West Java is a province of Indonesia. It is located in the western part of the island of Java and its capital and largest urban center is Bandung, although much of its population in the northwest corner of the province live in areas suburban to the larger urban area of Jakarta, though that city itself lies outside the administrative province. With a population of 46.3 million West Java is the most populous of Indonesia's provinces. The city proper of Bandung, largest city in West Java, has one of the highest population density worldwide, while Bekasi and Depok are the 7th and 10th most populated suburbs in the world. All these cities are suburban to Jakarta; the oldest human inhabitant archaeological findings in the region were unearthed in Anyer with evidence of bronze and iron metallurgical culture dating to the first millennium AD. The prehistoric Buni culture clay pottery were developed with evidence found in Anyer to Cirebon. Artefacts, such as food and drink containers, were found as burial gifts.
There is archaeological evidence in Batujaya Archaeological Site dating from the 2nd century and, according to Dr Tony Djubiantono, the head of Bandung Archaeology Agency, Jiwa Temple in Batujaya, West Java was built around this time. One of the earliest known recorded history in Indonesia is from the former Tarumanagara kingdom, where seven fourth century stones are inscribed in Wengi letters and in Sanskrit describing the kings of the kingdom Tarumanagara. Records of Tarumanegara's administration lasted until the sixth century, which coincides with the attack of Srivijaya, as stated in the Kota Kapur inscription; the Sunda Kingdom subsequently became the ruling power of the region, as recorded on the Kebon Kopi II inscription. An Ulama, Sunan Gunung Jati, settled in Cirebon, with the intention of spreading the word of Islam in the pagan town. In the meantime, the Sultanate of Demak in central Java grew to an immediate threat against the Sunda kingdom. To defend against the threat, Prabu Surawisesa Jayaperkosa signed a treaty with the Portuguese in 1512.
In return, the Portuguese were granted an accession to build fortresses and warehouses in the area, as well as form trading agreements with the kingdom. This first international treaty of West Java with the Europeans was commemorated by the placement of the Padrao stone monument at the bank of the Ciliwung River in 1522. Although the treaty with the Portuguese had been established, it could not come to realization. Sunda Kalapa harbour fell under the alliance of the Sultanate of Demak and the Sultanate of Cirebon in 1524, after their troops under Paletehan alias Fadillah Khan had conquered the city. In 1524/1525, their troops under Sunan Gunung Jati seized the port of Banten and established the Sultanate of Banten, affiliating with the Sultanate of Demak; the war between the Sunda kingdom with Demak and Cirebon sultanates continued for five years until a peace treaty was made in 1531 between King Surawisesa and Sunan Gunung Jati. From 1567 to 1579, under the last king Raja Mulya, alias Prabu Surya Kencana, the Sunda kingdom declined under the pressure from Sultanate of Banten.
After 1576, the kingdom could not maintain its capital at Pakuan Pajajaran and the Sultanate of Banten took over the former Sunda kingdom's region. The Mataram Sultanate from central Java seized the Priangan region, the southeastern part of the kingdom. In the sixteenth century, the Dutch and the British trading companies established their trading ships in West Java after the falldown of Sultanate of Banten. For the next three hundred years, West Java fell under the Dutch East Indies' administration. West Java was declared as a province of Indonesia in 1950, referring to a statement from Staatblad number 378. On October 17, 2000, as part of nationwide political decentralization, Banten was separated from West Java and made into a new province. There have been recent proposals to rename the province Pasundan after the historical name for West Java. Since the creation of West Bandung Regency in 2008, the Province of West Java has been subdivided into 9 cities and 17 regencies; these 26 cities and regencies are divided into 620 districts, which comprise 1,576 urban villages and 4,301 rural villages.
