The Holy Quran

The Story of the Holy Qur’an

“Welcome to the captivating narrative of ‘The Story of the Holy Qur’an.’ This profound journey unravels the sacred tale behind Islam’s central religious text, the Quran. Exploring the origins, revelations, and divine messages to Prophet Muhammad, we delve into the unique facets of this enduring beacon. Join us to explore the Quran’s pivotal role in shaping beliefs, values, and spiritual landscapes globally.

What’s the meaning of the Holy Quran?

Quran is derived from the Arabic word ‘qara’, which usually means ‘to read’ or ‘to recite.’

The Quran is the central religious text of Islam, believed by Muslims to be a revelation from Allah as sent to the Prophet Muhammad by the angel Gabriel.

The Holy Quran:

1-The Quran is often regarded as a book, but it differs from other books in some aspects. The text consists of words that include truth and provide direction for all individuals. Muslims believe that Allah directly revealed these words to His last prophet and messenger, Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him), in the Arabic language.

2-The Quran is characterised by several names and descriptions that are worth contemplating. Here are just a few:

3-The term “Quran” refers to anything that is recited orally, whereas “Kitab” refers to something that is written down.

4-Kalam Allah, or Divine Speech, refers to the direct communication from the Creator and Master of all living beings. It has the utmost degree of power and influence among its followers, and it is elucidated and reinforced by the teachings of the Prophet ﷺ. Although the original revelation was in Arabic, we possess several translations in other languages that aid in comprehending its significance.

5-Dhikr and Huda, which refer to the acts of remembrance and guidance, include using the Quran as a means to establish a connection with God and ensure that He is present in our thoughts and words. Furthermore, it serves as a vital manual for both our individual lives and the collective existence of the community and society.

6-The Quran is the ultimate divine communication that enhances and concludes preceding divine texts, similar to how the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ conveyed the same fundamental message as the other prophets who before him, such as Adam, Noah, Moses, Abraham, and Jesus (peace be upon them all). The Quran elucidates the essential knowledge that mankind need from the present time until the Day of Judgement. Moreover, it will endure unaltered and safeguarded from the loss and corruption that afflicted other scriptures in many ways.“˹This is˺ a blessed Book which We have revealed to you ˹O Prophet˺ so that they may contemplate its verses, and people of reason may be mindful.” 38:29

The way the Revelation was bestowed upon Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Allah, the Creator, not only initiated the world but also perpetuates and governs it in accordance with His design for mankind and their surroundings. He has offered several sorts of direction, including a comprehensive set of guiding principles, some of which pertain to the laws of nature. However, from the very beginning of humanity’s presence on Earth, Almighty Allah has also bestowed a unique kind of guidance for people. He made a commitment to Adam and his offspring, {Go down, all of you, from hence. But verily there cometh unto you from Me a guidance, and whoso follow My guidance, there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. } (Al-Baqarah 2:38)

This guidance comes through the prophets that were continuously sent by Allah to mankind until the final messenger, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), received His final guidance.

Guidance Through Revelation

We call a man to whom Allah, in His own way, grants His guidance, a prophet (nabi) or messenger (rasul ). Prophets receive the word of Allah through revelation, and then communicate it to their followers. In the Qur’an, Allah says,{Surely We have revealed to you as We revealed to Noah and the Prophets after him, and We revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Tribes and Jesus and Job and Jonah and Aaron and Solomon, and to David We gave the Psalms, and Messengers We have mentioned unto you before and Messengers We have not mentioned unto you, and Allah spoke directly unto Moses — Messengers of good cheer and of warning, in order that mankind might have no argument against Allah after the Messengers, and Allah is Ever Mighty, Wise. } (An-Nisaa’ 4:163–165) The word revealed refers to the Arabic root wahi, which means inspiration.

Definition and Manifestations of Wahi

The Arabic verb “awha” (revealed), from which the word “wahi” (revelation) is derived, has several meanings throughout the Qur’an, all of which convey the central concept of inspiration: the act of directing or leading someone.

The following examples show some of these types of wahi. Guidance in natural intuition. Almighty Allah says, {And We inspired the mother of Moses} (Al-Qasas 28:7).

