“The Koran and Judaism (and Christianity) – A Start”

I still haven’t selected  the copy of the Koran in English that I’m going to use for my research into the similarities between the Koran and the Torah. However, In my “googlings” I’ve come up with some interesting findings. First of all, the Islamic texts that are in English spell the word in various different ways. It can be spelled – Koran, Coran, Quran or Qur’an. I’m using the spelling Koran, for no particular reason other than it’s the spelling I probably first saw.

I put “English Translations of the Koran” into the url and, can you believe that on the very first page of possible readings on this topic, up came:

 “Assessing English Translations of the Qur’an :: Middle East Quarterly”.

No serious researcher denies that Muhammad came to a milieu that was highly influenced by Judeo-Christian ideas. Indeed, the Qur’an presupposes familiarity with Judeo-Christian ideas to the extent that it often does not give the full version of a narrative; there is no need to identify what is supposed to be common knowledge. A typical example is in the verse that was only partially cited by Muslims commenting on news programs in the wake of the 9-11 terror attacks: “Whoever has killed a single human without just cause, it is as if he has killed the entire humankind.” In fact, the full verse is: “And for this reason, we ordained for the children of Israel that whoever has killed a single human without just cause, it is as if he has killed the entire humankind.” Significantly, the complete verse refers to a divine edict not found in the Torah, but rather in the Mishnah, part of the Jewish oral tradition.

Evidence of Muhammad’s familiarity with Judaism is present in the Qur’an.

By the ninth century, this began to change. Muslim jurists, increasingly opposed to reliance upon Jewish lore, created new sayings from the Prophet and his companions that contradicted the original allowances. In one of these apocryphal traditions, Muhammad’s face changes color when he sees his follower Umar reading the Torah. Muhammad declares that had Moses been their contemporary, he, too, would have followed the Muslim prophet.”

by Khaleel Mohammed
                                                                        Middle East Quarterly
Spring 2005, pp. 58-71

I know that I’m copying a lot from that posting, however I was pulled in by it and I thought you might be too. We were never taught about this when I was a child. When I went to Hebrew School the Arab world was rarely mentioned in a studious sense. We did, of course, study Ishmael. After Abraham’s wife Sara had young Ishmael and his mom, Hagar – who was Abraham’s concubine – sent off into the desert. In the desert God (or spirit, as I like to call the universal energy of creation) promised that Ishmael as well as Isaac would spawn a great nation.

I find it interesting that a “day of judgment” seems to have popped up in The Torah, the Christian Bible and the Koran.  I can understand why leaders of a community might feel it would help to keep down violence and dishonesty if people were afraid of having something happen to them if they acted in a way that could hurt other people.  I also have a feeling that it gave the “religious” leaders control. In Judaism – I’m not sure about certain Christian sects or about the Muslin take – the things you do that can hurt another person need to be taken up with that person. The Day of Atonement has to do with what you may have done that would offend “God”. I think it may have started out as helping people to align with what we now call “New Age” beliefs. “New Age” seems more like the basics of the original to me, even though we call it “New”.

For example, if you you’re given a new food to try and don’t get quiet so you can get what your intuition is telling you; with what the central vibration of life is communicating to you, you may eat something that’s not healthy and, as a result, get sick.

I’ve also begun listening to some of the sections of the Koran being sung online.  They sound an awful lot like a “Chasen” (Cantor) “davening” (praying) in temple to me!  Of course, both languages come from a Middle-Eastern root.

Jesus was Jewish and Middle Eastern and probably had a similar sound. He spoke Aramaic with his friends and I’ve already learned that many of the translations of what he said were mistaken about the  ideas in them because of the faulty translations. I’ve done a bit of studying in this area.

It seems to me that if the great teachers like Solomon, Mohammed and Jesus were just allowed to teach what they knew in their hearts to be the truth about life (at least as much as the human brain can really see what’s true) – without having the organized religions later throw into the translations – we wouldn’t need all the fighting that keeps going on and on and on and on.  My interpretation is that the “organizations” each fear that there isn’t enough to go around for everybody and if the other group gains they’ll lose.

I don’t want to jump to conclusions about Islam’s similarity to Judaism and Christianity yet – but I gotta tell ya – the more paragraphs I read, the more similar they all seem to me. I will admit that I’m starting with a leaning toward them being the same, for the most part. I’m working on clearing that concept from my brain so I can see things as they are, as much as is possible. After doing more research, if it becomes clear to me that the three “religions” mentioned are really the same I’ll have the job of doing everything in my power to make as many people as possible see this is so.

I almost feel like I’m stepping out of bounds thinking that I could have any effect at all on the planet’s understanding that we can all live together and have enough and enjoy life.

However, if you also begin to see that it’s possible – if we all do a little here and there and teach as many young as well as older people as possible that it’s possible to live in peace and that we’re really all the same and we see spirit in the same light – in time, we can choose peace.  Hey – why not?

I wasn’t planning to go in this direction today. I was merely beginning to look at the Koran to see if it was really that different from the Jewish and Christian writings.

The “religions” were taught to fear each other and go to war with each other. Going to war seems to me to be a much harder thing to learn than learning to play together and have fun.  Why can’t we can all

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Published in: on March 11, 2013 at 2:38 am  Comments (2)  

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  1. From a Muslim perspective all religions have the same core message and certainly Judaism and Christianity come from the same ONE God therefore their message are also the same.

    However, muslims also believe part of the message has become corrupted over time and the Quran corrects these errors for example you mentioned the verse from surah 5 ““Whoever has killed a single human without just cause, it is as if he has killed the entire humankind.” —this comes from the Talmud Yerusalmi (Jerusalem)—an identical saying can also be found in the babylonian Talmud (Barelvi) but this one has “of Israel” added to it. The Quran in Surah 5, confirms the (more universal) Yerusalmi version as the correct one. ..

    • I’m still reading and re-reading the Qur’an translation that my dear neighbor loaned to me. I do sense that when we get to the basics of each faith (certainly the three that came from the same family) they are the same. I believe they all began from the same core – being human.

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