Al Qaeda and Jihad justified

(By Raymond Ibrahim for Human Events8/10/2013 With the ousting of Muhammad Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, al-Qaeda has been vindicated and the terror-jihad exonerated, in the opinion of many Islamists, that is.timthumb

According to the Associated Press, in a new video, al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri “said the military coup that ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi provides proof that Islamic rule cannot be established through democracy and urged the Islamist leader’s followers to abandon the ballot box in favor of armed resistance [i.e., jihad].”

In fact, in the Arabic video, Zawahiri gloats over two points that he has championed for decades despite widespread opposition: that the Brotherhood was foolish to engage in democracy and elections in the first place, and that the triumph of Islam can only be achieved through jihad.

Interestingly, these two points go back to a long but internal debate between nonviolent Islamists, like the Muslim Brotherhood, and violent jihadis, like al-Qaeda. While both groups pursue the same exact goals—a Sharia-ruling caliphate followed by the subjugation of the “infidel” world, according to Islamic teachings—they follow different strategies.  The Brotherhood has long argued that, because the Islamic world is militarily weaker than the West, now is not the time for an all-out jihad, but rather a time for infiltration and subversion, a time for taqiyya and short-lived promises.  Conversely, jihadis generally disavow pretense and diplomacy, opting for jihad alone.

Since the 1960s in Egypt, Ayman Zawahiri was an outspoken proponent of jihad (see “Ayman Zawahiri and Egypt: A Trip Through Time for a brief biography).  In the early 1990s, he wrote anentire book titled Al Hissad Al Murr, or “The Bitter Harvest,” where he argued that the Brotherhood “takes advantage of the Muslim youths’ fervor by bringing them into the fold only to store them in a refrigerator. Then, they steer their onetime passionate, Islamic zeal for jihad to conferences and elections….  And not only have the Brothers been idle from fulfilling their duty of fighting to the death, but they have gone as far as to describe the infidel governments as legitimate, and have joined ranks with them in the ignorant style of governing, that is, democracies, elections, and parliaments.”

Even so, after the terror strikes of 9/11, many became critical of al-Qaeda, whose actions were seen as setting back the Islamist agenda by creating more scrutiny and awareness in the West.  The attacks further set off the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and gave many Arab governments—including former President Mubarak’s—free reign to suppress all Islamists. As Montasser al-Zayyat, Zawahiri’s biographer, wrote:

The poorly conceived decision to launch the attacks of September 11 created many victims of a war of which they did not choose to be a part…. Bin Laden and Zawahiri’s behavior was met with a lot of criticism from many Islamists in Egypt and abroad…. In the post-September 11 world, no countries can afford to be accused of harboring the enemies of the United States. No one ever imagined that a Western European country would extradite Islamists who live on its lands. Before that, Islamists had always thought that arriving in a European city and applying for political asylum was enough to acquire permanent resident status. After September 11, 2001, everything changed…. Even the Muslim Brotherhood wasaffected by the American campaign, which targeted everything Islamic.

If the West “targeted everything Islamic,” that was obviously short lived; for, from a different perspective, the post 9/11 world has proven to be the heyday of the Muslim Brotherhood.  For starters, many Islamists began to see the wisdom of the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy ofpublicly renouncing violence (jihad) and appropriating Western language and paradigms in an effort to infiltrate and subvert.

And it certainly worked: the Brotherhood got what they wanted; their strategy of opting for elections and renouncing jihad, coupled with a highly sympathetic Obama administration, culminated with the Brotherhood leaving Egypt’s prisons and filling the highest posts of government, beginning with the presidency.

However, now that the Brotherhood and Morsi have been ousted, the jihadis—chief among them Zawahiri, leader of al-Qaeda—are in full “we told you so” mode, renewing the argument that Islamic Sharia can never be established through infidel democracy, but rather only through jihad, long recognized as the only way to force people—including Muslims themselves—to comply with Allah’s rule on earth.  And it’s becoming harder for nonviolent Islamists to argue otherwise, especially the now disgraced Brotherhood.

Thus, among an increasing number of Islamists, al-Qaeda’s strategy—jihad and terror—has been justified and may well return in full force.  Indeed, it’s in this context that one must understand recent news that the U.S. “ordered the unprecedented closure of embassies in 19 countries across the Middle East and Africa,” a decision sparked by Ayman Zawahiri’s recent communiques.

No doubt Western apologists will now argue that it’s in the West’s interest to support and make concessions to the Muslim Brotherhood, since the alternative will be a renewal in jihadi terror.  However, aside from the fact that such an argument is tantamount to submitting to blackmail—or that the resumption of jihad is just another reminder that al-Qaeda and the Brotherhood are two faces of the same coin—is it not better to get the ugly truth out in the open now, while the U.S. still has some power and influence, rather than later, when it will likely be even more infiltrated and handicapped?

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  1. ONE FLEW OVER THE VULTURE’S NEST. MAD MUHAMMAD 1 THE PERFECT MUSLIM And surely thou hast sublime morals (Surat Al-Qalam 68:4). Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar (Surat Al-Ahzab 33:21). Muslims believe that the Koran is the eternal word/laws of god to acts as a divine guidance for mankind about how to live a moral, righteous life. Prophet Muhammad, the highest perfection of human life and the prototype of the most wonderful human conduct in Islamic belief, emulated the guidance of Allah perfectly. Islam stands or falls on the credibility of Muhammad on which we do not have single evidence but unfathomable doubts because his conduct was immoral. But he successfully twisted the sense of morality of his followers, distorted their sense of ‘Humanness’ and linked “doing good” and “a service to God” to all ungodly things. Briefly, he had given a sacred aura to crime and terrorism. Was Muhammad truthful and sincere when he claimed to the title of prophet? Or, was he a vulgar imposter, who posed as a prophet with his eyes upon a throne from the beginning? Where we can find some concrete evidence that Qur’anic revelations were not Muhammad’s delusions or his conscious fabrications? Where is the ‘divine’ verification for ‘divine’ revelations? If we put the Qur’an in chronological order and correlate it with the context of Muhammad’s life as was reported in Sira, Sunnah and Hadith we find Allah mirrored Muhammad’s character. Allah was too dumb to be God and too immoral to be Divine. In this treatise I have no intention to test God. I just want to test Muhammad’s claim to the title of messenger of God because I cannot blindly accept his claim. Throughout the recorded history of Mankind, many imposters had posed as God-man and fooled us. Muhammad may be a true prophet or he may be an imposter. We must test him to see which he is. Anyone who claims to be a prophet must be prepared to have his prophecy tested. This treatise is a critical investigation, where I have probed deep into the strange imaginary fantasy world of Muhammad not only in search of an answer but also to unfold many mysteries of Islam and Muslims. First, I had looked at Muhammad through the spectacle of blind faith and then through the spectacle of science, logic and modern development of Psychological and Mental Disorder studies. This document contains the findings of my investigation. When an investigation is done in any intellectual field, no investigator can claim that his academic research work is complete in every respect and the conclusions are final. It is always like an open loop and there is constantly a scope for further research. I sincerely hope that the enthusiastic readers (both Muslim and non-Muslim) with further investigation will come out with more interesting facts on different aspects of the same