Friday, 11 September 2015

Reading the Koran - Sura 2 verse 83-103

The versus 83 to 86 of the Koran are fascinating as there is so much to learn from them. Firstly it continues with its hatred towards the Jews by telling us the Jews turned away from the message that was given to them in the Torah. It is for this reason that surely those Jews that do not turn to Islam they will be punished in the hell fire.
"Believe ye then part of the Book, and deny part? But what shall be the meed of him among you who doth this, but shame in this life? And on the day of the Resurrection they shall be sent to the most cruel of torments, for God is not regardless of what ye do."
Now this is truly fascinating as it is telling us that the laws in the Torah and the laws in the Koran should be the same. However, we know that there are in fact irregularities between the Torah and the Koran, as well as the Christian beliefs.

This however raises a problem for Muslims as what the Koran is essentially saying to us is that morality or laws change with time. Thus morality is subjective! Now we know that subjective morality immediately does away with the existence of a God, so by accepting that the laws have changed the Koran is essentially saying that God does not exist. The only other way around this is to accept that the Koran translation is incorrect. However, if we accept this then we are left with the fact that Islamic beliefs about the Bible are flawed as how can it be correct but not correct?

Versus 87 to 97 of the Koran are pretty entertaining really as it gives you wisdom like how to witness to a Jew. Apparently, these are the answers to the questions a Jew may have when being confronted by the wisdom of the Koran. Naturally, the Jews are not just receiving the wisdom of the Koran they are also rejecting the wisdom that was given to Moses in the Torah. So for your entertainment, I present to you how to witness to a Jew.

Muslim: "Believe in what God hath sent down"
Jew: In that which hath been sent down to us we believe:" 

Muslim: "Why then have ye of old slain God's prophets, if ye are indeed believers?"

and
Muslim: "Take firm hold on what we have given you, and hearken." 
Jew: "We have hearkened and have rebelled:"
Muslim: " A bad thing hath your faith commanded you, if ye be indeed believers. If the future dwelling place with God be specially for you, but not for the rest of mankind, then wish for death, if ye are sincere:"

If this sounds familiar to you, well you have probably have had a conversation with a theist and listened to answers that make absolutely no sense. Also, if you are (like me) wondering why you can never get a straight answer from a Muslim on anything. Well the answer is pretty simple they are learning their apologetics from the perfect book which is rubbish at giving advice.

Pretty amazingly in the last part of that conversation we also see the apologetics that gets used on Atheists a lot i.e. you know God is real you just hate him. The Muslim is saying to the Jew, if you are following the law you would not be afraid of death. However it continues in the following verses saying that the Jews do fear death, because they know they are doing the wrong thing. Now I would agree with the Muslims on one thing, I would say you should not fear death. But, that is not because I believe in an afterlife its because I know it is a reality that we all have to deal with and as such we should enjoy life to the fullest.

Verses 97 to 103 is where we get some information on where the Koran came from by hearing that the angel Gabriel acting on behalf of Allah was the one who gave the message to Muhammad. We also are told that anyone that disrespects the messengers of Allah (the angels) or Allah himself is indeed an enemy of Allah. However, we should not think Allah is being a bit overboard by saying he is our enemy after all he gave very clear signs that his message contained in the holy books was real.
"Moreover, clear signs have we sent down to thee, and none will disbelieve them but the perverse."
Clear signs? Really? When? Yes, that is all we can do but ask as I have never seen these clear signs claimed and amazingly no one ever has except when they are locked in a basement with no cameras to record anything or anyone around to witness what they saw. Of course I am just being perverse, so that is rather convenient if you take the Koran as truth.

The last part of our reading that I want to focus on today is a rather bizarre passage from verse 102-103.  In this passage we hear that the scriptures (Torah) were warped by two angels Harut and Marut and they then were the first ones to falsely teach the Torah. However, they were not just falsely teaching the Torah, but acknowledging that they were falsely teaching the Torah.
"We are only a temptation. Be not then an unbeliever."
This means that those who listened to these bad angels were taking responsibility for their actions as they knew what was happening. However, it then finishes this passage by pointing out that the Jews who knowingly listened to the lies, did in fact not know they were being lied to.
"But had they believed and feared God, better surely would have been the reward from God, - if they had but known it!"

Confused?
That makes two of us, see you next week.

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The version of the Koran I am reading is the John Meadows Rodwell translation. An online version can be found at the al-quran.info website
Additionally, for commentary I am utilizing the commentary of Maulana Muhammad Ali which is available at muslim.org/english-quran/quran.htm