ABRAHAM, DIFFERENT TOPICS
31 March 2013
01 "In 1. Mos. (= Genesis) 12/1-3 a promise is made to Abraham that he would be blessed and that all the nations would bless him and be blessed by him. It is only the descendants of Ishmael - Muhammad and the Muslims - that have fulfilled the promise that should bless him, since they are the ones who bless Abraham by praying for him and his family. Ergo these verses must indicate Muhammad."
What the Bible really says (1. Mos. 12/1-3):
"The Lord (Yahweh*) had said to Abram (later renamed Abraham*), 'Leave your country, your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.'" It is Yahweh who is doing the blessing - there is nowhere talk about that people's blessing of him is any indication of anything. We mention that to make up arguments is an indication of lack of real arguments.
##02 2/125e: "We (Allah*) covenanted with Abraham and Ishmael - - -". The Bible is contradicting: (1.Mos.17/21) Yahweh says: "But my covenant I will make with Isaac". And many years later to Isaac's son Jacob (and now Ishmael is totally out of the picture) similar words like the ones which were said to Abraham 2 generations earlier (1.Mos. 28/14): "All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring". There is no doubt according to the Bible with which branch of Abraham's descendants the god covenanted. Even if the Arabs really were descendants of Ishmael, they had belonged to the wrong branch of the family - they were not the offspring of Jacob, and not even of Isaac. And it is likely this might be the reality - at the time when the Torah was written, there was no reason for the writers to place Ishmael and his descendants at the border of Egypt (1.Mos. 25/18) if he really lived in Arabia - Muhammad and his competing religion still was 1000 years into the unknown future when it was written. But for Muhammad the situation was different: It is quite common for emerging sects and religions to "high-jack" parts of a mother religion - it gives "weight" and tradition to the new sect/religion. For Muhammad it would pay to "take over" a known name like Ishmael. It obviously also would pay for him to take over the claimed center of the religious word - even a made up claim works if people believe in it.
Another fact: Modern DNA-analysis has shown that the Arabs are no coherent tribe. They are a mixture of many nations - not strange lying at a crossroad with travelers passing thought, and where sex and alcohol were "the two delightful things" until Muhammad took over. And also Arab tradesmen brought brides and slaves back home even long before Muhammad, not to mention all the slave women who were brought home after the robberies made the Arabs rich enough to afford more/many women. The "Arab Blood" is strongly diluted and mixed up, and even was never a homogenous tribe originally.
What the Bible really says about Ishmael in relevant connections is:
One point here which is very serious for Islam and Muslims: The words her "All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring" were said to Jacob - the brother of Ishmael. If they are correct, this means Ishmael and his offspring represent no blessing for future peoples - "all peoples" Will be blessed through Jacob's descendants - f.x Jesus.
#######This in case means that even if it had been true that Muhammad was a descendant of Abraham, this relationship had been via Ishmael, and thus without any value in this connection - and thus no blessing from Yahweh via Muhammad all the same.
(1. Mos. 16/7): The pregnant Hagar fled from Abraham and Sarah (then named Sarai - not mentioned in the Quran), and "The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur". Shur was a desert area east of the Gulf of Suez in Egypt. Shur extended southwards past the northern end of the Red Sea, "opposite Egypt" = roughly east of where the Suez Canal now runs and a little down the east side of the Red Sea. 1): Hagar may have headed towards her home country Egypt. 2): Abraham had to be far west - and very far from Arabia/Mecca - for her to find that road, as that road run inland from the Mediterranean Sea (far inland but in that region).
(1. Mos. 21/12-13): "But God/Yahweh said to him (Abraham*), 'Do not be so distressed about the boy (Ishmael*) and your maidservant (Hagar - Ishmael's mother*). Listen to what Sara (Abraham's wife*) tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. I will make the son of your maidservant into a nation also, because he is your offspring".
#####One point here is that Abraham's descendants should be reckoned via Isaac, not via Ishmael (nor via Abraham's 6 later sons). Thus even if Muhammad had been a descendant of Abraham, it would mean nothing for the connection to Yahweh.
