The Cult of the Moon God
It should not come as a surprise that the word “Allah” was not something invented by Muhammad or revealed for the first time in the Quran.
The well-known Middle East scholar H.A.R. Gibb has pointed out that the reason that Muhammad never had to explain who Allah was in the Quran is that his listeners had already heard about Allah long before Muhammad was ever born (Mohammedanism: An Historical Survey, New York: Mentor Books, 1955, p.38).
Dr. Arthur Jeffery, one of the foremost Western Islamic scholars in modern times and professor of Islamic and Middle East Studies at Columbia University, notes:
“The name Allah, as the Quran itself is witness, was well known in pre-Islamic Arabia. Indeed, both it and its feminine form, Allat, are found not infrequently among the theophorous names in inscriptions from North Africa” (Islam: Muhammad, and His Religion, New York: The Liberal Arts Press, 1958, p. 85).
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.” It is not a foreign word. It is not even the Syriac word for God. It is pure Arabic. (There is an interesting discussion of the origins of Allah, in “Arabic Lexicographical Miscellanies” by J. Blau in the Journal of Semitic Studies, Vol. XVII, #2, 1972, pp. 173-190).
Neither is Allah a Hebrew or Greek word for God as found in the Bible. Allah is a purely Arabic term used in reference to an Arabian deity. Hastings’ Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics I:326, T & T Clark, states:
‘”Allah” is a proper name, applicable only to their [Arabs’] peculiar God. ‘
According to the Encyclopedia of Religion:
‘”Allah” is a pre-Islamic name . . . corresponding to the Babylonian Bel’ (Encyclopedia of Religion, I:117 Washington DC, Corpus Pub., 1979).
For those who find it hard to believe that Allah was a pagan name for a peculiar pagan Arabian deity in pre-Islamic times, the following quotations may be helpful:
“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 off Islam, I:302, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1913, Houtsma).
“Allah was known to the pre-Islamic . . . Arabs; he was one of the Meccan deities” (Encyclopedia off Islam, I:406, ed. Gibb).
“Ilah . . . appears in pre-Islamic poetry . . . By frequency of usage, al-ilah was contracted to Allah, frequently attested to in pre-Islamic poetry” (Encyclopedia off Islam, III:1093, 1971).
“The name Allah goes back before Muhammad” (Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, I:41, Anthony Mercatante, New York, The Facts on File, 1983).
“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, I:326, Hastings).
To the testimony of the above standard reference works, we add those of such scholars as Henry Preserved Smith of Harvard University who has 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 are generally published by Oxford University, comments:
“The name Allah is also evident in archeological and literary remains of pre-Islamic Arabia” (The Call of the Minaret, New York: Oxford University Press, 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” (William Montgomery Watt, Muhammad’s Mecca, p. vii. Also see his article, “Belief in a High God in Pre-Islamic Mecca”, Journal of 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 Quran is still used today, in pre-Islamic times Allah-worship, as well as the worship of Ba-al, were both astral religions in that they involved the worship of the sun, the moon, and the stars (A Comprehensive Commentary on the Quran, Osnabruck: Otto Zeller Verlag, 1973, p. 36).
Allah – the Moon God
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 (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?
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
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
In 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 such as Alfred Guilluame, the moon god was called by various names, one of which was Allah! (Islam, p. 7).
The name Allah was used as the personal name of the moon god, in addition to 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.
“Along with Allah, however, they worshipped a host of lesser gods and “daughters of Al-lah” (Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, I:61)”.
The Crescent Moon Symbol
The symbol of the worship of the moon god in Arabian culture and elsewhere throughout the Middle East was the crescent moon.
Archaeologists have dug up numerous statues and hieroglyphic inscriptions in which a crescent moon was seated on top of the head of the deity to symbolize the worship of the moon god. In the same fashion as the sun is pictured above the Egyptian deity.
While the moon was generally worshiped as a female deity in the Ancient Near East, the Arabs viewed it as a male deity.
