Literature / The Qur'an

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful...
The Bismillah, the opening invocation to all but one chapter of the Qur'an.

The Qur'an is a holy text of the Islamic faith, the first and smallest text in the Islamic trilogy with the Siranote  and the Hadithsnote  being the other eighty four percent of it. The Qur'an differs from the Jewish and Christian Bible, in that the work is not a collection of various other works, but rather a collection of sayings in verse attributed to Allah/God given to The Prophet Muhammad via the Archangel Gabriel. Think of it as God: The Collected Poems, or perhaps as the Psalms of Islam.

The sections of the Qur'an are ordered by (mainly) lengthnote , not by theme (as in the Christian Bible) or chronologically (as in the Tanakh).

     The 114 Surahs 
There are a total of 114 chapters (surah) in the Qur'an, all of varying degrees of length and the number of verses (ayat). Because the Quran is ordered by length, there is no specific theme between each surah. Instead, the Quran is ordered through the juz, numbering 30 in total, which are mainly useful when one is about to read the Qur'an a specific order each day/week/month; an imam can read one juz per tarawih prayer during the 28-30 nights of Ramadan, Islam's holiest month.

In addition, the chapters are also stamped on whether they originate pre-Hijranote  and post-Hijranote  The pre-Hijra chapters are generally short in verses and length, but they are more numerous in number, while the post-Hijra chapters are the exact opposite: long, winded, but small in number. Each type is denoted by these symbols: (MC) denotes the pre-Hijrah chapters, while (MD) denotes the post-Hijrah chapters.
  • 1. Al-Fatiha ~ The Opening (MC) ‒ 7 verses.
  • 2. Al-Baqara ~ The Cow (MD) ‒ 286 verses.
  • 3. Al Imran ~ The House of Imran (MD) ‒ 200 verses.
  • 4. An-Nisa' ~ The Women (MD) ‒ 176 verses.
  • 5. Al-Ma'idah ~ The Repast (MD) ‒ 120 verses.
  • 6. Al-An'am ~ The Cattle (MC) ‒ 165 verses.
  • 7. Al-A'raf ~ The Heights (MC) ‒ 206 verses.
  • 8. Al-Anfal ~ The Spoils of War (MD) ‒ 75 verses.
  • 9. At-Tawba ~ The Repentance (MD) ‒ 129 verses.
  • 10. Yunus ~ Jonah (MC) ‒ 109 verses.
  • 11. Hud ~ Hud (MC) ‒ 123 verses.
  • 12. Yusuf ~ Joseph (MC) ‒ 111 verses.
  • 13. Ar-Ra'd ~ The Thunder (MD) ‒ 43 verses.
  • 14. Ibrahim ~ Abraham (MC) ‒ 52 verses.
  • 15. Al-Hijr ~ The Rocky Tract (MC) ‒ 99 verses.
  • 16. An-Nahl ~ The Honeybee (MC) ‒ 128 verses.
  • 17. Al-Isra ~ The Night Journey (MC) ‒ 111 verses.
  • 18. Al-Kahf ~ The Cave (MC) ‒ 110 verses.
  • 19. Maryam ~ Mary (MC) ‒ 98 verses.
  • 20. Ta Ha ~ Ta Ha (MC) ‒ 135 verses.
  • 21. Al-Anbiya ~ The Prophets (MC) ‒ 112 verses.
  • 22. Al-Hajj ~ The Pilgrimage (MD) ‒ 78 verses.
  • 23. Al-Mu'minun ~ The Believers (MC) ‒ 118 verses.
  • 24. An-Nur ~ The Light (MD) ‒ 64 verses.
  • 25. Al-Furqan ~ The Standard (MC) ‒ 77 verses.
  • 26. Ash-Shu'ara ~ The Poets (MC) ‒ 227 verses.
  • 27. An-Naml ~ The Ant (MC) ‒ 93 verses.
  • 28. Al-Qasas ~ The Stories (MC) ‒ 88 verses.
  • 29. Al-Ankabut ~ The Spider (MC) ‒ 69 verses.
  • 30. Ar-Rum ~ The Romans (MC) ‒ 60 verses.
  • 31. Luqman ~ Luqman (MC) ‒ 34 verses.
  • 32. As-Sajdah ~ The Prostration (MC) ‒ 30 verses.
  • 33. Al-Ahzab ~ The Confederates (MD) ‒ 73 verses.
  • 34. Saba ~ Sheba (MC) ‒ 54 verses.
  • 35. Fatir ~ Originator (MC) ‒ 45 verses.
  • 36. Ya Sin ~ Ya Sin (MC) ‒ 83 verses.
  • 37. As-Saffat ~ Those Who Set the Ranks (MC) ‒ 182 verses.
  • 38. Sad ~ Sad (MC) ‒ 88 verses.
  • 39. Az-Zumar ~ The Crowds (MC) ‒ 75 verses.
  • 40. Ghafir ~ Forgiving (MC) ‒ 85 verses.
  • 41. Fussilat ~ Explained (MC) ‒ 54 verses.
  • 42. Ash-Shura ~ The Consultation (MC) ‒ 53 verses.
  • 43. Az-Zukhruf ~ The Gold Ornaments (MC) ‒ 89 verses.
  • 44. Ad-Dukhan ~ The Smoke (MC) ‒ 59 verses.
