The following text in bold is my reply to the following interview (http://www.lamblion.us/2011/05/from-islam-to-christianity-quran-versus.html)
The Quran, as Muslims believe, is considered the holy book of Islam. The size of the Quran is exactly like the size of the books of the New Testament. The book contains 114 chapters which in the Arabic language are called Surahs.
The book is considered as the Muslims believe the word of Allah, which was revealed directly from Allah to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel.Dr. Reagan: The Bible has lots of stories. It tells this story and that story and the relationship with God. The nature of God is taught through stories. But, you don't find that in the Quran, do you?
Me: The Qur'an is not a book of stories, and obviously was not meant to be a book of stories. It's a book that makes things clear, and finalize rulings for a perfect life, whether that rule is something you like or understand, or not. If you were God and you already sent the rules in the forms of commandments on a tablet, and they got lost over time, and you then sent scriptures with detailed stories, and again they got lost over time, is it logical that you a perfect God would send down the same chronological stories trying to tell Mankind "Hey! I'm your loving God, hey look this proof over here..i created all of you, and the ones before you, and destroyed the transgressors"
As for the size of the Quran, who cares if they are the same size or not? Who cares if they are both numerically miraculous or not?
Allowing for one, does not deny the other,
Mark Gabriel: No. Actually, the Quran wasn't really organized logically. Usually when the Quran discusses a specific story for example like the story of Abraham, or the story of Joseph, or the story of Moses, you are going to see that this story is all over the Quran.
Dr. Reagan: All over, it's like somebody shot a shotgun?
Me: For the story organization, see answer above about purpose of the Qur'an and numerical perfection of the Qur'an. Repetition/reiteration has its value & specific purpose in literature, what makes you think it's for naught in the Qur'an?
Mark Gabriel: Exactly. When the Quran was translated into English or another foreign non-Arabic language, they just transferred the meaning of the Quran to the English or other language. But, if you try to study and learn about the Quran from the English translation, you are going to miss more than 60% or maybe 70% of the real meaning of the Quran.
Dr. Reagan: I find it one of the most difficult books I've ever tried to read in my life because it is so disjointed. There is a sentence here, and then the next sentence may not have anything to do with that sentence and the one after it may not have anything to do with it.
Me: فأما الذين في قلوبهم زيغ فيتبعون ما تشابه منه ابتغاء الفتنة وابتغاء تأويله
Mark Gabriel: Exactly.
Dr. Reagan: It's like in American literature we have what's called "stream of consciousness writing," where the person just writes whatever pops into his mind. He may be talking about a carnival here and about going to church there and whatever and it just has no relationship one to the other. It's very difficult to follow.
Mark Gabriel: Exactly.
Dr. Reagan: The Quran is supposed to be the words of Allah?
Mark Gabriel: Yes.
Me: Isn't the loss of meaning in translation equally applicable to
any language? Arabic is my mother tongue, and while I may not prefer some Indonesian/English translations of the Qur'an, it does not mean that the real Qur'an is not understandable. Arabic is a wonderful language and it's a miracle from God that He chose this language for this book. It maybe disjoint to you but meaningful to others..
Dr. Reagan: The Hadith is another book in the Islamic theology. What is the Hadith?
Mark Gabriel: The Hadith is the other words of Mohammad. Hadith means what Mohammad said and what he did. It's the record of Mohammad — his life, his activity, his word, his action, his teaching. The Muslims call it the Hadith.
Dr. Reagan: So one, the Quran, is supposed to be the words of God, and the Hadith contains the words of Mohammad?
Mark Gabriel: Hadith is the words of the prophet Mohammad.
Dr. Reagan: Are they considered to be equal?
Mark Gabriel: Muslims are required to believe in both books. For Muslims, it's not enough to just believe in the Quran and decline or deny the Hadith. According to the Islamic law, if any Muslim is going to deny any of the basic teachings of Islam he will be a convert. He will be out of Islam. And, Hadith is one of the most basic in the Islamic faith.
