Considered in Islam to be the infallible word of God, The Qur'an was revealed to the prophet Muhammad by the archangel Gabriel in a series of divine revelations over many years after his first vision in the cave. In 114 chapters, or surahs, it provides the rules of conduct that remain fundamental to Muslims today - most importantly the key Islamic values of prayer, fasting, pilgrimage and absolute faith in God, with profound spiritual guidance on matters of kinship, marriage and family, crime and punishment, rituals, food, warfare and charity. Through its pages, a fascinating picture emerges of life in seventh-century Arabia, and from it we can learn much about how people felt about their relationship with God and their belief in the afterlife, as well as attitudes to loyalty, friendship, race, forgiveness and the natural world. It also tells of events and people familiar to Christian and Jewish readers, fellow 'People of the Book' whose stories are recorded in the Gospels and Torah. Here we find Adam, Moses, Abraham, Jesus and John the Baptist, among others, who are regarded, like Muhammad, to be prophets of the Muslim faith.
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