The Koran

By Islam

Introduction and Contents

The Koran is the holy scripture of the Moslem faith Islam, and is revered by approximately one fifth of the world's population as the infallible word of God, or Allah. Regarded as a perfect earthly reproduction of an uncreated and eternal heavenly original, referred to in the scripture as the "Mother Book" and "the well-preserved tablet", the Koran forms the basis of and continual inspiration for all Muslim doctrine and practice. It was the paramount authority of and driving force behind the establishing of the incipient Muslim State in 7th Century Arabia and retains this position in the global Islamic community today. The prophet Muhammad was the medium for the heavenly revelation of the Koran and, according to Islamic belief, received the scripture via the angel Gabriel in the Arabian desert town of Mecca between c.610 and Muhammad's death in c.632. Also spelt "Qur'an", the name derives from the Arabic verb "qar'a", meaning to read or recite. In the introduction to Rodwell's translation we are told that the Koran was "at first not a book, but a strong, living voice". Intended as "a book of guidance for mankind"(K. 2:184) Muhammad recited the holy revelations to his followers in Mecca and later Medina, and Muslims today still recite the Koran, in order to receive divine guidance.