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The First Juz: Al-Fatiha and Al-Baqarah to 141

Intro to the Quran


I.

II.

The Quran is a Unique Book


a. Does not contain information, ideas, and arguments about content in a literary order.
i. People find that strange as that challenges their vary understanding of what a
book is
b. To understand the Quran understand this:
i. The book you are going to study is the only book of its kind in the whole world:
that its literary style is quite different from that of all other books: that its theme
is unique and that your preconceived notions of a book cannot help you
understand the Quran.
What is the Quran
a. Divine Guidance
i. Allah created man and granted him freedom of choice
ii. Allah consistently gave mankind guidance regarding the proper way to live in
this life for his own success here and in the hereafter and to avoid evils both
spiritual and social.
iii. The Quran is here to guide us and not to teach us Nature, Science, History,
Philosophy or any other subject. Their discussion is in the bigger picture of
divine guidance.
b. Central Theme
i. Subject: Man what will lead mankind to success or failure
ii. Central theme: Clarification of the Reality about Allah, of life and our existence
iii. Aim: Invite mankind to that Reality
iv. Keeping these three things in mind you will find that there is no inconsistency in
the varying style of the Quran, the changing of subjects and the mixture of
topics and information. You will find that with these things in mind, it is all
connected and flowing.

Surah Al-Fatiha
I.
II.

III.

Fatiha means that which opens opens a subject or a book


Revelation
a. Early Makkan period. Said to be the first complete surah revealed to the prophet (saw)
but the stronger view is that it was the second complete surah to be revealed after alMudaththir.
Theme
a. A preface to the Quran and a prayer for guidance.
b. VERY IMPORTANT: we are making a declaration in this surah and if
we dont live up to it how can we expect this prayer to be answered?

Al-Baqarah 1-141
I.
II.
III.

IV.

V.
VI.

VII.

VIII.

Name: From the story of the Cow in ayaat 67-73 surahs not named on central theme only
rather if they contain many stories or themes, one that stands out is given as a name.
Revelation: Madani surah because the majority of the ayaat are madani, does contain some
makki ayaat. The last three ayaat are Makki.
Background
a. As a madani surah, the environment was made up of people of the book, mainly jews,
who had an original message from Allah and basically the religion was the same.
b. They had distorted their beliefs, their religious leaders had become corrupt, and they
had begun to use religion as a means to live a luxurious life of power in this world.
c. So in this surah, the prophet was instructed to invite them back to the original way that
their own messengers and books preached.
d. Their history is reviewed to show how their moral degeneration and religious
perversions took place
e. The correct view on morality is given
f. In the Makkan period the focus was on propogation of fundamental principals and
spiritual and moral strengthening of the Muslims; now in Madinah, they had their own
state so the Quran turns its attention to the social, cultural, economic, political and legal
problems.
g. The problem of Munafiq came up in this period and was non-existent in the Makkan
period. People began to accept islam because it was politically favorable to do so or the
only avenue they saw to defeat it was to create dissent from within.
1-20: Declare the Quran to be the book of guidance and teach us some of the articles of
faith: belief in Allah, prophethood and life after death. They also divide people into three
categories: believers, disbelievers and hypocrites
21-29: Invitation to mankind to accept Allahs guidance and to submit to Him
30-39: The story of Adam in brief as Allahs a khalifa or representative, one that exercises
powers given to him by a superior. His story of creation, honor, and sin and expulsion from
Paradise is mentioned.
40-120: Invitation of guidance to the children of Israel, the jews, and the mention of their
past and present religious degeneration from the original message of Allah is mentioned. A
large portion of the surah.
121-141: Children of Israel commanded to follow he prophet Muhammad (saw) who was
sent with by Allah with the same message of Adam, Ibrahim and Musa. The story of the
building of the Kabah is mentioned as the command for the change of the direction of
prayer were soon to follow.