BAKKAH / BAKKA / BAQA / BAKA

THE NEW STORY OF ISLAM
In certain aspects this is a fundamentally different story of Islam. I know that I will be contradicting some parts of my previous story. So what? The most important thing is the search for the truth. Controversies and debates are indispensable stimuli for progress towards knowledge. Therefore I accept full responsibility for what I have written previously. I shall leave the earlier story on Islam as it is, so the readers can follow the change in my approach and the outcome. I don’t claim infallibility, which will be madness, but I profess honesty and frankness for what I have written, which are open to criticism. I am extremely satisfied to see how right I was at least in one of my observations;

Insofar as the faiths and beliefs are concerned there is no absolute truth.

But one should keep working ceaselessly if one is seeking the truth - if there is any. In my case there was. There was a place called Bakkah/Bakka/Baka, the existence and the geographical location of which needed clarification. This place, where the first ‘house of God’ was situated is crucial in understanding the origin of Islam. Baka has a potential to change the story of Islam fundamentally. I believe that I have found the Bakka of Qoran 3:96. My approach may be branded as fantasy, but I would like to remind all the readers that faith itself is nothing but a fantasy. *** This study is organised under the following headings:
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Puzzling Statements. The ‘Messenger’s Region. The ‘Messenger’s Prime Tools of Coercion. The ‘Messenger’s Perished Peoples. The ‘Messenger’s Villages, Towns and Cities. A Confession. The ‘Messenger’s God. The ‘Messenger’s Patriarch. The ‘Messenger’ and His Acts. Bakka and the Samaritan Connection. Conclusion.

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PUZZLING STATEMENTS
QORAN 3:96 ON BAKKA Let us begin with Bakka, which has triggered this study. Here is Qoran 3:96: “The first Beyt (‘house of God’=Beyt-u Elah) established to be a source of abundance for the realms and a guide for the people is the one in Bakka. There are clear signs, Ibrahim’s stone (Makam-ı Ibrahim) is there. Those who enter the place will be secure. Pilgrimage there by those who can afford the journey is a duty men owe to God.” This verse mentions the name of the place where the first Sacred Shrine of the present day Islam was situated: Bakka. Where was it? Why was it described as the old name of Mekka? Who in his/her right mind could say that the ancient Bakka has become the Mekka of our time? What was the reason behind this change of name? How can a reasonable person stand by the claim that Mekka and Bakka are different pronunciations - due to different tribal tongues - of the name of the same place. I didn’t find anything specific on Bakka in the Islamic source material I have. It suddenly occurred to me that the previous scriptures maybe of help. A lot of the basic stories of the Book of Islam were taken from the Old Testament. Therefore could I find something there which would show me where Bakka was? In order to do that I had to guess on different pronunciations of the word like Bacca, Baka, Bekka, Bekke, Beke, Bece, Baca. Eventually I came across Psalm 84:6-7: “Blessed are they that dwell in your house: They will be still praising thee. [ Selah] . Blessed is the man whose strength is in you; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well (they gather there in great numbers); the rain also fills the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appears before God.” The Ismaelite-Mohamedan movement preferred the Mosaic scriptures as the central piece of their teaching. They accepted only the first five books, the books of Moses, of the present day Old Testament. They called these books the ‘Tavrat’ and rejected the rest, because those books were the proof of humanly interference in the divine(!) revelation. But the later theoreticians of Islam are known to have been influenced deeply by the Book of Psalms, and considered this collection of songs as a divine book given to ‘messenger David’ (king David). They called this collection ‘Zebur.’ Their acknowledgement of king David as a messenger and the Psalms as a ‘divine book given to him’ are clear indications of the misconceptions, which the later editors of the Book had developed. The later editors might have been mistaken by the fourteen Psalms, which have been

called ‘royal.’ These Psalms featured the king (David) as both the representative of YHWH to the community, and the representative of community to YHWH. Furthermore, Luke had the idea that the Psalms were a source of guidance. The early Church chanted or sang Psalms as a part of the liturgy. When taken altogether this practice could easily have been interpreted as a ‘messenger’s portrayal, and the Psalms as a book from God to this ‘messenger’ - Zebur. To cut the story short, the later ‘Islamic’ editors of Qoran wrongly accepted David as a messenger and the book of Psalms (‘Zebur’) his scripture. Likewise they may have fallen to a similar trap and misinterpreted the biblical statement on Baca as the portrayal of a sacred/religious place where the ‘house of God’ was situated. But is this the right explanation? There is one Beca in Galilee, and another one in the Sinaitic district so they are not relevant. The third one is the one referred to in the quoted verse from the Old Testament: The ‘valley of Baca.’ Scholars who did research on this place paint a completely different picture though. “Baca in Hebrew means either ‘weeping’ or ‘balsam trees’ writes Dr. Robert A. Morey, “hence, the valley of Baca can be translated as the valley of weeping or the valley of the balsam trees.” A possible reference to the valley of Baca appears in II Samuel 5:22-23: “Once more the Philistines came up and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. So David inquired of YHWH, and He answered, ‘Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the balsam (baca in Hebrew) trees.’” The Authorized KJV has ‘mulberry trees’ instead of balsam trees. But the similarity between the mulberry trees which have dark purple or purplish multiple fruits and the genus populus balsamifera (American Poplar trees) which are also called the ‘balm of Gilead’ with buds thickly coated with an aromatic resin may be behind the description in the KJV. This place in Rephaim is understood as the valley through which the pilgrims had to pass to appear before God in Zion. Dr. Morey concludes with the following remark: “Noting that the valley of Baca is actually less than 5 miles away from Jerusalem, it makes sense that the Psalmist would speak of pilgrims making their way through Baca valley to appear before God in Zion.” This biblical location still exists today in the southwest of Yerushalayim under the name of Baka (Ge’ulim). In order to correct some comments I would like to add that ‘Selah’ in Psalm 84 means the ‘end’ or a ‘pause.’ and has nothing to do with the Hebrew word sela/sala (‘rock’).

If one looks at the map of Yerushalayim one would see the region where the valley of Baca was. The region called Baka (Ge’ulim) presently, must surely be the ancient ‘valley of Baca.’ Right in the centre of this region we have Emek Refa’im which actually is the biblical valley of Rephaim, in which was located the valley of Baca. Geographically the valley of Baca led to the valley of Hinnom (hell, cahannam) to the North, and the valley of Hinnom led to the ‘gardens’ (garden, paradise) to the North again. And to the north-northeast of ‘gardens’/paradise is the House of God on Zion. “The evil spirits go to Hell, when purified by fire they cross the bridge to Paradise where they exist until the eternity in the presence of God. The symbolism fits in with the actual geography, doesn’t it? Surprised? Baca has been suggested by some as Baka of the book of Islam. But I have another proposition. Arabic is a Semitic language. The words have root letters, and diacritical dots and vowels were introduced to read those words. Now let us take bakka. The root letters are ‘b’ and ‘k’. The two ‘k’s represent a hard ‘k’ (el kaf)=‘kha ’ sound. So, the original word is baka. Now consider the word baha, the root letters of which are ‘b’ and ‘h’. Knowing how the dots and the vowels change the reading of a word, let your imagination go wild, and replace the letter ‘kha ’ with ‘ha ,’ which transforms bakka into baha, meaning an enclosed area around the ‘house’; now substitute ‘Allah’ with ‘God’ in Qoran 3:96. Here is the new version of the verse: “The first Beyt (House of God) established to be a source of abundance for the realms and a guide for the people is the one in baha (‘in the enclosed area around the house’’). There are clear signs, Ibrahim’s stone (Makam-ı Ibrahim) is there. Those who enter the place will be secure. Pilgrimage there by those who can afford the journey is a duty men owe to God.” Could this Baca or Baha in the Old Testament be the Baka of Qoran? We’ll see. But first we must make a note of certain points:
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There is no mention of Mekka in Qoran; There is Baka; There are references to a ‘sacred shrine’; There are references to the ‘house of God’(Beytullah); Baka is the place where this ‘house of God’ is; Ibrahim’s stone is there; Baka is the first kıbla; Pilgrimage there is man’s duty.

Here are some more points to consider:
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Temple Mount is an enclosed area within which there was the ‘house of God’ (Temple); Within this enclosed area there is ‘sahra’/the rock, which the Ismaelites called makam-ı Ibrahim, (Ibrahim’s stone);

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Those who enter this area will be secure (because it is sacred and walled); Psalm 84 talks about multitude of pilgrims walking through the valley of Baca up to God in Zion (So there are pilgrims). Could this enclosed area be called Baha? Could the later ‘authors’/editors of Qoran have changed the word Baha/Baka to Bakka on purpose (To establish a likeness with the word Mekka?).

We are told that the Moslem authorities in distant past have brought a stone from somewhere and erected it in the courtyard of (or in the ‘enclosed area’ around) the Great Mosque in Mekka. Could this be taken as an indication of the efforts by the desert Arabs to create a duplicate of Baka/Baha (the enclosed area around the ‘house of God’) and own the teaching of the northern Arabs? Could this Baha be the Temple Mount? Could this Baha be the Ka’ba complex in Mekka? We shall solve this puzzle later on.

THERE IS NO MEKKA ON THE MEDINA-IRAK ROAD While doing research on Islam I have found that in addition to the disagreement as to the geographical location of Mekka in the early secular sources, there is also a degree of confusion even within the Islamic tradition. Research done on the two civil wars in the Islamic community has reportedly shown that people during the wars travelled from Medina to Irak via Mekka (research by J. van Ess, and also in a text by Muhammad bin Ahmad al Dahabi). This is impossible. My comment on these reports in the classical story of Islam in this website was: “There is something amiss here geographically, because Mekka is located at the southwest of Medina, and Irak at the northeast. If those people going to Irak had no specific reason for doing their journey via Mekka (at its present location), then that ‘Mekka’ (the sanctuary of Islam whatever it was called then) must have been located to the North of Medina. So we are faced with a dilemma;

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If according to the ancient Greek historical and trading documents Mekka was not the great commercial centre as the later Moslem traditions try to make us believe; If Mekka was not known by the people who lived and wrote in that period; If Mekka could not even qualify as a viable city during the time of the ‘author’; If Mekka’s geographical location is in doubt.”

Who could claim that Mekka had been the centre of the Moslem world in that era? This ‘Mekka’ should be a town situated in the North on the road to Dimask/Dimisk-esh Sham (Damascus) in Syria, which went through a group of villages called Medain Saleh/Medain Salih (Salih’s villages) Petra and Yerushalayim. Which town is it? Petra was a juction, and there was a road from there to Irak. But I prefer to proceed North to Cebel Usdum (mount Sodom) and Yerushalayim and further North on this road to Syria. Syria was in the forefront in those days. In fact nearly the whole region to the North, northeast and East of Erden/Jordan was called Syria generally. This road called at Nablus (Shechem) and turned north-northeast towards Dimisk-esh Sham (Syria). The place called Baka was situated there. My theory is that the desert Arab authors of the stories must have felt uneasy about this place and substituted Mekka in the process of transforming the original Ismaelite-Mohamedan teaching into Islam of today? THE ‘MESSENGER’ AND THE PEOPLE OF THE REGION PASS BY THE RUINS EVERY MORNING AND NIGHT These are the ruins of the divinely(!) destroyed towns. According to Qoran 11:100 some of the towns or villages were destroyed completely and lost forever, and the ruins of others were still standing, left as examples for future generations. According to sura 37 the ‘Messenger,’ believers and unbelievers were apparently passing by or calling at the remains of a destroyed place or places every morning and evening. The story is in verses 133-138. The narration seems to be about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, because of the previous verses on Lot and his people. First Qoran 37:133-136: “Lot was unquestionably one of the messengers..We did save him and his household..Except the old woman who was left with the abandoned ones.. Then we destroyed the others.” Now the extremely revealing verses 37:137-138, which refer to the destroyed places: “Actually, you pass by them in the morning. Also at night. Do you still not understand?” This sura has supposedly been revealed in Mekka. Now to show the possible sources of these verses here is II Peter 2:6: “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly.” The Greek original of ‘ensample’ means something, which is presented, displayed, shown, and observable. Therefore the ruins could be seen. Jude also presents these cities as proof of the divine punishment of the wicked: “Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” Josephus also refers to the ruins of these cities in his Wars of the Jews: “The traces/shadows of the five

cities could still be seen.” These verses sound like the source of the statement in Qoran 37:137-138, don’t they? Who do you think was the person who listened to this story about Sodom and Gomorrah in Qoran? The ‘Messenger’ of course. Who was the storyteller? Here are the possible answers:

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The ‘Messenger’ could have been the person who’d had these verses written into the Book. Therefore we could assume that he knew these places and their stories. But how could he have known? The ‘Messenger’ could have been living in the vicinity of these ruins; The ‘Messenger’ might have have been from another region. He could have listened to the stories about the divine(!) acts in Palestine and the neighbouring lands; If the ‘Messenger’ had listened to the stories, then the storyteller could have been a person from the region where the ruins were; The storyteller could have been a native of another region and only a narrator of the stories he’d heard from others; If neither the ‘Messenger’ nor the storyteller was involved in the inclusion of these verses, then there must have been an author or editor involved in the later developmental phase of the Book, who inserted these verses to make the divine(!) action story more powerful.

These verses seem to imply that the unbelievers, believers of all faiths, the ‘Messenger’ and his followers were passing by the destroyed places. Let me repeat: It seems that the ‘Messenger,’ his followers and the members of that community were passing by the ruins of the destroyed places every morning and every night. These verses, 37: 133-136 were reportedly revealed in Mekka, therefore we have to ask some critical questions:

Are there any places in the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula, which have been destroyed by a divine intervention? No! Until the time God is thought to have developed an interest towards the Arabs, the Arabian Peninsula was not His field of interest. He was doing His acts in and around Palestine, and in northwest Arabia. Therefore the ruins are there. The ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah are too far away for the Mekkans or the ‘Messenger’ (allegedly living in Mekka then) to pass by in the morning and at night.

The exegetes claim that the people passing-by the ruins were MekkansKureyshis in the camel trade. I don’t think so! They were traders. There were Kureyshis amongst them. But they were not Mekkans. The first question that comes to mind is why would a person (the ‘Messenger,’ the storyteller, the author) be interested in what had happened in a far away land

where the ruins were situated? One would be interested in that land if ‘one passed by the ruins there in the morning and at night’ or better still if one lived in the land, in the actual region where the ruins were situated. These destroyed places (Sodom and Gomorrah) are not in the Arabia Deserta but further North in Arabia Petraea. How could the Kureyshis-Mekkans be passing by the ruins every morning and evening? It was a time when the peoples of the Arabia Petraea and Palestine were of the opinion that God was involved with them. There was no divine(!) action in the Arabia Deserta or Arabia Felix. If nevertheless these stories appeared in the code Book of Islam, some may be inclined to think that the ‘Messenger’ was from that land in the North on the border of Palestine or from the region further North. But the ‘Messenger’ couldn’t have been living that far North. This is why? The desert Arabs had to insert diacritical dots to read the new IsmaeliteMohamedan scriptures. This language had originated in the land of Midian where the Dedan, Lihyan, Thamud, Midianite (Ismaelite) and Nabataean tongues have existed in progression. These tongues were the precursors of the present day Arabic, but they were ‘raw’ and ‘defective’ in that form in comparison with the Arabic of today. So, when the original texts written in the tongue of this region was presented to the desert Arabs they could not read it. The language was foreign. They had to introduce the diacritical dots and vowels to read the language and to pronounce the words properly. That is one of the reasons why I believe that the ‘Messenger’ was not from that far North, but from the land of Midian.

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I personally believe that the ‘Messenger’ was a Nabataean, a native of the land of Midian and living there, and his tongue was Nabataean particular to this corner of the Arabian Peninsula. The ‘Messenger’ could have learned the source material of his earliest, original Ismaelite-Mohamedan stories when he visited the lands where the ruins were situated (which was only normal for the traders of those days, and the ‘Messenger’ was a trader). He may as well have been a listener to the stories of the divine(!) acts in Palestine and the neighbouring lands. In that case, the storyteller could have been a person from the region where the ruins were situated The storyteller could very well have been a native of another region and a migrant living also in the land of Midian, who only narrated the stories from the scriptures to the best of his knowledge and ability. This storyteller may also have been the author of the earliest, original scriptures.

The proposition which makes the ‘Messenger’ a native of the land of Midian and the earliest stories of his movement lead us to the conclusion that he was observing the ruins and also listening to the tales of the ruins in far away lands. In short he could have been both an observer and a listener/learner. Here are some figures, which would give an idea on the time it took to move from one place to another in that era. A journey from Yerushalayim to Cebel Usdum (mount Sodom) reportedly took 13-14 hours. From Cebel Usdum (the Mount of Sodom) to Petra 18-20 took hours. Sela/Petra was about forty miles from the Dead Sea. Sela/Petra (Batra in Arabic) was a station on the trade route from the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula to Dimask/Dimisk-esh Sham. It reportedly took the caravans seventy days from Yemen to Petra. Zoar (Arabs still call it with that name) is near Sodom, a few hours away on the other side of the Valley. There are traces of a road at the southern tip of the ‘valley of Salt’/Valley of Araba (to the South of the chalk cliffs), which once was connecting the Jewish lands with the Gulf of Akaba. My position at this stage is as follows: The devastated places, which the ‘Messenger’ passed-by in the morning and at night were not around the southern shores of the Dead Sea. Sodom and Gomorrah were not the only devastated places on that busy trade route I mentioned, where the camel caravans carried goods in the lands under the Midianite and Nabataean rule. There were other ruins as well, which dated to the days of Dedan, Lihyan, Thamud, and Midianite tribes: Valley of Hicr, Madian and Medain Salih, all of which had the ruins of dwellings that had been devastated supposedly by a divine(!) intervention, as written in Qoran.

Could someone living in the general region of the valley of Hicr, Madian/Medyen and Medain Salih have done a round trip in a single day, passing by the ruins there in the morning and at night? It seems so. They could easily be passing by the ‘devastated places’ both in the morning and at night, at least the night of the following day, if not in the same day. Therefore the proposition which puts the ‘Mesenger’ in Midian, observing those ruins, and also listening to the stories about them seems much more convincing. Insofar as the earliest Ismaelite-Mohamedan scriptures are concerned the storyteller and the author may be one and the same person.

Therefore I believe that the ‘Messenger,’ the storyteller and the earliest author of the scriptures, ‘Messenger’s followers, the believers and unbelievers were living in this general area, Madian/Medyen, almost in the immediate vicinity of these ruins. Next we have to read Qoran 25:41: “When they see you, they do nothing but to ridicule you and say ‘Is this the one that God (Allah) has sent as a messenger?’” Who were those that ridiculed the ‘Messenger’? Most certainly the unbelievers,

and the believers of the other faiths in that particular community. Therefore the story about the rejection of the ‘Messenger’ by certain groups is most likely to be the expression of truth. I insist that this opposition was most certainly not in Mekka, but in Arabia Petraea. Now let us go back to Qoran 25:38 and continue with 25:40: “And we destroyed the Ad and Thamud, and the dwellers of Rass, and many generations in between…And indeed they have passed-by the town on which was rained the shower of anguish. Have they not seen it?” These people must have been those who were “passing-by the ruins every morning and evening.” When these verses are taken together we get the impression that these unbelievers and idolaters, the Ad and Thamud, and the dwellers of Rass, have been in the same region: Madian/Midian/Medyen. The ‘Messenger’ also was from there. Because in the code Book of the 'Messenger' they are presented as examples from the past. The target of these verses are either the ‘Messenger’ or the people of that region through the ‘Messenger.' Giving examples from the local culture and the immediate region is only logical. An example from a distant land in Europe or Central Asia or even from Asia Minor wouldn’t have meant anything for the dwellers of Arabia Petraea. The Ad, Thamud and Rass were the tribes living in the region called Midian/al Hicr. This could be taken as another indication, which supports my theory that the ‘Messenger’ was in Midian. The ‘shower of anguish’ is the figurative form of the ‘shower of stones.’ In an Arabic context this figurative form could be used for all types of devastating events which cause extreme distress and destruction both psychologically and physically. In that sense all the other devastated places which have been subjected to an earth tremor with a very high-pitch sound, a typhoon with high winds and torrents of rain, flooding, and ‘things’ raining down from heavens could be considered within this context. Therefore when the Book was developing into a final text some verses in sura 37 might have been dropped and the remainder edited together to give the impression, on purpose or by chance, that the reference was only to Sodom and Gomorrah. This is the bottomline: The ‘devastated places’ in 37:137-138are not only the ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah, but they include also the ruins of the villages and towns in the land of Midian in northwest Arabia. The believers, unbelievers, the ‘Messenger,’ his followers, his tutor/storyteller and the earliest author have been living in the same community, the location of which has given them the chance to pass by the remains of Madian, valley of Hicr, Medain Salih, Dedan (al Ûlâ) etc. I believe the story narrated by ibn Umar is very important, in the sense that it might be an indicator to the native place of the ‘Messenger.’ According to ibn Umar’s story, on their way back from the battle of Tabuk the ‘Messenger’ and the people with him were passing by the dwellings of Thamud. They stopped there. The people fetched water from the wells that the people of Thamud used for

drinking and cooking. The ‘Messenger’ chastised them and ordered them to empty their water-skins and give the dough they prepared to the camels. Then they proceeded on their return journey until they arrived at the well from which the she-camel of messenger Salih used to drink. There the ‘Messenger’ warned his followers against the people who had been punished and said: “It is my fear that you may be affected by what afflicted them, so do not enter upon them.” This region is called the valley of Hicr. The word ‘hicr’ in Arabic means something like an area ‘abandoned,’ ‘rejected,’ and ‘forbidden.’ It also means something like ‘parting,’severance,’ and ‘breaking off.’ In other words al Hicr could be translated as an area ‘abandoned’ and forbidden. Meanwhile ‘hicra’ has meanings like ‘parting with’/‘separation with’ something, somebody, and some place. Now al Hicr is the place forbidden by the ‘Messenger.’ In other words it is a prohibited area, and also an area that is ‘abandoned’/‘left behind.’ Why only al Hicr is prohibited and not also al Ûlâ or Medyen (Madian, Mughair Shuayb)? Could it be that the ‘Messenger’ was living in al Hicr originally? Could it be that the place he was made to leave was al Hicr? Could we say that hicra was from al Hicr to Medina? I think so! Don’t forget that the ‘Messenger’ has a habit of putting limits when the matter is related to him. He had also prohibited the tracing of his forefathers higher than Adnan, hadn’t he? Why? Because his genealogy beyond Adnan was borrowed from the Jews.

THE LAND THE MESSENGER OF ISLAM HASN’T STEPPED ON YET! The story in Qoran 33:27 is very clear: “He (God) made you inheritors of their homes, their land, their property, and of the land you haven’t yet stepped on. Allah is all-powerful.” Which land was this? Qoran 33:27 follows the verses dealing with the ‘battle of the ditch,’ which the Ismaelite-Mohamedans have reportedly fought with their adversaries (an allied group of Mekkans and some Jewish tribes). Mekkans and their allies could not take Medina, so they lifted the siege and went back to their hometown. If this story is true then the land that the ‘Messenger’ hasn’t yet stepped on was Mekka. The verses of Qoran make that clear. He was from a different land. Make note, Ismaelite Mohamedans were in Medina, and it was the fifth year of the Hicra, and the ‘Messenger’ was yet to step on other lands including the Mekkan soil! According to the official literature the ‘Messenger’ had begun his prophetic life in Mekka. But Qoran 33:27 makes sense only if this central character of the Islamic mythology had begun his life not in Mekka but somewhere else. According to the official literature the place which the ‘Messenger’ vows to take is Mekka. The essence of the official literature may be right on this point. If the ‘Messenger’ had ever thought of taking Mekka it was not because Mekka was his native town, but

it housed a rival sacred shrine, which was the focal point of various indigenous faiths. Therefore this shrine should be got rid of. All of the cults, faiths, and beliefs therein were a potential threat to his status and teaching. My belief is that, Islam’s ‘Messenger’ was not a Mekkan. The Islamic ideology made it very very clear: His tribe and family were from Medina. Moreover I believe that his family had moved to Medina from North and settled in the town. The official ideology tells us that the ‘Messenger’ was born in Mekka, lived there until 622 AD., and migrated to Medina. Therefore the official account makes clear that he had walked on the Mekkan soil - he was born there. The official account also asserts that he had lived in Medina, so he has stepped on the Medinan soil as well - Medina was his base. Then which was that land that he hasn’t stepped on yet? There are those who maintain that ‘the wording is about inheriting the land and not actually stepping on it.’ But I am not of that opinion. The ‘Messenger’ was involved in the camel trading for a while as the official ideology tells us. Therefore he was basically a trader. Don’t you think this maybe an indication of the truth, that the ‘Messenger’ was well acquainted with the profession of the Nabataeans, who had caravans travelling along the trade routes of the Arabian Peninsula, between Syria, Palestine and Yemen? The Arabic of today was developed and spoken by the Nabataeans, who considered themselves Ismaelites. This means that Petra, Madian/Medyen, Medain Salih, al Ûlâ, Mughayir Shuayb and the whole region as far North as Petra have actually belonged to the Nabataeans who are the forefathers of the present day Arabs. But a great majority of them had to leave everything that was once theirs due to various reasons and migrate to other lands, mainly South to places in the Arabian Peninsula. The above quoted verse (Qoran 33:27) was supposedly revealed when the Ismaelite ‘Messenger’ was in the Medinan days of his ‘prophetic’ life. If the essence of this verse is right then the person who’d had this verse written into the Book also must have felt that the ‘Messenger’ was not one of the desert Arabs. Therefore he was a stranger to Mekka. This makes Mekka the land the ‘Messenger’ ‘hadn’t stepped on yet.’ The belief system was not yet centered on Mekka in those days. Therefore the local followers of the Ismaelite-Mohamedan teaching, who were the Arabs of Mekka, must also have considered the ‘Messenger’ a stranger, an outsider.

THE ‘PLACE’ OR PEOPLE FOR THE PUNISHMENT OF WHICH GOD HAD WAITED FOR THE DEPARTURE OF THE ‘MESSENGER’

According to the Islamic literature God had contemplated of punishing a certain place and waited for the departure of the ‘Messenger.’
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Why did the ‘Messenger’ have to leave that ‘place’? Has he been preaching his doctrine to the inhabitants there? Did the inhabitants reject him and threatened to ‘throw him out’ like they did to Shuayb (Qoran 7:88)?

Read these verses:

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Qoran 8:31: “When our revelations are read to them they say: ‘All right we heard. We could certainly say similar things if (we) wanted to; they are nothing but the tales of the past!’” Qoran 8:32: “They also said: Our God (Allah) if this (Qoran) is the truth itself from you, shower rocks on us down from the sky. Or punish us with a terrible torment.” Qoran 8:33 “But God would not punish them while you were with them. God would not punish them while they were begging forgiveness.” Qoran 8:34: “Why shouldn’t God punish them while they were blocking entry to the Sacred Temple? They are not the guardians of the Temple. Servants of it (Temple) are none other than the righteous. But most of them do not know.” Qoran 8:35: “Their worship at the Beytullah (‘house of God’=Beyt-u Elah) is nothing but blowing whistles and clapping hands. Therefore suffer the torment for your disbelief.”

The ‘sacred temple’ in verse 8:34 is understood as Ka’ba, and the ‘place’ was identified as Mekka. But we are told that there were many Ka’bas, usually in market towns (Patricia Crone- Michael Cook). Furthermore we should never forget that the original and the only ‘house of God’=Beyt-u Elah=Beytullah was in Bakka. The Islamic literature and scholars claim that the verses 30-36 of Sura 8 were revealed in Mekka. Why? Sura 8 has 75 verses. How could and why should the seven of these verses have been revealed in Mekka and the rest in Medina? Could these six verses be a leftover from the original Ismaelite-Mohamedan text, which were edited into this sura for a reason, which only the editors knew? Yes they could be. I repeat. The “soil on which the ‘Messenger’ hasn’t yet stepped on” is the Mekkan soil. The ‘Messenger’ could have been determined to capture Mekka and the Ka’ba, which has been a sacred place (a Sun temple housing other deities as well) long before the advent of Islam, and now a symbol of competition for his teaching.

Does anyone remember a village or a town, for the destruction together with its inhabitants or the punishment of which, the God of Islam had waited for the departure of the ‘Messenger’ from that place? No! But we know that YHWH had waited for the departure of Moses and the Hebrews from Egypt to destroy the pharaoh; YHWH had also waited for the departure of Lot to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Therefore the story in Qoran 8:33 could be the Islamic version of these stories: “But Allah would not punish them while you were with them. Allah would not punish them while they were begging forgiveness.” Please consider the following points:
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Did God destroy Mekka following the departure of the ‘Messenger’ (allegedly because Mekkans had rejected him)? Did God destroy Medina when the ‘Messenger’ was not in the city, probably on the war front?

The answer is negative on both counts. God had destroyed neither Mekka nor Medina nor had he punished the people living there. So, we should find a place or a people for the destruction or punishment of which God had waited for the departure of the Ismaelite ‘Messenger.’ We should also establish whether a natural disaster had taken place shortly after his departure from a certain ‘place,’ which was interpreted by him and his followers as a divine act for the punishment of that ‘place.’ I believe that we should look for this place and the natural disaster in the northnorthwest of the Arabian Peninsula. The village or the town where the ‘Messenger’ lived could have been devastated by one of the frequent earthquakes in the region, shortly after his departure. According to Qoran the towns and peoples destroyed previously are;
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Noah’s people The city of Irem and Ad. Their messenger was Hud; The Medain Salih (villages of Salih) and Thamud. Their messenger was Salih; Sodom and Gomorrah and their people. Their messenger was Lot; The Midianites and Medyen/Madian/Mughair Shuayb. Their messenger was Shuayb.

These are the divine(!) acts emphasised by the ‘Messenger’ according to the Book, as a result of which the towns Irem, Sodom and Gomorrah, Madian/Medyen, and Medain Salih were destroyed. Their ruins could still be seen. Unfortunately we know nothing about the village of Noah, but if ever there was a Noah and a village where he lived, we should search for him and his locality probably in this region.

According to the Islamic ideology Noah’s people, Ad, Thamud, Lot’s people, Amalekites, Midianites have come and gone before the Ismaelite ‘Messenger,’ but descendants of those peoples must have been in existence in his time. Of those nations of the past who have been accepted by the Islamic ideology as belonging to the Ismaelite line, only the Nabataeans had existed as a viable entity. The rest of the former ‘peoples’ and the tribes must have had either become extinct or dissolved in the empire of the day.

THIS IS SUPPOSEDLY A SCRIPTURE IN ARABIC, BUT THERE ARE NONARABIC WORDS IN IT The precursors of the present day Arabic are believed to be the tongues spoken by the Didan/Dedan (presently al Ûlâ), Lihyan (Liyn), Thamud and Saf tribes, between 700 BC.- 400 AD. These were originally Midianite tribes (Ismaelites), the lands of whom have become the Nabataean territory as we come closer to the time of the ‘Messenger.’ The oldest Arabic text based on the Nabataean reportedly comes from the 4th century AD. We have other indications as to the possible sources of the language and doctrines of the Ismaelites. In Qoran 12:2; 13:37; 14:4; 16:103; 19:97; 20:113; 26:195, 198; 39:28; 41:3, 44; 42:7; 43:3; and 46:12 the authors/editors of Qoran tell us repeatedly that this Book was revealed “in Arabic.” We must ask ourselves: What is the reason behind these repeated references to the language of Qoran?
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To present it as a Book particularly for Arabs, thus sever any possible ties with its predecessors (The Old and New Testaments)? To underline the fact that it is unique and has not borrowed from either its predecessors or the other cultures? To give the impression that the person who has received (!) the messages and those who have written it were Arabs? To give the impression that it is for the Arabs only? To sever its ties to Arabs who were not indigenous to Arabia proper? To portray it as a Book intended only for the desert Arabs of Mekka?

But there are non-Arabic words in it like, Adam, Babil, Calut (Goliath), Cibril (Gabriel), Eyyub (Job), Firavn/Firaun (pharaoh), Haman, Harun (Aaron), Harut (Haurvatat), Marut (Ameretat/Amerodad), Daud (David), Ebabil, Elyese, Eyke, Medain, Medyen (Midian), Maryam (Miryam), Mısr (Musur, Egypt), Mikal (Mikail), Iblis, Idris (Enoch), Ilyas, Imran (Amran), Irem, Isa (Jesus), Ishak (Isaac), Ismail (Ismael), Karun, Ya’cuc and Ma’cuc (Gog and Magog), Musa (Mose/Moshe), Samud/Thamud, Suleyman (Shlomo), Tabut, Talut, Yagus, Yahya (Johanan),

Yakub (Yah-kobe/Yakob), Yunus (Younis), Yusuf (Yahu-ceph/Yosef), and Zekeriyya (Zachariah). These and other non-Arabic words originate from Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, Abyssinian, Nabataean, Coptic, Greek, and Turkish. Geographically, majority of the lands where these languages were spoken - except Abyssinia - are the lands to the North of the Arabian Peninsula and around Palestine. It is revealing, is it not? According to the Islamic authorities these foreign words in Qoran are there because “once upon a time, there was a community of Arabs called Arab-ı Baide. Following the disappearance of them an Arabic community came into being. Many words from other peoples’ tongues have infiltrated this community’s language. Qoran was revealed in this community’s tongue, and consequently all those foreign words appeared in the Book.” This is a straightforward acknowledgement of Qoran’s connection with the Ismaelite Arabs (Nabataeans) and the peoples of Arabia Petraea. The Islamic literature seems to be satisfied with this explanation, but to me it is incorrect. The original language of the earliest scriptures could not be the tongue of the community of the Arab-ı Baide, because this group did not include the Ismaelites (which is the tribe of the ‘Messenger’s family). The Arab-ı Baide are the ‘pre-Arab Arabs,’ the ‘lost Arabs,’ who are the people of Ad, Thamud, and the Amalekites. If the official ideology has any objections, then they will have to answer the question: Was Qoran written before the ‘Messenger,’ and in the language of a community, which predated his? Arab-ı Baide merged with the Kahtanites of Yemen and Arab-ı Aribe came into being. When Ismael and his tribe joined the Arab-ı Aribe we ended up with the Arab-ı Mustaribe. Although the native tongue of Ismael was Hebrew, he had allegedly started speaking Arabic in the tribe of Curhum (Djorhom). There were many tribes in the Arab-ı Mustaribe [Ben-i Zuhre, the tribe of the mother of the ‘Messenger’ (Amina binti Wahb) was one of them]. Tribe of Kureysh is said to have been the privileged tribe within this community. Therefore the original language of the earliest scriptures must have been the tongue of the Arab-ı Mustaribe. Amongst the suras referring to the language there is a very peculiar one in Qoran 42:7: “We have revealed to you a Qoran in Arabic so that you can caution the mother of settlements and civilisations, and the ones around it.” This ‘mother of settlements and civilisations’ is taken as Mekka.

Can you imagine Mekka and Arabia as the mother of settlements and civilisation? I cannot!

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Do we have any evidence that the ‘mother of settlements’ (‘umm-ul kura’=Mekka) was the ‘Messenger’s native city? No! Do we have any evidence that the ‘ones’ around the ‘mother of settlements’ were the natives of Mekka who have rejected the ‘Messenger’? No! The Book was supposedly revealed in a language, which would be used to caution the Mekkans and those living around. But those Mekkans had to make amendments to read the text! Could this verse be a later addition by the Mekkans to own the ‘Messenger’ and present him as a Mekkan? Most probably, yes!

As a last note on the foreign words in Qoran I would like to bring to your attention the following points. If all those foreign words are infiltrations via the language of the Arab-ı Mustaribe (they say Arab-ı Baide, but it is wrong) we have no choice but to accept that;

The ‘Messenger’ himself must have been a member of one of those tribes who formed the Arab-ı Mustaribe, because he is the one who announced the divine(!) revelations in his own tongue; The ‘Messenger’s tutor/adviser/storyteller (call him whatever you like) and note taker/scribe must also have been a member of that community.

Let us remember that Qoran was written at least three times. One of those editorial undertakings was in caliph Uthman’s reign. He is reported to have given the following order (narrated by Suyuti in Al Itkan) to the writer/editors: “O, the ‘Messenger’s companions! Come together and write a book which will be an Imaam (the sole model) to people.” Uthman must have been aware of the linguistic difficulties. That is the reason why he has reportedly advised the group of editors as follows: “Whenever there is a disagreement between you and Zayd of Medina on a certain section of Qoran, write the disputed section in Kureyshi tongue because Qoran was sent only in Kureyshi tongue.” Therefore Kureyshi tongue is not a a tongue of the desert Arabs, Mekkans, but has its origin somewhere else. Again, it is my belief that Kureysh was not a Medinan tribe originally, but had emigrated from the North. According to Karen Armstrong (A History of God) “Kureysh had centuries of proud bedouin independence behind them” They must have been mainly of Mosaic faith with clans or families professing different beliefs. Their languge must have been Midianite-Nabataean, which was the tongue of the Arab-ı Mustaribe. From Uthman’s advice quoted above we can also deduce that Zayd was from Medina, and that the Mekkan followers of the ‘Messenger,’ who had joined Zayd in the editorial group, were not proficient in that tongue. Since Zayd was speaking Midianite-Nabataean, and he was apparently one of the original group of the Ismaelite-Mohamedans and a close confidant of the ‘Messenger,’ he had the authority to make decisions. Consequently, he might very well have taken down the messages in his tongue.

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Both the ‘Messenger’ and the scribe must have been members of the Arab-ı Mustaribe; The scriptures written in Midianite-Nabataean (the tongue of the Arab-ı Mustaribe) and collected together ‘between the two covers’ must have been handed down to the editors in the later periods. Those later editors must have introduced the vowels and diacritical dots to read and understand the text. While doing that they and the editors who followed them had no idea that there were foreign words in the text, so they took them as the ‘divine’ words and edited the text according to their daily needs only, thus leaving all those words as they are.

THE ‘MESSENGER’S REGION
According to Qoran God had destroyed the people of Noah, Ad people, the Thamud, Midianites/people of Medyen, Rass people/ar Rass, and the people of Lot. These are the peoples of the region called the Arabia Petraea. What was God’s reason to annihilate all of them? Well, Qoran says that they were unbelievers, that they have rejected the ‘verses’ (divine rules!) given to them. In the 15th sura, starting with the verse 51 Qoran mentions Av’ram and Lot and gives a short story of the destruction of towns or villages, and has this to say in 15:76 about their ruins: “Those cities (the ruins of which) still exist alongside a much used road.” Yes! According to Qoran the ruins of the destroyed places still exist along a busy road. They are there supposedly as a lesson to humanity. Ad and Thamud seem to have a special place amongst the reminders, which the ‘Messenger’ cites. The town called Irem of the Ad people and the Medain Salih of the Thamud must also have been very important for the ‘Messenger’ who had received(!) and announced these revelations. The established view is that the forefather of the Arabs was the Nabatean tribe that migrated North and established the renowned city Petra (which is thought to be the biblical Sela). The Ad people are said to be one of the clans within the tribe of the Nabataeans. The Medain Salih or al Hicr or ‘Adall’ were considered ‘cursed towns.’ Ptolemy and Pliny called al Hicr ‘Egra.’ Believers of Islam were discouraged from going there.

Here ‘hicr’ appropriately means ‘forsaken,’ ‘abandoned,’ ‘rejected,’ and ‘forbidden.’ God has abandoned the people of Hicr and annihilated them, hasn’t he? Yes! Furthermore ‘Adall’ means ‘the one who has gone astray,’ ‘one who has deviated,’ ‘one who has many misdeeds.’ Hadn’t the people of al Hicr rejected the ordinances of God? Yes!

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Could the people of the valley of Hicr have rejected another messenger after Salih? Yes, they could have! Could the valley of Hicr be the region, which had to be abandoned/left behind? It could be!

The people of the valley of Hicr/Medain Salih/Salih’s villages have rejected the verses of God and they were cursed, forsaken, abandoned and annihilated. ‘Hicr’ also means ‘forbidden,’ a ‘no-go area.’ The names tell a lot! Besides the people of Medina the camel traders also were passing by the ruins in the valley of Hicr, Medain Salih and al Ûlâ (Dedan). Those traders who continue further in to the land of Israel, probably to Yerushalayim, were also passing by the ruins of Sodom near Cebel Usdum (Mount Sodom).

THE ‘MESSENGER’S PRIME TOOLS OF COERCION
THE BASIC BLACKMAIL: A GOD-LIKE EXISTENCE IN PARADISE IN RETURN FOR AN ABSOLUTE CAPITULATION Qoran 9:111 has the ultimate blackmail, and we don’t need anything more to grasp the fundamental bribe the Book offers. This verse is a straight confession: “Allah has bought the lives and possessions of the believers to give them the cannat (paradise) in return.” No explanation is needed. This verse announces the basic requirement of Islam:

Do as you are told without objection, don’t ask questions, and just be obedient. Only then would you have the chance to become God-like and live forever in the presence of God, you will be free to enjoy all that is forbidden in the worldly existence.

Like some other belief systems Islam also offers the credulous incognizant masses salvation and an afterlife, immortality and a God-like existence in return for an absolute capitulation here on earth. But the same belief system teaches the same masses that acts done to gain something in return has no value at all. THE DAY OF JUDGMENT AND THE UNTOLD-OF-SUFFERING IN HELL Let’s go back to the valley of Baca. Just outside the walls of the old Yerushalayim, to the southwest there was ‘Ge bne hinnom’ (the valley of the son of Hinnom) which was shortened into ‘Gehenna’ later on. ‘Ge bne Hinnom’ was the name of the valley where the Canaanites burnt their children offered to Baal, their God. The Greek ‘geenna’ derives from the Aramaic ‘gehinnam’, which in

turn represents Hebrew ‘ge-hinnom,’ an abbreviation of the full title. The name of the valley is thought to derive from the name of the original Jebusite owner of the property. In the Old Testament this is a geographical term which divides ancient Yerushalayim (Zion) from the hills to the South and West. It is the modern Vadi er Rababi, which joins the Vadi en Nar (the Kidron) at the southern extremity of the Hill of Zion. According to John L. McKenzie (Endtime: The Doomsday Catalogue): “The valley was a point on the boundary between Judah and Benjamin” (Joshua 15:8, 18:16). The horrific usage of this valley is reflected in Nehemiah 11:30. The valley had an unholy reputation in the later Old Testament books because it was the site of Tophet, a cultic shrine where human sacrifice was offered (II Kings 23:10; II Chronicles 28:3, 33:6; Jeremiah 7:31, 19:2ff, 32:35). Alan Millard (Discoveries from the Time of Jesus) writes: “There Jews who turned to foreign religions performed horrible ceremonies, burning their children in honor of pagan Gods” (Jeremiah 7:30, 31). John L. McKenzie goes on: “It is called simply ‘the valley’ (Jeremiah 2:23). Because of this cult Jeremiah cursed the place and predicted that it would be a place of death and corruption” (7:32, 19:6ff). The valley is referred to, not by name in Isaiah 66:24, but as “a place where the dead bodies of the rebels against YHWH shall lie. Their worm shall not die nor shall their fire be quenched.” The spirits of the dead “are going to be thrown into a blazing furnace. They are going to be wretched in their immense agony, and into darkness and chains and burning flames” (I Enoch 98:3, 103:7-10). “In the first century it was the fires of burning refuse that lit the valley. By that time its name had been put into Aramaic as Gehenna, and had become a common Jewish word for hell” writes Alan Millard (Discoveries from the Time of Jesus). Over 200 years later, in Revelation 20:14 the author writes how Hades itself would be consumed by fire: “Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.” Prior to Jesus, the Essenes reportedly had pictured ‘gehenna’ as a monstrous torture chamber that sinners needed to endure to purify them of their sins, and making them suitable for an afterlife fitting the saints. Essenes have got this idea from Zoroastrian doctrines. Islam has adopted the concept of hell/gehinnom/channam totally. On the other hand the authors of Qoran refer to paradise as a place for the righteous where they ‘exist’ after death. Let us see where this paradise is. Paradise is given the names of Adn, Aden, and Eden. According to some scholars all of these words derive from the Babylonian word Edinu, ‘garden.’ Therefore paradise is a garden. According to Encyclopedia of Archetypal Symbolism, “The English word paradise derives from the Old Persian pairidaeza, which means ‘walled enclosure, pleasure park, garden.’ This term entered Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek while still retaining its original meanings.” Samuel Noah Kramer writes, “There is good indication that the Biblical paradise, which is described as a garden planted eastwards of Eden may have been originally identical with Dilmun, the Sumerian paradise-land.” Edward Burman in his work (The Assassins - Holy Killers of Islam) writes: “The idea of paradise as a place of

rest and refreshment in which the righteous live in the presence of God appears in Mosaic scriptures and thence in both Christianity and Islam..The word itself is said to derive from the Old Persian ‘pairidaeze’, meaning an enclosed area, usually a royal park or pleasure garden, although some derive the word more simply from the Persian ‘firdaws’ (corrupted version of pairidaeza) or garden. Whichever is the case, the origin is undoubtedly Persian.” We must leave aside the Sumerian and Zarathustran origin of paradise and look for an actual place on earth, like we have for hell (gehinnom). The Old Testament mentions that YHWH had set up a garden in the ‘corner of east,’ in paradise (Genesis 2:8). The Old Testament tells us also that, a running water arose from the paradise to water the garden which separated into four branches, and names these branches as Fizon (?), Gihon, Tigris and Euphrates. Here again, leave aside the names of the rivers and stick to the fact that there was an abundance of water in paradise.

Where was this paradise, the pairidaeza, firdaws, the Garden of Eden, Edinu, Adn, the ‘garden’?

What do we have in the paradise/canna/cannat/garden of the ‘Messenger’ of Qoran? Here they are: Fruits, shades, flowing water beneath, streams, couches, goblets, pillows, select beds, virgins, young boys like pearls etc. etc. In short what is missing in the life of the average Arab of the day, and what he (Qoran addresses males only) yearns for, exists in this paradise. We must separate the actual from the abstract in the list above. The following seem to be real and connected to a physical site: Fruits, shades (of trees?), flowing water underneath/underground, and streams, furniture to sit on or recline etc. All of these are the things found in a garden. This paradise must be a civilized place situated near a developed locality like a town or a city. In other words the exact opposite of the wilderness/desert. In Qoran 3:195 God swears that He “would cover up the evil deeds of those who migrate, who are expelled from their countries, those who are tortured, and who have fought and died for my cause (..) I would place them in the paradises where rivers flow underneath.” The ‘author’ seems to have written about an actual place. We are told that during the Byzantine rule the area outside the southwest walls of Yerushalayim was known as ‘gardens.’ The remarkable thing is that ‘Ge bne hinnom’ (the valley of the son of Hinnom) is also there, which means that hell (Geenna, cahannam, cahim) and ‘garden’ (edinu, pairidaeza, firdaws, canna, cannat) are side by side. There are many many references to paradise and hell in Talmud, where it is written that a few of the evil would stay forever in Gehenna and the rest would go to Adn (paradise) following a suffering of 12 months. This Talmudic reference makes one wonder if there is a bridge in between the hell and paradise! Don’t forget that the Islamic literature refers to a sırât bridge. Those who are righteous would be able to walk over to the ‘garden.’ That is why I mentioned a possible bridge in between the valley of the son of Hinnom and the

‘gardens,’ lying to the north. You may wonder how gardens were made possible in a basically ‘dry’ environment. Well, remember what the people did in Petra. They built cisterns to store the rainwater. An identical underground storage system was built in Yerushalayim. J. T. Milik in his book Saint Thomas of Phordesa (phordesa, phordesaya were the names given to the ‘gardens’ by the Christians, make a note of the resemblance between paradise, pairidaeza and phordesa) writes that Yerushalayim had a “complete and complex system of irrigation.” So, Here are your ‘underground rivers.’ This underground water reportedly came over ground and watered the gardens. Following this rather long presentation to hell we can now go to the hell of the ‘Messenger.’ The hell of the ‘Messenger’ is called cahannam/cehennam/cahîm, where there is deep, tormenting ‘unending darkness’, and ‘fire’ in the form of a lake of fire (the idea is borrowed from Zoroastrianism). This hell of the Ismaelites/Mohamedans is waiting for those souls who have failed to pass the account taking in the Day of Judgment. Qoran reminds as often as possible the indescribable, untold-of-suffering, the pain of burning in the fire, swallowing down boiling water with the rupturing of the stomach etc. These admonitions are accompanied with a warning that the end of time, the Judgment Day, the pain and suffering are ‘very close’ and ‘imminent’ and ‘at hand’. So the sinners and wicked should heed the ordinances of the Supreme Creator(!). Threfore the Book of Islam blackmails, threatens and aims at scaring the credulous ignorants to make itself accepted. Those who are keen on reading the details about cahannam (hell) are referred to the suras: 2:24, 39, 80,81, 126, 167, 175, 206, 217, 221, 257, 275; 3:24, 116, 151, 181, 185, 197; 4:10, 14, 30, 55, 56, 93, 97, 115; 5:10, 29, 37, 72, 86; 6:128; 7:36, 41-50; 9:35, 49, 63, 68, 81, 95; 8:36; 10:4, 27; 11:106, 107, 119; 13:5, 14:16, 29; 15:44; 16:29; 17:8, 18, 39, 97; 18:106; 19:68, 71, 86; 20:74; 21:29, 100; 21:29, 98, 99; 22:9, 19, 22, 51, 72; 23:103; 25:34, 65; 29:54; 32:13; 33:65; 35:36, 37; 36:63; 37:23, 62-68; 38:55-64; 39:19,60, 72; 40:46, 47, 60, 72, 76; 41:28; 43:74, 77; 44:56; 45:10; 47:15; 48:6; 50:24, 30; 52:13; 55:43, 44; 56:4156; 58:8; 59:17; 66:9; 67:6; 69:17; 72:15; 74:31; 76:4; 78:21; 79:36; 81:12; 85:10; 87:12, 13; 89:23; 96:18; 98:6; 111:3.

