Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Koran: The Cow Part 3

[2.49] And when We delivered you from Firon's people, who subjected you to severe torment, killing your sons and sparing your women, and in this there was a great trial from your Lord.
[2.50] And when We parted the sea for you, so We saved you and drowned the followers of Firon and you watched by.

This details the Israelite's torture at Pharaoh's hand and how Allah rescued his people.  
[2.51] And when We appointed a time of forty nights with Musa, then you took the calf (for a god) after him and you were unjust.
[2.52] Then We pardoned you after that so that you might give thanks.

When Moses was hanging out with Allah, the people began worshiping a golden calf.  Allah forgives them.  It is interesting that it states that the people were forgiven so that they might give thanks to Allah.  It seems that Allah forgave them for his own purposes.
[2.53] And when We gave Musa the Book and the distinction that you might walk aright.
[2.54] And when Musa said to his people: O my people! you have surely been unjust to yourselves by taking the calf (for a god), therefore turn to your Creator (penitently), so kill your people, that is best for you with your Creator: so He turned to you (mercifully), for surely He is the Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.

When Moses returned with "the Book" (what book?) and the knowledge necessary for the Muslims to worship Allah he found them worshiping the calf.  He told them to slay themselves for Allah would then accept their repentance since he is merciful.  When I imagine a merciful being, his or her's mercy is not dependent on martyrdom.   

[2.55] And when you said: O Musa! we will not believe in you until we see Allah manifestly, so the punishment overtook you while you looked on.
[2.56] Then We raised you up after your death that you may give thanks.

Here it is believed that because the people asked Moses to manifest Allah, Allah struck the people down with lightning (not clear in this translation, it was clearer in another one I found; I will switch to that one after this surah) and then raised them from the dead so that they could be thankful.  When Mohammad created this reiteration of God, I think he could have made him kinder and more efficient.  Or is that just not believable?
[2.57] And We made the clouds to give shade over you and We sent to you manna and quails: Eat of the good things that We have given you; and they did not do Us any harm, but they made their own souls suffer the loss.

Here we should forget that Allah just killed everyone in order to raise them from the dead and remember that he is so giving. 

[2.58] And when We said: Enter this city, then eat from it a plenteous (food) wherever you wish, and enter the gate making obeisance, and say, forgiveness. We will forgive you your wrongs and give more to those who do good (to others).
[2.59] But those who were unjust changed it for a saying other than that which had been spoken to them, so We sent upon those who were unjust a pestilence from heaven, because they transgressed.

I imagine those that were unjust where the Jews or the Christians who supposedly perverted the word of Allah to suit their own purposes.  I just can't imagine religion doing such a thing... The always merciful Allah then punished them.  I should keep tally of how many times Merciful is said and how many times "punished" or some variant is used.
[2.60] And when Musa prayed for drink for his people, We said: Strike the rock with your staff So there gushed from it twelve springs; each tribe knew its drinking place: Eat and drink of the provisions of Allah and do not act corruptly in the land, making mischief.

Allah provides provisions and expects the people to be happy with them.  Alas...

[2.61] And when you said: O Musa! we cannot bear with one food, therefore pray Lord on our behalf to bring forth for us out of what the earth grows, of its herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions. He said: Will you exchange that which is better for that which is worse? Enter a city, so you will have what you ask for. And abasement and humiliation were brought down upon them, and they became deserving of Allah's wrath; this was so because they disbelieved in the communications of Allah and killed the prophets unjustly; this was so because they disobeyed and exceeded the limits.

...the people tell Moses they want variety of food!  Desire for things beyond what Allah has granted brings abasement, of course. Can you imagine bringing down the wrath of the almighty by desiring more than what you have?   Shouldn't people want more, and then strive to be better and do more to achieve it?  No, of course not.  People should only strive to serve Allah and believe and worship him. 

[2.62] Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.

Once again, believers will be rewarded.
[2.63] And when We took a promise from you and lifted the mountain over you: Take hold of the law (Tavrat) We have given you with firmness and bear in mind what is in it, so that you may guard (against evil).
[2.64] Then you turned back after that; so were it not for the grace of Allah and His mercy on you, you would certainly have been among the losers.

