Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Catholic Reads the Qur'an: Sura 1

The first "sura" (chapter) of the Qur'an is short enough to quote in entirety:

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate

Praise belongs to God, the Lord of all Being,
the All-merciful, the All-compassionate,
the Master of the Day of Doom.

Thee only we serve; to Thee alone we pray for succour.
Guide us in the straight path,
the path of those whom Thou has blessed,
not of those against whom Though art wrathful,
nor of those who are astray.

This is the first sura in the "traditional" ordering of suras, however, I get the impression that most students of the Qur'an don't believe this traditional ordering to reflect the historical order of authorship. I also read that some scholars believe some suras to be composite works. As a student of the Bible, this is not terribly surprising to me because the Bible has some of these characteristics as well.

I have so many questions already, but the biggest one of them all is, "Who is speaking?"

The second sura is a lot longer than this one. I might need a lot more time to read it.

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