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

2: The Cow (Part IV — The cow in question, plus other Quranic silliness)

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This is the last post on chapter 2, because I swear to nothing in particular that I will slit my frikkin wrists if I have to read this shit one more time. Besides, there are so many more God is most mercifuls and God is most benevolents awaiting me in chapter 3. Oh joy of joys! Let’s get this over with.

It struck me as a little odd that a chapter titled The Cow doesn’t have very many cows in it. Then again, there’s a lot about the Quran that strikes me as a little odd. Maybe it’s all part of God’s plan. Yeah, that’s it. God’s plan. He’s all-knowing, all-wise, and totally not full of himself or anything.

The yellow cow, I learned, is basically the same as the red cow from the Bible.  God just forgot the color.  Here’s how the cow story went down, Quran style:

67. Remember, when Moses said to his people: “God demands that you sacrifice a cow,” they said: “Are you making fun of us?” And he said: “God forbid that I be of the ignorant.”
68. “Call on your Lord for us,” they said, “that He might inform us what kind she should be.” “Neither old nor young, says God, but of age in between,” answered Moses. “So do as you are bid.”
69. “Call on your Lord,” they said, “to tell us the colour of the cow.” “God says,” answered Moses, “a fawn coloured cow, rich yellow, well pleasing to the eye.”
70. “Call on your Lord,” they said, “to name its variety, as cows be all alike to us. If God wills we shall be guided aright.”
71. And Moses said: “He says it’s a cow unyoked, nor worn out by ploughing or watering the fields, one in good shape with no mark or blemish.” “Now have you brought us the truth,” they said; and then, after wavering, they sacrificed the cow.

God tells Moses to tell the Jews to sacrifice a cow. And the Jews think Moses is making fun of them. I think the Jews should have made fun of Moses, and maybe ditched that crazy bastard in the desert all by his lonesome. They didn’t. Instead, they tell Moses to tell God to be more specific.

God wants a handsome yellow cow. The Jews should probably just have quit here. There are plenty of handsome yellow cows around. Pick one and kill it, I say. But no. The Jews are whiny, as they so often are in the Quran, and they want Moses to tell God to tell Moses to tell them what specific kind of cow he wants for a sacrifice.  Because all cows look the same to Jews.  Mmm hmmm.  It’s like Three’s Company in the middle of a desert.

So then God comes back with this list of everything he wants his special cow to be, and, as usual, he’s too demanding and too picky.  And what do the Jews do? They say, “Now have you brought us the truth,” and then they kill the cow.

The fuck??

They believe Moses? Why? Why now? After all this going back and forth, playing mind games with the lord, they just do it? I was expecting waaaaay more whining, or, I don’t know, lightning to strike them in the faces one more time.  But no.  They kill the cow.  The end.

Drama is obviously not Mohammed’s forté.  Don’t worry, though.  The cow makes a triumphant return!  But only in some of the translations.  I’ll explain that in a bit.  First, check this out:

72. And (remember) when ye slew a man and disagreed concerning it and Allah brought forth that which ye were hiding.
73. And We said: Smite him with some of it. Thus Allah bringeth the dead to life and showeth you His portents so that ye may understand.

Someone murdered a man and nobody could figure out whodunnit, so they asked God to help them. Instead of just saying, “It was THAT guy!” God tells the people to smack the dead body with pieces of the sacrificed yellow cow’s flesh. Then the dead guy comes back to life temporarily to reveal the killer (it was Colonel Mustard with a candlestick in the library).

Wow.  Just wow.  Imagine if all of this actually happened.  You’d have all these Jews slapping their friend’s corpse with bloody chunks of beef, but since there is no God and since people do not come back from the dead, nothing happens.  They just beat the dead guy with raw meat till the sun goes down, and then they all go home.  And then maybe they take a shower to scrub off all that guilt, and they cry in the shower.  The big boo hoo, sobbing like a baby, biting your knees in the shower to stifle the noise kind of cry.  Yeah, I don’t know where I’m going with that either.

Anyway, those two verses there were taken from a different translation than my usual one.  The reason is that Ahmed Ali, the guy who wrote the translation I’m using, is a total pussy.  I’ve already explained how he sneaks things in with parentheses to skew the text one way or another.  And remember how he tried to justify that entire 1 woman is equal to 1/2 a man thing by saying it’s because women suck in business matters?  Well he does it again, folks.  This is his version of the same verses:

72. Remember when you killed a man and blamed each other for the deed, God brought to light what you concealed.
73. We had pronounced already: “Slay (the murderer) for (taking a life).” Thus God preserves life from death and shows you His signs that you may understand.

And then there’s a footnote:

The use of adribu bi-ba’diha in the original text could literally mean “strike him with some of her,” on the basis of which it has been taken to mean “strike it (the corpse) with some (pieces) of her (the cow).”  On the very face this seems not only far-fetched but no sanction exists for such a meaning in the Quran.

Apologist, apologist!!  Sound the fucking alarm!  It’s a good thing I’m consulting other versions of the Quran (including the always entertaining Skeptic’s Annotated Quran) online.  I’ve got my eye on you, Ahmed Ali, you douchetard.  You can fool the Muslims, but you can’t fool me.

That’s it for the cow.  It doesn’t show up ever again.  At least not in chapter 2.  Who knows, maybe it’ll be back in chapter 3 in the form of a really juicy hamburger or something.

