9: Repentance (Part I — This chapter sucks balls.)
I took a solid hour to write out this cute little intro about repentance and sin, and just as I was about to start digging in to chapter 9, I scrapped it. I hit delete and I got up and walked away. I went to get some coffee, I air drummed to Phil Collins, I picked my toes, I battled the rancor, I sent KafirBoy so many text messages that he could probably get a restraining order against me. Is it possible to sexually harass your own husband? I was willing to find out.
Now it’s been just over 24 hours since I first sat down to pound chapter 9 out, and I’ve only made it to verse 5. Verse 5…out of 130. Why, you ask? Whhhhy?? Because Chapter 9 contains such a concentration of hatred and ugliness and big fucking piles of bullshit that I don’t even know where to start. That’s why. And a funny little intro to a chapter like this just felt wrong.
I don’t want to be a whiner — I mean, we get enough of that from the Jews in the Quran. But chapter 9 fucking sucks balls. In an entire book full of ball-sucking chapters, chapter 9 is by far the ball-suckiest one so far. It’s really hard to be lighthearted and silly all the time when the subject matter is all doom and fucking gloom. Especially since every time I sit down to write, it makes me feel like I’ll puke up every thing I’ve ever eaten since kindergarten.
Anyway, I realize that if I don’t get started on it now, we’ll just be stuck here forever. Grab some Advil and get ready to pop a blood vessel. Lets fucking do this already before I blast Phil Collins again.
First off, I think Repentance is a total misnomer. This chapter should be called Fight. Seriously. The words repent and repentance show up 10 times. Fight and Fighting? 17 times. And just for procrastination fun, I checked out a couple more words:
- Punishment = 8
- Mercy = 3
- Pain = 6
- Joy = 1
- Hell = 10
- Heaven = 1
That mention of heaven, by the way, is not even in a positive context:
127. Indeed God has turned their hearts away (from the truth), for they cannot discern the law of heaven.
Yup. One mention of heaven and it’s all about how God has turned off peoples’ hearts to Islam. That’s the kind of chapter this is.
It actually doesn’t even start out like all the other chapters so far. The usual “In the name of Allah, most benevolent, ever-merciful” is missing in action. And it’s not just my Ahmed Ali translation either. It’s missing from every translation I checked — both the English and Arabic. So either this is a mistake in the Quran(!) or Mo forgot to tip his hat to God in this revelation. Orrrrr he finally realized that God is neither merciful nor benevolent, and he left that shit out on purpose!
OK, fine, that last one is probably just wishful thinking on my part. The sheer number of God is fucking greats in this chapter more than make up for the missing verse. I looked up Muslim reactions to chapter 9′s unusual kickoff and most of them seem to think that old Mo left it out on purpose. Why? Because. Chock it up to another one of those mysteries of God, I guess. Mohammed doesn’t make mistakes.
As far as chronological order goes, there is some disagreement about which chapter was the last to be revealed. They’re all pretty much the same shit repeated over and over again, so I can understand the confusion. Most sites I checked agree that Chapter 9 was one of the last of Mohammed’s revelations. WikiIslam lists it as the second last.
One thing that all the sites agree on is this: chapter 9 was revealed at a time when Mohammed was a force to be reckoned with. He was a political, religious and military leader. Oh, and he was also king of the douchebags. That one wasn’t really on any of the sites, but I thought I’d throw it in anyway. Anyway, Mohammed had established some peace treaties with the pagans in his area. Sort of a you scratch my back / I won’t rip your head off deal. Check it out:
(1) IMMUNITY is granted those idolators by God and his Apostle with whom you have a treaty.
(2) (They can) move about for four months freely in the land, but should know they cannot escape (the law of) God, and that God can put the unbelievers to shame.
So God gives these pagans four months of freedom to roam around as needed. But he wants them to know that he’s doing it reluctantly. And that he could punish them if he wanted to. He’s just been really, really busy lately with all that nothing he does up in heaven.
(3) A general proclamation is (made) this day of the Greater Pilgrimage on the part of God and His Apostle, that God is not bound (by any contract) to idolaters, nor is His Apostle. It is, therefore, better for you to repent. If you do not, remember that you cannot elude (the grip of) God. So announce to those who deny the truth the news of painful punishment,
Yup. God’s all about that abrogation shit, huh? After those four months, all contracts with the pagans are null and void. God and Mohammed are off the hook, and the pagans are, um, about to be on the hook.