An 18th regency was formed in October 2012 - Pangandaran Regency - from the southern half of Ciamis Regency. Notes* - the 2005 population is included in the total for Bandung Regency, of which West Bandung Regency was part. ** - the figures for Ciamis Regency include those for the new Pangandaran Regency, created in 2012. West Java borders Jakarta and Banten province to the west, Central Java to the east. To the north is the Java Sea. To the south is the Indian Ocean. Unlike most other provinces in Indonesia which have their capitals in coastal areas, the provincial capital, Bandung, is loc
Priyayi was the Dutch-era class of the nobles of the Robe, as opposed to royal nobility or ningrat, in Java, Indonesia's most populous island. Priyayi was a word coined in Javanese word for the descendants of the adipati or governors, the first of whom were appointed in the 17th century by the Sultan Agung of Mataram to administer the principalities he had conquered. Court officials in pre-colonial kingdoms, the priyayi moved into the colonial civil service and on to administrators of the modern Indonesian republic; the Mataram Sultanate, an Islamic polity in south central Java that reached its peak in the 17th century, developed a kraton culture from which the Sultan emerged as a charismatic figure that rules over a independent aristocracy. Named para yayi, officials and chiefs were integrated in a patron-client relationship with the Sultan to preside over the peripheries of the kingdom; the homeland of priyayi culture is attributed to Mataram’s center, namely the Javanese-speaking middle and eastern parts of Java.
Although "Javanized" by Mataram’s political expansion, the Sundanese-speaking western part of Java, the easternmost parts of Java, the nearby island of Madura retain ethnic and cultural differences from the Mataramese heartland. After the arrival of the Dutch East India Company and the collapse of Mataram, the Sultanates of Surakarta and Yogyakarta became centers of Javanese political power since the 1755 Treaty of Giyanti. Although Dutch political influence limited their autonomy throughout the colonial period, the two kingdoms continued to serve as symbols of Javanese courtly culture. In the lowland rural areas of Java, the presence of a centralized indigenous bureaucracy strengthened state control over uncultivated land, helped transform the peasantry from independent smallholders to agricultural laborers. Outside of the areas ruled directly by Yogyakarta and Surakarta, Dutch colonial authorities established two civil service bodies: the Binnenlands Bestuur, staffed by Dutch officials, the Pangreh Praja, the indigenous bureaucracy.
By 1926, the Binnenlands Bestuur in the directly ruled areas of Java and Madura consisted of the following offices with territorial responsibilities, in descending order: Governor. A bupati is responsible for a kabupaten a polity with a semi-autonomous history; the position of a bupati was inherited from father to son, a practice allowed under the 1854 Dutch Constitutions, families of the bupati formed a local aristocratic class. The bupati is subordinate to, has a one-to-one correspondence with, the assistant resident ‒ the lowest ranking official of the Binnenlands Bestuur. Wedana. Asisten Wedana. Other colonial government employees considered to be of priyayi stature included tax officials and officials attached to police units. By 1931, Europeans accounted only for 10 percent of the entire state apparatus in the Dutch East Indies, over 250,000 native officials were on state payroll. In Java, a class distinction existed between priyagung, a group well connected to the aristocratic elite in Surakarta and Yogyakarta, priyayi cilik.
Nonetheless, the social distance separating the priyayi from the peasantry is much greater than that separating the priyagung from the priyayi cilik. In 1901, the Dutch East Indies government established the so-called Ethische Politiek as an official policy; the Ethical Politics paradigm extended the colonial state control through educational, agricultural, resource extraction, political surveillance institutions over the native population until Japanese occupation of 1942. Western-style education became available to the native populace, although only the wealthy could afford tuition at the secondary and tertiary institutions where Dutch is the primary language of instruction. Among the Javanese, priyayi men were the first to be educated at Western-style institutions before entering the colonial civil service. Nationalistic sentiments among Javanese elites who received Dutch education were formative in the era of the Indonesian National Awakening; the Boedi Oetomo, the first indigenous political society in the Dutch East Indies, was established by a group of priyayi doctors and medical students in 1908.
