Guest Commentary


What Does Koran 

Actually Teach?

Briefing Three


2003 Paul J. Tetreault Jr., Esq.

Note: this is part two of a four part briefing that presents major themes in the Koran as expressed in several parallel translations of that book.

Here are even more fighting verses! Also as promised I want to show you some verses whose content:

1) enhances the tendency of Muslims to believe that Koran is true, and

2) enhances their tendency to follow Koran's command to make war on non-Muslim societies in general and threaten non-Muslims with death unless they accept Islam.

Koran is logical. It says:

1. Unbelievers are those who do not accept Islam, particularly Jews and Christians.

2. Because unbelievers do not accept Islam, Allah hates them and does not guide them.

3. Because Allah does not guide them, unbelievers become evil-doers - they commit additional sins besides rejecting Islam.

4. Muslims will see the sins of unbelievers plainly, both in non-Muslim society and in dealings with non-Muslims.

5. Therefore, Muslims must fight unbelievers both to limit sin and give unbelievers a chance to go to heaven by becoming Muslims. (Of course, whether you do go to heaven - and get the 70 "black-eyed virgins" - depends on whether your good deeds outweigh your bad or whether you die in jihad.)

This IS similar to what the Bible says with two important exceptions. First, the Bible says man has both a sin nature and a Godly nature, so Christians still sin and even a Hitler doesn't kick every doghe sees. But God helps Christians to alter their preference functions away from sin through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit "Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him." (John 14:23).

Second, of course, Jews and Christians are to persuade, not proselytize at the point of a sword. We have a right of self defense, of course, but we're supposed to be willing to die rather than renounce Christ. Vengeance is for God.

Here's the rub. Koran IS similar to the Bible. Koran contains many of the moral teachings that we, in the "post-Christian" West, have decided to ignore from the Bible. For example:

1. Koran and the Bible say God forms babies in their mothers' wombs, but we have legalized abortion.

Sura 3:6:

"It is He who shapes your bodies in your mothers' wombs as He pleases. There is no god but Him, the Mighty, the Wise One." (Dawood)

"He it is Who fashioneth you in the wombs as pleaseth Him. There is no God save Him, the Almighty, the Wise." (Pickthall).

2. Koran and Bible teach that God is the Creator, but the West embraces evolution.

Sura 6:102

"Such is god, your Lord. There is no god but Him, the Creator of all things. Therefore serve Him. Of all things He is the Guardian." (Dawood)

"Such is Allah, your Lord. There is no God save Him, the creator of all things, so worship Him. And He taketh care of all things." (Pickthall).

3. Koran and Bible both teach chastity, but we in the West practice free love, and display this to the world in our movies and TV programs. To be fair, Koran encourages sensuality, but it teaches a kind of self-conscious repression of sexuality in public that our open lewdness clearly violates. I've tried to pick a Sura here that shows this.

Sura 24:033

"Let those who cannot afford to marry live in continence until God shall enrich them from His own bounty. As for those of your slaves who wish to buy their liberty, free them if you find in them any promise and bestow on them a part of the riches which God has given you. You shall not force your slave-girls into prostitution in order that you may enrich yourselves, if they wish to preserve their chastity. If anyone compels them, God will be forgiving and merciful to them." (Dawood)

"And let those who cannot find a match keep chaste till Allah give them independence by His grace. And such of your slaves as seek a writing (of emancipation), write it for them if ye are aware of aught of good in them, and bestow upon them of the wealth of Allah which He hath bestowed upon you. Force not your slave-girls to whoredom that ye may seek enjoyment of the life of the world, if they would preserve their chastity. And if one force them, then (unto them), after their compulsion, lo! Allah will be Forgiving, Merciful." (Pickthall)

4. Koran and Bible both forbid homosexuality, but we in the West are legitimizing this and many other perversions, and again it shows up in our media.

Sura 7:80-81 (Lot and Sodom)

"And Lot, who said to his people: 'Will you persist in these lewd acts which no other nation has committed before you? You lust after men instead of women. Truly, you are a degenerate people.'" (Dawood).

