by the Prophet of God, Mohamed
Published in 632 AD
Thibault’s Score: 5/5
The Koran is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand Muslims and Islam.
A lot of things surprised me about it. First, I didn’t realize how similar it was to the Old Testament of the Bible. The Koran mentions Abaraham, Adam, Jesus, and many other biblical figures. The style of writing is also very similar, at least in the version I read which was translated into English.
Many details shocked me. First, I was surprised the belief in Genies was enshrined in the Koran. There are numerous passages that make it clear that not only do Muslims believe in Genies, but these Genies can go to hell or heaven just like humans.
A lot of things in the Koran seemed very strange to me, a modern reader. For example, there are laws specifying how many vaginal periods a woman must wait before remarrying after a divorce (4) or how many she must wait before remarrying after her husband’s death (3).
Despite what a lot of conservative right wing Western authors have written, I didn’t find the content of the Koran to be particularly more barbaric than the content of the Bible. Like all Abrahamic religions, the focus of Islam is horrible people doing horrible things to good people. The main difference is that Islam preaches self defense of violent survival by any means to its followers, which I think is a good ideal to have.
The Koran has many verses praising the virtues of warriors. There is a quote that roughly translates as “men who displease God and do not fight will be replaced by other men more loyal to God.” The demographic changes in Europe make a lot of sense in this light: weak European men who are afraid of kicking out the Muslims by force are being replaced by Muslims who are strong and unafraid.
I appreciated the ruthless nature of the Koran, and have learned a lot about Islam. I recommend that everybody who is interested in Islam, Muslims, or the Middle East read the Koran and also read accounts of Mohamed’s life written by his followers to put the text into context.
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