Author [EN] [PL] [ES] [PT] [IT] [DE] [FR] [NL] [TR] [SR] [AR] [RU] Topic: The Background of the Kaaba

Offline Zack

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 200
    • View Profile
The Background of the Kaaba
« on: February 24, 2014, 09:35:35 AM »
I am wondering the view of people here in regards to Ishmael and the Kaaba? Is there evidence that Ishmael reached Mecca and established the Kaaba?

Another question related to this.... There are views that for a certain amount of generations the Kaaba was a legitimate place for the honor of the God of Abraham.

Are these things tradition, or do they have basis?

Offline Joseph Islam

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1852
    • View Profile
    • The Quran and its Message
Re: The Background of the Kaaba
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2014, 12:04:26 PM »
Dear brother Daniel,

As-salam alaykum

From my humble perspective, there is no such evidence from the Quran.

Please see below my article which attempts to deal with this topic:

PROPHET ABRAHAM'S (pbuh) ORIGINAL SANCTUARY - AT MAKKAH (MECCA) OR BAKKAH (BACA)?
http://quransmessage.com/articles/makkah%20bakkah%20FM3.htm

I hope that helps, God willing
Joseph
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Zack

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 200
    • View Profile
Re: The Background of the Kaaba
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2014, 03:38:15 PM »
Thanks Br. Joseph for your reply. That is very helpful.

I still have a couple of questions in regards to Ishmael, as I am doing a teaching to a group of Christians about true Islam and want to make sure I am getting my facts right.

Are you saying : a) I understand that re your article that Arabs did not descend from Ishmael. However was Ishmael a prophet to the Arabs in bringing the Tauhid message to them, or did Ishmael have no contact whatsoever with the Arab world?

b) It is clear from your articles that you believe Abraham and Ishmael did not establish the Kaaba. If that is the case, what is the origin of the Kaaba?

Wasalam
Daniel

Offline Joseph Islam

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1852
    • View Profile
    • The Quran and its Message
Re: The Background of the Kaaba
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2014, 04:37:04 PM »
Dear brother Daniel,

As-salam alaykum

(a) There is no evidence from the Quran (the earliest 'Islamic' historical record) that prophet Ishmael ever had any contact with any community called 'Arabs'.

(b) The origins of the Ka'aba have not been mentioned by the Quran. However, what is evident from the Quran is that it was a revered sanctuary for the pagan Arabs used for all sorts of idolatrous and pagan practices before Islam was revealed to them. Structures similar in appearance to the 'Ka'aba' were not unheard of in ancient history. The 'Ka'ba ye Zartosht' a 5th century BC structure in Iran is one such example.

I hope that helps, God willing
Joseph
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Wakas

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 519
    • View Profile
    • What does The Quran really say?
Re: The Background of the Kaaba
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2014, 10:15:14 PM »
Dear brother Joseph,
salaam.

Bold and underlined emphasis mine:
(b) The origins of the Ka'aba have not been mentioned by the Quran. However, what is evident from the Quran is that it was a revered sanctuary for the pagan Arabs used for all sorts of idolatrous and pagan practices before Islam was revealed to them.

To my knowledge there is no direct evidence of the above in The Quran, thus I am assuming you mean indirect evidence, e.g. your interpretation of some verses. If so, can you please provide the evidence from The Quran?

Thanks.

Offline Wakas

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 519
    • View Profile
    • What does The Quran really say?
Re: The Background of the Kaaba
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2014, 10:52:30 PM »
Salaam brother Daniel,

The origins of the cuboid called Kaabah are somewhat controversial/vague. Almost entirely based on Traditional Islamic sources, not The Quran. The only verses wherein the word appears is 5:95 and 5:97. However, there are some verses that discuss "al bayt" that are commonly interpreted to refer to the cuboid called Kaabah.

With regard to pagan worship and the cuboid called Kaabah, there are a number of disturbing similarities with present day practice. Here is some information you may wish to consider.

