Did Kabah In Makkah Exist before 4th Century?

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One of the recent things I have heard from Christian missionaries, when debating with them is that they say, “Kabah in Mecca did not exist before the 4th century.” Some of them even say that the Ka’bah in Mecca where Muslims go for pilgrimage annually has no history before the advent of Islam. These ridiculous fictitious claims have no bases whatsoever. I shall now bring forth evidences that Kabah in Makah did exist in history long before the coming of Muhammed (p).

The Kabah stone In Mecca

Diodorus Siculus (Born: 90 BC – Died: 30 BC)

Diodorus Siculus was a Greek historian, who wrote works of history in the 1st Century BC. He is known for the monumental universal history Bibliotheca historica. Diodorus is the first known Historian long before the coming of Islam that makes mention of Mecca.

Reverend Charles Augustus Goodrich a Christian, was an American author and Congregational minister comments on Kaaba and Mecca, although, he is not fond of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), but he is sincere in admitting that Ka’bah existed at the time of Patriarchs. He writes:

“Among the variety of fabulous traditions which have been propagated by the followers of Mahomet, concerning the origin of this building, we find it asserted, that its existence is coeval with our parents, and that it was built by Adam, after his expulsion from paradise, from a representation of the celestial temple, which the almighty let down from heaven in curtains of light and placed in Mecca, perpendicular under the original. To this the patriarch was commanded to turn his face when he prayed, and to compass it by way of devotion, as the angels did the heavenly one. After the destruction of this temple by the deluge, it was rebuilt by Abraham and his son Ishmael on the same spot, and after the same model, according to directions, which they received by revelation; and since that time, it has continued to be the object of veneration to Ishmael’s descendants. Whatever discredit we may give to these, and other ravings of the Moslem imposter concerning the Caaba its high antiquity cannot be disputed; and the most probable account is, that it was built and used for religious purposes by some of the early patriarchs; and after the introduction of idols, it came to be appropriated to the reception of the pagan divinities. Diodorus Siculus, in his description of the cost of the Red Sea, mentions this temple as being, in his time, held in great veneration by all Arabians; and Pocoke informs us, that the linen or silken veil, with which it is covered, was first offered by a pious King of the Hamyarites, seven hundred years before the time of Mahomet.” [1]

 

John Reynell Morell:

“…historically speaking, Mecca was a holy city long before Mohammed. Diodorus siculus, following agatharcides, relates that not far from the red sea, between the country of the Sabeans and of the Thamudites there existed a celebrated temple, venerated throughout Arabia.”[2]

Encyclopædia Britannica: Or, A Dictionary of Arts, sciences and Miscellaneous Literature – Colin Macfarquhar:

“the science of astronomy was cultivated at Babylon; but the school of the Arabs was a clear firmament and a naked plain. In their nocturnal marches, they steered by the guidance of the stars: their names and order, daily station were familiar to the curiosity and devotion of the bedoween; and he was taught by experience to divide in 28 parts the Zodiac of the moon, and to bless the constellations who refreshed, with salutary rains, the thirst of the desert. The reign of the heavenly orbs could not be extended beyond the visible sphere; and some metaphorical powers were necessary to sustain the transmigration of the souls and the resurrection of bodies: a camel was left to perish on the grave, that he might serve his master in another life; and the invocation of departed spirits implies that they were still endowed with consciousness and power. Each tribe, each family, each independent warrior, created and changed the rites and the object of this fantastic worship; but the nation in every age has bowed to the religion as well as to the language, of Mecca. The genuine antiquity of the Caaba extends beyond the Christian era: in describing the coast of the Red Sea, the Greek historian Diodorus has remarked, between the Thamaudites and the Sabeans a famous temple, whose superior sanctity was revered by ALL THE ARABIANS: the linen or silken veil, which is annually renewed by the Turkish Emperor, was first offered by a pious King of the Homerites, who reigned 700 years before the time of Mahomet.“ [3]

Andrew Crichton also comments on the ‘Kabah’ in his book; ‘The history of Arabia, ancient and modern.’

