Desolate is the best word to describe Arabia in the years before the prophet's birth. Although civilization made its début along the only portion of Arabia that doesn't touch the sea, for thirty-five centuries it failed to take root in the desert sands. In the east lay Mesopotamia, the fertile land between the Tigris and Euphrates. Its legendary cities invented the tool that binds you and me, reader and writer: man’s greatest invention, written language. Nearly five thousand years ago the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians used cuneiform to proclaim their achievements in science, math, astronomy, law, medicine, agriculture, architecture, the arts, and religion.
Yet while these advances were occurring, Arabia remained isolated and stagnant - providing the culture necessary to propagate Islam. Poverty in proximity to greatness makes a people vulnerable to deceit.
While we stand upon the shoulders of the Babylonian, Assyrian, and Sumerian scholars, we are haunted by their faith. Two politically-minded doctrines grew out of its schemes - Medieval Catholicism and fundamental Islam. For a thousand years the most powerful forces were not nations but religions. Both deployed rites first practiced in Babylonian temples. Many Catholic symbols, festivals, and doctrines are rooted in the practices of these distant peoples. Christmas, Easter, Lent, the priesthood, confession, and the worship of the Virgin Mary are examples of present rites borrowed from a pagan past. Islam was not immune. Allah was Sin, the moon god of Ur. The Qur'anic Paradise and Hell were imported from the same realm.
The cuneiform indentations in clay that confirmed these startling realities became hieroglyphics along the Nile and an alphabet on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. We know from the temple writings in Karnak that pagan gods like those of the Fertile Crescent flourished in Egypt. We saw them emerge again in Greece, then Rome. Yet in Canaan it was a different story. A god appeared unlike any other. In a world of idols, he was spirit. In a world of plenty, he was one. In a world of distant deities symbolized by astronomical bodies he was personal, approachable, knowable. His name was Yahweh. His people were Jews. Together they documented their history and their relationship. In so doing these peoples at the western doorstep of Arabia played a central role in the most telling of all modern tales.
Their intersection begins when a young man named Abram left Sin. In a perilous journey he, his stunning wife Sarai, his father Terah, and his nephew Lot, left Ur of the Chaldeans, and headed northwest. Crossing along the roof of the Arabian Peninsula, their route carried them along the Euphrates to an outpost town called Haran. There, Abram's father died, but not his father's god. Sin, the moon god of Ur, reigned supreme. Called by a higher source than even the moon and its god, Abram, Sarai, and Lot left the safety of the mighty river and headed to the land of Canaan - the Promised Land.
In the greatest story ever told, Abram became Abraham, father of nations. He sired Ishmael at ninety by way of his wife's Egyptian maid and in so doing Abraham gave birth to the seed of Islam. A decade later, the centenarian witnessed the promised miracle birth of Isaac to Sarai, now Sarah. Isaac became the child of destiny, for through him would come all of the prophets and patriarchs: Jacob, Joshua, Moses, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Daniel, Jeremiah, and two millennia later, Yahshua, also known as Jesus of Nazareth. This Biblical story was destined to play out in the crossroads of history, in the most contested land on earth, at the very intersection of continents.
Yet these great dramas depicting the rise of civilizations and faiths simply teased the Arabians. The footprints of culture, science, language, religion, law, and the arts were blown away by the searing winds. The Chaldeans, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all intertwined their histories with Abraham's descendants through Isaac, but not Ishmael. It was as if the Arabs were on a deserted island, marooned in time. Such was the milieu for Islam, a religion so sterile it could only have taken root in a like mind and place.
Arabs remained illiterate throughout the millennia, which is why we know so little about them. And it is why they knew so little about the world that engulfed them. Their language was derived from Aramaic, the dominant tongue of history's initial millennia. But Arabic found neither stylus nor pen for one hundred generations. By Muhammad’s time, less than one in a hundred Arabians could write. Classical Arabic, the language in which the Qur'an would come to be written, was just beginning to evolve in Syria.
The Bedouins of the Syrian steppe were nomadic by necessity. Their land was too poor to support towns of substance. Arabs, (a name derived from the word arid) were tribal peoples; there was never a dominant civilization over them. Most attempts to conquer their Peninsula were foiled by the harsh environmental conditions, further exacerbating the challenge of knowing these people. For three thousand years they were neither conquered nor conquerors, for subduing Bedouins was like herding cats. The Babylonians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans all failed. But it was not because Arabs were savage. They coveted freedom and valued nonviolence. For the first three millennia of recorded history, Arabs were among the world's most peaceful and self-reliant people. It is only during the last 1,400 years that they have been terrorists. The dividing line was Islam. Muhammad corrupted them.
Islamic scholars try valiantly to paint the pre-Islamic period, called Jahiliyyah, or Period of Ignorance, in the worst possible light. They demonize Arabs to make the resulting Islamic society, arguably the most ignorant and brutal in history, look good by comparison. But what little evidence we have of these people, their lives, and customs, indicates that they didn't act foolishly. Unlike their descendants in the twenty-first century, seventh-century Arabs were a free, peace-loving people who cherished family values and honored tribal commitments.
Reliant on springs, most nomadic Bedouins provided sustenance by cultivating date palms, herding sheep, working leather, or running caravans. Their parched land was known for scrub, the hearty camel, and wide-open spaces. With the rain clouds blocked by the ragged mountains of Syria, Israel, Jordan, and western Arabia, more often than not the harbingers of life merely teased the land that became Muhammad’s.
It was these very conditions that made it impregnable. The roads that enabled the armies of Babylon, Assyria, Persia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome to conquer and control much of the world were difficult to build and impossible to maintain. And there was no incentive. Virtually nothing of value originated from this barren realm. It only served as a dry ocean to be crossed when carrying goods from producer to consumer. But since the Arabian Peninsula was surrounded by seas and the most vital of rivers, circumnavigating it was always easier than passing through. The land Muhammad coveted was a foreboding wasteland, a place that time had forgotten.
Whispers and faint echoes were all Arabs knew of the world surrounding them. Over time they came to hear of the gods of Nimrod and Babylon. Similar gods rose in Egypt, Greece, and Rome. They blended man, beast, and sky into palpable superstitions that elevated rulers to deity. The inventors and keepers of divine trust - god's coconspirators and messengers - crafted schemes designed to make their subjects submit, pay, and obey.
By the seventh century, Arabs had also heard of the two great monotheistic religions. Stories of the Jews, their patriarch Abraham, and his God Yahweh, were commonplace. Moses was known as the great liberator, David and Solomon as kings. Following their captivity in Babylon, many Jews settled in Arabia, especially in the oasis town of Yathrib. They told the Bedouins that they were kindred spirits of sorts. The Torah claimed both peoples, Arabs and Jews, were descendants of Abraham. The Arabs traced their lineage through Ishmael, embarrassing in that he was the bastard son of a slave girl. The real heir to Yahweh's covenant was Isaac, born to Abraham's wife Sarah. Innocent enough, such notice would loom large.
The nomads of Arabia also knew something of Christianity, which by the sixth century was the most pervasive force, albeit peaceful, in the civilized world. While Christian ideals were winning converts in the literate realms of Egypt, Rome, Greece, and Persia, such was not the case in Arabia. There, Christians were being persecuted with a vengeance - not by Arabs, but by a Jew named Dhu Nuwas, who had risen to power in Yemen. This, too, would have haunting echoes, for the Christian faith was reduced to a faint whisper compared to that of the Jews. Moreover, the "turn the other cheek" message of Yahshua didn't play well in a society reliant on revenge to maintain order. So the Arabs lived suspended between the monotheism of the west and the swirling superstitions of the east.
Allegiance to tribe and family kept these people grounded. The nomads lived without police, laws, or judges, as there were too few to govern. Clashes between tribes occurred, but were usually settled by one raiding the other's flock - a goat for a goat. It was often a game played for bragging rights. They despised treachery and deceit. In skirmishes, honor was more important than victory. The subjugation of another tribe was never contemplated. Early Arabs were neither passive nor aggressive. Surviving was battle enough.
They practiced a crude form of Hammurabi's Laws 2,500 years after they had been written. Murder was avenged by murder, theft by theft, insult by insult. To facilitate commerce, tribal alliances were formed by politically minded princes. More militant than the local tribal chiefs, they occasionally waged skirmishes in pursuit of plunder and power. Like Islam’s prophet, their sphere of influence grew at the point of a sword. Sir John Glubb, a student of Islam and life-long resident of Arabia, explains, "These peculiarities are important to the career of Muhammad. The Prophet became a man of political and military authority, so the Bedouins saw him not so much as the Messenger of Allah, but as a new prince." Entertained lavishly in his company, tribal chiefs were often enticed to align their clans with his movement.
