Dan Gibson believes that four times in ancient history
the Arab people united and burst out of the Arabian deserts to
conquer other nations. The first is described in the Qur'an as
the people of 'Ad. The Bible describes them as an alliance of
tribes led by Edomites living in the land of 'Uz or 'Ud. The
Egyptians named them Hyksos or shepherd kings who invaded Egypt
from Arabia. By combining these three identities together, Gibson
sees evidence of this powerful alliance from archaeological remains
in Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Jordan, Yemen and Oman. In the end
the Egyptians crushed this alliance and the remaining Arabs dispersed
and returned to living as isolated tribes in the desert.
Eventually Arabia united again, this time under the leadership
of the Midianites. The Qur'anic and Biblical records clearly
remember when the Arabs united under Midianite leadership and
challenged the nations outside of Arabia. This time they met
their defeat in the Levant.
Many centuries later, the tribes of Ishmael take leadership,
this time under the direction of the Nabataean tribe, descendants
of the eldest son of Ishmael. This empire would be different,
for the backbone of this empire was trade not military force.
The Qur'an calls them the people of Thamud, meaning after 'Ud.
The Jews called them Nabataeans, and the Romans simply refer
to them as Arabs. In 106 AD the northern part of their kingdom
was absorbed into the Roman Empire and eventually they faded
It was not until 600 AD that the Arabian Peninsula was again
united, this time under the flag of Islam. Once again the tribes
of Arabia burst from the deserts challenging the surrounding
nations. This time they would not be easily defeated, and their
armies marched to China in the east, Spain in the west, and Vienna
in the north.
But there is more to this book than a study of the four times
when the Arabs demonstrated their greatness. This book also examines
the geographical references in the Qur'an cross-referencing them
with historical locations. The surprise comes when Gibson examines
the Holy City of Islam, known as Mecca. Here Gibson finds evidence
that the original Holy City was in northern Arabia in the city
of Petra. He theorizes that during an Islamic civil war one hundred
years after Muhammad, the Ka'ba was destroyed and the Black Rock
was moved to its present location. Gibson examines archaeological,
historical and literary evidence that support this theory and
addresses many questions and objections that readers may have.
This book contains many references, as well as some useful appendices
including a 32 page time line of Islamic history from 550 AD
- 1095 AD, and a 20 page annotated selected bibliography of early
Islamic sources in chronological order from 724 AD - 1100 AD
plus a list of many early Qur'anic manuscripts. Easy to read,
fully referenced with many illustrations and photos. 470 pages.