In the name of Allāh,
the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.
Allāh–the Glorious and the High,
Lord of the worlds
Mohammad–who brought the world
to our feet and eternity to our arms.
HOUSE OF GOD’S GLORY-BACA & MAKKAH
(See also Christian woman proves Islam is false)
The Ka’ba is the House of God’s glory: The Prophet David says:
“O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee ….Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well….every one of them in Zion appeareth before God”–(Psalms 84:3-7).
This “house of God to which David refers was no other but the one at Bakka, for the holy temple in Jerusalem had not been built at that time and God lived in Zion (a tent).” David came to Bacca “to seek blessing from the house of God” that was built by Abraham. “‘Appearing before God in Zion’, refers to the annual pilgrimage at Mecca,” explains Abdul Haque Vidyarthi in his insightful book Muhammad in World Scriptures (pp. 224, 225).
And the Book of Isaiah says: “All the flocks of Kedar” “shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory”–(Isaiah 60:7). Muhammad Ali states, “Christianity, in its present form, being opposed to the true teachings of Christ, is thus the only Antichrist known to the Qur’an”–(Qur’anic comm. # 1478).
The Church “being opposed to the true teachings of Christ,” could not be the house of Christ. Much less the house of God’s “glory.”
Professor ‘Abdul Ahad Dawud (the former Rev. David Benjamin Keldani) wrote in his revealing book Muhammad in the Bible:
“The flocks of Kedar….have never come to the Church of Christ; and it is a fact that the villages of Kedar and their inhabitants are the only people in the whole world who have remained impenetrable to any influence of the Church of Christ.”(p. 6).
The Church could not be the “house” of God’s glory” when the “flocks of Kedar” “have never come to the Church of Christ,” and when the fulfillment of the prophecy necessitates the coming of the “flocks of Kedar” to this “house.” Neither could a mortal-appointed shrine be the house of God’s “glory.”
The house of God’s “glory” has to be a Divine designated sanctuary. Such is the house at Makkah –the Ka’ba. That the Ka’ba in Makkah is the “house of my glory” is borne out by the Qur’an and history: “Certainly the first house appointed for men is the one at Bakkah, blessed and a guidance for the nations”–(Qur’an 3:95).
“Bakkah is the same as Makkah…. The Jews and the Christians are told that the Temple at Jerusalem was erected long after Abraham, while the Holy House at Makkah was there even before Abraham, and was, in fact, the first House on earth for the worship of the Divine Being.” (M. Ali Qur’anic comm. # 467)
“And when We made the House a resort for men and a (place of) security. And: Take ye the place of Abraham for a place of prayer. And We enjoined Abraham and Ishmael, saying: Purify My House for those who visit (it) and those who abide (in it) for devotion and those who bow down (and) those who prostrate themselves”–(Qur’an 2:125).
“History bears out these three distinguishing characteristics of the Ka’bah. It exists from the remotest antiquity; it was visited annually by people from the most distant corners of Arabia; and its sacredness was respected by the whole of Arabia. Thus writes Muir: “A very high antiquity must be assigned to the main features of the religion of Mecca.….Diodorus Siculus, writing about half a century before our era, says of Arabia washed by the Red Sea: ‘There is in this country a temple greatly revered by the Arabs’. These words must refer to the Holy House of Mecca, for we know of no other which ever commanded such universal homage …. Tradition represents the Ka’bah as from time imme-morial the scene of pilgrimage from all quarters of Arabia: from Yemen and Hadramaut, from the shores of the Persian Gulf, the deserts of Syria, and the distant environs of Hira and Mesopotamia, men yearly flocked to Mecca. So extensive a homage must have had its beginnings in an extremely remote age” (Life of Mahomet).” (M. Ali, comm. #168a)
The Ka’ba is“the place of Abraham….and pilgrimage to the House is a duty which men owe to Allah –whoever can find a way to it”–(Qur’an 3:96).
The Qur’an is the only revealed Scripture to define a “first house” of worship and place of pilgrimage. Some five thousand years ago the prophet Abraham was instructed by Allah God to purify this “house of my glory” –the Ka’ba– for the devotees of Allah–(Qur’an 2:125).
Some three thousand years after Abraham, Allah God instructed the Prophet Mohammad to “proclaim to men the Pilgrimage: they will come to thee on foot and on every lean camel, coming from every remote path”–(Qur’an 22:27).
Some 1400 years after this revelation to the Prophet Mohammad, the fulfillment of this mighty prophecy of the Qur’an is evident as males and females from all over the world journey by air, land, and sea to the Ka’ba in Makkah.
