Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Warkat Bin Nawfal

The common denominator Prophet: Unifying the Books (August 11, 2009)

Historical Context

Before Moses, there was no such religion as Jewish.  Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob worshiped El, the all encompassing God of the Land from Mesopotamia, to Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine.  Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob paid the tithe to Melki Sadek, the highest grand priest and King of Jerusalem.  The mother of Melki Sadek had a revelation and her son Melki was dedicated to the temple; this story is repeated exactly through the ages such as with Hanna (mother of the Virgin Mary), Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist), and to the Virgin Mary; they all dedicated their sons and daughters to the temples (nazeer, and thus nazarean). The title of Virgin given to Mary is an earned sacerdotal label to virgins who served the temple from age of 3 till marriage.

The Bible mentions many prophets who were dedicate to temples as revelations descended on their mothers.  It was common to the noble and sacerdotal families to dedicate sons or daughters to temples.  The rank of Melki Sadek was the highest and it was for life and he could transfer that rank to anyone of his choosing by anointment (mesheeh), thus Messiah.

The scribes of the Bible in Alexandria (in the second century before Christ) mentioned that Moses received a revelation and the Ten Commandments from Yahweh (Jehovah); thus (Yahood or Jews).  Again, it is the same repetition of revelations and the descent of written messages and commandments through the ages to the chosen prophets.  Moses’ commandments had to be given by a supreme being for ignorant nomads who constantly needed to rely on a supreme being to alleviate their fears; these commandments and hundreds more were already included in the civil codes of laws of the Land since before King Hammurabi of Babylon.  The relatively urban towns and cities in the Levant and Mesopotamia had more sophisticated abstract concepts that could sustain diversities in belief systems.

Invariably, religions would like the believers to understand that their Prophets were illiterate in order to prove that only God could have interceded with the prophet for the message.  These allegations are pure fabrications. Abraham was educated, Moses was highly educated and a grand priest and Muhammad aided his uncle parson Warkat bin Nawfal in translating into Arabic the Aramaic versions of the New Testament of Mathew and the Bible.  All the prophets had read in the Books of their times.  Jesus was highly educated and was a “nazeer” in the Great Temple of Mount Carmen since the age of six; but Jesus didn’t need translated versions of the Books because he was Aramaic and a messenger of the Land.

Translation of Books to another language was not done literally; the meaning was retained as honestly as desired but the context and style were compatible with the cultures and customs of the targeted people for better understanding and memorization.  That is why reading in Books was done by chanting (tarteel) so that musical intonation could support the retention process.

Jesus mission was to win over “the lost sheep among the tribes” in Judea, Benjamin, and the Hasmonides because they staunchly continued to worship Yahweh, their nonspiritual God for earthly dominion by the sword. Jesus wanted to unite all the tribes of Israel (Tribes of El) and not of Yahweh.

Around 325 AC the Byzantium Emperor Constantine proclaimed Christianity to be the religion of the empire. Patriarchs and Bishops from around the empire met in many conclaves to unify the dogma of the new religion.  At each conclave serious cleavages would separate the bishops and schisms were created and were labeled “heretics” for not abiding by the “Orthodox” Byzantium dogma of the conclave.  By the 5th century there were two major categories of Christian sects: those on the western side of the Euphrates River (part of Byzantium) and those on the eastern side (belonging to the Persian Empires).  The western sects believed in the Credo, the duality of Jesus, the Trinity, and the Virgin Mary. The eastern sects believed in the one physical nature of Jesus (either man or son of God) and would not consider Mary as virgin or to be honored.

It is the eastern Christian sects “the heretics” that ventured as far as China and erected churches and monasteries along the “Silk Road”; they also reached the Arabic Peninsula where three of these sects were highly respected and honored in Mecca. Only the Christian-Jews three main sects (Ebyonites, Cerinthe, and Elxai, see notes) were referred to as “Nassara” (those Christian nazeers who were dedicated to monasteries to pray, read the Books, and meditate) and they read in the Book of the only and unique God and followed the Jewish daily laws and customs.

The Koran of Mecca:

The purpose of the Prophet Muhammad was to gather common denominators for the belief systems among the main Christian and Jewish sects in the Arabic Peninsula: they all worshiped One God, the Creator of all things, and they believed in Heaven and Hell.  In that direction, the Prophet accepted the premise that the monotheist sects shared Abraham (who was neither Jewish nor Christian) as their first prophet who had the Orthodox “haneef” belief.

Muhammad acknowledged all the prophets that succeeded Abraham. Muhammad accepted in their integral all the mythical stories in the Bible of the Creation, Noah, the Deluge, Joseph in Egypt and all the rest (these stories were indeed the myths of the Land for thousands of years before Abraham).  Muhammad was apprehensive that one of those diverse sects might think that he particularly biased toward one of Israel’s sects since they are all Moslems in God.  The prophet said “You are not believers until you value the Bible and the New Testament and what were descended on you. The Book descended on two previous religions but we were not aware of them” (because not written in Arabic)

Muhammad proclaimed Jesus as one of the latest and most spiritual prophet of all because he carried the Holy Ghost of Allah. Muhammad avoided the corny issues of the Trinity, the Virginity of Mary, the crucifixion and death of Jesus that divided the Christian sects. Muhammad venerated the Virgin Mary as the mother of the prophet who received revelations as well as John the Baptist.  In fact, Mary is the only female name mentioned in the Koran and Jesus (Issa) was mentioned as “Son of Mary”, thus “Issa ibn Mariam”.

