Surah 35: the Creator

Here we are, reading the Quran in the order it was supposedly revealed, half way through the Meccan period. Starting the New Year with a chapter about the creator seems fitting. Let's forget everything we've read up to now, pretend we are seeing it for the first time, and see what we can learn.

1. God created everything, and angel's wings come in sets of 2, 3 or 4. Boy, this is good stuff to know!

2. Then it changes the subject to something confusing about mercy--there is none to withhold, but he withholds some of it. Wtf? I had to look at half a dozen translations before one made sense: It's trying to say no one can prevent god from doing stuff. Pretty obvious, if he's god and we're not.

New topic!! Line 3 gets snarky and asks “is there a creator besides god?” It doesn't answer, so logically, next we should pin down exactly what this god-thingy is, right?

4 No such luck, it changes the subject again: “if they call you a liar...” wait, what? Nobody's calling me anything. We're horning in on a private conversation between god and mohammed!

5 But the next line changes back to “O ye folk”, that's us again, “god's promise is true”. Great, but what promise? He doesn't say, he goes off on another tangent, “don't let the life of this world beguile you.” Or satan either; it seems I'll go to hell if I believe what he says. At least that's good advice--If an imaginary creature appears to me, don't believe what it says. Got that, but how does the world beguile me? Doesn't say.

So at six lines in, we've got six sentences, none related to any of the others. We should: be on guard against something it doesn't identify, some unidentified promise is true, a side comment to someone else, a statement of the obvious, and an unsupported claim about god and angel's wings. Now, if god has passed Writing 101, he'll elaborate on these themes, but don't get your hopes up ...

Y'know what? 6000 verses thrown together in random order does not make a book; it makes Mad Libs. But these ones are way more fun!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Math person again here.

There's an idea in math called a "projection". If you've got a ball hanging above the floor, and you fill in the area directly under the ball (equivalently, have a lamp above it and look at the shadow under it), that area, called the projection, will be a circle. The example with light and shadow is probably where the word projection came from.

My pet theory is that the quran is the projection of god's word from some existence where there are more than two time dimensions (let's go sideways in time!) to our linear time.

It's not like Allah, being all powerful and all knowing, could have possibly magicked up a way to express his two-dimension time truths for us poor one dimensional...

What I meant to say is that if you don't understand the Quran then obviously it has nothing to do with it being poorly written and everything to do with the fact that you are not receptive enough to the Message.