Getting to Know Allah
The Eternal Adolescent?
Allah's unsophisticated, often confusing parables, His arrogance, His juvenile insistence that He be praised for whatever He does or doesn't do, His love of charades e.g. having Zachary and Mary perform pantomimes as a sign that He has done them a favour (see Shared Prophets), his vivid imagination e.g. sending an angel with a flying horse to fetch His Messenger etc. are all indications of both an immature mind and a volatile personality.
But, it is in the-god-who-never-grew-up's self-bravado, His infatuation with death and destruction and His insensitivity to the pain He causes others – an insensitivity that borders, if not embraces sadism – that the eternal adolescent finds its fullest nihilistic expression.
Allah is a god you don’t mess with! Pharaoh learnt this the hard way, as did others, over and over again. You believe in His Revelations or He will get you in this world and the next; His vengeance will be merciless, never ending and often original. Allah is a god who is much given to puerile challenges and boasts about committing the most adult of atrocities.
The question “Are your unbelievers better than all those” in revelation 54:43 refers to Noah’s people, the people of ‘Ad and Thamud, the people of Lot, and undoubtedly many other communities whom Allah bragged about obliterating in surah 54, The Moon.
54:41 The warnings also came to Pharaoh’s folk.
54:42 They denounced all Our Signs as lies; so We seized them in the manner of One Who is Mighty and Strong.
54:43 Are your unbelievers better than all those; or have you been exonerated in the Scriptures?
54:44 Or do you say: “We are a band which will conquer.”
54:45 The host (Pharaoh’s army) will certainly be routed and turn their backs in flight.
Judgement Day will be particularly painful for these “criminals”!
54:46 No, the Hour shall be their appointment; and the Hour is very grievous and bitter.
54:47 The criminals are indeed in error and blazes;
54:48 The day they will be dragged upon their faces into the Fire: “Taste now the touch of Saqar (another name for Hell).”
A not unexpected boast about creating everything, some of it in the wink of an eye, followed by another somewhat childish challenge from the most powerful god ever, about having taken down opponents as powerful as Pharaoh. Don't you remember?
54:49 Indeed, We have created everything in measure.
54:50 Our Command is like one word, like twinkling of an eye.
54:51 We have destroyed your likes; is there anyone who will remember?
In the following revelation Allah may be confusing the book of good and bad deeds, which will be given to believers and unbelievers alike on Judgement Day, with the Scriptures; or He is still talking about Pharaoh Rameses II, who ruled Egypt during the alleged biblical Exodus and whose purported role is recorded in the Torah.
54:52 Everything they have done is recorded in the Scriptures.
54:53 Everything, small or big, is written down.
Pharaoh and his people will definitely not be joining the God-fearing on a "seat of truth" in Paradise next to the pitiless pathologically punitive slaughterer of those who dare not submit to His Terror, including the innocent who have yet to know fear like this God wants them to know fear, their children.
54:54 The God-fearing are, indeed, amid gardens and rivers.
54:55 Upon a seat of truth in the presence of an Omnipotent King.
Doomed Children at Play
Even in revelations about the cities He has destroyed you can hear the boy in Allah talking.
During a normal day i.e. morning or afternoon, even in the Prophet’s time, children played and adults worked, or were busy with more important things, from making love to making war. Yet, it is people at play that Allah brags about killing, and like children might say or do, He schemed to make their obliteration come about. An omnipotent, omnipresent god does not need to scheme to get His way, but a child often does.
7:97 Did the people of the cities feel assured that Our punishment would not come upon them at night while they were sleeping?
7:98 Or did the people of the cities feel assured that Our punishment would not come upon them during the day while they were playing?
7:99 Or did they feel secure against Allah’s Scheming? For none feels secure from Allah’s Scheming save the losing people.
The earth may not be completely devoid of intelligent life after all the people have returned to Allah. He may repopulate it with more action figures (angels or jinn perhaps?) who, like their human predecessors, will have to play by His Rules if they know what’s good for them.
7:100 It is not clear to those who inherit the earth after its people [are gone] that if We will, We can smite them for their sins and seal their hearts so that they cannot hear.
Allah’s scheming included making the unbelievers still not believe in what they had not believed. Yes, it does not make much sense, except perhaps to a child-like mind.
7:101 Those cities, We relate to you some of their tales; their Messengers came to them with clear signs; but they would not believe in what they had denied earlier. Thus Allah seals the hearts of the unbelievers.
The cities which ran the greatest risk of being annihilated were those which did not have a covenant, an agreement between supplicants and a god, or a covenant which they did not keep.
7:102 And We have not found among most of them any who honours a covenant; but We found most of them evildoers.
The Responsible Adult v. The Adolescent
Would Allah, in the persona of a teenager, like His Messenger, if He had married and started accumulating partners in intimacy have favoured the playful as opposed to the responsible?
Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah:
I was with the Prophet in a Ghazwa (Military Expedition) and my camel was slow and exhausted. The Prophet came up to me and said, "O Jabir."
I replied, "Yes?"
He said, "What is the matter with you?"
I replied, "My camel is slow and tired, so I am left behind."
So, he got down and poked the camel with his stick and then ordered me to ride.
I rode the camel and it became so fast that I had to hold it from going ahead of Allah's Apostle. He then asked me, have you got married?"
I replied in the affirmative.
He asked, "A virgin or a matron?"
I replied, "I married a matron."
The Prophet said, "Why have you not married a virgin, so that you may play with her and she may play with you?"
Jabir replied, "I have sisters (young in age) so I liked to marry a matron who could collect them all and comb their hair and look after them."
Hooked On Praise
Allah, the Prophet let it be known, is addicted to praise; He cannot get enough of it.
Narrated Abdullah bin Mas'ud:
Allah's Apostle said, "None has more sense of ghaira (self-respect, also spelled ghira) than Allah, and for this He has forbidden shameful sins whether committed openly or secretly, and none loves to be praised more than Allah does, and this is why He Praises Himself."
No mainstream god expects his everyday minions to spend so much time in worship, praise's ultimate paranoid expression, than Allah. The incessant tribute to a god possibly insecure in His omnipotence, which the adolescent-like need to be praised may betray, becomes a form of collective brainwashing which leaves no room for an appraisal as to whether the boundless accolades are always warranted.
You question this praise-worthiness at your risk and peril; one reason why Islam has endured and continues to prosper. The narcissism reflected in the ad nausea self-glorification makes a reading of the Koran an even more maddening tedious read than it needs to be.
This inane need for acclaim, whether it be self-congratulation or demanded of His admirers, is also reflected in the five daily prayers which consist mainly of verses from the Koran; the tenants of Islam, the so-called Five Pillars; the rituals e.g. the greater and lesser pilgrimages, the Hajj and the Umrah respectively; the obligation that is the month of fasting and praying i.e. Ramadan …