Wow! From where should I start? My journey across the meadows of Islam was an intriguing one. Ever since I purchased a handy copy of the Koran, I have become a sensational gossip topic amongst friends and relatives. Whispers and jokes rise and fall. They fly by day and crawl at night. But I am not deterred. I am riding the tide quite well. I love my life; and enjoy all I do. Reading the Koran is no exception!
Even my closest allies remain perplexed. They are not as amused as I am; yet, all believe that I will never convert to Islam. They are right. My aim is not conversion. It is finding out for myself what exactly the religion stands for. I am tired of all the confusions surrounding it. I want to know the truth. That is: what the correct teachings of Islam are. All sorts of things have been said about it; and all kinds of things have been done in its name. So, I thought it appropriate to pay closer attention.
I am not famous for starving my curiosities; and have always poke-nosed into anything that catches my fancy. And with a bit of spare time in my closet, I decided it’s time I investigate what the Islamic holy book says. No hearsay this time around. Only the facts!
I did a bit of research before purchasing my Koran. This is because I insisted on having an authentic version. Not an abridged one! And I am glad that I ended-up with an English copy, which has a parallel Arabic translation (on every page). I am totally satisfied. Although, I must add that few associates who saw the Arabic text were even more bemused.
Having observed the dedication and the level of concentration with which I read the holy book, a friend politely asked if I have become a prophet. I suppressed my surprise and replied no. Just in time before her companion added: “His dress codes haven’t changed. He reads it but nothing else has changed. How can our own Val become a prophet?” I smiled and kept mute. She was right. I am no prophet; and I do not even pretend to be a convert. However, I must add that I am relishing every time I spend reading my book. I value everything that I am learning from it.
Forget about all the negative portrayals, pure and unadulterated Islam is love. It is true love; and does preach all those Christian and Jewish virtues, which you read in the bible and the torah respectively. For instance, the following virtues are commonly laid out in the contexts of the three holy books:
· Love and worship the only true God
· Love your neighbor as yourself
· Honor your parents and your elders
· Be merciful and forgiving
· Uphold charity and generosity
· Render justice without fear or favor
· Show obedience and humility
· Be honest and loyal
These are just a few of the many, which I found in it. There are also various discourses emphasizing the importance of wisdom, virginity, fraternity, and many more. The messages which the Koran relay are rich and wonderful. But mankind with all his weaknesses, hardly measure-up in practice! Many Islamic prophesies and recommendations conform to the teachings of Christianity and Judaism. I am pleased to have learnt that these three monotheistic religions have a lot more similarities than differences. And whether tagged a prophet or not, I frankly enjoyed what I learnt from the Koran. I continue to appreciate it, and would applaud anyone who wishes to see for himself or herself. I just wish that all Muslims practice what the Koran says.
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