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El and the Deities of Canaan
Central to the Semitic notion of deity is El, the old fatherly creator god and his consort, Athirat or Asherah. “Both were primordial beings, they had been there always.” El, whose name simply meant ‘god’ was the creator and procreator, overseer of conception, who sired the gods, thus being also called ‘Bull El’ in continuity with the ancient bull god of fertility. Asherah and El thus form a creation hieros-gamos of male and female, representing the bull and the earth goddess we see emerging from the ancient continuum at Catal Huyuk. El is supposed to have gone out to sea and asked two Goddesses, one presumably being Athirat and the other possibly Anath to choose between being his spouses and being his daughters. They chose the former. Their offspring are Shaher and Shalem, the morning and evening stars, from which Lucifer, the light-bearer, takes his name.
Many of the archetypes we now perceive in Yahweh have their origin in El. He is an original creator god – the ‘Creator of Created things’, which definitely includes fertility, but may also include the creation of Heaven and Earth as with the Mesopotamian Marduk and Tiamat, whose own mythology may be partly derived from the older Canaanite myths. El was the proberbial old man who is both a father and judge. He was a kingly and kindly figure, benevolent but not uninvolved. He was the god of decrees and the father of the reigning king. “It was his responsibility to ensure that equilibrium was preserved among all the conflicting and competing powers within it.” He thus was respected by the other Gods – “Your decree El is wise, your wisdom is everlasting.” “It was not for nothing that El was called ‘the kindly and compassionate’ – a design strangely reminiscent of ‘Allah the Merciful, the Compassionate’ in Islam. Not that El was inccapable of anger: transgressions in the community … could provoke him – and then he would prompt neighbouring powers to invade and conquer. To avert such calamities the king had to perform rites of expiation and offer sacrifices” (Cohn 1993 119).
Asherah, the Semitic name of the Great Goddess, whose origin differs from Astarte, was “in wisdom the Mistress of the Gods”, called by the Sumerians Ashnan “the strength of all things”, a “kindly and beautiful maiden.” The Canaanites called her “She who gives birth to the Gods” and as the “Lady who traverses the Sea” she is Goddess of both the Sea and Moon. In the Old Testament she is identified with her sacred groves.
Although Canaanite mythology varies from city to city, the discovery of extensive records at Ras Shamra of the city of Ugarit, gives us a uniquely detailed view of Canaanite Gods and Goddesses, dating from the author Elimelek around 1370 BC. Kings traditionally ruled as intermediaries of the Gods in maintaining the fertility of the land.
Despite siring the Gods and Goddesses, El and Asherah, no longer remain the only key players in the cosmic drama. As with Sumerian and many other mythologies a cosmic struggle for supremacy arises in which mortal combat occurs. This weaves themes both of maintaining the cosmic order against the turbulent waters of chaos and the barren season of death and of combat associated with new deities arising from social and political change.
In the Canaanite myth, a new and possibly Akkadian outsider, whose name is Ba’al Haddad or Lord enters the situation in hated competition with Asherah and her children by El. He is a young, warlike god of wind and thunderstorms and thus fertility itself. Unlike El, he is not judicious, frequently figuring in situations from which he must be saved. In this respect he displays a significant parallel to Dumuzi (Tammuz) among the Mesopotamians, which will prove to be of significance. He also has the hideous attribute of devouring his own children, consistent with infanticide practices of several semitic patron gods.
Initially Ba’al and Anat are members of El’s court. Ba’al attacks El by surprise and castrates him, assuming the power of his fertility. In effect, Ba’al becomes the central intermediary of paternal cosmic order … “it is Ba’al’s responsibility to ensure El’s benevolent intention is realized”, but he does not replace the primal creative power of El.
El, who loves all the Gods, now calls on his children as chaos gods to avenge his displacement. His son Yamm, Lord of the Sea and the mythical ocean of chaos lying beyond the ordered world, terrorizes the gods into giving up Baal. But Ba’al refuses and conquers Yamm, Ba’al now emerging as the God who overcomes the waters of chaos.
Mot, the next offspring, who is Lord of the Underworld and the barren season then defeats Ba’al, enraging Ba’al’s consort Anath, who ironically in the Ugarit form of the myth enters the fray as a Death Goddess upholding the paternal order. When Mot refuses to revive Ba’al, Anath kills and dismembers him, scattering his remains over the land. Baal, now revived, undertakes a full-scale war against all the other gods, who are now referred to as the “Sons of Asherah,” and is victorious. The death of Mot is conceived in a seven year cycle as representing the end of seven years of drought and famine.
In her role of Goddess of War and Death , Anath’s lust for blood is unbounded: “Anat kills the people living in valleys, in cities and on the seashore and in the land of sunrise, until the cut off heads of soldiers were reaching to her belt and she was wading up to her waist in blood. Violently she smites and gloats, Anat cuts them down and gazes her liver exhaults in mirth … for she plunges her knees in the blood of soldiers, her loins in the gore of warriors, till she has had her fill of slaughtering in the house, of cleaving among the tables.” After which, she, the Progenetress of Nations washed her hands of the blood of the slain, in dew and rain supplied by her brother Ba’al.” (Walker 29, Cohn 1993 126)
“Anath was fertilized by the blood of men, rather than semen, because her worship dated all the way back to the neolithic, when fatherhood was unknown and blood was considered the only substance which could transmit life. Hecatombs of  men seem to have been sacrificed to Anath when her image was reddened with rouge and henna for the occasion. Like the Lady of the Serpent Skirt, Anath hung the shorn penises of her victims on her goatskin apron or aegis.” “Anath’s capacity to curse and kill made even the Heavenly Father afraid of her. When El seemed reluctant to do her bidding, she threatened to smash his head and cover his grey hair and beard with gore. He hastily gave her everything she asked, saying ‘Whoever hinders thee will be crushed’ ” (Walker 30).
In the mythical cycle, “Mot too is [now] revived and once again challenges Baal to single combat. In the midst of the fighting, however, the sun-goddess, Spsi (Shapash), intervenes, advising Mot that no further combat is needed because El is now on the side of Baal. El, always patriarchal and judicious, has discerned that Baal in his defeat and resurrection has manifested a new form of order as a patriarchal deity El must uphold this new order. The decree is made that Baal will rule during the seasons of fertility and Mot during the seasons of sterility and drought.” – Grollier
There are many implications of this mythical cycle that underly the events of the Bible and overshadow and cast the die for the Christian heritage (Grollier Multimedia Encyclopedia 1993):
* Firstly: “the myth forms a watershed for the understanding of myth and history throughout the Near East. “Egyptian, Hittite, Hurrian, and Ugaritic myths are present in this cycle. Moreover, Hesiod clearly made use of some of these mythological elements in his Theogony Baal, Yamm, and Mot are directly related to Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades.” * Secondly: “although the Old Testament contains a polemic against Baal, Asherah, and Astarte, some of the elements and practices of the Hebrews are best understood within the context of Canaanite mythology.” * Thirdly: Anath as the death twin of Mari Lady of Birth, and the destroyer of the dying and reviving Mot plays a central, if concealed role in the crucifixion psychodrama.
“Anath annually cast her death-curse anathema on the Canaanite god”, fulfilling Mot’s slaying of Ba’al and his destruction in turn by her. Mot stood for the barren season that slew its own fertile twin Aleyin, the son of Ba’al. “In typical sacred-king style Mot-Aleyin was the son of the virgin Anath and also the bridegroom of his own mother. Like Jesus the Lamb of God, Aleyin said ‘I am the lamb which is made ready with pure wheat to be sacrificed in expiation.’ ” (Walker 31 [Larousse]).
“After Aleyin’s death, Anath resurrects him and sacrifices Mot, telling him he has been forsaken by his heavenly father El.” This is precisely the same father to whom Jesus cried ” ‘Eloi Eloi lama sabaschthani’ – El El why hast thou forsaken me? … and some said ‘Behold he calleth for Elias’ and one ran and filled a sponge with vinegar and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink saying, ‘Let alone let us see whether Elias will come to take him down’. And Jesus cried with a loud voice and gave up the ghost.” (Walker 31, Mark 15:34
“The sacred drama included a moment when Anath broke Mot’s reed scepter, to signify his castration, again foreshadowing a detail of the Christian Gospels. … Naturally the god-killing Anath was much diabolized in patriarchial legends. Abyssinian Christians called her Aynat “the evil eye of earth”. They said she was an old witch destroyed by Jesus, who commanded that she must be burned and her ashes scattered on the wind.” (Walker 31)
St. Paul’s excommunication curse “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maran-atha derives from the more ancient curse of Anath:
Ana-tithenai: to set up, dedicate [a curse], maranatha: Our Lord [bridegroom], come.
Another pertinent deity, because of his relationship to Sin, or Nannar, the God of Abraham is Yarikh the moon god. ‘The illuminator of myriads (of stars)’, ‘lamp of heaven’, possibly also the crescent moon and ‘lord of the sicle’ and thereby the father of the Kotharat. He is patron of the city Qart-Abilim. Like Sin, he is a dedicated courtier. After sunset he embraces Nikkal-and-Ib (Ningal) and becomes determined to marry her. He refuses the daughters of Baal and presents a lavish brideprice to Nikkal-and-Ib’s family and the two are wed. Baal-Hadad’s creatures devour his handmaidens, so he sends them to El. El tells them to go into the wilderness and there birth horned buffalo, which will distract Baal-Hadad.
Nikkal-and-Ib ‘great lady and clear/bright/fruit’ or ‘Great goddess of fruit’. She is possibly the daughter of Dagon of Tuttul, or else of Khirkhib. She is romanced by Yarikh and marries him after Yarikh aranges a brideprice with Khirkhib and pays it to her parents.
Kotharat (was thought to be Kathirat) ‘skillful’. They are a group of goddesses associated with conception and childbirth. ‘…The swallow-like daughters of the crescent moon.’ They are also associated with the new moon. They attend Daniel for seven days to aid in the conception of Aqhat and recieve his sacrifice.
Goddess Al-Lat and an Elderly God from Hatra - History
Can Wiccans stop calling pagan deities triple goddesses or our death goddesses "crones" because it does nothing but show you don't do any research on these religions.
Hekate is not a triple goddess, she appears in triple form to represent the three-way crossroads and is depicted as a young woman. The Morrighan is not a triple goddess as she actually has four aspects (Badb, Macha, Némain, Féa) and none represent the stages of a person's life, but the Morrighan may choose to appear elderly as a death omen. Kali is not a crone goddess just because she's associated with death and you shouldn't be touching Hinduism unless you wish to convert. The Arabian goddesses Al-Uzza, Al-Lat, and Manat are sisters and none of them are described as being elderly or as a maiden.
So in short, your concept of a triple goddess belongs to Wicca, not paganism, and should be left that way. What you're doing with our cultures is not only ignorant but disrespectful as well, and research is not that difficult to do.
I know this may seem like nit-picking to some and you may be wondering why it even matters, but you have no idea how frustrating and insulting it is to be a pagan looking up information on deities and see Wicca concepts overpowering the true history and background of our goddesses.
Not only is your information not true, but it clouds the real identity of our goddesses and it's basically you trying to make them yours. If you want a Triple Goddess, just worship the one Wicca gave you, but leave our deities be.
In the name of Allah!
“What’s in a name?” the English bard, William Shakespeare, had quipped, a rose by any other name will smell as sweet!” But, then, names have an origin including that of the Almighty!
The three most popular religious factions of the Western world,–or cults, if you prefer – the Jews, Christians and the Muslims–are like squabbling sisters sharp claws unsheathed to rip one another to shreds… for oblique causes! Apart from originating in extremely harsh and hostile conditions in merciless deserts, they have a common ancestry, reflected in the Old Testament. Or, the Torah as it is known to the Jewish people. They are bound by strict norms, breach of which can result in publicly being censured and punished, or even being rusticated from the fold– apart from being socially ostracized! The Eastern doctrines like Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and Jainism, have been formed in green, fertile lands peaceful surroundings and placid people. They are far more temperate, accommodating and flexible. One can be a Hindu even if one relishes pork, beef, or savours dog meat! Even if one is an atheist, one can still a Hindu. It is a way of life. There are no rigid bindings.
The term “God” has evolved from the ancient Germanic “Godth”, meaning “The Good Spirit”. In those pre-historic times, people could not understand the changing moods of Mother Nature and their environment. The best way to appease these was to appeal to The Good Spirit in every which way possibly, since that unknown hugely, temperamental energy had the ability to grant them a bountiful harvest, or if angered, famine, diseases and floods et al. The priest class took advantage of these fears and exploited them to the maximum (mis) interpreting the dispositions and natural phenomena, as they saw fit, to get maximum personal benefits from them. This crafty exercise continues even until date! The (whimsical) Good Spirit or “God”, is called” Elohim” (Hebrew) or “Eli” (Aramic) by the Jews, (including Jesus), “Jehovah”, by the Christians and” Allah” by the Muslims. How did the title “Allah “evolve?
To the Jews, God is known as “YHWH”. Or, when pointed with the correct vowels, as “Yahweh.”, which translates as “The Self-Existent One”, derived from the Hebrew “háwáh” meaning “to exist”. As ‘Allah’ is the name of God in the Muslim Holy scriptures, the Koran (or Quran), so’ “Yahweh” ‘is the name of God in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Torah or the Bible. What, however, is particularly interesting and significant, is the fact that “Yahweh” never appears as the name of any deity outside the Torah (Old Testament or the Bible). There is no record anywhere of any other tribe or religion which worshipped”Yahweh”. The Hebrew name of” God” is unique to the Bible- and to the Jews- who consider themselves as “The Chosen People!” . The name “Allah” does not appear even once in either the Old or New Testaments. The only time God is referred to by name in the Old Testament is either as” YAHWEH” (meaning “He who is”) or as a contraction, “YAH”.
Avram aka Abraham aka Ibrahim, the resolute wanderer, it appears, constructed a tabernacle or ‘kaaba” in Mecca, dedicated to “Elohim” alias “God” en route his search for the Promised Land,” Canaan”. According to one lot, he was assisted in this venture by his eldest born, Isaac. The other faction insists that it was Ishmael, Ibrahim’s son from his Egyptian wife, Hagar, who helped his dad in this arduous task, performed under the unsympathetic desert sun. Quite unfairly, God decided to put the old man’s faith in him to the ultimate test, by directing him to sacrifice his son. However, an unfortunate sheep, caught in a bramble bust near the sacrificial altar, became the scapegoat, quite literally, starting an indiscriminate ritual slaughter of such beasts, by slitting their throats as being “kosher” or “halal”! The real reason was, by far, less dramatic. It was to prevent the laity from consuming old corpses of animals, with contaminated flesh, which would cause sickness. Cutting the animal’s throat not only ensured that the meat was fresh, but also that it was tender, because it took some time for rigor mortis to set in .While Avram continued on with his search, he left behind Hagar and the child, Ishmael, who became wards of the Good Spirit aka God !
Mecca was the centre of the international trade routes of the ancient world with an insatiable appetite for lucre and power, the priests, of all hues, installed idols revered by travelers of diverse faiths in the Kaaba, to reap rich benefits from the worshippers. The deity of Baal stood beside that of Shiva, and that of Aphrodite with Venus, Thor and Mars. There were 365 such idols in the Kaaba, of whom there was an all-powerful one, known as “Allah.” Like Zeus, he was the Big One! Muslim scholars have, of course, gone to great lengths to try and prove that the Arabic “Allah” is, in fact, the same as the Hebrew “Eloah”,—- which is not a proper name .It simply translates as “God”. The words “El” and “Elohim” also translate the same way, and appears far more numerously than” Eloah,” There is another “El”-derived word for “God” in the Old Testament, which sounds similar to “Allah”. That is, “Elah”. It was only used by the Prophets Ezra, Daniel and just once by Jeremiah, to the best of my knowledge. It is, again, not a proper name, and actually means an “oak tree” .It was ,thus ,also used by animists as a title for their tree deities, i. e. spirits.(. or “kami” as the Shinto in Japan consider). The Christians have changed it to “Jehovah” There is even a church called the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” (which is indigestible to any self-respecting orthodox “Elohim”- worshiping Jew, who might consider it sacrilegious even blasphemous!)
The word “Allah” comes from the compound Arabic word, “al-ilah”. “Al” is the definite article “the” and ilah is an Arabic word for “God”, i.e. the God (“Sateen”, corrupted to “’Satan”, in Arabic means, “the Objector”). The Arabs, before the time of Prophet Mohammed, accepted and worshipped, after a fashion, a supreme God called “Allah”, who the most powerful of the Meccan deities, as reflected above.
