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Clarifications Sought on the Makkah and Bakkah Article
« on: May 17, 2013, 04:10:20 PM »
By Mubashir Inayat

Source article:

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


Salam Dear Brother Joseph

Upon reading an article of yours re Makkah Bakkah, I came across your following observation:
 
".....THE KAABA (MAKKAH) TO BE TAKEN AS A PLACE FOR PRAYER
 
It is useful to note that verse 2:125 confirms that the original standing place / station (maqam)  of Prophet Abraham (pbuh) was to be taken as a place for prayer. 
 
002.125 (part)
"And when We made the House a place of return for mankind and a place of safety / security; and (said) take (from) the standing place / station of Abraham  as a place of prayer (Arabic: wa-ittakhidu min maqami ibrahima musallan)..."

 
I am not sure, whether you are referring to Abraham's standing place/station  originally being in Makkah or Bakkah?
 
Could you kindly elaborate?
 
Thanks in advance.
 

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Clarifications Sought on the Makkah and Bakkah Article
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2013, 04:12:57 PM »
Wa alaikum assalam brother Mubashir.

The argument to take ‘Makkah’ as a place of worship was from inference / deduction only.

Please allow me to clarify.

In the article I argued that the original place built by Prophet Abraham was in ‘Bakkah’ not ‘Makkah’. Verse 2:125 is a reference to ‘Bakkah’ where immediate and following generations of Muslims used the location as a place for prayer. It is possible that Hebrew prophets also knew of this location or the general location hence why they always sought to build their temples in the Holy Lands. No Prophet such as Prophets Moses, David, Solomon, Jesus were ever known to have focused their worship or visited locations for pilgrimage other than the Holy Lands.

‘Pilgrimage’ was even known to the father in-law of Prophet Moses. It was the basis he used to administer a term. Hence why it is usually translated as a year, but this is not its literal translation. One would ask, where were these communities making pilgrimages at the time of Prophet Moses?

028.027
"He said: Indeed! I wish to marry you to one of these two daughters of mine on condition that you serve me for (the term of) eight pilgrimages (Hijajin)."

If it was in Makkah, then why did Prophet Moses not continue the tradition at Makkah if it was a tradition enshrined by his father in faith, Prophet Abraham?

There is also an older Jewish tradition which claims the Foundation stone (Hebrew: Even haShetiya) at the site of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem to be the location where Prophet Abraham (pbuh) nearly sacrificed his son Isaac. (pbuh)  This still remains one of the holiest sites in Judaism. Muslims also revere it albeit for different reasons.

It was argued in the article that the ancient Abrahamic rites were reinstituted at the Kaaba (Makkah) during the Prophetic ministry. In light of verse 5:97, the Kaaba was afforded inviolability and made an establishment for mankind (Arabic: qiyamal-ilnassi).

So the argument is thus:

  • Original location built by Prophet Abraham and his son = Holy Lands at a place called ‘Bakkah’
  • Abrahamic rites were reinstituted at the Ka’aba in ‘Makkah’.
  • The Ka’aba become the focal point for believers (5:97)
  • Therefore based on verse 2:125, when a location becomes the focal point of the rituals of a believing community, it can be argued that the tradition of prayer that follows from it should be used as best practice.

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

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Re: Clarifications Sought on the Makkah and Bakkah Article
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2013, 04:14:02 PM »
Thanks for the prompt reply Br Joseph
 
I am still not clear on your statement that says "...Verse 2:125 is a reference to ‘Bakkah’ where immediate and following generations of Muslims used the location as a place for prayer.."
 
Are you referring to Jews or the Muslims? As you know the budding Muslim community in the beginning faced Jerusalem and then after a few years, they were asked to face Makkah.
 
As you know some people say Bakkah and Makkah are different terms used by historians for the same town. In any case we know that Abraham did build a structure as House of God. Do we have any evidence of it in the valley of Bakkah? A ruin, or a building still standing?
 
You argue that the original Maqam Ibrahim which was in Bakkah was replaced/reinstituted during the Messenger's ministry by Makkah therefore it must be taken as the "new" Maqam Ibrahim. Do I understand you correctly?
 
I agree the biggest mystery to this issue is that if Bakkah means Makkah, then why did Messengers following Abraham did not make it their business to visit it as a site of pilgrimage.
 
