The Quran: Treatment and Status of Women Essay
Islam is based on the traditions and ideals, which are stipulated in the Quran. The directives and examples of the Prophet Muhammad reinforce these traditions and ideals. The Quran repeatedly gives expression on the need for treating men and women with equity and reproaches those who believe women to be inferior to men.
Women’s role in the formation of Islamic society in its first decades is well documented. Despite the historical data available, the fundamentalist and conservative forces that control the modern images of women have suppressed Islamic women’s place in religious history.
The various restrictions, social rules, and seclusion, isolation has emerged as one of the dominant features which characterizes the life and activities of Muslim women. The implicit view is that the existing social system, of the Muslim communities and women’s position there in has been maintained largely because of historical isolation.
The ideal image of women, as advocated by Quran, is not reflected in populist representation of Muslim women in contextual situation (Dawood, 2004). The women’s passivity, seclusion, and marginal place in Muslim society have little to do with Islamic tradition. However, they are, on the contrary, ideological constructs that are alien to Islam and effects of the misuse of power by reactionary forces.
The Quran: Relationship between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity
In relation to Islam, the position of Judaism and Christianity is both similar and different. The Jewish and Christian scriptures do not mention Muslims; they are not the subject of any doctrine or jurisdiction. However, the Church’s position toward Muslim differs from its position toward Jews.
Christianity does not proclaim that it was the True Islam (Verus Islam); it did not drive the Muslims out of Mecca by forbidding them to reside there. Unlike Jewry, deprived of any political power, Christians and Muslims built empires that were in constant confrontation.
Islam, on the contrary, places Judaism and Christianity in an identical position. Islam is considered as the “True Judaism” and the “True Christianity.” Jews and Christians are mentioned frequently in the Quran, the Sunna, and in biographies of the prophet (Dawood, 2004).
These normative writings formulate a doctrine concerning them, and a theological jurisdiction which they must be forced to abide by, as an obligation imposed on them. It is this Judeo-Christian bonding which makes it impossible for Christians to achieve a reconciliation with Islam against Israel.
However, reconciliation with Israel involves rejecting the theologies of substitution, abandonment of jihad, and liberation from dhimmitude. Hence, the road to freedom for Christians is contrary to the knavery of dhimmi clergies. In addition, the doctrinal position concerning the Jews and Christians, inscribed in the Islamic revelation, unlike the Bible, constitutes the key obstacle to rapprochement with Islam.
The Quran: Marriage, Divorce, and Polygamy
Rules regarding marriage and divorce are highlighted in the Quran, and prophet Muhammad also reported that a Muslim has to perfect half of his religion when he marries. The Quran states that, God created mankind from one living soul, and from that soul a spouse was created so that man might find comfort in her (Quran 4:1; 7:107). Therefore, asceticism is not encouraged. Marriage was intended to be permanent.
Muhammad condemned men and women who frequently changed marriage partners and described divorce as the most detestable of all lawful things before God. However, provisions were made for divorce (Quran 2: 228-241). Traditionally, a husband could divorce a wife by reciting before witnesses three times, “I divorce you.” In modern Islamic societies, various laws prescribe the rules of divorce and the benefits of each party.
A major stereotype of Islam is that it allows a man to have many wives. It is true that the Quran permits a man to have up to four wives under certain conditions. It is a conditional permission and not a matter of necessity. A prerequisite of polygamy is for the wives to have the same rights and privileges.
The Quran insists that they be treated justly (4:3; 4:129). Although the Quran and tradition demonstrate that polygamy was permitted but practiced, it is not the rule of thumb in modern times. Many Islamic nations prohibit it; other control polygamy. The social and economic conditions of an individual affect his/her choice to have only one wife.
The Quran: Justification of Jihad
Jihad, in the Holy Quran, is declared warfare against injustice and oppression; which can only be carried out by an organized Muslim state. As such, an Islamic State has been given permission to fight against persecution in the society. The taking of any human life is not allowed, and this is stated in the Holy Quran, “Whosoever killed a single soul, except being a punishment for murder-is as if he killed the whole of mankind” (Quran 5:32).
Therefore, strict laws and rules that are derived from the Holy Quran govern the term Jihad. These teachings were ascribed to the Prophet Muhammad. In addition to Jihad’s strict laws and rules, there are moral and ethical teachings regarding them, as well. These teachings are based on fundamental teachings of the Holy Quran.
Quran, like the Christian Bible, depicts morality to its followers. Rules and guidelines are illustrated in an attempt to realize peaceful co-existence among the Muslim and Non-Muslim communities in the society. Occasionally, Non-Muslim communities have associated Islamic tradition and culture with war. This is the common stereotypes especially on the minimal understanding on Jihad’s rules and guidelines. As such, Quran focuses on spiritual and social harmony in the society.
Dawood, N. J. (2004). The Koran. London: Penguin.
Five Major Themes of the Quran Essay
Muslims have the conviction that the Qur’an holds all the acumen and understanding that Allah gave to humankind to lead a virtuous life and revere him accordingly. The Qur’an explains all that man is supposed to do to please Allah. Besides, it gives an account of the consequences of sins. According to Muslims, the Qur’an is the ultimate revelation to humanity. Hence, it carries a universal message. This paper will look at the five principal themes portrayed in Surah of Mary (19), Surah of the Prophets (21), and Surah of the Counsel (42).
Themes in Surah of the Prophets (21)
One of the themes discussed in this Surah is suspicion by people that Allah could use man as his messenger. People did not believe in what Prophet Muhammad told them. Some went to the extent of asking Allah to “send them signs like the ones that were sent to the (prophets) of old” (21:5). Another theme present in this Surah is the castigation of humankind for putting forward diverse and clashing oppositions against the Qur’an and the Holy Prophet.
The Surah attempts to bring out the correlation between the present Prophets and those of the past. In (21:7), the Qur’an clarifies that during the old days, God sent men as his prophets, and he inspired them. The Qur’an urges those opposed to the Prophets to seek counsel from people that understand the message. The Qur’an has been revealed to man to help him understand and live according to God’s word (21:10). Humanity has the duty to read and understand the Qur’an.
The Qur’an has proved that people lack knowledge, and thus they sin or have negative perceptions about life. Initially, people had the perception that life was simply a pastime and sport. They believed that life was worth no purpose and no one would be accountable for how he or she spent his or her life. The Qur’an warns that heaven and earth were not created for sport, and if it were Allah’s intention to give people a pastime, he could have given it through things that are closest to humanity (21:16-17).
Admonition and reproach have been applied to do away with misinterpretation among the people. People believed that Prophet Muhammad was a false prophet since Allah did not bring punishment upon those who opposed his teachings. The Qur’an warns that most of the people that mocked the prophets who came before Prophet Muhammad suffered the wrath of the issues they ridiculed (21:41).
Man is a being of rush. The Qur’an depicts mankind as a creature that is never patient. It shows how people always want things to happen swiftly because they doubt Allah’s teachings. Due to their impatience, they went to the extent of ridiculing the prophets by asking them when all that they taught would happen, and even questioned the truth behind the prophets’ teachings (21:38).
Themes in Surah of Mary (19)
The doubt by people that Allah could use man as his messenger is manifested in this Surah. When Allah’s messenger told Mary that she was going to have a baby boy, she doubted the message (19:20).
