Monday, February 29, 2016

History - The fictional stories of Muhammad - Cain, Abel, and Job

This is a continuation of a multi-post article. You can read the first post here. You can also find the previous post here. This is also part of a larger series called "The Koran from a Christian perspective." You can find other posts in this series here.
Someone once asked, "How long did Cain hate his brother"? The answer, "As long as he was Abel!" Putting aside the cheap jokes, the Koran records the first murder, the murder of Abel by his brother Cain, as follows.
"Then his soul [passion] prompted him to slay his brother, and he slew him, and became one of the Losers [who parish]. Then God sent forth a raven, scratching into the earth, to show him how he might conceal the vile body of his brother. He said, 'Woe is me! Am I unable [too weak] to be as this raven, and so conceal my brother's vile body?' And he became one of the remorseful [repentant]." (Koran 5:33-34)
Rodwell writes, "In the Jewish tradition the raven shews the mode of burial to Adam, not to Cain." (J.M. Rodwell, The Koran, footnote 5.16) However, the Jewish scriptures themselves do not recount the instruction of a raven on burial to either Adam or Cain. The scriptures simply record the death and burial of Abel as follows, "And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him." (Genesis 4:8) It is doubtful that Cain would need any instructions on how to hide a body. He was a tiller of the ground and would have know how to dig a hole big enough to hide his brother's body. Muhammad was also wrong to account repentance to Cain when he realized that he lacked even the wisdom of a raven when it came to hiding things in the ground. for we know that when God came to question him regarding Abel's death, he was still not remorseful or repentant of the murder. "Then the Lord said to Cain, 'Where is Abel your brother?' And he said, 'I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?' He said, 'What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to Me from the ground.'" (Genesis 4:9-10) Even upon hearing his punishment for his crime, his thoughts were not towards repentance and forgiveness, rather he complained about the severity of his punishment. "Cain said to the Lord, 'My punishment is too great to bear! Behold, You have driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Your face I will be hidden, and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.'" (Genesis 4:13-15) We never see Cain remorseful or repentant for his acts as Muhammad claims; not at the teaching of a raven, not when confronted by God, and not when receiving the punishment for his crime.


The Koran accounts the end of Job's life; when God restored to him all he had lost. Specifically, we see God commanding Job to execute on his wife the words he had previously spoken.
"[And we said] 'Take in thy hand a bundle of rushes [a rod], and strike therewith, and do not fail in [break] thy oath.'" (Koran 38:43)
Rodwell says of this verse, "Thy wife; on whom he had sworn that he would inflict a hundred blows, because she had absented herself from him when in need of her assistance, or for her words (Job 2:9). The oath was kept, we are told, by giving her one blow with a rod of a hundred stalks." (J.M. Rodell, The Koran, footnote 38.15) If Rodwell's understanding of this verse is correct, then there are three thing wrong with this verse. First, we do not see Job ever taking an oath to punish his wife for leaving him in his time of need. Secondly, while Job's wife was not the most supportive of his suffering, it is unclear if she ever physically abandoned him during his suffering. Job later says, "My breath is offensive to my wife, and I am loathsome to my own brothers." (Job 19:17) How can the be if she had left him. Finally, there is the command by God for Job to beat his wife. It is one thing to advocate for wife beating, but it is another to attribute it to the command of God. How can the same God who said, "But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also," (Matthew 5:39) then turn to Job and command him to keep his promise to beat his wife? Such actions would be inconsistent and unbecoming of the one true God.

More to come...
David Robison

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