Islam Adopts Pagan Rituals
We have identified Many elements of pagan worship that Muhammad grafted directly into Islam virtually unchanged.
The symbols, the temples, the rituals of modern Islam were practiced by polytheists before Muhammad was born. Islam is Repackaged Polytheism. “Polytheism with a monotheistic veil”. This cannot be said about either Judaism or Christianity.
#1. The Kabah was of pagan origin.
Many local pagan sanctuaries like the Kaba at Mecca.
Muhammad’s tribe was in charge of “Allah’s” sanctuary in Mecca.
“In northern Arabia, certain tribes looked after particular sanctuaries.” (Britannica, Arabian Religions, p1059, 1979)
Not only do both the Holy Bible and archaeology contradict this claim, the sound Hadith itself makes it impossible for Abraham and Ishmael to be the ones who built the Kabah: “I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Which mosque was built first?” He replied, “Al-Masjid-ul-Haram.” I asked, “Which (was built) next?” He replied, “Al-Masjid-ul-Aqs-a (i.e. Jerusalem).” I asked, “What was the period in between them?” He replied, “Forty (years).” He then added, “Wherever the time for the prayer comes upon you, perform the prayer, for all the earth is a place of worshipping for you.”” (Hadith, Sahih al-Bukhari 55:636, Narrated Abu Dhaar). This Hadith affirms that the Kaba was actually built long after Abraham and Ishmael had died. Abraham lived about 2000 BC and the Temple was built by Solomon in about 958-951 BC. This implies that the Kabah was built approximately 998-991 BC. If Muhammad is correct, then the Quran is wrong. But if the Quran is correct in stating that Abraham and Ishmael built the Kaba, then the Hadith is wrong. Yet, if this particular Hadith is wrong then this throws into question the authenticity of the entire Hadith collections, especially Bukhari’s collection which is considered to be the most reliable and authentic collection.
#2. The Pilgrimage to Mecca
“After the Pilgrimage, in Pagan times, the pilgrims used to gather in assemblies in which the praises of ancestors were sung. As the whole of the Pilgrimage rites were spiritualized in Islam, so this aftermath of the Pilgrimage was also spiritualized. (The holy Qur’an, text, translation and commentary by Abdullah Yusuf Ali. 1872-1952, First published in 1938, 1973 ed. p. 80, footnote 223)
“temples of the moon gods, with rituals similar in many details to those of the pre-Islamic and Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca.” (Britannica, Arabia, History of, p1045, 1979)
“A principal public celebration of the Arabians was an annual pilgrimage, in which tribes who shared a common bond of worship of a deity at a specific sanctuary would reunite there. A pattern of ceremonial procession around the baetyl [the sacred stone] was common, and this pattern may be seen in the surviving Islamic custom of the pilgrimage to Mecca.” (Britannica, Arabian Religions, p1059, 1979)
Muhammad merely borrowed this wide spread polytheistic worship style and adopted it into Islam as a central rite. Same polytheistic pilgrimage under the disguise of a modified monotheism.
It is true that in the hajj many pre-Islamic practices were retained, but as has been shown above, the origin of these practices is traceable to Abraham, and every one of them carries with it a spiritual significance. (The Religion of Islam, Maulana Muhammad Ali, p. 448, 1936, Muslim).
Is it not unfortunate that so many Orientalists have misinterpreted the Muslim’s veneration of the Ka’bah, the Black Stone and the pilgrimage rites as a whole, imagining them as some kind of idol worship, or dismissing the rites as silly, ridiculous or merely the relics of idolatrous superstition? Another faulty assumption is that the rites of pilgrimage were remnants of a pre-Islamic cult included by the Prophet in an attempt to reconcile the idolatrous Meccans with the faith. (The Sublime Qur’an and Orientalism, Mohammad Khalifa, p. 140, 1983, Muslim).
“The Arabs during the pre-Islamic period used to practice certain things that were included in the Islamic Sharia. They, for example, did not marry both a mother and her daughter. They considered marrying two sisters simultaneously to be a most heinous crime. They also censured anyone who married his stepmother, and called him dhaizan. They made the major [hajj] and the minor [umra] pilgrimage to the Ka’ba, performed the circumambulation around the Ka’ba [tawaf], ran seven times between Mounts Safa and Marwa [sa’y], threw rocks and washed themselves after intercourse. They also gargled, sniffed water up into their noses, clipped their fingernails, plucked their hair from their armpits, shaved their pubic hair and performed the rite of circumcision. Likewise, they cut off the right hand of a thief.” (Al-Milal wa al-Nihil, Muhammad ibn ‘Abdalkarim al-Sharastani, Muslim, vol. 2 chapter on the opinions of the pre-Islamic Arabs, as quoted in al-Fadi, Is the Qur’an Infallible?, p. 122, non-Muslim)
#3. Praying 5 times a day
Polytheistic worshippers prayed 5 times a day towards their local kaba’s.
“The Sabeans have five prayers similar to the five prayers of the Muslims. Others say they have seven prayers, five of which are comparable to the prayers of the Muslims with regard to time [that is, morning, noon, afternoon, evening and night; the sixth is at midnight and the seventh is at forenoon]. It is their practice to pray over the dead without kneeling down or even bending the knee. They also fast for one lunar month of thirty days; they start their fast at the last watch of the night and continue till the setting of the sun. Some of their sects fast during the month of Ramadan, face Ka’ba when they pray, venerate Mecca, and believe in making the pilgrimage to it. They consider dead bodies, blood and the flesh of pigs as unlawful. They also forbid marriage for the same reasons as do Muslims.” (Bulugh al-‘Arab fi Ahwal al-Arab, Muhammad Shukri al-Alusi, Vol 1, p 121-122, Muslim)
Prior to Islam the people would pray 5 times a day facing Mecca (The Encyclopedia of Islam p. 303)
Worshippers in pagan Sabian religion that worshipped stars were “obliged to pray three times a day” (Preliminary Discourse to the Koran, Sale, 1801)
At first, Muhammad prayed towards Jerusalem, but when he was rejected by the Jews, started directing his prayers towards Mecca. Today, monotheistic Muslims pray 5 times a day towards Mecca to Allah. Muhammad grafted this pagan practice into Islam.
#4. Crescent moon symbol
The crescent moon symbol was used since 2100 BC in paganism. Polytheism has extensively used the symbol of the crescent moon as far back as Abraham as hundreds of archeological examples verify.
All the Arabs at the Kaba in Mecca worshipped the moon god Hubal.
Crescent moon is the official symbol of Islam on top of every Mosque in the world and beside the Kaba on top of the Maqam Ibrahim! It is the last remaining polytheistic remnant of ancient moon worship under a new sanitized monotheistic veil.
National Flags with Crescent Moon
The National flags which contain a crescent (and star(s)are)
#5. “The Run”
Pagans performed a fast walk between As-Safa and Al-Marwah.
Muhammad redefined the meaning while retaining the ritual.
Islamic pilgrimage requires a fast walk between As-Safa and Al-Marwah.
#6. “The Throw”
The polytheistic pilgrimages required throwing stones at the devil.
Muhammad retained this concept where the Islamic pilgrimage requires throwing pebbles at three fixed points in Mina, which represent evil. The pilgrim throws rocks over his shoulder at the three stone pillars which he has been told will frighten away the “djinn” or demons which the stone pillars represent.
#7. The Black Stone
“A principal sacred object in Arabian religion was the stone, either a rock outcropping or a large boulder, often a rectangular or irregular black basaltic stone … ” (Britannica, Arabian Religions, p1059, 1979)
“Of the numerous baetyls, the best known is the Black Stone of the Ka’bah at Mecca, which became the central shrine object of Islam.” (Britannica, Arabian Religions, p1059, 1979) The black stone is believed to be a meteorite that struck the earth at the time of Adam.
“Moslems do not worship the Black Stone, but only show special reverence and veneration for its dignity and they kiss it only after the example of the Prophet and to keep their Covenant with God to obey His Will and avoid His disobedience.” (The Spirit of Islam, Tabbarah, p. 173, Muslim).
“The kissing of the meteorite is a firm practice in Islamic law because Muhammad did it. You must not ask about the wisdom behind that because this rite is (an expression) of worship in spite of the obscurity of its wisdom” (Legal Opinions, Sheikh Sha’rawi, pt. 3, p. 167, Muslim)
#8. Holy Days: Friday & Fasting during Ramadan
Polytheistic pilgrimage required fasting for the month that begins and ends with the crescent moon for each pagan god.
During the holy month of Ramadan (November) Muslims begin and end month long fast exactly the same time and manner as the polytheism that pre-dated Muhammad.
Muslim practices such as gathering on Friday and the four sacred months of Islam were also pre-Islamic customs: “In Bulugh al-‘Arab fi Ahwal al-‘Arab, we read, ‘The four sacred months, Rajab, Dhu al-Qa’da, Dhu al-Hijja and Muharram, had been considered sacred during the pre-Islamic period [Jahiliya]. Raids, taking revenge, war, fighting and disputes were forbidden during them. If a man were to meet his enemy who killed his father or brother during these months, he would not quarrel with him… During the sacred months, [the people] were under restriction not to fight or make raids, and had to remove [their] spearheads as a sign that they would avoid fighting at all costs.’ Obviously, Islam borrowed the hallowing of these months from Pre-Islamic Arabs and introduced nothing new into the world.” (Is the Qur’an Infallible?, ‘Abdallah ‘Abd al-Fadi, Light of Life, , p. 127, non-Muslim)
#9. Abstinence during Pilgrimage
“Another practice that left its influence on Islam was ceremonial abstinence. The South Arabian festival of Halfan was a moratorium on the use of weapons. Certain times were specified for fasting and abstention from sexual relations. Burnt offerings and sacrifices were common.” (Britannica, Arabian Religions, p1059, 1979)
This identical pagan origin ceremonial abstinence is present today in Islam. Muhammad merely continued this pagan ritual and retained it in Islam.
“The verses of the Qur’an make it clear that the very name Allah existed in the Jahiliyya or pre-Islamic Arabia. Certain pagan tribes believed in a god whom they called ‘Allah’ and whom they believed to be the creator of heaven and earth and holder of the highest rank in the hierarchy of the gods. It is well known that the Quraish as well as other tribes believed in Allah, whom they designated as the ‘Lord of the House’ (i.e., of the Ka’ba)…It is therefore clear that the Qur’anic conception of Allah is not entirely new.” (A Guide to the Contents of the Qur’an, Faruq Sherif, (Reading, 1995), pgs. 21-22., Muslim)
#11. Praising Allah
“After the Pilgrimage, in Pagan times, the pilgrims used to gather in assemblies in which the praises of ancestors were sung. As the whole of the Pilgrimage rites were spiritualized in Islam, so this aftermath of the Pilgrimage was also spiritualized. It was recommended for pilgrims to stay on two or three days after the Pilgrimage, but they must use them in prayer and praise to God. See ii. 203 below.” (The holy Qur’an, text, translation and commentary, by Abdullah Yusuf Ali. 1872-1952, First published in 1938, 1973 ed. p. 80, footnote 223, commenting on 2:200, “So when ye have accomplished your holy rites, celebrate the praises of God, as ye used to celebrate the praises of your fathers,- yea, with far more Heart and soul.”)