The Quran versus the Arab Oral Tradition

Shari'a, errancies, miracles and science
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Takeiteasynow
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Re: The Quran versus the Arab Oral Tradition

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'THE Dadanitic RELIGION PART II: The God of Dedan and Lihyan' is unfortunately mistaken and needs to be rewritten.

The name Dgbt or Dqbt does not mean 'The One of the Watchtower'. The name DGBT is also written as ḏhu Qybt* or dhu qybt and derives from Semitic root gypt meaning Egypt, written as Qybt or Gybt. A review was needed after detecting a lot of 'sunshine' in the epigraphical records of Dedan with names such as Ra-mosh, kings dressed like pharaohs etc. So DQ(Y)BT is 'The One From Egypt'.**

Which leads to another correction: ms¹yh means 'Mosh(e) of Yah(u)', not Amosh.

*Der Gottesname ḏġbt, welcher auch in die Schreibung ḏġybt zu finden ist (s. den Inschriften Abū l-Ḥasan 197/6; Abū l-Ḥasan 207/2 und Abū l-Ḥasan 229/2)
** And still the one of the 'watchtower, fortress or stronghold'.
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. Theological: Mahmud from Najran Islam: Syncretic Israelite Yahwishm Deity: nameless, epithets Dsr, El Qutbay, ʼAlâhâ, Allāh. Ka'ba: Kutha => Samaria => Petra=> Makkah. Hijrah 622: Petra => Kerak

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Re: The Quran versus the Arab Oral Tradition

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Rewrite: The Dadanitic Religion PART II: The God of Dedan and Lihyan
The essence of deity Ḏġbt – Dhu-g-b-t


Location
: Dedan, oasis of Ula, (Midian)
Era: 600 to 100 BC, 108 – 400 AD
Deity: 'l, lh (god), lhm (Elohim/allahum), pronounced as either Eloah, Ilah or Allah.
Epithet: Ḏq(y)bt – The One (He) from the Watchtower/Fortress

Note 1
Our notion that Ḏġybt may derive from the Arabic word for Egypt is of course absurd – it has a Greek origin. The Egyptian connection will be discussed in a separate post.

Note 2
This post replaces the previous version part II as a review was needed. Following multiple Egyptian and Assyrian military campaigns in Jordan and Midian ethnic groups were pushed south, cut off from the main Jsraelite branch and started settling oasis like Dedan and Tayma around 800 to 700 BC. It should be mentioned that these communities had apparently strong relationships with Judean Israelites, especially Tayma. Basically we overlooked these connections as our main source, Oxford's Ociana Online Corpus of the Inscriptions of Ancient North Arabia, almost never translates theophoric or divine names but yet doesn't hesitate to translate Dadanitic ḍrṭ as farted. Another issue is that theophoric names that can be considered as essential for understanding the nature of Dedan's religion are uncatalogued. As linking naming conventions throughout multiple scripts is the backbone of epigraphical research we included other sources to deliver a much better analysis. Some sections have been rewritten.

Introduction
In the first part on Dadanitic religion we analyzed the ZLL ceremony (purification ritual), mentioned
numerous time in Dadanitic inscriptions as an event where their god is honored and asked to bless the believer and his descendants. These ceremonial inscriptions mention Ḏġbt, the supreme deity at Dedan, whose name is usually translated as Dhu-Ghabat meaning 'The One of the Forest (thicket)' which would relate to Classic Arabic Ghabah or Ghayabah meaning 'a thicket, wood or forest'1 and thus describes a vegetation characteristic of a place with an abundant water supply, as is the case with the oasis of Dedan.

The issue with this interpretation is that it doesn't connect to its context – is it logical to have a 'god of the jungle/forest' whose worship focused on pilgrimage to a 'high red mountain' and rituals were performed at the slope of a local hill? That's like having a 'God of Ice-cream' in a tropical rain forest.

Dadanitic script
The name Ḏġbt is written in Dadanitic, a North Arabian script and part of the Ancient North Arabian (ANA) alphabets, which grammar is poorly understood. It is basically consonantal which means that there are no specific vowel-letters.

While it follows rules belonging to the Arabic language family Dadanitic script exhibits a few forms of old Semitic which seems to have been lost at the Proto-Arabic stage. The ANA alphabets are attested in a wide area stretching from northern Yemen to southern Syria and are thought to have developed parallel to ancient South Arabian, perhaps sharing a common yet independent ancestor. According to the latest classification of these alphabets, they are divided into four established types, Dadanitic, Hismaic, Safaitic, and Taymanitic, and a pending category called Thamudic, which has several subtypes, B, C, D, and southern.

