As-Salāmu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wabarakathuhu

May the Peace, Mercy and Blessings of God be upon you beautiful people

"Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish." [Qur'an 17:81]

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Islamic response to the Movie Zeitgeist

I watched it last year, thought it was really well made and very persuasive. I personally don’t agree with all of it though. I agree with some parts of the religion bit, I disagree with the 9/11 conspiracy theory but I agree with the federal reserve part. I do personally agree with some parts being plagerised and made part of Christian teachings from ancient ideas and myths. The most notable interpolations I feel are:

• Jesus born on the 25th
• The three kings
• Jesus’ death and crucifixion
• Jesus being the son of god
• Jesus being resurrected
• The cross being stolen from an ancient pagan symbol
• The references to end times and how it corresponds with ancient myths
• Easter
• Christmas
• Holy Communion
• Global flood

A lot of the attacks from the film are on Christian doctrine, which Islam does not subscribe to rather it also challenges these ideas. All the names and qualities ascribed to the historical ‘gods’ again are similar to those ascribed to Jesus in the bible, however they are not found anywhere in the Quran. We feel the reason Islam came was to correct the corruption which occurred within the Christian teachings. This includes some of the details mentioned in the movie, such as the issues already raised above. We feel that these ancient myths were granted place in Christian teachings and as such the religion became far from the true religion of God.

For example the issue of the sun and people in past times believing the sun was the son of God, this was also the belief of the Greeks at the time of the emperor Constantine. This is where we believe the idea of Jesus being the son of god came about, aswell as the trinity which would fall in line with Greek mythological beliefs and thus make mass conversion amongst the Greeks to Christianity an easier process. The same could apply to a lot of the Christian teachings referred to in this film, i.e. references to darkness and light and so on. These are quotes from the bible and as such because they are not found in the Quran, Islam does not subscribe to such ideas.

There are however parts that are the same as in Islamic teachings, and thus there is an allegation that all religions, including Islam is also a victim of the plagiarism from ancient myths. This however is false and I will refute them one by one.

We believe that Jesus did exist; he was born to a virgin named Maryam, in english Mary. His name was esau in hebrew and is Isa in Arabic. The Christians added the J and the S at the end to latinise it and hence you have Jesus. We believe he was not God, but he was a prophet. We believe he was not killed nor crucified and hence he was not resurrected. We also believe that Moses existed, and he was given the Ten Commandments by God. We also believe that Noah existed, and the flood was an event that took place. These are the Islamic beliefs that the film touches on, anything outside what I refute is not an Islamic belief and as such I accept the influence of mythical stories on those issues.

To begin with let’s look at the allegation that Isis was called Mary and that the virgin birth of Jesus is a rip off from Horus. Firstly, there is no evidence which proves Isis was called Mary so I don’t see the link, maybe the film makers just stuck it an and hoped no one would notice that the names are different lol. Secondly, Horus was not born of a virgin birth. There are many tales of his birth found in historical evidence, 3 of which are the following: First that he was given birth by a falcon, and second he was given birth via an egg laid by a goose and thirdly most common that Isis was not a virgin, but the widow of Osiris. Isis practices magic to raise Osiris from the dead so she can bear a son that would avenge his death. Isis then becomes pregnant from the sperm of her deceased husband. Again, no virgin birth occurs:

"[Isis] made to rise up the helpless members [penis] of him whose heart was at rest, she drew from him his essence [sperm], and she made therefrom an heir [Horus]."

This is not a virgin birth. There is also an allegation that the virgin birth idea was ripped off from the birth of Attis also an ancient mythological god from 1200 years BC. This is false because again, Attis’s mother was called nana – not Mary, and the birth of Attis was not a virgin birth or immaculate conception. The birth was a result of the genitals of a demon being cut and thrown away, out of which a very special almond tree grew lol nana took the almond, laid it in her bosom and then she gave birth thus the demon was the father of Attis. Regarding the idea that the virgin birth was ripped off from the story of the ancient Indian mythical character of Krishna from 900 BC, this is also false. Krishna was the 8th son of princess Divaki and her husband Vasudeva as found in the Hindi scriptures in Mahabharata Bk 12, XLVIII. This was not a virgin birth.

