hadith. Malik Ibn Anas has reported:[100]

Abd al-Rahman Ibn Abd al-Qari narrated: "Umar Ibn Khattab said before me: I heard Hisham Ibn Hakim Ibn Hizam reading Surah Furqan in a different way from the one I used to read it, and the Prophet (sws) himself had read out this surah to me. Consequently, as soon as I heard him, I wanted to get hold of him. However, I gave him respite until he had finished the prayer. Then I got hold of his cloak and dragged him to the Prophet (sws). I said to him: "I have heard this person [Hisham Ibn Hakim Ibn Hizam] reading Surah Furqan in a different way from the one you had read it out to me." The Prophet (sws) said: "Leave him alone [O 'Umar]." Then he said to Hisham: "Read [it]." [Umar said:] "He read it out in the same way as he had done before me." [At this,] the Prophet (sws) said: "It was revealed thus." Then the Prophet (sws) asked me to read it out. So I read it out. [At this], he said: "It was revealed thus; this Quran has been revealed in Seven Ahruf. You can read it in any of them you find easy from among them.

Suyuti, a famous 15th century Islamic theologian, writes after interpreting above hadith in 40 different ways:[101]

"And to me the best opinion in this regard is that of the people who say that this hadith is from among matters of mutashabihat, the meaning of which cannot be understood."

Many reports contradict the presence of variant readings:[102]

  • Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami reports, "the reading of Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Zayd ibn Thabit and that of all the Muhajirun and the Ansar was the same. They read the Quran according to the Qira'at al-'ammah. This is the same reading the Prophet (sws) read twice to Gabriel in the year of his death. Zayd ibn Thabit was also present in this reading [called] the 'Ardah-i akhirah. It was this very reading that he taught the Quran to people till his death".[103]
  • Ibn Sirin writes, "the reading on which the Quran was read out to the prophet in the year of his death is the same according to which people are reading the Quran today".[104]

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi also purports that there is only one recitation of Quran, which is called Qira'at of Hafss or in classical scholarship, it is called Qira'at al-'ammah. The Quran has also specified that it was revealed in the language of Muhammad's tribe: the Quraysh.[Quran 19:97][Quran 44:58][102]

However, the identification of the recitation of Hafss as the Qira'at al-'ammah is somewhat problematic when that was the recitation of the people of Kufa in Iraq, and there is better reason to identify the recitation of the reciters of Madinah as the dominant recitation. The reciter of Madinah was Nafi' and Imam Malik remarked "The recitation of Nafi' is Sunnah."

Writing and printing

Writing

Before printing was widely adopted in the 19th century, the Quran was transmitted in manuscripts made by calligraphers and copyists. The earliest manuscripts were written in hijazi type script. The hijazi style manuscripts nevertheless confirm that transmission of the Quran in writing began at an early stage. Probably in the ninth century scripts began to feature thicker strokes, which are traditionally known as Kufic scripts. Toward the end of the ninth century, new scripts began to appear in copies of the Quran and replace earlier scripts. The reason for discontinuation in the use of the earlier style was that it took too long to produce and the demand for copies was increasing. Copyists would therefore chose simpler writing styles. From the eleventh century, the styles of writing employed were primarily the Naskhi, muhaqqaq, rayhani and on rarer occasions the thuluth script. Naskhi was in very widespread use. In North Africa and Spain the maghribi style was popular. More distinct is the bihari script which was used solely in the north of India. Nastaliq style was also rarely used in Persian world.[105][106]

In the beginning the Quran did not have vocalization markings. The system of vocalization as we know it today seems to have been introduced towards the end of the ninth century. Since it would have been too costly for most Muslims to purchase a manuscript, copies of the Quran were held in mosques in order to make them accessible to people. These copies frequently took the form of a series of thirty parts or Juz'. In terms of productivity the Ottoman copyists would provide the best example. This was in response to widespread demand, unpopularity of printing methods, and for aesthetic reasons.[107]