Now let's forward to a more practical approach. Scripts don't develop in isolated environments, especially not in Arabia as people don't come out of but move into wastelands under certain circumstances. After multiple Egyptian and Assyrian military campaigns in Jordan and Midian ethnic groups were pushed south and started settling oasis like Dedan and Tayma around 800 to 700 BC. Over multiple centuries these early settlements started developing their local scripts after migrating from a Northwest Semitic environment – the context for understanding theophoric names in Dedan.

Transliteration of 'Ḏġbt' and 'Ḏġybt'
The main deity at Dedan is referred as either 'Ḏġbt', which appears 252 times, and 'Ḏġybt'. Phrase 'Ḏġybt' occurs multiple times in mostly damaged inscriptions(21), is considered by some scholars as a dialectal pronunciation for ḏġbt(22) and does not appear in more formalized inscriptions that mention the ZLL or purification ceremony. Maria del Carmen Hidalgo suggests that this variant is likely a personal pronunciation because he or she found it easier to pronounce or alternatively Dadanitic had the same change as in Classical Arabic from /aya/ to /a/ (23). In inscription AH 229 Ḏġybt is mentioned as `MR˒-KTB` (My Lord is The Scribe/ Author).

Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping letters (thus trans- + liter-) in predictable ways. Linguistic scientists mapped most Dadanitic script symbols with their Arabic counterparts as these inscriptions were found in an Arabic speaking environment. So you may wonder how this relates to the transliteration of Ḏġbt: the second Dadanitic symbol was mapped to the Arabic g-stem /g/ (Dhu g-bt).

Consonantal shift
In West-Semitic, ancestral to Dadanitic script, the /q/ q-stem is interchangeable with the /g/ g-stem. This is related to phenomenon of the palatalization, which refers to a way of pronouncing a consonant in which part of the tongue is moved close to the hard palate. In most of the of the Arabian peninsula
the letter qāf /q/ is pronounced as /g/ gāf, except in western and southern Yemen and parts of Oman. As traditional Arabic grammar rules were only established in 8th century AD we should consider that the g-stem may actually refer to /q/ in Dadanitic script.

For instance the palatalization of Proto-Semitic gīm /g/ to Arabic /d͡ʒ/ jīm is connected to the pronunciation of qāf /q/ as a gāf /g/ where ج is jīm /d͡ʒ/ and ق is gāf /g/, except in parts of Yemen and
Oman where ج is gīm /g/ and ق is qāf /q/.

Pronunciation of the letter ج in parts of southern Arabia: [g]
Pronunciation of the letter ق in parts of southern Arabia: [q]

Transliteration of Ḏġ(y)bt
Consider a transformation of pronunciation of qāf /q/ into gāf /g/ that renders Ḏqbt or dhu qbt. So now we have to find a meaning for root qbt in either West-Semitic or the South Semitic script family.

In West- or proto-Semitic verb 'qb means to follow, protect, guard or to watch over. In South Arabic Hadramatic and Sabaic script qbt means 'watchtower', 'fortress' or 'fortification'. In Hadramatic root qbt is used with definitive article -hn making qbt-hn or 'The fortification' or 'The Watchtower.' In Sabiac 'qbt' is mentioned in the context of the 'mcqbthm' or 'the watchtower' and 'their guards'.
And Old South Arabic inscription J649/31 mentions {b'l qbt} or 'Lord of the Watchtower/Fortress'.

These roots and their meanings relate to one of the core concepts of the Old Testament where the concept of God/Yahweh as a stronghold or fortress is a central theme. This would have to reflect in the Dadanitic epigraphical record and it does– it contains compound and personal names suffixed and prefixed with Yahwistic elements, refers to the people of Yisrael and hints of a holies of holies { HRM-DQTB }

That why we choose to transliterate <Ḏġbt> as Dhu qbt meaning 'He of the Watchtower' or 'The One of the Fortification '.

Conclusion
The strong relationships between Dedan as important trade center and the Levant and Yemen, the preservation of forms of old Semitic, Dadanitic script being part of the South Semitic script family, the manifestation of Yahwistic elements and the transformation of pronunciation of qāf /q/ into gāf /g/ in the Hijaz makes it more than likely that we are dealing with a portmanteau word, a linguistic blend of words, of of /qb/ and /bt/ (house) or /qbt/ and /bt/ indicating a stronghold, fortification or watchtower.
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. Theological: Mahmud from Najran Islam: Syncretic Israelite Yahwishm Deity: nameless, epithets Dsr, El Qutbay, ʼAlâhâ, Allāh. Ka'ba: Kutha => Samaria => Petra=> Makkah. Hijrah 622: Petra => Kerak

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Re: The Quran versus the Arab Oral Tradition

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Appendix Yahwistic Thephoric names at Dedan
Name: BD-NNYH

Attested: Inscription AH 097 (Sima 1999: 43)
Text: ʿbdnnyh/s¹lḥ/ḏ– gbt/ ….'
Official Translation: Servant of Nanāja priest of The One of the Thicket/Jungle

Oxford Ociana's translation
According to Oxford's Ociana's team the theophoric element refers to the Babylonian deity Nanāja whose cult was widely spread in the Aramean religious sphere and appears in this Dadanitic inscription underthe feminine form nnyh, which can be vocalized as Nanāyah. This deduction is based upon comparison with inscriptions form Syria and Hatra.

