21
Oct
07

Pilgrimage – The Lost Legacy of abraham


Written by Layth (e-mail: laytth@hotmail.com)

“The first Sanctuary established for the people is the one in Bakk’a, blessed, and a guidance for the worlds. In it are clear signs: the situation of Abraham. And whoever enters it will be secure. And God is owed from mankind to make Pilgrimage to the sanctuary, whoever can make a path to it. And whoever rejects, then God has no need of the worlds.” (Quran 3:96-97)

Every year we see millions of Pilgrims heading towards Mecca for the annual “Pilgrimage/Hajj”. The Pilgrimage takes place in the Arabic month of “Zul Hujja” and lasts for a period of 3 days in which the Pilgrims perform a number of rites, of which is being dressed in a white cloth “Ihraam”, circling the Kaab’a several times, running between the two stones of the “Safa” & “Marwa”, and throwing the pebbles at the devil.

This article will examine the subject of Pilgrimage using the Quran to try and re-create its details in full.

1. Who is the Audience?

“And call out to mankind with the Pilgrimage, they will come to you walking and on every transport, they will come from every deep enclosure.” (Quran 22:27)

The single most overlooked clue regarding Pilgrimage is regarding the “audience”. Abraham is calling out to “mankind” and not to the “believers or Muslims”. This information poses a serious problem to the belief that Pilgrimage is a set of rituals as non-believers would not be able to identify with any of these rituals and would thus not carry them out.

2. Why would People Gather?

“The first Sanctuary established for the people is the one in Bakk’a, blessed, and a guidance for the worlds. In it are clear signs: the situation of Abraham. And whoever enters it will be secure. And God is owed from mankind to make Pilgrimage to the sanctuary, whoever can make a path to it. And whoever rejects, then God has no need of the worlds.” (Quran 3:96-97)

“So that they may witness benefits for themselves and recall God’s name in the appointed days over what He has provided for them of the animal livestock. So eat from it and feed the needy and the poor. Then let them complete their duties and fulfill their vows, and let them partake at the ancient sanctuary.” (Quran 22:28-29)

Here are the three reasons people would gather:

– To be made aware of the system established by God for the people.

– To witness benefits for themselves.

– To recall God’s name over the animal livestock.

The first objective of making “Pilgrimage” is to share with all mankind the system of laws and government and teachings that God has decreed to us through the Prophets.

The second objective of Pilgrimage comes naturally from such a large gathering of different people at an appointed time(s) and place. This opens the door to opportunities of trade, information exchange, cultural exchange, networking, etc. This idea of the meeting and mixing of people/races can be clearly seen in 49:13 below as part of God’s decree for humanity:

“O mankind, We created you from a male and female, and We made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Surely, the most honourable among you in the sight of God is the most righteous. God is Knowledgeable, Expert.” (Quran 49:13)

As for the third, and equally important objective of “recalling God’s name”, this is achieved as the Pilgrimage is one giant feast in which livestock is prepared for the Pilgrims and the system of God Alone is openly discussed and shared with the visitors. Hence the term “recalling” is to remind those present (believers and non believers) of our allegiances to God and what He has made available for us on this earth, and what He has blessed us with.

3. Location of Pilgrimage

“The first Sanctuary established for the people is the one in Bakk’a, blessed, and a guidance for the worlds. In it are clear signs: the place of Abraham. And whoever enters it will be secure. And God is owed from mankind to make Pilgrimage to the Sanctuary, whoever can make a path to it. And whoever rejects, then God has no need of the worlds.” (Quran 3:96-97)

Aerial Photograph of Mecca – Arabia

The Quran identifies the first place for the Pilgrimage as “Bakk’a”. Now, while Mecca and Bakk’a may rhyme, they are clearly not the same name. Many Muslims have claimed that Mecca used to be known as Bakk’a, but that its name was later changed. Now, this presents a problem to any student of the Scripture as no verification is able to be made that this was indeed the case of a “name change”. Looking at ancient maps from the time of the Prophet (from Roman times or otherwise) there is no indication that what is today called “Mecca” has ever carried the name “Bakk’a”.

Aerial View of the Dome of the Rock

Photograph of Jerusalem (Dome of the Rock)

The mystery further deepens when we look to Islamic history itself and the claim that they (the Muslims) used to assemble towards Jerusalem for a number of years and then the focal point (Qibla) was changed to Mecca. Until today, the Muslims refer to Jerusalem as the “first of the two Qiblas” (Uwla Al-Qiblatain).

