Prophet Muhammad was a genius

Mohammed and his work

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A presentation of Johannes Scherr.

When I last had the honor, in this sale[1] To speak, my subject was the appearance of that Lotharingian-French patriot, the figure and deed of Joan of Arc, who in the 15th century gave the impetus for the liberation of her fatherland from the dictatorship of the English. From the 15th century in the 7th and 6th, from the girl of Orléans to the prophet of Mecca, is a long jump back. At first sight the difference between these two world historical figures reveals itself to be so significant that it seems to go as far as bizarre. A closer look and comparison shows, however a undeniable resemblance. I am not talking about the appearance of the miraculous, which the career of the founder of the oriental religion and the occidental land liberator show, but rather the Similarity that in the brilliant figure of the Arab hero, as in the simple one of the heroine of Domremy, a great truth emerged as a world-historical fact, the Truth: Not the discerning understanding, not the prudently calculating and weighing wisdom of books and lectures witnesses and works the great thoughts and deeds that begin and determine the destinies of people, nations and humanity, but that sacred Sturm und Drang of the heart does that, which one would and must call superhuman, divine, the elementary passion of primordial natures, that power of will, which, throwing the "fear of the earthly" far behind, knows how to triumph over all the pains of life and all the horrors of death. Given this Truth it should be appropriate now and then to remind the sovereign pride of knowledge of our day that there have always been, are and will be forces of life which cannot be measured or weighed, cannot be calculated or analyzed. In the ordinary course of things one can get along with measures and scales, with numbers and circles, with agents and reagents, but when great crises and catastrophes break out in the life of nations, then it becomes obvious again and again that they moral force but the highest power is among men.

The choice of my subject bears, it seems to me, its justification in itself. For in our confused present it should be twice as advisable to throw back contemplative and illuminating glances from time to time at the inevitable figures, which as shining milestones and signposts the developmental stations of the To denote the human race. Then today, when the so-called oriental question, which seems to want to escalate to the question of the existence or non-existence of the Muslim world, is threatening to set Europe on fire every year, even every day - today the memory to be drawn with quick strokes would like to the great man not to be entirely unwelcome, who put the stamp of his spirit and name on one of the most powerful and momentous revolutions in human history and created the oriental question in its origins by contrasting the Christian religion with the Islamic one. Throughout the long centuries of the Middle Ages, as everyone knows, the struggle between European Christianity and Asiatic Islam was the real basic motive of the historical movement, and only with the decline of the Ottoman Empire, which began in the 17th century, was the final victory of Europeanism over Asiaticism decided.

The eyes of people whose horizon of thought is stretched beyond what is near, past yesterday, today and tomorrow, they will always look with astonishment at the inconspicuously small beginnings of such monstrous phenomena. From the depths of his soul, filled with heavenly mercy for his fellow human beings, the carpenter Jesus proclaims the good news of the allfatherhood of God to the fishermen of the Sea of ​​Galilee. The camel driver Mohammed shares with his Meccan housemates the visions that floated past his inner eye in the loneliness of the desert, of the only God, of retribution after death, of heaven and of hell. And from these attempts, made in two remote corners of the earth, to develop and perfect Judaism, arise two world religions, which become the highest goods for innumerable generations of people and which for centuries have fought in a terrible struggle for world domination. Even today the strength of the vanquished is not completely exhausted, let alone that of the victor. Because religious feeling, imagining and believing is not, as a dull materialism would like to lead itself and others to believe, a purely arbitrary one, to humans [9][10] Convenience that is conceived and imagined from the outside, but rather something that is special, independent of all “positive” dogmas and cults, something immanent to human beings, ie. H. one inextricably linked with the concept of human being Mood, sprang from the human feeling of dependence, the human need for help and support, which and which can only be denied by megalomaniac doctrinaires. Such people have taken great pains to track down a people completely and utterly devoid of religion. They did not succeed, although, as everyone knows, the spark of religious feeling in ethnic groups close to beasts glimmers only faintly and only dawns in the form of childish, fetishistic and shamanistic expressions. But these utterances mark the boundary line where the beast ends and man begins. For just as religion in the highest sense of the word is the desire to feel for oneself between the finite and the infinite at high cultural levels, so the dark urge to relate one's particularity to the general public and to bring it into harmony also stirs in the lower and lowest levels of human beings. That is idealism, idealistic need. It is obvious that and why that is people anywhere and anytime for be idealistic need could and can only seek and find satisfaction in religion, in religious conceptions, belief and action. For when a recently deceased famous book man, who has deliberately and timidly kept and behaved alien to the people, with a confidence which naturally impressed the educated philistine immensely, announces the imminent replacement of religion by art, whereby the enjoyment is more godly If poems and Beethoven symphonies were to have the meaning of acts of worship, it was just an unfamiliar music of the future, of which one can say, as of another, even more well-known: a lot of shouting and little melody. However, I have to note that I do not want to understand by people the so-called "flotant" populations, which, sadly to say, are more and more detached from all connections with natural conditions, but rather the sedentary or, how Gottfried Keller put it so succinctly as aptly, “that permanent People, the real ”.

Incidentally, the historian's position on religion is given. The science of history knows and recognizes no solitary faith, no infallible Pope and no infallible book. In the religious idea it respects the noblest attempt of the striving human spirit to find a solution to the great riddle of existence and the questions that constantly arise to every thinking person: “Where do we come from? Why and what are we here for? Where are we going? ”To answer more or less satisfactorily or unsatisfactorily. As far as the individual belief systems, churches, denominations and sects are concerned, however, the historian should not with the objectivity of an artificial indifference, as is now in fashion, but with the objectivity of justice, i.e. impartially and without party affiliation, as consider the various manifestations of the religious idea, which manifestations all have only a temporal meaning, all of which have no unconditional, but only a relational value.