Me: Reading this interview so far, I've been lead to understand that the interviewer and interviewer are people who have researched the Qur'an in their sincerest way in search for Truth. Yet, the line i snipped from above :
"For Muslims, it's not enough to just believe in the Quran and decline or deny the Hadith.According to the Islamic law, if any Muslim is going to deny any of the basic teachings of Islam he will be a convert."
Oh really? Did just slip your mind to mention that the Islamic Law itself rejects many Hadiths as being "weak", etc etc? All Muslims would be converts and must be shunned then.. By who?
Islam requires belief in 6 things- Allah alone as god, belief in a long line of prophets and messengers (named & unnamed of whom Muhammad is the last, and Jesus second last) , belief in the Day of Judgement, belief in Qadaa' and Qadar (that everything is pre-measured and predestined although this does not mean that we have no control on our fate), belief in the angels and belief in Paradise and Hell.
Dr. Reagan: Another difference between the Quran and the Bible is that the Bible was written by individuals like Moses, or Paul in the New Testament, where they sat down and they wrote letters or they recorded histories. But, Mohammad never did really just sit down and write the Quran or write the Hadith, did he?
Mark Gabriel: No. For example, with the Quran he was usually in trances and he would make statements and people would write those down, and all of that was compiled later on after his death. The Hadith is just statements that were compiled by compilers. They might be statements that wives remembered or friends remembered and they just kind of put them all together.
Me: Well, if he wrote, he wouldn't be illiterate now would he?
You may hint that there is doubt in the compilations/compilers of the Qur'an and Hadith and not in work compiled by Paul and others? The bible is older and is not just older, it's also survived a lot of editings and translations. If we were all at this age given a copy of the scriptures in the original language, wouldn't that be appropriate?
Dr. Reagan: In the Quran as well as in the Hadith there are a lot of contradictions. For example, you can find verses in the Quran that talk about loving Jews and Christians and treating them with respect. Then you can find verses that talk about killing them. How do you account for these contradictions? Did Allah change his mind?
Mark Gabriel: Muslims justify these contradictions by an Arabic term and the Muslim and Islamic principle. They call it naskh or nesk or neska. This principle means that a future verse is going to cancel out the previous verse. So, a later verse would cancel out an earlier verse that might contradict it. But, if you ask them why did Allah do that, they will say that he did that for the benefit of Muslims and for the benefit of the people.
Like, for example, when Mohammad started to preach about his religion to the people in Arabia at that time, there were alcoholics. They loved alcohol and they could not live without alcohol. Mohammad discovered it was going to be too difficult to give them a command to stop drinking alcohol and to obey his command. So, what he did was he just gave them a halfway command. He said to them something like, "No problem, keep drinking alcohol, but when you are going to come to pray at the mosque, you have to stop drinking alcohol until you've finished your prayer. After you've finished the prayer, then you can go back and drink alcohol again." After awhile he came back to them and said, "No, this doesn't work. No alcohol is going to be allowed anymore." Later, another verse came and cancelled out that previous verse. The Muslims became very upset and very angry asking, "But how come we can't do that?" So, a later verse basically says, "Okay, don't worry, be patient, believe in Allah, believe in his prophet Mohammad, believe in his Quranic word and if you are going to have the ability, and you are going to stop drinking alcohol in your life, well Allah is not going to forget that. He will reward you with a river of alcohol in Paradise on the day when he sends you to Paradise."
Dr. Reagan: So, we go from just drinking alcohol occasionally to not drinking it during prayers to not drinking at all to you're going to have a river of alcohol in heaven?
Me: The concept is logical. It is made clear in the Qur'an, and clearly omitted here on purpose, the the river of alcohol in Paradise is not intoxicating. BTW, what do you mean "So, we go from just drinking alcohol occasionally"..
Mark Gabriel: Exactly. This is the development of the contradiction of the teaching of the Quran.
Dr. Reagan: Do you find the same in the attitude toward Jews and Christians?