From what we can tell, Arabs were prone to superstition and addicted to poetry - factors that would loom large in the formation of Islam. Poetry conceived by Hanifs became the initial ingredient in Muhammad’s religion. The Hanifs were monotheists, believing that they shared the legacy of Abraham. Early on, Muhammad aligned himself with them, calling his religion Hanifism. Later, in a struggle for power, he renamed his crusade "Submission" and waged a war of words, then swords, against those who had inspired him.
It is interesting that all of the positive values extolled by Muhammad’s Lord Ar-Rahman in the first forty Qur'anic surahs were a subset of Bedouin values and Hanif beliefs. They promoted the protection of the weak, charity, and good deeds. Sadly, much of this would be abrogated, as would the nature of Muhammad’s god. He became Allah, vengeful, paranoid, deceitful, dreadfully nasty, and violent. Allah became Muhammad’s alter ego - indistinguishable and inseparable.
While Arabs were principally pagan, thus polytheistic, there was no religious prejudice or persecution in the land, and monotheism was spreading rapidly. A large concentration of Jews, a remnant of the Babylonian captivity twelve centuries prior, lived unmolested in a town they had helped build, the thriving agricultural community of Yathrib, today’s Medina. Their number was thought to be around thirty thousand - a tremendous concentration of people considering the nature of the land they occupied.
Two hundred miles south of Yathrib lay Mecca. It was nestled in a narrow, dry, and stony valley a quarter of a mile wide and a mile and a half long. The mountains on either side were rugged and devoid of vegetation, naked. Unlike Yathrib, Mecca was sterile. There was too little water for agriculture. There were no trees and far too little grass for productive grazing. The village was a collection of mud huts. Neither hewn stones nor bricks, even hand-formed and sun-dried, were to be found anywhere. In this regard, Mecca lagged behind the developed world by three millennia.
There were no roofs in Mecca, as there was no timber. With no timber, there were no carpenters. Blistering winds and encroaching sands were the lot of rich and poor. No one escaped the elements. Every hut was open to the scorching heat of the day and chill of the desert night. And exposure was not without pain. There are few places as unappealing. If Jerusalem and Israel are the world's heart and aorta, Mecca and Arabia are the dust between her toes. I do not say this to be disparaging, but to provide a point of reference, a necessary contrast, between the places and the claims made about them.
The stateliest "structure" in Mecca was the Ka'aba, a shrine of sorts that Allah, the moon god, shared with idols like Hubal. Their "House" consisted of four walls. It was an open, crude, and roofless cube in the sixth century, having nearly succumbed to gravity and flash floods. Constructed of local rock, totally un-hewn and un-mortared, it was as ignoble as the idols it housed - mostly stones. Hubal was the only graven image. Lord only knows how they distinguished between the gods and the "building."
Glubb tells us, "It is interesting that most Arabian idols do not seem to have been modeled after human beings, as were those of Greece and Rome.... Idolaters in all ages have denied that they worshipped an image made by hands, but have claimed that they prayed to the spirit which dwelt in it. The Arabic language has a word for a stone believed to be the abode of a deity. Many Arabs believed that a blessing could be obtained by kissing or rubbing such a stone." As we shall discover, kissing and fondling Allah’s Black Stone was something Muhammad did with reverence and regularity.
Apart from the Ka'aba, Mecca was nothing. Isolated, the little burg of perhaps five thousand inhabitants made nothing, grew nothing. It was a long, hard ride to the civilizations of the Mediterranean. Ships passed to the west, caravans to the east. Mecca was controlled by a conniving lot, a tribe called the Quraysh, the clan of Muhammad. What we know about them is derived exclusively from Islamic Traditions, Muslim oral reports.
The Quraysh history, as best we can piece it together from the Islamic scripture, goes something like this: The Khuza'a tribe from the south ousted the Jurhum clan from a tent encampment called Mecca around 400 A.D. Tabari explains: "The Jurhum acted badly, stealing sacrifices that had been presented to the Ka'aba." They were "oppressive." Ishaq agrees: "The Jurhum were heavy-handed, guilty of taboos, and treated the Ka'aba gifts as their own. A battle ensued and the Khuza'a expelled the Jurhum from Mecca." The Jurhum's legacy was: "the two gazelles of the Ka'aba and the cornerstone which they buried in the well of Zamzam. They retreated to Yemen bitterly grieved at losing control of the Ka'aba."
Why would losing control of a dilapidated rock shrine dedicated to rock gods grieve the dearly departed? The answer has far-reaching implications, implications that would ultimately topple a pair of towers on the other side of the world. The plot, as they say, is about to thicken.
On their own merits, the Ka'aba, Mecca, and Quraysh would be among the least important places and people on earth, for the world is awash in illiterate pagans, mud huts, and rock shrines. But as a result of Qusayy's ingenuity and Muhammad’s bravado, they would become the raison d'etre of Islam. Mecca, the Ka'aba, and its Black Stone, would ultimately become freedom's most fierce adversaries.
If the Islamic scripture is even partially accurate, Allah and the Ka'aba predated Muhammad by five generations. He didn't invent them. Nor did he conceive the pagan rituals, fairs, holy months, fasts, prostrations, taxes, and pilgrimages that made these things worth owning. In the preceding chapters we studied how the Bible was corrupted to give Allah, the Ka'aba, Mecca, and Islam’s pagan rites a religious veneer. But why is considerably more important, considerably more revealing. To appreciate Islam for what it really is, we must first come to understand Muhammad’s motivation for deriving a new monotheistic doctrine from an old assemblage of pagan idols. We must come to know why Islam’s prophet incorporated his people's crude rites into his new religion. In that his revelations were less than inspired, there must have been something that inspired him to promote a stone.
Yes, Muhammad and his fellow Meccans worshiped rocks. Lacking craftsmanship, artistry, and tools, they were unable to make the elegant statuary synonymous with other religious idols. The most interesting stones became gods. Most had personal names. The biggest rock, thereby the biggest god of the Ka'aba, was Allah. His oval stone was a dark reddish-brown. But Allah was a fractured deity. With time and abuse he had been splintered into seven chips, all banded together. Compared to the devotion his fragments enjoy, the pieces are rather small; combined they are only eleven by fifteen inches. Today, the chips are imbedded in the southeastern corner of the Ka'aba, four feet above the ground. But Allah is no ordinary assemblage of minerals. He, like fellow Islamic god, Ar-Rahman, had a pre-Islamic past. And, as we have seen, Muslims have a variety of entertaining accounts of how they were graced by such an auspicious token of the universe's creator. But before we entertain the justifications for promoting a pair of pagan stones, lets look at Allah and Ar-Rahman through the eyes of a historian.
Stone cults were neither uncommon nor uncivilized. Even the Greeks were wont to worship stones. Apollo was once believed to be a meteorite in Delphi. His sanctuary was thought to be the center of the earth. Robert Charroux, in Masters of the World , explained, "Helenius, the son of Priam and a famous Greek soothsayer, could foretell the future by means of a stone that had been given to him by Apollo. To obtain the oracle of the gods, he shook the stone above his head and recited the incantations. The stone then spoke in a strange, faint voice and announced the future." And so it would be; a millennia later Muhammad would heed the summons of another talking stone.
But the Black Stone and its House were hardly unique. There were many such temples, called tawaghits, scattered across Arabia. Patrons made sacrifices and left gifts to their stone of choice, prostrated themselves in prayer, and circumambulated the shrines. Most commanded hajj and umrah pilgrimages during holy months. Those seeking the rock's blessing would commonly rub themselves against the stone and kiss it reverently.
The Islamic scripture agrees: Ishaq:38 "Every house had an idol which they worshiped. They would rub the stone for good luck. When Allah sent Muhammad with the message of monotheism, the Quraysh said: 'Would he make many gods into one god? This is a strange thing." Unfortunately for Islam, many false gods do not one true god make.
Ishaq:38 "Now along with the Ka'aba, the Arabs had adopted Tawaghits, temples they venerated like the Ka'aba. They, too, had their custodians. They used to circumambulate them." According to the Islamic scriptures, Allah was one of many pagan rock idols, the Ka'aba was one of many pagan rock shrines. Islamic circumambulation was one of many pagan rites. Ishaq:38 "Al-Lat was in a Tawaghit Temple in Fa'if which was venerated like the Ka'aba." Ishaq:38 "Luhayy put Al-Uzza in a Nakhla Tawaghit. When they had finished their Ka'aba Hajj they circumambulated Al-Uzza. The Quraysh worshiped her. Manat was worshiped by the Aus and Khazraj in Yathrib." Those who prayed to Al-Uzza and Manat, Ishaq:39 "shaved their heads and completed all of the rites associated with the Hajj." Yet these men were pagans. How did their rituals become part of Islam and why?