Our translation
There seems to be no relation between the Babylonian deity Nanāja and Dedan's deity. To keep it simple: why would you transliterate Dadanitic bd-nnyh with cognates from Hatra, almost a thousand km north without searching in Jewish sources first?

The root nnyh is the only Hebrew name with three elements that can be found in Hebrew scriptures and the Aramaic Papyri discovered at Elephantine Egypt meaning “Yah answered me”. The name NNYāH is reasonable popular at Elephantine and mentioned in Aramaic fragments B2.3:32, 2:4:20, 2:6:37, 2.7:17, 3.3:14-15 and 6.4:8.

The name NNYH is found in the context of the most popular Jewish name of endearment in the Aramaic Papyri also found in the Dadanitic epigraphical record. And its this name that shall be used to connect the Elephantine Community with Dedan.

New Translation
Attested: Inscription AH 097 (Sima 1999: 43)
Text: ʿbdnnyh/s¹lḥ/ḏ– qbt/ ….'
Translation: 'Servant of Yah-Who-Answered-Me', priest of The One of the fortress/watchtower...
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. Theological: Mahmud from Najran Islam: Syncretic Israelite Yahwishm Deity: nameless, epithets Dsr, El Qutbay, ʼAlâhâ, Allāh. Ka'ba: Kutha => Samaria => Petra=> Makkah. Hijrah 622: Petra => Kerak

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Re: The Quran versus the Arab Oral Tradition

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Appendix Yahwistic Names at Dedan
Name: NFYH
Translation: “God's Breath, Yahweh's Breath”

Attested: Inscriptions AH 015, Al-Saʿīd 1420/1999: 15–26, JSLih 077, U 098 (AH 179/2)
Text: NFYH
Official Translation: None

Transliteration
Theophoric name NFYH isn't translated by Oxford's Ociana's team so we chose to query ancient roots as Dadanitic script preserves forms of ancient Semitic.

Element NF is probably a Kulturwort, of non-Semitic but Afroasiatic or Semito-Hamitic origin. The common Afrosiatic root *n-f means to breath and is attested in many languages, for instance in Berber-Amazigh Ahaggar a-nəfo ‘breath’, Somalian neef 'breath' or Egyptian nf-t meaning ‘fan’. So element nf combined with Yah transliterates to 'Yahweh's breath' or 'Breath of God'.

The 'Breath of God' appears in multiple Bible verses such as 'the breath of His mouth' (Psalm 33:6), 'And the breath of the Almighty gives me life' (Job 33:4), 'And the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding' (Job 32:8), 'By His breath the heavens are cleared' (Job 26:13).

Of special interest is Dadanitic inscription JSLih 077:
“Whblh son of Zdqny and Lmy son of Nfyh dedicated the funeral chamber of Mr son of Ḥwt because of an obligation he had brought upon them.”
Theophoric compound names Wahab-Allāh (Gift of Allāh) and Nafi-Yah (Yahweh's breath) are mentioned in the same sentence.
Last edited by Takeiteasynow on Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. Theological: Mahmud from Najran Islam: Syncretic Israelite Yahwishm Deity: nameless, epithets Dsr, El Qutbay, ʼAlâhâ, Allāh. Ka'ba: Kutha => Samaria => Petra=> Makkah. Hijrah 622: Petra => Kerak

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Re: The Quran versus the Arab Oral Tradition

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Appendix Yahwistic Names at Dedan
Name: NTN (Nat(h)an)

Introduction
While comparing Dadanitic personal names with those from the Aramaic Papyri from Elephantine it was noticed that both contains Davidic names. The most popular personal name in the Aramaic papyri is NTN or Nat(h)an, carried by some 35 persons. According to the Old testament Nāṯan was a court prophet who lived in the time of King David and is introduced as an advisor to David. The Old Testament also mentions Nathan as a son of David.

The Davidic line or House of David (Malkhut Beit David or 'Kingdom of the House of David' refers to the lineage of David through the texts in the Hebrew Bible, in the New Testament, and through the succeeding centuries. It is said to be the bloodline that the Hebrew Messiah descends from.

