Muhammad Prophet of God?

The Bible commands us to test every allege prophet to ensure whether they are true messengers of God or false deceivers who come to destroy many. One such important figure is Muhammad Ibn Abdallah, the sixth century founder of Islam. He is the man responsible for promoting Allah as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as well as the self-proclaimed “seal of prophets”. Muhammad through the Quran and the Islamic traditions introduced many practices, which are followed by over 1 billion Muslims in today’s modern world. Muslims indicate that he is the final messenger of God and his revelation, the Quran, embodies all of the true teachings of the biblical prophets.

One way to distinguish a true prophet of God from a false prophet is to investigate their perspective prophetic call. Comparing the prophetic call with known biblical occurrences as well as common occult phenomena can help to distinguish a true prophet from a deceiving imposter. A false prophet can be distinguished from a true one based on the occultic phenomena associated with his or her calling. Oddly enough, when we examine Muhammad we find that he is the furthest thing from a true messenger of God. Now let examine Muhammad and his prophetic call to see if we should trust what he claims as a messenger of God:

Narrated 'Aisha:

The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah's Apostle was in the form of good righteous (true) dreams in his sleep. He never had a dream but that it came true like bright day light. He used to go in seclusion (the cave of) Hira where he used to worship (Allah Alone) continuously for many (days) nights. He used to take with him the journey food for that (stay) and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food like-wise again for another period to stay, till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him in it and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, "I do not know how to read." (The Prophet added), "The angel caught me (forcefully) AND PRESSED ME SO HARD THAT I COULD NOT BEAR IT ANYMORE. He then released me and again asked me to read, and I replied, "I do not know how to read," whereupon he caught me again AND PRESSED ME A SECOND TIME till I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and asked me again to read, but again I replied, "I do not know how to read (or, what shall I read?)." Thereupon he caught me for the third time AND PRESSED ME and then released me and said, "Read: In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists). Has created man from a clot. Read and Your Lord is Most Generous...up to..... ..that which he knew not." (96.15)

Then Allah's Apostle returned WITH THE INSPIRATION, HIS NECK MUSCLES TWITCHING WITH TERROR till he entered upon Khadija and said, "Cover me! Cover me!" They covered him till his fear was over and then he said, "O Khadija, what is wrong with me?" Then he told her everything that had happened and said, 'I fear that something may happen to me." KHADIJA SAID, 'Never! But have the glad tidings, for by Allah, Allah will never disgrace you as you keep good reactions with your Kith and kin, speak the truth, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guest generously and assist the deserving, calamity-afflicted ones." Khadija then accompanied him to (her cousin) Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin 'Abdul 'Uzza bin Qusai. Waraqa was the son of her paternal uncle, i.e., her father's brother, who during the Pre-Islamic Period became a Christian and used to write the Arabic writing and used to write of the Gospels in Arabic as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight. Khadija said to him, "O my cousin! Listen to the story of your nephew." Waraqa asked, "O my nephew! What have you seen?" The Prophet described whatever he had seen.

WARAQA SAID, "This is the same Namus (i.e., Gabriel, the Angel who keeps the secrets) whom Allah had sent to Moses. I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out." Allah's Apostle asked, "Will they turn meout?" Waraqa replied in the affirmative and said: "Never did a man come with something similar to what you have brought but was treated with hostility. If I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly." But after a few days Waraqa died and the Divine Inspiration was also paused for a while and the Prophet became so sad as we have heard that he intended several times to throw himself from the tops of high mountains and every time he went up the top of a mountain in order to throw himself down, Gabriel would appear before him and say, "O Muhammad! You are indeed Allah's Apostle in truth" whereupon his heart would become quiet and he would calm down and would return home. And whenever the period of the coming of the inspiration used to become long, he would do as before, but when he used to reach the top of a mountain, Gabriel would appear before him and say to him what he had said before. (Ibn 'Abbas said regarding the meaning of: 'He it is that Cleaves the daybreak (from the darkness)' (6.96) that Al-Asbah. means the light of the sun during the day and the light of the moon at night). (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 87, Number 111)

Keep these highlighted parts in mind for they will be very useful as we journey along in our study of Muhammad. From “Bukhari” hadith, we clearly see where the Angel appeared to Muhammad frightening him beyond his wits. Muhammad was pressed up until the point of death along with being forced to read by this spirit entity. One important issue, which should be noted, is the angel’s inability to recognize that Muhammad was illiterate? Islamic tradition indicates that this angel was Gabriel, the messenger of God, who is well known for his appearance to important people in the Bible.

In essence, the appearance of Gabriel gives Muhammad’s call a sense of great importance. However, this so-called angel never identified himself as the angel Gabriel. Surely Gabriel wouldn't tell a person to read if he knew that he was illiterate, neither would Gabriel physically attack a messenger of God. Such actions by Gabriel were foreign in both the Bible and biblical tradition. It’s very peculiar that Gabriel began such strange practices with the advent of Islam and the call of Muhammad.

It should be pointed out that Muhammad’s uncle; Waraqa identified the angel as Gabriel, which means that Islam’s claim of Gabriel visiting Muhammad was a later invention. Why didn’t Gabriel mention his name to Muhammad? Again, how come Gabriel told Muhammad to read when he was illiterate? Waraqa, a so-called Christian, is wrong too, because Gabriel never appeared to Moses. Both the Bible and the Quran says that God appeared to Moses at the burning bush.

What does this mean? It means Muhammad’s prophetic call was based on error and the testimony of an ill-informed psuedo-Christian. 1.) This spirit never mentioned that it was Gabriel (this came later) 2.) Muhammad never claimed this was Gabriel, let alone an angel 3.) Waraqa mentioned how Gabriel appeared to Moses when it was “God” who appeared to Moses. Muslims may try to brush this off by claiming how people are generally afraid when they encounter an angel. However such reasoning is problematic at best for when we investigate encounters with angels in the bible we find no such occurrence like Muhammad.

Noah - Gen. 6.

God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So GOD SAID TO NOAH, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark-you and your sons and your wife and your sons' wives with you. You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them." Noah did everything JUST AS GOD COMMANDED HIM. Gen. 6:12-22

God speaks to Noah and tells him how He is going to destroy the earth but Noah does not panic, become depressed, or driven by fear. He knows that this is God speaking to him, and there is no need for rash action. Noah knows God, and he does not become irrational nor does he believe that God is not going to harm him, since God never did.

Abraham - Gen. 12 - 18.

The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you... The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD , who had appeared to him. From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD . Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev. Gen. 12:1, 7-9

So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him. Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold. From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the LORD... The LORD said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, "Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you." So Abram moved his tents and went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the LORD. Gen. 13:1-4, 14-18

The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to MEET THEM AND BOWED LOW TO THE GROUND. He said, "If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way-now that you have come to your servant." "Very well," they answered, "do as you say."...The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD . Then Abraham approached him and said: "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?...The LORD said, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake." Then Abraham spoke up again: "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city because of five people?"...When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home. Gen. 18:1-5, 22-23, 26-28, 33

God speaks to Abraham and personally visits him. Abraham does not panic, nor is he bewildered. Abraham does not doubt, or become depressed, he believes and obeys God. God visited Abraham, yet neither he nor Sarah attempts any rash actions. Abraham even mentions how bold he is to speak to God Almighty, without any hint of being afraid or terrified. He interacted with God himself and was whole and had his full thinking capacity without any signs of strange and morbid behavior. God didn't press him or force him to do his bidding. God just asked and Abraham obeyed because he loved God not because he was being forced or terrorized by God.

Moses - Ex. 3 - 34

"And THE ANGEL OF THE LORD appeared unto him IN A FLAME OF FIRE OUT OF THE MIDST OF OF A BUSH: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when THE LORD saw that he turned aside to see, GOD CALLED UNTO HIM OUT OF THE MIDST OF THE BUSH, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I AM THE GOD OF THY FATHER, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB. And Moses hid his face; for HE WAS AFRAID TO LOOK UPON GOD." Ex. 3:2-6

God appeared to Moses in the burning bush with him originally being afraid to look at God. However, Moses does not act paranoid for he knew that YHWH God was not a God of terror and physical abuse. Moses did not run back to his family frightened out of his mind. He did not become depressed over the event, thinking he was possessed or bewitched. Instead, Moses personally experienced God and knew he could trust him to come to his aid. Moses knew and obeyed and he even became the spokesman of God and one of the greatest prophets in the bible, who led his people out of Egypt. God didn't torture Moses nor did God press him and force him into doing his bidding. Moses returned to his family in perfect psychological condition without any suicidal thoughts.

Isaiah - Isaiah 6

Isaiah had a vision of God

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty." Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for." Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" He said, "Go and tell this people: " 'Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.' Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed." Then I said, "For how long, O Lord?" And he answered: "Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, until the LORD has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken. And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land." Isa. 6:1-13

Isaiah had a powerful vision and experience of God, yet he did not lose his mind, nor was he was driven by dread of God. He feared God because of the sin in his heart, and the sinfulness of the people he dwelt among, but he did not panic. During this experience he realized God had forgiven him and accepted him. Because he experienced the real God, Isaiah did not attempt suicide or any other rash action. His mind was sound; he did not need to have a "spirit" continue to sooth him. He even asked to be sent by God and he went willingly to do the work of the Lord, without any fear of being terrorized or physically abused by God.

Mary - Luke 1.

In the sixth month, God SENT THE ANGEL GABRIEL TO NAZARETH, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. THE VIRGIN'S NAME WAS MARY. The angel went to her and said, "GREETINGS, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was GREATLY TROUBLED at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "DO NOT BE AFRAID, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called THE SON OF THE MOST HIGH. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called THE SON OF GOD. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God." "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her. At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!" AND MARY SAID: "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on ALL GENERATIONS WILL CALL ME BLESSED, for the Mighty One has done great things for me-- holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers." Luke 1:26-55

The real Gabriel also visited Mary and she too was originally perplexed and afraid. But during her experience with Gabriel, she gained confidence and strength. She knew God loved her. She did not become irrational, she didn’t become depressed, and she did not run around frightened out of her mind. She did not attempt suicide. Instead, because she experienced the living God, she knew she was loved and accepted. She knew this God was real, and she had nothing to fear. She even became so joyous until she began singing songs to the glory of God. Mary wasn't suicidal at all, nor was she pressed and physically abused. Mary had total joy about the angel's news.

As we read the stories about people in the bible who encountered God I do not find anything that resembles Muhammad's experience. These people actually met God, while Muhammad's entire prophetic call rests only upon what a spirit / angelic interface told him. These people were filled with a reverent fear, but never became depressed as a result of their experience. These people fellowshipped with God. Some walked with Him, and unto others He revealed Himself. None of them ever contemplated suicide. But several times over a course of up to three years, Muhammad tried to commit suicide, and each time this "spirit" stopped him. What plans did this spirit have in store for him? On the other hand, let us examine Judas Iscariot.

Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. THEN SATAN ENTERED JUDAS, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present. Luke 22:1-6

"I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: 'He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.' "I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I AM He. I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me." After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, "I tell you the truth, ONE OF YOU IS GOING TO BETRAY ME." His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, "Ask him which one he means." Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, "Lord, who is it?" Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. As soon as Judas took the bread, SATAN ENTERED INTO HIM. "What you are about to do, do quickly," Jesus told him, but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night. John 13:18-30

Satan put it into Judas's heart to betray Christ; Satan entered him and he went and sold out Jesus to the high priest of Israel. When Judas came to his facilities, he committed suicide.

Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death. They bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate, the governor. When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. 4"I have sinned," he said, "for I have betrayed innocent blood." "What is that to us?" they replied. "That's your responsibility." So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away AND HANGED HIMSELF. The chief priests picked up the coins and said, "It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money." So they decided to use the money to buy the potter's field as a burial place for foreigners. Matt. 27:1-7

In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) and said, "Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus-- he was one of our number and shared in this ministry." (With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) Acts 1:15-19

As you can see, when Satan took over Judas, he betrayed Christ and later committed suicide. When Muhammad had a period of clear thought, without the influence of a spirit, he tried to do the same thing - kill himself. Isn't it strange how Muhammad experienced the same thoughts as Judas while other biblical prophets and servants never attempted to take their life.

None of these people experienced suicidal thoughts, so why should we accept a man who even admitted to his contemporaries “woe is me poet or possessed” dealing with the name and allege revelation of God? Look at Judas Iscariot, Satan persuaded him to betray Christ; Satan entered Judas. When Judas came to his facilities, he committed suicide. When Muhammad had a period of clear thought minus the influence of the spirit, he tried to do the very same thing--- kill himself! Ladies and gentlemen, this is the great Apostle of Allah, a frightened poor little man who attempted to harm himself when other prophets never had such a thought after interacting with God or an agent of God. Yet Muslims follow this man who called himself “a poet” and then claim that he was the seal of prophets.

