5: The Feast (Part II — The verse that rocked my world.)
I have a confession to make. You may want to sit down for this: I, Kafir Girl, have been totally desecrating my Quran. It’s not like I’ve been going out of my way to shit on the book or anything, because, ew, I still have to read the damn thing. It’s just that I’ve been carrying it around with me everywhere; it’s bound to get a little dirty.
I’ve sat on it, I’ve used it as a footrest, I’ve read it while sitting on the toilet. I’ve put it on the floor, and later found my dog using it as a pillow. I’ve written “What the fuck?” and “This is retarded” in the margins. And then there was the worst offense ever: I ate dinner at the coffee table and I set my plate down on top of the Quran. …and I accidentally spilled a little pork chop juice on the cover. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being gardens and streams of flowing rivers, and 10 being an endless lake of fire, I would say I’ve earned about an 8.
I mention all of this because there’s been a lot of talk about desecrating communion wafers and Qurans lately, and I felt that I should fess up. And also let any Muslims know that I have not been struck by lightning or turned into a pig or anything. Not even when I let my dog lick the pork chop juice off the Quran’s cover. Seriously. Get over it. It’s just a fucking book.
And a super boring book at that. Things are getting mighty repetitive, and I have to re-read things a few times to actually soak up anything. It’s all the same blahddey blah blah God-hell-Mohammed talk, and I get bored. And when I get bored, I fall asleep, pen in hand, Quran on face (this, too, would be considered desecration).
I did, however, just stumble onto a verse that is so awesome, so right, that it deserved a post of its own. To be fair, it’s actually 2 consecutive verses; together they form one really simple thought. It’s a gold nugget floating in a sea of turds, and it’s definitely worth discussing. Ready for it? Here you go:
101. O believers, do not ask about things which, if made known to you, may vex you. But if you ask about them when the Qur’an is being revealed they will be unfolded to you. God has overlooked (your failings) in this (respect), for God is forgiving and forbearing.
102. Such things were asked by a people before you, but they disbelieved them afterwards.
I’m having that Flintstones moment again. The one where everything goes all quiet and all I can hear is the sound of my blinking. Blink blink. Blink. Is it just me, or did God just make a big booboo? He just told people not to ask too many questions, or else they may lose their faith. What they learn might trouble them. It’s happened before, and it has made people lose their faith.
Holy. Shit. I finally came across something in the Quran that actually makes some sense: asking questions leads to learning, which in turn leads to knowledge, and knowledge can make you lose your faith!
I had to check some other translations to make sure this wasn’t watered down too much. There are those suspicious (words) in (parentheses) that are kind of a red flag, because Ahmed Ali is a (fucking) apologist. Here are two versions. The first is the Yusuf Ali translation, which, like Ahmed Ali’s translation, is one of the most widely accepted versions in the world:
101. O ye who believe! Ask not questions about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble. But if ye ask about things when the Qur’an is being revealed, they will be made plain to you, Allah will forgive those: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Forbearing.
102. Some people before you did ask such questions, and on that account lost their faith.
And, just for fun, here’s the Progressive Muslims translation, which is definitely not widely accepted, but it’s good for comparison:
101. O you who believe, do not ask about things which, if revealed to you, would harm you; and if you ask about them after the Quran has been sent down, then they will become clear to you. God pardons for them, and God is Forgiving, Compassionate.
102. A people before you had asked the same, then they became rejecters in it.
Check, and check. Both versions are really similar to the Ahmed Ali version. Bingo.
In a nutshell, this is what Mohammed is saying: oh my fucking God, why won’t these people stop asking me questions? Whhhhy? How the hell am I supposed to answer these things? I don’t even know basic biology and I think the earth is flat. I’m totally making this shit up as I go along. If they keep asking questions, I am royally fucked. Better tell ‘em God doesn’t want them to ask anything, or else they’ll never stop.
Dayum. Insecure much? If he wasn’t such a fucking asshole, I might even feel sorry for him. It can’t be easy starting a religion. I mean, if someone tries to tell me that God is his BFF, I would not believe him. I would think he was a lunatic. I would have a hell of a lot of questions, and I’d want serious answers. I imagine the Arabs did, too. I imagine that Mo was making shit up, and someone busted his ass. Maybe that’s why he hates it when people question religion. Questions exposed him for the fraud he really was.
