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A paper Quran opened halfwise on top of a brown cloth

The Quran (/kɔːrˈɑːn/ kor-AHN; Arabic: القرآنal-Qurʾān, literally meaning "the recitation"; also romanized Qur'an or Koran) is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to be a revelation from God (Allah). It is widely regarded as the finest work in classical Arabic literature. The Quran is divided into chapters (surah in Arabic), which are then divided into verses (ayah).

Muslims believe that the Quran was verbally revealed by God to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel (Jibril), gradually over a period of approximately 23 years, beginning on 22 December 609 CE, when Muhammad was 40, and concluding in 632, the year of his death. 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. 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.

According to the traditional narrative, several companions of Muhammad 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 known today. There are, however, variant readings, with mostly minor differences in meaning. Read more...

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The initial stages of human embryogenesis
The relation between Qur'an and science is strongly affirmed in Islamic thought. Almost all sources, classical and modern, agree that the Qur’an encourages the acquisition of science and scientific knowledge.[1]

The contemporary Islamic discourse on the Qur’an and science abounds with assertions of the relationship between the two. This presumed relationship is construed in a variety of ways, the most common of which are the efforts to prove the divine nature of the Qur’an through modern science.[1]

The belief that Qur'an had prophesied scientific theories and discoveries - known as Ijaz al-Qur'an - has become a strong and widespread belief in the contemporary Islamic world. Alleged prophecies are often provided to show a connection between the Qur'an and miracles, and to support the belief of divine origin for the Qur'an.[1]

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Quran inscriptions on wall, Lodhi Gardens, Delhi.
Credit: Shashwat Nagpal

Inscriptions from the Qur'an inscriptions carved into a wall at a mosque in Lodhi Gardens, Delhi.

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Ali Husayni Sistani (Arabic: علي الحسيني السيستاني‎), born August 4, 1930, is an Iraqi Usuli marja in Iraq and the head of many of the seminaries (Hawzahs) in Najaf. Sistani was born in 1930 to a family of religious clerics, his father was Muhammad Baqir al-Sistani. Sistani himself claims to have been born in Mashhad, Iran, then moved to Mashhad as a child due to Iran not issuing birth certificates in its eastern provinces until decades later. After doing studies in Mashhad and Qom, In 1951, He traveled to Iraq to study in Najaf under Grand Ayatollah Abu al-Qasim al-Khoei. Sistani rose to the Usooli clerical rank of 'mujtahid' in 1960. When Grand Ayatollah Khoei died in 1992, Sistani ascended to the rank of Grand Ayatollah through traditional peer recognition of his scholarship. His role as successor to Khoei was symbolically cemented when he led funeral prayers for Khoei; he also inherited Khoei's network and following.

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Close-up of the Birmingham Quran manuscript
Close-up of the Birmingham Quran manuscript


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  1. ^ a b c Ahmad Dallal, Science and the Qur'an, Encyclopedia of the Qur'an