KafirGirl

We read the Quran so you don’t have to.

10: Jonah (Afterlife rules, life drools.)

with 47 comments

Sorry this post has taken so long to get up.  I’ve been having, erm, issues. I read the news a lot.  And I watch it on the internets, and follow a lot of political blogs.  The election coverage has, as of late, been causing me severe anxiety.  Heartburn, chronic headache, can’t-fucking-sleep-at-night kind of anxiety.

The more I read, the worse I freak out.  Is it fucking November yet?  My delicate system can’t handle this kind of pressure.  I seriously considered asking my doctor to put me on Xanax or something, but I decided that a stiff drink before bedtime would do the trick.  And that, my babies, is why I’ve been slow on the posting.  Blame Sarah Palin.

That’s the most you’ll get out of me as far as the election goes.  We’ve got more boring things to discuss here.  Namely the Quran.

Chapter 10 is titled Jonas, after the Weezer song the Old Testament guy who was swallowed up by a whale.  It’s technically not titled Jonas in Ahmed Ali’s translation — it’s titled Jonah. The Online Quran Project, which I use to pull my text from, and some other sites have it listed as Jonas with an s, so I thought I’d point that out.  Jonah or Jonas, whoever the hell he was, only shows up in couple of verses.  And so far there’s no mention of any whales.

The title of this post is God’s sentiment, by the way, not mine, but I’m pretty sure you all figured that out already.  I took the liberty of paraphrasing.  God has this thing with being incredibly long-winded and boring, and I like to cut to the chase.  You’re welcome.  This post covers a topic that comes up over and over (and over and over; repetitive book, remember?) throughout the Quran.  Life is not special, and if you enjoy it, you’ll go to hell.  Lets jump right in:

(7) As for those who do not hope to meet Us (after death), and are content with the life of this world, who are oblivious of Our signs,
(8) Will have Hell as their abode for what they have earned.

God starts out by saying that if you like your life, you’re just oblivious of his signs.  What signs?  Never you mind, Nosy McGee.  God’s got just the  place for people like you — people who dare to be content with this life. That’s right: you’re going to hell!  Do not pass go, do not collect $200, go straight the fuck to hell.  (I’ll see you there.  High five!)

Either way, God doesn’t explain these signs which is basically like saying, “If you can’t see them, you just don’t get it.” I imagine if God really made man in his own image, the signs would be something like, “Look at that tree. You think that tree just popped up outta nowhere?”

Here’s something I’m realizing more and more with each chapter:  God thinks people are assholes.  And lately, thanks to religiots, I’m finding myself in agreement with the big guy.  Gnashing of teeth, furrowing of brow, etc.  We don’t agree often — God and I — and when we do, it burrrrrns!  Check out this verse:

(12) When man is afflicted with adversity he calls to Us, whether lying on his side, or sitting or standing. But when We take away his troubles, he moves away, as though he had never called to Us in affliction. In the same way, attractive have been made their deeds to the prodigals.

OK, back to not agreeing.  I call bullshit on that verse.  Look in any church, any mosque and you’ll see a boatload of people doing exactly the opposite of what that verse says.  God cures their cancers, gives them promotions at work, makes them win the lottery, and helps talk their wives into giving them blowjobs on their birthdays.  Everywhere you look, people are giving way too much credit to God, thanking him for every fucking piddly little thing that happens to them.  If anything people are too grateful to God while being assholes to the people around them.  And “good” Muslims pray 5 times a day — that 5 times a day of divine asskissing.  Plus, look at Job.  People think that guy was the shit, boils and all.  So what the hell is God talking about man moving away when God takes away his troubles?

(23) But when He rescues them, they commit excesses in the land unjustly again. Your rebellion, O people, shall recoil back on your own selves. The joys of the world (are only ephemeral): You have to come back to Us in the end. We shall then inform you what you were doing.

Oh the religious folks loooooove pulling this one out.  God does so much for you, but you — you ungrateful little sinner — do not thank him and love him unconditional.  You just keep on sinnin’ because you love sin so much.  Life is short, eternity is forever.  Burn, baby, burn.  And it’s not just the Muslims that pull this shit.  I’m looking at you, fundagelicals, hanging out in the park near my office with your stupid REPENT! signs, spewing hate and thrusting pamphlets at people walking to work.

(24) The life of the world is like the rain that waters the crops of the earth which are used as food by men and cattle. But when the earth is embellished and adorned with gold, and its tillers begin to feel that (the crops) are under control, Our command descends suddenly at night or in the day, and We mow them down as though there was nothing there yesterday. This is how We distinctly explain Our signs to those who think.