The Gods of the Quraysh
The Quraysh tribe into which Muhammad 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 role 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.
Praying Toward Mecca
An Allah idol was set up at the Kebah along with all the other idols. The pagans prayed toward Mecca and the Kabah because that is where their gods were stationed.
It only made sense to them to face in the direction of their god and then pray. Since the idol of their moon god, Allah, was at Mecca, they prayed toward Mecca.
The worship of the moon god extended far beyond the Allah-worship in Arabia. The entire fertile crescent was involved in the worship of the moon.
This, in part, explains the early success of Islam among Arab groups that traditionally had worshiped the moon god.
The use of the crescent moon as the symbol for Islam which is placed on the flags of Islamic nations and on the top of mosques and minarets is a throwback to the days when Allah was worshiped as the moon god in Mecca.
While this may come as a surprise to many Christians who have wrongly assumed that Allah was simply another name for the God of the Bible, educated Muslims generally understand this point.
A Muslim Taxi Driver
During one trip to Washington D.C., I got involved in a conversation with a Muslim taxi 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 over estimated.
In the field of comparative religions, it is understood that each of the major religions of mankind has its own peculiar concept of deity. In other words, all religions do not worship the same God, only under different names.
The sloppy thinking that would ignore the essential differences which divide world religions is an insult the uniqueness of world religions.
Which of the world religions holds to the Christian concept of one eternal God in three persons? When the Hindu denies the personality of God, which religions do not agree with this? Obviously, all men do not worship the same God, or goddesses.
Note: Christians do not understand “the peculiar concept of one eternal God in three persons” but one eternal God with three major offices or dispensation claims.
The Quran’s concept of deity evolved out of the pre-Islamic pagan religion of Allah-worship. It is so uniquely Arab that it cannot be simply reduced to Jewish or Christian beliefs.
Marriage, Divorce, Adultery and Polygamy
In his personal life, Muhammad had two great weaknesses. The first was greed. By looting caravans and Jewish settlements he had amassed fabulous wealth for himself, his family, and his tribe (Ali Dashti, 23 Years, p. 86-87; Encyclopedia Britannica, 15:648).
When we turn and look at the life of Muhammad we find that he clearly killed and robbed people in the name of Allah according to the Quran. He taught his disciples by example, command, and precept that they could and should kill and rob in Allah’s name and force people to submit to Islam.
His next greatest weakness was women. Although in the Quran he would limit his followers to having four wives, he himself took more than four wives and concubines.
The question of the number of women with whom Muhammad was sexually involved either as wives, concubines or devotees was made a point of contention by the Jews in Muhammad’s day. Ali Dashti comments:
“All the commentaries agree that verse 57 of Sura 4 (on-Nesa) was sent down after the Jews criticized Mohammad’s appetite for women, alleging that he had nothing to do except to take wives” (Ali Dashti, 23 Years, pp. 120-138).
Since polygamy was practiced in the Old Testament by such patriarchs as Abraham, the mere fact that Muhammad had more than one wife is not sufficient in and of itself to discount his claim to prophethood. But this does negate the fact that the issue has historical in terms of trying to understand Muhammad as a man.
It also poses a logical problem for Muslims. Because the Quran in Sura 4:3 forbids the taking of more than four wives, to have taken any more would have been sinful for Muhammad.
One Muslin apologist with whom I was conversing argued as follows:
“Muhammad was sinless. The Quran makes taking more than four wives a sin. Therefore Muhammad could not have taken more than four wives. Why? Because Muhammad was sinless.”
I pointed out that the question of how many wives Muhammad or anyone else had should be answered on the basis of the historical and literary evidence and not blind faith.
Muslim scholar and statesman Ali Dashti gives the following list of the women in Muhammad’s life:
1. Khadija 12. Hend
2. Sawda 13. Asma (of Saba)
3. Aesha 14. Zaynab (of Khozayma)
4. Omm Salama 15. Habla
5. Halsa 16. Asma (of Noman)
6. Zaynab (of Jahsh) 17. Mary (the Christian)
7. Jowayriyi 18. Rayhana
8. Omm Habiba 19. Omm Sharik
9. Safiya 20. Maymuna
10. Maymuna (of Hareth) 21. Zaynab (a third one)
11. Fatema 22. Khawla
Several observations need to be given about the above list:
The first 16 women were wives. Numbers 17 and 18 were slaves or concubines.