In ancient Arabia, the Sun-God was viewed as a female Goddess and the Moon, as the male God. “Allah” was the Moon God. Numerous other titles were also given to him.
“Allah” was married to the Sun Goddess. Together they produced three Goddesses, who were called ‘the daughters of Allah’. These three Goddesses were Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat. “The daughters of Allah, along with “Allah”, and the sun Goddess, were viewed as “high” Gods. That is, they were looked upon as being at the top of the pantheon of Arabian deities. It is a well-known fact, archaeologically, that the Crescent Moon was the symbol of worship of the Moon God both in Arabia and throughout the Middle East in pre-Islamic times. Archaeologists have excavated numerous statues and hieroglyphic inscriptions in which a crescent moon was seated on the top of the head of the deity to symbolize the worship of the Moon-God. In Mesopotamia, the Sumerian God, “Nanna”, named “Sîn” by the Acadians, was worshipped in particular in Ur, where He was the chief God of the city, and also in the city of Harran in Syria, which had close religious links with Ur. The Ugarit texts have shown that there a moon deity was worshipped under the name” Yrh.” On the monuments, the God is represented by the symbol of the crescent moon. At Hazor in Palestine, a small Canaanite shrine of the late Bronze Age was discovered, which contained a basalt image depicting two hands lifted, as if in prayer, to a crescent moon, indicating that the shrine was dedicated to the Moon God.
The Quraysh tribe into which Prophet Mohammad was born, was particularly devoted to Allah, the Moon God, and especially to Allah’s three daughters, who were viewed as intercessors between the people and Allah. The worship of the three goddesses, Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat, played a significant role in the worship at the Kaaba in Mecca. The literal Arabic name of Prophet Muhammad’s father was Abd-Allah (beloved of Allah). His uncle’s name was Obaid-Allah. (Servant of Allah) These names reveal the personal devotion that Prophet Muhammad’s family had to the worship of Allah, the Moon God .Since the idol of their Moon God, Allah, was at Mecca, they prayed towards Mecca.
Prophet Mohammed was a posthumous child. His father Abd-Allah, died before he was born to his mother, Ameena. The young Mohammed was a very pensive man, who has the reputation of being scrupulously honest, under any circumstances. He would accompany his maternal uncle and his grand-father, Abu Talib on trading missions with their caravans, which belonged to a wealthy widow, Khatija, fifteen years his senior, who he, subsequently, married. Prophet Mohammed was prone to spending thirty days, during the month of heat (Ramadan) in a cave at Mount Heera. Here he would meditate and contemplate on the corruption of the priests at the Kaaba. He wanted to put an end to it. One day, when he was around forty years old, while Prophet Mohammed was in deep thought, God’s angel, Gabriel, appeared before Him and bade Him to read in the name of Allah. Mohammed was an illiterate man. He could not read! But the miracle happened. He was able to do so and the reading or recitation is known as the Koran (Quran), which is the Holy Book for Muslims, as the Torah is for the Jews and the Bible for Christians.
“There is no god but Allah!” was the cry taken up by this pious man to dislodge the remaining 364 minor deities from the Kaaba. This, so that under a single God-head, the tribesmen could be united. Like the ploy used by the Roman Emperor, Constantine, over 300 years after Jesus’ death, to unify his people when he made Christianity the State Religion. (Jesus, of course, lived and died as a Jew!). It was a political strategy.
.For thirteen years, Prophet Mohammed and his new converts, the first of whom were his wife, Khatija, and his freed slave, Zayed, were relentlessly persecuted by the Meccans. They imagined he was ruining their business by wanting to destroy all the other minor deities. Then, in 622 CE, Prophet Mohammed fled to Medina, ruled by the Yatrib tribe. He was first welcomed and given refuge by the Jewish people of that city. The rest is history. Prophet Mohammed not only returned victorious to Mecca, but He has established a mammoth following, who are a force to reckon with in every country in the world.
But how does it, really matter as to the origin of the title “Allah”? Or whether “Elohim Eli” or “Jehovah” truly exist? Did God create Man .Or was it the other way around? The Jews, Christians and Muslims, however, are all obsessed with Death, which, in a way binds them together. They have greater faith in the Hereinafter- the goodies–or, in the alternative, the Fire that awaits them–than they do in the present! All assurances given to them by their Prophets can be gathered only in the afterlife. So much so, that they seem inclined to totally discount the present go hammer and tongs at one another–to reap hallucinatory “rewards” after life has ebbed away!
The need of the hour in the Middle East, is for these warring groups to set aside their delusions, which have been thrust upon them, and the inferno of hatred stoked wilfully by astute politicians towards furthering their own personal, selfish schemes oil being the pivotal issue and learn to co-exist.
Please Note: The above are my own opinions. There is no intention to insult or annoy anyone or hurt their sentiments. In any event, no explanation is needed for those who believe. And, no explanation will suffice for those who do not!
Author: AMIT KUMAR BHOWMIK
Amit Kumar Bhowmik is a lawyer based in Pune. He has his practice including in the Bombay High court as also other High courts as well as he appears as Counsel in the Supreme court. Although essentially having his practise on the criminal side he is an all-rounder having taken up matters in the matrimonial courts as well. He is a prolific writer and an unabashed champion of women rights.
The Children of Agni
Here in this chapter we will dive into what caused the "rift", or rebellion between the being called "The Devil" and the Gods. Now, when we hear about the "fall" of the Devil, we get several scriptures in the Bible, that connects to each other. One is in Isaiah 14:12-22 :
"12How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:"
"14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds I will be like the most High. 15Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 16They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms"
"17That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof that opened not the house of his prisoners? 18All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. 19But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit as a carcase trodden under feet."
"20Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned. 21Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities. 22For I will rise up against them, saith the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the LORD."
Now, it's interesting as we see the transition of "Lucifer", to the Kingdom of Babylon. Though the reader should know that "Lucifer" is merely a title, and not the name of a being that fell. The Black goddess that defeated the "Red Dragon" is called "Lucifer", as she is the Goddess Venus (Aphrodite) and the "Bright and morning star". The Jesus Christ in Revelations 22:16 states ". I am the Bright and Morning star". And in Revelations 2: "6And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27And he shall rule them with a rod of iron as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. 28And I will give him the morning star. 29He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."
(You see how this verse was written down? "And he shall rule them with a rod of iron. ")
Even this Jesus states that he will give the person the "morning star", as this still pertains to "Lucifer". Now, when this verse is cited, people often go for the "I will ascend into Heaven, and be like the Most High" scenario, just to prove a point. But if you read this part in: "19But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit as a carcase trodden under feet. 20Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned."
This part details how this being (which is a nation) will be "as the raiment of those that are slain", meaning that if this was the "Devil" this God was talking to, then who are these beings that were already killed off? Then states that this God will kill off the remnant and seed of Babylon, which connects to "Lucifer". By now the reader should what Babylon is about, their symbolism, and who brought it to the world.
Now, let's look at Ezekiel 28 when it details the "Prince of Tyrus". Many Christians will state this particular verse to refer to Lucifer the fallen angel. This will be broken down to two segments:
"1The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, 2Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:"
"3Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel there is no secret that they can hide from thee: 4With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures: 5By thy great wisdom and by thy traffick hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches:"
"6Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God 7Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness."
"8They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas. 9Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am God? but thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee. 10Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD."
Then there is this part of Chapter 28 of Ezekiel:
"11Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 12Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty."
"13Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created."
"14Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee."
"16By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee."
"18Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. 19All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more."
Now, the reason I broke this segment into two parts is because there are Christians that state the one called "Prince of Tyrus" is different than the one called th "King of Tyrus". I have heard many theories based on the King of Tyrus to be Lucifer, as the verses are used as to describe this being as a "covering Cherub", and one who was created in perfect beauty, one whose voice was used to praise God, and is full of wisdom. Then states "till iniquity was found in thee", in which again, is used to prove a point that this is fallen angel Lucifer, and is different than the one that is called "Prince of Tyrus".
However, let's look at how the verses connects together. The first one states this in: "3Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel there is no secret that they can hide from thee: 4With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures: 5By thy great wisdom and by thy traffick hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches:"
"6Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God 7Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. 8They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas."
So, the Prince of Tyrus was said to be more wiser than Daniel, but his heart was lifted up because of the "riches" and merchandise that he acquired, thus this God states that he will sent nations against him, as will be slain among them in the midst of the seas. Then in the second segment states this on the "King of Tyrus":
"15Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 16By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee."
"18Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. 19All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more."
It states due to the apparent "Fall", it was the "multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned:", and states "I will cast thee before Kings", in which is based on "merchandise", that caused this apparent fall. Now, the "covering Cherub" and the beauty and wisdom of this particular being, is really referred to a nation that was cast down. And shows that the same thing was done towards the "Prince of Tyrus".
Let's look at Ezekiel 31 and see how these "trees" in the Garden of Eden are merely the nations and Kingdoms.
"2Son of man, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multitude Whom art thou like in thy greatness? 3Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature and his top was among the thick boughs. 4The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent out her little rivers unto all the trees of the field."
"5Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth. 6All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations."
"7Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by great waters. 8The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chesnut trees were not like his branches nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty."
"9I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him. 10Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD Because thou hast lifted up thyself in height, and he hath shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height"
"11I have therefore delivered him into the hand of the mighty one of the heathen he shall surely deal with him: I have driven him out for his wickedness. 12And strangers, the terrible of the nations, have cut him off, and have left him: upon the mountains and in all the valleys his branches are fallen, and his boughs are broken by all the rivers of the land and all the people of the earth are gone down from his shadow, and have left him. 13Upon his ruin shall all the fowls of the heaven remain, and all the beasts of the field shall be upon his branches:"
"14To the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves for their height, neither shoot up their top among the thick boughs, neither their trees stand up in their height, all that drink water: for they are all delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit. 15Thus saith the Lord GOD In the day when he went down to the grave I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I restrained the floods thereof, and the great waters were stayed: and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him. 16I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth."
"17They also went down into hell with him unto them that be slain with the sword and they that were his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen. 18To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden unto the nether parts of the earth: thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with them that be slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord GOD."
Now, it states this: "10Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD Because thou hast lifted up thyself in height, and he hath shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height" "11I have therefore delivered him into the hand of the mighty one of the heathen he shall surely deal with him: I have driven him out for his wickedness."
Again, this was told to the Pharaoh King of Egypt, that the Kingdom of Assyria was great in the Garden of Eden, until inquity was found in his heart (as Pride). The same is stated to the King and Prince of Tyrus, as they are the "trees" of the Garden of Eden. I t's a considered allegory that details the people are trees, in which is similar to what Jesus states in Luke 6:43 "For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Matthew 7:17 "Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
(In Ezekiel 31 implies the nations to be the “trees of the Garden of Eden” and that Adam and Eve were not the first creation as people might say. In the Sumerian myths details two gods, as one who wants to destroy mankind and the other to preserve mankind, however there is a problem. The term “mankind” doesn’t apply to everybody who was already created. There is man, then Hu-man, then mankind. If that were the case, then there would be no use for the word "man" if we are using the word “human” and vice versa. So, what is the difference? Well the word Human, among some sources states it to be “animal man” or "serpent man”. An alternative view states that when Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit, then their nakedness was due to the loss of the serpent skin. Others make an account that they had lost their position due to sex, in which the gods didn't want their newly created beings to procreate without their permission.
Then there is “man” who is not created from the animal but perhaps from somewhere else. Although, in Genesis 1:25 states: "And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him male and female created he them."
Based from Jordan Maxwell's views, (as stated one of the videos) states this verse to mean that man was already here, before the Gods (as stated from a Rabbi) had took them and change them into "their" image. I find this informative as this so-called "missing link", could be the cause of a possible interference by some higher intelligence, in which had manipuated and changed mankind's evolutionary process. Then there is "womb-man", meaning a man with a womb, which is where the term “woman” comes from.)
It seems that the pivotal point of the rebellion was when Adam was created. As Adam was created, the story (Depending on source) states that Satan/Iblis was jealous of him, and thus didn't bow down to him as God commanded him. But somehow gets into the Garden of Eden and causes the fall of Adam and Eve in the long run. It's interesting as these sources don't really synchronize properly, as in the beginning of Genesis details that there was a creation "prior" to Adam, but then in Genesis 2 states "and these are the generations. " then goes to the Lord God establishing a Garden, and creates Adam from the dust. Then the serpent is shown as a creature in the Garden, who tells Adam to eat of the tree so that he and Eve will be like the gods. (See "Garden of Eden")
The one called "God" in the beginning, had created the Heavens and the Earth, the animals from the different elements, and then Man (as male and female). But then shows the one called the "Lord God", creating creatures from the earth, "after" Adam was created in Genesis 2:19-20 "19And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him."
Then based on Iblis states this: "When God created Adam, He ordered all the angels to bow before the new creation. All the angels bowed down, but Iblis refused to do so. He argued that since he himself was created from fire, he is superior to humans, made from Clay-mud, and that he should not prostrate himself before Adam. As punishment for his haughtiness, God banished Iblis from heaven and condemned him to hell. Later, Iblis made a request for the ability to try to mislead Adam and his descendants. God granted his request but also warned him that he will have no power over God's servants."
Now, we already know about the serpent story, the similarities to Prometheus stealing the fire from the gods and giving it to mankind, to the Jewish story of Lilith being the serpent that had caused Adam to fall. But what if the story of Adam, Eve and the serpent, was really about Osiris, Isis, Nephthys and Set? (I'm going out on a limb here. ) Let's look at the Nommo story again (based from "Lord of Sirius 2"):
"Dogon religion and creation mythology (fr) says that Nommo was the first living creature created by the sky god Amma. Shortly after his creation, Nommo underwent a transformation and multiplied into four pairs of twins. One of the twins rebelled against the universal order created by Amma. To restore order to his creation, Amma sacrificed another of the Nommo progeny, whose body was dismembered and scattered throughout the universe. This dispersal of body parts is seen by the Dogon as the source for the proliferation of Binu shrines throughout the Dogons’ traditional territory wherever a body part fell, a shrine was erected."
The Nommos descended from the sky in a vessel accompanied by fire and thunder. After arriving, the Nommos created a reservoir of water and subsequently dived into the water. The Dogon legends state that the Nommos required a watery environment in which to live. According to the myth related to Griaule and Dieterlen: "The Nommo divided his body among men to feed them that is why it is also said that as the universe "had drunk of his body," the Nommo also made men drink. He gave all his life principles to human beings." The Nommo are also thought to be the origin of the first Hogon."
(This again, is similar to the story of the "bread" as the body, and the "wine" as the blood. And in a way is based on "Pisces" as the symbol of the fish, as the fish was given by Jesus along with the bread.)
Now, to compare this story to the Osiris mythos as the Wiki states here: "Osiris is the god of fertility, agriculture, the afterlife, the dead, resurrection, life, and vegetation in ancient Egyptian religion. He was classically depicted as a green-skinned deity with a pharaoh's beard, partially mummy-wrapped at the legs, wearing a distinctive atef crown, and holding a symbolic crook and flail. He was one of the first to be associated with the mummy wrap. When his brother, Set, cut him up into pieces after killing him, Isis, his wife, found all the pieces and wrapped his body up, enabling him to return to life."
"Osiris was at times considered the eldest son of the god Geb and the sky goddess Nut, as well as being brother and husband of Isis, with Horus being considered his posthumously begotten son. He was also associated with the epithet Khenti-Amentiu, meaning "Foremost of the Westerners", a reference to his kingship in the land of the dead. Through syncretism with Iah, he is also a god of the Moon."
(That's where the "begotten" son is based on)
"Osiris was the judge of the dead and the underworld agency that granted all life, including sprouting vegetation and the fertile flooding of the Nile River. He was described as "He Who is Permanently Benign and Youthful"and the "Lord of Silence".The kings of Egypt were associated with Osiris in death – as Osiris rose from the dead so they would be in union with him, and inherit eternal life through a process of imitative magic."
". Diodorus Siculus gives another version of the myth in which Osiris was described as an ancient king who taught the Egyptians the arts of civilization, including agriculture, then travelled the world with his sister Isis, the satyrs, and the nine muses, before finally returning to Egypt. Osiris was then murdered by his evil brother Typhon, who was identified with Set. Typhon divided the body into twenty-six pieces, which he distributed amongst his fellow conspirators in order to implicate them in the murder. Isis and Hercules (Horus) avenged the death of Osiris and slew Typhon. Isis recovered all the parts of Osiris' body, except the phallus, and secretly buried them. She made replicas of them and distributed them to several locations, which then became centres of Osiris worship."
