In which I continue my exploration of the Qur'an, the life of Muhammad, and the invention and development of Muhammadanismistism. In this video I'll cover Surahs 111 and 73. Sura 111 goes by two names: "Al Masad," which means "The Twisted Rope," and "Al Lahab," which means "The Flame." Sura 73 is known as "Al Muzzammil," which means "The Enfolded One." The scholar Theodor Nöldeke considers Sura 111 to be the third revelation from Al, while the Cairo Qur'an considers Sura 73, with the exception of three verses, to be the third revelation.
I should point out here that not only is the Qur'an usually presented in non-chronological order, but also, some Surahs represent multiple revelations, delivered at different times. Sura 73 seems to be one of these. The Cairo Qur'an concludes that three of its verses arrived in Mo's head much later, while he lived in Medina. The footnotes in the Qur'an translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali agree with Cairo, at least for Verse 20.
This Sura is basically a curse pronounced by Mo against his uncle, whose nickname was "The Flame," and The Flame's wife. A charitable reading of this Sura might ignore four of its five verses and focus on Verse 2, "No profit to him / From all his wealth, / And all his gains!" Clearly, the Sura is a holy admonition from Al against materialism. If only Allah had given us permission to cherry-pick from the Qur'an. No, if 80% of the Sura is an extraordinarily childish fantasy of one's detractors receiving a grisly comeuppance, then we must infer that Al is unimaginably insecure, petty, vindictive, and sadistic.
The Tafsirs for this Sura tell us that Mrs. Flame was a terrible meanie: she would...OMG it's almost too heinous to say...she would scatter thorns on the paths where she knew Mo would walk. This doesn't even sound like a real person. It sounds more like a one-dimensional troublemaker in a children's story. Laying thorns in his way? Why can't Allah go after the serious offenders, like Ibn Doofsalam, who regularly administered wedgies to all of Mo's followers? I find it shocking that people regard the Qur'an, with its ridiculous trifles, as the solemn word of the Supreme Being. It's more like something a four-year-old would write.
"The Enfolded One" begins with Al musing on prayer and Quranic recitations, when to perform them, in what fashion, and for how long. Verse 4 commands Mo to "recite the Qur'an / In slow, measured rhythmic tones." I'll take only a moment to deride a deity that calls for chanting while attempting to distinguish itself from the other gods on offer, because more interesting to me here is that at the time of this revelation, the Qur'an that Mo would have been reciting consisted of at most four Surahs, containing 134 rather short verses. So because every good Muhammadanismist is enjoined to commit the entire Qur'an to memory, this religion resembles a pyramid scheme, where those who get in early are better off than those who get in late. Not so much to memorize.
In Verse 5 Al promises to send Mo a weighty message soon. Well, at least it admits that it hasn't said anything of value yet. But then, why would someone follow this entity if all it had was some nice-sounding, but empty poetry? After all those years seeking enlightenment, Mo has become like some spinster who's so desperate for a mate that she takes the first one with a pulse.
Verses 11 through 18 have Al meditating once again on how horrid things will be in the afterlife for the unbelieving, the ungrateful, those who ridicule Mo with excessively mean names, and those who forget to speak the magical incantation, "If Allah wills it" at the beginning of every sentence. Verse 15 is interesting in that it's the first place I've found where Allah identifies itself as Yahweh, referring to its unforgivable treatment of the people of Egypt due to Pharaoh not taking Moses seriously. In all of my research so far concerning the very beginnings of Muhammadanismistism, I haven't found any indication that Mo thought of Allah and the god of the Jews to be the same person. So now we know, if we didn't already, that Allah has the entire Old Testament to answer for before any decent person could convert to Muhammadanismistism.
In Verse 20, which apparently was revealed to Mo years after the rest of this Sura, Al rescinds Jesus' gloom and doom, all that about taking up one's cross and following him. Al says that it appreciates all the hard work of the faithful, and that they don't have to wear themselves out. In your face, Jesus!
That's Part V. Thanks for watching.