Muslims are compelled to observe the same rituals today. The Black Stone, its House, the prostration, kissing, circumambulation, shaving, the hajj, umrah, and holy months somehow migrated from a pagan past to orthodox Islam by way of corrupted Jewish scriptures. The most telling of these tales is the one in which Muhammad and Allah claimed that Abraham smashed lesser idols so that his people might turn to the largest one.
A quartz god was worshiped in Tabhalah, an oasis town seven days journey from Mecca. Sad was the rock deity in the region of Juddah along the Red Sea, west of Mecca. Ishaq:39 "Many Arabs served an idol named Dhu'l-Khalasa. Himyar had a temple called Ri'am. Ruda was the temple of the Banu Rabi'a. Dhu'l-Ka'abat belonged to the Banu Bakr. Bahira was the filly of the Sa'iba. Hami was their stallion. Wasila was a ewe. Muhammad said, 'Allah has not made Bahira, Wasila, or Hami. And those who do not agree invent lies.'"
We are told that the Azds and Nabateans bowed to "Dhu'l-al-Shara in his shrine in Petra." He was a proud god with a large rectangular stone and elegant temple to match. Like Allah, Dhu'l-al-Shara was a reddish brown rock. Fellow moon gods could be found in Marib, Hureidha, and Tayma. Il Umquh was the Sabean moon god in Marib. In Hureidha, the god was Sin, named after the famous moon god of the Chaldeans in Ur. The last Babylonian king, Nabonidus, built an elaborate tawaghit in Tayma to his moon god while in exile. The moon god of Mecca, Allah, lived, if we may be so bold, in the heart of moon god country.
Bukhari:V6B60N374 "We were in the Prophet's company in the middle of the lunar month. He looked at the moon and said, 'You will see your Lord as you see this moon.'" This reverence to the moon was hardly a flight of fancy. In the 8th chapter of Judges, there's a three thousand-year-old Bible reference: "The Ishmaelites hung crescent moon ornaments from their camel's necks." So today, when you look up and see crescent moons decorating Muslim mosques and flags, you'll know that the Arabian love affair with the moon has survived thirty centuries.
Yet this affair was no more monogamous than Islam. Even in his neighborhood, Allah had competition. The sun god Manaf was worshiped by the Quraysh, as was Hubal, a handsome idol carved into the shape of a man.
Allah’s daughters, Al-Uzza, Al-Lat, and Manat, being chips off the old block, were stones. Manat was symbolized by a darkened moon, eerily reminiscent of Islam today. She was the goddess of fate and commanded her subjects to shave their heads when approaching her. Being a good pagan, when Muhammad fulfilled his umrah pilgrimage in Mecca, he shaved his head in Manat's presence. This pagan practice was invested with godly overtones when Muhammad insisted that Abraham had done likewise. Later, Muhammad honored the pagan goddess Manat by incorporating predestination into Islam and by using her insignia as the logo of his "new" religion.
Not to be outdone, Al-Lat had her own shrine in Ta'if, near Mecca. A cubic rock, she lived on barley porridge. While her diet was humble, her veneration was not. Her temple lies under the left minaret of the early Islamic mosque of Ta'if. Al-Lat's sister, the goddess Al-Uzza, was considerably younger and lived in the Hurad valley. A Quraysh favorite, she received the most lavish gifts and sacrifices. Muhammad saw her as a nude black woman.
Interestingly enough, Islam itself was nearly sacrificed at the altar of Allah’s three little girls. In a weaker moment the prophet said that the goddesses Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat were conduits to Allah, intermediaries. But then when the monotheistic wing of his religion objected to four pagan gods being three too many, the prophet confessed that he had been inspired by Satan. Islam as a religion died that day in Mecca, only to be reborn as a political doctrine in Yathrib the following year. But we're getting ahead of our story.
Although Muhammad is credited with bringing monotheism to Arabs, the Qur'an venerates three distinctly different gods. In the first Meccan period, god was nameless. He was referenced solely by the title "Lord." This deity was modeled after Zayd's god, which is not surprising since the Meccan Hanif's poems formed the basis of Muhammad’s early surahs. The Hanifs derived the title "Lord" and their faith from the Jews - a people who called their God "Lord" for fear of saying his name. If they used Yahweh's name incorrectly, they were accused of blasphemy, and risked being stoned. While their scriptures contained 7,000 repetitions of His name, Rabbis always read and said "Lord" in its place. Being illiterate, the Meccans wouldn't have known the difference.
But a title was insufficient. The creator of the universe needed a name. All gods had names. So in the second Meccan period Muhammad called his Lord "Ar-Rahman." Inscriptions from the fifth century reveal that Ar-Rahman was worshiped in Yemen by another group of Hanifs. We know about them because Dhu Nuwas, the Jewish Yemeni king, may have been one. His exploits were chronicled in Greek, Syriac, and Aramaic. When he attacked the Abyssinian Christians in Southern Arabia in the early sixth century, he swore by Ar-Rahman, "The Merciful," and Ar-Rahim, "The Benevolent." An invocation including these god's names now precedes all but the 9th surah.
Muhammad transitioned from Lord to Ar-Rahman in surahs 56, 68, 78, 89, and the last half of surah 93. While none of these mention Allah, Ar-Rahman and Lord are used interchangeably, often side-by-side.
The names Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim are used fifty-one times in the Meccan period and twice in the first Medina surah. Then they disappear, replaced by Allah, never to be mentioned again. This is important because surrounded by a veritable sea of pagan idols, all Muhammad did was whittle down the number. An interesting insight in this regard can be found in Surah Qur'an 21:36 : "When the unbelievers see you they make fun of you, mocking you, ridiculing you. They say, 'Is this the one who mentions your gods.' They would deny all mention of Ar-Rahman!" This is a problem on a number of levels. The Qur'an is saying that Muhammad is being teased because he "mentions the Meccan gods." Why? Allah was a Meccan god. And if Islam began monotheistic, why was "gods" plural? Moreover, by having the Meccans "deny all mention of Ar-Rahman," two things became apparent: Muhammad’s god was Ar-Rahman and the Meccans' was not.
It is interesting that while the Islamic god doesn't seem to know his name or if he is one (I, Me, and My in verse 37) or many (We and Us in verse 35), he is the same old guy, showing signs that men don't heed and making threats. Qur'an 21:37 "Man is made of haste. I shall show you My Signs; then you will not ask Me to hasten the punishment! If only the unbelievers could apprehend the moment when they would not be able to ward off the fire from their faces and their backs.'"
The "What's My Name" game continued with this Qur'an passage: Qur'an 21:41 "Many apostles have been scoffed before you, but they were caught by what they ridiculed. Say (Muhammad): 'Who guards you from Ar-Rahman.' But at the mention of their Lord they turn away. Or do they have lords of their own besides Us who can defend them?'" They turned away because the Meccans knew Allah, not Ar-Rahman.
Qur'an surah 25 speaks to the confusion over who the Islamic deity really was. The 59th verse ends with these words: "He is the Benevolent." Left untranslated, that says: "He is Ar-Rahim." Verse 60 begins with this: "When you say to them: 'Bow before Ar-Rahman.' they say: 'What is Ar-Rahman.' Should we adore whomever you ask us to? And their aversion increases further." Muhammad was asking the Meccans to prostrate themselves to a god named Ar-Rahman. They, however, rebelled, asking, "What is Ar-Rahman?" They knew Allah, the top dog of the Ka'aba, but not everyone knew the other fellow as he wasn't a local rock idol.
This debate over god's name was hardly academic. Since several gods are named, Islam can't be monotheistic. And since none of the names are Yahweh, they aren't the God of the Bible. Therefore, the Biblical prophets and patriarchs should not have been used to justify Islamic rites and rituals.
Verse 25:63 reconfirms that the first Muslims were: "Slaves of Ar-Rahman who walked in submission ." (The end of this verse is foreboding. It says, "When Muslims are addressed by the ignorant they should reply, 'Peace.'" They get away with telling us they're "peaceful" because we are "ignorant" of Islam.)
Qur'an 13:30 says: "We revealed it to you, but they do not believe in Ar-Rahman. Tell them: 'He is my Lord. There is no other god but He. In Him have I placed my trust.'" There isn't any wiggle room here. Ar-Rahman is not only synonymous with Muhammad’s Lord, Ar-Rahman is his god's name. Allah was a nobody.