In the Koran Muhammad proclaimed that the Christian-Jewish sects in Arabia were Moslems, years before he started his message: the teaching of the Koran was initiated because they relied on a unique God and didn’t admit that anyone else is part of him (shareek) such as Jesus or the Holy Ghost. The word Koran “Kuraan” has Aramaic roots “kuru” which means reading, reciting from a book.

During the Mecca period of proselytizing (about 13 years), what is known as the Koran of Mecca, there were Jewish sects and Muhammad never mentioned the Jews in these verses.  In fact, after Muhammad settled in Yathreb (Medina) the Christian Nassara sects would pay him visit from Mecca to mediate among them. The Prophet Muhammad was taken aback and said what amount to “They read in the Book that can answer all their questions and yet they come to me for mediation”

The Prophet did not face any obstacles from the Christian Nassara sects in Arabia simply because the Koran of Mecca was almost a carbon copy of the Books they read in: it was mainly an Arabic translation from Aramaic.

The problems with the Jews

The Jews in Yathreb and in Khibar revolted against the teaching of Islam who accepted Jesus as a prophet and got apprehensive of the growing power of Moslems in their midst.  The non-Moslem tribes of Mecca asked the Jews of Yathreb to cooperate with them and the Jewish leaders descended to Mecca to plot against the Moslems. Armed struggles decided the difficulties to the advantage of the Moslems.  The Prophet considered the Jewish sects as tyrannical and not behaving with charity toward the orthodox religions, complicating the belief system, and blasphemed the Virgin Mary and Jesus.  “God created man weak and He wants to make it easy on him and not complicate his life. We have sent a prophet to every nation” so that nations can read the message of the One God in their own language.

All the sects in Arabia were united around one religion that was made easy (khefat) and economical “moktassadat” to be comprehend by nomads and desert people who lacked knowledge of abstract theological concepts and it was easy to memorize by short rimed sentences and disseminated by chants.  Thus, Muhammad warned the Christian sects (such as the Jacobite, Nestorians, and Melkites) who believed in the divinity of Jesus, of the son of God, the trinity, and the resurrection to desist in their exaggerations and overestimation in religious beliefs (ghelou fi al deen) and accept the simple fact of One God as a unifying reality that unite the tribes of the believers in One God.

The genesis of Islam

In Mecca, Khadija, the first wife of Muhammad, and the parson Warkat bin Nawfal, the patriarch of the Christian-Jew sect of the Epyionites, transcribed Muhammad’s revelations and verses during his epileptic fits.  In Medina, Aicha bint Abu Bakr, the educated and most beloved wife of the Prophet, was almost exclusively in charge of recording the revelations when the Prophet Mohammad had his bouts of seizures. She would cover him with warm blankets and write down the verses until he falls asleep.  Aicha has dedicated her life into gathering, organizing the revelations and meeting with scholars and close friends of the Prophet to keep a complete record. Aicha saved her copies very jealously until the third Caliphate Othman bin Affan ordered the archive to be handed over to him.

Aicha didn’t trust Othman and she kept copies of all her documents.  At the time, only rich people could afford to write down documents because they were recorded on special leather in the Arabic Peninsula. Thus, rich educated people had the task of transcribing the verses for better retention, memorizations, and an act of devotion.

By the time Othman decided to issue an official Book for Islam (The Koran of Medina) most of the Byzantium and Persian Empires were conquered; Egypt was part of the Arab Moslem Empire. The formal or official Book had to take these political realities into accounts, realities of victors and vanquished.  The Caliphate Othman sorted out the verses and selected what suited the political interest of the new Islamic Empire; many verses were burned and disappeared, others were tampered with such as adding “nassara” (Christian) after Jews though the sentence would break the rime (sajaa).

Othman arranged verses by order of length, the longest verses first, and the gathered book was considered the official Koran. For example, the shortest revelations or verses are the first chronologically and represent the message of Islam in the first 13 years or the Koran of Mecca before the relocation to Medina or Yathreb in 633.  The longest verses dealt mostly with civil management, daily routine, penal codes, and organization of the converts to Islam.

It is my contention that Aicha bint Abu Bakr had hidden and distributed copies of her complete archive.  If there is the will there is a way to reconstitute the message of the Prophet Muhammad in its historical and chronological contexts taking into account the fundamental principle of working on the common denominators in the belief system among the majority of the monotheist religions; and hopefully discovering a copy of the original archive as the work is in progress.

The Prophet Muhammad was crystal clear in his message: making the religion easy, light, acceptable to most sects, and readable by the language of every nation.  It is about time we focus on the value of life and let the abstract limiting and restrictive theological concepts (ideology) to the few power monger sacerdotal castes.

Note 1: The Epyonite Christian-Jew sect was discussed and commented on by the early Christian scholars and Bishops like Irene, Epiphane, and Origene.  The name Epionites refers to the “poor” in Aramaic such as “Blessed be the poor”; this sect considered Jesus one of the great prophets. Jesus was not God or Son of God who received the revelations after John baptized him and thus, the messiah spirit entered him till he was crucified.  Jesus message was teaching and preaching the revelation, but didn’t include saving or forgiving our sins. The Aramaic Testament of Mathew is their only book in addition to the Bible.  This New Testament of Mathew used by the Epionites was revised, slanted, and distorted according to Epiphanous. This sect persevered on frequent washing for purification, not eating meat, and to focus on aiding and feeding the needy, widowers, and people of passage.  After the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, many of the priests in Komran immigrated to Hijjaz in the Arab Peninsula.

