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The Quran passes directly from Abraham's "conversion" from the paganism of his father to God's command to construct the Ka'ba. There is no mention in the sacred text of Hagar or Sarah, or of the Bible's elaborate story of the births of Ishmael and Isaac. It was left for the later tradition, which possessed more detailed and sophisticated information, to spell out the events that brought Abraham and Ishmael from the land of Palestine to distant Mecca in the Hijaz. More than one Muslim version recounts how that occurred, and the historian Tabari presents a conflation of a number of them.
According to... al-Suddi: Sarah said to Abraham, "You may take pleasure in Hagar, for I have permitted it." So he had intercourse with Hagar and she gave birth to Ishmael. Then he had intercourse with Sarah and she gave birth to Isaac. When Isaac grew up, he and Ishmael fought. Sarah became angry and jealous of Ishmael's mother. . . . She swore to cut something off her, and said to herself, "I shall cut off her nose, I shall cut off her ear-but no, that would deform her. I will circumcise her instead." So she did that, and Hagar took a piece of cloth to wipe the blood away. For that reason women have been circumcised and have taken pieces of cloth (as sanitary napkins) down to today. Sarah said, "She Will not live in the same town with me." God told Abraham to go to Mecca, where there was no House at that time. He took Hagar and her son to Mecca and put them there....
According to ... Mujahid and other scholars: When God pointed out to Abraham the place of the House and told him how to build the sanctuary, he set out to do the job and Gabriel went with him. It was said that whenever he passed a town he would ask, "Is this the town which God's command meant, 0 Gabriel?" And Gabriel would say. "Pass it by." At last they reached Mecca, which at that time was nothing but acacia trees, mimosa, and thorn trees, and there was a people called Amalekites out-side Mecca** and its surroundings. The House at that time was but a hill of red clay. Abraham said to Gabriel, "Was it here that I was ordered to leave them?" Gabriel said, "Yes. " Abraham directed Hagar and Ishmael to go to al-Hijr***, and settled them down there. He commanded Hagar, the mother of Ishmael, to find shelter there. Then he said, "My Lord, I have settled some of my posterity in an uncultivable valley near Your Holy House..." (14:37). Then he journeyed back to his family in Syria, leaving the two of them at the House....
Tabari's version of what next occurred is derived from Genesis 21:15-16, transferred from a Palestinian setting to a Meccan one. The object is now clearly to provide an "Abrahamic" explanation for some of the landmarks of the Meccan sanctuary and the features of the pilgrimage to it. The helpless Ishmael sounds much younger than sixteen in the tale, and some Muslim versions of the story in fact make him a nursing infant, which means, of course, that Abraham will have to return on a later occasion to build the Ka'ba with him.
Then Ishmael became very thirsty. His mother looked for water for him, but could not find any. She listened for sounds to help her find water for him. She heard a sound at al-Safa and went there to look around and found nothing. Then she heard a sound from the direction of al-Marwa. She went there and looked around and saw nothing. Some also say that she stood on al-Safa praying to God for water for Ishmael, and then went to al-Marwa to do the same. Thus the origin of the pilgrimage ritual of "running" back and forth between the two hills of Safa and Marwa on the eastern side of the Meccan sanctuary.
Tabari continues: Then she heard the sounds of beasts in the valley where she had left Ishmael. She ran to him and found him scraping the water from a spring which had burst forth from beneath his hand, and drinking from it. Ishmael's mother came to it and made it swampy. Then she drew water from it into her waterskin to keep it for Ishmael. Had she not done that, the waters of Zamzam would have gone on flowing to the surface forever. (Tabari, Annals 1.278-279 = Tabari 11: 72-74).
(Quoting 2.125-127 and then 22.26): And when We prepared for Abraham the place of the House (Makāna* Al-Bayti), saying: Ascribe thou no thing as partner unto Me, and purify My House for those who make the round and those who stand and those who bow and make prostration. *Strong indication of a town/port in Midian called Makna near al-Bad, the city of the biblical Jethro. The 'makkata' of 48.24? (see addenda). **The biblical Amalekites resided in the same area too, centered around Aqaba and Eilat. Far, far, from where 'Mecca' is nowadays located ! ***Al-Hijr is simply the Arabic name for contemporary Mada'in Saleh, Greek Hegra (the Hegira, Hagar, Muhajireen). More on this below...
continuing... God made the stone underneath Abraham's feet into something like clay so that his foot sunk into it. That was a miracle. It was transmitted on the authority ofabu Ja'far al-Baqir (may peace be upon him) that he said: Three stones were sent down from the Garden: the Station of Abraham, the rock of the children of Israel, and the Black Stone, which God en-trusted Abraham with as a white stone. It was whiter than paper, but became black from the sins of the children of Adam. "Abraham raised the foundations of the House" (2:127). That is, the base of the House that was [already there] before that, from Ibn Abbas and Ata, who said: Adam was the one who built it. Then its traces were wiped out. Abraham ploughed it (). That is the tradition from our Imams....
22.27: And proclaim unto mankind the pilgrimage.... It is clear from these and similar Quranic texts that the original pilgrimage rituals were not so much being described to Abraham as alluded to for the benefit of a Meccan audience that was already quite familiar with them. It was once again left for later commentators to fill in the details, not of the Hajj, to be sure, which was well known to all, but of Abraham and Ishmael's connection with it. The authority here is al-Azraqi (d. 834CE), who, though not a Quranic commentator, was one of the earliest historians of Mecca* and so an expert whose interests were somewhat different from those of Zamakhshari or Tabarsi. In this passage he describes how Abraham, at God's urging, performed that original pilgrimage ritual.
In this passage he describes how Abraham, at God's urging, performed that original pilgrimage ritual: Abu al-Walid related to us ... (from) Uthman ibn Saj: Muhammad ibn Ishaq reported to me: When Abraham the Friend of the Merciful finished building the sacred House, Gabriel came and said: "Circle it seven times!" and he circumambulated it seven times with Ishmael, touching all the corners during each circumambulation. When they had completed seven, he and Ishmael prayed two prostrations behind the stone [maqam**]. He said: Gabriel got up with them and showed him all the ritual stations: al-Safa, al-Marwa, Mina, Muzdalifa, and Arafat***.
The first coin mentioning Mecca was minted in 822... And there is NO mention of Mecca on the Dome of the Rock!
2.158: Lo! As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the commandments (Sha'ā'iri*) of Allah. It is therefore no sin for him who is on pilgrimage to the House or visiteth it, to go around them. *Sha'a'iri is much stronger than usually translated and the source of all that is lawful (ie. Sharia). Related to Dushara, Arabic Dhu-Sha'ara, the Nabatean god of the mountain range 'Seir' in Edom. http://www.guidedbiblestudies.com/topics/mount_seir.htm
Ibn Ishaq & Tabari recounts are but magnified versions of Gen.21.14-21 (adding 800 miles of torching desert, forth and back... etc):
And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.
And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.
According to Islamic beliefs and tradition, the area between Assafa and Almarwa is the very place where Genesis 21:15-20 took place. Hagar (Allah's chosen wife for Abraham), was the first one who performed that ritual and was supposed to have made a wish to Allah to provide water for her son. Meanwhile, her little boy, who was sitting on the ground and crying, dug a hole in the sand and, miraculously, the water came out as a result of Allah's answer to Hagar's wish. Then, according to Islam, she called the well "Zamzam" (which means hush baby, don't cry anymore!) The story goes on to say that it was at that time Hagar realized why Allah sent her and her son to that desert place. It was supposedly the site where Allah's shrine had rested before. Later, it is said that Allah showed Ishmael and his father the black stone and commanded them to rebuild the shrine....
The Sira fabulation, like I've said, is but a magnified version of Gen.21.14-21...
It added 800 miles of torching desert, thus the need to insert Buraq in ! Abraham, Haggar, Ishmael... All on board. That's the kind of lies Muhammadanism is based on, yet they do believe that! Yep, the biggest the lie is, the more...
In order to resolve the preposterous suggestion that Abraham or Ishmael were ever at the place where Mecca was eventually built - 1200 kilometers from where Abraham actually lived - the most quoted 8th century Islamic "tradition" creators originated the idea that Abraham commuted back and forth to visit Ishmael in Mecca, on the winged camel, or Baraq (Tarikh al-Tabari, I, page 165). He also invoked this mythical animal to explain how Ishmael was able to attend Abraham's funeral, 1200 kilometers from Mecca.
Genesis 25.9: And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which [is] before Mamre (Hebron).
Again, the 'convenient' Buraq is involved in that travel, forth and back, like in Hagar's travel to find him a wife...
Ishmael is hardly mentioned in the Koran (twelve times), mostly a name mentioned among others, not even in 37.100-113 dealing with the Promised son. More troubling for Muslims is that his mother, Hagar, is never mentioned at all! Ishmael cannot be related to Muhammad and even the Islamic tradition has it that Abraham sacrificed him through some journeys on 'Buraq'... ! Because the Islamic accounts clearly stated that Abraham left Hagar and Ishmael in Mecca, never to go back. Never?
''The Buraq was also said to transport Abraham (Ibrahim) when he visited his wife Hagar and son Ishmael. According to tradition, Abraham lived with one wife in Syria, but the Buraq would transport him in the morning to Mecca to see his family there, and take him back in the evening to his Syrian wife.'' -wikipedia, Buraq. (Ibn Ishaq "Tarikh al-Tabari", I).
This must be true (!?) otherwise, Abraham and Hagar traveled 800 miles of uncharted desert, some 900 years before history records the first caravan route was ever established along the Red Sea. Then Abraham dropped them off under a tree in the middle of nowhere (that is supposed to have eventually become Mecca), and then Abraham "set out" on his thousand mile walk back home. Never ever?
It is most significant to find the Qur'an once again taking no issue with the Bible and we read (surah 29.27): And We gave (Abraham) Isaac and Jacob, and ordained among his progeny Prophethood and Revelation (An-Nubūwata Wa Al-Kitāba), and we granted him his reward in this life: and he was in the Hereafter (of the company) of the Righteous. Yusuf Ali's translation is not strictly correct. The text says that God placed the Nubuwwah and the Kitaab, the Prophethood and the Scripture, into Isaac's line, and in another place the Qur'an says that al-Nubuwwah, the Prophethood, was expressly given to the Children of Israel (Surah 45.16).
* Isaac was the only promised child of Abraham, a fact which the Quran agrees with (cf. Genesis 17:15-21; Surah 11:69-73, 37:112-113, 51:24-30). Ishmael was never a promised child.
* Isaac was conceived miraculously to a barren mother and a very aged father, with the Quran likewise agreeing (cf. Genesis 17:15-17, 18:9-15, 21:1-7; Galatians 4:28-29; Surah 11:69-73, 51:24-30). Ishmael was conceived normally without the need of any miraculous intervention.
* God promised that it would be Isaac's descendants who would inherit the land given to Abraham. (Genesis 13:14-18, 15:18-21, 28:13-14). Ishmael had no part in the inheritance and promise given to Isaac through Abraham.
It is for these reasons that Isaac is called Abraham's only son since God himself reckoned him as the child of promise and blessings, an honor never bestowed upon Ishmael.
Sam Shamoun reports a testimony from Ibn al-Athir: ''The nature of the Islamic traditions regarding the Sacrifice suggests that those locating the act in Syria and assuming Isaac to have been the intended victim WERE THE EARLIEST...The opposing exegesis of the Ishmael-Mecca school served not only to explain difficult passages of the Qur’an, but also to provide an acceptable origin for some of the important ritual acts of the Islamic Pilgrimage. The lapidation and the sacrifice of the Pilgrimage, both holdovers from a pagan pre-Islamic past, WERE RE-INTERPRETED through the narrative exegesis of the Sacrifice legend to derive from the pure and pristine monotheism of Abraham…'' (Pp. 150-151)
Muslims like to say that the Bible has been corrupted. Well what about their Ishmael/Mecca 'fantasy land' traditions?
viewtopic.php?p=97077#p97077 19.58: These are they unto whom Allah showed favour from among the prophets, of the seed of Adam and of those whom We carried along with Noah, and of the seed of Abraham and Israel, and from among those whom We guided and chose. When the revelations of the Beneficent were recited unto them, they fell down, adoring and weeping.
Ishmael is NOT mentioned as from the rightful seed of Abraham which 19.49 ascertain AGAIN to be Isaac and Jacob. This is underline again in 19.58: the seed is that of Abraham and Israel. Thus the Koran recognize the biblical account: Ishmael was the messenger send to his nation, among hundreds of others, ruling out Muhammad as to the Arabs! Yet he's not the legitimate 'son of the Promise'.
37.112-113: --And we gave him tidings of the birth of Isaac, a prophet of the righteous. --And We blessed him and Isaac. And of their seed are some who do good, and some who plainly wrong themselves.
Sarah is mentioned (by allusion) as the rightful mother and Hagar is not named even once in the whole Koran! 11:71-72: And his wife, standing by laughed when We gave her good tidings (of the birth) of Isaac, and, after Isaac, of Jacob. She said: Oh woe is me! Shall I bear a child when I am an old woman, and this my husband is an old man ? Lo! this is a strange thing!
The complete omission of Ishmael (and of Hagar) here talks volumes...
According to the Koran (and the Bible) it is Isaac who is of divine intervention (like Adam and Jesus), Ishmael is not. Period.
Now, according to the Koran itself, the line of prophethood and of -scriptures- is going from Noah to Abraham (Q.57.26), then from Abraham to Isaac and Jacob (Q.29.27) and bani Israel (19:58): These are they unto whom Allah showed favour from among the prophets, of the seed of Adam and of those whom We carried (in the ship) with Noah, and of the seed of Abraham and Israel. Bani Israel means the whole Israelite people.
Isaac is mentioned many times as a child born from divine intervention, like Adam and Jesus. But I ask: where is it stated in the Koran that Ishmael was from the rightful seed of Abraham?