“From the celebrity of the place, a vast concourse of pilgrims flocked to it from all quarters. Such was the commencement of the city and the superstitions fame of Mecca, the very name of which implies a place of great resort. Whatever credit may be due to these traditions, the antiquity of the Kaaba is unquestionable; for its origin ascends far beyond the beginning of the Christian era. A passage in Diodorus has anobvious reference to it, who speaks of a famous temple among the people he calls Bizomenians, revered as most sacred by all Arabians.” [4]

Claudius Ptolemy (Born: 90 AD – Died: 168 AD)

Claudius Ptolemy was a Greco-Roman writer of Alexandria, known as a mathematician, astronomer, geographer; is another person, centuries before Islam who makes mention of Makkah. He uses the name ‘Makoraba’ for Makkah.

In the Book: ‘The New Encyclopedia of Islam’, written by Cyril Glassé says that Ptolmey, in the second century mentioned Makkah. Here is what he wrote,

“Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah, lit ‘Mecca the blessed’). For thousands of years Mecca has been a spiritual center. Ptolemy, the second century Greek geographer, mentioned Mecca, calling it ‘Makoraba’. Some have interpreted this to mean temple (from Maqribah in south Arabian) but it may also mean ‘Mecca of the Arabs’.” [5]

Ilya Pavlovich Petrushevsky (1898–1977) was an Professor of History of the Near East at the University of Leningrad for twenty years, he also makes mention that Ptolemy in the second Century mentioned Makkah:

“On the caravan route from Syria to the Yemen, in the Hijaz neighbourhood, lay Mecca. Ptolemy, the Greek geographer, mentions it as early as the second century calling it Makoraba, which is derived from the south Arab word Maqrab meaning ‘sanctuary’. [6]

Michael Wolfe:

“Mecca lies midway along the west coast of Arabia in a mountainous barrier region named the Hijaz. This narrow tract of land about nine hundred miles long with the Tropic of Cancer passing through its center. The second-century Greco-Egyptian geographer Ptolemy called the city Makoraba, the temple.” [7]

Paul Wheatley:

“it was its virtual monopoly of Hijaz commerce which made of Mecca, in the words of the Quran, ‘a city secure and at peace; provisions flowing in from every side’. But all this is concerned with the expansion of the influence of a city which already existed. The name Mecca (strictly transliterated as Makkah) had been mentioned in the Ptolmaic corpus in the 2nd century AD under the orthography Makoraba, which itself derived from the Sabaean Makuraba, meaning ‘sanctuary’. Long before Muhammad the Ka’bah had served as the central shrine of a group of clans, each of whom had deposited its ritual stone, symbolizing its own god, in the sacred precinct.” [8]

In the book ‘A Comparative Study of Thirty City-state Cultures: An Investigation’, by Mogens Herman Hansen; in Note 24 he makes it clear when Ptolemy mentioned the name ‘Macoraba’, that he meant Mecca:

“Ptolemy in Geographies refers to Mecca as Macoraba.” [9]

From all the evidences which I have presented, from objective and academic sources, it can clearly be seen that it is a fact that Kabaah existed before the advent of Islam and Muhammad (peace be upon him).  Sealing my arguments, I refer you to Reverend Charles Augustus Goodrich, a Christian historian, who admitted that the Kabaah existed and was built by the Patriarchs. In his own words, he says, “Caaba its high antiquity cannot be disputed; and the most probable account is, that it was built and used for religious purposes by some of the early patriarchs.”

Related article:

(1) – From Petra back to MakkaFrom “Pibla” back to Qibla

References:

