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ADDITIONAL STUDIES OF CHRISTIANITY
During my UK trip I met with Anwar Shaikh, an
important scholarly critic of Islam. Originally a Pakistani, an Islamic Mullah and a Sufi
Sheikh, he returned to the Vedic fold by his own thought and experience. Shaikh was a warm
and friendly character with a great sense of humor and hospitality. He was not physically
well at the time but was still working hard on various books and articles.
Shaikh has an evolutionary concept of the Godhead, that the Divine was a
collective formation of cosmic evolution, not an aloof God outside of the cosmos.
This corresponds to the Hiranyagarbha or collective subtle body of Vedantic thought. We
are all creating God as God is living through us. Buddhist and Jain ideas of liberation as
something that we develop on an individual level rather than as something that comes from
a deity beyond reflect a similar trend in Indian thought.
Shaikh regards Islam as a political movement under a
religious guise, a ploy for Arab nationalism. For him Mohammed was a masterful general,
politician and diplomat who skillfully used religion to further his worldly aims. Allah is
an alter ego for Mohammed and the Koran is more the thought and life of Mohammed than a
real communion with God.