If Abraham had called people to Mecca in Arabia, and if he had established the first true monotheistic system/government in that location, then what would explain the reason that the Prophet and his early followers were facing Jerusalem and gave their backs to Mecca for many years. Even if we were to discount this history as being “fabricated”, then why do we have Roman history recording that the man named “Jesus” was preaching to Jerusalem and its inhabitants and not Mecca in Arabia?. Why also do we have the Jews giving priority to Jerusalem and not even recognizing or hearing of Mecca in their Scriptures (surely they were also performing Pilgrimage at one point in time, so have they forgotten?).

Now, while many of Islam’s thinkers are willing to brush aside this historical “anomaly”, we believe it is our duty to be more meticulous using the one source we have always relied on for truth “Quran”.

What is a “Kaaba’?

[PICKTHAL] Allah hath appointed the Ka’bah, the Sacred House, a standard for mankind, and the Sacred Month and the offerings and the garlands. That is so that ye may know that Allah knoweth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, and that Allah is Knower of all things. (Quran 5:97)

Photograph of “Kaaba” in Mecca – Arabia

We are told that the word ‘Kaaba’ means a ‘cube shape’ and that the site in Mecca has been constructed in accordance with this design requirement.

However, the meaning of ‘cube’ associated to this word has no basis in the Scripture itself nor even to the Arabic language still in use today (the word for cube is mu’ka’ab, not kaaba or kaab).

The word ‘Kaab/Kaaba’ are associated in Arabic to any feature that is protruding, such as the bones to the side of the ankles as can be seen below:

“O you who believe, if you rise to attend the contact-method, then wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows, and wipe your heads and your feet to the ankles (Kaabain); and if you have had intercourse, then you shall bathe. And if you are ill, or traveling, or you have excreted feces, or you have had sexual contact with the women, and you could not find water, then you shall select from the clean soil; you shall wipe your faces and your hands with it. God does not want to make any hardship over you, but He wants to cleanse you and to complete His blessings upon you that you may be appreciative.” (The Message 5:8)

Thus, any construct, regardless of its shape can be called a ‘Kaaba’ as long as it stands out from the plain.

What we need to ask to be more detailed is: ‘are there any special features that are protruding at the site of the temple of Mecca or Jerusalem that would give it the description of being a Kaaba’

With regards to the temple of Mecca, we have no apparent evidence of any special structure, however, with regards to the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, we have as the name indicates, a special feature that is the presence of a Rock Formation that protrudes from the earth as part of the original mount and upon which the Dome was built.

A photo of the Rock within the Dome

“Maqam Ibrahim” is Footprints?

[YUSUFALI] The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakka: Full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings: In it are Signs Manifest; (for example), the Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security; Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah,- those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures. (Quran 3:96-97)

Click to view full size image

Photo of “Maqam Ibrahim” – Mecca Arabia

“Maqam Ibrahim” is often translated: “Station of Abraham”. According to the Islamic scholars, this is represented in Mecca by two small indentions next to the Kaba which are believed to be “Abraham’s footprints”. Pilgrims every year come to stare at this wonder which they believe is the one referred to in the Quran.

Had the Islamic scholars paid closer attention to the Quran they would have noticed that they have created another problem with their claim that the Kaaba is the one in Mecca:

[YUSUFALI] The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakka: Full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings: In it are Signs Manifest; (for example), the Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security; Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah,- those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures. (Quran 3:96-97)

The “Maqam” of Abraham is supposed to be located inside the “Kaba” and not “near” or “outside” as they have claimed to the masses!

A more pressing question that presents itself: “What do footprints in the rock have anything to do with the functions of Pilgrimage and the calling of all people?”

The answer of course is: “Absolutely nothing!”

To locate the “Maqam” and its relation to the Pilgrimage, we need to explore the word as it occurs in the Quran. The word “Maqam” occurs in the following verses: (2:125, 3:97, 5:107, 10:71, 14:14, 17:79, 19:73, 25:66, 25:76, 26:58, 27:39, 33:13, 37:164, 44:26, 44:51, 55:46, 79:40) The meanings ascribed to this word as per its usage are: “position, status, station, situation, place”

Looking at the stories of Abraham in the Quran, and trying to find the one which is nearest in subject to the “Pilgrimage” rites, we come across the famous story when Abraham has a dream in which he is sacrificing his son. God in His mercy intervenes and ransoms Abraham’s son with an animal sacrifice.

