Anwar Shaikh was a Jihadist turned apostate of Islam and became one of first and prominent critics of Islam of modern times. This is a part of his famous book, ‘Islam, The Arab Imperialism’.
The Prophet Muhammad of Arabia (peace be upon him), when assessed fairly, undoubtedly emerges as the greatest national hero that any country ever produced.
His greatness, however, lies in masterfully exploiting the concept of Prophethood, which, being an integral tradition of the Middle Eastern culture, is less spiritual and more political.
Prophethood is based on the doctrine of revelation: it means that God, the Creator, loves mankind so much that He wants to guide the human creatures to save them from hell. In return for this favour, God demands absolute submission, that is, man must worship the All-Mighty and live by His laws without ever questioning their purpose, validity and relevance.
The medium of revelation i.e. the person through whom God is supposed to reveal His will, is called the Prophet; he is God’s Agent on earth. Since God cannot be seen or contacted, the Prophet’s word begins to rank as the Word of God, and the Creator, for total lack of communication with people, recedes into the background. As a result, the Prophet, who (apparently) claims to be God’s most humble servant, rises as the dominant force in God-Prophet relationship. It is he who comes to hold the keys of paradise. Therefore, a person must believe in the Prophet to qualify for heaven; he who believes in God alone, cannot rank as a believer; he is an infidel and must go to hell, no matter how righteous he may be!
This exposes the true nature of Prophethood. If its purpose is to glorify God and guide people to righteousness, then how is it that salvation depends upon believing in the Prophet, and belief in God counts for nothing? Again, if the aim of Prophethood is to spread righteousness, then how can a righteous person be thrown into hell just for not acknowledging the Prophet? Even more baffling is the fact that God becomes powerless in relation to the Prophet because there is nothing that He can do for those who believe in Him alone.
Since Prophethood seeks to elevate a Prophet at the expense of God, it has, obviously, nothing to do with God or guidance. It is just a political device of the Middle Eastern origin, which enables its operator to achieve his ambitions under the pretence of spirituality. With a view to bridling the curious human mind, the doctrine of Prophethood discourages free will, which is the fountain of free-thinking, enquiry and social progress. Instead, it imposes complete hegemony of fate on man to drive him as if he were an ass.
In fact, Prophethood is the tool of Dominance-Urge, which goads a person to seek the highest possible position in a social or political hierarchy. All the conquerors, heads of states, etc., however, represent ephemeral type of Dominance-Urge because it expires with the demise of its possessor. However, its spiritual counterpart is a lasting phenomenon because a Prophet commands his followers from beyond his grave through the law that he laid down in his holy book.
Since existence is subject to the Principle of Change, no social law is eternal unless there is a body of people, who respects it and is willing to enforce it. It is especially true in regard to a Divine Code, which is held as sacred and true after a passage of centuries despite its total irrelevance to human problems. This is why that religious enthusiasts are always fanatical, utterly opposed to reason. Since a Prophet represents the most severe form of Dominance-Urge, he seeks to create a band of national followers, blindly dedicated and ready to glorify him through all ages. This is what makes a Prophet a staunch nationalist, who knows that his divine status depends upon the rise and fall of his own people. For this reason, he builds a strong nation through a good deal of effort, making his own glory, the beginning and end of this exercise.
The life of the Prophet Muhammad is a fascinating model of this truth. He welded the fragmented Arab tribes into a unified nation and inspired them with a great political ideal, leading to the establishment of a mighty Arab Empire, which the misguided Muslims of the Indian subcontinent think of as the Islamic Empire, despite the fact that the status of the non-Arab Muslims in it was no better than that of Indians in the British Empire. The Prophet Muhammad was essentially a nationalist. To make the Arabs a pure nation, he even (successfully) carried out ethnic cleansing by massacring and banishing the Jews from Arabia.
In fact, Islam is the most effective tool of imperialism; other nations, usually acquire political and cultural glory through economic power or sword and fire but Islam achieves this aim through the medium of faith-in- Muhammad, the only source of paradise, replete with beautiful virgins, pretty boys and rivers of wine, milk and honey. This lure of paradise has turned all non-Arab Muslims into moths, eager to cremate themselves on the flame of the Arabian cultural hegemony. So blinded are the non-Arab Muslims by the magnitude of the Arabian glory, emanating from the Islamic faith, that the father will kill his own son if he denies its spiritual, legal and moral suzerainty. What can be more fantastic than the fact that Muslims all over the world prostrate towards Mecca at least five times a day. The Prophet gained this singular honour for his country through a spiritual mechanism, which, despite being phoney, appears felicitous, fruitful and fitting. Yet it testifies, not only to the unique political vision of the Prophet, but also offers an amazing study to someone, wishing to engage in discovering the human skills of marvel, mystery and manipulation.
It is not wishful thinking. I have burnt enough midnight oil to uncover the reality of Prophethood. As this doctrine is an open insult to the dignity of God, who is held as the Perfect and Creator, Islam cannot be a Divine religion. Owing to its deep-rooted tendencies to benefit the Arabs at the expense of its followers belonging to the foreign lands, it is reasonable to conclude that Islam is nothing but the tool of the Arab Imperialism.
Is there anyone who can sincerely answer the points raised in this treatise?
Anwar Shaikh Cardiff 1. 7. 1998