Beliefs of Islam in the Koran – Book Report/Review Example

The paper "Beliefs of Islam in the Koran" is an outstanding example of a book report on religion and theology. The Exordium s several basic beliefs of Islam. It specifically deals with the nature of God. God is established as being compassionate, merciful and is referred to as the King of the Last Judgment. Prayers are offered to God that implores Him to keep the worshippers in the right path, not the one that will incur God’s wrath. This passage is important because it established the fact that Muslims believe in a merciful God, but also a god that can be provoked to wrath. It also establishes the fact that there is only one true God. The section Women deals heavily with providing equal rights to property (dowry) under the law. It is especially beneficent to orphaned girls. Muslims are encouraged to, “Give orphan girls the property which belongs to them. Do not exchange their valuables for worthless things or cheat them of their possessions.” This seems very fair, but women clearly are not considered equals to men in this section. Men are told they can have “two, three or four wives” if they wish, so long as they can be equitable. Differences between the status of slave women and other women are also shown. This passage shows Muslim attitudes towards women that are still influenced by the Koran today. Women have rights, but only to a certain extent. The section Joseph is an account similar to the one in the bible that tells of Joseph’s enslavement and then rises to power in Egypt. His brothers who sold him into slavery wronged Joseph. His master’s wife tried to seduce him and he ends up in jail. He interprets the Pharaoh's dream and is put in a position of authority that he uses to save his family and all of Egypt from famine. The whole point of this section seems to be “Wrongdoers never prosper.” This is what Joseph said to his would be the seductress. Righteousness is rewarded eventually and evil is punished. The section Mary recounts the beginnings of two very important prophets. First is Jesus. He was conceived by God’s word within the womb of Mary, a virgin. In a miraculous way, he spoke from the cradle to defend Mary’s honor. The second important prophet is Ishmael. He was Abraham’s son that was first born. This section is important because people are judged by how they react to the words of these prophets. The Koran states people were rightly guided when they, “…fell down on their knees with tears and adoration” at the words of these prophets. The prior generations that neglected them, however, are lost. The Merciful is a recitation of all that is good that God has provided. God created humans, animals, the earth and all that is good within it. All of the good things are a blessing to the righteous. The question repeated throughout the section is “Which of your Lord’s blessings would you deny?” indicating that by being unrighteous, you will be denied blessings. This is significant because it suggests that if you are not enjoying the rubies and pearls of the earth, or “Dark-eyed virgins sheltering in their tents which neither man nor jinnee will have touched” then you are not being righteous enough. Friday or the Day of Congregation is an indictment against the Jews. The Koran says that the Jews were like a “donkey laden with books”. This description was used because the Jews were given the gift of the Torah, and according to the prophet, they have not observed it properly. One way is through their noncompliance on the Sabbath. This is important because it reveals the Muslim view of other monotheistic religions. They have some things correct but have not stayed true to the most important parts. In the section titled Noah, we see the conversation between God and Noah before the flood. Noah is commanded to preach repentance to the people, but they will not hearken. He stresses the mercy of God by saying, “He is ever ready to forgive you. He sends down for you abundant rain and bestows upon you wealth and children.” The people ignore him and Noah asks the Lord to wipe out the unbelievers. I think that the most significant part of this passage is the fact that the Koran shows that Noah asked for the unbelievers to be wiped out. It was not the vengeance of God, but the request of his prophet to purify the earth. This last section titled Man shows the stark difference between the end state of the unbeliever and the believer. A long list of heavenly and earthly delights is promised to the believer because God is merciful. Unbelievers are condemned for loving this life too much. Therefore their reward will not be in the next life but in this one. This is important because this shows the stark nature of the Final Judgment in Islam. You will go to heaven to be rewarded for your belief and obedience to Gods laws, or you will be punished. This is well summed up in the last line of the section by saying, “He is merciful to whom he will: but for the wrongdoers, he has prepared a woeful punishment.”