In (19:35) the Qur’an states that people disputed the message given by Jesus, the son of Mary. People could not believe in his teachings since they felt that he was a human being just like them. Besides, he grew up in their midst, and they knew everything about him. The Surah uses admonition and reproach to caution those that fail to heed the word God.
The Qur’an warns people about the day of moaning when Allah will pass his decree. During this day, most of the people will not have taken heed to his message. Allah’s mercy on his people is also portrayed in this Surah. Allah pitied Zachariah and granted him an heir at a time when no one, not even Zachariah, believed that it could happen. God promised to give Zachariah a son called John even though no one else had been named after this name (19:7-8).
Lack of knowledge is one of the reasons why people worship idols, and when one of them acquires the knowledge, he or she stays away from all those that do not believe in Allah. Abraham told his people that the main reason why they worshiped idols was that they did not have the knowledge. He asked them to follow him so that he could show them the right way (19:44). Abraham promised to pray for his people so that they may know Allah and worship him alone.
He parted with them for practicing idolatry (19:49). In (19:86-90), the Qur’an shows the wrath that awaits those who do not believe in God. It states that the devil has been sent to those that despise Allah’s message so that he can lead them to sins. It continues to say that during the judgment day, when the virtuous will be welcomed to the merciful, sinners will be cast to hell, and no one will intercede for them.
Themes in the Surah of the Counsel (42)
This Surah brings out the theme of a merciful Allah. From the Surah, it is evident that in spite of people sinning against Allah, he is a merciful Allah and willing to forgive. The Qur’an states that the angels rejoice the praises of their Lord and beg for forgiveness for all people on earth (42:5). It portrays Allah (“I AM”) as a merciful Allah.
The Qur’an uses admonition and reproach to caution those that goes against Allah’s teachings. It states that, through inspiration, Allah sent the book of Qur’an to people so that it may warn them against the day of reckoning.
It states, “Without doubt, on this day, some people will be in the Garden, while some will be in the blazing fire” (42:7). The Qur’an castigates people for sending contradictory information about Allah and the prophet. It warns people against following the desires for material things. It also warns against envy, which emerges when people learn about the word (42:13-15). The Qur’an claims that Allah has the discretion to use a prophet or speak direct with man whenever he wants to put across a message (42:51).
Wrongdoers are warned against the grievous penalty that awaits them. The Qur’an warns those who have come up with religions against Allah’s will. It states that if it were not for the verdict of judgment, the issue would have been solved instantly. Nevertheless, certainly, sinners will have a severe penalty (42:21). The Qur’an brings out the theme of impatience in mankind. According to the Qur’an, it is hard for man to show patience and to forgive those that sin against him (42:43).
The Qur’an, throughout all its Surahs, brings out numerous themes that admonish and teach people on how to relate with Allah. It teaches about the repercussions of sins and Allah’s mercy to those that repent and live according to his teachings. Besides, it instructs mankind to be patient with matters that relate to Allah.
The Reflections on the Quran Essay
The Quran is the main book of reference to Allah and his teachings among the Muslims. It is remarkably influential among Muslims and non-Muslims. It is also an impressive piece of literature that utilizes the Arabic language (Allen, 2000). It has several interconnected verses (ayat), which bring out 114 chapters (suras).
The chapters have different lengths and are classified into Meccan and Medinan. These are the places where Mohammed got his visions from Allah. Various sources say that the Quran’s composition dates back to a period between 609 CE and 632 CE (Wansbrough, 1977). This paper is a reflection on some of styles and key ideas that make the Quran unique.
The Concept of I’jaz Al-Qur’an and its Superiority in Terms of Style and Content
Ijaz refers to the inimitability of the Quran. The term signifies that something is inherently impossible. Ijaz highlights the uniqueness of the Quran and one’s inability of imitating it. In order to understand the uniqueness and inimitability of the Quran, one must understand the scripture as a piece of literature. The Quran has gained acceptance among Muslims and non-Muslims because of its content and style (Shorroch, 1988).
There are certain features, which show the uniqueness of the Quran. For example, Fawaatih us suwar (Al huroof al muqatta’a) implying mysterious letters, represents such exceptional features. Many of the surahs of the Quran start with letters that had not been witnessed before in the Arabic literature and language. For instance, the words alif lam meem in Surat al baqara.
Many authors and some Muslims have tried to explain the terms in the Quran in broad terms, all in vain. There are allegations by many Muslims that only Allah knows the meaning of these words. Grammatical shift (iltifaat) also makes up the inimitability of the Quran (Yusuf, 1989).
The Main Stylistic Features of the Qur’an
This refers to the arrangement of texts in a way that brings out the intended meaning of something. Roger (2000) asserts that the Quran’s author utilized a mixture of poetry and prose. Indeed, the two styles are used in a way that connects each surah and verse to another. The main features include; prose which employs rhythm and rhyme, variations in styles, stylistic distinction, alliteration, assonance, metaphors, hyperbole, rhetorical questions, stress and synecdoche.
Saj or prose
This is a style which employs both rhythm and rhyme. The rhythm is not consistent. Saj used in the Quran has an accent-based rhythm, use of rhyme at the end of words and continuous usage of rhetorical phrases and questions. Rhythm is whereby there is a recurrence of words or statements. The author utilized this style in the Meccan suras. In these suras, it is characterized by tendencies of mono rhymes and inexact rhymes as seen in the following phrases;
Inna aAtayna kal kawthar
Fasalli li rabbika wanhar
Inna shani-aka huwal abtar
The other features include alliteration or repeating the first sounds of neighboring words as used in Quran 33:71 and 77:20. Assonance is a case where an author repeats the vowel sounds. It is evident in Quran 88:25-26. Metaphors are direct comparisons of things or situations. For instance, a statement like Ahmed is a lion shows that Ahmed is brave. Good examples in the Quran are in chapter 21:18 and 16:103. Hyperbole, which means exaggerating something, appears in 7:40 and 39:71-72.
Rhetorical questions are questions in which the author does not require an answer. They communicate a point and make the reader think deeply about a phrase. A typical example is in Quran 55:60 and 37:91-92. Stress is a feature whereby something is said repeatedly so as to emphasize a point. It can be seen in Quran 29:62 and 33:92. Synecdoche is the use of a part of something to represent a clear picture of the whole. It is evident in Quran 90:12-13.
The Difference between Meccan and Medinan Verses
The meccan and medinan verses of the Quran’s surahs vary considerably (Yusuf, 1989). Most of the Surahs depict the life of Mohammed in Mecca, and the rest show Mohammed’s life experiences in Medina. The Medinan verses are longer and more precise than the Meccan ones. It is imperative to note that the difference comes out as a result of the different kinds of life that Mohammed lived in these two places.
When he was in Mecca, there was a lot of pagan worship especially in the Kaaba. He got visions while he was there that urged him to tell people about Allah. His main objective was to influence Jews and Christians, and gather followers of Islam from Jews and Christians. Living in Medina, Mohammed showed that the Christians and Jews were quite different from Muslims (Watt, 1956). Many medinan verses speak ill of the Jews.
