Switching Baca into Mecca

images (12)

In a desperate attempt to biblically legitimise their pilgrimage to Mecca, some Muslim apologists quote Psalm 84:5-6

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.”

In Sura 3:96, the Quran uses the name “Bekka” (or Bakka) for Mecca:

The first House established for the people was that at Bekka, a place holy, and a guidance to all beings.”

For this reason, Muslims argue that Psalm 84 is talking about pilgrimage to Mecca, consequently identifying Yahweh with the Allah of Islam.

I have encountered this argument a number of times from Muslims, but it’s absolutely false on several levels.

First of all, the Hebrew word in vs. 5 is mesillot and it means “ways” or “highway” not pilgrimage. The Hebrew word “mesillot” has no linguistic link whatsoever with the Arabic word “hajj.”

Furthermore vs. 7 says “They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.” This simply means that the destination of the people mentioned in vs. 5 – if we take it literally – is Zion, which is Jerusalem, not Mecca or Arabia.

According to Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, the valley of Baca mentioned in the verse is “a valley in Canaan, thought by some scholars to be the same place as the Valley of Rephaim (2 Sam. 5:22-24; Ps. 84:6)” (ed. Ronald Youngblood, Thomas Nelson, 1995, 153).

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (Vol. 1, 402) says of Baca: “Hebrew: baka (Ps. 84:6); NEB ‘thirsty valley.’ A valley so named because it contained trees that exuded resins or gums, perhaps several species of balsam. The valley of Rephaim has been suggested, but the identification is uncertain (cf. S. 5:23f; 1 Ch. 14:14f).”

The Lion Handbook to the Bible (1983, p. 344) says “Baca: possibly an actual valley the pilgrim passes on his way to Jerusalem. But New English Bible ‘the thirsty valley’ gives the sense.”

Scholars point out that the Hebrew word ba-kha comes from a root meaning “weep” (cf. Gen. 21:16). It therefore seems to indicate a plant, shrub or tree producing gums or its usage may have been symbolic of the valley of weeping.

To suggest that Baca in the Bible means Mecca is not only a phonetic fallacy, but also based on ignorance and mischief.

One Muslim quoted John 4:19-21 to me as “proof of hajj in the Bible” but reading the proceeding verses blows his theory into shreds:

22 “You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

This is the reason Christians don’t face a black stone, temple or a particular direction during prayer.

That’s why we don’t need to travel to Jerusalem, Mecca or Rome in order to worship God, because true worship is spiritual and founded on truth. Spiritual worship is not based on a geographical location or rituals.

African Muslims have better stones in their countries, cities and towns, but they are still mandated to spend so much money and risk their lives to travel to dance around and kiss a dirty Arabian stone.

They are even promised a first class ticket to paradise if they die in Mecca. Such a gross deception and nationalistic fetish is an exploitation of ignorance.

The Greek word for “worship” in John 4 is “proskunountas” and it means “to do reference to” (Strong #4352). It never means “hajj” or pilgrimage.

Even more than a point, the Allah of Islam is not a “Father” much less “Spirit.” It’s blasphemy to address him so in Islam. Therefore, any Muslim trotting out these verses is shooting himself in the leg theologically.

Muslims also quote Micah 4:1-2:

In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. Many nations will come and say, ‘Come let us go to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths. The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”

This prophecy is also repeated in Isaiah 2:2-4. This is speaking of the earthly millennial rule of Christ from Jerusalem. Nothing here or elsewhere speaks of pilgrimage to Mecca. In fact, this can’t be the same as “the Valley of Baca.”

On the one hand, Muslims claim that “the Bible has been corrupted” but when they want to trace the ‘history’ of their religion, they don’t go to the Vedas or Puranas, they go straight to the Bible they claim is “corrupted.”

So, with a semantic juggling at one point, a partial quotation at another and brazen interpolations elsewhere, the Muslim is compelled to uphold the myths of the Quran or the entire raft of his religion crumbles!

Bible Characters in the Quran (1)

download (1).jpeg

The Quran claims in several places to be a confirmation and a fuller explanation of the Bible.

This Quran is not such as can be produced by other than Allah; on the contrary, it is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, And a fuller explanation of the Book (the Bible i.e the Scripture of the Jews and Christians) – wherein there is no doubt – from the Lord of the worlds” (10:37).

