God has revealed various Books at different times to guide mankind, such as the Torah, the Gospel and the Psalms given to Moses, Jesus and David. The Qur’an is the last holy book, or scripture; the Word of God, originally transmitted to Muhammad in Arabic by the Angel Gabriel. But it was always meant for all humanity, not for any exclusive group. At its heart is the teaching of monotheism — the worship of One God and no others — but the Qur’an also provides guidance for every part of a believer’s life.

There is only one version of the Qur’an, unchanged since Muhammad received it. A number of his followers had carefully memorized each of God’s revelations, word for word — an achievement still common among Muslims today. Muslim scholars regard versions of the Qur’an in other languages to be interpretations or paraphrases, rather than true translations, and in Arabic literature there is no work whose eloquence, clarity and erudition approach that of the Qur’anic text.