"And Lot! (Remember) when he said unto his folk: Will ye commit abomination such as no creature ever did before you ? 007.081 Lo! ye come with lust unto men instead of women. Nay, but ye are wanton folk."(Pickthall).

5. Interestingly, Koran says it confirms the earlier Jewish and Christian scriptures, and it expressly commands Muslims to read Torah (the first 5 books of the Bible, which contain the 10 Commandments) and Gospel (the first 4 books of the New Testament, which teach that faith in Jesus's death and resurrection are the way to heaven.). Although it says this, Koran clearly contradicts these books and other parts of the Bible. But Koran tells Muslims that the "People of the Book" - Jews andChristians - don't keep their own scriptures and don't teach them to others, and again, this is evident from our own characterization of our times as "post-Christian".

Sura 3:187

"When god made a covenant with those to whom the Scriptures were given He said: 'Proclaim these to mankind and do not suppress them.' but they cast the Scriptures over their backs and sold them for a paltry price. Evil was their bargain." (Dawood).

"And (remember) when Allah laid a charge on those who had received the Scripture (He said): Ye are to expound it to mankind and not to hide it. But they flung it behind their backs and bought thereby a little gain. Verily evil is that which they have gained thereby." (Pcikthall)

Sura 3:3-4

"He (Allah) has revealed to you the Book with the Truth (Koran), confirming the scriptures which preceeded it; for He has already revealed the Torah and the Gospel for the guidance of mankind, and the distinction between right and wrong. Those that deny God's revelations shall be sternly punished; God is mighty and capable of revenge." (Dawood)

"He hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture with truth, confirming that which was (revealed) before it, even as He revealed the Torah and the Gospel. 003.004 Aforetime, for a guidance to mankind; and hath revealed the Criterion (of right and wrong). Lo! those who disbelieve the revelations of Allah, theirs will be a heavy doom. Allah is Mighty, Able to Requite (the wrong)." (Pickthall).

6. Koran and Bible also condemn gambling, drunkenness, and the occult (horoscopes, witches, etc.) but in the U.S. our own state governments now run numbers, we not only consume a lot of booze but also are moving towards legalizing drugs, and we are beyond dabbling with the occult, there is an explosion of pagan religions like wicca, Satanism, etc.

Sura 5:90

"Believers, wine and games of chance, idols and divining arrows, are abominations devised by Satan. Avoid them, so that you may prosper." (Dawood)

"O ye who believe! Strong drink and games of chance and idols and divining arrows are only an infamy of Satan's handiwork. Leave it aside in order that ye may succeed." (Pickthall).

But Koran adds a few rules of its own that are not Biblical, but also give the Muslims grounds to hate us (as Koran says Allah does) for being sinners. First, although Koran tells Muslims to trade with their wealth by "mutual consent" (sura 4:29) Koran forbids usury, and Sharia - Muslim law - interprets this to mean any amount of interest. So in Islamic finance only equity stakes are allowed. I don't know a lot about their arrangements but I understand that they have been pretty creative in working around this - creating short term equity interests that have priority in payoff like debt claims.

But what is really perverse is that Koran suggests that Muslims will be poor and this is a test from Allah, but non-Muslims will be rich, and this is a curse from Allah. Of course, we know that people who follow rules like don't steal and don't lie - and let everyone participate in the market - are going to be more prosperous than those who don't.

Sura 3:186

"You shall be sorely tried in the matter of your possessions and your persons, and will hear much that is hurtful from those who were given the Scriptures before you, and from the pagans. But if you endure with fortitude and guard yourselves against evil, you will surely triumph." (Dawood)

"Assuredly ye will be tried in your property and in your persons, and ye will hear much wrong from those who were given the Scripture before you, and from the idolaters. But if ye persevere and ward off (evil), then that is of the steadfast heart of things." (Pickthall)

Sura 3:196-197

"Do not be deceived by the fortunes of the unbelievers in the land. Their prosperity is brief. Hell shall be their home, an evil resting place." (Dawood).

"Let not the vicissitude (of the success) of those who disbelieve, in the land, deceive thee (O Muhammad). 003.197 It is but a brief comfort. And afterward their habitation will be hell, an ill abode." (Pickthall)

Finally, Koran is unequivocal that men are superior to women, so Muslims look at the feminist movement in the West as another example of our sin.

