Right. At first I thought that the name of this surah was a reference to the food laws in Islam in general, since there seems to be a lot of mention of food that is okay in this surah. I was wrong about that, but we'll get to that later.
1. O ye who believe! Fulfil your indentures. The beast of cattle is made lawful unto you (for food) except that which is announced unto you (herein), game being unlawful when ye are on the pilgrimage. Lo! Allah ordaineth that which pleaseth Him.
So cattle (beef) is okay. Mmm...steak.
But when Muslims are on their pilgrimage (hajj and I'm assuming that umrah is included in this proscription, but I could be wrong here) they're forbidden from hunting within the 'sacred territory'. I'm not sure how far that extends, actually? The city of Mecca? Not much hunting there nowadays anyway, I would think.
3. Forbidden unto you (for food) are carrion and blood and swineflesh, and that which hath been dedicated unto any other than Allah, and the strangled, and the dead through beating, and the dead through falling from a height, and that which hath been killed by (the goring of) horns, and the devoured of wild beasts, saving that which ye make lawful (by the death-stroke), and that which hath been immolated unto idols. And (forbidden is it) that ye swear by the divining arrows. This is an abomination. This day are those who disbelieve in despair of (ever harming) your religion; so fear them not, fear Me! This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour unto you, and have chosen for you as religion al-Islam. Whoso is forced by hunger, not by will, to sin: (for him) lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
Some no-no's for food: carrion (which, really, unless you're *starving*, how many of you are planning on eating roadkill? Or something that's half-eaten by wild animals? this one just seems like a health related proscription), blood (meh. I'm not saying we should all be *vampires* or anything, but I don't understand the specific injunction against blood here) and swineflesh which, as I think we all know, means no pork. And that's really a very hard thing to give up in the South. I'm just throwing that out there. We like to eat our pork. Historically though, this does make sense even aside from it being something carried over from the Mosaic Law. Pork is one of those meats that has to be stored and cooked carefully in order to prevent brain worms.
They eat holes through your brain. Go look it up, but I warn you the images are disturbing.
Worms. EATING THROUGH YOUR BRAIN.
And yet I still like to eat pork. Because Southern.
A few more don'ts: don't eat anything that's been sacrificed/dedicated to another god - I believe this one is also a law in Judaism, strangled or dead through beating - not sure about these - an attempt to make sure that the animals are killed humanely perhaps? The 'devoured by wild beasts' and 'immolated unto idols' seem sort of repetitious of the first injunctions to me.
There is a provision, there at the end, for Muslims who are forced through necessity to consume something that is otherwise forbidden. So that's nice. You don't have to starve if the only thing available is pork.
But you do have to worry about BRAIN WORMS.
There're more ayah about food, but it gets sort of boring to talk about food all the time. So we're moving on. Watch us. Moving on.
5. This day are (all) good things made lawful for you. The food of those who have received the Scripture is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them. And so are the virtuous women of the believers and the virtuous women of those who received the Scripture before you (lawful for you) when ye give them their marriage portions and live with them in honour, not in fornication, nor taking them as secret concubines. Whoso denieth the faith, his work is vain and he will be among the losers in the Hereafter.
Not talking about the food, though I assume that this means that Muslims are permitted to eat the food of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) as long as it's not something explicitly prohibited to them. Like pork (in all its wormy goodness).
But what I wanted to talk about in this surah is how the women (virtuous) of the People of the Book are lawful as spouses to Muslim men without having to convert to Islam. This passage, from what I understand, is what people use to justify mixed faith marriages but only when it is the woman who is a Jew or a Christian and not the man. Because...patriarchy? It just strikes me as strange because any study you look at will tell you that it is the faith of the mother that has the greatest impact on the children in a relationship. So if the idea is to make sure that any children are Muslim it's sort of missing the point. Admittedly these are modern studies so perhaps they don't reflect how it worked historically.
6. O ye who believe! When ye rise up for prayer, wash you faces, and your hands up to the elbows, and lightly rub your heads and (wash) your feet up to the ankles. And if ye are unclean, purify yourselves. And if ye are sick or on a journey, or one of you cometh from the closet, or ye have had contact with women, and ye find not water, then go to clean, high ground and rub your faces and your hands with some of it. Allah would not place a burden on you, but He would purify you and would perfect His grace upon you, that ye may give thanks.
Instructions for becoming ritually pure prior to prayer. I'm thinking that 'from the closet' is a euphemism for using the bathroom. And I'm assuming that 'contact with women' does not mean 'Ooops. I brushed up against a girl passing by. COOTIES!' and that it means sex. And you should totally always bathe after sex. Because, assuming you're doing it right, you're going to be a little stinky. And if you're not stinky, then you're doing it wrong. Which is sad.
18. The Jews and Christians say: We are sons of Allah and His loved ones. Say: Why then doth He chastise you for your sins? Nay, ye are but mortals of His creating. He forgiveth whom He will, and chastiseth whom He will. Allah's is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, and unto Him is the journeying.
