What Kind of Guidance Does the Quran Provide for Muslims?

The Holy Quran is the basis of Islam.
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The Holy Quran is Islam's scripture, believed to be the words of Allah, or God, himself. Like most religious texts, it offers believers a guide on how to lead their lives, as well as the correct way to practice the religion itself. While marking out a divine path for Muslims to follow, the Quran also stipulates that those who do Allah's bidding will be rewarded with an afterlife in paradise.

1 Guide to Paradise

The Quran's instructions for entering paradise are basic and familiar even to non-believers. Major sins like murder, worshiping false gods -- in Islam, Allah is the one true God -- and adultery are forbidden. A believer must also be righteous and only testify to the truth. In essence, believing in Allah and doing good works are the best methods of making it to heaven, because those "who believe and do good deeds to enter Gardens beneath which rivers flow. They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold, and with pearls; and their raiment therein will be of silk" (Al-Hajj 22:24.)

2 Defending the Faith

Contrary to modern-day misconceptions regarding Islam and violence, the Quran does not advocate aggression. Instead, it tells believers to defend their faith against those who attack it. Muslims are instructed to " ... fight in the cause of Allah against those who fight against you" (Al-Baqarah 2:191.) They cannot, however, incite violence for "Allah loves not the transgressors" (Al-Baqarah 2:191.) The Quran is clear about defending Islam when it states, " ... kill them wherever you meet them and drive them out from where they have driven you out" (Al-Baqarah 2:191.) It does reiterate, however, that " ... no hostility is allowed except against the aggressors" Al-Baqarah 2:194.)

3 Maintaining Peace

The Quran only advocates combat when linked to defending Islam; otherwise, it preaches peace amongst its followers. There must be no aggression against those who seek peace, in fact, because "Allah has allowed you no way of aggression against them" (Al-Lail 4:91.) One of its major principles is the outlaw of murder, unless for a just cause, as it states, "And kill not the soul which Allah has forbidden" (Bani Isra'il 17:34.) It can be said, therefore, that the Quran assures peace as long as all are believers since, if nobody is the aggressor, then there can be no counterattack, hence putting an end to violence.

4 Dealing with Non-Believers

While the Quran makes it clear that those who follow Allah's way will eventually prosper, non-believers have quite the opposite in store since " ... for them is a great punishment" (Al-Baqarah 2:8.) Muslims must let these people go on their way because "Allah has set a seal on their hearts and their ears, and over their eyes is a covering" (Al-Baqarah 2:8.) Those who do not believe in Allah are said to have a diseased heart, a disease that Allah will only increase. These individuals, then, are said to have been placed on earth purposely by Allah, and those who are true to Islam are advised to "Beware! it is surely they that are foolish, but they do not know" (Al-Baqarah 2:14.)

Jose Maldonado teaches literature at several colleges. He has contributed to various online publications and holds a master's degree in creative writing.