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Monday, March 17, 2008

 
Blogging the Qur'an: Sura 18, "The Cave," Verses 60-82

Robert Spencer has the installment here.

This section tells the tale of Moses' journey with a prophet named Khidr. During the journey, Khidr commits three unusual acts: intentionally scuttling their boat, murdering a youth, and repairing the wall of a town that had rejected them. Khidr explains himself at the end of the journey:

Khidr damaged the ship because a king is seizing "every boat by force," but not ones that are unserviceable (v. 79) – presumably the poor owners of the boat could repair it once the king passed by. Khidr killed the young man because he would grieve his pious parents with his "rebellion and ingratitude" (v. 80), and Allah will give them a better son (v. 81). And as for the wall, there was buried treasure beneath it that belonged to boys too young to inherit it at this point — so repairing it gave them time to reach maturity while protecting the treasure from theft (v. 82).

The second incident if is often cited as Koranic justification for honor killing.

Click the "Koran" label to see all my posts on this series.

Update: Typo correction made two sentences up.

Update: Contrary to the cited precedent, honor killing victims tend to be female.

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