Originally Posted by wesleyjfreeman
For someone to do that, they need to first examine the validity of that text before they adopt it as a guide.
2.Other than its position as the alleged final word of god, why choose Islam over any other organised religion?
Personally, I accept Islam over other religions and ways of life for a number of reasons. Excluding the specific evidence which I feel substantiates the claim that it is a divinely revealed religion, I find that Islam is the only way of life that offers a complete and coherent explanation of our existence in this universe, free from logical contradiction. Islam is also the most comprehensive system of life, encompassing all aspects of life whether spiritual, mental, physical, social, political, environmental, econmonic etc.
3.Aside from the duty to guide others toward the word of Allah is it not possible for Muslim's to live in unison with non-Muslim's, safe in the knowledge their fine example will be in time followed?
Of course, and this is the example the Prophet Muhammad pbuh and his companions set for us.
4.What is the best way for someone like myself to study Islam?
In order to help people study Islam, I have compiled the following list of resources:
5.Is it ever possible to gain a true understanding of Islam without learning Arabic, are all translations tainted by the will of man in one way or another?
It is possible to gain an understanding of Islam without learning arabic, but in order to study many of Islam's teachings at a detailed level and study the exegesis of the Qur'an, understanding arabic is necessary. A Muslim also needs to have some understanding of arabic for daily practices such as offering prayers.
5.Islam in its essense as i am led to beleive aknowledges the struggle between Allah and some kind of alternate force, for want of a better tem the Devil.
Allah holds absolute power and control. Satan is inherently weak and powerless in the face of Allah. Yet Allah allows Satan to tempt human beings by means of a test, so that He can reward the righteous in the next life and punish those who do evil.
This taken into account is it not presumed the Devil is at some extent at work in all things, even in the writing of the Quaran?
The Qur'an is protected by God from Satan and all evil. (Qur'an 41:42)
I hope this helps.