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August 1, 2011

Gaining from other religions: Ramadan and the Koran

Hey guys -

Today is Lugnasadh, but also, the beginning of Ramadan.  Given that I've begun daily fasting for different reasons (dealing with food addiction, recent weight gain), and that Ramadan starts today, I've decided to give the Koran a read.  I'll be looking for bits of wisdom and posting my commentary as I make it through.  I'm going to read from cover to cover.  The edition I have is the Penguin Classics edition.

Given the recent Christian terrorism (Norway) and the Christian reaction, I think its a good time to reexamine Islam and what it can provide to us, outside of the clash of culture and religion.  Remember, the gods speak to us in all forms.

Day 1:

"The Exordium"

This is a prayer to God, asking for guidance on the straight path, separating "them" and "us" into those who have incurred God's wrath, and those who have been favored.

That's the simple explanation.

I'd like to point out that a God only survives because of its believers.  All religions have this clause.  If the believers die, the god becomes... dormant.  Think of the greek gods.  They were extinct before the pagan revival.

These demands of jealous Gods... They are expected.  And so, we praise them.  Not only do we believe, we praise.

"The Cow"

Those who believe, this book is for you.  The unbelievers will never believe, they will be punished.  Some people say they believe, but really don't.  Believers get admonished to serve their God, without other Gods before or beside it.

2:23 "IF you doubt what We have revealed to Our servant, produce one chapter comparable to it.  Call upon your idols to assist you, if what you say be true."

Basically, "This book is so good, you can try to copy it, but I bet you can't.  And you'll die if you try."  A warning, to future prophets.

2:27 : If God's analogies confuse you, you must be an unbeliever.  True believers get it.

This book then goes into the story of Satan's fall - how he refused to bow to Adam, and then was kicked out of heaven, and in revenge, got Adam kicked out of Eden.

WE come to an interesting part a little bit later, near 2:63...

"Believers, Jews, Christians, and Sabaeans - whoever believes in God and the Last Day and does what is right - shall be rewarded by their Lord; they have nothing to fear or to regret."

Tolerance: 1.  Intolerance: 0.

Self validation near 2:110:

"They declare that none shall enter paradise but Jews and Christians... such are their wishful fancies ... ... Indeed, those that submit to God and do good works shall be recompensed by their Lord; they shall have nothing to fear or regret."

Ok, I'm going to be honest.  This first long chapter seems obsessed with refuting Christianity and Judaism.


"Fight for the sake of God those that fight against you, but do not attack them first.  ... Idolatry is more grievous than bloodshed."


Confusing!  lol, more tomorrow.

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