AsSalamu Alaikum and welcome once again to Western focus. Today’s program inshallah will be our second in our series Muhammad peace be upon him, the last messenger of Allah. And our second segment Mohammed and the Abrahamic family tree. I’m your host Shawnee Mission here once again from St. Mary’s University is Dr. Gemma SROI.
Could we have a summary of last week’s program? Okay, first of all, we started to relate the new series to the previous ones that we covered before. And we began with the first segment of this new series, to try and examine how the mission of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him fits with the mission of previous prophets. We try to clarify that from a Muslim understanding. The mission of Prophet Muhammad is the climax of all divine revelation, the culmination,
and embodiment of all prophetic traditions throughout history, not only in the Middle East, but elsewhere. But more specifically, we said that his mission is the climax of the Abrahamic family tree and the promise that was given to Abraham and his children, or his seeds, that all the nations of the earth will be blessed through them. To clarify how this promise of God was fulfilled. We indicated that Abraham was childless, that his wife, Sarah, who was betting give him a band woman by the name of Hagar as a second wave, and from Hagar.
Ishmael, the first born son to Abraham, came, and that God promised to bless that particular son, and to make of him a great nation, as the book of Genesis indicate. And finally, we said that Prophet Ishmael and his mother Hagar settled in the wilderness of Paran, which is actually the land of hedges not more, particularly Makkah, which is also known as Baca. And from that place, came the last prophet, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. And he indicated that the name actually, Makkah, or Baca has already been mentioned in the 84th psalm of David in verses four through six. So that’s about it, this topic on profits is actually quite an interesting one. And I know that carbon was
some years ago, I was wondering if we could discuss it again, in the context of this series.
I definitely agree with you, but perhaps I might have some bias because they happen to like this particular topic, that it is important because To start with, in the previous series, for example, in Jesus beloved messengers of Allah,
we tried to show that there is one important common ground between Muslims and their Christian Brothers and that both of them actually believe in Jesus and love him and honor Him and we’ll discuss also the areas of difference and understanding. So that was at least one basic common ground.
On the other hand, I would also say that this topic here in the context of dealing with the life of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, may turn out to be another possible common ground between Muslims and Christians. I know this might sound strange, but even starting from the Bible,
as it is, now, you will find that there are many passages which are perhaps less known and possibly misunderstood. And that seems to provide that common ground and as such, they are in line with what the Quran stated 1400 years ago, that the coming of Prophet Muhammad was indeed prophesied by several profits in the past, including Abraham, Moses, and Jesus peace be upon.
since the topic of that series is the history of the last prophet of God, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. It is useful also to try and trace his roots in history, and the prophecies about his Advent being the climax of divine revelation throughout history.
My honor isn’t actually a part of hesitation.
Initially to go into much details is that, as you mentioned, this was covered some years back in an eight segment series.
However, we could possibly elaborate on some issues, not necessarily to be the exact replica of what was covered before are exactly the same approach of presentation. But perhaps, if we refer to some additional research, after this series were was already finished, which I will show that they tend to come to confirm the conclusion of that series. And also, perhaps that’s more important to discuss some of the objections that I have been aware of in writing and in dialogues or strikes since the series came first in 1980.
So if you feel that there might be some benefits and continuing with this, I definitely don’t mind but like I said, I have some bias because this is a topic where I have deep interest and personally I find it extremely fascinating.
To start off, and going back to the fight you made at the end of the previous program, that Mecca was actually mentioned in the Bible. Now, what is the significance of this? And how do
non Muslim biblical scholars explain this? Well, the importance of dimension of Makkah, or Baca, which is the same name
in the Bible is very important because there is no other place in the world, in the ancient world that was known by the name of Mecca, or Baca, except one place that’s in Arabia, where Ishmael and Hagar live, and where Prophet Muhammad, the last prophet was, was born. So this is exceedingly important, I believe. However, in order to appreciate that mentioned, and discuss some of the views of orientalist or objections to the interpretation offered me just the text of that section from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. Again, it’s the sun number 84, verses four through six.
It says, quote, blessed are those who would win in my house, ever singing by praise.
