Is it Mekkah or Petra?

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Takeiteasynow
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Re: Is it Mekkah or Petra?

Post by Takeiteasynow »

Classifying Makkah or grabbing its meaning might take a lot more then expected. A more systematic approach is needed to grab the meaning of localities from Quran and hadith. It seems that most geographical references are foreign to Arabic and have a Syriac origin. But even then one has to be very careful.

Arthur Jeffery divides foreign words in three basic groups:
  • Words that cannot be Semitic or Arabic.
  • Words which have attested Arabic roots but with a different meaning.
  • Homonyms, words are genuinely Arabic but have a nuanced technical meaning alongside their Arabic meaning and must be borrowed.
    Robert Kerr adds a fourth category:
  • Lexemes with seemingly Semitic root which must be borrowed due to their morpho-phonetic forms such as the names of biblical figures such as the Patriarchs.
For instance the word Qur'an itself is a Aramaic loan-word as Luxenburg has shown. Qur'an derives from Arabic root qr' which means to read (aloud) in modern Arabic. Bit it's hard to imagine that Islam's Holy Book would carry a title like “Read Aloud”. It makes sense if Arabic term Qur'an derives from a Syriac usage so that it means 'scriptura sacra'. In this analysis Qur'an is a foreign word with attested Arabic root but a different, more rational meaning.

About Makkah – it has been debated on this forum - taken from 'batni makkah' ('bi-batni makkata' with vowels where bi is preposition in) batni means either midst, center, belly or hollow.

In this stage only one spot of the pre-Islamic Hajj to Petra has not yet been defined and that's the Ad Deir. This monumental building, carved out of rock, can be found on the mountain trail between the Masjid Haram of Petra and Al-Bayda. It can be found next to an open natural amphitheater, like a 'belly' or 'hollow space' in the mountain. This natural bowl is the only place in Petra that could host thousands of devotees during the main pigrimage festival of the Nabataean Calendar. If Makkah refers to the Ad Deir then “the spreading place” would make a logical translation as it's the final stop of this pilgrims route and the only place where the corner stone of the "Kaaba" could be encircled.

So what about the Quranic word for pilgrimage? The word hagg appears to have been borrowed. In Biblibal Hebrew the root hgg is defined as a religious festival in general and is commonly derived from the verbal root hwg meaning 'to draw a circle, to measure precisely' (like Arabic tawaf) which leads to 'to dance in a circle' and later in 'to take part in a procession'.

In Arabic the root hgg has a second judicial semantic domain (argument, proof, plea)and displays no other obvious connections to pilgrimage it seems a loan from Aramaic. This premise is supported by the fact that the meaning “to celebrate” in a specific religious context is wide-spread throughout Aramaic and is an Hebraism, a linguistic feature typical of Hebrew occurring especially in another language. For instance Syriac hagga meaning feast is an Hebraism. According to Robert Kerr and Luxenburg the semantics of religious festivity culminating in a pilgrimage derive from Hebrew, from whence these semantics entered Aramaic.

To ensure that we're on the right track all localities must be checked against the classification system first introduced by Arthur Jeffery and extended by Robert Kerr.
Last edited by Takeiteasynow on Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:23 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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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Takeiteasynow
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Re: Is it Mekkah or Petra?

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THE PETRA- MECCA CASE: Reconstructing the (pre-) Islamic pilgrimage (haij)

Makkah: Ad Deir
Quraysh: Tribes under control or part of Ghassanid federation - not referring to a specific ethnically or cultural background.

After a first glance at Thamudic, Safaitic and other inscriptions it looks like that the city of god was nameless. Pilgrimage for the tribes from the Negev, East Jordan, Northwest-Arabia and Syrian desert was directed to the ancient sacred and holy place, a masjid haram, a safe place for veneration, much older than the Nabataean kingdom that built a city around it. It had many names - for instance Al-Balad, simply meaning the town or place of God.
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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Fernando
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Re: Is it Mekkah or Petra?

Post by Fernando »

Something from an unexpecte quarter. In Jihad Watch, Stephen M. Kirby is dissecting Juan Cole's sanitisation of the Koran. It's too dense for me, but I did spot this early on in part 1:
Here is how Cole explained the nature of the “sophisticated vocabulary” in the Koran (Endnote 33, p. 239):

I am hypothesizing that although the Qur’an is grammatically in the Hejazi dialect, its more sophisticated vocabulary derives from urban Arabs in and around Damascus, Bostra, and Petra, who also knew Greek and Aramaic and had created neologisms for theological and philosophical discourse over the centuries…[there was] Greek and Arabic bilinguality in Petra of a sort I suspect Muhammad shared…

So the vocabulary of the Koran derived “from urban Arabs” who also knew Greek and Aramaic, and an “Arab bilinguality” which Cole suspected that Muhammad “shared.”
So Cole appears to place Mohammed in Petra. And, what's more, seems to have him writing the Koran!

Part 1 is at https://www.jihadwatch.org/2018/12/the- ... ole-part-1
Part 2 is at https://www.jihadwatch.org/2018/12/the- ... ole-part-2
‘Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs and literary traditions. They neither intermarry nor eat together, and indeed they belong to two different civilisations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions.’ Muhammad Ali Jinnah

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Takeiteasynow
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Re: Is it Mekkah or Petra?

Post by Takeiteasynow »

So Cole appears to place Mohammed in Petra. And, what's more, seems to have him writing the Koran!
Cole has some interesting views. But as far as I can tell Cole makes a historical analysis based upon the Islamic theological timeline, which he modifies when needed. If you ask me this is the best recipe for silly science. His hypotheses about the origin and grammar of the Quran has been addressed by others in great detail. For instance, in this thread I have referred multiple times to the work of Robert M. Kerr.
Kirby does a good job dissecting Juan Cole's sanitation of the Quran and basically burns his work down to the ground.

Most of all Cole is an apologist. That's common behavior among many historians - that's why we don't consult the work of historians unless their observations can be embedded into larger logical patterns. But there's a new part coming on "Cole’s radical interpretations of Islamic history and doctrine."
Last edited by Takeiteasynow on Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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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Takeiteasynow
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Re: Is it Mekkah or Petra?

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THE PETRA- MECCA CASE: Did the Nabataean cultural and religious identity exist in the seventh century AD?

Introduction
This series of articles tries to provide conclusive evidence for the Petra-Mecca case.

