Monday, May 17, 2021

THE PAGAN ROOTS OF IDOLATRY IN ISLAM


Muslims worship a deity called Allah. And Muslims boldly claim that before the advent of Islam, Allah manifested himself as the God of the Bible. The claim of continuity from the recognized faith of Judaism and Christianity was essential for Muhammad to build credibility to his new found religion. For if Allah is accredited as the originator of the previous divine revelations, then Islam is logically the next step in the religion of Abraham, Moses and Jesus.

Well, was Allah the God of the Bible or was he a pagan deity in Arabia during pre- Islamic times? The answer to this question is vital especially today with so much confusion surrounding the religion of Islam. If the Muslim claim is true, then we should accept Islam as a true religion. But, on the other hand, if it can be proven that Allah was a pre-Islamic pagan deity, then Islam must be rejected for what it truly is – a pagan religion. And Muslims must find the courage to leave Islam. Let us begin our analysis of Islam in the light of its very own sources.

THE KA’BA

A well-known feature of Islam is that most of its rites were adopted from the pagan Arabian rituals of Muhammad’s time. Before the advent of Islam, the Ka’ba has been an important pagan shrine in Mecca. Today the Ka’ba is the center of the Islamic world and every Muslim’s prayer is directed towards it. Moreover, most of the religious traditions of Islam in connection with the Hajj are also pagan in origin. The fact that the Ka’ba was a pagan shrine is acknowledged in numerous authentic sources of Islam:

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 43, Number 658:

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Masud: The Prophet entered Mecca and (at that time) there were three hundred-and-sixty idolsaround the Ka’aba.

Muhammad’s reverential attachment to the Black Stone was so strong that he could not classify it with the other idols of the Ka’ba. That is why years later when the Muslims conquered Mecca, Muhammad destroyed all the other idols but spared the Black Stone. And even before the pagan idols were destroyed, Muhammad had an innate desire to pray facing the Ka’ba where the Black Stone, the primary object of reverence, is embedded in the walls of the Ka’ba.

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 2, Number 39:

Narrated By Al-Bara’ (bin ‘Azib): When the Prophet came to Medina, he stayed first with his grandfathers or maternal uncles from Ansar. He offered his prayers facing Baitul-Maqdis (Jerusalem) for sixteen or seventeen months, but he wished that he could pray facing the Ka’ba (at Mecca).

And Allah revealed the following Qur’anic verse:

Surah 2:144:“We see the turning of thy face for guidance to the heavens:now shall We turn thee to a Qibla that shall please thee. Turn then Thy face in the direction of the sacred Mosque: Wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction.” (Yusuf Ali)

Why did Muhammad express a desire to pray facing the Ka’ba while it was still a pagan shrine? At the time when Surah 2:144 was revealed, the Ka’ba was still a pagan temple housing three hundred-and-sixty idols.” And why would Allah permit his Prophet to bow towards the Ka’ba while it was still polluted with the idols of the pagans? The command given in the Qur’an to pray towards the Ka’ba predates by years the conquest of Mecca. Those idols were destroyed only after the conquest of Mecca. Thus, during all those intervening years, between the time the Qiblah was changed towards the Ka’ba and the conquest of Mecca, whenever Muhammad faced the Ka’ba to pray, the Ka’ba remained a shrine of idol-worship.

This is not an insignificant matter in terms of worship. Why did not Allah command Muhammad to wait until the removal of those idols? Why did Allah give in to the blasphemous desire of one man? And as a result, the early Muslims were now commanded to pray in the direction of the pagan idols during all those intervening years. Why did Allah contradict himself? Did not he say,To Allah belongs the East and the West”?Why, then must the prayers of the Muslims be directed towards the pagan shrine in order to reach the ears of Allah?

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 8, Number 392:

Narrated Bara’ bin ‘Azib: Allah’s Apostle prayed facing Baitul-Maqdis for sixteen or seventeen months but he loved to face the Ka’ba (at Mecca) so Allah revealed: “Verily, We have seen the turning of your face to the heaven!” (Surah 2 Al-Baqarah144) So the Prophet faced the Ka’ba and the fools amongst the people namely “the Jews” said, “What has turned them from their Qibla (Bait-ul-Maqdis) which they formerly observed” (Allah revealed): “Say:‘To Allah belongs the East and the West. He guides whom he will to a straight path’.” (Surah 2 Al-Baqarah 142).

Notice also the commanding tone of Allah:

Surah 2:144:“Wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction.”

The following Hadith clearly shows that the idols were destroyed only after the conquest of Mecca which took place several years later after the Qiblah was changed towards the Ka’ba.

