Islamic culture and Muslim culture refer to cultural practices common to Islamic people. The early forms of Muslim culture, from the Rashidun Caliphate to early Umayyad perioud, were predominantly Arab, Byzantine and Levantine. With the rapid expansion of the Islamic empires, Muslim culture has influenced and assimilated much from the Persian, Caucasian, Mongol, South Asian, Somali, Berber and Moro cultures. Islamic culture includes all the practices which have developed around the religion of Islam. There are variations in the application of Islamic beliefs in different traditions. Arabic literature is both prose and poetry, produced by writers in the Arabic language; the Arabic word used for literature is "Adab", derived from a meaning of etiquette, which implies politeness and enrichment. Arabic literature emerged in the 5th century with only fragments of the written language appearing before then; the Qur'an regarded by people as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language, would have the greatest lasting effect on Arabic culture and its literature.
Arabic literature flourished during the Islamic Golden Age, but has remained vibrant to the present day, with poets and prose-writers across the Arab world, as well as rest of the world, achieving increasing success. Persian literature comprises oral compositions and written texts in the Persian language and it is one of the world's oldest literatures, it spans over two-and-a-half millennia. Its sources have been within Greater Iran including present-day Iran, Afghanistan, the Caucasus, Turkey, regions of Central Asia and South Asia where the Persian language has been either the native or official language. For instance, one of best-loved Persian poets born in Balkh or Vakhsh, wrote in Persian and lived in Konya the capital of the Seljuks in Anatolia; the Ghaznavids conquered large territories in Central and South Asia and adopted Persian as their court language. There is thus Persian literature from Iran, Azerbaijan, the wider Caucasus, western parts of Pakistan, India and other parts of Central Asia.
Not all Persian literature is written in Persian, as some consider works written by ethnic Persians in other languages, such as Greek and Arabic, to be included. At the same time, not all literature written in Persian is written by ethnic Persians or Iranians, as Turkic and Indic poets and writers have used the Persian language in the environment of Persianate cultures. Described as one of the great literatures of humanity, including Goethe's assessment of it as one of the four main bodies of world literature, Persian literature has its roots in surviving works of Middle Persian and Old Persian, the latter of which date back as far as 522 BCE, the date of the earliest surviving Achaemenid inscription, the Behistun Inscription; the bulk of surviving Persian literature, comes from the times following the Arab conquest of Persia c. 650 CE. After the Abbasids came to power, the Iranians became the scribes and bureaucrats of the Arab empire and also its writers and poets; the New Persian language literature arose and flourished in Khorasan and Transoxiana because of political reasons, early Iranian dynasties such as the Tahirids and Samanids being based in Khorasan.
Persian poets such as Ferdowsi, Sa'di, Attar, Nezami and Omar Khayyam are known in the West and have influenced the literature of many countries. For a thousand years, since the invasion of India by the Ghaznavids, the Persian-Islamic culture of the eastern half of the Islamic world started to dominate the Indian culture. Persian was the official language of most Indian empires such as the Ghaznavids, the Delhi Sultanate, the Bengal Sultanate, the Deccan Sultanates and the Mughal Empire. Persian artistic forms in literature and poetry such as ghazals have come to affect Urdu and other Indian literature. More Persian literature was produced in India than in the Iranian world; as late as the 20th century, Allama Iqbal chose Persian for some of his major poetic works. The first Persian language newspaper was published in India, given that printing machines were first implemented in India. In Bengal, the Baul tradition of mystic music and poetry merged Sufism with many local images; the most prominent poets were Lalon Shah.
