Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Byzantium Empire

Book review of Genevieve Chauvel

Posted on October 11, 2008 (Written in November 19, 2007)

“Aïcha la bien-aimée du Prophet” by Geneviève Chauvel

Note: This review is very large and I opted to split it into 2 parts. The second part will start when Prophet Muhammad died.

I decided to review “Aicha, the most beloved wife of the Prophet” for the chronicles of the active life of the Prophet Muhammad, and the specific circumstances that revealed the messages from Archangel Gabriel.  Aicha lived to be 67 of age and experienced Islam since she was born, and she died as Islam was splitting into schisms.

Aicha was born in 616 in Mecca and she was redheaded like her maternal grandmother.  Her father Abu Bakr, later the first Caliph, spared her life because Khadija, the wife of Mohammad, played a part in this difficult and life threatening birth.

Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Hachim was an orphan brought up by his uncle Abu Talib, the father of Ali. The father of Muhammad died before his birth and his mother passed away as Muhammad was only 6 of age.  Ali was to be the fourth Caliph.

(Islam would like us to believe that Muhammad was illiterate to exaggerate his divine message, but I beg to differ. Read link in note #4).  

Khadija, a wealthy caravan trader, hired Muhammad to lead her caravans to Damascus.  Khadija was almost 8 years older than Muhammad (A large difference at that time with low life expectancy) when her uncle urged her to marry his nephew Muhammad. She was widowed twice and Muhammad was 25 year-old.  Khadija gave  him a son Al Qasem, who died at age two, and four daughters. Two of the in-laws became later Caliphs, Uthman and Ali.

Khadija was the first person to believe in Muhammad “prophecies/messages” and for 11 years protected him from the mockeries and sarcasms of the inhabitants of Mecca and cared for him during his fits of epilepsy when Archangel Gabriel used to appear to him.

Two of Muhammad’s daughters were repudiated by their husbands because they refused to be married to girls who converted to Islam.  Fatima, the youngest one, married Ali, Muhammad’s nephew, and gave Muhammad two grand boys, Hassan and Hussein and two granddaughters. 

Zainab, one of the daughters of Muhammad, was married to Aboul-As whom she loved so much that she preferred to stay with him in Mecca. Aboul-As fought against Muhammad at the battle of Badr and was made prisoner and later decided to convert in order to keep Zainab.

Rukaya was married to Uthman ibn Affan, later the third Caliph, and when she died, Muhammad married his daughter Oum Kulthum to Uthman because he needed his Kureich clan on his side. 

Uthman abandoned the position of his archery contingent during the lost battle of Uhud and thus had vacated a strategic position held by the archers, which allowed the cavalry of Khaled bin Al walid to defeat the Muslims in this battle and forced them to retreat..

Muhammad adopted Zaid ibn Haritha who was Khadija’s slave at the age of twelve and he used him to be his personal messenger to his wives after each battle.  Zaid was very learned and translated and interpreted the Jewish Books to Muhammad and was devoted to his adoptive father.

Muhammad married Sawda (Black) after Khadija died because he needed an experienced woman to run and maintain the household.  Sawda was widowed to a convert who fled to Ethiopia from the Quraish tribes’ persecution.

After the death of Khadija, Muhammad realized that he won’t be protected anymore from certain death; he fled Mecca to Yathrib in the year 622 (later called Medina or the first city-state of the Muslims) after foiling an assassination attempt on his life. 

It took him and Abu Bakr almost four months to arrive at Yathrib, a six days travel, to avoid the headhunters of the tribes of Quraish.  Most of the Prophet’s followers had preceded him to Yathrib and welcomed him as a hero.

Muhammad married Aisha in Yathrib when she was ten years old. 

Abu Bakr (father of Aisha) was the first adult male to convert to Islam and he was Muhammad’s closest Companion and guide.  Aicha was 8-years old when Muhammad officially asked her hand and waited to marry her at age ten.

The mother of Aicha, Oum Roummane, almost died when giving birth to Aisha and Khadija was called upon to deliver her and Muhammad saw Gabriel at the same time he was contemplating to commit suicide by throwing himself off a cliff because of the miserable life that Gabriel forced upon him. 

After the death of Khadija, Mohammad saw Aicha three times in his dreams, as a baby wrapped in green blanket and the third time it was Gabriel who removed the blanket for Muhammad to recognize the face of baby Aicha, and ordered to obey the request of Gabriel to take her as wife.  Aicha had a vast memory and was educated to read and write and she was the person who transposed the verbal messages into written verses during the revelations.

The migrating Muslims in Yathrib were suffering from miseries.

First, they were not used to the humid climate and the marshes: Many died of the malaria fever.  Aicha almost died as she arrived in Yathrib. 

Second, the emigrants could not find suitable employments and had to accept temporary jobs at the Jewish households and farms.  Consequently, the emigrants had to revert to what the tribes did when they were hungry and penniless.  They decided to raid a major caravan coming from Damascus and lead by Abu Sufyan (a chief of the Quraysh clan in Mecca). The caravan was to stop at an oasis called Badr but Abu Sufyan got wind of the raid and diverted its route and sent for troops from Mecca.  The Muslims won the battle of Badr, their first.

Sawda father and brother were killed in the battle of Badr fighting against the Muslims.  Sawda was greatly grieved and lambasted the prisoners parked in front her house and told them that they should have fought instead of being taken prisoners. Mohammad repudiated her for a while until she asked forgiveness and she opted not to have intercourse with him as the tradition regulated Mohammad nights among his wives.

Mohammad encircled the fortified castle of the Jewish tribe Banu Qaynuqa because the tribe decided to break the treaty with Mohammad rather than pay the ransom for a murdered emigrant.  The tribe capitulated when it realized the succor from Banu Khazraj was not forthcoming. 

Muhammad had set his mind to beheading all the males of the defeated Banu Qaynuqa tribe as the revelation dictated, but the chief of the Ansar (supporters) tribe of Khazraj prevented him saying: “I am a man who fears the reversal of circumstances”

The Banu Qaynuqa were allowed to leave the city and it settled in the Jewish town of Khaibar, around 20 miles north west of Yathrib.

Mohammad married Afsa (3afsa), the widowed daughter of Omar ibn Khattab, the second Caliph, because he needed Omar total loyalty.  She was eighteen. Actually, Omar insisted on Uthman to marry Afsa but he declined the request repeatedly. Muhammad had set his mind to marry his second daughter Um Kulthum to Uthman to secure the Ummaya powerful clan.  Aicha was crest fallen and suffered her first jealousy attacks.

The Muslims lost the battle of Uhud, but the forces of Quraish did not pursue their objective to enter Medina and retreated to Mecca.  Muhammad directed his angst against the Jewish tribe of Banu Nadhir that secretly supported Quraich.  He ordered this Jewish tribe to leave Medina; the eye witness accounts related that the citizens in Medina never saw a caravan as opulent, rich and luxurious in their lives.

Mohammad married Zainab, the daughter of the clan leader of Bani Assad, who was widowed and 30 years of age. Zainab died three months after her wedding.

Mohammad married Hind, daughter of Abi Ummayah, a recent widow of Abu Salama who was mortally injured during the battle of Ohud, the first defeat of the Moslems against the tribe of Quraich and their allies outside the walls of Yathreb and now called Medina. 

Hind or Um Salama was about thirty of age and had many children and declined to marry Abu Bakr and Omar and even Muhammad.  Muhammad asked her hand a second time and promised to care for her many offspring.

Muhammad married Zainab bint Jahsh, a cousin thirty of years of age and of great beauty.  Zainab was the wife of his adoptive son Zaid ibn Haritha who separated from her when she welcomed Mohammad almost nude to entice him and throw trouble in his heart. 

She roamed after Muhammad reminding him that she separated because of him.  The Koran was very strict on the number of only 4 wives for the believers but Mohammad received a message from Gabriel telling him that Zainab is an offer from God that cannot be rejected.  The aggrieved Aicha interjected that God has a tendency to accord his Messenger all his desires.

Mohammad repulsed a fresh attack by Quraich on Medina by following the suggestion of Salame the Persian; Salame supervised the digging of a large and deep trench around Medina that the cavalry could not jump over. 

A violent wind followed by a torrential rain convinced the Quraishi armies to retreat.  Then, Mohammad surrounded the hold up of the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza for 25 days because they were tacitly allied to Quraich. 

The Prophet beheaded 700 of the male captives and dumped their bodies in a large hole and ordered Ali and Zubair (the husband of Aicha’s sister Asmat) to participate in the performance of the executions.

(This 700 could be a magical number in tales. Even 70 beheading executions is too large a number in a single day. Why Muhammad made Ali to have blood on his hand is to be examined. Actually, the hatred of the Jews for Ali is a consequence of this narrative)

Muhammad asked the hand of Rihana, a Jewish captive girl, to marry him but she declined. After she converted, Mohammad asked her hand again and she preferred to remain slave than marry someone with several wives but she became his concubine.

Since this mass cruel beheading, troops of Muhammad had easier tasks convincing the neighboring tribes to join Islam and plundering the caravans arriving from Damascus or Alexandria.

Mohammad married Juwayriah, the daughter of the chief clan of Harith, which his last raid brought her as captive.  The Harith tribe and their allies convert to Islam. 

A turning point was reached when Aicha lost her favorite collar that her mother Em Rumana gave her for her wedding. 

Aicha joined that raid and lost her favorite collar that the Prophet had offered her during their wedding. The fighters were utterly upset for wasting precious time searching for the collar and the time for prayer was close and they were far from the nearest oasis. 

Muhammad had to receive a message allowing ablution with sand when water is not available. This revelation allowed the Muslim armies to expand its raids in the desert and later in their territory expansion.

The story goes that Muhammad took Aicha on an expedition.  Aicha lost her collar as the troop were heading to the next water well and the caravan was very short on water for the ablution before prayer. 

On the way back from the expedition, Aicha stepped away from the troop for bodily relief.  As she reached the caravan, she realized that she dropped this loose collar again.  Aicha went back to search for the collar and the troop started without her. 

Aicha would recount that she was so light that the attendants to her tent/hawdaj didn’t realize that she was Not in the cabin that was raised over the camel.  Aicha lay down.  Safwan, a young and handsome convert was a little behind the caravan, and found Aicha and mounted her on his horse. Safwan was confident that the troops will retrace their path searching for her as they reached the camp. 

Later, rumors spread that, while the 60 years old prophet is resuming his mania of marrying far more than the four allowed by the Koran, and that his younger of wives is cheating on him.  Aicha fell dangerously sick and was moved to her folks’ quarter and Mohammad didn’t pay her a visit for 28 days because he started to believe the rumors.

When Mohammad finally arrived to see Aicha, the Angel Gabriel showed up and revealed to the Prophet that Aicha was innocent. Um Roumana told Aicha to come forward and thank the Prophet.  Aicha retorted: “By God I will not!  I will praise but God who finally decided to declare me innocent” 

Seventeen revelations were dedicated to these awful circumstances; calumny was revealed as a crime, as dangerous as adultery and specific penalties prescribed. 

Mistah, a cousin of Aicha, Hassan ibn Thabit, the poet of Islam, and Hannah bint Jahsh, the sister of one of the Prophet’s wives, were flogged 100 times for their crimes of calumny without having 4 witnesses for their accusations.  Aicha regained her position as the most favored “Um al Mu’mineen”. (The Mother of the Believers). It is said that Aisha kept a deep grudge for Ali who seemed to believe the rumors of her cheating.

Mohammad had a dream while sleeping with Aicha that he shaved his head and performed the pilgrimage to Al Kaaba in Mecca.  Aicha encouraged him and Muhammad left Medina with 700 unarmed men to Mecca. 

The favorite camel of Muhammad named Qaswa parked in Hudaibiya, close to Mecca, and would not move.  By the way, Qaswa was the camel that selected the location for the Prophet house and the Mosque in Yathrib.

The Quraichi’s tribes sent delegations and they reached a 10-year non-belligerence treaty and promised Muhammad that they would permit the Muslims for pilgrimage starting next year. 

Although Muhammad was not allowed to enter Mecca, he wanted to perform the rites in Hudaibiya but the Companions refused. Um Salama encouraged Muhammad to perform the sacred rituals and shaved Muhammad’s head and then slaughtered his sacrificial camel and the believers hurried to follow suit; the party returned to Medina sanctified.

Mohammad married Safiya, a Jewish beauty and of high grace from Khaibar who was married to a brute of a husband that died during the battle of Khaibar.

Muhammad had just conquered the fortified Jewish town of Khaibar, North West of Madina in the year 630.  The lands were turned over to Mohammad and his closest Companions and the Jews agreed to cultivate the land as serfs for 50% return for their subsistence and relinquished their treasures.

Um Salama escorted the Prophet in this raid and recounted to the harem that a Jewish girl roasted a lamb for Mohammad and then he realized it was poisoned; when asked why she poisoned the lamb she replied: “You killed my father, brother and husband. If you are a King then good riddance; if you are a Prophet then you must discover the plot.” 

The girl was not punished for the rationale that she will spread her conviction that Muhammad is indeed a prophet.  Un Salama added that Muhammad liked his new wife Safia very much: he didn’t wait the customary 40 days grievance and married her on the way back to Medina and spent four whole days and nights with Safiya.  With virgins, the husbands spend 7 entire days and nights!  Aicha thought that Um Salama could have spared her added anxieties.

Mohammad married Um Habiba, the daughter of Abu Sufyan, his arch enemy of Quraish.  Um Habiba was a recent widow and 40-year old and living in Ethiopia with her husband who converted to Christianity; she was one of the first converts to flee to Ethiopia after the Quraish persecutions.

The governor of Coptic Egypt sent Muhammad gold and fine gifts and two Christian girls as slaves, Maria and Sirine.  Maria became immediately the concubine of the Prophet until she converts to Islam and he spent most of his time with Maria, raising a revolt within his harem.

Aicha took a definite advantage over the remaining wives.

Individuals who wanted to offer the Prophet gifts learned that the best moments were when he is with Aicha.  Aicha thus enjoyed the best fabrics and gifts and the other wives revolted again wanting fair distribution of the gifts. 

Mohammad told Um Salama that his revelations descend when he is with Aicha, but the revolt went on and the Prophet decided to retreat from his harem for a whole month, sending fear and frustration in the community of the believers. 

After a month, Mohammad revealed a message placing men as superior to women and admonishing wives to obey their husband, and permitting husbands to punish their wives if they disobeyed.  Mohammad reconquered his authority in the harem, and wives had to pay the price of this revolt for centuries after.