Note 2:  The Christian-Jewish Cerinthe sect proclaimed that Heaven resembled life on earth where the body will get its fill of every passion it needed to satisfy; that the role of Jesus was to free his people from the Romans; that Jesus message was political and social.

Note 3:  The Christian-Jew sect Elxai was Gnostic (knowledge).  It preached that Jesus is another human and the Messiah in him vacated his body before martyrdom.  The Holy Ghost is the mother of Jesus and the Angel Gabriel depending on events. Jesus received the Bible from the angel and Gabriel taught Jesus wisdom and the ability to foreseeing the future.

Note 4: I posted this essay on April 10, 2009 under the title “The Unpublished unifying Book” and decided to re-edit and abridge it.

A Study on the Origin of Islam (April 8, 2009)

 

Note:  I reviwed the Arab/Lebanese manuscript The Parson and the Prophet that was published in 1978 in Lebanon. I am reposting part of it. 

            As usual, I tell the story and leave the documentations, references, and quotations for the curious reader. The story is basically to prove the strong and frequent connections between the Christian-Jew parson (priest) Warkat Bin Nawfal and his nephew the Prophet Mohammad and the fundamental influence of Warkat on the Prophet’s message.

            Among Kureich tribe there are two clans related to their grear grand father Kussai.  The richest clan includes the close relatives parson Warkat bin Nawfal, Othman bin El Howeyress, and Khadija bint Khowayled.  The poorer clan includes the sons and daughters of Abdel Motaleb: Abdallah, Abu Taleb, Al Abbass, Abu Lahab, and Hamza among others.  Muhammad lost his father Abdallah at the age of eight and was cared for by the eldest of the brothers Abi Taleb.  Abi Taleb was the father of Ali who will become the fourth Caliph.

Parson Warkat bin Nawfal bin Assad bin Abed El Azaa bin Kussai was the leading “patriarch” of the Christian-Jew sect of the Epyonites in Mecca; he was of one of the most prosperous clans of Kureich and a leader of Kureich tribe; he translated one the versions of the Aramaic Mathew Testament known as “The Hebrew Testament” into Arabic. This Testament and a version of the Bible were the only Books or sources of the faith of the Epyonites.  There were many other Christian-Jews sects and purely Jewish sects in Mecca and the Arab Peninsula.  Two other Christian-Jew sects were Cerinthe and Elxai (see notes). These sects were recognized in the Coran but they were considered “heretics” by the Church of Constantinople after the conclave of Nicee (Turkey) in 325; they were persecuted within the Byzantium Empire.  Thus, parson Warkat was obviously not a priest since he was not of the Orthodox Christian sect of Constantinople but the lead predicator and administrator of his sect. These sects were known as “Ahzab” (parties or organizations) in the Coran.

It is not correct to claim that the tribes in the Arab Peninsula were only pagans.  The term Jahiliya or Ignorants was created by the Moslem converts as a historical dividing period between Islam and the previous culture. It is not also correct to translate “Ummy” for illiterate; in the Coran it means those who didn’t follow the Bible of the previous prophets; it could be appropriate to translate it as “gentiles” in opposition to Jews.

Parson Warkat took special care of the orphaned Muhamad, one of the youngest relatives in the clan.  He taught Muhammad reading and writing and translating the Bibles from Aramaic to Arabic. The custom was for the learned men to translate and transcribe as often as needed; first, to memorize better the Books and to have spare copies for the initiated who were ready to be transmited the mysteries of the sect.  Thus, it is not correct that Muhammad was illeterate. It was convenient for the early Moslems to spread this myth because first, they were trying hard to prove that Muhammad was indeed a Prophet and second, what better proof that Muhammad is a Prophet if an illeterate could be so wise if not the message was not revealed by God?

As Muhammad grew up parson Warkat invited Muhammad to join the restricted party of ther leaders of Christian-Jews to the retreats at Gor Haraa.  Once a year, during the fasting season of a month before Easter (tahannoth), the party of fasters would survive on vegetables, yogurt, and unleavened bread. The retreat included praying, contemplating, repeating and invoking God’s name, and reading the Bibles in silence and complete isolation from the inhabitants of Mecca. After the fast, they would circle Al Kaba 7 times (like during Palm Sunday the Christians would circle the church 7 times).  This is how the Prophet Muhammad was trained to receive revelations. In addition to parson Warkat this party included: Adel Motaleb, Othman bin Al Howeireth, Abdalah bin Jahsh, Abi Ummaya bin Al Maghirat.

Parson Warkat arranged employment for Muhammad at his cousin Khadija’s caravan business to Damascus and Basra. Muhammad is aged 25 and Warkat asked Khadija to marry Muhammad her employ.  Khadija was over 40 of age and twice a widower with offspring.   Khadija extremely wealthy and had many suitors whom she refused.  The two clans met at the wedding ceremony and parson Warkat performed the rituals and as long as Khadija lived Muhammad did not marry another wife as the Christian marriage requires. Thus, parson Warkat made sure for his protégé Muhammad to become wealthy, prosperous, and a potential leader and successor to his rank as “patriarch” of the sect of Mecca.