But it wouldn't remain that way. The reconciliation between the Islamic gods Ar-Rahman and Allah occurred at the end of the 17th surah. It was a concession on Muhammad’s part. So that we don't take the great event out of context, let's sneak up on it. The surah attempts to explain why the Qur'an was being doled out in increments: Qur'an 17:106 "We have divided the Qur'an into parts that you may recite it to men slowly, with deliberation. That is why We sent it down by degrees." Actually, specific verses were "revealed" in direct response to issues in Muhammad’s life. When he wanted to steal, booty was approved. When he wanted to kill, his god approved killing. When he craved incest, his lust was conveniently satisfied. When he wanted more wives than Islam allowed, the Qur'an provided a special dispensation from the Big Guy. And when he wanted to cleanse the world of Jews, his god was accommodating.
Qur'an 17:107 "Say: 'Believe in it or do not believe: Those who were given knowledge before it bow in adoration when it is read out to them.' And say: 'Glory be to our Lord. The promise of our Lord has indeed been fulfilled. And weeping they kneel down and this increases their submission.'" Not that it's out of character, but the beginning of this verse is a lie. Those who were given the knowledge before the Qur'an refers to the Torah and Gospels and thus to Christians and Jews. They never "bowed in adoration" when the Qur'an was "read out to them." It couldn't have been read since it hadn't been written, and they laughed themselves silly when they heard it, as we do today.
Qur'an 17:110 "Say: 'Call Him Allah or call Him Ar-Rahman; whatever the name you call Him, all His names are beautiful." "The name." "His names." Thank you Allah or Ar-Rahman, or whatever your name might be, for confirming the obvious. Neither Allah nor Ar-Rahman are words that mean "god;" they are names of gods. The Arabic word for "God" is "Ilah" and it's used throughout the Qur'an.
We can only assume Muhammad learned about the Hanifs and their god, Ar-Rahman, while he was a caravan merchant frequenting Yemen. Maslamah and Zayd, both contemporaries of Muhammad, proclaimed the Hanif doctrine. Maslamah could have been Muhammad’s twin. He taught a strict moral code that prohibited drinking and fornication. He required fasting and formal ritualistic prayers three times a day. Maslamah believed in the Day of Resurrection and encouraged a hajj. He preached in the same rhymed prose of Muhammad’s Qur'an and even called himself the "Messenger of God," saying his revelations came from Ar-Rahman. And whatever Maslamah missed, Zayd covered. His poetic lines made their way into the Qur'an verbatim.
While Muslims disparaged Maslamah, calling him the "arch liar" and "false prophet" his style and substance was indistinguishable from Muhammad’s. The foremost American Islamic academician, F.E. Peters, said, "It is difficult to imagine that Maslamah 'borrowe.' Ar-Rahman from Muhammad... It is easier to assume that Ar-Rahman had a genuine and long-standing cult in Yemen, a cult to which Muhammad may have been drawn."
A war was ultimately waged over who was the better prophet. During the War of Compulsion, the battle of Aqrabah was fought between Muslims and Maslamah's forces. Ar-Rahman’s troops won the first encounter but in the second attack Muslims divided their army to see who could die the most valiantly. Seven hundred of Muhammad’s companions died that day, as did much of the Qur'an. The surahs were stored only in the memories of warriors. The most faithful were now dead and dying in a grove of old trees that became known as the "Garden of Death." While the Qur'an suffered a serious blow, Allah’s army carried the day, slaughtering 7,000 Arabs. With their deaths, all opposition to Islam was suppressed in Arabia. Ar-Rahman was forgotten. And so it would be, forevermore.
Returning to Mecca during the late fifth century we discover that the Khuza'a tribe had ousted the Jurhum clan. As a result, Luhayy came to establish the rites and privileges of the Ka'aba. But he became ill, we are told by Muslim scholar Ibn al-Kalbi, in his Book of Idols . "Luhayy went to a hot spring in Syria to be cured. During his stay he noticed that the locals worshipped idols. 'What are these things.' he asked. To which they replied, 'We pray to them for rain and for victory over enemies.' Luhayy asked the Syrians for some of their stones. They agreed and he took them back to Mecca where he erected them around the Ka'aba."
Luhayy's fellow tribesmen played along. Everyone got into the mode of worshiping stones, enshrining them, prostrating themselves in prayer, and circumambulating them. Ibn al-Kalbi tells us, "The Arabs were accustomed to offering sacrifices before these idols and stones. Nevertheless they were aware of the excellence and superiority of the Ka'aba to which they went on pilgrimage."
Muhammad, however, did not speak so kindly of Luhayy, the first Arab associated with the Ka'aba. He said: Ishaq:35 "I saw Luhayy dragging his intestines in Hell. I asked him about those who lived between his time and my time and he said that they had all perished." Muhammad went on to say, "This led the Meccans to worship stones. Thus generations passed and they forgot their primitive faith and adopted another religion, replacing that of Abraham and Ishmael. They prayed to idols and adopted the same errors as the peoples before them. Yet they held fast to the Ka'aba and circumambulated it, the greater and lesser pilgrimage, the standing place, and the cry: 'At Your service, O Allah, at Your service."
We have arrived at the crux of the matter. Muslims reading these words will recognize that the rituals just depicted form the very heart of Islam. Yet Muhammad, Islam’s founder, conceived none of these religious rites. Every Islamic doctrine and ritual existed before the Qur'an, Muhammad, or even the first Muslim graced our world. As Ishaq has correctly explained, Islam was practiced in all of its glory before the Islamic prophet was born. And while that's a problem, it gets worse in context. The practitioners were all pagans and the rites were all directly related to a religious scam - a money making scheme. That's why, according to Muhammad, they were all damned to drag their intestines through hell.
Over these next pages you are going to discover how Muhammad’s great, great, great, grandfather Qusayy, capitalized on the work Luhayy had done when he carried "idols and stones" back to the Meccan shrine. Qusayy, a pagan, an opportunist, and a very creative, albeit twisted fellow, invented every important Islamic ritual and doctrine to gain power and money. Qusayy invented the religious scam Muhammad dusted off and called Islam.
How do I know this? Simple. All we know about Qusayy and the early Meccans comes from the Hadith and that's what it says. So that begs another question: why would Islam tell us something so damaging to Islam? I believe they had to. The Qur'an and Hadith make it clear that every Islamic rite was already being practiced by the pagans of Muhammad’s day so they were compelled to provide a reason. The Qur'an makes no effort to explain the nature of prostration or the hajj so the Hadith had to. Moreover, for Muhammad to be a Biblical prophet he had to be connected to Abraham. How is that possible if Muslims don't first connect him to the most important Meccan? And finally, the whole story of Islam is about Muhammad coveting the Ka'aba Inc. Unless we know who founded it and nurtured the scheme during its entrepreneurial phase, we'll never understand who is doing what to whom, or why. But as with all things Islam, it's a two-edged sword. One side cuts through the fog of ignorance; the other kills the ignorant.
Ishaq:38 "The Quraysh had a well in the Ka'aba and an idol called Hubal. They adopted Asaf and Na'ila by Zamzam, sacrificing beside them. They were a man and woman of the Jurhum tribe - Asaf ibn Baghy and Na'ila bint Dik - who were guilty of sexual relations in the Ka'aba and so Allah transformed them into two stones. Aisha said, 'We always heard that Asaf and Na'ila copulated in the Ka'aba so Allah transformed them into stones.'"
Ishaq says that Luhayy's Khuzas eventually permitted Kinana's Quraysh to return to the Ka'aba. The Quraysh, Muslims would have us believe, are direct descendants of Abraham through Ishmael. F.E. Peters in his book, Muhammad and the Origins of Islam, explains, "The tribal eponym 'Kinan.' stands for fifteen generations after Ishmael, in the line of direct descent, and Qusayy, the chief actor in what follows, is eight generations after Kinana. Thus, according to Islamic reckoning, Ishmael's descendants returned to their father's town some seven centuries after he and Abraham built the Ka'aba in Mecca. In the meantime the Ishmaelites, now called the Quraysh, had generally lived dispersed in scattered settlements throughout the neighborhood."
Peters is brilliant, and his research is impeccable, but this is nonsense. It’s not his fault, mind you, but the Muslim sources themselves. They had no idea who the Quraysh were or from whence they had come. But in a desperate grope for legitimacy, they were ever prone to make-believe. Abraham lived around 2000 B.C. Seven centuries would place us in the fourteenth century B.C., not fifth century A.D. The Ishmaelites are traced to the Sinai, not Arabia, but that is the least of their problems. Islam’s justification for promoting Allah and his Ka'aba is all derived from having had it built by Abraham, the great Jewish patriarch, and then having Muhammad being a direct descendant of his son Ishmael. Neither are true. For according to Islam’s own Traditions, the Ka'aba was first ennobled by some stones Luhayy hauled from a Syrian hot spring. The lure of a miracle cure begat a religion.