  • 45. Al-Jathiya ~ The Kneeling Down (MC) ‒ 37 verses.
  • 46. Al-Ahqaf ~ The Sand Dunes (MC) ‒ 35 verses.
  • 47. Muhammad ~ Muhammad (MD) ‒ 38 verses.
  • 48. Al-Fath ~ The Victory (MD) ‒ 29 verses.
  • 49. Al-Hujurat ~ The Inner Apartments (MD) ‒ 18 verses.
  • 50. Qaf ~ Qaf (MC) ‒ 45 verses.
  • 51. Adh-Dhariyat ~ The Winds That Scatter (MC) ‒ 60 verses.
  • 52. At-Tur ~ The Mount (MC) ‒ 49 verses.
  • 53. An-Najm ~ The Star (MC) ‒ 62 verses.
  • 54. Al-Qamar ~ The Moon (MC) ‒ 55 verses.
  • 55. Ar-Rahman ~ The Most Gracious (MD) ‒ 78 verses.
  • 56. Al-Waqi'ah ~ The Inevitable (MC) ‒ 96 verses.
  • 57. Al-Hadid ~ The Iron (MD) ‒ 29 verses.
  • 58. Al-Mujadila ~ She Who Pleads (MD) ‒ 22 verses.
  • 59. Al-Hashr ~ The Exile (MD) ‒ 24 verses.
  • 60. Al-Mumtahana ~ She Who is Examined (MD) ‒ 13 verses.
  • 61. As-Saff ~ The Ranks (MD) ‒ 14 verses.
  • 62. Al-Jumu'a ~ Friday (MD) ‒ 11 verses.
  • 63. Al-Munafiqun ~ The Hypocrites (MD) ‒ 11 verses.
  • 64. At-Taghabun ~ The Loss (MD) ‒ 18 verses.
  • 65. At-Talaq ~ The Divorce (MD) ‒ 12 verses.
  • 66. At-Tahrim ~ The Prohibition (MD) ‒ 12 verses.
  • 67. Al-Mulk ~ The Dominion (MC) ‒ 30 verses.
  • 68. Al-Qalam ~ The Pen (MC) ‒ 52 verses.
  • 69. Al-Haqqa ~ The Reality (MC) ‒ 52 verses.
  • 70. Al-Ma'arij ~ The Ascending Stairways (MC) ‒ 44 verses.
  • 71. Nuh ~ Noah (MC) ‒ 28 verses.
  • 72. Al-Jinn ~ The Jinn/The Hidden One (MC) ‒ 28 verses.
  • 73. Al-Muzzammil ~ The Enshrouded One (MC) ‒ 20 verses.
  • 74. Al-Muddathir ~ The Cloaked One (MC) ‒ 56 verses.
  • 75. Al-Qiyama ~ The Day of Resurrection (MC) ‒ 40 verses.
  • 76. Al-Insan ~ The Human (MD) ‒ 31 verses.
  • 77. Al-Mursalat ~ The Emissaries (MC) ‒ 50 verses.
  • 78. An-Naba ~ The Tidings (MC) ‒ 40 verses.
  • 79. An-Nazi'at ~ Those Who Tear Out (MC) ‒ 46 verses.
  • 80. 'Abasa ~ He Frowned (MC) ‒ 42 verses.
  • 81. At-Takwir ~ The Overthrowing (MC) ‒ 29 verses.
  • 82. Al-Infitar ~ The Cleaving Asunder (MC) ‒ 19 verses.
  • 83. Al-Mutaffifin ~ The Defrauders (MC) ‒ 36 verses.
  • 84. Al-Inshiqaq ~ The Splitting Asunder (MC) ‒ 25 verses.
  • 85. Al-Buruj ~ The Stars (MC) ‒ 22 verses.
  • 86. At-Tariq ~ The Morning Star (MC) ‒ 17 verses.
  • 87. Al-A'la ~ The Most High (MC) ‒ 19 verses.
  • 88. Al-Ghasiya ~ The Overwhelming (MC) ‒ 26 verses.
  • 89. Al-Fajr ~ The Dawn (MC) ‒ 30 verses.
  • 90. Al-Balad ~ The City (MC) ‒ 20 verses.
  • 91. Ash-Shams ~ The Sun (MC) ‒ 15 verses.
  • 92. Al-Lail ~ The Night (MC) ‒ 21 verses.
  • 93. Ad-Dhuha ~ The Morning Hours (MC) ‒ 11 verses.
  • 94. Al-Inshirah ~ The Consolation (MC) ‒ 8 verses.
  • 95. At-Tin ~ The Fig Tree (MC) ‒ 8 verses.
  • 96. Al-'Alaq ~ The Clot (MC) ‒ 19 verses.
  • 97. Al-Qadr ~ The Power (MC) ‒ 5 verses.
  • 98. Al-Bayyina ~ The Clear Evidence (MD) ‒ 8 verses.
  • 99. Az-Zalzala ~ The Earthquake (MD) ‒ 8 verses.
  • 100. Al-Adiyat ~ The Courser (MC) ‒ 11 verses.
  • 101. Al-Qari'a ~ The Great Calamity (MC) ‒ 11 verses.
  • 102. At-Takathur ~ The Rivalry (MC) ‒ 8 verses.
  • 103. Al-Asr ~ The Time (MC) ‒ 3 verses.
  • 104. Al-Humaza ~ The Scandalmonger (MC) ‒ 9 verses.
