July 14, 2024

An Infidel Reads Sūrah 17

This is the 25th 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.
and my 24th post on surah 28.

Sūrah 17 (Al-Israa’) “The Night Journey”

1Glory to Him who made His servant travel by night from the sacred place of worship [Mecca] to the furthest place of worship, [Jerusalem] whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him some of Our signs: He alone is the All Hearing, the All Seeing.

Translator Abdel Haleem explains what this verse means. “Towards the end of the Meccan period, God caused Muhammad, in the space of a single night, to journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and from there to heaven and back again.”

Let’s see, that’s 1,486 kilometers or 923 miles. It would take 16 hours in a car going a mile a minute, and that’s just one-way. So Muhammad did a round trip in one night, with a side trip from Jerusalem to Heaven. HEAVEN! And then he came all the way back to Mecca, all in one night. Was it astral projection? Or was he breathing some of the smoke from that burning bush?

I don’t know how much further Heaven is from Jerusalem. Is the Hebrew holy land closer to Heaven than Mecca? If so, if that would be funny. I would also think that once Muhammad got to Jerusalem, he could just walk through a looking glass or into a mystical wardrobe and he’d already be there. Isn’t that how people usually get to such places? Or, since they tried to build a tower to Heaven using Iron-age technology, then maybe the trip from Jerusalem to Heaven only took as long as the elevator to the observation deck of the Burj Khalifa.

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Excluding the stairway to Heaven for a moment; for Muhammad to get from Mecca to Jerusalem and back in one night, he would have to travel faster than 150 miles per hour. How did he do that in the 7th century? The Qur’an doesn’t say. But apparently one or more of the hadiths have more details. I saw an excerpt from a translation of Sahih al-Bukhari which describes how he did, riding a mystical winged beast called Al-Buraq:

“… Then a white animal which was smaller than a mule and bigger than a donkey was brought to me.” … “The animal’s step (was so wide that it) reached the farthest point within the reach of the animal’s sight…”
—Muhammad al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari

Here is another description of the Buraq:

“Then he [Gabriel] brought the Buraq, handsome-faced and bridled, a tall, white beast, bigger than the donkey but smaller than the mule. He could place his hooves at the farthest boundary of his gaze. He had long ears. Whenever he faced a mountain his hind legs would extend, and whenever he went downhill his front legs would extend. He had two wings on his thighs which lent strength to his legs. He bucked when Muhammad came to mount him. The angel Jibril (Gabriel) put his hand on his mane and said: “Are you not ashamed, O Buraq? By Allah, no-one has ridden you in all creation more dear to Allah than he is.” Hearing this he was so ashamed that he sweated until he became soaked, and he stood still so that the Prophet mounted him.”

These are reportedly citations from Hadiths. I must note that the description given does not fit the most common traditional depiction of a pegasus with the head of a human woman.

That’s how someone interpreted this animal being described as having a “handsome” face. I’ve seen a wolf with a handsome face, but I didn’t think it had to be on the same standard as a beautiful human. This beast is otherwise compared to an equine animal, a donkey or a mule; close to a horse but not quite a horse. Note also that it has wings “on its thighs”, which is both impractical and impossible. But remember that people back then also thought that the Greek god, Hermes had wings on his ankles.

Munich Occult Symbology | Greek mythology costumes, Greek and ...

Maybe the Buraq uses its wings to fly to Heaven, but the way it travels over land is fascinating. It stretches its legs all the way to the visible horizon. That reminds me of something from the LSD-inspired Beatles movie, Yellow Submarine. All I can say is they must have had some good hashish in Mecca when they wrote the Hadiths to explain the Qur’an.

Animation Art:Production Cel, The Beatles Yellow Submarine Ringo Starr Production Cel Setup (United Artists/King Features, 1968)....

We’ve spent way too much time on this first verse and its passing mention of Muhammad’s psychedelic ride from Holy land to Holy land and even to Heaven and back. I think you’d have to be high just to believe this story. Surely we don’t have to point out that this obviously did not really happen, …do we? Really?

2We also gave Moses the Scripture, and made it a guide for the Children of Israel. ‘Entrust yourselves to no one but Me, 3you descendants of those We carried with Noah: he was truly a thankful servant.’

Here again we have the Qur’an saying that “you” [whoever the reader happens to be] is a descendant of Noah. That means the flood had to be global, though many Muslims today realize that isn’t possible, so they try to pretend as if the Qur’an doesn’t really say that it definitely does.

