4: The Women (Part II — Mohammed’s Wager?)
For this post, I’m not even going to bother writing an intro. I’m just going to cut to the chase, and post the single most wonderful sentence I have found in the Quran thus far. When I read it, the clouds parted, the sun came out and birds started chirping. Everyone came out of their houses and did this big synchronized Old Hollywood dance number, as if they’d been rehearsing and waiting all their lives for just this moment. Jews and Muslims hugged. Catholics and Protestants held hands. Gays and lesbians high-fived. Buddhists made out with Hindus. And there were atheists, too! Atheists, rejoicing, weaving through the crowd, saying, “See? It’s not so hard, is it?” Life. Was. Beautiful. All thanks to this one short verse from chapter 4.
171. O people of the Book, do not be fanatical in your faith
Oh. Their God. Do not be fanatical in your faith. I am struck speechless.
…unfortunately for all of us, God had to open his big, fat mouth and fuck it all up:
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.
Well, shit, ya’ll. Back to the Quran as usual. I knew it was too good to be true. To dream a dream…
God wants the Christians to know for, like, the 80,589th time, that the Trinity is a bunch of bullshit. And, holy shit, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually agree with God for a change. Ack. That leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But I’m (half a) man enough to to admit it: the Trinity is a bunch of bullshit.
36. Pay homage to God, and make none His compeer,
and be good to your parents and relatives, the orphans and the needy and the neighbours who are your relatives, and the neighbours who are strangers, and the friend by your side, the traveller and your servants and subordinates.
Thor’s hammer! I agree with God. Again. It burns! It burrrrrns!
Seriously though, read that again, you guys. Those lines are chock fucking full of wholesome goodness. Treat your family well, be kind to your friends and neighbors, help out orphans and needy people? Be nice to travelers and the people who you hold authority over? All wonderful things. I cannot argue with that. The world would probably be a better place if everyone lived by the Golden Rule. But you didn’t need the Quran to tell you that. The idea existed before Mohammed or the Quran, or, hell, even Jesus, who may not have existed at all. But that’s a horse of a Christian color. On with the verse:
God does not surely love those who are arrogant and boastful,
What. The. Hell? Are there are no fucking mirrors in heaven? For someone who is soooo all-knowing, God apparently does not know himself. God does not surely love those who are arrogant and boastful? Is this the same God who reminds us every 2.5 verses that he is the most powerful, the most compassionate, the most benevolent, the most everything ever? Is this that God? That self-aggrandizing, self-obsessed, braggart of a fucking God? And he has the balls to say he doesn’t love those who are arrogant and boastful?
Well, fuck me! The entire Quran is basically a love letter from God to God. It’s about as arrogant and boastful as you can get. Either God has one hell of a sense of humor, or he’s so busy jerking himself off and reminding himself how wonderful he is, that the irony is entirely lost on him. Shitfuckandass, that guy gets me so up in arms. Moving along.
79. What comes to you of good is verily from God; and what comes to you of ill is from your own self (your actions).
All the good things that happen to you? Yup, God does them! (Isn’t he great?) All the bad things that happen to you? Guess what? You do them to yourself. (You’re a fucking idiot.) Circumstance? No such thing! Thank God and blame yourself! What a guy! God, I mean. Not you. You suck, remember?
38. Those who spend of their wealth to show off and do not believe in God and the Last Day, take Satan as companion, and how evil a companion (have they)!
39. Would something have befallen them if they had believed in God and the Last Day, and spent of what has been given them by God? God is fully aware of all they do.
If you’re not with God, you’re obviously with the devil. Would it be so bad if you just shut up and believed in God? Oh hell no. Is it just me, or is verse 39 kind of reminiscent of Pascal’s Wager? I’m sure it’s not intentional — it sounds more like Mohammed whining and being all insecure again. But, still, that’s all I can think of. Hedge your bets; believe in God. Or not:
48. God does not forgive that compeers be ascribed to Him, though He may forgive aught else if He please. And he who ascribes compeers to God is guilty of the gravest sin.
