11th Century North African Qur’an in the Briti...
11th Century North African Qur’an in the British Museum via Wikipedia

The Koran¹ is the Holy Book of the Muslims, believed to be the word of God sent through the angelic messenger Gabriel to the apparently illiterate Mohammed. According to tradition, Mohammed recited the revelations to his fellows who set them to writing.

The translation of the Koran into non-Arabic languages is not sanctioned by some conservative Muslims, although more liberally-minded Muslims seem to favor translations of their scripture into several different languages. In Lebanon, a pop music star was given a five year prison sentence for setting verses of the Koran to his songs.

The Koran incorporates much of Jewish and Christian scripture but with significantly different meanings. Jesus, for instance, is not depicted as the son of God. Instead, Jesus and his mother Mary are apparently sent to provide good examples for mankind.

Also, the Koran teaches that Jesus, as a respected prophet, did not really die by crucifixion, and his death contributed nothing towards the salvation of Mankind (Surah 3:38-50).

Not unlike the Old Testament but quite unlike the New Testament (NT), holy war (killing in defense of the Muslim faith) is sanctioned in certain circumstances. This is called jihad. Unlike the NT, it’s rightful for men to have sex with not only their wife but also with “female slaves.”

Polygamus marriage is also sanctioned. That is, one man may have several wives. One woman, however may not have several husbands.

Interestingly, in his book Prayer of the Warrior, the Catholic writer Michael H. Brown talks about an alleged apparition where the Blessed Virgin Mary tells onlookers that a Muslim man living in a small Yugoslavian village is a saint. Apparently all of the Catholics in attendance were shocked to hear that this non-Christian man was favored by the Virgin Mary.

¹ See Wikipedia for alternate spellings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qur%27an



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