What Really is Islam?
Islam is called a religion. But is it really a religion? According to the standard dogmas of Islam, Allah, the name of the Muslim god, is so transcendent from the physical world that it hardly has any connections with human beings. In fact, all of creation, even humans, are robots doing what Allah predetermines & dictates. There is no free will, so that all people & things do what Allah has predetermined for them to do, which is about the closest contact to their god that any Muslim can get.
The spirituality of Islam is thus almost non-existent. Since Allah has no contact with humans except by its predetermining of all creation, no Muslim advances in spirituality, nor feels the need to advance, nor grows in faith, nor even receives messages from his god. The Muslim's only touch with Allah is through the agency of its direct control over everyone's mind & body. This is why Islam produces no holy men, no signs, no miracles, no revelations, no saintly perfection, etc. Also, there are no spiritual masters, other than the few sages & mystics centuries ago (mostly from Sufism, a major mystical branch of Islam), whose spirituality was leftover from the old pre-Muslim pagan culture &/or was influenced by non-Muslim spirituality, such as Greek Philosophy, Gnosticism, Judaism, & Christianity. Indeed, the Koran itself, Islam's holy book, is nothing but a fusion of certain beliefs from all these religions, their holy books & related texts, & oral traditions & practices.
Because the spirituality of Islam's old mystics came from non-Muslim sources & because of Islam's aversion toward deeper spirituality in general, the ancient cult of a real Muslim spirituality has been persecuted by Muslims themselves almost to extinction. Nevertheless, Islam does claim spiritual masters & the Western secular media propagates what they teach as spirituality. However, Muslim spirituality is exceptionally minimal in content & power. It is very easy to picture in one's mind a Buddhist monk seeking union with the divine through intense devotion, self-sacrifice, & kindness. It is easy to picture in one's mind a Hindu seeking union with the divine through intense meditation, goodness, & peace. It is easy to picture in one's mind a Christian monk seeking union with the Creator through intense prayer, self-denial, & perfect imitation of Christ's love. But it is very difficult to picture a Muslim practicing any real spirituality other than 5 times a day bowing to the ground. This is because Islamic spirituality is not based on union with the divine.
Mohammed himself, the founder of Islam, did no miracles other than the miracle of receiving the Koran directly from Allah by revelation, as Muslims proudly declare. Since Allah has so few conversations with its human subjects & because miracles are so rare in Islam, the giving of the Koran is exciting & exceptional to Muslims. Only certain people ever received revelations from Allah & did miracles, such as Adam, Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, & other Prophets of the Bible. Yet Mohammed is called the last & greatest prophet in Islam, though he left behind no tradition of advancing toward spiritual perfection. Hence, Islam teaches that declaring faith in Allah & Mohammed, praying a few minutes 5 times a day, going to Mecca once in life, giving alms to the poor once a year, fasting one month a year, & reading the Koran & Hadiths (traditional texts treated almost equal to the Koran in doctrine) are all there is to spirituality. Being an expert in these things, rather than being an expert in eradicating sin, makes one a spiritual master in Islam, though it is not really spiritual, since even the Koran itself is devoid of miracles.
The virtual lack of miracles & spirituality in the Koran & in Mohammed's life prove Islam to be almost totally carnal & fleshly, since there is no subjection of one's flesh to his spirit. In fact, Muslims cannot even deal with sin & demons. In Egypt, for instance, Muslim families often take demon-possessed relatives to the Orthodox churches there in order to have priests perform exorcisms to cast out demons (since Islam does teach the existence of demons). This itself is enough to show how anti-spiritual Islam is in comparison to almost every other religion in the world. Moreover, there is almost no inner communion with Allah, which by itself blunts any yearnings for spirituality in Islam. This extremely minimalist form of spirituality confuses a lot of Christians, who find it extremely difficult to understand Muslims so that they can convert them to Christianity. Christians assume that Islam is a religion & therefore, like other religions, Muslims should respond to spiritual reasoning & logic. But Islam is not just a minimal form of spirituality, it is a maximum form of carnality. Carnality is their true spirituality & it is the premise that Christians should approach Islam with.
Because Islam is so minimalist in spirituality, it should be viewed in the same way that atheism, evolution, & nazism (fascism) are. People do not think of evolution as a religion, though in reality there is no proof that monkeys are the ancestors of humans. There is no proof that there is no god either. These things are religions, though they are not called religions because modern Westerners not only separate church & state, but they also separate religion & ideology. Islam has always been called a religion because years ago any belief system was regarded as a religion, no matter what it was. Nowadays, an ideology, like communism, atheism, evolution, etc., is regarded as separate from religion because an ideology has little or no spirituality attached to it, or no definite god, being usually a social belief system. So according to the modern method of determining what is a religion & what is an ideology, what is Islam?
