The Pagan Origins of Islamic Hajj

Aerial view of the Kaaba during Hajj

The annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca known as the Hajj begins tomorrow, but what exactly is the Hajj,what does it entail and where does it originate?

Al-Jazeera provides us with a concise explanation of the Hajj:

Hajj 2017: Why, when and how?

The dates for the five-day Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca have been officially announced after moon sighting on August 22.

Um al-Qura: August 30
Confirmed on August 22
Completed in 5-6 days

Every year, millions of Muslims make their way to Mecca to perform Hajj. The pilgrimage is made up of actions performed by Prophet Muhammed. The rites also symbolize the trials of Prophet Abraham.

When is Hajj?

The first day of the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca will be on Wednesday, August 30, 2017, as announced by Saudi Arabia’s High Judicial Court.

In the Islamic calendar, Hajj begins every year on the 8th day of the Dhu al-Hijjah lunar month, and traditionally the length of lunar months is only confirmed after moon sighting on the 29th day of the previous lunar month.

Since the moon was not seen on August 21, the first day of the Dhu al-Hijjah lunar month lunar will be August 23, and so Hajj should begin on August 30.

The High Judicial court in Saudi Arabia announces the dates for Hajj, and Eid al-Adha after reviewing moon sighting reports.

Why do Muslims go on Hajj?

For Muslims, Hajj re-enacts the actions of Prophet Muhammad’s “farewell pilgrimage” in 632 AD. Hajj is the fifth and final pillar of Islam, but is only a requirement for those who are able to afford the trip and are physically strong enough to complete the pilgrimage.

Muslims perform Hajj with the aim to cleanse their souls and revive their relationship with God. It is also meant to strengthen the bonds among Muslims, since pilgrims come from the four corners of the earth for the pilgrimage.

A significant aspect of Hajj is that it removes all markers of class, wealth and materialism, which is why the pilgrims dress in simple cloth for the duration of the pilgrimage. Men wrap themselves in two pieces of white cloth called the ihram, which also means the sacred state.

Hajj also hearkens back to the time of Prophet Abraham. Muslims believe that he built the kaaba, along with his son Ishmael. The cubic structure was intended as a gathering point for worshipers.

Pilgrims gather at Mount Arafat for key rite

How do Muslims perform Hajj?

1. Pilgrims enter ihram: a sacred state that includes controlling one’s baser instincts, such as anger, and maintaining a state of purity.

2. Head to Mina: an area outside of Mecca, where they stay in tents and spend the days leading up to Arafah in prayer and worship.

3. Spend the day at Arafah: The pilgrims head there and spend their time in prayer andworship until sunset.

4. Spend the night at Muzdalifah: on their way back to Mina, pilgrims stop at a place called Muzdalifah they pray the evening prayers and collect pebbles for another ritual.

5. Celebrate Eid al-Adha: During hajj, the pilgrims can pay to have a lamb sacrificed or go to a specific area outside of Mecca where they could partake in the symbolic ritual.

6. Throw pebbles at the three pillars: This action signifies another trial that prophet Abraham endured. Muslims believe that on his way to the sacrifice, Satan tried to deter Abraham from the act, so Abraham threw stones at the devil to fend him off.

7. Make tawaf at Mecca: circle around the kaaba, which includes supplication and remembering Allah.

A Brief Overview of the Origins of the Haaj

Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen provides us with a brief overview of the pre-Islamic Pagan origins of the Hajj:

The Ka’aba in Mecca was a center of idol-worship. 360 idols were kept in the Ka’aba. According to Hadith Bukhari 3:43:658 Narrated Abdullah bin Masud: The Prophet entered Mecca and (at that time) there were three hundred-and-sixty idols around the Ka’aba. He started stabbing the idols with a stick he had in his hand and reciting: “Truth (Islam) has come and Falsehood (disbelief) has vanished.”

The Black-stone or al-Ḥajar al-Aswad of the Ka’aba became the central shrine object in Islam. It was one of the many stones and idols venerated by pre-Islamic Pagans. The Black Stone was kissed by people during pre-Islamic pagan worship. Muhammad did not completely abolish Idol worship, he made the Black Stone stay and allowed people to continue the practice of kissing the stone. It is the same pre-Islamic Pagan stone that Muslims kiss today during Hajj and Umrah. The Islamic historians believe that the black stone was a pagan deity called ‘Al-Lat’, one of the three daughters of Allah, the Pagan moon-god. She was once venerated as a cubic rock at Ta’if in Arabia.

