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

4: The Women (Part I — A scientific miracle in the Quran. Not.)

with 21 comments

Chapter 4! Whoo! I predicted I’d have an ulcer and a hernia by now, but I was wrong. Aside from occasionally having God-induced nausea, I’m doing just fine. I could do this all day. All night. Bring it! Whoo! 3 chapters down, 101 more to go!

…I totally just threw up in my mouth a little. Fuck and shit. We’d better get started before I realize what exactly I’ve gotten myself into.

Chapter 4 is titled The Women. I just swallowed my eyeballs — that’s how far back in my head they rolled.  It’s the same reaction I have when I see hijab-clad girls wearing the “This is what a Muslim feminist looks like” T-shirts. (I wish I was making that up.  Do a Google search.)  The Quran has already taught me that I’m worth half a man and that I get confused easily, so yeah, I’m really, really fucking curious what this God character might possibly have to say about me.  I imagine we’ll have a lot to tear apart discuss.

Scanning through the chapter at first pass, I noticed that it covers much more than just women’s issues.  Mohammed brings up lots of good old fashioned family values, like marriage, money, and orphans’ rights.  And war.  And slavery.  (But more on those later!)  For now, let’s start with the very first verse:

1. O MEN, FEAR your Lord who created you from a single cell, and from it created its mate, and from the two of them dispersed men and women (male and female) in multitudes. So fear God in whose name you ask of one another (the bond of) relationships. God surely keeps watch over you.

We’re only on the first verse of this chapter and already something smells fishy.  Fear your Lord who created you from a single cell?  A single cell?!  Well, shit, God’s got me there.  How could Mohammed have possibly known what cells are?  ….unless God told him.

Hey, you know what? I can’t do this anymore.  I’ve changed my mind about Allah. Surely he is all-wise and all-knowing.  This is a genuine scientific miracle of the Quran.  It must really be the word of God!  Goodbye, internets, I’m converting back to Islam! May Allah have mercy on you silly assholes.

Snort.  Can you imagine?

Here’s what I think:  I think Ahmed Ali is pulling this “cell” stuff out of his ass.  I think if Mohammed had said, “Man was created from a single cell!” the Arabs would have asked, “What the fuck is a cell?”  And there is no further explanation offered in the Quran.  Call me crazy, but I just can’t see that happening 1000 years before the microscope was invented.

I looked up the the same verse in three other widely accepted and well-known translations. Here are the AJ Arberry, Marmaduke Pickthall, and Syed V. Ahamed translations:

A. J. Arberry:
4:1. Mankind, fear your Lord, who created you of a single soul, and from it created its mate, and from the pair of them scattered abroad many men and women; and fear God by whom you demand one of another, and the wombs; surely God ever watches over you.

Marmaduke Pickthall:
4:1. O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain hath spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Be careful of your duty toward Allah in Whom ye claim (your rights) of one another, and toward the wombs (that bare you). Lo! Allah hath been a watcher over you.

Syed V. Ahamed:
4:1. O Mankind! Fear (and respect) your (Guardian) Lord, Who created you, from a single person (Adam), and from him, He (Allah) created his mate of similar nature, and from both (the two of them) spread (like seeds) countless men and women— And fear Allah, through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and revere (and respect) the wombs (that bore you): For Allah always watches over you.

Single soul.
Single soul.
Single person.

Wow.  Ahamed’s version is a little awkward.  He created a mate of similar nature?  Who the fuck talks like that?  Regardless, none of them mention a single cell.

You know, if Allah actually existed, I don’t think he’d be too happy with Ahmed Ali taking so many liberties in translating the immutable, infallible word of God.   But I’ll keep reading his version, because everyone else uses words like “thou.” For me, reading anything with “thou” in it is like taking a horse tranquilizer.  In suppository form.  This book is boring enough on its own, thankyouverymuch.

Anyway, who knows?  Maybe Ahmed Ali made an innocent mistake.  “Cell” and “soul” do kind of sound alike.  If you’re a douchebag fucking Muslim apologist trying to make the Quran a little less full of horseshit.  Check out what chapter 3 says about the creation of man:

3:59. For God the likeness of Jesus is as that of Adam whom He fashioned out of dust and said “Be” and he was.
3: 60. This is the truth from your Lord, so do not be in doubt.

