Skip to comments.The Myth of Mecca
Posted on 03/07/2006 12:50:16 PM PST by robowombat
The Myth of Mecca By Jack Wheeler email@example.com 9/27/2001
The most sacred spot on earth to all members of the Islamic religion is the Holy City of Mecca, revered as the birthplace of Mohammed. It is one of the five basic requirements incumbent upon all Moslems that they make (if their health will allow it) a pilgrimage to Mecca once in their lives (the other four: recognize that there is no god but Allah, that Mohammed is Allah's prophet, ritually pray five times a day, and give alms to the poor).
The founding events of Islam are Mohammed's activities in Mecca and Medina, a city north of Mecca. The life of Mohammed, known as the Sira, is popularly accepted to be fully documented historically, that everything he did and said was accurately recorded. According to one hagiographer, although Mohammed "could not read or write himself, he was constantly served by a group of 45 scribes who wrote down his sayings, instructions and activities.... We thus know his life down to the minutest details."
The evidence for this is "the earliest and most famous biography of Mohammed," the Sirat Rasul Allah (The Life of the Prophet of God) of Ibn Ishaq. The dates given for Mohammed's life are 570-632 AD. Ibn Ishaq was born about 717 and died in 767. He thus wrote his biography well over 100 years after Mohammed lived, precluding his gaining any information from eyewitnesses to the Sira as they would have all died themselves in the intervening years.
However, no copies exist of Ibn Ishaq's work. We know of it only through quotations of it in the History of al-Tabari, who lived over two hundred years after Ibn Ishaq (al-Tabari died in 992). Thus the earliest biography of Mohammed of which copies still exist was written some 350 years after Mohammed lived.
It is curious, therefore, that there seems to have been so little serious scholarly research of the historical evidence for how Islam came to be. Yet what seems to be isn't so. A number of professional academic historians, both Western and Moslem, have produced a large body of research on the origins of Islam. For reasons best known to the pundits and reviewers who should be aware of it, this research remains publicly unknown.
Dr. Patricia Crone, who received her doctorate under Prof. John Wansbrough at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies, was Lecturer in Islamic Studies at Oxford and Cambridge, and is currently History Professor at Princeton University, is an example. In her book, Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam, Dr. Crone demonstrates that Islam did not originate in Mecca.
Mecca is located in the Hejaz region of what is today Saudi Arabia. It is portrayed by traditional belief as a wealthy trading center, full of merchants trading goods by caravan from Yemen in the south and Syria and the Byzantium empire in the north. Crone shows that Mecca was in fact way off the incense route from Yemen to Syria, which bypassed where Mecca is today by over 100 miles. Further, there is no mention whatever of Mecca in contemporary non-Moslem sources:
"It is obvious that if the Meccans had been middlemen in a long-distance trade of the kind described in (traditional Islamic) literature, there ought to have been some mention of it in the writings of their customers... who wrote extensively about the south Arabians who supplied them with aromatics. (Despite) the considerable attention paid to Arabian affairs there is no mention at all of Quraysh (the tribe of Mohammed) and their trading center (Mecca), be it in the Greek, Latin, Syraic, Aramaic, Coptic, or other literature composed outside Arabia ." (p. 134)
An exhaustive examination of all available evidence and sources leads Crone to conclude that Mohammed's career took place not in Mecca and Medina or in southwest Arabia at all, but in northwest Arabia. Agreeing with her is Islamic historian Mohammed Ibn al-Rawandi. He observes that it took some 150-200 hundred years after the Arab Conquest which began in the 620s for places that had gone unremarked and unregarded to become places of reverence associated with the Prophet. Mohammed's supposed birthplace in Mecca, for example, was used as an ordinary home until al-Khayzuran, the mother of the first Caliph of Baghdad Harun al-Rashid, made it a house of prayer some 150 years after Mohammed's death.
