First, special thanks to a new friend, an ex-Mohammedanismist who is giving me lots of help with this series. He asked that I refer to him only as "L", because he lives in a country where he could get into real, serious trouble if anyone were to know that he is helping me. My fellow Westerners, let's remember to count ourselves lucky. We all know that there are places where free speech is suppressed, but talking to a live human who requests anonymity due to the possibility of personal danger makes the whole concept seem more real, and far sadder, than before.
My friend "L" has pointed out an error in my last video: "Nun" is not actually a word, but rather a letter in the Arabic alphabet. It turns out that Mohammedanismistism has its own version of bullshit mysticism similar to the Judismist concept of gematria, a kind of Arabic "The Walrus was Paul." I can't seem to get excited about this stuff, so if you're interested, look up Muqatta'at on Wikipedia.
"L" also suggested that I could enrich this series by getting a copy of Al-Sira Al-Nabawiyya, a four-volume work covering Mo's life in detail. I did just that, so I have to refrain from using the heater in my apartment for a month or so. Wish I'd bought it during the summer. If you hear my teeth chattering, you'll know why. Now, "The Pen":
- Verses 7 - 16 are a wandering sort of tirade against those who deny the truth, request immoral compromises, make oaths, slander, lie, hinder good, behave violently, and reject religion as superstition. Strange that this last-mentioned characteristic should be lumped in with the rest. I find that it's those who accept religion who tend to show these other attributes more than those who reject religion. In other words, most atheists I know are far more decent than most religious people I know.
- Verses 17 - 33 contain a strange little story about some despicable landowners who failed to prefix all their plans with the incantation, "If Allah wills it." In addition to this terrible sin, they also hoped to harvest their orchards before any of the poor had a chance to glean some of the fruit. Yeah, I get it, failing to credit Al in one's endeavors is far worse than cheating the poor out of their sustenance. The greedy landowners are punished, in a sense: they find that their orchards have been destroyed. Then they repent, in the hopes that Al will reward their repentance with a garden even better than the one they had before. This is a contemptible religion, with all its punishments and rewards. Can't the Supreme Being of the universe come up with a better system? Given that it has complete control over all matter and energy, why must it wait for a sin to be committed and then follow that sin with a punishment? Why couldn't it have simply caused all the landowners to oversleep that morning? Note that Al's punishment didn't help the poor in any way; they ended up suffering because they didn't get the food they needed. If Al had followed my advice, the poor need not have suffered. Al puts way too much emphasis on punishment and way too little on the alleviation of suffering. The whole idea is summed up very well in Verse 33: "Such is the punishment in this life, but greater is the punishment in the hereafter." Allah lets countless people suffer untold misery for millennia, and then punishes the wicked in the afterlife. Why couldn't Allah prevent the suffering and just spend some time teaching those prone to greed to be more compassionate?
- In Verses 34 - 45, Al goes on about those who reject its message, how they're ill informed, ill connected, etc. People talk about the 99 names of Allah. I would like to add one, based on Verse 44, where Al asks to be left alone with those who reject its message so it can punish them. The new name is Coward. Using your greater power to cause suffering to those who reject your message is detestable. Why not just come up with a better message?
- In Verses 46 - 52, Al starts rambling again, talking about how Mo doesn't ask for any reward, how the righteous should be patient in awaiting the punishment of the wicked, how Jonah (the prophet who was swallowed by a whale) was a pretty good guy. Nothing of any value, but I'd like to comment here on Ali's footnote concerning Verse 46. I know that Ali's notes don't constitute official Mohammedanismist doctrine, but I'll assume until someone tells me otherwise that his opinions are generally representative of his fellow believers. He says here that if unbelievers "tried to formulate spiritual laws, they would fail." I find that he has this exactly backward. It is believers who fail miserably with their so-called spirituality, focusing their efforts on trivialities such as adultery and homosexuality, when they should be expending all their effort on reducing misery in the world. Their priorities, given to them by Allah, are completely wrong.