Was The Earliest Human Pilgrimage Destination Buried Due To Allah’s Earliest Prophet? – OpEd


The theft of fire for the benefit of humanity is a theme that recurs in many dozens of the world’s mythologies. Its recurrent themes include trickster figures as the thief, and supernatural heroic guardians who hoard fire from humanity, often out of mistrust for humans. These myths reflect the profound significance of fire in human history, seen as a pivotal step in the development of pre human societies.

Although the Rig Veda (3:9.5) hero Mātariśvan recovered fire through friction, and in the Book of Enoch the fallen angels and Azazel teach early humanity to use tools and fire; the Sacred Scriptures of the Abrahamic monotheistic religions do not refer to the origin of fire. This is because the one and only God of Prophets Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus and Muhammad does not hide good things from humans. 

All the religions of pre-historic, pre-Adam and Eve human societies were polytheistic. When Adam was exiled from the Garden (of Eden) he landed in India. Prophet Adam headed west through Persia and Turkey and came to Gobekli Tepe, which is located in southern Turkey six miles from Urfa, an ancient city in southeastern Turkey, and two dozen miles from today’s border with Syria. 

Gobekli Tepe, is the oldest [9,000 BCE] human selected religious pilgrimage site discovered anywhere in the world. It attracted worshippers from up to 150 km away. Many of its stone pillars are decorated with carved animal reliefs such as lions, bulls, boars, foxes, gazelles, donkeys, snakes and birds, particularly vultures. Unlike the cave paintings in Europe, the animal images at  Göbekli Tepe are not depictions of hunting or wounding animals.

There are very few human figures in the art at Göbekli Tepe. Some of the T-shaped pillars have human arms carved on their lower half, intended perhaps to represent the work activities of humans (or perhaps deities). Loincloths appear on the lower half of a few pillars. A stone pillar resembling totem pole designs was discovered at Göbekli Tepe in 2010. Almost two meters high, it is reminiscent of totem poles in Northwest America.

The Göbekli Tepe structures predate pottery, metallurgy, and the invention of writing or the wheel, and were built before the Neolithic Revolution that marks the beginning of agriculture, animal husbandry, and year around settlements around 9,000 BCE. The Göbekli Tepe megaliths predate Stonehenge by some 6,000 years.

Yet at the beginning of the 8th millennium BCE Göbekli Tepe apparently lost whatever significance it had for the region’s inhabitants for the previous thousand plus years. Gobekli Tepe was deliberately filled in about 10,000 years ago. after being used for over a thousand years. We have no knowledge of why this earliest major sanctuary was buried.”

Remains of various artifacts in the backfill indicate that whoever did it had fairly unremarkable early Neolithic technology like low-fired pottery but none of the hallmarks usually regarded as indicative of more sophisticated societies. So the complex was not simply abandoned and forgotten to be gradually destroyed by the elements. 

Instead, amazingly, each enclosure was buried quite deliberately under as much as 300 to 500 cubic meters (390 to 650 cu yd) of  small limestone fragments, stone vessels, and stone tools.

If Prophet Adam lived at that time, it is possible that he might have influenced the polytheistic people living in that area (about 10,000 years ago) to bury Gobek. Or could this be evidence that one of Allah’s other earliest monotheistic prophets like Idris/Enoch [Qur’an 19:56-7, 21:85], from the southern lands of Babylonia and Egypt, had reached the area of Göbekli Tepe and convinced the people there to abandon their pilgrimage to Göbekli Tepe; and wait patiently for Prophets Abraham and Ishmael to rebuild the Ka’ba at Mecca, and then later for Prophet Solomon to build a Temple at Jerusalem? 

We do know when King Solomon dedicated the Jerusalem Temple he said (I Kings 22:38-43) “when a prayer or plea is made by anyone among your people Israel—being aware of the afflictions of their own hearts, and spreading out their hands toward this temple— then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive and act; deal with everyone according to all they do, since you know their hearts (for you alone know every human heart),  so that they will fear you all the time they live in the land you gave our ancestors. 

“As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name— for they will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm—when they come and pray toward this temple, then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.”

Only God knows; but there is a narration, transmitted orally in both Arabic and Hebrew for many centuries, that was finally written down in several versions in the 19th century, that may help us understand why Beitullah, Beit-El, Bayt al-Maqdis, Beit Ha-Mikdash were worth waiting for. 

“Two brothers who inherited a valley to hilltop farm from their father, divided the land in half so each one could farm his own section. Over time, the older brother married and had four children, while the younger brother was still not married.

“One year there was very little rain, and the crop was very meager. The younger brother lay awake one  night praying and thought. “My brother has a wife and four children to feed and I have no children. He needs more grain than I do; especially now when grain is scarce.”

“So that night the younger brother went to his barn, gathered a large sack of wheat, and left his wheat in his brother’s barn. Then he returned home.

”Earlier that very same night, the older brother was also lying awake praying for rain when he thought: “In my old age my wife and I will have our grown children to care for us, as well as grandchildren  to enjoy, while my brother may have no children. He should at least sell more grain from his fields now, so he can provide for himself in his old age.”

“So that night, the older brother also gathered a large sack of wheat, and left it in his brother’s barn, and returned home.


The next morning, the younger brother, surprised to see the amount of grain in his barn seemed unchanged said “I did not take as much wheat as I thought. Tonight I’ll take more.” 

That same morning, the older brother standing in his barn, was thinking the same thoughts.

”After night fell, each brother gathered a greater amount of wheat from his barn and in the dark, secretly delivered it to his brother’s barn. 

The next morning, the brothers were again puzzled and perplexed. “How can I be mistaken?” each one thought. “There’s the same amount of grain here as there was before. This is impossible! Tonight I’ll make no mistake – I’ll take two large sacks.”

“The third night, more determined than ever, each brother gathered two large sacks of wheat from his barn, loaded them onto a cart, and slowly pulled his cart toward his brother’s barn. 

In the moonlight, each brother noticed a figure in the distance. When the two brothers got closer, each recognized the form of the other and the load he was pulling, and they both realized what had happened. 

“Without a word, they dropped the ropes of their carts, ran to each other and embraced.

Humans can build a sanctuary, but only God can sanctify a holy place; so God may have thought that the great love and concern of two very different brothers for each other set an excellent example for humanity; so their descendants should each rebuild and build a Holy House: Beitullah, Beit-El, Bayt al-Maqdis, Beit Ha-Mikdash, in this valley and on that hill. 

When all those, both near and far, who revere this place as a standard, share it in love with everyone else who reveres it, then God will do as Abraham requested, and “Make this a land of Peace, and provide its people with the produce of the land”. (Qur’an 2:126). Then will all the children of Adam, Noah and Abraham live in Holiness, Peace and Prosperity.

Jews and Christians believe the hill is Jerusalem. Muslims believe the valley is Makka. I believe, God willing, someday both beliefs will be seen as correct.  

Rabbi Allen S. Maller

Allen Maller retired in 2006 after 39 years as Rabbi of Temple Akiba in Culver City, Calif. He is the author of an introduction to Jewish mysticism. God. Sex and Kabbalah and editor of the Tikun series of High Holy Day prayerbooks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *