Monday, June 17, 2013

Islam and Gnosticism

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Aside from the most common resemblance between Islam and Gnosticism adduced -- the Docetist idea in Koran 4:157 concerning those who crucified Jesus: ...but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them; where "made to appear" is virtually the same idea as the Docetist heresy centuries before Mohammed (Docetist from the Greek verb dokeo, "to seem" or "to appear to be") -- I recently stumbled upon another startling resonance between Islamic and Gnostic ideas.

One of the ancient Gnostic texts uncovered at the famous Nag Hammadi archeological find in Egypt in 1945 was titled, New Age-ily enough, Thunder: Perfect Mind.  Mostly, it reads as though written by some 60s intellectual into Buddhism and Hinduism on an acid trip.  

Of more precise interest for our purposes here is that part of that text lapses into pairings of opposites relating to sexual orientation or relation.  Thus:
For I am the first and the last.
I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin.
I am [the mother] and the daughter.
I am the members of my mother.
I am the barren one
and many are her sons.
I am she whose wedding is great,
and I have not taken a husband.
I am the midwife and she who does not bear.
I am the solace of my labor pains.
I am the bride and the bridegroom,
and it is my husband who begot me.
I am the mother of my father
and the sister of my husband
and he is my offspring.
I am the slave of him who prepared me.
I am the ruler of my offspring. 
 
While not quite as copiously fecund (pun intended) as this passage, nevertheless, one Saying of Mohammed preserved in the Hadiths of Sahih Muslim bears an intriguing similarity.  According to that Hadith, someone asked Mohammed about how mankind will tell that the Last Days are near, and Mohammed replied that (among other things):
 
...the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress and master.
 
What this means, exactly, is not entirely clear.  Either early Muslims constructing their mythologoumena borrowed from Gnostic themes and symbolisms afloat; or perhaps there is a deeper affinity and consanguinity therein running like a river down to Hell.
 

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

"...the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress and master."

It is clear to me: Islam is the religion of rape - a slogan used as a long-ago title piece by Gates of Vienna - that I myself had made up and used in a preceding comment on Gates of Vienna.

In Islam, Muslim conquerors murder indigenous men and deem indigenous wives, daughters, and young sons to be sex slaves.

When the women and girl sex slaves bear children, those children are deemed Muslim because the Muslim father controls the religion of the children.

Muslims rule non-Muslim infidels.

Thus, when Muslims control the world and the religion of its children, the end is near.

Egghead

Hesperado said...

I don't think that phrase quoted from the hadith means that the slave-girl will give birth for her master and mistress, but that literally she will give birth to them -- which is a logical impossibility -- a similar one to the ones in that older Gnostic text.

Anonymous said...

I respectfully disagree. It is completely possible for a slave-girl to give birth to her mistress and master. Ever read Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain?

Mohammed's prediction was his plan: The womb is the weapon. That's WHY Mohammed murdered the men but kept the women and girls as sex slaves - more wombs to make more Muslims.

Furthermore, every Muslim is a slave to Allah. Thus, to him, when all women are slave-girls, then all women are Muslim where Muslims are mistress and master.

All throughout Western history, women gave birth to men - and those men became the masters of those women.

To Mohammed, the infidel slave-girl births the Muslim children who will be the mistress and master of more infidels.

Interesting that Mohammed focuses on mistress before master....

Egghead

Hesperado said...

Well, there's still the problem of "her". Literally, a slave-girl can't give birth to her own actual masters.

Anonymous said...

Here is the full passage from your link:

"He (the enquirer) again said: Inform me about the hour (of the Doom). He (the Holy Prophet) remarked: One who is asked knows no more than the one who is inquiring (about it). He (the inquirer) said: Tell me some of its indications. He (the Holy Prophet) said: That the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress and master, that you will find barefooted, destitute goat-herds vying with one another in the construction of magnificent buildings."

While your brief essay provides a great discussion topic, the two items that are compared are distinctly different.

The Gnostic texts are a poetic description of an all-encompassing God.

Mohammed's statement is the direct answer to a direct question.

Mohammed is saying that, when all women are Muslim slave-girls who bear Muslim children, and all men are Muslims building mosques, the hour of Doom is near.

I agree with Mohammed's prediction.

Egghead

Hesperado said...

"the two items that are compared are distinctly different.

The Gnostic texts are a poetic description of an all-encompassing God."

Some Gnostic texts are merely that; but this particular one, Thunder: Perfect Mind is also in the general genre of Apocalyptic, re: eschatology; which is what that hadith is about also.