Part I showed that, with the usage of archeology, epigraphy and linguistics the origin of the language of the Qur’an can be narrowed down to Hellenistic Syro-Palestine. This article, written by Robert E. Kerr, summarizes almost 100 hundred years of researching the relations between classic Arabic and other Semitic languages. The Arabic language (especially with regard to the primary diagnostic feature, the definite article al-) and script of Arabia Petraea are the precursors of the classical Arabic script and language. This of course does not necessarily mean that the language of the Arab, Saracens or Hagarene invaders in that of the Qur’an.

Part II showed that, as there is no archeological, linguistic or contemporary evidence for the existence of Makkah as a city before 900 CE, the only reasonable hypothesis is that Muhammad's city is situated in Hellenistic Syro-Palestine, in an area familiar with both the Safaitic and Nabatean script - roughly between Petra and Palmyra.

From Nabataean to Kufic script
This new part asserts that a strong Nabataean religious identity still exists as the earliest Qur’ans were written in the oldest calligraphic form of the various Arabic scripts, 'Kufic', a modified version of the old Nabataean script. The transformation from Nabataean script to Classical Arabic script is first clearly demonstrated in the Arabic tomb inscription of Imru al-Qays from Namara in Southern Syria in 328 – this inscription is in presentable classical Arabic though the script is Nabataean.(1) Kufic developed around the end of the 7th century in Iraq and may have been influenced by other Syriac models.(2)

The transformation from Nabataean to Kufic script strongly suggests that Nabataean culture was carried through the centuries an may have existed – though transformed- at the beginning of the seventh century and have influenced early Islamic literature. If this is the case then we have another line of evidence for the Petra-Mecca case so let's find some proof!

Section I: Manifestation of Nabataean culture in late Classical Era.

The Saracens was the name given by late Roman sources to the Arab speaking tribes who inhabited the ancient lands of the Nabataeans and still used, among others, the Nabataean Aramaic alphabet for their inscriptions. It is very likely that the phrase Saracens, used in sixth and seventh century accounts, was related to the Nabataeans of the Kingdom period or their direct descendants.

The Roman conquest of the Nabataean Kingdom at the beginning of the second century did not change its position. However, over the next two centuries changing trade routes and local earth quakes would lead to a decline. But outsiders observe, almost 200 years later, a continuation of the Nabataean culture and religion.

The destruction of some Nabataean temples did not actually lead to the disappearance of “pagan” worship in Petra during the 4th century. On the contrary, there is the testimony of Epiphanios of Salamis about the main Nabataean god, Dushara, who continued being worshiped in Petra,
namely in the temple of the idol where “they praise the virgin with hymns in the Arab language and call her Chaamu –that is, Core, or Virgin- in Arabic. And the child who is born of her they call Dusares”.(3)

The testimony of Epiphanios, an apologist, has inflicted a debate among contemporary scholars. Some believe this religious tradition is an invention of late paganism which emerged under Christian influence (4) where others see this as a original Nabataean practice (5) or simply a blend of old pagan beliefs and the new dominant Christian faith. It proves that the Nabataean population had not disappeared and still kept their practices of pagan veneration mixed with Christian elements; that is to say, this population was experiencing a cultural transition.

Nabataean identity in late Byzantine era
The conventional view of historians of the Roman Near East has been that the Nabataean culture had died out by the second century A.D. However, recent archaeological discoveries have indicated that an indigenous Semitic people with a distinct ‘Nabataean’ identity persisted well into the Christian-Byzantine period in the southern Levant. The question remains therefore, how truly ‘Nabataean’ had their character remained? Let's consider the available evidence.

Language and Inscriptions
Literature and epigraphy are often the best indicators for an ethnic group. Therefore, investigating the most recently found Nabataean inscriptions is crucial in determining the survival of the Nabataeans. Unfortunately, relatively few Nabataean inscriptions of the early Byzantine period have been found.

Another late Nabataean inscription is an inked graffito on the wall plaster of a building at Oboda dating to the 4th century A.D. which invoked the Nabataean gods Oboda and Dushara. (6) This not only demonstrates the persistent use of the Nabataean language and script, but also a continued veneration of their original pagan religion, through Oboda who remained well-known in the late Roman period. Notice that Oboda was worshiped only in the Negev by local cults and was merely unknown in other Nabataean territories (this needs further examination and evaluation as historians tend to recognize new deities in any inscription they investigate).

Amongst other significant literary discoveries there are three important collections of inscribed artifacts clearly demonstrating that whilst Greek persisted as the lingua franca of the Second and Third Byzantine provinces of Palestine (formerly part of the Roman Province of Arabia), Nabataean-Aramaic personal names remained predominant.

During the earlier part of the twentieth century, several inscribed and dated funerary stelae were collected from the cemetery of Zoara in the Ghor es-Safi (on the south-eastern shore of the Dead Sea). Subsequent excavations of the adjacent Sanctuary of Lot at Deir ‘Ain ‘Abata in the late 1980s and 1990s, and recent investigations in the Ghor es-Safi, have additionally provided over 400 early Byzantine-period inscriptions. These have shown that a vibrant early Christian community existed in this region from the 4th to the 7th centuries A.D. Although most of these inscriptions were written in Greek, roughly half of the personal names contained with in them were of Nabataean origin, though in Hellenized forms.

Religion
There is evidence that suggests an enduring influence of Nabataean religious practices on later creeds. For instance, it can been postulated that Nabataean ‘high places’ not only continued to be used for religious purposes during the early Christian-Byzantine period, but also that they may have become the inspiration for the raised chancel or bema in church architecture.

A similar Nabataean origin can be claimed for the omphalos-shaped chancel post tops in early Byzantine-period churches. The aniconic representation of gods by the Nabataeans seems to have had an influence on early Byzantine-Christian dogma with the iconoclastic movement of the 7th century A.D. This is particularly apparent in Judaism and Islam which still retain similar prohibitions relating to the realistic representations of human or animal forms. Although these religious traits may not be exclusively ‘Nabataean’, they do show that their Arabian-based influence continued well into the Christian societies of the 7th and 8th centuries A.D.

This influence relates to the continued existence of pagan cults in Petra. If we follow the account of late sources, such as Sozomenus (400-450), who claims that there were still pagans in many cities, like the inhabitants of Petra in Arabia, who fought relentlessly in favor of their temples.(7) (8) Recent excavations provide evidence of the continued usage of the temples in the city of Petra during the late Byzantine era as walls were reconstructed with late Byzantine styling patterns.

