The Holy Quran
The Holy Quran is a compilation of the verbal revelations given to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) over a period of twenty two years. The Holy Quran is the Holy Book or the Scriptures of the Muslims. It lays down for them the law and commandments, codes for their social and moral behaviour, and contains a comprehensive religious philosophy. The language of the Quran is Arabic.
Besides its proper name, the Quran is also known by the following names:al Kitab The Book;al Furqan The Discriminant: al Dhikr The Exposition; al Bayan The Explanation; al Burhan The Argument; al Haqq The Truth; al Tanzil The Revelation; al Hikmat The Wisdom; al Huda The Guide; al Hukm The Judgment; al Mau’izah The Admonition; al Rahmat The Mercy; al-Noor The Light; al-Rooh The Word
Surahs And Verses
The Holy Quran is divided into 114 Surahs or Chapters and each Chapter consists of individual Ayaat or verses. There are in total 6,348 verses in the Holy Quran. The Surahs are of varying lengths, some consisting of a few lines while others run for many pages. Surah al Baqarah (Ch.2 ) is the longest Chapter comprising 287 verses while Surah al Kauthar( Ch. 108) is the shortest with only four verses including the tasmia.
The text of the Holy Quran has remained unchanged over the past 1400 years. The millions of copies of the Quran circulating in the world today are all identical down to a single letter. And this is not strange since God says in the Holy Quran that He Himself will guard this book:
“Surely it is We Who have revealed the Exposition, and surely it is We Who are its guardians” (15:10)
What Does The Holy Quran Contain
To the Muslims, the Quran is the Word of God and contains complete guidance for mankind. Much of the Quran is about God, His attributes and man’s relationship to Him. But it also contains directives for its followers, historical accounts of certain prophets and peoples, arguments for accepting Muhammad as a genuine Prophet and good news for the believers and warnings for the disbelievers. Broadly speaking, the contents of the Holy Quran fall into five main categories:
- Nature of the Spiritual World
- The Law and Commandments
- Historical Accounts
- The Wisdom
- The Prophecies
Most Muslims treat paper copies of the Quran with veneration, ritually washing before reading the Quran. Worn out, torn, or errant (for example, pages out of order) Qurans are not discarded as wastepaper, but rather are left free to flow in a river, kept somewhere safe, burned, or buried in a remote location. 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 (salat). Those who have memorized the entire Quran earn the right to the title of Hafiz.
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 ubiquitous.
Quran desecration means mishandling the Quran by defiling or dismembering it. Muslims believe they should always treat the book with reverence, and are forbidden, for instance, to pulp, recycle, or simply discard worn-out copies of the text. 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.
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.