When we continue to examine the character of Muhammad and the nature of his prophetic calling, we find that he was the furthest thing from a true prophet. Here we begin to examine Muhammad in greater detail including his life before his alleged claim to prophethood:

Muhammad first considered himself as belonging to the category of SHAIR- "MEN WITH A MYSTERIOUS ESTEORIC KNOWLEDGE WHICH WAS GENERARLLY ATTRIBUTED TO A FAMILIAR SPIRIT CALLED A JINN OR SHAYTAN." (Guillaume, Alfred; Islam: New York, Peguin, 1977, pg. 28)

It is very interesting to find how Muhammad's experience with the angel led him to believe that his calling was originally demonic in nature. This is a stark contrast to the biblical figures we saw above who knew either it was God or an agent of God. This quote says:

The spiritistic appearance terrified THE MYSTIC but it also prevented him from destroying himself. (Ankerberg, John; The Facts on Islam: Harvest, Eugene Oregon, 1991, pg. 11-12)

It is a well-known fact that Muhammad was a pagan himself, before his alleged revelation from Gabriel. He participated in many of the pagan practices of pre-Islamic Arabia and later on in his life he began to ponder about the idea of believing in one God. Muhammad was not only a pagan but also a mystic who considered himself a “Shair”. Despite his monotheistic message, Muhammad also incorporated many pagan practices of the pre-Islamic Arabs into Islam:

Narrated 'Abdullah:

Allah's Apostle said that he met Zaid bin 'Amr Nufail at a place near Baldah and this had happened before Allah's Apostle received the Divine Inspiration. Allah's Apostle presented a dish of meat (that had been offered to him by the pagans) to Zaid bin 'Amr, but Zaid refused to eat of it and then said (to the pagans), "I do not eat of what you slaughter on your stone altars (Ansabs) nor do I eat except that on which Allah's Name has been mentioned on slaughtering." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, number 407)

And,

The Prophet slaughtered a ewe for one of the idols (nusub min al-ansab); then he roasted it and carried it with him. Then Zayd ibn Amr ibn Nufayl met us in the upper part of the valley; it was one of the hot days of Mecca. When we met we greeted each other with the greeting of the Age of barbarism, in'am sabahan. The Prophet said: "Why do I see you, O son of Amr, hated by your people?" He said, "This (happened) without my being the cause of their hatred; but I found them associating divinities with God and I was reluctant to do the same. I wanted (to worship God according to) the religion of Abraham..." The Prophet said, "Would you like some food?" He said, "Yes." Then the Prophet put before him the (meat of the ewe). He (that is, Zayd ibn Amr) said: "What did you sacrifice to, O Muhammad?"

"He said, "TO ONE OF THE IDOLS." Zayd then said: "I am not the one to eat anything slaughtered for a divinity other than God." (Al-Kharqushi, Sharaf al-Mustafa, cited in F. E. Peters, Muhammad and the Religion of Islam, pg. 126-127)

Ibn al-Kalbi also confirms the fact of Muhammad offering up a ewe to al-Uzza, "in accordance with the religion of the people." (Ibid., pg. 127)

Even though the parenthetical statement "to the pagans" is not part of the Arabic text of the Hadith, the point is still clear that Muhammad ate food sacrificed to idols that Zaid, a hanif, or a pure monotheistic worshipper, refused to partake. Other Islamic traditions show where Muhammad did clearly sacrifice meat to idols before his call to Islam. Though Muhammad later claimed to relay a monotheistic message his pagan heritage did manage to influence Islam. The Quran itself commanded Muslims to continue practicing the common day pagan Arab rites as part of Islam, an allege monotheistic religion:

"Behold! Safa and Marwa are among the Symbols of Allah. So if those who visit the House in the Season or at other times, should compass them round, it is no sin in them. And if any one obeyeth his own impulse to good,- be sure that Allah is He Who recogniseth and knoweth." S. 2:158

Safa and Marwa were both pagan practices which had no biblical or Abrahamic support as true religious practices from God. Nothing in both the Old and New Testament mentions any prophet speaking about them or commanding believing people to practice running around them.

SAFA, AS-, AND AL-MARWAH

al-Baqarah 2:158

Safa is a part of the mountain in Mecca. ACCORDING TO MUSLIM TRADITIONS, as-Safa and al-Marwah are the two moutains that Hagar ran between, for seven times, to look for water for her dying son, Ishmael. Muslims re-enact this running during the hajj. --http://www.answering-islam.org/Index/index.html

Here we are given a clear picture as to how Muhammad's mystic background affected his way of thinking. Why would God say that pagan rites, from time memorial aren’t wrong? Muslims may claim how these were first the practices of Hagar, but no such theory was promoted until the Hadith literature was composed in the 9th century. The fact that Muhammad himself originally didn't even considered these rites as practices of Haggar also strikes us as being peculiar. Since Gabriel revealed the Quran to Muhammad, according to Islamic tradition, we must continue the study of both of them to see Muhammad’s call is from God or from a familiar spirit. Alfred Guillaume, world-renowned Islamic scholar comments on Muhammad's first vision:

Then the thought came to him that he must be a Sha'ir or possessed...Thereupon, he left the place with the intention of throwing himself over a precipice. But while on his way, he heared a voice from heaven hailing him as the Apostle of God, and while lifting up his eyes, he saw a [supernatural] figure astride the horizon which in turned him from his purpose AND KEPT HIM ROOTED TO THE SPOT. (Guillaume, Alfred; Islam: New York, Penguin, 1977, pg. 38-39)

Muhammad's religious experience obviously wasn't the same like those of the Biblical prophets and other figures who had any interaction with Gabriel or God. Nor were those people mystics like the prophet of Islam. Each was given his/her perspective message and none tried to throw themselves over a cliff. We also note that:

Muhammad's inspiration and religious experiences are remarkably similar to those found in some form of spiritism. SHAMANISM, for example in notorious for fostering periods of mental disruption as well as SPIRIT-POSSESSION. Significantly, Muhammad experienced SHAMAN-LIKE ENCOUNTERS -(Guillaume, Alfred; Islam: New York, Penguin Books, 1977, pg. 24-25, 37, 56, passim; cf. Harner, Michael; The Way of the Shaman: New York: Bantam, 1980)

Here is where the differentiation between Muhammad and the Biblical prophets come in dealing with the spiritual nature of their calling. Before we assume that Muhammad was a true prophet we must carefully study his calling and the interaction between him and the spirit realm. If Muhammad is a true prophet then his spiritual encounters shouldn’t resemble any common medium and clairvoyant activity prevalent in ancient pagan societies. From the Hadith we saw that Muhammad used to have a "form of good righteous (true) dreams in his sleep." Before this time we should note that Allah hadn't personally been revealed to Muhammad, this came later on. Note this from a site on Shamanism:

Shamans often display significant psychic faculties of clairvoyance, dreaming of actual events, becoming aware that a relative has died or having uncanny visions of future events or far away places. Some of these 'siddhis' are very similar to those expressed in the traditions of Indian mysticism and Tibetan Buddhism which is founded on the earlier shamanism of the Bön. (Shamanism - The Psychic Descent: from Genesis of Eden Diversity Encyclopedia)

Muhammad's shamanistic behavior is very evident in the Hadith and Islamic traditions. He had visions of the dead prophets (with the exception of Jesus), in which he claimed to visit on his journey to heaven. We do know that he did claim to visit to the furthest mosque, which Muslims claim was the Al-Asqa in Jerusalem. These are clear shamanistic visions, which is propagated to be prophetic. This falls under the criteria of a shaman traveling to far-away places or a typical “shaman journey”. The evidence of shaman-like behavior is clearly influenced from Muhammad's background as a mystic, who were originally pagan worshippers in pre-Islamic in Arabia. From Islamic history we now learn of Muhammad's shamanistic vision of "traveling to further places":

Glory to (Allah) Who did take His Servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque (Masjid al-Aqsa), whose precincts We did bless,- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things). S. 17:1

Based upon the text of the Quran, Muhammad envoked upon a journey from Mecca to the temple in Jerusalem. The Islamic traditions provide greater detail of Muhammad’s travel to the temple in Jerusalem while describing its features:

Muhammad Ibn 'Umar al-Aslami informed us; he said: Usamah Ibn Zayd al-Laythi related to me on the authority of 'Amr Ibn Shu'ayb, he on the authority of his father, he on the authority of his ('Amr's) grand-father; (second chain) he (Ibn Sa'd) said: Musa Ibn Ya'qub al-Zam'i related to me on the authority of his father, he on the authority of his (Musa's) grandfather, he on the authority of Umm Salamah; (third chain) Musa said: Abu al-Aswad related to me on the authority of 'Urwah, he on the authority of 'Ayishah; (fourth chain) Muhammad Ibn 'Umar said: Ishaq Ibn Hazim related to me on the authority of Wahb Ibn Kaysan, he on the authority of Abu Murrah the mawla of 'Aqil, he on the authority of Umm Hani daughter of Abu Talib (fith chain) he (Ibn Sa'd) said: 'Abd Allah Ibn Ja'far related to me on the authority of Zakariya Ibn 'Amr, he on the authority of Abu Mulaykah, he on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas and others; their consolidated narrations are: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, was taken by night on the seventeenth night of First Rabi' before Hijrah, and one year before the blockade in the mountainpass of Abu Talib, to Bayt al-Muqaddas. The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, said: I was mounted on a beast WHOSE SIZE WAS BETWEEN A DONKEY AND A MULE, with two wings in its thighs, which came up to its hoofs and were set in them. When I went near it to ride, it became restive. Thereupon Gabriel placed his hand on its head and said: O Buraq! are you not ashamed of what you are doing? By Allah NO SERVANT OF ALLAH HAS RIDDEN YOU BEFORE MUHAMMAD, more honoured in the sight of Allah. It felt ashamed till it was covered with sweat, and became calm; then I mounted it. It moved its ears, and the earth shrank to such an extent that its hoofs (seemed to touch its surface) at the end of the range of our sight. It had a long back and long ears. Gabriel accompanied me and he never lost touch with me nor did I till we reached Bayt al-Muqaddas; and al-Buraq reached its halting place. It was tied there and it was the place where the beasts... of the Prophets were tied before the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him. He (the Prophet) said: I saw the Prophets who had assembled there for me. I saw Abraham, Moses and Jesus and, I thought there must be some one to lead them (in prayers); Gabriel made me go forward till I offered prayers in front of them and inquired from them (about their mission). They said: We were commissioned with Unity (of Allah).

Some of them (narrators) said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him, had disappeared that night, so the members of family of 'Abd al-Muttalib went out to search him. Al-'Abbas went to Dhu Tuwa and began to shout: O Muhhamad! O Muhammad! The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, said: I am here. He said: O my brother's son! You have worried the people since the (beginning of the) night, where had you been? He said: I am coming from Bayt al-Muqaddas. He said: IN ONE NIGHT? He said: Yes. He said: Did you experience anything which was not good? He said: I did not experience anything but good. Umm Hani said: He was taken on this journey from our house. He slept that night with us; he offered al-'Isha prayers, and then he slept. When it was pre-dawn we awoke him (to offer) morning (prayers). He got up and when he offered morning prayers he said: O Umm Hani! I offered al'Isha prayers with you as you witnessed, then I reached Bayt Al-Muqaddas and offered prayers there; then I offered morning prayers before you. After this he got up to go out; I said to him: Do not relate this to the people because they will believe you and harm you. He said: By Allah I shall relate to them and inform them. They wondered at it and said: We have never heard a thing like this. The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, said to Gabriel; O Gabriel! my people will not confirm it. He said: Abu Bakr will testify to it; and he is al-Siddiq. The narrator added: Many people who had embraced Islam and offered prayers went astray. (The Prophet continued,) I stood at al-Hijr, visualised Bayt al-Muqaddas and described its signs. Some of them said: HOW MANY DOORS ARE THERE IN THAT MOSQUE? I HAD NOT COUNTED THEM SO I BEGAN TO LOOK AT IT AND COUNTED THEM ONE BY ONE AND GAVE THEM INFORMATION CONCERNING THEM. I also gave information about their caravan which was on the way and its signs. They found them as I had related. Allah, the Almighty, the Great, revealed: "We appointed the vision which We showed thee as an ordeal for mankind". He (Ibn Sa'd) said: It refers to the vision of the eye which he saw with the eye. (Ibn Sa'd's Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir Volume I: translated by S. Moinul Haq, M.A., PH.D assisted by H.K. Ghazanfar M.A.; Kitab Bhavan Exporters & Importers, 1784 Kalan Mahal, Daryaganj, New Delhi - 110 002 India; pg. 246-248)

Alfred Guillame's world-renown translation of Muhammad's biography, "Sirat Rasulullah" gives us more on the shamanistic journey of Muhammad, prophet of Islam:

Ziyad b. 'Abdullah al-Bakka'i from Muhammad b. Ishaq told me the following: Then the apostle was carried by night from the mosque at Mecca to the Masjid al-Aqsa WHICH IS THE TEMPLE OF AELIA, when Islam had spread in Mecca among the Quraysh and all the tribes.

... His companion (Gabriel) went with him to see the wonders between heaven and earth, UNTIL HE CAME TO JERUSALEM'S TEMPLE ...