Now God created man out of dust?  But isn’t dust mostly comprised of human skin?  How does that work out?  Doesn’t matter, because in chapter 15, man isn’t made from dust after all.  Man is made from fermented clay:

15:26. Man We fashioned from fermented clay dried tingling hard,
15:27. As We fashioned jinns before from intense radiated heat.

Fermented clay.  Seriously?  Sounds smelly.  The only thing that can trump fermented clay is the mention of jinns being created from intense radiated heat. In case you didn’t know, jinns are genies.  They live in glass bottles and make Larry Hagman’s life a living hell.

OK, in all seriousness, jinns are slightly more ridiculous than even I Dream of Jeanie.  This is what Wikipedia had to say about jiins in Islam:

Jinns are also in the category of humans in the sense of free will. The only difference is that they are made of smokeless fire and therefore are not visible to humans. There are more jinns than humans in terms of population. Jinns have the power to fly and fit in to any space so they live in remote areas, mountains, seas, trees, and in the air in their own communities. We can’t see them and they also can’t see us clearly. Humans are only visible as a very blurry image to them, very few jinns are able to see humans like humans can see other humans. Like humans, Jinns will also be judged on judgment day and will be sent to heaven or hell according to the life they lead. Jinns can both Muslim and non-Muslim. The non-Muslim Jinns form part of an army or group and then are known as a shaitan. Every person is assigned a special jinn to them, also called a qareen, they are the jinns what whisper into your soul and tell you to give into your evil desires. The Prophet Muhammed’s jinn turned into a Muslim jinn, on the recitation of the Qur’an, as the jinn found it most beautiful, now the jinn only tells him to do good.

Did you catch all of that?  Jinns can fly and fit into any space.  Some of them live in the sea, some in trees.  And they have little jinn-communities, probably with jinn-grocery stores, jinn-banks, jinn-retirement homes.  They may even have jinn dogs that they take to the jinn-neighborhood jinn-park!  They’re all around us, but we can’t see them.  WooooOOOOOOOOOoooooooo!  Spooooooky!  I could be sitting on a jinn right now and not even know it.

Double you.  Tee.  Eff.  It’s crazy enough that people believe in the invisible man in the sky.  Turns out Muslims also believe in invisible communities of smokeless-fire-people living alongside us in a parallel universe!  Holy fucking shit.  This religion is beyond retarded.  It’s retardeder.  But I digress.  Let’s get back to the creation of man.

16:4. Man He created from a drop of semen; and still he becomes an open contender.

OK, nevermind.  Fuck everything else.  Man was not created from dust or a single cell or a soul or fermented clay.  He was created from semen!  Now we’re making sense!  Sorta.  I don’t mean to be a pain in the ass, but whose semen?  God’s?  That gives a whole new meaning to the term “primordial ooze,” doesn’t it?

You know what?  Never mind.  It doesn’t matter.  Because Mohammed God changes his mind and suddenly man was created out of nothing:

19:67. Does man not remember that before We created him he was nothing?

Nothing!  See, why couldn’t he have picked that and stuck with it throughout the whole book?  It wouldn’t make the book believable by any means, but at least it would make more sense than dry, tingling, fermented fucking clay or Godsplooge.  Too bad it doesn’t last.  God is such a flip flopper.

96:1. Read in the name of your Lord who created,
96.2. Created man from an embryo;

This, too, didn’t sit well with me.  So I had to be a pain in the ass and check other Quran translations.  And, hey, guess what?  Ahmed Ali, God’s little helper elf, strikes again!  In all 3 of the other Quran translations I checked, the chapter is not even titled The Embryo. It’s titled The Clot. And the verses? Yep, they don’t say jackfuckingshit about an embryo:

A. J. Arberry:
96:2. Created Man of a blood-clot.

96:2. Createth man from a clot.

Syed V. Ahamed:
96:2. Created man, out of a (mere) clot of thickened blood

That’s right. According to everyone but Ahmed Ali, God created man out of a blood clot. A blood clot!  I guess you can’t really blame the guy for trying:  he just wants his God to look like less of a jackass.  And “embryo” and “single cell” do sound pretty impressive for 7th century material, right?  It kind of gives Mohammed some credibility; it makes him look like less of a yokel who had hallucinations and thought evil spirits were lurking under every toilet seat.

