The Koran

Relationship with other literature

The Bible

It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion (of judgment between right and wrong).[127]

Quran 3:3 (Yusuf Ali)

The Quran speaks well of the relationship it has with former books (the Torah and the Gospels) and attributes their similarities to their unique origin and saying all of them have been revealed by the one God.[128]

According to Sahih al-Bukhari, the Quran was recited among Levantines and Iraqis, and discussed by Christians and Jews, before it was standardized.[129] Its language was similar to the Syriac language. The Quran recounts stories of many of the people and events recounted in Jewish and Christian sacred books (Tanakh, Bible) and devotional literature (Apocrypha, Midrash), although it differs in many details. Adam, Enoch, Noah, Eber, Shelah, Abraham, Lot, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Jethro, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, Jonah, Aaron, Moses, Zechariah, John the Baptist and Jesus are mentioned in the Quran as prophets of God (see Prophets of Islam). In fact, Moses is mentioned more in the Quran than any other individual.[130] Jesus is mentioned more often in the Quran than Muhammad, while Mary is mentioned in the Quran more than the New Testament.[131] Muslims believe the common elements or resemblances between the Bible and other Jewish and Christian writings and Islamic dispensations is due to their common divine source, and that the original Christian or Jewish texts were authentic divine revelations given to prophets.

Relationships

Some non-Muslim groups such as Baha'is and Druze view the Quran as holy. Unitarian Universalists may also seek inspiration from the Quran. The Quran has been noted to have certain narratives similarities to the Diatessaron, Protoevangelium of James, Infancy Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Arabic Infancy Gospel.[132][133][134] One scholar has suggested that the Diatessaron, as a gospel harmony, may have led to the conception that the Christian Gospel is one text.[135]

Arab writing

After the Quran, and the general rise of Islam, the Arabic alphabet developed rapidly into an art form.[43]

Wadad Kadi, Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at University of Chicago, and Mustansir Mir, Professor of Islamic studies at Youngstown State University, state:[136]

Although Arabic, as a language and a literary tradition, was quite well developed by the time of Muhammad's prophetic activity, it was only after the emergence of Islam, with its founding scripture in Arabic, that the language reached its utmost capacity of expression, and the literature its highest point of complexity and sophistication. Indeed, it probably is no exaggeration to say that the Quran was one of the most conspicuous forces in the making of classical and post-classical Arabic literature.

The main areas in which the Quran exerted noticeable influence on Arabic literature are diction and themes; other areas are related to the literary aspects of the Quran particularly oaths (q.v.), metaphors, motifs and symbols. As far as diction is concerned, one could say that Quranic words, idioms and expressions, especially "loaded" and formulaic phrases, appear in practically all genres of literature and in such abundance that it is simply impossible to compile a full record of them. For not only did the Quran create an entirely new linguistic corpus to express its message, it also endowed old, pre-Islamic words with new meanings and it is these meanings that took root in the language and subsequently in the literature...


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