Then is the allegation that virgin birth idea was ripped off from the story of Dionysus of Greece from 500 BC, which is also false. History shows that his mother and Zeus had an affair, as a result of which Dionysus was born. This was not a virgin birth. There are also further historical accounts of the birth, namely the following:

Zeus impregnates a mortal woman, Semele, much to the jealously of Hera. Hera convinces Semele to ask Zeus to reveal his glory to her but because no mortal can look upon the gods and live, Semele is instantly incinerated. Zeus then takes the fetal Dionysus and sews him into his own thigh until his birth. Dionysus is the product of Zeus and Persephone. Hera becomes insanely jealous and tries to destroy the infant by sending the Titans to kill him. Zeus comes to the rescue but it's too late- the Titans had eaten everything but Dionysus' heart. Zeus then takes the heart and implants it into the womb of Semele. As we can see, no virgin birth takes place but this is how Dionysus is said to have become a rebirth deity as he is twice born in the womb.

Again it is also claimed that the virgin birth was ripped off from the story of the ancient Persian character of Mithra, this is also false. He was not born of a virgin, but born of a rock as depicted by the ancient Persian artifacts. Regarding this allegation that the virgin birth was also ripped off from Buddha, this is also false. Gautama was born to Suddhodana and his wife of twenty years, Maya.

Regarding the allegation that the idea of Mary was adopted from astrology, it is claimed that the Virgin Mary represents or is literally the constellation Virgo. This is false because in its pagan context the constellation Virgo only means woman, not the Virgin Mary as so explicitly stated. The similarities pointed out in names and more specifically the letter ‘M’ for the supposed virgin mothers (who I have shown were not actually virgin’s lol) are a mere coincidence, and this is not proof of anything. There are more women in mythology who are alleged to be virgins without their name beginning with M then those whose name does begin with M. This is a totally random occurrence, no basis for anything. For example, the resemblance between the names Maya mother of Buddha and Mary are said to hold significance. Though similar in their English translations, their original forms and translations are completely different. Maya, from Sanskrit, means Illusion whereas Mary (Maryam) translates from Hebrew as Bitter

There is also the allegation that the place where Jesus was born, Bethlehem is actually a place in the sky rather then on earth. This is not true as archeological evidence clearly proves the there was a place called Bethlehem that existed. This was as a result by numerous excavations, most notably from the Israel archeological society. Let’s face it, they don’t like Jesus lol so there is no reason for them to lie in this situation.

It also alleges that the story of Moses is a fabrication, with the evidence being the golden bull is Taurus the bull and Moses represents the new age of Aries the ram. Citing references to a random bull, then relating it to a concept which came 4000 years later as evidence that Moses story is derived from that bull is indeed a load of bull lol. This is modern astrology, and would not have been known at the time of Moses, the 12 ages of the zodiac were unknown till the 2nd century. So it is impossible for this story to have been stolen from the astrology being referred to, even though the link between the stories is non existent lol and as such the Jews blowing the rams horn has no significance (altho it is not part of Islamic teachings anyway but I thought I would just add it in)

The point is that they claim the story is stolen from the concept of astrological ages; however it is a fact that this concept came about much later, the age concept did not exist in any shape or form in ancient astrology and thus the story could not have been possibly ripped off from this. Furthermore, the stories they claim that are ripped off have no link whatsoever to the story of Moses. Once again they are just throwing stuff in trying to get away with it lol

Let’s however say for arguments sake that they were aware of the ages at the time of Moses, and there is a similarity between the coming of the age and Moses and the calf. I still do not see anything groundbreaking, and on this basis I see no reason to believe the story of Moses is a lie. This is because the Egyptians have a well known and long history of bull worship and sacred cows. These were said to incarnate the spirit of their gods and their death was followed by a long period of mourning. The artifacts from the era and the main iconography in Egypt also show the people had an affinity with the bull of heaven. Even the physical manifestation of the God Montu was in form of the bull.

This shows that this was a common thing amongst the people of the time, including the children of Israel who had left Egypt and thus them worshipping a calf or a bull would not be something unusual, especially as they were seen to be going astray from the truth path which God had revealed to them by returning to their old disbelieving ways which they had picked up in Egypt. I don’t see enough evidence to convince me that this was an adoption of the change of ages. I mean I accept the video is quite compelling if you watch it at first glance, and it convinces many people like it has done but in the historical context when each issue is broken down a lot of it is just conjecture

There is an allegation that the story of Noah is ripped off from the epic of Gilgamesh from 2600 BC. Fact is there is no evidence that these incidents were separate occurances. Rather both could be descriptions of the same event that occurred, as they would have happened around the same time. The epic of Gilgamesh would be a collection of oral traditions passed down describing the story of Noah but ascribing it to pagan mythical charactars. The flood was most likely a real event in the history of mankind that was passed down through the generations of different cultures. If so, the Gilgamesh account seems to have undergone some rather radical transformations, and thus the biblical and Quranic account would only be confirming what is previously known of the true story. Just to note however, the Quran corrects the biblical assertion that the flood was global as historical and scientific research shows there could not have been a global flood because civilisations flourished at the time of the alleged global flood; the Quran confirms what history and science agree upon, which is that this was a localised flood.

