Friday, August 21, 2009

Bookmark and Share

Suffering through the Koran, Sura 31, 'The Wise'.

Something the Koran is not.

by Ferdinand III

Wisdom in the Koran means following Allah. There is no wisdom to be gained by the useless humanoid travelling through the course of a life. Only the Meccan moon deity, Ali-ilah has the power and insight to understand, life, truth, meaning and purpose. You therefore need to obey this power and spend your life worshipping the moon god, “for false worship is indeed the highest wrong-doing.” [31:13]. Prostration to Ali-ilah is thus 'wisdom' for Muslims.

Muslims who follow Koranic law and who support – unbendingly – the will of the mighty Allah, will prosper: “Whoever submits his whole self to Allah, and is a doer of good, has grasped indeed the most trustworthy hand-hold: and with Allah rests the End and Decision of (all) affairs.” [31:22] That sentence is of course the whole point of Arab imperialism embedded in Koranic diktat. You must give your existence to the furthering of Allah's power on earth. Nothing else is important – certainly not individual worth, rationality, hope or achievement.

If you don't submit to this Allah and reject Islamic 'faith' you will be punished. “But if any reject Faith, let not his rejection grieve you: to Us is their Return, and We shall tell them the truth of their the end We shall drive them to an unrelenting chastisement.” [31: 23, 24]. Allah the generator and protector of 'submission' ideology will make sure that the disbelievers are tortured, if not in this world, than at least in the nether-world of after-life. “O mankind! Do your duty to your Lord, and fear (the coming of) a Day when no father can avail anything for his son..” [31:33]

Entering into another 'faith' or sect which is different than what Islam proposes is an act punishable by eternal hellfire: “When they are told to follow the (Revelation) that Allah has sent down, they say: 'Nay, we shall follow the ways, that we found our fathers (following).' What! Even if it is Satan beckoning them to the penalty of the (Blazing) Fire ? [31:21] This is a common defamation throughout Islamic thought and the Koran. Those who are not Muslims are evil, working with Satan. De-humanizing others who do not want to follow a Meccan moon cult makes it much easier to kill them.

This Sura does contain a novelty not found in many other chapters of the ill-created Koran. There is a discussion about charity and good deeds. 4 sentences discuss such ideals, and upon such a framework of thought, an ethical program is possible: “Those who establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity, and have (in their hearts) the assurance of the Hereafter. These are on (true) guidance from their Lord; and these are the ones who will prosper.” [31:4,5].

This has potential. But its offer is wiped out by the rest of the chapter. It is not morality or 'good deeds' that devout Muslims and Koran-followers are most concerned about. Every ancient society of course had rules about alms, giving to the poor, and helping one's neighbour – private charity in the modern parlance. Without the paradoxies of a welfare state, helping those in need was an act not just of charity but of self-preservation. If your tribe dies off, you are more likely to be destroyed, sold into slavery, or starved to death yourself.

What this Sura demands is that you perform good offices in the name of Allah, for Allah, to curry Allah's favour so that he or it, might grant you an afterlife and save you from hell-fire. This is an ethos of submissive fear, not of cultural morality. It is different if the culture mandates charity for practical reasons centred around not just an ethos supporting life, but a real rational motivation of self-preservation. A culture of life, premised around survival is far more moral, and stronger than one organized around fear, submission and death.

The Koran as this Sura makes plain, is obsessed with death - “...nor does any one know in what land he is to die. Very with Allah is full knowledge and He is acquainted (with all things).”[31:34] Only Allah will determine when and how you will die. So please him. Make the moon deity happy. Do what he wants. And if you are lucky you might receive a glorious after-life. Or maybe not. Only Allah knows.

[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.]