Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Amorites, Phoenicians, Hebrews

The Amorites, Phoenicians, and Hebrews

Who were the Amorites? (In the paragraphs immediately below I place note markers *N to link to a following consensus of identification.)
The Encyclopedia Britannia states that by the mid-3rd millennium BC, various Semitic peoples had migrated into Syria-Palestine and Babylonia. Knowledge of this period was enormously enhanced by the excavations at Tall Mard Ykh, ancient Ebla, south of Aleppo (northern Syria). The palace yielded more than 17,000 inscribed clay tablets, dated to about 2600–2500 BC, which detail the social, religious, economic, and political life of this thriving and powerful Syrian kingdom. The language of Ebla has been identified as Northwest Semitic(*1).
Note that this period is later than the construction of the Great Pyramids of Egypt, and that the Egyptians were already extending their political power to regions of the Near East. Hence the migrations must be understood in the context of that dynamic social evolution.
The Amorites were members of this ancient Semitic-speaking people. The invasion of these nomadic people, called Amurru by the Akkadians and Martu by the Assyrians, was described as coming from the northwest. They were prominent in Mesopotamia, Syria, and Palestine in the early centuries of the second millennium BC. In the cuneiform sources from Sumeria (c. 2400–c. 2000 BC), they were identified as coming from the west. However, there is considerable doubt concerning their origins. This doubt may be due to the fact that they were troublesome nomads who roamed freely around the Near East. They penetrated deep into Sumeria and were believed to be one of the causes of the downfall of the 3rd dynasty of Ur (c. 2112–c. 2004 BC) (*2).
Ancient writers help us understand the geographic designation for Syria, one of the locales for the Amorites. Homer (Iliad ii.785) and Hesiod (Theog. 304) called the inhabitants of that district Arimoi. Compare the cuneiform Arimu or Assyrian Aramu for Aramaeans. The earliest Assyrian name was Martu, which Hommel regards as a contraction of Amartu, the land of the Amurru or Amorites.
Here we see a confusion between two different Semitic words, found in the Old Testament texts:
Hebrew amoree = Amorite, from amar, a verb, to be or make prominent, and
Hebrew aramee = Aramean, from aram, a noun.

However, both are used to designate people who occupied the same geographical area, and had similar histories. Aram is described as one of the ancestors of Abraham and the Hebrew people, Gen 10:22. Note that the two words demonstrate metathesis, or the switching of two consonants. All Semitic words derived from a verb base; this linguistic confusion may be the reason the word aram has no verbal foundation in Hebrew. Refer toStrong's Exhaustive Concordance and the Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament by Brown, Driver, and Briggs.
During the 2nd millennium the term Amurru referred not only to an ethnic group but also to a language and to a geographic and political unit spread throughout Syria and Palestine. At the beginning of the millennium, a large-scale migration of great tribal federations resulted in the occupation of Babylonia proper, the mid-Euphrates region, and Syria-Palestine. They set up a mosaic of small kingdoms and rapidly assimilated the Sumero-Akkadian culture. Some scholars prefer to call this second group Canaanites.

During the Ur III period, 2100-2000BC, the Amorites, who were already sedentary, formed an identifiable ethnic component along with Sumerians and Akkadians. Nothing certain is known about the authority (if any) that the Sumerian kings of Ur exercised in Syria, so far away from their capital. The end of their dynasty, however, was brought about chiefly by the pressure of these Semitic migrations from Syria, the Amorites (i.e., the westerners), as they were called in Babylonia. Between about 2000 and 1800 BC they covered both Syria and Mesopotamia with a multitude of small principalities and cities, mostly governed by rulers bearing some name characteristic of the Semitic dialect that the Amorites spoke.
Almost all of the local kings in Babylonia (such as Hammurabi of Babylon) belonged to this stock(*3). One capital was at Mari (modern Tall al-Sar YrY, Syria). Farther west, the political center was Salab (Aleppo); in that area, as well as in Palestine, the newcomers were thoroughly mixed with the Hurrians. The region then called Amurru was northern Palestine, with its center at Hazor, and the neighboring Syrian desert.

From about 1100 BC Assyrian inscriptions use the term Amurru to designate parts of Syria and all of Phoenicia and Palestine but no longer refer to any specific kingdom, language, or population. This shows how the various people had blended and mixed to blur ethnic identifications.

The Phoenicians were indistinguishable from the Canaanites of Palestine, using the same language and religious names and practices. Herodotus and other Classical writers preserve a tradition that they came from the coast of the Erythraean Sea (i.e., the Persian Gulf) (*4).