  • 105. Al-Fil ~ The Elephant (MC) ‒ 5 verses.
  • 106. Quraysh ~ Quraysh (MC) ‒ 4 verses.
  • 107. Al-Ma'un ~ The Small Kindness (MC) ‒ 7 verses.
  • 108. Al-Kawthar ~ The Abundance (MC) ‒ 3 verses.
  • 109. Al-Kafirun ~ The Disbelievers (MC) ‒ 6 verses.
  • 110. An-Nasr ~ The Assistance (MD) ‒ 3 verses.
  • 111. Al-Masad ~ The Palm Fiber (MC) ‒ 5 verses.
  • 112. Al-Ikhlas ~ The Sincerity (MC) ‒ 4 verses.
  • 113. Al-Falaq ~ The Dawn (MC) ‒ 5 verses.
  • 114. An-Nas ~ The Mankind (MC) ‒ 6 verses.

Tropes include:

  • A God Am I: If humans or djinns do this, then s/he's a very bad person. Examples include the Fir'aun of Egypt during Prophet Musa's era, it's explicitly for this sin that he was punished severely. And then Allah made sure his dead body remains to this day, to serve as a warning and a proof of historicity.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Averted. Satan was given a choice to obey or disobey Allah, and he chose to disobey, thus ensuring his fate. This doesn't apply to his race the djinns, who are as capable of being good or evil as the humans, and thus can enter Paradise if they do good.
    • That being said, there are some texts which say that he weeps during the Hajj, as he regrets not taking advantage of God's forgiveness when he could, while mankind is able to do it all the time.
  • Always Lawful Good: Angels. They are more akin to software, and thus this trope simply because they are incapable of disobeying that which defines 'Lawful' and 'Good'; in Islam, Satan is not a Fallen Angel, but a Djinn, who can be as morally varied as any human being.
  • Anachronic Order: Since the surat are organized by length, not when they were revealed (which took place over a couple of decades).
  • Ancient Egypt: Some part of Prophets Yusuf'snote  and Musa's stories. In the case of Musa, it seems that the more interesting parts happen when he's outside Egyptian territory, such as the marriage, meeting with Allah, and looking for a land for his people.
  • Ancient Rome: There is a whole surah (chapter) titled Rome, foretelling the victory of the monotheistic (Byzantine) Romans against the polytheistic Sassanid Empire of Persia. It should be noted that the Sassanids did not consider themselves polytheists; despite recognizing several figures worthy of worship they only recognized one of them as God. Still, this "ascribing of false partners" was unacceptable to Muhammad.
  • And I Must Scream: The fate of people cast down to Hell(s). You burn for eternity, drink boiling hot water, and eat horrible fruit ('demon head'). Once your entire skin is burned up, Allah wills that another layer be grown so you can burn again. Verse 87:13 says succinctly: "Therein he does not die, neither does he live."
  • Archangel Gabriel: One of, if not, the most important angel, as the one who revealed God's revelations to all prophets. It is also understood to be the "Ruh" and "Ruhl al-Quds"note , blessed to people in the time of uncertainty.
  • Archangel Michael: Mentioned once, as part of the host who will be the enemy of the people who reject God. Its other exploits are explored in the hadiths and other traditions.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Go there and back again, actually. Muhammad was called to an audience with Allah, received the order for salah (daily prayers, said five times a day), and then returned to the world so he could bring the order to the people. On his way he met prophets of ancient times such as Musa. Musa actually told Muhammad to renegotiate the order, because 50 times a day would be too difficult.
    • Reminiscent of an old Jewish joke, in which Moses told his people "There's good news and bad news. The good news is that I convinced Him to drop seven of the Seventeen Commandments. The bad news is that He wouldn't budge on the one about adultery."
  • Badass Army: Defied! The Army of Muslims attributed their victories (and defeats) in war to the will of Allah, never due to their own might. The one time they believed that victory is assured, archers on a strategic hill went for loot instead of manning their post, resulting in the enemy countering by attacking the hill and killing the few archers left, and reversing the course of the battle, resulting in Muhammad being seriously injured.
  • Belly of the Whale: Yunusnote  was swallowed whole because he did not want to preach God's message to his people again, thinking that they were beyond saving. After a The Reason You Suck speech courtesy of God and repentance, he was allowed out.
  • Big Bad: Subverted. Sure, there is a Satan and he's unable to be defeated until the Day of Judgment, but ultimately he can't do anything Allah doesn't permit him to do. The majority of the bad people in the stories do bad things due to their own vices, not due to some kind of invisible capital-E evil.
  • Big Good: Allah is stated to be this. Also Muhammad, by proxy, since everything he does is the will of Allah.
  • Black and White Morality: Morality is entirely based on faith and thus Muslims are good and miscreants are evil.
  • Bury Your Gays: The fall of Sodom and Gomorrah was caused by many reasons, one of which was homosexuality, although other vices such as depravity and decadence were also cited as equally responsible. Traditional interpretation, though, leans to flanderize the homosexuality part, hence why most hadiths and laws promulgated by ulema tend to scapegoat it the most.
  • But I Can't Be Pregnant!: At least three separate cases:
    • Ibrahimnote 's first wife didn't believe, though she thought that would be wonderful, that she would have a child when she was already in her nineties, but the angel sent to her told her that it's God's will. So she gave birth to Ishaknote .
