Monthly Archives: October 2015


Consider the depiction of justice and mercy throughout the sections of the Quran found in the Anthology?

Ans: In the Quran found within the the Anthology the concept of just and mercy is mentioned repeatedly. Mostly in every verse, or in the beginning of every verse, it is emphasized that god is the most beneficent and merciful. In the Anthology’s version of the Quran it is revealed to the prophet that on the day of resurrection, the disbelievers will be dealt with in a very justified manner (they will be held accountable for their actions). As for the believers, god in return will grant them heaven justifying their good deeds and obedience. In the Quran justice is also implemented in the state of law, stating the different punishments for different crimes.


How is the sanctity of marriage bond portrayed throughout the narrative?

Ans: Throughout the Ramayana, the sanctity of marriage bond is portrayed in 2 ways. One of them being sacred and the other being the exact opposite. The two protagonist’s of the Ramayana; Rama and Sita have  a very holy and spiritual bond of marriage. Sita (Rama’s beloved wife) is portrayed as the ideal wife who pious and loyal to her husband. Even though her husband is exiled she follows his footsteps in exile, thus,  proving her loyalty and devotion towards him. On the other hand there is Dasharatha (the king of Ayodha) who is blessed with 3 wives just so he may produce a heir.

Gardens and Paradise In the Koran

As the religious text of Islam, the Koran lays out what is expected of one, the most important namely: following and serving God, and what God will in exchange provide for those who obey: a Paradise. Noah encourages his people to seek God’s forgiveness, as he will bring “abundant rain from heaven” and provide them “with gardens and with running brooks” (1458). Noah’s people, however, are prideful and are not willing to seek the forgiveness of God for their sins, so when God helps the unfaithful, Noah urges God to only forgive the faithful and “hasten the destruction of the wrongdoers” (1459). If destruction is what those who are unfaithful receive, then gardens and running water are rewards that God bestows upon his followers. In the section “Man,” unbelievers are chained and set on fire, while those who follow God are rewarded with “the delight of Paradise” where “trees will spread their shade around them, and fruits will hang in clusters over them” and “they shall feel neither the scorching heat nor the biting cold” (1459). This emphasis on gardens as a symbol of paradise may be due to the geographic location of the birthplace of Islam. Coming from what is now Saudi Arabia, a harshly hot and dry desert land, the idea of green gardens and running water is outside what is expected of the climate; it depicts a lush, serene, and more moderate environment, which may be what adopters of Islam religion considered as the ideal place to be.

The Odyssey and Ramayana: The Triumph of Good Over Evil

In both The Odyssey and Ramayana, there is a damsel-in-distress, requiring a hero’s rescue. However, the more important parallel between the two is how the conflict is resolved—the reoccurring theme good triumphs evil.

Based on Hindu beliefs, one who practices dharma is considered virtuous. Rama, because of his strict adherence to dharma, is represented as the most virtuous man. When Rama is forced to leave his kingdom, fulfilling Kaikeyi’s wish, he does so without protest, quoting that he will follow dharma: “The universe rests on truth: and I am devoted to truth” (1179).

When Sita is kidnapped by Ravana, she is given the chance of being rescued earlier. Hanuman offers to carry her back home, but Sita refuses, saying: “I agree you have the power to fight them: but if you kill them all, it will rob Rama of the glory of killing them and rescuing me” (1225). Sita wants to be saved from Ravana, but she only wants to be saved by Rama in grandiose way. In The Odyssey, Odysseus arrives back to Ithaka earlier than when he finally faces the suitors, but instead of confronting them right away he carefully plots a plan to kill the helpless suitors and rescue Penelope in a more glorious way. In Ramayana, when Rama and Ravana enter into battle, “Ravana was sure he would die,” while “Rama was determined to win” (1226). This portrays the strength of each side; Rama, representing good, is portrayed as stronger than Ravana, representing evil. In the end, Rama easily defeats Ravana in a majestic way, with the Brahma-missile, shaking the earth and sending Ravana deep into the earth. Both The Odyssey and Ramayana show that the power of good is stronger than the power of evil and if put against one another, good will always triumph.

The Evildoers of the Ramayana and The Odyssey

Compare the Ramayana with The Odyssey in terms of the portrayal of evildoers and their treatment at the story’s conclusion.

For both the Ramayana and The Odyssey, the evildoers are those who seemingly abduct or chase after Hero’s wife. In Ramayana, Ravana the demonic King of Lanka, who abducted Rama’s wife Sita in order to destroy Rama. In the Odyssey, the suitors of Penelope such as Amphinomos and Antinoos. Consider the values and beliefs are so different between ancient India and Greece. The treatments toward these evildoers are very similar, both Ravana and the suitors were killed at the end of the epic. Vengeance is always the main theme for epics. No matter how strong the enemies are, justice shall be raised when these intolerant practices happened.

