Gibbon on Mohammed


[] From his earliest youth Mohammed was addicted to religious contemplation; each year during the month of Ramadan, he withdrew from the world and from the arms of Cadijah; in the cave of Hera, three miles from Mecca, he consulted the spirit of fraud or enthusiasm, whose abode is not in the heavens, but in the mind of the prophet. The faith which, under the name of Islam, he preached to his family and nation, is compounded of an eternal truth and a  necessary fiction, THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD AND THAT MOHAMMED IS THE APOSTLE OF GOD.[ emphasis mine]

The decline and fall pg 458

It is expected that he [Gibbon] being religious would say it is an eternal truth that there is only one god, but leaving that out, the rest of the passage is spot on.

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

59 thoughts on “Gibbon on Mohammed

  1. “addicted to religious contemplation”

    😉

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  2. john zande says:

    Wait up…. How could Mohammed do things during the month of Ramadan years before he invented Islam?

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    • makagutu says:

      That and I have some other questions I wanted to pass by the Ark. Gibbon even mentions the Koran to have been in existence at the time which I don’t think is the case following what I have read on the matter.
      On the Ramadan, I think there was already a tradition of pilgrimage to the Kaaba that preceded Islam and this could have included the Ramadan and Mo just added it to his outfit.

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    • @John

      Ramadan is just the name of the lunar month. I believe it is Muslim belief that Mohammed had his first revelations of the Koran during the month of Ramadan, hence why the month became holy.

      So the month existed before the religion.

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  3. Ron says:

    Mo was a paedophile. ‘Nuff said.

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  4. Arkenaten says:

    I don’t think Gibbon had faith in any religion.
    The biographical note in Volume one notes that:

    The first volume of The Decline and Fall , published in 1776, was immediately hailed as a classic and attacked for its discussion on Christianity.

    Considering the extent of this work, which took up a fair few years of his life, it is even more impressive because of his tenacity in tracking documents.

    Its been a while since I read it. I must put it by my bedside and read it once again.

    As to your question, Mak. Sorry, have no answer, my friend. But I have bookmarked the section on Mohammed and I’ll give it a read this evening or tomorrow.

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    • makagutu says:

      On his religious beliefs, I read the wiki article that says he moved RCC to protestant. I also saw a bit of the commentary on his critique on Christianity and the ensuing backlash and his response to his critiques.

      Sometime early last year I must have read a book on Islam that questions the existence of Mo. I know I can trace it and just link it here.

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  5. “Yes, this was a real crafty man”

    Quoting the Slate Slate article by Christophere Hitchens, from his book, God is Great:

    “It was noticed even by some of his wives that the Prophet was capable of having a “revelation” that happened to suit his short-term needs, and he was sometimes teased about it.”

    I thought this was interesting —

    “[…that a man should be used as a transmitter by god to deliver some already existing revelations, or that he should utter some already existing revelations and believe himself to be, or claim to be, ordered by god to do so? As for the pains and the noises in the head, or the sweat, one can only regret the seeming fact that direct communication with god is not an experience of calm, beauty, and lucidity.”

    Now what’s interesting about this paragraph is that the 7th Day Adventist church has a prophet, Ellen White, now deceased, who claimed to have had all kinds of revelations that came directly from “God”. She also had brain damage after sustaining a traumatic brain injury (hit by a rock as a kid). She became hyper-religious after the injury. It is also believed (from studies by neurologists) that this TBI caused TLE, due to her symptoms. But here’s the kicker — the SDA is considered the fastest growing protestant denomination in the world, and has around 25 million people attending church each week.

    White writing excessively (hypergraphia), her writings, now in books, are still being sold today as revelation by the Christian god. However, there is significant evidence that she plagiarized most of her writings, almost word for word in some cases. Sound familiar? How many religions and so called prophets have done this? Mohamed is no exception.

