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.