All these differences can be seen in Surah 29:46 of Meccan passages, 5:73 and 9:30 of Medina. Another significant difference is that only the Medinan verses show the remarkable name given to Jesus, namely, Messiah. The meccan verses do not contain such a name.
In essence, the Quran is an indispensable reference book among the Muslims, similar to the Bible among Christians. It has gained acceptance all over the globe due to its uniqueness. It addresses the messages given to people by Mohammed with a lot of reference to Allah. Because of its acceptance, some Christians continue to use it in the disciplines of comparative religion, as well as theology. Thus, the influence of the Quran and its unique style cannot be underrated.
Allen, R. (2000). An Introduction to Arabic Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Shorroch, A. (1988). Islam Revealed: A Christian Arab’s View of Islam. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Wansbrough, J. (1977). Quranic Studies. New York: Oxford University Press,
Watt, M. (1956). Muhammad at Medina. New York: Oxford University Press.
Yusuf, A. (1989). The Holy Qur’an (Revised Edition). Brentwood: Amana Corporation.
Yusuf, A. (1989). The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an. (10th ed.) Beltsville, MD: Amana Publications.
Religious studies and theology- Major themes in Quran Critical Essay
The Islamic religious text has been widely regarded by scholars as one of the finest literatures written in Arabic language. The verses of the Quran comprise of 114 Suras and have been classified as either Medinan or Meccan. McAuliffe points out that the Quran is believed to have been inspired to Muhammad by angel Gabriel in 609 CE (76). This religious text is made up of central themes such as Jihad, the Bible, love and tolerance. This paper explores the major themes within the Quran.
The theme of God
The Quran is an important and divine book that covers extensively the attributes and nature of God. It talks about God as the shaper, maker and creator of everything that is in existence. In particular, the Sura of prophets claims that “And of His signs are the ships that sail like mountains in the sea.
If He will, He calms the wind, and they become motionless on the back thereof: verily, in that are signs to every patient, grateful person” (Q 42:39-24). This is one of the scriptures which indicate that God is in control of the events happening in the Universe.
The themes of Jihad and Mercy
The Sura of counsel 42:39 strongly brings out the theme of Jihad within the Quran. Jihad is regarded as a religious duty of the Muslims. It can be well defined as a struggle in the way of God. According to Sunni scholars, Jihad is a major sixth pillar of Islam and has been regarded as an important religious duty.
The verse asserts that “and who, when an injury is done them, avenge themselves” (Q 42:39). The latter strongly reflects the idea that the religion permits the use of force to defend spiritual ideals or religious beliefs. While this has been misinterpreted by many as a move that encourages acts of conflicts, it is worth mentioning that the main aim of Jihad was to repel evil and advance Islam.
Besides, the sura of Mary strongly brings out the theme of mercy when it talks about the mercy of God and how he expects Muslims to show mercy. In Sura 19:58, the Quran explains how the prophets of God worshiped him when they heard of his mercies at the time of Noah. In Sura 19:96, it says “but the Lord of Mercy will give love to those who believe and do righteous deeds” (Q 19:96).
This is central in bringing out the nature of God and how merciful He is. McAuliffe indicates that the verse is reflective of the various struggles that Muslims face and which they are commanded to overcome at all costs (80). By asking the assaulted to avenge himself/herself, the Quran does not disapprove the need for mercy, but encourages a Muslim believer to struggle and hold onto the Islamic faith, strive to create a better Islamic society and use force where necessary to defend Islam.
The theme of Justice
The portion of the verse that says “and who, when an injury is done them, avenge themselves” (Q 42:39) explains the need to protect the religion which has been regarded by non-Muslims as a major threat. The main aim of Jihad is the establishment of a strong Islamic religion through conversion of other religions, a consideration that is largely modeled by the previous Islamic revolutions (McAuliffe 74). However, the fact that Muslims believe God to be the judge points out to the theme of justice which is given by God.
Another perspective of the theme of Jihad is that the Sura of counsel (42) is a tool that guides believers into personal inner struggles that do not involve the use of violence. A good example of violence is the rising cases of suicide bombing that reflects Muslims’ use of any means that aim at hurting the enemy. In the Middle East, a religious faction such as Hezbollah is strongly against the existence of Israel which it considers was established illegitimately on Palestinian land.
Due to the current tremendous developments in technology especially in nuclear weapons, the determination held by believers of the Sura of Counsel (42) remains as one of the greatest threats to the Jewish state of Israel. Agreeably, Jihad is divided into Jihad against liars and heretics, Jihad against unbelievers and hypocrites, Jihad against Satan, and Jihad against the soul. Those Islamic extremists engaging in terrorism practice a lesser Jihad and not a greater one that encompasses fight against desires.
The theme of tolerance
While there is no particular unequivocal commandment in the Quran that states ‘thou shall be intolerant to others’, it is without doubt that religious tolerance on values, truth and beliefs are yet to be realized. This is due to the fact that different religions have developed some nature of competition.
Studies indicate that the capacity a religion has to live alongside practices and beliefs of another religion has been massively affected by competition, religious condemnations and conflicts. In the Quran, the theme of religious tolerance is an important component that encompasses a moral reason by the Muslims to practice restraint from making interferences, counterproductive or useless, with the affairs of other religions.
The Sura of Mary (19) and the Sura of counsel (42) strongly bring out the theme of religious tolerance. In Sura 42:11, Quran notes that the “initiator of the heavens and the earth. He created for you from among yourselves spouses-and also for the animals. He thus provides you with the means to multiply.
There is nothing that equals Him. He is the Hearer, the Seer (Sura 42:11).
In this verse, the nature of God has been brought as one who is transcendent above all and who demands all people to treat each other as spouses, brothers and sisters.
This verse points out that people are equal before God regardless of their race or religion.
The ability of adherents from different religions in society today to practice religious tolerance in the limelight of their diversity is a key platform towards greater cooperation.
It aids in bringing about a holistic contribution by all people and eventual growth and development of society. Minimizing religious conflicts as reflected earlier from contributions by Sunni and Ahmadiyya scholars has been considered by the Quran as the main principle that can facilitate a new outline towards a highly united society at the local and national level.
The theme of tolerance as reflected in the aforementioned Suras in the Quran indicates that addressing problems affecting religious tolerance requires a holistic approach from all levels. One such difference as already indicated in the paper is the practice by Christians to forcefully convert Muslims.
The themes of love and faith
The Quran just as the Christian Bible has used the word love and faith countless number of times to reflect how societies should co-exist. The book of 1John 4:7-21 offers penetrating discourses of the theme of love and dimly reflects the love in Quran. In the latter, Allahu Akbar is the Allahu muhibba-the God of love.
The Quran uses the word love 69 times and speaks of human love, God’s love, and negative love among others. This is reflective of the love of God to man. It is also worth to mention that another scripture from the Sura of Mary notes that “On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, Allah will bestow love” (Sura 19:96).
To sum up, the discussions in this paper are based on the notion that the Quran bears very significant and fundamental themes that guide and control human behavior and relationship towards others and God. As reflected in the paper, the themes of Jihad, love and tolerance define how societies should co-exist.
While many critics have claimed that the theme of Jihad best explains the unending terror acts by Muslims, one cannot fail to see the need for mercy as brought out by the Quran, a call that Muslims have been able to heed to and thus maintained and established their religion amidst greater resistance.
This does not support acts of terror, rather it calls for greater harmony, tolerance, respect and the adoption of better behaviors that encourages development and progress within the society. Moreover, religious differences have been known to trigger lack of religious tolerance since each religion seems to idealize its practice and regard others as inferior.
McAuliffe, Jane. The Cambridge companion of the Quran. Cambidge, UK: Cambridge University Press 2006. Print.
The History and Significance of Recitative Quran Essay
Reciting the Quran in part or whole (Recitative Quran), forms an integral part of the Muslim culture. The author argues that the oral character of the Quran is perceptible in every aspect of the Muslim culture, today as in any previous age of the Islamic history.
The author points out that the recitative function of the Quran has been paramount especially in public ritual and private devotional lives of Muslims over the centuries. This chapter examines the importance of recitative Quran in Muslim communal and personal life.
The discussion begins by exploring how Muslims have sustained recitative tradition: namely, the cultivation amongst Muslims of Quranic recitation as an art and a science in traditional Islamic scholarship and education.
The chapter further illustrates the personal and communal circumstances under which the application of recitative Quran plays a significant role. The chapter gives a comprehensive illustration of the history, application and significance of recitative Quran.
Graham notes that “Anyone who has lived in a Muslim society will appreciate the degree to which the lilting refrain of Quranic recitation occupies a prominent place in the public sphere, forming a significant part of the auditory background of everyday life” (p. 106).
Most Muslims cling to traditional piety and strive to preserve the lilting strains of the chanted Quran as a prominent element in the foreground of their lives. Muslims usually recite Quran during public gatherings like worship (Salat) and during the holy month of Ramadhan.
Muslims also chant the Quran during ‘tilawah and dhikr’ sessions. The above statement emphasizes the strict adherence to recitative Quran by Muslims. From birth to death, every action that a Muslim makes in life including festivities tends to be accompanied by spoken words of the sacred Quran in the form of lengthy Quranic passages or unsophisticated Quranic words.
An example of a Quranic word can be as easy as ‘basmalah’ (in the name of God, the merciful, the Compassionate). Longer recitations include phrases like Fatihah, S. 1, which every Muslim knows by heart. Some scholars hold the opinion that these are not mere words or letters.
They are twigs of the burning bush; a flame with God (Graham 109). An Islamic scholar, Ghazali, declared that much repetition prevents Quranic recitation from appearing old and worn out to those reciting it.
The powerful presence of rhythmic cadence of the Quran tends to be evidenced everywhere in traditional and modern Muslim society. Memorizing of the Quran begins early during the upbringing of children in schools known as maktab.
The learning of at least some part of the divine word is the single most common early learning experience shared in some degree by all Muslims. Maktab forms a significant stage known as the Islamization process of Muslims. A maktab teacher once argued that when children chant the Quran loudly, they learn it by heart.
The teacher indicated that sons of the prophet (children) need the word in their memory so that they can repeat it often. Moreover, the teacher further affirmed that the word should not be translated; this would alter its meaning leading to sacrilege.
Some scholars view Muslims as “those whose gospels are in their hearts while others read them from sacred volumes” (Graham 102). Indeed, the significance of recitative Quran can never be underestimated in any Islamic culture.
Muslims regard recitative Quran as a sacred endeavor which is descendent from the holy prophet Mohammed. The practice forms part of sacred doctrines strictly observed by Muslims globally.
Graham, William. Beyond the Written Word: Oral Aspects of Scripture in the History of Religion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987. Print.
Revelation of Quran to Prophet Mohammad and Religion, Politics, and Military Affairs Essay
Prophet Mohammad was born in Mecca. He lived in 570-632 CE. Although he lived a difficult life following the loss of his two parents at his early age, Mohammad incredibly changed the social, political, and religious organizations of people across the world. At an early age, Mohammad revealed high qualities of being introspective.
He could sometimes run away from the society he considered as being irreligious and materialistic to seek refuge in caves located at mount Hera. In the caves, he spent many hours meditating and looking for answers to various metaphysical questions, which preoccupied many of the highly thoughtful Arabs.
During one of such mediations, he received a call, which formed a turnaround of the religious history of the world. This call was a communication from heaven taking the form of a command. According to Shakir, the command was “Recite! In the name of your Lord, who created all things…who created man from a clot (of blood).
Recite! And your Lord is Most Bounteous Who teaches by the Pen, teaches man that which he would not have otherwise known” (Koran 96:1-5). In Arabic, recite or read means Qur’an. Collections of the revelations that were given to Prophet Mohammad are termed as Koran.
This paper discusses how the Muslims viewed the role of religion, politics, and military affairs following the revelation of the Quran to prophet Muhammad. Besides, it shows how this view played out in the territorial expansion of Islam.
How Muslims viewed the role of religion, politics, and military affairs following the revelation of Quran to the prophet Muhammad
In the context of birth and growth of Islam as a religion, the revelations of Quran to Prophet Mohammad altered the way people thought about religion. Mohammad inspired people who were his followers to come up with mechanisms of working tirelessly to enhance the betterment of a society, which was cohesively united through Islamic faith.
Religion ceased to be seen as a tool for displaying ones rightness to a means of uniting people into one society that was guided by the teachings of Allah. Allah is the only God with Prophet Mohammad as his massager.
The revelations of Quran to Mohammad resulted in a breakdown of tribal loyalties, which “were replaced by faith in the ‘one God’ who chose to speak to his people in their own language through a messenger who was also one of their own” (Cragg 79). In the Islamic faith, Mohammad was the last most important God’s massager.
The revelations of Quran made people view religion as having the ability to undergo changes because the revelations insisted on worshipping one God who is inseparable from the father and son as it had been taught previously over the preceding 600 years.
The revelations also present religion as having the ability to establish the position of humankind in the world by establishing guidance coupled with the freedom of choice. Viewing religion this way implies that giving the freedom of choice coupled with religious diversity often is taken for granted.
This reason makes Quran to “have principles regulating the dynamic coexistence among various communities’ faiths and cultures” (Cragg 82). Therefore, region began to be seen as prescribing certain rituals such as fasting, praying, pilgrimage, and restriction to taking certain types of foods.
It also prescribes certain social regulations including punishment, divorce inheritance, and marriages without negating setting of limits beyond which equality and rights of people cannot go beyond irrespective of their beliefs, gender, race, or culture (Godziher 61).
Through these principles, the revelation of Quran implied that region was an instrument for ensuring tight bonds between people who subscribe to it.
Religious affiliation of people influences the way people view politics. For Islam, following the revelation of Quran, people began to articulate their political positions to teaching that was integrated in the Islamic religion rules as revealed to Prophet Mohammad.
Through the inspiration of Quran, Prophet Mohammad was considered as having the ability to take neutral positions in political conflicts. This case meant that Quran advocated for the centrality in political conflicts so that not any position between warring people would be preferred than the other.
In 622 CE, Prophet Mohammad was requested to rule Medina city at the time when Khazraj and Aus were in conflict. In this time, Prophet Mohammad introduced rules based on his Quran revelations. These rules came to be referred to as Sharia (Audi and Wolterstorff 87).