    • Zakariyanote  couldn't believe that God actually answered to his beg for an heir and asked how He would provide him that, seeing that his wife was barren. God thought otherwise, and enter Yahyanote .
    • Maryamnote  thought that having a child was ridiculous, since not a single man had touched her. The angel who gave her the news responded that when God willed, so be it. And unto her, Isanote  was born.
  • Cain and Abel: Though they are not named, but the original Cain and Abel are here. Their story, though, exists to give an Aesop: killing a human is the same as killing all humans; saving a human is the same as saving all humans.
  • Celibate Hero: Yusuf refused the seduction of his adoptive mother and when she accused him of false adulteries (twice), he correctly gave his adoptive father evidence that he did not do so. His adoptive father believed him, but he was jailed anyways, partly due to his low-status, partly to further protect his chastity.
    • Then there's Maryam. Having a son while remaining chaste and a virgin was quite a feat.
  • Character Title: Some chapters in the Qur'an are titled according to the figures they explored, including Hud, Ibrahim, Luqman, Maryam, Muhammad, Nuhnote , Yunusnote , and Yusuf.
  • Condescending Compassion: The usual treatment reserved to non-Muslims. While the Qu'ran strongly advises tolerance and fairness towards non-Muslims, non-Muslims are still unsurpisingly considered untrustworthy, ignorant and delusional lost souls (much like The Bible sees non-Christians). Hence, the Qu'ran clearly discourages Muslims from forming strong bonds with them.
    • The only verses forbidding Muslims from forming strong bonds with non-Muslims are context dependentnote , and are incorrectly cited to make straw arguments.
    • The "tolerance with non-Muslims" part is also given credence by the fact that an uncle of the Prophet Muhammad itself, Abu Talib, was a devout Christian and chose not to convert to Islam, despite supporting his nephew's sermons. He is never demonized by anyone for being this, either, even to the most ardent and zealous believers.
  • Continuity Nod: So, so many, towards the Injilnote  and Tauratnote . In fact, it's stated in the Qur'an itself that one of its purposes is to give Continuity Nod to the aforementioned books, so as to give good news to the faithfuls.
    • Also mentioned—although rarely referenced—is the Zabur (the Psalms).
  • Cool Horse: The Buraq, winged horses who carried Muhammad from Mecca to Jerusalem, then to the highest heaven in a span of a single night. Their name is Arabic for "lightning"note .
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Qur'an teaches its believers not to fear darkness or night. In fact, people should be grateful when darkness came, because that means you can finally put your work at the desk and either dedicatedly pray to God, who will accept prayers at nighttime more intently, or, if you are too tired, get some sleep. See The Sacred Darkness below.
  • Deal with the Devil: You can make a deal with djinns to cast a spell upon your enemies, but it's a very grave sin. It doesn't help that the aforementioned djinns tend to have god-complexes, which is yet another offense to Allah.
  • Decisive Battle: Several, leading to the re-capture of Mecca by the Muslim army. Entering Mecca itself was an anti-climax, though.
  • Domestic Abuse: A man is allowed to beat his disobedient wife. (IV, 38) However, it is forbidden for men to act like thugs and deal a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on his wife whenever he doesn't like her way of thinking. Punishment must be given sparsely, like gently hitting her with a stick three times for example, as Prophet Ayubnote  did to his wife when she left him. Unfortunately, like the law about polygamy mentioned below, this rule is frequently abused (pun intended) by the people, mostly by men.
  • Double Standard:
    • There is no denying the text - much like The Bible - contains examples of this, especially when the Hadiths that further explained these rules are not included into the equation.
    • One Double Standard - the one about polygamy - actually has a reason behind it: it's believed that the original reason for allowing men to take additional wives was that in an age of constant tribal warfare, men were often killed and their widows left without a means of support. Polygamy was a way of addressing this gender imbalance in towns that had been ravaged by war.
      • It still has a reason to help women that can't find work, live in poor conditions, and have no one in their family that can help them.
    • In one verse, a woman's testimony is worth half that of a man.
      • Different requirements are outlined for different trials. Hence, in the case of an interest free-loan, which is the relevant verse (Qur’an 2:282), nowhere in is it stated that the testimony of two women is needed to equal the testimony of a man. Nor does the verse prefer male witnesses to female witnesses. Instead it addresses the composition of the court for each sex, and asks for the presence of two women in case one of them is threatened or intimidated. If a man dares condescend on her due to her sex she will have support to keep her from being bullied into a certain perspective. <br> Other types of court trials (e.g. those concerning theft, adultery, divorce etc.) all ask for different court compositions.
    • 2:228: "Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart, three (monthly) courses. And it is not lawful for them that they should conceal that which Allah hath created in their wombs if they are believers in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands would do better to take them back in that case if they desire a reconciliation. And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree [of responsibility] above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise. "
      • Men having a higher degree than women actually means that men have higher degree of responsibility than women. An Nisa:34 explained that since men have a higher degree than women, they are required to look for a job and ensure the income of their family AND parents, unlike women who don't have those responsibilities. This's also used to justify why men get twice the amount of inheritance. Moreover, while a man's income is to be shared with his wife, no man can ask for any materialistic object from his wife.
    • Men can marry any woman from any other Abrahamic religion (Jews or Christians), women are strictly forbidden to marry a man who isn't a Muslim. The reason usually posited by scholars is that a husband is always considered the imam-leader, of his family, so having a non-Muslim as the leader of his family is not advisable.