Hisham ibn-Al-Kalbi (819 CE) in his ‘The book of Idols’ wrote that ‘Al-lat stood in al-Ta’if, and was more recent than Manah. She was a cubic rock beside which a certain Jew used to prepare his barley porridge (sawiq). Her custody was in the hands of the banu-‘Attab ibn-Malik of the Thayif, who had built an edifice over her. […]She is the idol which God mentioned when He said, “Have you seen al-lat and al-Uzza?” (Surah 53:19)

Muslims in the 21st century believe that the Black Stone fell from the heaven during the era of Adam and Eve. They also believe that the stone was originally white, but it turned black because of absorbing human sins.

Pre-Islamic Pagans prayed five times a day facing Mecca. Persian Zoroastrian tribe prayed five times a day too, in the direction of the Sun or fire temple. Before prayers, Zoroastrians cleaned themselves or practiced ablution. Ablution and the prayers for 5 times are not something Islam invented. The Hadith [Sahih Bukhari Book 8, no. 345] tells us that when Muhammad met Allah in heaven, Allah demanded 50 prayers per day. But with the help of Moses, Muhammad bargained with Allah and finally he was successful to reduce 50 prayers per day to 5 prayers per day. Even the Quran (4:28) says, ‘God wishes to lighten your burden, for the human being is created weak’.

During Hajj, Muslims walk between two mountains seven times. It is also a pre-Islamic practice. Let’s see what the Quran and the Hadith say about the special mountain walk.

Hadith Bukhari. Volume 2, Book 26, Number 710: Narrated ‘Asim: I asked Anas bin Malik: “Did you dislike to perform Tawaf between mountain Al-Safa and mountain Al-Marwa?” He said, “Yes, as it was of the ceremonies of the days of the Pre-lslamic period of ignorance, till Allah revealed: ‘Verily! Al-Safa and Al-Marwa are among the rites (or symbols) of Allah. It is therefore no sin for him who performs the pilgrimage to the Ka’ba, or performs ‘Umrah, to perform Tawaf between them.’ ” (Quran 2.158)

The Kaaba

The central point of the Hajj is the cubic stone building known as the Kaaba, it stands in the city of Mecca and existed long before Muhammad and the birth of the religion of Islam.

Kaaba without the Kiswa (the embroidered covering)
Idol representing the moon god Hubal

“Before Muhammad appeared, the Kaaba was surrounded by 360 idols, and every Arab house had its god. Arabs also believed in jinn (subtle beings), and some vague divinity with many offspring. Among the major deities of the pre-Islamic era were al-Lat (“The Goddess”), worshipped in the shape of a square stone; al-Uzzah (“The Mighty”), a goddess identified with the morning star and worshipped as a thigh-bone- shaped slab of granite between al-Taid and Mecca; Manat, the goddess of destiny, worshipped as a black stone on the road between Mecca and Medina; and the moon god, Hubal, whose worship was connected with the Black Stone of Kaaba.

Pre-Islamic Arabian Pagan idols

The stones were said to have fallen from the sun, moon, stars, and planets and to represent cosmic forces. The so-called Black Stone (actually the color of burnt amber) that Muslims revere today is the same one that their forebears had worshipped well before Muhammad and that they believed had come from the moon.”

“The Kaaba is a large masonry structure roughly the shape of a cube. (The name “Kaaba”comes from the Arabic word meaning cube). It is made of granite from the hills near Mecca. The most current dimensions for the structure are: 15 m high (49′) with sides measuring 10.5 m (34′) by 12 m (39′). [Petersen, Andrew. Dictionary of Islamic Architecture. London: Routledge, 1996. p.142.] It is covered by a black silk cloth decorated with gold-embroidered calligraphy. This cloth is known as the kiswah; it is replaced yearly.

The eastern cornerstone of the Kaaba contains the Black Stone or al-Hajaru l-Aswad, which is generally thought to be a meteorite remnant.

Entrance to the inside of the Kaaba is gained through a door set 2.13 meters above the ground on the north-eastern wall of the Kaaba.

Inside the Kaaba, there is a marble floor. The interior walls are clad with marble half-way to the roof; tablets with Qur’nic inscriptions are inset in the marble. The top part of the walls is covered with a green cloth decorated with gold embroidered Qur’nic verses. Lamps hang from a cross beam; there is also a small table for incense burners. The building is otherwise empty. Caretakers perfume the marble cladding with scented oil, the same oil used to anoint the Black Stone outside.

According to Islamic tradition, God ordained a place of worship on Earth to reflect the house in heaven called al-Baytu l-Ma’mur. Muslims believe that Adam was the first to build such a place of worship.

According to the Qur’n, the Kaaba was built by the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and his son Ismail (Ishmael).

The Kaaba during Hajj

At the time of Muhammad, his tribe, the Quraysh, was in charge of the Kaaba, which was at that time a shrine to numerous Arabian tribal gods. Desert tribesmen, the Bedouin, and inhabitants of other cities would join the annual pilgrimage, to worship and to trade. Caravan-raiding, common during the rest of the year, was suspended during the pilgrimage; this was a good time, then, for travel and trade.

