Read the Qur'an/Koran in One Year (It's Short..like the NT) All Welcome :) - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-13-2009, 12:38 AM
 
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Thanks for bumping. I've thought of this thread from time to time, but some personal matters were getting in the way of me really being able to concentrate on anything and I was slipping behind. Traditionally during Ramadan we shoot for finishing the Qur'an at least once during the course of the month though, so I'm certainly planning on trying to get back into it.
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:49 PM
 
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i'm curious about Amina Wadud's book Qur'an and Women.

anyone have experience of this book? recommend or not?

mama to one amazing daughter born 1/2004
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Old 08-22-2009, 07:07 PM
 
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in case anyone decides to jump in and read with us, i found this blog that has several helpful links right in one place.

it is from a church that is having a Qur'an study group all this year. there are a few suggested other books, commentary link, etc.

i hope some others, perhaps non-muslim like myself, will be inspired by Ramadan and decide to take up this reading!

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Old 08-24-2009, 02:48 PM
 
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Hello. I'd like to read with you ladies, if you don't mind. I have read the Qu'ran before, but it's been yeeeeeeears. Do you recommend any particular version?

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:52 PM
 
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welcome, eilonwy! glad you'll be reading with us. to get started, you could use this online Qur'an.

i don't read arabic and so appreciate this tafsir in english.

from earlier in the thread, here is a comment about a suggested translation by Tarif Khalidi:

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Originally Posted by sky_and_lavender View Post
It's a beautiful translation. Khalidi is a professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at American University of Beirut, and many Lebanese acquaintances of mine highly recommend his work on the basis of his integrity and dedication. Part of his goal in this translation was to be precise to the original meanings of the words while also capturing the flowing sense of poetry natural to the Qur'an. However, he doesn't include any commentary at all. I like to read it alongside the annotated translation I have so that I can look in that for historical context. Oh, and also, Khalidi's translation does not include the original Arabic anywhere.
the annotated translation mentioned above is that of Abdullah Yusuf Ali.

i am no expert myself, just here to learn. i wanted to pass along this feedback from the other mamas.

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Old 08-24-2009, 09:01 PM
 
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oh! one more thing about translations:
if you check out this website at USC, you can see three translations side by side. see which one appeals to you.

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Old 08-25-2009, 04:07 AM
 
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The M.A.S. Abdel Haleem translation is pretty universally respected ... it's often recommended by people falling on all portions of the religiously liberal-->conservative spectrum, which I personally think speaks volumes in terms of its accuracy, its clarity and ease of reading, and how little it portrays an agenda.
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:36 PM
 
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The M.A.S. Abdel Haleem translation is pretty universally respected ... it's often recommended by people falling on all portions of the religiously liberal-->conservative spectrum, which I personally think speaks volumes in terms of its accuracy, its clarity and ease of reading, and how little it portrays an agenda.
after reading this helpful info, i went and looked up M.A.S. Abdel Haleem. just when i was thinking "this sounds great, i ought to get a copy of his translation," i realized (that is, read) that his is in the online Qur'an project.
i still prefer to read a copy in my hands (computer is not so, um, prayerful for me ), but it is good to know i have access to his translation.

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Old 08-26-2009, 09:47 PM
 
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Is there any time you ladies are starting to read? Is the text broken up in a particular way? I'm sorry, I'm totally clueless as to how this is working.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 08-28-2009, 04:41 PM
 
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Is there any time you ladies are starting to read? Is the text broken up in a particular way? I'm sorry, I'm totally clueless as to how this is working.
no need to be sorry. i realized the "how it is working" was not exactly made clear to you by a simple welcome. we had started in January, with a plan of about 21 verses a day (125 a week), which was meant to get us through by year's end. (some chapters are longer than others, and thus some weeks the reading included more than one chapter.) the thread has lapsed, and we have not had a set schedule for a while. please, don't let this discourage you! the more we post, we keep bumping the thread....others are bound to be lured in, no?

i am at chapter 36 now, but would be glad to discuss with you as you go along (starting at chapter 1) any questions that arise, or responses you have to your reaidng. i think it is ok to not be in the same place for now, if you are ok with that.

