3: The Family of Imran (Part II — It’s Jeebux!)
When I was in the 6th grade, a girl in my gym class asked me about my religion. Wait, I take that back. She didn’t ask about my religion. She assumed something about my religion, and wanted me to confirm it for her.
“You people believe in Jesus, too, only you think he’s dark like you, right?”
I shit you not. That’s what this girl asked me. And this wasn’t in the locker rooms after class or something — this was in the middle of class, in front of, like, everyone. I died. But God revived me, and after what felt like 28,349,032 seconds of silence, I quietly explained to her that Muslims do believe that Jesus existed, but they don’t believe he was God’s son. He was just your average prophet, no better or worse than any of the others. And, no, we did not believe that Jesus had blonde hair and blue eyes, because that’s just fucking ig’nant. There was some more silence, and then she went back to her group of friends to tell them about how the little heathen girl doesn’t think Jesus is white.
Little glimpse of my awkward youth, there. Enjoy!
On to Jesus in the Quran. Lets start with a little background:
33. God had chosen Adam and Noah and the families of Abraham and ‘Imran in preference to others.
34. They were descendants of one another; and God hears all and knows everything.
35. Remember, when the wife of ‘Imran prayed: “O Lord, I offer what I carry in my womb in dedication to Your service, accept it, for You hear all and know everything.”
“God hears all and knows everything.” I’m not following the logic. All of the prophets are related to each other. God knows this because he knows everything, and also he heard it somewhere because his hearing is impeccable? I know I’m being nit-picky, but this is driving me batshitass crazy: in the context of this verse, who fucking cares if he hears everything? Does it progress the story at all? No. So why have it in there? Why, God, whhhhhhhy?!
The entire book is just peppered with the same few buzz words: merciful, benevolent, all-knowing. At one point, they even say “God is cognizant.” Cognizant. Seriously? All this repetitive back-patting makes the book a total fucking snore. I think if you take out all the verses where God is greasing up his own dick, the Quran would be less of a book and more of a booklet. But I digress.
Did anyone catch Imran’s pregnant wife’s name in those verses? No? That’s because she doesn’t have one. She’s not important enough to have one, because, whatever, she’s just a woman. And guess what? Her baby is also female. Boooo! Hiss!! Check out her awesome postpartum reaction:
36. And when she had given birth to the child, she said: “O Lord, I have delivered but a girl.”
“Aww shit, it’s only a girl.” Bitch.
But God knew better what she had delivered: A boy could not be as that girl was. “I have named her Mary,” (she said), “and I give her into Your keeping. Preserve her and her children from Satan the ostracized.”
Lo, Mary is born! Lets hope she’s not a big ol’ bitch like her mom who, for whatever reason, gives the girl to God. And she makes it a point to remind God to keep the baby away from Satan. The fuck? He’s God! He’s all-knowing and all-wise! Or not. Turns out God is a pretty forgetful guy after all, but that doesn’t come until later.
37. Her Lord accepted her graciously, and she grew up with excellence, and was given into the care of Zachariah. Whenever Zachariah came to see her in the chamber, he found her provided with food, and he asked: “Where has this come from, O Mary?”
And she said: “From God who gives food in abundance to whomsoever He will.”
God is all about giving free food to people, isn’t he? Remember how he gave the Jews lentils, onions, manna and herbs? God doesn’t tell us what kind of food Mary got, probably because he didn’t want the Jews to get jealous and whiney again.
38. Then prayed Zachariah to his Lord: “O Lord, bestow on me offspring, virtuous and good, for You answer all prayers.”
39. Then the angels said to him as he stood in the chamber at prayer: “God sends you good tidings of John who will confirm a thing from God and be noble, continent, and a prophet, and one of those who are upright and do good.”
40. “How can I have a son, O Lord,” he said, “for I am old and my wife is barren?”
OK, what the hell, God? How come the women are always barren but none of the men have low sperm counts? And all the barren women are super desperate to have children yet none of them are willing to adopt?
“Thus,” came the answer, “God does as He wills.”
41. And Zachariah said: “Give me a token, O Lord.” “The token will be,” was the reply, “that you will speak to no man for three days except by signs; and remember your Lord much, and pray at evening and sunrise.”
Well, shit, it doesn’t take much, does it? God must have been feeling especially benevolent on that day. All Zachariah has to do is shut up for 3 days and pray 6 times, total. Easy peasy. As for me, I would have demanded a week’s worth of foot rubs, or at the very least, another perfect yellow cow. Or, better yet, Zachariah could come and do laundry for me so I wouldn’t be sitting at the laundromat right now with 3 weeks worth of dirty clothes. I’d give him a fucking baby for that.
