Bob presented long posts that needed answering and Rome was not built in a day. I was preparing a response but he has disappeared from the forum, like one of those Jinns some believe in. So here is what I have written so far:-
Amongst some truthful words about the paganised black stone worship, I find much interpretation that has again been stretched to breaking point, a characteristic of Qamar Zaman (Saum is another example).
I have a 19th Century photograph of the Kaabah and your claim that the Saudis built it in 1996 is an absurdity not worth responding to. Also, the idea that Mecca did not exist prior to the 8th century belongs to the Christian Orientalists who have always sought to denigrate Islam, they being so perfect, of course!
The Kaabah was chosen to be a centre for mankind, not the ritualized “I am born again”, Ganges washing, sin removal, holiday excursion we see today.
Obedience is to the Words of Allah and anyone not wanting this can stay away. People, non-Muslims included, are called to gather in order to put Islam into practice, for Muslims to regulate the worlds affairs in the same way the UN (please do not laugh, it is not perfect but they try) or the USA, but in Islam’s case it would be done with JUSTICE and COMPASSION.
You may have had something for us to think about but when you mentioned Petra, that was it, the cat was out of the bag; FREEMINDS ideology. It is the lot of mankind to have great answers for rejecting falsehoods in others (hadith, three stone pillars of the devil etc) yet have a set of ridiculous beliefs themselves; it must be some sort of psychiatric problem that makes man this way.
Here is an exposition of the verses you have quoted, maybe this will help you to stop following the Rashid Khalifa, Petra loving cult that worship the number 19!
[ Dr Shabbir has is excellent translation, but Ghulam Ahmed Parwez puts it another way, which may help your understanding;’ two minds are better than one’!]
22.25. Kaba is the center of the system, the exhilarating scenario of which has been depicted afore. This place is worthy of the highest respect and will ultimately become the fountainhead of Divine obedience. We have declared it open for the whole of mankind, for those who dwell here and for those who come from abroad. (Its doors are open to all who have been denied justice and fairness; and everyone shall benefit equally from its bounties.) But if someone tries to deviate even a little from the right course, by either profanity or evil doing, We shall punish him severely.
Not only do these people themselves flout this system of justice and equity, they prevent others from coming towards it. (How long can their transgression be tolerated?) The time has now come to put a check on their actions, in order to protect humanity from their excesses and aggression (21:39).
22.26. This center of Divine Order was founded by Abraham, so that obedience would remain for Allah alone. No one else should be ascribed a share in it.
We had told him that the center should be purged of all self-made concepts and beliefs and reserved for educating and disciplining people. The responsibilities of people so organised would be to supervise and keep vigil over the actions of other nations; establish an exemplary social and judicial system; and thereafter to completely submit to the Divine Order. (2:125; 2:197; 3:17; 3:95.)
22.27. (After this We told Abraham to) Proclaim to people that they should henceforth come to this place for the final decisions on their affairs. They should come from every part of the world, after travelling long distances on foot or on mounts which may become lean on account of fatigue from the journey.
22.28. They should come here so that they can witness with their own eyes the beneficial (and wonderful) work being done for them by this system.
And during the appointed days of this congregation, they should slaughter the cattle We have provided, after proclaiming on them the name of Allah. They should eat their meat themselves and also feed the needy and poor who may be there.
22.29. (Let them eat, drink and ponder the schemes with consultations.) Consultation will remove impurities from their collective/national lives, so that they will be able to discharge their duties and responsibilities (which they have undertaken upon themselves for the sake of the collective welfare of society). In this way the entire Umma shall become the guardian of this Centre, which in this world is a unique symbol of freedom, strength and Divine Authority. The Centre also enjoys the honour of being the first and the oldest house2.
22.30. This is the objective of this congregation. Thus for the one who observes and honours restrictions prescribed by Allah, the deeds would rebound for his own good in accordance with the Divine Laws.
Why do you jump around the Quranic verses, it is not basketball you know? I quote the numbers and your order, 2;144, 2;146, 2;145, 2;148, 10,87, 2;149, 2;150, 2;142, here is the right order:-
2.142 The people (Jews) ask as to why did the Muslims forsake Jerusalem as Qibla and instead made K’aba as their Qibla when the earlier Ahl-ul-Kit’ab had Jerusalem as their Qibla.
