AhlulBayt News Agency

source : Edmonton journal

27 August 2016

7:57:43 AM

Book by Edmonton author looks to bridge the gap between Islam and Christianity

The book is titled Qur’an Bible Study Commentary, and is an in-depth look at the Qur’an, comparing the stories and teachings in it to the Bible.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - An electrical engineer isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when people think of a religious scholar, but Norman Law is a rare combination of both.

For 19 years, Law worked as an electrical engineer for Imperial Oil in Edmonton, Calgary, and Cold Lake, and has worked for other electrical engineering jobs as a consultant. He retired a year and a half ago, but even before then, he started writing a book on religion. The book is titled Qur’an Bible Study Commentary, and is an in-depth look at the Qur’an, comparing the stories and teachings in it to the Bible.

The idea for the book started 15 years ago, when Law was attending Heritage Days in Edmonton. While there, he received a Qur’an, and decided to read it. As he did, he began noticing many similarities to the Bible.

“I, already at that time, see reference to the same characters – and the stories are different,” he says.

When he finished reading it, he set it aside and didn’t think too much about it, but it stayed in the back of his mind.

Then, about three and a half years ago, Law was in Argentina looking to purchase a vineyard for his retirement, and the idea came back to him. He started writing the book while still on his trip.

“Most people, when they write books about the Qur’an, or the Bible, they are very topical – they just want to address topics,” he says. “I don’t think they do justice.”

So, instead of focusing on specific topics, he decided to take on the Qur’an in its entirety.  His  book contains the complete Qur’an, and point outs resemblances to the Bible.

Law’s goal in writing the book, he says, is to build a basis of comparison between the two holy books, and to bridge the gap between Christianity and Islam.

“In Canada, we’ve got many Muslims coming into the country, and politicians and media have their suppositions on what a Muslim is,” he says. “But they don’t really know.”

Law has attended four sessions put on by the Sherwood Park United Church, where the different faiths would get together and talk about their religion’s history and answer questions for the other. The purpose of the sessions was to help understand each other. One thing he noticed during these meetings was that they never quoted where their beliefs came from.

“They just come in and say, ‘We believe in peace, we believe in love, we believe in living together,” he says. “But nobody came in and said these are the basis for what we do.”

In his book, Law set out to try and uncover these bases, and create an easy way for anyone interested in learning more to start thinking about it.

“The intent is for you to read yourself, and come to your own conclusions,” Law says. “Whatever it may be, I respect that.”

This is also the reasoning behind the layout of Law’s book. The hefty 1,137-page tome is arranged with three columns on each page. The first column is the full writings of the Qur’an. The second column is select sections of the bible that relate to the specific Qur’an Surahs (or chapters). And the third is pieces of commentary comparing and contrasting the sections, as well as additional information.

The layout makes it easy to read a certain passage in the Qur’an and see the main similarities and differences between it and the Bible. The commentary also helps explain the details, and offers questions for the reader to ponder over and make up her own mind about.

Law describes himself as religious, but he doesn’t follow any particular belief system. He doesn’t attend church, but he does read the scriptures and believes in God.

“I’m just a Christian,” he says. “But I don’t subscribe to modern-day North American Christianity.”

Qur’an Bible Study Commentary took Law two-and-a-half years to write, and another year to edit and publish it. The book is self-published by TellWell Talents, and cost Law $9,000 of his own money. The books are printed one at a time as people order them.

The book is available at Chapters for $50.47 and online at Amazon for $47.52.

The book is aimed towards Christians who wish to learn more about the Muslim faith, and vice-versa, as well as university students and religious scholars.