Humans, Other Beings in/Relevant to the Quran, Part 6


 

31.  AZIS (POTIPHAR IN BIBLE)

Joseph, second youngest son of the Jewish patriarch Jacob, was sold into slavery and ended up in Egypt, where he was bought by an important man. The Quran names the man Aziz, the Bible Potiphar. As "the Aziz" simply means "the mighty one" or something similar to that, there is a possibility that Potiphar was his name and Aziz his title, or that Muhammad did not know any name.

We may add that what is told about him - and about Joseph - in the Quran is very different from what is told in the Bible. As the Quran is so full of errors, contradictions, etc. that the book itself proves it is not from a god, from where did Muhammad get this extra information?

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001 12/21a: "The man in Egypt who bought him - - -". Joseph was sold as a slave in Egypt, according to the Bible to a mighty man called Potiphar, according to the Quran to a man called the Aziz. But as “the Aziz” simply means “the Great One”, it may be a title – perhaps for Potiphar. Or may be Muhammad did not know any name.

After some time the wife of his owner wanted to seduce him. Joseph refused – and everything was found out. According to the Bible his owner got angry and put him in prison. According to the Quran Joseph proved he was not guilty, but was all the same put in prison on a very lame and not logical “reason” – lame and illogical, but necessary for the rest of the story.

(As for Joseph’s age when he was brought to Egypt, Yusuf Ali in “The Meaning of the Holy Quran” says he was 16 or 17 or may be even 18. (The Bible says he was 17 - 1. Mos. 37/2)).

002 12/21c: "The man (the Aziz/Potiphar*) in Egypt who bought him (Joseph*), said to his wife: 'Make his (Joseph's*) stay - - -". See 12/8b above.

003 12/21d: "- - - maybe he (Joseph*) will bring us much good, or we shall adopt him as a son". Not much likely a rich and mighty man saying such things on buying a lowly slave.

004 12/21e: "- - - maybe he (Joseph*) will bring us much good, or we shall adopt him as a son". This is not from the Bible - like a number of other details in the story of Joseph. From where did Muhammad get this?

005 12/28b: "- - - when he (Joseph's owner*) saw his (Joseph's*) shirt - - - (he*) said: 'Behold - - -". See 12/8b above.

006 12/29a: "O Joseph, pass this over! (O wife), ask forgiveness for thy sin, for truly thou hast been at fault!" Not only contradicted by the Bible, but incompatible with this story in the Bible. Also see 67/9c below - a strong one. But of course it is ok for Islam to prove - prove - the Bible wrong and the Quran right. But as we say: Prove, not just loose claims and as loose and invalid words like the Quran always use instead of proofs.

007 12/29b: "O Joseph, pass this over! (O wife), ask forgiveness for thy sin, for truly thou hast been at fault!" Can anyone please tell us what the logic of putting Joseph in prison is?! This (and also the ladies with the knives) is not from the Bible - in the Bible the story is logical - not so in the Quran - - - far from good literature. (But Joseph had to end in prison - logic or no logic - because of the rest of the story).

008 12/29c: "O Joseph, pass this over! (O wife), ask forgiveness for thy sin, for truly thou hast been at fault!" See 12/8b above.

Another point is that to forgive - or for that case to punish or reward or fulfill prayers or forgiving - means for Allah to change his Plan considering the sinner/person, something which according to the Quran nobody and nothing can make him do. See 2/187d above.