During the early 14th century, the liberal poet Kazi Nazrul Islam espoused intense spiritual rebellion against oppression and religious fundamentalism. Sultana's Dream by Begum Rokeya, an Islamic feminist, is one earliest works of feminist science fiction. From the 11th century, there was a growing body of Islamic literature in the Turkic languages. However, for centuries to come the official language in Turkish-speaking areas would remain Persian. In Anatolia, with the advent of the Seljuks, the practise and usage of Persian in the region would be revived. A branch of the Seljuks, the Sultanate of Rum, took Russian language and letters to Anatolia, they adopted Persian language as the official language of the empire. The Ottomans, which can "roughly" be seen as their eventual successors, took this tradition over. Persian was the official court language of the empire, for some time, the official language of the empire, though the lingua franca amongst common people from the 15th/16th century would become Turkish as well as having laid an active "foundation" for the Turkic language as earl
Sunnah sunna or sunnat, is the body of literature which discusses and prescribes the traditional customs and practices of the Islamic community, both social and legal, being based on the verbally transmitted record of the teachings and sayings, silent permissions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, as well as various reports about Muhammad's companions. The Quran and the sunnah make up the two primary sources of Islamic law; the sunnah is defined as "a path, a way, a manner of life". In the pre-Islamic period, the word sunnah was used with the meaning "manner of acting", whether good or bad. During the early Islamic period, the term came to refer to any good precedent set by people of the past, including Muhammad. Under the influence of Al-Shafi‘i, who argued for priority of Muhammad's example as recorded in hadith over precedents set by other authorities, the term al-sunnah came to be viewed as synonymous with the sunnah of Muhammad; the sunnah of Muhammad includes his specific words, habits and silent approvals.
According to Muslim belief, Muhammad was the best exemplar for Muslims, his practices are to be adhered to in fulfilling the divine injunctions, carrying out religious rites, moulding life in accord with the will of God. Instituting these practices was, as the Quran states, a part of Muhammad's responsibility as a messenger of God. Recording the sunnah was an Arabian tradition and, once people converted to Islam, they brought this custom to their religion; the word "sunnah" is used to refer to religious duties that are optional, such as Sunnah salat. Sunnah is an Arabic word that means "habit" or "usual practice". Sunni Muslims are referred to as Ahl as-Sunnah wa'l-Jamā'ah or Ahl as-Sunnah for short; some early Sunnî Muslim scholars used the term "the sunnah" narrowly to refer to Sunnî Doctrine as opposed to the creeds of Shia and other non-Sunni sects. According to scholars such as Joseph Schacht and Ignác Goldziher the pre-Islamic definition of sunnah was "precedent" or "way of life", it was first used with the meaning of "law" in the Syro-Roman law book before it became used in Islamic jurisprudence.
Early schools of Islamic jurisprudence had a more flexible definition of sunnah than was used that being "acceptable norms" or "custom", was not limited to “traditions traced back to the Prophet Muhammad himself”. It included examples of the Prophet's Companions, the rulings of the Caliphs, practices that “had gained general acceptance among the jurists of that school”. Evidence of the use of other “sunnas” at this time is found in the hadith comment made about a report on the difference in the number of lashes used to punish alcohol consumption — “All this is sunna”, it was Abū ʿAbdullāh Muhammad ibn Idrīs al-Shāfiʿī, known as al-Shafi'i, who argued against this practice, emphasizing the final authority of a hadith of Muhammad, so that the Qur'an was "to be interpreted in the light of traditions, not vice versa." While the sunnah has been called "second to the Quran", Al-Shafi'i "forcefully argued" that the sunnah stands "on equal footing with the Quran", for “the command of the Prophet is the command of God.”His success was such that writers “hardly thought of sunna as comprising anything but that of the Prophet”.
"Living sunnah"In the 1960s, Fazlur Rahman Malik, an Islamic modernist and former head of Pakistan's Central Institute for Islamic Research, advanced another idea for how the sunnah should be understood: as the normative example of the Prophet, but not "filled with specific content". Rather it should be "a general umbrella concept" that could and should evolve as a "living and on-going process", he argued that Muhammad had come as a "moral reformer" and not a "pan-legit", that the community of his followers would agree on the specifics of the sunna. If Western and Muslim scholars found that the isnad and content of ahadith had been tampered by someone trying to prove the Muhammad had made a specific statement, this did not mean they were fraudulent. "Hadith verbally speaking does not go back to the Prophet, its spirit does". If hadith changed from the early schools to the time of al-Shafi'i, through tampering from al-Shafi'i to the collections of ahadith of al-Bukhari and al-Muslim's, they formed a kind of ijma.