Mark Gabriel: Absolutely. It was an ongoing development that took place between Mohammad and the Jews and Christians. Firstly, Mohammad started as adoring the Christians and the Jews, saying wonderful things about them such as, "People of God" and "the people who carry His word" and "the people who protect His word." Later, Mohammad added like, "Yes, you are these people, but listen, I am the final prophet who came with the final testament. You have to believe in me." He made these claims when he started to debate the Jews and Christians and reach out to them. They refused. They asked him for a sign. The Quran records that they asked him for a sign so that they could believe. Mohammad of course could not give a sign and so he went back to Allah and cried before Allah, "Help me to perform a miracle or give a sign to these people so that they can follow me!" Allah became very upset with Mohammad and said to him, "Okay, listen, go back to these Jewish people and these Christian people and tell them, 'Allah gave you plenty of miracles in the Old Testament and you always rebelled against him. No more miracles! There is only one way to submit to Islam — to accept Islam or to pay the tax, and if you refuse to do so you will be killed.'" So, it was a development of contradictions in the teachings of the Quran towards the Christians and the Jews.
Me: What an absolutely riddiculous skewed story? The Jews had plenty of signs to recognize him - from the cloud following him around, as recognized by some rabbis, from the answers to the questions: (1) Who were "the Sleepers of' the Cave"? (2) What is the real story of Khidr? and (3) What do you know about Zul-Qarnain? As these 3 questions and the stories involved concerned the history of the Christians and the Jews, and were unknown in Hijaz, a choice of these was made to test whether the Holy Prophet possessed any source of the knowledge of the hidden and unseen things. While these were not asked by the Jews themselves, it should be surprising for a Jew that Muhammad has the answers.
In the second half of this interview with Dr. Mark Gabriel, we'll ask him what the Muslim view of Jesus is and compare and contrast Mohammad against Jesus.
The Muslim view of Jesus, the son of Mary, is that he, like Adam who has no father and mother, is a miracle, differing in that he has a mother.
Adam was not a son of God, Jesus is not a son of God, God has no children or a partner, God has no associates, everyone is a servant of His. God is one, not part of three.. He hates sharing his title, there is no other God- it's just him, live with it.
Jesus did not preach that he is a son of God. Mary did not say that my son is god. interestingly, the Jews used to claim that Uzair is the son of God, wonder what happened to that?
Muhammad does not claim that he looks like Jesus, or he performs miracle like Jesus. If he was meant to be so, better send Jesus again, right? Muhammad, peace be upon him, does not preach against the Jesus he believes in.
Idolizing Jesus was a concept that came after Jesus was lifted (The Qur'an clearly says "And they did not kill him, and they did not cruciyfy him..."(DISCLAIMER: order of verb sin this verse (crucify, kill) maybe wrong, it's just from the blogger's untrained memory).
And biggest misconceptions of all?
1- That Jesus was sent to all of mankind.
Sorry man, Jesus, like all the other prophets before Muhammad, was sent to his own kind.
2- that Jesus’ followers believed he was God. However so, this is not true, the Bible says otherwise.
"One glaring problem the Christians have is that Jesus prayed, and had a God himself. This logically lets us conclude that Jesus cannot be God. The logical thing to do is worship and pray to the one Jesus prayed to."- quoted from http://www.answering-christianity.com/sami_zaatri/10_reasons_jesus_not_god.htm
3- The doctrine of atonement.
Islam does not agree with all this. According to the Quran, every one is responsible for their own doings and nobody can carry the burden of another. Which is pretty logical, you reap what you sow (and vice versa).
God is forgiving and if a person sincerely repents, amends and does what is good and righteous, God forgives. Adam did not ask us before eating the fruit, so how can we be blamed for his actions? In Islam, Adam was not banished to Earth, with Eve, because he was not forgiven, but it is to fulfill the Divine plan for him.
It maybe harder to follow all guidelines of Islam at all times, but we are meant to try to approach perfection, rather than achieve it.
Which is more logical, an all-powerful God creating a child, and then killing him in order to
forgive, or an all powerful God who rewards or punishes us at the end after all has been seen and done, for our own individual actions, not for the actions of others, whether our ancestors or descendants? If somebody has to be sacrificed, is it so difficult for God to have killed Adam himself and create another Man?
A girl who likes herbs..likes some poetry, but write only once in a blue moon.. she's for ever fascinated by language..a night owl too..loves nature and Man too.. She likes crowds, but only when she can drown in them and be an observer..