Sharia rules altered the way Islamic people perceived the role of the region in political topics. Islamic law or the Sharia formed the fundamentals for making Islamic political decisions such that any decision taken is consistent with the provisions of the regulation of conducts of Muslim faithful as provided for in the Sharia law.
Indeed, in the modern day, many Islamic sects are determined to impose the teachings of Sharia as revealed by Prophet Mohammad. The extremists’ form of Sharia law is highly opposed by democratic religions claiming that it erodes the fundamental human rights especially rights of women.
Many of the political groupings of Islam began to come up through inspirations of Quran after the demise of prophet Mohammad. The splitting of Muslims faithful, for instance the Shiites and Sunnis was attributed to political differences on matters of succession of caliphates (Cragg 89).
While Sunnis immensely believed that caliphates were supposed to be elected, the Shiites argued that caliphate was hereditary position following the line of Prophet Mohammad.
In this line of thought, it is arguable that the revelations of Quran to prophet Mohammad altered the manner in which people interpreted some political topics such as leadership and how people should be filled in the leadership positions.
Following the split of Shiites and Sunnis, the later group’s line of thought dominated the political thoughts of many Islamists to the extent that the modern Islamic nations political compositions is based on the Sunnis lines of thought. The only exception is the Islamic republic of Iran.
Given the respect accorded to Prophet Mohammad following the revelations of Quran, a belief was created that political power needs to be concentrated around a single person (Cragg 89).
Since the Quran housed all the rules that the Islamic society needed to follow to foster political harmony, when the roles of provisions of political guidance shifted from Prophet Mohammed to his successors, a conflict arose because political systems in the Arabic world tended to be more of authoritative as opposed to being democratic.
This case was because Quran made a requirement that people needed to obey both God and those in power.
The revelation of Quran to Prophet Mohammad introduced new rules in the handling of military affairs. For instance, the Quran criminalized any military actions or war against any person or a group of people for any other reason a part from self -defense.
According to Shakir, this argument is evidenced by the Quran verse, “You shall not kill any person- for God has made life sacred – except in the course of justice” (Koran 17: 33). In this sense, the revelation of Quran to Prophet Mohammad meant alteration of the reasons for justification of military action against other people.
For instance, George Braswel argues, “Quran justifies wars for self-defense to protect Islamic communities against internal or external aggression by non-Islamic populations, and wars waged against those who ‘violate their oaths’ by breaking a treaty” (Braswel 37). This argument means that military action was justifiable if it seeks to protect the Islamic faith and its teachings
Jihad is another crucial aspect of Islam that has attracted the attention of the many critics in terms of how the revelation of Quran to prophet Mohammad influenced Muslims’ perceptions of military affairs. In this context, George Braswel argues, “the Quran asserts an idea of Jihad to deal with “a sphere of disobedience, ignorance, and war” (Braswel 38).
However, this places an extremist’s position of the roles of revelations of Quran on the military affairs of the Muslims. People engage in war for different reasons among them being deterioration or interference with their political, economic, and even faith and cultural articulations.
Indeed, continued existence of Islam calls for protection of Islamic institutions. Consequently, the incorporation of the concept of jihad on the revelations of Quran are consistent with the need to protect Islam coupled with its expansion.
How view the of the role of religion, politics, and military affairs following the revelation of Quran facilitated territorial expansion of Islam
As argued before, upon revelation of Quran to Prophet Mohammad, people altered the way they viewed the roles of the religion, politics, and military affairs in the society. People started to relate every aspect of their life and actions to Quran’s teachings.
This achievement helped to foster territorial expansion of Islam. For instance, the teachings of Quran bring people together through insisting on the necessity of having a united Islamic society so that they are able to fight for a common goal in the society.
In the due process, Islam became possible to expand beyond the territorial boundaries. In this line of thought, Braswel argues, “Qur’an also maintains that all individuals are responsible for their actions for which they will be judged by God, and so it provides guidelines for proper behavior within the framework of a just and equitable society” (45).
By articulating the need to engage in military conflicts for self-defense and protection of one’s true religious beliefs, people who believe that their rights are eroded or interfered with find common reasons to confront their common enemies who erode their rights
In the early Arabic world, perceptions of erosion of people’s rights bonded people together. When such perceptions are provided for in the religious doctrines, people who are not faithful to the doctrine based on the perception that their rights are eroded would find themselves being faithful to it if provided with justifications for their actions seeking to liberate themselves.
Therefore, the view that Quran provides the rule defining the relationships between God and his people and that these rules needed protection helped to foster territorial expansions of Islam.
This move was particularly significant when Islam reached new places in which people saw the existing regimes as being oppressive. Through seeking solace to the holy teachings of Quran, Islam was able to spread beyond Mecca.
Based on political views, the Caliphs who took after Prophet Mohammad expanded their territories to include places like Jerusalem, Damascus, and Ctesiphon. They also sent their armies to places like Sindh (Makdisi 179). This army took with it the teachings of Islam so that people who were conquered often found themselves becoming Muslims.
The perception of concentration of political powers around a single person who is the leader of an Islamic community made leaders seek more powers and expansions of their territories. Within the new territories, Islam was introduced as a religion that presented the last revelations of God to his people through angel Gabriel.
In fact, according to Shakir, Quran 4 verse 59 says, “O believers! Obey God and obey the Apostle and those who have been given authority among you (Koran 4:59). Obedience means adherence to the rule of laws advocated for by the rulers.
In case of Caliphs, the rule of law was inspired by the revelations of Quran to Prophet Mohammad. Strict obedience to Sharia formed strong Islamic religious views that were deeply ingrained within the revelations of Quran, which people spread across the border of Mecca.
In the context of military affairs, struggle for making people understand Allah and how He wants His people to live justified the military’s operation against people who are perceived to be the enemies of Allah particularly when they attack Allah’s people.
In such a situation, the war would be a jihad war (holy war). This view led to making Arab conquering armies to transfer Sharia rules and laws coupled with courts in cities and military camps. In this process, new people joined Islam. Through situations involving military operations, mosques were built in many cities that were conquered.
Madrasahs were also introduced to teach and train Muslim youths. This strategy led to the establishment of classical scholars who were guided by the teaching of Quran (ulema). These people later served as madrasah teachers, Qadis, and imams thus fostering successful territorial expansion of Islam.
Before the revelations of Quran to prophet Mohammad, He criticized the society within which He lived as irreligious and materialistic. The revelations of Quran led to the unification of people on common religious beliefs based on the teachings of Allah as revealed to Prophet Mohammad through angel Gabriel.
These revelations altered the way people viewed military affairs, politics, and religions. Religion became guided by set out principles and rules whose breach amounted to punishment by Allah. Politics was based on the principle of compliance to Quran teachings, which insisted on obedience to both Allah and those people who are in power.
Military operations became justified based on self-defense. During military conquering, the paper argued that the territorial expansion of Islam becomes possible.
Additionally, the paper held that politics and religious views of people following the revelation of Quran to prophet Mohammad had overall effects of altering the views of people towards the topics of religion and politics so that Islam became highly embraced by people.
Again, this strategy fostered its territorial expansion to the extent that, today, Islam is the second largest religion in the world.
