Six chapters (Surah) in the Qur’an are named after animals.
Al-baqarah (The Cow),
Al-Anaam (The Cattle),
Al-Nahl (The Bee),
Al-Naml (The Ant),
Al-Ankaboot (The spider),
Al-Feel (The elephant).
Note: Insects are animals. They are arthropod phylum under Kingdom Animalia.
The Qur’an has explicit instruction, a prohibition in effect, for Muslims to NOT become divided.
The Qur’an in Chapter (Surah) 3 Verse (Ayat) 103 states: “And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided.”
Arabic: وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا ۚ وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُم بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا وَكُنتُمْ عَلَىٰ شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ فَأَنقَذَكُم مِّنْهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ
Despite this fact divisions do exist. The two largest and most well known are Shia and Sunni.
Since neither are specifically mentioned in the Qur’an they will be discussed only briefly and generally.
After the death of Prophet Muhammad (عليه السلام) in 632 A.D. there was a disagreement over who would lead the Muslim community (Ummah) as the next Khalif (خليف).
Note: A Khalif is essentially a spiritual and religious leader of the Muslim community (Ummah).
The rightful successor at the time was Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (رضي الله عنه) since he was the closest companion of the Prophet. Serving as a chief advisor from 622 – 632 A.D.
However, there were some who believed his succession was not legitimate. Their belief was Ali ibn Abi Talib (رضي الله عنه) was the rightful successor.
This belief was supported by the fact that Ali was the cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad (عليه السلام) so traditionally he would be next in line.
That ended up turning into a dispute within the Muslim community (ummah) and from it emerged two divisions. The followers of Ali and the supporters of Bakr.
Two divisions which eventually became known as Shia and Sunni. With Shia meaning the “followers of Ali” and Sunni “adherents of the Sunnah”.
In various English meaning Qurans there are brackets. Typically seen as ( ) or [ ]. These brackets should not be confused with actual text of the Qur’an or meaning therein.
Said brackets are the equivalent of in-text commentary which is derived from one translators interpretation. For the most part they should be ignored.
The Qur’an is considered sacred text. It must, therefore, be handled with care. Respect for the Qur’an is equivalent to an exhibiting of respect for Allah. Which brings reward. Insha’Allah. Allah is all-knowing and sees all.
General care and guidelines for handling the Qur’an:
- Never place on the ground.
- Never bring into a bathroom.
- Never place any books on top of.
- Keep all liquids away from as not to spill any on.
- Keep upright, vertical, when finished reading. The same as you would with books on a bookshelf.
- Do NOT dog ear any pages.
- Never bring into a room where marital relations have occurred.
- Never highlight or mark any pages or text.
- Keep away from your gentiles.
- Keep dust free.
Why does one need to look at the context of what he or she is reading (Iqra) in the Qur’an?
For the simple fact that without context meaning becomes distorted. This can lead to misunderstandings on a particular passage or verse (ayat).
Jesus, Son of Mary, is mentioned in the Qur’an twenty-five times. He is referred to as a righteous prophet, messenger to Israel, sign, Spirit from God, and the coming Messiah.