Tuesday, 12 May 2009


Commenting on a text which is used as the basis of the faith of millions of people is always difficult.

Over the past year or so I have (re-) read the Bible, old and new testament, and a number of books recommended to me that attempted to help me to find faith in Christianity. These books were of varying quality of literary achievement but none of them even started to convince me that I should have any kind of religious faith. I think the concept of revealed religion is too difficult for me to get my head around. Why don't we all get revelations? If our god wanted us to hear him why not speak to us all?

Anyway, not having had enough of this by now I have been tackling the Qur'an. I am about a third of the way through and whereas with the Bible I was able to, at least, understand what the authors was trying to achieve even in the context of their own world and how that would apply to us. There is no such consistency in the Qur'an.

What I can feel from the Qur'an is the prattling of a man who preached peace and understanding among all faiths (meccan suras) until he had the power to preach war and the dominance of Islam (medinan suras).

As for it being the Greatest literary masterpiece in Arabic, even allowing for issues in translation (by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem) I find that difficult to believe. The thing isn't even written in chronological order,

I have four words for the Qur'an

This is not a script for life in our times. The voice of god needs to do an update for all mankind, but if he did that in a revealed fashion nobody would believe the messenger and we would have him killed metaphorically or otherwise as we always have.

If anybody can explain all this to me or point me at somewhere I can learn it then feel welcome.
I think I'm off to study Philosophy.

1 comment:

Michel Berdah said...

Sorry, Ian, I don't think you are off for philosophy. Philosophy is our "daily bread" if you allow me this biblical analogy.
Hence, this first stone for future conversations.
Sincerely yours.