Audi, Robert, and Nicholas Wolterstorff. Religion in the Public Square: The Place of Religious Convictions in Political debate. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1997. Print.
Braswel, George. What you need to know about Islam & Muslims. Nashville, Tenn: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000. Print.
Cragg, Kenneth. “A Tale of Two Cities: Helping the heirs of Mecca to transform Medina.” Mission Frontiers 3.1(2001): 78-91. Print.
Godziher, Ignaz. Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981. Print.
Makdisi, George. “Scholasticism and Humanism in Classical Islam and the Christian West.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 109.2 (2001): 175–182. Print.
Shakir, Mohammad. The Qur’an. New York, NY: Tahrike Tarsile Qur’an, Inc., 1999. Print.
Quran History and Analysis Essay
The recension of the Quran was completed during the reign of Uthman ibn Affan. In particular, it was necessary to standardize this text because many people who knew the Prophet Muhammad and remembered the text of the Quran were dying. Furthermore, this standardization was critical because the territory of the caliphate and its population increased dramatically. This task was initiated by Uthman in 653 when Muslim scholars began to compile different Islamic texts.
The Uthmanic recension of the Quran has several distinctive features; at first, one should speak about the use of Kufic calligraphy with its angular strokes. Moreover, the text of this book was subdivided into 114 surahs or chapters. They are arranged according to their length, rather than chronological order. Modern versions of the Quran are based on the Uthmanic recension.
The term chronology can be used to describe the history of the Quran as the text. In this case, one should speak about the compilation of different manuscripts, which are now regarded as the inseparable part of the Islamic canon. In turn, the term chronology can be applied to describe the order of Allah’s revelations to the Prophet Muhammad. Yet, traditionally, surahs are not arranged in a chronological way.
It should be noted that for a long time, Western scholars did not perceive the Quran as the word of God. In other words, they stated that this text could be attributed to a specific author, the Prophet Muhammad (Ernst, 2009, p. 93). Much attention was also paid to the importance of oral tradition in Islam (Graham, 2010). However, the attitude toward the Quran has evolved considerably because it is perceived as the sacred text. Moreover, scholars accept the premise that in some communities, this text is considered to be the revelation from God.
Scholars, who study the Quran, can take different approaches to the analysis of this text. For example, they can focus on the themes explored in this text. This method is advocated by such a scholar as Fazlur Rahman (2009), who wants to focus on the main ideas, concepts, or underlying assumptions embedded into the surahs of the Quran. In this way, one can single out the key messages that a reader should consider (Rahman, 2009).
This paper will examine the 100th surah, which is also known as Al-Adiyat. This word can be translated as The Chargers or The Gallopers. On the whole, this surah is closely related to such a notion as Al-Akhirah that can be interpreted as afterlife. One can say that this notion plays a critical role in Islam because it shapes the ethical norms that a person should follow in his/her. This concept is not explicitly mentioned in the text, but the readers are urged to remember that their worldly life will be fully revealed to God.
Overall, this surah is aimed at showing that a person should be continuously aware of the existence and inevitability of the afterlife, during which each of his/her secrets will be disclosed and judged. This argument is particularly relevant if one speaks about individuals who commit crimes against other people. They should regard this surah as a warning against the grave danger that awaits them in the afterlife. On the whole, the thoughts about Al-Akhirah should guide the moral choices of a person. These are the main questions that should be discussed more closely because they are critical for the interpretation of this text.
This text of this surah opens with the description of violent acts committed by people who do not even think about the afterlife. In particular, one can speak about raiders who could plunder the property of other people.
In order to gain material prosperity, they could stop at nothing, even bloodshed. They are driven by “the love of wealth” (Al-Adiyat 100: 8). Such individuals try to turn a blind eye to the notion of Al-Akhirah. Apart from that, this worldview leads to the rejection of ethical norms that should guide the actions of a person. Therefore, one can argue that this behavior can produce disastrous impacts on the community. This is one of the points that should be considered by readers.
In turn, this surah is aimed at showing how erroneous this behavior is. In particular, people should take into account that their actions will not be concealed from God. In particular, one should bear in mind that the “secrets of the breasts” will eventually be made known (Al-Adiyat 100:10). In other words, a person should not suppose that God will not learn about his/her unethical actions. Therefore, one should not reject the notion of afterlife. Certainly, this surah does not clearly state that the evil deeds of a person will be punished; however, this consequence is implied in this text.
This is one of the main arguments that can be put forward. To some degree, this surah provides moral guidance that an individual should not disregard. Therefore, it is possible to argue that people who reject the notion of afterlife can act in an unethical way.
Nevertheless, this behavior will eventually lead to their destruction and damnation of this individual because God will be “perfectly informed” about the nature of their deeds. Furthermore, the wealth that these people acquired through evil deeds will be of no benefit to them. These are the main moral implications of this surah. To a great extent, it serves as a warning to the readers who should remember that their actions will be eventually evaluated from an ethical viewpoint.
Admittedly, this surah does not incorporate the term Al-Akhirah. Nevertheless, it indicates that a person should not focus only on his/her worldly life. This is one of the main details that can be distinguished. Additionally, one can say that a thematic approach to the study of the Quran is rather productive because, in this way, one can better identify the key messages that a reader should consider. Furthermore, this method is useful for understanding the ethical standards incorporated in the Quran. These are the main benefits of adopting this approach.
Thus, one can say that this surah demonstrates why awareness about Al-Akhirah is critical for the salvation of an individual. To a great extent, this goal is achieved by describing the self-destructive behavior of people who deny the existence of afterlife. The readers can see how destructive this world-view is. In particular, one should bear in mind that his/her actions and thoughts will not be concealed from Allah, who is omnipotent and omniscient.
Moreover, a person should not suppose that wealth or avert respectability can be of any benefit in the afterlife. These are the main details that be singled out because they reflect the ethical systems of Islam. Moreover, one can say that the thematic analysis of the Quran advocated by Fazlur Rahman (2009) is a very useful method of analyzing this text.
Ernst, C. (2009). Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.
Graham, W. (2010). Islamic and Comparative Religious Studies: Selected Writings. New York, NY: Ashgate Publishing.
Rahman, F. (2009). Major Themes of the Qur’an. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Ismaili Interpretations of the Quran Research Paper
Various movements within Islam may differ in their interpretations of the Quran. In this case, much attention should be paid to the way in which they distinguish formal and semantic elements that can be used to understand the ethical messages incorporated in this book. This paper is aimed at examining the approach taken by the representatives of Ismailism. It should be mentioned that it is a very important branch of Shia Islam.
Overall, their interpretation is based on such a notion as i’jaz or inimitability of the Quaran in terms of its meaning as well as style. As a rule, they focus primarily on the content and implied meaning of this text, rather than its formal elements; in their view, meaning can appeal to every individual regardless of his/her ethnicity, language, or cultural background. Therefore, Ismaili scholars attach importance to the esoteric interpretation which is supposed to uncover the hidden messages that can be included in the Quran. Under such circumstances, the critical role is played by imams who have the authority to examine and uncover the semantic aspects of the text. This is the main thesis that should be examined more closely.
Two approaches to the interpretations of the Quran
It should be noted that Islamic scholars distinguish two important aspects of the Quran. At first, they mention such a notion as zahr or outer elements of the text, but they also distinguish batn or inner meaning of the same textual passage (Ayoub, 2013, p. 36).
