Eating Popcorn With A Spoon

11 August 2005

how to NOT read the Quran

For today I am stealing some ayat of the Quran I found in a post entitled how to NOT read the Quran. I'd suggest NOT reading the post, unless you are able to stomach huge gaps in logic, twisted thinking, pretentiousness and elitism... well, everything you can find right here in my blog, but I use smaller words (-:

Todays post may require a little thoughtful attention, because the reading is sort of bland, but the ideas, oh, the ideas, are very exciting. So, put on your thinking cap as we go onto the verses from God (or Allah, if you prefer):

We have made things clear in this Qur'an so that they might pay heed, but it only makes them run away the more!
(Surat al-Isra': 41)
Who could do greater wrong than someone who is reminded of the Signs of his Lord and then turns away from them, forgetting all that he has done before? We have placed covers on their hearts, preventing them from understanding it, and heaviness in their ears. Though you call them to guidance, they will nonetheless never be guided.
(Surat al-Kahf: 57)
When you recite the Qur'an, We place an obscuring veil between you and those who do not believe in the hereafter. We have placed covers on their hearts, preventing them from understanding it, and heaviness in their ears. When you mention your Lord alone in the Qur'an, they turn their backs and run away.
(Surat al-Isra': 45-46)
It is He who sent down the Book to you from Him: verses containing clear judgements - they are the core of the Book - and others which are open to interpretation. Those with deviation in their hearts follow what is open to interpretation in it, desiring conflict, seeking its inner meaning. No one knows its inner meaning but God. Those firmly rooted in knowledge say, 'We have faith in it. All of it is from our Lord.' But only people of intelligence pay heed.
(Surat Al 'Imran: 7)

So, all the above could better be summed up with these two:

"Mankind! Admonition has come to you from your Lord and also healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the believers."
(Surah Yunus: 57)
It (the Qur'an) only increases the wrongdoers in loss
(Surat Al Isra': 82)

Or this hadith also is quite snappy:

Abdur Rahman bin Abi Bakra's father narrated that the Prophet said: "If God wants to do good to a person, he makes him comprehend the religion"
(Bukhari 1/67)

So, what we have here, is that God (or Allah) covers the hearts of non-believers so they may never grasp the beauty of the Quran, which, as is noted, has an inner meaning only known to God. Wowzers. But for believers, well, they are the chosen ones who have it made with the big guy. But what about us unfortunates who Allah has put heaviness in our ears?

Who hears the Signs of God recited to him and then persists in his arrogance just as if he had never heard them. Give him the news of a
painful punishment
(Surat al-Jathiyah: 8)

What to do, what to do. I picked up a stack of books to read a bit about Islam. (I much prefer dead trees for my reading material :P) You can find them at in a boxed set called Collection of 8 Books Explaining Islam. But if you don't want to fork over the $33, a mere $4.50 will get you the handy little Fortress of the Muslim. Of course these books have great propaganda value, and shelter you from some of the ugly behind the scenes aspects, but, reading them will help give you a general understanding of the common Islamer.

But, that's all just a prelude, leading to this phrase:
'A'oothu billaahi minash Shaytaanir rajeem.
I was instructed to recite that before reading the Quran (after washing myself etc -- many rules to follow when reading the Quran, these are the words of God, afterall).
Fortress of the Muslim translates the phrase as follows:

'A'oothu billaahi minash-Shaytaanir-rajeem

I seek refuge in Allah from Satan the outcast (then spit to your left). (Do this three times reciting in Arabic.)

Maybe because I didn't want to spit on my floor, the message didn't sink into my heart, or, maybe, the heart was just veiled by Allah, who knows. Didn't work for me.

But that's just more prelude, the point is coming, really, well, maybe. I think wisdom can be found in any collection of words if enough rules are applied, and enough abstract "reasoning" is incorporated.

My current weakly held opinion is that Jewish people heard the message of Jesus, and they GOT it. They didn't become "Christians"; they became better Jewish people. The Jewish scriptures have some hard to digest material. If one reads the phrases attributed to Jesus in the "New Testament", you find very nice little snippets. (I think if you take out all the surrounding commentary, you get a picture of a pretty cool dude, one who might visit (-:

Maybe I'm just bitter because I wasn't born into the tribe of Judea. I don't believe that the entire world was flooded at the time of Noah, so I can't even claim to be decended from him. And I don't buy the story of Adam, so I won't even pretend that he is my great grandfather. I have no known Jewish roots. Damn. Face it, if you are a faithfilled person, you have to admit that, as a whole, the Jewish people are way cooler than your little group.

But maybe it's a good thing that I'm not Jewish, because then I don't have to justify all the claimed words of God. There are so many to chose from. Today I will just pick one Jewish scripture (oddly enough, copy and pasted from the Christian bible):

Marriage Violations

If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, "I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity," then the girl's father and mother shall bring proof that she was a virgin to the town elders at the gate. The girl's father will say to the elders, "I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her. Now he has slandered her and said, 'I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.' But here is the proof of my daughter's virginity." Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, and the elders shall take the man and punish him.

Deuteronomy 22:13-18

digest THAT for a moment.

The muslims say the old books of Allah (Jewish scripture and the New Testament) are corrupted: They don't really say where or exactly how, just anything they disagree with is wrong. The Christians say the old rules don't apply since the coming of Jesus. Though most Christians tend to be keen on 10 of the hundreds of commandments, and are hard pressed to translate the wise words of Jesus when he said, "Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfil." Go figure. Gods words say that it is best for the family to pop the cherry of a bride-to-be, and save the blood soaked cloth as proof, just in case the new hubbie questions her virginity, then have the elders punish him. Anyone else find that strange?

On second thought, maybe one should first read how to NOT read the Quran, and apply the reasoning whenever partaking the wisdom of your inspired words of choice.

Tomorrow, my religion. Stay tuned.


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