      • There is only one verse that reluctantly allows men to marry women of the book, on the proviso that there are no other Muslim women available, and women are not addressed in the verse at all, leading to the deduction that Muslim women are only allowed to marry Muslim men. However, male-centric societies tend to neglect the proviso.
    • Contrary to popular beliefs, however, Muslim women do not have to wear hijab e.g. head and body coverings. All the Quran has to say about women in general are that they should dress modestly by not attracting unwanted attentionnote , not the specifications for the coverings itself. The "ninja" coverings (everything sans face, hands and feet) are only compulsory during prayer times, where even the men will have to dress modestly if they want to, well pray, to God. The only women who are required to wear those kind of coverings are Muhammad's wives‒Khadija, Aisha, Zaynabnote , etc. The culprit for the application of this rule to all women are the hadiths, which are really open to interpretation. This led to every cases from a law forcing women to cover every single inch of their body (Afghanistan's Taliban) to severe ban for them to do so (Tunisia and Turkey).
  • Eldritch Abomination: Consider this: it's stated that if humankind craft every trees in the world into pens and use so much ink that the volume can fill the ocean, it still won't be enough to write down the knowledge that Allah possesses.
  • Evil Vizier: Haman, an adviser in the Pharaoh's court during Musa's time.
  • The Exile: Quite a few.
    • Satan was expelled from the Heavenly Garden because he refused to bow down to God's newest creation: Adam.
    • Adam and his wife were banished from the Heavenly Garden because they transgressed God's rule of not eating the forbidden fruit.
    • Muhammad and his followers were forced to migrate to Medina because of the increasingly volatile situation in Mecca (specifically, the Meccans refused to accept his teachings and threatened to kill him). They would not reclaim Mecca until years later.
  • The Federation: During the Medina era. Muhammad was the leader of the people of Medina, which also included Jews. The details of the Battle of the Trench showed cracks in the Federation, though prior to it, the Medina Constitution showed ideals of federation and mutual respect, even though it eventually failed in reality.
  • Freak Out: Muhammad, the first time Jibril/Gabriel visited him. An entire surah were descended to assure him that things are going to be okay.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Muhammad. Also Allah. Anyone who kills a sparrow or anything bigger unjustly will be held accountable.
    • In some interpretation, anyone who kill anything unjustly, will be held accountable, period.
  • Good Is Not Nice: God will forgive, but will never forget. Anyone who sin will have to pay for it in the afterlife. Sins, however, can be negated by doing good deeds.
    • Hell is not guarded by demons/Satan/other evil cronies. It is guarded by an angel. No, it isn't evil in any way. Getting a ticket to Hell means that you have done something very wrong in your life, and the angel is just for punishing you.
  • The Great Flood: Nuh was given a warning that a flood would wipe his land, so he tried to tell his wicked people to come with him in his Ark, to no avail. Even his wife and one of his sons abandoned him for it. Because the flood was not universal, however, Nuh's family (plus some outsiders who accepted his message) didn't need to procreate among themselves, thank you very much.
  • Hell: There are 7 layers of them.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Out-universe, the Qur'an seems to have a profound effect on people who read it. A dramatic example would be Umar. He was one of Muhammad's bitterest enemies ever and was set about to kill him when he heard his sister (she already converted earlier; in fact, one of the reasons for the attempted murder was because Muhammad's teachings swayed his sister.) reciting a chapter of Qur'an (specifically, Ta Ha). He slapped her, but she remained firm, refused to give up her faith, and blocked access to the book unless he clean himself. So he cleaned himself to read it, cried, realized his mistakes, and immediately converted, becoming one of Muhammad's fiercest supporters and even a caliph eventually.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: The first person in the Fir'aun's court to care and nurture Moses and then realize his prophethood was the Fir'aun's wife.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Lutnote  already got some in the New Testament compared to the Old, being described as a well meaning victim of circumstance but he gets even more heroic treatment here by vocally denouncing the ways of Sodom and Gomorrah.
    • In general, prophets are more virtuous than they are in the Bible. Dawud'snote  adultery isn't mentioned nor is Nuh getting drunk. It explicitly states that Sulaimannote  did not worship other gods and Harunnote  did not make the Golden Calf.
  • Humans Are Bastards: The angels believe we are, and they actually questioned God of why He would create beings that could only cause destruction and harm everywhere. God's response is basically a very polite form of saying "shut up".
  • Humans Are Special: The angels and the Jinns were ordered to bow down to us. One of the Jinn, Iblis, refused to bow down and was banished for this.
    • Two surahs are dedicated to humans, the 76th (Al-Insan) and the last, 114th (An-Nas). The former means "The Human", the latter means "The People".
  • Invisible to Normals: Angels and Jinns.
  • Jesus: Isa, son of Maryam.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Or rather The First Is Not Like The Others. The very first chapter, Al-Fatiha (The Opening) is the only one where the bismillah phrase, e.g. Bismillahi rrahmani rrahimnote , is a part of the chapter, instead of being an "appetizer"; you have to read it to start the chapter, lest your reading becomes invalid. In all other chapters, except the ninth (see below), it is only merely recommended.