THE EARTHQUAKES Here, I would like to concentrate on two periods of disasters caused by the atmospheric and terrestial phenomena, the ‘Messenger,’ and/or the earliest author of Qoran and/or the later editors choose to present these natural phenomena as the ‘wrath of God’ and ‘acts of divine punishment.’ They also use these phenomena as tools of coercion into servitude. Islam has taken its basic doctrines and stories from the Mosaic belief system, which actually is the story of building a nation. The Mosaic belief system in turn got its stories and doctrines

from the cultures of the past (Sumer, Babylon, folk tales of the region, and Zoroastrianism etc.). Both the Mosaic scriptures and Qoran have the habit of presenting the natural events as the acts of the Supreme Overseer. Amalekites were the connection between the first period of natural disasters and the Ismelite-Mohamedan movement. Amalekites were emigrating from Mecca to the lands in the North, when a major natural ‘upheaval’ took place. Amalekites were Ismaelites and the Arabs consider them as one of the peoples of the ‘Arab-ı Baide’=‘lost Arabs’ or the ‘pre-Arab Arabs’ (This is wrong if should be Arab-i Mustaribe). As a result of the ‘sea invading land’ a part of them have perished near the ‘sea of passage.’ When in the same time bracket (15th century BC.) Hebrews were fleeing Egypt under their leader who is known to us by the name of Moses;
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Egypt was going through a period of plagues of all sorts. They detected huge tidal waves on the sea. In the desert they experienced ‘spasmodic’ movements of the earth’s surface, an extensive volcanic activity, and lava gushing out of the clefts in the ground. There appeared suddenly yawning chasms (Numbers 16:32). Springs disappeared or turned bitter (Exodus 15:23; Psalm 107:33-35). “The earth shook and trembled; the foundations..of..hills moved and were shaken.. smoke..and fire..coals were kindled..the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered” (Psalm 18:7-8, 15). His (God) lightnings enlightened the world: The earth saw, and trembled. The hills melted like wax”(Psalm 97:4-5). “(God) removes the mountains..overturns them in his anger, shakes the earth out of her place” (Job 9:5-6). “The earth trembled..mountains melted..even that Sinai..” (‘Song of Deborah’- Judges 5:4-5). “You have made the earth to tremble; you have broken it: Heal the breaches thereof; for it shakes..You have showed your people hard things: You have made us to drink the wine of astonishment” (Psalm 60:2-3).

A papyrus containing (according to its first possessor Anastasi) the words of Ipuwer was found in Memphis-Egypt, at the neighbourhood of the pyramids of Saqqara. According to the scholars who have studied the papyrus, the document is the copy of a text a few centuries older. The copy is thought to have been made sometime during the 19th dynasty of Egypt, “but the spelling is, on the whole, that of a literary text of the Middle Kingdom, if this term be interpreted in a very liberal way” (A. H. Gardiner, Admonitions). Events described in the original text are thought to have taken place just before and during the Hyksos/Amu/Amalekite invasion of Egypt, between the Middle and New Kingdoms. The papyrus acquired by the Museum of Leiden in the Netherlands

was written on both sides. The story of Ipuwer on the face of the papyrus is full of lamentations, and description of ruin and horror: “The land turns round as a potter’s wheel..towns are destroyed. Upper Egypt has become dry..All is in ruin..The residence is overturned in a minute..Years of noise. There is no end to noise..Oh, that the earth would cease from noise, and tumult (uproar) be no more..Plague is throughout the land..The river is blood..human beings thirst after water.. (Referring to the Nile) That is our water! That is our happiness! What shall we do in respect thereof? All is in ruin..Trees are destroyed. No fruit nor herbs are found.. Forsooth, gates, columns and walls are consumed by fire..hunger..All animals, their hearts weep. Cattle moan..The land is not light (‘without light’, ‘dark’)..Forsooth, the children of princes are dashed against the walls..Forsooth, the children of princes are cast out in the streets..He who places his brother in the ground (inters) is everywhere..It is groaning that is throughout the land, mingled with lamentations..Forsooth, those who were in the place of embalmment are laid on the high ground.” As seen from here the papyrus of Ipuwer contains evidence of a natural cataclysm or a series of catastrophes accompanied by earthquakes, and acts as a witness to how the events appeared at that time. The last observation about the dead bodies lying on the ground must have been transformed into a story about the ‘dead who will rise out of their graves on the day of the Lord/the Judgment Day,’ which is the fundamental doctrine of Islam. This story and the similar scenes after the frequent earthquakes in the region are the most probable origin of the visual aspect of the Judgment Day scenarios of the later belief systems. As to the date of these events, the references in the papyrus indicate a period immediately before the biblical Exodus. For those who may wish to learn how the events of the ‘last night in Egypt before the Exodus’ is echoed in the Old Testament, I suggest Exodus 12:12: “..this night..against all the Gods of Egypt I will execute judgment.” Those who would like to know what actually has happened that night must read the Preparation for the Gospel by Eusebius (Book ix, chapter xxvii): “The statues of the Gods fell and broke into pieces.” What was that event? A perfectly natural phenomenon, but which one? This period (1500s BC.) coincides with the end of the Cretan culture - the Middle Minoan II age - which is coeval with the Middle Kingdom in Egypt. The excavations in Knossos revealed that this magnificient period of Minoan civilisation had come to an end due to a terrible natural catastrophe.

These natural events have been written into the Mosaic scriptures as the manifestations of an intervention of and the punishment executed by a divine ‘being,’ because Hebrews needed a God, an ideology, a story and a land to become a nation.

On the other hand Islam has decided that it needed this all-powerful God for its particular design and adopted it.

People of the region have called this ‘supreme being’ El Shadday, El, Eloh, Elohim, YHWH, and later Allah; and they called the day that he would supposedly settle His accounts, the Day of Judgment. Now let us go into the cause of this natural catastrophe in the 15th century BC. The volcano on the island of Santorini in the Mediterranean to the North of Crete ‘blew its top off’ literally and collapsed in on itself. The actual body of the volcano had disintegrated after this explosion of unprecedented violence. Millions of tons of volcanic ash were blown into the atmosphere. The atmosphere vibrated with powerful shock waves. Giant tidal waves were created, which caused utter destruction in the coastline of Eastern Mediterranean. Minoan palaces were destroyed by natural disasters and earthquakes around 1480 BC. The research done by professor A. G. Galanopoulos had established a very thick layer covering the ruins of a once lively town, indicating that the cataclysmic eruption of Santorini has occurred sometime around 1480 BC. This explosion was preceded and followed by violent earthquakes. The explosion, which destroyed the volcano on Santorini has left behind a few islands. This explosion is believed to have been several times greater than the Krakatoa eruption in 1883, in the Sunda Strait of Indonesia. Scientists call the Santorini type eruptions as ‘hydro-magmatic.’ In a ‘hydro-magmatic’ eruption the cold seawater flows into the underground cavities of lava at the base of the volcano. The steam produced there results in the blowing off of the top of the volcano by the expanding steam and the hot lava. When the tremendous pressure is released, the remainder of the volcano collapses into the emptied cavities underneath. The outcome is the caldera we see today. Following the explosion more than 10 cubic miles of seawater is believed to have filled this caldera rapidly. Filling of this caldera must have created a withdrawal of water along the nearest shorelines. Could this be the explanation behind the ‘parting’ or ‘withdrawal to one side’ of the waters at the ‘sea of passage’? It is possible. The Arab historians report that the escaping Amalekites from the plagues in Mekka arrived at their ‘native land’ when an unexpected flood overran the land and many of them had lost their lives. This must be the same event, which killed the pharaoh and his army. When this huge cavity was filled the seawater, huge waves must have been created at the centre, and the excess water must have moved out in the form of tidal waves in all directions with extremely high speeds. These tsunamis must have had destructive effects on the shoreline of the Mediterranean Sea.

Seismologists maintain that in Crete there have been three earthquakes per century in the past. Research by the experts show that the Knossos palace was destroyed for the first time in the 18th century BC. (1720). The palace was rebuilt and restored, but it was destroyed again by the earthquakes of the 14th century BC. Therefore these earthquakes must have continued well into the 14th century. The eastern Mediterranean is full of fault lines in the earth’s crust. Eurasian continent is moving away from Africa, because of the ‘push’ by the Arabian plate. The fracture to the South of Crete must be the continuation of the fracture in Jordan, where the Dead Sea and the Jordan River is situated. These fracture zones also are the result of the Arabian Peninsula pushing against the Eurasian (Europe+Asia Minor) continental plate. The southeast-northwest movement caused by the push of the Arabian plate has filled the Anatolian plate with active and dangerous fault lines. The dynamics of the tectonic system in the East Mediterranean region has created one of the most active seismic zones in the world. There are numerous extinct and a few active volcanoes in the countries around the central and eastern Mediterranean. There are areas covered with volcanic material etc. The Sinai Peninsula is covered with basalt lava (M. Flinders Petrie, Ancient Egypt). The Arabian Desert also has lava layers (N. Glueck, The Other Side of Jordan), and a string of volcanoes stretch from Palmyra to Mekka (C.P. Grant, The Syrian Desert). This catastrophe must have had its effect on the shores of Akaba and the slopes of the Seir range down to the shores of Tehame and Hicaz. The before and after of this cataclysmic event were times of drought, famine and plagues. Countries were annihilated, became desolate and abandoned. Pharaoh had lost his life and his army perished. Peoples migrated to find other lands to live on and be secure. The Amalekites reportedly had to leave their ancestral home in Mekka and to migrate to ‘their native land.’ We come across the repeated references to clouds in the history of the wandering. According to the Kitab-al Aganî “the Amalekites journeyed in the direction of the cloud” (presumably thinking there would be water there, but the clouds were not the rain clouds!). According to the Islamic literature an unexpected torrent has destroyed the Sun temple/sanctuary in Mekka. The sons of Ismael have expelled the Djorhomites from Mekka (so there was a Mekka in the 15th century BC.!). These Djorhomites settled near Juheinah (Cuheyne). A sudden torrent there had drowned all of them in a single night. The area of this catastrophe is known as Idam (to execute, to kill to annihilate; the root word is adem) in Tehame. Masudi quotes an ancient poet written by el Harit: “From el-Hadjoun up to Safa all became desert; in Mekka the nights are silent, no voice of pleasant talks. We dwelt there, but in a most resounding night and in a most terrible devastation we were destroyed.”

The second period I shall refer to is the 6th century AD. because the 6th and 7th centuries cover the period when the ‘Messenger’ was alive. The memories of the natural phenomena in these centuries must have been still vivid when the ‘Messenger’ entered the stage. First, we must mention an unexplained event. Mediterranean historians and writers refer to a strange natural phenomenon in 536 AD. when a dark cloud or fog blocked the Sun for about 18 months. It was observed also in Europe and the countries of the Northern Hemisphere. Referring to the effects of the cloud in 536 AD. the Italian statesman and scholar Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus wrote that the Sun had lost its light and appeared blue; there were no shadows at noon; Sun did not heat; northern wind have killed the crops; there was no rain. Ioannes Laurentios Lydos wrote that the Sun was dimmed for about a year, which killed the fruits. The chronicler Mikhael the Syrian noted the following: “The Sun became dark..for eighteen months. Each day it shone for about four hours (but it) was only a feeble shadow..the fruits did not ripen and the wine tasted like sour grapes.” This is what the archaeologist Michael Baillie said on the same event: “There seem to have been comets, meteors, earthquakes, dimmed skies and inundations, and following the famines of the late 530s, plague arrived in Europe in the 542-5 AD.” (Michael H. Brown, SpiritDaily). This natural phenomenon has had its effect also on the tree rings. Michael Baillie has completed an extensive study on the tree growth patterns in the last 5000 years. This study made clear that there have been five significant environmental disturbances worldwide. When he compared the historical records with his findings he has established five ‘dark ages’: 2354-2345 BC., 1628-1623 BC., 1159-1141 BC., 208-204 BC., and 536-545 AD. This last period is very important from our angle because supposedly 25 years later the Ismaelite ‘Messenger’ was born, when the memory of the natural disasters were still fresh. The event in 536 AD. was not a local one. In China stars could not be seen for three months. There was no light of the Sun, no rain, but there was snow in summer, famine etc. Chinese historical records of 540 AD., include a narration of the fight of dragons in the pond of ‘K’uh o’, which went westward..and broke all the trees on their path. Then there was the plague, called the Justinian Plague, which is said to have begun in central Asia, spreading to Egypt and then to Europe. In general there was a series of earthquakes in this period during the reign of Justinian (527-565 AD.). The sources maintain that these earthquakes and especially the one in 540 AD. had devastated Palestine and the neighbouring regions. Beirut was destroyed totally. Tyre and Sidon received extensive

damage. The temple at Baalbek was in ruins. The deadliest of them all was reportedly the quake in 551 AD., as a consequence of this earthquake the sea is said to have withdrawn two miles. Petra was a prosperous Byzantine city, but a series of devastating earthquakes were amongst the factors that left their marks on the city. These earthquakes begun in the 4th century AD. The quake in 363 AD. is reported to have been the most powerful, which had damaged Caesarea Philippi, Capernaum, Tiberias, Gadara, Sepphoris, Scythopolis, Sebaste, Gophnia, Yerushalayim, Caesarea, Ptolemais, and Petra. In 419 AD. another earthquake shook Palestine and destroyed many towns and villages, amongst which Antipatris was destroyed as well and Yerushalayim received severe damage. In 447 AD. thermal baths at Gadara were destroyed (D.H.K. Amiran-E. Arieh). Then there was the powerful quake in 551 AD., which leveled more of Petra (and the cities in Negeb/Negev). This is the bottom line: There was a cataclysmic volcanic eruption in the 15th century BC. There was also a series of quakes closer to the time of the ‘Messenger’ in the 6th century AD. There was probably another volcanic eruption or a meteor impact in 536 AD. As one can see the Middle East cultures are full of the stories of natural terrestrial, celestial, and atmospheric phenomena.

The problem centres on the biased interpretation of these natural phenomena by the persons who called themselves messengers and nabis and rasuls, all of whom had definite ulterior motives.

The folk stories about these earth tremors, atmospheric and celestial occurrences must have given the ‘Messenger’ and his closest followers an additional material in their efforts to coerce people into accepting the IsmaeliteMohamedan ideology.

THE ‘MESSENGER’S PERISHED PEOPLES
The ‘Messenger’ or the earliest author of the Ismaelite scriptures refers time and again to a series of perished peoples. In addition to God’s annihilation of the people of Noah and the people of Lot, the author has written into Qoran the adventures of more perished peoples. The names of these perished peoples are given by the author as Ad, Thamud, Midianites, the people of Ayka, and Rass people/ar Rass (‘people of the Grove’). The stories about their annihilation by God are all alike. Some of these stories could not be found in the texts of the earlier code Books. So, what could be the origin of these stories? It is my belief that these stories were the regional folk tales where the ‘Messenger’ had lived. Natural disasters were at the core of the stories. How come they are written as divine (!) acts in Qoran?

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The storytellers might have presented these natural events within the context of the ‘wrath of God’; The ‘Messenger’ might have interpreted these events according to his personal aim of having a doctrine and a following of his own; The later editors might have inserted these stories as the products of their personal interpretations to give the Book a ‘divine’ dimension.

The Mosaic scriptures had their particular stories of perished peoples in the form of the people of Noah and the people of Lot. Therefore in addition to these stories, Qoran could not have done without the local stories of its own perished peoples, hence the Ad, Thamud, the Midianites, people of Ayka, and the people of the Grove (ar Rass). These peoples were living in the northwest Arabian Peninsula, in Midian and further North around Petra, and in the villages and towns in the region. Why were they chosen especially by the 'Messenger'? Because they were the people of his region! All of these communities were the victims of natural occurrences, all of which have been interpreted as divine acts to penalize the rejection of the ordinances of God.

PEOPLE OF NOAH The story is in Qoran 71. Where we learn that the people of Noah had idols. When one goes through the literature one meets the idols of the people of Noah: Wadd was shaped like man; Suwa was shaped like woman; Yaguth/Yaghus/Yoguth was a lion; Nasr was a vulture; and Yauq was a horse. They had another idol called Naila. The people of Noah have reportedly refused to give up their idols. The rest of the story is in the Books. PHARAOH AND THE EGYPTIANS Pharaoh’s treatment of the Hebrews and Moses had prompted God to send plagues and a final devastation, which ended the period of the Middle Kingdom. This supposedly ‘divine punishment’ was the cataclysmic eruption of the Santorini. We have the records of this event in the form of the Old Testament story on Exodus, and the papyrus texts originating from the region.

THE AD PEOPLE The references to Ad people (Adites) in Qoran made me check the Islamic sources. Those who are interested in the genealogies give the descent of Ad as follows: Ad son of Ous son of Iram son of Sam son of Noah. As seen from here Ad was a Semitic tribe. There are other theories as well, like “Ad nation lived either near Hadramaut in the desert or more likely they were Aramaeans and

lived in the land of Edom. Hud was their messenger.” According to Qoran the messenger Hud was commissioned to preach ‘Islam’ (God’s verses) to his tribe. The story in the Islamic literature tells that messenger Hud had promised paradise after death for those who had surrendered to the ordinances of God, but the king of the Ad people countered this promise with a claim that he would build a paradise in this world. Then he built the city called Irem/Iram. Ad people worshipped four goddesses, Hâfiza (‘the lady who saves’), Sâkiya (‘one who brings water’ = ‘one who brings rain’), Râzika (‘one who gives food’) and Sâlima (‘one who heals’), according to Islamic literature. There are other stories in the Islamic literature like the one by ibn Khaldun, where he claimed that Iram/Irem was the name of a powerful clan of the ancient Adites, and the word ‘imâd’ in the expression ‘Irem-i zat-ül imâd’ meant a tent-pole. This story makes Irem a place “with the numerous tents or tent-poles.” We are told in another story that the remains of Ubar was established from space by NASA in the 1970s. This city is on the borders of al Ahkaf to the west of Hadramaut in southern Arabia, under the sand dunes. A lot of people have claimed that these ruins were of Irem. Evidently their purpose is vindicating the statements in Qoran. My theory is that they are trying to prove that Islam has its origin in the South of the Arabian Peninsula. But the presentation in Qoran of Ad and Thamud as predecessors and successors and the fact that we know where the Thamud had lived make me opt for the proposition that the Ad people had lived in ancient Syria. More precisely, they must have lived in the land of Edom extending along the Seir range to the valley of Hicr in northwest Arabia. According to the Islamic literature Irem was built by Ceyrun bin Ad in Sham (Dimask, Dimisk-esh Sham, Damascus), Ceyrun bin Ad had two sons, Shedid and Shaddad. The latter one reportedly went to the desert of Aden and built an exact replica of the city. A. Sprenger has shown that the Ad people have lived North of Mekka (near or in the valley of Hicr) near the Thamudites. I think that the Ad people were only a clan within the tribe of Nabataeans who ruled the region from Petra (Irem) to the valley of Hicr. Therefore the findings of Sprenger, that Ad lived in or near the valley of Hicr, do not contradict the supposition that Ad people were the founders of Irem. Ad were a Nabataean clan, and according to Sprenger’s findings, they were living closer to the early ‘Moslems,’ who naturally accepted them as the founders of Irem. In the end we can say that Ad people were entirely distinct from the Sabeans of Yemen. The Edomites controlled the region around Petra 1200 years before Christ. They were gone from Petra by the middle of the 5th century BC. A group called Nabatu/Nabataeans took over the site. Qoran mentions the Ad people in 7:65-72; 11:50-60; 14:9-15; 26:123-140; 29:3842; 41:13-16; 46:21-28; 51:41-42; 69:4-8; 7:74; 9:70; 22:42; 25:38; 26:123;

29:38; 38:12; 40:31; 50:13; 53:50-51; 54/18-20; and 89:6-8, of which the following verses are important for us:
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Qoran 7:69 says “He (God) has made you caliphs to the people of Noah. He has given you a stronger body (made you more powerful).” Qoran 7:74: “You are erecting palaces on His (God) plains, you are carving homes out of His mountains.” Qoran 14:14 is interesting. God mentions in verse 14:9 the people of Noah, and Ad and Thamud and those after them. Then following some verses, which are a mixture of quotations from the ‘messengers sent to unbelievers and those who are faithful,’ God announces in verse 14:13 that the unbelievers will be annihilated. In 14:14 God carries on with a statement: “And after them we will most certainly settle you in that land.”

Who were the ones that would be settled in the lands of the unbelievers? The ‘Messenger’ and his followers of course! Have they been settled there? If I had to answer that question this would be my response: According to Qoran they had to leave their native ‘place,’ and they settled in Medina. But their native ‘place’ was definitely not Mekka! Here are some more verses:
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Qoran 26:128: “Are you enjoying yourselves/passing time by erecting an amazing building/a symbol/a stone/an altar on every high place?” Qoran 26:134: They had “gardens and springs.” Qoran 29:38: “What we have done to Ad and Thamud could be seen clearly from their dwellings.” Qoran 41:15: “The Ad people boasted undeservedly and said: ‘Is there anyone powerful than us?’”

Let us pick our facts according to the Islamic literature:
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Ad people lived in the land of Edom. They were Aramaeans (Semites). They had a central city called Irem, which was full of or famous for its columns. They have erected buildings and altars on every high place. They were a powerful nation. They have been annihilated. Their dwellings (or the ruins) are still visible. Their messenger was Hud. Identifying the ruins of the city of Ubar with Irem/Iram of Qoran should be seen as an attempt by the southern Arabs to cut off the connection between Islam and the northern Arabs in general, and the MidianitesNabataeans-Ismaelites in particular.

In the orderly progression of history in Qoran the next people in line is the Thamud, who must have been the successors to Ad. Thamud have settled almost certainly in the same general area.

THAMUD PEOPLE Who were the Thamud people? First of all, as usual with the Semitic people, the name of the tribe is derived from the name of the founder. Therefore Thamud is the person who founded the tribe. Thamudeans lived under the rule of the Assyrians according to the Islamic reference sources. Their lineage given by the Islamic scholars is as follows: Thamud son of Ad son of Ous son of Iram son of Sam son of Noah. Here one could see immediately that the Islamic scholars thought Ad and Thamud as peoples of the same lineage. Thamud was a Semitic tribe. They are thought to be the ones who survived the destruction of al Ûlâ with their messenger Hud. If we go by this genealogy Ad lived in al Ûlâ. Al Ûlâ means the ‘first,’ the ‘earliest.’ Barring the peoples of Noah and Lot, which have their origin in the Mosaic scriptures, Ad is the first in the list of peoples in Qoran. Dedan kingdom had its centre in al Ûlâ. Dedan was the first kingdom in the list given by the Islamic literature. Everything seem to fall in place. Both the Book and the literature of Islam agree that al Ûlâ was the ‘first.’ Researches have reportedly established four different periods in al Ûlâ:
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Dedan/Didan kingdom: From 6th century BC. Lihyan kingdom (al Lahyan, al Lahyanîn): 5th-3rd century BC. Their rule is said to have extended to the gulf of Akaba. Here one must make a note of the name Lah-yan and Lah-yanîn. Consider the similarity between Lahyan, Lah-yanîn and ‘Lah-iyyûn.’ The suffix ‘iyyûn’ means something like ‘those who belong to.’ Therefore Lahiyyûn means ‘those who belong to Lah,’ or ‘followers of Lah,’ or ‘of the line of Lah.’ Al Lah (‘the God’) has been one of the major deities of the Arabs before the advent of Islam. Lihyan/Lahyan kingdom had existed in the region where the Arab language took shape. Lihyanite was one of the tongues, which contributed to the Arabic of our day. Lihyan, Lahyan, Lahyanîn, Lahiyyûn, a region where the Arabic has taken shape, al Lah, Allah and Islam. The 'Messenger' of the Ismaelite-Mohamedan movement calls his supreme overseer by he name of Allah. They all seem to be in a natural progression, and everything falls in place. Nabataean kingdom. Islamic rule.

Greek and Roman historians wrote that Thamud lived in the valley of Hicr near Hejaz/Hijaz/Hicaz north of Medina and on the road to Syria.

Salih was their messenger. Ad and Thamud lived in dwellings hewn into rocks. The verses in Qoran give the impression that Thamud were the successors to Ad and their God was the same one. The Book reflects the belief that they have been given identical verses. Who actually were Hud and Salih? They could have been Mosaic emissaries calling the pagans to the belief system of YHWH. On the other hand they could very well have been clever characters who by claiming ‘propethood,’ had tried to establish their authority in their communities. Qoran mentions Thamud people in 7:73; 11:61-68, 95; 9:70; 14:9; 17:59; 22:42; 25:38; 26:141-159; 27:45-53; 29:38; 38:13; 40:31; 41:13, 17; 50:12; 51:43-45; 53:51; 54:23-31; 69:4-5; 85:18; 89:9; and 91:11-15. Here are some verses on Thamud:

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Qoran 7:74: “Remember that Allah made you (Thamud) the successors to Ad and settled you on earth, you are building palaces on its plains, and carving its mountains to make homes. You should remember Allah’s blessings and do not corrupt the world by your plots.” Qoran 26:146: “Do you expect to be in security here, surrounded by gardens and springs, crops, and date palms?” Qoran 27:52: “Here are their deserted and ruined homes.” Qoran 29:38: “What we have done to..Thamud could be seen clearly from their dwellings.” Qoran 53:50-51: “There is no doubt that He (God) destroyed Ad first, and Thamud (as well), so He left behind nothing.” Qoran 85:17-18: “Did you receive the word about the armies? The pharaoh and Thamud?” Qoran 89:9: “(Didn’t you see) what he did to the Thamud nation who carved rocks in the valley?”

Like Ad, Thamud were also ‘seduced by the devil.’ They have rejected the divine ordinances, and were annihilated. Qoran 15:80 says that the “Hicr people have also rejected the messengers sent to them” and they were devastated by the known method. The narration in the code Book of Islam makes clear that the Thamud people hold a special place amongst the tools of blackmail employed by the ‘Messenger.’ The Book makes them a special case of example. Why did the 'Messenger' choose to emphasise the Thamud? Was it because they also had dwelt in the valley of Hicr, like the 'Messenger' himself?

LOT’S PEOPLE

Another one of those perished peoples that either the ‘Messenger,’ or the author or the storyteller had inserted into Qoran is the people of Lot. Before getting involved with towns/villages, which were destroyed by “a shower of anguish.” The star of this show is Lot. According to Genesis 11:29; 12:5 and 14:12 Lot is ‘Av’ram’s brother’s son,’ but in 14:16 he becomes the ‘brother’ (AKJV). I am aware of the very strong possibility that Lot could be a pure invention, but let’s go on. The Old Testament story that placed Lot in our memories is the one about Sodom and Gomorrah. It is in Genesis 18-19. Here God decides to destroy the towns/villages where sodomy is widespread. First, God bargains with Av’ram over Sodom and Gomorrah. In the end of their bargaining God accepts that if Av’ram finds 10 righteous men He will spare the towns. God ends the conversation and leaves. Lot is in Sodom and two angels come to town. Sodomy is widespread there. Men of Sodom want the angels. Two angels speak to Lot and tell him to take everybody in his house with him and flee the town. They warn him: ‘Look not behind you, neither stay in all the plain, escape to the mountains, otherwise you will be consumed.’ Now follow the story as it is told in Genesis 19:18-25: “And Lot said to them (God and angels?), Oh not so my God. Behold now, your servant has found grace in your sight, and you have magnified your mercy, which you have showed me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me and I die: Behold now this city is near to flee to, and it is a little one: O, let me escape there and my soul shall live. And he said to him, See I have accepted you concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for which you have spoken. You be quick, escape there; for I cannot do anything until you be come (arrive) there. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar (little, small). The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. Then YHWH rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone (pieces of hot flaming sulphur) and fire from God out of heaven. And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” Qoran 11:82 and 15:74 say that the shower “consisted of stones made of baked mud/sediment.” Qoran 54:34 says: “We have sent them a wind hurling/showering stones.” Compare the shower of brimstone and fire in the Old Testament with Qoran’s shower of baked stones. They sound similar. Furthermore compare Qoran 8:33 where Allah waits for the Ismaelite ‘Messenger’s departure to punish the unbelievers, and the Old Testament’s God ordering Lot to leave quickly because He “cannot do anything until you (Lot) be come (arrive) there.” Interesting?

THE LAND OF MIDIAN AND THE MIDIANITES The land of Midian/Medyen is usually thought as the land around the gulf of Akaba. But some scholars claim that Midianites had had a much wider region under their rule, extending to West as far as Sinai and South as Medina. Midianites were a population made of numerous clans. Here is a passage on the people of Midian/Medyen: “When the western Semites broke off from the southern Semites it was the period of pre-Bedouins, and the ‘Arabs’ practiced oasis agriculture and raised animals, especially camels. They did not yet know the nomadic life. The center of their civilisation at the time was Midian. The region is mentioned in the Mosaic scriptures. It was in Midian that the ‘Arabs’ offered their first contribution to a major religion. According to the Mosaic scriptures, Moses had to flee from Egypt after killing a highly placed individual in the Pharoah’s court. He took refuge in Midian, where he married Zippora/Tsippora, the daughter of a local priest. In Midian, the God Yahweh appeared to him on Mount Horeb, and gave him the mission of returning to Egypt and leading the people of Israel to the Promised Land..Thus, in the beginning, Yahweh was a volcanic God from northwest Arabia. Later, in the Torah, he melded in with Elohim to become the only God of the Jews.” As I mentioned earlier, the ‘Messenger’ or the earliest author of the scriptures put the peoples, their messengers and the events leading to Islam in a clear order in history. This order may be the exact order of local events as seen by the Ismaelite-Mohamedans, or it may be a compilation of local folk tales, which the ‘Messenger’ or the author, or editors/storytellers, or the tutor of the ‘Messenger’ had put together with a specific purpose. I believe that the events compiled as examples of divine(!) wrath by the Ismaelite-Mohamedans were later put in a specific order by Mekkans, when they had the chance to rewrite the scriptures from their angle. Their purpose could be nothing but an orderly progression of peoples, messengers, revelations all ending with a God for the Arabs, a messenger from their midst, and a code Book in their language, in other words a religion for the Arabs - Islam. Genesis story equates Midianites with the Ismaelites. “Sons of Yakob notice a group of merchants coming from Gilead, and rather than killing their brother Joseph they decide to sell him to the Ismaelites” (Genesis 37:27). Here the author who had written the relevant sections of the Genesis story (probably in the post-exilic period) seems to believe that either the Midianites were Ismaelites or he wished to present them as such. These two names are used interchangeably in different sections of the Old Testament. In the book of Judges 9:24, 26, 28 we see the same usage. Since the Book of Judges was written during the Babylonian exile either the Midianites and Ismaelites were thought as the same group of people or the prevailing conditions necessitated that presentation. The

Midianites and Ismaelites are said to have claimed a common descent from Av’ram. They were both nomads, constantly changing their abodes.

Therefore it seems that the idea of descent from Av’ram was not the ‘Messenger’s or the author’s or the storyteller’s or the tutor’s invention, nor was the term Ismaelite a label attached by them or the later authors/editors of the scriptures.

Midianites were Arab nomads. The Old Testament references to the Midianites paint a picture of an important tribe in which the chief clans of the southern Arabia have reportedly come together. They ruled the desert. They had caravans on the trade routes. Sons of Israel were in their formative phase in front of the Mount Sinai when they came into contact with the Kenites (one of the Midianite clans). When Israel were on their way to the Promised Land, Moabites provoked Midianites into opposition to the free passage for Israel. We read that in the time of Gideon the eastern Midianites have started their raids into the region where Israel had settled. The Midianite chiefs killed the brothers of Gideon, which resulted in Gideon taking his revenge by killing the chiefs of the Midianites, and the Israelites went berserk against Midian, slaughtering every male. Their orders were to kill every living creature, human or beast. Only the virgins were spared. With this event Midianites lost their position and never regained their previous position. We learn from what the Greek geographers and Arabian authors wrote that the Midianites seem to have settled on the borders of the Gulf of Akaba in the town called Madian/Medyen. The place called Mughayir Shuayb/Aynunah (modern al Bir, to the northwest of Tabuk) is proposed as the place where the remains of ancient Madian could be seen. Mughayir in Arabic means something like non-conformist, dissident, deviationist, eccentric, discordant. Well Shuayb was the one who had started preaching something against the established order and beliefs, wasn’t he? He was the one who had supposedly rejected the life of a person bowing to the accepted principles of his community, wasn’t he? A point needs clarification: By kahins, shairs, prophets, seers etc. of the ancient times, what we really mean is persons ‘unusual and strange.’ They were rebels, non-conformists uttering original words, spreading new ideas, teaching something original and unheard of, which were usually against the interests of the members of the established order. The people of Medyen were Arabs genealogically, who apparently had followed the Ad and Thamud. They were all Midianite ‘Arabs’ (According to the ‘Messenger or the author or editor or the storyteller they were ‘Moslems,’ meaning those who ‘surrendered to the will of God.’ This dimension must be a late addition by the Arabs of the desert).

Shuayb was the messenger of the people of Medyen. In addressing his people (as told in Qoran) Shuayb had this to say: “O my people! Make sure that your arrogance won’t make you come face to face with the calamity that befell the nation of Noah or the nation of Hud or the nation of Salih. The nation of Lot is not too far away from you.” These words make clear the progression of peoples and nations according to Qoran (11:25-84). They also seem to show that the peoples of Noah, Hud, Salih and Shuayb were the communities of the same region, and their stories known by the populace. We should add Hebrews, Christians and Arabs to this list of peoples consisting of the Noah’s people, Ad, Thamud, Lot’s people, and the Midianites. Accordingly here is the list of recognised messengers of Qoran in progression: Noah, Hud, Salih, Lot, Shuayb, Moses, Jesus and the Ismaelite ‘Messenger’ who is known to us by the title of ‘Mohamed’ (Muhammed). This sequence shows how the architects of Qoran saw the progression which led to the culmination of revelation (Qoran 7:103). What happened to these characters of the Islamic ideology? All of the messengers predating Moses were saved either alone or with their immediate followers/families (wives of Noah and Lot were not saved). Their opponents/unbelievers “fell to the ground/fell on their knees,” and were annihilated. Their dwellings and standing structures were destroyed by one or more of the following: A strong earthquake, as-saikha (thunderbolt), a strong wind, torrents, high winds bringing hail and stones, floods, a very high noise, and an extremely powerful thunderstorm. Here one should not forget that the sound of a strong earthquake is not dissimilar to a thunderstorm. As one reads Qoran the verse 17:16 shines like a star. This verse is an indication of how the writers of the scriptures of Islam preferred to present the acts of their supreme oversseer. The basic strategy of the Supreme Creator’s acts of wrath directed at His subjects is formulated as follows: “When we wish to destroy a land/civilisation we give orders to their wealthy and spoilt leaders, through their messenger. They don’t obey, and judgment on them becomes legitimate, and we overthrow that place.” The same applies to the Ismaelite Messenger.

RASS PEOPLE/AR RASS There seems to be confusion on the identity of the Midianites, and the people of Rass, because Qoran says that Shuayb was sent also to Rass people. Since Midianites were a vast conglomeration of tribes Rass might have been one of the clans in the tribe. But the tradition says that the people of Rass are one of those small groups of people living in one of the villages of Thamud and their messenger was Huzelah bin Safvan/Huzla ibn Safvan. AYKA PEOPLE

Qoran 15:79 says that the ruins of the town of the people of Ayka, and Lot’s town (both peoples were annihilated!) are “standing in the forefront/along a busy road.” Ayka people could have been a clan also in the Midianite group, (maybe) living somewhere along the valley of Hicr, in or near a grove.

SOME MORE PEOPLES AND THEIR STORIES
SABAEANS AND THE ‘FLOOD OF THE DYKE’ - ‘DELUGE OF MARIB’ Qoran 34:15-20 tells us the story of the ‘saylab-el arim’/‘flood of arim’. The word Arim or arimen is said to mean a dam or barrier in south Arabian dialect. According to Masudi “Those who know the tradition agree that arim is the word for a solidly built dam.” This story is told in one of the earliest Arab traditions predating Islam: The “flood of the dyke” or “deluge of Marib”. Here is the story: Land of Saba/Sebe was at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. Sabaeans have conquered the old Qatabanian state and established their rule on the land. In the capital of the Sabaean state - Marib - there was a dam (~ 50ft high, ~ 180 ft wide, ~ 1900 ft long). There are records of this dam in the Himyerite/Himyarite texts. Joseph Halevy and Dr. Eduard Glaser proved that the Marib dam was an ancient structure. It was repaired in the 5th and 6th centuries AD., but reportedly collapsed in 542 AD. We are told that the resulting flood had devastated the land and ended the economy based on agriculture. The final collapse of this dam was reported to be in 570 AD., which forced the survivors to flee to the other regions of the Arabian Peninsula. Legend has it that this catastrophe was the reason behind the spread of the Arab population throughout the Middle East. Consequently the Sabaean State had reportedly left the stage of history. This incident must have been the result of a natural cause like a fault in the structure caused by the water eating into the structure or an earthquake, but Qoran calls this incident the ‘flood of arim’ and presents it as the wrath of God to punish the arrogant Sabaeans.
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Could the collapse of a single dam bring an end to a country? Could the collapse of a single dam submerge the whole of a country?

Standing structures were overthrown, trees were broken, population of the land drowned. A single dam could have caused a damage of this size to a village or a small town, but a whole country or a kingdom seems impossible. Some stories even claim a devastation, which effected the whole of the South Arabia. This devastation could not have been caused by the collapse of a single dam. The Arabs of the desert must have kept the memory of a distant past when the destruction of Marib took place with the ensuing migration of tribes from South of Arabia to the North. Could this have been the cataclysm, the upheaval in the

distant past, which caused extensive and permanent changes in the region? The stories of old times in Qoran are usually taken from the Hebrew scriptures, but this one is an original Arab story. Could this story narrated by the Arab writers be connected to the upheaval that occurred in the eastern Mediterranean? The event referred to by Immanuel Velikovsky in his book Ages in Chaos was an unimaginable natural catastrophe (Santorini explosion) when the land masses submerged, volcanoes erupted, ‘sea invaded land masses,’ ground shook, structures fell down, floods and torrents swept away whole populations. Therefore there is a distinct possibility that this flood of arim story is a distant memory of that event. That upheaval effected, Egypt, Sinai, Coast of Tehame, Hejaz/Hicaz and Yemen among other places.

THE AMALEKITES (ISMAELITE ARABS) The Exodus was in progress in the 1500s BC. Moses and the Hebrews entered the land of Midian, where they met, at a place called Rephidim, an army of the Amalekites. According to the Old Testament “Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim…Joshua defeated Amalek and his people” (Exodus). Who were these Amalek? We are told that the tribe of Amalek was one of the oldest of the Arabian tribes, and that Amu, Hyksos, and the Amalek are one and same people. Now let us follow the adventures of the tribe of Amalek through the relevant literature. According to the story in Numbers 24:20 Balaam ‘takes up his oracle..and looks on Amalek’ and he says: “Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish forever.” Islamic historians consider Amalekites to be one of the most ancient of the Arab tribes. Immanuel Velikovsky quotes Ab-ul Feda (13th century AD.) who wrote: “Shem [son of Noah] has several sons, among them Laud, to whom was born Pharis, Djordjan, Tasm, and Amalek.” Thus Ab-ul Feda made the Amalekites a primeval tribe. “The progenitor of the Amalek was Imlik. Amalek was dispersed throughout the land. The people of Hicaz (amongst others in the Arabian peninsula), of Syria, and of Egypt have all descended from him.. People living in Medina are descendents of the Amalek.. People of Necd and Tayma (Tema) are of them. The king of the Hicaz in Tayma was one of them” is how Al Tabari sees the Amalekites. Amalekites were amongst the tribes who possessed the hacar-ul aswad (the meteorite at Ka’ba): “We have told the story of the peoples who possessed it each in turn (who were) Djorhom, Iyad, Amalek, Khuzaa” and “Amalek were expelled from the sacred precinct by the tribe of Djorhom” wrote Masudi.

Es Someyda was the last Amalekite king who dwelt in Mekka and ruled over Palestine and the lands in between. Here is his story: “The king of Syria esSomeyda, son of Hubar, son of Malik, marched against Joshua, son of Nun, and after many fights, was killed by the latter, who conquered his kingdom.. The circumstances of this are mentioned in the following verses by Auf, son of Saad, the Djorhomite: Haven’t you seen at Elath the skin of the Amalekite (Someyda), son of Hubar, put into shreds as he was attacked by an army of eighty thousand Jews, protected or not by shields? These Amalekite cohorts trained meticulously and jumped behind him. One hasn’t met them ever since among the mountains of Mekka, and nobody has seen again es Someyda” (Masudi). The old Arab tradition put the upheaval in the third or fourth generation after Ismael, son of Abraham. The old Arabian traditions connect the time of the cataclysmic upheaval with a general migration of tribes and especially with the migration of the Amalekites in the direction of Egypt and Canaan. The Old Testament narrates the meeting between the Hebrews on their way to the ‘Promised Land’ and the tribe of Amalekites on their way to Egypt. Amalekites took possession of Egypt, and the Israelites of Syria according to ibn Haldun, (Mukaddima). Tribe of Amalek reportedly dwelt in Medina until the time of the ‘Messenger’ because they had an alliance with him. In the meantime they have adopted the Mosaic faith. This break of alliance with the ‘Messenger’ is claimed to have been the cause of the first Islamic war ever and the majority of the Amalekites were expelled from Arabia. According to the Arab historians, the Amalek escaped from the plagues of Mecca, which was their ancestral ‘home’ and arrived at their ‘native site’ where all or a part of them, were drowned in the flood, according to Kitab-ul Aganî. Their native land was Mount Seir according to the Old Testament, which is between the gulf of Akaba and the Red Sea. This must be the place and time where and when they met the Hebrews running from the Pharaoh. “The waters covered the lands..and ruined the habitations, and killed all the troops” according to Masudi. The ‘upheaval’ must have had its effect on the shores of Akaba and the slopes of the Seir range. What I am particularly interested is not the tribe of Amalekites in the 15th century BC., but rather the existence of Mekka during the time of this primeval tribe, contrary to what is written in the western texts.
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Could the place these Islamic writers referred to as Mekka have been just a nameless ‘sacred site’ or a site with a different name? Could the stories about this ‘sacred site’ have been handed down to our Islamic writers, by the word of mouth, with the ‘Islamic’ tag - Mekka? Could this name, Mekka, have been given by the Islamic writers, with the purpose of putting together a coherent Arabic story?

Since Mekka is claimed to have existed with its present name in the 900s and 1000s, could these writers, inspired by the older traditions, have named an ancient ‘sacred site’ as Mekka?

I believe the last option is the most likely, because the desert Arabs needed a ‘sacred site’ of theirs, within the context of Islam.

NABATAEANS There must have been something attractive in the western and northwestern regions of Arabia, which made the Bedouins surge out of the East, and move towards the Mediterranean Sea. The wave after wave of the Bedouin nomadic tribesmen, moving out of the heart of the Arabian Peninsula towards the more fertile and attractive perimeter is the persistent characteristic of the Near East in history. Each and every wave into the Fertile Crescent have shaped the ethnic texture of the region, and the primitive desert way of life was in turn refined and transformed to a certain degree, through contacts with the civilisations there. Do you want examples? The Amorites, Aramaeans and the Arabs are the foremost that comes to mind. As regards the mount Seir we can say that the Horites (Hurrians - who were not Semitic) living there were succeeded by the Amalekites; who in turn were succeded by the Idumaeans (Edomites); Idumaeans were succeeded by the Midianites; and the Midianites were succeeded by the Nabataeans. The historians tell us that the early Arabian history could be divided into four periods:
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Pre-Bedouin (2000-1000 BC.); Proto-Bedouin (1000-600 BC.); Early Bedouin (600-300 BC.); High-Bedouin;

In the period of the proto-Bedouins, tribes formed by the camel raisers have separated themselves from the oasis agriculturalists and went out into the desert. Towards the year 800 BC. camel raisers are believed to have had vast herds and a civil structure of their own. It was at about this time that the caravan commerce began; the Bedouins travelled about with their camels from one oasis to another, and sold goods. It was also about this time that the word Arab appeared. We read that the Assyrians called these Bedouins Arubu, (nomads). The noun ‘Arab’ comes from the verb araba, meaning to displace, move about, travel. Thus Arab and nomad were practically identical words etymologically, in those days and also in the present era. During the time of the early Bedouins the Arabs are said to have started referring to themselves as Arabs, but the two most important

groups of the time are known to us by other names: the Saracens (Saraceni, Sarakenoi) and the Nabataeans. Both Rome and Byzantium, who dominated the present Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Egypt, had serious concerns about invasions by the nomads, whom they called Saraceni or Sarakenoi. Until the 19th century, Saracen was the name the Europeans gave to the Arabs from the Middle East. The definition, ‘saracen’ was reportedly identified with a Nabataean site to the East of the Dead Sea. This was taken as an indication that the Ismaelites called themselves Saracen. Qoran has no reference to the Nabataeans or Saracens, but the definition ‘al Arab’ (Qoran 9:90) is suggested as a reference to Saracens. According to some scholars, the Nabataeans can be equated with the Nebaioth of the Mosaic scriptures and the Nebayat of the Assyrian records in the 7th century BC. These words were used as the names of one of the many Arabian tribes. It was probably during the course of the next two centuries that the Nabataeans are believed to have started moving northward and westward out of the desert. They eventually settled in the southern part of Jordan, where the formerly strong Edomite State had already collapsed, and the rule of the Persians over the region was relaxed. We don’t know anything about these early migrations. It is only in 312 BC., 1O years after the death of Alexander, that the Nabataeans appeared for a moment on the stage. Greek historian Siodorus Siculus, writes that they were attacked in their stronghold (in Petra) by the forces of Antigonus, ruler of Phrygia. The attack failed, but the Phrygian army made off with a hefty booty, including 700 camels, which were the vital ‘vehicle’ of an extensive caravan trade that Nabataeans controlled. When Jesus was around, Nabataea was an independent kingdom with an influence reaching as far North as Damascus. The Romans have annexed Nabataea but Nabataeans reportedly managed to survive as a significant Arab power until the time of the ‘Messenger.’ Nabataeans were caravaners and middlemen par excellence, and by the end of the 4th century BC., they were already rich and powerful. Little is known of the Nabataeans in the following centuries. They have retained their independence until 106 AD., when they were incorporated into the newly created province of Arabia, by the Roman emperor Trajan, with its capital at Bostra in southern Syria. This final period is obscure, exactly like the earlier phases of the Nabataean history. We see Petra as a Christian city and the seat of a bishop around mid-5th century AD. Petra seems to have been a dirty Byzantine town in the 6th century AD. When we reach the early 7th century AD. Petra appears to have been virtually deserted. It is nowhere mentioned in the annals of the Ismaelite invaders who passed along its caravan routes. After a period of nearly 1,000 years, the Nabataeans have disappeared from history as unheralded as their appearance. A new wave of Semitic peoples from

the vast Arabian Desert took their place. They were called Ismaelites in those days. We call them Moslems today.

THE ‘MESSENGER’S VILLAGES, TOWNS AND CITIES
IRAM/IREM Qoran mentions the city called Iram/Irem in 89:7 where we read the expression “Iram of columns.” If we read the verses 89:6 and 7 together we get this: “Have you not seen what your Rabb had done to the Ad people,.to Irem of columns? The equal of which wasn’t created anywhere.” Where was this Iram/Irem? If Irem and the Ad people appear in the same sentence we would not be wrong to assume that Irem was a place which was identified with the Ad people. Irem must have been the capital or the main town or the fortified city (as it was customary in those days) of the Ad people. “Iram is a garden planted by Shaddad and planned similar to paradise at the time of the Ad people. It is thought to be either in or around ‘ash Sham’ (Syria) or in Yemen” according to the Islamic reference sources. I tend to prefer the former geographical location, the region of Syria. The expression ‘Irem-u zât-ul imâd’ (‘Irem of columns’) has apparently lead to many interpretations. According to those who are proficient in Arabic, imâd means a pillar/column and not a tower or a tent pole as suggested. The most impressive thing about Petra was its magnificent temples, dwellings, and tombs carved into the mountains. They were so unusual and magnificent that later civilizations continued using them, and added to the structures, for instance Romans added theaters and colonnaded streets, ending up with a ‘city full of columns.’ Compare that with the description in Qoran: “Iram of columns. The equal of which wasn’t created anywhere.” The ‘Hicr’ in Qoran 15:80 should be understood properly. It is not a reference to a town. It is a valley. ‘Rock’ in Arabic is ‘hacar’ and not ‘hicr.’ Moreover except the tombs and dwellings carved into the rocks along the valley of Hicr this area has nothing to do with ‘rock’ (The meaning of Hicr was discussed earlier). We know that in the land of Ad, neighbouring the lands of Thamud and Midian, there is a city called Sela (the ‘rock’), which is also mentioned in the Old Testament. Romans called this city Petra, which is ‘rock’ in Latin.

