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Was "Allah" the Biblical God or a pagan god in Arabia during PRE-ISLAMIC times?

Posted by on May. 17, 2013 at 6:18 PM
  • 328 Replies

 The Archaeology of the Middle East

The religion of Islam has as its focus of worship a deity by the name of "Allah." The Muslims claim that Allah in pre-Islamic times was the biblical God of the Patriarchs, prophets, and apostles. The issue is thus one of continuity. Was "Allah" the biblical God or a pagan god in Arabia during pre-Islamic times? The Muslim's claim of continuity is essential to their attempt to convert Jews and Christians for if "Allah" is part of the flow of divine revelation in Scripture, then it is the next step in biblical religion. Thus we should all become Muslims. But, on the other hand, if Allah was a pre-Islamic pagan deity, then its core claim is refuted. Religious claims often fall before the results of hard sciences such as archeology. We can endlessly speculate about the past or go and dig it up and see what the evidence reveals. This is the only way to find out the truth concerning the origins of Allah. As we shall see, the hard evidence demonstrates that the god Allah was a pagan deity. In fact, he was the Moon-god who was married to the sun goddess and the stars were his daughters.




Archaeologists have uncovered temples to the Moon-god throughout the Middle East. From the mountains of Turkey to the banks of the Nile, the most wide-spread religion of the ancient world was the worship of the Moon-god. In the first literate civilization, the Sumerians have left us thousands of clay tablets in which they described their religious beliefs. As demonstrated by Sjoberg and Hall, the ancient Sumerians worshipped a Moon-god who was called many different names. The most popular names were Nanna, Suen and Asimbabbar. His symbol was the crescent moon. Given the amount of artifacts concerning the worship of this Moon-god, it is clear that this was the dominant religion in Sumeria. The cult of the Moon-god was the most popular religion throughout ancient Mesopotamia. The Assyrians, Babylonians, and the Akkadians took the word Suen and transformed it into the word Sin as their favorite name for the Moon-God. As Prof. Potts pointed out, "Sin is a name essentially Sumerian in origin which had been borrowed by the Semites. "

In ancient Syria and Canna, the Moon-god Sin was usually represented by the moon in its crescent phase. At times the full moon was placed inside the crescent moon to emphasize all the phases of the moon. The sun-goddess was the wife of Sin and the stars were their daughters. For example, Istar was a daughter of Sin. Sacrifices to the Moon-god are described in the Pas Shamra texts. In the Ugaritic texts, the Moon-god was sometimes called Kusuh. In Persia, as well as in Egypt, the Moon-god is depicted on wall murals and on the heads of statues. He was the Judge of men and gods. The Old Testament constantly rebuked the worship of the Moon-god (see: Deut. 4:19;17:3; II Kngs. 21:3,5; 23:5; Jer. 8:2; 19:13; Zeph. 1:5, etc.) When Israel fell into idolatry, it was usually the cult of the Moon-god. As a matter of fact, everywhere in the ancient world, the symbol of the crescent moon can be found on seal impressions, steles, pottery, amulets, clay tablets, cylinders, weights, earrings, necklaces, wall murals, etc. In Tell-el-Obeid, a copper calf was found with a crescent moon on its forehead. An idol with the body of a bull and the head of man has a crescent moon inlaid on its forehead with shells. In Ur, the Stela of Ur-Nammu has the crescent symbol placed at the top of the register of gods because the Moon-god was the head of the gods. Even bread was baked in the form of a crescent as an act of devotion to the Moon-god. The Ur of the Chaldees was so devoted to the Moon-god that it was sometimes called Nannar in tablets from that time period.

A temple of the Moon-god has been excavated in Ur by Sir Leonard Woolley. He dug up many examples of moon worship in Ur and these are displayed in the British Museum to this day. Harran was likewise noted for its devotion to the Moon-god. In the 1950's a major temple to the Moon-god was excavated at Hazer in Palestine. Two idols of the moon god were found. Each was a stature of a man sitting upon a throne with a crescent moon carved on his chest. The accompanying inscriptions make it clear that these were idols of the Moon-god. Several smaller statues were also found which were identified by their inscriptions as the "daughters" of the Moon-god. What about Arabia? As pointed out by Prof. Coon, "Muslims are notoriously loath to preserve traditions of earlier paganism and like to garble what pre-Islamic history they permit to survive in anachronistic terms."

During the nineteenth century, Amaud, Halevy and Glaser went to Southern Arabia and dug up thousands of Sabean, Minaean, and Qatabanian inscriptions which were subsequently translated. In the 1940's, the archeologists G. Caton Thompson and Carleton S. Coon made some amazing discoveries in Arabia. During the 1950's, Wendell Phillips, W.F. Albright, Richard Bower and others excavated sites at Qataban, Timna, and Marib (the ancient capital of Sheba). Thousands of inscriptions from walls and rocks in Northern Arabia have also been collected. Reliefs and votive bowls used in worship of the "daughters of Allah" have also been discovered. The three daughters, al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat are sometimes depicted together with Allah the Moon-god represented by a crescent moon above them. The archeological evidence demonstrates that the dominant religion of Arabia was the cult of the Moon-god.

In Old Testament times, Nabonidus (555-539 BC), the last king of Babylon, built Tayma, Arabia as a center of Moon-god worship. Segall stated, "South Arabia's stellar religion has always been dominated by the Moon-god in various variations." Many scholars have also noticed that the Moon-god's name "Sin" is a part of such Arabic words as "Sinai," the "wilderness of Sin," etc. When the popularity of the Moon-god waned elsewhere, the Arabs remained true to their conviction that the Moon-god was the greatest of all gods. While they worshipped 360 gods at the Kabah in Mecca, the Moon-god was the chief deity. Mecca was in fact built as a shrine for the Moon-god.