A profound seer, Shakspeare, is known to have called our so-called world a stage on which every human personality must play a role. One could, I think, also transfer this to the personalities of nations and then say that the residences of the oriental races, whose at the same time fiery and brooding imagination dominates their intellect, have always been the favorite places, wherever the religious thought working restlessly in mankind new forms tried to do. And it should also be said that again the Orientals semitic Race, whose biblical pedigree, of course, by no means completely coincides with the results of modern ethnology, has been assigned a primarily religious role. To prove this, one only needs to mention the three names Moses, Jesus and Mohammed. If, however, a well-known orientalist of our day, the French Ernst Renan, has used all his knowledge and all his ingenuity to justify the statement that monotheism, the one-godly belief, is an original possession, is an invention, so to speak, one was the primordial natural disposition of the Semitic race, it was indeed an ingenious idea, but it is not a fact of the history of religion. Rather, it is certain that the Semites, including the Hebrews, were initially not monotheists but polytheists. Various Semitic tribes, e.g. B. the Assyrians, Babylonians, the Phoenicians, held on to polytheism until their fall, so they remained what we conventionally call pagans. Others, in the course of their educational history, were brought over from the sphere of the many-divine natural religion to the region of the one-divine spiritual religion, that is, the so-called Children of Israel, the Hebrews, through their great and minor prophets, the formators of Yahweh; likewise the so-called children of Ishmael, the Arabs, through their prophet Mohammed, the founder and lawgiver of Allah.

These were events of tremendous importance and incalculable consequences. Up to this hour the face of the civilized or, more precisely, the European-American-Christian and the Mohammedan world bears the spiritual signature, which you the Semitic, first through the Hebrew prophets to one moral power has bestowed trained monotheism.

From this worldview, the founder of Islam be Work undertaken and carried out.

First of all, let's take a quick look at the country where the man came from and then look at it for ourselves.

To the south of the great Syrian and Mesopotamian deserts, the mighty Arabian peninsula extends far into the Arabian-Indian Sea between the Red and Persian Gulf. Located in this way, the country inhabited by a people of Semitic descent has led a self-contained, and therefore peculiar existence from time immemorial. But not a monotonous one; for it had developed differently depending on the different soil structures, the climatic conditions and the food conditions. In the narrow but extremely fertile coastal landscapes, which border the Arabian Peninsula on three sides, a sedentary culture based on industrious agriculture and horticulture had developed early on, villages and towns had sprung up, and commercial activity had varied in many ways This was joined by a lively trade, sending caravans northwards through the desert to Syria and the Euphrates, merchant ships westwards to the coast of Africa, eastwards to the shores of Persia and India. It is different on the huge plateau that fills the interior of the peninsula, an immense steppe with bizarre rocky mountains, wild-torn gorges and numerous oases with well-rich and fruit-heavy date palm groves. These wide landscapes with their sudden transitions from the wildest, most frightening desert to the luxuriance of tropical vegetation, with their seclusion and inaccessibility, with their cloudless firmament for by far most of the year, from which a glowing sun sends down its torrential pours by day, while at night the Stars shine big and clear, these landscapes with their magnificent thunderstorms, their hurricanes, sandpipes, mirages and cloudbursts have something peculiar that touches on the uncanny, something that energetically stimulates and excites the imagination and fills it with the boldest images. The most genuine Arabs, the Bedouins, nomads, whose wealth made camels, horses and sheep, and who mostly knew how to unite in their person the shepherds, hunters, warriors and robbers, settled or rather wandered, ruled patriarchally by their tribal shekhs. A completely irrepressible feeling of freedom was inherent in these desert sons and, from this, a feeling of honor that was extremely irritable in its own way. This was combined with a wild lust for revenge, but also a certain knightly hospitality and gallantry, loyalty in friendship and hatred, as well as an exultant joy in adventures and ventures of all kinds. All this has thrown into the melting pot of a hot imagination among the Arabs of the pre-Muslims Time a poetry of extraordinary individuality, freshness and strength [11] brought forth. The creations of this poetry, which show an artfully developed rhythm and metrics, were collected later, in the 9th century AD, in the national songbook, which bears the title "Hamâsa", contains chants by 521 poets and 56 female poets and by ours great interpreter of oriental poetry, Friedrich Rückert, was masterfully translated into German (1846). If one considers the extraordinary favor and influence which the ancient Arab poets generally enjoyed among their compatriots, it would hardly be daring to assume that these children of a wild and great nature must have regarded the poetic word as a manifestation of the divine, as a revelation. Hence there is no doubt that Mohammed owed his brilliant successes in no small part to his unusual poetic talent.

But now it is remarkable that a people as imaginative and poetic as the Arabs had no mythology. Nevertheless, this people was by no means devoid of religion. Like the other Semites, the ancient Arabs also adhered to a so-called natural religion, which, however, did not progress towards the creation of specific, concrete forms of gods, but degenerated into common fetishism. The idol took the place of the ideal and, as it happens so easily and so often in matters of religion in general, the initial symbols of the divine became the divine itself and the signs became beings. These were then the so-called "idols" of his people, against whom Mohammed attacked with such fiery anger. It should be noted, however, that even before the Prophet's appearance, at least in northern Arabia, as a result of the effects of Jewish and Christian influences in the outlook of thinking and educated people, the idea of ​​Allah as the true and only God had begun to take root . So we know of the two famous poets Aa'schâ and Labyd that they were monotheists. So the appearance of the Prophet did not take his country unprepared. As the Scot Carlyle said beautifully with reference to Mohammed, the great man is always like lightning falling from the sky; the rest of the people are waiting for him and under his fiery stream are also flaming you on. But - I would like to supplement Carlyle’s parable - lightning only occurs when the atmosphere is such that it is able to generate it.

