Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Understanding Muhammad: The Psychobiography of Allah's Prophet

by Ali Sina
04 June, 2007
My book, Understanding Muhammad: The Psychobiography of Allah’s Prophet, is ready for purchase. The book was originally named Understanding Islam and the Muslim Mind. It became too large and I decided to divide it in two books. The first book is about Muhammad and the second that is not yet published will be about Understanding Muslims.
After the 9/11 attack on America, a distraught American mother told me that her son, aged 23, had converted to Islam at 14. He had married a Muslim woman whom he had never seen before in an arranged marriage by his Imam (Islamic cleric), and now, with a baby, he wanted to go to Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban killing American soldiers and become a “martyr.” She also said that a few years earlier he told her that once Islam takes over America, he would not hesitate to behead her, should the order come to slay the unbelievers.****Samaira Nazir, a bright and well educated 25 year old British national of Pakistani descent was stabbed to death. Her throat was slashed by her 30 year old brother and her 17 year old cousin at her parents’ home. Samaira had dishonored her family by falling in love with an Afghan man they thought was of lower caste and had rejected suitors lined up to meet her in Pakistan. In April 2005 she was summoned to the family home and ambushed by everyone. A neighbor witnessed seeing her trying to escape while her father grabbed her by the hair, pulled her back into the house and slammed the door. She was heard screaming, “you are not my mother anymore,” which indicates that her mother was also involved in her cold-blooded murder. Her nieces, aged 2 and 4 were made to watch the whole proceeding as the neighbors heard them screaming. The amount of blood on the children suggested that they were only feet from the attack. The family was educated and well to do.
****Muhammad Ali al-Ayed, a 23 year old Saudi millionaire's son living in America, one August evening, in 2003, called Sellouk, his old Jewish Moroccan friend and suggested they get together. The two had drinks at a bar before going to Al-Ayed’s apartment about midnight. There he took a knife, stabbed and nearly decapitated his friend. Al-Ayed’s roommate told police the two “were not arguing before Al-Ayed killed Sellouk.” The reason for this cold blooded murder was “religions differences,” said Ayed's attorney.
****Mohammad Taheri-azar was a 25 year old Iranian graduate from the University of North Carolina. One day, in March 2006, he rented a SUV and drove it slowly onto the campus. Then he suddenly accelerated into the college crowd with the intent to kill as many people as he could. He hit nine people and injured six of them.****Sanao Menghwar and his wife, a Hindu couple residing in Karachi, Pakistan, were traumatized one November evening in 2005, when upon returning from work they discovered that all their three daughters were missing. After two days of futile searching, they found out that their daughters had been kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam. The police arrested three Muslim youths in connection with the crime, who were later granted bail by a court because they were minors. The girls remain missing.
“Kidnapping Hindu girls like this has become a normal practice. The girls are then forced to sign stamped papers stating that they’ve become Muslims,” says Laljee, a Hindu resident of Karachi. “Hindus here are too frightened to vent their anger — they fear victimization,” he added.
Many Hindu girls meet similar fates in Pakistan. They are abducted, forced to convert to Islam and forced to marry a Muslim man while their parents are denied the right to see or talk to them. “How can a Muslim girl live and maintain contact with kafirs (infidels)?” remarked Maulvi Aziz, the cleric representing a Muslim kidnapper in another case that was taken to the court.
When a Hindu girl is converted to Islam, hundreds of Muslims take to the streets and chant religious slogans. The cries of the parents fall on deaf ears of the authorities. The unfortunate girls are then threatened that if they recant Islam they would be executed as apostates. Often lawyers avoid taking up these cases, fearing a backlash from the extremists.