Printing

Short extracts from the Quran were printed as early as the tenth century in various parts of the Muslim world with a method known as wood-block printing. In this technique a page is carved in a wooden block, one block per page. A similar technique was widely used in China.[108] Another technique, known as movable-type printing, was used to print the Quran in Venice around 1537. Two more editions include those published by the pastor Abraham Hinckelmann in Hamburg in 1694 and by Italian priest Ludovico Maracci in Padua in 1698. The latter print included an accurate Latin translation. In 1787 in Saint Petersburg, Catherine the Great of Russia, sponsored a print of the Quran by a Muslim scholar named Mullah Osman Ismail. This was followed by editions from Kazan (1803), Tehran (1828) and Istanbul (1877). Gustav Flügel published an edition of the Quran in 1834 in Leipzig, which became popular in Europe. This edition provided a large number of readers with access to a reliable text and was referred to for a long time thereafter, until the publication of an edition of the Quran in Cairo in 1924 which was the result of a long preparation process by scholars from al-Azhar university. This edition which standardized the orthography of the Quran is the basis of current editions of the Quran.[109][106]

Relationship with other literature

The Bible

It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion (of judgment between right and wrong).[110]

Quran 3:3 (Yusuf Ali)

The Quran speaks well of the relationship it has with former books (the Torah and the Gospel) and attributes their similarities to their unique origin and saying all of them have been revealed by the one God.[111]

According to Sahih Bukhari, the Quran was recited among Levantines and Iraqis, and discussed by Christians and Jews before it was standardized.[112] Its 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.[113] Jesus is mentioned more often in the Quran than Muhammad while Mary is mentioned in the Quran more than the New Testament.[114] Muslims believe the common elements or resemblances between the Bible and other Jewish and Christian writings and Islamic dispensations is due to their common divine source, and that the original Christian or Jewish texts were authentic divine revelations given to prophets.

Similarities with Christian apocrypha

The Quran has been noted to have certain narratives similarities to the Diatessaron, Protoevangelium of James, Infancy Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Arabic Infancy Gospel.[115][116][117] One scholar has suggested that the Diatessaron, as a gospel harmony, may have led to the conception that the Christian Gospel is one text.[118]

Arab writing

Page from a Quran ('Umar-i Aqta'). Iran, Afghanistan, Timurid dynasty, circa 1400. Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper Muqaqqaq script. 170 x 109cm (66 15/16 x 42 15/16in). Historical region: Uzbekistan.

After the Quran, and the general rise of Islam, the Arabic alphabet developed rapidly into an art form.[119]

Wadad Kadi, Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at University of Chicago and Mustansir Mir, Professor of Islamic studies at Youngstown State University state that:[120]

Although Arabic, as a language and a literary tradition, was quite well developed by the time of Muhammad's prophetic activity, it was only after the emergence of Islam, with its founding scripture in Arabic, that the language reached its utmost capacity of expression, and the literature its highest point of complexity and sophistication. Indeed, it probably is no exaggeration to say that the Quran was one of the most conspicuous forces in the making of classical and post-classical Arabic literature.

The main areas in which the Qur'an exerted noticeable influence on Arabic literature are diction and themes; other areas are related to the literary aspects of the Qur'an particularly oaths (q.v.), metaphors, motifs, and symbols. As far as diction is concerned, one could say that Qur'anic words, idioms, and expressions, especially "loaded" and formulaic phrases, appear in practically all genres of literature and in such abundance that it is simply impossible to compile a full record of them. For not only did the Qur'an create an entirely new linguistic corpus to express its message, it also endowed old, pre-Islamic words with new meanings and it is these meanings that took root in the language and subsequently in the literature...

Culture

Respect for the written text of the Quran is an important element of religious faith by many Muslims. They believe that intentionally insulting the Quran is a form of blasphemy.[citation needed]

Many Muslims memorize at least some portion of the Quran in the original Arabic, usually at least the verses needed to perform the contact prayers (solat). Those who have memorized the entire Quran earn the right to the title of Hafiz.[121]

The text of the Quran has become readily accessible over the internet, in Arabic as well as numerous translations in other languages. It can be downloaded and searched both word-by-word and with Boolean algebra. Photos of ancient manuscripts and illustrations of Quranic art can be witnessed. However, there are still limits to searching the Arabic text of the Quran.[39]

Treatment and disposal of the book

Most Muslims treat paper copies of the Quran with reverence.[122] Based on tradition and a literal interpretation of sura 56:77–79: "That this is indeed a Quran Most Honourable, In a Book well-guarded, Which none shall touch but those who are clean", many scholars believe that a Muslim must perform a ritual cleansing with water (wudu) before touching a copy of the Quran, or mus'haf, although this view is not universal.