NTN in Dadanitic inscriptions
The name Nāṯan appears in multiple inscriptions such as AH 219: 'b- rʾy/hrf/s¹nt/ḫms¹/ntn' meaning 'in the government of Hrf in the year five of Nāṯan', JaL 073 a and JSLih 036: 'Bʿl Ntn' meaning 'Lord of Nāṯan', Jal. 157 I and Nasif 1988: 91: 'Ntn' or Nāṯan and JSLih 081: 'l- ntnbʿl' meaning 'To the Lord of Nāṯan'.

Personal name NTN derives from Semitic root ntn, to give. Examples are Mathew from Hebrew mattayyāh, from mattan-yāh, gift of Yahweh, Jonathan, from Hebrew yônātān, Yahweh has given or Nathanael, from Hebrew nətanʔēl, God has given.

Dadanitic NTN-BL corresponds with “Gift of the Lord” or “The Lord has given”, word NTN with 'gift'.
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. Theological: Mahmud from Najran Islam: Syncretic Israelite Yahwishm Deity: nameless, epithets Dsr, El Qutbay, ʼAlâhâ, Allāh. Ka'ba: Kutha => Samaria => Petra=> Makkah. Hijrah 622: Petra => Kerak

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Re: The Quran versus the Arab Oral Tradition

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Appendix Yahwistic Names at Dedan
Name: ZKYH, Ezqiyah, Hezekiyah
Translation: “Yahweh strengthens" or "Yahweh is my strength”

Attested: Inscriptions AH 084, AH 138, U 118

Transliteration
Theophoric name ZKYH isn't translated by Oxford's Ociana's team. Unfortunately querying 'zkhy' doesn't produce anything significant so let's relate Proto-Semitic and Arabic reflex of *k’ to uvular q (see note) and query 'zqyh' which immedeately produces Paleao-Hebrew legend y zqyh or Ye ezqiyah. Ezqiyah, attested in the Persian Period means “Yahweh will strengthen [him]”.

Root zkyh also refers to Hezekiah (Hezekiyah), a king of Judah who witnessed the destruction of the northern Kingdom of Israel by Sargon's Assyrians in circa 722 BC. The name Hezekiah means "Yahweh strengthens" in Hebrew. Alternately it may be translated as "Yahweh is my strength".

So after the destruction of the northern Israelite kindom in 700 the name (H)ezekiyah pops up at Dedan, which is settled around 700. Now isn't that interesting?

Note
Proto-Semitic is traditionally reconstructed with 29 consonants, all of which are preserved in the inscriptional Ancient South Arabian languages such as Sabaic. Uvulars are consonants articulated with the back of the tongue against or near the uvula, that is, further back in the mouth than velar consonants. In Arabic the reflex of *k’ is the uvular q
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. Theological: Mahmud from Najran Islam: Syncretic Israelite Yahwishm Deity: nameless, epithets Dsr, El Qutbay, ʼAlâhâ, Allāh. Ka'ba: Kutha => Samaria => Petra=> Makkah. Hijrah 622: Petra => Kerak

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Re: The Quran versus the Arab Oral Tradition

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Appendix Yahwistic Names at Dedan
Name:MSYH/ ms¹yh (Amasiah)
Translation: “YHWH has carried”
Attested: Inscription Nasif 1988: 99, pl. CLVIII

Transliteration
Theophoric name ms¹yh isn't translated by Oxford's Ociana's team so we searched for matches in the Hebrew Bible.

The name 'ms', Amasa' (spelled with sin instead of samek), is attested in the Hebrew Bible for men of different time periods. It is a shortened form of 'msyh, Amasiah, meaning "YHWH has carried (protectively)". Another shortened form for Amasiah is 'mws meaning Amos.

Amasa
Amasa is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as commander over the army, in effect replacing Joab. His mother was Abigail, a sister of King David. As this name is in scope with other Yahwistic names found in Dadanitic inscriptions we choose to transliterate ms¹yh as Yahweh has carried (protectively).

