|"If I shut up the heavens and there is no rain; if I command the locusts to ravage the land; or if I let loose pestilence against My people, when My people, who bear My name, humble themselves, pray, and seek My favor and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear in My heavenly abode and forgive their sins and heal their land." II Chronicles 7:13-14;
by Ben Lincoln
I grew up in mainstream Protestantism, and later I became a member of a Sabbath-keeping "Christian" church. I knew that there was only One true CREATOR. However, something did not sit right with this j-sus character.
Why did "physical blood"2 need to be shed for a "spiritual" sin? Because if the man from Galilee paid our penalty for ALL SIN THAT WAS EVER COMMITTED BY ALL SINNERS, why didn't he burn in hell (as "Christianity" teaches sinners will do) at least for those three days and three nights? On the other hand, just spend eternity there for us as some "Christian" sects teach. In addition, why didn't j-sus die the second death, which is the ceasing of existence altogether, as taught in the NT (Rev 20:14)? If he was truly god, then why did he just die the same physical death all humans die? Even if he was crucified on a stake, as thousands of others were, under Roman rule, it was still just a human death.
Therefore, I could not understand how the ETERNAL CREATOR could forgive countless people in the Old Testament (the Hebrew Scriptures) such as King David with Bathsheba, Moses for slaying the Egyptian, the Israelites over idolatry, the Ninevites of Jonah, etc., without the shedding of blood. Yet, He could not forgive me without the blood of a crucified savior? A dead savior on the stake was not necessary for the forgiveness of the sins of those other people! ETERNAL says: (Psalm 51:16-1) He does not desire sacrifice; but, a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart." namely, just a humble repentance.
While in "Christianity" I was trying to force both testaments to be complementary to each other and that proved impossible. Therefore, I decided to leave the system of the church in Rome and her Protesting daughters and I embraced hook, line, and sinker, another faith--Islam!
It solved the dilemma of my spiritual quest, as Islam also proclaims the belief in only one god. To become a Muslim, one must agree to the Five Pillars of Faith:
To begin with, both Islam and "Christianity" share a common angel---Gabriel (which we will cover in an upcoming article in "The Hope of Israel"). The Hebrew Scriptures do not refer to Gabriel as an angel!
Both Islam4 and "Christianity" believe in the immaculate conception of j-sus and in a future "anti-Christ." "Christianity" believes in the beast; Islam believes in the synonymous "ad-dajjal." They both teach the doctrine that when j-sus returns to earth at the end-time that he will destroy the "anti-Christ" and usher in world peace. This would be quite a feat for j-sus to perform, since in Islam he is viewed as only having been a mere human being.5
Without getting ahead of myself, I should also note that both religions believe that J-SUS ascended to heaven from Jerusalem; as this would explain why he would be able to return to earth at the end-time (from an Islamic viewpoint). Muslims also believe that their prophet--Muhammad--ascended to heaven also. This allegedly event took place when the angel Gabriel6 appeared to the prophet, took him from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and translated him to heaven. This event is known by Muslims as the famous "Night Journey" (Koran 17:1). After the journey, Muhammad7 was brought back to earth, as this enabled him to fight another day! This "Night Journey" is very similar to the alleged experience John participated as proposed in the book of Revelation by the Church of Rome.8
Muhammad's flight is one reason why Jerusalem is so important to Muslims, as the mosque "The Dome of the Rock" now occupies the site where the purported "Night Journey" allegedly had taken place. Moreover, it is said that this is where Gabriel gave the Koran to the prophet Muhammad.9
The Islamic faith pronounces, as cited in the Koran, that three sections of the Bible are divinely revealed, they are:
The Pentateuch (Tawrat), the Psalms (Zabur), and the Gospels of "Jesus" ("Injil").10
Therefore, if these texts are divinely inspired, and if j-sus is so revered as a prophet, why didn't the Muslims heed j-sus' warning in Rev 22:18-19, regarding the "adding of words" to the prophecies or the future? So, why the need for the Koran? Moreover, Muhammad claimed to be a descendant of Abraham, who was faithful to El Shaddai, who later inspired Moses to be the first to pen the Command "Do not add to or take from these Scripture" (Deut 4:2; 12:31; Prov 30:6). This probation of Scripture thus invalidates the NT, the Koran, Talmud, and the Book of Mormons.