topic. Towards the beginning of last century, there was a rising interest among the Western scholars to investigate the origins of Islam and its founder, i.e., Prophet Muhammad. For this they had used highest standard of historical scholarship available at that time. Their aim was to collect authentic information about Muhammad and the rise of early Islam by carefully separating the facts from fictions. In some ways the research on Muhammad was inspired by a similar type of investigation of Christianity made famous by Albert Schweitzer’s famous work ‘The Quest of the Historical Jesus’. All religions except Islam have their origins covered in mystery. Islam, as Renan used the famous phrase, “[Islam] was born in the full light of history” (cited Warraq, 2000, p. 15), stands firm and clear in front of us. Unlike semi-mythological religious figures, example, Christ, Buddha, Adi Shankara or Mahavira Jain; the founder of Islam is as well known to us as that of any other social reformer. Several thousand short stories about Muhammad were collected in Shahih Hadith. Considering above, though it appears to be comparatively easier to write an analytical history of Islam and its founder, but actually it is not so. As Spencer (2006, p.19) commented, “Most Western non-Muslims know virtually nothing about the Prophet of Islam”, but the question is, how many practicing Muslims know their Prophet well? Has an honest biography of Muhammad yet been written? There are enough pious and totally un-objective traditions of Muhammad preserved by the Muslim religious community, but what is lacking in these sources is honesty. Even today, numerous works in Arabic and other Muslim majority languages appear each year which try to portray Muhammad as a holy man, a seer, visionary and miracle worker. But in reality these are far away from truth. The reason no Muslim can write an honest biography of their Prophet, is that the biography of Muhammad is a subject that is taboo and as Rodinson (1981, p.24) commented, “… is permitted only when written as apologetic and edifying literature”. Hence, objective historical research on Muhammad has long been severely handicapped both by the resistance of the Muslim societies to Western analysis of their sacred traditions and by the apologetic approaches of many Western scholars, who had compromised their investigation for fear of offending Muslim sensibilities. But in recent time, thanks to both Western and ex-Muslim writers; a lot of scholarly work had been produced ‘which could offend certain readers’. With the help of these scholars, we can trace Muhammad’s fluctuation of thought year by year, his actions, his achievements, family life, abnormal sexual behavior, strength and weaknesses. If we compare our findings with that of modern development of psychological studies, the image of Muhammad that surfaces is far away from any holy religious figure but that of a person who was suffering from severe mental illness. And if we probe further deep into the mystery of Allah and carefully make a distinction between superstition and science, we have hardly any doubt left that it was his mental illness and hallucinatory experience which was solely responsible for creating Allah, Qur’an and Islam altogether. The Flashback of a False Prophet Muhammad’s Prophetic Claim Islam is a religion which had developed from the Prophetic claim, preaching and life of Muhammad early in the seventh century of the Christian era. During that time, the old Arabian paganism was in a process of slow disintegration and Judaism and Christianity were widely gaining popularity. Several self-proclaimed Prophets had arisen with various degrees of success in convincing people. In the beginning Muhammad was such a self-proclaimed Prophet, but with time he successfully synchronized certain basic elements of Judaism and Christianity with the pagan practices and added some nationalistic Arab pride and it has become a world religion today. From the authentic Islamic sources it appears that Muhammad thought of himself as in the succession of the Old Testament men of faith who was sent on a Divine mission by the one and only God, Allah. Like Noah, Jonah, and Elijah he preached a religious message in the name of this Supreme Lord, like Moses he also issued legislation in His name, and like Abraham he was not only a maintainer of righteousness but the founder of a community of the righteous. But unlike Christianity or Buddhism, his religious endeavor was an utter failure unless he was able to draw the sword and use it successfully to impose his religion on others. Muhammad declared himself a Prophet of Allah when he was about forty years old. Bukhari’s Hadith (1:3) recorded Muhammad’s first experience with the angel Gabriel. But this Divine confrontation was less heavenly and more demonic. Once in the cave of Hira, the angel Gabriel came to him with some written messages from Allah and asked him to read. Muhammad replied, “I do not know how to read”. Three times Muhammad expressed his inability to read but Gabriel forcefully gave him the message of Allah, the famous first revelations of Qur’an. “Read (Prophet Muhammad) in the Name of your Lord who created the human from a (blood) clot. Read! Your Lord is the Most Generous, who taught by the pen, taught the human, what he did not know” (Quran: 96.1-5). So the truth of Allah’s message started descending upon Muhammad in a violent way. This is entirely sufficient for a rational person to seriously doubt about the truthfulness of Qur’anic message and Muhammad’s reliability as a Prophet. Surprisingly, Muhammad himself was the first person to doubt the genuineness of the revelation. He hurried back to his wife bewildered and terrorized, “What’s wrong with me?” he asks his wife. Just as kids hide under the covers when they are afraid of monsters in the dark, so Muhammad had his wife wrap him in a blanket; he did not want to see the cause of terror again. He thought he was either going mad or possessed by an evil spirit. SUCIDE ATTEMPTS After this first revelation Allah was silent for about three years. Muhammad was so sad that he preferred to commit suicide. Several times he intended to throw himself from the top of high mountains but every time he went up the top of mountain in order to throw himself down, Gabriel would appear before him and said, “O Muhammad! You are indeed Allah’s Apostle in truth.” This is how Muhammad began to believe that he was a messenger of God. A messenger of such a demonic God who’s influence caused him to attempt suicide. Few people are aware of Muhammad’s suicide attempts. Few Islamic leaders will teach this to their fellow Muslims because it casts a stain upon Muhammad; it brings doubt to his trustworthiness and the credibility of his assumed “Prophetic” experience. Some Muslims deny the sources of the story. Other more intelligent Muslims, knowledgeable about the sources, respond by saying that the shock of the experience caused him to attempt suicide. According to Qur’an, Muhammad was the seal of the Prophets. “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men. He is the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets. Allah has knowledge of all things” (Quran: 33.40). SEAL OF THE PROPHETS WAS A MOLE According to Islamic sources (Bukhari: 1.4.189; Muslim: 30.5790; Sunan of Abu Dawud 32:4071), Muhammad had a big mole on his back between the shoulders which was as big as a pigeon’s egg. He claimed that the big mole is the proof of his Prophethood. There is no religious scripture which confirms that a mole between the shoulders is a sign of Prophethood. What he claimed to be a proof of Allah’s seal was a physical deformity which anyone can have. There is no ‘divinity’ in this. It is simply beyond the capacity of a logical thinker how this is supposed to be one of the proofs that convince people of Muhammad’s Prophethood! Muhammad gave no solid proof of his Prophethood. He only claimed to the title of Prophet of Allah. Did he lie? Was he under delusion? The validity of Islam is closely dependent on the reliability of Muhammad. If there is no solid reason to conclude that Muhammad was the true messenger of God, we may reasonably suppose that Islam is false. If we can prove that Muhammad was untrustworthy, Islam self-destructs. The scholars, who are most familiar with Arabic sources and had clear understanding of the life and time of Muhammad; like Margoliouth, Hurgronge, Lammens, Caetani are the most decisive against Muhammad’s Prophetic claim. The more we read their valuable research works, the more we find it difficult to disagree with them. How can we be sure that Muhammad did not lie? Muhammad declared that lying is acceptable if it is used to propagate the cause of Islam by killing the enemy. This particular statement should make us wonder how often Muhammad took advantage of this principle while claiming his title of a Prophet and preaching his message. If we take Qur’an as a primary foundation of Muhammad’s Prophethood, the doubt is still not dispelled at all. The next question is to ascertain how firm ground does it provide. There are serious doubts about the trustworthiness of Qur’an also. Like Muhammad’s Prophetic claim, Qur’an itself is self-declarative. It describes itself by various generic terms, comments, explains, distinguishes, puts itself in contrast with other religious books and claims to be holy. The Qur’anic claims are great, but what is miserable is that, this supposed to be holy book fails to prove either Muhammad’s Prophetic claim or its Divine origin. Ultimately, it becomes a circular reasoning. Qur’an is God’s words because Muhammad said so and Muhammad was God’s messenger because Qur’an says so. Circular reasoning is a logical fallacy. We are not happy with this. The Embarrassment of Satanic Verses Traditional Islamic sources admit that Muhammad was at one time inspired by Satan to put some verses into the Qur’an. When Muhammad first began preaching in Mecca he thought that the Meccans would accept his religion. But the Meccans were not receptive to him. This made Muhammad angry and he started taunting them for years by insulting their religion and Gods. Meccans refused all dealings with him and his followers. Eventually to appease the Meccans, Muhammad recited the following Qura’nic verses, “Have you then considered the al-Lat and al-Uzza and Manat, the third, the last … these are the exalted Gharaniq (a high flying bird) whose intercession is approved” (Quran: 53.19-20) Al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat were some of the local idols worshiped in Mecca. Previously Muhammad had spoken against them in his monotheist preaching but now he recited that their “intercession is approved”. This made the Meccans very pleased and the boycott was lifted shortly. Soon Muhammad realized that by acknowledging the local idols al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat he had made a terrible blunder. He had undermined his own position that as the sole intermediary between Allah and the people and by doing so he made his new religion indistinguishable from pagan beliefs and hence redundant. So he retracted and said the two verses acknowledging pagan idols were satanic verses i.e., the verses inspired by Lucifer, the Biblical Satan. This is Muhammad’s most embarrassing moment. Islam crumbled in the wake of the Prophet’s satanic indulgence. Muhammad desperately tried to make amends for the satanic verses and recited the following verse. “Surely Allah does not forgive setting up partners with Him; and whoever associates anything with Allah, he indeed strays off into remote error. They call but upon female deities. They call but upon Satan, the persistent rebel!” (Quran: 4.116) Subsequently, the relevant verses were also modified with the final form what is now in the modern Qur’an, “Have ye thought upon Al-Lat and Al-‘Uzza. And Manat, the third, the other? Are yours the males and His the females? That indeed were an unfair division!” (Quran: 53:19-22). Many of the Muhammad’s followers left him on this account realizing that Muhammad was making up the Qur’an (Sina, 2008, p. 16). Muhammad had to run away from Mecca in shame. The shame of defeat was so much that Muhammad and Abu Bakr had to flee through a window. On their way out of town, both had to hide in a cave for fear the Meccans would find them (Winn, 2004. p. 587). “When the Messenger decided upon departure, he went to Bakr and the two of them left by a window in the back of Abu’s house and went to a cave in Thawr, a mountain below Mecca”. (Ishaq: 223) “The Messenger came back to Mecca and found that its people were more determined to oppose him and to abandon his religion, except for a few weak people who believed in him”. (Tabari: VI. 118) However, after this blunder Muhammad was more careful not to make the mistake again. He just hammered a nail into his own Prophetic coffin. Muslims are very uncomfortable with the satanic verses episode and this had been the subject of endless and bitter controversy (Walker, 2002, p. 111). But if we have to believe the authentic Muslim sources there is no reason to reject this occurrence. This incident was recorded by devout Muslims like Al-Wikidi, Al-Zamakshari, Al-Baydawi, Al-Tabari, Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Hisham, Ibn Sa’d and Bukhari. It is unthinkable that such a story would have been fabricated by all of them. While this event is well documented in Islamic sources, current day Islamic leaders rarely tell Muslims or the general public about it. We can make three logical conclusions from this satanic verses incident. Firstly, a Qur’anic verse can be modified or deleted at a later date. Secondly, it casts a shadow over the veracity on Muhammad’s entire claim to be a Prophet. Finally, Satan proves that Qur’an is not a miracle. Qur’an challenges “bring a Sura like it”. (Quran: 2.23) and Satan took the challenge and did it. Did Muhammad carefully plan a ploy to win the hearts of the Meccans, or was it his subconscious that had suggested to him a sure formula which provided a practical road to unanimity? I shall look for an answer in subsequent chapters. The Traditional Sources It seems logical, and also agreeable to Muslims, to say that if we have solid reasons to believe that Muhammad was a reliable messenger of God, we may conclude that Islam is a true religion and, in case there are strong reasons to question Muhammad’s trustworthiness, Islam self-destructs. In the West, Muhammad’s critics are quick to claim that he was either possessed by demons or suffering from mental illness or he was a conscious fraud. We have no concrete evidence to support one of these claims and discard others; but at least we all agree to the point that, there was certainly something wrong with Muhammad. The Western scholars judge the Prophet by the standards of human morality and conscious. But Muslims’ thinking is different. From their point of view they have accepted Muhammad as a ‘superior being’ and ‘the mercy of God among mankind’ (Sina, 2008, p. 6). Though Muslims dismiss all attacks on their faith as anti-Islamic polemic and a calculated and deliberate misrepresentation of their religion from Christian prejudice and Zionist-instigated ill will but the irony is that; even if we reject and leave aside all these Western scholars and depend only on authentic traditional sources for information, we still cannot find anything which suggests that Muhammad was a ‘superior being’ or ‘the mercy of God among mankind’ but we have thousands of accounts that do portray him a psychopath criminal. But, are the traditional sources reliable? The Reliability of Traditional Sources Our knowledge and understanding of early Islam and its founder mainly rests on the writings we call Sira, Al-Maghazi, Qur’an, Qur’anic exegesis (Tafsir), Tabari’s history, and Shahi Hadith collections. Sira means ‘biography’, and likewise Sirat Rasul Allah is the biography of Muhammad, the messenger of Allah written by Ibn Ishaq (CA 85/704 – 150/767(?)), which is the earliest life of Muhammad of which we have any trace. He was one of the main authorities on the life and times of the Prophet. Amongst the early Muslim critic, Ishaq had a very high reputation (e.g., Al-Zuhri spoke of him as ‘the most knowledgeable man in Maghazi’). Ishaq’s Sira or biography provides the sole account of Muhammad’s life and the formation of Islam written within 200 years of his death. The work of Ibn Ishaq is very important for the researchers not only because it is the earliest biography, but also for the reason that Ibn Ishaq was a free thinker and he was free from any influences of later idealizing tendencies. While the character, message, and deeds portrayed within its pages are the direct opposite of Christ’s and his disciples, the Sira’s chronological presentation is similar in style to the Christian Gospels. His work contains too much information of a character that is devastatingly unfavorable to the Prophet. Al-Maghazi is the early Muslim military expeditions or raiding parties in which Muhammad took part in the Medinan period. But this term seems to have been more or less often used synonymously with term Sira. The history of al-Tabari is a mine of information for historical and critical research by Western scholars. This Persian historian was a devout Muslim, a commentator of Qur’an and widely traveled. He had not only devoted much