OLDEST MOSQUE QIBLA
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From ancient times until well into the 7th century worship of the moon, sun, stars, planets, and even Jinn devils or demons, was the order of the day in Arabia. Many Kaabas were established featuring stone idols that represented these objects of worship, to which the pagans went on pilgrimage and circumambulated in ceremony. Mohammed’s own tribe the Quraish went on summer and winter pilgrimages to other sites, long after the Kaaba in Mecca was built, indicating that there were far more important and more firmly established kaabas at which to worship, than the kaaba in Mecca. The Quraish continued to do so until Mohammed put a stop to it through another “revelation”.
Quran 106:1 For the covenants by the Quraish, 2 Their covenants journeys by winter and summer,- 3 Let them adore the Lord of this House,
Might we be able to learn more about the objectives of those early pilgrimages by studying the Qibla of the oldest mosques?
Qibla is an Arabic word that describes the direction in which Muslims are to direct their prayers. Mosques have a niche on the inside wall that indicates the direction to the Kaaba, and it’s black stone, in Mecca. However it’s interesting to discover that the Qibla of the oldest mosques do not point to Mecca but are off by thirty degrees and more. The Islamic website “Islamic Awareness“, includes compass roses that indicate the direction in which the Qiblas of some of the oldest mosques point.
When the angles of the Qibla of the mosques in Wasit, Baghdad and Cairo are plotted on a map they actually triangulate to a location near Al-`Ula (which was Dedan – inhabited perhaps as early as the 8th century BC).
In other words the Qiblas indicate a position almost 500 miles to the north-northwest of Mecca. (Google map Al-Ula)
A Wikipedia article on “Ancient Towns in Saudi Arabia”, which of course doesn’t include Mecca because Mecca isn’t an ancient town, mentions a town of:
“Mada’in Saleh: also called Al-Hijr
Also called Al-Hijr, this is an ancient city located in northern Saudi Arabia…. Mada’in Saleh is considered to be one of the most important and oldest ancient cities in the country. Mada’in Saleh lies to the northwest of the city of al-Ula…” (Mada’in Saleh map)
“Mada’in Saleh was recognized by the UNESCO as a site of patrimony, the first world heritage site in Saudi Arabia. The story of these people called the people of Thamud (including petra) is mentioned several times in the Quran along with prophet Saleh.”
“A religious area, known as Jabal Ithlib, is located to the north-east of the site. It is believed to have been originally dedicated to the Nabatean deity Dushara.” (Wikipedia) (map)
We learn that Dushara was mothered by Manat. Who did Mohammed recognize as Manat?
Sura 53.19 Have ye seen Lat. and ‘Uzza, 20 And another, the third (goddess), Manat?
He recognized Manat as a daughter of Allah in what some have dubbed the “satanic verses” in the Quran. The deity Manat is found in pagan moon, sun and star worship as the daughter of the moon god. Isn’t that interesting?
Please see the “Hajj & Umra” to see how Manat fits into Islamic rituals.
Today’s Al-Ula was formerly Dedan which, according to George Potter from whom the photograph below was copied and who writes that Dedan is his “favorite exploring site in Arabia”, are the remains of a Lihyanite temple which the Saudi Arabian Department of Antiquities has begun excavating. There are also stairs up to another temple site on a mountaintop. Mr. Potter writes, “Their Solomon like temples appear to have been used for sacrificing she-camels, black camels and other livestock to the God Dhu Ghaibat.” Link to more
One thing we can rest assured of, is that the Qiblas of the most ancient mosques do not point to Mecca, but rather more likely to pagan deities of Arabian Star Family worship, which was the same reason that the Kaaba in Mecca was built, likely in the early 5th century, by Asad Abu Karb.