In his story al-Hasan said: "The apostle and Gabriel went their way until they arrived AT THE TEMPLE AT JERUSALEM" ... (Guillaume, Alfred; The Life of Muhammad translation of Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasulullah: Oxford Uinversity Press Karachi, pg. 181, 182)

All of these traditions and Islamic sources base their information on the authentic sahih hadiths, or true sayings of Muhammad. Here are the accounts of Muhammad's journey from these traditions:

Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:

The Prophet said, "When the Quraish disbelieved me (concerning my night journey), I stood up in Al-Hijr (the unroofed portion of the Ka'ba) and Allah displayed Bait-ul-Maqdis before me, and I started to inform them (Quraish) about its signs while looking at it." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 233)

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:

Regarding the Statement of Allah, "And We granted the vision (Ascension to the heavens) which We made you see (as an actual eye witness) was only made as a trial for the people." (17.60)

Ibn Abbas added: The sights which Allah's Apostle was shown on the Night Journey when he was taken to Bait-ul-Maqdis (i.e. Jerusalem) were actual sights, (not dreams). And the Cursed Tree (mentioned) in the Quran is the tree of Zaqqum (itself). (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 228)

It is narrated on the authority of Anas b. Malik that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: I was brought al-Buraq Who is an animal white and long, larger than a donkey but smaller than a mule, who would place his hoof a distance equal to the range of version. I mounted it and came to the Temple (Bait Maqdis in Jerusalem), then tethered it to the ring used by the prophets. I entered the mosque and prayed two rak'ahs in it, and then came out and Gabriel brought me a vessel of wine and a vessel of milk. I chose the milk, and Gabriel said: You have chosen the natural thing. Then he took me to heaven...(Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0309)

The following commentary on S. 17:1 is taken from Tafsir Ibn Kathir-Abridged Volume 5, Surah Hud to Surat Al-Isra', Verse 38, abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri, (Darussalam Publishers & Distributors; Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore, July 2000):

<from Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa> means the Sacred House which is in Jerusalem, the origin of the Prophets from the time of Ibraham Al-Khalil. The Prophets all gathered there, and he (Muhammad) led them in prayer in their own homeland. This indicates that he is the greatest leader of all, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and upon them. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir-Abridged Volume 5, Surah Hud to Surat Al-Isra', Verse 38: pg. 551)

Ibn Kathir includes the following hadith:

I remember being in Al-Hijr, and the Quraysh were asking me about my Night Journey. They asked me things about Bayt Al-Maqdis that I was not sure of, and I felt more anxious and stressed then than I have ever felt. Then Allah raised up Bayt Al-Maqdis for me to see, and there was nothing they asked me about but I told them about it. And I remember being in a gathering of the Prophets. Musa was standing there praying, and he was a man with curly hair, as if he were one of the men of Shanu'ah. I saw 'Isa ibn Maryam standing there praying, and the one who most resembles him is 'Urwah bin Mas'ud Ath-Thaqafi. And I saw Ibrahim standing there praying, and for the one who most resembles him is your companion (meaning himself). Then the time for prayer came, and I led them in prayer. When I finished, a voice said, 'O Muhammad, this is Malik, the keeper of Hell,' so I turned to him, and he greeted me first. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir: pg. 571)

Finally,

"The truth is that the Prophet was taken on the Night Journey when he was awake, not in a dream, and he went from Makkah to Bayt Al-Maqdis riding on Al-Buraq. When he reached THE DOOR OF THE SANCTUARY, he tied up his animal by THE DOOR AND ENTERED, where he prayed two Rakahs to 'greet the Masjid'...

"Then he came back down to Bayt Al-Maqdis, and the Prophets came down with him and he led them in prayer there when the time for prayer came. Some claim that he led them in prayer in heaven, but the reports seem to say that it was in Bayt Al-Maqdis. In some reports it says that it happened when he first ENTERED...

"Then he came OUT OF BAYT AL-MAQDIS and rode on Al-Buraq back to Makkah in the darkness of the night. As for his being presented with the vessels containing milk and honey, or milk and wine, or milk and water, or all of these, some reports say that this happened in Bayt Al-Maqdis, and others say that it happened in the heavens. It is possible that it happened in BOTH places, because it is like offering food or drink to a guest when he arrives, and Allah knows best." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir: pg. 572-573)

The following citations are taken from 'Abd-Allah Hajjaj's The Isra' and Mi'raj-The Prophet's Night-Journey And Ascent Into Heaven, Dar Al-Taqwa Ltd., London, second edition 1993:

Jabir Ibn 'Abd Allah heard the Prophet (S) say: "When Quraysh disbelieved me (about the Isra'), I stood up in al-Hijr (the unroofed part of the Ka'bah) and Allah displayed Bayt al-Maqdis to me. So I began to describe its features to them whilst I was looking at it." (Ibid., pg. 5)

Al-Hafiz said, Ka'b ibn Ahbar narrated that the gate of heaven called Mas'ad al-Mala'ikah ("The angels' point of ascent") faces Bayt al-Maqdis. The 'Ulama' understood from this that the reason why the Prophet (S) was taken to Bayt al-Maqdis before ascent was so that he could be taken straight up...

Other, weaker, suggestions have also been put forward. For example: so that the Prophet (S) would see both of the Qiblahs on that night; or because Bayt al-Maqdis had been the place to which most of the previous Prophets had migrated, so the Prophet Muhammad (S) had to go there to have the same virtues as they had... (Ibid., pg. 15)

It is said that the 'Isra happened twice, and on both occasions the Prophet (S) was awake. On the first occasion, he returned from Bayt al-Maqdis, and in the morning he told the Quraysh what had happened. On the first morning he told the Quraysh what had happened. On the second occasion he was taken to Bayt al-Maqdis, then on the same night he was taken up to heaven... But when he told them that he had traveled to Bayt al-Maqdis and returned in one night, they disbelieved him and asked to describe it, because some of them knew it, and they also knew that he had not seen it before... (Ibid., pg. 18)

... I reached Bayt al-Maqdis, where I tied my beast (al-Buraq) to the hitching-post which all the Prophets before me used... Gabriel and I entered Bayt al-Maqdis where we both prayed two Rak'ahas"... "Then I entered the Mosque where I saw all the Prophets praying - some standing, some bowing and some prostrating... When the Prophet (S) reached al-Masjid al-Aqsa, he began to pray..." Another Hadith narrated by Ahmad tells us that when 'Umar entered Bayt al-Maqdis, he said: "I shall pray where the Prophet (S) prayed" - then he went forward to the Qiblah and prayed. (Ibid., pg. 28)

'Ayat said: "It is possible that he prayed with all the Prophets IN Bayt al-Maqdis... Those who prayed with him IN Bayt al-Maqdis may have been there as souls only, or in body and soul. It is more likely that he prayed with them IN Bayt al-Maqdis before ascent; but Allah knows best." (Ibid., pg. 28-29)

The Book's glossary notes:

Bayt al-Maqdis: The name used for Jerusalem and in particular for the Mosque from which the prophet Muhammad (S) ascended to Heaven. (Ibid., pg. 54)

M.A. Qazi's A Concise Dictionary of Islamic Terms, Kazi Publications, Chicago IL, 1979, pg. 39 states:

Al-Masjid-al-Aqsa "The most distant Mosque." The temple at Jerusalem erected by Prophet Solomon (A.A.), also known as "Baitul-Maqdis" or Umar's Mosque.

Finally, Muhammad is purported to have said that a Muslim should visit the following three Mosques:

Narrated Quza'a:

I heard Abu Said saying four words. He said, "I heard the Prophet (saying the following narrative)." He had participated in twelve holy battles with the Prophet.

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Do not set out on a journey except for THREE Mosques i.e. Al-Masjid-Al-Haram, the Mosque of Allah's Apostle, and the Mosque of Al-Aqsa, (Mosque of Jerusalem)." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 21, Number 281)

That the phrase Bayt Al-Maqdis undoubtedly refers to the Temple structure located in Jerusalem as the preceding traditions affirm.It is undeniable that Muhammad experienced a shaman-like encounter dealing with his alleged journey to the furthest Mosque. Muhammad experienced what is called a shaman journey or in some instances wandering ecstasy:

THE SOUL OF THE SHAMAN, IT IS BELIEVED, THEN LEAVES HIS BODY and seeks one of the three worlds, or strata, of heaven. After awakening, he relates his experiences, where he wandered, and with whom he spoke. THERE ARE CASES OF POSSESSION ECSTACY AND WANDERING ECSTASY COMBINED, when the spirit first enters the shaman and then leads his soul to the world of supernatural beings. (Encyclopædia Britannica--"http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/9/0,5716,117459+8+109509,00.html": Shamanism, Subscription needed to view link)

Mircea Eliade points out how shamanic journeys relate to ancient pagan cultures emphasizing a linkage between the Greek culture and shamanism:

One could, moreover, extend these researches, notably by studying the 'shamanic' images and symbols used by Plato to illustrate the 'flight of the soul'; the ecstasy evoked by beauty, and the anamensis. cf. the 'unaccustomed warmth' at the sight of Beauty, which causes the 'feathers of the soul' to grow; indeed, 'in former times the soul was feathered all over' (Plato : Phaedra). But this magic warmth, and this ascension by means of plumage like that of birds, are found among the most ancient elements of shamism." (Eliade, Mircea; The Myth of the Noble Savage from Myths, Dreams and Mysteries)

Eliade points out that shamanic journeys or flight of the soul, are found among the most ancient elements of shamanism.

Teresa Moorey also quite rightly points out that the shamanic journeys are not by any means always straight flights. They all involve journeys, but these may be to upper or lower worlds, or involve a quest (often with a power animal) that is wandering, more linked to the maze than the straight line. Think too of the various Arthurian quests, these were certainly not conducted in a straight line. And these 'legends' may be remote memories of our ancestors shamanic journeys. (Mythology and Shamanism: Source)

Muhammad experienced a common shamanic journey, in which he was taken to both the temple in Jerusalem and to heaven to meet the dead prophets as shown in the Hadith. Muhammad’s journey to the spirit realm is no different from other shamans who travel to distant places to consult with angels or other beings, etc. Muhammad’s experience can be likened to many people in today’s modern society who experience near death experiences. This article illustrates how shamanic journeys are common among those who have near death experiences and how shamanism has a relationship with those also:

ABSTRACT: In the past 20 years, the field of near-death studies has thoroughly documented the existence of this phenomenon. The field now appears to be evolving from a purely academic one to include an applied, clinical component. I discuss the overlap between shamanism and near-death experiences (NDEs) and suggest that the study of shamanism would be add to our understanding of NDEs and help with the development of an applied methodology. Although it may be difficult to verify subjective accounts of NDEs and shamanic journeys, from a purely clinical standpoint, it is necessary to do so in order to utilize a clinical methodology based on spiritual principles.

“It is as a further result of his ability TO TRAVEL IN THE SUPERNATURAL WORLDS and to see the superhuman beings (gods, demons, spirits of the dead, etc.) that the shaman has been able to contribute decisively to the knowledge of death. In all probability many features of ‘funerary geography,’ as well as some themes of the mythology of death, are the result of ecstatic experiences of shamans. The lands that the shaman sees and the personages that he meets during his ecstatic journeys in the beyond are minutely described by the shaman himself, during or after his trance. The unknown and terrifying world of death assumes form, is organized in accordance with particular patterns; finally, it displays a structure and, in course of time, becomes familiar and acceptable. In turn, the supernatural inhabitants of the world of death become visible; they show a form, display a personality, even a biography. Little by little, the world of the dead becomes knowable, and death itself is evaluated primarily as a rite of passage to a spiritual mode of being. In the last analysis, the accounts of the shamans’ ecstatic journeys contribute to “spiritualizing” the world of the dead, at the same time that they enrich it with wondrous forms and figures.” (Eliade, Mircea; Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 1964, pg. 509-510) ---source and comments quoted from (Green, J. Timothy, Ph.D., Near-Death Experiences, Shamanism, and the Scientific Method: This article was originally published in the IANDS "Journal of Near Death Studies" vol.16 #3 Spring 1998)

Even though Muhammad lived in post-biblical Arabia, we find that many of his experiences were very similar to many shamans who live in any ancient culture preceding him. Muhammad’s shamanic journey is very similar to modern out of body experiences, which is very common among those in occult practices. Like many shamans and modern “near death” mystics, he visited and talked with prophets who passed away before him as well as visited certain parts of heaven allegedly:

Despite differences in other aspects of culture, as well as vast geographical and time differences, many of the basic practices, techniques and beliefs which comprise shamanism ARE AMAZINGLY SIMILAR crossculturally. (Harner, 1980; Walsh, 1990). These similarities led transpersonal psychiatrist Roger Walsh to suggest that spontaneous NDEs, out-of-body experiences (OBEs), and lucid dreams may have been the inspiration for consciously induced shamanic journeys:

Yet around the world people who have never even heard of shamanism may be surprised to find themselves having journey like experiences. These may erupt spontaneously and entirely unsought as out-of-body experiences (OOBEs), lucid dreams, or near-death experiences. Such experiences have presumably occurred THROUGHOUT HUMAN HISTORY. As such they may have provided THE INSPIRATION FOR CONSCIOUSLY INDUCED JOURNEYS, first in shamanism, then in other religious traditions, and most recently in psychotherapy. (1990, p. 148)

The master shaman is a medicine man, a soul doctor, who has acquired a great deal of information about ancient techniques of healing a variety of physical, psychological and spiritual problems. Through their long apprenticeship, the shaman has learned a number of ancient arts of healing which they use in helping as well as maintaining the well-being and the health of members of their community. Although there are a number of different types of practitioners, central to all shamanic activity is the “shamanic journey.”

