August 29, 2019 Petra vs. Mecca

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Dan Gibbons - The Sacred City of Mecca - Have we Got it Wrong? | TRACKS

  • The prophet was actually from Petra therefore Hajj and the Ka’bah are in Petra
  • The place of the Ka’aba was had thriving in agriculture
  • The Quran describes as the town of the Sacred Masjid as the “mother of cities” therefore this could not be Mecca as Mecca back then was a barren desert and not a major trading location as is depicted in some Hadith 
  • The one occurrence of Mecca in the Quran is potentially a misspelling and was probably originally spelled with a b as opposed to a m.

Findings based on Hadith and his claims of some of the earliest Mosque that the Qibla points to Petra and not Mecca.

Mecca is the town that contains the Ka’bah known as the Sacred House in the Quran. It was established by Abraham and Ishmael.


[2:124] Recall that Abraham was put to the test by his Lord, through certain commands, and he fulfilled them. (God) said, "I am appointing you an imam for the people." He said, "And also my descendants?" He said, "My covenant does not include the transgressors." [2:125] We have rendered the shrine (the Ka'aba) a focal point for the people, and a safe sanctuary. You may use Abraham's shrine as a prayer house. We commissioned Abraham and Ismail: "You shall purify My house for those who visit, those who live there, and those who bow and prostrate.”

[3:95] Say, "GOD has proclaimed the truth: You shall follow Abraham's religion—monotheism. He never was an idolator." [3:96] The most important shrine established for the people is the one in Becca; a blessed beacon for all the people.

[48:24] He is the One who withheld their hands of aggression against you, and withheld your hands of aggression against them in the valley of Mecca, after He had granted you victory over them. GOD is Seer of everything you do.

Valley of Weeping?

The assumption that Becca means Petra is based on false information

Root = of Becca = ب ك ك

crowding together of people; lacking water; breaking of the neck

The belief that the root means "weeping" is a knwon misunderstanding it originated from the Greek translation of Hebrew of Psalms 84, where the Greek translation assumed a similar-sounding word בכה (bakhá) “weeping” and translated ν τ κοιλάδι το κλαυθμνος "valley of weeping” in Greek as opposed to “valley of Bakka”.)

Hajj in the Bible

Psalm 84

1 How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! 2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. 3 Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. 4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. 5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. 6 As they pass through the Valley of Baka…


Root = ب ك ي = weep or cry

[48:24] He is the One who withheld their hands of aggression against you, and withheld your hands of aggression against them in the valley of Mecca, after He had granted you victory over them. GOD is Seer of everything you do.

Mother of Cities

أُمَّ الْقُرَىٰ  = umma l-qura = mother of the cities / mother of all cities

[6:92] This too is a blessed scripture that we have revealed, confirming the previous scriptures, that you may warn the most important community* and all those around it. Those who believe in the Hereafter will believe in this (scripture), and will observe the Contact Prayers (Salat).

[42:7] We thus reveal to you an Arabic Quran to warn the central community and all around it, and to warn about the Day of Summoning that is inevitable. Some will end up in Heaven, and some in Hell.

Abraham literally means the father of multitude.

Abraham from Hebrew אַבְרָהָם

אַב (a, “father of”) + הֲמוֹן (hăˈmōn, “multitude of”)

Genesis 22:17

I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.

This was his name despite having no children until he was into his 86 years old with Ishmael

[22:27] "And proclaim that the people shall observe Hajj pilgrimage. They will come to you walking or riding on various exhausted (means of transportation). They will come from the farthest locations.”

The humility of Mecca as God’s house is that it historically was stripped from any vanity. That over +10 million people converge to Mecca each year for Hajj.

[12:21] The one who bought him in Egypt said to his wife, "Take good care of him. Maybe he can help us, or maybe we can adopt him." We thus established Joseph on earth, and we taught him the interpretation of dreams. GOD's command is always done, but most people do not know. 

مَكَّنَّا = we established 

م ك ن = to be strong, have power, hold high rank or authority, be influential, grant an honorable position, establish, grant authority

[43:4] It is preserved with us in the original master, honorable and full of wisdom.

Plantless Valley

Dan Gibbons relies on numerous Hadith to claim that the town of the prophet and the Sacred House was a lush valley, He claims that Mecca is described as having trees, grass, fruits, grapes, fields, streams etc. but this is completely contradictory to the Quran.

[14:37] "Our Lord, I have settled part of my family in this plantless valley, at Your Sacred House. Our Lord, they are to observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), so let throngs of people converge upon them, and provide for them all kinds of fruits, that they may be appreciative.

Bee-wadin ghayri dhi zar’een

According to historian F. E. Peters, Ibn Ishaq's account reveals that Mecca in the time of Qusayy and his immediate offspring was not yet a commercial center; rather, the city's economy was based on pilgrimage to the Ka'bah, and "what pass[ed] for municipal offices [designated by Qusayy] have to do only with military operations and with control of the shrine".[6] During that time, the tribesmen of Quraysh were not traders; instead, they were entrusted with religious services, from which they significantly profited. They also profited from taxes collected from incoming pilgrims. Though Qusayy appeared to be the strongman of Quraysh, he was not officially a king of the tribe, but one of many leading sheikhs (tribal chieftains).