Al-Tabari, looking upon the historicity of the debate, stated: "Only the Quran could serve as proof that the account naming Isaac is clearly the more truthful of the two''. (Annals V2: p. 82). ''The Book does not mention any tidings of a male child given to Abraham except in the instance where it refers to Isaac, in which God said, ‘And his wife, standing by laughed when we gave her tidings of Isaac, and after Isaac, Jacob’, and ‘Then he became fearful of them’. They said. ‘Fear not!’ and gave him tidings of a wise son. Then his wife approached, moaning, and smote her face, and cried, ‘A barren old woman’. Thus, wherever the Quran mentions God giving tidings of the birth of a son to Abraham, it refers to Sarah (and thus to Isaac) and the same must be true of God's words ‘So we gave him tidings of a gentle son’, as it is true of all such references in the Quran." (Ibid., p. 89).
Was Muhammad born into Mecca, in or around the 'Year of the Elephant'? The Islamic tradition says that Muhammad was born in the Year of the Elephant, that's 570. This event is related to the invasion of Southern Saudi Arabia by king Abraha who marched on Mecca, his elephant (named 'Mahmud') refusing to enter the city, not to harm the Ka'ba! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraha http://www.muhammadanreality.com/yearelephant.htm
This event is recorded in sura 105 (Chr.19th): -Hast thou not seen how thy Lord dealt with the owners of the Elephant ? -Did He not bring their stratagem to naught, -And send against them swarms of flying creatures, -Which pelted them with stones of baked clay, -And made them like green crops devoured (by cattle) ?
That's already mythical enough but we found an inscription debunking 570 and without any mention to Mecca. As a matter of fact it is also proving sura 105 a rotten baloney, as the Northern Arabs -lost- to king Abraha.
The inscription is now dated 552ce and reads: "With the power of the Almighty, and His Messiah King Abraha Zeebman, the King of Saba'a, Zuridan, and Hadrmaut and Yemen and the tribes (on) the mountains and the coast wrote these lines on his battle against the tribe of Ma'ad (in) the battle of al-Rabiya in the month of "Dhu al Thabithan" and fought all of Bani A'amir and appointed the King Abi Jabar with Kinda and Al, Bishar bin Hasan with Sa'ad, Murad, and Hadarmaut in front of the army against Bani Amir of Kinda. and Al in Zu Markh valley and Murad and Sa'ad in Manha valley on the way to Turban and killed and captured and took the booty in large quantities and the King and fought at Halban and reached Ma'ad and took booty and prisoners, and after that, conquered Omro bin al-Munzir. (Abraha) appointed the son (of Omro) as the ruler and returned from Hal Ban (halban) with the power of the Almighty in the month of Zu A'allan in the year sixty-two and six hundred."
As one can clearly see, the Abraha expedition is described in detail and contrary to the fairy tales that we heard from Ibn Ishaq and traditionalists there is absolutely no mention of anything related to Kaaba or Makka. The inscription doesn't mention elephants. Given the fact is that it would have been highly impractical to bring elephants into the desert and carry their weight in water, I would say that Abraha did not use elephants. (...)
As you may have noticed, the story of Abraha as told in the inscription is kind of dull and with no happy ending for the Arabs. On the other hand, the hearsay tales from the likes of Ibn Ishaq are filled with amazing details, suspense, and drama. They capture people's imagination with the amazing detail of the character of an old frail man (the fictitious Abd Al-Mutilib) standing in the path of the Army of Abraha. The stories have special effects of amazing creatures (the elephants) and gore (the flesh and blood flowed like water and the skin of Abraha and his soldiers falling off and exposing the bones, etc.). These hearsay stories that the Arabs concocted two hundred years after the fact have very high entertainment value and appeal to the masses much as Hollywood flicks often do. However, they have no value for those interested in the truth. (...)
As a side note, the date on the inscription converts to 552AD. According to traditionalists accounts of the sira/story of the prophet, he was born in the year of Abraha's expedition and they say that he was born in 570AD. So this pushes back the date of birth of the prophet by about 20 years. This creates a big problem for traditionalists. They now either have to revise the entire Sira/story of the prophet or they have to give up all their Hadiths. This is for the simple reason that all the chains of transmission of their "Sahih" Hadiths will now be broken as a result of pushing back the dates by 20 years.
-- Abraha won. -- No mention of Mecca whatsoever, while the province of Kinda is... -- No mention of elephants (they would have needed a ton of water supply). -- No mention of al-Muttalib nor of the Quraysh tribe. --The inscription is ascertained 552AD, destroying the whole hadiths fabrications.
Indeed with the Year of the Elephant dated 552, the whole traditional account of Muhammad (570-632) falls down! (Muhammad = ?-?).
A far greater problem for the Islamic traditions is that the Sabean date on this inscription is 552 A.D. According to the most recent scholarship, Abraha died in 553 A.D. or shortly thereafter – but, according to the Muslims, Muhammad was born in 570 A.D. So, if we want to believe the Muslim traditions concerning Abraha, we have to push Muhammad's birth back 15, 16 or even 18 years. This has enormous consequences for much of early Islamic history. If Muhammad was born 18 years earlier, when did Muhammad begin to receive revelations? When did the Hijrah occur? When did Muhammad die? When did various battles take place, and when did the first four Caliphs reign? This is potentially messing up everything that Muslims believe about their early history. Moreover, this may cast doubt on much of the Islamic Traditions. The accuracy of their so-called "Sahih" Hadiths cannot be trusted because the "chains of transmission" may now be broken - most events in the life of Muhammad has been pushed back 18 years and gaps are bound to open up somewhere in the chains between Muhammad and the time of Bukhari, Muslim, and the other collectors. (...)
Muhammad ibn al-Sa'ib (died 726 A.D.) said that Muhammad was born 15 years before the "Year of the Elephant". Ja'far ibn Abi 'l-Mughira (died early 8th century A.D.) dates Muhammad's birth 10 years after the "Year of the Elephant", while Al-Kalbi tells us that Shu'ayb ibn Ishaq (died 805 A.D.) said that Muhammad was born 23 years after this event. Al-Zuhri (died 742 A.D.) believed that Muhammad was born 30 years after the "Year of the Elephant", while Musa ibn 'Uqba (died 758) believed that Muhammad was born 70 years later!8 If we assume that the "Year of the Elephant" was 570 A.D., then Muhammad could have been born anytime between 555 A.D. and 640 A.D. and could have died anytime between 615 A.D. and 700 A.D.! How can we trust any of the hadiths? The "transmitters" cited by the hadith may not have been alive during Muhammad's lifetime, to witness the events which they are believed to have "transmitted". The problem of dating Muhammad's birth date is an issue that not only affects the hadith traditions; but also affects the reliability of the history of the Quran's collection and compilation.
All the hadiths and sirah of the prophet, the whole chain of oral transmissions gets derailed, obsolete. Kaput... Kapishe!
Many Western scholars, particularly Patricia Crone in her 'Meccan Trade And The Rise of Islam' investigated about the Islamic holy city, just to find out there were no known place of that name in the 7th century, although the nearby Ta'if was reported along with Khaybar and Yathrib (Medina). According to the Islamic tradition, it was already a major trading center as well as a pilgrim sanctuary, led by the powerful 'Quraysh' tribe. Nothing of the sort is given in any found inscriptions throughout Arabia, before Islam was well established, in the very beginning of the 8th century. We've seen in the Abraha inscription that there is no mention of Mecca, nor of the 'Quraysh'.
Oh yeah... about the Year of the Elephant, that was something invented by Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib, founder of the Abbasid dynasty. He maintained to be a descendant from Abdu'l-Muttalib, the hero of the Islamic legend...
To assert their legitimacy, the bani-Hashim, who would later become the Abbasids, start to promote the victory of the Arabs lead by Abdul-Muttalib against Abraha... The Abbasids officially base their claim to the caliphate on their descent from Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib: This alone is a clear indication as to why they would be inclined to promote an event such as this.
An extremely perplexing account in early Muslim conquests is that of the battle of Qadisiyyah. This battle was fought against the Sassanid/Pehlavi forces in 636 AD. The Persian army's war elephants terrified the Arab cavalry, and succeeded in creating mass confusion among the Arab fighters for two days straight. By the third day of battle, the Muslim army succeeded in frightening the Persian elephants through various improvised tricks. When an Arab warrior succeeded in slaying the lead elephant, the rest fled into the rear and trampled the enemy soldiers. The Arabs continued to advance their attacks during the night. (...) Why does it seem that Qadisiyyah is where Arabs fought an army with elephants for the first time? (...)
Think of an elephant trying to brave the travel, especially when it feeds on tons of leaves and vegetation after every mile. Furthermore, an elephant stays in the shade or in pools of water, and even pours mud on itself to keep cool. The scorching hot sand is hardly something even the African desert elephant would be inclined to put on itself. If Abraha used elephants in his expedition, could they have survived in the harsh weather conditions of the Arabian desert? Simply put, to have elephants make their way from Yemen to Mecca would be quite an arduous task given the harsh conditions, all the more reason for the absense of elephants from the inscription being a vital indicator that no elephants were used.
Moreover, the expedition by Abraha ended with his victory and return to his capital, according to the inscription. This is almost two decades before the alleged "Year of the Elephant". There is no mention of a second expedition in historic accounts, which means he must have fought and defeated every Arab tribe he came across. Further, it concludes that if the Meccans fought against Abraha at Mecca, they were decisively defeated by him. The above inscription is irrefutable evidence that would send shivers down the spine of a traditionalist. Furthermore, Chapter 105 speaks of the "People of the Elephant" and certainly not Abraha's army.
Should that be, it would underlines that the Koran wasn't yet fix by 636 and so I certainly believe...
Now to ascertain the historic reality of Mecca, Muhammadans are referring to Ptolemy's Macoraba, linguistically unconvincing... Or to Diodorus Siculus writing: ''A temple has been set up there, which is very holy and exceedingly revered by all Arabians.'' Macoraba doesn't share the same consonant root with Mecca, while Ptolemy mentions a Mocha in Arabia Petrae, probably Petra. And of course, Diodorus did not specify a name nor a location**, nor anything which would help to locate the temple 'set up there'.
I truly hope that, by now, Muslims are getting aware they have been duped by their own clergy and Imams. Through them, they've been lead like cattles to the slaughtering house of -hell-, from the idolatry involved.
PART THREE --------------------------- The Scripts' Evidence is pointing North
Noops, it wasn't invented somewhere down the seventh heaven, nor in between. But rather first in tumultuous Hira (Iraq) later to become Kufa (the Kufic script). It is a monumental form of Kufic that we find on the Dome of the Rock and it's in Kufic that two of our oldest Koran (Samarkand and Topkapi) are written...
The Arabic alphabet evolved either from the Nabataean, or (less widely believed) from the Syriac...... In the 2nd century AD, the first known records of the Nabataean alphabet were written, in the Aramaic language (which was the language of communication and trade), but including some Arabic language features: the Nabataeans did not write the language which they spoke. They wrote in a form of the Aramaic alphabet, which continued to evolve; it separated into two forms: one intended for inscriptions (known as "monumental Nabataean") and the other, more cursive and hurriedly written and with joined letters, for writing on papyrus. This cursive form influenced the monumental form more and more and gradually changed into the Arabic alphabet.
The first recorded text in the Arabic alphabet was written in AD 512. It is a trilingual dedication in Greek, Syriac and Arabic found at Zabad in Syria. This version of the Arabic alphabet used includes only 22 letters, of which only 15 are different, being used to note 28 phonemes..... Pre-Islamic Arabic inscriptions in the Arabic alphabet are very few; only 5 are known for certain. These mostly do not use dots, making them sometimes difficult to interpret, as many letters are the same shape as other letters.
So this confirms what we've seen above: Nabataeans didn't write in the language they spoke (Arabic). The common language was rather written down on papyrus which, later, evolved into the Koranic script.
Here again, the root of the Koran points somewhere else than Central Arabia... Unless al-Hira (Iraq) is 'Mecca' (?!?).
From the evidence at hand, it is highly doubtful that, initially at least, Mecca existed as a center of any importance; certainly it was nothing like what is depicted in the Qur'an. The Roman geographer Ptolemy is often cited as an early witness to Mecca, through his description of a city called Macoraba. However, as has been pointed out, "Macoraba" is of a different linguistic root than Mecca. Crone, further, demonstrates that Ptolemy's Macoraba cannot be identified with Mecca, and that if Ptolemy did refer to anything like Mecca, it would have been to a town in Arabia Petraea named Moka, far to the north of Mecca. This identification with the Mecca of Islamic tradition is, obviously, extremely tenuous at best.
Mecca as the center of caravan trade presented in the Islamic tradition, was practically unknown by contemporaries. Whereas Arabia (a term which can include the deserts east of Al-Shams) was of political and ecclesiastical importance in the 6th century, there is no mention of the Quraysh or the trading center of Mecca in any way, in any literature from the time, even though Greek and Latin authors had written extensively about the trade which supplied them with the spices and other goods of southern Arabia, and which is assumed in Muslim tradition to have come through Mecca. Crone points out that in sources contemporary with the maturation of the Arab religion (late 7th/8th centuries), there seems to be some confusion as to where Mecca even was....
Another evidence for the Syrian origin of the Arab religion lies in the disposition of the religious milieu in which the Arabs of Al-Shams existed versus the Hijaz. There is no archaeological evidence to support the contention in the Qur'an that Mecca and the Hijaz were huge centers of pre-Islamic Jahiliyya paganism. Indeed, there has not been found any solid evidence of permanent Arab settlement in the region of the Hijaz in the 6th and early 7th centuries. There is, however, evidence for exactly the type of pagan centers, practices, and sanctuaries that are described in the Qur'an and the Muslim traditions - in Syria-Palestine. (...) Further, there is evidence that what is called "Classical Arabic" (the language of the Qur'an) did not originate in the Arabian peninsula, but arose instead among the Arabs of Al-Shams. Classical Arabic adapted an Aramaic (22 letter) script which is actually not very suitable for transcribing Arabic. This is despite the presence among peninsular Arabian tribes of South Arabian scripts with 28 or 29 letters which would be more suitable for Classical Arabic (with which any hypothetical Meccans in a busy caravan town would have been very familiar).
