Friday, June 9, 2017

Malay Peninsula—Not the Home of Lehi - Part I

If you have been following the exchange of ideas with an unknown reader and supporter of the Malay Theory, we thought rather than continue the dialogue which seems to be one-sided on facts, references, and logic, we decided to write this final article to show that the idea submitted with the Malay Theory to be outside the scriptural record other than to relate to the sailing and landing of Lehi in general.    In a recent rebuttal, this reader claimed a geologic history of Peninsular Malaysia that is evidently taken from some ancient Arabic writings quoting Armenian and Russian writings (based on a submitted reference) in works that are unheard of and represent no mainstream thinking, writing, or scientific principles.
    He writes: “the Malay Peninsula was known as the island of Qumr or Komr until at least the 15th century AD.”

 The ancient island of Al-Qumr from Arabic writings dating to the 11th century that called the great island of Madagascar al-Qumr 

It is one thing to make such claims, something else for the information to be accurate. As an example, it is true that ancient Arabic texts speak of an island called al-Qumr; however, not where this Reader claims it to be. Rather than looking in the Indonesia archipelago, to find al-Qumr we need to look far across the entire Indian Ocean to the west, 3600 miles from the Malay Peninsula, to the land called the “Great Island,” 228,900-square mile island of Madagascar (Madagasikara), that rises to 4,920 feet above sea level, with its highest point at 9,436 feet.
    As a matter of fact, Arab geographers from the twelfth and later centuries historically divided the eastern coast of Africa into several regions based on each region's respective inhabitants—specifically, Abu Abdullah Muhammad al-Idrisi al-Qurtubi al-Hasani as-Sabti, or simply Al-Idrisi, an Arab Muslim geographer cartographer and Egyptologist who lived in Palermo, Sicily at the court of King Roger II, wrote in 1154 A.D., there were four littoral zones: 1) Barbar (Bilad al Barbar; "land of the Berbers") in the Horn of Africa, which was inhabited by Berbers and stretched southward to the Shebelle river; 2) Zanj (Ard al-Zanj; "country of the blacks"), located immediately below that up to around Tanga or the southern part of Pemba island; 3) Sofala (Ard Sufala), extending from Pemba to an unknown terminus, but probably around the Limpopo river; and 4) Waq-Waq, the shadowy land south thereof, though earlier geographers make no mention of Sofala. What is important is that after the Twelfth Century, these texts also called the great island of Madagascar al-Qumr, and include it as a part of Waq-Waq (J. D. Fage and Roland Oliver, The Cambridge History of Africa, Cambridge University Press, 1975, pp190–192; Walter Raunig, Afrikas Horn: Akten der Ersten Internationalen Littmann-Konferenze, 2 bis 5, Mai 2002 in Munchen, Academic Journal), Otto Harrassowit Verlag (GmbH) Publishing, Weisbaden, 2005).
    Also, as Walter Raunig notes: “It is also of note that these ancient Arabic texts used and had quite a fixed pattern in listing the countries from the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean: These are: 1) al-Misr (Egypt); 2) al-Muqurra (or other designations for Nubian kingdoms); 3) al-Habasha (Abyssinia); 4) Barbara (Berber, i.e. the Somali coast); and 5) Zanj (Azania, i.e. the country of the "blacks"). Correspondingly all these terms also appear in ancient and medieval Chinese geography.” 
    It might also be noted that Al-Idrisi inspired Islamic geographers such as Ibn Battuta, Ibn Khaldun and Piri Reis. His map also inspired Christopher Columbus and Vasco de Gama.
    The point being that ancient Arabic texts do not place the island of al-Qumr in or around the Malay Peninsula, or even anywhere in Indonesia, but across the Indian Ocean along the African coast. In addition, these ancient Arabic texts also speak of numerous other islands there, including the Comorous archipelago, with Comore and its capital city of Moroni, which some try to erroneously link to Cumorah and the angel Moroni, as we have shown earlier.
Malagasy people of Madagascar whose ancestry reflects a blend of Austronesian (Southeast Asian) and Bantu (East African) roots
As stated in the ancient texts, near the coast of Africa, we find an area named al-Qumr, the great island which was peopled by primitive blacks but also by more refined Indonesians—immigrants from Sumatra of the second and fourth centuries, to which was added a new wave in the tenth century—who gave rise to the civilization of the Merinas (Hovas) of the high plateau of Malagache. Today, we know this area of al-Qumr as Madagascar, a large island off the east coast of Africa, whose people are referred to as Malagasy. In fact, in the Malagasy language, the island of Madagascar is called Madagasikara [madaɡasʲˈkʲarə̥] with the island's appellation "Madagascar" not of local origin, but rather was popularized in the Middle Ages by Europeans when the island was called the Malagasy Republic.
