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Offline Wakas

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Questions about Makkah or Bakkah article
« on: September 07, 2012, 12:15:22 AM »
salaam Joseph,

Re: http://quransmessage.com/articles/makkah%20bakkah%20FM3.htm

I would like clarification on the following please:

1)
You said:
Quote
"The Quran makes it clear that sacrifices took place inside the ancient house or at its location.  This is extremely difficult to reconcile with the location of the Kaaba as even today, no sacrifices take place at or around the Kaaba or anywhere within the precincts of the haram. Let us note the verse:
 
022.033
You have advantages in them till a fixed time, then their place of sacrifice (Arabic: Mahilluha) is at (Arabic: ila) the Ancient House (Arabic: Baitul-ateeq).
 
The above verse clearly informs the reader that the place of sacrifice (mahiloha) is at (ila) the house (Bait) ancient (Ateeq). Sacrifice has never been performed at or inside the Kaaba or the Masjid Haram premises. It is performed at Mina.

However:

5:95 ...an offering/gift reaching al kaabah

5:97 God has made al kaabah, (which is) al bayt al haram, a qiyaman for............. the offerings/gifts.......


2)
You said:
Quote
Safa and Marwah are never mentioned as an 'ancient Abrahamic rite' within any Quranic context.

However earlier in section 8, when making the case for Abrahamic rites, you quoted 22:32 in which the term "shaAAa-ira Allahi" is used, and this is the same term used in 2:158 for safwa and marwa, also in the context of HaJJ.


3) You translated 2:158 as "....he circumambulates (Arabic: Tawaafa) both of them..."

Do you mean to say going around the hills is meant, not in-between them, as is done today? I'm not even sure if going around them hills is possible today, maybe.


Thanks.

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Questions about Makkah or Bakkah article
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2012, 10:17:12 AM »
Peace Wakas,

Please see my clarification responses below.

Response 1:

As you know the Arabic word 'mahill' is generally a place of destination or a lawful place of slaughter of a beast for sacrifice depending on context, whereas 'hada' is the actual offering, sacrifice or gift. In both verses 2:196 and 48:25 which deal with the Makkan sanctuary, the crucial verb 'balagha' is used which means something had to travel, reach or to get somewhere. Therefore, the 'hada' (offering) 'reached' the Kaaba which clearly proves that the sacrifice / offering actually didn't originate at the Kaaba which is no different from today. It had to get there.

However, with the 'ancient house' mentioned in verse 22:33, the place of sacrifice was 'at' the ancient house as you will note from the Arabic and the crucial preposition 'ila'. i.e. mahilluha ila 'lbayti'lateeq. (their place of sacrifice is at the Ancient House).

This would be similar to the Bible’s testimony which speaks of altars erected for sacrifice by Prophets Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses (pbut). The temple built by 'King Solomon' (Approx 957 BC) was a sole place for Jewish sacrifice and after its destruction in 586 BC was rebuilt between 538-515 BC. Similarly Herod's temple also had sacrifices performed inside the temple.
 
With regards 5:97, the verse does not prove that the sacrifices took place at the Kaaba. 5:97 simply ratifies rites for the believers as:

  • God has now appointed the Kaaba the Sacred House as an establishment for mankind
  • Appointed sacred months (which is also consistent with  2:197 and 9:36)
  • Appointed offerings and garlands.


Response 2:

'sha'aira allahi' simply means ‘symbols of God’ and its use in 22:32 clearly shows there is more than one symbol (plural). This does not mean that every single 'symbol of God' is narrated by the Quran on God's earth. In verse 2:158, we can clearly see that 'Safa and Marwa' is just one of those symbols which in my humble view is clear from the Arabic and preposition 'min' (from).

inna'safa wal-marwah min sha'air'allahi (Indeed, the Safa and the Marwah are from (min) symbols of God)

As you will no doubt appreciate, the Quran does not say that Safa and Marwah are the only symbols of God nor can we assume that on the basis of 22:32. Neither can one conclude on the basis of 2:158 that Safa and Marwah are ancient Abrahamic symbols.

