Gnostics

Posted on 04/01/2012 by marina

GNOSTICS “The singular correspondence between the allusions to the crucifixion in the Coran, and the wild speculations of early heretics, have led to the conjecture that Mahomet acquired his notions of Christianity from a Gnostic source. But Gnosticism had disappeared from Egypt before the sixth century, and there is no reason for supposing that it had at any time gained footing in Arabia. Besides, there is no affinity between the supernaturalism of the Gnostics and the Docetae, and the rationalism of the Coran. According to the former, the Deity must be removed far from the gross contact of evil matter; and the Aeon Christ, which alighted upon Jesus at His baptism, must ascend to its native regions before the crucifixion. With Mahomet, on the contrary, Jesus Christ was a mere man – wonderfully born, indeed – but still an ordinary man, a servant of the Almighty, as others had been before him. But although there is no ground for believing that Gnostic doctrines were taught to Mahomet, yet some of the strange fancies of those heretics, preserved in the Syrian tradition, may have come to the ears of his informants, the chief of whom, even on Christian topics, seem to have been Jews, unable probably to distinguish heretical fables from Christian doctrine), and have been by them adopted as a likely and convenient mode of explaining away that which formed the great barrier between Jews and Christians.” (Muir’s Life of Mahomet, no ed. p 161.)

Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam