Author Topic: Ibrahim (a.s.) in Mecca  (Read 417 times)

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Offline Mahir Adnan

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Ibrahim (a.s.) in Mecca
« on: June 19, 2018, 03:09:34 pm »
I was doing some research on hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.). so, I need some information from Bible. does the Bible says that, prophet Ibrahim went to mecca and built kaaba.
note: I saw video on youtube regarding a book titled "return to mecca".

Offline Sama

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Re: Ibrahim (a.s.) in Mecca
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2018, 06:33:30 am »
About the Old Testament evidence

Muir’s above discussed theory and assumptions proceed from his understanding of the information contained in Gen. 21:21. He says: “Hagar, when cast forth by Abraham, dwelt with her son in the wilderness of Paran, to the north of Arabia.”23 The above mentioned passage of the Genesis simply says that Ismail and his mother “dwelt in the wilderness of Paran”. The clause, “to the north of Arabia”, is Muir’s own statement based understandably on the identification of Paran made by other Christian writers and exegetes of the Bible. Paran is mentioned in connection with other events at three other places in the Old Testament.24 But in none of all these places it is clear what exactly is the locality meant by the name Paran. The answer to the question where, according to Genesis 21:21, Hajar and Isma’il settled thus depends on a correct identification of Paran.

The subject was in fact exhaustively dealt with by Syed Ahmed Khan Bahadur shortly after the appearance of Muir’s work25. As the arguments on either side have not advanced much since that time, it would be worthwhile to recapitulate the main points made by him, adding to them such other facts or points as bear on the subject. He drew attention to the fact that the early Muslim geographers speak of three different places bearing the same name of Paran, namely, first, the wilderness where Makka now stands, together with the mountainous region adjacent to it; secondly, those mountains and a village that are situated in Eastern Egypt or Arabia Petra and; thirdly, a district in Samarkand.26 He further pointed out that the Christian scholars and exegetes advance three different identifications of Paran. One view is that it comprised a vast area extending ‘from the northern boundary of Beer-Sheba as far as Mount Sinai’; the second view is that it was identical with Beersheba, which was also called Kadesh; and the third view is that it was the wilderness lying on the “western slopes of Mount Sinai.27

As regards these identifications the first two are obviously wrong, because the descriptions of the Old Testament itself clearly show Paran to be a distinct and different area, not a vast wilderness including many others such as the first identification would suggest, and also different from Beer-Sheba/Kadesh.28 The third identification, that of Paran being a locality on the western slopes of Mount Sinai, tallies with one of the Paran mentioned by the Muslim geographers, but the locality was in all likelihood not known by the name of Paran at that time. For Moses, in the course of his journey with the Israelites from Egypt to Sinai, does not make any mention of Paran although he passed through the same locality and mentioned the places on the way. Most probably the place came to be known as Paran at a period subsequent to that of Moses on account of the settlement there of a branch of Banu Pharan, a Qahtanite tribe.29

None of these three localities, however, could have been the domicile of Hajar and Isma’il. For, in the first place, no local traditions exist to the effect that they settled in any of those localities. Secondly, though Moses and his followers are stated to have proceeded further from Sinai and having passed through “Taberah”, “Kibrothhattaavah” and “Hazeroth” next halted at the wilderness of Paran30 the exact course taken by them is not clear. The Christian scholars themselves suggest as many as five different directions. Moreover, their statement that the descendants of Isma’il spread over the area “from ‘Shur to Havilah’, or across the Arabian peninsula, from the borders of Egypt to the mouths of the Euphrates” is based on an incorrect identification of “Havilah” mentioned in Gen. 25:18. They, guessing on a slender similarity in sound, identify Havilah with Aval or Auwal of the Bahrayn islands. In reality, as Syed Ahmed points out, Havilah is a locality in the vicinity of Yaman, lying at Lat. 17 degrees 30′ N and Long. 42 degrees 36, E, and called after Havilah, one of the sons of Joktan (Qahtan)31. It is thus evident “that the Ishmaelites settled in the wide tract of land extending from the northern frontiers of Yemen to the southern borders of Syria. This place now bears the name of Hedjaz, and it is identical with Paran”, as mentioned by the Muslim geographers.32 It is further noteworthy that an Arabic version of the Samaritan Pentateuch edited by R. Kuenen and published at Lugduni Batavorum, 1851, says in a note that Pharan and Hejaz are one and the same place.33

Thirdly, a close look at Gen. 21:14-15 would make it clear that the two consecutive passages do not really speak of one and the same occasion. The statement in Gen. 21:14 that Hajar “wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba” does not mean that she wandered only there and proceeded no farther. Nor does the statement in Gen. 21:15, “And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs”, mean that the incident took place in or in the vicinity of Beer-Sheba. Nor does it mean that the same water in the bottle with which she had left her home “was spent” and therefore she was obliged to “cast the child under one of the shrubs”. Beersheba was a place well known to her, Ibrahim having lived there with her for long. There were also a number of wells scattered over the region and dug by different persons, as the Old Testament very clearly states at a number of places. The well at Beer-Sheba itself was dug by Ibrahim. All these could not have been unknown to Hajar. She could therefore have obtained further water, after a little search, from any of the many wells in the area.

