Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Koran: The Cow, Part 4

After this post, we will be half way through the first sura of the Koran.

[2.82] And (as for) those who believe and do good deeds, these are the dwellers of the garden; in it they shall abide.

The promise of heaven once again.  Islam seems to focus heavily on the idea of heaven and a reward for good deeds and belief.  Mohammad went for the hard sell.
[2.83] And when We made a covenant with the children of Israel: You shall not serve any but Allah and (you shall do) good to (your) parents, and to the near of kin and to the orphans and the needy, and you shall speak to men good words and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate. Then you turned back except a few of you and (now too) you turn aside.

Allah reminds the people about the covenant he made with the Children of Israel:
1. There is no God but Allah
2. Honor your parents and family
3. Be good to orphans and the needy
4. Spread the word
5. Pray
6. Give me your money
He claims that they turned his back on him. 
[2.84] And when We made a covenant with you: You shall not shed your blood and you shall not turn your people out of your cities; then you gave a promise while you witnessed.
[2.85] Yet you it is who slay your people and turn a party from among you out of their homes, backing each other up against them unlawfully and exceeding the limits; and if they should come to you, as captives you would ransom them-- while their very turning out was unlawful for you. Do you then believe in a part of the Book and disbelieve in the other? What then is the re ward of such among you as do this but disgrace in the life of this world, and on the day of resurrection they shall be sent back to the most grievous chastisement, and Allah is not at all heedless of what you do.
[2.86] These are they who buy the life of this world for the hereafter, so their chastisement shall not be lightened nor shall they be helped.

Allah said that part of the Covenant was that there would be no murder and people would not be forced to leave from their dwellings.  Supposedly this covenant was broken.  He questions the Children of Israel about how they can follow parts of the Book and not others.  But of course, Allah is watching and that means punishment.  
[2.87] And most certainly We gave Musa the Book and We sent apostles after him one after another; and We gave Isa, the son of Marium, clear arguments and strengthened him with the holy spirit, What! whenever then an apostle came to you with that which your souls did not desire, you were insolent so you called some liars and some you slew.
[2.88] And they say: Our hearts are covered. Nay, Allah has cursed them on account of their unbelief; so little it is that they believe.

Isa = Jesus, Marium = Mary.  Allah is complaining of the treatment of the prophets and how the Children of Israel called some liars and killed others.  
[2.89] And when there came to them a Book from Allah verifying that which they have, and aforetime they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieve, but when there came to them (Prophet) that which they did not recognize, they disbelieved in him; so Allah's curse is on the unbelievers.
[2.90] Evil is that for which they have sold their souls-- that they should deny what Allah has revealed, out of envy that Allah should send down of His grace on whomsoever of His servants He pleases; so they have made themselves deserving of wrath upon wrath, and there is a disgraceful punishment for the unbelievers.

I don't think this is clear.  Supposedly Allah is talking about how people don't believe Mohammad is his prophet.  Regardless, such disbelief can only end in one thing...punishment!  Seriously, the mentions of punishment in this surah far outweigh those of reward.  
[2.91] And when it is said to them, Believe in what Allah has revealed, they say: We believe in that which was revealed to us; and they deny what is besides that, while it is the truth verifying that which they have. Say: Why then did you kill Allah's Prophets before if you were indeed believers?

Allah is very big on reiteration and not so big on clarity.  Here the Bible comes into play again.  The complaint is that people are doubting Allah.  The people say that they do believe in the Bible.  Yet Allah notes that they doubt the Koran which (supposedly) only serves to verify the Bible.  He tells Mohammad to ask them why the people killed Allah's prophets.  In this one ayah alone there is discourse between Allah and the people and between Allah and Mohammad.
[2.92] And most certainly Musa came to you with clear arguments, then you took the calf (for a god) in his absence and you were unjust.
[2.93] And when We made a covenant with you and raised the mountain over you: Take hold of what We have given you with firmness and be obedient. They said: We hear and disobey. And they were made to imbibe (the love of) the calf into their hearts on account of their unbelief Say: Evil is that which your belief bids you if you are believers.

Supposedly Allah already forgave the people for this transgression- remember, he killed them and then brought them back to life.  Regardless, those that he is preaching to aren't the ones who participated in the actions.  They are removed from the action by almost 2 millenniums.  Allah does not seem merciful if he can't learn to let it go and just preach to those that now (those of the 600 CE)exist.
[2.94] Say: If the future abode with Allah is specially for you to the exclusion of the people, then invoke death if you are truthful.
[2.95] And they will never invoke it on account of what their hands have sent before, and Allah knows the unjust.
[2.96] And you will most certainly find them the greediest of men for life (greedier) than even those who are polytheists; every one of them loves that he should be granted a life of a thousand years, and his being granted a long life will in no way remove him further off from the chastisement, and Allah sees what they do.

Ah, and here we question the people's faith!  I find this an interesting question even in modern times. Basically, if you believe you are going to heaven, why not wish for death?  If heaven is so great and you KNOW it exists and that it is your final destination, wouldn't you be excited to die?  Wouldn't you be happy for others who are dying (whom you believe to be heaven-bound)?  Of course, Allah is having Mohammad question the Jews (as it is interpreted on because they have supposedly transgressed against Allah, and the Jews are somehow aware of this.  But, alas, Allah knows all and somehow, someone, somewhere will be punished.

[2.97] Say: Whoever is the enemy of Jibreel-- for surely he revealed it to your heart by Allah's command, verifying that which is before it and guidance and good news for the believers.

