Let's have a peek at what Gabriel had to tell Muhammed and the world. It might prove fun to crack open a book that has decided it's inimitable and has no peer.
The Quran is rather incoherent and disorganized--with very little by way of thematic order--and is very repetitive. We'll try not to be as repetititve in our observations. We'll also gloss over the more obvious fluff (GOD IS SO FUCKING GREAT OMG, HE KNOWS EEEEEVERYTHING, and do good stuff and not bad stuff, etc.)
Part 1: Let's Read Suras 1-4Edit
Sura 1: Al-Fatiha, the openingEdit
Many maintain that according to the traditional rules of prayer you must recite this sura 17 times per day, once at the beginning of each "unit of prayer."
The first verse, "In the name of GOD, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful" is repeated at the start of each chapter except for one. It's absolutely everywhere in the Islamic world.
- In the name of God, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
All praise and thanks is for to God, [The Creator, Owner, Sustainer of the Worlds.]
The Entirely Merciful, The Especially Merciful.
Owner of the Day of Recompense.
You alone do we worship and You alone we seek for help.
Guide us to the Straight Path.
The path of those whom Your blessings are upon, not of those who You have cursed nor of those who have gone astray.
"Those who you have cursed" is typically interpreted as JEWS, and "those who have gone astray" are Christians.
Throughout the ages, Sura 1 has been associated with superstitious properties, like the ability to heal upon recitation. One story recounts how a Muslim during the time of Mohammed got himself a reward of 30 sheep by rescuing a scorpion-stung chief with a simple recitation of al-fatiha.
- The Prophet said, "How did he come to know that it (Al-Fatiha) could be used for treatment? Distribute your reward and assign for me one share thereof as well."
No sub-contracting of prophetic power! Gotta give Mo his cut!
One particularly amusing insight on the sura comes from a renowned 8th century Islamic jurist and scholar:
- AbuAbdillah Ja’far as-Sadiq said that whoever cannot be cured by sura al-Fatihah, then there is no cure for that person. In the same narration he wrote that if this sura is recited 70 times on any part of the body that is in pain, the pain will surely go away. In fact, the power of this sura is thought to be so great that it is said that if one were to recite it 70 times over a dead body, you should not become surprised if that body starts moving (i.e. comes back to life). Sura al-Fatihah is a cure for physical and also spiritual ailments.
After this episode reaches 70 hits (which should be sometime in 2019), we fully expect a mass raising of the dead.
Sura 2: Al-Baqara (The Cow)Edit
I like how this whole sura, which is the Quran's largest, is named after some story of Israelites sacrificing a cow at an altar in like 6 verses out of 268. The chapter that comprises more than a tenth of the entire holy text is named The Cow.
Like many other suras, this one begins with three random Arabic letters. Nobody knows what they mean, which leads one to question why God bothered putting them in. A belief in the divine "soul" of the text waiting beneath the outer layer of the words on the pages might have something to do with it.
We commence with God sealing the hearts of the unbelievers so that they'll never believe, thereby dooming them to The Fire. I've never seen a book run counter to its own purpose so quickly, truly it is inimitable. God also makes sure to condemn those hypocrites who claim to be Muslim, since they too will get theirs in the end. "They are deaf, dumb, and blind, so they return not." What a welcome mat.
Subsequently the book issues one of its many challenges to produce a book like the Quran, if you're so great. YOU CAN'T. Ipso facto, it is divinely inspired. Hey God, no one can imitate my taco farts either
Not one to brandish a stick without dangling a carrot, a brief description of heaven follows. It's like a garden with a river, and fruits with ever-shifting flavors. You'll also be provided with "purified" wives, which not only means they're virgins, but also means they'll never flow with ickiness like menstrual blood, poop, or piss. Of course, girls in real life already never poop, which invalidates the Quran outright. I guess those ancient Arabs were too busy going "lalalalalalalalalala" and rattling sabers 24/7, to notice that girls don't poop.
The very next verse explains how God uses parables to guide the righteous, but also to deceive and befuddle unbelievers. He has a mate in Jesus.
- How disbelieve ye in Allah when ye were dead and He gave life to you! Then He will give you death, then life again, and then unto Him ye will return.
