Muslims believe the Quran to be the book of divine guidance
and direction for mankind and consider the text in its original Arabic to be the
literal word of God, revealed to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel over a
period of twenty-three years and view the Quran as God's final revelation to
The Christian concept of revelation which means God incarnating and unveiling
himself and become visible and audible for mankind is foreign to Islam. Wahy in
Islamic and Quranic concept means the act of God addressing an individual,
conveying a message for a greater number of recipients. The process by which the
divine message comes to the heart of a messenger of God is tanzil (to send down)
or nuzul (to come down). As the Qur'an says, "With the truth we (God) have sent
it down and with the truth it has come down." It designates positive religion,
the letter of the revelation dictated by the angel to the prophet. It means to
cause this revelation to descend from the higher world. According to hadith, the
verses were sent down in special circumstances known as asbab al-nuzul. However,
in this view God himself is never the subject of coming down.
The Quran frequently asserts in its text that it is
divinely ordained, an assertion that Muslims believe. The Qur'an often referring
to its own textual nature and reflecting constantly on its divine origin is the
most meta-textual, self-referential religious text amongst all religious texts.
The Quran refers to a written pre-text which records God's speech even before it
was sent down.