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 583:

Narrated By Abdullah: When the Prophet entered Mecca on the day of the Conquest, there were 360 idols around the Ka’ba.

Now we will consider another serious problem in Islam. Give careful consideration to the words of Allah in the following Qur’anic verse:

Surah 2:125:“And when We made the House(at Mecca) a resort for mankind and sanctuary, (saying): Take as your place of worship the place where Abraham stood (to pray). And We imposed a duty upon Abraham and Ishmael, (saying):Purify My house for those who go around and those who meditate therein and those who bow down and prostrate themselves (in worship).” (Pickthall)

The “We” in the above Qur’anic verse refers to Allah. According to Islam, Allah is the builder of the original Ka’ba long before the time of Abraham. It was supposedly restructured later by Abraham and Ishmael. The Ka’ba also known as“Baitullah” means“House of Allah.” Now, how did the “House of Allah” which was “made by Allah” become aPagan Temple housing“360 idols”? How can aHouse of God turn into a pagan Temple of Idols?How is it ever possible for this to occur to the most sacred place of worship of Allah? How can Allah allow this to happen? If the Ka’ba was the original“House of Allah” as the Qur’an claims, then there is absolutely no logical or theological reason for it to become a Pagan Temple. Can you now trust Allah when he has shown himself to be absolutely powerless against the demonizing of his most holy shrine here on earth?

THE BLACK STONE

Muhammad destroyed the rest of the idols at the conquest of Mecca but left the pre-eminent idol of the Ka’ba – the Black Stone – untouched. Why? It was simply due to his deep-rooted reverence brought on by years of submission to the pagan practice of stone worship. He not only had to leave the Black Stoneunharmed to represent Islam but he also kissed it to show his affection for the pagan stone. TheBlack Stone that was sacred to the pagans became sacred to the Muslims. And today Muslims revere it. The kiss that the pious Muslim pilgrims bestow on theBlack Stone is a survival of an age old pagan practice, which was common in ancient Arabia.

Thus, the Black Stonewhich was venerated by the Arab pagans was transformed from a pagan shrine to the focus of the Muslim pilgrimage. Built into the Eastern corner of the Ka’ba, the Black Stone, which had been an object of worship for centuries before the time of Muhammad, became the central shrine of Islam. Muslims touch and kiss the Black Stoneduring Hajjwhereas non-Muslims are strictly forbidden to go anywhere near it.

In his book, The Life of Muhammad, the Egyptian writer,Muhammad Husayn Haykal, who relies heavily on the scholarly works of Ibn Hisham,admitted to the following facts:

In fact, the Arabs venerated these stones so much that not only did they worship the black stone in the Ka’bah, but also they would take one of the stones of the Ka’bah as a holy object in their travels, praying to itand asking it to bless every move they made. (p. 30)

Muhammad began and ended up with a pagan religion with the only difference being that he repackaged it in a monotheistic framework. The fact that many of the rituals performed in the name of Allah are connected to pagan worship shows that Islam was conceived in idolatry. Such practices are consistent with pre-Islamic pagan rituals involving the Ka’ba. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would never send a Black Stone to ensnare his followers to commit idolatry. If God abhors even the bowing of his worshippers towards the living sun that was created by him, do you think he will command his worshippers to bow down towards a dead Black Stone? While Christians can clearly see this as absolute idolatry, Islam is blind to this abomination.

The Holy Bible clearly states:

Deuteronomy 4:19: “You must not raise your eyes to the heavens and indeed see thesun and themoon and thestars, all the army of the heavens, and actually get seduced and bow down to them.”

Though Muslims deny that the Black Stone is an idol and insist that their prayers are directed to Allah alone, in actual practice the Black Stoneis treated with the same reverence that pagans show to their idols. Islam’s denial of its idolatrous worship of the Black Stone can be likened to a man who pleads innocence for his adulterous act by saying that he had only his wife on his mind while performing the illicit sexual act. The justification for the veneration of a dead stone – especially to the extent of bowing down and kissing it – can only be identified with a primitive pagan idolatry practice than with the true spirit of monotheistic worship.

Additionally, Muhammad taught that the Black Stone will testify favorably on the “Day Of Judgment” in behalf of those who kissed it. Islam also teaches that sins could be forgiven for those who kiss and touch the Black Stone.

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 961; Ibn Maajah, 2944:

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said concerning the Stone: “By Allah, Allah will bring it forth on the Day of Resurrection, and it will have two eyes with which it will see and a tongue with which it will speak, and it will testify in favour of those who touched it in sincerity.”