****In October 2005, three girls were walking through a Cocoa plantation near the city of Poso in Indonesia. The girls attended a private Christian school. They were attacked and beheaded by a group of Muslims. Police said the heads were found some distance from the bodies and one of the heads was left outside a church. The Muslim militants have targeted central Sulawesi Province and believe that it could be turned into the foundation stone of an Islamic state. In 2001 and 2002, Muslims attacked the Christians in that province. The fighting drew Islamic militants from all over Indonesia and resulted in the death of more than 1,000 Christians.****Muriel Degauque was a 38 year old Belgian woman who, according to a neighbor who knew her since childhood, was an “absolutely normal” little girl who liked to go for sled rides when it snowed. She converted to Islam when she married a Muslim man. Later she traveled with her husband through Syria to Iraq, where she blew herself up in an attack on an Iraqi police patrol on November 9, 2005. Five policemen were killed outright and a sixth officer and four civilians were seriously injured.
These acts are insane, but the irony is that none of the perpetrators were insane. They were “absolutely normal” people. What motivated them to commit these heinous crimes? The answer is Islam. Such occurrences are daily events in the Islamic world. Everywhere Muslims are busy killing people for what they believe.
Why? What makes sane people commit such evil? Why are Muslims, as a lot, so angry with others, so at war with the world that they are often quick to resort to violence? Millions of Muslims riot, protest, and kill completely innocent people anytime, anywhere, says something about Muhammad. This kind of behavior is not rational. Yet the perpetrators are completely sane people. How can we explain this paradox?
To understand this we must understand that Muslims are expected to be, and to think like their prophet. As such, their attitudes, beliefs, thoughts and actions come to reflect his personality and mind. Since Muhammad is the model for all that is righteous in Islam, it is expected that they emulate him in every way, to do what he did and to think the way he thought. The result of this is that Muslims, as a whole, by virtue of taking on the life of Muhammad, leave behind their own, forsaking their humanity and to a large degree, their individuality. As they come to inhabit the narcissistic bubble universe of their prophet, and to the extent that they follow his examples, they become extensions of him. Muslims are twigs from the tree of Islam and the root of that tree is Muhammad. They share his character, his attitude and his mindset. You could say each Muslim is a mini Muhammad of a sort. Therefore, to understand Muslims, individually as well as collectively, we must first come to know and understand Muhammad.
As a subject, Muhammad is one very few like to engage. Muslims get offended if anyone slights their prophet. Any comment, no matter how innocuous can elicit opprobrium. Though they may allow you to criticize his followers, they do not tolerate any criticism of the prophet himself.
It is not possible to make a thorough evaluation of the psychological profile of someone centuries after his death. However, there is a wealth of information about the details of the life of Muhammad and his sayings that are recorded meticulously. Many of these accounts are embellished by exaggeration and are full of hyperbole. It is to be expected that believers would elevate the status of their prophet, falsely attribute miracles to him and make him look saintly. In the biography of Muhammad, however, we also find thousands of accounts that do not portray him as a holy man, but rather, depict him as vile, ruthless, cunning, and even as a sexual pervert. There is no reason to believe these stories are fabrications. It would not be characteristic of believers to portray their prophet as a villain. So if such stories exist, narrated by his companions, those who believed in him and loved him, in such a large numbers, it is likely that they are true.
Traditions that are diffusely recurrent are called mutawattir. These traditions have come down to later generations through a large number of chains of narrations, involving diverse transmitters. It is virtually impossible that all these people, living in different localities and espousing (at times radically) different views, would come together, to fabricate the exact same lie and attribute it to their prophet.
Availing ourselves of these stories, called hadith, and the Qur’an, a book believed by every Muslim to be the verbatim word of God, we shall peer into Muhammad’s mind, as we try to understand him and to figure out why he did what he did. I will quote the opinions and theories of various psychologists and psychiatrists, and compare what Muhammad did with what these experts of the mind say. The sources that I quote are all experts in psychopathology. What they say is accepted as commonsense and is shared by the majority of professionals in their field.
This book is not so much intended to be a psychoanalysis of a man who lived 1400 years ago as it is an attempt to unravel his mystique. Muhammad is an enigma to many and particularly to his followers who accept the myth, and embrace the image, while refusing to see past it. His conduct was ungodly, yet he gave all indications that he truly believed in his cause. How could such a man, so vengeful, so ruthless, and so depraved, have such charisma as to leave spellbound not only his companions, but billions of people for so many centuries?
