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Major Themes of the Qur’an Research Paper

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Updated: Nov 24th, 2018

Introduction

Various people have written about the Quran seeking to find out what it says about God. The Qur’an is an important book to the Muslim society. It provides guidance and directions about God or rather Allah according to Muslims. Muslims believe that the Quran speaks for itself.

Various interpretations that have been advanced by different people serve to join the ideas together. Therefore, the Qur’an is a book that contains God’s message to man. The paper delineates on Rahman’s book ‘Major Themes of the Qur’an seeking to explain the relationship between people and God, as well as the main principles that God expects from people.

Relationship between people and God according to Rahman’s book “Major Themes of the Quran”

Qur’an is a book that is aimed at communicating spiritual information to man. According to Rahman, the relationship between God and man is special and one that is above any other thing that God created. God is the creator of the universe and its composition that includes man to whom he provides guidance. In fact, Rahman says, “He is Creator and Sustainer of the universe and of man” (1). Accordingly, He will judge man both on individual and collective basis.

Everything that goes in the mind of man is known to God because He is the maker and source of life to man. This is captured in the quote, “We created man and we know the negative whisperings of his mind are and we are near to him than his jugular vein” (Rahman 2). This shows that man is indeed close to God in terms of appearance and likeness. He is the only one who understands what is going to happen to man.

God is a merciful God. His judgment to man is based on mercy after man having fallen short of His glory. God having created man in His own image explains the reason behind His mercy. The relationship therefore between God and man is that of a master and a servant. Man is required to serve God besides being obedient to Him because He is the one who created him. “Qur’an is man and his behavior, not God’s’ (Rahman 2).

Therefore, the relationship that exists between God and man is centered on judgment, either as individual, collective, or social existence. Qur’an is centered on the behavior of man, as it seeks to highlight the conducts of man and the need for man to respect and obey the teachings of God.

Man has a duty to seek God to be able to find Him and know him. Man has this duty and should he be unable to find or seek God, he cannot find his grace and love. “If you cannot find God you will never prove him”, “the only straight path leads to God” (Rahman 2).

Therefore, the relationship between God and man is based on seeking and finding. Man has needs/problems. To find a solution to the challenges, he is mandated to seek God’s indulgence. Rahman argues that God is infinite. He cannot be equated to any other thing that He created. Everything that is on earth is going to vanish except God.

Human beings or rather man is one of God’s creations that will be taken away when the last day comes. “Everything thereon is vanishing…remaining only the Face of Your Lord” (Rahman 3). Therefore, man has the duty to continue serving Him to enter God’s kingdom. Those who discern Him or run away from Him will face His wrath. “Do not be like those who forgot God and [eventually] God caused them to forget themselves” (Rahman 3). According to Rahman, the purpose of man is to “serve God” (6).

God has entrusted man with knowledge and potentialities to use the armor of God and the nature that God has created him to serve Him. Man has the discretion to use the knowledge and everything that God has created in the universe to do according to His will. Man has the freedom of doing either good or bad. The decision is dependent on man’s choice that God has given him. God communicates with man through various messages that He sends to help in his judgment and choice of doing either good or bad.

The relationship between God and man is based on faith in God. Man is required to have faith in God and besides abiding by His words. Therefore, those who deny the existence of God such as the materialistic atheists who do not believe in God have their places when God comes back to judge their deeds.

The relationship of God and man comes into reality because God provides unity and value to man. God and man are friends. In fact, Rahman says, “God, then, becomes the friend of and cooperates with a person who has ‘discovered Him” (8). This friendship is only established when man seeks or finds God. When man searches for God and finds Him, they two form a positive/mutual relationship. Man can therefore find shelter and a home in God. He can therefore seek assistance from God.

According to Rahman, God will not judge people based on all the lapses that they committed. However, He is gong to judge them based on their overall performance. If their performance is good, the other lapses that human beings or man has committed shall not be factored in during the judgment day.

The Quran, as Rahman reveals, has various scriptures that “indicate that God will pardon or overlook men’s lapses provided the overall performance is good and beneficial” (21). This shows that the relationship of God and man is indeed not bad but one that is formed based on sympathy and mercy. This is also demonstrated in the quote “God does not require from any person what is beyond his or her power” (Rahman 21). God will only judge individuals based on their scope of knowledge and power.

Main principles that God is expecting from people according to Rahman’s book

According to Rahman book, God expects man to follow and do according to His will. God has given man wisdom and knowledge. He has given him the mandate to rule over other creations in the universe.

However, God expects man to serve Him by always doing well according to His will. Those people or human beings who go against the will of God are expected to face harsh treatment or punishment. This is quoted in the book, “for his real nature is to be exalted” (Rahman 15). Man has to struggle through thick and thin to find the path of life. God has done this intentionally and out of His mercy to ensure that Man does not suffer or go into hell. Furthermore, God requires people to trust and believe in Him. He is the alpha and omega.

Therefore, people should not go in their own ways. Any person who removes God in His/her conscience removes the purpose and the meaning of his/her life. He/she is classified as an unrighteous person. God expects man to follow His own nature as opposed to other creatures, which must follow their nature automatically. God has given man the privilege to choose from what is good and bad. There are many vicissitudes in the life of human beings. Therefore, man should be very careful to avoid falling away from God.

God expects people to follow His commandants. When God created Adam and breathed in him life, He expected him to abide by the laws and the rules that he was given by God. However, he went against the will of God to commit sin. Rahman says, “they are contented to live their lives from day to day, indeed from hour to hour, “they are like cattle, indeed, worse” (14). God also expects people to respect and uphold the principle of equality. All human beings are equal before God.

Therefore, they should respect one another. People should not be proud even after God uplifts them. People need to respect their fellow human beings. This is even agitated by the Quran, “the reason the Quran emphasizes essential human equality…” (Rahman 31). Furthermore, God expects people to respect His commands because He is the creator of all the living things, people inclusive. God has created every living and nonliving thing with measure.

Therefore, people need to abide by God and respect His commandments. “We have created everything with a measure…if things should break their laws and violate their measure; there would be not an ordered universe, but chaos” (Rahman 46). Rahman also asserts that men are selfish, pride, and narrow-minded, as they worship their gods instead of worshipping God who created them.

They run away from the truth by opting to shortcuts where they engage in activities or actions that are against the will of God. God however expects people to come near Him to know Him better besides worshipping Him to be set free. People get involved in falsehood. According to Rahman, men “…worship of false gods, the holy seems unholy, and vice versa” (Rahman 74).

God expects people to have fear of His name. The fear of God in literal sense means that people need to respect and recognize the existence of a supernatural being who is beyond them and one who requires honor and praise. God is the one who formed the universe and created man. Therefore, He has the mandate to command everything under the universe because it is through His name and powers that all the things under the universe came into being.

Rahman refers it as the “fear of God, and piety” (Rahman 18). Muslims are discarding these words because they take the meaning of the words literary. Every person has the freedom to interpret the words in his/her own way. Hence, men have the right to interpret the words the way they wish. However, the words mean honoring and recognizing God as the only one requiring their praise and fear

Conclusion

Through his book, ‘Major Themes of the Qur’an’, Rahman has managed to simplify the meaning of the Qur’an. He has interpolated the relationship that exists between God and people. Besides, he has gone further to portray some of the principles that God requires people to uphold. Thus, the book is interesting and a must-read based on the way it provides a limelight of what Qur’an entails.

Works Cited

Rahman, Fazlur. Major themes of Quran. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2009. Print.

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