The Quran versus the Arab Oral Tradition

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Takeiteasynow
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The Quran versus the Arab Oral Tradition

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This thread will discuss the origins of the Arab oral tradition.
Quranic geography: The People of Ad

The Safaitic, Nabataean and Hismaic inscriptions show that the lost tribe of ‘ād and the toponym Iram were in Jordan. The Quran mentions Ad, with their territory "Iram of the pillars", as an ancient people destroyed by God (Q89:6-7):
"Have you not considered how your Lord dealt with 'Aad; of Iram of the lofty pillars?"
Iram of the Pillars (Iram dhāt al-ʿimād), also called "Irum", "Irem" or the "City of the pillars," is a lost city, region or tribe. But Greek geographer Ptolemaeus lists places like Wadi Rumm (Iram) in southern Jordan, in his list of cities in Arabia Felix. (Aramava-Geogr. 6.7.27). Safaitic inscriptions link Iram to Wadi Rumm abd thus the Nabataean empire.

Early Muslim sources and local folklore claimed Ad were a people of southern Arabia and Iram was a place in present-day Oman. In 1992, the search for Iram was popularized by the book "Atlantis of the Sands: In search for the lost city of Ubar" (R. Fiennes).

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Using space photography the ruins of a site in Oman were assumed to be Ubar, supposedly Iram of the lofty pillars. Despite these efforts, not a single shred of evidence was found to suggest any ancient site in Oman had to do with Ad; scientists have dismissed such claims.

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So is there evidence that Ad even existed? In 1998 scholars Farès and Zayadine published a Hismaic inscription from the temple of Lât in the area of Wadi Ram, Jordan.

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It reads: le-Ghawth ben Aslah ben Thokam wa-banaya bayta allât dhî âl 'âd meaning "by Ghawth son of Aslah son of Thokam and he constructed the temple of Allât, of the people of Ad". This triggers a minor theological issue as archeology binds the people of ‘ād to goddess Allât.

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Location Wadi Rum in Southern Jordan

n 2018 scholar Ahmad Al-Jallad deciphered a signature of a man, written in the Safaitic script from northern Jordan with "le-zohay ben ʿâmer ḏî ʾâl ʿâd " meaning "By Zhy son of ʿâmer of the lineage of ʿâd". A few more unpublished texts by men from 'Ad have been discovered and will be published in spring 2020.

In Wadi Rum we can find an inscription in Nabataean script mentioning Iram. In 1932 the French epigraphist Savignac noted the engravings in a cleft and published some of them in 1934: May Abdallâhi son of 'Atmo be remembered for all time before Allât the goddess of Iram."

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The crude remains of Allât's temple in Wadi Rum

The famous Jebel Ram inscription also gives us the ancient name of the region:
...w br 'lyw ktb / ydh b-'rm "…w meaning 'the son of 'Aliyyo wrote (this) / with his own hand in Iram'
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Jebel Ram inscription Source: Robert Hoyland.

These discoveries that a people or tibe of ‘ād existed long before the time of the Quran and were Arabic-speaking tribes in the Nabataean realm as used the Hismaic and Safaitic scripts (circa 200 BC to 400 AD).

Al-ahqāf الأحقاف
So we know that Iram and ʿâd belong to the southern half of the Nabataean empire. The Quran also associates ‘ād with toponym al-ahqāf or الأحقاف. Unlike Iram, this place hasn’t yet appeared in the epigraphic record and
many scholars assumed that Al-ahqāf is a place in Yemen or the Empty Quarter because of its supposed meaning “sand tracts”.

To understand the origin of phrase Al-ahqāf and given that ‘ād’s territory was in southern Jordan the following lemma or canonical form may explain more....

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In this lemma here a Safaitic writer mentions pasturing at a place called h-‘ḥgf.

Could this place be the same as Quranic aḥqāf? There’s one obstacle: Safaitic g does not correspond to Qur’anic q - so we would need a parallel. And there is one as a location: the Negev desert הַנֶּגֶב is loaned into Arabic as an-naqab, where foreign g is rendered by q.
The origin of the word 'negev' is from the Hebrew root denoting 'dry' and used in the Hebrew Bible which was composed at least 800 years before the Quran was codified. That's the perfect parallel for an original ‘ḥgf being rendered aḥqāf.

Conclusion
This puts Quranic al-aḥqāf in the historical territory of ‘ād and Irām. As these toponyms/locations are mentioned in Safaitic, Hismaic and official Nabataean script these traditions can be dated to at least 100 BC.

These inscriptions binds a portion of the Quranic tradition directly to the Nabataean empire. And as the people of ‘ād and Irām disappeared long before the codification of the Quran this is the first evidence that the Nabataeans, or a faction within the Nabataean empire maintained the Arab oral tradition.

After all, the Quran was first published in cursive Nabataean.
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. 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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What is the origin of the Arabic word for God of Allāh?

Scholars know that Allāh is the word for God in Arabic but still debate its origin. Many theories have been proposed but none of them explains the etymology of Allāh and its place of origin. Some regard it as a basic noun, others the definite form of the word “lāh”, ‘lofty’ or ‘hidden’, but most see it as a contracted form of al-ʾilāh, = ‘the deity’.

Islamic tradition holds that pre-Islamic pagans worshiped Allāh beside other gods, a theological phenomenon known as shirk or 'association'. This is a central feature in Islamic theology as the primitive shahada stated 'There is no God but God: No associate for him', a concept the early muhajirun or emigrants took from the Nazarenes.

Now was the usage of the name al-ʾilāh restricted to the early muhajirun (the factual name of Muhammad's movement)? The growing corpus of sixth century Christian Arabic inscriptions indicate that Allāh, in this exact form, was not the common Arabic name of the monotheistic god in the century before Islam.
In the Zebed inscription, the Christian god is called al-ʾilāh 'the God'.

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In a new Christian Arabic inscription from Dūmat al-Jandal (548/9 CE), God is called again al-ʾilāh.
The text is a simple benediction (a short blessing with public worship):
ḏakara al-ʾilāh Ḥgʿbw br slmh 'May God be mindful of Ḥgʿbw son of Salamah'.
Al-ʾilāh is attested in a 6th-7th century Christian Arabic text from Jordan, which states: ḏakara al-ʾilāh yazīd-w al-malik ‘may God by mindful of Yazīd the king’.

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For more info on this inscription: https://www.academia.edu/35239575/Al-Ja ... _Harahsheh

In South Arabia, and especially Yemen, the monotheistic god og the Jewish kingdom of Himyar was called Raḥmānān; sometimes he was referred to as ʾilāh-ān. The final ān is the definite article, so it is the equivalent of Arabic al-ʾilāh. "May God to whom belong heaven and earth bless king Ys¹f ʾs¹ʾr Yṯʾr, king of all the tribes".

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Nabataean origin Allāh
So some apologists suggest that al-ʾilāh in these early Christian Arabic inscriptions appears to be a loan translation of the Greek ὁ Θεός. So does the form Allāh then derive from this usage? As with most things Arabic, to find its origins, we need to go back to the Nabataeans.

The divine name Allāh (written in Nabataean as ʾlh or lhy and transcribed in Greek as αλλας)
features in many Nabataean personal names: ʾaws-allāhi ‘gift of Allāh’, ǵawṯ-allāhi ‘help of Allāh’, ʿabd-allāhi ‘worshipper of Allāh’, saʿd-allāhi ‘fortune of Allāh’, etc.

The name Abdallah, which means “worshipper of Allah”, existed in the pre-Islamic period. The name Abdallah is written as ʿbdlhy and ʿbdlh in the Nabataean language and is found in northwest Arabia, the Sinai (Egyptian peninsula), and the Edom-Moab plateau (modern day Jordan). Inscriptions referring to Abdallah can date between the 2nd century BC and 3rd century AD and are also attested in Greek transcriptions in a Hellenized form: Αβδαλλας or Abdallas

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The name Abdallah can also be found in Safaitic, a script used by nomads of the basalt desert of southern Syria and northern Jordan.

So personal names referring to Allāh are geographically confined to the Nabataean empire. Further more, there is solid evidence that the name Allāh existed from at least the third century before Christ.

Etymology
There are several prayers to Allāh in the Safaitic inscriptions. For instance inscription IJ 293 contains an example: wa ʾaṣlaya wa ʾaqsama be-ʾallāh ḥayy la-hadaya ʿaẓīma meaning ‘he made a burnt offering and swore by Allāh, who is living, that he shall command with greatness’.

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The vocative form Allāhumma is also attested. In the Hismaic inscription Jackobson D.3.A.7.b, the author invokes Allāh to curse the sons of ʿuray son of ʿaklam: hāllāhumma le-banī ʿoray ben ʿaklam boʾsa’!
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At Qaryat al-Fāw, Allāh is invoked next to 2 other names "and he placed it under the protection of Kahl, Allāh, and ʿaṯṯar of the East from strong and weak and purchase and pledge for all time".

