The term Qur’an means “recitation”. Muslim’s Holy Book has been translated in many languages, but Muslims are encouraged to read and recite in Arabic. There have been many cases of misinterpretation when the Quran was read in a different language.
The Quran, or the revelations were recorded and written down by the prophet Muhammad. During his 23 years, he wrote the revelations on tablets and bones. His successor Abu Bakr collected the written text after the death of the Prophet in 632 C.E. His third caliph, Uthman, was the first one to organize a committee and compile an authorized version.
The Quran holds more than 50 stories, all of which describe parallel historical events found in the Bible. Here are some interesting and strange facts found in the Quran, and about the Quran.
There are 114 chapters, and 6236 verses in the Quran. The name of the Prophet Mohammed can be found in only four places. Those are Ch. 3:114, Ch. 33:40, Ch. 47:2, and Ch. 48:2. On the other hand, the name Jesus is mentioned 25 times in the Quran.
Even more interesting, there is only one woman mentioned by name in the Quran. And that is Mary (or Mariam), the mother of Jesus. She has two whole chapters (Chapter 3 – Family of Mariam and Chapter 19 – Mariam) dedicated to her story. The Quran explains she is without original sin, that she was a virgin, and that she went to heaven with her physical body.
There are countries that have laws against damaging a Quran. Pakistan is one with the most rigorous laws and rules. 97% of the population in Pakistan is Muslim. The saddest example of laws against damaging the Quran is Rimsha Masih. A disabled 14-year old girl from a Christian family, Rimsha was found in possession of singed pages. That was in 2012, and under the pressure of the population, the police arrested her.
In 2007, the most expensive Quran was sold for $2.3 million. The Quran that got such high price was dated June 1203 (17 Ramadan 599 on the Islamic calendar). That is the oldest complete and dated copy known.
There are special rules that apply for Muslims how to handle the Holy Book. Muslims revere the Quran above all other books. They also revere the Quran above all other things in general. Muslims need to keep the Quran on the highest shelf in the house. This represents the Holy Book’s place above other books.
Muslims also should not leave the book open when they put it down. You should never wet your fingers with spit to turn the pages, and you cannot read the book on your lap.
All of these rules are derived from the idea of purity. Therefore, women cannot and shouldn’t read the Quran during their menstrual cycle. One of the most strange rules is that you shouldn’t read or recite when you are tired, since yawning is also forbidden while reading/reciting the Holy Book.
The oldest Quran is more than 1400 years old. The book is preserved in Istanbul. The book has remained same over the years, and never a word has been deleted or added to that book.
The Quran contains few words that have no meaning. They are known as “Muqatta’at, or “مقطعات” in Arabic. The word Muqatta’at means abbreviated or shortened. Islamic literature and researchers of the Quran have tried to decipher the meaning of the abbrevations.
In its essence, Muqatta’at are unique letter combinations that appear in the beginning of the chapters of the Quran. Out of the 28 letters of the Arabic alphabet, one half appear as Muqatta’at. They can appear in a single and multiple combination.