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First Crusade: Battle of Dorylaeum

6/12/2006 • Military History

The Turkish cavalry seemed to be everywhere at once as the Norman Crusader commander, Bohemond of Taranto, tried to form his disorganized and surprised troops into battle order. The Turkish attack had begun at dawn, as many of the Crusaders were just awakening, and the intense assault had caused thousands of Christian casualties as volleys of arrows arced into their crowded camp. Bohemond’s knights had quickly mounted, but their piecemeal attacks, while sporadically successful, did little to dissuade the Turkish warriors thirsting for total victory over the invaders.

Suddenly, the Turks were riding through the camp itself, killing noncombatants and foot soldiers unable to outrun their mounted opponents. Bohemond ordered his knights to dismount and form a defensive line, behind which the unarmored foot could find shelter. Hopefully, the messengers he had dispatched to Raymond of Toulouse’s wing of the Crusader army would bring help before it was too late. Grimly, the Normans sent their horses to the rear and faced the enemy cavalry, vowing to use their lives to buy time for their companions until help arrived…if it did at all.

In the 29-year period between 1066 and 1095, Western Europe endured serious expansionism not only from aggressive Normans, but also from the noble houses of France, Germany and Spain. In the midst of the wars that raged throughout Christendom, the power of the church was disputed by the powerful successors to Charlemagne, the Holy Roman emperors, who sought to expand both their spiritual and political influence.

Fledgling feudal rulers increasingly took sides in the escalating power struggles between emperor and pope. Caught in the middle of that confusing contest for loyalty was the warrior, who had to choose whether to fight for his military leader, as had been the soldier’s decision for thousands of years, or to ignore the secular leader and follow the spiritual head of the church. Pope Urban II’s call for a holy crusade in 1095 convinced great numbers of European warriors to transcend the interminable local warfare and, under God’s divine protection, march to the East. The soldiers of the First Crusade would fight not just for material wealth or power, but for the salvation of their souls. With God’s grace and their nobles to lead them, victory seemed assured.

Tales of pagan depredations had long roused bitter hatred among Western Europeans privy to the tales brought back by pilgrims. The Christians who sought to travel to Jerusalem were reportedly subjected to all manner of mutilation and torture if captured by local Muslim warlords. These reports and tales from survivors–most of which were exaggerations or outright lies–gave Pope Urban II the powerful ammunition he needed to persuade the proud princes of Europe to give up their personal vendettas and come together to fight the Infidel.

Religious warfare was not that new. The Muslims themselves had swept across the Middle East and North Africa through their own jihad, or holy war. As early as 1080, Pope Gregory VII had asked the Norman leader Robert Guiscard, whose holdings in Italy were extensive, to mount a military campaign against the East and return the rebellious area to Roman Christian rule. Robert turned toward the East all right, but ended up waging a stalemated war against the Eastern Roman, or Byzantine, empire, while Pope Gregory became bogged down in controversies with the Holy Roman emperor, Henry IV, spending all his resources and energy defending Rome from his opportunistic German adversary.

By 1086, many European knights had taken up arms against the Muslim Moors in Spain, but the Spanish Christians fought among themselves as much as they did against the followers of Islam. In 1089, the Byzantine emperor had asked a knight returning from Jerusalem to take a message to Rome, asking for an expedition to help fight against the encroaching Seljuk Turks. The request was relayed to Rome and the church replied that it was more than willing to lend its support and turn the warlike tendencies of the Western knights toward the Muslims in the East. It would be another six years before concerted efforts would be made to implement the request.

Urban II’s tour of Europe in 1095 initially had no great hopes of ending the fighting among the Western feudal warlords. But as the pope preached to increasing numbers of followers in town after town, a current was building. Urban’s climactic, dramatic speech at Clermont was extraordinarily powerful as the pope told his awed and captive audiences of the tortures, eviscerations, decapitations and forced circumcisions of pilgrims. He went on to scold the knights of Christendom for their feuding and oppression of helpless women and children. He urged them instead to ‘advance boldly, as knights of Christ….On whom…is the task of recovering this territory incumbent, if not upon you [on whom] God has conferred remarkable glory in arms, great courage, bodily energy, and the strength to humble the hairy scalp of those who resist you….Expel that wicked race from our Christian lands!’

The exhortations filled the Western knights with shame and then rage, until they burned with a desire to destroy the accursed perpetrators of such depredations. Urban then offered the knights eternal salvation as a compensation for ‘taking the cross.’ He reaffirmed the Truce of God and granted papal protection of the lands and possessions of any warrior joining the holy crusade.