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Nevertheless, invocations to Allāh in the inscriptions are rare. There is no evidence that this was the proper name of the primary deity of any pagan cult. But more important, why are direct invocations to Allāh rare when the geographical distribution of personal names referring to Allāh spans the entire Nabataean empire?

And where does the name come from? Most scholars think that Allāh is a contracted form of al-ʾilāh, a dialectal feature that perhaps occurred in western dialects of Arabic, maybe in the southern periphery of Nabataea. As In the previous post it was shown that he same process produces Ram, as in Wādī Ram, from the original name ʾiram. This would bind the origin of the name Allāh to the historical territory of ‘ād and Irām or Wādī Ram,a desert area that starts south of Petra.

Conclusion so far
The term Allāh seems to be a contracted form of al-ʾilāh 'the deity' and its particular form was restricted to Northwest Arabia and southern Levant in the pre-Islamic era. Allāh is relatively common in personal names but rarely invoked in the inscriptions.

So we have to ask ourselves a question that apologists skip: why was the term Allāh rarely invoked but common in personal names? Perhaps this can be explained by looking at the usage of the sacred name of the Jewish God, YHWH, which is only attested a few times outside the Hebrew scriptures. Just as YHWH the name Allāh is rarely attested outside he Quran but was well preserved in some kind of oral tradition.
If, as early sources such as the Mishna and Josephus Flavius describe, a faction of the Nabataeans were early converts to Judaism then the common usage of Allāh in personal names but with few direct invocations could be explained easily.

For now the term Allāh can be linked to the historical territory of ‘ād and Irām or Wādī Ram.

After all, the Quran was first published in cursive Nabataean.

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Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. 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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Hombre
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Re: The Quran versus the Arab Oral Tradition

Post by Hombre »

In Judaism, in addition to YHWH (יהןה) which rarely pronounced, Elohim or Elokim as Orthodox Jews prefer to use. So it is conceivable that - much like other verses in Quran, the name Allah may have been derived from Elohim.

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Re: The Quran versus the Arab Oral Tradition

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Hombre wrote:In Judaism, in addition to YHWH (יהןה) which rarely pronounced, Elohim or Elokim as Orthodox Jews prefer to use. So it is conceivable that - much like other verses in Quran, the name Allah may have been derived from Elohim.
Indeed and perhaps Eloah, the singular (or dual) of Elohim, is even a better candidate. Its root lh/lhy can also be attested in Siniatic inscriptions using Imperial Aramaic. This implies that usage of Allāh goes even further back. But the core question here is how the geographical distribution of theophoric names embedding Allāh from Egypt to Southern Syria can be explained without identifying a pre-Islamic root god (as apologists do).

Allāh out-dates the Quran by at least a 1000 years and the challenge is to define Allāh as a pre-Islamic monotheistic deity. As this thread is dedicated to the reconstruction of the oral tradition before the rise of Islam or what we call the 'Petraean Mishna' I shall open another one.
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. 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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Quranic geography: the Thamudic Tribes

Ad and Thamud are two tribes described in the Quran as recipients of God's chosen prophets. Quran surah 7: 73-74
To the Thamud people their brother Salih. He said, “O my people! worship Allah: you have no other deity other than Him. There has come to you clear evidence from your Lord. This is the she-camel of God sent to you as a Sign. So leave her to eat within God's land, and do not touch her with harm, lest there seize you a painful punishment.

And remember when He made you successors after ʿAd and settled you in the land, and you take for yourselves palaces from its plains and carve from the mountains, homes. Then remember the favors of God and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.”
The Quran suggests a link between the people of ‘ād, Irām and Thamud as both communities were destroyed for rejecting the prophets sent by God. In a previous post we showed that through lingiuistical, ephigraphical and archeological evidence the historical territory of ‘ād and Irām can be narrowed down to the Wadi Rum in southern Jordan. So how about the Thamud? Were they also part of the Nabataean hemisphere?

First reference
The first reference to Thamudic tribes is made by Assyrian emperor Sargon II who conquered much of the Near East and besieged Samaria for three years, expelled its inhabitants which formed the legend of the Tem Lost Tribes.

Sargon II bragged about his victory in am 8th century BC inscription:
“The Thamudites, the Ibadidites, the Marsimanites and the Khapayans, distant Arab tribes, who inhabit the desert, of whom no scholar or envoy knew, and who had never brought their tribute to the kings, my fathers, I slaughtered in the service of Assur, and transported what was left of them, setting them in the city of Samaria.”
Thamudic tribes are mentioned in inscriptions from the North-Arabian deserts but are undated.
One safaitic inscription from Jordan states "sanata ḥāraba gośam ʾāla ṯamūd" meaning ‘the year Gośam waged war against the people of Thamud’ but remains undated. (WH 3792.1)

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Another inscription from northern Arabia reads "h ʾlh ṯmd mḥllh{g}{r}…" meaning "It is a prayer to the God of Thamud (ʾilāh Thamūd)".

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A clear reference to the people of Thamud is the famous Nabataean-Greek inscription of Ruwwafa reading "šrkt tmwdw" in Nabataean script and "Thamoudēnōn ethnos" in Greek.

“For the wellbeing of the rulers of the whole world . . . Marcus Aurelius Anthoninus and Lucius Aurelius Verus, who are the conquerors of the Armenians. This is the temple that was built by the tribal unit of Thamud, the leaders of their unit, so that it might be established by their hands and be their place of veneration for ever."

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The relevance of the Ruwwafa inscription is shown by Diodorus Siculus, a Greek historian writing in the first century BC (circa 50 BC) mentions the Thamoudēnoi from North-Western Arabia.

Textual references
Pliny the Elder states in his 'Natural History' (circa 50 AD) that the Thamūd people or Tamudaei and other Arabian ethnic groups lived among and nearby the city of Domata, an Arabic cognate to the Biblical son of Ishmael, Dumah, whose descendants became stone-carving Edomites.

Second century Roman historian Ptolemy mentions the Tamudaei in his Geography. He briefly describes a people called Oaditai bordered by Aramaeans to the north, and Thamud to the south, close to what today is called Wadi Ramm ( a Nabataean caravan station).

The Notitia Dignitatum, a 5th century AD register of Roman administration, names two Roman military units including Thamud: equites Saraceni Thamudeni and equites Thamudeni Illyriciani.

Conclusion so far
Looking at the archeological and ephigraphical evidence the Thamud can, as ād and Irām, be linked to the Nabataean empire. The Nabataean world appears more and more to have been the setting of the Qur’an’s ‘lost’ Arabian tribes, as both Ad and Thamud can be located within it. These references, together with the Arabic language and script of the Qur’an, could point to a Nabataean heritage for its original audience. The core of this heritage is the oral tradition, which needs to be reconstructed.

Another question rises: why did Sargon II move the defeated Thamud to Samaria, the city of Yahweh? And what were the consequences of his action?
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. 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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Quranic names & the ephigraphical/linguistical record: ISA
(taken from another thead)

So far we have been able to link Quranic sources to Wadi Rum in southern Jordan. Now it's time to take a look at the primary dogmas of the Quran such as the oneness of God and Abraham as the common patriarch.

Let's start with the oneness of God. Islam refutes the divinity of Jesus (and the trinity), describes him as a messenger of God and calls him Isa. Isa is the most mentioned and referenced person in the Quran: 25 times by the name Isa, third-person 48 times, first-person 35 times, and the rest as titles and attributes. If it wasn't for the hadith the Quran would be the book of Isa.

Both the the historical territories of ‘ād, Irām and Thamūd and a particular form of Allāh and usage of this form in theophoric names can be found in the southern Levant in the pre-Islamic era. So if the Quran originates from the southern Levant the name Isa should be attested in the ephigraphical and archeological records of this area. And it is.

There are 36 documented Safaitic inscriptions containing the name ʿs1y, found in about 8 sites in Northern Arabia. The name 's1y is the Safaitic cognate to ʿīsà, a connection with Quranic ʿīsà is being researched. The Safaitic script was used around the 1st century BCE to 4th century CE.

Note: the geopgraphical distribution of Safaitic 's1y' or Isa roughly matches the distribution of Safaitic and Nabatean pre-Islamic form of Allāh

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Sources
https://twitter.com/Safaitic" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://twitter.com/kwo_vadis/status/11" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... 3871508481
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. 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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Quranic theophoric names in the epigraphical and archeological record: Abdallāh

Previously it was shown that the phrase Allāh, especially as theophoric name, is widely attested
in the Nabataean hemisphere. Let's take a look at some examples.