Another issue is how the paganism of the cults in Petra should be interpreted. Obviously some Christian Nabataeans were not that dedicated to the dogma of the trinity as the papyri from Nessana and Petra demonstrate: parts of the trinity were modified in official documents. Most likely the pagan cults had a deep understanding of ancient Jewish theology as Flavius Josephus writes in the first century CE:
“(…) through Arabia; and when he came to a place which the Arabians esteem their metropolis, which … 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… and died while the multitude looked upon him” (Antiquities, IV, 4, 7).”
Flavius Josephus refers to Jebel Haroun, a mountain southeast of Petra, where prophet Aron died. Apparently Aron, and thus Mozes, was already associated with Petra or Nabataean religion long before the arrival of Christianity. The Petra Papyri mentions the “House of our Lord the Saint High Priest Aaron” which alludes to Aaron, the brother of Moses. This discovery contributed to the start of excavations on the top of Jebel Haroun and indeed, a small construction which houses a tomb was discovered.

Some dozens of meters below the summit where the tomb is, the excavations have brought to light an impressive monastic and pilgrimage complex dedicated to Aaron: a basilica consecrated to the brother of the prophet, a small chapel with a cross-shaped baptistery excavated in the rock, rooms for pilgrims, and so on. The complex dates from the 5th century and remained active, even if undergoing some restructuring, at least until the Umayyad era.(9) This is another example of the influence of Nabataean religious practices on later creeds as Jebel Haroun became a centre of pilgrimage for Christians, Jews and Muslims.

But we have saved the best for last. The continuation of Nabataean culture following the fall of the kingdom demonstrates the power of the indigenous society as a whole and their wish to associate themselves with the culture of the past. This is achieved by the continuation of their main cult, i.e., the worship of Dushara, and the representation of the deity both as the traditional Nabataean betyl and as a male figure in the form of a Nabataean king. His cult clearly continued well into the Roman period and possibly as late as the Islamic period. Safaitic inscriptions dating to the 5th and 6th centuries AD indicate that Dushara's cult remained strong, at least on the fringes of the province.

Art and Architecture
Excavations of the ancient Zurrabah pottery kilns near Petra revealed that Nabataean pottery prototypes were being made from the 1st to 6th centuries A.D. (10) More recently, excavations at Humeima, Wadi Mousa, Mada’in Salih and Deir ‘Ain ‘Abata have also brought to light the continuous production of pottery in the Nabataean tradition during the 5th and into the 6th centuries A.D.

Architectural elements have been found at several early Byzantine churches in Palestinae Tertia which share close affinities to classical Nabataean styles. (11) At Elusa in the Negev (12) and at Deir ‘Ain ‘Abata characteristically Nabataean ‘dogtooth’ designs together with Christian crosses are found on capitals and lintels. [Figs. 9, 10] Nabataean ‘horned’ capitals also continued to be carved in the Byzantine period.

Seventh century A.D. mosaic pavements have been uncovered in the churches of Saint Lot at Deir ‘Ain ‘Abata and Moses on Mount Nebo, Siyaga which exhibit floral patterns reminiscent of painted decoration on Nabataean fine-ware pottery. The mosaic at Deir ‘Ain ‘Abata is inscribed and dated to A.D. 691, well into the Umayyad period. It is intriguing to consider this as the result of an earlier Nabataean artistic influence.

Section II: Manifestation of Nabataean culture in early Islamic literature

To trace Nabataean influence on early Islamic literature, especially the ahadith, we have to travel back in time and consult the work of Strabo, a Greek geographer, philosopher, and historian.

A single classical source, the Geography of Strabo (16.4.26) mentions Nabataean banquets and the meals served there at the beginning of the Christian era: “They prepare common meals together in groups of thirteen per-sons; and they have two girl-singers for each banquet. The king holds many drinking-bouts in magnificent style, but no one drinks more than eleven cupfuls, each time using a different golden cup”.

Strabo's casual reference to singing is somewhat confirmed in some Nabataean inscriptions associated with triclinia (dining rooms with banquet couches extending around three sides of a table) as Strabo uses the phrase symposium as do the Palmyrene Greek texts do. (13)

The Nabataean banqueting rituals ( symposium rituals) are known in Aramaic terminology. The Aramaic word for triclinium is smk' and appears in inscriptions in Petra as well in Palmyra. (14)

The large number of banqueting rooms in Petra attest to the importance of banquets in Nabataea and thus artistic performances. A exquisitely decorated Nabataean limestone from Petra displays a male double-flute player flanked by tow women playing a lure and an identified stringed instrument. Various types of banqueting rooms (also known as biclinia) can be seen all around the city of Petra. Most often these rooms are found as part of large tomb complexes or open-air sanctuaries but can also be part of housing areas.

Sizes differ, from a small cave of just 5 * 5 meter to a large hall of 12 * 12 meter (15) or in the open air as part of an open-air sanctuary. Banqueting rooms were generally used for gatherings in which family, cultural and funeral associations would come together for drinking and dining. The numerous banqueting rooms in Petra confirm the importance of banqueting and thus the tradition of singing girls in Petra. The question remains if these meetings held in these triclinia or biclinia had an official or cultic basis, or whether their use was divided between cultic and profane.

