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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Islam: the Qur'an

The Qur'an (Koran) as the sacred book of Islam is a truly "holy" book it that it is believed to be the literal word of God dictated by Allah to Mohammed , the Prophet, in the seventh Century. Mohammad was illiterate, he recalled God's words so his followers could submit them to memory and eventually write them down.

The word of God came to Mohammad in Arabic. It is certainly obvious how the Qur'an is so revered by Muslims as they read and recite the word of God as delivered to them throught the last Prophet Mohammad.

I tried reading the Koran many years ago and found it daunting. It was not an easy read with little of no knowledge of the context, history and references in it. I have recently thought I should make another effort being more knnowledgeable and motivated. It is truly a profound book with much in common to the Jewish sacred texts and the Bible of the the Christians. Muslims revere much of what it shares with Judaism and Christianity, they share the wisdom of the old testament prophets and recognizes Jesus as a great prophet and Mary as a great model for all women.

I recently came upon the video below of a lecture on the Qur'an by Lesley Hazleton. It is interesting to note that just as detractors of Christianity and Christian Fundementalists
"proof- text" passages from the Bible to justify their extreme views so Radical Islamists and Islamophobes rest their arguments on isolated texts from the Qur'an. I hope you will listen to Ms. Hazleton' s charming and wise words on the Islam's idea of Paradise, so often misrepresented by Islamist terrorists as well as Islamophobes.

Lesley Hasleton writes an interesting blog, The Accidental Theologist. She is the author of a book on the relationship between the two broad branches of Islam: Sunni and Shia,
After the Prophet. I look forward to reading it soon. Thanks to the American Invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, I have become very interested in Islam particularly the Shia branch of Islam which is prominent in Iran and Iraq , most of it's holy shrines are in Iraq.


At 11:10 a.m., Blogger Peggy said...

Sounds like you have some interesting reading to help you through the winter months. I enjoyed your email and am working on a reply. Just don't have lots of free time as you know. Have a wonderful weekend

At 10:39 p.m., Blogger KGMom said...

One of the huge ironies of the U.S. military action against Iraq is that the president (Bush) did not know there were two major branches of Islam.

At 2:26 a.m., Blogger Cathy said...

Hello Phillip
You are getting 'deep' again lol
Merry Christmas - hope to see more of you in the New Year

At 12:27 p.m., Blogger possum said...

Every year during Ramadan, I set out to reread the Qur'an. During my studies in Comparative Religion, I agreed to live a semester as a Muslim (I chose Sunni as I was familiar with them and have Sunni friends and relatives). I will admit, I got a lot of exercise praying 5 times a day and was sqweaky clean as one seriously washes before each prayer. Unfortunately, my Arabic left much to be desired. But my teacher was infinitely patient with me.
The books and verses in the Qur'an are written like a form of poetry - they 'sound' better out loud (except when I read them) and were meant to be recited which is why most Muslims are taught to recite it in the original Arabic even tho we often study it in our own language.
Most young boys are taught to recite the entire Qur'an by heart and can do so by the time they are 12.
Ah, there is so much George Bush did not know when he planned on declaring war on Iraq. What a shame it ever happened, and what an understatement that is. I think of the millions dead or damaged - wounded does not seem to cover it - and the hatred in the world today because of misunderstandings that just seem to grow bigger and bigger. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with sadness at what has happened and the pain we inflict on each other "in God's name."

At 12:27 p.m., Blogger possum said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8:40 a.m., Blogger Navigator said...

In the end it matters not what some so-called "holy" book says. It is what humans take out of it. And the problem is that the verses are used to justify all sorts of evil deeds.

Surveys have shown that more than 90% of all Muslims do not know what the Koran says. They were taught to memorize verses in Arabic even when most of them do not speak Arabic. They never had discussion sessions about what these verses mean because Islam is top down religion -- Muslims are not permitted to question. That is why imams have such power to influence the masses.

A thought after watching this video: if the Koran is truly what Muslims claim it is, the innerant word of God, why is it so incomprehensible that even well- educated and dedicated scholars like this woman can barely understand it? Wouldn't you think if a most powerful deity were really passing on a prescription for living justly for all humankind he/she would make some effort to be a better author? Why the big secret about what he really means?

Finally, why did God reveal himself so fully to only people who occupy the barren sands of the middle east? And to an illiterate businessman to boot? Why were the Chinese not so blessed, or the South Asians or the aboriginals of North America or the Germanic and Slavic tribes of Europe? Surely a deity that wants to control his creatures would make his words available at the same time to all.

At 12:21 p.m., Blogger amelia said...

My hubby and you need to get together for some deep discussion on these topics. He's very interested in all these things and I'm sure you would have a good chat!!


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