If wrong then ms¹yh renders as Moshiyah, referring to the Jewish Messiah – so we stick to Amasiah for the time being.
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. Theological: Mahmud from Najran Islam: Syncretic Israelite Yahwishm Deity: nameless, epithets Dsr, El Qutbay, ʼAlâhâ, Allāh. Ka'ba: Kutha => Samaria => Petra=> Makkah. Hijrah 622: Petra => Kerak

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Re: The Quran versus the Arab Oral Tradition

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Appendix Yahwistic Names at Dedan
Name:˒'SYH
Translation: “Gift of Yah”
Attested: Inscription JSLiḥ 107/2, JaL 72a

Transliteration
Theophoric name 'SYH isn't translated by Oxford's Ociana's team. However, theophoric name 'S-'L was translated as „Gabe des Gottes‟.
Es handelt sich hierbei um eine Zusammensetzung aus dem Element ˒s nach arab. ˒āsa „Ersatz geben‟ bzw. ˒ws1 „Ersatz‟ (Nöldeke, 50; s. al-Said 1995: 67) und dem th. El. ˒l.
The same methodology is used for the transliteration of theophoric name 'S-ḎĠBT meaning 'Gift of Ḏū Ġaybat'
Der Name ˒sḏġbt ist in ein nominales Element ˒s „Gabe, Ersatz‟ (s. ˒S-˒L) und in den bekannten dad. Gottesnamen ḏġbt aufzugliedern. Der Gottesname ḏġbt, welcher auch in die Schreibung ḏġybt zu finden ist besteht aus dem Demonstrativum ḏū und aus einer Wurzel.
Unfortunately for 'S-YH this doesn't seem to work
Das zweite Element yh 99 ist mir unbekannt. Möglicherweise handelt es sich bei -yh um eine Abkürzung eines weiblichen th. El, wenn man weiterhin annimmt, dass die Femininendung –t in –h übergegangen ist. Wahrscheinlich handelt es sich bei dem Namen ˒syh aber um einen weiblichen Namen, in dem das -yh als Kennzeichen für den fem. Personennamen gelten müsste.

Die Form yah, yahū oder yāhō als th. El. sind in der hebr. Namensgebung sehr verbreitet: in der Bibel
(Rechenmacher 1997: s. Namenregister, 122ff.), in den hebr. Ostraka (Lemaire 1977: 292ff.); sowie in den aram. Ostraka von Edumea Yehokal und Yeho˓anah (Nr. 16:2; 61:2; 78:1; 81:2; 96:2, 106:2, s. Epha˓al/Naveh: 1996: 26, 42, 48, 54, 56) und in den aram. juristischen Papyri von Elephantine ydnyh bzw. Yedoniah und Yezaniah (Ap 20, AP 8, s Muff 2003: 30, 36). Die Annahme die Verehrung des Gottesnamens YHWH außerhalb Israels kann ferner nicht ganz in Betracht gezogen werden.
So Ociana's team states that, without providing evidence, element -yh can't refer to Yah/YHWH as the idea of worship of YHWH outside Israel can't be taken seriously.

We disagree. In a context with attested names such as Nathan, Amasiah, Yisrael, Ezqiyah or Hezekiyah, Azaryah etc 'SYH translates as 'Gift of Yah'. Does Yah map to Yahweh? That's another question.
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. Theological: Mahmud from Najran Islam: Syncretic Israelite Yahwishm Deity: nameless, epithets Dsr, El Qutbay, ʼAlâhâ, Allāh. Ka'ba: Kutha => Samaria => Petra=> Makkah. Hijrah 622: Petra => Kerak

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Re: The Quran versus the Arab Oral Tradition

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The Dadanitic RELIGION PART VI : Aaron and The Holies of Holies
Preliminary edition

Introduction
A fragmented and broken but well-preserved 25-line South Arabian inscription mentions a trading expedition of the kingdom of Sabaea - Biblical Sheba - to Dedan, ’HGR YHD and the “towns of Judah”. Believed to date to around 600 B.C.E, the inscription confirms Judah’s and Dedan's role in a lucrative Arabian trade that is alluded to several times in the Bible. Located between the trading highway between the Levant, Egypt and Himyar Dedan was a cultural melting pot but capable of maintaining it's own religious identity over many centuries.

As Dedan is halfway Jerusalem, Petra and Mecca – three places with a Holies of Holies (Qodesh Ha-qadashim) or Mashid Haram, the inner sanctuary of a temple where God's presence appears the question rises if this concept can be attested in the epigraphical record of Dedan.

Concept of Haram
Arabic has two separate words derived from triliteral root h-r-m, ḥaram and ḥarām and both can mean forbidden or sacred. Historically haram refers to the concept of an inviolate zone, a sanctuary or place where contending parties would settle disputes peacefully.

An important site for pilgrimage was Nabataean Petra where the Haram sanctuary was central part of the city. This can be safely assumed as:
  • Concept of hrm (harem) is attested in Nabataean Aramaic;
  • Word Mashid is of Nabataean origin;
  • Word Kaba derives from the Nabataean Syriac term ka’abu, a cubic shrine comprised of stone blocks. At Qumran a similar structure was excavated.
  • Geographical descriptions from early hadith only match with those at Petra;
  • Pilgrimage to the region of Petra is attested as early as in the Persian period - to Mount Aaron or Jabal Haroun;
  • Excavations at the Central Haram of Petra (Qasr al-Bint) produce results that matches with descriptions from the early hadith;
  • In the desert near Petra nomadic tribes created representing a inviolable zone, secure from any form of violation or profanation;
  • Camp sites of Nabataean caravans contained a sacred space (circle) for worship and religious practices.
But what we would like to know is if there's a link between Nabataean and Dedanitic religion. So let's dive in the epigraphical record of Dedan.