The population of Arabia was not a single mass. It split up into numerous larger and smaller tribes, and these were in the field in seldom interrupted feuds against one another. In addition to the national cement of the language, there was something in common and unifying for this divided people. That was the reverence for the ancient national sanctuary of the so-called Kaabah in Mecca, which city, located between the steppe plateau and the coastal country, already by its location, but then also by the nature of its population, which consists of shepherds, arable farmers, wholesalers and small traders existed, mediated the interrelationships between Bedouinism and more civilized Arabism, and finally enjoyed, as the site of the Kaabah, an almost dominant reputation in the whole country.As is well known, the legend says that Ishmael, the son of Hagar, the alleged progenitor of the Arabs, had built the Kaabah in association with his father Abraham. In truth, this temple was donated or at least expanded by the Koraysch tribe, which tribe, as owners, guardians and beneficiaries of the national sanctuary, was considered to be the most distinguished and powerful of all Arab clans. Among the sanctuaries which enclosed the Kaabah, the most venerated were the famous black stone and the Zem-Zem well, both bequeathed to Islam by the ancestral Arab spring and stone cult. In addition, the temple was the site of a peculiar assembly of gods, because the house and family idols of the various tribes of Arabia had their places there. The Arabs went on a pilgrimage to these idols from every corner of their peninsula to offer their prayers and sacrifices, and Mecca was already there in front Mohammed was to his compatriots what Jerusalem was to the Jews, Delphi to the Greeks, the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitol to the Romans, the Korikancha solar house to Kuzko to the ancient Peruvians and Rome to the Catholics. The idea of ​​the sanctity of this place had become so firmly imprinted on the Arab consciousness that when its time came, Islam was able to smash the idols in the Kaabah, but could not degrade the place in its reputation, but had to increase it; The Kaabah in Mecca is, as is well known, the most sacred center of the whole Islamic world, in the eyes of every real Muslim the navel of the earth. Therefore it had to be of the greatest importance that precisely at this place the man rose up who unified his fatherland Arabia religiously and politically and, out of historyless seclusion and darkness, brought it over onto the open and bright stage, whereupon the human tragic comedy takes place. For from Mecca Islamic Arabism broke out into the world, glowing with the youthful zeal of its new faith and prostrating everything like the desert orcas of its homeland. This opened a new chapter in the book of world history.

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On April 20 of the year 571, one Monday, in Mecca, a woman of the Koraysch tribe, named Amina, whose husband Abd Allah had died several months earlier, gave birth to a boy who was named Mohammed. This name is spelled and spoken differently: Mohammed, Muhammed, Mohammad, Muhammad - and A. Sprenger, the most thorough biographer of the Prophet, is inclined to regard the name not as an original proper name, but as a later honorary name, which means “the Much vaunted ”and would have been assigned to its bearer, like his predecessor Jesus the veneration name Christ. His future would not have been sung to the newborn in the cradle, even if he had had one. The entire fortune that Abd Allah bequeathed to his later son is said to have consisted of two camels, several sheep and an Abyssinian slave. The boy was therefore poor and, when his ailing mother soon died away, he was referred to the protection of his grandfather from his father's side, Abd-Al-Mokalib, and after his death, which also soon followed, to that of his two unions Abu Talib and Zuheir . But they could not do much for him in view of their own poverty, and he felt compelled to earn his bread in early youth, as a shepherd boy. Then, as he grew up, he served his uncles, who were traders, on caravan trains as camel drivers, and occasionally also as a bow and quiver-bearer in one of the clan feuds in which his relatives fought. Many years later, the memory of his depressed youth put the verses in the 93rd sura of the Koran in the mouth of the prophet: “Didn't God find you as an orphan and look after you? Didn't he find you poor and make you rich? Didn't he find you astray and guide you on the right path? ”Later, the faithful simplicity of the Muslims furnished this simple and poor youthful story of Muhammad with the most colorful miracles, with all the wonderful circumstances and processes, with which the mythical folk phantasy originated and procreated Loves to embellish the birth and childhood of the heroes, helpers and saviors of mankind, not considering and not understanding that the figures of these immortals only appear larger and more radiant, the narrower and darker the background from which they emerge. It is a pity that besides all the superfluous miracles with which the legend of Muhammad's childhood surrounded, the necessary did not happen, namely the healing of the boy from attacks of epilepsy or, as modern research wants to know, from the hysteria muscularis so named by Schönlein, which Illness also frequently haunted the man.

He was twenty-five when his fortunes took a favorable turn. This came from a woman, the wealthy merchant widow Chadyga, whose name now makes up four of the chosen and perfect women in the view of the Islamic world with the names of the sister of Moses, Miriam, the mother of Jesus, Maria, and the daughter of Muhammad, Fatima . In any case, Chadyga must have been a woman of unusual gifts and high disposition. The great influence which she exercised on Mohammed, who without her love, her faith, her courage and her steadfastness would probably never have become a prophet, is an outstanding example of that quiet, inconspicuous and yet so wonderfully powerful activity which women, and not only the chosen ones, who have always developed in the history of civilization and, hopefully, leaving aside all the ridiculous madnesses of so-called women's emancipation, will continue to develop for the benefit of humanity. The rich, no longer very young, d. H. Forty-year-old merchant widow Chadyga was recommended, and as the head of her business, Mohammed quickly gained the trust of his employer and soon even more. Tradition tells us: When Mohammed returned from his second business trip in the service of the widow, Chadyga saw from the floor of her house how two angels covered the man returning with their feathers. If the good lady had known something of Greek mythology, the two angels would undoubtedly have appeared to her like cupids, and if we translate the process from legend into German, we gain the facit: Chadyga had her servant, who was a stately, clever, was a decent and honest man, dearly loved. She extended her hand to him after she had given her father Chuwaylid, who would have nothing to do with such a poor son-in-law, given his consent. H. had made the man who had been made drunk by her that he had consented to the marriage. Mohammed was grateful. He held his wife, who apparently far surpassed her compatriots in intelligence and education, very high. In order to save her anger and grief, he tamed his sensuality, which had subsequently erupted irrepressibly and which was the darkest spot on his appearance, for as long as she lived, and only surrendered to polygamy after Chadyga’s death. But even then, her memory remained sacred to him. At every opportunity he praised her high mind and her virtues, so that his later favorite wife, the beautiful Ayisha, used to say angrily that she was not jealous of any woman but the dead Chadyga. A fine testimony has been handed down to us that she had reason to do so. One day the splendid but intriguing and not very virtuous Ayischa asked [27] the Prophet: “Now say, am I not better than Chadyga? It was old, toothless and unsightly. You love me more than you loved her, don't you? ”But then Mohammed:“ No, by Allah, no! you believed in me when no one wanted to believe in me. All over the wide earth I only had one Friend, and that was you.