#009 12/30-34: This is not from the Bible. From where did Muhammad get it? (There many places are reason for using this question in the Quran - and Muslims claims:"From Allah". But as it is clear no god vas ever involved in a book of a quality like the Quran, only these possibilities remains: From dark forces - and the hate and blood and acceptance of dishonesty, not to mention the partly immoral moral code, etc. may indicate this. Or a mental illness - modern medical science believe he had TFL (Temporal Lobe Epilepsy), as both his religious "experiences" and the seizures Islam describes he had, indicates this. Or made up tales - Muhammad had a reputation for being a little naive when it came to discerning truth from made up tales, and the fact that most of the tales in the Quran are known apocryphal (made up) tales, legends, folk tales, and fairy tales from the old Arabia and its surroundings, may indicate this. Or Muhammad himself or some accomplice(s) made it all up - the very many cases of wrong facts which were believed to be correct at the time of Muhammad, which you find in the Quran, the fact that "everything" fitted Muhammad's position at the time when the surahs were released (nothing really pointed forwards - wishes, etc. yes, but no real facts about the future), and all the times Muhammad personally got help from Allah (like so many a self proclaimed prophet), may indicate this. Or may be a combination of 2 of more of these possibilities. (Just for the record: When mentioning this, we often lump the fairy tales, etc., together with the scheming, cold brain.))

010 12/31c: (A27 – in 2008 edition A28): “- - - she (the wife of the Aziz (in reality perhaps a title = “the mighty one”, not a name – the name in the Bible is Potiphar*)*) sent for them (the slandering ladies*) and prepared a banquet for them - - -.” What the Arab texts really tells she did, was “to prepare a place where one reclines – (“muttaka’”)” – or “a cushioned couch”. But this is not clear enough language – hence the “explaining translations”: “banquet”, “sumptuous repast”, or similar used by them. Clear language?

011 12/32d: What was the logic of for the Aziz/Potiphar to agree to put Joseph in prison when it was proved he was not guilty? (A contradiction to the Bible where this was not proved and there the story is logical). This after all was at a moment where the wife should have been careful. (Muslims have a kind of explanation, but only a kind of). But imprisonment is necessary for the rest of the story.

Well, the Quran implies Joseph was put to prison by the woman because he still did not want her. A spiteful woman could do so, but any sane husband then would ask questions - - - and there would be rumors in addition he would sooner or later hear, as you bet the other ladies would wag their tongues.

012 12/51c: "(The king (Pharaoh*)) said (to the ladies): What was your affair when ye did seek to seduce Joseph - - -". One thing is that this tale is not from the Bible, and thus of unknown origin. Worse just here is that the Quran here contradicts itself, as these ladies also according to the Quran (12/30-35) did not try to seduce him to anything - only the Aziz's wife tried to do so.

013 12/51d: “What was your (the ladies’*) affair when you ye did try to seduce him (Joseph*) - - -“. According to 12/23 it only was the wife of the Aziz who tried this. Mistake and contradiction. (The wife invited some women friends to show them how handsome – not to say beautiful – Joseph was. With dramatic effect: They hurt themselves with knives in a scene credible only in third class novels for children, not for adults - but they did not try to seduce him (12/30-32 above)).

*014 12/51e: The women from Potiphar’s (this name is from the Bible - the Aziz (title or job?) in the Quran) - or actually his wife's - banquet, said: “Allah preserve us”. The name and the god Allah did not exist in the old polytheistic pantheon in Egypt - and definitely not among the upper class (from slaves and traders they might have heard about Yahweh, but not Allah, and hardly even al-Lah that early). Their gods were Ptah, Osiris, Aton, Amon, and other ones. Actually there is found not one single trace of monotheism among the upper class (and also not in lower classes) in Egypt in the old times. (Except Akn-Aton and his sun god (pharaoh 1372 - 1355 BC)). Similar claim in 12/52.

015 12/52e: (A12/47 – in the 2008 edition A12/51): “This (say I), in order that he (the Aziz*) may know that I have never been false to him in his absence, and that Allah will never guide the snare of the false ones. Nor do I absolve my own self - - -.” All this is well and good. But who says this? Is it the wife, like f.x. Ibn Kathir and Rashid Rida guess? – or is it Joseph, like among others Tabari, Baghawi, and Zamakhshari believe? The clear (?) language in the Quran does not give one single reliable clue – it is anybody’s guess. Clear and unmistakable texts?

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33.  AWS, banu

See "Banu Aws" further down.

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34.  BAHIRA

Claimed to be a Christian monk who foretold Muhammad's prophethood. Except for being mentioned in the Hadiths, there is no indication for that he ever existed (and Hadiths are pretty unreliable + both Muhammad and islam needed/needs "proofs").

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35.  abu BAKR

Early and the closest co-worker of Muhammad. Father of Muhammad's child wife Aisha. He became the first caliph after Muhammad died in 632 AD, but died himself in 634 AD. He likely died naturally, and of the 11 first caliphs, he in case was the only one who died naturally in "the Religion of Peace".

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36.  BA'L (OR BAAL OR BA'AL)

- the name of a local pagan god - or really several gods - in what we now call "the Middle East". The name could also be used for high officials. Connected to Arabia, the name Ba'al is connected to the god Hubal in such a way, that we say something about Hubal first:

Hubal was a central god in the old pagan Arabia. But his history and his role through the times are not entirely clear. Some sources claim he was a version of al-Lah/Allah, something Islam vehemently denies. Other sources tell What is clear is that he, as said, was a central god in Mecca (his name also is found in what today is Syria and Iraq), and that he was a god for divination and a moon god. Some sources say that the Kabah temple - later mosque - originally was dedicated to Hubal. The second part of his name, -bal, may indicate that he was one of the gods called Baal, Ba'l, or Ba'al.

To be more specific:

Hubal was an imported god in Mecca. The first place one finds him, is among the Nabateans - a North Arab people in what is now north Arabia, Sinai, Syria, and Jordan, and as far east as Euphrates. Also Islam agrees to that Hubal was an imported god. It is not clear exactly where the Hubal in the Kabah in Mecca was imported from, but it is clear it was from the north.

This raises 2 questions:

1)  Was Hubal another name for al-Lah (also named Allah)? Al-Lah was known also among the northern Arab tribes, and there are several points pointing to that Hubal really was another name for him. It f.x. is highly unlikely that the Meccans (tradition tells it was done by a man named Amr ibn Luhayy) would buy a heavy and very expensive statue (made from red carnelian, but with his right hand from gold) and transport it hundreds of miles through desert and wilderness to Mecca, and there placed him in a big temple which seems to already have been dedicated to al-Lah (Karen Armstrong - at the time of Muhammad it was dedicated to the name Hubal, which seems to have been the name of the statue), unless it was a statue in some way connected to al-Lah. This also because in the old Arabia there usually was only one male god in a temple. There might be one or several female ones in addition, but only one male one.

There also is another point we have not been aware of: Normally one reads that in the Kabah there were 360 idols. (We have wondered how there could be space for that many - the Kabah is large, but not that large.) But it turns out that this is not quite correct - the majority was placed outside the temple. (Malise Ruthven: Islam in the world, p. 15). Then it was quite possible to have only one male god inside, and of course the main god. There is no doubt and it is not disputed that the statue of Hubal was inside the temple. There also is no doubt that he was the moon god.

It is known that al-Lah - earlier named al-Ilah - was a moon god. Even today al-Lah/Allah (and Islam) has the (crescent) moon as his symbol.

Further: It is told that 'Abd-al-Muttalib (the grandfather of Muhammad) once stood beside the statue of Hubal and prayed to al-Lah/Allah (both names were used at that time). Islam drops the rule that there should be only one male god in a temple/mosque, and tells that this must mean there also had to be an idol for al-Lah/Allah inside. He stood beside Hubal and prayed to another idol, they claim.

But if we stick to the rule that there only was one male god in a temple/mosque, this story simply tells that he stood near the statue and prayed to al-Lah/Allah via the statue named Hubal.

Further: When Muhammad cleaned out the Kabah when he took over Mecca, it is described that the idols outside, the idols of al-Lat, al-Uzza, Manat (the 3 main female goddesses), and the statue of Hubal were destroyed. But if there is told about the destruction of an idol for the pagan al-Lah/Allah, we have overlooked it. And if no such statue was destroyed, there was no such one - Muhammad had all idols/statues destroyed. This in case means that there only was one male god represented inside: Hubal/al-Lah/Allah.