“And when he grew enough to work with him, he said: “My son, I am seeing in a dream that I am sacrificing you. What do you think?” He said: “O my father, do what you are commanded to do. You will find me, God willing, patient.” So when they both had surrendered, and he put his forehead down. And We called him: “O Abraham, You have believed the vision. It was such that We rewarded the righteous.” Surely, this was an exacting test. And We ransomed him with a great animal sacrifice. And We kept his history for those who came later.” (Quran 37:102-108)

This episode recorded in the Quran describes the “trial/situation” of Abraham with his son. Thus, for all purposes, the place where this event took place may be described as “Maqam Ibrahim”.

Is there a place located inside the Kaba of Jerusalem which has any relation to Abraham’s sacrifice?

Photo of the “Rock” upon which Abraham is claimed to have nearly sacrificed his son – Dome of the Rock (Jerusalem)

According to Muslim, Christian, and Jewish narrations, it was upon this very rock that Abraham very nearly sacrificed his son and by which God intervened and gave Abraham an animal sacrifice. In-fact, there is clear evidence that this very spot is one used for animal sacrifice as a small hole is found in the rock which is believed to drain the blood of animal sacrifices to the cavern below.

“Arafat” the Mount of Olives?

One of the mountains near Mecca is called “Arafat” and it is said that the Pilgrims must journey to that location as decreed in 2:198 and then return back to Mecca again.

[PICKTHAL] “It is no sin for you that ye seek the bounty of your Lord (by trading). But, when ye press on in the multitude from ‘Arafat, remember Allah by the sacred monument. Remember Him as He hath guided you, although before ye were of those astray.” (Quran 2:198)

Naming a mountain “Arafat” and then claiming it is the one referred to in the Quran is no great feat. However, it is more important to ask is the question “why would people invited for Pilgrimage who are not believers perform rituals and come and go to a mountain a few kilometers away?”

The word “Arafat” in Arabic simply means “High Place” (that is why the scholars have chosen a mountain to be given this name). And, if we follow the notion that the Kaaba (place of Pilgrimage) is the Temple Mount area, then the verse becomes clear as the Mount of Olives adjacent to the Temple Mount is a ‘high place’ stretching for some distance which pilgrims may decide to visit or climb to get a panoramic view of Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, as well as the mountains of Moab to the East.

There are no rituals involved and there is no traveling to a distant mountain to receive “blessings”. The term “Arafat” is merely describing the place where the Pilgrims may traverse as they are likely to gather for the feasts “the decrees” once they are done from this annual conference/gathering/pilgrimage.

The Change in Focal Point (Qibla)

It seems that spark to all this confusion about where the Pilgrimage is held can be traced back to the change in the “Qibla” which occurred during the Prophet’s mission.

According to the traditionalist’s history, all Muslims were performing the Salat (contact-method) facing Jerusalem for quite some time and then God gave a new decree which told them to face the “Restricted Temple”. As such, the Prophet suddenly turned his face while praying away from Jerusalem and began facing Mecca. In-fact, the traditionalists to this day refer to Jerusalem as the 1st Qibla.

This story of the change in Qibla is also found confirmed in the Quran:

“The foolish from amongst the people will say: “What has turned them away from the focal point that they were on?” Say: “To God is the east and the west, He guides whomsoever He wishes to a straight path. And as such, We have made you a balanced nation so that you may be witness over the people, and that the messenger may be witness over you. And We did not make the focal point that you were on except to know who follows the messenger from those who will turn on their heels. It was a great thing indeed except for those whom God had guided; God was not to waste your belief. God is Merciful and Compassionate over the people.” (Quran 2:142-143)

However, it should be noted that according to 10:87, Qibla is only related to the subject of Salat (contact-method) and has no bearing on the pilgrimage. It is being discussed in this section as being the only identifiable reason that the pilgrimage location has been shifted from Jerusalem to Mecca.

Is The “Restricted Temple” In Mecca Or Jerusalem?

