The Quran is the central religious text of the religion Islam. A text which Muslims believe to be the verbatim word of God. It is widely regarded as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language. Many parallels can be drawn between what is written in the Quran and other present day religions. Muslims believe that the Quran is the “recitation” of God. In Judeo-Christian tradition, parallels can be drawn between what is written in the Quran and what is believed by both Jewish and Christian followers today.
The Quran consists of 114 chapters of varying lengths, each known as a sura. The Quran, as a very sharp contrast to both Jewish and Christian religious texts, recognizes many “prophets” of varying degrees of importance as vessels of the word of God, rather than the traditions found in both Jewish and Christian texts.
The Jewish religious text, named the Torah, outlines many of the varying degrees of the religion as a whole. Widely accepted as the first monotheistic religion established in the world, the Torah has many important elements when comparing it to the Quran. First and foremost, the Torah introduced the concept of a one Creator–a huge contrast to the polytheism traditionally practiced in Greco-Roman tradition. As a result, the Jewish people were isolated, persecuted, and treated terribly for their “new” belief system. As a consequence, monotheism became the norm, and both Christianity and Islam emerged.
Christianity religious text actually includes the Torah–rebranded as the Old Testament, and including such centralized figures as Abraham and Moses, Christianity added other elements to the monotheistic Jewish religion. Referring to the prophet–and literal Son of God–Jesus of Nazareth is written to have been born of a Virgin Mother, and conceived by God. Although Jesus was a Jewish man, and is said to be a direct descendant of King Solomon himself, many members of the Jewish faith did not follow this belief. After Jesus was persecuted and killed for his teachings, his followers recorded his miracles, Gospel’s, acts, and teachings–compiled into the New Testament of the Bible, now Christianity’s religious text. The New Testament combined the Torah with the teachings of Jesus Christ and his followers, and the Bible was born. These books were recorded by four different people–Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. This is especially important when considering the comparison between the Quran and to both the Bible and Torah.
The Quran, very easily the longest of any of the three major religious texts, is less of a contrast–contrary to popular belief, primarily due to radical Islam portrayed so frequently in the media. In fact as a text, the Quran incorporates all the major prophets with little exception. Moses and Jesus of Nazareth are portrayed as extremely important figures in the Quran, however, the harsh contrast between the sacred Islamic text compared to the other two is the incorporation of the prophet Muhammad. He is the central and most important prophet in the Islamic faith, placed above Jesus and Moses, which is the main problem when considering the three main religions.
Although at first glance the religions may seem very different, this is a common misconception–Islam has deference for Moses and Jesus of Nazareth, while adding the peaceful teachings of the other prophet Mohammad, left out of the other two texts, and causing much of the modern controversy.