In fact the Old Testament writer here describes, in two very short and consecutive passages, the long and arduous wanderings made by Hajar, of which the beginning was her wanderings in Beer-Sheba and the last stage was at such a place where she could get no water, nor replenish her bottle in any way. So in utter distress and despair she cast the child under one of the shrubs. The two passages speak of two different stages of her wanderings, separated by not too small gaps of time and place.

Fourthly, the causes and circumstances that led to Hajar’s and Isma’il’s banishment from home, as described in the Old Testament, also indicate that they travelled to a land quite away from the area where Sarah and Ibrahim continued to live. According to the Genesis, Sarah wanted that Isma’il should not be heir with her son Ishaq. So also, according to the Genesis, it was God’s plan that Ismail and his descendants should settle in and populate another land. The Genesis very graphically describes the situation thus:

    “11. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son.”

    “12. And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of the bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.”

    “13. And also the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.”

    “14. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar…”, etc. (Gen. 21:11-14)

Thus it is very clear from the Genesis that it was not really because of Sarah’s desire but decisively because of God’s plan and assurance of a fruitful future for Isma’il communicated to Ibrahim, and His command to him, that he banished Hajar and Ismail to a different land. God’s words to Ibrahim, “for in Isaac shall thy seed be called”, was a consolation as well as an assurance that the banishment of Ismail did not mean an end to, or a constriction of the line of Ibrahim’s descendants. The statement, “in Isaac shall thy seed be called” meant that Ibrahim’s progeny will continue there where he was at that time, through Ishaq; whereas the other statement was an emphasis on the fact that Isma’il was his seed (“he is thy seed”) but his progeny will be multiplied and made into a nation in another region. By the very nature of this plan of God’s (and Sarah’s desire to exclude Isma’il from his father’s immediate possessions was itself part of God’s plan), Hajar and Ismail could not have been settled in any place in the region of Beer-Sheba and Sinai, which were very much then within the sphere of Ibrahim’s and Sarah’s activities. Hajar and Isma’il could only have been, and were indeed consigned to a far-away and unsettled land. The Paran/Faran mentioned in the Genesis as their domicile could not simply have been any Paran in and around Beer-Sheba and Sinai, as the Christian scholars imagine.

Fifthly, as regards the exact location of Hajar’s and Isma’il’s domicile Genesis 21 also furnishes a clue. Thus, when Hajar in her utter distress and helplessness prayed unto God and also the child Ismail cried out of hunger and thirst, God responded to them. Says the Genesis:

    (Gen. 21:17-19)

    17. And God heard the voice of the lad; and the Angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? Fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.”

    “18. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.”

    “19. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.”

Thus God provided Hajar and Isma’il with a well of water; on the spot where they were (“God has heard the voice of the lad where he is.”) Hajar did not have to look around and walk any distance to find the well. “God opened her eyes”, i.e., God made her open her eyes (Obviously Hajar was deeply absorbed in prayer with her eyes closed), “and she saw a well of water.” It was not simply a temporary relief. It was God’s especial gift for them to be the means of their sustenance and settlement there in accordance with His plan and promise to “make a nation” out of Isma’il. This divinely provided well cannot be identified with any well in Beer-Sheba and its surrounding region for the simple reason that none of these wells is mentioned in the Old Testament as God-given. On the contrary they are very distinctly described as the work of human hand. Nor is there any local tradition pointing to the existence there, now or in the past, of any divinely caused well. To attempt to identify the well given by God to Isma’il and Hajar with any of the wells in the Beer-Sheba region would be an affront to the clear wording and purport of the text of the Genesis. This well is unmistakably the Zamzam well by the side of the Ka’ba. Ever since the time of Hajar and Isma’il it has continued to be a perennial source of water for the descendants of Isma’il and others who repair there, except for a short period of human tampering with it.

Last but not least, the name of Makka, which is also called Bakka in the Qur’an (Q. 3:96), finds mention in the Psalm of David, together with the well too. Thus Psalm 84:6 says:

    “Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.”

‘Baca’ in the above passage is clearly Bakka of the Qur’an, and the well spoken of is the well of Zamzam. It is also noteworthy that ancient works on history and geography make mention of floods being caused at Makka by occasional heavy rains, a feature not quite unknown even in modem times -thus completing the identification with Makka – “the rain also filleth the pools.”

Thus, despite some obvious discrepancies in the description of the Genesis, it is in consonance with all the essential features in the Qur’anic and Islamic accounts; and they combined prove that Hajar and Isma’il were settled at Makka, according to the Divine plan and provision.