The Qur’n describes Mecca as a barren wadi where life is tough and resources scarce. Indeed, there is no evidence that Mecca was anything but a center of local trade and worship (see Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam, Patricia Crone, Blackwell, 1987).

The prophet Muhammad, preaching the doctrine of monotheism and the promise of the Day of Judgment, faced mounting opposition in the city of Mecca. The Quraysh persecuted and harassed him continuously, and he and his followers eventually migrated to Medina in 622 CE. After this pivotal migration, or Hijra, the Muslim community became a political and military force. In 630 CE, Muhammad and his followers returned to Mecca as conquerors and the Kaaba was re-dedicated as an Islamic house of worship. Henceforth, the annual pilgrimage was to be a Muslim rite, the Hajj.”

Pre-Islamic Arabia

We find a comprehensive explanation of the roots of Islam in Arabian Paganism in the article The Plain Truth About Islam by Peter Salemi.

The word “Allah” is a contraction of “Al-ilah,” ‘al’ meaning “the” and “ilah” meaning ‘god.’ Early biographers said that “al-ilah” comes from ‘El” or ‘Elohim,” meaning the God of the Bible but, “Early scholars attested the diffusion of this belief solely to Christianand Judaic influences. But now a growing number of authors maintain that this idea [of Allah] had older roots in Arabia…” (Studies in Islam, Swartz, p.12).

The Arabs had tribal gods in which they worshipped. Every tribe had their own God. “The Quraysh tribe into which Muhammad was born was particularly devoted to ALLAH…” (Islamic Invasion, Morey, p.51, emphasis mine). Before Muhammad was ever born, his tribe worshipped Allah, and he was the chief god of Mecca: “Its been pointed out that Mecca was in the control of the Quraysh tribe into which Muhammad was born” (ibid., pp.39-40). Since they were in control of Mecca, it was only right that their God was chief of the Kaaba in Mecca.

“In pre-Islamic days, called the Days of Ignorance, the religious background of the Arabs was pagan, and basically animistic. Through 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 Quarish, the prophet’s tribe. Allah had three daughters: ” (Van Ess, John, Meet the Arab, New York, 1943, p. 29)

Zwemer writes: “But history establishes beyond the shadow of doubt that even the pagan Arabsbefore Muhammad’s time, knew the chiefgod by the name of Allah…ilah is used for any god and Al-ilah (contracted to Allah, i.e, the god), was the name of the supreme. Among the Arabs this term denoted the chief god of three hundred and sixty idols…As final evidence, we have the fact that centuries before Muhammad the Arabian Kaaba, the temple at Mecca, was called Beit Allah, the House of God…” (Muhammad is Mecca, pp.25-26, 31-36).

Collier’s Encyclopedia under “Allah” writes “…there were among the Arabs, long before the emergence of Islam worshippers of a supreme god known as Allah, and the Koran (13:17; 29:61; 31:24 [These show that the Pagan Arab and Muhammad worshipped the same Deity]) leaveslittle doubt that Meccans…recognized the Allah was creator and provider” (p.570).

The Encyclopedia of Religion of Ethics under “Allah” writes, “The origin of this [Allah] goes back to pre-Islamic times as Prof. Nokleke has shown…Muhammad found the Meccans believing in a supreme god whom they called Allah…with Allah however they associated minor deities [called] the daughters of Allah. Mohammed’s reform wasto assert the solitary existence of Allah. The first article of the Muslim creed, therefore ‘La-ilaha illa-Llahu-means only as addresses by him to the Meccans ‘There exist no god except the one whom you already called Allah” (Hastings, p.326).

“Islam owes the term ‘Allah to the heathen Arabs… Muhammad did not find it necessary to introduce an altogether novel deity but content himself of ridding the heathen Allah ofhis companions [known as the daughters of Allah…Had he not been accustomed from his youth to the idea of Allah as the supreme god in particular in Mecca, it may all be doubted whether he would have come forward as a preacher of monotheism” (Ibn Warraq, Why I Am Not A Muslim, p.42).

“Historians like Vaqqidi have said Allah was actually the chief of the 360 gods being worshipped in Arabia at the time Mohammed rose to prominence. Ibn Al-Kalbi gave 27 names of pre-Islamic deities…Interestingly, not many Muslims want to accept that Allah was already being worshipped at the Ka’ba in Mecca by Arab pagans before Mohammed came. Some Muslims become angry when they are confronted with this fact. But history is not on their side. Pre-Islamic literature has proved this” (G. J. O. Moshay, Who Is This Allah?, Dorchester House, Bucks, UK, 1994, pg. 134,)

And Ceasare Farah concludes: “There were hundreds of such deities in Pagan Arabia, of all those mentioned, four appear to be most popularly revered on the eve of Islam: Al-Uzza, Allat and Manat. All three female deities, popularly worshipped by the tribes of Hijaz, they were regarded as the daughters of Allah, the god who headed the Arabian pantheon when Muhammad beganto preach Allahwas the paramount deity” (Islam).