Defiling or dismembering copies of the Quran is considered Quran desecration. Pulping, recycling, or otherwise discarding worn-out copies of the text is forbidden. Worn-out, torn, or errant (for example, pages out of order) Qurans are left free to flow in a river, kept somewhere safe, burned, or buried in a remote location.[123]

Author:Seth
Published:Feb 15th 2013
Modified:Feb 15th 2013
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There is no such thing as time
Posted by Bling King

    

     Upon further ponderance I have come to the conclusion that time does not exist except in the law of physics. I have come to this conclusion through the observation of how things change and why they change at the pace in which they change. To me it seems that every change that takes place  in the universe is not dictated by time but rather physics. It is the law of physics that dictates the rate and speed at which all things change. For example if you have a car  that is traveling at 100 miles an hour the speed at  which the car travels is all dictated by physical changes and therfor controlled by the law of physics..Therfor it seems that for any change to take place all you need is physics and the law of physics that governs the physical changes. Time does not need be a factor and bears no relavance. As long as we have the law of physics everything will happen in accordance with those laws.

The composition of time
Posted by Bling King

   

    Time has 3 components. A front a middle and a rear. In the front time has what appears to be something of perspectual perspectualness that will move things forward at a set forth proponent. This part of time is easy to see and witness. However it is not easy to predict at which point time will make forward momentum happen. It would seem that this forward momentum is always in inactment but I would disagree with this. To me it seems more as if time interacts with things on its own accord leaving somethings unchanged for long standing periods of time. An example of this would be how time occasionally interacts with the speed of light. The speed of light remains constant but occasionally time will manifest itself into the equation and make modifications of the speed that light travels. For instance light will move forward forthwittingly at a billion miles a second but if it encounters any kind of resistance then time will inject itself and change the speed at which it was moving. Which leads me to the assumption that in order for time to inject itself into any equation a proponent has to take place that makes a physical change that would cause time to interject itself. If no physical change takes place than time has also not been a factor.

    The middle proponent of time is the area in which time is manipulating  the change that takes...Read More

👄What turns me on
Posted by Bling King

    I get turned on by some funny stuff. I'm not really into like full blown kinkiness or at least I wouldn't consider myself to be a kinky person but I do have a few fetishes. Some of them are a little out of the ordinary. For instance I have this one fetish about being tied up  and thrown in the ocean and then rescued by a mermaid. I think this fantasy comes from when I was a kid and I used to dream of mermaids and always wanted to meet one. Well one day its gonna happen. Now don't go telling me mermaids don't exist. You don't know cause they are in fact real and as soon as I meet one I will prove it to you. As far as some of my other turn ons  I guess what really gets me excited is people who  tell other people to shut the fuck up. I love when a woman just looks at a man and tells him to shut his mouth. To me thats a big turn on because the woman seems assertive like a dominatrix or something. If she will be assertive in a conversation she will be assertive in the bedroom or so I  would like to believe.

Time is a dialectable derelict
Posted by Bling King

To fathom the fortrighteousness of time one has to contemplate the personification of forthwittial forthwittil. Time forthwittingly will only listen to the commands of its on inner personification to which there is no directional direction or so it would seem but on further inquisitories I have come to realize that there is a forthwittingly forthwittal of which time has pronounced and those commands seem to speak to the nature of to which time corresponds. To review these pronouncements for your own bemusement look at time as if you had it captured it  in a bottle. What would happen? We know on the inside of the bottle time would force the inner workings of the bottle to correspond to times diabolical commands. Causing everything to change to times everlescent rules. however on the outside of the bottle things would not change, everything would stay in constant neutrality or would it? The question remains if there was no time would things still be allowed to happen and if so at what pace and what would dictate the pace at which things would change. There seems to be no rule in place for the dictation of the pace change which takes place. So it would seem that time has decided that factor somehow within itself. There could be a correlation at which things change and the pace being dictated by physics and the amount the physical world can be allowed to change within its own accord of set boundaries. To actually find...Read More

