Zamzam Well: Digging up Bare Bone Facts

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The Zamzam well is located within the Sacred Mosque in Mecca, about 20m east of the Kaaba (the black stone Muslims dance around and kiss). Millions of pilgrims visit Zamzam well to drink its water during the pilgrimage.

The Quran says nothing about the well – pointing to the fact that it wasn’t part of the rites observed by early Muslims.

In the Hadiths collected 250 years after the Quran, we are told that when Hagar and Ishmael were in the desert and Ishmael was thirsty, he scraped the sand and water was generated from that point.

What this hadith is saying is that the wild kicks of an infant dug a 98 ft well in a desert within seconds! Subhanallah! Isn’t Allah great? Another version of the story says the well was dug by an angel’s foot. Then in another version, we were told that the angel actually dug it using his wings. [1]

In a bid to redact the Biblical account of Hagar and Ishmael to support Islam’s myths, the hadith ends up nailing itself.

One, Abraham, Ishmael and Hagar were never in Mecca and historically have no link with Zamzam well.

Two, it’s incredulous to accept that an oasis morphed into a deep well without changing its course nor was affected by climatic factors for over a millennia. That may work well in Islamic circles, but geologists will find this laughable.

Some historians point out that Mecca probably didn’t exist as a city before 4 BC when Yemenite immigrants colonized it. So there’s no way Zamzam well would date back to the time of Abraham.

To make the myth more appealing, Ibn Abbas ostensibly quotes Muhammad saying: “The best water on the face of the earth is Zamzam. In it is food for nourishment and healing for illness.” [2]

In 2011, a team of scientists established that the water from Zamzam well contained high levels of nitrate, potentially harmful bacteria and arsenic at levels 3 times the legal limit in the UK. This could result in cancer. [3]

This research blew the prayer caps off the heads of the clerics in Saudi Arabia. Eventually, they managed to find their own “scientists” to tell them what their ears of faith wanted to hear.

From the earliest biography of Muhammad, the truth about Zamzam unfolds.

Muhammad’s grandfather, Abdul Muttalib, was said to have had a dream while sleeping in a ‘sacred’ pagan enclosure in which he was instructed to dig a well at a slaughter place of the Quraish tribe, between two idols – Isaf and Naila. In the dream, he was told to re-dig a Zamzam well which the Jurham tribe had filled up when they left Mecca.

When Abdul Muttalib embarked on his well project, he faced much opposition. He even vowed to sacrifice his son if he succeeded and the divination lot alarmingly fell on his favourite son, Abdullah (Muhammad’s father). But after consulting a sorceress, he was told to sacrifice camels to Allah/Hubal in place of his son, Abdullah. The Zamzam well became a religious site drawing more pilgrims to the Kaaba. [4]

Indeed, the Zamzam well was part of pre-Islamic pagan rites and was dedicated to two deities – Isaf and Naila.

Arab scholar, Fahd T., says that Isaf and Naila were “a pair of gods worshipped at Mecca before Islam. Several orientalists of the last century, such as Rudolph Krehl and François Lenormant, saw in them, not unreasonably, replicas of Baʿl and Baʿla. Indeed Isāf and Nāʾila do display the essential characteristics distinguishing this pair of gods from the many avatars known in the various Semitic religions: physical représentation by two sacred stones erected close to each other, or by two parallel hills…” [5]

In essence, the pair of fertility deities previously worshipped at the site of Zamzam well, were also represented by Safa and Marwa – the two “sacred” hills Muslims run through during the hajj.

During pre-Islamic days, many pagans came to Mecca for pilgrimage. The Kaaba shrine at the time had about 360 idols whose names the pilgrims (who were often stark naked) would chant as they circumambulate the pagan stone.

Although Muhammad threw away the images of the idols and stopped the nude aspect of the rite when he took over the Kaaba, he retained most of the pagan rituals.

Today, Muslim pilgrims wear the Ihram clothing as they still ignorantly offer worship to ancient Arabian pagan deities (now disguised as “monotheism”).

An Indian author even asserts that from certain similarities, the Kaaba was originally a temple of Shiva. He says that “the Shankara stone which Muslim pilgrims reverently touch and kiss in the Kaaba” is an emblem of Shiva and “wherever the Shiva emblem is, the Ganges must co-exist. True to this association, a sacred fountain [Zamzam] exists near the Kaaba.” [6]

While this claim may be far fetched, in any case, there’s nothing ‘sacred’ about the Zamzam well anymore than the black stone idol that Muslim face in prayer.

Notes

1. Sahih Bukhari, 3113

2. Mu’jam Al-Kabeer, 11011.

3. BBC News May, 5, 2011.

4. Sirat Rasul Allah, translated by Alfred Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad, 1955, 66-68.

5. Encyclopedia of Islam, second edition. Available online.

6. Purushottam Oak, Was Kaaba a Hindu Temple?

Switching Baca into Mecca

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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!

Islam in Wonderland

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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.