Sunday, September 26, 2010

Koran: The Family of the Imran, Part 2

[3.31] Say: If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your faults, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful
[3.32] Say: Obey Allah and the Apostle; but if they turn back, then surely Allah does not love the unbelievers.
[3.33] Surely Allah chose Adam and Noah and the descendants of Ibrahim and the descendants of Imran above the nations.
[3.34] Offspring one of the other; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.

Surely we are special because we believe in this story.

[3.35] When a woman of Imran said: My Lord! surely I vow to Thee what is in my womb, to be devoted (to Thy service); accept therefore from me, surely Thou art the Hearing, the Knowing.
[3.36] So when she brought forth, she said: My Lord! Surely I have brought it forth a female-- and Allah knew best what she brought forth-- and the male is not like the female, and I have named it Marium, and I commend her and her offspring into Thy protection from the accursed Shaitan.

Here we have the birth of the Virgin Mary.

[3.37] So her Lord accepted her with a good acceptance and made her grow up a good growing, and gave her into the charge of Zakariya; whenever Zakariya entered the sanctuary to (see) her, he found with her food. He said: O Marium! whence comes this to you? She said: It is from Allah. Surely Allah gives to whom He pleases without measure.
[3.38] There did Zakariya pray to his Lord; he said: My Lord! grant me from Thee good offspring; surely Thou art the Hearer of prayer.
[3.39] Then the angels called to him as he stood praying in the sanctuary: That Allah gives you the good news of Yahya (John)  verifying a Word from Allah, and honorable and chaste and a prophet from among the good ones.
[3.40] He said: My Lord! when shall there be a son (born) to me, and old age has already come upon me, and my wife is barren? He said: even thus does Allah what He pleases.
[3.41] He said: My Lord! appoint a sign for me. Said He: Your sign is that you should not speak to men for three days except by signs; and remember your Lord much and glorify Him in the evening and the morning.

So Mary is entrusted to the care of “Prophet” Zachariah.  She receives food magically.   And for whatever reason, this makes Zachariah want to ask for a child.  Angels respond.  He is told he will have a son despite his old age and his wife being barren.  Sound familiar?  Hints of Abraham, no?  What I like the most about this passage is the “sign” that is given to Zachariah: he will not speak for 3 days.  Self-fulfilling prophecy much?  

[3.42]. And when the angels said: O Marium! surely Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of of the world.
[3.43] O Marium! keep to obedience to your Lord and humble yourself, and bow down with those who bow.
[3.44] This is of the announcements relating to the unseen which We reveal to you; and you were not with them when they cast their pens (to decide) which of them should have Marium in his charge, and you were not with them when they contended one with another.

So Allah has chosen Mary for a special role and must decide upon her “guardianship.”

[3.45] When the angels said: O Marium, surely Allah gives you good news with a Word from Him (of one) whose name is the '. Messiah, Isa son of Marium, worthy of regard in this world and the hereafter and of those who are made near (to Allah).
[3.46] And he shall speak to the people when in the cradle and when of old age, and (he shall be) one of the good ones.
[3.47] She said: My Lord! when shall there be a son (born) to I me, and man has not touched me? He said: Even so, Allah creates what He pleases; when He has decreed a matter, He only says to it, Be, and it is.

And it has been decided that Mary shall bear a son, Jesus.  She (rightfully) questions how this is possible, since she has not been with a man.  The Angel tells her: “When He has decreed a matter, He only says to it, Be, and it is.”  This last statement reminds me of the Godfather for some reason.  

[3.48] And He will teach him the Book and the wisdom and the Tavrat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel).

Allah will teach Jesus.  And Jesus will perform the following miracles:

[3.49] And (make him) an apostle to the children of Israel: That I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I determine for you out of dust like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird with Allah's permission and I heal the blind and the leprous, and bring the dead to life with Allah's permission and I inform you of what you should eat and what you should store in your houses; most surely there is a sign in this for you, if you are believers.

Reading through these passages it is important to remember the haphazard way in which the Koran is organized.  The lack of linear structure is due to: 1) Mohammed supposedly memorizing the pieces as they were revealed to him 2) Others deciding what order to put them down in once it was decided that they should be written down.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t explain the lack of common sense.  

[3.50] And a verifier of that which is before me of the Taurat and that I may allow you part of that which has been forbidden t you, and I have come to you with a sign from your Lord therefore be careful of (your duty to) Allah and obey me.  
[3.51] Surely Allah is my Lord and your Lord, therefore serve Him; this is the right path.

From these statement, we are to ascertain that Jesus is speaking to the Jews and telling them to follow Allah.

[3.52] But when Isa perceived unbelief on their part, he said Who will be my helpers in Allah's way? The disciples said: We are helpers (in the way) of Allah: We believe in Allah and bear witness that we are submitting ones.
[3.53] Our Lord! we believe in what Thou hast revealed and we follow the apostle, so write us down with those who bear witness.
[3.54] And they planned and Allah (also) planned, and Allah is the best of planners.

Jesus has found his disciples.

[3.55] And when Allah said: O Isa, I am going to terminate the period of your stay (on earth) and cause you to ascend unto Me and purify you of those who disbelieve and make those who follow you above those who disbelieve to the day of resurrection; then to Me shall be your return, so l will decide between you concerning that in which you differed.
[3.56] Then as to those who disbelieve, I will chastise them with severe chastisement in this world and the hereafter, and they shall have no helpers.
[3.57] And as to those who believe and do good deeds, He will pay them fully their rewards; and Allah does not love the unjust.
[3.58] This We recite to you of the communications and the wise reminder.

Allah decides to cute Jesus’ stay on earth short.  Belief in Jesus will be another measuring stick for entrance into heaven and hell.  

[3.59] Surely the likeness of Isa is with Allah as the likeness of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, Be, and he was.
[3.60] (This is) the truth from your Lord, so be not of the disputers.
[3.61] But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say: Come let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and our near people and your near people, then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars.
[3.62] Most surely this is the true explanation, and there is no god but Allah; and most surely Allah-- He is the Mighty, the Wise.
[3.63] But if they turn back, then surely Allah knows the mischief-makers.

Every story in the Koran seems to focus on pointing out some aspect of Allah and how, of course it is all true, because Allah said so.  In “The Cow” there was some discussion regarding moral behavior, however this chapter has yet to focus on anything beyond believers vs. disbelievers.  There are about 200 more lines to go so we will see if this changes.

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