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Islam (Arabic اَلْإِسْلَامُ al-’Islām ‚surrender, submit‘) is a monotheistic religion founded in Arabia in the early 7th century by the Prophet Muhammad and based on strict surrender, devotion and submission to the will of Allah as the one and only God. People who follow or practice Islam are called Muslims (Arabic مسلم muslim "one who submits" [the faith][1]).

With 1.6 billion (2010)[2] followers, it is today the second largest and currently the fastest growing world religion after Christianity with approx. 2.2 billion followers (2010)[3].

Under the Sign of the Crescent Moon

The first Surah Al-Fatiha from a Quran manuscript by Hattat Aziz Efendi.

With Islam, the ancient Mosaic lunar religion of Yahweh revived six centuries after Christ and thus also reawakened the impulses of Egyptian-Chaldean culture, but in such a way that everything that was then still drawn from ancient clairvoyance is now, stripped of all imaginative imagery, translated into the intellectual. The prohibition of images in Islam, which is not yet contained in the Quran itself, has also developed from this tendency towards abstraction.

„In a certain way, therefore, what was there in the pre-Christian epoch during the ancient Hebrew culture also protrudes again, overlapping the Christ impulse, as it were, into the post-Christian period, so that that which prepared itself in the Yahweh world-view has in a certain way reappeared afterwards and, despite the existence of the other factors, nevertheless plays into the later factors. The reappearance of the Yahweh-Moon-religion can be seen in the religion of the Crescent Moon. In this world-view of Muhammad, the Christ-impulse has at first remained unconsidered, that this Muhammad religion was really a kind of revival of what could be found in the Unity God of Mosaism.“ (Lit.:GA 124, p. 171f)

The spiritual background

Whereas Christianity was easily spread among the pagan peoples, and especially among the Germanic peoples, by linking directly to ancient spiritual traditions, such as the service of Mithra or, among the Germanic peoples, the feast which then became the Christian Christmas, the Semitic peoples had to be approached differently, as Rudolf Steiner points out:

„This is what Mohammed did. He established a first great doctrine in which he said: All gods but the One are no gods. Only the one I teach you is the only God. - This doctrine can only be understood as opposition to Christianity. From the beginning, in conquering the physical plan, Christianity had the task of working right into the human personality; it does not build on old forces, but it wants to work through Manas.

We see that Mohammedanism is now consciously no longer to be linked up with the old, still spiritual forms of religion of paganism, but only through physical science is the right way to be found to conquer the physical plan. We see how this physical science takes hold of the art of healing, which started in Arabia and later spread to other countries. The Arab physicians proceeded only from the physical plan, unlike the healers of the ancient Egyptians, the Druids and even the ancient Teutons. All these had come to their healing profession by training their psychic powers through asceticism and other exercises. Today we still see something similar in the practices and processes of shamanism, only today they have degenerated. So psychic powers were trained in these early healers. Mohammed introduced the art of healing which takes its remedies only from the physical plan itself. This art of healing was developed where people did not want to know anything about spiritual beings, but only about one God. Alchemy and astrology in the old sense were abolished and turned into new sciences: astronomy, mathematics and so on. These later also became the sciences of the Occident. In the Arabs who came to Spain, we see men educated in the physical field, especially mathematicians. The real followers of this direction said: "We reverently honour what lives in plants, animals and so on, but man should not imitate what God alone is called to create. - That is why in Moorish art we find only arabesques, forms that do not even have the shape of plants, but are only imaginative.

Greek power has been superseded by Rome, but Greek education has passed to the Romans. The Arabs got what they have from Mohammed. Mohammed introduced science, which is permeated only by the laws of the physical plan. The Christian monks got inspiration from the Moors. Although the Moors were repulsed by political power, monotheism, which entails a deepening of physical science, came to Europe through the Moors and led to a purification of Christianity from everything pagan.

Through Christianity, the emotional life of the people was led to the Kama-Manas. Through Mohammedanism the mind, the spirit, was led down from spiritual life to the abstract comprehension of purely physical laws.“ (Lit.:GA 92, p. 16ff)

With Islam, the old lunar religion of Yahweh revived six centuries after Christ and thus also reawakened the impulses of Egyptian-Chaldean culture, but in such a way that everything that was then still drawn from the old clairvoyance is now, stripped of all imaginative imagery, translated into the intellectual. (Lit.: GA 124, p. 169ff) The prohibition of images in Islam, which is not yet contained in the Koran itself, has also developed from this tendency towards abstraction.