Introduction
The name Abdallāh or 'worshipper of Allāh' exists in the pre-Islamic period. Abdallāh is in the Nabataean epigraphical record attested as ʿbdlhy and ʿbdlh and is found in Northwest Arabia, the Sinai, Negev and the Edom-Moab plateau These texts can date between the second century BCE to the fourth century AD.
The spelling ʿbdlhy reflects the preservation of the case vowel like abdallāhi.

This theophoric name is also attested in a Greek transcription in a Hellenized form: Αβδαλλα or Abdallas, originating from Madaba in 148 AD. The Greek form Abdallas remains in use till the end of the sixth century AD where it is attested in the Nessana Papyri.

And of course name Abdallāh can be found in our favorite script Safaitic.

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Safaitic: "l ġyr bn ʿbdlh w wgm ʿl-dd-h w ʿl-ḫlt-h w ʿl-ẓ{k}yt w ʿl- ṣqm w ʿl-ḥṭṭ rġm mny f h lt s¹lm l- ḏ s{ʾ}r."
English: "By Ġayyār son of ʿabdallāh and he grieved for his uncle, etc..., struck down by Fate., so O Lt may those who remain (alive) be secure.
And Abdallāh is mentioned in Dadanitic script, script and possibly the language of the oasis of Dadān near modern al-ʿUlā in northwestern Arabia, spoken probably some time during the second half of the first millennium BCE.

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A man named Madd son of ʿAbdallāh performed a pilgrimage (ḥgg) to the temple of the tutelary god of Dadān (NW Ḥigāz), Ḏū-Ǵaybat.

The Akkadian equivalent of ʿAbdallāh, Abdi-il(i), meaning worshipper of the deity, is attested at least as far back as the Neo-Babylonian period (c. 626-539) and then into the Achaemenid/Persian period.

Conclusion so far
The name ʿAbdallāh is well attested in the pre-Islamic period and geographically confined to the Nabataean realm and my be associated with much older Akkadian Abdi-il(i).

This indicates that the origin of phrase Allāh may have an Akkadian origin or possibly relates to Sargon II moving the defeated Thamud to Samaria, the city of Yahweh.
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. 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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Quranic names in the epigraphical and archeological record: Hagar

Introduction
Hagar is a biblical person in the Book of Genesis. The name Hagar originates from the Book of Genesis and is known in all Abrahamic religions. Hagar, or Hājar in Arabic, isn't mentioned by name in the Qur'an but traditionally Islamic theology makes her part of the story mentioned in surah 14: "I have settled some of my family in a barren valley near your Sacred House." Hājar is frequently mentioned in the books of the hadith.

Many articles have been dedicated to the origin of Hagar as the Biblical book of Genesis does not disclose much about 's identity. She was a handmaid of Sarah who gave her to Abraham to bear a child. The name Hagar possesses several extra-biblical cognates, primarily originating from ancient Arabia. The Semitic root hgr appears as a feminine name in the Nabataean script as Hagiru (hgrw) and as Hagar in the Palmyrene and Safaitic script.

The male name is attested in different script but scholars doubt is it is connected to the female name. Although more modern Arabian languages have hajara, "to emigrate," this fortuitous connection to the biblical figure is doubtful.' Another possible connection comes from the Sabean and Ethiopic in the term hagar, meaning "town, city," but originally meaning "the splendid" or "the nourishing."'

According to the Arab genealogical tradition the first Arab Muslims descend from Ishmael, the firstborn of Abraham and Hagar. Every year pilgrims at Mecca repeat Hagar's frantic quest for water, running in her footsteps and drinking from the very spring that appeared miraculously for her.

For our research it is important that the name "Hagar" can be attested in multiple pre-Islamic scripts that have a common etymological origin and are preferably attested within the Nabataean hemisphere which includes the Nabataean, Hismaic and Safaitic script and relates to the Palmyrene script.

Early origins
A cuneiform inscription from Bahrain, dating tot he latter half of the second millennium BC, reports about "the palace of Rimum, servant of Inzak, the one of A-gar-mm." (1) An Egyptian hieroglyphic inscription found at the Persian city of Susa mentions Hagar which may allude to a country, tribe or people.(2) Hgrw, a variant spelling of Hagar, was associated with a hagrean waring a headpiece distinctive of Arabian nomads.

The biblical figure of Hagar has additionally been associated with a small Syrian and north Arabian tribe, the Hagarites dating to the Persian and Hellenistic periods. This relationship is sometimes doubted as Ishmael is mentioned as a large North Arabian tribe dating to the eight and seventh centuries BC. (3) Nevertheless, the north Arabian onomasticon, a collection or listing of words in a specialized field, from the Neo-Assyrian to the Persian period reveals some striking phonological and morphological affinities between the Nabayatu of Mesopotamia and the later Nabataeans. Within this corpus, there is an irregular shift frp, w- to y- in personal names, the attachment of the suffix -a to exclusively southwestern Semitic elements, and the dominance of the suffix -ufw (Zadok 1981:82).

These similarities suggest the dialects were closely related and that Nabataean Aramaic represents a descendant of this family of dialects spoken along the borders of the Fertile Crescent. Further support for connections between the Nabataeans and the earlier Hagarenes of the Assyrian-Persian period may be reflected in the popular personal name of Hagiru, which appears in the Sinai 17 times), Hegra (Mada in Salih; CIS 11, 203 and 226 at tomb B11) and Petra (as the name of one of the queens of Nabataean king Rabbel II and earlier as one of the queens of Obodas II.

For now we'll focus on the female name and look at the Hagarenes or Sons of Hagar in a later stage. With multiple leads available pointing to an Arabic origin it shouldnow be possible to attest Hagar in (multiple) scripts from ancient Arabia.

Hagar in the Nabataean context
A white marble stone with a bilingual Greek and Nabataean inscription was found among material in the shaft of a robbed Nabataean tomb.(4) This inscription consists of a top line with words in Nabataean and a bottom line in Greek.Both lines start with with a with a feminine name, hgrw in Nabataean and Αγαρη in Greek.

Hgrw means Hagaru, a name well documented in Nabataean onomastics, the study of the origins and forms of proper names in the Nabataean script.(5) Many scholars proposed that Greek Αγαρη was the equivalent of Nabataean Hagaru and is now proven by the Petra bilingual inscription.

Hagaru or Hagiru was even a royal name: Nabataean king 'Obodas' II married queen Hagaru. This Nabataean queen Hagaru was first depicted on coins in the second year of the reign of Obodas II around 29/28 BCE.(6) She appears jugate - two portraits side by side that suggest to the viewer the closeness of each to the other - behind the king on the obverses of silver coins.

Image

As Hagaru was a dynastic name in the Nabataean royal family, she will be referred to here as Hagaru I Hagaru became the first queen to appear alone, and her name was mentioned beside her bust. (7)

Hagaru and its Greek equivalent are widely distributed in Nabataean Arabia, from Madā’in Ṣāliḥ in northwestern Arabia to the Hawrān in Jordan and the Al Jawf Region (Saudi-Arabia).

Palmyrene Context
Several women in Palmyra received public recognition through honorary statues and inscriptions set up by their family members. Two statues with Syriac inscriptions were erected by a brother.

On a column in the temple of Ba'al, a man named Manai set up statues of his two sisters:
of [...] daughter of Maqqai, son of Omabai and of Hagar, daughter of Maqqai, son of Omabai
Another inscription:
[ṣlmt...]ʾ brt mqy[ʾmby dy] ʿbd lh mʿnyṣlmt hgr brt mqyʾmby dy ʿbd lh mʿnyʾḥwh
Translation: Statue of Hagar, daughter of Maqqai, son of Omabai, which Manai, made for her brother.
Image
Hagar, portrait bust of a woman with Syriac inscription c. 150 CE, Palmyra

These inscriptions indicate that the relationship between siblings was important in Palmyra. This is also attested by some dedicatory inscriptions on small altars erected by women on behalf of their brothers and vice versa.

Safaitic Context
The female name Hagar is attested in Safaitic script, for instance in inscription AKSJ 1.2.3 - “By Hagar and she longed for 'lb” - inscription kwq 110: “O goddess of Hagar, debase those who would efface” or inscription WH 1243: “By 'dh son of Hagar and he was made to grieve by death ......” Semitic root hgr is also used as a verb meaning to migrate (see inscription ASWS 10).

Conclusion so far
Looking at the archeological and epigraphical evidence the female name Hagar can be linked to the Nabataean and Safaitic hemisphere. This name is attested from the Sinai to Palmyra and in the northern parts of the Arabian peninsula. This is further evidence for the hypothesis that the language and script of the Qur’an points to a point to a Nabataean heritage for its original audience. The geographical distribution of female name Hagar matches that of theophoric name referencing Allah in the pre-Islamic era.

