Bible & Quran

Mecca as the Place of Worship

The Qur’an

“Mecca as the Place of Worship”

Sura 2

The Cow

124. And when his Lord tried Ibrahim with certain words, he fulfilled them. He said: Surely I will make you an Imam of men. Ibrahim said: And of my offspring? My covenant does not include the unjust, said He.
125. And when We made the House a pilgrimage for men and a (place of) security, and: Appoint for yourselves a place of prayer on the standing-place of Ibrahim. And We enjoined Ibrahim and Ismail saying: Purify My House for those who visit (it) and those who abide (in it) for devotion and those who bow down (and) those who prostrate themselves.
126. And when Ibrahim said: My Lord, make it a secure town and provide its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the last day. He said: And whoever disbelieves, I will grant him enjoyment for a short while, then I will drive him to the chastisement of the fire; and it is an evil destination.
127. And when Ibrahim and Ismail raised the foundations of the House: Our Lord! accept from us; surely Thou art the Hearing, the Knowing:
128. Our Lord! and make us both submissive to Thee and (raise) from our offspring a nation submitting to Thee, and show us our ways of devotion and turn to us (mercifully), surely Thou art the Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.
129. Our Lord! and raise up in them an Apostle from among them who shall recite to them Thy communications and teach them the Book and the wisdom, and purify them; surely Thou art the Mighty, the Wise.
130. And who forsakes the religion of Ibrahim but he who makes himself a fool, and most certainly We chose him in this world, and in the hereafter he is most surely among the righteous.
131. When his Lord said to him, Be a Muslim, he said: I submit myself to the Lord of the worlds.
132. And the same did Ibrahim enjoin on his sons and (so did) Yaqoub. O my sons! surely Allah has chosen for you (this) faith, therefore die not unless you are Muslims.
133. Nay! were you witnesses when death visited Yaqoub, when he said to his sons: What will you serve after me? They said: We will serve your God and the God of your fathers, Ibrahim and Ismail and Ishaq, one God only, and to Him do we submit.
134. This is a people that have passed away; they shall have what they earned and you shall have what you earn, and you shall not be called upon to answer for what they did.
135. And they say: Be Jews or Christians, you will be on the right course. Say: Nay! (we follow) the religion of Ibrahim, the Hanif, and he was not one of the polytheists.              139. Say: Do you dispute with us about Allah, and He is our Lord and your Lord, and we shall have our deeds and you shall have your deeds, and we are sincere to Him.
140. Nay! do you say that Ibrahim and Ismail and Yaqoub and the tribes were Jews or Christians? Say: Are you better knowing or Allah? And who is more unjust than he who conceals a testimony that he has from Allah? And Allah is not at all heedless of what you do.

Sura 3

The Family of Imran

96. Most surely the first house appointed for men is the one at Bekka, blessed and a guidance for the nations.
97. In it are clear signs, the standing place of Ibrahim, and whoever enters it shall be secure, and pilgrimage to the House is incumbent upon men for the sake of Allah, (upon) every one who is able to undertake the journey to it; and whoever disbelieves, then surely Allah is Self-sufficient, above any need of the worlds.

Sura 14

Abraham

35. And when Ibrahim said: My Lord! make this city secure, and save me and my sons from worshipping idols:
36. My Lord! surely they have led many men astray; then whoever follows me, he is surely of me, and whoever disobeys me, Thou surely are Forgiving, Merciful:
37. O our Lord! surely I have settled a part of my offspring in a valley unproductive of fruit near Thy Sacred House, our Lord! that they may keep up prayer; therefore make the hearts of some people yearn towards them and provide them with fruits; haply they may be grateful:
38. O our Lord! Surely Thou knowest what we hide and what we make public, and nothing in the earth nor any thing in heaven is hidden from Allah:
39. Praise be to Allah, Who has given me in old age Ismail and Ishaq; most surely my Lord is the Hearer of prayer:
40. My Lord! make me keep up prayer and from my offspring (too), O our Lord, and accept my prayer:

Sura 22

The Pilgrimage

25. Surely (as for) those who disbelieve, and hinder (men) from Allah’s way and from the Sacred Mosque which We have made equally for all men, (for) the dweller therein and (for) the visitor, and whoever shall incline therein to wrong unjustly, We will make him taste of a painful chastisement.
26. And when We assigned to Ibrahim the place of the House, saying: Do not associate with Me aught, and purify My House for those who make the circuit and stand to pray and bow and prostrate themselves.
27. And proclaim among men the Pilgrimage: they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, coming from every remote path,
28. That they may witness advantages for them and mention the name of Allah during stated days over what He has given them of the cattle quadrupeds, then eat of them and feed the distressed one, the needy.
29. Then let them accomplish their needful acts of shaving and cleansing, and let them fulfill their vows and let them go round the Ancient House.