For an increasing number of Islamic historians, the tradition of Mohammed being the source and explanation of the Arab Conquest, wherein Arab tribesmen on horseback emerged out of the Arabian deserts to conquer Syria, Mesopotamia, Persia, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, and Spain in less than 80 years (636-712), stands history on its head. They demonstrate that the story of Mohammed uniting various Arab tribes like Genghiz Khan did for the Mongols, and providing them with the religious fervor to conquer in the name of Islam, is "sacred history," rather than real history. Historian Gordon Newby explains:
"The myth of an original orthodoxy from which later challengers fall away as heretics is almost always the retrospective assertion of a politically dominant group whose aim is to establish their supremacy by appeal to divine sanction."
This applies to the Arab Conquest, says al-Rawandi, because for some two hundred years the Arab conquerors were a minority amongst a non-Moslem majority. For al-Rawandi, Islam is an invention for the purpose of providing a religious justification for Arab Imperialism. The Conquest is the reason and explanation for Islam, not the other way around. While there may well have been a historical individual named Ubu'l Kassim who was later entitled Mohammed ("The Praised One"), who raised followers and participated in the initiation of the Arab Conquest, he likely came from northeast Arabia in what is now southern Jordan. The deity that Ubu'l Kassim chose to follow was Allah, a contraction of al-Lah, the ancient Arab God of the Moon [note: which is why the symbol of Islam to this day is the crescent moon]. Ubu'l Kassim died, however, some years before the Arab Conquest was fully underway (the traditional date is 632). Al-Rawandi summarizes what then happened:
"Once the Arabs had acquired an empire, a coherent religion was required in order to hold that empire together and legitimize their rule. In a process that involved a massive backreading of history, and in conformity to the available Jewish and Christian models, this meant they needed a revelation and a revealer - a Prophet - whose life could serve at once as a model for moral conduct and as a framework for the appearance of the revelation. Hence (Ubu'l Kassim was selected to be the Prophet), the Koran, the Hadith (Sayings of the Prophet), and the Sira were contrived and conjoined over a period of a couple of centuries. Topographically, after a century or so of Judaeo-Moslem monotheism centered on Jerusalem, in order to make Islam distinctively Arab... an inner Arabian biography of Mecca, Medina, the Quraysh, the Prophet and his Hegira (flight from Mecca to Medina alleged in 622, Year One in the Islamic calendar) was created as a purely literary artifact. An artifact, moreover, based not on faithful memories of real events, but on the fertile imaginations of Arab storytellers elaborating from allusive references in Koranic texts, the canonical text of the Koran not being fixed for nearly two centuries." (p.104)
Al-Rawandi concludes that the Sira, the life of Mohammed in Mecca and Medina is a myth, a "baseless fiction." This is the conclusion of a substantial number of serious academic historians working on Islamic Studies today. They include Mohammed Ibn al-Warraq, Mohammed Ibn al-Rawandi, John Wansbrough, Kenneth Cragg, Patricia Crone, Michael Cook, John Burton, Andrew Rippin, Julian Baldick, Gerald Hawting, and Suliman Bashear. Yet they and their research are virtually unknown.
Not any longer. In committing The Atrocity of September 11, Islamic terrorists did far more damage to their religion than to New York City or the Pentagon. As U.S. Special Forces teams hunt them down and put them to death, they and all the Bin Ladens of the Moslem Terrorism network should know that the world is soon to learn about the Myth of Mecca.
We don't know about the Myth of Mecca because we are afraid to. We, Americans and Westerners and participants of civilization, have been intimidated and frightened into examining the historical truth regarding Islam. Dare to criticize Islam and some crazed ayatollah will issue a fatwah calling for your death. Well, if there is one thing that we must learn from The Atrocity is that we cannot, we dare not be afraid any longer. The Atrocity was committed exclusively by Moslems in the name of Islam. True enough, President Bush, in his magnificent speech to Congress, said their actions blaspheme and insult Islam. But throughout the Arab world, from cafes in Beirut and Cairo to the streets of Nablus and Gaza, people laughed and celebrated their religion's slaughter of thousands of Americans. So we should feel no need to refrain from exposing that this slaughter was committed in the name of a make-believe myth.