This is what made it the most sacred site of Arabian paganism. In 1944, G. Caton Thompson revealed in her book, The Tombs and Moon Temple of Hureidha, that she had uncovered a temple of the Moon-god in southern Arabia. The symbols of the crescent moon and no less than twenty-one inscriptions with the name Sin were found in this temple. An idol which may be the Moon-god himself was also discovered. This was later confirmed by other well-known archeologists.

The evidence reveals that the temple of the Moon-god was active even in the Christian era. Evidence gathered from both North and South Arabia demonstrate that Moon-god worship was clearly active even in Muhammad's day and was still the dominant cult. According to numerous inscriptions, while the name of the Moon-god was Sin, his title was al-ilah, i.e. "the deity," meaning that he was the chief or high god among the gods. As Coon pointed out, "The god Il or Ilah was originally a phase of the Moon God." The Moon-god was called al- ilah, i.e. the god, which was shortened to Allah in pre-Islamic times. The pagan Arabs even used Allah in the names they gave to their children. For example, both Muhammad's father and uncle had Allah as part of their names.

The fact that they were given such names by their pagan parents proves that Allah was the title for the Moon-god even in Muhammad's day. Prof. Coon goes on to say, "Similarly, under Mohammed's tutelage, the relatively anonymous Ilah, became Al-Ilah, The God, or Allah, the Supreme Being."

This fact answers the questions, "Why is Allah never defined in the Qur'an? Why did Muhammad assume that the pagan Arabs already knew who Allah was?" Muhammad was raised in the religion of the Moon-god Allah. But he went one step further than his fellow pagan Arabs. While they believed that Allah, i.e. the Moon-god, was the greatest of all gods and the supreme deity in a pantheon of deities, Muhammad decided that Allah was not only the greatest god but the only god.

In effect he said, "Look, you already believe that the Moon-god Allah is the greatest of all gods. All I want you to do is to accept that the idea that he is the only god. I am not taking away the Allah you already worship. I am only taking away his wife and his daughters and all the other gods." This is seen from the fact that the first point of the Muslim creed is not, "Allah is great" but "Allah is the greatest," i.e., he is the greatest among the gods. Why would Muhammad say that Allah is the "greatest" except in a polytheistic context? The Arabic word is used to contrast the greater from the lesser. That this is true is seen from the fact that the pagan Arabs never accused Muhammad of preaching a different Allah than the one they already worshipped. This "Allah" was the Moon-god according to the archeological evidence. Muhammad thus attempted to have it both ways. To the pagans, he said that he still believed in the Moon-god Allah. To the Jews and the Christians, he said that Allah was their God too. But both the Jews and the Christians knew better and that is why they rejected his god Allah as a false god.

Al-Kindi, one of the early Christian apologists against Islam, pointed out that Islam and its god Allah did not come from the Bible but from the paganism of the Sabeans. They did not worship the God of the Bible but the Moon-god and his daughters al-Uzza, al-Lat and Manat. Dr. Newman concludes his study of the early Christian-Muslim debates by stating, "Islam proved itself to be...a separate and antagonistic religion which had sprung up from idolatry." Islamic scholar Caesar Farah concluded "There is no reason, therefore, to accept the idea that Allah passed to the Muslims from the Christians and Jews." The Arabs worshipped the Moon-god as a supreme deity. But this was not biblical monotheism. While the Moon-god was greater than all other gods and goddesses, this was still a polytheistic pantheon of deities. Now that we have the actual idols of the Moon-god, it is no longer possible to avoid the fact that Allah was a pagan god in pre-Islamic times. Is it any wonder then that the symbol of Islam is the crescent moon? That a crescent moon sits on top of their mosques and minarets? That a crescent moon is found on the flags of Islamic nations? That the Muslims fast during the month which begins and ends with the appearance of the crescent moon in the sky?

CONCLUSION

The pagan Arabs worshipped the Moon-god Allah by praying toward Mecca several times a day; making a pilgrimage to Mecca; running around the temple of the Moon-god called the Kabah; kissing the black stone; killing an animal in sacrifice to the Moon-god; throwing stones at the devil; fasting for the month which begins and ends with the crescent moon; giving alms to the poor, etc.,

The Muslim's claim that Allah is the God of the Bible and that Islam arose from the religion of the prophets and apostles is refuted by solid, overwhelming archeological evidence. Islam is nothing more than a revival of the ancient Moon-god cult. It has taken the symbols, the rites, the ceremonies, and even the name of its god from the ancient pagan religion of the Moon-god. As such, it is sheer idolatry and must be rejected by all those who follow the Torah and Gospel.

The religion of ancient Israel was based on revelation; the Old Testament says that God appeared in diverse places and spoke to the Patriarchs; there they raised altars of undressed stones, called Beth-el—or House of God. Man's sensual imagination soon led him "to collect his gods in the dust and fashion them as he pleased," imagining that God resided in these Stones. Thus it became Beth-aven or House of Vanity. Beth-el abounded in Chaldea, Asia, Egypt, Africa, Greece, in remote parts of Europe, among the Druids, Gauls, and Celto-Scythians, and in North and South America.

In the Hebrew language, stones fallen from the sky are called Bethel (Heb. "House of God"). After dreaming of a ladder reaching to heaven, Jacob called his stone pillow a Bethel-stone (Genesis 28:10-22).

