Kamal Salibi and the "Israel from Yemen" theory

One highly tenuous theory, is by Professor Kamal Salibi's of American University in Beirut. In his 1985 book Bible Came from Arabia, he compares place names in the Bible with names in Arabia today, and concludes that Palestine had absolutely no historical Hebrew presence, and rather South West Arabia is what the Bible refers to as Israel! Moreover, Moses and Pharaoh were not in Egypt, but rather in Yemen! Egypt in the Bible is not today's Egypt, ...etc.

To bring both sides of the argument to the table, I have to mention that I received an email on April 2005 from Dr. Bernard Leeman stating the following:

I have just published "Queen of Sheba and Biblical Scholarship" (AWP, New Jersey) which concludes that Kamal Salibi's hypothesis is correct - that ancient Israel and Judah until 722 and 586 BCE were indeed in Western Arabia. Chaim Rabin's work (1951) (which Salibi didn't consult) on Ancient West Arabian concludes that there is too much Hebrew in certain South West Arabian dialects to be coincidental (in the same area that Salibi locates the Old Testament) . Also the map references, ancient legal code and other items in the Sheba-Melelik cycle of the Ethiopic (Ge'ez) Kebra Nagast support Salibi. Roger Schneider's discovery of Sabaean inscriptions near Mekele in Ethiopia not only confirms the presence there of Hebrews ca 800 BCE but also the narrative of the Kebra Nagast.

There is a lot more evidence, and Salibi should be taken very seriously, even though it means a major reassessment of faith-based history.

I emailed Dr. Leeman twice that I would be willing to publish a one page summary of his book on this site. I have not yet heard from him.



Al- Hijaz, Homeland of Abraham and the Israeli prophets

A paper titled "Al- Hijaz, Homeland of Abraham and the Israeli prophets" was delivered at THE SECOND WORLD CONGRESS FOR MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES held at Amman on June 2006. I found it very interesting. The following is the abstract and, the paper itself was Emailed to me upon request on this Email address : tajdeed@tajdeed.org

Al- Hijaz, Homeland of Abraham and the Israeli prophets
An Arab’s geographical map for Abraham journey
based on Arabia’s historical accounts

T. Ahmed, Ammar Rajab
Al-Tajdeed Cultural and Social Society
Kingdom of Bahrain
June 2006


Note: This paper represents a condensed version of a comprehensive research work published by Al-Tajdeed Society in a 550 page Arabic written book, titled "Neda Al Surat". The book is readily available for download from the society site. Most of the Arabic originating references quoted in this paper are currently unavailable in English language, consequently these references are cited here in their respective original Arabic text.

By the end of the last century, new stunning hypothesis emerged amongst theologians and historians advocating that the prevailing publicly held understanding of the Israeli prophets geographical homelands and their journey routes were radically erroneous. The new hypothesis suggests that Asir province was indeed the actual geographical theater which accommodated most of the Israeli prophets’ birthplaces, revelations, preaching, and burials. Asir which is situated in the southern portion of the Al-Surat mountains stretching alongside the western border of Arabia, bounded between Yemen and the holy city of Makkah (Mecca), also was the homeland of Abraham, Lot, Sara, Hagar and Ishmael as concluded in this paper. This hypothesis in totality was generate following inconceivable inconsistency in the overall biblical accounts of the geographical landscapes traversed by the prophets together with the lack of any archeological evidences to date in Palestine, Syria, Iraq or Egypt which could support the biblical accounts. Interestingly enough, all the subject researchers who concluded that Arabia was the actual homeland of the Israeli prophets arrived at their findings via different research and analytical methodologies. This paper however, was raised to address the absence of major elements needed to complete the already on going research work. These elements are:

1) None of the presented research work conducted an in-depth analytical study of the Arabic historical literatures to investigate and explore the validity of the notion that the Israeli prophets were actually Arabic people who lived in the southern west highlands of Arabia.
2) None had explained when and how the real prophets whereabouts had been shifted from the real geographical locations in Arabia and had them moved further north and systematically projected them over another vast Arabian land stretching from the River Euphrates in Iraq all the way to the River Nile in Egypt.
3) No research so far has ascertained the party which caused the prevailing illusion masking the real whereabouts of the Arabic Israeli prophets, and what were their motives.

In addition to addressing all of the above elements, this paper concludes that Arabic historical literatures indeed do contain substantial evidences supporting the new hypothesis. In addition, it presents a draft of a new geographical map illustrating Abrahams' journey based on the ancient Arabic accounts of the issue as an alternative to the controversial wide-reaching biblical geographical map printed on the back cover of the contemporary published bibles.