In 630 or the 8th year of Mohammad emigration to Yathrib , the Prophet assembled ten thousand fighters for his pilgrimage to the Kaaba and entered Mecca and destroyed the pagan Gods and became the uncontested leader of all the tribes in the Arabian peninsula. (Too large a number to be credible)

Islam arch enemy Abu Sufian converted to Islam, before the troops of the Muslims entered Mecca.  The wife of Abu Sufian, Hind, reluctantly converted to Islam also.  Hind is the famous woman who opened the chest of Hamza in the Battle of uhud and ate his liver in order to avenge her father in the battle of Badr. Hamza (an uncle of Muhammad) had killed Hind’s father in a singular fight before the battle of Bard.

Mohammad married Maymouna, a relative of both tribes of Abi Taleb and Hashim to the fainting and shock of the harem. 

A revelation descended that the messenger is allowed all the women he desires. 

Besides his 9 wives, Muhammad had two concubines, Maria and Rihana, and uncounted numbers of women who wanted to offer themselves to him to gain Paradise. 

Once, Fatima told the harem that her husband Ali wanted to take another wife and she intervened with the Prophet; Aicha was beside herself to learn that this plain woman, and not as educated, could enjoy one husband and generate four offspring, two of them males.  Aicha realized that she could not get pregnant, even after her sexual expertise led to many successful full coital with Muhammad.

Rihana died shortly after as well as Mohammad’s eldest daughter Zainab. 

Maria gave Mohammad a male son called Ibrahim and thus, Maria was released from bondage. 

The blood family of the Prophet consisted of Ali, Fatima, his two grandsons, his two grand daughters and Ibrahim; his adoptive son Zaid died during a battle in the north against the Byzantine Empire.

Mohammad organized an army of 30,000 fighters in the year 631, recruited from all over Arabia and marched to Tabuk, a city within the Syrian borders, to avenge the death of his adoptive son Zaid; he took Aicha with him on this campaign. 

The Governor of Syria didn’t deign to challenge the Prophet and Muhammad returned to Medina after securing many treaties with the neighboring tribes and oasis in Syria (among them the more civilized and more urban of tribes that will later tip the balance in the war against Byzantium).  The whole of “Arabia” was converting to Islam.

Ibrahim, the son of Mohammad, aged 18 months, dies.  The Prophet cried and lamented, a behavior which was not the custom of the male believers.

The Prophet went on pilgrimage to Mecca the next year with 30,000 pilgrims and the entire harem went this time.  Mohammad gave a speech alluding that it might be his last pilgrimage.

Shortly after his return to Medina Muhammad suffered from terrible headaches for a month; he asked Abu Bakr to preach in his place when he was bedridden.  The Prophet dies on June 8, 632; he was 63 years old.

Notes:

  1. Muhammad was mortally sick for at least a month and he knew his days were counted because Gabriel gave him a choice between this world and the Other World and the Prophet opted for the Other World.  Muhammad had time to think about the succession of power and the appropriate processes but no revelations were forthcoming. 
  2. The tribal spirit was to dominate the political landscape, the same spirit that Muhammad intended to re-direct toward a Unique God and unite the “Ummat al Islam”.  The Arab and Muslim World were tribal in structure and ended up with a caste system when the Central Asian tribes overpowered the Quraishi tribal rights for leadership.
  3. The Prophet Muhammad was highly literate https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2009/04/08/the-parson-and-the-prophet-book-review/

 

 

The shared genetic heritage of Jews and Palestinians

The Times recently carried this unusual report on an Israeli Jew (Tsvi Misinai, a retired computer expert) who’s hoping to prove that Palestinians are descended from Jews.

Apparently, he thinks that proving this will help to stop the bloodshed. His idea is that modern Jews are descended from emigration in the first few centuries of the Christian era. The Jews who stayed put in Palestine converted to Islam, and became Palestinian Arabs. There’s hope that genetic tests might be able to prove this.

There is good news and bad news on that score.

Hammer_2000_Jew_Arab_YchromosomeThe good news is that the genetics of Arabs  (Palestinians?) and Jews have been pretty extensively researched.

The classic study dates to 2000, from a team lead by Michael Hammer of University of Arizona. They looked at Y-chromosome haplotypes – this is the genetic material passed from father to son down the generations.

What they revealed was that Arabs and Jews are essentially a single population, and that Palestinians are slap bang in the middle of the different Jewish populations (as shown in this figure).

Another team, lead by Almut Nebel at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, took a closer look in 2001. They found that Jewish lineages essentially bracket Muslim Kurds, but they were also very closely related to Palestinians.

In fact, what their analysis suggested was that Palestinians were identical to Jews, but with a small mix of Arab genes – what you would expect if they were originally from the same stock, but that Palestinians had mixed a little with Arab immigrants. They conclude:

We propose that the Y chromosomes in Palestinian Arabs and Bedouin represent, to a large extent, early lineages derived from the Neolithic inhabitants of the area and additional lineages from more-recent population movements. The early lineages are part of the common chromosome pool shared with Jews (Nebel et al. 2000). According to our working model, the more-recent migrations were mostly from the Arabian Peninsula…

So, as far as male lineage goes, the genetic story is very clear. Palestinians and Jews are virtually indistinguishable.

Women are a bit more tricky

Up until last year, the matrilineal heritage of Jews also seemed pretty clear. Analysis of elements in mitochondrial DNA (which is passed from mother to daughter) seemed to show that Jewish populations around Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East were derived from at least 8 unrelated ‘founding mothers’.

Where they came from wasn’t clear, but the most likely explanation was that they were from local populations that bred with immigrant Jewish males. Their offspring became absorbed into the Jewish community.

In 2008, a more sophisticated analysis was published that made use of whole mitochondrial DNA sequences. They found no evidence for the genetic bottle necks that indicate founding mothers in the large Jewish populations.

Instead, they found a complicated picture with a very diverse gene pool suggesting intermarriage both with local populations and other Jewish groups.

The overall conclusion is that the female Jewish line deviates a lot more from the Palestinian heritage than the male line, but the heritage is still there.

So that’s the good news.

Jews and Palestinian Arabs are blood brothers – although this close genetic relationship probably stems from pre-Judaic times, rather than any more recent conversion of Palestinian Jews to Islam.

And the bad news?

This basic story has been known for the best part of a decade now. But, perhaps unsurprisingly, it hasn’t lead to the warring sides laying down their weapons and engaging in a group hug. This is a religious conflict, not a genetic one.

Mr Misinai is, sadly, on a hiding to nothing.

M. F. Hammer (2000). Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations share a common pool of Y-chromosome biallelic haplotypes Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 97 (12), 6769-6774 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.100115997

A NEBEL, D FILON, B BRINKMANN, P MAJUMDER, M FAERMAN, A OPPENHEIM (2001). The Y Chromosome Pool of Jews as Part of the Genetic Landscape of the Middle East The American Journal of Human Genetics, 69 (5), 1095-1112 DOI: 10.1086/324070

M THOMAS (2002). Founding Mothers of Jewish Communities: Geographically Separated Jewish Groups Were Independently Founded by Very Few Female Ancestors The American Journal of Human Genetics, 70 (6), 1411-1420 DOI: 10.1086/340609

Doron M. Behar, Ene Metspalu, Toomas Kivisild, Saharon Rosset, Shay Tzur, Yarin Hadid, Guennady Yudkovsky, Dror Rosengarten, Luisa Pereira, Antonio Amorim, Ildus Kutuev, David Gurwitz, Batsheva Bonne-Tamir, Richard Villems, Karl Skorecki (2008). Counting the Founders: The Matrilineal Genetic Ancestry of the Jewish Diaspora PLoS ONE, 3 (4) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002062

Note: All the people living in Greater Syria (Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan… and basically those living on the western side of the Euphrates River, including part of modern Turkey and Kurdistan) are one people that witnessed countless foreign invasions, religious diversification, intensive migrations to neighbouring countries,  but remained mostly autonomous and prosperous. Until the advent of the colonial powers that physically tried to split the land and invented imaginary borders.

