Oh my! Mel's now found a MAP of the earlier Mecca!
So, just when we thought we had enough support for a possible reference to an earlier Mecca in the north, a viewer sends Mel a map which supports his research.
To recap, Mel introduced, just yesterday, the document entitled: "The Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius Continuatio Byzantia Arabica", written in 741 AD, and considered the earliest reference to Mecca anywhere, though only introduced to modern scholarship by Patricia Crone in the last century. Yet, this document places Mecca, not in the central part of Arabia, known as the Hejaz, but about 1,200 miles further north, between the modern Turkish towns of Sanliurfa (ancient Edessa) and Harran.
Then today, Mel was sent a map created by the Muslim cartographer Muhammad al-Idrisi, made around 1165 AD, showing the world at that time. What's significant is that he places this northern Turkish Mecca at the very center of his map, suggesting the importance of that area for the world at that time.
But why would it be significant unless this is the place the later 9th-10th century Islamic Traditions derived the name for their city, Mecca, from. If you take a line directly south from this northern Mecca, it goes right to the southern Mecca.
What's more, ancient Turkish tradition places Abraham's birth in this northern area, and the current town of Harran is still named after Abraham's brother, Harran. Could that have been the inspiration for the later Abbasids to borrow the name for their sanctuary?
Or, is this all a coincidence? Maybe, but it all seems to suggest that the earlier northern Mecca may have given its name to the later, and current southern Mecca.
© Pfander Centre for Apologetics - US, 2020
(39,570) (Music: "small adventure", by Rafael Krux, from filmmusic-io - License CC BY)