Page 2 of 3

Re: Origins of Islam examined

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:59 pm
by Takeiteasynow
Seventh Century Christian Arabic use of Allāh

Let's highlight a remarkable fact: During the seventh century AD Arab Christians already used Allāh for the name of God. It is found in an amulet discovered in the excavations of al-Ḥīrah and states:

barakah min allāh; ghafara allāh li-ʿabd al-masīḥ
‘blessings from God; may God forgive ʿAbd al-Masīḥ’


Image

As the Quran was not yet codified - analysis of the Sana'a collection show that texts were still being edited between 660 and 690 in Yemen, 2000 km from al-Ḥīrah - this shows that the usage of Allāh for the name of God was at least a common feature among early Muslims and Arab Christians.

So what it is the origin of the phrase Allāh and what can we learn from it?

Re: Origins of Islam examined

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:17 pm
by Takeiteasynow
Origin of the name Allāh

Most Muslim scholars assume that Allāh is a contracted form of al-ʾilāh, meaning ‘the deity’. New inscriptions suggest that Allāh (in this exact form) was not the common Arabic name for the monotheistic god in the century before Islam. For instance, in the Zebed inscription the Christian god is called al-ʾilāh 'the God'.

Image
The Zebed inscription

In a new Arabic Christian inscription from Dūmat al-Jandal (548 AD), God is named al-ʾilāh in a simple benediction or devine blessing:

ḏakara al-ʾilāh Ḥgʿbw br slmh
May God be mindful of Ḥgʿbw son of Salamah


Image

Al-ʾilāh is also attested in a sixth century text from Jordan, which states:
ḏakara al-ʾilāh yazīd-w al-malik
may God by mindful of Yazīd the king


Back to Nabataea
The Nabataeans worshiped tow primary deities: Allat and Dhu-shara with shara being the same as hima of haram – a sacred precint.” Hima (temenos) refers to holey or scared ground surrounding a place of worship and haram, a forbidden or sacred place. The concepts of hima and haram (hrm) were central to Nabataean religion making Dhu-shara the 'One of the sacred ground'.

According to scholars there is no direct evidence for the worship of monotheistic Allāh (or al-ʾilāh) in a Nabataean context. But at least there's strong indirect evidence. As we showed before vocative forms of Allah are found near Petra and the The divine name Allāh was written in Nabataean as ʾlh or lhy. But perhaps more important: is the role of a supposed monotheistic Allāh in pre-Islamic times necessary to explain developments within Abrahamic religions?

Nabataean theophoric names
The divine name Allāh can be found in many theophoric and personal Nabataean names such as aws-allāhi meaning gift of Allāh, ǵawṯ-allāhi meaning help of Allāh, ʿabd-allāhi meaning worshipper of Allāh, saʿd-allāhi ‘fortune of Allāh’, 'Aush' Allāhi meaning Allāh's faith, 'Amat-'Allāhi meaning she is a servant of Allāh, Han-Allāhi meaning Allāh is gracious and Abd' Allāh meaning slave of God.

The personal and theophoric name Wahab-Allāh is found throughout the entire Nabataean region and means gift of Allāh.

And then Dhu-shara, the Nabataean supreme god, is mentioned only a few times by two personal names: Abd Dushara meaning Slave of Dushara and Tym-Dushara meaning servant of Dushara.

A new perspective
Now isn't that a bit strange? Why would Nabataean citizens ignore their supreme deity and choose for a different type of theophoric name with Allāh? Shouldn't we consider the possibility that the supreme deity of the Nabataean pantheon has a different name?

Re: Origins of Islam examined

PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:58 am
by Takeiteasynow
How to define the Nabataean pantheon?

It is theorized that Herodotus’ description of two supreme deities can be confirmed with results from the Nabataean archeological record (see work of Starcky and Healy). This thought is not so strange as it may seem: the archeological record associates the supreme deity of ancient Judaism Yahweh with Ashera, the supreme deity (Hadad) of the Amorites with Atargatis or El with Elat and Ba'al with Ba'alat.

