Allah, the moon god of the Kaba
Islam: Truth or Myth? start page
Allah, the moon god of the Kaba:
There are a number of scholars who believe that Allah, was originally the name of the moon god of Northern Arabia. It is important to remember that the word "Allah" simply means "the god" and corresponds to "ho theos" in the Greek New Testament as "the God" which refers to the Father in John 1:1 and the Son in John 20:28 and Heb 1:8. What is interesting is that Hubal was the top pagan moon god of the Kabah. So Allah is the generic and Hubal, may have been the actual name, in the same way that "the God" is generic and "Jehovah" is the name. The Arabs may have referred to "Hubal" as "Allah", just like Jews would refer to "Jehovah" as "The God".
"Allah, the Supreme Being of the Mussulmans: Before Islam. That the Arabs, before the time of Muhammed, accepted and worshipped, after a fashion, a supreme god called Allah,--"the Ilah, or the god, if the form is of genuine Arabic source; if of Aramaic, from Alaha, "the god"—seems absolutely certain. Whether he was an abstraction or a development from some individual god, such as Hubal, need not here be considered...But they also recognized and tended to worship more fervently and directly other strictly subordinate gods...It is certain that they regarded particular deities (mentioned in 1iii. 19-20 are al-‘Uzza, Manat or Manah, al-Lat’; some have interpreted vii, 179 as a reference to a perversion of Allah to Allat as daughters of Allah (vi. 100; xvi, 59; xxxvii, 149; 1iii, 21); they also asserted that he had sons (vi. 100)..."There was no god save Allah". This meant, for Muhammed and the Meccans, that of all the gods whom they worshipped, Allah was the only real deity. It took no account of the nature of God in the abstract, only of the personal position of Allah. ...ilah, the common noun from which Allah is probably derived..." (First Encyclopedia of Islam, E.J. Brill, 1987, Islam, p. 302)
Allah. Islamic name for God. Is derived from Semitic El, and [Allah] originally applied to the Moon; he [Allah] seems to have been preceded by Ilmaqah, the Moon-god. Allat is the female counterpart of Allah. (Everyman’s Dictionary of Non-Classical Mythology, Egerton Sykes, Godspeed, Allah)
The Bedouin's astral beliefs centred upon the moon, in whose light he grazed his flocks. Moon-worship implies a pastoral society, whereas sun-worship represents a later agricultural stage. In our own day the Moslem Ruwalah Bedouins imagine that their life is regulated by the moon, which condenses the water vapours, distils the beneficent dew on the pasture and makes possible the growth of plants. On the other hand the sun, as they believe, would like to destroy the Bedouins as well as all animal and plant life. (History Of The Arabs, Philip K. Hitti, 1937, p 96-101)
There are stories in the Sira of pagan Meccan praying to Allah while standing beside the image of Hubal. (Muhammad's Mecca, W. Montgomery Watt, Chapter 3: Religion In Pre-Islamic Arabia, p26-45)
"The relation of this name, which in Babylonia and Assyrian became a generic term simply meaning ‘god’, to the Arabian Ilah familiar to us in the form Allah, which is compounded of al, the definite article, and Ilah by eliding the vowel ‘i’, is not clear. Some scholars trace the name to the South Arabian Ilah, a title of the Moon god, but this is a matter of antiquarian interest" (Islam, Alfred Guillaume, 1956, p 6-7)
"The first pre-Islamic inscription discovered in Dhofar Province, Oman, this bronze plaque, deciphered by Dr. Albert Jamme, dates from about the second century A.D. and gives the name of the Hadramaut moon good Sin and the name Sumhuram, a long-lost city....The moon was the chief deity of all the early South Arabian kingdoms—particularly fitting in that region where the soft light of the moon brought the rest and cool winds of night as a relief from the blinding sun and scorching heat of day. In contrast to most of the old religions with which we are familiar, the moon god is male, while the sun god is his consort, a female. The third god of importance is their child, the male morning star, which we know as the planet Venus...The spice route riches brought them a standard of luxurious living inconceivable to the poverty-stricken South Arabian Bedouins of today. Like nearly all Semitic peoples they worshipped the moon, the sun, and the morning star. The chief god, the moon, was a male deity symbolized by the bull, and we found many carved bulls’ heads, with drains for the blood of sacrificed animals." (Qataban and Sheba, Wendell Phillips, 1955, p. 227)
"...a people of Arabia, of the race of the Joktanites...the Alilai living near the Red Sea in a district where gold is found; their name, children of the moon, so called from the worship of the moon, or Alilat." (Gesenius Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures, translated by Samuel Prideaux Tregelles, 1979, p. 367)
Allat, according to recent study of the complicated inspirational evidence, is believed to have been introduced into Arabia from Syria, and to have been the moon goddess of North Arabia. If this is the correct interpretation of her character, she corresponded to the moon deity of South Arabia, Almaqah, `Vadd, `Amm or Sin as he was called, the difference being only the oppositeness of gender. Mount Sinai (the name being an Arabic feminine form of Sin) would then have been one of the centers of the worship of this northern moon goddess. Similarly, al-`Uzza is supposed to have come from Sinai, and to have been the goddess of the planet Venus. As the moon and the evening star are associated in the heavens, so too were Allat and al-`Uzza together in religious belief, and so too are the crescent and star conjoined on the flags of Arab countries today. (The Archeology Of World Religions, Jack Finegan, 1952, p482-485, 492)
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