The Koran

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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The Koran constitutes the primary source of knowledge for any practicing Muslim. Followers of the religion believe that God brought forth his prophet Mohammed in the year 570 C.E. as a messenger of His will, described carefully in the Koran, the incontrovertible word of Allah. It wasn't until Mohammed's fortieth year that God began conveying his message to him in a piecemeal fashion. Nevertheless, that word has survived through the millennia and is still revered today.

While there are other sources of Islamic knowledge, the Koran trumps them all. Hadith, the accounts of Mohammed's sayings and deeds, are another important source of inspiration and are looked to much the way the Gospels and the Mishnah are in Christianity and Judaism--to fill in gaps. This is where Islam allows for much debate since these passages are invariably interpreted by Muslims to mean different things.

The Koran: The Last Revealed Book

Muslims look to the holy Koran as the last revealed book of God, as it is the definitive word on how Muslims ought to live and worship. Muslim scholars point to the Gospels, which were written long after the events they report, as secondary texts, since they depend on witnesses' accounts. While these may be inaccurate, some Muslims believe, the Koran was presented in its entirety at the moment of its creation and is therefore an indisputable text.

Obviously, this is a complicated matter. It would take the world's leading experts on religion, preservation, and linguistics to conclusively rule on matters of authenticity. But Islam does not seek to divide mankind on such matters. To the contrary, it regards all people as brothers and sisters, or children of Allah.

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