- In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate:
- Recite: In the name of your Lord who created,
- Created man for a clot.
- Recite: And your Lord is most generous,
- Who taught by the pen,
- Taught man what he did not know.
- No, but man is rebellious
- Because he sees himself grown rich.
- Indeed, the return is to your Lord.
- Have you seen him who forbids a servant to pray?
- Have you seen if he was rightly guided or ordered piety?
- Have you seen if he called [piety] a lie and turned his back on it?
- Did he know that God sees?
- No, if he does not desist, we shall seize him by the forelock,
- A lying, sinful forelock!
- So let him call his council.
- We shall call the guards of hell.
- No, do not obey him,
- But fall down and draw near.
— from the Koran (96).
The Koran is the central religious text of Islam. It means “the recitation” and is believed to be a revelation from God to the prophet Mohammad, verbally dictated to him by God through the angel Gabriel over a period of 23 years beginning in 609 AD and concluding in 632 AD, the year of the prophet’s death. Muslims hold that unlike the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, the Koran is the only book that has been guarded from distortion or corruption by God.