I turned to the hadith to maybe get a little insight into what Mohammed might have been like. Hadith are, in my opinion, nothing but hearsay, so take that for what it’s worth. Check it out:
Volume 1, Book 3, Number 92:
Narrated Abu Musa:
The Prophet was asked about things which he did not like, but when the questioners insisted, the Prophet got angry. He then said to the people, “Ask me anything you like.” A man asked, “Who is my father?” The Prophet replied, “Your father is Hudhafa.” Then another man got up and said, “Who is my father, O Allah’s Apostle ?” He replied, “Your father is Salim, Maula (the freed slave) of Shaiba.” So when ‘Umar saw that (the anger) on the face of the Prophet he said, “O Allah’s Apostle! We repent to Allah (Our offending you).”
I get that one. Mohammed was no Sylvia Browne. He couldn’t do a cold read. But in that case, why not just say, “I can’t answer that because I wasn’t there when your mom fucked your dad. Idiot. I’m not God.” It would have made the guys feels like such jackasses, and it would have made Mohammed a little credible. OK maybe not credible. How about just a little less crazy?
Volume 2, Book 24, Number 555:
The clerk of Al-Mughira bin Shu’ba narrated, “Muawiya wrote to Al-Mughira bin Shu’ba: Write to me something which you have heard from the Prophet (p.b.u.h) .” So Al-Mughira wrote: I heard the Prophet saying, “Allah has hated for you three things:
1. Vain talks, (useless talk) that you talk too much or about others.
2. Wasting of wealth (by extravagance)
3. And asking too many questions (in disputed religious matters) or asking others for something (except in great need).
God hates vain talk? The fuck? You know who’s totally full of vain, useless talk? God. Someone please show him the Quran, so he’ll shut the hell up, once and for all. Please. Also, God hates extravagance? OK, whatever, easy solution: he should take away the excess money that people are spending extravagantly to even things out a little. *Poof* Problem solved. But he doesn’t do it. Why? Because he’s too fucking busy not existing.
And, of course, God hates it when people ask too many questions over disputed religious matters. Or wait. Mohammed says God hates it. And that’s good enough for most people. Here’s another one:
Volume 3, Book 41, Number 591:
Narrated Al-Mughira bin Shu’ba:
The Prophet said, “Allah has forbidden for you,
(1) to be undutiful to your mothers,
(2) to bury your daughters alive,
(3) to not pay the rights of the others (e.g. charity, etc.) and
(4) to beg of men (begging).
And Allah has hated for you
(1) vain, useless talk, or that you talk too much about others,
(2) to ask too many questions, (in disputed religious matters) and
(3) to waste the wealth (by extravagance).
Don’t be undutiful to your mothers? OK, I can sort of get behind that. Within certain limits, anyway. I love my momma, but she’s been wrong about stuff before. I wouldn’t just blindly accept anything she told me. If I did, I wouldn’t be here calling Mohammed a bitch, would I?
Don’t bury your daughters alive. I like that one. I can get behind that 110%. In fact I can one-up it. How’s about this: don’t treat women like a fucking commodity. Don’t turn them into a throw-away item, so you won’t see your daughters as a useless extra mouth to feed. Don’t treat your daughters as a liability. Treat women like full-fledged human beings, so that when you have a baby girl, it’s not easier to just fucking bury her and get it over with. How’s that for an idea?
Don’t pay charity on behalf of others and don’t resort to begging? The fuck? If someone has extra money lying around, and God doesn’t want them to spend it extravagantly, doesn’t it make sense for them to give a little extra to charity? Wouldn’t it potentially keep more people from begging? Two birds, one stone. Fuckin’ A. God has no foresight.
((Correction: as Gregory pointed out, I read that part about charity wrong. I read a double negative where there wasn’t one. So scratch that last bit. God wants people to give to charity, and he does not want people begging. Good thing I never claimed to be free of doubt or involution, huh? Thanks, Gregory!))
And again, Muslims, don’t ask too much about disputed religious matters. You might learn something. And a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, because it makes you distrust some desert yokel who comes in claiming to have a direct line to God. Don’t question Islam, because it crumbles under scrutiny. Or grow a pair and ask yourself this: cui bono? Who benefits from this arrangement? But be careful. You might fucking learn something. And that’s never done anyone any good, has it?
Coming up next: Jeebux. This time I mean it. No diversions. Stay tuned!