(8) Faith landed in the Arabu land

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

They were fallen as if they were hollow trunks of palm trees. They were to be the "lost Arabs," and their lost city was the Atlantis of the Sands.

(8) Faith landed in the Arabu land

(The Immortal Mesopotamian-8)

They were fallen as if they were hollow trunks of palm trees. They were to be the "lost Arabs," and their lost city was the Atlantis of the Sands.

***** 

We were following the course of our Sumerian righteous leader since he departed UR many years earlier. Along the journey, we met Amorites far and wide as they lived in Syria and large parts of southern Mesopotamia. They established several city-states, including the south Levant and Philistine.

With my two prehistory friends Adiur and Adini (and their families), we continued our travel using mules' caravans. We passed over the Ammonite's land and the mountainous Moab Kingdom alongside Salt's eastern channel, which was a dead sea. It was a rough journey that took many months since we left Damas city.

We finally entered Edomite's land southwest of Moab and the Arabu Desert to the south and east. At that time, many of these territories were either loose Kingdoms or emerging ones. The Kingdom of Phoenicians flourished since 2500 BC was perhaps the more solid one.

We headed south into the Bedouins desert on camel's caravan. I noticed that their tribes were moving in seasonal migrations for less harsh conditions. They were nomadic-pastoralists depend on their small herds of goats, sheep, camels, and horses for sustenance. They hunted wild animals and also escorted caravans like ours.

*****

A Bedouin tribe found Abbad at the edge of the desert when he was young and taught him how to survive in the landscape's barren areas. He said his tribe emigrated south, and only a few left working as guides for caravans. He knew all oases, hills, and narrow valleys with steep sides.

He believed he was Adities descended from UZ, the son of Aram, the son of Shem. He said they were among the first inhabitants of the Arabu land, settled first in the northwest of the desert before moving to the deep south.

Abbad said, "I hope my people will not end as Perished Arabs," That was a prophecy because that what happened later even though they were the forerunners to the Pure Arabs.

Abbad didn't know (nor did I at that time) that Aad people created the" Iram of Pillar city, the likes of whom had never been made in the lands." However, they were destroyed because of their idolatrous life. God punished them by "a tremendous screaming violent windstorm for seven days and eight nights straight. They were fallen as if they were hollow trunks of palm trees". They were to be the "lost Arabs," and their lost city became the Atlantis of the Sands. 

It didn't astonish me at that time (but it does now) overhearing Abdil, the companion of Abbad, saying that his people carved out the rocks in the valley. He was from the Thamud tribe settled in eastern and central of the desert.

Thamud people followed Aad in their rise and fall. God poured upon them a scourge of punishment (earthquake wasn't the least) for their arrogance, corruption, and idolatry.

Almost all tribes and clans practiced polytheism, worshipped totems or idols representing natural phenomena. They lived Jahiliyyah (ignorance) based on deities' beliefs, except for our righteous leader's few followers.

In someplace of the Nabataean tribes in Edom's Land, we came across two long, well-escorted merchandise caravans, one heading north and the other was traveling south. These tribes were Arabs mixed with Aramean people. They were exploring the Edomite's land, perhaps to establish their Kingdom following centuries of nomadic life.

*****

After resting in the Nabataean's land, we continued our journey south through the Hejaz desert. As usual, the route was challenging and took many weeks until we reached a place called Yathrib. It was a fertile oasis of the desert that maintained decent amounts of food and water, and therefore was an important pit stop for camel caravans.

The poet Fasih was one of the believers in Yathrib. He confirmed that the righteous man didn't stay long in the place and traveled further south, maybe because it wasn't a large city rather than a resting oasis.

Fasih was already planning to follow him, although he maintained a sacred place as a poet where he was. He said the tribes everywhere thought of poets to be divinely inspirited.

He joined our small caravan instead of waiting for the merchants' winter main caravan from Damas in the north and heading south to Saba. There was at least one big winter caravan and another summer one in the opposite direction every year.

The months' hard travel was durable except for an incident when Fasih almost knocked off a canyon rim and had to take care of his injuries.

*****

After about twenty years, we joined the messenger of God in Bakkah, the trade place in the middle of the desert. Once he arrived there, he prayed, "O my God! make this place one of peace and security, and preserve my sons and me from worshipping idols", so we told.

Bakkah was the epicenter for worshiping Hubal, his daughters, and other tribal deities. The most revered shrine in the polytheistic desert is there. The site housed more than 300 idols and attracted worshippers from all over Arabu land.

Hubal's mythological three daughters were Allat, associated with the underworld, Al-Uzza, linked to fertility, protection and war victory, and Manat, the fate deity.

Once a year, the desert tribes would declare a pilgrimage truce to this place. At such time, they settle disputes, resolve debts, and trading in the marketplace. They also organize poetry events. Women were not active poets or traders. A veil was a symbol of respect worn by the elite and upper-class families.

The region was an essential focus for all desert tribes. In addition to the winter and summer central camel caravans, there were small caravans to Africa west and Persia east.

Our righteous leader told us without explanation that God rescued him with his nephew to this land, which God has blessed for the world. He said his nephew left for a nearby land to call for Monotheism.

As a prophet and messenger, God tasked him and his son to clean and rebuild the sacred center as the first house of worship God on Earth.

God showed him the location of the house and ordered him not to associate anything with his creator; "purify my house for those who circle round,  those who stand to pray, and those who kneel and prostrate."

God ordered him to announce the pilgrimage to his house. "They will come to you on foot, and on every transport. They will come from every distant place". "They may witness the benefits for themselves and celebrate the name of God during the appointed days."

The righteous messenger obeyed and accomplished his task. He also dug a well for the pilgrims. That drinking well water turned to be everlasting.

In his prayer, he asked God to make that land peaceful and keep him and his sons from worshiping idols because they have led many people astray. "Whoever follows me belongs with me, and whoever disobeys me—You are forgiving and merciful," he concluded

In his monologue, he told God that he had settled his family in a valley of no vegetation, by the sacred house so that they may perform the prayers. He asked God to "make the hearts of people incline towards them, and provide them with food, that they may be thankful."

The prophet and messenger spent the rest of his life there, calling people to believe in the existence of only one God, the creator of the universe, to worship him and be righteous people. He lived long, perhaps up to 175 years of age. When he died (probably in 1644 BC), his two sons buried him and continued their father's spiritual legacy through their subsequent preaching of the creator's message.

As for me, I died soon after, not sure whether sustaining my Immortal Mesopotamian status.

*Image from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edom

 


Submitted: October 27, 2020

© Copyright 2020 Ali Al-Zaak. All rights reserved.

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