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The Ninth Berth: Excerpt 9 from The Atheism Delusion by Ahmed Al Hasan

The Journey of Gilgamesh to his Grandfather Noah pbuh


Gilgamesh began his journey to his grandfather Noah (Utnapishtim), in which he seeks immortality—the immortality of the soul and not the body. From the beginning, Gilgamesh knew that there was no immortality for the body, for he said:

Gilgamesh opened his mouth,

     saying to Enkidu:

‘Who is there, my friend, can climb to the sky?

     Only the gods [the righteous ones] [dwell] forever in sunlight.

As for man, his days are numbered,

     whatever he may do, it is but wind (George 2003, 109-10).

His grandfather Noah had been dead for a long time and he knew this well. Therefore, it was a journey to the other world.

Gilgamesh crushes his “self” in this journey, and achieves the immortality that he sought and travelled for. He gets what he wanted while on the same journey, even before reaching his grandfather Noah (Utnapishtim):

After you are gone [my hair will be matted in mourning,]

     clad in the skin of [a lion I shall wander] the wild. (George 199, 66).

Gilgamesh enters the world of truth and sees things for what they really are on his journey to his grandfather Utnapishtim (Noah pbuh):

To Mashu’s twin mountains he came,

     which daily guard the rising [ sun,]

whose tops [support] the fabric of heaven,

     whose base reaches down to the Netherworld.


There were scorpion-men guarding its gate,

     whose terror was dread, whose glance was death,

whose radiance was fearful, overwhelming the mountains –

     at sunrise and sunset they guarded the sun.


Gilgamesh saw them, in fear and dread he covered his face,

     then he collected his wits, and drew nearer their presence.

The scorpion-man called to his mate:

     ‘He who has come to us, flesh of the gods is his body.’


The scorpion-man’s mate answered him:

     ‘Two-thirds of him is god, and one third human.’

The scorpion-man called out,

     saying a word [to King Gilgamesh,] flesh of the gods:


‘[How did you come here,] such a far road?

     [How did you get here,] to be in my presence?

[How did you cross the seas,] whose passage is perilous?

     …… let me learn of your [journey!]


‘ …… where your [face] is turned,

     …… let me learn [of your journey!]’


‘[I am seeking] the [road] of my forefather, Uta-napishti [Noah pbuh],

     who attended the gods’ assembly, and [found life eternal:]

of death and life [he shall tell me the secret.]’


The scorpion-man opened his mouth [ to speak,]

     saying to [Gilgamesh:]

‘Never [before], O Gilgamesh, was there [ one like you,]

     never did anyone [travel the path] of the mountain.


‘For twelve double-hours its interior [extends,]

     the darkness is dense, and [light is] there none.

For the rising of the sun ……… ,

     for the setting of the sun …….. .


‘For the setting of the ……… ,

    they sent forth …….. .

And you, how will you …… ?

     Will you go in ……… .


‘Through sorrow …….. .

by frost and by sunshine [ my face is burnt.]     

Through exhaustion …….. .

     now you …….. . ‘


The scorpion-man [ opened his mouth to speak,]

     [saying a word] to King Gilgamesh, [flesh of the gods:]

‘Go, Gilgamesh! …….. .

     May the mountains of Mashu [allow you to pass!]


‘[May] the mountains and hills [watch over your going!]

     Let [ them help you] in safety [to continue your journey!]

[May] the gate of the mountains [open before you!]’ (George 2003, 71-73).


Gilgamesh’s journey continues, and he passes by the tavern-keeper. It is as if she is a symbol of people’s intoxication with the love of the temporal life and the “I”. The tavern-keeper calls him to the temopral life and to caring about himself and abandoning this tiring journey of seeking immortality:


Said the tavern-keeper to him, to Gilgamesh:

     ‘O Gilgamesh, where are you wandering?


‘The life that you seek you never will find:

     when the gods created mankind,

death they dispensed to mankind,

     life they kept for themselves.


‘But you, Gilgamesh, let your belly be full,

     enjoy yourself always by day and by night!

Make merry each day,

     dance and play day and night!


‘Let your clothes be clean,

     let your head be washed, may you bathe in water!

Gaze on the child who holds your hand,

     let your wife enjoy your repeated embrace!


‘For such is the destiny [of mortal men,]

     that the one who lives ……… ‘

‘But you dwell, O tavern-keeper, on the shore [of the ocean,]

      you are familiar with all [the ways across it.]

Show me the way, [O show me!]

     If it may be done [I will cross] the ocean!’ (George 2003, 124).


‘How can I keep silent?] How can I stay quiet?

     [My friend, whom I loved, has turned] to clay.

my friend Enkidu, whom I loved, has [turned to clay.]

     [Shall I not be like] him, and also lie down,

[never] to rise again, through all eternity?


Said Gilgamesh to her, to the tavern-keeper:

     ‘Now, O tavern-keeper, where is the road to Uta-napishti?

What is the landmark? Tell me!

      Give me its landmark!

If it may be done, I will cross the ocean,

     and if it may not be done, I will wander the wild!’ (George 2003, 78).


It is as if Moses pbuh had cited, in terms of meaning, these last words from Gilgamesh when he said in the Quran: {to his lad, “I will not cease traveling until I reach the junction of the two seas or continue for a long period.”} The Quran Chapter “The Cave” 18:60.

The journey of Gilgamesh continues until he reaches his grandfather Utnapishtim (Noah pbuh). He tells him the story of the flood, and Gilgamesh learns the secret of life from his grandfather:

Said Uta-napishti to him, to [Gilgamesh:]


. . . Death so savage, who hacks men down.

’Ever do we build our households,

     ever do we make our nests,

ever do brothers divide their inheritance,

     ever do feuds arise in the land.


‘Ever the river has risen and brought us the flood,

     the mayfly floating on the water.

On the face of the sun its countenance gazes,

     then all of a sudden nothing is there!


‘The abducted and the dead, how alike is their lot!

     But never was drawn the likeness of Death,

never in the land did the dead greet a man (George 2003, 86-7).

The Sumerian epics, stories, and poems prove that the Sumerians had a story of divine religion—before the existence of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—complete in all its details, characters, and symbols. We find within the Sumerian clay tablets the true, one God who dominates everything. We also find the ideologies, moral values, sacred laws, methods of worship, and the ways of overcoming Satan, the worldly life, the “I”, and self-love.

Thus, it was entirely about religion, from beginning to end, for the Sumerians.

Where did they get it from? Where did they get this complex system that suddenly appeared, in complete form, during the history of Mesopotamia?

The truth, which any reasonable person can see as clear as day, is that the Sumerian culture and civilization demonstrates a leap of culture and civilization. Whoever wants to deny it—after all that has been said—that is their business. Generally speaking, many theories and theses hreallave been made to explain this leap of culture, as previously discussed. If it had not been a cultural leap, it would not have reached the point where the ancient astronaut theory was proposed!

It is very strange for someone to accept that the reason for human development was ancient astronauts with their spaceships and cosmic powers, which we see no trace of on the earth, in order to justify this cultural leap, yet not accept that the soul of Adam was breathed into or connected to a body, and consequently evolved, moving to a level more developed in terms of creation as well as organization, and the ability to think and comprehend.