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RE: Mark - who wrote the Bible, who wrote the Quran?

Reader comment on item: Something Rotten in Denmark?
in response to reader comment: Is this true information about the Muslims ? or is it a conspiracy ?

Submitted by Hind Samy (Egypt), Mar 27, 2006 at 16:51

Dear Mark,

As always I enjoy reading your posts even if we don't always see eye to eye on things. Let me try to reply.

Submitted by Mark, Mar 27, 2006 at 01:03

To Hind,
You make some interesting points about the Bible and I would not dispute them. The Bible has come under question..
So what about the Quran? In contrast it is purely the word of Allah as dictated to the messenger. Right?

My reply:
We believe the Koran was sent down to the Prophet Mohamed (pbuh). The Prophet (pbuh) was an illiterate man and when he started telling people about these revelations he received from God people of course were skeptical. However when they saw the intricate and elaborate language and the poetical nature of what he was saying they gradually started believing this must have come from a divine being and this is the birth of Islam. I'm sure you know the Arabs living at the time of the Prophet (pbuh) were very well versed poets, very eloquent and masters of the art of memorising - and the Koranic suras were written down in its original language since that time. This is why we are 100% sure and adamant that it is in its originality and completeness to this day.

You say:
"What actually happened was the European culture rediscovered the virtues of critical thought and analysis and open reevaluation of ideas. Hence the renaissance and the explosion of modern scientific and other discoveries."

When the Islamic empire expanded into Europe - this is the beginning of the renaissance in Europe - the Muslims brought with them many scientific and medical discoveries with them to the West because I'm sure you know the Arabs were a crossroads between the Far East and the West and many traders and merchants travelled through Arabia to the West and the Arabs were exposed to many cultures during this time. Islam encourages scientific exploration and knowledge and so the Muslims took with them and shared this wealth of knowledge to all the countries they went to.

You say:
"The concept of a Quran straight from the word of God, recorded faithfully and purely forever in the 7th Century.. One god, no partners, one pure truth. it is as if the author of that religion kicked the tires of the other relgions available at the time and decided to invent the most pure and true religion possible"

Actually Islam didn't "kick the tires of the other religions" - Christianity and Judaism are discussed in the Koran, because afterall God (the same God), sent us these religions too. The Koran also tells us God sent the Koran because the Christians had altered His word (the Bible) and the true word had to be resent.

Here comes the bit which is difficult to explain - As Muslims we believe Christians and Jews are people of the Book - believers (and therefore not "infidels" as many Islam bashers would like you to believe ).

You say:
"The concept of heaven and hell troubled me. If non-Christians will go to hell that is a lot of people"

Personally, I believe this is not all black and white - I believe people who do good will go to heaven and people who do bad will probably go to hell, regardless of their religion. You see religion is open to many interpretations, this is my personal interpretation.

You said:
"Then of course there is Islam. This is a little more confusing, being followers of the book will they go to hell or not? I took a ride with a Palistinian freind several years ago who was having a nice time with my 9 year old son. He asked him his religion. Imagine this child informed my son that he would go to hell because he was a Christian. I don't know if this is what Islam teaches but the parents of this child had somehow allowed him to come to that conclusion. My case before Islam is however much more clear. According to Islam I would definitely go to hell. Lucky I don't believe in hell, right?"

A few of my Christian friends have told me similar experiences - unfortunately this seems to happen - and this is ignorance. A proper Muslim must never judge someone else - and like I said, Christians are people of the Book and believe in God. It is a sin for a Muslim to call another person an unbeliever because belief is in the hearts of people. For example I might see the actions of someone and assume they're bad but I can't tell what is in their hearts. Love of God is a very personal thing and it's in the heart - how can we judge someone when we can't see into their heart? Unfortunately there are some people who see things in black and white and your son unfortunately ran into such an example. I am sorry your son had to hear rubbish like that, I can't begin to imagine how he must have felt. I assure you, this is not what Islam teaches us.

You asid:
"As for Jack the ripper being a Christian or not it has nothing to do with the truth or otherwise of Islam or any other religion.."

I didn't bring up the issue of Jack the Ripper, JustMe did.

Now I must comment on something that made me smile a little despite the somewhat sarcastic undertones:
You said:
"Yeah well you are not fooling me. I am sure that you Hind are a wonderful person, one whom my wife would be proud to call a friend. I won't say that I would call you a friend because I wouldn't want to put your family honor at stake as we are not related and I am of the opposite sex. Don't want any meaningless violence here, I mean we are discussing ideas right?"

Why are you assuming I am trying to fool you in any way? Like I said before I enjoy reading your posts and enjoy replying because I respect your way of debating and putting forth your opinions. You can call me a friend if you wish, it wouldn't jeopardise my family honour - there would be no meaningless violence there is no need to be sarcastic here as I am sincere in my replies to you and respect you as a fellow human being.

You finally say:
"The best that we can do is to sharpen those traits that make us human and contribute as best we can to the improvement of the human condition. If you focussed on the practices in your religion that were of a personal and family matter then it might help you in this regard. But as soon as you get into the realm of arguing of dogma, (my god is bigger than your god) I am afraid that religion takes you in the opposite direction"

My religion and my beliefs don't contradict the sharpening of those traits that make me human - it's precisely those beliefs that make me a better person. As much as possible I try to do what Islam teaches us and in doing so I strive to follow my moral conscience as best as I can. For Muslims the ultimate role model is our Prophet (pbuh). He was very loved by his peers because of his excellent behaviour and moral conduct. Maybe one of my fellow Muslims here can write about how the Prophet (pbuh) behaved with people, even with those who tried to insult him and those who hated him. There is a story about a woman who hated the Prophet (pbuh), and who used to throw trash at the Prophet's (pbuh) house every day (and the Prophet pbuh never responded in kind, his followers were surprised at his forgiveness ) and one day when she didn't do this the Prophet went to her house to enquire about her health out of concern for her - this is how the Prophet (pbuh) dealt with even people who hated him. If more Muslims followed the teachings of the Prophet (pbuh) there would be no terrorism and much of the negative behaviour we see in many so called Muslims.

As for your comment "my god is bigger than your god" I believe there is only one God - and people who believe in God worship the same being - be He called God, Allah or Jehovah etc.

I wish you and yours all the best. Peace be with you.
Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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