This section starts off well enough, with Allah telling us to be kind to our parents, relatives, orphans, the needy, neighbors, strangers, and travelers.
(Show) kindness unto parents, and unto near kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and unto the neighbour who is of kin (unto you) and the neighbour who is not of kin, and the fellow-traveller and the wayfarer. 4:36
And yet, even here, when the Quran is at its very best, its dark side seeps through.
Because the same verse with the good stuff above includes the bad stuff below.
Serve Allah. Ascribe no thing as partner unto Him. (Show) kindness unto ... (the slaves) whom your right hands possess. Lo! Allah loveth not such as are proud and boastful, 4:36
Serve Allah, who has no partners. Be kind to your slaves. Don't be proud and boastful or Allah won't love you.
That's not all that bad, you say. And I agree. But it gets worse from there.
Allah reminds us about his plans for disbelievers and those who have the wrong imaginary friend (Satan instead of Allah).
For disbelievers We prepare a shameful doom; And (also) those who ... believe not in Allah nor the Last Day. Whoso taketh Satan for a comrade, a bad comrade hath he. 4:37-38
Next Allah says that there are times when we shouldn't pray. Like when we are drunk, dirty, after going to the bathroom, or after touching a woman. But if you have soiled yourself by touching a women or some other dirty thing, you can clean up without water by rubbing your hands and face in some dirt. That'll do it.
O ye who believe! Draw not near unto prayer when ye are drunken, till ye know that which ye utter ... nor when ye are polluted, save when journeying upon the road, till ye have bathed. And if ye ... cometh from the closet, or ye have touched women, and ye find not water, then go to high clean soil and rub your faces and your hands (therewith). Lo! Allah is Benign, Forgiving. 4:43
Now that that's out of the way, Allah tells us about our enemies.
Allah knoweth best (who are) your enemies. 4:45
And who are our enemies? Everyone except Muslims, of course.
- The Jews, whom Allah has cursed for their disbelief, causing them to disbelieve, "save a few."
Some of those who are Jews change words from their context and say: "We hear and disobey; hear thou as one who heareth not" and "Listen to us!" distorting with their tongues and slandering religion. If they had said: "We hear and we obey: hear thou, and look at us" it had been better for them, and more upright. But Allah hath cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not, save a few. 4:46
But Allah has not only cursed the Jews (causing their disbelief), he turned some of them into apes!
O ye unto whom the Scripture hath been given! Believe in what We have revealed confirming that which ye possess, before We destroy countenances so as to confound them, or curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-breakers (of old time). 4:47
- The Christians, who say that Allah has a partner, when, as everyone knows, Allah has no friends or partners.
Allah forgiveth not that a partner should be ascribed unto Him. He forgiveth (all) save that to whom He will. Whoso ascribeth partners to Allah, he hath indeed invented a tremendous sin. 4:48
- Those that invent lies about Allah, believe in idols, claim to be more rightly guided, or whatnot. Allah curses them all.
See, how they invent lies about Allah! That of itself is flagrant sin. Hast thou not seen those unto whom a portion of the Scripture hath been given, how they believe in idols and false deities, and how they say of those (idolaters) who disbelieve: "These are more rightly guided than those who believe"? Those are they whom Allah hath cursed, and he whom Allah hath cursed. 4:50-52
- And former Muslims. Hell is sufficient for their burning.
And of them were (some) who believed therein and of them were (some) who turned away from it. Hell is sufficient for (their) burning. 4:55
Allah will burn disbelievers in the Fire. And after there skin burns off, he'll replace their skins and do it again and again. Allah is ever Mighty, Wise, Sadistic.
Lo! Those who disbelieve Our revelations, We shall expose them to the Fire. As often as their skins are consumed We shall exchange them for fresh skins that they may taste the torment. Lo! Allah is ever Mighty, Wise. 4:56
But those that believe and do good works will go to gardens after they die, where they'll have lots of shade and pure companions to mess around with forever.
And as for those who believe and do good works, We shall make them enter Gardens underneath which rivers flow - to dwell therein for ever; there for them are pure companions - and We shall make them enter plenteous shade. 4:57
So obey Allah and his messenger Muhammad.
Obey Allah, and obey the messenger and those of you who are in authority; and if ye have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to Allah and the messenger 4:59
Oppose those that refuse to obey.
Hast thou not seen those who pretend that they believe in that which is revealed unto thee and that which was revealed before thee, how they would go for judgment (in their disputes) to false deities when they have been ordered to abjure them ? Satan would mislead them far astray. And when it is said unto them: Come unto that which Allah hath revealed and unto the messenger, thou seest the hypocrites turn from thee with aversion ... So oppose them and admonish them. 4:60-63
Hang out with Muslims. "The best of company are they!"
Whoso obeyeth Allah and the messenger, they are with those unto whom Allah hath shown favour, of the prophets and the saints and the martyrs and the righteous. The best of company are they! 4:69
Fight the disbelieving minions of the devil in the cause of Allah.
Fight in the way of Allah ... Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward ... Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah; and those who disbelieve do battle for the cause of idols. So fight the minions of the devil.4:74-76
And don't worry about dying in battle. Remember the shade and the pure companions. Allah wouldn't hurt the down on a date-stone.
Hast thou not seen those ... when fighting was prescribed ... say: Our Lord! Why hast Thou ordained fighting for us? ... Say (unto them, O Muhammad): The comfort of this world is scant; the Hereafter will be better for him who wardeth off (evil); and ye will not be wronged the down upon a date-stone. 4:77
If something good happens to you, it is because of Allah. If something bad happens, it's your own damn fault. Heads, Allah wins; tails, you lose.
If a happy thing befalleth them they say: This is from Allah; and if an evil thing befalleth them they say: This is of thy doing (O Muhammad). Say (unto them): All is from Allah. Whatever of good befalleth thee (O man) it is from Allah, and whatever of ill befalleth thee it is from thyself. 4:78-79
Whoever obeys Muhammad, obeys Allah. Whoever doesn't, doesn't.
Whoso obeyeth the messenger hath obeyed Allah, and whoso turneth away: We have not sent thee as a warder over them. 4:80
So which would you prefer? Would you rather mess around in the shade with pure companions after you die or have your skin burned off over and over again by Allah?
Allah is Mighty, Wise, Sadistic.