By the way, I don’t think God was legally bound to any contract to begin with. Did the pagans get him to sign anything? Did he sign it “God” or “Allah” or one of his other 99 names? Did lightening come out of the sky and leave a big X on the paper? Or, since God is too busy and important to deal with this kind of thing himself, maybe he asked Mohammed to sign for him.
Can you imagine the looks on the pagans’ faces if he brought that shit up? “Oh, uh, listen pagans. God told me to just go ahead and sign for him. He was totally going to be here today, but he has all this shit going. One of the fire generators in hell overheated and now the whole back corner is cooling down. So, you know, I’ll take care of it for him. I’ll just use this blue pen — that way his is in blue, and mine is in black. And I’ll make his o’s the way he makes them. His o’s are loopier than mine. Oh, don’t worry, we do this all the time. He’s a busy guy.”
Anyway, after God revokes the treaty, he starts spouting off about repenting and punishment. If the pagans do not turn away from sin and turn to God, they will be punished. Painfully. Ooooh ominous! In other words, if they don’t convert to Islam, they’re in trouble. And here I thought there was no compulsion in religion! Where the fuck did I get such a silly idea? Oh, I know! I got it from the fucking Quran:
(2:256) There is no compulsion in matter of faith.
So just a few short chapters back, God said you can’t force someone into converting. And now he’s forcing the pagans to convert to Islam by giving them the choice of conversion or death. Again, I’d like to bring up this verse:
(2:2) This is a book free from doubt and involution
Seriously? No doubt or complexity in this here book? Seriously?? Well, what the fuck is all of that up there? One minute there’s no compulsion in religion, and then next it’s the Godfather ultimatum. The offer they can’t refuse: convert to Islam or else. Doubt! Complexity!! The Quran is full of shit.
(4) Except those idolaters with whom you have a treaty, who have not failed you in the least, nor helped anyone against you. Fulfil your obligations to them during the term (of the treaty). God loves those who take heed for themselves.
The only pagans who are exempt from painful punishment are the ones who haven’t done anything to piss Mohammed off. No, not God. Mohammed. It’s all about Mohammed. Seriously. Read verse 4 again: Except those idolaters with whom you have a treaty, who have not failed you in the least, nor helped anyone against you. It’s like Mo’s not even trying to hide it anymore.
OK, this is where I’m confused even further. This verse seems to imply that some of the pagans actually struck the first blow by breaking the treaties. And that the Muslims were giving them four months to hightail it before hunting them down. But I can’t find a single fucking thing aside from really general statements like this:
This verse was revealed during a historical period when the small Muslim community had entered into treaties with neighboring tribes (Jewish, Christian, and pagan). Several of the pagan tribes had violated the terms of their treaty, secretly aiding an enemy attack against the Muslim community.
Um, details please? Like when? And which tribes? And what enemy attack? Why can’t I find a single fact anywhere? Again with the doubt and complexity. I mean, maybe it actually happened like the Quran claims. Maybe a bunch of asshole pagans made a treaty with the Muslims, and then secretly helped attack the Muslims. It could have happened. Now here’s my question: why the fuck didn’t anyone write anything down?! And if they did, why don’t the Muslim apologists have some goddamn references when they make their neat little claims that the pagans struck first?
It would seriously help this shit make a tad more sense if there was some evidence that any of it actually happened. But then again, this is religion we’re talking about. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to begin with.
(5) But when these months, prohibited (for fighting), are over, slay the idolaters wheresoever you find them, and take them captive or besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every likely place. But if they repent and fulfil their devotional obligations and pay the zakat, then let them go their way, for God is forgiving and kind.
Ohhhhhhhhh. Their. Fucking. God. There is so much that is so wrong with that verse. It gave me hernias on my eyeballs having to read it over and over. Lets break it down one line at a time, OK? Anything more than that and these poor peepers might explode.
(5) But when these months, prohibited (for fighting), are over,
That’s the four months God was talking about earlier. The more I think about it, the more I realize how fucking ridiculous that four month ceasefire is. I mean, if God has predestined everything those pagans are going to do, what’s the fucking point of dragging that shit on for four months? Why not just *poof* knock down the ones who weren’t going to become Muslims anyway? And let everyone else live? Why go through this whole four month song and dance number?
slay the idolaters wheresoever you find them, and take them captive or besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every likely place.
And that right there is the infamous sword verse that Osama bin Laden is so in love with. This shit is from Ahmed Fucking Ali, apologist extraordinaire, and it’s still so in your face about killing people. I checked out a couple of other translations just to make sure he didn’t water it down too much:
A. J. Arberry:
(5) Then, when the sacred months are drawn away, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush.
(5) Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush.
