UI – Part 197 – Good and Evil
At the time of Muhammad there were several active religions. Judaism and Christianity were certainly present, in fact Christians the more dominant. In Bernard Lewis’ book, The End of Modern History in the Middle East[i], the author noted, “At the time of the advent of Islam and the Arab conquests, the countries of the Middle East west of Iran – Iraq, Syria, Egypt, North Africa – were Christian and were in due course Islamized, some though not all preserving Christian minorities.” Jews and Christians worshipped the Almighty. But there were other religions such as Manichaeism and Zoroastrians. The latter is dualist, and again referencing B. Lewis, “they believe not in a single almighty God who rules everything, but in two independent supreme powers, one of good and one of evil.”[ii]
For the Zoroastrians the supreme powers, Good v Evil, are at war with each other, “a cosmic struggle”. If you think about Islam and the tenants of their Scripture, with comments from the likes of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who likens the Muslim world to the Good and the West, or America in particular, to Evil, you may question, as I have, the roots of Islam. America is referred to as the Great Satan and Israel, Little Satan. Is Islam, as Muhammad claims, a focus on One god, Allah, Allah being the Good supreme Being, or was there, is there, a second god. The other god in the equation was the one with whom the followers of Islam could continue their heretical battle. Contrast the Islamic human nature that leans towards Allah with that of the non-believer leaning towards the Evil god, possibly the Christian god or his Son, Christ? Where is the objectivity? Is not Satan the evil one, which both religions strive to conquer?
The history of the Arab culture has tribes, clans, sects, and others, in the time before Muhammad, primarily pagan, worshipping many idols. In the Kaaba (in Mecca, reportedly) there were, it is said, 360 idols that visitors came on pilgrimage to worship and enjoy the bazaar in the City of Muhammad’s Quraysh family. During the bazaar it was a time of peace, when the weapons of the day were set aside, peace was assured, and trade conducted. But after or before the differences, for whatever reasons, between the factions engendered constant fighting, battles to satisfy the thirst for conflict that seems inherent in the blood stream of the Arabs. It was their way of life, and it can be deduced that way was incorporated into the mindset of the followers of Muhammad and their objective to have the community united, the umma, as a singular clan all enjoined for Allah. To achieve their goal ‘fighting’ remained.
The Last Battle on Earth
Primitive cults that existed, also, were condemned by all religions. The religions in play resisted polytheism. They resisted evil or Satan. It was the Zoroastrians that may have first proposed the end time scenario of the seed of the supreme Good power coming to earth, or returning, to establish his Kingdom and exercising his might to overcome Evil. The last battle on earth would have the Supreme Good reign, the Supreme Evil defeated. Inherent in this dialog is the idea of a Messiah, and/or a World All for Allah.
Ahmadinejad even speaks today of Jesus Christ returning on the Muslim team to destroy Christians. He speaks too of the twelfth Imam, the Mahdi, the ultimate savior of mankind, to come out of hiding to accompany Isa (Jesus Christ) to bring peace and justice to the world. That is more Shia thinking. The Sunni’s do not believe the Mahdi has been born as yet.
Good Team – Evil Team
There is confusion in my mind as to the oneness of Allah in the construct of the ideology of Islam. Yes Muslims worship Allah, but place on what appears an equal plane Muhammad the Prophet, then the Quran itself, as many see it as ‘uncreated.’ There remains the Mahdi and Isa. This is the Good Team.
According to Islam Christians, believers in Jesus Christ, are on the Evil team, as the Christians believe Christ and God are inseparable, they are one. Such thinking makes them Infidels. Add to the Evil group Americans and those countries, those peoples, enjoying Freedom, or the collective West, and you have the Evil god the Muslims require to continue to feed their appetite for fighting. It is the cosmic battle in which the Muslims in their humanness can contribute their blood and strength to resist to be accounted for in the Credit column for Islam. Are they being deceived?
But the teams may in fact be just the reverse. Would the Good Team have a god that is the Best of Deceivers? Allah is just that according to the Quran. Where in the Bible has anyone ever been led to kill a neighbor more than love a neighbor, even if not a Christ follower? There is no love of neighbor in the Scripture of Islam. For Christ followers there are two primary commandments – love God, love neighbor. A simple formula that applied can only bring peace.
For me those who believe in God, truly believe in God and lead their lives accordingly without the need for any form of retribution towards others that do not believe exactly as they do, are blessed. They have found that internal spirit that lights the heart of the individual to be an obedient, humble, servant of the Lord. In their conviction they strive to honor the Lord in whatever they say, think or do. They are not superior, but loving. For me Christ is at the center as the man-God-spirit that made a relationship with God possible and freed me to have faith without compulsion or fear. He was a teacher and servant whose perfect life made his truth inerrant. His saving grace is goodness personified. To deny is to allow evil to blacken your heart to what is reality.
Food for Thought
Grace and Peace.