Friday, November 20, 2015

The Qur'an Surah 92: The Night

The following is from a work-in-progress called The Qur'an: a Book Report, in which I read each surah of the Qur'an and write about what I learn.

This is a Meccan surah which takes its title from the opening oath: "By the covering night, by the radiant day, by the male and female he created, the ways you take differ greatly."  Like many of the Proverbs of the Hebrew Scriptures (or, the Christian Old Testament book of Proverbs), this surah contrasts the behavior and fates of the righteous and the wicked.  The righteous person "testifies to mindful of God...[and] gives his wealth away as self-purification."  By contrast, the wicked person is "miserly...self-satisfied...and denies goodness."

According to this surah, a fundamental component of goodness is generosity.  Just as Jesus preached, wealth is seen as an impediment to God.  Jesus said in the gospel of Matthew: "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."  Of the wealthy, this surah says, "his wealth will not help him as he falls."  Goodness, not wealth, is the key to salvation.


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