Aunt Agatha

1. The Koran and its Messages

As well as the Koran (or Qur’an), the Holy Books of Islam include the Hadiths (traditional sayings – and some stories – about Mohammed the Prophet and his followers) and Sira (life of Mohammed), both of which help us to understand the Koran. (Islamic law – Sharia – is based on the Holy Books.) Muslims believe that the Koran consists of messages brought to Mohammed from Allah (God), over a span of 23 years, by the angel Gabriel.

It is essential to realize that the Koran’s 114 suras (chapters) are not arranged chronologically. Except for a short opening sura, which stands apart as an invocation to Allah, they are roughly in order of decreasing length. When they are rearranged into chronological order, the Koran’s overall meaning and intent become much clearer, though it remains disjointed and repetitious.

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