much inconsistent usage of the Arabic language and context is offered which arguably extends theusage of ‘interpretative licence’ to a degree where there is a loss of intellectual honesty andcogency. The translations / selective interpretations of the Arabic text become barelyunrecognisable which seem to suggest an almost alternative text to the one in the source Arabic.
What must always be borne at the helm of any Quranic interpretation is the
primary audience towhom the Quran was first delivered
. There are many narratives that remain context specific whileothers have a much wider appeal and lessons to impart.The Quran does not appear to narrate the miraculous 'events' in it, with a view to convince a 21stcentury audience (who were never present to witness them) or the Pagan Arabs of the 7th centuryin the first instance. Rather primarily, the miraculous 'events' served as a reminder to the listenersfrom the
people of the previous scriptures
of 7th century Arabia (Arab Jews and Christians) whomust have been familiar with these narratives. This was done with a view so that they did not end upbeing the first to reject the Quran.
“O Children of Israel! call to mind the (special) favour which I bestowed upon you, and fulfil yourcovenant with Me as I fulfil My Covenant with you, and fear none but Me.
And believe in what Ireveal, confirming the revelation which is with you, and be not the first to reject Faith therein
, norsell My Signs for a small price; and fear Me, and Me alone.There are many examples in the Quran where the narratives seem to correct an existing 'Biblical'understanding. For example, 1 Kings 11 describes Prophet Solomon
straying into idolatry.
1 Kings 11
King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites.
They were from nations aboutwhich the LORD had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because theywill surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them inlove.
He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and hiswives led him astray.
As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods,and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God
,as the heart of David his fatherhad been.
He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestablegod of the Ammonites.
So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD; he did not follow theLORD completely, as David his father had done.
There were also many myths and legends associated with Prophet Solomon's
indulgence insorcery and occult arts.However, the Quran categorically vindicates Prophet Solomon
. The narrativein question straddles two verses, so parts will be quoted for brevity. The reader is encouraged toconsult the complete narratives.