“The foolish from amongst the people will say: “What has turned them away from the focal point that they were on?” Say: “To God is the east and the west, He guides whomsoever He wishes to a straight path. And as such, We have made you a balanced nation so that you may be witness over the people, and that the messenger may be witness over you.” (Quran 2:142)

“And We did not make the focal point that you were on except to know who follows the messenger from those who will turn on their heels. It was a great thing indeed except for those whom God had guided; God was not to waste your belief. God is Merciful and Compassionate over the people.”(Quran 2:143)

“We see the shifting of your face towards the sky, We will thus set for you a focal point that will be pleasing to you: “You shall set yourself towards the Restricted Temple; and wherever you may be, you shall all set yourselves towards it.” Those who have been given the Scripture know it is the truth from their Lord. And God is not unaware of what you do.” (Quran 2:144)

Although the traditionalists acknowledge the shift from Jerusalem, they have created permanent confusion in the Muslim world by stating in their commentaries of the Quran that the command to follow the Qibla of the “Restricted Temple” in 2:144 is speaking of Mecca (i.e. that the Restricted Temple is Mecca, not Jerusalem).

The problem with this commentary is that in 2:142 the “change” had already taken place and the people were commenting about it (i.e. ‘what made them change from their Qibla?’). While in 2:144 the Prophet is given “new” instructions to use the focal point of the “Restricted Temple” (which cannot be Mecca because the first change of Qibla that was meant to be a “test” has already happened and thus the people were all facing the focal point of Mecca). The only way to explain the current state of Islam (giving priority to Mecca) is that the change back to the Restricted Temple in Jerusalem did not take place until very near the end of the Prophet’s mission and that he died shortly afterwards whereby the Muslims fragmented and entered into several civil wars as per the Islamic history books. Thus, the bulk of the new entrants to Islam have only ever known Mecca and that is the belief they hold until death.

Summary of points in-favor of Jerusalem being Bakk’a:

• Islamic history records Jerusalem as being the first focal-point “Qibla” before Mecca.

• The recipients of the Torah and Injeel (Jews and Nazarenes) acknowledge the significance of Jerusalem, but deny any knowledge of Mecca.

• The name “Bakka” is found in the Jewish bible (Psalms 84) as people are on their way to Jerusalem for Pilgrimage (to stand before God at Mt. Zion).

• The name “Bakka” is still found in city maps of Jerusalem as the name of a valley located less than 5 miles from the Temple Mount to the South West.

• The name “Jerusalem” (city of peace) fits the prayer of Abraham for Bakka to be a “city of peace” (Quran 2:126).

• The Quran speaks of “olives” growing in the vicinity of the town where the Prophet is situated (Ref. Quran 95:1-3). Olives are natural to the area of the Mediterranean (near which Jerusalem is situated) but not Arabia.

• The Dome of the Rock is built around a “Kaaba”.

• The “Maqam Ibrahim” are mere footprints in Meca which have no bearing on Pilgrimage, while the “Maqam Ibrahim” in Jerusalem is designed for animal sacrifice.

• The “Maqam Ibrahim” is situated “outside” the Kaba in Mecca, while it is supposed to be situated “inside” the Kaba (as in Jerusalem).

• The Kaba in Jerusalem is an “elevated platform” which matches the description given in the Quran of the Pilgrims emerging from “Arafat” (the high/elevated place)

• The rock over which the “Dome of the Rock” is situated seems designed for animals to be slaughtered on it (as evidenced by a hole in the rock which is thought to drain blood sacrifices down to a hollow cavern below). If so, then this would match perfectly the rite of Pilgrimage and the slaughter of livestock for feasting and giving to the poor/needy.

4. Timing of Pilgrimage

“They ask you regarding the new moons, say: “They are a timing mechanism for the people as well as for the Pilgrimage.” And piety is not that you would enter a home from its back, but piety is whomever is righteous and come to the homes from their main doors. And be aware of God that you may succeed.” (Quran 2:189)

“And remember God during a few number of days. Whoever hurries to two days, there is no sin upon him; and whoever delays, there is no sin upon him if he is being righteous. And be aware of God, and know that it is to Him that you will be gathered.” (Quran 2:203)

“And complete the Pilgrimage and the visit for God. But, if you are prevented, then make what is affordable of donation, and do not shave your heads until the donation reaches its destination; but whoever of you is ill or has an affliction to his head, then he may redeem by fasting or giving a charity or a sacrifice. But if you are able, then whoever continues the visit until the Pilgrimage, then he shall provide what is affordable of donation; but for he who cannot find anything, then he must fast for three days during the Pilgrimage and seven when he returns; this will make a complete ten; this is for those whose family is not present at the Restricted Temple. And be aware of God, and know that God is severe in retribution.” (2:196)