##Our conclusion: There is no doubt and not disputed that al-Lah and Allah were two names for the same god. There is no doubt, and it is not disputed that Muhammad took over this god, declared he was the only real god, declared that he in reality was the same god as Yahweh, and accepted only the name Allah. When it comes to Hubal, we find that it is likely, but not proved - but far from disproved - that he was a third name for the god Hubal/al-Lah/Allah. (Islam strongly denies this, but have so weak facts that they have to use slander, etc. as strong arguments (repeated use of words like "missioners" is slander in this connection - and there are other negative words used.)

2)  Is the name Ba'al involved?

Ba'l, Ba'al or Baal (or Bol) originally was a title - meaning something like "Lord" or "Master" - and was used connected to several gods around the inner end of the Mediterranean - the Levant and Asia Minor - and was also the name of the top god to the Canaanites and Phoenicians. The name is known from at least 1400 BC in f.x. Egypt. Over time it became parts of some names or daily names - it f.x. is likely that the name HaBaal simply meant "the god", perhaps in the meaning "the main god". On the Arab peninsula this seems not to have been the case normally. But Hubal as mentioned was an imported statue from the north, and in the north Ba'al, etc. was well known. There are good indications for that Hubal derives from HaBaal or similar, but is also f.x. may come from Hu (spirit of god) + Ba'al. Our conclusion here is that if it is not likely, then at least there is a good possibility that the name Hubal was connected to Ba'al.

If this is correct, this fact would have been known at that time and earlier, even though such details are forgotten now - the Jews would have known very well if the neighboring god al-Lah really was the same god as Hubal in another neighboring country, even before the name Hubal was exported to Mecca, and if Hubal had any relationship to the Ba'al concept. And if this is the case, Muhammad can just forget to claim that Yahweh = Allah (=Hubal/al-Lah/Allah) - for the religious parts of the Jews Ba'al was closely related to the Devil all the time from the old prophets and up. If Jesus had talked about any god related in any way to Ba'al, he had been a looser from the first day.

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001 37/125a: "- - - Ba'l - - -". Also written Baal or Ba'al. Name used for several gods in the old Canaan and Israel/Judah and in countries around - included also the Syrian sun-god. There is a possibility for that Hubal belonged to this group originally - - - and a small possibility for that Hubal was another name for al-Lah.

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37.  BANU AWS

Arab tribe in Medina. Likely immigrated from South Arabia in the 5. century BC, together with the Arab tribe Banu Khazraj. Banu Khazraj and Banu Aws were at odds with each other, and one reason why Muhammad was invited to Medina, was to mediate between the two tribes.

It is not known what was the background for the Jewish settlement in Medina. It seems it was rather old - from well before the Arabs settled there. The later immigrated Arab tribes had, however, taken over the main power, as they were bigger and stronger.

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38.  BANU GHAFTAN

A collective name for some Arab tribe(s) north-east from Mecca. Helped Mecca during the Battle of the Trench in 627 AD, but changed to Muhammad before his conquest of Mecca in 630 AD, and also took part in the later raids against the banu Hawazin and against the town Taif.

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39.  BANU HAWAZIN

A strong Arab tribe around the town of Taif. Lost the battle at Hunayn against Muhammad in 630 AD. Changed to Islam and took part in the later Muslim conquests.

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40.  BANU KHAZRAJ

Arab tribe in Medina. Likely immigrated from South Arabia in the 5. century BC, together with the Arab tribe Banu Aws. Banu Khazraj and Banu Aws were at odds with each other, and one reason why Muhammad was invited to Medina, was to mediate between the two tribes.

It is not known what was the background for the Jewish settlement in Medina. It seems it was rather old - from well before the Arabs settled there. The later immigrated Arab tribes had, however taken over the main power, as they were bigger and stronger.

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This work was upload with assistance of M. A. Khan, editor of islam-watch.org and the author of "Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism, and Slavery".