Apologetics · Philosophy · Religion

From the Qur’an…

Here is an idea I received while in a religion class. Lets study, and question, other books or scriptures that are considered holy to other religions. To me, the obvious choice is the Holy Qur’an, holy to those of the Muslim faith.

First, before the verse, or Ayat (note: I cannot for the life of me figure out how to do Arabic symbols on here!), of the “day,” some notes of practice and explanation.

#1: The english, or any other language, “version” of the Qur’an that you may read, is not the Holy Qur’an, but an explanation of its meaning. The reason for this is, Muslims believe that the Qur’an, which means recitation, is the literal words of God (Allah). Not the inspired words, but the LITERAL words, which were spoken to the Prophet Muhammad, by the angel Gabriel. Therefore, only in Arabic.

#2: The Koran is arranged in “Chapters” known as Sura’s, each Sura differs in length, and excluding the first Sura, the follow in order from the most words to the last Sura having the least words. The Sura’s are not in any historical or chronological order. Hence the difficulty for western scholars, as well as Christian thinkers, etc, to read and understand what is going on.

Now, for the verse:

Surah 2: Al Baqarah
Section 8
Verse 62.

Those who believe (in the Qur’an);
And those who follow the Jewish (scriptures),
And the Christians and the Sabians-
Any who believe in Allah
And the Last Day
And work righteousness,
Shall have their reward
With their Lord: on them
Shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

Thats the verse. Just wondering some thoughts of you all out there on this statement. I will grant, history has not been kind between Christians and Jews, Jews and Muslims, nor Christians and Muslims. Nor has history been kind between Christians and other Christians (East vs. West, Rome vs. Protestants), nor Muslims and other Muslims (Sunni vs. Shiite). However, within all three religions, at least with Christianity and Islam, peace is at the center. Not only peace, but harmony with “people of the book.”

Obviously, the difference is that, in the teachings of Christ, He would turn the other cheek, but by the example of Muhammad, he would in turn take his enemies out. It is interesting to me that, two religions which sprang out of the Abrahamic (sp?) Monotheistic tradition, could be so closely in line, and yet be total opposites. Especially considering the influences on Muhammad during his early life with the nomadic tribes. Then again, the ruthlessness of that life almost explains the automatic selection of violence rather then peace, and yet, at the same time, the Qur’an, at least in this one verse, “guarantees” the “salvation” and peace of all three groups.

Granted, one can claim the Crusades, which ended Muslim hospitality to Christian and Jewish pilgrims – for obvious reasons, or even one could look at the European invasion of Africa and the Middle East, which obviously strained relations. But, in these cases, truly, I would have to say that the Islamic world had a right to resist, and even fight back. Now however, instead of being on the defensive, it seems that many on the radical right (sounds familiar to Christianity… hmmm) would rather fight for the sake of fighting.

Now I’m not claiming to know the Qur’an inside and out… I do not read or speak Arabic at all. And I have only read the english explanation of it through twice completely, and it is a very hard read for my western oriented mind. And though, there is depictions and reasons for violence given, it seems that the Muslim, to me, should look at the same of their religion – Islam – and take the base meaning of the word SLM, meaning peace.

JZ Holloway

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9 thoughts on “From the Qur’an…

  1. The key for understanding the Quran and a non biased approach to Islam and the life of Muhammad is by understanding the fact that Islam is not a religion but a deen which refers as the way of life, it is a code of conduct. Being a Muslim it is essential and vital to have faith in the message of Jesus and moses , we believe that bible (the original form) and gospel (the original form ) were also messages sent by the same god , also Jews and Christian who have faith that there is only one supreme power don’t fall under criteria of kuffar i.e non believer. They in fact fall under the category of ‘people of the book’. The violence associated with the history of Islam is strongly manipulated in order to wisely look over the number of peace treaties signed in the life of the Prophet which not only insure peace and harmony and freedom of expression and following one’s religion but also gave equal rights to both parties to be able to co-exist peacefully and also work in one society. It is not only one verse the entire msg of the Quran is based on this fact , Quran doesn’t claim to bring a new religion , it claims to be the completion of all messages previously brought , also Muhammad PBUH dint claim to bring a new religion he was in fact the last of all the Prophets sent before him , tht a is why he has the privilege of being the seal of the Prophets. Sadly this historical asset of Islam and the most vital teaching is not only overlooked by the nonbelievers but also Muslims , this insane violence tagged under the name of Islam is sad and condemnable and has no roots to Islam . People have a lot of misconceptions and that is solely because even a lot of Muslims today don’t understand the importance o actually reading and understanding the Quran , once they do so there will be no room for confusion

