Islam - Q&A: A selection of questions posed by friends and acquaintances and my answers to them, in the attempt to bring them closer to the beautiful religion of Islam. And the random thoughts n questions that keep sprouting in my mind. May Allah guide us all.
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Back to the Future: why the Old Testament is angrier of the three scriptures!
Please find my explanation and relevant verses of the Quran after both the text analyses' results Computerised Text Analysis SAE shared the link:
Software uses Scripture to show what text analytics can do
Among the analysis findings that Mr. Anderson reported Jan. 20, 21, and 22 in the blog are that the Old Testament is the most violent, not the Qur’an. The Islamic text is actually the least violent. Terms for killing and destruction were in 2.1 percent of the Qur’an, 2.8 percent of the New Testament, and 5.3 percent of the Old Testament.
He found “that the Old Testament is the ‘Angriest’ (including most mentions of ‘Disgust’); it also contains the least amount of ‘Joy,’” Mr. Anderson states in the blog.
“Love,” in contrast, takes up 3 percent of the New Testament, 1.9 percent of the Old Testament, and 1.26 percent of the Qur’an.
“Forgiveness” and “grace” are much more strongly in the Islamic holy book, 6.33 percent in the Qur’an, compared to 2.9 percent in the New Testament and 0.7 percent in the Old Testament.
“Personally,” Mr. Anderson said in the blog, “I’ll admit that I was a bit surprised that the concept of ‘Mercy’ was most prevalent in the Qur’an; I expected that the New Testament would rank highest there, as it did in the concept of ‘Love.’”
Scholar Text Analysis
While the software-numbers researcher has done an interesting analysis based on differential expressions of emotions in the Bible and the Qur'an, an eminent biblical scholar, Philip Jenkins (Baylor University) has done a more comprehensive comparative content-analysis of the three Scriptures and reached the same conclusion: that the Qu'ran is far "less bloody and less violent." Obviously, his conclusion has given rise to much controversy. Jenkins published his research in a book, Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, And Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe For The Next 1,500 Years (HarperOne, 2010); another of his book is: Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can't Ignore the Bible's Violent Verses; HarperOne, 2012.
In an NPR interview sometime ago (available on internet), he says, "Violence in the Qu'ran is largely a defense against attack. Given the times, the Qu'ranic laws of war are actually reasonably humane." But in the Bible, he says, "we actually find something that for many is a real surprise; a specific kind of warfare which we can only call genocide." He cites illustrations from the Old/New Testaments, to wit:
(1) Deuteronomy - As Israelites enter the Promised Land, God tells Moses, "I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, my sword shall devour flesh, with the blood of the slain and the captives, from revenges upon the enemy."
(2) Book of Samuel - God instructs King Saul to attack Amelekites: "Kill both men, women, infant, nursing child, ox, sheep, camel and donkey." That passage echoes throughout Christian history, says Jenkins.
(3) Gospel of Matthew - Jesus amends the Old Testament's vengeance with "turning the other cheek." But elsewhere, "Think not that I have come to send peace on Earth. ... I came not to send peace, but a sword" - a centuries-old puzzle for Christians, says Jenkins.
Jenkins' conclusion: "Much to my surprise, the Islamic scriptures in the Qu'ran are actually far less bloody and less violent than those in the Bible." But, as religions mature, we forget the original violence - what he calls "Holy amnesia."
For Muslims it is an article of faith to believe in all revelations of Allah: And those who believe in what (is) sent down to you and what was sent down from before you and in the Hereafter they firmly believe.[http://islamawakened.com/quran/2/4/]
The Quran repeatedly warns against corruption, and specifically corruption of Earth. It informs us that: Has appeared the corruption in the land and the sea for what have earned (the) hands (of) people, so that He may let them taste a part (of) that which they have done so that they may return. [http://islamawakened.com/quran/30/41/].
If my understanding of the scriptures is correct, the Old Testament is naturally angrier as genetic modifications of creation were more prevalent then. I am guessing (based on what we currently know of genetics) that the germlines of entire populations had been infected with retroviruses. Entire nations (corrupters and their corruption) were wiped off the face of the Earth when they were on the verge of causing the extinction of species, the Exodus being the most recent prior to the revelation of Torah, and then the responsibility was placed on the chosen people to eradicate corruption from the Earth: From time that, We ordained on (the) Children (of) Israel that he who kills a soul other than (for) a soul or (for) spreading corruption in the earth then (it) is as if he has killed all [the] mankind, and whoever saves it then (it) is as if he has saved all [the] mankind. And surely came to them Our Messengers with clear Signs yet, indeed, many of them after that in the earth (are) surely those who commit excesses. [http://islamawakened.com/quran/5/32/]
Leviticus 18-20 refers to the crossbreeding and other corrupt practices prevalent during those times. Quran 30:30 clearly states that creation must not be changed: So set your face to the religion upright. Nature (made by) Allah (upon) which He has created mankind [on it]. No change (should there be) in the creation (of) Allah. That (is) the religion the correct, but most men (do) not know. [http://islamawakened.com/quran/30/30/]
In Adam's eating off the forbidden tree, we find the first known attempt at genetic modification to achieve immortality. The result: genetic corruption leading to loss of clothing:
O Children (of) Adam! (Let) not tempt you [the] Shaitaan as he drove out your parents from Paradise, stripping from both of them their clothing to show both of them their shame. Indeed, he sees you - he and his tribe from where not you see them. Indeed, We have made the devils friends of those who (do) not believe. [http://islamawakened.com/quran/7/27/]
Throughout history, nations have repeatedly attempted to tinker with the genetic code, and now again we are on the verge of causing human extinction by pursuing the mirage promised by Eugenics, Transhumanism, Posthuman and Posthumanism. Quran warns us: And (do) not cause corruption in the earth after its reformation. And call Him (in) fear and hope. Indeed, (the) Mercy of Allah (is) near for the good-doers. [http://islamawakened.com/quran/7/56/]
And when (is) fulfilled the word against them, We will bring forth for them a creature from the earth speaking to them, that the people were, of Our Signs, not certain. [http://islamawakened.com/quran/27/82/]
It seems that we are heading back to the future. It is imperative that religious scholars, scientists and policy makers urgently revisit the scriptures to understand the warnings and learn from the lessons in the narratives of the past civilisations, lest we blindly leapfrog into our own extinction!
Those who remember Allah standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth,"Our Lord! You have not created this without purpose, glory to You! Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire