Q: Please let me know if there are any commandments in the Qur'an that resemble the Ten Commandments in the Bible.

A: There is no equivalent listing of commandments as such, but since the Qur'an sees itself as a continuation of the Abrahamic Faith, it presupposes a knowledge of the Ten Commandments, and its general message adumbrates this - to the point where Islam is deemed as the most uncompromising of monotheistic religions - thus showing its adherence to the first commandment. Muslims do not celebrate the Sabbath - there is no commandment for this ritual - although the Qur'an insists on the sanctity of that day for Jews, and speaks disparagingly of those Jews who do not observe it. All of the other commandments are paraphrased throughout the Qur'an, to the point where many Muslims take the interpretation to an extreme.

The first commandment's prohibition against graven images has led to many Muslims (wrongly) seeing even photographs as forbidden, even though the INTENT of the commandment is obviously against the use of images for idolatry. The prohibition against adultery, for which the Qur'an establishes strict criteria for being adjudged guilty (four eye-witnesses), and for which the stipulated penalty is one hundred lashes, has been replaced in many Muslim societies with the Biblical sentence of death by stoning.

Posted September 23, 2005