In the past few days I have been reading the Qur’an, and of course, that has led me to think about religion quite a lot. Long-time readers will know that my thoughts on the existence of God are rather neutral, and when I’m not being all philosophic/silly, I am probably just an agnostic. Still, now that I have read a decent portion of the Qur’an, I have formed some opinions. For today, however, I’ll just stick to an issue that bugs me about every religion, and that is very prominent in the Qur’an: why would Islam be right when all those other religions are wrong?
The Qur’an is full of repetition, and one of the things that is repeated time and time again is the fact that although Jesus and Moses definitely were messengers of God, a lot of Jews and Christians have strayed from the righteous path. God is willing to forgive some of them, but in the end, it just comes down to the fact that Jews and Christians are both wrong because they misinterpreted God’s word and wrote down deceiving things.
But then why would that not be the case with Islam? Islam, too, is based on a book that was written after the Prophet had died, so who is to say that Abu Bakr didn’t make the same mistakes as the Apostles did when they wrote the Bible? People are fallible, and if Christianity and Judaism suffered from that problem, then it would be pretentious to believe that Islam didn’t, and that somehow the Qur’an IS perfect.
To me, and to many other people in this world, that issue is extremely important. I haven’t even read everything yet, but so far, especially in sura 4 and 5, I have run into decrees that I personally think are just unacceptable. There are many positive messages in the Qur’an, but just like the Bible and the Torah, it was written many centuries ago when the laws were still different, when people would have their hand cut off for stealing and when the death penalty was still considered normal.
With Christianity, that isn’t as much of a problem. The Bible is not a law book and many believers have developed the idea that they can be a Christian without having to adhere to every word in the book. In the Middle East, that is different. The Qur’an is not only a book that displays an entire law and value system, but it is also deemed infallible, and that has caused many people to lose their lives and many gays to live in torment.
To me, it only seems logical to accept that there are mistakes in the Qur’an, just like it is logical to accept that there are mistakes in the Bible and the Torah. After all, perhaps God has sent other messengers after Muhammad to set things straight, only those messengers simply weren’t taken seriously.
Now, if that was all, then it wouldn’t matter much whether the Qur’an is perfect or not. The thing is, though… it does matter. Right now, thousands, if not millions of people are being oppressed and sometimes even killed for being just the way they were born. The way God has made them. Those people are being killed in God’s name, but what if that isn’t what He wants? What if people have lost their hands and gay people have been prosecuted, not because God wanted it, but because a normal person wanted it 1400 years ago? Those laws that exist in God’s name would be terribly sinful.
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