Author Topic: Re: Re: Re: Mecca - Makkah - In History (perhaps most important opening subject for Muslims)  (Read 398 times)


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Indeed Mecca could not have existed until long after the trade route was established because it could only have survived through trade. It remains one of the driest places in Arabia receiving only a small fraction of the rainfall that Yemen does.

And with those comments, you have only further made manifest your flawed understanding regarding the history and nature of ancient cities. But it's okay, I'll give you another lecture on this.

The argument that Mecca could have survived only through trade carries a very naive assumption, which is that a "city," by definition, must be a place of commerce and thereby contain lots of people buying and selling stuff.

No my presumption was based on the matter of fact that human beings need food to survive. Mecca was and is one of the driest places that even Arabia has to offer. No pasture, no agriculture, no food.
So the unhistorical Islamic created fiction or so-called tradition, regarding Abraham dumping Hagar and Ishmael off there alone, and then wandering the 1200 kilometers back to his home in Hebron, is demonstrated to be pure hogwash.

It obviously would have been impossible for them to survive without food.

I suppose the thing that's most surprising, is why anybody would want to be associated with Ishmael in the first place, since his seed are the "children of the flesh" that were specifically cut out of the covenants that God made with Abraham and his son Isaac:

But if you were acquainted enough with the writings of ancient historians, instead of just reading Rafat Amari's articles, you would know that cities of the ancients used to have different elements or requirements in order to be called a "city."

In the modern context, our perceptions of a city is that it is a populated urban center of commerce and administration with a system of laws. We differentiate a settlement from an actual city by factors such as the population density, the number of buildings, and the particular administrative laws. But many people, like you, don't know the fact that towns and cities in the ancient times were often very simpler and less populated than those that exist in the current era. Ancient people used to have sacred places, often associated with shrines or religious buildings, around which cities grew. Many medieval cities were built near monasteries and cathedrals. That's why historians say that the foundation of a city was always a religious act.

The city was not so much about how many men and houses there are, or whether there is trade or not, or whether it receives little rainfall or an abundant rainfall because, above all, the city was made with the intention that it should be a designated as a place for people to unite for a common worship. Hence ancient cities very often had a religious foundation behind them. If you don't believe me, read for yourself what a French historian named Fustel de Coulanges (1830 - 1889) wrote in his book The Ancient City:

"We are not to picture ancient cities to ourselves as anything like what we see in our day. We build a few houses; it is a village. Insensibly the number of houses increases, and it becomes a city; and finally, if there is occasion for it, we surround this with a wall."

"With the ancients, a city was never formed by degrees, by the slow increase of the number of men and houses. They founded a city at once, all entire in a day; but the elements of the city needed to be first ready, and this was the most difficult, and ordinarily the largest work. As soon as the families, the phratries, and the tribes had agreed to unite and have the same worship, they immediately founded the city as a sanctuary for this common worship, and thus the foundation of a city was always a religious act." (p. 177).

The notion above has been succinctly explained by Professor Engin Isin in a chapter of a comprehensive book titled Handbook of Historical Sociology (2003):

"Fustel argued that considering the city as association and the city as place as synonymous or overlapping is a modern way of thinking about cities, whereas the ancients maintained their belief in the existence of the city as an association even if it did not have a corresponding spatial form to it. Because of this fundamental difference, Fustel believed that we could not infer the essence of the city from its spatial characteristics such as concentration, arrangements and elements of its buildings, bridges and walls. Rather, the essence of the city would be revealed by investigating the city as association. That is why Fustel considered the city above all as a religious foundation. For him, as soon as various tribes agreed to ‘unite’ and have the same worship, they founded the city as a sanctuary for this common worship. The foundation of the city was thus always a religious act." (Isin, Engin F. "Historical Sociology of the City," in Delanty, Gerard and Isin, Engin F. (eds.) Handbook of Historical Sociology. London, UK: Sage, 2003, p. 315)

So, in the ancient times, sacred places were very often regarded as cities, because religion was the foundation of a city. This is a conclusion that many other historians and scholars have arrived at over the years. As Paul Wheatley tells us in his classic work The Pivot of the Four Quarters, "the combined testimony of archeology, epigraphy, mythology, literature, representational art, and either extant or recorded architecture leaves no room to doubt that religion provided the primary focus for social life in the immediately pre-urban period" (Wheatley, 302).

Mecca was built was built for a religious purpose, too, and thus we have good reasons to regard it as an ancient city .......

We have no reason whatsoever to consider Mecca an ancient city because there is no evidence that suggests it is an ancient city. Also, I think it is a bit of a stretch to suggest Mecca was built for a religious purpose rather than an alternate to the Quraish pagan's home in Yemen, but when the Yemeni pagans migrated to the vicinity in about the 4th century AD, they did bring along their pagan stone idols, one of which survives today (even though it seems the Lord even arranged to have it broken into pieces, yet amazingly, some still venerate it and prostrate toward it 5 times a day).

The same black stone idol that the pagans venerated, and Muslims in their wake, prostrate themselves toward and venerate to such an extent, that pagans and Muslims even suffer the financial burden of traveling to it to march around it as the Arabian pagans did.

Indeed the pagans and Muslims performed the Hajj shoulder to shoulder, right up until the year before Muhammad's last Hajj, when he had the poor pagans kicked out of their own ritual. However I don't think there is any evidence that suggests that the pagan's veneration went as far as kissing their black stone idol, as Muhammad did (and his followers do in his image).

....... considering the nature of other ancient cities as described above.