Although the group was confined to a Javanese, male priyayi following, the Boedi Oetomo was the first in a series of indigenous political activism in the Dutch East Indies. The Boedi Oetomo gave rise to prominent priyayi figures such as Soetatmo Soeriekosomo and Noto Soeroto, who are advocates for ethnic nationalism through the Committee for Javanese Nationalism, as well as advocates of Indies-wide nationalism, such as Tjipto Mangoenkoesoemo who founded the Indische Party; the emergence of other ethnic nationalist groups and Indies-nationalist political parties in Java eclipsed Javanese nationalism and gave rise to the emergence of a broader, Indonesian-language nationalism throughout the 1920s and 30s. The recognition of the Republic of Indonesia in 1949 by Dutch authorities resulted in the integration of bureaucratic institutions from Dutch-controlled federal states into the new Republic; the number of civil servants in Indonesia thus grew from 115,000 in the
Sekarmadji Maridjan Kartosoewirjo
Soekarmadji Maridjan Kartosoewirjo was an Indonesian Islamic mystic who led the Darul Islam rebellion against the Indonesian government from 1949 to 1962, with the objective of overthrowing the secular Pancasila ideology and establishing Negara Islam Indonesia based on sharia law. Kartosoewirjo was born in Cepu, an oil-producing town in Central Java, son of minor government official, his education was in secular and Dutch-medium schools. While attending NIAS in Surabaya, Kartosoewirjo boarded at the house of Islamist leader Tjokroaminoto and became involved in Tjokrominoto's PSII. Kartosoewirjo abandoned his medical studies to be immersed in politics. While touring Malangbong, near Garut in West Java, Kartosoewirjo met and married daughter of a local PSII leader, he settled down in this area. In 1937, he resigned from PSII to establish his own political movement advocating a future Islamic State of Indonesia based on Islamic law. During the Japanese occupation of Indonesia, Kartosoewirjo established armed militias in Garut area, one of many such groups supported and armed by the Japanese in order to help them resist any future Allied invasion.
During the Indonesian National Revolution, his Darul Islam militia remained in amicable terms with the secular Republican forces until the latter withdrew from West Java according to the terms of Renville Agreement in 1948, while Kartosoewirjo continued the guerrilla struggle against occupying Dutch forces. After the second Dutch offensive on December 1948, Republican guerillas slipping back into West Java was attacked by Kartosoewirjo's militia, resulting in a triangular war between the Republican forces, the Darul Islam, the Dutch army. On August 7, 1949, he declared establishment of Negara Islam Indonesia with himself as Imam. After the transfer of sovereignty from the Dutch, Kartosoewirjo refused to acknowledge returning Republican authority and continue attacking returning Republican forces culminating to a full-blown insurgency. During the 1950s, weak central government and uncoordinated military response from the government allowed Darul Islam to flourish, controlling one-third of West Java and launching raids as far as the outskirts of Jakarta.
Islamic rebels in South Sulawesi and Aceh joined the Darul Islam and acknowledged Kartosoewirjo as their highest authority through in practice there was little coordination between the rebels in the different provinces. In 1957, agents sent by Kartosoewirjo unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate Sukarno by grenade attack during a primary school function at Cikini, Central Jakarta. Declaration of martial law in 1957 and establishment of Guided Democracy by Sukarno in 1959 proved to be a turning point for Darul Islam's fortunes; the military introduced effective "fence of legs" method to encircle the guerillas' mountain bases and cutting off their supply and escape route, forcing the rebels to surrender or face annihilation in face of superior firepower. Kartosoewirjo responded by declaring "total war" in 1961, in which Darul Islam guerillas used terror tactics and banditry against civilians, further alienating the population, he sent agents to Jakarta, where on May 1962 they made another unsuccessful assassination attempt on Sukarno during the Eid al-Adha prayers.
On June 1962, Kartosoewirjo was captured in his hideout at Mount Geber near Garut. In captivity, he issued order for his followers to surrender; the last Darul Islam band in West Java, operating at Mount Ciremai, surrendered on August 1962. Kartosoewirjo was brought to Jakarta, he was found guilty of rebellion and attempted assassination of the president, was sentenced to death. He was executed by firing squad on September 5, 1962. Dijk, C. van Rebellion under the banner of Islam: the Darul Islam in Indonesia The Hague: M. Nijhoff,1981. ISBN 90-247-6172-7 Kilcullen, David "The political consequences of military operations in Indonesia 1945-99: a fieldwork analysis of the political power-diffusion effects of guerilla conflict " PhD Thesis, University of New South Wales - Australian Defence Force Academy. School of Politics, 2000
The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest city for Muslims, a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, can support their family during their absence. Speaking, Hajj means heading to a place for the sake of visiting. In Islamic terminology, Hajj is a pilgrimage made to Kaaba, the ‘House of God’, in the sacred city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia; the rites of Hajj, which according to Islam go back to the time of Prophet Abraham who re-built Kaaba after it had been first built by Prophet Adam, are performed over five or six days, beginning on the eighth and ending on the thirteenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the five pillars of Islam, alongside Shahadah, Salat and Sawm; the Hajj is the second largest annual gathering of Muslims in the world, after the Arba'een Pilgrimage in Karbala, Iraq.
