Ah, here they are.
Sura 4 - An Nisa' --
For some reason I saved these verses.
148. Allah loveth not that evil should be noised abroad in public speech, except where injustice hath been done; for Allah is He who heareth and knoweth all things.
149. Whether ye publish a good deed or conceal it or cover evil with pardon, verily Allah doth blot out (sins) and hath power (in the judgment of values).
150. Those who deny Allah and His apostles, and (those who) wish to separate Allah from His apostles, saying: "We believe in some but reject others": And (those who) wish to take a course midway,-
151. They are in truth (equally) unbelievers; and we have prepared for unbelievers a humiliating punishment.152. To those who believe in Allah and His apostles and make no distinction between any of the apostles, we shall soon give their (due) rewards: for Allah is Oft- forgiving, Most Merciful.
Maybe I was thinking about Jews who reject Jesus and Christians who reject Muhammad in verse 150. Also I liked the reference to God blotting out sins in verse 149. What does wishing to take a course midway mean? Accepting some teachings and not others? I see there should be "no distinction between any of the apostles." Are prophets considered apostles in Islam? Are the words used interchangeably? Honestly I feel Muslims value Muhammad way more than any other prophet. For one thing he is mentioned in all prayers and calls to prayer..right up there with Allah. And why is there a special blessing on Muhammad compared to the others? I even see this on blogs where they'll write Muhammad (saws) and then other prophets (as). For a book that declares no distinction, most Muslims do not follow this! Just an observation on my part. :)
Sura 5 - Al Ma'ida --
44. It was We who revealed the law (to Moses): therein was guidance and light. By its standard have been judged the Jews, by the prophets who bowed (as in Islam) to Allah.s will, by the rabbis and the doctors of law: for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah.s book, and they were witnesses thereto: therefore fear not men, but fear me, and sell not my signs for a miserable price. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) Unbelievers.
45. We ordained therein for them: "Life for life, eye for eye, nose or nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal." But if any one remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself. And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (No better than) wrong-doers.
46. And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah.
47. Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel.
48. To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have we prescribed a law and an open way. If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah. it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute;
I thought this passage was interesting. It seems God gave a "holy book" for each group: the Law of Moses for the Jews, the Gospel of Jesus for his followers, and this new Scripture for Muhammad. Each was supposed to confirm the scripture that came before it. Yet it seems according to the latter half of 48 that God purposefully gave each group something a bit different. Perhaps He desired us to be divided in order to test us and make us "strive as in a race" of virtues. At least God is our common goal and He has promised to show us the truth in the matters we dispute. That's good to know! I find hope in this that if we seek God's direction as we wrestle with these various views - which is the right path? - He will show us the truth. Or should I say the Truth - as in God is Truth?
64. The Jews say: "(Allah)'s hand is tied up." Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for the (blasphemy) they utter. Nay, both His hands are widely outstretched: He giveth and spendeth (of His bounty) as He pleaseth. But the revelation that cometh to thee from Allah increaseth in most of them their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy. Amongst them we have placed enmity and hatred till the Day of Judgment. Every time they kindle the fire of war, Allah doth extinguish it; but they (ever) strive to do mischief on earth. And Allah loveth not those who do mischief.
65. If only the People of the Book had believed and been righteous, We should indeed have blotted out their iniquities and admitted them to gardens of bliss.
66. If only they had stood fast by the Law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that was sent to them from their Lord, they would have enjoyed happiness from every side. There is from among them a party on the right course: but many of them follow a course that is evil.
Does the Jews' charge against God in verse 64 mean He is stingy? I think the "if onlys" took my attention in verses 65 and 66. If only are two of the saddest words in the English language.
101. O ye who believe! Ask not questions about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble. But if ye ask about things when the Qur'an is being revealed, they will be made plain to you, Allah will forgive those: for Allah is Oft- forgiving, Most Forbearing.
102. Some people before you did ask such questions, and on that account lost their faith.
103. It was not Allah who instituted (superstitions like those of) a slit-ear she- camel, or a she-camel let loose for free pasture, or idol sacrifices for twin-births in animals, or stallion-camels freed from work: It is blasphemers who invent a lie against Allah. but most of them lack wisdom.
104. When it is said to them: "Come to what Allah hath revealed; come to the Messenger.: They say: "Enough for us are the ways we found our fathers following." what! even though their fathers were void of knowledge and guidance?
105. O ye who believe! Guard your own souls: If ye follow (right) guidance, no hurt can come to you from those who stray. the goal of you all is to Allah. it is He that will show you the truth of all that ye do.
I thought verses 101 and 102 were troubling, yet if I'm reading it correctly I see why many Muslims will not question things in their faith. It's almost like they are scared to delve too deeply for fear that the warning in verse 102 will come true! Why did asking questions make them lose their faith? Does this mean questions are bad? Granted, I also know Christians who seem to be this way, but my thinking is if your faith is right, it will stand even when questioned! If your truth is from God then why worry that it won't stand up to the questions? Furthermore if something is supposed to save you for all eternity, don't you want to make sure you are following the right path?
I liked the reminder if verse 105 that our goal is God and that He would show us the truth. It seems in verse 104 that they had a lot of people following tradition and what their parents and grandparents and great grandparents had followed for generations. If our goal is God and His truth then we must make sure what our fathers and mothers and grandparents have been following isn't just culture, isn't just tradition, isn't just what everyone else around us believes, but that it is from God! That's the lesson I learned from this passage!
And finally Sura 6 - Al An'am
34. Rejected were the apostles before thee: with patience and constancy they bore their rejection and their wrongs, until Our aid did reach them: there is none that can alter the words (and decrees) of Allah. Already hast thou received some account of those apostles.
115. The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfilment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all.
I've heard Muslims say that the Bible we have now has been corrupted or changed. Yet I read verses such as these which declare that no one can alter God's words nor change them. A Muslim friend said this meant God's "original words" (which were altered by someone thus our corrupted Bibles). Yet don't we have pieces of our Bibles that predate Muhammad by a few hundred years? Copies that generally are the same as what we have now? I did a quick Google search on that this morning out of curiosity and although I didn't delve into the various websites thoroughly, I got the impression that there are some manuscripts in existence that predate Islam. And I don't know that I've seen a verse that claims the Bible in Muhammad's time was different somehow. Maybe I will find that as I keep reading.
Now I need to read some more suras before I'll have more notes. I think I'll post them more frequently so these posts are not so long. I welcome your thoughts and explanations on what I've written and on the verses. Thank you again for all who helped me out on my last post! I sincerely appreciate it!