As to the origin of the word Sela here is the story: Petra was the famous town of the Nabataeans who had emigrated from the deserts of Arabia to the region South of the Dead Sea. They called their capital town Sala (‘Rock Mountain’), and themselves the ‘yashaby sala.’ The meaning of this term is given as the ‘mountain dwellers’, the ‘Arabs of the mountain.’ But the resemblance between the word ‘yashaby’ and the Arabic word ‘ashab-ı’ (‘those who are,’ ‘those who are of’ ‘those who belong to,’ ‘those who own,’ ‘those who have’) puts us in a better position in understanding the close affinity with the Arabic. So, ‘yashaby Sala’ which is the Arabic ‘ashab-ı Sala’ in plain language means the ‘dwellers of Sala,’ or ‘Salans.’

PETRA The major city on the road from Medina to Irak was Sala/Sela/Petra. In comparison with Medain Salih (which must have been a group of villages in the valley of Hicr in those days) Petra had plenty of water and was at the junction of the trade routes North-South and East-West. Petra is the Sela/Sala of the Old Testament, which is located in the land of Edom, approximately 170 miles south of Amman, and less than 40 miles south of the Dead Sea. It is between the two seas, the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Akaba. The city is on the edge of the mountainous and rugged desert of vadi Araba. Petra is accessible from the West through vadi Musa (the valley of Moses). The actual city is surrounded by towering hills of reddish sandstone. Due to its location at the crossroads of ancient trade routes and being a commercial center Petra had an estimated population of 10,000-20,000. The city was famous for its ‘columns’; it had an altar on a high point; it was situated in a valley; it was strong militarily; due to an advanced hydraulic system it had plenty of water supplied to every dwelling; and it had a dam. Some archaeologists date the beginnings of Petra to 3500 BC. Some researchers claim that the Hebrew tribes coming out of Egypt on their way to Palestine must have spent some time at this location. They say if Cebel Mazbah (‘Mount of Altar to God’) is actually the ‘Mountain of God,’ where offerings were made to God, then Petra should have been in existence when the Hebrew tribes arrived there for their communion with God. The ‘Mount of the Prophet Aaron’ situated at the southeast of Petra is said to be the proof of the stopover by the Hebrew tribes at Petra. The Old Testament story in Numbers 22-29 is about the Hebrew tribes under the leadership of Moses starting out from Kadesh (Kadesh Barnea?) and arriving at mount Hor, where Aaron died (Arab’s call mount Hor, ‘Cebel Nabî Harun’= ‘Mount of Prophet Harun’). The city was so well protected and the Edomites were so strong militarily in those days that the Israelites on their way to the ‘Promised Land’ felt the need to obtain the king of Edom’s permission to pass through the area.

This story and the high number of references to Petra in the Old Testament are said to be an indication that the Hebrew tribes had spent a long time in Petra before continuing with their march ‘on the other side of Jordan.’ They proceeded eventually to the point where supposedly Moses saw the Promised Land for the first time and died (Mount Nebo). As I have mentioned earlier the authors of the Old Testament knew Petra as Sela (Sala, ‘rock’). Sela was located in the mountains of Seir, in the land called Edom. Sela meant something like ‘a high fortress of rugged rock,’ or just ‘rock.’ The boundary between Judaea and Edom of the Biblical times was the ‘Salt valley’ or the valley of Salt (Sabka), which may be described as the salt plain extending southwards from the Dead Sea itself. This valley is the continuation of the ‘Ghor’ = the Jordan Gorge. In II Kings 14:1-20 and II Chronicles 25 we have the story of the war between the Israelite army and the Edomites in this region. The Israelite army won the war in 839-822 BC., and marched on Sela, where the victorious king Amaziah of Judah had had the prisoners who were with them “thrown down from the height of Sela (‘rock’)” (II Chronicles 25:12) and named the place Jokhteel. The structure called ‘rock’ is a huge rocky citadel rising from the floor of the basin to a height of about 1000 feet. The Arabs called this structure ‘Umm-el Biyara’ (‘mother of cisterns’) because of a number of cisterns carved into the rock on the summit. A possible location of the biblical Sela was identified as the Umm-el Biyara, the rock, which overlooks the Petra valley. But we are told that the excavation work carried out by the British archaeologist Crystal M. Bennett on top of the plateau has exposed a small Edomite settlement. The earliest remains there indicate a settlement from the 7th century BC., a century later than Amaziah. Although Petra was inhabited in the Iron Age, Umm-el Biyara couldn’t have been the site of the Sela of the Amaziah story. A cache of 152 rolls of burnt papyri was found in the 1990s in a Byzantine church in Petra. All the texts which are readable have been dated to 528-582 AD. This is a period, which covers the reign of emperor Justinian and his successors. These scrolls have exposed a prosperous Byzantine city. Petra was transformed under the Roman influence, and became a Byzantine administrative center. In 636 AD., the Ismaelite-Mohamedan armies captured Petra (Irem of Qoran). In addition to these changes a series of devastating earthquakes may be taken as other factors which had had an effect on the city. These earthquakes began in the 4th century. The one in 363 AD., was the most powerful. Then there was another powerful one in 551 AD. But despite these natural disasters the papyri scrolls and the archaeological evidence made clear that Petra had carried on as a viable entity throughout the 6th and the 7th centuries AD.

SODOM AND GOMORRAH What could possibly be the backbone of the Sodom and Gomorrah tale in the Old Testament? The Jordan valley is part of a huge fracture in the earth’s crust. The subsidence released volcanic forces that had been lying dormant deep down along the whole length of the fracture. “In the upper valleys of the Jordan near Bashan there are still the towering craters of extinct volcanoes; there are extensive deposits of lava and deep layers of basalt on the limestone surface.” Evidence after evidence show that this fracture has produced numerous earthquakes. The Old Testament records them. The account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is said to have been confirmed by surface surveys on the East of the Dead Sea (Lot’s Sea). Traces/ruins of the ancient cities (five of them) dating back to the Middle Bronze era are said to have been found. Evidence is reportedly found of the layers of bituminous pitch, which were hurled into the air during the tectonic event, eventually raining down and covering the cities. These sedimentary rock layers are reportedly fused by intense heat, as is evident on the summit of the Cebel Usdum (Mount Sodom). The theory is that oil beneath the Dead Sea got ignited and erupted, coming down as ‘rain of fire and rubble’ (compare the description in Qoran) upon these cities. According to the archaeologist. Melvin G. Kyle, “The cities are clearly shown to have stood in front of Jebel Usdum (Mount Sodom) where they lie under the waters (of the Dead Sea) today. This region was found by geologists to be a burned out area of oil and asphalt, of which there has been an accumulation, which is now being exploited. Where these conditions exist, there is an accumulation of gases. Geologists admit that at some past time there was a great explosion, with first an upheaval and then a subsidence of strata. Salt, mixed with sulphur, was carried up into the heavens white hot and so rained down upon the cities of the plain, exactly as the Scriptures describe the rain of fire and brimstone from heaven.” Other cities of the plain were Admah, Zeboiim and Zoar. Zoar (or the city where Lot had taken refuge) was saved because of Lot’s presence there. According to Tacitus the plain was “fertile and provided for great and populous cities.” Whereas Strabo wrote that there were “thirteen inhabited cities in that region, where Sodom was the metropolis.” There are other theories as well but they are not our concern. What interests us is the fact that certain cities were submerged. The Dead Sea then may have extended further South. If we are to inquire about the sites of these cities we are faced with differing opinions some of which suggest that some of those cities may have been situated on the northern shores of the Dead Sea. Qoran says that the ruins of the destroyed cities could be seen alongside a busy road. So these are not the ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah. According to some researchers their ruins could be under the layers of bituminous pitch. Therefore

not the actual ruins of the cities but the ‘marker’ (the mount of bituminous pitch) could be seen, and this marker is the ‘ensample’ that is referred to in Qoran. At this point I would like to repeat what I have written earlier. If you remember I have objected to these verses taken as referring only to Sodom and Gomorrah. Here is my point: These ruins were too far North for the Kureyshis to pass by in the morning and at night. Therefore the inference there could have been the result of the repeated editings the Book had been subjected to in the past. There were also other ruins, alongside a busy road or in the general region like the ones at the valley of Hicr, Madian and Medain Salih. Therefore if we consider that the actual ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah are not visible today, and there was not another ‘shower of fiery brimstones’ to cover the ruins and change the situation till then, we could say that the ruins of these cities have never been visible. This rock covering the supposed ruins of the cities is called the Mount of Sodom. Therefore only the sign is there as a lesson for the population. Which makes my proposition about the ruins in the land of Midian much more plausible. Now back to the story. Genesis 13:10 tells us that, returning from Egypt, Av’ram and Lot are separated between Beth El and Ai, which are located in the land of Canaan, North of Yerushalayim. Here Av’ram and Lot decide to separate. Av’ram chooses to stay in Canaan and Lot goes to Erden basin in Jordan/Yordan. Here there is an extremely valid dispute.

If Lot went to East, he must have reached ‘El Ghor’ in the North. He must have passed by the ruins of Jericho; and if we stick to the story and look for a place where there are lots of sedimentary stuff and lots of salt, he must have turned south until he reached the northern tip of the Dead Sea. He must have settled at the ‘City of Salt’ on the shore along the valley of Achor (‘valley of trouble’), to the West of the point where the River Jordan joins the Dead Sea. We are told in the Mosaic scripturtes that Lot found the region well watered and in abundance, like the ‘garden of the Lord’, like the land of Egypt. But since it was called the ‘valley of trouble,’ one wonders what sort of trouble this place had experienced in the distant past. If Lot passed by the ruins of Jericho and did not settle in that region, then he must have continued along the shores of the northern tip of the Dead Sea and turned South along the east coast. He must have passed the whole length of the Sea and turned southwest around Zoar coming to El Ghor again but this time in the southern tip of the Sea. From Zoar he must have passed the muddy and slimy plain and arrived at Sodom. Why would he do that? The Old Testament says that from the point of separation Lot travelled East (there is no mention of turning south). There is no mention of him turning South and proceeding to Sodom along the Western shores of the Dead Sea.

Tacitus writes that the plain was “fertile and provided for great and populous cities.” Strabo carries on with a similar line and notes that there were “thirteen inhabited cities in that region of which Sodom was the metropolis.” When one compares the northern and the southern shores of the Dead Sea the northern shoreline seems a likelier candidate to host a group of cities and a metropolis. Furthermore the excavations at Tel-el Mardikh by Paolo Matthiae and Giovanni Pettinato uncovered the town of Ebla, which is dated to the 3rd millennium BC. The clay tablets found here mention the names of the Biblical cities - Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Zoar - as the trading partners of Ebla. A plain logic tells that a geographically closer trading partner should be preferable to a distant one. So a geographical location for these cities (at least for some of them) on the northern shores is more likely. On the other hand, if Av’ram and Lot had separated their ways on their way from Egypt to the Land of Canaan, at some place to the southeast of Beersheba, then an eastward direction would have taken Lot to the southern El Ghor. There he would have arrived at the vale of Siddim, which was full of slime pits. Sodom was situated there. Archaeological finds show that there was indeed a civilization in the region at the southern end of the Dead Sea earlier than 2000 BC., which came to an end about 1900 BC. But this should not be taken as evidence showing the existence once of the famous five cities there. These finds may have belonged to the settlements there, but not the ones we are looking for. According to the folk tales Av’ram must have been around when these cities were destroyed; therefore he must have been alive around 20th-19th centuries BC. Is this the truth itself or is it an intentional projection of a personality to a certain period? An intentional projection of the personality sounds more likely. The clay tablets discovered in the ruins of the town of Ebla, dating from the 3rd millennium BC., contained, in addition to the names of the Biblical cities, the name of Av’ram and other Biblical personalities. According to these tablets all of the mentioned cities were destroyed by fire. Therefore these cities were non-existent in Biblical times. But their supposed ruins or their ‘markers’ must have been there to be seen, and the folk tales indicating the sites where once they existed must have been circulating.

These are the crucial questions at this stage;

How can Sodom and Gomorrah which are supposedly biblical places appear on tablets dated to the 3rd millennium BC.? Weren't we told that the Sodom and Gomorrah incident had occurred while Av’ram was alive, in other words around 1900s BC.? Haven’t we become aware of the existence of these cities in connection with the story of Av’ram? But the period when Av’ram might have been

alive is disputed, and he appears in the tablets of Ebla of the 3rd millennium BC. Therefore Av’ram is almost certainly an invented mythical character in the form he is presented to us in the Mosaic scriptures. Here is the summary:
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Out of the three main elements of the story in the Mosaic scriptures, Av’ram is unverified; The most likely candidate (Ebrum/Ebrium) belong to an earlier millennium; Sodom belongs to an era 1000 years earlier; We are left only with Lot. The composite narration about Av’ram, his sons, and Lot is most probably an invention. There maybe some facts in the Lot story, like him being a local chief living in the region bordering the southern end of the Dead Sea. He and his tribe might have been uprooted by an earthquake, and had to settle in another place in the region. In the end these facts might have been molded together to create a completely different story which fitted the needs of the Jewish ideologists who wrote down the Mosaic scriptures. With the natural consequence that when the facts and fiction are merged to create a scenario the facts are lost for good.

The ‘Messenger’ and/or the author/editor/storyteller must have seen in the supposedly divine destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah a tailor made ‘lesson’ for their mission, because either one or the other, or all of them used the story to persuade their opponents. The tablets uncovered in the ruins of the ancient city of Ebla are witnesses to the ‘borrowed’ stories of the Old Testament. The city called Salim is in the tablets, but there is no indication to its geographical location. Urusalima (Yerushalayim, Jerusalem) is also in the tablets, which is the earliest known reference to the city. Hazor, Lachish, Megiddo, Gaza, Dor, Sinai, Ashtaroth, Joppa and Damascus also appear in the tablets. The five “cities of the Plain” (Genesis 14:2) are Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar. Here the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah appear in the tablets dated to about 2300 BC. The references in the tablets seem to show that Sodom and Gomorrah were on the King’s Highway that ran down from Damascus and they were visited on a regular basis. The names of Av’ram’s relatives - Paliga (Peleg), Til-Turakki (Terah), Nakur (Nahor), and the name of his native town, Haran, are also in the texts. They also mention ‘Ur in the region of Haran.’ This Ur in the region of Haran could be none other than the present day Urfa in southeastern Turkey, which is the city that Abraham had started out to become the partriarch of the Hebrews.

MEDAIN SALIH The origins of the Nabataeans are shrouded in mystery. They were perhaps originally seminomadic herdsmen and traders who penetrated the disintegrating Edomite kingdom from northwestern Arabia. Some of the earliest securely identified Nabataean sites are indeed from this region, such as the ancient Egra/Hicr (Medain Salih). Nabataeans made Medain Salih their second capital, and soon came to dominate the trade routes that were developing in the region, which made them wealthy and prosperous. Medain Salih (Salih’s villages) are located North of Medina. Al Hicr is reported to be the name given to Medain Salih, which are actually located in the valley of Hicr. ‘Adall’ is said to have been another name given to this region, which was considered as ‘cursed/damned.’ Believers of Islam were discouraged from going there. Here ‘hicr’ appropriately means ‘forsaking, abandoning.’ God has abandoned the people of Hicr, hasn’t he? Furthermore ‘Adall’ means ‘the one who has gone astray,’ ‘one who has deviated.’ The people of the valley of Hicr/Medain Salih have rejected the verses of God, haven’t they? Were they not annihilated? The names tell a lot! The Arabians are called ‘Agarenes’ (Hagarenes, Sons of Hagar=Ismaelites) in Baruch 3:23. These are the Arabs living in the East and South Palestine. In his book Arabia and the Bible James A. Montgomery quotes Psalm 83:5-7 and claims to have found out where the sons of Hagar were located. In this Psalm the author refers to the enemies of God: “For they have consulted together with one consent: They are confederate against thee..The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites of Moab and the Hagarenes..Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre” (Gebal is cebel in Arabic, which is the name of the mountainous region south of the Dead Sea). According to Montgomery the identification of Hagar and Hagarenes with the Agraioi of Ptolemy (in northwest Arabia) and Strabo must be taken as a sign that Hagarenes must be connected with al Hicr, in the Thamudene country of northwest Arabia. The land of Midian is the region to the East of the Gulf of Akaba. Arab tradition also places Midian there. In his book Travels in Arabia Deserta, the British explorer Charles Doughty relates a tradition amongst the ancestors of the Arabs he met in Arabia Deserta: “In the distant past they occupied all that country about Maan, where also Moses fed the flocks of Yetro the prophet.” The Jewish historian Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews) also believes that the ‘Mountain of God’ is in Midian: “Reguel (Yetro), Moses’ father-in-law..willingly

came to meet him (Moses)..he (Moses) had offered sacrifice, he made a feast for the multitude, near the bush he had formerly seen (the bush where YHWH spoke to him), which multitude, every one according to their families, partook of the feast.” While narrating the ‘coming out of Egypt’ Josephus tells us that “Moses came to Mount Sinai (where) the vision of the bush and the other wonderful appearances had happened.” Here Josephus made clear that the mountain of the burning bush in the land of Midian and the mountain where the divine law was handed to Moses were the same mountain. According to Josephus’ account Moses then came to the city called Midian/Madian in the country of troglodytes. Charles Doughty has visited this region of northwestern Arabia called Medain, which is the name the “Syrian caravaners have given to the hewn monuments in the crags of el Hicr on the Hajj road.” There are other researchers as well who put the ‘Mountain of God’ in the land of Midian, but this much is sufficient for the time being. From the story told in the Mosaic scriptures, the Mountain of God was most definitely a volcano. Again cutting the story short, the extinct volcano Cebel el Lauz in the land of Midian is suggested as the Mountain of God, the ‘mount Sinai’, the mountain of Law giving. This was the sacred mountain of Midian. Josephus was aware of the Arabian tradition about this sacred mountain, which he has equated with mount Sinai in his book the Antiquities of the Jews. As it is usual with all the cultures in those ancient times the Thamud people of the land of Midian have also associated high mountains with supreme beings. Cebel el Lauz was the mountain of God for them complete with the deity living high up, close to the summit.

A CONFESSION
‘ARAB-I BAIDE’ = THE ‘LOST ARABS’ “Once upon a time, there was a community of Arabs called Arab-ı Baide. Following the disappearance of them an Arabic community (Arab-ı Aribe) came into being. Many words from other peoples’ tongues have infiltrated this community’s language. Qoran was revealed in this community’s tongue, consequently all those foreign words appeared in the Book.” This is the defense by the Islamic ideologists who have tried desparately to find an excuse for the non-Arabic words in Qoran. Their defense is built around the alleged existence of a kind of ‘pre-Arab community of Arabs.’ The Islamic theoreticians consider Ad, Thamud and the Amalekites as the members of this community called ‘Arab-ı Baide’. According to the Arabic ideology there have been four groups of Arabs in the past;

• •

Arab-ı Baide (‘the pre-Arab Arabs,’ the ‘lost Arabs’): Is the most ancient people of Arabia. The Ad, Thamud and Amalekites are in this group. Arab-ı Aribe (Mutearribe): The Arab-ı Baide + The Kahtanites of Yemen. The native tongue of the Kahtanites was Syriac. Kahtanites merged with the Arab-ı Baide and the Arab-ı Aribe came into being. They have started speaking Arabic. The tribe of Djorhom (Curhum) was one of them. Arab-ı Mustaribe: The Arab-ı Aribe + The Ismaelites. The descendants of Ismael merged with the Arab-ı Aribe and Arab-ı Mustaribe came into being. Although the native tongue of Ismael was Hebrew, he had supposedly started speaking Arabic in the tribe of Djorhom. There were many tribes in the Arab-ı Mustaribe [ Ben-i Zuhre, the tribe of Amina bint Wahb (the mother of the ‘Messenger’) was one of them] . Tribe of Kureysh is said to have been the privileged tribe amongst the others in this community. Arab-ı Mustacime: These are the tribes which have adopted Islam and were Arabicised, like the people of Syria, Irak, Egypt, and Maghrib. These tribes gave up their native tongues and started speaking Arabic.

This classification seems to be an obvious attemp to present the Arab tribes in an orderly progression, and bring all of them together around Mekka, leading to the ‘Messenger,’because;
• • •

There is no evidence whether a ‘Messenger’ as presented in the code Book of Islam had ever been alive. There is no evidence that Ismael had ever been in Mekka. Except the stories in the Mosaic scriptures and Qoran there is no evidence that Ismael had ever married a Djorhomite woman. Mosaic scripturestells that he married an Egyptian. Upon Ismael’s death “his descendants have settled in the area from Havilah to Shur, near the border of Egypt, as you go toward Ashur” (Genesis 25:12-18). Therefore neither Ismael nor his twelve sons had settled in Mekka.

The later, desert Arab ideologists must have rewritten this story in line with their needs, and invented the classification given above. But the same applies to the other belief systems as well. Almost all of the stories, and characters presented as the messengers in the code books of the belief systems are invented characters. If the story is invented, how could one get to the truth? If the character is an invention how could his lineage be real? As it is obvious the Nabataeans are not amongst the tribes in the above classification. Neiher the ‘Messenger’ nor the authors or editors of the code Book of Islam utter a single word about hem. Why?

Is it because the ‘Messenger’ was a Nabataean himself, therefore he hadn’t thought of making a note of it in the Book?

Is it because either the ‘Messenger’ or the initial author of the Book was living somewhere in a certain region of the Nabataean lands, which was not destroyed(!) yet, hence no mention of them? Is it because the editors who wrote the new copies of the book had edited out that connection?

We cannot be sure, but I think that the traces of the Nabataean connection are in the Book. It is my belief that the Nabataeans, those living in the land of Midian, living in or around the valley of Hicr were the group, which made the deepest influence on the history of Islam. Now let us ask ourselves:
• • • •

Who had revealed the messages in Qoran? The ‘Messenger’ and/or the earliest author did. Who was the ‘Messenger’? He was an Ismaelite. The language of the Book should be the actual tongue of the ‘Messenger or the author or the tutor or the scribe, shouldn’t it? Yes! For each of these cases the above passage about the Arab-ı Baide (which should really be Arab-ı Mustaribe) is a confession, isn’t it? Yes!

The last point indicates that the messages to the ‘Messenger’ was not revealed(!) to the ‘Messenger’ in the tongue of Arab-ı Baide, but in the language spoken by the Arab-ı Mustaribe. Because the ‘Messenger’s mother was a member of the tribe of Ben-i Zuhre which was one of the tribes called the Ismaelites. The Ismaelites merged with the Arab-ı Aribe, and the Arab-ı Mustaribe came into being. Although the native tongue of Ismael was Hebrew, he had allegedly started speaking Arabic in the tribe of Djorhom. There were many tribes in the Arab-ı Mustaribe, which also included the Kureysh tribe. Tribe of Kureysh is said to have been the privileged amongst the others in this community of ArabMustaribe, which also shows that the language of Kureysh had its distant roots in the Jewish community in Palestine, and in the land of Midian. According to the Islamic ideology the Arab-ı Mustaribe is a mixture of the Ad, Thamud, Amalekites, Kahtanites, and the descendants of Ismael.

Therefore the resultant language of the Arab-ı Mustaribe must have been a mixture of the Midianite (Dedanite, Lihyanite, Thamudean), Amalekite (Ismaelite), Syriac, Hebrew, and local dialects. One must not forget also the overall shaping influence of the Nabataean which has moved southward from Midian towards Arabia Deserta and molded the Arabic of today.

The languages spoken in Palestine and the Midian were Semitic in those days. The Midianite branch of the Arabic of our day had seen consequtive periods of Dedanite, Lihyanite, Thamudean, Nabataean and Moslem. This is the region of origin of the Arabic of our day. In spite of this known fact the Arab ideology

avoids the Midianite-Nabataean influence again, and looks upon al Hicr as a condemned land. Why? Besides the laymen, even the religious leaders weren’t always positive as to what the correct text of the code Book was. When one thinks about the mistakes made by the scholars of our day in their quotes from the written Qoran, the mistakes made in those days seem only natural when there was no written and complete text, the language was foreign, and the transmission was by the word of mouth only. Those who introduced this new language to the desert Arabs as the tongue of the Ismaelite ideology must have been the ‘Messenger’ and/or his scribe and the earliest author of the Ismaelite scriptures. Otherwise these desert Arabs would not be in a position to know this ‘mixed language.’ That is why the desert Arabs had to introduce the diacritical dots and vowels to read the Book. But in most cases this process has altered the original root words, their pronunciation and meaning. If this was not the case, the language of Qoran would have been the language of the desert Arabs, and they needn’t have had the text punctuated to read and understand it. The French monk, Bruno Bonnet-Evmard claims that an alphabetic system was fixed for the sole purpose of publishing Qoran and that the alphabet used in the Qoran is only a pure and straightforward transposition into Arabic from the Hebrew alphabet. Eventually a system of pointing based on Aramaic was adopted. But we are told that caliph Ma’mun had banned the use of both diacritical and vowel marks. Variant traditions of pointing have developed over time, which resulted in greatly differing meanings. The northern Arabic letters were used by the Arabs centuries before Islam. Christians in that region were using Arabic in their liturgy, poetry and commerce. In Florilegium Meichior de Vogue David G. Littman, has this to say on the bilingual inscription at Umm-al Cimal (dated to the end of the 3rd century AD.): “The script is already a transitory stage towards Arab script.” While another inscription at Namara (dated 328 AD.) is still proto-Arabic then (‘A Catholic European Scholar’). These letters are thought to have evolved into the first northern Arabic letters that was found on the doors of the churches in Zabad, southeast of Aleppo in Syria (dated 512 AD.), and in an inscription in Harran (dated 568 AD.). These are reported to be Christian inscriptions written in a variaton of Aramaic, which was the lingua franca of the ancient East. The alphabet of the ‘classical Arabic’ is said to have been developed by the Christians, the oldest examples of which writing are claimed to be found in the homes of the Christian Arabs of Syria.

Qoran was written in the old Kufic script, developed by the Christian missionaries of Hira (which is a ruined city South of Kufa in Irak). This script lacked the indication of vowels, so the consonants of the verbs could be read as actives or passives. Furthermore many of the consonants themselves could not be distinguished without the diacritical dots that were added later; moreover some letters were omitted in the final text. Therefore the original script of Qoran was defective. The resultant plain text with full vowels and diacritical dots was perfected in the late 9th century AD. Without reference to any other action, this practice alone shows that the editorial work must have continued for almost 200 years. These diacritical dots are crucial in reading and understanding the word. Here are some crude examples: Take the Arabic letter ‘ba.’ By changing the position of the diacritical dots we get three different letters: ‘ta,’ ‘ba,’ and ‘tha.’ There’s no need for further explanation, is there? Three different letters means three different words with three different meanings. When there are no diacritical dots it is very difficult to read the word as intended and get the true meaning. Moslems accept the Qoran as the word of God. The Old Testament is considered also the word of God. Language of the texts forming the Old Testament also had no vowels and the massoretes supplied the vowels, which resulted in the loss of the original Hebrew words together with their original meanings. In short, mankind has supplied the crucial elements for these texts. Have a guess as to the reason. They did it to make the texts readable and understandable for themselves. But this humanly intervention means tampering with the divine(!) message, because a great deal of guesswork and interpretation must have been involved in assigning those diacritical dots.
• • • •

Who were those wise(!) people who carried out this work? Did they have a sufficient understanding of the divine power and the divine message? Were they ‘deep in knowledge’ like the ones who were initiated into the secrets of the divine realm? If what they had in their hands had its original in the divine realm, written on a tablet and given to them in their language, why was the language incomprehensible for them, consequently laying the divine revelation open to interference by the ‘lowly ’ human beings with limited intellects? If the original of the ‘word of God’ was without the diacritical dots and vowels, then who, in his right mind, could say that the code Book has not been tampered with?

The Qoranic scholar ibn Mucahid was instrumental in the final canonization of a single system of consonants, and in setting a limit on the variations of vowels used in the text. This resulted in the acceptance of seven systems. But the matter was not settled there. Some scholars accepted ten readings, and some

fourteen. Later on the readings have come down to three. Two versions seem to be in use presently. Why was the text of the book defective?

Could it be that the diacritical dots were in existence but the original secretaries-scribes of the ‘Messenger’ have forgotten to insert them and left the divine revelation open to conjecture and manipulation by the mankind? No! Could it be that the diacritical dots had existed but the secretary-scribes were unaware of them? No!

Human beings have invented these diacritical dots. They were not part of the divine(!) message or the language. This is the verdict:

The dots were invented because the later authors and editors were unable to read the texts. The text was written in a foreign tongue, and they did not speak that language.

This conclusion leads us to another crucial question necessitated by the deficiency of the language:

Did those editors and writers (who did the guess work to read the text as it was intended, and have punctuated it in the end) receive a revelation from the Omnipotent Creator on where to put the diacritical dots? No!

One of the prominent Moslem scholars gives us their answer: “The companions did not use vowels or the diacritical dots in the copies they wrote. Then in the last period of the companions’ epoch, when reading errors have started, they began to furnish the diacritical dots and vowels to the copies of the Qoran. This was admissable by the authority of the majority of the scholars, though some of them disliked it..the situation necessitated it.” The companions around the ‘Messenger’ did not need the vowels and dots because they were the Ismaelite-Nabataeans who spoke that language. Reading errors have occurred because the language of the scriptures was foreign to the desert Arabs of Mekka and the others. The examples may sound crude, but think about it: When you add ‘a’ to ‘pry’ and make it ‘pray’ what happens? Add ‘e’ to 'pry' and make it ‘prey’, what do you get? And if you leave it as it is you have ‘pry.’ All have different meanings. Think what would become of the texts, which happen to include these words. Now you know who tampered with the message of the Book: Mankind. This was done on the Book, even the translation of which is not allowed because the process would involve human interference and would end in the alteration of

the message. Therefore what is allowed is ‘giving the general meaning only’ without being literal. In order to give the meaning, one has to understand, comprehend, and translate the idea into another language, which is impossible without interpretation. So we are back to square one, the divine(!) message would be tampered with again. If someone would find a way to give the meaning of the message without interpretation then the final text would be as incomprehensible as the original. As you can see, a solution is impossible, because the Book of the IsmaeliteMohamedans was intended to be an extremely focused text dictated to the scribes by the tutor or the storyteller of the ‘Messenger’ or by the ‘Messenger’ himself. This ‘Messenger’ is one of the Ismaelite Nabataean Arabs living first in the land of Midian and then in Medina 1400 years ago. The narrow focusing has naturally excluded the notion of translation into other tongues. Due to the expansionist tendencies of the Arabs of the day (and also presently), and the realisation that the introduction of a belief system would bring dominance, this focused Book was imposed on the other peoples by the power of the sword in those days. Consequently the belief system was transformed into a set of doctrines for all the peoples of the earth. Here is the evidence: Read Qoran 34:28: “We have sent you..to the mankind..but the majority of them don’t know.” When juxtaposed with the suras exhibiting extreme focusing, this universality concept clearly must have been a later addition to the text, which was concurrent with the transformation of the concept of mümin (‘faithful’) to teslim and islam (‘submission,’ ‘surrendering,’ ‘one who surrendered’). This process progressed hand in hand with the expansion of Islam into foreign lands with the aim of subjugating foreign peoples. What was the reason for the conscious transformation of this focused text into a weapon of imperialism by the power of the sword? This transformation is extremely important because the Supreme Overseer of the IsmaeliteMohamedans had never envisaged this outcome. The only action sanctioned by him was the announcing/revealing the message. Here are the examples of the understanding of those early days:

Qoran 3:20: “If they reject, your only responsibility is to announce (the message).” Qoran 5:92: “Our prophet can do nothing but to impart the message.” Qoran 50:45: “We know very well the remarks they make. You are not a tyrant over them. Then, only advise by Qoran those who fear my threat” (Qoran 5:99 has an identical message). Qoran 13:40 (God addresses the ‘Messenger’): “Hence you will announce, and I will do the questioning.”

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Qoran 42:10: “When there is a disagreement between you on anything leave the judgment to Allah.”

Transformation of the original Ismaelite-Mohamedan doctrines has lead to an imperialist weapon called Islam, which as a word has never meant ‘peace.’ Islam does not derive from the Hebrew word ‘shalom,’ which means ‘peace,’ but from ‘teslîm’ which is ‘submission,’ ‘surrendering.’ One has to surrender to the authority, surrender to the Supreme Creator, surrender to the revelation and the will of the Supreme Creator, who is represented by the Book and the ‘Moslems,’ who are themselves the surrenderers. Islam expects complete obedience. The original doctrine has become an intolerant, fanatical and impatient ideology. In this new ideology there is no peace until and unless every single human being has surrendered and become a Moslem. Here are some quotations from the Book of Islam showing this transformation:

Qoran 2:191-193: “..And kill them wherever you shall find them, and eject them from whatever place they have ejected you; for civil discord is worse than carnage: yet do not attack them at the Mascid-i Haram, until they attack you therein; but if they attack you, slay them. Such would be the punishment of the infidels...Fight therefore against them until there is no more civil discord, and the only worship is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility, except against those who are the oppressors.” Qoran 2:216: “War is prescribed to you even if you don’t like it.” Qoran 8:15-16: “O you believers! When you meet the infidels, do not turn your backs to them. Anyone who would turn his back to them on that day shall invite the wrath of God, unless he does it to relocate himself to fight or to join another unit. He shall end up in hell, what a wretched destination is that!” Qoran 8:38-39: “Say to the infidels: If they desist from their unbelief, the past shall be forgiven for them; but if they start again, the path and the law of the ancients will remain as it was. Then fight against them until the strife ends and the religion as a whole belongs to Allah. If they desist, Allah will value their behaviour.” Qoran 9:5: “And when the sacred months are passed, kill those polytheists wherever you shall find them; and seize them, besiege them, and block all their passages. But if they convert and observe prayers and pay the obligatory alms, let them go their way, for Allah is Gracious, Merciful.” Qoran 9:29-30: “Make war upon those to whom a book has been given, but do not believe in God and the judgment day, in the last day, and not consider unlawful that which God and His Apostle have forbidden, and

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who do not profess the religion of truth (Islam), until they pay tribute and humble themselves. Jews say, ‘Ozair (Ezra) is a Son of God’; and the Christians say, ‘The Messiah is the Son of God.’ This is what they have said. They talk like infidels of the past. May Allah crush them. See how they defect!”

Qoran 9:123: “Believers! Wage war against the infidels around you. Let them see your toughness.” Qoran 47:4: “When you encounter the infidels, there will be those who are beheaded.” Qoran 48:16: “Say to those Arabs of the desert, who have been left behind: ‘You shall be called up to fight a people of mighty valour. Either you fight them, or they shall profess Islam.’”

THE ‘MESSENGER’S GOD
ALLAH The regional literature tells us that the pagan Arabs in Mecca have worshipped the Moon God called Hubal/Hubel (ha-Bel, ha-Baal) at the Ka’ba. Hubal was the lord of the Ka’ba, the highest of the 360 Gods (idols) worshipped there. Allah (maybe under the name of al-Lah) was also worshipped in Ka’ba. Yet, Allah reportedly has never been represented by a physical idol, a statue etc. The only solution seems to be that Allah was understood as a distant entity, may be the highest of the supreme entities and the idols in Ka’ba. This understanding might have made the lord of Ka’ba - Hubal - and all the other idols just instruments to reach that highest of the supreme entities - Allah. In that capacity, the statue of Hubal could have been the ‘materialized’ form of Allah in the eyes and thoughts of the Arabs of those days. There are indications that the Nabataeans and probably other peoples also were using the word ‘allah’ as a suffix to the personal names and to the names of their idol. For instance they called Hubal, ‘Hubal allah’, meaning ‘Hubal the God’ or ‘God Hubal.’ Therefore ‘allah’ was a general term meaning God, and Hubal, may have been the proper name, like ‘God’ which is the generic label and YHWH the proper name in the Mosaic belief system. In that sense the Hubal of the preIslamic Arabia may have been used as the proper name of ‘Allah’ like ‘Adonay’ and ‘YHWH’ of the Jews. With the arrival of Islam, suddenly Allah became the name of the greatest God. Since the word Allah is the name of the greatest God, and there is only one greatest God, it has no plural. Allah is the proper name. Allah is the ‘greatest name’ because it belongs to Him. From the standpoint of Islam the other Gods cannot be called Allah or ‘elah’/‘ilah.’ There is no other

‘ilah’/‘elah’ anyway! When the ‘Messenger’ reportedly smashed the idols in Ka’ba (as the story goes), nothing physical remained there which could be called a deity. Therefore the ‘distant’ incorporeal entity, the highest and mightiest of them all, ‘Allah’ has ceased to be a definition and become the only God. Consequently ‘Allah’ was transformed into a proper name. The doctrine tells it all: ‘Allah is the only deity and there are no others beside him.’ Because all the other idols have been destroyed. The story tells us that a descendant of Kahtan, Amr bin Luhayy has put Hubal on the roof of Ka’ba (it stood inside the Ka’ba according to ibn Kalbî), 400 years before the birth of the ‘Messenger.’ According to Flinders Petrie (The Hajj) “the statue of Hubal was inside the building during the Age of Barbarism, but the ritual performed there was the Abrahamic one of circumcision.” Hubal was one of the chief deities of Kureysh. The other 360 idols in Ka’ba came in all shapes and sizes: A man, woman, lion, horse, vulture etc. There was a second idol on the roof of Ka’ba: Shams (Sun). Pilgrims used to bring the blood of their offerings to the deities of Ka’ba and sometime they even killed human beings as an offering. As I mentioned elsewhere in this site Ka’ba is thought to be a Sun temple as well, wherein the stars and Moon were also worshipped. Arabs believed in jinn (elusive and cunning entities). They also believed in the Goddesses al-Lat, alUzza, and Manat. A man named Qusayy (who may have been a Nabataean) is said to have brought these goddesses from Syria. Some scholars believe that ‘Allah’ was originally the name of the Moon God of northern Arabia. Furthermore ‘Allah’ as a name of a deity is reportedly applied to the Moon originally. Imagine the bedouin out in the desert at night, the only celestial light source to help him see around would be the Moon. The bottomless darkness, the shapes drawn by the blinking stars, and the Moon piercing that ocean of darkness must have played fundamental roles in the out-of-this-world conceptions of that bedouin. The Moon must have been his most favoured deity as shown by the Moon cult in ancient Haran, Irak, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Arabia. Moon must have been associated with the cooler and a friendlier weather of the desert nights. On the contrary Sun must have been seen as a scorching destroyer of life. The lunar calendar of the Hebrews and Arabs and the Semitic peoples in general is another indication in that direction. One should not forget the Moon (crescent) and star on the flags of the Arabic and Moslem countries. On that line one should try to understand the concept behind the paradise of Islam with a cool environment, plenty of trees and shade, and streams etc. If a messenger in the Nordic lands had introduced this description his paradise would have been a warm place with lots of sunshine. Moslems tend to reject that pagan Arabs were worshipping Allah at Ka’ba in Mekka before the 'Messenger.' But Samuel M. Zwemer (The Moslem Doctrine of God) writes that “the pagan Arabs, before Muhammad’s time, knew their chief

god by the name of Allah (which) denoted the chief god of their pantheon, the Ka’ba.” When one considers the belief in Allah in thousands of years beginning with the pagans and ending with the belief system of Islam, the ‘Messenger’ appears like a person who has reformed, restructured the belief in Allah by putting it on a very strong monotheistic foundation. But this proposition is absolutely unacceptable by the followers of Islam. Philip K. Hitti writes (History of Arabs) that the name " ‘Allah' occurs in two South Arabic inscriptions, one a Minaean found at al Ûlâ and the other a Sabaean, but abounds in the form HLH in the Lihyanite inscriptions of the 5th century BC. Lihyan, which evidently got the God from Syria, was the first Centre of the worship of this deity in Arabia. The name occurs as Hallah in the Safa inscriptions five centuries before Islam and also in a pre-Islamic Christian Arabic inscription found in umm-al Cimal, Syria, and ascribed to the 6th century.” Here, I believe the Lihyan connection is very important, because the present day Arabic is thought to be the product of the tongues spoken in the region of Midian/Madian, where the Didan/Dedan (presently al Ûlâ), Lihyan (Liyn), Thamud and Saf tribes came and gone between 700 BC.-400 AD. as I have mentioned earlier. These were originally Midianite tribes. They were replaced by the Nabataeans. The oldest Arabic text based on the Nabataean reportedly comes from the 4th century AD. No wonder the desert Arabs were unable to understand properly the verses of the ‘Messenger.’ The Arabs of pre-Islamic times recognised Allah as;
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The Creator of the world. The Giver of rain (since water gives life, they more generally consider the deity as the giver of life to all living things on earth). One who presides over the most solemn oaths. The object of what we might justly describe as ‘momentary’ or ‘temporary’ monotheism, the existence of which is evidenced by the recurrent expression in the Koran ‘making (momentarily) their faith pure for Him alone.’ The Lord of Ka’ba. (God and Man in the Koran. Toshihiko Izutsu).

The concept of al-Lah/el-Lah among the pre-Islamic Arabs was amazingly similar to the concept of Allah in Islam. Qoran is at a loss as to why such a correct understanding of God had not led the infidels to accept the new reality. These pre-Islamic Arabs believed that el-Lah/al-Lah;
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Is the ‘the creator of the world,’ Is ‘the One who brings rain,’ Is ‘the One who gave life to everything on earth,’

The only thing that makes Qoran feel uneasy towards these pre-Islamic Arabs is the fact that though they knew God as ‘the One who created the sky and earth,’ they did not end up with the conclusion that He was the only one to worship. According to the Encyclopedia of Gods (Michael Jordan) the origin of the supreme entity called Allah is “Nabataean and Arabic: Derived from the western Semitic god IL..Period of worship: circa 300 BC. until present..Perceived in preIslamic times as the creator of the earth and water.” According to Islam;
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Allah is first and last because He existed before everything and He will exist after everything ceased to exist. Everything will end, only Allah is permanent. Allah is above everything. There is none higher than Allah. Allah is in everything. Allah is closest to everything.

Here is the all-inclusive formula of Islam:
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“Allah exists. He has no before or after. He is eternal. He is the only God. He doesn’t need anybody or anything. He is not tied to a place. He does not beget, and he is not begotten. He has no equal. He is always alive (‘hayy’- everliving). He is all-knowing. He is all-hearing. He is all-seeing. He has the will. He is all-powerful. He is the giver of speech. He is the creator.”

Check the attributes of the sole God of Islam (the omnipotent universal God of the Creation), you will find that there is nothing original in the Arabs’ visualisation of their Supreme Overseer. The attributes that different peoples have given to their particular concepts and images of God have culminated in an aggregate understanding of the highest entity of Islam, who is up there somewhere. That’s that!

THE ‘MESSENGER’S PATRIARCH
AV’RAM If the Biblical Av’ram is the Abram and Abram is the Ebrum of the of the Ebla tablets, we have no choice but to accept that the adventures of Av’ram in the Mosaic scriptures is nothing but fiction. Hebrews claim to have descended from the Biblical Eber. Ebrum reminds Eber and also Abram. Ebrum has lived sometime between 2400-2250 BC. He was the third and greatest of the six kings of the Ebla dynasty. Arabs date Abram (Ibrahim) to 2300 BC. (Time bracket when Ebrum was alive). Is this a coincidence? Who knows? Therefore could Ebrum be the ‘patriarch’ Av’ram, who is claimed to be the forefather of Arabs Ibrahim? Ebrum is believed to have introduced substantial changes. In the names in his community like Ishma-el, Mika-el and Isra-el the suffix -el or -ilu represented the God El. But when Ebrum has begun his term as the king, a change occurred in the suffixes of these names from -el or -ilu to -ya(w) (-yahu, -yah?), and for instance Mika-ilu became Mika-ya(w) (Mika-yah/yahu?). There is no doubt that these suffixes are divine names, names of Gods or words simply meaning God, as it was customary in those days. Therefore it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Ebrum had made some major alterations in the religion of Ebla. The suffix ya(w)’s relation to YHWH, who as the God of Israel had replaced the God El, is arguable according to some researchers. It is only natural, because the acceptance of a connection between ya(w), yahu and YHWH will be another proof that the Mosaic texts is really a collection of the ancient fairy tales with nothing divine in them. Since YHWH is also the God of Islam (with a different name) this argument should have profound implications also for Islam. Moreover another thing in the Ebla texts has a direct bearing on the God of Islam: The divine name given to Ebla’s deity is ‘Hayyum’ which means ‘the living one,’ ‘the ever living one,’ and ‘life.’ One can derive the name of a Semitic deity, Hay/Hai, from Hayyum. It is also one of the names of the supreme creator of Islam, Hayyum-ul Kayyum. Moreover we are told that “in Hebrew and its cognates this term is used to designate the subterranean springs, which are termed the ‘living waters’ or ‘waters of life’- the mayyim hayyim in the Old Testament (R. R. Stieglitz). The Moon God Sin was worshipped during the time when Av'ram was supposedly alive, and in the lands that are mentioned in his story in the Mosaic scriptures. Av’ram worshipped Sin when he was in Ur. I believe this ‘Ur’ is the ‘Ur-a’ of the Ugaritic texts. ‘Ur-a’ was near Haran according to these texts. Citing Ur, Urha, Ur-hai, al Ruha, Edessa, Antiokhea, Kallirhoe, Rohe, Orroes, Khurrai, which are the ancient names of Urfa, Turkish scholars believe that the place called ‘Ur’ in the Mosaic scriptures is the present day Turkish city Urfa. Excavations have shown that there have been people settled there about 10000

BC. They did not know how to make earthenware but established settlements and developed a belief system. The fact that even at those very early times a belief system had developed there may have turned this region into a religious center. Urfa is called by the locals as the ‘city of messengers,’ and there are many stories there about Abraham/Ibrahim (Av’ram). Abraham’s mother is thought to have given birth to him in Urfa. Adam and Eve are claimed to have lived there. In order to understand what role the Asia Minor (Anatolia), and especially this southeastern corner of the land had played in history we should stop for a brief period at the land of 'Khuru' where Hurrian people lived. The Bible calls them the Horites and their land Khuru. The Horites mentioned in the Old Testament were not a semitic people. Their home was among the mountains around Lake Van in Eastern Anatolia. They were prominent also in northern Mesopotamia, Syria and eastern Asia Minor about 1500 BC. The names on many Hurrian documents indicate that at least the princely caste must be reckoned as Indo-Aryan. In the North of Mesopotamia they establihed the powerful kingdom of Mitanni between the upper reaches of the Euphrates and Tigris. Their kings bore Indo-Aryan names. The aristocracy of the country was called Marya (an old Indian word) which is the equivalent of 'young warriors'. Their temples were dedicated to old Indian gods. Magic incantations from Rigveda were intoned in front of the images of Mithras - the victorious champion of Light against Darkness, who ruled the storms, and of Varuna who governed the eternal order of the universe. Speculation is that at an early stage of the Amri culture (4th millennium BC.) a unified population group to which the Sumerians belonged had spread over a large part of the Asia Minor. We know that Aryan tribes that invaded Indus valley originally lived in Anatolia and northern Iran. The cuneiform contractual documents relating to the Hittite kings of Mitanni found at Bogazkoy in Anatolia (dated around 1400 BC.) stand as witnesses to the exchanges within a few centuries. They contain invocations of deities Mi-it-ra, Ur-w-na, Indar, Na-sa-at-tiia. These are the deities worshipped in ancient India under the same names: Mitra, Varuna, Indra, Nasatyas. Ancient Persians called themselves 'aryans' and their language differed little from Sanskrit. The Avesta, the holy scripture of ancient Iran is in part almost identical with the Rig-Veda, the oldest Indian text. One could come across the Indian God-King Rama in the Avesta as well as the divine potion 'soma' ('haoma in ancient Iranian), and the holy river Saraswati (Haraquati in ancient Iranian). Dr. B.G. Siddhart from Hyderabad attributes Avesta and Ramayana an inconceivable date of 7000 BC. That is not all! In his opinion the Rig-Veda had originated in Asia Minor (Anatolia), 1000 years earlier than these two books. A research team from Heidelberg University in Germany has found the remains of a highly developed urban culture dating from the 7th millenium BC. at Nevaliçeri (Nevali Cori) and Göbekli Tepe in southeast Anatolia. The sculptures there include the life size depiction of a man displaying all the characteristics of a priest from the time of the Rig-Veda.

Now back to the story. Av’ram (if he had ever lived) must have worshipped the Moon God Sin in Ur, and YHWH in Canaan. That’s the closest we can get to the truth. I have mentioned in the chapter on Av’ram and elsewhere in this site that stories about Av’ram, Yakob (Yakob, Yah-kobe) and Isaac look like inventions with the specific purpose of finding an origin for Israel back in history. Not a single thing about Av’ram is definite. The bottom line is, insofar as the ‘character’ in the Mosaic scriptures is concerned, Av’ram is ‘non-existent.’ Ebla tablets are the most important witnesses.

