Sunday, April 12, 2009

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful?

Coming home from shul over Pesach, I found at my doorstep a package. Upon closer examination, I found inside a book - "The English translation of the message of the holy Quran", along with a note from the Book of Signs foundation hoping to accept this as a present from our Muslim neighbors. Similar books were deposited at all the houses in our neighborhood.

I was always curious about reading the Quran, so this was a good opportunity for me to acquaint myself with the Muslim holy book. So over the three day Yom Tov I read through the book.

There was a long introduction, rivaling anything a kiruv organization could throw at me. Proofs of the book's Divine origin abounded.

The text itself is not easily penetrated. I suspect it is difficult to translate from Arabic, and based on my assessment, the translator was not a native speaker of English. That said, the book has a feel of a mixture of Tehillim and Mishlei. I'd say that if the words "Allah", "Merciful", and "Gracious" were deleted from the text, the book would easily shrink by 50% percent.

Of course, now the question is what to do with this book. I don't think I am interested enough to leave it on my bookshelf. One of my son's friends was planning to stomp on it in his backyard. I find that disgusting - I hope this is not what our school is teaching him. Perhaps I will leave it on the bookshelf at our train station. Either that or put it in genizah :)


Anonymous Mark said...

No book burning please, I think that on principle no book should be burned. As a Syag L'Davar, I wouldn't even burn "Mein Kampf". Just throw it out instead, book burning is a remnant of a past era. I would leave your Quran, for reference.

April 12, 2009 1:31 PM  
Blogger The back of the hill said...

Keep it. There is nothing inherently evil about tribal war poetry, though there are some severly uncomfortable passages.

There are probably enough people who would burn or rubbish their free-copy that a contrasting course of action would be a good thing.

Or, having read it, and having probably no intent to reread it, return it to the Muslim neighbors from whence it came, if that is possible.

April 12, 2009 6:29 PM  
Blogger Miri said...

Did read the whole thing through? Is it true that Jerusalem does not appear even once?

April 16, 2009 2:04 AM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

I did not read through the whole thing. Not that interested. I don't think it is disputed by anyone that Jerusalem is not mentioned in it.

April 16, 2009 7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say u should keep it, just incase u may want to read soemthing in it in the furture.. U mite not take a lking to it now (year ago lol) but may do sumtime in tha future :)... p.s ifn u took out Allah, merciful n Gracious it'l reduce tha buk by 50%??.. wow it shows how merciful god really is to have mentioned it that many times:).. take it eazy.. Ali

April 25, 2010 11:10 PM  

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