God says (in Deut. 33:2) that He “shined forth from mount Paran” with 10,000 saints. And as Professor ‘Abdul. Ahad Dawud (the former Rev. David Benjamin Keldani) points out that in “the whole history of the wilderness of Paran”
“you will find no other event but when Mecca was conquered by the Prophet. He comes with 10,000 followers from Medina and re-enters “the house of my glory.””(Muhammad In The Bible, p. 6)
The Religion from God is Islam. The comprehensive law of God is the Qur’an. The Universal Prophet of God is Mohammad. The world language from God is Arabic. The House of Gods’ “glory” is the Ka’ba at Makkah.
This gathering to the “House of my glory” at Makkah is, in the history of religion, the only Divinely ordained pilgrimage.
IS BACA MAKKAH?
The topic under discussion is Psalm 84:1-10.
As noted in the above presentation Muslim commentators associate Baca of the Bible with Makkah of the Qur’an. But one party (on the Internet) disagrees; noting that:
“The whole psalm focuses on God’s sanctuary and how the writer loves to spend time there. The author is one of ‘the Sons of Korah’ and internal evidence points to it being written after the building of the temple in Jerusalem by Solomon. Because of the psalm’s focus on the sanctuary, there are several phrases which describe features of it, enabling us to evaluate the claim that it is Mecca:
v.1 – ‘How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!’
v.3 – ‘… a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty …’
v.4 – ‘Blessed are they who dwell in your house’
v.7 – ‘They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.’
v.10 – ‘I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God …’
These five points count heavily against the claim outlined above.
Firstly (I am open to correction on these points), I do not suppose that Muslims would accept the idea of Allah dwelling in the Ka’aba. I certainly am not aware of this way of thinking in Islam. On the other hand, the Bible repeatedly mentions the temple in Jerusalem as God’s dwelling place, even though he is not limited to a building. In 1 Kings 8:27, Solomon, on the completion of his great temple, said this:”
“This makes it clear that the idea of God dwelling in the temple is figurative and not that he is limited to one building. However, it shows clearly that this way of thinking is found in the Bible.”
Response: Muslims regard the Mosque as House of Allāh. Notably the writer states above that the author of this Psalm  “is one of ‘the Sons of Korah;’” but King James Version of the Bible and the Gideon Bible noted that it may be a Psalm “for the sons of Korah” or “of” the sons of Korah. They do not seem to know for certain.
Also whereas the “disputer” [in v.1] notes the verse as stating “How lovely is your dwelling place” (singular) the King James Bible states, “thy tabernacles” (plural) and the Gideon Bible states, “dwelling places” (plural); which would seem to convey that the psalmist was extolling another one of God’s shrines.
That, “Secondly, I am unaware of any altar which is given prominence at the Ka’aba, whereas the altar was an integral part of the tabernacle and then the Jerusalem temple, necessary for the sacrificial system instituted by God. (Exodus 27:1-8, 1 Kings 8:64).”
Response: “Altar” is also a place where incense is burned. According to Exodus 27:1 [a cubit being approximately eighteen inches], the sacrificial altar was 8’L x 8’W x 5’H. Psalm 84:3, the verse under discussion, reads: “Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars….”
Perhaps “altar” here may signify a high location in the Temple, such as the ceiling or eaves. It is doubtful that birds would build their nests, and even have nestlings, at an 8 x 8 x 5-foot structure where sacrifices are regularly performed; and may also be filled with smoke from “burnt offerings.”
That, “Thirdly, the Ka’aba is empty and certainly no humans dwell in it. Yet Psalm 84 mentions those who dwell in God’s house. This makes no sense unless it is the Jerusalem temple, which had rooms within its courts (1 Chronicles 28:11, 12) for those who were responsible for its upkeep and ceremony.”
Response: It is not necessary for people to dwell in the actual building. Dwelling in God’s house may also mean those who reside in its vicinity, the area of the Ka’bah is about one mile square, and is known as miquat. Muslims seem to “dwell” year-round not only at the Ka’ba but also at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.
That, “Fourthly, the pilgrims in Psalm 84 are certainly not on their way to Mecca, as their destination is given as Zion. Mount Zion is one of the hills on which Jerusalem is founded. In the Bible Zion is often used synonymously with Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:2).
This point is made even stronger by examining the word used for ‘pilgrimage’ in Psalm 84:5. I don’t claim to know much Hebrew or Arabic, so someone who does is welcome to correct me on this. However, I do know that both languages are Semitic and close in many ways, having the same or similar words for lots of things. That being the case, we might expect the Hebrew word translated here as ‘pilgrimage’ to be similar to the Arabic hajj. In fact, it is not. The only similar Hebrew word that I could find in my exhaustive concordance was hag, which is often translated as ‘festival’ and therefore seems to me to be in some way related to the Arabic hajj.