During the long Byzantium Empire, most Christian sects considered Heretics and the Jews fled west of the Euphrates River to Persia Kingdom and to the Arabic Peninsula. After the Arabic invasion, many refugees returned to their homeland, either converted to Islam or not converted.

Easter or Ishtar: Same pagan and beautiful celebration of fertility March 30, 2013

Most of the Christian religious ceremonies and customs were inherited from the pagan Empires, particularly Byzantium, after Christianity was recognized as an official religion.

More than a century elapsed (year of 425) before Christianity became majority or over 50% of the population and spread in many sects.

The Oriental sects carried on the customs and traditions of the Land of the Levant (Near-East region), while the Christian in Rome emulated traditions relevant to the pagan Rome Empire.

For example, this year, the Christian Orthodox Church will celebrate Easter a full month after the Catholics or on May 3.

The stories would like us to believe that Jesus was tried, crucified and resurrected within the span of a week. This is not possible:

1. The Roman judicial procedures were exhaustive and well-oiled.

2. Jesus was not considered a Jew by the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem

3. Jesus was born and lived in the administrative Tyr district, which included Upper Galilee, and thus, the trial process needed far more time to prosecute….

Photo
Whether Easter is taken from Ishtar or a German Goddess Eoster, most Christian ceremonies and customs have roots in previous pagan traditions.
Culture and civilization are a continuation process and build upon previous mankind habits and routines.

Do Not curse a God you don’t worship.

Written in the Aramaic language of Tadmor (Syria) over 2,500 years ago on a pagan Temple.

كُتب على أحد المعابد في تدمر باللغة الآرامية التدمرية عبارة:" لا تشتم إلهاً لا تعبده"..<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> هذه العبارة التي كتبت قبل ألفين وخمس مائة عام تقريباً، لم يكتبها عبثاً أجدادنا الذين تباهوا بتعدد آلهتهم، بل إنهم عندما حفروها على الصخر، هم أرادوها رسالة لتقرأها كل الاجيال<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> التي كانت ستولد على أرض سورية الجميلة الملونة..<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />  لماذا "إلها لا تعبده" ؟؟<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />  لأنك عندما تشتم إله الآخر (دينه ، طائفته ، عشيرته ..إلخ)، فإنك بذلك الفعل تخلق منه عدواً. إنك بذلك تحشره في زاوية ضيقة وتبعث لديه كل الاحساس البدئي بالدفاع عن النفس ..شتم دين الآخر او طائفته او اتجرأ على القول (قناعاته)، يوقظ المشاعر الماقبل مدنية، ويخرب المجتمعات ويفكك الأوطان ..<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> منقول

Peace words‎’s photo.

كُتب على أحد المعابد في تدمر باللغة الآرامية التدمرية عبارة:” لا تشتم إلهاً لا تعبد

هذه العبارة التي كتبت قبل ألفين وخمس مائة عام تقريباً، لم يكتبها عبثاً أجدادنا الذين تباهوا بتعدد آلهتهم، بل إنهم عندما حفروها على الصخر، هم أرادوها رسالة لتقرأها كل الاجيال
التي كانت ستولد على أرض سورية الجميلة الملونة..
لماذا “إلها لا تعبده” ؟؟
لأنك عندما تشتم إله الآخر (دينه ، طائفته ، عشيرته ..إلخ)، فإنك بذلك الفعل تخلق منه عدواً. إنك بذلك تحشره في زاوية ضيقة وتبعث لديه كل الاحساس البدئي بالدفاع عن النفس ..شتم دين الآخر او طائفته او اتجرأ على القول (قناعاته)، يوقظ المشاعر الماقبل مدنية، ويخرب المجتمعات ويفكك الأوطان ..
منقول

Syria: A fractured central power since antiquity

Since antiquity, Syria stretched from south Turkey to actual Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and Gaza.  Syria was called “Bilad el Sham” (North of Mecca region) during the Arab/Islam Empires. It was located between the Mediterranean Sea over a stretch of 700 km of coastal shore, starting from the northern mountain chain of Al Loukam (inside current Turkey) to the borders of the Sinai Desert.

The inland of Syria is divided by two parallel mountain chains from north to south. The western mountain chain is barely 100 km from the sea at its widest.

The fertile valley between the two mountain chains stretching for 1,000 km starts from the city of Meresh (Anatolia) to Aqaba on the Red Sea.

Syria had three distinct sets of City-States:

First set of cities along the sea-shore;

Second set of cities in the valley and along internal, non-navigable rivers such as Al Assy, Litany… studded by cities such as Hama, Homs, Baalbek, Anjar, Damascus… and

Third set of cities bordering the desert and the western part of the Euphrates River.

Syria, located between the sea and the desert, attracted land trades coming from rich Yemen (southern region of the Arabic Peninsula) with powerful centers in Moeen, Sabaa, Kotban, Awssan, Hadramout….  These centers of commerce sent forward land caravans toward Syria via strategic trade cities such as Mecca, Thoumud, Medina, all the way to desert City-States in the southern province of Syria.

Kingdoms such as Adomim, Mouabit, Ambat (Petra)…were located in the strategic southern Syrian province, where most land trade converged before heading north to Damascus, or going west to Gaza and Egypt.

For example, the Christian tribe of Ghassassina (originally from Yemen) had expanded over many desert City-States and became almost a prosperous empire during the 5th and 6th century AC.  This tribe paid allegiance to the Byzantium Empire.

By the 7th century, many “Arabic” tribes had transplanted branches or clans to the central Syrian province (Damascus).  These tribes were Tyme, Aamel, Bahrea, Thaalabat

Maritime and land routes converged from three continents.

This land was invaded by almost every war-like empires (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greek, Roman, Byzantium, Arab/Islamic, Ottoman, western mandated powers as France and England).

The main characteristic of Syria is that it is easy to conquer, but hardly any empire managed to administer it.  All these war-like empires relied on third-party tribes or alliance of tribes to collect taxes and maintain a semblance of central power.

When empires with navy powers were at war, such as Egypt and Byzantium, the port cities in Syria suffered trade “embargo” and gave way to higher prosperity to inland cities, and vice versa.

For example, during 11 centuries, the various Arab/Islam empires failed to effectively govern Syria, even the Umayyad Dynasty with Damascus as Capital.

The complex topography of the land inhibited the unification of the various tribes and communities, though it facilitate incursions of foreign powers.  Warrior empires could easily occupy Syria once they crossed the first mountain chains or desert, but they could not administer the land due to the multitude of local cultures and sense of retaining self-autonomy on mountain hills

The social structure of Syria resulted from two natural characteristics:

First, tribes living on mountain chains and hills, mostly labeled “heretics” by orthodox religious sects (both Christian and Moslem) and opposing any central power for administration of their communities. These tribes were armed, warrior, and could rely on support coming from their mother tribes in the Arabic Peninsula.

