So there was ample cultural contact with Islam, a religion actively proselytizing. It lasted about 150-200 years. That some influence made it back to Sweden should not be surprising.
I wonder, has khan any to do with Kahn (ger. ship).
This is important because not all Mulsims are Arab and not all Arabs are Muslim. Allah is first and foremost an Arabic word. As a result, practitioners of Islam in other languages use other words to refer to God.
In Iran, for example, Persian word 'Khoda' is used by Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians to refer to God in their religion. 'Allah' is never used except in phrases and words borrowed from Arabic and using it on its own in the middle of a Persian sentence would sound very odd.
I have also heard that Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews use the Allah to refer to God in their religions, but I have not fact-checked it.
I can confirm this. We say "Allah." The advent of Islam into the global public awareness has created a lot of confusion about Middle Eastern cultures, e.g. I frequently hear "Allah is the name of the Muslims' God." But it is in fact a more generic word, exactly analogous to "God" with a capital G.
In Japanese for example they use the same word, Kami, as the use for the more spirit like gods of Shinto.
Is there any difference at all? I was under the impression that all abrahamic religions referenced the same "God". So when a Muslim, Jew, and Christian say "God" are they not all referring to the same deity?
Now, whether the Abrahamic religions consider their God to be one and the same is a philosophical question. It depends on what "the same" means. Each of them claims to refer to the same entity, at least from a historical (or archaeological) point of view; but some followers of the different Abrahamic religions might object to each other's representations of God and deem them "not the same." A theological case can be made that they are ultimately distinct (I find it to be weak, but it's been argued). But, nominally, they are the same entity despite differences in characterization (and I believe this is the prevalent view).
Meaning, if you asked a Christian whether he and a Jewish follow believe in the same god, he would say yes. The Jew would probably say No (I once heard a Jewish man refer to the New Testament as "that appendix").
By the same token, a Muslim would insist that he follows the same god of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc. A Christian, however, would say that he does not.
See also the Druze and Bahai'i faiths, which draw upon an extend the Abrahamic faiths.
I'm Christian, and I believe that the abrahamic religions worship the same entity. "The lamp is different; the light is the same." Now what? :-)
Yes, many Christians will consider that Muslims worship the same God. On the other hand, I grew up in the American South, and I can assure you that the sentiment is not universally shared down here.
You are right nominally; the person you're replying to is right in terms of doctrine. Otherwise, you would say you were Muslim (or some pan-abrahamic variant) and not Christian.
Pope John Paul II has said the fact that Christians and Muslims worship "the One and same God" is a factor that draws the two communities together and lays the basis for love and cooperation between the two communities of believers.
Really? Catholics, Anglicans, most "mainline" Protestant churches are doctrinally copacetic with the notion that jews, muslims and christians alike all worship the god of abraham. This was not always so, of course, but it turns out that ecumenicalism is a pretty smart idea.
To your point about Theseus -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apophatic_theology is germane here. In this way of thinking, definitionally we can only agree on what God isn't, not what it is.
Sure, but the criterion for sameness is what matters. I see this as cultural and historical sameness, not doctrinal; the doctrines of the Abrahamic religions certainly do not agree on the fundamentals.
I also don't view it as apophatic, as I acknowledge both positive and negative claims are possible. I just think it comes down to the criteria of "sameness" and so it's ultimately an ambiguous question, and one must specify what is effectively being asked. Depending on the actual question, both your answer and others can work.
If you're too strict about sameness criteria, it's difficult to agree on what, like, pants are, and we wind up at the relatively trivial solipsism arguments that get boring pretty quick.
If you go back far enough, of course, the doctrines of the abrahamic religions _do_ agree on the fundamentals. "God made stuff, God is on our side, act accordingly." The procession of covenantal relationships throughout history (with noah, abraham, issac, ishmael, jacob, john, jesus, mohammed, etc. etc. ) continually reinterpret what that means for people, but the basics are something everyone can break bread over.
> ... fundamentals ...
If I may butt in. That's one such essential message of these religions, that we are all the same and equal. Yet their essence is to define the respects in which to compare for equality and in those they do differ substantially. The primary difference is the question of authority, which has differing answers IMHO, and I believe that's the same question as the GP was asking.
And so you pretty quickly end up with fundamentalism, except that they all cannot agree on whose fundamentalism, whose authority, whose definition of failure to accept.
Christians have described God in myriad ways since the Old Testament times.