A very common feature the Chr-stian churches and the Islamic mosques share is that their "steeples" and "minarets" are similar. The steeples of the church of Rome have their origins in pagan Babylonian, sun-god worship, which symbolizes the male phallic sex organ in the worship of "Baal."11
Similar in origin is the tall slender tower almost every mosque has referred to as the minaret or lighthouse--notice the similarity between lighthouse and sun worship. The minaret is traced back to the fire towers of Zoroastrianism,12 which are associated with the Babylonian ziggurat.13 On a different note, both Catholicism and Islam use rosaries--which means they use physical object in worship--with their repetitive litanies (prayers).
Since this article focuses upon the failure of Islam as a faith of salvation for me, I will leave it to the reader to trace "Christianity's" pagan beginnings and its continuing present day idolatry. This can be done through The Hope of Israel, or on United Hebrew Congregations web site "The Quest for the Ancient of Days" at <www.uhcg.org> or other from other sources.
Inside Mecca is the Ka'ba,15 which measures approximately 12 meters per side and 13 meters tall. About the time of Muhammad's birth, it contained between 300-360 idols, including one icon of the Virgin Mary and her child. Years later, when Muhammad "cleansed" Mecca of its idols, he specifically commanded that the "Madonna" icon be spared. In Islam, Mary has the honorific title "sayyidatuna" (our lady), much like their prophet of old is considered as "sayyiduna" (our 'Lord').16 This period of pre-Islamic history is referred to as the "time of ignorance."
During this era, any businessman or caravan traveling through Mecca could not only conduct business, but could also stop by the Ka'ba House and pay homage to the g-d or "shrine of his choice" (sound familiar?) before continuing their journey. The Ka'ba was filled with pagan deities and was thus "connected with the ancient worship of the sun, moon, and stars, and its circumambulation17 by the worshippers had a symbolic reference to the rotation of the heavenly bodies."18
With regard to pre-Islamic Mecca, there were two deities of pivotal importance: The first was the moon god "Hubal," it was the highest ranking--most worshipped--idol of the hundreds of gods and goddesses idols within the region of old Mecca. H-bal's offering was one hundred camels, (which indicates his prominence).
`Amr ibn Luhayy--a chief of the Arab Jurhum tribe--brought the idol h-bal from Syria several hundreds of years before Islam. When Amr ibn Luhayy originally acquired the idol, its right hand had already been broken off. The Quraysh (who later acquired the statue from Luhayy) were quick to replace the broken hand with a solid gold one. 19 When H-bal was the idol of the Arabian Quraysh tribe, who oversaw its care and upkeep, was Muhammad's ancestral family clan.
The moon god idol h-bal was made in human form of red cornelian pearl. The people were ordered to worship it, so it was placed in the Ka'ba and purposely positioned at the sacred water well.20 Thus, someone returning from a journey would pay homage to h-bal, by circumambulating (walking and circling the Ka'ba) and shaving his hair before seeing his family.
These two functions--circumambulation of the Ka'ba and shaving--are two duties Muslims must still perform now when they make a pilgrimage to Mecca on hajj and it would have been common practice for pre-Islamic Arabs to do also. It is not known if h-bal's gold hand has anything to do with the Islamic "hand of Fatimah." However, it is worth stating that the "hand of Fatimah" made as a piece of jewelry is worn by many Muslims today. It is believed to have strong magical powers and is worn as a charm for good luck and protection.
