Islam is the religion devised and initiated by Mohammed bin Abdullah, from the tribe of Quraysh, which controlled Mecca, Arabia, in the 7th century. Mecca was at the time the dominant religious center for all the pagan religions in Arabia. Mohammed’s lineage, and that of many inhabitants of Arabia, was from Abraham’s maid Hagar; she bore Ishmael, of whom the Angel prophesied in Gen. 16:12 that he will be a “wild man, his hand will be against every man and every man’s hand will be against him”. There is some evidence that Muhammad’s lineage was also Jewish, on his mother’s side.
Mohammed, who could not read or write, claims to have received the Qur’an verbatim in his ear from the angel Gabriel. Yet there have never been any witnesses to this ‘revelation’. In addition Mohammed has never performed any miracle or sign in the presence of witnesses. The Muslims make the very tenuous claim that Mohammed is a prophet because of a large skin mole or tumor on his shoulder and because the Arabic style in which the Qur’an is written supposedly cannot be imitated, although many Arab scholars have done that with ease, such as the great 20th century Egyptian poet Taha Husain. The religion of Islam is predominantly a distortion of the Old Testament Mosaic religion and the (Pharisaic) Talmudic religion, to which was also added a dose of the pre-Islamic Arabian pagan customs, and a light sprinkling of heretical teachings about Christ.
Islam took from Judaism many aspects; the most central part of these similarities is the rejection of Jesus Christ as being Son of God. Also taken from Judaism are circumcision (males at 7 years of age), dietary restrictions (such as abstaining from pork and ‘kosher’ methods for slaughter of animals), animal sacrifice, ablutions before prayers, the dominance of religious laws (called Shari’a and Hadith) in social and political life, pilgrimage to a central geographic location (Mecca), a sabbath-type rest (on Friday), the emphasis on external legalism for imputing righteousness, Talmudic mythology, and other traits.
Islam also took customs from the pagan pre-Islamic religions of Arabia, in that Mecca is still retained as the religious center, and the Kaaba is still the place for pilgrimage. It previously housed 360 idols, but Mohammed destroyed them all and retained only one - the moon god, which alone he called Allah (which literally means ‘the god’. The word “Allah”, of course, is also used by Arab Christians for referring to the true God.) Therefore, the symbol of Islam, as can be seen on their flags and mosques, is the crescent moon. Pilgrimage to Mecca for worship at the Kaaba, circumambulating the Kaaba 7 times, kissing the black stone, running to the Wadi Mina to throw stones at the devil, fasting a certain month according to the lunar calendar, the tribal life of fighting and violence, multiple wives, etc. are the customs of the society into which Mohammed was born. These pagan customs he retained in Islam. The Kaaba is a cubic stone edifice with a black stone in its center. The Muslims venerate this black stone because they say that Abraham supposedly impregnated his slave-maid Hagar on it, thereby begetting Ishmael. Another Muslim tradition says he also tied his donkey to this rock when he went to sacrifice Isaac. They also claim that Abraham built an altar around it, even though there is no biblical evidence whatsoever that Abraham has ever set foot in Mecca.
The main precepts of Islam are in the Qur’an, which is well-known among Muslims, but equally authoritative is the multi-volume collection of Hadiths, which are not as well known to the common Muslim. Both the Qur’an and the collection of the Hadiths are considered divinely inspired. Indeed, if the Hadiths were all known, the pagan character of the religion would be more manifest.
From its very beginning, Islam, which means ‘submission’, has been a militant religion. Jihad, which means ‘struggle’, has always been part of Islam, and advocates fighting and killing for the growth and spread of their religion. According to the Hadiths, Mohammed wanted his religion to be spread primarily by the sword. The volumes of the Hadiths are filled with commands to make war on non-Muslims in order to force them to embrace Islam. In Hadith # 25, vol. 1, Mohammed is quoted as saying that, next to believing in Allah, the best deed is to participate in jihad in Allah’s cause. In the same volume, the Hadiths speak of those who covert to Islam “by compulsion or by fear of being killed”, and in Hadith # 24 of the same volume, Mohammed says: “I have been ordered to fight against peoples until they convert to Islam or submit to it... So if they perform all that, then they save their lives and property.” The word “Islam” (“submission”) is very appropriate for this religion because its goal is that all must ‘submit’ to it, either willingly or by force.
Mohammed made his religion desirable for the carnal-minded man, and women were degraded to a lower class as being “deficient in intelligence and religion” (Hadiths, vol. 2, # 541 & vol. 3, # 826), and, therefore, not entitled to equal rights under Islamic law. Mohammed himself had 16 wives and 6 slave concubines. His favorite wife was Aishah, whom he married when she was 6 years old, and he consummated the marriage with her when she was 9. Mohammed was notorious for his virility and libidinousness. Consequently, the Islamic conception of Heaven, formulated by Mohammed to recruit followers, involves carnal indulgence with females of the human variety and females of the half-human and half-angelic variety (Houris), a fact well known to Muslims.
By the admission of many Jewish scholars (such Israel Shahak), Judaism has benefited from the spread of Islam since its rise in the 7th century. Islam’s conquest of Christian lands from Anatolia and Mesopotamia to North Africa and Spain has given a tremendous boost to the Jews, who became firmly established in the courts of most Islamic rulers. A very famous example is Maimonides who was the personal physician of the Egyptian Grand Vizier Alfadhil and the Sultan Saladin of Egypt. In Egypt he also composed most of his oeuvre, including the Mishna Torah. The conflict between the two religions has only recently arisen due to the Zionist movement of the early 20th century and its conquest of Palestine, and has intensified since the establishment of the state of Israel.
From the earliest biographers of Mohammed, it is apparent that he had no premonition of his own death. He made no arrangements for a successor and therefore did not set up any kind of governmental bureaucracy in the event of his death. He did not gather or put together the various ‘revelations’ into what is now known as the Qur’an. His death was sudden, and because of this, Islam soon broke into warring sects. The largest is Shi’ism, which is centered in Iran and Iraq, and which arose in the first generation after the death of Mohammed in a struggle for the succession of his cousin Ali bin Abitaleb. Other splinter Shi’a sects are the Alawi (or Nuseyri), Ithna Asharia, Ismailiyah, and Zaidiyah. There are also Kharijite sects which are derived from the main body of Sunni (i.e. traditional) Islam; these are the Sufri, Azraqi, and Ibadi. There are also movements within Sunnism such as Sufism, Wahhabism, Salafism, and Liberals. There is a messianic sect called Zikri. Other sects are Nation of Islam, Ahmadiyyah, Five percenters, and the Submitters. Related religions derived from Islam are Babism, Baha’ism, Yazidi, Sikhism, and the Druze.
Mohammed took a minor pagan cult of the moon god and turned it into the second largest religion in the world, estimated at more than a billion souls.
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