That’s right. The worst sin ever is not disbelief in God. It’s believing that someone else is equal to God. He’ll forgive damn near anything else he wants, because, well, he’s God. Maybe if he’s having a particularly nice day, he’ll even forgive us godless heathens. But if you believe that Jesus was the son of God? You’re committing the gravest sin. Christians: you’re fucked. Do not pass go, do not collect $100 $200, go straight to hell.
Here’s another verse that says the same thing:
116. God does not forgive that compeers be ascribed to Him, and absolves all else whatsoever He will. And he who associates compeers with God has indeed wandered far astray.
See that there? Repetition like that is all over the Quran, and it makes me want to claw my own eyes out. Couldn’t he have one of his angels edit the damn thing down or something? Fucking hell. No wonder nobody reads this boring book.
Anyway, it’s kind of like Pascal’s Wager in reverse: it’s actually a safer bet to believe there’s no God than it is to believe in Jesus. But, wait. What exactly happens if you do believe in Jesus? Aside from the hell and the boiling water and the burning skin? Check it out:
47. O people of the Book, believe in what We have revealed, which confirms what is already with you before We disfigure your visages and turn your faces about and curse you, as We did with those who had broken the Sabbath; and what God decrees comes to pass.
Yes, you read that right: God will fuck your face up! He did it to the Jews who broke the Sabbath, and goddammit, he’ll do it to the Christians who won’t convert to Islam.
Wow. Sounds like the carrot-on-a-stick approach wasn’t working out so well for Mohammed, huh? Christians probably weren’t buying that whole gardens with running water thing. And they probably shit kittens when they found out about all that gay sex with gorgeous young boy-virgins. Some people are into that sort of thing, but not the Christians. At least not in public.
So what does Mohammed do? He throws out the carrot and gives ‘em the stick. Listen to God, or he’ll curse you. Listen to God, or he’ll disfigure your face. Listen to God, or he’ll treat you like….the Jews! Oh, the horror! The horror!!
Other chapter 4 stuff that’s worth discussing:
- God cares about your hygiene. A lot. Remember all the purifying baths people have to take after sex, after periods, after dreams, etc? But what do you do if, say, it’s 650 CE and you’re in the middle of the desert with no access to water? God say it’s OK for you to wash your face with…wholesome dust? Does Mohammed God mean sand? What happens if you get that wholesome sand in your eye? Rinse out your eye with more sand?? I’m just sayin’.
- Hell, hell, and more hell. Mohammed can’t get enough of it. The guy barely says two words about heaven (gardens, rivers), but he totally gets off on talking about hell. Keep in mind that this is the same guy who thought there were evil spirits residing in his bathroom. So, yeah, he’s basically a raving fucking lunatic.
56. And those who disbelieve Our revelations shall be cast into Hell; and when their skin is burnt up and singed, We shall give them a new coat that they may go on tasting the agony of punishment, for God is all-mighty and all-wise.
- Need more justification for jihad? Check it out:
69. Those who obey God and the Prophet are with those who are blessed by God, the prophets, the sincere and the trustful, the martyrs and the upright; and how excellent a company are they!
Ack. The M word. Martyr. I had to check other translations to see what they say:A. J. Arberry 4:69. Whosoever obeys God, and the Messenger — they are with those whom God has blessed, Prophets, just men, martyrs, the righteous; good companions they!Pickthall: 4:69. Whoso obeyeth Allah and the messenger, they are with those unto whom Allah hath shown favour, of the prophets and the saints and the martyrs and the righteous. The best of company are they!
All who obey Allah and the messenger are in the company of those on
whom is the Grace of Allah,- of the prophets (who teach), the sincere
(lovers of Truth), the witnesses (who testify), and the Righteous (who
do good): Ah! what a beautiful fellowship!