Free from time constraints
Posted by Bling King

 

 

 

There was a time when time did not matter. The thing that was an utmost relevance now was of no matter. The diffrence it made seemed miniscule and now it is constantly dictating everything that takes place before me. What is this thing that controls and makes everything manifest itself to its constraints and why and how does it do this. Time is nothing but the utmost miracle before us. Something that has always had to exist for anything ever to take place. There is no changing its course there is no variance in its absolute everlasting existance. To control time would be the utmost  crown jewel of all accomplishments if indeed it could ever be controlled. The only way I ever see time being manipulated to change its values is to speed up everything that time has interacted with. In order to do such a thing you would have to understand the nature of the objects in question and how they are effected by time. For instance a speeding car will slow down in time without constant force being distrubuted by the engine. To slow down the car one only has to take their foot off the accelarator and gradually time will do the rest but if you could freeze time at the speed at which the car was traveling then time would not  exist because the...Read More

the truth about time
Posted by Bling King

        I have looked at time many times and I have noticed a few components. There is a precise proponent that ushers in a manifestation. Whenever something new is going to happen you can look at that event which is about to take place and precisely predict exactly when it has started. Once you realize a manifestation has taken place you can precisely predict its out come. If you know that a manifestation has started to take place then you will know you are being guided through the realm precisely by the forces of an enlightenment. Throughout time this manifestation will remain constant starting with a beginning and an end and ending in a preconcieved enlightenment. Sometimes an enlightenment can take weeks and some times an enlightenment can take centuries. It depends on how many times that enlightenment has been benounced to the realm. 

 

nothing
Posted by Bling King

I suspect a suffcient of sufficence of suffiacantel suffiance of suffiance of absurdity of absurdanace. In all actual actuality there is an  actual actuality of actualityness in retrospect to the retorospective respect in which every person who has an intellectual intellect can see that the world is a prominance of prominance in which the order will reside as long as the order is maintained. Once that order is relinquished chaos will ensue. For chaos to be a calamity there only needs to be a perspectual perspective of perspectance that escalates the chaos to that height. What would cause that is a person or persons in the realm of the realmatical realmatics looking beyond thier own existance to the existance of there forfathers to see what has become of thier existance. If you look at your own existance for what it is you will see that it is neither logical nor illogical for it makes all the sense of a sensimatical sensematic. As long as you have a reason for your own existance then it is fruitful for you to exist. Once that reason or reasons are gone you will no longer care whether it is you live or die. In the realm in which we live is a prospectus prospectant of prospectantin which all will ensue. To change the prospectus prospectus you need to look to the realm and see what the prospectus prospectant is and manifest it to your own liking. My...Read More

The conclusive conclusion
Posted by Bling King

In all actual reality the realm is manifested of certain procedural procedures that come forth frequently to forthrightous forthrightenous. In the place of predicament I have found that I can properly place things in the procedural sequence unbenowst to people of the realm. In order to conflict the conflictions you have to equate the equation of equationalness in to proper equations. Very simple but also very tedious. You do this by equating the equation into percise preciseness. An example of an equation would be a placement of perdicament of a certain event in which you wish it to be. The next manifestation I could manifest is a manifestual manifestation of manifests of a sequance of certainal circumstances. Put together a sequence by asking the sequence in order to manifest itself and then tell the manifestations to happen in frequence in which they will unfold.

The Unattainable future
Posted by Bling King

     If the future is a grain of sand and its falling through an hour glass nothing in the world can stop it. It will eniquivaocalby blind as to where its going when it comes to its rest it has befallen its fate and will remain where it lay for an eternity knowing nothing about itself or it's surroundings. I am that grain of sand. Nothing ever can change my destiny for only time here makes a diffrence.. To benounce the future is the only way to change ones fortune. The time it takes to make an equivical change remains the utmost mystery of the universe.