Ibn Ishaq's Sira opens with a section entitled: "Muhammad’s Pure Descent from Adam." Ishaq:3 "This is the book of the Biography of the Apostle of Allah. Muhammad was the son of Abdallah, bin Abdul Muttalib, bin Hashim, bin Abd Manaf, bin Qusayy," and so on a total of thirteen generations to Kinana. Ishaq lists another fifteen generations back to Abraham and Ishmael. The accounting from Abraham to Noah and ultimately to Adam came directly out of Genesis and is of little value in that we are all descendants of Adam and Noah. However, I'd like to apply some simple math to the more recent genealogy to show that the first Muslims were clueless. Qusayy (the founder of the scam that became Islam) preceded Muhammad by approximately eighty years. And Luhayy (the founder of the Ka'aba) preceded Qusayy by the same length of time. Similarly, Kinana could not have been more than one hundred years removed from Luhayy which puts us in the early part of the fourth century A.D. To make Muhammad’s genealogy "pure," fifteen generations would have to span over 2,300 years. Put another way, the Jews who maintained precise written records in their Temple in anticipation of the Messiah, listed forty-one generations from Abraham to Yahshua. Another fifteen would be required to arrive at Kinana's time for a total of fifty-six - nearly four times the Islamic number.
While this may seem trivial in comparison to sun setting in a muddy spring surrounded by extraterrestrials, it's not. Islam is completely dependent upon establishing a link between Abraham and the pagan rites practiced around the Ka'aba. If their chronologies are errant by a factor of four hundred percent, it does not bode well for the rest of their theory.
The earliest Islamic record of Mecca with even a modicum of veracity pertains to the Jurhum. They were alleged to have camped periodically in the valley that later became Mecca. Tabari, the earliest Muslim historian, would have us believe that the Jurhum practiced pagan rites identical to current Islamic rituals in the fifth and sixth centuries A.D.
In that this is the first "historical" indication of Mecca, its people, and shrine, the Muslims are out on a 2500-year-old limb. Ishmael was born around 2000 B.C. And there is no tangible evidence to connect the dots between the Biblical character and Mecca, much less with Muhammad, Allah, and the Ka'aba. Twenty-five centuries of historical silence is a very long time - especially for an illiterate people.
It was in this muddle of ignorance that Qusayy was about to found a family business and establish himself as Muhammad’s mentor. Islam’s unofficial patriarch was born at the end of the fifth century A.D.: Tabari VI:20 "Qusayy asked his mother which tribe he came from. She answered, 'You are the son of Kilab ibn Murra ibn Ka'b ibn Luhayy ibn Ghalib ibn Fihr ibn Malik ibn al-Nadr ibn Kinana al-Qurashi.'" To which he said, 'Good grief. I think I'll change my name.' Just kidding. Actually, Tabari reports: "Your tribe lives in Mecca by the Ka'aba. ...This revelation awoke in Qusayy a strong desire to return to Mecca and join his people, the Quraysh." Mecca was hardly a prize, though. There were no permanent homes, only tents. Flash floods were a menace and the summer heat was unbearable, as there was no shade. People passed through, but no one lived in Mecca.
Mom told her son: "'Wait for a sacred month and go with the pilgrimage.' Qusayy waited until the sacred month arrived and the pilgrims set out. When he reached Mecca and had completed the pilgrimage, he remained there." One of the five pillars of Islam is to complete: the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in the sacred month. This Hadith proves that the rite was idolatrous five generations before Muhammad said it was Islamic. Even Muhammad’s names for the pilgrimages, "hajj and umrah," were borrowed from his pagan past.
The pagan Qusayy, arriving at the tent village, established the model Muhammad would ultimately require Muslims to follow. But that's not all he did to inspire Islam’s future prophet. Tabari quotes: Ishaq:48 "At the time Hulayl was in charge of the Ka'aba and ruled in Mecca. Qusayy asked him for the hand of his daughter Hubba in marriage." She was the wealthiest and best-connected woman in town. Five generations later, Muhammad, abandoned and penniless, would marry Khadija - the wealthiest woman in Mecca. Family tradition.
Settling in, the newlyweds made four babies, two of which were named after the local rock gods, underscoring the fraudulent nature of Muhammad’s religious invention. "Hubba bore him Abd al-Dar, Abd Manaf, Abd al-Uzza and Abd. His progeny increased, his wealth multiplied and he became greatly honored." Qusayy showed he was a heathen idolater when he named his kids after rock idols. Yet he performed a pilgrimage to Mecca in a holy month. He moved in with the king, the custodian of the Ka'aba, and married his daughter. They named their first kid Slave-to-the-House - the most important thing in their lives, their source of wealth and power. Then they honored their gods by naming their next two children after them. And while it's interesting that Allah didn't even get an honorable mention, that's not the biggest problem. These passages confirm that the Ka'aba was a pagan shrine and that at best, Allah was just one of many gods. The veneration of the "House" of idols shows that it was unconnected to any monotheistic religion - Islam included.
A Hadith gives us a glimpse of what was to come: Ishaq:49 "Qusayy thought he had a better right to the Ka'aba and to rule over Mecca than the Khuza'a since the Quraysh were the most noble and pure descendants of Ishmael." The motivation for Islam can be condensed into a similar sentence. Muhammad thought he had a better right to the Ka'aba and to rule over Mecca than his family. If you keep this in mind, everything associated with Islam’s formation will make sense.
The sages who crafted this Tradition in Baghdad a dozen generations after Qusayy's death must have thought their audience would remain as ignorant as their religious teachings were preposterous. First, in an illiterate society, how would Qusayy know that he was a more direct descendant of Ishmael than any other Arab? Ishmael had been sandals up for 2,500 years. Without copious and exacting written records, genealogies are impossible to establish after a handful of generations. Arabic as a written language had yet to be invented, and there were nearly sixty generations separating these men. Second, how could they purport to know what Qusayy thought? There were no written accounts to connect him and his thoughts to the day these Hadith were written - four centuries later. Since this scenario is impossible, the only reason Muslim scholars felt compelled to legitimize Qusayy's "right to the Ka'aba and rule over Mecca," was to justify his great, great, great grandson's claim.
Tabari VI:20 "He called upon his fellow tribesmen, the Quraysh, to expel the Khuza'a and seize Mecca for themselves. They accepted his proposal and swore an oath of allegiance to him." While I'm stunned the world hasn't exposed the scam that became Islam, I am grateful that the Islamic scripture makes it so easy. Muhammad would do precisely the same thing. He called upon his raiders to conquer the Quraysh and seized control of the town. They accepted his proposal and swore oaths of allegiance to him. While we will cover these pledges later, suffice it to say for now, like Qusayy's oath, it was a call to arms. And as with Muhammad, the Meccans were the enemy, and the target was the Ka'aba.
Tabari, relying on Traditions collected by Ishaq, reports: "The Arabs, recognizing their religious duty, accompanied Qusayy. Marching to the Ka'aba they said, 'We have better right to this than you.' At that they opposed one another and began to fight. A fierce battle broke out, as a result of which...Qusayy wrested from them the privileges which had been in their hands, thus denying them." Little did they know how fraught with portent these words would be - they haunt us to this day.
Before we leave the skirmish, I feel obliged to share the alternate "peaceful" version: Tabari VI:21 "Qusayy purchased the custodianship of the Ka'aba for a skin full of wine and a lute." While this variant earns kudos for nonviolence, it's hardly religious. Purchasing the shrine that stands at the center of Islamic life, their god's house, for things their religion outlaws - music and booze - is laughably ironic. It’s also an example of conflicting "truths."
Proving that Islam has something for everybody, Ishaq serves up alternative three. This one foreshadows Islamic terrorists today and their willingness to use biological agents. "I have heard, and Allah knows best, that the Khuza'a were seized by an outbreak of pustules which nearly wiped them out. They abandoned Mecca."
Making sure he had all his bases covered, Ishaq provided a fourth alternative. This one was for the doves, those who would use the "peace process" to steal that which they covet. Ishaq:52 "Both sides called for peace and for the appointment of one of the Arabs to arbitrate between them on their differences." This was evidently the model Jimmy Carter used to win the Nobel Peace Prize. All the spoils went to the Muslims. The infidels traded their land and money and got nothing in return. "The verdict was that Qusayy had a better claim to the Ka'aba and to rule Mecca than the Khuza'a . All the injuries inflicted and blood shed by Qusayy upon the Khuza'a were cancelled and disregarded , while all injuries inflicted by the Khuza'a upon the Quraysh should be compensated for by blood money ." He added that Qusayy should be given a free hand to control the Ka'aba and Mecca. Nothing has changed. Diplomacy with Islamic tyrants remains equally unbalanced and equally futile.
