So I read Sura 10 -- Yunus or Jonah yesterday, and, shoot, call me crazy, but I expected this sura to discuss the story of Jonah similar to what is talked about in the Bible! Ha, ha! But I read and read and read and read and thought, "OK, where is the story of God giving Jonah orders to preach in Nineveh? Where's Jonah's blatant disobedience in not only refusing to go, but boarding a ship sailing the opposite way? Where's the storm which causes the seasoned sailors to fear for their lives, the casting of lots to determine who was at fault and Jonah's admission that he was the guilty one and should be cast overboard? No big fish story, no reluctant obedience to God, no preaching repentance to the extremely wicked Ninevites." OK, maybe some of that was in the sura, but you can tell it wasn't enough to stick out in my mind this morning! So I came away realizing why God instructed Muhammad to consult and get the story from the People of the Book (vs. 94). Muslims don't have the full stories of many things discussed in the Bible. So, for those who are interested in the biblical account, here is Jonah. It's only three chapters and quite an interesting little book of how a prophet didn't want to preach repentance to a wicked nation because he knew God was so merciful that if the people repented, they would not be punished! Yet Jonah wanted them punished, NOT given mercy! Imagine protesting the wonderful mercy of God! So give it a quick read. Back to the Quran, perhaps there are more Jonah details in another sura, but forgive me if I expected most of them to be in a sura by Jonah's name. :-)
Now some other thoughts.
I assume the "man who is one of them" that people thought was a sorcerer (vs. 2) was Muhammad. I enjoyed some of the thoughts about God in verses 3 through 10, concluding with this one.
10. Their invocation will be: "All glory to you, O God," and "Peace" will be their salutation, and the end of their prayer (will be): "All praise be to God, the Lord of all the worlds."
12. When man is afflicted with adversity he calls to Us, whether lying on his side, or sitting or standing. But when We take away his troubles, he moves away, as though he had never called to Us in affliction. In the same way, attractive have been made their deeds to the prodigals.
reminded me of some posts my blogger friend, Sarah, has written in recent weeks on suffering and its purpose. Perhaps one purpose is so we will call upon God. I do find it often true that we are more likely to seek divine help when we are suffering than when everything in life is going well.
17. Who is more unjust than he who imputes lies to God or denies His revelations? The sinners will surely not be reprieved.
I know this verse is not likely in the context of what I am referring, however, attributing lies to God reminds me of a post Amber wrote earlier this week which mentions how the supposed crucifixion switch perpetuated the notion that God was a liar. While some people may believe that God deceives when it suits Him, this is quite a different view from the Bible which states God does not - even cannot - lie (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18, Numbers 23:19, I Samuel 15:29). So this verse shows me God didn't much like lies attributed to Him. Notice also these verses:
59. Say: "Have you thought of what God has sent you for food, of which you have labelled some as lawful and some forbidden?" And ask: "Has God commanded this, or you are imputing lies to God?" 60. What do those who invent lies of God think about the Day of Reckoning? (Will they escape the judgement?) In fact God is gracious to men; but most of them are not grateful.
69. Say: "Those who fabricate lies about God will never succeed."
Maybe it's not the same thing as one person will see the "crucifixion switch" as truth thus not a "fabricated lie about God." On the flip side there are many of us who can view the same story and not see God pulling off one of the biggest - if not the biggest - deceptions of all time.
I can relate to the frustration of people calling out to God only when they are in trouble such as is mentioned in verses 22 and 23. I know some who make promises while going through a hard time and they later keep them, while many others conveniently forget they ever "made a deal" with God.
35. Ask: "Is there one among those you associate with God who can show the way to the truth?" Say: "It is God who shows the way to truth." Then who is more worthy of being followed -- He who guides to the truth, or he who cannot find the path until shown the way? What has happened to you that you judge in such a wise?
Welllllllllllllllll, since you asked -- ("Is there one among those you associate with God who can show the way to the truth?") actually yes. 6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." So, yes, Jesus is the way to the truth...and, I agree that it is God who shows the way to truth as Q 10:35 says.
