The Qur’an (part 9 of 10)

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In this penultimate installation of the series we encounter one or two nuggets of new information. We learn that there will, indeed, be young virgins awaiting believers in the heavenly garden (not just “companions” as has previously been stated). We also learn that it’s best to divorce your wife when she’s having her period, although I’m sure she’d beg to differ.

Here’s the breakdown:

========== sura 60

  • Deal kindly and unjustly with unbelievers but don’t turn to them for friendship and protection.
  • Some rules about paying for wives who become unbelievers.

========== sura 4

  • There is a lot about spending wealth properly, and how inheritances ought to be split among family members.
  • It’s made very clear that a sinful life followed by a deathbed conversion will not be looked on kindly.
  • Some choice words for nonbelievers: “Those who reject our Signs, We shall soon cast into the Fire: as often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins, that they may taste the penalty: for Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise”.
  • We are told that all good comes from Allah, while all evil comes from man. This echoes the unhealthy sentiment among many Christians that people are essentially worthless and evil, and that only by God’s grace can anything good be done.
  • Allah is very much a tit-for-tat god: “When a (courteous) greeting is offered you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous, or (at least) of equal courtesy. Allah takes careful account of all things.”
  • Orphans, the needy, and those of “weak mind”, are to be treated compassionately.
  • Don’t be self-deluding and boastful.
  • Don’t be stingy, but don’t spend to show off.
  • Some basic Ten Commandments stuff (do not kill and covet).
  • Don’t place unfair blame.
  • You can judge people, as long as you do it fairly.
  • Male children are to be given twice of one’s estate than female children are given.
  • Sex with married women is allowed if they’re your slaves (4:24: It appears that women “which your right hand possesses” indicates slavery, as suggested in 4:25). Interestingly, the punishment for adulterous slaves is half that of free women (4:25).
  • Men are in charge of women and what they spend. If they talk back, first advise them, then withhold sex, then strike them.

========== sura 99

On judgment day, we’ll be shown the good and the evil we have done.

========== sura 57

  • Allah created everything, and everything belongs to him.
  • On Judgment day, believers will be separated from unbelievers, and the former will berate the latter about their evil ways.
  • Punishment awaits unbelievers; reward awaits believers.
  • Allah sent us iron, apparently.
  • A list of the apostles that Allah has sent.

========== sura 47

  • If you encounter unbelievers in battle, hit them on the neck, and bind them.
  • Punishment awaits unbelievers; reward awaits believers.
  • The angels will strike unbelievers on the face and back.

========== sura 13

  • Allah’s creation is a sign to those who understand it.
  • Allah knows everything, even your thoughts.
  • Allah throws lightning bolts, just like Zeus!
  • Punishment awaits unbelievers; reward awaits believers.
  • For the first time, the garden that awaits believers is called a “parable”.

========== sura 55

  • Allah created everything.
  • We are repeatedly asked which of the myriad favors of Allah we would deny.
  • Sinners will be seized by their forelocks and feet, and tossed into the fire.
  • Believers will go to a wonderful garden, where they will be greeted by virgins (this sura, unlike many others, makes it explicit that there will be “maidens” who are “untouched”.)
  • In another garden will be more “companions”, also “untouched”.

========== sura 76

  • Allah created man from a drop of sperm.
  • Unbelievers have chains, yokes, and a blazing fire to forward to, while believers will sip wine beside a fountain. They will also have a garden with fruit trees and silver goblets. They will dress in silk garments, and wine will be served by “youths” of perpetual “freshness”.

========== sura 65

  • A bit of an odd piece of advice: Divorce your wives only when they’re having their periods, unless they have reached menopause, in which case the default period is 3 months.
  • Don’t turn your wives out of their houses when you divorce them, unless they’ve done something lewd.
  • A rather nice passage encouraging men not to annoy their wives, and to look after them when they’re pregnant. Also, “take mutual counsel together, according to what is just and reasonable”.

========== sura 98

Punishment awaits unbelievers; reward awaits believers.

========== sura 59

  • This sura seems to start with a sort of tacit approval of running your enemies out of town rather than simply killing them.
  • A short tirade against the People of the Book.
  • Allah is the only god, and the creator of all things.

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