Notes
(1) 9K. Butz, "Zwei kleine Inschriften zur Geschichte Dilmuns," in Dtlmun: New Studies
in the Archaeology and Early History of Bahrain, ed. D. T. Pons (Berlin: D. Reirner, 1983),
117-125.

(2) 'OM. Roaf, "The Subject Peoples on the Base of the Statue of Darius," in Cahiers du
De'kation archt!ologquefia~ise en Iran, vol. 4 (Paris: Association Paleorient, 1974), 135.

(3) 7E. A. Knauf, "Hagar", 1992, 49-53

(4) See https://www.hs.ias.edu/sites/hs.ias.edu ... e_2015.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

(5) See Negev 1991:21, no. 293; Healey 1993: H 13, 14, 30

(6) Coinage of the Caravan Kingdoms: Studies in Ancient Arabian Monetization, [Numismatic Studies, no. 25], New York, 2010, pp. 214–217

(7) See https://www.academia.edu/30128831/Nabat ... d_on_Coins" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
page 31

References
Healey, J. F.
1993 The Nabataean Tomb Inscriptions of Mada’in Salih. Journal of Semitic Studies, Supplement 1. Oxford.

Negev, A.
1991 Personal Names in the Nabataean Realm, Qedem 32. Jerusalem.

Wuthnow, H.
1930 Die semitischen Menschennamen in griechischen Inschriften und Papyri des vorderen Orients. Leipzig
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. 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 chase for key Abrahamic founders Moses (Moshe/Musa) and Aaron/Harun in the epigraphical or archeological records is troublesome. There seems to be no link to ancient Semitic roots or later scripts and appear relatively late outside scriptures, after the second century AD. Still the tradition of Mount Hor/Jebel Harun/Mount Aron is already centuries old when Flavius Josephus describes this tradition in the first century BC - which indicates a significant historical event.

As these biblical figures are not mentioned in the Elephantine papyri the only reasonable explanation is that they are injected into the Alexandrian literary tradition from southern Jordan or Midian or that the Alexandrian Jews originate from southern Jordan.

In this perspective names Moses/Moshe/Musa and Aron/Harun probably derive from hypocoristic (abbreviated) theophoric names, a common practice in Abrahamic liturgy. Now we only have to find them.....
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. 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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Quranic sources: The Mosaic tradition

Part 1: The search for Moses

The term Allāh seems to be a contracted form of al-ʾilāh 'the deity' and its particular form was restricted to Northwest Arabia and southern Levant in the pre-Islamic era. Allāh is relatively common in personal names but rarely invoked in the inscriptions. Could this be the same for Moses? Or better: can we discover traces of Moses in the Nabataean realm?

Introduction
Mūsā ibn ʿImrān or Mūsā is the most frequently mentioned prophet in the Qur'an, being mentioned 135 times, important important for having been given the revelation of the Tora and considered to be a prophetic predecessor to Muhammad.
"And mention in the Book, Moses. Indeed, he was chosen, and he was a messenger and a prophet. And We called him from the side of the mount at right and brought him near, confiding. And We gave him out of Our mercy his brother Aaron as a prophet."
In both Islam and first millennium Judaism, prophet Moses is revered as the receiver of a scripture which the Qur'an describes as the “guidance and a light" for the Israelites and that it contained teachings about the Oneness of God and prophethood and the Day of Judgment.

Servant of God
In the Hebrew Bible the highest title of tribute a person could get was 'The servant of God- ebed YHVH. This Hebrew word for servant, eber, implies that God has given authority as the accredited messengers of the Lord so the servant was the one who was chosen by God. The origin implies the position of a slave, which resonates in Arabic theophoric names such as 'slave of Allah'. Now Moses is called 'servant of God' and 'Moses My servant' more often than any other prophet or messenger else in the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible. See Exodus 14:31; Numbers 12:7; Deuteronomy . 34:5; Joshua 1:1, 15; 8:21, 23; 18:7; 1 Chronicles 6:49; 2 Chronicles. 1:3; 24:6; Nehemia. 1:7; 10:29). The biblical author of Hebrews describes Moses as a servant in God's house when he writes:
"Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant" (Hebrews 13:5).
If the Mosaic tradition was that important we should be able to find the name of Moses, either as personal or theophoric name, in the archeological record or inscriptions, especially in early Aramaic or Hebrew. And there's the issue: until late in the Intertestamental period his name is absent, at least, when we look for some kind of form of that refers to Moses, Moshe or Mūsā. Actually it's still very difficult to find any references to Moses after the first century AD outside the scriptures. So why is the name of Moses not mentioned in Old Negev, Proto-sinatic, Imperial Aramaic, proto-Hebrew, paleo-Hebrew or even Hebrew inscriptions before the end of the Intertestamental period? (circa 100/150 AD).

Jewish Elephantine Papyri
Actually this is as expected. The Elephantine Papyri, a corpus of of 175 documents spanning over 1000 years from the Egyptian border fortresses of Elephantine and Aswan (an island in the river Nile) yielded hundreds of papyri in for instance Aramaic and Koine Greek containing Jewish documents. At Elephantine the Jewish community dedicated their own temple to Yahweh.

These papyri documents a Jewish community among soldiers stationed at Elephantine under Achaemenid rule (495–399 BCE) and includes a 'Passover letter', which gives detailed instructions for properly keeping the passover and "Petition to Bagoas", the Persian governor of Judea, appealing for assistance in rebuilding the Jewish temple in Elephantine.
"Now our forefathers built this temple in the fortress of Elephantine back in the days of the kingdom of Egypt, and when Cambyses came to Egypt he found it built. They (the Persians) knocked down all the temples of the gods of Egypt, but no one did any damage to this temple."
The community also appealed for aid to Sanballat I, a Samaritan potentate, and his sons Delaiah and Shelemiah, as well as Johanan ben Eliashib. Both Sanballat and Johanan are mentioned in the Book of Nehemiah (2:19, 12:23). The high priest of Jerusalem was also asked to help with the rebuild of the Jewish temple in Elephantine:
"We sent a letter to our lord (bagohi the governor) and to Yehohana the high priest and his companions the priests who are in Jerusalem and to Ostan the brother of Anan and the nobles of the Jews. They did not send a single letter to us. "
So what can be learned from the Elephantine archive? When looking at the late dating of the Pentateuchs emergence (first five books of Hebrew Bible) the Elephantine Papyri show no evidence for any Pentaeuchal writings at late as 400 BC. On the contrary, the Elephantine Papyri prove that the Jews in Egypt remained polyteistic, worshiped their ancient Semitic deities, had cultic practices similar to that of for instance Kuntillet Ajrud and revered other deities than Yahweh.

Besides a lack of Pentateuchal sources the Elephantine archive lacks any reference to Mosaic writings. There is no mention of prophet Aaron or Levites and of over 160 Jewish names mentioned not a single name comes from the Pentateuch. Nor is there any reference in the papyri to the Exodus to the Exodus or any other biblical account. Reference to laws of Moses or other authoritative writings is entirely absent.

The conclusion is that the anthroponyms of the Pentateuch reflect the onomasticon of the second millennium, having slightly modified typological and lexical roots in the same Northwest Semitic entity as Amorite, Amarna Canaanite and Ugaritic personal names. As the Phoenician alphabet, ancestral to Hebrew script, derives from Nordwest Semitic Script the absence of most Pentateuchal names in Proto-sinatic or Old Negev script may come as no suprise. The oldest mentioning of for instance Abraham, Ishmael derive from Northeastern Syria, around circa 1700 BC.

Pentateuchal Names
The personal names of the Pentateuch have not been very often under systematic scientific investigations. A study that is interesting from the points of view of linguistics, onomastics, theology and ethnohistory. Personal names of the Pentateuch (with the first eleven chapters excluded) were in 2019 **compared with personal names found from the second millennium BC from Amorite, Ugaritic and Amarna Canaanite sources, extra-biblical and biblical Hebrew sources, as well as with Phoenician sources of the first half of the 1st millennium.

Fiction or History?
In the early days of biblical archeology there was a lot of optimism that the existence of Moses could be verified by proving that a great migration of people from Egypt, who eventually conquered and settled Canaan, took place. A hypothesis that was dashed by the stark reality of subsequent excavations.

In their book The Bible Unearthed , Israeli archaeologists Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman dispelled any illusions that their digs had verified the story of the Exodus:
“The process that we describe here is, in fact, the opposite of what we have in the Bible: the emergence of early Israel was an outcome of the collapse of the Canaanite culture, not its cause. And most of the Israelites did not come from outside Canaan – they emerged from within it. There was no mass Exodus from Egypt. There was no violent conquest of Canaan. Most of the people who formed early Israel were local people – the same people whom we see in the highlands throughout the Bronze and Iron Ages. The early Israelites were – irony of ironies – themselves originally Canaanites!" [1] (Finkelstein & Silberman The Bible Unearthed, 118)
Conclusion

What do we know so far ?
- Pentateuchal and Mosaic laws were unkown to the Jews of Elephantine and Jerusalem to at least the fourth century BC.
- Pentateuchal personal names reflect in general the onomasticon of the second millennium as in Northwest Semitic sources.
- Inscriptions referring to Moses or Aaron are missing in the Canaan region until the end of the Intertestamental Period or possibly even later.

