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Eternal Treasure

One of the things that I have noticed while reading the Koran is that so many of its teachings are similar to those found in the Bible. Whenever one sees a power hungry Muslim who is trying to justify his quest for more political power with the Koran and the Sunna, one wonders how other-worldly in its outlook the Koran actually is. Well, it is definitely very other-worldly like the Bible. In this blog, I am going to compare one of the teachings of Jesus with similar teachings found  in the Koran.

Jesus said:

19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21, NASB)

Jesus, in effect, tells us that our true treasure is in heaven, not on earth. Whatever we acquire in this life, we cannot take with us when we die. St. Paul said:

6 But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. 7 For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (I Timothy 6:6-10, NASB)

Later, in that same chapter, he also said:

17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 18 Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed. (I Timothy 6:17-19, NASB)

The basic idea being taught in these three passages of Scripture is that we should focus on acquiring eternal wealth and not the temporary wealth that we cannot carry with us after we die. The only thing that I can carry with me after my death is the record of my good deeds which God will bring to my remembrance on the Day of Judgment. I will be rewarded on the Last Day for the good that I have done and not for the wealth that I have earned.

The Koran has similar teachings. In the 17th Surah, it says:

If any do wish for the transitory things (of this life), We readily grant them – such things as We will, to such person as We will: in the end have We provided Hell for them: they will burn therein, disgraced and rejected. Those who do wish for the (things of) the Hereafter, and strive therefor with all due striving, and have Faith,- they are the ones whose striving is acceptable (to Allah). (Koran 17:18,19, Yusuf Ali)

In the 42nd and 75th Surahs, it says:

Whoso desireth the harvest of the Hereafter, We give him increase in its harvest. And whoso desireth the harvest of the world, We give him thereof, and he hath no portion in the Hereafter. (Koran 42:20, Pickthall)

Nay, but ye do love the fleeting Now and neglect the Hereafter. That day will faces be resplendent, looking toward their Lord; and that day will other faces be despondent, thou wilt know that some great disaster is about to fall on them. Nay, but when the life cometh up to the throat and men say: Where is the wizard (who can save him now)? (Koran 75:20-27, Pickthall)

Then, in the Bible there is the parable of the rich man.

And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.  And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:15-21, NKJV)

The Koran has similar moral instruction in the 89th and 100th Surahs.

And as for man, when his Lord tries him and [thus] is generous to him and favors him, he says, “My Lord has honored me.” But when He tries him and restricts his provision, he says, “My Lord has humiliated me.” No! But you do not honor the orphan and you do not encourage one another to feed the poor. And you consume inheritance, devouring [it] altogether, and you love wealth with immense love. No! When the earth has been leveled – pounded and crushed – and your Lord has come and the angels, rank upon rank, and brought [within view], that Day, is Hell – that Day, man will remember, but what good to him will be the remembrance? (Koran 89:15-23, Sahih International)

Truly man is, to his Lord, ungrateful; and to that (fact) he bears witness (by his deeds); and violent is he in his love of wealth. Does he not know,- when that which is in the graves is scattered abroad and that which is (locked up) in (human) breasts is made manifest- that their Lord had been well-acquainted with them, (even to) that Day? (Koran 100:6-11, Yusuf Ali)

For those who have never read or studied the Koran, I have provided these comparisons so that they can see that the Koran encourages people to seek after eternal wealth by doing good deeds just like the Bible does. Both essentially say that we need to be rich toward God.  I hope that people are edified by this blog.

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