The Shamanic Journey

During a shamanic journey, the shaman enters into an altered state of consciousness, referred to by Harner (1980, p. xvi) as Shamanic State Consciousness (SSC), and WILLS HIMSELF or herself to have an OBE. There are a number of different methods of achieving this state, but the one most frequently used is prolonged drumming. Once having achieved the ecstatic state, the shaman enters into nonordinary reality and travels to one of the three realms for a specific purpose.

Shamanic cosmology postulates three different, but interpenetrating realms of existence: the Middle World, which corresponds most closely with physical reality; the Lower World and the Upper World. These realms are experienced as real, although they are also clearly different from the physical reality that most people share. Shamans believe that these worlds are populated by spirits who are accessible to people at death or in an altered state of consciousness. The shaman enters into an altered state of consciousness, thus using his mind to “gain access, to pass through the door into another reality that exists independently of that mind.” (Harner and Doore, 1987, p. 4). The shaman becomes an active participant developing and maintaining an on going relationship with them, WHILE ENLISTING THEIR AID AND INSTRUCTION in how to help care for the lives of the people to whom they minister.

Through repeated journeys, the shaman becomes familiar with both the geography and the inhabitants of these different realms. While doing so, he or she enlists the aid of helping spirits, often in the form of animals, who assist the shaman in learning the various methods of curing illnesses, disorders, or diseases. These helping spirits are called power animals. The shaman will also acquire a teacher, often referred to as a tutelary spirit, who acts as a teacher during his or her journeys. From the shamanic perspective, all things are thought to be endowed with spirit; animals, plants, even minerals possess a spiritual essence, and it is the shaman who has the ability to communicate directly with these spiritual entities. (Green, J. Timothy, Ph.D., Near-Death Experiences, Shamanism, and the Scientific Method: This article was originally published in the IANDS "Journal of Near Death Studies" vol.16 #3 Spring 1998)

Muhammad’s journey embodies most of these characteristics, except for the concept of healing, which isn’t required in shamanism or shamanistic experiences. He meet the spirits of the dead prophets, he talked with Gabriel, who acted as his teacher and guide or tutelary spirit:

Narrated Abu Dhar:

Allah's Apostle said, "While I was at Mecca the roof of my house was opened and Gabriel descended, opened my chest, and washed it with Zam-zam water. Then he brought a golden tray full of wisdom and faith and having poured its contents into my chest, he closed it. Then HE TOOK MY HAND AND ASCENDED WITH ME TO THE NEAREST HEAVEN, when I reached the nearest heaven, Gabriel said to the gatekeeper of the heaven, 'Open (the gate).' The gatekeeper asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel answered: 'Gabriel.' He asked, 'Is there anyone with you?' Gabriel replied, 'Yes, Muhammad I is with me.' He asked, 'Has he been called?' Gabriel said, 'Yes.' So the gate was opened and we went over the nearest heaven and there we saw a man sitting with some people on his right and some on his left. When he looked towards his right, he laughed and when he looked toward his left he wept. Then he said, 'Welcome! O pious Prophet and pious son.' I asked Gabriel, 'Who is he?' He replied, 'He is Adam and the people on his right and left are the souls of his offspring. Those on his right are the people of Paradise and those on his left are the people of Hell and when he looks towards his right he laughs and when he looks towards his left he weeps.'

Then he ascended with me till he reached the second heaven and he (Gabriel) said to its gatekeeper, 'Open (the gate).' The gatekeeper said to him the same as the gatekeeper of the first heaven had said and he opened the gate. Anas said: "Abu Dhar added that the Prophet met Adam, Idris, Moses, Jesus and Abraham, he (Abu Dhar) did not mention on which heaven they were but he mentioned that he (the Prophet ) met Adarn on the nearest heaven and Abraham on the sixth heaven. Anas said, "When Gabriel along with the Prophet passed by Idris, the latter said, 'Welcome! O pious Prophet and pious brother.' The Prophet asked, 'Who is he?' Gabriel replied, 'He is Idris." The Prophet added, "I passed by Moses and he said, 'Welcome! O pious Prophet and pious brother.' I asked Gabriel, 'Who is he?' Gabriel replied, 'He is Moses.' Then I passed by Jesus and he said, 'Welcome! O pious brother and pious Prophet.' I asked, 'Who is he?' Gabriel replied, 'He is Jesus. (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 8, Number 345)

With the help of his spirit guide, Muhammad even gave different perspective descriptions of heaven and the locations of heaven where he met various prophets WHICH IS very common to a shamanistic journey. Muhammad also believed that animals, trees etc., possessed spirits and could talk, which anybody can see from studying Islamic traditions. The Hadith clearly exposes Muhammad’s shamanistic encounters with the various spirits and his strange superstitions. Islamic inspiration is nothing more than common shamanism.

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar:

Allah's Apostle said, "You (i.e. Muslims) will fight with the Jews till some of them will hide behind stones. THE STONES WILL (BETRAY THEM) SAYING, 'O 'Abdullah (i.e. slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him.'"(Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 176)

Here we see how stones are talking and telling Muslims to kill Jews, which is very similar to the shamanistic concept of “believing that everything has a spirit, which can communicate to people”. In Islamic tradition, Muhammad even asked Moses about the number of prayers a day for his Muslim followers. It should be noted that Moses was dead for thousands of years before Muhammad's birth. What is also ironic is that Muhammad claimed to travel to the furthest mosque on “Al Baruq”, a horse. Muslims believe that even in Hindu scriptures, Muhammad would travel on a white horse around the world, i.e. to Jerusalem, heaven, etc as shown in the Islamic traditions. They even appeal to ancient Hindu scriptures to prove this point:

5. It is stated in Vedas (holy book of Hindu Religion) that the birth of Kalki Avatar would take place in an honorable clan. This perfectly fits the Quraysh where the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.S) belonged to.

6. God would teach Kalki Avatar through His messenger (angel) in a cave. Allah taught Prophet Muhammad (S.A.S), through is messenger Jibraeel (Gabreal) in a cave known as Gaar-e-Hiraa.

7. God would avail Kalki Avatar with a very speedy horse to ride and travel the whole world and the seven skies. Indication of Buraaque (horse) and Me'raaj (the night when prophet traveled the seven skies).

8. God would also avail Kalki Avatar with divine help. This was particularly proved in the Battle of Uhud.

9. Another dazzling account given about Kalki Avatar was that he would be born on the 12th of a month. Whereas the Prophet Muhammad(S.A.S) was born on the 12th of the Rabiul Awwal (Islamic Calendar).

10. Kalki Avatar would be an excellent horse rider and a swordsman. The author here draws the attention of Hindus that the real days of horses and swords have gone and the present time is of guns and missiles. So it would be foolish on the part of those who still expect Kalki Avatar, who should be an excellent rider and swordsman to come.

In fact, the divine book, Holy Qur'aan contains qualities and signs attributed to Kalki Avatar reflecting on the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.S).

The author has given numerous arguments in favor of his claim that Kalki Avatar is in fact Prophet Muhammad (S.A.S) and those who still await the arrival of Kalki Avatar should think again. (Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him in "non-idol worshiping" Hindu Religion Books: from Answering-Christianity, Muslim website)

Such information about Muhammad in Hindu scriptures is featured on many Islamic websites. Not only is this strange but it shows how desperate Muslims are in trying to tie Muhammad in to every type of prophesy imaginable. First they attack Christianity and claim how is pagan and then they proceed to find Muhammad in pagan scriptures!! What is detrimental to their cause is the fact that in Shamanism, horses are also considered to be used by shamans in spiritual travel to various spiritual realms:

Horses are USED BY SHAMANS to reach ecstasy by travelling through the air. The horse is an image of death, so it enables the shaman to enter other worlds. The hobby horse is a reflection of this. Eight legged horses are common in shamanic myths, again connected to funerals. (The Visionary Experiences of the Shaman: Supertarot website on Shamanism © Paul Hughes-Barlow 2001, Revised: September 2002)

It is amazing how Muhammad incriminates himself again by tying his visions to symbols and signs already known to shamanism. Unlike Jesus who is literally descended back to earth on a horse, and not in a vision, Muhammad is claiming that he used this horse to travel to heaven. Jesus never experienced shaman-like experiences common to Muhammad’s inspiration. Unlike shamanism, Jesus ascended to heaven on his own, while like shamanism, Muhammad ascended to heaven on a horse. The only thing is that Muhammad didn't have an eight-legged horse, though this isn't required in shamanistic visions. We do note that:

In the shamanic state the shaman has various powers that he does possess in ordinary reality. He can see spirits and souls, and communicate with them; MAKE MAGICAL FLIGHTS TO THE HEAVENS where he serves as intermediary between the gods and his people; and descend to the underworld, the land of the dead. These flights are accomplished by shape-shifting (see Metamorphosis), he rides mythical horses or the spirits of sacrificed horses, travels in spirits boats, and the like.

Most believe that they must have a close connection with nature because their guardian spirit usually is that of a plant or animal. Many say the guardian spirit takes the shaman to the other realities through holes between worlds where he is given his needed knowledge and power to help his people and village. This latter purpose makes it essential that the shaman remains lucid throughout his shamanic journeys, so he can bring back vital information that will help his people. A.G.H.---http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/s/shamanism.html (Shamanism: from the MYSTICA online Encyclopedia. copyright © 1997-2003 Alan G. Hefner. Last modified March 16, 2003)

It should be noted, while Muhammad had shamanic journeys, he was unable to heal, like other shamans. This isn’t uncommon since many shamans in various cultures aren’t necessarily healers. In his culture medicine men were not common like other places such as Tibet, Africa, etc. Muhammad wouldn’t be considered as a master shaman but a seer who had shamanistic experiences. Only master shaman's can heal people. Muhammad had his own guardian spirit carrying him to the realm of the prophets along with the complementary shaman horse to go along with his spirit guide Gabriel. Not only are horses an intricate part of shamanistic behavior, this article on shamanism even reports that the church considered the connection between the two to be evil:

Kaledon Naddair suggests that the Church associated shamanism with evil animals. He and others hint at the connections BETWEEN HORSES AND SHAMANISM. Nigel Pennick describes how a rapport with animals would be developed which is similar to the shaman's rapport with totems. (Seiðr Magic: Source)

Muhammad's prophetic call is very interesting and peculiar to examine. If we can compare his call to normal biblical revelation then we can discover whether God or a familiar spirit influenced him. As we continue to study the mystic's prophetic call from authentic Islam traditions, it becomes more apparent that his calling is more and more occultic and indulges heavily into psychic phenomenon. There are more reports, which make the careful reader aware of the occult and shamanistic background of Muhammad's calling:

Ayesha reported that Haresah-b-Hisham asked the Apostle of Allah! How does revelation come to you? The Apostle of Allah said: Sometimes it comes to me like the ringing of a bell and that is the most troublesome to me; then it leaves me and indeed I remember what is said; and sometimes the angel assumes the form of a man for me and talks with me and I retain in memory what he says. Ayesha reported: And indeed I saw him while the revelation descended upon him on an intensely cold day; then it left him while his brow steamed with sweat.

Obadah-b-Swamet reported that when a revelation came unto the prophet, he used to become GREATLY PERTURBED and his FACE became CHANGED. (Mishkat-ul-Masabih: collected by al-Baghawi and with comentary by Al-Haj Maulana Fazlul Karim, Volume IV, pg. 259)

And,

Ibn Ishaq says that, before the Revelation first began to descend upon him, Muhammad's friends feared that he was suffering from the evil eyes: and that, when it came upon him, almost the same illness attacked him again. What this particular malady was we can perhaps infer from the statements of the Traditionalists. Ali Halabi, in his Turkish work entitled 'Insanu'l Uyun', informs us that many people declared that Aminah, MUHAMMAD'S MOTHER, USED A SPELL in order to recover him from the influence of the evil eye. (Pfander, C.G., D.D."Mizanu'l Haqq", Balance of Truth: pg. 345-356)

If you read the Bible you will notice how no prophet ever had these weird experiences before dealing with God or an angel of God. We must wonder why would Muhammad's mother need to use a magical spell to heal him from the evil eye? From his early childhood, we see where Muhammad was a very trouble kid. Muslims usually don't mention anything about Muhammad's past in trying to convert people to Islam. They blindly follow the Quran but they have yet to really examined Muhammad. How do we know that an evil spirit might not have inspired the Quran? Because it said so? A evil spirit can say anything, including mentioning how it isn't evil. Basically, Muhammad's childhood and his prophetic experiences hardly relate to anything similar to the spirit of God or an angel visiting him. However, Muhammad's childhood and calling still continues to verify its shamanistic origin.