God of the Haram , the forbidden sanctuary
Inscription JSLih 202 mentions ḤRM-LH which translates as "Verbotener des (˒I)lāh - Gottes" or the "Forbidden sanctuary of God". Compound name ḤRM-LH is made up of the Semitic element ḥrm, in Arabic ḥaruma meaning "he was, or became forbidden, prohibited, or unlawful or ḥarām 'sacred, inviolable', to consecrate and theophoric element lh usually interpreted as ˒Ilāh (from the Nabataean era as Allāh).

Another inscription, Abū l-Ḥasan 162/1 mentions ḤRM-ḎĠBT which translates as „Verbotener des Ḏū Ġaybat‟ or the “Forbidden sanctuary of Ḏġbt”. This theophoric epithet can, according to the Arabic translation, be translated as Ḥarām-ḏū-Ġaybat (see Caskel 1966: 299). Taking our own research in consideration it translates as Ḥarām-ḏū-Qabat or the “Forbidden sanctuary of He from the Watchtower ”.

So the epigraphical record implies that the deity of Dedan had its own sanctuary. This is confirmed by other inscriptions.

Servant of the Forbidden Sanctuary
Inscription AH 136, JSLih 272 mentions ʿbdhrm' Abd-Harim, the “Diener des Haram” or “Servant of the Sacred Sanctuary”. Combining elements bd (servant) and hrm (ḥarām) this compound name may be vocalized as Abd-harim (ān). Alternatively this name may refer to the Hebrew tribal name hrm (see Noth 1966: 241).

The One from the Forbidden Sanctuary
Inscription Nasif 1988:88 mentions ḏḥrm, a compound name consisting elements of ḏū and ḥarām or ḥarim which translates as 'The One from the Forbidden Sanctuary'.

From sanctuary to stronghold
Multiple Dadanitic invocations mention phrase h- msd in the context of pilgrimage and is by default translated as the 'high red mountain'. Not that h-msd means high red mountain – inscriptions with this phrase are simply found on a hill just outside the oasis of al Ula, the Ǧabal Umm Daraǧ, which has a red color.

In Classical Arabic the word maṣad from root msd means, among other things, "a mountain top", or "a place of refuge", like a sanctuary, and in Jewish Aramaic m'sadha meaning “stronghold”.
To keep things simple: as Classic Arabic appears circa 1100 years later than Dadanitic script and the Dadanitic word for pilgrimage relates to its Hebrew equivalent the combination of definite article h- with element msd translates to 'the place of refuge' or 'the stronghold' – preciously what you expect for 'The One for the Watchtower or Stronghold'.

The High Priest: Aaronite names
According to Abrahamic tradition Aaron was the first High Priest, the founder and ancestor of the Israelite priesthood, responsible for managing the holies of holies. So can we find 'Aaronite' names in the epigraphical record of Dedan?

Aaron/Aharon
Inscription U 064: ʿyḏ HRN
'ʿyḏ of the lineage or family of Aharon/Harun

Nadab, son of Aharon/Harun
Inscription AH 312: ndb bn s¹lw
Nadab, son of Shalaw

Abihu, son of Aaron/Aharon
Inscription AH 336 : “----bh/bn ḥry/nṭr/ʿ----”
Abihu son of Hry guarded

Inscription Müller, D.H. 1889: 63-64, no. 8: “...bn lḏn mlk lḥyn ḏ bḫ”
“...son of Lḏn king of Lḥyn of the lineage of Abihu”

Amram, Aaron's father
inscriptions AH 155, JSLih 080,JSLih 327 , JSLih 284(?), JSLih 307(?): mrm
Amram, “Friend of the most high” in Tiberian Aramaic
A variant is attested in inscription JSLih 355: “Amram-Ilāh” or “Amram of God”

Levi, grandfather of Aaron, father of Amram
Inscription Jslih 080: 'mrm lw ', Amram (of) Levi

Conclusion
There seems to be reasonable enough or even conclusive evidence to state that Dedanitic religion is a form of Israelite, possibly Yahwistic religion. If so, the Nabataean religion is possibly of Israelite origin.
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. Theological: Mahmud from Najran Islam: Syncretic Israelite Yahwishm Deity: nameless, epithets Dsr, El Qutbay, ʼAlâhâ, Allāh. Ka'ba: Kutha => Samaria => Petra=> Makkah. Hijrah 622: Petra => Kerak