So the Allah that the Meccans worshipped was:

  • Chief god at Mecca in the Kaaba
  • The same god Muhammad was proclaiming and worshipped by him and the pagan Arabs.
  • He was worshipped centuries before Muhammad.
  • Allah was the tribal deity of Quraysh, Mohammed’s tribe, and was the supreme god of Mohammed’s youth.

But now we seem to have a contradiction in history about the chief of God the Kaaba? Even though history shows that Allah was the chief god of the Quraysh, and the Kaaba. We also see a god called Hubal who was the chief god of the Kaaba, and of the Quraysh tribe. How can this be? Is there a contradiction in history? Let’s look at some quotes from historians and scholars about Hubal, and then let’s answer this question logically and from the foundations of history.

“Among the gods worshipped by the Quraysh, the greatest was Hubal…The Quraysh had several idols in and around the Kaaba. the greatest of these was Hubal” (F.E. Peters, The Hajj, pp.24-25).

“Hubal was the principal deity [in Mecca] Tthe god of the moon…” (Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, p.179, emphasis mine).

“…of the 360 idols set up in the Kaaba, the most important was Hubal, the god of the moon… It was set up in the Kaaba, and became the principal idol of the Meccans…” (ibid., p.161, ).

“Hubal was the chief god of the Kaaba” (George W. Braswell, JR, Islam, p.44).

“…The main god of the shrine [was] Hubal” (Neighboring Faiths, Winfried, Corduan, p.78).

Just like Allah:

  • Hubal was the greatest god of the Kaaba
  • Supreme god of the Quraysh tribe.
  • Hubal was the chief god of Mecca.

How do we reconcile this obvious contradiction in history? Is this a contradiction? Absolutely not! We have found in our research that Hubal is Allah, they are one and the same god!

The Funk and Wignall’s Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend says under “Allah,” “The pre-Mohammedan Arabic god Hubal had as his title Allahu meaning ‘The God’…As the patron of the Kaaba at Mecca, already supreme he was maintained in Mohammedan theology as the one god…” (vol.1, p.36).

Under “Hubal,” or “Hobal,” the same dictionary says, “Some say that Hubal, was the real name of Allahu, the chief god of pre-Islamic times, who became the one god of Islam…” (ibid., p.499).

“In Mecca, a god Hubal was worshipped, who may be identical with Allah” (H. Ringgren and A.V Strom, Religions of Mankind, p.178).

Muslims don’t want to admit what history shows, the Hubal is Allah. Robert Morey writes: “Religious claims often fall before results of hard sciences such as archaeology…the hard evidences demonstrates that the god Allah was a pagan deity. In fact he was the moon god[ Hubal]…” (The Moon God, Allah, p.1, emphasis mine). People of religion can say and believe anything they want, but it’s what the facts show, that prove whether you are right or wrong! Hubal IS Allah!

In Ibn Warraq’s book, Why I Am Not A Muslim, he writes about Hubal, and who he really is: “Hubal was worshipped at Mecca, and his idol…Hubal’s position next to the black stone [ Muslims kiss this stone today] suggests there is some connection between the two…”Wellhausen thinks that Hubal was originally the black stone…Wellhausen also points out that God is called ‘Lord of the Kaaba,’ and ‘Lord of the Territory,’ of Mecca in the Koran. The prophet railed against the homage rendered at the Kaaba to the goddesses Allat, Manat, and Al- Uzza, when the pagans called them the daughters of God, but Muhammad stopped short of attacking the cult of Hubal. From this Wellhausen concludes that Hubal is none other then Allah ‘the god of the Meccans” (p.39, emphasis mine). Why wouldn’t Muhammad preach against the “chief of the deities,” and say the Allah was the greatest? Even the Dictionary of Islam had to admit: “It’s remarkable that there is no distinct allusion to the idol [Hubal] in the whole Quran” (Thomas Patrick Hughes B.D., p.181, under “Hubal,” emphasis mine). He’s right! It is quite remarkable that the chief of the Kaaba is not even mentioned in the Quran at all. How can Muhammad totally exclude him?

In addition to the quote above about Allah being ‘Lord of the Kaaba,” Muhammad evidently said that he “received commandments to worship the ‘Lord of the House’ i.e. the Kaaba” (Muhammad, Tor Andrea, p.31). So its obvious he was talking about the pre-Islamic deity Hubal!

Well Muhammad did not exclude him for the simple reason: “There are stories in the sira of pagan Meccans praying to Allah while standing besides the image of Hubal” (Watt, Mohammed’s Mecca, p.39, emphasis mine). They are one and the same! Remember The Allah of the Meccans is the same Allah that Muhmmad was proclaiming to them!

