My research intends to engage in a comparative scriptural analysis between the Torah and the Quran regarding the Abrahamic Covenant. My inspiration to examine this covenant is rooted in curiosity and compassion. Although I grew up valuing faith and believing in God and his prophets, I had a limited understanding of religion. After moving to college and befriending believing women, I saw religion as divine guidance towards peace, purity, and love.
There is no greater similarity between Judaism and Islam than their faith in the oneness of God. Additionally, both religions perceive Abraham as a role model for faith. Abraham is a monotheist, the father of Isaac and Ishmael, and a participant in a covenant made with God. Although the concept of this covenant and its constituents may vary, Abraham is a central character in both religions. The Quran says, “Lo! Abraham was a nation obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the idolaters” (16:120). In the Torah, it is written that God says to Abraham, “And your name will not be called Abram anymore, but your name will be Abraham because I’ve set you to be a father of a mass of nations. And I’ll make you very, very fruitful and make you into nations. And kings will come out of you.” (Genesis 17:5-6).
My study seeks to examine Abraham and his covenant with God in both scriptures and contextualize it to the shared message of monotheism that Abraham is said to have followed in the Torah and the Quran, whilst simultaneously acknowledging the differences and similarities of these texts, thoughtfully. I am not seeking to blindly brush over differences as I believe there is merit in acknowledging religious differences respectfully and thoughtfully. However, I am also seeking to bring awareness to the essential similarities between Judaism and Islam through my work. I believe that faith in God is a great similarity between believing Jews and Muslims, and I hope to encompass my research with the acknowledgment of this great similarity in faith.
Author: Dana Sultan
(1) Commentary on the Torah by Richard Elliott Friedman
(2) The Holy Qur’an-English Translation by Marmaduke Pickthall