The state of being physically and financially capable of performing the Hajj is called istita'ah, a Muslim who fulfils this condition is called a mustati. The Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, their submission to God; the word Hajj means "to attend a journey", which connotes both the outward act of a journey and the inward act of intentions. The pilgrimage occurs from the last month of the Islamic calendar; because the Islamic calendar is lunar and the Islamic year is about eleven days shorter than the Gregorian year, the Gregorian date of Hajj changes from year to year. Ihram is the name given to the special spiritual state in which pilgrims wear two white sheets of seamless cloth and abstain from certain actions; the Hajj is associated with the life of Islamic prophet Muhammad from the 7th century, but the ritual of pilgrimage to Mecca is considered by Muslims to stretch back thousands of years to the time of Abraham. During Hajj, pilgrims join processions of hundreds of thousands of people, who converge on Mecca for the week of the Hajj, perform a series of rituals: each person walks counter-clockwise seven times around the Kaaba, runs back and forth between the hills of Safa and Marwah, drinks from the Zamzam Well, goes to the plains of Mount Arafat to stand in vigil, spends a night in the plain of Muzdalifa, performs symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing stones at three pillars.
After the sacrifice of their animal, the Pilgrims are required to shave their head. They celebrate the three-day global festival of Eid al-Adha. Pilgrims can go to Mecca to perform the rituals at other times of the year; this is sometimes called the "lesser pilgrimage", or ‘Umrah. However if they choose to perform the Umrah, they are still obligated to perform the Hajj at some other point in their lifetime if they have the means to do so, because Umrah is not a substitute for Hajj. In 2017, the number of pilgrims coming from outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform hajj was reported as 1,752,014 and 600,108 Saudi Arabian residents bringing the total number of pilgrims to 2,352,122; the word in Arabic: حج comes from the Hebrew: חג ḥag, which means "holiday", from the triliteral Semitic root ח-ג-ג. The meaning of the verb is "to circle, to go around". Judaism uses circumambulation in the Hakafot ritual during Hoshanah Rabbah at the end of the Festival of Sukkot and on Simchat Torah. From this custom, the root was borrowed for the familiar meaning of holiday and festivity.
In the Temple, every festival would bring a sacrificial feast. In Islam, the person who commits the Hajj to Mecca has to turn around the Kaaba and to offer sacrifices; the present pattern of Hajj was established by Muhammad. However, according to the Quran, elements of Hajj trace back to the time of Abraham. According to Islamic tradition, Abraham was ordered by God to leave his wife Hajara and his son Ishmael alone in the desert of ancient Mecca. In search of water, Hajara ran seven times between the two hills of Safa and Marwah but found none. Returning in despair to Ishmael, she saw the baby scratching the ground with his leg and a water fountain sprang forth underneath his foot. Abraham was commanded to build the Kaaba and to invite people to perform pilgrimage there; the Quran refers to these incidents in verses 2:124-127 and 22:27-30. It is said that the archangel Gabriel brought the Black Stone from Heaven to be attached to the Kaaba. In pre-Islamic Arabia, a time known as jahiliyyah, the Kaaba became surrounded by pagan idols.
