Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Believers - The Koran

Welcome back to my blog! In this case, I'm writing  about a Chapter of the Koran titled "The believers" the chapter number is 23. I'm adding a link below to the full chapter. I hope you enjoy it!

         "Blessed are the believers, who are humble in their prayers; who avoid profane talk, and give alms to the destitute; who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave-girls, for these are lawful to them: transgressors are those who lust after other than these); who are true to their trusts and promises, and dilligent in their prayers. These are the heirs of the Paradise; they shall abide in it forever.

This is the openning line of the Koran's Chapter "The Believers". When I read it, I immediately recognized the style, but didn't remember when I had read it before. A while after, I knew where I  had seen those lines ... The Bible:

          "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." (Matthew 5:3-6)

These two texts are similar in the ways they are written, and may tell us a lot about their corresponding religions if we analyze them well. Since the one that concerns us now  is the Koran, I can say that the phrase which most surprised me is when it speaks about the restraints of carnal desires EXCEPT with their wives and their slave-girls. This speaks about the surprisingly low status of women in this religion which may be an important factor when we analyze cultures.

There are many other similarities with Christian Catholic Bible. For example, the patriarchs are all the same: Noah, Moses... and their stories are also very similar. When the Koran says "And We gave Moses the Book, so that they might be rightly guided", they are presumably speaking about the 10 commandments of the Catholic Church, which were handed to Moses by God. The Koran also makes a reference about Jesus by saying: "We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign for mankind, and gave them shelter on a peaceful hillside watered by a fresh spring". With this, the Koran recognizes Jesus as a prophet and an example to be followed by the Muslim people, instead of recognizing him as the son of God or God himself.

Another thing I noticed in the chapter I read, is the repetitive use of "We". I presume that this refers to all the Muslims, and it surprises me that the Koran is written in first person, or at least this chapter. This is maybe because the prophet Mahoma was the one who wrote most of it, which turned him into the "creator" of Islam and the muslim religion. What I don't understand is why the Koran at the beginning of the Chapter 23 says: "We created seven heavens above you/ We first created man from an essence of clay/ The germ We made a clot of blood," as if "We" were the creators, and then aknowledges god with the phrase "Blessed be God, the noblest of creators."