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

12: Joseph (Part III — Joseph’s dreamy!)

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So far in the story, Joseph got dumped down a well, rescued, sold into slavery, nearly raped, and finally, sent to prison for some unnamed crime that God assures Joseph didn’t even commit.  Whew!  How’s that for adventure?  His week’s been about as busy as mine, and it’s about to get a whole lot worse.  The story picks up in prison, where Joseph is chatting it up with his cellmates:

36. Two other youths were imprisoned along with him. Said one of them: “I dreamt that I was pressing grapes;” and the other: “I dreamt that I was carrying bread on my head, and the birds were pecking at it. You tell us the meaning of this. You seem to be a righteous man.”

So Joseph is locked up with a couple of hippies (riiiighteous, maaaan).  One of them dreams about making wine (or maybe just smushing grapes for no apparent reason), and the other dreams that birds are eating his head bread.  They want to know what it all means.  Last night I dreamt I had a twin and that she was going to take over my life for a while so I could go backpacking through Guatemala for a few months.  No joke.  I, too, would love to know what the fuck that means.

37. (Joseph) answered: “I will give you its interpretation before the food you are served arrives.

The fuck?  Joseph starts shit-talking, saying he’ll interpret the dreams before the food arrives.  Come on — they’re in prison.  In pre-ACLU times.  Is the service really all that great?  Two shakes of a lamb’s tail might have been a more effective sentiment.

This knowledge is one of the things my Lord has taught me. I have given up the religion of those who do not believe in God and deny the life to come.

What’s with the deny the life to come bit?  Plenty of non-Abrahamic religions believe in an afterlife.  Even straight up pagans like the ancient Egyptians.  Plus, Joseph has “given up” the religion of non-believers?  Really?  He’s a direct descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  See:

38. I follow the faith of my fathers, of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. We cannot associate anyone with God. This is among God’s favours to us and to all mankind; but most men are not grateful.

So double you, tee, eff?  What religion has he “given up” for God?  Wasn’t he kind of born into monotheism?

39. (Tell me) O fellow-prisoners, are a number of gods better, or one God omnipotent?

Oooh, I can answer this one.  Multiple gods would be way better than just one.  Here’s why:

  • More ears to listen to prayers.
  • More miracles.
  • More stuff to go around.
  • You’d get to pick and choose which gods you want to worship.
  • Gods could compete over you!
  • Some gods might be friendlier than, erm, this ass.

I’ll go with multiple gods, thanks.  Or better yet, I’ll go with zero gods and keep living life like I’ve only got one shot at it.  Anyway, Joseph goes on about how great God is for a while, greasing up God’s dick.  And finally, just before lunch arrives, he interprets their dreams:

41. O fellow-prisoners, one of you will serve wine to your master, the other will be crucified and the birds will peck at his brain. Determined is the matter of your inquiry.”

…yipes.  I bet I know which is which!

42. And (Joseph) asked the man he knew would be released: “Remember me to your lord;” but Satan made him forget to mention this to his lord, and Joseph remained in prison for a number of years.

Oh.  Em.  Gee.  Seriously?  God does jack shit while innocent old Joe goes to prison, and then he can’t even help the guy out with one simple request he has?  All he wants is for one guy to tell his owner(?) that there’s a guy named Joseph in prison who can interpret dreams.  And God, again, doesn’t do shit except blame it on Satan.  What the fuck?  You’d think Joseph would have the brains to say, “Hey, maybe there really isn’t a God and I’m wasting my time with this shit.”  But Joseph most likely didn’t exist, so that’s just silly talk.

Once again, we fast forward to a new time.  It could be a week later or a year later.  Or 10 years later.  Who fucking knows?  An unnamed king had a nightmare and he shared it with his courtiers:

43. (One day) the king said (to his courtiers): “I saw seven fat cows in a dream being devoured by seven lean ones, and seven ears of corn that were green and seven others that were seared. O courtiers, tell me the significance of my dream, if you know how to interpret them.”

