6 Things I Love the Most About the Quran (And Why I Choose to be a Muslim) | Ro Waseem

6 Things I Love the Most About the Quran (And Why I Choose to be a Muslim) | Ro Waseem April 9, 2015
Quran cover. Image source: crystalina~ Flick CC 2.0
Quran cover. Image source: crystalina~ Flick CC 2.0

Too often in the news, Islam is only associated with terrorism and fanaticism. An uninformed viewer may think to himself: How could anyone in their right minds find inspiration and solace from such a faith? But, to billions of people, Islam is their avenue for seeking liberation and peace.

My spiritual journey, believe it or not, began on a dull evening in which I had a lot of time to spare. It so happened that on that particular day, the electricity was down in my home, and I couldn’t find anything to do. Browsing through my cellphone, I stumbled across a Quran app I had downloaded earlier. And, for some reason, I felt an urge to finally read the book I professed to “believe” in. And within a week, I had finished it.

The Quran, I found, was truly a fascinating book: very different to how some Muslims practice Islam. Above all, it was a book I could very much relate to, and find answers to the dilemmas I often thought about.  Naturally, the more time I spent with it, the more it seemed to give me back. Thus, as I went deeper and deeper into the Quran, I was left mesmerized by its structure, cohesiveness, and the language it employs that happened to reflect my own being so precisely.

Through all the ups and downs – the sudden moments of euphoria and multiple crises of faith – it is fair to say that this journey completely changed me for the better. It liberated me from an ordinary existence and gave my life a meaning, and a purpose.

Without further ado, here are six things I love the most about the Quran. Click on “Continue” to move through the list.

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  • mike

    so can you tell me where gog and magog are?

  • Aaron Rational

    “”But the infidels who die unbelievers shall incur the curse of God, the angels, and all men. Under it they shall remain for ever; their punishment shall not be lightened, nor shall they be reprieved” (2:162).”

    Yeah, it definitely seems to encourage you to consider everything carefully. You just better hope you don’t come to the wrong conclusion!

  • KoreanKat

    This post a painful example of well-meaning liberal Muslims retconning the Qur’an to conform to secular, scientific, humanistic, and/or Western values.

    And whether you conform to these values despite describing yourself as a “progressive” is doubtful. The Quran specifies corporal punishments that are simply forbidden in all instances in most modern states, even non-democratic ones. The Quran specifies differing inheritance rights, rules of evidence, etc. along gender lines that are impermissible under modern laws. And so forth.

    The Quran is a the product of Jewish and Christian theology mixed with Arab tribalism and, of course, Mohammed’s self-serving agenda.

  • Olivia Jackson

    So there is some tribalistic and exclusionary stuff in there, no human is perfect. The important thing is that we continue to move past those things in our understanding of faith and God.

  • Marcion

    It’s a lot harder to move past those things when they’re seen as god’s perfect, eternal message for all humanity.

  • Aaron Rational

    My point was that the author of this blog post indicated that the Quran encourages its adherents to be intellectually rigorous in considering what the book puts forth as truth.

    And yet, with passages like the one I quoted, it’s clear that the book is only paying lip service to such a notion (as is, I suspect, the author of the blog post).

    If I hold a gun to your head and say, “really think about it and tell me if you think I’m a great guy. But really consider it before you answer me.”

    What are you going to tell me? That I’m an asshole?

    The book is threatening to damn you for eternity if you are an unbeliever. That is hardly encouraging of critical thinking.

  • Yama Rasaw

    Verses in this article have been taken out of context with twisted meanings. Here I will dispel one of writer’s mistakes in meaning of the verse and provide the actual and intended interpretation directly from the most trusted Islamic source.

    In regards to verse 8:22, the writer claims that “The Quran Encourages People to Contemplate & Think For Themselves”. Here’s the verse: “Indeed, the most disliked created beings in the Sight of God are the deaf and the dumb who do not use their intellect.” (Quran, 8:22).

    According to Ibn Kathir, who Muslims believe to offer the most respected and accepted explanations of Quran, this verse was directed to the hypocrites. He writes, “this Ayah [verse] refers to the hypocrites, who pretend to hear and obey, while in fact they do neither. Allah declares that these are the most wicked creatures among the Children of Adam,” Source: http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1556&Itemid=63

    The verse is not addressed to the whole mankind as the writer contends; rather, it was intended for Muslim hypocrites who were those nominal Muslims who during Mohammad claimed to be Muslims yet lacked conviction.