THE ‘MESSENGER’ AND HIS ACTS
WHO WAS HE? I’d rather think of the ‘Messenger’ as a person who had his origins not in Hecaz/Hicaz, but in Arabia Petraea. He was most probably an IsmaeliteNabataean living in the general region, which was once called Midian. As far as the Mekkans were concerned the ‘Messenger’ was an outsider. In one of those stories about his life in Mekka, we read about the negative reception he was given in the early days of his preaching. This story is very important in my opinion. Qoran 43:31 where the story appears is especially meaningful. Here is what I have written on it in the first story on Islam in this website: “Qoran 43:31 is emphasised as an indication of the reception given to the ‘Messenger,’ at least by a group of people, if not by the whole of the community: ‘They said: ‘Shouldn’t this Qoran have been given to a great man from within these two cities?’ Mekkans are thought to be the people who have asked this question, and the two cities are thought to be Mekka and Taif. Those who emphasize this verse speculate that, the ‘Messenger’ was not considered to be a great man.” I would like to add another dimension now. If that criticism was made actually by the Mekkans (which I believe is the case) we should set our thoughts free and search for other explanations as well. The traditional version maintains that the Mekkans would have preferred a great, noble, wealthy, influential person as a messenger from amongst the citizens of Mekka and/or Taif. But in my opinion what the Mekkans meant was that the Book should have been given to someone ‘not only great, noble, wealthy, and influential, but also -maybe more so- who was a citiizen of those cities.’ This dimension makes the ‘Messenger’ an outsider, a foreigner. The ‘Messenger’ must have lived the earlier part of his life in his native town probably somewhere in the valley of Hicr in the northwest Arabia, and the

remainder in Medina. If he had ever ‘stepped on the soil of Mekka,’ it must have been to take possession of the Ka’ba almost at the end of his life, and even that reported event may be an invention. The ‘Messenger’ is said to have involved in camel caravans until the age of 25 when he was married to the tradeswoman Hadija/Hadica, who was a descendant of Abd-al Uzza. It would be useful at this point to remember that the Nabataeans were very good at camel trading. They had caravans on the roads of the Arabian Peninsula. In my opinion Hadija (if ever there was one) was not a Mekkan, but a Nabataean. She might have lived in the native town of the ‘Messenger’ in the land of Midian. Hadija’s story, presenting her as a Mekkan, looks like one of those inventions by the desert Arabs to own the Ismaelite-Mohamedan ideology, despite its origins in Arabia Petraea.

THE ‘MESSENGER’S LINEAGE Hashim, the great grandfather of the ‘Messenger’ reportedly met a girl named Salma at Medina and married her. Salma was the daughter of Amr, a Khazrajite of the Ben-i Naccar. Tribes of Khazraj and Avs had reportedly migrated to Medina from Arabia Felix. They were worshipping the Nabataean deities Lat and Menat, but they adopted Judaism in Medina.

Therefore Salma was of Jewish faith. We know that the Mosaic Law prohibits Jews marrying with members of other faiths. Therefore we can safely say that Hashim also was of Mosaic faith. Otherwise this marriage would have been impossible. The name of the man -Hashim- may give us a further clue: Arab ideology tells us that Hashim means the ‘destroyer of evil.’ Hashim is the Arabicised form of ‘ha-Shem’ (the name), which is the Hebrew word Jews use for their God YHWH, who is also the destroyer of evil. In this context Hashimî/Hashemite means ‘follower of ha-shem’, ‘of ha-Shem.’ The ‘Messenger’s mother Amina binti Wahb was from the Jewish tribe of Ben-i Zuhre. Amongst the forefathers of the ‘Messenger’ we have persons with names like Abd Shams (‘servant of the Sun’), Abd Menaf (‘servant of Menaf’), Abd-al Uzza (‘servant of Uzza’). These names point to Sabianism (Shams) and idolatry (Menaf and Uzza). Together with Hashim/Hashem which is clearly a Jewish name we can once more say that the ‘Messenger’s lineage include Sabians, idolaters and Jews.

Moreover the ‘Messenger’s wife Hadija/Hadica was a descendant of Abdal Uzza as I mentioned earlier. In other words she was from an idolater (Nabataean) background.

The ‘Messenger’ reportedly had never traced his forefathers higher than Adnan. He declared that who went further back were guilty of fabrication and falsehood. What should we understand from this report? Here is what I think:

Those persons who established the ‘Messenger’s genealogy had thought that the ‘forefathers’ up to Adnan are ‘acceptable’ (which means ‘native,’ of the Arabian Peninsula) and those earlier are not, because his genealogy beyond Adnan has been borrowed from the Jews. Therefore they were not indigenous to Arabia. That must be the reason why the ‘Messenger’ is claimed to have taken the initiative and condemned the possible ‘rumors’ beforehand?

WHEN WAS HE BORN, AND WHERE? We are all aware of the unreliability and the extreme bias of the Arabic literary sources. So let us further our search. Lawrence Conrad was able to fix the ‘Messenger’s birth as 552 AD., according to an inscription. At this point I have to bring to your attention the fact that even the Arab/Islam historians cannot agree on the year of the ‘Messenger’s birth. Most of them say that it was the ‘Year of the Elephant,’ which is 570 AD. There are others who claim that he was born fifteen years earlier; or he was born (days, months, and years) after the ‘Year of the Elephant.’ In some extreme cases, historians claim that the ‘Messenger’ was born even thirty years or seventy years later than the ‘Year of the Elephant’ (600 AD. or 640 AD.). There is no agreement also on the month or day or the hour of his birth. Here is another very important point that helps my case: There is also disagreement on the place of his birth, which actually might not be Mekka! Could we fix his place of birth as a place somewhere in the land of Midian? Most probably we could. But I must say that there is nothing wrong with all that confusion. All the messengers in history have invented, ‘assembled,’ and tailored personalities. The official ideology gives the date of birth as 570 AD. If the 552 AD. was the true year of birth as suggested by Lawrence Conrad’s find, then the early part of the ‘Messenger’s life falls into the ‘period of earthquakes’ in the second half of the 500s. The quake in 540 AD. is known to have totally destroyed Beirut, and caused extensive destruction in Palestine and the neighbouring regions. Another quake in 551 AD. is reported to have been the deadliest. It leveled more of Petra and the towns and cities in Negeb/Negev, which is to the North of the valley of

Hicr. If the 'Messenger' was born in the first half of 500s this earthquake of 551 AD. could have been the 'event' which happened immediately after he had left the Valley of Hicr and interpret it as a divine(!) intervention or another quake in this series of tremors at a later date (around 580s or 590s AD.) might have occurred shortly after the Hicra!, which was from the ‘Messenger’s native town in Midian to Medina. The ‘Messenger’ must have had with him his family and followers in this break/separation/Hicra with their native town. According to this scenario the ‘Messenger’ must have begun delivering messages based on the faith of Av’ram (Sabianism), mixed with doctrines from the Samaritan Torah, with announcements related to the coming of the Messiah, and some concepts borrowed from Christianity and Zoroastrianism. He and his closest relatives might have had to leave their native town because of the negative reception given to him and a short time after their departure the earthquake might have struck. This incident must have been interpreted intentionally by him and his followers as a ‘divine intervention to punish the unbelievers’ like it is written in Qoran 8:33, in which verse we are told that God had waited for the ‘Messenger’s departure from an unspecified place.

‘MESSENGER’ AND THE ISLAMIC TRADITION: SIRA, SUNNA, AND HADITH Islamic traditions are comprised of writings, which were compiled by the Moslems between late 8th-early 10th centuries about what the ‘Messenger’ had said and done in the 7th century, and the commentaries on Qoran. Traditions are the most extensive body of material on the early period of Islam, which are written in greater detail. They include dates and detailed explanations for what happened. They complement Qoran. The authors of traditions were not writers themselves, but were compilers and editors who drew together the information they received and produced it. There are many compilers, but only four of them are considered as the most authoritative, who lived and assembled their material between 750923 AD. There are three bodies of literature which together make up the Islamic tradition:

Hadith (the ‘Messenger’s statements) which have been put together two centuries after his death. Hadith is the extremely unreliable information passed by the word of mouth from generation to generation. Sunna (sayings of and custom established by the ‘Messenger’) which is also based on the word of mouth, and constitutes the juridical legislation of Islam. Sira (‘Siyer’, ‘Siyer-i Kebîr’=life story of the ‘Messenger’), which is believed to have been put together by ibn Hisham in the 9th century AD. We don’t know anything about this man called ibn Hisham, who claimed that what he had in his book was genuine, because the information was allegedly

instituted by the companions of the ‘Messenger’ and the eyewitnesses alive then, and passed down from generation to generation. The Orientalists say that Islam has taken its classical identity particularly in the 9th century. Meaning of this is clear: Islam has evolved into its present character not in the lifetime of Mohamed but over a period of 200-300 years (Humphreys). Qoran calls the city of Mekka the ‘umm-ul Kura’=mother of settlements. But Hijaz (where Mekka and Taif are situated) was hardly known in the civilized world, and could never have been a ‘centre’ of something. Islam calls the period before it as ‘cahiliyye,’ a period of ignorance. This description alone is sufficient to tell us how backward the region was. There was no urban culture in Arabia before Islam, nor could the Peninsula brag about a sophisticated infrastructure needed to create, let alone maintain the scenario painted by the later traditions for the early period of Islam (Rippin). Therefore how a belief system of immense sophistication, of intricate laws and traditions like Islam was created in a backward and ignorant nomadic culture in only 22 years, and became a successful imperialist ideology? Objections by the scholars that there is no historical precedence for such an achievement in 22 years sound right. That achievement could only be possible over a period of a number of decades or may be centuries. It could also be possible by borrowing material from neighbouring cultures, which acted as the source for the concepts, stories, laws, and traditions. We can detect these borrowings in Qoran. The primary sources of Islam (the material that are supposedly the closest or have direct access to the event) that we possess are 150-300 years after the events which they describe, and therefore are quite distant from those events (Y. Nevo; J. Wansbrough; P. Crone). Which means that they are secondary sources, because they rely on other material, the majority of which no longer exists. There are no documents or accounts from the Ismaelite-Mohamedan movement’s 150 years between the first Hagarene/Saracen conquests of the early 7th century AD. and the Sira-Maghazi narratives, of the earliest Islamic literature towards the late 8th century AD. (J. Wansbrough). Plain reasoning tells us that there should have been something written on the traditions in that period but we have nothing (Y. Nevo; P. Crone). Some Moslems disagree, and maintain that there is evidence of earlier traditions, and propose especially the Kitab-ül Muvatta (‘Book of the Subjugated in War’) by Malik ibn Anas, who has established the Malikî sect (712-795 AD.). But Norman Calder (Studies in Early Muslim Jurisprudence) objects to such an early date and expresses doubt whether the works we have can be attributed to the authors listed. He argues that most of the texts we have from these supposedly early authors are “school texts, transmitted and developed over several generations, and achieving the form in which we know them considerably later than the putative ‘authors’ to whom they are usually ascribed. Following the current assumption that ‘Shafi'i's law’ (which demanded that all hadith be traced to Mohamed) did not come into effect until after 820 A.D., he concluded that because the Mudawwana (Collection of Works)

does not speak of prophetic authority whereas the Muwatta does, Muwatta must be the later document. According to Norman Calder Muwatta could not be earlier than 795 AD., but later than the Mudavvana which was written in 854 AD. He goes so far as placing Muwatta not in the 8th century Arabia but in 11th century Cordoba, Spain. Therefore this is the bottom line: We have almost no evidence of any traditions from the early days of the Hagarene-Ismaelite-Mohamedan movement. Now we must ask the crucial question: From where the compilers of the 8th and 9th centuries AD. could have obtained their material? R. Stephen Humphreys wrote that the evidence for documentation prior to 750 AD. consists almost entirely of rather dubious citations in later compilations. Therefore according to Joseph Schacht we have no reliable proof that the traditions speak truly of the life of the ‘Messenger,’ or even of the Qoran. The ‘Messenger’s story (Sira, Siyer-i Nebî) could not be accepted as complete, detailed, and based on the objective truth. Because what is presented or upheld as the ‘truth and nothing but the truth’ about the ‘Messenger’s life is again a narration which is based on another narration which is based on a hearsay etc. The Hadith books we have today are dated to a period of 125 years after the ‘Messenger’s reign. The earliest record on his life was written by ibn Ishak in 750 AD. But the original of that work is lost and only a later recension by ibn Hisham (died 834 AD.) is available. Now let me repeat what we have: The ‘Messenger’ died in 632 (or 634 AD. according to early Greek sources), but the earliest written material on his life is the sira of ibn Ishak dated 750 AD., which was written 120 years after his death. We only know parts of ibn Ishak’s work (because it was lost) in the form of quotations by ibn Hisham dated 834 AD., written 200 years after the death of the ‘Messenger.’ He was already hearsay in those days. Think about it, ibn Hisham starts collecting the information 200 years and 10 generations after the death of the ‘Messenger.’ One can easily say that the original information must have changed at least ten times in its travel through generations, and it must have acquired ‘colour,’ and emphasis, and extra embellishment in its progress. The only testimony to the existence of the ‘Messenger’ is the Medina document (Medina Constitution), and the rest of his life and acts are behind a curtain of mythology. We are told that the earlier surviving sources on the ‘Messenger’s life story in non-Moslem sources contradict the standard biography. These are the literary sources in Armenian, Greek or Syriac, and the material remains such as papyri, inscriptions, and coins. Isn’t everything clear? When the reality ends the stories and speculation begins; and when speculation begins truth is either lost or sinks deeper under the

deposits of hearsay. A period of 120-125 years is more than enough for myths and legends to come into being. That is why the reports and texts on the ‘Messenger’ have a limited value. A period of 125 years is sufficient for the people to call on their imaginations to fill the gaps in the stories (due to forgetfulness or omission of details etc.). Whenever imagination enters the stage we all know what happens, whether the stage is the belief systems or history or a simple line of events. Too many things must have been invented in relation to the ‘Messenger’s birth, early life, and his life as a messenger. What we have about him are not corroborated by independent sources (except the Medina Constitution). But there is nothing wrong with that. The same applies to Zarathustra, Moses, Jesus, and Mani. Hadiths are even later, and they are also the narration of a narration based on a hearsay etc. The six supposedly ‘authoritative’ collections of hadith are dated to 200-300 years after the ‘Messenger.’ Scholars have attempted to distinguish which hadith contained the real information from those containing the legendary and theological material or political embellishment. J. Wellhausen insists that the 8th century version (ibn Ishak) was accurate, and later versions were deliberate fiction designed to alter the 8th century story. Caetani and Cammens suggest that most sira were invented to construct an ‘ideal’ past and to justify the contemporary exaggerated exegesis of Qoran. The problem with Qoran-hadith relationship is the fact that tradition interprets Qoran, which in itself is the essence of tradition. Those who search for the truth must be able to break this vicious circle. Debate about the credibility of hadith compilations is widespread not only in the outside circles but also within Islam. Bulk of the texts on early Islam are believed to have been compiled between 850-950 AD. Consequently the following generations of Moslems have used these compilations as a foundation. Now we have some crucial questions:
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If they already had had the traditions they needed, why did they go on inventing more? Could they have felt that the traditions they had inherited were not relevant anymore or did not satisfy their needs or harmful to their aspirations? Did they realise that those traditions, hadiths were inventions even in those days? If the hadiths originating from the formative years of Islam had come down to the generations living in the 9th and 10th centuries AD., why did they feel the need to invent more? Is it wrong to say that there has been no tradition from the time of the ‘Messenger’?

The last question seems to be the most relevant one. According to the impartial researchers the compilations of hadiths have been created around 800 AD.; they

don’t derive from the documents that were written in the 7th century AD.; they most certainly don’t originate from the ‘Messenger’ and/or his companions. There is no doubt that the early 9th century ‘Schools of law’ and their initiators have authenticated their personal doctrines by claiming that their source was the companions of the ‘Messenger’ and the ‘Messenger’ himself. The hadith also do not derive from the documents that were written in the 7th century AD., which means also that hadith did not derive from some kind of an Ismaelite-Mohamedan scriptural text in those days. This final point inevitably leads us once more to the crucial puzzle. If this reasoning is correct we could say that;

Either there was no scriptural text or hadith-traditions are pure inventions by the existing groups of the day and their leaders, who acted only by their personal aspirations (These groupings still exist today in the form of sects).

All the ‘ehl-i Sunna’ Schools of law that follow the Sunna of the 'Messenger' (Hanefite, Hanbelite, Malikite and Shafiite) and the ‘ehl-i Shia’ (which follow the sharia of Ali) are personal ideologies. They are actual deviations from the basic law (if there ever was one), because all of them are the products of differing interpretations, tailored to the specific needs of the sects.

If a clear cut, definite, unquestionable, all-enveloping and final text, which did not necessitate interpretation, had existed these four different renditions would have been impossible. How could a moslem (faithful of Islam) dare intepret the divine message (if it had existed in its final form) to create an understanding of his own, and build on it to introduce a new doctrine?

No one is allowed to interpret the word of God. In that context all the exegetical work must be considered as ‘equating with the Supreme Creator,’ which as the Moslems very well know, is a capital offence to be paid for by dear life.

Can you imagine a single person, or a closely knit group around that person, or a confirmed believer at a later date, becoming the source of a different doctrinal system when there is already a basic teaching in the form of Qoran, which leaves no place for interpretative work?

I can not? This could have been possible if;

Even those source-persons were not clear in their minds about the fundamental doctrines and preferred to envelop whatever there is by

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their own interpretations, thus forming their own doctrines separately, and speaking freely about their views; The basic doctrines themselves were in an oral form, comprised of ambiguous narrations which were open to private rendition; Those source-persons had introduced their own teachings disregarding the existing word of God (Qoran) and the practice of the ‘Messenger’ himself. There was no central and fundamental set of doctrines at all.

Which one is true? It was al-Shafi’i (died 820 AD.) who stipulated that all traditions of law must be traced back to the ‘Messenger’ in order to preserve their credibility. This must be the first time that such an idea is expressed, and it must have been the starting point for those Schools of law to produce their traditions supposedly invoking the authority of the ‘Messenger.’ These tremendously creative efforts by the Schools of law to gain legitimacy and supremqacy extending as far back as the ‘Messenger’ himself, in the 9th and 10th centuries AD., are seen as the reason which undermines the authenticity of the hadiths. There are scholars who assert that the “literary records, although presenting themselves as contemporary with the events they describe, actually belonged to a period well after such events, which suggest that they had been written according to later points of view in order to fit the purposes and agendas of that later time.” The Shi’ites maintain that their list includes 2,000 valid hadiths, 1,750 of which were derived from Ali, the son-in-law of the ‘Messenger.’ They had to invent these, because they were trying to become the dominant sect in an environment where the political competition was at its extreme. If they had invented all those hadiths for particular political purposes, you may feel free to have a guess on what the others had done for their own particular aspirations. Now try to imagine the environment where there is a code book - Qoran - which is the ‘inimitable final word of God,’ but the members of the belief system are busy, inventing thousands of pieces of tradition 200 years after the death of the ‘Messenger.’ If the motive was not political, what was the intention behind that mass of hadiths?
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Was the Book ambiguous and/or difficult to comprehend, hence needed interpretation? Was the language of the Book intricate and needed explanation by the learned people, who took their chance and chose to introduce their particular exegesis? Were there different versions of the Book, which consequently led to different interpretations?

But we know that Qoran was compiled on at least three earlier occasions, and supposedly there was a Book ‘between two covers,’ so there shouldn’t have been different versions. We were told that all the different versions of the book were burnt after the Uthmanic rescension. Moreover Haccac, who was instrumental in the creation of the final text, reportedly had all the other copies burnt, and declared his version legal. In that case is it possible for us to say that what we have been told were just stories? Could the following scenario, proposed by some scholars, be an explanation? All the compilations are characterized by the inclusion of something in support of the conflicting legal and doctrinal persuasions. Which shows that the local Schools of law have formed different traditions as they wished. While doing that they relied on local customs and the opinions of the local scholars. As time passed the scholars became aware of the diversity created by the existence of the different traditions based on particular needs, and tried to unify the Moslem law. They found the solution in appealing to the prophetic tradition, which would have had the ‘decisive’ authority over the assumptions by the scholars. The outcome of this practice has been the proliferation of traditions attributed to the ‘Messenger’ from around 820 AD. Most scholars conclude that the stories about the ‘Messenger’s life before becoming a messenger are fictitious. In his important critique of the hadith Ignaz Goldziher argues that many hadiths that were accepted even by the most rigorous collectors were 8th and 9th century forgeries with fictitious isnads (referrals). According to him these hadiths arose out of quarrels between the Umayyads and their opponents - both sides freely inventing hadiths to support their respective positions. The manufacture of hadiths speeded up under the Abbasids who were vying with the followers of Ali for primacy. Moslems have acknowledged a vast number of forgeries (almost 90 percent of hadiths were discarded), but even so the collectors were not as rigorous as could be hoped, and even in the 10th century over 200 forgeries were said to have been identified by Bukhari. The study about isnads -referrals- is reported to have shown a predisposition towards growing in authority backwards until they arrive at the ‘Messenger.’ Joseph Schacht claims that the first considerable body of legal traditions from the ‘Messenger’ had originated towards the middle of the 8th century in opposition to the slightly earlier traditions from the companions and other authorities. Here is what Schacht said about isnads: “The beginning of their generalized usage have started after the Abbasid revolution, and then they were formulated carelessly. The better an isnad looks, the more likely it is to be false. It is claimed that no existing hadith can reliably be ascribed to Muhammed. Most of the classical corpus was widely disseminated after Shafiî, and most of the legal tradition was formulated in the 9th century.” Schacht’s methodology includes looking at legal decisions - if they didn’t refer to a crucial tradition it is because the tradition did

not exist. If a tradition had existed, a reference to it - in the form of a legal argument - would have been imperative in a legal discussion. He argues that traditions were created in response to the 9th century conditions and then edited back several centuries. According to Schacht every legal tradition from the ‘Messenger’ must be taken as inauthenic, and as the fictitious expression of a legal doctrine formulated at a later date. There were ‘counter traditions’ formulated to rebut a contrary doctrine or practice. Doctrines in this polemical atmosphere were frequently projected back to higher authorities: “Traditions from successors (to the prophet) became traditions from the companions (of the prophet), and traditions from companions became traditions from the prophet.” Schacht further claims that details from the life of the ‘Messenger’ were invented to support the legal doctrines, and also that Islam cannot be traced accurately back before the 8th century AD. A great majority of the traditions supposedly originating from the ‘Messenger’ are shown to be documents not of the time frame they claim to belong, but of the successive stages of development of doctrines during the first centuries of Islam. Traditions from the companions and other authorities are also believed to have underwent the same process of growth, and they should be considered under the same light as traditions originating from the ‘Messenger.’ I believe that this war of hadiths also involved the Arabs of Petraea and their descendants, who have produced the ‘Messenger’ from their midst, and the Arabs of the desert who tried to own and transform the belief system. When we return to our era we read the findings of important studies done by various researchers. John Wansbrough is one of them. In his books titled Quranic Studies: Sources and Methods of Scriptural Interpretation (1977) and The Sectarian Milieu: Content and Composition of Islamic Salvation History (1978), John Wansbrough showed that Qoran and hadith grew out of sectarian controversies over a long period, perhaps as long as two centuries and then were projected back on to an invented Arabian point of origin, to the time of the ‘Messenger.’ J. Wansbrough, writes that “the entire corpus of early Islamic documentation must be viewed as a ‘salvation history.’ What Qoran is trying to evidence, what tafsir, sira, and theological writings are trying to explicate is, how the sequence of worldly events was directed by God to be centred on the time of the ‘Messenger.’ All the components of the Islamic salvation history are meant to witness the same point of faith, namely, an understanding of history that sees God’s role in directing the affairs of humankind.” Salvation history does not attempt to describe what really has happened, but it is an attempt to describe the relationship between God and men and vice versa. The ‘salvation’ here does not have the Christian implications like ‘saving of an individual soul from damnation,’ but could be understood as a ‘sacred’ history. J. Wansbrough argues that we do not know what had ‘really happened.’ Literary analysis can only tell us about the disputes of later generations. The whole point of Islamic ‘salvation’ history is to adapt the

Judaeo-Christian religious themes for the formulation of an Arabian religious identity. The Qoran itself demands to be put in a Judaeo-Christian context, like the line of prophets, sequence of scriptures, and common narratives. On the other hand J. A. Thompson claims that J. Wansbrough’s ‘Salvation History’ never happened, and it is a literary creation with its own context. What this means is that it was written with a particular agenda. Thus the events they describe actually belong to a period well after such events, which suggests that they have been written according to a later interpretation as necessitated by the times. The ‘true history’ of what had really taken place has become lost within the later interpretation and is virtually, if not completely, inextricable from it (Patricia Crone; Andrew Rippin). J. Wansbrough writes that the Islamic law has developed after contact with the Rabbinic Judaism outside the Hicaz. According to Wansbrough Qoran could not have come into existence until 800 AD. He maintains that Qoran is not a text produced by a single writer, but the product of various writers from about the 9th century AD. I believe he is right on the spot with that observation. The ‘Messenger’ is portrayed as a Mosaic-type messenger, but the religion was Arabicized - an Arabic messenger, an Arabic Holy language, an Arabic scripture. I believe that was the work of the desert Arabs who tried to sever the connection of the belief system with the northern Arabs (Midianites-Nabataeans). Simultaneous with the formation of this Arabic religion we see the beginning of interest in the pre-Islamic Arabic poetry, further suggestive of a rise in Arab nationalism. I believe that this Arab nationalism had nothing to do with the Arabs of the North, but the result of the incessant attempts by the desert Arabs. A similar process with the invention of hadiths confronts us in the appellation nabî. This title was transformed and upgraded to rasul. Nabî is not Arabic. It was borrowed from Aramaean and Syriac. Nabî was the only word, used before Islam, designating a messenger. Rasul had no religious implications in those days, it just meant an emissary. It was with the emergence of Qoran and the Arabic conquests that rasul was given the meaning of ‘messenger.’ Rasul-al-lah, Rasul-ul-Lah which actually means the ‘emissary of Lah,’ the ‘messenger of Lah’ must be the original expression. But since the God of the ‘Messenger’ is called Allah (as opposed to al-Lah) the gramatically right expression should have been Rasul al-Allah, meaning the ‘Messenger of Allah.’ But with the dropping of ‘al’ in the middle which caused difficulty in articulation, the final expression has evidently gone back to the original, Rasul-al-Lah/ Rasul-il-Lah/Rasul-ul-Lah, although the expression is not different from the previous ones it was given a new meaning anyway: ‘Messenger of Allah’. A similar description was in use with the Syriacs. I would like to draw your attention to the components of these decriptions: ‘ilLah,’ ‘el-Lah,’ ‘al-Lah’ are the age old descriptions which have been in use in

Canaan, Palestine, Midian, and Nabataea, meaning the ‘God Lah,’ ‘Lah the God,’ ‘the God.’ Now I need to mention the references in Qoran. What does the Book tell us about the region, the ‘Messenger,’ communities, and other religions etc.? Michael Cook in Muhammed writes the following: “Taken on its own, the Koran tells us very little about the events of Muhammed’s career. It does not narrate these events, but merely refers to them; and in doing so, it has a tendency not to name names. Some do occur in contemporary contexts: four religious communities are named (Jews, Christians, Magians, and the mysterious Sabians), as are three Arabian deities (all female), three humans (of whom Muhammed is one), two ethnic groups (Kureysh and the Romans), and nine places. Of these places, four are mentioned in military connections (Badr, Mekka, Hunayn, Yathrib), and four are connected with the sanctuary [three of them we have already met in connection with the rites of pilgrimage while the fourth is ‘Bakka’ (or Bakkah), said to be an alternative name for Mecca. The final place is Mount Sinai, which seems to be associated with the growing of olives. Leaving aside the ubiquitous Christians and Jews, none of these names occurs very often: Muhammed is named four or five times (once as ‘Ahmad’), the Sabians thrice, Mount Sinai twice, and the rest one each. Identifying what the Koran is talking about in a contemporary context is therefore usually impossible without interpretation ... For such interpretation we are naturally dependent mainly on tradition. Without it we could probably infer that the protagonist of the Koran was Muhammed, that the scene of his life was in western Arabia, and that he bitterly resented the frequent dismissal of his claims to prophecy by his contemporaries. But we could not tell that the sanctuary was in Mecca, or that Muhammed himself came from there, and we could only guess that he established himself in Yathrib. We might indeed prefer a more northerly location altogether, on the grounds that the site of God’s destruction of Lot’s people (i.e. Sodom) is said to be one which those addressed pass by morning and night.” The above mentioned examples and quotations are sufficient to show that there was a developing process in building the Islamic mythology, doctrine and the corpus religiosus. PROBLEMS WITH THE ISLAMIC MYTHOLOGY AND LITERATURE There are many contradictions and inconsistencies in the official Islamic mythology and literature. Here is the most important one as far as I am concerned:

“What do we do with Baladhuri's statement that the kıbla (direction for prayer) in the first Kufan mosque was to the west?” (Patricia Crone).

This point could not be clarified until now because the desert Arabs preferred to keep their silence on the true meaning of the Ismaelite scriptures. They chose to

reject the existence of Bakka and tried to explain it as a different pronunciation of Mekka. But Bakka had existed as the sacred place where the first house of God was situated. Bakka was to the West of Kufa! Patricia Crone attracts our attention to the Islamic literature where there are so many Fatimas; and that Ali is sometimes Muhammad's brother, and concludes with the following remark: “It is a tradition in which information means nothing and leads nowhere.” According to ibn Ishak the ‘Messenger’ had entered a stage in Medina where there was no political power, but later on he tells us also that the ‘Messenger’ had seized the authority from a well-established ruler in the city. Ibn Ishak is of the opinion that the Jews in Medina were supportive of their Arab neighbours, but were attacked by them (ibn Hisham). Which statement is true? Patricia Crone has this to say: “The stories are told with complete disregard for what the situation in Medina may or may not have been like in historical fact.” The compilers of the Islamic mythology and literature had played their part in this confusion as well. Different compilers narrate variations of the same theme. For example take the ‘Messenger’s supposed encounter with the representative of a non-Islamic belief system, who recognised him as a future messenger.
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Was the ‘Messenger’ in his infancy (ibn Hisham)? Was he about twenty-five years of age (ibn Hisham)? Was he nine or twelve (ibn Sa’d)? Who saw the ‘Messenger’? Were they the Ethiopian Christians (ibn Hisham)? Were they Jews who saw him (Abd-ul Razzak)?

At the same time this Abd-ul Razzak together with ibn Sa’d and Abu Nu’aym assert that it was a seer or a kâhin either in Mekka or Ukaz or Zu’l Macaz. Here again Patricia Crone describes the confusion as “fifteen equally fictitious versions of an event that never took place.” That may be so! But we should accept the fact that Islam couldn’t have done without its own version of a story that exists in the belief systems predating Islam. Traditions exhibit a further problem of proliferation (Andrew Rippin), a problem which began appearing in the 8th century AD., in other words, 200-300 years after the events to which they refer. According to Michael Cook these traditions suddenly started to proliferate by thousands. For example, did the father of the ‘Messenger,’ Abdullah, die very early and left his son an orphan as the compilers of mid to late 8th century (ibn Ishak) have agreed? The truth about his death was not and is not known, and the Moslems give the standard answer, whenever they are hard pressed, ‘God knows best!’ (Cook). As time passed, details became clearer. Vakidî writing in the 9th century (50 years later than the first compilers) gives us not only the date of Abdullah’s passing, but also how he had died,

where he had died, what was his age and the exact place of his burial. According to Michael Cook this growing information is the proof that “a fair amount of what Vakidî knew was not knowledge.” Vakidî is always prepared to give precise vital information where ibn Ishak, who predates him, was unable to furnish. Therefore Patricia Crone is of the opinion that the value of what Vakidî reported “is doubtful in the extreme. And if spurious information accumulated at this rate in the two generations between ibn Ishak and Vakidî, it is hard to avoid the conslusion that even more must have accumulated in the three generations between the Prophet and ibn Ishak.” R. Stephen Humphreys wrote that the Muslim scholars who are aware of this proliferation excuse it by contending that the Muslim religion was beginning to stabilize at this time. Thus, it was natural that the literary works would also begin to appear more numerous. Earlier written material, they say, was no longer relevant for the new Islam, and consequently was either discarded or lost. I have made the following statement many times: If there were earlier written material, surely some of it would have survived. We have written material in the museums coming to us from thousands of years earlier than the period that Moslems refer to. No more words are needed, are they?

HAS THERE EVER BEEN A ‘MESSENGER,’ LIKE THE ONE PRESENTED TO US? Is it possible that there has never been a ‘Messenger’ like the one who is presented to us? Fr. H. Lammens has claimed that once the Sira (Siyer-i Nebî = the ‘Messenger’s biography) is got rid of there is not a single, definite source testifying to the existence of the ‘Messenger.’ So while describing the ‘Messenger’ Dilip Hiro had nothing but the following parameters: “He grew up to be a sturdy man of average height, with a curved nose, large eyes, sensuous mouth and thick, slightly curly hair. He was a quiet man, serious, reflective, given to speaking briefly and pointedly.” Dominican Fr. Thery (AKA Hanna Zakarias) who has furthered the study initiated by Fr. H. Lammens, wrote in his book (Islam under Evaluation) that Qoran did not originate in Arabia at all and its author was a scholar from elsewhere who created the Arab religious language. At this point I refer you back to what I have written under the subtitle ‘Arab-ı Baide’: “The Messenger and/or his scribe and the earliest ‘author’ of the Ismaelite scriptures must have introduced this new language to the desert Arabs as the tongue of the Ismaelite ideology. The Arabs of the desert were not in a position to know this ‘mixed language’.. They had to introduce the diacritical dots and vowels so they could read the Book.”

Therefore it is my belief that who had introduced this language to the desert Arabs (with or without a tutorial help) was the ‘Messenger’ and/or his secretary/scribe and/or the earliest author of the scriptures and/or his followers, all of whom were Ismaelite-Nabataeans.

The final version of Qoran was written in Kufa, Irak, where the 9th century exegetes considered Qoran a book “without a literary antecedent, which in itself was a ‘miracle.’” In his book The Quran is not Arab Fr. Thery wrote: “When the Quranic text and the Sira are compared, the latter are only the babblings of stupid children. The disorder, unlikelihood, and grossness of their legends on the life of the prophet allow the detail and power of this uneven Arabic text stand out marvellously.”

WAS HE A SABIAN? The ‘Messenger’ was of the Sabian conviction. Here, I would like to remind you the story, which I have quoted in this website: “One day Umar ibn al-Hattab has decided to storm the house where ‘Moslems’ were in meeting. As he was approaching the house he met a moderate member of his clan who was also a member of his own family. When this person asked where he was going Umar replied: “I am going to kill Mohamed the Sabiîn (Sabian) who has sown discord in Kureysh (Kureysh were Jews), who makes fun of our ideas, and who insults our religion and God.” By the description ‘sabiîn’ Umar must have meant the faithful of the Sabian belief system, because in those days the word ‘sabian’ was understood as “the believer of a monotheistic sect established in Babylon” by the Arabs of the desert. Some people have proposed that the term sabiîn should be understood as a monotheist. But we know that there has been two other monotheistic belief systems, like Judaism and Christianity, with clear labels. Umar could not have meant anything else but branding the ‘Messenger’ as a ‘sabian.’ Which leaves us no choice but to think that before introducing Islam, the ‘Messenger’ must have been a monotheist of the Sabian creed, who had begun preaching Sabian doctrines in his native land before going to Medina. He must have chosen the Sabianism from the bunch of convictions of his forefathers. He must have done this in a predominantly Jewish community, where there were also Christians, pagans, and Nabataean idolaters. He must have been looked upon as a danger to the society and made to leave or decided to leave on his own accord. I believe that the story about the early life of the ‘Messenger’ in Mekka is a later addition, which was invented to introduce a desert Arab dimension, with the aim of presenting Islam as a belief system of their own, with no connection to anything of northern Arabian origin. This short story about Umar’s rage, which brands the ‘Messenger’ as ‘sabian’ may be trying to tell us that;

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The Mekkans were polytheists before the advent of Islam; The ‘Messenger’ was a ‘monotheist’ (who chose to go back to the original teaching of Av’ram/Abraham. So what, if he was a Moon worshipping Sabian?); The Mekkans had put up a stiff opposition; In the end the ideology of the ‘Messenger’ managed to captivate the Mekkans and converted them to Ismaelite-Mohamedan teaching.

Here I must point out that Judaism shares a lot with Sabianism, which I believe was also the faith of the biblical character called Av’ram. Sabians thought of Sun, Moon and the stars as intermediaries to reach the ‘one’ God. This is the reason why the Jews and Christians have been branded them as pagans and idolaters. But Sabians thought of themselves as ‘monotheists.’ This is the Sabians’ vision of their God:

“The universe has an eternal reason (the first cause - God). It is the only one with no other. It does not proliferate. It does not take any character of the things it caused (created). It made the recognition of its Godhood compulsory for the ones (among the creatures it has created) who attained the ability to choose between the good and evil (persons having wisdom). It has shown everybody the right way and sent them prophets to show them the right way. Prophets are under the obligation of showing the evidence of the God. God has commanded the prophets to call everybody to the right way that would make them happy, and to announce that everyone should save one’s self from His wrath. Those who heed his warnings would reach an endless blessing. Those who do not heed his edicts would be penalized in proportion with what they deserved.”

Omar Ibn’ül Verdi (an Islamic historian) wrote that he had seen a page once, which he claimed to have belonged to the Sabians, and which is said to have contained the ‘address to God’ of the Sabians. Here it is:

“You are such an eternal being that all the chiefs and governorships depend on you. You are the God of all the creatures who are thought of and who exist in the region of senses. You are the chief of the worlds and the shepherd of ‘realms.’ You are the ‘Rabb’ of all the angels and their superiors. Wisdom emanates from you and reaches the governor of the earth. You are the first cause. Your might envelops all those who exist. You are a boundless ‘oneness.’ You are the unfathomable ‘one.’ You are the supervisor of the celestial sovereigns and the sources of light whose lights are eternal. You are the sovereign of sovereigns, who dictates all the good and who forewarns everything through revelations and signs. You caused the creation and development of all the creatures. The order takes the right path with your signal. The lights emanate only from you. You are the oldest cause existing before everything. We request you

purify our selves (spirits). We wish to succeed in winning your blessings. Now and always. Till eternity. O God! Who is pure of all kinds of pollution make our reason sound, and give us health free of all kinds of ailments. Turn our worries into joy. We take refuge in you only, and fear only you. We beg of you to let us succeed in expressing your immensity, which could only be expressed by manifestations. This immensity cannot be expressed by words. Everybody and everything comes from you; everything and realisation of every success depends on you. You are the desire and hope of the worlds. And you are the supporter of all mankind.” If the ‘Messenger’ had adopted and preached the Sabian doctrines in the early days of his ministry, the above quotation must have been the core of the doctrines that he believed in and preached. His choosing of these doctrines and his act establishing Av’ram as his forefather may be taken as an indication that Av’ram was a Sabian as well. If a person named Av’ram has ever lived in the period and region indicated by the Mosaic scripture, he must have been a ‘monotheist’ (in the context understood by the ‘Messenger’) of the Sabian creed. The movement beginning with the Ismaelites and turning into Islam has got its concept of namus (honour) from the Sabians. The origin of namus is the Greek word nomos, which means the law or the religious law. So the people of faith are accepted as honourable. Some orientalists say that the Arabic word namus is an ancient word with many meanings. In order to find the clues to the origin of the ideas relating to the concept of namus one must read again the book written by Zayn’ud Din Ibn’ül Verdi (Tetummet’ül Muhtasar fi Akhbar’il Beşer) where he mentions a page which belonged to the Sabians. This is the translation of that page from Arabic:
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“Refrain from doing anything to your brother that you would not like to have done to you. Do not boast, do not resort to bragging by mentioning your self and virtues. Do not take oaths invoking God’s name when you are telling lies, and never start making vows right away to make someone believe. Be honest so that in your words yes will be a real yes, and no will be a real no. Refrain from causing liars make vows on the name of God. Otherwise you will become a part of their sins, especially when you know that they will go back on their words. Refer everything in you and everybody to God who knows all the secrets. He will be to you a just judge and a defender who shows you the solutions. Avoid uttering superficial, wrong and negative words. Do not cooperate with the persons who are in error. Do not joke too much and laugh too much.

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Do not criticize or reproach anybody. Do not utter negative words when you are angry, because this will put you in disgraceful situations, bringing on you shame and disregard, sin and trouble. He, who conquers his anger, knows his word, purifies his thoughts, and keeps himself clean, will be able to defeat all kinds of evil and wickedness. Be conscious of the blessing. Turn to piety. Make dignity and maturity your habit. Try to decorate yourself with good and agreeable manners. Be balanced in everything you do. Do not rush especially to punish the guilty. Every person should move away immediately from those who take the wrong path, and does evil, strange things. One should not think that one might save oneself while one’s relations with them continue. Let us suppose that one has managed to cover up one’s doings in this world; but one should not doubt that one’s guilt will come out into the open in front of everybody in the ‘day of religion’ (in the nether world).”

THE ‘MESSENGER’S NATIVE LAND AND HIS COMMUNITY An Arab culture had sprung from the southern Sinai region about 600 BC., and a second one from the land of Edom in Jordan about 400 BC. They were the Edomites and Nabataeans. They lived around the Dead Sea (Sea of Araba), and had a close relationship, because both communities claimed a female line of descent from Ismael (son of Av’ram). So they were Ismaelites. The group that the ‘Messenger’ had assembled was initially called the Ismaelites. Is this a coincidence? Classical authors refer to a people called the Nabatu situated along the western edge of the Arabian Peninsula. They have reached Sala (Petra), the southernmost stronghold of the biblical Edomites, and settled there. It is likely that the majority of the Edomites have moved westward to settle in southern Judah and became known as the ‘Idumaeans’, while some remained behind in Edom. Eventually, the merging of the Edomites who had stayed in the region with the Nabatu is thought to have led to the formation of the historical Nabataeans. Relations between the Idumaeans and the Nabataeans must have continued, as illustrated by the family of Herod the Great, whose father was an Idumaean and mother a Nabataean. The Nabataeans had set up their capital in Sala (‘rock’, the ‘Rock Mountain’), which in Latin is Petra. Nabataeans came into contact with a great change when they moved to Edom. The whole of the Near East was becoming Hellenized. They called themselves the ‘yashaby sala’. The meaning of this term is given as the ‘mountain dwellers’, the ‘Arabs of the mountain.’ But the resemblance between the word ‘yashaby’

and the Arabic word ‘ashab-ı’ (‘those who belong to,’ ‘those who own,’ ‘those who have’) is taken into account we get a better meaning of it, and the close affinity with the Arabic comes to the fore. The Nabataeans wrote in Aramaic, which was the lingua franca for the whole region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Euphrates. Nabataeans were the ‘fathers’ of the Arabs of today. Ismaelite tribes have dominated the area between the Sinai, the Arabia Deserta, South of the Dead Sea and the land of the Israelites. These were the Ad and Thamud peoples, Amalekites, Midianites, and the Nabataeans. The Nabataean kingdom was the dominant power in the North and northwest of the Arabia Deserta between 312 BC.-106 AD. They were overcome by the Romans, but managed to survive until the time of the events described in Qoran. As their kingdom started to decline some of the Nabataeans left the Roman territory and moved - amongst other places - to Medina. These newcomers to Medina have influenced the area of linguistics, and also the religion. Don’t forget that Medina is considered as the native city of the ‘Messenger’s mother by the Islamic literature. Nabataeans worshipped a whole series of Gods, some of whom either appear in Qoran, or played a role in the birth of the Ismaelite-Mohamedan ideology. We are told that the dominant pre-Islamic Mekkan religious customs can appropriately be linked to the Nabataean belief system. Herodotus wrote that the Arabs worshipped Alilat as sole deity. Al-ILAT or al-Lat (‘the Goddess’) was known in all the pantheons. Al-ILAT is visualised as a daughter or a consort (depending on the region) of al-Lah (‘Lah the God’), who is said to have been the Lord of the Ka’ba in Mekka in those days. Al-ILAT is also named in the Thamudic texts. alILAT/al-Lat formed a trio with the Goddesses al-Uzza (‘the Powerful’) and Manat (or Manawat=‘Destiny’). The temple in Sala (Sela, Petra) is said to be the most important Nabataean temple discovered until our time. The excavation work revealed that the temple was dedicated to the goddess al-Lat/Allat. Amongst the Nabataeans al-Uzza was the consort of Kutba or al-Aktab (‘the Scribe’=Mercury). Manat was depicted as destiny in the Nabataean iconography. These three Goddesses were called the ‘Daughters of al-Lah’ in the pre-Islamic Mekka, and they are mentioned in Qoran 53:19-22. In South Arabia they were called the ‘Daughters of IL’. The indoctrinators of the Ismaelite ideology are thought to have incorporated some elements of their own ideology into Islam when the ‘Messenger’ founded his own religon. Nabataeans were expert camel traders, carrying goods to and from the Arabian Peninsula. The Nabataean deities were introduced to southern Arabia when these Nabataean traders and others who had to leave their land for various reasons settled in different parts of the Peninsula. These three Goddesses were worshipped in Sala (Petra) and the Nabataean lands. It is safe to assume that these idols were in the sacred shrines (Ka’bas) all around the region. Because “it was profitable to build a Ka’ba (a sacred shrine) in these market towns so that

the people coming to market could also do their pilgrimage or penitence to the idols contained within” (Crone-Cook). The Ka’ba in Mekka was just another sacred shrine. All these ‘sacred shrines’/ka’bas, the one in Mekka as well, were open to all cults and beliefs, and they had specific rules ensuring the free passage for all. These pre-Islamic Arab cultures were constructing personal names by incorporating the name of their deity. Examples of the names incorporating ‘alLah’ as a suffix are Garm’allah (‘God decided’), Aush’allah (God’s covenant), Shalm’allah (God’s peace), Shalm’allat (Goddess’ peace), Amat’allahi (God’s female servant), Halaf’allah (God’s successor), Vahab’allah (gift of Allah), Abd’allah (Allah’s slave/servant). What is the lesson we get from here? The people of Sala (Nabataeans) knew already the word ‘al-Lah’, which is the name Moslems use for God - Allah. Could this be another clue to the ‘Messenger’s origin? The proper names of the Nabataeans are North Arabic; even more importantly, they show a characteristic that is typical of the Arabs - the article al or el. In the majority of the Semitic languages, the article used is ha. The Nabataeans have disseminated across the region their article al or el and other characteristics of their language, thus allowed the passing of Aramaic to Arabic. The Aramaic speaking Nabataeans had created a new writing form to add to those in use, which has later evolved into the Arabic writing that is still in use today. That ancient Arabic is reportedly still inscribed at Petra and Medain Salih. Therefore, the Arabic of today was invented by the Nabataeans, and travelled south towards Hijaz. Nabataeans were very successful in trading and by the first century AD. they have become the number one merchants in the Mediterranean. They were supreme in the trade in an area from Damascus in the North to Medain Salih in the South (this makes Nabataeans the successors to Thamud), throughout the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, and the Roman lands to the West.

THE ‘MESSENGER’ COMES TO MEDINA - THE HICRA The native town of the ‘Messenger’ and his family was most probably a town in the land of Midian within Nabataea, where the Nabataean culture has become dominant. My guess is that it was a town in the valley of Hicr. Al Hicr is the place forbidden and declared a prohibited area by the ‘Messenger.’ It is also an area that is ‘abandoned’/‘left behind.’ Under the Roman rule the rich Nabataean families have migrated to the big cities of the Roman Empire, with the not so rich or poor left behind. They were mainly involved with trade in general and camel trade in particular. The ‘Messenger’s

family must be one of those left behind, and their town must have lost its previous importance and brilliance. There must have been oppression as well. The ‘Messenger’ must have begun preaching in this environment. His messages must have been based mainly on the faith of Av’ram (Moon cult), because he chose Av’ram as his patriarch. In other words he must have been preaching the teachings of the Sabian belief system. His references to the Sabian doctrine may have been crude because of their transmission by the word of mouth. To these he must have added some of the basic doctrines of the Samaritan Torah. The references in Qoran to Moon, Sun and stars; and the statements like ‘the people who have the book and who believe in the judgment day’ must be taken as attestations to the Sabian and Samaritan connections. There might have been some bits and pieces of borrowings from Christianity, and the Zoroastrian dualism as well. His messages might have been like the ones between Qoran 110-114 in the beginning. In fact these verses may have been amongst the first messages delivered by the ‘Messenger’ in those early days. For instance the first sura has definitely an ancient Mosaic flavour. The authorities and followers of the other belief systems must have made life difficult for the ‘Messenger,’ who in the end must have felt the need to leave or made to leave the Nabataean lands. He must have severed his ties with his native town, and taking his family and a small group of followers with him he must have gone South towards the Arabian Peninsula. Moreover we are told that the ‘Messenger’ belonged to the Kureysh tribe of Medina/Yathrib/Yesrib. Did he really? The ‘’Messenger’ in reference to the reception given to him by the Kureysh (supposedly his tribe), is reported to have said that Kureysh had slighted him once, calling him ‘müzemmem’ (the ‘condemned’) but he was Muhammed (the ‘praised,’ ‘the beloved’). When these two words are presented in a single sentence in this context, and if one of the words is a description (‘müzemmem’), the other one (‘muhammed’) must also be a description. Here, the ‘Messenger’ does not say that his name is Muhammed, but he uses that word as a description. It is like the title ‘messiah’=‘the anointed one.’ Therefore I am of the opinion that;

Muhammed is not his name but a label, a portrayal.