(1. Mos. 20/1): "Now Abraham moved - - - into the region of Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. Kadesh was a town West of the southern end of the Dead sea, between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, and a bit more than halfway to the Mediterranean Sea. The desert of Shur was west of Kadesh direction Egypt and near the Gulf of Suez in Egypt and southwards past the northern end of the Red Sea. (You will meet Muslims claiming Kadesh was in or near Mecca, and others claiming it was near Petra in Jordan - necessary to be able to move the Paran desert area to the Faran Mountain and the Faran Wilderness on the Arab peninsula, rename it Paran like the Muslims have done, and claim this Paran/Faran is the Paran of the Bible? (- even though there is no doubt where the Paran of the Bible was - there is a little too much of this kind of dishonesty in Islam.)) But to tell Abraham settled between Shur, near Egypt, and Jordan or Mecca is not even comical - Muslims often are very clever at finding solutions they want to find, but forgetting or "forgetting" details - or big things - making the claimed solution wrong or invalid.) The point here is that Abraham now clearly was living in Negev in the west, not in Arabia, and not so very far from the Mediterranean Sea area, and in the region where the road to Shur and on to Egypt crossed. The Bible tells when Abraham made major moves, and it does not mention that Abraham left this region until after Isaac was born and after Hagar and Ishmael (who must have been something like 14 - 16 years by then - he was born when Abraham was 86 years (1. Mos. 16/16) and circumcised when Abraham was 99 and Ishmael 13 years old (1. Mos. 17/24-25), and this was a bit later) had left Abraham's camp. Which indicates that Hagar and Ishmael left his camp in this area - something which may correspond well with that they took the road to Shur and on to the border of her homeland, Egypt, and settled there like the Bible tells: 1. Mos. 25/18: ""His (Ishmael's*) descendants settled in the area from Havilah to Shur, near the border of Egypt". The desert of Shur is well known, but this Havilah (there is another connected to the Garden of Eden) is not clearly located, but is believed to have been in the southern part of Palestine. (We may add that Muslim sources we find on Internet - f.x. www.jamaat.net/compl/arabsinthebible.html - admits that "the wilderness of Paran" = Faran in Arabic (= the name has been changed to make it possible to claim it is the same name as Paran in the Bible*).)
(1. Mos. 21/18): "- - - I (Yahweh*) will make him into a great nation". See further down.
(1. Mos. 21/14): "She (Hagar) went on her way and wandered in the desert of Beersheba", which meant that she had to leave Abraham somewhere in what is now the south of Israel (Beersheba itself is some 70 miles (ca. 115 km) south of Tel Aviv) in a part of the Negev desert bordering or part the Paran area bordering Sinai - Sinai as you most likely know is a peninsula to the southwest of Israel, bordering Egypt (the Arabian peninsula is to the southeast and with the Acaba Bay between it and the Sinai peninsula).
(1. Mos.21/15): "When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes". It would not be possible for Hagar to walk to Mecca - hundreds of miles through hot desert - with the only water she had was one water skin. (Besides there was no sane reason for her to walk that way - this even more so as she was not from Arabia, and had absolutely no known connection to that area, but was from Egypt = in the west.)
(1. Mos. 21/21): "While he (Ishmael*) lived in the desert of Paran, his mother (Hagar*) got a wife for him from Egypt". Muslims dearly wants Paran to mean Paran in Arabia (the name really was Faran, but has become Paran because Muslims wanted it to be a reference from the Bible), but Paran Desert was an area south of Canaan - and south of Beersheba - bordering North Sinai and reaching towards Elath. The name of the area today is el-Tih. The Desert of Paran also contained the Mountain of Paran mentioned in 5. Mos. 33/2. As Paran bordered Canaan, Moses sent his 12 spies into Canaan from here (from in or near the town of Kadesh) - if he had sent them from Paran/Faran in Arabia, they first would have had to cross hundreds of miles - and kilometers - of forbidding desert to reach Canaan. And how far would Hagar have had to travel to find a wife from Egypt to him? (It is typical for Muslim argumentation to produce claims where details - or not details - are omitted to get the (made up) argument or answer they want - you meet this technique a bit too often. It is one of the problems we meet when studying Islamic literature - all information has to be checked, because you never know what is true and what is f.x. an al-Taqiyya (lawful lie), a Kitman (lawful half-truth), etc., or even just wishful thinking helped by invalid logic (Muslims often jumps from "this may be a possibility" or even weaker to "it is like this") to make things fit the Quran. It may seem like many Muslims in addition are little trained in the use of the laws of logic and in critical thinking.))