According to Rahman they were "materially identical" to ijma. Non-hadith sunnahBasic features of the sunnah — such as worship rituals like salat, hajj, sawm — are known to Muslim from being passed down `from the many to the many`, rather than
Sufism or Taṣawwuf, variously defined as "Islamic mysticism", "the inward dimension of Islam" or "the phenomenon of mysticism within Islam", is mysticism in Islam, "characterized... values, ritual practices and institutions" which began early in Islamic history and represents "the main manifestation and the most important and central crystallization of" mystical practice in Islam. Practitioners of Sufism have been referred to as "Sufis". Sufis have belonged to different ṭuruq or "orders" – congregations formed around a grand master referred to as a wali who traces a direct chain of successive teachers back to the Islamic prophet, Muhammad; these orders meet for spiritual sessions in meeting places known as khanqahs or tekke. They strive for ihsan, as detailed in a hadith: "Ihsan is to worship Allah as if you see Him. Sufis regard Muhammad as al-Insān al-Kāmil, the primary perfect man who exemplifies the morality of God, see him as their leader and prime spiritual guide. All Sufi orders trace most of their original precepts from Muhammad through his cousin and son-in-law Ali, with the notable exception of one.
Although the overwhelming majority of Sufis, both pre-modern and modern and are adherents of Sunni Islam, there developed certain strands of Sufi practice within the ambit of Shia Islam during the late medieval period. Although Sufis were opposed to dry legalism, they observed Islamic law and belonged to various schools of Islamic jurisprudence and theology. Sufis have been characterized by their asceticism by their attachment to dhikr, the practice of remembrance of God performed after prayers, they gained adherents among a number of Muslims as a reaction against the worldliness of the early Umayyad Caliphate and have spanned several continents and cultures over a millennium expressing their beliefs in Arabic and expanding into Persian and Urdu, among others. Sufis played an important role in the formation of Muslim societies through their missionary and educational activities. According to William Chittick, "In a broad sense, Sufism can be described as the interiorization, intensification of Islamic faith and practice."Despite a relative decline of Sufi orders in the modern era and criticism of some aspects of Sufism by modernist thinkers and conservative Salafists, Sufism has continued to play an important role in the Islamic world, has influenced various forms of spirituality in the West.
The Arabic word tasawwuf translated as Sufism, is defined by Western authors as Islamic mysticism. The Arabic term sufi has been used in Islamic literature with a wide range of meanings, by both proponents and opponents of Sufism. Classical Sufi texts, which stressed certain teachings and practices of the Quran and the sunnah, gave definitions of tasawwuf that described ethical and spiritual goals and functioned as teaching tools for their attainment. Many other terms that described particular spiritual qualities and roles were used instead in more practical contexts; some modern scholars have used other definitions of Sufism such as "intensification of Islamic faith and practice" and "process of realizing ethical and spiritual ideals". The term Sufism was introduced into European languages in the 18th century by Orientalist scholars, who viewed it as an intellectual doctrine and literary tradition at variance with what they saw as sterile monotheism of Islam. In modern scholarly usage the term serves to describe a wide range of social, cultural and religious phenomena associated with Sufis.
The original meaning of sufi seems to have been "one who wears wool", the Encyclopaedia of Islam calls other etymological hypotheses "untenable". Woollen clothes were traditionally associated with mystics. Al-Qushayri and Ibn Khaldun both rejected all possibilities other than ṣūf on linguistic grounds. Another explanation traces the lexical root of the word to ṣafā, which in Arabic means "purity"; these two explanations were combined by the Sufi al-Rudhabari, who said, "The Sufi is the one who wears wool on top of purity". Others have suggested that the word comes from the term ahl aṣ-ṣuffah, who were a group of impoverished companions of Muhammad who held regular gatherings of dhikr; these men and women who sat at al-Masjid an-Nabawi are considered by some to be the first Sufis. According to Carl W. Ernst the earliest figures of Sufism are Muhammad his companions. Sufi orders are based on the "bay‘ah", given to Muhammad by his Ṣahabah. By pledging allegiance to Muhammad, the Sahabah had committed themselves to the service of God.