The fact that a more unwieldy script was chosen suggests that the reason was due to the availability of the Aramaic-based scripts, in turn suggesting a more northerly origin for Classical Arabic than in the Hijaz. In fact, there is no epigraphic or other evidence for Classical Arabic in the Hijaz region until the reign of Mu'awiyah in the 660s AD. This late appearance, coupled with the fact that when Classical Arabic appeared in the Hijaz it did so fully developed (with no long history of evolution), indicates that it was introduced from outside, perhaps by a colonization effort into the region instituted by Mu'awiyah. The traces of development of Classical Arabic from precursors are instead found in Syria, where an early form of this language written in a proto-Kufic script has been found at a number of sites dating to the 6th century, including on the lentils of church doors.
The former umm al-Qura (or mother towns) are displayed in red where the oldest Arabic scripts were discovered, the green being those of the Musnad type. We shall notice southwest Hegra...
We've seen quite eloquently that a Mecca in Central Arabia is most unlikely where Muhammad inhabited. If it existed at all it was rather insignificant and barren, far from a center of worship in pre-Islamic time. An old town in south Lebanon called Abel-Beth Maacah, bordering the Beka'a valley, mentioned in the OT, could very well suit our research. Even the calligraphic evidences point to a place of birth near or in Iraq.
So can we gather more evidences that Muhammad spend his youth in this area rather than in Central Arabia? PLENTY! Let's bring them out... Once again first with the help of 'Brother Ayman' from free-minds.org
In the article entitled Language Barrier we have seen how even important events in Sira are problematic, for example, when the prophet was born and where he lived. There is no evidence of a pre-quranic town named Mecca and the evidence shows that the common noun "mecca" (destruction) in 48:24 was appropriated after the great reading was revealed. So naturally, the question arises, where did the prophet really live? (...)
WHERE DID THE PROPHET REALLY LIVE? In our quest to find the region where the prophet really lived, we will use a somewhat different approach to previous attempts. We will use an approach based on the orthography of the great reading. In the same way that one can recognize if a scribe is British or American from the style of a person's English hand writing, the use of certain vocabulary and the spelling of certain words, we will try to use orthography to identify where the great reading was originally descended. As we saw in the article "Language Barrier", Arabic was an informal common people language and not a prestigious religious or literary language of the elite. As a result, archeologists have found that up to the Islamic era and the appearance of the great reading, Arabic inscriptions were written in various scripts and there was no specific script associated with the language. Arabic writers simply used the script of prestige of the geographic area where it was written. The script of prestige was the script associated with the language of prestige in the area. In the pre-Islamic era, there were two main scripts used to write Old Arabic:
1. The Nabataean Aramaic script. This is the script of the Nabataean Aramaic language. 2. The Musnad script. This script is also called Ancient South Arabian script and it is the script associated with the Sabaic language.
While the Musnad script became extinct shortly after the Islamic era, the Nabataean script became the Arabic script that we are all familiar with today. The following map shows the location of Old Arabic inscriptions in the Nabataean script (in red) and Musnad script (in green). (...)
Mashq (Medina) script, attested: 725. Surahs Ya-Sin (36), 72-83 and Al-Saffat, 1-14. No aya markers and no surah headings. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma%27il (Ma'il or Hijazi script, from Hejaz -West coast of Arabia).
The orthography of the great reading negates a central Arabian origin. In central and south Arabia, the Sabaic script remained the prestige script until the Islamic era when it was displaced by the Nabataean Aramaic script of the great reading. In the Roman affiliated Ghassanid provinces of northern Arabia, Greek increasingly became the prestige language of politics and religion starting around the mid fourth century CE and thus took over as the prestige religious script. This is confirmed by two pre-quranic leaves of parchment bearing a part of the Septuagint text of Psalm 78 (LXX, 77) with an Arabic explanation written in Greek script. On the other hand, in southwestern Iraq and the border areas of Northern Arabia, the Lakhmid provinces continued to use Nabataean Aramaic as the script of prestige for writing Arabic.
Given the physical archeological evidence above and the fact that there was no specific script associated with Arabic, the great reading was simply written in the script of prestige of the region where it originated. At the late sixth century CE, the Nabataean Aramaic script was the script of prestige in the Northern Arabian Lakhmid provinces and border towns, just as the Musnad script was in central Arabia. So this completely negates that the great reading was originally written in a central Arabian town such as present-day Mecca otherwise it would have been written in the far more suitable Musnad script, which was the script of prestige for that region. This also completely negates that the great reading was originally revealed in a Roman town such as Jerusalem or the Ghassanids towns around it where Greek was the prestige script. The only logical conclusion based on the evidence is that the great reading must have originated in a north Arabian Lakhmid province where Nabataean Aramaic was the prestige script.
As an interesting side note, we see in the great reading Nabataean idols such as Manat spelled using the Nabataean spelling with a medial "waw" ("mnwt") as opposed to the Arabic spelling ("mnt"). This further supports that the great reading was revealed in an area where Nabataean Aramaic was the prestige script and hence the scribes adopted the foreign Nabataean spelling of the proper name that they are used to instead of the Old Arabic spelling, which matches the Arabic pronunciation. (...) Given that by the late sixth century CE, the upper parts of that area, such as Avdat and Umm Aljimal would have been under strong Roman influence and Greek would have become the prestige language, this leaves us with towns in the lower part of that area as the most likely candidates for where the great reading originated. This would be somewhere between Hegra and Hira, including towns such as Domat Al-Jandal, Tabuk, Tayma, etc. Unlike the isolated and insignificant town later named Mecca, all those towns were significant towns on major trade routes and had diverse multi-faith populations. Thus, any of them would fit much better the description given in the great reading as "umm al-qura" (an expression akin to "mother of settlements" or "the cradle of civilization"-i.e. 6.92; 42.7).
The Nabataean alphabet used 22 phonemes; the Musnad 28, just like Arabic. Compellingly, the former prevailed instead!
This alone is proving that it was written in Pre-Islamic time for the Musnad type disappeared shortly after the emergence of Islam. Now there's something odd about the fact that the northern Nabatean script prevailed (from Aramaic) instead of the Musnad, for the later was better fit to express Arabic's 28 phonemes than the 22 alphabet letters of the Nabateans. That is clearly indicating a northern origin for the Koranic Arabic, rather than a central one. Now the inscriptions in the desert are incredibly well preserved due to the lack of rain and humidity. Here's another Musnad inscription...
Oldest proto-Arabic Inscription, that of Zebed (near Aleppo, Syria) dated 512AD. Trilingual with 6 words (including Al-Ilah -Allah) in Arabic: With the help of God (الاله)! Sergius, son of Amat Manaf, and Tobi, son of Imru'l-qais and Sergius, son of Sa‘d, and Sitr, and Shouraih.
Kaus/Qos was the Edomite's divinity later known as Dushara, Arabic Dhu Shara'a (root for Shariah), lord over Shur and Seir! http://nabataea.net/gods.html
http://www.free-minds.org/moh (on 6 pages) The author (signing 'Layth') starts an Islamic anthology going from Noah to Hud (Aad), to Saleh (Thamud) and then Abraham to Lot, quoting many ayats (2.127; 2.158; 3.96; 22.26; 14.37; 6.83-86; 15.76-77; 29.35): ''And the left remains of it as a clear sign....''
On the changing of the Qibla as reported in the Koran (2.142-150, another early Medina sura)... ...Then the ayat about the changing of the Qibla: “The foolish from amongst the people will Say: “What has turned them away from the focal point that they were on?” Say: “To God is the east and the west, He guides whomsoever He wishes to a straight path” (2:142). The Muslims today are confused to the above verses in thinking that the shift towards the ‘Restricted Temple’ was God’s command for Mohammed when he shifted away from Jerusalem (and they assume towards the shrine of Mecca). The problem with this understanding is that in 2:142 the “change” had already taken place and the people were commenting about it (i.e. 'what made them change from their Qibla?'). While in 2:144 the Prophet is given “new” instructions to use the focal point of the “Restricted Temple” (which cannot be Mecca because the first change of Qibla that was meant to be a “test” has already happened and thus the people were all facing the focal point opposite Jerusalem).
Any of those towns in the Lakhmid provinces and border areas would also fit much better the clearly multi-faith environment where the great reading was revealed. Between the fourth and sixth century CE, Roman Christians have been persecuting other faiths such as Jews and even other Christian sects that they viewed as heretic such as Nestorians and Monophysites. As a result, those groups increasingly moved to the Lakhmid areas were they were tolerated and welcomed as a result of their opposition to the Romans. Thus, unlike Roman Christians, the Nasara are never described as being Trinitarians. In 5:72-73 we see that the term Nasara doesn't occur. The passage condemns as unappreciative/rejecters/"kuffar" Monophysites (5:72) and Roman Trinitarians (5:73). On the other hand, 9:30-33 describes the Nasara as "mushrikeen" (setting up partners) for claiming that Jesus is son of The God. The Nestorians fit this description because they rejected the Trinity and emphasized the humanity of Jesus.
We know from archeological evidence that the Lakhmid areas were the main center for Nestorians.
The archaeological evidence, which has been and is continuing to be uncovered from the first mosques built in the 7th century, by archaeologists Creswell and Fehervari concerning two Umayyad mosques in Iraq and one near Baghdad, had Qiblas not facing Mecca but oriented too far north. The Wasit mosque is off by 33 degrees, and the Baghdad mosque by 30 degrees. This agrees with Balahhuri’s testimony (called the Futuh) that the Qibla of the first mosque in Kufa, Iraq, supposedly constructed in 670 lay to the west, while it should have pointed almost directly south.
The Amr b. al As mosque outside Cairo in Egypt shows also that the Qibla again pointed too far north and had to be corrected by the governor Qurra b. Sharik. All above instance position the Qibla not towards Mecca but much further north, possibly to the vicinity of Jerusalem . We find further corroboration for this direction of prayer by the Christian writer and traveller Jacob of Edessa, who, writing as late as 705 was a contemporary eye-witness in Egypt . He maintained that the Mahgraye (Greek name for Saracens) in Egypt prayed facing east and not south or south-east. His letter (still found in the British Museum ) is indeed revealing. Therefore, as late as 705, the direction of prayer towards Mecca had not yet been canonized.
According to Dr. Hawting, from SOAS (school of Oriental and African Studies in London), new archaeological discoveries also show that up till that time the Muslims (or Hagarenes from Hagar) were indeed praying not towards Mecca but facing north possibly Jerusalem. Yet the Quran tells us (in sura 2) that the direction of the Qibla was fixed towards Mecca by approximately two years after the Hijra, or around 624, and has remained in that direction until the present. What is happening here?
Why are the Qiblas of these early mosques not facing towards Mecca ? This discrepancy goes as late as 705.
So where was 'Mecca'? According to the computerized evidences gathered it was in the wadi al-Qura:
In both the first and second civil wars, notes accounts of people proceeding from Medina to Iraq via Mecca. Yet Mecca is southwest of Medina, and Iraq is northeast. Thus the sanctuary for Islam, according to these traditions was at one time north of Medina, which is the opposite direction from where Mecca is today! (van Ess 1971:p.16; Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Dhahabi 1369: p.343).
It was north, not south of Medina, as per all former testimonies; the Abraha inscription was right: it simply wasn't where it's now!
The idolatrous site of ''al-Hijr'' in his blasphemous ''Maqam Ibrahim'': LIES !
They even leveled down As-Safa & Marwan to be... symbolically replaced !!
So, compelling evidences are pointing to the Northwest of Arabia as the region where Muhammad came from. This would be in concordance with 37.137-138: ''And lo! ye verily pass by (the ruin of) them in the morning, And at night-time; have ye then no sense?'' and 33.27 ''He caused you to inherit their land and their houses and their wealth, and land ye have not trodden.'' We should think from the later that he wasn't from Mecca and we can deduce from the former that he was a Northwest, Nabataean Arab...
My own personal belief is that the prophet came from Hegra (nowadays the archaeological Mada'in Salah). It corresponds to many above requirements and the familiarity between Hegra and Hegira takes it all!
Landscape between Medina and Al-Ula, almost as if we were part of the Hegira
Qasr Al-Farid (in nowadays Mada'in Saleh, former Hegra or Al-Hijr, surah 15)
Al-Khuraymat (Mount Athlab or Ethlib, an impressive natural altar)
Was this the inspiration behind: 'The Year of the Elephant'?
The phantasmagorical oasis and landscape of Al-Ula (Al-Haram, Dedan).
The Old Dedan/Al-Haram oasis (top in the shadows) nearby the new Al-Ula.
Mabiyat archaeological sites occur at 15 km to the south of Al Ula near Mugheira village. Its history goes back to the Umayyad and Abbasid periods. Ruins of buildings, remains of an irregular wall enclosure and pottery shreds can be seen on the site area. The Antiquities Department conducted excavations in 1948-1985 and covered the buildings of A LARGE ISLAMIC CITY....
To be continued... some other day! Stay tune for we're heading toward Mount Sinai, the Koranic Al-Masjid al-Haram !
2:158 Lo! (the mountains) As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the indications of Allah. It is therefore no sin for him who is on pilgrimage to the House (of God) or visiteth it, to go around them (as the pagan custom is)....
Last edited by The Cat on Fri May 27, 2011 2:31 am, edited 7 times in total.
Authority has the same etymological root as authenticity.
The buraq is a very fast animal; the length of the buraq's stride is the farthest distance it's eye can see. The Prophet and Jibril arrived to a land with palm trees. Jibril told the Prophet to dismount and pray, so the Prophet dismounted the buraq and prayed two rak^as. Jibril asked him, "Do you know where you prayed?" and the Prophet answered, "Allah knows best." Jibril told him, "This is Yathrib; this is Taybah. "." (These are two names for the city of al-Madinah.) Before the Prophet emigrated to al-Madinah, it was called Taybah and Yathrib. It earned the name al-Madinah after the Prophet emigrated to it.
...1- After the Prophet took this night journey from Masjid al-Haram to Masjid al-Aqsa, he ascended to the upper heavens. The Prophet ascended to the heaven on stairs, called al-mirqat, in which one step is made of gold and the next of silver, and so on....
