In a couple of previous essays here (e.g., Islam's Darker Source, as well as Islam and the Psychology of Satan: The Tragicomedy of Hell on Earth, I have flirted with taking a stab at explaining Islam as, in effect, a religion created by Satan.
The first problem with such an explanation is that I am not a Christian (nor a Jew, a Zoroastrian, or Muslim -- all of whom believe in the existence of Satan). As I explained in the second-linked essay above, I approach this from a comparative religions viewpoint, considering Satan as a mythopoetic symbolism -- which, incidentally, does not mean that, just because it is not considered a literalistic truth, it does not symbolize a reality.
At any rate, in addition to the glimmers of Satan in Islam I touched on in the two essays linked above (the temptation of a Paradise that is really a Hell; and the broader more overarching jealousy of Satan against the Man-God, Jesus), my attention was recently aroused by further echoes or parallels in this regard from the Koran, helpfully provided by the Jihad Watch reader "traeh", whose website of Islamic texts (Quoting Islam) I have put up on my blogroll (though I don't think he realized the full import of the quotes he was pointing out).
In the comments section of a Jihad Watch article about how the University of London College (sounds a tad redundant, eh?) is holding, or has held, a Christmas service featuring Koran readings, "traeh" pointed out some Koran verses that go profoundly against the Bible. I now quote from his comment.For example, in Qur'an Chapter 42, Verse 11:
The Creator of the heavens and the earth. He hath made for you pairs of yourselves, and of the cattle also pairs, whereby He multiplieth you. Naught is as His likeness; and He is the Hearer, the Seer.
Compare Genesis Chapter 1, Verse 26:
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likenessIn the Judeo-Christian conception, human beings, made in God's likeness, are children of God the Father. In the Qur'an, Allah never calls himself "Father," and in several places denies He has any sons or daughters. Rather, human beings are only Allah's servants or slaves. "I have only created jinns and men that they may serve me." (Qur'an 51:56)
These two contrasts between the Bible and the Koran indicate a fascinating possibility. They document the envy of Satan for God's creation and His special creation, his creatures the human beings. While this envy is never spelled out in the Bible, it did become part of the Judaeo-Christian mythologoumena of Lucifer/Satan found copiously in the intertestamental literature. One study of the period, for example, cites a typical idea expressed in such writings:
After Lucifer along with all the angels is commanded to adore God's latest creation, Adam, Lucifer says:
"I do not have it within me to worship Adam... I will not worship him who is lower and later than me... He ought to worship me..."
As the authors of that study note: This Luciferian envy "is cognate with the idea of angelic opposition to the creation of Adam, a subject that recurs in [early] Rabbinic literature..."
And let us recall that this intertestamental literature, which included much apocryphal, heterodox and outright heretical and Gnostic texts, continued to flourish throughout the first few centuries A.D. reflecting, and in turn causing, much of the heated debates and strife of the developing theology of the early Church. As Christianity slowly gained dominance by the latter part of the first half of the new millennium, those undercurrents of non-orthodox and anti-orthodox belief and literature never vanished, but only went more and more underground, finding expression in various sects that kept popping up here and there.
Until one hot day in the desert they found massive expression not merely in an odd little sect doomed to die out and remain only in the dusty pages of anti-heretical writings, but rather in what would become a major world religion: Islam.
Those passages from the Koran we quoted above indicate an envy on the part of Allah against humans -- an envy whose supposed victory one can see is to be ensured by the apodictic counter-claims against the Judaeo-Christian view of Mankind.
"No!" thunders Satan with his Allah-mask on, "Mankind has not been created in the likeness of God -- Mankind is nothing more than an animal, which I have created to be my slave!"
Seen from a certain angle, it becomes painfully clear what is going on. Satan could never handle his primal trauma -- the creation of, and favor for, Mankind by God. Satan wasn't about to ever forget that horrible wound. He nursed it throughout history, and finally found a way to assuage his pain -- an ingenious way: the creation of a major religion that avows fanatically to worship God, and God alone.
In light of this, a scholarly study of the Islamic sect of the Yezidis has this interesting information:
...the alleged devil-worshiping practices of of the Yezidis show less affinity with the strict dualism of the pre-Islamic and Indo-Iranian religious tradition of Zoroastrianism, which acknowledges a principle of Evil as being of nearly equal standing with the God of Good, than with the Islamic mystical vision of the devil or Iblis. In this vision, the devil is not so much the principle of evil, but in fact, the most devoted of all God’s servants, because in refusing to bow for Adam, he refuses the divine command but obeys the divine Will, which forbids God’s creatures to worship anything but Him. In other words, the devil is pictured as the strictest monotheist of all God’s creatures, and it is precisely his tragedy that he will not regain his rightful place next to God until the end of time.
Indeed, the genius of Judaeo-Christianity is not so much its crystallization of monotheism, as its elevation of Man, finding supreme expression precisely in the Trinity, wherein the Human God is part of the Godhead. Pace many of the fiercer Protestants (particularly Calvinists) who resemble more Muslims than Christians in this regard, this theanthropology found natural expression in, for example, the famous dictum of the Patristic theologian Athanasius:
"God became man, so that man might become deified."
Thus, one could say that Islam is not so much an assault against God and right worship of God -- but rather an assault against God's Creation and the crown jewel of His Creation, Mankind. Consider the centuries of grotesque and ghoulish carnage Muslims have been inflicting on humans -- not merely murdering and massacring them, but also torturing and mutilating their bodies, beheading them, raping them, enslaving them, and holding millions of women in bondage in a pathological puritanism and misogyny (a protracted orgy of carnage that is not a mere bizarre footnote in medieval history but, as we know all too well, is metastasizing horribly in our time with the global revival of Islamic jihad).
The Judaeo-Christian theanthropology, by contrast, reflected a proper esteem for humanity, even if too often flouted in the breach; which made all the more grievous his fall from grace, and the tragedy of history requiring salvation. An esteem, and a tragedy, that was to find its fulfillment in the event of God becoming Himself human in Jesus Christ in order to recapitulate the life and death of man -- and, one hopes, the arighting of his original destiny. For, after all, as St. Paul symbolized, Christ was the "second Adam".
The mystery of Lucifer is that such a good, and apparently perfect, angel would begin to succumb to the itch of envy at this last creature, and allowed that itch to gnaw at his interior being until it transmogrified into a monstrous rebellion. Along the way, as history devolved, he found a grotesquely clever way to, let us say, channel his churning hatred for creation and its star. He founded Islam.
And through Islam, Man is seduced not so much to hate God directly, as to -- through the wickedly ingenious trick ot being fooled into thinking he is worshipping the true God -- hate himself, hate Creation, and hate all other humans who do not join this cult of supreme self-hatred.