You may find this link interesting, with regard to terms to study:
http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/history/arabic.txt

Quote
North Arabia
     Allah (al-Ilahah) "the God"
     "Daughters of Allah"
          Allat (Ilat)   "the Goddess"  Mother goddess, Goddess of
                         Taif (east of Mecca)

               Shams     Sun goddess
                    ash-Shiraq  "the Rising One" (Male?)
                    Muharriq    "the Burner" (Male?)
               Chabou, Ka'bu [Nabatean/Petra] Virgin Sun Mother of
                         Dhu-al-Shara/Dushares

          al-Uzza, Lady `Uzzay-an  "the Most Mighty." Planet Venus
               ash-Sa'ida     "The Blessed"
               Azizos    "the Powerful"  Morning star
               Monimos   "the Benificent"  Evening star
          Manah, Manat [Nabatean/Petra], Maniya   "Fate"

     al-Asad   "the Lion" Lion God
     `Awf, `Auf          Great Bird
     al-Ba`lu  "the Lord"
    Dhu-al-Shara/Dhu-'sh-Shara/Dushares [Nabatean/Petra] {Block of
               black stone, 4x2} Dying god, son of the Earth
               mother.  Sacred day, Dec 25.

     Dhu 'l-Halasa  ??
     Dhu 'l-Kaffain "He who has two hands"
     Dhu 'r-rijl    "He who has a foot"
     Gad       "Luck"
     Hubal     Chief god of Ka'bah (Allah?)


Stone blocks were apparently common in Arabia, used in pagan worship, called "Jinn" blocks.


Quote from: Ayman's article
WHY MECCA?

To understand what really happened, we need to know that the examples that The God gives us in the great reading are directly relevant to our lives. In all the examples, the majority of people reverted to paganism and their misguided ways after they had received guidance. We know from the great reading that the people of the prophet venerated idols called Allat, Aluzza and Manat (53:19-20) and this is confirmed by archeological evidence. We also need to know that there is nothing in the great reading that even remotely suggests that paganism was eradicated in Arabia and the fact that paganism continued to flourish under the Arab kingdom is confirmed by the evidence from manuscripts of independent non-Islamic sources.

With this in mind, let's observe what is going on in present day Mecca. If you go to Mecca, you will see that people are spinning seven times around a stone cube dressed in a black garment ("kiswah"). The focal point of the stone cube is what the pilgrims call the "Black Stone". It is set in the southeast corner of the stone cube precisely facing the winter sunrise. You will see the pilgrims compete to kiss the Black Stone. If you stop any of the pilgrims and ask them why they are performing the above rituals, they will answer that by performing the above rituals, their sins will be forgiven and they will return as if they are newborns.

The precise alignment of the Black Stone with the winter sunrise is not coincidental. Allat, the main idol of the prophet's people, was a fertility goddess and this is confirmed by archeological evidence from Nabataean sites. As typical of such fertility goddesses their symbols and rituals are related to the sun. In this case, the direction of the winter sunrise marks the location where the sun is "reborn". Now if you take a closer look, you will see that the enclosure of the Black Stone is in the shape of a dilated female vulva and the Black Stone is in the shape of the crown of the head of the newborn baby deity as it is coming out of the vulva.

Come closer yet and you will see that people are kissing the head of the newborn baby deity. Kissing the head is an ancient Arab tradition for asking for forgiveness. So kissing the top of the head of the newborn idol as traditionally done to ask for forgiveness, results in the pagan's sins being wiped out as if he or she was a newborn.

Hang around for a while and you will observe that people spin seven times around the Black Stone. A pre-quranic manuscript written by Epiphanius in the fourth century CE describes the ritual of spinning seven times as part of the birth festivals of the Nabataean idols Allat and Dhushara around the winter solstice. The number seven was considered sacred in Arab and pagan symbolism in general because of the five sacred planets plus the sun and the moon that the ancients venerated. To this day many people in the Arab world celebrate what is termed in Arabic Subu', which is a traditional festival that takes place on the seventh day after the birth of a newborn and on the seventh day after a pilgrims' return. Like the pagan pilgrimage that we observed and Epiphanius described, as part of the Subu' birth celebrations, people traditionally go around the house seven times while carrying the newborn baby.