The earliest Egyptian artistic representations of Phoenicians (Canaanites) are found in a damaged relief at Memphis commissioned by Pharaoh Sahure of the 5th dynasty (early 25th century BC). This shows the arrival of an Asiatic princess to be the Pharaoh's bride; her escort is a fleet of seagoing ships, evidently manned by Phoenicians. We know the Phoenicians were seafaring people throughout their known history. The Amorites maintained close contact with Egypt. Costly gifts were given by the pharaohs to the Phoenician and Syrian princes.
The origin of the term Canaan is disputed, but it may derive from an old Semitic word denoting “reddish purple.” Many scholars believe this color designation refers to the rich purple or crimson dye produced in the Palestinian and Phoenician area, or to the wool colored with the dye. Actually, the name refers to the skin color of these people. This skin color puzzle is seen in many examples from Egypt, and was illustrated by Rahotep. Although he shows more as a brown color, other Egyptian illustrations show the skin color as red, or even dark red.
If we arrange and coalesce the components I noted above we can obtain a more enlightening picture of these Amorite-Canaanite-Phoenician-Aramean-Hebrew people. They all came from a common Semitic stock. Since the Egyptian tomb paintings show them with blue eyes, we certainly have a genetic affinity to the blue eyes illustrated by Rahotep, Nofret, and King Hor.
We should keep in mind that different human groups, speaking different dialects of the same language, and related genetically, may be sharply separated by modern scholarship in order to distinguish them historically. This process then blurs and obscures the biological origins and relationship among people. For example, I mentioned the identity of the Canaanites and Phoenicians. This is based on evidence of language, culture, and religious practices. But if we examine Hebrew origins we find that they were the same people also. The difference came about when God performed a memorable work in bringing the descendants of  Abraham out of bondage in Egypt. They then separated themselves from their genetic brothers. This separation became important in demonstrating loyalty to God, and has clung to the Jews to this day. Refer to the many Old Testament proscriptions to avoid interbreeding. Nevertheless, they were genetically and culturally of the same origins.
(Note #1): The Semitic languages are divided into four groups: (1) Northern Peripheral, or Northeastern, with only one language, ancient Akkadian; (2) Northern Central, or Northwestern, including the ancient Canaanite, Amorite, Ugaritic, Phoenician (later Punic), Aramaic, ancient and modern Syriac, and Hebrew; (3) Southern Central, including Arabic and Maltese; and (4) Southern Peripheral, including South Arabic and the languages of northern Ethiopia.
The difficulty with these classifications is that Phoenician and Hebrew were almost identical to one another, with only minor inflectional differences, not more than we find among modern English speakers around the world. Since Phoenicians and Canaanites were essentially the same people this further reduces the language classes. The Amorites was also closely related; using the mother tongue of Abraham. This reduces the classes still farther. Then substantial differences exist only with Ugaritic and Aramaic, but even those are closely related. Modern linguists have become so deeply deluded by their theoretical structures, straining to understand these linguistic affinities, that they no longer can grasp the reality of those ancient days, and have thus become almost useless as a source of understanding.
(Note #2): A text from the Old Testament helps us to understand how the Hebrew people identified their genetic origins. The record shows Moses instructed to admit:
Deut 26:5-6
"And you shall make response before the LORD your God, 'A wandering Aramean was my father; and he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number; and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous. And the Egyptians treated us harshly, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage."
We know that Isaac was instructed to take a wife from among their Aramean kin, Gen 24:4, and so on.
Gen 25:20
". . . and Isaac was forty years old when he took to wife Rebekah, the daughter of Bethu'el the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean."
Hence, the Hebrew people regarded their forefathers as Arameans. The Old Testament text leaves this record for us. But other texts suggest a close affinity to the Amorites:
Gen 14:13
"Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, for he dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner; and they were allies with Abram."
We know from Abraham's history that he was a "wandering Aramean." The following references are to the Book of Genesis.
1 - From Ur of Chaldeans to Haran (11:31): his father dies.
2 - From Haran to Shechem (12:1-6): God appears; he builds an altar to God.
3 - Shechem to Bethel (12:8).
4 - From Bethel to Egypt (12:9-11): he denies that Sarah was his wife.
5 - From Egypt to Bethel (13:1-4).
6 - To Haran then to Damascus (14): he saves Lot from slavery.
7 - To Hebron (14-18): Melchizedek; Ishmael is born; he pleads for Sodom.
8 - To Gerar (20-21): Isaac is born.
9 - To Beersheba (21:27-34): he hastens to prepare for offering Isaac as a sacrifice.
10 - To Moriah Mountain (22:1-14): he offers Isaac.
11 - To Beersheba (22:19).
12 - To Hebron (25:8-10): he dies and is buried.

His origin in Ur shows that the Amorite Semites had penetrated far south into Sumeria. Ur at that time was identified as Chaldean, or part of the Semitic ethnic groups.

(Note #3): Because of the modern scholarly partition of ethnic identities into fine segments we miss the true relationship among people. Hammurabi of Babylon belonged to this (Amorite) Semitic stock. The exact date of his reign is subject to much debate, from 2300 BC down to 1900 BC. We might say he was a distant cousin of Abraham.

(Note #4): Herodotus and other Classical writers confirm knowledge that the Phoenicians = Canaanites = Hebrew people had a strong racial and genetic presence in Sumeria. If they came from the coast of the Erythraean Sea, the Persian Gulf, that tradition must have hung heavily upon the later Classical historians.

The Boston Museum of Fine Arts has published a Bulletin for a hundred years, reporting on its collection of Egyptian artifacts. In the Issue of December, 1908 it described a collection of fine ceramic tile artwork in excellent colors dating from the period of Rameses III, circa 1200 BC.

In a letter from Mr. Bononi, a collector, to a Professor T. Hayter Lewis, a well known architect of the mid-nineteenth century, Bononi mentions observing ceramic artwork:

I have seen at Medinet Haboo a porcelain figure inserted into the jamb of a door leading from the Great Court into the second, the flesh of a red-brown color and every part of the dress of its proper color, in porcelain. It was excellent work for that period.

The Bulletin notes that Rameses III defeated a motley army of allied tribes from the Near East. He then memorialized the event by placing other porcelain tiles at Medinet Haboo. Among those were Syrian, Philistine, Hittite, and Amar (Amorite) representation. The Philistine was represented with reddish skin, small pointed beard, and smooth upper lip.

The Syrian in his long gray robe with embroidered bands and fringes, his head bound with a cloth tied in a know behind with the ends hanging, his yellowish skin and small beard shows how cleverly the artist caught essential characteristics.

The Amorite is striking, with his Semitic cast of features, the long dark beard, the light yellow complexion and the shaven head.

Unfortunately, the Bulletin does not tell us the color of his eyes. I have been unable to obtain color photographs of the porcelain figures.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Ibn Humayd- Salamah- Ibn Ishaq- 'Abdallah b. Abi Bakr: The Messenger MARCHED with 2,000 Meccans and 10,000 of his companions [who had marched with him and] WITH WHOSE HELP GOD HAD FACILITATED THE CONQUEST OF MECCA. THUS THERE WERE 12,000 IN ALL. The Messenger of God placed 'Attab b. Asid b. Abi al-'As b. Umayyah b. 'Abd Shams in charge of Mecca [to look after] the men who stayed behind while he proceeded to confront Hawazin." (The History of Al-Tabari: The Last Years of the Prophet, translated and annotated by Ismail K. Poonawala [State University of New York Press, Albany 1990], Volume IX, p. 8; bold emphasis ours)

Are Muslims Commanded To Fight Until Everyone Submits to Islam?

Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 24:
Narrated Ibn 'Umar:
Allah's Apostle said: "I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform a that, then they save their lives an property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah."
So from the above Hadith, they conclude that Muslims are obligated to fight the non-Muslims, until they convert to Islam, and this proves that Islam is not a peaceful religion but a religion that does seek to impose itself on everyone.
Now as with most things, especially when we’re dealing with a piece of a text, is that we analyze the text in it’s context, rather than simply isolating it all on it’s own, and then deriving a supposed interpretation and conclusion. Anyone who studies about Islam will find that the Holy Quran teaches for religious freedom:
Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. (2:256)
So if they dispute with thee, say: "I have submitted My whole self to Allah and so have those who follow me." And say to the People of the Book and to those who are unlearned: "Do ye (also) submit yourselves?" If they do, they are in right guidance, but if they turn back, Thy duty is to convey the Message; and in Allah's sight are (all) His servants. (3:20)
And an entire chapter devoted to religious freedom:
Say: O ye that reject Faith! I worship not that which ye worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. To you be your Way, and to me mine. (Surah 109)
So it is quite clear that Islam teaches religious tolerance, nobody is compelled to follow Islam, they can keep their way and religion, and the same for the Muslims. So in light of this one must therefore apply the Hadith to this context, one cannot simply ignore all these verses and then go on to conclude that Islam teaches forced conversions to Islam.
Now we move to the second part, and we go back to the Quran, because the above Hadith is very familiar to a Quranic passage, and the passage reads as follows:
And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do. (8:39)
In the above passage Muslims are commanded to fight until there is no more oppression, till justice prevails, and when faith is for Allah. This is essentially the same message as the Hadith in a slight different wording, but the content is similar. Now off course if we applied the same narrow minded methodology as many Islamophobes do, then we too would have to conclude that 8:39 commands Muslims to fight until people have faith in Allah, meaning convert to Islam and submit to Allah. In fact the Islamophobic bigot Geert Wilders brought this verse up in his Fitna documentary.
If anyone studies the context of 8:39 one will see that this verse was aimed at the Pagans, not only was this verse revealed against the Pagans, but the very same Pagans the Muslims were at war with. Basically this verse was revealed during a time of war between the Muslims and the Pagans, the very same Pagans who initiated the war as the verse itself mentions, the Muslims are to fight them until there is no more OPPRESSION, and these Pagans were oppressing the Muslims. The Pagans were the ones who began the conflict, and the reason behind this conflict was simply down to the faith of Muslims, the Muslims were being persecuted by the Pagans precisely because of their Muslim faith. Muslims were beaten, tortured, and killed at the hands of the Pagans.
So how does this all relate to the Hadith in question? The reason why it relates to the Hadith is because the Quranic verse is very similar to what the prophet said, and when one analyzes the Quran one will find that when it gave this specific ruling, it was revealed during a time of war, and revealed against the Pagan combatants. Hence we must apply the same standard to the Hadith in question. After all, the best interpretation to the Quran and Hadith is the Quran and Hadith itself.
If one were to also study what Islamic scholarship had to say about this, then they would further see that the Islamophobic interpretation is unfounded. For example the well known and major scholar, Imam Nawawi, explained the Hadith as referring to the Pagan Arabs, and as we have mentioned, these were the same Pagan Arabs who initiated the conflict with the Muslims. And finally, Ibn Taymiyyah, another major Islamic scholar who is often labeled as an extremist had this to say about the hadith in question:
"It refers to fighting those who are waging war, whom Allah has permitted us to fight. It does not refer to those who have a covenant with us with whom Allah commands us to fulfill our covenant." [Majmû` al-Fatâwâ (19/20)]

Safiyyah issues revisted

Narrated Abdul Aziz:
Anas said, "When Allah's Apostle invaded Khaibar, we offered the Fajr prayer there (early in the morning) when it was still dark. The Prophet rode and Abu Talha rode too and I was riding behind Abu Talha. The Prophet passed through the lane of Khaibar quickly and my knee was touching the thigh of the Prophet. He uncovered his thigh and I saw the whiteness of the thigh of the Prophet. When he entered the town, he said, ‘Allahu Akbar! Khaibar is ruined. Whenever we approach near a (hostile) nation (to fight) then evil will be the morning of those who have been warned.’ He repeated this thrice. The people came out for their jobs and some of them said, ‘Muhammad (has come).’ (Some of our companions added, ‘With his army.’) We conquered Khaibar, took the captives, and the booty was collected. Dihya came and said, ‘O Allah's Prophet! Give me a slave girl from the captives.’ The Prophet said, ‘Go and take any slave girl.’ He took Safiya bint Huyai. A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Allah's Apostle! You gave Safiya bint Huyai to Dihya and she is the chief mistress of the tribes of Quraiza and An-Nadir and she befits none but you.’ So the Prophet said, ‘Bring him along with her.’ So Dihya came with her and when the Prophet saw her, he said to Dihya, ‘Take any slave girl other than her from the captives.’" Anas added: "The Prophet then manumitted her and married her."

Thabit asked Anas, "O Abu Hamza! What did the Prophet pay her (as Mahr)?" He said, "Her self was her Mahr for he manumitted her and then married her." Anas added, "While on the way, Um Sulaim dressed her for marriage (ceremony) and at night she sent her as a bride to the Prophet. So the Prophet was a bridegroom and he said, ‘Whoever has anything (food) should bring it.’ He spread out a leather sheet (for the food) and some brought dates and others cooking butter. (I think he (Anas) mentioned As-Sawaq). So they prepared a dish of Hais (a kind of meal). And that was Walima (the marriage banquet) of Allah's Apostle." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 8, Number 367)

Narrated Anas bin Malik:
We arrived at Khaibar, and when Allah helped His Apostle to open the fort, the beauty of Safiya bint Huyai bin Akhtaq whose husband had been killed while she was a bride, was mentioned to Allah's Apostle. The Prophet selected her for himself, and set out with her, and when we reached a place called Sidd-as-Sahba,' Safiya became clean from her menses then Allah's Apostle married her. Hais (i.e. an 'Arabian dish) was prepared on a small leather mat. Then the Prophet said to me, "I invite the people around you." So that was the marriage banquet of the Prophet and Safiya. Then we proceeded towards Medina, and I saw the Prophet, making for her a kind of cushion with his cloak behind him (on his camel). He then sat beside his camel and put his knee for Safiya to put her foot on, in order to ride (on the camel). (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 522)