time to history but even mathematics and medicine. Tabari derived much of his material from oral traditions and literary sources like the works of Abu Miknaf, al-Wiqidi, Ibn Sa’d and of course Ibn Ishaq. Qur’an’s claim to Divine origin rests on the Ahadith (plural of Hadith). The Hadith, or the book of tradition, are the records of what Muhammad did, what he enjoined, what was done in his presence and what he did not forbid. Hadith collections also include the authoritative sayings and doings of the companions of Muhammad. Muhammad was aware that people were taking note of all his casually uttered words and that stories of what he did were being passed around. He was aware of the dangers and warned against the practice because some of his casually uttered word may get included in Qur’an by mistake (Brahmachari, 1999, p. 131). But the trend once started could not be stopped and was accelerated after his death (Walker, 2002, p. 172) The Hadith contains material from pre-Islamic times also. Much was added to it after Muhammad’s death with fresh material with the growth of Islamic empire. It is true that much of the Ahadith was fabricated before Imam Bukhari made his compilation. As example, Ibn Abi-I-Awja (executed 772 CE for apostasy) confessed before his death that he had fabricated more than four thousand Ahadith, in which he forbade Muslims what was in fact permitted and vice versa and he made Muslims to break the fast when they should have been fasting (Warraq, 2003, p. 45). Awja’s case is just one example. There are instances where many Ahadith were invented to serve the political purposes of the Umayyad, the Abbasids and later dynasties of Caliphs and handing down of the traditions went downwards to the level of a business enterprise (Goldziher, 1971, p. 169) as a means of livelihood. A large amount of non-Islamic material was drawn into by the compilers which even included sayings of Buddhist wisdom, Roman stories and verses from the Zoroastrians, Jewish and Christian scriptures and even Greek philosophy (Gibb, 1969, p. 51). Soon the number of Ahadith already in circulation and still being invented became unimaginable. As one Muslim authority wrote, ‘in nothing do we see pious man more given to falsehood than in the traditions’ (Nicholson, 1969, p.145). So it was urgently necessary to compile an authentic collection. The best-known and most authoritative compilation is by Bukhari. It is said that Bukhari had examined a total of 600,000 traditions. He preserved some 7,000 (including traditions), which means he rejected some 593,000 as inauthentic (Crone, 1987, p. 33). But since many of them were repeated, there remained only about 2760 in total. Second only to Bukhari’s collection is the work of Muslim Ibn al-Hajaj, which contains three thousand traditions. These compilations are believed to be Sahih Hadith (authentic traditions). With much disappointment to the Muslims, the above five oldest and most trusted Islamic sources don’t portray Muhammad a ‘superior being’ or any kind of ‘the mercy of God among mankind’. The sources reveal that he was a thief, a liar, an assassin, a pedophile, a shameless womanizer, a promiscuous husband, a rapist, a mass murderer, a desert pirate, a warmonger but a spineless coward, and a calculating and ruthless tyrant. It’s certainly not the character profile of the founder of a true religion. Moreover, there is no reason to believe that these authentic collections of Bukhari were later additions by religious rivalries. Bukhari was a devout Muslim and his sincerity was beyond doubt. Other traditional books were written by pious Muslims, the copies are preserved and certainly it would not be the characteristic of believers to portray their Prophet as a villain. After all Muhammad had promised them Paradise in exchange of their acceptance of Muhammad as a Prophet. How can they malign him? Similarly the trustworthiness of Christian sources cannot be doubted either. By the time Muhammad received his first revelation early in the seventh century; Christianity was already an established religion and had been in law of the exclusive faith of the Roman Empire, the superpower of the Mediterranean for some two centuries. Christianity also had been planted from Ethiopia to Ireland and Morocco to Georgia and in Mesopotamia, i.e., modern Iraq (Fletcher, 2003, pp. 4, 6). The multiplicity and diversity of the Christian texts stands as a proof of an intellectual life of Christendom within the Roman world. In fact this was a new era when this faith was slowly coming out of the religious orthodoxy. As the grip of the Orthodox Church was relaxed, there was a wave of theological deviants and the contemporaneous Christians evaluated Muhammad and his sect as yet another such group which had gone astray. It was unthinkable to them that Islam might be ‘a new religion’ in the strict sense of the term. The Islamic leadership remained on friendly terms with the Christian populations of the land they conquered. Qur’an (29:45) requires Muslims should respect the Ahl al-Kitab, the people of the book, that is to say the Christians and Jews. Hence we hardly have any doubt on the authenticity of early Christian sources. It was too late for the Christian to realize the fact about Islam. Discrediting Muhammad using Traditional Sources The original book of Ibn Ishaq is lost to history and all we know of it is what is quoted from it by the later writers, particularly Ibn Hisham and al-Tabari. These quotations are fortunately quite reliable. Ibn Hisham edited and abridged Ibn Ishaq’s work about sixty-five years later. In his edition, Hisham (Guillaume, 1955, p. 691) wrote, “I am omitting things which Ishaq recorded in this book. I have omitted things which are disgraceful to discuss and matters which would distress certain people.” This particular comment of Hisham speaks volumes. Today we need to know, what were those ‘disgraceful to discuss’ discussions Hisham omitted from Ishaq’s original works and what were those ‘matters which would distress certain people’. We understand Hisham’s position. He was actually compromising with the truth to save his life, which was dependant upon not offending the cleric-kings during his time. But he was honest enough to admit that he had compromised with the truth. However, a few modern historians have attempted to recover the lost portion of Ishaq’s work. They applied the Biblical criteria of ‘Form and Redaction criticism’ (Form criticism is an analysis of literary documents, particularly the Bible, to discover earlier oral traditions as example, stories, legends, myths, etc upon which they were based. Redaction Criticism is concerned with when and by what process (of collecting and editing) did a particular section or book of the Bible reach its final literary form) to the basis historical assemblage of Ishaq. To quote Margoliouth (cited Warraq, 2000, p. 340), “The character attributed to Muhammad in the biography of Ibn Ishaq is exceedingly unfavorable… for whatever he does he is prepared to plead the express authorization of the deity. It is however, impossible to find any doctrine which he is not prepared to abandon in order to secure a political end. At different points in his career he abandons the unity of God and his claim to the title of a Prophet. This is a disagreeable picture for the founder of a religion and it cannot be pleaded that it is a picture drawn by an enemy.” The Pagan Meccans were wise enough not to believe Muhammad’s gigantic claim because they had seen many such imposters. There are more than a dozen verses which confirm that Muhammad and the ‘voice’ he had heard were ridiculed by the pagans. They thought that Muhammad was fabricating verses or in the parlance of those days, he was demon-possessed. The contemporaries of Muhammad called him ‘majnoon’ (Lunatic, crazy, possessed by jinn) (Sina, 2008. p. 6) or a soothsayer ‘kahin’. This is very explicit in the ten Qur’anic verses 15.6, 23.70-72, 34.8, 34.45/46, 37.35/36, 44.13/14, 52.29, 68.2, 68.51 and 81.22. In a few instances, there are verses 21:5, 36:69, 37:36/35, 52:30 where an alternative explanation was given that Muhammad was an ambitious but fanciful poet who had merely invented it all. To defend himself Muhammad added several references to Biblical Prophets likewise accused of ghost-possession, as example earlier Prophets in general (Quran: 51.52), Noah (Quran: 23.25), Moses (Quran: 26.26/27, Quran: 51.39). Let it be on record that the Bible nowhere mentions such an allegation against Noah, Moses or most other Prophets. The one exception is Hosea, a Prophet apparently unknown to Muhammad: “They call the man of the spirit a madman: so great is their guilt that their resistance