This is the 30th part of this series, reading The Qur’an; A New Translation by Abdel Haleem. We’ll occasionally compare that to other translations and with tafsirs for clarification. We’re also reading each “chapter” [surah] in order of revelation [mostly] rather than the order in which they are typically printed. If you missed some of this series, you can see:
my 1st post on surahs 1 & 2.
my 2nd post on surahs 96, 68 & 73.
my 3rd post on surahs 74, 111 & 81.
my 4th post on surahs 87, 92, 89, 93, 94 & 103.
my 5th post jumping to surah 18.
my 6th post on surahs 100, 108, 102, 107, 109 & 105
my 7th post was on surahs 113, 114, 112 & 53.
my 8th post on surahs 80, 97, 91, 85, 95 & 106.
my 9th post on surahs 101, 75, 104 & 77.
my 1oth post on surahs 50, 90 & 86.
my 11th post on surah 54,
my 12th post on surah 38,
my 13th post on surah 7,
my 14th post on surah 72,
my 15th post on surah 36,
my 16th post on surah 25,
my 17th post on surah 43,
my 18th post on surah 35.
my 19th post on surah 19.
my 20th post on surah 20,
my 21st post on surah 56.
my 22nd post on surah 26.
my 23rd post on surah 27.
my 24th post on surah 28.
my 25th post on surah 17.
my 26th post on surah 10.
my 27th post on surah 11.
my 28th post on surah 12.
and my 29th post on surah 15.
Sūrah 6 (Al-An’aam) “Livestock”
1Praise belongs to God who created the heavens and the earth and made darkness and light; yet the disbelievers set up equals to their Lord!
One magic imaginary friend is just as good as another.
2He is the one who created you from clay and specified a term [for you] and another fixed time, a known only to Him; yet still you doubt!
Funny, that’s what all those other gods say too.
3He is God in the heavens and on earth, He knows your secrets and what you reveal, and He knows what you do; 4but every time revelation comes to them from their Lord, they turn their backs on it.
Because it’s never an actual revelation; just circular assumptions.
5So they denied the truth when it came to them, but the very thing they laughed at will be brought home to them.
If you can’t show the truth of it, then you shouldn’t call it truth.
6Do they not realize how many generations We destroyed before them? We established them in the earth more firmly than you, sent down abundant rain on them from the sky and made running rivers flow at their feet, yet We destroyed them for their misdeeds and raised other generations after them. 7Even if We had sent down to you [Prophet] a book inscribed on parchment, and they had touched it with their own hands, the disbelievers would still say, ‘This is nothing but blatant sorcery.’ 8They say, ‘Why was no angel sent down to [support] him?’ But had We sent down an angel, their judgement would have come at once with no respite given. 9Indeed, if We had sent an angel as messenger, We would still have sent him in the form of a man, so increasing their confusion.
If you had sent an angel, then the wings and magic powers would have been much more convincing that a lone weirdo in the desert making claims that can only sound completely crazy.
10Messengers have been mocked before you [Muhammad], and those who mocked them were engulfed by the very punishment they had mocked. 11Say, ‘Travel throughout the earth and see what fate befell those who rejected the truth.’ 12Say, ‘To whom belongs all that is in the heavens and earth?’
Say, ‘To God. He has taken it upon Himself to be merciful. He will certainly gather you on the Day of Resurrection, which is beyond all doubt.
I doubt that. It certainly isn’t merciful to damn people to eternal torment, especially not for what would amount to a thought crime and God’s own failure to convince people of his existence, as if that mattered.
Those who deceive themselves will not believe.
Don’t forget that elsewhere in these scriptures, God admits that he deceives people too, and then punishes them for what he forced them to do.
13All that rests by night or by day belongs to Him. He is the All Hearing, the All Knowing.’ 14Say, ‘Shall I take for myself a protector other than God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, who feeds but is not fed?’
These constantly repeating circular assumptions are forming an infinity symbol, in that they are never-ending.
Say, ‘I am commanded to be the first [of you] to devote myself [to Him].’ Do not be one of the idolaters. 15Say, ‘I fear the punishment of a dreadful Day if I disobey my Lord. 16God will have been truly merciful to whoever is spared on that Day: that is the clearest triumph.’
If God were merciful, then none of the Qur’an would be true. As it happens, the Qur’an is wrong regardless.
17If God touches you [Prophet] with affliction, no one can remove it except Him, and if He touches you with good, He has power over all things: 18He is the Supreme Master over His creatures, the All Wise, the All Aware.
Yet he touches people with afflictions.
19Say, ‘What counts most as a witness?’ Say, ‘God is witness between you and me. This Qur’an was revealed for me to warn you [people] and everyone it reaches. Do you really bear witness that there are other gods beside God?’
No. There are no gods, including yours.