The Qur’an ‘s Heaven

Why does the Qur’an place such great emphasis on gardens and/or feasts?
As a part of Abrahamic religion, Islam is the second large one in the world. With a similar origin, we can find out some common features among Judaism, Christianity and Islam. They are all believe in one almighty god, have a similar setup such as hell and heaven. And the whole reason why the Qur’an place such an effort on describing gardens and feasts is to draw the picture for its believers to follow the belief. The Qur’an has successfully depict the beautiful of how heaven should look like through the phrases and words. In the Feast chapter, it states” they will have Gardens graced with flowing streams…” It is like a reminder for the reader to fully oblige them into Islam because the obey one will enjoy the feast and the disobey one will have nothing but punishment.

Joseph and the Quran

What purpose does the retelling of the Joseph story serve in the sections of the Qur’an you’ve read?

The purpose of retelling the story of Joseph is too highlight the virtues that we are suppose to possess as people. That is being kind, forgiven, and obedient. Joseph was obedient to God’s word despite the situation that he was is. He was able to forgive his brother’s and showered them with kindness regardless of they treated him in the past. This story was retold to show emphasis on how we are too live our lives.

Ramayana Polygamy and Monogamy

It is interesting to note that in the Ramayana, only Rama and Sita are monogamous making a special bond between them. Every other character is either single or has multiple wives. Rama’s father, Dasaratha, and Ravana both have multiple wives and their relationship with them seems to be somewhat less than ideal. Rama’s mother, Kausalya, weeps when she finds out that Rama will not become the crown prince. She states that, “I have always been treated with less affection and respect than Kaikeyi’s servants were treated.” Ravana tells Sita that she is his most favorite and that he would gladly get rid of his other wives for her. In both cases the polygamous relationship features disrespect towards the wives. Only Rama and Sita respect each other, both of them come to each other’s aid, Rama saving Sita from a crow, demons, and Ravana himself, while Sita joins him in his exile claiming that she was his other half. They both remain virtuous towards each other and they are both triumphant in the end. It seems that even though Valmiki, the author, lived in a society that accepted polygamy, he favored monogamy instead.

The Qur’an

Why does the Qur’an place such great emphasis on gardens and/or feasts?

From prior knowledge of the Islam, followers of this religion attend Hajj, which is a pilgrimage to Mecca. Throughout this journey, the people are required to fast as they would for Muslim holidays such as Ramadan, follow the rules of Islam, and pray multiple times a day. The Qur’an states that in order to fulfil your obligations, you may only consume the food announced to you. “You are forbidden to kill game while you are on pilgrimage… do not violate the Sacred Month, the offerings, the garlands, nor those going to the Sacred House to seek bounty or pleasure on their lord (The Feast, 74).” The Qur’an places such great emphasis on feasts because within the month on the pilgrimage, one must show respect to God as well as be pure when entering God’s home. It is forbidden to eat pig’s meat or meat from any type of animal that has been strangled or a victim of violent blow or fall but it must be slaughtered in the correct manner. Those who follow Islam must abide by the rules of God and if they shall not do so, they will be on the wrong path and will be distanced from other Muslims. As for those who are faithful to the religious are then rewarded by wiping away your sins and admitting you to the gardens, representing paradise and good fortune.


How is the sanctity of marriage bond portrayed throughout the narrative?

The bond of marriage is sacred to the main character Rama and Sita, but marriage is not held on a pedestal in the relationships of the parents or others. The narrative portrays the marriage of Rama and Sita, who both are considered royalty and deeply in love with one another. “To a woman her husband is verily god himself… Even a pious woman who is otherwise righteous, if she does not serve her husband, is deemed to be a sinner (Ayodhya 24-25).” This was spoken from Rama to his mother, Kausalya, explaining the importance of a wife to her husband. Kausalya wishes that Rama would not disperse into the forest for which she will burn to her death without him. Rama wished that his mother stay put and take care of his father like any wife should but she would rather be with the one whom she gave birth too because her husband was occupied with his other wives. On the other hand, Rama had yet to tell Sita, his wife, that he was succumbed to the forest for fourteen years and that he had to leave her behind in respect to his father wishes. Sita insists she follow him to the forest where she says “I should go too; I am your half: and because of this, again I will not be able to live separated from her husband.” She also compares being with her husband as if being in heaven. “Life with the husband is incomparably superior to life in a palace, or an aerial mansion, or a trip to heaven! … Nor will I regard life in the forest as exile or as exile or as suffering. With you it will be more than heaven to me. It will not be the least hardship to me; without you, even heaven is hell (Ayodhya 26-27).” Their love is filled with passion and they both would sacrifice their life for one another. As for other character such as Ravana, who has abducted Sita and wishes to marry her, does not value his marriage seeing that he has multiple wives and has abducted other wives in the past. Even though Rama and Sita only belonged to each other, their society accepted polygamist actions.