  2. Thank you for your wonderful post! I agree with you that Islam, in its base form, is not a religion, but a way of life, just as Christianity, in its base form, is not a religion, but a way of life, and the same can be said for Judaism – especially since the emergence of atheistic “jews” who continue to follow the Law in the Torah.
    However, as the culture, as well as the lifestyles of both Christianity and Islam have evolved – they must be categorized, yes, first, as a way of life, but secondly, and a very close second, as a religion.
    Next, the violence experienced today, sadly, does have its roots, not only in Islam, but also in Christianity. It is obvious, from the readings of the many Hadith, that Muhammad not only advocated violence to those who opposed him, but even led raiding parties against rival caravans – he himself continuing to run the caravan left to him by his first wife Khadijah. He even went as far as to “write in his own blood” the names of those in Mecca who planned to murder him and ran him out. It appears… if, being the last and final Prophet of God, his advocating of violence returns the “people of the book” back to the period of the Old Testament in the Bible – before Jesus Christ, and in essence, totally negates the message of Christ, except for the “spiritual” aspect of seeking God. Jesus taught peace, He also taught the “spreading of the Gospel,” which Islam also hold dear, should be down by evangelizing peacefully, not through violence. Yet, Muhammad had no problem killing the “infidel,” in these cases pagans, who did not convert, and those who he did not kill, were forced to convert. I do not speak of this by my own thoughts, but through the countless historical research done concerning Muhammad and Islam, but also through the accounts written in the Hadiths.
    Again, I thank you for your post, and I look forward to even more discussion!

  3. many thanks bro for posting comments on my site 🙂 and going through it 🙂 , yes i would love to haven a healthy discussion on this topic. About your ideology of Muhammad PBUH advocating violence against infidels and people who opposed him , I wold repeat that a closer and analytical reading of the history of Islam will solve a lot of these confusions. For starters the war against the people who turned him away wasnt an immediate one and wasnt in response to just turning him out of mecca , after the prophet fle dto maina he was ebraced there and welcomes and was given alot of comfort also people known as Muhajirs or immigrants who came with the Prophet were openly accepted, if u read the history of Islam this era was the biggest example of peace and brotherhood , the Ansars i.e the hosts or the people who already lived in the city previously known as yathrib , not only welcomed the immigrants but also gave them shelter , provided them an equal hal of their property and home , some o them also offered to get them married to their daughters. The prophet and his supporters built the first mosque of Islam in this city also the people of the city changed its name to Median the city of the prophet to show their respect to him , pledges of Aqaba followed soon in whch companions of the Prophet pledged to spread Islam peacefully through out the Arabian state and people of the city showed full support and backing . Seeing the immensity of support the Prophet had gathered the Quraish or the non believers attacked the empty houses of the muhairs burnt and broke their property and turned their women and children homeless , they also plotted a man abu sufiyan who pretended to be a muslim but was a spy for the non believers , during this time the verses from the Quran were revealed as anwers by the Prophet as restlessness grew among his supporters after constant propaganda against them , the Prophet had always asked them to remain calm in pain , but when these activities increase it became essential for the muslims to fight back. The wars at that time were not fought in populated areas rather a deserted place wa choosen for the two parties to assemble their army , reading and comprehending the Quran will give one an idea that Islam gives no room for war there is only room for self defence and it also sets a code of conduct even in that
    firstly women , children,elderly ,cattle and not even crops are suppose to be harmed during an attack. There is a very clear history behind every war tat happened during the time of the Prophet with string evidence of a peace treaty breach from the other side. It is also very important for us to understand that when we talk in reference to infidels we should also seek the description the Quran and the Prophet himself gave about them , the Quran clearly states more then a dozen times that the non believers or the infidels are the ones who create mischief unnecessarily and halt in the way of peace and don’t believe in the oneness of Allah or that there is one god and also cause havoc and violence in the way of harmony .I will be more then delighted to provide you with the background of each and every war and each and every verse of the Quran that mentions violence with historical facts and the situation at that time ,its also very imp to understand that the Prophet not only had to be the reformer and messenger but was also suppose to act like the commander in chief, and if in war he didn’t just instruct people to go on and fight if need arises he would be the first person to fight against evil.

