Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Koran For Dummies

At work we have a number of books, a large number as a matter of fact and I have off to read some of those books while waiting for the phone to ring. For the past couple of weeks the phone has been quiet and I have done a lot of reading but this week we are in the midst of busy season and the phone does not stop ringing from 7 AM when I arrive to 5 PM when I leave. One of the books I have been reading though was the Koran for Dummies. This has been an interesting read for me as a Christian. Here is are a couple of observations that I had while reading:

* Muslims, Jews, and Christians all believe in the same God. I knew this but some how it was striking to me while reading it. We all trace our past back to Adam and Moses and Abraham. We all love David, but for different reasons, and we all have a basic code of conduct that has been passed down. We are like a family that has had a fight somewhere in the past and we starting branching away as we all choose sides. The farther we go back the closer we are and sadly the farther we move ahead the farther we are going to be apart.

* The Koran does not recognize the failings of the major characters in the story. David never slept with Bathsheba, Lot never pimped his daughters, Moses never killed a guy, and so on. The prophets and messengers were free of any major sin according to the Koran. One of the things that I relate so much with in Christianity is God's use of normal, broken people to do extraordinary things. It was never about man's strength but rather God's strength through man and I can see that is not about me measuring up to this crazy standard but rather God's love for me where ever I am at.

* The story in the Koran is not chronological or even really concerned with historically accuracy. It is about the story and moral of the story, not about the details. I love this bit. Kate is always correcting me about the details of a story when I tell it. There is this Ayat (Verse or verses) in the Koran that make fun of these teachers who are debating about how many people were in this cave hiding. The important part is not how many, but that they were hiding in the cave. As one who likes to tell stories I liked this part quite a bit.

* The Koran has been wildly mis-interpreted by the fundamentalist wackos that are using it to defend their actions but it is easy to see why they would use the Ayat that they do to defend their actions. I had a teacher that used to say of the Pharasies in Jesus time that they were "sincere people who thought they right. They were sincere, but sincerely wrong" I think that applies to the above group as well.

I enjoyed reading this book and I know that it is in no way a comprehensive look at the Koran. It is a book for Dummies and that is what I am. I found that I enjoyed it much more when I wasn't looking for ways to disagree but rather finding the similarities.

Has anyone read any good books lately?


jamie said...

I read a very short story about a brilliant young man who was changing his life. He wrote about leaving his job and moving across the country to get married and start a new exciting life. I printed it off the computer maybe I'll let you read it when your here for christmas.

The Popular Stranger said...

Did Morgan Spurlock read from the Koran for Dummies when he did that 30 days stint about Muslims? I swear I could hear his voice while I was reading that first paragraph.

JR said...

I didn't see that one but could still go back and hear his voice as I read it as well. That is creepy since I know I wrote it. Thanks alot Tonya you have thoroughly creeped me out now. I think I'll go to McDonalds!

Anonymous said...

mornin James,
i wonder if you could get me a copy of this one, I think Grandpa Gary would get a kick out of it for Christmas! Kris