Dear readers of World Religion,
I spent the last week studying the Quran. That is what my week of studying Islam consisted of. Hopefully, I will be able to go to a mosque this week, though currently technical difficulties are making contacting a little difficult.
The Quran’s narrative style reminds me of the Bhagavad Gita, and its content reminds me of the Bible. The voice alternates from first person (Allah), and third person (describing what Allah says), and second person (describing what will happen to you).
For those who don’t know, Islam is an Abrahamic religion.
Abrahamic religions believe that Abraham, a Jewish patriarch, performed an important spiritual role. The most popular Abrahamic religions are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. All of these religions include a belief in one, all-powerful, all-knowing-god. From my perspective at least, they believe in basically the same god (whether they are called Allah, God, Yahweh, or any other language’s equivalent it still means god). Despite their many similarities, the Abrahamic religions have a history of strife. Even currently, many Christians would be surprised to learn that the Quran includes biblical stories in almost every chapter. Basically, Islam respects both Judaism and Christianity as legitimate ways to carry out Allah’s will, though Islam considers itself the most recent and truest manifestation of Allah’s will.
But what is in the Quran?
Again, there are a lot of of stories from the New and Old Testament. The Quran also includes a fairly complex legal code. It includes things such as how to properly go about getting a divorce, how to deal with chiefs, and how to divide inheritance. Yes, this law code does seriously inconvenience women. I am interested to see how these sections relate to modern American Muslims, who function under the fairly secular law code of this country.
The Quran also fleshed out some of the issues that divide the Abrahamic religions. Apparently, they believe that the Jews should not consider so many things forbidden, and they do not believe that Jesus was the son of God. They believe that Jesus was created by God, like Adam, and distributed God’s word, like Abraham. The assumption that Jesus is the actual son of God puts him almost equal to God, which is disrespectful to God. I think that Jews have a similar perspective on this.
There are also sections lamenting these divides. The Jews, Christians, and Muslims all worship the same one god, so why do they each believe the others will not achieve the desirable afterlife? I believe that the Quran’s author would be happy that currently many people believe that individuals of different faiths can be good people and achieve the desirable afterlife.
Thank you for reading,