Muhammad, THE KORAN

The vital new religion of Islam emerged in the seventh century among the Arabs of Arabia.  Its founder was Muhammad (c. 570-632), a prosperous merchant in Mecca. A trading city near the Red Sea.  When Muhammad was about forty, he believed that he was visited by the angel Gabriel, who ordered him to “recite in the name of the Lord!” Transformed by this vision, Muhammad was convinced that he had been chosen to serve as a prophet. The new monotheistic faith, Islam, which means “surrender to Allah” quickly took hold.

Islamic standards of morality and rules governing daily life are set by the Koran.  Muslims see their religion as the completion and perfection of Judaism and Christianity.   

God: there is no god but Him, the Living, the Eternal One. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. His is what the heavens and the earth contain. Who can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before and behind men. They can grasp only that part of His knowledge which He wills. His throne is as vast as the heavens and the earth, and the preservation of both does not weary Him. He is the Exalted, the Immense One. (2:255—257)

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

It is the Merciful who has taught the Koran.
He created man and taught him articulate speech. The sun and the moon pursue their ordered course. The plants and the trees bow down in adoration.
He raised the heaven on high and set the balance of all things, that you might not transgress that balance. Give just weight and full measure.
He laid the earth for His creatures, with all its fruits and blossom-bearing palm, chaff- covered grain and scented herbs. Which of your Lord’s blessings would you deny?
He created man from potter’s clay, and the jinn [spirits] from smokeless fire. Which of your Lord’s blessings would you deny? (5 5:1—18)

All that is in the heavens and the earth gives glory to God. He is the Mighty, the Wise One.
It is He that has sovereignty over the heavens and the earth. He ordains life and death, and has power over all things.
He is the First and the Last, the Visible and the Unseen. He has knowledge of all things.
It was He who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and then mounted the throne. He knows all that goes into the earth and all that emerges from it, all that comes down from heaven and all that ascends to it. He is with you wherever you are. God is cognizant of all your actions.
He has sovereignty over the heavens and the earth. To God shall all things return. He causes the night to pass into the day, and causes the day to pass into the night. He has knowledge of the inmost thoughts of men. (57:1—7)


Righteousness does not consist in whether you face towards the East or the West. The righteous man is he who believes in God and the Last Day, in the angels and the Book and the prophets; who, though he loves it dearly, gives away his wealth to kinsfolk, to orphans, to the destitute, to the traveller in need and to beggars, and for the redemption of captives; who attends to his prayers and renders the alms levy; who is true to his promises and steadfast in trial and adversity and in times of war. Such are the true believers; such are the God-fearing. (2:176—178)

Serve God and associate none with Him. Show kindness to parent and kindred, to orphans and to the destitute, to near and distant neighbours, to those that keep company with you, to the traveller in need, and to the slaves you own. God does not love arrogant and boastful men, who are themselves niggardly and enjoin others to be niggardly; who conceal the riches which God of His bounty has bestowed upon them (We have prepared a shameful punishment for the unbe1ievers) and who spend their wealth for the sake of ostentation, believing neither in God nor in the Last Day. He that chooses Satan for his friend, an evil friend has he. (4:36—39)


And remember the angels’ words to Mary. They said: “God has chosen you. He has made you pure and exalted you above womankind. Mary, be obedient to your Lord; bow down and worship with the worshippers.”
This is an account of a divine secret. We reveal it to you. You were not present when they cast lots to see which of them should have charge of Mary; nor were you present when they argued about her.
The angels said to Mary: “God bids you rejoice in a word from Him. His name is the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary. He shall be noble in this world and in the hereafter, and shall be one of those who are favoured. He shall preach to men in his cradle and in the prime of manhood, and shall lead a righteous life.”
“Lord,” she said, “how can I bear a child when no man has touched me?”
He replied: “Even thus. God creates whom He will. When He decrees a thing He need only say: ‘Be,’ and it is. He will instruct him in the Scriptures and in wisdom, in the Torah and in the Gospel, and send him forth as an apostle to the Israelites. He will say: ‘I bring you a sign from your Lord. From clay I will make for you the likeness of a bird. I shall breathe into it and, by God’s leave, it shall become a living bird. By God’s leave I shall heal the blind man and the leper, and raise the dead to life. I shall tell you what to eat and what to store up in your houses. Surely that will be a sign for you, if you are true believers. I come to confirm the Torah which preceded me and to make lawful to you some of things you are forbidden. I bring you a sign God and obey me. God is my Lord and your Lord: therefore serve Him. That is a straight path.’” (3:42—51)

People of the Book, do not transgress the bounds of your religion. Speak nothing but the truth about God. The Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, was no more than God’s apostle and His which He cast to Mary: a spirit from Him. So believe in God and His apostles and do not say: “Three.” Forbear, and it shall be better for you. God is but one God. God forbid that He should have a son! His is all that the heavens and the earth contain. God is the all-sufficient protector. The Messiah does not disdain to be a servant of God, nor do the angels who are nearest to Him. Those who through arrogance disdain His service shall all be brought before Him.





In the Name of God, the Compassionate. the Merciful


When that which is coming comes—and no soul shall then deny its coming—some shall be abased and others exalted.
When the earth shakes and quivers, and the mountains crumble away and scatter abroad into fine dust, you shall be divided into three multitudes: those on the right (blessed shall be those on the right); those on the left (damned shall be those on the left); and those to the fore (foremost shall be those). Such are they that shall be brought near to their Lord in the gardens of delight: a whole multitude from the men of old, but only a few from the latter generations.
They shall recline on jewelled couches face to face, and there shall wait on them immortal youths with bowls and ewers and a cup of purest wine (that will neither pain their heads nor take away their reason); with fruits of their own choice and flesh of fowls that they relish. And theirs shall be the dark-eyed houris [beautiful virgins], chaste as hidden pearls: a guerdon [reward] for their deeds.
There they shall hear no idle talk, no sinful speech, but only the greeting, “Peace! Peace!” Those on the right hand — happy shall be those on the right hand! They shall recline on couches raised on high in the shade of thornless sidrs and clusters of talh [probably the banana fruit]; amidst gushing waters and abundant fruits, unforbidden, never- ending.
We created the houris and made them virgins, loving companions for those on the right hand: a multitude from the men of old, and a multitude from the latter generations.
As for those on the left hand (wretched shall be those on the left hand!) they shall dwell amidst scorching winds and seething water: in the shade of pitch-black smoke, neither cool nor refreshing. For they have lived in comfort and persisted in the heinous sin, saying: “When we are once dead and turned to dust and bones, shall we be raised to life? And our forefathers, too?”
Say: “Those of old, and those of the present age, shall be brought together on an appointed day. As for you sinners who deny the truth, you shall eat the fruit of the Zaqqum tree and fill your bellies with it. You shall drink scalding water: yet you shall drink it as the thirsty camel drinks.”
Such shall be their fare on the Day of Reckoning. (56:1—5 6)


WOMEN (three translations of the same verse)


YUSUFALI: Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).
PICKTHAL: Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.
SHAKIR: Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.