Mohammed lived and worked as a trader until he was 40. Only then did he appear as a prophet and founder of religion. But he seems to have been concerned with higher things a long time beforehand and to have paid little attention to commercial transactions. This is also indicated by the news that he had lost his married fortune, as well as the fact that he devoted much time to thinking and thinking, sought solitude for this purpose and therefore now alone, now with Chadyga, the confidante of all his thoughts Used to retire for days and weeks in a cave on Mount Hara, not far from Mecca. I hardly need to remind you that we find such a seclusion, a search for solitude in the wilderness or in the mountains, also in the existence of other founders of religions. Moses, Zarathustra, Buddha, Jesus went into the desert in order, so to speak, to be alone with their soul and in the sublime silence of the desert to gather the strength to reveal the secret of their mission in the noisy market of life. It is therefore very likely that Mohammed became clear about himself and his task in contemplative solitude. The life he had covered up to now had led him past the different sides of the way of life of his compatriots, just as he had ample opportunity to get acquainted with the teachings and the way of life of the Jews and Christians on his traders' trips. He had wandered through the steppes and lived in cities; he had been a shepherd and a trader, servant and master, poor and rich; he had observed the views and needs, the virtues and vices of men; he had seen a piece of war too. But none of these observations, experiences and experiences had satisfied him. He sensed, knew, wanted better. Also in him that flame glowed, a spark from that central sun of the moral world, which is called enthusiasm and enables its appointed bearers to intervene in the fate of human society, itself a piece of fate. Like all people in whom the “divine breath”, the genius, reveals itself, he thought more of others than of himself. He was grieved by the darkness in which his people walked, which because of their political fragmentation and religious disunity was their best strength wasted in pointless feuds. The lack of a great, comprehensive and unifying religious principle appeared to him to be the basic evil of his country. Such a thing would have to be established and put into effect. Whether the prophet had the idea that his people, gathered and united under the banner of a new faith, would have what it takes to play a great political-historical role, this question can definitely not be answered in the affirmative or in the negative. It can be considered probable that Mohammed initially only had a religious reform of his nation in mind, but that the logic of the facts and the compulsion of the circumstances soon necessitated him to unite the general and the statesman in his person with the reformer.

Above all, he was not a man devouring himself in elegiac brooding over a great idea, but a man of action. He wanted the light that he felt burning in his soul should shine over all of Arabia, brightening and warming, and with genuine Arabic enthusiasm and bravery, no less with genuine Arabic cleverness and tenacity, he set about realizing his thoughts.

According to this, the question of whether Mohammed meant it honestly and seriously with his belief in his vocation and with his work that sprang from this belief or whether he was just a shrewd deceiver, a self-centered and respectful swindler and nerd, is aside with due contempt to deliver. To raise this question at all could only be thought of by stupidity or ignorance. A world historical act like the founding of Islam cannot possibly have the deception of its father. What appears to be big, and even dazzling at the moment, is based on lies and deceit, but never really great and lasting. No world religion either. Only then, when the religious thought has lost its original driving force, does it look for and find an ambiguous helper in the deception. There is no question that Mohammed was a man of whole and full conviction. He was even a fanatic, just as, if you look closely, what is truly powerful, the destiny of the people, is never brought up, brought about and corrected without a certain degree of fanaticism. Finally I am not in line, Seneka's well-known sentence: “No genius is without some insanity mixed in” - to be applied to the Arab prophet, especially with regard to his mentioned illness, and here I also remind you of the shakspeare in “Midsummer Night's Dream” 's word:

The poet's eye, in beautiful madness rolling,
Flashes up to heaven, flashes down to earth. "

With such eyes, but at the same time a keen observer and a thoughtful contemplator, our man had looked around the world. As already briefly mentioned, he had come into contact with Jews and Christians on his trade trips and in conversations with them he had got to know their religious traditions, doctrines and services. For another source of instruction about Judaism and Christianity, about the holy scriptures and statutes of these religions did not bubble up for him, since the “unlearned prophet” knew neither how to read nor how to write. This has recently been doubted, but the opposite has by no means been proven credibly. We, at this point, can ignore the scholarly argument about this, considering that in the end it does not matter whether Mohammed wrote the Koran orally or in writing. Much more important the The fact that the influences from the Jewish and the Christian side did not detract from the independence of his thought and the independence of his judgment. He accepted the Jewish doctrine and he accepted the Christian doctrine as well, both up to a point. In Moses, as he knew and understood it, he respected the determiner of the concept of a single, otherworldly, spiritual God. In Jesus, as far as he knew about him, he honored the great reformer of Judaism, who had undertaken to lift it out of racial selfishness, out of national narrowness, and to develop it into something purely human. But Judaism was not enough for him, because it would have rejected the reform aimed at by the prophet of Nazareth, and Christianity, which moreover had only come before his eyes in the disgusting form of Anatolian-Byzantine fetishization, he did not want, because the same thing through deification Jesus would have clouded and weakened the unified, monotheistic concept of God. He had a third concept in mind as understanding, fruitful and striving for. He wanted namely the basic idea of ​​the Jewish Jahvethum, i. i. proclaim the unity, solitude and spirituality of God, combined with a divine service which, in contrast to the rigid, rambling and narrow-minded national Jewish ceremonial service, brings out more of the ethical-practical side and therefore the humane elements inherent in Christianity should absorb and develop.


But now it is the joy and pain of people of genius who are at the same time strong in character, that when they are once filled with a great idea, they are completely seized by it, downright possessed. Such a thought becomes flesh and blood in the chosen person, pulsates in his veins, blurs with all his ideas, does not allow him to rest by day, not to rest by night, drive all his sensations to extremes and make his nerve network pathological - irritable vibration. This soul fever - because that is how I may perhaps describe the intended state - gives way to delirium, which in imaginative natures can increase to a temporary somnambulistic ecstasy. Such was the nature of Mohammed and, moreover, which is again very important here, an epileptic one. From this it can be explained that the idea that possesses and dominates the man gradually became figurative in a visionary manner, i. H. that he thought and wanted what he felt, bodily, tangibly, in the form of hallucinations [28] believed to see in front of him. These purely internal processes, these psychological processes, would of course neither be understood by the crowd, nor would they have believed in them. In order to make something like this bite-sized for the people, the machinery of the supersensible, of the mythological, had to be set in motion everywhere and at all times. The Islamic tradition therefore knows of the “enlightenment” and “calling” of the prophet to report this: “In the 40th year of life, the angel Gabriel appeared to Mohammed as the messenger of divine revelation and, as Prophet of Allah, the Most High God, commanded him to do so To proclaim revelation to men. ”In this way, d. H. Through the mediation of the angel Gabriel, the individual sections of the Koran are then given to the prophet, i. H.of the Islamic Bible.