The unavoidable conclusion is that the Canaanite branch of Judaism was unknown with the Mosaic tradition and the events described in Exodus until at least the arrival of the Hasmonean monarchy. This does not necessarily mean that there is no Mosaic -Israelite tradition or that the Exodus story was made up during the Intertestamental Period. This will be addressed in the next part, so to be continued.


** Personal names of the Pentateuch in NordWest Semitic, 2019
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. 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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Quranic sources: The Mosaic tradition

The term Allāh seems to be a contracted form of al-ʾilāh 'the deity' and its particular form was restricted to Northwest Arabia and southern Levant in the pre-Islamic era. Allāh is relatively common in personal names but rarely invoked in the inscriptions. Could this be the same for Moses? Or better: can we discover traces of Moses in the Nabataean realm?

Part 2: Historicity versus Archeology: Where to search for the Mosaic Tradition?

Introduction

Prophet Moses plays a key role in the charter myth of the Israelites, the Exodus. The message of Exodus, spread over the Biblical books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, is that Israel was delivered from slavery by Yahweh and that therefore the Israelite tribes belong to him through the Mosaic covenant. It is a practical deal: as long as the Israelites adhere to Yahweh's laws and exclusively worship (oneness of God) he will protect them. As we saw in the previous part there are severe problems with the historicity of this claim: neither the linguistic and archeological record nor contemporary accounts do deliver any evidence for it. At least, when searching in ways scholars have done until now.

'Modern scholars' express the consensus that Israel formed as an entity in the highlands of Canaan during the second millennium BC. The issue with a 'consensus' is that, in most cases, doesn't provide tools or a practical approach for further research. This 'consensus' is mainly maintained by scholars who assume that presuppositions handed to them by their predecessors are the building blocks for new research, producing new arguments or propositions that must be true because so many people believe it and then finally attack other positions as unscholarly because it either speaks against or in support of a religious role, text or witness. To frame it in a way that everybody can understand: too often a 'consensus' is basically an opinion expressed by a majority of religious (supremacist) scholars.

When it comes to the story of the Exodus a majority of scholars state that its narrative contains the memory of a real event, but one that was quite different from what is described, where others state that the Exodus has no historical basis at all. Now this research is not about the Exodus itself but about the historicity of the Mosaic tradition. In this perspective a great way to start is to search for archeological evidence that may relate to events described in biblical books.

Archeological references

Jacob's ladder
In the biblical book of Genesis there is a ladder leading to heaven that was featured in dream the biblical Patriarch Jacob had during his flight from his brother Esau in the Book of Genesis.
“Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven.”
As always the significance of the dream has been debated but most interpretations agree that it identified Jacob with the obligations and inheritance of people chosen by God. The dream's significance was to remind Jacob he had received God's graces and encourage him to fulfill the destiny of his people. This can be seen in the context of the Mosaic covenant and, very interesting, the fact that the Hebrew Bible identifies Moshe or Moses as the most important one chosen by God and as a leader who lead his people away from repression to freedom or the 'Promised Land'.

Now Jacob may dream as much as he likes: our interest is if there are any 'ladders leading to heaven' to be found. The archeological site of Sela, east of Tafileh and near Bozrah (the ancient capital of the Nabataeans) offers a first possibility. As of today Sela has bot yet been completely excavated but surveys of the plateau have produced surface finds from the Early Bronze Age through to the Nabataean period, but mainly from the time of the Edomites of the Hebrew Bible: the early to mid-first millennium BC, the period when Sela was most extensively inhabited. It is his place where we can found a staircase that seemingly leads to nowhere. Sela is a an isolated rock plateau like Masada near Jerusalem.

Image
A carved staircase that appears to lead nowhere as as Sela in Jordan, just a few miles east of natural fortress Masada.

As the Hebrew word Sela means lofty, craggy rock, fortress, stronghold, or cliff this archeological location has other significance: it is a natural fortress only accessible through a single fortified gate, a phenomenon described in the Old Testament. Similar staircases, either leading to high places of worship or seemingly nowhere, can be found at Little Petra or Al bayda, a site mentioned in the Islamic hadith.

Literal references: Flavius Josephus

According to ancient historian Milo Moses chose his brother Aaron as high priest of the Israelites during the journey from Egypt to the 'Promised Land'. As the Quran contains numerous references to Aaron and Mūsā, in the context of the oneness of God, any direct reference to Moses or Aaron may lead to the Mosaic tradition.

The first clue derives from Flavius Josephus, written in the first century AD:
"... Now when this purification, which their leader made upon the mourning for his sister, as it has been now described, was over, he caused the army to remove and to march through the wilderness and through Arabia; and when he came to a place which the Arabians esteem their metropolis, which was formerly called Arce, but has now the name of Petra, at this place, which was encompassed with high mountains, Aaron went up one of them in the sight of the whole army, Moses having before told him that he was to die, for this place was over against them." (Josephus, Antiquities 4.82-83)
So Josephus identifies Petra with Moses and his brother Aron. Like Eusebius, Josephus describes Petra as the capital city of Arabia (Josephus, Wars 1.125) in the land of Ishmael (Josephus, Antiquities 2.213) and thus a place where Mount Hor can be found.

According to the Old Testament Mount Hor is situated "in the edge of the land of Edom" (Numbers 20:23 and 33:37) and was the scene of Aaron's divestiture, death and burial. Based on the writing of Josephus it has customarily been identified with the Jebel Nebi Harun or 'Mountain of the Prophet Aaron' in Arabic, a twin-peaked mountain 6072 feet above the Dead Sea in the Edomite Mountains on the east side of the Jordan-Arabah valley. To be even more precise: 4 kilometers southwest of Petra. So the oldest literal tradition that Mount Hor is at Petra dates back to Josephus and Eusebius and is over 2000 years old.

A fine example how this tradition survived among local Bedouins is the (re)discovery of famous desert city of Petra. On August 22, 1812 Johann Ludwig Burkhardt, a Swiss traveler and orientalist, made one of the most compelling archeological discoveries
of all times. Hidden and well protected between rugged rock faces and isolated deserts the city of Petra was forgotten except to the local Bedouins who kept many stories about Petra.

While traveling from Damascus to Cairo Burkhardt heard about a lost city in the valley of Moses from locals. Local legends said that Petra was the place where Moses, during the exodus made a string bubble (Ayn Mousa) out of stone with a blow of his staff. The stream of Ayn Mousa would then flow to the main temple of Petra, the Qasr al-Bint During his stay Burkhardt visited Jebel Harun with the tomb of Aron, the brother of Moses.

Aaron's shrine
Now the history of Islamic Petra has been largely neglected by most scholars. Yet the most important Islamic archaeological site in Petra is Jabal Haroun or Mount Aaron, located circa 5 km southwest of Petra. Archaeological fieldwork conducted at Jabal Haroun by the Finnish Jabal Haroun Project (FJHP) has shown that the site was occupied from the Nabataean to the Ayyubid-Mamluk period (twelfth–fifteenth centuries), with particularly intensive settlement from the Byzantine era to the eighth–ninth centuries.

The main sources for the history of Jabal Haroun are the Hebrew Bible, and Classical, Christian and Islamic texts. All indicate the sanctity of the site, but provide almost no detailed information about its history. The earliest mention of Haroun is in the Old Testament and the latest historical mentioning comes from Christian pilgrim Thetmar who noted a church on the top of Mount Aaron with two Greek monks still living there.

An Islamic shrine for Aaron was constructed at the top of the the mountain but the date of its construction is unknown. Mamluk inscriptions written on the main entrance of the shrine and on the shrine itself state that the shrine was reconstructed and renewed during the reign of the Mamluk Sultan al-Naser Mohammad bin Qalawun in 739 AH/1338 AD. The Finnish research confirmed that Mount Aaron was of vital spiritual importance to Muslims who went on pilgrimage to this site. These inscriptions are either the commemorative inscriptions of pilgrims who visited the Haroun Shrine or religious supplications for forgiveness. The formulae and contents of the inscriptions are similar to those of contemporary Islamic inscriptions elsewhere in Arabia and the Levant.

Actually Aaron's shrine is a great starting point for further research. According to the bible, after 40 years of wandering in the desert, Moses died within sight of the Promised Land. Now wouldn't the valley of Moses be a perfect place to build a memorial or burial city for either Moses or Aron?