Now, Osiris wasn't always depicted with green skin, but with "black skin", as it represents the "mud and clay". Did you not get that? Adam was created from the "dust" of the Earth, whereas in the Quran, Adam was created with "mud", or "black mud altered". (Other sources would state that "Adam", would mean "red" or "ruddy") Iblis or the being called "Azazel", was created out of Fire, thus His race was created as a fiery race. This connects Him to the Egyptian God Set, whom was deemed "Jealous" because of his brother. I find it interesting as these stories don't detail enough information as to why Set was Jealous towards His brother.
Now, when the "Lord God" had stated in Genesis 3:15 "the seed of the woman shall bruise his head, and the seed of the serpent shall bruise his heel", it's geared towards Eve's seed and the Serpent's seed having emnity against each other. (As the fiery race battling against the race made from the Earth) It's very symbolic, as this would make sense as this connects to Michael the Archangel (Horus), being the son of the Queen of Heaven (Isis), after the death of his father (Osiris the god of the Underworld) battles against the Red Dragon (Set) and His forces (Revelations 12). This is interesting as the Black people are mostly depicted as being "Earthly like", which represents the black soil, the fertility, water and the Underworld. (Which could be why the Voodun religion is based on the Dead, as it pertains to the Underworld)
Now, when they had stated Iblis being Jealous against the newly created Adam, I can see that this is basically Set being Jealous when Osiris came into the world. (Though, Osiris being the eldest is debateable) It's like Allah in the Quran is the Sun God Ra, and Isis would be similar to Eve, and Lilith as well (See "Queen of Heaven" and "Saturn Rothschildia"). When the God of fire came down, it became obvious of His nature to be "Jealous", and be called a "Consuming fire".
In the Nommo story states that Amma had sacrificed one of his twin and seperated them into pieces, is the same as Set cutting up Osiris into pieces as well. In the Greco-Roman story, it was the Titans that had torn Dionysus/Bacchus into pieces, though it turns out that it was Prometheus who was responsible for this. Then there is the story of Baldr the God of light:
"Apart from this description, Baldr is known primarily for the story of his death, which is seen as the first in a chain of events that will ultimately lead to the destruction of the gods at Ragnarök. According to Völuspá, Baldr will be reborn in the new world. He had a dream of his own death and his mother had the same dream."
"Since dreams were usually prophetic, this depressed him, so his mother Frigg made every object on earth vow never to hurt Baldr. All objects made this vow except mistletoe — a detail which has traditionally been explained with the idea that it was too unimportant and nonthreatening to bother asking it to make the vow, but which Merrill Kaplan has instead argued echoes the fact that young people were not eligible to swear legal oaths, which could make them a threat later in life.
"When Loki, the mischief-maker, heard of this, he made a magical spear from this plant (in some later versions, an arrow). He hurried to the place where the gods were indulging in their new pastime of hurling objects at Baldr, which would bounce off without harming him. Loki gave the spear to Baldr's brother, the blind god Höðr, who then inadvertently killed his brother with it (other versions suggest that Loki guided the arrow himself). For this act, Odin and the asynja Rindr gave birth to Váli, who grew to adulthood within a day and slew Höðr."
"Baldr was ceremonially burnt upon his ship, Hringhorni, the largest of all ships. As he was carried to the ship, Odin whispered in his ear. This was to be a key riddle asked by Odin (in disguise) of the giant Vafthrudnir (and which was unanswerable) in the poem Vafthrudnismal. The riddle also appears in the riddles of Gestumblindi in Hervarar saga."
"The dwarf Litr was kicked by Thor into the funeral fire and burnt alive. Nanna, Baldr's wife, also threw herself on the funeral fire to await Ragnarök when she would be reunited with her husband (alternatively, she died of grief). Baldr's horse with all its trappings was also burned on the pyre. The ship was set to sea by Hyrrokin, a giantess, who came riding on a wolf and gave the ship such a push that fire flashed from the rollers and all the earth shook."
"Upon Frigg's entreaties, delivered through the messenger Hermod, Hel promised to release Baldr from the underworld if all objects alive and dead would weep for him. All did, except a giantess, Þökk (often presumed to be the god Loki in disguise), who refused to mourn the slain god. Thus Baldr had to remain in the underworld, not to emerge until after Ragnarök, when he and his brother Höðr would be reconciled and rule the new earth together with Thor's sons."
It states that Loki had "indirectly", slain Baldr and was responsible for him becoming an inhabitant in the Underworld (symbolically like the God of the underworld.) Based on Phanes states this on the Wiki: "In the Orphic tradition, Dionysus-Protogonos-Phanes is a dying and rising god. Eusebius tells us the story of his death and recreation. The Titans boil the dismembered limbs of Dionysus in a kettle, they roast him on a spit and eat the roasted "sacrificial meat", then Athena rescues the still-beating heart from which (according to Olympiodorus) Zeus is able to recreate the god and bring him back to life. Kessler has argued that this cult of death and resurrection of Dionysus developed the 4th century CE and together with Mithraism and other sects this cult formed, were in direct competition with early Christianity during late Antiquity." (Which is referenced towards Osiris and Baldr)
Now, there is a book called "The Silmarillion" by J.R.R. Tolkien, that details the story of the creation, the rebellion, and the wars of the gods. Here is the first Chapter:
"The Music of the Ainur There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Ilu´ vatar and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones, that were the offspring of his thought, and they were with him before aught else was made. And he spoke to them, propounding to them themes of music and they sang before him, and he was glad. But for a long while they sang only each alone, or but few together, while the rest hearkened for each comprehended only that part of the mind of Ilu´vatar from which he came, and in the understanding of their brethren they grew but slowly. Yet ever as they listened they came to deeper understanding, and increased in unison and harmony. And it came to pass that Ilu´vatar called together all the Ainur and declared to them a mighty theme, unfolding to them things greater and more wonderful than he had yet revealed and the glory of its beginning and the splendour of its end amazed the Ainur, so that they bowed before Ilu´vatar and were silent."
"Then Ilu´vatar said to them: ‘Of the theme that I have declared to you, I will now that ye make in harmony together a Great Music. And since I have kindled you with the Flame Imperishable, ye shall show forth your powers in adorning this theme, each with his own thoughts and devices, if he will. But I will sit and hearken, and be glad that through you great beauty has been wakened into song.’ Then the voices of the Ainur, like unto harps and lutes, and pipes and trumpets, and viols and organs, and like unto countless choirs singing with words, began to fashion the theme of Ilu´vatar to a great music and a sound arose of endless interchanging melodies woven in harmony that passed beyond hearing into the depths and into the heights, and the places of the dwelling of Ilu´vatar were filled to overflowing, and the music and the echo of the music went out into the Void, and it was not void."
"Never since have the Ainur made any music like to this music, though it has been said that a greater still shall be made before Ilu´vatar by the choirs of the Ainur and the Children of Ilu´vatar after the end of days. Then the themes of Ilu´vatar shall be played aright, and take Being in the moment of their utterance, for all shall then understand fully his intent in their part, and each shall know the comprehension of each, and Ilu´vatar shall give to their thoughts the secret fire, being well pleased. But now Ilu´vatar sat and hearkened, and for a great while it seemed good to him, for in the music there were no flaws."
"But as the theme progressed, it came into the heart of Melkor to interweave matters of his own imagining that were not in accord with the theme of Ilu´vatar for he sought therein to increase the power and glory of the part assigned to himself. To Melkor among the Ainur had been given the greatest gifts of power and knowledge, and he had a share in all the gifts of his brethren. He had gone often alone into the void places seeking the Imperishable Flame for desire grew hot within him to bring into Being things of his own, and it seemed to him that Ilu´vatar took no thought for the Void, and he was impatient of its emptiness. Yet he found not the Fire, for it is with Ilu´vatar. But being alone he had begun to conceive thoughts of his own unlike those of his brethren."
"Some of these thoughts he now wove into his music, and straightway discord arose about him, and many that sang nigh him grew despondent, and their thought was disturbed and their music faltered but some began to attune their music to his rather than to the thought which they had at first. Then the discord of Melkor spread ever wider, and the melodies which had been heard before foundered in a sea of turbulent sound. But Ilu´vatar sat and hearkened until it seemed that about his throne there was a raging storm, as of dark waters that made war one upon another in an endless wrath that would not be assuaged."
"Then Ilu´vatar arose, and the Ainur perceived that he smiled and he lifted up his left hand, and a new theme began amid the storm, like and yet unlike to the former theme, and it gathered power and had new beauty. But the discord of Melkor rose in uproar and contended with it, and again there was a war of sound more violent than before, until many of the Ainur were dismayed and sang no longer, and Melkor had the mastery."
"Then again Ilu´vatar arose, and the Ainur perceived that his countenance was stern and he lifted up his right hand, and behold! a third theme grew amid the confusion, and it was unlike the others. For it seemed at first soft and sweet, a mere rippling of gentle sounds in delicate melodies but it could not be quenched, and it took to itself power and profundity."
"And it seemed at last that there were two musics progressing at one time before the seat of Ilu´vatar, and they were utterly at variance. The one was deep and wide and beautiful, but slow and blended with an immeasurable sorrow, from which its beauty chiefly came. The other had now achieved a unity of its own but it was loud, and vain, and endlessly repeated and it had little harmony, but rather a clamorous unison as of many trumpets braying upon a few notes. And it essayed to drown the other music by the violence of its voice, but it seemed that its most triumphant notes were taken by the other and woven into its own solemn pattern."
"In the midst of this strife, whereat the halls of Ilu´vatar shook and a tremor ran out into the silences yet unmoved, Ilu´vatar arose a third time, and his face was terrible to behold. Then he raised up both his hands, and in one chord, deeper than the Abyss, higher than the Firmament, piercing as the light of the eye of Ilu´vatar, the Music ceased. Then Ilu´vatar spoke, and he said: ‘Mighty are the Ainur, and mightiest among them is Melkor but that he may know, and all the Ainur, that I am Ilu´vatar, those things that ye have sung, I will show them forth, that ye may see what ye have done."
"And thou, Melkor, shalt see that no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined.’ Then the Ainur were afraid, and they did not yet comprehend the words that were said to them and Melkor was filled with shame, of which came secret anger. But Ilu´vatar arose in splendour, and he went forth from the fair regions that he had made for the Ainur and the Ainur followed him."
"But when they were come into the Void, Ilu´vatar said to them: ‘Behold your Music!’ And he showed to them a vision, giving to them sight where before was only hearing and they saw a new World made visible before them, and it was globed amid the Void, and it was sustained therein, but was not of it. And as they looked and wondered this World began to unfold its history, and it seemed to them that it lived and grew. And when the Ainur had gazed for a while and were silent, Ilu´vatar said again: ‘Behold your Music! This is your minstrelsy and each of you shall find contained herein, amid the design that I set before you, all those things which it may seem that he himself devised or added."
"And thou, Melkor, wilt discover all the secret thoughts of thy mind, and wilt perceive that they are but a part of the whole and tributary to its glory.’ And many other things Ilu´vatar spoke to the Ainur at that time, and because of their memory of his words, and the knowledge that each has of the music that he himself made, the Ainur know much of what was, and is, and is to come, and few things are unseen by them."
"Yet some things there are that they cannot see, neither alone nor taking counsel together for to none but himself has Ilu´vatar revealed all that he has in store, and in every age there come forth things that are new and have no foretelling, for they do not proceed from the past. And so it was that as this vision of the World was played before them, the Ainur saw that it contained things which they had not thought."
"And they saw with amazement the coming of the Children of Ilu´vatar, and the habitation that was prepared for them and they perceived that they themselves in the labour of their music had been busy with the preparation of this dwelling, and yet knew not that it had any purpose beyond its own beauty. For the Children of Ilu´vatar were conceived by him alone and they came with the third theme, and were not in the theme which Ilu´vatar propounded at the beginning, and none of the Ainur had part in their making. Therefore when they beheld them, the more did they love them, being things other than themselves, strange and free, wherein they saw the mind of Ilu´vatar reflected anew, and learned yet a little more of his wisdom, which otherwise had been hidden even from the Ainur."
"Now the Children of Ilu´vatar are Elves and Men, the Firstborn and the Followers. And amid all the splendours of the World, its vast halls and spaces, and its wheeling fires, Ilu´vatar chose a place for their habitation in the Deeps of Time and in the midst of the innumerable stars. And this habitation might seem a little thing to those who consider only the majesty of the Ainur, and not their terrible sharpness as who should take the whole field of Arda for the foundation of a pillar and so raise it until the cone of its summit were more bitter than a needle or who consider only the immeasurable vastness of the World, which still the Ainur are shaping, and not the minute precision to which they shape all things therein. But when the Ainur had beheld this habitation in a vision and had seen the Children of Ilu´vatar arise therein, then many of the most mighty among them bent all their thought and their desire towards that place. And of these Melkor was the chief, even as he was in the beginning the greatest of the Ainur who took part in the Music."
"And he feigned, even to himself at first, that he desired to go thither and order all things for the good of the Children of Ilu´vatar, controlling the turmoils of the heat and the cold that had come to pass through him. But he desired rather to subdue to his will both Elves and Men, envying the gifts with which Ilu´vatar promised to endow them and he wished himself to have subjects and servants, and to be called Lord, and to be a master over other wills. But the other Ainur looked upon this habitation set within the vast spaces of the World, which the Elves call Arda, the Earth and their hearts rejoiced in light, and their eyes beholding many colours were filled with gladness but because of the roaring of the sea they felt a great unquiet."
"And they observed the winds and the air, and the matters of which Arda was made, of iron and stone and silver and gold and many substances: but of all these water they most greatly praised. And it is said by the Eldar that in water there lives yet the echo of the Music of the Ainur more than in any substance else that is in this Earth and many of the Children of Ilu´vatar hearken still unsated to the voices of the Sea, and yet know not for what they listen. Now to water had that Ainu whom the Elves call Ulmo turned his thought, and of all most deeply was he instructed by Ilu´vatar in music. But of the airs and winds Manwe¨ most had pondered, who is the noblest of the Ainur."
"Of the fabric of Earth had Aule¨ thought, to whom Ilu´vatar had given skill and knowledge scare less than to Melkor but the delight and pride of Aule¨ is in the deed of making, and in the thing made, and neither in possession nor in his own mastery wherefore he gives and hoards not, and is free from care, passing ever on to some new work. And Ilu´vatar spoke to Ulmo, and said: ‘Seest thou not how here in this little realm in the Deeps of Time Melkor hath made war upon thy province? He hath bethought him of bitter cold immoderate, and yet hath not destroyed the beauty of thy fountains, nor of thy clear pools."
"Behold the snow, and the cunning work of frost! Melkor hath devised heats and fire without restraint, and hath not dried up thy desire nor utterly quelled the music of the sea. Behold rather the height and glory of the clouds, and the everchanging mists and listen to the fall of rain upon the Earth! And in these clouds thou art drawn nearer to Manwe¨, thy friend, whom thou lovest.’
"Then Ulmo answered: ‘Truly, Water is become now fairer than my heart imagined, neither had my secret thought conceived the snowflake, nor in all my music was contained the falling of the rain. I will seek Manwe¨, that he and I may make melodies for ever to thy delight!’ And Manwe¨ and Ulmo have from the beginning been allied, and in all things have served most faithfully the purpose of Ilu´vatar. But even as Ulmo spoke, and while the Ainur were yet gazing upon this vision, it was taken away and hidden from their sight and it seemed to them that in that moment they perceived a new thing, Darkness, which they had not known before except in thought."
"But they had become enamoured of the beauty of the vision and engrossed in the unfolding of the World which came there to being, and their minds were filled with it for the history was incomplete and the circles of time not full-wrought when the vision was taken away. And some have said that the vision ceased ere the fulfilment of the Dominion of Men and the fading of the Firstborn wherefore, though the Music is over all, the Valar have not seen as with sight the Later Ages or the ending of the World. Then there was unrest among the Ainur but Ilu´vatar called to them, and said: ‘I know the desire of your minds that what ye have seen should verily be, not only in your thought, but even as ye yourselves are, and yet other."
"Therefore I say: Ea¨! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be and those of you that will may go down into it.’ And suddenly the Ainur saw afar off a light, as it were a cloud with a living heart of flame and they knew that this was no vision only, but that Ilu´vatar had made a new thing: Ea¨, the World that Is."
"Thus it came to pass that of the Ainur some abode still with Ilu´vatar beyond the confines of the World but others, and among them many of the greatest and most fair, took the leave of Ilu´vatar and descended into it. But this condition Ilu´vatar made, or it is the necessity of their love, that their power should thenceforward be contained and bounded in the World, to be within it for ever, until it is complete, so that they are its life and it is theirs. And therefore they are named the Valar, the Powers of the World."