So what did Herodotus write in the fifth century BC?
They (the arabians) believe in no other gods except Dionysus and Urania . . . they call Dionysus Orotalt and Aphrodite Alilat.

Now Orotalt was also known as Dhu Sha'ra ('The One from the Sacred Compound') and was venerated by the Nabataeans who inhabited Jordan, Sinai, Negev, Canaan, northern part of Arabia and southern Syria.
Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable derives the name Orotalt from a corruption of Allāh ta'āla - God Exalted. The transcription from Allāh ta'āla to Orotalt can be explained thus: The Semitic 'l' is commonly equated with 'r' in Greek, and vice versa. For example, the word "river" is Nahr in Arabic, Nehar in Hebrew and Nahal in other Semitic languages, which was likely transcribed as Νεῖλος in Greek. And once again we find a divine name that, at first glance, appears to be a honorary title or epithet.

So did the Nabataeans worship two supreme gods?
Scholars identify multiple gods such as Dushara, Allat, Hubal, Monatu, Atargatis, Al-'Uzza, Baal-Shamin, Al-Kutba, Qos or Shay'-al-Qawn, Isis or Tyche. After doing so they attempt to recover the character or personality of these deities from fragmentary material where in many cases the only contemporary evidence for a particular deity is his or her name in an (single) inscription.

The difficulty of this process can be illustrated with examples:
  • Deities Hubal and Monatu (mnt) are mentioned once in a funeral inscription from Mada'in Saleh but are known deities in southern Arabia.
  • No theophoric or divine names deriving for Baal-Shamin can be found in Nabataea with the exception of the Sinai, far away from his homebase in Palmyra.
  • Theophoric names deriving from deity Qos are mainly attested in Idumea, part of the Hasmonean kingdom and outside Nabataea.
  • Few or none theophoric names are attested for deities Al-Kutba or Shay'-al-Qawn
  • Other deities are identified by imported pieces of artwork used by Nabataeans to decorate shrines and temples.
  • Al-Kutba, Shay'-al-Qawn appear to be epithets for or the equivalent of Dhu-Shara

This invokes a new question: why do scholars consistently subscribe a fragmented pantheon - without hardly any evidence - for a highly organized Nabataean state that shares religious traditions, titles and customs with other Arab states and nomadic tribes? It looks like an intentional distortion of the research process.

So we must define a set of criteria which we can use to evaluate scholarly propaganda and create a data model that explains the religious life of the Nabataeans and identifies their deities.

Re: Origins of Islam examined

PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:10 pm
by Fernando
As an aside... I was interested to see you mentioning my old friend Brewer's Phrase and Fable. It reminded me that I have a copy of Frazer's The Golden Bough lurking somewhere. Getting a copy from Project Gutenberg was easier than searching for it, and far easier for searching it! I couldn't spot anything interesting beyond a couple of references to Mohammedans.
While I was Googling to find a copy, though, I came across Mohammed and the Golden Bough: Reconstructing Arabian Myth by Jaroslav Stetkevitch. (Download free from Academia.edu.) I haven't read it yet, but it looks worth at least skimming.
In a similar vein, I have Hebrew Myths by Robert Graves and Raphael Patel- it's interesting but slow going and I don't recall anything relevant in the part I've read so far.

Re: Origins of Islam examined

PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:12 pm
by manfred
takeiteasynow wrote:Let's highlight a remarkable fact: During the seventh century AD Arab Christians already used Allāh for the name of God. It is found in an amulet discovered in the excavations of al-Ḥīrah and states:

barakah min allāh; ghafara allāh li-ʿabd al-masīḥ
‘blessings from God; may God forgive ʿAbd al-Masīḥ’


The wiki article does nor have that text nor that picture. And the Eastern Church of that time ued Syriac, not Arabic which as a different script.Al-Hirah was conquered by the Muslims in 644 so that little amulet may well be after that.