That God is one hell of a poet, huh?  The life of the world is like the rain, and God will mow everyone down because….well, because. How very fucking mysterious!  The only thing I get out of that verse is that God is kind of a bastard.  But, again, I had that one figured out a while ago.  Nothing to see here, moving right along.

(42) Some of them listen to you: But can you make the deaf hear who do not understand a thing?
(43) Some of them look toward you: But can you show the blind the way even when they cannot see?

Of course you can’t.  They’re deaf and blind.  And why are they deaf and blind?  Why?  Whhhhy??  Because God made them that way, that’s why!  He says so himself (see, like, every other post I’ve ever written about how God puts a seal on peoples’ hearts).  So imagine my surprise at this next line:

(44) Surely God does not wrong anyone; they wrong themselves.

The fuck??  So putting a seal on peoples’ hearts, making them deaf and blind to his revelations, and then banishing them to hell forever is not wrong?  How??  How is it not wrong?  A fucking 5 year old could tell you that’s totally unfair.  But God, as usual, doesn’t bother explaining — he does what he wants when he wants.  Worst case of only child syndrome ever.

(45) The day He will gather them together it will appear to them that they had lived (in the world) but an hour of a day to make each other’s acquaintance. Verily those who deny the meeting with God will be lost, and not find the way.

God says that when we die, life will seem but an hour long.  Shit, I feel like that now.  Life moves fast.  One minute you’re running around in diapers and the next you’re 27, married and shopping at Whole Foods, even though you once swore you’d never be the kind of asshat who spends $12 on a hunk of artisanal cave-aged cheese from a French monastery.   *Poof* you’re old.  Life is short like that.  All the more reason to embrace reality and enjoy every day as if it really and truly will be your last — no second chances, no do-overs, no afterlife, no nothing.  All the more reason to not worry about stupid shit like pork and beer and mini skirts and how many pebbles one should use to wipe one’s ass.  But, hey, that’s just my humble kafir opinion.  Unlike God, I won’t banish you to an eternity of suffering if you disagree.

(4) To Him will you all return: God’s promise is true. It is He who originates creation, then will revert it, so that He may reward those who believe and do good things in all justice. But those who deny the truth will receive boiling water to drink and grievous punishment, for they disbelieved.

So not only will you burn from the outside in, you’ll burn from the inside out.  How’s that for most-merciful, most-kind?

(9) But those who believe and act for a beneficial end will be guided by their Lord for their good faith. At their feet shall flow streams of running water in gardens of delight.
(10) Their invocation will be: “All glory to you, O God,” and “Peace” will be their salutation, and the end of their prayer (will be): “All praise be to God, the Lord of all the worlds.”

That’s heaven for all you believers out there:  streams of water, gardens of delight.  You could go to a state park and get the same effect for a whole lot less trouble.  I bet this shit was a lot more impressive to the  bunch of desert yokels that Mohammed conned back in the day, but nowadays?  Ho-hum.  The hadith, by the way, go into heaven in greater detail.  This is about as much as you’ll get out of the Quran on the subject.  So all those Quran-only Muslims who say that hadith are manmade while also believing in the descriptions of heaven they were indoctrinated with are totally going against their own beliefs.  Nice!

(26) For those who do good there is goodness and more, and no blot or disgrace will cover their faces. They are people of Paradise, where they will abide for ever.
(27) But those who earn evil shall be punished to an equal degree as their evil, and they will be covered with shame, and will have none to protect them against God: Their faces shall be blackened as though with patches of the night. They are the people of Hell, where they will abide for ever,

Score!  No zits for the people going to heaven!  They’ll have no blots on their faces while the hellbound will be covered with patches of darkness.  Some people think these verses are racist — people going to heaven will be turned white and the hellbound will be turned black. Check out a different translation to see where they might get it from:

Yusuf Ali:
(26) To those who do right is a goodly (reward)- Yea, more (than in measure)! No darkness nor shame shall cover their faces! they are companions of the garden; they will abide therein (for aye)!
(27) But those who have earned evil will have a reward of like evil: ignominy will cover their (faces): No defender will they have from (the wrath of) Allah: Their faces will be covered, as it were, with pieces from the depth of the darkness of night: they are companions of the Fire: they will abide therein (for aye)!

It does kind of make sense since the people in paradise will be hanging out in shaded gardens, getting pasty while the hellbound will be charred to blackness in hellfire.  But — and this is a big but — I think the God is racist thing is utter crap.  Arabs come in various shades of brown.  Some Arabs I know look totally Caucasian and others could pass for African.  Hell, I know a few who look more Korean than anything else.