"The Pagans imitated the Beth-el of Jacob and consecrated them with oil and blood, making them gods, calling them Betyles (betylus, baetyl, betyles). In classical antiquity a stone, either natural or artificially shaped, venerated as of divine origin, or as a symbol of divinity. There were a number of these sacred stones in Greece, the most famous being on the omphalos at Delphi. Likewise there were the so-called animated or oracular stones. "Strabo, Pliny, Helancius (Hellanicus) or Beth-al-Jupiter, Cybele, Venus, Mithras). The greater part of the natural Betyles were the black meteorites or fire-balls fallen from the heavens and regarded by the Sabeists as heavenly divinities. These meteorites were the Cabiri, and the Pelasgi—whose most noted worshippers were wandering or dispersed men" (The Trail of the Serpent, by Inquire Within, Boswell Publishing Co., Limited, London (1936) p. 10).

Meteorites-cults are common in Greco-Roman civilizations. According to the religious historian Mircea Eliade, the Temple of Artemis (Diana) at Ephesus contained a squat statue of the mother-goddess, carved from a meteorite that fell from Jupiter (Acts 19:26-35). The Palladium of Troy and the conic black stone or (Baetyl) of Elagabal in Emesa, Syria, are believed to be of meteoric origin. Likewise, the Phrygian mother goddess Cybele worshipped in Pessinus (later Rome) was a stone; doubtless a meteorite. A further example is the meteorite of Pessinunt in Phrygia, which was worshipped as "the needle of Cybele," brought to Rome in a powerful procession after the Punic war on advice from the Delphic oracle; there the meteorite was worshipped as a fertility goddess for further 500 years.

Hadschar al Aswad"The most famous of all of the stone fetishes of Arabia was, of course, the black stone in the sanctuary of Mecca. The Kabah was, and still is, a rectangular stone structure. Built into its Eastern corner is the black stone which had been an object of worship for many centuries before Mohammed appropriated the Kabah for his new religion, and made the pilgrimage to this holy place one of the pillars of Islam" (Mohammed: The man and his faith, Tor Andrae, 1936, Translated by Theophil Menzel, 1960, p. 13-30; Britannica, Arabian Religions, p. 1059, 1979). The "Hadschar al Aswad" in the Kabah is the most well known example of meteorite worship in newer times. Despite the prohibition of portraying God and adoration of objects, pilgrims to Mecca kiss this "Hadschar al Aswad" (black stone) which, according to the prophet is "Yamin Allah" (the right hand of God), supposedly a divine meteorite or Bethel-stone predating creation that fell at the feet of Adam and Eve. It is presently embedded in the southeastern corner of the Kabah. Muslims touch and kiss the black stone during Hajj. moongod.htm

by on May. 17, 2013 at 6:18 PM
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Euphoric
by Bazinga! on May. 17, 2013 at 7:46 PM

 bumo

12hellokitty
by Platinum Member on May. 17, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Perhaps I'm missing something, but I didn't see any evidence of Allah representing the moon god.  

Farmlady09
by Silver Member on May. 17, 2013 at 8:04 PM
5 moms liked this

With no real offense meant, even though it is by nature offensive just to say it, I don't believe Allah is anything more than an excuse for violence. Just because Mohammed wrote a book about him doesn't make him real, and it certainly doesn't make him one and the same as the Christian God.

Whether or not Allah is some revisionist form of the moon god doesn't really matter to me ... but it makes more sense than lumping him in with the two Abrahamic religions because some bored shepherd said so. In any case, as a Christian, he gets nothing from me.

JP-StrongForTwo
by on May. 17, 2013 at 8:12 PM
3 moms liked this

Allah is the god of Abraham. Allah means God when translated from arabic to english. Alllah is the god of noah, moses, and Jesus. 

They are the same god. 

Of course, that is MY belief .

muslimahpj
by Ruby Member on May. 17, 2013 at 10:24 PM


Lies About Allah

From Christian Ph.D. Robert Morey

Quran proves - "Allah" is NOT a 'moon god':

"And from among His Signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Do not bow down (prostrate) to the sun nor to the moon, but only bow down (prostrate) to "Allah" Who created them, if you (really) worship Him." 

[Noble Quran 41:37]



The Christian acquaintance who sent me a copy of Morey's booklet also sent me five questions related to this subject. I will attempt to answer them below:

 Question 1:
What is the significance of the crescent moon in Islam?

Answer:
The Quran answers this question before you asked it. Read this verse:

"They ask you about the new moons. Say: These are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage." 

[Noble Quran 2:189]



 Question 2:
Why does Islam follow a lunar calendar?

Answer:
In both the Bible and the Quran religious festivals are regulated by the lunar calendar. Jews and Muslims have kept to these regulations which they believe to be from God. Why does Christianity follow a solar calendar?

 Question 3:
Why is the feast of Ramadan marked by the appearance of the crescent moon?

Answer:
I think you mean the fast of Ramadan. God commanded Muslims in the Quran to fast from dawn to sunset during the month called Ramadan (see Quran 2:185, 187). The beginning and end of the month is determined by the crescent (2:189) based on the instruction of God's Messenger, on whom be peace.

Why this method and not another is not for us to say but for God and His Messenger to prescribe. However, I find it an efficient method. It is a universally applicable method, and it allows for Ramadan to move through all the seasons. This allows believers to have the pleasure of worshipping God by fasting in all the various seasons: one year in the summer, some years later in the winter.

 Question 4:
Why does the Quran place the Sabians on the same level with Jews and Christians when scholars have clearly proven that the Sabians were involved in the moon cult?

Answer:
I am not aware that the Quran has placed the Sabians on the same level with Jews and Christians. Perhaps you have in mind the following verse:

"Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians and Sabians, whoever believes in "Allah" and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." 


