My friend Hamza sent me this article about Thomas Jefferson's interest in the Quran. ??Since I am a little ahead on my reading of the Quran, I thought I'd focus on this article for some insight into the history of how our nation's leaders, over 200 hundred years ago, valued the Quran for many reasons. ??The article denotes how Jefferson had his own copy of the Quran, read many articles about the Quran, studied the Quran's legal system, and even learned Arabic. ??The Quran served as a vital resource for Jefferson's contribution to the foundation of our legal system. ??The article even highlights the call for peace found in the Quran, which contributed to Jefferson's view of war. In Jefferson's famous bill on religious freedom he wrote,??
All attempts to influence the mind "by temporal punishments, or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypoc- risy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion." ??Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by in-serting the word "Jesus Christ," so that it should read, "a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion." The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to compre- hend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and infidel of every denomina- tion.??
A champion of religious freedom, Jefferson was willing to let fellow Americans practice??whatever religion they chose, Islam included.??
While Jefferson respected the Quran, Arabic, and Islam, he still struggled with its claim of infallibility. ??Jefferson believed in finding truth through examining a wide range of sources and utilizing reason to ascertain and compile the best qualities from the variety of documents. ??I tend to agree with Jefferson on this one. ??Even with the Bible and Christianity forming a foundation of my values, I examine many different sources to best compile my worldview. ??Hence, this study of the Quran for Advent.
Is the infallibility of the Quran something that is widely held among Muslims? ??What other sources do Muslims hold as authoritative? ??How much diversity exists within the Muslim community regarding varying methods of reading Quran?