Verily, those who give Bai'âh to you they are giving Bai'âh to Allâh. The Hand of Allâh is over their hands. Whosoever breaks his pledge, breaks it only to his own harm, whosoever fulfils what he has covenanted with Allâh, He will bestow on him a great reward. — Sufis believe that by giving bayʿah to a legitimate Sufi shaykh, one is pledging allegiance to Muhammad. It is through Muhammad that Sufis aim to learn about and connect with God. Ali is regarded as one of the
Spread of Islam
Muslim conquests following Muhammad's death led to the creation of the caliphates, occupying a vast geographical area. These early caliphates, coupled with Muslim economics and trading and the expansion of the Ottoman Empire, resulted in Islam's spread outwards from Mecca towards both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the creation of the Muslim world. Trading played an important role in the spread of Islam in several parts of the world, notably southeast Asia. Muslim dynasties were soon established and subsequent empires such as those of the Abbasids, Almoravids, Ajuran and Warsangali in Somalia, Mughals in the Indian subcontinent and Safavids in Persia and Ottomans in Anatolia were among the largest and most powerful in the world; the people of the Islamic world created numerous sophisticated centers of culture and science with far-reaching mercantile networks, scientists, mathematicians and philosophers, all contributing to the Golden Age of Islam. Islamic expansion in South and East Asia fostered cosmopolitan and eclectic Muslim cultures in the Indian subcontinent, Malaysia and China.
As of 2015, there were 2 billion Muslims, with one out of four people in the world being Muslim, making Islam the second-largest religion in the world. Out of children born from 2010 to 2015, 31% were Muslim. Babies born to Muslims are expected to outnumber those to Christians by 2035; the expansion of the Arab Empire in the first centuries after Muhammad's death soon established Muslim dynasties in North Africa, West Africa, to the Middle East, Somalia. Within the century of the establishment of Islam upon the Arabian peninsula and the subsequent rapid expansion of the Arab Empire during the Muslim conquests, one of the most significant empires in world history was formed. For the subjects of this new empire subjects of the reduced Byzantine, obliterated Sassanid Empires, not much changed in practice; the objective of the conquests was of a practical nature, as fertile land and water were scarce in the Arabian peninsula. A real Islamization therefore only came about in the subsequent centuries.
Ira Lapidus distinguishes between two separate strands of converts of the time: one is animists and polytheists of tribal societies of the Arabian peninsula and the Fertile crescent. Islam was introduced in Somalia in the 7th century when the Muslim Arabs fled from the persecution of the Pagan Quraysh tribe; when the Muslims defeated the Pagans, some returned to Arabia, but many decided to stay there and established Muslim communities along the Somali coastline. The local Somalis adopted the Islamic faith well before the faith took root in its place of origin. For the polytheistic and pagan societies, apart from the religious and spiritual reasons each individual may have had, conversion to Islam "represented the response of a tribal, pastoral population to the need for a larger framework for political and economic integration, a more stable state, a more imaginative and encompassing moral vision to cope with the problems of a tumultuous society." In contrast, for sedentary and already monotheistic societies, "Islam was substituted for a Byzantine or Sassanian political identity and for a Christian, Jewish or Zoroastrian religious affiliation."
Conversion was neither required nor wished for: " did not require the conversion as much as the subordination of non-Muslim peoples. At the outset, they were hostile to conversions because new Muslims diluted the economic and status advantages of the Arabs."Only in subsequent centuries, with the development of the religious doctrine of Islam and with that the understanding of the Muslim ummah, did mass conversion take place. The new understanding by the religious and political leadership in many cases led to a weakening or breakdown of the social and religious structures of parallel religious communities such as Christians and Jews; the caliphs of the Arab dynasty established the first schools inside the empire which taught Arabic language and Islamic studies. They furthermore began the ambitious project of building mosques across the empire, many of which remain today as the most magnificent mosques in the Islamic world, such as the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus. At the end of the Umayyad period, less than 10% of the people in Iran, Syria, Egypt and Spain were Muslim.
Only on the Arabian peninsula was the proportion of Muslims among the population higher than this. Expansion ceased and the central disciplines of Islamic philosophy, theology and mysticism became more widespread and the gradual conversions of the populations within the empire occurred. Significant conversions occurred beyond the extents of the empire such as that of the Turkic tribes in Central Asia and peoples living in regions south of the Sahara in Africa through contact with Muslim traders active in the area and Sufi orders. In Africa it spread along three routes, across the Sahara via trading towns such as Timbuktu, up the Nile Valley through the Sudan up to Uganda and across the Red Sea and down East Africa through settlements such as Mombasa and Zanzibar; these initial conversions were of a flexible nature. The reasons why, by the end of the 10th century, a large part of the population had converted to Islam are diverse. According to British-Lebanese historian Albert Hourani, one of the reasons may be that "Islam had become more defined, the line between Muslims and non-Muslims more drawn.
