Leaving Islam




Khadijah was fair and an accomplished woman. She had rejected the marriage proposal of many dignitaries of the Quraish. How can one explain a seemingly levelheaded and successful woman suddenly fall in love with an indigent youth 15 years her junior? This erratic behavior belies a certain personality disorder in Khadijah. Did she really fall in love with Muhammad in only an hour or so of meeting him? Or was it infatuation?  

Author and columnist Ann Landers (1918-2002) explains the difference: “Infatuation is instant desire. It is one set of glands calling to another.  Love is a friendship that has caught fire. It takes root and grows, one day at a time. Infatuation is marked by a feeling of insecurity.  It says, ‘We must get married right away! I can't risk losing you!’  It has an element of sexual excitement".  

Evidence indicate that Khadijah’s father was an alcoholic. Khadijah must have known her father’s weakness for alcohol to devise such plan. Only an alcoholic will lose his control and gets drunk Children of alcoholics often develop a psychological state known as codependency. It is also clear that Khadijah’s father was overly protective of his daughter and had high expectations for her. Khuwaylid had other children too, but Khadijah was the apple of his eyes. She was his only accomplished offspring. People with codependency personality, often grow up in the shadow of their domineering parents who adore them and put them on a pedestal. They become the obsession of their fathers (or mothers). They see their function in making their parents look wonderful in the eyes of the outsiders. They are expected to be the 'wunderkind’.  

Under the constant demand for better performance the child becomes unable to develop her own independent personality and seeks her fulfillment in satisfying the needs of her perfectionist and narcissistic parent. The child does not feel being loved for WHO she is but rather for HOW she performs. The alcoholic parent unloads his own emotional baggage on his children, especially the one with more potential, and expect her to excel on everything and make up for his own shortcomings and failures.

Codependents cannot find fulfillment and happiness in normal and emotionally healthy companions. That is why Khadijah rejected her successful and mature suitors. Only in the quality of caregivers and pleasers, can the codependents find their happiness. The “perfect” match for the codependent is a needy narcissist. Codependents confuse love and pity, with the tendency to “love” people they can pity and rescue.

Another name for codependency is "self effacing" or  “inverted" narcissism. Here is what Dr. Sam Vaknin, the author of Malignant Self Love says about the codependent-narcissist relationship:  

“The inverted narcissist can only truly FEEL anything when he is in relationship with another narcissist. The inverted narcissist is conditioned and programmed from the very beginning to be the perfect companion to the narcissist - to feed their Ego, to be purely their extension, to seek only praise and adulation if it brings greater praise and adulation to the narcissist.” [1]

Socially and in business the inverted narcissist tends to be very successful but her relationship she are often not healthy. Khadijah had already married twice and had three children. Nothing is recorded about her previous husbands. She is only presented as a widow. Did both of her husbands die or did at least one of her marriages fail? That is not so important now. What is important is her relationship with Muhammad and the crucial role that she played in making Islam a religion.  (In the book, I have given a lot more evidence to Khadijah's codependency personality disorder.)

With no pun intended, the marriage of Muhammad and Khadijah was made in heaven. Muhammad was a narcissist who craved for constant praise and attention. He was poor, an orphan and emotionally needy. He needed someone to take care of him and provide for him, someone to exploit and abuse as only an infant can exploit and abuse his mother. The emotional maturity of the narcissist is frozen in childhood. His infantile needs have never been satisfied. He is constantly trying to satisfy those childish needs. All babies are narcissists and that is a necessary stage of their growth. But if their narcissism is not satisfied in childhood, their emotional maturity will freeze at that stage. They seek the attention that they missed during their infancy in their relationships with their mates and others. Ibn Sa'd quotes Muhammad saying that all the families of Quraish are related to him and because of that Allah in the Quran 42:23 has ordered them to love him, even though they do not love him for the message that he has brought them. [Tabaqat v.1 p.3] It is not difficult to hear the desperate cry of a man neglected during his childhood, for love and attention. 

Muhammad was an emotionally needy man. Khadijah, on the other hand, was an inverted narcissist who needed someone to fulfill her own fantasies both in bed and as a caregiver. Not only the co-dependent does not mind being taken advantage of, she actually craves for it. (A good example of this kind of relationship is that of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker)  

Vaknin explains: “The inverted narcissist feeds on the primary narcissist and this is his narcissistic supply. So these two typologies can, in essence become a self-supporting, symbiotic system. In reality though, both the narcissist and the inverted narcissist need to be quite well aware of the dynamics of this relationship in order to make this work as a successful long-term arrangement.” [2]

Bridget Murray in "Mixing oil and Water" says "By now, Florida psychologist Florence Kaslow, PhD, has seen the pattern so often among some couples that it's practically a clinical archetype: Both parties have personality disorders (PDs)--but on opposite ends of the spectrum. 'They seem to have a fatal attraction for each other in that their personality patterns are complementary and reciprocal--which is one reason why, if they get divorced, they are likely to be attracted over and over to someone similar to their former partner,' Kaslow says."[3]

The symbiotic relationship between the narcissist Muhammad and the inverted narcissist Khadijah worked to perfection. Muhammad had no longer to be preoccupied with work after marrying the wealthy Khadijah. He spent his days drifting in caves and wandering in the wilderness of his fertile fantasies, the delightful and affable realm in which he was the most loved, the most praised and the most important person on Earth. Khadijah became so engulfed in this self absorbed narcissist, attending to his needs that she neglected her commerce. Her thriving business dwindled and her wealth evaporated. She bore seven children to Muhammad. Her youngest child Fatima must have been born when she was past fifthly. She took care of all her 10 children alone. Her husband was most of the time away, recluse in his mental and physical caves. By the time Khadijah died, her wealth was all gone and when Muhammad escaped to Medina , he was so poor that he depended on the dates that the Jews and his Medinan followers used to send him as charity for his sustenance.

Vaknin  says: "It is through self-denial that the partner survives. She denies her wishes, hopes, dreams, aspirations, sexual needs, psychological needs, material needs, everything, which might engender the wrath of the Narcissist God-like supreme figure. The Narcissist is rendered even more superior through and because of this self-denial. It is easy to explain self-denial undertaken to facilitate and ease the life of a Great Man. The Greater the Man (=the Narcissist), the easier it is for the partner to ignore her self, to dwindle, to degenerate, to turn into an appendix of the Narcissist and, finally, to become nothing but an extension, to merge with the Narcissist to the point of oblivion and of dim memories of one's self."[4]

[1] http://www.mental-health-matters.com/articles/article.php?artID=176

[4] http://www.drirene.com/1_nar.htm


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