This question arises from lack of knowledge otherwise the matter is not difficult to comprehend. Jerusalem is the national centre of Bani-Isr’ael and Islam is a call to all humanity. It is obvious that the centre of a Universal Order should be open to the entire world and not be confined to a particular nation or race. For this purpose, Allah has guided the Jama’at-ul-Momineen towards the K’aba, which is the straight path.
2.143 Therefore, O Jama’at-ul-Momineen! Pay no heed to this question. Our objective is to make you a people with a universal outlook to be equidistant from all other peoples i.e. neither leaning towards any particular people nor estranged from another. Your responsibility is to keep a watch over the activities of other people of the world (to see that no nation is oppressing the other) and the responsibility of the Rasool (being the head of the Divinely-ordained System – 3/109, 22/78) is to watch over your activities.
The objection raised by the Jews is the outcome of a conflict between two opposite mentalities; one given to examining a disputed point objectively and the other to dealing with it subjectively. On rational grounds it is obvious that a system established for the benefit of all humanity is decidedly better than one which has narrower i.e. tribal or racial objectives. The adoption of the K’aba as the centre not of a particular people but of a Universal System constituted a concrete criterion whereby the two mentalities could be distinguished from each other. Subscribing to a Universal System rather than one based upon narrow tribal or racial affiliations and interests, is an uphill task but those who have the courage to take such a course are duly protected from the ill effects of destructive forces and provided adequate sources of nourishment.
2.144 We are also aware of your constant yearning that you should have possession of, and jurisdiction over the place (Makkah) which We have proclaimed to be the centre of Our system. This will certainly happen. What you need to do is to direct all your activities towards liberating the K’aba from ungodly forces wherever you may be and whatever is your sphere of activity.
The fact is that these Ahl-ul-Kit’ab know fully well that your call is based upon truth from Allah (since it was mentioned in their books) but they will continue to oppose it out of stubbornness and prejudice. We are aware of all that they do.
2.145 It is evident that rational arguments are ineffective where stubbornness and prejudice prevail. Therefore, even if you advance all possible arguments, they will not follow your Qibla but insist that you should follow theirs. This you cannot do since your Qibla is Divinely-appointed. It is strange that Jews and Christians unite in their opposition to you but their Qiblas are separate. If, hypothetically speaking, having learned the truth, you feel inclined to compromise with their wishes, you will obviously be defying Divine Laws.
2.146 These people are well aware of these realities and recognise your call as one recognises his own children (because it is mentioned in their Books) but their religious leaders deliberately conceal it.
2.147 Anyhow, this is the truth which has been made clear to you by your Creator and Sustainer, and there is no need to engage in any dispute over it.
2.148 In spite of the great importance of having a centre, take note of the fact that having one is not an end in itself; every nation has some sort of a centre. What really matters is how far ahead you are of other nations in working for the good of mankind (2/177). If you keep this goal in mind, then wherever you are and whatever you do, Allah’s System will make you a united community (because unity or cohesion depends upon unanimity of purpose or ideology and not on national or racial commonality). You should note that Allah’s Law is cognizant of the measures of all things and has supreme control over them.
2.149 The practical method of achieving homogeneity is that whenever and from wherever you start your journey, focus all your attention upon the goal set for you by Allah. This Message, based upon truth, is from your Creator and Sustainer. Be aware that none of your deeds is hidden from Allah’s Law of Mukaf’at.
2.150 Thus the basic rule for your life’s journey is that wherever you are, when you intend to advance in pursuit of some project, keep your eyes focused upon your centre. O Rasool! you and your Jama’at should act accordingly, and if you do so, the splendid results of your efforts will validate your Deen and no one will dare to challenge it except those who (due to their stubbornness and prejudice) drift far from the path of truth and justice. There is, however, no reason to fear such people. You need only be careful that you do not go stray from the Divine Laws.
We have given you this Code so that you should have all the blessings of life (5/3) and advance towards the ultimate goal designated for humanity.
2.151 For this purpose We have sent this Rasool so that he may communicate Our Message to you, explain the Divine Laws to you and instruct you regarding their why and wherefore. At the same time, he establishes an order wherein your potentialities may develop. What you learn from the Rasool, you did not know before (the revelation was sent to you).
2.152 If you follow this Code of the Divine Laws, Allah will safeguard your rights and grant you honour and eminence (21/10, 21/24, 23/71, 43/44). Therefore value this great gift given to you and do not let it be lost from your view.
