Tom: Thanks, Gary. You are listening to Search the Scriptures Daily, a program in which we encourage everyone who desires to know God’s truth to look to God’s Word for all that is essential for salvation and living one’s life in a way that is pleasing to Him. Now we have been going through Dave Hunt’s book—actually we just began last week—the book is titled A Cup Of Trembling, subtitle: Jerusalem and Bible Prophecy.
Now, Dave, one of the reasons I’m excited about going through the book, we have in many programs past dealt with the beliefs of Islam; certainly we have been going through what the Bible teaches, and so on. But I think the confusion out there with regard to Islam is that people hear certain things, but they haven’t had the opportunity to understand not just how Islam was formulated but how that relates to the Jews, how it relates to Israel, how it relates to Jerusalem, to Israel today. And again, going through your book, A Cup Of Trembling, I think we will have that opportunity to present some information, which many and perhaps most of our listeners haven’t had the opportunity to hear.
Last week, I quoted historian Will Durant, and the quote had to do with Jerusalem, particularly the development of the Dome of the Rock as a place of worship for Muslims. Let me read that again and just bring our listeners, if they didn’t hear it last week, or they just joined us for the first time, this might be helpful. This is historian Will Durant: “In 684, when the rebel Abdallah ibn Zobeir held Mecca and received the revenues of its pilgrims, Abd-al-Malik, anxious to attract some of this sacred revenue, decreed that thereafter this rock [where Abraham had offered Isaac and the temple had stood in Jerusalem] should replace the Kaaba [in Mecca] as the object of pious pilgrimage. Over that historic stone his artisans [in 691] raised in Syrian-Byzantine style the famous ‘Dome of the Rock,’ which soon ranked as the third of the ‘four wonders of the Moslem world....’
“Abd-al-Malik’s plan to make this monument replace the Kaaba failed. Had it succeeded, Jerusalem would have been the center of all the three faiths that competed for the soul of medieval man. But Jerusalem was not even the capital of the province of Palestine under the Arabs....”
So, it seems to me, at least according to historian Will Durant, that this place, as far as a religious center for Muslims—questionable at best.
Dave: Yeah, it never was a religious center for Muslims and they held—for example, the Ottoman Empire held it for 400 years. Nobody made pilgrimages, no Muslims. They didn’t see it as being of any importance, but, I mean, it’s very clear what he wanted to do. Someone, a rebel, and we mentioned last time, I think, that the Muslims can’t get along with one another. The only thing that unites them today is their common hatred of Israel and determination to exterminate Israel. Other than that, they fight one another. You read the history of it, and it is among the most vicious, divisive history of—there’s no church, there is no religion, that reads like that. I think I mentioned last time, three of the first four Caliphs—they’re called the “rightly guided Caliphs”—who succeeded Muhammad were murdered by their own people. And you had divisions, you had various Caliphates, you had factions, killing one another, murdering one another; there was a struggle for leadership among the Muslims.
And finally, the big split took place between the Sunnis and the Shiites, and that was over the murder of the man that the Shiites of today claimed should have been the successor. They felt that the successor should be a direct descendent—or close relative anyway—of Muhammad. But that, I assume, was abandoned.
So here we have—this is a Muslim now; Durant says a rebel—but a rebel Muslim. I mean, there are various factions, and he takes over Mecca. In fact, the Kaaba was at one time, at least, destroyed—burned and then it was restored later. So, you have a faction, an Islamic faction, like in Iraq today you have factions. Go to Afghanistan, you’ve got factions. These guys fight one another. And he took over Mecca, and now he is getting the—why did he take it? Because he wanted to preserve this as a religious site and because he was so loyal to Muhammad and Allah? No, he wanted the revenues. Way back in Muhammad’s day, the Quraish tribe—that was Muhammad’s tribe—they made a lot of money out of this. They charged people, pilgrims, to come there and so forth.
Tom: Now, Dave, just help us a little bit—back up some. What was going on at the Kaaba? Was this primarily Islam, the Muslim religion?
Dave: No, Tom, you’re running the show here—I don’t know what time we have, but let me try to explain that because…
Tom: It’s important! We’ve got time.
Dave: …it is very…
Tom: If the Lord tarries, we’ve got weeks ahead. Go for it.
Dave: …very interesting and very important to understand. For example, President Bush, a few months ago, honored the holy month Ramadan, this fast, okay? And he had Muslim leaders in, and he had a dinner for them when the fast was over—they fast from sunrise to sunset, and then they can gorge themselves at night, or whatever. But anyway, he honored this, and President Clinton had said, “Oh, this teaches the Muslim how horrible it is for people who don’t have food, so when they fast they can learn that,” and so forth. Okay, well, all of that aside, it has nothing to do—well, it does have everything to do with Islam now—but it was not a Muslim festival. For example, the Qur’an—and I don’t have my Qur’an in front of me, and I can’t remember the exact verse, but the Qur’an says that it was in the month of Ramadan that Muhammad received the first revelation for the Qur’an. So the month of Ramadan already existed before the Qur’an was inspired.
