Friday, 2 October 2015

Reading the Koran - Sura 2 verse 122 - 141

Verses 122 to 129 of the Koran are rather refreshing after all the hate leveled at the Jews over the last few readings. Granted, there is still the underlying tone that the Jews are not the best people as they are not Muslims, however it is pointed out that the are Allah's chosen people through the patriarch Imam Abraham.

The one verse from this book that I believe has some sustenance to it is 126.
"And when Abraham said, ‘My Lord, make this a secure town, and provide its people with fruits —such of them as have faith in Allah and the Last Day,’ He said, ‘As for him who is faithless, I will provide for him [too] for a short time, then I will shove him toward the punishment of the Fire, and it is an evil destination.’ "
Granted the whole issue about hell fire seems a bit over the top. However, this makes sense and is something everyone needs to realize at some point in their life and that is that "bad" people will benefit from "good" people doing "good" things (I used the quotation marks as good and bad really are subjective). The one problem that this creates is that it can let people believe that bad people will get their comeuppance form Allah and as such we do not have to worry to much about them. This attitude is very defeatist, and one that irritates me a lot with the religious as I would much rather be getting out and sorting the problems out than sitting and praying that God cleanses the bad. Perhaps in some twisted worldview cleansing is what ISIS terrorists think they are doing?

Verse  128 in the Rodwell translation I have is a little different to the online version, as it implies that Abraham was a Muslim. In fact commentary that I reference refers to Abraham as a Muslim which is rather interesting as how could a Muslim exist before Islam actually started?
"‘Our Lord, make us Muslims (submissive to You), and [raise] from our progeny Muslims (a nation submissive to You), and show us our rites [of worship], and turn to us clemently. Indeed You are the All-clement, the All-merciful."
Perhaps the translation has been re-translated from the original Arabic to make it more logical. In the commentary it mentions that Abraham was a Muslim already though Islam was kept until a later stage from the normal people. This apologetics does get around the logical by relying on the same rational held by Christians that as time changes the laws changed. However, would it not be easier for almighty Allah just to get the original message across in the beginning after all if Abraham was a Muslim, then surely it is not that difficult to make a message known. However, I think there is a far more logical reason that Abraham is mentioned as a Muslim and that arise in the next verse where we see that the final messenger is yet to come.
"‘Our Lord, raise amongst them an apostle from among them, who should recite to them Your signs, and teach them the Book and wisdom, and purify them. Indeed You are the All-mighty, the All-wise.’ "
Now, if I wanted people to think that I was the final messenger of the one and true God I would rely on old texts and try interweave them in such a way that it sounds like I am that special person. Perhaps Muhammad was smart enough to realize that to unify herders he needed a special reason and what a better way than to play on irrational beliefs of things that cannot be explained. We should also remember that at this point that the Jews and Christians had been and where influential and as such it is a belief system that was ready to be tapped and utilized to either obtain power or unite a group of people for their personal betterment.

After the reprieve for Jews in verses 122 to 129, we are back on track saying that the Jews are wrong and misleading true Muslims in verses 130 to 141. This section is slightly different as it still maintains that Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac were Muslims and as such Jews and Christians really should all be Muslims as they have the basis of the first Muslims. Yes, I realize its bizarre that the first Muslims existed before Islam but hey I didn't write this saga and if I did I would have used a proofreader to make sure that illogical things like this were erased.

Here the Koran also takes a good shot at Christianity in its help guide on how to convert unbeleievers.
Christain or Jew "‘Be either Jews or Christians, that you may be [rightly] guided.’"
Muslim "‘Rather [we will follow] the creed of Abraham, a ḥanīf, and he was not one of the polytheists.’"
As such it is simple to see that from an Islamic perspective the Christian belief (majority opinion of Christians) that Jesus is God is absolutely insane as God can only be one. The one thing I do not get is why this message is also directed t the Jews, after all the Jews believe in the one true God and not any polytheistic deity. This is even clarified in the following verse where it says that Abraham believed in Allah.
"Say, ‘We have faith in Allah, and that which has been sent down to us, and that which was sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus were given, and that which the prophets were given from their Lord; we make no distinction between any of them, and to Him do we submit.’ "
Perhaps this is just a cheap shot at the Jews again. Keeping the hatred alive maybe?

Okay, that is enough for now. See you next week and perhaps in between I will find some apologetics that does away with Abraham being a Muslim before Islam existed.

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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