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Old 08-29-2009, 01:00 AM
 
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I'm presently back at the end of the second chapter; as mentioned above I'm reading for Ramadan though, which tends to keep a faster pace, so anywhere at all is really good for me personally.
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Old 09-08-2009, 06:39 PM
 
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Well that's fabulous! Life is insanely busy around here, so I'm going to try to start reading tonight but to not plan on reading (i.e. be irritated if I fall off) until my new year begins next month.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 09-14-2009, 02:23 PM
 
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ok, here are two bits I am wrestling with, contradictions (or simply my confusion) that I need to clarify. please forgive the long post.

first is about religious tolerance—taking for the moment all those that believe in one God. there are places such as 2:139 that say the people of the book share the same God and do not argue on this. In other places, such as 9:30 says Jews and Christians are idolaters, and several verses advise against friendliness toward Jews and Christians.

I'm confused. I come from a universalist perspective, personally believing the most important things are to love God, love one another, and help those in need. I am trying to be open to a possible message that "only Muslims are God's people"....but I don't want to believe that. for lack of a better way to ask, what might be the average/moderate interpretation here?

second is about punishments. there are several places that indicate only God is to judge, and citing of examples of how God dealt with those who went astray in the past. on the other hand, there is inclusion of very harsh punishment, e.g. 100 lashes or permanent house arrest for adultery, verses that are interpreted by some govts as a means to abuse human rights (e.g. recent stoning law passed in Aceh). I find it hard to believe God would advise men to show such harshness, even in the name of preventing immorality.

again, not wanting to apply lables but in a moderate/average North American mosque, I'd be curious what the view is of such punishments.

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Old 09-15-2009, 12:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kangamitroo View Post
ok, here are two bits I am wrestling with, contradictions (or simply my confusion) that I need to clarify. please forgive the long post.

first is about religious tolerance—taking for the moment all those that believe in one God. there are places such as 2:139 that say the people of the book share the same God and do not argue on this. In other places, such as 9:30 says Jews and Christians are idolaters, and several verses advise against friendliness toward Jews and Christians.

I'm confused. I come from a universalist perspective, personally believing the most important things are to love God, love one another, and help those in need. I am trying to be open to a possible message that "only Muslims are God's people"....but I don't want to believe that. for lack of a better way to ask, what might be the average/moderate interpretation here?
While it's always problematic to just kind of blithely say "oh, that was just about a specific context" when it comes to difficult verses, it is heavily widely accepted that when it comes to statements about relationships between Muslims and other religious communities the on-the-ground context of inter-religious warfare and treachery is the dominant consideration, and therefore are only relevant under the same conditions. Taken that way, it's basically saying fight back against the people who persist in fighting you, do not take as companions those who betray you, etc.

Also, with regard to 9:30 specifically, it is commonly perceived that the reference is to some rather peculiar to Judaism views held by the local Jewish population of Arabia at the time, and there is linguistic support for the bit about "destroying them" for their beliefs being far more idiomatic than literal. (Kind of in the way that in English "I could just kill him for that" doesn't mean I'm planning a murder.)

I'm not sure where you're getting "Muslims are god's people"? The belief is more or less that Islam is god's way, and that to follow god's way is the ideal, but while Islam is not very compatible with religious pluralism, to a degree univeralism is a different ballgame. There is nothing to say that we know how others will be judged, with the exception of those who believe in god and willfully attribute partners to him.

