The Mecca Mystery: Probing the Black Hole at the Heart of Muslim History by Peter Townsend

Laura

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Dated And Datable Texts Mentioning Prophet Muhammad From 1-100 AH / 622-719 CE

This article or essay specifically focuses on the claims about non-historicity of Muhammad and purports to have refuted such claims with alleged written historic evidence of Islamic and non-Islamic origin including "Doctrina Jacobi" that was mentioned at the beginning of this thread. I haven't finished reading or carried out a search about the asserted evidence but I'll try to do that.
Very familiar with that kind of apologetics; doesn't cut ice with me after years of reading it in biblical studies.

I'm about half-way through "Did Muhammed Exist" by Spencer; very enlightening. He quotes the ancient sources in extenso while Townsend only gave a few blurbs.

Bozadi, I would suggest you read both of them and maybe read some biblical studies, like the works of the Copenhagen school.
 

Altair

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It's pretty amazing to think that cataclyms like this have been the source of the world's major religions today, and all of the suffering and chaos they have produced.
Indeed. And it's interesting that Kaaba which is considered the most sacred site in Islam is believed by muslims to be a fragment of meteorite:

The Kaaba Black Stone: A Holy Stone from Outer Space?

Every day, five times a day, Muslims across the world face the holy site of Mecca and pray. Mecca is believed to be the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad but when followers visit the site, it is not actually Mecca they are facing but a building called the Ka’aba. The Ka'aba is a mosque and on one corner of this sacred building, is a cornerstone known as the Black Stone. Its history is shrouded in mystery and there is much speculation over what the stone might be. Many Muslims believe the stone is in fact a meteorite possessing supernatural powers.

The Hajj Pilgrimage Ritual

Millions of Muslims travel to Mecca, Saudi Arabia every year and in a single day, Mecca is capable of attracting over two million Muslim followers for the annual hajj pilgrimage, considered one of the five pillars of Islam.


There, they gather around the Ka’aba or simply Kaaba, a cubic-shaped building at the center of Islam’s most sacred mosque, Al-Masjid al-Haram. During the ritual of the hajj, pilgrims must walk around the Kaaba seven times in a counterclockwise direction, a ceremonial practice that has been going on for fourteen centuries.

Muslims praying around the Ka'aba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia

[...]

Muslims also believe that the Kaaba stone was once part of the stones of heaven. T
here are various versions of its story of origin, all similar to one the another. When Adam was banished from the Garden of Eden, he was filled with sin. The Black Stone was given to him to erase this sin and allow him entrance back into heaven. Some instead believe the ancient stone was brought from a nearby mountain by the archangel Gabriel.

Is the Ka'aba Black Stone a Meteorite?

Since no scientific studies have been allowed on the stone, it is only possible to speculate what it could be. Theories have ranged from stone being basalt, agate, or obsidian rock to an alien artifact.

One theory proposes that the stone is a meteorite worshiped by the pre-Muslim, pagan Arabs.

According to Anthony Hampton and his team of geologists at Oxford University, “ Part of the fog surrounding this stone is that the stone ’s caretakers haven ’t allowed any scientific tests to be performed on the stone, for obvious cultural and religious reasons.

Thus, attempts have been made to find other ways to obtain information about it. Local samples of sand taken from a 2 km (1.2 mile) radius of the stone, revealed quantities of iridium, a metal found in meteorites with an abundance much higher than its average abundance in the Earth’s crust.

[...]

Also found were many shatter cones, a rare geological feature, only known to form in the bedrock beneath meteorite impact craters or underground nuclear explosions.

Drawing of the front view of the Black Stone

However, another study done by Robert S. Dietz and John McHone at the University of Illinois in 1974, it was concluded that the Black Stone was probably not a meteorite or supernatural in origin. An anonymous Arab geologist who made the Hajj and examined the stone, saw diffusion banding, which points to it being an agate rock.

While today there still may be no consensus regarding its makeup, the Black Stone of Kaaba is probably the most well known holy rock in the world and continues to be the centerpiece of the sacred Islamic pilgrimage.
 

BlackCartouche

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The main split between the Sunnis and Shia was caused over the disagreement of line of succession upon Mohammad's death. The Shia (now minority) believed in following the line of succession through Mohammad's bloodline - following his son-in-law and cousin Ali, and Mohammad's daughter Fatima. Essentially a 'royal dynasty' of sorts that can, supposedly, be traced back to its 'founder' the prophet Mohammad.
The Sunnis (now vast majority of Muslims) were very against this, and believed in electing new leadership from elders irrespective of relation to the prophet.
Although I agree in theory to not abide leadership through nepotism, and at face value seems a good idea for the Sunnis to implement, I am now wondering if the rise and spread of dominant Sunni Islam (centered on its elect leadership) running roughshod over Shia Islam (seeks to instate succession to the prophet) may have something to do with wanting to irradiate any chance of trying to trace back the bloodline through future research, only to find it 'runs out', disappears, before reaching the prophet's designated time?
 