4We declared to the Children of Israel in the Scripture, ‘Twice you will spread corruption in the land and become highly arrogant.’ 5When the first of these warnings was fulfilled, We sent against you servants of Ours with great force, and they ravaged your homes. That warning was fulfilled, 6but then We allowed you to prevail against your enemy. We increased your wealth and offspring and made you more numerous––7whether you do good or evil it is to your own souls––and when the second warning was fulfilled [We sent them] to shame your faces and enter the place of worship as they did the first time, and utterly destroy whatever fell into their power. 8Your Lord may yet have mercy on you, but if you do the same again, so shall We: We have made Hell a prison for those who defy [Our warning].

Remember that so far we’ve seen several times when the Qur’an says that God is the one who decides what everyone thinks they decide to do; that he both gives signs and hardens hearts, demonstrating his power but also closing the minds of the very people he’s showing signs to, and then punishing them for what he himself forced them to do. As if we are pawns of a lonely god playing both sides of the chessboard against himself out of sheer boredom. That’s what living alone for eternity will do to you.

9This Qur’an does indeed show the straightest way. It gives the faithful who do right the good news that they will have a great reward and 10warns that We have prepared an agonizing punishment for those who do not believe in the world to come.

Yeah, that’s almost the only thing this book ever says, just this same thing over and over again. Yet no matter how many times it is repeated, it is still unbelievable.

11Yet man prays for harm, just as he prays for good: man is ever hasty. 12We made the night and the day as two signs, then darkened the night and made the daylight for seeing, for you to seek your Lord’s bounty and to know how to count the years and calculate. We have explained everything in detail.

No, you don’t explain squat. You wait for the hadiths to do that. Remember that the only description we have of how Muhammad made took his hallucinogenic trip comes from Hadiths, not the Qur’an itself. The Ḥadīths (“News” or “Story”) are supposed to be a record of traditions or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, revered and received as a major source of religious law and moral guidance, second only to the authority of the Qurʾān. The problem is what they’re saying is not in the Qur’an. The hadiths weren’t written by, nor attributed to, Muhammad, and there are untold thousands or perhaps tens of thousands of hadiths, way too many to be actual quotes of Muhammad. The fact that no one knows how many hadiths there even are shows that they can’t really be authoritative either. Instead the Hadiths are the work of innumerable human authors stepping in to say that “this is what God meant to say but forgot to clarify”, as if His infallible omniscience needs clarification from human editors to correct his absent-minded omissions.

We know that the Qur’an too was written by an uncertain number of human authors. study-islam.org explains:

“The arrangement of the Suras, or chapters in the Qur’an, is not chronological. The longest Suras are placed first in the book. Thus, to take the Qur’an and read it straight through throws no light on the life and work of the Prophet, but simply bewilders the reader. Maulavi Muhammad ‘Ali, a Qadiani commentator, asserts that the whole Qur’an was committed to writing during the Prophet’s life-time and that the present arrangement of chapters and verses was made under the Prophet’s own superintendence. If this is so, it is difficult to say why recensions were necessary under Abu Bakr and ‘Uthman and what Zaid’s work really was; nor is it easy to conceive that so capable a person as Muhammad would have left his book in so unintelligible a form.”

That’s quite an admission from a source that simultaneously also believes the Qur’an to be the perfect and infallible word of God. Cognitive dissonance much?

Now, getting back to Surah 17:

13We have bound each human being’s destiny to his neck. On the Day of Resurrection, We shall bring out a record for each of them, which they will find spread wide open, 14‘Read your record. Today your own soul is enough to calculate your account.’

A broken clock may be right twice a day, but this scratched record is always wrong.

15Whoever accepts guidance does so for his own good; whoever strays does so at his own peril. No soul will bear another’s burden, nor do We punish until We have sent a messenger.

God is contradicting himself again, because earlier he said that it is he who decides who believes and who will not.

16When We decide to destroy a town, We command those corrupted by wealth [to reform], but they [persist in their] disobedience; Our sentence is passed, and We destroy them utterly.

Then you’re not giving very effective commands, because you’re sending them through messengers who all sound like crazed idiots talking out of their other end.

17How many generations We have destroyed since Noah!

Note that Noah was described as a whole generation, not merely one lone group of people!