But when one compares the Quran with the Bible, the falsehood of this verse quickly becomes evident. Muslim leaders desperately try to evade this dilemma of contradiction by claiming that the “original Bible” is lost or has been “corrupted.”

Many Muslims, without any sense of demonstrable self-awareness, boldly assert that the Quran came to correct the errors of the Bible or even replace it. Yet, the Quran appeals to the Bible as God’s inspired Word time and again.

To sustain their faith in Islam, Muslims jettison reason, history and truth in their attacks against the Bible to uphold the Quran. But this is irrational.

The principle of historical precedent states that an older theory tests and judges a newer one. If X predates Y in Z, the burden of proof is on Y to prove itself. Until then, Y is in error.

Since the Bible existed before the Quran, it is the standard by which the Quran is to judged and tested, and if the Quran contradicts it at any place, then every rational person must go with the Bible.

This principle will be applied here. In the Quran, Muhammad said “I am no bringer of new-fangled doctrine among the apostles … I follow but that which is revealed to me by inspiration” (Sura 46:9).

To verify this claim, we must compare the Quran with the Bible and if we find evidence of “newly fangled” ideas in the former, the logical conclusion is that Muhammad was an uninspired (false) prophet.

The following are examples of how the Quran confuses Bible stories and grossly depicts Bible characters.

Adam and Eve

The Quran presents us with a nuanced account of Adam and Eve’s sin. The first version says:

But the devil whispered to him. Said he, ‘O Adam! Shall I guide thee to the tree of immortality, and a kingdom that shall not wane” (Sura 20:120)

The second says: “But Satan whispered to them to make apparent to them that which was concealed from them of their private parts. He said, Your Lord did not forbid you this tree except that you become angels or become immortal” (Sura 7:20)

On comparison with the Bible, both versions are false. Satan deceived Eve alone while Adam knowingly ate the fruit from Eve (Gen. 3:1-5).

The Quran also says that Adam and Eve were thrown to earth when they sinned:

Then did Satan make them slip from the (garden), and get them out of the state (of felicity) in which they had been. We said: ‘Get ye down, all (ye people), with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood – for a time” (Sura 2:36).

In the Biblical account, Adam and Eve were sent out of the garden of Eden – on earth – where they were created, not heaven.

Muhammad must have heard Jews and Christians talking about the Fall of Adam and Eve and naively thought they literally fell from heaven or a planet down to earth!

He didn’t know the Fall meant a spiritual separation of man from God’s glory (Rom. 3:23). Our being on earth today is not a result of the Fall.

Again, Sura 7:189-190 say:

It is He Who has created you from a single person (Adam), and (then) He has created from him his wife (Eve), in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her. When he had sexual relation with her, she became pregnant and she carried it about lightly. Then when it became heavy, they both invoked Allah, their Lord (saying): “If you give us a Salih (good in every aspect) child, we shall indeed be among the grateful. But when He gave them a Salih (good in every aspect) child, they ascribed partners to Him (Allah) in that which He has given to them…”

This is another version that is nowhere found in the Bible.

Adam and Eve weren’t Arabians and didn’t start a pagan religion. Here, Muhammad was probably trying to redact their story to fit his agenda of making the Meccans worship Allah, their chief deity, excluding the other divinities in the Arabian pantheon.

Abraham

The Quran indicates that Abraham had two children (37:100-11), but the Bible records eight (Gen. 25:1-6, 9).

The Bible records Abraham’s partial lie about Sarah being his wife as his only sin, but the Quran depicts him as a brazen idolater and deceiver:

When the night grew dark upon him he beheld a star. He said: This is my Lord. But when it set, he said: I love not things that set. And when he saw the moon uprising, he exclaimed: This is my Lord. But when it set, he said, unless my Lord guide me, I surely shall become one of the folks who go astray. And when he saw the sun uprising, he cried: This is greater! And when he set he exclaimed: O my people Lo! I am free from all that ye associate (with Him)” (Sura 6:76-78)

Muslims have trumped up some excuses to justify Ibraham’s flagrant idolatry, but they hold no water. No Godly person in the Bible ever worshipped the moon, star and sun (whether jocularly or otherwise).

The patriarch Job called this practice “unfaithfulness to God” and one of “sins to be judged” (Job 31:26-28).

Conversely, sura 2:36 says that “Abraham… was never [one] of the idolaters.” We need to ask: Did Allah forgive him of the “unforgivable” sin of shirk?