    Sorry this was so long — I swear I don’t have TLE. 😛 I just find it a fascinating and comprehensive topic. But then again, you have no room to talk. Maybe we are all mad. LOL

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  6. paarsurrey says:

    @makagutu

    “From his earliest youth Mohammed was addicted to religious contemplation; each year during the month of Ramadan, he withdrew from the world and from the arms of Cadijah; in the cave of Hera, three miles from Mecca, he consulted the spirit of fraud or enthusiasm ”
    Gibbon
    The decline and fall pg 458

    This is not mentioned in Quran.

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    • makagutu says:

      Who said it is in the Koran? Are you dumb or just slow?

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      • No no no — you’re the one that’s slow, Mak — if it’s not mentioned in the Quran, then there’s no truth to it. 😛

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        • makagutu says:

          This is sad 😦
          Thinking about it, I agree with you. Only what is in the Koran is true.

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          • Yes, which is why we need to start our own chapter in Gamblers Anonymous very soon. I jest, but seriously, it pisses me off that authoritarian religions have f*cked with the heads of so many non-suspecting people, to the point of deactivating neural circuitry to the frontal lobes. I have no issues with people who believe in a higher power. It’s when their religion demands that they spread this primitive, idiocracy ideology to the masses, especially children who don’t have a voice.

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          • makagutu says:

            It is a sad thing that a person with access to the internet where there is so much information can make such a stupid claim. How would such a person expect to be allowed a place on the table with reasonable people?

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          • Or become parents. There is no accountability, and that is a travesty. The cycle of myth repeats itself, followed by the repercussions, and then they blame it on godlessness, or tell others they don’t have the ‘right’ religion or are not worshiping the ‘right’ god.

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  7. paarsurrey says:

    What I meant to say was that if one wanted to make a valid and valuable comment on Islam/Muhammad then it would be most reasonable for one to make it from what is written in Quran as it is the first and the foremost source of guidance of Muslims whatever the denomination; else your comments have no weightage.

    Other sources of any authenticity simply never existed in the time of Muhammad.

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    • makagutu says:

      The Koran did not exist in the time of Mo either unless you are willing to grant the Koran preceded him. The life of Mo is not told in the Koran but in the hadiths.

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      • paarsurrey says:

        @ makagutu

        I think, perhaps, you have not read Quran yourself intently; all events of high value are recorded in Quran as soon as these happened.

        Hadith was written about 250/300 years after Muhammad. All tenets and practices of Islam are amply mentioned in Quran. If there had been no Hadith even then Quran was sufficient for guidance of the Muslims.

        Quran existed in the time of Muhammad; the Revelation was received and completed in 23 years of the ministry of Muhammad; and primarily committed to memory by the Muslims; only as a secondary measure it was also written down by the scribes as dictated to them by Muhammad.

        I therefore request you to read Quran yourself for any valuable comments on Quran/Islam/Muhammad; else they waste.

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        • makagutu says:

          Tell me paarsurrey, are the wives and children of Mo recorded in the Koran or his marriage to a wealthy woman or his sleeping with Ali’s wife? Or these are recorded in hadiths?
          And when you talk of things of high value, what do you have in mind?

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          • paarsurrey says:

            @ makagutu

            We believe in the One-True-God (Allah) and believe in Muhammad as a Messenger of Him. The Message of Allah is important to us; we don’t have to go into details of the private and personal life of Muhammad as we don’t worship him.

            Following are primarily important for Muslims:

            Six Articles of Faith

            • Unity of God
            • His Angels
            • His Books
            • His Prophets
            • The Last Day
            • Divine Decree

            Five Pillars of Islam
            • Kalima
            • Prayer
            • Fasting
            • Zakaat
            • Hajj

            http://www.alislam.org/

            Thanks

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          • makagutu says:

            paarsurrey, you realize why often times I call you names. I ask you a simple question and you come here and tell me about what Muslims believe as if that was part of the question I asked.

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