Seven fat could being eaten by seven lean cows?  The fuck?  Cows don’t eat cows …oh wait.  They kind of do.  Mad cow and all.  Anyway, this is back in the grass-fed days, and suffice it to say that no cows were eating other cows.  (Do they even have teeth capable of ripping into flesh?)  And there are seven green ears of corn and seven burnt ears.  Sounds like a pretty wild dream to me, but that doesn’t mean it means anything.  Dreams are dreams, right?

That’s pretty much what the king’s courtiers said, too.  “Who knows? They’re just dreams.”  Until one guy suddenly remembers something from a long(?) time ago.  I’ll give you two guesses as to who it is.  Hint:  it’s not the guy who had his brains pecked out by birds.

45. Then the servant, who of the two had been released, remembering (Joseph), said: “I will give you its interpretation; let me go for it.”

Oh now he remembers that guy!  How very convenient!  So he goes back to prison and asks Joseph to interpret the dream for him.  If I was Joseph, I would tell the guy to fuck off.  I mean, was it really such a hard thing to remember?  You’re in prison and you get a new roomie.  You tell him these crazy dreams you had, and he tells you that one of you is going to be crucified.  And have birds peck his brains out.  That’s not something you just forget.  Especially when the guy tells you not to forget it.  Just sayin’.

47. He said: “Sow as usual for seven years, and after reaping leave the corn in the ears, except the little you need for food.
48. Then there will come seven years of hardship which will consume the grain you had laid up against them, except a little you may have stored away.
49. This will be followed by a year of rain, and people shall press (the grapes).”

So Joseph’s big advice is eating only the corn you need, saving the rest for later.  Isn’t that, like, common sense?  I don’t blow my whole paycheck every time I get one?  I use only what I need and put the rest in savings.  It’s a fucking recession.  Only the rich or the reckless are tossing their money around.  Joseph’s advice ain’t exactly rocket science, right?

The king asks Joseph to come to him, so he’s finally free (no thanks to God).  Joseph asks the king how the women with the cut-up hands are doing, so the king asks them.  By the way, Joseph uses the word “guile” when describing them, because he’s a douchebag.  The women say Joseph is innocent, and Mrs. Egypt confesses everything.  Joseph feels all vindicated, and the king wants him to have a special place in his kingdom.  Joseph knows just the spot:

55. “Appoint me over the granaries of the land,” (he said); “I shall be a knowledgeable keeper.”
56. Thus We gave Joseph authority in the land so that he lived wherever he liked. We bestow Our favours on whomsoever We please, and do not allow the reward of those who are good to go waste.
57. And certainly the recompense of the life to come is better for those who believe and follow the right path.

Of course.  Now God steps in to take the credit!  After he lets Joseph rot in prison for who-knows-how-long, even letting his one shot at escaping go to waste.  After Joseph works to get himself cleared of all charges and freed from prison, lands a cushy job with the king.  That’s when God steps in and says “Tada! Look what I did!”  Perfect!  And, even though the Quran doesn’t say so, I bet Joseph reacted the same way all brainless religiots react:  by praising God and greasing up his dick some more.  Isn’t that how this religion shit works?

That’s it for this installment.  More coming up shortly!  Thanks for being patient with this stuff, dudes.  It’s been a pretty hellish couple of weeks on my end, and it doesn’t look like it’s clearing up anytime soon.  I’m hitting the laptop as often as I can.  Stay tuned!


Written by kafirgirl

October 21, 2008 at 10:24 pm

Posted in Quran

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24 Responses

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  1. You rock, Kafirgirl! Keep up the great work. This one plus “Joseph almost gets laid” are my favorites so far. They are simultaneously entertaining and frightening. Just right for Halloween.


    October 21, 2008 at 10:47 pm

  2. This is a long quote, but the dreams in the bible were much better detailed… this is from Genesis 40, 9-19 in case you want to look it up:

    So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said to him, “In my dream I saw a vine in front of me, and on the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes. Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in his hand.”

