WHERE WAS MIDIAN?
(shhyb) (KEY) ,
Qur’anic non-biblical prophet, appeared later than Hud and Salih among “the
people of the thicket.” His preaching is said to have consisted of a call to
monotheism and social honesty. The Qur’anic allusions to Shuayb as an inhabitant
of Midyan led to later traditions associating him with the biblical figure of
Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law. His presumed grave in Qarn Hattin (today in
Israel) is the site of an annual Druze religious festival. The Columbia
Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.
The Arab prophet Shuayb is mentioned by name in the Quran many times. He is
said to have been sent to the people of Midian (Q 7:85, 11:84) and the people of
the Tanglewood [Ar. al-aikah] (Q 15:78, 26:176). Muslim exegetes claim that
Shuayb was the father-in-law of Moses, called "Jethro" in the Bible where he is
called the "priest of Midian" (see Q 28:22-28).
According to al-Kisa'i: The letters of the alphabet are the names of the
people of Shuayb: Abjad, Hawwaz, Huttiya, Kalaman, SaÔfas, and Qurishat. Qatadah
says: These are the names of the people of the Tanglewood. It is also said that
they are the names of the kings of the Amalekites, cousins of the people of
Midian but have no relation to Shuayb the son of Zion, son of Anka, son of
Midian, son of Abraham.
With this information it would be interesting if there were
a Mountain on the Arabian peninsula that was named after this prophet. One would
expect such a mountain to be in or close to the area commonly accepted as
Midian in the North West or even in or close to Sinai. After all, here we
have an “independent” tradition for Jethro and “a thicket” and therefore
Moses. It is therefore a surprise to find a mountain
Nabi Shu'ayb (the mountain of the Prophet Shu'ayb)
which having an elevation of 3760 m is
the HIGHEST mountain in YEMEN.
Why is it taken for granted that Midian
was in North Western Arabia?
It starts with the flight of Moses from the “Pharaoh”. It
continues with the assumption that Pi’ru and Mitzraim mean Pharaoh and Egypt.
I would like to point to this Biblical statement.
2:15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled
from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a
Let us investigate this event more closely.
We are all familiar with a map of Egypt, Sinai and Saudi
Arabia. Have you any idea how difficult, if not impossible it would be for
one man to travel from Egypt to Saudi Arabia. Why would anyone do so? Is there
any evidence that it was a commonly known travelers route? Ridiculous!
Yet for hundreds of years, scholars have taken that
statement at face value.
IF and it is a very big IF, Moses actually did live in
Egypt and did have to flee the Pharaoh, there are a number of places that he
might have fled to. Midian is NOT one of them.