In 630 CE, Muhammad led his followers from Medina to Mecca, cleansed the Kaaba by destroying all the pagan idols, reconsecrated the building to Allah. In 632 CE, Muhammad performed his only and last pilgrimage with a large number of followers, instructed them on the rites of Hajj, it was from this point. During the medieval times, pilgrims would gather in big cities of Syria and Iraq to go to Mecca in groups and caravans comprising tens of thousands of pilgrims under state patronage. Hajj caravans with the advent of the Mamluk Sultanate and its successor, the Ottoman Empire, were escorted by a military force accompanied by physicians under the command of an amir al-hajj; this was done in order to protect the caravan from Bedouin robbers or natural hazards, a
Banjarmasin is the capital of South Kalimantan, Indonesia. It is located on a delta island near the junction of the Martapura rivers; as a result, Banjarmasin is sometimes called the "River City". Its population was 625,395 at the 2010 Census and estimated to be more than 720,000 in late 2017. Main economic sectors include transportation and communication, processing industries and trade and commerce. Main processing industries are: plywood and rubber manufacturing; the city of Banjarmasin is divided into five districts, listed below with their population at the 2010 Census: Banjarmasin is served by the Syamsudin Noor Airport, located about 25 km outside the town. The town is served by a deepwater port, Trisakti Harbour, the centre of the Barito basin. Passenger ships and ferries to and from Java carry their operation here; the city is laced with flood-prone waterways, many houses are built on rafts or stilts over the water. The waterways are used for travel, using small rowboats. Banjarmasin serves as the closest town to the large coal loading anchorage port of Taboneo.
Together with Tanjung Bara, they constitute the largest coal loading ports in Indonesia. 96% of the population is Muslim. Other religions include Protestants, Catholics and Buddhists. Banjarese are the majority in the city, with Javanese and other ethnics are the minority; the city is the home of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Banjarmasin. Nan Serunai was an ancient kingdom in South Kalimantan, but soon it was replaced by Buddhist kingdom of Tanjungpuri. In the fourteenth century, Banjarmasin was part of the Hindu kingdoms of Negara Dipa and Negara Daha, a vassal of Majapahit, but Pangeran Samudera converted to become a Muslim in the fifteenth century. Following this Banjarmasin was founded at the junction of the Barito and Martapura Rivers on 24 September 1526; the Dutch opened trade there in 1606. The British controlled the city for several brief periods; the British East India Company started trading with the city, which they called Tamborneo or Tomborneo, in 1614. In 1703 the EIC established a factory there.
The EIC attempted unsuccessfully, to trade with the city between 1736 and 1746, in 1747 the Sultan signed a treaty with the Dutch giving them a trade monopoly. In 1787 it became a Dutch protectorate. Banjarmasin remained the region's capital until the onset of the Banjarmasin War in 1859, when the Dutch headquarters were moved to Martapura; the Hikayat Banjar is the chronicle of Banjarmasin. This text called the History of Lambung Mangkurat, contains the history of the kings of Banjar and of Kota Waringin in South-east and South Borneo respectively. In 1930 the city's population was 66,000 and reached 444,000 in 1990. Banjarmasin was the capital of Dutch Borneo, it was therefore an objective for the Japanese during Japanese Occupation of Indonesia during World War II. Banjarmasin was occupied on 10 February 1942; the metropolitan area, known as Banjar Bakula, consists of the cities of Banjarmasin and Banjarbaru, the regencies of Banjar, Barito Kuala and Tanah Laut in South Kalimantan. This metropolitan area covers an area of 3,404.46 square km, at the 2010 Census has a population of 1,924,427.
Pulau Petak is an island next to Bandjermasin just across the Barito river. Of old, the people of Pulau Petak have settled along the borders of the rivers though pronounced river levees are absent and flood danger exists; the rivers were the main traffic ways and transport occurred by boat. Along the river fruit tree plantations and palawidja fields were developed. From the plantations inland, drainage canal have been dug towards the back swamps in the centre of the island. Along the handils, lowland rice fields dominate the landscape. Here, the water management has been subject of a scientific study. Under the Köppen climate classification, Banjarmasin features a tropical dry climate. Temperatures are consistent throughout the year, averaging about 27 degrees Celsius, the city has no real dry season; however Banjarmasin has noticeably drier times of the year. November through May forms the wettest part of the year with monthly precipitation of 200 millimetres or more per month. June through October is drier with monthly precipitation of about 120 millimetres per month.