Image
Banqueting room in Petra

Islamic tradition
Anyway, the tradition of singing girls at banquets and usage of instruments is reflected in the hadith:
It was narrated from Abu Malik Ash’ari that the Messenger of Allah said:
“People among my nation will drink wine, calling it by another name, and musical instruments will be played for them and singing girls (will sing for them). Allah will cause the earth to swallow them up, and will turn them into monkeys and pigs.”
Book 47, Hadith 3499, Narrated Abu Umamah:
that the Messenger of Allah said: "Do not sell the female singers, nor purchase them, nor teach them (to sing). And there is no good in trade in them, and their prices are unlawful. It was about the likes of this that this Ayah was revealed: 'And among mankind is he who purchases idle talk to divert from the way of Allah (31:6).'"
'A'isha reported: Abu Bakr came to see me and I had two girls with me from among the girls of the Ansar and they were singing what the Ansar recited to one another at the Battle of Bu'ath. They were not, however, singing girls. Upon this Abu Bakr said: What I (the playing of) this wind instrument of Satan in the house of the Messenger of Allah and this too on 'Id day? Upon this the Messenger of Allah said: Abu Bakr, every people have a festival and it is our festival (so let them play on).
It was narrated that Abu Husain, whose name was Khalid Al-Madani, said:
“We were in Al-Madinah on the Say of 'Ashura and the girls were beating the Daff and singing. We entered upon Rubai' bint Mu'awwidh and mentioned that to her. She said: 'The Messenger of Allah entered upon me on the morning of my wedding, and there were two girls with me who were singing and mentioning the qualities of my forefathers who were killed on the Day of Badr....
It was narrated from 'Urwah that he narrated from Aishah that Abu Bakr As-Siddiq :
Entered upon her and there were two girls with her beating the duff and singing, and the Messenger of Allah was covered with his garment. He uncovered his face and said: "Let them be there, O Abu Bakr, for these are the days of 'Eid." Those were the days of Mina and the Messenger of Allah (was in Al-Madinah on that day."
It was narrated that Ibn'Abbas said:
'Aisha arranged a marriage for a female relative of hers among the Ansar. The Messenger of Allah came and said: Have you taken the girl (to her husbands house)?” They said: “Yes.” He said: “Have you sent someone with her to sing?” She said: “No.” The Messenger of Allah said: “The Ansar are People with romantic feelings. Why don't you send someone with her to say: 'We have come to you, we have come to you, may Allah bless you and us?'”
A'isha reported:
The Messenger of Allah came (to my apartment) while there were two girls with me singing the song of the Battle of Bu`ath. He lay down on the bed and turned away his face. Then came Abu Bakr and he scolded me and said: Oh! this musical instrument of the devil in the house of the Messenger of Allah. The Messenger of Allah turned towards him and said: Leave them alone.....
etc.

We can learn from these single hadith that in Muhammad's environment certain elements of Nabataean culture were still practiced, 500 years after its kingdom was conquered by Roman emperor Trajanus. And that's not the end of the story – the tradition of the professional singing (slave) girls was continued into the Islamic era. During the Umayyad and Abbasid periods there were large numbers of so called al-Qiyan (singing slave girls) who often composed songs to the accompaniment of musical instruments. In most cases these singing girls were courtesans or concubines of the ruling elite.(16)

Author al-Jahuz writes in his epistle on singing slave girls (17) that an accomplished singing girl had a tradition of more than four thousand songs. Among these singing girls three genres of poetry were preeminent:
  • Love poetry (ghazal)
  • Verse-capping competition
  • Short, informal panegyric verse for their masters. Hail to the Master!
Muhammad ibn Abdallah al-Mansur, the third Abbasid Caliph, reigning from 775 to 785 had a daughter, princess 'Ulayya, who was a singer-poet. Her poetry and songs dealt with the themes of courtly love and wine.(18) This leads to another interesting question: why would an so called Islamic Caliph allow his daughter to specialize in Dionysian poetry and songs about wine and love and perform publicly? That seems rather strange. Or not of course knowing that his father was born in Humeima, just south of Petra.

Conclusion

Recent archaeological surveys and excavations at Petra, the Negev, Meda’in Saleh and the Dead Sea region have shed more light on the twilight of the Nabataeans. They have revealed some compelling evidence for ‘Nabataean’ cultural continuity beyond the 2nd century A.D. Evidence for this continuity include religious practices, funerary customs, language, inscriptions, art, architecture and apparel. These, together with the literary testimony, combine to make a compelling argument for a Nabataean cultural continuity into the very late Byzantine period.

Strong evidence for religious continuity are inscriptions from the sixth century referring to Dushara. The worship of this main deity formed the identity of the Nabataean cultural identity in the late Byzantine era, that was nevertheless strongly influenced by Christianity and Byzantine traditions and cultural practices.

The hadith provides strong evidence for the embedding of Nabataean customs and traditions into early “Islamic” or Arabic culture. The practice of banqueting, singing girls and musical instruments is mentioned in the hadith. Other events mentioned in the hadith may have Nabataean roots - new research will have to provide answers.

Nabataean cultural and religious traditions survived until at least the beginning of the seventh century. The modernized Nabataean script was adopted for the copy process of the Qur'an, the hadith mentions ancient Nabataean rituals and customs that were practiced at the Islamic and Omayyad court in Baghdad – where the ruling family originated from the Nabataean city of Humeima, 45 kilometers south of Petra.

This all provides an excellent new line of evidence for the Petra-Mecca case.

  • 1 A Brief Introduction to The Arabic Alphabet, John F. Healey, G. Rex Smith, 2012, ISBN 978-0-86356-881-7
  • 2 The Early Alphabet, John F. Haley, page 55
  • 3 Panarion 51, 22, 11, in Healey, 2001, p.103
  • 4 Bowersock, 1990, 26
  • 5 Zayadine, 2003, 60
  • 6 Erickson-Gini and Israel 2003: 11, fig. 30
  • 7 Sozomenus 7.15.11-12
  • 8 New Perspectives on Late Antiquity in the Eastern Roman Empire, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Carmen Blánquez Pérez, page 39
  • 9 Fiema, 2002, 46-47
  • 10 Amr 1991:321
  • 11 Patrich 1988: 105, ill. 152
  • 12 Negev 1986: 128, fig. 66
  • 13 Tarrier 1995, 174-175
  • 14 The Religion of the Nabataeans: A Conspectus, John F. Haeley, 2001
  • 15 Netzer 2003: page 59
  • 16 Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, Volume 1, page 866
  • 17 Risalat ak-Qiyan, al-Jahiz, circa 850
  • 18 Hillary Kilpatrick, 1990, page, page 175
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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Takeiteasynow
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Re: Is it Mekkah or Petra?

Post by Takeiteasynow »

Intermezzo: Absence of Islam in the seventh and eight century

Before returning to the original Hajj and finalizing a conclusive case for Petra a few posts on related matters.

Introduction
Previously we described the practice of singing girls at the Abbasid court in Bagdad at the end of the eighth century. Their poetry and songs dealt with themes like courtly love and wine. These practices migrated with the Nabataean al-Mansur clan from Huceima to Baghdad around 754. A new question arose: why would an Islamic Caliph allow his daughter to specialize in Dionysian poetry and songs about wine and love and perform publicly? In Classical Arabic terminology, these singing girls or qiyān were a subset of jawāri ('female slaves'). The term originates as a feminine form of pre-Islamic qayn meaning blacksmith, a metalsmith who creates objects from copper, wrought iron or steel (this information is by itself extremely interesting for those who want to trace the origin of all Abrahamic religions. In the ‘Abbasid period, qiyān were often educated in the cities of Basra and Baghdad.