Quote:
second is about punishments. there are several places that indicate only God is to judge, and citing of examples of how God dealt with those who went astray in the past. on the other hand, there is inclusion of very harsh punishment, e.g. 100 lashes or permanent house arrest for adultery, verses that are interpreted by some govts as a means to abuse human rights (e.g. recent stoning law passed in Aceh). I find it hard to believe God would advise men to show such harshness, even in the name of preventing immorality.

again, not wanting to apply lables but in a moderate/average North American mosque, I'd be curious what the view is of such punishments.
Some emphasize the extreme difficulty in meeting the requirements for applying the harsh punishments and consider them as being intended to simply illustrate the severity of the acts they are meant to address. Mostly, though, if looking for a majority view, I would venture to guess that most people consider them correct but largely irrelevant ... inapplicable outside of the Muslim state, and dealing primarily in matters that one does not do, and if one does so one also makes some effort to keep private. Regarding whether god would advise harsh treatment ... you know, in the context of a religion with a clear and well-defined concept of harsh ramifications in the grave and afterlife for choices made in one's life, to be honest it doesn't come up much ... that god might advise, regardless of whether one takes it to be literal or rhetorical advice, punishment for sin doesn't necessarily seem out of context, you know? I think a belief that a creator would intend retributive harm for members of his own creation is one of the greater sticking points and sources of struggle in a number of paths, and possibly Islam in particular.
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Old 09-15-2009, 01:13 AM
 
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Liquesce, thanks for your thoughtful response. when i first picked up the Qur'an i had Karen Armstrong's bio of Muhammad fresh in my mind--lots of historic context. now, on re-reading, i was forgetting that context. your feedback reminds me, too, of other analyses i have read on pluralism and Islam. i must remember the tafsir for that context, too.

your reminder that God can be harsh....that is one thing that i struggle with, yet it also feels true. that it is not always mercy, but that we must do our part.

(as an aside, i hope you are not feeling too much my personal, online Islam tutor)

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Old 09-15-2009, 01:16 PM
 
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(as an aside, i hope you are not feeling too much my personal, online Islam tutor)
As may be obvious, I like talking about my religion.
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Old 09-19-2009, 01:22 AM
 
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eilonwy, have you had time to read yet?

anyone else joining in?

playing in my mind (because it's bedtime? or because it is one of the few verses that very easily entered my memory?)
Surah 113: Al-Falaq/The Dawn
I seek refuge with the Lord of the dawn from the evil of the things He has created, and from the evil of the darkness of night when it overspreads, and from the evil of those who blow upon knots, and from the evil of an envious one when he envies.

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Old 09-21-2009, 01:44 PM
 
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at the masjid on friday, I had a wonderful conversation with a very well-read lady. Now, I know that everyone might have their own particular lens (consciously or not) through which they view the Qur'an, but I found her insights so helpful. Among other things, this lady talked with me about 4:34, that the arabic word used is "tayamum"--the same one used for making wudu when clean water is unavailable? and that it should not be translated as "strike" or "hit" (as in, giving limited permission to strike your spouse), but rather to touch.

I found this so helpful, as helpful as someone taking a heavy package out of my hands. we also put the verse in context, and talked about other examples of a harsh punishment a human might want to give, followed by the text saying "but only if conditions are met"--in other words, Allah is ever merciful.

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Old 09-21-2009, 03:24 PM
 
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The word in question isn't tayammum, it's idribu, from the root daraba, and the argument is not that it means 'to touch' but usually rather that it means 'to leave.' The POV that it is not meant to mean 'to strike' is not an entirely invalid one on the face of it, and is an increasingly popular one for obvious reasons, but I will say that a lot of the commentary on its validity does come from people who are misusing the Arabic language to try to make their point. They are taking the word used, going back to the root, looking at other derivatives of the root, and saying that the root and the other derivatives mean that the use of the given word is inappropriate. Were English organized similarly, to do the same one might look at "geometry," go back to "meter," and from there suggest that the meaning of "perimeter" be substituted in place of "geometry" in the original sentence. It doesn't by itself form a very good argument, kwim? The other argument is that other derivatives of daraba used in the Qur'an do not mean to hit, but again ... no matter how many times I talk about a perimeter, my talk of perimeters does not nullify the idea that geometry means, well, geometry.