Arabic would not have been the local language nor the language of church use at that time. This little amulet has normal Arabic script including diacritical marks, which places it LATER than the earliest copies of the Qur'an using Qufic script.

And there is no indication it was Christian amulet. In fact such thing are not in common use among Christians.


As to the name, it seems unlikely that the name Allah comes from al-ilah "the God", but rather from the Aramaic/Syriac alaha, meaning 'God' or 'the God'. The final 'a' in the name alaha was originally the definite article 'the' and is regularly dropped when Syriac words and names are borrowed into Arabic. Middle-eastern Christianity used 'alah' and 'alaha' frequently, and it would have often been heard.

But in the Aramaic/Syriac language there are two different 'a' vowels, one rather like the 'a' in English 'hat' and the other more like the vowel in 'ought'. In the case of 'alah', the first vowel was like 'hat' and the second like 'ought'. Arabic does not have a vowel like the one in 'ought', but it seems to have BORROWED this vowel along with the word 'alah'. If you know Arabic, then you know that the second vowel in 'allah' is unique; it occurs only in that one word in Arabic.

Note also that the Arabic word for GOD is NOT "Allah" but the word in the second inscription you gave, al-ilah.

If you look at the shahaddah the difference become clear:

لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا ٱلله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ ٱلله
lā ʾilāha ʾill' āllāh muḥammadun rasūl allāh

"There is no God except Allah".... so there is a word for "God" indeed any god, in Arabic, and "Allah" is used like a name for a specific God.

Re: Origins of Islam examined

PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:43 pm
by Takeiteasynow
Manfred wrote: The wiki article does nor have that text nor that picture. And the Eastern Church of that time ued Syriac, not Arabic which as a different script.Al-Hirah was conquered by the Muslims in 644 so that little amulet may well be after that.


We took this information from Ahmad Al-Jallad, Associate Professor at Ohio State University and leading expert on Saifatic script and thus early Arabic.

Bibliography: Jumaili, Amir A. al-. “NaqshʿarabiGadīd Li-Tamīmah Mina L- Ḥīrah Li-ʿabd Al-Masīḥ Bin Buqaylah Al-Ghassānī Mina L-Qarn Al-Awwal Al-Higri.” Maǧallat Al-SiyāḥahWalĀthār 28, no. 1 (2016): 23–31.
Kiltz, David. “The Relationship between Arabic Allāh and Syriac Allāhā.”Der Islam 88 (2012): 31–50.
Winnett, Frederick Victor. 1957. Safaitic Inscriptions from Jordan. Near and Middle East 2. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Summary: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1034092616860819456.html

Manfred wrote: Arabic would not have been the local language nor the language of church use at that time. This little amulet has normal Arabic script including diacritical marks, which places it LATER than the earliest copies of the Qur'an using Qufic script.

Al-Ḥīrah was the capital of the Lakhmid empire and it's language was Arabic. The earliest Arabic inscriptions with diacritical marks date from the late 6th century and were found in Petra (in the Byzantine Church), together with the Petra Papyri. Kufic Quranic script was first used in Yemen - its narrators were probably unaware of linguistical developments in Syria.

The origin of Allāh will perhaps be addressed in another post and is not really essential for where this thread is heading too: the sanitation of pre-islamic pantheons - before going back to the Quranic context.

Re: Origins of Islam examined

PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:46 pm
by Takeiteasynow
Fernando wrote: As an aside... I was interested to see you mentioning my old friend Brewer's Phrase and Fable.

A primary source since 1890 and politically unbiased!

Re: Origins of Islam examined

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:41 pm
by Takeiteasynow
Intermezzo: Edomite deity Qos or Qāws
And the start of Abrahamic monotheism

Second milleninum BC: a dualistic Abrahamic religion?
As one can observe from the second millennium BC in the areas of northern Iraq, Syria, Jordan, 'Palestine' and northwestern Arabia most pantheons are under control of a supreme male and female deity. This continues into the first millennium BC with constellations such as Yahweh and Ashera, Ba'al and Ba'alat, Ba'al -Shamin and Atargatis, El and Elat, 'Dushura' and Allat. And yet again, most of these supreme deities are venerated in local Thamudic inscription with references to 'LH' or 'LT', Allāh or Allāt.

That leaves us with deity Qāws, the supreme god of the the Edomites and Idumea. He's considered to be structurally parallel to Yahweh. Both Qōs and Yahweh are probably words of Arabic origin. Recently a new view advanced (from Nissim Amzallag) that Yahweh was originally an Edomite/Kenite god of metallurgy and that Qōs was a honorary title or epithet for Yahweh, rather than a name. Like Yahweh Qos or Qāws is the god of the mountain and sky. But there is one major difference - where archeology tells us that, at least until the fourth century BC Yahweh had a female deity by his side (Ashera in Israel and Ba'lat in Elephantine) Qos/Qāws didn't. It can not even be said that there were other deities in the Edomite pantheon. The Old Testament and the Tanakh tell us that Yahweh hailed from Se'ir in the region of Edom.

And more: a horned stele dedicated to 'Qos is Allāh' by Qos-Malaka, who reigned around 750BC was found near Petra (Glueck 516 - research: forum member The Cat).

So Qos, without a female partner, equated with Allāh and Yahweh is by far the best option to explain the transformation of a dualistic Abrahamic religion into a monotheistic version. It's probably a push or coup from Idumea or Edom sponsored by the most famous nose in Egyptian history, Cleopatra, which brings the Hasmoneans into power.

The equatation of Qos with Allāh and Yahweh is something that can be used to classify or evaluate other pre-Islamic deities and enhance our data model.

Re: Origins of Islam examined

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:38 am
by Takeiteasynow
It's probably a push or coup from Idumea or Edom sponsored by the most famous nose in Egyptian history, Cleopatra, which brings the Hasmoneans into power.


My bad - that's not possible. This relates to Ptolemy V Epiphanes or Ptolemy VI Philometor who married Cleopatra II and both belong to the Greek dynasty ruling Egypt during the last four centuries BC.

Re: Origins of Islam examined

PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:38 pm
by Takeiteasynow
Intermezzo: Edomite deity Qos or Qāws
A profile of deity Qos/ Qāws

The former national Edomite deity, Qos or Qaus is not mentioned in the Biblical record. That's a bit strange as Idumea, a former Edomite territority just south of Jerusalem, was the center of Qos worship during the two centuries before BC. How can the Tanakh and Old Testament often be so specific but forget a monotheistic deity that's is worshiped a few miles south of the city of Jerusalem? After all, the Old Testament is all about the introduction of monotheism.

Image
The Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu

Egyptian hieroglyphic
The eqotation of Yahweh with Qos may be very old. The same Egyptian hieroglyphic texts that associate Yahweh with the nomadic Shasu tribes do describe various clan or common names on the temple of Karnak and Medinet Habu with the prefix or theophoric element :

q-ś-r-a, q-ś-n-r-m, q-ś-r y-b-n, q-¾-i-ś-r and others.


These texts indicate to be associated with Edom. For instance the list of of Thutmosis III (1479–1425 BC) mentions toponym i-d-ma which could be takes to mean Edom or even Idum(e)a, the Edomite region just south of Jerusalem. So this would mean that the name Qos and even Edom are much older than previously thought.

The view of the Edomite deity that currently prevails in the field is that Qos, like Yahweh and the Canaanite Baal, was probably a local manifestation of the ancient Near Eastern storm-deity, specifically Hadad (Adad), who is often depicted as playing two major roles: warrior and bringer of fertility (See Knauf 1999a: 677; Dearman 1995: 126; Green 2003: 166–218, 275–280)

So what are the connections between Yahweh and Qos?
Early Israelite traditions preserve a vestigial glimpse at the origins of Yahweh. Deuteronomy 33:2 and Judges 5:4 (cf. Ps 68:8) preserve the potentially archaic notion that Yahweh came from Edom, i.e. that his mountain dwelling, Sinai, was located in Edom, or possibly northwestern Arabia where the name Kaws was followed by kuzah ̣ in order to define his specialty.” Thus the phrase qaus Quzah, “bow of Quzah,” became an Arabic idiom meaning “rainbow.” Etymologically, the idiom combines the name of the deity Qaus/Qos and the term quzah, which refers to a multicolored band.