    Islam means “submission of will and thoughts to Allah”, it means a complete surrender of your critical faculty to an imaginary supreme dictator. Contrary to the writer’s claim, Quran confiscates free will from believers and warns them that they don’t have a choice when decision has been made for them by Allah and Mohammad. Here’s the evidence:

    “It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by
    Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one
    disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.”
    Quran 33:36

    Either the writer was ignorant of the historical context of this verse, or he is trying to candy-coat Islam and Quran.

  • AsSalamu Aliqum brother/sister, please check this video out!
    this is a video #clarification on #Apostasy & #ISLAM!
    please share it & subscribe to https://www.facebook.com/info.truefaceofislam

  • FuzzyFTW .

    if you were not so stupid you would know the writer does not accept tafseers or hadith books so what’s the point posting irrelevant tafseers written by stupid people who believe the earth is sitting on a whales head?

  • Yama Rasaw

    You started your reply with a personal attack; in the realm of logic this logical fallacy is called ad-hominem. But we would be expecting too much from you, as a believer, to understand logic. After all as a Muslim you believe in Mohammad splitting the moon with his hand; you believe in Mohammad flying to heavens on a winged pony. Attacking the person instead of his argument, is intellectual cowardice. It’s a kin to killing Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonists instead of attacking their ideas. That’s very typical violent reaction of Muslims which we hear about it on the news almost on daily basis, and your response attests that fact.

    There are so many inaccuracies in your single run-on sentence. Let’s go over them one by one:

    Nowhere in the article has the writer mentioned about validity or rejection of tafsir or hadiths. Your assertion that we should know that the writer does not accept tafsir or hadiths is solely based on your assumption and completely baseless.

    Without tafsir, there is no way for a reader to understand the context of the verse. Tafsir clarifies and explains the circumstances in which a verse was presented. Without tafsir, anyone could distort the application and meaning of verses which the writer did.

    If verse 8:22 guarantees free thought, then how does he explain the contradiction with verse 33:36 which warns Muslims that they don’t have the right to decide for themselves when the matter is decided by Mohammad and Allah? And doesn’t Islam mean “submission of will and thoughts to Allah”? Surrendering your thoughts to an imaginary being is definitely not encouragement of free thought.

    Historically, Islam was forced down people’s throat in the Middle East, Northern Africa, Balkans, Persia, India, and many other places. If Islam encourages free thoughts, then how come Islam was mostly spread by sword?

    If Islam encourages free will, how come verse 9:29 and 8:39 (among many
    other verses) order Muslims to fight those who do not believe in Islam and
    until only Allah is worshipped?

  • El Cid

    You seem to contradict yourself as a proponent of reasoning and logic. Tell us where did you get the following from him:

    “After all as a Muslim you believe in Mohammad splitting the moon with his hand; you believe in Mohammad flying to heavens on a winged pony”
    Where in the Qur’an is all that?

    AND the ill logic of extrapolating, out of context, from Islam’s ‘Rules of Engagement in Warfare’ in self defense when attacked…twisting them to apply to free will. [Surah9:29 – 8:39].

    Had you been rational and logical, as you imply you are, then you would have refereed to freewill and freedom of religion in Islam by referring to [Surah109]. “To you your religion, to me mine[…].”

    Further, your juxtaposition of 8:22 vs 33:36 is disingenuous or mischievous, to say the least. Perhaps you have not understood their message or context.

  • MohamedAmeen

    I was born in Ilayangudi a small town in South India. At the age of six
    I went to learn to read the Quran in a local Masjid and I completed
    the Arabic Quran at the age of 12 or so.

    When I went to college my ideas changed and I thought it was useless(
    astagfirullah) just to read the Quran in Arabic without understanding
    the meaning. So I started reading teh English translation of the
    Quran and eventually forgot to read the Arabic Quran fluently

    After reading the following Quotation from a Christian Arabic Language
    professor on the beauty of the Quran, I started re-learning to read
    the Quran in Arabic.

    “The Quran was revealed in Arabic. It is a matter of faith in Islam that
    it is of divine origin, it is inimitable and hence to translate is
    always to betray. Muslims have always deprecated and at times
    prohibited any attempt to render it in another language.

