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I realize that the entire Qur’an is inspired and that there is no section that is "more important" than any other, but in any book the size of the Qur’an, there is bound to be a section that is considered "more fruitful" for beginners than others.

In the Christian Bible, for example, new converts are often told to read the Book of John, maybe Romans - but very few would say you need to start in Genesis.

In Islamic missiology, then, where are seekers generally counselled to start? Which Suras (and I think I've only read Sura 5 & Sura 2) are seekers typically pointed to when considering where to start? Put another way, what is the "Go-To Verse" for new readers?

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    It depends what you are seeking. What does John or Romans cover? I came to Islam from the rational evidence it gives: Have We not made the earth as a bed, and the mountains as pegs? (Quran, 78:6-7). YMMV, please help by being more specific. – Pureferret Sep 25 '12 at 20:15
  • John covers "Why Jesus came to earth" / "What it means to be saved". Romans covers the basic theological framework of grace & forgiveness which is the central aspect of Christian thought. The idea here with either of those books is that they answer "What does it mean to be a Christian?" using the source texts of Christianity. For Islam, I'd like to know the same thing - What do the key Muslim texts say about how one becomes and lives the Islamic faith, without getting bogged down in every single nit-picky rule and regulation. – Affable Geek Sep 25 '12 at 20:26
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    Another way of saying this is "If a non-Muslim wants to know how to become a Muslim / what the central meaning of Islam is by reading the source texts, what should he read?" – Affable Geek Sep 25 '12 at 20:28
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Actually there are many Ahadith which state e.g. "Ayat-ol-korsi" is the most beautiful verse in Quran (2:255), if I am right,

Allah! There is no god but He,-the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory).

Or that the Surah-Al-A'laa (87th) contains both the scripture of Abraham and Moses PBUT:

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Glorify the name of thy Guardian-Lord Most High, Who hath created, and further, given order and proportion; Who hath ordained laws. And granted guidance; And Who bringeth out the (green and luscious) pasture, And then doth make it (but) swarthy stubble. By degrees shall We teach thee to declare (the Message), so thou shalt not forget, Except as Allah wills: For He knoweth what is manifest and what is hidden. And We will make it easy for thee (to follow) the simple (Path). Therefore give admonition in case the admonition profits (the hearer) The admonition will be received by those who fear (Allah): But it will be avoided by those most unfortunate ones, Who will enter the Great Fire, In which they will then neither die nor live. But those will prosper who purify themselves, And glorify the name of their Guardian-Lord, and (lift their hearts) in prayer. Nay (behold), ye prefer the life of this world; But the Hereafter is better and more enduring. And this is in the Books of the earliest (Revelation), The Books of Abraham and Moses.

Or that Surah-Al-Yaaseen (36th) is the hearth of Quran, or that the Surah-Al-Ekhlaas (112th) is one-third of Quran (it only contains 4 verses!), or that Surah-Al-Faatehe (1st) contains the whole Quran in it (only 7 verses).

Also there are Surah's revealed before Hijrah in Mecca (mostly the smaller Surah's at the end of the book) and those revealed after Hijrah in Medina and I suggest you first read those revealed in Mecca, as there you find more Islamic Ideology than in the Surah's revealed in Medina.

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For non-Muslims holy Quran should be one of sources to get knowing about Islam. Hadith is second of course but to get involved you should begin with "easier books" or with exploring one subject at a time. When I was at primary school of Islam we started with el-Fathia and continue on to reading the short surahs of Juz Amma (30th (last) chapter of holy Quran).
Maybe you can try from explore from last sura and so on.

Also if You are Christian you can start with Surat Maryam (Mary) - سورة مريم or with Surat 'Āli `Imrān (Family of Imran) - سورة آل عمران there is a lot of analog (same) stories told in Christianity and Islam.
To note holy Quran was delivered to our prophet PB-UH Muhammed around 23 years.
It is so hard to compile holy Quran during first reading.
Islam ,beside others, are way to live life, so holy Quran is beside others proposes is constitution of Islam.