We do note that Muhammad in some forms of shamanism can be considered a:

Dulr (Anglo Saxon 'Thyle') the shamanically inspired poet, orator and sage, which may have similarities with the Celtic bard; (Seiðr Magic: Source)

In Seiðr Magic Muhammad would be no different from any "Dulr" or inspired poet who lived in a particularly society.

Seiðr literally means 'seething' or 'boiling' and has much in common with shamanism and other forms of primitive magick. Indeed it is highly likely that Seiðr is an adaptation of shamanic practices to suit the culture and times, when primitive society evolved discovering religion, agriculture and metallurgy. However, Seiðr is not a religious practice; it is a magickal practice which is where some of its SINISTER reputation originates. (Seiðr Magic: Source)

As you can see this form of shamanism is also characteristic of Muhammad's prophetic journey. The Encyclopedia Britannica Online edition has this to say about Shamanism and those who are chosen in occultic experiences related to it. (Note: The links we give from Britannica, in this article, can be viewed with an online subscription only. We reproduced the material when this service was free). Here is what it says about a shaman who is chosen by a familiar spirit:

Then, in a vision or a dream, the spirit who has CHOSEN HIM appears AND ANNOUNCES HIS BEING CHOSEN. This call is necessary for the shaman to acquire his powers. The spirit who has chosen him first lavishes the unwilling shaman-to-be with all sorts of promises and, if he does not win his consent, goes on to torment him. This so-called shaman illness will anguish him for months, perhaps for years, as long as he does not accept the shaman profession.
(Encyclopædia Britannica--"http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/9/0,5716,117459+6+109509,00.html": Shamanism, Subscription needed to view link)

In examining the Islamic traditions, the spirit who appeared to Muhammad does the exact same thing with him as a spirit who would appear to a shaman. Muslims might say how this is also the same case in the bible however the difference with Muhammad, in accordance to the shamanistic experience, was his torment for not immediately accepting the spirit's revelation about “him being the apostle of Allah”. Look at the quote from "Mizanu'l Haqq", about Muhammad's sickness again:

when it came upon him, almost THE SAME ILLNESS ATTACKED HIM AGAIN. (ibid)

This illness came right after Muhammad’s encounter with the spirit in the cave. This is known as common “shamanistic illness”, which follows these types of encounters with familiar spirits. If Muslims claim otherwise, they must intentionally ignore the facts about Muhammad’s prophet encounter with the spirit. If they say that Muhammad is a prophet, why does his experience with this spirit fit virtually perfect with common shamanistic encounters? No prophet in the Bible had these types of experiences. They never became sick after talking to an angel of God nor were they ever known to have bizarre childhood experiences, which required spells for their healing. Some prophets, like Daniel, were depressed if they received messages of doom, however this resulted from the message, which would be normal, and not the messenger!!

If a prophet of God received a message of doom and despair, it would be abnormal for him/her to be happy about this message. However Muhammad was given a good message saying how he was a messenger of God. This is good news not bad news. Good news brings happiness and bad news brings joy. While some of the prophets in the bible were troubled about their message none were ever troubled by the messenger or God in any physical way. Neither God nor any of his angels forced his messengers to relay his message. He didn’t intimidate them with physical force at that moment.

Muhammad’s prophetic call is very common to other shaman’s of many different cultures. Let us quote part of the necessary hadiths dealing with the encounter with the angel in the cave again:

…The angel came to him in it and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, "I do not know how to read." (The Prophet added), "The angel caught me (forcefully) AND PRESSED ME SO HARD THAT I COULD NOT BEAR IT ANYMORE. He then released me and again asked me to read, and I replied, "I do not know how to read," whereupon he caught me again AND PRESSED ME A SECOND TIME till I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and asked me again to read, but again I replied, "I do not know how to read (or, what shall I read?)." Thereupon he caught me for the third time AND PRESSED ME and then released me… (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 87, number 111)

…The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, "I do not know how to read.

The Prophet added, "The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, 'I do not know how to read.' Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read but again I replied, 'I do not know how to read (or what shall I read)?' Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me, and then released me… (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, book 1 number 3)

After his encounter with the spirit, Muhammad became ill. Is this a prophetic reaction? Hardly. However this is common to many other shamans who experience “shaman illness”. Here is an account about the shaman profession upon unwilling subjects:

"Unlike the medicine man, the Shaman's adoption of his profession is in many cases not voluntary. The future Shaman's experience of being called seems frequently to consist in a compulsive state from which he sees no other means of escape than to 'Shamanize'. It is often clear, particularly from reports from Siberia, that the man who is to become a Shaman consciously does not wish to do so at all, BUT IS DRIVEN AND FORCED TO IT BY THE 'SPIRITS', and finally, in order not to perish, takes the only path open to him and becomes a Shaman. The future Shaman, the young man suited for Shamanizing, cannot escape the demands of the spirits, which drive him deeper and deeper into the illness, although he very often tries to resist. He gets into a situation, into a mental illness, from which he can find no way out except death OR the assumption of the office of Shaman." (Lommel, Andreas; The World of the Early Hunter: 1967) also quoted here- (Source)

Muhammad was totally afraid after his encounter with the spirit and felt totally helpless to the point of suicide. Is this a characteristic of biblical prophethood or shamanic experiences?

Helplessness and lack of control also characterises THE INITIAL STAGE OF SHAMANIC INITIATORY ILLNESS as well as schizophrenia. (Silverman, Julian, "Shamans and Acute Schizophrenia", in American Anthropologist, vol.69, 1967, pg. 23-24)

Muhammad’s experience was a typical shamanic experience common throughout all of Asia, from Japan to Turkey as well as other ancient cultures. Shamanism varies in form in different cultures but one common characteristics of shamanism, no matter what culture is shamanic illness. This source describes in greater detail about shaman illness, in Tibet:

Prospective shamans suffer the "shaman illness", often at puberty or during the teenage years; they remain sick until an elder shaman begins to teach them. Newly-chosen Tibetan mediums suffer from fits, and must be found and initiated in much the same way. There are characteristic symptoms of the shaman illness and of divinatory trances. (Shamanism in Mongolia and Tibet: Source)

Any learned person can clearly see that no matter what part of the world one lives in, common shamanistic behavior is virtually the same. These Tibetian shaman boys experience the same activities as Muhammad. Such shamanistic experiences include sickness after a spirit encounter, fits and divinatory trances. In fact the entire Quran comes from what Muhammad received through trances. This is something Muslims don’t want you to know about in teaching Islam to the Christian population.

The noted Quranic translator Rodwell, whose English translations of the Quran are used in many academic universities and scholarly debates, observes this on Muhammad from his youth:

At the same time, he was probably, more or less, throughout his whole career, the victim of certain amount of self-deception. A CATALEPTIC SUBJECT FROM HIS EARLY YOUTH, born-- according to the traditions-- of a HIGHLY NERVOUS AND EXCITABLE MOTHER, he would be peculiarly liable to MORBID AND FANTASTIC HALLUCINATIONS, and alterations of excitement and depression, which would win for him, in the eyes of his ignorant countrymen, the credit of being inspired. (Rodwell, J.M.; The Koran: New York, 1977, pg. 14)

Muhammad's problems began earlier with his mother and continued well into his own adulthood. Muhammad’s adolescent problems can’t be likened to any normal child. In ancient cultures, anyone who experienced such problems was considered to be a future shaman. Muhammad’s shamanistic behavior can clearly be seen in his early experiences with these spirits as a child. His own foster-parents believed that he had been possessed by evil-spirits. Muhammad's foster-mother Halimah elaborates on a troubling experience of Muhammad during his childhood:

"Some months after our return he and his brother were with our lambs behind the tents when his brother came running and said to us, `Two men clothed in white has ceased that Qurayshi brother of mine and thrown him down and opened up his belly, and are stirring him up.' We ran towards him and found him standing up with a livid face. We took hold of him and asked him what was the matter. He said, `Two men with white raiment came and threw me down and opened up my belly and searched therein for I know not what,' so we took him back to our tent... His father said to me, `I am afraid that this child has had a stroke, so take him back to his family before the result appears.' So we picked him up and took him to his mother who asked why we had brought him when I had been anxious for his welfare and desirous of keeping him with me. I said to her, `God has let my son live so far and I have done my duty. I am afraid that ill will befall him, so I have brought him back to you as you wished.' She asked me what happened and gave me no peace until I told her. When she asked if I feared a demon possessed him, I replied that I did. She answered that no demon had any power over her son who had a great future before him, and then she told me how when she was pregnant with him a light went out from her which illumined the castles of Busra and Syria." (Alfred Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad, pp. 71-72)

Muhammad’s own mother had to convince his foster parents that he wasn’t demon possessed. Since we know how she herself was prone to abnormal behavior it comes as no surprise that she defends her son who was also prone to abnormal behavior. Later in his adult life, Muhammad also separated himself from the people of Mecca, in the caves in search of religious truths in intense meditation. All of these traits are common to shamanism, and from his childhood experiences with the supernatural we see how Muhammad's encounter with these spirits runs in line with what happens to many future shamans:

Finding the Shamanic Vocation

The shamanic life often begins with a spiritual crisis or 'separation'. Shamans are recruited by either hereditary transmission or spontaneous calling. Traditionally, those who become shamans by their own free will are not as powerful as those who are recruited and trained. The training is carried out by two methods; ecstatic (dreams, trances etc), or traditional.

Whether or not shamanism is hereditary, signs of potential ability from puberty include: NERVOUSNESS, DESIRE FOR SOLITUDE, being absent minded or dreamy, EVEN EPILEPTIC FITS. Many latent candidates sleep excessively. The person may be instructed by a spirit in a dream of his vocation. However, the person still has to prove to the spirits of his abilities through various tests. In other words, the process may take some years before the person is accepted as a shaman within the community. (The Visionary Experiences of the Shaman: Supertarot website on Shamanism © Paul Hughes-Barlow 2001, Revised: September 2002)

Muhammad’s experience with spirits in his youth, his solidarity at the caves, and his visitation from the spirit of the cave were clearly a gradual process common to shamanism. In many instances this contrasts the biblical call to prophethood, in which many of the prophets accepted their calling at a moments notice. Moses and Isaiah is just a couple of examples, which comes to mind. Only in the eyes of Muhammad’s ignorant companions, he would be considered a prophet. However anyone who is familiar with the occult can clearly see that all of these symptoms were common to shamanism and not biblical prophethood.

Lets highlight parts from Bukhari Hadith about Muhammad's initial experience with the spirit in the cave:

1. The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah's Apostle was in the form of good righteous (true) dreams in his sleep.

2. He used to go in seclusion (the cave of) Hira where he used to worship (Allah Alone) continuously for many (days) nights. (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, number 111)

Supplemented with more information from the Mishkat:

The Prophet's first experience of revelation.

The Holy Prophet received the first class revelation which came down for the very first time through the Archangel Gabriel in the cave Hira, now known as the mountain of Light, 3 miles to the northeast of Mecca in the month of Ramzan on Monday in the year 13 B.K. (July or August 610 A.D.). Before that, he saw prophetic dreams and heard unseen voices and calls. Before he received the first revelation, he took himself in COMPLETE SECLUSION to the Mount of Light and there applied himself in ardent divine service which consisted only of deep meditation. (Mishkat-ul-Masabih: collected by al-Baghawi and with comentary by Al-Haj Maulana Fazlul Karim, pg. 354 - Commentary)

Here we find all of the characteristics of shamanism in Muhammad’s initial call to prophethood. This site on shamanism describes just how shamans who are prepared to take on their various callings prepare for a spiritual encounter:

The process of THE EMERGENT SHAMAN is characterised by him becoming meditative, SEEKING SOLITUDE, sleeping a great deal, appearing absent minded, and having prophetic dreams. (The Visionary Experiences of the Shaman: Supertarot website on Shamanism © Paul Hughes-Barlow 2001, Revised: September 2002)

Muhammad had fits and attacks from spirits since his youth and during his adulthood he retreated to the caves to meditate and live in seclusion. A man like this, who has hallucinations, and experiences common shamanistic symptoms, is only viewed as inspired by ignorant people, which in essence, speak for itself. Muhammad, Islam and his claims to prophethood were developed among the throngs of the ignorant. Such people couldn’t tell the difference between common shamanistic behavior and biblical inspiration.

The Islamic traditions clearly show that Muhammad’s trouble stemmed from the spirit itself, which is an obvious clue to the nature of his encounter with this being. Islamic authorities were correct when they claimed that Muhammad had shamanistic encounters.