    Anyone who has read it in the original is forced to admit that this caution
    seems justified. No translation however faithful to the meaning has
    ever been fully successful.

    Arabic when expertly used is a remarkably tense, rich and forceful

    And the Arabic of the Quran is by turns, striking, soaring, vivid,
    terrible, tender and breathtaking.

    As Prof Gibb has put it, “No man in 1500 years has ever played on that
    deep toned instrument with such power, such boldness and such range
    of emotional effect.”

    It is meaningless to apply adjectives such as “beautiful” or
    “persuasive” to the Quran, its flashing images and inexorable
    measure go directly to the brain and intoxicate it. It is not
    surprising then, that a skilled recitor of the Quran can reduce an
    Arabic speaking audience to helpless tears.”

    TITLE: Islam
    AUTHOR: John Alden Williams (
    a non-Muslim Arabic scholar)
    PUBLISHER: Prentice Hall
    International, London 1961

    The following Quotation taken from the foreword of Muhammad Marmaduke
    Pickthall’s Glorious Quran reinforces the above views of Prof.
    Alden equally effectively and forcefully.

    “The Quran can not be translated. That is the belief of old- fashioned
    sheykhs and the view of the present writer. The Book is here rendered
    almost literally and every effort has been made to choose befitting

    But the result is not the Glorious Quran, that inimitable symphony, the
    very sounds of which move men to tears and ecstasy.

    It is only an attempt to present the meaning of the Quran: and
    peradventure something of the charm: in English.

    It can never take the place of the Quran in Arabic nor is it meant to do

  • This rosy eyed view of Islam ignores the life and murders of Mohammed, his harsher commands to lie to, tax, and kill unbelievers, as well as the fact that *somehow* every existing majority Muslim nation is not a place of peace and freedom, but of war, death, and oppression. So somehow that same book predominantly creates hell, not peace. Look, you can find some things of value in a dung hill, but the majority of what is there is still dung.

  • It is painful to see Muslims with kind motives and a desire for peace to try to force Islam into such a perspective – it really can’t be done, and all thinking people should abandon Islam for either no faith, or a reasonable faith like the followers of Jesus the Son of God, resurrected from the dead.

  • Niqabi Girl

    A reasonable faith like the “followers of Jesus the son of God?”; how is following the son of a god reasonable? Why would a God have a son? Are you kidding me @_@;

  • Paul Johansen

    This is nothing more than a straight out threat, (rule by fear) that says believe in me, or I’ll make you miserable forever. Its very hard for any rational person to believe in any God who would say something as callous as this or rely on threats to sound convincing. One would tend to be put off by such a God who had to resort to this kind of childish behaviour.

  • aamir

    Brother Alhumdullah Allah swt. Has opened up the pathways for you to extract the truth but be aware of Iblees (satat) he is our open enemy . I have gone through many of ur blogs and feel you are absolutely following the quraan but one thing I as a brother want to suggest you and that is if we start following and celebrating festivals of others a time will come when our generations will feel no difference between Islam and others ..And remember Allah swt says in quraan ” إِنَّ ٱلدِّينَ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ ٱلْإِسْلَٰمُ ۗ وَمَا ٱخْتَلَفَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُوا۟ ٱلْكِتَٰبَ إِلَّا مِنۢ بَعْدِ مَا جَآءَهُمُ ٱلْعِلْمُ بَغْيًۢا بَيْنَهُمْ ۗ وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِـَٔايَٰتِ ٱللَّهِ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ سَرِيعُ ٱلْحِسَابِ

    Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam. And those who were given the Scripture did not differ except after knowledge had come to them – out of jealous animosity between themselves. And whoever disbelieves in the verses of Allah, then indeed, Allah is swift in [taking] account” so although we need to respect people with the intention of conveying them the true msg of Islam but for that we can not get coloured in that colour like if you want to help your friend to quit drugs for that you need not test and start drugs and not even talks to promote that intoxicant/drug…imagin on one side you want ur friend to quit a bad thing but on the other hand you are even wishing them and promoting that wrong act. And as you after reading meanings and tafseer of Allah’s book will be knowing a wrong religion/way of life is far worst then poison/drugs/intoxicants….so wishing christmis or diwali or etc etc you are atleast promoting the importance of there wrong faith just to make them happy ,but what obout Allah ? Will he be happy with such acts have u ever thought ??.hope u unserstand what I try to say …jazak Allah