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Is Qur'aan Perfect?
Mike Ghouse, 02/19/2009

In responding to the propaganda that if  verses in the Qur'aan incite violence, I came across a set of five questions, that have been repeatedly asked and I am pleased to respond to them followed by the actual comments from Mr. Kulkarni.

Thanks for the warning about the fundamentalists; a few of them would not like any comment that is different than what they subscribe to. Of course their stand retracts the stretch the liberals pull. Most of us are on the middle ground, a firmer ground that makes sense to a whole lot of people.

I am a Muslim and blessed to be one and I pray every one feels the same about their individual faith. My faith connects me with my Creator and answers the purpose of life, death, accountability, justice and results. The Islam I know  is what the majority of Muslims practice around the world, it is universal, all embracing and pluralistic. I relate with every faith and see the same essence and beauty in them as I see in Islam. I am comfortable with every beautiful way people have come to worship the divine.  We do not have to undermine other faiths to make our faith better, faith is beyond comparisons. Faith brings humility to oneself and not arrogance.

Some of us are too eager to point the fingers at the "apparent words in the scriptures of Qur'aan or any book that appear to be exclusive in nature ", my urging is not to get stuck in the given understanding of the scripture and re-examine and understand it from a perspective of inclusiveness, as God cannot be exclusive, if he (she or it) does, then he is not the kind of God we all believe; the causer, source of creation and the sustainer. 

The questions and my answers;

5. Prophet Muhammad did nothing wrong or bad in his life?

He never claimed to be divine, he was a human like you and I and he mentioned that he will die like every one else and wanted to be buried like every one. His life was a model for living the life with human fallibilities and how to get up and be the best human you can be, despite the adversities. He faced a whole range of difficulties and accusations, as most of the humans would, and the way he handled the situations became a model for any human to follow. When he was pelted with rocks and was bleeding, his associates wanted to go and get the miscreants, instead the prophet prayed for the wellbeing of them boys and asked his associates to join him in wishing them well.

4. Qur'aan is immutable?

Qur'aan offers broader understanding of the human issues and as such it has room to absorb diversity. We believe it is for all seasons and all times to come, it lends itself to be a guidance book for any situations, imagined and real.  It is not a dogma to go against a good idea and become immutable, it is rather a book of guidance and you are free to practice it or ignore it, the choice is yours. You are accountable for your Karma and not any one else. What some Muslims have done in enforcing their way upon others is wrong, there is no compulsion in faith, and one can choose to be a Muslim or not any number of times. The apostasy laws were politically motivated and go against the very grain of Islam;  free will.

Most people in power tend to dictate others, including "pushing democracy" onto others, or buying the influence or subduing others with the military might; the religion of Islam is about free will. Individuals are responsible for their wrong doing not their religion, just a Presidents ought to be responsible for his ( and eventually her) wrong doings and not the Americans.  To get another perspective, visit - www.ApostasyandIslam.com.

3. Qur'aan is perfect?

Muslims believe, it is the word of God, as in the case of Bible and Torah. However, serious research has not been undertaken yet about including the Vedas, Bhagvad Gita, Avesta and other books of wisdom, which are as wise as Bible, Torah and Qur'aan. The problems we see stem from our myopic views. If I get the funding or some one who has the funds can undertake the research.

2. Qur'aan was the only word of God apart from Bible and Torah?

Qur'aan has never claimed that, it acknowledges that God has sent a messenger to every nation, every community and every tribe to convey his message of living a just and a peaceful life. An all inclusive idea is communicated through the preceding statement.  Indeed, Qur'aan repeats a number 124,000 to denote presence of the messengers in every nook and corner. This message resonates in Gita, when Lord Krishna says whenever people go astray and become Adharmic, he will appear among them and bring the dharma back. The Qur'aan does claim that it is God's word (wisdom) that has been imparted before as well. God has made sure that people receive the message of living a balanced life resulting from justice, no matter where you live and from any whichever spiritual teachers you get the message from. Qur'aan further affirms that, it is your karma, i.e., how you treat others earns God's grace. Prophet Muhammad even told his daughter that she has to earn the right to be in paradise through her Karma, and she will not get a free pass even if she is daughter of the prophet. Such is the emphasis on individual responsibility.

1. Qur'aan was the true and final word of God?

It is the true and final word of God for the Muslims who believe in it, it is not for the Christians, Hindus, Jews or others who are not familiar with it. However, if one sincerely reads the Qur'aan, they will find the essence of Justice, fairness; truth and peace resonate in Qur'aan as they may find it in their own scriptures. It is not only Qur'aan but any book, the ones I am well familiar with; the Bhagvad Gita and the Bible have God's wisdom in it. To create a balanced society.

Finding the truth is your own responsibility, as you will be one to bear the joys and miseries of life based on what you believe or not.

Mike Ghouse

Dear Mike,

I have a few questions regarding Quran for you:
Do you believe that:
1. Quran was the true and final word of God?
2. Quran was the only word of God apart from Bible and Torah?
3. Quran is perfect?
4. Quran is immutable?
5. Prophet Muhammad did nothing wrong or bad in his life?

From the previous blog and you reply to my comment, it is obvious that you want to keep the dialogue civil and logical and I appreciate that. But in my opinion you are trying defend the indefensible. I am not saying this to point finger at Quran or Muslims per se, but to show that no book is infallible and no people are perfect. By trying to make Quran sacrosanct, you are playing into the hands of fundamentalists. Perhaps it is hard being a Muslim and criticize Quran and the Prophet - even fatal in some cases. But we need more moderates among Muslims, more introspection and more questioning of the establishment.



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