Monday, February 20, 2012

The Qur'an Dilemma

The Qur’an Dilemma
Former Muslims Analyze Islam’s Holiest Book
Volume ONE

Glass Road Public Relations sent me a free copy of this book to review. Here is what Glass Road says about this project:

We know that the Muslim population is growing in the U.S. And we know that Jesus can save a Muslim as easily as He can save anyone who comes to Him. And we know that we have as much responsibility as Christians to reach Muslims with the saving Truth of the Gospel as we do anyone else walking this earth.

But what do Muslims believe? How can we know—really know—that what we are told about Islam is true? How can we even begin a conversation with someone whose way of life and religion we know nothing of . . . and may even be fearful of?

For the first time in history, we can know exactly what The Quran says. A group of former Muslims who became Christians several years ago decided to take on an enormous task: go through the Quran, sura by sura (sura is akin to chapter) and share it in Arabic and English. The result is Volume I of The Quran Dilemma.

Unlike Christianity, Islam doesn't encourage its believers to own a copy of the Quran and read it for themselves. They are dependent on the imam (something like the local preacher, in Christianity) to read from the Quran and interpret it.

But now it is accessible. You can read it for yourself, along with articles about what Islam says regarding certain topics, whether that verse's directive was later changed when Mohammed claimed to get a new revelation, and more.

And you can know that you are reading something created by people who love Jesus for who He says He was and is.

I’ve long been interested in the teachings of the Muslims, but never have found a book that I felt was comprehensive or well written enough to keep my attention. Plus I didn’t want something that a strong bias for or against Islam. This seemed to be the book I was looking for. So I requested to be a part of the blog tour.

However, with our recent move, the book didn’t catch up to me until last week. I’m glad it did. It’s a beautifully bound hardcover with full color pages of text and page design. But not only does the beauty of the book catch my attention, the content is fascinating and insightful. Unfortunately I haven’t had time to peruse it in detail because of the book’s late arrival. I look forward to doing that in the near future.

The following is from the information Glass Road sent with the book and is a comprehensive survey of what this project is about and what the first volume contains:

Fast Facts

v The Qur’an is the very foundation of Islam. It is the source of all Islamic laws and practices, religious or otherwise, in Islamic countries and societies.
v The current Qur’an is divided into 114 chapters, or suras, of different lengths. This first volume of The Qur’an Dilemma investigates the first nine of these suras.
v Each sura contains the text of the Qur’an (Palmer translation) complemented with these well-annotated elements:
Ø  Sura Introduction
o   Highlights backgrounds and outlines major subjects and issues for discussion at each sura
Ø  Critical analysis of key verses
o   Focuses on their historical accounts, scientific information, logic, linguistic and literary structure
Ø  Variant readings of certain verses
o   Highlights how the original Arabic Text has been read by others in ways that differ from the current common readings
o   Emphasis is given to the variation in the text itself, especially by those who do not agree with the current codification made by ‘Uthman’s committee
Ø  Abrogated verses with analytical comments
o   Explains how the authority and understanding of such verses are impacted by other verses. (Abrogation is a phenomenon or doctrine peculiar to the Qur’an, in which hundreds of verses have been annulled or replaced by other verses.)
v The Qur’an Dilemma also contains valuable articles on several topics that will interest and enlighten the reader, such as the “Compilation of The Qur’an” status of “Women in Islam,” and treatment of “People of Other Faiths,” to name a few.
v The book contains a glossary to help support the reader and a Who’s Who section that provides a brief bibliographical synopsis of some of the mentioned Islamic scholars, exegetes, and historical figures.
v Although written by former Muslims, The Qur’an Dilemma uses Islamic classical references in their original languages to satisfy the scholar. Yet this commentary is written in a fluid language that allows average readers to enjoy these materials and increase their knowledge of Islam.

Today, America is faced with a stealthy ideological threat: Sharia law. The word Sharia, translated, means “the path or the way.” Sharia is a comprehensive legal and socio-political framework. Even though Sharia law may have a spiritual and religious tone, it seeks to regulate all manner of behavior in the secular sphere, including economic, social, military, legal, spiritual, and political.

Sharia law is considered the dividing fault-line between Islamic reformers (i.e. Moderates) and supremacists (Radicals). Reformers consider Sharia law to be a reference point for a Muslim’s personal conduct that should not be imposed on other pluralistic societies. Supremacists, on the other hand, seek to impose a totalitarian system under which all Muslims are required to obey and install Sharia law, and the world is mandated to adopt it. Failure to fulfill such domination is considered to be a failure against Islam as a universal religion and Allah’s mandates.

Under the radical’s view, the West is perceived as an obstacle to be overcome and over-rules, and not a civilization that can be embraced or adhered to.

Since 9/11, many in the US and the West have realized the risk raised by violent Islamic jihadist and radicals, who have launched an all-out war against all Western societies and their allies in the Middle East. However, despite such appreciation of this threat, many (including peaceful and moderate Muslims) have fallen short of recognizing the peril posed by Islamic jihadists and radicals who operate by deceit and stealth from within the gates of liberal and democratic societies. Such Islamic Supremacists believe that Islam is superior to every other culture as taught by the Qur’an, “You are the best of Peoples, evolved for mankind” (Q3:110), that non-Muslims are “the most vile of created beings” (Q98:6), and that mercy toward other civilians is only commanded toward Muslims as they are commanded in this verse to be “merciful to one another, but ruthless to the unbelievers” (Q48:29).

Where do Islamic jihadists and radicals draw support for their radical views? They rely first and foremost on the Qur’an, and normally recite its verses in support of their views and actions.
v “fight the idolaters utterly” (Q9:36)
v “fight those who believe not in God . . . even if they be People of the Book” (Q9:51)
v “take not the Jews and the Christians as friends and protectors . . . and he amongst you (Muslims) who turn to them for friendship is of them” (Q5:51).

The Qur’an also teaches the Doctrine of Abrogation, by which earlier commands by Allah, even commands to be peaceful toward others, were cancelled by latter verses (Q2:106). It also sanctions the killing of those who leave Islam (Q16:106), it calls all other laws un-Islamic and considers its followers—even if they were Muslims—to be unbelievers (Q5:47), and when it comes to equality between genders, the Qur’an very clearly relegates women to a status inferior to men (Q2:282; 4:3; 4:34).

The Qur’an Dilemma reveals these truths and more concerning the contents and teachings of the Qur’an, and unveils the foundations behind Islamic radicalization and Sharia law.

Purpose of the Book
The Qur’an Dilemma gives English-speaking readers, both Muslims and non-Muslims, many of the critical arguments concerning Islam and the Qur’an. It addresses whether the Qur’an is a book of terror or peace, an inspired divine book or a mere political text.

The book weaves through Islamic history and its many classical commentaries and resources to provide an objective, investigative body of research concerning the truth about Islam.

The book is a result of the team effort of many former Muslim researchers, scholars, writers, and specialists. The team approach was taken to eliminate any undue bias, misunderstandings, or propaganda against Islam and its teachings.

The critical methodology used in this book was inspired by the courageous tradition of those who have dared to analyze the Qur’an throughout history. Contemporary intellectual productions available in Arabic and foreign sources were also incorporated. The result is a book directed equally to both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

For more information about this book and the rest of the volumes in this project and how to obtain your own copy, go to

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