From the archives: The Quran

The Quran contains several mysterious letters, no-one is quite sure why; the Islamic concept of moderation, expressed as “best, middle, centred, balanced”; the order of chapters in the Quran; and the cats of Islam.

Mostafameraji, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Many of the chapters of the Quran begin with a small number of Arabic letters… but no-one is sure exactly why. These are the Muqatta’at, the mysterious letters.


Scales
Metropolitan Museum of Art [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Wasat, a core tenet of Islam, describes the need for moderation and balance.


Quran manuscript, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The 114 chapters of the Quran are ordered (roughly) from longest to shortest.


One of the companions of Muhammad loved cats so much that he’s known as the “father of the kitten.”

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