Safiyyah had been married to Sallam b. Mishkam al-Qurazi, who divorced her, whereupon she was married to Kinanah b. al-Rabi‘ b. Abi al-Huqayq al-Nadari. The latter was killed in the battle of Khaybar leaving her a widow. (The History of al-Tabari: Biographies of the Prophet’s Companions and Their Successors, translated by Ella Landau-Tasseron [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 1998], Volume XXXIX (39), p. 185)

(2991) Anas said: A beautiful slave-girl fell to Dihyah. The Apostle of Allah purchased her for seven slaves. He then gave her to Umm Sulaim for decorating her and preparing her for marriage. The narrator Hammad said: Safiyyah daughter of Huyayy should pass her waiting period in her (Umm Sulaim’s) house. (Sunan Abu Dawud, English translation with Explanatory Notes by Prof. Ahmad Hasan [Sh. Muhammad Ashraf Publishers, Booksellers & Exporters; Lahore, Pakistan, 1984], Volume II, Book XIII. Kitab al-Kharaj (Book of Tribute, Spoils & Rulership), Chapter 1109: On the Special Portion of the Prophet Taken Exclusively By Him From The Booty, p. 848)

 Safiyyah established a warm and sympathetic relation with the Prophet's household. She presented Fatimah az-Zahra' a gift of jewels expressing her affection to her, and she also gave some of the Prophet's wives gifts from her jewels that she brought with her from Khaybar. (Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat, vol.8, p.100, Cited in Muhammad Fathi Mus'ad, The Wives of the Prophet Muhammad: Their Strives and Their Lives, p.172)

Safiyyah was a humble worshiper and a pious believer. About her ibn Kathir said, "She was one of the best women in her worship, piousness, ascetism, devoutness, and charity. (Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa an-Nihayah, vol. 8, p. 47, Cited in Muhammad Fathi Mus'ad, The Wives of the Prophet Muhammad: Their Strives and Their Lives, p.177)

Safiyyah was a very charitable and generous woman. She used to give out and spend whatever she had for the sake of Allah to the extent that she gave out a house that she had when she was still alive. (Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat, vol. 8, p. 102, Cited in Muhammad Fathi Mus'ad, The Wives of the Prophet Muhammad: Their Strives and Their Lives, p.178)

She still underwent difficulties after the death of the Prophet. Once a slavegirl she owned went  to the Amir Al Muminin Umar and asked, "Amir al Muminin! Saiffya loves the Sabbath and maintains ties with the Jews!" Umar asked Safiyya about that and she said, "I have not loved the Sabbath since Allah replaced it with Friday for me, and I only maintain ties with those Jews to whom I am related by kinship." She asked her slavegirl what had possessed her to carries lie to Umar and the girl replied, "Shaitan!" Safiyya said, "Go, you are free."
This shows and proves that Safiyyah remained a loyal Muslim even after the Prophet's death.

Ibn 'Umar [al-Waqidi] - Kathir b. Zayd - al-Walid b. Rabah - Abu Hurayrah: While the Prophet was lying with SafiyyahAbu Ayyub stayed the night at his door. When he saw the Prophet in the morning he said "God is the Greatest." He had a sword with him; he said to the Prophet, "O Messenger of God, this young woman had just been married, and you killed her father, her brother and her husband, so I did not trust her (not to harm) you." The Prophet laughed and said "Good". (The History of al-Tabari, Volume XXXIX (39), p. 185; bold and underline emphasis ours)

According to al-Waqidi: In this year the Messenger of God married Mulaykah btDawud al-Laythiyyah. One of the Prophet's wives came to Mulaykah and said to her, "Are you not ashamed to marry a man who killed your father?" She therefore "took refuge [in God]" from him. She was beautiful and young. The Messenger of God separated from her. He had killed her father the day of the conquest of Mecca. (The History of al-Tabari: The Victory of Islam, Translated by MichaelFishbein, Volume VIII (8), p. 187; underline emphasis ours)

nterestingly, the authors didn't refer to the more popular name of the narrator. They mention the name "MuhammadIbn 'Umar" but didn't indicate to the reader that this man is more popularly known as al-Waqidi. What is the Muslim verdict about this man?
Abd Allah Ibn Ali al Madini and his father said: "Al-Waqidi has 20,000 Hadith I never heard of." And then he said: "His narration shouldn't be used" and considered it weak.
Yahya Ibn Muaen said: "Al-Waqidi said 20,000 false hadith about the prophet."
Al-Shafi'i said, "Al-Waqidi is a liar."
Ibn Hanbal said, "Al-Waqidi is a liar."
Al-Bukhari said he didn't write a single letter by Al-Waqidi. (Siar Aalam al nublaa - althagbi - biography of Al-Waqidi)
The following Muslim author writes:
As a report of history, this narration suffers from two fatally serious defects. The first is the UNIVERSALLY RECOGNISED UNTRUSTWORTHINESS OF AL-WAQIDI. Details of his unreliability as a narrator would probably fill several pages, but all of it may be suitably condensed into a statement by Imam ash-Shafi'ee, who was his contemporary, and who knew him personally. Ash-Shafi'ee has the following to say: "In Madeenahthere were seven people who used to forge chains of narration. One of them was al-Waqidi."3 (Sources:" and; bold emphasis ours)
Others say:
Al-Waqidi (130/747-207/822-23), who wrote over twenty works of an historical nature, but only the Kitab al-Maghazi has survived as an independent work. His reputation is marred by the fact that he relied upon story tellers; viz., those who embellished the stories of others. Al-Waqidi did such embellish, such as by adding dates and other details onto the account of Ibn Ishaq (at pages 25-29) (
Even the English translator of Ibn Sa'd's work had this to say about al-Waqidi:
: The chain of the narrators is not reliable because the person who narrated to Ibn Sa'd was Waqidi WHO IS NOTORIOUS AS A NARRATOR OF FABRICATED hadithes. The next one Ya'qub is unknown and 'AbdAllah Ibn 'Abd al-Rahman is not a Companion. Consequently this narration is not trustworthy. (Ibn Sa'd's Kitab Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir, Volume I, English translation by S. Moinul Haq, M.A., PH.D assisted by H.K. Ghazanfar M.A. [Kitab Bhavan Exporters & Importers, 1784 Kalan MahalDaryaganj, New Delhi, 110 002 India], p. 152, fn. 2; capital emphasis ours)
And the list goes on of those who called him a liar.
Al-Waqidi was also one of those that narrated the story of the Satanic Verses. The most amazing part of this is that the authors' friend, MENJ has a response on the same web site where this rebuttal appears from G.F. Haddad seeking to deny the historicity of the Satanic Verses where he calls into question al-Waqidi's reliability! Here is what Haddad says about al-Waqidi:
[(*) Muhammad ibn `Umar al-Waqidi (d. 207), Ahmad ibn Hanbal said of him: "He is A LIAR." Al-Bukhari and Abu Hatim al-Razi said: "DISCARDED." Ibn `Adi said: "His narrations ARE NOT RETAINED, AND THEIR BANE COMES FROM HIM." Ibn al-Madini said: "HE FORGES HADITHS." Al-Dhahabi said: "CONSENSUS HAS SETTLED OVER HIS DEBILITY." Mizan al-I`tidal (3:662-666 #7993).] (Source:; capital emphasis ours)