Those cities are those cities, period. What their existence in fact demonstrates is that Mecca was a come-lately more minor place of pagan worship, since the Quraish themselves went on Hajj twice a year to more prominent areas of pagan worship, long after their own pagan Kaaba was built.  Certainly the far more significant place of pagan worship of Taif was one, which is why Muhammad tried to scold them out of their Hajj to Taif:

Surah Quraish 106:1-3 For the covenants by the Quraish, their covenant journeys by winter and summer, let them adore the lord of this house.

"The Kaabah of Mecca was  one of many Kaabahs that  were  branches of the Kaabah of Taif;  It was of  the same building style and had the same religious pagan functions.

Islam is a form of the Arabian Star Family worship of Mohammed’s time. The veil which tries to hide this reality falls when we study the roots of the Islamic religion.

   Ibn Abbas, the cousin of Mohammed, and one of the reporters of the tradition of Mohammed, called Hadith, speaks of two pilgrimages of the Quraish tribe. One of the journeys was to the city of Taif.[i [1]

    At Taif there was also a temple called Kaabah of Ellat, or Kaabah of the Sun.  This Kaabah was more significant and much older than the Kaabah of Mecca.  All Arabs, including the tribe of Quraish from which Mohammed came, venerated this Kaabah. The Kaabah of Taif was identical to the Kaabah of Mecca, and it had the same religious functions. Like the Kaabah at Mecca, it had a sacred valley where no animals or humans were allowed to be killed. The Kaabah of Taif had the same Sidaneh, or religious rituals, adopted by the Kaabah at Mecca. The Kaabah of Taif also had the Istar استار , a kind of dress to cover the sacred stones like we find at the Kaabah of Mecca. Both the Kaabah of Taif and the Kaabah of Mecca had a yard, or an area, which was inviolable. No one could cut its trees or hunt its animals. Anyone who entered there for refuge was protected.  Both Kaabahs also had a well in which to put gifts.[ii] [2]"

That is where the Prophet Abraham found the Kaaba, and so he wanted to make a city there, for a common worship. Religion was his primary objective, and things like trade, subsistence, and physical conditions of the land were secondary although important nonetheless. Thus Abraham initiated with the prayer, "O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Your Sacred House, O our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So make some hearts among the people incline towards them and provide for them from the fruits so that they might be grateful." (Surah 14:37).

So, Abraham knew that Mecca was a dry, uncultivated valley, and so it would be hard to live there, but that didn't stop him because he also knew that the Lord can do anything to provide for His slaves. Abraham didn't intend to make the city for the purpose of cultivating soil, producing crops, and raising livestock. He didn't intend to make the city a prosperous trading center. He only wanted to make it a place of worship - "that they may establish prayer." He was only attracted by the spiritual value of the city.

Similarly, like in the case of Mecca, historians know that the urbanization of many cities of the world are associated more with spiritual nourishment than the physical and economic conditions therein. As Lampard notes, "From an archeological standpoint, the quickening of definitive urbanization in several parts of the world is more evidently associated with spiritual nourishment than with gross physical subsistence. In a number of areas the key feature of the change is ideological and social rather than economic." (Lampard, Eric E. ''Historical Aspects of Urbanization," in Philip M. Hauser and Leo F. Schnore, (eds.) The Study of Urbanization. New York: John Wiley, 1965, p. 532).

As if that wasn't enough, Fustel in his book (The Ancient City) also points out that when the ancients wanted to establish a city somewhere, they would consult and seek assistance from their divinities: "The Greeks, like the Italians, believed that the site of a city should be chosen and revealed by the divinity. So, when they wished to found one, they consulted the oracle at Delphi." (Fustel, 183). We see that the same pattern exists in the case of Abraham when he came to what is now Mecca. He began with a prayer: "And remember when Abraham said: 'O my Lord! Make this city (Mecca) one of peace and security, and keep me and my sons away from worshiping idols.'" (Surah 14:35).

It remains one of the driest places in Arabia receiving only a small fraction of the rainfall that Yemen does.

"Rain falls rarely, but it is tropical its violence, and does considerable damage to the town. On these occasions, during an inundation (seil), the mosque is often flooded to a depth of several feet, since it lies lower than the surrounding city, whose level has been gradually raised by debris accumulate through the destruction and rebuilding of the houses." (Handbook of Hejaz. Cairo: Arab Bureau, 2nd edn, 1917. p. 30)

It's really quite comical isn't it? The pagan's kaaba and black stone idol swimming in urban flood water laced with human sewage!
Sooooo unlike the site that the one true God had His people build His temple on, in THE Holy Land of the prophets and patriarchs.

When the summers got too hot, the Meccans used to leave Mecca to stay at Al-Taif in order to avoid the blazing sun.

Sure they did, "to avoid the blazing sun"!
The historical record tells us they went to Taif to worship al-Lat the sun godess, in pagan Arabian Star Family worship (as detailed above), who, as the etymology of the name would suggest was the wife of al-Lah the moon god.

"It [Taif] is much cooler than Mecca, and has a plentiful water supply.  Both in climate and physical character the district resembles the highlands of Asir and Yemen, the monsoon or tropical rains, which are unknown elsewhere in elsewhere in. Hejaz, falling heavily in the early autumn. Water is obtained from abundant springs and brooks, the principal stream, the Seil, being beautifully clear but lukewarm." (Handbook of Hejaz. Cairo: Arab Bureau, 2nd edn, 1917. p. 32)


"Despite the general aridity there is probably no spot in Arabia which does not now and then receive a light shower or at long intervals a heavy storm. When these occur the steppes and deserts, except in limited areas where the white quartz sand may be chemically sterile, respond at once, especially in spring. with a luscious growth of herbage affording valuable pasture for camels, horses, and sheep." (Western Arabia and the Red Sea, p. 178).