Observe the pilgrims some more and you will see some of them running between two hills. Ask one of them why they do it and he or she will answer that this ritual is symbolic for looking for water for a newborn child. In all the above empirical observations, one can immediately see the strong connection between ideology, rituals and symbols that form concerted pagan celebrations of a fertility goddess giving birth. Those pagan rituals and symbols were simply appropriated into the new popular religion.

As a goddess of fertility, this would make Allat equivalent to the Greek goddess Aphrodite. This would also make her equivalent to the Roman goddess Venus, the Semitic goddess Astarte/Ashtoreth, the Mesopotamian Ishtar, the Vedic goddess Kali, the Anatolian Cybele, and Frigga in the Norse mythos. Such fertility mother goddess was worshipped all over the ancient world under various names. Interestingly, black stones like the one in Mecca are commonly associated with such goddesses. For example, the following picture shows a black stone that was venerated at the Temple of Aphrodite, near Paphos, Cyprus.


Black stone of Aphrodite

Black phallic stones were also widely associated with the cult of Cybele, the ancient Anatolian fertility goddess; and similar egg-shaped black stones are, to this day, revered in Indian temples to the Hindu fertility goddess Kali, who is also known as Black Mother.

Interestingly, according to Greek mythology Aphrodite's beauty is kept in a black cube. Allat has a particularly strong association with Aphrodite because Aphrodite is the Hellenized Allat. In post-quranic times we hear from Roman Christian sources about Aphrodite being worshipped by Arab pagans as late as the 8th century, long after the death of the prophet[3]. So paganism was not eradicated in Arabia as traditions contend but remained and reemerged.

Cyprus, the island of Aphrodite is also home to the highly venerated Hala Sultan Tekke shrine (many consider it the third holiest shrine of Islam). Like the shrine in Mecca, it too has a black rock, said to have fallen as a meteorite as part of the tritholon over the shrine. The shrine is also to a woman named Umm Haram, the alleged foster mother of the prophet.

Another interesting common thread that runs through several of those idols is that they all had association with Friday. For example, Ashtoreth is connected to Friday. So is Venus, where the Romans named Friday after her as "dies veneris". The very name Friday is derived from the Norse goddess, Frigga. When the Germanic tribes invaded England they imposed their goddess upon the day meant to honor Venus. The day was called Frigedaeg, which gradually became "Friday". I don't think that it is a coincidence that Friday also became the "holy day" for sectarians who venerate Allat/Aphrodite and her black cube and Black Stone.

Also another interesting commonality is that such fertility goddesses were often veiled. Like the fertility goddess Cybele's veil, which covered her whole body, Allat's stone cube was also veiled with a black "dress". This practice of veiling the stone cube of the female goddess (and females in general) with a black dress continues to this day.

There is nothing particularly unique or amazing about what I am saying. All prior nations have reverted to paganism to one degree or another shortly after the death of their prophet. We can see this, for example, in Christianity's appropriation of pagan symbols and festivals such as Christmas. This is human nature. To think that we are somehow unlike other humans is nothing more than arrogant denial.

On the Problem of the Pre-Islamic Lord  of the Ka'ba
http://www.uib.no/jais/v002ht/02-049-074Pavlov1.htm
Response:
http://www.uib.no/jais/v002cmt/pavcmt01.htm

Offline Joseph Islam

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1852
    • View Profile
    • The Quran and its Message
Re: The Background of the Kaaba
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2014, 12:46:37 AM »
Dear brother Joseph,
salaam.

Bold and underlined emphasis mine:
(b) The origins of the Ka'aba have not been mentioned by the Quran. However, what is evident from the Quran is that it was a revered sanctuary for the pagan Arabs used for all sorts of idolatrous and pagan practices before Islam was revealed to them.

To my knowledge there is no direct evidence of the above in The Quran, thus I am assuming you mean indirect evidence, e.g. your interpretation of some verses. If so, can you please provide the evidence from The Quran?

Thanks.


