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 archaeology. We can endlessly guess 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 shows 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.
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 showed 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 number of artefacts
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 favourite 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."
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
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 found 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
During the nineteenth century,
Amaud, Halevy and Glaser went to Southern Arabia and dug up
thousands of Sabean, Minaean, and Qatabanian inscriptions
which were later translated. In the 1940's, the
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 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
archaeological evidence demonstrates that the dominant
religion of Arabia was the cult of the Moon-god.
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." 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 stayed 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
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 show that
Moon-god worship was clearly active even in Muhammad's day
and was still the dominant cult. According to many
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.
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
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
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 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.
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 archaeological 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.
Yeshua Communications Network.
Copyright 1997-8, All Rights Reserved.