    • On the flip side, the ninth chapter, At-Tawba (The Repentance), is the only one of the 114 not to have the bismillah as an opening. Also, because it is much longer than Al-Fatiha which means that readers often stop at a designated verse, once they pick it up again, they are forbidden to read the bismillah as is customary, but instead have to continue straight into the chapter.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Ibrahim and his wife lived through so many years together without any heir, so the latter decided to gave her husband her handmaiden. A single night with the handmaiden, and a son: Ismailnote , was born. Ibrahim's promised son with his wife (Ishaq) wouldn't be realized until Ismail was already an adult.
  • Likes Older Women: Muhammad and Khadija married despite their 15-year-old age difference. Guess which one was older?
    • Though ultimately subverted later on, since Muhammad's later spouses were younger than him in age, particularly Aisha.
  • Light Is Good: In keeping with the Abrahamic belief that God created the world by separating light from darkness. Also, one verse in An-Nur (The Light) chapter compares God to a majestic light:
    24:35: "Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is a niche wherein is a lamp—the lamp is in a glass, the glass as it were a glittering star—lit from a blessed olive tree, neither eastern nor western, whose oil almost lights up, though fire should not touch it. Light upon light. Allah guides to His Light whomever He wishes. Allah draws parables for mankind, and Allah has knowledge of all things.
    • Angels are beings made of pure light. They can only do what God orders them to do. In short, they cannot sin.
  • Light Is Not Good: On the other hand, Satan is a djinn, a being made up of smokeless fire. Fire does emit light, too, by the way. While Djinns can be good or bad, Satan is always bad.
  • Made a Slave: Vanquished unbelievers are to be killed (men especially), converted or enslaved. While it's possible to become a dhimmi when you're Jewish or a Christian. However, being a slave is usually just a transitional state before becoming a Muslim through exhortation of one's master. If that fails, masters of slaves must treat their slaves fairly and make sure they don't resent their servitude, even though slavery in and of itself is not forbidden at all. If an infidel doesn't convert but wishes to be free, exile is the only alternative.
    • Slavery existed before Islam, already so heavily in practice that it was the basis of financial security, and Islam encouraged that the corrupt economic system come to an end. It’s not surprising that the results didn’t show overnight, since chaos is likely to have ensued, which is why the discouragement of keeping slaves was blatant but gradual, to the point where you had to free a slave, say, if you dissed your wife, or talked rudely your child. There's a hilarious article that explains it with examples.
  • Magic Is Evil: Magic exists, and it's invariably a bad thing. The Qur'an also explicitly states that Prophet Sulaiman did not use magic: he indeed had djinn servants, but his mastery over them was granted by Allah, not because he knew spells that bind them to servitude.
    • Could be an avert trope as interpretations of the Qur'an define working with magic as a form of trickery and deceit, which makes it forbidden, but it has no effect in reality.
  • Messianic Archetype: Isa also known as Jesus Christ.
  • Miko: Maryam was raised from birth in a temple and had a compartment there for her to sleep in. Her mother had previously begged God for a child and would dedicate them to His service, whether they were a boy or a girl (women were expected to become mothers back in the day, hence why her vow was unusually bold).
  • Moral Event Horizon: invoked Shirk or idolatry is the only sin that God won't forgive the Last Day if the person didn't ask forgiveness during his lifetime.
  • Morality Pet: Binyamin towards his family. All of them, his father Yaqub, his full brother Yusuf, even his wicked half-brothers all loved him to such an extent that they were reluctant when Yusuf (whom they did not recognize at the start) ordered his half-brothers to take Binyamin personally to Egypt.
  • Multinational Team: The Muslims of Muhammad's time included people such as Salman al-Farisi who came from Persia, as well as Bilal, a liberated black slave. The only measure of a person in Allah's eyes is that person's faith, not nationality or ethnicity.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: 2:98 "Whoever is an enemy to Allah and His angels and His messengers and Jibril and Mikailnote ... "
  • Mystical Pregnancy: Isa (Jesus) is recognized as being born from a virgin, Maryam (Mary). He's also identified as the Messiah (Mahdi) who will come back to defeat Dajjal (Antichrist) at The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Nephewism: Maryam lived most of her life with her uncle, Zakariya, since her duty as a temple caregiver meant that she did not have much time home. Also, Muhammad, who was raised by his uncle, Abu Talib, after the deaths of his parents and grandfather.
  • Never Learned to Read: Muhammad was illiterate. This comes as an inversion to Chekhov's Skill: Muhammad's proponents were unable to deny his prophethood because he knew the lore of the monotheists. Keep in mind that this was in the ~600 C.E., where such knowledge was restricted to and heavily controlled by the clergy.
  • No Name Given: Unlike the name/genealogy-loving Bible, many characters in the Qur'an are not named and instead are characterized by their professions or how they relate to other characters who are named. This extends to the Biblical characters, who already had names during the time that the Qur'an was written. It is most obvious in the case of women; the only women who is named in the Qur'an is Isa's mother, Maryam. So for the rest we have Adam's wife but not Eve, Ibrahim's wives who mothered Ismail and Ishaq but not Hagar and Sarah, Yaqubnote 's wife who mothered Yusuf and Binyaminnote  but not Rachel, etc... (though popular legends gave them names, most of them based on the Biblical ones, anyway).
  • Omniscient Morality License: God forgives who he wants to and punishes who he wants to though he forbade injustice for humans as for himself.
