Friday, 13 December 2013

Waṯani Religion: Lesser Deities

Assalamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

These are some lists of the Arab deities worshiped by Arabs around Arabian Peninsula... They are mentioned within Classical Arabic literature and in hadiths but not mentioned in the Glorious Quran.

Lesser Deities


Worshiped by women, however, they would have to avoid the vicinity of the shrine when they were in menstruation. Polytheist Quraish also named their sons as Abd al-Manaf or the servant of Manaf especially those among the Huḏail clan. Manaf means the Height or a higher place.

Dhu al-Khalā

Represented by an idol in the shape of a white fire stone and carved with a crown. Venerated by the bani Daws, bani Khats'am and bani Bujailah, in Yemen and in Tabalah in between Mecca and Medina. The servants of this deity were among the bani 'Umamah from Bahilah bin A'shar. 

Dhu al-Shara

A kind of black stone worshiped by the Ishmaelites among the clans of Nebayot and Duma, who respectively were the descendants of Ishmael's eldest and sixth sons. It was considered as "a child of a maiden" and the god of fertility. Another name of this deity was Dusares or Dhu Shura. The bani al-Harit also possess the idol of this deity within their living place.  

Dhu al-Kaffayn

The deity worshiped by the Daws tribe, and the idol was kept by Amr bin Hamamah. It means "he who has two palms" and was destroyed by Tofayl bin Amr who is a Muslim from Daws tribe.


An idol in the form of man made from red stone in the middle of Aja Mountain. The servants of the idol was Bawlanites, Bawlan was the person who began to worship this deity. The last Bawlanite who worship this deity was known as Sayfi. 


The deity of Jadilites located in Thayyi. Before this deity, they worshiped another deity but their idol was stolen by the Asadites. So, they adopted al-Ya'bub as the substitution.

Asaph Naylah

Asaph bin Ya'ala and Naylah bint Zayd were a legendary figures. They were a couple of lovers from Yemen. They performed the pilgrimage in Mecca. While they arrived in Mecca, they entered the Cubicle Shrine structure and took the chance to commit adultery in the structure when no one was there. They were cursed to be two stones. They were brought out from the structure and taken home. These idols were worshiped by the Khuza'a tribe and the Quraish. Those who perform pilgrimage to the shrine also venerated them with different names given to them as according to the customs happened at that time, between the Ishmaelites and other clan such as Hudhail bin Mudrikah.  


A deity considered as the god of rain. It means "an abundant".


A deity venerated by the Semites, the name was taken from the Nabath inscription mentioned as Gadda.


A god of fortune. Used as the name of sons by the Thai who were the descendant of Abd Kuthrā. 


An enermous bird god.


God of thunder, using his bow and arrow to create lightning.  


An idol which was circled round by young women during the ritual and procession.


An idol in the form of a shrine located in Sana'a possessed by the clan of Rabi'a descendants of Ka'ab bin Sa'ad bin Zaid and Manat bin Tamim.  


The idol served by the descendants of Bakr bin Wail and Taghib bin Wail, and the Iyadites in Sandad.


Served by the Kinanites, who were the children of Bakr, Malik and Mulkan bin Kinanah. The idol was in the form of a long stone located at Jeddah.


The idol served by a tribe in 'Odhrah. People used to name their child with the name Abd Shams or the servant of the Sun. 


The idol served by Khawlanites. Another name for this idol was 'Omyanis.


Served by Qudi'ites, Lakhmides, Judhamites, 'Amilites and the Ghatafanides, located at an area in a mountain in Syria. 


Served by Muzaynites, and they named their sons as Abd Nuhm. The maintenance of the idol was done by Khuza'i bin Abd Nuhm.  


Located at the area of Anazites.

Dhu al-Rijl

Which means "he who posses two legs". 


An idol served by the Thayyi'ites demolished by the battalion led by Ali bin Abi Talib. It was worshiped by the Himyarites in Sana'a too. 


Mentioned in the inscription of Nabath from al-Hijr. 

Shai' al-Qawm

Mentioned in Nabath and Palmyrean inscriptions, considered as the god of war, the night, and the patron of the caravans. It was nicknamed as the "god who avoids wine". 

The deities such as Dhu al-Khalas, Dhu al-Shara, Dhu al-Kaffayn and Dhu al-Rijl usually was named as according to the geographical location of the idols. 

Worship of Food

Well, this is about the Arabs who worshiped the dates and later they eat them after the food could not grant them their wishes. The worship was done by the Hanifah clan. They made an idol of dates which is mixed with the ghee. They worshiped it for some times, and when they encountered unfortunate incident, the god will be considered as a failure. They would eat some part the "god", and some part would also be offered to other deities placed in the holy sanctuary. When they feel hungry, they would also eat the god since the god cannot take care of his needs. Umar al-Khattab r.a was one of those who commit this kind of act before he becomes a Muslim.  

"Ali al-Qari said, 'The meaning of keep bouncing the poem is that the poem consists of monotheism, reminder for obedience and the warning to stay away from vices just like the poem of Ibnu Rawahah'. He said, 'And among the ignorant matters told to me was that some of them mentioned, 'No idol could give benefits except my idol!' Then others would ask, 'Why?' He said, 'I made it out of bread. When I am deprived due to drought, I would eat my idol little by little'. Others said, 'There were two fox climbing on the head of my idol and they peed on it!' So I said, 'How could the head of a venerated idol being peed by animals?' So I came to you, o noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w and I wanted to be a Muslim!' Everyone who listened to the story laughed and the noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w grinned a little" (Mirqat al-Mafatih, 14/17). 

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace and love, amin!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...