Banjarmasin on average sees just under 2,600 millimetres of rain per year. The Sabilal Muhtadin Mosque, located along the Martapura riverfront, is a major landmark in the city. Built in 1979, the mosque accommodates thousands of worshippers on Friday prayers. A state university is located in the town. A floating marketplace, where buyers and sellers meet each other using boats, is located on the western outskirts of town, it is considered one of city's identity mark for years. Banjarmasin has long been renowned as a center for gem trading rare diamonds and rubies. An informal network with international connections exists, which supports the large domestic Indonesian trade in rare diamonds. Banjar's diamonds are known for their exquisite brilliance. In recent times, many of Indonesia's large diamond stones have been traded out of the country. A local dish is a soup served with lime. Another notable local dish is "Ketupat Kandangan", a ketupat dish with coconut milk soup (can be served with either chicken or snakehead fish meat
Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management, as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. Social ownership can be citizen ownership of equity. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, with social ownership being the common element shared by its various forms. Socialist systems are divided into market forms. Non-market socialism involves the substitution of factor markets and money with engineering and technical criteria based on calculation performed in-kind, thereby producing an economic mechanism that functions according to different economic laws from those of capitalism. Non-market socialism aims to circumvent the inefficiencies and crises traditionally associated with capital accumulation and the profit system. By contrast, market socialism retains the use of monetary prices, factor markets and in some cases the profit motive, with respect to the operation of owned enterprises and the allocation of capital goods between them.
Profits generated by these firms would be controlled directly by the workforce of each firm, or accrue to society at large in the form of a social dividend. The socialist calculation debate concerns the feasibility and methods of resource allocation for a socialist system. Socialist politics has been both nationalist in orientation. Originating within the socialist movement, social democracy has embraced a mixed economy with a market that includes substantial state intervention in the form of income redistribution, a welfare state. Economic democracy proposes a sort of market socialism where there is more decentralized control of companies, currencies and natural resources; the socialist political movement includes a set of political philosophies that originated in the revolutionary movements of the mid-to-late 18th century and out of concern for the social problems that were associated with capitalism. By the late 19th century, after the work of Karl Marx and his collaborator Friedrich Engels, socialism had come to signify opposition to capitalism and advocacy for a post-capitalist system based on some form of social ownership of the means of production.
By the 1920s, social democracy and communism had become the two dominant political tendencies within the international socialist movement. By this time, socialism emerged as "the most influential secular movement of the twentieth century, worldwide, it is a political ideology, a wide and divided political movement" and while the emergence of the Soviet Union as the world's first nominally socialist state led to socialism's widespread association with the Soviet economic model, some economists and intellectuals argued that in practice the model functioned as a form of state capitalism or a non-planned administrative or command economy. Socialist parties and ideas remain a political force with varying degrees of power and influence on all continents, heading national governments in many countries around the world. Today, some socialists have adopted the causes of other social movements, such as environmentalism and progressivism. In 21st century America, the term socialism, without clear definition, has become a pejorative used by conservatives to taint liberal and progressive policies and public figures.
For Andrew Vincent, "he word ‘socialism’ finds its root in the Latin sociare, which means to combine or to share. The related, more technical term in Roman and medieval law was societas; this latter word could mean companionship and fellowship as well as the more legalistic idea of a consensual contract between freemen". The term "socialism" was created by Henri de Saint-Simon, one of the founders of what would be labelled "utopian socialism". Simon coined the term as a contrast to the liberal doctrine of "individualism", which stressed that people act or should act as if they are in isolation from one another; the original "utopian" socialists condemned liberal individualism for failing to address social concerns during the industrial revolution, including poverty, social oppression and gross inequalities in wealth, thus viewing liberal individualism as degenerating society into supporting selfish egoism that harmed community life through promoting a society based on competition. They presented socialism as an alternative to liberal individualism based on the shared ownership of resources, although their proposals for socialism differed significantly.
