- Series: Penguin Classics
- Paperback: 456 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classics; Revised edition (September 28, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140449205
- ISBN-13: 978-0140449204
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 138 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #679,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Koran (Penguin Classics) Revised Edition
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Across the language barrier Dawood captures the thunder and poetry of the original * The Times * --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Text: English, Arabic (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Most striking to me is how disjointed and random the teachings seem to be in comparison to the Bible (with which I am far more familiar). "Love your enemies" and "Turn the other cheek" from the Bible stand in contrast to the more militaristic tone of the Koran which encourages adherents to "Make war on them [the unbelievers] until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme" (The Spoils, 8:40; see also Prohibition, 66:9). Heaven is pictured as a place of sensuous delights designed especially for men, who "shall sit with bashful, dark-eyed virgins, as chaste as the sheltered eggs of ostriches" (The Ranks, 37:48). Although women have some protection and rights in the Koran, God has made men superior to women and given men permission to "beat them" (Women, 4:34 or 4:38 in other translations).
There are numerous allusions to people whose names appear also in the Bible, but always with a different slant. Abraham's significant son becomes Ishmael instead of Isaac, and Jesus is mentioned, but his relationship to God as the Son of God is denied (The Believers, 23:91). In stark contrast to the biblical emphasis on salvation by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9), the Koran teaches that salvation comes to those whose good deeds weigh heavy on the scales. Those whose deeds are light forfeit their souls and abide in Hell forever (The Believers, 23:104). In the Koran, the earth is created in two days instead of six. Revenge is acceptable. In divorce, he gets the children! Most disturbing, perhaps, are instructions on what to do with those who abandon Islam and have become disbelievers. "Do not befriend them," "Seize them and put them to death wherever you find them" (Women, 4:90). The Koran does, indeed, make for significant reading.