Muslims also have the "99 Names of Allah".
I don't think Muslims have another name for Allah like the Christians/Jews do (i.e. "Yahweh" or "Jehovah", depending upon your pronunciation).
fixed that for you
Yes? But the question makes little sense however whichway you turn it. undefined === undefined; on the other hand NaN !== NaN
and yet, I disagree, because the theism lies mainly in the believes and these are essentially about inequallity in either case.
And then on the flip side, I read an article a while back about how t-shirt manufacturers in China choose English slogans for making t-shirts based on how nice they think the letters look, not based on what the words mean. They have no idea what the words mean and will actually even change some of the letters to make the pattern look nicer if they think it helps.
- a blog "dedicated to the misuse of chinese characters in western culture". Highly recommended for disillusionment and entertainment value! :)
'Crap your hands'... etc.
Some of these are hilarious..
most versions of the commandments specify that the god of abraham is the only god that ought to be worshipped.
strict monotheism came later.
edit: that said, yes, it should be totally unsurprising.
More or less, each name for God in the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions is related to a similar name in one or both other traditions. "Allah" is a modern standard Arabic transliteration of a word which translates quite simply to God. The only reason to translate it as "Allah" is to signify that the context is Islamic.
But no one tries to pass the message of greek influence to the point of there being articles for that in hackernews.
Yes and no. It came through Greek (though to us via Latin) but of course the names for Alpha and Beta (and most other letters) are based on the Phoenician Aleph and Bet.
> "We know from other Viking tomb
> excavations that DNA analysis has
> shown some of the people buried in
> them originated from places like
> Persia, where Islam was very dominant
Was that true at the time? They were certainly ruled by a caliphate, but other religions survive in Persia till this day so I wouldn't be surprised if the process took centuries. There also appears to be some repression of Persian people after. That Viking could of also been a refugee of the islamification process or the various power struggles in the region at the time.
Just to be clear, what is known as Persia is a subset of modern day Iran:
Quick note about non-Islamic religions in Iran:
"The remaining 0.6% associate themselves with non-Islamic religious minorities, including Bahá'ís, Mandeans, Yarsanis, Zoroastrians, Jews, and Christians. The latter three minority religions are officially recognized and protected, and have reserved seats in the Iran parliament."
If military prowess was as highly regarded as we believe to the Vikings, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did something similar too.
While we're at it, one of the founding myths about Christianization of Kievan Rus involves knyaz Vladimir holding a council on which faith to convert to, and inviting preachers to compete - supposedly, Latin and Greek rites of Christianity, Islam (via Volga Bulgars), and Judaism (via Khazars) were all on the table. According to the legend, Islam was rejected first, solely on account of banning alcohol. Judaism was reviewed and rejected next, because the loss of Jerusalem and destruction of the Temple was seen as a clear sign of divine weakness by the pagan Rus. Finally, between the Greek and the Latin rites of Christianity, they picked Greek, because Greek churches and priests were decorated much more lavishly (with lots of prominently displayed gold etc), while Latin ones were more subdued.
While it's almost certainly a legend that does not correspond to an actual event, its very premise speaks volumes about how religion was viewed in that time period.
That may be one version. In another the people tasked with finding a new faith came back to Vladimir and talked about how boring the muslim rituals were, "they first look this way, then that way", whereas when they came to Hagia Sophia they "thought they were in heaven".
There were also geopolitical considerations, Byzantium was still very strong and Vladimir wanted to marry the emperor's sister Anna (Porphyrogenita).
Initially, he tried to reform the existing pagan religion, by taking one god - Perun (god of war and thunder) - and elevating him above others as the supreme god. But that didn't take up too well, and meanwhile, he saw the far more successful examples of what he was trying to do happening in Bulgaria and Poland, with Christianity as the unifying force.
He also wanted to have a strong relationship with neighboring Byzantium. In particular, after getting involved into their ongoing civil war, and supporting the ruling emperor against the rebels, he convinced (or forced, depending on your perspective - it was a condition for his support) the emperor to give his sister in marriage to him - but converting to Christianity was a prerequisite for that. And, of course, a Christian ruler needed Christianity as a state religion, if he wanted religious backing. This last part is why the legend is most likely just that, a legend - Greek-rite Christianity was really the obvious pragmatic choice in the circumstances.
But I agree that embroidered pieces of cloth doesn't really say much at all.
