This document gives the reader a head start in understanding the Quran and the purpose of life. The intent is to provide context to the very first few verses in the Quran giving the reader a more profound understanding of the Miracle of Islam: The Holy Quran.
The word "Allah" mentioned throughout this document is the Arabic word for God. "Allah" is God of the worlds. He is the Creator, the Cherishor and the Sustanor of the worlds and the universe.
The Arabic word 'Qur'an' is derived from the root 'qara'a', which means "to read" or "to recite." This was the command which the Arc Angel Gabriel gave Prophet Muhammad PBUH in the Hira cave, situated three miles north-east of Mecca (Mishkat IV p.354).
The Qur'an is the final revelation from Allah. In Arabic the Qur'an is also referred to as 'Al-Kitab' (the book), 'Al-furkan' (the distinction between truth and falsehood), 'Al-mus'haf' (the scroll), and 'Al-thikhr' (the warning), as well as other names.
For those who like statistics, you may be interested to know that the Qur'an consists of 114 chapters (suras). each verse is known as an 'aya', which means "miracle" or a sign in Arabic. The main miracle in Islam is the Quran. The first chapter in the Quran is the “Fatiha”, also called Fatihatul Kitab” the opening of the book. The fatihah consists of 7 verses.
There is only one version of the Quran. The original words that were revealed to Prophet Muhammad PBUH. The Quranic verses were revealed to Prophet Muhammad over a period of 23 years. The tone and richness of the Quranic verses and the text did not change in time as the verses were revealed to the Prophet PBUH. Unlike the Hadeeth, which is a collection of the saying of Prophet Mohammed PBUH, the Quran is extremely rich in meaning, vocabulary and teachings. Prophet Muhammad was himself illiterate. God almighty revealed the most amazing book ever sent to mankind to Prophet Muhammad challenging humanity with its richness and miraculous context. Today we intend to show you some of the richness of the Quranic text and the purpose of life by simply going through the first few pages of the Quran.
The Quran was revealed in bits and pieces. In order to understand one verse, someone must be well versed in the entire Quran. That person needs to have the whole Quran memorized, he or she needs to read the explanation as provided to us by Prophet Muhammad and should commend the Arabic language.
Today, many westerners try to mislead people with verses from the Quran taken out of context and solely based on translated text. There is no one single translation that is 100% accurate. The meaning of the Quranic verses is still evolving and we are uncovering new miracles every time we try to learn more about the Quran. Even as you read a translated text, you need to commend knowledge of the whole Quran and explanation before understanding a verse. For example the story of Prophet Moses cannot be understood by simply reading a “Moses” chapter. Such a chapter does not exist in the Quran. The story of Prophet Moses exists throughout the Quran and is spread over 73 different chapters with verses complementing each other.
Before we start the study of the opening chapter in the Quran, we should note that this chapter is recited by Muslims around the Globe in its Arabic form at least 17 times a day. Prayer is one of the main pillars of Islam. Muslims perform at minimum their five daily prayers. Each prayer is comprised of multiple units. In each unit, Muslims are required to read this opening chapter called “Fatihah”. God in the Quran says in Chapter “Al-Hijr” Surah: 15, verse 87: