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A Reply To Shabir Ally’s Attack On Dr. Robert Morey

By Dr. Robert Morey

I have had the honor of Muslim terrorists following me around lately. In Canada, they threw acid at a car in which they thought I was riding. In Texas, they broke into a church building where they thought I was hiding. In San Diego, the FBI foiled an assassination attempt on my life. One even infiltrated my ministry and the FBI had to take him out.

Some terrorists show up at my lectures and protest outside the building or they run inside to disrupt my lecture. Lately they have been giving out a booklet entitled:

A Reply To Dr. Robert Morey’s Moon-God Myth & Other Deceptive Attacks On Islam”

by Shabir Ally

It is also an example of terrorism. But this time, thankfully, its goal is only character assassination. Since I defeated Shabir in a public debate in Toronto, Canada, (Contact Faith Defenders, PO Box 7447, Orange, CA 92863 to obtain a video copy of this debate), it is obvious to me that this booklet is an emotional response to my book, Islamic Invasion. This is self-evident from his using such ad hominem slurs as “deceptive” and “dishonest.” His booklet was an attack on me personally!

Let every Muslim terrorist please take note of the fact that I, Robert Morey, did not invent the idea that Allah came from Il or Ilah. Nor did I invent the idea that Allah in pre-Islamic times can be traced back to the Moon-God. Even if I had never been born, those ideas would have been voiced by many scholars and can be found in many reference works. This means that I am not personally your enemy. So, please stop running around like Shabir shouting insults at me. The emotionalism displayed in his booklet is “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Shabir argues most of the time about irrelevant points that have nothing to do with the issue at hand. This is called in logic the “red herring” fallacy. In order to stop the hounds from following the trail of their prey, someone would drag a smelly old red herring across the trail and the dogs would be led astray on a false trail.

This is Shabir’s main logical fallacy. For example, instead of focusing on the crucial issues raised in the citations I give, he spends his time dealing with whether I quoted enough of the passage to suit him or whether I used …before or after the quote. In other words, Shabir wastes a great deal of time focusing on HOW I quoted a scholar instead of WHAT that scholar said. He is clearly guilty of using a red herring to divert people from WHAT I quoted. The rule of logic is: The validity of what is quoted does not depend on whether … is placed before or after it or whether the entire passage is quoted.

In my many books, lectures and debates, I set forth the following points:

1. In Pre-Islamic times, “Allah” was used by pagan Arabs in reference to one of 360 gods worshipped at the Kabah.

2. This “Allah” may have been a high god or even the top deity among the gods but he was not viewed in the monotheistic sense as the only true deity.

3. Many scholars trace this “Allah” back to Il and Ilah and from there to the Moon-God.

Do these points seem difficult to understand? I don’t think so. The only crucial question is whether these points are supported by the citations I produce. It is irrelevant whether I quoted the entire paragraph or whether I put … before or after the quote. If what I quoted supports the point I am making at that time, that is all that matters.

Since my points concern the pre-Islamic origin and meaning of “Allah,” what it meant in post-Islamic times is logically irrelevant. Shabir seems completely ignorant of this point of logic.

He also doesn’t understand that it is only necessary to quote that part of a page or paragraph or sentence that applies directly to the point you are making. Thus when Shabir constantly whines, “Morey did not quote the whole passage,” he failed to understand that if the rest of the passage is irrelevant to the point being made, I don’t have to quote it.

The same is true of Shabir’s focus on if I used …enough times to suit him. Yet, he failed to use… when quoting me on several occasions! The point is: The presence or absence of … in a citation has no logical bearing on the validity of what is quoted.

Shabir’s canard is immediately evident at this point. Take his treatment of my citation from Coon who wrote:

“The god Il or Ilah was originally a phase of the Moon God.”

Carleton S. Coon, Southern Arabia,
(Washington, D.C. Smithsonian, 1944) p.399

I used Coon to illustrate that some scholars trace “Allah” back to Il or Ilah. Then from there they find its original meaning in Pre-Islamic times to refer to the Moon-God. That this is what Coon is saying is quite clear. Now, why does Shabir object to my quotation from Coon?

1. He claims that I “misquoted” Coon. But did I in fact misquote him? No. He quotes the exact same words that I quoted! We both quote Coon’s statement that the word Ilah originally referred to a phase of the Moon-God.

2. What Shabir means by “misquotation” is actually partial quotation. He thus confuses partial quotation for misquotation. This is sad as it reveals he has no command of the English language or the laws of logic.

3. Thus Shabir’s whole argument is based on the idea that since I did not quote the whole paragraph, this somehow means that what I did quote should be ignored! This is irrational.

After tracing Allah back to Il or Ilah and from there to the Moon-God, Coon goes on to discuss his idea of how the meaning of the word evolved later on in history. For example he states, “under Mohammed’s tutelage, the relatively anonymous Ilah, became Al-Ilah, The God, or Allâh, the Supreme Being.”

Notice that Coon says that under “Muhammad’s tutelage” (i. e in Post-Islamic times) “the relatively anonymous Ilah became Al-Ilah, the God, or Allah, the Supreme Being.”

Notice his words very carefully. Coon is saying that Muhammad changed the meaning of Allah. Coon says that the original meaning of Allah goes back to Il and from there back to the Moon-God. That the meaning of Allah was later CHANGED by Muhammad is further proof that Allah did NOT originally mean the only true God. After all, if it changed to the Supreme God, then it did not originally have that meaning!

Shabir makes the same mistake with my quote from Caesar Farah:

“There is no reason, therefore, to accept the idea that Allâh passed on to the Muslims from the Christians and Jews.” (Farah p. 28).

