The Quran is the holy book of the Islamic religion
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What is the Quran?

Quran
A page from a Quran of the Umayyad period
(600s AD), now in Birmingham, England

The Quran is the holy book of the religion of Islam, as the Bible is for Christians and the Torah is for Jews. The Quran was written in Arabic, a little bit after the death of Mohammed in 632 AD. For Islamic believers, memorizing many verses from the Quran is a way of honoring God, or Allah. Children often memorized the whole Quran as they went through school. According to believers, the Quran is the words of God, passed by the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Mohammed, written down so they will not be forgotten.

Like the Torah and the Bible, the Quran told believers how to be good. The Quran says that people should not drink wine or beer, for instance. Like the Torah, the Quran said that people should not eat meat from pigs. Also, the Quran gave many rights to women that women had not had before. Women inherited money from their parents, and kept control of their own money when they were married, and they could get a divorce if their husband beat them.

The Quran tells many of the same stories that are in the Jewish Torah and the Christian Bible, though the Quran tells the stories in somewhat different ways. The Quran includes the stories of Nuh, who is the same as Noah in the Torah. The Quran also includes the story of Musa, who is the same as Moses in the Torah.

Learn by doing: Compare religions
More about Islam

Bibliography and further reading about the Quran:

Shiites and Sunnis
Sufism
More about Islam
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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter.
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