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19 September 2005

Let's learn Arabic, let's start reading [an English translation of] the Holy Book of Islam

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. The Beneficent, the Merciful. Master of the Day of Judgment. Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech for help. Keep us on the right path. The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors. Not (the path) of those upon whom Thy wrath is brought down, nor of those who go astray.

I like this one a lot. It's the Arabic alifbaa. You click on each letter, and a male voice pronounces its sound. You're never too old to go back to Kindergarten!

I don't think we're going to have enough time between now and Ramadan (Tuesday 4 October) to read the whole Koran, but

The Journey Of A Thousand Kilometers
Begins With The First Step.

This is about all the Muslim Theology I know: The Koran itself (this isn't it, this is just an English translation) was spoken to the Prophet Muhammed by Allah in the Arabic Language. Any translation into any other language, no matter how expert, is NO LONGER the Holy Word of Allah.

(Likewise, the Hebrew/Ivrit words the Same God spoke to Moses/Moshe are NOT the same as any subsequent translation into Greek, Latin or any modern language.)

You can go here to navigate this English translation of the Koran.

The Koran

The Opening

[This chapter is known in Arabic as Suratul Fatiha, and an artistic Mosaic rendering of it is reproduced above. It is the best-known Arabic text in the world.]

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
[1.1] All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.
[1.2] The Beneficent, the Merciful.
[1.3] Master of the Day of Judgment.
[1.4] Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech for help.
[1.5] Keep us on the right path.
[1.6] The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors. Not (the path) of those upon whom Thy wrath is brought down, nor of those who go astray.

