Actually, you have highlighted the exact nature of the problem academics have with drawing correlation between specifically Islam, and cults/other faiths/theologies. Since the Arabian Peninsula converted from total paganism, to total Islam within the space of 23 years, which is almost overnight in the context of mass conversions at a national level, it takes some very serious work (many Phd's) to figure out exactly what caused an entire peninsula to change its mannerisms and attitude, religion and rituals, clothing, the the economic transactions, the social structure norms and interactions and not to mention the military endeavours all in the space of a couple of decades, ane believe it or not, some academics have unashamedly and boldly claimed that it was
self deception on a national level. It is not possible for a society to change in this manner, this quickly by consensus of all political scientists except by way of special explanation. A cult or theological belief takes a few years to begin, but it takes many decades or centuries or even millenia to actually establish itself in any society. Certainly not 23 years.
(Original post by Rat_Bag)
That is the bread and butter framework for cult formation. It has been done for millennia, and continues to this day in a variety of formats. It isn't just an outlandish possibility given how humans have done this so many times in history, and more importantly, so many humans have bought into it.
The scholars held enormous power because where there has been disagreement about an issue in Islam, the consensus of scholarly opinion is what is deemed to be correct, and therefore these scholars have had the power to determine what is Islamic and what is not.
Last edited by noisy06; 12-06-2012 at 12:06.