As noted before, h-bal was placed in the Ka'ba above the sacred water well. Since this was a stellar deity, it would have been prevalent for the ancient Meccans to worship such a moon god. Rain in time of drought and in such a dry area would continuously be a reason for pray.21 The moon was believed to control the weather--especially the rain. The h-bal idol was also used, when the casting of lots or the divining of arrows, was needed to decide important matters.22
Qusayy who was in charge of Mecca at the time, brought back from Syria the cult worship of the goddesses "al-Uzza" and "Manat" and formed a worship of three--the third deity being none other than "Hubal," the idol of Khuzaca.23
Regarding Khuzaca (the Khuza'ah), they were the Khuza'ites, who were Arab descendants of Ishmael, and were related to the Quraysh. The Khuzaites who possessed h-bal before it was passed on to the Quraysh.24 Muslims and Arabs claim that Muhammad was a descendant through these tribes from Abraham through Ishmael. So, coincidentally, I suppose that because of the idol h-bal and other idolatries, these were convenient contributors for the pagan Arab clans to stay in contact with each other throughout the centuries, since they worshipped the same g-ds and that they were relatives of one another.
The other most important deity of pagan Meccan times was "Allah." The word comes from the article "al" which means 'the' and the word "ilah" which means 'divinity'. However, the name "Allah" was used long before the Koran was made public, as it was a commonly used name. The prophet Muhammad's own father was `Abd Allah, and the word "Allah" was (already) being used by Arabic speaking "Christians" of Oriental churches as well.25
The point being that the word "Allah" was also associated with the moon, as he was preceded by "Ilmaqah," the god of the moon. "Allat" would be the feminine equivalent.26 This feminine form of "Allah" was known as the Arabian moon goddess "al-Lat." This same goddess was the "Allat u" of Babylon who was formerly worshipped at the Ka'ba. Her ancient symbol was the crescent moon, which is on many Islamic flags in these end times. "Allah" was the male transformation of the primitive lunar deity of Arabia.27
However, before this era, the origin of "Allah" was derived from the western Semitic god "Il" (an early corruption of "El"). The pagan deity "Il" was worshipped as early as 300 BCE.28 However, if you research into an earlier time, you will find that "Il" was worshipped as the Creator as early as 2000 BCE:
`Il' is the god to whom `Baal' is ultimately answerable...A Stele found at Ras Samra has a seated god with bull horns that may depict `Il' or `Baal'.29
Bullhorns represent a crescent and have an astrological connection to the Koran, as we will see.
Regarding the Black Stone (likely a meteorite), which sacredly sets in one corner of the Ka'ba now, Muslims today contend that they do not worship the Black Stone as the ancient Meccans did. However, during hajj, when modern day Muslims circumambulate the House, they are expected to kiss the Black Stone. Nevertheless, if they can not get close enough to it, they are to make a hand gesture of reverence toward it as they pass by it.
"Allah" was one of the very few deities in Mecca that was not represented by an idol, per se. However, the pagans improvised in their worship of "Allah." They would pray to "Allah" while standing next to the idol h-bal, using the red sapphire statue as a stand in.30
"Al-Lat" which means "the Goddess," was worshipped in the form of a cubed stone. Interestingly, the Ka'ba is a cubed stone. "Allah's" other daughters were "al-Uzzah" (the mighty) who was associated with the morning star,32 and "Manat" who was also worshipped as a stone, she was the goddess of destiny. Their worship along with "Hubal," whose worship was connected with the Black Stone of the Ka'ba, is the same stone Muslims revere today. These stones were said to have fallen from the heavens.33 In addition, it should come as no surprise that humans were at times sacrificed to all three of the daughters of "Allah."34
Additionally, these three daughters of "Allah" are mentioned and astrologically described in detail in the Koran! In its book (Sura) LIII named Najm--which means the Star-- are spoken of in Sura 53:19-20. In the Koran's footnote #5085, Najm is referred to as a Star or as the close cluster of seven stars known as Pleiades in the Constellation Taurus, in which the sun enters around April 21st of every year. In footnote #5095 of the Koran, the three goddesses are described in their various shapes, and that they all represented "God" in female form.35 "Taurus" is the horned bull whose horns form a crescent.
The pilgrimage, which is the fifth pillar of Islam, even has its roots in Meccan paganism. As stated before, people arriving in the city were required to visit the moon god h-bal, circumambulate the house, and shave before they could reunite with their families. These last two traditions are still required among modern Muslims who perform hajj, but they are preformed in worship not to h-bal, but to all-h.