Surah105, Lot’s story? Sheer conjecture and mischief making on your part, what for?
105.1. (If these opponents are under the false impression that none can defeat a powerful and mighty force like theirs, you should tell them) "Have you not seen, with your own eyes how your Rabb dealt with the army which had elephants?
105.2. “You saw with your own eyes how He rendered their artful planning utterly unsuccessful.
105.3. (They had selected an unknown and unsuspected pass on the other side of the mountain, so that they could lead a sudden attack and take you unawares.) “But flocks of eagles and vultures (which normally fly over the armies to pick up remnants of dead bodies or other eatables) started hovering over their heads. In this way you realised from a distance, that some army was on the move behind the mountains (their secret plan was thus exposed).
105.4/5. “Therefore you climbed over the mountain and started pelting them with stones, crushing their army and making them to look like chewed-up stubble."
(All this happened before your very eyes. When such a mighty army can be defeated, then what about yourself. All your secret plans will also fail.)
The Arabs had caravan routes which passed the city of Petra, as well as other ruins, so this does not mean that they were living near to it, and this certainly does not mean that Mecca did not exist or was not inhabited by the Messenger. The Quran uses figurative language which traps the unwary, passing by day and night is one such example.
37;133. Similarly, Lot was also one of Our Rusul,
37;134. We saved him and all his followers from a great suffering (in which his nation was going to be involved).
37;135, 136. The rest of the nation was destroyed, including his wife who was among those who stayed behind and did not go with Lot.
37;137, 138. You pass by the remnants of their dwellings every morning and by night. Don't you ever think about it and realise the outcome of those who revolt against the Divine Laws?
Is Petra mentioned here? Again, you put two and two together and come up with zero!
The Messenger came to instruct mankind in the Revelation of Allah; he had to be present somewhere for people to hear his words, so where was he if not Mecca? The messenger came to warn people so what has your response “why didn’t they (Abraham and Ismail) warn the people”, is another misunderstanding. They did warn their people in their time, and since pilgrimage to worship idols was taking place at the Kaabah for centuries prior to the Messenger arriving, this proves that this system had been set up previously, though paganised like everything else. The Quran came to remove the falsehoods and re-establish the Word of Allah once more.
62;1. Everything in the heavens and on earth is actively busy fulfilling the designated programme of the Almighty Allah, the Sovereign, whose power and authority has no limits. He has full control over everything and exercises this control with wisdom.
62;2. (In order to enforce a Divine System in the human world, similar to the one in the universe where everything functions according to the Divine Law, Allah Almighty started sending a chain of Divine Guidance.) The last link of that chain is this Rasool, who has come to the people who had previously never received any Divine Book. This Rasool presents the Divine Laws to the people and then explains the objective and wisdom behind them. At the same time he gives them a work programme that will help develop their potentialities. Hence, as a result of his teaching of the Divine Message and training, a nation that was previously totally lost came over to the right path.
The Qibla is following the laws and regulations laid down in the Quran, and we have to have a central authority to oversee this, not every Tom, Dick and Harry giving their own opinions about issues they know nothing about.
Qibla from the dictionary of the Quran by GA Parwez.
In the Deen, the qiblah has a particular significance: every system, every republic, every government has a center: towards which all refer: it creates a unity of thought and homogeneity of deed among them: this is actually the symbol of that system which has to be kept in mind all the time: by keeping it in view or mind one expresses his fidelity to that system: the qiblah or centre for the system of God could be only one: about which God has said: inna awwala baitiw wuzi’a linnasi lallazi bibakkata mubarakaw wa hudyal lil aalimeen: 3:95 the kaabah which has been made the symbol of guidance for all mankind: the particularity of which is: mun dakhalahu kaana aamana: 3:96 he who enters it , enters peace : the importance of the qiblah can be judged from the fact that following the qiblah has been likened to the following of Deen: surah Baqar says: wala-in aataital lazeena ootul kitaaba bikulli ayatan ma tabi-u qiblatika wama anta bi taabi-in qiblatahum wama baazuhum bi taabi-in qiblatah baaz….: 2:145 even if you present them with all the ayats or reasoning you can, even then they will not follow your qiblah: and neither will you follow theirs: and neither will they follow each other’s qiblah: at another place it is said: walan tarza unkal yahudu walan nasaaa hatta tat tatabih millatahum: 2:120
*Taj and Muheet
the Jews and the Christians will never be happy with you until you follow their way: this shows that qiblah is actually the symbol of religion or deen and following the qiblah means following the particular deen.