Anyway, this practice strongly suggests that the Islamic doctrine isn't yet part of the central Abbasid state or not as yet developed as historians commonly suggest on their imaginary timelines. So let's take a look at the available evidence.

Absence of Islam in the seventh century
British scholar and apologist Jeremy Johns states in his essay Archeology and the history of early Islam: The first seventy years that the popular or theological timeline of the first seventy years of Islamic tradition is not supported by archaeological material. For example, the first, occasional, Islamic expressions are only visible after the year 691 (Dome Rock Jerusalem), while an Arab Empire already exists.

According to apologist Johns is the lack of evidence no proof for the absence of Mohammed or Islam in the seventh century. The absence however is a bigger issue. Johnson argues that the first mosques will be build only after 750. Julian Raby (Oriental Studies, Oxford) strongly opposes this view and claims that the earliest remains of the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem dates from the first half of the seventh century. Unfortunately there is no archaeological evidence for this claim and Raby can only draw such conclusions after building his own historical time-line based on literary leads (a typical apologist decease). Without new evidence, the preliminary conclusion is that between the appearance of the name of Islamic prophet Muhammad and the construction of the first mosques lies a gap of at least seventy years.

The absence of archaeological evidence also indicates that political and / or theological currents from above have driven a development that gradually introduced Islamic doctrine into public life.

According to apologist Jeremy Johns there is little chance that upcoming archaeological research will provide new insights and proposes that research from other scientific disciplines could make new interpretations of the available material possible. Jeremy Johnson concludes that the “absence of evidence is frustrating” but does not undermine the assumption “that there was already a cult with the essential characteristics of Islam”. Johns complains that there is no archaeological investigation possible into the role of Muhammad and the earliest developments on the Arabian Peninsula as the two most sacred mosques of Islam, in Mecca and Medina, were demolished to the ground at the end of the last century and rebuilt in such a way that archaeological remains are virtually impossible. But that's not the real issue of course as a lot of evidence points to Petra. Jeremy Johns has all the material he needs but he doesn't understand it – it is as simply as that.

Absence of Islam in the eighth century
Another problem is that at least until the second half of the eighth century Islam as a religious system or doctrine doesn't appear in public life. If Islam had established itself as the dominant religion of the late Umayyad and early Abbasid empire it would be no more that reasonable that it can be traced trough state documents, the archaeological record, inscriptions or historical treatises. The problem is that there isn't much, if any.

Case study: the Negev
The Negev desert, located in the southern part of Israel, is an excellence choice to start investigating the influence of Islam during the eight century. It is densely populated at the beginning of this century with large cities such as Nessana that act as centers of commerce, high-quality craft and agricultural productivity. After 660 the Umayyad dynasty established their capitals in the immediate vicinity of the Negev desert and thus had every opportunity to conform public life to the rules of Islam. We are in the fortunate circumstance that the Negev has been extensively investigated which makes it possible to attest the presumed presence of Islam.

From polis to medina
Where it was initially assumed that the Arab conquests caused a population decline and the disappearance of cities and villages, new archaeological data now shows that a gradual transition from the Byzantine to the Arab period occurred. It may be hard to imagine but in the seventh century many cities in the Negev were surrounded by highly developed agricultural environments. Most cities were inhabited until at least the year 750 or the tenth century.

A first remarkable example can be found in the city of Shivta. An Arabic sanctuary was built next to the southern church without hostilities or animosities. Only at the end of the eighth century or beginning of the ninth century Arabic inscriptions with references to Koranic verses were placed. In nearby Nessana, inscriptions have been found on the floor of the central church with first references to Quranic verses and Islamic prayers dating back to the beginning of the ninth century.

One of the first Arab cities to be built in the central Negev after the conquest was found near Sede Boqer. This site consisted of about 80 houses with an open mosque at the top of a nearby hill. In and around the mosque hundreds of Arabic inscriptions have been found without referencing the Quran or the Islamic doctrine. It may come as no surprise that this site became central to the heavily criticized revisionist theory of Nevo and Koren, which states that formal Islam only starts developing itself after 700.

First Islamic expression in the Negev
The first expression of the Islamic doctrine was found near the historic city of Ayla where Arab rulers around 750 built a fort with twenty four round towers. At the Egyptian gate a monumental inscription from the eighth century was discovered which references a Quranic text. This first expression of Islam on a building with a military function strengthens the vision of John Wansbrough that the transition from Arab to Islamic state is imposed by a ruling class or by the state itself. It can not be said with certainty that this inscription is as old as the fortress itself – it may have been and probably was inscribed much later.

General patterns
The archaeological data on the Negev indicates that the the cultural and religious transformation to an Islamic environment started during the second half of the eight century, one step at the time.
For example, Arab sanctuaries are built next to churches and others are only brought into use only at the end of the eighth century. The general pattern is that new religious practices, such as visible in open-air mosques, are visible mainly in nomadic settlements until the year 800 and that cities in the Negev remain dominated by Christianity.

Open air mosques (prayer places)
Long before Umayyad or Abbasid rulers start building places of worship in urban areas, a remarkable transformation takes place in nomadic areas. From the Bronze Age, nomadic tribes in southern Palestine and Transjordan build open circles (as sacred sanctuaries) with standing stones to honor their gods. In 2015 more than 100 historical sites (up to 8000 years old) were discovered in the mountains near Eilat indicating a fertility cult. Researcher Uzi Avner expects that many new sites will also be discovered in Sinai and southern Jordan. The geographical distribution of this form of worship coincides with the area where west Semitic languages ​were spoken.

Over time, these circles become larger and were, in the late Byzantine period or eighth century, replaced by so called open mosques. A clear example of this is the open-air mosque at Nahal 'Oded where the standing stone is replaced by a mihrab, an opening in the prayer wall that indicates the direction of a holy city. Another open-air mosque near Be'er Ora in the Negev has two mihrabs (east and south) suggesting that the direction of prayer is changed. It is noteworthy that this open-air mosque will only be built in the second half of the eighth century. Open mosques, and especially those of the highlands in the Negev, show a slow transition from the previous cult to a more Islamic-oriented or centralized worship that starts in the late eighth century.