"But when the Valar entered into Ea¨ they were at first astounded and at a loss, for it was as if naught was yet made which they had seen in vision, and all was but on point to begin and yet unshaped, and it was dark. For the Great Music had been but the growth and flowering of thought in the Timeless Halls, and the Vision only a foreshowing but now they had entered in at the beginning of Time, and the Valar perceived that the World had been but foreshadowed and foresung, and they must achieve it."
"So began their great labours in wastes unmeasured and unexplored, and in ages uncounted and forgotten, until in the Deeps of Time and in the midst of the vast halls of Ea¨ there came to be that hour and that place where was made the habitation of the Children of Ilu´vatar. And in this work the chief part was taken by Manwe¨ and Aule¨ and Ulmo but Melkor too was there from the first, and he meddled in all that was done, turning it if he might to his own desires and purposes and he kindled great fires. When therefore Earth was yet young and full of flame Melkor coveted it, and he said to the other Valar: ‘This shall be my own kingdom and I name it unto myself !’
"But Manwe¨ was the brother of Melkor in the mind of Ilu´vatar, and he was the chief instrument of the second theme that Ilu´vatar had raised up against the discord of Melkor and he called unto himself many spirits both greater and less, and they came down into the fields of Arda and aided Manwe¨, lest Melkor should hinder the fulfilment of their labour for ever, and Earth should wither ere it flowered. And Manwe¨ said unto Melkor: ‘This kingdom thou shalt not take for thine own, wrongfully, for many others have laboured here no less than thou.’
"And there was strife between Melkor and the other Valar and for that time Melkor withdrew and departed to other regions and did there what he would but he did not put the desire of the Kingdom of Arda from his heart."
"Now the Valar took to themselves shape and hue and because they were drawn into the World by love of the Children of Ilu´vatar, for whom they hoped, they took shape after that manner which they had beheld in the Vision of Ilu´vatar, save only in majesty and splendour. Moreover their shape comes of their knowledge of the visible World, rather than of the World itself and they need it not, save only as we use raiment, and yet we may be naked and suffer no loss of our being."
"Therefore the Valar may walk, if they will, unclad, and then even the Eldar cannot clearly perceive them, though they be present. But when they desire to clothe themselves the Valar take upon them forms some as of male and some as of female for that difference of temper they had even from their beginning, and it is but bodied forth in the choice of each, not made by the choice, even as with us male and female may be shown by the raiment but is not made thereby. But the shapes wherein the Great Ones array themselves are not at all times like to the shapes of the kings and queens of the Children of Ilu´vatar for at times they may clothe themselves in their own thought, made visible in forms of majesty and dread. And the Valar drew unto them many companions, some less, some well nigh as great as themselves, and they laboured together in the ordering of the Earth and the curbing of its tumults."
"Then Melkor saw what was done, and that the Valar walked on Earth as powers visible, clad in the raiment of the World, and were lovely and glorious to see, and blissful, and that the Earth was becoming as a garden for their delight, for its turmoils were subdued. His envy grew then the greater within him and he also took visible form, but because of his mood and the malice that burned in him that form was dark and terrible. And he descended upon Arda in power and majesty greater than any other of the Valar, as a mountain that wades in the sea and has its head above the clouds and is clad in ice and crowned with smoke and fire and the light of the eyes of Melkor was like a flame that withers with heat and pierces with a deadly cold."
"Thus began the first battle of the Valar with Melkor for the dominion of Arda and of those tumults the Elves know but little. For what has here been declared is come from the Valar themselves, with whom the Eldalie¨ spoke in the land of Valinor, and by whom they were instructed but little would the Valar ever tell of the wars before the coming of the Elves."
"Yet it is told among the Eldar that the Valar endeavoured ever, in despite of Melkor, to rule the Earth and to prepare it for the coming of the Firstborn and they built lands and Melkor destroyed them valleys they delved and Melkor raised them up mountains they carved and Melkor threw them down seas they hollowed and Melkor spilled them and naught might have peace or come to lasting growth, for as surely as the Valar began a labour so would Melkor undo it or corrupt it."
"And yet their labour was not all in vain and though nowhere and in no work was their will and purpose wholly fulfilled, and all things were in hue and shape other than the Valar had at first intended, slowly nonetheless the Earth was fashioned and made firm. And thus was the habitation of the Children of Ilu´vatar established at the last in the Deeps of Time and amidst the innumerable stars."
Iranian religions existed in pre-Islamic Arabia on account of Sasanian military presence along the Persian Gulf and South Arabia and on account of trade routes between the Hejaz and Iraq. Some Arabs in northeast of the peninsula converted to Zoroastrianism and several Zoroastrian temples were constructed in Najd. Some of the members from the tribe of Banu Tamim had converted to the religion. There is also evidence of existence of Manichaeism in Arabia as several early sources indicate a presence of “zandaqas” in Mecca, although the term could also be interpreted as referring to Mazdakism. There is evidence for the circulation of Iranian religious ideas in the form of Persian loan words in Quran such as firdaws (paradise).
Zoroastrianism was also present in Eastern Arabia and Persian-speaking Zoroastrians lived in the region. The religion was introduced in the region including modern-day Bahrain during the rule of Persian empires in the region starting from 250 B.C. It was mainly practiced in Bahrain by Persian settlers. Zoroastrianism was also practiced in the Persian-ruled area of modern-day Oman. The religion also existed in Persian-ruled area of modern Yemen. The descendants of Abna, the Persian conquerors of Yemen, were followers of Zoroastrianism. Yemen’s Zoroastrians who had the jizya imposed on them after being conquered by Muhammad are mentioned by the Islamic historian al-Baladhuri. According to Serjeant, the Baharna people may be the Arabized descendants of converts from the original population of ancient Persians (majus) as well as other religions.
A thriving community of Jewish tribes existed in pre-Islamic Arabia and included both sedentary and nomadic communities. Jews had migrated into Arabia from Roman times onwards. Arabian Jews spoke Arabic as well as Hebrew and Aramaic and had contact with Jewish religious centers in Babylonia and Palestine. The Yemeni Himyarites converted to Judaism in the 4th century, and some of the Kindah, a tribe in central Arabia who were their vassals, were also converted in the 4th/5th century. Jewish tribes existed in all major Arabian towns during Muhammad’s time including in Tayma and Khaybar as well as Medina with twenty tribes living in the peninsula. From tomb inscriptions, it is visible that Jews also lived in Mada’in Saleh and Al-`Ula.
There is evidence that Jewish converts in the Hejaz were regarded as Jews by other Jews and non-Jews alike and have sought advice from Babylonian rabbis on matters of attire and kosher food. In at least one case, it is known that an Arab tribe agreed to adopting Judaism as a condition for settling in a town dominated by Jewish inhabitants. Some Arab women in Yathrib/Medina are said to have vowed making their child a Jew if the child survived, since they considered the Jews to be people “of knowledge and the book” (`ilmin wa-kitābin). Philip Hitti infers from proper names and agricultural vocabulary that the Jewish tribes of Yathrib consisted mostly of Judaized clans of Arabian and Aramaean origin.
The key role played by Jews in the trade and markets of the Hejaz meant that market day for the week was the day preceding the Jewish Sabbath. This day, which was called aruba in Arabic, also provided occasion for legal proceedings and entertainment, which in turn may have influenced the choice of Friday as the day of Muslim congregational prayer. Toward the end of the sixth century, the Jewish communities in the Hejaz were in a state of economic and political decline, but they continued to flourish culturally in and beyond the region. They had developed their distinctive beliefs and practices, with a pronounced mystical and eschatological dimension. In the Islamic tradition, based on a phrase in the Quran, Arab Jews are said to have referred to Uzair as the son of Allah, although historical accuracy of this assertion has been disputed.
Jewish agriculturalists lived in the region of Eastern Arabia. According to Robert Bertram Serjeant, the Baharna may be the Arabized “descendants of converts from Christians (Arameans), Jews and ancient Persians (Majus) inhabiting the island and cultivated coastal provinces of Eastern Arabia at the time of the Arab conquest”. From the Islamic sources, it seems that Judaism was the religion most followed in Yemen. Ya’qubi claimed all Yemenites to be Jews, Ibn Hazm however states only Himyarites and some Kindites were Jews.
The main areas of Christian influence in Arabia were on the north eastern and north western borders and in what was to become Yemen in the south. The north west was under the influence of Christian missionary activity from the Roman Empire where the Ghassanids, a client kingdom of the Romans, were converted to Christianity. In the south, particularly at Najran, a centre of Christianity developed as a result of the influence of the Christian Kingdom of Axum based on the other side of the Red Sea in Ethiopia. Some of the Banu Harith had converted to Christianity. One family of the tribee built a large church at Najran called Deir Najran, also known as the “Ka’ba of Najran”. Both the Ghassanids and the Christians in the south adopted Monophysitism.
The third area of Christian influence was on the north eastern borders where the Lakhmids, a client tribe of the Sassanians, adopted Nestorianism, being the form of Christianity having the most influence in the Sassanian Empire. As the Persian Gulf region of Arabia increasingly fell under the influence of the Sassanians from the early third century, many of the inhabitants were exposed to Christianity following the eastward dispersal of the religion by Mesopotamian Christians. However, it was not until the fourth century that Christianity gained popularity in the region with the establishment of monasteries and a diocesan structure.
In pre-Islamic times, the population of Eastern Arabia consisted of Christianized Arabs (including Abd al-Qays) and Aramean Christians among other religions. Syriac functioned as a liturgical language. Serjeant states that the Baharna may be the Arabized descendants of converts from the original population of Christians (Aramaeans), among other religions at the time of Arab conquests. Beth Qatraye which translates “region of the Qataris” in Syriac was the Christian name used for the region encompassing north-eastern Arabia. It included Bahrain, Tarout Island, Al-Khatt, Al-Hasa, and Qatar. Oman and the United Arab Emirates comprised the dioceseknown as Beth Mazunaye. The name was derived from ‘Mazun’, the Persian name for Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Sohar was the central city of the diocese.
In Nejd, in the centre of the peninsula, there is evidence of members of two tribes, Kindah and Taghlib, converting to Christianity in the 6th century. However, in the Hejaz in the west, whilst there is evidence of the presence of Christianity, it is not thought to have been significant amongst the indigenous population of the area.
Arabicized Christian names were fairly common among pre-Islamic Arabians, which has been attributed to the influence that Syrianized Christian Arabs had on bedouins of the peninsula for several centuries before the rise of Islam.
Most Intolerant Religion
Historical evidences, impartial logic, well versed references and all available circumstantial judgments can very well prove that—(a) Allah name of deity was pre-existed much before the arrival of Islam, (b) Pre-Islamic Pagan peoples worshipped Allah as their supreme deity (moon-god). Allah’s name existed in pre-Islamic Arab. In ancient Arab the Allah was considered to be the supreme God/deity (as Moon-God) and Arab Pagans worshipped Allah before Islam arrived.
Let us examine below some valid questions and answers :
Did the Pagan Arabs in pre-Islamic times worship 360 gods? Yes
Did the pagans Arabs worship the sun, moon and the stars? Yes
Did the Arabs built temples to the Moon-god? Yes
Did different Arab tribes give the Moon-god different names/titles? Yes
What were some of the names/titles? Sin, Hubul, Ilumquh, Al-ilah.
Was the title “al-ilah” (the god) used as the Moon-god? Yes
Was the word “Allah” derived from “al-ilah?” Yes
Was the pagan “Allah” a high god in a pantheon of deities? Yes.
Was he worshipped at the Kabah? Yes.
Was Allah only one of many Meccan gods? Yes
Did they place a statue of Hubul on top of the Kabah? Yes.
At that time was Hubul considered the Moon-god? Yes.
Was the Kabah thus the “house of the Moon-god”? Yes.
Did the name “Allah” eventually replace that of Hubul as the name of the Moon god? Yes.
Did they call the Kabah the “house of Allah”? Yes.
Were al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat called “the daughters of Allah”? Yes.
Yusuf Ali explains in fn. 5096, pg. 1445, that Lat, Uzza and Manat were known as “the daughters of God [Allah]”
Did the Qur’an at one point tell Muslims to worship al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat? Yes. In Surah 53:19-20.
Have those verses been “abrogated” out of the present Qur’an? Yes.
What were they called? “The Satanic Verses.”
The variable names (Sin, Hubul, llumquh, Al-ilah) of moon god were used by various tribes of pagan Arabs. Pagan god SIN was the name of Moon-god.
Who is actually Allah?
According to Islamic Theologians (Mullahs, Maulana, Moulavis, etc.), or Islamic teachings– Allah is the supreme God or creator who (suddenly one day?) talked or introduced Himself with Prophet Muhammad through an Angel named Gabriel, disclosing the truth that it is the Allah who created everything in the universe. Surprisingly, Qur’an never defines the word “Allah” as to who actually Allah was or what was the relation of Allah with pagans. I believe, 99% percent of Muslims do believe that—Allah’s name was invented or started right from the time when Gabriel disclosed the truth (?) to Prophet Muhammad in the cave of Hira Parvat (Mountain) and gave Muhammad the Quran. They believe that before this truth was revealed—pagan Arabs were in the total darkness (Andhakar Zuug) and they used to worship various puppet goddess and that the pagans were very evil people. I can bet on this fact that no mullahs ever told us the real truth, neither they believe this clean truth that “Allah” was in fact a pre-existing deity in pagan Arabia. What a hypocrisy?
Some important factors which will suggest that the name“Allah” was already in use by Pagans as their chief God/deity:
(A) In pre-Islamic days, that Muslims call the Days of ignorance, the religious background of the Arabs was pagan, and basically animistic. Through Moon, Sun, Stars, Planets, Animals, wells, trees, stones, caves, springs, and other natural objects man could make contact with the deity. At Mekka, “Allah” was the chief of the gods and the special deity of the Quraish, the prophet’s tribe. Allah had three daughters: Al Uzzah (Venus) most revered of all and pleased with human sacrifice Manah, the goddess of destiny, and Al Lat, the goddess of vegetable life. These three daughters of Allah (there is a Quranic verse about them) were considered very powerful over all things. Therefore, their intercessions on behalf of their worshippers were of great significance.
(B) Arabs used to give their children names such as—Abdullah (slave of Allah). Clean proof was the fact that, Muhammad’s father’s name was “Abdullah”. Logical analogy here is—had there been no “Allah” in pre-Islamic Arab, there could be no Abdullah or slave of Allah inArabia.
(C) Even today, in the entire Arab World, not only Muslims but all other non-Muslim (Jews, Christians, Sabians, Bahai, an atheist etc.) Arabs says—“Ya Allah” as the expression of surprise or unhappiness/sorrow.
(D). Albert Hourani’s statement: “The Islamic name used for God was “Allah”, which was already in use for one of the local Gods (it now used by Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians as the name of God (A history Of Arab people by Albert Hourani, 1991, page-16, Belknap press of Harvard University, USA)
History tells us two theories of Allah’s existence in and around the Kaba Sharif: (1) Pagans used to call the largest Statue amongst the 360 deities as ALLAH—whom they used to consider the chief/supreme deity (god). Or, (2) Pagan Arabs used to worship 360 deities inside Kaba Sharif, and they used to consider them different smaller deities under the total control of a single most powerful chief deity called “ALLAH” who was invisible (Nirakar) and was the all-powerful, all-knowing, and totally unknowable.
Amazing Similarities with Hindu Religion:
In India’s Hindu religion is quite similar to the number two theory (above) of pagan belief. Although, Hindus worship many different Goddesses—they invariably have faith upon a single supreme invisible deity called “Bhagaban” (some call it “Ischhaar”) whom they call “Nirakar”. And, surprisingly there is no sculptural image/figure for this Bhagaban. But all Hindus worship Him along with other numerous deities. This Bhagaban is considered as the lord of all other deities. What would happen—if some intelligent prophet would have asked Hindus to give up worshipping other goddesses and keeping only Bhagaban as their only deity making it a monotheist religion just like Islam? Could it not be another religion like Islam?
Now some factors which will suggest “Allah” was the Moon-god of Arab pagans:
(A) In Qura’n there are at least a dozen verses in which Allah repeatedly swears by the names such as moon, sun, stars, planets, night, wind etc. It is a mystery why the creator Allah (?) should swear by his creations. Normally, we swear by the name of something much superior to us, such as we swear by God or by the name of our father (who is considered senior or superior to us). But we never swear by the name of something inferior to us. Here in the Quran swearing fashions of Allah (God) by moon or stars hinting us that Allah considered these things superior to himself. And this makes us to think (otherwise) as to who actually acted as Allah in Quran? However, in his explanation of why the Qur’an swears by the moon in Surah 74:32, “Nay, verily by the Moon,” Yusuf Alli comments, “The moon was worshipped as a deity in times of darkness”(fn. 5798, pg. 1644). Perhaps, this swearing of Allah was due to the usual/cultural habits of worshipping moon as their God in pagan customs.