Sura 2:125: “We covenanted with Abraham and Isma’il that they should sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or use it as a retreat, or bow or prostrate themselves.

Both the Bible and history show that Abraham was never in Arabia and he didn’t venerate a pagan stone.

The Torah which predates the Quran by 2000 years is a more reliable record of Abraham than anything Muhammad concocted more than a millennia later.

In Sura 21:58-63 we read of Abraham destroying idols: “So he broke them into pieces, all except the chief of them, that they might return to it. They said, ‘Who has done this to our gods? Surely, he is a wrongdoer. Some others said, ‘We heard a young man speak ill of them; he is called Abraham.’… “He replied, ‘Well, someone has surely done this. Here is the chief of them. So ask them if they can speak.

In the Bible, Abraham didn’t destroy any idol. This fiction came about because Muhammad confused the story of Gideon with Abraham (Judges 6:25-31). It’s blasphemy to attribute this astounding blunder to God.

Lot

Narrating his rescue from Sodom and Gomorrah, Sura 27:57-58 says:

“So We saved him and his family, except his wife. We destined her to be of those who remained behind. And We rained down on them a rain (of stones). So evil was the rain of those who were warned.”

The Hilali-Khan version inserted “of stones” to specify the manner of rain. Yusuf Ali, perhaps aware of this blunder, slyly inserts “of brimstone” in parenthesis in his own version.

But Sura 54:34 says: “We sent against them violent storms of stones (which destroyed them all), except the family of Lout (Lot) whom We saved...”

To evade this blunder again, Yusuf Ali inserts “violent tornado” into the text.

Both the Bible and modern archaeology prove that Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed by brimstone, not stones. There are also two conflicting versions of Lot’s rescue. In Sura 15:63, the angels made their identity known the moment Lot saw them:

They said ‘Yes, but we come to thee for a purpose about which thy people doubt.

But in Sura 11: 81, the angels didn’t make their identity known until when Lot was in trouble with the men of Sodom.

The second version is more in line with the Bible. Either Muhammad heard the story from Jews and Christians on two different occasions and had them written accordingly or they were written by different people with nuanced knowledge of the Torah.

Noah

So the Ark floated with them on the waves (towering) like mountains, and Noah called out to his son, who had separated himself (from the rest): ‘O my son! Embark with us, and be not with the unbelievers. The son replied “I will betake myself to some mountain: it will save me from the water.’ Noah said ‘This day nothing can save, from the command of God, any, but those on whom He hath mercy!’ And the waves came between them, and the son was among those who overwhelmed in the Flood” (Sura 11:42-43).

But in the Bible, we see that Noah had three sons and none of them got drowned in the Flood. They all entered the Ark with their three wives (Genesis 6 and 7).

The story of Noah is relayed again in Sura 71:1-28 but when one reads the passage carefully, it’s clear that Muhammad tailored Noah’s story to reflect his own experience and feeling when he was rejected by the Meccan pagans. Vs. 21 quotes Noah saying:

My Lord! surely they have disobeyed me and followed him whose wealth and children have added to him nothing but loss.

How could Noah have said this? Did he have followers? Did he lose them to some wealthy individuals? These were Muhammad’s own words framed as Noah’s.

In verse 23, the cat is fully let out of the bag: “And they have said (to each other) ‘Abandon not your gods: Abandon neither Wadd nor Suwa’, neither Yaguth nor Ya’uq nor Nasr’.

History shows that the idols listed here were those of 7th century Arabians, not of the people of Noah millennia ago! Such outright forgeries!

Again, Sura 66:10 says:

Allah sets forth an example for those who disbelieve, the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. They were two righteous servants of Ours, but they acted treacherous to them. So they availed them naught against Allah, and it was said to them, ‘Enter the Fire, ye twain, along with those who enter it’.

Which fire? Noah’s wife and Lot’s wife didn’t even live in the same century! If Noah’s only son died in the Flood, and his wife perished in a fire, how then was the earth populated after the Flood?

Joseph

In the Quran Jacob is quoted saying to Joseph’s brothers before going to graze their flocks:

Really it saddens me that ye should take him away; I fear lest the wolf should devour him while ye attend not to him” (Sura 12:13).

This is a reflective narrative from someone who assumed Joseph was going grazing with them in a forest.

In the real account Jacob had no premonition of Joseph’s death, he actually sent him to Shechem to check on his brothers and return home (Gen. 37:12-13).

Verse 20 says “And they sold him for a low price, a number of silver coins; and they attached no value to him.” This is an historical error. Coins weren’t used at the time of Joseph.

In verse 24 the Quran suggests that Joseph lusted after Potiphar’s wife: “But she longed for him; and he had longed for her had he not seen a token from his lord…”

This is false. Joseph didn’t lust after her until he saw a “sign.” Whoever composed the Quran has an abysmal knowledge of the Torah. The legendary embellishments and outright lies attached to Biblical characters in it prove that beyond a doubt.

Islam in Wonderland

download

You can’t be a good Muslim if you don’t have a flare for myths and fantasies. The core one says: “Islam is the religion of all the prophets of God.”

Muhammad’s claims are so full of holes – historically and logically – that believing them requires a wandering out of the realm of reality.

Believing in Islam is like wearing goggles that make you step into a world of virtual reality where you encounter fictitious or mythical characters designed by a computer programmer. This is why Islam is largely defended by lies and violence. When you believe in reality and facts, you don’t need to resort to such vices.

Every history book agrees that Muhammad was the founder of Islam. Before him, Islam simply didn’t exist. Muhammad himself said he is “the first” to be a Muslim (Sura 6:14, 163).

But Muslims realize this can have a devastating effect on their myth of a long line of Islamic prophets traced back to Adam, so they twist the verse to say he was the first among the Arabs to be a Muslim.

When his religion expanded, Muhammad himself forgot his earlier lies (liars have poor memory). He later claimed Moses said “I am the first Moslem” (Sura 7:143). How ridiculous. How can there be two “firsts?”

In Sura 2:127-128 Abraham and Ishmael are presented as Arabs who built the Kaaba praying: “Our ‘Lord! Make us Muslims…”

Sura 2:132 also says Abraham left a legacy to his sons and Jacob saying: “Allah has chosen faith for you, then die not except in the faith of Islam”.

Historically, the terms “Muslim” or “Islam” didn’t exist at the time these men lived. So whoever wrote the Quran must be a fraudster, making up fictional speeches for Bible characters.

Our Muslim friends desperately cleave to these myths by arguing that “All the prophets taught us to worship one God, so they are Muslims!”

By this definition, then, anyone who believes in “one God” is automatically a Muslim. Since Jews, Zoroastrians, Sikhs and even some Satanists believe in “one God”, they are Muslims! Nice try, but it won’t work.

Muslims apologists perennially slander the Bible in their videos, books and sermons as “porno”, a collection of fairy tales or a corrupted book, but when it comes to tracing Islam back to solid history, they don’t go to the Vedas or Ramayana, they go to that dangerous Book – the Bible.

They often bleat with certainty: “There is Islam in the Bible!” When you ask them where it is, they will point to Exodus 40:30-31, and say “Moses did ablution.” Here is the passage:

And he set the laver between the tent of the congregation and the altar, and put water there, to wash withal. And Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet thereat.”

Only Moses, Aaron and his priestly sons washed themselves, not all the worshippers. And there is no way a sacrificial altar would be allowed in a mosque so you can’t say he was observing ablution.

Muslims don’t want to let go. They tell us Moses and Aaron were Muslims because they “fell on their faces, and the glory of the LORD appeared to them” (Num. 20:6).

But they didn’t do ablution before they bowed! Again, does the glory of God appear to you Muslims when you bow to your Allah? They’d answer “No.” Certainly, the God they prayed to is not the Allah of Islam.

Others point at Nehemiah 8:6 where Ezra and the people “blessed the LORD…while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads…

They argue that this is also an “Islamic” mode of worship. By this definition, anyone who lifts up his hands and bows his head is a Muslim!

What about the crippled, the lame who can’t bow or those whose hands were amputated by Sharia law for stealing and have no hands to raise? They can’t worship Allah – right?

If Allah wants to be worshiped only by bowing and hand-lifting why did he even prescribe that law of amputation? This argument folds upon itself on scrutiny.

Without any sense of irony, Muslims boldly claim Jesus too was a Muslim because he practiced ‘ablution’: “He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet” (Jn. 13:5).

I need a Muslim to show me where in his books does the washing of the feet alone equals ablution. After that he would have to take us to a mosque where the imam performs ablution by washing the feet of his congregants one after the other.

