Monday, December 28, 2009

Arabs, Arabia And Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) In The Bible - Part I

This article is about a few verses and instances from the Bible which speak about Arabs, Arabia and the coming of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

Let us see a few verses which speak of a prophecy about the Arabs:

13 An oracle concerning Arabia:
       You caravans of Dedanites,
       who camp in the thickets of Arabia,

 14 bring water for the thirsty;
       you, who live in Tema,
       bring food for the fugitives.
 15 They flee from the sword,
       from the drawn sword,
       from the bent bow
       and from the heat of battle.
 (Isaiah 21:13-15) 

There are a few things that are to be observed here:

* The verse 13 is referring to two tribes or places, that of dedan (dedanites) and tema (tribe of tema), what should be seen here is the fact that both these are towns near Madinah to its north. Tema is an oasis north of Madinah, and hence the tribes tema, dedan etc lived near this oasis.

* This verse is asking these two tribes to bring water to the thirsty and feed the fugitives, as is said in the next verse that they are fleeing from prosecution, from the terrors of swords and bows.

This above is true in the case of prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) migration as is very well known that he along with his followers, due to the severe prosecution of the Meccans, had fled and migrated to Madinah, and it was the people of Madinah and its surrounding places that accepted him warmly and gave him shelter, they were in fact on account of this act called as ansars or "helpers".

Does this sound as a mere coincidence? Any other explanation as to who is this verse talking to and about whom?

Ok, we shall proceed further:

We shall now see a few verses from the Psalms of David (pbuh) :

1Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.
 2Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.
 3God is known in her palaces for a refuge (psalms 48:1-3)

Here these verses say: that lord is great and the city of god is greatly to be praised. Then in the mountain of his holiness beautifully situated is mount Zion, on the sides of north is the city of the great king. God is known in this city in her (city’s) palaces for having taken refuge.
Firstly Zion means: a holy place or any far of land that you dearly wish to visit.
In addition to its literal geographical meaning, the term Zion has often been used as a metaphor for the Land of Israel, any other Promised Land, or any other distant but much wanted goal.(From wikipedia)

You must be aware that the city of Madinah was previously called Yathrib. The name Yathrib was changed to Madinah Tun Nabawi, meaning the 'City of the Prophet' soon after he migrated there. The use of only the first word in that name (i.e., Madinah) became popular later.

Now see the above verses in this context taking the Zion to mean Mecca and then see how it fits together so well.

Firstly the lord is great, the city of god (the word is elohim, has been used many times to mean one or more gods, normal men, prophet, angel etc) is to be praised. In the next verse it says, in the mountain of holiness is situated Mecca on the north is the city of the prophet. The prophet is known in this city to have taken refuge.

Please just tell me again is this just a mere coincidence that the migration of the prophet to a city to the north of Mecca which is called the city of the prophet is mentioned here just like the above verses of Isaiah?

I am not saying that Zion always means Mecca, but one might still feel now, as to why on earth should anyone take Zion to mean Mecca?

For that see the following verse again from the psalms:

4Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.
 5Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.
 6Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.
 7They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.
(Psalms 84:4-7)

Here a certain valley of Baca is mentioned, through which the pilgrims are said to travel and reach Zion.
Now Baca in Hebrew means, weeping, so it means “the valley of weeping”. There are other meanings as well as to mean a valley of balsam trees.
Now you must be aware that the previous name of Mecca was bakkah. And the meaning of bakkah is “to cry” or “crying”.
Qur'an 3:96-97
96 The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakkah full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings:
97 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.

See how well it fits the above verse’s meaning. If one says that it could also mean a valley of balsam trees, then let me tell you that there is a certain kind of balsam tree (a certain species) that is even named as “balsam of Mecca” because it is found there and in surrounding areas of southern Arabia in great abundance. Now see again how this meaning as well, fits to mean Mecca.

You shall also be aware that Mecca was a place of worship and pilgrimage for centuries even before prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was born. If it is not this Baca valley and not this pilgrimage that is being referred to then what is it? Is it AGAIN a coincidence?

Please proceed to part two

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