13: Thunder (Part 1 — Pillars and mountains and fruit, oh my.)
Hey, did you know that the sun revolves around a flat earth? Well it does. At least according to the Quran:
(2) It is God who raised the skies without support, as you can see, then assumed His throne, and enthralled the sun and the moon (so that) each runs to a predetermined course. He disposes all affairs, distinctly explaining every sign that you may be certain of the meeting with your Lord.
(3) It is He who stretched the earth and placed upon it stabilisers and rivers; and made two of a pair of every fruit; (and) He covers up the day with the night. In these are signs for those who reflect.
Oh I’m reflecting alright. I’m reflecting real hard.
These two verses smell funny. There are those suspicious sounding “skies without support” and “predetermined course” bits. Plus the word “stabilisers.” And the odd mention of fruit. I checked some other translations to see what’s up. Lookie lookie what I found. I bolded the good parts:
A. J. Arberry:
(2) God is He who raised up the heavens without pillars you can see, then He sat Himself upon the Throne. He subjected the sun and the moon, each one running to a term stated. He directs the affair; He distinguishes the signs; haply you will have faith in the encounter with your Lord.
(3) It is He who stretched out the earth and set therein firm mountains and rivers, and of every fruit He placed there two kinds, covering the day with the night. Surely in that are signs for a people who reflect.
Pillars. Pillars! PILLARS!! Oh, lawsie mercy, I’m reflecting so hard, I shit my pants. Holy flat earth, Batman. The sun also moves and the earth was stretched out. And those stabilisers Ahmed Ali was talking about? They’re mountains. I still have no idea what’s up with the fruit thing.
Here’s another translation:
(2) Allah it is Who raised up the heavens without visible supports, then mounted the Throne, and compelled the sun and the moon to be of service, each runneth unto an appointed term; He ordereth the course; He detaileth the revelations, that haply ye may be certain of the meeting with your Lord.
(3) And He it is Who spread out the earth and placed therein firm hills and flowing streams, and of all fruits He placed therein two spouses (male and female). He covereth the night with the day. Lo! herein verily are portents for people who take thought.
Visible supports? Nice verbal gymnastics, Pickthall! How far up your ass did you have to reach to pull that one out? (My guess is to the elbows, at least.) The sun runs an appointed term around an earth that was spread out. Spread out has been the most incriminating one so far. The stabilisers aren’t quite mountains in Pickthall’s world — they’re just firm hills. As opposed to what? Soft hills? Squishy hills? And, of course, there’s the fruit again. Still have nothing on that one.
(2) Allah is He Who raised the heavens without any pillars that ye can see; is firmly established on the throne (of authority); He has subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law)! Each one runs (its course) for a term appointed. He doth regulate all affairs, explaining the signs in detail, that ye may believe with certainty in the meeting with your Lord.
(3) And it is He who spread out the earth, and set thereon mountains standing firm and (flowing) rivers: and fruit of every kind He made in pairs, two and two: He draweth the night as a veil o’er the Day. Behold, verily in these things there are signs for those who consider!
Yusuf Ali’s text puts me to sleep. Seriously. Who says “o’er” anyway?
- Pillars? Check.
- Revolving sun? Check.
- Earth was spread out? Check.
- Mountains and/or hills? Check.
- Fruit? Checkitty check.
So there you have it. Flat earth in the Quran, consistent in all the translations I looked up.
I love how all of this is supposed to serve as evidence of God. A “sign that you may be certain of the meeting with your Lord.” You know what? I’m not certain of what happens after we die. But one thing seems pretty blatantly obvious to me: this dude who thinks the sun revolves around the earth and uses this information to convince me of his existence? Pretty sure I won’t be meeting him because he’s a phony.
(4) On the earth are tracts adjoining one another, and vineyards, fields of corn and date-palm trees, some forked, some with single trunks, yet all irrigated by the self-same water, though We make some more excellent than the others in fruit. There are surely signs in them for those who understand.
OK, I get it. They lived in the desert, so you had to tell them about things they’d understand. Things like date-palm trees (which come in forked and unforked varieties). But I would have been way more impressed if God had described — I dunno — the coming of the internet. Or something that hasn’t been so fucking obvious since forever.
I mean, seriously? Water makes plants grow? How hard is that one to figure out? You come out of your little hut the day after it’s rained and see that the grass is taller and more lush. And that happens every time it rains. Ooh ooh ahh ahh, water make plant grow. It’s not exactly rocket science. Then again, we’re talking about people who believe in an invisible sky man and his invisible friends made out of fire and smoke, so you can’t expect too much.
(7) The unbelievers say: “Why no miracle was sent down to him by his Lord?” But you are only a bearer of warnings, and a guide for every nation.
(8) God is cognisant of what every female carries in her womb, or what the wombs want or exceed (of their disburdening time). With Him all things are in determined measure.
Did you catch how God totally dodges the question and answers it with something completely different? How come Mo can’t perform any miracles? Uhhh…he’s there to warn and guide you. Also, God knows what’s inside women’s uteruses. He know everything. Next question!
Ugh, I’m having flashbacks of the Vice Presidential debates…
The whole “what the wombs want” thing pissed me off when I read it. First off, a womb does not think. It does not want anything. And secondly, every woman wants to fill her womb up with a baby? Really? Lucky for me, nobody told my womb that before it shut the factory doors and went on a permanent vacation.
(12) It is He who makes the lightning flash for fear and hope, and raises massive clouds.
(13) The thunder sings His praises, and the angels too, for awe of Him. He sends thunder-bolts and strikes whosoever He will with them: Even then it is God they contend about! But mighty is He in (His) power.
Did anyone else get an image of God sitting on a cloud shooting lightning bolts at people’s asses? No? Just me then? Fair enough. In all seriousness, this verse is pretty much saying that God is Zeus. Man. If only we could figure out how and why thunder and lightning occur, we could toss aside this pathetic argument for God’s existence. …oh wait.
And finally, here’s my favorite verse so far:
(15) Whosoever is in the heavens and on earth bows to God in submission with a will or perforce, as do their shadows in the morning and evening.
Double you. Tee. Eff. Everyone — literally everyone — bows down to God twice a day, regardless of whether they’re doing it on purpose. Also, shadows bow down to God twice a day. Most likely when the people they’re attached to bow down to God twice a day. Since, you know…they’re just shadows. Yeah.
That’s all I’ve got for part 1. Part 2′s coming up, babies. Stay tuned!