Shabir once again confuses partial quotation with misquotation. He claims that I was in error for not quoting more of Farah. Well, here is the rest of Farah’s statement:

Allâh, the paramount deity of pagan Arabia, was the target of worship in varying degrees of intensity from the southernmost tip of Arabia to the Mediterranean. To the Babylonians he was “Il” (god); to the Canaanites, and later the Israelites, he was “El’; the South Arabians worshipped him as “Ilah,” and the Bedouins as “al-Ilah” (the deity). With Muhammad he becomes Allâh, God of the Worlds, of all believers, the one and only who admits no associates or consorts in the worship of Him. Judaic and Christian concepts of God abetted the transformation of Allâh from a pagan deity to the God of all monotheists. There is no reason, therefore, to accept the idea that “Allah” passed to the Muslims from Christians and Jews. (Farah p. 28). (Emphasis mine)

Shabir does not realize that rather than refuting me, the expanded quotation actually supports what I say!

1. Farah begins by saying that Allah was the “paramount deity of pagan Arabia” and “a pagan deity.” This means Allah was one of the gods worshipped by the pagans. Notice that he says “deity” and not “Deity.”

2. Farah then clearly states that “with Muhammad” Ilah “BECOMES Allah,” in that Allah is “TRANSFORMED” from being “a pagan deity” to a monotheistic Being. Again, this is what I also believe.

3. According to Farah, Allah began as a pagan deity and is later “transformed” by Muhammad into a monotheistic deity. This is the point I have been making all along.

The expanded quotes from both Coon and Farah support what I believe. The red herrings used by Shabir are revealed as a sham and a hoax. He should have focused on what I quoted and not just on how I quoted it.

The word Allah was most likely derived from al-ilah, which had become the generic term for whatever god was considered the highest god. The Meccan pagans used Allah to refer to their own particular high god. This is why they prayed to Hubal using the name Allah. Different tribes preferred other names such as Sin or Ilqamah. Allah was NEVER called YHWH or Jesus.

The following citations reveal that there is a general consensus among Islamic scholars that Allah was a pagan deity before Islam developed in the 7th century. He was only one god among a pantheon of 360 gods worshipped by the Arabs. Even if he was at times viewed as a “high god”, this does not mean he was the one true God.


“Allah: Originally applied to the moon; he seems to be preceded by Ilmaqah, the moon god…

Allat: the female counterpart to Allah.”

Dictionary of Non-Classical Mythology, p. 7

“Allah: Before the birth of Muhammad, Allah was known as a supreme, but not sole, God.”

Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, p. 48

“Before Islam, the religions of the Arabic world involved the worship of many spirits, called jinn. Allah was but one of many gods worshiped in Mecca. But then Muhammad taught the worship of Allah as the only God, whom he identified as the same God worshiped by Christians and Jews.”

A Short History of Philosophy, (Oxford University Press) p. 130

“Historians like Vaqqidi have said Allah was actually the chief of the 360 gods being worshipped in Arabia at the time Mohammed rose to prominence. Ibn Al-Kalbi gave 27 names of pre-Islamic deities…Interestingly, not many Muslims want to accept that Allah was already being worshipped at the Ka’ba in Mecca by Arab pagans before Mohammed came. Some Muslims become angry when they are confronted with this fact. But history is not on their side. Pre-Islamic literature has proved this.”

G. J.O. Moshay, Who Is This Allah? , (Dorchester House, Bucks, UK, 1994), pg. 138.

“Islam also owes the term “Allah” to the heathen Arabs. We have evidence that it entered into numerous personal names in Northern Arabia and among the Nabateans. It occurred among the Arabs of later times, in theophorous names and on its own.”

Ibn Warraq, Why I Am Not A Muslim, (Prometheus, Amherst, 1995) p. 42

“In any case it is an extremely important fact that Muhammad did not find it necessary to introduce an altogether novel deity, but contented himself with ridding the heathen Allah of his companions subjecting him to a kind of dogmatic purification.”

Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, I:664

“The name Allah, as the Qur’an 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.”

Arthur Jeffrey, ed., Islam: Muhammad and His Religion, (New York: The Liberal Arts Press, 1958), p. 85.

“Allah is a proper name, applicable only to their [Arabs’] peculiar God.”

Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, I:326.

“Allah is a pre-Islamic name…”

Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, I:117.

“Allah is found…in Arabic inscriptions prior to Islam.”

Encyclopedia Britannica, I:643.

“The Arabs, before the time of Muhammad, 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), II:1093.

“The name Allah goes back before Muhammed.”

The Facts on File: Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, ed. Anthony Mercatante (New York, The Facts on File, 1983), I:41.

“The source 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. Hastings), I:326.

“Allah was already known by name to the Arabs.”

Henry Preserved Smith, 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

“Allah: Perceived in pre-Islamic times as the creator of the earth and water, though not, at that time, considered monotheistically…

Allat: Astral and tutelary goddess. Pre-Islamic… One of three daughters of Allah.”

Encyclopedia of Gods, p. 11

“Manat: Goddess. Pre-Islamic… One of the so-called daughters of Allah.”

Encyclopedia of Gods, p. 156

“The name Allah is also evident in archeological and literary remains of pre-Islamic Arabia.”

Kenneth Cragg, The Call of the Minaret, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1956), p. 31.

“In recent years I have become increasingly convinced that for an adequate understanding of the career of Muhammad and the sources 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.

“The use of the phrase “the Lord of this House” makes it likely that those Meccans who believed in Allah as a high god – and they may have been numerous – regarded the Ka’ba as his shrine, even though there were images of other gods in it. There are stories in the Sira of pagan Meccans praying to Allah while standing beside the image of Hubal.”

