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Brian Jones

Thoughts on the Qur’an

After reading the first nine surahs of the Qur’an, I’m

not quite sure what my opinion is of it. Islam appears to

be very faith-based. I say this in the sense that it allows

for some sin, saying that the believers will be forgiven.

For example, it is plainly stated that some divorce is

acceptable; despite it being a sin. God allows it because

he forgives the sinner. On the other hand, the forgiveness

is not very wide-spread, as the Qur’an is filled with

condemnation for evil-doers.

The ideas presented in the Qur’an appear to be a

combination of ideas in both the Torah and the Gospels. For

example, God is presented as both wrathful (like how God is

viewed by many readers of the Old Testament), and kind and

merciful (like how he is viewed by many in the New

Testament). One could argue that the Qur’an really does

have the appearance of being the next step past the

Gospels. In the Old Testament, the Jews regulate every

aspect of their lives with the law. In the New Testament,

Christians wipe out the Mosaic laws and make decisions out

of faith, even though they also have their own set of rules

as well. The Qur’an is forgiving of things that

Christianity fully opposes, like divorce and murder.


However, this is strange, because Islam still has its own

rules. It even seems quite ritualistic, like Judaism,

despite Islam’s supposed basis of faith and not deeds.

Perhaps Islam isn’t the next step past Christianity,

but rather on the same level – just in a different

direction. It has the same basic ideas of Christianity –

allowing for some things and forbidding others – but allows

and forbids different things.

One could argue that the Qur’an is filled with

paradox, instead of contradiction; instead of two opposite

commands canceling each other out, they simply take a

middle ground; in doing so, Islam serves as a moderate

religion. It says that you should love your wife, but also

says that if necessary, you should hit your wife. Is this

really feasible? One could say yes, because it is only in

extreme cases, meaning that it’s still acceptable.

The Qur’an claims that it is accepting of “People of

the Book” (Jews and Christians), but only those with

sincere hearts. At the same time, it accuses many of

hypocrisy, among both People of the Book and Islam. Does

the fact that Islam notes hypocrisy among its own followers

make it more reasonable and realistic than other religions?

I would argue that it doesn’t, because at least both


Judaism and Christianity both openly condemn false

believers in their midst.

The Qur’an clearly explains the importance of the

Gospels and the Torah. In fact, most of its content is the

retelling of Old Testament stories. One could argue that

this is the opposite of how many Christians view the Bible,

ignoring the importance of the Old Testament, and how the

foundation of Christianity is based in Judaism. It also

focuses largely on monotheism, strongly opposing the

Trinity. It is interesting, then, that it frequently uses

the majestic pronoun “We,” which actually sounds slightly

Trinitarian.

I can understand how some people believe in Islam; on

the other hand, I can see how others don’t. It probably

depends on one’s previous bias. After all, it opposes some

of Christianity, like how Jesus calls himself a servant of

God (the Qur’an says that no one is a “servant” of God).

Many questions can arise for a Christian when reading

something like this. Does Islam believe that Jesus was

making a mistake, or does it believe that it was recorded

incorrectly? If it is the latter, then obviously it’s just

a problem with Christianity. If it is the former, however,

could Jesus lie if he was a true prophet? If not, then

would that not mean that God said one thing at one time,
and then contradicted it at a later time? If that is the

case, then wouldn’t that mean that God changes over time?

The Bible says God does not. Does Islam think otherwise? If

not, do they think God gave Jesus the wrong message? Of

course, they probably just blame these kinds of questions

on Christians misunderstanding Jesus’ message, not on

Jesus, and especially not on God.

I suppose the bottom line really depends on if one

believes God sent down the Qur’an to Mohammad. That’s what

it really all comes down to. One could argue that, assuming

that God is all-righteous and would not lie, and that the

Qur’an is indeed divinely inspired, then it is the truth.