Islamic World News

Ruins of Lost City Uncovered in Arabian Desert

Guided by ancient maps and sharp-eyed surveys from space, archaeologists and explorers have discovered a lost city deep in the sands of Arabia, and they are virtually sure it is Ubar, the fabled center of the rich frankincense trade thousands of years ago.

Leaders of the expedition reported that excavations so far have uncovered the ruins of eight towers and adjoining walls and deposits of pottery dating to Roman times and as far back as 2000 B.C., perhaps earlier. They said the location and size of the site and evidence of a violent destruction appeared to match historical accounts of Ubar's rise and fall.

Ubar was called the "the Atlantis of the sands" by T.E. Lawrence--Lawrence of Arabia--who had planned to look for the site. The ruins are on the edge of the Empty Quarter of the Arabian Peninsula in the Dhofar region of Southern Oman.

Much research has tied Ubar to the city Iram in the Quran and to Omanum Emporium on the maps of Claudius Ptolemy, the Alexandrian geographer of the second century A.D. He referred to the people of the region as Ubarites. But it was not until scientists began painstaking analysis of satellite images that they spotted geological traces that led them to the site. Images made with invisible, near-infrared light showed evidence of ancient caravan routes, undetectable on the ground, leading to and from one particular area.

In the Quran, the city of Iram, possibly Ubar, is described as the "many columned city...whose like has not been built in the entire land."

Condemned for their sinful and unrepentant lives, the Quran relates, the people in Iram were destroyed by God. The expedition found evidence of its cause. The site's buildings were built over a large limestone cavern, which at some point in the distant past collapsed, plunging much of the city into a gaping hole. The ruins were eventually buried in drifting sand.

(See also San Francisco Chronicle, Feb.5, 1992)

Editor's Comments

The archaeologists and explorers had no books or other source of information to refer to except that of the Holy Quran. Passages from the Holy Quran were even being quoted on the nightly news and the major talk shows. It should come as no surprise to us Muslims that the accuracy of the Quran has once again been proved to be true. We Muslims should not be surprised of the passages in the Quran and their truthfulness.

Muslims should also beware and take notice of how God creates and also destroys. The people of Ad had disobeyed God and as a result, God punished them by destroying an entire city. Do we think that because we live in such modern times that we are immune to such punishment?

Remember the earthquake in October 1989? This was just a small reminder of how powerless man really is. If we had been destroyed, were we prepared to meet our Creator? What good were our money, wealth, and power at such a time?

Only our good deeds will be of value in such a time. Let us all repent to The Almighty in this blessed month of Ramadan from this moment.

For more about the people of Ad, please click here and refer also to the Quran 7:65-72; 11:50-60; 25:38; 26:123-140; 29:38; 41:15-16; 46:21-26; 51:41-42; 54:18-21; 69:4-8; 89:6-14.

Muslim Inmates Observe Ramadan

San Francisco: Thanks to God and to the kind assistance of a reverend, for the first time the 23 inmates at the S.F. County jail will be allowed to gather in one room for the entire Ramadan. They will be able to have their meals before Sunrise and at Sunset. Dates will be provided for the break of fast.

Birth of the Kosher Steel Industry

Shocked to discover that most tin cans contain traces of animal fat; an improbable coalition of Jews, Muslims and Seventh-day Adventists has persuaded major steel-makers to start manufacturing kosher steel. The U.S. Steel-POSCO joint venture in Pittsburgh recently became one of the first steel factories in the country to qualify for kosher certification. Steel made in the plant for use in food and beverage cans and steel drums now is guaranteed to meet strict Jewish kosher, Muslim halal-haram and Seventh-day Adventist requirements.

Religious dietary laws, which date from biblical times, regulate what foods observant Jews, Muslims and Seventh-day Adventists may eat or drink. Muslims and Jews may not consume pork or any animal products that come from meat not slaughtered in accordance with religious ritual. 7th-day Adventists do not eat meat. The idea that food laws could affect steel sales seemed far- fetched until someone discovered that steel used to make cans routinely is coated during processing with lubricants containing animal fats. Analysis showed that even after cleaning, steel retained some of the lubricating oil.

(See also San Francisco Chronicle, Feb.14, 1992)


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March / April 1992
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