Islam: the Qur'an
The Qur'an (Koran) as the sacred book of Islam is a truly "holy" book it that it is believed to be the literal word of God dictated by Allah to Mohammed , the Prophet, in the seventh Century. Mohammad was illiterate, he recalled God's words so his followers could submit them to memory and eventually write them down.
The word of God came to Mohammad in Arabic. It is certainly obvious how the Qur'an is so revered by Muslims as they read and recite the word of God as delivered to them throught the last Prophet Mohammad.
I tried reading the Koran many years ago and found it daunting. It was not an easy read with little of no knowledge of the context, history and references in it. I have recently thought I should make another effort being more knnowledgeable and motivated. It is truly a profound book with much in common to the Jewish sacred texts and the Bible of the the Christians. Muslims revere much of what it shares with Judaism and Christianity, they share the wisdom of the old testament prophets and recognizes Jesus as a great prophet and Mary as a great model for all women.
I recently came upon the video below of a lecture on the Qur'an by Lesley Hazleton. It is interesting to note that just as detractors of Christianity and Christian Fundementalists
"proof- text" passages from the Bible to justify their extreme views so Radical Islamists and Islamophobes rest their arguments on isolated texts from the Qur'an. I hope you will listen to Ms. Hazleton' s charming and wise words on the Islam's idea of Paradise, so often misrepresented by Islamist terrorists as well as Islamophobes.
Lesley Hasleton writes an interesting blog, The Accidental Theologist. She is the author of a book on the relationship between the two broad branches of Islam: Sunni and Shia,
After the Prophet. I look forward to reading it soon. Thanks to the American Invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, I have become very interested in Islam particularly the Shia branch of Islam which is prominent in Iran and Iraq , most of it's holy shrines are in Iraq.