The Council of Clermont had an amazing effect on the Western warriors. Robert Guiscard’s eldest son, Bohemond, immediately lifted the siege of Amalfi and swore an oath not to fight against Christians again until the ‘heathens’ were defeated. Thousands of other Christian warriors, eager to gain God’s blessing, joined Bohemond and others who flocked to Urban’s call.

Although the Crusades became a test of faith, many who fervently took the cross in the heady days of 1095-96 were ill-prepared for the enormous expense involved. The Clermont decree did not promise the Crusaders wealth. In fact, the Crusaders’ financial problems were only the beginning of their difficulties. Cost to a German knight serving in Italy in the 11th century is estimated to have been double his annual income. On that basis, four to five times his income would have been necessary to sustain him in the Holy Land. Money was raised as it is today, by taxing tenants and mortgaging lands. The very real problems of expenses, obtaining transport and provisions, as well as staff work, would delay the start of the military expedition for another year.

Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus expected to see a manageable number of Western mercenaries trickle into his capital, to be amalgamated into his imperial armies. The massed forces that appeared before the gates of Constantinople in 1097, however, most certainly did not view themselves as mere ‘helpers’ for Alexius! In fact, the Western Europeans had no great respect for the Byzantine military because of its disastrous defeat by the Turks at Manzikert in 1071, and Robert Guiscard’s victory over them at Durazzo 14 years after that. The foolish and poorly prepared earlier civilian Crusaders, led by the likes of Peter the Hermit, though attracting great numbers of disaffected adherents, had been destroyed long before reaching the Holy Land. It could only have been with profound amazement and dismay that Alexius found tens of thousands of elite Western warriors outside his walls, demanding provisions and shelter.

The newly arrived Crusaders marched under their regional military commanders: Raymond of Toulouse, Bohemond of Taranto, Godfrey of Bouillon and his brother Baldwin, and Robert of Normandy with Stephen of Blois. The papal legate, Bishop Adhemar, ostensibly was in charge of coordinating and smoothing the relationships and political tempers of the diverse leadership. Pope Urban’s plan for a united effort was thwarted; four distinct regional armies, instead of one united one, marched at their own paces, each under its own separate secular heads, to the gathering point at Byzantium.

Alexius’ brilliance as a negotiator deserves mention: not only did he supply the large, unruly forces from Western Europe, but he also got them to swear their loyalty to him before they resumed their march into Asia Minor. The success of his efforts were soon realized; previous Byzantine possessions that had been lost to the Turks in Asia Minor were returned to imperial control as the Westerners liberated them.

The four Christian armies that assembled at Byzantium wasted little time in starting their march to Jerusalem. Size estimates of the crusading armies vary from a ridiculous 600,000, to an estimate made by Anna Comnena, Alexius’ literary daughter, of 12,000 horse and 70,000 foot. Though still too high, the latter figure cut by a third to a half would probably be fairly accurate. That was still an incredibly large number of men to attempt to cross hundreds of miles of arid, hostile lands with any number of unknown enemies contesting their progress.

The Crusaders soon plunged into the hostile territories of Asia Minor, held by the internally disrupted but powerful armies of Kilij Arslan’s Seljuk Turks. A small force of Byzantines accompanied the Crusaders as they moved into Turkish territory, as much to report on their progress and condition as to offer military assistance. Before long, the Crusaders would face a new, and to them strange, type of fighter–the mobile Turkish horse archer. The methods of fighting this adversary would be developed in the field, but for now, the fear of the unknown was dissipated by the religious fervor that accompanied the Christian armies as they moved East to promised salvation and glory.

The Crusaders first encountered the Turks at the Anatolian capital city of Nicaea in the spring of 1097. Kilij Arslan, the region’s Seljuk sultan, at first did not take the Crusaders seriously. He had easily destroyed Peter the Hermit’s rabble, and spies had sent him reports of problems among the leadership of the new Christian army. But he soon found that these warriors were different. They besieged Nicaea and bloodily repulsed a Turkish relief army that attacked them. The town held out for more than a month until the Byzantine fleet arrived, cutting off any additional supplies for the garrison, which then surrendered. The loss of this city was a double blow to Kilij Arslan, as both his family and his treasury were there.

