Friday, 14 August 2015

Reading the Koran - Sura 1 to Sura 2 verse 29

Sura 1 (Kaf) is pretty boring as all it says is that Allah/God is the reckoner, merciful, compassionate, gracious and insert awesome adjective here. If you are a Christian or come from a Christian background this Sura is super easy to understand. All that is happening is that they are explaining that Allah is the same as the Christian God (aka Jehovah). If you are not a theist think of Superman or any other superhero and then multiply their awesomeness by infinity and then you are not even close to how awesome Allah is.

Surah 2 (The Cow) Verses 1-5 starts off by telling us that the Koran is a book of guidance for those that believe in the Unseen, or for those that have blind faith. At least they are not trying to mislead us that believing in Allah is in anyway rational and that I respect.

Verses 6-20 goes on to tell us about the unbelievers (infidels) and the false believers, for which a distinction is drawn. For the unbelievers we get told that they will never believe even if presented with the evidence and as such a believer does not need to warn them. Interestingly, the Koran is very explicit in showing that the reason unbelievers exist is because Allah made them that way.
"Their hearts and their ears hath God sealed up; and over their eyes is a covering."
As such the severe chastisement that Allah will afford the infidels is due to his plan and as such we can be assured that Allah is not just or merciful after all the decisions to punish the infidel has already being made.

We then move onto the false believers who unlike the infidels only get sore chastisement and not severe chastisement. This is rather bizarre when one considers that the false believers have a choice to be false believers but infidels do not. Apparently, the major reason to be considered a false believer is to call Muhammad a liar, so I gather this means that if you are a theist but not a Muslim then you are a false believer. To other theists reading this, it means that Occam's razor just developed another edge as your simplest explanation may not be the simplest but, at least it only results in sore and not severe punishment.

Verses 21-29 details the creation mythology of Allah in a very simple way i.e. he created everything the end. However, it also delves into the fact that the Koran has to be divinely inspired. This is rationalized by saying that the Sura are perfect and as such we know that they must be inspired so much so that if you can produce a better Sura then it will invalidate the Koran. Naturally, concepts of perfection are subjective so even if I had  to write a Sura more beautiful it would never be accepted as well..... I am no Muhammad.
"And if ye be in doubt as to that which we have sent down to our servant, then produce a Sura like it, and summon your witnesses, beside God, if ye are men of truth:"

The creation account also tells us about the creation of Hell which has been prepared for the infidels. The reason the infidels have to go to Hell is important, as we need to be the fuel for the fires of hell.
"But if ye do it not, and never shall ye do it, then fear the fire prepared for the infidels, whose fuel is men and stones"
Additionally, we get told about Heaven and get some some facts about Heaven which is apparently pretty awesome if you are into virgins. I am not sure what the benefits of Heaven are if you are not into virgins after all we know that everyone is into women....right?
"Therein shall they have wives of perfect purity, and therein shall they abide for ever."
Now, I am not sure why virgins are offered as a reward for a good  life anyway. After all, if they are going to remain virgins forever as the Koran state then it seems that you are not going to be enjoying virgins. Of course we are ignoring other minor details like if you happen to have a wife. Perhaps the wife is not allowed into Heaven? Or, we can accept that Islam is just another male dominated religion like all the Abrahamic religions.

Lastly, and rather interestingly we get told that Allah went off to Heaven after the entire creation and then he transformed the already created Heaven into the seven Heavens. This is interesting as the seven heavens concept predates Islam, just as Christianity and its concepts predate Islam. This leads us to come to the conclusion that Islam lends heavily from previous mythology which is very common for religions. However, if this is so then we have to wonder if Muhammad was an illiterate that he is made out to be as he was clearly borrowing ideas while creating the Koran.

So there you have it the first analysis of the Koran post, let me know what you think and I will try to keep the posts more or less this length for the future
Note: The version of the Koran I am reading is the John Meadows Rodwell translation. An online version can be found at the website