[Noble Quran 2:62; also 5:69]



This verse, however, does not place the Sabians on the same level as the Jews and Christians except in a particular context. The verse speaks of four distinct communities, and offers all four the opportunity to fear not nor grieve if only they would believe in "Allah" and the Last Day and do right. The four communities are:

the Believers (i.e., the Muslims)
the Jews
the Christians
the Sabians

While they are all offered the same opportunity for improvement, nothing, is said in this verse about the validity of the existing faiths of these four communities. Otherwise the Jews and Christians who are criticized in the Quran for their deviations will not be placed on the same level with the believers. The matter becomes clear when you realize that believers here does not mean saved persons but those who ostensibly belong to the community of Muslims. They, as well as the other three groups, must do the following to be saved: believe in "Allah", believe in the Last Day, and do right. Doing right, according to the Quran, includes following every teaching of Muhammad.

 Question 5:
Did the Meccans worship the true God since they recognized "Allah"? Was "Allah" one of the gods of the Ka'bah?
And if so, where did the Meccans derive the recognition and the name of "Allah" from?

Answer:
First, "Allah" was not one of the 360 idols which were in the Ka'bah, although Morey has claimed this without evidence. When the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) entered Makkah victorious he went into the Ka'bah and broke the idols therein.

Second, the word "Allah" has been used all along for the name of "God" in the Arabic Bible for Jews and Christians alike. The proof is easy to verify; simple go to any hotel or motel on the earth and look in the drawer next to the bed and take out the complimentary Bible, placed there by the Giddeons and then look on page 5 or 6 where they list the examples of translations they have made into other languages. The second example given is for Arabic speakers. The verse is from the Gospel of John, chapter 3, verse 16. Everyone knows this one; "For God so loved the world..." and the word in Arabic for "God" is "Allah." Then if you have a Bible in Arabic, look on page one in Genesis, and you will find the word "Allah" 17 times.

Next, the word for "God" to the Arabs, ever since the time of Abraham (peace be upon him) has been "Allah" and He is to them, the Lord of the Ka'bah (the black box in the center of the Holy Sanctuary in Makkah). He was the unseen God whom they would call upon when in distress. Yes, they worshipped the true God but their worship was not purely for Him. They also worshipped other gods thinking that they would act as intermediaries between them and the true God Allah.

The Arabs know of Allah because Abraham visited Makkah and together with his son Ishmael laid the foundation of the Ka'bah. The descendants of Ishmael retained some of the worship rites and beliefs from Abraham. This included their knowledge of the true God Allah.

Elsewhere we have shown conclusively that the true god, "El" of the Bible is the same as "Allah" of the Quran.

Please refer to: "Yahweh, Jehovah, or Allah - What Is God's Real Name?" by Sheikh Shabir Ally.
muslimahpj
by Ruby Member on May. 17, 2013 at 10:25 PM

The “Allah is the Moon-God” Nonsense Could be the Stupidest Anti-Muslim Conspiracy Theory Yet, Page II

Posted on 11 August 2011 by Danios

Please make sure to read page I first, which was published yesterday.

Robert Morey et al. argue that the pre-Islamic pagans of Arabia worshiped a moon-god called Allah.  The reality, however, is that there was a moon-god but his name was Sin, not Allah.  Sin had absolutely no relation whatsoever to Allah.  Bible scholar Rick Brown writes:

It is in fact true that before the coming of Islam many “gods” and idols were worshiped in the Middle East, but the name of the moon god was Sîn, not Allah, and he was not particularly popular in [Northern] Arabia, the birthplace of Islam.

Moon-worship was certainly not unheard of in Arabia, something we can safely say based on the Quran itself, which categorically condemns worship of the moon.  In other words, one of the strongest proofs for the historicity of moon-worship comes from the Quran’s rejection of it.

No verse in the Quran links Sin or the moon to Allah. Instead, the only mention in the Quran of moon-worship comes in the form of categorical rejection of such a practice. Yet, somehow the anti-Muslim ideologue links Sin and the moon to Allah–without any proof whatsoever to do this.  This, as Shabir Ally pointed out, is how Robert Morey draws “conclusions for which no evidence was even suggested, much less established.”

Brown concludes:

There is no clear evidence that moon-worship was prominent among the Arabs in any way or that the crescent was used as the symbol of a moon god, and Allah was certainly not the moon god’s name.

*  *  *  *  *

Similarly, some anti-Muslim ideologues claim that Allah refers to the pagan idol Hubal, and that Hubal was a moon-god.  This seems to be a case of throwing the kitchen sink at Islam and hoping something sticks: well, was Allah the same as the moon-god Sin or the pagan idol Hubal?  Since Sin and Hubal were clearly not the same, how can Allah have been both?  This exposes the insincerity of the anti-Muslim camp, whereby they will attribute whatever they possibly can to Allah and Islam in general, so long as it is something derogatory, even if it contradicts one of their earlier claims or other anti-Muslim beliefs.

Just as it can be concluded that Allah was not the moon-god based on the Quran’s categorical rejection of moon-worship, so too can we safely conclude that Allah was not the same as Hubal based on the fact that the Prophet Muhammad quite clearly differentiated between the two.  When the pagans of Arabia won a decisive battlefield victory against the early Muslims, the leader of the pagans (Abu Sufyan) yelled in triumph:

“Superior is Hubal!”

To which the Prophet Muhammad replied in defiance:

“Allah is more exalted and more majestic!”  (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 5, Book 59, #375)

The above narration is found in Sahih al-Bukhari, the most well-respected book of hadith(prophetic traditions).  When Islamophobes find a “useful” narration in this collection, they are quick to push the absolute authenticity of it.  When a narration like this one is found in the very same collection suddenly they doubt it! [Hat tip: Saifullah et al.]