The Christians dutifully turned the captured city over to the Byzantines, after receiving a substantial compensation from the grateful emperor. They then continued their march, confident after this initial success. The inhabitants of Nicaea had been spared the usual pillage and violence, though the Crusaders had tossed the decapitated heads of Turkish corpses into the town during the siege as a terror tactic. In fact, respect for their new enemies was growing and would continue to grow as they fought the Turks at Dorylaeum, where the Crusaders would first taste the full impact of the Eastern style of mobile, missile warfare.

The victorious Westerners were two days distant from Nicaea when Bohemond took his Italo-Norman contingents and separated from the rest of the army. Some chroniclers cite a quarrel between the factious leaders; others argue that supply problems dictated a dispersal of the army, forage being in great demand. Whatever the reason, for three days the armies marched in separate columns, several hours apart, with Bohemond’s force numbering at the most 10,000 Crusaders, the majority on foot, along with large numbers of noncombatants. Although of no military value whatsoever, the noncombatants were an ever-present ingredient in early Crusader armies, motivated by the same religious fervor driving the fighters.

Although separated on the march, the two Crusader forces remained within a few miles of each other, in mutual support range if either was attacked. Three days after splitting up, the Christian forces had still not encountered enemy resistance, and fully expected the Turks to shy away from a duel of arms with the soldiers of Christ. On the evening of June 30, 1097, Bohemond’s army made camp in grassy meadows beside a river. Bohemond set up his tents, put out his guards, and retired for the night after covering an incredible 85 miles in four days.

The Turks, numbering perhaps 30,000, approached at dawn on July 1, and Kilij Arslan launched a surprise assault on the sleeping camp. The tactics of the Turks caught the Crusaders totally off guard. As the chroniclers of the time reported, ‘The Turks came upon us from all sides, skirmishing, throwing darts and javelins and shooting arrows from an astonishing range.’ The Turks also ‘began to whistle and chatter and shout at the top of their voices, uttering a diabolical sound,’ so besides the terrific missile barrage, the Turkish attack was pressed forward with screams, battle cries and the relentless sound of drums.

Although caught sleeping or at breakfast by the furious morning assault, Bohemond gathered his available knights and, the chroniclers note, gave a short speech appealing not only for divine help, but to his troops’ base greed: ‘This day, if it pleases God, you will all have been made rich.’ The Normans had not lost their Norse proclivity for plunder, being the one group of Crusaders content to settle for land and wealth in Antioch rather than continuing on to free the holy city of Jerusalem. The Norman knights were professionals and as such reacted swiftly to the surprise attack, unlike their allied mercenary contingents and noncombatants. Bohemond managed to quickly organize numbers of noncombatants to carry water to the knights and armed foot soldiers. He had very little time to react and organize his men, however, as the Turks fired and then charged, cutting down numbers of dazed and disoriented Christians as they tried to form lines of battle.

Many of the Western knights were undoubtedly as frightened as the noncombatants. However, the deeply held concepts of honor and fidelity to one’s comrades and leaders overcame the base fears of the Normans. While the less honor-bound troops and noncombatants huddled together in the camp, fearfully singing, praying and confessing their sins as Turkish arrows cut them down, Bohemond formed up those knights he could rally and tried to blunt the Turkish attack. He also had to keep his brother, Tancred, and others from impetuously charging the elusive Turkish horse archers. Though of many languages and nationalities, Bohemond’s warriors were united in their reliance on each other for survival. With a tremendous show of courage, the Norman knights bought time for the rest of the army to form a cohesive defense.

Noncombatant helplessness and vulnerability to the terrific archer fire and slashing Turkish swords motivated Bohemond to utilize a defensive posture. Sending messengers out to find and warn the other Crusader army of his situation, the Norman leader sought to preserve his army in the face of the unrelenting Turkish assault. Minutes turned to hours as more than 2,000 men reportedly fell victim to horse archers’ arrows. Most of the casualties were unarmored foot soldiers and pilgrims. Bohemond’s army began to retreat toward the banks of the river.

The Turks found the Western European knight much tougher to kill than the less-armored foot soldier. The knights (who would later be called ‘iron people’ by the Saracens) would take numerous missile hits and still fight on. But the Turks had the Crusaders virtually surrounded and set up relays to keep their archers supplied with a constant supply of arrows. Even an armored knight could stand only so many hits.

Bohemond maintained a semblance of order in his ranks, even though the Turks had by now captured a good portion of the camp and were swarming around the Crusader army, cutting off individuals and small groups, and forcing the main body slowly back to the soggy riverbank. Throughout the clashes, the women of the camp continued to bring water to the front ranks, encouraging the warriors. Although Bohemond had ordered his knights to hold their positions, one rash commander and 40 followers charged the Turks, only to be cut to pieces, the few survivors returning wounded to rejoin their comrades. Time and again, small groups of mounted knights would break into futile charges, only to be forced to fall back, as the elusive Turks retired beyond reach of their swords and lances, still pelting them with arrows.

