13: Thunder (Part 2 — Scum?)
Chapter 13 has not been a fun read. Compared to chapter 12′s Joseph story, 13 is a total snore. And the sad thing is, it’s not an exception to the good book (and I use the word good in complete and total sarcasm). 13 is just like all the other chapters that preceded it. Back to the same ol’ same ol’. The God is greats and God is mercifuls, Mohammed’s persecution complex, gardens of heaven and fires of hell, blahblahblah. All that’s banal and annoying about religion in general can be found in in chapter 13.
I know it’s still early on in the game, but I’m going to go ahead and declare chapter 12 my favorite one in the Quran. If the book had a little more of that and a little less of, erm, everything else, I could probably understand why someone would find it an entertaining read. Now that I’ve talked it up so much, on with the show.
We left off with Zeus God claiming that he uses lightning to strike down whoever he wants. And that even shadows bow down to God twice a day. Keep that one in mind every time you bend down to tie your shoelaces or pick something up. You think you’re doing it because you want to, but it’s really just God making you pray to him without you knowing. Perforce is the word he uses in chapter 13. Yup. God is so not above shit like that.
(16) Ask them: “Who is the Lord of the heavens and the earth?” (They will) say: “God.” Say: “Then why do you take protectors besides Him who have no power over their own gain or loss?”
You see that (They will) Ahmed Ali’s added in? It’s so Mo doesn’t look like a total schizo. We’ve seen it before with (Say:) and (Ask them:). Without those little cues in there, it’s just Mo talking to himself. Which, yaknow, is pretty much exactly what happened.
(17) He sends down water from the skies, which flows in channels according to their capacity, with the scum borne on the surface of the torrent, as rises the scum when metals are heated on the fire for making ornaments and household utensils. This is how God determines truth and falsehood. The scum disappears like the foam on the bank, and that which is useful to man remains on the earth. That is how God sets forth precepts of wisdom.
Double you. Tee. Eff.
That’s the note I made in the margins on my Quran next to this verse. Seriously. WTF did God just say? Did he just call us scum? I have to break this down to get it:
- God sends down water from the sky
- That water flows in streams
- There is turbulence in those streams which makes scum rise to the surface (so far, so good)
- Scum also rises to the surface of heated metal (my metalsmithing husband says, “Uh, I wouldn’t call it scum. That’s just weird.)
- The scum vanishes back into the water, and the good stuff is left on the banks
Aha. I get it!
- God throws a bunch of random bullshit at people
- The stuff that we remember is “wisdom”
- The stuff that we forget was useless anyway
- That’s how he rolls
Right? Right?? Did I get it? All of this leaves me with one big question: why? Why the fuck would this gameplan sound like a good idea to anyone? The shortest way from point A to point B is a straight line. We’re at point A — no knowledge. We need to get to point B — knowledge. Just give it to us straight. Instead, God takes a big ol’ shit on the map and expects us to somehow find the right way on our own. See? I can do confusing analogies too. Worship me.
Anyway, after this God rambles a bit about how wise people can see and unwise people are blind. And then he throws this in there:
(22) Who persevere in seeking the way of their Lord, who fulfil their devotional obligations, and spend of what We have given them, secretly or openly, who repel evil with good: For them is the recompense of Paradise
“And spend of what We have given them…” God wants you to spend money. This shows up quite a bit in the Quran, and I’m obviously unwise because I can’t see why the fuck that would be any of his business. Seriously. I earn it. I should be able to do whatever I want with it. Blow it all on shoes. Horde it in some savings account. Convert it all to pennies and stash it in a spare bedroom so I can swim in it, Scrooge McDuck style. Who fucking cares?
God does, apparently. He wants you to spend it. And I wonder what he wants you to spend it on? Lets look at it in the context of that verse: that particular sentiment is sandwiched smack dab in between “devotional obligations” and “repeal evil with good.” Golly gee, I wonder if God might possibly want us to spend our money on him? In which case, why doesn’t he just give money to Mohammed directly? Why make him ask people for it? Why make him kill people so he can take it from them? Why not throw money down from the sky? Why not send a shower of gold — a golden shower, if you will — all over Mohammed?