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There is a no getting started section in the holy Quran. The whole text is considered to be auspicious and words of God. There are some distinctions made(possibly by people themselves) as pointed in @owari answer that basically say some parts of Quran is kind of superior, but is not really.

It is recommended that one starts Quran right from the start and continue till the finish. Skipping is not recommended while reading Quran, esp if you are a Muslim and reading the Quran for learning puposes.

It might help to know that Quran was not in the form of a book when the prophet died, it was compiled after his death, the chapter were arranged then too and as far as I know even the verses were not arranged in one chapter at that time. In short the verse were all over the place on need by need basis. For example if you want to look at Creation of the world in Quran, there is no one chapter or place that address it instead it is addressed in

"Allah created the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, in six days" (7:54)

"We created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in six days, nor did any sense of weariness touch Us" (50:38).

"turned to the sky, and it had been (as) smoke. He said to it and to the earth: 'Come together, willingly or unwillingly.' They said: 'We come (together) in willing obedience'" (41:11)

Notice that the same topic has been discussed in 3 different verese, which are far apart from each other in Quran. There is also no deep explanation as given in bible in some cases.

This link gives you an idea of different topics in a chapter.

  • What does the 'We' refer to in the 2 quote? – Mr. Mr. Oct 26 '12 at 21:05
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Before anything, read Surah al-Fatihah many times.

Think about its verses deeply.

This Surah contains 7 great verses that I think understanding each of them is enough for a non Muslim to accept Islam.

I myself have seen miraculous changes in my own life just by reciting and believing these two verses:

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It is You we worship and You we ask for help.

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Guide us to the straight path

Then ask the God himself to guide you through his book and show the proper steps to become a real believer.

And he WILL, ensha'Allah :)

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There is, in fact, no difference in the Quran where you start. Understanding the whole Quran correctly, and in context is more important. If one is a serious seeker of truth, God himself will help you to understand and, then if one denies truth when they see it, God makes one unable understand the rest of the Quran and lose interest in continuing to read the Quran.

It all depends on the level of honesty of the reader in accepting truth even it is costly for him/her. For example, if one does not accept the Quran because he loves wine and then the Quran tells them to leave wine, he forgets the Quran because he loves wine more than the quran; he is not honest in accepting truth and so God puts some spiritual curtain between him and the Quran, so that they cannot be guided as punishment.

There are some hadith saying that the Quran has 70 deptha and each depth has 70 depths (each dept means a level of knowledge and meaning)


Further more the Quran says:

لَّا يَمَسُّهُ إِلَّا الْمُطَهَّرُ‌ونَ

Which none shall touch but those who are clean. http://tanzil.net/#56:79

This can be interpreted to mean no one can reach deep meanings of Quran unless they purify his heart from immoralities. (for example loving wine is considered morally evil or having any prejudice about Islam before doing enough research)

خَتَمَ اللَّـهُ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ وَعَلَى سَمْعِهِمْ وَعَلَى أَبْصَارِ‌هِمْ غِشَاوَةٌ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur). http://tanzil.net/#2:7


Still, if a suggestion for a starting place is needed, I would recommend the chapter Mariya a.s.

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I would personally recommend reading it from front to back. Al-Fatihah captures the essence of Islam; what every Muslim prays for several times a day - guidance, and ultimate submission to Allah.

Al-Baqarah, while long and tiring to recite, is actually interesting to read casually. It covers a lot of the more serious aspects of Islam, and a lot of quotations/rulings are taken from Al-Baqarah, reflecting its importance. It also addresses the other two Abrahamic religions.

The last pages of the Quran are briefer and often easier to recite, but have lighter content.

All the converts I know were attracted to Islam mainly via the Quran, and they read it front to back. It would make sense to be arranged to be read front to back as well. Allah knows best.

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