Sura 4:34

"Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Surely God is high, supreme." (Dawood)

"Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High,Exalted, Great." (Pickthall)

Sura 2:223

"Women are your fields: go, then, into your fields whence you please. Do good works and fear God. Bear in mind that you shall meet Him. Give good tidings to the believers." (Dawood).

"Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will, and send (good deeds) before you for your souls, and fear Allah, and know that ye will (one day) meet Him. Give glad tidings to believers, (O Muhammad). (Pickthall)

The bottomline is that all of these factors add up to make the modern West look pretty awful to Muslims who read Koran.

There is one additional factor at work. The Koran enforces the idea that all Muslims are one community, regardless of their national, language, or other loyalties.

Sura 3:104

"Let there become of you a community that shall call for righteousness, enjoin justice, and forbid evil. Such men will surely triumph." (Dawood)

"And there may spring from you a nation who invite to goodness, and enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency. Such are they who are successful." (Pickthall)

On October 15, the Washington Times had a front page story that reported that during Ramadam "the Koranic verse that 'all Muslims are brothers and do not create differences among [their] brothers' is repeated from the pulpits several times a day."

This relates to what Osama was talking about in his video tape - reestablishing a global Muslim caliphate that would unite all Muslims under one combined spiritual and political leader. The last time this existed was about 80 years ago - it was disestablished by the break up of the Ottoman Empire and the secular politics of Ata Turk.

Now for more fighting verses!



Sura 3:178

"Let not the unbelievers think that We prolong their days for their own good. We give them respite only so that they may commit more grievous sins. Shameful punishment awaits them." (Dawood)

"And let not those who disbelieve imagine that the rein We give them bodeth good unto their souls. We only give them rein that they may grow in sinfulness. And theirs will be a shameful doom." (Pickthall)



Sura 3:193 (excerpt) and 3:195

"Lord, forgive us our sins and remove from us our evil deeds and make us die with the righteous....Those that fled their homes or were expelled from them, and those that suffered persecution for My sake and fought and were flain: I shall forgive them their sins and admit them to gardens watered by running streams, as a recompense from God; God dispenses the richest recompense." (Dawood)

"Therefor forgive us our sins, and remit from us our evil deeds, and make us die the death of the righteous....And their Lord hath heard them (and He saith): Lo! I suffer not the work of any worker, male or female, to be lost. Ye proceed one from another. So those who fled and were driven forth from their homes and suffered damage for My cause, and fought and were slain, verily I shall remit their evil deeds from them and verily I shall bring them into Gardens underneath which rivers flow - A reward from Allah. And with Allah is the fairest of rewards." (Pickthall)



Sura 4:74

"Let those who would exchange the life of this world for the hereafter, fight for the cause of God; whoever fights for the cause of God, whether he dies or triumphs, on him We shall bestow a rich recompense." (Dawood)

"Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward." (Pcikthall)



Sura 4:76

"The true believers fight for the cause of God, but the infidels fight for the devil. Fight then against the friends of Satan. Satan's cunning is weak indeed." (Dawood)

"Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah; and those who disbelieve do battle for the cause of idols. So fight the minions of the devil. Lo! the devil's strategy is ever weak." (Pickthall)



Sura 4:84


"Therefore fight for the cause of God. You are accountable for none but yourself. Rouse the faithful: perchance God will overthrow the might of the unbelievers. Mightier is God and more terrible is His punishment." (Dawood)

"So fight (O Muhammad) in the way of Allah Thou art not taxed (with the responsibility for anyone) except thyself - and urge on the believers. Peradventure Allah will restrain the might of those who disbelieve. Allah is stronger in might and stronger in inflicting punishment." (Pickthall)



Sura 4:89

"They (Muslims who don't want to fight) would have you disbelieve as they themselves have disbelieved, so that you may be all alike. Do not befriend them until they have fled their homes in the cause of God. If they desert you, seize them and put them to death wherever you find them. Look for neither friends nor helpers among them." (Dawood)

