Islam has expired, according to Muhammad
“How long your faith shall endure?” Muhammad was asked.
“En salahat ummati fa laha yom. Va en fasadat fa laha nesfe yom.
Val yomo ende rabbeka alfe sanaton men ma taedoon”—if my Ummeh
becomes righteous, it shall last one day, if corrupted, it shall
last half a day. “And a day of your lord is equivalent of a
thousand years of your accounting,” he replied.
This account is as recorded by a contemporary chronicler of
Muhammad. So, even if his Ummeh had lived up to his standards of
righteousness, one thousand years have come and gone. Yet a
greatly fractured system of belief called Islam is still around as
judged by over a billion who call themselves Muslims.
Muhammad’s allusion to “righteousness” and “corruption” deserves a
close look. All things on earth are subject to a limited life
span: be they bacteria, trees, mountains, humans or
ideas—including religions. Renewal seems to be a core principle of
the planet earth and its inhabitants. And in order for renewal to
take place, the old by necessity, must give way.
The moment a new entity is formed, an array of forces work to end
it. Death, in effect, is pre-birth. Without death, everything
freezes in place. Death often provides the raw material for the
new birth. The death and decay of a tree, for instance, supplies
the needed nutrients for the seed to grow: the Newtonian physics’
obsolescence provided the foundation for Einstein’s relativity
Death and renewal are also fundamental to religion. It is for this
reason that many religions promised renewal in the person of
another savior or the return of the same person. The Jews, for
instance, expect the Messiah; the Christians long for the second
coming; and some Muslims pray for the appearance of the Mahdi,
while other Muslims supplicate God for “Rejateh Hossain,”—the
return of Hossain.
What Expires Religions?
The death of a biological entity is caused by trauma, viruses or
bacteria. Viruses and bacteria are major killers of humans and
present great challenges to medicine. They can be deadly and have
the uncanny ability to mutate. Yet, they are there for their
mission of ending life.
Poorly understood and little appreciated are psychosocial viruses—PSVs.
As is the case with their biological kin, psychosocial viruses
also work to corrupt any idea, mental functions or belief and help
supplant them with new ones. Various forms of mental disorders are
the result of interaction between the PSVs and the person’s
pre-disposition for the condition. Not all mutations caused by
PSVs are pathological. Many serve to advance the human enterprise.
Without the contributions of the beneficial PSVs humanity would
still be stunted in its development at the level of day one.
In the case of Islam, a special group of PSVs set out to work the
minute Muhammad launched his faith and mutation rapidly followed.
First, there was the Islam of Mecca or the Islam of Meekness. For
thirteen years, Muhammad’s teachings, as recorded in the early
Suras of the Quran, were about many good things. Very few people
became attracted to what he preached. In fact, the people scorned
the man, harassed him and eventually made him flee his hometown of
Mecca for Medina. Then a major mutation took place: the Islam of
Medina or the Islam of Tyranny arrived on the scene. The Quran
Suras of Medina are replete with exhortations of intolerance,
exclusivity, and sanctioning of violence against non-Muslims. This
mutation deeply appealed to the temperament of the Arab savages
and they flocked to Muhammad’s faith.
The PSV of the time of Muhammad continued to mutate as it reached
other peoples and other lands. Each peoples’ own ideas and
beliefs—their cognitive immune system—responded differently to the
invader. Some completely resisted the assault and defeated it.
Others were overwhelmed and forced into submission. Yet some of
the vanquished, over time, managed to repel the invader while
others incorporated it to various extents into their own system of
belief. In due course, the mutation among the vanquished people
has become so divergent that some of the variants can hardly be
recognized as the progeny of the original.
Islam of today is composed of a dozen major sects and hundreds of
sub-sects and schools. Just two examples should demonstrate the
fact that Muhammad’s Islam has expired and decomposed.
One branch of Sunni Islam, the Wahhabi for instance, has interbred
with the Pashtune culture of Afghanistan and Pakistan and the
result has been the Taliban version of Islam: a most reactionary,
repressive and savage “religion.”
On the Shiite side, for example, there is a sect of the Ghulat
Alavi that holds only to one of the five pillars of Islam: the
Shehadah, an Islamic credo that says, “I testify that there is no
God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.” This sect does not
subscribe to the remaining four pillars of praying five times a
day, fasting one month a year, pilgrimage to Mecca at least once
in a lifetime, and paying the religious tax of zakat. The Alavi
women are allowed participation in all religious events and are
not required to don the hijab—a stark contrast to the Taliban who
deny even rudimentary education to women and forbid them from
leaving home without the accompaniment of a male relative.
The Ghulat Alavis deify the Imam Ali and the other Imams. They
particularly revere the Imam Ali and worship him as a co-rank of
God. They profess, “Ali khoda neest, valee as khoda joda neest”—Ali
is not God, but he is not apart from God. This very same sect
places Imam Ali above the Prophet Muhammad.
In conclusion, Muhammad’s dating of his faith notwithstanding, the
facts conclusively show that Islam has expired. Over time, its
component parts have undergone drastic mutations to the extent
that the only thing that all Muslims have in common is the name of
Islam and the Quran.