For example, Christian polemicist Timothy W. Dunkin disregards this prophetic tradition as mere “redaction,” giving absolutely no proof for this claim except his own whim.  Thus does the conspiracy theorist construct and reinforce his far-fetched belief: whatever text supports the moon-god theory even in a convoluted and miserably indirect way is accepted, and whatever text clearly and categorically rejects the conspiracy theory (Quranic verses that forbid worship of the moon, hadiths that differentiate Hubal from Allah, etc.) is simply rejected.  Once all contrary evidence is taken out of the equation, then aha!, see all the evidence points to Allah being the moon-god!

It is interesting to note, however, that not even Yoel Natan, author of Moon-O-Theism (and the most ardent proponent of the moon-god theory), could accept the claim that Allah was the same as Hubal.  Natan admits that “Hubal was not a moon-god” (Vol. II, p.168) and that in fact “Hubal was Allah’s competitor” (Ibid., p.167), which is clear from the prophetic tradition we have cited above.

This is not to say that the pagans rejected Allah altogether.  However, they focused their worship on idols such as Hubal, neglecting to worship Allah except in times of severe distress–for which the Quran condemns them (see Quran 29:65).  Hubal had become the chief idol of the Kaaba, outstripping Allah in terms of day-to-day importance and cultic worship, even while Allah retained nominal supremacy as “Lord of the Kaaba.”  Scholars believe that Hubal was likely a Syrian or Mesopotamian god that was accepted into the Arabian pantheon of deities, much like the Israelite god Allah was accommodated by the pagan belief system as the creator god (more on this later).

The Prophet Muhammad was intent on aligning the early Muslims with the Israelite god Allah and away from the pagan god Hubal, exclaiming the superiority of Allah over Hubal.  This culminated in the eventual destruction of the Hubal idol by the Prophet Muhammad once he conquered Mecca.  How could Allah be the same as Hubal when the Prophet Muhammad declared Allah’s supremacy to Hubal, and even went on to destroy the idol Hubal?

The only “evidence” used to link Hubal to Allah is the fact that the Quran does not mention Hubal by name.  The argument goes: the Quran repudiates al-Lat, Manat, and al-Uzza but makes no mention of Hubal; therefore, Hubal is Allah.  This, as rightfully pointed out by M.S.M. Saifullah and Abdullah David, is an argumentum e silentio–using the absence of proof as a proof in and of itself:

…While the Qur’an railed against Allat, Manat, and al-ʿUzza, whom the pagan Arabs referred to as the “daughters of Allah”, it stopped short of attacking the cult of Hubal. Although such an argument can be applied to any of the pagan idols not mentioned in the Qur’an, such as Dhul-Khalasa and Dhul-Shara, theargumentum e silentio of Wellhausen became a rallying cry for the missionaries and apologists to claim that Hubal was none other than Allah.[24] This is clearly a logical fallacy.

The verse in the Quran that “railed against Allat, Manat, and al-’Uzza” can be found in verses 53:19-23, which reads:

Have you considered al-Lat and al-Uzza–and the last of the three–Manat?  What!  Why for yourselves you would choose only male offspring, whereas to Him you assign females?  What a bizarre distribution!  These are nothing but names you have invented yourselves, you and your forefathers, for which God (Allah) has sent no authority for.  These people merely follow guesswork and their own whims, even though guidance has come to them from their Lord. (Quran, 53:19-23)

The Islamophobes argue that the Quran mentions al-Lat, al-Uzza, and Manat by name but not Hubal and that this somehow means that Hubal is Allah.  This is a very dubious claim, based only in the negative vacuum of proof.

It should be noted that the style of the Quran is very different than the Bible in that it does not generally name names–rather, general and generic references are made.  To this effect, it should be noted that Muhammad is only mentioned by name in the Quran a grand total of four times.  Only one of the many disciples of the Prophet Muhammad is mentioned by name.  The most revered disciple, Abu Bakr, is not mentioned by name a single time in the entire Quran; instead, his story is told using generic pronouns (the Arabic equivalent of he and him).  Therefore, it is not at all surprising that the name Hubal is not taken in the Quran.

Secondly, if we were to accept the dubious claim that Hubal was the moon-god, then in that case the Quran does mention him in verses 7:54, 13:2, and 21:33, in which worship of the moon is rejected.  After all, if we accept (as we must) the idea that the Quran in general refrains from naming names and focuses instead on concepts and stories, then in that case–if Hubal was indeed the moon-god–then he is referenced in those verses.  Here, the Islamophobic opponent is caught in a Catch-22: if Hubal was really the moon-god, then he is rejected in the Quran in those passages; if he was not the moon-god, then proving Allah was Hubal would actually prove that Allah was not the moon-god.

Thirdly, the Quran mentions al-Lat, al-Uzza, and Manat in a very specific context: the passage condemns the pagans for attributing daughters to Allah even while they themselves prefer sons for themselves.  Hubal was a male deity and therefore it would not make sense to mention him in a verse about daughters.  Saifullah et al. write:

…The Qur’an is referring to the concept of “daughters of Allah”, and to mention a male deity like Hubal would be against the very argument the Qur’an is drawing attention to.

What! for you the males and for Him the females! This indeed is an unjust division! [Sūrah al-Najm:21]

The Qur’an uses irony to drive home a point. While many of the Arabs buried their daughters alive, as well as holding the position that women were inferior to men in all aspects, they still fabricated daughters for Allah.

Fourthly, there were over three-hundred idols worshiped by the pagans of Arabia, Hubal being one of them.  The Quran doesn’t mention any of the rest of them; by the logic of argumentum e silentio could we argue that Allah was not Hubal or the moon-god but any or all of the many gods in the pantheon of deities?  This indicates the flawed logic behind argumentum e silentio.