But the truth will out.  You cannot hide it forever.  You  have contradiction after contradiction after contradiction all over the Quran.  You have “scholars” like this guy translating the Quran according to his vision of who God is.  And nobody can openly talk about this bullshit for fear of being banished to hell.  Or worse, for fear of being beheaded, lashed, or fucking stoned to death, depending on geography.  But don’t forget, everyone:  Islam is a religion of peace!  And Muslims are a diplomatic and tolerant people!  Just don’t tell them the bullshit that’s actually in their precious Quran, or they will fuck you up.

Next time:  We’ll actually read something about women!  Maybe we’ll even make it to the second or third verse!  The fun never ends, ya’ll.  Stay tuned.


Written by kafirgirl

July 15, 2008 at 5:30 pm

Posted in Quran

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21 Responses

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  1. I think I had to fight a jinn once….

    In final fantasy on the NES


    July 15, 2008 at 5:47 pm

  2. Did they whisper into your soul and tell you to do bad things?


    July 15, 2008 at 5:52 pm

  3. perhaps “Clot” is a euphemism for Vagina :O)


    July 15, 2008 at 5:57 pm

  4. Somehow that all combined in my head and now I think God created Man from dusty semen.


    July 15, 2008 at 6:01 pm

  5. I can’t wait to read more. I’ll have to dig up my Quran to follow along. What a terrific blog so far! Thank you very much for sharing your talent, Kafirgirl.

    And yeah: “blood clot” is pretty gross. Not really an origin to brag about.


    July 15, 2008 at 8:06 pm

  6. This is better than BSG — I can’t wait for the next installment: it’s like a 5th century mini-series!

    I bet Mohamed gets pregnant and doesn’t know who the father is!


    July 15, 2008 at 10:19 pm

  7. Maybe god created man out of one person, who was a clot?


    July 15, 2008 at 11:50 pm

  8. Gregory, ha! God should get that checked out. I kept mixing them together in my head, thinking maybe God meant for it to be all of those things together. But a fermented blood clot with semen in it doesn’t sound very divine. To me anyway. Who knows? Mohammed might have shit his pants over it.

    Hi Caitlin, thank you so much. Would love if it you read along — it’s always interesting to see the differences across translations.

    Rick, better than BSG?! BLASPHEMY! …so say we all.

    Andrew, I think Mohammed was the clot. No idea what I mean by that, but it does kind of make me giggle. Clot.


    July 16, 2008 at 12:53 am

  9. Hi, i’ve been reading for a few hours now (my brain hurts) I found you by way of Dwindling In Unbelief . The source material must be just bloody aweful to read, so thank you for reading and explaining it so well. I love your writing style and will be back for the next chapter :)

    David W

    July 16, 2008 at 2:32 am

  10. Hi David, thank you so much. Sorry your head hurt. I feel like I’ve been walking around in a daze for the past few days myself — the Quran is always on my mind. I’m willing to bet I think about God more at the moment than most Muslims I know.


    July 16, 2008 at 12:01 pm

  11. I choked on my coffee when I read “I could be sitting on a jinn;” but when I got to “Godsplooge,” I spit it out. Um, as should we all, I guess. Nice.

    Sarah Smallwood

    July 16, 2008 at 12:19 pm

  12. LOL!!

    so say we all.



    July 16, 2008 at 1:44 pm

  13. I believe Final Fantasy IV has a Jinn as a summoned monster, but later games call it an Ifrit instead. If Wikipedia is to be believed, an Ifrit is a kind of Jinn, and is mentioned in Sura An-Naml.


    July 19, 2008 at 3:13 pm

  14. Yup, I think you’re right about an Ifrit being a special kind of Jinn. There are a couple of different kinds. I’m curious to see what the Quran has to say about them. The whole idea of Jinns is just so ridiculous to me, that even having them in the Quran makes the whole thing about a hundred times less legit.


    July 19, 2008 at 5:47 pm

  15. Another fantastically eloquent critique (if I may call it that) kafirgirl of these supposedly most scientific of facts revealed in Al-Quran, according to various muslim apologists i’ve listened to over the years anyway.

    As you quite rightly point in most of these verses the truth is often lost in translation. Which probably makes this bullshit even more confusing, especially when you add to the mix, that the Quranic lord speaketh in the third person, often through his mouthpiece, sorry what did you say his name was again, bob? Yknow the one made of light and all that.

    If I can recall correctly in Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s translation, in the footnotes, he is continuously deducing the lyrics to make sense of the nonsensical. Thankfully I gave up reading somewhere down the line & you are jogging my memory again but this time I am laughing at the absurdity of what I was once reading.