The Hebrew word used in Psalm 84:5 is from a completely different root to this and is usually translated as ‘road’ or ‘highway’. Thus it seems from a brief consideration that the phrase is literally like saying in English ‘those … who have set their hearts on the highway’, meaning the way they must take to get to Jerusalem. So even the ideas of pilgrimage in the Bible and the Qur’an have a different emphasis. Just because the English translation of Psalm 84:5 says ‘pilgrimage’ we can’t simply equate it with the Hajj.” (True. Hindus make “pilgrimage” to the Ganges River).
Response: But as AHV points out above, this “house of God to which David refers was no other but the one at Bakka, for the holy temple in Jerusalem had not been built at that time and God lived in Zion (a tent).”
David came to Bacca “to seek blessing from the house of God” that was built by Abraham. “‘Appearing before God in Zion’, refers to the annual pilgrimage at Mecca.” People were making pilgrimage to the Ka’bah at Makkah long before the Temple at Jerusalem was built.
The claim that “the pilgrims in Psalm 84 are certainly not on their way to Mecca, as their destination is given as Zion. Mount Zion is one of the hills on which Jerusalem is founded. In the Bible Zion is often used synonymously with Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:2).”
Incidentally, Isaiah 2:2 which is prophesying about Judah and Jerusalem says: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountain, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow onto it.”
While “last days” is up in the air, this prophecy of Isaiah 2:2 is NOT about some glorious time to come for the Children of Israel and Jerusalem. This prophecy is tied in to that of Jacob who told his children about “that which shall befall you in the last days”–Gen. 49:1. Only dark things “befall” a people. And this dark thing, as Jacob went on, was that kingship and prophethood shall be taken from the Israelites:
“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be“–(Gen. 49:10).
(Jesus was no ruler and no lawgiver –he enjoined his followers to obey the Scribes and Pharisees and to follow the Commandments brought by Moses in order to attain eternal; life–Matt. 23:2-3; 19:16-19. As Prof. Abdul Ahad Dawud, the former Rev. David Benjamin Keldani, explained, Mohammad is the Shiloh! Mohammad was king and lawgiver!) (For more on this see Judaism)
From the date of these prophecies of Jacob and Isaiah “all nations” have NOT “flowed” to Mount Zion in Jerusalem but “all nations” have flowed to the Ka’ba in Makkah; which is in keeping with Jesus’ prophecies that Jerusalem and the “mountain” will cease to be the focus of Divine worship–(Matt. 21:43; John 4:21).
After Mohammad not a single prophet or king has risen among the Children of Israel; in fact there is no “Tribe of Israel,” today –no Jew can identify himself to be of a specific tribe of Israel. In fact, present-day Jews may be descendants of the “Khazar,” a Turkish tribe that converted to Judaism in the eight century; the large majority of existing Jews is of “Eastern European” ancestry. (See Arthur Koestler, The Thirteenth Tribe).
Regarding the disputer’s statement that “The Hebrew word used in Psalm 84:5 is from a completely different root to this and is usually translated as ‘road’ or ‘highway’. Thus it seems from a brief consideration that the phrase is literally like saying in English ‘those….who have set their hearts on the highway’, meaning the way they must take to get to Jerusalem.”
Response: Couldn’t they also have “set their hearts on the highway” to the Ka’ba?
Ask the Muslims (or other pilgrims) who undertake the pilgrimage if they do not consider the journey to get there and “set their hearts” on it.
That, “Fifthly, there is no recognised function of doorkeeper for the Ka’aba, as far as I am aware. However, this was an official job at the Jerusalem Temple (2 Kings 25:18).”
Response: This verse of Psalm 84:10 reads: “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.”
It would seem that the psalmist was being figurative than literal. Perhaps every pilgrim considers his/her trip to a sacred place to be better than a “thousand” days in an ordinary shrine.
That, “What Then is the Valley of Baca?
Baca has been translated either as ‘weeping’ or ‘balsam trees’ (which grow in dry places). It could be a real place, in which case it was a valley through which the pilgrims passed during their journey. Alternatively, it could be figurative. In this interpretation, even the dry, arid places through which the pilgrims pass are brought alive by their expectant joy as they near their destination. In either case, their pilgrimage is clearly to Jerusalem, as evidenced by the rest of the psalm. Why on earth would Jews, living in Israel and on their way to Jerusalem, take a huge detour through Mecca?”
Response: In answer to this question, again AHV: “The Prophet David was awaiting the Divine commandment to invade Palestine, and in order to seek blessing from the house of God that was built by the patriarch Abraham, he came to the valley of Baca.”
The reason that “Jews, living in Israel and on their way to Jerusalem, (would) take a huge detour through Mecca,” would be if they were following a leader, such as King David; moreover if they were soldiers prepared for battle.
