The origins of Islamic Jihad are embedded in the origins of Islam, so we must begin there. There is a big difference between the mythological origins of Islam and the historical Islam. Our task here is to set forth the historical origins, and to do so as briefly as is sufficient. The roots of Islam go back to the Bronze Age through Judaeo-Christianity, out of which it was created. We begin with the creation of Islam by Muhammad in the 7th Century CE.

The validity of Jihadic Islam’s Core IVL (Core Ideology of Violence and Licence) can inhere only in Muhammad’s self-proclamation of his doctrine’s divine origins: the words of Allah dictated to him by the Jewish angel Gabriel, which he remembered perfectly and later dictated verbatim to scribes, inasmuch as he was illiterate, who wrote them down verbatim perfectly. In that, Islam makes enormously bigger claim than does Judaeo-Christianity, in that Islam claims that every word in the resultant book, the Koran, is of divine origin.

The validity of that claim is maintained by converting every indication to the contrary into proof of the claim! However, educated Mankind is not so easily frightened nor his intellect so easily dictated to. Consequently a very large body of exhaustive, detailed, solid and authentic scholarship has arisen to examine Islam’s claim of testamental divinity — and has  been found severely wanting.

Definitive biographies of the historical Muhammad and his Koran show clearly his deep and extensive derivation of the Koran from Judaeo-Christianity, especially from Judaism. That history will now be presented at some length, although comprising but a mere speck relative to the enormous body of available evidence.

For that presentation, readers will be provided with extensive quotations from the exhaustive scholarship of most excellent, distinguished and classic resources: the 1858 and 1878 editions of The Life of Mahomet by Sir William Muir, Esq., K.C.S.I.,  LL.D., D.C.L., Ph.D.  The full title of the 1858 edition is The Life of Mahomet and History of Islam, To the Hegira / With Introductory Chapters on the Original Sources for the Biography of Mahomet and on the Pre-Islamic History of Arabia. (London: Smith, Elder & Co.), in 4 volumes. That of the 1878 edition is The Life of Mahomet / From Original Sources. New Edition (Abridged from the First Edition in Four Volumes. London: Smith, Elder & Co.)  The extensive, detailed excellence of those volumes cannot be appreciated without personally seeing the extraordinary, massive detail in the volumes themselves, much being in the original Arabic, which this writer most fortunately found in a deserted corner Firestone Library of Princeton University, where he enjoyed Guest Scholar privileges while working on the primary resource of this new field, PRINCIPIA IDEOLOGICA / A Treatise On Combatting Human Malignance (1999).  The paragraphs below are numbered for readers’ convenience. In their bracketed page citations, the 1858 edition is given the reference number 75, and the 1878 edition number 76, to conform with usage in the PRINCIPIA.

There was also a third edition in  1894 in which much material was dropped as not immediately relevant to the biography of Mahomet.  Moreover, most of the notes and all of the references to the original authorities were left out.  But the text itself remained practically unaltered. In 1923 a revised edition of that third edition by T. H. Weir, B.D., M.R.A.S., Lecturer in Arabic of the University of Glasgow,  was published by John Grant in Edingurgh. The changes made were in matters of form, not substance. That is a superb and valuable 556-page one-volume work. It was reprinted from an original copy in the collection of the Wilbur L. Cross Library, University of Connecticut, by AMS Press, Inc, in 1975.  I obtained a copy via the Princeton University Store in 1995 for $69.

Muhammad And The Qur’an

01.  “We have two main treasuries from which may be drawn materials for tracing the life of Mahomet and the rise of Islam. These are the Coran, and the Traditions of the first two centuries… The Coran consists exclusively of the revelations or commands which Mahomet professed, from time to time, to receive through Gabriel, as a message direct from God; and which under an alleged divine direction, he delivered to those about him. The wild rhapsodical Suras [chapters] first composed by Mahomet…do not at all bear marks of such an assumption, were not probably intended to be clothed in the dress of a message from the Most High, which characterizes the rest of the Coran. But when Mahomet’s die was cast…of assuming that great name as the Speaker of his revelations, then the earlier Suras also came to be regarded as emanating from the Deity. Hence it arises that Mahometans rigidly included every word of the Coran, at whatever stage delivered, in the category of Cal allahu, ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ At the time of the pretended inspiration, or shortly after, each passage was recited by Mahomet before the Companions or followers who happened to be present, and was generally commited to writing by some one amongst them, upon palm leaves, leather, stone, or such other rude materials as conveniently came to hand.”  [75:ii-iii]