Thus, some of them may prefer the exoteric interpretation which focuses on the outer elements of the text; nevertheless, other scholars may adopt esoteric approach that is supposed to uncover the main message which may not be clearly articulated. Very often, such messages are not apparent (Ayoub, 2013). Each of these methods has certain advantages and disadvantages. For instance, exoteric approach can be useful for explaining how word choices, syntax, or structure influence the meaning of the text. However, this approach can be too narrow because a person may be able to apply the text of the Quran only to specific situations. In turn, esoteric method can be useful for finding allegorical meaning. However, this method can be too subjective. The knowledge of these distinctions is important for showing of how Ismailis can interpret the messages articulated by the Prophet Muhammad.
The origins of Ismaili approach to interpretation
The debates about the interpretation of the Quran arose because it was necessary to show that this text was the divine revelation. In order to highlight this idea, some Muslims prefer to focus on such an aspect as style which includes such elements as eloquence, diction, rhyme, and so forth. Nevertheless, the representatives of Ismailism do not fully accept this approach because in this case, only the speakers of the Arabic language can appreciate the beauty of this text (Poonawala, 1988, p. 382). In turn, the translation of the Quran into any foreign language may deprive the text of its beauty. This issue became particularly important at the time, when Islam was embraced by people who could represent different ethnic and religious groups. At the same time, they lay stress on the idea that the Prophet was sent to the entire human kind (Poonawala, 1988, p. 381).
Thus, Islam cannot be regarded as some local phenomenon which can be relevant only to a certain ethnic or cultural group. One should pay more attention to the depth of revelations which are often counter-intuitive. In other words, they cannot be deduced by any human being without external assistance. These ideas are advocated by various Ismaili commentators of the Quran. Overall, these arguments imply that it is more important to focus on the meaning imbedded in the Quran. This line of reasoning implies that it is important to consider the esoteric interpretation which can throw light on the main messages that readers should consider. In order to justify this method, they often refer to the hadiths which emphasize the need for searching deeper meanings of the Quran. Thus, one should discuss this approach in greater detail.
Overall, Ismailism implies that one should focus on the esoteric interpretation of a text. As it has been said before, esoteric interpretation focuses on the implied meanings. It is not limited only to the literal interpretation of the Quran (Ansari, 2004, p. 381). In this case, a person assumes that certain ideas may not be explicitly stated. It should be noted that exoteric interpretation of the Quran is called tafsir. The key issue is that there are not many tafsir works in the Ismaili literature; this is one of the details that attract the attention of researchers who study this particular branch of Islam (Poonawala, 1988, p. 385).
Certainly, one should not assume that Ismailis completely overlook the importance of formal elements. This element is also important for i’jaz or inimitability of the Quran. However, they pay more attention to the meaning which may not be derived only from textual elements. In their opinion, this approach can be vital for understanding the complexity of this text. Again, this approach is based on the assumption that scholars should examine the semantic elements of the Quran. One should also bear in mind that the questions related to interpretations of the Quran are not related only to religious aspects. These issues can have profound implications for the legislative principles that may govern everyday life of people. Therefore, one should not suppose that this issue is important only from a theological viewpoint because this assumption fails to consider the important social role of Islam. This is one of the aspects that should not be overlooked by people who study the history of the Quran.
The role of imams as interpreters
This approach implies that it is necessary to single out those people who are qualified enough to interpret the Quran and identify the implicit messages imbedded in the text. In this case, much attention should be paid to the role of imams who have the authority to interpret the Quran and its hidden meanings (Nasr, 2013, p. 36). Moreover, these people are believed to have “divinely granted knowledge” (Ansari, 2004, p. 381).
Ismaili scholars argue that imams are more qualified to identify the allegorical meaning of the text (Ansari, 2004, p. 381). This is why their opinion should be considered. One should bear in mind that the role of imams is different in Sunni Islam since they are not regarded as the direct followers of the Prophet Muhammad. This is one of the differences that should be taken into account. This issue is important for understanding the differences between Shias and Sunnis. Furthermore, the role of imams is often debated by the supporters of different Islamic movements. The main problem is that exclusive role of imams can be compared to elitism which can be very exclusionary.
This is one of the drawbacks that should not be overlooked. This is why esoteric interpretations can often be questioned and debated by many people including those ones who accept the Quran as the divine revelation. However, this method certainly remains very influential; moreover, it is not necessarily adopted only by imams. In many cases, this role can be assumed by people who are not regarded as religious authorities. This is one of the aspects that can be distinguished.
This discussion shows that there are various approaches to the interpretation of the Quran. The advocates of Ismailism pay more attention to the content of the book, especially the hidden meaning of this text. This approach can be helpful for highlighting the exceptional nature of the Quran. On the whole, it is possible to agree with the assumption, according to which it is important to place emphasis on the content of the Quran, especially the messages that do not take its origins in the textual elements of this book. Admittedly, the study of formal elements should not be dismissed, but this method requires the knowledge of the Arabic language. In turn, the esoteric interpretations can be too subjective, and many people may not readily accept them. This is one of the limitations that one should take into account. On the whole, this discussion is important for showing that the meaning of the Quran can still be open to various interpretations that can often be allegorical. These are the main details that can be distinguished.
Ansari, H. (2004). The Infidel Within: Muslims in Britain Since 1800. New York, NY: Hurst & Co. Publishers. Web.
Ayoub, M. (2013).Qur’an and Its Interpreters. New York, NY: Islamic Book Trust. Web.
Nasr, S. (2013). Islamic Spirituality: Foundations. New York, NY: Routledge. Web.
Poonawala, I. (1988). Ismaili Treatise on the Ijaz Al-Quran. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 108(3), 379-385. Web.
The Quran Highlights of Jesus’ Life Essay
Muslims believe in the existence of Jesus, and the Quran has an extensive account of his life. The Quran highlights Jesus’ life as that of a normal human being, who was occasionally used by God to reveal his power to the people. Islamic believers majorly focus on Prophet Muhammad more than any other prophet, but the Quran has a comprehensive coverage of Jesus as one of the most powerful prophets. He is a part of the reason that the Muslims believe that God exists, and his power exceeds any man’s imagination. Jesus is given the name Isa in the Quran, and he is also referred to as Al-Masih, meaning the Messiah. This paper looks into the beliefs shared by the Muslims about Jesus, with a close focus on the Quran’s account of Jesus.
Jesus as a messenger
Jesus’ life is clearly highlighted in the Holy Quran. Muslims refer to Jesus as a messenger of God. They have ultimate respect for Jesus, and they believe that he was sent to earth as a messenger just like other prophets. In Quran 5:75, Jesus is said to have been granted the power to perform miracles by God. Mary is said to have observed truthfulness throughout her life. The Quran has an entire chapter highlighting Mary’s life before and after the birth of Jesus. The doctrine of Jesus is quite important to the Muslims because it forms the basis of their belief in the existence of God. According to the Islamic beliefs, Jesus did not bring a new law to the Muslims, but he created a new path called tariqah, which is based on the love of God.
