I wouldn’t have the nerve to write this blog except for two reasons. First my wonderful friend, Ann, said spontaneously that in preparation for a job with the Aga Khan she had read the Koran and much of the Hadith. She said it was ‘incoherent babble’.
The second reason, I have the nerve, is that I do not believe that the Islamic world will expand significantly beyond Europe and Africa over this century. Islam will not be a threat to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. If I believed that Islam would expand beyond Europe and Africa I would fear for their lives because I have written this blog. Islam is a dangerous religion. Partly because it is based on complete incomprehensible babble.
You can find the Koran translated anyplace on the Internet. Try and read any of it if you doubt what I say. There are 114 Suras in no order whatsoever with a great deal of repetition and absolutely no coherence in any two sentences. Look for yourself.
I have read many ancient documents. I have read the Torah; in English and in several versions of it. It was written and assembled more than 1000 years before the Koran. I have read Sumerian stories, that are at least 2000 years older than the Koran. I have read many Buddhist sutras that are anywhere from 300 to 800 years older than the Koran. The same goes for the Tao d’Ching which is 700 years older than the Koran.
I have read many Greek documents of many sorts that are older than the Koran by 800 years.
In all my reading of ancient documents, translated into contemporary English, I recognize three serious problems.
*First, these are from different cultures. Cultures are virtually inaccessible to each other.
* Second, we have no idea what the metaphors and words from these ancient documents actually meant at the time. They are not accessible to us except from interpretation by people who may have passed on verbal descriptions of what these documents were about.
* The third is that we have no comprehension of the social milieu in which these documents were created, read and understood.
I will give three examples of these problems in interpretation. In the Torah, God destroys the town of Sodom because the townspeople were considered evil for offering a visiting Angel several men and not one woman. This makes no current sense unless we assume that sex with men was easily available and trivial. Further the sex with a women was a generous act for a stranger. It was an extremely important offer. To most current tribal groups in the world they know they need fresh external DNA for the tribal survival. That may have been what the story was about. But we DON'T know.
The second example is that in the Torah the prophet Elisha is described as encountering two she bears who tore apart and ate 42 young men who had ridiculed the prophet. What is this about? My father claimed that rabbinical tradition says this was a joke and we don't get the joke.
Third, most temples of early religions apparently had women available for sex. We don't have any such tradition. However in Japan at Shinto weddings there are still two young women provided by the temple who accompany the priests and the bridal party. Is this connected to a Shinto sex tradition that is 2,000 years old?
Without any real understanding of the periods in which most of these documents were written there is only limited understanding of their meaning to the readers at the time they were compiled.
This is not true of the Koran. It is unintelligible to me with or without knowledge of the era in which it was written.