Second, sedentary peasant tribes, which settled in the fertile valley and along rivers, were mostly cooperative with central powers, regardless how far the Capital was located.

The first kinds of mountain settled tribes exhibited the major problems for any unification and centrally administered empire. They demanded their share from looting expeditions, since they were the warriors.  Consequently, the sedentary cities were frequently harassed and looted, vying for survival means and self-autonomy in customs and traditions. (Read note #1 for further details on various sects and how Syria was administered during the Arab/Islamic Empires).

Every city and its environs was governed by an Emir, the leader of tribe that participated in one of the countless expeditions against another Emir. More often than not, an Emir would bribe juvenile delinquents, seeking some action and food, and constitute his local militia to tame and harass recalcitrant tribes.

As soon as the Emir receive fresh troops from central government, his first decision is to eradicate the local militia, and restore law and order for trades. The “Shabab” militias in Syrian cities, hired by the regime are repeating Syria history: The fate of these militia is pretty gloomy…

During the reign of Mehemet Ali to Egypt (starting in 1805), his son Ibrahim led the army to within 200 km from Istanbul: The Ottoman Empire was ripe to fall to the army of Ibrahim.  The western nations wanted to let the Ottoman Empire survive for some period, and a deal was struck to allow Mehemet Ali rule Syria, in addition to Sudan and the Arabic Peninsula.

The empire of Egypt stretched from the region of Adana in Turkey to all Sudan. It is recorded that Ibrahim said: “I will lead my army as far as people speak Arabic...”  The region of Adana is the most strategic military area: Troops have to cross a tiny treacherous route in order to pass the high mountain chain toward the valley of Syria. Actually, historic Syria included the southern part of Anatolia, all the way to current Dyar Bakr…

Note 1: Ibrahim Mehemet Ali governed Syria for 8 years.  This was the best period of prosperity and security that the Syrian enjoyed in its history.  For the first time in its history, Syria had a central power and administered from Damascus. Still, the Syrian revolted several times because Ibrahim forced upon them military service and forced labor…

Note 2: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/are-you-curious-how-syria-upheaval-will-unfold-must-know-history-of-syria-between-7th-and-11th-centuries/

Note 3:  This article was inspired by a chapter of “Syria under Islam, (1977)” by late history academics Kamal Salibi, and translated from English to Arabic by Kamal Khoury

No women representation? “The Arab League represents half the Arabs…”: Who is Hoda Sha3rawi?

In “Letters from Egypt, 1863“, the British Lucie Duff-Gordon wrote that the Christian copt of higher Egypt were far more stringent in wearing the veil than the Moslem women.

Wearing the veil was a symbol of higher social status, regardless of religion, even in the Arabic Peninsula during the Prophet Muhammad time.

Wearing the veil was a tradition inherited from the strict Christian Byzantium Empire that ruled the Near East from 325 AC to 650.

Summer 1923 was a turning point for women liberation in Egypt:  Hoda Shaarawi was returning from a women conference in Rome, and stepped out of a train in Cairo.  As she landed, Hoda removed her veil and threw it on the ground saying: “No more veil”.

Her companion Saiza Nabarawi imitated the gesture and all the women waiting in the train station followed suit.

Note 1:  The Arab League does not represent the “Arabs”.

It represent the stability of the regimes of dictators and absolute monarchs.  With the fall of the oligarchies in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya…we expect the representatives to the League of the “liberated States” to be capable and acknowledge the engaged women.

The “Arab States” will be democratic or not, depending on the engaged women.  We expect the women representatives not to be exclusively the mouth speakers of their respective governments, but to shoulder the aspiration of all women, according to the UN definition of human rights, and human development indicators, and be the vanguard to what is meant by democracy, fair and equitable election laws…

Note 2:  Article inspired from the French book “12 women of the Orient who changed history” by Gilbert Sinoue.  I have reviewed a book on Hoda Shaarawi by another author (maybe Fatima Mernisi)

Note 3:  Iqbal, mother of Hoda and second wife to Muhammad Sultan, was Circassian by origin (from the Caucasus region). Russia invaded the Caucasus to expand on the detriment of the Ottoman Empire.

Iqbal was sent to Istanbul and at the age of 10 was dispatched to Cairo,  Her uncle Youssef Sabri was a military officer, but the wife of her uncle refused to admit this poor relative.  Consequently, Iqbal was raised by relatives of her mother.

Iqbal was behind Hoda getting education and enjoying liberty for expressing opinions and getting involved.

Lacking a National identity? Is it a big deal?

We don’t need to unite under an identity:  All national identities everywhere were invariably built and sustained on myths, historical falsehood, and faked stories.

What we need is to be unified under the banners of civil rights, human rights, sustainable environment, equitable and fair election laws and regulations, civil marriage, linked to fast communication technologies, access to social platforms, freedom of expression, laws not discriminating among genders, versatile opportunities to jobs and to applying our expertise, affordable education system, national health system…

What we need is to unite against any State invading our borders, bombing our infrastructure, humiliating us, destabilizing our society and economy.

What we need is to unify against any political current that has proven to work against democratic representations, racial demagoguery, sectarian political ideology.

What identity are we claiming?  

Are we to emulate other Nations that based their “identity” on myths and falsehood?

Do you know any powerful colonial nation that gained an identity Without a strong army and suffered millions of soldiers fallen in battlefields for fictitious claims?

Youth sacrificed to institute a Nation and never taken seriously because they are viewed as just meat for the canon and a burden to a stable political system…

There are sections in Lebanon (mostly Christian Maronites) advancing the French mandatory alternative of a “Phoenician” ancestors.

Currently, there are Lebanese testing their blood for DNA evidences of any physical “Phoenician inheritance“.

A few are wary that they won’t be found to have any Phoenician stain/strain and be caste off as “strangers”.  What a load of crap.

The Phoenicians ruled the Mediterranean Sea in 1,200 BC and the string of their City-States extended from southern Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, up to Haifa in Palestine.

The Phoenicians were famous for maritime trade and commerce and established many trading centers around the Sea.  The written language has been around for 3,000 years, but the Phoenicians in the City-State of Byblos are credited for inventing the alphabet (currently in use with slight modifications.)

Before the Phoenicians and afterward, the Near East region of the Mediterranean (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine) has been invaded by a dozen warrior empires, many invaded us repeatedly.

For example, the empires in Iraq (Akkad, Babylon, Assyria), Egypt, Persia under various dynasties (at least four of them), Greece, Roman, Byzantium, Arabic, Ottoman, and finally the colonial powers of France and Britain.

All these warrior empires didn’t build anything worth showing as representative of civilization until they invaded our region and rounded off and hoarded the educated and master craftsmen to their capitals.

We are a region of multiple identities if we have to rely on occupation empires.

How about we identify with education and craftsmanship?  I love this identity.  Let us focus on affordable efficient schooling system; let us encourage technical and craftsmanship schooling system; let us focus on building commercial ships; let us invest in railways and fast communication facilities; let us open up to knowledge facilities all over the world.

I love this identity; let us get to work and planning.

Another sections of Lebanese, mostly Muslim-Sunnis, would like to have an Arabic identity and pushing it too far to claiming that we are from the Arabic Peninsula. Are we Arabs?  What that means?

