Monday, May 25, 2009

Bookmark and Share

Suffering through the Koran – Sura 14 named 'Abraham'.

The Jews made a monumental mistake when they claimed that Abraham's son, Ishmael, 'created' the Arab tribes. It is a price to be paid in eternal blood.

by Ferdinand III

The Jews made one fantastically fatal and perhaps lethal error in composing their Torah and Bible, the world's first such venture dedicated to monotheistic faith. They attributed Ishmael, one of the many children of the patriarch Abraham, to be the first male of the Arab race. Historically and ethnically this is of course wrong - Arab tribes were long separate from the Hebrews. But it has been seized by the Arabs and the very bad writers of the Koran, to demand an equality with Judaic belief, and to equate Islam with Jewish-Christian monotheism. Worse it allows them to fantasize a direct line of descent from Abraham to the military-fascist leader Mohammed. It was a very silly and grievous error indeed.

Abraham who lived circa 2500 B.C., is regarded as the Father of the Hebrews or Jews, the Ishmaelites [or part Arabs]; and the Edomites [Semitics in south Israel]. His three sons were the purported leaders of each grouping - Isaac of the Jews; Ishmael of the Ishmaelites and Esau of the Edomites. Abraham was a polygamist, his slave Hagar gave birth to Ishmael, Sarah to Isaac and Esau and another woman, Kenturah to 6 other sons, who started minor Semitic tribes as mentioned in the Old Testament. Monogamy was not a common practice until well after 1000 B.C.

He was most likely a tribal leader who led a group of Semites out of the Assyrian-Mesopotamian empire circa 2500-2000 BC into Canaan or Israel. Quite likely he headed a group of freed slaves or those of lowly caste origin out of the major Mesopotamian urban cities to a less developed and urbanised rural hinterland. Most probably his followers had fallen wayward of the pagan Sun cults or Moon cults, which dominated Mesopotamian society. Perhaps Abraham was also some sort of a religious-pagan leader who developed the ideas of one God and one divine presence which dominated the universe as a singular power – not just one God amongst a pantheon of many.

No one really knows if Abraham existed or if he is the creation of many personalities used to teach the allegorical and metaphysical importance of monotheism. In any even he held a central position with the Hebrews as the originator of their faith, through his son Isaac – the man who gave rise to the Hebrew tribe and Israel. Sadly for the Jews, they also ascribe the genesis of the Semitic Arabs to another one of Abraham's sons – Ishmael.

It was a mistake that created the foundation for the Arab-Jewish conflict to this day. Jews have been drenched in the blood of their own folly. Though related the Semites – including Jews and Arabs – have different pedigrees of development. The Old Testament's idea that the Arabs would come from the same family tree and patriarch of the Jews is of course wrong.

Anthropologically there are three main Arab tribes, only one of which might be termed 'Semitic':

1) 'Perishing' Arabs: These are quite ancient Arab groups, existing before the time of Abraham. They are referenced in the Koran, and little or nothing is known about these groups. They include the ‘Ad, Thamûd, Tasam, Jadis, Emlaq, and others. They lived in the southern parts of the Arabian peninsula.

2) 'Pure' Arabs: These are Arab tribes who originated from the progeny of the Arab leader Ya‘rub bin Qahtan. They were also called Qahtanian Arabs and existed during and after Abraham surviving into the modern era.

3) 'Arabized' Arabs: This so-called group of non-Arabs who became Arabicized are from the progeny of Ishmael. They were also called ‘Adnanian Arabs. It is highly likely that they were Arabicized migrants from the north, who traveled to Arabia circa 2000 B.C. They were most likely Hebrew or Canaanite tribes who were looking for land and pasture and adopted the ways of the Bedouin.

One can see that only a part of the 'Arab' race would have any pre-history connection with Hebrews or Jews. In fact many scholars think that the Hebrews were originally Canaanite slaves in Israel, who under Moses and some other leaders, developed ideas around monotheism and salvation in order to gain spiritual and social strength to revolt and eventually overthrow their Canaanite slave holders. Given the extraordinary conquests by Joshua [one generation after Moses], against well fortified urban centers this theory has a lot to recommend it. One quick way of taking over a city is to annex it from within, not from without.

