§6 Islam’s Pagan Origins

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§6: ISLAM’S PAGAN ORIGINS

Quran & Hadith Contradictions & Misconceptions


The Moon God: Egyptian

Pagan Beginnings for Muhammad

Mohammad was born 570 AD of pagan  parents of the Quraysh tribe. The Quraysh tribe worshipped at the Kaa’ba in Mecca where there stood 360 idols on the alter. Muhammad was brought up worshipping the Quraysh gods and was familiar with the customs of his family because Muhammad only formulated the concept of his Muhammadan faith later in his life, having learned about Judaism and Christianity from them. through his inquiries. Because it was not till Muhammad was 40 years of age (610 AD) that he felt he knew enough about religion, that he began preaching his new monotheist religion, Islam. In fact Muhammad was so well involved with the religion of his Quraysh family that Muhammad has been recorded as saying, [1]

“I have offered a white sheep to al-‘Uzza while I was a follower of the religion of my people.” [2]

al-Uzza is of course one of the goddesses of the Quraysh tribe, and one of the three daughters of the Sun God, Hubal also addressed as “Allah” by the Quraysh tribe. Allah is a pre-Islamic name from the compound Arabic word Al-ilah meaning god, a generic name for the “highest god.” The Crescent moon was the symbol of the moon god Hubal (Allah) and its continued use today as observed over every Islamic mosque, and is the ancient pagan symbol of “fertility.” Because the idol of Allah is located in the Kaa’ba all Muslims pay their respect to Allah by facing toward Mecca when they pray 5 times a day. Also their dead are buried facing Mecca for the same reason. [1]Despite Muhammad’s pagan roots, be became impressed and fascinated with the culture of the Jews and Christians and their worship of monotheism. He was impressed at the way they conducted their daily lives and that they were a happy and content progressive peoples. There were many Jewish settlements in Hijaz, the neighbourhood of Muhammad’s birth, and he also met many Jews who dominated the city of Medina, the city that also dominated Muhammad’s life. The Jews were merchants, farmers, vintners, smiths and some of them also lived among the Bedouin tribes intermingling harmoniously. Their culture seemed more sophisticated and they led a more prosperous life than the Bedouin tribes, traders and camel herders. Muhammad was keen to emulate this more sophisticated society and began to study their ways, and their monotheistic religious teachings. Perhaps it was their polytheism and the more primitive pagan lives that held back their progress. (So not unlike Kemal Ataturk several centuries later, Muhammad decided to emulate a new way of life, based on monotheism(Judaism & Christianity) but with a Quraysh tint, and so Muhamadism/Islam was born.) As Muhammad was illiterate, he was unable to study Judaism or Christianity religious texts. So he eagerly listened to verbal narratives from friendly Jews and Christians and absorbed a tremendous amount of Jewish and Christian ideologies, scriptures, and traditions (including many jumbled ideologies and misconceptions) that he incorporated into his philosophies. The similarities of many parts or verses in the Koran to the Bible, especially the Old Testament is testament to the amount Muhammad was able to absorb from his Jewish and Christian friends. However, some of these Biblical concepts clashed with his pagan concepts and he had to abrogate his earlier pronouncements with something that suited his lifestyle and his change of personality as he gained experience especially after Medina. [1]

Early Islam

Muhammad’s early attitudes emulated the Jewish and Christian philosophies of compassion and tolerance. Muhammad initially show not animosity towards other faiths. Muhammad referred to Jews and Christians as “People of the Book” (Torah/Bible) and had passages that showed compassion and tolerance. For example, when Muslims were persecuted by pagans in Mecca, Muhammad to the Muslims to take refuge with King Negus, the Christian King of Ethopia where they were received with kindness and respect. King Negus even declared that Muslim refugees could live freely in his country. And when the Meccans approached the King and demanded the surrender of these Muslims, the King refused to accede to those demands, offering protection to the Muslims. And Muhammad knew this. Muhammad even made a rare tribute to Christians:

Surat al-Ma’ida 82: “….You will find the people most affectionate to those who believe (Muslims) are those who say. “We are Christians.”

Some common identifiable values of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are:(1) God is Creator of the Universe and is omnipotent. (2) God created man: Adam. (3) God sent prophets like Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. (4) Many customs and traditions and rituals are similar like food abstinence, fasting, prayer, circumcision, and observances of similar festivities. The influence of Judaism and Christianity upon Islam cannot be dismissed. Yet Islam is not of the same roots. In the early stages of Islam, Muhammad made special concessions for “People of the Book” compared with that of infidels, or pagans, or kafirs, or polytheists. Muhammad’s tolerant verses include:

[73.9] The Lord(Allah) of the East and the West– there is no god but He (Allah)– therefore take Him for a protector. [73.10] And bear patiently what they(infidels) say and avoid them with a becoming avoidance. [73.11] And leave Me (Allah) and the rejecters (of Allah), the possessors of ease and plenty, and respite them a little. [1]

