Every morning in assembly after the salute to the flag and national anthem a few students go up to read the Quran. SInce for the most part I am completely oblivious, I felt like it would be interesting if not to understand what they are saying, understand at least a little bit of the holy text which they read from. This is especially since the language barrier inhibits me from taking any part in their Islamic studies course. I tried to research this a little bit, with the information available to me. Here it goes…
Unlike other religious texts, the Quran does not represent a chonological narrative of all events, although it does contain stories of specific religious figures and prophets. Because there is no clear beginning or end it is written as poetry or a more rhythmic symbolism. Therefore every other word is connected by rhythm, rhyme, or meaning. In total it is made up of 114 chapters (surahs), each containing their own verses. These patterns found in the text help make it easier to memorize and eventually recite. One of the recitation techniques is known as tajwid, a musical chanting. The other technique, tartil a rhythmic chant, is made to be purposefully simple as to be accessible to any one. Once someone can recite the Quran by heart they are known as hafiz. This is considered a great honor.
For Muslims the Quran represents, the way of nature, holiness, and building blocks of society, serving all humans without confines of gender and race. Much of their holy text is devoted to the spiritual expression of god and powers unexplainable. The Quran keeps track of certain pernicious human behaviors as Hudud. These Hudud set the boundaries of acceptable human behaviors.
After the prophet Mohammed died, people began to study this work, and create commentaries, which began appearing in the 9th century. All of the interpretations must follow the guidelines and teachings of the Sunnah, a living commentary of the Quran from ancient times.