I’m not saying that skin color is a totally trivial issue for Muslims — there are racists in every culture.  And Pakistanis and Indians are big on “fair” skin as a thing of beauty.  I am by far the darkest kid in my family, to my mother’s dismay, and she was constantly forcing bleaching cremes on me.  Which I adamantly refused because, even as a child, I loved my ethnically sunkissed, dark brown skin.  So, yes, there are stupid people all over.  But I still don’t think that was Mohammed’s intention in this case.  I highly doubt nobody who saw this verse just let it slide by without questioning it to the point of abrogation.  By God, of course, because Mohammed doesn’t do these things on his own. *Wink wink*

Light and dark on your face, in my opinion, is just a metaphor.  You can read up on it and decide for yourself.  Granted, God should have known better.  He could probably made it a bit more explicit so nobody could accuse him of being a racist, but he didn’t.  So there are plenty of sites out there touting those verses as proof that God hates the dark-skinned folk.  Good game, God, you useless summabitch.

(28) The day We shall gather them all together We shall say to the idolaters: “Take your stand with the compeers you worshipped as the equals of God.” We shall then create a rift between them, and the compeers will say: “You did not worship us;
(29) For God is sufficient as witness between us and you we were not aware of your worship.”

Double you.  Tee.  Eff.  The idols will speak in the afterlife?  And they’ll point and laugh at the idolaters for worshiping them?  The fuck?  I guess God can do that since he’s, you know, God and all.  But if he can do shit like that — bring stone idols to life — why can’t he do something useful?

Like, I dunno, maybe stop suffering in this world?  Make sure women are treated like human beings instead of cattle?  Let nobody go hungry or homeless?  Or, at the very least, make sure his rabid followers don’t do stupid shit in his name?  Why doesn’t God lift a finger to do something that would actually make a fucking difference?

Why?  I’ll tell you why:  it’s pretty hard to lift a finger when you don’t even exist.  Mohammed knew that.  That’s why God didn’t send him any miracles to show his people proof of his all-mighty existence.  That’s why he plays the faith card every chance he gets.  And that’s why the Quran is full of contradictions, inanity and third-rate mythology — shit that didn’t even make sense the first two times around.  God may be all-fucking-powerful in the afterlife, but in this life — the one that counts — he’s absolutely impotent.

Here are a couple of verses from chapter 3 that cover another theme that appears in the Quran: if you die for God’s cause, you win the jackpot.

(157) If you are killed in the cause of God or you die, the forgiveness and mercy of God are better than all that you amass.

(195) And those who were deprived of their homes or banished in My cause, and who fought and were killed, I shall blot out their sins and admit them indeed into gardens with rippling streams.”

So lets say you were a fundie nutjob and you decided to put on a bomb belt and take out an entire cafe full of people.  Men, women and children.  All for God, of course, but also conveniently to call attention to the atrocities going on in Whereveristan.  You would go *kaboom* and land your ass straight in heaven; no waiting period or anything.

Me on the other hand — I am madly in love with my life.  Despite the election-induced anxiety and constantly being surrounded by religiots, I do what I can to make the most out of every day.  I try to do as much good as possible and cause as little harm as possible, and I try to live sans regret.  For this, I’m going to hell.  Why?  Because I have the audacity to be content with the life of this world.  Content! With life! The life that God supposedly gave me.  The one I didn’t even ask for.  I love this life, therefore I must burn.

Isn’t God great?  Shit like this is why I dumped the guy 10 years ago.  Even if he existed, I think I’d want nothing to do with a fucker who could sentence a person to neverending agony for the crime of loving life too much while simultaneously rewarding a mass murderer with eternal bliss.  Thanks, but no thanks.  I’ll take my temporary bliss here on earth.  God can take heaven and shove it.

That’s all I have for this round.  Coming up next:  more of Mo & all those other prophets, who you only hear one or two stories about…over and over and over.  Joy.  Stay tuned!

Written by kafirgirl

September 10, 2008 at 8:32 am

Posted in Quran

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47 Responses

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  1. I was just going to email you to make sure you were ok since I haven’t seen you post in a while. I know what you mean about the elections. Sarah Palin scares the crap out of me. Have you been watching some of the youtube clips linked from Pharyngula?

    Emmy

    September 10, 2008 at 9:39 am

  2. Yes. Yes I have. I should fucking buy stock in Tums and Aspirin because the next two months are going to be gut-wrenching.

    kafirgirl

    September 10, 2008 at 10:09 am

  3. I’m also very very very scared. She’s one crazy jesus freak.

    Anyway, you said you didn’t get much from this:

    (24) The life of the world is like the rain that waters the crops of the earth which are used as food by men and cattle. But when the earth is embellished and adorned with gold, and its tillers begin to feel that (the crops) are under control, Our command descends suddenly at night or in the day, and We mow them down as though there was nothing there yesterday. This is how We distinctly explain Our signs to those who think.

