Hubal in the Wor­ship of Pre-Islam­ic Arab Consciousness

It has always been the mis­sion­ary tra­di­tion to jump from one nefar­i­ous claim to anoth­er in try­ing to ascer­tain the nature of Allah”. We have pre­vi­ous­ly shown some of the more com­mon the­o­ries that they prop­a­gate, rang­ing from Allah (T) being the moon god” to Ar-Rah­man being a term for pome­gran­ate”. A recent mis­sion­ary alle­ga­tion has also been hurled against a beatif­ic salu­ta­tion of the Prophet Muham­mad sal­lal­lah alay­hi wa sal­lam. Now a new pos­tu­la­tion of the mis­sion­ary has been made in their arti­cle, name­ly that Allah” is syn­ony­mous with the god Hubal of the pagan Makkans !

It would per­haps be a good idea to intro­duce the read­er to first explain how idol­a­try in pre-Islam­ic Ara­bia was practised :

Every tribe had a dif­fer­ent idol which it wor­shiped. Gen­er­al­ly, objects of wor­ship belonged to three gen­res : met­al and wood­en stat­ues, stone stat­ues, and shape­less mass­es of stone which one tribe or anoth­er con­se­crat­ed because its ori­gin was thought to be heav­en­ly, where­as in real­i­ty it was only a piece of vol­canic or mete­oric rock.1

Hence it is acknowl­edged that each Arab tribe had its own chief idol” to which they would wor­ship. About the posi­tion of Hubal, it is not­ed that :

Hubal was the great­est mem­ber of the Arab pan­theon and resided in Makkah, inside the Ka’bah. Pil­grims came to its shrine from all cor­ners.2

Regard­ing the nature of Hubal, it has been ascer­tained tra­di­tion­al­ly that the idol is Moabite in ori­gin. Mar­tin Lings states as follows :

So Abd al-Mut­tal­ib con­tin­ued to dig with­out any actu­al move being made to stop him ; and some of the peo­ple were already leav­ing the sanc­tu­ary when sud­den­ly he struck the well’s stone cov­er­ing and uttered a cry of thanks­giv­ing to God. The crowd reassem­bled and increased ; and when he began to dig out the trea­sure which Jurhum had buried there, every­one claimed the right to share in it. Abd al-Mut­tal­ib agreed that lots should be cast for each object, as to whether it should be kept in the sanc­tu­ary or go to him per­son­al­ly or be divid­ed amongst the tribe. This had become the recog­nised way of decid­ing an issue of doubt, and it was done by means of divin­ing arrows inside the Ka’bah, in front of the Moabite idol Hubal3

Hence it has always been known that the idol Hubal is a Moabite import (i.e. Baal), hence demol­ish­ing anoth­er of the mis­sion­ary’s accu­sa­tions. Hit­ti seems to con­cur with the Moabite ori­gins of Hubal by stat­ing that :

Hubal (from Aram. for vapour, spir­it), evi­dent­ly the chief deity of al-Ka’bah, was rep­re­sent­ed in human form. Beside him stood rit­u­al arrows used for div­ina­tion by the sooth­say­er (kahin, from Ara­ma­ic) who drew lots by means of them. The tra­di­tion in ibn-Hisham, which makes Amr ibn-Luhayy the importer of this idol from Moab or Mesopotamia, may have a ker­nel of truth in so far as it retains a mem­o­ry of the Ara­ma­ic ori­gin of the deity. At the con­quest of Makkah by Muham­mad, Hubal shared the lot of the oth­er idols and was destroyed.4

How was this pos­tu­lat­ed to be the one and the same with Allah is no doubt a mys­tery that only the mis­sion­ar­ies are capa­ble of under­stand­ing. Fur­ther, it is also admit­ted by Hit­ti that Hubal shared the fate of the oth­er idols which were destroyed at the con­quest of Makkah.

Hence it is clear that there is noth­ing in the mis­sion­ary dia­tribe that seri­ous­ly dam­ages the Mus­lim claim regard­ing Allah in pre-Islam­ic times being the same God of Abra­ham” nor does the mis­sion­ary reliance on Psalms and cir­cu­lar rea­son­ing is evi­dence link­ing Allah with Hubal”. As we have already not­ed before, Hubal was the prin­ci­pal idol of the Quraysh, as was Al-Lat the prin­ci­ple idol of the Ta’i­fans. Despite their dec­li­na­tion into idol­a­try, it is amaz­ing, as one schol­ar remarks5, that the Quraysh have nev­er lost sight of Allah as the Supreme Lord of the Uni­verse. What is obvi­ous­ly clear from the evi­dence we have pre­sent­ed is that it is the wor­ship of Hubal that was lat­er import­ed into the present beliefs of the Makkans who had ear­li­er already acknowl­edged the exis­tence of Allah as the Only God. Indeed, Islam has iden­ti­fied itself with the oth­er Semit­ic reli­gions (Judaism and Chris­tian­i­ty) and called upon them in these words :