[48:25] It is they who disbelieved and barred you from the Sacred Masjid, and even prevented your offerings from reaching their destination…

[8:33] However, GOD is not to punish them while you are in their midst; GOD is not to punish them while they are seeking forgiveness. [8:34] Have they not deserved GOD's retribution, by repelling others from the Sacred Masjid, even though they are not the custodians thereof? The true custodians thereof are the righteous, but most of them do not know. [8:35] Their Contact Prayers (Salat) at the shrine (Ka'bah) were no more than a mockery and a means of repelling the people (by crowding them out). Therefore, suffer the retribution for your disbelief.

مُكَاءً (mukāan) = whistling (mockery)

وَتَصْدِيَةً = and clapping (means of repelling)


[2:142] The fools among the people would say, "Why did they change the direction of their Qiblah?” Say, "To GOD belongs the east and the west; He guides whoever wills in a straight path."

[2:143] We thus made you an impartial community, that you may serve as witnesses among the people, and the messenger serves as a witness among you. We changed the direction of your original Qiblah only to distinguish those among you who readily follow the messenger from those who would turn back on their heels. It was a difficult test, but not for those who are guided by GODGOD never puts your worship to waste. GOD is Compassionate towards the people, Most Merciful.

Qiblah Restored to Mecca

[2:144] We have seen you turning your face about the sky (searching for the right direction). We now assign a Qiblah that is pleasing to you. Henceforth, you shall turn your face towards the Sacred Masjid. Wherever you may be, all of you shall turn your faces towards it. Those who received the previous scripture know that this is the truth from their Lord. GOD is never unaware of anything they do.

[2:145] Even if you show the followers of the scripture every kind of miracle, they will not follow your Qiblah. Nor shall you follow their Qiblah. They do not even follow each others' Qiblah. If you acquiesce to their wishes, after the knowledge that has come to you, you will belong with the transgressors.

Abuse of the Scripture: Selective Emphasis and Concealment

[2:146] Those who received the scripture recognize the truth herein, as they recognize their own children. Yet, some of them conceal the truth, knowingly.

[2:147] This is the truth from your Lord; do not harbor any doubt.

[2:148] Each of you chooses the direction to follow; you shall race towards righteousness. Wherever you may be, GOD will summon you all. GOD is Omnipotent.

Qiblah Restored to Mecca

[2:149] Wherever you go, you shall turn your face (during Salat) towards the Sacred Masjid.* This is the truth from your Lord. GOD is never unaware of anything you all do.

*2:142-145 "Qiblah" is the direction one faces during the Contact Prayers (Salat). When Gabriel conveyed to Muhammad the command to face Jerusalem instead of Mecca, the hypocrites were exposed. The Arabs were strongly prejudiced in favor of the Ka'aba as their "Qiblah." Only the true believers were able to overcome their prejudices; they readily obeyed the messenger.

Dan Gibson

In 2017 Salim Al-Hassani, founder of the academic history of technology portal Muslim Heritage, published a highly critical review of Gibson's Early Islamic Qiblas by a subject matter expert on medieval Muslim astronomy, David A. King, author of World-Maps for Finding the Direction and Distance to Mecca: Innovation and Tradition in Islamic Science, many articles on qibla, and several articles in the Encyclopedia of Islam. King argued that early Muslim Arabs were unable to precisely establish Qiblas when building new mosques until later mathematical developments made precision possible. Further, King wrote, many variations in orientation are better accounted for by regional and local practices, imperfect geography, and folk astronomy. King noted Gibson's inadequate grasp of mathematics, citing Gibson's "spherical polygons" (p. 170) as inexplicable. King summarized his analysis of Gibson's work as an "amateurish, non-scholarly document that is both offensive to Muslims and also an insult to Muslim and Western scholarship."[4] Gibson placed a response to King on, " and a series of videos on Gibson's YouTube channel. [url =] Dr. King on the other hand is convinced that the sloppy qiblas actually intended to point: east, west, solstices, sunrises and so forth. I have not come across anything in Islamic religious manuscripts that support these Qiblas. But perhaps in time someone, somewhere will stumble across something that will change our understanding of Qiblas. All I have found so far, is that every Muslim expects the Qibla to point to Masjid Al Harām. [the Ka’bah]

Masjid al-Qiblatayn ‘Mosque of the Two Qiblas’

The Masjid al-Qiblatayn (Arabic: مَسْجِد ٱلْقِبْلَتَیْن, lit. 'Mosque of the Two Qiblas') is a mosque in Medina that is historically important for Muslims as the place where, after the Islamic Nabi (Prophet) Muhammad received the command to change the Qiblah (Direction of Prayer) from Jerusalem to Mecca, the entire congregation led by a companion changed direction in prayer. Thus it uniquely contained two Mihrabs (Prayer niches).

Quraish, Battle of Badr, and Medina (Yathrib)

[6:121]…The devils inspire their allies to argue with you; if you obey them, you will be idol worshipers.*

No account of Islam in Petra at the time of the prophet

Petra is ~800 miles away from Mecca

[33:13] A group of them said, "O people of Yathrib, you cannot attain victory; go back." Others made up excuses to the prophet: "Our homes are vulnerable," when they were not vulnerable. They just wanted to flee.

[3:123] GOD has granted you victory at Badr, despite your weakness. Therefore, you shall observe GOD, to show your appreciation.

[17:81] Proclaim, "The truth has prevailed, and falsehood has vanished; falsehood will inevitably vanish."