The Confusing Koran

The western mind is in general unfamiliar with the Islamic faith. Current conditions have created a general curiosity about its origin and some basic precepts. An overview of the founding of the faith helps appreciate its basis.

Muhammad, the man who dictated the Koran and gave guidance to the movement was born in Mecca in the Saudi Arabian peninsula in AD 570. Until the age of 25 he worked with caravans and was exposed to both Christianity and Judaism. At age 25 he married a wealthy 40 year old widow. This allowed him financial independence. When he reached age 40 he related that a spirit called him to be an “‘apostle” and “‘prophet.” Neither of these terms are a part of any Arabian religion. He learned them from his days working with caravans.

After his death his writings were compiled as the Koran. The works were not arranged in any chronological or subject order.

At the time Muhammad received his initial visitation there were over 300 gods being worshiped in Mecca by pilgrims who came there each year to pray at the Kailaba. There was a small building there housing a black meteorite and effigies of the various gods. One of these gods was Allah, the moon god. That is the reason the crescent is the symbol of Islam.

The Koran is divided into Suras, meaning chapters. Conscientious Muslims and non-Muslims are divided over the complex and occasionally conflicting passages. There are many peace loving Muslims. The religion is described as “the peaceful religion of Islam.” The multiple global acts of violence by Muslims advocating a holy war defy this description. These base their conduct on such passages as Sura 9:29 which commands Muslims to fight against Jews and Christians until their either submit to Allah or else agree to pay a special tax.

Sura 2: 65,66 and Sura 5:60 contain references to Jews as “, apes and swine to be despised and rejected.”

In contrast to the “Golden Rule” which advocates doing unto others as you would have them do unto you Sura 2:194 sanctions revenge: “If anyone transgresses … against you, transgress likewise against them.”

Many not reared in the Islamic culture are confused by stories of suicide murderers being motivated by what awaits them in Paradise. The following is not an opinion it is merely a summary of Suras 52: 17-14, 55:54-56; and 78:32-34. Therein Paradise is depicted as a place of pleasure consisting of gluttonous feasts and endless sex orgies. One way to reach Paradise is to die fighting for Allah (Sura 3: 157).

Persons who would like to read for themselves some of these Suras will find a fully indexed copy of the Koran which can be searched by words and phrases at:

In our pluralistic culture tolerance is broadly advocated. I know our Muslim friends will be patient with those seeking to learn the teachings of the Koran.