Muhammad had several revelations that scared him because he thought it was Satan (shaytan) or bad spirits harassing him; Khadija, aided by parson Warkat, reassured Muhamad of being selected by the good archangel to preach the message and Wakat gave Muhammad his benediction and sent him proselytizing among the people of Mecca.  The poorest and those considered in the lowest rank of society statrted to listen to Muhammad and follow him and perform ablution and praying as initiated.  Muhammad could not be touched by the angry Kureich clans because he enjoyed the support of Khadija, Warkat, and his uncle Abi Taleb.

When parson Warkat and Khadija died, Muhammad was over 40 and he was left without spiritual secour or clan support.  Revelations stopped appearing to Mohamad for four years before Muhammad had to flee to Medina to meet the converts who preceded him there.  A new phase in Islam was unfolding.

 

 

Note 1: The Epyonite Christian-Jew sect was discussed and commented on by the early Christian scholars and Bishops like Irene, Epiphane, and Origene.  The name Epionites refers to the “poor” in Aramaic such as “Blessed be the poor”; this sect considered Jesus one of the great prophets. Jesus was not God or Son of God who received the revelations after John baptized him and thus, the messiah spirit entered him till he was crucified.  Jesus message was teaching and preaching the revelation but didn’t include saving or forgiving our sins. The Aramaic Testament of Mathew is their only book in addition to the Bible; this New Testament of Mathew used by the Epionites was revised slanted and distorted according to Epiphanous. This sect persevered on frequent washing for purification, not eating meat, and to focus on aiding and feeding the needy, widowers, and people of passage.  After the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, many of the priests in Komran immigrated to Hijjaz in the Arab peninsula.

 

Note 2:  The Christian-Jew Cerinthe sect proclaimed that Heaven resembled life on earth where the body will get its fill of every passion it needed to satisfy; that the role of Jesus was to free his people from the Romans; that Jesus message was political and social.

 

Note 3:  The Christian-Jew sect Elxai was Gnostic (knowledge).  It preached that Jesus is another human and the Mesiah in him vacated his body before martyridom.  The Holy Ghost is the mother of Jesus and the Angel Gabriel depending on events. Jesus received the Bible from the angel and Gabriel taught Jesus wisdom and the ability to foreseeing the future.

 

Note 4:  We know that Aicha, the educated and most beloved wife of the Prophet, has dedicated her life into gathering and organizing the revelations.  The third Calipahte Othman bin Affan selected among the revelations and verses and arranged them by order of length and the gathered book was considered the official Coran.  The shortest revelations or verses are the first chronologically and represent the message of Islam in the first 13 years before the relocation to Medina or Yathreb in 633 and the successive civil management and organization of the converts to Islam.

 

Note 5:  In February 5, 2009 I posted “Islam: the two messages of Jesus and Mohammad.  A challenge to all theologians: Islam is one of the Christian sects” I had not read the above manuscript and my hypothesis was based on the content of the Coran in the first 13 years of the message.  The hypothesis can now be confirmed that Islam started as one of the Christian-Jewish “heretical” sects that were scattered outside the Byzantium Empire. After the “hejra” to Medina, the prophet could no longer ask for spiritual councel from anyone and Islam followed an independent direction.

WOMEN IN ISLAM (Submission to One God); (Part 1, April 16, 2009)

 

 

Note 1:  I intend to publish a series of posts on women conditions according to the mesage of Islam as stated by the Prophet Muhammad.  Thus, the political applications and practises by the various Moslem sects do not necessarily correspond to the intention of the message.  The fact remains that the official Koran issued by the third Caliphate Othman bin Affan was emasculated and tampered with to satisfy political interests in the de facto domination of Islam to vast conquered Empires such as Byzantium and Persia by the time the Koran (of Medina) was officially transcribed.

 

It is still applicable that women are in permanent struggle for equal rights in laws and in daily practices.  Even in the most advanced State of Sweden, women are far behind in equal work conditions and pay; they are beaten and raped by their relative on a wide scale. In most religions, women have had to fight for their rights and dues, and their struggle is ongoing. Christian women have gone to the extreme of changing the text of the Bible to make it less “sexist” and more “acceptable” to women.

 

In a previous post “The unpublished Book” I stated that the Prophet Muhammad was crystal clear in his message: making the religion easy, light, acceptable to most sects, and readable by the language of every nation since a prophet is sent to every nation.  The Koran was focused on the value of life and uniting as many sects as possible satisfying common denominators in belief, stories, and myths.  The Prophet Muhammad did not regard with keen eyes the abstract theological concepts that were limiting and restrictive for particular religious sects (these abstract theological structures were the result of urban cultures prevalent in Byzantium and the Persian Empires that generated schisms to the benefit of the few power mongers of the various sacerdotal castes).

 

The social conditions of women in Mecca and Yathreb before Islam were different. In Mecca, a strict patriarchal structure was instituted; the powerful Christian-Jew sects in Mecca had contributed in transmitting the customs and traditions of the Hebraic laws that suited desert life style.  In Yathreb, a six-day journey north by camels, the independent minded women of Yathrib could divorce their husbands by just turning the entrance of their tents around; the husbands settled in and were attached to the wives’ clans.  Muhammad had a hell of a time submitting the women of Yathrib to what his men followers from Mecca were used to. The many wives of the Prophet (numbering 12 and not counting favorites and concubines) were frequent sources of calumnies and hot stories: situations that forced the Prophet to resume his month long of fasting and isolation until rumors calmed down; these meditation periods were used to re-read the Bibles for wisdoms and appropriate regulations. The Prophet had to issue many verses, as Islam gained strength around Medina, to reduce the women of Yathreb into submission and follow the customs of Mecca and obey their husbands and seclude themselves in their homes and wear the veil when out.