“Therefore, roam the land for four months and know that you will not escape God, and that God will humiliate the rejectors. And a declaration from God and His messenger to the people, on this, the peak day of the Pilgrimage: “That God and His messenger are innocent from all those who set-up partners.” If you repent, then it is better for you, and if you turn away, then know that you will not escape God. And give news to those who have rejected of a painful retribution. Except for those with whom you had a treaty from among those who have set-up partners if they did not reduce anything from it nor did they plan to attack you; you shall continue the treaty with them until its expiry. God loves the righteous. So when the restricted months have passed, then you may kill those who have set-up partners wherever you find them, and take them, and surround them, and stand against them at every point. If they repent, and hold the assembly, and contribute towards betterment, then you shall leave them alone. God is Forgiving, Merciful.” (Quran 9:2-5)

The Pilgrimage takes place during three months in the year which immediately follow the month of fasting. The entire count of Pilgrimage months plus fasting comes to “four” months which God speaks of as being “restricted” and which are sequential. This evidence can be found in verse 9:2 above whereby God issues an ultimatum to the rejectors lasting 4-months, and then later-on during the Pilgrimage (verse 9:3) God speaks again to the people placing a distance between Him and the idol worshipers (thus the ultimatum was given at a different time than the pilgrimage). That these events are sequential is confirmed by verse 9:5 whereby the ultimatum period has not yet passed and God tells the believers that they may fight them once it has.

The actual length of the Pilgrimage is only 3-days (which may be shortened to 2-days or extended according to 2:203). These are the first 3-days of the new moon, thus a total of “three” Pilgrimages may be organized each and every year.

5. Rules of Pilgrimage

Since this call is to all mankind to gather and benefit in one location, certain “rules of conduct” have been spelled out which must be observed by all who have agreed to attend:

“And complete the Pilgrimage and the visit for God. But, if you are prevented, then make what is affordable of donation, and do not shave your heads until the donation reaches its destination; but whoever of you is ill or has an affliction to his head, then he may redeem by fasting or giving a charity or a sacrifice. But if you are able, then whoever continues the visit until the Pilgrimage, then he shall provide what is affordable of donation; but for he who cannot find anything, then he must fast for three days during the Pilgrimage and seven when he returns; this will make a complete ten; this is for those whose family is not present at the Restricted Temple. And be aware of God, and know that God is severe in retribution.” (Quran 2:196)

“The Pilgrimage are months which have been appointed. So whosoever decides to perform the Pilgrimage in them, then there shall be no sexual approach, nor vileness, nor baseless argument in the Pilgrimage. And any good that you do, God is aware of it; and bring provisions for yourselves, though the best provision is righteousness; and be aware of Me O people of understanding. (Quran 2:197)

“There is no sin upon you to seek goodness from your Lord. So when you disperse from the elevated location, then remember God towards the decree which is restricted, and remember Him as He has guided you, for you were before that straying.” (Quran 2:198)

“Then you shall disperse from where the people dispersed, and seek God’s forgiveness; God is surely Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran 2:199)

“When you have completed your rites, then remember God as you remember your fathers or even greater. From among the people are those who say: “Our Lord, give us from this world!”, but in the Hereafter he has no part.” (Quran 2:200)

“And some of them say: “Our Lord, give us good in this world, and good in the Hereafter, and spare us from the retribution of the Fire.” (Quran 2:201)

“These will have a benefit for what they have gained; and God is quick in judgment.” (Quran 2:202)

“And remember God during a few number of days. Whoever hurries to two days, there is no sin upon him; and whoever delays, there is no sin upon him if he is being righteous. And be aware of God, and know that it is to Him that you will be gathered.” (Quran 2:203)

“And the plump animals for offering, We have made them for you as decrees from God, in them is goodness for you. So mention God’s name upon them while being orderly, so once their body becomes still, then eat from them and give food to the poor and the needy. It was thus that We have made them in service to you, that you may be thankful.” (Quran 22:36)

Does God need blood and animal sacrifice?

