Sample Research Paper

Words 3,500

Introduction

To many Western readers, the Qur’an appears to be disjointed and superfluous, with no rational sequence or order. Muslims have responded to this with a range of proposals. Seyyed Hossein Nasr offers a religious explanation when he declares that [the] text of the Quran reveals human language crushed by the power of the Divine Word.[1] He argues that in the Qur’an, the infirmity of human language is exhibited as it becomes the receiver of divine revelation.[2] Others contend that the oral nature of the Qur’an explains its evident disjointedness. That is since the Qur’an is intended for oral recitation, its topics are repeated all through as self-reinforcing assertions. John Esposito says that this format enables a believer to simply open the text at random and start reciting at the beginning of any paragraph. . . [3]

The initial injunction was given to the Prophet

‘Read in the name of your Lord who created’ – stresses the significance of knowledge[4].

The Qur’an was revealed over a period of twenty-three years and was written down in its entirety during the Prophet’s lifetime, although the verses were not congregated together in one volume at that time [5].

It is universally assumed throughout The Muslim World that the Qur’an in circulation today is exactly that which Allah revealed to Muhammad, that nothing whatsoever has been changed, that no passage has been mislaid from the text, that no man added to it, and that, down to the last letter, it has been conserved intact by the power of God. This hypothesis is then instantly adduced as proof that the book must be the Word of God, one that the Qur’an itself sets forth:

“Indeed We sent down the Admonition, and will verily guard it”[6].


[1] (Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Ideals and Realities of Islam London: Unwin Hyman, 1975/1988 reprint, 47)

[2] (Seyyed Hossein Nasr, 47-48)

[3] (John L. Esposito, Islam: the Straight Path, expanded edition New York: Oxford University Press, 1991)

[4] (Qur’an 96:1)

[5] (Al-Katani, V.2, p.384)

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