Say, ‘I myself do not bear witness [to any such thing].’ Say, ‘He is only one God, and I disown whatever you join with Him.’ 20Those to whom We have given the Scripture know this as well as they know their own sons. Those who have lost their souls will not believe.
I never had a soul to begin with.
21Who does greater wrong than someone who fabricates a lie against God or denies His revelation? Those who do such wrong will not prosper.
But we’ve seen that those who make up lies FOR their gods often do very well indeed.
22When We gather them all together and say to the polytheists, ‘Where are those you claimed were partners with God?’ in their utter dismay 23they will only say, ‘By God, our Lord, we have not set up partners beside Him!’ 24See how they lie against themselves and how those they invented have deserted them.
That day will never happen. And if it did, that isn’t what I would say. God would be without excuse.
25Among them are some who [appear to] listen to you, but we have placed covers over their hearts– so they do not understand the Qur’an– and deafness in their ears. Even if they saw every sign they would not believe in them. So, when they come to you, they argue with you: the disbelievers say, ‘These are nothing but ancient fables,’ 26and tell others not to listen [to the Qur’an], while they themselves keep away from it. But they ruin no one but themselves, though they fail to realize this. 27If you could only see, when they are made to stand before the Fire, how they will say, ‘If only we could be sent back, we would not reject the revelations of our Lord, but be among the believers.’ 28No! The truth they used to hide will become all too clear to them. Even if they were brought back, they would only return to the very thing that was forbidden to them– they are such liars!
No, what you just said was a lie. Give me a reason to believe, something that doesn’t require faith.
29They say, ‘There is nothing beyond our life in this world: we shall not be raised from the dead.’ 30If you could only see, when they are made to stand before their Lord, how He will say, ‘Is this not real?’ They will say, ‘Yes indeed, by our Lord.’ He will say, ‘Then taste the torment for having disbelieved.’ 31Lost indeed are those who deny the meeting with their Lord until, when the Hour suddenly arrives, they say, ‘Alas for us that we disregarded this!’ They will bear their burdens on their backs. How terrible those burdens will be! 32The life of this world is nothing but a game and a distraction; the Home in the Hereafter is best for those who are aware of God. Why will you [people] not understand?
This is obvious fantasy. If God did exist as the Qur’an describes, then he is an unjust and petty tyrant.
33We know well that what they say grieves you [Prophet]. It is not you they disbelieve: the evildoers reject God’s revelation. 34Other messengers were disbelieved before you, and they bore their rejection and persecution steadfastly until Our aid arrived– no one can alter God’s promises. You have already received accounts of these messengers. 35If you find rejection by the disbelievers so hard to bear, then seek a tunnel into the ground or a ladder into the sky, if you can, and bring them a sign: God could bring them all to guidance if it were His will, so do not join the ignorant. 36Only those who can hear will respond; as for the dead, God will raise them up, and to Him they will all be returned.
So God could reveal himself to all of us, if he wanted to. But he would rather deny us all evidence of his existence, provide only raving madmen as prophets, and then punish us for being too wise to fall for such insanity. Why would anyone worship such a thing, even if it were real?
37They also say, ‘Why has no sign been sent down to him from his Lord?’ Say, ‘God certainly has the power to send down a sign,’ though most of them do not know: 38all the creatures that crawl on the earth and those that fly with their wings are communities like yourselves. We have missed nothing out of the Record– in the end they will be gathered to their Lord. 39Those who reject Our signs are deaf, dumb, and in total darkness. God leaves whoever He will to stray, and sets whoever He will on a straight path.
So again we see that God decides who will or won’t believe, but he’ll punish those he chose not to put on the straight path. That is unjust and immoral.
40Say, ‘Think: if the punishment of God or the Hour should come to you, would you call on anyone other than God, if you are being truthful?’ 41No indeed, it is on Him that you would call. If it were His will, He could remove whatever harm made you call on Him, and then you would forget what you now associate with Him.
I wouldn’t call on any god. Instead I would seek help from someone who is real.
42We sent messengers before you [Prophet] to many communities and afflicted their people with suffering and hardships, so that they could learn humility. 43If only they had learned humility when suffering came from Us! But no, their hearts became hard and Satan made their foul deeds alluring to them. 44So, when they had forgotten the warning they had received, We opened the gates to everything for them. Then, as they revelled in what they had been given, We struck them suddenly and they were dumbfounded. 45The evildoers were wiped out: praise be to God, the Lord of the Worlds!
So God keeps doing the same thing over and over again, even though Mr Infallible always fails every attempt, and Mr Omniscience somehow never learns from all these repeated mistakes.
46Say [Prophet], ‘Think: if God were to take away your hearing and your sight and seal up your hearts, what god other than He could restore them?’
None. Gods are not real.
See how We explain Our revelations in various ways, yet still they turn away.
Because your prophets haven’t “revealed” anything but their own superstitious madness and prejudice.
47Say, ‘Think: if the punishment of God should come to you, by surprise or openly, would anyone but the evildoers be destroyed?’ 48We send messengers only to give good news and to warn, so for those who believe and do good deeds there will be no fear, nor will they grieve. 49As for those who rejected Our signs, torment will afflict them as a result of their defiance.
By now, the Qur’an has repeated this same message hundreds of times, but this empty threat will still never become real.
50Say, ‘I do not have the treasures of God, nor do I know the unseen, nor do I tell you that I am an angel. I only follow what is revealed to me.’ Say, ‘Is a blind person like one who can see? Why will you not reflect?’ 51Use the Qur’an to warn those who fear being gathered before their Lord– they will have no one but Him to protect them and no one to intercede– so that they may beware.
You don’t need the Qur’an. Just say “believe my insane ravings or else you’ll be tortured forever”. That’s just about all the Qur’an says over and over again. Tell people that, and then they can go on to find more rewarding literature; perhaps something with actual wisdom in it. That would be a nice change at this point.
52Do not drive away those who call upon their Lord morning and evening, seeking nothing but His Face. You are in no way accountable for them, nor they for you; if you drove the believers away, you would become one of the evildoers. 53We have made some of them a test for others, to make the disbelievers say, ‘Is it these men that God has favoured among us?’ Does God not know best who are the grateful ones?
Of course he does. He chose which of us to make grateful, and he chose to punish the rest, as if that’s somehow our fault.
54When those who believe in Our revelations come to you [Prophet], say, ‘Peace be upon you. Your Lord has taken it on Himself to be merciful: if any of you has foolishly done a bad deed, and afterwards repented and mended his ways, God is most forgiving and most merciful.’ 55In this way We explain the revelations, so that the way for sinners may be made clear. a 56Say, ‘I am forbidden to worship those you call on other than God.’ Say, ‘I will not follow your vain desires, for if I did, I would stray from the path and cease to be rightly guided.’
You shouldn’t worship anyone, real or imaginary.
57Say, ‘I stand on clear proof from my Lord, though you deny it. What you seek to hasten is not within my power. Judgement is for God alone: He tells the truth, and He is the best of judges.’
I’ll be the judge of that, because your “proof” obviously isn’t very clear if the only people who can see it are those who really really wish to see what isn’t even there.
58Say, ‘If what you seek to hasten were within my power, the matter would be settled between you and me, but God knows best who does wrong.’ 59He has the keys to the unseen: no one knows them but Him. He knows all that is in the land and sea. No leaf falls without His knowledge, nor is there a single grain in the darkness of the earth, or anything, fresh or withered, that is not written in a clear Record.
Ask how much change I have in my pocket.
60It is He who calls your souls back by night, knowing what you have done by day, then raises you up again in the daytime until your fixed term is fulfilled. It is to Him that you will return in the end, and He will tell you what you have done. 61He is the Supreme Master over His subjects. He sends out recorders to watch over you until, when death overtakes any of you, those sent by Us take his soul– they never fail in their duty. 62Then they will all be returned to God, their true Lord. The Judgement truly belongs to Him, and He is the swiftest of reckoners.
I want to give this a fair reading, I really do. But it’s just repeating the same empty mantra forever, without even the slightest hope of logic or evidence or any reason sufficient to begin to take any of this seriously.
63Say [Prophet], ‘Who is it that saves you from the dark depths of land and sea when you humbly and secretly call to Him [and say], “If He rescues us from this, We shall truly be thankful”?’
The Fire Department? The Coast Guard? It depends on where you are and what kind of trouble you’re in.
64Say, ‘God rescues you from this and every distress; yet still you worship others beside Him.’ 65Say, ‘He has power to send punishment on you from above or from under your very feet, or to divide you into discordant factions and make some taste the violence of others.’ See how We explain Our revelation in various ways, so that they may understand,
And yet they don’t understand. No one does.
66yet your people still reject it even though it is the truth. Say, ‘I have not been put in charge of you. 67Every prophecy has its fixed time to be fulfilled: you will come to realize this.’ 68When you come across people who speak with scorn about Our revelations, turn away from them until they move on to another topic. If Satan should make you forget, then, when you have remembered, do not sit with those who are doing wrong. 69The righteous are not in any way held accountable for the wrongdoers; their only duty is to remind them, so that they may be mindful of God. 70Leave to themselves those who take their religion for a mere game and distraction and are deceived by the life of this world, but continue to remind them with the [Qur’an], lest any soul be damned by what it has done– it will have no one to protect it from God and no one to intercede; whatever ransom it may offer will not be accepted. Such are those who are damned by their own actions: they will have boiling water to drink and a painful punishment, because they used to defy [God].
So the life of this world is the deception, not the fantasy land we’re supposed to imagine coming after this? Why is reality always dismissed as fake news and a hoax, while the actual hoax is praised as the “absolute truth” and the “word of God”?