It will be a sight worth seeing. Until then, every Muslim appealing to that passage is shooting himself in the leg, theologically and logically.

This feeble attempt to co-opt Jesus into a Muslim is based on Muhammad’s claim in the Quran that Jesus began to talk shortly after he was born saying:

I am a servant of Allah; he has given me the book and he has appointed me a prophet…to offer salat and give zakat so long as I shall live” (Sura 19:29-31)

This was an old fairy tale stolen from an apocrypha work called The Arabic gospel of Infancy. There it was alleged that “Jesus spake in his cradle and said to Mary his mother ‘verily I am Jesus, the Son of God, the Word which thou hast borne…” (Chapter 1).

Muhammad altered this fairy tale, changed the words of its Jesus to make his own mythical version of a Muslim baby Jesus (using Islamic terms like “salat” and “zakat”). This man would have done a better job than Alice in Wonderland.

According to the hadith, a Muslim is one who observes all the 5 pillars of Islam – recites the shahada, prays (salat), give alms (zakat), performs hajj and fasts (ramadan) (Bukhari 1:7).

Since Jesus did not say the creed, perform the salat, give zakat, perform the pagan hajj or observe the ramadan, by the islamic definition, He wasn’t a Muslim.

Muslims also argue, “But Jesus did rakat, he bowed his head the way we Muslims do.” They cite Matthew 26:39

And he went a little further, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

Does this sound like an Islamic prayer? Jesus addressed God as “My Father” in His prayer, Is Allah the Father of Jesus Christ? Sorry folks, Jesus didn’t practice Islam.

The Quran is full of recycled fairy tales, some of which were attached to Bible characters. For example, the case of king Solomon. In the Quran, he is portrayed as one who is able to listen to the discussion of birds and ants:

At length, when they came to the valley of ants, one of the ants said ‘get into your habitation lest Solomon and his hosts crush (under foot) without knowing it.” (Sura 27:18)

One wonders how Solomon was able to maintain his sanity hearing thousands of insects all around him “talking” day and night? Or how does an ant have the brain to recognise people or know they want to get crushed?

Islamic scholar, Muhammad Assad, has even dismissed this tale as a borrowed legend:

“This is the Quranic moral of the legendary story of the ant. The Quran alludes to many poetic legends which were associated with his (Solomon’s) name since early antiquity and had become part and parcel of Judeo-Christian and Arabian lore long before the advent of Islam” (The Message of the Quran, Dar Al-Andalus, 1993, p. 578).

If all the prophets of old in the Quran were Muslims, then why Muhammad was grossly inferior to them in acts and signs? Did Allah loose his power over time?

Ibrahim’s son was spared from death, but all of Muhammad’s sons died.

Saleh pronounced Allah’s doom on the people of Thamoud and they all died, but Muhammad cursed and invoked doom and nothing happened until he had to take up his sword.

Musa showed signs to the Egyptians; turned a stick to a snake and back to a stick, but Muhammad couldn’t do that to convince the pagans who asked for miracles.

Suleiman had many jinn that brought him wealth from the bottom of the sea, but Muhammad resorted to robbing merchant caravans to get rich.

Isa raised the dead, opened the eyes of the blind and cleansed the leprous, but Muhammad couldn’t do any of these. What then makes him “the greatest of the prophets”?

If all the prophets of old were Muslims, where are their books and mosques?

How did they know the Qibla, salat, toilet rules and the rituals of hajj? How did they recite their shahada?

Since they all came before Muhammad, it means they didn’t follow “the perfect example for mankind” (Sura 33:21), “the seal of the prophets” (Sura 33:40) and the man with “an exalted standard of character” (Sura 68:4), then their “Islam” was non-existent!

The Quran says:

“We sent not a Messenger except (to teach) in the language of his (own) people, in order to make things clear to them. So Allah leads astray whom He pleases and guides whom He pleases and He is Exalted in power, full of wisdom.” (Sura 14:4)

If this is true, which prophets were sent to the Indians? They have a wide variety of languages there. Where are the books and teachings of these ancient prophets?

In Nigeria, we also have over 200 different languages, where were these messengers sent to each of them and when? Where are their revelations?

Islam has no proofs, all it has is blind belief in a bunch of myths! My dear Muslim friends, leave the myths, come to the truth of the Bible.