Lacking the numbers to decisively check the encircling Turks, Bohemond dismounted his knights and formed them in a large circle, protecting the panicked noncombatants from the murderous Turkish archer fire; the marshy riverbanks protected the Crusaders from any mounted cavalry assault. Bohemond placed the thousands of women and children along the banks of the river, protected by the reedy marshland. The Crusaders were stuck, with no chance of retreat, and surrender out of the question. Meanwhile, the mailed knights sweltered in the hot sun.

Bohemond could only watch as his army died slowly from the ‘arrows and javelins…falling as thick as hail, the savage, piercing shrieks of the enemy, and the diabolical swiftness of their cavalry, constantly darting in to the attack and then away again,’ as the chronicler described the situation. The Crusaders were losing heart. Fulcher of Chartres wrote: ‘We were all indeed huddled together like sheep…trembling and frightened, surrounded on all sides by enemies so that we could not turn in any direction…we had no hope of surviving.’

Just as Bohemond’s men were being pushed back into the river shallows, the relief forces began to arrive. Bohemond’s messengers had gotten through the encircling lines. The relief force’s vanguard was reportedly led by two warriors in shining armor, seemingly impervious to the Turkish archer fire. One of those figures would later become part of Crusader mythology identified as St. George, returned to help the Christians in their hour of need. The claim of divine intervention would become a mainstay of the Crusader legend. The reality of the situation was that the very ferocity of the knights’ shock assault caught the Turks by complete surprise.

The first impetuous attack by the relieving Crusaders at Dorylaeum drove into the Turks and took most of the pressure off Bohemond’s beleaguered forces. The Turkish commander, Kilij Arslan, later described the charge: ‘When they draw close to their adversaries…they charge with great force like lions which, spurred on by hunger, thirst for blood. Then they shout and grind their teeth and fill the air with their cries. And they spare no one.’

The first phase of the battle had lasted throughout the morning and the early afternoon. Bohemond’s army had held out for seven hours. The second phase lasted perhaps another three to six hours, with the Turks taking heavy losses as they tried to stand up to the Christian knights. A crusader was impressed by the character of the Turks: ‘No one could have found more powerful, braver or more skillful fighters than they.’ The Normans had no desire to taint their hard-won victory by having it described as being over an unworthy foe. As at Hastings, 30 years before, a victory over a strong and brave opponent enhanced the glory of the victor.

Although the initial Christian attacks had caught the Turks off-guard, they had rallied, reorganized, and were back on the offensive when Bishop Adhemar, the papal legate, led a crushing flank or rear attack against the Turkish army. This finished the Turks. They began to flee, for the last time. The chroniclers recorded that the Turks abandoned their camp and treasure, which the Crusaders proceeded to loot. Apparently, that plunder was the first inkling the Western common man had of the vast wealth of the East. The Crusader Fulcher wrote that the Turks fled for three days, so terrified were they of the Crusaders.

The chroniclers leave no doubt as to who was responsible for the victory. Fulcher wrote that the sins of the Crusaders had caused the initial Turkish success, but when they confessed their sins and prayed, God restored their strength and courage, enabling them to route the enemy. Many Crusaders firmly believed that divine judgment finally granted them victory. Little praise or even acknowledgment of the brave defense by Bohemond or the well-timed attacks of the crusading warriors on the more numerous Turks appears in the Christian chronicles. Bishop Adhemar received scant mention, with only Raymond of Toulouse giving him any credit for the battle-winning attack at Dorylaeum. Other than that, the chroniclers give the victory to God’s intervention.

The Crusaders did not pursue the fleeing Turks for long–they could not catch them. Also, the riches in the abandoned Turkish camp attracted all but the most sorely wounded or ardent fighters. Moreover, they were deep in enemy territory and exhausted after the daylong battle.

Bohemond helped create a myth with his dogged defense in the face of overwhelming odds. From that point on, the Crusaders would press on toward Jerusalem believing they were under God’s protection. The Crusaders were soon on the march toward their next major obstacle on the road to Jerusalem, the fortress city of Antioch–Bohemond’s future home.

Further Reading: R. C. Smail’s Crusading Warfare, 1097­1193; Steven Runciman’s History of the Crusades Volume I; Fulcher of Chartres’ Chronicle of the First Crusade; and Robert Payne’s The Dream and the Tomb.