 

In Mecca, Khadija, the first wife of Muhammad, and the parson Warkat bin Nawfal, the patriarch of the Christian-Jew sect of the Epyionites, transcribed Muhammad’s revelations and verses during his epileptic fits.  It is proven that Muhammad aided his elder relative parson Warkat in transcribing the Arabic version of the Bibles. In the early period of the message, 13 years in Mecca, women and men were no different in the eyes of God and they enjoyed spiritual equality of the sexes.

 

.           For example, in the sourat Al Ahzab (religious sects) it is said “For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah’s praise – for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward”.   In the sourat Al Imran (dedicated to the Virgin Mary and her parents haneh and Joachim) it is read “And their Lord has accepted of them, and answered them: Never shall I suffer to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female: you are members, one of another…”   In the sourat Al Natal it is read: “Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has Faith, verily, to him will We give a new Life, and life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their action.”

     

In Medina, Aicha bint Abu Bakr, the educated and most beloved wife of the Prophet, was almost exclusively in charge of recording the revelations when the Prophet Mohammad had his bouts of seizures. She would cover him with warm blankets and write down the verses until he falls asleep.  Aicha has dedicated her life into gathering, organizing the revelations and meeting with scholars and close friends of the Prophet to keep a complete record. Aicha saved her copies very jealously until the third Caliphate Othman bin Affan ordered the archive to be handed over to him. Aicha didn’t trust Othman and she kept copies of all her documents.  At the time, only rich people could afford to write down documents because they were recorded on special leather in the Arab Peninsula. Thus, rich educated people had the task of transcribing the verses for better retention, memorizations, and an act of devotion.

 

By the time Othman decided to issue an official Book for Islam (The Koran of Medina) most of the Byzantium and Sassanide Empires were conquered; Egypt was part of the Arab Moslem Empire. The formal or official Book had to take these political realities into accounts, realities of victors and vanquished.  The Caliphate Othman sorted out the verses and selected what suited the political interest of the new Islamic Empire; many verses were burned and disappeared, others were tampered with such as adding “nassara” (Christian) after Jews though the sentence would break the rime (sajaa).  Othman arranged verses by order of length and the gathered book was considered the official Koran. For example, the shortest revelations or verses are the first chronologically and represent the message of Islam in the first 13 years (The Koran of Mecca) before the relocation to Medina or Yathreb in 633.  The longest verses came afterward and dealt mostly with civil management, daily routine, penal codes, and organization of the converts to Islam.

The Unpublished Unifying Book (April 10, 2009)

 

Note: I got the theme of this essay from the manuscript of “The Parson and the Prophet” that I have reviewed and posted.

 

Historical Context

 

            Before Moses there was no such religion as Jewish.  Abraham, Isac, and Jacob worshiped El, the all encompassing God of the Land from Mesopotamis, to Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine.  Abraham, Isac, and Jacob paid the tithe to Melki Sadek, the highest grand priest and King of Jerusalem.  The mother of Melki Sadek had a revelation and her son Melki was dedicated to the temple; this story is repeated exactly through the ages such as with Hanna (mother of the Virgin Mary), Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist), and to the Virgin Mary; they all dedicated their sons and daughters to the temples (nazeer, and thus nazarean). The title of Virgin given to Mary is an earned sacerdotal label to virgins who served the temple from age of 3 till marriage. The Bible mentions many prophets who were dedicate to temples as revelations descended on their mothers.  It was common to the noble and sacerdotal families to dedicate sons or daughters to temples.  Thr rank of Melki Sadek was the highest and it was for life and he could transfer that rank to anyone of his choosing by anointment (mesheeh), thus Messiah.

            Moses led nomadic tribes and the scribes of the Bible in Alexandria (in the second century before Christ) mentioned that Moses received a revelation and the ten commandements from Yahweh (Jehovah); thus (Yahood or Jews).  Again, it is the same repetition of revelations and the descent of written messages and commandements through the ages to the chosen prophets.  Moses’ commandements had to be given by a supreme being for ignorant nomads who constantly needed to rely on a supreme being to alleviate their fears; these commandements and hundreds more were already included in the civil codes of laws of the Land since before King Hamourabi of Babylon.  The relatively urban towns and cities in the Levant and Mesopotamia had more sophisticated abstract concepts that could sustain diversities in belief systems.

            Invariably, religions would like the believers to understand that their Prophets were illeterate in order to prove that only God could have interceded with the prophet for the message.  These allegations are pure fabrications. Abraham was educated, Moses was highly educated and a grand priest and Muhammad aided his uncle parson Warkat bin Nawfal in translating into Arabic the Bible and the special Aramaic version of the New Testament Mathew.  All the prophets had read in the Books of their times.  Jesus was highly educated and was a “nazeer” in the Great Temple of Mount Carmen since the age of six; but Jesus didn’t need translated versions of the Books because he was Aramean and a messenger of the Land.

            Translation of Books to another language was not done literally; the meaning was retained as honestly as desired but the context and style were compatible with the cultures and customs of the targeted people for better understanding and memorization.  That is why reading in Books was done by chanting (tarteel) so that musical intonation could support the retention process.

