Muhammad's name on a piece of wood from Noah's ark?


From Marat Shafigullin 
Newsgroups: soc.religion.islam
Subject: Noah's Ark
Date: Wed Dec 11 00:43:21 EST 1996
Message-Id: <58lhlp$>

Here is the message that one of my friends sent to me.  It claims 
that sometimes in 1950s some Russian scientists found Noah's Ark 
with the encryption containing name of Muhammed on it.

In my opinion, this whole story is made up, but it would be nice 
if somebody proved it wrong or right (just imagine the implications).
I request that people who have access to newspapers listed at the 
bottom check what those had to say about this wierd story (UK residents 
would have more access than anyone else).

Waiting for your replies.

Marat Shafigullin.

P.S.  I am from Russia and the names listed below are not even Russian,
which takes away even more credibility from the whole story.


            Prophet Noah (PBUH) invokes Allah with Blessed Names

  In July 1951, while a group of Soviet archaeologists were digging in an
  area in the valley of "KIEV", they discovered a scattered pieces of
  ancient wood, touched by the woodworm. This great discorvery made them to
  dig deeper and deeper, till they discovered another group of stony
  ancient wood that were further deep in the earth. A block of wood in the
  shape of a square 14 knots long and 10 knots wide. What made those
  archaeologists puzzeled most, was the unchangable shape, the ineffectual
  of woodworm and it did not scatter like the other pieces of wood.

  In later 1952, the investigation regarding the archeological group of
  ancient wood, had completed. They had concluded that the above-mentioned
  blook of wood was part of Prophet's Noah ark. They'd observed some
  letters engraved which goes back to the most ancient language that ever
  evolved on the surface of the earth.

  In 1953 the digging operations had finished and the Russian government
  had formed a committe of seven scientists (archeologist, linguistic),
  some of which are:

       1. Sawlot Naoev, professor at Moscow University.
       2. Tanmova Kourov, professor of Linguistics at Kevenzo College.
       3. De Racon, professor of Archeology at Lenin institute.
       4. Mr. Taumol Goru, Teacher, Cafezud College
       5. Major Cottor, Stalin College.
       6. Mr. M. Ahmed Colad, Zitcomen Research Association
       7. Prof. Ifa Han Kheeno, Lu Lu Han College China
       and others

  After eight months of research and study of that block of wood and the
  letters engraved upon it, they agreed that this block of wood was made of
  the same material which prophet Noah's ark was made of and that Prophet
  Noah (PBUH) had placed this block of wood in his ark for blessings and
  protection during his journey with his companions and family during the
  Flood. The lettere engraved upon the block of wood were in the Semitic
  Language which was translated into English by the British scientist; Aief
  Max, professor of ancient tongue at Manchester University, England. The
  letters states the following:

  "Oh my God, my Helper, in Your mercy and generosity help me, and for
  the sake of these holy souls: Muhammed, Elia, Shoppar, Shappair,
  Fatimah who are all great and blessed. The Universe is there for them,
  help me for their names. Only you can quide us to the straight path".

  It's obvious dear reader that Elia, Shoppar, Shappair are names in the
  Semitic language and their Arabic rendering is: Ali, Hassan, Husayn.

  The mysterious and ambiguous thing which the committee couldn't explain
  or understand were, that it did not scatter or turn out stoney like
  others, despite the fact that thousands of years had passed upon it.

  Dear Reader: at the "Museum of Archeology", in Moscow, Russia this can be
  seen and observed. So many people have witnesed the piece of wood. If you
  happen to visit or travel to Russia, pay a visit to that place to see by
  your own eyes the greatness of these names. And to know that the
  Prophet of Islam was mentioned in the Torah and the Bible thousands of
  years ago.

  The translation was documented in the following newspapers:

       1. Weekly-Mirror: UK, 28/12/53
       2. Star of Britain: London, 1/54
       3. Manchester Sunlight: Manchester, 23/1/54
       4. London Weekly Mirror: 1/2/54
       5. Bathrah Najaf: Iraq, 2/2/54
       6. Al-Huda: Cairo, 31/3/54

  Source: Al-Zahra Magaazine

I claim this article is a collection of incredibilities. But as somebody said: It is easier for most people to believe a big lie than a small one.