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8 Responses to First Crusade: Battle of Dorylaeum

  1. rum says:

    this is a complete lie.

  2. rum says:

    this is not a complete lie.

  3. nicole says:

    This is not a lie it has realy happend and how do you know that it was a lie because you wearnt there

  4. James says:

    @Nicole Neither were you.

  5. jessie says:

    people wouldnt go to such effort if it was all lie!!

  6. star says:

    some people cant comprehend history……..

  7. Louis Farrakhan says:


    Centuries before the Qur’an came into existence, the Bible speaks of the covenant of Jehovah with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob:

    Exodus 2:24-25: “…and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So God looked on the sons of Israel and God took notice.”

    2 Kings 13:23: “But Jehovah was gracious unto them and had compassion upon them and turned to them because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

    Psalms 105:7-10: “He is Jehovah our God. His judgement are in all the earth. He has remembered his covenant even forever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations, the covenant which he concluded with Abraham, And his sworn statement to Isaac, And which statement he kept standing as a statue even to Jacob, As an everlasting covenant to Israel.”

    In harmony with the above stated Covenant, Surah 29:27 affirms that the Prophethood will remain in the lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Given below are four different translations:

    Surah 29:27: And (as for Abraham), We bestowed upon him Isaac and (Isaac’s son) Jacob, and caused prophethood and revelation to continue among his offspring. (Asad)

    And We bestowed on him Isaac and Jacob, and We established the prophethood and the Scripture among his seed. (Pickthall)

    And We granted him Ishaq and Yaqoub, and caused the prophethood and the book to remain in his seed. (Shakir)

    And We bestowed Ishaq and Yaqub to him, and kept the Prophethood and the Book among his descendants. (Faridul Haque)

    Surah 29:27 mentions that Prophethood and Scriptures came uniquely through the seed of Isaac and Jacob. It speaks of the prophetic office as having been entrusted to Isaac and Jacob and their descendants. And Allah also declared in the above Qur’anic verse, that the prophethood would “remain” in the lineage of Isaac and Jacob. In other words, anyone claiming to be a prophet of God must be born in the Prophetic Race.

    Since the Qur’an states that prophethood belongs exclusively to the lineage of Isaac and Jacob, we must then ask whether Muhammad was born in the line of the prophets. In other words, was he born in the Prophetic Race? Muslims scholars claim that Muhammad was a descendant of Ishmael. But Ishmael is entirely excluded in the prophetical line in Surah 29:27. If Allah intends to include Ishmael, his name would be placed before Isaac, as he was older than Isaac by fourteen years. But as it can be noted, Surah 29:27 completely omits any reference to Ishmael, raising the question as to why he was totally ignored if he was as important as Muslims claim him to be. Thus, the Qur’an clearly teaches that the prophetic line came through Isaac – not Ishmael.

    If Muhammad is a descendant of Ishmael, then he cannot be a descendant of Isaac at the same time, given the fact that Ishmael and Isaac are half-brothers. Thus, it is evident that Muhammad is not a descendant of Isaac. As Muhammad was neither a Jew nor a descendent of Isaac and Jacob, this automatically disqualifies him as a prophet of God.

    Since according to both the Bible and the Qur’an, all the true prophets came in the line of Abraham through Isaac, then Muhammad cannot be a prophet of the true God. In fact, this is in harmony with the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham in Genesis 17:21.

    Genesis 17:21: “However, my covenant I shall establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this appointed time next year.”

    If Ishmael rather than Isaac was chosen or included in the origin of the prophets, why was there only one alleged prophet from the line of Ishmael? Guess who that lone prophet was? Yes, it was Muhammad – a non-Israelite. The rest – Moses, Samuel, Nathan, Elijah, Elisha, Hosea, Amos, Isaiah, Jonah, Joel, Jesus and many others – were all Israelites. All these prophets were descendents of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob just as it is sworn in Surah 29:27. Why did all these prophets come from the line of Isaac, with the exception of Muhammad who descended from Ishmael? Why was Ishmael’s name left out at the most significant moment when the Qur’an revealed the lineage of the prophethood? Did not Allah know that his greatest prophet would be born through the lineage of Ishmael? The following Surahs also concur with Surah 29:27.