            Jesus mission was to win over “the lost sheep among the tribes” in Judea, Benjamin, and the Hasmonides because they staunchly continued to worship Yahweh, their unspiritual God for earthly dominion by the sword. Jesus wanted to unite all the tribes of Israel (Tribes of El) and not of Yahweh.

 

The Kuran of Mecca:

 

            The purpose of the Prophet Muhammad was to gather common denominators for the belief systems among the main Christian and Jewish sects in the Arabic Peninsula: they all worshiped One God, the Creator of all things, and they believed in Heaven and Hell.  In that direction, the Prophet accepted the premise that the monotheist sects shared Abraham (who was neither Jewish not Christian) as their first prophet who had the Orthodix “haneef” belief; Muhammad acknowledged all the prophets that succeded Abraham. Muhammad accepted in their integrality all the mythical stories in the Bible of the Creation, Noah, the Deluge, Joseph in Egypt and all the rest (these stories were indeed the myths of the Land for thousands of years before Abraham).  Muhammad was apprehensive that one of those diverse sects might think that he particularly sided with one of Israel sects since they are all Moslems in God.  The prophet said “You are not believers until you value the Bible and the New Testament and what were descended on you. The Book descended on two previous religions but we were not aware of them” (because not written in Arabic)

Muhammad proclaimed Jesus as one of the latest and most spiritual prophet of all because he carried the Holy Ghost of Allah. Muhammad avoided the corny issues of the Trinity, the Virginity of Mary, the crucifiction and death of Jesus that divided the Christian sects. Muhammad venerated the Virgin Mary as the mother of the prophet who received revelations as well as John the Baptist.  In fact, Mary is the only female name mentioned in the Koran and Jesus (Issa) was mentioned as “Son of Mary”, thus Issa ibn Mariam. In the Koran Muhammad proclaimed that the Christian-Jewish sects in Arabia were Moslems before he started his message and the teaching of the Koran was initiated because they relied on a unique God and didn’t admit that anyone else is part of him (shirik) such as Jesus or the Holy Ghost. The word Koran “Kuraan” has Aramaic roots “kuru” which means reading, reciting from a book.

            During the Mecca period of proselytizing (about 13 years), what is known as the Koran of Mecca, there were Jewish sects and Muhamad never mentioned the Jews in his verses. Only the Christian-Jews three main sects (Ebyonites, Cerinthe, and Elxai, see notes) were referred to as “Nassara” (those Christian nazeers who were dedicated to monasteries to pray, read the Books and meditate) and they read in the Book of the only and unique God.  In fact, after Muhammad settled in Yathreb (Medina) the Nassara sects would pay him visit from Mecca to mediate among them. The Prophet Muhammad was taken aback and said what amount to “They read in the Book that can answer all their questions and yet they come to me for mediation” The Prophet did not face any obstacles from the Nassara sects in Arabia simply because the Koran of Mecca was almost a cabon copy of the Books they read in and had translated into Arabic. It is to be noted that these Nassara sects were considered “heretics” by the Orthodox Christian religion in Constantinople because they would not admit the divinity of Jesus and followed the Jewish daily laws and customs.

The Jews in Yathreb and in Khibar revolted against the teaching of Islam who accepted Jesus as a prophet and got apprehensive of the growing power of Moslems in their midst.  The non-Moslem tribes of Mecca asked the Jews of Yathreb to cooperate with them and the Jewish leaders descended to Mecca to plot against the Moslems. Armed struggles decided the difficulties to the advantage of the Moslems.  The prophet considered the Jewish sects as tyrannical and not behaving with charity toward the orthodox religions, complicating the belief system, and blasphemic the Virgin Mary and Jesus.  “God created man weak and He wants to make it easy on him and not complicate his life. We have sent a prophet to every nation” so that nations can read the message of One God in their own language.

 All the sects in Arabia were united around one religion that was made easy (khefat) and reductive “moktassadat” to be comprehend by nomads and desert people who lacked knowledge of abstract theological concepts and it was easy to memorize by short rimed sentences and disseminated by chants.  Thus, Muhamad warned the Christian sects (such as the Jacobites, Nestourians, and Melkites) who believed in the divinity of Jesus, of the son of God, the trinity, and the resurrection to desist in their exaggerations and overestimation in religious beliefs (ghelou fi al deen) and accept the simple fact of One God as a unifying reality that unite the tribes of the believers in One God.

 

In Mecca, Khadija, the first wife of Muhammad, and the parson Warkat bin Nawfal, the patriarch of the Christia-Jew sect of the Epyionites, transcribed Muhammad’s revelations and verses during his epileptic fits.  In Medina, Aicha bint Abu Bakr, the educated and most beloved wife of the Prophet, was almost exclusively in charge of recording the revelations when the Prophet Mohamad had his bouts of seizures. She would cover him with warm blankets and write down the verses until he falls asleep.  Aicha has dedicated her life into gathering, organizing the revelations and meeting with scholars and close friends of the Prophet to keep a complete record. Aicha saved her copies very jealously until the third Calipahte Othman bin Affan ordered the archive to be handed over to him. Aicha didn’t trust Othman and she kept copies of all her documents.  At the time, only rich people could afford to write down documents because they were recorded on special leather in the Arab Peninsula. Thus, rich educated people had the task of transcribing the verses for better retention, memorizations, and an act of devotion.