The last four women were neither wives or slaves but devout Muslim women who “gave” themselves to satisfy Muhammad’s sexual desires.
Zaynab of Jahsh was originally Muhammad’s adopted son Zaid’s wife. The fact that Muhammad took her for himself has been problematic to many people, Muslims included. (God does not break His Own Word and He never changes His mind. Now read Sura 33:36-38).
(The vindicated prophet Moses taught under the Old Testament, that a minister could only marry a virgin or the widow of a minister (Leviticus 21:13-15). The vindicated prophet Jesus taught under the New Testament that an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher can marry only a virgin in the faith — because he is a type of Christ Who is uniting only with virgins to the Word.
Every prophet from Adam taught that any woman who has more than one living husband is an adulteress, and her subsequent husband is in adultery with her first husband as polygamy was legal only for the man — Genesis 3:16; Romans 7:1-3).
Aesha was only eight or nine years old when Muhammad took her to his bed. According to Hadith, she was still playing with her dolls. This facet of Muhammad’s sexual appetite is particularly distressing to Westerners.
While in Islamic countries an eight-or-nine-year-old girl can be given in marriage to an adult male, in the West, most people would shudder to think of an eight-or-nine-year-old girl being given in marriage to anyone. (Although it is condoned by the Jew’s Talmud).
This aspect of Muhammad’s personal life is something that many scholars pass over once again because they do not want to hurt the feelings of Muslims. Yet, history cannot be rewritten to avoid confronting the facts that Muhammad had unnatural desires for little girls.
Finally, Mary, the Coptic Christian, refused to marry Muhammad because she would not renounce Christianity and embrace Islam. She bravely chose to remain a slave rather than convert.
The documentation for all the women in Muhammad’s harem is so vast and has been presented so many times by able scholars that only those who use circular reasoning can object to it.
According to the New Testament, Jesus Christ lived a perfect and sinless life (2 Corinthians 5:21).
When His enemies came to accuse Jesus before Pilate and Herod, they had to invent charges because no one could find anything against Him.
But when we turn to the life of Muhammad, we find that he was a normal human being engaged in the same sins which afflict all of us. He lied; he cheated; he lusted; he failed to keep his word, etc. He was neither perfect nor sinless.
A Sinful Muhammad?
After I had given a lecture on Islam at the University of Texas (Austin) in 1991, I was challenged by some Muslim students to prove that Muhammad was a sinner
My first response was to point out that the burden of proof was not on me but on them. I then asked, “Where in the Quran is it ever stated that Muhammad was sinless?”
They could not refer me to a single passage in which such an idea is even suggested, much less taught.
They demanded that I show from the Quran where Muhammad was said to be a sinner. I answered their challenge by citing several passages from the Quran which clearly reveal to any honest reader that Muhammad was a sinner.
The Quranic Muhammad
In Sura 18:110, and elsewhere, Muhammad is commanded by Allah:
“Say, I am but a man like yourselves.”
Nowhere in the Quran is Muhammad said to be sinless. Instead, Allah tells Muhammad that he is no different than any other man.
Those Muslims who claim that Muhammad was sinless have failed to note Sura 40:55, where Allah told Muhammad to repent of his sins!
Muhammad Pickthal translates Sura 40:55 as saying:
“Ask forgiveness of thy sin”.
The only way out of this passage is to state that Allah was wrong to ask Muhammad to ask for forgiveness because he had nothing to forgive!
Pickthal’s translation of Sura 48:1, 2 states:
“Lo! We have given thee,
(O Muhammad), signal victory,
that Allah may forgive thee
of past and that which is to
come, and may perfect His
favor unto thee, and guide
thee on a right path”
Not only was Muhammad commanded to repent of his sins and to seek forgiveness, but he was also reminded off his past sins that Allah had already forgiven and of future sins which would need future forgiveness!