Your Lord knows and observes the sins of His servants well enough. 18If anyone desires [only] the fleeting life, We speed up whatever We will in it, for whoever We wish; in the end We have prepared Hell for him in which to burn, disgraced and rejected. 19But if anyone desires the life to come and strives after it as he should, as a true believer, his striving will be thanked. 20To both the latter and the former, We give some of your Lord’s bounty. [Prophet], your Lord’s bounty is not restricted– 21see how We have given some more than others– but the Hereafter holds greater ranks and greater favours.

This is so obviously just the empty promises and baseless threats of make-believers. How could any rational person fall for any of this otherwise?

22Set up no other god beside God, or you will end up disgraced and forsaken. 23Your Lord has commanded that you should worship none but Him, and that you be kind to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say no word that shows impatience with them, and do not be harsh with them, but speak to them respectfully 24and lower your wing in humility towards them in kindness and say, ‘Lord, have mercy on them, just as they cared for me when I was little.’ 25Your Lord knows best what is in your heart.

There is a painful irony here as I once debated Hamza Tzortsis, a Muslim activist who lamented the certain “fact” [in his mind] that his beloved Greek father died without ever believing his son’s apologetics arguments for Islam, and that Hamza’s dad was consequently doomed to merciless eternal savagery in Hell, simply because of Hamza’s own failure to convince his dad. What then is the point of asking for God’s mercy when this book constantly repeats that our loved ones aren’t gonna get any mercy? That they WILL be tortured with merciless cruelty for all eternity, no matter what you pray for, and regardless of whatever is “in your heart”?

25If you are good, He is most forgiving to those who return to Him.

Remember, the Qur’an teaches that “good” means blind credulity and “bad” means thinking rationally.

26Give relatives their due, and the needy, and travellers– do not squander your wealth wastefully: 27those who squander are the brothers of Satan, and Satan is most ungrateful to his Lord–

So those who spend too much money are fire elementals, efreeti, fire-demons of the djinni race. Got it. I’m told that the Qur’an is meant to be read absolutely literally. So that’s what I’m gonna do.

28but if, while seeking some bounty that you expect from your Lord, you turn them down, then at least speak some word of comfort to them. 29Do not be tight-fisted, nor so open-handed that you end up blamed and overwhelmed with regret. 30Your Lord gives abundantly to whoever He will, and sparingly to whoever He will: He knows and observes His servants thoroughly.

And capriciously, but not at all fairly or reasonably.

31Do not kill your children for fear of poverty––We shall provide for them and for you––killing them is a great sin. 32And do not go anywhere near adultery: it is an outrage, and an evil path. 33Do not take life, which God has made sacred, except by right: if anyone is killed wrongfully, We have given authority to the defender of his rights, but he should not be excessive in taking life, for he is already aided [by God].

I’ve been assured that this is another contradiction, that elsewhere the Qur’an advocates killing the infidel, though I don’t remember seeing that citation yet.

34Do not go near the orphan’s property, b except with the best [intentions], until he reaches the age of maturity. Honour your pledges: you will be questioned about your pledges. 35Give full measure when you measure, and weigh with accurate scales: that is better and fairer in the end. 36Do not follow blindly what you do not know to be true: ears, eyes, and heart, you will be questioned about all these. 37Do not strut arrogantly about the earth: you cannot break it open, nor match the mountains in height. 38The evil of all these actions is hateful to your Lord.

This is God telling us to behave or he’ll give us the belt. Back then, people didn’t yet realize that threatening your children with violence was dysfunctional parenting.

39[Prophet], this is some of the wisdom your Lord has revealed to you: do not set up another god beside God, or you will be thrown into Hell, blamed and rejected.

Did you hear that, Christians?

40What? Has your Lord favoured you people with sons and taken daughters for Himself from the angels? What a monstrous thing for you to say!

Translator Abdel Haleem says these verses about dead and buried daughters refer to what we’ve already read in Surahs 81 and 16, where Pagan Arabs used to feel such gloom and shame at the news of having a baby girl instead of a boy that they would bury girl babies in the desert rather than feed them. Why are Arabs so misogynist?

41We have explained things in various ways in this Qur’an, so that such people might take notice, but it has only turned them further away.

You’d think an omniscient telepath would be a better communicator than this. Maybe it’s because he’s not using his telepathy, but instead he plays this game of telephone using his angels to relay messages through illiterate prophets which are then recorded by myriad generations of scribes and subsequent editors. You’d think that an infallible being would have figured out his mistake by now too.

