Another weekend, another light post.
Al-Qur’an means “the recitation”. Apt, considering it was dictated to Prophet Muhammad in the cave on Mt. Hira (See Previous Post, Day 7).
It is read from left to right.
The Qur’an has 114 Suwar (singular = Surah) or chapters. The first being Al-Fatiha, “The Opening” which is recited with each portion of prayer.
Each surah has several verses, or ayat (singular = ayah) of varying lengths. The longest surah with 286 ayat and second in the Qur’an is Al-Baqara (“The Calf”). The shortest with 3 ayat is the 108th, Al-Kawthar, “Abundance”.
These chapters are divided into 30 parts, or 30 juz, to make the reading process easier. With lengthy suwar, certain breaks are necessary.
During prayer, the Qur’an is recited only in Arabic (much like how Christian services were previously only performed in Latin) to keep the original meanings intact. Because the prayers are recited in Arabic, when praying as a group or individually, Muslims generally start learning to read Arabic at a young age and eventually move on to memorizing the suwar.
Most people are first taught Al-Fatiha. Then, start memorizing the last suwar because they are the shortest.
Here is a video of Surah Al-Fatiha being recited:
In other news, it’s our Friday Night Class’s turn to take iftar to masjid tonight! We’re doing Chinese food (there’s a halaal Chinese place nearby) and ice cream for dessert. =]