Therefore, if one performs Hajj at the Kaaba (where the ancient rites were reinstituted), it is no harm / blame (junaha) if one does tawaf at Safa and Marwah. An existing practice for the Makkans existed at Safa and Marwa, and it was simply allowed to continue. This does not mean that it was an ancient Abrahamic practice.


Response 3:

The verb 'tafa' carries the nuance of circumambulation and to go / wander about. For example in verse 24:58 we note the nuance captured of mingling, moving about, wandering about each other, in the Arabic noun 'tawwaf' used. Therefore, some kind of movement is expected at / between those locations.


I trust that you will appreciate that from a Quranic perspective, there is (to some degree at least) a plausible academic case to cogently argue for the separation of the Makkan and the ancient sanctuary and the reinstitution of ancient rites at the Makkan sanctuary.

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

Offline Wakas

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Re: Questions about Makkah or Bakkah article
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2012, 01:50:57 PM »
Peace Joseph,

Thanks for the reply.

Re: 1)
Perhaps I misunderstood what you were saying. I thought you were saying no animals are sacrificed at al kaabah. I dont think this can explicitly be shown either way, but my point was the offering does go there, this is clear. What happens after that one can discuss options.

Re: 2)
I agree that it cannot be conclusively shown al safa and al marwa are "ancient Abrahamic rites", but my point was the same wording and context of HaJJ is used. One can say they are not "ancient Abrahamic rites" but it wouldn't be based on anything solid.

Re: 3)
I assume therefore you take TWF to mean circumbambulate in some verses and not in others? If so, that is fine, but I was just clarifying as it doesn't come across as that in your article.

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Questions about Makkah or Bakkah article
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2012, 03:06:14 PM »
Peace Wakas,

Re: 3, yes indeed, as the term is nuanced.

So from my humble perspective, the noun in 24:58 would give a different shade of meaning to the verb used in say 22:29. However, the primary significance of the word TWF would be captured by both, i.e. the act of going about or walking.

I personally would argue that the sense of 'circumambulation' is possibly derived due to context from its primary significance of 'walking about'.

So if there is a four sided single object, one would be expected to 'circuit' / circumambulate it by way of TWF and when you have two points A and B spread apart as in Safa / Marwah, it ‘can’ be argued to be understood to mean circuits between the two points. (Both nuances still retaining the primary significance of 'walking about').

However, on a side matter, well meaning rites can at times turn into blind rituals by successive generations which are at times conflated with existing cultural practices. Similarly I find the 'religious' requirement for exactly 'seven' circuits quite problematic from a purely Quranic perspective. Fine if it is based on choice but to understand it as 'religiously' binding by God is quite another matter. [1]

Thanks for your comments anyway  :)

Regards,
Joseph


RELATED ARTICLE:

[1] THE SEVEN CIRCUITS OF THE KA'ABA
http://quransmessage.com/articles/seven%20circuits%20FM3.htm
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
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Offline Peaceful

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Re: Questions about Makkah or Bakkah article
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2012, 04:34:42 AM »
According to Gibson : http://searchformecca.com/Jerusalem.html

Neither Jerusalem nor Mecca were the First Qibla. In fact, it was Petra. The same location used by Arab pilgrims for centuries!!!

"It is very true the the Mosque of the Two Qiblas faced Jerusalem, but if one examines a map, it is obvious that Petra is located between Medina and Jerusalem. Thus this mosque faced BOTH Jerusalem and Petra. If you examine the Changing of the Qibla Timeline you will discover that there are a dozen early mosques that faced Petra, including the mosques in Medina and Jerusalem! These mosques alone are solid archeological proof that Petra was the focal point of the first qibla and not Jerusalem. Not a single mosque, outside of the Mosque of the Two Qiblas points to Jerusalem, but EVERY mosque built during the first hundred years of Islam pointed to Petra."

What are your thoughts on this Brother Joseph?