As for "who is more worthy of being followed"..."He who guides to the truth (JESUS) or he who cannot find the path until shown the way" (Muhammad)....remember Muhammad didn't even know he was receiving "divine revelations" until others talked him into it. On the other hand, Jesus spoke with authority, never going around with "let me see if God will reveal another sura ...if so, I'll get back to ya on that." So that's an excellent question from the Quran!
37. This Qur'an is not such (a writ) as could be composed by anyone but God. It confirms what has been revealed before, and is an exposition of (Heaven's) law. Without any doubt it's from the Lord of all the worlds. 38. Do they say (of the Prophet) that: "He has composed it?" Say to them: "Bring a Surah like this, and call anyone apart from God you can (to help you), if what you say is true."
Actually I don't necessarily find the Qur'an as a confirmation of what has been revealed before, however, I've only read ten chapters thus far. As for producing an equal or better sura, I suppose this could get quite subjective as not everyone enjoys the same things. I'm sure if one believes something is from God automatically it seems better somehow so this isn't really a logical proof of the Quran's credibility, in my opinion.
41. If they (still) call you a liar, tell them: "For me my actions, for you yours. You are not answerable for my deeds, nor I for what you do."
I'm assuming Muhammad was having trouble with certain groups not accepting his message so this was an assurance to him.
47. For every people there is an apostle; and when their apostle is come the matter is decided between them equitably, and no one is wronged.
I'm only familiar with the Jewish prophets (which are different than apostles, but I think the two words are used interchangeably here) mentioned in the Bible. However many believe Muhammad was the apostle to the Arabs. So now I'm wondering who was (or is) the apostle to the Chinese, Indians, Russians, British, French and so forth. Please don't tell me we in the States have to accept Joseph Smith who also claimed to be a prophet with a revelation from God. Genuinely curious since this verse claims an apostle for every people. (Edited later to add that I finally saw some other prophets in sura 11's reading today, however, not to the people I mentioned above including Americans.)
61. There is no state you are in, whether reading from the Qur'an, or doing something else, but We are watching you as you are engaged in it. There is not the weight of an atom on the earth and in the heavens that is hidden from your Lord, nor is there anything smaller or greater than this but is recorded in the perspicuous Book.
There are similar verses in the Bible about God seeing all that we do and nothing being hidden from Him. Should make us all rethink doing nasty things to others or doing things we know are against godly principles, huh? Sadly it seems we often fear our people and communities and their thoughts of us more than we fear God.
64. For them is good news in the life of the world and in the life to come. There is no changing the words of God. That will be the great triumph.
I still think this proves that God kept His Word safe and the Bible wasn't corrupted or changed. But then I would, wouldn't I? ;-)
90. And We brought the people of Israel across the sea, but the Pharaoh and his army pursued them wickedly and maliciously till he was on the point of drowning, and he said: "I believe that there is no god but He in whom the people of Israel believe, and I submit to Him."
Interesting to read about Pharoah's "death-bed" confession which is not recorded in the biblical account in Exodus 14. I was a bit confused on the details, but according to the Quran, did God accept Pharoah's plea as he was drowning?
94. If you are in doubt of what We have sent down to you, then ask those who have been reading the Book (for a long time) before you. The truth has indeed come to you from your Lord, so do not be one of those who doubt.
I was assuming in the first paragraph that this reference to "the Book" meant the Torah and Injil. It cannot be the Quran since it wasn't written down at this point, right?
Nice to finally see Jonah mentioned in verse 98. :-)
99. If your Lord had willed, all the people on the earth would have come to believe, one and all.
This and a few of the following verses seemed to have that predestination flavor again. I know Christians who strongly believe in predestination so it's fine. God guides those whom He wishes to save. It's a well-known thought among many I know personally.
107. Should God bring you harm there is none but He who could deliver you from it, and if He wish you good there is none who could take away His blessings: He showers them on those of His creatures as He please, and He is forgiving and kind."
This reminds me that GOD is in control of what happens to us. We may think having bodyguards, security systems, a mighty military, nuclear weapons -- whatever, will save us from those who would harm us, however no one or no thing can hurt us without His permission. Nice reminder!
Thanks to all who have been leaving comments on my posts. I've greatly enjoyed learning from you and hope you will continue to freely share!