“Neither their meat nor their blood reaches God, but what reaches Him is the righteousness from you. It was thus that He made them in service to you, so that you may glorify God for what He has guided you to, and give news to the good doers.” (Quran 22:37)

After all the Rites of Pilgrimage are complete:

“Then let them complete their duties and fulfill their vows, and let them traverse at the ancient Sanctuary.” (Quran 22:29)

“The Safa and Marwah are amongst God’s decrees. So whosoever makes Pilgrimage to the Sanctuary, or is merely passing through, commits no error that he should traverse them. And whoever donates for goodness, then God is Appreciative, Knowledgeable.” (Quran 2:158)

This is a period of “feasting” in which the people who have come to attend the Pilgrimage conference are now fed and provided with sustenance.

Questions :-

Wasn’t the Prophet originally from Mecca?

Based on the historic narrations that we have been given, the Prophet is supposedly from the Quraish tribe in Mecca and that he received the divine inspiration in that area (at the cave of “Hira”). The Prophet is then to have propagated the message to the people of Mecca for many years until his migration to the city of Medina. This story of the Prophet’s origin has one fundamental flaw which has been ignored…

According to the Quran, the Prophet was in a place situated “near” Sodom & Gomorrah (Lot’s town).

“And Lot was one of the messengers. When We saved him and all his family. Except an old woman who remained. Then, We destroyed the rest. And you pass by their ruins in the morning. And in the night. Do you not understand?” (Quran 37:133-138)

“And they have come upon the town that was showered with a miserable shower. Did they not see it? No, they do not expect any resurrection.” (Quran 25:40)

All archaeological and even historic evidence to date has placed the destroyed town of Sodom & Gomorrah (Lot’s town) in or around the area of the “Dead Sea” (also known as “the sea of Lot”). This places the town in the region of today’s Palestine/Jordan area which is quite a considerable distance from the locations of Mecca or even Medina thousands of kilometres to the South. From the verse above we can ascertain that the journey from where the Prophet was situated and until the destroyed town of Lot took “less than a day”.

Isn’t Mecca Mentioned in the Quran?

Yes, the name “Mecca” occurs in one location in the Quran which is 48:24 below:

“And He is the One who withheld their hands against you, and your hands against them in the interior of Mecca, after He had made you victorious over them. God is Seer of what you do.” (Quran 48:24)

While this may be excitedly pointed to as support for the Pilgrimage being in Mecca (if we were to disregard all the other discrepancies), then further reading to the immediate verse following will dampen such excitement:

“And He is the One who withheld their hands against you, and your hands against them in the interior of Mecca, after He had made you victorious over them. God is Seer of what you do. They are the ones who rejected and barred you from the Restricted Temple, and barred your donations from reaching their destination. And there had been believing men and women whom you did not know, and you may have hurt them, and on whose account you would have committed a sin unknowingly. God will admit into His mercy whomever He wills. Had they become separated, We would then have punished those of them who rejected with a painful retribution.” (Quran 48:24-25)

We can understand from the description given above that “Mecca” was an “obstacle” to the believers reaching the Restricted Temple and the donations reaching their intended place. Mecca itself was not the “objective” and thus is not the place of the Restricted Temple or where the donations are supposed to reach.

What about the story of Hager, the stones of “Safa” & “Marwa”, and the well of Zam-Zam in Mecca?

Pilgrims in Mecca are required to run seven times between two rock out-crop pings (one is called “Safa” and the other called “Marwa”). This exercise we are told is in emulation of Abraham’s second wife “Hager” running between the same two spots seven times searching fro water for her infant son Ismail (God had ordered Abraham to abandon Hager and Ismail in Mecca with no food or water). Ismail then struck the ground with his foot and the water spring of “Zam-Zam” burst forth thus nourishing the mother and child and giving life to the wilderness of Mecca to become a location for Pilgrimage.

Muslim scholars will even refer to verse 2:158 showing that these locations are all mentioned in the Quran.

[PICKTHAL] “Lo! (the mountains) As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the indications of Allah. It is therefore no sin for him who is on pilgrimage to the House (of Allah) or visiteth it, to go around them (as the pagan custom is). And he who doeth good of his own accord, (for him) lo! Allah is Responsive, Aware.” (Quran 2:158)

While this story of mother and son being abandoned in the wilderness with no food and water and that the child striking the ground to bring-forth water (like Moses had done) is filled with drama and suspense, it has absolutely no basis whatsoever in the Quran. What also has slipped the minds of those who invented such fanciful tale is that the Pilgrimage is a call to “mankind” (Ref. Quran 22:27) and therefore the very idea that people who are not believers in God nor have accepted His system would run seven times up and down in emulation of the tale of a woman and her child in order to “glorify God!”.

