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