The Koran

The Koran and the Unbelievers

A careful study of the Koran begs the question: is it a violent text? This question is of critical importance in our day, given recent events. This paper attempts to explore the question in great detail, never straying from Arberry's standard translation of the classic text of the Islamic religion.

The Koran divides humanity into believers and unbelievers. The believers believe in the divinity of its Revelation. The unbelievers do not. God commands the believers to say to the unbelievers:

I serve not what you serve

And you are not serving what I serve,

Nor am I serving what you have served,

Neither are you serving what I serve. (CIX)

As a reward for serving this true God, the believers will be admitted "into gardens underneath which rivers flow." For the unbelievers, there awaits "the fiery furnace" of Gehenna, where they will burn for all eternity, even though "they shall shout, Our Lord, bring us forth, and we will do righteousness, other than what we have done.'" To this plea, God replies, "What, did We not give you long life, enough to remember in for him who would remember? To you the warner came; so taste you now!" (XXXV, 34-35).

The believers, then, believe in a God who will take...

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