The Medieval World, C. 400–1300

Islamic Art

What is the Qur’an?

Like Christianity and Judaism, Islam is considered a “religion of the book” because at its heart lies the Qur’an, Islam’s holy text. It contains the revelations of the Prophet Mohammad as received from God through the Angel Gabriel in seventh century Saudi Arabia. The Qur’an is made up of 114 chapters, called suras, and 6,000 ayat, or verses. The holy book explains the Five Pillars of Islam, which are five duties required by all Muslims, and serve as the foundation of the Islamic faith. Written in Arabic, the Qur’an could not be translated until recently, and Qur’ans throughout art history are known for their high-quality Arabic calligraphy and mesmerizing visual design.


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