    I just thought it was nice to see how, if things are going ok for you, god will fuck you up big time to let you know he’s still there, just because. That really shows what a nice, all-loving guy he is. Not that this is any news, anyway. :-)

    Mauro

    September 10, 2008 at 11:51 am

  4. Microbiologychick and I have taken to referring to McCain’s running mate as TBSFP for short — that’s “That Bitch Sarah Fucking Palin.”

    Kazim

    September 10, 2008 at 12:02 pm

  5. religidiots –> religiots?
    just a thought :-)

    ki

    September 10, 2008 at 12:21 pm

  6. Welcome back.

    “Light and dark on your face” perhaps just means that God wants sinners to lie under a shady tree on a hot day. I think I’ll try it, doesn’t sound like the sort of eternal punishment I heard about in Sunday School.

    Did you see that someone is promoting Michael Palin as your Vice Presidential candidate? See his credentials on YouTube. That should ease your pain.

    I have realised the benefit that the Bible has over the Quran- better editors! Another 600 years and the Quran might be as palatable as the Bible i.e. somewhere between a roasted dog turd and a raw one.

    Oz

    September 10, 2008 at 12:21 pm

  7. Mauro, exactly. I used to be all shocked and amazed that such a thing would be in the Quran and now it’s like, meh, same ol’ God, same ol’ shit. I guess I’m officially jaded!

    Russell, I’ve been shortening McCain / Palin to McPain.

    Ki, I like that. Much more streamlined.

    Oz, I’ve got my fingers crossed for some serious editing. I’m thinking if we take out all the repetition, we’ll end up with less of a book and more of a pamphlet. Hell, if I could find a publisher with enough balls to take me up on that shit, I’d write it myself. I did watch the Michael Palin video during a really low point yesterday. I was trying to talk Kafir Boy into selling all of our shit and moving to Japan to teach English if McPain wins and he refused on the grounds that if they win, America will need thinking folk more than ever. *Le sigh* It did put a smile on my face for a while.

    If you haven’t seen it: http://michaelpalinforpresident.com/

    kafirgirl

    September 10, 2008 at 12:48 pm

  8. Even if he existed, I think I’d want nothing to do with a fucker who could sentence a person to neverending agony for the crime of loving life too much while simultaneously rewarding a mass murderer with eternal bliss.

    Heh. I sent a religious dude into freakout mode by saying something on my blog weeks ago. But it’s true — if the Quran’s God, say, or the Bible’s (especially the OT’s) existed, I think any decent person would have to take a stand against them.

    Gregory

    September 10, 2008 at 1:18 pm

  9. Oz, true and possibly 600 years hence it may be the case. Sadly, its only time that can defuse the stupidity of the religious monstrosity that we face.
    And god willing, he will send another dude to herd the foolish.

    Another Kafir

    September 10, 2008 at 1:24 pm

  10. Welcome back, KG, and thanks for getting this discussion back on track. ;-)

    Mauro on (24); That freaked me out more than anything, how god explains things.
    (24) We distinctly explain…by.. mow them down … without warning….whenever they do well.
    At University, the School of Education taught us a different way. lol, Explaining–you’re doing it wrong! I’d say God needs coursework in Educational Methodology.

    Have a question. verse ten gives very specific instruction about how to pray.
    I’m not sure how muslims do it but it doesn’t sound like they follow these directions ???
    (there’s a lolcat on it: http://pages.citebite.com/h7l9c9v2nngb

    watercat

    September 10, 2008 at 2:45 pm

  11. # Jonas? Jonah?

    It’s “Yunus” in the koran.
    Im quite sure that the defective writing of the first korans (or older scriptures) is the reason why many Islamic names differ from those in the Bible (Ibrahim, Dawud, …).

    The mainly oral tradition is just a legend. Later generations could not understand the old scriptures and added wrong vowels.

    kereng

    September 10, 2008 at 4:18 pm

  12. Watercat, I didn’t actually think of it as specific instructions on how to pray. I thought of it more like what they’ll be saying in heaven.

    10. Their invocation will be: “All glory to you, O God,” and “Peace” will be their salutation, and the end of their prayer (will be): “All praise be to God, the Lord of all the worlds.”

    I think it’s the words “will be” are what throw me off. I don’t think it’s actually prayer here on earth but more like ass-kissing in heaven.

    Anyone else have a thought on this?

    Kereng, Jonah / Jonas is indeed Yunus in Arabic. Just like Abrahim is Ibrahim and Jesus is Isa and Jacob is Yaqub. I assumed it was just a language / pronunciation thing. Like how you say Jee-zuz in English but Hey-seuss in Spanish. I’m no expert though.

