On the Oxford Islamic Studies Online website, there is a Numerical and Chronological List of the Chapters of the Qur'an, which shows the probable chronological order of the Quranic Surahs according to two different authorities: the Cairo Edition of the Qur'an, first printed in 1924, and the German scholar Theodor Nöldeke, whose history of the Qur'an earned the 1859 prize of the French Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, that is, the Academy of Stuff That's Written Pretty Well. Using this chart, I conclude that it makes the most sense to consider Sura 74, "Al-mudathir," or in English, "The Cloaked One," to be the second communique from Allah to Muhammad.
Al's presence always makes Mo nervous, so early on Mo adopts the practice of hiding under a blanket or a cloak, or the like. Al has X-ray vision, of course, borrowed from Superman for the day. Seeing Mo, it calls out, "You there, under the blankets! Get your ass up and start preaching! Because I'm so great and wonderful, I'm going to give you something great and wonderful to preach to your fellows, who are starving for spiritual guidance. Ready? Tell them this:" There's an awkward silence; Al realizes that it has forgotten to bring the talking points that the Archrodent Gerbil wrote down the day before. Al, against Gerbil's earlier advice, decides to extemporize. "Spend a lot of your time telling me how great I am. Wash your clothes, cos you stink like a camel's butt. Run away from all sin and defilement..."
At this point, Mo interrupts, "Excuse me, O Great One, what kind of sin and defilement do you have in mind? Should we stop having sex with little girls, who, now that I think of it, seem really to hate it, or should we stop having same-sex fun with consenting and willing adults?"
"Quiet, you!" says the Almighty. "No interruptions allowed. Keep writing this down." Mo starts to object that he wasn't writing anything in the first place, but then he remembers the treatment he got the last time he tried to point out his illiteracy, and decides to keep his peace. Fortunately, Al's X-ray vision is intermittent, so it does not seem to have noticed that Mo isn't writing anything. Al continues, "Stop this contemptible practice of feigning generosity out of a desire to gain materially for yourself. It really pisses me off when you slimy little bastards do that. In fact, almost nothing pisses me off more..."
Mo takes another chance: "But Lord, do you not detest far more the institution of slavery? Shall I not first preach abolition?"
"Don't make me come over there! No more interruptions! You made me lose my train of thought." Allah begins mumbling to itself, "What was I about to say, something about slavery? Damn, now I'll never get it back. Might as well say something that sounds meaningful; what was it I read on that Hallmark card yesterday? Oh yeah, be patient, because being patient is good and it makes me happy. Wow, that sounded way more lame than I expected when I said it out loud. I'd better try to save face, or this human will think I'm an idiot. How about this, I have nineteen angels at my command! Remember that, cos there's gonna be a test later! Hmm, did I forget my medication today?"
Embarrassed, hoping to draw attention away from these ridiculous mutterings, Allah bitches for a while about how people are ungrateful, asking for Mercedes Benzes and such, even after it made their lives easy by providing almost enough food some of the time. It meditates grotesquely for quite some time on the pleasure of torturing people who haven't kissed its ass thoroughly enough. Like But fear not, there are a couple of bright spots before the end:
- Ayahs 31 and 56: A reminder that Allah is none other than the Yahweh of the Old Testament: it's not up to us whether we're good or bad. We can't be good unless Allah-weh lets us be good. Note that it enabled Mo to be good by having angels remove his heart and wash it free of sin. Lucky guy. I say we sinners will get the last laugh; putting up with Allah-weh for eternity seems to me more hellish than the actual hell.
- Ayahs 41 - 44: All those atheismists in the world who ran around thinking that it was good to give to charity, boy were you ever fooled. If you didn't pray to Allah, if you denied the day of judgment, then forget it. Your charity was a waste of time.