Muslims now lived within an elaborated system
Angels in Islam
In Islam, angels are celestial beings, created from a luminious origin by God to perform certain tasks he has given them. The angels from the angelic realm are subordinates in a hierarchy headed by one of the archangels in the highest heavens. Belief in angels is one of the six articles of faith in Islam. Islam acknowledges the concept of angels both abstract, it does not mean Islamic scholars depict them as either personified creatures or abstract forces: Some scholars distinguished between the angels, charged with carrying the laws of nature dwelling on earth as being abstract, the angels in heaven prostrating before God and spiritual creatures of the supreme world, such as the archangels, as personified. Angels are another kind of creature created by God, known to mankind dwelling in the heavenly spheres. Although the Quran does not mention the time when angels were created, they are considered as the first creation of God, they are created from a luminous substance with no bodily desires, never get tired, do not eat or drink and have no anger.
Al-Kindi and Ibn Sina both define angels as simple substances endowed with life and immortality. In contrast to humans, who are substances endowed with life and reason but are mortal, who is, in turn, distinguished by unreasonable but mortal animals. In chapter 10 of Sahih Muslim The Book of Zuhd and Softening of Hearts by Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, a hadith states: The Angels were born out of light and the Jann was born out of the mixture of fire and Adam was born as he has been defined for you and many Islamic sources talk of angels being created from light, based on the hadith by Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj. However, many scholars have argued. According to the famous exegete al-Tabari, God may have created angels from fire and other things, as well as from light; some angels are thought to be composed of elements such as water or fire those who carry the Throne of God. According to the Isra and Mi'raj-narrations, Muhammad met an angel composed of fire and ice and both pass into one another without cooling down the fire, nor melting the ice, demonstrating God's power over the usual laws of nature.
Islamic scholars evaluated — in the view of the prevailing Jewish opinion at the time that angels were created by God from fire — whether angels were created from fire or not and how they are distinguished from those created from light. Al-Suyuti stated that angels are composed either of light. Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi divided the angels into two groups: The angels of mercy created from light, angels of Punishment created from the fire. Qazwini and Ibishi assert that all supernatural creatures, due to their invisibility, are composed of a subtle matter, equivalent to fire but which differs in intensity and are distinguished by the part of fire they originated from. Accordingly, the angels are created from the light of a fire, the jinn from the tongue of fire and the demons from its smoke. Furthermore, scholars such as al-Tabari stated that light and fire do not appeal to different elements, but to a luminous origin of angels which should not be taken literally. Angels as abstract concepts belong to Al-Ghaib.
Angels here are used as expressions of natural laws. They carry the Divine command into execution. References to specific angels, like Jabra'il or Azrail, are respective leaders, with a multitude of subordinative angels, who perform for a specific function. Qazwini portrays the earthly angels as indwelling forces of nature, who keep the world in order and never deviate from their duty. Qazwini believed that the existence of these angels could be proven by reason and the things these angels affect. Islamic philosophy stressed that humans own angelic and demonic qualities and that the human soul is seen as a potential angel or potential demon. Depending on whether the sensual soul or the rational soul develop, the human soul becomes an angel or a demon. Angels may give inspirations opposite to the evil suggestions, called waswās, from Satan; the modern astrophysicist Nidhal Guessoum has pointed to modern Islamic scholars such as Muhammad Asad and Ghulam Ahmed Parwez in his book "Islam's Quantum Question" who have suggested a metaphorical reinterpretation of the concept of angels.
A question in Islamic theology deals with the impeccability of the angels. The majority of Islamic scholars prefer the opinion. Advocates of angels' infallibility cite certain verses from the Quran, which support their claim such as 16:49: "To Allah prostrates whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth, including animals and angels, they are not arrogant". However, these verses cannot prove the impeccability for all angels at any time and in any situation; the motif of erring angels is known to Islam. This is supported by verses being tested. Al-Baydawi argued, angels are only impeccable. Others speak of Islamic angels as continuously obedient and refer to Ijma. One of the first scholars who asserted the doctrine of impeccable angels was Hasan of Basra, he not only advocated the impeccability of angels by quoting certain Quranic verses, but reinterpreted verses, which speak against the impeccability of angels. With the discussion whether angels are able to or not, a dispute arises concerning whether humans, prophets or angels are the superior.
