Unity – Qu’ran and Hadith

The Qu’ran and the Hadith are the most imporant scriptures in muslim faith. As promised in my first blog, I will try to cover the basics of them both in this thirth blog on the subject of unity.

The Qu’ran is the most famous and well-known source of inspiration for muslims all over the world. There are various interpretations on what this word litterally means, but most people think  it has been derived from the Arabic word qaraʾa, meaning he read or he recited. As mentioned before in this blog, the Qu’ran contains the revelation’s Muhammad received from Allah. These have not been written down immediately, because in Muhammad’s time literature was an oral matter. The Qu’ran exists of 114 chapters, called surahs. It is the most important of the Islamic holy books and written in an ancient form of Arabic, which has since never really changed and still exists. This means there is a huge difference between the Arabic that people speak on the streets and the Arabic they hear in most of the mosques. On this subject I will come back later. It may be useful to say that translations of the Qu’ran are usually not seen as holy, because translating means interpreting and thus changing its content. The Qu’ran is very important, as it is the source of Islam. Here’s a translation of the first surah:

In the name of Allah , the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
[All] praise is [due] to Allah , Lord of the worlds –
The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful,
Sovereign of the Day of Recompense.
It is You we worship and You we ask for help.
Guide us to the straight path –
The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.

The Hadiths report the life of the prophet and what he has said. They are very important to help understanding the Qu’ran and to help determine what is ethically right and what is wrong. They play an important part in islamic law, sharia, a subject I will adress extensively later on. The two biggest denominations of Islam, Shi’ism and Sunnism, both have different sets of Hadiths and interpretate Hadiths differently. Hadiths are, in contrast to surahs, not direct ”messages” from God, but tell a story about the prophet’s life. (NB: ”Hadith” can be used as both singular and plural, but to emphasize the difference, I will use ”Hadiths” when mentioning all of them) Here’s an example in English:

On the authority of Omar bin Al-Khattab, who said :
I heard the messenger of Allah salla Allah u alihi wa sallam say :
“Actions are but by intention and every man shall have but that which he intended. Thus he whose migration was for Allah and His messenger, his migration was for Allah and His messenger, and he whose migration was to achievesome worldly benefit or to take some woman in marriage,his migration was for that for which he migrated.”

(By the messenger of Allah salla Allah u alihi wa sallam, Omar bin Al-Khattab refers to Muhammad.)


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