  • Our Angels Are Different: The angels of The Qur'an are definitely of the Eldritch Abomination variety. They are described as having anywhere from two wings to thousands, and they do not eat or drink. They are also huge. It would take 700 years to go the distance between the ear-lobes and shoulders of the angel who carries Allah's throne, and the Archangel Gabriel has 600 wings which span from the Eastern to the Western horizon. They're invisible to humans but animals can see them. If they do show up to humans (mostly towards Prophets and Messengers), they assume human form.

    Angels are the messengers of Allah. It is literally impossible for an angel, no matter how powerful, to disobey Allah, because they have no free will. This means there are no evil or Fallen Angels, and that every thing they do is commanded by Allah. They carry out Allah's will by doing things like praising and worshiping him, cursing women who will not have sex with their husbands, testing people by giving them wealth or healing their illnesses, and throwing the wicked into hell and mercilessly tormenting them for all of eternity. Belief in them is considered one of the five Articles of Faith in Islam, and Gabriel is said to have revealed the Quran to Muhammad.
  • Our Jinns Are Different: Well, they were made from smokeless fire for one thing. Like humans and unlike angels, they have free will, which means they can be good or evil, follow different religions, marry, etc... They are usually invisible to humans. The Qur'an's stance on them is essentially Leave 'em Alone, You Idiot!
  • Our Godhead is Different- The Christian Trinity and the status of Jesus as divine are specifically denied. The Jewish concept of God's covenant with Israel and its status as "the Chosen People" is ignored in light of a more universal message to humanity, rather than to Israel.
    • The false Trinity when it is actually described in the Qu'ran; Allah/Isa/Marium is not the same one modern Christians believe in Father (origin)/Son (doer)/Spirit (omnipresence). It is true Trinity is never explicitly described in the gospels, just something people interpreted from them but Christians are not "ascribing partners to Allah", just trying to help people understand God better.
  • Out of Focus: All messengers are messengers, but some are more messengers than others. Well, not really, but while the Twenty-Five Messengers are equal messengers of the people from God, some of them are given more details about their exploits at the expense of others. In particular, we know next to nothing about Dhulkiflnote , Ilyasnote , Ilyasanote , except that their contributions are great and genuine.
  • Parental Abandonment: Muhammad lost his father before he was born, then his mother when he was 5 years old.
  • Persona Non Grata: Non-Muslims are barred from entering Mecca, the holy city that holds the Black Stone. The law is still held to this very day.
  • Polyamory: Well, polygamy. The Qur'an allows a limited polygamy, one of whose requirements is, essentially, that it be polyamorous as well (the man is required to treat all his wives equally in all respects). We should note that the Muslims originally frowned on polygamy—Muhammad himself was faithful to his first wife and did not marry again until after her death—and it was only allowed when war had created a lot of widows. Contemporary Muslims for the most part regard polygamy with as much or only slightly less disgust than contemporary...well...almost anyone, really.
    • Some Muslims regard it as worse, actually—seeing the men who take advantage of the rule as sexually-incontinent dogs using religious law as a cover for having an affair under their first—and real—wife's nose. The great Muslim reformer Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905) was more or less of this opinion and actually argued that requiring men to treat their wives equally was an intentionally impossible requirement, since unless the imbalance of the sexes is huge (allowing wealth to concentrate in fewer hands) it will be impossible for a man to do so.
  • Pretty Boy: Yusuf, very much. It took a degree of handsomeness/prettiness to make women distracted to you so much that they peeled their fingers instead of fruits that they held, without any pain felt whatsover.
  • Pride: Satan believes he's superior to humans because he was made from smokeless fire and humans were made from clay.
  • Rejected Apology: The unbelievers apologies won't be accepted during the Last Day.
  • Retcon: Called abrogation, which means latter verses that supposedly contradict earlier ones invalidate those before them. This is because the Qur'an was recorded under a twenty three year period and during that time Muhammad's instructions changed according to circumstance. Since the Qur'an is not listed in chronological order what exactly is abrogated is not clear without help from other text such as those in the Hadith. It is obvious the whole Qur'an abrogates the Old and New Testaments however.
  • Riddle for the Ages: The Muqattaat is a series of seemingly meaningless Arabic letters chained and placed at random points in the Qur'an. Four of them even made it as chapter titles (Ta Ha, Ya Sin, Sad, and Qaf). There are several combinations, but there is one thing that ties them together: mysteriousness. Since the Qur'an's inception, nobody could figure just what the letters are supposed to represent, let alone mean. Not even Prophet Muhammad himself. And no one will probably ever know, except for God.
  • The Sacred Darkness: Nights and their associated things (moon, stars, darkness, etc.) are heavily praised in Qur'an as well as in Islam in general. There are just so much events that happened during the night that its importance cannot be denied, including but not limited to: providing Bani Isra'ilnote  escape from the Pharaoh, providing Muhammad and his followers relieve during their exile to Medina, the Night of Power, etc. There are also at least four chapters with a night theme in the series. Then there's the fact that the Islamic calendar is lunar and measures each day from dusk to the next dusk; by this system, this means that the days for the believers to pray are concentrated at night, while daytime is allocated for work. Understandable, given that, being desert-dwellers, the nights are the only time when the Arabs and indeed the other Middle Eastern people (the Jews included, hence why their calendar is also lunar) can rest and look away from the harsh sun.
