Monday, June 28, 2010

Koran: The Cow, Part 5

This is The Cow that never ends... yes it goes on and on my friends...

[2.122] O children of Israel, call to mind My favor which I bestowed on you and that I made you excel the nations.
[2.123] on your guard against a day when no soul shall avail another in the least neither shall any compensation be accepted from it, nor shall intercession profit it, nor shall they be helped.

And fear the day of reckoning!
[2.124] And when his Lord tried Ibrahim with certain words, he fulfilled them. He said: Surely I will make you an Imam of men. Ibrahim said: And of my offspring? My covenant does not include the unjust, said He.

I imagine this is concerning the attempted sacrifice of his son.

[2.125] And when We made the House a pilgrimage for men and a (place of) security, and: Appoint for yourselves a place of prayer on the standing-place of Ibrahim. And We enjoined Ibrahim and Ismail saying: Purify My House for those who visit (it) and those who abide (in it) for devotion and those who bow down (and) those who prostrate themselves.
[2.126] And when Ibrahim said: My Lord, make it a secure town and provide its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the last day. He said: And whoever disbelieves, I will grant him enjoyment for a short while, then I will drive him to the chastisement of the fire; and it is an evil destination.

And there will be punishment! Surprise!  I recently read a piece in the Blackwell Reader that mentioned the repetitious nature of the Koran.  It stated that it is because of the nature of the revelation (slow bits over 23 years).  It also mentioned the "unique" nature of the Koran: it is the only text written by God/Allah.  That was enough for me to discount the article.  If a supposed academic can claim that, then he doesn't strike me as a learned man.  

[2.127] And when Ibrahim and Ismail raised the foundations of the House: Our Lord! accept from us; surely Thou art the Hearing, the Knowing:
[2.128] Our Lord! and make us both submissive to Thee and (raise) from our offspring a nation submitting to Thee, and show us our ways of devotion and turn to us (mercifully), surely Thou art the Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.

Surely you are the merciful one who talks of punishing everyone!

[2.129] Our Lord! and raise up in them an Apostle from among them who shall recite to them Thy communications and teach them the Book and the wisdom, and purify them; surely Thou art the Mighty, the Wise.

And send Mohammad to write down your story... over a thousand years later.  If the Koran and it's teachings are supposed to be so important, and Allah so all knowing, why did he wait so long to deliver his message?  Why did he let over a 1000 years go by without helping man truly understand his nature?  Probably because he doesn't exist.

[2.130] And who forsakes the religion of Ibrahim but he who makes himself a fool, and most certainly We chose him in this world, and in the hereafter he is most surely among the righteous.
[2.131] When his Lord said to him, Be a Muslim, he said: I submit myself to the Lord of the worlds.

Abraham is seen as high ranking for his readiness to submit.  Incidentally, by "Be a Muslim" Allah is effectively stating: submit to my will.

[2.132] And the same did Ibrahim enjoin on his sons and (so did) Yaqoub. O my sons! surely Allah has chosen for you (this) faith, therefore die not unless you are Muslims.
[2.133] Nay! were you witnesses when death visited Yaqoub, when he said to his sons: What will you serve after me? They said: We will serve your God and the God of your fathers, Ibrahim and Ismail and Ishaq, one God only, and to Him do we submit.
[2.134] This is a people that have passed away; they shall have what they earned and you shall have what you earn, and you shall not be called upon to answer for what they did.

Follow the line!  Submit submit.  Don't think for yourself.  

Ayah 2.134 is interesting as it speaks against the Christian idea of original sin and biblical notions of the sins of the father being passed to the son.  So far, this is the only line in the Koran I have cared for.

[2.135] And they say: Be Jews or Christians, you will be on the right course. Say: Nay! (we follow) the religion of Ibrahim, the Hanif, and he was not one of the polytheists.

The Koran is claiming that the Jews and Christians are polytheists.  I can understand the condemnation for a Christian and their trinity, but not for the Jews.

[2.136] Say: We believe in Allah and (in) that which had been revealed to us, and (in) that which was revealed to Ibrahim and Ismail and Ishaq and Yaqoub and the tribes, and (in) that which was given to Musa and Isa, and (in) that which was given to the prophets from their Lord, we do not make any distinction between any of them, and to Him do we submit.

Here Jesus is equated with the other prophets and Allah states that he is not different from the others.  It is only to Allah that one should submit.

[2.137] If then they believe as you believe in Him, they are indeed on the right course, and if they turn back, then they are only in great opposition, so Allah will suffice you against them, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
[2.138] (Receive) the baptism of Allah, and who is better than Allah in baptising? and Him do we serve.
[2.139] Say: Do you dispute with us about Allah, and He is our Lord and your Lord, and we shall have our deeds and you shall have your deeds, and we are sincere to Him.

