Friday, May 14, 2010

The Holy Quran 2:2

Question: Sura #2:2 reads "This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah." (I hope I annotated that correctly.)
The bible also talks about fearing God. Yet the bible has more advanced teachings beyond that that teach to love God and that love drives out fear, demonstrating that one cannot both love and fear the same thing, and that love is stronger, more powerful and healthier.
So does the Koran also teach that there are better things than to fear Allah? Does it have any higher level teachings or is it just for beginners?
If it does have higher level teachings where are they? I have never been able to find any nor have I been able to find anyone who knows of any.

Answer: This is the trouble with translations. The word that's translated as fear, lil-muttaqeen, is actually a much broader term which can be more accurately translated as 'for the God-aware'. God-awareness encompasses much more, it is a state of consciousness where one acknowledges the presence and awareness of the Creator and Sustainer at all times, loving Him and fearing Him at the same time, and living a life seeking His pleasure. Compare the following translations:
Transliteration 2: Thalika alkitabu la rayba feehi hudan lilmuttaqeena
Yusuf Ali 2: This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah.
Shakir 2: This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a guide to those who guard (against evil).
Pickthal 2: This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off (evil).
Mohsin Khan: 2: This is the Book (the Qur'an), whereof there is no doubt, a guidance to those who are Al-Muttaqun [the pious believers of Islamic Monotheism who fear Allah much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden) and love Allah much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)].

The subsequent verses further define who God-aware people are:
2 This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off (evil).
3 Who believe in the Unseen, and establish worship, and spend of that We have bestowed upon them;
4 And who believe in that which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) and that which was revealed before thee, and are certain of the Hereafter.
5 These depend on guidance from their Lord. These are the successful.

Will insh'Allah post select verses of the good from the Quran later.
J, further to our previous exchange, please note that fear of God also means fear of the consequences of our bad deeds.
Also, if there is no God, what drives you to do good, especially when doing good may not appear to be in your best interest?

You asked: Does it [the Holy Quran] have any higher level teachings or is it just for beginners?
Answer: Quran offers guidance for all. It is a beginner's guide and an advanced course, all put together. There are many shades of meanings to the verses, and every re-read teaches one something new. And the best part, each meaning builds upon or enhances the previous understanding.
To the beginner, it may appear as a simple book. Well, good for the beginner. Its easy to start with something simple.
As you progress, and re-read, you find that there is so much more to it, it just never ceases to amaze you!

Here are a few verses listing good deeds:
The Holy Quran, Chapter 17, Verses 23-37
23 Thy Lord hath decreed, that ye worship none save Him, and (that ye show) kindness to parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age with thee, say not "Fie" unto them nor repulse them, but speak unto them a gracious word.
24 And lower unto them the wing of submission through mercy, and say: My Lord! Have mercy on them both as they did care for me when I was little.
25 Your Lord is Best Aware of what is in your minds. If ye are righteous, then lo! He was ever Forgiving unto those who turn (unto Him).
26 Give the kinsman his due, and the needy, and the wayfarer, and squander not (thy wealth) in wantonness.
27 Lo! the squanderers were ever brothers of the devils, and the devil was ever an ingrate to his Lord.
28 But if thou turn away from them, seeking mercy from thy Lord, for which thou hopest, then speak unto them a reasonable word.
29 And let not thy hand be chained to thy neck nor open it with a complete opening, lest thou sit down rebuked, denuded.
30 Lo! thy Lord enlargeth the provision for whom He will, and straiteneth (it for whom He will). Lo, He was ever Knower, Seer of His slaves.
31 Slay not your children, fearing a fall to poverty, We shall provide for them and for you. Lo! the slaying of them is great sin.
32 And come not near unto adultery. Lo! it is an abomination and an evil way.
33 And slay not the life which Allah hath forbidden save with right. Whoso is slain wrongfully, We have given power unto his heir, but let him not commit excess in slaying. Lo! he will be helped.
34 Come not near the wealth of the orphan save with that which is better till he come to strength; and keep the covenant. Lo! of the covenant it will be asked.
35 Fill the measure when ye measure, and weigh with a right balance; that is meet, and better in the end.
36 (O man), follow not that whereof thou hast no knowledge. Lo! the hearing and the sight and the heart - of each of these it will be asked.
37 And walk not in the earth exultant. Lo! thou canst not rend the earth, nor canst thou stretch to the height of the hills.

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