  • Satan: He's a Jinn called Iblis or Shaytan.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The Qur'an is written in a version of Arabic that is archaic even in Muhammad's time. A Crowning Moment of Funny happened when one of his proponents bashed him for using words that were hard to understand, just to have another proponent appeared and bashed him incorporating those very same words.
  • Sex Is Evil: Averted. Celibacy and asceticism are strongly discouraged, even though it's not forbidden in and of itself. Sex is considered to be perfectly normal and men and women are permitted to do pretty much any kinky thing they want with each other (except anal sex and BDSM which remain gravely sinful in any capacity), but only within the confines of marriage.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Khadija was a rich widow and businesswoman who, being 40 years old, didn't see remarriage as a feasible thing. But then, she employed a Good Laborer famous for his fidelity and truthfulness by the name of Muhammad and...fell in love with him immediately, their 15-year-old age difference notwithstanding.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": There is no universally agreed upon-romanization of Classical Arabic, so application of this trope is in spades. Jews might be familiar with this, since Classical Hebrew also has no universally agreed upon-romanization (hence (C)han(n)ukka(h)).
  • Spell My Name with a "The": The name Allah is a contraction of Al-illa meaning not just God, but the God (the one and only). You will find a lot of these contractions in Arabic texts, even before the Qu'ran and many of them relate to the God, such as Astaghfirullah, "I ask the God's forgiveness".
    • That is not, technically speaking, a contraction. That's the way Arabic word/sentence structure works. Astaghfirullah is an entire sentence. These things have nothing to do with Quran; Modern Arabic works like this too.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Maryam is mentioned a lot more in the Qur'an than her son, Isa is, even though the latter is recognized as the last prophet before Muhammad and indeed will play a great role during the Last Days. Maryam had two chapters dedicated to her ("The House of Imran", which is titled after her family pre-virgin birth, and the eponymous "Maryam"), Isa did not have even one.
    • For the Twenty-Five Messengers mentioned in the Qur'an, six are designated as "majors", because they were tasked to preach to more than their own people and had to endure much more challenges. They are: Adam, Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa, Isa, and Muhammad. As expected, their stories are the most detailed of the prophets'.
  • Sublime Rhyme: Full of it, but especially obvious at the last juz. Sometimes a page-long paragraph rhymes. Traditions exist that bring reciting The Qur'an to a whole new level of art, as encouraged by Muhammad himself.
  • Take That: Even though The Qur'an has a lot of Continuity Nods towards the Gospels and the Torah, no love is lost toward those who exploited or -Allah forbid!- altered the texts just to gain political power.
  • Talking Animals/Speaks Fluent Animal: In Sunni and Shi'a accounts, Muhammad is said to have conversations with camels, birds, and other animals.
  • Temporary Blindness: Yaqub cried himself to blindness upon hearing about Yusuf's apparent death. His sight was restored by Yusuf himself, after all said and done.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: One of the stories in the Qur'an tell of the Bani Isra'il (children of Israel, the Jews) after they fled Egypt. Food were hard to come by in the desert, so Allah sent them salwa and manna. However, the Bani Isra'il wanted vegetables and other stuffs they had in Egypt, and some actually dared return there. Those who did got deeply humiliated for their efforts.
    • To be grateful to what Allah gives to you is a recurring aesop. One whole surah descended just to remind the Quraysh, Muhammad's own tribe, that they should be grateful for their lofty position amongst the Arabs of the day.
  • Unwanted False Faith: In the Quran, Jesus tells God he never asked men to worship him nor his mother.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Subverted. Adam's wife was enticed to eat the forbidden fruit and convinced Adam to do the same, but she was not held solely responsible. Instead, both of them were. The human's "ills" (death, childbirth, sickness, etc.) are not punishments for the transgression, but because, well, life on earth is not the same as life in paradise. Oh, and no, we are not doomed with the sin of Adam and his wife, either, because: 1. God already forgave Adam and his wife, and 2. No one can be held accountable for others' sin.
    • Adam's wife was not enticed alone. Both were together when tempted.
    • Unfortunately, some misogynists exploit this event to make women responsible for men's fall, and thus, owe men by having to become subservient to them. To make their claim "authentic", they cite some hadiths that support their claim (yes, they do exist, but, like other hadiths, are to be taken with a grain of salt). Hadiths aside, this is very against Qur'anic teaching.
  • True Companions: The people who immediately believed when Muhammad told them that he just became a prophet. They didn't make that decision lightly: at that time, the Arabs were deeply polytheistic, tribal deity and all, and saying that there is only One True God would invite serious repercussions, even from your own tribe.
  • Verbal Tic: It's customary to follow the name of a prophet with "Peace be upon him" as a show of respect. (The Other Wiki devotes a whole article to this.)
  • Warrior Poet: The Arab men of the pre-Islamic age prided themselves on two things: fighting prowess, and skill at composing poetry. They were greatly shocked when the illiterate Muhammad start reciting the Qur'an, which is beautiful as it's lengthy.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Isa could talk just a short time after his birth. That alone should convey how wise he was for his age.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Almost. After years of no heir, Ibrahim was finally given a son through his second spouse: Ismail. But then, God ordered him to sacrifice the latter, and both resigned over God's command. Only for God, through an angel, to offer a cattle for sacrifice, because He was impressed by both individuals' faith to Him, turning this into a happy ending.note 


Alternative Title(s): Quran, Koran

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/TheQuran