The Quran asks how it's possible we might disbelieve in God, directly after the verse where God is deliberately keeping people in a state of disbelief.
Next is the story of how God told all his angels to kneel before Adam, who was tasked with naming stuff, including the angels. Iblees (Satan) refused to prostrate himself and was cast down. Satan fucks things up for Adam and his unnamed wife and they're all cast down to shitty old Earth where there will be "enjoyment for a time." Adam repents, and God's like "kay." So they're still on Earth but they get some nice divine guidance.
The Torah and the Gospels, the Quran goes on to claim, are both valid, but the Quran itself is the be all end all. Curiously, the Quran mentions another so-called Peoples of the Book alongside Jews and Christians, the "Sabians." In the sayings of the prophet they're apparently just Muslim converts, but later Islamic sources engage in all sorts of speculation as to their identity.
In any case, to accumulate street cred, we're treated to a brief recounting of Exodus and the tale of Moses.
- And (remember) when Mûsâ (Moses) said to his people: "O my people! Verily, you have wronged yourselves by worshipping the calf. So turn in repentance to your Creator and kill yourselves (the innocent kill the wrongdoers among you), that will be better for you with your Creator." Then He accepted your repentance. Truly, He is the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.
God's so merciful, he'll forgive you once you've slain the wrongdoers. It's okay though
- Then We raised you up after your death, so that you might be grateful.
And We shaded you with clouds and sent down on you Al-Manna  and the quails, (saying): "Eat of the good lawful things We have provided for you," (but they rebelled). And they did not wrong Us but they wronged themselves.
What the fuck guys. He raised you back from the dead for a new lease on life, he gave you manna and quails, and you still couldn't keep it together? Man those Jews were fucking neurotic. To think, how many Woody Allen movies would the ancients have yielded had God given them all film equipment
Some Jews were punished for changing the words of God, even after they were graciously allowed to reenter Jerusalem so long as they bowed their heads. Further still, the Jews were total ungrateful dickholes while they were wandering the desert
- And (remember) when you said, "O Mûsâ (Moses)! We cannot endure one kind of food. So invoke your Lord for us to bring forth for us of what the earth grows, its herbs, its cucumbers, its Fûm (wheat or garlic), its lentils and its onions." He said, "Would you exchange that which is better for that which is lower? Go you down to any town and you shall find what you want!" And they were covered with humiliation and misery, and they drew on themselves the Wrath of Allâh. That was because they used to disbelieve the Ayât (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations etc.) of Allâh and killed the Prophets wrongfully. That was because they disobeyed and used to transgress the bounds (in their disobedience to Allâh, i.e. commit crimes and sins).
God, history's huffiest gourmet chef
You know, as grateful as I would be to God for extrictating my people from bonds he placed us in to begin with, I think I too might have wanted more than a single item on the menu after around the fifteenth year of pointless Saharan circle-running.
Okay so now we get to the incident of THE COW, which is hilarious. Those crazy lazy Jews balk when Moses moseys on by with a new commandment; they all need to sacrifice a cow. "What sort of cow?" "A cow of median age, not too young, not too old." "All right, wise guy, what color cow?" "Yellow, bitches. Bright in its color, pleasing to the beholders. A motherfucking pin up calendar BEAUTY of a yellow cow."
To which the Jews reply, no doubt in complete unison, that all cows look the same to them. UGGH COW RACISTS, THEY'RE THE WORST.
- He [Mûsâ (Moses)] said, "He says, ‘It is a cow neither trained to till the soil nor water the fields, sound, having no other colour except bright yellow.’ " They said, "Now you have brought the truth." So they slaughtered it though they were near to not doing it.
When God tells you to jump, you say what color cow
But wait, it gets better! So apparently there's a murder victim and nobody knows whodunnit, but God's got your answer
- So We said: "Strike him (the dead man) with a piece of it (the cow)." Thus Allâh brings the dead to life and shows you His Ayât (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) so that you may understand.
