I'll break down their comment point by point, but first of all, anonymous, I appreciate your concern, and the help in trying to clarify the passages of the Quran, they can be difficult to interpret. For the sake of this post, I'll refer to this person as Concerned Muslim or CM:
Sure, CM, what I mean about proselytizing in the warning that you see above the comment section is a warning against people trying to convert me to their religion, Pascal's Wager arguments, etc, that won't be tolerated. Comments that are in disagreement, but are civil, and attempts to clarify something I've said in a post are not only acceptable, but encouraged.
Yes, there probably are many misconceptions about Islam, both from a lack of knowledge about it in the Western world, (it's not a common religion in many places), and deliberate smears for various reasons, especially religiously motivated attacks. In the Koran, chapters are typically referred to as Surahs in Arabic, I usually just simply use the term "chapter" instead.
Chapter/Surah 2 is rather difficult to read and understand, especially for someone who is not familiar with Islam to begin with. I have noticed that the Quran doesn't go with a narrative style like the Old Testament, but instead presumes that the reader already knows what it is talking about. I'm not the only one who has noticed this. It looks like my good blogging friend Ahab of the extremism watch blog Republic of Gilead feels the same way:
Back to CM's comment:
OK, my fault, I have been interpreting it very much from a Christianity based perspective, it's probably because quite frankly, Christianity is the only religion that I'm thoroughly familiar with (which is something that I was hoping to change with this project). I have also noticed, as I stated in yesterday's post, that I keep finding an incredible amount of parallels between the Bible and Quran, and I listed the similar verses, and compared them side by side.
I probably should try to look at it more from it's own perspective, and let the Quran speak for itself.
From what I have found through research, it is true, Allah does later forgive Adam:
When Adam and Eve realized that they have disobeyed God by eating the fruit they called:
'Our Lord we have wronged ourselves souls. If You forgive us not and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers' " (Quran 7:23)
And God accepts their plea:
".. Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, so he went Astray. Then his Lord chose him, and turned to him with forgiveness, and gave him guidance." (Quran 20:121-122)There is also no concept of original sin in Islam, Christianity teaches that because of Adam's sin death and sin entered into this world, and that his sinned passed to all of us, because we are all his descendants, (this is typically known as "original sin", the Quran has no such concept. Each person is responsible for their own actions, and no one else's:
Every Person is Responsible for Their Action.
This is what Islam preaches. This is what people throughout the world preach. We consider fair that no person be held accountable or responsible for someone else's mistake. That if blame is due, then it is due on who deserves it. That if punishment is to be made, it ought to be on the one who wronged. We consider that to be fair.
The Quran states:"That no burdened person (with sins) shall bear the burden (sins) of another. And that man can have nothing but what he does (of good and bad). And that his deeds will be seen, Then he will be recompensed with a full and the best recompense [fair] " (Quran 53:38-41)
It also appears that CM is right that Judaism rejects original sin:
The doctrine of original sin is totally unacceptable to Jews (as it is to Christian sects such as Baptists and Assemblies of G-d). Jews believe that man enters the world free of sin, with a soul that is pure and innocent and untainted. While there were some Jewish teachers in Talmudic times who believed that death was a punishment brought upon mankind on account of Adam's sin, the dominant view by far was that man sins because he is not a perfect being, and not, as Christianity teaches, because he is inherently sinful.More of CM's comment:
Here's what Wikipedia has to say about the concept of Fitra:
According to Islamic theology, human beings are born with an innate inclination of tawhid (Oneness), which is encapsulated in the fitra along with compassion, intelligence, ihsan and all other attributes that embody what it is to be human. It is for this reason that some Muslims prefer to refer to those who embrace Islam as reverts rather than converts, as it is believed they are returning to a perceived pure state.
Fitra has a physical component as well as a spiritual one. The fitra of the human body is its beauty and perfection as created by God. Although created perfectly by God, humans are permitted to enhance their appearance through means approved by God, such as clothes, bathing and perfumes. These are changes to surface appearance, but not to one's essential fitra.
However, radical changes to one's body to suit personal taste or social fashion are condemned as unlawful changes to fitra. Procedures to remove or hide deformities resulting from disease or injury are seen as restoring fitra, rather than changing it, and are therefore allowed.I wonder what CM means by misunderstanding of the word khalifa, and of the Islamic concept of free will. I hope he/she stays around and explains that. If you are out there, CM, stop by any time and comment.
I think much of my misunderstandings here about the Quran are due to two factors. One, I really need to stop trying to look at it through a more Biblical/Christianity based perspective, and two I need to research everything, every concept of the Quran, and every statement I make before I post.
I think a major problem here is due to the fact that the Quran follows a "stream of consciousness" style in it's writing, as Ahab says, and presumes a lot on the part of the reader, instead of going with the more narrative style that you see in the Old Testament. Nothing seems to be in an order that would be familiar to readers today, and it seems out of order. For example, I'm only into Surah 2, and there details that are missing from the account of Adam's life, such as Allah forgiving him, which didn't show up until Surah 20.
If only someone would re edit the Quran so that it follows what we would consider in this era to be a more logical order, listing all details of Adam's life right there in Surah 2, instead of leaving details for to be written much later in the text (and leaving the reader in the dark until then).