During the first years of his enlightenment and calling, Mohammed only gave himself up as a prophet to his wife Chadyga and several closest friends. It was his first, most ardent and most loyal disciple, Chadyga, who formed the first small group of Muslims, i.e. i. Believers won for the Islamic Gospel. To this group belonged Muhammad's slave Zayd, later adopted by the Prophet as his son, then the two respected Meccans Abu Bakr and Othman, as well as the young Aly, a son of Muhammad's uncle Abu Talib, later married to the Prophet's daughter Fatima and, with the "The Lion of God", one of the most glorious, but also the most unfortunate heroes of Islam. There is a story that assigns the young Aly a prominent role right from the start. As is known, it is a questionable The privilege of youth to be able to discuss anything and everything that they understand and do not understand with more or less amiable audacity, because they only risk a shrug on the part of those who know. But the youth also have that noble The privilege, often with the instinct of the heart, to be able to grasp the great and the true quickly and enthusiastically, while the more mature age still faces it hesitantly, doubtingly and hesitantly. After three years of prophetic work, Mohammed was only so far that one day he was able to gather around forty of his relatives and friends, whom his efforts had inspired some sympathy, in his house to ask them the question: “Do you believe in me and my mission? And who wants to help me in my work? ”Everyone would have been silent. But sixteen-year-old Aly would have jumped up and exclaimed with impetuous enthusiasm: "I will! ”It seems, therefore, that the later“ Lion of God ”spoke one of those resounding words in an hour of decision, which have the meaning of deeds.

However, to the same extent as the small Islamic community increased, so did the resistance against it and the adversities which it caused increased. The most powerful men of the Koraysch tribe - whose mood and demeanor everything mattered for the time being - came out against the new message of salvation and its bearers. As it had happened elsewhere under similar circumstances, the adversaries demanded above all that the prophet should prove his alleged mission by means of miracles. Mohammed replied: “Allah did not send me to perform miracles, only to bring his revelation to people. This revelation content is miraculous enough. "

The Korayshites were not satisfied with that alone. Börne’s joke that since the day when Pythagoras gratefully offered a hecatomb after finding the Pythagorean theorem, i. H. A hundred oxen slaughtered, every ox trembles when a new light comes on in the world, is and remains a good joke, but does not fully portray the state of affairs I am dealing with. Even with the empirical statement, confirmed a thousand times over, that the narrow-mindedness and the envy of mediocrity everywhere and always behaved in a hateful, defensive and hostile manner towards the ingenious and original, is not enough. It is more of a nature of the matter when one says that people and peoples always and everywhere have fallen into the stupid, mean and evil far more quickly and more quickly than the decent, noble and right. Incidentally, for their resistance to the new doctrine, the people of the Koraysch tribe could also argue that the terms new and good by no means always coincide. But in the end, as is so often the case in our “best of the worlds”, the whole matter was a question of money. The Korayshites feared that the prophet wanted to touch the most sensitive part of their pagan orthodoxy; H. to their purse of money, in that the new doctrine could reduce their, the Korayschites, income as owners, custodians and sacristans of the Kaabah or make it dry up completely. Finally, the difficulties with which Mohammed had to wrestle may not have been insignificantly aggravated by the fact that he was no longer rich. To a rich man who can put sacks filled with millions of people as protective and defensive shields in front of him, human baseness is wont to let go, if not everything, at least a lot, even the founding of a new religion. However, as far as is known, the Rothschilds and their consorts never and nowhere concerned themselves with founding a religion. What for? They got on very well with the ancestral cult of the gold calf.

There is a profound sense in the fact that the king's son of Kapilavastu first had to divest himself of all the riches and glories of his prince and make himself a poor man, a beggar, before he turned Prince Siddharta into Buddha d. H. could become awakened, enlightened, knowledgeable and as such the founder the Religion, which of all the religions indigenous to the world has the most believers. All the great and good people, the cultural heroes, the teachers and comforters of mankind, definitely had no talent for Rothschilderei.

So slowly, very slowly, Mohammed advanced. The death of Chadyga was an irreplaceable loss for young Islam. The unclouded integrity of the new religion, the impeccability of the preacher of it, disappeared with this woman. On the other hand, it was a significant gain that one of the most respected Korayschites, Omar, joined the new doctrine. The later, as the second Khalif, became one of the basic pillars of Mohammedanism. This, d. H. Let us now quickly visualize the Islamic doctrine.


"Islâm" - d. i. Devotion, namely to the will of God - the prophet called the religion preached and founded by him. The confessors of the same called and still call themselves "Muslîm", from which our corrupt word Muslims comes. “Muslim” in the singular means a devotee, namely to God, ie a confessor, a believer who, in contrast to his, has the “Giaur”, the unbeliever, because he does not believe in Islam. Because Allah thinks itself just as self-saving as Judaism and Christianity. It is intolerant in its innermost being, just as - all idioms put aside - all monotheistic belief systems have always been and had to be according to their nature.

The teaching of Islam is contained in the "Korân" (with the article "Al Korân"), which word means "The Scriptures" or "The Book" and therefore has exactly the meaning of our word "The Bible", which we took over from the Greek. For Muslims the Koran is the book of books, the Book par excellence, the holy scriptures, the revealed word of God. Every orthodox believer in Allah is firmly convinced that the original text of the Koran has existed in the seventh heaven from eternity. In truth, "Al Kitah", the book, the writing, as the Islamic Bible is also called, is the work of the prophet, but not taken as a whole, but only in its individual parts. During his lifetime, in different epochs and on different occasions, Mohammed had communicated the content of the Koran to his disciples orally in parts. He may well have dictated individual sections to this or that. When he died there were fragments of this Bible, written on parchment, on leather, on palm leaves, on the shoulder bones of slaughtered sheep, in different hands. Others had survived unwritten in the minds of believers. The Prophet himself had neither organized nor ordered a compilation. But if already under the first Khalif Abû Bakr - Khalif is deputy or governor, [29] namely, of the prophet - the advisability and even the necessity of a collection of the revelation writings of the new faith emphasized, a first editing was undertaken, which was followed by a second and final one under the Chaliphate of Othmans. In both cases the editors proceeded without any method, and that is why the Korân, the volume of which is not half the size of our Bible, is a real mess of books, I would like to say a hodgepodge raised in a square. The only principle by which the collectors and files were guided seems to have been to put the longest pieces first, the less long ones in the middle, and the shorter and shortest ones at the end. As it is now, the Islamic Bible is divided into 114 suras, i.e. i. Chapter, of very uneven size. Some are tapeworm-long, while others are just a few lines. The Koran is written in a kind of rhythmic prose, which often comes to a head at the end of the lines to rhyme. Mind and tone are very different in the individual sections; but the whole Koran in one Having to read through the train is one of the most difficult tests of patience that could be imposed on man, at least on the occidental. The naive-epic style of many of the Old Testament books, which seems so naive to any unprejudiced sense, is lacking in the Islamic Bible. One notices this clearly in the way in which the Old Testament myths and legends from Abraham to the time of Jesus are communicated in eternal repetitions in the Koran, disfigured with brightly colored fairytale tinsel. The creation myth of the Old Testament also recurs in the Qur'an, but strangely ornate and in such a way that the Islamic devil, the Iblis, plays a prominent role. As a rule, Mohammed speaks as a bombastic rhetorician, but sometimes also as a real poet. Then, carried up on the chariot of his imagination and his passion, he finds the correspondingly powerful linguistic expression for zealous notions. The holy scriptures of Islam reach their most pathetic momentum, so to speak a poetry of anger, when they describe the horrors of the Last Judgment and the torments of Hell, their highest grace and solemnity, when they speak of the joys, those of the blessed wait in paradise.