The momineen have been told that no matter which walk of life they belong to, in whichever part of the world, they must fix their direction towards their center (qiblah) : wa haisu ma kuntum fawallu wujuhakum: that is, keep your attention towards it : let your purpose in life be one, and this unity will form the basis of the unity of your millat (nation): the physical form of doing this is to face toward the qiblah in prayers: this is the truth which has been stressed must be followed: laisal birra un tuwallu wajuhakum qibalal mashriqi wal maghrib…..: 2:177 the path to elevation is not that you face east or west : if qibaal is considered as the plural of qiblah , then the ayat would mean that all the qiblahs in the east and the west, be they of whichever deen or nation, are in fact additional and not personal or in themselves: the things which symbolize a system are important so long as the systems are in place: when they are no longer present, the symbols also lose their significance: these symbols have been called sha-iril laah at another place: see heading shiin,ain, rah: but if the system is no longer present then the respect of the symbols became merely customary: this is the point that the Qur’an wants to make when it says that no matter where you are, keep your attention or direction towards your Deen: this will show as to where your fidelity lies: but this does not mean that turning towards the qiblah is an end in itself.
Then question is that when the system becomes invisible and people who are living individual lives but wish to establish a system, then what qiblah should be the center then? That is, where should collective life begin? The Qur’an has indicated to this fact too in the tale about the Bani Israeel where it is aid that We sent wahi towards ,Moosa
that in these conditions : waj’alu buyutikum qiblataw wa aqeemus salaat: 10:87 make your homes the centre of salaat and begin the system of salaat from there: i.e. begin this system from your homes: gradually this system will encompass everybody and one qibla or centre will be established for everybody.
Baitul Maqaddas was the centre for the Jews: but the Jews confined the God’s Deen to their descendants only: therefore this centre also turned into their national centre: was no longer the centre for the mankind universally: not only the Jews, but no religion or nation had the concept of a universal bondage of humanity : conversely the Qur’an wanted to bring all mankind to one centre: thus it could not make any of the national centres the centre for all mankind: it could only make Kaabah the centre whose foundation was made to be laid by Hazrat Ibrahim for this very purpose: 2:127 this place was declared: masaabatan lin naasi wa aamanah: 2:125 that is, the sanctuary and center for all mankind: this was : sawa’a nil aakifu feehi wal baad:22:25 that is for the residents as well as for those who came from outside: it was made to benefit all mankind: 3:95 this was the purpose for which kaabah was made the centre of God’s Deen:
As far as the ummati muslimah is concerned, for fixing the qiblah the purpose has been said to be: wala zaalika ja’alnakum ummataw wasatan litakunu shuhada’a alan naasi wa yakunar rasulu alaikum shaheeda: 2:143 thus we have made you an international community so that you watch over the deeds of the nations of the world and the Prophet SAW becomes the watchman of your deeds: in this ayat, the purpose of the muslims ‘ purpose of life and modus operandi has been highlighted : kaabah has been made the centre so that the Deen becomes universal: and the duty of the followers of this Deen is to watch over the deeds of other nations of the world to see which nation does what for humanity: for this purpose a collective system is necessary: the center of this system is the Prophet SAW and after him, his real followers:
Until that system was in place, the purpose of the fixation of the qiblah was achieved: when it disappeared, neither did the status of the ummah (muslim nation) remained what it was nor the status of the qiblah as it was before.
To ingest soul into the “custom” of prayer and facing the qiblah the same system (the Qur’anic system )needs to be re-established: in the presence of the Qur’an ,the reinvigorating of that system is very easy: the Qur’an has perhaps been preserved so that the system always remains in this world and God forbid, if for some reason this system disappears, then it can be re-established with the help of the Qur’an: the world seems needy of a world order today: to establish a world order,a universal system is required: this system can be no other than the Islamic system: the day the world can understand this fact, a true new world order will be established: but what is first required is that the ummat which believes on the Qur’an establishes unity within itself and establishes such a system for itself : if there are different qiblahs for this ummah, or they remain divided into different sects ,then how can a universal qiblah be re-established?