The Quran (sometimes spelled Qur’an or Koran) is considered the most important holy book among Muslims.
Muslims believe that the Quran was orally revealed by Allah (SWT) to the final prophet Muhammad (PBUH) through the archangel Gabriel (Jibril), incrementally over a period of some 23 years, beginning on 22 December 609 CE.
The Quran is Muhammad’s most important miracle, a proof of his prophethood and the culmination of a series of divine messages starting with those revealed to Adam, including the Tawrah (Torah), the Zabur (“Psalms”) and the Injil (“Gospel”).
The Quran was written and read-only in Arabic for more than 1,400 years. But, because many Muslims around the world do not understand Arabic, the meaning of the Qur’an is also given in other languages, so that readers can understand better what the Arabic words in the Qur’an mean.
These books are like dictionaries to the Qur’an – they are not read as part of the religion of Islam, to replace the Arabic Qur’an. Muslims believe that these translations are not the true Qur’an; only the Arabic copy is the true Qur’an. The Quran is used with the hadith to interpret sharia law.
There are 30 parts in the Qur’an, which make 114 “suras” (chapters). Each sura has a different number of verses.
All the chapters except one begin with the sentence Bismillahir Rahmani Raheem, ‘In the name of Allah the most merciful and the most kind’. This is the thought with which Muslims should start every action.
The longest chapter of the Qur’an is Surah Baqarah (The Cow) with 286 verses and the shortest is Surah Al-Kawther (abundance) which has 3 verses.
The arrangement of surahs does not correspond to the chronological order in which they were revealed.
The Qur’an is sometimes divided into 30 roughly equal parts, known as juz’. These divisions make it easier for Muslims to read the Qur’an during the course of a month and many will read one juz’ each day, particularly during the month of Ramadan.