Fifthly, some argue that Hubal originated from–and is the same as–the Semitic god Baal.  This is certainly something accepted by many anti-Muslim ideologues who wish to link the evil Baal to Allah through Hubal.  Yoel Natan, for example, endorses the idea that Hubal came from–and was–Baal.  If this was indeed the case, then the Quran does mention Hubal/Baal by name:

Will you invoke Baal and forsake the best of Creators, Allah, your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers? (Quran, 37:125-126)

In the process of trying to make this fantastic juxtaposition between Allah and the moon-god, the Islamophobes attribute any and all negative points to Islam that they possibly can, often unknowingly furthering multiple, contradictory claims.  The truth-seeker should doubt their sincerity, and refrain from taking them seriously.  Whichever way you slice it, it is very difficult to link Allah to the moon.

Stay tuned for page III…

muslimahpj
by Ruby Member on May. 17, 2013 at 10:26 PM

The “Allah is the Moon-God” Nonsense Could be the Stupidest Anti-Muslim Conspiracy Theory Yet, Page I

Posted on 10 August 2011 by Danios

This article is page I of My God is Better Than Yours (IV), which is part 9 of theUnderstanding Jihad Series. See My God is Better Than Yours III, and III. (In retrospect, I haven’t used the best numbering system and it will require a bit of cleaning up later on…)

Robert Morey first wrote about his “Allah is the moon-god” theory in The Islamic Invasion(1992) and then later reproduced it with minor changes in a twenty page booklet entitled The Moon-God Allah in the Archeology of the Middle East (1994).  The latter has fallen out of print, and Morey himself refers readers to The Islamic Invasion “for more information” about his moon-god theory.  It is this book then that I will refute.

Morey’s theory was refuted by Muslim preacher Shabir Ally in Robert Morey’s Moon-god Myth & Other Deceptive Attacks on Islam, which is a surgical deconstruction of Morey’s nonsense. Morey whined that Ally used “ad hominem slurs such as ‘deceptive’ and ‘dishonest.’”  Ally did say that Morey used “deceptive methods” and “dishonest tactics,” but since this was in reference to Morey’s methods and tactics–and not his person–how then is this an ad hominem attack, let alone a “slur?”

Fascinatingly, in this very same article Robert Morey referred to the Muslims in the audience as “terrorists;” now that’s a slur, one which conflates Muslim with terrorist.  Morey issued his response to Shabir Ally, saying (emphasis added):

Let every Muslim terrorist please take note of the fact that I, Robert Morey, did not invent the idea that Allah came from Il or Ilah.  Nor did I invent the idea that Allah in pre-Islamic times can be traced back to the Moon-God.

Not only this, but Morey insinuates that Shabir Ally is a terrorist, saying his book is “an example of terrorism.”  And yet somehow Robert Morey is complaining of ad hominem attacks?  This is a case of right-wing projection.  In fact, Ally maintained a rather mild tone in his writing, and did not question Morey’s academic qualifications and credentials.

Having said that, I have myself called to question Robert Morey’s academic qualifications and credentials–and have found them to be completely bogus.  It is completely licit in academic circles to question the legitimacy of a source, especially if someone furthers a bizarre and new view on a controversial topic.

*  *  *  *  *

Robert Morey first mentions the moon-god theory on page 42 of The Islamic Invasion.  Here he provides the background behind his theory: he argues that moon-worship was the dominant religious practice in pre-Islamic Arabia.  (He will later argue that the Prophet Muhammad simply continued worship of this moon-god.)  To buttress his theory, Morey argues that:

1) The Sabeans were the dominant religious group before Muhammad’s time.

2) The Sabeans primarily worshiped the moon.

3) The Quran itself mentions the Sabeans and their worship of the sun, moon, and stars!

These three points are used to argue that the Prophet Muhammad simply continued the worship of the Sabean moon-god.  In Morey’s own words on page 42:

The Sabeans

The dominant religion that had grown very powerful just before Muhammad’s time was that of the Sabeans’.

The Sabeans had an astral religion in which they worshiped the heavenly bodies.  The moon was viewed as a male deity and the sun as the female deity.  Together they produced other deities such as the stars.  The Quran refers to this in Sura 41:37 and elsewhere.

They used a lunar calendar to regulate their religious rites.  For example, a month of fasting was regulated by the phases of the moon.

The Sabean pagan rite of fasting began with the appearance of a crescent moon and did not cease until the crescent moon reappeared.  This would later be adopted as one of the five pillars of Islam.

All three of these points are dubious.  With regard to the first point, there is no proof at all that the Sabeans were the dominant religious group before Muhammad’s time.  Robert Morey provides absolutely no proof for this statement of his (like many of the other claims in his book).  Morey simply assumes that if he says something definitively enough, the reader will just believe him.

However, the truth is that the Sabeans were but a small minority in Mecca, to the point where just a few generations later the Arab chroniclers weren’t even quite sure who the Sabeans were, a confusion that continues up until this day.  Therefore, Robert Morey’s starting point–that the Sabeans constituted the dominant religious group in Mecca at the time of Muhammad–has absolutely no factual basis to it whatsoever.

