New Book Release: Let The Stones Speak Download PDF

01 Introduction to 2023 Videos

Dan and Chad start a new video series, introducing the book: Let The Stones Speak.

This video is subtitled in Hindi, Urdu and Bengali. In YouTube, click the gear wheel and then choose subtitles.


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Over the past year Dan Gibson, joined by Chad Doell, has been working on a new project. Dan Gibson’s new book, Let the Stones Speak, includes his latest research into early Islamic qiblas and seeks to present information and arguments to both support and explain the archaeological data. Dan now has evidence from over 270 of the earliest mosques in Islam, largely from the first three centuries after Islam was founded. As Dan has considered his findings, he found that the patterns in early mosque construction tell a story.

If you are familiar with Dan’s work, you will notice that 270 is a much larger sample of early mosques than Dan has had in the past. As the sample set has grown, Dan’s theories about early Islamic qiblas have only been further confirmed.

Contrary to popular perception, Islam began small and humble: the prophet had relatively few followers to start with. As Islam grew and spread to different places around the world, the earliest mosques followed. So, by considering the characteristics of these earliest mosques, we can learn a great deal about the development and expansion of Islam, from its humble beginnings to a continent spanning empire.

The story Dan has discovered studying these mosques is compelling. Dan has taken an interest in comparing the traditional account of the dawning centuries of Islam with the archaeological record. What he has found are elements which confirm the traditional Muslim narrative, and elements which challenge it.

Dan believes that the archaeological account supports the foundational belief that there was a Muhammed who was recognized by his followers as a prophet. The archaeological data also supports the traditional narrative of the Rashidun caliphs, through the Umayyad and Abbasid eras of Islam.

In other ways, the archaeological record challenges the traditional accounts. Of these 270 early mosques, 170 of them verifiably face locations other than Mecca. Of the remaining 100 early mosques, only 28 demonstrably face Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

In this video series and summarizing articles, we are going to explore these 170 mosques which seem to be facing in the “wrong” direction and try to come to some conclusions about what they tell us about early Islamic history. If you are interested in religion, you may take an interest in the vast ramifications these findings have for the development of one of the most influential and important religions in history. If you are a Muslim, these findings may impact your understanding of your faith and worldview. In some ways you will be confirmed, and in other ways you may expect to be challenged.

These videos will provide an overview of Dan’s findings and an opportunity to engage with our community. For a more detailed account of Dan’s findings and for references to supporting evidence and research, please view Let the Stones Speak, free of charge. Many of our sources come from Islamic writings and may be of particular interest.

So, you are welcome to download and read the book, engage with the videos, and comment below. But if you would like to be directly involved in Dan’s research, we are always looking for more early mosques to add to the database. There is no comprehensive list of mosques which we can use to find early mosques, and we often rely on the input and observations of people in the Middle East and elsewhere.

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