What is the Quran? - Garry Wills (Emir-Stein)

Published: 30 Mar 2019  ·  Uploaded: 18 Apr 2019 Watch on Youtube.com
1056 views  ·  8 hrs ago 3:51

TAGS QURAN   247 GARRY WILLS   4 EMIR-STEIN   9
Video Description (from Youtube)
What did a devoted Christian find when he studied the Qur'an for one year? A book that heralds one God, that affirms the Jewish and Christian revelations, that calls humanity to revere God's creation, and that relentlessly encourages justice and mercy in our dealings. The Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Garry Wills, author of the recent What The Qur’an Meant: And Why It Matters, shares what he discovered after a year with the Qur'an.

Subtitles/CC: English 🇺🇸, Spanish 🇪🇸, French 🇫🇷.

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The Emir-Stein Center is an initiative committed to the promotion of empathy and understanding through cultural and religious literacy. Ignorance breeds hate, and hate breeds violence. Our objective is to dispel ignorance through educational productions and publications that rekindle the spirit of our shared humanity. It is our sincere hope that this endeavor will strengthen the bonds of the Abrahamic family of faiths in our mutual pursuit of peace and the common good.

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Video Script by Dr. Garry Wills:
What is the Qur’an? It is a set of seventh-century revelations from God made to Muhammad in two cities (Mecca and Medina) in what is now Saudi Arabia. It heralds the truth that there is only one God, not the many gods still being worshiped in ancient Arabia. Of course, this was not the earliest revelation that there is only one God. That had been taught in Hebrew to the Jews and in Greek to Christians before it was taught to Muslims in Arabic. These three sets of revelation set apart the “people of the book,” each with their own special covenant from the same God (there is only one). We believers in one God are on the same team, as it were, and should protect one another’s places of worship, listed in the Qur’an (22.40) as “monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, where God’s name is much invoked.”
The Qur’an does not confine God’s action to the formal covenants of religion. God tells us that he sends messages to all men all the time – beginning with Adam, who repented his sin in the garden and became the first prophet. The unending stream of prophets includes Moses and Jesus. Muhammad is the “seal of the prophets” (Q 33.40), not as canceling former covenants but as confirming them.
But the love of God is not brought only by human messengers in the Qur’an. Creation itself is a set of messages from God, which speak a divine code that we are told to decipher. God’s intent can be seen in the beauty and power of the universe. Moses does not speak alone on the mountain. The mountain speaks with him. Birds speak to Solomon. The world is constantly signaling to us, bringing us insights into the beauty and power of its maker. This should call us to a reverence for God’s handiwork – an important message for our ecologically challenged era.
The Qur’an has more of poetry in it than of law. It sets ethical norms while stressing the need for mercy in our dealings with God’s fellow creatures. Force is allowed only for self defense – and never as a way of spreading religion (Q 2.256) Commercial dealings with fellow Muslims or with non-Muslims should be meticulously fair and never extortionate.
The relations of the sexes were still polygamous in the seventh century, as among the ancient Hebrews and the original Mormons. But women are to be honored. In fact, the dowry that was paid to a husband’s family by the bride’s family in Europe was paid in the Qur’an directly to the bride, and she retains this “bride right” even if the husband divorces her (or if she divorces him). This carved out an area of women’s rights unparalleled in the seventh century.
The Qur’an is a book of many levels and great depths. Even non-Muslims can learn from it, as Pope Francis has proclaimed.


Shared on: 18 Apr 2019

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