Yupo

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I read Koran, different versions, 4 times. I've started a 5th reading of a favorite, albeit flawed version. Probably will not finish it. I wanted to go through the material one more time since learning about STO/STS and many other things here. At the time Koran was "presented" to me, I was seeing a devout Muslim gentleman. Oh boy, what a hypocrite, but that is a subject for a different day. Some things just did not make sense with the whole Mohammed legend. I never read the Hadiths as they seemed like just hearsay. Most disturbing was the impossibility of asking questions and having an intelligent discussion about it in the Muslim community or with my friend. Oh Jeez! You can't go there, not even in America. Are they righteous NPCs?
I have ordered the recommended book and look forward to reading it.
 

mkrnhr

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I read Koran, different versions, 4 times. I've started a 5th reading of a favorite, albeit flawed version. Probably will not finish it.
Waste of time, seriously. Devout Muslims recite it, memorize it, but do not read it. It's because it's not a book to read, just a random patchwork of different texts that nobody really understands.

The hadith on the other hand is a gigantic patchwork of sayings that contradict one another even on the same page. Usually the structure of a hadith is: According to X1 abi X2, according to X3 ibn X4, etc. that Xn (by this time the reader is already bored) heard the prophet saying blahblah. Due to the immense volume of the hadith, the average Muslim doesn't read them either. They have to rely on selections by authors or Imams.

Selections are made according to the agenda of the day. For example, when some Muslim countries were socialist, they found hadith to support socialism. When they became capitalist, they then found hadith to support capitalism.
 

Approaching Infinity

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Waste of time, seriously. Devout Muslims recite it, memorize it, but do not read it. It's because it's not a book to read, just a random patchwork of different texts that nobody really understands.

The hadith on the other hand is a gigantic patchwork of sayings that contradict one another even on the same page. Usually the structure of a hadith is: According to X1 abi X2, according to X3 ibn X4, etc. that Xn (by this time the reader is already bored) heard the prophet saying blahblah. Due to the immense volume of the hadith, the average Muslim doesn't read them either. They have to rely on selections by authors or Imams.

Selections are made according to the agenda of the day. For example, when some Muslim countries were socialist, they found hadith to support socialism. When they became capitalist, they then found hadith to support capitalism.
Sounds like Talmudism! That's one thing I need to remind myself of pretty regularly: Judaism today isn't the Hebrew Bible, it's the Talmud. I've been wanting to research both more in depth (the Talmud and Quran/hadiths) - but not TOO in depth, that would be a waste of time IMO - just enough to get a taste of both. From the little bits I have come across, both seem totally insane. The Bible is a page-turner by comparison...
 

Yupo

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Waste of time, seriously. Devout Muslims recite it, memorize it, but do not read it. It's because it's not a book to read, just a random patchwork of different texts that nobody really understands.

The hadith on the other hand is a gigantic patchwork of sayings that contradict one another even on the same page. Usually the structure of a hadith is: According to X1 abi X2, according to X3 ibn X4, etc. that Xn (by this time the reader is already bored) heard the prophet saying blahblah. Due to the immense volume of the hadith, the average Muslim doesn't read them either. They have to rely on selections by authors or Imams.

Selections are made according to the agenda of the day. For example, when some Muslim countries were socialist, they found hadith to support socialism. When they became capitalist, they then found hadith to support capitalism.
I agree, it is not a good use of my time. I am interested though to look out for particular things in the manuscript, in light of what I have learned since the last reading. It is a relatively quick read as compared to Holy Bible, and there is some interesting stuff in there. Those repeat readings before were just to get it down so as to be able to quote it back to former BF and get him off my back about Islam.
 

BlackCartouche

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some people suggest a link between muhammad and Solomon.
Yes, both of their existence are equally in question.
Those repeat readings before were just to get it down so as to be able to quote it back to former BF and get him off my back about Islam.
State very clearly to him you do not believe in an external deity that demands our worship.
may have something to do with wanting to irradiate any chance of trying to trace back the bloodline
Sorry that should have said "eradicate".
 

mkrnhr

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Sounds like Talmudism! That's one thing I need to remind myself of pretty regularly: Judaism today isn't the Hebrew Bible, it's the Talmud. I've been wanting to research both more in depth (the Talmud and Quran/hadiths) - but not TOO in depth, that would be a waste of time IMO - just enough to get a taste of both. From the little bits I have come across, both seem totally insane. The Bible is a page-turner by comparison...
The comparison between the sunna/hadith/sharia and talmud is indeed very interesting. The author of the Mecca Mystery notes that:
It is probably not coincidental that the Islamic legal traditions [under the Abassids] were produced in the exact same area [Mesopotamia- Baghdad as the capital] where the Zoroastrian priests and Jewish Rabbis labored to shape the past in their own image through the formulation of supposedly ancient oral traditions. It is, furthermore, striking to note how many of the Muslim legal traditions that emerged during this time precisely reflected Jewish legal priorities as reflected in the Mishnah and Talmud.
 

