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The Quran most likely existed in scattered written form during Muhammad's lifetime. Several sources indicate that during Muhammad's lifetime a large number of his companions had memorized the revelations.

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Early commentaries and Islamic historical sources support the above-mentioned understanding of the Quran's early development. In , in a mosque in the city of Sana'a , Yemen , manuscripts were discovered that were later proved to be the most ancient Quranic text known to exist at the time. The Sana'a manuscripts contain palimpsests , a manuscript page from which the text has been washed off to make the parchment reusable again—a practice which was common in ancient times due to scarcity of writing material.

However, the faint washed-off underlying text scriptio inferior is still barely visible and believed to be "pre-Uthmanic" Quranic content, while the text written on top scriptio superior is believed to belong to Uthmanic time.

Puin has been investigating these Quran fragments for years. His research team made 35, microfilm photographs of the manuscripts, which he dated to early part of the 8th century. Puin has not published the entirety of his work, but noted unconventional verse orderings, minor textual variations, and rare styles of orthography. He also suggested that some of the parchments were palimpsests which had been reused.

Puin believed that this implied an evolving text as opposed to a fixed one. In , fragments of a very early Quran , dating back to years ago, were discovered in the library of the University of Birmingham , England. The manuscript is written in Hijazi script , an early form of written Arabic.

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Lumbard of Brandeis University has written in the Huffington Post in support of the dates proposed by the Birmingham scholars. Professor Lumbard notes that the discovery of a Quranic text that may be confirmed by radiocarbon dating as having been written in the first decades of the Islamic era, while presenting a text substantially in conformity with that traditionally accepted, reinforces a growing academic consensus that many Western sceptical and 'revisionist' theories of Quranic origins are now untenable in the light of empirical findings — whereas, on the other hand, counterpart accounts of Quranic origins within classical Islamic traditions stand up well in the light of ongoing scientific discoveries.

Muslims believe the Quran to be God's final revelation to humanity, a work of divine guidance revealed to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel. Revered by pious Muslims as "the holy of holies", [74] whose sound moves some to "tears and esctasy", [75] it is the physical symbol of the faith, [76] the text often used as a charm [77] on occasions of birth, death, marriage.

It must never rest beneath other books, but always on top of them, one must never drink or smoke when it is being read aloud, and it must be listened to in silence. It is a talisman against disease and disaster. Revelation in Islamic and Quranic contexts means the act of God addressing an individual, conveying a message for a greater number of recipients. As the Quran says, "With the truth we God have sent it down and with the truth it has come down.

The Quran frequently asserts in its text that it is divinely ordained. Some verses in the Quran seem to imply that even those who do not speak Arabic would understand the Quran if it were recited to them. Muslims believe that the present wording of the Quran corresponds to that revealed to Muhammad, and according to their interpretation of Quran , it is protected from corruption "Indeed, it is We who sent down the Quran and indeed, We will be its guardian. Muslim do not all agree over whether the Quran was created by God or is eternal and "uncreated". Inimitability of the Quran or " I'jaz " is the belief that no human speech can match the Quran in its content and form.

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  • The Quran is considered an inimitable miracle by Muslims, effective until the Day of Resurrection—and, thereby, the central proof granted to Muhammad in authentication of his prophetic status. The concept of inimitability originates in the Quran where in five different verses opponents are challenged to produce something like the Quran: "If men and sprites banded together to produce the like of this Quran they would never produce its like not though they backed one another.

    Medieval Muslim scholars including al-Jurjani d. Others argue that the Quran contains noble ideas, has inner meanings, maintained its freshness through the ages and has caused great transformations at the individual level and in history. Some scholars state that the Quran contains scientific information that agrees with modern science. The doctrine of the miraculousness of the Quran is further emphasized by Muhammad's illiteracy since the unlettered prophet could not have been suspected of composing the Quran.

    The first sura of the Quran is repeated in daily prayers and in other occasions. This sura, which consists of seven verses, is the most often recited sura of the Quran: [11]. Praised be God, Lord of the Universe, the Beneficent, the Merciful and Master of the Day of Judgment, You alone We do worship and from You alone we do seek assistance, guide us to the right path, the path of those to whom You have granted blessings, those who are neither subject to Your anger nor have gone astray.

