The Qurʾān

Authored by: Nicolai Sinai

Routledge Handbook on Early Islam

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138821187
eBook ISBN: 9781315743462
Adobe ISBN:


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According to traditional Islamic belief, the Qurʾān (“recitation”) records the divine revelations that were communicated to the prophet Muḥammad in Mecca and Medina prior to his death in 632 CE. By virtue of being the foundational text of Islam, the Qurʾān must play a pivotal role in the present volume, since coming to terms with it will form a crucial condition of adequacy for any interpretation of early Islamic history. This chapter accordingly aims to provide a basic introduction to the form and content of the Qurʾānic corpus and to some of the scholarly debates surrounding it. The first two sections take stock of the text’s principal literary and structural characteristics, mostly without reliance on substantial historical commitments. 2 The third section then moves on to consider two issues that loom large in recent scholarship: the Qurʾān’s putative date of closure and the question of where we should locate its milieu of emergence.

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