Another problem with this tale is that the very notion that Abraham had a second wife also has no basis in the Quran, but does have its roots in Jewish story telling in-order to make a rift and rivalry between the seed of Isaac and the seed of Ishmael (by claiming that Isaac was the son of a free woman and Ishmael was the son of a slave woman).

As for the miracle of “Zam-Zam”, it seems that an ignorance of the basics of geology and Earth’s water cycle are to blame. Natural water springs have existed for thousands of years and in the same places, not because they are born of a “miracle”, but because the water collection cycle from nearby mountains or valleys makes them so. In the town nearest Mecca (Taif) there has been a natural spring providing water for thousand of years. Does anyone claim that this spring is miraculous? In Jerusalem there is the “Gihon Spring” which is less than 1,000ft away from the Temple Mount. This spring has been providing water for a recorded period of nearly 3,000 years. Does anyone claim that this spring is miraculous?

What Proof is There of Previous Pilgrimages to the Temple Mount?

As the Pilgrimage has been called to by Abraham over 3,000 years ago, it would be logical to assume that there would be remnants/traces of previous structures or buildings on the area of the Temple Mount.

Other than the stone which protrudes from the Temple Mount and upon which the Dome of the Rock is built, we have a historical reference that a structure did exist more than once on this same site and that in 586 B.C. the Temple area was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in his conquest against the Jews. Later on, the Temple was reconstructed and then was expanded by Herod in 19-20 BC. This new structure was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. during the “War of the Jews”. The archaeological proof for these claims is found in infrared images taken of the “Dome of the Rock” by Tuvia Sagiv (ref. paper entitled “Penetrating Insights into the Temple Mount”) reveal an older pentagonal foundation beneath the current Dome of the Rock, which indicates that this site has had a function even before the Dome was built.

What About the People of the Scripture Following Different Focal Points?

“And if you come to those who have been given the Scripture with every sign they will not follow your focal point, nor will you follow their focal point, nor will some of them even follow the others focal point. And if you were to follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, then you would be one of the wicked.” (2:145)

Historical evidence found in the Old Testament suggests that both the Jews and Christians are aware of the importance of Jerusalem:

“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did afortime.” (Daniel 6:10)

Archaeological evidence also confirms that synagogues from the period before and after the revelation of the Quran were roughly oriented to face Jerusalem. (Avi-Yonah, M., Synagogue Architecture. In Encyclopedia Judaica, vol. 15, New York: Macmillan, 1971).

However, looking at our decreed focal-point from 2:144 being the “Restricted Temple” (also known as the Temple Mount, on which the Dome of the Rock is located), and not the greater area of Jerusalem or Jerusalem itself, we find that neither Jews nor Christians accept this as their orientation.

In-fact, the Jews are “forbidden” from that area by their Rabbis, while the Christians seek the mount of olives nearby as their rallying point where they believe Jesus last prayed.

Clearly, as 2:145 suggests, there is no consensus between the Quran’s Qibla and the Qiblas followed by the people of the Scripture.

Summary of Pilgrimage

1. Pilgrimage is a call to all mankind (to learn about the system of God Alone, to witness benefits for themselves, to feast).

2. The location of the original Pilgrimage was at “Bakk’a” (Jerusalem), centering around the Temple Mount (the area on which the “Dome of the Rock” is constructed).

3. The timing of the Pilgrimage is the first 3-days of the last three restricted months (i.e. 3 Pilgrimages can be held each year).

4. During Pilgrimage, the highest moral decency shall be upheld (no sexual fornication, no vileness, no baseless arguing).

5. A period of feasting and feeding the poor and needy shall follow the end of the 3-day Pilgrimage.

The time has come for Mulsims to realign themselves with God’s Scripture and to call for the Pilgrimage to Bakk’a as it was always meant to be…

http://www.free-minds.org/articles/quranic/hajj.htm


1 Response to “Pilgrimage – The Lost Legacy of abraham”


  1. October 2, 2014 at 3:24 am

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    a gif that I saw back in high school before even watching Ippo and wet my pants over.


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