World Literature I
March 20, 2007
The Bible and The Koran
A Comparative Analysis
Christianity and Islam have several similar aspects. Both religions praise the same God, although they each have a different given name. Muslims refer to their god as Allah, and Christians simply refer to their god as God. Both religions are monotheistic, and both even have a set of religious laws that all who are righteous abide by. Muslims follow the Five Pillars of Islam, while Christians follow the Ten Commandments. Both religions even have their own religious texts: The Bible and The Koran. Christian missionaries declare that The Bible consists of true narratives based on actual revelations, and establish that the Prophet Muhammad is an imposter. However, it is extremely possible that The Bible is nothing more than a book of plagiarized stories taken from various ancient texts. The Koran seems to correct mistakes in the Bible and make true of its falseness, gives the true version of what really happened in the stories of Joseph, Noah, and Jesus.
In The Bible, the story of Joseph is a tale about a seventeen year old young man who was the oldest of his fathers' sons. He was also his father's favorite son. Joseph often had dreams which showed him as being a savior for his people. For this reason, he was sold into slavery by his own envious brothers. Joseph went on to make a better life for himself in Egypt, but it was not long before he was thrown into prison after being
falsely accused. While in prison, Joseph became a dream interpreter, and eventually earned himself a position as the Pharaoh's advisor.
The story of Joseph in The Bible is almost the same in The Koran up until this point. In The Bible, after becoming a dream interpreter, Joseph became the leader of the Egyptian people. However, in Islam and Christianity Conflict or Conciliation: A Comparative And Textual Analysis of the Koran and the Bible, Muhammad Asadi argues that in The Koran, Joseph never became the leader of the Egyptians or any one else. Asadi also stated The Koran eliminated all claims of Joseph being a Hebrew which appeals on a universal level which was intended to bring all humans to the straight path with God. By not naming any of Joseph's brothers, The Koran focused solely on Joseph, and his faith. The Koran established Joseph as a prophet who exemplified the test of one's true faith. Yet, in "Genesis" Joseph played a crucial role in the heroic magnitude of Christianity, and structure of The Bible. Still Joseph's story in The Bible is nothing more than a tale of forgiveness, or reconciliation.
In The Koran, Noah is the first of many important prophets. The Koran gave emphasis to the prophetic aspect of Noah's tasks given to him by God. In short, Noah's mission as a prophet was to inform the wrongdoers, and to convince them to submit to God. If they refused to do so, Noah threatened them with anguish and suffering. Regardless, the wrongdoers rejected his warning and shrugged off his threats. Consequently, it became evident to Noah that his people would never take note of his word of warning. It was then that Noah ordered down God's destruction of all who did not take heed to his forewarning.
An important detail which is explained only in The Koran is that God acknowledged faith over blood. An example of this is Noah's sons' refusal to enter the ark because they did not believe in their father's prophecy. Eventually, the flood killed Noah's sons, as well as, the rest of the unbelievers. Given that God promised Noah that no one in his family would suffer in the flood, he asked why he killed his sons. God answered Noah by basically saying that faith is a stronger bond than blood. In "The Bible" in The Norton Anthology of World Literature, Sarah Lawall proposed that since Noah's sons did not have faith in God or their father's prediction, their lives were not spared.
The story of...
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