- What happens when a Muslim kills another Muslim by mistake? Why, he has to free a Muslim slave, of course! OK a) Where does one find Muslim slaves these days? and b) Why isn’t this verse all about how horrible slavery is and how you should free all slaves regardless of whether they believe in your fucking God or not?
92. It is not for a believer to take a believer’s life except by mistake; and he who kills a believer by mistake should free a slave who is a believer, and pay blood-money to the victim’s family unless they forego it as an act of charity. If he belonged to a community hostile to you but was himself a believer, then a slave who is a believer should be freed. In case he belonged to a people with whom you have a treaty, then give blood-money to his family and free a believing slave. But he who has no means (to do so) should fast for a period of two months continuously to have his sins forgiven by God, and God is all-knowing and all-wise.
And c) What happens if someone kills a Muslim on purpose? That one’s easy: they burn in hell! This book is getting mighty predictable.
93. Any one who kills a believer intentionally will be cast into Hell to abide there for ever, and suffer God’s anger and damnation. For him a greater punishment awaits.
- So lets say you do not convert to Islam, and you die. What happens? Yup. Hell, again. And if you’re a victim of geography? Like say, just hypothetically, you’re born in a super Christian area, and they’ll burn your ass alive if you convert to Islam. What then? God says: Too. Fucking. Bad. The world is huge. You should have moved to a Muslim-friendly area. (See above about how all bad things happen to you because you suck and you deserve them.)
97. As for those whose souls are taken by the angels (at death) while in a state of unbelief, they will be asked by the angels: “What (state) were you in?” They will answer: “We were oppressed in the land.” And the angels will say: “Was not God’s earth large enough for you to migrate?” Their abode will be Hell, and what an evil destination!
- Satan misleads people and orders them to alter God’s creation:
117. In His place they invoke only females (the pagan deities); and instead of Him they invoke Satan the obstinate rebel
118. Who was condemned by God and who said: “I shall take from Thy creatures my determinate share,
119. And mislead them and tempt them, and order them to slit the ears of animals; and order them to alter God’s creation.” He who holds Satan as friend in place of God will assuredly be damned to perdition.
The Skeptic’s Annotated Quran has a note saying that some Muslims interpret that last verse to mean that they can’t pluck their eyebrows or shave their beards. No. Fucking. Way. The SAQ link was broken, but I did a quick Google search. Turns out it’s true. They’re fucking fretting over tweezing eyebrows and shaving beards, and they’re totally ignoring the obvious. One word: circumcision. How is that not altering God’s creation? Plus, why the fuck would God create foreskin if he just wants us to remove it? My conclusion? They stole it from the Jews. Just like everything else. Discuss.
43. O you who believe, do not perform your service of prayer when you are intoxicated until you are sure of what you are saying, nor when in a state of seminal pollution, until you have taken a bath, except when you are travelling. But in case you are ill or are travelling, or you have relieved yourself of nature’s call, or cohabited with a woman, and cannot find water, then take wholesome dust and pass it over your face and hands: God is benign and forgiving.
See that? See how the Yusuf Ali translations is all watered down whereas the other ones just spit it out? That’s the reason Muslim apologists love Yusuf Ali, and hold his translation in such high regard. It’s because he consistently waters down the bullshit and throws in those cute little parenthetical asides to explain what he means. Fuck. That. The Ahmed Ali translation is by no means perfect. I rip on his shit all the time. But Yusuf Ali? I wouldn’t line the bottom of a fucking bird cage with Yusuf Ali’s version. I wouldn’t fucking wipe my ass on the Yusuf Ali version. Actually scratch that. I totally would wipe my ass on the Yusuf Ali version, and we all know it.
Man. This has all the makings of a good drinking game. Every time God banishes you to hell, take a drink. I guarantee you’ll be drowning in your own vomit halfway through any given chapter. (Please don’t actually do this. You will need your stomach pumped.)
Coming up next: stuff about women. Finally. I saved it for last, because I haven’t had the stomach to sit down and do it until now. That’s how awesome it is! Stay tuned for the last post about chapter 4. Whoo!