(B) Yousuf Ali stated (Page-1921-1623 of his English Translation of Holy Quran):
“Moon-worship was equally popular in various forms………Apollo and Diana—the twin brother and sister, representing the sun and moon. …in the Vedic religion of India the moon god was Soma, the lord of the planets…….moon was male divinity in ancient India. Moon was also male divinity in ancient Semitic religion, and the Arabic word for the moon “qamar’ is of the masculine gender, on the other hand, the Arabic word for sun “shams” is feminine gender. The pagan Arabs evidently looked upon the sun as a goddess and the moon as a God.
The Pagan deities best known in the Ka’ba and round about Mecca were Lat, Uzza, and Manat.…the 360 idols established by the Pagans in the Ka’ba probably represented the 360 days of an inaccurate solar year. This was the actual modern pagan worship as known to the Quraish contemporary with our prophet”
(C) Influence of Moon in Islam:
Who can deny the paramount influences of moon in Muslim’s life? In Islam, moon is considered holiest astronomical object, and moon is the guiding light of all Islamic rituals/festivals. Contradictions and conflicts are very common with the dates of Eids and Ramadan and obviously it is a chronic problem and moon is the nucleus of this problem. Crescent moon and stars are the symbolic sign in the national flags of many Muslim countries, and it is present over the Mosques, in the Muslim graveyard etc.
Prophet Muhammad compromised to Pagans to establish Islam in Arabia:
Prophet Muhammad did his clever tactics of adapting many rites of paganism into Islam, in order to accommodate Islam among the pagan Arabs. He made lots of political pacts with the Pagan Leaders such as Abu Suffian to accommodate his new idea of religion and he agreed to incorporate many of the Pagan rituals in Islam. Prophet Muhammad asked the pagans to worship only the “Allah” the largest God,
And destroy the idols of all other gods and goddesses that existed in Kabah. To establish oneness (monotheist) of God, he repeatedly asked them not to make any partners to Allah (That is why we can find hundreds of Quranic verses “asking not to make any partners to Allah). Finally, the Prophet was able to convince (by force of course) the pagans to destroy all idols, and on return (he) agreed (perhaps) to keep the “Names” of the goddess of most famous Pagan tribes as the alternative names of Allah—hence Islam has 99 NAMES of Allah.
Prophet Muhammad did command his followers to participate in these pagan ceremonies while the pagans were still in control of Mecca. (Please See Yusuf Ali, fn. 214, pg. 78). … “the whole of the [pagan] pilgrimage was spiritualized in Islam…” (Yusuf Ali: fn. 223 pg. 80). In the Tafsir (of Quran-2:200) maoulana Yousuf Ali stated: “After Pilgrimage, in Pagan times, the pilgrims used to gather in assemblies in which the praises of ancestors were sung. As the whole of the pilgrimage rites were spiritualized in Islam, so this aftermath of the Pilgrimage was also spiritualized. It was recommended for pilgrims to stay on two or three days after the pilgrimage, but they must use them in prayer and praise to God.(#223 of Shane’nazul by Maoulana Yousuf Ali, page-81)
In Islam many rituals performed (today) by devoted Muslims in the name of Allah are connected to the pagan worship that existed before Islam. Pagans practices of the Pilgrimage of Kabah once a year–the Fast of Ramadan, running around the Kabah seven times, kissing the black stone, shaving the head, animal sacrifices, running up and down two hills, throwing stones at the devil, snorting water in and out the nose, praying several times a day toward Mecca, giving alms, Friday prayers, etc. are strictly followed by Muslims today. Nobody can deny the fact that, all the above rituals of Muslim’s hajj today—existed well before the arrival of Islam.
It is highly plausible to consider the fact that by incorporating much of the Pagan’s rituals in new religion Islam—Prophet successfully reduced the pagan-risk and it was perhaps one of the most important milestone-attempts to conquer the minds of Pagans resulting in massive breakdown of the Pagans’ moral and support to oppose Islam.
The central shrine at Mekka was the Pagan’s Kaaba (called House of Allah), a cube like stone structure which still stands though many times rebuilt. Imbedded in one corner is the black stone, probably a meteorite, the kissing of which is now an essential part of the Muslim’s pilgrimage.
It is a historical fact that the Ka’aba, the sacred shrine which contains the Black Stone, inMecca was used for pagan idol worship before Islam and even called the House of Allah at that time. The name of the God whom the Arabs worshipped was the god of pantheon—Ali-ilah the god, the supreme, the predeterminer of everybody’s life or destiny—the chief God“Allah”
Who did not read the story of BLACK STONE which was very sacred (povitra) to all various tribes of Quraish. When one day this sacred stone was needed to transfer from one place to another, there was a quarrel amongst the various tribes, as to who will carry that sacred stone? Then most intelligent and righteous young boy Muhammad (was not a prophet then) invented the solution of this serious problem. He (Muhammad) put this sacred stone over a Chaddor (piece of cloth) and asked one representative from each tribe to hold the Chaddor and carry the stone. I narrated this story briefly just to prove that—black stone did exist long before Islam was invented.
In summary, it has been truthfully and logically proven with all possible available circumstantial evidences/rational that, Islam was not a new religion but it is a reformed paganism. I believe thatall these monotheistic religions have more or less similar origins. This idea of monotheistic religion was not a brand new invention. Monotheistic thought was declared by Ancient Pharaoh Kings, Mesopotamia’s king Hamarubi (3000 B.C.), and Alexander the Great (300 B.C.). Differences were, these kings demanded that they themselves were the God whom everybody should worship.
1. The Holy Qur’an, Translated by A. Yousuf Ali, Published by Amana Corporation, Brentwood, Maryland, 1983
2. Buchari Sharif, Bengali Translation by Maulana Muhammad Mustafizur Rahman, Sulemani Printers and Publishers, Dhaka, Second edition-1999
3. A History of the Arab peoples, by Albert Hourani, the Belknap press of Harvard University press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1991
4. Dr. Robert Morey, 1996 Research and Education Foundation.
5. Gilchrist, The Temple, The Ka’aba, and the Christ (Benoni, South Africa, 1980), p. 16.
6. G. J. O. Moshay, Who Is This Allah?, (Dorchester House, Bucks, UK, 1994), pg. 138
7. Ibn Warraq, Why I Am Not A Muslim, (Prometheus, Amherst, 1995) p. 42.
8. Encyclopedia of Islam, eds. Lewis, Menage, Pellat, Schacht (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1971, II:1093.)
9. Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics (ed. Hastings), I:326.
10.The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology, Arthur Cotterell and Rachel Storm, Lorenz Books, New York 10011, Anness Publishing Limited 1999
Afterward, when the world was exploding around him, he felt annoyed with himself for having forgotten the name of the BBC reporter who told him that his old life was over and a new, darker existence was about to begin. She called him at home, on his private line, without explaining how she got the number. “How does it feel,” she asked him, “to know that you have just been sentenced to death by Ayatollah Khomeini?” It was a sunny Tuesday in London, but the question shut out the light. This is what he said, without really knowing what he was saying: “It doesn’t feel good.” This is what he thought: I’m a dead man. He wondered how many days he had left, and guessed that the answer was probably a single-digit number. He hung up the telephone and ran down the stairs from his workroom, at the top of the narrow Islington row house where he lived. The living-room windows had wooden shutters and, absurdly, he closed and barred them. Then he locked the front door.
It was Valentine’s Day, but he hadn’t been getting along with his wife, the American novelist Marianne Wiggins. Five days earlier, she had told him that she was unhappy in the marriage, that she “didn’t feel good around him anymore.” Although they had been married for only a year, he, too, already knew that it had been a mistake. Now she was staring at him as he moved nervously around the house, drawing curtains, checking window bolts, his body galvanized by the news, as if an electric current were passing through it, and he had to explain to her what was happening. She reacted well and began to discuss what they should do. She used the word “we.” That was courageous.
A car arrived at the house, sent by CBS Television. He had an appointment at the American network’s studios, in Bowater House, Knightsbridge, to appear live, by satellite link, on its morning show. “I should go,” he said. “It’s live television. I can’t just not show up.”
Later that morning, a memorial service for his friend Bruce Chatwin, who had died of AIDS, was to be held at the Greek Orthodox church on Moscow Road, in Bayswater. “What about the memorial?” his wife asked. He didn’t have an answer for her. He unlocked the front door, went outside, got into the car, and was driven away. Although he did not know it then—so the moment of leaving his home did not feel unusually freighted with meaning—he would not return to that house, at 41 St. Peter’s Street, which had been his home for half a decade, until three years later, by which time it would no longer be his.
At the CBS offices, he was the big story of the day. People in the newsroom and on various monitors were already using the word that would soon be hung around his neck like a millstone. “Fatwa.”
I inform the proud Muslim people of the world that the author of the “Satanic Verses” book, which is against Islam, the Prophet and the Koran, and all those involved in its publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death. I ask all the Muslims to execute them wherever they find them.
Somebody gave him a printout of the text as he was escorted to the studio for his interview. His old self wanted to argue with the word “sentenced.” This was not a sentence handed down by any court that he recognized, or that had any jurisdiction over him. But he also knew that his old self’s habits were of no use anymore. He was a new self now. He was the person in the eye of the storm, no longer the Salman his friends knew but the Rushdie who was the author of “Satanic Verses,” a title that had been subtly distorted by the omission of the initial “The.” “The Satanic Verses” was a novel. “Satanic Verses” were verses that were satanic, and he was their satanic author. How easy it was to erase a man’s past and to construct a new version of him, an overwhelming version, against which it seemed impossible to fight.
He looked at the journalists looking at him and he wondered if this was how people looked at men being taken to the gallows or the electric chair. One foreign correspondent came over to him to be friendly. He asked this man what he should make of Khomeini’s pronouncement. Was it just a rhetorical flourish, or something genuinely dangerous? “Oh, don’t worry too much,” the journalist said. “Khomeini sentences the President of the United States to death every Friday afternoon.”
On air, when he was asked for a response to the threat, he said, “I wish I’d written a more critical book.” He was proud, then and always, that he had said this. It was the truth. He did not feel that his book was especially critical of Islam, but, as he said on American television that morning, a religion whose leaders behaved in this way could probably use a little criticism.
When the interview was over, he was told that his wife had called. He phoned the house. “Don’t come back here,” she said. “There are two hundred journalists on the sidewalk waiting for you.”
“I’ll go to the agency,” he said. “Pack a bag and meet me there.”
His literary agency, Wylie, Aitken & Stone, had its offices in a white-stuccoed house on Fernshaw Road, in Chelsea. There were no journalists camped outside—evidently the press hadn’t thought he was likely to visit his agent on such a day—but when he walked in every phone in the building was ringing and every call was about him. Gillon Aitken, his British agent, gave him an astonished look.
He found that he couldn’t think ahead, that he had no idea what the shape of his life would now be. He could focus only on the immediate, and the immediate was the memorial service for Bruce Chatwin. “My dear,” Gillon said, “do you think you ought to go?” Bruce had been his close friend. “Fuck it,” he said, “let’s go.”
Marianne arrived, a faintly deranged look on her face, upset about having been mobbed by photographers when she left the house. She didn’t say much. Neither of them did. They got into their car, a black Saab, and he drove it across the park to Bayswater, with Gillon, his worried expression and long, languid body folded into the back seat.
“You will always be a hero, but you will never be a superhero.”
His mother and his youngest sister lived in Karachi, in Pakistan. What would happen to them? His middle sister, long estranged from the family, lived in Berkeley, California. Would she be safe there? His oldest sister, Sameen, his “Irish twin,” was in Wembley, with her family, not far from the stadium. What should be done to protect them? His son, Zafar, just nine years and eight months old, was with his mother, Clarissa, in their house near Clissold Park. At that moment, Zafar’s tenth birthday felt far, far away.
The service at the Cathedral of St. Sophia of the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain, built and lavishly decorated a hundred and ten years earlier to resemble one of the grand cathedrals of old Byzantium, was all sonorous, mysterious Greek. Blah-blah-blah Bruce Chatwin, the priests intoned, blah-blah Chatwin blah-blah. They stood up, they sat down, they knelt, they stood, and then sat again. The air was full of the stink of holy smoke.
He and Marianne were seated next to Martin Amis and his wife, Antonia Phillips. “We’re worried about you,” Martin said, embracing him. “I’m worried about me,” he replied. Blah Chatwin blah Bruce blah. Paul Theroux was sitting in the pew behind him. “I suppose we’ll be here for you next week, Salman,” he said.
There had been a couple of photographers on the sidewalk outside when he arrived. Writers didn’t usually draw a crowd of paparazzi. As the service progressed, however, journalists began to enter the church. When it was over, they pushed their way toward him. Gillon, Marianne, and Martin tried to run interference. One persistent gray fellow (gray suit, gray hair, gray face, gray voice) got through the crowd, shoved a tape recorder toward him, and asked the obvious questions. “I’m sorry,” he replied. “I’m here for my friend’s memorial service. It’s not appropriate to do interviews.”
“You don’t understand,” the gray fellow said, sounding puzzled. “I’m from the Daily Telegraph. They’ve sent me down specially.”
“Gillon, I need your help,” he said.
Gillon leaned down toward the reporter from his immense height and said, firmly, and in his grandest accent, “Fuck off.”
“You can’t talk to me like that,” the man from the Telegraph said. “I’ve been to public school.”
After that, there was no more comedy. When he got out onto Moscow Road, journalists were swarming like drones in pursuit of their queen, photographers climbing on one another’s backs to form tottering hillocks bursting with flashlight. He stood there blinking and directionless, momentarily at a loss. There was no chance that he’d be able to walk to his car, which was parked a hundred yards down the road, without being followed by cameras and microphones and men who had been to various kinds of school and who had been sent down specially. He was rescued by his friend Alan Yentob, a filmmaker and a senior executive at the BBC. Alan’s BBC car pulled up in front of the church. “Get in,” he said, and then they were driving away from the shouting journalists. They circled around Notting Hill for a while until the crowd outside the church dispersed and then went back to where the Saab was parked. He and Marianne got into the car, and suddenly they were alone. “Where shall we go?” he asked, even though they both knew the answer. Marianne had recently rented a small basement apartment in the southwest corner of Lonsdale Square, in Islington, not far from the house on St. Peter’s Street, ostensibly to use as a work space but actually because of the growing strain between them. Very few people knew that she had this apartment. It would give them space and time to take stock and make decisions. They drove to Islington in silence. There didn’t seem to be anything to say.
It was midafternoon, and on this day their marital difficulties felt irrelevant. On this day there were crowds marching down the streets of Tehran carrying posters of his face with the eyes poked out, so that he looked like one of the corpses in “The Birds,” with their blackened, bloodied, bird-pecked eye sockets. That was the subject today: his unfunny Valentine from those bearded men, those shrouded women, and that lethal old man, dying in his room, making his last bid for some sort of murderous glory.
Now that the school day was over, he had to see Zafar. He called his friend Pauline Melville and asked her to keep Marianne company while he was gone. Pauline, a bright-eyed, flamboyantly gesticulating, warmhearted, mixed-race actress full of stories about Guyana, had been his neighbor in Highbury Hill in the early nineteen-eighties. She came over at once, without any discussion, even though it was her birthday.
When he got to Clarissa and Zafar’s house, the police were already there. “There you are,” an officer said. “We’ve been wondering where you’d gone.”
“What’s going on, Dad?” His son had a look on his face that should never visit the face of a nine-year-old boy.
“I’ve been telling him,” Clarissa said brightly, “that you’ll be properly looked after until this blows over, and it’s going to be just fine.” Then she hugged her ex-husband as she had not hugged him since they separated five years before.
“We need to know,” the officer was saying, “what your immediate plans might be.”
He thought before replying. “I’ll probably go home,” he said, finally, and the stiffening postures of the men in uniform confirmed his suspicions.
“No, sir, I wouldn’t recommend that.”
Then he told them, as he had known all along he would, about the Lonsdale Square basement, where Marianne was waiting. “It’s not generally known as a place you frequent, sir?”
“That’s good. When you do get back, sir, don’t go out again tonight, if that’s all right. There are meetings taking place, and you will be advised of their outcome tomorrow, as early as possible. Until then, you should stay indoors.”