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 959:

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “Touching them both (theBlack Stone and al-Rukn al-Yamani) is an expiation for sins.” 

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 877; Ahmad, 2792:

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When the Black Stone came down from Paradise, it was whiter than milk, but the sins of the sons of Adam made it black.”

Thus, it can be seen that Muslims blatantly lie to us when they say that theBlack Stone is just a focal point for them to pray for the sake of unity. In reality, it means much more than they are willing to admit to us. Is it not idolatrous to believe that sins can be forgiven by kissing a mere stone? Muslims strongly reject the atoning value of the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Ironically, these very same Muslims are willing to believe that a dead stone can accomplish the very objective that they deny Jesus could do.

All Muslims are required to bow towards the Black Stone everyday, whenever they pray. They are forbidden to face any other object or direction. For Muslims to face any other direction would be a violation of the commandment of Allah. Allah’s commandment clearly states:

Surah 2:144:“Turn then Thy face in the direction of the sacred Mosque:Wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction.”

Thus, according to the teachings of the Qur’an, Muslims cannot pray to Allah without facing the Ka’ba. When a Muslim makes the Hajj, or runs between the hills, or bestows a kiss on theBlack Stone, he is performing the rituals of the pagans – rituals that are deeply rooted in pagan superstition. And Muhammad sanctioned and incorporated these pagan practices into Islam. Thus, the poison remains the same, only the labels are deviously changed by Allah and Muhammad. Accordingly, paganism became an integral part of Islam. Consider now the following additional evidences:

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 23:

Narrated By ‘Asim bin Sulaiman: I asked Anas bin Malik about Safa andMarwa (i.e. two mountains at Mecca). Anas replied, “We used to consider (i.e. going around)them a custom of the Pre-Islamic period of Ignorance, so when Islam came, we gave up going around them. Then Allah revealed, ‘Verily, Safa and Marwa (i.e. two mountains at Mecca) are among the Symbols of Allah. So it is not harmful of those who perform the Hajj of the House (of Allah) or perform the Umra to ambulate (Tawaf) between them.’” (Surah 2:158) [End of Quote]

Surah 2:158:“Lo! (the mountains) As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the indications of Allah. It is therefore no sin for him who is on pilgrimage to the House (of Allah) or visiteth it, to go around them (as the pagan custom is).” (Pickthall)

How can the very same two mountains that were sacred to the pagans become the “Symbols of Allah” all of a sudden after the Muslim conquest of Mecca? Moreover, how is it that the very same pagan ritual of running between the two hills is also retained in Islam? Additionally, why was the Arab pagan ritual of going around the Ka’ba seven times, also retained in Islam?

STRIKING SIMILARITIES

There are so many striking similarities between the rites ofHinduism and Islam that it is virtually impossible to dismiss them as mere coincidences. Let us consider some of them.

(1) During the Islamic ritual ofTawaf, Muslims circumnavigate the Ka’ba seven times. This ritual is the exact imitation of the Hindu worshippers of Shiva who also walk around the symbol of Shiva seven times. Is it not amazing that both the worshippers of Shiva and the worshippers of Allah observe a rite in which they walk around their object of reverence seven times?

(2) In both these rituals, Hindus and Muslims alike utter religious phrases repeatedly during the circumnavigation.

(3) Moreover, both Hindu and Muslim male devotees are required to shave their heads during their pilgrimage.

(4) Additionally, male Muslim pilgrims are required to dress in a garment consisting of two seamless sheets of white cloth. Again, this costume is the exact imitation of their Hindu counterparts who also dress in a type seamless garment that is known as dhotiduring their pilgrimage.

(5) In Islam, theBlack Stone is held sacred by Muslims. The symbol of Shiva is also a Black Stone. Why are the objects of reverence of both the worshippers of Shiva and Muslims Black Stones?

(6) Muslims drink water from theWell of Zamzam during their sacred rites of the Hajj. This is the exact imitation of the Hindus who also drink water from the Ganga Riveras part of the sacred rites in their worship of Shiva.

(7) The Crescent moon is associated with the Hindu deity Shiva. In every Hindu portrayal of Shiva, theCrescent moonis always painted across his forehead. Is it a coincidence that the Crescent moon is also a symbol of Islam?

(8) In every portrayal of Shiva, there is always a depiction of asnake coiled around his neck. Islamic sources confirm that the Ka’ba was once guarded by asnake during pre-Islamic times. And these same sources state that it was Allah who sent the snake to guard the pagan treasures of the Ka’ba.

