Friday, March 7, 2008

The Supernatural Basis of Islam

By Dr. Koenraad Elst

The basis of Islam is the bel­ief­­­ that Mohammed regularly went into a state of trance (wahi) and heard a voice dictating Allah's own words. In recent years, Hindu students of Islam have invoked the eyewitness testimony of Moha­mmed's contemporaries in support of their own skeptical rejection of the Prophet’s claim of receiving div­ine messages: "The Meccans stood firm by their gods; their faith in the gods was not at all shaken by Muham­mad's attacks. Allah reports: 'When it was said unto them, There is no God save Allah, they were scornful, and said: Shall we forsake our gods for a mad poet?' (Q.37:36/35) 'And they mar­vel that a warner from among themselves had come. They say: This is a wizard, a char­la­tan.' (Q.38:4/3) " (S.R. Goel: Hindu Temples, vol.2, 2nd ed., Voice of India, Delhi 1993, p.334)

It was probably Swami Vivekananda who first connected the questionable nature of Mohammed's leadership with the nature of his prophethood. Mohammed had to be ruthless in imposing adherence to his belief in his own divine mission because this belief could not stand on its own, based as it was on a delusion. If your neighbour, whom you have known for years as an ordinary businessman, tells you one day that he is hearing God’s voice and that you have to obey his divine instructions from now on, you would not readily give in to his demand, would you? Instead, you would certainly wonder what had happened to him. So, Vivekananda offered one hypothesis of what had happened to Mohammed so as to make him believe in his own selection as God’s sole living spokesman.

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This is where Hinduism and other Asian spiritual traditions have a key role to play. They have to show the Muslims that there is life after apostasy from an irrational belief system. They have to prove that religion can be something else than a silly acceptance of some prophet’s vainglorious claims about himself. In the case of India, it is even very simple: Muslims are surrounded by the heirs of one of the great spiritual traditions of mankind. Hindus have to cultivate or rekindle the best in their tradition, and Indian Muslims merely have to switch off a few centuries of Islamic alienation and return to their native civilization still alive all around them.

Read the whole thing at

Wahi: the Supernatural Basis of Islam

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