If a Muslim-American and retired Air Force veteran may speak out on the issue of the desecration of the Holy Quran, as reported on May 9 by Newsweek , here goes: I have not yet recovered from the sadistic images from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. God only knows whether Newsweek’s story, that a copy of the Holy Quran was flushed down the toilet at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was true. At this juncture, I feel it is more productive and beneficial to learn about Islam and the Quran from a Muslim than from a biased and unreliable news organization that has only profit in mind. For that reason, I share basic information about the Holy Quran with non-Muslim readers: The Quran is the complete book of guidance for mankind. It is the sacred book of the Muslims and the main source of law in Islam.

It is considered God’s words, which the angel Gabriel brought to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. This took place in the year 610, when the prophet was 40 years old, and the revelations lasted for 23 years. It starts for the first 10 years in Mecca and continues for another 13 years in Medina. Both cities are in present-day Saudi Arabia. The Quran is written in Arabic, to be read from right to left. It orders Muslims to do good and to avoid evil. The Quran consists of 114 chapters, called suras, and 6,236 verses, called ayahs, according to the book Islam: Beliefs and Teachings, by Ghulam Sarwar. In the Quran, one can find stories of many other prophets who came before Islam, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses and Jesus, peace be upon them. A Muslim also believes in all the revealed books that are mentioned in the Quran: the Torah of Moses, the Psalms of David and the Gospel of Jesus.

The Quran also mentions the Scrolls of Abraham. The Quran mentions many events that occurred prior to Islam, events that took place during the prophet Mohammad’s life and events that will take place in the future. It might even surprise readers to know that the Virgin Mary, peace be upon her, is the only woman mentioned by name in the Quran, and that her name is mentioned 34 times. Jesus’ name is mentioned 33 times. The Prophet Muhammad’s name is mentioned only five times. The Quran recognizes and respects other faiths and prophets. Such a faith deserves respect, not public insults. Anyone who is interested in a free copy of the Holy Quran translated into English can visit the Web site of the Council on American Islamic Relations at www.cair-ohio.com.


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