Priestcraft and Islam
Islam is the Faith of works, of approach to God through self–endeavour and not through any intermediary. In Islam there is no such teaching as that of “The Holy Spirit descending in the greatest degree to the elected Pope, and in lesser degrees to bishops, deans and clergy.” That every soul must labour for its own salvation, is the keystone of Islamic teachings. Islam has no monasticism, no apostolic succession, no body of men whose very livelihood depends upon their claim that, after their ordination as priests, they have the Spirit of God in them, and that as Jesus was the chief intercessor between God and man, so the priest is the intercessor between the people and Jesus and the saints. While other religions believe, that man cannot approach God, and he cannot even confess his sins to Him, but that he must confess to a priest, who having the “Spirit of God, has the power to assure him that he is forgiven.” Islam teaches that “He who is best among men is he who does most good works.” In such a religion the priest is not needed. Truly mosques require attendants, and some men love to devote their lives to religion; but the doctrine of priesthood itself is not, and never has been found, in the religion of Islam. With Islam, a man may attain to spiritual closeness to God, not through his having been ordained a priest, but by living a life of religion, piety and good works.
The simple worship of the One True God Who rules over all, Who hears the prayers, both of the most cultured and the most ignorant requiring nothing but a pure heart and sincere motive, is the chief characteristic of the religion of Islam. The absence of the priest in the religion of Islam is one of the reasons which helped Moslems to be better acquainted with their religion.