    Gregory, “I think any decent person would have to take a stand against them.” You’re just saying that cuz you wanna sin. ….bahahahaha! ;)

    kafirgirl

    September 10, 2008 at 8:38 pm

  13. At least the book of Mo doesn’t have that ridiculous story about the whale. Then again, we did have that bullshit regarding the camel coming from the rock, etc.

    But still, when it comes to the credibility factor of these texts back then, i think you’ve overlooked something KG: the fact that all monotheistic religions gained prominence in the time of the plagues and famines that were widespread, making this kind of horseshit quite credible to some, providing motivation to serve in the pack for salvation to others and striking fear in the hearts of the remaining bunch [which i can only presume is the lion's share]. That may shed some light on why these medieval ‘yokels’ who would no doubt marvel at a modern day toilet were impressed by this shit and thus more gullible, as most lacked basic education. This is all the same for all monotheistic tribes [most Christians had only read the bible in their lifetime, and this is only after translations were rendered]. The afterlife HAD to be desirable since their present lives were so god-made, goddamned miserable. None of this justifies the evil in it, but perhaps this makes it a little easier to digest why people back then bought into the sham to begin with.

    Priest

    September 10, 2008 at 9:22 pm

  14. You’re just saying that cuz you wanna sin. ….bahahahaha! ;)

    Well, dur-hey! ;-)

    Gregory

    September 10, 2008 at 9:31 pm

  15. Whoa, yer right. I missed that this is only how they pray once they’re in heaven. Seems odd that it would be different though. I’m still curious how you guys pray; us catholic kids used to recite long strings of Latin that we didn’t understand . The priest would say: “Don ‘n ‘is mob is scum,” and we would answer “eat cum’s beery tutu, oh!
    I taught myself what they meant, but nobody else did; it was just mindless chanting in unison. Some were long too, exactly like the evil cult mind control methods you read about. Don’t they also drill specific verses into your little heads to be regurgitated as ‘praying’?

    watercat

    September 10, 2008 at 10:38 pm

  16. Priest, I just checked — the whale does show up in the Quran, but not till later. Ridiculous? The Quran? You betcha! I do think you’re right about understanding how someone could believe in superstitious drivel in 600 CE. These people lived in the deserts without air conditioning. I’m sure shaded gardens with streams sounded like, well, heaven. It’s just kinda sad that people didn’t leave that crap in the past where it belongs. Know what I mean?

    Watercat, that sounds about the same. For me it was nothing but reciting a bunch of stuff in Arabic (which I, too, looked up because I was interested in knowing what it said). It’s pretty much the same junk as the Quran: God is great, God protects us, God is merciful and compassionate. Repeat.

    I always found the physical motions of prayer to be kind of primitive, for lack of a better word. Literally dropping to the floor in front of a rock? Isn’t that what the idol-worshipers do? It’s one of those things that kinda soured me on the whole act of prayer. And I was, like, 8 when that happened.

    I started to think that if God really was all merciful and great, he’d care more about our intentions than our outward actions. I thought it shouldn’t matter how someone prayed, just as long as they did. Meh. The silliness of trying desperately to hold on to a belief.

    I also remember being around 6 years old and seeing Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom for the first time. There’s that scene where all the people are praying to Shiva, and they’re on their knees, chanting. I remember asking my mom whether these people were Muslims since they were praying kinda like we do — she was thoroughly offended. Teehee!

    Anyway, there’s a good illustrated step-by-step prayer guide with translations that you can read if you’re curious about what Muslims are saying while they pray:
    http://muslim-canada.org/salaat.html

    kafirgirl

    September 10, 2008 at 11:25 pm

  17. Hahahahahaha! I just read through that step-by-step prayer guide.

    [Fajr only] Prayer is better than sleep. (x2)

    Sorry, but sleep trumps prayer anytime in MY book.

    Mauro

    September 11, 2008 at 12:12 am

  18. HOLY SHIT!! I just played that audio–about half; My cats started freaking out. They were running all over, and one came and BIT ME on the arm, and then started chewing on the speaker, and with serious toothage! I’ve never seen them act like that. I turned it off, they went and laid back down; Turned it back on, they came back again.

    I am creeped out.

    watercat

    September 11, 2008 at 12:48 am

  19. (26) For those who do good there is goodness and more, and no blot or disgrace will cover their faces. They are people of Paradise, where they will abide for ever.
    (27) But those who earn evil shall be punished to an equal degree as their evil, and they will be covered with shame, and will have none to protect them against God: Their faces shall be blackened as though with patches of the night. They are the people of Hell, where they will abide for ever,

    This sounds straight from Gita, if you leave the paradise and hell out. “Karmanye wadhikaaraste, maa phleshu kadaa chanaa” meaning just do what you are supposed to do without worrying for results. You will get in this life itself whatever you are supposed to get.