Tarikh Makka by Al-Azraqi:

From that day Allah sent a snake to guard the Ka’bah. The snake lived in the well guarding the gifts of the Ka’bah for over 500 years.Exposed to the wearing factors of nature the walls of the Ka’bah at the time of Quraish(slightly before the time Prophet  received Prophethood) had become weak and part of the covering had also burnt, thus the Quraish decided to rebuild the Ka’bah. However, the snake prevented them from demolishing the Holy Ka’bah every time they tried. Finally they stood at the Place of Ibrahim and prayed, “Oh Allah if you are happy in its rebuilding then make it possible and take care of this snake.” Allah sent an eagle which took the snake towards Ajyaad. This snake is referred to in the forth opinion.”

At the time when the Quraish tribe wanted to rebuild the Ka’ba, it was a pagan shrine housing 360 idols. As the account itself states, this event occurred before the time of Muhammad’s calling as a prophet of Allah. Before the arrival of Islam, the Quraish tribe were all pagans who worshipped a pantheon of idol-gods. And Allah was one of them. Therefore, it should not surprise us to find the pagans praying to Allah and entreating him: “Oh Allah if you are happy in its rebuilding then make it possible and take care of this snake.” And it should not surprise us to find Allah answering their prayers by transferring the snake. The account also states that it was Allah who initially sent this snake to guard the treasures of the Ka’ba while it was still a pagan temple. We would like to ask the Muslims:

  • Why was Allah happy to see the restoration of the Ka’ba when it served as a pagan temple for the idol-worshipping pagans?
  • Why did Allah answer the prayers of the pagans by transferring the snake?
  • Does not the fact the pagans prayed to Allah means that he was their god?
  • Why do both the pagans and the Muslims share the same Allah?
  • Does not this tell us that Allah is unmistakably a pagan deity?
  • Why did Allah send a snake to guard the pagan treasures of the Ka’ba?
  • Why is a snake associated with both Allah and Shiva?
  • If you find a place of worship being guarded by a snake today, with which religion would you associate it?
  • Would you associate it with the religion of the true God or with paganism?
  • Do not the evidences show that Islam is an offshoot of paganism?
  • Can Islam then be associated with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?

Christians do not practice the ritual of circumnavigation to please their God. Ironically, Muslims accuse Hinduism of paganism and idolatry. There are far too many similarities between Islam and Paganism for it to be a religion of the true God. Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would never incorporate the practices of the pagan nations. He would never permit the pagan practices of the nations to be a part of his sacred services for his worshippers to follow. But Allah did.

2 Corinthians 6:14-17: Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what fellowship do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what sharing does light have with darkness.Further, what harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what portion does a faithful person have with an unbeliever?And what agreement does God’s temple have with idols? For we are a temple of a living God. Just as God said: “I shall reside among them and walk among them, and I shall be their God, and they will be my people.” “Therefore get out from among them and separate yourselves. Quit touching the unclean thingand I will take you in,” says Jehovah.

THE CAUSE FOR IDOLATRY IN ISLAM

No matter how hard Muslims try to justify, it does not change the fact that Islam is steeped in idolatry. The proof is everywhere. It may surprise Muslims to know that Umar, the 2nd Caliph of Islam, had reservations about kissing the paganBlack Stone.

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 26, Number 675:

Narrated by Zaid bin Aslam: From his father who said: “Umar bin Al-Khattab addressed the Corner (Black Stone) saying,‘By Allah! I know that you are a stone and can neither benefit nor harm. Had I not seen the Prophet touching (and kissing) you, I would never have touched(and kissed)you.’ Then he kissed it.”

This is a very revealing statement coming from one who used to be a pagan. Umar’s conversion to monotheism was so absolute that he was able to make the above observation while his Prophet was actually venerating a pagan idol. The reason behind Umar’s reluctance in kissing theBlack Stone was that the pagan Arabs also performed this same ritual. Sadly, Caliph Umar venerated Muhammad and this eventually led him to venerate the pagan idol.

Sheikh Sha’rawi, one of Egypt’s renowned scholars declared in Legal Opinions, pt. 3, p. 167:

“The kissing of the meteorite is a firm practice in Islamic lawbecause Muhammad did it. You must not ask about the wisdom behind that because this rite is (an expression) ofworship in spite of the obscurity of its wisdom.”

The single most important reason for kissing theBlack Stone in Islam is that “Muhammad did it.”

Ibn `Umar said:“Allah’s Messenger(peace and blessings be upon him)faced the Black Stone, touched it, and then placed his lips on it and wept for a long time.” Likewise, `Umar also wept for a long time. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: ‘O `Umar, this is the place where one should shed tears.”’(Reported by Al-Hakim who considers it a sound Hadith with a sound chain of authorities) Source: IslamOnline.

