Mohammad ibn Abdullah, Prophet or Superman
written by: Akram Alinia
“The prophets are more sinful than liars, because the professional liars attribute the lies to themselves but the prophets attribute them to the God” (Ansari, 17).
The famous German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900) who has significantly affected many philosophical, literal, cultural, and political movements in his life and afterwards, can be definitely considered as the father of famous thinkers like Freud, Jaspers, Heidegger, Andre Gide, Camus and Sartre. The basic ideas of Nietzsche, like superman and death of God, are covered in the book: Thus Spoke Zarathustra. In this article, it is attempted to consider the Prophet Mohammad ibn Abdullah (571-632) based on Nietzsche’s superman concept. Nietzsche believes that the superman should have will to power to achieve his goals, thus in this way all traditional morality values should be ignored and restored according to the will to power. Mohamed can be analyzed as one of the supermen who granted Arabs great wealth and power for centuries by using the Islamic ideology.
It seems that Nietzsche cleverly and deliberately leaves the image of superman vague to be, like other philosophical ideas, read differently. For example, in the decades of 30 and 40, supporters of philosophies of Fascism and Nazism have used his opinions to justify war and acts of Nazis. So many people believe that man can be a superman after the death of God. Nietzsche’s superman or the manifestation of the will to power acts without moral restrictions: his only moral principle is “will to power”. This sophisticated, powerful, strong and healthy man by using the tools of patience and skill deprecate nothing, except disability. Furthermore, he experiences earthly life while he is enjoying physical pleasures, so there is no ethical limit for him.
“Superhuman is the one who is able to be presented in future since they will transform history. And perhaps this history and their long past and sometimes their obscure ancestors have paid the price to provide the condition for their appearance in history” (Razavi, 14).
However when we discuss intellectuality and ability, a superman is exposed who has been able to implement his ideas and philosophy for hundred years. Furthermore he has been able to give the opportunity to other supermen. Consequently they can gain superiority if they are able to receive his message of will to power and restore old values. It should not be forgotten that the mentioned values are not necessarily approved from the classical humanity point of view. They also may be considered as moral vices used for advancing of superman’s purposes. According to Nietzsche’s definition of value, it should be concerning human situation so that the man can create the measure and meaning of value. Thus the values are developing upon him and his needs. This creating even can be a will to power. That is what Nietzsche calls it quite “correct” (Heidegger, 80). The man with ability can be the determiner of all beings, consequently by the advantage of determining he can take decision for all subjects for gaining power (Heidegger, 95). Mohammed the owner of Islamic thought that has developed his ideology for centuries in major areas of the world can be called superman. He is the one who has created new thought, ideology and values (Thus Spoke Zarathustra, 26, 52). Mohammad is the creator of Islam; the idea and thought that have been able to exploit the weak man, and put the power in the hands of Nietzsche’s superman. Nietzsche says the superman has believed that he is to achieve the earthly desire and demand by using the thought of will to power (Beyond Good and Evil, 119).
Therefore Ansari in his book states that:
If authentic historical documents are explored with the necessary insight and without prejudice, without any doubt this result will be achieved that the basic goal in creating a broad religious empire that was extended from China and India in the East to Southeast Asia and Spain in the Mediterranean region came into existence based on the principle that “the end does justify the means”, terrorist methods, and the use of the sword (18).
At the age forty, Mohammad used the current conditions, and social, and personal circumstances in the best way and objectivized the mass thoughts of his mind. Then He pretends to be revealed by the Angel Gabriel to be representative of God. Now he has started a new phase of his life by owning the glorious name “Prophet” (34).
Furthermore he continues the discussion:
Mohammad … in the first years, while meeting important people, flattered them. When he met poor people, he tried to win their attention by giving them some gifts and financial aids. Thus, in the first years of his prophecy, he was able to make several people interested in new Islam. For years he has been affording to realize his ambitious and power-seeking desires to pretend that he is the chosen representative of God. Now at the age 40, he thought it is the time to achieve such a goal efficiently (39).
Nietzsche also describes the superman in this way: the superman can be called the symbol of striving if he gains negative demands in his mind in the path of being sublimation through self-overcoming. He also should be beyond the pettiness to be the man of the future (HDN 351).
Quran has been the best invention in its own time; no book has been able to make Muslims believe that they do have the best thought and ideology for centuries. Quran best invention in his own time, no book could not be best for centuries Muslims believe that it is their best thinking. They have been committing any crime wishing to have a better life in paradise promised in the Quran. This can be seen in the armed group named ISIS that is doing Islamic Jihad while is justifying the violence by organizing Islamic reign and the implementation of sharia. Dictatorships, such as the Islamic Republic of Iran, are also a good example for the fact that by using the ideology of velayat-e faqih they can tyrannize and oppress the people. Indeed, Mohammed Ben Abdallah is the best pattern of an intellectual thus Dashti in his book states:
Mohammad’s greatness is unquestionable. He was one of the most outstanding men of genius who have appeared in human history. If the social and political circumstances of his time are taken into account, he has no equal among the initiators of major historical change. Men such as Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler, Cyrus, Chengiz Khan, or Timur do not bear comparison with him. They all had the support of the armed forces and public opinion of their peoples, whereas Mohammad made his way into history with empty hands and in a hostile society.
Perhaps Lenin can be rated the most potent man of the present century and compared with Mohammad (13).
During the years Mohammad’s Sanctity has been kept by other supermen to use his ideology for achieving their goals. “Moslems, as well as others, have disregarded the historical facts. They have continually striven to turn this man into an imaginary superhuman being, a sort of God in human clothes, and have generally ignored the ample evidence of his humanity. They have been ready to set aside the law of cause and effect, which governs real life and to present their fantasies as miracles” (Dashti 9).
Finally it can be concluded that the rulers of the Islamic countries by using different types of dictatorship in the name of Islam and Allah have been maintaining their reigns for years.
- Ansari, Masoud. A New Approach to Islam. kavehsara.com
- Dashti, Ali. Twenty Three Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad. Trans. F. R. C. Bagley. Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda, 1994.
- Diethe, Carol. Historical Dictionary of Nietzscheanism. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2014.
- Heidegger, Martin. Nietzsche the Will to Power as Knowledge and as Metaphysics. Trans. Stambaugh, Krell, and Frank A. Capuzzi. Vol. 4. New York: HarperCollins, 1987.
- Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm. Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future. Trans. R. J. Hollingdale. New York: Penguin, 1973.
- —. Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Trans. R. J. Hollingdale. London: Penguin, 1969.
- Razavi, Masoud. Rise of Superman. Tehran: Naghshe Jahan. 2002
 HDN is the abbreviation for Historical Dictionary of Nietzscheanism