UI – Part 273 – Escape from Mecca
Muhammad for many years stood out in his home community of Mecca by proclaiming a new faith, a new ideology, a new religion. He called for all the residents, and visitors, to honor but one god. Allah was the god of Muhammad’s faith; he was the Messenger. Upsetting and disruptive to his Quraysh family, their business (a bazaar at the time of an annual pilgrimage to visit the Kaaba), and those who came in peace to trade, Muhammad was criticized. The Kaaba housed idols, images, representations of over 360 different forms of belief. He wanted that cleansed to honor but one supernatural being. To him he was being persecuted. Often he was asked to stop his campaigning. A band of locals decided they needed Muhammad gone.
Many others felt Muhammad was persecuting them by his desire to have their idols removed from the Kaaba. Afterall it was their practice for decades to visit and honor the superior being they felt was their protector.
In Mecca, the plotters against this future self-proclaimed prophet arrived at Muhammad’s home only to find that his cousin, Ali, had taken his place in bed. Enraged, the Meccan locals put a price on Muhammad’s head and set off in pursuit. Muhammad and Abu Bakr, the father of his young wife Aisha, however, had taken refuge in a cave to hide from their pursuers. Abu Bakr was one of the earliest converts to Muhammad’s belief system. God/Allah as protector, the Meccan locals passed by the cave without noticing it or those in hiding. When all was clear Muhammad and Abu Bakr proceeded to Medina, at the time called Yatrib. There, they were joyously welcomed by a throng of Medinans, as well as the few Meccans who had gone ahead to prepare the way.
In less than a decade Muhammad built an army to return to Mecca and impose his views. His success then is reflected today in the insular nature of Mecca. Roads leading to this city in Saudi Arabia have signs that clearly exclude non-Muslims, instructing them to turn off the highway and go elsewhere. It has become an intolerant host city for any except card-carrying (a euphemism) Muslims.
Consider Islam as Mecca. A city where only Muslims can dwell, where only Islamic thoughts can be thought, the Quran read and the discourse as only Muhammad would have wanted. The white men in shrouds gather as an army of ghosts in the Kaaba Mosque grounds to worship Allah in unity. They are united in Islam. But they are entrapped in an ideology where freedom is not permitted. Freedom is not permitted in Mecca. The insular nature of Islam is on display in this city.
To escape from Mecca is to escape Islam. To open the doors to this city would be to cast the light of God onto potential children of God and give them freedom.
To be free is to honor the God you choose. It is not the God chosen for you. Although, God has made all humans in His image thus creating you and me to be a part of his domain forever. We are being tested. A failing grade is hellacious. As you grow and learn your independent nature will allow you to make distinctions between true and false, good and bad, right and wrong, kind and mean, tolerant and not tolerant, caring and belligerent, and most of all those who love and those who do not. The God of the Bible will never leave you, will never stop loving you while you live in this earthly world, and will be patient as you develop. The hope and joy that is possible awaits, vs. the humorless and hateful practices of those in denial. The prayer is that everyone has access to the Bible and the truth it contains. Without God and the moral and ethical guidelines provided, the love shared, especially love of neighbor, all would be permissible. There would be chaos. In freedom you can decide the path you follow. It is and should be a personal choice.
Grace and Peace.