The Qur'an is no ordinary book. To Muslims it is the eternal word of God (Allah), dictated to the prophet Muhammad - peace be with him - via the angel Gabriel (Jibreel). Originally revealed in Arabic, its style is unrivalled, its language eloquent, its meaning deep. It is beyond any translation to render all this richness of expression in another language. Yet, the Qur'an is primarily a book of guidance and must, therefore, be accessible to those who seek the truth contained in it. Whilst a translation cannot be an authoritative replacement of the original, it can make the meaning of its verses available to a non-Arabic speaking readership. The verses (Ayahs) of the Qur'an were revealed throughout the 23 years of prophet Muhammad's prophethood, often in connection with events of the time. They were then memorised, recorded in writing, collected and arranged into chapters (Surahs). Within those verses we find narratives describing the creation of the world from earliest times or recounting the missions of earlier prophets, we come across general exhortation to belief and righteous conduct, we are given the tools and principles for reflection and sound judgement in a multitude of life's situations, and we receive detailed rulings on important aspects of criminal and civil law. Thus the Qur'an is not only a text of inspiration but also the foundation of the legal and social structure of Islamic society.