    Wonder how and where Mo inserted idea of heaven and hell into it.

    KK

    September 11, 2008 at 1:40 am

  20. “The entire prayer MUST be recited in Arabic..”
    Presumably the all-powerful creator of the universe has trouble learning other languages, although he invented them.

    I’ve been meaning to ask this for a while, and now it is on-topic, I get my chance: I’ve always thought it odd that such an iconoclastic faith as Islam requires prayer to be directed towards a specific physical object – how do Muslims justify this? I would have thought prayer should be directed towards the sky – as that great story about Mo’s winged horse would suggest that is where God is. I know the Kaaba is supposed to “reflect” a place in heaven, but surely the reflection of the spiritual in a physical object is the very definition of an icon?

    Lance

    September 11, 2008 at 1:48 am

  21. I lost the source but I read that Mo was trying for converts amongst Jews, so he sucked up by aping their rituals… ” He continued to follow his policy of appeasement even after his arrival in Medina, where the Jews vehemently opposed most of the precepts of his religion. In order to win them over, he changed the direction of the Muslim prayer from Ka’aba in Mecca to Jerusalem. When the Jews refused to budge, he expressed his mild displeasure by asking his followers to face Ka’aba at the time of saying their prayer.” This latter means God appeared and said “fuck them jews! We’ll face the other way!” conveniently after Mo didn’t need them anymore, had his own army, and was targetting Mecca

    Also, remember the pagan’s tradition of facing the Kaaba–same reasons we have christmas trees now; co-opt the old religion into the new one. SOP.

    watercat

    September 11, 2008 at 2:54 am

  22. Mauro, sleep wins every time. High five!

    Lance / Watercat, I’ve read that as well but I can’t remember where. Ibn Warraq maybe? It did start out as a pagan tradition — the Kaaba housed the pagan gods. Then Mohammed came along and said that the Kaaba is the house of just the one god.

    So now I’m super curious about how the pagans used to pray. I wonder if Mo just swiped their movements and gestures and everything.

    kafirgirl

    September 11, 2008 at 7:54 am

  23. One interesting thing about the Kaaba according to a theory mentioned by Ibn Warraq is that people run around the Kaaba 3 times quickly, and 4 times slowly.
    The theory is that this represents the 7 known planets of ancient times – 3 inner planets and 4 outer planets – the pre-Islamic arabs worshipped the sun, moon, planets and stars – with these being represented on earth by stone idols. Apparently Roman accounts refer to them as “stone worshippers”. The Kaaba being a meteorite was seen as a star that fell from the home of the Gods – and so was given a special reverence. Mecca benefitted from this as it attracted pilgrims (and their money) – and only started to become really pissed with Muhammad when he started to interfere with these pilgrims.

    I think the throwing a stone at Shaitan also mimics pre-Islamic prayer – can’t remember what though.

    jm

    September 11, 2008 at 8:45 am

  24. “the Kaaba housed the pagan gods”

    I remember reading somewhere that it also housed an idol of Mary and Baby Jesus, and that Muhammad decided to spare that idol and trashed everything else. Not sure how true or false that is.

    Sarah

    September 11, 2008 at 9:26 am

  25. KafirGirl, I was really saddened by the bit about your mother “constantly forcing bleaching cremes” on you. I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine whose mother was one of those “you’re putting on a few pounds, honey” Moms, and as you might expect, it did wonders for her self-esteem (I luckily came from a mother who rarely even wore makeup and didn’t give two shits what I looked like, including if I’d slept on my hair wrong and wore pajamas to class, because it didn’t effing matter).

    The reason I had to comment was that, amazingly, despite how ludicrous the request was, you don’t show any animosity for your Mom. You deserve every bit of priase for the wonderful treatment of a snoozeworthy (at best) topic, but also because you are an amazing person. I’m always shocked when people don’t fold, don’t accept, don’t lie down and cry. You’re awesome. Keep on rocking hard, lady.

    Sarah Beedoo

    September 11, 2008 at 9:58 am

  26. “But can you make the deaf hear who do not understand a thing?
    But can you show the blind the way even when they cannot see?”

    But they sure play a mean pinball!

    Sorry! But quoting Tommy is about as meaningful as the Quran or the Bible.

    Oz

    September 11, 2008 at 11:06 am

  27. Kafirgirl

    You must be getting fatigued by now. I’m even fatigued by the Quran second-hand, but my pain is nothing on yours.