The Islamic Arabic army that came from the Arabic Peninsula to fight the Byzantium Empire and later the Persian Empire barely numbered 7,000 men of war.  The other three-forth of the army that backed and supplemented the “Arabic army” was constituted from people and tribes living in Syria, Iraq, and Jordan wanting to defeat the Byzantium unforgiving Orthodox Church and domination.  How can we be descendant of the sparsely populated Arabic Peninsula?

The “Arabic identity” group would claim that our culture and civilization is Islamic Arabic. How that?

The cultural development during the Arabic Empire was shouldered by the scholars in Syria, Iraq, and Iran and they were mostly Christians. They would like to rely on the Arabic language as basis for our identity.  Excellent idea.

Let us prove that the Arabic language is a viable foundation; let us infuse a new spirit in that dying language; let us translate the worthy manuscripts; let us invent new terms that have no religious connotation and spread the Arabic language as a universal language, valid to sustaining modern civilization with fresh brains and advanced sciences and technologies.  I will be for it and will support it vehemently.

There are other factions wanting to claim that we are Moslems.  How about the dozen minority religious sects?  Are we to agree on a theocratic identity?

Turkish Ataturk cancelled the caliphate in 1925 and there is no caliphate anymore, anywhere.  Tiny Lebanon has 19 recognized self-autonomous religious communities running our civil life.  Let us get real.

A theocratic State will never pass and will never find unity for identity.

Should we hide behind a reality of disparate communities to establish the concept of plurality community government?  Should 19 wrong identities constitute a valid identity?

What we need is to be unified under the banners of civil rights, human rights, sustainable environment, equitable and fair election laws and regulations, civil marriage, linked to fast communication technologies, access to social platforms, freedom of expression, laws not discriminating among genders, versatile opportunities to jobs and expertise, affordable education system, national health system…

What we need is to unify against any State invading our borders, bombing our infrastructure, humiliating us, destabilizing our society and economy.  

What we need is to unify against any political current that has proven to working against democratic representations, racial demagoguery, sectarian political ideology.

“Beryte (Beirut) School of law” by Joy Tabet

In the previous two articles, I recounted the story of Beirut (Lebanon), confirming its status as the Roman Empire city for teaching laws and generating professors of jurisprudence between 150 to 556 AC.

Beirut was the “Mother and wet-nurse of laws“.  This article is providing details on the 5 most famous jurists in the second and third century who acceded to the highest functions in administration and governance in the Roman Empire and Byzantium Empire.

The Roman Emperial Constitution called “law of citations” ordered judges to applying the opinions of the five illustrious jurists.  When there is equality in alternative opinions then, it was Papinian opinion that prevailed.

Gaius (110-180) produced the course in law school called “Institutes”; it was a manual in 4 volumes exposing the Roman laws for civil rights.  He commented on the “Twelve Tables” code in seven books.  The doctrine of Gaius was authority to judges in the second and third centuries.

Armilius Papinian (142-212) was born in Homs (Syria).  Cervidius Scaevola was his law teacher and emperor Septimus Severus was his schoolmate and relative.  He was named “Lawyer of the treasury” by Emperor Marcus Aurelius and then became the prefect of the magistrate (the first dignitary of the Empire).  Emperor Septimus died in 211 and asked Papinian to guide his two sons Caracalla and Geta.

A year later, Caracalla assassinated Geta and demanded of Papinian to justify to the senate and the people the murder.  Papinian refused saying: “It is easier to commit parricide than to justifying it.  It is worse than a new parricide to accusing an innocent victim.”  Papinian was assassinated by a praetorian guard of Caracalla.  He was considered the “primus” among the other four illustrious classic masters of laws.

The doctrine of Papinian constituted the curriculum of the third years in law school; only 8 out of 19 books of “responses” were taught in that year.  In a period where slaves were considered chattel Papinian stated the principle of “Equality to all and liberty for each individual” almost 1,800 years before the UN universal declaration on human rights in 1948.

Julius Paulus was born in Tyr (Lebanon) and became a member of the “Emperor council”.  He ruled the Empire with the Emperor grand mother Julia Maesa as Emperor Alexander Sevirus was under age.  He wrote 236 works and was the most prolific among the classic jurists.  Of all his production, only the “fragments” in the “Digeste” and 5 books addressed to his son remain.  The 23 books of “Responses” were taught at the 4th year in law school.  There are over 2,000 citations of Paulus in the Digeste.

Domitius Ulpian (170-228) was born in Tyr (Lebanon) and lived in Beirut.  He succeeded Papinian as head of the law school and taught jurisprudence in Rome for a while.  He revised laws to reforming the Roman society and to limiting the dictatorship and vast privileges of the Praetorian Guards.

Even Emperor Alexander Severus could not protect Ulpian from the wrath of the praetorian guards who assassinated Ulpian in the presence of the emperor.  Ulpian wrote 16 books called “Libri ad edictum” that were taught in the second year at law school.  Over the third of the Digeste are compilation of Ulpian opinions.  He contributed to Roman civil code more than all the combined Roman jurists.  He stated: “All mankind are equal in natural rights”

Herennius Modestinus was a famous jurisconsult under Emperor Alexander Severus (222-235).  He was the most brilliant disciple of Ulpian.  He became consul with emperor Probus (276-282) and wrote 92 books of laws.

Beirut was destroyed by earthquake in 556 and was finished up by a major fire.

In the beginning of the 20th century, Beirut was a quaint fishing and small port village.  The European consuls deserted Sidon in order to build an adequate merchant port in Beirut.  The civil war destroyed Beirut again and is being rebuilt according to commercial standards of high towers devoid of any Orient character or spirit.

You can no longer rent a small apartment in Beirut:  Oil money after the latest financial crash overvalued Real Estate by 600% within two years in Beirut and Lebanon.

Beirut: Wet Nurse of laws during Roman Empire. Part 1

A brief history:  Between 150 and 551 AC, the city of Beirut (Beryte) was the official Roman State law center and this recognition extended to the Byzantium Empire.

Beirut had the preferred law school for law students and the professors flocked from the four corners of the Empire.  There were 6 other law centers such as the ones in Rome, Constantinople, Athens, Alexandria, Caesar of Cappadocia, and Caesar of Palestine, but Beirut kept her high standing over four centuries as the main official law center.

Beirut was called “Mother of laws” and “The most magnificent city” during the Roman Empire.  Emperor Justinian I (527-566) attributed to Beirut the title of “wet-nurse of laws

Between 150 and 551, Beirut was the official location for posting law articles and saving the Constitutions and compilations of laws.

Comparative law studies is the immediate successor of the roman laws that was initiated and updated in Beirut.  In the 5th century, Beirut law school started to teach in both languages of Latin and Greek.

Paradoxically, the main language of the common people was the written language Syriac (Aramaic,  the language spoken by Jesus).  Another demonstration that written languages are the domain of the elite classes, and used as coded language for administrations and government of people.

The Common people had to suffer the consequences of not knowing the language of their dominating Masters; in this case either Latin or Greek.

Rome fell in 476 and Western Europe had to wait until the Crusader’s campaigns (1096-1291) for the Justinian civil code of laws the “Digeste” to be found and rediscovered and then applied in Europe starting in the 12th century.

In 551, an earthquake demolished the city of Beirut.  The law school was temporarily moved to Sidon. In 560, as the professors returned to Beirut then a huge fire burned the city again.  Beirut was still in ruin by 600.