    Surah 45:16: And verily We gave the Children of Israel the Scripture and the Command and the Prophethood, and provided them with good things and favoured them above all peoples. (Pickthall)

    Surah 2:47: “O Children of Israel! Remember My favour wherewith I favoured you and how I preferred you to (all) creatures.” (Pickthall)

    Further evidences in the Qur’an alluding to the fact that the prophethood belongs solely to the line of Isaac and Jacob are provided below:

    Surah 19:49: So, when he had withdrawn from them and that which they were worshipping beside Allah. We gave him Isaac and Jacob. Each of them We made a Prophet. (Pickthall)

    Surah 21:72-73: And We bestowed upon him Isaac, and Jacob as a grandson. Each of them We made righteous. And We made them chiefs who guide by Our command, and We inspired in them the doing of good deeds and the right establishment of worship and the giving of alms and they were worshippers of Us (alone). (Pickthall)

    Once again, we can note that Ishmael is not mention in the above Qur’anic verses, whereas recognition is given to both Isaac and Jacob. Why did not Allah include Ishmael in these verses since Muslims claim that he is also a prophet of Allah? The Qur’an states that God gave Abraham a son and a grandson to live with him and made them both prophets. These two are the only ones mentioned as God’s gift to Abraham. While the Qur’an states that the Prophethood will come from Abraham, at the same instant, it consistently states that it will be through Isaac and Jacob. Thus, they are the roots – the ancestry from which the race of the prophets sprang. Hence, as far as Allah and the Qur’an are concerned, the only true prophets are those who are the descendants of Isaac or Jacob. There is an account concerning Joseph in the Qur’an that may be appropriate to be included here. Notice again the exclusion of Ishmael.

    Surah 12:38: “And I (Joseph) have followed the religion of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. It never was for us to attribute aught as partner to Allah. This is of the bounty of Allah unto us (the seed of Abraham) and unto mankind; but most men give not thanks.” (Pickthall)

    The genealogy of Jesus going back all the way to Abraham is clearly recorded in the Bible in Matthew 1:1-17:

    The book of the history of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham: Abraham became father to Isaac; Isaac became father to Jacob; Jacob became father to Judah and his brothers; Judah became father to Perez and to Zerah by Tamar; Perez became father to Hezron; Hezron became father to Ram; Ram became father to Amminadab; Amminadab became father to Nahshon; Nahshon became father to Salmon; Salmon became father to Boaz by Rahab; Boaz became father to Obed by Ruth; Obed became father to Jesse; Jesse became father to David the king. David became father to Solomon by the wife of Uriah; Solomon became father to Rehoboam; Rehoboam became father to Abijah; Abijah became father to Asa; Asa became father to Jehoshaphat; Jehoshaphat became father to Jehoram; Jehoram became father to Uzziah; Uzziah became father to Jotham; Jotham became father to Ahaz; Ahaz became father to Hezekiah; Hezekiah became father to Manasseh; Manasseh became father to Amon; Amon became father to Josiah; Josiah became father to Jeconiah and to his brothers at the time of the deportation to Babylon. After the deportation to Babylon Jeconiah became father to Shealtiel; Shealtiel became father to Zerubbabel; Zerubabel became father to Abiud; Abiud became father to Eliakim; Eliakim became father to Azor; Azor became father to Zadok; Zadok became father to Achim; Achim became father to Eliud; Eliud became father to Eleazar; Eleazar became father to Matthan; Matthan became father to Jacob; Jacob became father to Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ. All the generations, then, from Abraham until David were fourteen generations, and from David until the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon until the Christ fourteen generations.

    Although Joseph is not the biological father of Jesus, Joseph, as the foster father of Jesus, certified the ancestry of Jesus from a legal perspective, whereas Mary his mother qualifies him from the biological position. Thus, Jesus was a descendant of Abraham both legally and biologically. While Jesus was clearly a descendant of Abraham through the lineage of Isaac and Jacob, Muhammad was a descendant of Ishmael. Islam destroys its credibility by admitting that Muhammad did not come from the lineage of Isaac and Jacob – the Prophetic Race. Moreover, where is the genealogy of Muhammad in the Qur’an to link him to the religion of Abraham?

    All true prophets of God must establish who they are. Every single one of the true prophets who were descendants of Isaac and Jacob came from families who were already worshippers of the true God. They all worshipped the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. As for Muhammad, his parents were Arab pagans and so were his grandparents. Additionally, Muhammad himself was a pagan until the time of his alleged “calling as a prophet” by Allah. Is it not strange that after choosing every single one of His prophets from families who were already true believers, God would now choose a pagan worshipper who came from a pagan family as his prophet? We do not think so. That is why it should not surprise us to find many pagan rituals in the religion of Islam. Muhammad incorporated them into the religion of Allah. Therefore, to accept Islam is to accept paganism and its lone stone-kissing prophet. And as the Qur’an itself testifies clearly in Surah 29:27, Muhammad cannot be a prophet of the true God.

