ISLAM 101: A Simple Web Guide to Islam


Sources of Islam

The Quran is the holy book of Islam. Muslims consider the Quran to be the exact word of God in the Arabic language. Muslims believe that it was transmitted by the Angel Gabriel through the Prophet Muhammad. At the Quran's heart is the teaching of monotheism, but it also provides guidance for every part of a believer's life, including aspects that in the West would be considered social, political or legal, and not religious. The Quran is considered by Muslims to complete God's earlier revelations and is meant for all humanity, not for any exclusive group.

There is only one Quran unchanged since Muhammad received it. A number of his followers had carefully memorized each of the revelations, word for word -- an achievement still common among serious scholars -- and the text we know today was written down by the year 651. The Quran is considered to be untranslatable because no other language carries the full range of often subtle meaning that the Arabic of the Quran can convey. Muslims regard translations of the Quran in other languages to be interpretations rather than true translations because of the Quran's linguistic beauty, poetical eloquence and clear erudition in the Arabic language.

The Hadith are the reports of the sayings, deeds and approvals of the Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet's sayings and deeds are also called his Sunnah, or example. Muslims believe Muhammad was chosen by God to deliver His message of peace, Islam. He was born in 570 C.E. in Mecca, Arabia and was entrusted with the message of Islam when he was forty years old. The revelation that he received is called the Quran.

Muslims believe that Muhammad is the very last Prophet and Messenger of God to mankind. He is considered to be the summation and the culmination of all the prophets and messengers that came before him. Hence, it is the life history of the Prophet Muhammad which provides examples of daily living for Muslims. He was entrusted with the power of explaining, interpreting and living the teachings of the Quran.

The sources of legislation in Islam are the Quran and the Hadith.

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