Getting to Know Allah

The Eternal Adolescent?

Allah appears to have gotten stuck on Maslow's hierarchy of needs where you find the preoccupations of adolescence, if not childhood. God's unsophisticated and often confusing parables; His unmitigated arrogance and juvenile insistence that He be praised for whatever He does (or doesn't do); His love of charades, e.g., having Zachary and Mary, the mother of Jesus, perform pantomimes as a sign that He has done them a favour (see Shared Prophets:Mary,” Boreal Books); His puerile challenges and preoccupation with potential rivals; His boasting about committing the most adult of atrocities; His vivid imagination, e.g., sending an angel with a flying horse to fetch Muhammad for a one-on-one confab; His skin-deep opinion of women are all indications of an immature mind and a volatile personality.

In the god-who-never-grew-up's bravado, love of violence, and revelling in the pain that He inflicts, the creativity of the eternal adolescent finds its fullest expression. Allah is a god you don’t mess with! His vengeance will be merciless, never ending and often original.

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 [of Mecca] better than all those;[14] 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 (they) will certainly be routed and turn theirs back in flight.

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).”

Next comes the expected boast about creating everything, some of it in the wink of an eye:

54:49 Indeed, We have created everything in measure. 54:50 Our Command is like one word, like the twinkling of an eye.

A childish challenge from the most powerful of gods:

54:51 We have destroyed your likes; is there anyone who will remember?

54:52 Everything they have done is recorded in the Scriptures.

54:53 Everything, small or big, is written down.

The likes of what He has destroyed will definitely not be joining the God-fearing on a "seat of truth" in Paradise.

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

Allah is a Mighty Schemer, and what He schemes about is no laughing matter!

86:8 Surely, He has the power to bring him (man) back,

86:9 When the consciences of men shall be tested.

86:10 Then, he will have no power and no supporter.

86:11 And by the heavens which alternates (recurring cycle of rain, Moududi);

86:12 And the earth which is split up (ever bursting with verdure, Moududi).

86:13 It is indeed a decisive discourse;

86:14 And it is no joking matter.

86:15 They are indeed scheming mightily,

86:16 And I am scheming mightily.

86:17 So, give the unbelievers some respite. Respite them slowly.

Moududi on Revelation 86:17:

A word of consolation to the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) and a tacit warning to the disbelievers, saying: "Have patience for a while: let the disbelievers do their worst. Before long they will themselves realize whether they have been able to defeat the Quran by their scheming or the Quran has dominated them in the very place where they are exerting their utmost to defeat it.

During a normal day, children will play while adults are busy making money, making love or making war. Yet, it is people at play that God brags about killing; and like children might say or do, He schemed to make their obliteration come about. An omnipotent, adult god does not need to scheme to get His way.

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.

Those who inherit the Earth after all the current inhabitants have returned to Allah to be welcomed into Paradise or else tossed into Hell will have to play by out eternal adolescent’s rules, just like their predecessors—or else!

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.

Hooked On Praise

The Koran is not so much a philosophy of life as a set of rules. The rule-maker exhibits the same juvenile certainty of having absolute knowledge of the world around him and childlike intolerance of those who won’t play by his rules. Where Allah’s inner child shines through most is in His need to be constantly praised. It is a pathological need so ingrained that when He is not being praised, He praises himself. Muhammad nailed it when he essentially said that the god for whom he spoke was a praise addict.

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."

Bukhari 60.161

The Responsible Adult v. The Adolescent

That Muhammad exhibited many of the same traits as the God in whose name He would rule the lands conquered on His behalf goes without saying. I suspect that if Allah had decided to marry, his choice of wives would have also reflected the preoccupations of adolescence just like those exhibited by his middle-aged spokesman.

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."

Bukhari 34.310


[14] “Are your unbelievers better than all those” refers to Noah’s people, the people of ‘Ad and Thamud, the people of Lot, and undoubtedly many other communities whom Allah obliterated on the flimsiest of excuses and whose fate is recounted in Shared Prophets – "Biblical Figures in the Koran," Boreal Books.