RELG 207 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Uthman, Sahih Al-Bukhari, Gabriel

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Introduction to World Religions Islam
The Quran, the Sunnah and the Hadith
The Quran
Verbatim word of God
The Arabic word Quran is best translated as The Recitation (or The Reading)
Revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by the archangel Gabriel between 610 and his death in 632
Compiled during the caliphate of Uthman ibn Affan (ruled 644-656)
Assembled in its present order under the instruction of the Prophet
Only one version of the text of the Quran is agreed upon by all schools of Islam
Word per word (Hadi Fakhoury):
It is best translated as the recitation or reading
Archangel Gabriel is transmitting Gods words
The prophet would hear it (oral character) from the angel Gabriel and then he would repeat it and the
prophets companions would memorize it and eventually it was recorded. They were recorded on
parchments or bones, for example (primitive). The book was not yet compiled. The prophet could not
write or read but some of his companions assembled it according to his instructions, in the order that
it is found today. Due to differences in dialects (arabia), there were different pronunciations (minor
variance of the text); due to this human contingency. To take care of this issue, Uthman had all other
Quran collected and burned and he compiled the OFFICIAL Quran. The most respectful way of
disposing of something is to put fire to it; brought back to the natural elements of the material.
Structure and Arrangement
Sura (Chapter)
Longest to shortest (114 Suras)
1) In the name of God, the Merciful and the Compassionate
2) At the beginning of each Sura (except al-Baraah)
Suras arranged more or less from longest to shortest
The verse subdivisions are called ayat (singular aya)
Meccan/Medinan suras
Liturgical divisions: Quran divided into 30 subdivisions, called juz, so that, for example, the entire
text could be read during the month of Ramadan
Word per word (Hadi Fakhoury):
All of the Suras begin with the invocation of the Basmalah. These chapters are subdivided into verses
which are called ayat which literally mean songs. The revelation of the Prophet of Muhammad (Mecca)
and those that he received after the migration (Medinan). There is also the liturgical divisions of the
Quran (30 parts; more or less equal) such as the text could be read on the month of Ramadan, every day
> This is why they are liturgical ; prayer and public way of reading Quran.
The Opening
It is the first one, it is the one that Muslims have to repeat many times in every prayer (5 prayers a
Most often recited sura of the Quran
It has seven verses
Function of the Lords Prayer for the Christians
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Language and Style
God speaks in the first person, issuing commands to Muhammad the Prophet (second person), who
serves as the second-person addressee: If my servants ask you about me, I am indeed near (Q 2:186)
Third-person discourse is used to depict the reactions of those who are listening. For example: They
will ask you concerning…’ (e.g. the sacred month, wine and gambling, etc.), and the answer to each
question is always prefaced with Say…’
The Quranic Message
Tawhid Absolute and one God (Central message of the Quran
Obedience (God asking people to be obedient to him, to submit to him)
1. Fate of ancient peoples (especially those who did not obey)
2. We shall set up scales of justice for the Day of Judgment, so that not a soul will be
1. Five pillars (statement of faith, ritual-prayer, almsgiving, fasting, pilgrimage)
2. Specific manners: marriage and divorce, inheritance, dictary regulations, theft,
gambling, distribution of spoils and usury
1. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joseph, David, Solomon, Jesus, Hud, Salith, Shuayh,
Luqman, Muhammad
2. About Jesus (Special take on Jesus: Jesus is not the son of God, Jesus is not a person
of trinity (not God), he was a human being like anyone else. He did not die on the cross, someone
was crucified in his place and it seemed to people (witnesses) as if it was him, but it was not
himself (God took Jesus alive)). He is born of the Virgin Mary, more about Mary than in the
New Testament. It was a virgin conception.
Hadith and Sunna
1. Sunna refers to the Prophets custom
2. Hadith are the collections of the reports quoting the Prophet Muhammad on any
1. Historical memory of Muslims
2. Context for revelation (Shan an-nazul)
3. Normative behaviour
a. The prophet is seems as the most perfect of all of Gods creatures. He is the
perfect model to emulate
b. Most important source for matters of Islamic doctrine and practice after the
Science of Hadith
1. Isnad Chain of transmitters
a. Narrated by so and so
2. Matn Report
3. Example: Narrated by Abu Huraira: Allahs Apostle said, When Ramadan begins, the
gates of Paradise are opened (Sahih Bukhari)
The collections of ahadith
1. Major hadith collections appeared in the Sunni world in the 9th century
2. The Six Correct Books (al-Sihah al-sittah), e.g. al-Bukhari
Shia main Hadith collections
1. Distinction between Prophetic saying and a saying of one of the Imams (Not only
about the Prophet but also about the Prophets family and the Imams; successors)
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