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.



The reader must know that Islam, Judaism, and organized Christianity (so-called) all worship a trinity of gods

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 (Deuteronomy 4:19; 17:3; II Kings 21:3, 5; 23:5; Jeremiah 8:2; 19:13; Zephaniah 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 Stele 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?


Origin of the Name Allah

The word "Allah" comes from the compound Arabic word, al-ilah. Al is the definite article "the" and ilah is an Arabic word for "god", i.e. the god. We see immediately that (a) this is not a proper name but a generic name rather like the Hebrew El (which as we have seen was used of any deity; and (b) that Allah is not a foreign word (as it would have been if it had been borrowed from the Hebrew Bible) but a purely Arabic one. It would also be wrong to compare "Allah" with the Hebrew or Greek for God (El and Theos, respectively), because "Allah" is purely an Arabic term used exclusively in reference to an Arabic deity.

The Encyclopedia of Religion says: "'Allah' is a pre-Islamic name . . . corresponding to the Babylonian Bel" (ed. James Hastings, Edinburgh, T. & T. Clark, 1908, I:326).

I know that Muslims will find this hard to believe so I am now going to make many citations and present the archaeological evidence to prove conclusively that is true. Though this data will be painful for many of our readers, it is necessary to face the truth. Facts are facts, and unless you are willing to desert all logic, reason and common sense, and the evidence of your eyes, they must be faced.

"Allah is found . . . in Arabic inscriptions prior to Islam" (Encyclopedia Britannica, I:643)

"The Arabs, before the time of Mohammed, accepted and worshipped, after a fashion, a supreme god called allah"  (Encyclopedia of Islam, eds. Houtsma, Arnold, Basset, Hartman; Leiden: E.J.Brill, 1913, I:302)

"Allah was known to the pre-Islamic Arabs; he was one of the Meccan deities" (Encyclopedia of Islam, ed. Gibb, I:406)

"Ilah . . . appears in pre-Islamic poetry . . . By frequency of usage, al-ilah was contracted to allah, frequently attested to in pre-Islamic poetry" (Encyclopedia of Islam, eds. Lewis, Menage, Pellat, Schacht; Leiden: E.J.Brill, 1971, III:1093)

"The name Allah goes back before Muhammed" (Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, "The Facts on File", ed. Anthony Mercatante, New York, 1983, I:41)

The origin of this (Allah) goes back to pre-Muslim times. Allah is not a common name meaning "God" (or a "god"), and the Muslim must use another word or form if he wishes to indicate any other than his own peculiar deity" (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, ed. James Hastings, Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1908, I:326)

Scholar Henry Preserved Smith of Harvard University stated:

"Allah was already known by name to the Arabs" (The Bible and Islam: or, the Influence of the Old and New Testament on the Religion of Mohammed, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1897, p.102)

Dr. Kenneth Cragg, former editor of the prestigious scholarly journal Muslim World and an outstanding modern Western Islamic scholar, whose works were generally published by Oxford University, comments:

The name Allah is also evident in archaeological and literary remains of pre-Islamic Arabia" (The Call of the Minaret, New York: OUP, 1956, p. 31).

Dr. W. Montgomery Watt, who was Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Edinburgh University and Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies at College de France, Georgetown University, and the University of Toronto, has done extensive work on the pre-Islamic concept of Allah. He concludes:

"In recent years I have become increasingly convinced that for an adequate understanding of the career of Muhammad and the origins of Islam great importance must be attached to the existence in Mecca of belief in Allah as a "high god". In a sense this is a form of paganism, but it is so different from paganism as commonly understood that it deserves separate treatment" (Mohammad's Mecca, p.vii. See also his article, "Belief in a High God in pre-Islamic Mecca", Journal of Scientific Semitic Studies, vol.16, 1971, pp.35-40)

Caesar Farah in his book on Islam concludes his discussion of the pre-Islamic meaning of Allah by saying:

"There is no reason, therefore, to accept the idea that Allah passed to the Muslims from the Christians and Jews" (Islam: Beliefs and Observations, New York: Barrons, 1987, p.28)

According to Middle East scholar E.M.Wherry, whose translation of the Koran is still used today, in pre-Islamic times Allah-worship, as well as the worship of Baal, were both astral religions in that they involved the worship of the sun, the moon, and the stars (A Comprehensive Commentary on the Quran, OsnabrŘck: Otto Zeller Verlag, 1973, p. 36).

