"Existentialists argued that since there is no God, life has no intrinsic meaning. Meaning and purpose must boldly be created through an individual's actions, whatever they may be. This relativistic view of truth perpetuated a subculture whose password was 'do your own thing' -- which for many meant a comfortable spiral of easy sex and hard drugs. Personal autonomy was elevated at the expense of community responsibility." (p. 48)
"The church, whose principal function is to proclaim the Good News and witness the values of the Kingdom of God, must resist the tempting illusion that it can usher in that Kingdom through political means." (pg. 131)
"Nothing distinguishes the kingdoms of man from the Kingdom of God more than their diametrically opposed views of the exercise of power. One seeks to control people, the other to serve people; one promotes self, the other prostrates self; one seeks prestige and position, the other lifts up the lowly and despised." (pg. 311)
"People in power use power to keep themselves in power." (pg. 349)
"Mastery of nature through technology has given modern man the illusion that he has mastered life itself. The message of the Kingdom is that only God is master of life. Attempts to create alternatives to His rules are futile." (pg. 387)
Sura 65 - al-Talaq
This sura dealt with how to treat women you wanted to divorce. It regulated how long the couple should stay together and wait before remarrying to make sure the woman was not pregnant. It also discussed maintenance issues.
Sura 66 - at-Tahrim
Apparently Muhammad had trouble with his wives talking and revealing secrets. God took time to discuss this matter with Muhammad and tell him not to forbid himself of that which God made lawful for him (vs. 1). I thought verse 5 quite a nice threat from God to make the wives repent and behave.
5. In case he divorces you, his Lord will give him better wives in return, who will be modest, true believers, obedient to God, repentant, observant of prayer and fasting, both widows and virgins.
9. O Prophet, fight the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be severe with them. Their abode is Hell, an evil destination!
Another peaceful quranic verse about loving our enemies.
God used Noah's wife and Lot's wife as examples of unfaithful women. But I thought it was Noah's son who was an unbeliever, drowned and later confirmed by God as not a real son. Now I did question in my sura 11 notes if Noah's wife had committed adultery and some agreed while others told me this had to do with an unbelieving son and a precedent of sorts for disowning children who left the Islamic faith. So I was a bit startled to see Mrs. Noah condemned here. In the Bible's account, she was one of only eight people who survived the Flood. So God use Mrs. Noah and Mrs. Lot as bad examples and Mrs. Pharoah and Mary as good examples for women.
Sura 67 - al-Mulk
This sura begins with a fairly vivid description of crowds of people being cast into hell such as the "roar and raging as though it would burst with fury." Also the people were being asked whether or not a warner came to them which they admitted to and thus confessed their own guilt (vs. 11).
Another part of this sura talked about God making the earth subservient to us so we could travel it, explore it and find food and water from it.
Sura 66: Oooh...this's the one about the 'honey'. If I'm remembering right, while it says 'honey' it was really referring to an incident where Mohammed visited one of his wives and saw her maid. He desired the maid, and so told the wife that her father wanted her and she went out of the house. When she found out that her father hadn't called for her, she went back and found Mohammed and the maid...'occupied'.
The wife is understandably upset, and causes a scene. Mohammed calms her down and promises not to sleep with the maid again, and gets the wife to promise to keep this incident to herself.
Which she promptly fails to do, and tells...I wanna say it's Aisha. So the wives get upset, and gang up on Mohammed. (See, that's what having so many women will get you!) So Mohammed punishes them by swearing not to sleep with *any* of his wives for a month. Which leaves Mohammed out in the cold. *And*...that's when this verse was revealed. So Mohammed could go back on his promise to the wife to not sleep with her maid anymore, because Allah had made it lawful for him, and why is he making his own life harder? And, to top it off, if the wives don't like it, Mohammed can divorce them and Allah will replace them with newer, better wives, who know to keep their mouths shut.
Hmm...I think the story comes from Bukhari, but I can't recall the exact reference, sorry.
As for Noah's wife, the tafsir I read, if I recall, on this verse said that her betrayal was that she herself was not a believer, and so just her being married to a believer, even a prophet, wasn't enough to save her.
Yes, this is the honey one :)
That maid was Muhammad's and wasn't a maid but a slave - Mary the Copt.
Amber, oh my word, what a scandalous story! Seriously! Ugh! And you told it so well. Thank you! My blog really missed your commentary lately so I appreciate your coming back to tell me this most interesting tale. Hmmmm.
It's so funny that Muhammad said he wouldn't sleep with any of his wives - probably in a fit of fury and then later got to thinking how that would actually hurt HIM -- "ahhhh, what have I done?? No sex? Ahhhh"
So nice of God to make it plain to Mu that he should have all the 'honey' (ahem) that he wants. Hehehehe.
And thanks for the heads up on Noah's wife! You were helpful indeed!
Suroor, thanks for the bit that you added. Argh!
I made my feelings about surah 66 pretty clear here: http://wrestlingwithreligion.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/forbidding-oneself-from-lawful-things/
I cited some of the tafseers containing the story in a comment there.
Sarah, thanks for reminding me of your post! I just reread it and the comments that explained it further. Too bad I couldn't have read the Quran when you were so we could compare notes. :-D
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