By Jim Croft
Anyone whose studied Islam knows that Mohammad was well acquainted with Jewish and Christian holy writ and concepts. Both religions predate Mohammadism on the Arabian Peninsula by hundreds of years. When the Jews returned from Babylonian captivity in 538BCE, some eventually settled there and established community synagogues. The Apostle Paul cut his eye teeth in Christian ministry in Arabia. (Gal 1:11). Islam was not invented till 610CE in Mecca.
The Quran has revised versions of Old Testament Bible stories and mentions Jesus more frequently than Mohammad. It’s obvious that the hallucinating prophet leaned heavily on the established religions when concocting his own. He initially had high hopes that Jews and Christians would replace their respective faiths with his. He was enraged when they didn’t, and moved his HDQ from Mecca to Medina.
This is when he turned into a nasty tempered theocrat who needed a religious device for clergy to control masses of adherents. My theory is that he and later leaders hijacked the concept of Talmudic Law from the Jews and titled it Shariah. Remember that the Pharisees of Jesus Day had add-on interpretations of the Torah that they used to control every aspect of people’s lives. Jesus declared that these manmade traditions (takanot) made the Commands of God (Tanakh) to no effect. (Matt 15:1-3 Hebrew Version of Matthew, my paraphrase)
Talmudic Law was spawned by rabbis and priests during the 70 years of Babylonian Captivity. Upon their return to Israel from exile, it was developed further. By the time that Jesus came on the scene 400 years later, the rulings were so complex that they were hardly recognizable as having Torah roots. Talmudic tradition grew more strenuous in the following 600 years leading up to Mohammad’s lifetime. Unquestionably, he encountered the concept through Arabia’s Jews.
My suspicion is that he saw a copycat version of the Talmudic concept as a way for Islam’s Caliphs, Imams, and Mullahs to keep Muslims under their thumbs. This hijacking produced Shariah Law. It’s rightly the dread of Christian nations with its’ spousal abuse, flogging, stoning, hand amputation, and beheading policies.
Jesus said the Pharisees would travel far to proselytize subjects to Talmudic Law who’d wind up twice the children of Hell as they. (Matt 23:15) Shariah creates Hell on earth for all concerned whether proponents, oppressed minorities, or jihad conquered nations.