Furthermore, Muhammad began his career when he moved to Medina. He started out in Mecca, which is where he was born, and that was his tribe, the Quraish tribe, but they didn’t accept him as a prophet. He wanted them to bow to his religious authority, and they would not. And he was forced out.
And that began the calendar for the Muslims. It’s dated from that time, from his fleeing Mecca and establishing himself in Medina, the Hijra, it’s called. By the way, Medina was renamed; it was originally called Yathrib, and believe it or not, it was founded by Jews, and the Jews were a very large group there. Muhammad killed them all—about 900 of them, male warriors, are buried under the market place at what then became Medina, which means “the City of the Prophet.” But originally, it was a Jewish city, settled by Jews, and then Arabs moved in, and many Arabs were converted to Judaism, by the way.
Anyway, so when he established himself in Medina, how does he begin his career? Attacking caravans! Now that was a major industry for the Arabs in those days. The different tribes fought one another, and so he began attacking caravans. His first three attacks were not successful; the fourth one was successful. Why was that? Because he received a revelation that you could make war during the holy month of Ramadan. You see, the holy month of Ramadan already existed, and the Arab tribes had all agreed you don’t fight one another during the holy month of Ramadan.
So, like Joseph Smith who got revelations when he needed them (Muhammad got a revelation about getting somebody else’s wife, even, as Joseph Smith did)—he received a revelation that you could fight in the holy month of Ramadan, so it was a surprise attack. The caravan was not expecting an attack during the month of Ramadan, and this is how he began. That was his first success. Okay, so I only point that out to mention that Ramadan had been practiced for centuries.
Tom: Dave, the connection—just tell us quickly the connection between the moon and Ramadan.
Dave: Well, it begins with a sliver and it ends like that.
Tom: Quarter moon.
Dave: It is connected to the moon, the first appearance of the sliver of the moon.
Tom: So, also, then, related to the moon god.
Dave: Exactly. Allah was the moon god; “Allah” is a contraction of “Al-ilah,” which means “the chief god,” and Allah was the chief god in the Kaaba, which had over 300. Okay, now we want to get to the Kaaba. I’m sorry, but I’m just pointing out that Islam is paganism. It’s just been sort of reworked—not even reworked very much—it’s been sanitized, you could say, and here they go on. The Muslims today continue to practice the same religious rites that the pagan Arabs practiced for centuries before Muhammad was born. Now, the Kaaba existed…
Tom: What about a black stone?
Dave: Well, there were a couple of stones. There was a black stone that came from Jupiter, supposedly, and according to Muhammad—and you will find this in the Qur’an as well—according to Muhammad it came down milky white from heaven, but when you kiss it, it sucks your sin out. So, it gets darker and darker and darker. Now…
Tom: Again Dave, a little aside, not unlike Mormonism, which taught that to be “white and delightsome,” or to be dark means that had to do with sin. Interesting.
Dave: So, now we can prove very simply. I mean, you will find it in Will Durant. You gave one quote from Will Durant about the Dome of the Rock, but Will Durant tells you that this…well, most of the Arab tribes worship stones, but Mecca was the center of the stone worship, and the most sacred of the stones was this dark stone that’s embedded about five feet above the ground in one corner of the Kaaba on the outside. Today the Kaaba is in the courtyard, patio, however you want to say it, of a huge mosque that surrounds it. But, without going into history—you don’t want to believe history? Okay, let’s just go back to 626 AD, when Muhammad is now in Medina, and he and—they are Muslims now—and he and some of his Muslim followers (these are the first Muslims that ever existed, they existed…the hijra began in 622. So this is the year 6--AH—we say AD, but for them it’s AH. So, he went to Mecca in 628 with his followers to make a pilgrimage to the Kaaba. Now wait a minute! The Kaaba is a pagan temple; Muhammad has not yet smashed the idols.
Tom: And how many idols are we talking?
Dave: Well, over 300, some people say 360, I don’t know the exact count. But, so get the picture now: Kaaba belongs to the pagans as it always has, for centuries, and there are pagan Arabs coming there worshipping these idols—among them Allah, the moon god—and Muhammad brings his troop of faithful Muslims, his followers now of Islam’s new religion, and they want to go to the Kaaba too. Well, it happens at that time that the Meccans were stronger than Muhammad; he didn’t have the troops to attack, and they said no. And this is a very important date and event in the history of Islam, because Muhammad made a treaty, a ceasefire treaty, with the Meccans for ten years. It’s called the Treaty of Hudaybiya. It was for ten years. Of course, two years into it, on a pretext, he broke it. That was when he had enough troops, and he arrives with an army of ten thousand men and takes over Mecca.
But before we get to that—now, he wants to go in and worship with these pagans at the Kaaba. You can see how strong this was in his tradition. The Meccans say no, but as part of the Treaty of Hudaybiya, they say, “Next year you can do it.” So, the following year, here comes Muhammad with his Muslim followers.
Tom: A little bit larger now—not much though.