Muhammad touched and kissed the Black stone. Heplaced his lips on it and wept for a long time.” If this is not idolatry, then what is it? In view of his pagan past, Muhammad needed something tangible that connects him to Allah. Thus, he submitted to idolatry. That is why he also stated that the Black Stone “is the place where one should shed tears.” And Umar gave in to blind allegiance. What Muslims failed to take into consideration is that kissing and caressing stone objects were an integral part of the worship that the Arab pagans rendered to their idols.

Like Umar, many Muslims also blindly follow Muhammad in their veneration of this pagan idol. Historically, Muslims cannot deny the fact that the Black Stone was one among the many stones and idols venerated at the Ka’ba by the pre-Islamic pagans. The Black Stone was kissed during pre-Islamic pagan worship and it is this same stone that Muslims are kissing today when they visit Mecca. Muslims are kissing a stone that was previously used in idolatry. Muslims have no reasons to justify this act of idolatry other than the reason it was done by Muhammad. What divine knowledge or spiritual experience can come from venerating an inanimate object which admittedly is a simple meteorite?

Muslims even go so far as to believe that touching or kissing the Black Stonehas a profound impact on them and it is supposed to count in their favor on the Islamic Judgment Day. Stoning Satan is also part of the hajj practice. In this ritual, a Muslim gathers seven pebbles and throws them at a pillar of stone that signifies his defiance of the Devil. One cannot help but be amazed at this act of great stupidity. Muslims faithfully kiss one stone as a sacred service to Allah while stoning another stone as a representation of the Devil. And this is Islam for you.

A WARNING TO HEED

The first biography of Muhammad was written by Ibn Ishaq (704 C.E. – 767 C.E.). This biography is known as Sirat Rasul Allah.” In p. 99, we find an interesting account of an event that took place during the pre-Islamic days when the pagans were celebrating their festival:

“The Coreish were once gathered together during their Eid beside one of their idols, slaying sacrifices, praying and making circuits around it, as they used to do at this festival every year. Just then four friends stood apart, and spoke secretly to one another in righteous terms. These were Waraca, Obeidallah grandson of Abdul Mutalib. Othman and Zeid ibn Amr.

They said: – ‘By the Lord! Our people have nothing left of the faith of Abraham. What is this stone that we should encircle it? It can neither hear nor speak, neither hurt nor help. O our people! Look out for your souls, for by the Lord you are altogether wanting.’ Then they separated, and departed into various lands to find out the true faith of Abraham.

Waraca embraced the Christian religion, and studying the books of its people, became fixed in their faith.Obeidallah…, emigrated to Abyssinia along with his wife Omm Habibah…, There, however, he afterwardsbecame a Christian…, Now as toOthman, he repaired to the court of the Emperor of Byzantium, where he obtained a high rank andembraced the Christian faith.” (Siratu’l Rasool vss. 143-144 p. 99)

Out of the four friends, three of them eventually became Christians. They were WaracaObeidallahand Othman. These seekers of truth knew that the practices of the Quraysh, which Islam later incorporated in its theology, do not belong to the faith of Abraham. They recognized it was sheer idolatry.

One of the warnings of Jehovah that they most likely would have come across in their study of the Bible is the text inLeviticus 26:1. This text has a direct bearing on the subject at hand. Centuries earlier before the arrival of Islam, Jehovah God lovingly warned the Israelites to avoid a subtle entrapment of Satan. Centuries later, Islam failed to escape this entrapment of Satan. The Holy Bible strongly warns:

Leviticus 26:1:“Do not make for yourselves worthless idols. You must not erect for yourselves a carved statue or a sacred pillar and you must not put a stone as a sacred showpiece in your land to bow down toward it. I am Jehovah your God.”

Can any warning be clearer than this? Either it is acceptable to bow towards a stone or it is not. Both cannot be true.  This is a very serious matter because it demonstrates that eitherAllah or Jehovah is the true God. The eternal salvation of every single Muslim lies in the hands of only one of them. Think very carefully! Would aHoly God encourage his worshippers to continue in the sin of idolatry of the pagans?

It is commonly taught that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are the three great monotheistic religions in the world. And many a time it is implied that the adherents of these three religions pray to the same God. Nothing could be further from the truth than this. Islam is heathenism in monotheistic form. There is no place for any form of idolatry, whatsoever, in Christianity.

1 John 5:21:“Guard yourselves from idols.”

This gives us a legitimate reason to reject Islam.

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