It seems that when it is convenient the authors will quote al-Waqidi to support their position, discarding the Muslim scholarly opinion regarding his unreliability. When al-Waqidi fails to serve their purpose the authors are only too glad to call him into question. What is also interesting is the authors' use of Ibn Sa'd. In this articleAzmy claims that Mohammad's murders of Abu Afak and Asma bint Marwan, both of which are reported by Ibn Sa'd, are not historical because they do not have isnads. However, we see that Ibn Sa'd is suddenly reliable here since he provides information about an alleged tradition regarding breast milk being placed into containers. This appears to be once again a case of the authors' arbitrarily accepting and rejecting information from their sources, and doing so in whatever way that they feel best suits their purposes. Utilizing such a double standard and practicing such inconsistency appear to be rather hypocritical and neither this paper nor this Muslim site will have much of a chance to get a recommendation for scholarly integrity (cf. also the appendix on plagiarism).

However, we do need to put this in perspective. Al-Waqidi may have been considered a liar without this necessarily implying that everything he reported was a lie. As the following Muslim writes:
Al-Waqidi is reliable for purely historical reports. Ahl al-Hadith consider him too honest and too rich a source to be discarded especially in light of Ibn Sa`d's accreditation, which lent him huge credit--but they unanimously discard him with regard to ahkam reports which are uncorroborated by other narrators e.g. wiggling the index finger in Salat. It is the latter category they meant when they called him a liar, i.e. thoroughly unreliable and/or inaccurate in his isnads, not at all that he was dishonest. Al-Dhahabi said: "I have no doubt in his sidq." And Allah knows best. (Source:; bold emphasis ours)

As for the issue of Saffiyah and her being widowed, the Prophet (peace be upon him) explained the situation to Saffiyah:

Here is Umm al- Mu'mininSafiyyah, relates those moments when she hated the Prophet for killing her father and her ex-husband. The Prophet apologized to her saying, "Your father charged the Arabs against me and committed heinous act," he apologized to the extent that made Safiyyah get rid of her bitterness against the Prophet.(Al-BayhaqiDala'il an-Nubuwwah, vol. 4, p. 230, Cited in Muhammad Fathi Mus'adThe Wives of the Prophet Muhammad: Their Strives and Their Lives, p.166)

Even though it was her father and brother that got killed, she did realize and understand that it was their crime that led to their death. 

 At the end of the day the Prophets wives had the freedom to leave:

Surah 33:28-29
Prophet ! say to thy wives, `If you desire the life of this world and its adornment, come then, I will provide for you and send you away in a handsome manner; `But if you desire ALLAH and HIS Messenger and the Home of the Hereafter, then, truly, ALLAH has prepared for those of you, who do good, a great reward.'

The wives were given a choice. They easily could have left and no one could have done anything to them because a Quranicverse, a command from Allah gave them that choice. They could have walked away. Instead, they did not. They could have easily divorced the Prophet and still pretended to be Muslims and then travel and run away. They could have found a way. But they didn't. They wanted to remain as Muslims. 

Wife Beating in Islam continued

#1)       "A women complained to Muhammad that her husband slapped her on the face, (which was still marked by the slap).  At first the prophet said to her:  "Get even with him", but then added:  "Wait until I think about it".  Later on, Allah supposedly revealed 4:34 to Muhammad, after which the prophet said:  "We wanted one thing but Allah wanted another, and what Allah wanted is best".

            The above quote comes from Razi's "At-Tasfir al-Kabir" on 4:34.  

However there is no source for this hadith, this it is unacceptable. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ideas of Abraham building the Kaba In Pre Islamic Times

Akhbar Makkah vol. 1

 It is said that Abraham (sws) stood on this very stone when he raised its foundations.Azraqi, Akhbar Makkah, vol., 1, p. 59

When Muhammad attacked Mecca and won the Quraysh tribes, he entered the Ka'aba and destroyed every icon or sculptured idol, both pagan gods and after some hesitation also Christian icons(?) of Jesus, Mary and Abraham*.
[After the conquest of Mecca] "Apart from the icon of the Virgin Mary and the child Jesus, and a painting of an old man, said to be Abraham, the walls inside [Kaaba] had been covered with pictures of pagan deities. Placing his hand protectively over the icon, the Prophet told `Uthman to see that all other paintings, except that of Abraham, were effaced." (Martin Lings, "Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources" p.300, ref: al-Waqidi, Kitab al-Maghazi 834, and Azraqi, Akhbar Makkah vol. 1, p. 107. Martin Lings is a practicing Muslim.)

"... pictures of the prophets and pictures of trees and of angels. Among them there was a picture of Ibrahim as of an elderly man, drawing lots with arrow lots, and the picture of Jesus, the son of Mary, and of his mother and a picture with angels." (I quote al-Azraqi according to the Arabic text edited by Ferdinand Wuestenfeld, Chroniken der Stadt Mekka, Band 1, Leipzig 1858, reprint Beyrouth 1964, p. 110 s. There is, to my knowledge, no translation into an European language.)

