From The Philosopher, an electronic reincarnation of the Journal of The Philosophical Society of England which was founded in the 1910s.
"[W]hat did Hegel have to say about Islam? In the section on the German World in chapter II (quaintly entitled Mahometanism) Hegel compares the historic trajectory of the west and Islam:
While the West began to shelter itself in the political edifice of chance entanglement and particularity [Hegel had been thinking of his own middle-European feudal legacy of the Holy Roman Empire before it was blown away by the Napoleonic whirlwind] the very opposite direction necessarily made its appearance in the world, to produce the balance of the totality of spiritual manifestation.
This took place in the Revolution of the East, which destroyed all particularity and dependence, and perfectly cleared up and purified the soul and disposition; making the abstract One (God) the absolute object of attention and devotion, and to the same extent pure subjective consciousness - the Knowledge of this One alone the only aim of reality: making the Unconditioned (das Verhaltnisslose) the condition (Verhaltniss) of existence.
"In stating this Hegel was recognising Islamic monotheism as the purest and most universalist type which the Christian Trinity compromised and the Judaic Yahweh had particularised as a tribal God.
"Hegel compares this revolution in the Islamic East to the oriental principal even further east where in Buddhism the Highest Being is only negative (Nirvana) that with it the positive imparts an abandonment to nature (a nature more profuse in South East Asia than in the empty deserts of the Middle East where the monotheistic Absolute was conceived), an enslavement of Spirit to the world of realities. 'Only among the Jews have we observed the principal of Pure Unity elevated to thought - in the adoration paid to the One, as an object of thought', but Jehovah was only the God of one people - the God of Abraham, of Isaac and Jacobin. An exclusive covenant (a covenant that is incidentally at the root of the present Arab-Jewish conflict over Palestine).
"But this speciality of relation was done away with in Mahometanism. In this spiritual universality, in this unlimited and indefinite purity and simplicity of conception, human personality has no other aim than the realisation of this universality and simplicity. Allah has not the affirmative, limited aim of the Judaic God. The worship of the One is the final aim of Mahometanism, and objectivity has this worship for the sole occupation of its activity - with the design to subjugate secular existence to the One. This One has the quality of Spirit but is deprived of its concrete predicate. Islam is not monastic immersion to the Absolute. Subjectivity here is living and unlimited - to promote the pure adoration of the One.
"The object of Moslem worship is pure intellectual; no image, no representation of Allah is tolerated. Mahomet is a prophet but still a man. The leading features of Islam involve this - that in actual existence nothing can become fixed, but everything is destined to expand itself in activity and life in the boundless amplitude of the world, so that the worship of the One remains the only bond by which the whole is capable of uniting. In this expansion, this active energy, all limits, all national and caste distinctions vanish; no particular race, political claim of birth or possession is regarded - only man as a believer. To adore the One, to believe in Him, to fast - to remove the sense of speciality and consequent separation from the Infinite arising from corporeal limitation - to give alms - that is to get rid of particular possessions, this is the essence of Islam; but the highest merit is to die for the Faith.
"Their object is to establish an abstract worship - their enthusiasm was Fanaticism, enthusiasm for something abstract. A desolating destructive relation to the concrete, but most of Islam was at the same time capable of the greatest elevation - an elevation free from petty interest, united with all the instance that appertain to magnanimity and valour."