Blessed are the men whose strength is in the in whose hearts are the highways design,
as they go through the Valley of Baca, ba T. as they go through the valley of backup, they make it a place of Sprint’s
the early rain, also covers covers it with tools.
the prophecy to me seems to be
quite interesting. Because to start with, it speaks about blessing, the blessing the people who are dwelling in the house of God ever singing his praises. Of course, you could say that this might apply to Jerusalem being also having been a temple where God was praised. But let us also remember that there is no house on Earth. today and for 1400 years was the name of God has been praised more than the Kaaba, the holy Kaaba built by Prophet Abraham. Long time ago and before Jerusalem was built, it is a place where there’s always all the time people praying and
revolving around the Kaaba day and night, every season. This is an amazing thing about the the cover. But the part that relates to the question of the one that we were talking about in the previous program, and the water gushing at the feet of Prophet Ishmael when he was crying for waters
that it says they grow through the Valley of Baca
make it a strings there is even reference to water he is in the context of people passing through the Valley of Baca. Now, it must be pointed out here that again, I emphasize that Mecca and Baca is the same place. In fact, it’s only a variation in tribal dialects. And the Quran itself revealed 1400 years ago, uses both names interchangeably. In one verse, it uses the term Baca and the other choose Mecca, Mecca, and Baca are the same. Now coming to the question that it is as to whether there is any objection. That’s where we go beyond perhaps what we covered previously in this series. Well, the first objection was one that I heard in the process of the trial.
a Jewish and Christian scholars in the University of Southern California about a year ago.
And a question was raised from the floor about the issue of the prophecy. So I mentioned I said that,
that the Baca or Mecca is already mentioned in the Psalms of David. And they seem to be indication of the importance of that place and blessing of the people there.
That Jewish scholar who is a professor of theology in Jewish Studies,
said no, Baca
does not mean that what you’re talking about it means a valley.
So I said to him, Professor, Sansa, if you want to go back to the text of the Bible, it says,
they go through the value of backcap. And if the word backer means Valley, it means the Valley of value, or the value of the value, which doesn’t have any sense of worth, what I appreciated in him is that he had a good sense of humor, because he joined the whole lecture hall in laughter, but did not object obviously, it kind of I mean, that this whole and I don’t know what source he used for that because I couldn’t see it even where the word backup means that it doesn’t mean value at all.
Some have claimed that the term backup comes from backup, which means wheat. And I think, in one of the translations, at least of the Bible, it uses the term the Valley of reaping.
I’ve seen that, for example, in the Arabic translation of the Bible,
where the readers can easily discover when you address an Arabic speaking person, Muslim or Christian and use the term Mecca doctor he knows immediately, that is NACA. So I wonder what the term value of weeping or wedding bouquet in Arabic is used in the Arabic Bible. But I find that this explanation is,
is not very reasonable at all, to say that it’s not a reference to a specific place. First of all, we don’t know where in history was a valley called the Valley of reading.
We don’t see particularly in the Bible, any place that carry that particular name,
to my knowledge, at least. Secondly, if it is said that this is an allegorical name, in the same way that the Bible sometimes speak about the valley of the shadow of death or something of that nature.
The question here is why should we assume this to be allegorical name back? Why should we say to an allegorical name, if we know of a place which historically existed, and was cool back?
It just like saying, one, New York as a city never existed, it doesn’t exist, and start analyzing the etymology and saying you mean so and so your commune so and so, but it’s just an allegorical name, it doesn’t mean a specific place if at least one known place in history was known to be as Baca or Makkah Why should we say that this is an allegorical name.
In addition to this, there are a number of reasons which make us quite comfortable with the understanding that this is a clear reference to MCE.
First of all, the term backcap is an Arabic term and as was explained by a famous Arab geographer by the name of Shahab Shaheed, the dean and Iacobucci, Al Baghdadi, in his famous multi volume book called margin can pretend very important difference. And by the way, he died in the early 13th century of the Christian era. So it’s not a recent thing because of the recent discussions or anything of that nature. And he says that the reason Baca was called back
that it comes from the Arabic term, yet Tibet Kuhn. Yet avacoins means to crowds that reference to the pilgrims during the season of pilgrimage when becoming a small, limited space, so they count with each other. And that was mentioned
in volume one on page 475. A second reason is that some of the Christian sources also seem to refer to maccha can recognize that this is actually part of the prophecies, not necessarily very openly, but in
an indirect way. Let me give you a couple of examples of this.
