Saturday, July 4, 2009
Suffering through the Koran – Sura 21 named 'The Prophets'.
Yet more repetition of what has already been said [a thousand times]. “Closer and closer mankind comes to their Reckoning...”
by Ferdinand III
What happy scribes the Koranic writers must have been. Not for them the old nonsense of humanism, free-will, potential, hope, love, effort, humility in faith; fear of an anthropomorphic deity, and ego-less penitence in belief. No Sir. In the name of world domination the happy Arabs focus on extermination, determinism, Jew and Christian hatred, and total submission to that unknowable thing called Allah. And so the 'Prophet' chapter, like the mad barking of Mein Kampf, continues this happy legacy – repeating of course ad-nauseum, the repetitiously rabid supremacism which infuses the previous 205 pages.
The 'Prophets' of course are the leaders of the Christians and Jews who were really in the service of the Meccan moon cult. This theme is repeated to such an extent just in the first 205 pages that one has to wonder about the sanity, and the intelligence of the writers. One sure sign of a mediocre mind and a writer's contempt for the reader is to endlessly repeat what has already been repeated. A great work of literary art the Koran is not.
Nor is there is anything holy or metaphysically promising within this Sura [or any other one cares to peruse]. The Prophets are not dealt with at any length – the usual list of suspects, Moses, Aaron, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Lut are portrayed as followers of Allah, unable to get their degenerate people, the Hebrews, to follow the true path of enlightenment: “48. In the past we granted to Moses and Aaron the Criterion (for judgment), and a Light and a Message for those who would do right,-”
So 'We' Muslims or 'We' Allah and Mohammed gave Moses the 10 commandments with which he and his spokesman Aaron tried to illuminate the lives of the Israelites. Considering that Moses predates Mohammed by 2000 years, and thus predates the Koranic ideal of Allah, this is a rather curious supposition.
The lives and failures of the Jewish prophets are to serve as general warnings to current Unbelievers who like their ancestors, chose to ignore these messengers and engage in activities contrary to Allah's law. The main purpose of this chapter is thus of course to warn the infidels, the Jews and those eschewing Allah, of their impending destruction:
6.(As to those) before them, not one of the populations which We destroyed believed: will these believe ?
9.In the end We fulfilled to them Our promises, and We saved them and those whom We pleased, but We destroyed those who transgressed beyond bounds.
11.How many were the populations We utterly destroyed because of their inquities, setting up in their places other peoples ?
15.And that cry of theirs did not cease till We made them as a field that is mown, as ashes silent and quenched.
98.Verily you, (Unbelievers) and the (false) gods that you worship besides Allah, are (but) fuel for Hell! To it will you (surely) come !
The second theme is, as one would expect, dialectical inevitability. Allah – whatever it is – will conquer all and therefore those of 'faith' will simply submit themselves, prostrate their pathetic human forms, and grovel for Allah's approbation. An expression of humanism, hope, free-will and self-assertion this is not:
35.Every soul shall have a taste of death: and We test you by evil and by good by way of trial. To Us must you return.
92.Verily, this Brotherhood of yours is a single Brotherhood, and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore serve Me (and no other).
108. Say: “What has come to me by inspiration is that your God is One God (Allah): will you therefore bow to His Will (in Islam)?”
There is not one sentence in this entire chapter about higher ethics, spiritual ideals or the benefits of leading a life outside of base egoistic concerns and narcissism. It is a chapter of demands, accusations and warnings. Nothing inspirational lies inside the words – just a litany of thou shall's.
Arabs taking a Meccan moon deity and conflating it with the Judeo-Christian ideal of an anthropomorphic single deity is a mildly interesting story-line. It can be useful as a political program and a cult organisation. But than to extrapolate from that and declare such a creation to be a religion, peaceful and moderate is not a sign of tolerance but of stupidity and laziness. Read the foundational text and behold its illiterate supremacism. It is not holy, just, or even well-written. It is what it is. A badly written document justifying Arab imperialism. That is all.
[Note: This sura is taken from 'The Holy Quran', translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, reprinted in 1995, Goodword Books. Regarded as one of the best translations from Arabic to English of the Koran.]