A guide to the contents of the Quran by Faruk Sherif
A GUIDE TO THE CONTENTS OF THE QURAN
From the Book
As is shown by the tide of the book, the subject of this study is ‘the contents of the Qur’an’.
In conducting my research and developing its results in the pages that follow, I have kept strictly within the limits indicated by the tide. Because of this limitation, many subjects which form part of the dogma and laws of Islam but which do not appear in the text of the Qur’an have been excluded from the scope of this study.
I wish to make this point clear at the outset in case some readers, being under the wrong impression that everything that exists in Islam exists in the Qur’an, should expect to find in this book the discussion of more subjects than it covers.
The Qur’an is the very essence of Islam. But the principles, doctrines, and prescriptions of Islam have in centuries been greatly developed by drawing on sources that are auxiliary to the Qur’an. Most important among these are the traditions (reported sayings, acts, and oral teachings) of the Prophet also known as ‘Hadith’, to which the Shii community adds the traditions of the Twelve Imams who are deemed to be infallible like the Prophet himself.’
The voluminous contents of the traditions together with additions from other sources (mainly the conclusions arrived at by doctors of Islamic jurisprudence) on all varieties of subjects have become necessary adjuncts to the Qur’an.
Significantly, some of these additions relate even to essential ritual practices such as prayer, the fast, and zakat, concerning which the text of the Qur’an, unless complemented by the reported practices of the Prophet, would not be sufficiently precise. It is thus clear that the Qur’an together with the aggregate of contributions from other sources constitutes the corpus of Islamic dogma, norms, and prescriptions.
To this corpus might be applied the term ‘the contents of Islam’ as distinct from the far more fundamental, but less extensive term ‘the contents of the Qur’an’, which is the exclusive subject of the present study.
There is this important difference between the text of the Qur’an and the auxiliary sources that for the Moslem the Qur’an is