Today an old friend posted on Facebook about how shocked he was when he started learning more and more about his religion of Christianity and how the Bible leaves parts out, changes details, etc... He was surprised how different his religion was from what he had learned of it.
And, it made me remember several years ago when I began researching more and more... when I felt like I needed religion in my life, but the religion my grandparents had passed down to me wasn't congruent with what I felt in my heart.
It was so painful.
And it created this terrible sense of longing in me that nothing could quell until I found Islam.
But, it didn't stop me from trying to make Christianity my religion before Islam. When I delved deeper into the Bible, I found inconsistencies. Yes, there are things in it that don't make sense.
I did a skit in my freshman year of college when for a course we were asked to read the Bible.
The skit was about the difference between Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. We each had our own disciple to tell the story of Jesus about and we made it like a Maury talkshow:
"OH NO YOU DIDN'T SAY THAT JESUS WAS SON OF MAN!"
Mark (Me!): Jesus was the son of man.
Matthew and Luke: Jesus was the Son of God.
John: Jesus was God himself.
Guess what, in a Paternity Test of Jesus, God is NOT the Father.
But, that didn't bother me as much.
What KILLED me was the fact that what was in the Bible wasn't being practiced.
For example, the Bible says to wear hijab... I haven't seen a Christian hijabi yet.
The Bible says not to gamble... but 98% of the casinos are filled with Christians.
Now, please, keep in mind Muslims believe in parts of the Bible, and parts of the Torah. One of the pillars of the religion is we believe in the Books - not just Quran.
I think the problem is that no one ever reads the Bible... and when they do, not literally.
My grandmother is a pretty devout Christian and she even admits that she doesn't think that The Bible is the word of God. She reads the Bible every day.
People say it's an "interpretation."
Yes, not every Muslim person follows what the Quran says. Of course not! We are all messed up, too! But at least I feel in Islam we all believe in Quran. We all know that it is the Truth. And that it is what we SHOULD be doing. There is a shame about going against the Quran. I can only think of one Muslim guy I know that shares on Facebook each time he gets drunk.
What I love about Islam is that we REALLY believe that the Quran is LITERALLY THE WORD OF GOD.
Straight up. From Him to us.
AND, there are millions (sources say approximately ten million, but don't quote me) of men and women around the world that have the ENTIRE Quran memorized.
When I first learned about these people - called "Hafiz of Quran" - I thought about how many people have the Bible memorized, and soon realized what language would they memorize it in?
See, there are thousands of different versions of the Bible.
There's ONE version of the Quran.
Yes. That's what's so special. There's just ONE.
When I first learned that about Quran I was shocked! What the hell do you mean there's only ONE?
There is one version of the Arabic Quran. Every little letter and accent is the same. Every single one.
No matter which one you pick up.
Can you imagine if that was true of the Bible? The Bible has inconsistencies within ITSELF.
Let alone the entire book!
Yes, there are different translations of Quran. I read a side-by-side Arabic - English translation, for example.
The Arabic is exactly the same as all other Qurans. The English, not so much.
Obviously there is no exact English translation for all Arabic words, same thing with German or Portuguese or Urdu, any other language.
That, in itself is a miracle to me. This doesn't allow for "interpretations." This means it is literal.
There aren't inconsistencies (except in places where rules changed during the revelation of the book- i.e. at first alcohol wasn't prohibited, but instead people were commanded not to come to prayer drunk and eventually, before the end of the Prophet Muhammad (saws)'s life, alcohol was then forbiden).
But, guess what, the Quran says "don't drink" so I "don't drink."
My History Lesson: And, I friggin hate history, but from what I learned, the Quran was memorized by the Arab people during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (saws) as he would receive a revelation he would repeat it. At the time the Arabs were amazing memorizers and they would then memorize word-for-word what he said. Many people all memorized the same words, so it was not as if it could be changed by some random camel rider. It was eventually written on the shoulder blade bones of camels and when the people decided to make the written copy - the one we use today - they gathered a bunch of different hafiz (memorizers) and wrote down what they had recited. They were all consistent. Feel free to correct anything wrong I said in here, because this is straight from memory from 3 classes I took 2 years ago.
I guess the point of the entire post is for two reasons:
1. If you are going to claim a religion, at least read the book. If you are Jewish - BE JEWISH. If you are Sikh - BE SIKH! I don't care! Just know what "Being Jewish" means. Know what the Book says. Know the fundamentals of your religion. Go to temple. Go to church. Go buy a dreidel. Do what you want.
And, don't tell me you don't agree with aspects of my religion that are also a part of yours.
2. If you're Muslim, please, we need to be so proud of our Quran. Alhamdulilah wa subhanAllah what a miracle!!!
I said before: "I would stay up as late as possible reading Qur’an and crying knowing that I was reading the truth. I reflect on how beautiful it is that Allah (swt) gave all of the other Prophets the power to perform miracles for the people of their time to see, but he gave Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alayhi wa salaam) a miracle that I get to hold in my hands every day, the Qur’an."
Really, it is such an immense blessing and we can't take it for granted. I'm totally guilty of it, too.
You buy a fancy $200 golden Quran, but you never take it off the shelf.
It's not a decoration. This isn't Pottery Barn. This is a miracle.
May Allah (swt) help us all to come closer to Him through whichever path He has decreed for us. Even if you're not Muslim, He chose a path for you. May He make us all passionate about our knowledge of Him through His Book, and inshaAllah someday I - and millions of others - will become Hafiza of Quran.