If Baca was a “figurative” expression it is doubtful that literal pilgrims could pass through a “figurative” point, or pass through “‘weeping’ and even pass through ‘balsam trees.’”
That, “Whatever our conclusion as to the true identity of the valley of Baca, I think that I have made it fairly clear that the only link between it and the Bakkah of the Quran is a superficial similarity in name. The further details about the location point away from the two being identical. Since that is the case, why should we not link the Bakkah of surah 3:96 with any other place having a similar sounding name? Here is a quote from the article mentioned above:
…we often find this word in the names related to rivers and wadis, such as Wadi al-Baka in the Sinaitic district and Baca on the wadi in the central Galilee area, W of Meroth.
This shows that there are other places with similar names. Why then, do we not hear people claiming that the Quran is referring to these? It seems to me that it is because there is a prior commitment on the part of some to finding evidence for the Quran in the Bible. This, if found, would strengthen the claim that Islam is completely in line with all God’s earlier revelations. However, in this case, it cannot be sustained.
I hope that this short paper has made it clear that the Baca of the Bible cannot be the Bakkah of the Qur’an. Rather than being a justifiable theory, it seems that some people, in their zeal to verify the Qur’an by using the Bible, have jumped all too quickly to a mistaken conclusion. A few superficial similarities are offset by several clear contradictions. It is often easy to bend the facts to fit our own theories, rather than forming our theories around the facts. This is never easier than in religion. Both Christians and Muslims are open to this temptation: I hope that fair-minded people will see this as a case in point.” (Highlight added).
Response: Regarding the disputer’s statement: “Why then, do we not hear people claiming that the Quran is referring to these”“names related to rivers and wadis, such as Wadi al-Baka in the Sinaitic district and Baca on the wadi in the central Galilee area, W of Meroth”?
Perhaps we do not hear people “claiming that the Quran is referring to these” “rivers and wadis” or “‘weeping’ or ‘balsam trees’” is because there was no shrine built by Abraham at these “rivers and wadis” or “‘weeping’ or ‘balsam trees.’”
And if Baca was “figurative” or means “weeping” or ‘weeping’ or ‘balsam trees’ the rains could not make it into pools, as the psalmist sung: “Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools”–Psalm 84:6.
To restate Abdul Haque Vidyarthi: “The Prophet David was awaiting the Divine commandment to invade Palestine, and in order to seek blessing from the house of God that was built by the patriarch Abraham, he came to the valley of Baca.”
Significantly, according to the verse, “Baca” is/was a proper name; in which event the disputer’s submission would be baseless.
Regarding the disputer’s statement: “It seems to me that it is because there is a prior commitment on the part of some to finding evidence for the Quran in the Bible.”
Whether Psalm 84 is that of the prophet David or some other and whether Baca of the Bible is Makkah of the Qur’an or not is irrelevant. The Qur’an does not need the Bible (or any other Scripture) to substantiate its Divine status; the Qur’an’s prophecies, statements on science, and inimitability are proofs not only of its Divine status and of Muhammad’s Divine Messengership, but also a refutation of atheism.
“More than a thousand years before our time, at a period when whimsical doctrines still prevailed, men had a knowledge of the Qur’an. The statements it contains express in simple terms truths of primordial importance which man has taken centuries to discover.”
“What initially strikes the reader confronted for the first time with a text of this kind is the sheer abundance of subjects discussed: the Creation, astronomy, the explanation of certain matters concerning the earth, and the animal and vegetable kingdoms, human reproduction. Whereas monumental errors are to be found in the Bible, I could not find a single error in the Qur’an. I had to stop and ask myself: if a man was the author of the Qur’an, how could he have written facts in the Seventh century A.D. that today are shown to be in keeping with modern scientific knowledge?” (p. 120).
(In the Qur’an) “statements are to be found in it (as has been shown) that are connected with science: and yet it is unthinkable that a man of Muhammad’s time could have been the author of them. Modern scientific knowledge therefore allows us to understand certain verses of the Qur’an which, until now, it has been impossible to interpret.”
“How could a man, from being illiterate, become the most important author, in terms of literary merit, in the whole of Arabic literature? How could he then pronounce truths of a scientific nature that no other human being could possibly have developed at the time, and all this without once making the slightest error in his pronouncements on the subject?”
“In view of the level of knowledge in Muhammad’s day, it is inconceivable that many of the statements in the Qur’an which are connected with science could have been the work of a man. It is, moreover, perfectly legitimate, not only to regard the Qur’an as the expression of a Revelation, but also to award it a very special place, on account of the guarantee of authenticity it provides and the presence in it of scientific statements which, when studied today, appear as a challenge to explanation in human terms” (Maurice Bucaille, The Bible, The Qur’an And Science, pp. 207, 120, 251-252. Emphasis added).