When I set out to read the “holy” documents of other religions, I wanted to set aside some misconceptions. The books themselves helped me do that, but I also learned just how similar the religions are in their makeup and their construction. At the heart of even the Quran (or as it’s spelled Koran on the copy I purchased) it happens to be a compiled history and social law of a people group. In reality it’s very similar in function to The Bible, The Tao, The Sayings of the Buddha, etc. Their all open to interpretation, they all create a set of social guidelines for people. As a result, they all promote some semblance of order amongst humanity.
I realize that many people are expecting my usual review, comparing it with other doctrines, saying if it collides with the Bible amongst other things. To some degree they all collide with each other in both good and bad ways. The misconceptions built by the general populace are tearing doctrines and our own history into sound bites. These sound bites then lose meaning because they have been removed from the appropriate context. Muslims, Atheists, and countless others, breaking the Bible into chunks and using it against them without appropriate study. Meanwhile my fellow Christians do the same of the Muslims, and groups they want to equally paint as evil.
After reading the Koran, I have figured out that many of these Conservative interpretations are taken as fact when in reality they are fictional distortions of reality. In reality these interpretations are only as they wish them to be, as biased and twisted as their hearts have become. They aren’t searching and probing for the true intent. At the heart of the Koran, just like The Bible, or any other religious document is a desire for peace, for justice, for righteousness, and equality.
Do I seek to villainize these doctrines? Not in the least. I hope that my explorations into the various doctrines of the world religions will make you dig deeper. To help you find the heart of these peoples and their rich histories. Find it in your heart, even if you disagree with them, to love them. To help you see why these people’s deserve more than the stiff black versus white justice of an angry populace. I don’t want any people group to be hated without reason. Everyone deserves to have their life and their wishes respected.
As a side-note: No, the Muslim holy book does not say Kill All Infidels (There is a very real lack of anything that remotely resembles such a phrase in the Koran). Christians who want to say it says this, are obviously not reading it, or haven’t read it in the appropriate contextual backdrop. It mentions The People of The Book. It also mentions that these People of The Book are running down a path that isn’t right, and they are ignoring or harming the warners being sent to them. I do not personally know if it is referring to The Bible, The Jewish Bible/Torah (which from what I’ve been told actually doesn’t read identically to The Old Testament), or The Koran itself, but it does beg you to wonder. Is it warning us against this faith without reason that seems to be pervading our world like a plague? There may be something severely wrong with today’s society, our closed mindedness, that is counter to God and his intent for building an interdependent system of species and climates.
If you want to know more about what I read, please by all means look up The Koran With Forward by R.A. Nicholson and Translated to English by E.H. Palmer. I would recommend reading the introduction/forward, because it does describe that this book was held in the minds of listeners and then recorded. It also describes why the book seems to be out of order (it is in order of who they managed to collect the stories or chapters in). Overall I found it to be a fascinating read, and an eye opener in a time where we are judging the loving believers on the actions of the militant few.