The Moslem Terrorists who committed The Atrocity have put all of their fellow Moslems on the defensive. We see full-page ads in newspapers taken out by Moslem governments and Moslem organizations, expressing their sympathy and condolences. These are welcomed and their sincerity need not be questioned. But words are not enough. Actions are what count. What is required of Arab-Americans is not words, but for them to locate the several thousand agents of Bin Laden and the Moslem Terrorist Network reputed to be in this country, and turn them in to the FBI. What is required of Moslem communities the world over is the same: identify, locate, and turn advocates of terrorism in to the appropriate authorities.
Yet much more is now required of the adherents of Islam: the reinvention of their religion. No longer can the words of the Koran be considered inerrant, infallible, and those of Allah himself . The words must be read thoughtfully and critically, and the wisdom they contain extracted with reflection, not reflexively. Christianity emerged from its Dark Ages when its sacred texts were considered infallible and criticism condemned (often to death) as heresy, to subject itself to historical examination and rational discussion. It is stronger for it. For a religion's strength does not lie in fanatical belief, in an unquestioned assumption that disagreement or criticism of it is an incomprehensible perversion. A religion's strength lies in the goodness it does for people's souls.
As Al-Rawandi puts it:
"The claims of Islam do not depend on historical origins, but on an inner knowledge of God, the accompaniment and reward of piety. What makes Islam true is the spiritual life of Moslems, not religious history but religious experience."
These are the teachings of a school of Islamic thought known as Sufism. How Islam must reinvent itself to emerge out of the Islamic Dark Ages it has inhabited for the last several hundred years, and join and flourish in the civilized world, is to combine the teachings of Sufism with those of Jadidism, the attempt by Central Asian Islamic scholars 100 years ago to make a revitalized Islam compatible with the modern world. While Jadidism was snuffed by the Soviets, its revival, combined with the inner peace and truths provided by Sufism, could reinvent an Islam prepared to participate and prosper in the 21st century.
The combined synergy of Sufism and Jadidism would be the salvation of Islam. Today it stands in dire need of being saved. I hope that dedicated Islamic scholars will appear on the scene to create such a salvatory synergy. In the meantime, none of us any longer needs to be afraid or intimidated by the Myth of Mecca.
References Al-Rawandi, I.M. Origins of Islam: A Critical Look at the Sources. Prometheus, 2000 Crone, P.M. Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam. Oxford, 1987. Newby, G.D. The Making of the Last Prophet: A Reconstruction of the Earliest Biography of Mohammed. Columbia, 1989. Wansbrough, J. Quranic Studies: Sources and Methods of Scriptural Interpretation. Oxford, 1977. Warraq, I. M. The Quest for the Historical Muhammad. Prometheus, 2000.
"It is curious, therefore, that there seems to have been so little serious scholarly research of the historical evidence for how Islam came to be."
The death penalty might be one reason.
WOW! Awesome article. Thanks for posting.
The Devil doesnt leave a paper trail!
Still a good read.
" In committing The Atrocity of September 11, Islamic terrorists did far more damage to their religion than to New York City or the Pentagon. As U.S. Special Forces teams hunt them down and put them to death, they and all the Bin Ladens of the Moslem Terrorism network should know that the world is soon to learn about the Myth of Mecca. "
Excellent perspective, Islam has drawn the worlds spotlight on itself, which has doomed Islam as the Arabs know it.
Bump, for later reading.
Cripes - what is that they're sticking their heads in? Looks like a female body part (which will remain unnamed.)
Unless they reject their "scriptures" en toto no amount of lipstick can make the pig of islam compatible with polite society.
The New York State Supreme Court ruled along about 1892 that islam and other phony "religions" (they used the term "followers of impostors, such as Mahommet..") were NOT to be afforded the constitutional protection of the First Ammendment, but were, rather, "..to be harassed!"
'Course, in 1892, our country was a lot more spiritually aware than it is today.
