I got this from my personal archives:
Posted By: Nadia, New York
Date: Wednesday, 15 January 2003, at 5:05 p.m.
EDITED: The History of "Amen" and its Links to Egyptian Paganism
Most of us who have had the privilege of attending a Friday congregation would immediately realize the importance of the word "Amen" or "Aameen" in the life of a traditional Muslim. For those of us who are not familiar with its usage, the Muslims are required to say "Amen" after reciting Surah al-Fatihah and after completion of their prayers (Dua). In fact, this is the only word spoken aloud during a Friday congregation by the traditional Muslims after the Imam completes the recitation of Surah al-Fatihah. The purpose of this article is an attempt to find out it's meaning and trace back its origins in ancient history.
Why do Muslims say Amen ?
It is a known fact (well almost) that this word can be found nowhere in the Qur`aan. So why do the traditional Muslims hold such importance to a word that is not even mentioned in the final scripture? Yes, you guessed right, this word can be found in Hadith, the second source of religious (dis)information for the traditional Muslims after the Qur`aan. In Sahih-al-Bukhari Vol. 6/Ch. 2 English translation by Dr. M. Muhsin Khan, we find yet another gem from the pen of Abu Huraira
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "When the Imam says: 'Ghair-il-Maghdubi 'Alaihim Walad-Dallin [i.e. not the path of those who earn Your anger, not the path of those who went astray ' (1:7)], then you must say, 'Amin', for if one's utterance of 'Amin' coincides with that of the angels then his past sins will be forgiven."
The obvious conclusion of this Hadith is that the focus must be on "timing" rather than content.
So why would the Prophet require from the Muslims to utter a word at the end of the most recited Surah, that is not mentioned even once in the Qur`aan. Moreover, what kind of message was the Prophet sending to the Muslims by asking them to "time" the saying of Amen with that of the angels in order to get their sins forgiven? The Prophet could not have uttered such a blasphemy, for we learn from Surah al-A'raf verse 188 that even he, albeit a messenger of Allah, was unaware of his own fate.
Furthermore, from the Qur`aan we also learn that Allah commanded Muhammad not to say or extrapolate (to infer, to project, extend, or expand (known data or experience) into an area not known or experienced so as to arrive at a usually conjectural knowledge of the unknown) anything by himself. His only duty was to deliver the Qur`aan. The only sensible explanation is that this Hadith, like many others, is a lie attributed to Prophet Muhammad.
A traditional Muslim may argue that although "Amen" is not mentioned in the Qur`aan, the Prophet did ask us to say it in our prayers. Moreover, since there is nothing wrong with it's meaning it should be acceptable. However, this assumption can have serious implications if we trace back this word's origin in history, for we find that the word "Amen" has pagan idol worship connotations. In the Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th Edition 2001 it is written:
"…Amon or Amen, Egyptian deity. He was originally the chief God of Thebes; he and his wife Mut and their son Khensu were the divine Theban triad of deities. Amen, his wife, Mut and son Khensu represented the Theban Triad, the sacred family of Thebes. Amen was known to be "King of the Gods" during the period of the New Kingdom in Egypt in 1550-1070 B.C. when Thebes was the capital of Egypt, and it was during this period that the Jews were slaves there. During their 400 years of slavery it is obvious that they lost their monotheistic beliefs and fell into Egyptian paganism. If during the 40 year exodus they could build a talking golden calf idol, is it too far fetched to assume that the word "Amen" crept into their religious rituals-- a word named after an Egyptian God which not only have the Jews failed to get rid of to this day but have also passed on to the Christians and Muslims…
To the skeptic, who may argue against the connection between the Egyptian God "Amen" and this word used in its present day meaning, I quote the ending paragraph under the heading "Amen" from the Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol 1 1907, which either intentionally or unintentionally acknowledges this link:
"Finally, we may note that the word Amen occurs not infrequently in early Christian inscriptions, and that it was often introduced into anathemas and Gnostic spells. Moreover, as the Greek letters which form Amen according to their numerical values total 99 (alpha=1, mu=40, epsilon=8, nu=50), this number often appears in inscriptions, especially of Egyptian origin, and a sort of magical efficacy seems to have been attributed to this symbol. It should be mentioned that the word Amen is still employed in the ritual both of Jews and Mohammedans."
There are number of conclusions that can be drawn from this article. First, There is no mention of the word "Amen" in the Qur`aan and unfortunately this word infiltrated into Islam through Hadith. Although an average Muslim openly acknowledges that "Amen" is a word also used by Christian and Jews in their prayers, he or she makes the implicit assumption that it is a Qur`aanic word that can also be found in the Bible and Torah. It may also be argued that there is nothing wrong with saying "Amen" in our prayers given its present day meaning. However, the intelligent reader must ask him or herself the question whether he or she wants to continue using it now fully knowing the dubious pagan connotations of this word? Can't we find some other word to express our conviction to Allah Almighty?
KAZALIK seems just right! (Nadia's contribution to this article :-) I have also verified most of the references.)