Secondly, Kureysh would label one of its members as ‘condemned’ only;
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If that person is a foreigner, who was accepted into the tribe by the initiative of an eminent person, who is presented as one of his relatives; If that person was preaching also something contrary to their beliefs.

In my opinion both cases are valid. I believe that the southernmost place the core of the Kureysh (which was a Jewish tribe) had travelled and settled was Medina.

The tribe of Kureysh was not from the Arabia Deserta or Arabia Felix. They must have been living in the region on the border of northwest Arabia, in Midian. The migration of the ‘Messenger’ and his family and/or followers from their native town to Medina must have been the real Hicra - the breaking off with the native town (Qoran 29:56). The Arab ideology presents this as moving from Mekka to Medina. I see this as an attempt by the Mekkans to take over the IsmaeliteMohamedan movement, which would give them an identity, and a ‘place’ amongst the ‘believers of the Book.’ According to ibn Ishak only 70 people joined the ‘Messenger’ in this ‘brake with the native land’ (Hicra). But ibn Ishak believes also that the Hicra was from Mekka to Medina. At this point remember Qoran 33:27, where it is written that the land which the ‘Messenger’ hadn’t stepped on yet was Mekka. Therefore the later authors and editors of the story of Islam must have rewritten the story to cleanse the Ismaelite-Mohamedan movement off of its northern Arabian connections, and to substitute Mekka for that place of origin. This is the summary: The group called themselves Ismaelites. They considered themselves as the descendants of Av’ram through Ismael. The place which a very small group of people, (who may have been only the members of the ‘Messenger’s family and a few of his closest followers) had left behind could not have been Mekka, because they were not Mekkans. This fact is noted also by the official Islamic literature: The Kureysh tribe is not from Mekka, but Medina. There is a perplexing aspect in this ‘breaking off’ story: If Kureysh was a Medinan tribe and the ‘Messenger’ was one of them why didn’t they receive him when he moved to Medina from his native town, but the Evs and Khazraj tribes gave them the reception he had deserved? The truth is apparent. The ‘Messenger’ and his group were not Kureyshis originally, but accepted into the tribe later on. There are scholars who maintain that there are no Arab documents about Hicra dating to the 7th century AD. The Greek and Syriac materials reportedly refer to this era as that of the Arabs. But two Nestorian ecclesiastical documents from 676 A.D. and 680 A.D., which are mentioned by these scholars, give us the starting point of Hicra as the emigration of the Ishmaelites not within Arabia, but from Arabia to the Promised Land, possibly outside of Arabia (Crone-Cook). Patricia Crone, in her article entitled The First Century Concept of Higra, lists 57 attestations which come from within and without the Muslim tradition, which point to a Hicra, or exodus, not from Mecca to Medina, but from Arabia to the North, or to the surrounding garrison cities. But I feel that it would be right for me to stick to my theory that;

There was a Hicra from al Hicr, Midian to Medina, which is transformed by the Arabs of the desert into a movement from Mekka to Medina and presented as such in Qoran. I am not sure of the date of this ‘real’ Hicra,

which should be obviously earlier than the year given as the date of Hicra - 622 AD. Desert Arabs must have done this to convert the IsmaeliteMohamedan movement into a Mekka origined belief system. The Hicra mentioned in Qoran and dated to 622 AD. must have been originally the movement from Medina towards North, to capture Bakka, Palestine.

ISMAELITES, HAGARENES, HACARÎ N, HACIRÎ N These Ismaelites are called also Hagarenes, Hagarians (‘descendants of Hagar’), and also Hacarîn, Hacirîn (‘those who broke off’, ‘those who performed hicra’, ‘those who have abandoned’). Jews and many Christian Arabs have reportedly helped the Ismaelites in their conquests. According to John of Phenek (690 AD.) there were many Christians, some Monophysites and Melchites, and some Nestorians among the first Arab conquerors. The words ‘moslem’ and ‘islam’ were not in use in the early days of the movement, and they don’t appear in the inscriptions of those days. The first mention of the label ‘moslem’ could be seen in the latter years of the 7th century AD. (Cook; Crone-Cook) in the inscriptions on the walls of the Dome of the Rock, which was constructed in 691 AD., 60 years after the death of the ‘Messenger’ (van Berchem; Crone-Cook). Qoran uses the term ‘moslem,’ but the 7th century documents reportedly show that this term was not known during the life of the ‘Messenger,’ which consequently seems to add more credence to the claims that the ideology and as a result the Qoranic text have undergone an editorial evolution. The same applies to Moses who was an Egyptian and had nothing to do with the later Judaism; and also to Yshua who was a Jew and had nothing to do with the Christianity. All right, then what was the name used until the appearance of the ‘moslem’ label? The Syriac letters of bishop Isho’yabb III (or Iso’yahb III) from as early as the 640s AD. seem to indicate that the early Mohamedans were called mahgre or mahgraye (Rubens Duval). A Greek papyri of 642 AD. referred to them as magaritai (Avraham Grohman). Writing in Syriac Athanasius in 684 AD. used the name maghrayes in referring to the Arabs. Yakob of Edessa in 705 AD. called them hagarenes. The Doctrina Jacobi referred to them as saracens (N. Bonwetsch; M. Cook). In his article on the internet David Ross takes up the earliest Greek source on the Ismaelite conquests, the Doctrina Jacobi nuper baptizati (abbr. Doctrina Jacobi), which is about a dialogue that apparently took place on 13 July 634 AD., between Jacob, a recent compulsory convert to Christianity, and several Jews. Here David Ross deals with the Doctrina Jacobi according to Walter Emil Kaegi Jr.’s quotes from N. Botwetsch: “Justus said, my brother Abraham of Caesarea

wrote to me saying that a deceiving prophet appeared among the Saracens. [I referred the matter to an old scribe:] ‘What do you tell me, lord and teacher, concerning the prophet who has appeared among the Saracens?’ And the scribe told me, with much groaning, ‘He is deceiving. For do prophets come with swords and chariot? Verily these events of today are works of confusion... Yet depart, Lord Abraham, and learn about the prophet who has appeared.’ And taking more than enough pains about it, I, Abraham, ... heard from the followers of the prophet that you will discover nothing true from the said prophet except human bloodshed. And beside it, he denies the keys to paradise, which is impossible to believe.’ These things my brother Abraham wrote me, Justus, from the east.” Therefore contrary to what the code Book of Islam says in Sura 33:35, it seems that the term ‘moslem’ was not in use until late 7th century AD. (Crone-Cook). So what is the origin of these descriptions? The appearance of the terms mahgre, mahgraye, magaritai, and hagarene are found as far afield as Egypt and Irak (Crone-Cook). Let us explore the corresponding Arabic terms: hâcir is the ‘one who emigrates’; hâcirîn, muhacirîn are the plurals of the word, meaning ‘emigrants.’ The root letters in mahgre, mahgraye are ‘m’, ‘h’, ‘g’, ‘r’. The root letters in muhacir, muhacirîn in Arabic is ‘m’, ‘h’, ‘c’, ‘r.’ The sound of letter ‘c’ is given by ‘g’ in the other words. Ismaelite-Mohamedans chose patriarch Av’ram as their point of origin. Av’ram (Abraham, Ibrahim) himself was an emigrant, a hâcir, wasn’t he? He is supposed to have emigrated from the city of ‘Ur’ (Ur=Urfa in southeast Turkey) to Haran, then to Palestine. Hagar, Av’ram’s slave, who gave birth to Ismael was also an emigrant, a hâcir. So both of them were hâcirîn (emigrants). Some researchers point also to the similarity between the words hâcirîn, Hacarîn and hagarene (‘followers of Hagar’, ‘descendants of Hagar’, ‘of Hagar’), and maintain that these early conquerors were called hagarenes. The root letters of these words are also identical: ‘h’, ‘g’, ‘r’ or ‘h’, ‘g’, ‘r’, ‘n’ in Hagar and hagarene respectively; ‘h’, ‘c’, ‘r’ or ‘h’, ‘c’, ‘r’, ‘n’ in hâcir or hâcirîn/hâcerîn (the sound of letter ‘c’ in Arabic is given by the sound of ‘g’). Furthermore Hagar is Hacar in Arabic. According to the story in the Mosaic scriptures Hacar was taken to the desert against her will and left there with her son Ismael. The bond between her master and the family she was serving was severed. So, starting with the root of the word, ‘hcr’, which is also the root of ‘hâcîr’ (‘the one who broke off/were separated’, ‘the one who has migrated’), we can say that Hacar herself is a symbol of breaking off, separation, severance, splitting, and being abandoned. Therefore both Av’ram and Hagar have also taken part in a ‘break’/ Hicra of their own. While the outside circles called the ‘Messenger’s movement with the labels mentioned above, the members of the movement were calling themselves

mümîn, müminûn (‘faithful’,‘faithfuls’) in the beginning. But with the initiation of the conquests these labels were replaced by moslem, muselman, musluman, muslumânân (‘those who surrendered’). This change of the labels must have been done concurrently with the change in the outlook of the invaders:

The God of the Ismaelite movement and His belief system were transformed from a God and a religion for the Arabs into a God for the whole of the creation - an omnipotent creator - and a belief system for the whole of the mankind.

The imperialist Arab invaders needed peoples who were ‘surrendering’ to the earthly ‘right arm’ of the Supreme Overeseer - the Arabs themselves. THE ‘MESSENGER’ IS IN MEDINA AND THE ISMAELITE DOCTRINE EMERGES The ‘Messenger’ and the group with him have settled in Medina. That was the place to settle, because as its name tells us it was a ‘city.’ The other places in the South were insignificant. Mekka must have been a lesser place or unknown by the members of the movement, because there is no mention of it in Qoran. But I must point out that especially in the very latest texts of the Book and in the latest translations Mekka has replaced Bakka based on the claims that Bakka was a different pronunciaton of Mekka and/or the earlier name of the place. This process goes hand in hand with the rise in the influence of the Sunnî Islam of the desert Arabs, centred in Mekka. Ibn Ishak (Sira) relates that in those early days of the Ismaelite-Mohamedan doctrines, Jews used to assemble in the mosque and listen to the stories of the early believers (not yet called ‘moslems’), and laughed and scoffed at their religion. In the memoirs of Joannes Damascenus (St. John of Damascus - a GreekOrthodox adherent in Syria) we have useful information on the early days of the Ismaelite-Mohamedan movement. Here in a paragraph the leader of the movement is described in the writer’s words as the ‘founder of a heresy.’ The founder of this particular ‘heresy’ is presented as a “pseudo-prophet named Mamed;
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" Who based his teaching on the Old and New Testaments; Who was probably conversing with (or consulting or being taught by) an Arian; Who had set up a heresy of his own; Who had adopted an appearance of a religious person as a pretense in his dealings with the people; Who claimed that he had received divine material from heaven;

Who had with him a book in which there are things ‘worthy of laughter’ etc.”

As to the suggestion that he had a teacher, the Nestorian tradition maintains that the ‘Messenger’s tutor was a Nestorian monk named Sergius Bhira (Arabs call him Bahira). From these notes we get the impression that this person called Mamed (who had set up a heresy of his own) was preaching something which was based on, but ‘different’ from Christianity. This could be a personal observation. By the word ‘heresy’ St. John could have meant the establishment of a personal sect, and being a Christian himself St. John could have seen ‘Mamed’s action as a Christian ‘heresy,’ which I believe is doubtful, because Mosaic principles have the central point in the Islamic ideology. Moreover with the adoption of certain doctrines from the Samaritan Torah the ‘Messenger’s movement could have been considered also a Judaic heresy. This may be the result of a ‘growing’ ideology, and in the beginning bits and pieces from Mosaic doctrines and Christianity seem to be natural. Why would this ‘Mamed’ put on a pretense of a religious person in his dealings with the people? It is simple, religion was the most influential ‘tool’ in capturing people and building a ‘following.’ Would an appearance of a camel trader, or a scholar, or a street sweeper have made the same impact with a messenger who promised immortality and a God-like existence? No! That’s that. Medina must have had a population mainly of Jews. There must have been groups of Christians, Mandeans, Sabians, Zoroastrians, polytheists and pagans living there. Out of the foreigners, who were mostly previous idolaters, those who had accepted ‘Judaism’ were granted by the rabbis the same rights as the Jews living in the Jewish lands. They were only asked to follow the ‘seven commandments to the descendants of Noah’= The Noahide Covenant. The ‘Messenger’ must have integrated the ‘seven commandments to the descendants of Noah’ into his teaching as soon as he became aware of the practice. These are the seven of the Ten Commandments of the Mosaic scriptures. The ‘Messenger’ must have found them useful. He and the small group around him must have adopted them in addition to the Sabian doctrines they believed in. It is my belief that the appearance of the Sabian doctrines in Islam is the end result of the Ismaelite movement. Noahide Covenant appears also in Qoran. Read 15:87: “We have given you seven of the mesanî and this great Qoran,” and Qoran 39:23 makes it clear that the mesanî and Qoran are separate: “..has given the best of words in a book (Qoran) resembling the mesanî.” Let us remember that some Moslem scholars in their translations of Qoran have substituted the

word mesanî with the definition “seven of the pairs” as their personal interpretation. Ten Commandments, called aseret hadevarim in Hebrew, and deka logoi (decalogue=ten words) in Greek were supposedly engraved on two stone slabs. Commandments are thought to have been two/four words each, which actually means two sets of two/four words or ‘pairs.’ The ‘seven commandments to the descendants of Noah,’=the Noahide Covenant, which I believe is the mesanî is actually the seven of the Ten Commandments appearing in Qoran. Now let us remember these Commandments. Following six are from the ‘ethical decalogue’ in Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21 in the Mosaic scriptures:
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Be virtuous (Qoran 17:34) Don’t renounce God (Qoran 17:23) Don’t worship idols (Qoran 17:22) Don’t be iniquitous (Qoran 17:32) Don’t kill (Qoran 17:33) Don’t steal (Qoran 17:35)

The 7th commandment is from the ‘ritual decalogue’ in Exodus 34:14-26;

Don’t eat blood (‘You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven’) (Qoran 2:173; 5:3)

Therefore we can say that the Ismaelite teaching of those days was a mixture of the Sabian doctrines, some basic principles of the Mosaic scriptures, the Noahide Covenant; and there might have been bits and pieces from Christianity and Zoroastrianism as well. It is known that the Jewish scholars and clerics in those days were suspicious of the claims that the ‘Messenger’ was also the messenger of their God and had difficulty in accepting the ‘Messenger’ as a genuine prophet. They thought that they were the owners of the oldest code Book, Torah/Tavrat. They have started asking all kinds of questions to the Jewish scholars about the ‘Messenger,’ his Book and his teaching. These Jewish authorities were also the target of questions arising from the suspicions about the correspondence between the ‘Messenger’s rules and Mosaic scriptures. In short, they were feeling extreme unease for being pushed into confirming this new religion and having to shut their eyes to the alteration and mutilation of the narrations in the Old Testament. But the ‘Messenger’ must have managed to gather the Jews and the other Arabian tribes around his doctrines. He must have done it by introducing the Arabic line of descent from Av’ram through Ismael together with the promise of toppling the Roman rule and getting back the ‘Promised Land’ and the ‘house of God’/Beyt-u Elah of Av’ram.

There are references to his announcing of the coming of the Messiah in nonMoslem sources. With those references in my mind, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me that he had actually tried to present himself as the Messiah. There is an Armenian chronicle from around 660 AD., which is ascribed by some to Bishop Sebeos. In it the chronicler describes how the ‘Messenger’ had established a community which comprised of both Ismaelites and Jews, and that their common platform was their common descent from Av’ram; the Arabs via Ismael, and the Jews via Isaac (Sebeos; Crone-Cook; Cook). The chronicler believed that the ‘Messenger’ had endowed both communities with a birthright to the Holy Land, while simultaneously providing them with a monotheist genealogy (Crone-Cook). Patricia Crone and Michael Cook wrote that this is not without precedent, as the idea of an Ismaelite birthright to the Holy Land was discussed and rejected earlier in the Genesis Rabba (61:7) in the Babylonian Talmud and in the Book of Jubilees. But now the ‘Messenger,’ as the final messenger of the sole God, was laying claim to that birthright once again. This theory seems to be authenticated by the document known as the Constitution of Medina. In this document the Jews appear as forming one community (‘umma’) with the believers despite the retention of their own religion and are distributed nameless among a number of Arab tribes (A. Guillaume; Crone-Cook). Since, “the Constitution of Medina is plausibly one of the most archaic elements of the Islamic tradition, its agreement with the earliest external accounts of the origins of Islam is highly significant” (Crone-Cook). The unreliability of the Arabic literary sources is a known fact. The recent studies about the Arabic written sources show that these are “self-indulgent, unreliable pieces of narration created by the faithful.” They are branded as a form of ‘salvation history’ (sacred history) full of fictitious detail. For instance, according to an inscription, Lawrence Conrad was able to fix The ‘Messenger’’s birth as 552 AD. and not 570 AD. Patricia Crone conclude that the ‘Messenger’s career took place not in Mekka but hundreds of kilometers to the North. Yehuda Nevo and Judith Koren find that the classical Arabic language was developed not in today’s Saudi Arabia but in the Levant, and that it reached Arabia only through the colonizing efforts of one of the early caliphs. These propositions inevitably lead to shocking conclusions (for Moslems): The Arab tribesmen of the conquests in the 7th century were not Moslems, (Judith Koren-Yehuda Nevo), they could have been pagans. On the contrary I believe that these Arabs (Ismaelites) were not pagans but Sabians. I must draw your attention to the fact that Sabianism (hanifiyyun-hunefa of Arabs) was paganism in the eyes of the Jews and Christians.

John Wansbrough suggests that the Qoran is a not “a product of the ‘Messenger’ or even of Arabia”, but “a collection of earlier Judaeo-Christian liturgical materials stitched together to meet the needs of a later age.” Most broadly, ibn-al Rawandi stated that “there was no Islam as we know it” until two or three hundred years after the traditional version has it (more like 830 AD. than 630 AD.). ibn-al Rawandi claims that Islam was developed not in the distant deserts of Arabia but through the interaction of Arab conquerors and their more civilized subject peoples. Patricia Crone and Michael Cook go even further and doubt even the existence of the Arab ‘Messenger.’ I would like to modify this statement and add “as we know him through the scriptures.” Scholars conclude that we can only be sure that a ‘Mohamed’ did live in the 620s and 630s AD.; that he was a brave warrior who led his followers to many victories, and that the names of some people and battles have been preserved. These early ‘moslems’ or proto-Moslems were most probably a band formed by the Ismaelite-Mohamedans, Jews, idolaters and pagans around the Sabian, Mosaic, and some Christian and Zoroastrian principles, enveloped especially by the Noahide Covenant.

The ‘Messenger’ had to give weight to the Sabian and Mosaic doctrines because of his self-proclaimed connection with Av’ram through Ismael, and his self-identification with the predominantly Mosaic environment, which should be considered only natural; but he also kept bits and pieces from the Nabataean idolatry. This mixture was compelling to a certain extent, due to his tribal lineage, which included Jews, Sabians, polytheists and Nabataeans.

THE ‘MESSENGER’ ANNOUNCES ‘KIBLA’ Qoran 3:96 must be the declaration made by the ‘Messenger’ when he announced the kıbla: “The first Beyt (House of God) established to be a source of abundance for the realms and a guide for the people is the one in Bakka. There are clear signs, Ibrahim’s stone (Makam-ı Ibrahim) is there. Those who enter the place will be secure. Pilgrimage there by those who can afford the journey is a duty men owe to Allah.” Ismaelite-Mohamedans (proto-Moslems) have turned North in their prayers and aligned their mosques accordingly. But where did they turn in the North? Their self-proclaimed Abrahamic-Ismaelite connection with the Jews made everyone jump to the conclusion that the place Ismaelites held sacred was Yerushalayim

and the mount Moriya (where supposedly Av’ram attempted to sacrifice his son). As a result of these hasty conclusions it was generally thought that Yerushalayim was the first kıbla of the Ismaelites. No one had realised that Yerushalayim and mount Moriya were the sacred places especially for the kingdom of Judah. But the Abrahamic-Ismaelite sacred ‘place,’ the original Abrahamic sacred shrine, was in Shechem (Nablus) of the Samaritans, in the land of the former kingdom of Israel to the North. If we break down the announcement in Qoran 3:96, which established the first kıbla the following is what we get:
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The first Beytullah=the ‘House of God’ is in Bakka; Wherein we have the stone of Abraham. Those who enter the place will be secure; Pilgrimage there is a duty for men.

Yerushalayim has never been called Bakka. There is no ‘place’ in Yerushalayim with that name. If we stick to the Old Testament and Judaism we cannot solve this problem. Therefore, we have to look to another Torah, the one which the Samaritans had 'with them' for a solution. Now some crucial points to remember:
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• • • • • • •

It is thought that the early Ismaelite-Jewish movement under the leadership of the ‘Messenger’ had its sight on Palestine and al Kuds. The movement is thought to have acted in line with its declared birthright on the ‘land of God’ and the ‘city of God’ in it. These places are thought to be Palestine and Al Kuds (Yerushalayim). Consequently, Yerushalayim was accepted as the ‘city of Av’ram.’ The ‘Sahra’ (rock) on mount Moriya was ‘established’ as the stone of Av’ram/Abraham. The Mosaic principles had a special place in the ‘Messenger’s messages. Psalms are thought to have been one of the sources of the Islamic literature. The ‘Messenger’ in those early days was reportedly proclaiming the coming of the Messiah. The ‘Messenger’ together with his followers were observing the ‘seven commandments to the descendants of Noah’=Noahide Covenant=Mesanî. In this environment Yerushalayim was thought as the first kıbla declared by the ‘Messenger’ (But 3:96 of Qoran clearly states that the sacred shrine was in Bakka!).

Here we could mention the ‘Baca’ of the Psalm 84:6-7 which has been proposed as the Baka/Bakka of Qoran: “Blessed are they that dwell in your house: They will be still praising thee. Blessed is the man whose strength is in you; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a

well (they gather there in great numbers); the rain also fills the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appears before God.” This Baca theme definitely does not fit the Qoranic statement on Baka/Bakka. We may extend the list but this is sufficient to show that the orientation of the movement was North, towards Palestine, both physically and spiritually. Yerushalayim and Palestine was the land promised to the Hebrews (later Jews) who were the 'brothers' of the Arabs. Therefore if one brother had a right on Palestine and Yerushalayim, the other brother also had the same right, which could easily be described as a family affair. From his standpoint the ‘Messenger’ had legitimate reasons for chosing a spot as the first kıbla in Palestine. This first kıbla was called Bakka. Since then there have been staunch supporters of the proposition that Bakka was the earlier name or a different pronunciation of Mekka. Arabs of the desert made sure this proposition gained popular backing because they wanted to cover up the truth to accomplish their particular aspirations. Yerushalayim was established as the only candidate for kıbla in Palestine. But the crucial questions were never asked, or if they were asked, we were never told of the answers:

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The scriptures of the ‘Messenger’ stated clearly that the first kıbla was Bakka. Who did present Yerushalayim as the first kıbla? The Mekka origined Islamic literature. Could we say that this wrong presentation was an act to conceal the real kıbla in Bakka? Yes we could. Could we say that there has never been a change of kıbla from Bakka to Yerushalayim? Yes we could. Could we say that the change was not actual but in literature only? Yes we could. Could there have been another conceivable reason to present (although wrongly) Yerushalayim as the first kıbla? Yes, to win over Jews. Could this presentation of Yerushalayim as the first kıbla be an act by the Arabs of the North to penalize the Mekkans, who were opposing the original teaching of the ‘Messenger’? Yes it could be. Could the competition between the northern Arabs and the Mekkans for supremacy within the movement have played a role in this wrong presentation? Yes it could.

Here are a few extra questions:
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Could the direction of the kıbla be changed when the location of the ‘house of God’ remains the same? No! Is it possible that there have been more than one ‘house of God’? No! Are we to understand that the messengers or their followers were given the authority to choose their ‘sacred shrines’ as they wished? No!

Then could we say that the North-South conflict and the quarrels of all sorts within the movement have led to the ‘omission’ of the majority of the original Ismaelite-Hagarene-Mohamedan doctrines? Yes! Are we right to say that this ‘process’ has led to a developing Book of Islam? Yes!

There was a first kıbla in Bakka as declared in Qoran. Then came the kıbla in Yerushalayim (presented wrongly and on purpose, as the first kıbla) as the story of Islam has developed. In this progression Mekka looks like the last and third kıbla, but it was the second one created artificially by the desert Arabs. Yerushalayim was a misunderstanding, which the desert Arabs accepted with gratitude, because it was instrumental in covering up the truth, which otherwise would have destroyed the tale of Mekka. There was no mention of Mekka in the beginning, because the Ismaelites had no connection with Mekka, they had no interest in that place. They did not have it in their scope. That is why there are only a few references in Qoran to the ‘sacred shrine’ in Mekka (Ka’ba). Ka’ba and Mekka were given the unjustified attention years after the ‘Messenger’ by the writers and editors, who were mainly the Arabs of the desert. The original Ismaelites were from Arabia Petraea, and their emphasis on Palestine was interpreted as a spiritual connection with Palestine and the ‘city Kadesh’ (al Kuds, Yerushalayim) was pinned wrongly as their kıbla. The ‘city Kadesh’ (Yerushalayim/al Kuds) was a ready-made candidate. Since the ‘Messenger’ had declared himself and his followers as the progeny of Abraham through his son Ismael, the ‘rock’/sahra on the Temple Mount is accepted as the place of attempted sacrifice of Isaac (Ismael for Moslems) by his father Av’ram. Therefore it must have been thought as the perfect location for the kıbla to turn for prayers. Thus the ‘makam-ı Ibrahim’ (Abraham’s stone=Sahra) was established as a feature of the Beyt (‘house of God’) on Zion in Yerushalayim. Jews have believed that sahra was the centre of the world. So everything seemed to fall in place. What a gross mistake! No one really thought about the possible inevitable consequences of the meaning of the Bakka in Qoran. When Yerushalayim fell to the Ismaelites Safronius handed the keys to caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab, who entered the city as the conqueror in 637 AD., (there is no consensus on the year) and reportedly went to the Temple Mount and declared the place a sacred prayer ground for the ‘Moslems.’ A small mascid/prayer house was reportedly built there immediately, which was enlarged around 670 AD. to hold 3000 people, and eventually it became the Aksa mosque. Another place of veneration (Dome of the Rock=Kubbet-üs Sahra) was built in 691 AD. Sahra is the name given to the ‘rock’ that is enclosed in this structure. At this point I have to mention the interesting research done by Ya’akov Ofir, who claims that the Dome of the Rock was built in 691 AD. for the Jews as their ‘last

house’ of prayer by their ally Abd al Malik, the Umayyad ruler of Damascus. Abd al Malik controlled also the land of Israel in those days. The Jews who built the house reportedly believed that their redemption had already come. Therefore Ofir concludes that the Dome of the Rock is a Jewish building. Which means that the Dome of the Rock has never been used as a Moslem mascid, and even today, when the Arabs pray on the Temple Mount they do it in the Aksa mosque. Ya’akav Ofir maintains that the pro-Jewish ruler, Abd al Malik, never built a mosque on the Temple Mount. Rather, he ordered his subjects to pray in the beautiful underground entrance to the Temple Mount behind the Hulda Gates. Abd al Malik was reportedly called ‘the Righteous’ by the Jews of the time but a ‘kâfîr’ (unbeliever, infidel) by the Islamic historians. Moslems had replaced his name with the Abbasid al Mamum in the writings in the Dome. The ‘sahra’ (rock) was considered the ‘navel’ of the earth. Therefore could we say that the Dome of the Rock represented this ‘navel’? Abd al Malik has reportedly given the Jews the right to manage the affairs of the Temple Mount. He allowed them to light the candles in the Dome of the Rock and in the place where his subjects prayed in the hall of the Hulda Gates. He returned the Temple Mount to the Jews. Interestingly, even the coins that he minted were similar to the Jewish coins of the time of the Hasmoneans. The Jews who visited the Temple Mount in the early days of the Ismaelite occupation have reportedly spoken of a Jewish house of prayer there. This is mentioned in ‘A House of Prayer and Midrash for the Jews on the Temple Mount in the Days of the Arabs’ by ben Tzion Dinur, who records the very early testimonies of Jews in his article. These testimonies make clear that the Jews were evicted from the Temple Mount at a later period in Arab history.

Rabbi Avraham bar Chia Hanassi is reported to have stated that “the Ismaelite kings had the good habit of allowing Israel to come to the Temple Mount and to build there a house of prayer and Midrash.” Also, ben Yerucham (the Karait) is reported as saying that “after the Ishmaelites occupied Yerushalayim they gave permission to Israel to enter the Temple Mount to live there. They gave them the courtyards of the house of God and they prayed there for many years..Later they were evicted.”

Here is another testimony related to the Temple Mount by the Armenian, Sebeos: “After the Jews had for some time enjoyed help from the Arabs, they decided to rebuild Solomon’s Temple. They discovered the site of the Holy of Holies and they built a house of prayer for themselves on the foundation of the Temple using the remains of the Temple.” So, after the destruction of the Second Temple, evidently Jews had the complete control of the Temple Mount and they used the remains of the Temple to build a house of prayer for themselves. We are told that the remains of the Temple can be seen included in the Dome of the Rock. Maimonides has written that in 1165 he visited Yerushalayim and went up on to

the Temple Mount and prayed in the great, holy house on the place of the Holy of Holies. The Dome of the Rock and the al Aksa mosque are foreign structures on the Temple Mount. According to the Mosaic scriptures (the first five books of the Old Testament), which even the Moslems believe, the Temple Mount is the site of only one house, the house of the God of Israel. Why did caliph Abd al Malik had the Dome of the Rock built there? According to Dr. Hawting, who quotes the Islamic tradition, caliph Suleyman (715-717 AD.) went to Mekka to ask about the Hac (Hajj). He was not satisfied with the response he had received there. Abdullah ibn-ul Zubayr the caliph in Mecca was challenging the Omayyad rule in Palestine. Upon which caliph Abd al Malik (of the Omayyads) attempted to divert the annual pilgrimage from Mekka and Medina to Yerushalayim/al Kuds; as a consequence he’d had the Dome erected over the sacred stone sahra in 691 AD. In the end caliph Suleyman chose to follow Abd al Malik’s choice and visited the Dome of the Rock. This may be taken as an indication again of the inherent tension between the Arabs of the desert and the northern Arabs. Caliph Suleyman’s action might have contributed also to the confusion as to the location of the sanctuary as late as the early 8th century AD. Furthermore, Caliph Suleyman’s trip to Mekka may be taken as as a sign that at long last this city has started assuming the role of the religious centre of Islam decades after the ‘Messenger’s death. It also shows that the desert Arabs have managed to change the place of the sacred shrine from Bakka in the North to Mekka. The first Ismaelite religious texts were written by the northern Arabs. The Arabs of the desert tried to rewrite these texts with the aim of making the belief system themselves, but the final text of the Book was written in Kufa (Irak) after all. To me this is basically an open demostration of the then ongoing struggle between the northern Arabs to keep the belief system their own, and the desert Arabs of Mekka who wish to own the belief system and the ‘Messenger.’ In short, I believe that the outcome of the strife between the two groups of Arabs has eventually led to those Mekka stories appear in the Book and in the Islamic literature, and was instrumental in the substitution of Mekka for Bakka in the exegesis. I Believe that Bakka was the original place where the Arab-ı Mustaribe (Ismaelite-Mohamedans) believed their ‘sacred shrine’ was.

WHICH PLACE WAS SACRED FOR THE HAGARENES-ISMAELITESMOHAMEDANS, YERUSHALAYIM OR SOMEWHERE ELSE? Why did the Ismaelites call Yerushalayim, al Kuds?

Yerushalayim is called a place ‘kadesh.’ Read Psalms 2:6: “Yet I have set my king upon Zion, my mount kadesh.” Joel calls on the people (Joel 2:1): “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my mountain kadesh.” Then in 3:17 he has this to say: “So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my kadesh mountain: then shall Yerushalayim be (really) holy (kadesh).” Read Isaiah 66:18: “(the people of Yerushalayim) call themselves of the city of Kadesh..(The Lord) will gather all nations and tongues..and they shall bring all your brethren..out of all nation..to my kadesh mountain Yerushalayim. In Daniel 9:24 Yerushalayim is called “thy city kadesh.” In Nehemiah 11:1 Nehemiah writes: “The rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Yerushalayim, the city kadesh.” Similar expressions could also be found in Psalms 3:4, 15:1, 43:3, 99:9; Isaiah 65:11, 25; Ezekiel 20:40; Zephaniah 3:11; Zechariah 2:12 and in many other passages of the Old Testament. The Holy Land and Holy city-God’s city were the names given to Palestine and Yerushalayim in early times. Egyptian inscriptions also call this land as God’s Land and Kadesh. Therefore this city was kadesh for all the peoples of the region. Kadesh in Hebrew means holy, sacred; kuds in Arabic means also holy, sacred. The words, kadesh and kuds have the same root letters: ‘k,’ ‘d,’ ‘s.’ Based on the popular understanding that the Hagarenes-Ismaelites-Mohamedans were the ‘brothers’ of the Jews, no one had thought of questioning the supposed choice of al Kuds by the Ismaelites’ (proto Moslems) as their kıbla. The early Moslems were turning North in their prayers, but where in the North? But the first kıbla was in Bakka. Now let us remember again the points I have made:
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• • • •

The ‘Messenger’ has proclaimed his descent from Av’ram, through Ismael. The ‘Messenger’ has declared that he was adopting Av’ram’s belief system. The ‘Messenger’ has adopted the God of the Mosaic scriptures (and also ‘the seven commandments to the descendants of Noah’=the Noahide covenant=Mesanî). The ‘Messenger’ has called everybody to the membership of the family/nation of Av’ram. The ‘Messenger’ has declared Ismael as the forefather of the Moslems. Islam has adopted a lot of the basics of the Mosaic scriptures. Islam has fashioned itself by deriving from the Mosaic scriptures and at the same time distancing itself from Judaism (The original Mosaic scripture and the principles of Judaism differ on some fundamental doctrines). Early Moslems have turned towards North, but Yerushalayim was not the kıbla they have turned to.

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• •

The ‘place’ that was sacred for the earliest Hagarenes-IsmaelitesMohamedans was not Yerushalayim. Palestine was promised to Av’ram and his progeny. ‘Moslems’ had built a prayer place on the ‘rock’ which they called makam-ı Ibrahim (Abraham’s stone). But are we sure that this ‘rock’ called Sahra is the original makam-ı Ibrahim? No! Ismaelites have called this place on Mount Moriya the Dome of the Rock (Kubbet-us Sahra) and enlarged it later on. Mount Moriya is said to be the place where Av’ram is believed to have taken his son Isaac to offer to his God. But was this spot the actual place mentioned in the Av’ram’s story? No! In Av’ram’s time Yerushalayim was most probably called something else (Urusalim, Ur-u Salima or Jebus?), and the city had no sanctity until David chose it as his city and had the Ark of the covenant brought there from Shiloh to the North in 1000 BC. Mount Moriya is the location where once stood the Temple of the Jews. Hagarenes-Ismaelites-Mohamedans called Yerushalayim ‘al Kuds’ (the sacred). Was it because of its background as the holy city of the Jews or did the sectarian struggle for domination within the community of Islam played a role in this choice? The sectarian struggle between the notherners and southerners seems to be the most likely reason. Why did the ‘Moslems’ in those days had thought it would be fitting their ‘Messenger’ to (supposedly) travel to al Kuds/Yerushalayim to ‘ascend’(!) to the realm of the Supreme Creator, while he could have done it easily from where he was? Because the people (wrongly) thought of Yerushalayim as their sacred city or the later writers/editors preferred to spread that belief. Therefore they wrote their story accordingly. Furthermore, they had never been to Bakka to see the place with their own eyes. They must have thought simply that if they were ordered to turn North in their prayers, the only place in that direction, Yerushalayim, must be the place to turn to. That’s all! No one had remembered Bakka. The ‘Messenger’ had acted together with the Jews. Was this because he needed allies? Yes!

Would it be right to say that the Hagarenes-Ismaelites (early ‘Moslems’) have considered themselves as heirs to everything that belonged to the myths and legends of the Israel? Yes, they must have believed so both as the assumed heirs and the reformers of Judaism and Christianity. The Dome of the Rock must have been built as a sacred landmark by the Hagarene-Ismaelites (northern Arabs) as a place of veneration and prayer either for the Jews (Ofir) or as the symbol of the Arab’s claim over the Temple Mount. The Dome of the Rock and the al Aksa mosque eventually came to be seen as symbols to Moslems’ claim over Palestine and (wrongly) over al Kuds. Bakka seems to have been forgotten again, although it was the original ‘place’ of Av’ram, who’d had nothing to do with Yerushalayim (or whatever the city was called in those days).

The original Hagarene-Ismaelite-Mohamedan movement chose itself as kıbla the ‘sacred place’=the ‘house of God’ in Bakka, which was designated as such originally by Av’ram/Abraham, who was chosen also as the forefather of the movement. But as the story of Islam goes, in the 630s AD. followers of the ‘Messenger’ and the successors to the mission seem to have forgotten totally where the first ‘house of God’ was. Therefore the Islamic literature has come to consider al Kuds/Yerushalayim as the first kıbla, although they have forgotten to edit the Qoran’s references to the first ‘house of God’ in Bakka. Eventually the editors managed to instill the belief that Bakka is just a different pronunciation of Mekka, which has always been the location of the ‘house of God’=Beytullah. But again they forgot to explain why and how a created(!) human being could change the geographical location and the ‘inviolable sanctity’ of the ‘house of the Creator,’ and designate another place as the focal point of the prayers. MOSQUES ALIGNED TO WARDS KIBLA The archaeological evidence in the form of the first mosques built in the 7th century AD. (the ‘Messenger’ was still alive) indicate clearly the direction of the first kıbla. The archaeological research carried out by K. A. C. Creswell and G. Fehervari on ancient mosques in the Middle East shows that the floor plans of the two Umayyad mosques in Irak also show this direction clearly. One of the mosques was built at the beginning of the 8th century AD. by the governor Haccac in Wasit, which Creswell notes as ‘the oldest mosque in Islam of which remains have come down to us.’ The second one that is attributed roughly to the same period is near Baghdad. Both have kıblas that don’t face Mekka, but are oriented too far North. The Wasit mosque is said to be off by 33 degrees, and the Baghdad mosque is off by 30 degrees. This agrees with Baladhuri’s testimony (Futuh) that the kıbla of the first mosque in Kufa, Irak, supposedly constructed in 670 AD. also lay to the west, when it should have pointed almost directly South (Futuh, edited by de Goeje). A combination of the archaeological evidence from Irak, and literary evidence from Syria and Egypt point unambiguously to a direction of prayer not in the South, but somewhere in northwest Arabia at least till the end of the 7th century AD. (P. Crone, M. Cook, P. Carlier, Dr. Hawting). According to Dr. Hawting new archaeological discoveries of mosques in Egypt from the early 700s AD. also show that until then the ‘Moslems’ (or Hagarenes, Ismaelites, Hacirîn, Mohamedans) were indeed praying not towards Mekka, but towards North, possibly towards Yerushalayim. In fact, Dr. Hawting maintains that no mosques have been found from the 7th century AD., which faced towards Mekka. He cautions, however, that not all of the kıblas faced towards Yerushalayim. Some Jordanian mosques have been uncovered which faced North while there are certain North African mosques which faced south, implying that there was some confusion as to where the early sanctuary was placed. I

believe that the observation is exactly right for those mosques in southwest Jordan, because Bakka lies to the North! Research done by Patricia Carlier on the Umayyad Caliphal summer palaces found that the mosques at these palaces had kıblas pointing towards Yerushalayim as well. Again I believe that they were pointing towards Bakka, slightly north-northwest of Yerushalayim. The original ground plan of the mosque of Amr bin al-As, located in Fustat (the garrison town outside Cairo), reportedly had its kıbla pointing too far North and had to be corrected later under the governorship of Kurra bin Sharik. Interestingly this agrees with the later Islamic tradition compiled by Ahmad bin al Makrizi that Amr prayed facing ‘slightly south of east’ and not towards South (al Makrizi; Crone-Cook). ISMAELITE TEACHING BORROWS FROM OTHERS AND TRIES TO FIND AN IDENTITY OF ITS OWN Many scholars have claimed that many of the sayings attributed to the ‘Messenger’ were invented to settle legal and doctrinal disputes in later generations. But Moslems accused these claims as falsifications. The ‘Messenger’s rejection by the people of his ‘native town’ (Mekka according to the official ideology) in his early years, and the attitude of the Jews towards his teaching must have had a profound effect on the ‘Messenger,’ on the author of Qoran, and on the later editors of the Book. Because the underlying story of Qoran is all about;
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The conflict between the ‘Messenger’ and the people of his ‘native town’ who ignored/rejected him; The conflict between the ‘Messenger’ and the Jews who questiond and rejected him; The Jews who had adulterated the word of God; The Christians who have accepted a human being as God, thus committing apostasy; The conflict between the ‘Messenger’ and the other Arab circles who were in conflict with him and his teachings; The conflict between various Islamic schools of thought (in the form of subtle remarks included in Qoran); God’s dealings with the communities in the not so clear periods and places of the past epochs etc.

The repeated references to the past wrongdoings of the communities of the region in their dealings with their God, and the price they had to pay may be taken as further indications to the formative process of Islam. The Mohamedan ideology must have taken shape when the Ismaelites had to leave their base in

Hicaz and confront the environment dominated by Judaism and Christianity. The Hagarene-Ismaelite ‘Messenger’ from Midian met this challenge by referring to the past, drawing lessons from the past events, by accusing the past communities of doing this or that against their God and messengers etc. etc. Thus Hagarene-Ismaelite-Mohamedan ideology had separated itself from the Jews, and at the same time had built an identity for itself without leaving the realm of Judaism. When the desert Arabs fell out with the Jews they decided to go it alone. This ‘new’ ideology proceeded relentlessly and eventually developed into the ultimate example of a monolithic religious body in the world. When we consider the erroneous versions of the stories from the Mosaic scriptures in Qoran, we can suggest the following possibilities:

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The ‘author’ or the tutors or the storyteller or the ‘Messenger’ who had possibly dictated the Book or the editors of later times, have borrowed the religious texts and legends mainly from the Mosaic scriptures, Christianity, Zoroastrianism etc., but did not have the detailed knowledge needed to do that properly; The persons who did the borrowing, adapting, dictating, and the writing/editing were not sufficiently articulate; The persons who listened to the relevant narrations were not knowledgeable enough to understand and write the stories properly; The narrators/tutors were not true to the originals, therefore the copies made by the persons who listened to them were naturally wrong; The narrators gave the wrong versions of the originals on purpose; The persons who wrote the texts felt free to alter what they had heard; The persons who read the sources with the aim of copying were not dexterous, therefore the resultant texts are not right.

Pick the one you like. The concepts, dealings related to creed, notions pertaining to morality and to life in general, stories about history and traditions were borrowed from the Mosaic scripture. Judging by the remarks allegedly made by the ‘Messenger’ (or was conceived by the ‘author’ of the Book as the words of the ‘Messenger’) the initial aim seems to be the creation of an all-enveloping belief system and a union of all faiths. But Jews have proved to be an impossible partner and a stumbling block in the path of this zealous movement, and the movement;
• • • •

Made a clean break with Judaism and the Jews; Declared Jews the enemies who killed their prophets; Accused Jews of thinking themselves as the chosen/favoured people of the God; Branded Jews as the people who believed that they alone had the right to enter paradise;

• •

Charged the Jews with holding Ezra (the priest) as the Son of God, and perverting the Tavrat (Torah=Mosaic scriptures). Wanted to emphasize this break, and the ideologists of the movement and the ‘authors’/editors of Qoran felt the need to change some of the Jewish traditions.

The need for transformation had necessitated differentiation, and differentiation had necessitated new rules. But these rules should not be completely beyond the boundaries of the Jewish environment. Torah was extremely powerful as the first and foremost Book of revelations from the sole God, and patriarch Av’ram would be a perfect 'beginning' for the new faith. Therefore the followers of Islam had to find something within Jewish world but at the same time which approached the widespread popular Judaism with a fundamental criticism. They needed that desperately to build a personality of their own. We shall see what they had found as we go along. MESSENGER AND HIS FOLLOWERS START RAIDS ON THE BYZANTINE TERRITORIES - TARGET WAS PALESTINE If the objective of the ‘Messenger’ in creating an ‘umma’ around his teaching in Medina was not ‘imperialism’ (which is the practice Arabs have exhibited in later epochs), then what was it? If I am right, his objective in the beginning must have been to ‘advance’ towards North, to reach Bakka and take it. Let us begin with Hicra which means ‘to break off,’ ‘to part.’ Michael Cook wrote that a papyrus dated 643 AD. was discovered which spoke of the year ‘twenty two,’ suggesting that something has happened in the Arab world in 622 AD. This coincides with the year of the Hicra of the official Islamic history. But the unofficial history may have other things to tell us. The papyrus does not explain actually what has happened. The official Islamic literature, the Islamic tradition, maintains that Hicra is moving from Mekka to Medina, but the scholars point out that these official ‘historans’ cannot provide an early source from the 7th century AD. that will prove the historicity of this ‘exodus’ (Crone-Cook). One must remember at this point that the earliest manuscript we have is an inner Arabian biography of the ‘Messenger’ on a papyrus of the late Umayyad period (dated to around 750 AD.), which is 100 years after the death of the ‘Messenger’ (Avraham Grohman). Insofar as the Hicra is concerned the Arabic (not official Islamic) material do not have a clear description, in the form of a name or of an era. In their references to the era the Greek and Syriac materials cite the Arabs and not Moslems. This is because they were not called Moslems.

The Hagarene-Ismaelite-Mohamedan movement might have been very small in those days, maybe only a few people, and not deserving a mention;

• • • •

The later Islamic ‘historians’ might have ‘inflated’ a minor period of history into unlikely proportions; The movement in those days may not have been the Islam we know today. The people in the movement were called Ismaelites and/or Saracens and/or Hagarenes (Hacirîn). Therefore there was no mention of ‘Moslems.’ Lastly the Hicra may not have taken place in the region and between the two cities stated in the official texts.

We have two Nestorian ecclesiastical documents from 676 AD. and 680 AD., which give the starting point (Hicra) not as a movement within the Arabian peninsula but as the emigration of the Ismaelites from the peninsula to a destination possibly outside of Arabia (Crone-Cook). Could this movement have been towards the Promised Land? An Islamic tradition compiled by Abu Daud gives a clue. It says, “there will be Hicra after Hicra, but the best of men are to follow the Hicra of Ibrahim.” The last three words, ‘Hicra of Ibrahim,’ look like the key to the puzzle. Some Moslems assert that this must be understood theologically to imply Av’ram/Ibrahim’s movement from idolatry to monotheism. No way!
• •

Firstly, because the character called Av’ram (as presented in the Mosaic scripture) is not a monotheist but a stone-erecting polytheist. Secondly, Av’ram’s Hicra from Ur to Canaan, which the HagarenesIsmaelites-Mohamedans are thought to have copied, is an undocumented and most probably an invented biblical and Judaic tradition.

The ‘event’ in the year ‘twenty-two’ is the starting point of the Islamic calendar. From that angle, understanding the Hicra as the push towards North with the aim of conquering lands and subjugating people in the name of the God of the Ismaelite-Mohamedans sounds much more likely. But I insist on my proposition that there had been a real hicra from al Hicr in Midian to Medina, which is not referred to anywhere, and was substituted by another story of Hicra by the Arabs of the desert as an emigration from Mekka to Medina. If we go back to those two Nestorian documents of 676 AD. and 680 AD., according to which the starting point (hicra) is not a movement within the Arabian Peninsula but an emigration of the Ismaelites from the Peninsula to a destination possibly outside of Arabia, then the ‘hicra’ of the official ideology becomes the ‘break,’ ‘parting’ with the ‘city of the Messenger’ - Medina - for the Hagarenes-Ismaelites-Mohamedans, who were acting together with the Jews living there. If this is the case, then the desert Arabs who edited the Ismaelite-Mohamedan scriptures must have omitted the ‘real Hicra’ with the aim of changing the orientation of the movement. This is the summary: This initiation of the age of the Arab conquests and imperialism was rewritten by the desert Arab editors as their version of the Hicra originating from Mekka geographically, and presented as a movement from the polytheist Mekka to Medina, where the ‘Messenger’ was welcome.