There is a sixth requirement. KILL all Jews and Christians. KILL all the infidels.
Uh oh. I hear a fatwah coming down..........
Bump for later must read..
Bump, for later reading.
That's a great post. Do you have some link or URL for this fascinating finding.
(And you're right, it either looks like an eyeball or...er...ah...something else. )
Wow, I can't wait for the Discovery Channel and/or History Channels documentaries on this. And just think of the great pictures we'll get when the National Geo. magazine does an issue on this!
"Yet much more is now required of the adherents of Islam: the reinvention of their religion."
This guy seems to have rather a cynical view of religion.
Islam CANNOT be reinvented. A system is either legit or it ain't.
Islam was concocted in Hell and set loose upon the earth and is presently functioning as it ever will.
Islam is Hate.
Death Cults of War, Unlike any other
June 20, 2003, By Arnold Beichman
So how will the next suicide bomber disguise him or herself to execute an Israeli-killing mission? Now that every orthodox Jew with black hat and side curls or every Israeli soldier getting on a bus could be a suicide bomber in disguise, what new stratagem will Islam's death cultists adopt? I advise the Israeli secret police that the next suicide bomber will actually be two: a seeming or actual mother and a child; after all what could be more innocent than such a pair mounting a bus or pushing a baby carriage through a Tel Aviv shopping mall?
How can we account for this almost two years of suicide terrorism which has taken four Israeli lives for every Arab bomber? Assuming that each of these terrorists has been a willing accessory, this kind of suicide must come out of a cultural pattern centered on a cult of death worship. And it may be interpretation by Muslim clerics of the Koran that is responsible for this wave of Arab suicides and other acts of terrorism. For example, the Imam Abdel-Samie Mahmoud Ibrahim Moussa, in his Friday, June 6, sermon at the Grand Mosque of Rome, asked for "Allah's help in the destruction of the homes and destruction of the enemies of Islam, for their annihilation, and the victory everywhere of the Nation of Islam." According to the Deutsche Press news agency, the Grand Mosque of Rome is Europe's largest Islamic culture center and gets financial backing, naturally, from Saudi Arabia. The 32-year-old Imam was removed June 13 from his post, not by Egypt's al Azhar University that appointed him in the first place, but by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government.
Cults which prefer death to life in the name of salvation are to be found in other cultures. Some cultists take their own lives without endangering the innocent, others believe in taking everybody with them. The mass suicide poisoning in November 1978 in Jonesville took 913 lives. Some 900 men, women and children were burnt alive in Uganda in March 2000 by cult leaders who called themselves the "Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments." In these tragedies, however, the cultists did not take the lives of innocent bystanders as Osama bin Laden's Islamic followers did on September 11, 2001 or the Aun Shinrikyo (Supreme Truth) cult whose followers in 1995 placed eleven bags of sarin, a nerve gas invented by the Nazis, at a busy subway station in Tokyo. Twelve people were killed and more than 5,500 injured by one of the most toxic substances known to science. Sarin, as Saddam Hussein knew, has been described as a perfect terrorist weapon odorless, colorless and relatively cheap to manufacture.
History has other examples of cults and religions whose followers prefer death to life in the name of salvation, who seek suicide in the name of some eschatological hope, the arrival of Judgment Day or a Messiah (or in Islam, the Mahdi). In 18th century Czarist Russia there was a religious sect known as the "Old Believers," the Raskolniki, whom the Russian Orthodox church regarded as dangerous heretics. In his biography of Catherine the Great, Henri Troyat wrote that the Raskolniki "decided to sacrifice themselves upon a funeral pyre in order to escape from a world ruled by the Evil One." Horrified at their pronouncement, the Empress decreed that the Raskolniki would come under her personal protection.
But they had taken a liking to collective suicide. They continued to give themselves up to the flames, no longer in order to escape justice but in order to enter the Kingdom of God as quickly as possible...A ukase was promulgated authorizing the Raskolniki to live according to their beliefs. They felt no gratitude to the Empress. Making it easier for them to exercise their faith would only diminish their mystic zeal, they thought....The paths that led to Heaven must be paths of suffering. Tolerance, which softened souls, was a snare of the Devil.
