7: The Wall Between Heaven and Hell (Part V — More prophets than you can shake a dick at.)
Did you know that God sent down 123,999 prophets before he sent Mohammed? Neither did I. Or at least I didn’t remember it until I read this chapter. Fuckin’ A. 124,000 prophets. According to the Quran, the number is 124,000 because God sent one prophet to each nation:
16:36. To every community We have sent an apostle. (saying) “Worship God, and keep away from all other deities.” Thus some of them were guided by God, and ruin was justified on some. Travel over the earth and see what befell those who accused (the apostles) of lies.
Still not sure how they decided that there were 124,000 nations, but that’s the generally accepted number among Muslims. 124K nations = 124k prophets. God could have probably avoided all that trouble just by showing his fucking face, but hey, I don’t want the mountains to crumble any more than you do.
Only a handful of these 124,000 prophets have l337 status in the Quran. And out of that handful, there are only 6 who get talked about at any great length: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and of course, God’s golden boy, Mohammed.
Chapter 7 features a couple of those other prophets. As far as I know, they weren’t even recorded outside of the Quran — not that it matters any to most Muslims.
God starts us off with a story most of us are already familiar with. Check out Noah, ya’ll:
59. We sent Noah to his people, and he said: “O people worship God; you have no other god but He; for I fear the retribution of the great Day may fall on you.”
60. The elders of his people replied: “We see clearly that you have gone astray.”
61. “I have not gone astray, O my people,” he said, “but have been sent by my Lord, the creator of all the worlds.
Three verses in, and already my eyebrows are raised so high that I’m wearing my own forehead as a beret. Something about the word “astray” smells fishy. Don’t ask me why, it just does. I’ve been reading the Quran for nearly 6 weeks now and I’m onto Ahmed Ali’s tricks. So I looked up a couple of other translations.
A. J. Arberry:
Said the Council of his people, ‘We see thee in manifest error.’
The chieftains of his people said: Lo! we see thee surely in plain error.
and my favorite:
The leaders of his people said: “Ah! we see thee evidently wandering (in mind).”
Even in error seems really watered down to me. I think Yusuf Ali might be closer to the mark when he says “wandering in mind.” In plain English, the people are saying, “Holy fucking hell, Noah, you’re batshitass crazy.” I can buy that.
62. I bring to you the messages of my Lord, and give you sincere advice, for I know from God what you do not know.
63. Do you wonder that a warning has come to you from your Lord through a man who is one of you, and warns you to take heed for yourselves and fear God? You might be treated with mercy.”
A warning has come to you from your Lord through a man who is one of you. Boy, that sounds awfully familiar. Where have I come across that before? Oh, I know: the entire fucking Quran. This is just another example of Mohammed setting himself up to be on par with the Old Testament prophets.
See, I’m just like Noah. And his people thought he was crazy too. But he wasn’t, was he? He wasn’t crazy. So I’m not crazy either. You calling me crazy? Why don’t you come over here and say that? I’ll fucking kick your ass. YOU’RE the one who’s crazy. Bitch.
64. But they called him a liar, and We saved him and those with him in the Ark, and drowned the others who rejected Our signs, for they were a people purblind.
Purblind? Maybe I’m purstupid, but I had to look that word up. It means partly blind or slow to understand. PurOK. Makes sense since God puts a covering over the hearts of anyone who expresses doubt.
Anyway, the gist of the story is this:
- God sends prophet.
- Prophet tries to save people.
- People think prophet is a lunatic.
- God saves prophet, drowns people.
Next up is a prophet named Hūd. I did a little research on Hūd. This might come as a major shock to most of you — seriously, sit down for this — but there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that Hūd and the people of ‘Ad actually existed. Not that I could find on the internets, anyway. I tried every keyword search I could think of, and I came across nothing but Muslim websites regurgitating the same bit of cud over and over again. Other than that? Nada. Zip. Zilch. Not even a measly Wikipedia page. Yeah. I was pretty surprised, too. Not really.
Anyway, here’s what one Muslim site had to say about Hūd and his peeps:
The people of ‘Ad lived many years in the windswept hills of an area between Yemen and Oman. They were physically well built and renowned for their craftsmanship especially in the construction of tall buildings with lofty towers. They were outstanding among all the nations in power and wealth, which, unfortunately, made them arrogant and boastful. Their political power was held in the hand of unjust rulers, against whom no one dared to raise a voice.
No joke. I’m not sure where they’re piecing this shit together from because they don’t give any references outside the Quran. But there you have it. The people of ‘Ad from somewhere between Yemen and Oman. Here’s their story:
65. And We sent Hūd, their brother, to the people of ‘Ad. He said: “O you people, worship God, for you have no other god but He. Will you not take heed for yourselves?”