That's out of scope for now but many exhibited distinctive alignments and/or orientations with the rising and setting sun on the solstitial and equinoctial marker days indicate that Petra was designed as a holy city. Statistical analysis of the light and shadow effects confirmed in several monuments of the city related to the consistent use of the equinoxes, the solstices and perhaps other conspicuous astronomical features, undoubtedly points towards the importance of astral elements in Nabataean religion. Scholar Jowkowski (2003) wrote:
“The city of Petra −a place of awe-inspiring crystallization of natural beauty and the unique artistic creation of the Nabataean will− in a gift from their gods, shaped by the supernatural and holding a holly meaning”
Conclusion

The previous part showed that the Canaanite branch of Judaism was unknown with the Mosaic tradition and the events described in Exodus until at least the arrival of the Hasmonean monarchy. But then, if we move our focus to the east of the Jordan we seemingly find archeological references to Exodus and Genesis, the oldest literal tradition about Moses and Aron, an over 2000 year old burial site of Aaron, next to a city that was designed to be holy.

The perfect place to find the Mosaic tradition, something we will do in the next part.
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. 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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[b]Part 3: Traces of a Mosaic Tradition[/b]

The term Allāh seems to be a contracted form of al-ʾilāh 'the deity' and its particular form was restricted to Northwest Arabia and southern Levant in the pre-Islamic era. Allāh is relatively common in personal names but rarely invoked in the inscriptions. Could this be the same for Moses? Or better: can we discover traces of the Mosaic tradition in the Nabataean realm?

Introduction
As stated previoiusly Pentateuchal and Mosaic laws were unknown to the Jews of Elephantine and Jerusalem to at least the fourth century BC, Pentateuchal personal names reflect in general the onomasticon of the second millennium as in Northwest Semitic source and Mosaic names are missing in ancient scripts of the near East, only to appear outside the scriptures at the end of the Intertestamental Period.

Yet there is one exception. During the period of Graeco-Egyptian syncretism, occurring in the wake of Alexander’s Egyptian conquest (c. 300 BCE), a Jewish community in Alexandria achieved a dramatic synthesis between Judaism, Middle Platonism, and Stoicism. And some philosophers from this community had something to say about Moses.

According to Artapanus Moses had first taught Orpheus, the mythological father of the Greek culture, then divided Egypt into 36 nomes (territories), assigned to each the worship of a different Egyptian god and ultimately identified Moses with the Egyptian god Thoth. Others responded to the work of Manetho, who wrote that Moses was an Egyptian, and a leprous, crippled priest working in the pagan temples of Egypt, who fell away and taught atheism to the Jews (atheism in this case being the denial of the Egyptian gods). Other accounts appear much later during or just after the decline of the Hasmonean empire. This all isn't very productive as it certainly doesn't explain the absence of Moses' name or the Mosaic tradition in the archeological record. So let's see what we can find in Nabataea.

Moses & Theophoric Names

The concept of the Slave of God
It is very difficult to find a culture in the Near East that does not have the “slave of God” motif. In ancient Egypt a theophoric name as Hm-Ntr meant 'Slave-of-God'. In ancient Babylon, circa 1750 BC, the name Ab-di ILi indicated service to God. At RasShamra (1500-1200 B.C.) we find Ugaritic theophoric names such as names 'bdil, "Slave-of-God," and 'bdb'l meaning "Slave-of-Baal." In the Elephantine Papyrus of the fifth century B.C., discovered near Aswan in Egypt, we have the names bd ngo, "Slave-of-Nego," as in Daniel, and 'bd'ly meaning yes, slave of God.

In the third Islamic century Mohamed was given 100 names—the Asmdul-Uusna or "Beautiful Names." All of these begin with 'abdu and end with Allah or with one of the 99 epithets of Allah, for example Abdur-Rahmani, 'Slave-of the Merciful One.' Thus the practice of designating oneself as the Slave of one's God has been maintained for at least 4000 years to this day. Most often the term was used figuratively for an individual's name, for the description of an exceptional leader as Moses; and even for an appellation of the Messiah.

This becomes fascinating in the context of communities that didn't knew slavery, for instance the Essenes – living throughout Roman Judaea according to historian Josephus and others next to the Dead Sea. Philo tells us that:
”There are no slaves among them, not a single one, being all free they help one another. And they condemn slave-owners, not only as unjust in that they offend against equality, but still more as ungodly, in that they transgress the law of nature, which, having given birth to all men equally and nourished them like a mother, makes of them true brothers, not in name but in reality.”
This information is fascinating as slavery wasn't practiced the Nabataean empire which would stress the importance of being a 'slave to God'. To find references and understand the usage of theophoric names in the Nabataean realm we need to understand Moses' role in the Exodus. The Moses of the Bible is a diplomat negotiating with the pharaoh, a military field commander, a prophet and family man leading the Israelites together with his brother Aaron. But most of all he's the one who:
  • leads refugees away from harsh Egyptian rule;
  • leads the Israelites to the 'Promised Land' which is seized after Moses dies;
  • a lawgiver bringing the Covenant down from Mount Sinai.
To seize, to take hold of for God
A first example is Nabataean msˇkw, a masculine personal name. This name is one of the commonest names in the Nabataean inscriptions at Umm al-Jimak but also appears in Nabataean inscriptions in the Sinai, Palmyra, fequently in Safaitic and is widely attested in Greek (Hauran). The name msˇkw is from the Semitic root msk meaning ‘‘to seize, takehold’’. The compound names msk'l amd msk'lh in Safaitic allow for an understanding of the name in our inscription as a hypocoristic form, in which the theophoric element was omitted such as "God has seized."

The Nabataean deity Dushara is mentioned in a famous billingual inscription at Umm al-Jimal. The Greek text is 'Masexos Aoueidanou Dousarei Aarra' and the Nabataean 'msgd’ dy mskw br ‘wyd’ l-dwsr' meaning 'The cult-stone which was made by masik, son of ‘awπdhå, for Dushara(1) The Greek version of msˇk is thus theophoric name Masexos, common at Umm al-Jimal and throughout the Hauran and reflects Arab-Aramaic root, msk, and is translated as 'God has taken possession'. Masexos indicates a third person singular masculine verb from the first stem, equivalent to Classical Arabic masak ‘‘has seized’.(2) This strongly indicates the cultural and probably religious uniformity of the Hauran and the Harra or Safaitic regions of Syria.

Servant of I am
In the Sinai peninsula the Nabataean divine name 'hyw, of which there are more then 15 occurrences, includes a personal name bd 'hyw. (3) The Nabataean name may refer to a god or mountain YHW in north-west Arabia.(4) According to scholar Siegfried Herman this personal name occurs often in the Nabataean inscriptions of Sinai where the second element of this name gives the impression of being independent(5) and designates the one who bears the name as a 'servant of I am'. The encounter with the Nabataean “I am” as a define designation in the Sinai is significant as, according to Exodus, the name of YHWH was revealed on Mount Sinai(6). Perhaps more relevant is the link with certain inscriptions in old Negev and Proto-Siniatic indicating tribal knowledge of Yah/Yahevo/Yahweh.

Servant of (the) God
The name Abdallāh or 'worshipper of Allāh' exists in the pre-Islamic period. Abdallāh is in the Nabataean epigraphical record attested as ʿbdlhy and ʿbdlh and is found in Northwest Arabia, the Sinai, Negev and the Edom-Moab plateau These texts can date between the second century BCE to the fourth century AD. The spelling ʿbdlhy reflects the preservation of the case vowel like abdallāhi. This theophoric name is also attested in a Greek transcription in a Hellenized form: Αβδαλλα or Abdallas, originating from Madaba in 148 AD. The Greek form Abdallas remains in use till the end of the sixth century AD where it is attested in the Nessana Papyri.

The 'Muslim' conquests introduced a new set of Arabic onomostica from Yemen, previously unattested in the Nabataean realm and Northern Arabia such as abd er-rahman. Names common to both the old northern dialects and that of those who performed these conquests can sometimes be distinguished in pronunciation and in the post-conquest era of the seventh century AD theophoric name Abdallāh was now rendered differently, in the dialect of invaders.(7) The Akkadian equivalent of ʿAbdallāh, Abdi-il(i), meaning worshiper of the deity, is attested at least as far back as the Neo-Babylonian period (c. 626-539) and then into the Achaemenid/Persian period.