I will add Muhammad Asad's footnote on the subject:

It is evident from many authentic Traditions that the Prophet himself intensely detested the idea of beating one's wife, and said on more than one occasion, "Could any of you beat his wife as he would beat a slave, and then lie with her in the evening?" (Bukhari and Muslim). According to another Tradition, he forbade the beating of any woman with the words, "Never beat God's handmaidens" (Abu Da’ud, Nasa’i, Ibn Majah, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ibn Hibban and Hakim, on the authority of Iyas ibn ‘Abd Allah; Ibn Hibban, on the authority of ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas; and Bayhaqi, on the authority of Umm Kulthum). When the above Qur’an-verse authorizing the beating of a refractory wife was revealed, the Prophet is reported to have said: "I wanted one thing, but God has willed another thing - and what God has willed must be best" (see Manar V, 74). With all this, he stipulated in his sermon on the occasion of the Farewell Pilgrimage, shortly before his death, that beating should be resorted to only if the wife "has become guilty, in an obvious manner, of immoral conduct", and that it should be done "in such a way as not to cause pain (ghayr mubarrih)"; authentic Traditions to this effect are found in Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Da’ud, Nasa’i and Ibn Majah. On the basis of these Traditions, all the authorities stress that this "beating", if resorted to at all, should be more or less symbolic - "with a toothbrush, or some such thing" (Tabari, quoting the views of scholars of the earliest times), or even "with a folded handkerchief" (Razi); and some of the greatest Muslim scholars (e.g., Ash-Shafi’i) are of the opinion that it is just barely permissible, and should preferably be avoided: and they justify this opinion by the Prophet's personal feelings with regard to this problem.
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:02 PM
 
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Liquesce, a very big thank you for the thoroughness of your reply above. i almost wonder where you find time for your little ones, with all of your scholarship

so translating as "to strike" was not only bad translation in that, frankly, it just seemed wrong and inhumane, but that the best word would be "to leave". that's a whole other thing, and i feel the views on divorce in the Qur'an are fairly clear. hmm....how such a mistranslation could be passed down over and again is bit-- i want to say mysterious but that's not quite accurate.

Thank you for Muhammad Asad's beautiful footnote.

sometimes I am very aware of the steep learning curve I am facing. It feels like I am stumbling around in the dark. and people giving me misinformation for their own agendas, even if they mean well.... I had been excited, because I showed this woman the list of books I want to read, asked if they are available in the library, and she seemed so happy that I wanted scholarly books. and she shared my view that I should decline the free literature, because of my discomfort with Saudi govt publications. This made me feel, for some reason, that she must be rather scholarly and thorough herback.self.

at any rate, this novice appreciates your insights and helpful guidance.

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Old 09-21-2009, 05:10 PM
 
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Well, I personally don't really agree that it's necessarily a bad translation at all, but I am just saying that there are arguments made for it being one, and some have better grounds than others. Personally I agree with those who say it is better to forget the gymnastics surrounding daraba and to find the proper context for the meaning of nushuz (in 4:34 often translated as "rebellious" or "disobedient" or such and often taken to be a euphemism for adulterous) as well as looking to the hadith for a somewhat fuller context on appropriate behavior. Though for me it's all academic ... a good man is not one who strikes his wife. Common sense as well as prophetic tradition. And I'm not interested in staying with a man who is not interested in being a good man. For me it's really only an even interesting verse in the context of where the advice of some Muslim leaders and Muslim laws seem to go rather awry, not really in the context of "what will my relationship dynamics be like as a Muslim woman."

My personal opinions on the daraba thing aside, if you want to get into that, one of the books I've mentioned before, "Believing Women in Islam," has a fairly extensive focus on the issues surrounding that word.

(P.S. - No scholarship, just reading and conversation. I don't know what I'd do without naptimes. )

ETA - And also, my opinion is still just my opinion, too. There are certainly people even just on this board who disagree with the view I accept. And I think it's really cool that you're meeting people who are interested in these things and read about them.
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