66. The chiefs of his people who were infidels replied: “We find you full of folly, and a liar to boot.”
67. “I am not a fool, O people,” he answered, “but have been sent by the Lord of all the worlds.
Sound familiar?? It’s Noah version 2.0! Only this time, his people think he’s a stupid liar.
68. I bring to you the messages of my Lord. I am your sincere friend.
69. Do you wonder that a warning has come to you from your Lord through a man who is one of you and warns you? Remember, He made you leaders after the people of Noah, and gave you a greater increase in your stature. So think of the favours of God; you may haply be blessed.”
Hūd does a little name dropping there: Remember what happened to Noah? Don’t piss God off or he’ll drown your ass, too!
70. They answered: “Have you come to say to us that we should worship only one God, abandoning those our ancestors had worshipped? If so, bring on us what you threaten us with, if what you say is true.”
71. He replied: “You have already been beset with punishment and the wrath of God. Why dispute with me about names invented by you and your ancestors for which no sanction was sent down? So wait (for what is to come), I am waiting with you.”
72. Then We saved him and those on his side by Our grace, and destroyed to the very last those who rejected Our signs and denied the truth.
God destroys everyone except Hūd. He doesn’t really mention how he destroyed them, just that they were destroyed. Mysterious! Chapter 11 is actually titled Hūd, so I’m pretty sure we’ll get more details on his story later on.
After Hūd comes Saleh and his people, the Thamud. Unlike the ‘Ad, at least these guys have a Wikipedia page:
According to the Qur’an, Saleh was a Semite born nine generations after Noah and the flood; he is described as having been born and raised among the Thamud, a group of people who lived in an area between Palestine and the Hijaz. The Thamud are said to have lived in stone houses carved into mountains, and to have worshipped idols made from stone.
They supposedly lived in an area between Palestine and the Hijaz (central Saudi Arabia). Not too far from where Mohammed pops up later on. Check this out:
Ooooh ahhhhh! How amazing is that? I don’t know if the people who made these temples and houses were called the Thamud or, hell, whether the Thamud actually existed. But, holy shit, that’s just fucking cool looking. What kind of rent you think they’d charge for a place like that?
73. We sent to Thamud their brother Saleh. “O you people,” said he, “worship God, for you have no other god but He. Clear proof has come to you already from your Lord, and this she-camel of God is the token for you. Leave her free to graze upon God’s earth, and do not molest her lest a grievous punishment should befall you.
Whaaaa? A camel in the Middle East is a clear proof from God? Seriously?? I looked up camel and she-camel in the index of my Quran, and found nothing but this verse. So I took to the internets.
Here’s how it all went down. Saleh’s people were kind of cheating on God. They knew all about him, but they weren’t willing to ditch all the other gods for him. Saleh didn’t like that one bit, so he starting bitching them out for it. So these people ask Saleh to ask God to send down some evidence. How very rational of them!
I’m tickled fucking pink by that. Why? Because it’s still happening. It’s hilarious how, say, some Christians can be the most rational, logical people in the world when it comes to calling out Islam’s contradictions and errors. There are tons of Christian websites out there that debunk Islam and do a pretty decent job of it. These people can take a good, long look at that other religion and wonder how anyone could buy in to that load of bullshit. And yet they can’t see the very same bullshit in their own fucking religion.
And it isn’t just the Christians who are doing this. It’s the same sad story with Muslims, Hindus, Jews, and all the other religions out there that claim to be the one truth. Pot. Kettle. Black.
Anyway, these people asked for some proof of God’s existence. This is what they said:
Then pointing at a rock, they demanded: “Ask your Lord to make a she camel, which must be 10 months pregnant, tall and attractive, issue from the rock for us.”
I died. I fucking died laughing. And then I resurrected myself just so I could die laughing again. These people wanted God to turn a boulder into a tall, attractive, pregnant camel. No joke. I lifted that from a Muslim site. Type Saleh and she-camel into Google and you’ll come up with the same thing with different wording. Also someone wrote a song called Saleh’s She-Camel which is sung to the tune of Sally the Camel. You seriously cannot make this shit up.
Anyway, Saleh makes them promise that they won’t fuck shit up if God does this little magic trick. They promise. So God turns the boulder into a tall, attractive, pregnant camel. Oh, and the camel does tricks too:
There are a number of ancient accounts of this camel and its miraculous nature. It was said that the she camel was miraculous because a rock in the mountain split open and it came forth from it, followed by its young offspring. Other accounts said that the she camel used to drink all the water in the wells in one day, and no other animals could approach the water. Still others claimed that the she camel produced milk sufficient for all the people to drink, on the same day that it drank all the water, leaving none for them.