Certain extrabiblical evidence may also bear witness to the southern origins of Yahweh. Three of the inscriptions from Kuntillet ‘Ajrud contain the words “YHWH of Teman,” which may indicate that Yahweh was revered in Edom, specifically in Teman (circa 10th century BC).

Egyptian toponyms that mention the Shasu Bedouin, who, as we have seen were in some way associated with Edom, contain the tantalizing words tЗ šЗsw yhw, “Yhw (perhaps to be read Ya-h-wi) in the land of Shasu.”

Yahweh, Qos and metallurgy
A more or less recent intriguing suggestion put forth for the origin of Yahwism by Nissim Amzallag is that Yahweh was originally an archaic god of metallurgy. Amzallag, building on the older Midianite/Kenite hypothesis, and based on certain clues in the biblical text, sees Yahweh as the patron deity of the metalworking peoples of the south—namely the Edomites, Midianites, and Kenites.

An intriguing, though admittedly problematic connection between Yahweh and Qos, comes in the chronicler’s account of David’s entry into Jerusalem with the Ark of the Covenant. The name Kushaiah (קושיהו (may be a combination of the theophoric elements qws and yhw, which could yield a translation of “Qos is Yahweh.”

Having put forth the theory that Yahweh and Qos were worshipped as one deity among the network of the tribal people of the northwestern Arabian Peninsula, people that would eventually become the inhabitants of Judah and Edom, two issues remain. First, it is important to understand how Yahweh became exclusive to Israel/Judah. Second, it is necessary to try to explain the silence of the biblical text on Qos worship among the Edomites.

Collective memory and amnesia of the biblical writers
It is evident, however, from the biblical literature that the Qos aspect of Yahweh was eventually lost, or perhaps censored, in the official religion of Judah. This process is described by Smith (2004: 124–158) as:

The phenomenon of collective memory and amnesia of the biblical writers, noting that, “The biblical tradition preserved the vestiges of the older religious situation, but forgot crucial aspects of it.”


This can be seen in the fact that nowhere in the biblical text is Qos mentioned in association with the Israelite Yahweh, nor is he mentioned in relation to Edom. This anomaly is perhaps due to developments within Israel but still stange. But nevertheless Qos ecurs in the Nabataean language in an inscription at Khirbet et-Tannur,where he is represented flanked by bulls, seated on a throne while wielding in his left hand a multi-pronged thunderbolt. Just like Dagan, Hadad, Yahweh, and Baal-Shamin.

Re: Origins of Islam examined

PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:03 pm
by Takeiteasynow
OK, some criticism.

What's the main source for the previous post?
ANTIGUO ORIENTE, Volumen 7, 2009, pp 255 -281
Online: academia.edu

Edom is not close to Jerusalem
Yes it is. Idumea is a cognate name for Edom and was used for a smaller region south of Jerusalem.

Image

Image

What's the purpose?
Well, forgot the cliffhanger. The last paragraph should be....

Edom's Revenge?
"This can be seen in the fact that nowhere in the biblical text is Qos mentioned in association with the Israelite Yahweh, nor is he mentioned in relation to Edom. This anomaly is perhaps due to developments within Israel but still stange. But nevertheless Qos ecurs in the Nabataean language in an inscription at Khirbet et-Tannur,where he is represented flanked by bulls, seated on a throne while wielding in his left hand a multi-pronged thunderbolt. Just like Dagan, Hadad, Yahweh, and Baal-Shamin. And what about 'Qos is Allāh'?"

