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al-Baqarah, The Cow (cracking name!) is the second sura of the Qu'ran. As the first sura - The Opening - consists of just seven verses, The Cow is where things really kick off. The name itself is a reference to the Golden Calf, a story many might remember from Sunday School, as it is a prominent story in the Old Testament.
 General theme
The single most famous sura in the Qu'ran comes from The Cow, 2:255 "Allah, the Exalted is the One and the Only Iela'aha-the Sovereign Sustainer Lord-the one Who is uncritically admired and adorned. The absolute fact is that except Him no iela'aha exists. Allah is The Living, The Perpetually Existing and Sustaining, and never ever to die."
In general, The Cow is a discussion of the believer and his role in Islam.
 Specific quotes and verses
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Sura 2:4 states that those who believe in Mohammed's teachings "are certain of the hereafter". "Surely those who disbelieve," it claims, "being alike to them whether you warn them, or do not warn them, will not believe. Allah has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing and there is a covering over their eyes, and there is a great punishment for them."  It goes on to say that "There is a disease in their hearts, so Allah added to their disease and they shall have a painful chastisement because they lie."
Sura 2.31 says that Allah taught Adam the names of all the plants and animals. The Skeptics Annotated Quran wisely notes that "[This] must have taken a while since there are 1.7 million species that are known, with probably another 10 million or so that are yet to be discovered...And this only includes those that are alive today. If extinct species are included (~99%), then Allah must have taught Adam a billion or so names."
Allah then commands the angels to worship Adam - but that naughty
Satan Iblis refuses(Sura 2:34).
As if predicting racism and wars to come, Allah explains that those who do not follow the Sabbath shall be seen as apes, despised and separated from the Godly. Muslims have long read this line as directly applying to Jews. Allah is clearly one of those "mean drunks". (Sura 2:65)
"[T]here are rocks which fall down for the fear of Allah", declares The Cow, in another of Allah's Poetic Licence (TM) moments.
Sura 2:260 is a really wacky bit about how Abraham asked Allah to prove that he can revive dead people. And when Ibrahim said: My Lord! show me how Thou givest life to the dead, He said: What! and do you not believe? He said: Yes, but that my heart may be at ease. He said: Then take four of the birds, then train them to follow you, then place on every mountain a part of them, then call them, they will come to you flying; and know that Allah is Mighty, Wise." One assumes the birds flying back to Abraham will be whole, and not just the bits of the four birds that have been left on the 4 hills. One hopes, anyhow.
Sura 2:106 shows Allah's Grand Mystic side, as he admits to making people forget things he has said. "Whatever communications We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or like it." This probably explains how the sura claims that "Of those messengers, some of whom We have caused to excel others, and of whom there are some unto whom Allah spake, while some of them He exalted (above others) in degree; and We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty)" and then states that "We make no distinction between any of His messengers".
During some legal advice, The Cow tells its readers to "call two witness from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not at hand, then a man and two women". The reason Muslim courts are apparently expected to treat a woman as half a man is because one woman may "erreth (though forgetfulness)", while "the other will remember".
Allah also revives a dead bloke and then tells him to "Look at thine ass!"
- ↑ Uh-oh! Better pack light.
- ↑ http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/2/index.htm