Michael Hart, in his book, The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History, places Muhammad at the very top of his list, followed by Isaac Newton, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Confucius and St. Paul. Hart’s list does not take into consideration whether the influences these people exerted were positive or negative. In his list are also other tyrants, such as Adolph Hitler, Mao Ze Dong and Joseph Stalin. The list even includes Niccolò Machiavelli. How could a man like Muhammad, so devoid of humanity, become the most influential person in history? As this book attempts to show, the answer to this question has more to do with human psyche than it does with Muhammad the person.
There is no other cause for which more blood has been shed than Islam. According to some historians, in India alone, more than 80 million people were massacred by the sword of Islam. Millions were killed in Persia, Egypt and in all other countries that were attacked by marauding Muslims, both during their conquests and in the centuries that followed. It continues today.
Muslims often brag, “We love death more than you love life.” They have proven it in thousands of terrorist attacks in recent years. How can one man have so much influence over so many people, even to cheerfully die for him and not hesitate to sacrifice their own children in his cause? Why is it that 25 out of 28 of the on-going conflicts worldwide involve Muslims, who comprise only one fifth of humanity? Taken as a statistical average, this means that Muslims, as a group, are a whopping 33 times more likely to resort to violence for conflict resolution than the rest of humanity. How can this be?
Islam is the brainchild of Muhammad. Muslims read his words in the Qur’an and hadith and follow his examples in every detail of their lives. To them, he is the best part of creation, the most perfect human being and the example to follow. They believe that if he did something, no matter how egregious, that must be the right thing. No question is asked and no value judgment allowed.
This book presents two theses. The first is that Muhammad suffered from narcissistic personality disorder. The second is that he was affected by temporal lobe epilepsy. He may have had other mental disorders as well but these two conditions of personality and brain disorder explain the entire phenomenon known as Muhammad. This book proves with overwhelming evidence that Muhammad was disturbed. Though he believed in his cause and was sincere in his claim, yet he could not differentiate the imaginary from the real. His contemporaries and those who knew him better, called him majnoon (lunatic, crazy, possessed by jinns). They unfortunately succumbed to his brute force and their voices of sanity were silenced. New discoveries of the human brain have finally vindicated them. But we should keep in mind, that despite psychological disorder, a narcissist is fully aware he is lying and he is the first to believe in his own lies.
Although this book is not addressed to Muslims, it is mainly for them I have written it. As a Persian proverb says, I spoke to the door so the wall can hear. Enough has been said about Muhammad being a looter, a mass murderer, a marauding gangster, a pedophile, an assassin, a lustful womanizer, etc. Muslims hear all that, and continue believing in him without blinking. Oddly, some of them even claim that after they read my articles on the Internet, their “faith in Islam grew.” They have accepted Muhammad as a superior being and the “Mercy of God among mankind.” They do not judge their prophet by the standards of human morality and conscience. On the contrary, they believe that it was he who set the standards. For them, right and wrong, good and bad are not determined by the Golden Rule, a concept that is alien to the Muslim psyche, but by halal (permitted) and haram (forbidden), religious values that have no basis in logic, ethics, or morality.
You can order this book through, or any other online store. However, it is preferable that you order it through your local bookstore such as Chapters, Barnes & Noble, etc. It will not only cost you less, if there are several orders to the same bookstore, the manager may want to order a few extra books and display them on the shelves. This would be a great way to promote the book. Also please do not forget to write a review once you read the book and kindly advertise it in other sites. A link to it in other sites will be highly appreciated.This book spells the beginning of the end of Islam. Once you read it, you will not be able to think of Islam in the same way.
Here is the ISBN: 978-1-4303-2992-3
Here is the link:
Ali Sina is the Editor of He is has contributed in 'Beyond Jihad - Critical Voices from Inside Islam'. His upcoming book is Understanding Islam and the Muslim Mind.

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