The Koran Notes by Dr. Honora M. Finkelstein (See: Selections from the Koran) In the Arabic tongue, the Koran has a lilting quality that is beautiful and cannot be translated without loss. So whereas Christians have attempted to translate the Bible into every conceivable tongue, Muslims have tried instead to teach speakers of other languages Arabic in order to convey the message of God in the language God used to convey that message. Muslim orthodoxy with respect to the Koran says every letter was directly dictated by God; first the voices Muhammed heard sounded like bells; over time they focused into a single voice that identified itself as the Archangel Gabriel. The Koran is divided into 114 chapters or suras arranged almost exactly into an order of decreasing length. The Koran emphasizes deeds rather than ideas, and its teachings are all based on the Islamic concepts of God, Creation, the nature and duties of Man, and the Day of Judgment. All parts of the teachings are focused on helping man walk a straight path. The two pieces from the Koran among the texts on this site are (1) concerned with Muhammed’s presentation of the Judgment Day that Allah will cause to fall upon all who attempt to oppose the dissemination of Islam; and (2) concerned with the nature of Allah as Light. Some points to note from the Judgment Day piece: God is always referred to as "the Compassionate, the Merciful." The Koran is a means by which men (the generic term for human beings) may learn to live moral and upright lives. Muhammed has been sent to teach and lead those who will listen and to change their actions, and all who do not will be appropriately judged by God. Islam believes Jesus to be a prophet, not a God. All of God’s messengers have been men (human beings), not Gods. Jesus was not immortal, nor has anyone else ever been, nor will Muhammed be. The Merciful has not begotten children nor ever will beget them. Every apostle God has ever inspired has been given the message: "There is no god but Me. Therefore serve Me." This then takes away the question of whether there is a need for God to be jealous. If God is One, there is no need. On Judgment Day God will judge all men, down to actions as small as a grain of mustard seed. Every action will be weighed out, so men should listen to Muhammed and the Koran. He names the prophets who have come before: Hebrew: Moses and Aaron, Abraham, Lot, Isaac, Jacob, Noah, David and Solomon, and Job; Arab: Ishmael, Idis, Dhul-Kifl, and Dhul-Nun; Christian: Zacharias, John the Baptist, and "the woman who kept her chastity. We breathed into her of Our spirit, and made her and her son a sign to all men." In other words, Mary and Jesus. "Your religion is one religion, and I am Your only Lord." This indicates that all the Abrahamic religions are but one, because there is only one God, Allah. Some points to note from the Light piece: The text editors say: "The theme, God is light, derives from ancient sun worship . . . and was a prominent idea in early Christianity." I do not think we should dismiss this idea as just "sun worship". What the Koran is presenting, actually, is the truth of the enlightenment experience, as any meditator who has had such an experience can testify. God speaks to men in metaphors. Hence, all the natural world is a means of understanding God’s sovereignty. It is up to God to determine whom he will "enlighten," and upon whom the light will shine. If God withdraws the light, men will be totally in darkness. Therefore, they need to put their trust in God, who will sustain them. Re the passage, "He makes the night succeed the day: surely in this there is a lesson for clear-sighted men." What is the lesson? I believe it is that by experiencing darkness (negative things in our lives), we come to appreciate the blessing of light, which comes only from God, and which we would not recognize without the experience of darkness as a contrast. Made with Xara Website by Susan Smily