The Qur’an is the sacred book of the Muslim religion, believed in the Islamic faith to be the word of God, or Allah, as revealed by the Angel Gabriel to Muhammad (SAW), the last and final prophet. Thus the book is considered divine. It was revealed in a series of revelations spanning 23 years. Some of the verses were revealed in Makkah and are called Makkan verses. Others were revealed in Medina and called Medinan verses.
As prophet Mohammed (SAW) approached the age of 40 he used to spend more and more time in a cave called HIRA in Jabal al-Nur. It was during one of these nights in the last part of the holy month of Ramadan that he received the first revelation. The Angel Gabriel appeared before him in the form of a man, and said to him:
‘Read’, and the Prophet said: ‘I am not a reader.’
Thereupon, as he himself told it, ‘the Angel Jibrail overwhelmed me in his embrace until I reached the limit of my endurance. Then he returned me and said: ‘Read.’ Again I said: ‘I am not a reader.’
Thrice the same thing happened. The third time, after releasing me from his embrace, the Angel finally said:
Read in the name of your Lord Who has
created. He has created man from a clot of
blood. Read, and your Lord is the Most
Bountiful: He who has taught by the pen, taught
man what he knew not. (al-Alaq 96: 1–5)
He recited these words after the Angel. And, then, the Angel said to him: ‘You are the Messenger of God.’
The Quran consists of 114 verses or surahs and are considered by Muslims, to be the complete word of god. It exists whole and unchanged in present day and is not an interpretation of Muhammad’s speeches, but a transcript.
The arrangement of surahs does not correspond to the chronological order in which they were revealed.
The Qur’an is sometimes divided into 30 roughly equal parts, known as juz’. These divisions make it easier for Muslims to read the Qur’an during the course of a month and many will read one juz’ each day, particularly during the month of Ramadan.