William Montgomery Watt, Muhammad’s Mecca, p. 39.

“The customs of heathenism have left an indelible mark on Islam, notably in the rites of the pilgrimage (on which more will be said later), so that for this reason alone something ought to be said about the chief characteristics of Arabian paganism.

The relation of this name, which in Babylonia and Assyria became a generic term simply meaning ‘god’, to the Arabian Ilah familiar to us in the form Allah, which is compounded of al, the definite article, and Ilah by eliding the vowel ‘i’, is not clear. Some scholars trace the name to the South Arabian Ilah, a title of the Moon god, but this is a mater of antiquarian interest…it is clear from Nabataean and other inscriptions that Allah meant ‘the god’.

The other gods mentioned in the Quran are all female deities: Al-Lat, al-Uzza, and Manat, which represented the Sun, the planet Venus, and Fortune, respectively; at Mecca they were regarded as the daughters of Allah…As Allah meant ‘the god’, so Al-Lat means ‘the goddess’.”

Alfred Guillaume, Islam, (Penguin, 1956) pgs. 6-7.

“As well as worshipping idols and spirits, found in animals, plants, rocks and water, the ancient Arabs believed in several major gods and goddesses whom they considered to hold supreme power over all things. The most famous of these were Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, Manat and Hubal. The first three were thought to be the daughters of Allah (God) and their intercessions on behalf of their worshippers were therefore of great significance.

Hubal was associated with the Semitic god Ba’al and with Adonis or Tammuz, the gods of spring, fertility, agriculture and plenty…Hubal’s idol used to stand by the holy well inside the Sacred House. It was made or red sapphire but had a broken arm until the tribe of Quraysh, who considered him one of their major gods, made him a replacement in solid gold.

In addition to the sun, moon and the star Al-Zuhara, the Arabs worshipped the planets Saturn, Mercury, and Jupiter, the stars Sirius and Canopies and the constellations of Orion, Urea Major and Minor, and the seven Pleiades.

Some stars and planets were given human characters. According to legend, Al-Doberman, one of the stars in the Hades group, fell deeply in love with Al-Thruways, the fairest of the Pleiades stars. With the approval of the Moon, he asked for her hand in marriage.”

Chair al-Sash, Fabled Cities, Princes & Jin From Arab Myths and Legends, (New York: Chicken, 1985), p. 28-30.

“Along with Allah, however, they worshipped a host of lesser gods and “daughters of Allah.”

Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, I:61.

“It must not be assumed that since Moslems worship one God they are very close to Christians in their faith. The important thing is not the belief that God in One, but the conception that the believers have of God’s character. Satan also believes and trembles! As Raymond Lull, the first great missionary to Moslems, pointed out long ago, the greatest deficiency in the Moslem religion is in its conception of God…For as we know, Jehovah the God of the Bible, know both to Jews and Christians, is revealed much differently than Allah, the god of Islam.”

Howard F. Vos, Ed., Religions in a Changing World, (Chicago, 1961), pp. 70, 71.

“Allah was the name of a god whom the Arabs worshipped many centuries before Muhammed was born.”

The World Book Encyclopedia, (Chicago, 1955), Vol. 1, p. 230.

“But history establishes beyond the shadow of doubt that even the pagan Arabs, before Mohammed’s time, knew their chief god by the name of Allah and even, in a sense, proclaimed his unity…Among the pagan Arabs this term denoted the chief god of their pantheon, the Kaaba, with its three hundred and sixty idols.”

Samuel M. Zwemer, The Moslem Doctrine of God, (New York, 1905), pp. 24-25.

“There is no corroborative evidence whatsoever for the Qur’an’s claim that the Ka’aba was initially a house of monotheist worship. Instead there certainly is evidence as far back as history can trace the sources and worship of the Ka’aba that it was thoroughly pagan and idolatrous in content and emphasis.”

John Gilchrist, The Temple, The Ka’aba, and The Christ, (Benoni, South Africa, 1980), p. 16.

“In pre-Islamic days, called the Days of Ignorance, the religious background of the Arabs was pagan, and basically animistic. Through wells, stones, caves, springs, and other natural objects man could make contact with the deity… At Mekka, Allah was the chief of the gods and the special deity of the Quraish, the prophet’s tribe. Allah had three daughters: Al-Uzzah (Venus) most revered of all and pleased with human sacrifice; Manah, the goddess of destiny, and Al Lat, the goddess of vegetable life. Hubal and more than 300 others made up the pantheon. The central shrine at Mekka was the Kaaba, a cube-like stone structure which still stands though many times rebuilt. Imbedded in one corner is the black stone, probably a meteorite, the kissing of which is now an essential part of the pilgrimage.”

John Van Ess, Meet the Arab, (New York, 1943), p. 29.

“…a people of Arabia, of the race of the Joktanites…the Alilai living near the Red Sea in a district where gold is found; their name, children of the moon, so called from the worship of the moon, or Alilat.”

Gesenius Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures, translated by Samuel Prideaux Tregelles (Grand Rapids, MI, 1979), p. 367.

“That Islam was conceived in idolatry is shown by the fact that many rituals performed in the name of Allah were connected with the pagan worship that existed before Islam. And today, millions of Moslems pray towards Mecca, where the famous revered black stone is located.

Before Islam Allah was reported to be known as:

–the supreme of a pantheon of gods.

–the name of a god whom the Arabs worshipped.

–the chief god of the pantheon.

–Ali-ilah, the god, the supreme.

–the all-powerful, all-knowing, and totally unknowable.

–the predeterminer of everyone’s life (destiny).

–the chief of the gods.

–the special deity of the Quraish.