Saint-Simon proposed economic planning, scientific administration and the application of modern scientific advancements to the organisation of society. By contrast, Robert Owen proposed the organisation of ownership in cooperatives; the term "socialism" is attributed to Pierre Leroux and to Marie Roch Louis Reybaud in France. The modern definition and usage of "socialism" settled by the 1860s, becoming the predominant term among the group of words "co-operative", "mutualist" and "associationist", used as synonyms; the term "communism" fell out of use during this period, despite earlier distinctions between socialism and communism from the 1840s. An early distinction between socialism and communism was that the former aimed to only socialise production while the latter aimed to socialise both production and consumption. However, M
The Quran is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to be a revelation from God. It is regarded as the finest work in classical Arabic literature; the Quran is divided into chapters. Muslims believe that the Quran was orally revealed by God to the final Prophet, through the archangel Gabriel, incrementally over a period of some 23 years, beginning on 22 December 609 CE, when Muhammad was 40, concluding in 632, the year of his death. Muslims regard the Quran as Muhammad's most important miracle, a proof of his prophethood, the culmination of a series of divine messages starting with those revealed to Adam and ending with Muhammad; the word "Quran" occurs some 70 times in the Quran's text, other names and words are said to refer to the Quran. According to tradition, several of Muhammad's companions served as scribes and recorded the revelations. Shortly after his death, the Quran was compiled by the companions, who had written down or memorized parts of it; the codices showed differences that motivated Caliph Uthman to establish a standard version, now known as Uthman's codex, considered the archetype of the Quran known today.
There are, variant readings, with minor differences in meaning. The Quran assumes familiarity with major narratives recounted in the Biblical scriptures, it summarizes some, dwells at length on others and, in some cases, presents alternative accounts and interpretations of events. The Quran describes itself as a book of guidance for mankind 2:185, it sometimes offers detailed accounts of specific historical events, it emphasizes the moral significance of an event over its narrative sequence. Hadith are additional written traditions supplementing the Quran. In most denominations of Islam, the Quran is used together with hadith to interpret sharia law. During prayers, the Quran is recited only in Arabic. Someone who has memorized the entire Quran is called a hafiz. Quranic verse is sometimes recited with a special kind of elocution reserved for this purpose, called tajwid. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims complete the recitation of the whole Quran during tarawih prayers. In order to extrapolate the meaning of a particular Quranic verse, most Muslims rely on exegesis, or tafsir.
The word qurʼān appears assuming various meanings. It is a verbal noun of the Arabic verb qaraʼa, meaning "he read" or "he recited"; the Syriac equivalent is qeryānā, which refers to "scripture reading" or "lesson". While some Western scholars consider the word to be derived from the Syriac, the majority of Muslim authorities hold the origin of the word is qaraʼa itself. Regardless, it had become an Arabic term by Muhammad's lifetime. An important meaning of the word is the "act of reciting", as reflected in an early Quranic passage: "It is for Us to collect it and to recite it."In other verses, the word refers to "an individual passage recited ". Its liturgical context is seen in a number of passages, for example: "So when al-qurʼān is recited, listen to it and keep silent." The word may assume the meaning of a codified scripture when mentioned with other scriptures such as the Torah and Gospel. The term has related synonyms that are employed throughout the Quran; each synonym possesses its own distinct meaning, but its use may converge with that of qurʼān in certain contexts.
Such terms include kitāb. The latter two terms denote units of revelation. In the large majority of contexts with a definite article, the word is referred to as the "revelation", that, "sent down" at intervals. Other related words are: dhikr, used to refer to the Quran in the sense of a reminder and warning, ḥikmah, sometimes referring to the revelation or part of it; the Quran describes itself as "the discernment", "the mother book", "the guide", "the wisdom", "the remembrance" and "the revelation". Another term is al-kitāb, though it is used in the Arabic language for other scriptures, such as the Torah and the Gospels; the term mus'haf is used to refer to particular Quranic manuscripts but is used in the Quran to identify earlier revealed books. Islamic tradition relates that Muhammad received his first revelation in the Cave of Hira during one of his isolated retreats to the mountains. Thereafter, he received revelations over a period of 23 years. According to hadith and Muslim history, after Muhammad immigrated to Medina and formed an independent Muslim community, he ordered many of his companions to recite the Quran and to learn and teach the laws, which were revealed daily.
It is related that some of the Quraysh who were taken prisoners at the Battle of Badr regained their freedom after they had taught some of the Muslims the simple writing of the time. Thus a group of Muslims became literate; as it was spoken, the Quran was recorded on tablets and the wide, flat ends of date palm fronds. Most suras were in use amongst early Mu