Is Petra the Holy City of Islam? Amazing new evidence startles Islamic scholars!
Recent advances in archeology and technology have now allowed historians to better examine the claims of ancient writings. Researcher Dan Gibson recently published some controversial evidence in his book: Qur'anic Geography which challenged previously held opinions of the locations of the "People of 'Ad" mentioned in the Qur'an and also the location of the first Islamic Holy City. Gibson claims this city was the city of Petra located in southern Jordan and it was only during the second Islamic civil war that the Black Stone was moved south into Saudi Arabia to the present location of Mecca. Thus, Muslims today are not praying in the same direction that Muhammad and the first four caliphs instructed the faithful to pray.
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In the West, and in particular in Europe, there is this pervasive popular view that all religions are weak when it comes to proving themselves historically, that people have to 'park their brains at the door' when entering a church or mosque. Christianity has taken this criticism to heart and in the last century has done its homework concerning the historicity of the Bible. On the other hand, Islam has never really been held accountable historically, at least not on a popular level, and so has continued to make exorbitant claims concerning the authenticity of the Qur'an, and of the emergence of Islam in the 7th century, with very little criticism coming either from the secular or sacred worlds. The few people who have chosen to question these claims academically (Drs Crone, Cook, Rippin, and others), have been careful to only publish their findings in esoteric academic journals away from any popular Muslim media, leaving the real battle of getting this material down to the 'common man' to people who see the profit in informing and confronting the notion of the Qur'an's immutability.
Sooner or later, however, Islam will have to answer the same questions concerning its historical credibility that Christians have had to answer (since the 1800s), and it will then be materials like Dan Gibson’s book which will do the greatest damage.