71Say, ‘Instead of God, are we to call on what neither profits nor harms us? [Are we to] turn on our heels after God has guided us, like someone bewildered, having been tempted by devils into a desert ravine, a though his companions call him to guidance [saying], “Come to us”?’ Say, ‘God’s guidance is the true guidance. We are commanded to devote ourselves to the Lord of the Worlds, 72to establish regular prayers and be mindful of Him.’ It is to Him that you will all be gathered. 73It is He who created the heavens and the earth for a true purpose. On the Day when He says, ‘Be,’ it will be: His word is the truth. All control on the Day the Trumpet is blown belongs to Him. He knows the seen and the unseen: He is the All Wise, the All Aware.
So you keep saying, but you can’t back any of it up, and that’s a problem. Especially when you tell me that your lie is reality is reality is a lie.
74Remember when Abraham said to his father, Azar, ‘How can you take idols as gods? I see that you and your people have clearly gone astray.’
75In this way We showed Abraham [God’s] mighty dominion over the heavens and the earth, so that he might be a firm believer. 76When the night grew dark over him he saw a star and said, ‘This is my Lord,’ but when it set, he said, ‘I do not like things that set.’ 77And when he saw the moon rising he said, ‘This is my Lord,’ but when it too set, he said, ‘If my Lord does not guide me, I shall be one of those who go astray.’ 78Then he saw the sun rising and cried, ‘This is my Lord! This is greater.’ But when the sun set, he said, ‘My people, I disown all that you worship beside God. 79I have turned my face as a true believer towards Him who created the heavens and the earth. I am not one of the polytheists.’
There are people who either believe that this literally happened verbatim, or they admit that it’s only a metaphor, but somehow find beauty in this lie. Either impression leaves me disappointed in my species. Homo sapiens, “Man the Wise”? Hardly.
80His people argued with him, and he said, ‘How can you argue with me about God when He has guided me? I do not fear anything you associate with Him: unless my Lord wills [nothing can happen]. My Lord encompasses everything in His knowledge. How can you not take heed?
Because your delusion is not contagious. Or if it is, then I am thankfully immune.
81Why should I fear what you associate with Him? Why do you not fear to associate with Him things for which He has sent you no authority? Tell me, if you know the answer, which side has more right to feel secure?
I don’t fear to associate things with him for the same reason you don’t fear what the pagans associate with him. You don’t believe them, and I don’t believe you.
82It is those who have faith, and do not mix their faith with idolatry, who will be secure, and it is they who are rightly guided.’ 83Such was the argument We gave to Abraham against his people– We raise in rank whoever We will– your Lord is all wise, all knowing.
You think you’re superior to the idolaters because you don’t believe them. Now imagine how I feel about you too.
84We gave him Isaac and Jacob, each of whom We guided, as We had guided Noah before, and among his descendants were David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, and Aaron– in this way We reward those who do good– 85Zachariah, John, Jesus, and Elijah– every one of them was righteous– 86Ishmael, Elisha, Jonah, and Lot. We favoured each one of them over other people,
Even though some of these people at least never existed as described, if at all.
87and also some of their forefathers, their offspring, and their brothers: We chose them and guided them on a straight path. 88Such is God’s guidance, with which He guides whichever of His servants He will.
And tortures the rest, in his “mercy”.
If they had associated other gods with Him, all their deeds would have come to nothing. 89Those are the ones to whom We gave the Scripture, wisdom, and prophethood. Even if these people now disbelieve in them, We have entrusted them to others who do not disbelieve.
So God gave his “word” to his “chosen people”, and they still turned away, because God just can’t seem to make a convincing argument.
90Those were the people God guided, ‘[Prophet], follow the guidance they received.’ Say, ‘I ask no reward for it from you: it is a lesson for all people.’ 91They have no grasp of God’s true measure when they say, ‘God has sent nothing down to a mere mortal.’ Say, ‘Who was it who sent down the Scripture, which Moses brought as a light and a guide to people, which you made into separate sheets, showing some but hiding many?
People did that, and I don’t mean Moses. There was no Moses.
You were taught things that neither you nor your forefathers had known.’ Say, ‘God [sent it down],’ then leave them engrossed in their vain talk. 92This is a blessed Scripture that We have sent down to confirm what came before it and for you to warn the Mother of Cities [Mecca] and all around it. Those who believe in the Hereafter believe in this Scripture, and do not neglect their prayers.
Have we mentioned how unnecessary prayers are? If God were real, he wouldn’t need to hear them to know what we need from him. Prayers are only necessary to keep people talking to their imaginary friend to convince themselves that he’s real.
93Who could be more wicked than someone who invents a lie against God, or claims, ‘A revelation has come to me,’ when no revelation has been sent to him, or says, ‘I too can reveal something equal to God’s revelation’?