Whether Qusayy prevailed by force, bribe, the peace process, or pestilence, he gained control of the tent village and rock shrine that had been populated by the patriarch's great, great, grandfather, Luhayy. Ibn Ishaq chronicled the momentous event as only a Muslim could. Ishaq:52 "Thus Qusayy gained authority over the Ka'aba and the lordship over the people of Mecca. He behaved like a king over his tribe so they made him a king." Qusayy, having established the model for Muhammad, went on to build the family business. Let's listen to how it was done: Ishaq:53 "Qusayy assumed control and kingship. He was obeyed. He held the keys to the shrine, being the doorkeeper of the Ka'aba. He held the right to water the pilgrims from the well of Zamzam and to feed them. He presided at the assemblies and held the right to hand out the war banners. In his hands lay all the dignities of Mecca, all of which he took for himself." This is the essence of Islam. Muhammad would speak these same words upon his conquest of Mecca.
Then Qusayy established the model Muhammad would follow in Yathrib when he expelled the Jews from their homes by force, and he rewarded his fellow Muslims by dividing their property between them. "He also divided the property in Mecca among his followers, settling every clan of the Quraysh in the dwelling places assigned to them. No issue regarding public affairs was decided nor was any banner of war entrusted without Qusayy's permission." Scores of years later, Muhammad would use force to gain control over Medina, Mecca, the Ka'aba, its god, its dwellings, its well, pilgrims, assemblies, and even the disposition of war banners. He behaved like a king, forcing his will on his tribe, killing anyone who got in his way. While these Hadiths prove that Muhammad wasn't the least bit inventive, he has to be given credit for recognizing a workable plan and executing it. The pagan Qusayy, a charlatan, nourished every important aspect of Islam generations before Muhammad was born. Moreover, he, like the prophet, did it in pursuit of sex, power, and money.
The Tradition concludes with these haunting words, words that became prophetic. Tabari VI:24/Ishaq:53 "Qusayy's authority among the Quraysh during his lifetime and after his death was like a religion which the people followed and which could not be infringed; they always acted in accordance with its laws. They regarded it as filled with good omens and recognized his superiority and nobility.... He took for himself the assembly house which led from it to the mosque (place of prostration) of the Ka'aba."
Muhammad would do the same in Medina. He took for himself an assembly house which led to the mosque where all Islamic affairs were decided. And like Qusayy, Muhammad took upon himself the honor of handing out war banners before each of the seventy-five terrorist raids he orchestrated. "When they were about to fight another tribe, banners were tied only in his house, where one of his own sons would hand them out."
Ishaq knew the troubling ramifications of what he had just revealed. If this were true it meant that a heathen had founded the religious scam Muhammad shaped into Islam. He recognized, as you and I do, that Muhammad’s reliance on Biblical characters to legitimize Islamic rituals and pillars was as feeble as it was preposterous. The ten tests of Abraham were perverse philosophically, the fables of Nimrod were lunacy historically, and the pure descent from Ishmael was grossly improbable genealogically. With the Jewish connection in rubble, the Hadith portrayal of Qusayy obliterated Arab and Meccan credibility. As such, Ishaq sought out an ally to corroborate his account, choosing the second Caliph. Ishaq:53 "Umar confirmed the story of Qusayy and how he gained control of the Ka'aba and the affairs of Mecca."
The Hadith is incriminating, unraveling the fabric of Islam. More than a hundred years before the first Qur'anic revelation fell from Muhammad’s lips, the pillars of Islam had been established by a pagan entrepreneur. The Ka'aba was the center of a new idolatrous religion; a scam designed to enrich its lone, undisputed, and unchallenged king - a man who used religion for political and personal gain. With methods identical to Muhammad’s, Qusayy took control through jihad and political covenants. He was purported to have nobility and superiority as he established religious doctrine; he was a messenger to be obeyed. The prostration had been established, as had the place of worship - the mosque. The hajj, down to the most minute rites, had been enshrined in the religious lore. There was even a holy month. All that was needed now was for a religious tax to be implemented and for Allah to be promoted from among the quarry of rock idols for the pillars to be complete. If these final ingredients manifest themselves before we leave the fifth century, Islam will be laid bare-naked to the world of reason - exposed as the scam of Qusayy, not the religion of Abraham, and most certainly not the "revelation" of Allah.
Before we search the annals of Islamic history for the final two pillars, let's ponder the perplexing place their scriptures have taken us. There is no chance these pagan doctrines could have been derived from Abraham. There is no way to pass such rites across the two-dozen centuries that separate the real Islamic patriarch, Qusayy, from the patriarch of the Jews. There are no writings, no carvings, no scrolls, no scriptures, no recorded histories, and no archeology. There isn't even a hint of Mecca existing during this awesome void of time. And thus there aren't any people through whom these religious duties could have been conveyed. As such, the pillars were established upon the rocky ground of a pagan religious scam. You are witnessing the birth of Islam.
Muslims say it isn't so - that it can't be so - because if it were, their religion would be nothing more than regurgitated paganism - a twisted plot. They claim Abraham came to Mecca to build the Ka'aba and establish Islamic rites, but they omit how he could have survived the desert crossing with a maid and an infant. They don't say why he would have left the Promised Land for a deserted valley in the middle of nowhere. Islam isn't the religion of Abraham or the doctrine of the prophet Muhammad. It is the religion of Qusayy.
The rites and rituals, regulations and taxes described in the rest of this chapter will be familiar to Muslims reading these words. They practice all of them today. So that they might know how they came to be hoodwinked into performing such mindless rites, and to parting with their wealth and lives, I want to share how the pagan Qusayy developed his religion - the scam that became Islam.
Having taken what didn't belong to him, Islam’s founder, the patriarch Qusayy, was now in business, the only viable business in the fledgling burg of Mecca. A man of politics, he became the prototype for what was to come. The largest structure in town, the meeting hall, served as his home and seat of power as it would for Muhammad. Qusayy connected it to the source of wealth, the Ka'aba. He established regular prostration prayer services at the mosque and a plethora of religious rituals. The most disturbing, and enduring, was a butt up sort of thing whereby the moon god was mooned.
Tabari, like Ishaq, wanted his readers to know that he was not responsible for making up a story so damning to Islam. In the midst of his commentary he inserted a Hadith similar to Ishaq's. It’s attributed to "Khabbab, the author of al Maqsurah" He said, "I heard a man telling Umar bin al-Khatab, when he was Caliph, this story of Qusayy and how he gathered his own tribe together, expelled tribes from Mecca, and gained control of the Ka'aba. Umar did not reject it or disavow it."
That said, the Hadith explains how Islamic ritual was actually established five generations before the Qur'an or Muhammad: Ishaq:49 "The pilgrims gathered in Mecca, went out to the mawqif, completed the hajj and went to Mina.... Nothing now remained of the ritual of the pilgrimage but the ceremony of dispersal from Mina." The mawqif is the plain of Arafat, about ten miles east of Mecca. Standing there between midday and sunset is an important part of the Islamic hajj. This is followed by the ifadah, or dispersal.
"On the day of the dispersal they went to stone the jimar, and a man of the Sufah used to throw pebbles for the pilgrims, none throwing until he had thrown." This idolatrous rite would also have Islamic overtones. Muhammad, borrowing from his pagan past, instructed Muslims to observe the jimar. Pebbles are thrown at three erections or heaps of stones. They are held to represent the Devil.
Soon we find another Qusayy invention that Muhammad copied. Tabari VI:31 "Qusayy instituted the lighting of the fire at al-Muzdalifah when the wuquf took place so that those being driven away from Arafat could see it. This fire continued to be lit in this place throughout the Jahiliyyah. This fire was also lit in the time of the Messenger, and of Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman." Al-Muzdalifah is between Arafat and Mina. Standing there is one of the Islamic hajj rites, as is the fire. Bakr, Umar, and Uthman are the first three Islamic Caliphs after Muhammad.
Qusayy's ability to get the Meccans to perform these pagan rites served Muhammad magnificently. By the prophet's day they were all so ingrained among the Quraysh that the Qur'an simply assumed the continuance of the idolatrous ways without ever mentioning them. They became part of Islamic dogma by way of Hadith such as these.
This next Tradition demonstrates how dependent Muhammad was on Qusayy for the development of "Allah’s" religious doctrine: Tabari VI:25 "Qusayy's tribe held him in honor and high esteem. No one opposed his rule in any way." "His commands were never disobeyed and nothing he did was opposed." "As regards the hajj, he confirmed the right of the Arabs to continue their previous customs. This is because he considered these to be a religious duty which he should not change." Qusayy established the cornerstone of Islamic rule: "submit and obey." We will hear these words reverberate throughout the Qur'an. Devotion is a duty, prayer is an obligation, and rituals are compulsory. Islam is devoid of choice.
The Hadith goes on to report: "Qusayy had a house built in Mecca which was the house of assembly in which the Quraysh used to decide their affairs." Within days of Muhammad’s arrival in Medina, we will see him order the construction of his house and assembly area. Then he will craft an "agreement" making him the sole decision maker over all affairs. All of this serves to prove that Islam was not the revelation of Allah to Muhammad but instead the verbatim implementation of the religion of Qusayy.
Moving from entrepreneur to capitalist, our model opportunist soon found himself promoting a series of economic fairs around the holy months. As godfather, he took a cut on each deal. Ishaq:55 "The rifada was a tax which the Quraysh paid from their property to Qusayy at every festival." It, like the Ka'aba concession, was an exclusive franchise, a cartel of sorts. Muhammad would rename the tax the zakat, but it was no different. Islam had its fourth pillar.
Being the top dog in Ka'abaVille, however, was hardly worth bragging about. While Mecca's claim to fame was the rock shrine for rock gods, it was insignificant compared to Karnak, Athens, Delphi, Rome, or Ephesus. While Qusayy's scheme was inventive, it was a small-time affair. If it weren't for what Muhammad did with it, the religious scam of Qusayy wouldn't be worth the ink on this page.
Acting as patriarch of his own con, Qusayy made certain that only his direct descendants were eligible to participate in the family business. Even then, his relatives were forbidden until they were forty. This is why it's assumed Muhammad was a direct descendant and that he was forty when he claimed the Ka'aba for himself.
While the geographic and meteorological conditions were deplorable in Mecca, the con was better than working, which is why Qusayy conceived it and why Muhammad coveted it. Profits accrued from providing hospitality to pilgrims, on fees, and from taxes. The family took a cut on merchandise sold during the "truce of the gods" fairs of Ramadhan. And they charged pilgrims fees to feed and dust the idols they placed in the Ka'aba. It was a scam worth coveting. With enough money Qusayy could hire someone to fan away the flies.
Dividing the spoils inequitably between his sons, Qusayy said: Ishaq:55 "Abd al-Dar, by Allah, I shall make you the equal of the others, even though they have been raised in dignity over you. No man of them shall enter the Ka'aba until you have opened it, no banner shall be tied for the Quraysh to go to battle except by your hand, no man shall drink water in Mecca except that which you have provided, no man shall eat food in the pilgrimage season other than your food, and the Quraysh shall not decide their affairs anywhere but in your house." In other words, he gave him the family business - Islam. And he swore by the ultimate Islamic god. Allah has emerged and the Five Pillars are now complete. Muhammad would later come to call himself the Messenger of Allah, and he would usurp his authority to resolve a similar family dispute. Initially, these rights and privileges passed him by, going instead to another heir. Jealous, Muhammad said that Allah told him that they were really his.
This incriminating Hadith continues to expose Islam’s pagan roots. Every last detail was incorporated into Islam. Tabari VI:25 "Then he gave Abd al-Dar the house in which the Quraysh always made their decisions, and gave him the office of being Ka'aba's custodian, declaring war, presiding over the assembly, and collecting the rifadah, a tax levied in every pilgrimage season by the Quraysh according to their wealth and handed over to Qusayy. It was imposed on the Quraysh by Qusayy, who said to them when he commanded them to pay it, 'Quraysh, you are neighbors of Allah, people of his Ka'aba and people of the sacred precincts of the Haram. The pilgrims are guests of Allah and visitors to His House. They did so, and every year they levied a tax on their property and paid it to Qusayy and he would use it for the pilgrims during the days of Mina. This institution of his became the state of affairs among the Quraysh during the whole of the Jahiliyyah up to the time Allah brought Islam, and then became a part of Islam, continuing to this day." Ishaq:57 "Allah’s Apostle said, 'Whatever deal there was in the days of ignorance Islam strengthens it.'"
Put a fork in this thing and turn off the barbeque. Islam has cooked its own goose. The last of the Islamic pillars has been established and we are still scores of years from the first Qur'anic revelation. The religious scam has been established right down to the smallest detail, and they even admit it. All Muhammad had to do was steal it.
The Qusayy model had a single prophet. His god was now Allah. This was a match for Islam’s first pillar. The prostration prayer was an obligatory duty and it was performed facing his Ka'aba - the second pillar. The religious tax, or zakat, was instituted and collected in Allah’s name - the third pillar. The hajj pilgrimage was laid out and observed in all its ritualistic detail - the fourth pillar. And en route to Mecca, Qusayy observed the holy month of Ramadhan and Tahannuth fasting - the fifth pillar.
But, as you shall see, the pillars of Islam were merely window dressing. The real foundation of the doctrine was submission - absolute obedience. Tabari VI:25 "Qusayy's tribe held him in honor and high esteem. No one opposed his rule in any way." "His commands were never disobeyed and nothing he did was ever opposed." Ishaq:56 "Qusayy was never contradicted nor was any measure of his overthrown." Religion was a veil. Tabari VI:24 "His authority among the Quraysh during his lifetime and after his death was like a religion which the people followed; they always acted in accordance with it."
That said, the means to submission was the sword. It established Islam. Muhammad would use Qusayy's war banners to initiate scores of terrorist raids. The resulting booty financed his "religion" and "inspired" his initial adherents. And as with Qusayy, the real motive was money. But theirs was not an honest endeavor. Their wealth was not created from the sweat of their brow; it was booty, looted from others. In fact, Muhammad’s first rendition of Islam’s Pillars included a share of stolen property. Bukhari:V1B2N50 "'Apostle, order us to do some religious deeds that we may enter Paradise.' The Prophet asked them, 'Do you know what it means to believe in Allah Alone.' They replied, 'Allah and His Apostle know better.' The Prophet said, 'It means: 1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle. 2. To perform prayers perfectly. 3. To pay the Zakat obligatory tax. 4. To observe the Ramadhan fast. 5. And to pay one fifth of the booty taken in Allah’s Cause.'"
Following Qusayy's lead, submission to Allah, or Islam, was defined as: acknowledging Muhammad as the sole authority, bowing down, paying a tax, observing a pagan practice, and sharing the booty collected from terrorist raids.
Under the tutelage of Islam’s patriarch, Mecca made a transition from an ignoble and ignominious pagan sand pit to a religious scam extraordinaire. The Ka'aba Inc. became a family business awaiting the polishing touches of one of the great promoters of all time - Qusayy's great, great, great grandson, Muhammad. Within a hundred years a collection of mud huts, a dilapidated rock pile, and a silly religious scam would emerge as a tour de force. Within two hundred years, and with a little tweaking and plagiarism, the scam's adherents would conquer much of the civilized world.
I'd like to pause for a moment and reflect upon the place to which the Qur'an and Hadith have brought us. In the creation accounts we learned that Muhammad and Allah could not be trusted, that they were too dishonest and foolish to be prophet and god. They buried themselves when they presented hell so graphically and revealed that their heaven was a brothel. Their plagiarized and twisted stories recasting Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Lot as Muslim prophets tore asunder Islam’s credibility - its very reason for being. The stories were contradictory, transparent, and irrational. The claims that the Qur'an confirmed the Bible and that Allah was Yahweh were preposterous - further indicting the doctrine. And now, we have a deathblow. We have discovered that Islam’s five pillars were conceived by Qusayy not Muhammad (a pagan, not a Muslim). As a result, Islam is dead. And the post mortem is clear. Death was self-inflicted - it was suicide.
While the case may not yet be the lay-down hand I promised in the Prologue, the story of Islam’s formation is still young. In the next hundred pages I will reveal a mountain of corroborating evidence - all from their scriptures.
As is the case with all humankind, Qusayy's wealth didn't buy him a reprieve from family squabbles or the grim reaper. Abd al-Dar failed to serve in the capacity for which he had been named. Abd al-Uzza and Abd grabbed the keys to the kingdom. They became the beneficiaries of the religious tax. No one, we are told, would be able to eat, drink, fight, worship, or decide any matter without their express written permission. Okay, verbal permission. They were illiterate.
Each of Qusayy's sons considered himself more worthy than the others. Civil strife broke out between the Scented Ones and the Confederates. In a move that would have made Neville Chamberlain proud, peace was achieved by cutting the baby in half. Watering pilgrims and collecting taxes were controlled by Abd Manaf's clan. Ka'aba access and waging war went to the family Abd al-Dar. This continued to be the state of affairs in Mecca until an orphan boy with royal heritage coveted it all.