In any event there is a very tenuous link between the Jews, their Semitic patriarch Abraham and what is known as the 'Arabicized' Arabs. It is not understood why the Jews attributed the creation of the Arabs to Abraham's son Ishmael. Perhaps during the writing of Genesis which occurred most likely after the time of King David [circa 900 B.C] or some 1200 years after Abraham's death, there was a remembrance of a large out migration of Semites from Canaanite or Hebrew kingdoms, south to Arabia.

Or perhaps desert Arabs on the proximity of southern Israel in the Arab wastelands had at some time, converted to Judaism, though their culture, habits, and attitudes were markedly different than that of the Hebrews. At some point post-Abraham there was some migration-based contact between Arabian tribes and the Hebrews and this is probably the reason why Ishmael was inserted into the Jewish story.

It was however a fatal addition to the Jewish faith and its testaments. Ishmael is regarded by Arabs and Muslims as the direct progenitor of Mohammed. It gives the Koran some pastiche of credibility and the Islamic theology some cover of respectability, to have the origins of Islamic thought linked back to the Semitic leader Abraham and his son. And the Arabs were very clever to reinforce this claim. Islamic ritual, so vital a part of their pagan practices, actively promote this linkage.

Islam has many important myths around the Abrahamic tradition. For example Abraham's footprint is displayed outside the Kaaba or the house of the Black asteroid so venerated by Muslims as a gift from 'Allah' to Adam. The annual Hajj, which is also the fifth pillar of Islam, follows the alleged trail of Abraham, Hagar, and Ishmael's journey to the sacred place of the Kaaba in Mecca. It was at this Kaaba or Kabah shrine built by Abraham, where he supposedly was ready to sacrifice Ishmael. In reality, Abraham and his son of course never traveled to Mecca, and never built a shrine there but truth and fact, has never interposed itself in Islamic thought.

Muslim's also plagiarise the story of Isaac. In Jewish liturgy written some 1500 years before that of Mohammed's, it is Isaac the progenitor of Israel, who is the son to be given by Abraham as a blood sacrifice to prove his devotion to 'God'. At the last second before Abraham plunges his knife into Isaac's heart, God stops the process, heralding circa 2500 BC perhaps, the end of child and human sacrifice in the Semitic world - a noble and worthy revolution indeed. Child and human sacrifice were common in the ancient Near Eastern world. Muslims simply took this story and applied it to Ishmael. To celebrate God's deliverance of Ishmael and Abraham's willingness to kill his own son as a sign of his faith in 'Allah' the Muslim celebrate a 'holy' day called Eid ul-Adha, where they sacrifice an animal and share the meat amongst family and the poor.

Thus the importance of this Sura. It is simply a recounting of the Jewish story to the Muslim plot line with an Arabic twist. Abraham is not portrayed as some wandering Semitic tribal leader looking for a new home; or a religious outcast from Assyria; he is recreated in the Koran as the inventor and procreator of Islam and a venerator of Allah.

Allah is thus equated with the Jewish idea of 'God' and Abraham is inextricably linked with the Koran and Mohammed. This allows Muslims to position Islam as equal if not superior to Judaism. Sura 14 is then the linch-pin of the Koran and of Islamic credibility. 'Proof' of Ishmael's creation of the Arabs includes Jewish writers, historians and the Old Testament. The Jews hanging themselves as it were. A Black asteroid is thus turned into a shrine of Abraham's desire to sacrifice his son, and even Jerusalem and Israel are given ties to Arabs. This Sura and the rather fanciful claim that the loins of a Semitic leader created Arab tribes, is powerful ammunition indeed for Muslim clerics, followers and universalists.

The Jewish mistake of taking a Semitic migration into Arabia, or the conversion of Arab tribes to Judaism, and presenting that as part of the Abrahamic-Semitic tradition has been one of the most colossal literary and metaphysical failures in man's history. Without such a human created aberration, Islam might not even exist today.

And the world would certainly be better off if it didn't. What is ironic and Kafkaesque is that it was the Jews who helped create a fascism dedicated in large part to their destruction. It would be akin to a Jewish editor and publisher helping Hitler with Mein Kampf. Cruel and sick irony indeed.

[Note: This sura is taken from 'The Holy Quran', translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, reprinted in 1995, Goodword Books. Regarded as one of the best translations from Arabic to English of the Koran.]