In the Oxford Bibles,
it describes Dhaka as not as yet unknown, faraway place which is frequented by police
who make the damage to unknown holy place
I fully agree except that the term unknown is not a mystery anymore. Yes, it is a foreign place faraway place that is far from Jerusalem.
frequented by pilgrims and those pilgrims are visiting a holy place. But the holy place is known and that is the Kaaba. And that place is known and that is Mecca. This is not something that started after Islam or after the coming of Prophet Muhammad peace. We all know from history that the Kaaba was visited by pilgrims even since the days of Abraham and Ishmael as soon as it was built. And the evidence of that is just overwhelming.
And the Kaaba is definitely a holy place. A second example.
According to the International Standard Bible encyclopedia, on Volume One, page four or two.
It describes the journey of Baca as the thirsty Valley, a very sone and because it contains trees, that excuted resin, or gum, perhaps several species of balsa wood been some tree.
Well, that’s quite interesting, because we all know that one of the most famous types of resins is known as a single RBD Arabic lesson for Arabic gum.
A third example is found in the interpreters Bible, Volume Two, on page 455, which gives a similar explanation it says Becca, come from bakka, shrub or tree. The point here is that even if you take back our innocence of we think
that the the snow of the resin or gum from the tree might somehow resemble
weeping. But in all of these explanations, which are like I say all Christian sources,
it seems to indicate that it is actually maccha rather than just unknown place or allegory can vary.
In view of this consistent evidence from a variety of sources, some are quite old sources.
It is only fair to say that NACA or Baca is the place where Ishmael lived, where Prophet Muhammad was born, the same background, which has already been mentioned in the 84th.
Some of David and that was part again, of the fulfillment of the Divine promise to bless the nations of the earth, through the seeds of Abraham.
It’s very good.
I like now to to change your focus to the story of Hagar and Ishmael II. But as it is in the Bible, as it is in the Quran, could you could you compare? Could you compare the two? Okay, well, on the Bible in one on one hand, it is said that Ishmael and Hagar were taken away by Abraham after the reading of Isaac.
That’s minions that Ishmael must have been at least 16 years old, at that time, probably 17. Why? Because according to the Bible,
Isaac was born after Ishmael, after when, almost about 14 years after the birth of Ishmael. And in the Jewish tradition, the weaning of the child is about the
second or third years. So we’re talking here about Ishmael at that time being about 16 or 17 years old.
But on the other hand, in the Bible also,
especially if you check the book of Genesis, chapters 21, verses 14 through 19.
You’ll find that the way
exodus might say, of Hagar and Ishmael is described, needs no doubt in the minds of any perceptible leaders, that it’s actually speaks about Ishmael as a small baby rather than a 17 years old.
And both of them cannot be correct at the same time. Why? And the 21st chapter of Genesis, it describes how
Abraham put the bed the skin full of water full of water on the shoulders of his wife, Hagar, also the child as if Hagar
I was getting 17 or 16 years old teenager. It says that when Hagar was left in the wilderness, that she,
she tested her child, Ishmael, under the shrub. And then she was very scared that he may die out of thirst, that she couldn’t stand sitting and looking at him suffering. And then she started running back and forth looking for water. And then it says when the engine should hard the will,
that gushed with water she went, filled,
containers converted back to him, when obvious like said any
receptive leaders would easily recognize that this is the description of a small child, not a 17 year old actually, if he’s 17, you should be looking for water for his mother himself shall then be blueberry verse. But on the other hand, like I said, earlier, in the very same chapter, we were told
the reason why Hagar and Ishmael was taken away is that after Isaac was being that his mind was joking, or you know, talking in a way to Isaac that Sarah did not like so she told Abraham to take them away, which speaks about 17 years old, he received this do not necessarily fit with each other, just an impossibility. Another observation that, of course, in Islamic tradition, I should say since you asked me for comparison, the story is totally consistent, and Islamic traditions even though it does not specifically appear in the Quran. It is known that Ishmael was taking while he was a small child, they were taken to Mecca,
according to a divine command and the divine plan, and that the one of Zamzam which is still gushing with water until this time.