Robert Morey writes on his cultbusters website:

“Was the title al-ilah (the god) used of the moon god? YES!

“Was the word “Allah” derived from “al-ilah”? YES!

“Was the pagan “Allah” a high god in the pantheon of deities”? YES!

“Was he worshipped at the Kaaba? YES!

“Did they place the statue of Hubal on top of the Kabba? YES!

“At the time was Hubal considered the Moon god?YES!

“Was the Kaaba thus the “house of the moon god”? YES!

“Did the name “Allah” eventually replace that of Hubal as the name of the Moon God? YES!”

“…Hubal the moon god, was the central focus of prayer at the Kaaba and the people prayed to Hubal using the name Allah” (Morey at

The origin of Allah and Allat were as sun and moon deities. (Zwemmer, (Ed) The Daughters of Allah, By Winnett, F V, MWJ, Vol. XXX, 1940, pg. 120-125).

This had to be the case that Hubal and Allah are one and the same as this source says: “What deity did the Quraysh represent? The Meccan shrine accommodated Hubal…but Hubal is not mentioned in the Quran…a building accommodating Hubal makes no sense around a stone representing Allah [as Warraq noted originally Hubal was the black stone] if Quraysh represented Allah. What is Hubal doing in the shrine?…Naturally Quraysh were polytheists, but they [the different gods] were house separately. No pre-Islamic sanctuary, stone or building is known to have accommodated more than one [chief] malegod, as opposed to one male god and a female…if Allah was a pagan god [as we have seen he is] like any other Quraych would not have allowed Hubal to share the sanctuary with him…One who have to fall back on the view that Allah might simply be another name for Hubal, as Wellhausen suggests; just as the Israelites knew Yahweh as Elohim, so the Arabs knew Hubal as Allah,meaning god” (Muslim Trade and the Rise of Islam, pp.192-193).


The Islamic pilgrimage known as the Hajj is largely a continuation of pre-Islamic Arabian pagan tradition, it’s centrepiece, the Kaaba is a pre-Islamic pagan sanctuary of the god Hubal, who later became known as Allah.

Hubal/Allah was the supreme deity among a large pantheon of gods venerated and worshipped by the pre-Islamic pagan Arabs; in their animistic cult/religion Hubal was represented by a black stone that is most likely a meteorite. Both followers of Islam and their pagan forebears believed that this stone had fallen from the moon; because Hubal/Allah was the ‘God of the Moon’ this stone became associated with him and was set into a corner of the sanctuary built for him (the Kaaba).

Muhammad was a member of the Quraysh tribe of Arabs who controlled Mecca and were responsible for the protection of the Kaaba. In the early 7th century, Muhammad began to preach a new monotheistic religion that became known as Islam which was based on a selected subset of pagan beliefs held by the animistic, pagan Quraysh tribe. Muhammad chose to abandon all the other gods and their idols and instead recognise only one – the supreme deity Allah. However, he omitted to include in his new religion the history and backstory behind Allah and his roots in the pagan, animistic cult/religion of the Arabs.

Therefore we can conclude that Islam is a distillation of earlier pagan beliefs and Allah is Muhammad’s interpretation of the earlier supreme deity of the animistic pagan Arabs. Furthermore, the Hajj, its rituals and its Kaaba centrepiece are continuations of earlier pagan religious rituals and beliefs.


Assistant Managing Editor
Ian Greenhalgh is a photographer and historian with a particular interest in military history and the real causes of conflicts.

His studies in history and background in the media industry have given him a keen insight into the use of mass media as a creator of conflict in the modern world.

His favored areas of study include state sponsored terrorism, media manufactured reality and the role of intelligence services in manipulation of populations and the perception of events.

DISCLOSURES: All content herein is owned by author exclusively.  Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images within are full responsibility of author and NOT VT.

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  1. Much of the data here is accurate, but the interpretation is bizarrely obtuse and perverse, probably because Ian is using secondhand ideas from third-rate anti-Islam propagandists. In fact, “monotheism” and “paganism” are not 100% separate entities, but rather two poles of a continuum. Most polytheistic pagan cultures recognize the existence of a single Creator (known in English as God, in Arabic as Allah or THE God) but tend to neglect Him/Her/It in favor of lesser deities – the beings known as djinn, demons, fairies, etc. “Hubal” was a such a being, rather like the Greek Zeus or the Jews’ tribol idol Yahweh. They made statues of Hubal, gave him an individual name, turned him into part of a pantheon. (Just as the early Hebrews, henotheists rather than monotheists, saw Yahweh as just one among many gods.) So obviously Hubal was NOT the one and only God for the pagan Arabs. The Qur’anic revelation corrects this mistake and other mistakes, by reinstating the primordial religion (and primordial reality) of pure monotheism.

