Koran is the Holy book that Muslims believe is a direct word of God, Allah. It is believed that it is the best literature text that has ever been written in Arabic. The Holy book is comprised of 114 chapters that are divided into verses known as Ayats (Esposito 1999). The verses vary in length. According to Muslim believers, Koran was a revelation to their prophet, Mohamed, by God through His angel Gabriel. After Mohamed’s death, all the revelations given to him were compiled into a single book, Koran. Mohamed had written several scripts of the revelations during his lifetime. Since it is the Holiest text among the Muslims, Koran is regarded as a guide to God’s people in terms of morality and spiritual life of individuals. It forms among the basic sources of Islamic law that have been in use since the inception of the religion to date. Further, the Holy Book is important in other aspects such as science, art, literature among others (Esposito, 1999). Being the oldest first piece of written literature in Arab language, it even led to the improvement of the language as it was insufficient in some terms that had to be imported. The amazing thing is that the imported words fitted well in the Koran that they no longer appear to have been borrowed. This paper will look into the aspects that the Koran has influenced the Islamic culture.
Law is a key driver into the sanity and regulations of any society. Being a base for a religious group, the Koran has been regarded as among the most important books among the Muslims. The Koran outlines the Shariah, which refers to the path of light and straightness. According to Muslims, it was passed on to the people by Allah so that man could follow and be able to live with one another peacefully. It demands that people should not live as per their own desire, but they should first live as Allah desires. These rules are mainly based on the Koran because they were taught by Mohamed (Taji-Farouki 2004). The Koran does not, however describe how one would achieve the stipulated ways, but rather Sunnah explains the specifics on how one would get to the desires of Allah. For example, the Koran states: “establish salah, observe sawm, pay zakah, take decisions by consultation, do not earn or spend in wrong ways.” It however does not explain how these achievements would be made. Sharia covers every aspect of human life and applies to people of all generations. The Koran is believed to have been written shortly after 632 CE, yet it still remains in use among all the generations to date. This shows the uniqueness of the Koran and other laws because laws in the Koran never change, unlike man-made laws that are amended to suit particular situations. At times, there are no clear-cut conclusions in the Koran regarding some issues. In this case, known as Ijma, people it down and delve deep into the matter to come up with a solution (Esposito, 1999). When issues that are neither covered in the Koran or in the Sunnah, Qiyas is applied, which means a situation where the situation at hand is compared to situations in the past.
The Koran is believed to have been a source of modern science development. A close look at the Holy book shows that there are many cases that have been mentioned, yet they have been in the recent years, approved by modern science. We can therefore say that there is a close relation between the old science and modern science with reference to the Koran. In Koran 3:191, Muslims are instructed to “contemplate the wonders of creation". The Koran encourages the people to explore and discover the earth in order to discover the Signs of Allah through His creation. From the Koran, some statements that have been proven scientifically correct. For instance, with regard to creation, the Koran writes:"Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together, then We split them apart? And We made from water every living thing…" (21:30) (Haleem 2008). This can be supported in the present day theory of jigsaw fit .
With regard to astronomy, the Koran writes: "It is He Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. All (the celestial bodies) swim along, each in its rounded course" (21:33). It also writes "It is not permitted for the sun to catch up to the moon, nor can the night outstrip the day. Each just swims along in its own orbit" (36:40) (Haleem 2008). It has been proven that all these bodies revolve along their different orbits. This has been explained to cause seasons on the earth through modern science.
The Koran has also talked about the development of man from gamete cells and into a foetus. The Koran writes. "Man We did create from a quintessence of clay. Then we placed him as a drop of sperm in a place of rest, firmly fixed. Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood. Then out of that clot We made a fetus lump. Then We made out of that lump bones, and clothed the bones with flesh. Then We developed out of it another creature. So blessed be Allah, the Best to create!" (23:12-14) (Haleem 2008). Therefore, we can agree to the fact that there is a very high correlation between the scientific facts and the teachings of the Koran.
Art was a very important aspect of early man. It has developed today and remains among the most popular ways that people show their creativity and talent. The Koran has not neglected this facet of life and has even gone ahead to display some of the calligraphic patterns that are found in the Koranic art. Korans have very creative and beautiful writings in their manuscripts. These inscriptions are very important in the development of design. They are believed to be complements of Allah’s work and they are found on many items such as textiles, wood, stone, glass among others. Many of them create an unending repetition of patterns which means that Allah’s work is infinite. The development of Koranic art is as old as the Koran itself (Taji-Farouki 2004). Despite the popularity and appreciation of those artistic figures, they are excluded from sacred monuments to avoid a perception that they could be idols. Idols have been highly condemned in the Holy Koran and must not be allowed to be mistaken for anything from the sacred quarter (Esposito 1999).