–having three daughters: Al Uzzah (Venus), Manah

…Because the rituals involved with the Islamic Pilgrimage are either identical or very close to the pre-Islamic pagan idol worship at Mecca. Because of other Arabian history which points to heathen worship of the sun, moon, and the stars, as well as other gods, of which I believe Allah was in some way connected to.

This then would prove to us that Allah is not the same as the true God of the Bible whom we worship, because God never changes.”

M. J. Afshari, Is Allah the Same God as the God of the Bible?, pp. 6, 8, 9

“If a Muslim says, ‘Your God and our God is the same,’ either he does not understand who Allah and Christ really are, or he intentionally glosses over the deep-rooted differences.”

Adb-Al Masih, Who is Allah in Islam? (Villach, Austria, Light of Life, 1985), p. 36.

“Sin. – The moon-god occupied the chief place in the astral triad. Its other two members, Shamash the sun and Ishtar the planet Venus, were his children. Thus it was, in effect, from the night that light had emerged…In his physical aspect Sin — who was venerated at Ur under the name of Nannar — was an old man with a long beard the color of lapis-lazuli. He normally wore a turban. Every evening he got into his barque — which to mortals appeared in the form of a brilliant crescent moon — and navigated the vast spaces of the nocturnal sky. Some people, however, believed that the luminous crescent was Sin’s weapon. But one day the crescent gave way to a disk, which stood out in the sky like a gleaming crown. There could be no doubt that this was the god’s own crown; and then Sin was called ‘Lord of the Diadem’.

These successive and regular transformations lent Sin in a certain mystery. For this reason he was considered to be ‘He whose deep heart no god can penetrate’… Sin was also full of wisdom. At the end of every month the gods came to consult them and he made decisions for them… His wife was Ningal, ‘the great Lady’. He was the father not only of Shamash and Istar but also of a son Nusku, the god of fire.”

Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, (New York, 1960), pp. 54-56.

“Allah, the Supreme Being of the Mussulmans: Before Islam. That the Arabs, before the time of Muhammed, accepted and worshipped, after a fashion, a supreme god called Allah, — “the Ilah”, or the god, if the form is of genuine Arabic source; if of Aramaic, from Alaha, “the god” — seems absolutely certain. Whether he was an abstraction or a development from some individual god, such as Hubal, need not here be considered…But they also recognized and tended to worship more fervently and directly other strictly subordinate gods…It is certain that they regarded particular deities (mentioned in 1iii. 19-20 are al-‘Ussa, Manat, or Manah, al-Lat; some have interpreted vii, 179 as a reference to a perversion of Allah to Allat as daughters of Allah, vi. 100; xvi. 59; xxxvii. 149; liii. 21); they also asserted that he had sons (vi. 100)… ‘There was no god save Allah’. This meant, for Muhammed and the Meccans, that of all the gods whom they worshipped, Allah was the only real deity. It took no account of the nature of God in the abstract, only of the personal position of Allah…ilah, the common noun from which Allah is probably derived…”

First Encyclopedia of Islam, E.J. Brill (New York, 1987), p. 302

“Islam for its part ensured the survival of these pre-Islamic constituents, endowed them with a universal significance, and provided them with a context within which they have enjoyed a most remarkable longevity. Some of these significant constituents, nomadic and sedentary, the pre-Islamic roots which have formed the persistent heritage, deserve to be noted and discussed…The pre-Islamic Pilgrimage in its essential features survives, indeed is built into the very structure of Islam as one of its Five Pillars of Faith.”

The Cambridge History of Islam, Vol. I, ed. P.M. Holt (Cambridge, 1970), p.27.

“The Quran (22.51/I) implies that on at least one occasion ‘Satan had interposed’ something in the revelation Muhammad received, and this probably refers to the incident to be described. The story is that, while Muhammad was hoping for some accommodation with the great merchants, he received a revelation mentioning the goddesses al-Lat, al-Uzza, and Manat (53.19 {20, as now found}), but continuing with other two (or three) verses sanctioning intercession to these deities. At some later date Muhammad received a further revelation abrogating the latter verses, but retaining the names of the goddesses, and saying it was unfair that God should have only daughters while human beings had sons.”

The Cambridge History of Islam, Vol. I, ed. P.M. Holt (Cambridge, 1970), p. 37.

“This notation at times might be very simple, as can be illustrated by such equations as the sun or winged sun for the sun-god (Sumerian, Utu; Akkadian, Shamash), a crescent moon for the moon-god (Nanna/Sin), a star for Inanna/Ishtar (the planet Venus), seven dots or small stars for the constellation Pleiades (of which seven are readily visible, or ‘Seven Sisters’)…”

Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, Vol. III, ed. Jack M. Sasson, (New York), p. 1841.

“…the Ka’aba was dedicated to al-Llah, the High God of the pagan Arabs, despite the presiding effigy of Hubal. By the beginning of the seventh century, al-Llah had become more important than before in the religious life many of the Arabs. Many primitive religions develop a belief in a High God, who is sometimes called the Sky God…But they also carried on worshipping the other gods, who remained deeply important to them.”

Karen Armstrong, Muhammad, (New York: San Francisco, 1992), p. 69.

“The cult of a deity termed simply “the god” (al-ilah) was known throughout southern Syria and northern Arabia in the days before Islam – Muhammad’s father was named ‘Abd Allah’ (“Servant of Allah”) – and was obviously of central importance in Mecca, where the building called the Ka’bah was indisputably his house. Indeed, the Muslims shahadah attest to precisely that point: the Quraysh, the paramount tribe of Mecca, were being called on by Muhammad to repudiate the very existence of all the other gods save this one. It seems equally certain that Allah was not merely a god in Mecca but was widely regarded as the “high god”, the chief and head of the Meccan pantheon, whether this was the result, as has been argued, of a natural progression toward henotheism or of the growing influence of Jews and Christians in the Arabian Peninsula…Thus Allah was neither an unknown nor an unimportant deity to the Quraysh when Muhammad began preaching his worship at Mecca.”