  4. Excellent comment! I would ask you to look on my two articles concerning God and Evil. Granted, some references are Christian in nature, but I would love your take on them.

  5. Assalam-u-alaikum

    Brother I read you article and indeed it is very well written, but there is something I believe I should point out. You quoted

    Surah Al-Baqarah Chapter 2 Verse Number 62

    Those who believe (in the Qur’an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

    I respect for having the correct translation and taking something positive out of it, but I would want you to highlight the next verse with more importance which is

    Surah Al-Baqarah Chapter 2 Verse #63

    And remember We took your covenant and We raised above you (The towering height) of Mount (Sinai) : (Saying): “Hold firmly to what We have given you and bring (ever) to remembrance what is therein: Perchance ye may fear Allah.”

    — This verse tells Muslims, Christians and Jews to hold firmly to what Allah has gives us. Which is this case is, the Quran, the Bible including Old and New testament and th is Psalms.

    1. It is a fact that the Quran is in its original state as it was 1400 years ago but on the same notice the Old and New Testaments are not.

    Before I continue, I want to make this clear that my intentions are not to hurt you and in this process if I do, I apologize in advance =).

    2. I read that you have read the Quran twice mashALLAH, but because you read it for the purpose of understanding and not living it, it would be difficult for you to harness the true essence. After all Islam is not only a religion but a way of life.

    3. I have read the Quran and also have read the Bible, so I can fairly understand the mind set you have and why something feel out of place but trust me it our back drop as human beings and no mistake in the Glorious Quran.

    ———— Coming to the Second half of your post ———–

    You spoke about history not being kind between the religions and indeed that is correct. History has not been kind between the three religions and withing the religion itself but nor is the present =).

    I agree that Islam means peace but there is a misconception you have regarding the concept of peace in Islam. What you have done is I assume an accident but you took the personal life of Jesus Christ (pbuh)and compared to the political life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

    Here is an example of the kindness of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
    http://www.islamonline.net/english/In_Depth/mohamed/1424/kharitah/article06.shtml#01

    If you were to study both religions in depth they have a lot more similarities then differences. That is a conversation I wish to have on a different day since it has nothing to do with this =).

    I hope I have not offended you and in case I have, I apologize

    Regards

    Waqas Ali

  6. Walaikum assalam

    Waqas Ali, thank you for your wonderful comment as well! First, you have not offended me… what offends me is people who are not willing to a)speak what they believe, b)defend what they believe, and c)discuss, friendly, what they believe… acknowledging there will always be differences or opinion, etc… whether it be between Christian and Christian, Christian and Muslim, etc.

    To answer the statement about peace… You are right, I could look at it the way Jesus taught peace, but I still believe their are similarities. First, Jesus taught peace, but He also taught surrender. The essence of Islam, obviously, is surrender, but not what many would see as the surrender in Christianity, which is passive, but in Islam it is an active surrender. I would say however, the problem with those in Christianity… minus the Islamic view that they have not fully received the revelation of God (again, a discussion for another day! :)), is that Christ also taught an active surrender, and through active surrender, the individual, as well as the collective, finds peace.

    As an example, I’ll give two of active surrender… Gregorian Monks going through their daily prayers… and then devout Muslims going through the daily Salat (I’m not sure of the plural) The Gregorian goes through a rigorous, physical prayer schedule nine times a day, the Muslim, likewise, has the same type of deal five times a day. For both the monk and the Muslim, it is a ver physical and mental activity… and act of surrender, but through this active surrendering to the Will of God, they bth find peace, and since for both the monk and the Muslim, it is more acceptable to pray collectively, their is also a collective peace.