Regards,
 
Mubashir

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Clarifications Sought on the Makkah and Bakkah Article
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2013, 04:33:20 PM »
Please see my responses in blue below.

I hope that clarifies, God willing.
Joseph.



I am still not clear on your statement that says "...Verse 2:125 is a reference to ‘Bakkah’ where immediate and following generations of Muslims used the location as a place for prayer.."
 
Are you referring to Jews or the Muslims?

I meant ‘Muslims’ in the generic manner as all those that submitted in the name of God and not just the Arab Muslims of the 7th century. So this would mean Prophet Abraham’s immediate progeny etc. As you will know, there were ‘Muslims’ even before people started labelling themselves as ‘Jews’, ‘Christians’ etc.

As you know the budding Muslim community in the beginning faced Jerusalem and then after a few years, they were asked to face Makkah.

Yes, the early Qiblah towards the Holy Lands is also my understanding from the Quran. Prophet Muhammad was born amongst Pagan worshippers and when the revelation came to him, he most arguably aligned himself to the Abrahamic faith and possibly thus turned his face towards the Qiblah towards the Holy Lands as was arguably the norm of other monotheist followers of the previous scriptures.

As pressure surmounted from the new Arab converts, the sanctuary at Makkah was later made the new ‘haram’ with Divine sanction. These are the changes I also discuss in my article on ‘Qiblah’ change [1] below.

On a side note, I’ve always wondered what the 'hateem' was at the Ka’aba and its purpose purely from construct perspective.Why do we only have what appears to be remnants of a previous construction? It is also interesting to note which direction it points to!


As you know some people say Bakkah and Makkah are different terms used by historians for the same town.

The term ‘Makkah’ is known to the Quran. (48:24). There is no proof from the Quran as to the synonymy of the two terms. They are used quite distinctively in my honest academic opinion.

In any case we know that Abraham did build a structure as House of God. Do we have any evidence of it in the valley of Bakkah? A ruin, or a building still standing?

It is relevant to note that we do not even have ruins of the temple of Solomon which were arguably much later. Even the Western wall is only a remnant dating to the Second Temple period. As you will appreciate, this does not mean they did not at one time exist.

However, what we do have is best inferences from the Quran which points at two separate places recognised by the Quran. The area of Jerusalem is highly revered by all denominations of the Abrahamic faith and has been by arguably many Hebrew prophets (if not all). The question is why. Is there something more behind mere traditions?


You argue that the original Maqam Ibrahim which was in Bakkah was replaced/reinstituted during the Messenger's ministry by Makkah therefore it must be taken as the "new" Maqam Ibrahim. Do I understand you correctly?

Yes.

The Quran does not elucidate what the ‘signs’ are (3:97) other than the term ‘Maqamu Ibrahim’. This narrative would have been recognised by those of the People of the Book yet they never prayed towards the Pagan sanctuary at Makkah or used it as a place of prayer. This is also supported by the second reference of the term ‘Maqamu Ibraham’ (2:125). Rather, the People of the Book seemed to align themselves to the Holy lands supporting the notion that the original location of the house that prophet Abraham built was not in Makkah but towards the Holy Lands.

The argument seems plausible that once the Ka’aba was made the established sanctuary with Divine sanction and Abrahamic rites were reinstituted, later generations of Muslims attempted to provide further credence for the location by asserting that the very imprints of the Prophet Abraham's feet were still available at the Makkan sanctuary. It is my academic opinion, that much literature in the second source corpus has arisen to silence the doubting voices that questioned the veracity of the religion given to Prophet Muhammad.

I find it respectfully quite incredulous that many still believe that the footprints of Prophet Abraham are still preserved (today housed in a glass casing) next to the Ka’aba nearly 4000 years afterwards whilst followers of the previous scriptures arguably gave this little or no importance. This is despite the fact that Prophet Abraham was highly revered by them as one of the greatest patriarchs of their religion.


I agree the biggest mystery to this issue is that if Bakkah means Makkah, then why did Messengers following Abraham did not make it their business to visit it as a site of pilgrimage.

This is a very serious point indeed which often is nonchalantly dismissed. It is almost a central question.


REFERENCE:

[1] THE QIBLA CHANGE
http://quransmessage.com/articles/qibla%20FM3.htm
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell