Some resemblances between Islam and Mormonism (Part Four)

 

Arabic Qur’an, open (WIkimedia Commons)
The Qur’an (Wikimedia Commons)

 

More from the manuscript:

 

The Qur’an’s view of human hardheartedness is very close to that found in the Latter-day Saint scriptures. “When misfortune befalls a man, he prays to Us standing, sitting, and lying down. But as soon as We relieve his affliction he pursues his former ways, as though he never prayed for Our help.”[1]  This could serve as a sum­mary of Nephite history, but its applicability is not only to past dis­pensations. “In the day of their peace,” said the Lord about the persecuted Saints in 1833 Missouri, “they esteemed lightly my coun­sel; but, in the day of their trouble, of necessity they feel after me.”[2]  This leads occasionally to a highly negative view of human nature, which contrasts us unfavorably with inanimate nature: “If We had sent down this Qur’an upon a mountain, thou wouldst have seen it humbled, split asunder out of the fear of God.[3] The prophet Mormon seems to have held a similar opinion: “O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are less than the dust of the earth. For behold, the dust of the earth moveth hither and thither, to the dividing asunder, at the command of our great and everlasting God. Yea, behold at his voice do the hills and the mountains tremble and quake.”[4]  Nevertheless, despite their persistent rebellion against the will of God, the wicked seem to be quite serene in both the Qur’an and the Book of Mormon. “They declare: ‘The Fire will never touch us—except for a few days.’”[5]

“And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.”[6]

Like the Bible, the Qur’an distinguishes between rocky soil and the deep soil in a garden, as a parable for the distinction between believers and unbelievers.[7] But the believers comprehend the par­ables of God, while unbelievers do not understand what they mean.[8]  Part of the problem is that unbelievers hold family and kin dearer than true religion. The Qur’an advises against this, just as Jesus does.[9]  But if believers choose to serve God first, he will intervene on their behalf. “If God be for us,” asks the apostle Paul, “who can be against us?”[10] “If God helps you,” declares the Qur’an, “none can overcome you. If He abandons you, who then can help you?”[11] “Keep your covenant,” Allah says, “and I will be true to Mine.”[12] This is similar to what God told Joseph Smith: “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.”[13]

 

[1] 10:12; compare 30:33-34; 39:8.

[2] Doctrine and Covenants 101:8.

[3] 59:21 (Arberry).

[4] Helaman 12:7-9.

[5] 2:80; compare 3:24.

[6] 2 Nephi 28:8.

[7] 2:264-65. Compare Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23; Mark 4:3-9, 14-20; Luke 8:5-8, 11-15.

[8] 2:26. Compare Matthew 13:10-17; Mark 4:11-12; Luke 8:10.

[9] 9:23 24. Compare Matthew 10:34-37.

[10] Romans 8:31.

[11] Romans 8:31. Qur’an 3:160.

[12] 2:40.

[13] Doctrine and Covenants 82:10.

 

 

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