42Say, ‘If there were other gods along with Him, as they say there are, then they would have tried to find a way to the Lord of the Throne.’ 43Glory to Him! He is far above what they say! 44The seven heavens and the earth and everyone in them glorify Him. There is not a single thing that does not celebrate His praise, though you do not understand their praise: He is most forbearing, most forgiving.

Let me correct one thing there. If what the Qur’an means to imply that there is evidence of this god, then no, there is not a single thing that indicates that a deity was even possibly involved.

45[Prophet], when you recite the Qur’an, We put an invisible barrier between you and those who do not believe in the life to come. 46We have put covers on their hearts that prevent them from understanding it, and heaviness in their ears.

See how verses 45 & 46 contradict verses 7, 8, 15 & 25?

When you mention your Lord in the Qur’an, and Him alone, they turn their backs and run away.

Uh, no we don’t, unless you’re screaming “Allāhu ʾakbar“. Otherwise, I admit, some of us do back away slowly and try not to make eye contact anyone someone of any faith starts raving about their delusions in public.

47We know best the way they listen, when they listen to you and when they confer in secret, and these wrongdoers say, ‘You are only following a man who is bewitched.’ 48See what they think you are like! But they are lost and cannot find the right way.

See kids? Following the crazy stranger is the right way? Ignoring or avoiding the raving lunatic is “wrongdoing”.

49They also say, ‘What? When we are turned to bones and dust, shall we really be raised up in a new act of creation?’ 50Say, ‘[Yes] even if you were [as hard as] stone, or iron, 51 or any other substance you think hard to bring to life.’ Then they will say, ‘Who will bring us back?’ Say, ‘The One who created you the first time.’ Then they will shake their heads at you and say, ‘When will that be?’ Say, ‘It may well be very soon: 52it will be the Day when He calls you, and you answer by praising Him, and you think you have stayed [on earth] only a little while.’

It’ll never happen at all, but believers know better than to put an expiration date on their fake fortune telling predictions.

53[Prophet], tell My servants to say what is best. a Satan sows discord among them: Satan is a sworn enemy of man. 54Your Lord has the most knowledge about all of you: if He pleases He will have mercy on you, and if He pleases He will punish you. [Prophet], We did not send you to take charge of them.

See kids? It doesn’t have anything to do with whether you believe. He decides that, and he decides if he’s going to punish you for what he chose to make you do. So much for free will. What a jerk god!

55Your Lord knows best about everyone in the heavens and the earth. We gave some prophets more than others: We gave David a book [of Psalms].

So King David was Jewish, a Muslim’s sworn enemy.

56Say, ‘Call upon those you claim to be deities beside God: they have no power to remove or avert any harm from you.’ 57Those [angels] they [Pagans] pray to are themselves seeking a way to their Lord, even those who are closest to Him. They hope for His mercy and fear His punishment. The punishment of your Lord is much to be feared: 58there is no community [of evildoers]. We shall not destroy, or punish severely, before the Day of Resurrection– this is written in the Book.

Abdel Haleem says this reference to “the book” refers to “God’s Record”, his “naughty or nice” list, rather than the Qur’an, as all or most other references to “the book” have been.

59Nothing prevents Us from sending miraculous signs, except the fact that previous peoples denied them. We gave the people of Thamud the she-camel as a clear sign, yet they maltreated it. We send signs only to give warning.

I guess you’re just not a very convincing god.

60[Prophet], We have told you that your Lord knows all about human beings. The vision We showed you [on Muhammad’s drug trip] was only a test for people, as was the cursed tree [mentioned] in the Qur’an. We warn them, but this only increases their insolence.

This is not the same cursed tree as in the Garden of Eden. Nor is it the tree that Jesus put a hex on for not bearing fruit out of season. This verse refers to the Tree of Zaqqum, which is supposed to grow out of Hell. The fruit of which are said to look like demon heads and are the food of the Hellions, causing them pain and interior damage upon eating it. Amazingly (to me at least) this macabre tree is based on an actual cactus-like plant called Euphorbia abyssinica, which really does bear fruit that looks like little tortured bat skulls covered in tiny irritating spines. And true to the legend, the fruit is edible, but bitter, acidic and astringent. It may not be true that we learn something new every day, but I just did, and I like it when I do!

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61When We said to the angels, ‘Bow down before Adam,’ they all bowed down, but not Iblis. He retorted, ‘Why should I bow down to someone You have created out of clay?’ 62and [then] said, ‘You see this being You have honoured above me? If You reprieve me until the Day of Resurrection, I will lead all but a few of his descendants by the nose.’ 63God said, ‘Go away! Hell will be your reward, and the reward of any of them who follow you– an ample reward.