Other silliness worth noting:

  • God did not anticipate space travel when he told Muslims to face the Kaabah while praying.  This was in the news a while back when a Muslim astronaut was flumoxed as to how he should pray.  No joke.
    2:144 and 2:150
  • God parts the Red Sea and drowns Pharaoh.  Remember this little detail in a few chapters when that same story is re-told, and Pharaoh does not drown, but instead converts to Islam.
  • About heathens like us:  “Are they waiting for God to appear in the balconies of clouds with a host of angels, and the matter to be settled?” Uh, yeah, kinda.  It would certainly help his case.
  • God turns some Jews into apes as punishment for breaking the Sabbath.  Nice guy, huh?
  • David kills Goliath.  But it says nothing about Goliath being a giant, so it’s really not all that exciting.
  • Women have to wait 3 monthly periods to remarry after a divorce.  What if they don’t have periods?  Just sayin’…
  • Abraham catches God off guard.  “Remember when Abraham said: “Oh Lord, show me how you raise the dead.”  He said, “What! Do you not believe?”  So much for being omniscient.  Yiish.
  • Christians knowingly perverted the word of God, and they suck ass.  Meh, that last bit is not in the Quran.  It’s been a while since I’ve picked on Christians, and I thought I’d sneak a jab in real quick.
  • Question anything Mohammed has to say and get sent straight to hell.  Also he compares himself to Moses in this verse.  “Do you too, O believers, wish to question your Apostle as Moses was in the past?”  Conceited, much?
  • Dietary restrictions!  Fun!  Muslims can’t eat carrion, pork, blood or anything that’s been killed in the name of any other God.  I knew about all of those except blood.  I guess rare steaks are a no no?
  • An eye for an eye.  Wonder where he got that one from.
  • Some very lonnnng verses about how it’s OK to kill and oppress people just so long as it’s in the name of God.  If it’s not in the name of God?  Bad.  Very, very bad.

I saved the best for last:

  • “Do you, then, believe a part of the book, but reject a part?” If you do, you’re going to hell.  But guess what?  God fucking told people to ignore some parts of the book!  Remember the abrogated verses clause?  You have no choice but to reject a part of the book in order to believe another part of the book! So there you go: God is sending Jews, Christians, atheists AND Muslims to hell.  Live it up, people; We’re ALL doomed.

That’s all for chapter 2, folks. Coming up next: the hopefully less sucktastic chapter 3, The Family of Imran.


Written by kafirgirl

July 11, 2008 at 12:38 am

Posted in Quran

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11 Responses

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  1. Oh, man! I had to leave my desk and run to the bathroom to explode in laughter safely out of the view of my coworkers. Twice!

    Thank you, Kafir: not only am I learning more about Islam, but I’m having the time of my life doing it. I commend you on your witty and extremely funny writing, and I am grateful for your skeptic’s analysis of the Quran.

    Keep it up!


    July 11, 2008 at 10:37 am

  2. Hi Leandro! Glad you’re learning and laughing. I’ll keep em coming until I finish the book or until I lose my will to live, whichever comes first. Ha!


    July 11, 2008 at 12:31 pm

  3. If you’re looking for a byline to replace the default “Just another WordPress.com weblog” at the top, may I suggest “We read the Quran, so you don’t have to”? Unless someone has a better idea (which, admittedly, wouldn’t be hard).


    July 11, 2008 at 3:28 pm

  4. I love it, arensb. Done and done. Thank you!


    July 11, 2008 at 8:00 pm

  5. Oh Kafirgirl,

    you’re so hilarious! Really, it’s hard to believe. I’ve always though that a woman is just half funny as a man…


    July 12, 2008 at 10:17 pm

  6. Enrico, well played, worthy adversary. Well played indeed. High five!


    July 13, 2008 at 2:37 am

  7. ““Do you, then, believe a part of the book, but reject a part?” If you do, you’re going to hell. But guess what? God fucking told people to ignore some parts of the book! Remember the abrogated verses clause? You have no choice but to reject a part of the book in order to believe another part of the book! So there you go: God is sending Jews, Christians, atheists AND Muslims to hell. Live it up, people; We’re ALL doomed.
    2:85 ”



    July 25, 2008 at 5:56 am

  8. “God tells Moses to tell the Jews to sacrifice a cow. And the Jews think Moses is making fun of them. I think the Jews should have made fun of Moses, and maybe ditched that crazy bastard in the desert all by his lonesome”.

    yUP. tHEY did that.
    YUSUFALI: And remember ye said: “O Moses! We shall never believe in thee until we see Allah manifestly,…..” ”

    When they did that, they “…….were dazed with thunder and lighting ….. ”



    July 25, 2008 at 6:03 am

  9. Love you lady……

    I always argued that I made fun of all other religions but not of Islam because a. i did not know much of it b. It was way off on the map of weird…
    thanks for a. educating me on it b. proving me right.

    A fellow atheist, I commend your patience and will be a diligent reader. I think I can get inspired to write on the Hindu scriptures…
    but I lack your wit.


    August 15, 2008 at 7:44 pm

  10. Heya Allytude! I would love it if someone would write about the Hindu scriptures. I don’t know a whole lot about Hinduism, but it would make for a great read.


    August 16, 2008 at 12:40 am

  11. […] Chapter 2, part 4 (The cow in question, plus other Quranic silliness.): […]

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