[1] Religious Ceremonies and Customs, Or: The Forms of Worship Practised by the several nations of the known world, from the earliest records to the present time, Charles Augustus Goodrich [Hartford: Published by Hutchinson and Dwine 1834] page 124
[2] Turkey, Past and Present: Its History, Topography, and Resources By John Reynell Morell, page 84
[3] Encyclopaedia Britannica: Or, A Dictionary of Arts, sciences and Miscellaneous Literature Constructed on a Plan volume 2, by Colin Macfarquhar page 183 – 184
[4] The history of Arabia, ancient and modern volume 1 [second edition] By Andrew Crichton page 100
[5] The New Encyclopedia of Islam by Cyril Glasse page 302
[6] Islam in Iran by I. Pavlovich Petrushevsky page 3
[7] One Thousand Roads to Mecca: Ten Centuries of Travelers Writing about the Muslim pilgrimage Michael Wolfe introduction xv
[8] Paul Wheatley The Origins and Character of the Ancient Chinese City: volume 11 page 288
[9] A Comparative Study of Thirty City-state Cultures: An Investigation, Volume 21 by Mogens Herman Hansen page 248 NOTE 24

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9 Responses »

  1. LISTEN THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD,ONE “SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST”WHO ONLY HAS THE POWER TO SAVE NO ONE,I MEAN NO ONE CAN SAVE YOU APART FROM JESUS,IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO TURN TO HIM NOW THAT YOU HAVE LIFE(NOT DEAD) BECAUSE IF YOU DON’T ACCEPT HIM AND YOU DIE TRUST ME, IT WILL BE TERRIBLE,TERRIFYING WHERE YOU WILL FOUND YOURSELF.NOW IS THE TIME FOR YOU

    • Moses

      Yes there is only one God and HE is the Al-Mighty Creator who created everything.
      Jesus is not God. God saves me, not a human being that was created by the Creator. I accept him (Jesus) as a Prophet/Messenger of Almighty God. I hope you start repenting and come back on the truth path of Monotheism, start worshipping the CREATOR not the creation.

      By the way this post is about Makkah, if it existed before the 4th Century.

      Peace

  2. Its amazes me how we all try to prove our point as to who is right and who is wrong, God has already proved us wrong, and further He is not interested in any of these accept to follow what He wanted us to do and that is, to spread the good news of salvation..HOW PLAIN IS THAT!!!

  3. It amazes me how all the ancient historians showed that Ka’abah existed as a sanctuary from time immemorial.

    This fact really justifies the statement of Rev. Charles Augustus that the Ka’abah “was built and used for religious purposes by some of our early patriachs”.

    Thus historical evidence proves the Islamic claim on the antiquity of the Ka’abah!

    • I really agree with you. Truth is truth it can never be hidden. It seems to me that some of the Christian historians due to their religious interests they are trying to distort the true history of the holy city of Meca. Thanks to God other Christian impartial and trustworth schoolers, including reverend Charles have been ready to give the exposition of the truth. Even in the absence of historical evidence Meca itself and the holy Kaaba has so many living signs which can convince any impartial person to admit its holyness

  4. why ancient historians mentioned the name of mecca as makoraba while the ancient name of mecca is becca? and other contempory historians and 18th century historians by what evidence they admitted this?

  5. Sorry none of this is evidence as far as I can see. The debate is not really about whether Kaaba existed before Quran came. We know it did already. That doesn’t show anything. The point is is whether there is evidence that it was associated with the worship of the God of Bible, and whether Abraham and Ishmael were involved in its building. On all these points, there is absolutely no evidence. In fact, apart from evidence, there is not even any writing before Quran that talks about this. This Rev. Charles Augustus guy is just one random American (who was not even a historian) who wrote about 200 years ago, and no-one knows where he got this opinion from. So it basically counts for nothing. Of course the best place to look would be the Bible, but we know for certain that the BIble doesn’t mention anything about Kaaba, or Abraham going to Mecca, or Ishmael building it.

  6. John the Seeker makes a valid point. No evidence of Mecca existing during the time of Abraham.

    His point falls down when he writes: “Of course the best place to look would be the Bible..” because neither is the bible backed up by ANY archeological evidence of ANY Patriarch’s existing.

    But this post was about did Mecca exist before 4th Century A.D.. This author proves geographers mentioned “a Temple” in the area prior to 4th Century A.D. So the lies of Christians about it have been addressed.

    Really comes down to, who is to believed. The Semitic people whom have lived in this area from Biblical Times. Or, European, Greco-Roman usurpers of their Prophets and culture?

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