The Quran is a book that was sent to the whole of Mankind as a means of Guidance and Mercy. It is the final revelation of the books from Allah (swt) and was revealed through the final Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him)
The word “Quran” comes from the root word Iqra which means to read or to recite. The majority of Muslim authorities hold the origin of the word is ķara`a (Arabic: قرأ), itself, among the earliest meanings of the word Quran is the "act of reciting. So we can see that the word “Quran” can mean to recite, to read. In the large majority of contexts, usually with a definite article (al-), the word is referred to as the "revelation" (tanzīl), that which has been "sent down" at intervals.
The Revelation To The Prophet Muhammed (pbuh)
The Quran (the book of Allah) was first written and kept in safe custody in Looh-e-Mehfooz. It was first sent down to Bait-ul-Mamoor by Allah (swt) which is considered to be situated within the first level of heaven (first sky). “It is a Glorious Quran, on a well-preserved tablet".
Surah Al-Buruj 85:21-22
From there, it was revealed to the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) on earth via the angel Gibraeel. The first revelation took place on Lailat-Ul-Qadr (The night of power) which is widely agreed by many scholars to fall in the month of Ramadhan and in particular the last 10 days of Ramadhan, with most scholars believing that it falls on the 27th night of Ramadhan. Hazrat Aisha Radi’Allah Anha stated that Rasool-ul-Allah peace be upon him said, "Look for Lailat-Ul-Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadhan." (Bukhari) First Revelation
The first Wahy (Revelation) of the Quran revealed to the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) were the following verses:
Read! In the name of your Lord and Cherisher, Who created, created man out of a clot. Read! And your Lord is most bountiful; He who taught (the use of) the pen; taught man that which he knew not".
The Holy Quran, Surah Alaq (96, Verse 1-5)
These verses were revealed to the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) in the cave of Hira, when he was 40 years old (610CE) by the angel Gibraeel. The Quran was revealed over a further period of 23 years at different locations, periods of time and at certain events.
This is the account, as reported in the Sahih of Bukhari:
Aisha the mother of the faithful believers narrated: The commencement of the divine inspiration to Allah's apostle was in the form of good dreams which came like bright daylight (i.e. true) and then the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him. He used to go in seclusion in the Cave of Hira', where he used to worship (Allah alone) continuously for many days before his desire to see his family. He used to take with him food for the stay and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food likewise again, till suddenly the truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet replied 'I do not know how to read'. The Prophet added, 'The angel caught me (forcibly) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, "I do not know how to read". Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read, but again I replied, "I do not know how to read" (or what shall I read?). Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me, and then released me and said: "Read, in the name of Your Lord, who created, created man from a clot. Read! And Your Lord is the most bountiful" ... [Bukhari, I, No. 3; VI, No. 478; Muslim I, No. 301.] The narration goes on to tell us that the Prophet (pbuh) went back to his wife Khadija and recounted to her his experience. She comforted him and both of them consulted Waraqa, Khadija's relative and a learned Christian, about it. Waraqa told Muhammed (saw) that he had...