    “This is what it means,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches are three days. Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. For I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.”

    When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to Joseph, “I too had a dream: On my head were three baskets of bread. In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”

    “This is what it means,” Joseph said. “The three baskets are three days. Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and hang you on a tree. And the birds will eat away your flesh.”


    October 21, 2008 at 10:54 pm

  3. Vaklam, glad you’re digging it. I haven’t had much time lately to finesse them, so it hasn’t been as well structured as it used to be. Oh well. Better than nothing, I guess!

    Mauro, that’s waaaaay more detailed than the Quran. It’s like Mo got the gist of the story and then tried to retell it really quickly, skipping over anything that might be crosschecked with other books. Yiish. I didn’t notice this before, but the king is referred to as “king” or “master” in the Quran and “Pharaoh” in the Bible. Must be to avoid confusion with that other Pharaoh. It would have seriously helped if God had just named names.


    October 21, 2008 at 11:05 pm

  4. h, the bible story is way better; koran version is like a home movie with sudden shifts in location, etc. It threw me that Potiphar’s wives just happened to be hanging around the king’s palace when Jo showed up. lol!

    It occurs to me that Mohammed couldn’t have been such a shitty storyteller. Not and gather such a following. More likely the details were lost over the 100-200 years before the book was compiled. y’think?


    October 22, 2008 at 12:54 am

  5. We don’t know how long Joseph was in prison. He was 17 when he was sold into slavery, 28 when he interpreted the dreams for the cupbearer and the baker, and 30 when he stood before Pharaoh.


    October 22, 2008 at 2:37 am

  6. What a great way to spend 13 years in the prime of one’s life. The Lord truly is all merciful and compassionate. *eyeroll*

    It’s a totally great story if it’s just about a guy and his integrity and fortitude in a serious of crappy and unfair situations. But since God is supposed to be orchestrating everything it’s just stupid.


    October 22, 2008 at 3:26 am

  7. *series


    October 22, 2008 at 3:27 am

  8. 37. This knowledge is one of the things my Lord has taught me. I have given up the religion of those who do not believe in God and deny the life to come.

    38. I follow the faith of my fathers, of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. We cannot associate anyone with God. This is among God’s favours to us and to all mankind; but most men are not grateful.

    So double you, tee, eff? What religion has he “given up” for God? Wasn’t he kind of born into monotheism?


    KG – Oh yeah, he was born into it and what’s even more important, he accepted it. And Jacob had god’s favour (sort of, at times, rather belatedly’n all…oh well) though, and followed the true one-and-only-god religion. At the time Jacob was around, what do you think Jacob would have called his religion? Hint, it wouldn’t have been Islam! Poor Jacob was completely unaware of Mohamed, why didn’t god tell him about the coming of the most important man of all time? If god was so ‘nice’ to Jacob, you think he would have told him, no doubt via a dream, about the coming of the great dear leader? And how is Kim Jong-il these days?


    October 22, 2008 at 4:47 am

  9. I know people who tell jokes like Mo tells his stories. Stuff like: “Two men go into this pub and order a drink… No, wait, there was only this one man. Well he was the only one you could see, you see, because he had the other man in his pocket. The other man was this eight inch pianist with a tiny little piano which he’d asked the genie for because he was actually asking for a… Hang on, I’ll start over.”

    Apparently, a large chunk of the world’s population find this sort of thing awe-inspiringly beautiful.


    October 22, 2008 at 5:54 am

  10. 30 year old virgin (except for the fact that God fucked him over).


    October 22, 2008 at 2:15 pm

  11. It totally reminds me of this Mr. Deity skit


    October 22, 2008 at 3:07 pm

  12. Granted that all the holy-book stuff is just gas…. but still there has to be at least a pretense at “Moral Instruction”.

    What is/are the Moral Instruction(s) in this story?

    1. That god chooses whom he favors and you ain’t got no say in it. Its a lottery. What? You did’nt win? Well next time…now get back in line and praise the Lottery-commission – I mean God!

