The Qur'an & The Sunnah

Essential Question

What are the importances of the Qur’an and Sunnah?

The Qur'an and The Sunnah

The Qur'an (Koran)

Muslims recognize the Jewish Torah and the Christian's Gospels as their religious teachings. But the most important text in Islam is the Qur'an. The Qur'an is the word of God to Muslims. It is the recorded revelations that came to Muhammad over 22 years. His followers memorized Muhammad's revelations and compiled them into a book nineteen years after Muhammad's death. It has remained largely unchanged since then.

The Qur'an has 114 chapters all made up of verses (like the Christian Bible). The Qur'an covers the nature of God, creation, and the human soul. The Qur'an also addresses moral, legal, and family issues.

Most of the writing in the Qur'an is poetic so Muslims will read and recite the Qur'an in Arabic. Muslims will commit entire passages to memory in Arabic. Muslims recite the Qur'an to their children and children receive their first reading and writing lesson from the Qur'an. Because of the importance of Arabic to the Qur'an Muslims all over the world can read and speak Arabic in addition to the language of their country.

The Sunnah

Another key source of Islamic beliefs is the Sunnah. The Sunnah is the traditions, words, and actions of the Prophet Muhammad. Since Muhammad Is considered the perfect Muslim many Muslims use him as a role model and use Muhammad's words and actions as a guideline on how to live a proper life. The Sunnah also explains Islamic laws and promotes moral and ethical actions. It also helps Muslims interpret difficult parts of the Qur'an.

The Sunnah is based on accounts from people who knew Muhammad when he was alive. These accounts were recorded in a collection of writings called the Hadith. The Hadith is the written record of the Sunnah. An example of a teaching of the Sunnah is "The one who eats his fill while his neighbor goes without food is not a believer. God does not look upon your bodies and appearances he looks upon your heart and your deeds.”

DO NOT MIX UP THE SUNNAH AND THE HADITH. The Sunnah is the traditions, words, and actions of the Prophet Muhammad. While the Hadith is a collection of writings from people who knew Muhammad which inspired and informs the Sunnah.

Discussion Questions

  • What is the Holy Book of Islam? How was it made?

  • What is the Sunnah? Why is it important to Muslims?

  • What is the Hadith?

  • What is the difference between the Qur'an and the Sunnah?

  • How is Islam connected to Judaism and Christianity?

Activity 1: What are the important sources of information for the Islamic Faith?

Using the information from this lesson, answer the questions in a thinking map. Complete this assignment digitally or on paper. It will be collected in your portfolio.

Extension Activities