Why can't one of those forensics/murder mystery shows buck the mold and, instead of pinpointing the perpetrator like all those other times, simply resurrect the victim
But not even such amazing proofs will move the rock-hard hearts of those who knowingly distorted God's words. The implication is that those rabbis knew of Muhammed all along and never let the truth out. Stop believing in only some of God's revelation, stupid Jews!There are some who didn't even believe in Jesus, the cads. Why you gotta kill all the prophets? Is it because they're blasting dope revelations you don't like? FUCK DA POLICE
- And verily, you will find them (the Jews) the greediest of mankind for life and (even greedier) than those who ascribe partners to Allâh (and do not believe in Resurrection - Majûs, pagans, and idolaters). Everyone of them wishes that he could be given a life of a thousand years. But the grant of such life will not save him even a little from (due) punishment.
Goddamn this sura is heavy on the Jew bashing. It makes you wonder how much it's contributed to anti-Semitism in general.
The Jews were mislead by devils, which abounded in the time of Solomon, though that wise king wasn't so led astray. The devils did teach two angels their wicked ways, and those angels taught those ways to righteous with the disclaimer: "We're just serving as temptations, please learn to discern right and wrong from this."
Veering away from how evil those unbelievers undoubtedly are, we come to the topic of abrogation. This is the phenomenon of the Quran outright stating that some verses will be invalidated by future ones. What's the first verse to be so abrogated? It's the verse that says believers should forgive unbelievers until God brings down the house.
Also of note, the holy Kaaba at Mecca is mentioned (specifically as a place of refuge and resort built by Abraham and Ishmael). Muslims are supposed to away pray facing it, whatever direction that might be. Muslims are also required to make pilgrimages to the site, and walk around it counter-clockwise seven times as part of the holy Hajj.
- And who turns away from the religion of Ibrâhîm (Abraham) (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism) except him who befools himself? Truly, We chose him in this world and verily, in the Hereafter he will be among the righteous.
Stop befooling yourselves you guys. It's really dumb to keep yourselves in such blind befoodlement.
- O you who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh - Islâmic Monotheism)! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you with, and be grateful to Allâh, if it is indeed He Whom you worship.
He has forbidden you only the Maitah (dead animals), and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allâh (or has been slaughtered for idols, on which Allâh’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering). But if one is forced by necessity without wilful disobedience nor transgressing due limits, then there is no sin on him. Truly, Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
I bring this dietary restriction up due to the follow hadith
- "Both legal and illegal things are evident but in between them there are doubtful (unclear) things, and most of the people have no knowledge about them. So whoever saves himself from these unclear things, he saves his religion and his honour. And whoever indulges in these unclear things is like a shepherd who grazes (his animals) near the Himâ (private pasture) of someone else, and at any moment he is liable to get in it. (O people!) Beware!"
Glad God made what's legal and illegal so clear
One thing God loves elaborating on is how one should punish transgressions.
- O you who believe! Al-Qisâs (the Law of Equality in punishment) is prescribed for you in case of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. But if the killer is forgiven by the brother (or the relatives, etc.) of the killed against blood-money, then adhering to it with fairness and payment of the blood-money to the heir should be made in fairness. This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord. So after this whoever transgresses the limits (i.e. kills the killer after taking the blood-money), he shall have a painful torment.
This translation seriously uses the term blood-money. Kudos for accuracy I guess
Ramadan, the month of fasting, is prescribed with the caveat that if you can't fast due to illness or what have you, you can make it up on some other day. Fasting is pure because it's not showy; no one but God himself can know whether somebody's fasting. Furthermore, enjoying sexy time with the wives and procreating is fine while fasting.
Sexy time is nice but murders tend to happen a lot; thankfully if you kill polytheists in the name of Jihad it's okay since polytheism is worse than killing. But yeah, if they attack you, kill them. In fact, fight them until there is no more disbelief. However, if they back down then your onslaught should target only polytheists and wrong-doers. Apart from that, the Law of Reciprocation prevails.
Do all these commandments and laws sound like a hassle? If you find you can't fulfill one of your Muslim duties, simply sacrifice an animal. Be sure not to shave your head until you reach the place of sacrifice. In case you need to shave your head due to an affliction of the scalp, you have to pay a ransom of either three days fasting, giving charity to six poor people, or sacrificing a sheep.
If you want to do a pilgrimage to Mecca that's not the big one, either sacrifice an animal or do ten days fasting. This is only if you're not already a resident of Mecca.