is likewise great” (Hosea: 9.7). Undoubtedly, Muhammad, whose knowledge of the Bible was only sketchy, was merely projecting his own plight onto Noah and Moses. Muhammad’s argument was very silly and stands on a slippery ground. His reason was something like this, – ‘I am a Prophet but am not acknowledged by my narrow-minded contemporaries, just as the ancient genuine Prophets were not given due recognition either at first instance. Hence I am also a genuine Prophet’. Muhammad lost many of his followers on this account. Bukhari (9:87:111) recorded that Muhammad’s Prophetic mission was confirmed by a cousin of Khadija, a Christian convert from Judaism named Waraqa Bin Naufal. After a few days of confirming Muhammad’s Prophethood, Waraqa died mysteriously. The fact that Waraqa was a Christian had been a source of embarrassment to the Muslims. Hence they often deny it to get rid of this shame. Some overenthusiastic Muslim sources say that, by recognizing Prophet, Waraqa converted to Islam. However, some modern scholars contend that Waraqa actually rejected Muhammad and the text of Ibn Hisham’s version of the Sira was later corrupted (Spencer, 2006, p. 53). There is no account in voluminous Hadith that Waraqa converted to Islam and the details of his mysterious death. From the Hadith collections we can find minutest details of Muhammad’s activities and the events of early Muslim communities. The conversion of a Christian priest who was a cousin of Muhammad and his wife would have been a momentous event. Waraqa was the most revered holy man in Mecca. Why the cause of his death was not recorded in the Hadith? Today the mainstream Islam accepts that Waraqa recognized Muhammad’s Prophetic status, but this is baseless. Nowhere is it recorded that Waraqa’s appreciation was witnessed by anyone. Though it appears shocking, but I believe that Waraqa was murdered by Muhammad. This is a possibility which we cannot ignore. After Muhammad and Khadija had used him, he became a liability—someone who could and would profess that Muhammad’s claims were untrue. Once Waraqa was dead, Muhammad felt free to concoct any lies and attribute them to him and the deception continued unabated. Strange but true that, even there is mention in Hadith (Bukhari 4. 56.814) that Muhammad was once challenged by a Christian convert who reverted back to Christianity by seeing that Muhammad was actually faking the Qur’anic revelations and declared, “Muhammad knows nothing but what I have written for him”. There was a similar type of observation by one of the Muhammad’s scribes; Abdullah Ibn Abi Sarh, who used to write down Allah’s revelations. When Abdullah suggested some changes to Muhammad’s dictation, Muhammad readily agreed with Abdullah. This led Abdullah to suspect Muhammad’s claim of reception of messages from God, apostatized and left Medina for Mecca. He then proclaimed that he (Abdullah) too could easily write the Qur’anic verses by being inspired by Allah (Caner & Caner, 2002, p. 45). In the Christian view, the gospel concerning Christ was final. Bible exclusively cautioned that any other teaching is false even if an angel from heaven (here meaning Gabriel) came down to preach it, was not to be accepted (Galatians.1:8). Christ specifically spoke of false Prophets yet to come, and warned that if people report that such a one in the desert – ‘do not go there’ (Matthew. 24:26). But in spite of this clear warning in the Bible; many early Christians did not recognize this false Prophet. Muhammad and his sect were most believably understood as yet another wave of theological deviants of Christendom who had gone astray. When Muhammad advised a small group of his followers to flee Mecca, the Christian king of Abyssinia received them and gave them refuge. In biographies of Muhammad, there are many references of a Christian monk named Bahira who is said to have recognized in Muhammad the signs of a Prophet. The idea that Islam might be ‘a new religion’ was in the strict sense of the term was unthinkable to the Christians. When Jerusalem was surrendered to Muslims in 638, Sophronius (Patriarch of Jerusalem), who had negotiated the surrender of the city to the Muslims, explained the invasion of Palestine as Divine punishment for the sins of the Christians. The notion was that the Muslims were the instruments of the God’s wrath (Fletcher, 2003, p. 16). But slowly the early Christians recognized Muhammad as a man of blood and his followers as irredeemably violent. Throughout the medieval period, all of the characteristics of Muhammad that confirmed his authority in the eyes of Muslims were reversed by Christian authors and turned into defects. When Christians recognized Islam as a rival religion to Christianity, they simply refused the notion of a new Prophet after Christ (Ernst, 2005, p. 14). The traditional doctrine that Muhammad was illiterate, which to Muslims was proof of Divine origin of Qur’an, indicated to the Christians that he must have been a fraud. When challenged by the Meccans to produce miracles, Muhammad said that Qur’an was his only miracle. While Muslims viewed this as proof of the spirituality of his mission, Christian antagonists considered this lack of miracles as clear evidence that Muhammad was a fake. In 850, a monk called Perfectus went shopping in the capital of Muslim state of al-Andalus. Here he was stopped by a group of Arabs who asked him whether Jesus or Muhammad was the greater Prophet. There was a trick in the question because it was a capital offence in the Islamic empire to insult Muhammad and Perfectus knew it very well. So at first he responded cautiously. He gave an exact account of the Christian faith respecting the Divinity of Christ. But suddenly he snapped and burst into a passionate stream of abuse, calling Muhammad a charlatan, a sexual pervert and the antichrist himself and a false Prophet spoken of in the Gospel (Foxe, 1827, p. 76¬7). Perfectus was thrown into the prison but later released because the judge realized that he was provoked by the Muslims. However after few days of his release, the Muslims’ pranks provoked him once more and Perfectus cracked a second time and insulted Muhammad in such crude terms that he was again taken and later on executed (Armstrong, 2006, p. 22). Few days later, another Christian monk by the name Ishaq appeared before the same judge and attacked Muhammad and his religion with many crude and disgusting words. His insulting words to Muhammad and Islam were so strong that the Judge, thinking him drunk or deranged, slapped him to bring him to his senses. But Ishaq persisted in his abuse and the Judge ordered his execution also. A few days after Ishaq’s execution, six monks from the same monastery arrived and delivered yet another venomous attack on Muhammad. There were executed too. That summer, about fifty Christian monks died this way (Armstrong, 2006, p. 23). But those Christian monks had all the right to call Muhammad a fake. They were well educated, wise and they had studied Muhammad and his religion thoroughly. The two biggest Christian criticisms of Muhammad were undoubtedly in relation to his military activities, marriages and sexual perversions. For Christians, the celibacy and nonviolent approach of Jesus were generally seen as indispensable characteristics of true spirituality. The cruelty of Muhammad and his sexual perversion were taken as clear proof that Muhammad could not be on the same exalted level as Jesus. The early Christian critics of Muhammad generally described him as motivated by a combination of political ambition and sensual lust. But the success of Islam raised a disturbing theological question: How had God allowed this impious faith to prosper? Could it be that God had deserted His own people? The earliest reference to Muhammad in Christian literature is found in the writings of seventh century. The Armenian ‘Chronicle of Sebeos’ says the Muhammad was an ‘Ishmaelite’, who claimed to be a Prophet. In the coming years many Biblical scholars realized that though Islam and Christianity has many similarities, like, praying, fasting, giving alms, pilgrimage etc, but actually Islam is against Christianity. During the middle ages of Christian Europe, Christians had a very strong negative feeling against Muslims. As example, Bede, a monk and Biblical scholar described Qur’an as ‘a parody of sacred scripture of Christianity [i.e. Bible]’ and Muhammad as a pseudo-Prophet, who and his followers has made war on Christians and seized their Holy places. In a work of Biblical commentary completed in 716, Bede described Muslims as ‘enemies of the Church’ (Fletcher, 2003, p. 19). Like Bede, another prolific writer of theology was John of Damascus. He