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The Church of the Umayyads in Damascus

Reader comment on item: Mosque in Cordoba, Church in Damascus

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Apr 4, 2010 at 10:02

Dr Pipes you wrote

>Still no word of militant Christians praying in the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, much less tussling with guards there.

Very interesting observation. But again one can very much re-write the history of early Islam and the credit must go to John Wasnbrough.

In a new book (The Hidden Origins of Islam) by Gerd Puin, of the San'a Qur'an, the whole history of early Islam can be re-written and it goes a follows

Historians of early islam realize that islam's origin is not from al-Hijaz but from the civilized late Antique Middle East or what is called as the area of al-hilal al-khaseeb and read this as Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia and Iran.

The first attested real historical charcter in the saga of islam is Mu3awiyya. As for the so called al-Khulafa' al-rashiduun (Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali) there is no extant evidence that can attest to the existence of these four Khulafa' and what we have is only literary evidence that was written 250-300 years after the death of Muhammad and the chances are they never existed.

Now back to Mu3awiyya and what is surprising about Mu3awiyya are the following facts:

1. His name is not an Arabic name but a Syriac name as the word Mu3awiyya means in Syriac: the weeper which can be seen as a nom de guerre so why would an Arab select a Syriac name unless he was born and lived his life among Syriac speakers and this could be in Syria/Palestine which should make us doubt that Mu3awiyya had anything to do with al-Hijaz. Just imagine if let us say the King of England moving to India after the British invasion of India and calling himself let us say Kumar or some indian name

2. Notice that Mu3awiyya selected Damascus as his capital and not Mecca or Medina and this will be like the king of England moving to New Delhi and declaring it the capital of the British Empire. Well the chances are he selected Damascus because he was more likely than not born in Syria among the Arab tribes that lived in the Syrian desert and attested in Herodotus

3. And this was a time when having a cultic/religious center is an essential part of political control and in this case the Kanisat Yuhanna al-me3midani or the Chruch of John the Baptist in Damascus and where his body is located. But this really means that Mu3awiyya was not Muslim as there really was no islam at that time and he was (gasp!) Christian and Nestorian like most of the Arabs that lived in the Syrian desert at that time

4. In the above book Volker Popp reviews coins that were minted in Syria and many of them dated to the time of Mu3awiyya and from an epigraphy at the baths in Gadara, Syria that indeed indicate that he was Christian and that the cult of John the Baptist was his cause and what is even more interesting we have a new dating system which is called "Era of the Arabians (Arabas in Greek)" and nothing about a Hijra and that this new dating syatem started when the Greeks defeated Iran in a decisive battle in 622CE and a political vaccum was left and this is when the local Arabs (the likes of Mu3awiyya) stepped in and took control and this was what was to become the Arab empire

5. The very much Syriac term Muhammdan rasul allah (as it later appears in the inscriptions of al-masjad al-aqsa) really means the blessed (read this as Jesus) is the servant of Allah and it has nothing to do with Muhammad. As for Mu3awiyya amir al-mu'mineen (the prince of the faithful) it should be read as al-mu'aamineen or those protected (from the Arabic word amana or safety)

6. More later about Abd al-Malik and what I believe it to be moving the cultic center of the Arabs and the Christian Umayyads to Jerusalem

7. The Chruch of Yuhanna al-ma3midani was converted to a mosque not by the Umayyads but by the 3Abbassids and to be more specific by al-Khalifa al-Ma'muun after his trips across the Middle East including a visit to Mecca and Medina where among other things the house where Muhammad is supposed to have lived and was identified and the cult of Muhammad begins and the Hijazi orientation of what to become islam begins. And I suepect that al-Ma'muun selected a cutlic site (in Mecca) that is so far away from the watchful eyes of the very sophisticated Nestorians that did not believe a word about this new religion of the Arabs

Now back to Damascus: I guess that such Church is a monument to how much we seem to know about early Islam but because of the tyranny of the islamic historical tradition we are not able to admit it

Submitting....

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