    2. It seems Joe has done nothing in particular to “deserve” his blessings. It was just decreed and he got picked. So what is the instruction for common folk? Try and get lucky?

    3. That the one so favored is protected from stuff like hot raunchy sex but not from a long prison term?

    4. And after being blessed with divine grace, and toiling in Gitmo-like conditions (minus water-boarding ’cause Cheney was’nt around then), old Jo gets to be the superintendent of the Granary. Is that like a VP-level job with power, perks and assigned parking?

    What is the moral instruction here?


    October 22, 2008 at 9:06 pm

  13. What is the moral instruction here?

    I wish I had something smart to say here but being in close proximity to all these stories from the quran just dumbifies me.


    October 22, 2008 at 10:33 pm

  14. I wish I had something smart to say here but being in close proximity to all these stories from the quran just dumbifies me.

    Me too. x10.

    Watercat, you may be onto something. Maybe Mo got it right but his followers got it wrong when they write it down later. But since Muslims believe this was all written down verbatim, it’s fair game to call Mo a dumbass.


    October 22, 2008 at 10:43 pm

  15. I think Mo was a shitty storyteller. His gathering had nothing to do with storytelling. After years of peaceful preaching, he gathered only a handful of people. Everyone called him mad to think that he was actually speaking to God and to expect that others would believe him. It was only after he turned militant that the conquests and consequent collection of followers took place.

    Another Kafir

    October 23, 2008 at 3:35 am

  16. “It was only after he turned militant that the conquests and consequent collection of followers took place.”

    Well, there’s nothing like a little hellfire and a few swords to scare the ditherers into line.


    October 23, 2008 at 4:40 am

  17. The whole confusion about Joseph’s original religion or change of religion (Monotheism? Belief in afterlife? might reflect the beliefs of Mo’s tribe, the Quraysh, and the issues dividing Mo and his opponents among them. According to historian Patricia Crone, the Quraysh were not at all straightforward pagans and polytheists, but followed some kind of combination of Biblical-type monotheism and Arabian paganism. They claimed that angels (regarded as minor deities) were intercessors who enabled them to approach God, and some believed in afterlife and resurrection, while others doubted it or rejected it outright:


    (It starts in the paragraph “The inside story”)

    In the last part of her article, Crone claims that probably the Quraysh did not even live in Mecca. This is surely controversial, but I find her arguments interesting.


    October 23, 2008 at 6:49 am

  18. Wow, cool Karin. Thanks for linking to that!


    October 23, 2008 at 7:49 am

  19. AK; “peaceful preaching”? That is open to interpretation, I think.


    October 23, 2008 at 12:18 pm

  20. sorry, bad link . I see Mo starting out as a typical OBNOXIOUS fundy preacher, I mean, he was going into his local temple and ranting against their practices; and as is normal, he just got more rabid and violent as time went on. You need to get a few followers before you can get militant. His big break came when they kicked him out of Mecca and he began piracy against the caravans. That gave people a rea$$$$$on to follow him.


    October 23, 2008 at 12:39 pm

  21. I had a revelation that explains this chapter. I thought I’d share it. These words just appeared in a notepad document on my computer. You should notice how perfect it is.

    There once was a man named Mo.
    He once heard a story about Joe.
    He remembered a bit
    and added bull shit,
    then told everyone were to go.


    October 24, 2008 at 3:50 am

  22. Jesus tap-dancing Christ! An ex-Muslim apostate! So cool! You’re totally blogrolled into my completely god-forsaken (snort) blog!


    October 24, 2008 at 4:22 am

  23. Watercat, the $$$ and the ladies. “How do we divvy up the she-slaves?” comes up an awful lot in the hadith.

    Notmo, niiiiiiice. High five!

    Freidenker85, thanks for the add! Hope you’re enjoying it so far!


    October 24, 2008 at 8:00 am

  24. Notmo wins the thread.


    October 24, 2008 at 10:08 am

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