Many writers of that era believe that the Ismaelites were out not to spread a new teaching but to conquer new lands. The Hagarene-Ismaelite-Jewish group may have been helped also by many Christian Arab tribes. John of Phenek reportedly states that “among the first Arab conquerors there were many Christians, some Monophysites and Melchites, and some Nestorians.” According to Phenek the Arabs ‘had a special order from their leader to favour the Christians and their monks.’ Prof. M. Guidi quotes in his book (Storia e cultura degli Arabifino alla morte di Maometto) an anonymous historian writing in 680 AD., who was reportedly unaware of the existence of a written Book of the Ismaelite-Mohamedan movement under any name, and who perceived the ‘Messenger’ not as a person involved in religion but as a “military commander professing the Abrahamic faith preserved in the town of Madian” (in Midian?), which is named after the fourth son of Abraham from Ketura. Almost all of the early Christians have reportedly believed in the political rather than the religious character of the ‘Messenger’s teaching (please remember the quotes from Doctrina Jacobi at this point). St. John of Damascus, writing at a later period, reportedly does not mention a code Book of the Ismaelites but makes references to some ideas found in Qoran. He writes that the Ismaelites “served idols openly” and “worshipped the morning star and Aphrodite” (which is Venus) until the time of Emperor Heraclius (610641 AD.). Star, Moon and Sun worshipping is Sabianism. Av’ram/Ibrahim was a Sabian. Ismaelites chose Av’ram as their patriarch. Ismael was claimed to be Av’ram’s son and the supposed father of the Ismaelites. The early HagarenesIsmaelites-Mohamedans worshipped stars. Do we need anything more? Let us go back to the memoirs of St. John of Damascus (Joannes Damascenus) where he wrote about the leader of the Ismaelites (the ‘Messenger’) “who has with him a book in which there are things ‘worthy of laughter." For a Christian of St. John’s standing the principles of Sabianism (which is ‘paganism’ for the Christians and Jews) must surely have been ‘worthy of laughter,’ especially if those principles were mixed with those from Mosaic scriptures and the New Testament. The Paganism was outlawed by Theodosius I (390 AD.) and the people who were practising these pagan rites openly must have lived beyond the borders of the Roman Empire. Indeed the Hagarenes-Ismaelites-Mohamedans who were mainly Nabataeans and the other Arab tribes living just South of the border of the Roman Empire were practising idolaters. St. John of Damascus further writes that amongst the Ismaelites a ‘pseudo-prophet’ named ‘Mamed’ has appeared, who had, through his conversations with an Arian monk, had access to the Torah and the New Testament, and had founded a special sect. The above reference to Ismaelites being idolaters may also be taken as an indication to the Sabian conviction of the ‘Messenger’ in the beginning, before coming to Medina from his native land in northwest Arabia, and also to the early days of his presence in Medina itself.

The Arab invaders took Yerushalayim in 637 or 638 AD., only 16-17 years after the commencement of their campaign in Medina. They captured the city of Amîd (presently Diyarbakır in southeastern Turkey) and Harran (the Haran of the Av’ram myth) nearby, only seventeen years after the alleged ‘Hicra’ in 622 AD. The Hagarene-Ismaelite-Mohamedan Arabs and their Jewish allies were moving definitely to the Palestinian coastline: “From Sidon to Gaza and inland to the Dead Sea cities of Sodom and Gomorrah” (K. A. Kitchen). But the movement may have been targeting lands even beyond. Patricia Crone, in her article entitled ‘The First Century Concept of Higra’, finds interesting support for a Hicra outside of Arabia. In her article on Hicra, she lists 57 statements which come from within and without the Moslem tradition, which point to a Hicra or exodus, not from Mekka to Medina, but from Arabia to the north or to the surrounding garrison cities. This information about Hicra gives us the first potential evidence which suggests that much of the data found in Qoran and the Islamic traditions simply does not correspond with existing external sources. Therefore I prefer to expand the suggestion that there may have been another agenda at work here, with my proposition that the desert Arabs have edited the story in accordance with their needs. Now the time has come to take up this suggestion that Jews and the early ‘Moslems’ (Hagarenes-Ismaelites-Mohamedans) were acting together: Qoran implies that the ‘Messenger’ has severed his relations with the Jews in 624 AD. (or soon after the Hicra in 622 AD.), and changed the direction of prayer from Yerushalayim to Mekka. The early non-Moslem sources, however, depict a good relationship between the ‘Moslems’ and Jews at the time of the first conquests in the late 620s AD., and even later. The Doctrina Jacobi which was written in Palestine between 634-640 AD., (and which is presented also as a Greek antiJewish tract) warns of “the Jews who mix with the Saracens, and the danger to life and limb of falling into the hands of these Jews and Saracens” (N. Bonwetsch; M. Cook). This relationship seems to have carried right on into the conquests. A proof of this may be found in an early Armenian source, which mentions that the governor of Jerusalem in the aftermath of the conquest was a Jew (Patkanean; Sebeos). What is significant here is the possibility that Jews and Arabs (Ismaelites-Hagarenes-Saracens-Mohamedans) seem to have been allies during the time of the conquest of Palestine (in 637 or 638 AD.) and even for some time after (Crone-Cook). If these witnesses are correct then Jews and the Hagarenes-Ismaelites-Saracens were allies as late as 639-640 AD. In the Doctrina Jacobi the Judaeo-Arab intimacy is reportedly evidenced again by the indications of a marked hostility towards Christianity on the part of the coinvaders. According to N. Bonwetsch, Doctrina Jacobi mentions a converted Jew who protests that he will not deny Christ as the Son of God even if the Jews and Saracens caught him and cut him to pieces. It is apparent that the author believed that the Arabs and Jews were in alliance with each other well into the conquests. But according to Qoran, the ‘Messenger’ had severed his ties with the

Jews as early as 624 AD., more than 15 years earlier than the evidence indicated. Where is the truth?

KIBLA WAS CHANGED, BUT WHEN? We know that the first sacred shrine (first and the real kıbla) of the Ismaelites was in Bakka as written in Qoran. Bakka is in Shechem (Nablus). When you are in the South, somewhere in the Arabian Peninsula, the difference between the location of Bakka and Yerushalayim is negligible in degrees of arc. Bakka and Yerushalayim are in the same direction. So the direction of the supposed kıbla in the North was not pointing at Yerushalayim (the second and wrongly designated kıbla), but actually at Shechem (otherwise we cannot explain the reference to Bakka in Qoran). Since this focal point of prayers was thought to be Yerushalayim, it was accepted as the ‘first kıbla,’ (because the desert Arabs consciously ignored the first ‘house of God’ in Bakka). But in actual fact Yerushalayim was wrongly appointed as the kıbla of the Ismaelite-Mohamedans. In my opinion it has never been a kıbla for the Mohamedan movement. When the Arabs of the desert had the chance to rewrite the text and create their own myth, Yerushalayim was established as the first focal point and Mekka the second one. But they could never explain why Mekka, where supposedly the ‘house of God’ (Beytullah) has always been, was not chosen as the first kıbla in the first place. To solve this problem they invented the story which stated that Bakka was the ancient pronunciation of Mekka. The alliance with the Jews in those early days of the movement may have influenced the perceived location of the shrine as Yerushalayim. Thus the location of the temple of Jews on mount Zion may have eclipsed the ‘sacred shrine’ of the Samaritans, the Beytullah=House of God of the AbrahamicIsmaelites in Bakka (Shechem), because Jews were much more in the forefront than the Samaritans who were ‘localized.’ Another possibility is the inner struggle between the sects: As I have mentioned above, the northerners tried to establish a ‘sacred area’ in Yerushalayim opposing the ‘sacred precinct’ of the desert Arabs in Mekka. Qoran implies that the direction of the kıbla was changed towards Mekka and the break with the Jews had occurred close to 624 AD., and has remained in that direction until the present! (Qoran 2:144,149-150).

But Baladhuri in Futuh states that the kıbla of the first mosque in Kufa (Irak) supposedly constructed in 670 AD. (45 years after the death of the ‘Messenger’) was towards the West, when it should have pointed almost directly South. Kıbla of the mosque was towards the West, because that was the direction of Bakka!

The Christian writer and traveller Yakob of Edessa was a contemporary eyewitness. He wrote a letter in Egypt around 705 AD. His letter in the British Museum states that the “‘mahgraye’ in Egypt prayed facing East, towards their Ka’ba, the place of their patriarchal origin.” In other words towards Palestine, not Mekka (‘Mahgraye’is the Greek term for Arabs who were also called Hagarenes, Hacirîn, Ismaelites, and Mohamedans). Here the word Ka’ba might lead to a confusion, but we are told that it does not necessarily infer the Ka’ba in Mekka. There were other Ka’bas in existence in those days, usually in market towns “It was profitable to build a Ka’ba in these market towns so that the people coming to market could also do their pilgrimage or penitence to the idols contained within” (CroneCook). The Ka’ba that Yakob of Edessa referred to was situated at ‘the patriarchal places of the races,’ which was not in the South. Therefore, according to Yakob of Edessa as late as 705 AD., 80 years after the supposed date of change of kıbla quoted in the official accounts, the direction of prayer towards Mekka has not yet been canonized, Bakka was still the direction to turn to, but the faithful thought that they were turning to Yerushalayim. There should be nothing strange in what is said in this letter, because the Hagarenes-Ismaelites had accepted a common descent with the Jews from Abraham, which is also established by an Armenian chronicler as early as 660 AD. (Sebeos; Crone-Cook; Cook).

The change of kıbla must have caused a major shift in the physical environment of Islam as well. According to tradition, Caliph Walid I (705-715 AD.) wrote to all the regions ordering the demolition and enlargement of the mosques (‘Kitab-al Uyun val-Hadaiq’- edited by M. de Goeje and P. de Jong). This reconstruction work could essentially be about changing the floor plans, alignments of the mosques from some point in the North (Bakka) to Mekka, Ka’ba. Without ever forgetting the inherent shrewdness of Arabs we can always say that the change of mosque alignments might have been presented as an ‘enlargement’ of the structures. If that is the truth, there is a contradiction between the facts of life and the Qoran 2:144-150 which gives the impression that Ka’ba was established as the sanctuary and direction for prayers, when the ‘Messenger’ was still alive (some 80-90 years earlier than the actual change). This is a contradiction caused by the rewriting of Qoran by the desert Arabs after the death of the ‘Messenger.’ These Arabs were doing their best to transform the story of the ‘Messenger’ and his belief system in line with their needs. MEKKA APPEARS

Palestinian Christian historian Sozomenus wrote that some Arabs in Syria had rediscovered what they called the ‘authentic religion of Abraham.’ This authentic religion of Av’ram/Abraham was Sabianism. The Sabian temples have existed in

the region. Av’ram, if ever there was one with that name, must have been a Sabian (check the pages on Av’ram and the Sabian belief system in this site). As I mentioned earlier the followers of the ‘Messenger’ turned to Mekka as their second kıbla.

Why wasn’t Mekka the first Kıbla? Some sort of a sacred location, which is called Ka’ba today and the village near it must have been around since antiquity, with no widespread fame but a local repute.

I began with the story about a common descent from Av’ram of Jews and Arabs. My proposition in this website was as follows: Since Palestine, the land of Canaan was important for the Arabs because of their presumed descent also from Av’ram (through his son Ismael), Palestine and Yerushalayim seemed to be the sacred places to turn to. After all, the land of Canaan was given by God to Av’ram and his descendants. Yerushalayim was considered sacred since David, who’d had the Ark of the Covenant brought to the city. Following the building of the Temple on the Temple Mount during Solomon’s reign, the city came to be called the ‘God’s city,’ and Palestine was called the ‘land of God.’ Therefore the Ismaelites chose Yerushalayim/al Kuds as their kıbla. I felt somehow that it should not as simple as that, and never stopped searching for that elusive place mentioned in Qoran: Bakka. In the end different possibilities came to the fore. Let us start with the verses where we read Mekka in the remarks by the exegetes or deduce it by inference. First of all there is no Mekka in Qoran. There are only seven references to a ‘sacred place’ or shrine. In six verses (14:37, 27:91, 43:31, 47:13, 48:24 and 95:3) a ‘place’ is mentioned but it is extremely doubtful whether that ‘place’ actually is the Mekka of today, and the seventh verse, 3:96, gives the name of that sacred place, the ‘house of God’=‘Beytullah’ as Bakka. This is extremely strange. What is the reason behind the absence of such an important centre of faith, a focal point, in the code Book of the belief system? Now we have to make note of some crucial points.
• • • • •

The first kıbla was definitely in the North, and the mosques were aligned accordingly. But Mekka was in the South. If Mekka harbored the ‘house of God’/‘Beytullah’ why wasn’t it established as the first kıbla from the outset. If Mekka was there all the time with all its importance, why the Arab literature had established another place in the North as the first kıbla? Mekka as an actual and physial location has never become the kıbla of the Ismaelite-Mohamedan movement although it is cited in Qoran as the place that housed the ‘house of God’/‘Beytullah.’ Yerushalayim was wrongly presumed as the first kıbla.

Direction of the kıbla was pointing North, but not Yerushalayim, which happened to be in that direction and also called by the Jews as the ‘city of God.’ Yerushalayim was wrongly thought of as the first kıbla, but it was abandoned in favour of Mekka. Why?

These points are an indication that Mekka has never been thought of or designated as the first beyt (the ‘House of God’) by the architects of the Ismaelite-Mohamedan movement. Bakka is presented as the old name of Mekka. Therefore if we speculate on the hidden meanings of this statement we can say that;
• • • •

Bakka is old and Mekka is new; Bakka is earlier and Mekka is later; Bakka is the original Mekka is the substitute; Bakka is the first and Mekka is the second beyt.

Those people who cannot bring themselves to accept anything outside the later Islamic literature must be the ones behind the replacement of Bakka in Qoran 3:96 with Mekka. By doing so they must have hoped;

Firstly, to conceal the truth pointing to Bakka as the focal point and the most sacred place of the Hagarenes-Ismaelites-Mohamedans (proto Moslems); Secondly to put the desert Arabs and their aspirations at the core of the belief system of northern Arab origin.

Makam-ı Ibrahim (Av’ram’s place) is the name given by the Islamic literature to a stone associated with Av’ram near the Ka’ba in the courtyard of the Great Mosque of Mekka. But there is no indication that the mythological character Av’ram has ever been to the deserts of Arabia and Mekka.

The ‘arrangement’ in Mekka, with the stone in the courtyard should be seen as another attempt by the Arabs of the desert to organize the setting as described in Qoran by creating an artificial focal point for the originally Ismaelite teaching. By doing this they aimed at becoming the owners of someone else’s belief system.

As far as we know the locals of Mekka do not have a tradition connecting Av’ram with Mekka, which means that the ‘Av’ram in Mekka’ story must have been the invention of the later editors of the Book, and the relaterd literature. I have explained elsewhere in this site that a character like Av’ram was absolutely necessary for the ‘Messenger’ to claim ‘ascendancy’ over the Jews and Christians, and to ‘call them to their senses.’ But there is absolutely no archaeological proof of Av’ram’s presence in Hicaz and the Arabian Peninsula.

Av’ram did not build Ka’ba with his son Ismael as the desert Arabs claim. According to the Jewish teaching Av’ram took his slave Hagar/Hacar and her son Ismael out into the desert at Paran not very far from Petra and left them there. But the Arabs of the desert must have taken this story and changed the names of the locations, thus taking Av’ram as far down as Mekka to make the patriarch Av’ram and the belief system their’s, which was originally Ismaelite-Mohamedan. If Av’ram has never been in Hicaz how a stone supposedly erected by him could be in Mekka?
• • • •

The stone erected by him is in Beth El, is it not? Beth El is the ‘house of God’ is it not? The first ‘house of God/Beth El/Beyt-u Elah/Beytullah is in Bakka, is it not? Bakka is in Shechem (Nablus), is it not?

Once again, Mekka does not appear in Qoran, and we are told that it is also nonexistent in the maps of those days, which means that there was no Mekka on the agenda in the 7th century AD. The distinguished geographer Paul Vidal de la Blache of the 19th century was an expert in the trade routes of the ancient times. He used Ptolemy’s (2nd century AD.) geographic records and showed that Mekka was non-existent. Mekka of the 6th and 7th centuries exists only in the Moslem literature. Tradition (Ab-ul Farac, Kitab-ul Aganî) tells us that “Mekka was ruled by the Amalekites.” These Amalekites were an Arab tribe, which is considered as the ‘most ancient’ of the Arab tribes. Arab scholar Ab-ul Feda (13th century AD.) wrote that “Shem (Noah’s son) had several sons, among them Laud, to whom were born Pharis, Djordjan, Tasm and Amalek” (Historia Anteislamica, ed. H. O. Fleischer). By this reference Ab-ul Feda accredits them a primeval existence. Other Moslem historians who declare this Arabian tribe as of Hamite stock, give its ancestral line correspondingly (‘Amalik’ M. Seligsohn, The Encyclopedia of Islam). So These Amalekites reportedly ruled Mekka and the whole of the Arabian Peninsula until the great ‘upheaval,’ which was caused most probably by the volcanic eruption and destruction of Santorini. This tradition has come down to us in Kitab-el Aganî by Ab-ul Farac, where it is written that this ‘upheaval’ made the Amalekites leave Mekka and move northwards (Ages in Chaos, Immanuel Velikovsky). Masudi (10th century AD.) follows the same line and mentions the tradition of a catastrophe -“signs of God’s rage”- which killed many in Mecca: “A turbulent torrent overwhelmed the land of Cuheyne (Djohainah) and the whole population drowned in a single night..From el Hadjoun to Safa all became desert, in Mecca the nights are silent, no voice of pleasant talk. We dwelt there but in a most tumultuous night in the most terrible of devastations we were destroyed.” In the following quote Omeyah son of Abu Salt of the tribe of Takif could be referring to this event: “In days of yore, the Curhum (Djorhomites) settled in Tehama, and a

violent flood carried all of them away” (Ages in Chaos, Immanuel Velikovsky). Velikovsky makes a note of the fact that the “Midianites were close kin of the Amalekites, related since the days when the one people occupied Mecca and the other lived in Medina..traditions of the Arabs connecting the Amalekites with Mecca relate the Midianites to the region of Medina.” In another part of his book (Ages in Chaos) Velikovsky has this to say: “Even the Arabian authors exposed the evil and recklessnes of the Amalekites in dealing with the holy and profane in Mecca and in Egypt. They too, proclaimed that the Lord had sent them away from Mecca for their iniquity.” These references to Mecca are from 10th and 13th centuries, in other words, 300 and 600 years after the time of the ‘Messenger.’ This is the bottom line: We know the determination, speed and inventiveness of the Arabs in devising hadith and all kinds of tradition. The Islamic tradition is extremely unreliable and the non-Moslem documents have no references to Mecca. So what should we make of this situation?
• •

The references to Mekka in the above sources may be pure inventions. There must have been a revered temple/shrine in the place of the ‘beyt’ of Islam (Ka’ba) in pre-Islamic times, with a village or town near it. Even in those earlier times pilgrims must have had the habit of visiting this shrine/sanctuary. ‘Keepers’/attendants must have existed around this sacred place. The writers and scholars of later periods may have consciously emphasised this town and shrine as Mekka and Ka’ba to establish a continuity between the ancient past and the present day Islam. Their purpose must have been to create the impression that the present day Islam in its Abrahamic form had been in existence as an ancient religion even before Judaism and Islam in Mekka (The ‘Messenger’ did adopt the religion of Av’ram, didn’t he and the Arabs date Av’ram to 2300 BC., dont they?). According to the tradition, after the death of Abraham, the inhabitants of Mekka fell into idolatry and paganism, because of the iniquities of the heathen Amalekites. The sacred shrine was supposedly filled with their idols. But Amalekites left the place before the ‘upheaval.’ Islamic literature has it that the tribe of Kureysh was in full control of the town and the shrine in the century before the advent of the ‘Messenger.’ (But the Islamic literature is based on a narration of a narration of a hearsay etc., therefore it is extremely unreliable, and we are unable to know the truth.)

As I have pointed out, finding any reference to a settlement called Mekka, prior to Islam, is very difficult. Research has shown that there is a reference to a city called ‘Makoraba’ by the Graeco-Egyptian geographer Ptolemy in mid 2nd century AD. (But the difference between the root letters that make Mekka, ‘m,’ ‘k,’ ‘k’ or ‘m,’ ‘k’ and the letters of the word Ma-koraba, ‘k,’ ‘r,’ ‘b,’ needs no further explanation). It is impossible to find any reference to Mekka or Ka’ba in any

authenticated ancient document until one reaches the early 8th century. Patricia Crone and Michael Cook tell us that the earliest substantiated reference to Mekka occurs in the Continuatio Byzantia Arabica, a source dating from the reign of caliph Hisham, 724-743 AD. The earliest supporting evidence for the existence of Mekka comes from a period 100 years after the date the Islamic tradition and Qoran place it. Mekka was not on any of the major trading routes, because “Mekka is tucked away at the edge of the peninsula. Only by the most tortured map reading can it be described as a natural crossroads between a North-South route and an EastWest one,” writes Richard W. Bulliet. Research by N. Groom and W. W. Muller corroborates this view. They insist that Mekka simply could not have been on the trading route, as it would have entailed a detour from the natural route along the western ridge. They are positive that the trade route must have bypassed Mekka by some one hundred miles. Moreover the Graeco-Roman trade with India had already been collapsed by the 3rd century AD. Therefore in the time of the ‘Messenger’ and the earlier authors/editors of the Book, there was neither an overland route nor a Roman market to which the trade was destined. The remaining trade was controlled not by the Arabs but by the Abyssinians. The trading centre of the region was not Mekka but the port city on the Abyssinian coast of the Red Sea, Adulis. The Greek historians Cosmas, Procopius and Theodoretus were closer to the events of the time and the Greeks to whom the trade went hadn’t even heard a place called Mekka. If Mekka were so important, certainly those traders would have noted its existence. In her work Patricia Crone points out that the Greek trading documents refer to the towns of Taif (which is to the southeast of the present day Mekka), and to Yathrib/Yesrib/Yasrib/Iatrippa (later Medina), as well as Kaybar/Khayber/Hayber (means ‘fortress’ in Hebrew) in the North. But there is no mention of Mekka. Under these circumstances the historicity of a ‘settlement’ right at the centre of the early ‘Islam’ seems doubtful. The Mekkans are said to have ignored the ‘Messenger’ and his messages in those early days. Islamic literature asserts that if the pilgrims from Medina hadn’t adopted the new Book, Islam would have continued as a local religion, which was particular to Mekka, and the ‘Messenger’ would have been just a Kureyshi nabî. This push given by the pilgrims from Mekka has made the ‘Messenger’ the messenger of Mekka and its environs. But still he was a local messenger. According to Qoran 6:92 and 42:7, “the Book is intended for the ‘umm-ul-kura’ (mother of the cities=Mekka) and the vicinity, and the ‘Messenger’ is charged with cautioning Mekka and its vicinity.” Despite this original understanding the ‘Messenger’ had become a universal admonisher later on. Desert Arab editors of Qoran in later periods, must have decided that the status of a ‘Kureyshi prophet for Arabs’ was not enough for the ‘Messenger’ who had started the movement, which eventually turned into an imperialistic tool in toppling empires and

subjugating nations. A ‘universal messenger of the Supreme Creator’ must have sounded much more fitting for the Midianite-Arab ‘Messenger.’ KA’BA If we go by the official Islamic literature, Ka’ba in Mekka is presented as the most important place in Islam in those early days. Ka’ba in there is labeled as the ‘house of God’ by the ‘Messenger.’ It is the direction to turn to when praying. It is claimed to have been rebuilt by Av’ram (who is described by the ‘Messenger’ as the Patriarch-initiator of Islam) and his son Ismael (the person from whom Arabs claim to have descended). It is the place where Moslems run to every year for the Hac (hajj). A place as important as this, which is also called the ‘house of God,’ should have been mentioned almost in every sura of the Qoran. If that’s what you think, you are wrong! In the whole of the Book Ka’ba is mentioned only in two verses of the 5th sura: 95 and 97. No one knows why. Only the authors of Qoran know the reason.. But we can have an educated guess, and the following points may give an idea as to the reason of this peculiarity. As its name suggests Ka’ba is a square shaped building. Its corners are roughly aligned with the four directions of the compass. Around it there are small buildings and the well which was supposedly created(!) out of nowhere for Hagar/Hacar and Ismael by the God of the day (‘Hay’), when they were left out in the desert by Av’ram. According to the story in the Mosaic scriptures Hagar found water in the well and called it ‘Beer la-hay’ or ‘Hay’s well’. But that well was in Paran, in the desert southwest of the Dead Sea. Theoreticians of Islam have preferred to move Av’ram, Hagar, Ismael and the well to the neighbourhood of Mekka, and they called the well ‘Zemzem.’ Here we must remember that in Arabia tribes had their particular tribal supreme overseers. Each of these tribal supreme overseers stayed in their designated places as the tribes moved to another site. All the tribes worshipped their supreme beings and those belonging to the other tribes as well. When a tribe moved to another site it adopted the supreme overseer of that site, and the migrant tribe came back once a year during its festival to visit its previous supreme overseer. The yearly Hac of the Moslems must be the continuation of this practice established long ago when the people came back periodically to Ka’ba probably to visit the stone, Hacar-ul Aswad, which is the sacred black stone built into the eastern wall of the Ka’ba. This stone, a meteorite, is an object of veneration also for the Moslem pilgrims to Mekka. It probably dates back to the pre-Islamic religion of the Arabs, and the popular belief tells us that it was given(!) to Adam when he was kicked out of paradise. It is not clear what the Islamic mythology means, but Moslem scholars interpret this mythology to establish a foundation for their claim that the first sacred place on the location was established by Adam, and then Av’ram/Abraham and Ismael rebuilt on the ruins of the first temple’s foundations. This is only the mythology of Islam, which shows once again that all the belief systems do create their particular tales.

Meanwhile there are those researchers who maintain that Hac was originally an autumn rite apparently to persecute the dying Sun and to bring in the winter rains in ancient times. The pilgrims would rush to an all night vigil on the plain of mount Arafat, hurl pebbles at the three sacred pillars of Mina and offer an animal sacrifice. Ka’ba is said to have been a place of veneration (masjid/mesgad/masgeda) of many tribes already as early as 60 BC. The pagans are said to have been the first with the tradition of kissing the black stone there. This black stone, the 'Hacar-ul Aswad’ was revered by the ancestors of the people in Mekka and its environs. Moslems do carry on with this tradition of their ancestors, predating Islam. Moslems also believe that this stone had come from the Moon (Sabian belief system; Sin, the Moon God of Harran; the Moon cult?) The Islamic mythology about Ka’ba shows another example of those attempts throughout the history to take the ownership of a well-established place from another belief system as a place of reverence or worship. The Arabs took over the Temple Mount (where once stood the Temple of the Jews) in Jerusalem by building the Dome of the Rock and the al Aksa mosque there, didn’t they? If Av’ram has laid the foundations of Ka’ba as written in Qoran, alone or together with his son, and if Ka’ba was a Sun temple, then prophet Abraham must have been a Sun, Moon and star worshipper. I’d like to refresh your memory that Sun, Moon and stars were considered as the appropriate bodies to reach the sole God, prime mover, of the Sabian belief system. Sabians had built ‘temples’ to worship these celestial bodies. One of these temples was dedicated to Sun, which was a square building according to Masudi. Ka’ba was allegedly given its name (though Islamic sources reject the idea) because of its shape, which is a square. In some of the Islamic dictionaries Ka’ba is described as a square house. This brings to mind the suras titled ‘Sun’ and ‘Moon’, and the vows/oaths to the stars, Moon and Sun in Qoran. Could these oaths be the remnants of the Sabian belief system? Could the crescent and star figures on the flags of the Islamic states be the traces also of the same belief system, which had had a deep influence on Islam? The popular legend has it that, the ancestor of the Kureysh tribe Qusayy had moved to Mekka towards the end of the 5th century and settled in the Mekkan valley beside the sanctuary. On his return from one of his travels to Syria he is said to have brought with him the three Goddesses, Lat, Uzza, and Manat to Hicaz and placed Hubal in Ka’ba. Lat, Manat and Uzza were represented with standing stones at Taif, Qudayd on the Red Sea coast, and at Nakhla respectively. Later on Kureysh managed to take control of the Ka’ba and expelled Khuza’a, the guardian tribe of Mekka and Ka’ba. This ancestor of the ‘Messenger,’ Qusayy, is said to have been the leader of a faith called the Mekkan religion which was supposedly a branch of the Abrahamic belief system.

Though we don’t have a definite information on Ka’ba’s past we are almost certain that it was the focal point of respect as a sacred place even before the arrival of Islam. There were 360 idols there. Hubel/Hubal (the Arabic version of the Semitic ha-Baal, ha-Bel), was the god of the Nabataeans in the form of a red agate statue of a male figure. Hubal originally was a Moon God of the people living in the Nabataean lands. Some say the black meteorite in Ka’ba was connected with the worship of Hubal. Ibn-al Kalbi writes that Hubal was the chief deity of the Kureysh. It is said to have been placed in the Ka’ba with arrows in front of it. These arrows were shuffled and the results were interpreted (This practice was banned by the ‘Messenger’ as written in Qoran). Hubal was most probably the Dusares/Dhu Shara of the Nabataeans. Hafiz Ghulam Sarwar in his book Muhammad the Holy Prophet writes that the idols of Lat, Menat, and Uzza were also in the Ka’ba; and an idol called ‘al-Lah’ or ‘Allah’ was also placed in Ka’ba; and Hubal had never supplanted ‘Allah.’ There was also another idol, Shams, reportedly placed on the roof of Ka’ba. Shams (Shamash in Babylonia) means ‘Sun.’ Don’t forget that Ka’ba is thought to be an ancient Sun temple of the Sabians. Amongst the 360 idols in Ka’ba there were also many icons including Jesus and Miryam (Maryam, Mary). The Nabataeans and probably other peoples also were adding as suffix the word ‘allah’ to personal names, which meant God. They called their God Hubal, and by adding the suffix they arrived at ‘Hubal allah’, meaning ‘Hubal the God’ or ‘God Hubal.’ In other words ‘allah’ was the general term meaning God. This must have been the practice in and around Ka’ba as well. The evidence of a fundamental change in this practice caused by the Islamic ideology could be seen in the definition where ‘allah’ became a proper name. ‘Allah is the only deity and there are no others beside him’ is the formula that establishes this shift. This doctrine means that all the other idols in and around Mekka and Ka’ba, the names of which are invoked by the suffix ‘allah’ are no more, because as the official story goes the ‘Messenger’ entered Ka’ba and smashed all the idols therein. Therefore the unseen, unheard etc. ‘suffix’ of Ka’ba was left alone, and became the supreme entity ‘Allah’ with no others around him: ‘Allah is the only deity and there are no others beside him.’ Ka’ba as a sacred sanctuary reportedly displayed tolerance to many faiths. This is only natural. This structure was called the ‘house of God,’ wasn’t it? Therefore all kinds of faiths and beliefs had a right to have their ‘intermediaries’ represented there. The fundamental rule was that the believers of all faiths should have access to the sanctuary without discrimination and there should be no conflict within 10 miles of it. The Babylonian and Chaldean astrology and magic had a really profound influence on the cults and belief systems of the region, and the Arabia wasn’t immune to it. The practice of walking around the Ka’ba seven times, and the 360 images in Ka’ba are thought to be related to the seven planets of the Babylonian system and the 360 days of the Sumerian calendar (which the Hebrews share

with their Jubilees Calendar) respectively. Each Arab had his protecting star from amongst the ‘houses of the Moon.’ That is why Ka’ba is said to have been aligned apparently also for lunar and stellar observation. A POSSIBLE REINTERPRETATION OF THE ‘MESSENGER’S CALL I have mentioned elsewhere that the Book of Psalms has inspired the theoreticians of Islam quite a lot. Here is the Psalm 47: “The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham.” The psalmists sacramentally saw all the kings of the earth who would worship YHWH as “the people of the God of Abraham.” Does it remind you of anything?

The ‘Messenger’ recognized all the books and the prophets. Psalms, according to him is a book given by God to David. Who is this God? YHWH. He is also the God of Av’ram (That is what we are told). The ‘Messenger’ says that he is going back to the original, unadulterated belief system of Abraham. Therefore he is one of the people of the God of Abraham. Moreover the ‘Messenger’ has called everybody to the membership of the family of Av’ram (Ibrahim). While addressing the ‘people of the Book’ (Jews and Christians) Qoran 3:65-67 describes Abraham as follows: “O people of the Book! Why are you bickering about Ibrahim, both Tavrat and Gospels were revealed after him. Why don’t you understand?..Ibrahim was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a ‘hanif’ Moslem, and he equated none with Allah.”

Paul was the first one to declare in 58 AD. “Abraham; who is the father of all of us” (Romans 4:16). Now, by calling everybody to the family of Ibrahim the ‘Messenger’ was repeating Paul’s statement in his own words. This is the central point of Islam’s approach to the way Jews and Christians conducted themselves. With this approach the Islamic ideology referred itself back to the ‘unadulterated’ belief system of Abraham. Interesting connections? The early Hagarene-Ismaelite-Mohamedans related themselves to the Samaritan Torah, which I believe is the book mentioned in Qoran 2:4,5 where we read a reference to the people who “believe in both that is revealed to you and that was revealed earlier..These are the people who deserve a spiritual guidance from their God. These are the ones who will find salvation in the true sense.” We have 4:162, which also refers to the group of believers “who are deep in knowledge and the faithful (müminûn) who believe both in what is revealed to you and what has been revealed before you. They have their daily prayers, they pay their alms, they believe in Allah and the judgment day. We will have a big reward for them soon.” This dicvine(!) promise has never come true and presently the Samaritans are down to about 1000 souls living in Nablus.

The ‘Messenger’ seems like trying to give the message that both ‘peoples of the Book’ had done wrong to their particular Books, and made them symbols of division between the ‘people of the God of Av’ram’ (‘family of Av’ram’). The Jews are accused of violating the divine ordinances. Christians on the other hand are charged with making a simple man their God, which is apostasy. I have referred to the transformation of the ‘Messenger’ into a rasul with the emergence of Qoran as an accomplished code Book and Islam as a universal belief system. Initially the ‘Messenger’ did not introduce a new belief system. He is a nadhir/nezîr: ‘One who warns, reminds, admonishes.’ The ‘Messenger’ must have thought that his supreme overseer had authorized him to warn the peoples of the Book (Jews and Christians), who have adulterated the original word of the Supreme Creator. The ‘Messenger’ appears to have directed his messages at the Jews and Christians. In these messages we see a mixture of the formal aspect of the Mosaic belief system and the demanding approach of the Paulinism-Christianity. He looks like trying to remind them that they have deviated from God’s Covenant, but they still have the Covenant with Av’ram and Ismael, which is in force. This idea of a covenant between God on the one hand and Ibrahim and Ismail on the other is particular to Islam and does not exist either in Judaism or Christianity. Therefore the messages of the ‘Messenger’ as a whole do not add up to a new religion as such, but seemingly aim at abolishing Judaism and Christianity for a return to the faith of their patriarch Av’ram. The ‘Messenger’ calls Jews and Christians to their ‘senses,’ telling them that their beliefs do not count, and each should give up their ideology and join him, who is the representative of the sole and unadulterated ideology of Av’ram. But with his statement in verse 4:162 the ‘Messenger’ separates a certain group from the other ‘peoples of the Book’: The Samaritans. The ‘Messenger’/the author of Qoran must have believed that the method to restore the true religion of Av’ram, and establish a unity between the two previous branches of his ‘family’ (Jews and Christians) was simply a return to the ‘house of God’= Beth El. ‘Stone of Ibrahim’ was there. The supposed descendants of Ismail, who are the ‘true’ believers (Hagarenes-IsmaelitesMohamedans) have called the location of this house ‘Bakka.’ According to the Islamic literature the ‘Messenger’ who was the leader of the Ishmaelite-Jewish coalition has decreed that the perfect form of loyalty to the ‘covenant with God’ is the ‘hiccet-ul Beyt’=pilgrimage to the ‘house.’ This act will result in an unlimited blessing and it is the path to God. Now here is my intepretation: By insisting on the pilgrimage to the ‘house of God,’ the ‘Messenger’ and/or the ‘author’ of Qoran attacks;

Firstly the Jews, who had prevented the pilgrimage to the ruins of the Temple centuries before. Here the Temple is the sacred place established by Av’ram in Bakka, Shechem.

Secondly the Christians, who had blocked access to the ruins of the Sacred Temple in the name of the Gospels. Because they believe that it is the spirit and not the Law, which saves. Here the Temple must be the Sacred Temple again at Bakka (in ruins) during the Christian rule in Palestine. THE MOHAMEDAN FORMULA SHOWS ITSELF

The ‘Messenger’ is presented as the absolute example that all Moslems should follow. If that’s so, then what is the reason behind the absence of the same emphasis in the earlier Arabic inscriptions, which are closer supposedly to the time he lived? But what is more peculiar is the absence of his name in the earlier texts. For instance, coming across the name of the ‘Messenger’ is said to be impossible before Abd al Malik’s inscription in the Dome of the Rock in Yerushalayim. In fact neither the name Mohamed nor any Mohamedan formula, Mohamed rasul Allah, reportedly occured first on an Arab-Sassanian coin from 690 AD., struck in Damascus. This formula does not appear in any inscription dated before the year 691 AD. This is said to be true whether the inscription is religious, or mainly commemorative 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. Much more important than the appearance of that formula, is the ‘confession of faith which states that ‘Allah is the only God and Mohamed is his messenger.’ This formula has reportedly appeared for the first time with the Dome of the Rock inscription, which was put there upon orders by caliph Abd al Malik in 691 AD. But this inscription could have been added even at a much later date, when the inner and outer ambulatories were rebuilt in 1022 AD. (Duncan). What a revelation! For sixty years after the death of the ‘Messenger’ the official Arab religious confession did not include him in its established formulae. Yehuda Nevo found that “in all the Arab religious institutions during the Sufyani period [661-684 AD.] there is a complete absence of any reference to the ‘Messenger.’”

Therefore it seems from these inscriptions that it was during the later Marwanid period (after 684 AD.), and not during the life of the ‘Messenger’ that he was elevated to the position of a universal messenger of the Supreme Creator.

The formula became the official religious declaration almost overnight, and was used exclusively in formal documents and inscriptions, such as the papyrus ‘protocols.’ But even then the Mohamedan formula was reportedly different than its present form.

According to Yehuda Nevo, the Mohamedan formula, ‘Allah is the only God and Mohamed is his messenger’ only began to be used in the popular rock inscriptions of the central Negev sometime during the reign of Caliph Hisham (724-743 AD.), about 30 years after its introduction by Abd al Malik. But even these formulae were not ‘Moslem’ though they are ‘Mohamedan.’ The Arab religious texts dating from the first 150 years of the Arab rule (7th to 8th century AD.) exhibited a monotheistic creed belonging to a certain body of sectarian literature with developed Judaeo-Christian conceptions in a particular literary style. It contained no features specific to any known monotheistic religion. This creed “is demonstrably not Islam, but (a creed) from which Islam could have developed.” Yet the Mohamedan texts were not accepted promptly by the public even after they became official. For years after their appearance in state declarations, people continued to include non-Mohamedan legends in personal inscriptions, as well as routine chancery writings. According to Nevo, the first Arabic papyrus, an Egyptian entaqion, which was a receipt for the paid taxes, was dated 642 AD., written in both Greek and Arabic is headed by the ‘Basmala’ (‘Bismillah-al Rahman-ur Rahîm’), yet it is neither Christian nor Muslim in character. Nevo believes that the Moslem texts, only began to appear at the beginning of the 9th century (around 822 AD.), coinciding with the first written Qorans, as well as the first written traditional Moslem accounts. WHAT THE EARLY CHRISTIAN AND NON-MOSLEM SOURCES THOUGHT ON QORAN? There is a summary of a conversation between John I, the monophysite patriarch of Antioch and Amr bin al Asd, which has reportedly taken place in 639 AD., and written in a manuscript dated 874 AD. There it is recorded that;
• • • •

The Arabs had not translated the Bible into Arabic; The basic education of the Ismaelite Arab community was on Torah, inheritance, and denial of the divinity and death of Jesus Christ; Some of the Arab conquerors were literate; There was no reference to any Arab holy book.

The year is 639 AD. The ‘Messenger’ had died 7 years ago according to the Islamic literature. The whole of Palestine, Antioch, Amed/Amid (province of Diyarbakır in the present day Turkey), and practically the whole of Syria had fallen to the Ismaelite-Mohamedans and there is no mention of a code Book of Islam. What could be said on this point?

The conversing parties could have been ignorant of the ‘Book,’ which seems impossible;

They might have decided that there was no need to refer to it, which is also impossible, because a Moslem speaking without reference to Qoran is unthinkable; There was no code Book as we know it today, and there may have been only bits and pieces brought together to form a kind of IsmaeliteMohamedan scripture.

The year is 647 AD. and there is no reference to Qoran. The year is 680 AD. The anonymous writer quoted at Guidi must be completely unaware of the existence of Qoran because he makes no reference to a Book at all, but thinks that the Arabs are simply professing the Abrahamic faith, and also he doesn’t perceive the ‘Messenger’ as a religious person. The year is 690 AD. John bar Penkaye, writing under the reign of Abd al Malik, is totally unaware of the existence of Qoran. Christians were seemingly unaware of an official Qoran until the end of the 8th century AD., 100 years after the death of the ‘Messenger’! Qoran became a subject of discussion between Moslems and Christians in the 8th century. We are told that the first mention of Qoran by the Christian writers is closely associated with the story of the monk Sergius Bhira (‘Bahira’) which was current in Christian circles about the middle of the 8th century. It is told in a modified form so persistently by Eastern and Western writers, and by Moslem traditionists themselves, that one is tempted to believe that it may contain some vague elements of truth. Let’s see who these early Christian critics were? They were abu Nosh, the secretary to the governor of Mosul; the Nestorian Patriarch of Seleucia; and al Kindi (830 AD.). The most important criticism came from al Kindi (40 years before Bukhari!). He argued that Ali and abu Bakr were in a conflict over who should succeed the ‘Messenger.’ Ali had started his collection work, but others had demanded that the bits and pieces of Qoran that they had are also included in the collection. A variety of codices were written. Ali mentioned the differences to Uthman. Ali may have expected an official sanction for his copy. But Uthman had all the copies but one destroyed. That one copy was his. Four copies of the Uthman’s book were made, and all the originals were destroyed. Why? The answer is obvious, is it not? Following this first collation the texts were rewritten and destroyed more than once until the final editing and rewriting done in Kufa, Irak. We have reached the mid-8th century. A document called Fiqh Akbar I, which was drafted to show the orthodox Moslem views reported to have no reference to Qoran. This text was written by Abu Hanife (Numan ibn Thabit, born Kufa 699died Bagdad 767 AD.) who is considered the supreme Imam of all. He is not an

Arab, he is thought to have been either a Turk or a Persian. The text, which lists the orthodox Moslem views, has no reference to a Book. The time it was written must have been nearly mid 700s, and it has no reference to Qoran! Here is another very important indication for you. We are in the 9th century. The negative evidence supports a late date for the creation of Qoran. There is reportedly no record of Qoran being used in legal decisions before the 9th century AD. J. Wansbrough points out that “Qoran is written in a ‘referential’ style, presupposing a detailed audience knowledge of the Judaeo-Christian traditions which are implied with only a few words without losing meaning (similar to the Talmudic references to Torah). Only as ‘Islam’ moved out of the Arabian Peninsula and obtained a fixed identity (based on political structure) did Qoran become detached from its original intellectual environment and required explanation - i.e. the tafsir and sira. The similarities between Qoran and the Qumran literature show a similar process of biblical-textual elaboration and adaptation to sectarian purposes.” Textual stability goes hand in hand with canonization and was not really feasible until the political power was well established, thus the end of the 8th century AD. becomes a likely historical moment for the gathering together of the oral tradition and liturgical elements leading to the actual concept ‘Islam.’ The earliest non-Islamic sources testifying to the Qoran are also from the 8th century AD. Some Islamic sources suggest that Qoran not being completely established until the 9th century AD. Manuscript evidence doesn’t allow for a much earlier dating. THE ENVIRONMENT THAT LED TO QORAN Inscriptions dated to 280 AD. show that the inhabitants of Sheba and Yaman/Yemen were pagans/idolaters worshipping Athtar (Venus). But by 378 AD. paganism seems to have been replaced by a type of monotheism which invoked the ‘Merciful’ who was ‘the Lord of heaven and earth.’ Choesin Jamme and Alain Danielou (and also others historians) tell us that Arabia Felix was very influential on the events and the history of the Arabian Peninsula. Yemen was the stage where we see a real push for the complete Judaisation of the Arabian Peninsula. Therefore a Judaic monotheism must have had established itself already in the 4th century and presumably moved North in the following centuries. As I have brought to your attention earlier the seven of the Ten Commandments are included in Qoran 17. According to the authors/editors of Qoran their Supreme Entity says in 17:39 that the verses between 17:22-38 “are the ones God has revealed to you from wisdom.” This tradition indicates that the Ten

Commandments - Mosaic doctrines - were thought as part of the wisdom by the theoreticians of the Ismaelite-Mohamedan belief system.

Man is thought as a microcosm of the universe with a duty to become immortal (reside in paradise) and divine by purifying his intellect (contemplation). Wisdom has come to be considered as the highest of all human virtues, and it is believed that when man contemplates he imitates something, which the Unmoved Mover (the creator) does all the time. So wisdom makes man divine(!).

The ‘Messenger’ is reported to have said that “faith is Yemenî, wisdom is Yemenî” (Faith comes from Yemen, wisdom comes from Yemen), which is significant. This statement looks like a later invention by the Mekkans in their efforts to transform the early Ismaelite teaching. We may as well see this statement as an invention within the framework of the attempts by the Arabs of the desert to transfer the origin of the Ismaelite-Mohamedan belief system from northern Arabia to the desert and Mekka. While that was the scene in the South a different situation has grown in the North. The conflict between the imperial powers, Byzantium and Persia, has pushed some Arab tribes into coming together, and they sided with either one empire or the other. The Christianised Arab tribes from Hicaz preferred to move to Syria, Palestine and Egypt where there were Christian communities. The decline of the Christian population must have left behind a clear majority of Jews and groups of Sabians, Zoroastrians, pagans and idolaters. This made the Arabian Peninsula the stage of theological conflict. In the second half of the 6th century the region called Hicaz is said to have been like a Jewish territory. Christianity was extremely successful in its spread in the region. Francois Nau in The Christian Arabs of Mesopotamia and Syria in the Seventh and Eighth Centuries wrote that, Christians formed the clear majority of the population in Mesopotamia and Syria. The prevailing atmosphere was overwhelmingly Christian in the beginning of the 7th century AD. “The territory of the Ghassanides by 570 was flourishing with Arab Monophysite monasteries,” wrote Fr. Henri Charles. EMERGENCE OF QORAN Moslems insist that Qoran’s origins could be understood only if seen from the angle of the Moslem Tradition. If the predecessors of the code Book of Islam (the Mosaic and Paulinist/Christian scriptures) are studied with a critical approach and cross checked against their contemporaries why shouldn’t we check the Moslem scripture against the written documents which are contemporary with the developing Moslem doctrines? As I mentioned elsewhere the later traditions do not exist before the 8th century. The Moslem sources we have are the

compilations done about 200-300 years after the events they refer to, and are based on the oral traditions passed down by the storytellers. J. Wansbrough maintains that Qoran was compiled even later than the traditions, and was used as an authoritative stamp to authenticate later beliefs and laws, by those who were responsible for canonizing the Moslem Traditions. If this is the truth then even Mohamed would fail to recognise ‘his’ teaching. According to Crone and Cook the emergence of Qoran must have been a sudden event. There are scholars who claim that the dating of the earliest manuscripts show that there was no Qoranic documentation in existence, midlate 7th century AD. The earliest reference to a book called ‘Qoran’ from outside the Islamic literary traditions occurs in the mid-8th century AD. in a letter between an Arab and a monk of Bet Hale, but no one knows if that Qoran had differed considerably in content from the book we have today. Both Crone and Cook conclude that except for this small reference there is no indication of the existence of Qoran before the end of the 7th century AD. Crone and Cook further their claim that it was under the governor Haccac of Irak in 705 AD. that we had a logical historical context in which a Book (an initial body of literature which would later become the Qoran) could have been compiled as the ‘Messenger’s scripture. In an account attributed to Leo by Levond, the governor Haccac is shown to have collected all the old Hagarene writings and replaced them with others “according to his own taste, and disseminated them everywhere among [his] nation.” He or the editors working for him must have forgotten to omit the references to the ‘house of God’ in Bakka, and the original Ismaelite-Mohamedan verses belonging to the very earliest doctrines of the movement. We can be sure that prior to 705 AD. and the writing of the Book under Haccac, the doctrines were Ismaelite (Abrahamic+Sabian) and Mosaic. A reasonable conclusion would be that it was during this period that Qoran began its evolution, when Haccac was in power. Qoran could possibly have begun to be written down in that period, and developed until it was finally canonized as the Qoran that we know today, in mid to late 8th century AD. Therefore;
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Could anybody say that an original text had existed once upon a time? No! Does anybody know where the original text is? No! What happened to the original text? Destroyed? Burnt? Lost? No one knows for sure. After all the editorial undertakings could anyone tell us anything about what the original text was like? No! Could anyone be sure that once upon a time a coherent text had existed, when Ismaelites were busy with their conquests? No!

Therefore nothing has changed since the writing down of the Old Testament and the collection of letters called the New Testament. No one could be sure of an

original Book, which has been written while everything was happening. The basic messages were stories transferred by the word of mouth - an oral tradition. Unfortunately the Book we have today could not be checked against the original (if there ever was any!). A kind of standardisation of Qoran for everybody is reportedly achieved in the 10th century under the influence of ibn Mucahid. But even he had to admit to the fourteen versions of the Qoran. This is important, because the differences were not merely in recitation but actually written variations. Unbelievable! It is the 10th century, and there are still variations?
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Now, where is the copy, claimed to have been written in Uthman’s reign? Where is the final copy that was written in the time of Haccac?