[50] The answer to the question: What doctrine of faith is presented in the Quran? I try to formulate it as briefly as possible. It is well known that the idea of ​​the existence of a deity is the Point from which all systematized religions proceed and into which each leads back. Man believes that there is a being above him, a higher, superhuman, divine being, which he worships, loves, fears, a power from which he expects help and consolation in this worldly and bliss in a hoped for otherworldly existence. Islam now, based on the premise that it is purely impossible not to know that God is, has be God consciousness, be Basic dogma summarized in the laconic symbol: d. H. "No god but Allah." The divine name Allah, linguistically closely related to the Hebrew designations of the deity, is drawn together from the article and the noun and means "the venerable", "the exalted". Islam continually emphasizes its strictly monotheistic basic dogma. The Qur'an keeps coming back to the sentence about the unchangeable eternity of God, not infrequently with a polemical sideways glance at the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. At the end of the Islamic Bible, the 112th sura reads once again emphatically: “God is one. He is from eternity. He was not conceived and did not conceive. Nobody is like him. ”Nevertheless, this strict and rigid belief in one God was not able to sustain itself logically. All the more developed religions show the need of man to place an intermediate level between humanity and deity, and so Mohammed also saw himself squat and compelled, be it following the Persian-Jewish doctrine, be it in memory of the ancient belief in spirits and demons of his own people to surround his one and only God with hosts of angels as with his servants and messengers. And to what else should the evil in the world be attributed? But not to the almighty, all-wise and all-good God?

So the assumption of a Satan or a devil had to help out who was an adversary of God and a seducer of mankind who was given the name Iblis. The opposition between God and the devil, however, is by no means as clearly developed in Islamic dogmatics as in Christian dogmatics. The meaning and position of the demons, the so-called Djinnes, is also unclear and vague in the Qur'an, insofar as they are not always considered angry Ghosts appear.

The second main tenet of Islam contains the predestination of human destinies by God, that doctrine of predestination which has taken up so much space in the history of Christianity and made so much noise, but which in Mohammedanism has brought about the great schism between Sunnis and Shiites.

The third dogma evokes prophethood by stating that Muhammad is the true prophet and transmitter of divine revelation. So Mohammed is the Prophet, but the Prophet is not the first and not the only one. For the Koran expressly recognizes Moses and Jesus as his predecessors, but Mohammed is the perfecter of prophethood.

The fourth main dogma deals with the immortality of the soul, the resurrection of the dead, judgment of the world, the eventual reward of the good and the punishment of the wicked. This Islamic eschatology (doctrine of the last things) is evidently modeled on old Persian and Christian ideas, but in its details it is very skilfully calculated on the sensual perception of the Orientals and therefore portrayed as hot-blooded and fantastic.

If dogma is the soul of religion, cult is, as is well known, its body. Now we find that in Islam the relationship between soul and body, i.e. H. between doctrines and worship, is carried out with the utmost rigor. The strict adherence to the concept of an abstract, otherworldly, bodiless and image-free God rejected and forbade the break-in of further mythological elements into the cult and consequently both rejected and forbade the arts from approaching worship. An exception was only permitted in favor of architecture; only architecture, which was used in the service of religion, was to be limited to the bare essentials in the creation and decoration of the Islamic temples. Islam does not actually have a church service. The performance of prayer is a matter for the individual. The main part of Muslim prayer is made up of the sura which opens the Koran. The imams' interpretations of Koran passages from the pulpits of mosques can be seen as sermons in our Senses can hardly be identified

The four great religious duties of the Muslim, however, are: 1) The prayer to be performed five times a day with the face turned towards the Kaabah in Mecca; 2) fasting, especially during the whole month of Ramazan from sunrise to sunset; 3) giving alms, d. H. charity in the narrowest and broadest sense of the word; 4) the pilgrimage to Mecca, which every true believer should make at least once in a lifetime. The following apply to other religious obligations: 1) circumcision, 2) frequent ablutions and cleansing, 3) the “jihad”, d. i. the war against the Kiaffir or Giaurs, d. H. against all non-Muslims.

Islam has never known a closed priesthood or even a spiritual caste. He does not even know a priesthood, insofar as this is based on a consecration in the Christian church sense. The prophet, however, founded a theocracy, insofar as the dogmatic "Imamet", ie. H. according to the law of succession, the highest spiritual and worldly power and authority should be with his successors and governors, the Khalifa. But, as is well known, this Islamic Caesaropapism did not have its unity and power for long [51] was able to assert. Other precepts of the prophet also lost their validity over time. So he has z. B. monasticism is expressly rejected, but it has nevertheless managed to sneak into Islam. Finally, it must be remembered here that the Koran is at the same time dogmatics, ritual law, moral and legal doctrine. The Muslim Bible thus contains the canonical norm not only for the religious, but also and just as much for the social and political existence of the Muslims: it is the civil and penal code of the entire Islamic world, in all matters the ultimate and highest authority. The future of Mohammedanism failed on this rock. For how would it have been possible in the face of the elasticity and capacity for development of Christianity, which knew how to adapt flexibly and flexibly to the most varied climates, races, peoples and state institutions, a further development or even just a maintenance of the Muslim power in the long term with this inability, the intellectual one? and to keep the practical side of life apart, with this slow habit of insisting on beliefs and statutes, which the Arabism of the 7thCentury were cut to the body?