The fuck? It drank up all their water and left none for the people or other animals? And they had to drink camel milk? Bleah! That camel sounds like a fucking asshole. And I guess Saleh’s people agree with me, because they killed it.
Look, I found even found pictures:
So that’s the story of the she-camel. Moving right along:
74. Remember, how you were made leaders after the people of ‘Ad, and were settled on the land so that you could construct on the plains palaces, and carve dwellings out of mountains. So think of the favours of God, and do not act with corruption in the land.”
Remember what happened to those ‘Ad people who remembered what happened to Noah’s people? Yeah. That could be you.
75. The chiefs among the people who were arrogant towards the weaker ones among them who believed, asked: “Do you really know that Saleh has been sent by his Lord?” They said: “Indeed we believe in the message he has brought.”
76. Those who were arrogant answered: “We do not believe in what you believe.”
77. Then they hamstrung the she-camel and rebelled against the command of their Lord, and said: “Bring, O Saleh, on us the affliction you promise, if you are one of the sent ones.”
Man. I hope they at least ate the camel. What’s the point of killing it if you’re not going to eat it? I would be a horrible vegetarian. And probably also a horrible serial killer.
78. Then they were seized by an earthquake, and lay overturned on the ground in their homes in the morning.
79. Saleh turned away from them and said: “O my people, I conveyed to you the message of my Lord and warned you; but you do not like those who wish you well.”
So God sent down an earthquake and killed everyone except Saleh, who turned around and said, “I told you so.” And then he grilled up that she-camel and ate the whole thing himself. OK, I made up that last bit. I seriously just hate seeing perfectly good meat go to waste.
By the way, the earthquake didn’t manage to destroy all those gorgeous temples carved into the boulders. You can check out some more pictures on Wikipedia.
Next up is Lot. You guys know Lot. He’s the one who tossed his daughters out to be raped by a mob. He makes a brief appearance:
80. And We sent Lot, who said to his people: “Why do you commit this lecherous act which none in the world has committed before?
81. In preference to women you satisfy your lust with men. Indeed you are a people who are guilty of excess.”
OK, first off I call bullfuckingshit on that whole lecherous act which none in the world has committed before thing. Seriously? Seriously?? This is the first time ever that someone wanted a little man-on-man action? The first time since man first realized he could stick his dick in something and wiggle it around to feel fantastic? Really? For some reason I find that incredibly hard to believe. And don’t give me that, “It’s unnatural” bullshit either. Everybody’s doing it. The birds, the bees, and over 450 other species that have been documented having gay sex.
82. His people made no answer, and only said: “Drive them out of the city. They profess to be pure.”
83. But We saved him and his family, except for his wife who was one of those who stayed behind.
84. And We rained down on them a shower (of Stones). So witness the end of sinners!
Lot and his daughters escape while everyone except gets stoned to death. Even Lot’s wife. She must have stayed behind to watch all those dudes getting it on. Whatever. I can’t judge. It’s not like she had Cinemax to turn to.
And last but not least we have Shu’aib. According to Wikipedia, Shu’aib is usually thought of as the Jethro character from the Old Testament. Yusuf Ali, King Apologist, doesn’t agree with that. Me? I’m ig’nant and have never even heard of Jethro, so I can’t say. But Shu’aib’s story is awfully familiar. Emphasis on the awfully.
85. Remember, We sent to Midian their brother Shu’aib. “O you people,” he said, “worship God, for you have no other god but He. Clear proof has come to you from your Lord; so give in full measure and full weight; do not keep back from people what is theirs, and do not corrupt the land after it has been reformed. This is best for you if you believe.
I was a little confused on the whole Midian thing. I mean, wasn’t Midian a person? Well, it turns out God actually meant the Midianites. Oops! Everyone makes mistakes, I guess. Even the infallible, all-knowing, most-everything God.
According to Wikipedia, the Midianites probably lived in Cleveland, Ohio. Oh, I kid, I kid. They lived in the Middle East. What a coincidence! That’s where Noah and Hūd and Saleh and Lot lived! And here I was expecting at least one of these prophets to be in Antartica or South Africa or Australia or Mexico. You know. Because one was sent to every fucking community that ever existed.
86. Do not lie in ambush to intimidate and divert from the path of God those who believe in Him, nor seek obliquity in it. Remember the day when you were few and He increased your numbers. So consider the fate of those who were evil.
87. If some of you believe what has been sent through me, and some of you do not, have patience until God decide between us, for He is the best of all judges.”
Déjà fucking vu. I bet you’ve already figured out what’s coming up next:
88. The arrogant leaders of the people replied: “We shall drive you away from our land, O Shu’aib, and those who are with you, unless you come back to your faith.” But he remarked: “Even if we are disgusted with it?