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Re: The Quran versus the Arab Oral Tradition

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The Dadanitic RELIGION: Abrahamic names

Abram (Abraham)
Inscription JSLih 371 : “km/bn brm”
Km son of Abram

Ibrahim (Abram, Abraham)
inscription AH 240
“ʾkbrn and ---- and their lord q---- brhm ʾs¹---- ….”
Comment: brhm as Ibrahim

Hagar, Abraham's concubine
inscription AH 288
“... and offered to her the two mḥr-rituals (incense-offerings) ---- {to} Ḥgr... “
Comment: Ḥgr as Hagar or Ḥigaru. This incription is of special interest as Hagar is known as "Grand Mother of Arabians" and as the “Pharaoh's daughter”

Inscription JSLih 058
“ʾs¹/bn/ḥgr ….”
“Ish(e) son of Hagar (Higaru)”

Nahor, brother of Abram
Inscriptions JaL 026 c, JaL 027 i : “nhr”
Transliteratoin: Nāḥōr
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. Theological: Mahmud from Najran Islam: Syncretic Israelite Yahwishm Deity: nameless, epithets Dsr, El Qutbay, ʼAlâhâ, Allāh. Ka'ba: Kutha => Samaria => Petra=> Makkah. Hijrah 622: Petra => Kerak

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Re: The Quran versus the Arab Oral Tradition

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Sarah, Abram's wife, biblical matriarch and prophetess, a major figure in Abrahamic religions.
Inscription Jal 157 K: “s²rḫ tq ”ria
Translation: Signature of Sha-rah (s² → sha)
Comment: s²rḫ may alternatively render as Sharih
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. Theological: Mahmud from Najran Islam: Syncretic Israelite Yahwishm Deity: nameless, epithets Dsr, El Qutbay, ʼAlâhâ, Allāh. Ka'ba: Kutha => Samaria => Petra=> Makkah. Hijrah 622: Petra => Kerak

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Re: The Quran versus the Arab Oral Tradition

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Follow up Aaron and The Holies of Holies
There seems to be reasonable enough or even conclusive evidence to state that Dedanitic religion is a form of Israelite, possibly Yahwistic religion. If so, the Nabataean religion is possibly of Israelite origin.
We used Negev's proposition, that Nabataean theophoric elements -yw equals Judean -yh like Samarian -yaw equals Judean -yah, to try to connect Dedan with Petra. This trace didn't produce any results but pushed our research in a different direction: Samaria → Nippur → Petra

Samaria
In 722 BCE Assyria conquered the kingdom of Israel, and deported many of the residents of Samaria and its surroundings to Mesopotamia and brought other deportees, like the Thamudai, to Samaria to their place. As a consequence Yahwistic names with element -yaw disappeared from the Samarian epigraphical record, never to appear again in these territories.

Nippur
But these names didn't vanish. They reappear in the Murashu archive, found in the ancient ruins of Nippur (Mesopotamia). These tablets were written in Cuneiform yet many bear a second inscription or endorsement in a paleo-form of Aramaic. An unusually large number of names known from the Old Testament (especially from the books of Ezra and Nehemiah), eventually find their way into Cuneiform texts and inscriptions, including the Murashu archive. To be more precise: most Yahwistic names found use theophoric element -yaw and are thus of Samarian origin.

Petra
In the second century BC Nabataen traditions change suddenly dramatically – it's the beginning of the so called Babylonian period – a new script, new calendar, Greek architecture etc and guess what personal names with theophoric element -y(a)w reappear at Petra. It is not that difficult to understand what happens: Samarians once deported to Nippur resettle at Petra were they form the ruling class speaking Aramaic in a predominantly Arabic speaking environment and add their Yahwistic branch to the religious spectrum of Nabataea.
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. Theological: Mahmud from Najran Islam: Syncretic Israelite Yahwishm Deity: nameless, epithets Dsr, El Qutbay, ʼAlâhâ, Allāh. Ka'ba: Kutha => Samaria => Petra=> Makkah. Hijrah 622: Petra => Kerak

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Re: The Quran versus the Arab Oral Tradition

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Appendix Davidic Names at Dedan
Names: Nat(h)an, Salomon (Shlomo), Shammuah, Shobab

Introduction
While comparing Dadanitic personal names with those from the Aramaic Papyri from Elephantine it was noticed that both contains Davidic names. The most popular personal name in the Aramaic papyri is NTN or Nat(h)an, carried by some 35 persons. According to the Old testament Nāṯan was a court prophet who lived in the time of King David and is introduced as an advisor to David. The Old Testament also mentions Nathan as a son of David.

