Leaving Islam




Bismi Allah

(In the Name of Allah)


Part–2(i) of 11


By Abul Kasem (e-mail address: [email protected])


May 4, 2006


[A note of caution: The contents of this essay might offend some readers.]


Who is Allah?–(i)


A brief history of Allah
When we study Allah seriously, the important feature to learn is that Allah has quite a fascinating history. In ancient Arabia , during biblical time, many millenniums before Muhammad was born, Allah was worshipped by the desert Bedouins of Arabia. The ancient Arabs associated Allah with the moon which shone clearly in the night sky of the vast and wild desert for most of the year. The reason why Allah was treated as a moon god is not difficult to understand. The Bedouin Arabs had a nomadic life. Living in a harsh, barren, desert–land, devoid of any perennial river for irrigation and incapable of sustaining an agricultural society, the Bedouin Arabs belonged to a pastoral society. They were half-starved anarchic tribes (Rodinson, 2002, p. 17). Their meagre livelihood grossly depended on grazing and tending cattle, conducting frequent raids and plunder on other tribes or on the passing caravans. Rodinson writes that the unruly Arabs vendetta is the pillar of Bedouin society (Rodinson, 2002, p. 14). The Bedouins during those days also had a life of unceasing cycles of plunder and revenge. Day-time travel was nearly impossible due to the unbearable heat of the sun. Most journeys were undertaken at night, on moonlight and beneath a sky bedecked with glittering stars. They marvelled at the exquisitely beautiful night sky with the moon at its centre of beauty. To them the emergence of the graceful moon was the appearance of the king of the night sky. That is why those indigent Bedouin Arabs were so intimately connected with the moon and its phases. Their lives were literally governed by the moon.

To them, the moon was their life-sustainer. They based their primitive calendar on the movement of the moon; their religious and communal ceremonies were all arranged according to the moon’s position and phases. No wonder, that those desert Arabs considered moon as their highest deity—Allah Taalaa–the supreme God. Professor of Arab History, the late, Phillip K. Hitti, writes that the moon-worshipping is principally a pastoral society and the sun-worshiping is chiefly an agricultural society (Hitti, 2002, p. 97). To the Arab Bedouin folks, moon was an absolute holy entity to be worshipped and revered with utmost zeal. After Muhammad forced, at the point of sword, Islam on these desert Arab indigents, these neo-
Muslim Bedouins still continued with the practice of their age–old belief that their life was regulated by the moon.

Even today, we find that this obsession with the Arab Bedouin moon is strongly prevalent in Islam. Islam is intimately connected with the moon. All its rituals are based on the sighting of the moon or on the moon calendar. No matter how much Islam advocates that it shuns idolatry or Paganism, it has not shed off its past connection with Paganism and idolatry. The truth is: Islam is still symbolised with the moon, especially the crescent shape. Look at the spires of any mosques; you are bound to witness a dazzling crescent moon, sometimes along with a star as well. Later, I shall provide the historical reason why the star is also a symbol of Islam. To explicate further, look at the symbol of Red Cross in Islamic Paradises. It is, of course, a crescent‑the symbol of Islam, which was the ubiquitous emblem of the moon god of the Arab Pagans. Even the flags of many Islamic countries show either the crescent moon and star together, or the crescent moon alone. Have a look at the national flags of a few Islamic states, such as: Algeria, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan (shows the full moon), Malaysia, Mauritania, Brunei, Turkey…etc. As for idolatry and stone-worshipping, please remember that the holiest object in Islam is the stone of Ka’ba. This stone (or stones—presumably three broken pieces of rocks, as reported by many historians) was also the stone of worship by the Pagan Arabs. Even Muhammad kissed and hugged it in his chest with deep reverence, Caliph Umar did the same and the Muslims are supposed to do this at least once in their life times.

We will now briefly review the history of Allah (see the stone-carved Pagan Allah here).

Historians believe that the Arabian Allah originated in Syria . The Aramaeans inhabited Syria around 1300 BC. These Syrians used to worship passionately a few deities, the principal among them were the storm-god Hadad; the sky-god Alaha and the goddess Athargatis. The Syrians probably got Allah (in some form of image) from the Sumer in the ancient city of Babylon. According to many historians, Alaha is the Syrian name of Allah (Walker, 2004, p. 20). To them, Allah was a male God, the supreme God, who had three daughters, Allat, Uzza and Manat. The Nabateans, the first-born son of Ismail around Sinai Peninsula, were the first to bring Allah to Arabia from Syria (Walker, 2004, p. 22) The Nabateans probably worshipped Allah in other names as well, such as: Elh and Alh (ibid). Besides Allah, the Nabateans also brought from Syria Hubal, a huge male idol. This Hubal was later placed in the precinct of Ka’ba. Hubal was the greatest of all idols in and around Ka’ba. The massive statue of Hubal was made of red agnate in the form of a man with right hand broken off. The Quraysh received Hubal in this form from Khuzaymah ibn Mudrikah, a Meccan who brought it from Syria . Later, the Quraysh made for it a hand of gold. Hubal stood in front of Ka’ba. The Pagan Quraysh considered Ka’ba for Hubal only (Rodinson, 2002, p. 54). They used divination arrows to determine the legitimacy of a newly born child (ibn al-Kalbi, 1952, p. 23). Many historians believe that Hubal was the physical representation of Allah at Ka’ba. In his youth Muhammad helped with the ritualistic preparations being ardently made for the ceremonial installation of Hubal in Ka’ba (Walker, 2004, p. 42). Muhammad’s biographer, Martin Lings, a Catholic convert to Islam, agrees that Hubal was from Syria (Lings, 1983, p. 5, 11). Arab Historians believe that the mighty Hubal was actually an ancient variation of Allah (Walker, 2004, p. 31). The word (Hubal) is derived from the Semitic word Hu, which means ‘He’ or ‘He is’ with the suffix El, which, of course, is another name for Allah. The deified name of Hubal was ceremoniously invoked by the Quraysh during war cry (ibid). Gradually, the concept of Allah, the God spread all around Arabia . An inscription found in south Arabia bears the name of Allah. Allah is Hallah in the Safa inscription. This was five centuries before Islam. The Arabs used to invoke Allah during times of special peril. This all-powerful Allah gradually became the supreme tribal deity of the Quraysh. Even the holy Qur’an confirms this in verses 6:109, 6:136, 10:22, 31:22,and 31:29 (Hitti, 2002, pp. 100–101). Other names by which Allah was known are: the Babylonian and Assyrian Ilu, the Canaanite El, the Hebrew Elohim and Ilah of central Arabia (Walker, 2004, p. 420).

Another name of Allah was Wadd—the moon god which stood at the head of the Minaean Pantheon. Allat, Uzza and Manat were the three daughters of Allah for this Wadd (Hitti, 2002, pp. 97–98).

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