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, ed. John L. Esposito, (New York, 1995), pp. 76-77.

“The religion of the Arabs, as well as their political life, was on a thoroughly primitive level…In particular the Semites regarded trees, caves, springs, and large stones as being inhabited by spirits; like the Black Stone of Islam in a corner of the Ka’bah at Mecca, in Petra and other places in Arabia stones were venerated also…Every tribe worshipped its own god, but also recognized the power of other tribal gods in their own sphere…Three goddesses in particular had elevated themselves above the circle of the inferior demons. The goddess of fate, al-Manat, corresponding to the Tyche Soteira of the Greeks, though known in Mecca, was worshipped chiefly among the neighboring Bedouin tribes of the Hudhayl. Allat – “the Goddess”, who is Taif was called ar-Rabbah, “the Lady”, and whom Herodotus equates with Urania – corresponded to the great mother of the gods, Astarte of the northern Semites; al-‘Uzza, “the Mightiest”, worshipped in the planet Venus, was merely a variant form…In addition to all these gods and goddesses the Arabs, like many other primitive peoples, believed in a God who was creator of the world, Allah, whom the Arabs did not, as has often been thought, owe to the Jews and Christians…The more the significance of the cult declined, the greater became the value of a general religious temper associated with Allah. Among the Meccans he was already coming to take the place of the old moon-god Hubal as the lord of the Ka’bah…Allah was actually the guardian of contracts, though at first there were still settled at a special ritual locality and so subordinate to the supervision of an idol. In particular he was regarded as the guardian of the alien guest, though consideration for him still lagged behind duty to one’s kinsman.”

History of the Islamic Peoples, Carl Brockelmann, (New York), pp. 8-10.

“The Romans and Abyssinians were identified with Christianity. Whole tribes and districts held up the banner of Judaism and waged war in its propagation. The Persian power was the exponent of the fire-worship; and the Arabs in general were devoted to that native idolatry which had its center in the national sanctuary of the Kaaba…The religion most widely prevalent in Arabia, when Mohammed began his life, was a species of heathenism of idol-worship, which had its local center in Mecca and its temple…According to a theory held by many, this temple had been sourceally connected with the ancient worship of the sun, moon and stars, and its circumambulation by the worshippers had a symbolical reference to the rotation of the heavenly bodies. Within its precincts and in its neighborhood there were found many idols, such as Hobal, Lat, Ozza, Manah, Wadd, Sawa, Yaghut, Nasr, Isaf, Naila, etc. A black stone in the temple was regarded with superstitious awe as eminently sacred…The attempt of the Mussulmans to derive it direct from a stone alter or pillar, erected by Abraham and his son Ishmael, in that identical locality, is altogether unsupported by history, and, in fact, flagrantly contrary to the Biblical record of the life of Abraham and his son. The pagan character of the temple is sufficiently marked by the statement of Mohammedan writers that before its purification by their Prophet, it contained no less than 360 idols, as many as there were days of the year; and that on its walls were painted the figures of angels, prophets, saints, including those of Abraham and Ishmael, and even of the Virgin Mary with her infant Son…Mohammed, with great practical insight and shrewdness, seized on this advantage and retained the heathen shrine of his native city as the local center of Islam. He sanctioned it by his own example as a place of religious pilgrimage for all his followers.”

Mohammed and Mohammedanism, S. W. Koelle, (London, 1889), p. 17-19

“According to D. Nielsen, the starting point of the religion of the Semitic nomads was marked by the astral triad, Sun-Moon-Venus, the moon being more important for the nomads and the sun more important for the settled tribes.”

Studies on Islam, trans., ed. Merlin L. Swartz, (New York, Oxford, 1981), p.7.

“One detail which already impressed the Greek authors was the role played by sacred stones…The material object is not venerated for itself but rather as the dwelling of either a person being (god, spirit) or a force.”

Studies on Islam, ibid., p. 8.

“The final divinity to be considered is Allah who was recognized before Islam as god, and if not as the only god at least as a supreme god. The Quran makes it quite clear that he was recognized at Mecca, though belief in him was certainly more widespread….How is this to be explained? Earlier scholars attributed the diffusion of this belief solely to Christian and Judaic influences. But now a growing number of authors maintain that this idea had older roots in Arabia…If, therefore, Allah is indigenous to Arabia, one must ask further: Are there indications of a nomadic source? I think there are, based on a comparison of the beliefs of the nomads in central and northern Asia with those of northeastern Africa. Like the supreme being of many other nomads, Allah is a god of the sky and dispenser of rain.”

Studies on Islam, ibid., p. 12.

“The ibex (wa’al) still inhabits South Arabia and in Sabean times represented the moon god. Dr. Albert Jamme believes it was of religious significance to the ancient Sabeans that the curved ibex horn held sideways resembled the first quarter of the moon.”

Qataban and Sheba: Exploring the Ancient Kingdoms on the Biblical Spice Routes of Arabia, Wendell Phillips, (New York, 1955), p. 64.

“The first pre-Islamic inscription discovered in Dhofar Province, Oman, this bronze plaque, deciphered by Dr. Albert Jamme, dates from about the second century A.D. and gives the name of the Hadramaut moon god Sin and the name Sumhuram, a long-lost city…The moon was the chief deity of all the early South Arabian kingdoms – particularly fitting in that region where the soft light of the moon brought the rest and cool winds of night as a relief from the blinding sun and scorching heat of day.

