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Quran

The Quran - literally meaning "the recitation" is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to be a revelation from Allah. It is widely regarded as the finest work in classical Arabic literature.The Quran is divided into chapters (surah in Arabic), which are then divided into verses (ayah).

The Quran was verbally revealed by God to Muhammad (sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) through the angel Gabriel (Jibril), gradually over a period of approximately 23 years, beginning on 22 December 609 CE,when Muhammad (sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) was 40, and concluding in 632, the year of his (sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) death. Muslims regard the Quran as the most important miracle of Muhammad (sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam), a proof of his prophethood, and the culmination of a series of divine messages that started with the messages revealed to Adam (sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and ended with Muhammad (sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam).

The Quran assumes familiarity with major narratives recounted in the Biblical scriptures. It summarizes some, dwells at length on others and, in some cases, presents alternative accounts and interpretations of events. The Quran describes itself as a book of guidance for mankind 2:185. It sometimes offers detailed accounts of specific historical events, and it often emphasizes the moral significance of an event over its narrative sequence. The Quran is used along with authentic and reliable hadith to interpret sharia law. During prayers, the Quran is recited only in Arabic.

Someone who has memorized the entire Quran is called a hafiz. Quranic verse (ayah) is sometimes recited with a special kind of elocution reserved for this purpose, called tajwid. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims typically complete the recitation of the whole Quran during tarawih prayers. In order to extrapolate the meaning of a particular Quranic verse, most Muslims rely on exegesis, or tafsir.

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