meaning "place of caverns".
Name of the place where
went to when they were sent away by
and where Ishmael continued to grow.
Muslims argue that Paran refers to the Arabian desert and that Mt. Paran
is the Sarawat Mountains. Accordingly, Muslims argued that
Habbakkuk 3:3 is a prophecy of Muhammad :
God (his guidance) came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount
Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was
full of his praise.
(Mishael ibn Abdullah al-Kadhi, What did Jesus say?, 1997,
There are two main problems with this. The first is of course that the
prophecy has nothing to do with Muhammad. Notice that Mishael put in
parenthesis "(his guidance)"
in order to apply it to Muhammad, who was
supposed to come from Teman. The
Bible simply refers to God. This is an abuse of scripture.
The second problem is of course that (the Wilderness of) Paran in
the Bible is not Arabia. The traditional view is that Paran is in the
Sinai Peninsula, starting at Kadesh Barnea, which is south of Israel.
Consider the following:
- Hadad the Edomite, during the reign of
escaped to Egypt when he was a boy
(1 Kings 11:17).
"They set out from Midian and went to Paran.
Then taking men from Paran with them, they went to Egypt..."
(1 Kings 11:8-19).
To think that Hadad set out from
Midian (which is south east (SE) of Israel, near the Sinai in the
Arabian Peninsula, go up north east east (NEE) to "Paran"
then somehow end up in Egypt (south west of Mecca) is unthinkable.
- The Israelites left Sinai (after receiving the Law) for the Desert
on the way passing through Kibroth Hattavah
and settling at Kadesh [Barnea] of Paran
which is the northern
part of the desert. From Paran, spies were sent to Canaan to check
out the land
The spies' exploration took them from
Paran through the Desert of Zin (south of Israel), Rehob, Lebo
Hamath, Negev, Hebron
The southern boundary of
the Israelite promised land is given as "Your southern side will
include some of the Desert of Zin along the border of Edom. On the
east, your southern boundary wll start from the end of the Salt Sea
[i.e. Dead Sea], cross south of the Scorpion Pass, continue on to
Zin and go south of Kadesh Barnea. Then it will go to Hazar Addar
and over to Azmon, where it will turn, join the Wadi of Egypt and
end at the Sea [i.e., Mediterranean]"
Kadesh are clearly to the south of Israel, so to demand that Paran
is on the east of Israel requies an impossible boundary.
- The above verses also show that
Moses and the Israelites were at
Paran. But if Paran is Mecca, and that Moses is a prophet of
Islam, then the obvious conclusion is that Moses was at Mecca and
that he must have worshipped at the Ka'aba. Nothing of this sort
is ever suggested by any Muslim. It also means that the whole
group of Israelites (many thousands of them) passed through Mecca.
- Ishmael married an Egyptian. Mecca is more than 700 miles away
from Egypt, and getting an Egyptian wife seems a little too far.
Although this is not conclusive, getting an Egyptian wife from the
Sinai Peninsula is more probable.
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