ABRAHAM AND MECCA/KABAH
31 March 2013
To quote science's careful language: "There is no indication for that Abraham ever visited Mecca" (some scientists use stronger words). Abraham lived in Canaan (now mainly Israel) and Sinai. His travels are reasonably well indicated in the Bible, and it is highly unlikely he ever travelled further south than the Dead Sea. Also from where he normally lived there were many hundred miles - and more in kilometers - to the dry desert valley where Mecca later was founded - many hundreds of dry, forbidding hot desert miles. It is strongly against probability and against human nature for a rich man with lots of animals, the first claimed time to leave "the green grass of home" and take all his family and all his animals through the dry Arab Desert to such a place - a place even without water (that there was no water is confirmed by the Quran - the Zam Zam well was discovered only later). And then to go back say 20 years later (Ishmael had grown up) to build a temple/mosque for himself enormously too far away from where he normally lived and one enormously too big for his after all small family (when Mecca rebuilt/the Kabah some time before Muhammad started his mission, they made it smaller than the original foundations (said to be Abraham's) - those foundations were too big for the real need (and economy) of a whole city). well, for Abraham to go back and do all this - you are permitted to believe it is you are able to.
In addition there are facts like that nomads do not have the knowhow and technology to build huge stone buildings. There is the fact that the Bible sometimes mentions that Abraham built small altars, but not one time mentions that he built even a small temple. Further: The big churches of Europe took large and highly skilled work forces years each to build. The big Kabah was built by 2 men according to the Quran - Abraham and Ishmael. Believable?
And there is one more interesting fact: The dromedary - the Arab camel - was domesticated 3ooo-2ooo years BC (one does not know more exactly), but according to Internet IT DID NOT COME INTO WIDESPREAD USE UNTIL AROUND 1OOO-900 BC - AROUND THE TIME OF KING SOLOMON. Abraham lived around 2ooo-1800 BC, and very far from the costal Arabia where the camel originally was domesticated. (Also OT mentions camels, which is one of the points science reckons to be a proof for that it was not written until sometime around or after 800 BC). If this is correct and Abraham had no camels, the several trips Islam claims he made to Mecca was physically impossible for him - this in addition to what is said above.
Like normal Muhammad and Islam never produce anything more than claims and statements. If they want us to believe Abraham ever visited Mecca, not to mention built the Kabah, they will have to show us real proofs for once. And remember: "Strong claims need strong proofs" and "A proof is one or more proved facts which can give only one conclusion".
And: "- - - blind "tailed", i.e. an unthinking acceptance of religious doctrines or assertions - - - ((A)23/11). How many millions of Muslims are practicing this?
01 2/125d: “- - - the Station of Abraham (Maqam-e-Ibrahim*)- - -“. This in reality is a mark in a stone in Mecca. The Quran indicates and Islam says that it is a mark from Abraham’s feet when he made the Kabah. Let the fact that Abraham never was in Mecca (unless Islam proves it – see 2/127a below) alone: No – absolutely no – worker building a house ever stood at one and the same place long enough to make a mark in a natural stone visible 1400 years later. It has never happened any time or any place in the world. This flatly is a fairy tale and strongly contradicted both by reality and by the intelligence of any human able to think for him-/herself. Now, Islam tells the mark (actually 2 - one for each foot) is a result of a miracle, as they claim the stone turned so soft that Abraham's feet sank into it. (They also claim that the stone is from Jannah - the gardens of Heaven). Believe it if you want to.
Well, Islam has till now even proved that Abraham even ever visited Mecca, a place that was very prohibiting for him and his big flocks of animals - "a barren desert" to quote Muslims, and his claimed first trip even was before the Zamzam well even was found, and thus there was no water at all according to Islam - laying behind forbidding desert lands through which he had to lead all his sheep, goats, cows, etc. and find food and water for them - and he had many as he was a rich man (Islam claims that later visits only were by camels - but as there was no first visit, there also was no second one). And on top of all a place very far from where he lived and a place without any attractions for a big owner of cattle, etc. Believe it whoever wants - but go to a doctor if you believe this and the rest of that story (big stone mosque built by 2 nomads, Ishmael bringing a big stone - far too big to lift (builders normally are more practical minded) - for his father to stand on, and a stone shining so strongly that Allah had to switch off its light according to Hadiths) without reasonable proofs.
Just for the records: Science tells that "it is practically sure Abraham never visited Mecca". That he on top should have built a big mosque there - even a so big one that when the rich Mecca around 600 AD remade it, they could not afford to make it as big as the old foundations showed, according to Hadiths - is reckoned by science to be a fairy tale.