02. “The Arabs…found in the Coran ample provisions for the regulation of all their affairs, religious, social, and political. But that aspect of Islam soon underwent a mighty change. Scarcely was the Prophet dead [632 CE] when his followers issued forth from their barren peninsula, armed with the warrant of the Coran to impose the faith of Mahomet upon all nations of the earth. Within a century they had, as a first step to his universal subjugation, conquered every land that intervened between the banks of the Oxus [Amu Darya] and the farthest shores of Northern Africa and Spain…This vast empire differed widely indeed from the Arabia of Mahomet’s time; and that which well sufficed for the patriarchal simplicity and limited social system to the early Arabs, became utterly inadequate for the hourly multiplying wants of their descendants. Crowded cities…courts or justice: new political relations…the speculation of a people before whom literature was preparing to throw open her arena, and the controversies of eager factions…- all called loudly for the enlargement of the scanty and naked dogmas of the Coran, and for the development of its defective code of ethics. And yet it was a cardinal principle of early Islam, that the standard of Law, of Theology, and of Politics, was the Coran and Coran alone…New and unforeseen circumstances were continually arising, for which the Coran contained no provision. It no longer sufficed for its original object. How then were the deficiencies to be supplied?

“The difficulty was resolved by adopting the Custom of ‘SUNNAT’ of Mahomet, that is, his sayings and his practice, as a supplement to the Coran. The recitals regarding the life of the Prophet now acquired an unlooked-for value. He had never held himself to be infallible, except when directly inspired by God; but this new doctrine assumed that a heavenly and unerring guidance pervaded every word and action of his prophetic life. Tradition was thus invested with the force of law, and with some of the authority of inspiration. It was in great measure owing to the rise of this theory, that during the first century of Islam, the cumbrous recitals of tradition so far outstripped the dimensions of reality. The prerogative now claimed for Tradition stimulated the growth of fabricated evidence, and led to the preservation of every kind of story, spurious or real, touching the Prophet … It thus appears that the traditions we now possess remained generally in an unrecorded form for the greater part of a century.”  [75:xxx-xxxii]

03. “Honest inquiry into the genuineness of holy Scripture would have sapped the foundations of Islam, and was therefore out of the question…it has been already shown that the faith and polity of Islam are one; that free opinions and heresy were synonymous with conspiracy, treason and rebellion. Wherefore it came to pass that under the shelter of the civil arm and of the fanatical credulity of the nation at large, these marvellous legends grew up in perfect security from attacks and of honest inquiry.”  [75:lxxi-lxxii]

04. [In the section ‘Pre-Historical Notices of Mecca’:] “Mahometan legend ascribes the building of the Kaaba to Abraham. Hagar (so story runs), wandering in the desert with her boy [Ishmae], reaches the valley of Mecca [the legend is narrated but omitted from this webpage] … Descending from this myth, tradition gives us a little more than bare genealogical tables (borrowed probably from the Jews) in which it is pretended to trace up generation by generation the Coreishite stock to Abraham. It is not until we reach the Christian era that tradition commences, and then it soons begins to teem with tales and legends in which, mingled with a mass of fiction, there may be grains of fact.”  [76:xi]

05. “The Jews themselves were also largely settle in northern Arabia…These maintained a constant and friendly intercourse with Mecca and the Arab tribes, who looked respect and veneration upon their religion and their holy books. When once the loose conception of Abraham and Ishmael as the great forefathers of the race on the one side, was superimposed upon the superstition of Mecca, and received the stamp of native currency, it will easily be conceived that Jewish tradition and legend would be eagerly welcomed and readily assimilated with native legend and tradition.” [76:xvii]

 06. [footnote:] “The notion of a supreme Divinity to be represented by no sensible symbol, is clearly not cognate with any of the indigenous forms of Arabic superstition. It was borrowed directly from the Jews, or from other Abrahamic race, among whom contact with the Jews had preserved or revived the knowledge of the ‘God of Abraham.’ … A vast variety of biblical language and terminology was also in common use…Faith, Repentence, Heaven and Hell, the Devil and his angels, the heavenly angels, Gabriel the messenger of God, are a specimen of ideas and expressions which acquired from a Jewish source were either current or ready for adoption. Similarly familiar were the stories of the Fall of man, the Flood, the destruction of the cities of the plain, &c. – so that there was an extensive substratum of crude ideas and unwrought knowledge or conception bordering on the spiritual, ready to the hand of Mahomet.”  [76:xvi-xvii]

 07. [footnote:] “It is clear that at a later period at least, if not from the first, Mahomet confounded Gabriel with the Holy Ghost.  The idea may have arisen from some such misapprehension as the following. Mary conceived Jesus by the power of the Holy Ghost which overshadowed her. But it was Gabriel who visited Mary to announce the conception of the Saviour. The Holy Ghost was, therefore, another name for Gabriel. We need hardly wonder at the ignorance, when Mahomet seems to have believed that Christians held Mary to be the third Person of the Trinity.”  [76:47]