By the time Othman decided to issue an official Book for Islam (The Koran of Medina) most of the Byzantium and Sassanide Empires were conquered; Egypt was part of the Arab Moslem Empire. The formal or official Book had to take these political realities into accounts, realities of victors and vainquished.  The Caliphate Othman sorted out the verses and selected what suited the political interest of the new Islamic Empire; many verses were burned and disappeared, others were tampered with such as adding “nassara” (Christian) after Jews though the sentence would break the rime (sajaa).  Othman arranged verses by order of length and the gathered book was considered the official Koran. For example, the shortest revelations or verses are the first chronologically and represent the message of Islam in the first 13 years (The Koran of Mecca) before the relocation to Medina or Yathreb in 633.  The longest came afterward and dealt mostly with civil management, daily routine, penal codes, and organization of the converts to Islam.

It is my contention that Aicha bint Abu Bakr had hidden and distributed copies of her complete archive.  If there is the will there is a way to reconstitute the message of the Prophet Muhammad in its historical and chronological contexts taking into account the fundamental principle of working on the common denominators in the belief system among the majority of the monotheist religions; and hopefully discovering a copy of the original archive as the work is in progress.

The Prophet Muhammad was crystal clear in his message: making the religion easy, light, acceptable to most sects, and readable by the language of every nation.  It is about time we focus on the value of life and let the abstract limiting and restrictive theological conepts (ideology) to the few power monger sacerdotal castes.

 

Note 1: The Epyonite Christian-Jew sect was discussed and commented on by the early Christian scholars and Bishops like Irene, Epiphane, and Origene.  The name Epionites refers to the “poor” in Aramaic such as “Blessed be the poor”; this sect considered Jesus one of the great prophets. Jesus was not God or Son of God who received the revelations after John baptized him and thus, the messiah spirit entered him till he was crucified.  Jesus message was teaching and preaching the revelation but didn’t include saving or forgiving our sins. The Aramaic Testament of Mathew is their only book in addition to the Bible; this New Testament of Mathew used by the Epionites was revised slanted and distorted according to Epiphanous. This sect persevered on frequent washing for purification, not eating meat, and to focus on aiding and feeding the needy, widowers, and people of passage.  After the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, many of the priests in Komran immigrated to Hijjaz in the Arab peninsula.

 

Note 2:  The Christian-Jew Cerinthe sect proclaimed that Heaven resembled life on earth where the body will get its fill of every passion it needed to satisfy; that the role of Jesus was to free his people from the Romans; that Jesus message was political and social.

 

Note 3:  The Christian-Jew sect Elxai was Gnostic (knowledge).  It preached that Jesus is another human and the Mesiah in him vacated his body before martyridom.  The Holy Ghost is the mother of Jesus and the Angel Gabriel depending on events. Jesus received the Bible from the angel and Gabriel taught Jesus wisdom and the ability to foreseeing the future.

“The Parson and the Prophet: A Study in the Origin of Islam” (Book Review, April 8, 2009)

 

Note:  The Arabic Lebanese manuscript “The Parson and the Prophet” was published in 1978 in Lebanon, most probably by the University of Kaslik in Jounieh, a university administered by the Christian Maronite Order. 

As the various religious sects started dialogue, the book was banned and rounded up from libraries.  The author used the pseudo name of Abu Mousa El Hariri; I overheard that the real author is a priest in his eighties by now.

As usual, I tell the story and leave the documentations, references, and quotations for the curious reader.

The story is basically to prove the strong and frequent connections between the Christian-Jew parson (priest) Warkat Bin Nawfal and his nephew the Prophet Mohammad and the fundamental influence of Warkat on the Prophet’s message.

           

In Kureich tribe, there are two clans related to their great grand father Kussai.  The richest clan includes the close relatives of parson Warkat bin Nawfal, Othman bin El Howeyress, and Khadija bint Khowayled. 

The poorer clan includes the sons and daughters of Abdel Mottaleb: Abdallah, Abu Taleb, Al Abbass, Abu Lahab, and Hamza among others.  Muhammad lost his father Abdallah before his birth and his mother at the age of eight.  He was cared for by the eldest of the uncles Abi Taleb. 

Abi Taleb was the father of Ali who will become the fourth Caliph.

Parson Warkat bin Nawfal bin Assad bin Abed El Azaa bin Kussai was the leading “patriarch” of the Christian-Jew sect of the Epyonites in Mecca; he was of one of the most prosperous clans of Kureich and a leader of Kureich tribe; he translated one the versions of the Aramaic Mathew Testament known as “The Hebrew Testament” into Arabic. This Testament and a version of the Bible were the only Books or sources of the faith of the Epyonites. 

There were many other Christian-Jews sects and purely Jewish sects in Mecca and the Arab Peninsula.  Two other Christian-Jew sects were Cerinthe and Elxai (see notes).

These sects were recognized in the Coran, but they were considered “heretics” by the Church of Constantinople after the conclave of Nicee (Turkey) in 325; they were persecuted within the Byzantium Empire.  Thus, parson Warkat was obviously not a priest since he was not of the Orthodox Christian sect of Constantinople, but the lead predicator and administrator of his sect. These sects were known as “Ahzab” (parties or organizations) in the Coran.

It is not correct to claim that the tribes in the Arab Peninsula were only pagans.  The term Jahiliya or Ignorants was created by the Moslem converts as a historical dividing period between Islam and the previous culture. It is not also correct to translate “Ummy” for illiterate: in the Coran it means those who didn’t follow the Bible of the previous prophets; it could be appropriate to translate it as “gentiles” in opposition to Jews.