    Respect for the written text of the Quran is an important element of religious faith by many Muslims, and the Quran is treated with reverence. Based on tradition and a literal interpretation of Quran "none shall touch but those who are clean" , some Muslims believe that they must perform a ritual cleansing with water before touching a copy of the Quran, although this view is not universal.

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    In Islam, most intellectual disciplines, including Islamic theology, philosophy , mysticism and jurisprudence , have been concerned with the Quran or have their foundation in its teachings. The Quran also inspired Islamic arts and specifically the so-called Quranic arts of calligraphy and illumination. Islamic verses appear in many other media, on buildings and on objects of all sizes, such as mosque lamps , metal work, pottery and single pages of calligraphy for muraqqas or albums.

    Calligraphy , 18th century. Brooklyn Museum. Quranic inscriptions, Bara Gumbad mosque , Delhi, India. Typical mosque lamp , of enamelled glass , with the Ayat an-Nur or "Verse of Light" The leaves from this Quran written in gold and contoured with brown ink have a horizontal format. This is admirably suited to classical Kufic calligraphy , which became common under the early Abbasid caliphs.

    Koran thought to be the oldest in the world could predate Muhammad

    Manuscript of the Quran at the Brooklyn Museum. Chapters are classified as Meccan or Medinan , depending on whether the verses were revealed before or after the migration of Muhammad to the city of Medina. Chapters are arranged roughly in order of decreasing size. There are, however, still occurrences of the Bismillah in the Quran, due to its presence in Quran as the opening of Solomon 's letter to the Queen of Sheba.

    An individual verse may be just a few letters or several lines. The total number of verses in the Quran is 6,; [Note 14] however, the number varies if the bismillahs are counted separately. In addition to and independent of the division into chapters, there are various ways of dividing the Quran into parts of approximately equal length for convenience in reading. The original significance of the letters is unknown.

    Tafsir exegesis has interpreted them as abbreviations for either names or qualities of God or for the names or content of the respective surahs. According to one estimate the Quran consists of 77, words, 18, unique words, 12, stems , 3, lemmas and 1, roots. The Quranic content is concerned with basic Islamic beliefs including the existence of God and the resurrection. Narratives of the early prophets , ethical and legal subjects, historical events of Muhammad's time, charity and prayer also appear in the Quran.

    The Quranic verses contain general exhortations regarding right and wrong and historical events are related to outline general moral lessons. Verses pertaining to natural phenomena have been interpreted by Muslims as an indication of the authenticity of the Quranic message. The central theme of the Quran is monotheism. God is depicted as living, eternal, omniscient and omnipotent see, e. God's omnipotence appears above all in his power to create.

    He is the creator of everything, of the heavens and the earth and what is between them see, e. The Quran uses cosmological and contingency arguments in various verses without referring to the terms to prove the existence of God. Therefore, the universe is originated and needs an originator, and whatever exists must have a sufficient cause for its existence. Besides, the design of the universe is frequently referred to as a point of contemplation: "It is He who has created seven heavens in harmony. You cannot see any fault in God's creation; then look again: Can you see any flaw?

    The doctrine of the last day and eschatology the final fate of the universe may be reckoned as the second great doctrine of the Quran. Some suras indicate the closeness of the event and warn people to be prepared for the imminent day. For instance, the first verses of Sura 22, which deal with the mighty earthquake and the situations of people on that day, represent this style of divine address: "O People!

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    Be respectful to your Lord. The earthquake of the Hour is a mighty thing. The Quran is often vivid in its depiction of what will happen at the end time. Watt describes the Quranic view of End Time: [44]. The Quran does not assert a natural immortality of the human soul , since man's existence is dependent on the will of God: when he wills, he causes man to die; and when he wills, he raises him to life again in a bodily resurrection. According to the Quran, God communicated with man and made his will known through signs and revelations.

    Prophets , or 'Messengers of God', received revelations and delivered them to humanity. The message has been identical and for all humankind. Angels acting as God's messengers deliver the divine revelation to them.