He talked to his son, holding him close, deciding at that moment that he would tell the boy as much as possible, giving what was happening the most positive coloring he could that the way to help Zafar deal with the event was to make him feel on the inside of it, to give him a parental version that he could hold on to while he was being bombarded with other versions in the school playground or on television.
“Will I see you tomorrow, Dad?”
He shook his head. “But I’ll call you,” he said. “I’ll call you every evening at seven. If you’re not going to be here,” he told Clarissa, “please leave me a message on the answering machine at home and say when I should call.” This was early 1989. The terms “P.C.,” “laptop,” “mobile phone,” “Internet,” “WiFi,” “SMS,” and “e-mail” were either uncoined or very new. He did not own a computer or a mobile phone. But he did own a house, and in the house there was an answering machine, and he could call in and interrogate it, a new use of an old word, and get, no, retrieve, his messages. “Seven o’clock,” he repeated. “Every night, O.K.?”
Zafar nodded gravely. “O.K., Dad.”
“Yes, son, it’s true. You’re adopted.”
He drove home alone and the news on the radio was all bad. Khomeini was not just a powerful cleric. He was a head of state, ordering the murder of a citizen of another state, over whom he had no jurisdiction and he had assassins at his service, who had been used before against “enemies” of the Iranian Revolution, including those who lived outside Iran. Voltaire once said that it was a good idea for a writer to live near an international frontier, so that, if he angered powerful men, he could skip across the border and be safe. Voltaire himself left France for England, after he gave offense to an aristocrat, the Chevalier de Rohan, and remained in exile for almost three years. But to live in a different country from one’s persecutors was no longer a guarantee of safety. Now there was “extraterritorial action.” In other words, they came after you.
The night in Lonsdale Square was cold, dark, and clear. There were two policemen in the square. When he got out of his car, they pretended not to notice him. They were on short patrol, watching the street near the flat for a hundred yards in each direction, and he could hear their footsteps even when he was indoors. He realized, in that footstep-haunted space, that he no longer understood his life, or what it might become, and he thought, for the second time that day, that there might not be very much more of life to understand.
Marianne went to bed early. He got into bed beside his wife and she turned toward him and they embraced, rigidly, like the unhappily married couple they were. Then, separately, lying with their own thoughts, they failed to sleep.
He was in his second year of reading history at Cambridge when he learned about the “Satanic Verses.” In Part Two of the History Tripos, he was expected to choose three “special subjects,” from a wide selection on offer. He decided to work on Indian history during the period of the struggle against the British, from the 1857 uprising to Independence Day, in August, 1947 the extraordinary first century or so of the history of the United States, from the Declaration of Independence to the end of Reconstruction and a third subject, offered that year for the first time, titled “Muhammad, the Rise of Islam and the Early Caliphate.” He was supervised by Arthur Hibbert, a medievalist, a genius, who, according to college legend, had answered the questions he knew least about in his own history finals so that he could complete the answers in the time allotted.
At the beginning of their work together, Hibbert gave him a piece of advice he never forgot. “You must never write history,” he said, “until you can hear the people speak.” He thought about that for years, and it came to feel like a valuable guiding principle for fiction as well. If you didn’t have a sense of how people spoke, you didn’t know them well enough, and so you couldn’t—you shouldn’t—tell their story. The way people spoke, in short, clipped phrases or long, flowing rambles, revealed so much about them: their place of origin, their social class, their temperament, whether calm or angry, warmhearted or cold-blooded, foulmouthed or polite and, beneath their temperament, their true nature, intellectual or earthy, plainspoken or devious, and, yes, good or bad. If that had been all he learned at Arthur’s feet, it would have been enough. But he learned much more than that. He learned a world. And in that world one of the world’s great religions was being born.
They were nomads who had just begun to settle down. Their cities were new. Mecca was only a few generations old. Yathrib, later renamed Medina, was a group of encampments around an oasis, without so much as a city wall. They were still uneasy in their urbanized lives. A nomadic society was conservative, full of rules, valuing the well-being of the group more highly than individual liberty, but it was also inclusive. The nomadic world had been a matriarchy. Under the umbrella of its extended families, even orphaned children had been able to find protection and a sense of identity and belonging. All that was changing. The city was a patriarchy, and its preferred family unit was nuclear. The crowd of the disenfranchised grew larger and more restive every day. But Mecca was prosperous, and its ruling elders liked it that way. Inheritance now followed the male line. This, too, the governing families preferred.
Outside the gates of the city stood temples to three goddesses, al-Lat, al-Manat, and al-Uzza. Each time the trading caravans that brought the city its wealth left the city gates or came back through them, they paused at one of the temples and made an offering. Or, to use modern language, paid a tax. The richest families in Mecca controlled the temples, and much of their wealth came from these offerings. The goddesses were at the heart of the economy of the new city, of the urban civilization that was coming into being.
The building known as the Kaaba, or Cube, in the center of town, was dedicated to a deity named Allah, meaning “the god,” just as al-Lat was “the goddess.” Allah was unusual in that he didn’t specialize. He wasn’t a rain god or a wealth god or a war god or a love god he was just an everything god. This failure to specialize may explain his relative unpopularity. People usually made offerings to gods for specific reasons: the health of a child, the future of a business enterprise, a drought, a quarrel, a romance. They preferred gods who were experts in their field to this nonspecific all-rounder of a deity.
The man who would pluck Allah from near-obscurity and become his Prophet—transforming him into the equal, or at least the equivalent, of the Old Testament God “I Am” and the New Testament’s Three-in-One—was Muhammad ibn Abdullah of the Banu Hashim clan. His family had, in his childhood, fallen upon hard times he was orphaned and lived in his uncle’s house. Muhammad ibn Abdullah earned a reputation as a skilled merchant and an honest man, and at the age of twenty-five he received a marriage proposal from an older, wealthier woman, Khadijah. For the next fifteen years, he was successful in business and happy in his marriage. However, he was also a man with a need for solitude, and for many years he spent weeks at a time living like a hermit in a cave on Mt. Hira. When he was forty, the Angel Gabriel disturbed his solitude there and ordered him to recite the verses that would eventually form a new holy book, the Koran. Naturally, Muhammad believed that he had lost his mind and fled. He returned to hear what the Angel had to say only after his wife and close friends convinced him that it might be worth a return trip up the mountain, just to check if God was really trying to get in touch.
It was easy to admire much of what followed, as the merchant transformed himself into the Messenger of God, easy to sympathize with his persecution, and to respect his rapid evolution into a respected lawgiver, an able ruler, and a skilled military leader. The ethos of the Koran, the value system it endorses, was, in essence, the vanishing code of nomadic Arabs, the matriarchal, more caring society that did not leave orphans out in the cold, orphans like Muhammad, whose success as a merchant, he believed, should have earned him a place in the city’s ruling body, and who was denied such preferment because he didn’t have a powerful family to fight for him.
British Muslims in Birmingham display a photograph of Ayatollah Khomeini at a demonstration against “The Satanic Verses.” Photograph by Abbas / Magnum
Photograph by Abbas / Magnum
Here was a fascinating paradox: an essentially conservative theology, looking backward with affection toward a vanishing culture, became a revolutionary idea, because the people it attracted most strongly were those who had been marginalized by urbanization—the disaffected poor, the street mob. This, perhaps, was why Islam, the new idea, felt so threatening to the Meccan élite why it was persecuted so viciously and why its founder may—just may—have been offered an attractive deal, designed to buy him off.
The historical record is incomplete, but most of the major collections of hadith, or stories about the life of the Prophet—those compiled by Ibn Ishaq, Waqidi, Ibn Sa’d, and Tabari—recount an incident that later became known as the incident of the “Satanic Verses.” The Prophet came down from the mountain one day and recited verses from what would become Surah—or chapter—No. 53. It contained these words: “Have you thought on al-Lat and al-Uzza, and, thirdly, on Manat, the other? They are the Exalted Birds, and their intercession is desired indeed.” At a later point—was it days or weeks, or months?—Muhammad returned to the mountain and came down, abashed, to state that he had been deceived on his previous visit: the Devil had appeared to him in the guise of the Archangel, and the verses he had been given were therefore not divine but satanic and should be expunged from the Koran at once. The Archangel had, on this occasion, brought new verses from God, which were to replace the “Satanic Verses” in the great book: “Have you thought on al-Lat and al-Uzza, and, thirdly, on Manat, the other? Are you to have the sons, and He the daughters? This is indeed an unfair distinction! They are but names which you and your fathers have invented: God has vested no authority in them.”
And in this way the recitation was purified of the Devil’s work. But the questions remained: Why did Muhammad initially accept the first, “false” revelation as true? And what happened in Mecca during the period between the two revelations, satanic and angelic? This much was known: Muhammad wanted to be accepted by the people of Mecca. “He longed for a way to attract them,” Ibn Ishaq wrote. And when the Meccans heard that he had acknowledged the three goddesses “they were delighted and greatly pleased.” Why, then, did the Prophet recant? Western historians (the Scottish scholar of Islam W. Montgomery Watt, the French Marxist Maxime Rodinson) proposed a politically motivated reading of the episode. The temples of the three goddesses were economically important to the city’s ruling élite, an élite from which Muhammad had been excluded—unfairly, in his opinion. So perhaps the deal that was offered ran something like this: If Muhammad, or the Archangel Gabriel, or Allah, agreed that the goddesses could be worshipped by followers of Islam—not as the equals of Allah, obviously, but as secondary, lesser beings, like, for example, angels, and there already were angels in Islam, so what harm could there be in adding three more, who just happened to be popular and lucrative figures in Mecca?—then the persecution of Muslims would cease, and Muhammad himself would be granted a seat on the city’s ruling council. And it was perhaps to this temptation that the Prophet briefly succumbed.
Then what happened? Did the city’s grandees renege on the deal, reckoning that by flirting with polytheism Muhammad had undone himself in the eyes of his followers? Did his followers refuse to accept the revelation about the goddesses? Did Muhammad himself regret having compromised his ideas by yielding to the siren call of acceptability?
It’s impossible to say for sure. But the Koran speaks of how all the prophets were tested by temptation. “Never have We sent a single prophet or apostle before you with whose wishes Satan did not tamper,” Surah No. 22 says. And if the incident of the “Satanic Verses” was the Temptation of Muhammad it has to be said that he came out of it pretty well. He both confessed to having been tempted and repudiated that temptation. Tabari quotes him thus: “I have fabricated things against God and have imputed to Him words which He has not spoken.” After that, the monotheism of Islam remained unwavering and strong, through persecution, exile, and war, and before long the Prophet had achieved victory over his enemies and the new faith spread like a conquering fire across the world.
Good story, he thought, when he read about it at Cambridge. Even then he was dreaming of being a writer, and he filed the story away in the back of his mind for future consideration. Twenty-three years later, he would find out exactly how good a story it was.
There was a novel growing in him, but its exact nature eluded him. It would be a big book, he knew that, ranging widely over space and time. A book of journeys. That felt right. He had dealt, as well as he knew how, with the worlds from which he had come. Now he needed to connect those worlds to the very different world in which he had made his life. He was beginning to see that this, rather than India or Pakistan or politics or magic realism, would be his real subject, the one he would worry away at for the rest of his career: the great question of how the world joins up—not only how the East flows into the West and the West into the East but how the past shapes the present even as the present changes our understanding of the past, and how the imagined world, the location of dreams, art, invention, and, yes, faith, sometimes leaks across the frontier separating it from the “real” place in which human beings mistakenly believe they live.
This was what he had: a bunch of migrants, or, to use the British term, “immigrants,” from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, through whose personal journeys he could explore the joinings-up and also the disjointednesses of here and there, then and now, reality and dreams. He had the beginnings of a character named Salahuddin Chamchawala, Anglicized to Saladin Chamcha, who had a difficult relationship with his father and had retreated into Englishness. Chamcha would be a portrait of a deracinated man, fleeing from his father and his country, from Indianness itself, toward an Englishness that wasn’t really letting him in, an actor with many voices who did well as long as he remained unseen, performing on radio or doing TV voice-overs, a man whose face was, despite his Anglophilia, “the wrong color for their color TVs.”
“Winning isn’t everything, Josh. Not being the reason your team loses is everything.”
And opposite Chamcha . . . well, a fallen angel, perhaps. In 1982, the actor Amitabh Bachchan, the biggest star of the Bombay cinema, had suffered a near-fatal injury to his spleen while doing his own movie stunts in Bangalore. In the months that followed, his hospitalization was daily front-page news. As he lay close to death, the nation held its breath when he rose again, the effect was almost Christlike. There were actors in southern India who had attained almost godlike status by portraying the gods in movies called mythologicals. Bachchan had become semi-divine even without such a career. But what if a god-actor, afflicted with a terrible injury, had called out to his god in his hour of need and heard no reply? What if, as a result of that appalling divine silence, such a man were to begin to question, or even to lose, the faith that had sustained him? Might he, in such a crisis of the soul, begin to lose his mind as well? And might he in his dementia flee halfway around the world, forgetting that when you run away you can’t leave yourself behind? What would such a falling star be called? The name came to him at once, as if it had been waiting for him to capture it. Gibreel. The Angel Gabriel, Gibreel Farishta. Gibreel and Chamcha: two lost souls in the roofless continuum of the unhoused. They would be his protagonists.
The journeys multiplied. Here was a fragment from somewhere else entirely. In February, 1983, thirty-eight Shia Muslims, followers of a young woman named Naseem Fatima, were convinced by her that God would part the waters of the Arabian Sea at her request, so that they could make a pilgrimage across the ocean floor from Karachi to the holy city of Karbala, in Iraq. They followed her into the waters and many of them drowned. The most extraordinary part of the incident was that some of those who survived claimed, despite all the evidence to the contrary, to have witnessed the miracle.
He had been thinking about this story for more than a year now. He didn’t want to write about Pakistan, or Shias, so in his imagination the believers became Sunni, and Indian. As Sunnis, they wanted to go to Mecca, not Karbala, but the idea of the parting of the sea was still at the heart of the tale.
Other fragments crowded in, many of them about the “city visible but unseen,” immigrant London in the Age of Thatcher. The London neighborhoods of Southall, in West London, and Brick Lane, to the east, where Asian immigrants lived, merged with Brixton, south of the river, to form the imaginary central London borough of Brickhall, in which a Muslim family of orthodox parents and rebellious teen-age daughters ran the Shaandaar Café, its name a thinly disguised Urdu-ing of the real Brilliant Restaurant, in Southall. In this borough, interracial trouble was brewing, and soon, perhaps, the streets would burn.
He remembered hearing an Indian politician on TV talking about the British Prime Minister and being unable to pronounce her name properly. “Mrs. Torture,” he kept saying. “Mrs. Margaret Torture.” This was unaccountably funny, even though, or perhaps because, Margaret Thatcher was not a torturer. If this was to be a novel about Mrs. T.’s London, maybe there was room—comic room—for this variant of her name.
In his notebook, he wrote, “How does newness enter the world?”
“The act of migration,” he wrote, “puts into crisis everything about the migrating individual or group, everything about identity and selfhood and culture and belief. So if this is a novel about migration it must be that act of putting in question. It must perform the crisis it describes.”
And he wrote, “The Satanic Verses.”
The book took more than four years to write. Afterward, when people tried to reduce it to an “insult,” he wanted to reply, “I can insult people a lot faster than that.” But it did not strike his opponents as strange that a serious writer should spend a tenth of his life creating something as crude as an insult. This was because they refused to see him as a serious writer. In order to attack him and his work, they had to paint him as a bad person, an apostate traitor, an unscrupulous seeker of fame and wealth, an opportunist who “attacked Islam” for his own personal gain. This was what was meant by the much repeated phrase “He did it on purpose.” Well, of course he had done it on purpose. How could one write a quarter of a million words by accident? The problem, as Bill Clinton might have said, was what one meant by “it.”
The ironic truth was that, after two novels that engaged directly with the public history of the Indian subcontinent, he saw this new book as a more personal exploration, a first attempt to create a work out of his own experience of migration and metamorphosis. To him, it was the least political of the three books. And the material derived from the origin story of Islam was, he thought, essentially respectful toward the Prophet of Islam, even admiring of him. It treated him as he always said he wanted to be treated, not as a divine figure (like the Christians’ “Son of God”) but as a man (“the Messenger”). It showed him as a man of his time, shaped by that time, and, as a leader, both subject to temptation and capable of overcoming it. “What kind of idea are you?” the novel asked the new religion, and suggested that an idea that refused to bend or compromise would, in all likelihood, be destroyed, but conceded that, in very rare instances, such ideas became the ones that changed the world. His Prophet flirted with compromise, then rejected it, and his unbending idea grew strong enough to bend history to its will.