What do you think about the discovery made at the Great Mosque in San’a in Yemen. There, in a loft, old parchment and paper documents and damaged books and individual pages of Arabic text were unearthed. These documents turned out to be thousands of fragments from about thousand different parchment codices of Qoran. Devout Moslems believed that the worn out or damaged copies of the Qoran must be removed from circulation, hence the documents in the mosque. Some of the parchment pages in this treasure seemed to date back to the 7th and 8th centuries AD. - the first two centuries of the belief system which has come to be known as Islam. These must have been the oldest ‘Qorans’ or proto-Qorans or sections of a kind of a Book of sacred texts, which existed then. The importance of this discovery, we are told, is the small but puzzling deviations from the standard text of present Qoran. The research done on these texts is said to have shown the “antiquity of some of the parchment fragments which revealed unusual order of verses, small textual variations, rare styles of orthography and artistic decoration.” There are sheets of scripture written in the rare and early Hicazî Arabic script. These were the pieces of the earliest ‘Qorans’ known to exist. In that loft there were also pieces which have been erased and written over the earlier washed-off versions. We are told that the results of the studies on them are still a mystery, because the Yemeni authorities have not permitted the discoverers to publish their findings.

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Could this be an attempt by the followers of the line established Arabs of the desert to sever the connections between the Hagarenes-Ismaelites and the belief system called Islam? Could this be an attempt to conceal what these earliest ‘Qorans’ might expose in connection to the historicity of the present day Qoran? Could the reason behind this attempt be the fact that the script in these early 8th century AD. ‘Qorans’ are said to be different than what we have today?

If that is the truth, then the Yemenî ‘Qorans’ seem to suggest that the text of the Book has evolved in time. Qoran was the product of an evolving ‘revelation,’

more than likely canonized during the early Abbasid period towards mid to end of the 8th century, and in or around, what is today Irak and Iran (Crone). There are many structural and literary problems which should not be in a divine(!) document. There are fictitious ‘biblical narrations’ which are similar to the known 2nd century heretical documents from Talmud and apocrypha from Christianity. Qoran seems to be a collection of diverse material borrowed from the existing scriptures, pieces of literature, folk tales, and oral traditions of the 7th and 8th centuries AD., and unconsciously inserted into the Book by incognizant compilers/editors of the Abbasid period. WAS IT THE ‘MESSENGER’ WHO WROTE THE BOOK, AND HAS ANYBODY HELPED HIM IN WRITING QORAN? How many times you think one should come across the name of a messenger in the code Book of a belief system? Read the Old Testament, and the collection of letters called the New Testament, and if you have time read the copies of the others. Those books are full of the names of their messengers. Then read Qoran; Moses, Av’ram/Ibrahim, Jesus/Isa, Ismael/Ismail, Lot/Lut, Noah/Nuh, Adam/Adem, Hud, Saleh/Salih, and Shuayb are all there but the name of the ‘seal of the messengers’ is missing. Only the mythology created by the Sira and Hadith refer to the ‘Messenger’ as such. Therefore if we clear away the myth, a person supposedly named Mohamed is nonexistent except his signature in the Constitution of Medina. He may have had another name, but that name is nowhere to be found. Do not look for the proof of his historicity, because there isn’t any. The authors/editors refer to him as ‘muhammed’ but that is not a name. It is an attribute meaning ‘most praised,’ ‘praiseworthy,’ ‘glorious’ (similar to the label ‘messiah’ and ‘the anointed’).
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The ‘Messenger’ may not have considered himself very important and consequently had his name omitted. Islamic ideology considers the ‘Messenger’ just a vehicle in imparting the divine (!) messages. The authors and editors who had done the creative writing may have preferred to refer to him not by name, but by an appellation (A number of researchers including Caetani has doubts about ‘muhammed’ as the real name of the ‘Messenger’). The ‘Messenger’ may not have been such an important religious figure in his time, consequently he might have been embellished by the Islamic mythology in the later epochs into the ‘character’ we know. In other words the ‘Messenger’ as the personality we read about may be an invention, which was inserted later on when the Book was being put together, and a name for the ‘Messenger’ might not have mattered that much at that stage.

‘Muhammed’ is a description, a label. We have Ahmad/Ahmed given as his name in the mevlûd (The nativity poem about the ‘Messenger’). But even that may not be his name. The ‘Messenger’ referring to the supposed attitude of Kureysh towards him is reported to have said that “Kureysh called me ‘müzemmem’ (‘the condemned’), but I am muhammed (‘the praised’).” This narration makes clear that ‘muhammed’ is not the name but an appellation like ‘the anointed.’

There are those scholars who assert that his name does appear in a document, which is recognized as genuine. This document called the Constitution of Medina is cited as the proof of his existence. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that the signature there is his name, because in that region usage of appellations by the leaders was a common practice. ‘Muhammed’ most likely is an appellation. The Abrahamic-Semitic-Judaic tradition also tends to substitute words, titles, descriptions for the real names of the revered personalities (like David=’Davidum’). So, the ‘Messenger’ may very well have used ‘muhammed’= ‘the praised one’ (‘the anointed one’) as the label signifying himself. The researchers on Islam say that his name is Ab’ül Kasım Muhammed ibn Abdullah ibn Abdülmuttalip ibn Hashim, in short Mohamed. If we substitute the meaning of the label ‘muhammed’ in this long name it becomes Ab’ül Kasım ‘the praised,’ son of Abdullah son of Abd-ül Muttalip son of Hashim. He is from the family of Hashim. This name, Hashim means the ‘destroyer of evil’ like ha-Shem, which is the word used by the Jews to denote their God YHWH. An interesting parallel! According to Patricia Crone the Islamic traditions have been reshaped by a progression of storytellers over a period of a century and a half. These storytellers who were called Kussas are believed to have compiled their stories using as models the Biblical legends that were quite popular in and around the Byzantine world at that time, and also the stories of Iranian origin. From the stories of Kussas a literature which belonged to the historical novel rather than to history has grown (Levi Della Vida). “It was the storytellers who created the (Moslem) tradition. The sound historical tradition to which they are supposed to have added their fables simply did not exist. It is because the storytellers played such a crucial role in the formation of the tradition that there is so little historicity to it. As storyteller followed upon storyteller, the recollection of the past was reduced to a common stock of stories, themes, and motifs that could be combined and recombined in a profusion of apparently factual accounts. Each combination and recombination would generate new details, and as spurious information accumulated, genuine information would be lost. In the absence of an alternative tradition, early scholars were forced to rely on the tales of storytellers, as did Ibn Ishak, Vakidî, and other historians. It is because they relied on the same repertoire of tales that they all said such similar things” (P. Crone).

Every now and then we come across statements to the effect that Qoran was original, straight from God, the ‘word of God in Arabic’ etc., all of which must be seen as efforts to counter the claims that the text was not original (Qoran 10:15, 10:37-38, 12:3, 13:36, 29:48). Stories about some of the characters of those days seem to have been included in Qoran, where the verse 9/61 states: “Some amongst them hurt the Messenger and said: ‘He eavesdrops on everything.” The ‘Messenger’ is reportedly accused of becoming ‘all ears’ when he wanted to listen to the people narrating the legends of the ancients. These accusations are cited in Qoran. Both Jews and Christians of those days were telling the ‘Messenger’ that his God was actually theirs. They also accused Arabs of transforming their God into ‘Allah’ by assigning supplementary characteristics borrowed from other Gods. A person named Maslama/Müseylime appears in the Islamic literature. He was reportedly ‘speaking’ on behalf of his God, whom he has called Rahman (‘the merciful’). The inscriptions tell us that Rahman is the name that southern Arabs have taken from Aramaic and Hebrew. Later on they changed it into rahmanan and began calling the God of the Jews and Christians by that name. Maslama was reportedly called by his God’s name - ‘Rahman’. We also know that the ‘Messenger’ has always been accused of getting his wisdom from a ‘Rahman of Yamama’. Qoran itself narrates the criticism levelled at the ‘Messenger.’ Here is Qoran 44:14: “But they turned their faces away from him and said: He has been taught, he is crazy.” Verse 16:103 continues with this theme of gossip: “We know that they say, ‘a man is teaching him the Qoran.’ The tongue of the man they are hinting at is foreign, but (the language of) this Qoran is evidently Arabic.” The person referred to in this verse is described as ‘a Greek Christian who the ‘Messenger’ comes together from time to time and learns Qoranic doctrines from him. This person could well have been the Nestorian Christian Sergius (‘Bahira’). Those places in Qoran where God speaks are clear, like Qoran 3:195. But a great majority of the forms like “Say to them,’ ‘tell them” (which are numerous) are clearly the directions and instructions from ‘somebody.’ In these verses the ‘speaker’ is supposedly God but the necessary pronoun ‘I’ is missing. We don’t know if Sergius was the tutor of the ‘Messenger’ or if there were others beside him. We are told that the Arabs have the habit of substituting words of their invention for the names of foreigners, and they have adopted the Syriac word bhira/bahira for Sergius. Bhira/bahira means ‘honorable’ in Syriac, and is used by the Syrians for monks as a title. Nestorian tradition definitely believes that a Nestorian monk named Sergius was the teacher of the ‘Messenger.’ The story has it that Sergius was a monk who was evicted from his monastery. He traveled to Mekka, where he found two groups of people: idolaters and Jews. There he began preaching the Christian

faith as Nestorius preached. He eventually succeeded in converting all the idolaters to his own faith. The ‘Messenger’’ was among these idolaters (in those days persons who are not either a Jew or a Christian were considered idolaters), and Sergius helped the ‘Messenger’ in his literary, political, and religious career. After the death of Sergius a Jewish rabbi called Ka’b is reported to have taken over as the mentor of the ‘Messenger.’ Some scholars go so far as to claim that the story of Sergius is necessary for the right understanding of Qoran. When one goes through Qoran in detail, one becomes aware of the fact that the Book is a collection of;
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The concepts of God, The messages announced and directed at certain communities by the ‘Messenger,’ The messages that look like being taught by the tutor/tutors declaring their positions, The efforts of editors and authors since the time of the ‘Messenger,’ The efforts by the Arabs of the desert to own the ‘Messenger’ and the belief system, and to replace the original ideas by those originating from Mekka. QORAN: A DEVELOPING TEXT

When one looks at the Qoran in depth one gets the impression of two books in one: One is about the Ismaelite-Mohamedans and the other about the desert Arabs (Mekkans). There seems to be two different groups of writers, one of them Palestine-Bakka oriented and the other Mekka-Ka’ba. It is as if the sections related to Midian, al Hicr, to the ruins of the destroyed places, and BakkaPalestine etc. are the leftovers from the earliest original scripture, and the sections on the ‘Messenger’s adventures in and around Mekka (except his presence in Medina) are the later additions. The Mohamedan movement’s sacred shrine was in Bakka which was their kıbla, and following the ‘Messenger’s death kıbla was changed to Mekka-Ka’ba because in my opinion the desert Arabs had managed to have their way. But the region which was the focus of the 'Messenger's interest had Bakka in the North and Medina in the South. That was all. For the ‘Messenger’ Mekka was a nonentity Whenever the book refers to the stories taken from the Mosaic and Christian myths and tales, the Islamic versionsof the narrations are full of mistakes; they are either summarised or superficial or changed. This gives the impression that;
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The tutor/storyteller did not know the stories in full; Even if he knew the stories in full he narrated them intentionally in their amended form;

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The person (the ‘Messenger’?) who laid down/instituted the teaching based on the stories of the past had had them written down intentionally in the form he wanted them to appear in the Book; The person who wrote the Book did not know the original stories himself and wrote down the narrated versions; Even if the author knew the originals of the stories, he nevertheless wanted the approved version to be written in the Book.

The ‘Messenger’/author/editor refer only to the past ‘examples’ as the supposedly divine(!) interventions and base their ‘teaching’ on those events. There is only ‘past’ in the Book. There is no future. One naturally tries to find something in the form of divine(!) forecasting, warnings, the expected developments etc. No way! The author/editor of the Book conceives his Supreme Being as interested only in the past. That is only natural, is it not? The author had no means of knowing the future! References to the period of the ‘Messenger’ seem to mention the events, behaviour and attitude of the opponents, and the inter-Arab conflict, but there is never a single positive, concrete reference to dates, places or events. Exegetes have tried to make up for this deficiency by adding their ‘learned’ comments in the form of parenthetic insertions to the verses in the Book and elsewhere. I believe that the sections and verses relating to the sacred shrine, Bakka, and the suras like the second and third seem to be the remnants of the original scriptures. But much of the Book we have today must have been written by the Arabs of the desert, Syria and Irak. The Islamic belief system has been considered as the most unquestionable of the Abrahamic belief systems until recently, which is claimed to be initiated by a person closest to our era, who has been documented sufficiently. There are abundant references to this person’s sayings and deeds. But the results of extensive research done on Islam revealed the fact that the overwhelming majority of the Islamic literature is pure inventions, which were necessitated by the pressing priorities of the ruling groups of the day. The Qoran we have today could not be the divinely(!) intended book (or the book that someone on this earth has intended), because even before getting into the details of the contents;

The supposedly progressing revelation (the order of the suras) has been changed. The Islamic ideology admits this fact by giving the order of revelation and the placement in Qoran together. Therefore the preferences of man has interfered with the book. Secondly the Book was arranged and rewritten at least three times in its history.

The first gathering and writing of the verses of Qoran as a book was supposedly in the reign of Abu Bakr (his original name was Abd-ul Ka’ba=Ka’ba’s servant) who was the caliph between 632-634 AD. The story goes like this: The ‘Messenger’ was dead and no one knew the entire Qoran by heart. Either Abu Bakr or Umar has asked Zayd ibn Thabit to collect the verses of Qoran and put them in order, because the ‘Messenger’ had never ordered the Qoran to be written down (he is said to have been against the intervention of the human preferences in divine messages). Zayd ibn Thabit refused in the first instance, arguing that he had no right to do so if the ‘Messenger’ hadn’t thought it necessary. But we are told that some verses were written down already despite the ‘Messenger’s attitude. Which ones were written down? How were they preserved, and where? No one knows! There are many stories circulating, and the uncertainty remains. We do not know what happened to the bits and pieces that were supposedly collected from people. What irreverence it would have been to throw them away. In the end Zayd ibn Thabit did his work. The suras are supposedly arranged from the longest to the shortest.
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Why were the suras arranged from longest to the shortest? Why wasn’t the order done according to the supposed order of revelation? Who decided on this order, Zayd or someone else? Could we say that this work has entailed gathering stories from the existing scriptural texts of other faiths with the aim of putting together a religious text for the Ismaelite-Mohamedan movement? Therefore can we say that there never was a progressing revelation, just a progressing editorial work? Has there been a few pages of notes already written in ‘Messenger’s time, which needed updating and embellishment as necessitated by the national and imperialistic aspirations of the desert Arabs?

The last two propositions sound right. Allegedly, not even the original chronological order was known properly in those days (because there was no revelation, in progression or not!). Traditions tell us that certain suras were revealed in Mekka and others in Medina.
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Why these two places were chosen as the specific places of revelation(!)? Why is it that the messages weren’t revealed during military campaigns or on the road as the ‘Messenger’ was on the move? Is it because the source persons/storytellers were not around? Why is it that there are certain suras that contain both early and late revelations, making clear that some suras were cut and edited together with the others?

It is impossible to determine the true statistics of the statements in Qoran. We are unable to determine which sura or verse is early and which is late. In the end the ‘suras and verses bound between two covers’ were left to Umar. When he died his daughter Hafsa kept it. But other scholars have also arranged their own codices, which became sources of contention because they differed from one another.
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What was the reason behind this first collation? Was it because Umar ibn al Hattab was extremely worried that bits and pieces of Qoran would be lost because a great number of Moslems who knew Qoran by heart were killed at the battle of Yamama? Was this the reason why he called Zayd ibn Thabit to do the collection of Qoran and writing it down? Was it Abu Bakr’s idea or maybe Ali’s initiative, which led to this first collation? Was this editorial work completed in two years as we are told? Why was the first collation supposedly given back to Hafsa? Qoran, could not be a private property, so theree must be a reason fcor this. What was the reason? Safekeeping? Could this story be a wholesale invention?

The story is not finished yet! The Islamic literature states that Abu Bakr did the first collation. Umar was the next caliph, and when we reach the time of the third caliph Uthman, there were said to be four rival editions. Researchers and scholars agree that these and the other codices in circulation were different from each other and different from the final official version. Some of them had more and some had less than the final version. The chaos created by the existence of all these different codices reportedly prompted Uthman to intervene. Caliph Uthman reigned between 644-656 AD. The messenger has been dead and gone for 22 years and Uthman is trying to put together an official Book! This is unbelievable. Uthman took the copy kept by Hafsa and had it rewritten by Zayd with three others. The stories about this second editorial work have no reference at all to Zayd’s involvement in an earlier rescension. Futhermore there are variations in the list of people working with Zayd and one of the co-workers is said to have been dead already at that time. Therefore there may not have been a first collation, and this second writing could also be an invention. Here is the very important order given to the writers by Uthman during the supposed editorial work: “Whenever there is a disagreement between you and Zayd of Medina on a certain section of Qoran, write the disputed section in Kureyshi tongue because Qoran was sent only in Kureyshi tongue.” The Kureysh tribe is a Medinan tribe, which must have moved there from north. Now this order makes it clear that Zayd was from Medina and the desert Arabs of Mekka did not

understand his tongue. Could Zayd’s tongue have been Nabatean or a local dialect of it, spoken in Madian/Midian/al Hicr? The following call by Uthman (reported by Suyuti in Al Itkan) may be taken as a solid indication to what has happened to the original text (if ever there had been any!) or to the collection of texts from different sources: “O Mohamed’s companions! Come together and write a book which will be an Imam (the sole model) to people.” This says it all! They are writing a book, not putting it together. Therefore the impression we get from here is that there are bits and pieces of material both oral and written, left from the time of the ‘Messenger.’ These ‘companions’ are asked to write a book (using the existing material and adding to it whatever is needed by the desert Arabs). So almost certainly there was no offficial text, and the second gathering of Qoran was not a simple copying, but a major writing effort. Differences of dialect between the codices should not have been the reason behind this editorial work, because in those days Arabic was still without the vowels and diacritical dots. These were introduced later so that the text written in a different language could be read and understood. This editorial work was, in effect, the canonization of the Medinan version, the copies of which were sent to all the metropolitan centres with the accompanying order to destroy all the other codices. This is the first burning. In the end Uthman returned the original ‘suras and verses between two covers’ to Hafsa. If the writers acted in accordance with Uthman’s call quoted above, one would not be far off of the truth if one said that an exact copy of the ‘Book’ at Hafsa’s safekeeping wasn’t made. But instead the whole thing was written again, and the version returned to Hafsa must have been the edited copy. This is why people are suspicious about the authenticity of the copy we have today. Alawites have their own version, Arabs have theirs, Persians have another copy of their own and there is another version in India. We know that there are differences between the lists of suras of the old and present versions of the Book. Suyuti in his book Al Itkan reports that “Aisha could not understand how the two verses of the Al-i Imran have increased to 200.” Though some reports seem to indicate that there have been seven copies made, it is not clear how many copies of Qoran were produced and distributed in Uthman’s reign. In a number of books, Uthman is said to have given permission for the copying of the copies, and also some individuals have created copies of their own. These individually made copies reportedly had certain sections, which were not in the official Qoran. Consequently, the claim by some scholars that there was still no consensus regarding the Qoran 30 years after Hicra (around 652 AD.) seems to be the truth. If the story about the Uthmanic rescension is correct and reflects the reality, there must have been a unity of opinion on the official doctrines due to the existence of an earlier copy. In the end, Uthman’s copy of Qoran has supposedly become the foundation of Islam.

But we do not have the original copy given to Hafsa. It is supposedly lost. The four copies (sent to Mecca, Medina, Basra and Damascus) which are claimed to be the results of the Uthmanic rescension, are also lost. But Islam once ruled a vast territory from Atlantic to the shores of the Indian Ocean. Surely, there must be a copy of the original book or a part of it or even a page of it somewhere in that geography. No! We have nothing. There are those who say that due to usage, wear and tear, and the very long period of time in between, these early texts and books were disintegrated, lost etc. This argument is rather doubtful, because there are documents in the Museums of the world, from regions around the land of the Arabs and hundreds of years older than these assumed Islamic texts, if ever they had existed. The Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Alexandrinus are the examples, both of which were written in the 4th century, three to four hundred years before the period when there should have been some Islamic texts! What has happened to those texts? The Arabs might have been deeply involved with their conquests and hadn’t had the sufficient time to treat their Book with care(!), so the earliest copies were lost. The earliest manuscript segments of Qoran are not dated earlier then 690-750 AD. (Annemarie Schimmel). Therefore those persons who claim that the earliest copies were lost, should be willing to admit that these four copies were not lost actually, but have been got rid of or discarded. Those copies might not have been wanted anymore or were no longer relevant for the new version of the Ismaelite-Mohamedan movement. The Samarkand Manuscript is claimed to be one of the copies of the Uthmanic rescencion kept in the Tashkent Library in Uzbekistan. There is another one called the Topkapı Manuscript in the Topkapı Museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Both of them are written in the Kufic script. This script was not in use in Mecca and Medina in the 7th century AD., and appeared in the city of Kufa in Irak in late 8th century. Can you imagine the ‘culmination of revelation’, the ‘mother of all books’ written in the particular script of a city which was not even Islam then. One wonders why the writers of Qoran (supposedly Arabs of the desert) did not use their own script for their most precious possession. There is only one answer: The Book we have today is written by the Kufans in a later period. Furthermore the city of Kufa would have been under the Sassanid (a Persian dynasty) rule in the 7th century AD., and no one would expect Arabic to be the language spoken there. It is a known fact that the Kufic script was perfected during the second half of the 8th century AD., and we know that Abbasids have started controlling Islam after 750 AD. They were of a Persian background and centred their administration in Kufa and Baghdad. Abbasids own the Kufic script. They were under the domination of Umayyads for a century. Therefore an Arabic script could well have originated and evolved into the Kufic script that we find in the later scriptures. So the Samarkand and Topkapı manuscripts could not be from that shadowy first 150 years of Islam.

We are told that “the Samarkand Manuscript is not a complete document and only parts of suras 2 to 43 are included. Of these suras much of the text is missing. The actual inscription of the text of the Samarkand Manuscript presents a real problem, because it is very irregular. Some pages are neatly and uniformly copied out while others are quite untidy and imbalanced. On some pages the text is fairly expansive, while on other pages it is severely cramped and condensed. At times the Arabic letter ‘kaf’ has been excluded from the text, while at others it not only is extended but is the dominant letter. Because of the fact that so many pages of the manuscript differ so extensively from one another, the assumption today is that the Samarkand Manuscript is a composite text, compiled from portions of different manuscripts. Also the artistic illuminations between the suras, usually made up of coloured bands of rows of squares, as well as 151 red, green, blue and orange medallions are a problem.” All of these characteristics indicate a 9th century AD. origin for Qoran, because it is thought extremely unlikely that such decorations would have been included in the 7th century Uthmanic manuscript sent out to the various provinces. The Topkapı Manuscript is also written on parchment. It has no vowels. It is also supplemented with ornamental medallions, which indicate a later age. Moslems claim that “it must be one of the original copies, if not the original one compiled by Zaid ibn Thabit.” But the differences between this one and the Samarkand copy show that both of them cannot be the Uthmanic originals. We have another factor that indicates later dates for these two manuscripts: The format. We are told that the Kufic script necessitates sheets wider than they are tall which is known as the ‘landscape format.’ This is the format of the Syriac and Iraki Christian documents of the 8th and 9th centuries. The earlier Arabic manuscripts are in the ‘upright format.’ In the light of all these indications both the Topkapı and Samarkand Manuscripts could not have been written earlier than 150 years after the Uthmanic Recension, at the earliest the late 700s or early 800s AD. Now something about the Arabic scripts in use in the 7th century AD. We know that there were two scripts;

The al-Ma’il (‘slanted’) script was developed in the Hijaz, particularly in Mecca and Medina, and came into use in the 7th century AD. This script could be identified with the slight angle that it was written. It was reportedly used for 200 years and disappeared. The Mashq script was developed in Medina, it also began in the 7th century AD., and continued to be used for many centuries. Its form is more horizontal, with a cursive and leisurely style. Some researchers believe that the Mashq script was a precursor to the Kufic script.

Wouldn’t it be right to say that if Qoran had been compiled in the 7th century AD. it should have been written in either the Ma’il or Mashq script. We do have a

Qoran written in the Ma’il script. This copy (in the British Museum), which has been dated to 790 AD., is supposedly the earliest Qoran we have. This copy seems to be the boundary beyond which there is no ‘book’. The earliest Qoranic manuscript fragments we have cannot be dated earlier than 100 years after the time of the 'Messenger.' Annemarie Schimmel in her book titled Calligraphy and Islamic Culture, underlines this point when she states that apart from the recently discovered Qorans in Sanaa, “the earliest datable fragments go back to the first quarter of the eighth century”. There are those who say that the Abu Bakr collection is just a fiction. There are also others who claim that the Uthmanic rewriting was a political rather than a religious undertaking, because the ‘Messenger’ had died before making any provisions for the succession and there was a political vacuum to be filled. These claims do not change the result: The texts were collected, edited and rewritten. Does it matter if for once or twice or three times? With the spread of Islam and the conquest of foreign lands ‘metropolitan codices’ are said to have appeared. These metropolitan centres were Mekka, Medina, Damascus, Kufa, and Basra. What happened to the copies supposedly sent to the metropolitan centres? No one knows! We should remember the fact that the official copies of the Old and New Testaments are also the edited official versions of the ancient original texts. The editors were human beings. It shows us that nothing has changed in the hundreds of years in between. Qoran was edited also by humans to produce an acceptable version. Here is the evidence in the form of a statement by Umar ibn al Khattab: “None of you here could say that he has memorized the whole of Qoran, because no one knows how long was the original Qoran, a lot of it has been lost.” No more words are needed. Here is the summary at this stage: We had two supposed compilations of the Qoran. Zayd ibn Thabit has supposedly wrote the whole text of the Qoran first under Abu Bakr, but 15 years later, due to the arguments amongst the believers about what the Qoran was, Uthman again ordered Zayd to write another copy. When this editorial work was done the first/‘original’ copy was allegedly given to Hafsa, and Uthman had all the other copies destroyed. One has no choice but to believe that Zayd had tried, to the best of his knowledge and ability, to write down the exact words of the ‘Messenger’ (or the messages supposedly attributed to him) faithfully. If that’s the case, could we say that the style, grammar, historical inexactitudes, and typographical errors in Qoran are the result of Zayd’s faithful efforts? This Uthmanic text is considered to be the most important piece of literature ever written. It is the ‘mother of books.’ It is considered to be the exact replica of the ‘eternal tablet’ (lavh-i mahfuz) that supposedly exists in heaven. The tradition has it that all the competing codices and manuscripts were destroyed after 646-650

AD., following the Uthmanic editing. Even the copy (Hafsa’s copy), which was the basis for the final recension was burned. The whole matter is based on the narrated versions of an uncertain line of events, in an uncertain past epoch. These narrations are almost certainly biased. Even if they are not, we know very well that narrations are bound to develop into something quite different from the original as time goes by. There were reportedly ten people who have supposedly collected the Qoran in the time of the ‘Messenger’ (but we are told that the ‘Messenger’ himself was against writing down the verses). If the actual collection was done during the ‘Messenger’s lifetime by a number of people, then these people must have acted against his orders. We all know that the passage of time leads to wear and tear and people have made new copies of the original periodically to preserve the important documents. In our case this important document is the supposed revelations by a Supreme Being. This text is the central ‘teaching’ of a belief system, but there are no copies of the original. Moslems may counter this point by claiming that the first texts were late because writing was not known in that region at that time. This is sheer nonsense! Writing on paper began long before the time of the ‘Messenger.’ Paper to write on was invented in the 4th century, and was in use extensively thoughout the civilized world. The Umayyads were based in Syria and not in Arabia Deserta. They had scribes and secretaries. What were those secretaries supposed to be doing in the courts of the Caliphs? Writing tales for the children? Nonsense! Furthermore, Arabs of the desert claim that the region called Hijaz was vibrating with traders in the 7th century AD. and earlier with caravans racing on the routes North-South. Therefore there must have been writing there, at least to make the calculations. Judging by their descendants living at present those camel traders could not have been bright enough to memorize all their dealings and costs in figures. We should ask those Moslems: What were those codices by Ubayy bin Ka'b, Abdullah ibn Masud, and abu Musa (Pearson)? Were they written documents? They had to be. Uthman felt the need to have a copy of his own of the code Book, due to the existence of the other copies. They knew writing perfectly well! But still we have no record of those much talked about documents prior to 750 AD. Does anyone have an answer? No!
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If a collection was done in the ‘Messenger’s lifetime what was the reason behind the Abu Bakr and Uthman collections? If a collection was done while the ‘Messenger’ was around, how could the Abu Bakr and Uthman collections be accepted as the collections? Either the work carried out when the ‘Messenger’ was alive is a fiction or the later ones are intentional inventions. If all of them are true then we have no choice but to accept that Qoran has developed or changed - in every sense of the word - starting with an oral

tradition or an original text and growing into another. The process of development/growing of the Book must have been dictated by the needs of the different groups. The prevalent atmosphere and the requirements of the times could have been the other factors that had a role in the progress of the Book. No one should overlook the possibility that all the stories could be fictitious.

If you think this is all, you are wrong, because there are Moslem historians;

Who claim that Ali ibn abu Talib and Uthman did the writing of Qoran themselves, and when they were absent ibn Ka’b and Zayd ibn Thabit did the work; and the people in those days accused Uthman of reducing the Qoran from many books to one. Make note! Uthman is accused of putting together the Book, not by collecting verses written on various bits and pieces, but reducing many books into one! Who assert that a Christian slave has taught the ‘Messenger’, and that a person named ibn abi Sarh claimed that he could amend what was in Qoran as he wished just by writing to this slave. Like Bar Hebraeus and Calal-ud-Din as-Suyuti, who attribute the collection of Qoran to caliph Abd-al Malik bin Marwan (684-705) and his lieutenant Haccac bin Yusuf (ibn Dumak and Makrizi). They say that Haccac proscribed the reading of ibn Masud’s version. Who also assert that Haccac had tried to achieve a consensus amongst the writers on a single text, but to no avail. We know that anyone who followed the variants was severely punished. When Haccac bin Yusuf became powerful under the reign of Abd-al Malik who was the caliph (684704), he has reportedly decided to have an official copy of Qoran. Can you imagine a situation where more than 70 years after the death of the ‘Messenger’ Moslems are still trying to get an official copy of their holy Book? Unbelievable! Haccac bin Yusuf has reportedly gathered all the copies of Qoran, mainly Uthman’s Qoran, which was most probably written on scrolls of parchment called ‘suhuf’, and put together all these in a book. This must have necessitated a lot of editorial work that involved deleting some parts and incorporating others, and allegedly adding the vowels. Haccac has reportedly had six copies made of the new version, and had all the other copies burnt. This is the second burning.

The variants of Qoran have never disappeared, but preserved by exegetists and philologists, only to be used in their tafsir (exegesis) work while helping the orthodoxy. These people claimed that the variants they preserved were just exegetic notes on Uthman’s codex. To get an idea about these variant texts we are advised to consult Abu Hayyan, and the Kitab al-Masahif (Masahif Books) written in the 4th Islamic century by ibn-ul Anbari, ibn Ashta, and ibn abi Daud, each discussing the lost codices. You cannot find the former two, which are lost and could be known only through references. The third, ibn abi Daud’s book

refers to fifteen primary codices and thirteen secondary ones, which were mostly based on Masud’s primary codex. Then there was the codex of Ubayy bin Ka’b, who was one of the ansar supporters of the ‘Messenger.’ The term ansar denotes the group of Jews who had received the ‘Messenger’ favourably in Medina. Bin Ka’b was a secretary to the ‘Messenger’ in Medina. He is said to have written the treaty with the Jews. He has been one of the four instructors commended by the ‘Messenger.’ His personal codex is believed to have been the predominant Book in Syria. Its dominant position is said to have continued even after the standardisation of the codex. There are stories that he was involved with the creation of Uthman’s text, but we don’t know how. The order of suras in his codex is said to have been different. Another codex was reportedly Ali’s Book. Ali was the ‘Messenger’s son-in-law. He has supposedly begun compiling a codex of his own upon the death of the ‘Messenger.’ He is said to have had access to the hidden Qoranic material, hence his sura divisions were reportedly very different from Uthman’s. Ali has supposedly supported Uthman’s recension and burnt his own compilation. We do not know why Ali’s texts were varied. It could have been the original codex or his interpretation of Uthman’s rewriting. Now, what does this short summary show? The book was supposedly collected, edited and rewritten at least three times. These are the questions that come to mind:

If each and every editorial work was to be the identical copy of the original revelation what was the reason for going into all that trouble not once, but three times? If the outcome of each and every editorial work was the identical copy of the original revelation what was the reason behind the burning of the previous copies? So we can safely say that all that editorial work and the human intervention, brings to mind a single explanation: During the 100 years following the ‘Messenger’s death the code Book of Islam has evolved and underwent an editorial transformation.

BORROWINGS IN QORAN AND ISLAM Islam is the last of the Abrahamic-Semitic belief systems, and it hasn’t deviated from the firmly established traditions of its predecessors. There are borrowings in Qoran from Torah, Talmud (Mishnah, Midrashim), and the New Testament. It has some Christian material from Aramaic. It has borrowed from Zoroastrianism, Sabianism, and from the myths and legends common to the world literature

(introduced mainly via Jews); and from other myths, legends and stories of the region. There is also a minimal amount of material originating from their society. Qoran has many Biblical characters, but the stories borrowed from the Bible are mixed up. The variations in these stories are believed to have originated either from the Jewish haggada or the New Testament apocrypha. In addition to the borrowings one should also look into the reasons behind the mistakes in Qoran. Should the blame be on the cognitive ability of the ‘listener’ or the narration of the storyteller? For example, Haman is presented as the minister of Pharaoh in Qoran, and Mary becomes the sister of Aaron. The identities of the ‘listener’ or the ‘storyteller’ is a matter for you to think about. Here is a short list of the borrowed material in Qoran, established by various scholars and myself:
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Unity of God (from Zoroastrianism via Mosaic scriptures). Creation (from Sumer and Akkad via Mosaic scriptures). The story about Adam being wiser than the angels and naming the animals (Midrash Rabba on Numbers; Midrash Rabba on Genesis; Sanhedrin 38). Qoran’s description of Hell (resembles those in the Homilies of Ephraim, a Nestorian preacher of the 6th century; original idea is from Zoroastrianism). Seven heavens (‘Seven paths’ is used in the Talmud; originally from Sumer and Zoroastrianism via Mosaic scriptures). Seven hells, including seven gates and trees at the gates (from Zoroastrianism via Mosaic scriptures). The ‘Messenger’s mode of revelation (is face to face with a divinity which resembles Zarathustra’s, and Moses’ on a mountain). Retribution (is originally from Mithraism and Zoroastrianism via Christianity - the coming of the Messiah/Mahdi, establishment of the divine rule, the last judgment, the war between Gog and Magog, casting of the idols into hellfire etc.). Angels and demons/jinns (are originally from Zoroastrianism via Mosaic scriptures). Noah’s role as a teacher and seer, and the flood of hot water (Compare Sanhedrin 108, Midrash Tanchuma, Rosh Hashanan 162). Noah’s words (indistinguishable from the ‘Messenger’s or Gabriel/Allah). Idris (Enoch) taken to paradise after death and raised to life again (Genesis 5:24; Tract Dereen Erez - cited in Midrash Yalkut). Av’ram/Ibrahim is an archetypal messenger, friend of God, living in temple, writing books etc. Conflict over idols lead to danger of being burned alive but he was rescued by God. [Compare Midrash Rabba on Genesis 15:7, where God and Av’ram are in conversation: “And he (God) said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of Chaldees, to

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give thee this land to inherit it.” Is there anything here, which suggests that Av’ram was saved from the burning fire? No! But when rabbi Yonathan ben Uziel translated ‘ur’ (‘city’) in Babylonian as ‘or’ (‘fire’) in Midrash Rabba the meaning was transformed totally. Rabbi ben Uziel wrote in his commentary on this verse: “I am the Lord who brought you out of the fire of the Chaldeans.” This mistake gives the impression that Abraham had been delivered out of the ‘fire’ of the Chaldeans. When Islam took the story from the quoted Midrash this mistake became a part of the Islamic mythology. Do you remember the mythical personality called Nimrod? There is no such person in history, he is thought to be Ninurta (God of War), who supposedly has thrown Abraham into the fire. The name Nimrod appears only in the Old Testament, but again the reference is to the name only, there is no story. Nimrod does not appear in Qoran, but only in Moslem tradition and in the story that is among the Qoranic commentaries. What do we find when we look up for Nimrod in the reference sources? Based on the references in legends encyclopedias date this mythical Nimrod to 2450 BC. Another mythical person Abraham (if he has ever lived) must have been alive somewhere in between 19001750 BC. There are two ‘ifs’ and two ‘unknowns’ already. That is not all! There is a difference of about 500 years between them, which makes further discussion pointless. The ‘Messenger’ identifies himself (or the storyteller, or the ‘author’ of Qoran identify the ‘Messenger’) so much with Abraham that the words he puts into Abraham’s mouth become words with no meaning for those outside the ‘Messenger’s frame of reference]. The infant Moses refuses the breast of Egyptian women (Compare Sotah 12:2). Pharaoh claims divinity (Compare Midrash Rabba on Exodus). Pharaoh eventually repents (Compare Pirke Rabbi Eliezer). God threatens to overturn the mountain onto the Israelites (Compare Abodah Sarah). The story of Iblis (or Satan/Shaitan) not prostrating himself before Adam (is a story which has a possible Jewish origin in Sanhedrin 596 and Midrash Rabba 8). Joseph is the subject of almost all of the 12th sura. The additions in Qoran to the original Biblical story are derived from the Jewish legends: Joseph is warned away from Potiphar’s wife in a dream (Compare Sotah 6:2); Egyptian women cut their hands because of Joseph’s beauty (Compare with references in Midrash Yalkut to ‘The Great Chronicle’). Hebrew chronology is erroneous in Qoran, where the ‘Messenger’ places Moses nearer to Jesus chronologically (Moses’ supposed sister Miryam is presented as Jesus’ mother). Rewards for the righteous after death (is from Numbers 23:10). Cain and Abel story in Qoran 5:30-32 [is from the Targum of Yonathan ben-Uzzia, the Targum of Yerushalayim, Pirke Rabbi Eliezer and Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5. These three documents are Jewish writings from the Talmud, which comments on the Laws of the Bible. They contain nothing

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more than Hebrew myths and tales. There are specific parallels with Pirke Rabbi Eliezer (the story of the raven teaching people how to bury), and with Mishnah Sanhedrin (the commentary about the shedding of blood)]. In Qoran Abraham’s father is called Azar/Azer, not Terah (but according to Eusebius Azar/Azer is similar to the name used in Syria). The story in Qoran 27:17-44 about the visit of the Queen of Saba/Sebe/Sheba to Solomon; Solomon’s talking to Hoopoe bird, and the queen of Sheba lifting her skirt when she mistook a mirrored floor for water. These stories are from the II Targum of the Book of Esther, written 500 years before the appearance of Qoran. The claim that Solomon and the queen of Sheba were coeval cannot be proven historically. According to the historians someone called Bilkis/Belkis bint Hadhad/Belkis bin Hedhad has lived in Yemen during the time of Himyar in 330-345 BC. The Yemenis who have become Christians attacked Yemen when she was around. There could not be any connection between this woman and Solomon who has lived 13-14 centuries earlier. When one considers that the state of Seba/Sebe/Sheba was founded at the earliest in the 8th century BC. Bilkis/Belkis could not be the queen of Seba/Sebe/Sheba. The form of the story that appears in Qoran does not exist in the Old Testament. So the writers of Qoran must have found this story suitable for their needs and inserted it into Qoran. Immanuel Velikovsky in his book Ages in Chaos has a different proposition. Starting from the supposition that there is a difference of hundreds of years between the Egyptian and the Israelite-Palestinian chronologies, Immanuel Velikovsky ends up with the conclusion that the Queen who visited Jerusalem was not from the land of Seba but from Egypt: She was allegedly the queen Hatshepsut. The angel Malik (Qoran 43:77) rules over Cehennam/Cehennem (The name is taken from Molech, the ruler of fire in pagan Palestine). Harut and Marut story (is similar to several accounts in the Talmud, especially Midrash Yalkut. The origin of these angels is Zoroastrianism where they are called Haurvatat and Amerodad). The concept that Qoran is kept on heavenly tablets (appears in Sumerian cosmolgy. Original idea is Sumerian. The concept is similar to Decalogue/Ten Commandments on stone tablets). The history of Maryam/Miryam (Maryam is said to be the sister of Aaron, the daughter of Imran/Amran the father of Moses, and the mother of Jesus). The hadith tells us that Maryam’s mother was an aged, barren woman who promised to give her child to the temple if God gave it to her (which is from the Protevangelium of James the Less). Qoran refers to priests competing as to who would raise Mary. They throw their rods into the river, only Zacharias’ rod floats [From the History of our Holy Father the Aged, the Carpenter (Joseph), Arabic apocryphal book]. Mary is denounced as an adulteress but pleads her innocence (From Protevangelium a Coptic book on the Virgin Mary); Mary gives birth under a palm tree which aids her (From the History of the Nativity of Mary and the Saviour’s Infancy);

The Childhood of Jesus: in Qoran 3:49 Jesus speaks from the cradle and creates birds of clay which he then turnes into living birds (From Thomas the Israelite’s Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus); the Palm tree which provides relief for the pain of Mary after Jesus’s birth in Qoran 19:22-26 (From the Lost Books of the Bible); the story of the baby Jesus talking in Qoran 19:29-33 (From the Arabic apocryphal fable from Egypt named the first Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ); Qoran 42:17 and 101:6-9 mentions the balance of good and bad deeds to teach that a scale or balance will be used on the day of judgment to weigh good and bad deeds in order to determine whether one goes to heaven or to hell (From the Testament of Abraham and from the Egyptian Book of the Dead); Ascent (Mi’rac) of the ‘Messenger’ [We have various interpretations of this story. Ibn Ishak quotes Aisha and the ‘Messenger,’ saying this was an out of body journey. Muhyi-ud-Din ibn-ul Arabî is of an identical opinion. But ibn Ishak also quotes the ‘Messenger’ as saying that it was a literal journey. There are other sources, which relate the ‘Messenger’ as saying that it was a literal journey into the seventh heaven. In a Zoroastrian story the Magi send one of their members into heaven to get a message from God (Ormazd/Ahura Mazda/Hormuz). This is from a Pahlavi book Arta-i Viraf Namak, dated 400 years before Hicra. Another story could be found in the Secrets of Enoch (chapter 1:4-10 and 2:1), which predates the Qoran by four centuries. Also, the fictitious book called the Testament of Abraham, written around 200 BC., in Egypt and translated into Greek and Arabic narrates the story of Abraham taken up to heaven in a chariot; there is the story of Yakob dreaming about a ladder to heaven on the road to Haran from Beer-Sheba. The first lucky one in history to have ascended to heaven was Etana the Shepherd the thirteenth king of Kish. He ascended to heaven on the back of an eagle according to the story. He was searching for the ‘plant of life’ and the eagle took him ‘up’ to the throne of Ishtar]. The Seven Sleepers story [is of Greek origin found in a Latin work of Gregory of Tours (Story of Martyrs 1:95) and was recognised by the Christians as pious fiction]. The legend is about seven Christian youths who flee Ephesus to the mountains, to escape the persecution of Decius (250 AD). Although a Christian tale, it seems to have come to the Ismaelite ‘Messenger’ or to the storyteller or to the ‘author’ via Jews. Do you know why? A hadith tells us that the Jews in Mekka were especially interested in this story. This remark in the folrm of a hadith may be taken as another indication of the efforts by the Mekkan Arabs to introduce their dimension and possess the belief system. There is nothing uniquely Christian about this tale. The legend must have existed in different forms, because when the ‘Messenger’ is reportedly challenged on what is the correct number of youths, the Qoran dodges the challenge by insisting that only God knows the right answer (which is the usual attitude of Qoran whenever cornered). Qoran 18 is unusual because the stories in it are not

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from the Bible or the Rabbinic literature, and the authors make no mention of it elsewhere in the Qoran. Paradise full of Huris [ the female angels like the ‘peri/pari’ in Zorastrianism. The words ‘huri’, ‘jinn/cin’, and ‘bihist’ (paradisepairidaeza-firdaws) are borrowed from Avesta or other Pahlavi sources] . Ghıluman/gıluman/gılman (‘youths of pleasure’, ‘gılman-ı cannat’ are in Hindu tales). The name of the Angel of death Azrail (Sammael and Azrael in Hebrew; taken from Mosaic scriptures). The concept of an angel killing those in hell (is from Zoroastrianism). Azazil (is the name of the angel before becoming Iblis-Satan-Shaitan) coming from hell [this story is similar to the Zoroastrian tale about their devil (Ahura Manah-Ahriman-Angra Mainyu) in the book Victory of God]. In the hadith (Kısas al Anbiya, ‘Stories of Prophets’) God sends angels to gather dust to create Adam, and Azrael/Azrail brings it from every quarter [This is a story from Christian or heretical writers. Heretic Marcion argued that it was an angel (the ‘God of the law’ ) who created people, not the true God. The origin of the story is the Sumerian mythology]. The light of the ‘Messenger’ was the first created ‘thing’ [(Kısas al Anbiya, Ravzat-al Ahbab). The light was divided into four, then each into four. The ‘Messenger’ was the first of the first divisions of light. This light was then placed on Adam and descended to the best descendant. This is virtually identical with the Zoroastrian view which described the four divisions of light (the Minukhirad, Desatir-i Asmani, Yasht); the light was placed on the first man (Jamshid) and passed to his greatest descendent]. Each messenger predicting the next messenger (is a concept from the books called Desatir-i Asmani where each Zoroastrian messenger predicts the next one. The opening sentence of these books is “In the name of God, the Giver of gifts, the Beneficent” which is similar to the opening formula of the suras in Qoran “With the name of God the Merciful and Gracious”). The Sırat Bridge (is a concept from Dinkart/Denkart of the Zoroastrianism, where it is called Chinavad-Chinvat-Cinwat-Chinwad Bridge - ‘Bridge of the Requiter’). Yonah’s (Yunus/Younis) story (is the abridged version of the Old Testament account, but the name Yunus is based on the Greek form, Younis, rather than the Hebrew one, Yonah. Therefore the origin could be the Pentateuch). Saul and Goliath (Talut and Calut in Qoran is a mix up of the story of Gideon in Judges with that of David and Goliath). The story of Moses (is a summary of the most of the Exodus story in the Old Testament. But there is no clear association between Moses and the Israelites). The marriage of Moses in Midian (is loosely patterned after Yakob and Rachel).

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Positions for prayer (standing, sitting, reclining are from Mosaic belief system, but the original practice is most probably Sabian. The bending down and prostrating maybe from Christianity). Shortening of prayer in war (is from Judaism). Ban on prayers for the drunken/intoxicated persons (The ban most probably originates from drinking of intoxicating liquids of sorts. These intoxicating liquids include wine in pagan, idolatrous and polytheist cultic ceremonies. The ‘Messenger’ was also not very happy about people around him getting drunk and voicing their objections, so he banned intoxicating drinks - especially wine). Silent recitation of prayers (from Judaism). Discernment of the daybreak by the ability to distinguish between a coloured and a white thread (which is blue thread from white in Judaism and black thread from white Islam - from Mishnah Berakhoth). A waiting period of three months for the divorced woman before a remarriage (from Judaism). Two years of suckling time (from Judaism). Identical limitations for intermarriages (from Judaism). Angels living on earth, lusting after women and breaking marriages (compare Midrash Abhkhir, quoted in Midrash Yalkut). Shuayb (could be the Biblical Jethro). Uzayr/Ozair (is Ezra the priest of the Old Testament; Jews are accused of declaring him the son of God). Full understanding of ‘being’ at 40 years (Aboth 5:21). Interceding effectively leads to reward (Baba Kamma 92). Only works follow a person at death, family and goods don't (Pirke Rabbi Eliezer 34). The concept of seven heavens and seven hells (Originally from Sumer, Zoroastrianism, via the Jewish books Hagigah and Zohar). God’s throne is above the waters (From Zoroastrianism, the Old Testament and Jewish Rashi). The message in Qoran 21:105 referring to ‘Zebur’ (corresponds with the message of Psalm 37:11). Pharaoh builds a tower (like the tower of Babel) to reach Allah(!) (This narrative indicates how free the ‘Messenger’ had felt himself in altering the Biblical tradition). The story of Moses searching for the fountain of life (is identical with an episode from the legend of Alexander the Great. Only the name is different. Origin of this legend is the Gilgamesh epic). The narrative of the ‘two-horned’ hero (is from Alexander the Great). Hero journeys to the place of the setting Sun and to the place of its rising as an emissary of God. He is protected against Gog and Magog (Ya’cuc and Ma’cuc in the Qoran) and Alexander builds a great wall (These are fantasies, which are said to echo those found in the Haggada, which reinforces the possibility of a Jewish source for the entire story in Qoran).

God lifting up the Mount Sinai and holding it over the heads of the Jews as a threat for rejecting the law in Qoran 7:171 (From the 2nd century Jewish apocryphal book, The Abodah Sarah).

