List of Islamic Texts
The Qur’an is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God and the final divine revelation. It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language. Muslims believe that the Qur’an was verbally revealed through the angel Jibrīl (Gabriel) from God to Muhammad over a period of approximately twenty-three years beginning in 610 AD. Furthermore, Muslims believe that the Quran was precisely memorized, recited and exactly written down by Muhammad’s companions, the Sahaba.
Text of the Quran
The text of the Qur’an consists of 114 chapters of varying lengths, each known as a sura. Each sura is formed from several verses, called ayats.
- Commentaries and exegesis (tafsīr)
Main article: Tafsir
Tafsir (‘interpretation’) is the Arabic word for exegesis, usually of the Qur’an. An author of a tafsir is a mufassir (plural, mufassirūn). A Qur’anic tafsir attempts to provide elucidation, explanation, interpretation, context or commentary for clear understanding and conviction of God’s will.
- Reasons of revelation (asbāb al-nuzūl)
Main article: Sunnah
Sunna denotes the practice of Islamic prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the sharī‘ah and the best exemplar. The sources of sunna are usually oral traditions found in collections of Hadith and Sīra (prophetic biography). Unlike the Qur’an, Muslims do not agree on the same set of texts or sources of Sunnah, and they emphasize different collections of hadith based on to which Islamic school or branch they belong.
Hadith (Traditions of the prophet)
Hadīth are sayings, act or tacit approval, validly or invalidly, ascribed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
Prophetic biography (Sīra)
In Islam, Al-sīra al-Nabawiyya (Prophetic biography), Sīrat Rasūl Allāh (Life of the Messenger of God), or just Al-sīra are the traditional Muslim biographies of Muhammad from which, in addition to the Quran and trustable Hadiths, most historical information about his life and the early period of Islam is derived.
- Alan Jones, The Koran, London 1994, ISBN978-1-84212-609-7, opening page.
- Arthur Arberry, The Koran Interpreted, London 1956, ISBN978-0-684-82507-6, p. x.
- Islahi, Amin Ahsan (1989 (tr:2009)). “Difference between Hadith and Sunnah”. Mabadi Tadabbur i Hadith (translated as: Fundamentals of Hadith Intrepretation) (in Urdu). Lahore: Al-Mawrid. Retrieved 1 June 2011.