Date: March 6, 2011
I think…that I just might be finally content, with what I’ve designed here…
Below, is the new template, for the “Qur’an Study” version, of “An Odyssey of the Qur’an”…There will also be a sister version for commentary [Odyssey Islam], which will concern itself with islam and muslims, in the news…and personal observations, which are not directly related, to passages of the Qur’an I’m presently reading.
Anyway, the below table, represents the structure of how I am planning on progressing through the Qur’an…It is, what I am going to post and respond within, for every surah [or section of one] that I am studying, at the time.
Some of the links are dead…Most specific, the Yusuf Ali, Pickthall, Palmer and Rockwell links…
These are four different, English translations of the Qur’an…All or old, and have expired copyrights…Hence, I actually took a full copy of each…and I am going to be posting passages out of each [which I am going to back date so far, that they wont intermix with my own posts], and linking back to those posts, in the template below. This way, you can easily choose which version you’d like to view [or, view all of them], for your own informational purposes.
Alternatively, I’ve also linked to another website, where all these versions of the Qur’an [and a ton of other, religious texts] can be found…Very interesting site.
With regards to why this has taken so long…I’ve been on the fence about a number of things…
…First, I wasn’t entirely happy, with how I had this sub-blog structured…but, I think I’m okay with it, now [let me know what you think].
…Second, I honestly have been up in the air, over which version I should focus on [I’m not going to attempt juggling all four, at the same time]…The M. M. Pickthall version, was my first choice, because it is [in my opinion] more clearly worded…but, Rodwell comes with some really nice footnotes, to help explain contexts, and put things into perspective…Still, Yusuf Ali actually separates the extremely long surahs, into sections, so you have an easier way of figuring out, what points in a monstrously long surah are okay to start and stop at…and Palmer, is one of only two, that clarifies whether a surah is from the Mecca or Medina time period…
Why, oh why, cant all the convenient aspects be located in the same version?…Ugh!…
So, originally I was going to focus on Pickthall…Then I started leaning towards Yusuf Ali…but, now I think I’m just going to use Yusuf Ali as a guide, on where to start and stop, but I’ll quote the equivalent from Pickthall…and I’ll consult the other two, for timeline information…and maybe introduce some footnotes from Rodwell, if I think them relevant enough [but, I make absolutely no promises, about that last point].
See…one thing about the Qur’an, is that while most surahs [passages] are relatively short…some of them are very, very long…like, 300+ verses, long…and even the ones that go 100, or more…That is a ton of reading and summarizing…I figure, you have to take these in bite sized chunks…Though, the flip side of this coin, is that chopping it up too much, might make any “big picture” messages, harder to discern.
…But, anyway…This is going to be a good bit of work…but, I think things are falling into place…
…This has been kind of similar to my status with “In Self Defense: The Life and Times of an Atheist Boylover” project…In that, I’ve been on the fence for quite a while, because I want to bring it all here [move it here, from my website], but I’m not entirely sure how I want to go about this rather large job…I know I’m going to be treating it somewhat differently, from just a regular sub-blog…I intend on giving it it’s own blog page, with a custom index…and I want to retain the general form it has, on my website…where you just sort of get fed through the essays, from one page to the next…
So…I just thought I’d roll this out, and show it off [Ta-Da!]…If nothing else, it can serve as proof, that I’ve not abandoned this project…and I remain quite serious about it…
Oh…In addition, I’ve decided to take LOD’s suggestion…and I’m starting to round up books of the bible, for a similar [though probably less structured] project…I’ll be starting with the book of genesis…
I’m diverting off way too much, so I’ll bring this post to a close…
I hope, the following template format is agreeable, and easy to follow…
Take care, my friends!
The template follows:
– You may find and follow along with these passages
…and a very brief summary:
[PLACE SUMMARY OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED SO FAR, HERE]
Surah (passage): [PASSAGE TITLE HERE]
Some Practical Questions Regarding This Passage:
– What stood out most, in your mind?
– Is your natural reaction positive, negative or neutral?
– Do you see this passage as peacefully tolerant, threatening or neutral?
– Would you recommend or endorse, what is stated in this passage?
– Does this passage persuade you, towards any legitimacy of islam?
– Is this a good face for islam?
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Date: March 5, 2011
Islam translates into English, as the literal word “submission”.
