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al-Furqan: Answers to questions

March 2, 2011 Leave a comment

The same themes as the previous forty-plus suras are covered here. Muhammad is still trying to address the basic objections of the Qurayshis who refute his message.

But this sura specifically addresses what must have been two major objections to Muhammad's message: Muhammad's normalcy, his basic humanity; and the gradual, sura-by-sura revelation of the message.

First, Muhammad was just a normal guy. Yes, messenger of God and all that, but not only wasn't he the son of god, he went hungry in lean times like everyone else, he didn't get fabulously wealthy all of a sudden, he got sick just like everyone else, he didn't have any special powers (such as water walking or parting the sea or whatever).

07: But they say: "What sort of prophet is this who eats food and walks the market places? Why has no angel sent to hum to act as admonisher with him?
08: Or a treasure should have been given to him, or he should have had an orchard from which he could eat."
And these wicked people say: "You only follow a man ensorcelled."

20: [God says] "We never sent before you apostles who did not eat food and walk the market places. We make some of you the means of trying the others."

I don't know, but I find those three ayas really cool. God's saying "I picked one of you–just another dude, just another human–and I'm using him to test the rest of you. Stop looking for superpowers, you idiots."

Second, why didn't God just send down the whole Qur'an at once, say, on some stone tablets or something? The Quraysh knew the story of Musa/Moses, so they knew there was precedent.

32: The unbelievers say: "Why was the whole Qur'an not sent down all at once to him?"
It was sent thus that We may keep your heart resolute. So We enunciated it by steps and distinctly."

"Remember the whole thing about testing all y'all? Yeah, this is a test. The believers get regular updates to help them keep the faith. I'll help the believers pass the test. "

As a final thought, I like this description of muslims (because I find it hard to reconcile this with the fundies):

63: Devotees of Ar-Rahman are those who walk with humility on the earth, and when they are addressed by the ignorant, say: "Peace."