God: the Compassionate, the Merciful.
The Koran would appear to be constructed in a similar way to the Bible.
In the Koran Mohammed criticizes the Jews (the People of the Book) for falsifying scriptures. He accepts, however, that the Torah contains revelations from God, but claims that the Jews do not obey their own revelations (the prophets).
Mohammed also criticizes Christianity for claiming that Jesus is a begotten son of God. He recognizes that Jesus is a prophet but claims that Christians have departed from his message.
These claims are similar to the beliefs of Progressive Christianity:
1. That many of the words of the Old Testament were put into the mouth of God.
2. That the Christology which grew up after the death of Jesus is a false doctrine.
Here, however, the two approaches depart:
- Islam returns to the harsh rewards and punishments of the Old Testament.
- Progressive Christianity refutes rewards and punishments in favor of unconditional love.
Progressive Christianity is more like Sufism (Islamic mysticism) which is based on the Love of God and trust in Him.
Mohammed is right when he says that God loves goodness, honesty, and charity.
He is wrong, however, in saying that God punishes evil doers and unbelievers.
Islam is a religion of success, i.e. our fortunes on earth reflect God's favor or disfavor. This is clearly refuted in the Book of Job in the Bible. Not many Christians would believe that these days.
The Koran supports retaliation but says that God does not love the aggressor.
Mohammed also uses We.
It is not clear whether he means Islam and its leaders or God Himself.
It is upon these passages that Shariah law is based.
The Koran also justifies terror: it says to strike terror into the unbelievers.
The Koran should be read in a similar way to the Bible. You should be highly selective of which passages you read. Many passages reflect a philosophy of violence which is offensive and should therefore be ignored. But, as Mohammed himself says, these writings also contain the light of revelation, and as such should be respected.
The Koran says that whoever believes in God and does what is right has nothing to fear or regret.