Image
Open air 'mosque' in the Negev desert

Conclusion
Archaeological research proves that in the Negev the transition from pagan and Christian worship to Islamic dominance happens slowly, one step at the time. This is a very friendly conclusion as there is no clear evidence for the Islamic doctrine. Somewhere between 750 and 800 one single fortress is inscribed with a Quranic statement. Cities remain dominated by Christianity until at least the year 800. Arab prayer houses are built next to churches.

No manuscripts have been found that refer to Islamic jurisprudence, theology, bureaucracy or worship services. In short, Islam as we know it today is completely absent from the public life of the eighth century. So where was it? Surely something is cooking, but where?

As always more questions arise. But most of all we should send a notification to Jeremy John that his essay should be renamed to Archeology and the history of early Islam: The first 150 to 200 years without evidence.
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: Is it Mekkah or Petra?

Post by Eagle »

This Nevo scholar seems hasty and easily jumps to conclusions with little knowledge. The lack of mention of Muhammad on monotheistic rock inscriptions in the Negev desert, 600km away from where Islam originated, and without even conducting research in Mecca or Medina, let alone considering the basic historical fact that the early Muslim generations lacked any interest in architectural works, especially when it came to mosques, making the lack of early Islamic inscriptions that mention Muhammad a red herring, means very little.

There is also abunding early manuscript evidence (and much more awaiting publication), inscriptions on buildings, coins, rocks (such as the recently discovered inscriptions dated to 78AH and containing the full shahada with Muhammad's name), papyri etc distibuted geographically from Cyprus down to Sanaa showing that the total text of the current Quran that is present in those inscriptions, and the damaged and partially preserved manuscripts dating back to the 1st century surpasses 90%. This wide geographical distribution of the Quranic text shows that the Quran was already codified and became a public property even a little before Uthman's standardization.

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Re: Is it Mekkah or Petra?

Post by Takeiteasynow »

The lack of mention of Muhammad on monotheistic rock inscriptions in the Negev desert, 600km away from where Islam originated, and without even conducting research in Mecca or Medina, let alone considering the basic historical fact that the early Muslim generations lacked any interest in architectural works, especially when it came to mosques, making the lack of early Islamic inscriptions that mention Muhammad a red herring, means very little.
Actually Jeremy's Johns essay on the first seventy years of Islam considers all evidence, including coins and inscriptions, and concludes that Islam is absent.
  • The new Arab calendar is used without referencing Muhammad, Quran or Islamic texts
  • A new declaration of faith about the oneness of God says nothing of ownership; until 691 inscriptions don't mention Muhammad and are probably owned by a semi-Jewish Messianic alliance operating in Cyprus, Palestine, Persia, Antioch, Syria and many other places focusing on rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem.
  • The full Shahada as found on coins and the Dome of the Rock (691) is a one time event - after 691 it becomes suddenly very quite. Looks like some kind of forgery - awaiting investigation....
Other case studies supports the assertions from the Negev:
  • The Ummayyad Caliphate has a strong secular signature
  • The Abbasid Caliphate is secular until at least 785 (the end of the reign of al-Mansur).
  • The nature of Arab literature of poetry at the Abbasid court until 785 is almost Dionysian.
... papyri etc distibuted geographically from Cyprus down to Sanaa showing that the total text of the current Quran that is present in those inscriptions,
Well that's perfect. Sources please!
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Re: Is it Mekkah or Petra?

Post by Takeiteasynow »

Who ever thought that the practice of singing girls would provide all the leads needed to solve the great mysteries of Abrahamic religions? These leads bring everything together and provide all the material needed to build a consistent historical data model and timeline, from "Zion" to "Mecca".

More remarkable lead is the one that defines the historical Jesus: I also thought that Jesus started as a myth and materialized over the centuries. Nothing could be further from the truth: a commoner, chosen by his people, to rule as an earthly king and religious leader, to guide and protect common values which could be defined as the first form of a social-liberal society. He traveled the Near East, especially Judea and Galilee, with his inner circle of 12 disciples to spread an ancient yet original Abrahamic message. This movement was already huge and attested around 20 AD. Call him Jesus, Obodas or 'the messenger'.

So all Abrahamic religions derive from Petra. Or Zion, if you prefer.
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: Is it Mekkah or Petra?

Post by Nosuperstition »

Takeiteasynow wrote:a commoner, chosen by his people, to rule as an earthly king and religious leader, to guide and protect common values which could be defined as the first form of a social-liberal society. He traveled the Near East, especially Judea and Galilee, with his inner circle of 12 disciples to spread an ancient yet original Abrahamic message. This movement was already huge and attested around 20 AD. Call him Jesus, Obodas or 'the messenger'.
Jesus was atleast a carpenter.Hindu mystic god Siva on the other hand is a beggar hermit just like Buddha,considered an incarnation of Hindu god Vishnu.But he is highly venerated.

He is said to have given the knowledge of Vedas to Sudras thereby resulting in the birth of heresies.That was also one of the reason why he was cursed by his father-in-law to become lord of ghosts.

Now what is wrong in giving the knowledge of the Vedas to Sudras,one may ask.Now most of the Hindu priesthood swears and abides by veggism and Vedas as well as the Upanishads contain references of animal sacrifice.The itihaasaas or the historical texts of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata which do have huge amounts of fiction mixed within on the other hand advocate veggism and these are the one which have gained a greater currency than the Vedas.In fact if you drop animal remains such as bones and blood in the sacred fire,the fire is said to have been rendered impure/the ritual desecrated per the story of Tataki,Visvamitra,Subahu and Rama in the Ramayana.That is the reason why rainbow/Wootah of Australia once threateningly said if you persist in criticism of Christianity,beware, I am right now going through both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

Of course some other versions of the Ramayana contain references of animal sacrifices in putra kaameshti and aswa medha yagna rituals,but they will be sidelined.

So messages of egalitarianism as well as inequity exist in all religions.
Last edited by Nosuperstition on Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
palli or halli in Dravidian languages means a village just like gaav in Aryan languages means a village.palli or halli in Aryan Mauryan Imperial era around 200 B.C designates a tribal hamlet.So many of those in South India are indeed descendants of tribals and are still keeping up that heritage.

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Re: Is it Mekkah or Petra?

Post by Takeiteasynow »

So messages of egalitarianism as well as inequity exist in all religions.
Sure. More important is that the message is carried by a popular leader and movement which inspires a new religion. For Christianity that is the historical figure Obodas III.
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Re: Is it Mekkah or Petra?