The name Yah/Yahweh is probably much older than LH/Alāha/Allāh as it can be attested in Amorite records from the second millennium BC. As a logical consequence LH/Alāha/Allāh would become an epithet for YWHW.

Re: Origins of Islam examined

PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:38 pm
by Fernando
I've made a post about a book on the origins of Islam in the Resources section.
Nothing as advanced as the discussions here, but it might be useful for beginners and has some other stuff on Islam too.
http://forum09.faithfreedom.org/viewtopic.php?f=30&p=244916#p244916

Re: Origins of Islam examined

PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:56 am
by Takeiteasynow
http://forum09.faithfreedom.org/viewtopic.php?f=30&p=244916#p244916

I noticed that some links (to PDF's) in this topic don't seem to work.

Meanwhile associate researcher Mr B reports about the miracle of the Maccabean revolution. How after many battles a sparsely populated Judah* defeated the 300x bigger Seleucid empire only to become a vassal state. Governed by a mighty priesthood from Jerusalem that maintained a central temple, city walls, multiple gymnasia where the elite engaged in intellectual pursuits and all kind of other institutions. Only issue is that according to leading archeologists the estimated population of Jerusalem in early Hellenistic times was anywhere between 400 to 500 (Finkelstein) and a 1000 (Geva) on 20 to 40 acres specializing in pastoral or agricultural activities. A locality without the manpower or resources needed to defeat the Seleucid empire or facilitate a centralized religion.

So he now proposes to move the entire pre-Hasmonean context of Ur-Shalem to Biblical Selah in Edom. But we'll leave this topic for others - it's out of scope.

*Persians and Seleucids kept detailed tax records.

Re: Origins of Islam examined

PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:09 am
by manfred
I can open those... you can't?

Re: Origins of Islam examined

PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:16 am
by Takeiteasynow
Yes now it works. First I got a %20 (space) error. Thanks for fixing.

Re: Origins of Islam examined

PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:29 pm
by Fernando
Takeiteasynow wrote:*Persians and Seleucids kept detailed tax records.
Is there any chance that there were a lot of people who didn't have enough to pay tax, or perhaps routine tithes that went unrecorded? Or even didn't get paid, such as serfs or slaves?

Re: Origins of Islam examined

PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:59 pm
by Takeiteasynow
Fernando wrote:]Is there any chance that there were a lot of people who didn't have enough to pay tax, or perhaps routine tithes that went unrecorded? Or even didn't get paid, such as serfs or slaves?

Are you suggesting a Jewish version of Spartacus?

Re: Origins of Islam examined

PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:55 am
by Takeiteasynow
Fernando wrote:
Takeiteasynow wrote:*Persians and Seleucids kept detailed tax records.
Is there any chance that there were a lot of people who didn't have enough to pay tax, or perhaps routine tithes that went unrecorded? Or even didn't get paid, such as serfs or slaves?


I don't think so. I requested the sources and here they are:
THE POPULATION OF PERSIAN-PERIOD IDUMEA ACCORDING TO THE OSTRACA
Judea, Samaria and Idumea: Three Models of Ethnicity and Administration in the Persian Period

Population decline Jerusalem

Image

Re: Origins of Islam examined

PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:23 pm
by Takeiteasynow
We're moving the entire context to North-Edom.

Bozrah = Zion
Sela = Mount Zion.
Petra is the first daughter of Zion.

Image

Re: Origins of Islam examined

PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:22 pm
by Takeiteasynow
Another dark corner of modern social science. Whatever happened since Montesquieu, with the conception that the arrangements of any society is not a natural phenomenon but made and imagined? That institutions represent ideological structures? The vital element should be structural imagination – imagination of how structural change takes place in history and why new structures prevail. The ideological structure here can be described as some kind of merger of Yahwism from Samaria with that of Sela. But the real question here is why no explanation is given for the absence of these historical arrangements or structures in the pre-Hasmonean context of Jerusalem. There is truly not a single piece of evidence that supports the traditional view.

Social science has degenerated into depraved pseudoscience.