The subtle echoes of the book of Jonah continue in today’s reading.  Maybe this is why this surah is so named.  Idolatry is attacked (10:17-18), as it was in Assyria.  There is a delayed judgment so that repentance might come (10:19); so too in Jonah.  We read of a sea-storm whipped up by God that causes people to fear for their life (10:22), and that is unmistakably similar.  The same people who feared for their life return to sin when they are safely returned to land, as did the prophet Jonah (10:23).  Allah is talked about as a god who brings the dead back to life again (10:34), as was metaphorically done to Jonah.  Interesting connections! 

Today’s section once again attacks idolatry, which is not surprising seeing that this is another Meccan surah.  Idolatry is castigated for two reasons. 

First, idolatry is ludicrous.  Why would we worship created things when we can worship the Creator (10:18)?  Idols are weak imitations of the power that is best found in God (10:18, 31).  They can’t even outwit God: “God schemes even faster” (10:21).  Idols don’t even realize you worship them (10:29), nor can they understand the level of truth God can (10:35).  So why would you even bother? 

Second, idolatry is dangerous.  This is just not going to turn out well.  Is there anyone more wicked than an idolater (10:17)?  The pursuits of disbelievers can flourish one day and be totally destroyed the next (10:24).  They will be paid back equally for what they have done (10:27).  More on this one tomorrow.   

So do you not want the better way?  Why settle for some cheap imitation?  And if you are really going to reject the revelations of Muhammad, make sure you have something better, stronger and wiser. 

Yes, we had better.  That is the only good reason to reject the Qur’an.  If it is superior to whatever worldview we are living by, we would be foolish to continue in our rejection.  The lingering question is whether Jesus (the one whose last faith-inviting sign was the “sign of Jonah” (Luke 11:29), mind you) is that someone better.

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