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Zayd's reaction to the task and the difficulties in collecting the Quranic material from parchments, palm-leaf stalks, thin stones and from men who knew it by heart is recorded in earlier narratives.After Abu Bakr, Hafsa bint Umar, Muhammad's widow, was entrusted with the manuscript.According to Welch, these seizures would have been seen by those around him as convincing evidence for the superhuman origin of Muhammad's inspirations.However, Muhammad's critics accused him of being a possessed man, a soothsayer or a magician since his experiences were similar to those claimed by such figures well known in ancient Arabia.The Quran describes itself as "the discernment" (al-furqān), "the mother book" (umm al-kitāb), "the guide" (huda), "the wisdom" (hikmah), "the remembrance" (dhikr) and "the revelation" (tanzīl; something sent down, signifying the descent of an object from a higher place to lower place).

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Muslims believe that the Quran was verbally revealed by God to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel (Jibril), and the culmination of a series of divine messages that started with the messages revealed to Adam and ended with Muhammad.In order to extrapolate the meaning of a particular Quranic verse, most Muslims rely on exegesis, or tafsir. The latter two terms also denote units of revelation.In the large majority of contexts, usually with a definite article (al-), the word is referred to as the "revelation" (waḥy), that which has been "sent down" (tanzīl) at intervals.Medieval commentators such as Al-Tabari maintained that the term induced two meanings: first, the inability to read or write in general; second, the inexperience or ignorance of the previous books or scriptures (but they gave priority to the first meaning).Muhammad's illiteracy was taken as a sign of the genuineness of his prophethood.The word "Quran" occurs some 70 times in the text of the Quran, although different names and words are also said to be references to the Quran.

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