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The Koran and Its Comparison with the Hebrew Bible Essay

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Updated: Apr 21st, 2021

The Koran, the main religious script of Islam, is also considered as the Muslim text reciting the divine rule. God’s words are revealed through the angel Gabriel who retells the narrative to Muhammad, God’s prophet. The sacred scripture is also believed to be the evidence of Muhammad’s utmost mission. It should be stressed, however, that the Koran acknowledges the reference made to the persons that are recounted in the Hebrew Bible, which summarizes various interpretations and narratives. Although both the Hebrew Bible and the Koran have evident similarities, there are also important differences.

According to the Sacred Islamic texts, Allah is a unique God, the creator of the world. His will is learned through the Koran, transferred by the prophet Muhammad. The core belief of Muslims is revealed through the Muslims’ confession of commitment and faith expressed in shahadah (Puchner et al. 610). The fundamental beliefs of Islam involve faith in angels, the Doom’s Day, a range of prophets, a pilgrimage to Mecca, and a welfare tax, which is called zakat.

Along with the profession of commitment and strong faith, these four elements shape the Five Pillar of the Islamic belief system. The book is composed of 114 Surah or chapters, and all of them begin with the phrase “in the name of God; Most Gracious, Most Merciful” (Puchner et al. 611). Each chapter is classified either as Meccan or as Medinan, depending on whether the texts are revealed prior to or after Muhammad’s migration to Medina. Chapter title originates from the name discussed in the text. Longer chapters occur in the earlier versions of the Koran. Each chapter has several verses called ayat, which is translated as ‘evidence’ and ‘sign’ sent by Allah. The number of ayats differs, and, therefore, a verse may count either from several letters to several lines.

Both the Koran and the Hebrew Bible make reference to the account about Adam and Eve. According to the Koran, Adam and Eve are seduced by Shaitaan, who lures them with the ever-prosperous kingdom and immortality (Puchner et al. 15). In contrast, the Hebrew Bible tells the story of Adam and Eve’s seduction by the apple from the tree of life. According to the text, the serpent lures both to partake the apple from this tree, persuading them that they could become as powerful as God.

The story of Cain and Abel is represented in both scriptures, albeit with a number of differences. Specifically, the Hebrew Bible tells the story about two brothers, Cain, the eldest, and Abel, the younger brother. However, both brothers made a sacrifice to God, only Abel’s gifts, whereas Cain’s were withdrawn. The Koran introduces a different version of the two brothers. Specifically, Good accepts the sacrifice from one brother and withdraws from the other because He believes that the former has stronger faith in God.

Hence, Abel warns Cain that God can accept the gift from the righteous people. After Abel’s murder, God forwards a raven who shows Cain how he can conceal the murder of his brother. Being ashamed, Cain starts cursing himself by realizing his sin. Cain confesses that his action was horrible, and he confesses. The Koran states that the story of the two brothers brings in a message for humankind about the outcomes of killing. Despite this message, people continue murdering and committing grave sins.

An interesting interpretation of the story about Noah and the Ark is represented in the Hebrew Bible and in the Koran. In the Bible, Noah is characterized as a righteous and highly moral man who lives among sinful and evil people. God decides to exterminate the wicked humankind with a flood and save the righteous people. Noah gathered seven pairs of animals and birds and took them on Ark. In contrast, Muslims disagree with the scale of the flood.

Specifically, the Koran refers to the interaction between Noah and immortal people, in which Noah tries to express his negative attitude toward the countrymen who ignored God’s will. There is no mention of the dialogue in the Hebrew version. In the Koran, one of Noah’s sons and his wife die in the flood because they reject his attempts to build the Ark, whereas other families agree and join him on board. Finally, there are also different interpretations of the location of Ark. In the Bible, the Ark has situated on the mountain Ararat, whereas, in the Koran, the Ark rests on Al-Joudi. Although the hills are located in a different place, they still form part of the Ararat range.

There are also tangible discrepancies between the Hebrew Bible and the Koran in the story of Joseph. Specific attention requires the reasons for Joseph’s imprisonment by his Egyptian master. In the bible, Joseph’s master did not believe his confession about his wife’s attempt to seduce him and immediately imprisoned him. However, the Koran produces a much more complicated story. Joseph’s master first decides to verify who tells the truth and who lies.

After the verification, it turns out that the master’s wife lies and she is to blame for adultery, whereas Joseph’s story is true. Later in the story, Joseph is imprisoned despite his innocence. Further, the story of Joseph differs in the Bible and in the Koran in terms of the reasons and circumstances under which he is freed from prison. Despite this difference, both scriptures focus on the identical interpretation of the pharaoh’s dreams by Joseph.

The final episode of the story also differs a bit. Specifically, the Koran tells that Joseph’s brothers traveled to Egypt in need of food during the famine, leaving the youngest sibling at home. Although Joseph finds out about his brother’s arrival, the brothers fail to recognize him. Joseph orders his brother to bring the brother with them in case they want to get food, and they agree. In the Bible, the story repeats, but the youngest brother is recognized as Joseph’s only full blood sibling, whereas other brothers are half-blood relatives.

In conclusion, both the Hebrew Bible and the Koran have a number of similarities that relate to the major themes represented in the scriptures. These similarities are not rejected in both religions. However, there is also a tangible difference that relates to the plot and the narrative of the story.

Divergence in facts is also presented in terms of location, names of the characters, and places. Specific attention is also given to the complexities of narration style in the Koran. The Bible provides a less sophisticated plot, which allows the readers to understand its scope and message to humankind. The messages delivered by Koran delve deeper into philosophical conceptions. Overall, the differences do not relate to the presence or absence of specific events or heroes involved in the account.

Works Cited

Puchner Martin, Akbari Suzanne Conklin, Denecke Wiebke, Dharwadker Vinay, Fuchs Barbara, Levine Caroline, Lewis, Pericles, and Emily Wilson. Northon Anthology of World Literature. US: W. W. Norton & Company. Print.

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