The Quran

I just finished reading the Quran.  All 114 suras (chapters).  I previously described my journeys through the Old Testament (6/11/12) and New Testament (11/10/13).   Given our trip to the Middle East, I thought I’d read the Quran.  The Quran is intended to be read in Arabic (26:195) but my copy was in English. 

I consider myself to be a good Episcopalian (nee Lutheran).  But apart from an Old Testament attitude and repetition of theme, there was not much in the Quran to question.  The cast of characters, the prophets and the stories are the same.  The commands (believe, do good works, pray) are pretty much the same.  God’s (or Allah’s) warning to his people (re heaven/hell) is similar.  Jesus (Isa) plays a prominent role as a Messiah.  While I might be accused of oversimplification, I discerned three fundamental areas of disagreement between Islam and Christianity.  First, the Quran denies that God actually “came down” from heaven to father a son (Jesus).  He simply said “Be” and it was done (19:35).  God/Allah does not have children.  Second, there is the overarching theme that Mohammed received God’s message through the Archangel Gabriel (see 1/30/12 and 3/26/12) and wrote the Quran over 23 years.  Third, Muslims consider Islam to be a “perfection” of Judaism and Christianity.  It is the true religion . . . .   

Despite that “perfection,” Jews, Christians and Sabians are considered “People of the Book” — and cousins in the Faith.  Whether you call Him God, Jehovah or Allah; whether you worship on Friday, Saturday or Sunday; whether you say “Pax vobiscum”Peace be with you“Shalom” or “As-Salamu alaikum” the three Abrahamic religions have similar roots and much in common.  So why all the strife, violence and hatred?      

2 thoughts on “The Quran

  1. Don Fagerberg

    Scott,

    In response to your recent blog, let me suggest a simplistic answer to the question as to why the religions “of the book” cannot get along.

    The problem lies with specific polarizing humans — certain strong willed, intolerant, individuals, most often religious leaders, who believe that only their opinion about God matters. Having created “God” in their own image, such individuals believe that God approves of all that they like and disapproves of all that they do not like. They become judge and jury of other people (individually and collectively), and see their hatred and intolerance as virtues supported by their narrow vision. Their actions create a form of “hell” – separation from God and from all that God had created as good. Rather than see others as brothers and sisters, formed by the same creator, they see only allies and enemies. Blind to the consequences of their actions, they see the answer to the “problem” as either the conversion or extermination of all who do not conform to their views.

    Don

    Don Fagerberg, Founder *Ministry Mentors* * enhances the professional effectiveness of active clergy, strengthens their personal and spiritual health, and affirms their gifts for ministry.* http://www.ministrymentors.org Phone: 847-804-1644

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