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After reading the first set of suras my strongest impression, which I cannot shake despite my best intentions, is that the person who wrote them must have experienced serious psychological difficulties. These are not the well laid-out, clear writings of an intelligent, sane person, but the rantings of a mad man obsessed with violent apocalyptic visions.
It is telling that on more than one occasion, the author claims that he is not mad (or that the faithful are not mad) – perhaps he doth protest too much.
Another interesting theme is the continually recurring exhortation to look after orphans. Thinking this was a little strange, I looked up the Wikipedia entry on Muhammad, and lo and behold, it appears the man himself was an orphan.
Here is my sura-by-sura commentary:
========== sura 96
The most interesting part of this sura was the claim that man was created from a “clinging substance”.
========== sura 68
- The people should be assured that they are not mad or possessed. Rather, the unbelievers are mad.
- A fairly long reference to the garden of Eden story.
========== sura 73
Some basic guidelines for reading the Qur’an, and the usual dose of venom for unbelievers.
========== sura 74
This entire sura is given to condemning unbelievers, and describing the terrible fate that awaits them.
========== sura 1
Allah is merciful.
========== sura 111
- A wealthy person called the “Father of Flame” is condemned to the Fire.
- His wife, who will have a noose about her neck, will carry the firewood.
========== sura 81
The world will end, there will be chaos everywhere, and souls will be judged according to their adherence to Allah.
========== sura 87
Yet another warning that those who do not heed the Message will be cast into the Fire.
========== sura 92
Give to charity, and do not be greedy (else you’ll be thrown in the Fire, of course).
========== sura 89
- The author boasts of the “scourge of diverse chastisements” that Allah poured onto sinful cities.
- Orphans should be honored and the poor should be fed.
- Do not be greedy and do not love wealth too much.
========== sura 93
Be good to orphans.
========== sura 94
Work hard, knowing that there will be relief.
========== sura 103
The righteous, the faithful, and those who teach truth, patience, and constancy, will not be lost.
========== sura 100
Man is ungrateful to Allah, and loves wealth too much.
========== sura 108
- Turn to Allah in prayer and sacrifice, because he will provide abundance.
- Your enemies will be “cut off”.
========== sura 102
If you accumulate too much wealth, you’ll go to hell.
========== sura 107
Say your prayers, look after orphans, feed the indigent.
========== sura 109
People who reject faith do not worship what I worship.