The suicide bombers recruited in the Middle East live by a death cult philosophy which legitimates the destruction of innocent bystanders as a way of achieving paradise. What is particularly noticeable in the Middle East after 9/11 was the openness with which leading spokesmen praised the megadeaths and suicide in the name of Allah.
Abdallah Al-Naggar, a religious columnist for the Egyptian government daily Al-Gumhuriya, described the differences between a "Muslim believer's" approach to death and that of his enemies. His article, as translated by The Middle East Media Research Institute a few weeks after 9/11, can be read as an endorsement of the World Trade Center and Pentagon bombings.
In the Egyptian newspaper Al wafd, (April 27, 1996), Sheikh Muhammad Sayed al-Tantawi defended suicide bombings: "One who blows himself up among enemies, in order to defend his land, is considered a martyr." On April 4, 1996, according to the Egyptian paper Al Shaab, Sheik Tantawi said, "the youth of the Islamic resistance who blow themselves up in order to cause casualties, are considered the greatest of those who die, because they die as martyrs." Asked specifically to state the position of the sharia on someone who kills himself in an explosion, Sheik Tantawi said: "Those who say such action is haram [forbidden] must first ask themselves: what is the reason behind it? Why do youths feel compelled to sacrifice themselves?"
As for Muslim moderates, said to be ensconced in Cairo's Al-Azhar University, its president, Ahmed Omar Hashem declared a few years ago: "There will be no stability and no end to terrorism, so long as the Palestinian people are under occupation."
In all modern history, there has been nothing like this organized cult of death designed to achieve political aims via religious faith and reward. No roadmap, however rationally created and however sincerely presented and adopted, will bring a solution any nearer. Israel's enemies believe they have Israel on the run and there will be no letup in this war.
Arnold Beichman, a Hoover Institution research fellow, is a columnist for the Washington Times
To me it looks more like a worn out you know what of which we all have one of.
I was going to say, stainless-steel bunghole.
There were several Americans who were permitted entry to Makkah. One, the Ambassador's secretary's main squeeze was a retired USMC helo pilot. He'd been hired by the Interior Ministry to ferry big shots to Makkah. He was made an "honorary" moslem. Another guy was a security expert and he was allowed in because he was working on the city's closed-circuit TV system for the Interior Ministry's crowd control posts. He too was made an "honorary moslem."
I sure would've like to have visited the Kaaba purely for historical interest. St. Peter's in the Vatican and Westminster Abbey are completely open; even moslems can visit there. Makes one wonder what type of deviltry is underway in Makkah.
Of course, this only confirms what so many here have been saying for SOOOO long, often to ridicule:
Islam is a farcical "religion" that is little more than a death cult.
Robo and All:
This article reminds me of one that I can't seem to find.
I think it was at WND but since I can't google and find it there I am not certain.
I would have sworn it was in fact by Joseph Farah.
It talks about the relative recent claim to Jerusalem by Islam and how the Dome of the Rock's real history is not as long as generally thought.
Anyone know what I am talking about or should I go ahead with the brain transplant that my wife has been suggesting for the last 10 or 20 years?
While I am ranting about 'lost articles' Farah did one several years back about the evidence that Christ MIGHT have been born on December 25.
This one I had a bunch of people arguing with me and again I couldn't find it.
Believe me I tried site googling, archive searches, alta vista seaches, dogpile everything.
Anyway I ended up looking like a nut.
Guess my wife was right after all...
"Israel's enemies believe they have Israel on the run and there will be no letup in this war."
And THAT is the reason that the angry and the militant should be given the war and slaughter that they bark for.
Israel has tried to be 'reasonable' eith the Palis but there is no reason in the classical sense inside the them.
The world has put off the fight since WWII and the militant are building up in it like kindeling in a forest protected from fire--there's gonna be a conflagration soon.