But let's get some seriousness now!
MAQAM Ibrahim Maqam-e-Ibrahim (the place of Abraham, Hebrew -Maqom).
The most obvious reference which seems at odds with the idea that the Maqam Ibrahim is the sacred stone bearing that name at the Muslim Sanctuary is the Qur'anic verse 2:125: "Take for yourselves a place of prayer from the Maqam Ibrahim" ("wa'ttakhidh min Maqami Ibrahima musallan"). In connection with this verse the exegetes give a number of different explanations of what is meant by Maqam Ibrahim. In addition to the view that the name here refers to the stone which is now so called, it is also said to indicate the whole of the haram or various extended areas within the haram. The context seems to require explanations such as these since it is necessary to explain away the preposition min as a redundant particle if it is desired to see the Qur'anic reference as to the stone which is now called Maqam Ibrahim.
On the whole, therefore, the verse seems inconsistent with the usually accepted signification of the name Maqam Ibrahim. Furthermore, in some traditions and verses of poetry the name Maqam Ibrahim, or more frequently simply al-Maqam occurs in contexts which suggest that we are dealing with something other than the stone which now bears the name.
It seems clear that, whether the references are to al-Maqam or Maqam Ibrahim, there is frequently some difficulty in reconciling the references with the Meccan sanctuary as we know it, or some suggestion that they are not to the stone which now bears the name Maqam Ibrahim. Since it seems impossible that such references could have originated after the Muslim sanctuary had become established at Mecca in the form in which we know it, it seems to follow that they must date from an earlier period when the name Maqam Ibrahim meant something else....
The attempt to reconcile the Qur'anic reference with the facts of the Meccan sanctuary, however, seems obviously forced, and when the evidence is taken as a whole it does seem to indicate a development of the sort suggested. In general, it seems likely that the literary sources we have for early Islam represent the outcome of a long process of editorial amendment and revision (...) In the case of the Qur'anic reference, where the contradiction between its conception of Maqam Ibrahim and that of later Islam is more clear, amendment of the text would not have been so easy for obvious reasons. In this case the necessary reconciliation was attempted in the tafsir literature rather than by alteration of the text itself.
The only possible meaning of Maqam-e-Ibrahim is found in the Hebrew Maqom מָקוֹם wrote in Gen.19.27: ''And Abraham got up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD.'' Maqom is a derivative of qum (any place, space or area whereas is home) like Qumran.
Maqom is also written in Gen.1.9: ''And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place (makom) and the dry land appear, and it was so.'' The Mishnah is teaching to never reject anything because there is no thing which does not have "makom" - a spark of G-dliness in it. By extension it could mean -where one becomes enlightened by God. The spiritual space of redeemering or salvation (in the Jewish Kabala).
As a generic, Maqom is thus any place where one feels at home, warmed. In a religious context, an enlightening place.
The mausoleum-fortress of Abraham in Hebron, only 20 miles from Jerusalem.
3.96-97: Lo! the first Sanctuary appointed for mankind was that at Becca, a blessed place, a guidance to the peoples; Wherein are plain memorials (of Allah's guidance); the place where Abraham stood up to pray; and whosoever entereth it is safe. And pilgrimage to the House is a duty unto Allah for mankind, for him who can find a way thither....
This verse is telling us that, like Jews still do, Abraham -stood up to pray-. We'll see below what was 'the Hajj to the House'...
The special status of the Hijr is explained in Muslim tradition in a number of ways: at various, times it is said to have-been included in the Ka'ba, but ultimately its sanctity derives from its association with Hagar and Ishmael. Most frequently the hijr is explained as the place where Ishmael and his mother are buried.... Again, however, there are references to al-Hijr which suggest that it has changed in meaning.
For example, there is mention of Quraysh meeting in al-Hijr in the Jahiliyya and in the lifetime of the Prophet,29 something which would hardly have been possible in the rather small area which now bears the name.... A'isha too is said to have taken refuge in al-Hijr when, after the murder of 'Uthman.... In these cases it would not be impossible to see al-Hijr as the area adjacent to the Ka'ba but the material suggests that we are dealing with a different concept. Lammens suggested, on the evidence of these traditions, that the religious practice of incubation was performed in the independent sanctuary called al-Hijr in the Jadhiliyya.
There are some indications of a dispute about the status of al-Hijr. The inclusion of al-Hijr inside the bayt is the most striking feature of the sanctuary constructed by Ibn al-Zubayr and, similarly, the exclusion of al-Hijr appears to be the chief alteration made by al-Hajjaj when he destroyed and rebuilt the sanctuary after his defeat of Ibn al-Zubayr.
Lack of consensus regarding the meaning of the name distinguishes the case of al-Hatim from those of Maqam Ibrahim and al-Hijr. The last two are well known as the names of features of the Muslim sanctuary at Mecca, but traces of what we have suggested are earlier, superseded meanings for them are occasionally to be found in the literary material. With al-Vatim, however, the name really seems superfluous with regard to the Meccan sanctuary and I suggest that here we are dealing with a remnant of early Muslim sanctuary ideas which it has not proved possible to attach definitively to any feature of the sanctuary when it was islamized......
It seems that it is necessary, in order to provide a satisfactory explanation of the material which has been noted here and much of which was adduced by Lammens, to go beyond the traditional version of how the Meccan sanctuary was incorporated into Islam.....
AL-RUKH The name al-Rukn has been subjected to a redefinition aimed at bringing it into line with later Muslim sanctuary concepts, a redefinition of a sort rather different to that proposed by Lammens. In some cases it seems that al-Rukn cannot be either the Black Stone or the corner containing it. For example, in the accounts of Ibn al-Zubayrls rebuilding of the sanctuary it is reported that he placed the Black Stone (variously al-Vajar al-Aswad or al-Rukn) in an ark (tdbat) while the bayt was demolished and then ceremoniously replaced it in the south-east corner of the new building. Other traditions relating to this rebuilding, however, mention that Ibn al-Zubayr dug in al-Hijr and found there a stone. In some of the traditions this stone appears as a foundation stone, for its uncovering causes all of Mecca to tremble.... (etc)
AL-MASJID AL-HARAM If we accept the traditional version of the history of the Meccan sanctuary, there seems no satisfactory reason for the fluctuation in the meaning of the name in the ways illustrated (ex.17.1). If al-Masjid al-Haram always meant what it now means at the Muslim sanctuary at Mecca, why would it be used in the Qur'an and the traditions in ways which can only be made to coincide with that meaning with some difficulty?
It seems more satisfactory to try to dissociate the name from the Muslim sanctuary at Mecca in cases like those mentioned, to try to make sense of the material without using the concepts of later Islam to interpret it. It seems, for example, that the need to equate al-Masjid al-Haram with the Ka'ba in connection with the qibla verses only arises if we accept the traditional Muslim exegesis of these verses and the traditional accounts of the institution of the qibla.
If, as seems more likely, it is considered that the practice of facing the Ka'ba at Mecca in prayer developed independently of these Qur'anic verses and that the scriptural support for the practice was only provided later, then it is possible to try to reach some understanding of what al-Masjid al-Haram means in the Qur'an without prejudging the outcome. Again, therefore, I suggest that we have a term which has been adapted in order to provide it with some application to the Meccan sanctuary but which probably originated in a different context.
There are few plausible explanations of why there should be a wall there in the first place. It has been suggested, for example, that a low wall, and so the hijr enclosure, once surrounded the Ka'ba on all sides and marked the area within which the idols were worshiped through sacrifice, or, more enticingly but less convincingly, that the hatim represents the remains of the apse of a Christian church oriented toward Jerusalem, which, it will be seen, was the direction in which once Muhammad prayed while he was still at Mecca.
The word hijr itself means "inviolable" or "taboo," and it occurs once in that sense in the Quran (6:137-139), in reference not to the area near the Ka'ba but to animals and crops earmarked as belonging to the gods, a sense that supports the contention that the hijr, whatever its original extent, may have served as a pen for the animals destined for sacrifice to the idols around the Ka'ba. Whether it was so used in Muhammad's own lifetime seems doubtful, however, at least on the evidence of the Muslim authorities. As the hijr is portrayed in Muhammad's day, it was a place of common assembly where political matters were discussed, or people prayed, or, as it appears, slept." (The Hajj, F. E. Peters, p 3-41, 1994).
There we have it: Al-Hijr also meant 'inviolable'. Does the 'Inviolable Place of Worship' starts to ring a bell?
The HAJJ Let's have a good look at this map of old Midian/Paran and see the Hajj road, middle right...
So, basically, the Hajj was the caravaners' way into Midian, becoming further north the King's Way!
Some other rooted words: Hajja: to dispute (6.80); Hijj: to visit (3.97); Hijaj: a time elapsed (28.27); Hujjatin: Proof, evidence (42.16). HIJR: Exclusive, reserved (6.138), a stone city (15.80). Hajar (pl. hijaratun): Stone, rock, hardened as rock (2.74).
14.37: Our Lord! Lo! I have settled -some of my posterity- in an uncultivable valley near unto Thy holy House...
There was a city in biblical time named Selah, corresponding to the Nabatean Petra, right on the Hajj Road (better known as the Desert Highway or the King's Way) from Aqaba to Damascus. As mentioned in surah 106 there were two annual journeys from the caravaners one in summer (umrah), one bigger in winter (Hajj).
So, in pre-Islamic time whenever the caravaners came into a city, there was either an umrah or a Hajj, which were both commercial gatherings yet with something like our festive/religious thanksgiving spirit.
28:27 He said: Lo! I fain would marry thee to one of these two daughters of mine on condition that thou hirest thyself to me for (the term of) eight pilgrimages. Then if thou completest ten it will be of thine own accord, for I would not make it hard for thee. Allah willing, thou wilt find me of the righteous.
28.28: He said: That (is settled) between thee and me. Whichever of the two terms I fulfil, there will be no injustice to me, and Allah is Surety over what we say.
28.29: Then, when Moses had fulfilled the term, and was travelling with his housefolk, he saw in the distance a fire and said unto his housefolk: Bide ye (here). Lo! I see in the distance a fire; peradventure I shall bring you tidings thence, or a brand from the fire that ye may warm yourselves.
So, there was Hajj in the time of Moses and the verses bring us to the Burning Bush!
Ex.3.1-2: Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
Though Sinai and Horeb are often considered to have been different names for the same place, there is a body of opinion that they may have been different locations. Horeb is thought to mean Glowing/Heat, which seems to be a reference to the sun, while Sinai may have derived from the name of Sin, the Sumerian deity of the moon, and thus Sinai and Horeb would be the mountain of the moon and sun, respectively.
Some biblical references...
Genesis (on Ishmael) 16.10-14: Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
21.21: And he (Ishmael) dwelt in the wilderness of Paran...
25:9 And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah (Hebron), in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre...
25.12-17: Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bare unto Abraham: And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa, Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah: These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations.
25.18: And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria: and he died in the presence of all his brethren.
Exodus 2:15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.
3:1-2 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
17.6-7: Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?
Numbers 10:12 And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran.
13:26 And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land.
Dt. 1.2: These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red sea, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab. (There are eleven days' journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.)
33:2 And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.
So a lot of biblical verses are pointing to Paran/Midian as the place where Moses wandered and settled. So far Mt Sinai was identified in the Sinai peninsula but both names and identification comes from Helena, the mother of Constantine from... a dream! There were Egyptian garrisons in the peninsula protecting the mines, and since Moses avoided the 'way of the Philistines', he must have taken the other main road, leading from Succoth to Eilat almost directly!
In my opinion, this is the most probable route of the Exodus, Mt Horeb nearby al-Bad, Jethro's place.
Al-Bad being also known as the city of Midian, where the caravaners long stopped on their Hajj road.
Galatians 4:25-26 implies that Mount Sinai and Jerusalem were located on or near the same meridian. Eastern Jerusalem is at about 35-15’E longitude. The peak of Jabal al Lawz is 215 miles south at 35-18.25’E, about 3.5 miles (5.7 km) east of that meridian. Jabal al Lawz, the tallest mountain in N.W. Saudi Arabia, is associated with the classical domain of ancient Midian.
Rejecting Mount Seir as a site for Mount Sinai, the meridian eventually comes to Jabal al Lawz, a prominent mountain about 215 miles south of Jerusalem. Towering above the other ridges comprising the Lawz range, its 8000+ foot peak makes it the tallest mountain in northwest Saudi Arabia. The main Jabal al Lawz peak is at longitude 35-18.25’E. The longitude of the Eastern Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem is 35-14.25’E. The four-minute difference in longitude puts the Lawz peak about 4 miles (7 km) further east. Such a relationship would correspond with the geographical implications of Paul’s sustoicheo.
Interestingly, the Jewish historian Josephus (ca. 37-100 A.D.) observed that Mount Sinai was “the highest of all mountains that are in that country” (Josephus 1960, 70). If Josephus’ information about Mount Sinai is accurate, his description agrees well with the Jabal al Lawz range. In recent decades, a mountain within the Lawz range, Jabal al Maqla, has been proposed as the precinct of the biblical Mount Sinai. Its peak is about 4.25 miles SSE of the main Lawz peak. Between the Jabal al Lawz range and the Red Sea coast there are no other likely candidates for a Mount Sinai.
Jabal al Lawz is situated to the east of the Gulf of Aqaba in a region that was part of the Arabia spoken of by Paul. Based on the records of the ancient Greek and Arab geographers, one can conclude that the land of Midian likely occupied this portion of modern northwest Saudi Arabia. Although the Bible does not specifically state that Mount Sinai was in Midian, a spatial proximity is implied. For example, Stephen’s speech in Acts 7 recalled that, after Moses had fled from Egypt to Midian, he encountered the burning bush in the wilderness of Mount Sinai. Following this experience, Moses set out from Midian for his return to Egypt (Exodus 4:18).
The proximity of Jabal al Lawz to the Classical location of Midian is a factor that supports its potential identification as Mount Sinai.
1) Mount Sinai was in the Arabia of Paul’s day. 2) Sustoicheo: Jerusalem and Mount Sinai were on the same meridian. 3) Ano: Jerusalem was north of Mount Sinai. 4) The north-south relationship puts Jerusalem and Mount Sinai on a similar meridian of longitude.