"In ancient Arabia, the sun-god was viewed as a female goddess and the moon as the male god. As has been pointed out by many scholars as Alfred Guilluame, the Moon god was called by various names, one of which was Allah (op.cit., Islam, p. 7)

"The name Allah was used as the personal name of the Moon god, in addition to the other titles that could be given to him.

"Allah, the Moon god, was married to the sun goddess. Together they produced three goddesses who were called 'the daughters of Allah'. These three goddesses were called Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat.

"The daughters of Allah, along with Allah and the sun goddess were viewed as "high" gods. That is, they were viewed as being at the top of the pantheon of Arabian deities"
(Robert Morey, The Islamic Invasion, Eugene, Oregon, Harvest House Publishers, 1977, pp.50-51).

The Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend records:

"Along with Allah, however, they worshipped a host of lesser gods and "daughters of Allah" (op.cit., I:61).

It is a well known fact archaeologically speaking that the cresent moon was the symbol of worship of the Moon god both in Arabia and throughout the Middle East in pre-Islamic times. Archaeologists have excavated numerous statues and hieroglyphic inscriptions in which a crescent moon was seated on the top of the head of the deity to symbolise the worship of the moon-god. Interestingly, whilst the moon was generally worshipped as a female deity in the Ancient Near East, the Arabs viewed it as a male deity.

In Mesopotamia the Sumerian god Nanna, named Sin by the Akkadians, was worshipped in particular in Ur, where he was the chief god of the city, and also in the city of Harran in Syria, which had close religious links with Ur. The Ugaritic texts have shown that there a moon deity was worshipped under the name yrh. On the monuments the god is represented by the symbol of the crescent moon. At Hazor in Palestine a small Canaanite shrine of the late Bronze Age was discovered which contained a basalt stele depicting two hands lifted as if in prayer to a crescent moon, indicating that the shrine was dedicated to the Moon god.

The worship of stellar deities, instead of Yahweh, was always a temptation faced by the Israelites (Dt.4:19; Jer.7:18; Am.5:26; Ac.7:43). But Yahweh is at the zenith of the heavens (Job 22:12).

"The Quraysh tribe into which Mohammad was born was particularly devoted to Allah, the Moon god, and especially to Allah's three daughters who were viewed as intercessors between the people and Allah.

"The worship of the three goddesses, Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat, played a significant r˘le in the worship at the Kabah in Mecca. The first two daughters of Allah had names which were feminine forms of Allah.

"The literal Arabic name of Muhammad's father was Abd-Allah. His uncle's name was Obied-Allah. These names reveal the personal devotion that Muhammad's pagan family had to the worship of Allah, the Moon god"
(op.cit., Morey, p.51).

History proves conclusively that before Islam came into existence, the Sabbeans in Arabia worshipped the moon-god Allah who was married to the sun-goddess. We have also seen that it was a matter of common practice to use the name of the moon-god in personal names in Muhammad's tribe. That Allah was a pagan deity in pre-Islamic times is incontestable. And so we must ask ourselves the question: why was Muhammad's God named after a pagan deity in his own tribe?

It is an undeniable fact that an Allah idol was set up at the Kabah along with all the other idols of the time. The pagans prayed towards Mecca and the Kabah because that is where their gods were stationed. It made sense to them to face in the direction of their god and pray since that is where he was. Since the idol of their Moon god, Allah, was at Mecca, they prayed towards Mecca.

As we have seen, and as is acknowledged amongst all scholars of Middle Eastern religious history, the worship of the moon-god extended far beyond Allah-worship in Arabia. The entire fertile crescent was involved in moon-worship. The data falls neatly in place and we are able therefore to understand, in part, the early success Islam had amongst Arab groups that had traditionally worshipped Allak, the moon-god. We can also understand that the use of the crescent moon as the symbol of Islam, and which appears on dozens of flags of Islamic nations in Asia and Africa, and surmounts minerets and mosque roofs, is a throwback to the days when Allah was worshipped as the moon-god in Mecca.