Dave: Yeah, and they mingle with the pagans. They are going through the same thing. What do they do? Well, you kiss the black stone first. Then you go around the Kaaba—circumambulate it—four times at a run, three times at a slow pace, meditative, and Tom, I won’t try to go into all the details. There are other rituals involved as you go around, and then you exit by one of the 24 gates of this huge mosque now, but the mosque of course, wasn’t there. So, in those days, you’d just take off and you climb…well, you run between Safa and Marwa, a couple of hills, seven times, and that supposedly is in remembrance of Hagar’s search for water. You drink from the well that Hagar supposedly drank from; then you climb Mount Arafat, and that’s rather interesting. You know that Arafat, that’s how we know him today—his name originally was Husseini, and he was…his grand uncle, Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of…I think in the book I say, “uncle,” but actually it was his mother’s cousin. But anyway, however you want to say it, cousin or whatever, uncle; I can’t keep all of these relationships straight, but he changed his name to hide his relationship to Haj Amin al-Husseini, who was his model and mentor, a horrible terrorist! Probably, and I’m just quoting some historians, you could credit him with the deaths of several hundred thousand Jews in Europe. He was involved in that, involved with Hitler, and so forth.
Tom: Right, this was in the 20s and the 30s.
Dave: Anyway—well, it was in the 20s and the 30s that he made up this idea that Jerusalem was a holy place for the Muslims, which it never had been. Anyway, you climb Mount Arafat, you run to Wadi Mina, and I’m leaving out a little bit in between, we don’t have time for it, and you throw seven stones each at three rocks that represent Satan, and you listen to some sermons, and you sacrifice a goat, supposedly in remembrance of Abraham’s sacrifice of Ishmael. No, Abraham was going to offer Isaac, not Ishmael.
So anyway, the point I am trying to make is, the Kaaba—all of these rituals, you understand?—this was what Muhammad went through with his Muslim followers along with the pagan Arabs, right in their footsteps. That was carried over into Islam. Now, Muhammad, when he took over Mecca, he still allowed the pagan Arabs to mingle with his Muslim followers. Eventually, Muhammad said: “All non-Muslims, you have four months to convert, and if you do not convert to Islam, you will be killed,” okay? And from then on, no one but a Muslim was allowed to come to the Kaaba and go through the rituals, which the pagan Arabs had engaged in for centuries. You figure it out, Tom, but Islam is paganism dressed up as Islam, as some new religion, when, in fact, it comes right out of paganism and the Muslims today ought to know! They make this Hajj—once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage—they are following in the footsteps of millions of pagans who did it before them, and they are doing exactly the same thing.
Tom: Dave, earlier you mentioned Yasser Arafat’s relative. He was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in the 1920s, 1930s, right around that time. Now, he did something that, he sort of took over where Abd-al-Malik left off, in terms of drawing, now, Islam to Jerusalem as a center of worship.
Dave: Well, actually, Abd-al-Malik, he took over Mecca. He got the troops, and he got them from Abdallah ibn Zobeir, and he took Mecca back again. So he kind of abandoned the Dome of the Rock, which he had built there as a rival to…he was going to try to get the pilgrims to come to Jerusalem instead of to Mecca. Wait a minute, you’ve got all this tradition!
Tom: But the only significance, if you want to call it that, would be the fact that Abraham sacrifices—didn’t actually sacrifice, but brought Isaac to be sacrificed. But now the Muslims are telling us, “No, it wasn’t Isaac; it was Ishmael.”
Dave: Furthermore, the temple of Solomon was built there, and, in fact, if you want to go back in history and read the ancient writings of the Arab historians, they say that that Dome of the Rock was built in memory, in honor, of the temple of Solomon, and that was what he was going to use to get the pilgrims there. In fact, there were five Jewish families who were involved, not only as artisans but in continuing maintenance of this place, and so forth. So, the Surah 17:1, the one verse we talked about it last week, I think, that says that: “Blessed be he who was taken from…”
Tom: Let me quote it for you, Dave. It says, “Glorified be He who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far Distant Place [al-Aqsa] of Worship, the neighborhood whereof We have blessed, that We might show him of Our tokens! Lo! He, and only He, is the Hearer, the Seer.”
Dave: Yeah, but that verse is absent from all the verses in the Qur’an. You’ve been there, Tom.
Tom: You mean not the Qur’an—in the mosque.
Dave: Yeah, beautifully inscribed, the verses from the Qur’an that are inscribed in Arabic inside the Dome of the Rock, and this verse is not among them. So, obviously, that was not the understanding. And to say “al-Aqsa” means “Jerusalem”? It’s “a far distant place of worship,” or another translation would say “the farthest mosque.” It never was a mosque. It never was a place of worship for Islam. This is a fraud, which Haj Amin al-Husseini dreamed up in order to make it their possession and exclude the Jews.
I’m sorry, I’m starting to get angry, Tom. I hope the program is about over, because this is fraud—it is not right, but the whole world accepts it now. They have rewritten history.