Muhammad said to Khadijah, 'When I was lone I heard a cry: O Muhammad, O Muhammad'. In tradition it is stated that he said, 'I fear lest I should become a magician, lest one should proclaim me a follower of the Jinn'; and again: 'I fear lest there should be madness' (or demonic possession) in me'. After an accession of shivering and shutting his eyes, there used to come over him what resembled a swoon, HIS FACE [mouth?] WOULD FOAM, AND HE WOULD ROAR LIKE A YOUNG CAMEL. Abu Hurairah says: 'As for the Apostle of God, when inspiration descended on him, no one could raise his glance to him until the inspiration came to an end'. In Tradition it is stated that 'He was troubled thereat, AND HIS FACE FOAMED, AND HE CLOSED HIS EYES, AND PERCHANCE ROARED LIKE THE ROARING OF THE YOUNG CAMEL'. Umar ibnu'l Khattab says: 'When inspiration descended on the Apostle of God, there used to be heard near his face as it were the buzzing of bees'. (Pfander, C.G., D.D."Mizanu'l Haqq", Balance of Truth: pg. 345-356)

We note Dr. Pfander particularly on page 345:

"Ibn Ishaq says that, before the Revelation first began to descend upon him, Mohammed's friends feared that he was suffering from the evil eye: and that, when it came upon him, almost the same illness attacked him again. In tradition it is stated that he (Mohammed) said: 'I fear lest I should become a magician, lest one should proclaim me a follower of the Jinn (spirit)', and again: 'I fear lest there should be madness' (or demonic possession) 'in me.' After an accession of shivering and shutting his eyes, there used to come over him what resembled A SWOON, HIS FACE WOULD FOAM and he would ROAR LIKE A YOUNG CAMEL." (Mizanu'l Haqq, pg. 345).

This is absolutely amazing! Muslims call a man who foamed at the mouth a prophet of God. This is an ugly site and anybody seen in today's society would be considered insane or mentally sick, if they constantly foamed at the mouth. If you saw Muhammad in this situation you'd think that he had rabies! Roaring like a camel? This is a clear demonic trait since no normal prophet ever roared like an animal in the Bible. Notice this excerpt from the book "Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas"

Shamans are just ordinary humans. They are farmers, craftsmen, mothers, housewives, factory workers. And in addition to this, they shamanize when someone comes to them who needs their help. Many patients leave nothing behind for them other than a few words of thanks. Others bring a small bag of rice or leave behind 10 to 15 Rupees.

Whenever we saw “our” Jhankris on the street, we always asked ourselves whether or not anybody realized that the plain woman wearing a traditional cotton sari and flip-flops, or the man with athletic pants, a shirt, and a baseball cap, was actually a powerful healer who battled demons at night and took on the nature and mannerisms of animal spirits.

Just as the forces of nature rage, so too do the Jhankris often rage in their chintas (healing ceremonies). They call authoritatively for their helping spirits and then they send them away again when the trance is deep enough. The encounters with the forces beyond are reflected in their SWEAT-COVERED FACES. They laugh or roll their eyes, ROAR or call out. No matter how deep the trance and how terrible the encounter is, no matter how ecstatically they convulse or spin in front of their altar, the Jhankris are always in the position to direct their journey through the three worlds and to control the trance. ---http://www.parkstpress.com/titles/shtahi.html (Müller-Ebeling, Claudia; Rätsch, Christian; Bahadur Shahi, Surendra; "Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas": excerpt from Chpt. 'The Way of the Shamans'. ISBN 0-89281-913-8)

Even though these shamans in the Himalayan region are healers, unlike Muhammad, we do notice where their inspiration consisted of roaring, and being covered with sweat just like Muhammad. It should be noted that Tantrism and Vajrayana, which these shamans are affiliated with, precede Islam by thousands of years. This shows us that no matter what culture, all shamans seem to share the same characteristics in trances and allege inspiration. Despite the minor differences based upon his culture, Muhammad's prophetic experience is not much different. He convulsed, roared, and sweated.

The characteristic of swooning was also considered by biblical prophets to be demonic. Muhammad experienced common shaman ecstasy in where he began to swoon, another demonic trait of mediums and people who are possessed by familiar spirits. Here we receive an in-depth analysis on shaman ecstasy from a site on shamanism and ecstasy:

The roots of ecstasy

When we think of someone in ecstasy we usually picture a person swooning with wild abaondon, joy and happiness. Yet ecstasy is also much more than this. It is an experience of unity and wholeness with an order of being much larger than the reality you're normally familiar with. It may arrive during the throes of a painful or deep heart-rending event such as the death of a loved one, or a debilitating illness. It is the last thing you might ever expect to show up in the center of a deeply challenging experience, but sometimes it does.

Terrence McKenna defines ecstasy as a complex emotion containing elements of joy, fear, terror, triumph, surrender and empathy. It derives from the Greek word ekstasis, meaning "displacement, trance, to take flight, to drive out of one's senses." The Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets defines it as "standing forth naked." Einstein referred to it as the "ultimate religious feeling state," while author Chris Griscom views it as "the higher self in action."

A defining trait of ecstasy is its immediacy. Ecstasy is not some
splendid event, like a ravishing sunset, that happens in the external
world before our eyes and ears. Ecstasy happens to our selves. It is a
momentary transformation of the knower, not merely a
transformation of the knower's experience.
- Jourdain, Ecstasy and The Brain

Ecstasy bestows a sense of amazing grace and can come about with, or without, conscious intention. It is a deeply intimate experience, an opening and merging of the heart and mind that leads one into a highly palpable sense of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. No social, political, personal, or dogmatic constructs of any kind can repress or erase it from human experience.

Ecstatic experience is the oldest form of healing and spiritual practice known with evidence of it dating back over 30,000 years TO ANCIENT TRADITIONS OF SHAMANISM. It is believed that shamans were the first to discover and codify the use and power of ecstasy through rhythmical expressions such as drumming, dancing, and chanting to carry them on their journeys into a world beyond the ordinary.--http://www.worldhealing.co.uk/risingearth/article25.html (Source)

And, this description of a West African shaman healer in action:

Another congregant's eyes roll up into the sockets and her gait changes to an aimless wandering. She slaps the hand of a man seated in front of her as though she were saying hello - in our black culture "giving five." Then she continues around the group, slapping everyone s hand. When she arrives at Akuete, she shakes his hand and talks. It is not a normal conversational tone, rather a stilted, shouted sound. Obviously, these weren't greetings from the woman, but the spirit speaking through her. In trance, people don t speak their language as in normal conversation; rather, it s formal and stiff, similar to Shakesperean English in contrast to American slang. People in trance have a frozen glaze on their faces, THEIR PERSONALITIES HAVE BEEN DISPLACED and access to regular conversation and eye contact is no longer possible.

I have a striking slide of an older woman on her knees, pouring powder all over herself. She's nearly covered, and as she pours it on thicker and thicker, she wails what seem like non-verbal sounds and rocks spasmodically. At one point in her trance, she rose and began pouring white powder on everyone, laughing AND SWOONING as she circled the congregation. [Side note: Akuete is referred to as a "Voodoo" priest] (Ph.D.Slomoff, Danny; ECSTATIC SPIRITS: A West African Healer at Work)

As you can see, swooning is a very common characteristic of shamanism and other occultic phenomenon. Even in voodoo rituals, the nature of inspiration is just the same as Muhammad's inspiration. Quranic inspiration is biblically demonic inspiration and nothing more. Muhammad’s words and utterances make him more like the millions of mediums who have come and gone in many cultures. Maybe this lady should be considered a prophet of Islam too. But then again since she is a lady we wouldn't expect to find her in the male chauvinist Quran.

Even in the Quran, swooning in general is considered as being negative in nature and in accordance to either death or judgment:

The believers ask: 'Has a chapter been sent down? ' But when a clear chapter is sent down and fighting is mentioned in it, you see those in whose hearts IS SICKNESS looking towards you as ONE WHO SWOONS AT DEATH. S. 47:20

They have not valued Allah with His true value. But on the Day of Resurrection, the entire earth will be in His grip, and the heavens shall be rolled up upon in His Right. Exaltations to Him! Exalted high is He above all that they associate! The Horn shall be blown and all who are IN HEAVENS AND EARTH SHALL SWOON, except those whom Allah wills. Then, the Horn will blow again and they shall stand and gaze. S. 39:67-68

Also in the Sahih Hadiths, swooning was associated with either death or judgment of God:

'Abdullah b. 'Umar said that Sa'd b. Ubada COMPLAINED OF ILLNESS. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) came to visit him accompanied by 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Auf, Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas and 'Abdullah b. Mas'ud. As he entered (his room) he FOUND HIM IN A SWOON. Upon this he said: Has he died? They said: Messenger of Allah, it is not so. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) wept. When the people saw Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) WEEPING, they also began to weep. He said. Listen, Allah does not punish for the tears that the eye sheds or the grief the heart feels, but He punishes for this (pointing to his tongue), or He may show mercy. (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 2010)

Abu Huraira reported: While a Jew was selling goods, he was given something which he did not accept or he did not agree (to accept) that 'Abdul 'Azlz (one of the narrators) is doubtful about it. He (the Jew) said: By Allah, Who chose Moses (peace be upon him) among mankind. A person from the Ansar heard it and gave a blow at his face saying: (You have the audacity) to say: By Him Who chose Moses amongst mankind, whereas Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) is living amongst us. The Jew went to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: Abu'l-Qasim, I am a Dhimmi and (thus need your protection) by a covenant, and added: Such and such person has given a blow upon my face. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Why did you give a blow on his face? He said: Allah's Messenger, this man said: By Him Who chose Moses (peace be upon him) amongst mankind, whereas you are living amongst us. Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) became angry and signs of anger could be seen on his face, and then said: Don't make distinction amongst the Prophets of Allah. When the horn will be blown and whatever is in THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH WOULD SWOON but he whom Allah grants exception, then another horn will be blown and I WOULD BE THE FIRST AMONGST THOSE WHO WOULD RECOVER and Moses (peace be upon him) would be catching hold of the Throne and I do not know whether it is a compensation for that WHEN HE SWOONED on the Day of Tur or he would be resurrected before me and I do not say that anyone is more excellent than Yunus son of Matta (peace he upon him). This hadith has been narrated on the authority of Abu Salama with the same chain of transmitters. (Sahih Muslim, Book 030, Number 5853)

'A'isha, the wife of Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him), reported that he used to say: Never a prophet DIES IN A STATE that he is not made to see his abode in Paradise, and then given a choice. 'A'isha said that when Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) was about to leave the world, his head was over her thigh and he HAD FALLEN INTO A SWOON three times. When he felt relief his eyes were FIXED at the ceiling. He then said: O Allah, along with the high companions (i. e. along with the Apostles who live in the most elevated place of the Paradise). (On hearing these words), I then said (to myself) He is not going to opt us and I remembered a hadith which he had narrated to us as he was healthy and in which he said: No prophet dies until he sees his abode in Paradise, he is then given a choice. 'A'isha said: These were the last words which Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) spoke (the words are): O Allah, with companions on High. (Sahih Muslim, Book 031, Number 5990)

And,

'Abdullah b. 'Amr reported that a person came to him and said: What is this hadith that you narrate that the Last Hour would come at such and such time? Thereupon he said: Hallowed be Allah, there is no god but Allah (or the words to the same effect). I have decided that I would not narrate anything to anyone now. I had only said that you would see after some time an important event that the (sacred) House (Ka'ba) would be burnt and it would happen and definitely happen. He then reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: The Dajjal would appear in my Ummah and he would stay (in the world) for forty-I cannot say whether he meant forty days, forty months or forty years. And Allah would then send Jesus son of Mary who would resemble 'Urwa b Mas'ud. He (Jesus Christ) would chase him and kill him. Then people would live for seven years that there would be no ran. cour between two persons. Then Allah would send cold wind from the side of Syria that none would survive upon the earth having a speck of good in him or faith in him but he would die, so much so that even if some amongst you were to enter the innermost part of the mountain, this wind would reach that place also and that would cause his heath. I heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Only the wicked people would survive and they would be as careless as birds with the charactertistics of beasts. They would never appreciate the good nor condemn evil. Then the Satan would come to them in human form and would say: Don't you respond? And they would say: What do you order us? And he would command them to worship the idols but, in spite of this, they would have abundance of sustenance and lead comfortable lives. Then the trumpet would be blown and no one would hear that but he would bend his neck to one side and raise it from the other side and the first one to hear that trumpet would be the person who would be busy in setting right the tank meant for providing water to the camels. HE WOULD SWOON and the other people would ALSO SWOON, then Allah would send or He would cause to send rain which would be like dew and there would grow out of it the bodies of the people. Then the second trumpet would be blown and they would stand up and begin to look (around). Then it would be said: O people, go to your Lord, and make them stand there. And they would be questioned. Then it would be said: Bring out a group (out of them) for the Hell-Fire. And then it would be asked: How much? It would be said: Nine hundred and ninty-nine out of one thousand for the Hell-Fire and that would be the day which would make the children old because of its terror and that would be the day about which it has been said:" On the day when the shank would be uncovered" (lxviii. 42). (Sahih Muslim, Book 041, Number 7023)

As you can see, swooning in Islam is also considered bad according to the Hadith and the Quran. Muhammad’s inspiration can be liken, based upon Islamic sources themselves, to a person dying and illness. Hence, we can conclude that death and illness were positive signs of Muhammad’s prophethood. There is nothing remotely positive about swooning. Here is a definition of swoon:

SWOON

1 a : a partial or total loss of consciousness b : a state of BEWILDERMENT or ecstasy : DAZE, RAPTURE 2 : a state of suspended animation. TORPOR (Merriam Webster Online Dictionary)