##02 2/127a: “And remember that Abraham and Ishmael raised the foundations of the House (Kabah*) (with this prayer): - - - “. Abraham never built the foundation of Kabah (and a contradiction; other verses say he built the building, not only the foundation of it) - and there are several reasons for this:
He was born in Ur in Chaldea (if he really existed) in what is now south Iraq. Together with his father, (Terah according to the Bible (1. Mos. 11/26-32), Azar in the Quran (6/74)), he later travelled northwest up along the Euphrates valley to Haran in what is now north Iraq. Years later - after his father was dead - he continued south-southwest to Canaan and the town Sikem in what is now Israel (Sikem is north of Jerusalem. It is now named Nablus). That is to say he travelled along the so-called Fertile Crescent - the natural route when you travel with flocks of animals. The alternative was to take a shortcut through the Arab desert, but few of his numerous sheep and goats and cows would survive such a trip. He never visited Mecca on his way from Ur to Sikem. (Besides this was too early in the story - Ishmael was not born yet, and he is a part of the building of the Kabah according to the Quran).
Abraham then settled in the western part of Canaan (now approximately Israel), whereas his nephew Lot settled in the Jordan valley and in the Arabah Valley south of the Dead Sea further east. Later Abraham moved south to Negev in Sinai. Negev today is most known for its desert, but not all was desert. All this is according to the Bible, but the Quran has no conflicting information, except that his father had another name, and that he quarreled with his father about Allah, which is not told in the Bible (on the contrary - they lived together till Terah died). The point is that between Canaan and Mecca and also between West Negev and Mecca are hundreds and hundreds of miles or kilometers of the tough and dry and hot Arab desert. Abraham was rich and had huge flocks of animals. He could not take those huge flocks of sheep, etc., through Lot's area and then through that desert, and especially so when there was no reason for doing it.
Abraham lived hundreds of miles from Mecca - and had to cross harsh terrain to get to and from (see 2/125d above). Nobody builds a big temple for himself and his family at a place they can never or nearly never visit.
Abraham was a nomad. Nomads do not have the know-how and technology to build large stone buildings.
Hadiths tell than when Mecca restored the Kabah some years before Muhammad took over, they rebuilt it smaller than Abraham's(?) foundations. Which means that the nomad Abraham and his son built so big, that it was too big and too expensive for the full city of Mecca to rebuild in the same size. A nomad and his son building that big a temple for himself and his small family, even though he lived hundreds of miles away and at the very best hardly ever could visit the place? Of course you are free to believe it if you want.
Abraham and Lot split up for practical reasons - Lot moved east whereas Abraham moved west (1. Mos. 13/11-12). Arabia and the place which was to become Mecca many generations later was to the east - much further east and south than even Lot settled.
(1. Mos. 14/6): "- - - in the Hill country of Seir, as far as El Paran near the desert". Seir was the hilly country east of the southern end of the Dead Sea. To the west of this was the Arabah Valley (running from Elath to the Dead Sea), and across that valley you met the Paran Desert - quite a long way from Mecca.
Abraham simply was not involved in the building of Kabah, and it is highly unlikely he ever visited Mecca and even the Arab peninsula. It looks like a fairy tale made up to give weight to Kabah and to Islam. And not least to give weight to Muhammad, who 2500 years later could tell he was direct descendant from Abraham - without the slightest written paper from all those years. 2500 years of mostly an-alphabetic nomads without any written history. Believe it if you want – and if you know who were all your forefathers the year 500 BC (= ca. 2500 years ago), as after 2500 years you have, and Muhammad had a large number of them (something like 80 generations give you quite a number of forfeiters, not only one - Abraham - like Muhammad claimed).
It also is worth adding that Muslims say that Mecca was where Abraham’s (or actually Sarah’s) slave, Hagar, and his and her child Ismail (Ishmael) were sent away from Abraham’s camp, that the two lived there, and that Abraham frequently visited them later. There is no source of information for this. The OT says they lived in Negev, which is weeks by camel from Mecca - and much, much longer for large flocks of sheep, goats, and cattle (American cowboys driving flocks of cattle to the railway, made 10-12 miles – 16-20 km - a day. The nomads in the south hardly moved any faster - - - if they could find water). In addition to the long time it would take, many animals hardly would survive the long trek through the harsh Arab desert with little food and hardly any water. And there was in addition no reason for him and his family to take such a dangerous and meaningless trip with their animals to a barren and dry valley. And as he never visited Mecca, he could not have left Hagar and Ismail there (this even more so as the Bible mention that Ishmael lived near the border of Egypt and got his wife from Egypt (see below) - - - and science and Islam both have proved that the Bible is not falsified (Islam has delivered a very strong proof by being unable to find even one clear falsification among all the tens of thousands of relevant old manuscripts) - the easy way out for Muslims when the Bible mentions things they do not like). If Islam wants to insist that he ever visited Mecca, they have to produce strong proofs, as it is extremely unlikely - and “special statements demands special proofs”. It is highly likely this just is a story made up or “borrowed” from f.x. Arab folklore to give the teachings of Muhammad credence.