Post by manfred »

For Christianity that is the historical figure Obodas III.
???
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Re: Is it Mekkah or Petra?

Post by Takeiteasynow »

Well let's address that is a separate thread.

Meanwhile Dan Gibson has published another paper: Petra in the Qu'ran. His conclusions:
So when Islamic accounts speak of Mecca, are they referring to Petra in Jordan or Mecca in what is now modern day Saudi Arabia? Well, that depends on the year and the location of the Black Rock.
- Mecca referred to before 65 AH would most likely be Petra in Jordan
- Mecca referred to after 65 AH might have been either Petra in Jordan or Mecca in Saudi
- Mecca referred to after the earthquake of 128 AH would certainly have referred to Saudi Arabia.

I believe this article demonstrates that several of the names and terms that the Qur’an uses to describe Mecca the holy city of Islam have the same meaning as terms found in pre-Islamic Greek literature that describe the Holy City of Petra. Hopefully this will answer the objection that the name Petra never appears in the Qur’an.
https://thesacredcity.ca/Petra%20In%20T ... r%27an.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Hopefully this will answer the objection that the name Petra never appears in the Qur’an
Well, it's local name is. The "Seven Sleepers" sleep, what else can one expect, in a cave in Raqim, which is of course RQM, Nabataean Reqem or Petra. Secondly the Masjid Haram is separate entity - the city of Petra /RQM surrounds it.
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: Is it Mekkah or Petra?

Post by Takeiteasynow »

Jewish oral law and the Talmud: Petra = Jewish city

Occasionally the oral law of the Talmud mentions of Arab of Nabataean origin and talks about collective conversion – entire Arab cities converted to Judaism. At the beginning of the second century BC it mentions (Niddah 7:3) Petra or Reqem as a place of settlement of converts. It doesn't describe the circumstances of this conversion or the motivation of the Nabataeans to convert to Judaism. It also mentions Emessa (modern Homs) as a Jewish city with a whole group of 'converts son of converts.

So Petra is considered to be an entire Jewish city around 200 BC as stated by Jewish oral law and the Talmud. This knowledge does provide a different perspective on the numerous Abrahamic references to the Arab tribes living in between the Sinai and the Euphrates and especially on the Nabataeans of Petra. It defines almost impossible challenges for the orthodoxy as Petraean religious customs and traditions are 'somewhat' different to the Hebrew version of Judaism. At the same time these customs and traditions act as a hook for gnostic and Syriac literature, non-biblical gospels and Essene doctrines. And of course it links countless Nabataean traits to the late books of the Old Testament and the Gospels.
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: Is it Mekkah or Petra?

Post by Takeiteasynow »

Let's perform a little thought experiment, always useful when trying to explore the potential consequences of a hypothesis.

Let's say we are observing the young Hasmonean nation in Judea at the beginning of the second century. This small nation, not even 3000 square kilometer, is struggling to find it's new identity in a dynamic environment: Romans advancing to the Near East and the retreating Greek Seleucid empire. This young Jewish nation has just broken with Samaria or the Samaritans and replaced sacred mountain Shechem with Golgotha and it's own temple. And lets mention it's giant Jewish** neighbor Nabatu or Nabataea, at least 100 times bigger at the economical superpower of this era.

Image
The Nabataean empire

During the high days of the Nabataean empire suddenly many new ideas, concepts and doctrines are injected into the Hasmonean kingdom of Judea. For instance:
1) The devil
2) oral law
3) tradition of oral transmission
3) a sacred meal or banquet
4) Leader with 12 disciples (taking part in 3)
5) The Sanhedrin (2 *12 -1), like a Nabataean court
6) The new covenant with an egalitarian message.
7) A new message that promises total deliverance from the kingdom of darkness
8) Calendar
etc etc

So here comes the hypothesis: would it be possible that these new ideas and doctrines were introduced by the Nabataeans?

That may not that strange as it sounds. As we know know now the Nabataeans were either converted to Judaism or practiced (more likely) a form of Judaism that is much older than the Jerusalem edition. And most of the examples mentioned above can be traced back to the Nabataeans. An egalitarian empire with a secretive religion supported by chapters with 12 members or disciples, a centralized pilgrimage for tribes from the Sinai to the Euphrates and Northern Saudi-Arabia etc. And with trade routes to India, Rome and Persia it acted as the intellectual hub of the Near East and gateway for new ideas and doctrines. Remarkable is that skilled workers or craftsman were part of it's elite and even be elected as religious leader or king - a tradition that in the Hebrew bible already starts with Cain.

In this context it's only logical that the tiny Hasmonean nation of Judea absorbed ideas provided by it's much larger Nabataean Jewish neighbor. This context provides a simple and elegant data model that makes it much easier to explain what happened during the Intertestamental period.
For instance, the Quranic Hanif become the Essenes. Their monotheistic belief has many traits alien to Samaria and Judea and is basically Nabataean, but without the veneration of Allat, preferring to maintain the pure monotheism of the patriarch Abraham. It could help us explain why the Samaritans rejected the Judean Talmud with it's oral law and the only fundamental theological difference of importance: the location of the sacred mountain and it's associated temple. And it provides us with the possibility to identify the origin of Christianity and the response to the rise of this new movement.

While this data model may have its imperfections (in this early stage) it's likely superior to everything that has been proposed previously.

(thanks to Mr Beta B for this input).

** Talmud, Niddah 7:3
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: Is it Mekkah or Petra?

Post by Takeiteasynow »

Let's expand on our little experiment.

The supreme God of the Nabataeans, Dushara, is often associated with the mountain range Shara surrounding the city of Petra making him 'Lord of the Mountain(s)' or 'The one from Shara'. But alternative etymologies for the common noun or location for the geographical area of Shara are possible. The title Du-sar-ra is attested in ancient Mesopotamia and is a much older prototype reflected in cuneiform (1), one of the earliest systems of writings invented by the Sumarians.

In this perspective Shara effectively has the same meaning as himu or haram.(2) According to John F. Healey and other scholars the name Dushara derives from Arabic or Semitic sharan: “road, tract of land, mountain, sometimes used in the context of sacred land, 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.