As Islam Arab conquered the near east region in 635, Beirut recaptured its previous status as a law center but without the brilliance of previous periods. Beirut was compiling Islamic laws according to “Charia”.

During the last 7 Omayyad caliphs and the first two Abbassid caliphs (690 to 770) the Lebanese theologians (ulema) and judges (fakihs and cadis) were the cornerstones for the nascent Islamic jurisprudence.  Imam El Uzahi (707-774) from Baalbek and who studied in Beirut and lived was the most brilliant and most sought after fakih in his life.  His doctrine was applied in Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria for 200 years.

Then, the doctrines of Hanafi (Syria), the Chafii (Egypt), the Maliki (Andalusia and Northern Africa  took the ascendency.

Note: The next chapters will give details on the most famous law professors in ancient Beirut and a few current updates.

“Satan, Azazeel” by Yussof Zaidan

In 5th century Alexandria (Egypt), the Greek language was the official administrative language and the one used for knowledge and culture.  The Egyptian Copt language was spoken and written everywhere else.

Apparently, Christian Copt monks and priests were persecuted in 284 AC and hundreds were killed “martyrs”. The Christian Copt sect then adopted a calendar starting at date zero as of this year.  In around 410 AC, the non-Christian Hypatia was the most learned woman philosopher and mathematician; she gave lecture in the open air Great Theater every Sunday Morning, as her arch-enemy Archbishop Cyril was holding mass and preaching from his golden chair, his gold cross, and golden attire.

A young Copt monk, originating from upper Egypt,  was studying theology and medicine in Alexandria and witnessed the murder of Hypatia by zealot Christians.

After mass, Christian zealots, lead by a certain Peter, were galvanized by Cyril to express their power over the governor and the “heathen” and they invaded the main streets claiming to be the soldiers of God Christ.

Hypatia had finished her lecture around noon and was in her carriage.  It happened that people had disbanded and there were no soldiers accompanying Hypatia. The zealots got hold of the famous philosopher, grabbed her by her long hair and dragged her on the streets until her skin was torn out; they brought shells from the seashore and endeavored to totally skin her alive and then they burned her still alive around 420 AC.  The monk fled cruel Alexandria and took the name Hypa in respect for Hypatia.

Cruel and extremist Archbishop Cyril inherited the position from his cruel uncle Archbishop Theophilus.

For many centuries before Christianity became the official religion of the Byzantium Empire, the wealthy and professional Jews in Alexandria made sure to keeping the indigenes Egyptians and Christians off city limits.  The Egyptians would work during the day in Alexandria and then leave the city limits to dwell in shantytowns outside the western walls.  Consequently, as Christians acquired power then, the Jews were sent packing outside the eastern city walls.  Christians of Alexandria persecuted the Jews and the non-Christians relentlessly.

In 375, the Egyptian Christians from Alexandria assassinated archbishop Georgius of Cappadocia because he favored the dogma of the monk Arius of Alexandria who was excommunicated in 325 by the new official Christian church of the Byzantium empire during Constantine.  Arius believed that Jesus was a man and not God incarnate as was the dogma in ancient Egyptian idolatry religion and that Christians in Egypt emulated the concept.

Around the North-Western region of Aleppo (Syria), ruins stretch for three kilometers on the main road to Antakia (situated in Turkey).  This road was the last link of the famous “Silk Road” coming from China.  In one of those ruins were found 30 parchments or leather rolls, still intact, written in Syriac or the Aramean language spoken by Jesus.  These rolls were signed by Hypa the monk, an autobiography of his peregrinations from Egypt to the Orient.  Hypa was already 40 years old when he finished his writing.

Apparently, this Egyptian monk was a follower of Archbishop Nestor who was excommunicated by the conclave held in Ephesus at the time of the writing of these parchments.  Nestor was born in Meresh (Germanica) in Syria and was the right hand of archbishop Theodosius.  Nestor became the Pope or Patriarch of Constantinople at the age of 48.

Later, Cyril of Alexandria coordinated with the Pope of Rome for arranging a conclave in Ephesus; both Archbishops ex-communicated one another before the arrival of the Emperor.  The Emperor was angry that these activities took place in his absence and excommunicated the two archbishops and then, he changed his mind and retained the one on Nestor. The Nestorian sect would later expand eastward and translated their Bible to Chinese and built monasteries and churches along the Silk Road before the advent of Islam.

The dogma of Cyril of Alexandria was that Virgin Mary was mother of god and Jesus the son of god.  Nestor saw in Mary just the mother of Jesus and that Jesus was a man born normally with a holly message and who resurrected from death.

The father of Hypa used to offer the pagan priests, secluded in their Great Temple near the town of Elephantine in upper Egypt, half his catch of fish every two days .  Hypa’s mother was a zealot Christian who incited her ignorant Christian relatives to assassinate her husband.  They killed Hypa’s father in the presence of the 8 year-old kid.  The mother then married one her killer relatives.  Hypa’s uncle sent him to study at Akhmeem (Panopolis) at a convent.  Hypa learned Greek, theology, and philosophy before he ventured to Alexandria to study medicine.

A week after his arrival to Alexandria, Hypa listened to Hypatia lecture who said: “After my lecture on philosophy, I will entertain the mathematicians and engineers on the latest theory of Diophantus on the arithmetics of unknown numerical values.”  She resumed: “Comprehension is a mental process, but truths that we reach through logic and mathematics remain cold facts until we assimilate them spiritually.  We have to understand that philosophical issues cannot be correct unless it is supported on mathematical foundations.”

Hypa crossed the Sinai desert for three months then he toured Palestine for three years, he visited with monks living in grottos around the Dead Sea and then spent three years in Jerusalem as a healing monk.  He then spent 5 years in a monastery in northern Syria and founded a library and cured the sick.  He fell in love with young Martha who had to leave in order to sing in Aleppo.

Hypa fell sick with fever for 20 days and he decided to write his autobiography and finish it at the end of 40 days of fasting.  Then, Hypa had decided to quit monastic life after he finishes what he had to testify on his life and period.

Note 1:  The harsh monastery life is imported from ancient Egypt customs and it spread in Syria, Iraq, and Turkey.  The oriental monks were not as harsh in their devotion or waited for people to bring them food.  They worked hard and cultivated the land in the step shape garden (Babylonian style) and raised livestock of goats, sheep, and cows.

Note 2:  The dozen of Christian sects persecuted one another for over one thousand years, after Christianity became the religion of the Byzantium Empire, and displaced one another far more frequently and more cruelly than the other religious sects or idolaters religions did to them.

Note 3:  The Patriarch of Alexandria called himself the Pope of Egypt and was a powerful personality who extended his domination to the five cities in Libya, all of Egypt, and Ethiopia.  The Byzantium Emperors were very lenient with the Pope of Egypt because Egypt was the bread basket of the Empire and Byzantium barely controlled the main cities on the sea shore.

Note 4:  Every period is dominated by major paradigms in sciences, religious dogma, and set of values.  The next generations resolve part of the controversy by adopting alternative paradigms.  Maybe only reason, experiments, and knowledge resolve real life problems, but it is the peace of mind (relying on a few “truths” within the realm of belief) that gives courage to persevere in the investigation.  This sort of individual “peace of mind” is what I call personal passion.