Anyone who is in a state of bewilderment shouldn’t be considered normal and in possession of his common facilities. One must wonder why only notable traits, found in common medium trances, (like Swooning) are seen in Muhammad's prophetic encounters? Should we ignore all of this and claim that Muhammad was a prophet of God, though he had these experiences because Muslims want us too? Gilbert Rouget, an authority on trances, considers them (Shaman ecstasy) as:

a state of consciousness composed of two components, one psychophysiological, the other cultural (Rouget, Gilbert; Music and Trance: A Theory of the Relations Between Music and Possession: The University of Chicago Press. 1985, pg. 3)

Rouget lists the principal symptoms of trance in archaic societies:

trembling, shuddering, horripilation, SWOONING, falling to the ground, yawning, lethar (Mugy, convulsions, FOAMING AT THE MOUTH, protruding eyes, large extrusions of the tongue, paralysis of a limb, thermal disturbances (icy hands despite tropical heat; being hot despite extreme circumambient cold), insensitivity to pain, tics, noisy breathing, fixed stare, and so on. (Rouget, Gilbert, IBID., pg. 13)

Further study of the Hadith continues to expose the shamanistic origin of Muhammad’s inspiration. In Shamanism a common trait of a potential shaman is thermal disturbance. Muhammad also experienced these occurrences when Gabriel allegedly inspired him:

Narrated 'Aisha:

(the mother of the faithful believers) Al-Harith bin Hisham asked Allah's Apostle "O Allah's Apostle! How is the Divine Inspiration revealed to you?" Allah's Apostle replied, "Sometimes it is (revealed) like the ringing of a bell, this form of Inspiration IS THE HARDEST OF ALL and then this state passes ' off after I have grasped what is inspired. Sometimes the Angel comes IN THE FORM OF A MAN and talks to me and I grasp whatever he says." 'AISHA ADDED: Verily I saw the Prophet BEING INSPIRED DIVINELY on a VERY COLD DAY AND NOTICE THE SWEAT DROPPING from his forehead (as the Inspiration was over). (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 2)

...Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah Al-Ansari while talking about the period of pause in revelation reporting the speech of the Prophet "While I was walking, all of a sudden I heard a voice from the sky. I looked up and saw the same angel who had visited me at the cave of Hira' sitting on a chair between the sky and the earth. I got afraid of him and came back home and said, 'Wrap me (in blankets).' And then Allah revealed the following Holy Verses (of Quran): 'O you (i.e. Muhammad)! wrapped up in garments!' Arise and warn (the people against Allah's Punishment),... up to 'and desert the idols.' (74.1-5) After this THE REVELATION STARTED COMING STRONGLY, FREQUENTLY AND REGULARLY." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 3)

And,

...I was a young girl and did not have much knowledge of the Quran. I said. 'I know, by Allah, that you have listened to what people are saying and that has been planted in your minds and you have taken it as a truth. Now, if I told you that I am innocent and Allah knows that I am innocent, you would not believe me and if I confessed to you falsely that I am guilty, and Allah knows that I am innocent you would believe me. By Allah, I don't compare my situation with you except to the situation of Joseph's father (i.e. Jacob) who said, 'So (for me) patience is most fitting against that which you assert and it is Allah (Alone) whose help can be sought.' Then I turned to the other side of my bed hoping that Allah would prove my innocence. By Allah I never thought that Allah would reveal Divine Inspiration in my case, as I considered myself too inferior to be talked of in the Holy Qur'an. I had hoped that Allah's Apostle might have a dream in which Allah would prove my innocence. By Allah, Allah's Apostle had not got up and nobody had left the house before THE DIVINE INSPIRATION came to Allah's Apostle. So, there overtook him the same state which used to overtake him, (when he used to have, on being inspired divinely). HE WAS SWEATING SO MUCH so that the drops of the SWEAT WERE DROPPING LIKE PEARLS though it was A (COLD) WINTRY DAY. When THAT STATE of Allah's Apostle was over, he was smiling and the first word he said, 'Aisha! Thank Allah, for Allah has declared your innocence.' My mother told me to go to Allah's Apostle . I replied, 'By Allah I will not go to him and will not thank but Allah.' So Allah revealed: "Verily! They who spread the slander are a gang among you . . ." (24.11) (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 48, Number 829)

...A man got up saying, "O Allah's Apostle! Can the good bring about evil?" The Prophet remained silent and we THOUGHT THAT HE WAS BEING INSPIRED DIVINELY, so all the people kept SILENT WITH AWE. Then the Prophet WIPED THE SWEAT OFF HIS FACE and asked, "Where is the present questioner?" "Do you think wealth is good?" he repeated thrice, adding, "No doubt, good produces nothing but good...(Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 95)

All of these traditions show that Muhammad experienced thermal disturbances when he received revelations from Allah and Gabriel. This is a very common shamanistic trait. It is clear Muhammad received common shamanistic visions, particular to any shaman in any culture. What separates Muhammad from other shamans is that he was able to fool about 1/3 of the world’s population as being a prophet of God. More proof of Muhammad’s shamanistic behavior can be seen from this hadith, which elaborates more on Aisha’s acquittal from the slander of infidelity. Here we see how Muhammad experiences both paralysis and thermal disturbance. We present this part from this long hadith:

...And, by Allah, Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) HAD NOT MOVED an inch from where he had been sitting and none from the members of my family had gone that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, descended revelation upon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) there and then and he felt the burden which he used to feel at the time of receiving revelation. He began TO PERSPIRE because of the burden of words of Allah as they descended upon him EVEN DURING THE WINTER SEASON and there fell the drops of his sweat like silvery beads. When this state of receiving revelation was over, the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) smiled and the first words which he spoke to me were that he said: 'A'isha, there is glad tidings for you. Verily, Allah has vindicated your honour, and my mother who had been standing by me said: Get up (and thank him, i. e. the Holy Prophet)...(Sahih Muslim, Book 037, Number 6673)

Muhammad experienced all the symptoms of a shaman in a trance: inability to move, thermal disturbances as well as blank stares during the trance. Anyone familiar with the occult easily recognizes this as common revelation particular to mediums and other practitioners of the dark arts. Since we know that Muhammad was pagan before call to Islam it isn’t uncommon to find pagan influences upon the nature of his inspiration.

It is impossible to ignore the symptoms of Muhammad’s inspiration and push them off as biblical inspiration. Muhammad’s companions were clueless to the true nature of his inspiration. To this day, Muslims blindly accept Muhammad’s inspiration as godly and his message as true. Any person who would claim inspiration based on these symptoms would be rebuked in biblical Israel as being a false prophet and either demon possessed or mad. Islam’s entire message of salvation rests upon the symptoms of a person who enters any normal shaman trance.

In trances, which are common medium experiences, the subject does not engage with the world through his senses; he is considered ‘senseless’ to normal reality. Depending on the culture and times of an individual, many behavioral signs are associated with trances. Not all are the same, however Rouget explains how in general, the traits usually ‘symbolize the intensification of some particular faculty by means of an action endowed with certain extraordinary or astonishing aspects’ (Rouget, 1985; p13), eg. walking on burning coals, piercing one’s flesh, bending swords and metal bars, curing diseases, precognition, embodying a divinity, contacting the dead, etc.

The individual in a trance state is thus recognizable by the fact that (1) he is not in his usual state; (2) his relationship to the world around him is disturbed; (3) he can fall prey to certain neurophysiological disturbances; (4) his abilities are increased (either in reality or otherwise); (5) this increased ability is manifested by actions or behaviour observable by others (Rouget, Gilbert; Music and Trance: A Theory of the Relations Between Music and Possession: The University of Chicago Press. 1985, pg. 14).

Muslims, who try to reject the demonic nature of Muhammad's inspirational experiences, have him first to thank for propagating this belief. He never believed that this spirit was an agent of God and he experienced many symptoms notably common in shamanism. His companions knew when he was going to be inspired. They would call him, he wouldn’t respond, and he couldn’t move as well as swoon. As we continue to study Muhammad's prophetic inspiration we find out that:

The text was transmitted to the Prophet Muhammad in portions of variable length while he was in KIND OF TRANCE. It is said that his companions could recoginize from certain PHYSICAL SIGNS when a revelation was about to come. (Wilson, J. Christy; Introducting Islam: New York, Frienship Press, 1965, pg. 26)

The entire Quran is the product of trances and shaman-like behavior. In essence, the Quran is no different from any other pagan literature, which can be found at any occult or Border’s bookstore. Muhammad’s prophetic inspiration is nothing more than a common trance likened to a séance, which is considered an abomination in the Bible. It should be noted that many mediums consider themselves as prophets and some even claim to be followers of the true God YHWH. However it would be very dangerous to take their word as absolute without investigating the nature of their inspiration and the message associated with it.

In the Bible, followers of God were taught that everything should be tested and that no self-proclaimed prophet should be taken at face value. Muslims wouldn’t accept other prophets after Muhammad solely based on the belief that Muhammad is the last prophet sent from God. However Muslims never attempt to investigate Muhammad’s inspirational call because they assume that what he says just has to be true. What makes Muhammad so special from any other Shaman or Medium? Nothing.

Even if we are to assume that Muhammad brought God's final message it can be argued that other religious prophets such as Bahullah, the Bahai prophet, and Joseph Smith of the Mormons did the same thing. Basically Muslims are left with nothing more than circular arguments and reasoning in claming that Muhammad was a prophet. A close examination of Muhammad shows just the opposite. He is nothing more than a medium whose prophetic inspiration indulged in shamanistic experiences:

Today thousands of mediums, spiritists, and "channelers" ALSO ENTER TRANCE STATES to recieve revelations from alleged angels and spirits-- and their telltale signs of inspiration ARE JUST AS PRONOUNCED AS THEY WERE TO MUHAMMAD'S COMPANIONS. (Ankerberg, John; The Facts on Islam: Harvest, Eugene Oregon, 1991, pg. 42)

So using the Islamic method of INSPIRATIONAL circular reasoning, should we consider them prophets? All of these people experience the same experiences similar to Muhammad. The Quran might tell us to reject them but this is just one piece of channeled literature telling you not to follow other channelers. This seems more like petty jealousy found in today's mediums who operate for profit and who don't want to lose their clients to other competing soothsayers.

It is significant that the Quran's teachings fit the characteristics of modern "channeled literature. IN CHANNELED LITERATURE, PEOPLE ARE POSSESSED BY SPIRITS who speak and teach through them. Channeled literature forcefully rejects the Christian faith and opposes the biblical God. (Ankerberg, John; Ibid., pg. 43)

The Quran falls easily under this category. Muhammad experienced excruciating torment throughout his life by spirits, but yet he seemed to have hated Christianity's idea of atonement through the cross. Islamic history attests to Muhammad’s experiences as being clearly shamanistic in nature. More evidence of Muhammad’s shamanistic experiences can be seen from this tradition:

In the Turkish Insanu'l Uyun of 'Alt Halabi we read: Zaid ibn Thabit relates: 'When inspiration descended on the Prophet, he became very heavy. Once his leg fell upon mine, and, by God, there is no such heavy leg as was that of the Apostle of God'. Sometimes a revelation would come to him when he was on his camel. Then it shuddered as if it would collapse, and it usually knelt down ... As often as the Prophet received inspiration, it seemed as if HIS SOUL WERE BEING TAKEN FROM HIM, FOR HE HAD ALWAYS A KIND OF SWOON AND LOOKED LIKE ONE INTOXICATED. (Pfander, C.G., D.D. Mizanu'l Haqq" Balance of Truth: pg. 356)

Not only were Muhammad’s experiences strange, they also seem to endow him with supernatural strength. Is this also a characteristic of Shamanism? Yes it is:

The shaman may fulfill his obligations either by communicating with the spirits at will or through ecstasy. The latter has two forms: possession ecstasy, in which the body of the shaman is possessed by the spirit, AND WANDERING ECSTASY, IN WHICH HIS SOUL DEPARTS INTO THE REALM OF SPIRITS. In passive ecstasy the possessed gets into an intense mental state and SHOWS SUPERHUMAN STRENGTH and knowledge: he quivers, rages, struggles, and finally falls into an unconscious trancelike condition. AFTER ACCEPTING THE SPIRIT, the shaman becomes its mouthpiece--"he becomes him who entered him." In active ecstasy the shaman's life functions decrease to an abnormal minimum, and he falls into a trancelike condition. THE SOUL OF THE SHAMAN, IT IS BELIEVED, THEN LEAVES HIS BODY and seeks one of the three worlds, or strata, of heaven. After awakening, he relates his experiences, where he wandered, and with whom he spoke. THERE ARE CASES OF POSSESSION ECSTACY AND WANDERING ECSTASY COMBINED, when the spirit first enters the shaman and then leads his soul to the world of supernatural beings. Scholars differ as to which is the original and which the derivative form; e.g., the historian of religions Mircea Eliade did not consider possession ecstasy to be essential to shamanism.
(Encyclopædia Britannica--"http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/9/0,5716,117459+8+109509,00.html": Shamanism, Subscription needed to view link)

Islamic history shows that Muhammad's soul departed his body, a clear trait in Shamanism. Also notice that Muhammad always quivered raged and roared before an alleged revelation. These experiences were forms of Shaman ecstasy and the acceptance of the spirit's claim that he was an apostle of Allah also verifies this. In the revealing of the Quran, the spirit always used Muhammad as a mouthpiece to voice itself.