From the outline of his teaching we turn back to the person of the prophet.

Like the proverbial all prophets, he was as valid as nothing in his homeland for a long time. Then he began to be regarded as an object of concern, fear and hatred of his fellow tribes, the men of the Koraysch tribe. The outbursts of this hatred have compelled him to lead an adventurous and indolent existence for a long time. Several times he had to escape from Mecca before the pursuit of his enemies in order to shelter in the desert, in ravines and caves. Returning again and again to his hometown, he tried to assert himself to the extreme, because he knew very well how important it would be to spread his teaching from this recognized suburb of Arabia. But now the Korayshites proceeded to carry out the attempt to close the mouth of the annoying innovator by means of murder. Mohammed had to give way to this danger, and he escaped it by using a genuinely Bedouin ruse. Having escaped from Mecca, he reached the city of Medyna under many hazards, where a refuge was prepared for him by followers who, as pilgrims, had got to know Islam in Mecca, accepted it and brought it to Medyna. The Prophet's entire followers, including his two fellow refugees Abu Bakr and Aly, had fled ahead of the Prophet from Mecca to Medyna. The Korayshites unsuccessfully put a price of 100 camels on the head of the prophet who had escaped their assassination attempt.

On September 14th, 622, the refugee arrived in the village of Koba at the gates of Medyna’s. As is well known, the calendar of the Mohammedan world dates from this flight ("Hidjrah") of Mohammed. Not without reason. Because the Hidjrah marks the decisive turning point in the career of the prophet. Only now did his position become public and his role historical; Only now did the darkness and silence of his private life give way to the splendor and noise of an existence on which the eyes and thoughts of thousands and soon myriads of people were directed as their center. For with the office of a preacher and prophet, a teacher who was consistently dependent only on the peaceful means of instruction, from now on Mohammed combined the work, the being, rule and activity of a statesman, general and prince.

In Medyna, the Islamic sect quickly developed into a major religious sect and political party, which the prophet as such had to direct and lead, increase and master. Here now the man's innate genius, the whole power of his ego and self, the abundance and versatility of his talent, the sovereignty of his will and doing that emanates from him, has become quite evident. Like all chosen spirits, he too had the full secret of exercising power over people. With the princely nature of Mohammed it was of course still very poor and meager, as for example the truly Bedouin simplicity shows, with which the wedding of his favorite daughter Fatima with the faithful Aly was celebrated in Medyna. The whole wedding feast consisted of a bowl filled with dates and olives, and the equipment of the young couple was downright beggary. But in spite of the poverty of his household, soon after his arrival in Medyna he was in a state of mind to add the persuasiveness of his sword to the proclamation of his doctrine. With the rise of Islam the truth, unfortunately confirmed through the whole course of history, proved that the great changes in human society are by no means only brought about and carried out through the very desirable path of calm education and the peaceful means of instruction and conviction . The childish dream of eternal peace may parade in children's primers to please children. The book of history, however, is not a children's primer, but teaches thinking and knowing people that during the great upheavals in mankind it never came about without violence. Incidentally, as is well known, Christianity has nothing to reproach Islam for in this respect. For no religion has cost so much blood and so many tears as the Christian one.

As soon as the prophet had gained a firm seat in Medyna, he envisaged the necessary goal of overcoming Mecca, calculating quite correctly that with Mecca all of Arabia would soon fall to him. From Medyna he started the war against the Koraysch tribe at the head of his followers after he had proclaimed the "jihad" against the infidels as a formal command of Allah. Of course, this war was initially waged in the style of a real Arab raid. Mohammed won his first real victory over the Korayshites at the meeting at Bedr. The decision hesitated for a long time and the first naming of Mecca even failed; but Islam was gradually gaining ground; the prophet's following grew in the country, and this could not remain without repercussions on his opponents. A tribal chief in the villages and towns, one Bedouin shek after the other from the steppe placed themselves under the banner of Allah, and the new faith became a national power that overcame all obstacles. At the end of the year 629, Mohammed was able to advance to Mecca with 10,000 fighters and in January of 630 he entered the conquered city as a victor. He exercised moderation and gentleness. According to Arab martial law, all the inhabitants of the defeated city had fallen into ruin. The Prophet contented himself with sending some of the most stubborn Korayshites to death.

In the Kaabah, the idols were solemnly smashed and burned, but the cleaned house was declared the main temple of Islam. In the following month Mohammed set out from Mecca to put down the last resistance that his teachings and his rulership had to face in Arabia. He did this by means of his great victory in the valley of Honayn, and now his command of power extended over the whole peninsula, yes he could already carry his arms out to Syria and fight the emperor of Byzantium. Reasonably enough, however, he did not pursue his military career any further, but devoted the rest of his life to the development and consolidation of his work by reorganizing Arabia on the basis of Islam. His favorite place to stay was Medyna, and that's where he wanted to be buried. In the 10th year of the Hidjrah he went to Mecca for the last time, this time in the style of a recognized and highly honored prince of the faithful. The entry into the Kaabah was the triumphal pomp of his prophecy. When he returned to Medyna, he fell ill and on the sick bed he again firmly and firmly rejected, as he had often done before, the attempts of his disciples to deify him, to declare him the Son of God. "God has no son and I am just a person like all of you," he said. He gathered his most familiar ones for a final solemn address which, according to tradition, was: “I hear that the death of your prophet fills you with horror. But has any of the prophets who came before me ever lived forever? So you had to know that a day would come when I would be separated from you. I am now wandering to Allah, my Lord, but you [52] I admonish unity. ”Then he ordered all his slaves to be given freedom and all the money in his coffers to be given to the poor. It was of course not enough, six or seven denarii. For the prince of believers, the ruler of Arabia, died poor. June 7 or 8 of 632 was the day of his death. His grave was dug where his deathbed stood, destined to become the longingly sought destination of the pilgrimage of millions.


The human tendency to create myths in general and the Arab addiction to fabulir in particular did not hesitate, after the prophet's devotion, to envelop the appearance of the prophet, also the physical one, with such a thick nimbus of the miraculous that it must first be vigorously torn up and removed, if one wants to know the real outlines and the real features of the great man. It is also only fair that, in visualizing his overall character, one takes the prophet as he was in his better and best time, although it must not be concealed that in later years he was sometimes, even often, seriously ill with that evil streak which I call the frankincense disease. Unfortunately, no human brain seems to be walled up tightly enough against the poisonous, disastrous vapors of the same.

