walking Quran

walking Quran - 1 The Walking Quran Rebecca Ney In Islamic...

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The Walking Quran Rebecca Ney In Islamic religion, Muhammad is considered to be the “living Quran” 1 . Islam tradition believes that God’s teachings were revealed to Muhammad as divine revelations over the course of twenty two years in the month of Ramadan. After Muhammad’s death in 632, these messages were recorded and compiled into the Quran during the time of Caliph Uthman. This compilation marked “the Seal of the Prophets” 2 as Muhammad is considered to be God’s last chance to correct the offenses made by both the Jews and Christians in changing the true word of God. Muhammad’s role, therefore, was momentous as he involved himself in Islamic society culturally, religiously, historically, and politically. In doing so, he invested and included Gods words and vibrant outpourings into these poignant outlets of society. Muhammad not only embodies the literal words of the Quran, but also its entirety as a sacred text. The elements of the Quran manifest God’s teachings not only through its stories and statements but also through its tradition and structure. Islam had a strong oral tradition in which people memorized the Quran in order to become inherently versed with its meanings. During Ramadan Muslims would recite it because they “believed it was the last revelation of God’s truth to humanity.” 3 On a structural level, the chapters are not coherent units, as they may contain advice on law, a prophet’s life, or proper maintenance of food all in one chapter or as Islam Today notes,“at one place it warns, at another it encourages, at one place it advises, at another reflects.” 4 Muslims interpreted this structure as God’s divine intention. Muhammad role was to embody this divine purpose and lasting tradition in his everyday life. Muhammad’s life served as an archetypal example because as the last, true prophet, one whom God trusted, he was viewed as perfect. Muhammad integrated God’s words into his actions as “he defended the rights of the poor and the oppressed…This 1 Esposito, John L. Islam: The Straight Path . Oxford University Press: 2005. Pg. 11 2 Peters, F.E. A Reader on Classical Islam. Princeton University Press. Princeton, New Jersey: 1994. Pg.1 3 Akbar S. Ahmed, Islam Today, I.B. Taurus, 1999. pg. 28 4 Akbar S. Ahmed, Islam Today, I.B. Taurus, 1999. Pg. 29 1
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sense of social responsibility was institutionalized in the form of religious tithes or taxes on wealth” 5 In this way, God’s word, through the acts and embodiment of Muhammad, ultimately serves as the foundation for political and socioeconomic practices. God’s teachings and words were instilled within Muhammad’s daily life and actions and because of this, his practices became a concrete form of Islamic law alongside the Quran
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This note was uploaded on 10/16/2011 for the course NELC 102 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at UPenn.

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walking Quran - 1 The Walking Quran Rebecca Ney In Islamic...

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