Who could be more wicked? Someone who says that we better believe every fool thing he says or we’ll be damned to eternal torment.
If you could only see the wicked in their death agonies, as the angels stretch out their hands [to them], saying, ‘Give up your souls. Today you will be repaid with a humiliating punishment for saying false things about God and for arrogantly rejecting His revelations.’
But the Qur’an is the one saying false things about God.
94[God will say], ‘Now you return to Us, alone, as We first created you: you have left behind everything We gave you, nor do We see those intercessors of yours that you claimed were partners of God. All the bonds between you have been severed, and those about whom you made such claims have deserted you.’ 95It is God who splits open the seed and the fruit stone: He brings out the living from the dead and the dead from the living– that is God– so how can you turn away from the truth?
I won’t turn away from the truth; I turn away from scriptures presented as if the were the word of some god or other.
96He makes the dawn break; He makes the night for rest; and He made the sun and the moon to a precise measure. That is the design of the Almighty, the All Knowing. 97It is He who made the stars, so that they can guide you when land and sea are dark: We have made the signs clear for those who have knowledge.
We get it. Everything that happens, your god did it, and not their god. I know. It’s just that your claim is no more valid than theirs.
98It is He who first produced you from a single soul, then gave you a place to stay [in life] and a resting place [after death]. We have made Our revelations clear to those who understand.
Yet no one, not one single person on this earth understands the Qur’an. No one who believes it anyway. We supposedly need thousands or maybe tens or even hundreds of thousands of Hadiths to explain it, and no one even knows how many hadiths there are.
99It is He who sends down water from the sky. With it We produce the shoots of each plant, then bring greenery from it, and from that We bring out grains, one riding on the other in close-packed rows. From the date palm come clusters of low-hanging dates, and there are gardens of vines, olives, and pomegranates, alike yet different. Watch their fruits as they grow and ripen! In all this there are signs for those who would believe.
In other words, I should just assume that anything I can think of was created and maintained by your god, simply because you said so, and not for any rationally defensible reason.
100Yet they made the jinn partners with God, though He created them, and without any true knowledge they attribute sons and daughters to Him. Glory be to Him! He is far higher than what they ascribe to Him,
To be fair, gods and genies are pretty much the same thing.
101the Creator of the heavens and earth! How could He have children when He has no spouse, when He created all things, and has full knowledge of all things?
How could Jesus be born with a father AND be in the direct line of descent from David via Jesus’ human father, Joseph? Don’t pose logical questions of religion; they’re inapplicable.
102This is God, your Lord, there is no God but Him, the Creator of all things, so worship Him; He is in charge of everything.
No, I’m going to worship anything. But if I did, it would be someone I didn’t need faith to believe in.
103No vision can take Him in, but He takes in all vision. a He is the All Subtle, the All Aware. 104Now clear proof has come to you from your Lord: if anyone sees it, that will be to his advantage; if anyone is blind to it, that will be to his loss–
Why not produce actual factual empirical evidence that we can all see? Instead of all this “seeing what is not seen” nonsense?
[Say], ‘I am not your guardian.’ 105This is how We explain Our revelations in various ways– though they will say, ‘You [Muhammad] have been studying’– to make them clear for those who know. 106Follow what has been revealed to you from your Lord, there is no God but Him. Turn away from those who join other gods with Him. 107If it had been God’s will, they would not have done so, but We have not made you their guardian, nor are you their keeper.
So if God didn’t want them to be idolaters, they wouldn’t be. That means he wants them to be, because he wants to punish them later. This is why scriptures never speak of logic.
108[Believers], do not revile those they call on beside God in case they, in their hostility and ignorance, revile God. To each community We make their own actions seem alluring, but in the end they will return to their Lord and He will inform them of all they did.
So God deliberately manipulates these people into thinking they’re right for believing in their gods. Then he springs the trap on these innocent victims of his game.
109They swear by God with their most solemn oaths that if a miraculous sign came to them they would believe in it. Say [Prophet], ‘Signs are in the power of God alone.’ What will make you [believers] realize that even if a sign came to them they still would not believe? 110We would make their hearts and their eyes turn away, just as they did not believe the first time, and leave them to flounder in their obstinacy.
So God deliberately deceives people into not believing in him, just so that he can torture us later.
111Even if We sent the angels down to them, and the dead spoke to them, and We gathered all things right in front of them, they still would not believe, unless God so willed, but most of them are ignorant [of this].
So the excuse for why he doesn’t provide evidence is that he has closed our minds so that we wouldn’t accept evidence anyway, which is actually a fair description of faith.
112In the same way We assigned to each prophet an enemy, evil humans and evil jinn.
What’s a good story without a villain?
They suggest alluring words to one another in order to deceive– if it had been your Lord’s will, [Prophet], they would not have done this: leave them to their inventions– 113so that the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter may incline towards their deceit, be pleased with it, and so perpetrate whatever they perpetrate.