This meridian leads to Midianite Jebel al-Lawz (near al-Bad/Jethro city), through the Paran Seir
Part EIGHT -------------------------------- From Mount Horeb to Mount Sinai (Al-Masjid al-Haram)
In the Koran, Mount Marwan is connected to the Arabic Mar'a (a fair woman, Hagar). Marwan = Marah. At the feet of Jebel Al-Laws lies this ancient fountain-rock.
The usual three contenders for Mt Sinai are: Jebel al-Madhbah (Petra), Hala'l Badr (Al-Ula) and Mt. Al-Laws (near Midian/al-Bad) which we've seen above. In my opinion Mt Horeb and Meribah/Marah is Al-Laws and Mt Sinai... Hala'l Badr, a volcano nearby Al-Ula...
Jebel al-Madhbah (Petra) Since Moses is described by the Bible as encountering Jethro, a Kenite who was a Midianite priest, shortly before encountering Sinai, this suggests that Sinai would be somewhere near their territory; the Kenites and Midianites appear to have resided east of the Gulf of Aqaba. Additionally, the Song of Deborah, which textual scholars consider one of the oldest parts of the Bible, portrays God as having dwelt at Mount Seir, and seems to suggest that this equates with Mount Sinai; Mount Seir designates the mountain range in the centre of Edom. Based on a number of local names and features, in 1927 Ditlef Nielsen identified the Jebel al-Madhbah (meaning mountain of the Altar) at Petra as being identical to the biblical Mount Sinai.
Hala'l Badr (near Al-Ula) A number of scholars, including Charles Beke, Sigmund Freud, and Immanuel Velikovsky (also Alois Musil, Jean Koenig and Colin Humphreys), have proposed that the biblical description of devouring fire on Mount Sinai refers to an erupting volcano; this possibility would exclude all the peaks on the Sinai Peninsula and Mount Seir, but would match a number of locations in north western Saudi Arabia, of which Hala-'l Badr is the most prominent.
Humphreys reports that a volcano in the region erupted in AD 640, but it is not known exactly which volcano this was. Hala-'l Badr has a volcanic explosivity index of at least 2, meaning that it is an explosive volcano capable of producing a plume three miles high. The area of Madyan in which Hala-'l Badr lies is reputed to have been the site of ancient disasters caused by earthquakes and possibly a volcano (see Thamud and Madyan).
Mount Al-Laws (near al-Bad, ie. Midian). A theory has been put forth that Jabal al-Lawz in Saudi Arabia is Mount Sinai. Advocates for this theory include Dr. Lenart Moller (and Howard Blum, in a book on this topic, and also Ron Wyatt and Bob Cornuke)... Allen Kerkselager, associate professor of Theology at St. Joseph's University has stated that "Jabal al Lawz may also be the most convincing option for identifying the Mt. Sinai of biblical tradition" and should be researched. A number of researchers support this hypothesis. Ken Durham, Assistant Dean of Professional and Biblical Studies of Colorado Christian University, who has conducted on-site research throughout the middle east, says: "I feel Bob Cornuke's work concerning the locale of Mount Sinai is right on the money."....
Equating Sinai with Petra would indicate that the Israelites journeyed in roughly a straight line from Egypt via Kadesh Barnea, and locating Sinai in Saudi Arabia would suggest Kadesh Barnea was skirted to the south...
Well, Kadesh Barnea is the reunion of two vague names: Kadesh meaning holy and Barnea, lost and wandering, without much water. Really it could be given to ANY oasis reached after a long and desolate wandering under the torching desert's sun, a salvation point...
The real biblical Mt. Sinai is in Saudi Arabia. A mountain called Jabal al-Lawz which means the “mountain of almonds.” Here are just a few reasons why it might be the real Mt. Sinai:
1. It is located in ancient Midian, also known as Madia or Madiam. 2. Has a large desert behind it. 3. Is located outside Egypt and its territories which included the Sinai Peninsula and Canaan. 4. Its location agrees with that given by Josephus and Philo. 5. It has a blackened peak which is not caused by volcanic activity. 6. Has a cleft in a rock, like the one mentioned in the Bible. 7. Has evidence of an ancient spring. 8. Is in Arabia, as the real mountain is spoken of in the Bible. 9. At the foot of the mountain there is a large altar covered in calf drawings. 10. Has a large pillar like rock which is eroded from the bottom up suggesting that water gushed out of it. Down the hill from this rock there appears to be what was once a lake. 11. Quail cover the ground, as referenced in the Bible that quail flew from the west and fell to the ground exhausted. 12. Has a cave as referenced as the place Elijah spent the night on Mt. Horeb (another name for Mt. Sinai.) 13. Has a bush that dates to over 2000 years old (burning bush?) 14. Has several almond trees (Aaron’s staff sprouted almonds) (Jabal al-Lawz means in English the mountain of almonds) 15. There are large piles of rock around the base of the mountain (God told Moses to mark out the base so that the Israelites didn’t get too close lest they die).
The interpretation of the valley of Baca in the The Jewish Encylopedia is quite interesting, though it does not provide a complete evidence and leaves the reader with a suggestion. Below is the full quote.
Baca, The Valley Of: A valley mentioned in Psalms LXXXIV:7. Since it is there said that pilgrims transform the valley into a land of wells, an old translators gave to Baca, the meaning of a "valley of weeping"; but it signifies rather any valley lacking water. Support for this latter view is to be found in II Samuel V:23 et seq.; I Chronicles XIV:14 et seq., in which the plural form of the same word designates a tree similar to the balsam tree; and it was supposed that a dry valley could be named after this tree. Konig takes Baca from the Arabian Baka'a, and translates it "lack of streams". The Psalmist apparently has in mind a particular valley whose natural condition led him to adopt its name.
It seems safe to seek the meaning of baka in relation to the dripping water, since we often find this word in the names related to rivers and wadis, such as Wadi al-Baka in the Sinaitic district and Baca on the wadi in the central Galilee area, W of Meroth..... The two interpretations of Baca, viz., "lack of stream" and "the valley of weeping" appears to fit in the context of pilgrimage to Bakkah, the older name of Makkah where the Ka'bah is situated. Ka'bah has been a place of reverence by all Arabians before the Christian era as we have seen earlier.
te'-man (teman, "on the right," i.e. "south"; Thaiman): The name of a district and town in the land of Edom, named after Teman the grandson of Esau, the son of his firstborn, Eliphaz (Genesis 36:11 1 Chronicles 1:36). A duke Teman is named among the chiefs or clans of Edom (Genesis 36:42 1 Chronicles 1:53). He does not however appear first, in the place of the firstborn. Husham of the land of the Temanites was one of the ancient kings of Edom (Genesis 36:34 1 Chronicles 1:45). From Obad 1:9 we gather that Teman was in the land of Esau (Edom).
In Amos 1:12 it is named along with Bozrah, the capital of Edom. In Ezekiel 25:13 desolation is denounced upon Edom: "From Teman even unto Dedan shall they fall by the sword." Dedan being in the South, Teman must be sought in the North Eusebius, Onomasticon knows a district in the Gebalene region called Theman, and also a town with the same name, occupied by a Roman garrison, 15 miles from Petra. Unfortunately no indication of direction is given. No trace of the name has yet been found. It may have been on the road from Elath to Bozrah.
The inhabitants of Teman seem to have been famous for their wisdom (Jeremiah 49:7 Obadiah 1:8 f). Eliphaz the Temanite was chief of the comforters of Job (2:11, etc.). The manner in which the city is mentioned by the prophets, now by itself, and again as standing for Edom, shows how important it must have been in their time.
Where else could be the House of God, His al-Masjid al_Haram, than the volcano of Mt Sinai, ie. Mount Bedr = Mecca? All of a sudden the battle of Badr, of Khaybar and of Tabouk, the pledges of Aqaba, start to make geographical sense!
There are hundreds of volcanoes closer to Egypt than Thera, across the Red Sea in Arabia. They are smaller, but closer, which can give the same effect. This is a new lead. Are there any additional clues in the Bible that tie the Exodus to an active volcano? Yes. During the Exodus Moses first led the Israelites to a mountain that trembled and smoked and emitted clouds of vapor. Volcanoes do that. The mountain was Mount Sinai. The trembling, the smoke, and the clouds of vapor were interpreted as supernatural.......
Suppose the plagues were tied to some sort of natural disaster. The usual suspects for natural disasters are hurricanes, earthquakes and volconoes. In the case of the Exodus, the evidence points to a volcano as the primary suspect. Through some determined research, Colin Humphreys identified the volcano of the Exodus as Hala-'l Badr (20° 15' N, 37° 15' E) in present day Saudi Arabia. He presents a strong case based on geological records and local legends. However, Humphreys only mentions this volcano as Mount Sinai, the thundering, smoking mountain of God (Exodus 20:18) where Moses took the Israelites during the Exodus, and where Aaron's two oldest sons, Nadab and Abihu were devoured by fire (Leviticus 10:1-2)....
Within this link see how a volcano such as Mount Bedr could explain the plagues of Egypt...
37.137-138: And lo! ye verily pass by (the ruin of) them in the morning. And at night-time; have ye then no sense ?
Surah al-Hijr (15): 15:72 By thy life (O Muhammad) they moved blindly in the frenzy of approaching death. 15:73 Then the (Awful) Cry overtook them at the sunrise. 15:74 And We utterly confounded them, and We rained upon them stones of heated clay. 15:75 Lo! therein verily are portents for those who read the signs. 15:76 And lo! it is upon a road still uneffaced.
The Islamic tradition is naturally at pains to identify this place (Bekka with Mecca), and none of our sources shed any light on its original location. There is, however, one source of uncertain date, the Samaritan Aramaic text known as the Asatir, which suggests that he name Bakka may be a residue of an archaic phase in the search for a Hagarene sanctuary. According to this text, the children of Nebajoth built Mecca, as it is written: 'as thou goest (b'kh) towards Assyria, before all his brethen he fell (Gen.25.18).
The b'kh of this verse read baka in Samaritan Hebrew, is clear reference to the place we know from the Koran as Bakka, and the context of the verse links it neatly with the death of Ishmael......... Through their habit of up-dating Biblical place-names the Targums provided versions of Genesis in which the wanderings of the key figures -Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael- were transposed onto north-west Arabia.... The effect was to confer a patriarchal status on the Nabatean cultic centres of Petra and Elusa (Eilat).
The most interesting point here is the mention of Hagra (Hegra, al-Hijr) in connection with the death of Ishmael in Gen.25:18. Al-Hijr was thus an obvious place for a grave of Ishmael. That the hagarenes did in fact make this use of it is suggested by a curious feature of Meccan topography: even in mecca, Ishmael is buried in the hijr. In other words, we seem to have here a striking parallel to the case of Bakka. In each case the Hagarenes appear to have set out to find themselves a sanctuary from Gen.25:18, in one case via the Samaritan Pentateuch, in the other via the Jewish Targum; and in each case they seem to have abandoned the site, taking the place-names with them to their final Meccan repository.
The targumic renderings thus presented the north-west as appropriate terrain for a Hagaren sanctuary; and the connections of Mecca with Al-Hijr and the paganism of provincial Arabia suggest that this potentiality may in fact have been exploited. Such a hypothesis would go well with the preeminence of the north-west in the rather meagre Arabian geography of the Koran, and would make sense of some anomalous indications in the Islamic tradition that the sanctuary was at one stage located to the north of Medina.
But the importance of the targumic north-west in the sacred geography of the Haragenes is most dramatically confirmed by what we know of the early history of the qibla: it is towards somewhere in north-west Arabia that they appear to have turned in prayer.....
But the definitive solution was to detach the exodus (Hegira) from the conquests altogether and relocate it within Arabia. Thus in the Koran the 'day of redemption' (8.42) has become an episode in the biography of the Prophet, identified in the Islamic tradition with the battle of Badr. Conversely the in-gathering of the Jewish exiles to Palestine at the hands of a Muslim caliph, and the Jewish collaborators of the Palestinian venture became Arab (but not Ishmaelite) Ansar of Medina. The transposed exodus was then sealed into its new Arabian setting with the tradition......
By now, we know where al-Haram and al-Hijr are truly located... Different from Becca at Meribah!
Mecca (48.24) must be the al-Masjid al-Haram: the volcanic area of Al-Ula, old Dedan: al-Haram!
-Continued (in Part 8-b)
Last edited by The Cat on Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:10 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Authority has the same etymological root as authenticity.
Hala-'l Badr (or Hala-'l Bedr, in Arabic: حلا البدر) is a volcano in north western Saudi Arabia situated at 27.25° N, 37.235° E. A number of scholars, including Charles Beke, Sigmund Freud, and Immanuel Velikovsky, have proposed that the biblical description of devouring fire on Mount Sinai refers to an erupting volcano; this possibility would exclude all the peaks on the Sinai Peninsula and Mount Seir, but would match a number of locations in north western Saudi Arabia, of which Hala-'l Badr is the most prominent.
The equation of Sinai with Hala-'l Badr has been advocated by various scholars and authors, including: Alois Musil in the early 20th century, Jean Koenig in 1971, Colin Humphreys in 2003. Humphreys reports that a volcano in the region erupted in AD 640, but it is not known exactly which volcano this was. Hala-'l Badr has a volcanic explosivity index of at least 2, meaning that it is an explosive volcano capable of producing a plume three miles high. The area of Madyan in which Hala-'l Badr lies is reputed to have been the site of ancient disasters caused by earthquakes and possibly a volcano (see Thamud and Madyan).
The water sources of Kadesh-Barnea and the legends concerning the springs of Mecca indicate that some water springs, not destroyed in the catastrophe, were the main incentive for the Israelites to congregate there. More than a score of years after I came to this conclusion and the Arab story of Mosai-ka-ya, Bar Broma, the author of Negeb published his view that Kadesh Barnea was in the Arab Desert (but quite north of Mecca) at Medain-Salib, formerly El-Hijr, about 450 km farther southeast.