    Ian, I would recommend avoiding idiots like “Ibn Warraq” and the many other mediocre minds who would never even get published, much less become famous, if they weren’t benefiting from the Zionist-backed multi-billion-dollar Islamophobia industry.

    • The article doesn’t say Hubal was the one and only god, it says that he was the principle deity of the 360 deities that were placed around the Kaaba and the deity which was worshipped by the Quraysh tribe. Ten different sources are cited for the point about Hubal, rather than just Ibn Warraq, I doubt all ten could have got it wrong. I stand by my conclusion that Allah is Muhammad’s interpretation of the earlier supreme deity of the animistic pagan Arabs and that the Hajj, its rituals and its Kaaba centrepiece are continuations of earlier pagan religious rituals and beliefs. This is hardly a controversial opinion as many Islamic scholars say the same thing with the proviso that they interpret this as being a ‘purification’ and stripping away of mistaken belief. I simply gave a secular interpretation and did not give any opinions, rather, I tried to look at things from a purely historical, unbiased approach. I didn’t intend to attack Islam or promote Islamophobia, merely to give the historical background to the Hajj from a secular viewpoint. The way I see it, if one set of people put forward a set of beliefs, and claim them to be ‘the truth’ then they should not complain if another set of people chose to examine the historical facts behind those beliefs rather than simply accept those beliefs as truth without questioning at all. To use science as an analogy, a scientist would put forward a theory which he believes to be true, other scientists then carry out experiments and examine the data to see if they support or disprove the theory. Is it wrong to apply this methodology to religious beliefs? Is it wrong to study history in order to gain a better understanding of the modern world? I am in no way an Islamophobe for I do not fear Islam, I wish to understand more about it and why it is such a divisive issue in the modern world. I feel that by demystifying Islam we can fight Islamophobia for the simple reason that, like all irrational fears, it is based on ignorance. We should avoid falling into the trap of labelling anyone who dares to study Islam with a secular viewpoint an ‘Islamophobe’, just as we rightly reject the Jewish habit of labelling any critics of Judaism ‘anti-semites’, just as the peoples of modern day Europe have ceased to attack anyone who criticises Christianity as blasphemers and heretics.

  2. Cyruss, the ugly side of religion is blind obedience and judgement on others, like “Oh god will get you”.
    I want to see the observation that proves that, because what I see does not indicate that is the case.
    If every time , someone gets hurt or killed in disaster, you say, it was god punishing them, then, nobody will join that group unless they are born into it and forced. It also sounds extremist and uneducated. Children can see that.

  3. How long guys like U Will repeat the same age old lies and slander against islam? I am pretty sure ur knowledge about Zoroastrianism is almost zero, yet ur ego makes U continue argumenting without substance. So now some basic Points: 1. God sent messengers to all nations including Persians, where prophet Zardusht preached the message. 2. Islam is not a new religion, it is a premordial and natural way of life, first preached by Adam. 3.Prof.Mohamed just updated the original msg which was corrupted.4.The true definition of muslim is :Submission to the Will of god. Quran claims that even nature is in the state of submission to god, so trees, animals, moon, sun They are true muslims, coz they are following universal laws made by God.5.Do not spread lies coz the karma Will strike u back.

  4. A proper calendar has meaning and can be proven easily. Children can observe it. When the people who write about the ages and such, yet do not even know basic things, it is ridiculous on it’s face, like a doctor prescribing pills but does not know basic chemistry or biology. I have yet to see any academic writing about such things, that actually has knowledge. If a person can tell me, what age it was hundreds of years ago, then why don’t they know the day or year or current age, and provide proof of it. ? And no, the stars are not proof, just a correlation with assigned symbols that may or may not be accurate. The proof of what day it is , is right in front of every living things noses. Examine the product. The religions do change every age, but what if those who change them know what it should be and subvert that ? Would people know ? How can they check it ? Why so many religions now ? Learn the 20 days, because I can assure you, the bad guys are. Today is 1 Aj. Worry about “ages” later.

  5. Usually people WHO knows less about things their ego deceives them and gives them the false feeling of knowing. Here we have westerner photograph who things he knows more about islam then every one. Prof.Nagel of Germany spent many years of his lite to study the Quran and what was his conclusion?! He wrote, we did not find any evidence that Quran is a man made book, his research disproved all western lies and slander about Quran and islam. But our photographer, Mr.Ian, without Reading one page of Quran claims he knows better. Russian scientist Mr.Ouspensky regarding the scientific phenomenon of Quran said: Any scientific issue which contradicts Quranic scientific verses going to be false. Goete, one of the greatest mind of western world said: IF islam means submission to the Will of God, so we Are all muslims. He said : This book (Quran) is the book of books. The answer to your falsly claims,Mr.Ian, Are in the Quran.

