Jews, Christians and Muslims, oh my! The Koran continues.

“Truth has come and Falsehood has departed. Falsehood was bound to be routed.” (17:75)

So asserts the Koran in surah 17, al-Isra or The Night Tale. It is a beautiful but hopeless statement: surely, many times a day people are confronted with truths and do not dispel of the falsehoods they believed. Mankind would rather believe that he, himself, is always right, rather than concede to a truth. Yet look at the truths that man will believe!

“You shall not falsely declare: ‘This is lawful, and that is forbidden,’ in order ot invent a falsehood about God. Those who invent falsehoods about God shall never prosper.” (16:115)

Despite such an admonition from the Koran, Muslims (particularly the Taliban and fundamentalist terrorist organizations) falsely declare what is lawful and what is not. Is listening to music or painting a picture of animals sinful and unreligious? The Koran does not ban such acts, but the Taliban in Afghanistan in it’s heyday sure found fit to declare such false truths.

A church and mosque in Cairo, Egypt. Cohabitation IS possible! Photo taken by myself.

They foist daughters upon God (glory be to Him!) but for themselves they choose what they desire. When the birth of a girl is announced to any of them, his countenance darkens and he is filled with gloom. On account of the bad news he hides himself from men: should he put up with the shame or bury her in the earth? How ill they judge!” (16:55)

Yet another false truth that has been believed by all people, be they Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus or whichever religion, since the dawn of time: that the birth of a daughter is something shameful, something to cry about. Here, the Koran attempts to admonish mankind’s unfair attitude towards it’s daughters by denouncing the practice of burying alive newborn females. A practical truth: without women, mankind would not continue to exist! But yet:

“He created man from a little germ; yet he is openly contentious. He created the beasts which give you warmth and food and other benefits. How pleasant they look when you bring them home to rest and when you lead them out to pasture! (16:1)

It’s admirable how the Koran mentions man starting out as a “little germ.” Did mankind yet know how pregnancy works at that time? And how contentious man–any man!–can be. It is understood that there are many people (especially in the Western world) that are not religious, but it is not wrong to follow some of the values that books such as the Bible and the Koran extoll. Yet it is amazing that such quotes such as the one below are read by pious people who then twist it their own way:

“If you punish, let your punishment be commensurate with  the wrong that has been done you. But it shall be best for you to endure your wrongs with patience.” (16:223)

This quote from An-Nahn (The Honey Bees) begs a look into the justice system of any nation. It sounds plausible to punish only when one has been wronged, and to punish commensurately; but what about the laws that exist that wrong no particular person? Many laws than come into question: driving without a seat belt, for example. Yes, everybody should as it could save your life–but does a person have to be fined for it?  This quote should be pasted in every bureau of the interior in Arab governments. Is the woman who goes out without a male chaperone wronging somebody? Is the woman swimming in the men’s pool wronging someone? Is drinking alcohol wronging someone? These are personal choices, not laws, for if they hurt someone, they hurt the person who does them.

This reading of the Koran touched more on the topic of Jews and Christians. The story of Moses was mentioned several times, as were Biblical figures such as Jonah. At the following quote, I couldn’t help but laugh, as it is the same thing that an elderly woman I work with says before she leaves for the day:

“Do not say of anything: ‘I will do it tomorrow ‘ without adding: ‘If God wills.'” (18:21)

Honestly, if there was anything that I learned from reading the Koran, it is that Jews, Christians and Muslims are not that different from each other. Each religion is just an extension of the previous. Does this make Islam, ultimately, the correct ‘sect’ to follow? I view them almost as one mightthe different sects of Christianity, such as Catholicism and Lutheranism. The traditions and rites might be slightly different, but it’s the same God, isn’t it? The same Eden?

“Had God not defended some men y the might of others, monastaries and churches, synagogues and mosques in which His praise is daily celebrated, would have been utterly destroyed.” (22:37)

The Koran seems to be echoing my thoughts, for surely isn’t it showing here that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all praising and following the same God? “His praise?” God is defending members of all three “sects.” Therefore, it kind of seems besides the point for the three to fight each other, for wouldn’t God be on all of their sides? Or perhaps now he will only save the Muslims, for they believe in his final word.

“As for the true believers, the Jews, the Sabaens, the Christians, the Magians, and the pagans, God will judge them on the Day of Ressurection. God is witness of all things.” (22:14)

Again, there is some ambiguity to this quote. Is he including Jews and Christians as “true believers?” or is it jsut the way this passage is translated? In truth, I believe the Koran is just saying here that everyone on Earth will be judged, though why not jut say “everyone” instead of singling them out? The Koran’s mentioning of the Jews and Christians is often ambiguous, saying that they have plausibility, reason and light but yet they are considered demons who are wrong and blind to truth. Many people, Muslim or not, seem to fit this description.

“Have they never journeyed through the land? Have they no hearts to reason with, or ears to hear with? It is their hearts, and not their yees, that are blind.” (22:42)

S-L-M

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