The Qur’an: a Readthrough. Juz 1 and Surah 2, Verses 73-113
Continued from here. I struggle with this series. Religious texts are so boring. Back when I was a good Christian girl I thought I was being a terrible Christian because I couldn’t muster any excitement or emotions for reading the Bible or attending services because it was all terribly dull.
We left off talking about the sacrifice of a heifer, which was confusing. We are now moving back to a long section of railing against folk who don’t believe the Book, or Moses, or Jesus the son of Mary, or any other clear signs. How dare they. Most of this I will skip over though it is worth noting:
We have sent down to thee Manifest Signs (ayat); and none reject them but those who are perverse.Verse 99
The claim is that the existence of Allah is presented as obvious. There is an allusion to a fascinating story of angels and magic in Babylon:
They followed what the evil ones gave out (falsely) against the power of Solomon: the blasphemers were, not Solomon, but the evil ones, teaching men Magic, and such things as came down at Babylon from the angels Harut and Marut. But neither of these taught anyone (such things) without saying: “We are only for trial; so do not blaspheme.” They learned from them the means to sow discord between man and wife. But they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah’s permission. And they learned what harmed them, not what profited them. And they knew that the buyers of (Magic) would have no share in the happiness of the Hereafter. And vile was the price for which they did sell their souls, if they but knew!Verse 102
What? I want to hear this story. Wikipedia relates some different versions. I wish this text would not just tell us about these stories but would tell us them. It would be way more interesting. Instead we are going to make fun of Jews and Christians.
The Jews say: “The Christians have naught (to stand) upon”; and the Christians say “The Jews have naught (to stand) upon.” Yet they (profess to) study (the same) Book. Like unto their word is what those say who know not; but Allah will judge between them in their quarrel on the Day of Judgement.Verse 113
Those to whom We have sent the Book study it as it should be studied: They are the ones that believe therein; Those who reject faith therein – the loss is their own.Verse 121
One might be tempted to suppose a guide for how to study the Book might be forthcoming. One would be wrong. What will follow is an assertion of the origin story of Islam as the one true religion because Abraham, and how dare you not believe when this is perfectly obvious. Honestly the more assertions of truth and the obviousness that are made the more defensive the author seems.
featured image via flickr