When he was first accused of being offensive, he was truly perplexed. He thought he had made an artistic engagement with the phenomenon of revelation—an engagement from the point of view of an unbeliever, certainly, but a genuine one nonetheless. How could that be thought offensive? The thin-skinned years of rage-defined identity politics that followed taught him, and everyone else, the answer to that question.
The British edition of “The Satanic Verses” came out on Monday, September 26, 1988, and, for a brief moment that fall, the publication was a literary event, discussed in the language of books. Was it any good? Was it, as Victoria Glendinning suggested in the London Times, “better than ‘Midnight’s Children,’ because it is more contained, but only in the sense that the Niagara Falls are contained,” or, as Angela Carter said in the Guardian, “an epic into which holes have been punched to let in visions . . . [a] populous, loquacious, sometimes hilarious, extraordinary contemporary novel”? Or was it, as Claire Tomalin wrote in the Independent, a “wheel that would not turn,” or, in Hermione Lee’s even harsher opinion, in the Observer, a novel that went “plunging down, on melting wings toward unreadability”? How large was the membership of the apocryphal Page 15 Club of readers who could not get past that point in the book?
Soon enough, the language of literature would be drowned in the cacophony of other discourses—political, religious, sociological, postcolonial—and the subject of quality, of artistic intent, would come to seem almost frivolous. The book that he had written would vanish and be replaced by one that scarcely existed, in which Rushdie referred to the Prophet and his companions as “scums and bums” (he didn’t, though he did allow the characters who persecuted the followers of his fictional Prophet to use abusive language), and called the wives of the Prophet whores (he hadn’t—although whores in a brothel in his imaginary city, Jahilia, take on the names of the Prophet’s wives to arouse their clients, the wives themselves are clearly described as living chastely in the harem). This nonexistent novel was the one against which the rage of Islam would be directed, and after that few people wished to talk about the real book, except, usually, to concur with Hermione Lee’s negative assessment.
When friends asked what they could do to help, he pleaded, “Defend the text.” The attack was very specific, yet the defense was often a general one, resting on the mighty principle of freedom of speech. He hoped for, felt that he needed, a more particular defense, like those made in the case of other assaulted books, such as “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” “Ulysses,” or “Lolita”—because this was a violent attack not on the novel in general, or on free speech per se, but on a particular accumulation of words, and on the intentions and integrity and ability of the writer who had put those words together. He did it for money. He did it for fame. The Jews made him do it. Nobody would have bought his unreadable book if he hadn’t vilified Islam. That was the nature of the attack, and so for many years “The Satanic Verses” was denied the ordinary life of a novel. It became something smaller and uglier: an insult. And he became the Insulter, not only in Muslim eyes but in the opinion of the public at large.
But for those few weeks in the fall of 1988 the book was still “only a novel,” and he was still himself. “The Satanic Verses” was short-listed for the Booker Prize, along with novels by Peter Carey, Bruce Chatwin, Marina Warner, David Lodge, and Penelope Fitzgerald. Then, on Thursday, October 6th, his friend Salman Haidar, who was Deputy High Commissioner of India in London, called to tell him formally, on behalf of his government, that “The Satanic Verses” had been banned in India. The book had not been examined by any properly authorized body, nor had there been any semblance of judicial process. The ban came, improbably, from the Finance Ministry, under Section 11 of the Customs Act, which prevented the book from being imported. Weirdly, the Finance Ministry stated that the ban “did not detract from the literary and artistic merit” of his work. Thanks a lot, he thought. On October 10th, the first death threat was received at the London offices of his publisher, Viking Penguin. The day after that, a scheduled reading in Cambridge was cancelled by the venue because it, too, had received threats.
The year ended badly. There was a demonstration against “The Satanic Verses” in Bolton, in the northwest of England, where the book was burned, on December 2nd. On December 3rd, Clarissa received her first threatening phone call. On December 4th, there was another one a voice said, “We’ll get you tonight, Salman Rushdie, at 60 Burma Road.” That was her home address. She called the police, and officers stayed at the house overnight. Nothing happened. The tension ratcheted up another notch. On December 28th, there was a bomb scare at Viking Penguin. Then it was 1989, the year the world changed.
Two thousand protesters was a small crowd in Pakistan. Even the most modestly potent politico could put many more thousands on the streets just by clapping his hands. That only two thousand “fundamentalists” could be found to storm the U.S. Information Center in the heart of Islamabad on February 12th was, in a way, a good sign. Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was on a state visit to China at the time, and it was speculated that destabilizing her administration had been the demonstrators’ real aim. Religious extremists had long suspected her of secularism, and they wanted to put her on the spot. Not for the last time, “The Satanic Verses” was being used as a football in a political game that had little or nothing to do with it. Bricks and stones were thrown at security forces, and there were screams of “American dogs!” and “Hang Salman Rushdie!”—the usual stuff. None of this fully explained the police’s response, which was to open fire, using rifles, semiautomatic weapons, and pump-action shotguns. The confrontation lasted for three hours, and, despite all that weaponry, demonstrators reached the roof of the building and the American flag was burned, as were effigies of “the United States” and him. On another day, he might have asked himself what factory supplied the thousands of American flags that were burned around the world each year. But, on this day, everything else that happened was dwarfed by a single fact: five people were shot dead. Blood will have blood, he thought.
Here was a mortally ill old man, lying in a darkened room. Here was his son, telling him about Muslims shot dead in India and Pakistan. It was that book that caused this, the son told the old man, the book that is against Islam. A few hours later, a document was brought to the offices of Iranian radio and presented as Khomeini’s edict. A fatwa, or edict, is usually a formal document, signed and witnessed and given under seal at the end of a legal proceeding, but this was just a piece of paper bearing a typewritten text. Nobody ever saw the formal document, if one existed. The piece of paper was handed to the station newsreader and he began to read.
“Threat” was a technical term, and it was not the same as “risk.” The threat level was general, but risk levels were specific. The level of threat against an individual might be high—and it was for the intelligence services to determine this—but the level of risk attached to a particular action by that individual might be much lower, for example, if nobody knew what he was planning to do, or when. Risk assessment was the job of the police-protection team. These were concepts that he would have to master, because threat and risk assessments would, from now on, shape his daily life.
The Special Branch officer who came to see him on the morning of February 15th was Wilson, and the intelligence officer was Wilton, and they both answered to the name of Will. Will Wilson and Will Wilton: it was like a music-hall joke, except that there was nothing funny about anything that day. He was told that because the threat against him was considered to be extremely serious—it was at Level 2, which meant that he was considered to be in more danger than anyone in the country, except, perhaps, the Queen—and, because he was being menaced by a foreign power, he was entitled to the protection of the British state. Protection was formally offered and accepted. It was explained that he would be allocated two protection officers, two drivers, and two cars. The second car was in case the first one broke down. It was explained that, because of the unique nature of the assignment and the imponderable risks involved, all the officers protecting him would be volunteers. He was introduced to his first “prot” team: Stanley Doll and Ben Winters. (Names and some details have been changed for this account.) Stanley was one of the best tennis players on the police force. Benny was one of the few black officers in the Branch and wore a chic tan leather jacket. They were both strikingly handsome, and packing heat. The Branch were the stars of the Metropolitan Police, the double-O élite. He had never met anyone who was actually licensed to kill, and Stan and Benny were presently licensed to do so on his behalf.
Regarding the matter at hand, Benny and Stan were reassuring. “It can’t be allowed,” Stan said. “Threatening a British citizen. It’s not on. It’ll get sorted. You just need to lie low for a couple of days and let the politicians sort it out.”
“You can’t go home, obviously,” Benny said. “That wouldn’t be too kosher. Is there anywhere you’d like to go for a few days?”
“Pick somewhere nice,” Stan said, “and we’ll just whiz you off there for a stretch until you’re in the clear.”
“I’m warning you, I have a cold!”
He wanted to believe in their optimism. Maybe the Cotswolds, he thought. Maybe somewhere in that picture-postcard region of rolling hills and golden-stone houses. There was a famous inn in the Cotswold village of Broadway called the Lygon Arms. He had long wanted to go there for a weekend but had never made it. Would the Lygon Arms be a possibility? Stan and Benny looked at each other, and something passed between them.
“I don’t see why not,” Stan said. “We’ll look into it.”
He wanted to see his son again before diving for cover, he said, and his sister Sameen, too. They agreed to “set it up.” Once it was dark, he was driven to Burma Road in an armored Jaguar. The armor plating was so thick that there was much less headroom than in a standard car. The doors were so heavy that if they swung shut accidentally and hit you they could injure you quite seriously. The fuel consumption of an armored Jaguar was around six miles to the gallon. It weighed as much as a small tank. He was given this information by his first Special Branch driver, Dennis (the Horse) Chevalier, a big, cheerful, jowly, thick-lipped man—“one of the older fellows,” he said. “Do you know the technical term for us Special Branch drivers?” Dennis the Horse asked him. He did not know. “The term is O.F.D.s,” Dennis said. “That’s us.” And what did O.F.D. stand for? Dennis gave a throaty, slightly wheezing laugh. “Only Fucking Drivers,” he said.
He would grow accustomed to police humor. One of his other drivers was known throughout the Branch as the King of Spain, because he once left his Jag unlocked while he went to the tobacconist’s and returned to find that it had been stolen. Hence the nickname, because the King of Spain’s name was—you had to say it slowly—Juan Car-los.
He told Zafar and Clarissa what the prot team had said: “It will be over in a few days.” Zafar looked immensely relieved. On Clarissa’s face were all the doubts he was trying to pretend he didn’t feel. He hugged his son tightly and left.
Sameen, a lawyer (though no longer a practicing one—she worked in adult education), had always had a sharp political mind and had a lot to say about what was going on. The Iranian Revolution had been shaky ever since Khomeini was forced, in his own words, to “drink the cup of poison” and accept the unsuccessful end of his Iraq war, which had left a generation of young Iranians dead or maimed. The fatwa was his way of regaining political momentum, of reënergizing the faithful. It was her brother’s bad luck to be the dying man’s last stand. As for the British Muslim “leaders,” whom, exactly, did they lead? They were leaders without followers, mountebanks trying to make careers out of her brother’s misfortune. For a generation, the politics of ethnic minorities in Britain had been secular and socialist. This was the mosques’ way of getting religion into the driver’s seat. British Asians had never splintered into Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh factions before. Somebody needed to answer these people who were driving a sectarian wedge through the community, she said, to name them as the hypocrites and opportunists that they were.
She was ready to be that person, and he knew that she would make a formidable representative. But he asked her not to do it. Her daughter, Maya, was less than a year old. If Sameen became his public spokesperson, the media would camp outside her house and there would be no escape from the glare of publicity her private life, her daughter’s life, would become a thing of klieg lights and microphones. Also, it was impossible to know what danger it might draw toward her. He didn’t want her to be at risk because of him. Reluctantly, she agreed.
One of the unforeseen consequences of this decision was that as the “affair” blazed on, and he was obliged to be mostly invisible—because the police urged him not to further inflame the situation, advice he accepted for a time—there was nobody who loved him speaking for him, not his wife, not his sister, not his closest friends, the ones he wanted to continue to see. He became, in the media, a man whom nobody loved but many people hated. “Death, perhaps, is a bit too easy for him,” Iqbal Sacranie, of the U.K. Action Committee on Islamic Affairs, said. “His mind must be tormented for the rest of his life unless he asks for forgiveness from Almighty Allah.” (In 2005, this same Sacranie was knighted at the recommendation of the Blair government for his services to community relations.)
On the way to the Cotswolds, the car stopped for gas. He needed to go to the toilet, so he opened the door and got out. Every head in the gas station turned to stare at him. He was on the front page of every newspaper—Martin Amis said, memorably, that he had “vanished into the front page”—and had, overnight, become one of the most recognizable men in the country. The faces looked friendly—one man waved, another gave the thumbs-up sign—but it was alarming to be so intensely visible at exactly the moment that he was being asked to lie low. At the Lygon Arms, the highly trained staff could not prevent themselves from gawping. He had become a freak show, and he and Marianne were both relieved when they reached the privacy of their beautiful old-world room. He was given a “panic button” to press if he was worried about anything. He tested the panic button. It didn’t work.
On his second day at the hotel, Stan and Benny came to see him with a piece of paper in their hands. Iran’s President, Ali Khamenei, had hinted that if he apologized “this wretched man might yet be spared.” “It’s felt,” Stan said, “that you should do something to lower the temperature.”
“Yeah,” Benny assented. “That’s the thinking. The right statement from you could be of assistance.”
Felt by whom, he wanted to know whose thinking was this?
“It’s the general opinion,” Stan said opaquely. “Upstairs.”
Was it a police opinion or a government opinion?
“They’ve taken the liberty of preparing a text,” Stan said. “By all means, read it through.”
“By all means, make alterations if the style isn’t pleasing,” Benny said. “You’re the writer.”
“I should say, in fairness,” Stan said, “that the text has been approved.”
The text he was handed was craven, self-abasing. To sign it would have been to admit defeat. Could this really be the deal he was being offered—that he would receive government support and police protection only if, abandoning his principles and the defense of his book, he fell to his knees and grovelled?
Stan and Benny looked extremely uncomfortable. “As I say,” Benny said, “you’re free to make alterations.”
“Then we’ll see how they play,” Stan said.
And supposing he chose not to make a statement at all at this time?
“It’s mine-and I’d appreciate your not looking out of it.”
“It’s thought to be a good idea,” Stan said. “There are high-level negotiations taking place on your behalf. And then there are the Lebanon hostages to consider, and Mr. Roger Cooper in jail in Tehran. Their situation is worse than yours. You’re asked to do your bit.” (In the nineteen-eighties, the Lebanese Hezbollah group, funded by Tehran, had captured ninety-six foreign nationals from twenty-one countries, including several Americans and Britons. Cooper, a British businessman, had been seized in Iran.)
It was an impossible task: to write something that could be received as an olive branch without giving way on what was important. The statement he came up with was one he mostly loathed:
As author of “The Satanic Verses” I recognize that Muslims in many parts of the world are genuinely distressed by the publication of my novel. I profoundly regret the distress that publication has occasioned to sincere followers of Islam. Living as we do in a world of many faiths this experience has served to remind us that we must all be conscious of the sensibilities of others.
His private, self-justifying voice argued that he was apologizing for the distress—and, after all, he had never wanted to cause distress—but not for the book itself. And, yes, we should be conscious of the sensibilities of others, but that did not mean we should surrender to them. That was his combative, unstated subtext. But he knew that, if the statement was to be effective, it had to be read as a straightforward apology. That thought made him feel physically ill.
It was a useless gesture, rejected, then half accepted, then rejected again, both by British Muslims and by the Iranian leadership. The strong position would have been to refuse to negotiate with intolerance. He had taken the weak position and was therefore treated as a weakling. The Observer defended him—“neither Britain nor the author has anything to apologize for”—but his feeling of having made a serious misstep was soon confirmed. “Even if Salman Rushdie repents and becomes the most pious man of all time, it is incumbent on every Muslim to employ everything he has got, his life and his wealth, to send him to hell,” the dying imam said.
The protection officers said that he should not spend more than two nights at the Lygon Arms. He was lucky the media hadn’t found him yet, and in a day or so they surely would. This was when another harsh truth was explained: it was up to him to find places to stay. The police’s advice was that he could not return to his home, because it would be impossible (which was to say, very expensive) to protect him there. But “safe houses” would not be provided. If such places existed, he never saw them. Most people, trained by spy fiction, firmly believed in the existence of safe houses, and assumed that he was being protected in one such fortress at the public’s expense. Criticisms of the money spent on his protection would grow more vociferous with the passing weeks: an indication of a shift in public opinion. But, on his second day at the Lygon Arms, he was told that he had twenty-four hours to find somewhere else to stay. A colleague of Clarissa’s offered a night or two at her country cottage, in the village of Thame, in Oxfordshire. From there, he made phone calls to everyone he could think of, without success. Then he checked his voice mail and found a message from Deborah Rogers, his former literary agent. “Call me,” she said. “I think we may be able to help.”
Deb and her husband, the composer Michael Berkeley, invited him to their farm in Wales. “If you need it,” she said simply, “it’s yours.” He was deeply moved. “Look,” she said, “it’s perfect, actually, because everyone thinks we’ve fallen out, and so nobody would ever imagine you’d be here.” The next day, his strange little circus descended on Middle Pitts, a homely farmhouse in the hilly Welsh border country. “Stay as long as you need to,” Deb said, but he knew he needed to find a place of his own. Marianne agreed to contact local estate agents and start looking at rental properties. They could only hope that her face would be less recognizable than his.
