x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

'Researchers are always coming up with insights'

As someone who memorised the Quran at the age of 12, Dr Mohammed Al Qubaisi, the Grand Mufti at the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai, has a deep understanding of the complexity and 'mysteries' within the holy book.

As someone who memorised the Quran at the age of 12, Dr Mohammed Al Qubaisi, the Grand Mufti at the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai, has a deep understanding of the complexity and "mysteries" within the holy book.

"When you recite the Holy Quran, it is important to ponder and reflect over the meanings," he said. "Researchers in every generation are always coming up with insights and new understandings, and some new theory regarding the Quran.

"Some even use mathematical theory based on the special writing style of the Holy Quran.

"But after more than 1,400 years, they are still unlocking new secrets and coming up with new interpretations."

The story of the Holy Quran began with the Prophet Mohammed, and it took more than 23 years for it to be completely revealed to him.

The first verse revealed to the Messenger, who could not read or write, was carried by the Angel Gabriel from the Almighty. It was: "Read! In the name of your Lord and Cherisher, Who created-" (96:01).

Prophet Mohammed's miracle is the Quran, in which the words of Allah are written in 114 surah, or chapters.

A surah is classified as either Makkiya or Madaniya depending on where it was revealed to the Prophet, either Mecca or Medina.

"The Quran was completed during Prophet Mohammed's lifetime and written down by a trusted collection of writers, about 23 of them," said Dr Al Qubaisi. "Many of them were always close by to document the revelations of verses as they came."

Written down on animal skin, wood and stone, the physical form of the Quran was kept in separate locations by the Prophet's most trusted circle.

The main way of preserving the Holy Quran was by memory, and since it must be recited in the daily prayers, the entire Quran was memorised by many of the Prophet's companions, his wives and those who would become caliphs.

When the collected pieces were turned into book form, it was decided that the Quran would be written down as it would have been pronounced by the Prophet, who belonged to Al Quraysh tribe of Mecca.

"When you read the Quran properly, obeying all its rules of recitation, you are speaking in the same way as the Prophet spoke the Holy Quran," the Mufti said.

* Rym Ghazal