This Qur’an

One of my responses to my brother’s death has been to read the Qur’an. All the way through. I want to understand what Muslims believe so that I can tell the difference between a Muslim and an Islamist extremist on the level of spiritual ideology–the difference between Islam and extreme Islamism. Insofar as it’s ideas driving right and wrong actions, let’s understand the ideas. Below is my take (in poem form–why not?) on what the Qur’an says, basically. If you haven’t read the Qur’an, maybe this will give you a sense of it. If you’re a practicing Muslim, maybe you could share your thoughts about what I took from the Book.

This Qur’an

God is Oft-Forgiving and Merciful,
but it would be nothing for Him
to wipe you off the map,

so walk the line.
He spared Lot.
Lot’s wife, not.

The sun and stars
and wastelands that rise up green
with rain are signs.

God has no children or equals.
This is a Guide.

To those who block the
righteous path, We say,
“Keep it moving!”
or “Wrong way!”

Need I mention Lot again?

You’ve heard the one of Joseph,
left for dead by his brothers,
later the right hand of the king?
Then they show up needing something?

How about how they
laughed at Noah?

How Moses threw his staff down,
and it was a snake?

Believe that God doesn’t miss a trick
or mistake.

He made you from clay,
then a sperm drop.
Jinns from smokeless flames.

Only Iblis wouldn’t bow down
when he saw the new beings.
Sour grapes—
so God threw him out.
And Iblis vowed to mess up what he could for now.

But God is Oft-Forgiving and Merciful.

If you can’t afford to pay
for what you’ve done wrong,
you’ll have to feed the poor
or free a slave.

God hears both sides
between man and each wife.

There is forever after this life
sorted into two realms,
good’s a garden over buried streams,
bad’s with Iblis,
down in the flames.

From first Time, He’s watched us learn.
Left us plain signs.
Sent messengers to warn—
who were heard by those with ears
or ignored
or sworn allegiance to by hypocrites.

Remember Lot?

In every place and age,
humans have always been God’s.
There have always been plain rules.
Still, here is this Qur’an to clarify.

His wife was left behind,
but Lot was all right.

To those who talk smack,
here’s how to respond:
say, “I’m with God.”
Then back it up with just acts
and a strong back.

Worry not,
because that’s a back that God’s got.

Keep your deals fair; He sees all.
Mind your family and heart
and you’ll weather this,
and soon enough be beyond fine.

Haters will be hopping on one foot,
eating with their only hand.

Pray in happy thanks around the clock.
Do the Hajj at least once if you can.

We believers, we believers.
Everything’s a sign that
God is great!

Heed His call.
Aim for greatness and be grateful to be
part of the world He made—

to be here, here at all.


2 thoughts on “This Qur’an

  1. life/death—you mentioned Lot was spared his wife was not. To have life is not a matter of a value judgement of “good/bad” (punishment/reward) neither is death. The span of our life is determined by God—to have life is a test—both good fortune and misfortune are a test and again the value judgement of “good/bad” does not apply. Death is simply a cessation of the period of testing.

    Judgement of “good/bad”/punishment reward—This happens at the time of “Judgement” when it is decided if the soul goes to Paradise or Hell. This decision is based on right belief that promotes right intentions that lead to right actions for the benefit of all of God’s creations. The Chinese Sage Lao Tzu said it simply—-“the path to heaven, benefit all, harm none”.

    The simplified formula for Paradise and Hell are—
    Fitra (inherent goodness of humanbeings) + right belief, right intentions, right actions = Paradise
    Repentence/Reform – wrong belief, wrong inttentions, wrong actions = Paradise

    Rebelliousness + wrong belief, wrong intentions, wrong actions = Hell.

    Right belief = Tawheed (Unity) (for ex—unity of all humanity)
    Wrong belief = Shirk (Division) (for ex—us vs them, hate and fear the “other”)

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