I have been unable to find what mountain was lifted.  These verses supposedly talk of a covenant made with Allah and how, because he is merciful, he forgave the people turning his back on it.
[2.65] And certainly you have known those among you who exceeded the limits of the Sabbath, so We said to them: Be (as) apes, despised and hated.
[2.66] So We made them an example to those who witnessed it and those who came after it, and an admonition to those who guard (against evil).

Which Sabbath is to be observed?  We have three days up for contention: Friday, Saturday, Sunday.  While we aren't specifically given that information, we do know that not observing the sabbath leads to punishment.  Surprising, no? 
[2.67] And when Musa said to his people: Surely Allah commands you that you should sacrifice a cow; they said: Do you ridicule us? He said: I seek the protection of Allah from being one of the ignorant.
[2.68] They said: Call on your Lord for our sake to make it plain to us what she is. Musa said: He says, Surely she is a cow neither advanced in age nor too young, of middle age between that (and this); do therefore what you are commanded.
[2.69] They said: Call on your Lord for our sake to make it plain to us what her color is. Musa said: He says, Surely she is a yellow cow; her color is intensely yellow, giving delight to the beholders.
[2.70] They said: Call on your Lord for our sake to make it plain to us what she is, for surely to us the cows are all alike, and if Allah please we shall surely be guided aright.
[2.71] Musa said: He says, Surely she is a cow not made submissive that she should plough the land, nor does she irrigate the tilth; sound, without a blemish in her. They said: Now you have brought the truth; so they sacrificed her, though they had not the mind to do (it).

Because Allah is able to specifically "say" which cow he wants sacrificed, the people are satisfied with his divinity and follow his orders.
[2.72] And when you killed a man, then you disagreed with respect to that, and Allah was to bring forth that which you were going to hide.
[2.73] So We said: Strike the (dead body) with part of the (Sacrificed cow), thus Allah brings the dead to life, and He shows you His signs so that you may understand.
[2.74] Then your hearts hardened after that, so that they were like rocks, rather worse in hardness; and surely there are some rocks from which streams burst forth, and surely there are some of them which split asunder so water issues out of them, and surely there are some of them which fall down for fear of Allah, and Allah is not at all heedless of what you do.

When reading about the Koran, I learned that within it Allah refers two types of verses.  Basically, one is easy to understand and it's meaning is clear, the other is vague and difficult to understand.  Due to the lack of linearity, I think there are a lot of verses that fall on the latter side.  As I read through this I don't understand how people can believe in it while lacking comprehension.  The randomness does not seemed inspired or contrived, but set down by a poorly educated hand.  There are plenty verses that seem out of place and the previous three are no exception.  It appears that after the sacrifice, someone, or everyone, killed a man.  Allah brought him back to life by throwing some meat on him.  Instead of pleasing the people by his show of divinity, some were put off.  Regardless, as always, Allah knows what you do.  
[2.75] Do you then hope that they would believe in you, and a party from among them indeed used to hear the Word of Allah, then altered it after they had understood it, and they know (this).
There are times in the Koran when the voice portrayed is Allah, times when it is Mohammad, and times when it is Allah speaking to Mohammad.  This is supposed to be the latter.  Allah says that the Jews have heard his word and altered it... and they know it.  
[2.76] And when they meet those who believe they say: We believe, and when they are alone one with another they say: Do you talk to them of what Allah has disclosed to you that they may contend with you by this before your Lord? Do you not then understand?
[2.77] Do they not know that Allah knows what they keep secret and what they make known?
[2.78] And there are among them illiterates who know not the Book but only lies, and they do but conjecture.
[2.79] Woe, then, to those who write the book with their hands and then say: This is from Allah, so that they may take for it a small price; therefore woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn.
[2.80] And they say: Fire shall not touch us but for a few days. Say: Have you received a promise from Allah, then Allah will not fail to perform His promise, or do you speak against Allah what you do not know?
[2.81] Yeal whoever earns evil and his sins beset him on every side, these are the inmates of the fire; in it they shall abide.

And here we have some reason for Muslims to hate the Jews.  Allah has already said the Jews altered his teachings.  Now he tells us that they are aware that they have done so, and that they (the Jews) think they are only going to hell for a few days.  But no, Allah says they shall roast forever.  No mercy there.

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