Israel from Arabia

The entire land of Arabia should be opened to explorers in order to enter Arabia in history. Arabia is not the desert arid land of desolate landscape. It is the witness to the long lost paradise or Arabia Felix. The proofs are on the ground ready to be read with the modern cartography and satellite technology. Not only the names of places are clues but also the local dialects and oral tradition that shall be highlighted and put on the table. By all means Arabia represents the dark background of the Old Testament including Nejd and Hidjaz, Asir and Yemen. The way of pronouncing the various names of places and the use of the aplphabet variations could lead to uncover hundreds of secrets in the interpretation of the Old Testament. These names are closely related to the major biblical stories and mainly the legendary Abraham stories. The major obstacle in this regard is the Modern Hebrew pronunciation of the Old testament. The key example of this obstacle is the deformation of the name of Lebanon that should be pronounced like the Lebanese people pronounce it: Lubnan. Thousands of examples are there to discredit the Modern Hebrew tongue in the interpretation of the Old Scriptures. If the Old testament is the base of historical events, then Arabia is the bedrock of history and Abraham is the father of this history. Abraham established History in his moves and migration from Nejd to Hidjaz. The city of Ryadh is founded on the remains of the ancient city of Hagar, once a rich agricultural capital. That is where Hagar found her famous "well" Al-Hayir, next to Shulaym the actual city of Al-Kharj. This is the start. Then Abraham moved to Hidjaz around the Mecca Area (Mukah In the Old Testament). I would appreciate if you could allow me to continue.
Thank you.

Arabia the Hot bed of History

In Fact I am not replying, I am continuing... The biblical description of Jerusalem is not about a City. There has been confusion between the City of david and the Kingdom of his son Sulayman which is not a city at all. It is the combination of two regions: the Yeru and the Shulaym. Even the yeru can be retracted to Yer or Yar. The Hayir fountains south of Riyadh in association with the name of Hagar the old city lead us to the Hagar legend, with her son Ismael (with an "S"). The term hayir itself means the "hesitate", the "indecisive" as Hagar used to go back and forth between the Safat (the rocky land) and the Marwah (the soft land) until God gave ger the famous well that she called: Bir Lahy Ru'y. Bir in Arabic is the well. And Lahy Ru'y has always been interpreted as the "life"and the "vision" because "she saw in her dream a promise from God to send her deliverence for life". I do not see any plausible relationship between the "Life and Vision" and the well. It is a well and should be read in Arabic. Al-Hayir is the right term to signify something. Associate Hayir with Shulaym and you get "hayarushalayim" as the modern non-Arabic-speaking scholars want it to be. Shulaym is the famous city of today's Kharj, 50 miles south of Riyadh. The entire area was a prosperous fertile agricultural area that stood at the crossroads of the incense trail from Yemen to Babylon. Al-Kharj has also its own underground water sources and a historical tunnel connecting to the outskirts of the city. Further south-east you will also find Hardh and Arad with an extinct volcanoe. Look at the farm land in this area.
Just leave Palestine alone and read Arabia.

Ha Yarushalayim in Nejd Arabia

In continuation of this article, the story of the siege of "Jerusalem" includes the name of Joachin who ordered the digging of an underground tunnel to reach the water sources behind the enemy lines (Nabu Khudurru). The underground water tunned is in the outskirts of Al-Kharj which is Shulaym, and Al-Juaithin is a famous tribe still living in the area along with Jelowee (Ha-Levi). All these discoveries may seem to be approximations but do not forget the story of the renegade Musaylamah "The Liar" in the early islamic history recalls the name of the area inside al Kharj City Thulaymah where the famous battle took place under the leadership of Khalid Bin Al Waleed, and where Sulaymah was decapitated.
Also Abraham emigrated to another region westward to Meccah where he built an altar to the Supreme God Allah. The Islamic Tradition does not contradict the Torah in its description of events. There Arabraham purchased a cavern from Mamrah the Hittite(Compare with the mosque of Namrah a mysterious figure honored by Prophet Muhammad) to bury his wife Sarah in the caverns of Mikvilah (Compare with the Misfilah quarter in Meccah). Then he headed south towards the road of Shor (Compare with the mount of Thawr south of Meccah).
All of these events show that Abraham whoever he was in History never put a footstep in Palestine nor did he go to Northern Syria through Houran. The shrines honoring Abraham in Palestine are the traces of migrations from Meccah towards the North. People brought with them their traditions and the names of their initial deities to their new settlements in Palestine. They were Arabians.