So again, God wants these people to believe as they do, and to feel confident that they’re doing right, before he boils the flesh from their bones over and over again for all eternity.
114[Say], ‘Shall I seek any judge other than God, when it is He who has sent down for you [people] the Scripture, clearly explained?’ Those to whom We gave the Scripture know that this [Qur’an] is revealed by your Lord [Prophet] with the truth, so do not be one of those who doubt. 115The word of your Lord is complete in its truth and justice. No one can change His words: He is the All Hearing, the All Knowing.
We can all change these words. The Qur’an, just like all the other “holy” scriptures dedicated to any god or religion were all written by mere fallible men who were “inspired” by whatever gods, ghosts or aliens they imagined in their minds.
116If you obeyed most of those on earth, they would lead you away from the path of God. They follow nothing but speculation; they are merely guessing.
The irony of this juxtaposition is so rich, it’s dripping right off the page.
117Your Lord knows best who strays from His path and who is rightly guided.
118So [believers] eat any [animal] over which God’s name has been pronounced, if you believe in His revelations. 119Why should you not eat such animals when God has already fully explained what He has forbidden you, except when forced by hunger? But many lead others astray by their desires, without any true knowledge: your Lord knows best who oversteps the limit.
I must confess, I could not make sense of this “clear message”. So I read it in three other translations, but it was still no clearer. We should eat the animal we pray over, but why would we not eat the animal, since we were forbidden to unless we were starving. What?
120Avoid committing sin, whether openly or in secret, for those who commit sin will be repaid for what they do, 121and do not eat anything over which God’s name has not been pronounced, for that is breaking the law. The evil ones incite their followers to argue with you: if you listen to them, you too will become idolaters.
Translator, Abdel Haleem says this means that idolaters argue that there is nothing wrong with eating meat that was sacrificed to an idol. That’s good, because I and my family once ate food that was sacrificed to Lord Krishna. The devotees in the temple told us that we could eat whatever Krishna did not, which of course, was all of it. Hardly a sacrifice, but at least they’re not wasting food. My then 12 year-old son said, “if you eat after a person, you might get sick. If you eat after a god, do you get healed?” I thought that was an astute question at any age.
122Is a dead person brought back to life by Us, and given light with which to walk among people, comparable to someone trapped in deep darkness who cannot escape? In this way the evil deeds of the disbelievers are made to seem alluring to them.
Are there examples of dead people revived by Allah and walking amongst the living again?
123And so We have put chief evildoers in every city to perpetrate their schemes there– but they scheme only against themselves, without realizing it.
Because God is SO lonely that he’s playing both sides of the chess board; deciding who are the heroes and what their opponents will do, such that none of us deserve what he will reward or punish us for.
124When a revelation is brought before them they say, ‘We shall not believe unless we ourselves are given a revelation as God’s messengers were.’ But God knows best where to place His messages: humiliation before God and severe torment will befall the evildoers for their scheming.
God obviously DOESN’T know best because all his prior attempts have ended in failure, and he still hasn’t fixed the flaw in his strategy. Any human gamer would know how to get passed this level by now. But God supposedly has all the cheat codes, and still can’t do it.
125When God wishes to guide someone, He opens their breast to islam; when He wishes to lead them astray, He closes and constricts their breast as if they were climbing up to the skies. That is how God makes the foulness of those who do not believe rebound against them.
But in so doing, he has deprived us of our moral choice, our free will. Thus it is his own fault who will or won’t believe, who will or won’t be damned. Neither our morality nor our conscience or the goodness in our hearts has anything at all to do with that.
126[Prophet], this is the path of your Lord, made perfectly straight. We have explained Our revelations to those who take heed.
The only ones to “take heed” did so because he will it. Those who didn’t, didn’t because he willed it. Has no one in the Arab ever noticed this critical flaw in their dominant religion?
127They shall have the Home of Peace with their Lord, and He will take care of them as a reward for their deeds.
…that he made them do.
128On the day He gathers everyone together [saying], ‘Company of jinn! You have seduced a great many humans,’ their adherents among mankind will say, ‘Lord, we have profited from one another, but now we have reached the appointed time You decreed for us.’ He will say, ‘Your home is the Fire, and there you shall remain’– unless God wills otherwise: [Prophet], your Lord is all wise, all knowing.
Then you’d think God would know that beings made of fire shouldn’t have any problem being in a fire. More importantly, why is God torturing us when he was the one who sent the Jinn to deceive us all in the first place?
129In this way, We make some evildoers have power over others through their misdeeds.
Of course. God, the petulant and insecure child that he is, decides what we’re going to do and how and when we’re going to do it. Then he decides our fate as well, based on his own actions that he now blames on us.
