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History of Islam

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A. THE QUR'AN
1. First, a little background on the Qur'an. Last time you'll recall we discussed the emergence of the Qur'an and the belief that it is a divine revelation from Allah. According to Islamic tradition, in the year 610 A.D. Muhammad received his first revelation from the angel Gabriel during the ninth month of Ramadan, outside the city of Mecca. I mentioned how,over a period of time from 610 when he received his first revelation to his death in 632, Muhammad had a number of revelations which today compose the 114 chapters or Surahs known as the Qur'an.
2. Now the Qur'an, just to kind of orient you to the Qur'an, is organized in a way that may be somewhat familiar to you in that it is somewhat similar to what we find at least in the epistles of Paul in the New Testament. The chapters of the Qur'an are not arranged according to chronology, but according to size, just the way the Pauline epistles are arranged according to their length, from the largest, the longest - Romans, down to the shortest. In the same way, you have the Qur'an organized according to the longest Surahs to the shortest Surahs without any particular reference to the timeframe in which they're given.
3. This sometimes can create some difficulty or dissonance when reading the Qur'an because the Qur'an also adopts what is known as "abrogation." Abrogation means that an earlier revelation can be abrogated, or overturned, by a later revelation, and so sometimes the abrogation occurs prior to when you actually read about the revelation later on because it occurred in a shorter Surah. So there are some difficulties in reading the Qur'an in any consistent way from chapter 1 to chapter 114. Now that being said, as with the New Testament, there are some variations on the theme of merely by length.
4. For example, the first Surah is not the longest, but it is a very important traditional Surah…...

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