What Everyone Needs to Know®
Table of Contents
The Text Takes Shape
o Where did the Qur'an come from?
o Who is Muhammad? Did Muhammad write the Qur'an?
o How did the Qur'an get its name?
o How long did it take to finish the Qur'an?
o Did Muhammad know any Jews or Christians?
o What happened to the Qur'an after Muhammad died?
o Does the Qur'an have different parts?
o Why do people say that the Qur'an is hard to read?
o Are some parts of the Qur'an more important than others?
o Is the Qur'an poetry or prose or both?
o Why do Muslims say that the Qur'an is God's own word?
o Who is Gabriel and what is his connection to the Qur'an?
o Does the Qur'an talk about itself?
o Do Muslims believe that the Qur'an existed from all eternity?
o Are all Qur'ans exactly the same or do different Muslim groups have different Qur'ans?
o Why do Muslims take a shower before touching the Qur'an?
Major Messages and Themes
God and Creation
o What does the Qur'an say about God?
o Is the God of the Qur'an the same as the God of the Bible?
o Does the Qur'an tell a creation story?
o How does the Qur'an talk about the natural world?
o What is the relation of human beings to God and to nature?
o Are there angels and devils in the Qur'an?
Revelation, Prophecy and History
o Why is Muhammad called both a prophet and a messenger?
o Does the Qur'an mention other prophets?
o Does the Qur'an talk about historical events?
Behavior and Judgment
o How does the Qur'an talk about death and life after death?
o Are there descriptions of heaven and hell?
o Is it true that the Qur'an promises a paradise of virgins?
o Does the Qur'an have commandments? Is it a law book?
o Do people determine their behavior or does God?
o If people sin, can they repent and be forgiven?
o Does the Qur'an predict the end of the world? Who is the AntiChrist?
o Why do Muslims pray five times a day?
o Does the Qur'an say that Muslims must fast for an entire month?
o Does the Qur'an require pilgrimage to Mecca?
o What does the Qur'an teach about charity?
Family and Social Relations
o What does the Qur'an say about love and marriage? About children?
o If a person dies, who inherits his or her property?
o Is there a concept of community in the Qur'an?
Other Religions and Nonbelievers
o Does that Qur'an tell Muslims how to treat non-Muslims?
o Can Muslims marry non-Muslims?
o Are there Qur'anic passages about other religions?
o Does the Qur'an promote religious tolerance?
Experiencing By Sound, Sight and Touch
o How do Muslims study the Qur'an? What if they don't speak Arabic?
o Why is the Qur'an always recited in Arabic?
o Do some people become famous for recitation?
o Are there university degrees in Qur'anic studies as there are in Biblical studies?
Ritual and Prayer
o Could you call the Qur'an a prayer book?
o Is the Qur'an used in public worship? In other formal ceremonies?
o What role does the Qur'an play in Islamic mysticism?
o Can the Qur'an keep bad things from happening? Can it secure blessings?
Manuscripts, Public Architecture and Material Culture
o How important is the Qur'an to art and architecture in the Muslim world?
o Is there a tradition of calligraphy and illumination for the Qur'an?
o Are verses of the Qur'an ever written on ordinary objects?
Interpretation, Influence (Intellectual, Artistic and Literary) and Global Diffusion
o Can the Qur'an be interpreted?
o What are hadith and are they part of the Qur'an?
o Do certain verses in the Qur'an guide its interpretation?
o Are there different schools of interpretation among Sunni Muslims? Among Shi'i Muslims?
o Who decides which interpretation is the right one?
o Can anyone interpret the Qur'an or do you have to be an expert?
o Are there modern and contemporary interpreters of the Qur'an?
o How have non-Muslims studied the Qur'an?
o If a non-Muslim writes a book about the Qur'an, will that offend Muslims?
o Is the Qur'an ever studied as a literary rather than a religious text?
Bible and Qur'an
o Is there a connection between the Qur'an and the Bible?
o Has the Bible been used to understand the Qur'an?
o How did the Qur'an shape Islamic philosophy and theology?
o What is the relationship between the Shari'a and the Qur'an?
o How do some Muslims make a connection between the Qur'an and contemporary science?
o What role does the Qur'an play in Arabic literature? In the literatures and folklore of other Muslim cultures?
Translation and transmission
o Are Muslims allowed to translate the Qur'an?
o When was the Qur'an translated into European languages? When was it translated into English?
o Was the Qur'an printed as early as the Bible?
o When did the Qur'an come to America?
o How has the Internet affected the teaching and transmission of the Qur'an?
What Does the Qur'an Say About:
· Veiling and separation?
· Multiple marriages?
· Circumcision and female genital mutilation?
· Hetero- and homosexual relations?
· Domestic violence?
· War and terrorism?
· Governance and politics?
· International relations?
· Financial transactions?
· Food and fasting?
· Drinking and drugs?
· Religious toleration/religious pluralism?