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Quran & Hadith

Quran

Sunnah and Hadith

The Qur'an is the holy book for Muslims, revealed in stages to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), through the angel Gabriel (Jibril), over 23 years beginning on 22 December 609 CE, when Muhammad was 40, and concluding in 632. Qur'anic revelations are regarded by Muslims as the sacred word of Allah. Muslims regard the Quran as the most important miracle of Muhammad, a proof of his prophethood, and the culmination of a series of divine messages that started with the messages revealed to Adam and ended with Muhammad (Peace be upon him), . The word "Quran" occurs some 70 times in the text of the Quran, although different names and words are also said to be references to the Quran.
 
Contents:
 
The Quran describes itself as a book of guidance. It sometimes offers detailed accounts of specific historical events, and it often emphasizes the moral significance of an event over its narrative sequence. The Quran is used along with the hadith to interpret sharia law. During prayers, the Quran is recited only in Arabic. According to the traditional narrative, several companions of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), served as scribes and were responsible for writing down the revelations. Shortly after Muhammad's death, the Quran was compiled by his companions who wrote down and memorized parts of it. These codices had differences that motivated the Caliph Uthman to establish a standard version now known as Uthman's codex, which is generally considered the archetype of the Quran we have today. There are, however, variant readings, with mostly minor differences in meaning. There are 114 chapters in the Qur'an, which is written in the old Arabic dialect. All the chapters except one begin with the sentence Bismillahir rahmanir raheem, 'In the name of Allah the most merciful and the most kind'. This is the thought with which Muslims should start every action. The longest chapter of the Qur'an is Surah Baqarah (The Cow) with 286 verses and the shortest is Surah Al-Kawther(abundance) which has 3 verses. The arrangement of surahs does not correspond to the chronological order in which they were revealed. The Qur'an is sometimes divided into 30 roughly equal parts, known as juz'. These divisions make it easier for Muslims to read the Qur'an during the course of a month and many will read one juz' each day, particularly during the month of Ramadan.
 
Translations
Translations of the Qur'an exist in over 40 languages but Muslims are still taught to learn and recite it in Arabic, even if this is not their native language and they cannot converse in it. Translations are regarded by Muslims as new versions of the holy book, rather than as translations in the conventional sense.
 
Memorizing
 
The Qur'an At the time of the revelation of the Qur'an, books were not readily available and so it was common for people to learn it by heart. Committing the Qur'an to memory acted as a great aid for its preservation and any person who is able to accomplish this is known as a hafiz. Respect The Qur'an is treated with immense respect by Muslims because it is the sacred word of Allah SWT. While the Qur'an is recited aloud, Muslims should behave with reverence and refrain from speaking, eating or drinking, or making distracting noise.
  
 In addition to the Qur'an, the other sacred sources are the Sunnah, the practice and examples of the Prophet Muhammad's  life, and the Hadith, reports of what the prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)  said or approved.
The term comes from the Arabic meaning "report", "account" or "narrative". Hadiths are second only to the Quran in developing Islamic jurisprudence, and regarded as important tools for understanding the Quran and commentaries (tafsir) on it. Many important elements of traditional Islam such as five salat prayers, the abhorrence of paintings and sculpture of living things, stoning adulterers, are mentioned in hadith but not the Quran. Some hadith are neutral in the view of Muslims while sunnah is recommended duty for Muslims.
Both the Hadith and Sunnah must adhere to a strict chain of narration that ensures its authenticity, taking into account factors such as the character of people in the chain and continuity in narration. Reports that fail to meet such criteria will be disregarded. Each hadith is based on two parts, a chain of narrators reporting the hadith (isnad), and the text itself (matn). Individual hadith are classified by Muslim clerics and jurists as sahih ("authentic"), hasan ("good") or da'if ("weak"). However, there is no overall agreement: different groups and different individual scholars may classify a hadith differently.
One famous example is that of the scholar of Hadith literature, Imam Bukhari, who travelled several hundred miles on horseback to acquire a Hadith. When he arrived, he saw the man that knew the Hadith deceiving his donkey into thinking there was grain in a sack in order to induce him to move forward. Imam Bukhari promptly left without approaching the man because he was not willing to allow any individual with a questionable personality to join a chain of narration or contribute knowledge that would define the practice of the religion.