Muhammad's superhuman strength is shown when he was able to sit atop the camel and then force it to its knees. Muhammad's shamanistic experiences also left him mentally disturbed many times. We must wonder why would God allow a person to suffer so much just to reveal things through him while other previous prophets were clearly able to speak his words without falling into these extravagant ecstatic behaviors?

If we look at all this information, a picture begins to form. Anyone acquainted with occult phenomena has become aware of certain happenings that may be expected at a séance. Occult phenomena in childhood, daydreams, the hearing of voices and calls, nightly meditations, excessive perspiration during trance and the subsequent exhaustion and swoon like condition - even the ringing of bells, are not uncommon. The condition that looked like intoxication is revealing. Anyone being in a real reasonable deep trance has that look. Muhammad had experiences, which coincide perfectly with occultic and shamanistic experiences. There is no evidence whatsoever, other than his own claim, in proving that Muhammad is a prophet.

Muslims may try to claim that Muhammad's experiences weren't really like this but we have shown extensively that the alleged prophet of Islam experienced strange and bizarre behavior. Early biographers state that Muhammad had strange experiences while he was being cared for by his wet-nurse, Halima. On one occasion he fell down in a kind of stroke and when he finally stood up his face was quite livid. Ibn Ishaq states that two men clothed in white had seized him and opened his chest.

The myth around the story is that two angels took out his heart, cleansed it of impurity, and replaced it in his body! Other traditions say the cleansing and removing of Muhammad's heart happened just before the mi'raj. When the story is stripped of its fanciful features, one is left with a record of psychic experiences occurring during Muhammad's youth. Here is a Hadith talking about this experience from Bukhari:

Narrated Abbas bin Malik:

Malik bin Sasaa said that Allah's Apostle described to them his Night Journey saying, "While I was lying in Al-Hatim or Al-Hijr, SUDDENLY SOMEONE CAME TO ME AND CUT MY BODY OPEN FROM HERE TO HERE." I asked Al-Jarud who was by my side, "What does he mean?" He said, "It means from his throat to his pubic area," or said, "From the top of the chest." The Prophet further said, "He then took out my heart. Then a gold tray of Belief was brought to me and my heart was washed and was filled (with Belief) and then returned to its original place. Then a white animal which was smaller than a mule and bigger than a donkey was brought to me." (On this Al-Jarud asked, "Was it the Buraq, O Abu Hamza?" I (i.e. Anas) replied in the affirmative). The Prophet said, "The animal's step (was so wide that it) reached the farthest point within the reach of the animal's sight. I was carried on it, and Gabriel set out with me till we reached the nearest heaven... (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 227)

Some Muslims may attempt to allegorize this passage, but this can't be due to the nature of how Muhammad believed that it truly happened. If they allegorize this passage then they must also allegorize Muhammad's travel to the furthest mosque, which would mean that the current Israeli Palestinian conflict is propaganda and nothing more. However, this experience also cast a shadow on Muhammad's prophethood since this also another characteristic of Shamanism:

When the candidate finally gives way to the compulsion and becomes a shaman, he falls asleep and sleeps for a long time--three days, seven days, or thrice three days. During the "long sleep," the candidate, according to belief, IS CUT INTO PIECES BY THE SPIRITS, who count his bones, determining whether he truly has an "extra bone." If so, he has become a shaman. Some people, such as the Mongols and the Manchu-Tungus, still initiate the shaman. They introduce him to the supernatural beings, and he symbolically ascends the "tree-up-to-the-heavens"--that is, the pole representing it.
(Encyclopædia Britannica--"http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/9/0,5716,117459+6+109509,00.html": Shamanism, Subscription needed to view link)

And,

Before becoming a shaman, the novice stricken by the "shaman illness" experiences his death and subsequent rebirth - as in the gcod rite, he sees himself BEING CUT UP and the flesh boiled in a cauldron, ie fed to demons and gods. (Shamanism in Mongolia and Tibet: Source)

These quotes are almost perfect in describing Muhammad's shamanistic experience as well as his allege trip to the nearest heaven. Notice that Muhammad already accepted the call by the spirit so-called Gabriel, which is in accordance with a shaman, then he is cut in his body and has his heart removed before ascending to heaven where he meets supernatural beings. The minor differences is that Muhammad's heart is removed instead of his bones and that the spirit and not any other human person introduces Muhammad to the people of heaven along with his flesh not being boiled, as found in Tibetan shamanism.

What is common among all forms of Shamanism is how the spirits allegedly cuts up the subject. Each experience after this “cutting” varies based on culture, belief and time period. (Note: The prophets have already passed away and the term supernatural refers to a spirit. A person is natural but their soul is supernatural because it is a spirit. We are not saying that the prophets, with the exception of Jesus, were originally supernatural). Also the spirits don't always count the shaman's bones, this is just a well-known metaphor used to describe the many cases in where other things are perhaps removed from the body. This quote verifies this as well gives us more explanation of Muhammad's experiences:

The shaman is born to his role, as is evident in certain marks distinguishing him from ordinary men. He may be born with more bones in his body--e.g., teeth or fingers--than other people. Therefore, he does not become a shaman simply by willing it, for it is not the shaman who summons up the spirits, BUT THEY, THE SUPERNATURAL BEINGS, WHO CHOOSE HIM. They call him before his birth. At the age of adolescence, usually at the period of sexual ripening, THE CHOSEN ONE suddenly falls into hysterics with faintings, visions, and similar symptoms, being tortured sometimes for weeks. Then, in a vision or a dream, THE SPIRIT WHO HAS CHOSEN HIM appears and announces his being chosen.
(Encyclopædia Britannica--"http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/9/0,5716,117459+6+109509,00.html": Shamanism, Subscription needed to view link)

The Sahih Hadiths and the Quran clearly show the spirit appearing to Muhammad and claiming that he was chosen, much like a shaman. We also see that Muhammad encountered all of these shamanistic experiences during his adolescence, which again is verified by authentic Islamic traditions. In Islam, like shamanism, Muhammad's call was based on true prophetic dreams:

Narrated ‘Aisha (the mother of the faithful believers):

The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah's Apostle WAS IN THE FORM OF GOOD DREAMS which came true like bright day light, and then the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him. He used to go in seclusion in the cave of Hira where he used to worship (Allah alone) continuously for many days before his desire to see his family. He used to take with him the journey food for the stay and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food like-wise again till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, "I do not know how to read..." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 3)

Narrated Aisha:

The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah's Apostle was in the form of true dreams. The Angel came to him and said, "Read, in the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists), has created man a clot. Read! And your Lord is Most Generous"... (96.1,2,3). (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 479)

Muslim historian al-Tabari relates Muhammad's "call" to prophethood:

"... When the night came on which God ennobled him by making him his Messenger and thereby showed mercy to his servants, Gabriel brought him the command of God. The Messenger of God said, ‘Gabriel came to me AS I WAS SLEEPING with a brocade cloth in which was writing. He said, "recite!" I said, "I cannot recite." He pressed me tight and almost stifled me, until I THOUGHT THAT I SHOULD DIE. Then he let me go, and said, "Recite!" I said, "What shall I recite?" only saying that in order to free myself from him, fearing that he MIGHT REPEAT what he had done to me. He said:

Recite in the name of your Lord who creates! He creates man from a clot of blood. Recite: And your Lord is the Most Bountiful, He who teaches by the pen, teaches man what he knew not.

I recited it, and then he desisted and departed. I WOKE UP, and it was as though these words had been written on my heart. There was no one of God's creation more hateful to me than a poet or a madman; I could not bear to look at either of them. I said to myself, "Your humble servant (meaning himself) is either a poet or a madman, but Quraysh shall never say this of me. I shall take myself to a mountain crag, hurl myself down from it, kill myself, and find relief in that way."’" (The History of Al-Tabari, Volume VI, Muhammad at Mecca, tran. By W. Montgomery Watt and M.V. McDonald [State University of New York Press, Albany 1988]. p. 71; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Hence, Muhammad received his "call" to prophethood in a dream. Muhammad also claimed that he "received" the command to marry 6-year-old Aisha in his dreams:

Narrated ‘Aisha:

Allah's Apostle said (to me), "You have been shown to me twice IN (MY) DREAMS. A man was carrying you in a silken cloth and said to me, ‘This is your wife.’ I uncovered it; and behold, it was you. I said to myself, ‘If this dream is from Allah, He will cause it to come true.’" (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 15)

In fact, it was the dreams of his companions that led Muhammad to conclude that the Night of Power occurred during the last seven nights of Ramadan:

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:

Some men amongst the companions of the Prophet were shown in their dreams that the night of Qadr was in the last seven nights of Ramadan. Allah's Apostle said, "It seems that all your dreams agree that (the Night of Qadr) is in the last seven nights, and whoever wants to search for it (i.e. the Night of Qadr) should search in the last seven (nights of Ramadan)." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 32, Number 232)

Furthermore, the Islamic traditions claim that the dreams of prophets are divinely inspired and that dreams are the only remaining part of prophethood left:

Narrated Kuraib:

Ibn ‘Abbas said, "The Prophet slept till he snored and then prayed (or probably lay till his breath sounds were heard and then got up and prayed)." Ibn ‘Abbas added: "I stayed overnight in the house of my aunt, Maimuna, the Prophet slept for a part of the night, (See Fateh-al-Bari page 249, Vol. 1), and late in the night, he got up and performed ablution from a hanging water skin, a light (perfect) ablution and stood up for the prayer. I, too, performed a similar ablution, then I went and stood on his left. He drew me to his right and prayed as much as Allah wished, and again lay and slept till his breath sounds were heard. Later on the Mua'dhdhin (callmaker for the prayer) came to him and informed him that it was time for Prayer. The Prophet went with him for the prayer without performing a new ablution." (Sufyan said to ‘Amr that some people said, "The eyes of Allah's Apostle sleep but his heart does not sleep." ‘Amr replied, "I heard ‘Ubaid bin ‘Umar saying that the dreams of Prophets were Divine Inspiration, and then he recited the verse: ‘I (Abraham) see in a dream, (O my son) that I offer you in sacrifice (to Allah).’ (37.102) (See Hadith No. 183). (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 4, Number 140)

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle said, "The (good) dream of a faithful believer is a part of the forty-six parts of prophetism." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 87, Number 117)

Narrated Abu Huraira:

I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "Nothing is left of the prophetism except Al-Mubashshirat." They asked, "What are Al-Mubashshirat?" He replied, "The true good dreams (that conveys glad tidings)." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 87, Number 119)

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle said, "When the Day of Resurrection approaches, the dreams of a believer will hardly fail to come true, and a dream of a believer is one of forty-six parts of prophetism, and whatever belongs to prophetism can never be false." Muhammad bin Sirin said, "But I say this." He said, "It used to be said, ‘There are three types of dreams: The reflection of one's thoughts and experiences one has during wakefulness, what is suggested by Satan to frighten the dreamer, or glad tidings from Allah.’ So, if someone has a dream which he dislikes, he should not tell it to others, but get up and offer a prayer." He added, "He (Abu Huraira) hated to see a Ghul (i.e., iron collar around his neck in a dream) and people liked to see fetters (on their feet in a dream). The fetters on the feet symbolizes one's constant and firm adherence to religion." And Abu ‘Abdullah said, "Ghuls (iron collars) are used only for necks." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 87, Number 144)

Here again we clearly see how Muhammad’s call to prophethood is inline with common shamanistic activity. Like a shaman he is called by the spirit in a dream, etc, later he is chosen as a specific prophet, etc as well as being tortured with common “shaman illness”. This is hardly a mere coincidence:

Dreams also play a MAJOR PART in shamanic activities. The shaman believes that there are two different types of dreams: ordinary dreams and nonordinary dreams which are also known as "big dreams.” Harner describes a "big dream" as a "dream that is so vivid that it is like being awake, an unusually powerful dream.” (Harner, 1980, p. 127). (Green, J. Timothy, Ph.D., Near-Death Experiences, Shamanism, and the Scientific Method: This article was originally published in the IANDS "Journal of Near Death Studies" vol.16 #3 Spring 1998)

Though we don’t object to dreams or visions, which are also traits of true biblical prophets, we do note that none of the prophets’ experienced common shaman encounters such as swooning, shaman illness, torture or hysteria. Muhammad’s inspiration is totally different from Biblical inspiration, which never induced symptoms like these. We must wonder why God would begin such strange occurrences with the revelation of the Quran. This is something that is very odd indeed.

CONCLUSION:

A close investigation of the nature of Muhammad’s inspiration shows that his calling is more in line with shamanism and the occult more than biblical inspiration. Such behavior is considered demonic by nature in the bible and is the sign of a false prophet. If Muhammad was a true prophet of God then his inspirational calling shouldn’t contain any of the common traits particular to shamanism. Since we have studied Muhammad, we will now proceed to study his spirit guide, Gabriel in part two. God bless all.

E-mail me Quennel Gale at QMAX21@blackplanet.com