New video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pO4COKGFs8
New channel http://www.youtube.com/user/IslamExploredTHE OLDEST MOSQUES POINT TO....
From ancient times until well into the 7th century worship of the moon, sun, stars, planets, and even Jinn devils or demons, was the order of the day in Arabia. Many Kaabas were established featuring stone idols that represented these objects of worship, to which the pagans went on pilgrimage, and circumambulated in ceremony. Mohammed's own tribe the Quraish went on summer and winter pilgrimages to other sites, long after the Kaaba in Mecca was built, indicating that there were far more important and more firmly established kaabas at which to worship, than the kaaba in Mecca. Might we be able to learn more about the objectives of those early pilgrimages by studying the Qibla of the oldest mosques?
Qibla is an Arabic word that describes the direction in which Muslims are to direct their prayers. Mosques have a niche on the inside wall that indicates the direction to the Kaaba, and it's black stone, in Mecca. It's interesting to discover that the Qibla of the oldest mosques do not point to Mecca but are off by thirty degrees and more. The Islamic website "Islamic Awareness", includes compass roses that indicate the direction in which the Qiblas of some of the oldest mosques point.http://www.islamic-awareness.org/History/Islam/Dome_Of_The_Rock/qibla.html
When the angles presented for mosques in Wasit, Baghdad and Cairo are plotted on a map, they actually triangulate to a location near Al-`Ula (which was Dedan - inhabited perhaps as early as the 8th century BC).
The Qiblas indicate a position almost 500 miles to the north-northwest of Mecca. Google satellite map locating Al-Ula.*http://www.maplandia.com/saudi-arabia/madinah/al-ula/
In searching the vicinity of Al-Ula I ran across this Wikipedia article
on "Ancient Towns in Saudi Arabia", which of course doesn't mention Mecca, because there is no evidence that suggests that Mecca is an ancient town.
The article does mention:
"Mada'in Saleh: also called Al-Hijr
Also called Al-Hijr, this is an ancient city located in northern Saudi Arabia....
Mada'in Saleh is considered to be one of the most important and oldest ancient cities in the country. Mada'in Saleh lies to the northwest of the city of al-Ula..." (Mada'in Saleh map)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ferrocarril_del_hiyaz_EN.PNG
"Mada'in Saleh was recognized by the UNESCO as a site of patrimony, the first world heritage site in Saudi Arabia. The story of these people called the people of Thamud (including petra) is mentioned several times in the Quran along with prophet Saleh."
The article continues, "A religious area, known as Jabal Ithlib, is located to the north-east of the site. It is believed to have been originally dedicated to the Nabatean deity Dushara
Where else do we find Manat?
Sura 53.19 Have ye seen Lat. and 'Uzza, 20 And another, the third (goddess), Manat?
Mohammed recognized Manat as a daughter of Allah in what some have dubbed the "satanic verses" in the Quran. The deity Manat is also found in pagan Arabian Star Family Worship as a daughter of the moon god. Isn't that interesting?
Please see part 2 of the "Hajj & Umra" series to see how Manat (Mina), fits into Islamic pilgrimage rituals.
It is a simple matter of fact that the Qiblas of the oldest mosques do not point to Mecca, but far more reasonably, pointed to other sites of pagan Arabian idol worship. Indeed it is also a matter of fact, that the Kaaba in Mecca was used for the same, prior to the 7th century A.D. Indeed pagans continued to circumambulate the Kaaba right up until the year before Mohammed's last Hajj.
Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 8, Number 365: Narrated Abu Huraira:
... in the year prior to the last Hajj of the Prophet .... Allah's Apostle .... made the announcement along with us ... "No pagan is allowed to perform Hajj after this year and no naked person is allowed to perform the Tawaf around the Ka'ba."
If Islam is supposed to have been around since Adam, where are all the mosques that predated Mohammed, including the one that he made reference to visiting in his story about an overnight ride on a flying animal to Jerusalem, heaven, and back to Mecca by morning?