The most interesting historical artifact from sixth century Arabia leads us directly to that orphan. It was the Year of the Elephant, which according to Muslim scholars was 570 A.D. It is blazoned into the annals of Islamic history. Not correctly, mind you. It was actually 552, according to archeologists.
The momentous event began with considerable fanfare. Ishaq:4 "Rabi'a of Yemen saw a terrifying vision. So he summoned every soothsayer, sorcerer, omenmonger, and astrologer in his kingdom." These occult types said his dream predicted a Satanic invasion from Africa, one ultimately thwarted by the arrival of a "pure prophet" (guess who?): "By the Serpent of the lava plains, I swear the Ethiopians shall attack.... A pure Prophet to whom revelation will come from on high will bring it to an end." The Devil worshippers professed: "An Apostle will bring truth and justice among men of religion and virtue." You just can't beat a good Satanic endorsement.
The soothsayers went on to claim prophetically: Ishaq:5 "It will be his intention to destroy the Jews living among him. In poetic verse they warned: 'In rage against two Jewish tribes who live in Yathrib who richly deserve the punishment of a fateful day.'"
The Satanic crowd who predicted Jews would be victimized by their prophet, allegedly acquired these quotes from some rabbis: "The approaching army will seek to destroy the temple in Mecca, for we know of no other temple in the land which Allah has chosen for himself. The rabbis told Rabi'a to do what the people of Mecca did: 'Circumambulate the Ka'aba, to venerate and honor it, to shave his head, and to bow down in humility in its sacred precincts.' Recognizing the soundness of this advice, the king cut off their hands and feet, and continued on to Mecca."
The stubby rabbis are said to have narrated a rather long poem from "their sacred books, reciting from the Torah." A few of its lines are intriguing. They correctly defined the Ka'aba for what it really was and for what Muhammad would ultimately do with it: Ishaq:12 "A House of ancient wealth in Mecca. Treasures I wanted to seize." Then they are said to have authored one of the Qur'an's most embarrassing lines: "Dhu'l-Qarnain before me was a Muslim...with knowledge true. He saw where the sun sinks from view in a pool of mud and fetid slime.'"
While there is considerable evidence Islam is Satanic, having "every soothsayer, sorcerer, omenmonger, and astrologer" predict the arrival of "a pure Prophet to whom revelation will come,"" is more blatant a connection than you'd think their scriptures would admit. They even suggest that the Devil worshippers were right because, as predicted, an African army did invade Yemen. Here's what Ibn Ishaq has to say about them: "After building a church, Abrahah, an Abyssinian viceroy, led his army north." While the non-Islamic records don't mention a place as insignificant as Mecca, the Muslim sages allege that Abrahah wanted to conquer their booming metropolis with the express intent of destroying the Ka'aba. They say that the viceroy was bent on luring pre-Islamic Arabs away from idolatry and toward a new Christian cathedral. The very thought of it must have made the rocks of the Ka'aba tremble.
Abrahah is said to have arrived on the outskirts of town with an army of sorts. But what made him formidable was his ride. The viceroy was mounted on a mighty elephant. And thus far, although grossly misdated, the story is almost plausible. Abyssinia is today’s Ethiopia, so its viceroy could well have been mounted upon the mightiest of land mammals. What's not reasonable is that there isn't enough food or water to sustain an elephant in the Arabian Desert, at least for the beast to be more of an asset than liability.
Details aside, the story gets good at this point. Ishaq:26 "Mahmud bowed down whenever it was asked to face Mecca. Then Allah rallied a flock of birds, each carrying a pea-like stone in its beak and in each claw. Everyone who was hit died." They were instantly dissolved, their flesh falling from their bones. "Abrahah's fingers fell off one by one." Naturally proud of his achievement, Allah, with some help from his pal Muhammad, recounted his stirring victory in the Qur'an. Qur'an 105:1 "Have you not seen how your Lord dealt with the companions of the elephant? Did He not make their treacherous plan go wrong, ending in confusion? He sent against them hordes of flying creatures, pelting them with stones of baked clay. He turned them into stalks of straw devoured." A Hadith describes the nature of the disease: "Whoever was struck by a pebble started scratching his body, tearing his flesh."
History suggests that the Abyssinian brigade was actually done in by smallpox. Even Islam agrees, in effect calling their god a braggadocios liar: Ishaq:27 "Utba told me that he was informed that this year was the first time that measles and small pox had been seen in Arabia." And while that's hardly miraculous, the Islamic Tradition affirms a shocking reality. Sixty years before the first Muslim tread the planet, Allah was a pagan god, and the Ka'aba, the center of Islamic worship, was a pagan shrine, giving Allah and his House a history that isn't the least bit flattering. Desperate to prove Allah was real, Muslims attributed this bizarre tale to their anemic deity. Good thing they did. As it turned out, this peculiar story became Allah’s only miracle.
When Abdul Muttalib, Muhammad’s grandfather, Meccan king and Ka'aba custodian, heard of the approaching men, he told Allah and his pantheon that they were on their own. Ishaq:24 "Allah, you know that we do not wish to fight, for we do not have the ability.... A man protects his house, so You protect Your House. Don't let their craft overcome Your craft tomorrow.... Deliver up the black barbarians." Tabari adds: "But if You want to leave and change our qiblah , You may do as You please." On his exodus, Muttalib may have said something like, "As for me, I'm out of here. I know that the family business is a scam. It’s been nice, but we can always stack a new pile of rocks when the invaders are gone."
Contrary to the Muslim revisionists, pre-Islamic Arabs were lovers, not fighters. Muttalib is alleged to have told the Quraysh, "If we offer no resistance, there will be no cause for bloodshed." Knowing that they were out muscled, and being merchants, not militants, the Meccans, at Muttalib's suggestion, scampered out of town and headed for the hills, letting their gods fend for themselves. This should give us pause because it means that it must have been Islam that turned these pacifists into warriors.
Early Muslims, in an effort to commemorate Allah’s magnificent achievement, tell us that Muhammad was born in the Year of the Elephant. They say it is proof he was a prophet. But that's a problem. If Muhammad was born in 552, the year history says Abrahah moved north, he would have been seventy years old when he married his favorite wife, the six-year-old Aisha. And if Muslims need to falsify an event to make Muhammad appear prophetic, what does it say about the veracity of their religion?
However, there was a ray of hope in Mecca. Four Arabs had come to recognize that it was high time to stop worshiping stones. The rest of the world had long since gone monotheistic, thanks to the Jews and Christians. These religious leaders, called Hanifs, were natural monotheists. Ishaq:99 "Waraqa Naufal, Ubaydullah Jahsh, Uthman Huwayrith, and Zayd Amr were of the opinion that their people had corrupted the religion of Abraham, and that the Stone they went around was of no account. 'It could not hear, nor see, nor hurt, nor help.' They told their people, 'Find yourselves a religion, for by God, you have none.'"
While much of this was encouraging, one line completely destroys Muhammad’s credibility and murders Allah. These Hanifs not only inspired the first score of Qur'anic surahs, they served as Muhammad’s link to the notion that Islam was the religion of Abraham. Yet these men said, "the Stone they went around was of no account. It could not hear, see, hurt, or help." That Stone was Allah’s. A generation before Allah’s Messenger stole Islam from Qusayy's heirs, Arabs in his hometown had figured it out. Their moon rock was no better than moonshine - a source of money and false hope, nothing more.
According to Ishaq, Waraqa became a Christian. His credibility will soon be usurped to advance Muhammad’s agenda. Ubaydullah became a Muslim, rejected Islam the following year, and also became a Christian. Uthman became a Christian as well, holding a high office in the Byzantine empire. But... "Zayd stayed where he was; he accepted neither Judaism nor Christianity. He abandoned the religion of his people." As we shall learn, Zayd recited poems that formed the basis of the early Qur'anic surahs. Yet on this day: Ishaq:99 "Abu Bakr said that he saw Zayd as a very old man leaning his back on the Ka'aba saying, 'O Quraysh, by Him in whose hand is the soul of Zayd, not one of you follows the religion of Abraham but I. O God, if I only knew how you wished to be worshipped I would so worship you; but I do not know.' Then he prostrated himself on the palms of his hands." The implications of this Hadith are devastating to Islam - especially when we witness the similarity and superiority of Zayd's poetry to that contained in the Qur'an. Although this Hanif's poems predate the Qur'an, you'll appreciate them more when they are set in the context of "Muhammad’s" first revelations.
Some say that material stolen from several sources ceases to be plagiarism and becomes research. If that is true, Islam was Muhammad’s research project as he stole it from Qusayy, Zayd, and the Jews.