Before Muhammad "cleansed" Mecca of its idols and introduced Islam, as we now know it, the pilgrimage was preceded by great desert fairs known as "Ukaz" and "Mina," which coincided with the pilgrimages of the cult of the idols. These consisted of singing, dancing, circumambulation of idols, and sacrifices.37 Animal sacrifices ARE STILL a huge festivity enjoyed during hajj as thousands upon thousands of animals are slaughtered at every (yearly) hajj. I suppose the animal rights groups overlook this one!
Additionally, during these pagan desert fairs, it was common to see Catholic "Christian" bishops from Najran at these festive celebrations preaching "Christianity." Years later when Muhammad banned the pagan celebrations and instituted the hajj, he still allowed the Najran "Christians" to come to Medina and pray in his own mosque.38
"Mina" is still a very important part of pilgrimage. It is the site where stones are thrown at three pillars representing "satan," as Muslims believe that this is the place where satan attempted to foil Abraham's sacrifice of his son Ishmael. That is what I said; Muslims believe that Ishmael was the son ETERNAL called upon Abraham to sacrifice, yet Muslims claim that the Pentateuch (Tawrat) is divinely inspired which plainly states that Isaac was the intended sacrifice (Gen 22:1-12). In the Muslim mind the Koran takes precedent!
Regarding the Pentateuch, Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32 warn us to not add nor take from what the CREATOR has commanded us to observe. Does the Koran, which came thousands of years later, violate the One ETERNAL Savior's warning? How many times does He have to repeat Himself for the world to understand what He requires?
When Muhammad was "called," given the Koran by Gabriel, and proceeded to clean up Mecca, he instituted Islam as the one religion, while still keeping some of the pagan moon-god idols.
However, he had a slight problem. He was quarreling and even at war with his own tribal clan the Quraysh--who were devout followers of h-bal. The Quraysh and all others who openly worshipped the moon god wanted to keep things as they were--for spiritual reasons and business profiteering, the Quraysh wanted their commercialism coupled with open paganism--'tis the season!
After a series of battles against the Quraysh, Muhammad did conquer Mecca and enforce Islam, proclaiming that all-h (not h-bal) was the god to be worshipped. Upon the prophet's command, the idols of the Ka'ba were destroyed, except the icon of the virgin and child. The fate of h-bal has been assigned different outcomes. Some scholars say the idol was destroyed, others say h-bal was taken by Muhammad and used as a doorstep,39 maybe within Mecca? Another reference indicates that the red carnelian figure still stands in Mecca.40 I ask, "Will the real god of Mecca please stand up."
Consequently, sometime after Islam had gained its foothold, Muhammad claimed that he received "new and improved instructions" from "Allah" to change the direction of prayer from Jerusalem to Mecca, he instituted the (one) pilgrimage, and he changed the day of congregational prayer (worship) from Saturday to Friday.41 I guess Muhammad thought it was okay to throw out the window the Words of the ETERNAL CREATOR of the universe, Who strictly forbids changing His Words (Deut 4:2; 12:32).
These are of those "Divinely" revealed passages all Muslims agree upon spoken of earlier--the Pentateuch (Tawrat). However, since Muhammad held such a tight charismatic and militarily reign over the entire region, no one ever questioned the changes.
Today, Islam is practiced by one billion people and is the fastest growing faith on earth. It is easily recognized by its symbol, the crescent moon and star--remember the moon god h-bal. The crescent is also atop every mosque, pointing the direction of prayer toward the Ka'ba, and is a symbol of which every Muslim is very proud. Realistically though, its crescent shape symbolizes the waxing of the moon. A horned moon represents growth, and horns represent fertility. A crescent and star together supposedly means paradise.42 Another reference to the star and crescent implicates that the two symbols were associated with the goddess "Diana" (a moon goddess). After the crescent became the symbol of Islam, the star was later added as a symbol of sovereignty and divinity.43 Could this added star of divinity symbolize the missing star of Pleiades from within the Constellation Taurus? Could this be the star of divinity in which, a whole book in the Koran is named after-Najm (Sura LIII).