Satellite picture of the volcano Jabal Badr (or Jebel Bedr), near Al-Ula.
The Tectonic plate in Saudi Arabia, Red Sea centered.
Exodus 9.8-10. Take away Moses and the miracle. Then combine ashes falling from the sky with the three days of darkness and an active volcano in Saudi Arabia. The pieces fit. Volcanic ash from Hala-'l Badr was blowing across the Red Sea and smothering Egypt.
Now consider the miracle of Moses smiting the water and making the Nile turn to blood (Exodus 7:20). Hala-'l Badr and dozens of nearby volcanoes are orange. Orange and red are colors of oxidized iron (rust). Before it is exposed to water, ash from Hala-'l Badr would be gray, like steel. But when the fine volcanic ash is mixed with water, the iron would rapidly combine with oxygen, producing the red color of blood. It is the same combination of iron with oxygen that gives the red color to blood itself. Blood red is the color expected for a river contaminated with iron rich volcanic ash falling from the sky...
Basically, a southern Mount Sinai and a northern Al-Masjid al-Haram suddenly... correspond!
The Wilderness of Shur proves Mt. Sinai is in Modern Saudi Arabia. The Wilderness of Shur, is the most important location for determining the exodus route. It is one of only four known places in the list of 50 exodus stops: Goshen/Ramses, wilderness of Shur, Ezion Geber, Mt. Nemo. The Wilderness of Shur is where Ishmael settled and that is transjordan and modern Saudi Arabia. The Bible tells us that Shur is the home turf of Ishmael and we know Ishmael settled near Midian which is in modern Saudi Arabia.
Ishmael settled "east" of the Hebrews in Shur: Shur is traditionally located beside Egypt, but this means Ishmael was West of his brothers, not east. Midianites and the Ishmaelites lived in the same region and are used interchangeable. This proves the traditional location of the Wilderness of Shur wrong. The Wilderness of Shur is located in north Saudi Arabia and biblically immediately after crossing the Red sea. This proves Mt. Sinai is near the land of Midian. Abraham settled for a time in a transjordan location between Kadesh and Shur.
To me, Mt Horeb was further North, in the Paran region with its Marah/Meribah source: Jebel Al-laws.
The identification of Rephidim is heavily dependent on the identification of the Biblical Mount Sinai, which the biblical narrative portrays the Israelites as having reached shortly after they had left Rephidim. Traditionally, Sinai was equated with one of the mountains at the south of the Sinai Peninsula leading to the identification of Rephidim as the Wadi Refayid, a location roughly 8 miles south from Jebel Musa; this would make it quite difficult to equate the Meribah in Rephidim with the Meribah near Kadesh-Barnea.
However, the majority of both scholars and religious authorities believe that this traditional identification of Sinai is inaccurate, with the suggested alternatives being in the north and centre of the Sinai peninsula, in the Hejaz, and in the north eastern Arabah; these identifications would fit with the situation that both biblical narratives of Meribah referring to a place in the vicinity of Kedesh-Barnea.
Psalm 81.7: Thou called in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder. I tested thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah. (Also 95.1; 106.32, etc)
Ex.17.6-7: Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?
Dt.32.51: Because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin.
Ez.47.19: And the south side southward, from Tamar even to the waters of strife in Kadesh, the river to the great sea. And this is the south side southward.
So I identify Meribah, and Kadesh Barnea, with the Koranic Bakka... Becca (3.96-97): Lo! the first Sanctuary appointed for mankind was that at Becca (Bi-bakkata), a blessed place, a guidance to the peoples; Wherein are plain memorials (of Allah's guidance); the place where Abraham stood up to pray (Maqâmu 'Ibrâhîma); and whosoever entereth it is safe. And pilgrimage to the House (Ĥijju Al-Bayti) is a duty unto Allah for mankind, for him who can find a way thither....
Baka/Baca/Bakkah is a word often found in names related to rivers and wadis, such as Wadi al-Baka in the Sinai, and Baca on the wadi in the central Galilee area, west of Meroth. This shows there are many possible Bakkahs in the middle-east. The change from initial B to initial M which should have produced Makkah (Mecca) from Bakkah is not standard in Arabic either, so this is an unexpected change.
To identify Bakkah with Psalm 84.6 and Jerusalem (Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well) is thus far from decisive.
A valley mentioned in Ps. lxxxiv. 7 [6 A. V.]. Since it is there said that pilgrims transform the valley into a land of wells, the old translators gave to "Baca" the meaning of a "valley of weeping"; but it signifies rather any valley lacking water. Support for this latter view is to be found in II Sam. v. 23 et seq.; I Chron. xiv. 14 et seq., in which the plural form of the same word designates a tree similar to the balsam-tree; and it was supposed that a dry valley could be named after this tree. König takes "Baca" from the Arabian "baka'a," and translates it "lacking in streams." The Psalmist apparently has in mind a particular valley whose natural condition led him to adopt its name.
On the Koranic As-Safa and Al-Marwan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Safa_and_Al-Marwah ''In Islamic tradition, Ibrahim (Abraham) was commanded by God to leave his wife Hagar and their infant son alone in the desert, with only basic provisions, to test their faith. The place was between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah''.....
Accordingly, As-Safa and al-Marwah must be in the wilderness of Shur, i.e. Midian of which al-Ula/al-Hijr are the southernmost point.
Dt. 33:2 And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran...
Judges 5.4-5: LORD, when thou wentest out of Seir, when thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water. The mountains melted from before the LORD, even that Sinai from before the LORD God of Israel.
These verses could talk about an eruption at Hala'l Badr spreading up to Seir, shaking Mt Paran, Mt Al-Laws and the whole area!
Now, the place where Muhammad resided was rather some agrarian oasis (not barren as nowadays Mecca): 28.57: And they say: If we were to follow the Guidance with thee we should be torn out of our land. Have We not established for them a sure sanctuary, where unto the produce of all things is brought, a provision from Our presence ? But most of them know not.
The American scholar C. C. Torrey made a careful study of all the commercial metaphors used in the Qur'an, and came to the conclusion that in some cases they were not used incidentally or by way of illustration, but expressed some of the central theological teaching of the Qur'an: ... ''The number of commercial terms transferred to the religious sphere is noteworthy ... The deeds of men are recorded in a book; the judgement is the reckoning; each person receives his account; the balance is set up and men's deeds are weighed; each soul is held in pledge for the deeds committed; if a man's actions are approved, he receives his reward, or his hire; to support the Prophet's cause is to lend to (God )''
A primitive stage in Arab experience is reflected in the verb ghaniya and its derivatives. The adjective ghani is commonly translated 'rich' or 'wealthy', but the fundamental meaning of the verb is 'to be free from want, to have few or no wants'. From this meaning others are derived such a 'to be in a state of sufficiency, to be rich'. In the life of the desert what is important is to have sufficient to eat and drink. The nomad must, of course, have a tent and other simple equipment, but more than a limited number of material possessions would be an encumbrance rather than an advantage. It is noteworthy that in most of the instances of ghani in the Qur'an it is applied to God, since only to him can the complete absence or non-existence of wants be attributed. It is interesting, too, that ghaniya has the sense of 'dwell, lodge' in the phrase 'as if they had not dwelt (lam yaghnaw) there', which is used twice of Midian (7.92; 11.95) and once of Thamud (11.68).
The new aspects of experience which came to the Arabs after they settled in towns and engaged in trade are indicated in the Qur'an in verses containing the word mal, plural amwal, 'wealth, property, possessions'. In 48.11 when the nomads excuse themselves for their absence from the expedition to al-Hudaybiya by saying their amwdl and their families kept them busy, by amwal they presumably mean their herds of camels and other animals. Mostly in the Qur'an, however, mal and amwal refer to the material goods bought, sold and stored up by the merchants. 'Sons' or'children' are frequently mentioned along with 'wealth', doubtless because both were a reason for pride and also a source of influence in the community; in 34.3-5 affluent unbelievers in a prophet say, 'We have more wealth and sons, and we shall not be punished'.
So the 'pilgrimage' (Hajj) wasn't at one specific place, but at any place along the way where the caravaners stopped by! If Selah may refers to Petra, it also refers to Mada'in Saleh, their main capital after the Romans took over Petra in 106CE. Thus Mada'in Saleh, known as al-Hijr (Greek Hegra), was an important place of such 'pilgrimage', just like Yathrib for that matter, but nowadays Mecca is nowhere in sight on their route.
So indeed there was a sacred place along the Hajj (the Incense Road), in Midian, which was Jebel Al-Laws (Mt Horeb), and the city of al-Bad where resided Jethro and Moses. All these places were sacred to the Ishmaelites-Hagarenes, to which we must add Meribah where Moses got water out of a rock.
But Meribah (Marah) was located as Becca, while Mecca was rather the Al-Masjid Al-Haram, that is the biblical Mt Sinaï ...at Hala'l Badr!
-Three endings addenda...
Last edited by The Cat on Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Authority has the same etymological root as authenticity.
Part NINE -------------------------------- Addenda & Miscellaneous (1) On 48.24 Bibatni 'Makkata' Wa Huwa Al-Ladhī Kaffa 'Aydiyahum `Ankum Wa 'Aydiyakum 'Anhum Bibaţni Makkata...
The only place were 'Mecca' could be written is found in 48.24 (111th), yet the Classical Arabic Dictionaries (CAD) indicate otherwise:
Usual translation: 48.24: And He it is Who hath withheld men´s hands from you, and hath withheld your hands from them, in the valley of Mecca, after He had made you victors over them. Allah is Seer of what ye do.
Such an important location would have been written elsewhere, like in verses 2.125 and 2.196 (yet added in brackets by Pickthall):
2.125: And when We made the House (at Makka) a resort for mankind and sanctuary, (saying): Take as your place of worship the place where Abraham stood (to pray). And We imposed a duty upon Abraham and Ishmael, (saying): Purify My house for those who go around and those who meditate therein and those who bow down and prostrate themselves (in worship).
2.196: Perform the pilgrimage and the visit (to Makka) for Allah....
I've maintained that such a HUGE silence over a name (makkata), where badly needed, was simply deafening!
So I've had a long discussion with AhmedBahgat over this meaning stemming out from the Shakir's translation of 62.2: He it is Who raised among the inhabitants of Mecca a Messenger from among themselves... simply not found in Arabic. viewtopic.php?p=132612#p132612
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Hudaybiyyah The treaty that took place between the state of Medina and the Quraishi tribe of Mecca in March 628CE.
There was no Quraishi tribe affected to a big pilgrimage center named Mecca. Such an important place would have been known from external sources. Ta'if was so known, Yathrib and even Khaybar, but NOT MECCA. So it is all an obvious apologetic fabrication mainly from the man-made Sira of Ibn Ishaq (that is rather from Ibn Hisham) and from the Hadiths. Do we trust them? NO!
From his CAD research, I parted from free-minds interpretation of 'destruction' to stick to its main definition, while keeping in mind that surah 48 is about the negotiations leading to the Hudaibiyah Treaty. Thus I kept:
1.-- Al-Qamus Al-Muheet: Used with an opponent to mean others insisting on requests from him 2.-- Lisan Al-Arab & Al-Wasit:- تمكَّك , TAMAKKAK: Insisted on requests from an opponent 3.-- Al-Ghani: MKK: Sucking; used with an opponent to mean others insisting on requests from him.
After some attempts, I finally settled to translate 'bibatna makkata' like this: 48.24: And He it is Who hath withheld men's hands from you, and hath withheld your hands from them, in the midst of swindles, after He had made you victors over them. Allah is Seer of what ye do.
Well, the plain context is the Hudaibiyah negotiations, isn't it? There was almost war, tensions...
Thus the meaning I kept from the CAD dictionaries: Al-Ghani MKK: Sucking; used with an opponent to mean others insisting on requests from him.
Now, if you don't want to translate this idea with ''in the midst of swindles'' with what word would you state the meaning? You've said: ''The words in Arabic for Destruction and Swindles, are Tadmeer and fa'amliyat, respectively''. But back then?
The Classical dictionaries states that destruction is one of the meaning for MKK. We can't explain makkata with modern Arabic.
Still 48.24's Makkata would be better translated: in the midst of swindles, as the default rendition of the CA dictionaries. If Mecca was intended in 48.24, it would have been mentioned in other verses where they were badly needed, like 2.125.
The 'Bibatni' makkata question The wording 'bibatni' ('bi' is the preposition: in) preceding 'makkata' has been mainly translated 'valley' but this is plainly wrong since the Arabic for valley has always been WADI and it's not written so in 48.24. Instead we find 'batni' which is carrying the idea of what's in the middle, center, midst, belly. So other translations show this discrepancies: interior, heart, midst, center, belly, city, etc. http://www.islamawakened.com/Quran/48/24/default.htm
Things are that the negotiations of Hudaibiyah weren't conducted in 'Mecca' at all, but 10 miles away, the Muslims never to get into the holy place, but the year after according to the treaty. So it couldn't have been in the 'heart', belly or midst of the Meccan city.
1) The wording for valley in Arabic isn't batni but wadi. All translations stating so are deviating... 2) The negotiations weren't carried out in the midst of the city but many miles away... 3) 'Bi-batni makkata' can't be correctly translated as it was. It means, according to the Classical Arabic Dictionaries, that the negotiations at hudaibiyya were harsh, sucking, war being at hand, suspended. Thus, the context says: In the midst of swindles (squabbling, wrangles).
Let us say that -makkata- indicated a place we call Mecca, it wouldn't be of much help to locate it. Then 48.25 does shed an effulgent light: These it was who disbelieved and debarred you from the Inviolable Place of Worship, and debarred the offering from reaching its goal.
We've quite established above that this 'Inviolable Place of Worship' was Mt Sinai, i.e. Jabal Badr!
Van Ess 1971:p.16; Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Dhahabi 1369: p.343: In both the first and second civil wars, notes accounts of people proceeding from Medina to Iraq via Mecca. Yet Mecca is southwest of Medina, and Iraq is northeast. Thus the sanctuary for Islam, according to these traditions was at one time north of Medina, which is the opposite direction from where Mecca is today!
