Crescent Moon

Introduction to World Religions
by Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.

An Overview of the Qur'an (Koran)

[still under construction]

Allah - Muslim name for God

The Qur'an (usually spelled Koran in older English texts): the only "Holy Book" or "Sacred Scriptures" of Islam

Reading the Qur'an:

Thematic Blocks in the Qur'an:

Surah ## Description of Content Periods
1 "The Opening": an introduction to the entire Qur'an. Makka
2-5 The Muslim community, its development, internal problems, and external relations. Madinah
6-7 The unity of God. Makka
8-9 The battle of Badr, and the new Muslim community. Madinah
10-15 Historical developments leading up to the Hijra (the migration to Madinah). late Makka
16 Nature points to nature's God Makka
17-21 Spiritual history. Makka
22-25 Worship and prayer; the Hajj and fasting. 22 & 24: Madinah
23 & 25: Makka
26-29 Prophets of the past and the spirit of prophecy. Makka
30-32 Time and history: past, present, and future. Makka
33 On violence and slander; about the battle of Badr and other conflicts. Madinah
34-39 Mysteries of the spiritual world. early to late Makka
40-46 The "Ha Min" series. late Makka
47-49 Internal & external community relations. Madinah
50-56 God's revelation through nature, history, and prophets. Makka
[55 possibly Madinah]
57-66 Short surahs about the social life of the Muslim community. Madinah
67-114 Poetic surahs about various aspects of spiritual and mystical life;
also human responsibility and destiny; judgment and the afterlife.

mostly Makka, except
98, 110: Madinah
[76, 99: possibly Madinah]

Note: Content summaries are based mostly on the introductions in Yusuf Ali's The Meaning of the Holy Qur'an.
Attribution to chronological periods come partly from Ali and partly from... (websites)

Other Foundational Muslim Literature:


Overview of Islam | Pillars of Belief & Practice | Muhammad & History | Qur'an & Hadiths | Calendar & Feasts | Glossary

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This page was last updated on March 7, 2007
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