    The first archaeological evidence for human foraging on Madagascar dates to 2000 B.C., with human settlement occurring between 350 B.C and 550 A.D. by Astronesian peoples arriving on outrigger canoes from Borneo. These were joined around 1000 A.D. by Bantu migrants crossing the Mozambique Channel from East Africa. Other groups continued to settle on Madagascar over time, each one making lasting contributions to Malagasy cultural life. The Malagasy ethnic group is divided into 18 or more sub-groups of which the largest are the Merina of the central highlands, who are also known as the Imerina, Antimerina or Hova. The great island was settled by Malayo-Indonesians arriving before the 5th century A.D., then many centuries later by Arabs, Africans and other ethnic groups—this breakdown continued until the great island was conquered by the French and the Merina monarchy abolished in 1897.
    To make certain none want to try and claim these Merina were Hebrew in any way, they were sociallyh stratified with hierarchical castes, inherited occupations and endogamy (inbreeding reproduction).
As a stronghold of "Vajrayana" Buddhism, Srivijaya attracted pilgrims and scholars from other parts of Asia. Included in These was the Chinese monk Yijing, who in 671 and again in 695 A.D, made lengthy visits to Sumatra on his way to study at Nalanda in India. In 775 A.D, the last Srivijaya king retreated to east Java, in the face of the rising power of the central Javanese "Shailendra" kingdom, they were followers of Mahayana and Tantric forms of Buddhism.
It should be noted that Malaysia is considered a very young country archaeologically with a very recent prehistory. The first of the Indonesian kingdoms that we know anything about, is Srivijaya—which lasted to about 1400 A.D. (though some believe that the ancient kingdom of Bujang preceded the Srivijaya) and in the beginning brought Hinduism from India and Buddhism from China, which dominated early regional history, reaching their peak during the reign of the Sumatra-based Srijijaya. It was an ancient Malay kingdom on the island of Sumatra.
    At around 500 A.D, a new Srivijayan center began to develop around the present-day town of Palembang; however it is from Chinese records, that we gather much of what we know. It is also from these Chinese records, dated to about 600 A.D., that we learn that there are two Sumatran kingdoms, one based in Palembang and another based in Jambi. They also mention three other kingdoms on the neighboring island of Java.
    It seems that the kingdom of Srivijaya, which was a coastal trading center and a maritime power. But it did not extend its influence, much beyond the coastal areas of the various islands. People of the in-land areas of these islands, were pretty-much unaffected by the Srivijaya. However, for those in the coastal areas and river valleys, force was the dominant element in the Srivijaya Empire's relations with them.
    Shailendra (“Lord of the Mountain”), was a dynasty that flourished in Java from about 750 to 850 A.D. - After the fall of the Funan kingdom in Cambodia. This kingdom was marked by a great cultural renaissance associated with the introduction of Mahayana Buddhism. Java attained its highest level of artistic expression in the many temples and monuments built during this time. It was during the reign of one of its kings that the famous stupa of Borobudur was built.
At Prambanan, on the Island of Java. It is said that it was a king named "Dhaksa" of the Mendang-Mataram kingdom, who in the 10th century A.D. built the largest Siva temple in Indonesia the "Lara Jonggrang" meaning Slender Maiden. This name was affectionately given to a large statue of the Hindu goddess Durga (wife of Shiva), which stands in the temple. Local legend has it, that this statue is actually Javanese princess Loro Jonggrang, who was turned to stone by a spurned suitor. The Prambang complex originally contained 232 temples, many of which have already crumbled.
    One of the things all of this should show is that the history of Malay is also the history of Sumatra and Java, or stated differently, a much larger area than just the Malay Peninsula and therefore, once again, does not match the written scriptural record of the Land of Promise of separate islands or larger areas
(See the next post, " Malay Peninsula—Not the Home of Lehi - Part II," for more on this and the Reader's comments about Malay)