In contrast to most of the old religions with which we are familiar, the moon god is male, while the sun god is his consort, a female. The third god of importance is their child, the male morning star, which we know as the planet Venus…

The spice route riches brought them a standard of luxurious living inconceivable to the poverty-stricken South Arabian Bedouins of today. Like nearly all Semitic peoples they worshipped the moon, the sun, and the morning star. The chief god, the moon, was a male deity symbolized by the bull, and we found many carved bulls’ heads, with drains for the blood of sacrificed animals.”

Qataban and Sheba: Exploring the Ancient Kingdoms on the Biblical Spice Routes of Arabia, ibid. p. 227.

“Arabia in Muhammad’s time was polytheistic in its conception of the cosmos and tribal in its social structure. Each tribe had its own god(s) and goddess(es), which were manifest in the forms of idols, stones, trees, or stars in the sky.”

Islamic Studies, A History of Religions Approach, 2nd Ed., Richard C. Martin, (New Jersey), p. 96.

“II. The Religion of the Pre-Islamic Arabs

The life of the pre-Islamic Arabs, especially in the Hijaz depended on trade and they made a trade of their religion as well. About four hundred years before the birth of Muhammad one Amr bin Lahyo bin Harath bin Amr ul-Qais bin Thalaba bin Azd bin Khalan bin Babalyun bin Saba, a descendant of Qahtan and king of Hijaz, had put an idol called Habal on the roof of the Kaba. This was one of the chief deities of the Quraish before Islam. It is said that there were altogether three hundred and sixty idols in and about the Kaba and that each tribe had its own deity…The shapes and figures of the idols were also made according to the fancy of the worshippers. Thus Wadd was shaped like a man, Naila like a woman, so was Suwa. Yaghuth was made in the shape of a lion, Yauq like a horse and Nasr like a vulture…Besides Hodal, there was another idol called Shams placed on the roof of the Kaba…The blood of the sacrifical animals brought by the pilgrims was offered to the deities in the Kaba and sometimes even human beings were sacrificed and offered to the god…Besides idol-worship, they also worshipped the stars, the sun and the moon.”

Muhammad the Holy Prophet, Hafiz Ghulam Sarwar (Pakistan), p. 18-19.

“The Bedouin do not seem to have had much time for religion. They were realists, without a great deal of imagination. They believed the land was peopled by spirits, the jinns, who were often invisible but appeared also in animal form. The dead were thought to line on in a dim and ghostly state. Offerings were made to them and steales and cairns of stones erected on their graves. Certain trees and stones (especially meteorites and those shaped to resemble human forms) housed spirits and divinities. Divinities dwelt in the sky and some were actually stars. Some were thought to be ancient sages made divine. The list of these divine beings, and above all the importance with which each was regarded, varied from one tribe to the next; but the chief of them were to be found all over the peninsula. This was especially true of Allah, ‘the God, the Divinity’, the personification of the divine world in its highest form, creator of the universe and keeper of sworn oaths. In the Hejaz three goddesses had price of place as the ‘daughters of Allah’. The first of these was Allat, mentioned by Herodotus under the name of Alilat. Her name means simply ‘the goddess’, and she may have stood for one aspect of Venus, the morning star, although Hellenized Arabs identified her with Athena. Next came Uzza, ‘the all-powerful’; whom other sources identify with Venus. The third was Manat, the goddess of fate, who held the shears which cut the thread of life and who was worshipped in a shrine on the sea-shore. The great god of Mecca was Hubal, an idol made of red cornelian…Homage was paid to the divinity with offerings and the sacrifice of animals and perhaps, occasionally, of human beings. Certain sanctuaries were the object of pilgrimage (hajj) at which a variety of rituals were performed, consisting notably of ceremonial processions around the sacred object. Certain prohibitions had to be observed during these rituals, such as in many cases abstention from sexual relations. Magic was common. People feared the evil eye and protected themselves with amulets.”

Mohammed, Maxine Robinson, (New York), pp. 16-17.

“These and many other verses show clearly that the existence of a god called Allah and even his highest position among the divinities was known and acknowledged in Jahiliyyah, but He was, after all, but one of the gods…Was the Koranic concept of Allah a continuation of the pre-Islamic one, or did the former represent a complete break with the latter? Were there some essential – not accidental – ties between the two concepts signified by one and the same name? Or was it a simple matter of a common word used for two different objects?

In order to be able to give a satisfactory answer to these initial questions, we will do well to remember the fact that, when the Koran began to use this name, there immediately arose serious debates among the Arabs of Mecca. The Koranic usage of the word provoked stormy discussions over the nature of this God between the Muslims and the Kafirs, as is most eloquently attested by the Koran itself.

What does this mean from the semantical point of view? What are the implications of the fact that the name of Allah was not only known to both parties but was actually used by both parties in their discussion with each other? The very fact that the name of Allah was common to both the pagan Arabs and the Muslims, particularly the fact that it gave rise to much heated discussion about the concept of God, would seem to suggest conclusively that there was some common ground of understanding between the two parties. Otherwise there could have been neither debate nor discussion at all. And when the Prophet addressed his adversaries in the name of Allah, he did so simply and solely because he knew that this name meant something – and something important – to their minds too. If this were not so, his activity would have been quite pointless in this respect.

As regards the ‘basic’ meaning of Allah, …In pre-Islamic times each tribe, as a rule, had its own local god or divinity known by a proper name. So, at first, each tribe may have meant its own local divinity when it used an expression equivalent in meaning to ‘the God’; this is quite probable. But the very fact that people began to designate their own local divinity by the abstract form of ‘the God’ must have paved the way for the growth of an abstract notion of God without any localizing qualification and then, following this, for a belief in the supreme God common to all the tribes. We meet with similar instances all over the world.

