15: Al-Hijr (Part I — Same ol’, same ol’.)
…OK, fine I’m not really dying. But I do feel like shit. I have the flu. I got it when I was telling a sick co-worker of mine to feel better, and she coughed in my face mid-sentence. No joke. I had my mouth open and everything, and she coughed in my fucking face. She didn’t cover her mouth. She didn’t turn her head. She looked me in the eye and went *A-HACK!* Ugh. I’m getting all queasy just thinking about it. I’m taking a couple of sick days and using them to blog from my couch. Whoo!
Something to not Whoo! about: apparently I’ve already read chapters 15 – 18. I read them way back before my work life took over my life life. I made a ton of notes in the margins and everything. The sad part is that I don’t remember any of this, and I have to sit through those same fucking chapters all over again. Boo! Hiss! I guess that’s what I get for procrastinating. …still. Boo! Hiss!!
Lets get chapter 15 over and done with so we never have to think about it ever again. OK? OK! Jump on in.
Chapter 15 is titled Al-Hijr and it translates to The Rock. No, not the pro-wrestler turned shitty actor — although I did giggle a little when I thought, “Caaaaan yoooou smellllllll? What Al-Hijr is cooking?!”
This chapter is loosely based around that rock city. No, not Detroit — sorry, Kiss fans. I’m talking about the place in present-day Saudi Arabia where the buildings were carved into big boulders. It came up a few times in earlier chapters, remember? God killed everyone to teach them a lesson…which doesn’t make a lot of sense since, you know, they’re dead.
Anyway, I’m going to ruin the ending by throwing this out there: this chapter isn’t very good. It’s basically just a reprise of all the same old shit we’ve already seen in chapters 1 – 14. Check it out:
- God calls the Quran a book, even though it wasn’t put into book form until way later (15:1). Fail!
- There’s a warning for non-Muslims that boils down to “Neener neener neener! You’ll be sorry!” (15:2) Nothing new there.
- 15:8 sounds like it’s new, but it really isn’t. “But then We never send the angels down save with the purpose of enforcing their doom, after which they will not be given more respite.” God says he sent down angels to destroy those 7 civilizations he constantly brags about destroying. He’s all-powerful yet he has minions do the dirty work for him. Which makes zero sense.
Look. He’s God, right? He’s the all-powerful kung fu master of the universe? Isn’t it way more efficient to just *poof* do that shit himself from up in heaven or that throne in the middle of the ocean or wherever the hell else he hangs out these days. Know what I’m saying? Why bring angels into it?
- Mo’s persecution complex crops up yet again in 15:11 where he boo hoos about how people have always scoffed at apostles. People have always thought apostles are crazy people. (Wah! Wah! Widdle baby want some bweast milk? Cry me a fucking river, Mo.)
- In 15:12, God admits again that he purposely leads some people astray which makes him neither merciful nor benevolent. It does make him an asshole, but I’ve been saying that all along.
- Verse 53 retells the story about Abraham’s wife getting knocked up post-menopause. And 71 is my favorite story in the Quran: the one where pious old Lot offers up his daughters to be gang-raped by a mob. The Quran always leaves out the incest part that comes later, and I’ll give Mo a teeny bit of credit for knowing when to shut up.
- No chapter in the Quran is complete without some hell talk! 15:43 describes hell as a place with many gates — one for each section of people. So now I’m picturing hell as a baseball stadium. Nice!
- And 45 – 48 describe heaven in detail:
(45) Verily those who keep away from evil and follow the straight path shall be in the midst of gardens and springs of water.
(46) “Enter in peace and tranquility,” (they will be told).
(47) We shall cast out any grudge they may have in their hearts. (There) they will sit on couches face to face like brothers together.
(48) No weariness will come upon them, nor will they be sent away from there
Gardens? Springs of water? Snore.
Peace and tranquility? A spa!
That last little bit — the part with couches and brothers — that’s the part that made me snort so hard that I actually snotted up my keyboard. Don’t judge me, jerks. I’m sick.
So, in heaven, you have to sit around on couches and face one another? And be brothers? A) That seems like awkward furniture arrangement, and B) what about the sisters? Are there no women in heaven? Do women in heaven not get couches? Does everyone turn into a man upon reaching heaven?
Before anyone jumps on my case about how I’m a simpleton who just doesn’t “get” the poetic writing of the Quran, check out the first verse in chapter 15:
(1) ALIF LAM RA. These are the verses of the Book and the perspicuous oration.
Perspicuous oration. I had to look that up in a dictionary because I really am a simpleton. It means — get this shit — “plain reading.” Seriously, Ahmed Ali, what were you thinking? Jesus Fucking Christ, someone explain irony to this man.
Regardless, God says the Quran is a plain reading. Clear. Obvious. Understandable. I should be able to take the words at face value. So my question is valid: why does heaven sounds like a sausage-fest? And where the ladies at?
The only really interesting story that appears in this chapter is the one about Iblis. We’ve seen this one before, too, but God goes into detail this time…and he kind of makes himself look like an asshole. That’s coming up in part 2 of chapter 15 which I swear I’ll post in just another couple of hours. It’s a sick day blogathon — stay tuned!
P.S. It’s good to be back.
P.P.S. Battlestar Galactica, season 4, sitting in my mailbox right now. Jealous??