Mecca or Petra?
By A. Muhammad

With the arrival of the internet, and the easy delivery of information to the small screens in our living rooms and to the comfort of our armchairs, the trade in information, be it reliable or pure hoaxes, has never been as easy.
One claim that has been recently circulated, particularly on youtube, is the claim that Islam and prophet Muhammad have originated in Petra, Jordan and not the recognised Mecca in Arabia. Some go a step further to claim that Islam has its roots in paganism.

The majority of these videos are based on what is claimed to be historic and archaeological evidence, but interestingly, none is based on Quranic evidence.
This would indicate that the makers of such videos do not consider the Quran to be the word of God, and therefore, for them, the Quranic verdict cannot be regarded as evidence for this matter.

For the benefit of the believers in the Quran, the bulk of evidence used in this article is purely Quranic. The Quranic evidence presented here may not hold much merit to those who do not regard the Quran to be the word of God. Nevertheless, the evidence presented here should settle this issue for all who genuinely believe the Quran to be the true word of God, and thus, the only source of verified absolute truth.

Quranic evidence, coming from the One and Only God, should never be replaced by any man-made source of information, no matter how convincing that may appear to be. When we read various Quranic verses, we witness very clear links between the following four items:

1- The Kaaba
2- The Masjid Al-Haram.
3- Mecca
4- Prophet Muhammad

The verses shown below, confirm without any shadow of doubt one geographical location for all four names above, and that such a place is
Mecca in Arabia.

FIRST
: Muhammad lived in Mecca

He is the One who withheld their hands against you (Muhammad and the believers) and your hands against them inside
Mecca after He made you (Muhammad) victorious over them. God is Seer of what you do. 48:24

In verses 8 all the way to the end of Sura 48, God speaks to Muhammad and the believers with him. The names (Muhammad) and (
Mecca) are both mentioned within these consecutive verses. Mecca is mentioned in verse 24 and Muhammad is mentioned in verse 29. These verses provide indisputable evidence for the place where prophet Muhammad lived.

SECOND
: Verses that link Muhammad with the Masjid Al-Haram

1-
They are the ones who disbelieved and repelled you (Muhammad) from the Masjid Al-Haram and with the offerings being prevented from reaching its destination. 48:25

2-
When those who disbelieved filled their hearts with rage, the rage of the days of ignorance, God brought down His tranquillity upon His messenger (Muhammad) and upon the believers, and bound them to the word of reverence. They had more right to it, and were worthy of it. God is Knowledgeable of all things.
God has fulfilled His messenger's (Muhammad) vision truthfully: "You shall enter the Masjid Al-Haram God willing secure with your head's hair shaved and shortened, and with no fear. He knew what you did not know and so He has granted besides this an imminent conquest." 48:26-27

3-
How can the mushrikeen have a pledge with God and with His messenger (Muhammad) except for those with whom you have made a pledge at the Masjid Al-Haram? If they are straight with you, you shall be straight with them. God loves the reverent. 9:7

4-
And kill them wherever you encounter them and expel them from where they expelled you. Oppression is indeed worse than murder. Do not fight them at the Masjid Al-Haram unless they fight you therein. If they fight you, then kill them; such is the penalty of the disbelievers. 2:191

5-
We have seen your face (Muhammad) turning about the sky, and so We will direct you towards a Qiblah that you are content with. So turn your face towards the Masjid Al-Haram. 2:144

6-
God has fulfilled His messenger's (Muhammad) vision truthfully: "You shall enter the Masjid Al-Haram God willing secure with your head's hair shaved and shortened, and with no fear. He knew what you did not know and so He has granted besides this an imminent conquest." 48:27

The link between prophet Muhammad and the Masjid Al-Haram is all too clear in all the above verses.

THIRD
: The Kaaba and the Masjid Al-Haram are the same one place

God has rendered the Kaaba, the Haram House, an establishment for the people, as well as the Haram Month, the offerings and the garlands.
5:97

The Kaaba and the Masjid Al-Haram, also referred to in the Quran as the Haram House, are the same place.

FOURTH
: The Kaaba (the Masjid Al-Haram) is designated as the focal point for Hajj

O you who believe, do not kill any game while you are hurum (abstention during Hajj). Whoever of you kills it deliberately, the penalty for it shall be the equivalent in livestock animals to what he killed. The assessment is to be arbitrated by two equitable people among you and to be set as an offering to reach the Kaaba.
5:95

In this verse, God outlines to prophet Muhammad some of the rules that he must convey to the believers and which should be observed during Hajj. The verse speaks primarily about the abstention from hunting during the Hajj. Once again, the Kaaba is mentioned as the focal point for the Hajj.

CONCLUSION:

1-
Verse 48:24 confirms that Muhammad resided in Mecca.

2-
Verses 48:25, 48:26, 9:7, 2:191, 2:144 and 48:27 confirm the direct link between Muhammad and the Masjid Al-Haram.

3-
Since prophet Muhammad lived in Mecca, and the Masjid Al-Haram was the Masjid he frequented, and also the Masjid which God designated as the Qibla for him (2:144), thus, it goes without saying that the Masjid Al-Haram is also in Mecca where Muhammad lived. Muhammad did not travel 1082 km (distance between Mecca and Petra) every time he observed his Salat or frequented the Masjid!

4-
Verse 5:97 confirms that God decreed that the Kaaba to be the Haram Masjid, and so the Kaaba and the Masjid A-Haram are not two different places, but the same place, which as we have already seen, is in Mecca.

5-
Verse 5:95 confirms that the Kaaba (Masjid Al-Haram) is the focal point for Hajj.
----------------------------------

After viewing the above evidence, the time comes for you, the reader, to make a decision as to which source you will believe.
Will you believe the confirmed true word of God in the Quran? Or, will you choose to believe unverified man-written historic accounts and the so-called archaeological evidence?

Before you make up your mind, hopefully you will remember that all what we call historic evidence is man-written, it is not divine revelation.
In addition, what they call archaeological evidence can also be fabricated, or at best, misinterpreted.

One clear example of how simple information can be manipulated in order to derive a desired conclusion can be seen in the claim that a large number of masjids that were built before the revelation of the Quran pointed to
Petra. The reader will obviously have no means to verify whether any named masjids did in fact point to Petra or not, but the reader can rest assured that such verification is totally unnecessary, for even if this claim were true, it does not point in any way to the conclusions the makers of the videos arrived at. The reason is as follows:

We know that before the revelation of the Quran, Arabia was immersed in paganism and the worship of many stone idols. The Quranic words also state that there were many Qiblas people followed (2:145) in the days before the revelation of the Quran and the birth of Muhammad. And so, even if some pre-Quranic masjids may have pointed to other directions, including
Petra, that would be totally irrelevant. There is no connection whatsoever between the direction of pre-Quranic masjids and the birth place of Muhammad. In addition, how can such directions of pre-Quranic masjids sustain the claim that Islam has pagan roots!
That was only one example of the clear manipulation of information which is a trend followed by the makers of such videos.

The aim of this article is not to list or analyse those false claims but only to report the Quranic truth.
Ultimately, the choice of which source to believe rests with every reader.

-------------------------------------------