130‘Company of jinn and mankind! Did messengers not come from among you to recite My revelations to you and warn that you would meet this Day?’ They will say, ‘We testify against ourselves.’ The life of this world seduced them, but they will testify against themselves that they rejected the truth: 131your Lord would not destroy towns for their wrongdoing if they had not been warned.
Some weirdo with a sandwich board saying “the end is nigh” is not adequate warning.
132Everyone is assigned a rank according to their deeds; your Lord is not unaware of anything they do.
Especially since he is really the one doing whatever he makes us do.
133Your Lord is self-sufficient and full of mercy. If He pleased, He could remove you and put others in your place, just as He produced you from the offspring of other people. 134What you are promised is sure to come, and you cannot escape. 135[Prophet], say, ‘My people, you carry on as you are, and so will I: you will come to realize who will have a happy homecoming in the Hereafter.’ The evildoers will not prosper.
Because we are just playthings for an extremely childish god.
136They apportion to God a share of the produce and the livestock He created, saying, ‘This is for God’– so they claim!–‘ and this is for our idols.’ Their idols’ share does not reach God, but God’s share does reach their idols: how badly they judge!
Finally, at the end, we come to what this surah was supposed to be about, cattle. As in what we would have to be to believe this.
137In the same way, their idols have induced many of the pagans to kill their own children, bringing them ruin and confusion in their faith: if God had willed otherwise they would not have done this, so [Prophet] leave them to their own devices.
Here Islam is criticizing prior pagans for infanticide. Shall we remember all the teenagers decapitated by their Muslim parents in modern “honor killings”? Hypocrisy much?
138They also say, ‘These cattle and crops are reserved, and only those we allow may eat them’– so they claim! There are some animals they exempt from labour and some over which they do not pronounce God’s name [during slaughter], falsely attributing these [regulations] to Him: He will repay them for the falsehoods they invent.
No, God is the one who invented whatever “falsehoods” we’re talking about here. You can’t blame Woody or Buzz for whatever Andy made them do.
139They also say, ‘The contents of these animals’ wombs will be reserved solely for our men and forbidden to our women, though if the offspring is stillborn they may have a share of it.’ He will punish them for what they attribute to Him: He is all wise, all aware.
It doesn’t sound like it. It sounds like God doesn’t know what he’s doing, or even that it’s him doing it.
140Lost indeed are those who kill their own children out of folly, with no basis in knowledge, forbidding what God has provided for them, fabricating lies against Him: they have gone far astray and have heeded no guidance.
Anything we say about God is a lie, unless we admit that there evidently is no god.
141It is He who produces both trellised and untrellised gardens, date palms, crops of diverse flavours, the olive, the pomegranate, alike yet different. So when they bear fruit, eat some of it, paying what is due on the day of harvest, but do not be wasteful: God does not like wasteful people.
But he’ll torture billions of people forever without any means of rehabilitation, no actual justice of any kind, just divine hypocrisy about how we’re somehow more wasteful than him.
142[He gave you] livestock, as beasts of burden and as food. So eat what God has provided for you and do not follow in Satan’s footsteps: he is your sworn enemy. 143[God gave you] eight animals, in [four] pairs: a pair of sheep and a pair of goats– ask them [Prophet], ‘Has He forbidden the two males, the two females, or the young in the wombs of the two females? Tell me based on knowledge if you are telling the truth.’
God never gave us anything, nor forbade us anything; he never did anything. He never existed.
144And a pair of camels and a pair of cattle– ask them [Prophet], ‘Has He forbidden the two males, the two females, or the young in the wombs of the two females? Were you present when God gave you these commands?’ So who is more wicked than he who fabricates lies against God with no basis in knowledge in order to lead people astray? God does not guide the evildoers.
But yes, he does. At least according to this very surah, which explained that over and over again.
145[Prophet], say, ‘In all that has been revealed to me, I find nothing forbidden for people to eat, except for carrion, flowing blood, pig’s meat– it is loathsome– or a sinful offering over which any name other than God’s has been invoked.’ But if someone is forced by hunger, rather than desire or excess, then God is most forgiving and most merciful.
Well, isn’t that nice. Seriously, it’s about the nicest thing, or the only nice thing the Qur’an has said about God so far.
146We forbade for the Jews every animal with claws, and the fat of cattle and sheep, except what is on their backs and in their intestines, or that which sticks to their bones. This is how We penalized them for their disobedience: We are true to Our word.
I want to hear from Jewish people how they interpret or explain this verse. Are they even aware of this alleged disobedience or their punishment for it?
147If they [the disbelievers] accuse you [Prophet] of lying, say, ‘Your Lord has all-encompassing mercy, but His punishment cannot be diverted from the evildoers.’
So if they (or I) accuse you of lying, (which I am) then you’ll just tell another lie. Got it.