Muhammad was not sinless according to the Quran. He was just one more poor sinner in need of forgiveness and redemption.
Many Variant Readings of the Quran
Muslims attack the Bible on the grounds that it sometimes has conflicting wording from different manuscripts. Yet this is exactly the case with the text of the Quran. There are many conflicting readings on the text of the Quran as Arthur Jeffery has demonstrated in his book, Material for the History of the Text of the Quran (New York, Russell F. Moore, 1952).
At one point Jeffery gives 90 pages of variant readings on the text. For example, in Sura 2 there are over 140 conflicting and variant readings on the text of the Quran.
All Western and Muslim scholars admit the presence of variant readings in the text of the Quran (Dashti, 23 Years, p. 28; Mandudi, Meaning of the Quran, pp. 17-18; McClintock and Strong, Cyclopedia, V152).
Guillaume points out that the Quran at first “had a large number of variants, not always trifling in significance” (Islam, p. 189).
“It is interesting to note that in scholarly Muslim journals, there is beginning to be a grudging acknowledgment of the fact that there are variant and conflicting readings on the text of the Quran” (One example would be Saleh al-Wahaihu, “A Study of Seven Quranic Variants,” International Journal of Islamic and Arabic Studies, Vol. V (1989), #2, pp. 1-57).
Some Verses Missing
According to Professor Guillaume in his book, Islam, (pp. 191ff.), some of the original verses of the Quran were lost.
For example, one Sura originally had 200 verses in the days of Ayesha. But by the time Uthman standardized the text of the Quran, it had only 73 verses! A total of 127 verses had been lost, and they have never been recovered.
The Shiite Muslims claim that Uthman left out 25 percent of the original verses in the Quran for political reasons (McClintock and Strong, Cyclopedia, V:152).
That there are verses which got left out of Uthman’s version of the Quran is universally recognized (Shorter Encyclopedia off Islam, pp. 278-282; Guillaume, Islam, p. 191; Wherry, A Comprehensive Commentary on the Quran, pp. 110-111).
John Burton’s book, The Collection of the Quran, which was published by Cambridge University, documents how such verses were lost (London University Press, 1977, pp. 117ff. See also Arthur Jeffery, Islam: Muhammad and His Religion, New York; Liberal Arts Press, 1958, pp. 66-68).
Burton states concerning the Muslim claim that the Quran is perfect:
“The Muslin accounts of the history of the Quran texts are a mass of confusion, contradiction and inconsistencies” (Burton, Collection, p. 231).
Changes in the Quran
One interesting way that some off the original verses of the Quran were lost is that a follower of Muhammad named Abdollah Sarh would make suggestions to Muhammad about rephrasing, adding to, or subtracting from the Suras. Muhammad often did as Sarh suggested.
Ali Dashti explains what happened:
“Abdollah renounced Islam on the ground that the revelations, if from God, could not be changed at the prompting of a scribe such as he. After his apostasy he went to Mecca and joined the Qorayshites” (Dashti, 23 Years, p. 98).
It is no wonder that when Muhammad conquered Mecca one of the first people he killed was Abdollah, for he knew too much and opened his mouth too often.
Some Verses Abrogated
In the abrogation process spoken of earlier, verses which are contradictory to Muslim faith and practice have been removed from the text, such as the “satanic verses” in which Muhammad approved of the worship of the three goddesses, the daughters of Allah.
The Arabic scholar E. Wherry comments:
“There being some passages in the Quran which are contradictory, the Muhammadan doctors obviate any objection from thence by the doctrine of abrogation; for they say that God in the Quran commanded several things which were for good reasons afterwards revoked and abrogated” (A Comprehensive Commentary on the Qurun, p. 110).
Wherry goes on to document numerous examples of verses taken out of the Quran.