Before the name [Allah] came into Islam, it had already long been part of the pre-Islamic system, and a considerably important part, too…the pagan concept of Allah, which is purely Arabian – the case in which we see the pre-Islamic Arabs themselves talking about ‘Allah’ as they understood the word in their own peculiar way.”

God and Man in the Koran, Toshihiko Izutsu, (Tokyo, 1964), pp. 95-99, 103-104.

One must ask why Shabir did not dealt with all the citations I have given to prove my point? Could it be they are too clearly on my side?

Shabir And Logic

During our debate, I constantly pointed out the logical fallacies committed by Shabir. This must have irritated him greatly as he desperately tries to find a logical fallacy in my arguments.

First, I have argued that the word “Allah” existed before Muhammad was born. To prove this point I pointed out that Muhammad’s father and uncle both had “Allah” as part of their names. This is a historical argument that deals with the chronological reality that a father pre-exists his son. It would look like this.

If x exists before y,

Then: the father of Muhammad (x) existed before Muhammad (y).

If the name of x exists before the birth of y

Then the name abd-Allah existed before the birth of Muhammad

Then the word “Allah” existed before Muhammad.

I also build on this argument:

If x lived and died before y was born,

Then the meaning of x’s name will be pre-y.

If the meaning of x’s name is pre-y,

And x was a pagan,

Then the pre-y meaning of the name of x is pagan.

If “Allah” was part of x’s name,

Then “Allah” is pre-y.

If the pre-y meaning of “Allah” was a pagan deity,

Then the name of x referred to a pagan deity.

If “Allah” came from Il or Ilah in pre-y times,

And Il or Ilah was originally the Moon-God,

Then Allah originally referred to the Moon-God.

In logic this last syllogism would be as follows:
a > b
b > c
a > c

Shabir needs someone who teaches logic to tell him that the syllogism above is valid. He needs someone to tell him that logic deals with the validity of the form of an argument and not with whether the premise is true or false. Shabir does not understand this point. He assumes that because he denies the truth of my premise, this means my conclusion is invalid.

This is the fatal flaw of Shabir’s entire booklet. He assumes a post-Islamic meaning of the word “Allah” as a reference to the one true deity of Islam. Thus he resists any attempt to find a pagan pre-Islamic meaning of the word. He assumes Islam is true and then judges everything pre-Islamic by Islam.

Concerning the archeological evidence I set forth, Shabir cannot make up his mind. Sometimes he seems to deny it all and, then in other places, he seems to admit that I was right. He contradicts himself on this point.

Shabir’s main objection is a question of relevance and not fact. In some places he admits that I am right on the archeological facts but then turns around and claims that these facts are irrelevant. Thus it does not matter to him that Moon-God religion was dominant in the Fertile Crescent. But the cultural and religious context of the Pre-Islamic world in general is relevant because I am discussing that time period!

The fact is Moon-God worship was the dominant religion in the ancient World. I surveyed the archeological evidence from Babylon to Egypt to prove this point. But Shabir complains, “He should get to the point of proving that Moon-worship existed in Arabia.”

Notice he says “Arabia” in general and not just Southern Arabia. He later condemns me for referring to Arabia in general. He thus does here what he condemns me for doing later.

After I pointed out that Moon-God temples have been found in Arabia and quoted from scholars to prove this point. Does he deny that I am correct on this point? No.

How does Shabir try to wiggle out of the evidence I give? He commits the logical fallacy of arguing from silence. He asks, “But where is the evidence concerning North Arabia?” Since he can’t deny the evidence that I submit, he just keeps asking for more evidence!

I set forth the hard evidence that moon worship was common among Pre-Islamic pagans in Arabia. He admits that this is true for Southern Arabia. But he waves this evidence away because archeologists have not been to Northern Arabia. But modern archeologists are not allowed by the Saudis to dig in Northern Arabia. I am sure that such evidence would come to light if they were allowed to investigate the area.

The bulk of Shabir’s booklet commits the same logical fallacies over and over again. When I quoted from Segall or other scholars that moon religion was dominant in Arabia, he complains that the evidence only proves this for Southern Arabia. But he waves aside this evidence by complaining the evidence has not been found in Northern Arabia.

He points to a Minoan inscriptions that list names for the Moon-God and concludes that since Allah is not mentioned, this means it was not a name for the Moon-God. Of course, he is arguing from silence once again. It is logically irrelevant if a Minoan inscription does not mention the Arabic word Allah.

The depth to which Shabir now sinks is amazing. While every Islamic reference work defines Al-Lat, Al-Uzza and Manat as three pagan goddesses who were called the “daughters of Allah” by pagan Arabs in Pre-Islamic times, Shabir claims that I “invented” the idea that they were thus the daughters of the “Moon-God.”

My conclusion that Al-Lat, Al-Uzza and Manat were viewed as the daughters of the Moon-God, is a valid deduction given the fact that Allah was originally the Moon-God in pre-Islamic times. The connection between Allah and the Moon-God has been pointed out by various scholars long before I came along. For example, The Dictionary of Non-Classical Mythology, states, “Allah: Originally applied to the moon…” (p. 7)

a > b
b > c
c > d
a > d

Now, did I invent the statement above? No. Does Shabir set forth any citations to back up his denial of The Dictionary of Non-Classical Mythology? No.

I refer to “amazing discoveries” revealed by G. Caton Thompson in her 1944 book The Tombs and Moon Temple of Hureidha. What did she reveal? She uncovered a temple to the Moon-God in Southern Arabia. This is sufficient to prove that some Arabs were worshipping the Moon-God in Pre-Islamic Times.

