Qur’an

koran. The holy book of Islam,* containing 114 chapters or surams, varying greatly in content. As well as historical material, it includes doctrinal and legal argument, exhortation, warnings and eschatological teachings. According to Muslim tradition, the Qur'amn exists in heaven on a preserved tablet; its contents were revealed to Prophet Muhammad by Archangel Gabriel. There is evidence that Muhammad was familiar with at least parts of the Old and New Testaments, and the Qur'amn contains references to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David-and Jesus. Jesus is called “the son of Mary, the apostle of God” (4:156, etc.), and “Messiah”; but “the Messiah the son of Mary is only a prophet” (5:79)-since the radical monotheism of Islam does not permit any attribution of sonship to Jesus or any other. In Muslim tradition the Qur'amn is held to be divinely inspired and therefore infallible. There have of course been disputes over interpretation, but the basic authority of the Qur'amn is never contested. Consequently historical criticism has made very little headway among Muslims.