From this article of evidence, it is clear to see how Islam failed me as a faith of salvation. It and "Christianity" are daughter religions that can trace their origins back to mother--the pagan b-al sun worship of Babylon (Shinar of old).
Before jumping into Islam, I just never did the needed research. Most people blindly accept the teachings that their false prophets and pagan religions are using to lead them astray. People, spiritually speaking, desire to hear smooth sayings, such as sermons of love, everything is all right, the "lord" will accept me just as I am. Most, if not almost all people fail to realize that their organized religions of litany worship (especially Islam and "Christianity") evolved from the paganism of astrological b-lism.
The only Faith that is pure, righteous, and undefiled is the one that began it all: The laws, Commandments, and Sabbaths of our ETERNAL CREATOR (YHWH)--the One46 and only Savior47 who shares His power with no one. Unless we all repent, return, and remain true to His simple teachings found in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament or the Tanakh), then the powerful democracies of the world, and their people, are about to go into slavery. This is graphically described in Leviticus chapter 26 and Deuteronomy chapter 28.
One thing is quite puzzling to me. Islam proudly claims that Abraham is its ancesteral father. Abraham was righteous, which is indisputable. He followed the Commandments of the One CREATOR, which included the seventh day Sabbath. If the One and Only Savior (and His instructions) were good enough for Abraham, then why was this simple and pure lifestyle not good enough for Muhammad? So, why go chasing after other gods? This is how Islam failed me as a religion of salvation.
2. See our article, "Does Israel's CREATOR Require Blood to Atone for Sin?"
3. The large cubed stone structure known in Islam as the "holy house." It is covered with black cloth and contains the revered Black Stone.
4. Islam the Muslim religion, a monotheistic religion in which the supreme deity is "Allah" and the chief prophet and founder is Mohammed. Etymology--[Ar Islam, lit., submission (to "God's" will) < salama, to be resigned], Webster's New World Dictionary.
5. Unless j-sus returns as a divine spirit, which would violate Muslim belief, then j-sus will have to return as a super human action figure hero, like the hulk or superman!
6. See our article "Some Angels are Not What They Seem."
7. Due to different spellings of the various names in the various references we have used, in this article, to avoid confusion and provide consistency we have attempted to standardize the spelling as used in Webster's and The American Heritage Concise Dictionary.
8. John's NT experience with j-sus's personal angel was a vision. Could Muhammad's episode have been a vision as well?
9. Muhammad acquired the Koran from the angel Gabriel who told the prophet to "recite" it, because the "prophet" was illiterate
10. The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, by Cyril Glasse; Harper Collins Publishers, 1991, 1989 by Stacey International, page 72.
11. Mystery Babylon The Great--The Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth; by Darrell W. Conder; Commonwealth Publishing; 1995; pages 184-188.
12. Zoroastrianism - The religious system founded in Persia by Zoroaster, teaching the worship of "Ormazd" in the context of a universal struggle between the forces of light and of darkness, "The American Heritage Concise Dictionary, Houghton Mifflin Company.
13. Op. cid. Glasse page 276. - AHD A temple tower of the ancient Assyrians and Babylonians, having the form of a terraced pyramid of successively receding stories
14. Babylon Mystery Religion, by Ralph Woodrow, 1966, by R.W. Evangelistic Assn.
15. A large cubic stone "holy house" that represents the sanctuary of g-d.
16. Op. cid. Glasse', page 260. - The meaning of the word "baal' is "Lord" Strong's #H1167.
17. The main constituents of this lengthy rite are seven circumambulatings of the Ka'ba, walking fast between two mounds near the sanctuary seven times, marching three miles to Mina, then proceeding six miles to Arafat. [While there] staying the afternoon and listening to a sermon... then marching back to Mecca, offering a sacrifice in a memory of Abraham's attempted sacrifice of his son [Ishmael in Islamic eyes], and once again circumambulating the Ka'ba," "Islam" Encarta 97 Encyclopedia. 1993-1996 Microsoft Corporation.