The Devil warned that if God didn’t stop him, he would mislead many beloved people into damnation unnecessarily. But it turned out that Allah doesn’t really like us very much, as this is exactly what he wanted to happen! So God’s answer was, (and I’m paraphrasing here):
“I’ll take your bet!
You’re gonna regret!
‘cuz I’m the best there’s ever been!”

64Rouse whichever of them you can with your voice, muster your cavalry and infantry against them, share their wealth and their children with them, and make promises to them– Satan promises them nothing but delusion– 65but you will have no authority over My [true] servants: Your Lord can take care of them well enough.’

To be fair, delusion is all that God promises too.

66[People], it is your Lord who makes ships go smoothly for you on the sea so that you can seek His bounty: He is most merciful towards you. 67When you get into distress at sea, those you pray to besides Him desert you, but when He brings you back safe to land you turn away: man is ever ungrateful.

Remember that these myths and legends were written before anyone understood that the wind was not the “spirit of God”.

68Can you be sure that God will not have you swallowed up into the earth when you are back on land, or that He will not send a sandstorm against you? Then you will find no one to protect you. 69Or can you be sure that He will not send you back out to sea, and send a violent storm against you to drown you for being so ungrateful? You will find no helper against Us there.

In this mindset, literally anything that happens, regardless of its natural causes, you’re supposed to assume that God did it out of capriciousness, due to his “mysterious ways”. It’s a play on the logical fallacy that correlation equals causation.

70We have honoured the children of Adam and carried them by land and sea; We have provided good sustenance for them and favoured them specially above many of those We have created. 71On the Day when We summon each community, along with its leader, those who are given their record in their right hand will read it [with pleasure]. a But no one will be wronged in the least: 72those who were blind in this life will be blind in the Hereafter, and even further off the path.

What path? Believe in the self-appointed “prophet” and be trapped in our Heavenly lounge forever or don’t believe and be mercilessly tortured in Hell. There is no “path” either way, but there is a 3rd option. Religion is all nonsense. Go about your life in the real world.

73[Prophet], the disbelievers tried to tempt you away from what We revealed to you, so that you would invent some other revelation and attribute it to Us and then they would have taken you as a friend. 74If We had not made you stand firm, you would almost have inclined a little towards them. 75In that case, We would have made you taste a double punishment in this life, and a double punishment after death and then you would have found no one to help you against Us. 76They planned to scare you off the land, but they would not have lasted for more than a little while after you.

The Abrahamic god is such an insufferable jerk. With friends like these, who needs damnation?

77Such was Our way with the messengers We sent before you, and you will find no change in Our ways.

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

78So perform the regular prayers in the period from the time the sun is past its zenith till the darkness of the night, and [recite] the Qur’an at dawn– dawn recitation is always witnessed [by the angels] ––79and during the night wake up and pray, as an extra offering of your own, so that your Lord may raise you to a [highly] praised status. 80Say, ‘My Lord, make me go in truthfully, and come out truthfully, and grant me supporting authority from You.’ 81And say, ‘The truth has come, and falsehood has passed away: falsehood is bound to pass away.’

Not if you keep believing unsupported assertions of impossible nonsense on faith.

82We send down the Qur’an as healing and mercy to those who believe; as for those who disbelieve, it only increases their loss. 83When We favour man he turns arrogantly to one side, but when harm touches him, he falls into despair. 84Say, ‘Everyone does things their own way, but your Lord is fully aware of who follows the best-guided path.’

The best-guided path—seriously—is to reject faith and walk away from religion, to live in and learn about the real world.

85[Prophet], they ask you about the Spirit. Say, ‘The Spirit is part of my Lord’s domain. You have only been given a little knowledge.’ 86If We pleased, We could take away what We have revealed to you– then you would find no one to plead for you against Us–

In point of fact, you haven’t given any knowledge whatsoever. If you were a real god, then maybe you would have, and you wouldn’t withhold or deny bits either, at least not the way that we are told to believe that this god does. Making these petty threats to take our knowledge away again implies that you don’t know as much as you want us to think you do. This is just as we should expect if this was all the work of a man instead of a god.

87if it were not for your Lord’s mercy: His favour to you has been truly great. 88Say, ‘Even if all mankind and jinn came together to produce something like this Qur’an, they could not produce anything like it, however much they helped each other.’