While we’re on the subject of fortune:
(26) God increases or decreases the fortunes of whosoever He will, and they rejoice in the life of this world. Yet the life of this world is nothing but a merchandise as compared to the life of the next.
So basically, there are bad people out there with wonderful lives. And those lives are wonderful because of God, not in spite of him. Meanwhile, there are plenty of pious believers out there who live their entire lives with empty pockets, who go to bed night after night with an empty stomach, who suffer until death wins. And God? God doesn’t give a shit. Not to worry, starving people — those bad, rich folks will get theirs in the end. Not that anyone can prove it or anything. You’ll have to take God’s word on it. Hellfire, gardens and all.
(27) The unbelievers say: “How is it that no miracle was sent down to him by his Lord?” Say: “God leads whosoever He wills astray, and guides whoever turns to Him in repentance.
(28) Those who believe and find peace in their hearts from the contemplation of God: Surely there is peace of heart in the contemplation of God!”
Why can’t Mohammed perform any miracles? Because God leads or abandons people all willy nilly. Also, you should think about God a lot because it puts your heart at ease. Yeah. That makes perfect sense. Yet again, God totally ignores the question and gives a lameass answer that doesn’t answer much of anything.
Also, since there probably isn’t a God, Mohammed most likely came up with verses 28 & 29 himself. It kind of makes them even more pathetic. Read them again. See what I mean?
(31) Had there been a Qur’an which could have made the mountains move, or the earth to cleave asunder, or the dead to speak, yet all authority belongs to God.
Uh, had the Quran been able to do any of that, it might have helped God’s case a little. But, like God himself, the Quran is totally impotent. Oh well.
Have the believers not learnt that if God had so willed He could have guided all mankind?
That second half made my eyes roll so far to the back of my head that they popped off. I abrogated them with a new set of eyes so I could see what I’m typing. Here’s my verdict: God is such a fucking asshole. But wait, there’s more.
As for unbelievers, they will be visited by misfortune endlessly for what they have done; or it would sit in their homes till the promised threat of God comes to pass. Surely God does not go back on His promise.
I know he says he wouldn’t go back a promise, but then he also says he’s always right about everything while simultaneously abrogating things he’s said. So you know what? I’m not buying it. Anyway, that’s not even the biggest pile of shit in that verse. God’s tactics make zero sense.
Lets pretend I’m trying to train my dog. I want to teach her that it’s not OK to piss all over my house. Here’s how I do it:
- I keep a very close eye on my dog.
- When she squats to pee, I clap my hands loudly and yell NO! which startles her and shows her I’m not pleased.
- I pick her up and take her outside.
- I cheer and give her a cookie when she squats to pee outside.
Not much imagination involved, since that’s how I actually taught my dog not to pee in the house. Worked like a charm. Now here’s God’s method, according to verse 31:
- Watch the dog, but don’t let the dog see you.
- When she squats to pee, do nothing. (If she was a believer, she wouldn’t squat in the first place.)
- Continue to do nothing as the dog pisses and shits all over your house for the duration of her life (approximately 12-15 years).
- When the dog dies, send her to hell.
Yeah. If God really gave a shit about any of us, he’d make the punishment instant. He’d clap his hands loudly and yell NO! but he doesn’t. No wonder we’re all going to hell. (Also, no wonder dogs are considered unclean in Islam.)
(32) Many an apostle have they mocked before you; but I allowed the unbelievers respite, then I seized them. How severe was My punishment then!
How severe was it??
…oh, my bad. I thought it was like the old joke.
It was so severe.
How severe was it??
It was so severe that [punchline].
But God’s got nothing. He just says it was severe and then moves on to the next thing:
(33) Who is it who stands (watch) over every soul for what it does? Yet they ascribe compeers to God. Say: “Then name them. Or are you announcing to God what He does not know on the earth? Or is it only empty talk? In fact, the unbelievers’ plots are made to look attractive to them, so that they are held back from the right path. Whosoever God allows to go astray has none to show him the way.