 08. “But eventually there can be no doubt that the ‘Holy Spirit’ in the acceptation of Mahomet, came to signify the angel Gabriel.”  [76:78]

09. “A close connection is now springing up between Mahomet and the Jews; and frequent reference to their books, and recital of their legends, forms a new and leading feature of the Coran. The Pentateuch is contantly mentioned as a revelation from God to Moses. The object of the Coran is ‘to attest’ its divine origin and that of the succeeding Scriptures. The Jewish books contain ‘clear evidence’ of the truth of the Coran, of the Mission of  Mahomet. Jewish witnesses are appealed to in proof that the dispensation of Islam is ‘foretold’ in their sacred books, and that the Coran is in close conformity with their contents.

“The confidence with which Mahomet thus refers to the testimony of the Jews and their Scriptures is very remarkable. It leaves us no room to doubt that some amongst the Jews, acquainted perhaps but superficially with their own books and traditions, encouraged Mahomet in the idea that he might be, or even affirmed that he was, that Prophet whom the Lord their God should raise up unto them of their own brethren. His profound veneration of the Jewish Scriptures, to the implicit observance of which he had virtually pledged himself in the Coran, would lull the apprehension of the Israelites and draw them kindly towards him.”  [76:104]

10. “Whoever his Jewish friends may have been, it is evident that they had knowledge — rude and imperfect, perhaps, but comprehensive — of the outlines of Jewish history and tradition. These, distorted by rabbinical fable, supplied the material for the scriptural stories which began to form a chief portion of the Coran. The mixture of truth and fiction, of graphic imagery and of childish fancy, the repetition over and over again of the same tales in stereotyped expression, and the constant elaborate and ill-concealed effort to draw an analogy between the former prophets and himself, and beteen his opponents and the Coreish’s*, by putting speech of his own day in their lips, fatigue and repel the patient reader of the Coran. A bare enumeration of some of the topics will illustrate both the remarkable correspondence of the Coran with the Jewish Scriptures, and the many strange and fanciful deviations from them.”  [76:105-106]

* The Coreish, also spelled Kuraish, Koreish, and Qurysh, was an ancient Bedoin tribe near Mecca to which Muhammed belonged. At one time they were camel drivers and caravan guides. At first they were bitter opponents of Muhammad, but later became his devoted followers when retained the Kaaba, to which they had gained custody in the 5th Century, and now was a rich source of pilgrim revenue, as a sanctuary of Islam. They became one of the most powerful tribes in Central Arabia, and the chief family of Mecca. The founders of the Umayyad, Abbasid, and Fatamid dynasties were of Coreish origin.  — Website Author

11. “To acquire so minute a knowledge of Jewish Scripture and legend, to assimilate these to his former materials, and to work them up into elaborate and rhythmical Suras, which begin now to extend to considerable length, much time and careful study, were, no doubt, needed. The revelation is seldom now the spontaneous eloquence of a burning faith; it is rather the tame and laboured result of ordinary composition.”  [76:108]

12. “It is possible that the convictions of Mahomet may have become so blended with his grand object and course of action, that the very study of the Coran and the effort to compose it, werel regarded as the best seasons of devotion. But stealthy and disingenuous manner in which he now availed himself of Jewish information, producing the result, not only as original, but as evidence of inspiration, begins to furnish proof of an active, though it may have been unconscious, course of dissimulation and falsehood, to be palliated only by the miserable apology of a pious end.”  [76:108]

13. “Of the life of Christ the statements are fabulous and altogether scant and paltry; and it is remarkable that they belong solely to the later years of Mahomet’s life. The object of the mission of Jesus to the Jews was to confirm the Scriptures, to modify and lighten some of the burdens of Mosaical law, and to recall them to the service of God.”  [76:150]

[14 omitted]

15. “Some of the veneration, in use among Christians, are indeed applied to Jesus, as ‘the Word of God,’ and ‘His Spirit which he breathed into Mary.’ But the divine Sonship is steadfastly denied. The worship of Jesus by Christians is placed in the same category as the supposed worship of Ezra by the Jews; and, in one place, the doctrine of the Trinity is expressly reprobated.”  [76:152]

16. “It may well be doubted whether Mahomet ever understood the real doctrines of Christianity. The passing observances…to be found in the Coran, commenced at a period when his system as already, in great part, matured; and they were founded on information not only deficient but deceptive. The whole of his historical knowledge (for whatever he knew of it was his practice to embody in his Revelation) is contained in the few extracts now before the reader; and this knowledge, whether regarded in its own meager and apocryphal outlines, or compared with his familiar acquaintance with Jewish Scriptures and tradition, shows that the sources from which he derived his Christian information were singularly barren and defective…The great doctrine of redemption through the death of Christ was apparently unknown (fkor if it had been known and rejected, it would doubtless, like other alleged errors, have been combatted in the Coran), and his very crucifixion was denied.