 Hisham ihn-Muhammad al-Kalbi said: I was informed by my father[10] and others, and I personally checked and ascertained their report, that when Ishmael, the son of Abraham, settled in Mecca, he begot many children. [Their descendants] multiplied so much that they crowded the city and supplanted its original inhabitants, the Amalekites. Later on Mecca became overcrowded with them, and dissension and strife arose among them, causing them to fight among themselves and consequently be dispersed throughout the land where they roamed seeking a livelihood.
The reason which led them to the worship of images and stones was the following: No one left Mecca without carrying away with him a stone from the stones of the Sacred House (al-Haram) as a token of reverence to it, and as a sign of deep affection to Mecca. Wherever he settled he would erect that stone and circumambulate it in the same manner he used to circumambulate the Ka'bah [before his departure from Mecca], seeking thereby its blessing and affirming his deep affection for the Sacred House. In fact, the Arabs still venerate the Ka'bah and Mecca and journey to them in order to perform the pilgrimage and visitation, conforming thereby to the time honored custom which they inherited from Abraham and Ishmael.
In time this led them to the worship of whatever took their fancy, and caused them to forget their former worship. They exchanged the religion of Abraham and Ishmael for another. Consequently they took to the worship of images, becoming like the nations before them. They sought and determined what the people of Noah had worshiped of these images and adopted the worship of those which were still remembered among them. Among these devotional practices were some which came down from the time of Abraham and Ishmael, such as the veneration of the House[11]and its circumambulation,  (Book of Idols, Page 4). 

10. Muhammad ibn-al-Sa'ib al-Kalbi, d. A.H. 146 / A.D. 763; al-Fihrist, p.95.

11. The Ka'bah.

Addressing the Argument: Did Allah Fail to Protect His Prophet?

Addressing the Argument: Did Allah Fail to Protect His Prophet?


Allah promised to protect His Prophet (peace be upon him) from the people (Surah 5:67), yet we read in the hadith literature that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was hurt during the Battle of Uhud, affected by magic and was affected by the poison in the sheep he ate at khaybar. Is this not a contradiction?


Regarding the Prophet (peace be upon him) getting hurt during Uhud, there were a number of responses the scholars formulated:

One: This took place before the Qur’anic verse was revealed OR the protection offered in the Qur’anic verse is from getting killed and being destroyed. This is the opinion of the majority of the mufassireen and muhadditheen.

Two: The protection offered in the Qur’anic verse is from getting killed and destruction only.

The difference between these two opinions is that the first camp believes that it could be an either or, while the second camp insists that the Qur’anic verse is only restricted to being protected from getting killed and destroyed.

However, the response to these two camps is that the Prophet (peace be upon him) ate the poisonous sheep at Khaybar after that Qur’anic verse was revealed and he also died because of it, so this also demonstrates that the verse is not about the Prophet (peace be upon him) being protected from getting killed.

Some responded back arguing that the verse’s promise was for the Prophet (peace be upon him) to be protected, whilst delivering the message of Islam. Once the message of Islam has been delivered, then that promise wouldn’t apply anymore.

The third camp argued that the Qur’anic verse is referring to protection from committing sins (i.e. protection of the heart), however they have been responded back to by arguing that the context of the verse is talking about the protection of the Prophet (peace be upon him) from the harm of the people and not their sins.

Regarding the Prophet (peace be upon him) getting bewitched, there were a number of responses the scholars formulated:

One: What happened to the Prophet (peace be upon him) was a form of illness and this is not impossible for Prophets (peace be upon him), nor does it impugn their character and prophethood. This doesn't affect the reliability of his deliverance of the Message, which is what Allah’s promise for protection ultimately ensured to protect.

Two: The magic only affected the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) limbs and organs, but it did not affect his heart, beliefs and mind (i.e. it only affected him on the outside, but not in the inside). The Qur’anic verse is about protection of faith and the heart, regardless of what may occur to the physical body.

Three: That the story of the Prophet (peace be upon him) being bewitched is fabricated, however this view is invalid.

Regarding the Prophet (peace be upon him) eating the poisonous sheep, there were a number of responses the scholars formulated:

One: That what happened didn’t contradict the Qur’anic verse, since the verse entailed protection until the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) duty was over.

Two: That the Prophet (peace be upon him) wouldn’t be killed in a state of subjugation.

Three: That the narration regarding the Prophet (peace be upon him) getting killed by the poison isn’t reliable.

The above has been summarized from pages 137-149 of the book الأحاديث المشكلة الواردة في تفسير القرآن الكريم عرض ودراسة by أحمد بن عبد العزيز بن مقرن القصير.

Strongest View (Bassam Zawadi's opinion)

It appears to me that the strongest view is that Allah promised to protect His Prophet (peace be upon him) from anything which would have caused his duties to come to an end before the time that they were supposed to. That was the most important reason behind keeping the Prophet (peace be upon him) safe. His enemies wanted to kill him in order to stop him from continuing to preach Islam and keep doing what Allah ordered him to do. Why would Allah protect him from merely being killed when martyrdom itself is the greatest form of death? The Prophet (peace be upon him) died after his mission was complete and Allah revealed the verse “Today, I have completed your religion” and it was after this that there wouldn't be a necessary objection to Allah allowing His great Prophet to die the glorious death of a martyr. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Appendix 1:
Are the biblical Ishmaelites
the Arabs of today?

Many Christian writers have assumed that there are no Ishmaelites left today. They claim that the Arabs are from other stock in the past. Jewish historians do not agree, and the Bible does not agree.  and other alleged scholars, attack the plan of God by claiming that the descendants of Ishmael are gone. It is a popular line with those who hate Arabs and read the "scholarly" Arab-bashing literature. 

I seriously doubt if Messiah Christ will bother to consult with these modern scholars before He welcomes the descendants of Ishmael to His kingdom throne, as promised in Isaiah 60. I am sick of this sanctimonious Arab-bashing that rests upon hatred, rather than historic evidence. It appears that pro-Zionists cannot stand the possibility that God still plans to keep his promises that he made to Abraham, to bless the sons of Ishmael.

In The Works of Josephus, the Jewish historian boldly states that Ishmael is the father of the "Arab nation." It is blasphemy enough to discard Isaiah's prophecy that Ishmaelites will worship Messiah in the Kingdom, but Josephus predates all of Anti Islamic references, and Josephus was a Jew!
Raphael Patai, a Jew, tells us in his book, Seed of Abraham, p. 23, that the name "Arab" is in the same inscriptions with that of Kedar, a son of Ishmael, in the ninth century BC Assyrian epigraphs. Patai also quotes Josephus to show that the Arabs were synonymous with "Nabatenes," descendants of Nebaioth, a son of Ishmael. He also refers to the first through fifth century AD Jewish scholars who assumed that

Page 340
Arabs were Ishmaelites, or Joctanites, depending on whether they came from northern or southern Arabia.

