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of paradise and houris
there has been some talk of how the quran is being (mis)interpreted by certain scholars who remain anonymous because of the obvious dangers such professions impose upon the individual. here's my two cents, the quran can uniquely claim to be virtually unmodified from the time it was revealed, at least that is the belief held by the world's muslim population, the bible has no such distinction, in fact, as tacitus says,
It was a pity indeed to find that, alas, Moses didn't write all five of his books; or that Genesis was cobbled together over several centuries; or that Solomon didn't write Ecclesiastes and his Song. But faith is, well, faith, and Christianity survived and adapted. The collision of rational inquiry and religion destroyed neither, and the West marched on.
Indeed, the West and Christianity did march on but with only a vestige what the actual religion preached, with modifications and changes a consistent element throughout, thus, Christianity has evolved into a widely disparate group of congregations, there is one for each subset of beliefs. A case in point is the recent controversy of gay priests being ordained. From what little I know of Christianity, homosexuality is explicitly disallowed, rather it is a fairly big sin in the eyes of God. Tacitus and fellow proponents will probably explain this away as adaptation, my question is what good is adaptation if the very character of faith is forever changed?
Again in Tacitus' words, Islam is now facing the same music as Christianity did in the 19th century, which is true, however, Islam has, till now atleast proven to be rather reluctant to adapt, it is not facing the music very well in western eyes. One fact most muslims pride themselves on is the solid belief that the quran is as today as the day it was revealed. The recent controversy is about interpretation, which to me as a muslim is entirely irrelevant. I've been given a book with certain text, I can choose to believe one interpretation or another, for neither set of scholars can claim with absolute certainity that their interpretation is perfect. Luxenberg claims the quran has been through one level of translation, aramaic to arabic, and that one translation brought about such drastic changes in its meaning, what then must have happened to the text of the bible which has gone through a far greater number of translations before it came to be widely distributed in english? A muslim will simply tell you that the Quran is the word of God and it is He who will keep it consistent through time, ravages of translations and human interpretation notwithstanding.

Going off on a tangent here, a question for those muslim readers with better knowledge and understanding, why is it that what is illegal in this life is offered as reward in the hereafter? i'm alluding, of course to the promise of houris or virgins in paradise. Also, why should the men be promised such rewards and women nothing comparable? answers anyone?

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