Tuatha de Danaan

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My book has not arrived yet. I've gleaned so much information here I'm beginning to wonder if it's worth reading when it turns up. Or is READING the important thing here.
 

mkrnhr

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My book has not arrived yet. I've gleaned so much information here I'm beginning to wonder if it's worth reading when it turns up. Or is READING the important thing here.
Hi Tuatha de Danaan,
Since the book is already on its way, you may as well read it otherwise it would ba a waste :).
It's well written and there are lots of information that wasn't covered in the thread.
Also, even when we know the conclusions of a certain body of work, it's a good practice to understand (if possible) the steps taken to reach those conclusions and examine the data critically. It strengthens brain muscles so to say. OSIT.
 

Laura

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Hi Tuatha de Danaan,
Since the book is already on its way, you may as well read it otherwise it would ba a waste :).
It's well written and there are lots of information that wasn't covered in the thread.
Also, even when we know the conclusions of a certain body of work, it's a good practice to understand (if possible) the steps taken to reach those conclusions and examine the data critically. It strengthens brain muscles so to say. OSIT.
There are LOTS of details that are not in this discussion, and the logical flow of arguments really needs to be read.

I've just finished Spencers "Did Muhammed Exist" and it is well worth reading also. He includes longer transcripts of the ancient texts and makes quite a number of points and arguments that Townsend only touched on.

1546682181760.png

Everything you thought you knew about Islam is about to change

This stunning book uncovers provocative evidence that forces us to ask: Did Muhammad, Islam’s founding prophet, even exist?

It is a question that few have thought―or dared―to ask. But the widely accepted story of Islam’s origins begins to crumble on close examination.

In Did Muhammad Exist? bestselling author Robert Spencer brings to early Islam the same level of probing historical criticism scholars have long applied to Christianity and Judaism. Meticulously examining historical records, archaeological findings, and pioneering new scholarship, Spencer challenges the most fundamental assumptions about Islam’s origins―raising questions with profound implications for our world today.

https://www.amazon.com/Did-Muhammad-Exist-Inquiry-Obscure/dp/1610171330/ref=sr_1_1

I think that it helps a lot to be familiar with historical studies of Christianity and Judaism if possible and also with apologetics. Apologists have pretty slick ways of getting around the brain's request for logic and evidence.
 

Tuatha de Danaan

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Hi Tuatha de Danaan,
Since the book is already on its way, you may as well read it otherwise it would ba a waste :).
It's well written and there are lots of information that wasn't covered in the thread.
Also, even when we know the conclusions of a certain body of work, it's a good practice to understand (if possible) the steps taken to reach those conclusions and examine the data critically. It strengthens brain muscles so to say. OSIT.

Hello mkrnhr. Great piece of advice leading to strengthening the brain muscles. Sums is up in a nutshell. Thank you.
 

Tuatha de Danaan

Jedi Master
There are LOTS of details that are not in this discussion, and the logical flow of arguments really needs to be read.

I've just finished Spencers "Did Muhammed Exist" and it is well worth reading also. He includes longer transcripts of the ancient texts and makes quite a number of points and arguments that Townsend only touched on.

View attachment 28859

Everything you thought you knew about Islam is about to change

This stunning book uncovers provocative evidence that forces us to ask: Did Muhammad, Islam’s founding prophet, even exist?

It is a question that few have thought―or dared―to ask. But the widely accepted story of Islam’s origins begins to crumble on close examination.

In Did Muhammad Exist? bestselling author Robert Spencer brings to early Islam the same level of probing historical criticism scholars have long applied to Christianity and Judaism. Meticulously examining historical records, archaeological findings, and pioneering new scholarship, Spencer challenges the most fundamental assumptions about Islam’s origins―raising questions with profound implications for our world today.

https://www.amazon.com/Did-Muhammad-Exist-Inquiry-Obscure/dp/1610171330/ref=sr_1_1

I think that it helps a lot to be familiar with historical studies of Christianity and Judaism if possible and also with apologetics. Apologists have pretty slick ways of getting around the brain's request for logic and evidence.

Thank you Laura.
I feel that if I can just get with the flow on a particular subject. e.g. ISLAM, to just read and understand what authors and you and the forum discover on subject makes the information gel much better than coming in late, rushing the read and missing vital points. I have got to stop the "rushing the read". Late developer is a paltry excuse. I,m going to order DID MUHAMMAD EXIST. Examining historical documents is so interesting.
 
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