18. Muhammad and Muhammadanism, by S.W. Koelle, 1889, pgs. 17-19; as stated on <www.bible.ca>
19. The Hajj, by F.E. Peters, p 3-41; 1994; as stated on <www.bible.ca>
20. The tradition is that Abraham and Ishmael had dug the well.
21. The Encyclopedia of Islam, new edition, Edited by B. Lewis, V.L. Menage, Ch Pellat and J. Schacht, 1971
From two sources 1) Op. cid. Peters, page 160.
2) The Encyclopedia of Islam, new edition. Edited by B. Lewis, V.L. Menage, Ch. Pellat, and J. Schacht, 1971 "Hubal" page 536; as stated on <www.bible.ca>
23. Muhammad, by Maxime Rodinson, 1961, translated by Anne Carter, 1971, p 38-49; as stated on <www.bible.ca>
24. Muhammad his life based on the earliest sources, by Martin Lings; pub. by Inner Traditions International, 1983, pgs. 4-6.
25. Op. cid. Glasse page 35.
26. A Dictionary of Non-Classical Mythology, by Marian Edwardes, Lewis Spence, "Allah," pg. 7; as stated on <www.bible.ca>.
27. The Women's Encyclopedia Of Myths and Secrets, by Barbara Walker; Harper Publications; SF, 1983; pg. 22.
28. Encyclopedia of Gods-Over 2,500 Deities of the World, by M. Jordan; Facts on File, Inc., 1993, pg. 11.
29. Ibid. pg. 112.
From two sources: 1) Muhammad's Mecca, by W. Montgomery Watt, Chapter 3: "Religion In Pre-Islamic Arabia," p26-45; as stated on <www.bible.ca>.
Also 2) Muhammad His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, by Martin Lings; pub. by Inner Traditions International, 1983; pg. 15.
31. The Facts on File Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, by Anthony S. Mercatante, I. 61; as stated on <www.bible.ca>
32. Venus (planet), one of the planets in the solar system, the second in distance from the sun. Except for the sun and the moon, Venus is the brightest object in the sky. The planet is called the morning star when it appears in the east at sunrise, and the evening star when it is in the west at sunset. In ancient times, the evening star was called Hesperus and the morning star Phosphorus or Lucifer. "Venus (planet)," Encarta Encyclopedia, 1993-1996 Microsoft Corporation.
33. The Joy of Sects, by Peter Occhigrosso, 1996; as stated on <www.bible.ca>.
34. Op. cid. Glasse page 412.
35. The Holy Koran, Translation and Commentary by A. Yusuf Ali, 1937 edition, pgs 1,443 and 1,445.
36. The American College Dictionary; Random House; 1963, 1964, Pleiades; pages 930-1.
37. Op. cid. Glasse page 179
38. Ibid. page 296
39. Ibid. page 160.
40. Op. cid. Jordan, page 108.
41. Understanding Islam, An Introduction to The Muslim World, Revised Edition by Thomas W. Lippman; A mentor Book, Published by the Penguin Group, 1990, pg. 46.
42. Man, Myth, Magic, Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Mythology, Religion, and the Unknown; Marshall Cavendish; 1995; New York; vol. 4, pg. 480.
43. Illustrated Book Of Signs and Symbols, by Miranda Bruce-Mitford; DK Publishing, 1996; pg. 24.
44. For the correct Scriptural references request our "The Observational Hebrew Calendar"
45. The Hope Of Israel vol. 6, #3; April 2002 issue, pg. 7.
46. Deut 4:35; 6:4-6; 2 Sam 7:22; Ps. 73:25; 78:41; Isa 29:23; 47:9; 54:5; Hab 1:12; Ex 20:1-6;
47. 1 Sam 22:3; Ps 106:21; Isa 41:13-14; 43:1-3,11-12,25-26; 45:15,21; 54:5; 60:16; 63:8; Jer 14:7-8; Hosea 13:4; Zep 3:15-17