For a wide range of reasons, I find it extremely concerning that any social ideology [including islam] might exist, with pushing it’s own dominance upon others, as it’s primary focus…and by extension, forcing others into submission to it’s own rule.
My good natured tolerance for these kinds of “religion”, has grown excruciatingly thin over the years…Or, should I say, it has been stressed, battered by those who refuse to “live and let live” [and by extension, refuse to respect the differences of others]…It has been assaulted endlessly, by the lunacy of those who claim “their invisible creature in the sky, commanded them to take a crap all over people like me”…
After escaping my own personal past with this…it deeply troubles me, not knowing what to think about islam, other than reactions from what I am seeing in “islamic” countries…and what passes as “the norm”, or even “the preferred” there.
I sometimes have a very hard time seeing islam, as anything more than a menacing, cultural threat…a new, posing bully on the horizon, which thinks it wants to saddle “me”…make me it’s slave?…
I would rather be dead, than to have to live under the type of oppressive “religion” [christianity], which I grew up in. In fact, I will sooner die, than degrade myself by going back into such an existence. I will not relinquish my dignity [nor what freedoms I do have]…I will never submit to such a thing ever again, nor accept any penalties for my rejection of such a thing.
In short…I will never be a muslim…and I do reject islam. I find it very hard, to identify the social virtues of islam…There are many troubling things about islam, which as a humanist I cannot help but condemn [executions, inhumane executions, inhumane legal penalties, gross violations of human rights, extreme violations of free speech and free will, etc, etc, etc]…These things, are far below my own standards of ethics, human decency, humanity and sense of rightness…and if these things are the result of islamic [sharia] rule…then I want nothing to do with islam.
All this being said, I still am unfamiliar with the finer points of this social ideology…and more specifically, it’s foundational text, the koran.
It may come off as a bit of a shock, coming from an atheist…but, I’ve always been somewhat fascinated, by mythelogical lore…I now know not to take it literally [unlike during my childhood and youth]…but the kind of bizarre stories and beliefs and legends which come out of it, are intriguing to me.
Sometimes, they can prove to be fun fairy tales [which I do, also, like].
You might almost say, that I approach stories and texts of “gods/angels/demons and prophets”, in the same manner as a comic book reader might look upon comic book superheros [or villains].
I’ve read the bible [and forgotten most of it…No, I am not a bible scholar]…I’ve read of pagan mythologies…and ancient Greek mythology…but I’ve never dedicated any serious time and attention, to delving deep into islamic mythology.
This new “sub blog”, represents just such a project…I want to read the koran, from beginning to end…and I intend on journalizing my honest thoughts and reactions [positive, negative or neutral], to it’s verses and passages.
In an age where we keep hearing about these so called “blasphemy laws” [where extremists want to use sharia law, in order to murder anyone who criticizes islam or the koran, and get away with these murders under the guise of “legal justice”]…I think it is important, to learn more about islam…and hold it up to very close examination…come to understand it…
As an addition…this sub-blog will also be the destination, for relevant news I find to be of interest [or concern], relating to islam, muslims, sharia, the koran, the hadith…and anything else, tied to the islamic mythology or it’s social ideologies.
Sometimes, I may post my own thoughts and writings, alone…which are concerned with islam.
This is not intended to be a hostile project…but, it is intended to be an honest journey of discovery…and weighing the fruits of islam, to my own ethical standards…As such, I will not refrain, from offering neutral responses, giving positive affirmations, or even outright condemning things about islam [or the koran, etc] which I find highly objectionable.
The “acid test” for all things islam, will be present here…but, I will strive to be fair, respectful and even handed.
We’re not dragging muslims through the mud, here…just trying to get a handle, on clearly understanding them…the texts they claim to adhere too…the predominant ideologies held, and practices pursued…the end social results, in “muslim countries”…etc, etc, etc…
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Date: March 04, 2011
Just a brief note, to let you know…
…There is no official English spelling, for the title of the book which is the Qur’an.
Because of this, and because the roots of this Qur’an Study project are so old, you may notice that I do not always use the same spelling.
In later years, I decided to use Qur’an…Mainly because I just like it better.
It’s no more complicated than that…I’m not intentionally trying to be sloppy…It’s just that some of these are old writings, and I did not see a need to change them.
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