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The Quran is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to be a revelation from God. It is widely regarded as the finest work in classical Arabic literature. The Quran is divided into chapters (Arabic: سورتیںsurahtaen, singular سورۃsūrah), which are subdivided into verses (Arabic: آية āyāh, plural آيات āyāt).
- Text of the Quran
- Commentaries and exegesis (tafsīr)
A body of commentary and explication (tafsīr), aimed at explaining the meanings of the Quranic verses.
- Reasons of revelation (asbāb al-nuzūl)
The science which describes the reason, circumstances, and events surrounding the revelation of verses.
Other Islamic books considered to be revealed by God before the Quran, mentioned by name in the Quran are the Tawrat (Torah) revealed to the prophets and messengers amongst the Children of Israel, the Zabur (Psalms) revealed to Dawud (David) and the Injil (the Gospel) revealed to Isa (Jesus). The Quran also mentions God having revealed the Scrolls of Abraham and the Scrolls of Moses.
The Islamic methodology of tafsir al-Qur'an bi-l-Kitab (Arabic: تفسير القرآن بالكتاب) refers to interpreting the Qur'an with/through the Bible. This approach adopts canonical Arabic versions of the Bible, including the Tawrat and the Injil, both to illuminate and to add exegetical depth to the reading of the Qur'an. Notable Muslim mufassirun (commentators) of the Bible and Qur'an who weaved biblical texts together with Qur'anic ones include Abu al-Hakam Abd al-Salam bin al-Isbili of Al-Andalus and Ibrahim bin Umar bin Hasan al-Biqa'i.
Sunnah denotes the practice of Islamic prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the sharī‘ah and the best exemplar. The sources of sunna are usually oral traditions found in collections of Hadith and Sīra (prophetic biography), as well as the Qur'an. Unlike the Qur'an, Muslims naturally differ on the set of texts or sources of sunnah, and they emphasize different collections of hadith based on to which school of thought or branch they belong.
Biographical evaluation (ilm ar-rijal)
The science which explores the narrators of hadith.
- Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (2007). "Qurʼān". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 2007-11-04.
- Margot Patterson, Islam Considered: A Christian View, Liturgical Press, 2008 p. 10.
- Mir Sajjad Ali, Zainab Rahman, Islam and Indian Muslims, Guan Publishing House 2010 p. 24, citing N.J. Dawood's judgement.
- Alan Jones, The Koran, London 1994, ISBN 1842126091, opening page.
"Its outstanding literary merit should also be noted: it is by far, the finest work of Arabic prose in existence."
- Arthur Arberry, The Koran Interpreted, London 1956, ISBN 0684825074, p. 191.
"It may be affirmed that within the literature of the Arabs, wide and fecund as it is both in poetry and in elevated prose, there is nothing to compare with it."
- McCoy, R. Michael (2021-09-08). Interpreting the Qurʾān with the Bible (Tafsīr al-Qurʾān bi-l-Kitāb). Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-46682-1.
- Islahi, Amin Ahsan (1989) [tr:2009]. "Difference between Hadith and Sunnah". Mabadi Tadabbur i Hadith [Fundamentals of Hadith Interpretation] (in Urdu). Lahore: Al-Mawrid. Retrieved 1 June 2011.