A southerner Mount Sinai & a northerner Al-Masjid al-Haram... become one!
Last edited by The Cat on Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Authority has the same etymological root as authenticity.
Addenda & Miscellaneous: 2. A study on the Koranic Mount Arafat (2.198).
Beginning with some related verses: 42.7 (62th): And thus We have inspired in thee a Lecture in Arabic, that thou mayst warn the mother-town (Umma Al-Qurá) and those around it, and mayst warn of a day of assembling whereof there is no doubt...
2.198 (87th): It is no sin for you that ye seek the bounty of your Lord (by trading). But, when ye press on in the multitude from 'Arafat ('Arafātin), remember Allah by the sacred monument (Al-Mash'ari Al-Ĥarāmi). Remember Him as He hath guided you...
---This Mash'ari al-Haram seems to indicate another location than the Masjid al-Haram, yet another 'inviolable' place. In Arabic the familiar expression of 'Masha'Allah' refers to a blessing event as in ''"God has willed it" but also a concern to ward off the evil eye. The root (MS-h) is the same as Mashi (agreed and obeyed) but also of the Masih or Messiah: Redemption, the place of redemption. To most anthropologists it would thus refers to Mount Meshu mentioned in Gen.10.30! As we'll soon see this Arabic Mash'ar fits like a glove with the Kurds "Mashu-r"!
3:96-97 (89th): Lo! the first Sanctuary appointed for mankind was that at Becca (bakkata), a blessed place, a guidance to the peoples; Wherein are plain memorials, the place where Abraham stood up to pray (Fīhi 'Āyātun Bayyinātun Maqāmu 'Ibrāhīma); and whosoever entereth it is safe. And pilgrimage to the House (Ĥijju Al-Bayti) is a duty unto Allah for mankind, for him who can find a way thither....
---We've seen that 'Becca' could mean whatever place with redemptive water and as such carries a meaning similar to Kadesh Barnea. ---'Ayatun bayyinatun' makes it very holy indeed, a center of signs from heaven, while Maqam Ibrahim means any sacred place to him.
According to ancient Arabian traditions, when Adam and Eve were cast from Paradise they fell to different parts of the earth; Adam on a mountain on the island of Serendip, or Sri Lanka, and Eve in Arabia, on the border of the Red Sea near the port of Jeddah. For two hundred years Adam and Eve wandered separate and lonely about the earth. Finally, in consideration of their penitence and wretchedness, God permitted them to come together again on Mt. Arafat (*), near the present city of Mecca (previously called Becca or Bakkah, meaning narrow valley).
Adam then prayed to God that a shrine might be granted to him similar to that at which he had worshipped in Paradise. Adam's prayers were answered and a shrine was built. (This is a pre-Islamic legend and the Koran, the Islamic Holy Scripture, says nothing whatsoever of Adam’s connection with Mecca or of a shrine he prayed at). Adam is said to have died and been buried in Mecca and Eve in Jeddah (Mt. Judi, 11.44**) by the sea which still bears her name, jiddah, meaning maternal ancestor in Arabic.
This shrine passed away during the era of the flood, at which time the body of Adam began to float on the water while the Ark of Noah circumambulated around it and the Ka’ba seven times before journeying north where it landed after the flood. A thousand years later, according to one Islamic tradition in 1892 BC, the great patriarch of monotheism, Abraham, or Ibrahim, came to Mecca with his Egyptian wife Hagar and their child Ishmael. Here Hagar lived with her son in a small house, at the site of the earlier shrine, and Abraham came to visit her on occasion (thanks to Buraq)....
After the departure and return of Abraham to Mecca, and his discovery that Hagar had died, Abraham was then ordered by God to make Hagar’s house into a temple where people could pray. Therefore, he demolished the house and began construction of the Ka’ba. God gave Abraham precise instructions concerning how to rebuild the shrine and Gabriel showed him the location. It is said that by the grace of God the Divine Peace (al-sakinah) descended in the form of a wind which brought a cloud in the shape of a dragon that revealed to Abraham and Ishmael the site of the old temple.
They were told to construct the shrine directly upon the shadow of the cloud, neither exceeding nor diminishing its dimensions. Legends say the shrine was built from the stones of five sacred mountains: Mt. Sinai, the Mount of Olives, Mt. Lebanon, Al-Judi, and nearby Mt. Hira. Upon the completion of the shrine, Gabriel brought a magic stone for the sanctuary.... Upon completion of the Ka’ba, Abraham and Ishmael, accompanied by the archangel Gabriel, then performed all the elements which constitute the Hajj ritual of today. (Abraham was later to leave Mecca to die in Palestine in al-Khalil).
(*) Mount Arafat. I wrote in the first post: Arafat (Mt Judi -11.44?) sounds way too close to Mt Ararat for any comfort. Then again, Mount Ararat (RRT) is a Christian mistranslation for Urartu that we own to Philostorgius back in 425AD! Gen.8.4: And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the 17th day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat Urartu.
(**) Mount Judi (also known as Mount Cudi, the mount of the Kurds) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Judi 11.44: And it was said: O earth! Swallow thy water and, O sky! be cleared of clouds! And the water was made to subside. And the commandment was fulfilled. And it (the ship) came to rest upon (the mount) Al-Judi and it was said: A far removal for wrongdoing folk!
The Mother-of-villages 6:92 (55th): And this is a blessed Scripture which We have revealed, confirming that which (was revealed) before it, that thou mayst warn the Mother of Villages and those around her. Those who believe in the Hereafter believe herein, and they are careful of their worship.
---It's very hard to think of the pre-Islamic Mecca as the 'Mother of villages' but not if we think it refers to the settlement following the flood, which then bring us back to Gilgamesh's Mount Mashu, rendered as Noah's Meshu in Gen.10.30...
Gen.10.30: And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east....
The very popular Mount Ararat will never produce an "ark of Noah," unless there were two Noahs and two arks. All of the pertinent evidence for Noah's ark and his post flood city "Mesha," (later called Naxuan), is found on this mountain, named anciently "Cordu," (which means "Mountain of the Kurds"). It is also called, by the local Kurds, "Mashu-r," an ancient name of the ark mountain found in Akkadian-Babylonian flood story, "The Epic of Gilgamesh" ("Mount Mashu") and as known as "Mesha" in Genesis 10:30... In Shemetic both words are spelled msh, so logically then, they are the same place. The town of Uzengili was once called Nasar... This name was the precise Akkadian/Babylonian name for Noah's town and mountain nsr supposedly pronounced "Nisir," as best the philologists can recover the exact phonetic sound....
Looks like the first ever mention of 'Mecca' being between Ur(kesh) and Harran was right after all:
The Continuo Byzantia Arabica of the Chronicle of Isidor (+/- 770AD) mentions a battle: "Apud Maccam, Abrahae, ut ipsi putant, domum, quae inter Ur Chaldaeorum et Carras Mesopotamiae urbem in heremo adiacet"
("... in Mecca, Abraham's house, as they (the Arabs) believe, that is located in the desert between Ur in Chaldea and Carras...." (Ohlig, Der frühe Islam S.368). --Carras here is the Roman Carrhae, otherwise Harran. So we're back into the biblical account ! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harran
The prophet going from al-Masjid al-Haram to the al-Masjid al-Aqsa (the farthest place, ie. the Mashi'r al-Haram of 2.198) must be understood as the both edges of Abraham's journey: from Urkesh to Al-Ula/Dedan of Mt. Sinai and Hegra/Hagar !
Seems to me that 'Mecca' was intended as both Salvation Mounts: Mt. Sinai (al-Masjid al-Haram) & Mt Judi (Mash'ari al-Haram)!
Last edited by The Cat on Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Authority has the same etymological root as authenticity.
I recently had an argument with a poster named 'pablo' stating that a 'Mekke' was mentioned in the accounts of Strabo, Pliny the Elder, Dio Cassius, king Attalus III and Caesar Scipio. Since no historian ever came with such allegations, I had to check it out for myself...
Aelius Gallus, after having spent six months on his march into the country on account of his treacherous guide, was able to siege Ma'rib (the capital of the "Kingdom of Saba") for just a week. Meanwhile his Roman fleet occupied and destroyed the port of Aden in order to guarantee the Roman merchant route to India. He was then forced to do a retreat in sixty days, obliged to return to Alexandria having lost the greater part of his force.
Theodore Mommsen wrote that Aelius Gallus sailed with 10,000 legionaries from Egypt and landed at Leuce Kome, a trading port of the Nabateans in the northwestern Arabian coast. He then conquered without difficulty Iathrib (actual Medina) and the village of Mekke (actual Mecca). From there he made a march of nearly one thousand km to the south until Marib, but was forced to abandon those conquests -according to Mommsen- not only because of diseases and epidemies, but even because he had overextended his line of supplies from Egypt in a land full of deserts.
I've checked the real account by Strabo, and the bits on the spice trade by Pliny just to find out there was no 'Mekke' allusion whatsoever. I can't figure out how this Mommsen got it from, since it isn't written in the original account of Strabo... If he did, or if some wiki falsity.
pablo wrote:--Aelius Gallus crossed the Red Sea from Egypt to Leuce Kome which is Jiddah. --Iathrib which is Modern day Medina and left a a legion there... --Aelius Gallus went conquered the second oasis site of Mekke. THIS IS THE SAME AS MODERN MECCA! --finally sieged and took the capital of Arabia at the time of Ma'rib --then went down and sieged and took the sea port of Aden in what is now Yemen where he left sizable Roman presence for several years.
a. --Leuce Kome wasn't Jiddah but nearby the actual al-Majh, very close to Dedan/Al-Ula. b. --Strabo never distinctively mentioned 'Iathrib', let alone leaving a whole legion there... c. --Strabo never mentioned 'Mekke'. No garrison mentioned, no Roman fort either. d. --He left the siege of Marsiaba (Ma'rib) after six days to wander around Negrani. e. --He never took Aden... let alone leaving a sizable Roman presence there at all.
He refers to Leuke Kome ("White Town") as the first harbour and port of call on the sailor’s way to the south. Since the departure is given not from Arsinoe (Suez) but Myos Hormos (the Mouse’s Bay), which corresponds to al Ghardaq – Hurghada in the Egyptian Red Sea coast, and the distance mentioned is 1000 to 1500 stadia (1 stadium equals 185 m), we deduce that Leuke Kome must be identified as the modern coastal town Al Wadjh.
Leuke Kome can be correctly located nearby modern al Wajh, way further north than Jiddah!
The Incense Road, no Mecca but Al-Ula/Dedan (and Leuce Come/al-Wajh) as important crossroads.
Even Greek historians closer to the time of Muhammad (Cosmas, Procopius and Theodoratos) completely ignored this so-called huge pilgrimage center on the well-known incense road. In my newest development I came to conclude that Al-Ula (known as al-Haram) was indeed the Koranic al-Masjid al-Haram, that is the volcano of Hala'-l Badr, in reality the biblical Mt Sinai!
Indeed, we're still back nearby Hegra (AL-HIJR), ie. the Hegira, and Al-Ula (AL-HARAM), which derives from Al-Ala (the highest, surah 87).
37.137-138: And lo! ye verily pass by (the ruin of) them in the morning... And at night-time... No such ruins at nowadays Mecca!
Aelius Gallus' journey by Strabo: Gallus -> Leuke Kome; -> (many days to) Aretas; -> (30 days to) Ararene; -> (50 days to) Negrani; -> (6 days to) -> Asca; -> Athrula; -> Marsiaba (left the siege after 6 days); -> back to Negrani; -> 6 months of wanderings!!!; JOURNEY BACK: Negrani (ie. Najran...) to the ''7 wells''; -> then to Chaalla; -> Malothas; -> Egra (11 days back to Myus Hormus, in Egypt). Whole way back: 60 days!
NB. Najran makes much more sense for Negrani than any hypothetical 'Mekke' for the roots are closely akin (NJR, NGR), or even Ta'if. http://nabataea.net/mhistory.html
Here's an ancient map, made in 1626 by John Speed, strangely depicting Mecca as the northern part of the Red Sea &/or the Aqaba Gulf!
My challenger wrote that the Romans ''took Aden... leaving a sizable Roman presence for several years''. Again this is debunked by Strabo himself for Gallus was stopped at Marsiaba, not going any further south!
In Geographia 16.3.4, Strabo does mention a Macae in the land of the Gerrhaeans, that is in the Persian Gulf (on the strait of Ormuz): http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/R ... /16C*.html (16.3.2): ''Now the Persian Gulf is also called the Persian Sea; and Eratosthenes describes it as follows: its mouth, he says, is so narrow that from Harmozi, the promontory of Carmania, one can see the promontory at Macae in Arabia''. Then again at 16.3.4: ''These islands are distant a ten days' sail from Teredon and a one day's sail from the promontory near the mouth of the gulf at Macae.''
In 16.4.1 Strabo opens with: ''Arabia commences on the side of Babylonia with Maecenê'' which is nowadays Kuwait.
The following link completely destroys all of pablo's blind assertions over 'Mekke', without any possible appeal:
http://renegadepathofrighteousness.blog ... ohong.html 1. Part One: Reviewing the claims of Muslims and what was said by the Islamic sources regarding the claim. 2. Part Two: Nabonidus (6 BC). Report discusses the king Nabonidus of Babylon (mid-6th century BC) 3. Part Three: Herodotus. Report discusses the Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC 4. Part Four: Strabo (23/24 BC). Discuss the reports prepared by the Roman historian named Strabo who travel to the Arabian Peninsula to Yemen around the year 24-23 BC. 5. Part Five: Diodorus Siculus (1st century AD). Discussing Islam with false claims made utilizing Diodorus Siculus. 6. Part Six: Pliny (77 AD). Discuss the list of cities and towns in Arabic made by Pliny. 7. Part Seven: Claudius Ptolemy (150 AD). Discussing Islam with false claims using Ptolemy's writings 8. Section Eight: Procopius of Caesarea (6th century AD). Discussing the report of Caesarea Procopius historian who lived around 550 AD or contemporaneous with Muhammad's father and grandfather lived.