Canon Sell in his work, Historical Development of the Quran, also comments on the practice of abrogating verses out of the Quran if they are troublesome:
“It is to us astounding how so compromising a procedure can have been permitted to be introduced into the system by friends and foes (Madras: Diocesan Press, 1923, pp. 36-37).
Some Verses Added
Not only have parts of the Quran been lost, but entire verses and chapters have been added to it.
For example, Ubai had several Suras in his manuscript of the Quran which Uthman omitted from his standardized text.
Thus there were Qurans in circulation before Uthman’s text which had additional revelations from Muhammad that Uthman did not find or approve of, and thus he failed to place them in his text.
As to the claim that the original manuscript of the Quran is still in existence, we have already pointed out there was no single “manuscript” of the Quran.
Caesar Farah in his book on Islam, states:
“When Muhammad died there existed no singular codex of the sacred text” (Caesar Farah, Islam: Beliefs and Observations, New York; Barrons, 1987, p. 28).
The Shorter Encyclopedia off Islam comments:
“One thing only is certain and is openly recognized by tradition, namely, that there was not in existence any collection of revelations in the final form, because, as long as he was alive, new revelations were being added to the earlier ones” (p. 271).
Some of the pre-Islamic Sources for material in the Quran
The Quran repeats fanciful Arabian fables as if they were true.
“Arabic legends about the fabulous jinns fill its pages” (G.G. Pfander, Balance of Truth, pp. 283).
“The story of the she-camel who leapt out of a rock and became a prophet was known long before Muhammad” (Suras 7:73-77,85; 91:14; 54:29).
The story of an entire village of people who were turned into apes because they broke the sabbath by fishing was a popular legend in Muhammad’s day (Suras 2:65; 7:163-166).
The gushing 12 springs story found in Sura 2:60 comes from pre-Islamic legends.
In what is called the “Rip Van Winkle” story, seven men and their animals slept for 309 years in a cave and then woke up perfectly fine (Sura 18:9-26)!
This legend is found in Greek and Christian fables as well as Arabian lore.
The fable of the pieces of four dead, cut-up birds getting up and flying was well known in Muhammad’s time (Sura 2:260).
It is also clear that Muhammad used such pre-Islamic literature as the Saba Moallaqat of Imra’ul Cays in his composition of Suras 21:96; 29:31,46; 37:59; 54:1, and 93:1.
Many of the stories in the Quran come from the Jewish Talmud, the Midrash, and many apocryphal works.
This was pointed out by Abraham Geiger in 1833, and further documented by another Jewish scholar, Dr. Abraham Katsh, of New York University, in 1954 (The Concise Dictionary of Islam, p. 229; Jomier, The Bible and the Quran — Henry Regency Co., Chicago, 1959, 59ff; Sell, Studies, pp. 163ff.; Guillaume, Islam, p. 13).
1. The source of Sura 3:35-37 is the fanciful book called The Protevangelion’s James the Lesser.
2. The source of Sura 87:19 is the Testament of Abraham.
3. The source of Sura 27:17-44 is the Second Targum of Esther.
4. The fantastic tale that God made a man “die for a hundred years” with no ill effects on his food, drink, or donkey was a Jewish fable (Sura 2:259ff.).
5. The idea that Moses was resurrected and other material came from the Jewish Talmud (Sura 2:55, 56, 67).
6. The story in Sura 5:30,31 can also be found in pre-Islamic works from Pirke Rabbi Eleazer, the Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziah and the Targum of Jerusalem.
7. The tale of Abraham being delivered from Nimrod’s fire came from the Midrash Rabbah (see Suras 21:51-71; 29:16, 17; 37:97,98).
It must be also pointed out that Nimrod and Abraham did not live at the same time. Muhammad was always mixing people together in the Quran who did not live at the same time.
8. The non-biblical details of the visit of the Queen of Sheba (Saba) in Sura 27:20-44 came from the Second Targum of the Book of Esther.
