For believers, the Koran is a transcript of the word of God as told to the Prophet Mohammed.

orginated from:the article

How to understand "as told" here?

What's the meaning of the whole sentence?

  • 2
    The word ... as [it was] told to the Prophet. Verbatim. The word = that which was said.
    – TimR
    Jun 8, 2015 at 13:11

1 Answer 1


Let's break it up:

as in this sentence means 'the same way as'.

told is the past of to tell, which simply means that He spoke to the Prophet.

So, as told means 'the same way as he said it'.

So, the meaning of the whole sentence is as follows.

The word of God is a set phrase that means something like 'all rules and promises made by God', so basically what people believe God wants them to do, and what He will give them if they do so.

A transcript is writing something down literally, for example, you could make a transcript of a court hearing.

So, believers (people who believe in God, or in this specific case, Muslims) believe the following: God told the Prophet a lot of things about how He wanted people to behave. Someone then wrote down everything that was said, and that writing is the Koran.

  • Generally true and I've upvoted, but a couple of technicalities: 1. Tthe "word of" someone is not necessarily rules and promises, but anything they said. We talk about "the words of Shakespeare", meaning his plays and poems, not rules. People commonly say things like, "Have you heard any word from Uncle Bob?", usually asking for news, not commands. 2. "Believers" here means believers in Islam, not believers in God in general. Jews, Christians, and worshippers of Thor don't believe that the Koran is a transcription of the words of God.
    – Jay
    Jun 8, 2015 at 13:45
  • 3. When we say "as told to", we usually mean that the person it was told to wrote it down, though I suppose not necessarily. But if he didn't write it down himself, then he must have in turn told it to someone else, so it's not "Al's story as told to Bob", but "Al's story as told to Bob who in turn told it to Cathy". Books listing a celebrity as the author often have a sub-heading "as told to ...", and then give the real author. The celebrity discovered he has no ability to write coherently but the publisher believes a book with his name on it would sell well. So he tells his story to ...
    – Jay
    Jun 8, 2015 at 13:48
  • ... someone who's an actual writer, and then that person really writes the book. (Of course there are many reasons for telling your story to someone else to write it down, I'm not saying Allah isn't a competent writer!)
    – Jay
    Jun 8, 2015 at 13:49
  • 1: I specifically refer to 'the word of God', which specifically refers to the (Islamic) doctrine. I'm not saying that's the only alternative meaning of 'the word of' - 'the words of Shakespeare' or 'any word from Bob' are completely different! 2: agreed. I tried to keep it general, but perhaps you're right I better keep it specific. 3: I'm not well versed in the Koran, but one could imagine Allah, Mohammed and John Doe sitting on a rock, with John recording the conversation between Allah and Mohammed. So, because I don't know how it's supposed to have happened, I said 'someone'.
    – Sanchises
    Jun 8, 2015 at 13:58
  • Not to beat this to death, but RE #1, the Koran includes material other than rules and promises, such as historical narrative. RE #3, I should have separated that from 1 and 2, I wasn't saying that you were wrong there, just trying to say that the most common use of the phrase is, etc,
    – Jay
    Jun 8, 2015 at 14:10

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