I understand the need for some flattery of the deity in a religious text, but I feel like the Koran is going above and beyond.  So far, it lacks substance.

[2.140] Nay! do you say that Ibrahim and Ismail and Yaqoub and the tribes were Jews or Christians? Say: Are you better knowing or Allah? And who is more unjust than he who conceals a testimony that he has from Allah? And Allah is not at all heedless of what you do.

Don't question Allah!  When he tells you something, it is because he knows everything.

[2.141] This is a people that have passed away; they shall have what they earned and you shall have what you earn, and you shall not be called upon to answer for what they did.
[2.142] The fools among the people will say: What has turned them from their qiblah which they had? Say: The East and the West belong only to Allah; He guides whom He likes to the right path.

If he guides whom he likes to the right path, what is the point of trying to convince others they are on the wrong path?  It won't work unless Allah wills it to be so. 

[2.143] And thus We have made you a medium (just) nation that you may be the bearers of witness to the people and (that) the Apostle may be a bearer of witness to you; and We did not make that which you would have to be the qiblah but that We might distinguish him who follows the Apostle from him who turns back upon his heels, and this was surely hard except for those whom Allah has guided aright; and Allah was not going to make your faith to be fruitless; most surely Allah is Affectionate, Merciful to the people.

Once again, whats the point of proselytizing? 

[2.144] Indeed We see the turning of your face to heaven, so We shall surely turn you to a qiblah which you shall like; turn then your face towards the Sacred Mosque, and wherever you are, turn your face towards it, and those who have been given the Book most surely know that it is the truth from their Lord; and Allah is not at all heedless of what they do.

This may be why Muslims face Mecca when they pray.  Qiblah= direction.

[2.145] And even if you bring to those who have been given the Book every sign they would not follow your qiblah, nor can you be a follower of their qiblah, neither are they the followers of each other's qiblah, and if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, then you shall most surely be among the unjust.

Just follow Allah!  Don't let others lead you astray.

[2.146] Those whom We have given the Book recognize him as they recognize their sons, and a party of them most surely conceal the truth while they know (it).

The pesky Jews and Christians try to conceal the prophethood of Mohammad.

[2.147] The truth is from your Lord, therefore you should not be of the doubters.
[2.148] And every one has a direction to which he should turn, therefore hasten to (do) good works; wherever you are, Allah will bring you all together; surely Allah has power over all things.
[2.149] And from whatsoever place you come forth, turn your face towards the Sacred Mosque; and surely it is the very truth from your Lord, and Allah is not at all heedless of what you do.
[2.150] And from whatsoever place you come forth, turn your face towards the Sacred Mosque; and wherever you are turn your faces towards it, so that people shall have no accusation against you, except such of them as are unjust; so do not fear them, and fear Me, that I may complete My favor on you and that you may walk on the right course.

Fear me!  Do what I say! Believe what I say!

[2.151] Even as We have sent among you an Apostle from among you who recites to you Our communications and purifies you and teaches you the Book and the wisdom and teaches you that which you did not know.

Mohammad's mission.

[2.152] Therefore remember Me, I will remember you, and be thankful to Me, and do not be ungrateful to Me.

But remember me.

[2.153] O you who believe! seek assistance through patience and prayer; surely Allah is with the patient.

And pray to me

[2.154] And do not speak of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead; nay, (they are) alive, but you do not perceive.

And remember the martyrs.

[2.155] And We will most certainly try you with somewhat of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits; and give good news to the patient,
[2.156] Who, when a misfortune befalls them, say: Surely we are Allah's and to Him we shall surely return.
[2.157] Those are they on whom are blessings and mercy from their Lord, and those are the followers of the right course.

But Allah reserves the right to test you in whatever manner he wishes.  Even though he knows everything and made everything happen, he will test you just to check you are still a believer.  How thoughtful.  What a way to to ensure that people don't question his existence in times of trouble. Oh, no, He is just testing me.

[2.158] Surely the Safa and the Marwa are among the signs appointed by Allah; so whoever makes a pilgrimage to the House or pays a visit (to it), there is no blame on him if he goes round them both; and whoever does good spontaneously, then surely Allah is Grateful, Knowing.
[2.159] Surely those who conceal the clear proofs and the guidance that We revealed after We made it clear in the Book for men, these it is whom Allah shall curse, and those who curse shall curse them (too).
[2.160] Except those who repent and amend and make manifest (the truth), these it is to whom I turn (mercifully); and I am the Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.
[2.161] Surely those who disbelieve and die while they are disbelievers, these it is on whom is the curse of Allah and the angels and men all;
[2.162] Abiding in it; their chastisement shall not be lightened nor shall they be given respite.
[2.163] And your God is one God! there is no god but He; He is the Beneficent, the Merciful.

And we end today's piece of The Cow with some hell fire and mercy!  Surprised?

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