One more fact: The Bible – a book which Islam insists is correct every time there is some text they like, but which may be the truth other times, too - says (1. Mos. 21/21): “While he (Ishmael*) was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt”. Except for religious Muslims who strongly wishes this to be a reference to Paran or Faran near Mecca, all serious scientists say that this was Paran in or bordering Sinai - - - which also made it easier for his mother (who was from Egypt) to find him a wife from Egypt even though that made his children ¾ Egyptian and only ¼ descendants of Abraham’s stock (there is mentioned only one wife for Ishmael). Also remember that the old Egyptians were not Arabs, even if modern Egyptians often are called Arabs - where is the pure Arab blood of Ishmael's descendant?
Further (1. Mos. 25/18): “His (Ishmael’s) descendants settled in the area from Havilah to Shur, near the border of Egypt, as you go toward Asshur”. The border of Egypt means near the Red Sea or north of the Red Sea up to the Gulf of Suez. Just where scientists place Paran - it run from there and towards Elath. (It is a bit ironic that Islam say the Bible has the name correct, (but claim it is meaning Faran in Arabia), but all the rest of the information about place, wife from (neighboring) Egypt, etc. wrong. Though if you go looking, you will find that according to Islam, the Bible never has a mistake and is reliable when what it says fits Islam. Only when it tells things or facts that contradicts Islam, the Bible is falsified - or like here one simply omits the contradicting facts - - - which one safely can do, as hardly any Muslim knows the Bible well enough to see the cherry-picking of information, unless he has higher religious education). And NB: This was written 1000 or more years before Muhammad, and thus with no reason to place Ishmael far from Arabia if it was not the truth.
There also is another fact: The Bible reports on what Abraham built: He built an altar at Shechem (1. Mos. 12/6-7), an altar at Betel (1. Mos. 12/8), and an altar at Mamre, near Hebron (1. Mos. 13/18) - altars simply were a regular heap of natural, not artificially formed stones - - - and that is it. This is all the Bible tells he built (except for Sarah's grave, but that was not a building, but a cave (1. Mos. 23/19)). Then the Quran claims he suddenly built a huge temple (mosque), a big stone building which for one thing is far outside the know-how of a nomad to build, and for another thing is situated far away from all places Abraham ever was (as far as we can find the nearest he ever was Mecca, was Hebron, a good number of miles (multiply wit 1.6 to get km) south of Bethlehem. And not least: The building of this big temple is not at all mentioned in the Bible, even if it had to take a number of years to build it - Solomon with his enormous resources and his army of highly qualified builders (though no jinns, etc. like the Quran claims) used 7 years to build his temple (1. Kings 6/38), and a big church in medieval Europe could take up to 30 years. These years of building the Kabah is not in any way mentioned in the Bible - neither the building, nor the years it took, nor when it was done. Actually the time and resources it took also is not mentioned in the Quran - it just is indicated (though not directly said) that the Kabah was built during one or a few short visits to Mecca, and nothing about the skill and resources needed and the time it takes for building such a big temple/mosque. No comments - and none necessary.
Besides:To go all the way to Mecca as mentioned was too forbidding for a man with large flocks of animal – and there never was a reason to go there for Abraham. On the contrary: Little food for his animals, no water in Mecca before the Zamzam was found later (?) – and Ishmael living “near the border of Egypt”. He never was in Mecca and consequently never built the Kabah – the big temple that he anyhow did not have the know-how to build, and worse; could not use, because he lived the better part of 1000 km away (this even more so as he could not travel "as the crow flees", but had to go as the cow grazes). And one he did not need as it was far too big for his small family - 2 sons included Ishmael, one wife and some workers. This claim, too, is a clear contradiction to the Bible.