Educated Muslims understand these facts only too well—better, in fact, than most Christians. Robert Morey recalls a conversation he once had:

"During one trip to Washington DC I got involved in a conversation with a Muslim tax driver from Iran. When I asked him, 'Where did Islam obtain its symbol of the crescent moon?' he responded that it was an ancient pagan symbol used throughout the Middle East and that adopting this symbol had helped Muslims to convert people throughout the Middle East. When I pointed out that the word Allah itself was used by the moon-god cult in pre-Islamic Arabia, he agreed that this was the case. I then pointed out that the religion and the Quran of Muhammad could be explained in terms of pre-Islamic culture, customs, and religious ideas. He agreed with this! He went on to explain that he was a university-educated Muslim who, at this point in his life, was attempting to understand Islam from a scholarly viewpoint. As a result, he had lost his faith in Islam. The significance of the pre-Islamic source of the name Allah cannot be overestimated" (op.cit., pp.52-53).

What is particularly interesting to me personally is seeing the parallels between the evolution of Islam and the Roman Catholic Church, both of which absorbed pagan ideas in order to make converts. Muhammad was not alone in his plagiarisation of other religions. Bogus "Christian" churches have done it too. Those naming the Name of Christ must accept responsibility for similar things. And it is for this reason that this author has renounced all counterfeit forms of Christianity and returned to the original teachings of the Bible and to the true God, Yahweh-Elohim.

If there is one thing that has been abundantly clear in my study of comparative religions it is this: all the major religions have different concepts of deity. Yahweh, Allah, Vishnu and Buddha are absolutely not the same. In other words, all religions do not worship the same God, only under different names. That is why the use of the word "God" in describing deity is so inadequate and why we must return to the names of these deities to discover what they actually mean in terms of personality and attributes. Ignoring the essential differences which divide world religions is an insult to the uniqueness of world religions. Yahweh, the God of the Bible, is not Allah the god of the Koran, is not Vishnu the god of the Vedas, is not the god of the Buddhists, etc.. As we shall see in a later article, there are fundamental differences between Yahweh and Allah in terms of personal attributes, theology, morals, ethics, soteriology, eschatology, theocracy, and in almost every other respect. They represent two different spiritual worlds. And when we discover even more of the nature of Yahweh through the revelation of Yah'shua (Jesus) we see that the gap between the Bible and the Koran is even wider.

I shall conclude this article with more evidence concerning the true origin of the deity which has been incorporated into Islam as Allah.


Archaeology of the Moon-God

Muslims worship a deity called Allah and claim that the Allah in pre-Islamic times was the biblical God, Yahweh, of the patriarchs, prophets, and apostles.

Ahmed Deedat, well-known Muslim apologist, argues that Allah is a biblical name for God on the basis of "Allelujah" which he convolutes into "Allah-lujah" (What is His Name?, Durban, SA: IPCI, 1990, p.37). This only reveals that he does not understand Hebrew, for haleluyah is the contracted form of Yahweh, YAH, preceded by the verb "to praise" (literally, Praise Yah(weh)!). His other "biblical" arguments are equally absurd. he also claims that the word "Allah" was never corrupted by paganism. "Allah is a unique word for the only God . . . you cannot make a feminine of Allah", says Deedat. But what he does not tell his readers is that one of Allah's daughters was named "Al-Lat", which is the feminine form of "Allah"!

The issue here is therefore seen to be one of CONTINUITY for the Muslim's claim of continuity (from Judaism to Christianity to Islam) is essential in their attempt to convert Jews and Christians. 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 come to grief as a result of solid scientific, archaeological evidence. Sp, instead of endlessly speculating about the past, we can look to science to see what the evidence reveals. 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 widespread religion of the ancient world was the worship of the moon-god. It was even the religion of the patriarch Abraham before Yahweh revealed Himself and commanded him to leave his home in Ur of the Chaldees and migrate to Canaan.

Archaeologists have uncovered temples to the moon-god throughout the Middle East (see the artistic reconstruction above based on museum artifacts, wall paintings found in ruined cities, etc. in ancient Mesopotamia). From the mountains of Turkey to the banks of the Nile, the most widespread religion of the ancient world was the worship of the moon-god. Note the boxed pre-Islamic Crescent-and-Star glyph of the Anatolian mural from Karum below.

