Back again,..and continuing on with this series on Islam, which today's post will focus on the word of God in Islam,.the Qur'an. Once again, I will mention that these entries are nothing but a primer and are intended to give the readership a basic, if not elementary standing of Islam and how it compares with Christianity. To Qur'an or Koran literally means the 'recitation' and is believed by muslims to be the eternal uncreated word of God given to Muhammed though a series of 'revelations.' In this light, it would be more accurate to compare the Qur'an with Jesus Christ Himself in Christianity instead of the Bible, which Christians see as God's love story to mankind written through human experience.
The Qur'an, as has already been mentioned is what muslims believe to be the final instruction manual for mankind. It contains various accounts from both the Old and New Testaments, often not agreeing with the former,.as well as Apocryphical accounts from once again both Jewish and Christian heretical sources (infancy Gospel of James...)coupled with Zoroatrian and local pagan beliefs. Its style is written in arabic poetry and believed by muslims to be so perfect that the rhyming style is not to be questioned. Two sets of revelations are believed to seperate differing accounts depending upon where Muhammed was in his building up of the 'Umma.' In all the 114 suras or chapters divide themselves between the 'Mecca' revelations and the 'Medina' revelations. Continuing with the breakdown, it has been put forth by Islamic scholars, that each verse itself is 'ayat' or a miracle. Also because of the lack of chronology between the Meccan and Medina suras, each are ordered together in terms of length. The difference, however can be seen within Muhammed attitude towards the 'people of the book.' In the Meccan suras, it can be argued that Muhammed just assumed he would be accepted as a prophet and therefore spoke about the common salvation of Jews, Christians, Sabians. In the Medina suras, this attitude seems to change somewhat dramatically. (Reference Sura 5:69 with Sura 98:6).
To conclude about the Qur'an, because of verses being changed on the whim, it can be argued from the Christian vantage point that Allah is not pure Truth. His will can change. Therefore, because of these obvious contradictions, scholars argue that Allah abrogates verses, and even the devil himself can cause a verse to be inserted in the Qur'an, then later abrogated. These questions were put forth in a book by Salmon Rushdie entitiled the 'Satanic Verses' and to this day, a decree of death still hangs over his head. In all, the Qur'an, because of its insistance on being the verbatim word of God, makes itself open to all sorts of error and contradiction because of a lack of metaphisical knowledge springing from muslim concept of God.
Our Lady of Guadalupe,...pray for us.