Also remember that science clearly says: "It is practically sure that Abraham never visited Mecca" (and the claim that he built the Kabah, they do not even bother to comment on). And: The ones writing OT some 9oo-1400 or may be a bit more before Muhammad started his preaching - even if they had falsified the scriptures, they had no reason to falsify Abraham out of Arabia as Muhammad and his religion was unknown to them. And: Abraham as said had his pastures in the west whereas Lot had chosen the eastern area (1. Mos. 13/11-12) - i.e. according to the agreement between them Lot's pastures were around and south of the Dead Sea towards Acaba, whereas Abraham grazed his cattle in the western parts of Canaan and later in Negev, both nearer the Mediterranean Sea. Which means that to visit Mecca, Abraham had to move all his cattle from the Mediterranean region and all the way through Lot's area down to Ababa, and then through the forbidding desert to Mecca - a place in or near the Faran Wilderness, a wilderness which now Muslims now have renamed Paran (Muslim sources on Internet admits that the real Arab name was Faran - but you f.x. meet Muslims claiming that Faran just is the Arab name, and that it is named Paran by others - - - a well chosen "explanation" as Muslims saw the name Paran in the Bible, and said: This sounds very like Faran - it must mean Faran. And then they started to tell that Paran, yes, that was in Arabia near Mecca! And foreigners not knowing the real name, used - and uses - the new Arab name Paran as they did not and do not know it is wrong - very few non-Arabs know that the correct name of that wilderness is Faran). Just take a look at the pictures from Faran/Paran, Arabia (they today use only the name Paran to be able to claim that Ishmael was there according to the Bible) and see how tempting this area was for a nomad with lots and lots of animals - Abraham was rich. No rich nomad in his right mind would even think of moving hundreds and hundreds of miles - and more in kilometers - from good pastures in the west to dry desert - Mecca did not even have a well, because this according to the Quran was before the Zamzam well was found.
The scientists are right: Abraham never was in Mecca - and to comment on the claim that he built the Kabah is not even worth to bother about.
And see 2/125e above.
03 22/26b: “Behold, We (Allah) gave the site, to Abraham, of the (sacred) House - - -”. Mecca lies some 750 miles (some 1200 km) from where Abraham normally lived - much of the distance hot, forbidding and rough Arab Desert. The Quran tells he built a big mosque in an empty, dry narrow desert valley without water or anything, except one well, for himself and his family - in the valley where Mecca grew up many centuries later. The Quran also claims Abraham was a good Muslim - and Muslims shall visit their mosques at least every Friday. 750 miles/1200 km and back through forbidding terrain every Friday? - even just now and then?
Here we include a small, but essential piece of information. The dromedary was domesticated sometime between around 2ooo BC and 3500 BC - the exact time is not known (the very first proved case of domesticated dromedary/camel in the Middle East is from Qasr Ibrim in Lower Nubia (east Africa) around 740 BC) - and likely in the coastal area of South Arabia. Abraham according to science lived - if he was a real person - around 2ooo-1800 BC (and far from South Arabia). But today - 27. Dec. 2012 - we discovered a small fact we have not been aware of - small, but essential and revealing in this case: THE DROMEARY - THE ARAB CAMEL - DID NOT COME INTO WIDE USE UNTIL AROUND 1OOO-900 BC (around the time of King Solomon)! And f.x. the first time camels are known to be used in battle, was between Cyrus the Great who used camels against Croesos of Lydia in 547 BC, AND THEN TRANSPORT DROMEDARIES, NOT RIDING ONES WERE USED. (Horses not used to camels were frightened by them, and this made problems for the cavalry of Croesus.) This means that as late as in 547 BC - some 1300 years after Abraham - riding camels were not widely enough used to be a factor in daily life (if they had been, riding dromedaries had been used by Cyrus instead). Camels are mentioned in the Books of Moses, too, but this is reckoned by science to be one of the proofs for that those books are written long after Moses.
This means that Abraham did not have camels, and definitely not riding camels. Which makes his claimed trip with his many animals to the lonesome, dry and empty desert valley where Mecca later grew up, physically impossible, his claimed building of the big Kabah hundreds of miles and more in kilometers from home, even more meaningless as he could not go back and forth between his home and his temple, and his claimed visits there later as hopeless a Muslim claim as his first claimed trip.
THIS MEANS HE NEVER LEFT HAGAR AND ISHMAEL IN THAT VALLEY, THAT HE NEVER BUILT THE KABAH, AND THAT HE NEVER VISITED THE PLACE LATER,TOO. We have said the same before, but without the camel/dromedary Muhammad's claims about Abraham going to that dry desert valley to leave Hagar and Ishmael, and later to build the Kabah and then to visit it frequently, move from extremely improbable to physically impossible.
This content was posted with assistance from M. A. Khan, the editor of islam-watch.org and the author of "Islam Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery" (available online)