“Ramadan is the month during which the Quran was revealed, providing guidance for the people, clear teachings, and the statute book. Those of you who witness this month shall fast therein. Those who are ill or traveling may substitute the same number of other days. God wishes for you convenience, not hardship, that you may fulfill your obligations, and to glorify God for guiding you, and to express your appreciation.” (2:185)
Quranic revelation was transmitted through the Prophet (salallahu alaiyhi wasallam) as form of guidance for all of mankind. It speaks to problems for all people of all times. Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alaiyhi wasallam) lived in Mecca during the Jahalliya period (time of ignorance). He was recognized as a trustworthy and humble man. The Prophet (salallahu alaiyhi wasallam) used to go to a cave in a mountain one month of the year and practiced seclusion. One day in 610 C.E., angel Gabriel came to him while he was in the cave of Mount Hira and said “Iqra” (read), the Prophet (salallahu alaiyhi wasallam) heard the voiced and trembled when the voice repeated the word “Iqra” and he questioned what he should read. He felt like he was being squeezed as angel Gabriel told him again to read. He was squeezed three times as he questioned what he should read, and through angel Gabriel, Allah revealed the first verses of the Quran,
“Read in the name of your Lord who created. He created man from an embryo. Read, and your Lord, Most Exalted.Teaches by means of the pen. He teaches man what he never knew.” (Sura Alaq, 96:1-5)
The Prophet (salallahu alaiyhi wasallam) was shaken by what he felt was a dream or a vision, and he hurried down the mountain back to his home. Angel Gabriel reappeared to him everywhere he would turn and he told Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alaiyhi wasallam) that he was the messenger of God – the chosen Prophet of his people. The Prophet (salallahu alaiyhi wasallam) was transfixed and he hurried home to his wife, Khadija (r’a). She consulted a cousin of hers who was a Christian monk, and he confirmed that her husband was the Prophet of their time.
After the first revelation, the revelations continued in various episodes, and the Quran continued to be revealed till twenty-three years later when the death of the beloved Prophet (salallahu alaiyhi wasallam) came.
Some basic facts about the body and breakdown of the Quran are that it is made up of 114 chapters called ‘suras’, which literally translates into ‘scriptures’, and every sura is made up of verses called ‘aayas’ which means ‘signs’ in Arabic. All suras are classified as either “Meccan” or “Medinan” suras and this reflects the time period during which they were revealed to the Prophet (salallahu alaiyhi wasallam).
This initial introduction to the miraculous text of the Quran contains a brief but necessary background to the story of the Quran, and after the next ten days of Ramadan, inshAllah, part two to the ‘Story of the Quran’ shall be posted.
In the mean time, read, recite, memorize, understand and apply the Quran to your daily life. Take advantage of the month of Ramadan and sweep in all the rewards of this blessed month.
Ramadan Mubarak to ALL!