By F. E. Peters
The Quran is a sacred publication with profound, and normal, outdated and New testomony resonances. And the message it promulgated, Islam, got here of age in the course of an awfully wealthy period of interplay between monotheists. Jews, Christians, and Muslims not just worshipped an identical God, yet shared aspirations, operated within the related social and fiscal surroundings, and occasionally lived part by means of facet, indistinguishable via language, dress, or manners. this day, after all, little of this commonality is obvious, and Islam is poorly understood by means of such a lot non-Muslims. getting into Islam during the comparable biblical door Muhammad did, this publication introduces readers with Christian or Jewish backgrounds to at least one of the world's greatest, such a lot lively, and--in the West--least understood religions.
Frank Peters, one of many world's major specialists at the monotheistic religions, starts off with the principal characteristic of Muslim religion and existence: the Quran. throughout its pages stream Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, Solomon, John the Baptist, Jesus, and the Virgin Mary. The Quran comprises remarkably time-honored money owed of Genesis, the Flood, Exodus, the Virgin start, and different biblical occasions. yet Peters additionally highlights Muhammad's very assorted use of Scripture and explains these parts of the Quran such a lot alien to Western readers, from its didactic passages to its impressive poetry.
Peters is going directly to cogently clarify Islam's defining features--including the importance of Mecca, the style of Muhammad's revelations, and the production of the original group of Muslims, all with regards to the Judeo-Christian culture. He compares Jesus and Muhammad, describes Islamic commandments and rituals, info the constructions of Sunni and Shi'ite groups, and lays out valuable Islamic ideals on battle, girls, mysticism, and martyrdom.
The result's a very important and very comprehensive e-book that provides Western readers a qualified but hugely obtainable knowing of Islam, and at a time once we desire it most.
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Extra info for Islam: A Guide for Jews and Christians
The tribal Quraysh were the masters of the place, but they suffered their own internal divisions from the outset, divisions that escalated into continuous power (or perhaps class) struggles between the principal clans of the Quraysh and came to a head in the formation of powerful though shifting alliances among them. Finally, though organized as a tribal society, Mecca was also socially open. The rulers of Mecca welcomed individuals and small groups of immigrants from among its tribal neighbors.
Presumably Abraham; the Quran is not always generous in identifying its pronouns] said: ‘O dear son, I have seen in a dream that I must sacrifice you. ’ He said: ‘O my father, do that which you are commanded. ” The entire incident is a good example of the Quran’s allusive style. The story is filled with spaces and moves uncertainly to its point— “Thus do We reward the good”—stripping off all the biblical details of time and place, the journey, the servants, the fuel, the altar, the ram caught in the thicket, while adding the dream vision and his son’s urging Abraham to do what he had to do.
Facing the northeastern facade wall of the Kaaba is a small domed building called the Station of Abraham, a title that applies equally to another stone it enshrines and in which human footprints are impressed. Behind this building is a colonnaded wellhead called Zamzam and next to that a pulpit. For hundreds of millions of Muslims the Kaaba is the holiest building in the world, and its holiness—like that of the Zamzam and the Station, and, indeed, of the entire sequence of pilgrimage rituals that surround them and the environs of Mecca—derives, as we have already seen, from their connection with Abraham, the biblical patriarch.