"They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend nor helper from among them," (Pickthall)



Sura 4:91

"Others you will find who seek security from you as well as from their own people. Whenever they are called back to sedition they plunge into it headlong. If these do not keep their distance from you, if they neither offer you peace nor cease their hostilities against you, lay hold of them and kill them wherever you find them. Over such men We give you absolute authority." (Dawood)

"Ye will find others who desire that they should have security from you, and security from their own folk. So often as they are returned to hostility they are plunged therein. If they keep not aloof from you nor offer you peace nor hold their hands, then take them and kill them wherever ye find them. Against such We have given you clear warrant." (Pickthall)



Sura 4:95-96

"The beleivers who stay at home - apart from those that suffer from a grave disability - are not the equals of those who fight for the cause of God with their goods and their persons. God has exalted the men who fight with their goods and their persons above those who stay at home. God has promised all a good reward; but far richer is the recompense of those who fight for Him: ranks of His own bestowal, forgiveness, and mercy. Surely God is forgiving and merciful." (Dawood)

"Those of the believers who sit still, other than those who have a (disabling) hurt, are not on an equality with those who strive in the way of Allah with their wealth and lives. Allah hath conferred on those who strive with their wealth and lives a rank above the sedentary. Unto each Allah hath promised good, but He hath bestowed on those who strive a great reward above the sedentary; 004.096 Degrees of rank from Him, and forgiveness and mercy. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful." (Pickthall)



Sura 4:101

"It is no offense for you to shorten your prayers when travelling the road if you fear that the unbelievers may attack you. The unbelievers are your inveterate enemies." (Dawood)

"And when ye go forth in the land, it is no sin for you to curtail (your) worship if ye fear that those who disbelieve may attack you. In truth the disbelievers are an open enemy to you." (Pickthall)



Sura 5:82

"You will find that the most implacable of men in their enmity to the faithful are the Jews and the pagans, and that the nearest in affection to them are those who say: 'We are the Christians.' That is because there are priests and monks among them; and because they are free from pride." (Dawood)

"Thou wilt find the most vehement of mankind in hostility to those who believe (to be) the Jews and the idolaters. And thou wilt find the nearest of them in affection to those who believe (to be) those who say: Lo! We are Christians. That is because there are among them priests and monks, and because they are not proud." (Pickthall)



Sura 5:62-63

"You see many among them (the People of the Book - Jews & Christians) vie with one another in sin and wickedness and practise what is unlawful. Evil is what they do. Why do their rabbis and divines not forbid them to blaspheme or to practise what is unlawful? Evil indeed are their doings." (Dawood)

"And thou seest many of them vying one with another in sin and transgression and their devouring of illicit gain. Verily evil is what they do. 005.063 Why do not the rabbis and the priests forbid their evil-speaking and their devouring of illicit gain ? Verily evil is their handiwork." (Pickthall)


I think the last sura asks the right question. For someone like me, who believes that God is in control of human history even though man has free will, it sure seems like Islam is another Tower of Babel - a trap set for those who enjoy the benefits of a Judeo-Christian heritage but who no longer want to obey the Judeo-Christian moral rules.

You have to wonder where we would be today if we had put more effortinto converting those in the Middle East to Christianity.

We are now through Sura 5, which means we are one quarter of the way through Koran. There really isn't much more new in the rest of the book, though there are some suras you should be able to quote, like the one about making Jews and Christians pay jizya. You also need to know about the doctrine of abrogation - God can change anything in the Koran with or without telling Muslims.

I would like to resume sending you messages on Monday evening. I think we can probably wrap it up with one more message, but I need a few days to pull the best suras out. Do be aware that I have not given you every fighting verse - there are just so many of them and they are repetitive.

I hope you are moving towards being able to form an opinion about whether President Bush really believes Islam is a religion of peace.

Click here for Briefing  Part 1, Part 2 & Part 4

Paul J. Tetreault, Jr., Esq. is a U.S. Naval Academy grad and a 25 year Navy veteran who has served as a law clerk to judges on the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals. He holds a Finance MBA and J.D. and is currently an Economics Ph.D. student. he is also the International Director of Citizen Soldier.