The “second annunciation,” to Muhammad, is pivotal in Islam, marking the beginning of his call as prophet. It is also one of the most significant and revealing facts about Islam, one which deserves some exploration.
In addition to being Good Friday for Western Christians, last Friday was March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, recounted in the Gospel according to Luke (1:24-38). This event is pivotal, marking the beginning of the Incarnation and God’s plan of salvation. From Luke’s Gospel:
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.
Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.
“He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
“Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.”
Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
It is interesting that the Gospel describes the angel Gabriel comforting the initially troubled maiden; he wishes to immediately reassure her, describing the ineffable mystery of the conception of the Son of God, as well as offering confirmation of the validity of his annunciation through the news of Mary’s cousin Elizabeth, who is nearing the third trimester of her own miraculous pregnancy, “for with God, nothing will be impossible.” There is no pressure, no coercion, and certainly no terror. Mary was free to decline to cooperate with the message brought to her about her role in God’s plan. Her humble acceptance sets the Christian revelation in motion.
The Second Annunciation
Islam also begins with an annunciation of sorts, to Muhammad, coincidentally also by a spirit being identified in Islam as the angel Jibril (Gabriel). Only the nature and outcome of that annunciation is quite different from the one to the Virgin Mary six centuries earlier.
Just as in the first annunciation, this ‘second annunciation’, to Muhammad, is pivotal in Islam, marking the beginning of his call as prophet. It is also one of the most significant and revealing facts about Islam, one which deserves some exploration.
The first point which needs to be made is the apparent purpose of the second annunciation. This second annunciation unleashed a force which has sought to sweep away the entire Christian Revelation, sought to replace the first and true annunciation, while conquering the world for Allah.
The theological assault of Islam upon Christianity (what I term “theological jihad”) has been treated quite thoroughly elsewhere. What I wish to focus on here, is precisely the character of this second annunciation, in which — according to the claims of Islamic source texts and dogma — the Archangel Gabriel came to Muhammad, setting in motion the religion of Islam.
Before we consider this “second annunciation,” we should first note the correspondence between the Virgin Mary and Muhammad. The Virgin Mary bore the Word of God made flesh, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Muhammad claimed to have brought the words of God in book form, the Qur’an, which Islam teaches pre-existed in perfect form with Allah before all the ages, in what Islam calls the “Mother of the Book.” Thus, although we can rightly compare Jesus and Muhammad in considering the character and heart of Christianity vis a vis that of Islam, the actual theological equivalence is between Jesus and the Qur’an, and between the Virgin Mary and Muhammad.
But what is the nature of this second annunciation? How does it comport with the first? What was its effect upon the recipient? How did the spiritual being which came to Muhammad approach him? How did Muhammad respond? Can we discern anything from the answers to these questions?
Jibril — angel or demon?
The first “revelation” brought by the spiritual being (which Islam teaches was the Archangel Gabriel) was an overpowering, forceful and terrifying event, which occurred after Muhammad had spent many days and nights alone in a cave in Hira, worshipping Allah. The powerful spirit being which commanded him to “read and recite” was frightening: Three times, Muhammad related, “He pressed upon me so tightly I thought it was death” (Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, trans. by A. Guillaume, New York, 1980, p106. cf. Hadith from Sahih Bukhari, 5:96:5).
Significantly, Muhammad himself did not at first believe he was being visited by the archangel Gabriel, thinking rather that he was a victim of a jinn (from which we get the word “genie”) or demon. He fled trembling back to his wife Khadija, fearing for his life, crying, “Woe is me, poet [that is, oppressed by demonic visions] or possessed!” (Ishaq, p106)
Muhammad became fearful and suicidal, but was eventually persuaded by his wife Khadija and her uncle Waraqa (a Nestorian heretic) that the messages were from God and that he was Allah’s chosen messenger.
Khadija is credited with being the first Muslim. That Muhammad then actively sought further encounters with the being which assailed him is testimony to his willingness to open himself up to the unseen realm. That he was so easily convinced by his wife and uncle (and the forceful “being”) that he was specially chosen by God and was not demonically oppressed or possessed shows that vainglory and satanic deception had totally seized control of his mind and heart.
After this harrowing initial visitation, there was a three year drought of “revelations,” during which Muhammad suffered from suicidal depression and self-doubt. (Ishaq, p106. See also this article at Answering Islam.)
By the time the “revelations” resumed, Muhammad was predisposed to accept them no matter the cost. He identified himself with the revelations, wholly placed his self-worth in being the recipient of them.
Muhammad — a UFO “contactee”?
This is an interesting point, as Muhammad’s response to the spirit being Jibril and its fierce and deadly assault upon him closely parallels the experiences of today’s UFO contactees and abductees. People who have seen a UFO, and especially those who claim a “close encounter,” or to have been abducted, often suffer from severe psychological trauma, depression, suicidal tendencies, delusions and more. A very small number become acclimated to the monstrous experience they have had, and some of them, like the hapless Whitley Streiber, write books or otherwise aid in promoting the demons’ UFO myth of a coming Great Disclosure and a new age to follow. Uncanny how the UFO contactee phenomenon parallels the early career of Muhammad.
The nature of the annunciation to Muhammad
Even this brief study reveals the “annunciation” to Muhammad to be demonic in origin. Thus it is quite clear that Muhammad was worse than just a false prophet and a fraud, but rather became a willing and cooperative victim of demonic deception, if not outright demon possession.
We know the rest of the story, all from Islamic source texts: Muhammad the warlord who beheaded over 800 Jews after one battle victory; the pedophile who married the child Ayesha when she was six years old, “consummating the marriage with her when she was nine years old; the lusty prophet who had eleven wives plus sex-slave concubines captured as war booty from defeated enemies; his numerous sexual perversions; the violent history of his successors, who waged war amongst themselves even as Islam was spreading itself through jihad across the Middle East and North Africa; and the ensuing thirteen centuries of bloody and ruthless Islamic jihad and sharia which multiplies its atrocities all around the globe, including now in Europe and America.
All this reveals precisely the nature of this second annunciation.
By their fruits you shall know them.
Ralph Sidway is an Orthodox Christian researcher and writer, and author of Facing Islam: What the Ancient Church has to say about the Religion of Muhammad. He operates the Facing Islam blog.