God's Rabbi: Rabbel
In Judaism Moshe (Moses) is the lawgiver, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed. For this he is called Moshe Rabbenu in Hebrew meaning Moses our Teacher. The Christian religious apologist Iustinus Martyr (second century) considers Moses to be the first religious teacher:
“I will begin, then, with our first prophet and lawgiver, Moses... that you may know that, of all your teachers, whether sages, poets, historians, philosophers, or lawgivers, by far the oldest, as the Greek histories show us, was Moses, who was our first religious teacher.”
So does the Nabataean linguistic record offer traces of this religious concept? It does and we only have to consult the lists of Nabataean kings that mentions rulers Rabbel I and Rabbel II Soter. Ruler Rabbel I appears as 'rb(b)'l mlk' in Nabataean inscriptions. Nabataean root rb refers to 'commander' in a military or 'Master' in a civilian context, the way a student would address a Master of Torah. As 'l refers to God, the name Rabbel means God's Teacher or God's Commander.

The occupation of rabbi is not mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and appears first in Jewish literature in the Misnah, the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions, according to tradition first redacted at the beginning of the third century AD which seems to match a 1700 year old 'rabbi' burial inscriptions found during an excavation in the Galilean town of Tzippori. The issue here is that phrases such as 'master/teacher of the symposium ' or 'Gods Teacher' occur centuries earlier in Nabataean Aramaic script.

The gift of God: eternal life
Theophoric name 'Aus'allahi ('s'lhy' ) is noted in about 50 times inscriptions, mainly in the Sinai, along with 19 other prefixes to the second part of the theophoric combination.(8) This name is also known in Arabic, Thammudic, Safaitic(9) and Greek (Ausallos) and means explicitly 'the gift of God'. Now would it be easy to move on but the name – gift of god – is a central theological concept. In the New Testament Gods' gift to mankind is explicitly mentioned multiple times. The central theme here is naturally is the promise of eternal life as described in Romans 6:23.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
The crucial thing is that theophoric name Gift of God, s'lhy, simultaneously appears in multiple languages, within the Nabataean realm, when the earliest books of the New Testament are codified - 1st and 2nd century AD.

The Seat of Moses
In Mathew 23 tells: “Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: 'The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses seat'.” In Exodus this seat is where Moses sat to judge the people but considered this too much work for a single man (Exodus 18:18 ). Traditionally the seat of Moses acted as a symbol for those who had the authority to teach the law. In 1926, archaeologists discovered the "Seat of Moses" in the ancient synagogue of Chorazin carved from a basalt block, the place where the reader of the Torah would sit.

The Hebrew word for "sat" is yâshab, which means, "to sit down, specifically as judge". In Aramaic the word motab means 'seat' or 'throne' of the deity or ruler, deriving from Semitic root ytb, wtb meaning to sit. Now the Nabataean realm offers two examples of such divine thrones. One large throne is shaped in a votive nice at the base of mountain Jabal al-Khutba at Petra and another very large throne is found in a rock-cut cave at as-Sela, the mountain fortress city with a staircase that seemingly leads to nowhere and only can be accessed as described in the old Testament.

Conclusion
The linguistic and archeological record of Nabataea offer clear yet circumstantial evidence for a Mosaic oral tradition in Nabataea.

Personal names occur in large numbers in local texts throughout the Nabataean realm, from the Arab peninsula to Syria, and a large minority are theophoric. Many names occur on building dedications of public civic and religious structures like houses and tombs, on altars, walls, columns doorways and statue doorways. Even more names can be found on tombstones, which nearly always give the name of the father and the deceased, sometimes permitting interconnected genealogies.

Scholars that have studied these names using onomastics offer only superficial conclusions when trying to link their conclusions to the local Nabataean culture or religion, which is always defined as some kind of paganism. This of course doesn't explain the regular distribution of theophoric names over Nabataea that can be linked to the central doctrines of Judaism and Islam. It's obvious that we have to come up with a new religious model for the Nabataean realm.

But before sanitizing the Nabataean pantheon we'll have a look at Ba'al.
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. 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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A short follow up on the question what the real or original name of Moses could be.

That's too early to determine. As it seems that the Mosaic tradition is bound to (as-)Selah and Petra we encounter 'The Rock' concept- which shapes the Old Testament and Nabataea. The key question here is the scope of the concept:

1) Is it God The Rock, or
2) God from the Rock.

If (1) then Moses is borrowed from Persian religion and rebranded.
If (2) then a new question rises if the Rock itself is a divine element. If both assumptions are true Moses is invented during the Intertestamental Period to artificially distinguish the Hasmonean from the Nabataean Ishmaelic tradition.

In both concepts the Israelites belong to the Edomite/Nabataean realm. The major challenge is to fit what is known as the 'Mitra Mysteries' in Petraean religious life - as this is the major oral tradition used for the codification of the Pentateuch.
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. 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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Intermezzo: Origin of the Mosque Concept

The term Allāh seems to be a contracted form of al-ʾilāh 'the deity' and its particular form was restricted to Northwest Arabia and southern Levant in the pre-Islamic era. According to the tradition Allāh is worshiped in mosques, at least from 638 AD. Some scholars state that Islam as a religion preceded Muhammad so the 'Mosque' concept may be older. This may be true if we can trace the (etymological) origin of the word 'Mosque'. And that's certainly not Classic Arabic masjid.

Mezquita
The Spanish word for mosque is mezquita. And actually does the English word mosque derive, through French, from Spanish mezquita. The early conquerors of Andalusia built the Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba. This word derives from Andalusian Arabic masgid but amazingly ends with an /a/ and lacks the article 'al' that characterizes Arabic loans in Spanish.

Image
Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba

But the Spanish word for mosque, mezquita, is not the only one with an unexplained final /a/. In the Berber or Amazigh languages a mosque is addressed as taməzgida with the initial ta being part of Berber grammar which makes it probable that the original word was mezgida, with no definite article and a final /a/.

So when the mosque concept was introduced in Amazigh and Spanish speaking areas it was known as masgida, with a final vowel, and not as Classical Arabic al-masjid. The Greek rendition of the word mosque in papyri from Egypt dating to the first Islamic century or 8th century AD is μασγιδα /masgida/, using the same form.

So where does the word masgida come from? Masjid is not an originally Arabic word, but traces its roots, like so many other religious terms, to Aramaic. The masjid, meaning ‘place of prostration’, originally referred to an altar or cult stone. (Cantineau, 1978, II: page 116, ‘stele votive, autel’)

Image
A Nabataean “masgid” from Umm al-Jimāl

The inscription on this masgid or pillar shaped altar in Nabataean Aramaic:
masgedā di ʿbad māseko bar ʿawīḏā le-dū-śarē
The 'altar' which Māseko son of ʿawīḏā constructed for 'He from the sacred precinct'’.
Such tall votive altars were set up in sanctuaries and, it seems, came to refer to the sanctuary itself.

The Aramaic term masgedā also terminates in a final a, spelled in Nabataean as msgdʾ /masgidā/, agreeing with the Spanish, Berber, and Greek forms. In this case the final /a/ is not anomalous – it is the definite article, equivalent to Arabic al-! Definite nouns in Aramaic terminate in a final ā, so masgid-ā is ‘the altar’.

So the Spanish word for mosque is a loan from Petraean Aramaic. But there is more to it - the word msgdʾ derives from root sgd – to venerate -and may thus indicate or refer to place of veneration. This form of worship is strongly connected to betyls, the standing stones of deities in Nabataea which brings us back to the concept of 'God The Rock'. The Nabataean masgids - tall votive pillars - seem to link to sacred pillars at Petra, a phenomenon mentioned in the Quran.

As the earliest masgidā's appear as so called open mosques in the Negev (near Petra) we need to understand how they were used and why in a later stage mithrabs, a semicircular niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the qibla or direction of prayer. Of course it is very easy to understand what happened - the (masgid votive) altar is replaced by a mithrab - but difficult to prove.

Conclusion
The Mosque concept finds its origin in the Nabataean realm and was first known as msgdʾ or masgidā. It becomes in the late second or early third Islamic century known as masjid (mosque).
Image
Open masgidā/mosque in the northern Negev

Further reading:
https://www.academia.edu/24938389/Al-Ja ... ic_Century" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. 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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Pre-Islamic Basmala/Bismillah Inscription
Yemen, Jabal Ḏabūb in the region of al-Ḍāli
late 5th century/6th century AD

Discovery: 2018

Image
Example Islamic Bismillah

The Islamic Bismillah or basmala is an invocation traditionally translated as ‘in the name of Allāh, the most gracious, the most merciful’. It begins each chapter of the Quran, except for Sūrah 9, and is found in its full form in Quran 27:3.
The Inscription:
bsmlh rḥmn rḥmn rb s¹mw
r(z)(q)n mfḍlk wʾṯrn mḫh s²kmt ʾymn

In the name of Allāh, The Raḥmān (Merciful)
have mercy upon us, O lord of the heavens
satisfy us by means of your favor
and grant us the essence of it, to number our days
Context Psalm 90
So teach us to number our days, that we may obtain a heart of wisdom

Context (Ar) Raḥmān
- The proper name of Ḥimyar’s deity (Israelite Kingdom -Yemen)
- Surah in the Quran
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. 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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Inscription: Allah The Raḥmān of Israel equated with the Lord of the Jews
Location: Himyarite Kingdom, Yemen
Late 5th Century to 6th century AD
Keywords: CIH 543, Raḥmānān, Yisrāʾīl

brk w-tbrk s¹m Rḥmnn
ḏ-b-s¹myn w-Ys³rʾl
w-ʾlh-hmw Rb-Yhd
ḏ-hrdʾ ʿbd -hmw
S²hrm w-ʾm-hw Bdm w-hs²kt-hw S²ms¹m w-ʾwld-hmy.

