Quran: Significance In The Lives Of Muslims Essay

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Ashwin Naglla HIST 3704 Professor Azimi November 10, 2010 Quran: Significance in the Lives of Muslims As early Arab conquerors spread Islam outside of Arabia, they established an expansive and rich culture. Islamic civilization soon encompassed the core Middle East and spread west to Spain and as far east to the Indus River. The Islamic world developed a common culture highly influenced by the Quran. This holy book was the root of many social and cultural norms in the lives of Muslims historically and today, including treatment of false beliefs and equality between men and women. The Quran says a lot about treatment of false belief. Muslims point to two core verses when discussing the matter. The first verse Cook labels as ‘the sword verse.’ “Then, when the sacred months are drawn away, slay the polytheists wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and perform prayer, and pay the alms, then let them go their way; God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate (Q9:5)” (34). This verse basically suggests that Muslims should kill polytheists unless they convert. Polytheists are defined as those who make anyone or anything a partner with God. They consist of all major groups of non Muslims including Jews and Christians. In the Islamic world, this verse has had strong cultural implications. Passages such as ‘the sword verse’ may have influenced Muslims to participate in jihad, a term mentioned many times in the Koran. Jihad is a religious duty of Muslims and literally translates to struggle. It is often defined three different ways: an internal struggle to maintain faith, the struggle to improve the Muslim society or the struggle in a holy war against non believers. As one of the five pillars of Islam, Jihad plays a major role in Muslims’ lives. Verses from the Quran have

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