It's also pretty strange that the article seems to say that Vikings got the idea for an eternal life after death from Islam. First of all there are very similar ideas in Norse Paganism (cognate to Greek and Roman Paganism), even if it's not in paradise. Secondly the idea also exists in Christianity, and by the 9th century most of Europe, and many Vikings, were of course Christian.
They fought with the Turks for 100's of years. It wouldn't surprise me if this clothing was not just something they came across on a raid or purchased.
One of the other sons, Vladimir (Valdamarr), was still a Viking enough to go seek - and get! - the help of his Viking relatives in Scandinavia to overthrow his brothers. But after converting himself and the country to Eastern Christianity, arguably, he finally severed that link. His successors were definitely not Vikings in any sense, although they did marry their daughters into Scandinavian royalty, among others.
This goes both ways, of course. A Varangian Guards carved "halfdan was here" on the hagia sophia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runic_inscriptions_in_Hagia_So...
It's not that vikings were especially nice and peaceable people but neither was anyone then.
I recall but cannot currently find studies that have found bags of the mined salt in graves and digs all along the silk road over a time period of millennia.
"The Dark Ages" is a horrible name. It was coined to denote "a period that we, historians, don't know much about because we don't have nearly as many anal romans writing everything down and taking notes for us", but it was commonly understood as "a bad, barbaric time when civilization collapsed."
It's increasingly clear that nothing so apocalyptic happened. Trade routes survived and even thrived.
Please, they burned books simply because those didn't suit thier idea of history.
That Vikings travelled to islamic countries is known. That they traded with them - willingly or unwillingly - is also known. They did the same with many other cultures and brought materials back to Scandinavia. There have been finds of Buddhist statues, swastikas, Christian ornaments from the time when the Vikings were still going the way of Odin and Thor, etc. There is, however, no research showing the Vikings were making Buddhism part of their culture even though they used some of their symbology (swastikas come to mind). Why not? Because there is no political drive to give Buddhism a part in Sweden's history while there is a strong drive to do this to islam, especially in parts of academia.
Also, if these Vikings wanted to show allegiance to allah and Ali, why did they do so in mirror image?
This belongs to the realm of Beatles covers showing mirror images of Paul McCartney being dead, backward satanic messages on rock albums and chemtrails: the conclusion was the starting point, all that was left was a search for 'evidence'.
> "The possibility that some of those in the graves were Muslim cannot be completely ruled out,"
Then they say it's more likely it was some much more limited cultural influence. Then they talk about trade, in the context of the wide dispersion of Muslim coins. Then they say that the inscription isn't right, so probably it was an incorrect copy by whoever produced the fabric. The article is entirely reasonable, if it is a matter of ideology clouding judgment perhaps you should look at yourself rather than the BBC.
Disclaimer: I used to work at a BBC company, although nowhere near the news department.
Also, I'd say their economics coverage is reactive, it's framed around the Budget, major speeches from prominent politicians, research or press releases from the OBR, IFS, the IMF or similar organizations. It reports those positions, then goes to opposition parties or other figures to ask for comment. The problem for left wing parties is that doesn't give much space to get across a completely different narrative, but that is frankly not the BBC's role.
Only by American standards. Barack Obama (and his policies) would firmly be on the right in the UK. I think it only goes to show that US 'center' is to the right of the European 'center'.
ETA: thanks to Brakenshire above for the directions. I'm seeing the same three stories, and I'm not sure what's left wing about reporting on:
- a campaigner for gender-neutral passports winning the right to challenge government policy in court
- horrible things that some people do when dating
- a (somewhat unscientific) experiment that suggests that people take domestic violence against women more seriously than that against men.
Big media has several tools available:
- Choose which stories to run
- Choose which stories not to run
- Choose which stories to allow discussion boards on
- More obvious mechanisms, like slanted coverage
Used together, they make an impressive suite of persuasion tools.
What do you base your statement on? Your gut?
What evidence is there for this statement, if I may play devil's advocate for a moment?
Exactly. It is more than likely that something like this is the result of trade. However, the way the narrative is built around "findings" like these by professors in the departments of said universities is something completely different.
A more likely explanation is trade and cultural exchange [EDIT] and expropriation. The Vikings roamed far and wide  , and Islam even made it as far as Spain at one stage 
As far as they went though they probably never got as far as East Asia where they could have encountered Buddhism.