    Lastly, On the reading of the Qur’an. Yes, I would say the times I have read it would be for the purpose of “understanding” it, and not living it, yet, at the same time, the basic principles, as you said, between the Bible and the Qur’an, are very close… this would obviously have to be the case if Adam, Abraham, Moses and Jesus are all nabi… or prophets themselves. This is, because as the Qur’an acknowledges, Gos is all-powerful, all-knowing, never changing, etc… therefore, the message of His Prophets will not change. Therefore, even though I did not necessarily read the explanation of the Qur’an for living it, I understand the message through my understanding of the Bible and the teachings of the earlier prophets, as well as, I believe in living in surrender to God, and I believe in an active surrender. This being the case… and, I do not want to offend you 🙂 – I might be “blinded” by my Trinitarian view of God, therefore cannot fully “live” the life of islam (lower case for the 5 Pillars), but I could also say, even though you have read the Bible many times, you can not fully understand it or its message without acknowledging certain things that I believe… i.e. Jesus as the Son of God, part of the Godhead, etc. And therefore, like myself with the Qur’an, a full understanding might not be possible.

    Anyways… you have no idea my friend how refreshing it is to have discussions like this. Too often, Christians are not willing to discuss their faith, and it disturbs me, also, people are not willing to discuss their beliefs among one another, and again this disturbs me. You have not offended me, but gained a friend. In future comments or posts, please, speak as blunt, harsh or peaceably as you desire, I enjoy it very much!

  7. Salam

    I would love to discuss Islam with you as well learn something about Christianity. I have read the bible and would like to share what little knowledge I have. I would like to start with quoting you

    “I might be “blinded” by my Trinitarian view of God, therefore cannot fully “live” the life of islam (lower case for the 5 Pillars), but I could also say, even though you have read the Bible many times, you can not fully understand it or its message without acknowledging certain things that I believe… i.e. Jesus as the Son of God, part of the Godhead, etc. And therefore, like myself with the Qur’an, a full understanding might not be possible.”

    Yes, I agree, I have not tried to live my life according to the bible but I can very well understand it just like you can =). Bible is a religion and I made it very clear Islam is not only a religion but a way of life. Anything you can find from the Quran I can agree with 100% as long as it is in context.

    Coming to the part of your Trinitarian views. I have read the bible for the purpose of understanding but never have I came across the concept of Trinity. In fact, I never saw this word trinity in the bible and I just double checked it. The word “Trinity” is not in the Bible (King James Version/ New International Version as well). So even if i were to follow Christianity of learn about it. I can not learn this concept of Trinity from the bible. In fact no one can since its not there. =)

    On the other hand, you can learn all the characteristics of Allah from the Quran and follow it without anyone helping you.

    I understand the Bible, I know it has a good message on the whole, some parts I obviously disagree with which I would love to discuss but usually those conversations go into a debate (not that I mind healthy debate) =).

    Let me know what you think regarding this Trinity from the Bible. Can you actually prove Trinity from a verse of the bible ?

    Regards

    Waqas Ali

  8. Dear all, very nice conversation going on. Yep! you’re all correct the word Trinity is not in the scripture. The “Learned” came up with the word because they liked it better than the term “Godhead.” See below.

    Acts 17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, (Created in his image as a trinitarian being, body soul and spirit,) we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. (KJV) (In other words money and personal abjects can be reasoned and even reasoned away.)

    Col 2:89 For in Him (Christ)dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; (NKJV)

    There is a lot more concerning this matter from Genesis to Revelation. Search it out.

    Peace.

  9. First, let me apologize for not posting earlier… School has been busy this week with finals and papers, etc.
    I have to agree with Big Bro on the aspect of the Trinity and the Bible. Obviously, the word Trinity does not appear in either the Old or New Testaments, yet, at the same time, allusions are given.
    First in Genesis were God says, “Let Us,” (Gen. 1:26) as well as the “Great Commission” in Matthew were Christ says to Baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:20). As a point, and as a question, both Christians and Muslims agree on the virgin birth of Jesus. If Jesus, is born of a virgin (Mary), and yet is not “divine,” then what is He? If God is his Father, then what is He? Adam, being created, was not born, just like the rest of creation, but Jesus, being born, came from both God and Mary, divine and human.
    Lastly, for now, I love debate and conversation, as I have mentioned before, that is the whole point of my blog – minus my astronomy photos, and if one wished to debate over those, I will be more then happy to oblige them! I do not profess to know much, but I do know what I believe, and I do know why I believe, and though religion it self may seem illogical, against all reason, and even at times against historical and scientific fact – I still believe due to faith. Therefore, I welcome all debate and discussion!

    Blessings…

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