Fortunately, the previous sura was the longest in the Quran. This one however is still 200 verses long. Whatever Mohamed might have been, he was certainly wordy. This sura is in large part an Islamic sermon against Christianity.
vv1-13 Again the launch is all about the Quran itself. Blessings if you believe it cursings if you don't. There is a reference to the gospel. I cheated and had a look at a footnote: It's not the four gospels but the proverbial Q document which was given to Jesus. Of course the footnote doesn't say Q but it all clicks together for me. Anyway this lengthy diatribe goes on to threaten with all kinds of death those who don't believe the Quran. Apparently death comes in battle because the 13th verse makes mention of a battle I recall reading about early on in my research where Mohamed lead his army in a 2-1 rout of some opposing force. The lesson for us all is apparently supposed to be that we will die for not believing the Quran, and that death can come at the hands of Muslim warriors. Quite a militant book this one. v14- 15 Here comes a contrast of the pleasures of this world, which interestingly enough are not denounced only minimized by the promises of pleasures of the next. Care to guess what the next world's pleasures are? You guessed it Watered gardens and virgins. It's no wonder Muslims are in a hurry to strap themselves to a bomb and blow up children; they're not holy, they're horny. v16- 31 More claims that Allah is the only god to which even the angels agree. I'm not surprised of course; Satan did manage to deceive a good number of the holy angels (Rev 12:3). Those who reject the message, are to be told of a painful judgment. No clear mention who is supposed to deliver it though.
v32- 109 The house of Imran is mentioned now as someone who was a descendant of Adam and Noah and Abraham. From this point forward we start repeating the story of the the Zachariah and Elizabeth. Mary (the mother of Jesus) is apparently born to a woman who devoted her to Allah while in the womb. This kind of makes me wonder if Islam is where the blasphemous seeds of Mary worship were sown. In this Sura Mary is miraculously given food while she lives in the temple sanctuary. Zachariah prays for good offspring because of what he sees in Mary and sham Gabriel comes to announce John the Baptist. Only here, Zachariah is only mute for three days rather than the nine months of Elizabeth's pregnancy. Very shortly after that, the birth of Jesus is announced to Mary. Even the virgin birth is mentioned. Let me just quote it here:
45. Behold! The angels said: "O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah;46. "He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous."47. She said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?" He said: "Even so: Allah createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, "˜Be,"™ and it is! Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Meaning of the Holy Qur'an, Electronic version. (2004), Surah 3.
Of course after that we discover that Muslims believe Jesus was supposed to be a prophet who would lead Israel to Allah. Right. Eventually, Allah tells Jesus he will die as all people will. The Muslim does not believe in the Jesus of Scriptures. They acknowledge the virgin birth, the birth of John the Baptist, the Role of Zachariah, the apostles of Jesus and that's about it. After that Jesus is just a human prophet according to Islam. I say to you that Jesus is more than a prophet – he is the very Son-of-God! If there is a doubter the Quran exhorts us to summon our families together and pray a curse upon the one who is lying. I won't do that. I will instead pray a blessing upon those who would curse me. (Psalm 109:28; Luke 6:28; Romans 12:14; James 3:9)
O God, My father – Maker of Heaven and Earth – God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob I call upon you, the one true God, in the Name of your Son Jesus Christ. I plea Father for those who will read these words – God I plead with you as with my earthly father. Bless them with wisdom, insight and knowledge of the truth. Rebuke the devil, and open their eyes to see Jesus your son. May they, by your grace, reject Islam and come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Oh God I plead, for the sake of your name, show them your true glory and open their eyes to see Jesus as he really is!. Amen. So Be it.
The rest of this section is a diatribe against Christianity. The blanket claim is that Christians have denied God and begun worshipping Angels and humans. To my knowledge only Catholics worship humans by praying to the so called saints, Christians do not. From this point forward the argument turns against the Jews especially in relation to dietary laws which the Quran abolishes. It claims the first temple was in Bekka (Mecca after a quick search.)
v110-200 the rest of the sura just repeats ad-nauseum a series warnings to Muslims to not trust Jews and Christians. There are lots of exhortations to keep following Allah even if Mohamed dies. (He did die, and stayed dead – unlike Jesus who rose again and lives forever.) There are also repeated allusions to a large battle in which apparently some Muslims surrendered or ran away. These get a severe chastisement because they can't die without Allah's permission but they ran away faithless. And right around v 164 we discover that they had lost the battle. This at least explains why Mohamed was so ticked off. Apparently for him, loss in battle was as bad as loss of faith. Which only makes sense if you're religion is built on conquest – which is the feeling growing on me as I read the Quran.
I really wanted to provide a summary of the chapter here but I think I've done that above. All in all I am not impressed with the Quran so far. It is impossible to judge the whole thing yet after only reading a few very long chapters but I almost can't bear the thought of plugging through this thing to the end. It is so full of vitriol, and warning. I will grant that the Bible has it's passages /books which are often considered boring even to Christians. Numbers for instance begins with a mind numbing census. So, if the real God (YHWH) allows I will continue to read and report.