 

The Bible

“Mecca as the Place of Worship”

Genesis

Chapter 15

13. And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
14. And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
15. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.
16. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
17. And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.
18. In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

Genesis

Chapter 16

1. Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
2. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
3. And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
4. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.
5. And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.
6. But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.
7. And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.
8. And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.
9. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.
10. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.
11. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
12. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
13. And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?
14. Wherefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
15. And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son’s name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael.
16. And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.

Genesis

Chapter 17

1. And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
2. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
3. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
4. As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
5. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
6. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
7. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
8. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
9. And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
10. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
11. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.
12. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.
13. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
14. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.
15. And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.
16. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.
17. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?
18. And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!
19. And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
20. And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.
21. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.
22. And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.

Genesis

Chapter 21

1. And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.
2. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.
3. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.
4. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him.
5. And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.

9. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.
10. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.
11. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son.
12. And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
13. And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.
14. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.

Genesis

Chapter 12

1. Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Genesis

Chapter 13

18. Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD

Genesis

Chapter 26

25. And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac’s servants digged a well.

Genesis

Chapter 33

19. And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for an hundred pieces of money.
20. And he erected there an altar, and called it El-elohe-  Israel.

Exodus

Chapter 25

22. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

 

COMMENTARY

In the Qur’an:

1. There is a covenant between Ibrahim and Allah, but not with Ibrahim’s offspring (thereby excluding Ishmael): “Ibrahim said: And of my offspring? My covenant does not include the unjust, said He.” 

2. This covenant included building a house to worship Allah (in Mecca) by Ibrahim and Ishmael: “and when Ibrahim and Ismail raised the foundations of the House.”… “And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men…”… “Most surely the first house appointed for men is the one at Bekka, blessed and guidance for the nations.”

 

In the Bible:

1. God made the covenant with Abraham and his seed and promised to give to Abraham’s seed the Promised Land with specific borders “... from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:”. God was clearly speaking about the nation of people we now know as the Israelites, the descendants of Isaac: “And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.”, “But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year”, “for in Isaac shall thy seed be called”. “ And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.”. This covenant was unconditional, and included not only Jews, but also people…of many nations... who will worship God, for God’s intention is to save ALL, and to bring ALL people into His presence, through His Messiah, Jesus, as He commanded:

Matthew, Chapter 28:18-20

18. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 

    For almost 1500 years from Abraham to Jesus, this covenant included ONLY Jews. Ishmael and his descendants were not included, nor was Esau, the firstborn of Isaac, although Esau became Ishmael’s son in-law when he took “…Ma’halath the daughter of Ish’mael Abraham’s son…” (Genesis Chapter 28:9). He was not included in the seed of Promise! That is why in many places in the Bible God called Himself “The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”. Soon after Isaac was born, God told Abraham to cast out Hagar with Ishmael. Ishmael was young at that time, being referred to as “…the child…”

2. The Bible gives us the location of Abraham’s dwelling from birth to the exile of Ishmael. Chapter 18 mentions that Abraham was living in Mamre, near Hebron. From there he could witness the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Chapter 20 tells us that Abraham was dwelling: “… between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar…” After the exile of Ishmael, he and his mother Hagar “… dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his  mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt…”.  The wilderness of Paran is located south of Kadesh, almost in the heart of the Sinai Peninsula. Mecca ( that is, the location of  the Kaaba) is hundreds of miles south of the location where Abraham had dwelled. The Bible does not support the Qur’an’s claim about building a “ House of  Allah” by Abraham and Ishmael, for since the birth of Isaac, Abraham never saw Ishmael again; that is, since Ishmael was a young boy: “…Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation…” The Bible also tells us that Abraham built altars for the Lord, not houses. If he had really built the Kaaba, he should also have built an altar nearby, yet the Qur’an makes no mention of this. According to Sura 2:135,140 Abraham was not a Jew, but according to the Bible, he was the first man on earth to be called a Hebrew.

Genesis, Chapter 14:

10. And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain.
11. And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.
12. And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
13. And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eschol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.

    The Qur’an claims that the “…first house appointed for men is the one at Bekka…” and “pilgrimage to the House is incumbent upon men for the sake of Allah…”. If Abraham had actually built this house and had dedicated it to God, and if this house had such significance for God, he should have mentioned it to Isaac as he did about the covenant with the Lord and about the Promised Land. Instead, God commanded Moses to build a Tabernacle (mobile Temple) with altars for sacrifices because the priest was not allowed to approach the presence of God (inside the Holy of Holies) without sacrificial blood.

Exodus, Chapter 25:22

 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in  commandment unto the children of Israel.”

    We note that God had chosen the city of Jerusalem for the site of His Holy dwelling-place, and not another city such as Mecca:

2 Chronicles, Chapter 33:4

… the LORD had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever.

Psalms, Chapter 135:21

Blessed be the  LORD out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.

Isaiah, Chapter 2:3

And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let  Us  go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from  Jerusalem.

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