148The idolaters will say, ‘If God had willed, we would not have ascribed partners to Him– nor would our fathers– or have declared anything forbidden.’ In the same way, those before them continually denied [the truth] until they tasted Our punishment. Say, ‘Have you any knowledge that you can show us? You follow only supposition and tell only lies.’
You’re talking about yourself here, not me.
149Say, ‘The conclusive argument belongs to God alone. Had He so willed He would have guided you all.’
But he chose not to, and he blames us for his decision.
150Say, ‘Bring your witnesses to testify that God has forbidden all this.’ If they do testify, do not bear witness with them. Do not follow the whims of those who have denied Our revelation, who do not believe in the Hereafter, and who set up equals with their Lord.
Doesn’t sound like anyone’s testimony would be reliable on such matters, since no one really knows what they pretend to.
151Say, ‘Come! I will tell you what your Lord has really forbidden you. Do not ascribe anything as a partner to Him; be good to your parents; do not kill your children in fear of poverty’– We will provide for you and for them–‘
If God didn’t want us to eat babies, then why did he make them out of meat? ;-)
stay well away from committing obscenities, whether openly or in secret; do not take the life God has made sacred, except by right. This is what He commands you to do: perhaps you will use your reason.
If we did that, we wouldn’t be Muslims or Pagans.
152Stay well away from the property of orphans, except with the best [intentions], until they come of age; give full measure and weight, according to justice’–
Someone has to explain this to me. I don’t get what this is talking about.
We do not burden any soul with more than it can bear–‘ when you speak, be just, even if it concerns a relative; keep any promises you make in God’s name. This is what He commands you to do, so that you may take heed’– 153this is My path, leading straight, so follow it, and do not follow other ways: they will lead you away from it–‘ This is what He commands you to do, so that you may refrain from wrongdoing.’
Remember that “wrongdoing” simply means not buying what the prophet is selling.
154Once again, a We gave Moses the Scripture, perfecting [Our favour] for those who do good, explaining everything clearly, as guidance and mercy, so that they might believe in the meeting with their Lord.
Except that there never was a Moses. He is almost as fictional as God.
155This, too, is a blessed Scripture which We have sent down– follow it and be conscious of your Lord, so that you may receive mercy– 156lest you say, ‘Scriptures were only sent down to two communities before us: we were not aware of what they studied,’ 157or ‘If only the Scripture had been sent down to us, we would have been better guided than them.’ Now clear evidence, guidance, and mercy have come to you from your Lord. Who could be more wrong than someone who rejects God’s revelations and turns away from them? We shall repay those who turn away with a painful punishment.
Once again, the only “clear guidance” is when God makes you do things, just like a boy with a toy.
155This, too, is a blessed Scripture which We have sent down– follow it and be conscious of your Lord, so that you may receive mercy– 156lest you say, ‘Scriptures were only sent down to two communities before us: we were not aware of what they studied,’ 157or ‘If only the Scripture had been sent down to us, we would have been better guided than them.’ Now clear evidence, guidance, and mercy have come to you from your Lord. Who could be more wrong than someone who rejects God’s revelations and turns away from them?
Someone who accepts these revelations and imposes this belief and its mandates on others.
We shall repay those who turn away with a painful punishment. 158Are they waiting for the very angels to come to them, or your Lord Himself, or maybe some of His signs? But on the Day some of your Lord’s signs come, no soul will profit from faith if it had none before, or has not already earned some good through its faith. Say, ‘Wait if you wish: we too are waiting.’
No profit will come from faith anyway, because faith is just believing things that aren’t true.
159As for those who have divided their religion and broken up into factions, have nothing to do with them [Prophet]. Their case rests with God: in time He will tell them about their deeds. 160Whoever has done a good deed will have it ten times to his credit, but whoever has done a bad deed will be repaid only with its equivalent– they will not be wronged.
How does that work with someone who has done plenty of good deeds, but didn’t believe in the right god, or in any god?
161Say, ‘My Lord has guided me to a straight path, an upright religion, the faith of Abraham, a man of pure faith. He was not a polytheist.’ 162Say, ‘My prayers and sacrifice, my life and death, are all for God, Lord of all the Worlds; 163He has no partner. This is what I am commanded, and I am the first to devote myself to Him.’ 164Say, ‘Should I seek a Lord other than God, when He is the Lord of all things?’ Each soul is responsible for its own actions; no soul will bear the burden of another.
Unless God or one of the evil jinn he has pitted against you take over your body and manipulate you.
You will all return to your Lord in the end, and He will tell you the truth about your differences. 165It is He who made you successors on the earth and raises some of you above others in rank, to test you through what He gives you. [Prophet], your Lord is swift in punishment, yet He is most forgiving and merciful.
Except that punishment is not swift; it is allegedly eventual, nd definitely unjust.
This is the worst surah I’ve read so far; nothing but logical contradictions serving as an indictment of itself. If you’re Muslim, and you seriously sincerely believe in this book, I’d like to hear you explain how.