Some problems with the report:

Both, Bible and Qur'an say that the Ark of Noah landed in Turkey, naming the place as "the mountains of Ararat" (wider area) according to the Bible or as "Mount Judi" (specific mountain in the Ararat area) according to the Qur'an. One might want to ask, how this piece of wood traveled several thousand kilometers to be deposited in the valley of Kiev ...

... especially given its size (but even if it were of reasonable size)

Side remark: What is "unchangable shape" supposed to mean? Does the author of this article really claim the archeologists tried to but were unable to break off a piece of it [that would have changed the shape ever so slightly]. How come they discover "a group of stony ancient wood" but then this group is suddenly in the next sentence only "a (i.e. one) block of wood"? Not "and a block" or "among which was a block". No, the rules of language demand to interpret that "a group" and "a block" are the same thing. These observations are trivial, but they show how careless this article was written. Now to the substantial problems.

According to Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, 1989, a "knot" is is a unit of 47 feet and 3 inches = 14.4 meters. Apart from the fact that 14 x 10 is surely not in the shape of a square, and a "block" always has 3 dimensions (lenght, width and height), not only two, this means we are talking about a piece of wood here that is claimed to be of the size (14 x 14.4) m x (10 x 14.4) m = 202 meters x 140 meters. I can very much sympathize and understand that those archeologists were extremely puzzled. Even if nothing is inscribed on this piece of wood, one might wonder what kind of tree this block was cut from ...

Also, according to the Torah (Bible), the Ark was (about) 134 meters long, 22 meters wide and 13 meters high (Genesis 6:15). I do wonder which piece of the Ark could be over 200 meters long then.

It is also claimed that it is now placed in a museum (of enormous size):

The claim that "many have seen it" is a nice try to give more credibility to the these outrageous inventions, but note: The writer does not say that he himself has seen it! Why do we have no eyewitness report on this fantastic piece of wood?

Even if this piece of wood were to exist, and such names were to be found on it, whether Muhammad's name is in the Torah has nothing to do with it. And Muhammad's name is surely not in the Torah - no Muslim has been able to show that to me so far. Please give a reference. Also, the Torah is part of the Bible and the expression "Torah and Bible" shows the ignorance of even this elementary fact.

Given the accuracy of the report so far, I would not be surprised to find that there is not even any "Museum of Archeology" in Moscow.

Although, there are repeatedly rumors that Noah's Ark has been found, the latest (?) of those rumors dating at least March 1995 (Why have we not heard more since then? It is nearly two years now. IF there were something to it, I am convinced there would be more news about it!) there is certainly no research on the material on the Ark available even today much less in 1952. If then, it is not known what material the Ark consisted of, since the Ark had not been discovered yet, howsame material which Noah's ark was made of ... and also, how these archeologists imagined Noah "placing" this neat little tablet anywhere, especially inside an ark of much smaller size. Furthermore, Noah certainly wasn't given to superstition, but instead placing his faith in God and not in amulets for protection.

It is also quite a riddle how the most ancient language on the surface of the earth could have been evolved ... since if it has evolved from something, then this something for sure is older than what it evolved into. Also, neither the Bible nor the Qur'an supports the atheistic notion of evolution. And whether believer or unbeliever, no serious scientist would ever dare say that something, whether artefact or language, is the oldest in absolute terms as claimed above.

Sorry for tearing apart this 'nice story'. But even if there is a true kernel behind it, it is not well researched. Maybe the size of the piece of wood was wrongly stated? Maybe "centimeter" instead of "knot" was intended? Let us assume it has a reasonable size. I nevertheless would believe this story to be completely made up, but if you want me or anybody to believe this story, then please give the address of the museum that shows this piece of wood and also a reference to this in an archeology journal. I think that is a reasonable requirement, and if it is true, this should not pose any difficulty.

This critique created a response. Here comes Part 2 trying to save the story.

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