Islam is, according to unverified notes[5], an ahrimanic phenomenon:

„Mohammedanism is the first Ahrimanic manifestation, the first Ahrimanic revelation after the Mystery of Golgotha. The God of Mohammed, Allah, Eloha, is an Ahrimanic copy or reflection of the Elohistic entities, the Elohim, but monotheistically apprehended. He always designates them in a unity. Mohammedan culture is ahrimanic, but the state of mind of the Islamites is Luciferic.“ (Lit.:GA 300a, p. 130)

The world beyond, however, of which Mohammed speaks and which he considers to be Paradise (Jannah), has a Luciferian character:

„We must take Mohammed more deeply, we must be clear that what lived in his soul was really such an intercourse with the spiritual world as Goethe sought for his Faust. But what did Mohammed feel? What did he find? I can only hint at this today; another time I will go into it in more detail. What did Mohammed find? Well, you know, Mohammed first aspired to a world for which he had an expression: it is just one word: the God. The world becomes a monom, a monistic expression of the God. This world has nothing of the essence of Christianity, of course. But Muhammad does look into the spiritual world, he comes into the elemental world that I have spoken of today. He promises his believers that when they have passed through the gates of death, they will enter into this spiritual world. But he can only tell them about the spiritual world he has come to know. What is this spiritual world? This spiritual world of which Mohammed tells his believers, that is the Luciferic world which he regards as Paradise -, the world which is just to be aspired to. And when one comes out of the abstract into the real, and one adds, interpreting, the meaning of Islam's striving into the spiritual world, one recognises what spiritual science also proclaims. But this spiritual world is the world in which Lucifer has his dominion; reinterpreted, the Luciferic world becomes Paradise, the world which is to be striven for by men.“ (Lit.:GA 272, p. 91ff)

According to Rudolf Steiner, the Islamic conceptions of paradise are connected in particular with the extremely blissful experience of the life panorama that comes before the human soul in the first days after death:

„For that which one has in the experience of this tableau, which one has in these pictures in which the experience places itself before the soul, that is a subjective feeling of happiness even for those things which were painful when they were really experienced in the past. That which is connected with this imaginative realisation is a tremendously strong subjective feeling of happiness.

From this subjective feeling of happiness have come all those religious ideals and descriptions which, like the descriptions of Mohammedanism, for example, imagine life beyond earthly life in auspicious images. This has arisen from the experience of this feeling of happiness in the imagination.“ (Lit.:GA 227, p. 47)


Rudolf Steiner has repeatedly been decidedly critical about Islam.

„After Christianity - this is quite clear to one who knows the foundation of Christianity - a new religion can no longer be founded. One would understand Christianity incorrectly if one believed that a new religion could be founded.“ (Lit.:GA 211, p. 139)

In his lectures for the Priests of the Christian Community on the Apocalypse of John, he said:

„Then his (John's) prophetic gaze fell upon that teaching which is now emerging in the East - around 666 - and which reaches back into that mystery being which knows nothing of the Son: the Mohammedan teaching. The Mohammedan doctrine does not know this structure of the world of which I have spoken to you, it does not know the two kingdoms, the kingdom of the Father and the kingdom of the Spirit, it knows only the Father. It knows only the rigid doctrine: there is only one God, Allah, and nothing that is beside him, and Mohammed is his Prophet. - From this point of view, Mohammedan doctrine is the strongest polarity to Christianity, because it has the will to eliminate all freedom for all the future, the will to determinism, as it cannot be otherwise if one imagines the world only in terms of the Father-God.And the apocalyptic feels: Man cannot find himself there. Man cannot be christed there. Man cannot grasp his humanity within himself if he only grasps this older doctrine of the Father [...]

In a decided way, the apocalypticist inwardly foresaw what threatened mankind. Christianity will lapse in two directions into a pseudo-Christianity - or rather, it will fall into a Christianity shrouded in mist; and that which threatens it as such a being flooded is signified by the year 666, which in the spiritual world was the significant year when everywhere what lives in Arabism, in Mohammedanism, enters. It designates this year 666 with all clarity. Those who can read apocalyptically already understand this. The apocalypticist foresaw the effect of what was to come when he described the number 666 as the number of the beast in this mighty word.“ (Lit.:GA 346, p. 107f)

However, the positive significance of Islam in limiting the Gundeshapur impulse must also be taken into account, Rudolf Steiner has also pointed this out. But so Steiner also says in these lectures:

„By spreading a fantastic religious doctrine, above all over those regions over which one wanted to spread the Gnostic wisdom of Gondhishapur, Mohammed took away, so to speak, the field from this Gnostic wisdom.“ (Lit.:GA 184, p. 283)