Patai wrote 600 articles, and twenty books, on the Middle East and he taught at Princeton, Columbia, and the University of Pennsylvania. He was director of Syria-Lebanon-Jordan-Research Project of the Human Relations Area Files of New Haven, Conn. He is highly praised by both Arab and Jewish scholars. He is an equal match any day to any ten of Morey's sources.

But, I rest my case primarily upon The Bible, Isaiah 60:6-7, and confirm the Arab heritage in Ishmael with this reference telling of those who will "flow" into Israel in Messiah's future Kingdom: Isaiah 60:6, The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah (son and grandson of Abraham by his second wife, Keturah); all they from Sheba(grandson of Abraham and Keturah-- probably Ethiopians and Yemenites) shall come: they shall bring gold (for which Ethiopia is well known) and incense (for which the Yemenites are famous); and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD.(The Bible, Psalm 68:31)  7 All the flocks of Kedar (a son of Ishmael) shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth (another son of Ishmael) shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar (which has never happened in all of history since Abraham), and I will glorify the house of my glory (by their worship).

Romans 3:4, God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
Is this controversy helpful? YES. See Ezekiel 44:23-24.

Who is an Arab?

First, the Arab of the Bible is a descendent of Abraham and Ishmael in northern Arabia or of Joktan in southern Arabia. Joktan was the great-great-great granduncle of Abraham. The Arabs briefly ruled Egypt, but they have never themselves been invaded or diluted since ancient times.     (FOOTNOTE 3:  160 / 90-92 / 1767-1768) So the Arabs are as Semitic as any Jew, and the southern Arabs are descended from a line closer to Shem than the Jews.  (FOOTNOTE 4: Genesis 10:22-31; I Chronicles 1:18-27) Arab bashing is as antisemitic as Jew bashing since both Isaac and his older brother Ishmael descended from Abraham and Shem, father of all Semitic people! In chapter two we will show that the Arabs are still largely Ishmaelites.

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Enter Ishmael

We find that the Bible gives the best account of the beginning of the Arab people. The following is from Genesis 16:1-16 in the King James Bible, the only Bible used in this book. Please read carefully, and refer back to this Bible text during the following discussion. The alphabetical letters in parenthesis are the outline for the discussion to follow:
Genesis 16:1-16, Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, [ a ] an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
Abram was Abraham's name before God changed it to Abraham.
[ b ] And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee. But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thine hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.  [ c ] And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, [ d ] Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.
And the angel of the LORD said unto her, [ e ] I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, [ f ] and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. And [ g ] he will be a wild man; [ h ] his hand will be against every man, [ i ] and every man's hand against him; [ j ] and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. [ k ] And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered. [ l ] And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.

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Now we discuss the text in detail:  

[ a ] "An Egyptian whose name was Hagar" 
The mother of the Arabs is an Egyptian. But, according to the Bible, the blood line is decided by the father, as can be seen in all of the genealogies of the Bible, and in the blood line of The Lord Jesus Christ, He is Lord. The modern notion promoted by Zionists, that the mother decides Jewishness, is a very recent attempt to avoid the lost genealogies of Jewishness through the father which destroys a Jew's claim to the land or to the priesthood according to the Old Testament (see the Bible, Ezra). So, Ishmael is solidly Semitic in father Abraham, and the Arabs have every right to this distinction.
[ b ] "And he (Abraham) went in unto Hagar, and she conceived"
Abraham did not break the law of the land when he took Hagar from Sarai. The code of Hammurabi allowed for this, and that was the civil law under which Abraham lived. Islamic law would permit this also according to Mohammed's example of using concubines, but God had instituted a higher law. The first man Adam had verbally given the doctrine of marriage when God gave Adam his wife named Eve:
Adam said in The Bible, Genesis 2:23-24, "...This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
In Matthew 19:5 Jesus quoted Adam and said that the two (not 11 as with Mohammed) shall become one flesh. So Abraham violated this doctrine and had a son by Hagar, and the jealousy which followed was exceeded only by the jealousy among the wives of Mohammed 2500 years later! (FOOTNOTE 5:  34 / 172 / 35; 133 / 280-283 / 1489-1490; Koran 33:37; also vs. 50-51) God showed mercy on Abraham and did not punish him, but because God wanted his plan followed, he told Abraham to start over again and have a son by Sarai, his "one flesh" wife.  
[ c ] "The angel of the Lord found her (Hagar)"
The Lord Jesus Christ, He is Lord, is known as the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament. He appeared to the mother of the Arab race to stop her from fleeing. Why go back to Abraham's tents?  
[ d ] "Return to thy mistress..."
Jehovah God wanted Ishmael to have in his body the same mark of anointing that every Jew would have-- circumcision:

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Genesis 17:23-26, And Abraham (God changed his name) took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him. And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son.
Since Ishmael was thirteen years old, we could say that he was circumcised on his Bar-mitzvah. We also know that if Abraham, who was a righteous man, would circumcise Ishmael, he would certainly tell him who Jehovah was and how to worship Him. Later in the book you will realize that Ishmael also left Abraham with God's true name on him and in his mouth.  
[ e ] Ishmael's "seed (descendants)... shall not be numbered for multitude"
God promised Hagar that Ishmael's Arab race would multiply beyond counting. This is true to this day, 2500 years later, with the whole of the Middle East and North Africa being Arabized. In the Middle East, only Israel is not Arab! If this had not happened, God would be a liar. Pity the small souls who try to say that the Arabs of today are some hybrid from elsewhere. These writers have opened debate with God. They ought to read their Bible instead of Mother Goose. (See Appendix No. One.)
[ f ] "...thou... shalt call his name Ishmael"
Ishmael was named by God! His name means "Elohim hears" or "God hears." There were only about 20 men in the Bible who were named by God, and Ishmael is a beautiful name. It is a name of mercy, and it is NOT "Ishma'allah".
Dear reader, you might as well know where we are headed. Allah was not the name that was in Abraham's or Ishmael's mouth. "El" was in the first Arab's name, Ishma-EL, and only a few of the patriarchs of Israel, such as Eli, Elijah. Elisha, and Samu-el, could boast of that distinction.

