This week we have been working on Surahs 19 and 20. Both Surahs were early Meccan Surahs written under persecution in the Fifth year of the Prophet’s mission and eight years before the Hijrah in 622 CE. The First Hijrah was this flight of the poor of the Faith in Mecca in 613 CE. The calling of the Prophet was thus in 608 CE when he began his mission.
The Flight was conducted under the supervision of the Prophet’s cousin Ja’far. The Meccans were not content to let the church flee for safety to the Sabbatarian Churches in Abyssinia and sent emissaries to demand their extradition to Mecca. The idolatrous Meccans of the worship of Baal as Hubal (The Lord) in Mecca at the Ka’aba cunningly tried to place divisions in the Christians in Abyssinia by saying that these Biblical Unitarians were not really converts to Christianity assuming that the Christians should be Trinitarians. Fortunately the Churches of God in Abyssinia were Biblical Unitarians also and not Binitarians or Ditheists as the Churches of God had sunk to in the Twentieth century heresy under Armstrongism in North America under the Sardis system and more blatant Trinitarianism in the Laodicean system. (See the paper Pillars of Philadelphia (No 283); General Distribution of the Sabbath-keeping Churches (No. 122) and Role of the Fourth Commandment under the Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170).)
They petitioned the Negus (the King) for extradition of the refugees. Fortunately the Negus sent for Ja’far and the leaders to answer the request in front of the bishops of Abyssinia. The record of Ja’far’s answer was preserved in the writings of Ibn Ishaq and also by Pickthall in his translation of the Koran and is reproduced in the Introduction to the Surah.
The account is exactly what we would have expected of any representative of the Churches of God over the two millennia since the Christ with the possible exception of recent years. The refugees declared their devotion to the One True God and their observance of the Food Laws and the Tithe or alms system, and to their familial responsibilities in kinship and to their neighbours and their eschewing of lewdness and their adherence to the legal system and their utter rejection of idolatry and of the elevation of others in relation to the One True God Eloah. When the Negus inquired of them, Ja’far referred to the Introduction to Surah 19 and quoted the entry text of 19:1. That Surah was given to the refugees in order to establish their bona fides with the Abyssinian brethren, which it did. The Negus gave them protection.
Soon after they had left Mecca the Prophet was given Surah 20 Ha Ta and he prayed for the conversion of Omar or another of his kind as they needed additional strength. Omar was a scribe and able to fight as subsequent events also proved. Omar was set on killing the Prophet and while seeking to kill him he heard his sister and brother-in-law reading Ha Ta and a fight ensued with Omar’s sister being wounded.
He was caused to rethink his actions and asked to read what the Prophet had said. On reading the text he was impressed and subsequently called. The Introductions to both Surahs contain the details and the explanatory texts show just what the structure of the Surahs explain. It is without doubt that the Koran was based directly on the Scriptures and was given to explain the Scriptures to the Arabs. When these early Surahs were given there was no Koran and the texts are directly given to the Arabs in Arabic and S19 was written to the Arab Church refugees and to the Churches in Abyssinia for their protection. No one skilled in the texts of Scripture could possibly misunderstand their origin and basis.