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Anja, Ex-Christian, Germany (part 2 of 4)

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Description: Over a period of two and a half years, this university student grew to take Islam very seriously.  Part 2.

  • By Anja
  • Published on 16 Aug 2010
  • Last modified on 10 Nov 2013
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A Muslim believes - like a Christian - that God has sent prophets, to lead mankind on the right path.  Names turned up that sounded so familiar: Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jonah, and also Zachary, John and Jesus.

I learned that Muhammad, the son on Abdullah, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, who lived in the 7th century A.D.  in the Arabian Peninsula, was believed to have been the last prophet.  He had been given the Quran and this book was the foundation for all Islamic teachings.

I had a look at that book, the Quran. 

“This is the book: in it is guidance sure, without doubt...” (2:2)

That is noted there about the Quran itself.

Another interesting point that I came to realize at that time was that Western scholars to a degree agree that there are miraculous passages in the Quran.  Even from a pure literal and linguistic point of view, the Quran is considered a miracle and it has set the standard for Classical Arabic.

The contents of Quran are as remarkable as is the form.  It is in no way a simple “Arabic History book”, as a well-known Orientalist described it in the media.  On the contrary, it contains astonishing facts on nature, society and generally everything that concerns human life.

Already in the first revelation it states: “Read, and thy Lord is the Most Bountiful, He, who …taught man that which he knew not.”  (96:3-5)

One of the amazing historical facts that can be found in the Quran relates to the ruler of Egypt. In the story of Joseph the Quran talks about a King and in the story of Moses it talks about a Pharaoh?  The reason for this was only known when the French Historian Jean Francois Champollion with the help of the Rosetta Stone succeeded in deciphering the old Egyptian Hieroglyphic letters. It turns out that at the end of the Middle Empire the Hyksos tribes, originating in Asia, occupied the Northern part of present day Egypt. A king ruled that area, this would roughly translate to the time of Prophet Joseph.  Under the rule of the Hyksos he was raised to become the advisor of the King.  And under the reign of the Hyksos the people of Israel migrated to Egypt, where they were welcomed.

In the 16th Century B.C. during the reign of Pharaoh Ahmose, the Egyptians managed to retake the country.  The people of Israel were hated on account of their cooperation with the King that was ruling the northern area of Egypt. That explains why the people of Israel at the times of Moses were oppressed and enslaved.  Quran distinguishes between the terms “King” of the Hyksos and “Pharaoh” of the Egyptians.

As we go further into the story of Moses, we see that God says: “This day shall we save your body, that you may be a sign to those who come after you! But verily, many among mankind are heedless of Our Signs!” (10:92)  This verse talks about the mummification of the Pharaoh.

The Quran also mentions scientific facts in relation to creation. God says: “Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together before We clove them asunder?  We made from water every living thing.  Will they not then believe?” (21:30) This fact corresponds with the newest findings of science.

And did you know, that according to Quran we do not live “on” earth, but rather “in” earth? This verse speaks about the atmosphere, which obviously is part of the earth.  Without it we wouldn’t exist.  Just think about the high speed with which we are traveling through space due to the rotation of the earth.  Try to imagine the wind resulting from the movement speed, which we would have to cope with if it wasn’t for the atmosphere.

Quran accurately describes phenomenon of nature such as the buildup of clouds, embryology,  chemistry of digestion and the expansion of the universe.  Up to now there haven’t been any scientific findings contradicting Quranic verses.  On the contrary, some Quran statements can only be fully understood and appreciated with the help of contemporary science.  We find that throughout the Quran, time and time again, the reader is asked to use his faculties to recognize the truth.

With the help of the Quran Arab Bedouins and traders managed to build a society, in which not only science but also fine arts were blooming.  Europe at that time was still was stuck in the period known as the Middle Ages.

On belief itself we read in Quran: “There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.”  (2:256)

Actually Islamic theology is as clear as the testimony: “There is no God worthy of worship but Allah, and Muhammad is His last prophet.”

In Islam there is such thing as the original sin.  God says: “…And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself, and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another…” (6:164) After Adam and Eve sinned, God taught them repentance. 

God’s son? In relation to this, God says:  “Say, "He is Allah, [who is] One. Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born. Nor is there to Him any equivalent.”(Chapter 112) Jesus of Nazareth was only a prophet of God!

A turning point in history?  Absolutely no.  To the contrary, history proves an unbroken continuity.  From the very beginning there was only one religion, which was to submit to the one God, in Arabic: “Islam”.  This religion was proclaimed by all prophets, including Abraham, Moses and Jesus.  Prophet Muhammad has been the last of them, but still he was a human being like you and me.  The speech held by his friend Abu Bakr Siddiq on the occasion of his death has been preserved till today. He said: “So, who among you worshipped Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, should know, that Muhammad is dead.  But who worshipped God; truly, God is alive and will never die.”  And then he reminded the people of the following verse of Quran:

Muhammad is no more than a messenger: many were the messengers that passed away before himIf he died or were slain, will you turn back on your heelsIf any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm he will do to God; but God will swiftly reward those who are grateful (3:144)

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