  1. Thank you for this write up Del. I believe this material will be much more fruitful discussion then the neverending back and forth over currents and winds.

    As usual, you've packed a lot of information into one post, so apologies in advance if I don't respond to everything you have addressed. I'll start with the first.

    As I've mentioned several times, the original Qumr Island was not Madagascar, but rather the Malay Peninsula. Madagascar inherited the name as the people from Qumr fled the Malay Archipelago (Qumr) around the 5th century AD and arrived at their new home which they also named Qumr. But the original Qumr/Komr were said to have been a Biblical clan that sailed east around the time of the tower. They lived in and around the Malay Peninsula until around the 5th century AD when there was a rebellion or conflict on the peninsula that drove them to the southwest, to the islands still named after them, the Comoros and also Madagascar which used to be named after them.

    Here are the references:

  2. Another reason the Malay Peninsula and Madagascar are both called Qumr has to do with the lack of knowledge about the Indian Ocean. Early geographers didn't know the difference between the long island in the east, and the long island in the south. You can see the confusion in this 11th century AD map by Al Idrisi:

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. So far I haven't seen any evidence at all that Malaysia should be considered as a plausable site for the BOM lands. Thanks Del for laying this all out. Good job!

    2. You've already made it clear that evidence is not required for your beliefs. For example, there is no evidence that the South America was an island 2000 years ago, but yet you still believe it. All the evidence in the universe, and you wouldn't see it.

      If that approach works for you, great. I've got nothing against that, in fact I also believe many things that can't be proven with evidence. The problem is that you expect everybody else (me included) to prove every claim while holding yourself exempt. And then after asking for evidence, you admit you don't even look at it because you already know the answer. That really is a conflict that can't be sorted out in the comment section of this blog.

  4. Please do not discuss your opinions or speculation, which is all it is if you do not quote someone of authority, source the material, and provide the information so your comments can be checked out. This is what we do. As for South America not an island, we have provifed geological references on several occasion, and shown geological maps (not ours) to verify this. If you do not believe in the Bible, then this point is moot with you and that is your problem not ours.

    1. Are the links to the documents with sources and quotes from people of authority not working for you? I include those so others can see that these are not my opinions, but historical certainties.

      The original name for the Malay Peninsula was the Island of Qumr. In fact in some early Arabic sources it was called Kumr and Malay at the same time.

      As for the island of South America I don't have an opinion on it. I'm posting here to correct misconceptions about the Malay model. I have also provided references to show that Malay was also once considered an island.

    2. Exactly Del. I've found that the greatest challenge to the South American model is the members in particular simple do not accept Scripture. They have to believe that what is written in the scriptures is reality and not myth. Great points. Ira

  5. Well, I've looked at what you've presented and quite frankly it stinks. Del posted a while back convincing evidence that lake Titicaca was once at sea level. Fossils found there are marine. Even your buddy Charles Darwin said that South America had come up out of the ocean in recent times. So again there is evidence that you ignore. We talked the other day about radiometric dating and how screwed up it is. You didn't understand that when rock is melted the clock resets itself. Yet you reject all this in favor or your version of science. And you reject Scripture as you demonstrated. So bottom line is I reject what you have to say and enjoy reading Del's masterful research on the Bom lands.

    Even your objections about elephants and horses has been answered in the past. I think Del would be well within his rights to just ignore all of your posts because they are just repeats of arguments that have been addressed in the past. Ira

    1. Look, if you guys would prefer that I don't post here all you have to do is stop writing articles with misinformation about the Malay theory.

      I assure you, if you never write about the Malay theory, I won't say a peep. But if there is an article that contains misinformation (such as this article that says that Malay was not the original Island of Qumr) I will provide references in the comments to correct that.

  6. As I mentioned just buy his book and see what he has written. There is plenty of convincing evidence already written.

  7. You write: "Are the links to the documents with sources and quotes from people of authority not working for you? I include those so others can see that these are not my opinions, but historical certainties."
    Now, really, you have to be kidding about this! No real source is ever presented by any historian, writer, or theorists in a foreign language. We refer to such from time to time,but we list our sources in English, the standard language of most of the world and certainly of the internet. This only shows that your sources are of a singular nature.
    Really, Unknown, you cannot be that ignorant of reality. This is a big world and it is not Arabic, and Arabic studies, science, knowledge, and research is not what is accepted in the world in general on matters of such discussions and, frankly, when you come on a blog that is totally English and submit sources that are in a foreign language to the blog, what on earth do you expect? That we should all roll over and accept your personal and speculative view? No scientific paper is ever submitted in a language other than the receiving entities. I find it impossible to believe that you would think so. Having said that, let me also suggest that that we use the wordage of experts, no our own. We do not speculate here but research and reprint comments and findings of experts in the fields in which we are writing. You, on the other hand, make speculative statements and then give a website as though a website was the answer-all to research. Almost all your sources are from Evernote, in another language, which is a very singular source of your material. It is as though you expect us to do research to find out what you have said or referenced. Hour recent quotes from Asiatic Journal in French. Not being French or speaking French, we cannot backtrack to the origin of any of this information, nor can we even check the source of the word in French as being Qumr which was your original point--as an example, Komor relates to Hungarian, not French () and means glum or dismal and gloom. komor in a french writing, translates to lugubre, which translates to gloomy. So you can see, without some founding of a word in a common language, your references are meaningless. Tracing Komor as far as we can with no help from your info, we find it traces to the Comoros islands off Madagascar which speaks Comorian, Arabic and French. Also, we are not interested in your definitions here, but in the language of English which has the best possible route back to the word's origin.

  8. "you cannot be that ignorant of reality. This is a big world and it is not Arabic, and Arabic studies, science, knowledge, and research is not what is accepted in the world in general on matters of such discussions and, frankly, when you come on a blog that is totally English and submit sources that are in a foreign language to the blog, what on earth do you expect?"

    Very well, I think this attempt at a conversation has run its course. I respectfully bow out. I'm not going to post here anymore. Best wishes to you Del. Maybe someday we could meet in person. I think things would go much more amicably.

  9. An interesting response to a request for sources in English.