But it looks like God has an ulterior motive. He’s lenient on Zachariah because God is waaaaay into Mary. He sends down some angels to tell her how great and perfect and wonderful she is:
42. The angels said: “O Mary, indeed God has favoured you and made you immaculate, and chosen you from all the women of the world.
Cute, right? And just when you think he’s going to ask her out for coffee or something:
45. When the angels said: “O Mary, God gives you news of a thing from Him, for rejoicing, (news of one) whose name will be Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, illustrious in this world and the next, and one among the honoured,
46. Who will speak to the people when in the cradle and when in the prime of life, and will be among the upright and doers of good.”
47. She said: “How can I have a son, O Lord, when no man has touched me?”
Shazaam! You’re pregnant! No dinner and a movie or anything…
Note how both times it says that angels come to Mary. Angels, plural. And then check out the same story from Chapter 19:
19:16. Commemorate Mary in the Book. When she withdrew from her family to a place in the East
19:17. And took cover from them, We sent a spirit of Ours to her who appeared before her in the concrete form of a man.
19:18. “I seek refuge in the Merciful from you, if you fear Him,” she said.
19:19. He replied: “I am only a messenger from your Lord (sent) to bestow a good son on you.”
19:20. “How can I have a son,” she said, “when no man has touched me, nor am I sinful?”
Yup. One angel. And notice that she wasn’t tossed out by her mother to be taken care of by the invisible man in the sky — she withdrew from her family, which sounds totally voluntary. A mistake? In the infallible Quran? No. Way.
According to the Quran, God can just cancel out old verses whenever he feels like it. Ye olde abrogation clause from chapter 2, remember? So how in the fucking hell are you supposed to know which verse to keep and which one to cancel out? And you certainly can’t believe only some parts of the book and ignore others — God’s rule, not mine — or else you’re going to hell where you will burn, baby, burn. What’s a Muslim to do? Answer: close your eyes, plug your fingers in your ears, and say LALALALA!, or if you’re feeling especially feisty, threaten to kill anyone who points out the inconsistencies in all-knowing God’s infallible fucking word.
Moving right along. God tells us what Jeebux, er, Jesus will be like when he grows up, only he tells us in Jesus’ own words. Weird, right? That’s the Quran for ya!
49. And he will be Apostle to the children of Israel, (saying) ‘I have come to you with a prodigy from your Lord that I will fashion the state of destiny out of mire for you, and breathe (a new spirit) into it, and (you) will rise by the will of God. I will heal the blind and the leper, and infuse life into the dead, by the leave of God. I will tell you what you devour and what you hoard in your homes. In this will be a portent for you if you do believe.
Holy hell. Jesus is as arrogant as God is. No wonder people think they’re related.
50. I (have come to) confirm the truth of the Torah which was sent down before me, and make certain things lawful which have been forbidden until now; and I come to you with a sign from your Lord; so be fearful of God and follow me.
Hang on a sec. Jesus has come to confirm and revise the Torah. Change around some laws, loosen the reigns a little, as per God’s direction, of course. I don’t get it. Why not just reveal the right laws the first time around? Save everyone a lot of time and paperwork? Cui bono?
51. Surely God is my Lord, and your Lord, so worship Him; and this is the right path.
52. When Jesus perceived their unbelief he asked: “Who will help me in the way of God?” “We,” the disciples answered, “shall be the helpers of God. We believe in God; and you be our witness that we submit and obey.
53. “O Lord, we believe in Your revelations and follow this Apostle. Enroll us among the witnesses.”
Wow. That was easy. Where’s the drama, the suspense? I was expecting them to put up a fight for a little while, maybe draw it out a little longer, play hard to get, but no. They go from “unbelief” to Jesus’ cheerleaders in all of 2 seconds.
54. But they (the unbelievers) contrived a plot, and God did the like; and God’s plan is the best.
Woah woah woooooah. God hatches plans and schemes against people? The fuck? I thought everything was preordained and predestined. What happened to all this talk of kismet? Not only is God trying to fuck up people’s plans, he’s absolutely giddy at how much better he is at plotting and scheming. Even though he’s a fucking god and it should kinda go without saying that he’s better at everything. Jesus H. Christ. What will Mohammed think of next?
I had to skip ahead a little to find out. Here’s what happens to Jesus in chapter 4:
4:155. So they do not believe but a few;
4:156. And because they denied and spoke dreadful calumnies of Mary;
4:157. And for saying: “We killed the Christ, Jesus, son of Mary, who was an apostle of God;” but they neither killed nor crucified him, though it so appeared to them. Those who disagree in the matter are only lost in doubt. They have no knowledge about it other than conjecture, for surely they did not kill him,
4:158. But God raised him up (in position) and closer to Himself; and God is all-mighty and all-wise.
