Quran History and Analysis Essay
The recension of the Quran was completed during the reign of Uthman ibn Affan. In particular, it was necessary to standardize this text because many people who knew the Prophet Muhammad and remembered the text of the Quran were dying. Furthermore, this standardization was critical because the territory of the caliphate and its population increased dramatically. This task was initiated by Uthman in 653 when Muslim scholars began to compile different Islamic texts.
The Uthmanic recension of the Quran has several distinctive features; at first, one should speak about the use of Kufic calligraphy with its angular strokes. Moreover, the text of this book was subdivided into 114 surahs or chapters. They are arranged according to their length, rather than chronological order. Modern versions of the Quran are based on the Uthmanic recension.
The term chronology can be used to describe the history of the Quran as the text. In this case, one should speak about the compilation of different manuscripts, which are now regarded as the inseparable part of the Islamic canon. In turn, the term chronology can be applied to describe the order of Allah’s revelations to the Prophet Muhammad. Yet, traditionally, surahs are not arranged in a chronological way.
It should be noted that for a long time, Western scholars did not perceive the Quran as the word of God. In other words, they stated that this text could be attributed to a specific author, the Prophet Muhammad (Ernst, 2009, p. 93). Much attention was also paid to the importance of oral tradition in Islam (Graham, 2010). However, the attitude toward the Quran has evolved considerably because it is perceived as the sacred text. Moreover, scholars accept the premise that in some communities, this text is considered to be the revelation from God.
Scholars, who study the Quran, can take different approaches to the analysis of this text. For example, they can focus on the themes explored in this text. This method is advocated by such a scholar as Fazlur Rahman (2009), who wants to focus on the main ideas, concepts, or underlying assumptions embedded into the surahs of the Quran. In this way, one can single out the key messages that a reader should consider (Rahman, 2009).
This paper will examine the 100th surah, which is also known as Al-Adiyat. This word can be translated as The Chargers or The Gallopers. On the whole, this surah is closely related to such a notion as Al-Akhirah that can be interpreted as afterlife. One can say that this notion plays a critical role in Islam because it shapes the ethical norms that a person should follow in his/her. This concept is not explicitly mentioned in the text, but the readers are urged to remember that their worldly life will be fully revealed to God.
Overall, this surah is aimed at showing that a person should be continuously aware of the existence and inevitability of the afterlife, during which each of his/her secrets will be disclosed and judged. This argument is particularly relevant if one speaks about individuals who commit crimes against other people. They should regard this surah as a warning against the grave danger that awaits them in the afterlife. On the whole, the thoughts about Al-Akhirah should guide the moral choices of a person. These are the main questions that should be discussed more closely because they are critical for the interpretation of this text.
This text of this surah opens with the description of violent acts committed by people who do not even think about the afterlife. In particular, one can speak about raiders who could plunder the property of other people.
In order to gain material prosperity, they could stop at nothing, even bloodshed. They are driven by “the love of wealth” (Al-Adiyat 100: 8). Such individuals try to turn a blind eye to the notion of Al-Akhirah. Apart from that, this worldview leads to the rejection of ethical norms that should guide the actions of a person. Therefore, one can argue that this behavior can produce disastrous impacts on the community. This is one of the points that should be considered by readers.
In turn, this surah is aimed at showing how erroneous this behavior is. In particular, people should take into account that their actions will not be concealed from God. In particular, one should bear in mind that the “secrets of the breasts” will eventually be made known (Al-Adiyat 100:10). In other words, a person should not suppose that God will not learn about his/her unethical actions. Therefore, one should not reject the notion of afterlife. Certainly, this surah does not clearly state that the evil deeds of a person will be punished; however, this consequence is implied in this text.
This is one of the main arguments that can be put forward. To some degree, this surah provides moral guidance that an individual should not disregard. Therefore, it is possible to argue that people who reject the notion of afterlife can act in an unethical way.
Nevertheless, this behavior will eventually lead to their destruction and damnation of this individual because God will be “perfectly informed” about the nature of their deeds. Furthermore, the wealth that these people acquired through evil deeds will be of no benefit to them. These are the main moral implications of this surah. To a great extent, it serves as a warning to the readers who should remember that their actions will be eventually evaluated from an ethical viewpoint.
Admittedly, this surah does not incorporate the term Al-Akhirah. Nevertheless, it indicates that a person should not focus only on his/her worldly life. This is one of the main details that can be distinguished. Additionally, one can say that a thematic approach to the study of the Quran is rather productive because, in this way, one can better identify the key messages that a reader should consider. Furthermore, this method is useful for understanding the ethical standards incorporated in the Quran. These are the main benefits of adopting this approach.
Thus, one can say that this surah demonstrates why awareness about Al-Akhirah is critical for the salvation of an individual. To a great extent, this goal is achieved by describing the self-destructive behavior of people who deny the existence of afterlife. The readers can see how destructive this world-view is. In particular, one should bear in mind that his/her actions and thoughts will not be concealed from Allah, who is omnipotent and omniscient.
Moreover, a person should not suppose that wealth or avert respectability can be of any benefit in the afterlife. These are the main details that be singled out because they reflect the ethical systems of Islam. Moreover, one can say that the thematic analysis of the Quran advocated by Fazlur Rahman (2009) is a very useful method of analyzing this text.
Ernst, C. (2009). Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.
Graham, W. (2010). Islamic and Comparative Religious Studies: Selected Writings. New York, NY: Ashgate Publishing.
Rahman, F. (2009). Major Themes of the Qur’an. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
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