Then there is the allegation that the story of Moses is stolen from the ancient account of Sargon. This is false because the story of Moses was reported and occurred around 1500 BC, however there is no confirmed date as to when the narrative about Sargon was written so there is no way anyone can say the story of Moses was stolen from Sargon. The Neo-Assyrian orthographic forms, idiomatic expressions attested only in a later period, and the mention of cutting roads with bronze or copper picks are some factors that point to the fact that Sargon came after 1500 BC. Brian Lewis who wrote The Sargon Legend (American Schools of Oriental Research, 1978) is one of the best authorities on the history of Sargon, he was of the view that the story was written in the reign of Sargon II, a much later king from 721-705 BC who was possibly a usurper, to legitimate his own rule. This was well after Moses. All the historical evidence shows that It would be more likely that the story of Moses was ripped off by the Sargon narrative. Hence this cannot really be used as an argument.

The letter ‘M’ raises its head again lol it claims now that the idea of Moses being a law giver is ripped off from a number of ancient ‘law’ givers with names all starting with ‘M’. Again, is it just me or is this the most weakest link one can use as evidence – the letter M? How many historical individuals out of the billions of humans that have lived could have the letter M at the start of their name, what the hell how many people do you know who have a name beginning with the letter M? This is no evidence, and further proof is the fact that each name would have a different spelling and meaning in each of the languages of the individual concerned. The M similarity would only exist in some languages, including English. Furthermore they were not all law givers, Minos the son of Zeus and Europa was a cruel tyrant and was given directions to for administration by his father – not by God. Manusmriti is the name of some of the hindu law, rather then the law giver. Even if they were law givers, and they all begin with ‘M’ – is this really proof of anything? Again out of the billions of people who ever lived, 3 individuals who are said to have laid down some rules, which are all very different by the way, in different parts of the world? Could this just not be a unique parallel? I hope it is because I have one of my own. Liverpool champions league final 2005, knocked out 2006, final 2007, knocked out 2008, FINAL 2009?? I really hope so

Regarding the issue of whether Jesus actually existed or not, the movie plays a clever trick as most historians agree that a person fitting his description did exist – yet the movie tries to create the impression that there is no evidence at all which is clearly false. Jewish and Roman historians of the first and second centuries A.D have all recorded his existence. The issue is simply over some of his qualities, and as such Islam does not agree with the historical Jesus being God, crucified, killed and resurrected. These ideas in our eyes have been interpolated into christian teachings, and in that case the movie makes a good case which cant be refuted. We simply believe he was a man, a prophet of God. Everything we believe about him stands as true, as I have proven the movie was false in its assertions.

There is also the allegation that the 10 commandments are stolen from the Egyptian book of the dead. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to make these laws, nor do you need to copy any ancient text. These laws are a law unto themselves, common sense. Thou shall not kill, steal etc etc…It names but a few that match out of hundreds which differ, , which shows a deliberate attempt to mislead. Mosaic law moved beyond the book of the dead, or any of the ancient law codes, because it is grounded in the worship of one God whilst the other laws specifically direct worship to different deities. Similarities are bound to exist in some cases because most ancient civilizations had their own law codes, most with basic principles similar to the commandments. Similarity however is not proof of plagerism.

So in short the Christian representation of Jesus may be a plagerisation of Horus et al, as we feel many of the Christian teachings are external ideas from civilisations gone by that have found their way into Christianity. However, Islam disagrees with all these ancient ideas that have been proven to be plagerised and seemingly adopted by Christianity (as listed previously). Islam represents a different individual, who was not the son of God, who was not born on the 25th, who was not crucified or killed, who was not resurrected. It does not subscribe to the cross, nor the references to end times which copy ancient myths or the references to light and darkness that link the Christian Jesus to Horus the sun God amongst others. Therefore it’s clear Islam, by breaking from the mould and not falling into the trap of following these ancient ideas is not in anyway plagerised from the astronomical or mythological ideas of previous civilisations. Rather we believe it to be the complete and true final revelation from the creator, free from external corruption

If anyone knows anything about Islam, they will know that it is in no shape or form a copy cat from previous sun god astrological myths or religions. This is because the Quran itself openly condemns the worship of sun moon and stars, and actually specifically says that the true God is the unseen supreme creator of all things.

