History of Islam

Islam has a rich and elaborate history that spans several thousand years and touches each and every continent. It is the duty of all people to learn about the past while acquiring knowledge throughout life. The overview of Islamic history presented here is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather to give you a starting point for further research.

Qur'an History
The Qur'an is a 'Bounty' and 'Mercy' to all Muslims (An-Nasr, 10:58). It is the Word of Allah (swt) and is perfect in every way. Many scholars have spent their entire lives researching the sciences (Uloom) of the Qur'an. Complete academic programs are centered around it. From linguistics to the foundation of Islamic Law, consider the following summary just a taste of the wealth of knowledge that exists on the topic. Say: "In the bounty of Allah. And in His Mercy,- in that let them rejoice": that is better than the (wealth) they hoard [An-Nasr, 10:58]. The Glorious Qur’an was revealed in stages to the Holy Prophet (saw) from the Angel Jibril over a twenty-three year span. These Revelations came in the form of Wahy, or Inspiration (see Ash-Shura, 42:51). All Prophets (as) including Muhammad (saw) received their messages in this way. Some forms of Wahy involve an intermediary (such as the Angel Jibril) and others come in the form of dreams or direct contact (see Al-A'raf, 7:143). Regardless, the Holy Prophet (saw) received the Qur'an only through Jibril, but received other messages in dreams (these messages comprise what is known as the Hadith al-Qudsiyyah). It is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or by the sending of a messenger to reveal, with Allah's permission, what Allah wills: for He is Most High, Most Wise. [Ash-Shura, 42:51] When Moses came to the place appointed by Us, and his Lord addressed him, He said: "O my Lord! show (Thyself) to me, that I may look upon thee." Allah said: "By no means canst thou see Me (direct); But look upon the mount; if it abide in its place, then shalt thou see Me." When his Lord manifested His glory on the Mount, He made it as dust. And Moses fell down in a swoon. When he recovered his senses he said: "Glory be to Thee! to Thee I turn in repentance, and I am the first to believe." [Al-A'raf, 7:143] Through jibril, the Revelations came to the Prophet (saw) in two ways. First, it came in sever form, like the ringing of a bell. Jibril remained in his natural form, causing great stress on Muhammad (saw). Secondly, Jibril took human form which was easier for Muhammad (saw). Hadith Narrated 'Aisha: Al-Harith bin Hisham asked Allah's Apostle "O Allah's Apostle! How is the Divine Inspiration revealed to you?" Allah's Apostle replied, "Sometimes it is (revealed) like the ringing of a bell, this form of Inspiration is the hardest of all and then this state passes off after I have grasped what is inspired. Sometimes the Angel comes in the form of a man and talks to me and I grasp whatever he says." 'Aisha added: Verily I saw the Prophet being inspired Divinely on a very cold day and noticed the Sweat dropping from his forehead (as the Inspiration was over).' Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 2 After each encounter, the Revelation Scribes painstakingly wrote down each Revelation on pieces of cloth, leather, stone, and other materials. They were also instructed to put Each in its proper order among the other Revelations. These tasks were done over the watchful eye of the Prophet Muhammad(saw). After each Revelation, the companions (ra) of the Prophet (saw) would commit the new Words to memory and add them to their daily prayers. It is also noted that a significant amount of the Prophet’s literate companions also kept copies of the Holy Qur’an for themselves and their families.

During Ramadan, the Prophet Muhammad (saw) would recite the aggregate of all revealed verses back to the Angel Jibril. It was during these times that Jibril taught the Prophet (saw) the seven modes of recitation. During his final Ramadan, Muhammad (saw) recited the full Qur’an back to Gabriel twice. Up to this time, there was not a single compilation of the Qur’an. Its verses were written and arranged on myriad materials, but not compiled into a single volume. It was Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (ra), after the battle of Yamamah, who urged the first Caliph Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (ra) to compile this book. During the battle, many men who could recite the Holy Qur’an in its entirety were killed. For preservation’s sake, Abu Bakr (ra) entrusted Revelation Scribe Zayed Ibn Thabit with the task. Zayed had been present during Muhammad’s (saw) last recitation with Jibril. Soon after, with the help of most surviving companions, the authenticated copy of the Qur’an was completed. Uthman (ra) soon ordered the Copy Scribes to make pristine copies of the Qur’an that were to be sent to the reaches of the growing Islamic empire. Uthman (ra) was justly concerned that without these copies, variations in recitation would permeate through the fledgling Islamic world and erode the true Message. Syntactical marks, letter marks, diacritical marks, and vowel points were added over the next hundred years. This was done in order to preserve pronunciation and structure, especially because the Message of Islam had reached a significant population of non-Arabic speakers.

Names for the Qur'an:

• • • • •

Qur'an (Recitation) This name is mentioned 73 times within the Qur'an. Kitab (Book) This name is mentioned 77 times. Some sources translate this to mean 'Scripture'. Dhikr (Reminder) This name is mentioned 55 times. Some sources translate this to mean the Narrative -- a guidance over right and wrong, heaven and hell. Furqan (Criterion) Mentioned four times, this name means that the Qur'an is the criterion between Tawhid and Shirk. Tanzil (Sent Down) This also means the Revelation and is mentioned over 140 times.

It is of importance to note that several scholars have identified forty, fifty, or more names for the Holy Qur'an. Those names however describe the Qur'an, rather than assign name to it. The Revelation Scribes: These scribes were chosen by Muhammad (saw) and included: Ali Ibn Abi Talib, Mu'awiyah Ibn Abi Sufyan, Ubey Ibn Ka'ab, and Zayed Ibn Thabit. The Copy Scribes: These scribes were ordered by Uthman (ra): Zayed Ibn Thabit, Abdullah Ibn Al-Zubair, Said Ibn Al-`As, Abdul-Rahman Ibn Al-Harith Ibn Hisham.

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