Guidance in natural instinct. Almighty Allah says, {And your Lord inspired the bees, saying, “Choose you habitations in the hills and in the trees and in that which they thatch. } (An-Nahl 16:68).

Guidance by signs. Almighty Allah says, {Then he (Zakariyah) came forth unto his people from the sanctuary, and signified (inspired) to them, “Glorify your Lord at the break of day and the fall of night.” } (Maryam 19:11) Guidance against evil. Almighty Allah says, {Thus have We appointed unto every Prophet an adversary: Devils of humankind and jinn who inspire in one another plausible discourse through guile. } (Al-An`am 6:112) Guidance from Allah. Almighty Allah says, ((Remember) when your Lord inspired the angels, (saying), “I am with you.” ) (Al-Anfal 8:12).

Means of Revelation Wahi

In the context of revelation, it pertains to Allah’s direction for humanity, which was sent to the prophets via various channels as indicated in the following passage of the Qur’an:{It is not fitting for any man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or by sending a messenger to reveal, with Allah’s permission, what Allah wills, for He is Most High, Most Wise. } (Ash-Shura 42:51) From this verse, it is obvious that any prophet must have received the revelation through one of the following means:

1. Inspiration, for example, in a dream as that which Ibrahim received while asleep, to sacrifice his son.

2. Speech hidden away, as Allah spoke to Moses. 3.Words (speech) are sent from Allah through a special messenger, as the Angel Gabriel was sent to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). This is the typical method of wahi. The Qur’an was bestowed upon Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), the last messenger of Allah. A designated messenger, the Angel Gabriel, revealed this divine scripture to him, reading the precise words of Allah.

The Descent of the Qur’an

According to several Muslim scholars, such as As-Suyuti, the Qur’an was revealed in two stages based on three reports from Abdullah ibnAbbas. The first stage involved the descent of the Qur’an from the Well-Preserved Tablet (Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz) to the lowest heaven (Bayt-ul-`Izzah) on the Night of Power (Laylat Al-Qadr). The second stage involved the gradual revelation of the Qur’an from the heavens to the earth over a period of 23 years during Muhammad’s prophethood, beginning on the Night of Power in Ramadan and facilitated by the angel Gabriel.

Commencement of the book of Revelation

The commencement of the Qur’an’s revelation occurred on Laylat Al-Qadr of Ramadan, after the Prophet Muhammad’s completion of his 40th year of life (about in the year 610).
This event took place during his seclusion in the cave of Hiraa’ on a mountain in close proximity to Makkah. The following account is given in Al-Bukhari: A’ishah, the Mother of the Believers, said that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) started receiving divine inspiration in vivid dreams that would later come true, akin to the clarity of daylight.Subsequently, he developed a fondness for solitude.
He would isolate himself in the cave of Hiraa’, devoting himself only to the worship of Allah for extended periods of time, until he felt the need to reunite with his family. He would bring a enough supply of food to last for many nights, and then return to Khadijah, his wife, to replenish his provisions. Instantly, he became aware of the reality as he resided inside the cavern of Hiraa’. An angel approached him and requested that he engage in reading.

The book of Revelation

The Prophet said, “I am not proficient in the skill of reading.” The Prophet said, “The angel apprehended me with great force, exerting such pressure that I reached my limit of endurance.” Subsequently, he let me free and once again requested that I engage in the act of reading. I said, “I am illiterate.” Subsequently, he apprehended me once more and exerted pressure on me for a second occasion till I reached my limit. Subsequently, he let me free and once again requested that I engage in reading. However, I reiterated my lack of knowledge in this skill, stating, “I do not possess the ability to read” (or what material should I peruse?).

Subsequently, he apprehended me for the third instance and exerted pressure on me, just to subsequently release me and utter the words, “Recite, in the name of Your Lord, who fashioned mankind from a clot.” Read! And acknowledge that Your Lord is the most generous. Subsequently, the Prophet returned to his wife Khadijah and narrated the harrowing details of his ordeal. She consoled him and together they sought advice from Waraqah ibn Nawfal, a knowledgeable Christian who was related to Khadijah. Waraqah told Muhammad he met the one sent to Moses, foreseeing his expulsion by his community.