I bolded the important part of that verse. Whosoever God allows to go astray has none to show him the way. Here’s my question: why would God allow anyone to go astray knowing that nobody can help him after that? That’s not exactly most-merciful there, right? And check out this next verse:
(34) For them is punishment in this world; and the punishment of the world to come is far more severe. They will have no one to save them from God.
OK, that’s definitely not most-merciful. Most merciful would be “I know you fucked up, but I forgive you anyway because I’m most-merciful. Go play in heaven, you rascal, you.” It wouldn’t be such a big deal if God wasn’t most-mercifulling himself all over the damn Quran. If he’d said sorta-merciful or mostly-merciful, I’d cut him some slack. He went all out, so I’m going all out: God is a liar. He lies. He is lying every single time he says he is most-merciful. What else is he lying about? Is he lying about existing?? Don’t believe anything he says!
Ready for one more vivid, exhilarating description of what heaven will be like? Ready?? Here it is:
(35) The likeness of Paradise promised the pious and devout is (of a garden) with streams of rippling water, everlasting fruits and shade. This is the recompense of those who keep away from evil; but the recompense of those who deny the truth is Hell.
Anything new that would make us give a shit? Ex. (Still waiting on this one, God. Stiiiiiill waiting.)
Any Christians reading this blog? Anyone? Anyone? I know you guys scope out ex-Muslim blogs to get ammunition for your army of God / missionary crap. Pay close attention to this next verse. It has to do with you:
(36) Those to whom We have given the Scriptures rejoice in what We have sent down to you; but some of their factions reject some of it.
Uh oh. Are you a Christian who doesn’t believe in ALL Of the Bible? Do you cherry pick the “good” parts of the Bible and ignore the weird shit about slavery and rape and bashing childrens’ heads in? Yes? I thought so! (Pretty sure most Christians fall under that category.) Check this out:
Tell them: “I am commanded to worship only God, and not to associate compeers with Him. To Him I call you, and to Him is the destination.”
This is your wake up call! You should convert to Islam!
(37) That is how We have sent down this (Qur’an) as a code of clear judgement. But if you follow their caprices, now that you have been given knowledge, you will have no friend or protector against God.
That’s right. You have now been given the knowledge. And if you don’t convert, you’ll have no protection against God. If you don’t convert, there’s a really good chance that you’ll be sent to hell after you die. I think you should hedge your bets. It’s better to just fake the faith, just in case. Right? Right?? ibn Pascal’s Wager, anyone??
Remember way back when we discovered the abrogation law in the Quran? It’s back! You knew it’d be back. Everything in the Quran comes back over and over and over, until the person reading it decides it would be a far more productive use of her time to go jump off a bridge or stick her head in an oven or something. Thar she blows:
(39) God abrogates or confirms whatsoever He will, for He has with Him the Book of Books.
3 second refresher: if God changes his mind about something he said before, he can just cancel it out with something new. He’s got the official copy of the Quran with him up in heaven, see, and that means….wait. What does that mean? So what if he has the mother book in heaven? That didn’t stop him from making all kinds of stupid mistakes in the book we have down here.
Hang on. Does this mean God made the same mistakes twice? Once when he came up with the Book of Books for-fucking-ever ago, and then again when he revealed it to Mohammed as the Quran? He had all the time in the world — literally — to edit that shit down, and he didn’t? The fuck? Also, since he’s all-knowing, all-powerful, all-everything God, shouldn’t he just have gotten this shit right the first time? Just askin’.
That’s all I’ve got for chapter 13. Coming up next: chapter 14, Abraham. Abraham, Abraham…that sounds so familiar. I think maybe we may have read about him in the Quran already once or twice or 4,829,034 fucking times. I scanned through the pages and I did see something new: Satan speaketh. Oooooh! Aaaaah!