    • Mr.M.Hoffman, former German diplomat and intellectual, a revert to Islam, gave sura Ikhlas, which is a short sura of 5 verses as an answer to such claims and attacks against islam. According him, this sura gives us the best explanation and intellectually accepted concept of God /Allah. Every child of 3-5 years in the entire islamic world memorize this sura and Will remember it by heart untill leaving this temporary world. But, Mr.Ian, does not know about this. Actually Quran says that They Will reject this book without reading or pondering over it.

  6. Yeah Khalid that explanation is very accurate. Even the concept of “Tawhid” translated as “unity” or “oneness,” in the Arabic denotes an active, causative stance. i.e. something more like “unifying” or “uniting.” In that vein, you’re absolutely right Islam was not intended to uproot local cultural practice, but to redirect and unify it with the notions of one God and just/moral religion.

  7. The two most effective tools to an aggressive territory thief, is religion and military. Everywhere, “written word” religions went, the calendars were removed first. Holidays are appropriated, and new sets of practices are organized, often maintaining older traditions with a new less meaningful application. And of course, often science is at odds with modern religion. The calendars are the oldest science, and I am not at all surprised to see 360 as the thing which was erased. Like any science, it can be perverted and misused, but the fact remains, that women are put under heavy protection during times of chaos, and that too, can be misused or clung to, for too long. There is no need for war, but conversation. Finally, we have the tool for that. I bet somewhere in the ME are studious people who know exactly what each of the 360 were and are. Pagan is not a word I would use to describe them. Calendrical scientists, is more appropriate.

  8. Kahn is new to me, but a cursory look, The Salk Institute frontal view matches his day glyph with very much precision. Aj is the third day, and today in fact. The glyph represents the open mouth and the telluric forces of the earth. The fountain is the tongue, and the tonsils are there, and the buildings are the teeth. The day is more known for agriculture, and diplomatic leadership. His style appears heavy with lots of superfluous use of material to me. Very earthy. Gehry is more to my liking, but I can see why folks like Kahn. Gehry’s Balboa Museum, matches his Hindu decan glyph which is a prostrated man in a rowboat. The same as Winslow Homer, who prolifically repeated the image. Calatrava, was born on the same day as Kahn, and certainly flows liquid into his design. I’m surprised you like him, and not Hadid, maybe you just don’t like women right now. Calatrava has rows of teeth everywhere and the inside of the mouth.

  9. The Quran maintains a strikingly absolute portrayal of God’s oneness. Most Muslims would believe that the rites of Hajj began with Abraham and Ishmael, were adopted and corrupted by the pagans, and were reclaimed by Islam. There are also philosophical/mystical/spiritual interpretations of the Hajj pilgrimage. Mystical philosophers like Ibn Arabi and Mansor Hallaj have argued that the practice was external action intended to stimulate internal reflection. Every day Muslims pray facing the qibla, the direction of Mecca. Then they make the pilgrimage and circumambulate the Kaaba. The act of orienting and directing oneself, in this line of interpretation, is meant to make one singularly aware that how you orient and direct yourself in life dictates where you go and what you become. Ergo a big component of Hajj is directing one’s mind into a state of ihram, abstaining from bad intention/thought and reflecting on self.

    • Praying 5 times per day in a specific direction is copied from Zoroastrianism, quite a few other Islamic practices are also taken from Zoroastrianism. I suppose the point to take from that is that religion has evolved over time and as new religions arose, they incorporated existing beliefs and practices.

    • Also the notion of Judgement day came from Zoroastrianism. Some of the similarities are striking. In Zoroastrianism, one crosses the Chinvat bridge upon death, in Islam it is the as-Sirat. Yes, religion, as most other domains, builds upon parallel, antecedent traditions. Although most Muslims would believe the earlier religions and Islam were the same principles, and Islam was just a reset of these. At any rate the most important thing, in my mind, is how one relates to religious tradition and gives it meaning. With the Judgement day, many see it as a hallucination designed to scare people into obedience, a mean, nasty god passing judgement on people who didn’t follow “the rules.” And that is the mainstream view, especially with isis/wahabi types. There is also a philosophical (less literal) interpretation. Sahl at-Tostari described the Judgement day as a “grand recollection and reconciliation.” It is a reflection on the events of life, a final cosmic reflection. Any judgement passed is judgement passed over self: the realization of how destructive, callous, narcissistic, etc one may have been in his life. Awareness of the Judgement day is supposed instill a concern for the consequences of one’s action. Still might not be something a given person would “believe” in, but a far more meaningful/interesting perspective.