“We do not find a single ceremony or doctrine of Islam in the smallest degree moulded, or even tinged by the peculiar [=particular] tenets of Christianity: while, on the contrary, Judaism has given its colour to the whole system, and lent to it the shape and type, if not actual substance, of many ordinances.” [76:153]

17. “In the process of time he gained some acquaintance with the existing Scriptures of the Jews and Christians, and the system founded thereon. The new revelation of Arabia was now announced as concurrent with the previous ‘Books.’ The Coran was described as being mainly an attestation, in the Arabic tongue and intended for the people of Mecca and its neighborhoods, of the preceding Scriptures. It was strictly auxiliary in its object and local in its action.”  [76:154]

18. “But the system of Mahomet could not stop there…If he was indeed the last of the Apostles would not the catholic faith as now moulded by him remain permanent to the end of time. These conclusions were fast ripening in the mind of Mahomet, and their effect [on that mind] was to make the Coran rise superior in authority over both the Old Testament and the New…But the Coran was the latest revision; and in so far as it pleased the Almighty to modify his preceding commands, it must be paramount.”  [76:154-5]

19. “In conformity with this expansive system, we  find we find that at a period anterior to the Hegira, Mahomet propounded in the Coran the doctrine of a prophet that had been sent to every people, and that a grand catholic faith had pervaded all ages and revelations — a faith which, in its purest form, had been held by the patriarch Abraham. This primitive religion, varying at each dispensation only in accidental rites, comprised as its essential features, belief in the one true God, rejection of idolatry and of the worship of mediators as sharers in the power and the glory of the Deity, and implicit surrender to the will of God. Such surrender is termed ‘Islam;’ and hence Abraham is called ‘the first of Moslems.’ * To this original Islam it was now the mission of Mahomet to recall all mankind…From the labyrinth of confusion and error it pleased the Almighty once again to deliver mankind. Mahomet was the Apostle of this grand and final mission, and amid the clash of opposing authorities, his judgment was to be heard unquestioned and supreme…The popular impression which would attribute to Mahomet either a formal cancelment of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, or imputations against their genuiness and authority, is entirely mistaken. No expressions regarding either Jewish or Christian Scriptures ever escaped the lips of Mahomet other than of implicit reverance.

“It was the opposition of the Jews and the estrangement of the Christians, as well as the martial supremacy of Islam, that imperceptibly but inevitably led to the universal and exclusive authority of Mahomet and the Coran. The change by which the Prophet dispensed with previous Revelations was made in silence.”  [76:156-7]

* Variant spelling of  muslim, meaning the active principle of aslama, that is,  literally,  ‘a person who submits (to God).’  Corresponds to islam, meaning ‘submission (to the will of God).’  Those who do not so submit as prescribed and commanded in the Coran are infidels, and must be dealt with, harshly and bloodily, as further prescribed therein.– SES 

20. “In the later years of the Prophet, Islam diverged rapidly from all sympathy with the Bible. An appeal to previous revelation would now have proved embarrassing…Whatever effect the doctrines of Christianity properly understood might have had on Mahomet while yet enquiring and moulding for himself a creed, it is evident that long before the final settlement of Islam his system crystallized into a form of which it is impossible that any new influence could produce material alteration. No argument was tolerated now. Mahomet was the Prophet of God, and his word was law. Opposing doctrine must vanish before the divine command.

“The exclusive and intolerant position finally assumed by Islam is sufficiently manifest in the ban issued by Mahomet at his last pilgrimmage against Jews and Christians, who were forever debarred from the sacred rites and holy precincts of the Kaaba; and by divine command to war against them until, in confession of the supremacy of Islam, they should consent to the payment of tribute.”  [76:158]

21. “…the object of Mahomet was entirely to supersede Christianity as well as Judaism, and the professors of both were  subjected to an equally humiliating tribute.