(5) But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war);
So Ahmed Ali did soften the blow a tiny bit — he didn’t actually use the word ambush. Not that it matters much. Look at that fucking verse again. Slay the idolaters wheresoever you find them. Kill em all. Take them captive or besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every likely place. Trap them and take them as captives. Hide out and wait for them to come by so you can take them out. No amount of watering down can disguise what that says.
But if they repent and fulfil their devotional obligations and pay the zakat, then let them go their way,
Devotional obligations? The fuck?? Here’s the AJ Arberry translation, which is a little more straightforward:
A. J. Arberry:
But if they repent, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms, then let them go their way; God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.
Repent. Perform the prayer. Pay the alms. Notice that it doesn’t say “a prayer.” It says “the prayer.” As in the Muslim prayer. As in convert to Islam. Unless you want the Muslims will kill you. Yeah.
You know how a lot of Muslims get all defensive when someone says Islam is a convert-or-die religion? How do they explain that verse? I was curious, so I looked it up. The usual excuse is that it’s taken out of context. But is it really?
Here’s what those verses say: some pagans broke a treaty with Mohammed so God gave them had 4 months to get their shit together before the Muslims went after them. If the pagans converted to Islam, they’re safe. If they didn’t? Slay the idolaters wheresoever you find them.
How the fuck is that not convert or die? ‘Splain that to me.
This is right around the time when the word Islamophobe gets tossed out. It’s like the Muslim wildcard. You’re saying that Islam is not a religion of peace? Islamophobe! That word makes me gag. So does Islamofacism. Fuck that shit. I’m making up my own word: anyone who uses the words Islamophobe and Islamofacism is an Islamotard. Actually, scratch that. I checked UrbanDictionary and Islamotard is taken. Boo! Hiss! I like my definition better.
By the way, I was totally not kidding when I said Osama bin Laden loves verse 5. It’s in his 1996 fatwa:
The most Exalted said in the verse of As-Sayef, The Sword: “so when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters where ever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush” (At-Tauba; 9:5).
Oh, and also in a 1993 sermon:
“Praise be to Allah who revealed the verse of the Sword to his servant and messenger [the Prophet Muhammad], in order to establish truth and abolish falsehood. Praise be to Allah who said ‘When the sacred months are over, kill the idolaters wherever you find them, take them captive, lay siege to them and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent and perform the prayers and give alms, let them go. For God is most forgiving and merciful.’
Wow. I don’t even know what to say.
…wait, yes I do: Osama bin Laden is a fucking Islamophobe for taking the Quran’s verses out of context, right? Right??
Also, what the fuck was God thinking? If he predestined everything like Islam says he did, it means he wanted people to use those verses as justification for genocidal sprees against non-Muslims. He fucking wanted it. And if that’s not what he wanted, then there’s no such thing as predestiny and God’s a liar.
And if God is all-knowing, then he would have seen this shit coming a mile away. He would have known that idiots would use verses from his book to fuck shit up, and he would have put a disclaimer at the beginning of the chapter. You don’t need much: This is just for Mohammed and his situation with pagan tribes X, Y and Z in the year. Do not, for fucks sake, try to apply this to any situation outside of that specific situation. Nowhere in chapter 9 does it say that slaying the idolaters is only for Mohammed. And guess what? There’s no fucking time limit. Slay away!
Also, that whole you have to learn Arabic to really get the Quran shit doesn’t fly one bit in this case, does it? This might come as a shock to you, so brace yourself: Osama bin Laden speaks fluent Arabic. And so do a lot of other Arabic-fucking-speakers who are hell-bent (or is it heaven-bent?) on the destruction of all non-Muslims. So fuck anyone who comes on here touting that pile of bullshit. They’ve read this book in Arabic and they didn’t walk away thinking Islam is the religion of peace and that killing anyone is a sin.
So why exactly doesn’t God make it 110% clear so there’s no doubt as to what these verses are talking about? Whhhhy? I’ll tell you why: it’s really hard to recite or reveal anything when you don’t fucking exist. Mohammed was a goddamned opportunist. He saw an opening and he took it. God conveniently released him from his contractual obligations and gave him permission to wipe out anyone who would raise a stink about it. He could never have guessed that 1400 years later, some other shithead would use the same fucking verses to further his own agenda. Or that a bunch of other shitheads would coin the phrase Islamophobe to scare people into not talking about it.
Bah fucking humbug. That’s all I have for this post. I realize at this rate, we might be stuck on chapter 9 for a while, but there’s a lot to discuss. A lot lot. Coming up next: more hate, more ugliness, more bullshit. Stay tuned.