See also


  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: West-östlicher Diwan
  • Wolfram von Eschenbach: Parzifal
  • a:Pietro Archiati: Unterwegs zum Menschen. Die Weltreligionen als Wege des Menschen zu sich selbst, ISBN 3-937078-56-8;
  • Günter Röschert: Für die Sache Gottes - Der Islam in anthroposophischer Sicht, ISBN 3-929606-10-0
  • Rudolf Frieling: Christentum und Islam, Fischer TB, ISBN 3-596-25503-1
  • Jan Pohl (Hg.): Die Welt des Islam. Ein Lesebuch, Vlg. am Goetheanum, ISBN 3-7235-0548-1
  • Otto Julius Hartmann, Menschheit auf dem Wege, Vlg Die Kommenden, Freiburg i. Br. 1960, S. 97 - 99
  • Seyyed Hossein Nasr: Ideal und Wirklichkeit des Islam, ISBN 3-424-01127-4, S. 201 f.;
  • Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt: Monsieur Ibrahim und die Blumen des Koran, ISBN 3-596-16117-7
  • Tanja Al Hariri-Wendel: Symbole des Islam, Schirner Verlag, ISBN 3-930944-86-3
  • Malise Ruthven: Der Islam. Eine kurze Einführung, Reclam TB, ISBN 3-15-018057-0
  • Hamed Abdel-Samad: Der Untergang der islamischen Welt. Eine Prognose, Knaur TB (2011)
  • Hamed Abdel-Samad: Der islamische Faschismus. Eine Analyse, Droemer-Knaur, München 2014
  • Hamed Abdel-Samad: Mohamed. Eine Abrechnung, Droemer-Knaur, München 2015
  • Hamed Abdel-Samad: Der Koran - Botschaft der Liebe - Botschaft des Hasses, Droemer-Knaur, München 2016
  • Ibn Warraq: Warum ich kein Muslim bin, Vlg. Matthes & Seitz, Berlin 2004
  • Boualem Sansal: Allahs Narren. Wie der Islamismus die Welt erobert, Merlin Vlg., Gifkendorf, 4. Auflage 2014
  • Sabatina James: Scharia in Deutschland. Wenn die Gesetze des Islam das Recht brechen, Knaur TB (2015)
  • Zana Ramdani: Die verschleierte Gefahr. Die Macht der muslimischen Mütter und der Toleranzwahn der Deutschen, Europa Vlg., Berlin - München - Zürich - Wien 2017
  • Bassam Tibi: Syrien und Deutschland. In: Alice Schwarzer (Hg.): Der Schock - Die Silvesternacht von Köln, Kiepenheuer + Witsch, Köln 2016, S. 91 - 97
  • Flensburger Hefte Nr. 69: Islamische Impressionen. Brücken zwischen Orient und Okzident, Flensburger Hefte Vlg., Flensburg 2000
  • Zeitschrift INFO 3 - Anthroposophie im Dialog Februar 2015: Themenausgabe Herausforderung ISLAM (2/2015)
  • Hans Magnus Enzensberger: Versuche über den Unfrieden, Suhrkamp TB (2015)
  • Ergun Mehmet Caner / Emir Fethi Caner: Das ISLAM-Handbuch. Antworten auf die wichtigsten Fragen aus christlicher Sicht, Vlg. R. Brockhaus, Wuppertal 2004
  • Idries Shah: Die Sufis. Botschaften der Derwische, Weisheit der Magier, Vlg. Diederichs, München 1994
  • Tilman Nagel: Angst vor Allah? Auseinandersetzungen mit dem Islam, Vlg. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2014
  • Bruno Sandkühler: Begegnung mit dem Islam. Lebensformen und Perspektiven einer Religion, Vlg. Freies Geistesleben, Stuttgart 2005
  • Der Koran. Aus dem Arabischen übersetzt von Max Henning. Einleitung und Anmerkungen von Annemarie Schimmel, Reclam Vlg., Stuttgart 1991 (empfohlene Ausgabe des Koran in deutsch)
  • Rudolf Steiner: Die okkulten Wahrheiten alter Mythen und Sagen, GA 92 (1999) English: German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub
  • Rudolf Steiner: Exkurse in das Gebiet des Markus-Evangeliums, GA 124 (1995) English: German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub
  • Rudolf Steiner: Die Polarität von Dauer und Entwicklung im Menschenleben, GA 184 English: German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub
  • Rudolf Steiner: Das Sonnenmysterium und das Mysterium von Tod und Auferstehung, GA 211 English: German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub
  • Rudolf Steiner: Initiations-Erkenntnis, GA 227 (2000), ISBN 3-7274-2271-8 English: German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub
  • Rudolf Steiner: Geisteswissenschaftliche Erläuterungen zu Goethes «Faust», Band I: Faust, der strebende Mensch , GA 272 (1981) English: German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub
  • Rudolf Steiner: Lehrerkonferenzen, Bd. I, GA 300a English: German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub
  • Rudolf Steiner: Apokalypse und Priesterwirken, GA 346 English: German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub
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References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
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Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English (by Steiner Online Library).
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.