Dear brother Wakas,

As-salam alaykum

As you will no doubt agree, the suggestion that Arabs were pagans / idolatrous before Islam was revealed to them should be evident to any reader of the Quran. Please see below one example:

039.038
“If indeed you ask them who is it that created the Heavens and the Earth, they would be sure to say, "Allah". Say: "Then do you see what you invoke besides Allah? Can they, if Allah wills some penalty for me, remove His penalty? Or if He wills some grace for me, can they keep back his grace?" Say: "Sufficient is Allah for me! In Him do the trusting put their trust"”

The suggestion that the Ka'aba was a revered sanctuary used for idolatrous practices can be seen by the following verse:

008:035
“And their prayer (Arabic: salatuhum) before the House is nothing but whistling and clapping of hands; taste then the chastisement, for you disbelieved”

The connection of the Ka'aba as a sanctuary can be seen in verses 5:95 and 5:97.

The suggestion that the sanctuary as a whole was of considerable importance as a centre of reverence / pilgrimage can be seen in the following verse:

009.019
"Do you count the providing of water to the pilgrim's and maintenance of the Inviolable Place of Worship (Al-Masjid al-Haram) as (equal to the worth of) him who believes in God and the Last Day, and strives in the way of God? They are not equal in the sight of God. God guides not the wrongdoers."

There are other verses where a deep rooted historic connection with the sanctuary can be strongly argued. For example:  2:144; 149, 191; 196, 217, 5:2, 8:34, 9:7, 19, 28, 22:25 48:24-7

As my response was only intended for brother Daniel’s specific questions, I respectfully trust that this thread will not be used to discuss any fundamental differences in interpretations of verses, terms and approach that we may have.


With respect and warm regards,
Joseph


RELATED ARTICLES:

[1] IS MAKKAH THE ORIGINAL LOCATION FOR THE MASJID AL-HARAM?
http://quransmessage.com/articles/original%20sanctuary%20FM3.htm
[2] THE QIBLA CHANGE
http://quransmessage.com/articles/qibla%20FM3.htm




'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Wakas

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 519
    • View Profile
    • What does The Quran really say?
Re: The Background of the Kaaba
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2014, 02:20:06 PM »
salaam brother Joseph,

Bold mine:


The suggestion that the Ka'aba was a revered sanctuary used for idolatrous practices can be seen by the following verse:

008:035
“And their prayer (Arabic: salatuhum) before the House is nothing but whistling and clapping of hands; taste then the chastisement, for you disbelieved”

The connection of the Ka'aba as a sanctuary can be seen in verses 5:95 and 5:97.

The suggestion that the sanctuary as a whole was of considerable importance as a centre of reverence / pilgrimage can be seen in the following verse:

009.019
"Do you count the providing of water to the pilgrim's and maintenance of the Inviolable Place of Worship (Al-Masjid al-Haram) as (equal to the worth of) him who believes in God and the Last Day, and strives in the way of God? They are not equal in the sight of God. God guides not the wrongdoers."

There are other verses where a deep rooted historic connection with the sanctuary can be strongly argued. For example:  2:144; 149, 191; 196, 217, 5:2, 8:34, 9:7, 19, 28, 22:25 48:24-7

As my response was only intended for brother Daniel’s specific questions, I respectfully trust that this thread will not be used to discuss any fundamental differences in interpretations of verses, terms and approach that we may have.

I think it is important to clarify that when someone asks about X, and a reply refers to Y (interpreting it to be X or closely associated with it) it is made clear, that's all.

Thanks for clarifying that.

Offline Joseph Islam

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1852
    • View Profile
    • The Quran and its Message
Re: The Background of the Kaaba
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2014, 03:20:04 PM »

I think it is important to clarify that when someone asks about X, and a reply refers to Y (interpreting it to be X or closely associated with it) it is made clear, that's all.


Dear brother Wakas,

As-salam alaykum

I do feel that discerning readers are well aware that when they solicit my humble opinions, what they are getting are my best interpretations on a particular matter. What is a valid, evident interpretation to one, may not be to another.  This point in my humble opinion need not be laboured.

Thanks for your comments anyway.

Regards,
Joseph
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell