Dr. Safi Kaskas speaks about his latest book
by Mike GhouseMarch 18, 2019
The Jewish Islamic Dialogue Society (JIDS) hosted a conversation with Dr. Safi Kaskas and Eman Kaskas about the essence of the Quran at a gathering.
It was a joy listening to him rolling out the truth after truth from the Quran.
We thank all the friends who came to listen and appreciate Dr. Maqsood Chaudhry, a philanthropist and a supporter of community building, for providing the space and the lunch.
Dr. Kaskas focused on the essence of the Quran, which is based on freedom. He has translated the Quran, accompanied by 3000 related verses from the Bible and the Torah. Once again, the words may be different, and actions vary due to cultural impulses, but the essence is the same in all religions: it is God’s guidance.
The audience was in tune with him, and I was in tune with him, and we exchanged information daily on Facebook.
Ms. Eman Kaskas and Dr. Kaskas have prepared to be each other’s backup and can deliver the full speech together or separately.
Eman shared the story of Safi’s struggle in explaining a Quranic verse to fellow Americans. The sentence was that God raised the sky over the earth without columns.
How would anyone see the logic in it? He slept over on it, and when he woke up, he found an announcement from NASA about the invisible columns- the gravity that holds different things at a distance and in balance. Eureka! To quote, Goerthe, if you are committed, all sorts of things happen to you, indeed, nature will pave the way for you. That is what happened to Dr. Kaskas, and indeed, it happens to me daily.
The Quran calls one to look for the signs, and he has spread everything for the human species. Indeed, when I see the snake poison used to cure specific ailments, and by God, there is an ad on the TV, that talks about increasing the human memory by using an item from the Jellyfish. Everything on earth is spread out for us, if we can see the signs, we learn it and make it meaningful to us.
Safi was born in Lebanon and raised in the United States, and he sees things as most Americans do; with an open mind and finding reason in it. I have consistently written that an American Muslim is well equipped to write about the essence of the Quran, as he lives amidst people of different faiths and has an eye for what is inclusive and sensitive.
I struggled to express the idea of the oneness of God over the years and decided to write that God should not be reduced to a number, such as a numero one God. I got that clarity from studying the Bahai faith, and they have expressed the idea with much clarity. Now, Safi shares that idea beautifully – the indivisible, uniquely one God.
I hope to do a joint presentation with him – his topic is the Essence of the Quran, and mine is the Essence of Islam, much of which is in the book American Muslim Agenda.
It as a great presentation, due to time limitations or the number of questions, he shortchanged on one of the misogynistic translations of the verse Quran 4:34, and Jihad.
Dr. Safi Kaskas is a scholar, author and interfaith bridge builder whose accomplishments include translating the Qur’an into contemporary English and cross-referencing his translation into Hebrew and Christian Scriptures verses.