Inside the confines of the Kaaba is the one that gushed under the feet of Ishmael while he was crying as a baby
because of his thirst, so the the Islamic tradition is quite consistent. But going back to the Bible, I noticed that something really attracted my attention. In the
21st chapter of Genesis and verse 15, it says that Ishmael and Hagar wandered in Beersheba, and that they Derwent in the wilderness of Paran, pa are in
now, to tie he in this chapter between this Shiva, which most geographer would identify, as, you know, in the southern part of Palestine, and to connect it with Iran
is very difficult for anyone really to understand. Because some of the Bible’s some of the dictionaries of the Bible identify Paragon as being part of the Sinai Peninsula, and we’ll come to that discussion later on. In fact, paren means Makkah, but we’ve come to that a little later, but even in their own differences, the
dictionaries of the Bible mentioned it as,
as in Sinai.
the Quran does not specify,
for example, in the
exact periods where Ishmael was taken, but it could be easily it doesn’t say he was taken to Makkah, for example, but one can easily discern that it was indeed NACA, because in Surah, number 14, verse 37, when Prophet Abraham was praying, and he says, Oh, my Lord, I have kept my progeny in the untenanted land or barren land. And of course, if you connect that with the history of development of the Israelites there, then you know where the places it is interesting also to notice that the term Shiva because when we use the term, beer Sheba, that the term Shiva according to the Bible, is actually a designation of the name of one of the descendants of keturah. And keturah was the third
wife of Abraham, which he married after the death of Sarah.
That appears, for example, in Genesis chapter 10, verses 28 through 30. And also in chapter 25 and verse three, the Bible also tell us that
jog tan or j or k t n, which is the equivalent to Arabic avant tribal of the avant
nibbed also in the territory which runs between Misha
And suffer, suffer se, Ph AR. This is not an Arabic as the mountains of the forest, which is in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula. So they lived in that area. And obviously that expanse of land includes Mecca. And in fact, in Makkah, until today, we are told that there is a particular child known as a shaman, or Shiva coming from Shiva,
historically have been some of those who looked after the karma, or so the camera, I must add also, that historically,
it has not been proved at all by anyone really, that the ishmaelites or prophet Ishmael and his mother Hagar actually dwelt in Beersheba, southern India. So if we take Beersheba to mean the southern part of Palestine, what they would want when actually was in Mecca itself.
But despite of these two differences, it appears to me that still, that the text of the Bible is quite clear about the promise to bless the progeny of Abraham and that this blessing includes both Isaac as well as Ishmael, so the Israelites and Israelites are both included. I must add one more comment I have taken a little longer in that question. But I think it would be of interest to note here, that there have been a new and emerging phenomenon among some Christian writers to recognize that Prophet Muhammad is indeed a descendant of Ishmael. This has been recognized, for example, in the Davis Dictionary of the Bible,
in the International Standard Bible encyclopedia in Smith by the dictionary, that they have been implicit or explicit acknowledgement
of the lineage of Prophet Muhammad from a prophet fishmonger which has been working on historically. So I believe that this was clear prophecy and that the prophecy
was fulfilled. Well, if it is clear that better why, why is it not accepted by both Jewish and Christian scholars? Okay, in my humble understanding, to be a prophecy is very clear.
And very important in the meantime, because as indicated earlier, it could potentially if understood without bias or prejudice, it could provide an very important, common ground, not only between Muslims and their Christian Brethren, but I think it could even extend to the Jews as well because all three, accept or believe in the original revelation of the Bible, both, or all three religions belonged to Abraham, who are descendants of Abraham, and that prophecy in itself. Suffice to make the point. Unfortunately, however, we find that many writers downplay its importance and raise objections which quite frankly, I find them not not particularly scholarly.
But perhaps this is an issue that
we have time we can pick up. So thank you. Hello, and thank you all for joining us here in Islam and focus. see you here next week. inshallah, we will continue and with this present topic, as always, your comments and suggestions would be most appreciated. Our phone number and address will be appearing on your screen. From all of us in some focus