Religions practiced by Arabs before Islam
Arabian mythology comprises the ancient, pre-Islamic beliefs of the Arabs. Prior to Islam the Kaaba of Mecca was covered in symbols representing the myriad demons, djinn, demigods, or simply tribal gods and other assorted deities which represented the polytheistic culture of pre-Islamic Arabia. It has been inferred from this plurality an exceptionally broad context in which mythology could flourish.
In pre-Islamic Arabia, Allah was used by Meccans as a reference to a creator-god, possibly a supreme deity. Allah was not considered the sole divinity; however, Allah was considered the creator of the world and the giver of rain. The notion of the term may have been vague in the Meccan religion. Allah was associated with companions, whom pre-Islamic Arabs considered as subordinate deities. Meccans held that a kind of kinship existed between Allah and the jinn. Allah was thought to have had sons and that the local deities of al-Uzza, Manāt and al-Lat were his daughters. The Meccans possibly associated angels with Allah. Allah was invoked in times of distress. Muhammad's father's name was ʿAbd-Allah meaning "the worshiper of Allah"
The Three Goddesses:
- Allat (or Al-Lat) was a Pre-Islamic Arabian goddess who was one of the three chief goddesses of Mecca. Pre-Islamic Arabs considered her as one of the daughters of Allāh along with Manāt and al-Uzza. She was placed in Taif.
- Al-Uzza "The Mightiest One" or "The strong" was an Arabian fertility goddess who was one of the three chief goddesses of Mecca, Arabs only called upon her or Hubal for protection and victory before war to show how important she was.
- Manat was one of the three chief goddesses of Mecca, Arabs believed Manāt to be the goddess of fate, The Book of Idols describes her as the most ancient of all these idols. The Arabs used to name [their children] 'Abd-Manat and Zayd-Manat. Manat was erected on the seashore in the vicinity of al-Mushallal in Qudayd, between Medina and Mecca. All the Arabs used to venerate her and sacrifice before her. The Aws and the Khazraj, as well as the inhabitants of Medina and Mecca and their vicinities, used to venerate Manāt, sacrifice before her, and bring unto her their offerings... The Aws and the Khazraj, as well as those Arabs among the people of Yathrib and other places who took to their way of life, were wont to go on pilgrimage and observe the vigil at all the appointed places, but not shave their heads. At the end of the pilgrimage, however, when they were about to return home, they would set out to the place where Manāt stood, shave their heads, and stay there a while. They did not consider their pilgrimage completed until they visited Manāt.
Other notable gods:
- Manaf, the statue of Manaf was caressed by women, but when they had their periods they were not allowed near it.
- Wadd was a god of love and friendship. Snakes were believed to be sacred to Wadd.
- Amm was a moon god worshipped in ancient Qataban. He was revered as a weather god, as his attributes included lightning bolts.
- Ta'lab was a god worshipped in southern Arabia, particularly in Sheba. Ta'lab was the moon god. His oracle was consulted for advice.
- Dhu'l-Halasa was an oracular god of south Arabia. He was venerated in the form of a white stone.
- Al-Qaum was the Nabataean god of war and the night, and also guardian of caravans.
- Dushara was a Nabataean god. His name means "Lord of the Mountain"
This category has the following 7 subcategories, out of 7 total.