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Topics - person_of_the_book

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Peace -

In my reading of Qur'an, I tend to take a more metaphorical or allegorical reading than a literal one - I am not saying one way is more or less correct, it's just my own nature to see things from that perspective.

Over the last couple of days I've been working through chapter 8 and 9 of the Qur'an, and while generally I do see the imagery of war as metaphorical for the inner battle, the language is often far too specific to have more than one meaning - and knowing the traditional interpretations of these passages, I wonder if the Qur'an is really recording something so specific, and how or why that is something that is in a book for all people at all times.

Perhaps I simply can't see the importance of these chapters because I am lucky, thank God, to have been born and raised in a society that has not been at war and remains mostly peaceful (we just take our wars elsewhere and ruin poor people's lives). I recognize that war has been, and is, a fact of existence for the entirety of human existence. So I am not so na?ve to think there is no reason to talk about war in the Qur'an......I just don't "get it".

I just can't wrap my head around it. How do you fine people read these chapters? Do you find them difficult?


(Side question: The Monotheist Group translation uses "communion" for salat (I also like "duty" in Gerrans), and yet the passage referring to "do not commune over those that set up partnership" is confusing to me.....what is the communion? How are Muslims to commune? I want to say that the word not being clearly defined seems to imply group custom or practices of the Muslims, whatever those may be, but this one specific instance of salat seems weird to me.)

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Interesting article I came across recently. (NB that I am not in any way affiliated with Mr. Fagih, I don't know the man, I'm just sharing something interesting and not promoting anything to which I am personally or even tangentially connected.)


Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317786385_A_Mathematical_Phenomenon_in_the_Quran_of_Earth-Shattering_Proportions_A_Quranic_Theory_Based_on_Gematria_Determining_Quran_Primary_Statistics_words_verses_chapters_and_Revealing_its_Fascinating_Conne [accessed Aug 29, 2017].


Abstract


As Almighty God has promised to protect the Quran from alteration, corruption or distortion. Historically, the scripture of the Quran has been subjected to various intense mathematically-based studies to reveal the protection mechanisms embedded in the composition of the Quran and to provide evidence of its credibility, authenticity and divinity. Indeed, this study has discovered a mathematical framework in the Quran based on gematria (Abjad numerals) that provides substantial evidence of Quran?s divine authorship and its perfect protection from human tampering. Essentially, this study has proposed a new research direction in numerological studies of the Quran. This study is textually based on the text delivered to Prophet Muhammad and drawn using the primary 28 alphabets of the Arabic language (Uthmanic manuscript), the 112 un-numbered Basmalahs and the names of the Quran chapters. A numerical value (70.44911244) which is referred to in this study as the Quran Constant (QC) was derived to represent the mathematical design of the Quran. The Quran Constant has been found to be fundamental to the current study, whereby the Quran Constant manifests in all derived mathematical equations. The ratio of the total number of chapters in the Quran (114) which represents the physical design of the Quran divided by the Quran Constant (70.44911244) which represents the mathematical design of the Quran gives 1.6181893; it is amazingly almost equal to the golden ratio. This study has also discovered that Almighty God embedded mathematical equations in the composition of the Quran that can easily lead to determination of the Quran?s primary statistics (words, verses and chapters). This study has admirably discovered three elegant mathematical equations that determine the total number of words, verses and chapters with great accuracy. More importantly, letters/word ratio calculated in this study can be practically seen as a validation criterion of both the total number of letters and the total number of words in the Quran. Finally, what does this proof? It proves that the Quran?s miraculous mathematical structure discovered in this study provides unequivocal mathematical proof that the Quran was divinely authored and has been perfectly preserved from the day it was revealed. Indeed, we are witnessing a mathematical phenomenon of earth-shattering proportions~ a miracle beyond earthly justification and human comprehension.

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Introduce Yourself / Peace and greetings!
« on: August 29, 2017, 05:08:13 AM »
I just want to introduce myself.


I am an American, currently living in Canada, and I converted to Islam at the beginning of 2014 "officially" in a mosque during fajr prayer with a handful of sleepy-eyed brothers. It all started with a Muslim co-worker and I talking about religion, and me realizing that I had never actually read the Qur'an. I owned a copy - a little paperback version of the Yusuf Ali translation - but could never get "in" to it and read it. So I ordered a translation and commentary for people with zero knowledge, and my first Qur'an was Yahiya Emerick's "The Qur'an in Modern English" which while a good translation, is not the most poetic, but the notes are amazingly well explained to someone coming from the point of view of an American with zero background knowledge. And as to the Qur'an itself, it was when I began reading chapter 5 that I realized that this was a message from God to me, and that I was a Muslim. It was quite a shocking, profound experience.


The more I studied, though, the more issues I had with "traditional" Sunni Islam, and with a lot of the silly superstitions and cultural accretions and just plain weird things that had nothing to do with the Qur'an, and being a white guy, the racism was pretty insane too. The more I studied the more I found that my objections were answered in Shi'a theology, but then the more I studied that the more I realized that it eventually gets so far away from the Qur'an that it becomes it's own thing.


At some point I learned about the "Qur'an Only" movement, and the more I researched the ideas there I realized it wasn't so insane to cling to the Qur'an alone, but that a lot of people have some very strange ideas about how to interpret Islam through the Qur'an alone, and it becomes somehow more confusing. Though through my research I also discovered a lot of new-er academic work and translations being done in the west, and new examinations of classical Arabic and challenges to long held assumptions, and it's getting pretty exciting to be reading the Qur'an in the 21st century.


My first "Qur'an Alone" translation that I have read was Sam Gerran's recent work, which is quite excellent......even if I find some of Mr. Gerrans personal opinions objectionable and/or stupid (The Earth is not flat. Period. That's not an argument, and hasn't been for thousands of years. NASA is not engaged in a vast conspiracy.). I actually just got a hard copy of the Monotheist Group translation in the post yesterday, and so here I am.


As to personal details, I am 30-something, married, 2 cats, no children, I read to an unhealthy degree, and enjoy lifting heavy things up over my head and then putting them down again (also carrying them a distance).


I hope to learn a lot, and have some interesting exchanges here. And at the very least not be told I will burn in hell for various reasons as I usually am on other Muslim forums.

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