    Galatians 4:22-28: It is written that Abraham acquired two sons, one by the slave woman and one by the free woman; but the one by the slave woman was actually born in the manner of flesh, the other by the free woman through a promise…Now we, brothers, are children belonging to the promise the same as Isaac was.

    What is the “Seal of the Prophet”?

    The Qur’an says that Muhammad is the “Seal of the Prophets” in the following verse:

    Surah 33:40: “Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets.” (Pickthall)

    Muslims use this verse to prove that Muhammad was the last in a series of prophets and that he was the culmination of the prophethood. However, the Hadith literature makes it very clear that when the Qur’an refers to the “Seal of the Prophets” being upon Muhammad, it refers to a large mole on his back.

    It is simply beyond reason how the superstitious belief that people with notable physical abnormalities were chosen by God can be used as one of the evidences to validate Muhammad as the “Seal of the Prophets.” This proves that Islam came out of paganism and not from the true Abrahamic faith. Islam’s own references provide us with evidences of this fact.

    Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 4, Number 189:

    Narrated By As Saib bin Yazid: My aunt took me to the Prophet and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! This son of my sister has got a disease in his legs.” So he passed his hands on my head and prayed for Allah’s blessings for me; then he performed ablution and I drank from the remaining water. I stood behind him and saw the seal of Prophethood between his shoulders, and it was like the “Zir-al-Hijla” (means the button of a small tent, but some said ‘egg of a partridge.’ etc.)

    Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 70, Number 574:

    Narrated By As-Sa’ib: My aunt took me to Allah’s Apostle and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! My nephew is- ill.” The Prophet touched my head with his hand and invoked Allah to bless me. He then performed ablution and I drank of the remaining water of his ablution and then stood behind his back and saw “Khatam An-Nubuwwa” (The Seal of Prophethood) between his shoulders like a button of a tent.

    After Sahih Bukhari, the second greatest work on the Hadith is Sahih Muslim. It records the following:


    Sahih Muslim, Book 30, Number 5790:

    Jabir b. Samura reported: I saw the seal on his back as if it were a pigeon’s egg.

    Sahih Muslim, Book 30, Number 5793:

    Abdullah b. Sarjis reported: I saw Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) and ate with him bread and meat, or he said Tharid (bread soaked in soup). I said to him: Did Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) seek forgiveness for you? He said: Yes, and for you, and he then recited this verse: “Ask forgiveness for thy sin and for the believing men and believing women” (xlvii. 19). I then went after him and saw the Seal of Prophethood between his shoulders on the left side of his shoulder having spots on it like moles.

    Sunan of Abu Dawud, Book 32, Number 4071:

    Narrated Qurrah ibn Iyas al-Muzani: “I came to the Apostle of Allah (pbuh) with a company of Muzaynah and we swore allegiance to him. The buttons of his shirt were open. I swore allegiance to him and I put my hand inside the collar of his shirt and felt the seal…”

    Tarikh (History of) al-Tabari

    “….When Bahira saw this, he descended from his cell and sent the caravan a message inviting them all…. Finally he looked at Muhammad’s back, and saw the seal of prophethood between his shoulders….He replied….“I also recognize him by the seal of prophethood which is below the cartilage of his shoulders and which is like an apple.” (The History of al-Tabari: Muhammad at Mecca, translated and annotated by W. Montgomery Watt and M. V. McDonald, Volume VI, pp. 45, 46)

    This same lying monk (Bahira) also said that he had seen the stones and the trees prostrating to Muhammad as he walked by. Muslims believe these incredible tales without wondering why many of the Arabs refused to accept Muhammad when he called them to Islam. Eventually, it was not the stones or the trees or the mole but the sword of Islam that converted these pagan Arabs.