Double you. Tee. Eff. I keep saying you can’t make shit like this up, but obviously you can.
Jesus didn’t die on the cross, you fucking morons. No no, he wasn’t even crucified. There was a cross, yes, and someone was crucified on it, but it wasn’t Jesus. It was someone else. It was a Jesus doppelganger! Ha! The real Jesus is still alive — he’s hanging out with God. They’re sitting up there in heaven, wearing fancy silk robes, sucking down fruit and wine, waiting for the Day of Judgement. Don’t believe it? You’re just lost in doubt.
You know who else is lost in doubt? Anyone who believes in the Holy Trinity:
4:171. O people of the Book, do not be fanatical in your faith, and say nothing but the truth about God. The Messiah who is Jesus, son of Mary, was only an apostle of God, and a command of His which He sent to Mary, as a mercy from Him. So believe in God and His apostles, and do not call Him ‘Trinity’. Abstain from this for your own good; for God is only one God, and far from His glory is it to beget a son. All that is in the heavens and the earth belongs to Him; and sufficient is God for all help.
O people of the Book, do not be fanatical in your faith? How’s that for irony? Take your own advice, Muslims. By the way, Christians, it goes on to say that anyone who believes in the Trinity is going to hell. Sucks, right? Hey, at least you’ll be in good company. You can go to hell for pretty much anything in Islam.
I guess God was pretty worried about the Christians making Jesus his son, because most of the other Jesus verses address that issue:
5:72. They are surely infidels who say: “God is the Christ, son of Mary.” But the Christ had only said: “O children of Israel, worship God who is my Lord and your Lord.” Whosoever associates a compeer with God, will have Paradise denied to him by God, and his abode shall be Hell; and the sinners will have none to help them.
5:75. The Christ, son of Mary, was but an apostle, and many apostles had (come and) gone before him; and his mother was a woman of truth. They both ate the (same) food (as men). Behold, how We show men clear signs, and behold, how they wander astray!
9:30. The Jews say: “Ezra is the son of God;” the Christians say: “Christ is the son of God.” That is what they say with their tongues following assertions made by unbelievers before them. May they be damned by God: How perverse are they!
19:35. It does not behove God to have a son. Too immaculate is He! When He decrees a thing He has only to say: “Be”, and it is.
and one more, straight from God’s Mohammed’s Jesus’s mouth:
5:116. And when God will ask: “O Jesus, son of Mary, did you say to mankind: ‘Worship me and my mother as two deities apart from God?’ (Jesus) will answer: “Halleluja. Could I say what I knew I had no right (to say)? Had I said it You would surely have known, for You know what is in my heart though I know not what You have. You alone know the secrets unknown.
5:117. I said nought to them but what You commanded me: Worship God, my Lord and your Lord. And so long as I dwelt with them I was witness over their actions. And after my life had been done, You were their keeper; and You are a witness over all things.
5:118. If You punish them, indeed they are Your creatures; if You pardon them, indeed You are mighty and wise.”
Shit, I don’t know, guys, it sounds a little scripted if you ask me.
Here’s the deal: you have a group of people who already have a god. They’re not in the market for a new religion, so how can you get them to drop that god for your god? You don’t. You tell them that their god is the same as your god, and you co-opt their traditions. You steal their mythology and give it your own special twist. You don’t sell them a whole new God — you just talk them into getting an upgrade. It’s how the pagan Arabs did it for centuries before Islam was concocted. And it’s how the Christians did it. A few centuries later, Mohammed shows up, and does the same thing.
Mohammed needs Jesus to make him look legit. But then there’s the whole issue of explaining the Trinity, which places Jesus at a higher level than Mohammed. Son of God trumps prophet of God every time. So Mohammed gets rid of the Trinity altogether in an attempt to equalize all the prophets, and there you have it.
Islam — God version 3.0.
That’s all I have about Jesus, folks.
Coming up next: chapter 4, The Women. Ahhh shit. Even the title is getting me pissy. I’m pretty sure I’ll have plenty to say about that one. Stay tuned!
OK, I know I just said that I was going to move on to chapter 4, but I paged through my Quran again and realized I’d totally forgotten about the war verses. They were written sometime after the Battle of Badr and they’re pretty fucking intense. Believe it or not (my money’s on “not”), angels fought in the battle. It’s so fucking ridiculous that it’s worth examining. I’ll save The Women for another post.
Coming up next: The Battle of Badr, which, again, has absolutely nothing to do with The Family of Imran. Who named this shit?