Fact is, most cruel and bloody battles (in sciences and religions) are wars of passions emanating from individual passions wrapped into “collective spirituality.”  It is a mankind process to preserving “peace of mind” in order to get the courage to resume resolving the thousands of questions that have no ready answers.

The passions of the learned people are the decision makers, initiator, and planners of the cruel engagements and the passion of the ignorant are the executioners of the sordid deeds, massacres, and revenge attacks.  Maybe our individual purpose in life is to get ready and prepared mentally for the signs and then the consequences of passion outbursts in order to keeping our sanity and learning to enjoying the few moments of positive and compassionate attitutdes.

Islam is one of the “heretic” Christian-Jewish sects,(Feb. 23, 2010)

A challenge to all theologians and social scientists

Before Emperor Constantine, who established Constantinople as Capital for the Roman Empire in the Orient (called Byzantium Empire) around 315 AC, there were hundreds of Christian sects in the Middle East.  Each sect had its dogma and its Bible (there were hundreds of versions).

The belief systems of these Christian sects differed greatly in the divinity of Jesus, the resurrection, the Holy Spirit, the status of the Virgin Mary (many would not even mention her name since women were considered impure), the status of Judas Iscariot, the rites, the language, the daily rituals, the status of the Old Testament, the communion of the flesh, the age to baptizing new converts, and to which race to focus on.

Many sects obeyed the laws of the Old Testaments in their integrity and many refused to adopt the Old Testament as part of their belief systems.

The Council of Nicaea (on the shore of Turkey) in 325 made things even worse: Constantine wanted to unify all the Christian sects into a religion of the Empire.  The notion of three Gods into one (Father, son, and Holy Ghost) were forced upon the sects as well as the Sanctity of Mary and many abstract concepts wrapped into the Credo.

Any sect that refused the unified Orthodox dogma, of the Emperor in power  at the time, was labeled “heretic” and was persecuted.  It turned out that, for over 70 years, successive Emperors were in favor of one or another “heretic” belief system, and a few emperor reverted to paganism.

Around the year 400, another Emperor reverted to the Orthodox dogma and the persecutions resumed and even intensified.  The heretic sects fled to beyond the Euphrates River under the dominion of Persia Empire and spread to the Arabic Peninsula and reached India and China.

Prophet Mohammad was from a clan that believed in one of these Christian-Jewish heretic sects that were established in Mecca; the father of Mohammad was a convert and his uncle was the Patriarch of the Christian sect.

In the year 1000, another schism took place between the Bishop of Rome (Catholic) and the Bishop of Constantinople (Orthodox) and another wave of persecution of heretic sects got under way.

The various Protestant “heretic” sects in the 16th century are but the latest in the variety of Christian sects and offshoot of ancient heretic Christian sects.

All that Prophet Muhammad did was to drop the abstract notions in the Orthodox dogma and to adopt the common denominator belief system of the various heretic Christian-Jewish sects in the Arabic Peninsula, Syria, and Iraq.

Thus, Islam combined the Old Testament integrally and the version of New Testament read by the Jewish-Christians sect, the Ebionites, of Mohammad’s tribe in the Mecca: the Patriarch of this sect was one of Muhammad’s uncles.

The Ebionites sect was fundamentally a Jewish sect that attached the teachings of Jesus (another Prophet) to the Old Testament.  This sect considered St.Paul as a heretic because he opened the religion to the “gentiles”.

Historical facts prove that the early Christians, and particularly the illiterate disciples lead by Jack, the eldest brother of Jesus, who conglomerated in Jerusalem were very conservative Essenism Jews:  Jesus was their Rabbi and they tried to follow his message.

When Peter finally marched out of Jerusalem it was to follow on the trail of Paul in order to dismantling Paul’s Christian communities and converting them to the Jewish laws.  Paul had to tone down his discourse and adopt a few Jewish social laws in order to counter the vehement practical attacks of the “Jerusalem sect of Christians“.

Islam became the unified Christian-Jewish heretic sect opposing the Orthodox Christian Church in Constantinople.  It is no surprise that the heretic Christians in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and Palestine rallied and supported Islamic troops  against Byzantium and Persia.

After Constantinople fell in around 1450 to the Ottoman Empire, many of the non-Moslem Christian sects united politically to the Catholic Church in Rome, even though their dogma did not mesh nicely with the Catholic Credo.

Islam means submission (to God, the one and only).  I submit a challenge to all theologians, religious researchers, and philosophers of all religious denominations (monolithic or not).

My hypothesis is: The religious message of the Prophet Muhammad, during the first 13 years of proselytizing in Mecca, is identical to one of the Christian-Jewish sects. Let me suggest the following procedure or protocol:

First, select all the religious Christian sects till the Council of Nicaea in 325; and then select the Christian sects after Nicaea until the year 400.

Continue the selection process of the sects after the split between Rome and Byzantium around the year 1000, then go over the Christian sects that were formed between 1000 to the Martin Luther schism, all the way to the modern Christian sects from Protestantism, Calvinism, Baptism, Methodism, Episcopalian, Armenians (Catholic and Orthodox), and all the sects in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and elsewhere.

Second, develop taxonomy of attributes in order to categorize all these Christian sects.

Third, allocate all the sects to one of six categories or more if need be.

Fourth, select the verses in Islam that correspond to the period of 13 years in Mecca, before the flight of the Prophet Muhammad to Medina (Yathreb) and the establishment of the first City-State of Islam

Five, assign each verse in that period to the taxonomy of step two.

Six, allocate the message of the prophet Muhammad in one of the categories chosen in step three.

The foundation to my hypothesis stems from reading a manuscript titled “Islam in its two messages: Christ and Muhammad.”

The author of the book is late Antoun Saadeh, a Lebanese of Christian Geek Orthodox denomination.  The book was written in 1942 and Saadeh proves that Islam is almost identical to the message of Christ when we analyze the verses of the Koran pronounced during Muhammad proselytizing of his message before the legislation period for the new community in Medina.

Since Christianity is an amalgam of many sects that split into schisms in the last two thousand years, I figured that, from a scientific perspective, it would be more appropriate to differentiate Christianity according to sects.

It would also be fitting to study Islam by analyzing the various Moslem sects; though the variations would be based more on the legislation (Chari3a) and Hadith (stories on Muhammad) than the fundamental spiritual content during the first 13 years of the message in Mecca.

I suggest to start with four broad categories: Catholic, Orthodox, Christian-Jews, and Jewish-Christians.  The basic differences are in the adoption of the Old Testament as act of faith and social regulations to follow.

There are Christians who do not adopt the Old Testament in their act of faith neither intrinsically or even using it in preaching and its myths in rhetoric; other use Old Testament as act of faith but do not adopt the Jewish laws for daily rituals; others adopt the Jewish laws either partially or entirely.

For example, Islam and Jehovah Witnesses may be allocated within the Jewish-Christian category because they abide by the nomadic Jewish laws for daily behaviors.

Note:  I find many resemblance between St.Paul and the prophet Muhammad.  Both avatars of God had apparitions and revelations and did what they had to do to spreading the message.  Their message was to be universal:

1. Paul disseminated monotheism to the Mediterranean Sea basin (Roman and Byzantium Empires) and Mohammad spread monotheism to all of Asia (India, China, and Indonesia).

2. Paul’s method took 300 years to grabbing 10% share of the population; Mohammad’s method was more efficient, and rallied millions in just two decades.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

June 2021
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