What little is known about the religion of the pre-Islamic Arabs is that they were polytheistic and worshiped rocks and idols.  Says Professor Jonathan P. Berkey on p.42 The Formation of Islam (emphasis added):

The dominant religious traditions of pre-Islamic Arabia remained polytheistic, but little can in fact be known with certainty about them.There has been much debate among historians of religion about the origin and character of Arabian religion–for example, whether it represented a “primitive” form of Semitic religion, or instead a degenerate form of the more sophisticated traditions of the Fertile Crescent (paralleling the traditional Muslim account according to which Muhammad’s role was to restore a primitive monotheism associated with Abraham).  There are signs of litholatry [the worship of stones] among the Arabs, although by the time of Muhammad most of the various deities had acquired faces and personalities.  Several hundred Arabian deities are known from the Muslim sources, the most prominent of which were those identified by the Arabs as the three “daughters of Allah”–Manat, Allat, and al-’Uzza–a trinity which was, according to the later Muslim tradition, accorded a special place among Muhammad’s tribe of Quraysh and their allies around the advent of Islam, and to which prominent (although ambiguous) mention is made in the Koran.  Behind the specific deities, the Arabs were also probably aware of Allah.  For some he may have represented a remote creator god, possibly related to the Semitic El;some Western scholars have suggested (again, paralleling in a way the traditional Muslim account) that he represents a deus otiosus [a creator god who largely retires from the world and is no longer involved in its daily operation] who had over the centuries been eclipsed by more particularized and localized deities.  Allah apparently played little role in religious cult.

He concludes:

It is in fact difficult to say much with confidence regarding pre-Islamic Arabian religion.

Prof. Berkey’s quote is actually sufficient to refute the entire moon-god theory.  Let us, however, focus on the following:  Morey’s claim that the “dominant religion that had grown very powerful just before Muhammad’s time was that of the Sabeans’…[who] had an astral religion in which they worshiped the heavenly bodies” is not supported by the evidence.  Where did Morey get his information that the “Sabean religion” was the predominant religious group before Muhammad’s arrival?  In fact, this is completely contrived.

The pre-Islamic Arabs were polytheistic and worshiped “several hundred Arabian deities.”  They started out as stone-worshipers, and these stones eventually developed into anthropomorphic idols.  The pre-Islamic Arabs worshiped many different gods.  The moon-god was but one of many–and not even the most important of them.  As Prof. Paul Fouracre puts it on page 320 of his book The New Cambridge Medieval History, the pre-Islamic Arabs “were animistic and varied; they worshiped stones, trees, and idols.”  The fact that the pre-Islamic Arabs worshiped the moon doesn’t mean Allah is the moon-god any more than he is the stone, tree, sun, or star god.

So, why then did Robert Morey single out the moon, as opposed to stones, trees, the sun, and the stars?  Is it not simply to buttress his conspiracy theory?  Such is the modus operandi of the conspiracy theorist: facts that support a conspiracy are highlighted and exaggerated, while other facts are minimized or ignored altogether.

As for what gave him the idea in the first place, Morey most likely noted the crescent symbol often used to represent Islam, and this gave him the idea that Muslims worshiped the moon.  The Moozlums use the symbol of the crescent to represent their faith, so they must then worship the moon! Quite simply, the moon-god nonsense is based primarily in this simple, simplistic, and stupid idea–one which I will refute later in this article series.

I have as of yet completely ignored the white elephant in the room: scholars are unsure whether or not the Sabeans are to be considered synonymous with the Sabians mentioned in the Quran, as the Arabic spelling of the two words differs significantly.  What is perfectly clear, however, is that neither the Sabeans or Sabians were the predominant religious group at the time prior to Muhammad’s arrival.  Indeed, the early Muslims were themselves unsure who the Sabians mentioned in the Quran refers to, a confusion that hardly would have existed had the Sabeans/Sabians been the predominant religious group prior to the arrival of the Islamic religion.

Morey’s second point–that the Sabeans/Sabians worshiped the moon–is also questionable.  He passes this off as undisputed fact, when in fact scholars–both Islamic and Western–are not exactly sure who or what the Sabeans/Sabians worshiped.  This is not surprising, considering that it is not even accepted who exactly the Sabeans/Sabians were!

As for his third point, Morey tries to invoke the Quran as proof of his argument, saying:

The Sabeans had an astral religion in which they worshiped the heavenly bodies.  The moon was viewed as a male deity and the sun as the female deity.  Together they produced other deities such as the stars.  The Quran refers to this in Sura 41:37 and elsewhere.

In fact, verse 41:37 (and the surrounding passage in which it is contained in) says nothing at all about the Sabeans/Sabians.  The Sabians are only mentioned three times in the Quran: in verses 2:62, 5:69, and 22:17.  In each of these three instances, no mention at all is given of any moon-god.  As for 41:37 which Morey mentioned, this verse actually is a slap on the face of the moon-god theory, as it reads:

And from among [God's] signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon.  Do not bow down in worship to the sun or to the moon, but bow down to the God (Allah) who created them, if it is truly Him you serve.  (Quran, 41:37)

How much clearer could the Quran be?  This single verse is enough to refute the entire moon-god theory: the Quran, the holy book of Islam, categorically forbids worship of the moon.  Although this verse does indicate that moon-worship existed in pre-Islamic Arabia, it should be remembered that (1) the moon was but one of many objects the pagan Arabs worshiped and (2) the Quran categorically rejected and forbade such worship.  Allah was not the moon according to Islamic theory; rather, He created the moon, along with the sun, the stars, and everything else.

