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.