Islam does, however, accept the status of both Moses and Jesus as prophets, which means that the commandments are not completely ignored, either. The Ten Commandments found in the book of Exodus in the Torah and known as the "Decalogue" are a central part of Judaism and Christianity. According to those passages, the commandments were divinely revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai and engraved on two tablets of stone.
In effect, the Ten Commandments are a summary statement of the covenant between God and the Israelites, and they are arguably the founding principles for those two religions, the tablets on which the faiths were erected. But what does Islam think? When Muhammed and the Islamic scholars carved out their piece of the Abrahamic religions, they argued that Islam was not a repudiation of Christianity or Judaism, but a reformation of those faiths. The Islamic reformation of the Abrahamic faith, they said, took it back to the authentic monotheism that both Christians and Jews had neglected over time.
The primary issue brought up by the meteoric rise of the Islamic faith in the 7th—8th centuries CE, that of the authenticity of the theology, had been a serious problem studied by Jewish and Christian scholars for generations before Muhammad. In particular, scholars felt that Paul's version of Christianity had strayed too far away from the original monotheism: an extreme view said that the Pauline theology was approaching paganism.
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One question that Islam provoked was how old were the 10 Commandments? The Qur'an makes reference to the Ten Commandments twice. Quran Book —5 describes how Moses received the divine tablets. Early and classic Muslim commentators discussed the belief that the Israelites broke the Covenant made at Sinai, and conjecture what the tablets were made of: but in the end, to Muslims, it doesn't matter what was written on those tablets, because the Quran is the perfect iteration of divine law. Share Flipboard Email. Austin Cline, a former regional director for the Council for Secular Humanism, writes and lectures extensively about atheism and agnosticism.
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The other, in Book 2, says:. You shall have no other gods before or besides me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, and bow down to them or serve them. Be good to your parents. Honor your father and your mother. There was a period of solemn silence, and then the voice of God was heard. Speaking out of the thick darkness that enshrouded Him, as He stood upon the mount, surrounded by a retinue of angels, the Lord made known His law.
Moses, describing the scene, says: "The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; He shined forth from Mount Paran, and He came with ten thousands of saints: from His right hand went a fiery law for them. Yea, He loved the people; all His saints are in Thy hand: and they sat down at Thy feet; every one shall receive of Thy words. Jehovah revealed Himself, not alone in the awful majesty of the judge and lawgiver, but as the compassionate guardian of His people: "I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
The law was not spoken at this time exclusively for the benefit of the Hebrews. God honored them by making them the guardians and keepers of His law, but it was to be held as a sacred trust for the whole world. The precepts of the Decalogue are adapted to all mankind, and they were given for the instruction and government of all. Ten precepts, brief, comprehensive, and authoritative, cover the duty of man to God and to his fellow man; and all based upon the great fundamental principle of love.
See also Deuteronomy , 5; Leviticus In the Ten Commandments these principles are carried out in detail, and made applicable to the condition and circumstances of man. Jehovah, the eternal, self-existent, uncreated One, Himself the Source and Sustainer of all, is alone entitled to supreme reverence and worship. Man is forbidden to give to any other object the first place in his affections or his service. Whatever we cherish that tends to lessen our love for God or to interfere with the service due Him, of that do we make a god.
Commandment 2: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.
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The second commandment forbids the worship of the true God by images or similitude. Many heathen nations claimed that their images were mere figures or symbols by which the Deity was worshiped, but God has declared such worship to be sin. The attempt to represent the Eternal One by material objects would lower man's conception of God.
The mind, turned away from the infinite perfection of Jehovah, would be attracted to the creature rather than to the Creator. And as his conceptions of God were lowered, so would man become degraded. Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me. Showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments. The close and sacred relation of God to His people is represented under the figure of marriage.
Idolatry being spiritual adultery, the displeasure of God against it is fitly called jealousy. It is inevitable that children should suffer from the consequences of parental wrongdoing, but they are not punished for the parents' guilt, except as they participate in their sins. It is usually the case, however, that children walk in the steps of their parents. By inheritance and example the sons become partakers of the father's sin. Wrong tendencies, perverted appetites, and debased morals, as well as physical disease and degeneracy, are transmitted as a legacy from father to son, to the third and fourth generation.
This fearful truth should have a solemn power to restrain men from following a course of sin. In prohibiting the worship of false gods, the second commandment by implication enjoins the worship of the true God. And to those who are faithful in His service, mercy is promised, not merely to the third and fourth generation as is the wrath threatened against those who hate Him, but to thousands of generations. Commandment 3: "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.
This commandment not only prohibits false oaths and common swearing, but it forbids us to use the name of God in a light or careless manner, without regard to its awful significance. By the thoughtless mention of God in common conversation, by appeals to Him in trivial matters, and by the frequent and thoughtless repetition of His name, we dishonor Him.
All should meditate upon His majesty, His purity and holiness, that the heart may be impressed with a sense of His exalted character; and His holy name should be uttered with reverence and solemnity. Commandment 4: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
The Sabbath is not introduced as a new institution but as having been founded at creation. It is to be remembered and observed as the memorial of the Creator's work. Pointing to God as the Maker of the heavens and the earth, it distinguishes the true God from all false gods.
Muslim View of the Ten Commandments
All who keep the seventh day signify by this act that they are worshipers of Jehovah. Thus the Sabbath is the sign of man's allegiance to God as long as there are any upon the earth to serve Him. The fourth commandment is the only one of all the ten in which are found both the name and the title of the Lawgiver. It is the only one that shows by whose authority the law is given. Thus it contains the seal of God, affixed to His law as evidence of its authenticity and binding force. God has given me six days wherein to labor, and He requires that their own work be done in the six working days.
Acts of necessity and mercy are permitted on the Sabbath, the sick and suffering are at all times to be cared for; but unnecessary labor is to be strictly avoided. Nor does the prohibition end here. Those who discuss business matters or lay plans on the Sabbath are regarded by God as though engaged in the actual transaction of business. To keep the Sabbath holy, we should not even allow our minds to dwell upon things of a worldly character.
And the commandment includes all within our gates.
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The inmates of the house are to lay aside their worldly business during the sacred hours. All should unite to honor God by willing service upon His holy day.
Commandment 5: "Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Parents are entitled to a degree of love and respect which is due to no other person. God Himself, who has placed upon them a responsibility for the souls committed to their charge, has ordained that during the earlier years of life, parents shall stand in the place of God to their children.
And he who rejects the rightful authority of his parents is rejecting the authority of God. The fifth commandment requires children not only to yield respect, submission, and obedience to their parents, but also to give them love and tenderness, to lighten their cares, to guard their reputation, and to succor and comfort them in old age. It also enjoins respect for ministers and rulers and for all others to whom God has delegated authority.