As for him, he could not be seen at the farm or its safety would be “compromised.” A local farmer looked after the sheep for Michael and Deb, and at one point he came down off the hill to talk to Michael about something. “You’d better get out of sight,” Michael told him, and he had to duck behind a kitchen counter. As he crouched there, listening to Michael try to get rid of the man as quickly as possible, he felt a deep sense of shame. To hide in this way was to be stripped of all self-respect. Maybe, he thought, to live like this would be worse than death. In his novel “Shame,” he had written about the workings of Muslim “honor culture,” at the poles of whose moral axis were honor and shame, very different from the Christian narrative of guilt and redemption. He came from that culture, even though he was not religious. To skulk and hide was to lead a dishonorable life. He felt, very often in those years, profoundly ashamed. Both shamed and ashamed.
The news roared in his ears. Members of the Pakistani parliament had recommended the immediate dispatch of assassins to the United Kingdom. In Iran, the most powerful clerics fell into line behind the imam. “The long black arrow has been slung, and is now travelling toward its target,” Khamenei said, during a visit to Yugoslavia. An Iranian ayatollah named Hassan Sanei offered a million dollars in bounty money for the apostate’s head. It was not clear whether this ayatollah possessed a million dollars, or how easy it would be to claim the reward, but these were not logical days. The British Council’s library in Karachi—a drowsy, pleasant place he’d often visited—was bombed.
On February 22nd, the day the novel was published in America, there was a full-page advertisement in the Times, paid for by the Association of American Publishers, the American Booksellers Association, and the American Library Association. “Free People Write Books,” it said. “Free People Publish Books, Free People Sell Books, Free People Buy Books, Free People Read Books. In the spirit of America’s commitment to free expression we inform the public that this book will be available to readers at bookshops and libraries throughout the country.” The PEN American Center, passionately led by his beloved friend Susan Sontag, held readings from the novel. Sontag, Don DeLillo, Norman Mailer, Claire Bloom, and Larry McMurtry were among the readers. He was sent a tape of the event. It brought a lump to his throat. Long afterward, he was told that some senior American writers had initially ducked for cover. Even Arthur Miller had made an excuse—that his Jewishness might be a counterproductive factor. But within days, whipped into line by Susan, almost all of them had found their better selves and stood up to be counted.
“Where the hell did that come from?”
When the book was in its third consecutive week as No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list, John Irving, who found himself stuck at No. 2, quipped that, if that was what it took to get to the top spot, he was content to be runner-up. He himself well knew, as did Irving, that scandal, not literary merit, was driving the sales. He also knew, and much appreciated, the fact that many people bought copies of “The Satanic Verses” to demonstrate their solidarity.
While all this and much more was happening, the author of “The Satanic Verses” was crouching in shame behind a kitchen counter to avoid being seen by a sheep farmer.
Marianne found a house to rent, a modest white-walled cottage with a pitched slate roof called Tyn-y-Coed, “the house in the woods,” a common name for a house in those parts. It was near the village of Pentrefelin, in Brecon, not far from the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons. There was a great deal of rain. When they arrived, it was cold. The police officers tried to light the stove and, after a good deal of clanking and swearing, succeeded. He found a small upstairs room where he could shut the door and pretend to work. The house felt bleak, as did the days. Thatcher was on television, understanding the insult to Islam and sympathizing with the insulted.
Commander John Howley, of the Special Branch, came to see him in Wales. It now looked as though he would be at risk for a considerable time, and that was not what the Special Branch had foreseen, Howley told him. It was no longer a matter of lying low for a few days to let the politicians sort things out. There was no prospect of his being allowed (allowed?) to resume his normal life in the foreseeable future. He could not just decide to go home and take his chances. To do so would be to endanger his neighbors and place an intolerable burden on police resources, because an entire street, or more than one street, would need to be sealed off and protected. He had to wait until there was a “major political shift.” What did that mean? he asked. Until Khomeini died? Or never? Howley did not have an answer. It was not possible for him to estimate how long it would take.
He had been living with the threat of death for a month. There had been further rallies against “The Satanic Verses” in Paris, New York, Oslo, Kashmir, Bangladesh, Turkey, Germany, Thailand, the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, and West Yorkshire. The toll of injuries and deaths had continued to rise. The novel had by now also been banned in Syria, Lebanon, Kenya, Brunei, Thailand, Tanzania, Indonesia, and elsewhere in the Arab world. In Tyn-y-Coed, on the Ides of March, he was flung without warning into the lowest circle of Orwellian hell. “You asked me once,” O’Brien said, “what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.” The worst thing in the world is different for every individual. For Winston Smith, in Orwell’s “1984,” it was rats. For him, in a cold Welsh cottage, it was an unanswered phone call.
He had his daily routine with Clarissa: At seven o’clock every evening, he would call to say hello to Zafar. If Clarissa couldn’t be at home with Zafar at seven, she would leave a message on the St. Peter’s Street answering machine telling him when they would be back. He called the Burma Road house. There was no reply. He left a message on Clarissa’s machine and then interrogated his own. She had not left a message. Oh, well, he thought, they’re a little late. Fifteen minutes later, he called again. Nobody picked up. He called his own machine again: nothing there. Ten minutes later, he made a third call. Still nothing. It was almost seven-forty-five on a school night. It wasn’t normal for them to be out so late. He called twice more in the next ten minutes. No response. Now he began to panic. He called Burma Road repeatedly, dialling and redialling like a madman, and his hands began to shake. He was sitting on the floor, wedged up against a wall, with the phone in his lap, dialling, redialling. Stan and Benny noticed their “principal” ’s agitated phone activity and came to ask if everything was all right.
He said no, it didn’t seem to be. Clarissa and Zafar were now an hour and a quarter late for their phone appointment with him and had left no word of explanation. Stan’s face was serious. “Is this a break in routine?” he asked. Yes, it was a break in routine. “O.K.,” Stan said, “leave it with me. I’ll make some inquiries.” A few minutes later, he came back to say that he had spoken to Metpol—the London Metropolitan Police—and a car would be sent to the address to do a “drive-by.” After that, the minutes moved as slowly and coldly as glacial ice, and when the report came it froze his heart. “The car drove by the premises just now,” Stan told him, “and the report, I’m sorry to say, is that the front door is open and all the lights are on.” He was unable to reply. “Obviously the officers did not attempt to go up to the house or enter,” Stan said. “In the situation as it is, they wouldn’t know what they might encounter.”
He saw bodies sprawled on the stairs in the front hall. He saw the brightly lit rag-doll corpses of his son and his first wife drenched in blood. Life was over. He had run away and hidden like a terrified rabbit, and his loved ones had paid the price. “Just to inform you on what we’re doing,” Stan said. “We will be going in there, but you’ll have to give us approximately forty minutes. They need to assemble an army.”
Maybe they were not both dead. Maybe his son was alive and had been taken hostage. “You understand,” he said to Stan, “that if they have him and they want a ransom, they want me to exchange myself for him, then I’m going to do that, and you guys can’t stop me doing it.” Stan took a slow, dark pause, like a character in a Pinter play. Then he said, “That thing about exchanging hostages, that only happens in the movies. In real life, I’m sorry to tell you, if this is a hostile intervention they are both probably dead already. The question you have to ask yourself is, Do you want to die as well?”
Marianne sat facing him, unable to provide comfort. He had no more to say. There was only the crazy dialling, every thirty seconds, the dialling and then the ring tone and then Clarissa’s voice asking him to leave a message. There was no message worth leaving. “I’m sorry” didn’t begin to cover it. He hung up and redialled, and there was her voice again. And again.
“I’ve heard mitigating things about you!”
After a very long time, Stan came and said quietly, “Won’t be long now. They’re just about ready.” He nodded and waited for reality to deal him what would be a fatal blow. He was not aware of weeping but his face was wet. He went on dialling Clarissa’s number. As if the telephone possessed occult powers, as if it were a Ouija board that could put him in touch with the dead.
Goddess Al-Lat and an Elderly God from Hatra - History
Posted on 02/21/2008 6:45:36 AM PST by K-oneTexas
What Every American Needs to Know about the Quran
A History of Islam and the United States Excerpt Three
Mohammed was born around 570 AD into the Quraysh tribe, being a descendant of Adnan, who is said to have descended from Ishmael. Mohammeds father, Abd Allah, died six months before he was born. Mohammeds mother, Amina, died when he was 6 years old. At the age of 8, his grandfather and guardian, Abd al-Muttalib, died. Mohammed was then given to his uncle, Abu Talib.
Mohammeds first biography, Sirat Rasoul Allah, written by Ibn Ishaq and edited by Ibn Hisham, recorded how for a time, Mohammeds mother, Amina, gave him to a Bedouin nursing mother named Halimai and her husband to raise, but he was returned him with the account:
It was not longer than a month after our return that his milk-brother came running to me and his father, saying, Two men dressed in white garments have taken hold of my brother, and have thrown him on the ground. They ripped open his belly, and are squeezing him.
I and his fosterfather hastened out and found him standing apparently unharmed but with his countenance quite altered.
We questioned him, and he said, Two men dressed in white garments came to me, who threw me down, opened my abdomen and searched in it for I know not what.
We returned with him to our tent, and his fosterfather said to me, O Halima! I fear something has happened to the boy. Carry him to his family ere the injury becomes apparent!
Accordingly, we took him back to his mother, who asked, What has brought you here, when you were so anxious that he should remain with you?
I replied, Allah has caused my son to grow and I have done my duty, but I feared that something might befall him and therefore I have brought him back to you as you desired.
She said, Such is not the case! Tell me the truth about it. And she would not let me alone until I had told her everything.
Then she asked, Are you afraid that he is possessed by Satan? and I replied, Yes. She said No, by Allah! (Siratul Rasul of Ibn Hisham vss. 105-106, Mizanul Haqq, page 347, and Anas Ibn Malik, Mishkat IV, page 367)
MOHAMMED TRAVELS WITH UNCLE
At age 13, with his mother and grandfather dead, Mohammed was raised by his uncle, Abu Talib,
a textile merchant who went on camel caravans to foreign lands.
Mohammed could not read, so what he learned about Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism and Arabian pagan religions, such as Sabeans, came mostly from stories and oral traditions he heard on these travels.
QURAN: MANICHAEISM INFLUENCE
About the year 210 AD, a religious leader named Mani was born in Persia. Like the Bahai faith, Mani combined features of different religions to create a new religion called Manichaeism. Mani claimed to be the Paraclete promised in the New Testament, the Last Prophet, the Seal of the
Prophets, completing a long line of prophets, which included Seth, Enoch, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Zoroaster, Hermes, Palto, Buddha and Jesus, accusing their followers of corrupting their teachings.
Exceptionally gifted as a child with a mystic temperament, Mani claimed to have been visited by a spirit. His theology contained a dualistic, continual battle against evil. Mani went on evangelistic
missionary journeys to India, Iran and Turkistan.
In the centuries prior to Mohammed birth, Manichaeism became popular in Persia, Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia and the Middle East. A famous follower of Manichaeism was Augustine of Hippo (354- 430 AD) before he rejected it and converted to Christianity. (The Confessions of Saint Augustine, 397 AD)
QURAN: ZOROASTRIAN INFLUENCE
Like Mani, Mohammed was aware of many faiths:
As for the true believers, the Jews, the Sabeans, the Christians, the Magians, and the pagans, Allah will judge them on the day of Resurrection. Allah bears witness to all things. (Sura 22:17)
The Magians or Zoroastrians of Persia believed in one uncreated Creator, with seven heavens and seven hells. The old Pahlavi Book of Arta Viraf had a story of the priest Arta Viraf flying on a journey through seven heavens, similar to Mohammeds Miraj a purported miraculous night journey to the 7th heaven. (Sura 17:1, Hadith Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 1, No. 345)
Zoroastrians had the concept of jihad, a continual struggle of dualism-good fighting evil, and focused on ritual cleanliness. Mohammed adopted the Zoroastrian term for demon called Jinn or Genie. (Sura 72 Al-Jinn)
Zoroastrians believed there was a tree in Paradise called humaya, similar to Islams lote-tree sidrah.
Zoroastrian Paradise was sensual with wine and women called Faries or Houris.
The Pahlavi name Houris is used several times in the Qurans sensual description of Paradise,
referring to bashful virgins, fair as coral and ruby, dark eyed youths, high bosomed maidens:
We shall join them to fair women with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes. (Sura 44:54)
Reclining on ranged couches. And we wed them unto fair ones with wide, lovely eyes. (Sura 52:20)
In them will be (Maidens), chaste, restraining their glances, whom no man or Jinn before them has touched. (Sura 55:56)
There will be Companions with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes,-Like unto Pearls wellguarded. (Sura 56:22-23)
Verily for the Righteous there will be a fulfillment of (the hearts) desires Gardens enclosed, and grapevines And voluptuous women of equal age And a cup full (to the brim). (Sura 78:32-34)
Some Muslims considered Zoroaster (Zarathustra), founder of Zoroastrianism, as one of Allahs prophets.
QURAN: ARAB PAGAN INFLUENCE
Each pagan Arabian tribe called its main local deity allah, which simply meant the god. In Mecca, the pagans worshiped as many as 360 deities, represented by stones believed to have fallen from the sun, moon and the stars.
The most senior deity was the moon god Hubal, whose idol was brought to Mecca from Moab. Hafiz Ghulam Sarwar, author of Muhammed The Holy Prophet (Sh. Muhammad Ashraf, Lahore, Pakistan, 1969) wrote:
About four hundred years before the birth of Muhammed. Amr ibn Luhayy had put an idol called Hubal on the roof of the Kaaba. This was one of the chief deities of the Quraysh (tribe) before Islam.
Perhaps influenced by Canaanites, who worshiped Baal and his three daughters, pre-Islamic Mecca revered three female daughter goddesses:
1) al-Lat, worshiped as a square stone
2) al-Uzzah, worshiped as a granite slab on the road to al-Talf
3) Manat, worshiped as a black stone on the road to Medina.
Mohammed referred to these goddesses:
Have ye thought upon al-Lat and al-Uzza. And another, the third goddess, Manat? Are yours the males and His the females? That indeed were an unfair division. They are but the names which ye have named, ye and your fathers, for which Allah hath revealed no warrant. (Sura 53:19-23)
Hisham ibn Al-Kalbi (ca. 819) was an Arab historian raised in Baghdad. He wrote in Kitab al-Asnam (Book of Idols, translated by Nabih Amin Faris in 1952):
They then adopted al-Lat as their goddess. Al-Lat stood in al-Taif and was more recent that Manah. She was a cubic rock beside which a certain Jew used to prepare his barley porrige. Her custody was in the hands of the banu- Attab ibn-Malik of the Thagif (tribe), who had built an edifice over her.
The Quraysh, as well as all the Arabs, were wont to venerate al-Lat. They also used to name their children after her, calling them Zayd-al-Lat and Taym-al-Lat. She stood in the place of the left-hand side minaret of the present day mosque of al-Taif.
She is the idol which God mentioned when He said, Have you seen al-Lat and al-Uzza?
. Al-Lat continued to be venerated until the Thaqif (tribe) embraced Islam.
Arab pagans walked in circles around the square edifice called the Kaaba and went inside it to kiss the Black Stone, a 12-inch in diameter meteor rock or impact glass from a meteor crater.
Arab pagans prayed five times a day towards the Kaaba in Mecca and fasted part of a day for an entire month, as Muslims do at Ramadan. The symbol of the crescent moon, which pre-Islamic Turks also venerated, is atop every mosque and on many Islamic countries flags. Islam adopted the Lunar calendar, starting their months with the sighting of the first crescent of a New Moon.
In the next excerpt, well learn more about the influences other religions had on the Quran, including Christianity and Judaism.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor William J. Federer is a nationally known speaker, best-selling author, and president of Amerisearch, Inc., a publishing company dedicated to research Americas noble heritage. This has been excerpted with permission from his book What Every American Needs to Know About the Quran A History of Islam & the United States.
read full author bio here
The only thing I need to know about the koran, is the fact that it makes a pitiful toilet paper, so, therefore, I use it for a fire starter.
That reminds me, I've got to get hold of CAIR to get another free copy.
All sarcasm aside. don't you think we, as Americans, have learned all we need to know about these murdering scum?
I mean if 911, Khobar Towers, USS Cole, the basement of the Twin Towers, televised beheadings, the Iranian US Embassy, Lockerbie, suicide belts, etc, etc, haven't taught us anything, then can we ever learn?