Islam Citation from one of the sacred writtings?

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A very interesting quote from Surah 2:256 states "Let there be no compulsion in religion." This is fascinating given the current image of Islam as a religion that is all about compulsion rather than being opposed to it according to its sacred writings.

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The first chapter of the Quran ends with the following words (at least in one translation):

Direct us in the right way,
in the way of those to whom thou hast been gracious; not of those against whom thou art incensed, nor of those who go astray.

This is an intriguing passage, since it seems to deal with three categories of persons: true Muslims; non-Muslims or non-believers; and apostates. The first half of the chapter seems far more limited in scope.

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Always be wary of sources on the internet; I searched for "quotes from Quran" and I got... well... let's just say it was all of one piece. I do not dismiss all negative quotes out of hand, but I try to source them; like the "prophecies" of Nostradamus, people have no compunctions about simply making things up.

I think this might actually be a reasonable source, as is Wikipedia.

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The Koran is the most important text in Islam, and is considered by Muslims to be the word of God, and considered by most to be the finest Arabic text. The Koran contains guidance on daily life as well as religious history. Most people consider the most important Surah of the Koran to be the first one, the Sura Al-Fahtiha. It is a prayer for Allah's guidance.

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I agree that the above is a crucial passage. I would submit one more, which seems to sum up some of the spiritual and social expectations of good Muslims:

It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards East or West. But it is righteousness to believe in God and the Day of Judgment, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers. To spend of your sustenance out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the freeing of slaves. To be steadfast in prayer, and give purifying alms. To fulfill the contracts which you have made. And to be firm and patient, in suffering and adversity, and through all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-conscious.

Honesty, sympathy for the poor and oppressed, alms, and of course the profound faith demanded of Muslims are all summed up in this passage. Faith, prayer, and alms, in fact, are three of the famous "five pillars" of Islam, along with pilgrimage and fasting during Ramadan.

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Perhaps the most important passage in the Quran is Chapter 112.  This is a very short chapter, but it goes to the heart of Islam, which is a belief in monotheism.  The chapter reads:

Say: He is Allah, the One and Only! Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not nor is He begotten. And there is none like unto Him.

This shows a major difference between Islam and Christianity because Islam emphasizes that the Trinity is not a true concept and that it is in fact a form of polytheism.

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