But the Muslims' high-jacking of Paran has one good effect: They have placed lots of pictures from Paran/Faran in Arabia on Internet. Paran/Faran itself is a mountain, and the wilderness is lying near and mainly north of Mecca, and Abraham would have had to cross the large desert now called the Paran Wilderness by Muslims to reach Mecca - and live in it, as Mecca used to be similar to this at that time. Open some of the pages and look at the pictures: How tempted would Abraham be to go into hundreds of miles of this with all his cattle? Exactly not at all. (This in addition to that it is well known where the real Paran from the Bible was).
(1. Mos. 25/16): "These (the 12 sons of Ishmael*) are the names of the 12 tribal rulers - - -" = the great nation mentioned in 1. Mos.21/18 - Muslims never mention this verse. (But there is a large difference between a promise to make them a great nation and a covenant. Also remember that a great nation at that time was something different from today - f.x. Abraham with his 318 men beat the combined forces of 4 kings in battle near Dan (1. Mos. 14/14-15))
(1. Mos. 25/18): "His (Ishmael's*) descendants settled in the area from Havilah to Shur (see above*), near the border of Egypt, as you go toward Asshur (= eastwards*)". One more verse Muslims never - never - mention. This roughly corresponds to somewhat east of where the Suez Canal now runs.
(1. Mos. 25/18): "And they (the sons of Ishmael) lived in hostility toward all their brothers". Also this a verse Muslims never mention - perhaps because they want it to have been a good relationship so that there still could be a brotherhood when Moses made his speech in 5. Mos. 500 - 700 years later, and when Muhammad came some 2500 years later - - - if the Arabs are descendants from among many others Ishmael.
There are two ways to understand this sentence: They lived in hostility towards each other, or they lived in hostility towards the sons of their uncle Isaac and their 6 other uncles (sons of Abraham and his 2. wife, Keturah (1. Mos. 25/1). As it is said in 1. Mos. 21/18 that they - the 12 tribes descending from Ishmael - became a great nation, the second meaning is the likely one. May be partly for this reason, the descendants of Ishmael are never in the Bible reckoned by the Jews to be relatives, or at least very, very distant such ones.
All this points to that Hagar and Ishmael left the camp of Abraham in west Negev, took the road towards Shur, direction Egypt and settled near the border of Egypt, likely north the desert Shur - i.e. between Shur and the Mediterranean Sea somewhere - - - pretty far from Arabia and Mecca, and in nearly exactly the opposite direction.
Besides: The Arab camel was domesticated on the coasts of Arabia around 3ooo - 2500 BC, but according to Wikipedia did not come into widespread use until around 1ooo-900 BC (approximately the time of King Solomon), and as riding animal even later (f.x. in the battle between Croesus of Lydia and Cyrus the Great of Persia, Cyrus had to use transport camels in the battle from lack of riding camels - and Croesus only used horses). It thus seems like Abraham did not have camels, and at least not riding camels. If that was the case, his many trips between his home in Canaan or Sinai and Mecca, which Islam claims (like normal without one single proof) were impossible.
One final and partly different point: As mentioned costal Arabia was settled around 5ooo BC (or earlier). The interior was settled 1ooo years or a bit more later. By 1800 BC the peninsula had a reasonably big population. Even if Ishmael took all his 12 sons and moved to Arabia, how big percent of the total population of Arabia would they make up? In other words: How big percent of the forefathers of the Arabs of today, or at the time of Muhammad, did Ishmael represent? - a small number behind a lot of zeroes behind a comma. Even in the unlikely case that Ishmael had settled in Arabia and not near Egypt, Arabs 2400 years later (Muhammad) or 3800 years later (today) were/are not the descendants of Ishmael, but the descendants of all the people living in Arabia in the old times, of which Ishmael in case had made up only a miniscule part of a percent (for the Jews the picture is a bit different, because of the restrictions on marrying outside the group - a restriction often broken, but all the same relatively effective). This in addition to all later mixing with people from the outside, included hundreds of thousands (likely a some millions) slave girls imported to a miserable life in the harems of Arabs before and after Muhammad.
Also see 2/127a below.
We may finally repeat that Muslim sources we find on Internet - f.x. www.jamaat.net/compl/arabsinthebible.html - admits that "the wilderness of Paran" = Faran in Arabic. The change of name makes propaganda and claims much easier, but does not change reality: Abraham's Paran according to science was much further west.