*  *  *  *  *

In addition to 41:37 above, there are other verses along the same lines–verses that show clearly that the Quran teaches that the sun and the moon are merely creations of God (Allah) and notGod (Allah) the Creator:

Your Lord is God (Allah), who created the heavens and earth in six Days, then established Himself on the throne; He makes the night cover the day in swift pursuit; He created the sun, moon, and stars to be subservient to His command; all creation and command belong to Him. Exalted be God, Lord of all the worlds!  (Quran, 7:54)

It is He (God) who made the sun a lamp, and the moon a light. (Quran, 10:5)

It is God (Allah) who raised up the heavens with no visible supports and then established Himself on the throne; He has subjected the sun and the moon each to pursue its course for an appointed time; He regulates all things… (Quran, 13:2)

It is He (Allah) who created night and day, the sun and the moon, each floating in its orbit.  (Quran, 21:33)

Not only does the Quran say that Allah created the moon, but it also says that He will basically destroy it on Judgment Day:

When is the Day of Resurrection?  (Say:) When the eyes are dazzled, and the moon becomes dark, and the sun and the moon are fused together, then on that Day will man exclaim: “Where can I escape?” (Quran, 75:6-10)

The Hour draws near and the moon is rent asunder. (Quran, 54:1)

In yet another passage, one of God’s prophets–Abraham (Ibrahim in Arabic)–explicitly rejects moon-worship after he notices that the moon sets:

When the night grew dark over him [Abraham] saw a star and said, ‘This is my Lord,’ but when it set, he said, ‘I do not like things that set.’  And when he saw the moon rising he said, ‘This is my Lord,’ but when it too set, he said, ‘If my Lord does not guide me, I shall be one of those who go astray.’  Then he saw the sun rising and cried, ‘This is my Lord! This is greater.’ But when the sun set, he said, ‘My people, I disown all that you worship beside God (Allah). I have turned my face as a true believer towards Him who created the heavens and the earth. I am not one of the polytheists.’ (Quran, 6:77-78)

Another one of God’s prophets, Joseph, has a divine dream which involves the moon (along with the stars and the sun) bowing down to him which would make no sense if Muslims understood the moon as God (God does not bow to His creation):

Joseph said to his father, “Father, I dreamed of eleven stars and the sun and the moon: I saw them all bow down before me.” (Quran, 12:4)

The moon (along with the earth, the sun, the stars, and everything else in the universe) bows down in worship to God (Allah):

Do you not see that everything in the heavens and the earth bow down in worship to God (Allah): the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, and the animals? (Quran, 22:18)

The moon not only submits itself to God, but God made the moon subservient to humankind (and therefore the moon cannot be God, since humans are subservient to God–not the other way around):

It is God (Allah) who created the heavens and the earth, who has sent down water from the sky and with it brought forth produce to nourish you.  He has made ships subservient to you, sailing the sea by His command, and the rivers as well.  He made the sun and the moon subservient to you, constant in their courses.  He has made the night and the day subservient to you… (Quran, 14:32-33)

By his command, [God] has made the night and the day, the sun, moon, and stars allsubservient to you. (Quran, 16:12)

The Quran explains that God created the moon to help humans calculate the months of the year and to make a calendar:

They ask you about the crescent moons.  Say: “They are time-marks for the people and help determine the time of Hajj (pilgrimage).”  (Quran, 2:189)

[God] made the sun and the moon for reckoning time. (Quran, 6:96)

An interesting factoid would be worthwhile to mention here: did you know that the English wordmonth comes from moon?  AstronomyOnline explains:

Phases and Time:

The Moon has played a vital role in the formation of our Calendar. The word “month” comes from a root word “moon” or “moonth,” the time it takes the Moon to go from New Moon to New Moon.

It seems like the Quran’s understanding of the moon is pretty spot-on: the moon helps calculate the months of the year.

*  *  *  *  *

There are other Quranic verses that could be cited, but for brevity’s sake (since I’ve always been known for brevity) let’s move on to the next point…

stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on May. 17, 2013 at 11:41 PM
3 moms liked this

That's just silly.  This argument is like saying that Christians worship the Norse gods because the word "god" is in there.

Muslims are pretty clear on the fact they they worship the god of the Jews and the Christians, the monotheistic, Arbrahamic God.  Just because pegan ARabs in the past worshipped other gods doesn't mean they do now.  Thats like saying that the Jews worship those same gods, or that Arab Christians do, because 1500 years ago they did.  It's just a dumb argument.

All the complicated arguments and archeological finds don't change the fact that the religion teaches that paganism is a sin, and the one god they worship is the only god.  They aren't being tricked, or ticking anyone else.  The rest is interesting history and culture, but it isn't Islam.

Do people think that God can have a name?  That it matters what it is called?  Thats just silly.  It matters what the people in the religion believe.  They believe there is only one god.  Call it whatever you like, still the same deity.  

Translations for God:

Oh my God the Polish Christians call God "Bog"!!!  They aren't worshipping the same god as American Christians.  It must be some other god they are talking about.

Pssshhhht.  What a dumb argument.

muslimahpj
by Ruby Member on May. 17, 2013 at 11:50 PM
1 mom liked this

Stop using logic. 

Quoting stacymomof2:

That's just silly.  This argument is like saying that Christians worship the Norse gods because the word "god" is in there.

Muslims are pretty clear on the fact they they worship the god of the Jews and the Christians, the monotheistic, Arbrahamic God.  Just because pegan ARabs in the past worshipped other gods doesn't mean they do now.  Thats like saying that the Jews worship those same gods, or that Arab Christians do, because 1500 years ago they did.  It's just a dumb argument.

All the complicated arguments and archeological finds don't change the fact that the religion teaches that paganism is a sin, and the one god they worship is the only god.  They aren't being tricked, or ticking anyone else.  The rest is interesting history and culture, but it isn't Islam.

Do people think that God can have a name?  That it matters what it is called?  Thats just silly.  It matters what the people in the religion believe.  They believe there is only one god.  Call it whatever you like, still the same deity.  

Translations for God:


Oh my God the Polish Christians call God "Bog"!!!  They aren't worshipping the same god as American Christians.  It must be some other god they are talking about.

Pssshhhht.  What a dumb argument.


ashellbell
by shellbark on May. 18, 2013 at 12:05 AM
Pretty sure they worship the same god as the Christians and Jews. I'm fairly certain the quran makes that clear.
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