Say [O Prophet]: O Peo­ple of the Book ! Let us come togeth­er on a fair and noble prin­ci­ple com­mon to both of us, nev­er to wor­ship or serve aught but God, nev­er to asso­ciate any oth­er being with Him, and nev­er to take one anoth­er as Lords besides God.” (Qur’an, 3:64)

This is indeed the reli­gio nat­u­ralis of which Islam asserts as first prin­ci­ple that all mankind are endowned with this innate religiousity.

As for the rest of the incon­se­quen­tial polemic of the mis­sion­ary which deals with the ephitet Ar-Rah­man and digressed from the nature of Hubal in pre-Islam­ic Arab con­scious­ness, an expo­si­tion of this term may be seen here.

It is inter­est­ing to note that despite the prop­a­ga­tion of this ridicu­lous the­o­ry that Allah = Hubal, the mis­sion­ary still felt it fit to put up the fol­low­ing dis­claimer” in his Adden­dum section :

Hence, even if the Quran­ic men­tion of Baal turns out to be a ref­er­ence to Hubal, this would only show that Muham­mad dis­as­so­ci­at­ed Allah from Hubal by turn­ing the for­mer into the true uni­ver­sal God.

It is an obvi­ous escape tac­tic for some­one who was nev­er sure about the posi­tion” of Hubal in the wor­ship of pre-Islam­ic con­scious­ness and want­ed to leave the back door open if any­thing dis­as­trous” hap­pens to the the­o­ry he prop­a­gates. Well, the dis­as­ter has cer­tain­ly arrived !

And only Allah (T) knows best, for only He alone is wor­thy of worship.Endmark

Cite this arti­cle as : Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi, Hubal in the Wor­ship of Pre-Islam­ic Arab Con­scious­ness,” in Bis­mi­ka Allahu­ma, Decem­ber 29, 2006, last accessed May 27, 2024, https://​bis​mikaal​lahu​ma​.org/​p​o​l​e​m​i​c​a​l​-​r​e​b​u​t​t​a​l​s​/​p​r​e​-​i​s​l​a​m​i​c​-​h​u​b​a​l​-​w​o​r​s​h​ip/
  1. M.H. Haykal, The Life of Muham­mad (transl. Isma’il R. al Faruqi), p. 20[]
  2. Haykal, ibid.[]
  3. Mar­tin Lings, Muham­mad : His Life Based on the Ear­li­est Sources, p. 11[]
  4. Philip K. Hit­ti, His­to­ry of the Arabs, p. 100[]
  5. Refer to M. Mohar Ali, Sir­at al-Nabi and the Ori­en­tal­ists, Vol. 1A, p. 74 for the full dis­cus­sion.[]

4 Comments

  1. Hubals loca­tion now been said is where Ibrahims rem­nants of his so called feet cum foot mark lbeen caged up.…this was the same loca­tion where Mutal­ib took the young Muham­mad for their devo­tion to Hubal cum Baal.…the evi­dence is up there in their hadiths..sahih hadiths…imagine if ibn Ishaks lost book is found…it is still there, been white­washed by the ulamas…gosh

  2. I am not a wor­shiper of Islam, but I do have friends who are fol­low­ers of that faith. I respect peo­ple’s indi­vid­ual choice of reli­gion. How­ev­er, there are oth­ers who sim­ply demean the faith of oth­ers. Peo­ple who are Islam­ic are most often the ones who are the unfor­tu­nate recip­i­ents of prej­u­diced dis­dain. It’s sad how some harsh­ly label them as ter­ror­ists” or sui­cide bombers”. I have read some of the pas­sages of the Qur’an and they are as poignant and spir­i­tu­al as the New Tes­ta­ment. Peo­ple should learn to embrace the fact that we are all broth­ers and that we always tend to have dif­fer­ences. I hope mankind real­izes that.

  3. Just a short note to inform you that we have post­ed Part IV
    on our web­site Ori­ent-Malerei”, Alawi and etc.

    For 2009 I wish to every­body PEACE, HEALTH AND HAPPINESS

  4. I would like to invite all of you to read :

    http://​www​.shar​i​fi​an​-his​to​ry​.info , especially

    Part III, Rev­e­la­tion on Title Aji & Idols

    Thank you.

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