  10. Hadid also designed her decan which is dolphin, the first decan of scorpio, that has no scorpions in it. The third one does. But that would be best viewed by observing the wood carving of Isamu Noguchi. Tooth and tail. Zaha brought water forms from her soul and found the material to bring it all to life and stability. As I said, to view her day, the unbuilt design for the Louvre is among her best, and was not built, but it did become a hit crop circle. The crop circle was reported on her day also 4, Aqabal, in Hackpen Hill 2012, August 26 I believe.

  11. Wrights Imperial Hotel of Tokyo is actually very close to the ancient Maya glyph for the day of Aqabal. That is why the glyphs are as they are. They identify shape of product of the day. Primates just facilitate.

  12. Thankyou, this is a valuable contribution. The message that Islam is a peaceful religion and Allah a merciful God needs to be spread in order to counter the horrible demonisation of Islam and promotion of Islamophobia that has and is taking place all across the non-Islamic world, especially Europe and the US.

  13. The oldest study in the world, is the study of days. Is today different from tomorrow, and if so, in what way ? Any person who studies this will quickly realize, that it needs further examination due to multiple cycles. The moon, the sun, the planets, all have correlations with behaviors of all living things. The sky correlations are merely a good way to translate between languages. It works. But the deep water is the differences between days. There was found to be a repeating cycle of 20 days. They change sometime between midnight and morning. Many say 3 am. Either way 20 days became a score. The thirteenth day is known to the Quiche Maya as Aqabal. It is the day of the cube among other things. The simple description is 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night. This denotes the rise and fall of light and dark. The best way to observe the days , is to observe the product of people born on specific days.

    • So, who is born on the day of Aqabal ? Architects. The other meaning of the day is simply “The House”. Frank Loyd Wright was born on Aqabal, 4 Aqabal to be precise, and he spoke of how he observed and marveled at the cube and the blocks, as his inspiration. Zahi Hadid was also born on Aqabal. She is in my opinion the best architect of the last few decades and while she also designed Dolphin shapes, folks should look at the design she had for the courtyard of the Louvre. It was a cube with smaller cubes. Trump was born on Aqabal, as was Wyatt Earp, and James Arnez, and many other sheriffs. To say it is a day for sheriffs is correct, and the relationship is building law. That is what Masons are founded on. The building of a structure is directly related to geometric principles and mathematical principles that define many sciences including physics.

    • The symbology in ancient Egypt was also strongly related to Aqabal and the dung beetle is the best architect of any creature. They can build a near perfect sphere out of poop with their hind legs walking backwards. I always ask,.. “Would that get a prize if you could do it ?” Of course. So, the house and the concept of building, is typified by the cube and the sphere and squaring the circle is in all cultures and religious imagery. This in turn brings meaning to the correlation between the human body and the house. It is your house. If we keep the perspective of observation, then we know the result. This day also brings changes in the household good or bad. Half dark and half light. Marriage counselors may be born on this day. Builders and architects. Changes in the house.

    • the very best descriptor of the day is I-Ching # 13 which correlates to the Maya days. sacred text archive Legge translation. It sounds like Trump and his republican victory, just that we need to watch the gate of the city afterwards.

  14. Well most if not all current religion based on paganism and animism and partially practiced or celebrate some form of them.

    For one i should advice that the information that’s to be used in religions article to be taken from the most original sources which is Arabic languages for Islam, India or Chinese for Buddhism Hebrew for Judaism etc.
    Article about religion or any kind of deep rooted beliefs will not served as any kind of valid argument for the believers who read them because they mostly covers the shallow part of it and sometimes even detached from what they experienced daily (i.e American who live in comfortable cities have perceive the danger of act of terrorism while detached from the reality of the middle east where the warzone can have people bombed out of nowhere)
    Anyway while the article served as a good pointers for a discussion between non believers or anyone that has no connection in particular with the topics for their general comparison of things(good or bad ?) the article about beliefs that only cover small or it was inaccurate can only trigger a bad response from believers.

    Lastly yes it may just revised tradition from the older paganism practice (may or may not abrahamic ?) but it just my opinion.

    • Not astronomy. Calendrics. The most common calendar used by folks of all cultures, before the Gregorian, was the 360 day calendar. It would stop short during the “Ides of March” and begin again on the day of the Vernal equinox. In terms of calendars, a culture who knows the year begins on the VE is kind of a basic qualifier, like knowing the basic letters of a language, or learning the 3 basic colors.
      Each day has a difference, and a different product. That is why many cultures had an image or descriptor for the 360. Just like everyone knows that 3am is a strange time. The year has a strange time, just before the change. No intelligent culture would use the 365.25 day year, and begin it in January. That is strictly a financial calendar and should never be given prominence, else all goes to the bank.

  15. Islam is not a ‘split from Judaism’ read the article! Islam is a descendant of the Arabic pagan animistic cults. I don’t deny the similarities you point out but I suspect they came along later, after the death of Muhammad and introduced by Jews or crypto-Jews.

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