Hasa of Basra advocated that angels are better than both humans and prophets because of their purity, a position, opposed by Sunnis and Shias. On the other hand, the prostration of angels before Adam is seen a
The Rashidun Caliphs simply called, collectively, "the Rashidun", is a term used in Sunni Islam to refer to the 30-year reign of the first four caliphs following the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, namely: Abu Bakr, Uthman ibn Affan, Ali of the Rashidun Caliphate, the first caliphate. The concept of "Rightly Guided Caliphs" originated with the Abbasid Caliphate based in Baghdad, it is a reference to the Sunni imperative "Hold to my example and that of the Rightly Guided Caliphs". The first four Caliphs who ruled after the death of Muhammad are described as the "Khulafāʾ Rāshidūn"; the Rashidun were either chosen based on the wishes of their predecessor. In the order of succession, the Rāshidūn were: Abu Bakr. Umar ibn al-Khattab, – Umar is spelled Omar in some Western scholarship. Uthman ibn Affan – Uthman is spelled Othman in some non-Arabic scholarship. Ali ibn Abi Talib – During this period however, Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan controlled the Levant and Egypt regions independently of Ali.
Abu Bakr was the father-in-law of Muhammad. He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate from 632–634 CE when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad's death; as caliph, Abu Bakr succeeded to the political and administrative functions exercised by Muhammad, since the religious function and authority of prophethood ended with Muhammad's death according to Islam. Abu Bakr was called As-Siddiq, was known by that title among generations of Muslims, he prevented the converted Muslims from dispersing, kept the community united, consolidated Islamic grip on the region by containing the Ridda, while extending the Dar Al Islam all the way to the Red Sea. Umar c. 2 Nov. was a leading adviser to Muhammad. His daughter Hafsa bint Umar was married to Muhammad thus he became Muhammad's father-in-law, he ruled for 10 years. He succeeded Abu Bakr on 23 August 634 as the second caliph, played a significant role in Islam. Under Umar the Islamic empire expanded at an unprecedented rate ruling the whole Sassanid Persian Empire and more than two thirds of the Eastern Roman Empire.
His legislative abilities, his firm political and administrative control over a expanding empire and his brilliantly coordinated multi-prong attacks against the Sassanid Persian Empire that resulted in the conquest of the Persian empire in less than two years, marked his reputation as a great political and military leader. Among his conquests are Jerusalem and Egypt, he was killed by a Persian captive. `Uthman was one of the companions and son in law of Muhammad. Two of Muhammad's daughters Ruqayyah bint Muhammad and Umm Kulthum bint Muhammad was married to him one after another. Uthman was born into the Umayyad clan of a powerful family of the Quraysh tribe, he became caliph at the age of 70. Under his leadership, the empire expanded into Fars in 650 and some areas of Khorasan in 651, the conquest of Armenia was begun in the 640s, his rule ended. Uthman is best known for forming the committee which compiled the basic text of the Quran as it exists today, based on text, gathered separately on parchment and rocks during the lifetime of Muhammad and on a copy of the Quran, collated by Abu Bakr and left with Muhammad's widow after Abu Bakr's death.
The committee members were reciters of the Quran and had memorised the entire text during the lifetime of Muhammad. This work was undertaken due to the vast expansion of Islam under Uthman's rule, which encountered many different dialects and languages; this had led to variant readings of the Quran for those converts who were not familiar with the language. After clarifying any possible errors in pronunciation or dialects, Uthman sent copies of the sacred text to each of the Muslim cities and garrison towns, destroyed variant texts. Ali was a cousin of Muhammad, he was the second companion of Muhammad. He was only 10 years old at the time of his conversion. At the age of 21, he married Fatimah, Muhammed's youngest daughter by Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, became a son-in-law of Muhammed, he had two daughters with Fatimah. He was a scribe of the Quran, who kept a written copy of it, memorized its verses as soon as they were revealed. During the Khilafat of Uthman and Abu Bakr, he was part of the Majlis ash-Shura and took care of Medina in their absence.
After the death of Uthman, Medina was in political chaos for a number of days. After four days, when the rebels who assassinated Uthman felt that it was necessary that a new Khalifa should be elected before they left Medina, Many of the companions approached Ali to take the role of caliph, which he refused to do initially; the rebels offered Khilafat to Talha and Zubair, who refused. The Ansars declined their offer to choose a
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