9. The source of Sura 2:102 is no doubt the Midrash Yalkut (chapter 44).
10. The story found in Sura 7:171 of God lifting up Mount Sinai and holding it over the heads of the Jews as a threat to squash them if they rejected the law came from the Jewish book Abodah Sarah.
11. The story of the making of the golden calf in the wilderness, in which the image jumped out of the fire fully formed and actually mooed (Suras 7:148; 20:88), came from Pirke Rabbi Eleazer.
12, The seven heavens and hells described in the Quran came from the Zohar and the Hagigah.
13. Muhammad utilized the Testament of Abraham to teach that a scale or balance will be used on the day of judgment to weigh good and bad deeds in order to determine whether one goes to heaven or hell (Suras 42:17; 101:6-9).
Heretical Christian Sources
One of the most documented and damaging facts about the Quran is that Muhammad used heretical “Christian” Gnostic gospels and their fables for material in the Quran.
Encyclopedia Britannica comments:
“The gospel was known to him chiefly through apocryphal and heretical sources” (15:648).
This has been demonstrated many times by various scholars (Richard Bell, Introduction to the Quran, pp. 163ff. See also: Bell, The Origin of Islam in Its Christian Environment, pp. 110ff, 139ff; Sell, Studies, pp. 216ff. See also Tisdall and Pfander).
For example, in Suras 3:49 and 100:11O, the baby Jesus speaks from the cradle! Later on, the Quran has Jesus making clay birds come alive.
The Bible tells us that the first miracle Jesus did was at the wedding at Cana (John 2:11).
Muhammad incorporated parts of the religion of the Sabeans into Islam (Encyclopedia off Islam (ed. Eliade), pp. 303ff.; International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, pp. 1:219ff.).
He adopted such pagan rituals as:
Worshiping at Kabah
Praying five times a day towards Mecca (Muhammad chose five of the same times the Sabeans prayed).
Fasting for part of a day for an entire month.
Eastern Religious Sources
Muhammad derived some of his ideas from Eastern religions such as Zoroastrianism and Hinduism. All of these things were in existence long before Muhammad was born.
The Quran records the following things which are ascribed to Muhammad but in reality were previously known stories now attributed to him for the first time (Sell, Studies, pp. 219ff.).
The story of a flying trip through seven heavens.
The Houries of paradise.
Azazil and other spirits coming up from Hades.
The “light” of Muhammad.
The bridge of Sirat.
Paradise with its wine, women, and song (from the Persians).
The king of death.
The peacock story.
According to the literal Arabic translation of Sura 3:106, 107, on Judgment Day, only people with white faces will be saved. People with black faces will be damned. [This is a carnal understanding of a common expression. The Arabic term “ibyaddat wujuhahum” literally meaning “their faces turned white” is used as well as the term “iswaddat wujuhahum”literally meaning “their faces turned black”. These are common expressions used among all Arabs, including the Christians, with reference to good behavior and bad behavior, or good morals and bad morals].
A Carnal Heaven
The Quran promises a heaven full of wine and free sex (Suras 2:25; 4:57; 11:23; 47:15).
If drunkenness and gross immorality is sinful on earth, how is it right in Paradise?
The Quran’s picture of paradise is exactly what a seventh-century pagan Arab would have thought wonderful.
The carnal concept of a harem of beautiful women and all the wine you can drink is in direct conflict with the spirituality and holiness of the Biblical concept of heaven (Revelation 22:12-17).
While the devout Muslim believes with all of his heart that the rituals and doctrines of Islam are entirely heavenly in origin and thus cannot have any earthly sources, Middle East scholars have demonstrated beyond all doubt that every ritual and belief in Islam can be traced back to pre-Islamic Arabian culture.
In other words Muhammad did not preach anything new. Everything he taught had been believed and practiced in Arabia long before he was ever born. Even the idea of “only one God” was borrowed from the Jews and the Christians. islam.htm
(Excerpts from “The Islamic Invasion” by Dr. Robert Morey; Harvest Home Publishers, 1992. ISBN 0-89081-983-1)