In view of the borrowed material mentioned above, Qoran 25:4-8 is extremely revealing. “Those who are in blasphemy say: ‘These are nothing but his fabrications. And another community helped him in this falsehood. These are the tales of the ancients. He has others writing for him. Someone is dictating it to him every morning and evening.. What kind of a prophet is this, he eats, walks in the street. Shouldn’t he have had an angel over him, shouldn’t he have had a particular admonisher with him? A treasure should have been sent to him, or he should have had a garden to eat the fruits of. You are following only a bewitched one.” Qoran 25:4-8 warns that such people will be the losers. The quotation above reflects the actual statements by the people who shared the same environment with the ‘Messenger.’ No more is needed. I would like to remind you the fact that Qoran was disputed by the Jews (who claimed to have the original of the Book), and also by other peoples. The ‘Messenger,’ or the author, or the editors of Qoran or those who have dictated the verses, or those who had produced the texts during the collations of the Book must have inserted bits of all kinds of tales into Qoran wherever they could. But they must have felt that they had to be careful about the pitfalls, because;
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If they borrowed the story exactly, in its entirety, they would be accused of literary theft. If amendments were made they would be accused of forgery. Invention of new stories was extremely difficult, because it needed a creative imagination, which the authors of Qoran obviously did not have.

The most important of all, they seem to have been hard pressed for time to complete a viable text.

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The simplest and fastest solution would be referring to the past stories appearing mainly in the Judaic, Zarathustran-Persian, Christian scriptures, and the regional literature and folk tales. They refrained from going into detail, which often had particulars unsuitable for their needs or they were not very familiar with. So their references were superficial, fragmentary, and revised. They edited the stories.

But that’s not all!

Whenever they felt free they rewrote the essentials.

One can also say that the alterations were made on purpose to provide the initial listeners of the statements with an Ismaelite-Mohamedan context. Don’t forget the Moslem claim that allegedly the same messages were given to Noah, Moses, Hud, Saleh, Shuayb, bin Safvan etc. previously. In the end the ‘Messenger’ (together with his tutors or all by himself) managed to create a multi faceted appearance. To the Christian, he was like a Christian; to the Jew he sounded like a Jew. When the Arabs of the desert succeded in transforming the Abrahamic-Ismaelite doctrines into an Islamic belief system, to the idol worshippers of Mekka they presented the ‘Messenger’ as a worshipper of Ka’ba. In the beginning the ‘Messenger’ together with his tutors, closest associates and the earliest author of the scriptures masterminded a belief system, which eventually appealed to Jews, Christians, pagans, idolaters, Zarathustrans etc. He must havbe been extremely clever and cunning!

BAKKA AND THE SAMARITAN CONNECTION
SHECHEM (NEAPOLIS, NABULUS, NABLUS), SAMARIA Shechem is located in the narrow vale between mount Gerizim and mount Ebal near Nablus. Shechem held a strategic location controlling major North-South and East-West trade routes. It was heavily fortified. The city is reported to have been settled since 2000 BC. “Shechem has always held as a place of importance in Israeli consciousness, as an early center of the nation in its country, and as the focal point of all national and religious hopes for the unification and unity of the nation” (Prof. Benjamin Mazar, conference in Samaria). The ‘place of Sichem’ (Genesis 12:6) in the city reportedly contained a temple of the Lord, with a sacred tree (the ‘Terebinth of Morea/Moreh’) and an altar called El-elohe-Israel (Genesis 33:20). This is an ancient sacred place, called Beth El (House of God), which is the focus of traditions related to the patriarchs of the Hebrews (Av’ram and Yakob). “Here also Joshua had made the covenant with the people of Israel, and Yeroboam son of Nebat ruled the tribes of the central and northern parts of the land, after the house of David had divided the once united kingdom” (A Shomron). Beth El and Dan were two old sanctuaries of Israel, sanctified long before Yerushalayim was conquered by David and made a holy city. There were also holy enclosures in Beth El and Shiloh where sacred effects were kept. When

David chose Yerushalayim as his capital of the southern Kingdom of Judah, he had these effects including the Ark of the Covenant, brought to the city. Consequently Shechem became the capital city of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. This ancient town of Shechem is Tel Balata of today, which is to the East of Nablus. The walls unearthed at the excavations at Tel Balata are believed to be from the 18th century BC. There are two rings of concentric defensive walls (Halakat-us Sahra=‘Stone rings’). The excavations brought to light a Canaanite temple as well (Grand Larousse Encyclopédique). Moreover, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica these excavations led to the discovery of a pre-Israelite city wall, two monumental city gates, and a citadel with a massive Canaanite temple, all of which are from the 2000s BC. Between the 2000-1800 BC. Shechem was one of the most important towns of the Palestinian hill country (Genesis 12:6, 33:18). Shechem’s population was mixed with Horites (Hivites), Indo-Aryans, Hebrews and other Semites in the 15th and 14th centuries BC. The old city was destroyed in late 2nd century BC. A village occupied part of the site in the 1st century AD. Shechem was destroyed when the Israelites occupied the hill country. But Joshua made Shechem the chief meeting place of the tribal confederacy. Shechem became the capital of the Kingdom of Israel, as opposed to Yerushalayim of the kingdom of Judah in the South. The kingdom of Israel fell in 721 BC. In the post-exilic period Shechem became the religious centre for the Samaritans. Vespasianus had the city of Shechem destroyed in 67 AD. and laid the foundations of Neapolis (‘New City,’ Nabulus, Nablus). The first ‘house of God’of the Samaritans was in Shechem. Shechem is also one of the sites counted in the story of Av’ram, which are related directly to him. When Av’ram reached the land of Canaan the first place he stopped was Shechem: “And Av’ram passed through the land to the place of Shechem unto the plain (or terebinth) of More/Moreh” (Genesis 12:6). He built an altar to YHWH, and upon his return from Egypt he went “unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first, and there Av’ram called on the name of the Lord” (Genesis 13:4). Av’ram has supposedly received a divine message from his God there. It is called makom Av’ram = the ’sacred place,’ ’sacred area’ of Av’ram. This place where God has supposedly revealed himself to Av’ram and the other patriarchs is accepted as the locality where a covenant was agreed between God and mankind. The sacred place of Av’ram is called ‘Beyt-u Elah’ (‘house of Elah’=‘house of God’) ‘Elah’ is the Hebrew word also for the oak tree. The similarity betwee the words elah, ilah, alah and allah is significant. ‘Elah’ is the Hebrew word for oak tre, and also God. ‘Alah’ means oath. The word ‘ilah’ is God in Arabic. Allah is the name

of the supreme deity of Islam. It is clear that all these words are intimately related. We are told that the oak tree lives for a very long period because it has the ability to renew its roots. In other words its life span exceeds that of human beings, and an oak treee lasts generations of humans, in other words it is seen as almost ‘eternal.’ That must be one of the reasons why an oak tree is considered a ‘place’ where a Supreme Being manifests itself. The oak tree in the Av’ram story is also believed to be the terebinth (pistacia terebinthus) which many scholars have referred to as the tree Av’ram sat under. If you remember the story, Av'ram/Abraham had his friends sit under the oak that was located near his tent door. It is also referred to as the tree under which Jacob has buried the idols. In his story Av'ram has reportedly planted a grove around the field of Mamre (‘set with trees’ or ’oak grove’). Mamre is identified with Hebron. “In the time of Josephus, a tree some distance north of Hebron was assumed to be the ‘terebinth’ of Abraham.” Abraham reportedly stopped at this tree because he must have expected a divine manifestation there. According to W.O.E. Oesterley and T.H. Robinson this is another example of the belief that spirits took up their abode in trees. Moreover they and many other scholars saw the patriarchal narratives as describing an animistic religion. Discussing Genesis 12:6-8 they point out that ‘oak of Moreh/More’ should be translated as the ‘terebinth of the teacher’, which according to them, meant that it was a tree at which divine teaching was given. Now let us consult Qoran briefly. In sura 8 the author of Qoran seems to be attacking the Jews, who had stopped the pilgrimage to the ruins of the Sacred Temple centuries before. Those who blocked the entry to the Sacred Temple of the people of the kingdom of Israel (the Samaritans) in later epochs must have been the Romans and eventually the Christians. Christians were doing it in the name of the Gospels, (‘Salvation is not through the Law but the spirit’). They were the ruling power of the region in the time of the ‘Messenger.’ Here are the relevant and revealing verses of Qoran’s 8th sura:

Qoran 8:34: “Why shouldn’t God punish them while they were blocking entry to the Sacred Temple? They are not the guardians of the Temple. Servants of it (Temple) are none other than the righteous. But most of them do not know.” Qoran 8:35: “Their worship at the Beytullah (‘house of God’) is nothing but blowing whistles and clapping hands. Therefore suffer the torment for your disbelief.”

The sacred shrine and the ‘house of God’ (Beytullah=Beyt-u-Elah) referred to in these verses must be the Sacred Temple and the ‘house of God’ of Av’ram in Shechem. It is my belief that the origin of the story in Qoran 8:33-35 is in Hosea where we read how the groups of priests murder the pilgrims on the road to

Shechem (Hosea 6:9). Judges 9:25 makes clear that such activity was not unknown in the days before the monarchy, and was facilitated by the narrow ravines through which the city was approached (Lawrence E. Toombs). Shechem was seen as a city of refuge and was reportedly a place of safety. After the exile of the Jews to Babylon Shechem was almost abandoned under the Assyrian rule. Some Israelites still lived there as it is written in Jeremiah 41:4-7. The city seems to have been deserted for 150 years. The Assyrians have reportedly settled peoples from other nations in the kingdom of Israel (northern kingdom). The Old Testament in II Kings narrate how these peoples have refused to worship the supreme overseer of the land, and how the lions attacked them. This was seen as a divine(!) act. A priest was brought in who taught them how they should fear YHWH. But these peoples carried on worshipping their gods and also feared YHWH (II Kings 17:24-34). Samaritans are reported to have expressed their wish to take part in the rebuilding of the temple in Yerushalayim and conduct their worship in the temple. But they were turned down and the hostility between the peoples of the kingdom of Israel and Judah was initiated (Ezra 4:1-3; Luke 9:52-53; John 4:9). Based on the conduct above we could say that Judaeans were the people who were blocking the entry of the northerners (people of Israel) into the temple grounds in Yerushalayim. But I insist on my interpretation. Starting with what is written in Qoran 8:35 [“Their worship at the Beytullah (‘house of God’) is nothing but blowing whistles and clapping hands. Therefore suffer the torment for your disbelief”] I believe that these people blowing whistles and clapping hands in the Temple are the Christians. Jews do not pray by whistling and clapping hands. CLOSING IN ON BAKKA As I mentioned earlier there is no Mekka in Qoran, we have the description of a sacred town and a sacred shrine. According to the exegetes the town where this sacred shrine is situated is Mekka, but let me say that it is only a supposition. Nevertheless I have to mention that the name of the place which was Bakka in the old Qorans is substituted with Mekka in the newer Qorans. This substitution is based on the claim that Bakka is the old name of Mekka due to the particular dialects of different tribes. This proposition was established as a vital support for the claim by the Arabs of the desert that the ‘Messenger’ had risen from their midst and consequently his belief system was meant for them. So the supposition has become a conviction. But that other ‘place,’ Bakka, had existed once upon a time, and the Arabs who follow the line established by their forefathers will fail to erase this ‘place’ from the scriptures. Because the belief system which they have transformed actually centres on Av’ram/Ibrahim, on Beth El/the ‘house of God’ in Bakka, on Av'ram's wanderings, his relationship with his God, and his faith etc., all of which is written in their Book. But the desert Arabs could not have tolerated the fact that the belief system they have transformed was originally initiated by someone who was

not one of them. So, they expressly relocated Bakka and the ‘Messenger.’ As a result of their editorial work we ended up with Mekka, Ka’ba and a ‘Messenger’ born in Mekka. Bakka is mentioned in Qoran as the place where the first house of God was. Here is verse 3:96: “The first Beyt (House of God) established to be a source of abundance for the realms and a guide for the people is the one in Bakka. There are clear signs, Ibrahim’s stone (Makam-ı Ibrahim) is there. Those who enter the place will be secure. Pilgrimage there by those who can afford the journey is a duty men owe to God.” Let us break down this statement into its parts;
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There is a first ‘house of God’; It is in Bakka; Ibrahim’s (Av’ram’s) stone is there, which is called ‘Makam-ı Ibrahim’.

Then in Qoran 2:125 we have this statement by God: “Remember the time when we made the Beytullah (House of God) a place for prayer and a secure shelter. Get yourself a place for prayer in the Makam-ı Ibrahim.” From here we understand that the Beytullah (House of God) is also called Makam-ı Ibrahim. According to Islam Ibrahim/Av’ram was the one who built the ‘house of God,’ consequently he was the first Moslem (‘one who has surrendered to God’). In addition to the above verses in the official code Book, we have a specific story in the Islamic literature. Here it is: “Ibrahim had a vision, where he was instructed to take Hacar (Hagar) and his son Ismail (Ishmael) to the place called Bakka..Wherein there was a mound on which were the ruins of the ‘sacred shrine’ which is known as Ka’ba today” (this ‘sacred shrine’ was apparently a pile of stones). We are told that the place was desolate, there was no water, no plants, no trees or people. But Ibrahim went to Bakka and left Hacar and Ismail there under the shade of a large tree..and started to leave which prompted Hacar to ask: ‘Ibrahim are you leaving us in this uninhabited, desolate wilderness?’..But Ibrahim left without a word..After a period of time Ibrahim came back to Bakka, where he found Ismail sitting under a large tree near the spring of Zemzem..They greeted each other and Ibrahim told his son that Allah had ordered him to rebuild Ka’ba (sacred shrine). Abraham pointed to (this is critical!) a mound of large stonesand told Ismail, ‘Allah has commanded me to raise the foundations.’ ..Allah made a covenant with Ibrahim and Ismail there.” From this statement make a note of the following crucial points;
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There has already been a sacred shrine in the place called Bakka, which was in the form of a pile of stones; Ibrahim went there; Ibrahim left this place and returned there after a period of time;

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Ibrahim raised the foundations of the sacred shrine and rebuilt the structure. There was a well there called Zemzem;

Ibrahim is Av’ram/Abraham of the Mosaic scriptures. So we must begin from there. Av’ram’s story is in the book Genesis: On route from Haran to Canaan “Av’ram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem (Shechem), unto the plain of Moreh” (12:6). There LORD (the word in capitals refers to YHWH in AKJV) appeared to Av’ram and promised to give the land to his seed, in other words they made a covenant. Thereupon Av’ram built an altar (12:7) (the altar is either a stone standing upright or a pile of stones). From there he moved to a mountain on the east of Beth El (‘house of El’=house of God) and pitched his tent. Beth El was on the West and Hai on the East. There he built an altar on to the LORD and invoked his name (12:8). Samaritans believe that the place where Av’ram built his altar is the place of attempted sacrifice of Isaac. Then he journeyed towards South (12:9). There was famine in the land and he proceeded to Egypt. (..) After a period in Egypt he returned to Canaan “Journeying from South even to Beth El, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Beth El and Hai” (13:3), unto the place of altar, which he had made there at the first. There Av’ram invoked the name of the LORD (13:4). (He must have gone there not only to visit again, but also to restore the altar) (..) Then Av’ram removed his tent and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar for the LORD. (..) On his return from the battle of the kings Av’ram was met by Melkizedek (meleki sadak, meleki sedek=‘My King is righteous’), king of Salem and the priest of the Most High God, at the valley of Shaveh (the ‘plain that makes equality’) which is the king’s dale (14:17,18). There Melkizedek “blessed him (Av’ram), and said, blessed be Av’ram of the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth.” (..) According to the Book of Jubilees, Melkizedek blessed Av’ram on the mount of blessing, which is Gerizim (this shows that “since very early times there has been a sanctuary of the ‘Eternal God’ on mount Gerizim, which was invested with great importance in the patriarchal period”). The LORD appeared to Av’ram on the plains of Mamre (18:1). (..) Then God tempted Av’ram and He said “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac..and get thee into the land Moriya; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of” (22:2). Av’ram was instructed to take his son ‘upon one of the mountains,’ because Abraham lived between the two mountains, Beth El (Gerizim) and Hai (Ebal). (..) Then a ram materialized and Isaac was spared (22:13). Av’ram called this place Yehova-Yire (the ‘Lord will provide’) as it is said to this day. In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen (22:14). Then Av’ram descended from the altar high up on the mount and took his son with him, and they went to Beer-Sheba, and Av’ram dwelt in Beer-Sheba (22:19). We should make note of the following crucial points for comparison with the corresponding Islamic story;

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There must have been a sacred shrine (House of God - Beth El) even before Av’ram, because the verse reads “he moved to a mountain on the east of Beth El and pitched his tent..” (Genesis 12:8). There was a sacred place already and Av’ram went there. Av’ram made an altar there. He left the place and went to Egypt and after a while he returned to the place where he had made an altar. He left the place and returned there. Why? To visit and restore it? In the Hagar story there is a well - Beer La Hay Roy. There is a Zemzem well in the Islamic story.

A ‘Shomron’ (Samaritan) points us that:
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Shechem was the location of the Tabernacle when the Israelites entered the land; Joshua ben Nun (Yuşa ben Nun) and the High Priest entered the tabernacle; The sons of Moses (Levites) were placed in charge of the Tabernacle and given the land as an inheritance of the tribal territory of Ephraim that was near the tabernacle; Shechem was a city of refuge, an important location of the Levites.

All the afore mentioned points seem to lead us to the conclusion that there must have been a sacred place, a shrine, a sanctuary or a temple in Shechem in those very early days. Here is what Robert I. Bradshaw, quoting others, has written: “Shechem was viewed as a neutral Canaanite city which worshipped Ba’al-berith and not Yahweh. (Gottwald). Ba’al-berith was worshipped at a sacred site inside the city and Yahweh at a tree outside the city (Genesis 12:6; 33:18b-20; 35:4; Deuteronomy 11:30; Joshua 24:26; Judges 9:6, 37). This would explain the continued existence of a temple to Ba’al-berith in Shechem (Judges 9:4) which does not require the reintroduction of a Canaanite cult (Gottwald). Joshua’s speech (Joshua 24) is therefore seen as institution of Yahwism and not as a renewal of a pre-existing covenant. The Shechemites were among those who declined the adoption of the new faith (Gottwald). An important part of Gottwald’s argument for the separation of the sites of worship is the absence of a sacred pillar inside the city of Shechem. However, archaeology has demonstrated that during the period 1450-1100 BC. there was a standing stone inside the temple precinct in Shechem. Further, Gottwald ignores the reference to the temple of Elberith in Judges 9:46. It is far more likely that the name indicates the syncretistic worship that Israel had descended to (cf. Judges 8:33-35) rather than the existence of a separate Canaanite enclave (Campbell).” So again there has been a ‘sacred’/‘revered’ place, a temple in Shechem in those days. Read the Judges 9:6: “And all the men of Shechem gathered together, and all the house of Millo, and went, and made Abimelek king, by the plain of the pillar that was in Shechem.”

George Ernest Wright states that there was a temple structure in Shechem as far back as the early Iron Age. This site was examineed by Wright and other archaeologists who came to the conclusion that there must have been a temple once which had two small stones standing on either side of the entrance and a large one standing in the courtyard. Joshua ben Nun (Yuşa ben Nun) was ordered by YHWH to go to the land, which was given to the children of Israel. So Joshua gathered the people and told the priests to take the Ark of the Covenant with them. The whole congregation proceeded to Shechem. When they were in Shechem Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel, made a covenant with the people, and set up a great stone under an oak tree, which was by the house of the LORD (‘house of God’ = Beth El). Furthermore, in the presence of the children of Israel Joshua wrote upon stones a copy of the Law of Moses. On this occasion, they placed the Ark of the Covenant at the top of Mount Gerizim. It was here that the Priests of the house of Pinhas/Phinehas were given the high priesthood. They have officiated there for 260 years. The Ark of the Covenant was on mount Gerizim in all these years and this period was called the ‘period of grace and shekina.’ This period lasted until the foundation of the new Mishkan/Mişkan (house, dwelling) in Shiloh, by Eli. This act is believed to have led to the foundation of numerous religious centers throughout the nation and King David had established Yerushalayim during this political and religious vacuum. After the powerful kings David and Solomon, the unity of the kingdom has disappeared and the country was divided into Israel and Judah. We are told that all the attempts by the Davidic kings to unite the country have failed over the issue of Yerushalayim. The following paragraphs are from the main story that I have written in the website: “Yakob was going from Beer-sheba toward Haran, night fell and he had to sleep out in the open. He had a dream. Lord apeared to him, calling Himself ‘the Lord God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac.’ This God made promises. Yakob woke up and said to himself “surely the Lord is in this place... This is none other but the ‘house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” Yakob rose up early in the morning.. Set a stone for a pillar, and poured oil upon it..and he called the name of that place Beth El (house of God)..This stone which I have set for a pillar shall be God’s house said Yakob. In Genesis 31:11 we read that Yakob was dreaming again and the angel of God spoke to him. In 31:13 this angel of God calls himself the ‘God of Beth El, where you anointed the pillar.’ In Genesis 35:9-14 Yakob leaves Padan-Aram and God appears to him, calls Himself the ‘God Almighty’ and changes Yakob’s name to Israel..Yakob sets up a (stone) pillar in the place where he talked with God, and he pours a drink offering thereon, and he poures oil thereon..and Yakob calls the name of the place where God spoke to him, Beth El. In Genesis 35:1 God commands Yakob to go to Beth

El and dwell there and ‘make an altar there unto God that appeared to you when you fled from Esau your brother.’ It is thought that Israel was initially a league of villages in the hills of Beth El and Samaria from about 1230 BC. The people living in those villages might have possessed oral traditions about a common ancestor, Yakob. Who knows? This Beth El is located at the southern border of Samaria. When there was the kingdom of Israel in the North and the kingdom of Judah in the South. Beth El was given importance by the kings of Israel to keep Israelites from going South to Yerushalayim in the kingdom of Judah to worship. In his exegesis to Genesis 12.10 Rabbi Shemuel Luzzato writes that if David had not chosen Yerushalayim, Shechem or Shiloh would have been the royal cities. Samaritans of the day traced their origin back to the ‘pure’ northern Israelite form of the Mosaic belief system. They still exist in small numbers at Nablus, which is close to Schechem near Mount Gerizim. Samaritans assert that their religion is the true, unadulterated teaching of Moses since they accept the first five books of the Old Testament alone as the Holy Scripture. They call themselves ‘shamerim’observants. Compare this word with the Arabic word mumîn-faithful (who observes the basic doctrines of the religion). Samaritans identify the chosen place of God as Mount Gerizim, which overlooks Shechem, and have their own version of Torah. In their version of Deuteronomy 27:4 the altar of God is decreed to be erected on Mount Gerizim and not on Mount Ebal as in the Jewish recension. A similar injunction is appended to the Ten Commandments after Exodus 20:17 and Deuteronomy 5:21. They regard the Temple at Yerushalayim and the earlier shrine as apostatic. Scholars are of the opinion that the Samaritan Torah must have been already adopted by the time of the founding of the temple on Mount Gerizim, consequently in the time of Nehemiah. So it must be a rescension, which was in existence before the Septuagint. Therefore the early Islamic movement must have known the Samaritan Torah or someone who knew it must have briefed the proponents of the Ismaelite-Mohamedan movement.

Mount Gerizim is the chosen place of god, the only centre of worship and the ‘navel of the earth’ (Qoran in turn calls Mecca ‘the mother of lands and civilisations’).

According to Patricia Crone and Michael Cook the most important Samaritan text of the pre-Islamic period, Memar Marka of the ‘Shamerim’ (Samaritans) refers to mount Gerizim by the following descriptions. Mountain of the East, Bethel, House of God, Gate of Heaven, Luzah, a Sanctuary, Mount Gerizim, House of the LORD, the Goodly Mount, the Chosen Place, the Everlasting Hill, One of the Mountains, the LORD will Provide (‘Yehova Yire’).

BAKKA DISCOVERED! We are told that mount Gerizim contains altars of each of the Patriarchs, Adam, Seth, Noah, Abraham, and Isaac. Here we must remember that;
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According to the Islamic literature “Adam came to the ‘first Beytullah’ following his expulsion from Paradise.” Samaritans believe that Adam’s altar is on Mount Gerizim.

There are those who claim that the cave of Makpelah is on Mount Gerizim which is said to be a sacred place. This cave supposedly is the grave of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Yakob). But the body of Yakob was carried to Shechem and laid in the grave that Av’ram had bought. Joseph’s bones were taken to Shechem and buried in the parcel of ground that Yakob had purchased in Shechem. The Samaritan’s believe that Joshua ben Nun (Yuşa ben Nun) is buried on the southern slope of the Gerizim. Kaleb (Caleb) was the leader of the tribe, and he was with Joshua ben Nun when they had started out from Egypt. When Kaleb died he was interred next to Joshua in the ‘Merc-el Baha’. Therefore the place where Joshua is buried on the southern slopes of mount Gerizim at Shechem is also called Baha! In other words Shechem is also called Baha. Here we must go back to the section on Bakka in the beginning: ‘QORAN 3:96 ON BAKKA’. Now here we have the name of the place, ‘Merc-el Baha.’ There I made a proposition. Since Arabic is a Semitic language the words could have different pronunciations because of the diacritical dots and vowels introduced to read the words properly. Now let us take bakka. It is written with two ‘k’s because in the original Arabic word ‘k’ is the so called ‘hard’ ‘k’= ‘kaf.’ In Baka the root letters are ‘b’ and ‘k.’ Now let your imagination go wild, and replace the letter ‘kha ’ with ‘ha ,’ which transforms Baka into Baha, which is the name of the place: Merc el Baha, where ‘merc’ means the ‘meadow.’ Consequently ‘Mercel Baha’ means the ‘Baha meadow’ or the ‘meadow at Baha.’ Yakob returned to the city of Nablus, to the ‘house of his father.’ This place was actually the altar that his grandfather Av’ram/Abraham had built in the plain at Nablus. This plain was called as ‘Elon Moreh.’ Yakob pitched his tent in that place, “before the city” of Nablus. He bought that plain which is now called ‘Halakat-us Sahra’ (‘rings of stone’). This is extremely interesting because the excavations carried at the mound Tel Balata (the old Shechem) have unearthed two defensive rings of stone walls around the old city. The author who calls himself Yakob (Son of Aaron and the High Priest of the Samaritans) has the following paragraph in his web page titled ‘Mount Gerizim, The One True Sanctuary’: “The fame of the mountain of Gerizim and Ebal is, indeed, great, even in the manuscript of the Jews. The boundaries therein recorded define both sides of the plain: Gerizim on its right, Ebal on its left; and the meadow of Moreh is at the base of Gerizim, reaching as far as the base of

Ebal, and Gilgal is opposite the two mountains, and forms a part of their boundaries. (..) These boundaries and other indications make plain to us the location of the plain of Moreh, and also the mountain of Gerizim. Here is the Bethel. Here our lord Abraham established the altar of worship, and thereupon he declared the name of God, in order to inform us that the mountain is chosen for that end. The fact is well known that “Elon Moreh” is the plain of Beha, and Ai is a village east of that plain, and these boundaries are thrice mentioned in the Samaritan Torah - twice in the Decalogue (once in its first division, and another time in its second division). The Jews, however, dropped it out from the Decalogue (..) The Lord tells us that Abraham departed, following his command, and came to the land of Canaan, and journeyed in it till he entered Nablus, that is ‘the meadow of Moreh,’ which is known scripturally and traditionally to be identical with Nablus. It is thus definitely located in the book of Genesis (chapter xii.), the contents of which, affirms that it is the place in view, where our lord Abraham pitched his tent.” Here again we have the ‘plain of Beha’ wherein we have Beth El (‘House of God’). Here could be the one of the origins of the claims by Islam to the effect that Jews had changed the original ‘word of God.’ Decalogue-Ten Commandments are the ‘word of God’ aren’t they? Don’t forget that Islam seems to have borrowed a great deal of its doctrines from the Samaritans. While doing that they have evidently borrowed the Samaritan accusations as well. We are told that amongst the places mentioned in the story of Av’ram, Shechem and Beth El are called makom (‘place’) in Hebrew. Here we must remember the term in the Islamic literature: ‘Makam-ı Ibrahim.’ Makom and makam are identical words, meaning the ‘place’ (the sacred place, sacred area). So we can safely say that;

Shechem and Beth El (the ‘makom Av’ram’ of the Samaritan literature) and the ‘Makam-ı Ibrahim’ of the Islamic literature are identical.

Here we must remember the fact that Syria has always been the immediate neighbour of the lands where the Mosaic belief system had established itself. The travel notes of the Moslem ‘voyager’ Eb’ul Huseyin Muhammad ibn Ahmed ibn Cubeyr (born Valencia 1145, died Alexandria/Egypt?) is summarised and published by Anjum Makki, where we learn that, The “people living in or near Damascus believe in the legends that Noah and Seth and also others are buried in a precinct, two days journey from Damascus, called Baka. These tombs were amongst those that were not visited by Ahmad ibn Jubayr and his friends. It was said that the tomb of Seth measured forty arm lengths, while that of Noah measured about thirty." Yes! Here it is. Baka appears in a text written by a Moslem voyager. All of this cannot be just coincidence!

Bakka of Qoran, Baka of the Syrian legends, Merc-el Baha and the Plain of Beha of the Samaritans are identical places. They are different names given to the one and the same place in Shechem, on

mount Gerizim. This place is the ‘house of God’ of Av'ram / Ibrahim, wherein we have the stone erected by him, called 'makam-ı Ibrahim.' This place is also the Sacred Shrine and kıbla of the HargarenesIsmaelites-Mohamedans. This conclusion has serious consequences on Islam:
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Qoran refers to Bakka as the ‘first House of God.’ The Ismaelites in Medina are thought to have chosen Yerushalayim as their kıbla, because of the widespread belief that they needed all the support from the Jews in that city. (If that support had not been given the last of the Abrahamic-Semitic belief systems would have been nipped in the bud). But the kıbla in the North, which the Ismaelites in Medina had chosen actually was not Yerushalayim, but Bakka (it is written in Qoran 3:96). If Mekka is not Bakka, and Bakka is not the other name of Mekka then stories on Mekka and Ka’ba are inventions and later additions to the Book. A place called Mekka may have existed in those days, but it had no importance at all as a place with its sacred shrine. If Bakka was the first kıbla; if Yerushalayim was considered holy enough to be accepted as the kıbla (although wrongly); and if Mekka was a negligible entity, then we have no choice but to conclude that Mekka had played no role in the action plans of the the IsmaeliteMohamedans. Mekka had never had a place in the ‘Messenger’s life. Consequently if the ‘Messenger’ had no cennection with Mekka; that he was not from Arabia Deserta, but from Arabia Petraea then the Hicra must have been not from Mekka to Medina but from somewhere else in the northwest to Medina.

Samaritans claim that Moses did know the sacred place (Shechem-Gerizim), which is written in the Tenth Commandment in the Samaritan Torah. Samaritans also claim that Jews have replaced this original commandment where it is written “year by year in the place which YHWH has chosen” with their version according to which Moses is pictured as ignorant of the whereabouts of the sacred place. To prove their point Samaritans quote Deuteronomy 15:20 where it is written: “You shall eat it (the meat of the offfering) before YHWH your God year by year in the place which YHWH shall choose,” and pose the critrical question. Since Yerushalayim must have been an ordinary town which had no sanctity in those days, and if there was no other sacred place with its altar, where did the people of the day made their offerings? This argument sounds right when one considers the origin of the fairy tale, which has begun with Av’ram when he was ordered to offer his son to his God “on one of the mountains” in the land of Moriya (Moreh/More?).

Now we know what and where Bakka is and what this find means for Islam:

The origin of the Islam of today is the Hagarene-IsmaeliteMohamedan movement of 1400 years ago. They were from the Arabia Petraea. They had never been interested in the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula. Their field of interest was Palestine, and centred on Bakka, which was their kıbla. Mekka had never been in their scope. The Arabs of the desert took over the belief system of the Arabs of Petraea following the death of the ‘Messenger,’ and inserted their stories into the Ismaelite-Hagarene-Mohamedan teaching, which eventually led to the present day Islam. THE "PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN THE JUDGMENT DAY"

Qoran 2:4,5 cites the people who “believe in both that is revealed to you and that was revealed earlier..These are the people who deserve a spiritual guidance from their God. These are the ones who will find salvation in the true sense.” In verse 4:162 Qoran refers again to people “who are deep in knowledge and the faithful (mü’minîn / mü’minûn) who believe both in what is revealed to you and what has been revealed before you. They have their daily prayers, they pay their alms, they believe in Allah and the judgment day. We will have a big reward for them soon.” Now we must find out who these people are? My belief is that they are the Samaritans, and you will see why shortly. These Samaritans lived in Samaria, which is the central region of the ancient Palestine. Samaritans of the day traced their origin back to the northern Israelite form of the Mosaic belief system. They still exist in small numbers at Nablus (close to Schechem and Mount Gerizim). But they are thought to be 1,200,000 strong in the 4th and 5th centuries AD. I have already quoted the story of Beth El from the Mosaic scriptures. This Beth El, the ‘house of God’ (Baka), which is extremely important for our quest is located at the southern border of Samaria. The Samaritan faith and the rabbinic Judaism share some of the basic doctrines. But these doctrines appear in differing forms in their respective Scriptures. The fundamental and crucial difference between the Torah of the Jews and the Samaritan Torah is the belief in the ‘Day of Judgment,’ which appears in the Samaritan version. Another basic difference between the two texts is in the Ten Commandments. Here are the Ten Commandments in the Torah, according to Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21 (the ‘ethical Decalogue’):
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You shall have no other Gods before me. You shall not make unto thee any graven image or likeness of any thing.

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You shall not take the name of the Lord (YHWH) your God in vain. Remember the Sabbath day. Honour your father and your mother. You shall not kill. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against thy neighbour. You shall not covet your neighbour’s house, you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife..manservant..maidservant..his ox..his ass..anything that is your neighbour’s.

Here are the ‘ritual Decalogue’ in Exodus 34:14-26:
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You shall worship no other God. You shall not make yourself molten Gods. You shall keep the feast of unleavened bread. All that opened the womb is mine. All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem. Six days you shall work but on the seventh day you shall rest. You shall observe the feast of weeks... the first fruits of wheat harvest... feast of gathering at the year’s end. All your men children shall appear before the Lord God (YHWH), the God of Israel, thrice in the year. You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; the sacrifice of the feast of Passover shall not be left to the morning. The first of the first fruits of your land, you shall bring unto the house of the Lord (YHWH) your God. You shall not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.

Now it is time for the Samaritan version of the Ten Commandments:

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You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, YHWH your God… Save the day of Sabbath to make it holy. You shall labor six days, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to YHWH your God..YHWH blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which YHWH your God gives you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour. You shall not covet your neighbour’s house.

You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbour’s.. It shall be when your God will bring you to the Canaanite land (..) It shall be, when you are passed over the Jordan, that you shall set up these stones, which I command you this day, in Mount Gerizim (..) and you shall offer burnt offerings thereon to YHWH your God (..)That mount beyond the Jordan, behind the way of the going down of the sun, in the land of the Canaanites who dwell in the Araba, over against Gilgal, beside the oaks of Moreh, against Shechem (as is evident from here the sacred mountain of the Samaritans is Gerizim).

The earliest non-Moslem sources allegedly report strong anti-Christian sentiment amongst ‘Moslems’ (Hagarenes-Ismaelites-Mohamedans). Well, the Ismaelites were in alliance with the Jews weren’t they? They did not need the Christians. But when they fell out with the Jews they turned to the Christians and relaxed their attitude towards them, because they posed a lesser political threat. However the Ismaelite Arabs still needed a separate, positive religious identity. At this point the ‘Messenger’ announced a complex religion of Abraham. This new doctrine, which was developed into a complete belief system eventually, has incorporated all sorts of known pagan practices, but under a new Abrahamic cover. However Ismaelites still needed a fundamental religious structure to stay upright on their feet as an independent religious community. Ismaelite Arabs were desperate for a doctrine different than but not completely outside of Judaism. In their search for the ‘corpus religiosus’ they must have been influenced profoundly by the Samaritans. Here are some similarities between the Samaritan and Ismaelite-Mohamedan (early ‘Moslem’) doctrines, which support my proposition:
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They have an identical emphasis on the unity of God. Even the formulas stating the unity/oneness of God is identical. The Moslem formula ‘with the name of God’/‘Bismillah’ is identical with the ‘beshem’ in the Samaritan scripture. The ‘fatiha’ (the first sura in Qoran), which is a concise declaration of faith in Islam, is identical with the Samaritan prayer which begins with the words “Amadti kamekha al fatah rahmeka” (I stand before You at the gate of Your mercy). Here fatah is the fatiha, which means opening, beginning, entry or gate. Ismaelite-Mohamedan movement (Hagarenes) held high the pure Mosaic doctrines (like the Samaritans) and rejected the sections added to Torah/Pentateuch (as indicated by the Nestorian narrations on arguments with the Hagarenes). That is why Qoran recognizes only Torah like the Samaritans who reject the rest of the Hebrew scriptures. Due to the non-recognition of the ‘writing’ messengers by the IsmaeliteMohamedan movement (Hagarenes) Qoran omits completely the messengers, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, Hosea, Amos and the like.

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Both Islam and Samaritans recognise the importance of Moses. Ismaelite-Mohamedans stood away from Davidic Judaism (Samaritans did the same). Ismaelite-Mohamedans upheld the Abrahamic promise to Ismael. The similarities between the Samaritan view of the Messiah (Taheb) and the Moslem concept of Mahdi are similar.

This is the Samaritan Creed:
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God is one, incorporeal, indecsribable and without associate. (God of Islam has identical attributes). Moses is the only prophet. A preordained creature sui generis, the vessel of the divine ‘light’ and the intercessor for man on the final Day of Judgment. (Description of Moses resembles the Moslem description of the ‘Messenger’). The Law of Moses, coeval with the world, is the only divine revelation and is immutable. (Qoran is considered as existing always on a preserved tablet in the divine realm and immutable). Torah is written by God and is immutable. (Moslems think of Qoran as the self-evident word of god, perfect and inimitable). Mount Gerizim is the chosen place of God, the only centre of worship and the ‘navel of the earth.’ (The Arabs of the desert describe Mekka as the chosen place for the humanity and the ‘mother of lands and civilisations’). There will be a ‘Day of Requittal and Reward’ when the dead will emerge from their graves, the righteous to enter paradise, the guilty to roast in the eternal fire. (This is exactly the Islamic belief in the Day of Judgment, and the crucial doctrine which seems to establish a definite connection with the ‘people’ mentioned in Qoran 2:4,5 and 4:162). Samaritans believe that 6000 years after the Creation a Restorer (Taheb) will arise to improve their fortunes. (Islam also believes that Mahdi will come to earth to initiate the judgment and the order of God).

The faithful ‘people’ mentioned in Qoran are almost certainly the Samaritans. The book ‘which the believers of the book have with themselves’ and which was confirmed by the Qoran must be the Samaritan Torah. At this point I would like to remind you that:
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The statement in Qoran that the ‘believers of the Book had it with them.’ The statement in Qoran that it was sent to confirm that (elusive) book. The statement in Qoran on that ‘people’ who ‘believed in the Day of Judgment.’ In the very early days of the movement the followers of the ‘Messenger’ are thought to have been observing the ‘seven commandments to the descendants of Noah’. Mesanî is the ‘seven of the pairs.’

Mesanî is shown (in this study) to be the seven of the Ten Commandments.

As I have pointed out earlier the Samaritan Torah is believed to have been adopted already by the time of the founding of the temple on Mount Gerizim. That is why it is thought to predate the Septuagint. Therefore I repeat that the early Hagarene-Ismaelite-Mohamedan movement had known (and almost certainly borrowed from) the Samaritan Torah. By adopting the basic doctrines of the Samaritan Torah the Hagarene-Ismaelite-Mohamedans fulfilled the following requirements which they have set for themselves and which are written in the Book of their belief system:
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The ‘believers of the Book’ (Samaritans) had that book. That book was in existence in a book form, in the early days of Islam. That book predated Qoran. That elusive book was not called Tavrat (Torah, the Old Testament) in Qoran. Therefore it must have had some differences, some of which could have been crucial, but generally it was the Torah, so the framework was the Mosaic Law. The early ‘Moslems’ (Hacirîns or Hagarenes or Ismaelites or Mohamedans) are thought to have opted to remain within the basic principles of the Book, which was given by YHWH (who is also their God). That book had the Ten Commandments (The seven of which were observed by the early Moslems as the ‘seven commandments to the descendants of Noah’=The Noahide Covenant). Most importantly that elusive book did have the doctrine of the Day of Judgment.

The Samaritan Torah, that elusive book mentioned in Qoran, fulfills all these requirements. Samaritan texts of faith include their version of the Torah, the Memar Marka, the Samaritan liturgy, the Samaritan law codes and the biblical exegesis. Samaritan writings are dated to the 4th century AD. There is nothing beyond that. In addition to the Hebrew Pentateuch which was edited to meet their needs the Samaritans had also had a translation of it in Samaritan-Aramaic, the Samaritan Targum. Although they believe that this Targum was written by Nathanael, a priest who died in 20 BC., it was most probably edited about the 4th century AD. or in the beginning of the 3rd century AD. But the Samaritan Torah is thought to be originating from a much older tradition and which has undergone numerous revisions. We are told that it bears a strange similarity to the contemporary Jewish Targum of Onkelos. To the same period belong the liturgical compositions of Amram Dara and Marka, as well as the latter’s midrashic commentary on parts of the Pentateuch, all olf which are in Aramaic (called ‘the Book of Wonders’). “The latter, the liturgical poet Marka, is especially valuable because it exemplifies a tradition of exegesis divergent from that of the Jews,

and because it anticipates several concepts and even idioms found later in Qoran.” Here is the Memar by Marka. At this point I invite you to a comparison between the attributes of the Samaritan and the Islamic Gods: Great is the chief Power who abides forever! Let us worship him in reverence before we speak of him! No secret is hidden from him and everything is within his power. He knows what was and what is and what will be. He stands all-powerful, he who is not in need of anything. He is all-knowing; (..) He acts as he pleases. No king or ruler can withstand him. YHWH, is God and there is none beside him! -----“Great is he who is not large and all greatness belongs to him! He taught Moses the secrets in the bush, which revealed his greatness and his glory! The angel first confronted him and spoke with him about the past and the future.” (Marka, Memar 1.1) -----(On the Judgment Day) “..And the Deity will speak: ‘Now observe that I, I am he! Those who stay calm and know this will then be saved. See, I have taught you rules and judgments.

But beware! I, I (am) he who stands above creation and above Mount Sinai! I, I (am) he who is, and there is none beside me! I, I (am) he who is timeless and boundless! I, I (am) he who is the life of the world/who gave life to the world! I, I (am) he who suspended and split by my power! I, I (am) he who planted the Garden and uprooted Sodom! I, I (am) he who uprooted and stripped away! I, I (am) he to whom all belongs and to whom (all) return! I, I (am) he who puts all the living to death and makes all the dead live! I, I (am) he who encircles my foes with vengeance! And now it is good for us to rely on the Truth and to tremble in the face of his might!’ Perhaps we will find the way of prosperity!” (Marka, Memar 12) -----This is what they think of their Book: It was given to us and we believed in it. It was with them; it was within the Light. And the glory was around, for it was the word of God. His hand wrote and the Prophet received it with signs from on high. And YHWH came down and dwelt with him. (Marka, Memar 6.3) ------

Here is what the Samaritans think of their Messenger and the Restorer (Taheb): …Let us stand where we are and listen to the Truth, because our Lord and Master is merciful... Let us follow the great Prophet Moses, who leads us well, for he was sent to us by our Lord. Where could be another prophet like Moses? He was a good father to all Israel, bringing them up and looking after them, appeasing God with his fast and healing them (Israel) with his prayer... (..) His words are the words of his Lord: Believe in him! You will be safe from all wrath; on the day of vengeance you will be undisturbed... He who believes in him believes in his Lord! Woe to us if we do not remember that! Let us believe in YHWH and in Moses, his servant!... A Restorer (Taheb) will come in peace; he will rule (..) and reveal the Truth. Listen and hear! Stand in Truth! Stop your quarrels! For YHWH will judge his people: (..) The word of Truth will penetrate and illumine the world, in which he will come to dwell. How great is the hour when one comes to hear the voice of God walking throughout the world; and all creatures shall be in order and bow their heads;

their hearts will shiver and their eyes droop and their limbs shake from fear on the day of Judgment. (Marka, Memar 4.7, 12) Moslems must have detected amazing parallels with their doctrines. Is this a coincidence? No way!

CONCLUSION
We must begin our summary with the ‘Messenger,’ because he was the initiator of the belief system, which ended up as the Islam of our day. His name is not known. ‘Muhammed’ is a definition like the ‘Messiah’ of Judaism and Christianity. His name is given as ‘Mamed’ in one of the non-Moslem sources. He is referred to as ‘Ahmed’ in Mevlûd (nativity poem). We don’t know if that was his actual name. That is why he has been referred to as the ‘Messenger’ throughout this study. The ‘Messenger’ most probably was from the land of Midian, in the northwest of the Arabian Peninsula. He was a trader. He was clever enough to understand that only money and riches meant a comfortable life. But he had leadership qualities and was aiming high. He had to have a people of his own like Moses did. The environment was predominantly Jewish. His ancestors included Jews, Sabians of Haran (hanifiyyun, hunefa), and Nabataean idolaters. Torah was the most influential book in that environment. He must have had his group of counselleors and tutors. He must have learned the basic doctrines of Sabianism from the ‘hunefa’ (‘hanifs,’ Sabians) in his family, and from his counsellors and tutors. Patriarch Av’ram (Abraham) was a Sabian of Haran. The ‘Messenger’ must have realized the advantages of adopting the belief system of Av’ram (Abraham, Ibrahim), who was the accepted patriarch of Judaism and Christianity. By doing that he would put himself in a superior position vis-à-vis the major belief systems of the day. He must have started preaching Sabian doctrines in his community in Midian. This action would have made him a potential threat for the established order. Amongst the Sabian doctrines one was very important. He wanted his followers to turn to Bakka for prayer. Bakka was the place where Av’ram erected a stone for his God and called the place Beth El (house of God). The ‘Messenger’ and/or his counsellors and tutors had decided to establish their focal point for prayers as

Bakka, where the Sacred Shrine or Beyt-u Elah, Beytullah, first ‘house of God’ was situated. Bakka was in ancient Shechem (presently Nablus) of the Samaritans. The ‘Messenger’ must have went so far to provoke a reaction from the established order, as a result of which he must have felt the need to leave or made to leave. The ‘Messenger’ went to Medina with a small group of followers. There they formed an alliance with the Jews, who were the dominant group there. These early followers of the ‘Messenger’ were called the Hagarenes, Ismaelites, Saracens, Mohamedans. There must have been pagans and idolaters in this movement in addition to the Jews. The ‘Messenger’ had managed to build an ‘umma’ around the Constitution of Medina. Since his main allies were Jews the ‘Messenger’ had decided to introduce some basic Mosaic elements into his teaching. He adopted the ‘Noahide Covenant’=‘The Seven Commandments to the Descendants of Noah.’ Thus he had a teaching which was not Judaic but Mosaic. The alliance with Jews had to end sometime. When the day of parting came after the death of the ‘Messenger,’ the Hagarene-Ismaelite-Mohamedan movement had to find an identity of its own. They accused the Jews of interfering with the divine message. Christians had their share of criticism because of their recognition of a human being as the ‘Son of God.’ The movement felt the need to remain within the Judaist frame of reference. But they had to find something which exhibited a critical attitude towards Judaism. Following those accusations the Hagarene-Ismaelite-Mohamedan movement had decided to borrow mainly from, what they believe, the ‘original,’ unadulterated scriptures of Moses - the Samaritan Torah. It was supposedly the unadulterated word of God. So the movement rejected the Old Testament because of the books added to the original first five books of Moses. These additional books meant that humans have interfered with the divine(!) revelation. The aim of the movement was to take back the Promised Land of the Jews in Palestine and Bakka of the Hagarenes-Ismaelites-Mohamedans in Shechem. So they initiated their advance towards Palestine. But the ‘Messenger’ died and did not see the capture of Palestine (where Bakka is situated), in other words the realisation of his objective. The Ismaelite-Mohamedan doctrines were edited and rewritten many times following the death of the ‘Messenger.’ The competition and rivalry between the desert Arabs and the northern Arabs played a role in the transformation and development of the initial doctrines. In the end the Arabs of the desert, Mekkans, managed to transform the Ismaelite belief system into a religion centred on

Mekka and Ka’ba. The Islamic literature erased as much as it could the references to Bakka/Baka and substituted it with Mekka. The Sacred Shrine in Bakka was transpositioned to Ka’ba in Mekka. An enclosure identical with the descriptions in the Samaritan texts of Bakka was created around Ka’ba. A stone was brought to the enclosure and erected there as the ‘Makam-ı Ibrahim’=Ibrahim’s Stone. The original Samaritan doctrines were merged with the invented stories of the Mekkans. The Ismaelite label, ‘mümîn’ (‘one who observes the doctrines of the faith’) was abandoned and the Mekkan label, ‘moslem’ (‘one who surrendered’) was chosen, and the belief system has become the crucial weapon of the Arab imperialism. In the end the original Bakka-Palestine oriented Ismaelite-Mohamedan belief system has become the Ka’ba-Mekka oriented imperialistic weapon called Islam.

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