The Sumerians, in the first literate civilization, left thousands of clay tablets describing their religious beliefs. As demonstrated by Sj÷berg and Hall, the ancient Sumerians worshipped a moon-god who was called by many different names. The most popular names were Nanna, Suen, and Asimbabbar (Mark Hall, A Study of the Sumerian Moon-god, Sin, PhD., 1985, University of Pennsylvania). 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 Akkadians took the word Suen and transformed it into the word Sin as their favourite name for this deity (Austin Potts, The Hymns and Prayers to the Moon-god, Sin, PhD., 1971, Dropsie College, p.2). As Professor Potts pointed out, "Sin is a name essentially Sumerian in origin which had been borrowed by the Semites" (op.cit., p.4).

Karum2
This pre-Islamic crescent moon and star is from the same location.

Pre-Islamic and Islamic Crescent-and-Star Glyphs
Anatolian (left), Islamic (centre), Ancient Persian Moon-goddess (right).

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 emphasise all the phases of the moon. The sun-goddess was the wife of Sin and the stars were their daughters. For example, Ishtar was the daughter of Sin (Ibid., p.7).

Egyptian moonRas Shamra moonSacrifices to the moon-god are described in N. Syria's Ras Shamra stele (right). In the Ugaritic texts, the moon-god was sometimes called Kusuh. In Persia (above right), as in Egypt (left), the moon-god is depicted on wall murals and on the heads of statutes. He was the judge of men and gods.

Throughout the ancient world the symbol of the crescent moon is found on seal impressions, steles, pottery, amulets, clay tablets, cylinders, weights, earrings, necklaces, wall murals, and so on. In Tell-el-Obeid, a copper calf was found with crescent moon on its forehead, the is the idol worshipped by the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Sin. While Moses was on top of the mountain receiving the Ten Commandments from Yahweh they sank into idolatrous worship of the moon-god, Sin! Such an idol has been found with the body of a calf and a man's head whose forehead bears a crescent inlaid with shells. In Ur, the Ur-Nammu Stele has the crescent symbol placed at the top of the register of gods because the Moon god was the head of gods. Even bread was baked in the form of a crescent as an act of devotion to the moon-god (Ibid, pp.14-21).

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 was excavated in Ur by Sir Leonard Woolley. He dug up many examples of moon-worship that are now displayed in the British Museum. Harran was likewise noted for its devotion to the moon-god. An example of the Babylonian moon-god is shown to the right. Note the presence of the crescent.

In the 1950's a major temple to the moon-god was excavated at Hazor in Palestine. Two idols of the moon-god were found. Each was a statue of a man sitting upon a throne with a crescent moon carved into his chest (below left). The accompanying inscriptions make it clear that these were idols of the moon-god (below right). The worship tablet found at the same sight (left) shows arms outstretched towards the Moon-god here represented by the full moon within the crescent moon. Several smaller statues were also found which were identified by their inscriptions as the daughters of the moon-god. These are illustrated in the collection of photographs (below right).


Hazor2

What about Arabia? As pointed out by Professor Coon, "Muslims are notoriously loathe to preserve traditions of earlier paganism and like to garble what pre-Islamic history they permit to survive in anachronistic terms" (Carleton S. Coon, Southern Arabia, Washington DC, Smithsonian, 1944, p.398).

During the 19th century, Arnaud, Halevy, and Glaser went to southern Arabia and dug up thousands of Sabean, Minaean, and Qarabanian inscriptions which were subsequently translated. In the 1940's, archaeologists 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 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 (North Arabian archaeological finds concerning Al-Lat are discussed in: Isaac Rabinowitz, Aramaic Inscriptions of the Fifth Century, JNES, XV, 1956, pp.1-9; Another Aramaic Record of the North Arabian goddess Han'Llat, JNES, XVIII, 1959, pp.154-55; Edward Linski, The Goddess Atirat in Ancient Arabia, in Babylon and in Ugarit: Her Relation to the Moon-god and the Sun-goddess, Orientalia Lovaniensia Periodica, 3:101-9; H.J.Drivers, Iconography and Character of the Arab Goddess Allat, found in ╔tudes Preliminaries Aux Religions Orientales Dans L'Empire Roman, ed. Maarten J. Verseren, Leiden, Brill, 1978, pp.331-51).