Let us see what it says for Diodorus account (the others have been quite covered by now):
PART FIVE: Diodorus Siculus (1st Century BC) Freely translated the following excerpt from the writings of Islamic Awareness, which can be accessed here. ''Diodorus Siculus was a Greek historian in the 1st century BC who wrote Bibliotheca Historica, a book that describes some parts of the world. The following excerpt is from the English translation quoted by Gibbon from the book of Diodorus Siculus describes a temple which was seen as the most sacred temple in Arabia. -And a temple has been set-up there, which is very holy and exceedingly revered by all Arabians. And a temple has been built there, a very sacred and respected by all Arabs-''.
Comment: In an attempt to justify these false claims, from the Islamic Awareness team must make another lie. A more complete quote is as follows: ''The WHO people inhabit the country Beside The Gulf, Who Are named the Banizomenes, support Themselves by hunting and eating the flesh of land animals. A very sacred temple has been established there Which is highly revered by all the Arabs. People who inhabit the area adjacent to the bay, called Banizomenes, who lived from hunting and eating the flesh of animals on land, And a temple has been built there, a very sacred and respected by all Arabs.''
So this temple is the temple Banizomenes person, not a temple of Quraish.... (after identifying Banizomenes with the Batmizomaneis)... So the temple which is mentioned to be around the bay which lies between the Red Sea with the Arabian peninsula of Sinai, far from Mecca. That's why the Islamic Awareness team accidentally cut off part of the sentence just because it is quoted all the lies they will be directly visible.
I've checked and found it in Diodorus Siculus' Bibliotheca Historia, book 3, chap.44, and the above account is spot on! In 43.4 Siculus talks about the ''Laeanites Gulf'' which is the Gulf of Aqaba or the Gulf of Aila/Eilat (as Strabo 16.4.18). http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/R ... s/3C*.html
Next after these plains as one skirts the coast comes a gulf of extraordinary nature. It runs, namely, to a point deep into the land, extends in length a distance of some five hundred stades, and shut in as it is by crags which are of wondrous size, its mouth is winding and hard to get out of; for a rock which extends into the sea obstructs its entrance and so it is impossible for a ship either to sail into or out of the gulf.
Furthermore, at times when the current rushes in and there are frequent shiftings of the winds, the surf, beating upon the rocky beach, roars and rages all about the projecting rock. The inhabitants of the land about the gulf, who are known as Banizomenes, find their food by hunting the land animals and eating their meat. And a temple has been set up there, which is very holy and exceedingly revered by all Arabians.
Next there are three islands which lie off the coast just described and provide numerous harbours. The first of these, history relates, is sacred to Isis and is uninhabited, and on it are stone foundations of ancient dwellings and stelae which are inscribed with letters in a barbarian tongue; the other two islands are likewise uninhabited and all three are covered thick with olive trees which differ from those we have. Beyond these islands there extends for about a thousand stades a coast which is precipitous and difficult for ships to sail past.... This coast, then, is inhabited by Arabs who are called Thamudeni
Who were the ''Banizomenes'' (Bythemaneas) is even better explained here (a must read): Ancient Mecca: Studies by Classical Writers, Dr Rafat Amari http://religionresearchinstitute.org/me ... ssical.htm --The expeditions of Alexander the Great in Arabia (Arrian, Anaxicrates). --Theophrastos, Eratosthenes. --Agatharchides, Diodorus, Photius (on the Banizomenes). --Nonnosus, Procopius. --Artemidorus, Strabo. --The Periplus, Pliny the Elder, Ptolemy (etc).
Mecca was established by the Judham (or Jurhum) tribe says the Islamic tradition, hey we're still within the Midianite territory!
Far from the actual Mecca that is, but we've eloquently proven that Al-Masjid al-Haram was located further north.
22.26: And (remember) when We prepared for Abraham the place (Makāna) of the House. Makana as Maqam Ibrahim. Makana has the root of Makna! And guess what? Makna is nearby our Mount al-Lawz!
Interesting about those early mosques not pointing to modern Mecca but a location much further North. This site http://www.bible.ca/archeology/bible-ar ... -paran.htm also puts the wilderness of Paran in that northern area. So it's obvious that the Qaba is in the completely wrong place and that every Muslim on earth is praying toward a random location where a stone idol is housed, rather than where the early mosques showed the holy place to actually be. Now they're all damned. You just can't depend on Arabs to get things right, even the location of the center of their own religion.
In both the first and second civil wars, notes accounts of people proceeding from Medina to Iraq via Mecca. Yet Mecca is southwest of Medina, and Iraq is northeast. Thus the sanctuary for Islam, according to these traditions was at one time north of Medina, which is the opposite direction from where Mecca is today! (Josef van Ess 1971, Anfange muslimischer Theologie, p.16; Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Dhahabi 1369, p.343).
Authority has the same etymological root as authenticity.
The SNB addenda Where Skynightblaze flies high on Buraq, along with his cherished Sunnites' ''historians''... Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael !
skynightblaze wrote:The question is when i.e in which year was the city of Mecca made holy ? As far as the popular arguments goes, it claims that Abbasids were the ones who created the city of Mecca. Note that Abbasids came to power in 750 AD so this means that Mecca must have come into being after 750 AD however we find non muslim source sometime between 724 to 743 AD making a reference to Mecca.
The Continuatio Byzantia Arabica of the Chronicle of Isidor is dated around 770 and refers to a place outside of Arabia. It reads: ''in Mecca, Abraham's house, as they (the Arabs) believe, that is located in the desert between Ur in Chaldea and Carras....''
Here's what al-Kalbi wrote: Hisham ibn-Muhammad al-Kalbi said: I was informed by my father (in 763) and others, and I personally checked and ascertained their report, that when Ishmael, the son of Abraham, settled in Mecca, he begot many children. [Their descendants] multiplied so much that they crowded the city and supplanted its original inhabitants, the Amalekites....
1. In 763... not the 6th or 7th century. It says it all. 2. How could have he personally checked about Ishmael settling in Mecca. He flew over time on Buraq too? 3. Where exactly did the Amalekites live? Nearby the northern Aqaba Gulf ! Nowhere near nowadays 'Mecca'. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/artic ... amalekites
skynightblaze wrote:Holland talks about non existence of Mecca until 100 years later and therefore thinks that islam did not originate in Mecca and I was writing in response to that claim. I will address the missing of mention of Mecca too
Are you about to bring back the archeological 'proofs' residing in the Abbot’s tribunal Glastonbury, England?
skynightblaze wrote: Dr. Amaal Muhammad Al-Roubi wrote: Archeological excavations done by the Saudi Ministry of Education in 1417 confirmed the existence of the incense route which goes to Mecca....
Since when a ministry of Education (read propaganda) has any archaeological expertise or credibility in this very specialized formation?
In the case of Muhammad, Islam and Mecca, we should talk about 'corporate history', like the Commies tried to impose not that far back.
This al-Hajjaj is said to have been born in Ta'if, just a few miles southeast of nowadays Mecca, nicknamed ''the Hijaz garden''.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ta'if --Each summer the Saudi Government moves from the heat of Riyadh to Ta'if. The city is the centre of an agricultural area known for its grapes, roses and honey.... In the 6th century the city of Tā'if was dominated by the Banu Thaqif tribe. The town is about 100 km (62 mi) southeast of Mecca. The walled city was a religious centre as it housed the idol of the goddess Allāt, who was then known as "the lady of Tā'if." Its climate marked the city out from its dry and barren neighbours closer to the Red Sea. Wheat, vines, and fruit were grown around Tā'if and this is how the city earned its title "the Garden of the Hejaz."--
Ta'if was known from all sources, including external, and was a natural halt for the caravaners. In 660s Muawiya built a dam over there (not in Mecca) with an inscription totally ignoring the nearby 'center of worship', worse with no mention of a prophet called Muhammad.
The Seesid Dam
http://www.scta.gov.sa/en/Antiquities-M ... _Dams2.pdf The dam is for Abdullah Muawiya Commander of the Faithful, built by Abdullah bin Saqr In the name of the God in the fifty-eight year (677-678 ad) God forgive Abdullah Muawiya Amir of the believers, May God secure and support him and the believers profit from him Wrote Omer Bin al Habab.
http://debate.org.uk/topics/coolcalm/muhammad.html --Nevo also found that "in all the Arab religious institutions during the Sufyani period [661-684 AD] there is a complete absence of any reference to Muhammad." (Nevo 1994:109) In fact neither the name Muhammad itself nor any Muhammadan formulae (that he is the prophet of God) appears in any inscription dated before the year 691 AD. This is true whether the main purpose of the inscription is religious, such as in supplications, or whether it was used as a commemorative inscription, though including a religious emphasis, such as the inscription at the dam near the town of Ta'if, built by the Caliph Mu'awiya in the 660s AD.....
The revolving event in the formation of what we now call 'Islam' pinpoint the second fitna which al-Hajjaj fought. That's when 'Mecca' became displaced by the Islamic religious 'Disneyworld' we now know. It took much more time.
I became convinced that originally Mecca meant 'the House of God' i.e. Mount Sinai and, by extension, Midian. It didn't fit the Arabic imperialism that al-Hajjaj was building. A native of nearby Ta'if, al-Hajjaj knew the area and made sure to kill all learned people to suit his goal. By the thousands (see above the wiki link about him)...
That's how the 'corporate Islam' was born, that of the Sunnites defended by SNB. G.R. Hawting is getting there...
The Origins of the Muslim Sanctuary at Mecca (Gerald R. Hawting)
http://www.bible.ca/islam/library/islam ... awting.htm --There are some indications of a dispute about the status of al-Hijr. The inclusion of al-Hijr inside the bayt is the most striking feature of the sanctuary constructed by Ibn al-Zubayr and, similarly, the exclusion of al-Hijr appears to be the chief alteration made by al-Hajjaj when he destroyed and rebuilt the sanctuary after his defeat of Ibn al-Zubayr.--
Al-Hijr being the title of sura 15. It was also one of the name for Hegra/Mada'in Saleh.
The Islamic assertion isn't back up by ANY external sources, not Cosmas, Procopius or Theodoratos, all cartographers. And Ta'if was so close and frequented by caraveners, Nabataeans and Thamudics, that their 'discoveries' are at stake.
skynightblaze wrote:Now Dr. Rafat Amari claims that Mecca was build in 5th century by pagans. The muslim historians make a mention of this. One thing I would like to ask those who deny islamic history in entirety is ,If every islamic scriptures was fabricated then why would authors like Hisham or Ishaq speak about construction of Mecca in the 5th century
When did Hisham's sira first came out? From the circular 10th century... Never trust paper history without corroborating documents.
skynightblaze wrote:If there is consistency among non muslim writers or historians of that time about the birth place of islam and if islamic scriptures place birth of islam in Mecca then certainly you have a point but not otherwise.
They're all consistent. No Greek cartographers (Cosmas, Procopius) mention it either. Even Theophanes ignores Mecca.
http://www.answering-islam.org/history/ ... onses.html He knows of the anti-Umayyad rebellion of Abdallah ibn al-Zubair but thinks it was at Yathrib (Medina) rather than Mecca. Theophanes does not seem to know about Mecca as he fails to mention it in his summary of Muhammad’s career in (629/30).
skynightblaze wrote:The islamic awareness team has done calculations to determine qiblahs of earliest mosque using modern tools and shown that the direction is not way off Mecca except in some cases. They have also explained the reasons as to why the direction of qiblahs of some mosques differ from Mecca. The reason is because the early muslims based their direction on natural phenomenon like winter sunrise and sunset
In the early centuries of Islam, Muslim did not have tools to determine the Qiblah with precision.... This gave rise to various directions of Qiblah, sometimes way off from the true direction.
Jacob of Edessa.
IT IS NOT TO THE SOUTH that the Jews and Mahgraye here in the regions of Syria pray, but towards Jerusalem or Kʿabah...
Patricia Crone didn't invent anything but based her study on archaeological researches:
http://debate.org.uk/topics/history/debate/part3.htm According to archaeological research carried out by Creswell and Fehervari on ancient mosques in the Middle East, two floor-plans from two Umayyad mosques in Iraq, one built by the governor Hajjaj in Wasit (noted by Creswell as, "the oldest mosque in Islam of which remains have come down to us" - Creswell 1989:41), and the other attributed to roughly the same period near Baghdad, have Qiblas (the direction which these mosques are facing) which do not face Mecca, but are oriented too far north (Creswell 1969:137ff & 1989:40; Fehervari 1961:89; Crone-Cook 1977:23,173). The Wasit mosque is off by 33 degrees, and the Baghdad mosque is off by 30 degrees (Creswell 1969:137ff; Fehervari 1961:89).
This agrees with Baladhuri's testimony (called the Futuh) that the Qibla of the first mosque in Kufa, Iraq, supposedly constructed in 670 A.D. (Creswell 1989:41), also lay to the west, when it should have pointed almost directly south (al-Baladhuri's Futuh, ed. by de Goeje 1866:276; Crone 1980:12; Crone-Cook 1977:23,173).
The original ground-plan of the mosque of Amr b. al As, located in Fustat, the garrison town outside Cairo, Egypt shows that the Qibla again pointed too far north and had to be corrected later under the governorship of Qurra b. Sharik (Creswell 1969:37,150). Interestingly this agrees with the later Islamic tradition compiled by Ahmad b. al-Maqrizi that Amr prayed facing slightly south of east, and not towards the south (al-Maqrizi 1326:6; Crone-Cook 1977:24,173).
Some Muslims argue that perhaps the early Muslims did not know the direction of Mecca. Yet these were desert traders, caravaneers! Their livelihood was dependant on travelling the desert, which has few landmarks, and, because of the sandstorms, no roads. They, above all, knew how to follow the stars. Their lives depended on it. Certainly they knew the difference between the north and the south.
Furthermore, the mosques in Iraq and Egypt were built in civilised urban areas, amongst a sophisticated people who were well adept at finding directions. It is highly unlikely that they would have miscalculated their Qiblas by so many degrees. How else did they perform the obligatory Hajj, which we are told was also canonized at this time? And why are so many of the mosques facing in the direction of northern Arabia, or possibly Jerusalem?