A Study of Islam: Lesson 3 – The Writing of the Koran

Written by 9th Avenue Church of Christ on Mar 16, 2016 in - No Comments
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Adam FaughnDue to technical issues, there is no audio recording of this lesson.

Basic Facts about the Koran

The Koran is accepted by Muslims “as the eternal, uncreated, literal word of God, sent down from heaven” (Huffard, 21).

“Koran” means “recitation.”

It contains 114 chapters, called surahs, and 6000 verses, called ayats. The surahs are arranged by length (longest to shortest).

No “common person” can read and understand the original Koran. Only a tiny number of scholars are said to understand it and be able to explain it.

Muhammad Receives First Recitations

Muhammad claimed to have received his first revelation (or recitation) in the year 610 from the angel Gabriel. Over the next 23 years, he would receive dozens more, which basically became the surahs found in the Koran.

“It is believed that Muhammad received these revelations while in a quasi-sleep or trance-like state. The utterances that were the product of these trances were recorded in Al-Quran, which means “the lecture,” “the reading,” or “the recitation.” The utterances that came from Muhammad when we was not under the influence of one of these ecstatic conditions are known as the Hadith. While the latter body of information is held in high regard by the Islamic community, and believed to represent accurate depictions of the remarks and daily occurrences in the life of Muhammad, only the Quran is considered to be the inspired word of Allah.” (Miller, 5-6)

Muhammad Begins Preaching Publicly

Surah 74:2 stated that Muhammad should “Arise and warn.” With that, he began preaching in his hometown of Mecca.

The major thrust of his teaching was condemning idolatry while affirming monotheism (belief in one god). This teaching, of course, put him in direct opposition with his own family tribe/clan, who kept and guarded the Kabah.

Muhammad’s teachings questioned and were seen as an affront to several institutions in Mecca, including economic interests, the family clan system, the patriarchal structure, and common social customs. This led to wide-spread persecution of new converts to Islam.

Due to persecution, a number of converts fled to Abyssinia (in modern-day Ethiopia).

Major Division in Mecca

It seems, the major reason there is no assassination attempt on Muhammad is out of respect for his uncle’s role as family chief. But Muhammad’s enemies seek to undermine his influence.

When Umar ibn al-Khattab is converted, hostilities greatly increase. Umar had been an ardent persecutor of Islam, but now was converted to this new faith.

Persecution strengthens for the next three years against converts and Muhammad’s family.

Some tried to influence Muhammad to allow practices of both Islam and pagan practices, but Surah 109 clearly condemned that.

Deaths

In late 619 or (more likely) early 620, Muhammad’s wife, Khadijah, died at the age of 65.

Very soon thereafter (likely in 620, as well), his uncle, Abu Talib, also died.

These deaths left him under the “protection” of another uncle, Abu Lahad, who was openly hostile to his new teachings.

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