    Referring to my previous comment on editing, I do a bit of scientific editing on the side of my main job. The Quran really offends my inclination to directness and clear writing. What a load of turgid shit, to get to the point. I have travelled in the Middle East a fair bit and the Arabs do like to waffle on a bit: is this Quran-derived or is this why the Quran is like it is?

    I think you’re right, one pamphlet should be able to sum it up:

    God is great
    God is good
    Mohammed is God’s prophet
    Do what he says
    The end

    Oz

    September 11, 2008 at 11:14 am

  28. kafirgirl

    September 11, 2008 at 1:05 pm

  29. Oz, accurate and economical. You might include as line 5 (after Do what he says) one of those numerous threats for nonbelievers:

    Or eternal doom will be yours, with blazing fires and no marshmellows. (repeat)

    DutchA

    September 11, 2008 at 1:12 pm

  30. jm, I’ve never heard that about the 7 known planets / 7 times around the Kaabah thing. Interesting. I’ll have to read up some more on it. I can understand primitive people worshiping a meteor — it’s dumb, but it would be kind of an impressive, alien thing. It’s just sad (and also kinda funny) that people still do it.

    Sarah Beedoo

    I’m always shocked when people don’t fold, don’t accept, don’t lie down and cry. You’re awesome.

    You’re awesome. I’m shocked, too, but at the same time I think people are just getting sick of this shit.

    As for my momma, I love her. She doesn’t know what’s best and she’s wrong about stuff — the bleaching creme being just one example. I don’t hold any grudges against her, though, because it really all comes down to indoctrination. Her own mother didn’t really let my mom & aunts go outside much when they were kids so they wouldn’t be exposed to the skin-tanning sun. The nice thing is that after years of fighting off her attempts to slather me with bleaching cremes and SPF 90, she just doesn’t care anymore!

    Oz, that sounds about right! Add a little “or else” in there, and you’re all set.

    kafirgirl

    September 11, 2008 at 9:36 pm

  31. I detect a certain weariness in Ur writing now, is quran getting the better of U or is it something else that goes deeper still, unchartered waters, unexpected revelations perhaps, as U delve further into the quran

    Anubis

    September 12, 2008 at 10:07 am

  32. Anubis
    Was that a serious question or jest?

    Oz

    September 12, 2008 at 10:41 am

  33. Things I found in Chapter 10:

    47. For every people there is an apostle; and when their apostle is come the matter is decided between them equitably, and no one is wronged.
    How this jibe with no prophet but mohammed, believe him or burn from the inside,etc?

    Verse 41 sticks out like a sore thumb. It sounds like Jesus snuck in a verse from the sermon on the mount, that fucken pussy.

    Verse 93 is notable on two counts: God gave Israel to the Jews, so that settles the Palestinian Question ….and …
    Having knowledge is bad; of course we knew that, ever since the Tree in the Garden fiasco.

    104 “I worship God who makes you die” WTF???

    watercat

    September 12, 2008 at 3:51 pm

  34. KG, when the religious folk pull out 23, maybe you should point to the context:
    22 I let you travel in ships, & you rejoice.
    New sentence, regarding “them” they say they’ll be good if he saves them, but then they go back to sinning
    Meanwhile, back to you in v23:
    Your rebellion, O people, shall recoil back on your own selves… Bla bla bla….
    IOW, because “they” are ingrates, “you” will be punished: fair enough!

    watercat

    September 12, 2008 at 3:53 pm

  35. Well, I screwed up the tags: should be 2nd person- bold, 3rd person–italics.

    Here’s another one
    10:61 refers to “an atom”; Chapter 34 uses the same phrase, but I’m pretty sure that 7th century Arabic had no terms for submicroscopic particles. The Arabic word is “zarah” (dharra) which means ” dust particle, or a mustard seed or the small ant”. 21 out of 27 translators translated this as “atom”. Biased apologists, or scientific miracle? I report, you decide.

    watercat

    September 12, 2008 at 3:55 pm

  36. The word “atom” can just mean “something really small,” so I guess it’s not a totally inaccurate translation.

    Nathan

    September 13, 2008 at 2:13 pm

  37. Now, see, I’ve always been as freaking white as bleached flour (or perhaps whiter) no matter how I go into the sun, and my mom was always pushing blushers and such on me so I’d “have a little bit of color”. Which I refused (when I got older) because it made me look like a clown against all that whiteness and who wouldn’t rather look like a ghost than a clown at thirteen? I can’t tan–all I do is burn.

    I never did understand all this crap about fair skin being so wonderfully gorgeous. I can’t even take a nice, normal, decent picture without looking like a glowing version of Casper the freaking ghost (eyes and a mouth painted on a white sheet), if I don’t look just sickly. Plus every blemish shows up like 3D, and since I don’t soak up the sunlight very well, there tend to be a number of them, especially toward the middle to end of winter. Lousy fair-skin-based vitamin deficiency. There was a time I dyed my hair platinum blonde–can you say “Boo Radley”?