Translation:
Blessed and praised be the name of Raḥmānān
who is in Heaven and Israel (Yisrāʾīl)
and their God, Lord of Jews (Rb-Yhd)
who helped Shahrum, his mother
Buddum, his wife Shamsum and their children
Context
Rḥmnn the god of monotheistic Ḥimyar and the God of Israel, Rabb-Yahūd are presented
as equals or are identical.
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. 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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Raḥmānān: Abrahamic deity, Himyar, Yemen
Epithet Rahmanan: 'The Merciful One'
The earliest known usage of the epithet term is found in an inscription written in Akkadian and Aramaic and was dedicated to Hadad(!).

Image

Examples uncategorized Abrahamic inscriptions related to Rahman(an)

Inscription: "Rahmanan - The Lord of the Universe"
Location: Marib Dam, Yemen
6th Century AD
Religious Context: undefined

Inscription "Rahmanan - Lord of Heaven and Earth"
Location Marib Dam, Yemen
6th century AD

Religious Context
Relates possibly to Acts 17:24 "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands". At multiple places in the Arabian Peninsula God was represented by a statue (slm or shalim) in a temple, for instance Siniatic deity W'add (the Beloved father).

Inscription "Rahmanan: Lord of the living and dead"
Location : Marib, Yemen
6th Century AD
Religious Context: undefined

Examples Christian Yemenite inscriptions referring to Rahman(an)

"s¹m Rḥmnn w-bn-hw krs³ts³
ġlbn w-mnfs qds"

In the name of the Raḥmān, his son Christ,
the victorious, and the Holy Ghost
Yemen, 6th century AD

"b-ḫ yl w-rdʾ w -r ḥmt Rḥmnn
w-Ms¹ ḥ-hw w-Rḥ qds¹"

By the power, aid, and mercy of the Raḥmān (Merciful),
his Messiah, and the Holy Ghost.
Yemen, 6th century AD

"Bina-Namat-I_Rehmal-at-Rahim"
Reference: SAD ARM Christian Tablet, Yemen
6th Century AD

Religious Context: phrase Ar Rahim (The Compassionate) used in Yemenite Christian writings - compare with the opening title of Ali's Hudaibiyah treaty: Bism'I'AllahjI ar-Rahman ar-Rahim
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. 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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HIMYARITE RELIGION PART I: A FORM OF JUDAISM?

Main arguments that support this hypothesis

Introduction of Judeo-Aramaic words in South Arabian script (after 380 AD)
Amen
alam (world),
'm baraka (bless)
haymanot (guarantee),
kanisat (meeting hall)
shalom,
salat (prayer)
zakat (grace),
Yisra'il (israel)

Introduction of Hebrew personal names in South Arabian script (after 380 AD)
Isaac (Yshq)
Juda (Yhwd')
Joseph (Ysw1f / Ys1)

Multiple inscriptions mentioning "The People of Israel"
Inscription: "s'b Ysr'l"
Translation: "People of Israel"
References: Garb Baut al-Ashwal (2020), Christian Robin 2004 p. 844-858 'The People of Israel'

Multiple inscriptions mentioning "Lord of the Jews"
Inscription indices: Ja 1028/12, Ry 515/5

Usage of Seal Menorahs
Reference: Christian Robin, Ḥimyar et Israël, dans Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Comptes rendus de l’année 2004, p. 831-

Inscriptions from Sabaíc language
  • Judeo-Aramaic inscription from Bayt Hadir: reproduces part of the list of the twenty four priestly classes given by the Book of Chronicles 1
  • Seal of tabernacle on legs in a niche with Judeo-Aramaic inscription 'Isaac son of Haninah (Yshq br Hnynh)'
Himyarite tombes at Necropolis Beit She'arim (Northern Israel)
  • Greek Inscription: Homêritôn (Property of Himyarites)
  • Sabaean inscription "épulture de Leah, fille de Yawdah. Que Rahmânàn lui accorde le repos. Amen, shalôm"
Context: small community of Himyarite Jews established in Tiberias doing religious studies.

Image
Necropolis at Beit She'arim, Israel

From Christian Robin, Ḥimyar et Israël, dans Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Comptes rendus de l’année 2004, p. 836
" La tombe n°7 qui compte sept caveaux est particulièrement intéressante. Sur l'arc du dernier caveau de gauche, une courte inscription grecque, peinte en rouge, se lit Homêritôn, « (propriété) des Homérites ». Cette inscription, bien lisible au moment de la fouille, est aujourd'hui à moitié effacée Il est notable que des Himyarites aient disposé d'un caveau à Beth Shecarïm, mais aussi que ce caveau (qui compte seulement quatre loculï) ait été de dimensions si modestes. Selon toute vraisem blance quelques juifs pieux de Himyar se sont fait ensevelir dans la nécropole de cette ville, pour reposer en terre d'Israël. Mais on ne saurait exclure une seconde éventualité, l'existence d'une petite communauté de juifs himyarites établis à Beth She'arïm pour suivre un enseignement religieux. Dans les deux cas, l'inscription rouve indirectement l'existence d'une communauté juive dans le royaume himyarite au me siècle ou au début du IVe."
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. 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 French quote says:
Tomb n ° 7 which has seven vaults is particularly interesting. On the arch of the last vault on the left, a short Greek inscription, painted in red, reads Homêritôn, "(property) of the Homérites". This inscription, clearly legible at the time of the excavation, is now half erased. It is notable that Himyarites had a vault at Beth Shecarïm, but also that this vault (which has only four loculi) was of quite modest dimensions. In all probability a few pious Jews from Himyar were buried in the necropolis of this city, to rest in the land of Israel. But we cannot exclude a second possibility, the existence of a small community of Himalayan Jews established in Beth She'arïm to follow a religious sect. In both cases, the inscription indirectly proves the existence of a Jewish community in the Himalayan kingdom in the third century or at the beginning of the fourth. "
Jesus: "Ask and you will receive." Mohammed: "Take and give me 20%"

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Re: The Quran versus the Arab Oral Tradition

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HIMYARITE RELIGION PART II: A FORM OF JUDAISM?

Main arguments against this hypothesis.

Absence of monotheistic Himyar in the Jewish tradition
During the reign of king Abikarib Asʿad (circa 384) Himyar adopted a monotheistic religion that was influenced by Judaism but this event is neither mentioned in the Mishnah or Talmud. The Himyarite epigraphical record does not cite or refer to Jewish scriptures.

Usage of Himyarite deity Raḥmān(ān) in the Quranic Context
The Quran uses Rahman as a proper name for Allah - 53 times - where Allah's name Rahman and Rahim (the Merciful and the Compassionate) are constantly found together, as if to add intensity one to the other. The epithets al-Rahman and al-Raheem both originate from Semitic root verb “rhm”, which means to have mercy.
Quran 17:110 wrote: "Say, "Call upon Allāh or call upon Al-Rahman. By whatever name you call (is well)
The equation of Allah with Raḥmān(ān) is confirmed in a pre-Islamic Yemenite Basmala inscription 'bsmlh rḥmn rḥmn rb s¹mw' meaning 'In the name of Allāh, The Raḥmān (Merciful)' showing that both Yemenite Raḥmān(ān) and Islamic Allāh share the same theological principles. As name Allāh originates from the northern Hijaz or southern Jordan the equation indicates Islam is a merger of multiple related traditions.

Usage of Raḥmān(ān) in different traditions:
  • Christian: 'In the name of the Raḥmān, his son Christ, the victorious, and the Holy Ghost'
  • Jewish: 'Blessed and praised be the name of Raḥmānān who is in Heaven and Israel (Yisrāʾīl) and their God, Lord of Jews (Rb-Yhd) '
  • proto-Islam: 'In the name of Allāh, The Raḥmān (Merciful) have mercy upon us, O lord of the heavens'
Conclusion
The Himyarite religion was either a hybrid of syncretic form of Abrahamic religion or represents a tradition that has not been described or recognized as such.
Abraham= H'ammu'rab(b)i, Historical Muhammad=Benjamin of Tiberias. 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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