The movie basically in the end condemns all religions as man made control systems. Firstly I am not comfortable with Islam being dismissed on the grounds of a critique of Christian teachings, there is more to religion. Secondly I accept that religion does exist to offer some sort of structure or system to live by. For society to exist there has to be some kind of order and rules to govern it, without this there would be anarchy. It’s just a fact that the movie and I’m guessing you feel that this system is man made.

I however feel it is from the creator, and as such is not false. I feel it has a genuine purpose, rather then the sinister man made religious system proposed by the movie. We feel the only true religion is Islam i.e. peaceful submission to the will of the creator, the religion which the creator has revealed to mankind since the beginning of time. The final installment being the Quran given to Muhammad, to come and correct all the other earlier revelations which had been corrupted by the people, like corruptions shown in the movie. Whilst the religions from previous times gone by may have been correct at that time, with the passage of time they had been changed from the original teachings. As such our yardstick is the Quran, which we feel is the final revelation and perfect representation of the true religion and if Islam should be judged, it should be judged on this basis.


Hardy boy said...

So you believe a man went into the mountains all alone and god gave him the ten commandments? why didnt he give it to him in front of everyone?

human said...

@ Hardy boy: If God gave Moses the 10 commandments in front of everyone, then what would have been the purpose of creating humans in the first place and giving them the most unique options of all: freewill! God could give the 10 commandments to the people Himself, couldn't He? then think of why He didn't. As per my perception, 1: the commandments were given to the people through Moses because Moses was a human being and when He could practically implement those commandments, so could the people. and 2: If God appears in front of everyone and reveals Himself in the open? He could have created us as angels, kept us in the heaven and done it there instead. The purpose of creation of the universe (which science has proven is NOT an occurring by chance) is to let Humans decide their path, let them choose and decide their path. God already gives you points to ponder about the truth only if you WANT to seek it. God tells you to PONDER so that you could understand Him, He doesn't tell you to sit back, and believe in something which is inherited. Understanding is the key which leads to believing in a supernatural existence. God didn't appear in front of Humans because this is a test of our faith. and faith is always in the unknown, unseen phenomenon. and to choose our faith, He gave us brains to study His gift to us: the universe.

Leviathon said...

As Human has stated so eloquently; a spiritual experience, and one which led Ibrahim (if that is who you are referring to) to become a prophet. This was his test, and faith in the unseen was the test of the people he preached to, so revelation in private had a purpose and public revelation wouuld negate that. So why would he give them to him in front of everyone?

Anonymous said...

you can't pick and choose what fits your belief and what's not.
either you agree to all the evidence or you reject all of it.

Leviathon said...

Not picking and choosing in the slightest, if you read the entire article you would see i agree with everything that is sound and authentic with correct evidence and i reject and dont agree with that which is based on flawed and untrue evidence. I'm not going to just agree with the whole thing just because some points are correct, not as black and white as that my friend

Realist said...

If you just could analyze "the fairy tales" in your belief and your "holy book" the way you do analyze Zeitgeist, you could have been a step further...

And yes, I'm also an inherited muslim, but one which discovered the fairy side of the stories long ago as a kid. Even then, there was no difference between "One Thousand and One Nights (Kitāb alf laylah wa-laylah)" and "the Quran" for a nine-years old boy!

I hope, you will soon find the right way of dealing with life as it is; a gift with a beginning and an ending from the nature, not from a imagined supernatural creature. Nothing more, nothing less!

Enjoy and live it as long as it holds!

honestguidedman said...

My dear friend "realist"......what was written in the quran and interpreted as "fairytale" is now being proved by science. If it talks about people flying, it does not have to mention that they will create an aeroplane.....human understanding is limited. Rather than considering yourself greater than the quran(which u assume was written by man), why don't you try to answer how the quran(revealed 1400 years back) accurately talks about many scientific discoveries happening now? No human can do that, with has to be the word of god, and is the absolute matter what "fairy tales" YOU see in it, there's certainly an explanation for it which will be out of your understanding.......

oneomarF onemahmudK said...

Jazakallah bro, may Allah bless u. Im a muslim too, and surprisingly, zeitgeist did not able to prove solidly about the wrong in muslim's believe. The story of prophet muhammad divides the moon is already founded in science. Where astrologist found out that moon looked like once was divided into half in previous age. And a lot of statements in Quran already are being proved scientifically. Quran claims man is the one that determines the baby's gender 1400 years ago, not women like the western scholar previously claim, and it is proven true. And many more like the story of how womb is pictured in Quran that really matches the science findings. But sadly, most of the findings and researches were found by non-muslim. I hope there are more muslim researches that can prove Islam's claim either scientifically or historically, and made one movie like zeitgeist too answer it.

oneomarF onemahmudK said...

astronomists, not astrologists. sorry