The archaeological evidence demonstrates that the dominant religion in Arabia was the cult of the moon-god. The Old Testament consistently rebuked the worship of the moon-god (Deuteronomy 4:19; 17:3; II KIngs 21:3,5; 23:5; Jeremiah 8:2; 19:13; Zephaniah 1:5). When Israel fell into idolatry, it was usually to the cult of the moon-god. In Old Testament times, Nabonidus (555-539 BC), the last King of Babylon, built Tayma, Arabia, as a centre of moon-god worship. Segall stated: "South Arabia's stellar religion has always been dominated by the Moon-god in various variations" (Berta Segall, The Iconography of Cosmic Kingship, the Art Bulletin, vol.xxxviii, 1956, p. 77). 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", and so forth.

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.

Arabian Moon godWilliam BranhamIn 1944, G. Caton Thompson revealed in her book, The Tombs and Moon Temple of Hureidah, that she had uncovered a temple of the moon-god in southern Arabia. The symbols of the crescent moon and no less than 21 inscriptions with the name Sin were found in this temple (see above left). An idol which is probably the moon-god himself was also discovered (see above right). This was later confirmed by other well-known archaeologists (See Richard Le Baron Bower Jr. and Frank P. Albright, Archaeological Discoveries in South Arabia, Baltimore, John Hopkins University Press, 1958, p.78ff; Ray Cleveland, An Ancient South Arabian Necropolis, Baltimore, John Hopkins University Press, 1965; Nelson Gleuck, Deities and Dolphins, New York, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1965).

The find reveals that the temple of the moon-god was active 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, "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" (Coon, Southern Arabia, p.399).

The moon-god was called al-ilah, 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 has Allah as part of their names. The fact that they were given such names by their parents proves that Allah was the title for the moon-god even in Muhammad's day. Professor Coon says, "Similarly, under Muhammad's tutelage, the relatively anonymous Ilah, became Al-Ilah, The God, of Allah, the Supreme Being" (Ibid.).

This fact answers the questions: "Why is Allah never defined in the Quran?" and "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 the moon-god was the greatest of all gods and the supreme deity in the 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 accept 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"—he is the greatest among the gods. Why would Muhammad say that Allah is the greatest except in a polytheistic (many gods) 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. Thus "Allah" was the moon-god according to the archaeological 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, who worshipped Yahweh, knew better and 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 (Three Early Christian-Muslim Debates, ed. by N.A.Newman, Hatfield, PA, IBRI, 1994, pp.357, 413, 426).

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" (Ibid., p.719). Islamic scholar Caesar Farah concluded, "There is no reason, therefore, to accept the idea that Allah passed to the Muslims from the Christians and the Jews" (Caesar Farah, Islam: Beliefs and Observances, New York, Barrons, 1987, p.28).

The Arabs worshipped the moon-god as a supreme deity. But that was not biblical monotheism. While the moon-god was greater than all the 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 that the symbol of Islam is the crescent moon? That a crescent moon sits on top of their mosques and minarets? That a crescent 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.

There are four interesting parallels with Islam here: (a) Akhenaton made the male sun-god the one and only god of Egypt, while (b) Muhammad made the male moon-god the one and only god of the Arabs. Neither god remotely resembled the God of the Bible, both being pagan deities borrowed from polytheistic religions. And there is a third parallel: (c) Though technically monotheistic, in practice Akhenaton remained a god himself. Though never calling himself a "god", Muhammad certainly accrued many of the attributes of godly power as we shall see in subsequent articles. Finally, (d) Akhenaton used as a symbol for his god the Ankh Cross consisting of a solar disk atop a Tau cross, whilst Muhammad retained for Islam the pagan crescent moon symbol of the moon-god Allah.

Is this all a fanciful, far-fetched conclusion? Is all the vast array of scholarly information available on Allah simply a conspiracy by evil Westerners to discredit Islam? Or might what you have read be the truth? Are you honest enough to continue researching the origins of Islam further? And most importantly, are you honest enough to admit that you might be wrong and that the truth about God lies elsewhere?

My purpose in this article has been simply to examine Islam's roots and to see if the "official version" is believable. May Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and all the biblical prophets, whose compound redemptive Name is Lord Jesus Christ, bless and you guide you in the way of truth. Amen.

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

Further information: thoroughly study the links in this file and also in The Cult of the Moon God  The True Origin of 'Allah': The Archaeological Record Speaks The Vatican and Islam

http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/