The mount of Moriah

The map of Mecca is amazing: Several names of places mentioned in the Torah are all gathered in one place, Mecca area: The altar of Abraham, the Safat, The Moriah (Pronounced Marwah), the mount Shor (Thawr), Mambra (the mosque of Namrah), Machvilah (The Misfilah Quarter), and in general the Abraham doctrine. One thing is forgotten by historians is the Black Stone. Another major element of the Abraham legend is the Kaabah itself and next to it the Altar of Ismael, then the Jabal Arafat. The story tells that Abraham took his son (Which one?)to the mount of Moriah where God sent his ultimate mercy upon the boy with a sheep to slaughtered instead of the boy. The term mercy in Arabic is Ra'fat and the mount Arafat is also refrred to with Mount (Har)-Ra'fat. Incontestably the mount Arafat is the mount of mercy where Abraham wanted to sacrify his son. While the Black stone has never been researched by historians by fears of relating the story to the people of Israel: The story of Jacob when he tells that he slept on a (mysterious)stone and saw angels coming down from heavens on a ladder. Generations after Jacob veneratoed the stone and kept it in their custody until the people of Israel left the area and disappeared from the Mecca landscape. Arabs until the coming of Islam still venerated the stone and the Prophet made a stunning social victory by suggesting to resolve a huge quarrel beteen the tribes who were fighting to carry the stone inside the Kaabah. This is how the stone enterd the islamic history. For sure the stories of the Torah happened in Arabia but the disappearance of the people of Israel remains a mystery. But for sure the name of Itzhac means the God of Laughs. The tradition has created a verb in Arabic related to the Sacrifice: Ad'ha, and Dah'ha which means sacrify at dawn. A verb is born from the name Is-hac.

Arafa, Safa & Marwa


1. No where in the Holy Quran that says Arafa, Safa & Marwa are mountains. Its obvious that its a location.
2. No where in the Holy Quran that say about Masjid Namira?
3. If the holy land is in the present Mecca, than why it takes Prophet Sulaiman the whole morning which is equivalent to a month journey to the Holy land? The verses 21:81 confirms that the wind brought Prophet Sulaiman to the Holy Land and verse 34:12, which is the continuation of 21:81, it takes the Prophet the whole morning [if the wind fly him, approx 725 kph] and it takes him one month journey if he takes a camel on land route,[camel travel approx 75 km per day]. With this calculation, the camel route will take him in one month a distance of 2250 km, which is exactly a month journey to the Levant from Yaman, where it takes only 3.5 to 4 hrs by air.


The Location of Egypt/Mizraim

Where was the Egypt that Jospeh ruled in & Israel went up from located. You state that Shur is Jabal Thawr so Biblical Egypt(Mizraim) must have been located in Arabia also. Would you mind enlightening me on it's location.

Is the paper by Al Tajdeed

Is the paper by Al Tajdeed already available in English.

New theory, an evidence, but who detaine the absolute thruth?

I am not Jewess, nor Christian or Moslem, just to make it clear. I was reading all your interesting comments and thought: those are new elements in the story of our search to the Truth. But who detain the absolute Truth? Is everyone (the the Christian, the Moslem and the Jew) in possession of only a piece of that Truth, or just assumptions? Why is it that everyone of those wants to be the only one saying the Truth when all the "stories" have so much in common: places, people, and time? Why not just come together and put all the clues together and reach the absolute Truth. My belief is that everyone is right, but not absolutely right. I read all the stories together: it is only when you read all of them that they become lively, attracting, enigmatic and mysterious. Only because I read them all together I think that, this is only a part of the Truth: the best is to come!
I am so happy that THE ALL Mighty did not give to none of us access to the absolute Truth, just to clues! It would have been too easy.
I wish you peace, many moments of joy and perseverance.

With respect

Geography and Religion

It is not about history that we are talking about but about geography. Religion and faith should not be linked to geography as if it were a necessity that Palestine be the homeland of Moses and Salomon to make the Jewish faith true. It is about making the Israeli occupation of Palestine a tool for tourism and colonial adventure that we are protesting.

It is because of your eloquent and pacific character that your are calling to ignore the forensic investigation of history but remember that by making Palestine the theater of the old Books of the Torah, the Bible had to be tweaked to fit the landscape and locations of townships and regions. Names had to be falsified to bring settlers displacing an entire nation out of its ancestral homeland. We are not denying the fact that the last period of the Jewish history took place in Palestine.