If we summarize the features that have been handed down to us about the personality of Muhammad, we get this picture: Of medium size, he had a slender, supple, sinewy stature, a well-formed head, a round, brown, red-cheeked face, with a high, beautifully arched forehead, under which large black eyes peered out, usually gentle and dreamy, throwing strals in moments of enthusiasm, spraying fire in anger. The narrow-backed eagle nose with its very flexible wings indicated passion, the mouth with the full, raised lips indicated sensuality, the massive chin, covered by a strong beard, indicated energy.

The Prophet endured all kinds of exertions and exertions easily and happily, was little challenged by heat and frost, by hunger and thirst, was a bold rider, a skilful archer and swordsman, personally brave, as keen-sighted and circumspect as a leader in battle as a politician, as who he put his drafts on the foundation of a deep and varied knowledge of human nature, in order to then work patiently persistently to carry them out. His mood was mostly expressed in his demeanor and expression as mildly serious, but forms of graceful affability were peculiar to him in dealing and conversation. Whenever the time, place and occasion demanded it, the otherwise usually taciturn man rose to rapt eloquence. Then the poet's tongue poured out the prophet's promptings in words; they flamed like lightning and rolled like thunder. He was a thoroughly honest person, open and unconcealed even in his mistakes and excesses. There was nothing glitzy, hypocritical or musky in him. He acted from the depths of a rock-solid conviction. He believed in what he said, and that's why people believed him too. He was a principal, not a slick opportunist, not a two-Saxon compromise artist, but a straightforward man and neither a courtier of power nor a flatterer of the crowd. The basic trait of his being was undoubtedly love for people, how then, where this is lacking, ephemeral sham things such as Napoleonic emperorships can be tricked, but never lasting greatness is thought, wanted and created. He was also not lacking in the humanly good, fine and noble strokes of character whose lack of the most famous man of the first as well as the most famous man of the second half of the nineteenth century is so intrusive. The Prophet was cheap and indulgent towards people, also loved a harmless joke. One day when an old woman persistently bothered him with the request that he would intercede with Allah so that she could go to Paradise, he said impatiently: "No old woman comes to Paradise." But when the good old woman broke out in sobs. he consoled her, speaking: “Of course, no old woman comes to paradise; because on the threshold of it the old women will be transformed into beautiful young girls again by Allah’s grace. "

His desire to do good was restless, and it is well known that in food, drink, and clothing he imposed the greatest moderation and thriftiness in order to be all the more benevolent towards others. That mark of human kindness of heart, compassion for animals and care for them, was not lacking in him either. Summa: In the rarest measure did Mohammed combine genius, manliness, simplicity, generosity and energy. He was quite an elementary personality, an original man, a hero in the high office of the word, and the great tragedian of the Arab could have boasted more appropriately than of that somewhat dubious Roman hero:

So the elements mingled in him,
That nature can get up and say:
That was a Man!“ …

The Prophet of Allah has not yet found a poet who would be worthy of him. Voltaire’s well-known tragedy is just a caricature drawn in the spirit of the enlightenment philosophy of the 18th century. The great mocker had absolutely no idea of ​​the true nature and work of his hero. It is true that Julius Mosen portrayed the entry of Islam into world history splendidly in the final chants of his "Ahasver", but how much we have to complain that Göthe’s fiery youthful intention to compose a Mohammed was not realized!

But the work of this man must not be judged or valued by the sight which it presents today. From the beginning, like everything human, it was marked with the mark of impermanence, but Islam in its decline must not make us unjust to Islam in its rise. For more than a millennium, this belief has been the content of their thinking for hundreds and hundreds of millions of people, their most sacred possession, their highest hope, their most powerful strengthening, their best consolation. And with what force and with what splendor this religion carried out its role of conquest! Within the first century after the Prophet's death, Mohammedanism reached with its left hand to the Ebro in Spain and with its right to the Ganges in India. Arab irresistibility was only able to obstruct the way to world domination by Germanic invincibility. So Islam achieved great things with the sword, but great things also with the spirit. It is well known what the Christian Middle Ages owed to the far more advanced Islamic education. Glorious cultural springs have blossomed under the protection of the Chalifate of Baghdad and Kordova. The magnificent buildings of Kordova, Seville and Granada, like those of Delhi and Agra, still eloquently testify to the artistic desire and ability of this culture, which in world literature is Firdusi, Sadi, Jelaleddin, Hafis, Hariri and all the Spanish-Arabic and Sicilian -Arab poet who gave science an Avicenna and Averroes, a whole series of mathematicians, astronomers, explorers and healing artists, as well as Sufism from the bottom of philosophical speculation, that pantheistic gospel of joyful intoxication with God. All this is not lost, but rather has become the common property of civilized mankind.

At the moment, of course, Islam, which has withered from within for centuries, seems to be dying away - at least in its state forms and structures. His whole being stands in the way of the possibility of rejuvenation. Allah will probably not do such a miracle in him as the prophet comfortingly promised that weeping old woman one thing. The final fate of everything that has become and is becoming, the passing away, the fate of religions, states, peoples, races, even of cosmic bodies, will also be that of Islam. For a long time one has heard the diplomatic pens scribbling in Russian and other state chancelleries, which draw the will on him, the poor "sick man" of Mohammedanism, the inevitableness of his dogma and the dull fatalism that arose from it with all its perishable entourage, sultanism, polygamy , Slavery, ignorance and indolence, to [54] made an incurable sickness. The day will and must come when the story of him becomes the order of the day. But it befits us not with arrogance, but only with pity, to anticipate the end of such a mighty phenomenon, bearing in mind that it is our turn, yes, as our sages want, that which meets in sublime silence above, around and below us great Parliament of the Worlds will one day go back to the order of the day via our little earthly world itself. Whether then what mankind felt, thought and done, fought for and suffered, all of its triumphs and defeats, its conquests and sacrifices, its merits and failures, all its lust and all its sorrows in ways which even the imagination of a Dante would not be able to suspect, do the inhabitants of other worlds too good, or whether all this would be gone, without a trace, a breath of wind from yesterday - who knows?