By Syed Kamran Mirza
Historical evidences, impartial logic, well versed references and all available circumstantial judgments can very well prove that—(a) Allah name of deity was pre-existed much before the arrival of Islam, (b) Pre-Islamic Pagan peoples worshipped Allah as their supreme deity (moon-god). Allah’s name existed in pre-Islamic Arab. In ancient Arab the Allah was considered to be the supreme God/deity (as Moon-God) and Arab Pagans worshipped Allah before Islam arrived.
Let us examine below some valid questions and answers :
Did the Pagan Arabs in pre-Islamic times worship 360 gods? Yes
Did the pagans Arabs worship the sun, moon and the stars? Yes
Did the Arabs built temples to the Moon-god? Yes
Did different Arab tribes give the Moon-god different names/titles? Yes
What were some of the names/titles? Sin, Hubul, Ilumquh, Al-ilah.
Was the title “al-ilah” (the god) used as the Moon-god? Yes
Was the word “Allah” derived from “al-ilah?” Yes
Was the pagan “Allah” a high god in a pantheon of deities? Yes.
Was he worshipped at the Kabah? Yes.
Was Allah only one of many Meccan gods? Yes
Did they place a statue of Hubul on top of the Kabah? Yes.
At that time was Hubul considered the Moon-god? Yes.
Was the Kabah thus the “house of the Moon-god”? Yes.
Did the name “Allah” eventually replace that of Hubul as the name of the Moon god? Yes.
Did they call the Kabah the “house of Allah”? Yes.
Were al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat called “the daughters of Allah”? Yes.
Yusuf Ali explains in fn. 5096, pg. 1445, that Lat, Uzza and Manat were known as “the daughters of God [Allah]”
Did the Qur’an at one point tell Muslims to worship al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat? Yes. In Surah 53:19-20.
Have those verses been “abrogated” out of the present Qur’an? Yes.
What were they called? “The Satanic Verses.”
The variable names (Sin, Hubul, llumquh, Al-ilah) of moon god were used by various tribes of pagan Arabs. Pagan god SIN was the name of Moon-god.
Who is actually Allah?
According to Islamic Theologians (Mullahs, Maulana, Moulavis, etc.), or Islamic teachings-- Allah is the supreme God or creator who (suddenly one day?) talked or introduced Himself with Prophet Muhammad through an Angel named Gabriel, disclosing the truth that it is the Allah who created everything in the universe. Surprisingly, Qur’an never defines the word “Allah” as to who actually Allah was or what was the relation of Allah with pagans. I believe, 99% percent of Muslims do believe that—Allah’s name was invented or started right from the time when Gabriel disclosed the truth (?) to Prophet Muhammad in the cave of Hira Parvat (Mountain) and gave Muhammad the Quran. They believe that before this truth was revealed—pagan Arabs were in the total darkness (Andhakar Zuug) and they used to worship various puppet goddess and that the pagans were very evil people. I can bet on this fact that no mullahs ever told us the real truth, neither they believe this clean truth that “Allah” was in fact a pre-existing deity in pagan Arabia. What a hypocrisy?
Some important factors which will suggest that the name“Allah” was already in use by Pagans as their chief God/deity:
(A) In pre-Islamic days, that Muslims call the Days of ignorance, the religious background of the Arabs was pagan, and basically animistic. Through Moon, Sun, Stars, Planets, Animals, wells, trees, stones, caves, springs, and other natural objects man could make contact with the deity. At Mekka, “Allah” was the chief of the gods and the special deity of the Quraish, the prophet’s tribe. Allah had three daughters: Al Uzzah (Venus) most revered of all and pleased with human sacrifice; Manah, the goddess of destiny, and Al Lat, the goddess of vegetable life. These three daughters of Allah (there is a Quranic verse about them) were considered very powerful over all things. Therefore, their intercessions on behalf of their worshippers were of great significance.
(B) Arabs used to give their children names such as—Abdullah (slave of Allah). Clean proof was the fact that, Muhammad’s father’s name was “Abdullah”. Logical analogy here is—had there been no “Allah” in pre-Islamic Arab, there could be no Abdullah or slave of Allah in Arabia.
(C) Even today, in the entire Arab World, not only Muslims but all other non-Muslim (Jews, Christians, Sabians, Bahai, an atheist etc.) Arabs says—“Ya Allah” as the expression of surprise or unhappiness/sorrow.