Even if Chinese often pronounce Pompeii (in Italy) and Bombay (in India) identically, it is not the same place.
03 19/42-50: The story of Abram (name according to the Bible) - later named Abraham - in the Quran is entirely different from the one in the Bible. Entirely. Also see 19/48-49 below. AND: As the Bible is the only source for information about Abraham, and as it is clear the Quran is not from a god - too much is wrong - from where did Muhammad get this new information about Abraham?
Two curios: The Quran claims Abraham took his family and all his huge flocks of animals - he was rich - and went from Canaan or Sinai through the hot and forbidding and dry Arab Desert with little or no food for his animals to a narrow, empty, desert valley without water or grass in the middle of absolutely nowhere and without any attractions, and lived there for at least long enough time to leave his son Ishmael and his concubine Hagar there.
The Quran further claims Abraham later built a big mosque in that dry, empty, narrow, desert valley where Mecca is now, for his small family.
No Muslim ever mentions that there are some 750 miles - some 1200 km - between where he lived and Mecca, and much of it was harsh, forbidding, glowing desert where his livestock would die on the road - - - and a good Muslim shall visit his mosque at least each Friday. And no Muslim mentions that even though the camel likely was domesticated at the time of Abraham, it did not come into widespread use until much later (around 1ooo-900 BC) according to Wikipedia, and as riding animal even later, so how could he travel that freely in the desert? Not to mention that no Muslim ever mention that no nomads had the technology necessary for building huge stone buildings.
04 22/78e: "- - - it (Islam*) is the cult of your father Abraham". For one thing it is unlikely Abraham is the forefather of the Arabs - Ishmael and his sons settled near the border of Egypt, according to the Bible (written at a time when there was no reason for the writer to falsify this), not in Arabia (1. Mos. 25/18). Also DNA-analysis indicate that the Arabs in reality is a mixture of people who drifted into the desert from different places and nations + the result of being at a crossroad for the caravans + the result of large import of slaves/concubines from Europe, Asia and Africa. What once - impolitely - was called a bastard production. And for another thing there is no reason to believe Islam was Abraham's religion, but strong reason reasons for to believe that the claim is wrong - not one single trace of a god like Allah or a religion like Islam older than 610 AD, is ever found anywhere in the world. Islam will have to produce proofs in order to be believed by us.
##05 53/37a: "- - - and (the books? *) of Abraham - - -". There is nowhere in the Bible - the only real source telling about Abraham - mentioned he had books. To explain this Islam simply tells that (YA5111): "No extant 'Book of Abraham’s now extant (undocumented claim: There must have been one or more which have disappeared*). But a book called 'The Testament of Abraham' (exists*)". This Yusuf Ali tells without mentioning a syllable about that "The Testament of Abraham" is a well known made up - apocryphal - book, and made millenniums after Abraham. Honesty counts little in Islam when it comes to defend or explain or forward the religion - cfr. "al-Taqiyya" - the lawful lie - and "Kitman" - the lawful half-truth - both of which are not only permitted to use, but advised to use "if necessary" to defend or forward Islam. But why are lies necessary in Islam? - and how much is lies and how much truth in a religion which accepts and at least partly relies on lies? - and how much is a religion at least partly relying on lies worth?
Another fact is that it is highly unlikely that a nomad like Abraham at that time even knew how to read.
06 87/18-19: "And this is in the Books of the earliest revelations - the Books of Abraham and Moses." But according to the Quran there always have been revelations from Allah to man. Homo Sapiens - man - developed perhaps 200ooo years ago and f.x. Homo Erectus and not to mention if you include hominids like f.x. Australopithecus MUCH earlier. Homo Sapiens started in earnest on the road to modern man 60-70ooo (64000?) years ago. Abraham lived - if he ever did - some 3800-4000 years ago and Moses some 3300-3400 years ago - if he ever lived. How can their claimed books (see 87/19a-c below) be the earliest ones - tens and may be hundreds of thousands of years after the first humans, and thus the first prophets according to the Quran? Not to mention; how can Moses have had of the oldest ones, when there according to the Quran were earlier prophets even in Arabia? (Moses talked about them according to the Quran - not according to the Bible - so they had to be earlier).
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)