The theological Davidic line or House of David (Malkhut Beit David or 'Kingdom of the House of David' refers to the lineage of David through the texts in the Hebrew Bible, in the New Testament, and through the succeeding centuries. In this perspective other sons of David are Shobab, Salomon, and Shammuah.

Nathan in Dadanitic inscriptions
The name Nāṯan appears in multiple inscriptions such as AH 219: 'b- rʾy/hrf/s¹nt/ḫms¹/ntn' meaning 'in the government of Hrf in the year five of Nāṯan', JaL 073 a and JSLih 036: 'Bʿl Ntn' meaning 'Lord of Nāṯan', Jal. 157 I and Nasif 1988: 91: 'Ntn' or Nāṯan and JSLih 081: 'l- ntnbʿl' meaning 'To the Lord of Nāṯan'.

Personal name NTN derives from Semitic root ntn, to give. Examples are Mathew from Hebrew mattayyāh, from mattan-yāh, gift of Yahweh, Jonathan, from Hebrew yônātān, Yahweh has given or Nathanael, from Hebrew nətanʔēl, God has given.

Dadanitic NTN-BL corresponds with “Gift of the Lord” or “The Lord has given”, word NTN with 'gift'. The importance of this name is illustrated by the rule of Nāṯan, probably a king of Dedan or Lihyan.

Shammuah in Dadanitic inscriptions
This son of David is mentioned in 2 Samuel 5:14 and elsewhere called Shammua and Shimea. This name means 'he that is heard' or 'he that is obeyed'.

The name is mentioned in Dadanitic inscription U 064 (AH 123): “... w ʾḫ -h bd– s¹mh/bnw/ʿyḏ ...” meaning “and his brother Abid-Shammuah (Abid-Shimea).

Salomon (Shlomoh/Suleiman) in Dadanitic inscriptions
Solomon (שְׁלֹמֹה‎, Shlomoh) was, according to the Old Testament a fabulously wealthy and wise king of the United Kingdom of Israel who succeeded his father, King David. Taking root S¹lmh this name is attested in the following inscriptions:

AH 066 (Sima 1999: 39)
s¹ʿd/bn/{s¹}{l}mh → S¹ʿd son of Shlomoh

JaL 119 b (Al-Qudrah 1993: 41, no. 107)
s¹lmh/mḥ ʾs¹d/rḍy → Shlomoh has conferred a favor upon ʾs¹drḍy

JSLih 082
… /b– n/hnʾs¹/mlk/lḥyn/s¹lmh /b– [n] ... → ...Hnʾs¹ (Hanosh/Hanoch) king of Lḥyn, Shlomoh son of ...
Comment: this inscriptions suggests that the Dedanitic empire had a ruler named Shlomoh (English Solomon).

Inscription JSLih 384 may render S¹lmh as a female name: 'Shalimah daughter of {ʾs¹ ʾrs²n}' – other scholars like Jamme or Grimme read 'son of'.

Nasif 1988: 86, pl. CXVI/e
{s¹}lmh /bn/ ʾs¹d / mrh /f{ʿ}l
Shlomoh son of ʾs¹d Mrh {made} (it)

In Islamic tradition Solomon is named Suleiman. This name may appear as s¹lmn in multiple Dadanitic inscriptions – this possibility requires requires more research.

Shobab in Dadanitic inscriptions
King David's son Nathan had another brother known as sho'-bab or Sobab and is mentioned in Samuel 5:14, 1 Chronicles 3:5 and 14:4). The etymology of this name is unknown. In Hebrew it may be a facsimile of the adjective שובב (shobab) meaning returning or backsliding or a certain form of this adjective's verb שוב (shub), meaning to turn back or to return, and in particular the kind that doubles the final consonant. This matches the proto-Semitic, Uguritic and Northwest root sb(b), to turn (around). In Arabic, from the root س ب ب‎ (s-b-b), it may mean to cause, cause, to trigger, reason or alibi.

The name S(H)obab is attested in Dadanitic as ŠBB (s²bb), BN-ŠBB, ŠBB-˒RŠ, ŠBB-L, ŠBB-YṮ. Theophoric name ŠBB-L may transliterate to God's cause or God's return. ŠBB-YṮ may transliterate to ŠBB is sublime or 'The Sublime Reason'. Unfortunately s²bb is almost exclusively mentioned in short inscriptions without context.
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. Theological: Mahmud from Najran Islam: Syncretic Israelite Yahwishm Deity: nameless, epithets Dsr, El Qutbay, ʼAlâhâ, Allāh. Ka'ba: Kutha => Samaria => Petra=> Makkah. Hijrah 622: Petra => Kerak

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