The Cow

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
[2.1] Alif Lam Mim.
[2.2] This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a guide to those who guard (against evil).
[2.3] Those who believe in the unseen and keep up prayer and spend out of what We have given them.
[2.4] And who believe in that which has been revealed to you and that which was revealed before you and they are sure of the hereafter.
[2.5] These are on a right course from their Lord and these it is that shall be successful.
[2.6] Surely those who disbelieve, it being alike to them whether you warn them, or do not warn them, will not believe.
[2.7] Allah has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing and there is a covering over their eyes, and there is a great punishment for them.
[2.8] And there are some people who say: We believe in Allah and the last day; and they are not at all believers.
[2.9] They desire to deceive Allah and those who believe, and they deceive only themselves and they do not perceive.
[2.10] There is a disease in their hearts, so Allah added to their disease and they shall have a painful chastisement because they lied.
[2.11] And when it is said to them, Do not make mischief in the land, they say: We are but peace-makers.
[2.12] Now surely they themselves are the mischief makers, but they do not perceive.
[2.13] And when it is said to them: Believe as the people believe they say: Shall we believe as the fools believe? Now surely they themselves are the fools, but they do not know.
[2.14] And when they meet those who believe, they say: We believe; and when they are alone with their Shaitans, they say: Surely we are with you, we were only mocking.
[2.15] Allah shall pay them back their mockery, and He leaves them alone in their inordinacy, blindly wandering on.
[2.16] These are they who buy error for the right direction, so their bargain shall bring no gain, nor are they the followers of the right direction.
[2.17] Their parable is like the parable of one who kindled a fire but when it had illumined all around him, Allah took away their light, and left them in utter darkness-- they do not see.
[2.18] Deaf, dumb (and) blind, so they will not turn back.
[2.19] Or like abundant rain from the cloud in which is utter darkness and thunder and lightning; they put their fingers into their ears because of the thunder peal, for fear of death, and Allah encompasses the unbelievers.
[2.20] The lightning almost takes away their sight; whenever it shines on them they walk in it, and when it becomes dark to them they stand still; and if Allah had pleased He would certainly have taken away their hearing and their sight; surely Allah has power over all things.
[2.21] O men! serve your Lord Who created you and those before you so that you may guard (against evil).
[2.22] Who made the earth a resting place for you and the heaven a canopy and (Who) sends down rain from the cloud then brings forth with it subsistence for you of the fruits; therefore do not set up rivals to Allah while you know.
[2.23] And if you are in doubt as to that which We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a chapter like it and call on your witnesses besides Allah if you are truthful.
[2.24] But if you do (it) not and never shall you do (it), then be on your guard against the fire of which men and stones are the fuel; it is prepared for the unbelievers.
[2.25] And convey good news to those who believe and do good deeds, that they shall have gardens in which rivers flow; whenever they shall be given a portion of the fruit thereof, they shall say: This is what was given to us before; and they shall be given the like of it, and they shall have pure mates in them, and in them, they shall abide.
[2.26] Surely Allah is not ashamed to set forth any parable-- (that of) a gnat or any thing above that; then as for those who believe, they know that it is the truth from their Lord, and as for those who disbelieve, they say: What is it that Allah means by this parable: He causes many to err by it and many He leads aright by it! but He does not cause to err by it (any) except the transgressors,
[2.27] Who break the covenant of Allah after its confirmation and cut asunder what Allah has ordered to be joined, and make mischief in the land; these it is that are the losers.
[2.28] How do you deny Allah and you were dead and He gave you life? Again He will cause you to die and again bring you to life, then you shall be brought back to Him.
[2.29] He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth, and He directed Himself to the heaven, so He made them complete seven heavens, and He knows all things.
[2.30] And when your Lord said to the angels, I am going to place in the earth a khalif, they said: What! wilt Thou place in it such as shall make mischief in it and shed blood, and we celebrate Thy praise and extol Thy holiness? He said: Surely I know what you do not know.
[2.31] And He taught Adam all the names, then presented them to the angels; then He said: Tell me the names of those if you are right.
[2.32] They said: Glory be to Thee! we have no knowledge but that which Thou hast taught us; surely Thou art the Knowing, the Wise.
[2.33] He said: O Adam! inform them of their names. Then when he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I not say to you that I surely know what is ghaib in the heavens and the earth and (that) I know what you manifest and what you hide?
[2.34] And when We said to the angels: Make obeisance to Adam they did obeisance, but Iblis (did it not). He refused and he was proud, and he was one of the unbelievers.
[2.35] And We said: O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the garden and eat from it a plenteous (food) wherever you wish and do not approach this tree, for then you will be of the unjust.
[2.36] But the Shaitan made them both fall from it, and caused them to depart from that (state) in which they were; and We said: Get forth, some of you being the enemies of others, and there is for you in the earth an abode and a provision for a time.
[2.37] Then Adam received (some) words from his Lord, so He turned to him mercifully; surely He is Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.
[2.38] We said: Go forth from this (state) all; so surely there will come to you a guidance from Me, then whoever follows My guidance, no fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve.
[2.39] And (as to) those who disbelieve in and reject My communications, they are the inmates of the fire, in it they shall abide.
[2.40] O children of Israel! call to mind My favor which I bestowed on you and be faithful to (your) covenant with Me, I will fulfill (My) covenant with you; and of Me, Me alone, should you be afraid.
[2.41] And believe in what I have revealed, verifying that which is with you, and be not the first to deny it, neither take a mean price in exchange for My communications; and Me, Me alone should you fear.
[2.42] And do not mix up the truth with the falsehood, nor hide the truth while you know (it).
[2.43] And keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and bow down with those who bow down.
[2.44] What! do you enjoin men to be good and neglect your own souls while you read the Book; have you then no sense?
[2.45] And seek assistance through patience and prayer, and most surely it is a hard thing except for the humble ones,
[2.46] Who know that they shall meet their Lord and that they shall return to Him.
[2.47] O children of Israel! call to mind My favor which I bestowed on you and that I made you excel the nations.
[2.48] And be on your guard against a day when one soul shall not avail another in the least, neither shall intercession on its behalf be accepted, nor shall any compensation be taken from it, nor shall they be helped.

The Cow is a large chapter, there's more to come.


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