As has been demonstrated, Islam has almost no spirituality, so that each Muslim's faith is in reality quite nominal. Its god does not even have direct connections with people & creation. But Islam does have the goal of conquering the world & forcing all humans to conform to its social ideals & practices. Indeed, Islam, as Muslims themselves say, is also a political ideal & a legal institution. This is why Mohammed & his 4 disciples, the 4 caliphs, were so active in starting wars, attacking & persecuting other religions, murdering critics, & committing piracy. In fact, Mohammed & his caliphs after him were probably the first crusaders on earth, centuries before the Catholics (since Eastern Orthodoxy was not involved) popularized crusades, which were in fact a direct response to the Islamic crusades. Without the Muslim crusades there would be no Islam, since most Muslim lands today are a result of conquest & persecution, not of missions & spiritual proofs. So why should Islam be called a religion?
Because of its carnality & slight mix of spirituality, Christians need to see Islam as an ideology with a god. Just as there are non-violent Nazis living in society who have a nominal belief in Christ, just as there are people who believe in evolution yet pray to God the Creator, just as there are atheists who practice Christmas, & just as there are Christians who do not believe in the virgin birth of Jesus, so should Muslims be perceived as believers in a political-social ideology under the name of Allah. Muslims use & call on the name of Allah not to advance in their own faith, nor to commune & unite with their god, but mostly in order to identify themselves as a special interest group & to advance its ideology. Despite this, Muslims will claim to be sublimely spiritual & some of them may truly seek to eradicate sin in their souls. However, the results of their spiritual activity are almost fruitless because their alleged religion is not based on seeking divine perfection, nor even knowing how to do this, especially when Allah cannot be communed with anyway. Are Muslims known for being as spiritual as Buddhist monks meditating all night long for enlightenment or as Hindu devotees fasting relentlessly for wisdom or as Jewish mystics chanting for weeks to hear God or as Christian saints praying 1000 days & nights for holiness? Of course not. The few Muslims who do attempt to be holy may think that they have advanced in spirituality or have great spiritual skills, in contrast to having none at all, but they do not understand how limited they are because they have never sought for nor experienced deeper spirituality, nor do they have an accepted tradition of saints and teachings for attaining spiritual perfection. This is because Islam forces Muslims to have little ability to comprehend divine spirituality. As St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:14, "Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God's Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned." And as the context of this passage proves, the unspiritual people St. Paul was talking about included even baptized Christians who were babies in faith. This means that carnality, or unspirituality, can be linked to a person's profession & practice of a religion, & this is how it is with Muslims. Seeking unbroken communion with their god & the spiritual perfection of one's soul are not the goal of Islam; upholding & converting the world to Islam is. This is the infantile spirituality that Christians are dealing with when they speak to Muslims.
By looking at it as an ideology, Islam can be more properly identified in lieu of its actions. Because of Islam's relentless and immoral persecutions of non-Muslims and its quest for world domination, Islam must be cited as racist and imperialistic. That is what Communism & Nazism are known for, not just by their teachings but also by their actions. By looking at Islam as a religion, its racism, persecution, violence, & imperialism are given some kind of credibility, as though, because all religions should be respected, there should be respect for Islam's teachings too. But by identifying Islam as an ideology, its teachings and actions can be accurately & properly defined. Islam began with & is perpetuated by war and persecution, therefore it is imperialistic & racist. Islam even teaches that the world be divided between the House of Islam (Dar al-Islam) & the House of War (Dar al-Harb)! No matter how many rationalizations Muslims may invent to confuse these issues, the consistent imperialistic & racist doctrines of Islam in the Koran & the Hadiths have been practiced & supported by all Muslims, even Muslims today. Mohammed was a murderer, a pedophile, a polygamist, a pirate, immoral, untrustworthy, an adulterer, a criminal, a dictator, a war-mongerer, hypocritical, etc. No matter how many rationalizations Muslims may invent to confuse these issues, Islam literally teaches that Mohammed did all these things & more with Allah's blessings, & Muslims are quite proud of his evil activities, though they call them holy deeds. Now, if Islam is a religion, the word "religion" gives Islam & Mohammed a sense of validity, just like calling Nazism a religion. But if Islam is an ideology, then the Koran's & Mohammed's teachings can be viewed for what they are- racist, violent, imperialistic, & immoral. This is how Islam should be perceived if divine spirituality & morality are to remain consistent & truthful.
As these observations prove, Islam is an ideology in the guise of an innocent religion, much like head-hunting. But if one wants to call carnality a sacred belief, then Islam is a religion.