(D). Albert Hourani’s statement: “The Islamic name used for God was “Allah”, which was already in use for one of the local Gods (it now used by Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians as the name of God (A history Of Arab people by Albert Hourani, 1991, page-16, Belknap press of Harvard University, USA)
History tells us two theories of Allah’s existence in and around the Kaba Sharif: (1) Pagans used to call the largest Statue amongst the 360 deities as Allah—whom they used to consider the chief/supreme deity (god). Or, (2) Pagan Arabs used to worship 360 deities inside Kaba Sharif, and they used to consider them different smaller deities under the total control of a single most powerful chief deity called “Allah” who was invisible (Nirakar) and was the all-powerful, all-knowing, and totally unknowable.
Amazing Similarities with Hindu Religion:
In India’s Hindu religion is quite similar to the number two theory (above) of pagan belief. Although, Hindus worship many different Goddesses—they invariably have faith upon a single supreme invisible deity called “Bhagaban” (some call it “Ischhaar”) whom they call “Nirakar”. And, surprisingly there is no sculptural image/figure for this Bhagaban. But all Hindus worship Him along with other numerous deities. This Bhagaban is considered as the lord of all other deities. What would happen—if some intelligent prophet would have asked Hindus to give up worshipping other goddesses and keeping only Bhagaban as their only deity making it a monotheist religion just like Islam? Could it not be another religion like Islam?
Now some factors which will suggest “Allah” was the Moon-god of Arab pagans:
(A) In Qura’n there are at least a dozen verses in which Allah repeatedly swears by the names such as moon, sun, stars, planets, night, wind etc. It is a mystery why the creator Allah (?) should swear by his creations. Normally, we swear by the name of something much superior to us, such as we swear by God or by the name of our father (who is considered senior or superior to us). But we never swear by the name of something inferior to us. Here in the Quran swearing fashions of Allah (God) by moon or stars hinting us that Allah considered these things superior to himself. And this makes us to think (otherwise) as to who actually acted as Allah in Quran? However, in his explanation of why the Qur’an swears by the moon in Surah 74:32, “Nay, verily by the Moon,” Yusuf Alli comments, “The moon was worshipped as a deity in times of darkness”(fn. 5798, pg. 1644). Perhaps, this swearing of Allah was due to the usual/cultural habits of worshipping moon as their God in pagan customs.
(B) Yousuf Ali stated (Page-1921-1623 of his English Translation of Holy Quran):
“Moon-worship was equally popular in various forms………Apollo and Diana—the twin brother and sister, representing the sun and moon. …in the Vedic religion of India the moon god was Soma, the lord of the planets…….moon was male divinity in ancient India. Moon was also male divinity in ancient Semitic religion, and the Arabic word for the moon “qamar’ is of the masculine gender, on the other hand, the Arabic word for sun “shams” is feminine gender. The pagan Arabs evidently looked upon the sun as a goddess and the moon as a God.
The Pagan deities best known in the Ka’ba and round about Mecca were Lat, Uzza, and Manat.…the 360 idols established by the Pagans in the Ka’ba probably represented the 360 days of an inaccurate solar year. This was the actual modern pagan worship as known to the Quraish contemporary with our prophet”
(C) Influence of Moon in Islam:
Who can deny the paramount influences of moon in Muslim’s life? In Islam, moon is considered holiest astronomical object, and moon is the guiding light of all Islamic rituals/festivals. Contradictions and conflicts are very common with the dates of Eids and Ramadan and obviously it is a chronic problem and moon is the nucleus of this problem. Crescent moon and stars are the symbolic sign in the national flags of many Muslim countries, and it is present over the Mosques, in the Muslim graveyard etc.
Prophet Muhammad compromised to Pagans to establish Islam in Arabia:
Prophet Muhammad did his clever tactics of adapting many rites of paganism into Islam, in order to accommodate Islam among the pagan Arabs. He made lots of political pacts with the Pagan Leaders such as Abu Suffian to accommodate his new idea of religion and he agreed to incorporate many of the Pagan rituals in Islam. Prophet Muhammad asked the pagans to worship only the “Allah” the largest God,
And destroy the idols of all other gods and goddesses that existed in Kabah. To establish oneness (monotheist) of God, he repeatedly asked them not to make any partners to Allah (That is why we can find hundreds of Quranic verses “asking not to make any partners to Allah). Finally, the Prophet was able to convince (by force of course) the pagans to destroy all idols, and on return (he) agreed (perhaps) to keep the “Names” of the goddess of most famous Pagan tribes as the alternative names of Allah—hence Islam has 99 NAMES of Allah.