After the US 9/11 attack, there was a lot of media reports and controversies that attempted to question the teaching of the Holy Koran. During this time, an artist, Sandow Birk started a project that was aimed at delivering the messages in the Koran to the people, especially in America. He wanted to ensure that there were no misconceptions regarding the issues that were raised in condemnation of the Holy Koran. He used his artistic skills to convey information and through drawings and patterns. From the project, he drew a new form of Koran "The Word of God: Sandow Birk's American Qur'an" which is the only Koran of its kind. Birk’s work was not repelled by Muslims as they attempted to ensure that the right message was passed even to non-Muslims who thought that the Koran had instigated the 9/11 attacks.
The Koran is the main source of faith and belief for Muslims in the world. Its style is believed to be inimitable towards its believers since time in memorial. The early believers believed in the same Koran as those in the present day. Before the inception of the Holy Koran, early Muslims in Arabian Peninsula believed in themselves and their way of life. They believed that there was nothing better than their poetry as they self-worshiped themselves through the art. They were arrogant as they believed that they were the best and finest Arabs in the world. However, the inception of the Holy Koran led to a stop in the thinking that they were superior than any other people (Esposito 1999). The Koran was regarded as way more superior than the poetry of the Muslims of Peninsula who were pagans. Though their poetry had very eloquent prose and adorable literary compositions, they could not contend for superiority with the new arrival, The Holy Koran. The beauty, wisdom and overall structure of the Koran was unrivalled and their poetry was forgotten to date. Some analysts argue that the big difference resulted from the whole concepts of the two works of art. The Koran was written in a style and message that arouses consciousness, will and conscience. The Koran was capable of creating empires, civilization paths as well as a distinct people away from the rest. On the other hand, such fete was unimaginable and unrealistic to poetry. The same analysts argued that poetry could only appeal the emotions and feelings of individuals and there was nothing more. This, compared to the Koran would lead to the fall of the Poets in the Peninsula (Taji-Farouki 2004).
With regard to its style, the Holy Koran has been described as neither written in prose or in poetic form. This is because the writings neither follow the continuous arrangement of prose writing nor employ the styles in poetry fully. The verses are also different from each other in length and structure. Despite this, the Koran has some aspects of poetry. Having been the most important literary work that people embraced before the Koran, poetry was inevitable while writing the Holy Koran. However, the verses and Ayats do not fully qualify to be poetic because some of them do not even have a single rhyme. This is an indication of an incorporation of the two styles (prose and poetry), which gave rise to a very unique and highly successful language in the Koran. This could add to the many ways that the Koran remains inimitable and very successful in passing information across generations.
The Koran is believed to be the most superior book or literature piece among the Muslims. It is also believed to be the first ever book that had such high success, yet written in Arabic. The Holy Book, written from Mohammed’s teachings, carried a very strong message to the readers with regard to their spirituality and ethical standards. From this book, Mohamed passed his most strong arguments t the people with regard to their daily lives. Mohamed was very unique from the previous prophets such as Jesus and Moses in that while others performed miracles such as healing the sick and so on, he displayed his miraculous prowess through the use of words in explaining the Koran. In the pre-Islamic Arabia, words were mainly expressed through speaking and poetry, while writing was done at very little levels. There were poor means through which literature was passed from one generation to the next. Therefore, the Koran being the first ever book in Arabic, it was argued that it was the only way that information was passed from one generation to the next. It was the first and is still in use today, hence a historic all generation book. It has carried information for about 14 decades and this has led to the belief that it has been the most efficient medium.
Among the Arabs, who later became followers of Islam religion, there was a deficiency in literary works (Esposito 1999). Apart from their spoken language, which they had a lot of pride in, there were very few other creative works of art such as painting or weaving. Therefore, the introduction of Koran was met with enthusiasm as they saw a new way to expound their language and its beauty. The brilliance of the ability to express feelings and words in writing was seen as a genius way that only Allah could work through. They therefore started to respect the Koran and believed that it was undoubtedly the true words of Allah. Mohamed was challenged to prove to the people that he was truly a prophet of Allah by a miracle, where he produced to them the Koran (Esposito 1999). The Koran has been termed as an inimitable piece of literary writing. Scholars have agreed to the fact that no one can be able to change the Holy book. It is believed that there have never been a more organized and best phrased book in the history of writing than the Koran. Easy reading and clarity dhows excellent writing skill which have never been seen with any other work. The words used are simply indicates any requirements that they are used to refer to, regardless of whether they are elaborated or are simply understood.