89. We shall only be guilty of blaspheming God if we accept your way after the people of Noah, and gave you a greater increase in your stature. So think of the favours of God; you may haply be blessed.”
90. The chiefs among his people who did not believe said (to them): “If you follow Shu’aib and his way you will surely be ruined.”
Yup. He tried to warn them and they didn’t listen. Know what’s coming up next? Yeah you do!
91. Then they were seized by an earthquake, and lay overturned on the ground in their homes in the morning.
An earthquake! And guess who died? Guess!! Take a wild fucking guess!
92. They who called Shu’aib a liar (disappeared) as though they had never existed; and those who called Shu’aib a liar were the ones who were ruined!
Whoo! Everyone except Shu’aib! And they disappeared almost as if they’d never existed. Know why? Because they probably never did!
93. So Shu’aib turned away from them and said: “O people, I conveyed to you the message of my Lord, and warned you. (But you paid no heed). How can I grieve for a people who do not believe?”
Shu’aib says, “I told you so,” and flips his people the bird. Yeah. That’s original. And here are the verses that tie everything together with a neat little bow:
94. There is not a region to which We sent a prophet and did not inflict upon its people adversity and hardship so that they may submit.
95. But when We changed hardship to ease, and they rose and prospered, (they forgot Our favours) and said: “Our ancestors had also known suffering and joy.” So We caught them unawares.
96. But if the people of these regions had believed and feared God, We would surely have showered on them blessings of the heavens and the earth; but they only denied, and We punished them for their deeds.
Hey Mohammed. Your persecution complex is showing.
That’s right. Mohammed was having a tough time. People were calling him crazy, refusing to believe his cockamamie ideas, and boofuckinghoo, not converting to his religion. So what did Mohammed do? He set it up so all these other prophets had the same problems. Each prophet warned his people about how God would wipe them all out, but nobody listened. And then God pelted them with stones, drowned them, sent an earthquake, or when his imagination ran a little low, he plain old destroyed them.
Mohammed used this as a warning to the people who didn’t buy in to his bullshit. Obey me or God will destroy you like he destroyed the people of Noah, the people of Hūd, the people of Saleh and Lot and Shu’aib. Obey. Or die.
You know what? I’ll go with die. God can feel free to strike me with lightening. I’m not really doing anything right now. Here. I’ll even open up the window for him. I’ll sit here with my feel soaking in my Sharper Image heated foot spa and everything. I’m ready. Any minute now. …any minute. Yeah.
Coming up next: chapter 8, Spoils of War. Yeah. That should give me an aneurysm for sure. Stay tuned!
Here’s some other chapter 7 stuff worth mentioning, but not worth an entire post:
- Check out what God does to an entire village of Jews:
166. When they persisted in doing what they had been forbidden, We said to them: “Become (like) apes despised.”
Knock out that Ahmed Ali parenthetical (like), and you see that God turns the Jews into apes. Again. The fuck is with this guy and his apes?
- Here’s some more animal fun:
175. Relate to them the plight of the man whom We gave Our signs, but he passed them by, so that Satan came after him, and he went astray.
176. We wished to exalt him, but he loved baseness and followed his lust. His likeness is that of a dog who hangs out his tongue if you drive him away, and still hangs it out if you leave him alone. Such is the case of the people who deny Our signs. Narrate this history to them; they may haply reflect.
Oh I’m haply reflecting, alright. This man followed his lust and he started resembling a dog. His tongue stuck out all the time, even when he was all alone. Thath whath happeth whaw yaw fallah ya luth.
- You know how I get pissed when God switches from first person to third person? Well this block of verses made me shit out my intestines. It was messy. The bolds are mine:
182. We shall punish those who deny Our revelations slowly in a way that they will not know.
183. I will just give them respite. My plan is certainly invincible.
184. Have they not bethought themselves their companion is not mad? He is only a plain admonisher.
185. Have they not contemplated the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and everything created by God, (to educe) that perhaps their own term is drawing to a close? In what lore after this would they then believe? leaves them to wander perplexed in their wickedness.
186. Whosoever God allows to go astray has none to show him the way, for He leaves them to wander perplexed in their wickedness.
We, our, I, my, God, God, He, KafirGirl’s head ‘splodes.
- This is by far my favorite verse in chapter 7:
203. And when you do not bring a (Qur’anic) verse to them, they say: “Why don’t you make one up?” Say: “I follow only what my Lord reveals to me.” These (revelations) are an evident proof from your Lord, and a guidance and grace for those who believe.
Oh, you silly people, how could you even think to ask Mohammed such a thing? He can’t just make this shit up. The invisible skyman makes this shit up, and then an angel comes flying down to meet with Mohammed and whisper everything into his ear. He can’t just go around making things up all willy nilly. That would just be stupid.