Monday, January 18, 2010

YouMuslimNeighbor.com pulls through

In an earlier post, I mentioned YourMuslimNeighbor.com, and that I had requested a free copy of the Qur'an.  I got it in the mail a few days ago:




Apparently the person at YourMuslimNeighbor.com didn't realize they've just sent their holy book to a filthy heathen.  The first step in master plan is complete! My master plan to...

Read the Qur'an critically, and blog about it!!!  (GASPS OF HORROR)

I've already read the Bible, with the help from the Bible in 90 Days Challenge last summer.  The challenge's reading schedule is highly recommended if you're interested in reading the Bible.  It was really helpful to have a goal every day, and I was able to push through even the most brutally boring parts of the book (Chronicles, anyone?).  Note that I didn't buy any of the extra materials, the schedule and other resources is available online in PDF format here (on the right side of the page). 

I've found something similar for the Qur'an.  Apparently, Muslims are expected to read the entire Qur'an during the month of Ramadan.  So the Qur'an is broken down into 30 equal sections, called a juz' (plural: ajiza), to help keep them on track.  I'll use this guide to try and read the Qur'an in 30 days as well.  I'll probably start in a few days, once I finish the book I'm currently in the middle of reading: Why Does E=mc2? by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw, which I plan on reviewing on the blog too.  I thought it would be cool to actually read the Qur'an during Ramadan, but that doesn't happen in the U.S. until August 11th or 12th (my birthday, woo!) this year, and I don't want to wait that long.

As you can see in the picture, they also sent me some extra material with the Qur'an, describing what to expect while reading the Qur'an, the prayers and other daily rituals of practicing Muslims, and what the Qur'an says about Jesus.  Jesus actually takes up about 5 pages of the brochure, which suggests their target audience is Christians and other Jesus fans.  Not to compelling for me, but I suppose I'm less likely to buy into their message anyway. They also make a big deal of the fact that Muslims believe that other prophets, before Muhammad, are also messengers of God, including Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus:

It is an article of faith for Muslims to believe in all of the Scriptures revealed by God.
 
To me, this seems to call into question the other message that stuck out to me: that Islam is logical and values critical thinking:

  • God is All Compassionate and All Merciful, an therefore the way of life He has decreed for humanity is logical and easy to understand.
  • There are so many signs and wonders in this universe that allow us to appreciate the miraculous creation of God Almighty.  Through observation and critical thinking, we can learn about God and see His mercy and supreme design in action.  It is one of our duties to reflect and ponder upon the natural world.
  • God has blessed humanity with intellect and sound reasoning.

Given that Muslims accept matters based on faith (the Scriptures are only one example), it is hard to believe that they can really value true, critical thinking.  And the fact that they accept the Old and New Testament specifically also calls their judgment into question off the bat.  But I'm willing to as open-minded as possible while reading the Qur'an.

So stay tuned for my thoughts on the Qur'an over the next month!

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