“The stealth by which this end was reached has now, I trust, been made apparent. At the beginning Mahomet confirmed the former Scriptures without qualification or reserve. He next asserted for his own Revelation a concurrent authority, and by degrees a superseding and dispensing power. And finally, though he never imputed error to the Bible itself, or (while ceasing to appeal with his former frequency to its evidence) failed to speak of it with veneration, yet he not only rejected the dogmas of Christianity, but demanded their rejection by his Chrisian followers, on the simple ground of his own inspiration…His course was guided here, as at so many other points, by an inexplicable combination of earnest conviction and uneasy questioning, if not actual though unperceived self-deception. He was sure as to his object, and the means could not be wrong.”  [76:160-1]

22. “Mahomet thus seized upon two different and indeed incompatible expectations; and adroitly combined them into a proof of his own mission. The Jewish anticipation of their Messiah, and the perfectly distinct and even discordant anticipation by the Christians of the second advent of Christ, were by him fused into a common argument for a coming prophet expected by both Jews and Christians and foretold in all Scriptures, which prophet was himself.”  [76:164]

23. “His adversaries at Mecca did not conceal their suspicion that the prompting from which the scriptural or legendary tales proceeded, was not solely that of supernatural inspiration… The recitations of a credulous and ill-informed Jew reappeared as the inspirations of the Almighty dictated by Gabriel, the nobles of messengers. The wild legend  and garbled Scripture story of yesterday comes forth tomorrow as a portion of the divine and eternal Coran.

“And, however strange it may appear, the heavenly origin of his Revelations, obtained though they were from such fallible and imperfect sources, appears to have been believed by Mahomet himself.”  [76:165]

24. “The means of reaching truer knowledge  both of Judaism and Christianity lay plentifully within his reach. But they were not heeded; rather they were deliberately rejected, because a position had been already taken up from which there could now be no receding without discredit and inconsistency. The living inspiration of God vouchsafed to himself was surely better and more safe than the recorded Revelations of former prophets; it was at any rate incomparably more authoritative than the uncertain doctrines deduced therefrom by their erring and bigoted adherents. Thus did ignorance become willful. Light was at hand; but Mahomet preferred darkness. He chose to walk ‘in the glimmerings of his own fire, and the sparks which he had kindled.’ In the following chapters, frequent and often melancholy illustration will be afforded by the career of the Prophet at Medina of that unconcious self-deception which can alone explain the mysterious foundation of a faith strong but often descending to subterfuge, never wavering yet always inconsistent.”  [76:166]

25. “The spiritual system of Jesus was incompatible with worldly means and motives. His people though in the world were not ‘of the world.’ …It was the spirituality of aim and agency to the exclusion of earthly aids…

” The principles of Mahomet were utterly diverse. His reason for the toleration of his Meccan opponents was present weakness only. Patience for a while was inculcated by God on Mahomet and his followers, but the future breathed of revenge and victory…But not less were the enemies of the Prophet to be overthrown and perish; and that with a material destruction…

“It was easy to be foreseen that on the first rise of opposition, arms and warfare, with all the attractive accompaniments of revenge and predatory raids, would decide the struggle. And the pospect had even before the Hegira a marvellous effect upon the imaginations of the plunder-loving Arabs.

“It was…with the full anticipation of such struggle (for he was not long at Medina before taking the initiative) that Mahomet, alarmed by the council of the Coreish, hid himself in the cave of Mount Thaur, and fled to Mecca. Compare this with the peaceful and submissive serenity with which Jesus awaited the machinations of the Jewish council. And contrast the sword about to be unsheathed by Mahomet, the grand principle for the propagation of his faith pronounced by Jesus before his heathen judge: ‘My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight…but now is my kingdom not from hence.’ Jesus was ‘from above,’ and used heavenly weapons; Mahomet, ‘of the earth,’ leaned upon earthly props.”  [76:173]

Here we end this all-too-brief selection of quotations from the magnum opus of that extraordinary Islamic scholar, the good Doctor Sir Milliam Muir during the late 19th Century, based at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, center of worldwide Islamic scholarship at the time.  They are but summary passages that encapsulate some of the significances in the massive detail comprising the four volumes cited earlier, so much of which is in Arabic and works in detail directly from Arabic sources from before, during and after Muhammad’s lifetime. However, this selection should certainly suffice for the quite focused objective this presentation was to serve:  to end the 1400-year-old Islamic Jihad by Nullifying its ideological foundation, Jihadic Islam, and thereby break the Flaming Sword of Islam for good.  For, we are now able to come to the Conclusions given at the end of Page 7B, Nullifying Islamic Jihad, which serves to implement the paramount objective of Page 7A, Ending Islamic Jihad.   

 In a sentence, what has been accomplished in this Page is the De-Sanctification of Islamic Jihad — at its root — by having De-Sanctified the Koran itself.


Copyright (c) by Stephen Edward Seadler  2009





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