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Reexamining the Kaaba of Islam

Reexamining the Kaaba of Islam

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Published by Asar Imhotep
I hope all is well. I just completed another preliminary article reexamining the word Kaaba associated with the sacred shrine of Islam. I had recently been asked some questions in regards to claims that the Kaaba's name derived from the combining of the ancient Egyptian concepts of the kA and bA. I decided to tackle the question as best as I could and here are my preliminary findings. I appreciate the read and I look forward to your feedback and critiques.
I hope all is well. I just completed another preliminary article reexamining the word Kaaba associated with the sacred shrine of Islam. I had recently been asked some questions in regards to claims that the Kaaba's name derived from the combining of the ancient Egyptian concepts of the kA and bA. I decided to tackle the question as best as I could and here are my preliminary findings. I appreciate the read and I look forward to your feedback and critiques.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Asar Imhotep on Aug 03, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/03/2012

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1
of 
28
 
R
EEXAMINING THE
K
AABA OF
I
SLAM
 
By Asar Imhotep (August 2, 2012)The MOCHA-Versity Institute of Philosophy and Research
luntu/lumtu/muntu
In this essay we will suggest a more precise meaning of the name for the Islamic holy shrine known as the
Kaaba
 
located in Mecca (Bekka) in the ‗Middle East‘. There have been attempts to
connect the
kaaba
tothe ancient Egyptian spiritual concepts of the
kA
and the
bA
. This author finds these linguistic associationsto be the result of folk-etymology for reasons to be explained below. We find that there is an associationwith Egyptian concepts, however, this term cannot be connected, linguistically, with the Egyptian
kA
and
bA
. We suggest here that the word
kaaba
is simply a word for
shrine
. We turn to African languages to
support our suggestion. Before we get into the meat of our discussion, let‘s first take a look at what the
kaaba
is and what it means for Muslims around the world.
 
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ABBREVIATIONS
PB Proto-BantuPWS Proto-Western Sudanic (Westermann)
PWN Proto-Western Nigritic (Mukarvosky)PNC Informal. No systematic reconstruction availablePCS Proto-Central Sudanic (Bender)PAA Proto-Afro-Asiatic (Ehret, Diakonoff)PPAB Proto-Potou-Akanic-Bantu (Stewart)Bantu Proto-Bantu (Meeussen, Meinhof)BANTU Common Bantu (Guthrie)
“Bantu”
Bantu & Semi-Bantu (Johnston)A-A Afro-Asiatic (Diakonoff, Ehret, Greenberg)ES Eastern-Sudanic (Greenberg)CS Central-Sudanic (Greenberg)CN Chari-Nile (Greenberg)NS Nilo-Saharan (Greenberg)
[I have used Greenberg’s abbreviations (numbers & letters in brackets) to identify languages].
 N-C Niger-CongoMande B Banbara, D Dioula, M Malinke (Delafosse, Westermann)TogoR Togo Remnant (Heine)Polyglotta
Koelle’s
Polyglotta Africana
 
Page
3
of 
28
 
T
HE
K
AABA
 
The Kaaba (or Qaaba; Arabic:
 
al-
 Kaʿbah
 
IPA:
 
[
ʔæl ˈ kæʕ
b
ɐ
]
;
 
English: The Cube) is
 
a cuboid-shaped building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and is the most sacred site in Islam. The Qur'an (the MuslimHoly book) states that the
Kaaba
was constructed by Abraham and his son Ishmael after they were tohave settled in Arabia. During prayers all Muslims face towards the Kaaba and this act is called
Qibla
inArabic.There are five pillars of Islam and one of those pillars requires Muslims to perform the
 Hajj
1
 
pilgrimage at least once in his or her lifetime if able to do so to the city of Mecca. Once there, they are towalk around the
Kaaba
seven times counter-clockwise (as viewed from above). This act is called the
Tawaf 
and is performed by pilgrims during the
Umrah
(lesser pilgrimage).Before Islam, the
Ka'aba
was an important shrine, and perhaps a source of pilgrimage for manyin the Arabic world. The early Arabs worshipped many deities, usually local ancestral 'gods', and insidethe
Kaaba
were housed many of the representative statues or idols. Since the
Kaaba
was allegedly builtby Abraham, it was meant to be a place of worship of Allah only, according to Muslim doctrine. Whenthe Prophet Muhammad first began to preach in Mecca, he advocated for the removal of the other idols inthe Kaaba which led to them being thrown out after Muhammad's return to Mecca after his exile inMedina.Of particular interest in the
Kaaba
, to certain Islamic sects, is a black cornerstone surrounded bysilver. To some Muslims, the stone is merely a point of reference in counting the ritual circling of the
Kaaba
during the
 Hajj
. Others believe the stone was discovered by Abraham and Ishmael, and
1
The Arabic word
hajj
 
―pilgrimage‖ is cognate with Hebrew
H
ag
 
―pilgrim feast, pilgrimage festival‖ (plural
H
agg-iym
); Egyptian
wAg 
 
―religious festival‖; Freetown Creole
à-wùj
 
―family cook‖ (Yorùbá
àwùj
 
―assembly‖); Bini
ugie
 
―festival.‖

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