I've read that Vikings were kind of half traders, half raiders. It was a culture of 'bringing back the spoils', I think the word was leader was actually something equivalent to 'ring-giver', and the bond of allegiance was made on that basis. So I suppose you could accomplish that goal in a variety of ways, depending on the circumstances, size of the group, access to weapons, or information, and so on.
Also worth remembering the "the vikings" where not some homogeneous society. The term covers a large number of different groups from different countries and different periods of history. Some traded, some looted, some went west, some went east etc.
Given that this is twitter the whole thing has been chopped into bite-sized chunks but if you add them together it reads something like the following:
In other words, the "research" behind the BBC article is faulty and there is no mention of allah or ali on that Viking artifact.
I call strawman.
Both article and researcher make no claims further than "cultural influence".
The problem with (current and recent) migration to Sweden is that most migrants come from places with low 'human development index' (Afghanistan and Syria are the top 2 countries at this moment) while the Swedish job market requires high levels of education compared to surrounding countries. This makes it hard for migrants to find jobs and to establish themselves, leading to a high dependence on government subsidies and state-subsidised pensions ('garantipension').
In other words, by allowing (until recently unlimited) economically-motivated migration of people from countries with a low HDI, Sweden has worsened any future pension problems dramatically and reduced the chance of the state pension system to survive in the long term.
In 2014 Sweden had a birth rate of 1.88 per woman , the third best in Europe. While not at the 2.1 level required to keep the population at the current level there was no obvious need to import a large contingent of people from the Middle-East and Africa to avoid the "collapse of the pension system".
edit; I'm not ruling out interraction or even Muslim Vikings but reading Allah on that fabric is just absurd.
Ibrahim ibn Yaqub  trader - Hispano-Arabic Sepharadi Jew (quite a pedigree) have left chronicle of his journeys as far as Wolin  and Rugen  - islands inhabited at the time by Weneds (Rani) - Slavian vikings - where contacts with Scandinavian Vikings were daily occurrence.
There were probably other traders.
Which Michael Crichton blended into a retelling of Beowulf.
It is well known that vikings did go down to the Meditarian Ocean, for instance it is known that the vikings did call Constantinople for Miklagard and that they did trade with Arabs both in Arab countries and in Scandinavian
Why are you so quick to want to shut it down?
You mean Byzantium - Constantinople was called Miklagard by Vikings.
He blends a re-telling of the Beowulf story with the accounts of Ahmad ibn Fadlan  and his interactions with the Volga Vikings .
So, it is mildly amazing to see the mental gymnastics being exhibited by some comments to refute a completely uncontroversial discovery.
So if someone can point me to a picture containing the "Ali" part of the enigma, please link it here.
2. it's totally non-obvious and the message is hidden (as per the article)
3. arabs, were obsessed (also experts) by geometric patterns and those pattern were also their early gods. so they would have produced many goods with nice patterns on them.
4. it looks nice, and i'm sure they would have bought or stole those items from arabs.
5. pascal's wager, they could be hedging their bets.
6. they were probably pre Bluetooth, where he unified the viking religion to be Christianity.
Viking raided silk traders travelling far, or raided people who had access to those traders, traders who were either wearing or selling the silk cloth with pattern.
You have to look at the garments in the mirror in order to see the word Allah so it could just as well be random patterns, like that piece of toast with Jesus' face on it.
It would not be the first time that the word Allah appeared among otherwise random patterns: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perceptions_of_religious_image...
As to why make the assumption, unless there's evidence of Scandinavian goods in Byzantium it's a good assumption.
To put it gently... cough Where does r/Sweden get its credibility from?
The debate in Europe is so toxic, on one side starry-eyed humanists, on the other narrow-minded losers. Each resort to separate little bubbles where they can reaffirm each other. In the middle, reasonable people get squeezed out.
As others have pointed out, the discovery reported in the post is quite reasonable, given the migratory, raiding and trade patterns between the Arab and Viking worlds in the era discussed. Settlers and converts (of tradition, religion, etc) are also common within intersections of 2 or more cultural groups interacting under any pretext. The post also outlines physical evidence, which has/will presumably be re-examined directly by other researchers to verify and extend lines of inquiry.
Some comments here like Rusanu's are annotated with useful links that you should probably read to understand how unusual the discovery actually is, instead of supporting baseless attacks on the source. It is mildly amazing to see the mental gymnastics being exhibited by some comments (including the ad hominem attack reflected in yours) in quest to refute a completely uncontroversial issue.