The Process of Revelation

A’ishah, the Mother of the Believers, said that Al-Harith ibn Hisham inquired of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), saying: “O Messenger of Allah.” How do you perceive the revelation of divine inspiration? The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) explained, “At times, I receive the revelation in a manner similar to the sound of a bell, which is the most challenging form of revelation. However, it subsides once I have comprehended the content of the inspiration.” Occasionally, a guy appears whom I see as an Angel, and he engages in conversation with me. I comprehend and retain all of his words. (According to Al-Bukhari).

The First Received Revelation

The first revelation that Prophet Muhammad received is the first verses from Surat Al-Alaq: {Read, in the name of Your Lord, who created, created man from a clot (alaq). Read! And Your Lord is the most bountiful, Who taught (to write) with the pen. Taught man what he knew not. } (Al-`Alaq 96:1–5)

The Interruption of Divine Disclosure

Following the reception of the first message, there was a temporary cessation of divine revelation, referred to as “fatrah” in Arabic, until it subsequently restarted. Regarding the interval of cessation in divine communication, Jabir ibn `Abdullah Al-Ansari said that the Prophet stated, “As I was strolling, I unexpectedly perceived a celestial voice.” When I raised my gaze, I saw the same celestial being who had previously appeared to me in the Cave of Hiraa’, seated upon a chair suspended between the heavens and the earth. His presence frightened me, and I promptly returned home, requesting to be enveloped in covers. Subsequently, Allah revealed the following verses: “O individuals who have enveloped themselves in their garments!” Engage in nocturnal prayer, either for a brief duration, half of the night, or reduce it somewhat.Following this, the experience of revelation became intense and consistent. (According to Al-Bukhari).

The Second Revelation

The second portion of the Qur’an revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was the beginning of Surat Al-Muddaththir: {O you wrapped up (in the mantle)! Arise and warn, and your Lord do you magnify, and your garments do purify, and uncleanness do shun. } (Al-Muddaththir 74:1–5) Revelation Sent Down in Stages The Qur’an was revealed in stages over a period of 23 years, and not as a complete book in one single act of revelation.

There are a number of reasons for this, of which the most important are the following:

  • Strengthening the heart of the Prophet (peace be upon him) by addressing him continuously and whenever the need for guidance arose
  • Considering the Prophet’s well-being, since revelation was a very difficult experience for him.
  • Gradually implementing Allah’s ordainments.
  • Making understanding, application, and memorization of the revelation easier for Muslims.

Meticulously documenting and transmitting throughout successive generations, individuals recorded the precise methods by which the Prophet recited the Qur’an.

In his last sermon , the Prophet emphasised the need of adhering to two fundamental sources of guidance: the Book of God and the example set by the Prophet himself. He assured his followers that steadfastly holding onto these sources would protect them from any kind of misguidance. Certainly, the Qur’an existed in textual form during his day, even if not compiled into a single book.

In Sahih Al-Bukhari4, three hadiths reveal that Angel Gabriel would annually recite the Qur’an with the Prophet during Ramadan, and that he did it twice in the year of the Prophet’s death. Zayd ibn Thabit was the principal scribe responsible for transcribing the revelations delivered by the Prophet.

Following the death of the Prophet

After the Prophet’s death, many companions who memorized the Qur’an perished at Yamamah. Caliph Abu Bakr assigned Zayd to compile written editions.

After completing the task, Zayd gave the compiled materials to Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, who held them until his death. Following his death, Umar ibn Al-Khattab, the second caliph, ultimately entrusted it to his daughter Hafsa, who was one of the wives of the Prophet, in order to ensure its protection. CaliphUthman ibn Affan created many copies of the whole Qur'an by using the materials available in this collection. Several of these duplicates remain in existence at now. Following the compilation of the Qur'an into a single book, referred to as a mus-haf, CaliphUthman distributed copies of it to the various regions under Muslim dominion. Through generations, many Muslims dedicated themselves to memorizing the entire Qur’an.

Recording and passing down how Prophet Muhammad recited the Qur’an demonstrate its preservation through generations.

Globally, Muslims, including those unfamiliar with Arabic, read and memorize the Qur’an; the text is the same worldwide.

This refers to the phenomena mentioned by Allah in the Qur’an, when He expresses [We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)] (Al-Hijr 15:9).

Recommended Course: Quran Course for Adults

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