10/16/08

Satanic Verses


The Quaran leaves out 53:20½, the verse Satan stuck in there, LOL. Ibn Ishaq tells us about it. The pagan priests offered to pay Mohammed off if he'd “Stop reviling our gods”. He really wanted to be accepted, so he got a revelation that its OK to worship the goddesses. That got him a speaking engagement at the Kaaba, preaching to a mixed audience of pagans and his own cultists. He kissed a little ass in the speech, saying
Have ye seen Lat. and 'Uzza, and another, the third goddess, Manat? They are the elevated cranes; surely their intercession is dearly hoped for.
He called them high-flying—that is, up there close to Allah—cranes, because Arabian cranes were known for high altitude flights. This went over big with the pagans, so much so that when he called for them to bow at the end of the speech (v62) they all happily banged their foreheads on the ground together. Mohamed steals another pagan ritual here; this chapter is famous as the first official call for his people to prostrate themselves in prayer.
(v62) Bow instead in adoration before God and worship Him”,
The pagans spun all this as meaning Mo had embraced paganism, his cultists spun it that the pagans had accepted islam; everybody's happy. Politically, though, it was a miscalculation. Think about it. If the goddesses can intercede for you, then it makes sense to go to her priests for help, and bypass Mo. Whoops!

Mo realized he'd fucked up, so that night he had God send a new verse to say “Satan sent line 21; ignore it.” In the Koran's inept, oracular, stumblebum way this supposedly came out as surah 22:52,
(52) We sent not ever any Messenger or Prophet before thee, but that Satan cast into his fancy, when he was fancying; but God abrogates what Satan casts, then God confirms His signs -- surely God is All-knowing, All-wise --
See the clear specific reference there to Uzza and Lat? Yeah, me neither, but its as clear as god ever gets. You can't read an old dead language (like Classical Arabic) without having a dictionary handy because you can't figure out what half the lines mean. The Quran is written in Classical Gibberish, and the dictionary you need to pull out to explain it is the Hadith.

Tabari VI:110 "Thus Allah removed the sorrow from his Messenger, reassured him about that which he had feared, and canceled the words which Satan had cast on his tongue, that their gods were exalted high-flying cranes (goddesses) whose intercession was accepted with approval. He now revealed, following the mention of 'Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat.' the words: 'are yours the males and his the females? That indeed is an unfair division! They are but names which you and your fathers have given.'" [Qur'an 53:21]

Now that's more like it. But WTF? The koran is supposed to be a record of what god said. Here is god talking, so why isn't this in the book? To be accurate it should say god said that and then said replace that with this...” This is what politicians always do: lie, get caught; lie about their lie when it shows up on Youtube. Here, they were embarrassed by a rewrite that makes it look like their infallible god had fucked up, so they tried to cover it up, but omitting god's editing episode and passing the rewrite off as the original it makes it look like god's lying. Total clusterfuck.

What's more, Tabari says Gabriel showed up to chew Mo's ass the same night as the temple speech, but chapter 22 came ten years later, in Medina. There's like 80 verses in between these two! Looks like they were stonewalling, trying to whitewash it the whole time until the cultists had conquered Mecca and he didn't need to be careful anymore, then he just went whole hog with the abrogating bit.

Here's the relevant section with the original verses on the left and their replacements on the right.

(19) Have ye seen Lat. and 'Uzza,
(20) And another, the third goddess, Manat?

(20½) They are the elevated cranes;
surely their intercession is dearly hoped for.
(21) What! for you the male sex, and for Him, the female?
(22) Behold, such would be indeed a division most unfair!

(23) These are nothing but names which ye have devised,- ye and your fathers,- for which Allah has sent down no authority whatever. They follow nothing but conjecture and what their own souls desire!- Even though there has already come to them Guidance from their Lord!
(24) Nay, shall man have just anything he hankers after?
(25) But it is to Allah that the End and the Beginning of all things belong.
(26) How many-so-ever be the angels in the heavens, their intercession will avail nothing except after Allah has given leave for whom He pleases and that he is acceptable to Him.
(27) Those who believe not in the Hereafter, name the angels with female names.
(28) But they have no knowledge therein. They follow nothing but conjecture; and conjecture avails nothing against Truth.

The later version on the right looks like an obvious cut and paste job. It brings up the goddesses to talk about god's offspring, then immediately changes the subject to talking about what their names are, then changes back to intercessions on line 26. The original version on the left has a better narrative flow. It mentions the goddesses in terms of their interceding, and pretty much stays with that topic.

It's all hilarious. It seems like the compilers should have just left out all this stuff, but I guess they couldn't because it was big headlines in those days that everyone talked about. Another part of the story is how some of Mo's cult fled to Abyssinia to escape persecution by the normal people. Then they heard the Meccans had accepted Mo, so they thought it was safe and came back, but it turned out it wasn't. In fact for some people it still isn't; ask Salman Rushdie. Prophet of Doom summarizes pretty well:
That leaves Islam in an impossible position. Muslims must either admit that Muhammad was a power-hungry, money-grubbing, sex-crazed charlatan in cahoots with the Devil, or they must deny the validity of the Hadith and Qur'an. One leaves them without a prophet, the other without a god. Either way, they no longer have a religion.
So how do they weasel out of this one? Well, two ways:

1) Mo couldn't make a mistake.

2) The isnad (line of people playing the telephone game) is incomplete

There's a 3rd explanation. If you put on hip boots and wade through Tabari's stuff, you'll find Mo talking to Gabriel and he says this:
“Then the Messenger of God said, "I have fabricated things against God and have imputed to Him words which He has not spoken."”
NO SHIT, DUDE! That little moment of clarity ought to be on the cover.

3 comments:

rocketshrine said...

He admits to fabrication? Awesome! I need the reference where this occurs please.

…and great blog, by the way. I love the indepth examinations you do :)

uzza said...

Thanks, glad you like it. The reference is buried in the hadith I link to up there. Here it is:
http://pages.citebite.com/h9l0f0x4ndkj

Baal's Bum said...

I have got to find time to give your work the read it so obviously deserves. Please keep it up.