Prophet Muhammad did command his followers to participate in these pagan ceremonies while the pagans were still in control of Mecca. (Please See Yusuf Ali, fn. 214, pg. 78). , “the whole of the [pagan] pilgrimage was spiritualized in Islam, ” (Yusuf Ali: fn. 223 pg. 80). In the Tafsir (of Quran-2:200) maoulana Yousuf Ali stated: “After Pilgrimage, in Pagan times, the pilgrims used to gather in assemblies in which the praises of ancestors were sung. As the whole of the pilgrimage rites were spiritualized in Islam, so this aftermath of the Pilgrimage was also spiritualized. It was recommended for pilgrims to stay on two or three days after the pilgrimage, but they must use them in prayer and praise to God.(#223 of Shane’nazul by Maoulana Yousuf Ali, page-81)
In Islam many rituals performed (today) by devoted Muslims in the name of Allah are connected to the pagan worship that existed before Islam. Pagans practices of the Pilgrimage of Kabah once a year--the Fast of Ramadan, running around the Kabah seven times, kissing the black stone, shaving the head, animal sacrifices, running up and down two hills, throwing stones at the devil, snorting water in and out the nose, praying several times a day toward Mecca, giving alms, Friday prayers, etc. are strictly followed by Muslims today. Nobody can deny the fact that, all the above rituals of Muslim’s hajj today—existed well before the arrival of Islam.
It is highly plausible to consider the fact that by incorporating much of the Pagan’s rituals in new religion Islam—Prophet successfully reduced the pagan-risk and it was perhaps one of the most important milestone-attempts to conquer the minds of Pagans resulting in massive breakdown of the Pagans’ moral and support to oppose Islam.
The central shrine at Mekka was the Pagan’s Kaaba (called House of Allah), a cube like stone structure which still stands though many times rebuilt. Imbedded in one corner is the black stone, probably a meteorite, the kissing of which is now an essential part of the Muslim’s pilgrimage.
It is the historical fact that the Ka’aba, the sacred shrine which contains the Black Stone, in Mecca was used for pagan idol worship before Islam and even called the House of Allah at that time. The name of the God whom the Arabs worshipped was the god of pantheon—Ali-ilah the god, the supreme, the predeterminer of everybody’s life or destiny—the chief God “Allah”
Who did not read the story of BLACK STONE which was very sacred (povitra) to all various tribes of Quraish. When one day this sacred stone was needed to transfer from one place to another, there was a quarrel amongst the various tribes, as to who will carry that sacred stone? Then most intelligent and righteous young boy Muhammad (was not a prophet then) invented the solution of this serious problem. He (Muhammad) put this sacred stone over a Chaddor (piece of cloth) and asked one representative from each tribe to hold the Chaddor and carry the stone. I narrated this story briefly just to prove that—black stone did exist long before Islam was invented.
In summary, it has been truthfully and logically proven with all possible available circumstantial evidences/rational that, Islam was not a new religion but it is a reformed paganism. I believe thatall these monotheistic religions have more or less similar origins. This idea of monotheistic religion was not a brand new invention. Monotheistic thought was declared by Ancient Pharaoh Kings, Mesopotamia’s king Hamarubi (3000 B.C.), and Alexander the Great (300 B.C.). Differences were, these kings demanded that they themselves were the God whom everybody should worship.
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2. Buchari Sharif, Bengali Translation by Maulana Muhammad Mustafizur Rahman, Sulemani Printers and Publishers, Dhaka, Second edition-1999
3. A History of the Arab peoples, by Albert Hourani, the Belknap press of Harvard University press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1991
4. Dr. Robert Morey, 1996 Research and Education Foundation.
5. Gilchrist, The Temple, The Ka’aba, and the Christ (Benoni, South Africa, 1980), p. 16.
6. G. J. O. Moshay, Who Is This Allah?, (Dorchester House, Bucks, UK, 1994), pg. 138
7. Ibn Warraq, Why I Am Not A Muslim, (Prometheus, Amherst, 1995) p. 42.
8. Encyclopedia of Islam, eds. Lewis, Menage, Pellat, Schacht (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1971, II:1093.)
9. Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics (ed. Hastings), I:326.
10.The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology, Arthur Cotterell and Rachel Storm, Lorenz Books, New York 10011, Anness Publishing Limited 1999
11. Roots of the Western Tradition, (a short history of ancient world) by C.Warren Hollister, Library of congress cataloging-in-publication data, 6th edition, 1