I read this as a misunderstanding of the meaning of 'sons' in this case. Because let's sit back and think about this for a second. The ayah is essentially saying: 'The Jews and the Christians claim to be the sons and the beloved of God. But then why is God punishing you for your sins? You're just humans!' Which seems to say, at least to me, that the understanding of 'son' here is that Jews and Christians are claiming to be divine in some way. And that's just not the case. 'Sons' and 'daughters' are the closest approximations in human understanding that we can come to our relationship with God. Beloved, *adopted* children. Don't you discipline your children? Assuming you have any. Or your nieces or nephews or any other child you have had recourse to care for? Of course you do. Letting them run wild and do what they want is a sure path to disaster because their immature little brains don't have all the facts. They can't even process them the way an adult brain does.
20. And (remember) when Moses said unto his people: O my people! Remember Allah's favour unto you, how He placed among you prophets, and He made you kings, and gave you that (which) He gave not to any (other) of (His) creatures.
21. O my people! Go into the holy land which Allah hath ordained for you. Turn not in flight, for surely ye turn back as losers:
22. They said: O Moses! Lo! a giant people (dwell) therein and lo! we go not in till they go forth from thence. When they go forth from thence, then we will enter (not till then).
23. Then out spake two of those who feared (their Lord, men) unto whom Allah had been gracious: Enter in upon them by the gate, for if ye enter by it, lo! ye will be victorious. So put your trust (in Allah) if ye are indeed believers.
24. They said: O Moses! We will never enter (the land) while they are in it. So go thou and thy Lord and fight! We will sit here.
25. He said: My Lord! I have control of none but myself and my brother, so distinguish between us and the wrong-doing folk.
26. (Their Lord) said: For this the land will surely be forbidden them for forty years that they will wander in the earth, bewildered. So grieve not over the wrongdoing folk.
From what I recall (I'm not of the 'memorize scripture' tradition unlike some people I know...Susanne!) this is fairly consistent with the story of the same events in the Old Testament.
33. The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom;
Is there evidence for crucifixion as a punishment in the ancient Middle East? I've been under the impression that it was a strictly Roman form of execution.
89. Allah will not take you to task for that which is unintentional in your oaths, but He will take you to task for the oaths which ye swear in earnest. The expiation thereof is the feeding of ten of the needy with the average of that wherewith ye feed your own folk, or the clothing of them, or the liberation of a slave, and for him who findeth not (the wherewithal to do so) then a three days' fast. This is the expiation of your oaths when ye have sworn; and keep your oaths. Thus Allah expoundeth unto you His revelations in order that ye may give thanks.
I'm wondering exactly what the first line means. I'm reading it as God won't hold you to...I think the nearest description I can get is surprised exclamations. Like...'I swear to God if this machine doesn't work I'm going to chuck it in the pond!' You don't *really* mean it, have no intention of chucking anything in the pond, you're just frustrated. As opposed to 'I swear by God I will donate X number of baby blankets to the shelter.' and then you don't follow through with it or never had any intentions to follow through with it and just said it to look good.
Which is sort of in contrast to what we were taught in RCIA. We were taught to never, ever use God's name in an oath even if it's a ridiculous one like shoving the copier into the pond.
101. O ye who believe! Ask not of things which, if they were made (known) unto you, would trouble you; but if ye ask of them when the Qur'an is being revealed, they will be made known unto you. Allah pardoneth this, for Allah is Forgiving, Clement.
First, I totally interjected that 'known' in parenthesis up there. Because it's not in the copy on the internet but it's in other translations and it makes sense. So.
I don't agree with this one! Just because something might trouble you doesn't mean you shouldn't ask about it. How're you supposed to know what will trouble you until you ask anyway? I just don't like it. Don't agree with it. It's counter to the purpose of gathering knowledge and I don't agree.
Here's where the actual reason behind the title of this surah comes in:
112. When the disciples said: O Jesus, son of Mary! Is thy Lord able to send down for us a table spread with food from heaven? He said: Observe your duty to Allah, if ye are true believers.
113. (They said:) We wish to eat thereof, that we may satisfy our hearts and know that thou hast spoken truth to us, and that thereof we may be witnesses.
114. Jesus, son of Mary, said: O Allah, Lord of us! Send down for us a table spread with food from heaven, that it may be a feast for us, for the first of us and for the last of us, and a sign from Thee. Give us sustenance, for Thou art the Best of Sustainers.
115. Allah said: Lo! I send it down for you. And whoso disbelieveth of you afterward, him surely will I punish with a punishment wherewith I have not punished any of (My) creatures.
Irreverent as it may be, this is what came to my mind when I read this:
|Only, you know, without the ham. And Jesus was there doing a magician style Ta-Dah! reveal.|
116. And when Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Didst thou say unto mankind: Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah? he saith: Be glorified! It was not mine to utter that to which I had no right. If I used to say it, then Thou knewest it. Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I know not what is in Thy Mind. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Knower of Things Hidden?
Personal pet peeve time.
Look. NO ONE worships Mary as a god(dess). No one who calls themselves a Christian anyway. And yes, Orthodox and Catholics *are* Christian. This is just...this is just one of those things that makes me sit back and go, 'Wow. You totally misunderstood what was going on right there. Totally.' There's not even anything to say to this but, 'No, you're wrong.'