Generally, whenever the Koran says "Say" it is a command to Mohammad from Allah.  Here we have Allah wanting Mohammad to attest to the revelation he (Mohammad) received from Gabriel which verifies the bible and gives guidance for the believers.

[2.98] Whoever is the enemy of Allah and His angels and His apostles and Jibreel and Meekaeel, so surely Allah is the enemy of the unbelievers.
[2.99] And certainly We have revealed to you clear communications and none disbelieve in them except the transgressors.
[2.100] What! whenever they make a covenant, a party of them cast it aside? Nay, most of them do not believe.
[2.101] And when there came to them an Apostle from Allah verifying that which they have, a party of those who were given the Book threw the Book of Allah behind their backs as if they knew nothing.
[2.102] And they followed what the Shaitans chanted of sorcery in the reign of Sulaiman, and Sulaiman was not an unbeliever, but the Shaitans disbelieved, they taught men sorcery and that was sent down to the two angels at Babel, Harut and Marut, yet these two taught no man until they had said, "Surely we are only a trial, therefore do not be a disbeliever." Even then men learned from these two, magic by which they might cause a separation between a man and his wife; and they cannot hurt with it any one except with Allah's permission, and they learned what harmed them and did not profit them, and certainly they know that he who bought it should have no share of good in the hereafter and evil was the price for which they sold their souls, had they but known this.
[2.103] And if they had believed and guarded themselves (against evil), reward from Allah would certainly have been better; had they but known (this).

But those pesky unbelievers! Allah thinks we should know that the Koran and its revelation(s) are obviously true.  It's just those transgressors that don't believe it.  But believe and be rewarded!

[2.104] O you who believe! do not say Raina and say Unzurna and listen, and for the unbelievers there is a painful chastisement.

Raina= evil; Unzurna= Look after us.  Yeah, this ayah makes no sense to me, except for the punishment part. 

[2.105] Those who disbelieve from among the followers of the Book do not like, nor do the polytheists, that the good should be sent down to you from your Lord, and Allah chooses especially whom He pleases for His mercy, and Allah is the Lord of mighty grace.

The Jews, Christians and polytheists don't like what Allah is doing.  Why would they when Allah keeps telling them they are going to hell unless they follow him?

[2.106] Whatever communications We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or like it. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things?
[2.107] Do you not know that Allah's is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and that besides Allah you have no guardian or helper?
[2.108] Rather you wish to put questions to your Apostle, as Musa was questioned before; and whoever adopts unbelief instead of faith, he indeed has lost the right direction of the way.

But Allah is here to bring you the real word!  And he is powerful! Just don't question him or ask for proof.

[2.109] Many of the followers of the Book wish that they could turn you back into unbelievers after your faith, out of envy from themselves, (even) after the truth has become manifest to them; but pardon and forgive, so that Allah should bring about His command; surely Allah has power over all things.

Those Jews will try to convert you!  (Gee, I wonder why there is such division between Jews and Muslims in the Middle East...)

[2.110] And keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and whatever good you send before for yourselves, you shall find it with Allah; surely Allah sees what you do.

Ignore them and do what I told you to do.

[2.111] And they say: None shall enter the garden (or paradise) except he who is a Jew or a Christian. These are their vain desires. Say: Bring your proof if you are truthful.
[2.112] Yes! whoever submits himself entirely to Allah and he is the doer of good (to others) he has his reward from his Lord, and there is no fear for him nor shall he grieve.

Ha!  The Muslims should require proof from the Jews and Christians in regard to their righteousness, but what proof do they themselves offer? 

[2.113] And the Jews say: The Christians do not follow anything (good) and the Christians say: The Jews do not follow anything (good) while they recite the (same) Book. Even thus say those who have no knowledge, like to what they say; so Allah shall judge between them on the day of resurrection in what they differ.

Has there ever been a religious text that flat out questioned other religions by name?  What a way to sow hatred.

[2.114] And who is more unjust than he who prevents (men) from the masjids of Allah, that His name should be remembered in them, and strives to ruin them? (As for) these, it was not proper for them that they should have entered them except in fear; they shall meet with disgrace in this world, and they shall have great chastisement in the hereafter.
[2.115] And Allah's is the East and the West, therefore, whither you turn, thither is Allah's purpose; surely Allah is Amplegiving, Knowing.

As I read the Koran, I have less hope for peace in the Middle East if people are willing to take this book verbatim.  Religion is such a destructive, ignorant force. 

[2.116] And they say: Allah has taken to himself a son. Glory be to Him; rather, whatever is in the heavens and the earth is His; all are obedient to Him.
[2.117] Wonderful Originator of the heavens and the earth, and when He decrees an affair, He only says to it, Be, so there it is.

Regarding Jesus as the son of God/Allah, which is seen as blasphemous.

[2.118] And those who have no knowledge say: Why does not Allah speak to us or a sign come to us? Even thus said those before them, the like of what they say; their hearts are all alike. Indeed We have made the communications clear for a people who are sure.

Only those that are "sure" are getting the signs from Allah... that's not self-fulfilling prophecy or anything. 

[2.119] Surely We have sent you with the truth as a bearer of good news and as a warner, and you shall not be called upon to answer for the companions of the flaming fire.
[2.120] And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians until you follow their religion. Say: Surely Allah's guidance, that is the (true) guidance. And if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you shall have no guardian from Allah, nor any helper.
[2.121] Those to whom We have given the Book read it as it ought to be read. These believe in it; and whoever disbelieves in it, these it is that are the losers.

I've grown weary of Allah's need to reiterate that the Koran is the "true" book for the "true" believers.  Seriously, does he have to work that hard to convince us?

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