    Fair skin sucks. I’ll take darker skin anyday–trade, anyone? :)

    DemonHype

    September 14, 2008 at 1:57 am

  38. If anyone is still interested in studying the book, can you shed some light on 10:33? My notes are just
    31. God causes everything, so we should fear him
    32. without god there is nothing.
    33. boo lalaboola gubaloola maka fratz (??)
    34. your gods don’t make the universe.”
    35. my god is real, yours ain’t

    It’s the same with verses also 45-7; any semantics I cram in there just leak right back out.

    watercat

    September 15, 2008 at 8:07 pm

  39. I… I think I’m in love with your writing!!! :)

    Hi there! I’m a new contributor, though a longtime reader, in the skeptical/atheist blogosphere! One of my commenters suggested your site, so I peeked in, and I would love to add you to my blogroll, if you don’t mind!

    Also, boy do I agree with DemonHype about fair skin– it sucks!!!

    The Perky Skeptic

    September 16, 2008 at 11:31 am

  40. Eeps, I missed all of that, Watercat. So. Many. Comments!
    I’m gonna read through those verses and get back to you in a bit.

    The Perky Skeptic, by all means! I definitely don’t mind. Glad you’re enjoying it so far, and I hope you’ll keep coming back.

    kafirgirl

    September 16, 2008 at 11:43 am

  41. Wow, that’s a confusing cluster of verses, huh? Here’s what I got out of it:

    31. Mohammed, tell everyone that God gives you everything and does everything for you.
    32. God is the truth, everything else is a lie. So wtf are you turning your back on him for?
    33. God predicted that some people would disbelieve, and ta-da! They do. God was right.
    34. Mohammed, ask everyone who other than God could bring things to life and then put them them to death. (Wow, if that’s not begging the question, I dunno what is!)
    35. Mohammed, ask everyone whether any of those little idols could show you the way to truth the way God does. (Again with begging the question.)

    It’s basically just God greasing up his own dick and saying that life & death are signs of his existence (weak!).

    kafirgirl

    September 16, 2008 at 11:51 am

  42. Good catch on that atom thing, by the way. I made a note in my margins to check out other translations, but they all insist on atom. Turns out the whole mustard seed thing was a total embarrassment to apologists and the translations magically changed to atom. Ta-da! Religion!

    kafirgirl

    September 16, 2008 at 11:54 am

  43. re v33 yer right. Meaning is obvious once you showed me it. This could be said about a lot of the book. Lately I’ve been hung up on his constant “fear god –> worship it” Shit, Sarah Palin scares the hell out of me, but I never thought to worship her!

    watercat

    September 16, 2008 at 12:35 pm

  44. Yeah, I totally don’t understand that. Being nice to people goes a long way. And fear is not a good motivator. Yiish. You’d think God would know that considering he’s, ya know, all-knowing and junk.

    kafirgirl

    September 16, 2008 at 9:26 pm

  45. I had gone to Las Vegas about 6 years ago, and when I was there, I took the time to notice how much of the Islamic Paradise our technology had made possible. A/C. Lots of water. Gardens. Food kept from spoiling. Luscious fruits. Etc. We still have a way to go before we can create convincing robotic Stepford Wives, however.

    And have any Muslims ever claimed that the carnality of the Islamic Paradise is allegorical? One might expect some of them to do that.

    Loren Petrich

    September 17, 2008 at 3:50 pm

  46. Oz
    It’s a serious question. I admire the lady, and though her tone does go very unladylike sometimesf( I’m sure she could and should help it), I still feel she has a pure, uncontaminated, unfettered and battered and frail spirit … so the world can keep their religion and gods … a beautiful soul like kafirgirl’s sure needs all the protection it can get, protection from the tentacles of Islam and its stalwarts, and taking quran headlong as she is .. I just worry for her sometimes.

    Kafirgirl : Should U ever need help or protection from these fanatics, let me know, although I know U’ll probably start spewing fire and flinging bolts .. ” Does this nincompoop think I started a blog shivering in my designer shoes, I can take care of myself, Thank U!!!”. Still, kafirgirl, the offer stands.I mean to include Ur hubby and anyone else U care to be worried about. And U don’t have to meet me either, just in case U are letting Ur imagination run away with U.

    Anubis

    September 21, 2008 at 4:05 am

  47. Anubis, ladylike language? Screw that. I am what I am — that’s a Popeye quote, not Jesus.

    kafirgirl

    September 21, 2008 at 8:38 am


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