hailed from an ethnic Arab family and whose three generations had served Muslim rulers. He was one of the earliest Christian writers to concern himself at any length and in a systematic way with Islam. John was the first scholar who had explained the Biblical deviation of the Ishmaelites. He went on to castigate Muhammad as a false Prophet who cribbed part of his teaching from the Old and New Testaments and also from the sayings of a heretic Christian monk, Bahira. According to John, Muhammad wrote down ‘some ridiculous compositions in a book of his’ (Chase, 1958, p. 153), which he claimed had been sent down to him from heaven. Somewhere around 745, John composed a play, ‘Dialogue between a Saracen and a Christian’. This dialog envisages a situation in which a Muslim puts awkward questions to a Christian on such matters as the nature of Christ, creation, free will and many others. The Christian parries these questions so skillfully that at the end of the play it is mentioned ‘the Saracen went his way surprised and bewildered, having nothing more to say’ (Seale, 1978 p. 70). John also quoted at length but selectively from Qur’an and mocked the faith of the Ishmaelites. During late eighth or early ninth century, a short work was composed probably in southern Spain by an anonymous writer which is known as ‘Ystoria de Mahomet’ where Muhammad was called as ‘a son of Darkness’ who stole some Christian teaching and claimed to be a Prophet. He put together an absurd farrago of doctrine delivered to him by a vulture claiming to be the angel Gabriel. He incited his followers to war. He was a slave to lust, which he justified by laws for which he falsely claimed Divine inspiration. He foretold his resurrection after his death but in the event his body was fittingly devoured by dogs (cited Wolf, 1990, p. 97-9). Like the John of Damascus, this anonymous author was very knowledgeable of Islam. He was well-versed with the Qur’an and often gave fairly recondite references from this book. In a Christian work named ‘Doctrina Jacobi Nuper Baptizati’ (The teaching of Jacob the newly-baptized) a tract of anti-Jewish literature written in dialog form composed probably in Palestine round about the time of the surrender of Jerusalem. At one point the following words were attributed to one of the speakers, ‘Abraham’ a Palestinian Jews (Fletcher, 2003, pp. 16-7), “A false Prophet has appeared among the Saracens… They say that the Prophet has appeared coming with the Saracens, and is proclaiming the advent of the anointed one who is to come. I, Abraham referred to the matter to an old man very well-versed with the scriptures. I asked him: ‘What is your view; master and teacher, of the Prophet who has appeared with the Saracens?’ He replied groaning mightily: ‘He is an impostor. Do the Prophets come with sword and chariot? Truly these happenings today are works of disorder… But you go off, Master Abraham, and find out about the Prophet who has appeared.’ So I, Abraham, made enquiries, and was told by those who had met him: ‘There is no truth to be found in the so-called Prophet, only bloodshed; for he says he has the keys of Paradise, which is incredible’.” Muhammad’s Prophetic life can be divided into two distinctive periods, the Meccan period and Medinan period. During the first period i.e., Meccan period, Muhammad was a simple preacher and warner. But his preaching was clearly, from the worldly point of view, an utter failure and as a result of thirteen years of propaganda he had won no more than a handful of converts. But the scene completely changed at Medina where he gained in power and his message lost its beauty. Here he was what one might simply call a robber chief. After conquering Mecca, he entered as a political leader rather than a religious leader, and was recognized by Meccans as such. So Muhammad was changing his colors like a lizard, as situations dictated. Throughout his Prophetic mission, he dealt with Jews and Christians keeping strict political aims in view. At the initial stage, Islam was an absurd truth claim like a practical joke, but when Muhammad was able to draw the sword and successfully used it, the whole thing became serious. So while estimating the significance of Muhammad, we should not judge him solely as a mystic or religious reformer, though he may have the elements of both, but rather as a ruthless politician and opportunist pressed with peculiar political problems amongst barbarous people and at a critical moment of history. Therefore the picture that emerges of the Prophet in the above traditional accounts is not at all favorable to Muhammad. The Muslims cannot complain that this representation of their beloved Prophet was drawn by an enemy. The early Arabs did not believe in his Prophetic claim and there is sufficient proof that Muhammad was taken aback when those intellectuals of Mecca pointed to the weaknesses of the Qur’an. They fell heavily on Muhammad and pressed him hard demanding answers and explanations to the irrationalities they spotted in the Qur’an, but Muhammad and Allah stood there wordless and powerless like two ‘Divine fools’. By seeing the irrationalities, there was apostasy in large scale during Muhammad’s time and after his death. Many early Muslims were just opportunists and not at all religious. They joined Muhammad only for booty and captured women for sex. Those tribal Arabs lacked any deep religious sense. They only wanted worldly successes. Many confessed their belief but had no inclination towards Islam and its dogma and ritual. It is estimated that at the death of Muhammad the number who really converted to Muhammad’ doctrine did not exceed a thousand (Warraq, 2003, p. 41). Present day cultists perform much better than Muhammad in gaining followers. The Qur’an itself confirms that there were Arab skeptics in Mecca who did not accept the ‘fables’ recounted by Muhammad. They doubted the ‘Divine’ origin of the revelations and certainly, they had every right to do so. They even accused him of plagiarizing the pagan Arab poets. Some verses of the Qur’an were attributed to al-Qays (a.k.a Imra’ul Qays) a famous pre-Islamic Arabian poet (Warraq, 2003, p. 41). Muhammad had plagiarized several poems from the work of this poet and added them to his Qur’an. It was the custom of the poets’ and the orators to hang up the composition of their literary work upon the Ka’aba. One day, Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad was repeating two passages from Sabaa Mu’allaqat. Suddenly she met the daughter of Imra’ul Qays, who cried out, “O that’s what your father had taken from one of my father’s poems and calls it something that has come down to him out of heaven” (Warraq, 1998, p. 235-6). Even today this story is told amongst Arabs. The Qur’anic plagiarism is so prominent that Muslims cannot deny this. But how can they explain this incident? Did the poems of Imra’ul Qays were also divinely inspired like Qur’an? Discrediting Muhammad using the Modern-day Sources In 1843, a work on the life of Muhammad was published by Gustav Weil. This work was based on historical analysis and the author put forward the idea that Muhammad was suffering from epilepsy. Weil’s conclusion was supported by Sprenger. According to Sprenger, Muhammad was also a psychopath (Schimmel, 1985, p. 248). Another author, Franz Buhl described that, in his Medinan phase, Muhammad revealed the unattractive side of his character: cruelty, slyness, dishonesty, untrustworthiness; someone whose leading principle was ‘the end justifies the means’ (Warraq, 1995, p. 86, 89). Muir’s work on Muhammad was based on original Muslim sources and published between 1856 and ’61. Muir was specialized in debating Muslim clerics and entertained the suggestion that Muhammad was inspired by the devil. He also adopted the more scientific criticism (originally advanced by the German physician Aloys Sprenger) that Muhammad’s Prophetic experiences were due to epilepsy (Ernst, 2005, p. 22). However another two scholars, Margoliouth and Macdonald believed (cited Walker, 2002, p. 315) that Muhammad’s seizures were artificially produced and those acts were merely a device by which he secured sanction for his revelations. In his work Muir had passed a judgment on Muhammad’s character that was repeated over and over again by subsequent scholars. According to him, Muhammad though religiously motivated during the Meccan period but showed his ‘feet of clay’ during Medinan period where he was corrupted by power and worldly ambitions (cited Warraq, 1995, p. 87). The inconsistencies in Muhammad’s character was specifically pointed out by Muir, “He [Muhammad] justified himself by ‘revelations’ releasing himself in some cases from