Monday, May 11, 2009
Suffering through the Koran – Sura 12 named 'Joseph'.
Arabs rewriting history. Allah did it all !
by Ferdinand III
Those Arab Koranic chroniclers are a witty, impetuous and surprising bunch aren't they. After 170 pages of supremacist rants, invocations to submit and tirades against Jews and Christians, the great writers of the Koran come up with a chapter on human free will, logic, and deep metaphysics full of rational, charitable and spiritual phrases.
Ha ha. Well not really. That would be another book, unrelated to the Koran of course.
No, this Sura is about Arabicizing the famous Jewish magician and prophet Joseph, son of Jacob, he the son of Isaac, who was the son of the patriarch Abraham. Joseph lived during the time of Hykos rule in Egypt [circa 1600 B.C], and became in time the most important man in the realm and chief of staff to the Pharaoh. Joseph is one of the most famous personalities in the Hebrew Bible. The intent of the Sura is to make this Hebrew politician into yet another messenger of the great Allah! Madness ?
Joseph was sold into slavery by his brother who was jealous of his abilities in politics, society and his skill in interpreting dreams. Due to his talents Joseph ended up at the Pharaoh's court and became over time his main adviser. Joseph accomplished many things – land reform, grain supply increases, social reforms – as well as achieving influence and power through the interpretation of dreams and allusions. Most likely he was a trained and skilled magi, and psychic. He supposedly died an old man, rich, and esteemed and was credited with increasing Egypt's wealth and power.
Joseph was of course a Jew, not an Arab. And it is highly doubtful that he was a part of, or even aware of, the Arab moon cult ali-ilah or Allah. So here again we have the Koranic writers, trying to impress the Jews with Hebrew inferiority, appropriating yet another Jewish personage as a messenger of Allah. As Christ might say, 'Truly I say to you, this is madness.'
The Koran spends a lot of time and energy trying to convince itself, and its Arab readers, that the Hebrew Jehovah or God, is Allah. It fails on all such attempts. As written previously the two concepts – Jewish God and Allah – are completely different. They share nothing in common. The former is a human-like God, full of differing emotions, wrathful, vengeful, ruthless, and yet caring and loving. Perform good works, have faith, employ free will and be responsible to yourself, your family, your tribe and to 'God'. These are the main injunctions demanded by Jehovah. You can almost picture the face of such a being.
Allah is the opposite – cold, impersonal, not human, just a thing, and a thing to which you have to submit. The thing named Allah is a pre-destination ideal – it decides who will fail and succeed and who will go to heaven or hell. Allah determines all, there is no free will, nor any benefits from good works, or good faith. Submit, humiliate yourself, and maybe you will be 'saved'. Then again, maybe not.
So it logically flows that such an impersonal 'thing' such as Allah, can only be taken seriously, if the great personalities and prophets of times past, are caricatured as being its servants. Thus we have Joseph, one of the great Hebrew leaders, a man whose prestige, skill and wealth established the pre-conditions for the Hebrew exodus, is now taken by Arab writers to somehow be a messenger of 'Allah' – a distinctly Arab cult with no ties whatsoever to Jewish monotheism.
Listen to the arrogance of the Arab writers in the Koran: “2. We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur'an in order that you may learn wisdom.” The Koran was sent by 'We' meaning perhaps the thing Allah and Mohammed so that others may learn true wisdom. Mohammed and his cult existed 2200 years after Joseph. Are the Koranic writers serious in asserting that somehow, the Hebrew traditions of Joseph which included the first crude ideas of monotheism are Koranic in origin ? The arrogance of such a claim is not only breathtaking, it is ludicrous.
This Sura simply retells the tale of Joseph and inserts Allah for Jehovah. Some small details are different, but the objective is clear – Joseph and his family were actually followers of Allah not Yahweh. It was Allah who saved Joseph from slavery and it was the all-powerful eye in the sky, Allah who blessed Joseph with his various skills and gifts: “56. Thus We gave established power to Joseph in the land to take possessions therein as, when, or where he pleased. We bestow of Our mercy on whom We please, and We suffer not, to be lost, the reward of those who do good.”
'We' – the plural third person. This usually denotes insanity in a narrator. 'We' references the Muslims, a sect and a cult created 2200 years after Joseph. Somehow Islam was present during Joseph's rule and life. Somehow Allah and Islam informed Joseph's personality, background, cultural, education and political life. Apparently Joseph would have been nothing if not blessed by the wonderful Allah – a creation brought to life 2200 years after Joseph died. Or put another way, an Arab moon cult which existed during the time of Joseph, but about which, Joseph would have known nothing.
Even in this Sura the writers of the Koran were realistic enough to know that many obejections to the Arabization of Joseph would exist. Both Jews and Christians consider Joseph to be a saint. Against the claims of history, bloodlines, the Bible and common sense, the Koran only sneers: “111. It is not a tale invented, but a confirmation of what went before it, -- a detailed exposition of all things, and a Guide and a Mercy to any such as believe.”
In other words, those who disagree with this tale that Joseph was somehow bringing the word of Allah to the Jews and Egyptians is one without faith, and by extension one which will not be shown mercy by Allah on judgment day. If you dare suggest that Joseph was a Jewish magi or political leader your end in hell-fire is assured. Just have faith that Allah created and guided Joseph. If you do you will probably be saved and blessed.
Like the rest of the Koran, the chapter on Joseph is just mindless commentary. A group of Arab scribes scribbling some jargon and mish-mash down, trying to convince others – namely the Jews and Christians – that their entire history is actually one in the service of Allah. It is just weird. There is no spiritual relevance, no Golden Rule, nothing innovative or sublime – just incantations to submit, have faith and don't argue.
Fundamentalist fascism – an apt description of this Sura and most everything else in this unholy book.
[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.]