Hogwash! The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series is better than the Qur’an. The Tao te Ching is better than this too. So is Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. Even the Bhagavad Gita is better than this! What book ISN’T better than this?

89In this Qur’an, We have set out all kinds of examples for people, yet most of them persist in disbelieving. 90They say, ‘We will not believe for you [Muhammad] until you make a spring gush out of the ground for us; 91or until you have a garden of date palms and vines, and make rivers pour through them; 92or make the sky fall on us in pieces, as you claimed will happen; or bring God and the angels before us face to face; 93or have a house made of gold; or ascend into the sky– even then, we will not believe in your ascension until you send a real book down for us to read.’

I know, right? Sad when the best God can do can’t even compete with the Harry Potter series or Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. People can be so unreasonable about being …reasonable! Always demanding evidence and saying:
Put up or shut up.
I’m calling your bluff.
Show me the truth of it.
Pics or it didn’t happen.
(and my personal favorite)
Prove it!
(No religion can withstand that one).

93Say, ‘Glory be to my Lord! Am I anything but a mortal, a messenger?’ 94The only thing that kept these people from believing, when guidance came to them, was that they said, ‘How could God have sent a human being as a messenger?’


95Say, ‘If there were angels walking about on earth, feeling at home, We would have sent them an angel from Heaven as a messenger.’ 96Say, ‘God is witness enough between me and you. He knows and observes His servants well.’

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97[Prophet], anyone God guides is truly guided, and you will find no protector other than Him for anyone He leaves astray. On the Day of Resurrection We shall gather them, lying on their faces, blind, dumb, and deaf. Hell will be their Home. Whenever the Fire goes down, We shall make it blaze more fiercely for them. 98This is what they will get for rejecting Our signs and saying, ‘What? When we are turned to bones and dust, how can we be raised in a new act of creation?’ 99Do they not see that God, who created the heavens and earth, can create the likes of them [anew]? He has ordained a time for them– there is no doubt about that– but the evildoers refuse everything except disbelief. 100Say, ‘If you possessed the very stores of my Lord’s bounty, you would hold them back in your fear of spending: man is ever grudging.’

All this posturing, bluffing and puffing up, but you don’t have anything, Muhammad. Go sit down.

101In the past, We gave Moses nine clear signs– ask the Children of Israel. When Moses came to [the Egyptians], Pharaoh said to him, ‘Moses, I think you are bewitched.’ 102He said, ‘You know very well that only the Lord of the heavens and earth could have sent these signs as clear proof. I think that you, Pharaoh, are doomed.’ 103So he wanted to wipe them off the [face of the] earth, but We drowned him and those with him. 104After his death, We told the Children of Israel, ‘Live in the land, and when the promise of the Hereafter is fulfilled, We shall bring you to the assembly of all people.’

All you can do, Muhammad is endlessly repeat someone else’s stories which you have appropriated and altered as your own. But they’re not even as good as the original versions. If you’re going to re-make or revise a classic, at least try to make it better than it already was.

105We sent down the Qur’an with the truth, and with the truth it has come down–

Sorry to inform you, but the Qur’an arrived with no truth included.

[Prophet], We sent you only to give good news and warning– 106it is a recitation that We have revealed in parts, so that you can recite it to people at intervals; We have sent it down little by little.

Send it back. Try again. Maybe you’ll do better next time. This time, maybe you should get someone like George R.R. Martin or Terry Prachet to help you? They’re both way better than this! However, just so it doesn’t sound like I’m being unnecessarily cruel, whoever wrote the Qur’an is probably as good a writer as John Bolton.

107Say, ‘Whether you believe it or not, those who were given knowledge earlier fall down on their faces when it is recited to them, 108and say, “Glory to our Lord! Our Lord’s promise has been fulfilled.” 109They fall down on their faces, weeping, and [the Qur’an] increases their humility.’

Give me some knowledge then, so I don’t have to listen to your messengers, each of whom lost the plot and tried to start a different religion that they each apparently made up on their own.

110Say [to them], ‘Call on God, or on the Lord of Mercy– whatever names you call Him, the best names belong to Him.’

[Prophet], do not be too loud in your prayer, or too quiet, but seek a middle way 111and say, ‘Praise belongs to God, who has no child nor partner in His rule. He is not so weak as to need protector. Proclaim his limitless greatness!

Doesn’t matter what you pray for. We already know you’re not gonna get it.

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