Parson Warkat took special care of the orphaned Muhammad, one of the youngest relatives in the clan.  He taught Muhammad reading and writing and translating the Bibles from Aramaic to Arabic. The custom was for the learned men to translate and transcribe as often as needed; first, to memorize better the Books and to have spare copies for the initiated who were ready to be transmitted the mysteries of the sect. 

Thus, it is not correct that Muhammad was illiterate. It was convenient for the early Moslems to spread this myth because:

first, they were trying hard to prove that Muhammad was indeed a Prophet and

second, what better proof that Muhammad is a Prophet if an illiterate could be so wise if not the message was not revealed by God?

As Muhammad grew up, parson Warkat invited Muhammad to join the restricted party of their leaders of Christian-Jews to the retreats at Gor Haraa.  Once a year, during the fasting season of a month before Easter (tahannoth), the party of the fasting people would survive on vegetables, yogurt, and unleavened bread. The retreat included praying, contemplating, repeating and invoking God’s name, and reading the Bibles in silence and complete isolation from the inhabitants of Mecca.

After the fast, they would circle Al Kaaba 7 times (like during Palm Sunday the Christians would circle the church 7 times).  This is how the Prophet Muhammad was trained to receive revelations. In addition to parson Warkat this party included: Adel Motaleb, Othman bin Al Howeireth, Abdalah bin Jahsh, Abi Ummaya bin Al Maghirat.

Parson Warkat arranged an employment for Muhammad at his cousin Khadija’s caravan business. Khadoja caravans made trips to Damascus and Basra. Muhammad is aged 25.  Warkat asked Khadija to marry her employ and cousin Muhammad.  Khadija was over 40 of age and twice a widower with offspring.

Khadija was  extremely wealthy and had many suitors whom she refused.  The two clans met at the wedding ceremony and parson Warkat performed the rituals and as long as Khadija lived Muhammad did not marry another wife as the Christian marriage requires. Thus, parson Warkat made sure for his protégé Muhammad to become wealthy, prosperous, and a potential leader and successor to his rank as “patriarch” of the sect of Mecca.

Muhammad had several revelations that scared him because he thought it was Satan (shaytan) or bad spirits harassing him; Khadija, aided by parson Warkat, reassured Muhamad of being selected by the good archangel to preach the message and Warkat gave Muhammad his benediction and sent him proselytizing among the people of Mecca. 

The poorest and those considered in the lowest rank of society started to listen to Muhammad and follow him and perform ablution and praying as initiated.  Muhammad could not be touched by the angry Kureich clans because he enjoyed the support of Khadija, Warkat, and his uncle Abi Taleb.

When parson Warkat and Khadija died, Muhammad was over 40 and he was left without spiritual backing or clan support.  Revelations stopped appearing to Mohammad for four years before Muhammad had to flee to Medina to meet the converts who preceded him there.  A new phase in Islam was unfolding.

 

Note 1: The Epionite Christian-Jew sect was discussed and commented on by the early Christian scholars and Bishops like Irene, Epiphane, and Origene.  The name Epionites refers to the “poor” in Aramaic such as “Blessed be the poor”. This sect considered Jesus one of the great prophets. Jesus was not God or Son of God who received the revelations after John baptized him and thus, the messiah spirit entered him till he was crucified. 

Jesus message was teaching and preaching the revelation, but didn’t include saving or forgiving our sins. The Aramaic Testament of Mathew is their only book in addition to the Bible. This New Testament of Mathew used by the Epionites was revised, slanted and distorted according to Epiphanous. This sect persevered on frequent washing for purification, not eating meat, and to focus on aiding and feeding the needy, widowers, and people of passage. 

After the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, many of the priests in Komran immigrated to Hijjaz in the Arab peninsula.

 

Note 2:  The Christian-Jew Cerinthe sect proclaimed that Heaven resembled life on earth where the body will get its fill of every passion it needed to satisfy; that the role of Jesus was to free his people from the Romans; that Jesus message was political and social.

 

Note 3:  The Christian-Jew sect Elxai was Gnostic ( relying on knowledge).  It preached that Jesus is another human and the Messiah in him vacated his body before martyrdom.  The Holy Ghost is the mother of Jesus and the Angel Gabriel depending on events. Jesus received the Bible from the angel and Gabriel taught Jesus wisdom and the ability to foreseeing the future.

 

Note 4:  We know that Aicha, the educated and most beloved wife of the Prophet, has dedicated her life into gathering and organizing the revelations.  The third Caliphate Othman bin Affan selected among the revelations and verses and arranged them by order of length and the gathered book was considered the official Coran. 

The shortest revelations or verses are the first chronologically and represent the message of Islam in the first 13 years before the relocation to Medina or Yathreb in 633 and the successive civil management and organization of the converts to Islam.

 

Note 5:  In February 5, 2009 I posted “Islam: the two messages of Jesus and Mohammad.  A challenge to all theologians: Islam is one of the Christian sects” I had not read the above manuscript and my hypothesis was based on the content of the Coran in the first 13 years of the message.  The hypothesis can now be confirmed that Islam started as one of the Christian-Jewish “heretical” sects that were scattered outside the Byzantium Empire.

After the “hejra” to Medina, the prophet could no longer ask for spiritual counsel from anyone and Islam followed an independent direction.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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