But Shabir cannot rest with this reality. He must drag a red herring across the trail to divert attention from the crucial point. He argues over whether some minor artifacts are moon-god idols. The question of whether they were idols or not has no logical bearing on my point that an Arabian temple to the Moon-God was dug up by Thompson. The arguments over whether this or that broken statue is an idol does not logically affect this reality. Shabir does not refute or even deny Thompson’s claim that she discovered a Moon-God temple in Arabia.

Shabir complains about my citations from such books as The Ancient Near East: A New Anthology of Texts and Pictures, The Bible As History in Pictures, and Archaeology of The Bible. I use them as illustrations of the vast scope of astral worship in the ancient world. Why does he whine about these citations?

Shabir shows his true ignorance by not understanding that Baal and other ancient deities were astral deities of the moon, sun and stars. He does not understand that the gender of the Moon-God and the Sun-God flipped from male to female at times. For the majority of time, the Moon-God was viewed as a male deity. But sometimes the Moon was viewed as female. The name of the Moon-God changed from culture to culture. The Moon-God could be described as a storm god in some cultures. Thus his argument falls to the ground because Baal was an astral deity connected to the worship of the moon and the sun, depending by whom, when, and where he was worshipped.

I have successfully documented that the Moon-God had many different names such as Nana, Hubal, Sin, etc. I also showed that he was also called Il or Ilah, which according to Coon and others became Allah.

I must also point out that some scholars refer to Allah as a “name,” while others use the word “title.” The fact that pagan deities were given the title “daughters of Allah” and yet had personal names such as Al-Lat, Al-Uzza and Manat, is not a contradiction.

Why am I bringing this up? Shabir spends much time on the issue of whether I said that Allah was a “name” or a “title.” Why did he waste time on such an irrelevant issue? It was another red herring! Whether or not I used “name” or “title” has no logical bearing on what I am saying about the history of Allah. Even Shabir must acknowledge that every title is a name!

Another fallacy practiced by Shabir is arguing in a circle. For example, there is a Pre-Islamic inscription where Sin had a father. Shabir rejects this as a reference to Allah because, according to Post-Islamic theology, Allah has no father. But he is begging the question at this point.

Shabir goes on to claim that since the Moon-God Sin is said to have a father, this refutes “my” idea that Allah was viewed as the “high” god by pagan Arabs. He then announces, “This again disproves Morey.” Several comments are in order.

1. Why does he assume that Allah in Pre-Islamic times was not viewed as having a father by the pagans? On what grounds does he constantly read Post-Islamic ideas into Pre-Islamic inscriptions? If pagan Arabs thought that Allah had a wife and daughters, why wouldn’t they think he had a father and a mother as well?

2. That Allah was viewed as a high god or even as the highest god by the Meccan pagans is not “my” idea. This is an observation made by many scholars long before I studied Islam. Shabir’s fight is not with me but with the many scholars who hold to that position.

3. That the “high god” had a father does not logically imply that he was not viewed as the high god. Gods and goddesses come and go in ancient mythology.

Another problem in Shabir’s booklet is that he argues that since Allah is not listed in some inscriptions along with other names for the Moon-God, this means Allah is not a name for the Moon-God. He concludes, “These inscriptions show that the Moon-god was not Allah.” But he is arguing from silence once again. It is logically irrelevant whether the Arabic word Allah appears or does not appear in some non-Arabic inscription.

In the end, Shabir admits, “Morey was successful in proving that moon worship was prevalent in South Arabia before Islam.”

Read his words several times. Did you see what he says? After calling me “deceptive” and “dishonest,” in the end he admits that I was right!!!

He also commits the “Tit for Tat” fallacy of arguing that if Islam falls because Allah was originally the Moon-God, then Judaism goes down with it as some liberal scholars feel that Elohim started out as an astral deity. But the issue of whether Elohim started out as the Moon-God has no logical bearing on whether Allah began as the Moon-God. He is using Elohim as a red herring to divert attention from Allah.

At the end of his booklet, Shabir reveals his main error:

Even if he [Morey] was able to show that the North Arabs in Mecca worshipped the Moon-god, and even if he was able to show that they used to call this Moon-god Allah, this still does not prove that Allâh in Islam is a Moon-god. To prove or disprove this he needs to show what the Qur’ân teaches about moon worship.

The Qur’ân, however, clearly refutes moon-worship. The Qur’ân says: Adore not the sun and the moon, but adore Allâh who created them…(Qur’ân 41:37).

This statement reveals that Shabir’s entire booklet is based on a straw man of his own imagination. I have never said that Muslims today consciously worship the Moon. I have refuted this straw man in my booklet, The Logical Fallacies Made by Muslims Apologists. Since Shabir is fighting a figment of his imagination, his booklet is thus an exercise in futility.


While I am honored that Shabir has spent so much time attacking me personally, his character assassination is a failure due to his many logical fallacies. We pray for Shabir that he will turn from his false god, false prophet, and false revelation to the one true God, true Prophet, and true revelation. To the Holy Trinity be all the Glory! Amen!

Dr. Robert A. Morey is the Executive Director of the Research and Education Foundation, which is dedicated to researching those topics that affect the future of Western thought and culture. Dr. Morey’s ministry has been recommended by Dr. Walter Martin, Dr. D. James Kennedy, Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon, Dr. Tim LaHaye, Dr. Gleason Archer, and many other nationally known Christian leaders.

For more information about this ministry, or to request a free resource catalog, visit our webpage at or contact us at:

Faith Defenders
P.O. Box 7447
Orange, CA 92863-7447

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