I hear you Bible "scholars." Yes, God gave the covenanted land to Abraham, but God never allowed the Jews to conquer or destroy the Ishmaelites. The fact is, they lived together very well. When Abraham died, Isaac and Ishmael had no trouble burying their father in family unity, (Genesis 25:8-9).  David's camel herder was an Ishmaelite, (I Chronicles 27:39.) Also, Arabs, the Rechabites, who were faithful to the teachings of their father, Jonadab, refused to drink wine and were used by Jehovah as a model of faithfulness and as an accusation against Judah (Jeremiah 35).

In recent centuries Jews and Arabs have lived together and gotten along very well for long periods.  The present history of Israel has changed this, but in Baghdad, Jews used to pass dishes across the street to their Arab neighbors on Yom Kippur, while Arab Muslims sent food to their Jewish neighbors on the Muslim festival, Eid.

Let us look at the Arab genealogy found in the Bible, Genesis 25:13 - 16, And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, and Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa, Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah: These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations.
Nebajoth, father of the Nabataeans, settled in northern Arabia. Arabs conquered Egypt as the "Shepherd Kings," where God used them to sustain Jacob and the Jews in Goshen, and they have remained in northern Arabia ever since. It was Hamites, not Arabs, who ran the Arab kings out of Egypt, and then they turned in hate on the Hebrews in Goshen. In the next chapter we see how Nebajoth shows up at Messiah's altar in the future kingdom with his brother Kedar.  Dumah has been a town or settled area for all these centuries. Tema settled in the biggest oasis in Arabia, now called Taima. It is still thriving, and it figures very importantly in the Great Tribulation and in the plans of the coming of Messiah. Bible study reveals much more about these twelve sons and their place in history.
[ g ] "I will make him a great nation."
As the Jews are a nation of twelve tribes, the Arabs are also a nation of twelve tribes, in the Old Testament, today, and in Messiah's Kingdom. Are Ishmael's people still a "nation?" If not, God lied. Anyone who has studied the Arab mind and politics knows that all of the Arab national leaders expound on and on about "The Arab Nation." No other group of nations talks this way. Shut off from the outside world by the sea and the peril of the desert around them, the Arabs are the purest race in the world, even purer than the Jews, many of whom have blond hair and blue eyes. (FOOTNOTE 11:   160 / 90 / 1768)
To illustrate their retention of national heritage from ancient roots and customs, Arab hospitality resembles father Abraham's hospitality much better than that of the Jews of today. Why? The Arabs did not spend 2500 years living with war loving Germans like the Zionist Jews did. (FOOTNOTE 12:  63 / 7698 / 763; Genesis 18)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pre Islamic Mention of Ishmael


Arabs show up in three biblical lists of genealogy:
The descendants of Jaktan (Genesis 10:25-30)
The descendants of Abraham through Keturah (Genesis 10:1-6)
The descendants of Ishmael (Genesis 25:13-18)
(It is possible that some of the descendants of Cush, the son of Ham (Genesis 10:7) are also called Arabs.)
There seems to have been some intermingling between the tribe of Simeon and the Ishmaelites, for the clans of Mibsam and Mishma are associated with both. (Genesis 25:13 and I Chronicles 4:25).
Ishmaelites do not appear among the victims of David's raids into the lands south and east of Israel, even though these enter Arab lands. (I Samuel 27:8 and Genesis 25:18) David's sister married Jether the Ishmaelite (I Chronicles 2:17) and two of David's administrators were Obil the Ishmaelite, and Jaziz the Hagarite, (I Chronicles 27:30).
Hagar and Ishmael were given Arabia (Genesis 21:8-21) and Isaac's descendants were promised the Holy Land. Apparently they were not hostile to each other, for Ishmael and Isaac worked together to bury their father Abraham in the Cave of Macphilah, in Mamre (Genesis 25:9).
On the other hand, the Bible refers to various individuals and groups as being 'Arabs.' Jeremiah prophesied against the 'kings of the Arabs' sometime between 627 and 586 BC.

Muslim Traditions

The Arab genealogist Hisham Ibn Muhammad al-Kalbi (A.D. 737-819), known as Ibn al Kalbi, established a genealogical link between Ishmael and Mohammed. He quotes writers who had access to biblical and Palmyran sources, but the majority of his information came from the ancient oral traditions of the Arabs. His book, 'Djamharat al Nasab' has been translated into German by W. Caskel, (Ghamharat an-Nasab (The Abundance of Kinship) Das genealogische Werk des Hisam Ibn Muhammad al Kalbi, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1966) It seemed to be Ibn al Kalbi's opinion that the people known as 'Arabs' were all descendants of Ishmael.

Arab Genealogists
It is the common view of Arab genealogists and modern historians that Arabs originated in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula, and then moved northward. (James Montgomery, Arabia and the Bible, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1934 and Hitti, History of the Arabs.) This view is based on the identification by Muslim Arabs of their oldest ancestor as being Qahtan, whom they identify as the biblical Jaktan. Genesis 10:25-26.
Arab Genealogists divide the Arabians into two ethnic stocks. First, the original Arabic Arabs ('aribah) and then the arabized Arabs (musta 'iribah). The Arabic Arabs are supposed to have originated with the Yamanites and are descended from Qahtan (Jaktan of the Bible) and are the original stock. The Arabized Arabs are the Hijazis, Najdis, Nabataeans, and Palmyrenes. These Arabized Arabs are supposed to have all descended from Adnan, an offspring of Ishmael.

Records of Other Civilizations

This Greco-Roman term appears in classical literature, and stems most likely from the Arabic Sarqiyyun, meaning 'easterners.' Fergus Millar in 'Hagar, Ishmael, Josephus, and the Origin of Islam, JJS 44(1983): 41-43 claims that this term refers mostly to Ishmaelites. Musil in Arabia Deserta, (494) refers to the nomadic tribes living in the inner desert of central Arabia as bedw or sarkiyye, a term derived from sarq, which means 'east' in Arabic, but is often used as a reference to the inner desert of north and central Arabia. "Whoever marches through this region, whether he goes west or east or south, is referred to as sarrak tasriz or going into the inner desert."