    Ibn Sa’d (A.H. 168-230), Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir:

    ‘Abd Allah Ibn Ja’far al-Raqqi informed us on the authority of ‘Ubayd Allah Ibn ‘Amr, he on the authority of ‘Abd al-Malik Ibn ‘Umayr, he on the authority of Iyad Ibn Laqit, he on the authority of Abu Rimthah; he said: I went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him, and a son of mine was with me. Then I said: O my son! This is the Prophet of Allah. When he (son) saw him, he began to tremble, out of reverence. When I arrived, I said, “O Apostle of Allah! I am a physician and belong to the family of physicians. My father was a noted physician during the Jahiliyyah (pre-Muhammad times) days; we are famous as physicians. So permit me (to treat) what is between your shoulders. If it is a wound, I shall operate on it and Allah will cure His Prophet.” Thereupon he said: There is no physician for it except Allah. It was like the egg of a dove. (Translated by S.M. Haq & H.K. Ghazanfar, Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India, 1972, Vol I (part 2), p. 503-506.)

    The “Seal of Prophets” turns out to be a physical deformity that needed medical treatment. However, the vast majority of Muhammad’s uneducated and superstitious followers believed it was a miraculous Seal of Muhammad’s prophethood. Muhammad took advantage of their ignorance and did not allow it to be removed.

    Imagine, this large mole is the physical proof that Islam provides to claim that Muhammad was the Seal of the Prophets. It is simply beyond logic how this is supposed to be one of the proofs that is used by Muslims to convince people of Muhammad’s prophethood. Such ideas that give significance to moles can be found in the teachings of many pagan religions. Pagan teachings consider moles as significations of fate and reflections of the personality of an individual. They also believe that moles reveal the nature and destiny of a person. Moloesophy is a branch of astrology that deals with the study of moles. And the science of astrology is a science of the occult. Such beliefs are detestable to the true God and they are certainly not a part of his divine teachings.

    Deuteronomy 18:10: “There should not be found in you…. anyone who looks for omens.”

    To look for omens means to look for signs – such as a mole – that portend good or evil.


    The Murder of a Pregnant Mother

    Sunan Abu-Dawud Book 38, Hadith Number 4348:

    Narrated Abdullah Ibn Abbas: A blind man had a slave-mother who used to abuse the Prophet and disparage him. He forbade her but she did not stop. He rebuked her but she did not give up her habit. One night she began to slander the Prophet and abuse him. So he took a dagger, placed it on her belly, pressed it, and killed her. A child who came between her legs was smeared with the blood that was there. When the morning came, the Prophet was informed about it.

    He assembled the people and said: I adjure by Allah the man who has done this action and I adjure him by my right to him that he should stand up. Jumping over the necks of the people and trembling the man stood up. He sat before the Prophet and said: Apostle of Allah! I am her master; she used to abuse you and disparage you. I forbade her, but she did not stop, and I rebuked her, but she did not abandon her habit. I have two sons like pearls from her, and she was my companion. Last night she began to abuse and disparage you. So I took a dagger, put it on her belly and pressed it till I killed her. Thereupon the Prophet said: Oh be witness, no retaliation is payable for her blood.

    What cruelty! What injustice! Muhammad approved a man killing a pregnant mother and her unborn child just because he said that she insulted the Prophet. What an evil man. He unjustly approved the murder of a pregnant woman just for insulting him. Will a true prophet of God condone the cold-blooded murder of a mother and her child? Does not the murder of an innocent child matter to him? A double murder has been committed. And Muhammad did not even investigate to ascertain whether this murderer was lying to escape punishment.

    See how Jesus responded under an even more serious act of wrong committed against him. See how he reacted towards those who came to arrest him, which resulted in his death by execution. Compare now the malicious hatred of Muhammad with the contrasting quality of outstanding love displayed by Jesus. When a great crowd with swords and clubs from the chief priests came to arrest Jesus, one of the disciples of Jesus tried to defend him. Let us follow the narration of this account in the Bible:

    Matthew 26:51: With that, one of the companions of Jesus drew out his sword and struck the slave of the high priest and took off his ear.

    How did Jesus react?

    Matthew 26:52-53: Then Jesus said to him: “Return your sword to its place, for all those who take the sword will die by the sword. Do you think that I cannot call on to my Father to supply me at this moment more than twelve legions of angels?

    Jesus did not condone the violent action of his disciple just because it was done to protect him. In fact, he rebuked the disciple for his rash action. More than that, he lovingly healed the injured ear of the very man who came with those who wanted to arrest him. Such is the love of Jesus Christ. Think, how strongly Jesus would have reacted, if his disciple had instead killed that man. If Jesus did not even approve the injuring of that man, would he condone the murdering of him? Never!

    Luke 22:51: “And he touched the man’s ear and healed him”.

    These are the hallmarks of a true Prophet of God. Christians are truly blessed for having Jesus as their spiritual leader. One who, by his very example, taught them the surpassing way of love.

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