🤯In the eyes of myself
Posted by Bling King

 

 

There where three men. All who seemed frightened. They stood on the edge of the canyon looking on as a fourth man tumbled to his death. We could have saved him said one of the men. He should have saved himself said another. The third man just look at them bewildered and brought a handgun to his own head and pulled the trigger. Blood spattered. The two men watched as he slumped to the ground. The first man screamed and the second threw himself to the side of the man on the ground. Why?!! he screamed. It was the only sound heard. Sobbing he looked at the man standing and said you did this! You and your frigging righteous speech about the lives we leave and the sacrifice we must make. Your the devil. I am not the devil said the standing man only the truth. The truth about what? The other man screamed. Your life he said and he jumped.

The man heard a ringing and he sat up slowly. It was over the dream but his thoughts where still on the side of the canyon. How did this happen. How did it all just fade away? The dream came and went in an instant leaving his mind boggled and his eyes heavy. I knew I was there thought the man but how? It was all to familiar the...Read More

The story Elijah and Ellen
Posted by Bling King

The story of Elijah and Ellan. This is the story of Elijah and Ellan. Ellan is a beutiful temptress and Elijah is a dutiful servant of Ellan's. Together the pair fell in love and soon became a duo of in excessible excession. They frolicked in the sun under the rare occurance of rain they took shelter in the arms of each other. One day while hiding from the glares of the sun under an oak tree that provided an abundance of shade they looked into each others souls and realized there where no people suited for each other then the two of them where suited for each other. They basked in the notion that they where the most two compatible souls on the planet. As they where thinking this a giant unforseen acclamaited acclamation occurred. The planet began to tremble and shake beneath them and the stars came out. The sun hid amongst the clouds and everything from start to finish began to take shape. There where huge explosions and giant surges of wind and rain. The two began to run for their shelter knowing at the exact moment the trembling and violent agressions of unacclaimated weather started that they most likely wouldn't make it to see another sunrise. The planet was exploding with molten lava and the tempertures where unbearable as for the two of them could remember they had never seen a winter climate and didn't expect they ever would. The planet had been warming out of...Read More

today was a day of dismal despair
Posted by Bling King

Things have gone down hill drastically now for a very long time. We seem to be some what defeated but yet i know we still have some power and prominance. We are fighting an up hill battle and there is no way forward from here from what i can see. We are trudging along a path that goes nowhere.

⚔️The Greatest Warrior of All Time
Posted by Bling King

 

 

Today i conquered and beat all adverseries there where to beat. Tomorrow new adversaries will arise. I will be ready, there is never a shortage of enemies who wish to dethrone me from the top of the world. I didn't get here by being passive and yeilding to the oppostion. I got here by defeating them both mentally and physically and in entiriety.

In a time of desilute despair
Posted by Bling King

     There was a time when I was in desilute despair. The only thing I had was me myself and I to fall back on. I looked at the person who was my opponent and I knew one of  us was going to die and I was going to do everytrhing I could to make dam sure it wasn't me. I pulled my six shooter from its holster and aimed at the guy looking at me  about 30 yards away. He also went for his gun and in lightning speed he was laid sprawled out on the dirt bleeding and moaning. I had heard a shot but new that it had come from my own gun. He never even got a shot off. I was unscathed and again undeafeted. Anybody who ever tried to kill me was dead and their where over 30 who had tried and failed to kill yours truly.

Gravity
Posted by Bling King

Gravity is the force of nature that pulls cellestrial bodies toward one another. The cause of gravity is the enertia of a bodies movement through space and time. This happens by an object preconcievably traveling through the cosmos at an alarming rate of acceleration. The faster an object travels the more enertia it will build up and then will therefore have a greater ability to move. the more it moves the more other objects will cling to it. the way this can be proved is by taking an object and hurtling it towards another object the two objects would collide do to the enertia pulling them towards each other. Thy would not stay on their current trajectory but their paths would alter towards one another in a greater force than their initial gravitational pull. the best test to accomodate this theory would be tow baseballs flying through the air at speeds over one hundred miles an hour. The baseballs would not interject themselves with one another normally but at this speed would do so do to the balls enertia pulling them towards one another.

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