social proprieties and the commonest obligations of self restraint”. It is of course shocking that Muhammad transformed to a bandit chieftain, who was unwilling to earn an honest living, after he gained power at Medina, as Caetani (cited Warraq, 1995, p. 88) observed, “If Muhammad deviated from the path of his early years, that should cause no surprise; he was man as much as, and in like manner as, his contemporaries, he was a member of a still half-savage society deprived of any true culture, and guided solely by instincts and natural gifts which were decked out by badly understood and half-digested religious doctrines of Judaism and Christianity.” Jeffrey (cited Warraq, 2000, p. 347) concluded that Margoliouth had done the most brilliant study of the life of Muhammad that has yet appeared. According to Margoliouth, Muhammad was a patriot, keenly alive to the opportunities of his time. Islam was created as a method to unite the Arabs and make them a strong military force. In this process the religious appeal played an important part but there was also a complete absence of moral scruple. On the success of Muhammad, Margoliouth commented that Muhammad’ success was dearly not due to the objective truth of the Qur’an but to his skill as organizer and military leader. Muhammad was thoroughly familiar with the shortcomings of the Arabs and utilized them to the utmost advantage and he was able to seize opportunities and distrusted loyalty when not backed by interest. Hume referred to Muhammad as a ‘pretended Prophet’ and wrote, “[The Qur’an is a] wild and absurd performance.” Also Hobbes concluded, “… [Muhammad] to set up his new religion, pretended to have conferences with the Holy Ghost in form of a dove. ” Also, Gibbon (1941, p. 240) concluded that Muhammad’s claim that he was the apostle of God was ‘a necessary fiction’. Will Durant, the famous historian and philosopher had the same opinion. According to Durant, Muhammad was a conscious fraud. He (1950; p. 176) concluded, “Muhammad felt that no moral code would win obedience adequate to the order and vigor of a society unless men believed the code to have come from God.” Carlyle wrote, “His Qur’an has become a stupid piece of prolix absurdity; we do not believe like him that God wrote that” (Warraq, 1995. p. 10, 24). Becker, another prominent critic of Islam commented (1909, p. 29) that the companions of Muhammad had very little interest in religion and most of them were utterly ignorant about the fundamental; tenets of the religion preached by Muhammad. For these early Muslims, as Becker commented, “… the new religion was nothing more than a party cry of unifying power, though there is no reason to suppose that it was not a real moral force in the life of Muhammad and his immediate contemporaries”. It is true that Muhammad’s companions lacked religious values. A Hadith from Bukhari gives us a clue, how Muslims during the time of Muhammad use to keep their mosques. Narrated Hamza bin `Abdullah: My father said. “During the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle, the dogs used to urinate, and pass through the mosques (come and go), nevertheless they never used to sprinkle water on it (urine of the dog)” (Bukhari: 1.4.174). Elsewhere Becker (cited Warraq, 2000, p. 554) commented, “… bursting of the Arabs beyond their native peninsula was, like earlier irruptions in which the religious element was totally lacking due to economic necessities”. According to Shaikh (1995, p. 24), Muhammad had a strong dominance urge. He was not only a Prophet but also the builder of an Arab empire and this was an integral part of his supposed to be Prophethood. Islam was built around the sanctity and significance of his own person which he had achieved by various means. Islam is an Arab national movement and Muhammad was possibly the greatest national leader born anywhere on earth. Shaikh completely discredits Muhammad as a messenger of God. According to him, Qur’an is highly contradictory. Therefore instead of leading, it misleads the people. Prophethood has nothing to do with guidance; it is simply a political doctrine. “God’s messenger is God’s servant by name only. In practice he is God’s superior… Islam is less a religion and more an Arab national movement” (1995, p. 12). Rodinson, the latest biographer of Muhammad does not believe in Muhammad’s Prophetic claim. According to him, Muhammad really did experience sensory phenomena translated into words and phrases which he interpreted as messages from God and subsequently he developed an idea of receiving those messages in a particular way. These experiences were his hallucinations. Muhammad was sincere but sincerity is not a proof. At Medina this inspired visionary transformed into an imposter. Rodinson (1980, p. 218) wrote, “[Muhammad was] driven by necessity to produce a convenient revelation at the appropriate moment and at no other, in the way the mediums have been known to resort to fraud in similar cases”. Before last century, there was hardly any Hindu evaluation neither of Muhammad and his Qur’an, nor even of Islamic doctrine in general. The first detailed criticism of Islam, the Prophet and in particular of the Qur’an was done by Swami Dayananda Saraswati, the founder of the Vedic reform movement Arya Samaj in 1875. Dayananda was a freethinker. In his literary work, he mainly focused on the Qur’anic contradictions, irrational beliefs and inhumane injunctions in the Islamic scriptures. Dayananda (cited Smith, 2009) wrote, “Having thus given a cursory view of the Qur’an I lay it before the sensible persons, with the purpose that they should know what kind of book the Qur’an is. If they ask me, I have no hesitation to say that it cannot be work either of God or of a learned man, nor it can be a book of knowledge” “The Qur’an is the result of ignorance, the source of animalization of human being, a fruitful cause of destroying peace, an incentive to war, a propagator of hostility amongst men and a promoter of suffering in society.” Dayananda had equally criticized the negative side of Hinduism also as example untouchability, cast system etc. Later Arya Samaj criticism of the Prophet typically focused on his dictatorial and immoral personal behavior. Like ‘Rangila Rasul’ (Literally, the playboy Prophet) written by Rajpal which highlighted Muhammad’s abnormal sexual preferences. Rajpal was later stabbed to death by Muslims. Christian critics, no matter how fiercely criticize Muhammad, usually appreciate at least Prophet’s belief in monotheism, which never impressed these Hindu authors. Swami Vivekananda, a prominent Hindu monk and social reformer was another original thinker who had questioned the nature of Muhammad’s leadership with the nature of his Prophethood. According to him, Muhammad 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. Vivekananda offered one hypothesis of what had happened to Muhammad so as to make him believe in his own selection as God’s sole living spokesman. Muhammad, as Vivekananda believed, used to practice Yoga – an ancient form of Hindu-Buddhist meditation (Vivekananda, 1947, p. 184). Gisbertus Voetius, a 17th-century Dutch Calvinist theologian cherished the same view of Vivekananda. Voetius believed that Muhammad suffered from mental disturbance which was a result of his improper meditative experiments. The Hindu yoga manuals emphatically warn against wrongly practicing the techniques of Hatha Yoga. The practices of Yoga produce excellent result if used properly and under efficient guidance and certain precautions. But if these protective measures are neglected then it may cause brain damage. As example, Pranayama (breath control or control of the vital energies), if practiced improperly, can impair the nerve systems. The very foundation of a healthy body and sound mind is shaken causing much harm to the person (Iyengar, 1976, p. 434; Swami Vishnu-Devananda, 1987). This may cause hallucination. The learner, in a state of hallucination, may experience some mystic phenomena, which he may think as ‘certain states of consciousness’ or some kind of ‘enlightenment’. But in reality these are serious delusions – both auditory and visual. The most typical among these is megalomania; witness the self-importance of the religious gurus and messiahs in the modern cult scene. Similarly, Kundalini Yoga is also very ill-reputed. If practiced in proper manner, the person can attain such a state, when he can even manipulate the ‘force’ or ‘energy’ of the universe in his favor. In Kundalini yoga, the person deliberately induces a psychotic state on himself, but for an unstable person this may easily lead to real psychosis. Hindu Yogis and Masters had warned the learners repeatedly