    Thanks so much kafirgirl you are the wittiest infidel I have read in ages!

    defunct pilgrim

    July 19, 2008 at 7:17 pm

  16. Hey Pilgrim, Ahmed Ali does that in his footnotes, too. That man could find a way to justify anything. It muddles things up a little, because you’re never really sure which version to believe. It’s like comparing apples to apples — they’re all equally muddled up.


    July 20, 2008 at 3:33 pm

  17. Kafir Girl: “Did you catch all of that? Jinns can fly and fit into any space. Some of them live in the sea, some in trees. And they have little jinn-communities, probably with jinn-grocery stores, jinn-banks, jinn-retirement homes.”

    Oh, ohhh, are the jinn-banks run by jinn-goblins and are full of caves where jinns store their jinn-gold?. Sorry, I finished the seven books a couple of weeks ago and they’re still fresh in my memory. :D

    On the whole creation story deal, I think you’re being a little harsh and biased. It’s obvious that before Allah created man there was nothing(19:67), so He crossed His arms and blinked some dust into existence to use as raw material(3:59). Then He found it pretty hard to build shit with dust ’cause it just wouldn’t freakin’ hold its shape. Verily, He was stumpeth, but all of a sudden got an idea. One so crazy it could perchance worketh: He proceedeth, proceedeth He, to “lash the jinn” (if thou knowst what I mean) into the dust and it came(so to speak) to pass that the Holy Spunk(16:4) acted as a binding agent forming clay, um.. forsooth(15:24). Long story short, He procrastinated for a while so the clay got pretty old, crusty and funky(15:24 also) until one day He went “aw, crap, my human being’s due tomorrow” so He started putting us together. He wanted to make us really awesome but it was 4:30 AM already so “fuck it, that’ll do” spaketh He and thus we were. And then He says to Adam, he says, “hey Man, how are ya?” and Adam’s like “I dunno, dude, I’ve never been.”

    So, you see? there’s really no contradic… Mother of Crap! I forgot about the blood!. Right, so, Allah had been “choking Muhammad” a little too often(there was no creation, can you blame Him? it was boring as all fuck) so He had made Himself a little irritated down there so a bit of blood was mixed with his sperm.

    So, you see? there’s really no contradiction. Please stop being such a dogmatic atheist and taking stuff out context.

    P.S.: +1 to xroblcx and Nathan for knowing about FF. =P


    July 27, 2008 at 1:42 pm

  18. Hi Kafirgirl! Sorry to be posting on this so late, but I’m playing catch up. I was just wondering, if Jinns can be sent to hell, aren’t they made of fire and so wouldn’t they feel right at home? Not much of a punishment is it?
    I have tried to read the quran a coupe of times but only lasted a few chapters (which is more than I’ve managed from the bible!) Thanks for doing it for us!


    August 8, 2008 at 11:55 pm

  19. Hi Adrian! It’s pretty fucking stupid, right? Fire burning fire? It comes up again in chapter 7:

    7:38. “Enter then the Fire,” will God say, “with the past generations of jinns and men.”

    You’d think heaven, what with it’s cooling streams of water and all, would be like hell to the jinns. But that’s the Quran for you. Makes no sense whatsoever.

    Anyway, thanks for reading. I’m happy to do it, tedious as it can be at times. I’m learning a ton, not just from the book, but from the super knowledgeable people who leave comments about the historical accuracy of such-and-such and Bible stories I’ve never heard. Fantastic!


    August 9, 2008 at 12:30 am

  20. Kafirgirl: Did you catch all of that? Jinns can fly and fit into any space.

    Does it not make you wonder this could be the reason Mo the man was saying prayers before taking a dump. Maybe he did not want no jinns up his apostley ass when he was dumping.

    Before Mo started hallucinating (having visions), he was traveling with a lot of caravans in hot desert sun, listening to so many stories about man and his creation. I would say, in this chapter, he tells us all those stories he heard in the desert sun so that we can get as confused as he was.

    Man made of fermented clot filled with semen, what about women? I guess women were made from half a fermented clot impregneted with semen.


    August 14, 2008 at 9:54 am

  21. […] it’s the return of the Quranic scientific miracle!  We got into this a little back in chapter 4, but it’s definitely worth discussing on its own.  The exact argument that Saki is referring […]

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