One of the unique things about the existence of Jesus as revealed in the Quran is his virgin mother. The Arabic language refers to Mary as Maryam, and the Quran indicates that she was a virgin during the conception and birth of Jesus (Naeem and Khan 1). The Quran acknowledges that Jesus was born miraculously. In the Quran 19: 16-21, the story of Mary and Angel Gabriel is highlighted. In the story, Angel Gabriel revealed himself to Maryam and gave her the message from God that she would give birth to Jesus, despite her virgin status, and the prophecy came to pass. Quran 3:47 highlights Mary’s questioning God about giving birth to Jesus, yet she had never been touched by a man. The existence of Jesus in the Quran is compared to the creation of Adam, which indicated that God has power over natural things (“The Qur’an” 3:59).
Jesus and the miracles he did
The Quran has a record of the miracles that were done by Jesus in various stages of his life. Islamic beliefs indicate that all the miracles performed by Jesus were done through the power of God. The Quran influences the belief that Jesus was only a human being who was used by God to pass a message to the people. The Quran reveals that Jesus was an important part of the Muslim’s history because of his teachings sand the purpose of his life.
The Quran indicates that Jesus could deliver the people from their unique helpless situations by performing miracles. For instance, the Quran states that Jesus had the power to heal the lepers and to restore sight in the blind. The Quran also speaks of Jesus breathing life into birds made of clay. He also had the power to bring people back from the dead (“The Qur’an” 3:49). Islam beliefs indicate that Jesus was sent to earth to fulfill a mission in spreading the gospel and manifesting God’s power through miracles.
Jesus was a Muslim
The Quran indicates that Jesus was a prophet sent to spread God’s teachings to the Jews. The Quran claims that Jesus always followed God’s will, a characteristic associated with Muslims (“The Qur’an” 3:84). The Quran gives Jesus the title of the Messiah, and he is believed to have been the last prophet sent to earth by God to redeem the Israelites from their evil ways. The Quran also claims that Jesus never married or had children, and he will return to earth before judgment day.
Since Prophet Muhammad is believed to have been the last prophet, Jesus will return to earth, but not as a prophet. Muslims believe that Jesus was sent with the main mission of spreading the Gospel to compel the people to love their neighbors. They also believe that on his return to earth, one of the missions that Jesus will accomplish is to die a Muslim. Jesus preached peace and urged the people to lead a righteous life, and this value fit into the Islamic culture.
Jesus’ death and resurrection
The Quran states that Jesus was never killed and crucified. It claims that the people thought they had killed Jesus, but it never came to pass (“The Qur’an” 4:157). The Quran indicates that the enemies of Jesus had planned to kill him, but God saved him by raising him up to heaven. It further claims that after Jesus was raised to heaven, another man who looked like Jesus appeared on earth. The enemies arrested this man and crucified him, thinking that he was Jesus (“The Qur’an” 4:157). Jesus is among the few people in the Quran that were saved from natural death by God. This information reveals the importance of Jesus to the Islamic belief that God can save his people from death.
The Quran has a comprehensive account of Jesus’ life from the time of his conception to the time when he was raised to heaven by God. The Quran reveals that Jesus was just a prophet sent by God as a human manifestation of the power of God. His miracles are seen as God’s power through his prophet. The Quran indicates that Jesus had no control over his ability to perform miracles. The Muslims believe that the power to perform miracles was granted to Jesus by God whenever he wanted to prove his existence to the people.
Muslims believe that the prophet was raised up to heaven by the power of God. The enemies crucified and killed a different man who resembled Jesus after his ascent to heaven. The Quran indicates that Jesus was just a prophet, born of a virgin mother, and raised to manifest the power of God. According to the Holy Scripture, Jesus is not the son of God; rather, he is just one of the prophets sent to earth to manifest God’s power. His main mission was to spread the gospel and teach about the importance of love in the society. Muslims believe that Jesus was saved from death, but he will die a Muslim after his return to earth.
McClure, John. Islamic Jesus. Atlanta: APGO America, 2011. Print.
Naeem, Muhammad, and Mumtaz Khan. “PROPHET JESUS CHRIST IN THE BIBLE AND THE HOLY QURAN.” VFAST Transactions on Islamic Research 1.1 (2013): 1-9. Print.
The Qur’an: (Oxford’s World Classics). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print.
Mohammed, Quran, and Mosque Masjid al-Tawheed Essay
Islam is a commonly practiced religion. One of the characteristics of this religion that make it distinct from other religions is the belief in the existence of only one God, with Mohammed as His prophet (WELS Outreach, 2). Secondly, staunch Muslims are known to pray five times a day without fail. Another distinct characteristic of Islam is their faithful fasting during the Holy month of Ramadan, which falls on the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. Another common practice by Muslims is their annual donation of money to aid the poor in society. Finally, Muslims are encouraged to participate in a pilgrimage to Hajj once in a lifetime (Religion facts, 3).
Islam has its roots in Prophet Mohammed. Mohammed was born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. He was raised by his uncle, Abu Talib as his parents died when he was young. He would retreat to a cave in the Mecca deserts for days and nights of prayer in seclusion. It is after one of these prayer sessions at the age of forty that he reported having received his first revelation from God (Religion facts, 2). Islam is centered on the belief that Mohammed the last prophet of God (WELS Outreach, 1). He gained followers gradually beginning with those from his hometown in Mecca. Mohammed took it upon himself to spread the message of Islam around the world peacefully.
Since the inception of Islamic religion in Mecca in the year 610 AD, the Quran has been a guide to those practicing the religion. The term Quran means ‘the recitation’ and is believed to be the verbatim word of God. According to the Muslims, the Quran is God’s word as was given to Mohammed through Angel Gabriel for over 23 years. The Quran explains the Islam religion to those practicing it, while at the same time offering guidance on certain moral issues. This makes it useful in the interpretation of the Sharia law. Besides, this holy book provides details on some historical events, and in turn gives interpretations for these happenings, as well as the lessons to be derived (Religion facts, 3). The Quran presents Islam as a linear and exclusive religion.
Muslims conduct prayers and Quran study sessions in Mosques. An example of such is the Mosque Masjid al-Tawheed in San Francisco. This mosque is located on the 1227 Sutter Street San Francisco, CA. There is a mass transit near the mosque, which has a capacity of about five hundred to six hundred Muslims (Alnaseej, 1). The prayer rooms for men and women are separate, with the women having a back entrance to access their sisters’ section. The leadership of the mosque is purely marked by men, as women are not allowed to hold positions of leadership (Alnaseej, 1). The board of directors for the mosque is unelected.
Islam has faced a high rate of globalization. The high birth rates among Islamic groups serve to make it the fastest-growing religion in the world today. In Mosques, the presence of non-Arabic speakers has warranted for the translation of the Quran, sometimes through the use of headphones. This attracts more people to the mosques. Also, there is a forum in the mosques to discuss important topics in the world, like political and economic issues, before and after prayer. As part of these discussions, Muslims around the world are called upon to express their opinions on various issues.
Alnaseej, Wasat. Masjid Al-Tawheed. Islamic Finder. 2013. Web.
Religion facts. Muslim Rituals and Practices. 2012. Web.
WELS Outreach to Muslims Committee. Background Information on Islam. Truth in love to Muslims. (n.d.). Web.