Now Dushara simply becomes a god associated with a sacred land, mountain or 'forbidden' place of worship. In one of the earliest Islamic references to Dushara, Ibn Hisham's account of the conversion of al Tufayl bin 'Amr al-Dawsi, his location is described by a stream at the foot of a mountain. Ibn Hisham tells us about the “Hima of Dhu 'l Shara”, indicating that Dushara was worshipped at his own sacred place or temenos near a small stream (rivulet) and (holey) mountain. (3)

Actually we know a lot about Dushara's location. In multiple Nabataean inscriptions Dushara is linked with Wadi Musa, the valley of Moses and site of the modern town just outside of Petra. These texts mention Dushara as 'the God of Gaia' with Gaia meaning valley. From the valley of Moses a small stream, engineered by the Nabataeans, runs over a distance of circa 7 kilometers to the temenos of the Qasr al-Bint, the central temple of Petra. The 'God of Gaia' appears also in a Greek form in a dedication inscription from the Hawran in a post-Nabataean context where he appears with his angel Idaruma, meaning the 'The Raised Hand of God'.

So we have some evidence indicating that Dushara, the supreme god of the Nabataeans besides Allat, was venerated at a 'forbidden sacred place', some kind of haram. But what is it the haram for all Nabataeans? This question is answered by the following inscription from Mada'in Saleh, a famous Nabataean city and archeological site in Northwestern Arabia:
May Dusara and Manuthu and Kaisah curse all who shall sell this tomb or buy it, or pledge it or give it away, or let it out for hire, or write any inscription thereon, or bury therein any except those whose names are mentioned, for this tomb and inscription are haram, as the haram of the Nabateans and Shalameans. (4) (5)
So this tells us that the Nabataens had a centralized place of worship, a masjid haram, more that 600 years before the birth of Islam. Inscriptions in Petra mention Dushara as the mr' byt', 'Lord of the House' and others in Madaba as the 'Lord of Heaven and Earth'.

So how can we use this information? We already know that:
  • numerous literal references speak of a central place of worship for all Arabians, some indicating Petra.
  • that the Geographical analysis by Dan Gibson matches Petra matches with the the geographical descriptions from the Qu' ran and hadith;
  • linguistic boundaries of the Qu'ran matches the geographical area of Arabia Petraea;
  • Qu'ran was written in a post-Nabataean script while others where available;
  • there are enormous amount of linguistical, epigraphical and etymological evidence for a transposition for a pre-Islamic 'Judeo-Christian' pilgrimage to Makkah as provided by Robert Kerr;
  • astrophysical and architectural studies indicate that the city of Petra was designed as place for pilgrimage;
  • the many links between the hadith and contemporary sources (for instance the singing girls);
  • Talmud describing Petra as a (converted) city of Jews, circa 200 BC;
  • Josephus describing the Nabataean tribes in the Abrahamic tradition, as descendants of Hagar.
  • the female name Hagar (hgr) is only attested in Nabataean and Safaitic territories (between Bostra and the Euphrates - practicing the same religion)

And if we look at the city planning of Petra is becomes obvious: the entire city centers around the temenos of the Qasr al-Bint or better: the sacred place of Dhu-Shara(n), the central haram of all Nabataeansm the msg hrm, the Masjid Haram.

And so Dushara becomes a bit less mysterious: he is the God of Mozes and the Haram of all Nabataeans, the One of the Haram: Dhu 'l Sharan. But then who are the Shalameans?

Literature
(1) Tallqvist 1968, 284; Schroeder 1915-1916, 284-287; Lacerenza 1988-89, 120;
(2) Gawlikowski, 1990, 2663
(3) John F. Healey, The Religion of the Nabataeans: A conspectus, page 89
(4) C.I.S., No. 197, Huber 29, Euting 2,
(5) R. Campbell Thompson, Semitic Magic – Its origins and development, London, 1908, page 11
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: Is it Mekkah or Petra?

Post by SAM »

Allah had ordered Abraham and Hajah and their newborn son, Ismail, to emigrate in an uninhabited barren valley (Holy land) whose name was not yet known, which was later called Mecca/Bakkah. They walked through planted land, deserts and mountains, until they reached the desert of the Arabian Peninsula and arrived in a valley without fruit, no trees, no food, and no water; the valley has no signs of life, not like in the place of Petra which has its inhabitants who fulfill immorality.

Hajah who chose a barren valley (Mecca/Bakkah), not Abraham because she stopped there, if Hajah did not stop there, they would probably continue to travel to China... :lol: She repeatedly complained to Ibrahim, "O Ibrahim, where you go, leave us in this valley where no one our company can enjoy, and nothing", but he did not look back at her. Then she asked him: "Has Allah ordered you to do so?" He said: "Yes". She said: "Then He will not neglect us."

Can you tell me who were the people who lived in the barren valley, before Abraham and Hajar went there? :coffee:
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Re: Is it Mekkah or Petra?

Post by Takeiteasynow »

Can you tell me who were the people who lived in the barren valley, before Abraham and Hajar went there?
How would I know? The archeological record for Petra's region goes back 9000 years and 95% of what could be excavated is still covered with mud. Another layer of complexity is the discovery of another ancient city or archeological complex, approximately 800 meters south of Petra. So there's not enough data. So we won't go further than Iron II (circa 1000-750 BC, Edomite Empire).
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: Is it Mekkah or Petra?

Post by manfred »

Taleiteasynow, this is a rather manipulative question, as merely by responding you appear to accept the premiss that Abraham and Hajar went "there"....

Rather like "And what was the population of Amsterdam when the Irish mission to Mars landed?"

And the "Bakkah" is not Mecca. Neither in the bible, as Muslims sometimes say, nor in the Qur'an.
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Re: Is it Mekkah or Petra?

Post by Takeiteasynow »

I am well aware of that. This research aims to find common ground so you should never exclude anything before you analyze it. And of course modern Mecca is nothing more than a Salafi's Disneyland. So far this research has been cautious and ignores for instance the fact that Dionysian themes, fresco's, images and pottery pop up every where, from early Christian graves to Jewish temples, Omayyad palaces and early Islamic literature.
And the "Bakkah" is not Mecca. Neither in the bible, as Muslims sometimes say, not in the Qur'an.
Bakkah means 'narrow gorge' in Imperial Aramaic and West-Semitic and refers probably to the Siq at Petra, the main entrance or thaniya to the central Haram of the Nabataeans and the Edomites or proto-Israelites. And this 'probability' will become a 'certainty' after the original Haj to Petra has been reconstructed. Unfortunately, as always, more work than expected.
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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