on this topic. In a speech given at London on 17th November, 1896, Vivekananda said, “One religion may ordain something very hideous. For instance, the Mohammedan (Islam) religion allows Mohammedans to kill all who are not of their religion. It is clearly stated in the Koran, “Kill the infidels if they do not become Mohammedans.” They must be put to fire and sword. Now if we tell a Mohammedan that this is wrong, he will naturally ask, “How do you know that? How do you know it is not good? My book says it is.” In another speech given in the Universalist Church, Pasadena, California, USA, on 28th January, 1890; Vivekananda said, “In this line the Mohammedans were the best off; every step forward was made with the word the Koran in the one hand and the sword in the other” Take the Koran, or you must die; there is no alternative” The world famous historian, author, researcher and an expert of Islamic history of India, Sir Jadunath Sarkar (1858-1932) was very outspoken in his criticism of Islam. Sarkar mainly focused on the intolerant attitude of this religion which he condemns strongly. According to him (1972, p. 163, 164, 169), “A Muslim does not need to grow a rich growth in spirituality. All he needs to do is to slay a certain class of his fellow-beings [infidels] or plunder their lands and wealth and this act itself will raise his soul to heaven. A religion where followers are taught to regard robbery and murder as religious duty, is incompatible with the progress of mankind or with the peace of the world” “The toleration of any sect outside the fold of orthodox Islam is no better than compounding with sin and the worst form of sin [according to Islam] is polytheism, the belief that the one true God has partners in the form of other deities. Such a belief is the rankest ingratitude to Him who gives us our daily bread” The great humanist and famous legendary Bengali novelist Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay believed that Hindu-Muslim unity is impossible because of two reasons. First, Muslims lack culture from birth whereas the Hindus born with culture. Second, Muslims’ full solidarity is for Arab. Though they live in India but they don’t feel any responsibility for India. Gandhi dreamt for Hindu-Muslim unity, but he failed miserably. Muslims will never identify themselves with India. Chattopadhyay (cited in ‘Sarat Rachanabali’. Vol. 3, p. 475) wrote, “In fact if the Muslims say “We want unity with the Hindus”, it can’t be anything but a deception. One would say that the Muslims invaded India just to plunder, not to set up a kingdom. But they were not satisfied with loot only; they demolished Hindu temples, broke the idols and raped Hindu women. In fact they never spared to do the maximum harm and insult to other’s religion and humanity” “When the Muslims will come down from their high horse of religion, probably then they will realize a human being cannot be proud with the fundamentalism of his religion, and this is nothing but unparallel barbarism. But the Muslims are yet to go a long way before they realize it. But their eyes will never open unless the whole world together teaches the Muslims a good lesson” Ambedkar (1940, part 3, ch. 7) had the same view of Chattopadhyay, as he wrote, “From a spiritual point of view, Hindus and Muslims are not merely two classes or two sects such as Protestants and Catholics or Shaivas and Vaishnavas. They are two distinct species. For them Divinity is divided and with the division of Divinity their humanity is divided and with the division of humanity they must remain divided” Another well-respected historian, P. N Oak, mainly focused on Islamic extremism. Oak compared the butchery of innocent Hindus by the Muslim raiders with Hitler’s persecution of the Jews (1996, p. 12). According to Oak (1996, P. 389), “[The history of Islam is] a millennium long devil dance of murder, massacre, rape and plunder, trickery, treachery, tyranny and torture across the world by Islam from the day of its inception”. In recent years, another two Hindu scholars Ram Swarup and Sita Ram Goel have further developed Swami Vivekananda’s position on the subject of Muhammad’s Prophethood. According to them, the pagan Arabs had every right to reject Muhammad’s claims. The pagan Arabs recognized Muhammad as a fake and his Prophetic claim was nothing but a deluded consciousness, which then propagated on a war footing. The history will not forgive them for one mistake – the mistake of being defeated. Actually they failed to understand the deceitful ways of Muhammad and could not match his mailed fist in the final round. It was neither the first nor the last time that a democratic society succumbed in the face of determined gangsterism. We have seen how Stalin, Hitler and Mao Tse-tung succeeded in our own times. Ram Swarup appropriately commented that Muslims need sword to sell their God because their God failed in spirituality. He (1992) wrote, “The need of the time is to examine the whole concept and assumptions of revelatory religions, such as of a particular community being “chosen” as the swordsmen or salesmen of god. When a Divine message commands, kill the idolaters wherever you find them, we must give a close look not only to the message but also to the messenger and his source of inspiration.” About Muhammad’s distorted morality and Muslims’ mentality, Ram Swarup (1984, ch. 1, Introduction) wrote, “To rob a whole people is piety, but to remove a paltry something from a looted treasure is moral depravity of a magnitude that deserves eternal fire. Men driven by ordinary temptations indulge only in petty crimes and small lapses, but committing real enormities needs the aid of an ideology, a revelation, a God-ordained mission” “… the believers are conditioned to look at the whole thing through the eyes of faith. An infidel in his fundamental ‘misguidance’ may find the Prophet rather sensual and cruel-and certainly many of the things he did do not conform to ordinary ideas of morality. But the believers look at the whole thing differently. To them morality derives from the Prophet’s actions; the moral is whatever he did. Morality does not determine the Prophet’s actions, but his actions determine and define morality. Muhammad’s acts were not ordinary acts; they were Allah’s own acts.” A book was published during June 1990, ‘Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them (A Preliminary Survey)’ which is a collection of articles by collection of articles written by Arun Shourie, Harsh Narain, Jay Dubashi, Ram Swarup and Sita Ram Goel. It is perhaps the first attempt on the part of some prominent scholars to dig from the graveyard of history the identity of some 2000 temples of India destroyed by the Muslim invaders and rulers. The book is not an exercise in rewriting history, but is an effort to present the facts and give a clear view of the truth hitherto unknown. Not only were the temples destroyed but even their material was used in constructing mosques at those places. This was plainly done to hurt the sentiments of the Hindus. The volume 2 of the same book was published during March 1993, which contained many further proofs exclusively to Islamic evidence, historical as well theological. Arun Shourie pointed out many unscientific verses of the Qur’an and criticized its author for his ignorance. Instead of accepting the mistakes about unscientific Qur’anic cosmology, the Islamists try to cover it by silly explanations which further make them a laughing stock. These silly explanations to protect Qur’an from a Divine downfall do not bring prestige either to Qur’an or Muhammad or Allah. Shourie (2002, p. 468) wrote, “Instead of studying the heaven and earth, we are taught how perverse and distorted interpretations can be put on everything. And how what is being done amounts to calumny upon the Holy Book because what is being proposed is nothing but adding clauses to the Word of God”. Shourie also widely criticized Islam for the ill-treatment of women and deep hatred for the infidels, the cruel Sharia law and the authorities of Mullahs in issuing fatwa. According to Shourie, Qur’an should be banned (2008, p. 435). Solomon Rushdie’s book was banned because ‘it would hart the feelings of certain group of people’; then under he same reason, Qur’an should be banned because it offends the feelings of the whole non-Muslim world. Shourie quoted many militant and unethical verses of the Qur’an and also many sayings of Muhammad as recorded in Ahadith to support his argument. In India, whenever a book is published critical to Muhammad, Qur’an or Islam, Muslims demand to ban the book. They usually take s

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