Muhammad Makes very Slow Progress

Muhammad began his ministry when he was 40 years of age. It was a painfully slow start as his first convert was hgis wife, Khadija, and in the next 3 years he managed to convert 7 men one of whom was his slave, Said. The others were Abu Bakr, Uthman ibn Affan, Zubair ibn el Awa, Abdel Rahman ibn Auf, Saad ibn abi Wakkaas, and Talha. After another 5 years of proselytising Muhammad had 16 followers. It took several more years before he managed to gain 40 men and women to accept his faith. After 13 years of proselytising in Mecca he managed to get 100 followers. Muhammad was desperate to make his ideology more appealing especially to his own tribe, the Quraysh tribe. This is why many of his ritual he introduced were pagan rituals of the Quraysh like circling the Kaa’ba, the kissing of the Black Stone, making the Hajj, addressing his god as Allah just as the Moon god was addressed, but still his efforts went begging with the Quraysh tribe who considered his ideology as deviant and unacceptable. This is why Muhammad eventually attempted a Bargain with the Quraysh tribe and paid obeisance to the pagan gods with what is today known as the Satanic verses. [4*]

Muhammad Changes at Medina

However, Muhammad’s attitude changed when the Jews/Christians resisted Muhammad in Medina and he had to put down their treachery and slaughtered all those who rejected reversion to Islam. Since then, Muhammad abrogated all his verses that contained compassion with this verse:

[9.5] So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

From that day on in Medina, Islam became exclusive and irreconcilable.  [1]  

TIME SCALE: (Providing Perspective)

Abraham born c.1813 BCE and died 1638 BCE (I75 Years)
Sarah born c. 1803
Ishmael was born 1727 BCE- died 1590 BCE (137 years)
    Ishmael was born when Abraham was 86 years of age,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishmael
Isaac was born 1713 BCE and died 1533 BCE
    Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 years old (Gen 21:5) and Sarah was 90 years of age (Gen 17:17)
Moses born 1393 BCE and died 1272 BCE (180 years)
Moses sees burning Bush 1314 BCE
Mohammad born 570 CE died 630 CE(60 years). Began his preaching Islam in 610 CE (when 40 years old)

Beginnings of Abrahamic Faiths

The fundamental doctrines of Judaism was transmitted to Moses from the visions he received from the burning bush in 1314 BC, marking the beginnings of Judaism. It is obvious that prior to 1314 BC the Semitic/Arab tribes/Egyptians could only be aware of the Gods of the Pharaohs (the Sun God) or the other pagan beliefs (the Moon God of the Quraysh tribe) of that time. It would be illogical that anyone could visualise the “God of Moses” before 1314 BC, nor Jesus  before 0 AD or the Trinity before 325 AD, or Allah before 610 AD, because these icons did not and could not have existed in the minds of men before the concept existed. Hence the only god or gods that could have been worshipped by Adam or Abraham or Isaac or Ishmael could have been pagan gods or the gods of the Pharaohs or some other heathen icons. Thus for Judaism to claim ancestry to Adam and Abraham and Isaac and Ishmael could only be possible with the extrapolation of their genealogy and their newly conceived faith.  This would be an act of dissimulation or misinformation. Adam or Abraham and his sons could only have worshipped pagan gods. The existence of pagan gods, prior to Moses’ visions, or at the time of Jesus or that of the Prophet Muhammad is well documented in religious history. Certainly, evidence that the Ka’aba in Mecca was used and worshipped by pagans of pagan gods and goddesses has never been disputed. It is the chronological sequences of events and the extrapolation of events that needs to be examined. [3]
Islamic traditions believe that Abraham with his son Ishmael built the foundations of the Kaaba. Quran 2:127 And when Ibrahim and Ismail raised the foundations of the House: Our Lord! accept from us; surely Thou art the Hearing, the Knowing:Islamic traditions believe that Abraham and Ishmael built the foundations of the Kaaba.  Islamic traditions also believe that the Kaaba was first built by Adam and that Abraham and Ishmael rebuilt the new Kaaba on the old foundations. [4][5][6]Accepting the above logic, the Kaaba built by Adam, and subsequently rebuilt by Abraham and Ishmael were built as “polytheist pagan alter” worshipped by the various tribes of the region. On this alter sat all the 120 gods or more that were venerated by the different worshippers-totems of each of the tribes of the Arabian Peninsular with idols of pagan gods such as “Hubal” known as “Al-ilah” and worshipped alongside Al-illah would be his three daughters, al-Lat, al-Uzza, and al-Manat. There is no question that the Kaaba was not a pagan alter, until 631 AD when Muhammad led his followers to take over and pay their first Hajj(as believers of Islam) in Mecca, and he cleansed the Kaaba and destroyed all other idols and re-ordained the building as the House of Allah.[7] Muslim scholars refer to the period before Muhammad’s taking possession of the Kaaba, 631 AD,  as “al-Jahiliyah” meaning, “The Days of Ignorance,” clearly acknowledging that prior to 631 AD Arabs were polytheist pagans. Hence clearly accepting that the Kaaba, built by Adam, and rebuilt by Abraham and Ishmael were in fact pagan alters of worship. It also clearly shows that Muhammad chose to accept all the symbols of his own Quraysh tribe, Hubal, (addressed as Allah,) and symbol (the crescent moon) as his god, Allah. [A Clear contradiction of claims to the antiquity of Islam.] [8]
References:
[4] Abraham&Ishmail building Kaaba: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishmael
[5] Abraham and Ishmael rebuilding the Ka’aba: http://islam.about.com/od/mecca/p/kaaba.htm
[8] Muhammad takes possession of Kaaba, 631 AD: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hajj

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